Monday, February 28, 2011
UPDATE. On video.
“What you are looking at in Tunisia, in Egypt … Libya, in Bahrain … what you see happening there … you’d better prepare because it will be coming to your door,” Farrakhan said in a booming voice, thousands of followers cheering in his wake.Does this sound like a mobster telling you that you should hire him for protection to avoid having "problems" in your restaurant, or what?
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
“A change in our climate is taking place very surely. Both heat and cold are becoming moderate within the memory of even the middle-aged, and snows are less frequent and less deep.”Oops, sorry, it was Thomas Jefferson who said this. In 1804.He drove a Hummer, right? Planeticidal humans!
Monday, February 21, 2011
Spanish bonds are “certainly getting better” as a potential investment, according to Andrew Bosomworth, a money manager at Pacific Investment Management Co.
“Real economic progress and healing is starting to take place” in Spain, Bosomworth said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “On the Move” with Francine Lacqua. Pimco manages the world’s largest bond fund.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
IRONY DEFINED in just one image:
Set in 74 hectares of prime land near the Black Sea coast with its own vineyard, the palace is reported to be almost eight million square feet and has its own helipad. Other features include an indoor cinema, a summer amphitheatre, a casino, swimming pools, a gym and a clock tower. Sergei Kolesnikov, the businessman who claims the palace is Mr Putin's, has likened the structure to a palace built for Russia's Tsars outside St Petersburg. He said that the Russian prime minister had personally approved the design and materials.Pictures at the link. Something doesn't seem quite right in the information, though. I believe the 74 hectares of land but... 8 million square feet for the building? Seems too much even for a Russian cleptocrat, no?
UPDATE. A reader writes to point out the error in The Telegraph's report: the 8 million square feet are precisely the 74 hectares of land, so it seems they confused it with the building size. Exactly, and I should have noticed. Thanks!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
HEH (click to enlarge): Cellphone: "What a strange-looking guy!"
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Many international media commentators – and some academic and political analysts – are having a hard time understanding the complexity of forces driving and responding to these momentous events. This confusion is driven by the binary “good guys versus bad guys” lenses most use to view this uprising. Such perspectives obscure more than they illuminate. There are three prominent binary models out there and each one carries its own baggage: (1) People versus Dictatorship: This perspective leads to liberal naïveté and confusion about the active role of military and elites in this uprising. (2) Seculars versus Islamists: This model leads to a 1980s-style call for “stability” and Islamophobic fears about the containment of the supposedly extremist “Arab street.” Or, (3) Old Guard versus Frustrated Youth: This lens imposes a 1960s-style romance on the protests but cannot begin to explain the structural and institutional dynamics driving the uprising, nor account for the key roles played by many 70-year-old Nasser-era figures.Don't miss the rest.
To map out a more comprehensive view, it may be helpful to identify the moving parts within the military and police institutions of the security state and how clashes within and between these coercive institutions relate to shifting class hierarchies and capital formations. I will also weigh these factors in relation to the breadth of new non-religious social movements and the internationalist or humanitarian identity of certain figures emerging at the center of the new opposition coalition.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
The police are watching you. If you're the wrong religion, they'll spy on your every move. If you voice the wrong political opinions they'll be watching you. According to Mike German, a 16-year veteran with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, this is happening right in the U.S.
Mr. German has become the FBI's worst nightmare. Fed up with the abuses of privacy he was seeing, he complain to higher authorities and was promptly fired by the FBI. Recently he became the ACLU's Policy Counsel on National Security, Immigration and Privacy [press release]. And he's speaking up about what he witnessed.
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Out: "You come here often?" In: "Bud or Coors?"
UPDATE. What I said. Now it's giant sparrows, fictional islands, and cows falling off planes; all in the pages of the New York Times.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Sunday, February 06, 2011
HAS Spain changed at last? The prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who is mistrusted by the bond markets and unpopular with Spaniards, would certainly like the world to think so. On February 2nd he signed a solemn “social pact” with unions and employers, covering pensions, collective bargaining and more. It was, Mr Zapatero declared, the most important such deal since the Moncloa pact of 33 years ago.Keep reading.
Under its terms Spaniards will, albeit with many exceptions, retire at 67 (instead of 65). Or at least they will do so in 2027, the year when the reform fully kicks in. That is far off, but Spaniards are set to be among the longest-working people in the European Union. First, however, they must find jobs. Unemployment at over 20% and rising is proof that Spain urgently needs a lot more change.
Saturday, February 05, 2011
The cable in question is here.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
In a world where every piece of economic data is open to different interpretations, Spanish unemployment numbers are refreshingly easy to analyze — they are just awful.There's also a good explainer on why unemployment has skyrocketed much more than in other countries, and why the labor market is so dysfunctional. Read it all.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
I note considerable chatter among conservatives about the dangers of Muhammad ElBaradei. See, e.g., this post at Fox News by Anne Bayefesky. As my Wall Street Journal op-ed today should have indicated, I am hardly one to romanticize ElBaradei or to underestimate the difficulties of dealing with him. But what do his critics propose we do anyway?
[...] As I’ve argued repeatedly, if we had wanted to avoid this dire situation, we should have been putting real pressure on Mubarak to reform in years past. But many of those who now decry ElBaradei also resisted attempts to force Mubarak to liberalize, because they were devoted to the mantra of “stability” above all. We are now seeing how deceptive the Mubarak mirage actually was.