Category Archives: american way

中国とデカップリング志向せず

米国務省のホセ・フェルナンデス次官は、米国と中国経済を切り離す「デカップリング」を志向していないと強調した。中国企業向け輸出規制や制裁について公平な競争条件を整えることが目的だと訴えた。
The U.S. is not interested in decoupling its economy from China’s but only in ensuring fair competition between the countries’ businesses, Jose Fernandez, a senior state department official, told Nikkei.

Chinese scientists in the US

We have seen how American society repeats these same cultural genuflections depending on the enemy of the day. During the Cold War, there were offensive and caricatured views of Eastern Europeans and, during the height of the War on Terror, there were these same attitudes toward people from Muslim-majority countries. Each of these points in history had attendant discrimination and hate crimes against their respective diaspora communities in the United States.
Now, Asian people are being targeted thanks to the new Cold War on China. Except, this time, with the decline of the US, coupled with China’s meteoric rise, the ball is in the Chinese community’s court to decide where to leverage its talent. This is, ironically, hastening Washington’s nosedive into the trash can of history. If the US wants to do anything to change this, it would require changing US foreign policy vis-a-vis China.

U.S. arms sales

  • Notifications for foreign military sales (FMS) from the United States to other governments reached their lowest volume in recent memory in 2021, at just over $36 billion. But already by the end of June 2022, they had reached nearly $38 billion, more than all of 2021.
  • Europe and Eurasia took over from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as the region with the greatest value of newly announced FMS offers between 2020 and 2021, but so far in 2022 (as of the end of June), in terms of value, East Asia and the Pacific has overtaken them both.
  • The top five recipients of U.S. FMS offers so far for 2022, through the end of June, in terms of value, are Indonesia, Poland, Egypt, Jordan, and Bulgaria.
  • Authorizations for direct commercial sales (DCS) from U.S. manufacturers to foreign buyers were also at relatively low levels for 2021, compared to previous years, at just under $41 billion.
  • The top five recipients of U.S. direct commercial sale (DCS) authorizations for 2021, in terms of U.S. dollar value, were Japan, the UK, Australia, Israel, and the UAE.

エマニュエル・トッド(Emmanuel Todd)

第1次、第2次世界大戦は何年も続いた戦争でした。なぜかというと、それが相手が死ぬまで続けるという戦争だったからです。つまりそれぞれが完全勝利を目指す戦争でした。
交渉を実現するために最初にすべき努力というのは、敵国が怪物であるというような表象をやめることです。
西洋人はロシア人を怪物だと言い、ロシア側も同じように西洋人をそう言いますが、それをやめるというのが最初にすべき努力であり、それは精神的、道徳的、また倫理的な努力なのです。
日本の読者の皆さんによく理解してほしいのは、ポーランドやリトアニア、ベラルーシ、ウクライナなどこの辺りの地域は、世界大戦中に最もひどい出来事が起きた地域です。
Bloodlands(流血地帯)と米国人が呼んだ場所です。ソ連軍とドイツ軍が衝突したり、ユダヤ人たちが多く虐殺されたりしたのもこの地域でした。
この地域は18世紀からそうなのです。ですから、この地域圏というのはとてもリスクが高く、非常に危ないことが多く起きる地域です。
なので、日本はここに入り込んできてはいけないと私は思うわけです。
なぜ、日本が血なまぐさいこのような地域に関わらないといけないのでしょうか。ぜひここからは遠のいてほしいと思います。

Sri Lanka

As a Sri Lankan, watching international news coverage of my country’s economic and political implosion is like showing up at your own funeral, with everybody speculating on how you died.
The Western media accuse China of luring us into a debt trap. Tucker Carlson says environmental, social and corporate governance programs killed us. Everybody blames the Rajapaksas, the corrupt political dynasty that ruled us until massive protests by angry Sri Lankans chased them out last month.
But from where I’m standing, ultimate blame lies with the Western-dominated neoliberal system that keeps developing countries in a form of debt-fueled colonization. The system is in crisis, its shaky foundations exposed by the tumbling dominoes of the Ukraine war, resulting in food and fuel scarcity, the pandemic, and looming insolvency and hunger rippling across the world.
Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa deepened our debt problems, but the economy has been structurally unsound across administrations. We simply import too much, export too little and cover the difference with debt. This unsustainable economy was always going to collapse.

