Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where was I?

Sorry for the no post yesterday, I had to get up at the crack of dawn to fly to Baltimore for a three hour meeting, and fly back that afternoon. Yeah yeah, bloggers who do that sort of thing usually blog from the airport but I just wasn't up for it. Apologies for the carbon emissions as well but it wasn't up to me.

Anyway, I don't subscribe or regularly read The Economist, but it is a good way to kill 3 hours so I often buy it at the airport. As I presume most readers know, this is a British magazine which is not particularly written by or for economists. It's a comprehensive review of global affairs, somewhat comparable to Time or Newsweek but far smarter and more comprehensive. It is generally considered conservative in outlook and I suppose it is, by UK standards, but by current U.S. standards it's not that far from the Daily Worker. It could be the Bernie Sanders campaign manual. That's how warped we have become.

Here's their latest page on the U.S., where they endorse the Fed's "quantitative easing" while pointing out that it's an inferior option which is only necessary because we have provided insufficient fiscal stimulus; endorse not only the DREAM act but comprehensive immigration reform while slapping Republican demagoguery about "amnesty"; and also slap the Republicans around over blocking ratification of the new START treaty, among other positions.

Every issue has a theme section and this week, it was anthropogenic global warming, which they portray as an urgent problem which we ought to be addressing by reducing carbon emissions but, since that apparently isn't going to happen, they focus on possible responses.

The Economist is also entirely free of the pervasive American trait of narcissism -- it opens up to the world and tries to free itself of a British centered perspective. Its dispatches from darn near everywhere -- Sri Lanka to Kenya to Brazil as well as the more obvious major powers and hot spots -- take the local perspective and dispassionately portray local culture and politics.

If we had conservatives like that, we would not be idiots. But we don't, and we are.

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