Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Antigua update Part I WTO GATS

Reader JohnA forwarded this article as an update to the toe in the water scenario for implementing WTO GATS policy. The New York Times article suggests possibilities. Antigua is best known to Americans for its pristine beaches and tourist attractions like historic English Harbor. But the dozens of online casinos based there are vital to […]

Psychologists and torture

The Houston Chronicle comments on the American Psychological Association and the recent national meeting regarding psychologists’ role in interrogation. One of the mental health profession’s strengths is its grasp of ambiguity. Love and hate, rage and attraction, altruism and greed can coexist in the same person, and practitioners help clients accept that.The Hippocratic oath, on […]

A counter-insurgency story

The Washington Post published an article by Nathaniel Frick, former Marine captain in counter-insurgeny training in Afghanistan, that makes compelling points. On a highway north of Kabul last month, an American soldier aimed a machine gun at my car from the turret of his armored Humvee. In the split second for which our eyes locked, […]

Opting in, opting out – What is a person to do?

Some readers want to opt out of certain programs. Some readers want to opt in certain programs. Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially on a blog with limited bandwidth. NPP INCOME TAX CHARTNote: Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding.$ 10,000 Tax pie chart Of the $10000.00 you paid in taxes:$2720.00 […]

Part ll on roles of government/private sector public health

Hat tip to Laura Wright at On Earth magazine and NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) for the following link: CuraGen offers toxigenomic screens. CuraGen’s industrialized Predictive Toxicogenomics Screen enables inexpensive cellular screening of thousands of compounds annually, and provides results on nine different modes of liver toxicity. Evidence of liver toxicity is one of the […]

Where is Balochistan?

Pakistani ISI and Iranian intelligence working together? And when you thought you knew the players. Pakistani Intelligence ISI in collaboration with Iranian intelligence crafted a unique strategy to fight Baloch nationalists who are waging a deadly guerilla warfare against Pakistani Army in the Balochistan province – Islamize youth and kill Nationalists – according to sources […]

The other side of the coin in Iraq

Reporters at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting offer insight into local political and military conditions in Basra. Reporting appears to dovetail with Cactus’s post. The concrete walls that surround the Fadhila party’s compound in Sharish, north of Basra city centre, resemble the barricades around the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. Last spring, fierce […]

Absolute proof or preponderance of evidence?

This article in On Earth marks the beginning of research that might have far reaching consequences in how we view disease and how our consumption is currently involved in creating health problems: Although some diseases are inherited through a single genetic mutation — cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia are examples — the classic “one […]

Charity begins at home

The NYT ran an article on charity: CARE, one of the world’s biggest charities, is walking away from some $45 million a year in federal financing, saying American food aid is not only plagued with inefficiencies, but also may hurt some of the very poor people it aims to help.… In 2004, Mr. Maxwelhtt and […]

Worries by income level

A Gallup Poll reveals a measure of concerns by income level: What is the most important financial problem facing your family today (open ended)? I was unable to make the chart work. sorry. by income Under $30,000 % $30,000 -74,000 % $75,000 +% Healthcare costs 22 Healthcare 20 Healthcare 12 Lack of money, 17 Energy […]