Wang Wen

My generation of Chinese looked up to the United States.
When I was a university student in northwestern China in the late 1990s, my friends and I tuned in to shortwave broadcasts of Voice of America, polishing our English while soaking up American and world news. We flocked to packed lecture halls whenever a visiting American professor was on campus.
It was a thrilling time. China was emerging from isolationism and poverty, and as we looked to the future we studied democracy, market economics, equality and other ideals that made America great. We couldn’t realistically adopt them all because of China’s conditions, but our lives were transformed as we recalibrated our economy on a U.S. blueprint.
Decades earlier, a reform-minded scholar said that even the moon in the United States was rounder than in China. My schoolmates and I wanted to believe it.
But after years of watching America’s wars overseas, reckless economic policies and destructive partisanship — culminating in last year’s disgraceful assault on the U.S. Capitol ­­— many Chinese, including me, can barely make out that shining beacon anymore.
Yet as relations between our countries deteriorate, the United States blames us. Secretary of State Antony Blinken did so in May, saying that China was “undermining” the rules-based world order and could not be relied upon to “change its trajectory.”
I have misgivings about some of my country’s policies. And I recognize that some criticisms of my government’s policies are justified. But Americans must also recognize that U.S. behavior is hardly setting a good example.

Cult of the Confederacy (Woodrow Wilson)

By the time the Virginia-born Wilson came to office, a cult of the Confederacy known as the Lost Cause had succeeded in popularizing an extravagantly racist version of Southern history. This telling cast slavery as a benign institution beloved by the enslaved, and it valorized the Ku Klux Klan for violently suppressing Black political expression after Emancipation. The Lost Cause presented Confederate generals as honorable men who fought to secure “states’ rights” instead of human bondage.
The legal scholar Michel Paradis argues that the naming honor was “one of the crowning achievements” of the Confederate propaganda machine. It put rebels who had nearly destroyed the Union on an equal footing with those who had paid a high price to preserve it. It also eased the way for the military champions of slavery to be enshrined at influential houses of worship, including the Washington National Cathedral. It elevated the architects of Jim Crow during the Southern reign of racial terror that would last into the 1960s.

Don Graves (Deputy Secretary, Department of Commerce)

Foreign competitors continued to use unfair subsidies and dumping, harming U.S. producers. Our nondemocratic adversaries and competitors are ever more aggressive in their efforts to control supply chains that we rely on.
They expropriate critical technologies while exporting authoritarianism and conflict, and undermining the rules-based international order. They’re also getting more aggressive at stealing our intellectual property.

I was wrong

I was wrong.
I was wrong about Inflation by Paul Krugman
I was wrong about Al Franken by Michelle Goldberg
I was wrong about capitalism by David Brooks
I was wrong about the power of protest by Zeynep Tufekci
I was wrong about Trump voters by Bret Stephens
I was wrong about Chinese censorship by Thomas Friedman
I was wrong about Facebook by Farhad Manjoo
I was wrong about Mitt Romney by Gail Collins

Eight Times Opinion columnists revisit their incorrect predictions and bad advice — and reflect on why they changed their minds.

In our age of hyperpartisanship and polarization, when social media echo chambers incentivize digging in and doubling down, it’s not easy to admit you got something wrong. But here at Times Opinion, we still hold on to the idea that good-faith intellectual debate is possible, that we should all be able to rethink our positions on issues, from the most serious to the most trivial. It’s not necessarily easy for Times Opinion columnists to engage in public self-reproach, but we hope that in doing so, they can be models of how valuable it can be to admit when you get things wrong.

Semiconductor industry

Semiconductors, the tiny computer chips that run everything from smartphones to satellites to missile defense systems, are often called the “oil” of the 21st century. Maintaining U.S. economic and military might depend on a reliable supply. Semiconductor shortages during the pandemic brought some car assembly lines to a halt and left showrooms of home appliances barren, providing a glimpse of what would happen to the American economy if those chips ever ran out.
Like energy, the semiconductor industry is so important that it factors into decisions about war and peace. About 92 percent of the world’s most advanced chips are made in Taiwan. The rest come from South Korea. Repeated warnings by President Xi Jinping of China that he is willing to use force if necessary to reassert control over Taiwan have forced U.S. policymakers to contemplate what would happen if the American military were ever cut off from the chips that it needs.

