FM newswire for June 4, 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. About those sinking pacific islands:  “Floating Islands“, Willis Eschenbach, 27 January 2010 — This was the first rebuttal to the now-disproven fear of massive flooding.
  2. Recommended:  “At What Cost, Intelligence? A Case Study of the Consequences of Ethical (and Unethical) Leadership“, Douglas A. Pryer (Major U.S. Army), Military Review, May/June 2010
  3. Remember those hysterical estimates of the spill rate?   Here’s the real story: “Flow Rate Group Provides Preliminary Best Estimate Of Oil Flowing from BP Oil Well“, Deepwater Horizon Response, 27 May 2010 — Moral of the story:  don’t rely on media whores for data.  The report is here.
  4. European Dream of Desert Energy Takes Shape“, Der Spiegel, 27 May 2010
  5. Recommended:  “The Enemy Within“, Mark Bowden, The Atlantic, June 2010 — About the Conficker super worm, infecting computers world-wide, with a $250,000 bounty for the arrest and conviction of its creators.
  6. Important:  “CIA Drone Operators Oppose Strikes as Helping al Qaeda“, Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service, 3 June 2010
  7. They do nothing right:  “BP’s Windfall to the Rich“, Rick Outzen, Daily Beast, 3 June 2010 — “As Gulf fishermen suffer, a BP program to hire cleanup boats has resulted in windfalls for rich pleasure-craft owners”
  8. Conservative lies exposted to the sunlight:  “US-Mexico border isn’t so dangerous“, AP, 3 June 2010
  9. Win or lose in Kandahar, we’ll escalate:  “Doubling Down in Afghanistan – Why We Refuse to Fold a Losing Hand“, William J. Astore, TomDispatch, 3 June 2010
  10. Don’t bother reading.  Passively wait until it happens.  That’s the American way.  “The Next Drilling Disaster?“, Kara Cusolito, The Nation, 3 June 2010
  11. Emigration Up, Birth Rate Down“, Der Spiegel, 27 May 2010 — “Graying Germany Contemplates Demographic Time Bomb”
  12. Follow-up to the above story — As Spengler (David P Goldman) wrote, “In 200 years, French and German will be spoken exclusively in hell. ”  (“Why Europe chooses extinction“, Spengler, Asia Times, 8 April 2003)
  13. America’s skewed national security priorities“, Andrew J. Bacevich, Boston Globe, 4 June 2010
  14. Global assassins ‘R us:  “U.S. ‘secret war’ expands globally as Special Operations forces take larger role“, Washington Post, 4 June 2010 — Trashing the international order we spend 50 years building.
  15. The Time We Have Is Growing Short“, Paul Volcker, New York Review of Books, 24 June 2010
  16. Recommended:  “Lords of ‘Pride and Plunder’“, Robert Bartlett, New York Review of Books, 24 June 2010

Today’s Feature Articles from the blog of Douglas Elmendorf (Director of the Congressional Budget Office

Quote of the day from his note of 17 May 2010:

The United States faces a fundamental disconnect between the services that people expect the government to provide, particularly in the form of benefits for older Americans, and the tax revenues that people are willing to send to the government to finance those services. Changes of the magnitude required to make fiscal policy sustainable could have important economic and social effects—but they also provide an opportunity to address existing concerns about tax and spending policies. Given the time required to implement significant policy changes, determining those changes is an urgent task for policymakers.

After generations of feckless military spending, the bean-counters again have a role determining military strategy: 

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