Thursday, 5 April 2007

Recent article picks

No democracy for you!
It's bad, says authoritarian military government... go figure:

Bangladesh's army chief says the country should not go back to being run by an "elective democracy".

Of course Bangladesh democracy fails, when it is not allowed to operate!

'The politics of reincarnation'
Economist article: the two day diary of its Tokyo bureau chief as he meets the Dalai Lama. "Here the 14th Dalai Lama, and his Tibetan government in exile...after nearly half a century, their "temporary" home. Young Tibetan monks tear up and down the steep narrow streets joshing one another."

Bush rejects Senate 'show trials'
— on the politically motivated firings of US attorneys. He must have forgotten what Guantanamo hearings are…

'Are we in a war? Do we have an enemy?'
Great essay from a few years ago in the London Review of Books. And yes, the author is a philosopher. As the title implies, the topic is the 'war on terrorism' and people like 'enemy combatants'. Nice perspective — approached from historical, philosophical, and, of course political angles.

Who killed more people in the Bible (image)
God v. Satan: interesting how the revered guy killed so many more. Warning: needs citations but figures seem accurate. Just for interest’s sake. The Old Testament, I am told, has more killings by God than are recorded in this chart. Of course, none of it really matters...

Dynamic, mixed politics
New York Times book review of a new book by a former vice presidential candidate, who was beaten by Al Gore in the primaries.
But most of his suggestions are grounded in an appealing mix of idealism and common sense, and the result is a thoughtful, incisive book animated by an eagerness to grapple with an array of middle-class concerns that bridge red- and blue-state America.

Contesting the popular notion that the country is deeply polarized, Mr. Bradley cites a 2000 study showing that 52 percent of red-state voters want gun control, 70 percent of blue-state voters favor the death penalty and 62 percent of red-state voters say there should be no job discrimination against gays. He goes on to argue that the growing power of special interest groups — enhanced by the gerrymandering of Congressional districts, the media’s fascination with noisy partisanship and candidates’ susceptibility to lobbyists — is corroding the political process.

'These men are peacemakers?'
Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams make me want to spew.

Hitchens talks about how the deal could have been made long ago, without the decades of murder. The Paisley-Adams quarrel was fought at the cost of political stability and human life.

One of the largest US lenders files for bankruptcy
New Century Financial, one of the largest sub-prime lenders in the US, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.... Sub-prime lenders, who target customers with poor credit histories, have suffered from a downturn in the market.

Not a good sign for the housing market or the US economy — and thus the global economy!

Incompetent, on so many levels
No surprises:
President George W. Bush said on Tuesday he planned no new action to impose caps on greenhouse gases blamed for global warming despite the Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate U.S. emissions.

See background.

'Globalization’s offspring'
The cover story of next week’s Economist — on the revitalization of multinationals into the global spirit, including the birth of new multinationals from the developing world.
While globalisation has opened new markets to rich-world companies, it has also given birth to a pack of fast-moving, sharp-toothed new multinationals that is emerging from the poor world.

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