FM newswire for May 15, interesting articles about geopolitics

Today’s links to interesting news and analysis. If you find this useful, please pass it to a friend or colleague.

  1. The Failure of Surveillance Cameras“, Steve Chapman, Reason, 6 May 2010 — “When it comes to preventing and solving crimes, cameras are about as useful as a pet rock.”
  2. Interesting article, but unclear on why people use GDP as the metric:  “The Rise and Fall of the G.D.P.“, New York Times, 10 May 2010
  3. Slowly the obvious becomes visible (probably due to our strategic defeat in Iraq):  “Pentagon rethinking value of major counterinsurgencies“, McClatchy Newspapers, 12 May 2010 — Still delusionally optimistic, but a slow step towards reality.
  4. Recommended reading:  “We Need a ‘GED’ for College Students“, Chad Aldeman, The Quick and the Ed, 13 May 2010
  5. Dumb on several levels:  “The EPA’s New ‘Tailoring Rule’”, Matthew Yglesias, ThinkProgress, 14 May 2010 — These regulations would be a gift to Republicans, raising prices to prevent something half the nation does not believe in.  Even better: “it’s still better than letting the planet burn.”
  6. Another step on the institutionalization of a new morality in western society,  James Bowman, 14 May 2010
  7. But it’s just money(ours) … “Many Homeland Security initiatives are called flops“, Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2010 — And these looked so good in the newspapers!
  8. We must raise taxes; cutting spending (i.e., foreign wars, star wars) is unthinkable!  “The IMF’s New Fiscal Monitor“, Bruce Bartlett, Captial Gains and Games, 14 May 2010 — The beast must be fed.
  9. Slowly the truth emerges about fabricated climate data:  “Crisis in New Zealand climatology“, Barry Brill, blog of Quadrant Online, 15 May 2010 — “The warming that wasn’t”

Today’s feature articles

(10)  As a reporter Yon compares to most journalists today like Ernie Pyle to a flock of 1940’s débutantes:   “Penguins of Afghanistan & A few Words on Charlie Company“, Michael Yon, 13 May 2009

(11)  NOAA leans humility

  • Their old slogan:  “NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment…”
  • Their new slogan:  “NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment…”
  • (from Watts Up with That)

(12)  An interesting picture of BP’s Plan “C” to stop the oil leak

Plan A was containment dome, now abandoned.  Plan B was the top hat, now temporarily sidelined.  Plan C consists of a “riser insertion tube”, as seen below.  Next week’s Plan D:  inject material into the blowout preventer on the seabed, attempting to block the flow of oil.  The news media has done a terrible job of reporting on these programs; the offical Deepwater Horizon Response website provides useful information — but not much of it.

Fortunately the hysterical forecasts have so far proven false, such as this by Wayne Madsen (of the Wayne Madsen Report):  “The Cover-up: BP’s Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster“, OilPrice, 6 May 2010 — Excerpt:

WMR has also learned that 36 urban areas on the Gulf of Mexico are expecting to be confronted with a major disaster from the oil volcano in the next few days.

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