FM newswire for 5 January, hot articles for your morning reading

It’s astonishing how often folks say in comments that they use only information sources that match their preconceptions.  “I don’t read him, he’s a lefty/right/evildoer.”  This is a recipe for ignorance.  The FM newswire cites sources from a wide range of viewpoints.  Esp from the fringes, where new insights are born.

Here are today’s links to interesting news and analysis.  …

  1. Closing the door on higher education for the poor and middle classes:  “As college costs rise, loans become harder to get“, Washington Post, 28 December 2009
  2. America’s Secret ICE Castles“, Jacqueline Stevens, The Nation, 16 December 2010 — Immigrant detention centers.
  3. “Serial Catastrophes in Afghanistan threaten Obama Policy”, Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 4 January 2010 — Nice summary of recent events in the Af-Pak War.  Follow the links!
  4. American World of War – What to Watch for in 2010“, Tom Engelhardt and Nick Turse, TomDispatch, 4 January 2010
  5. A must-read:  “Harsh lessons we may need to learn again“, Joseph E. Stiglitz (Nobel laureate in Economics), op-ed in China Daily, 31 December 2009
  6. Headline news, Americans wetting their beds in fear:  “Iran May Be Able to Build an Atomic Bomb in 5 Years, U.S. and Israeli Officials Fear“, New York Times, 5 January 1995 — That was 1995.

Today’s feature article

Top Ten Good News Stories from the Muslim World in 2009 that You Never Heard About“, Juan Cole, 1 January 2009 — See Cole’s website for the additional detail and evidence.  Summary:

Afterword

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9 thoughts on “FM newswire for 5 January, hot articles for your morning reading

  1. What’s the educational strategy in the USA?

    The best summary of the Danish educational strategy I’ve seen is by the Socialdemocratic Jytte Hilden:

    “The purpose of free education is to prepare our youth, as best we can, to take care of themselves and their families.”

    That’s the reason for free education in Denmark all the way up to and including university level. Plus generous scholarships (big help for working class students). The system has it’s flaws but works well.
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    FM reply: As discussed on another post, almost every developed nation provides heavily subsidized college education. Except the US, whose middle class families spend vast sums attempting to buy a middle class lifestyle for their children — or children graduate burdened with massive debts.

  2. NYT: “Iran May Be Able to Build an Atomic Bomb in 5 Years, U.S. and Israeli Officials Fear“

    Personally I’d be immensely relieved if Iran did actually build an atomic bomb, put it in warheads, and have these warheads in missiles pointed at everyone in the region. There is nothing that would put me at ease as much as that. If they did so, seems to me the US and Israel would stop the perpetual attempts to start a war and start dealing with Iran in a rational fashion.

    Unfortunately, they probably never will develop a nuke. So we can look forward to years of retarded strategems and pointless bullshit.

  3. Thank God that those despicable Russians and Chinese never got the bomb. They would have instantly blown us all to smithereenies!

  4. A must-read: “Harsh lessons we may need to learn again“, Joseph E. Stiglitz. Old Joe, he’s great isn’t he:

    “Never has so much money been transferred from so many to so few.”

    He just can’t get any Air Time here; goes to China to offer his best work! Makes a guy wish for a Winston Churchill re-enactment. At least he is not as blatantly partisan as his bud Paul Krugman and there for much more entertaining, humorous and clever. Those Dems and Repubs are sure working Overtime for us aren’t they?

  5. USA became a superpower many years before Keynes was born and long before famous Nixon’s “we are all Keynesians now”.
    Invisible hand worked for the last 5000 years. Then it was killed by Keynes’s ideas of wise governmental regulations. Australia? Of course commodity base economy without imperial goals is doing a little better! Still wonder, what Stiglitz meant by “old orthodoxy”. Is he somehow implying that US is a free market economy now?
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    FM reply: This is absurd. Modern economic theory, with a large element from Keynes, is used by all major nations. Most of whom are doing quite well. Global economic growth since Keynes has been the fastest the world has ever seen. Economic growth in the 5 years before this recession (median per capita GDP growth) was probably the fastest ever. China’s growth for the past decade or so is among the fastest ever for a large nation.

  6. “FM reply: As discussed on another post, almost every developed nation provides heavily subsidized college education. Except the US, whose middle class families spend vast sums attempting to buy a middle class lifestyle for their children — or children graduate burdened with massive debts.”

    Are you suggesting we now subsidize a college educations? How about doing a college education online for free? Khan Academy.

    Ivy league is so…privileged and old school. Furthermore I would suggest online education beginning in kindergarten and entirely bypassing established education.Yes,I fully expect to be flamed by the entrenched education establishment that provides us with such dismal results.I can hear it now,if we only had more public money…..
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    FM reply: This tells us something, but not about education.

    “I would suggest online education beginning in kindergarten”

    Any teacher — including those who home schooled their own children — would laugh at this nonsense.

  7. Regarding Iran nukes article, written by Chris Hedges. He was fired by NY Times in 2003 for being an outspoken opponent of the Iraq War. The Times said it could not employ such a biased reporter. You may notice that Iran article is subversively evenhanded.

    Regarding value of education, couldn’t help putting in a quote from a book by V. S. Naipaul, “After all, we make of ourselves according to the ideas we have of our possibilities.”

  8. That Stiglitz article in China Daily RULEZ (“Harsh lessons we may need to learn again”). I especially love the mockery of “the self-correcting market”. I need to check that guy out some more, I see. The best line:

    “In 2009, we again saw why Adam Smith’s invisible hand often appeared invisible: it is not there.

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