2009-03-10

Weekly Readings

Share

1. Go read Jeffrey Gettleman’s article regarding the current state of affairs in Somalia over at Foreign Policy. Here’s a sneak preview:

In more than a dozen trips to Somalia over the past two and a half years, I’ve come to rewrite my own definition of chaos. I’ve felt the incandescent fury of the Iraqi insurgency raging in Fallujah. I’ve spent freezing-cold, eerily quiet nights in an Afghan cave. But nowhere was I more afraid than in today’s Somalia, where you can get kidnapped or shot in the head faster than you can wipe the sweat off your brow. From the thick, ambush-perfect swamps around Kismayo in the south to the lethal labyrinth of Mogadishu to the pirate den of Boosaaso on the Gulf of Aden, Somalia is quite simply the most dangerous place in the world.

The whole country has become a breeding ground for warlords, pirates, kidnappers, bomb makers, fanatical Islamist insurgents, freelance gunmen, and idle, angry youth with no education and way too many bullets.

H/T Matt Yglesias


2. Mother Jones offers a heart rending story about how the working poor survive on $195 a week. Here’s a hint on how it works:

To balance the budget, Edick often skimps on food, some weeks spending little more than $10 on groceries, about one-quarter what the federal food stamp program calculates is needed for three "thrifty meals" a day. She patronizes the grimy discount stores whose prices run even lower than Wal-Mart's, and can tick off their notable sales going back for months. "I had some oranges," she recalls with a self-deprecating smile. "A couple of months ago, they had grapes on sale." And, "If it's less than three dollars for a package of six steaks, that looks like a good deal to me." (She tries not to think too hard about the quality of a 50-cent steak.)

3. William Saletan's article regarding the decision to lift the ban on government funded stem-cell research, is a must read. I personally am torn over this issue, and the article does a good job of providing context to the debate that will continue into the forseable future:

Obama's stem-cell order shows "his commitment to evidence and biomedical hope over his predecessor's ideological distortion of science," says the Center for American Progress. The order will "remove politics from science," says the president of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. It will "keep politics out of science," says the vice president of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It signals that policy will no longer be "driven more by ideology than by facts," says the director of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology.

Think about what's being dismissed here as "politics" and "ideology." You don't have to equate embryos with full-grown human beings—I don't—to appreciate the danger of exploiting them. Embryos are the beginnings of people. They're not parts of people. They're the whole thing, in very early form. Harvesting them, whether for research or medicine, is different from harvesting other kinds of cells. It's the difference between using an object and using a subject. How long can we grow this subject before dismembering it to get useful cells? How far should we strip-mine humanity in order to save it?

4. The NYTimes has a short documentary profiling an 11-year-old Pakistani girl on the last day before the Taliban close down her school in the Swat Valley. Which reminds me that I still need to read “Three Cups of Tea.”


