Saturday, July 09, 2005


Bloated Executive Salaries Destroying US Technological Lead

Seems like all the smart kids are going to business school rather than engineering school, due to US businessmen funding their bloated CEO salaries by cutting research opportunities:
U.S. losing lead in science and engineering-study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than half a century of U.S. dominance in science and engineering may be slipping as America's share of graduates in these fields falls relative to Europe and developing nations such as China and India, a study released on Friday says.

The study, written by Richard Freeman at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Washington, warned that changes in the global science and engineering job market may require a long period of adjustment for U.S. workers.


The picture among doctorates -- key to advanced scientific research -- was more striking. In 2001, universities in the European Union granted 40 percent more science and engineering doctorates than the United States, with that figure expected to reach nearly 100 percent by about 2010, the study showed.

The study said deteriorating opportunities and comparative wages for young science and engineering graduates has discouraged U.S. students from entering these fields, but not those born in other countries.

These trends are challenging the so-called North-South global economic divide, the paper said, by undermining a perceived rich-country advantage in high technology.

"Research and technological activity and production are moving where the people are, even when they are located in the low-wage South," Freeman wrote, citing a study saying some 10-15 percent of all U.S. jobs were "off-shorable."
(Source: Reuters, July 8, 2005.)
Howard Jarvis' "Tax Revolt" cut funding for public education both in California and nationwide. The greed-fueled 1980s mergers (where speculators cashed in "overfunded" pension funds to finance speculative investments) showed people that business school graduates made more money running companies into the ground than engineering school graduates did by helping the company build new products.

Short-term gain at the expense of disaster in the long run. US business has run on this for years, and our CEO President's entire Iraq strategy is based on this same strategy. Don't you just love the way free-market principles derived from buying wheat in the public square cause massive damage when an effect takes place 20 years after the relevant cause?


Bush League's Anti-Terror Strategy Fails Big-Time

Looks like W's latest "fight them in Iraq rather than in our own backyards" excuse for the Iraq War has been as big a failure as his other policies:
A classified CIA report issued in May warned that Iraq was becoming an urban-terror training ground for Iraqis and foreign Arab nationals who are expected to return at some point to their home countries, including Europe.

But Zarqawi's group may already be sending European-recruited insurgents back to the West to carry out attacks, the counterterrorism official said.

"It's essentially a two-way pipeline," the official said.

"Given that Zarqawi is interested in having people carry out attacks in the West, they can be turned around because they come with documentation and credentials where they can be redirected back into the continent of Europe."
(Source: Reuters US official sees Zarqawi spectre in London attacks, July 8, 2005 [emphasis added.])
It used to be Al Qaeda had to spend money building and running training camps. Now, they just use Iraq as a combination training camp and research lab. I wonder how much longer they'll wait before they come over here and give us the benefit of all W and his Bush League minions have helped teach them?

Friday, July 08, 2005


Not With a Bang, but a Whimper

Jeb Bush, unlike Captain Ahab, finally gives up his quest for revenge:
McCabe based his recommendations to Gov. Bush on a report by investigators that found that there was no indication of culpability and that Michael Schiavo's actions following her collapse appeared consistent with a distraught spouse trying to save his wife's life.

"Without proof of criminal agency, there can be no hope of prosecution," the investigators concluded.
(Source: Reuters Governor Bush gives up pursuit of Schiavo case July 8, 2005 [emphasis added])
Coincidentally, this news came out on a Friday after a major news story broke. I guess Jeb decided he didn't have to wait until his brother announced a Supreme Court nominee before making his decision, what with the London bombing pushing the Schiavo story's final episode to the back pages...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Judith Miller Takes The Fall For Her Republican Buddies

Judith Miller apparently thinks the Republicans and Karl Rove will be in power for the forseeable future, and fears their reputation for revenge:
New York Times Reporter Is Jailed for Keeping Source Secret

Published: July 6, 2005

WASHINGTON, July 6 - A federal judge today ordered Judith Miller of The New York Times to be jailed immediately after she again refused to cooperate with a grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of a covert C.I.A. operative.
I expect Ms. Miller will be getting some rewards for her loyalty to W and his Bush League minions...speaking tours? Ambassadorship? Ghost writing W's memoirs?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Those Who Do Not Learn From History

What we're repeating:
WASHINGTON, July 4 - The Pentagon's most senior planners are challenging the longstanding strategy that requires the armed forces to be prepared to fight two major wars at a time. Instead, they are weighing whether to shape the military to mount one conventional campaign while devoting more resources to defending American territory and antiterrorism efforts.
(Source: New York Times Pentagon Weighs Strategy Change to Deter Terror, July 5, 2005
In the years before World War 2, Britain decided to cut back on their Naval spending despite the growing threats from Germany and Japan:
Following the inter-war disarmament conferences, the Royal Navy had been reduced to a two-ocean force – it could certainly protect British interests in the western hemisphere, and could even extend its power into the Indian Ocean to erect a protective mantle over the array of British colonies and interests abutting its tropical shores.

The Pacific was more problematic. In theory, Britain could assemble a formidable fleet for despatch to the Pacific provided that the situation elsewhere was stable.
(Source: David Day Loosening the Bonds - Britain, Australia and the Second World War, History Today Volume: 38 Issue: 2, Page 11 - 17. February 1988)
Our military is currently bogged down in Iraq for the next 10 years. This isn't the time for further cuts in military strength just so "W" can deliver still more tax cuts for the Bush League.

Can you say "Taiwan?" How about "China?" Or "Iran?" Or "Afghanistan?"

Monday, July 04, 2005


Smart Bombs Not Smart Enough

Here we go again - another airstrike on an alleged "terrorist camp" that kills women and children as well:
The US military says it regrets that civilians were killed in an air strike by US forces in eastern Afghanistan.

Women and children were among 17 killed in the raid on Chechal village, Konar province governor Assadullah Wafa said.
(SourveBBC News US regrets Afghan civilian deaths, July 4, 2005 [emphasis in original])
How do we know the rest of the casualties were Taliban? Are any male casualties of military age defined as "terrorists" automatically?

Bombing villages or individual houses based on "human intelligence" is an inappropriate use of air power. There are too many chances for mistakes costing civilian lives - mistakes that translate into propaganda victories for Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

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