歴史

アメリカが 自動車に代表される実際のものを
 外国に大量に輸出していた時期があった
宇宙にロケットを飛ばし
 月に人を立たせたりもした
時が経ち
アメリカが 人権や民主主義といった
 目に見えないものを 外国に押し付けるようになり
アメリカの国内では
 おカネを持った人が大きな顔をする
そして
 アメリカは衰退してゆく
アメリカ人が外国人を憐れんでいる
外国人から憐れみの目で見られているとは
露ほども知らずに

日本が 仏画や仏像といった 売ってはいけないものを
 恥ずることなく外国に売り
民芸品と呼ばれる 売るために作られていないものを
 大量に外国に運んだ
時が経ち
マンガやアニメを売り
 売るものがなくなると エロを売り
日本の国内では
 パチンコ屋だけが人を集め
そして
 日本は衰退してゆく
日本人が外国人を憐れんでいる
外国人から憐れみの目で見られているとは
露ほども知らずに

米連邦破産法11条

チャプターイレブン(Chapter11)ともいい、再建型の企業倒産処理を規定した米連邦破産法の第11条のこと。日本の民事再生法に類似し、旧経営陣が引き続き経営しながら負債の削減など企業再建を行うことができる。
経営陣は、申請から120日以内に再建計画を提出し、債権者の過半数かつ債権額の3分の2以上の債権者の同意を得て裁判所の認可を得ることが必要。
これに対し、連邦破産法で事業を終了し、会社清算の手続きを規定している条項は、第7条であることから、清算型の倒産処理はチャプターセブン(Chapter7)と言われる。

成田悠輔

僕たちは心が弱い。少しお金をもらったぐらいだと働くことを辞められない。何か働いていないと、自分のアイデンティティが揺らいでしまうとか、何か働いていないと世の中とか社会に対する責任を果たしていないみたいに、未だに僕たちは思っている。本当に重要なのは、働いたり、お金を稼いだりしなくても、特に気にせず自信を持って生きていけるような人間をどう作るかだ。それを実現するためには、ベーシックインカムというのはあまり役に立たないのではないか。

U.S. Department of Defense

The DoD manages a worldwide real property portfolio that spans all 50 states, 8 U.S. territories with outlying areas, and 45 foreign countries. The majority of the foreign sites are located in Germany (194 sites), Japan (121 sites), and South Korea (83 sites). Locations of DoD sites by Military Service and WHS are depicted in Figure 1.

Kara Swisher

If you’ve gone to the grocery store lately and gotten sticker shock, you aren’t alone. Inflation in the U.S. is at its highest rate since 1982. Even though unemployment is falling and wages are rising, inflation is costing the average American household an additional $296 per month, according to Moody’s Analytics, and people have been feeling the crunch.
About one in five Americans think inflation and the high cost of living are the most important problems facing the country today. They’re more worried about inflation than about Covid-19 or the war in Ukraine.

Paul Krugman

… a point that receives far less attention than it should is the decline of immigration since Donald Trump came to office, which turned into a plunge with the coming of the pandemic:

Many immigrants are working age and highly motivated; their absence means that we shouldn’t have expected employment to maintain its old trend.

Jamelle Bouie

A month before he arrived in Philadelphia as one of 55 delegates to a convention called to amend the Articles of Confederation, James Madison — then a 36-year-old representative to the Congress of the Confederation from Virginia — wrote a detailed critique of the existing American government, homing in on what he thought was its most glaring weakness: the states themselves.
His “vices of the political system of the United States” included the “failure of states to comply with the constitutional requisitions” (meaning they refused to contribute to the general fund), the “encroachments by the states on the federal authority” (“examples of this are numerous, and repetitions may be foreseen in almost every case where any favorite object of a state shall present a temptation”), “trespasses on the states on the rights of each other” and “want of concern in matters where common interest requires it.”
“How much has the national dignity, interest and revenue suffered from this cause?” Madison asked. “Instances of inferior moment are the want of uniformity in the laws concerning naturalization and literary property; of provision for national seminaries, for grants of incorporation for national purposes, for canals and other works of general utility, which may at present be defeated by the perverseness of particular states whose concurrence is necessary.”