5. No one could have predicted our current economic crisis... oh, now you tell me:






There was an error in this gadget

Labels

12 Days of Christmas (3) 2008 Olympics (2) 2008 Presidential Election (2) 2012 Presidential Election (1) A Christmas Carol (2) A Christmas Story (1) Acumen Fund (1) Adventures in Niche Blogging (2) advertising (1) Afghanistan (3) Africa (1) AIG (1) alabama (1) Amazon Affiliate Program (1) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (1) Anger (1) Apartment Locator (1) Apology (1) Apple (1) art (1) Ash Wednesday (1) atul gawande (1) Auto-Tune (2) awesome break (1) awesomeness (1) backwards hats (1) Balanced Budget (1) Bank Lending (1) Barack Obama (9) Barack Obama Newspaper Headlines (1) Barcadia (1) Barry Ritholtz (2) Bastille Day (1) Big 12 Controversy (1) Big 3 Bailout (1) Big Picture (1) Bikers (1) Bill Gates (1) birthday (2) blackberry (1) blake (17) Blog Action Day (1) Boing Boing (1) Bon Iver (1) Book of the Month (1) Books (1) Breast cancer (1) British Psychological Society (1) Brookings Institution (1) BTHO McCain (1) BTHO Obama (1) Bush Legacy (1) Business (1) Carlos Santana (1) Champs-Élysées (1) Charitable Giving (1) Charles Dickens (1) Chart of the Day (1) Chartible Contributions (1) Child Poverty Rate (1) China (1) Chris (10) Christianity (1) Christmas (2) CNBC (1) Coal Vines (1) College Football (1) College Station Texas (1) Comics (1) Congress (1) Congressional Budget Office (1) Conservapedia (1) Conservative (2) Consulting (1) Corn (1) Credit default swap (1) cross country (1) Curious Case of Benjamin Button (1) D.O.A. (1) Daily Show (1) Dallas (13) Dallas date night (1) Dallas Morning News (1) Dan Pink (1) Dave Eggers (1) David after the dentist (1) David Dewhurst (1) David Faber (1) David Feherty (1) Death (1) Death of Auto-Tune (1) Debate (1) Deep Ellum (1) Deep Fried Butter (1) Deficit (2) Delivering Happiness (2) Dennis Lehane (1) Department of Education (1) DFW (1) diabetes (1) Dick Cheney (1) Dikembe Mutombo (1) Dilbert (1) Direct-loan (1) Diversity (1) Documentary (1) Donors Choose (1) Doonesbury (1) economic stimulus (1) economic stimulus plan (2) Economy (9) Education (1) england (1) Environment (1) Ezra Klein (4) F-22 Raptor (1) Fannie Mae (2) Farewell (1) Farm Bill (1) FAS (9) Fast Food (1) Federal Budget (1) Feist (1) Festivus (1) Filibuster (1) Fiscal policy (1) food fight (1) Food Stamps (1) France (3) Freddie Mac (1) Free Chick-fil-a (1) Ft Worth (1) Funny (1) games (1) Gary Becker (1) General Motors (1) George Packer (1) Giveaway (1) Glenn Beck (1) Goldman Sachs (1) good reads (3) GOP (1) Government spending (2) Greg Mankiw (2) Gross domestic product (1) Guantanamo Bay (1) Gulf of Mexico (1) Haiti (1) Hans Rosling (1) Happiness (1) Happy New Year (1) Hasselhoff (1) Health care (10) Health care reform (8) Health insurance (2) Heritage Foundation (1) Hipster (1) History of war (1) Holiday Shopping (1) holidays (2) Hot Chip (1) Hot N Cold (1) House of Cards (1) Human Development Index (1) Iliveindallas (1) Illegal immigration (1) Immigration reform (1) Inappropriate (1) Inauguration Day (4) Income tax (1) Independence Day (1) Indian Superman (1) Industrial Revolution (1) Inefficient (1) Inspiration (1) Insurance (1) Internal Revenue Service (1) iPhone 4 (1) Iran (1) Iraq (1) Iraq War (1) Israel (1) Israeli settlement (1) Jack Bauer (1) Jacqueline Novogratz (1) Jay-Z (1) jcvd (1) Jimmy Fallon (1) Jimmy Fallon's House Band (1) Joaquin Phoenix David Letterman (1) Job creation program (1) Job Market 2009 (1) John Cornyn (2) John McCain (1) Jon Stewart (1) Kaiser Family Foundation (1) Kaiser Permanente (1) Kanye West (2) Karl Rove (1) Kat Perry (1) Kristi (1) Laser Portraits (1) Late Night (1) Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1) Lee Harvey's (1) Lent (1) Liar's Poker (1) Life (1) Life expectancy (1) light show (1) lights (1) Lil' Wayne (3) Links (2) Lobbyists (1) Lonely Island (1) mad men (1) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (1) Malcolm Gladwell (1) Malthusian Trap (1) Mashable (2) Matt Chandler (1) Matt Simmons $500 oil (1) Mayo Clinic (1) McAllen Texas (1) McCain (6) media (1) Medicaid (2) Medical malpractice (1) Medicare (4) Mergers and Acquisitions (1) metro (1) Michael Jackson (1) Michael Lewis (1) Microfinance (1) Mike (85) Military (1) Milton Bradley (1) Mint.com (1) Missional Giving (1) Missional Living (1) MIT (1) MIT Media Lab (1) Mitch Daniels (1) Moneyball (1) Morocco (1) Mother's Day (1) Motivation (1) MTV (1) Music (19) My life in a cube (1) My parents joined facebook (1) NBC (1) Netflix (1) New Firm Logos (1) New season 24 (1) New Year's Resolutions (2) NEXT Worldwide (1) NFL (1) NHS (1) Nobel Peace Prize (2) Non-profit (1) Non-profit organization (1) Norman Borlaug (1) Obama (7) Obamacare (1) Oil Spill (1) One Stop Schop (5) Open-source education (1) Outliers: The Story of Success (1) Palin (1) Pamplona (1) Pan-American Highway (1) Parenting Tip of the Day (2) Paris (3) Party Ideology and the rationalizing voter (1) Paste Magazine (1) Paul Krugman (1) Peak Oil Theory (1) Pearls Before Swine (1) Pell Grant (1) Pentagon (1) PEPFAR (1) Perspective (2) Philosophy (1) Pick of the Week (1) Place de la Concorde (1) Politics (13) Politifact (1) Polk (12) Popular Mechanics (1) Potbelly (1) Poverty (3) President Bush (1) President Obama's Secret Plan to Brainwash Our Children (1) President-Elect Barack Obama (1) Project Leper (1) projection art (1) prosumer report (1) Quality-adjusted life year (1) Racism (1) Rahm Emmanuel Ari Gold (1) Ralph Waldo Emerson (1) Random (2) Random Site of the Week (4) Rap (1) Rasmussen Reports (1) Religion and Spirituality (1) Rick Santelli (1) Road (1) Road traffic safety (1) robbery (1) Robert Gates (1) Ronald Reagan (1) Roy Blunt (1) SAME Cafe (1) Santa Clause (1) Santogold (1) Sarah Palin (1) Sarah Palin 2012 (1) Sean Hannity Freedom Concert Series (1) Shutter Island (1) Silver Star (1) Site of the Week (1) Slate (1) Social Security (1) SOTU (1) Special Forces (1) Spending (1) Sports (3) Sports Nutz (1) Stanley Hauerwas (1) Stock Market (2) StoryCorps (1) Success (1) Supreme Leader of Iran (1) T Boone Pickens (1) T. R. Reid (1) Taliban (1) Tax (1) Taxation (3) Taxpayer Receipt (1) Technology (2) TED Talks (3) Texas (1) Texas AM (1) Texas AM Football (1) Texas Department of Transportation (1) Texas Government (1) Texas State Board of Education (1) Texas State Fair (1) thailand (1) Thanksgiving (1) The 2009 Stimulus Bill (1) The Big Lebowski (1) The Big Picture (1) The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World (1) The Credit Crisis (3) The Daily Show (1) The Daily What (1) The Decembrists (1) The Economist (2) The GAP (1) The Healing of America (1) The Laux Family (1) The Perfect Honeymoon (1) The Roots (1) The Schop Ten (1) The Village Church (1) The Wire (1) The Woodlands (1) This is Indexed (1) Time Magazine (1) TJ Lavin (1) Tony Hsieh (2) Top 5 Christmas Specials (1) Top Golf (1) Top Post (8) Tort reform (1) Torture (2) Torture Memo (1) Tour de France (1) track (1) Travel (4) Travel and Leisure (1) trends (1) Troubled Asset Relief Program (1) TSA (1) Tulsa Oklahoma (1) Unemployment (1) Unemployment Insurance (1) United States (3) United States Presidential approval rating (1) United States Senate (1) Universal health care (1) University of Texas (1) Unnecessary Quotes (1) Utz Potato Chip (1) Venture Capital (1) Video (10) Video Clip of the Week (5) Videre (1) Vietnam (1) Vimeo (1) Waiting for Superman (1) Wall Street (1) We Are Hunted (1) Wedding (1) Weekend Update (1) Welfare (1) What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng (1) Williams Shakespeare (1) Winner (1) Woodall Rodgers Park (1) Wordle (1) world diabetes day (1) Worst Commerical of 2009 (1) Ying Yang Twins (1) You Rent We Split (2) YouTube (1) Zappos.com (1)
 

One Stop Schop. Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Revolution Two Church theme by Brian Gardner Converted into Blogger Template by Bloganol dot com | Distributed by Deluxe Templates