News Analysis
News Analysis
Shingles And The American Health Care Fiasco

Shingles is a serious, often excruciatingly painful disease that people who’ve had chicken pox often (roughly 1 million cases a year) get later in life.  The good news: there’s an effective vaccine that would prevent the disease and save billions.  The bad news: there isn’t enough of it and only 10 percent of the at-risk […]

Marie Antoinette: Alive and Well — And Eating Local Organic Produce in the Hamptons

The spirit of Marie Antoinette is alive and well and supporting local produce in the Hamptons according to this story in the Wall Street Journal.  Dedicated social activists have set up a charmingly twee non-profit to promote the production and consumption of local, organic food in the Hamptons.  No word yet on whether I-banker trophy […]

It's a Start…

Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation that mandates that California schools teach gay history.I know, I know.  California is plain out of money.  The entire educational system from preschool to the University of California is falling apart.  The Supreme Court may force the prisons to release thousands of inmates.  The state’s budget is a laughingstock […]

The Fall of the Bastille

More than 220 years after the Bastille went down, we are still trying to figure out what happened and what it meant.  For most people around the world the French Revolution remains the revolution par excellence; the English speaking world talks about 1688 and 1776, but most of the world entered modernity through traumatic meltdowns […]

Forbes Blogger Attacks Mead, Repents in Sackcloth and Ashes

E. D. Kain at Forbes launched a missile strike at my post on the drug war, then took most of it back after a discerning reader hauled him over the coals.  Kain appears to believe that giving authority over drugs to the states is the way to sort out this mess.  So if cocaine is […]

At Least Someone Still Loves the Dollar

Too bad they don’t have any money. According to a new Gallup poll, the dollar is still king in Yerevan, Minsk and and Tajikistan.  Residents of the FSU (former Soviet Union) prefer the greenback to the euro in large numbers.  Nobody asked about the yen.

Saudis Smite, Iran Turns Other Cheek

On March 14, Saudi tanks rolled across the causeway to Bahrain to help the Sunni government suppress a mainly Shia revolt. Iran, and possibly Hezbollah, were supporting some of the Shia protestors. It looks like the crackdown succeeded: the Bahraini monarchy locked up doctors, journalists, and protestors, sentenced some to death, gave others long prison […]

Is Immigration from Mexico Falling Off?

Trees do not grow to the sky — and Mexican immigration is not going to swamp the United States.  The always interesting Michael Barone has a must-read column pointing out that the conditions that drove millions of Mexicans into the US are changing and that the immigrant flow may already have slowed.Barone’s combination of sound […]

Canary Keels Over, Sticks Legs in Air

Singapore’s economy shrank by almost 8 percent in the second quarter of 2011, reports the FT.  That’s a bad sign; the Southeast Asian city state is a regional trade and finance center and is acutely sensitive to economic trends in the neighborhood.  Disruptions in supply chains thanks to the Japanese tsunami had a lot to […]

Europe Banking Lies Coming Unglued

A group of German banking associations to EU banking officials conducting ‘stress tests’ to see how many European banks are in trouble:  “Given the tense situation which already exists in money and capital markets, we believe publishing the results with the present level of detail would exacerbate the sovereign debt crisis.”Translated into English that means, […]

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