FM newswire for June 2, 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. He doesn’t give the obvious answer: our government lies:  “Al-Qaida’s Rule of Threes – Why are we always killing Osama’s “No. 3” operative?“, Timothy Noah, Slate, 5 December 2005– Follow-up to our latest killing of #3.
  2. Today’s shockwave urban legend:  “Is Betelgeuse about to blow?“, Discover, 1 June 2010 — Supernova’s more than 100 light years away would not seriously damage life on Earth, according to current consensus theories.
  3. American Denial – Living in a Can’t-Do Nation“, Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch, 1 June 2010
  4. Recommended:  “Sounds of Silence“, Michael Brenner (Prof International Affairs, U Pittsburgh), blog of National Journal, 1 June 2010 — Best analysis I’ve seen of the new National Security Strategy.
  5. I think “useful idiots nicely describes the situation:  “Potemkin Pundits: Did Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein Fall For Chinese Propaganda?“, Ethan Epstein,  True/Slant, 1 June 2010

Today’s feature article

Time for industry to end its war on regulation“, Steven Pearlstein , op-ed in Washington Post, 26 May 2010 — Opening:

The biggest oil spill ever. The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. The deadliest mine disaster in 25 years. One recall after another of toys from China, of vehicles from Toyota, of hamburgers from roach-infested processing plants.  The whole Vioxx fiasco. And let’s not forget the biggest climate threat since the Ice Age. 

Even if you’re not into conspiracy theories, it’s hard to ignore the common thread running through these recent crises: the glaring failure of government regulators to protect the public. Regulators who were cowed by industry or intimidated by politicians. Regulators who were compromised by favors or prospects of industry employment. Regulators who were better at calculating the costs of oversight than the benefits. And regulators who were blinded by their ideological bias against government interference and their faith that industries could police themselves.

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