渡邉優

グアンタナモ湾は、キューバ島の南東部、首都ハバナから約九二〇キロメートルに位置し、キューバ島と東隣のエスパニョラ島を隔てるウィンドワード海峡そして南のジャマイカを分かつコロンブス海峡を睨む、カリブ海海上交通上の要衝である。
コロンブスによる「発見」の後、グアンタナモを含むキューバ島全体がスペインの植民地となったが、十八世紀には英国が武力でグアンタナモを奪わんと試み、米西戦争開始直後の一八九八年六月にアメリカがグアンタナモに兵を進めた。これ以降、アメリカがカリブ海及びパナマ海峡に至るまでの海域に対する制海権を維持することが可能となった。

The New Yorker

米国が膨大な資金と軍事力を投じたにもかかわらず、アフガニスタンの民主化は遅々として進まず、むしろ状況が悪化しているのはなぜなのだろうか?
米政府はこれまで約8000億ドル(約80兆円)の予算をアフガニスタンにおける軍事活動に費やしている。そのうち、約1130億ドル(約11兆3000億円)が復興活動に充てられたが、これは第2次大戦後の欧州でマーシャル・プランに使われた額を超えているという。
戦争が始まった時点で、アフガニスタンの1人当たりGDPは120ドルほどだった。それゆえに米軍の司令官デヴィッド・ペトレイアスは、アフガニスタン戦略に資金をつぎ込むことをこう奨励した。
「武器の一つとして金を用いる。金は防御手段となりうるのだ」
一方、ワシントンの関心事は、死傷者をこれ以上出さないためにアフガニスタンに駐留する米兵の数を減らすことだった。
そのため米軍は、基地のメンテナンスから調理、洗濯、物流、警備までありとあらゆる仕事を現地の人間にまかせていた。2007年以降、米軍基地内には米兵の約3倍のアフガニスタン人が働いているような状況だった。
アフガニスタン人にとっても、米軍相手のビジネスはよい生活の糧だった。なかでも、米軍に物資の調達をまかされていた物流会社はその事業をどんどん拡大していった。
このビジネスによって巨万の富を築いた者もいる。
まだ20代の物流会社のオーナー、ヒクマット・シャードマンだ。
彼は、米軍との契約期間に1億6000万ドル(約160億円)以上も稼いだという。
だが、そんな彼は現在、全財産である7099万605ドル(約80億円)を守るために米連邦裁判所で争っている。
ヒクマットは米軍やアフガンの関連業者に対する贈賄罪で告訴されているが、彼はその罪をかたくなに否定し続けている。だがすでに、この事件に関与した8人の兵士が有罪判決を受けた。

James Ball, Nick Hopkins

British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU’s competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top-secret documents reveal.
The papers show GCHQ, in collaboration with America’s National Security Agency (NSA), was targeting organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Spiegel

Der US-Geheimdienst NSA hat nicht nur die Europäische Union, sondern auch die Zentrale der Vereinten Nationen abgehört. Das geht aus geheimen Unterlagen der NSA hervor, die der SPIEGEL ausgewertet hat.
Demnach ist es der NSA im Sommer 2012 gelungen, in die interne Videokonferenzanlage der Völkergemeinschaft einzudringen und die Verschlüsselung zu knacken. Dies habe für “eine dramatische Verbesserung der Daten aus Video-Telekonferenzen und der Fähigkeit, diesen Datenverkehr zu entschlüsseln” gesorgt, heißt es in einem geheimen NSA-Dokument. “Der Datenverkehr liefert uns die internen Video-Telekonferenzen der Uno (yay!)”. Innerhalb von knapp drei Wochen sei die Zahl der entschlüsselten Kommunikationen von 12 auf 458 angestiegen.

Daniel Markovits

AN UNPRECEDENTED INEQUALITY
Meritocracy’s two components, having developed together, now interact as expressions of a single, integrated whole. Elaborate elite education produces superordinate workers, who possess a powerful work ethic and exceptional skills. These workers then induce a transformation in the labor market that favors their own elite skills, and at the same time dominate the lucrative new jobs that the transformation creates. Together these two transformations idle mid-skilled workers and engage the new elite, making it both enormously productive and extravagantly paid. The spoils of victory grow in tandem with the intensity of meritocratic competition. Indeed, the top 1 percent of earners, and even the top onetenth of 1 percent, today owe perhaps two-thirds or even three-quarters of their total incomes to their labor and therefore substantially to their education. The new elite then invests its income in yet more elaborate education for its children. And the cycle continues.
The sum total of elite training and industry, and of the elite labor income that meritocracy sustains, is absolutely immense. Meritocracy makes economic inequality overall dramatically worse today than in the past and shockingly worse in America than in other rich countries.

David Brooks

Who is driving inequality in America? You are. I am. We are.
Did you read to your kids before bed when they were young? If you did, you gave them an advantage over kids whose parents were working the evening shift at 7-Eleven. Did you spend extra on tutoring or music lessons? Since 1996, affluent families have spent almost 300 percent more educating their young while everybody else’s spending has been mostly flat.
Did you marry before having kids and raise your kids in a two-parent home? The children of the well educated are now much more likely to grow up in stable families, and those differences in family structure explain 32 percent of the growth of family income inequality since 1979.
If you did these things, you did nothing wrong. You invested in your children’s flourishing as any decent parent would.
But here’s the situation: The information economy rains money on highly trained professionals — doctors, lawyers, corporate managers, engineers and so on.

Elsa B. Kania

As the PLA attempts to overtake, rather than just catch up with or match, U.S. progress in this domain, it will be vital to understand and take into account its evolving approach and advances. In particular, the PLA’s capacity to leverage military applications of AI could prove distinctive due to its model of military-civil fusion, expansive concept of “intelligentization,” and focus on AI-enabled command decision-making. Certain PLA thinkers even anticipate the approach of a “singularity” on the battlefield, at which human cognition can no longer keep pace with the speed of decision-making and tempo of combat in future warfare. While recognizing the importance of human-machine collaboration, and likely concerned with issues of controllability, the PLA could prove less adverse to the prospect of taking humans ‘out of the loop’ to achieve an advantage.

Battlefield Singularity (PDF file)

Karen Zraick

In the latest sign of the astronomical cost of living in parts of California, the federal government now classifies a family of four earning up to $117,400 as low-income in three counties around the Bay Area.
That threshold, the highest of its kind in the nation, applies to San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties. It’s used to determine eligibility for federal and local housing assistance programs.

Edie Weinstein

What are the qualities of a healthy and loving relationship that has sustainability?

  • Trust
  • Accountability/reliability
  • A sense of having each other’s backs
  • Open communication
  • Safety (physically and emotionally and knowing that your partner won’t intentionally harm you)
  • A willingness for each person to do the inner work to help the relationship thrive, rather than expecting the other person to take on the responsibility for you
  • Cleaning up your own messes; or as Reid Mihalko also shares, “Leave the campground better than you found it.”
  • Co-creating the rules for relationship; maintaining them or re-negotiating them
  • Focusing on strengths, as well as awareness of areas that call for improvement
  • Knowing where there is room for adjustment vs. non-negotiables

Thomas J. Sugrue

That history is a reminder that civility is in the eye of the beholder. And when the beholder wants to maintain an unequal status quo, it’s easy to accuse picketers, protesters, and preachers alike of incivility, as much because of their message as their methods. For those upset by disruptive protests, the history of civil rights offers an unsettling reminder that the path to change is seldom polite.

United States Government Accountability Office

According to experts, artificial intelligence (AI) holds substantial promise for improving human life and economic competitiveness in a variety of capacities and for helping to solve some of society’s most pressing challenges. At the same time, however, AI poses new risks and has the potential to displace workers in some sectors, requires new skills and adaptability to changing workforce needs, and could exacerbate socioeconomic inequality.

Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST)

Interested in a particular country or subject? Go beyond the experiences of simply one diplomat with Country and Subject Readers.
These Readers consist of relevant excerpts from individual oral history interviews arranged in approximate chronological order. They are designed to give users an overview of U.S. relations with a country or policy on a specific subject, as seen by those who dealt with it from Washington or in the field. The Readers offer unique insights over decades, though they may not provide full chronological continuity.

Manhattan Project “Metallurgical Laboratory”

Scientists have often before been accused of providing new weapons for the mutual destruction of nations, instead of improving their well-being. It is undoubtedly true that the discovery of flying, for example, has so far brought much more misery than enjoyment or profit to humanity. However, in the past, scientists could disclaim direct responsibility for the use to which mankind had put their disinterested discoveries. We cannot take the same attitude now because the success which we have achieved in the development of nuclear power is fraught with infinitely greater dangers than were all the inventions of the past.

Donald Trump

Even Japan. Look, the prime minister’s a great guy, Abe. He’s a warrior. Tough, strong, smart. But I said trade isn’t so good with Japan. It’s so one-sided. They don’t take our product and we take their cars, I mean the cars and 90 percent of the cars, they just come. They need Mario Andretti to drive those cars off the boats. They come off the boats like 60 miles an hour. We send a car to Japan, they analyze it for four weeks before they decide to send it back because it’s not environmentally friendly.
**
In some cases like South Korea you know they’re making a fortune. Well we backed them many years ago.
But we never trade — you know when they became rich we never changed the deal. So we were backing, backing, backing. And no politician ever changed the deal.
Now we have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them. So we lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers on the border between North and South Korea.
Let’s see what happens. Think I’ve done a good job with that one. That’s sort of interesting.

Donald Trump

We want reciprocal — mirror. Some people call it a mirror tariff or a mirror tax. Just use the word reciprocal. If they charge us, we charge them the same thing. That’s the way it’s got to be. That’s not the way it is. For many, many years — for many decades, it has not been that way.
And I will say, the people we’re negotiating with — smilingly, they really agree with us. I really believe they cannot believe they’ve gotten away with this for so long.
I’ll talk to Prime Minister Abe of Japan and others — great guy, friend of mine — and there will be a little smile on their face. And the smile is, “I can’t believe we’ve been able to take advantage of the United States for so long.” So those days are over.

KIMT

Iconic American guitar manufacturer Gibson is facing some financial blues.
Standard & Poor’s downgraded Gibson Brands on Wednesday over concerns that it might default on more than $500 million in corporate debt this summer.
S&P lowered its rating for Gibson to CCC-minus, from the already very low rating of CCC. S&P says a CCC-minus rating indicates that a default is imminent.
The rating agency said that Gibson continues to deal with the “lingering effects” of regulations on imports and exports on rosewood, a critical component in many guitars. Rosewood regulations slowed down the guitar industry as a whole last year, according to IbisWorld, which tracks the guitar industry.
Moody’s issued a Caa3 rating for Gibson, which it describes as a “substantial credit risk” with a capital structure that is “unsustainable.”

Emily Badger, Margot Sanger-Katz

The “able-bodied” are now everywhere among government programs for the poor. They’re on food stamps. They’re collecting welfare. They’re living in subsidized housing. And their numbers have swelled on Medicaid, a program that critics say was never designed to serve them.
These so-called able-bodied are defined in many ways by what they are not: not disabled, not elderly, not children, not pregnant, not blind. They are effectively everyone left, and they have become the focus of resurgent conservative proposals to overhaul government aid, such as one announced last month by the Trump administration that would allow states to test work requirements for Medicaid.
Able-bodied is not truly a demographic label, though: There is no standard for physical or mental ability that makes a person able. Rather, the term has long been a political one. Across centuries of use, it has consistently implied another negative: The able-bodied could work, but are not working (or working hard enough). And, as such, they don’t deserve our aid.

David Gauthier

I want to enquire into the relationship between the normative claims of a society and the normative stances of its members. I shall develop a contractarian perspective, as the only one available to persons who may neither expect nor require their fellows to share their own orientation to values and norms.

Andrew J. Bacevich

Reality turns out to be considerably more complicated. In practice, civilian control—expectations that the brass, having rendered advice, will then loyally execute whatever decision the commander-in-chief makes—is at best a useful fiction.
In front of the curtain, the generals and admirals defer; behind the curtain, on all but the smallest of issues, the military’s collective leadership pursue their own agenda informed by their own convictions of what is good for the country and, by extension, for the institutions over which they preside. In this regard, the Pentagon’s behavior does not differ from that of automakers, labor unions, the movie business, environmental groups, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Israel lobby, or the NAACP.

Lee Siegelmay

Whenever a Republican gets elected president, it is a standard reflex for die-hard liberals and progressives to wring their hands and moan about moving to Canada or Europe.
For those of us who have lived abroad — when I was 19, I moved with my girlfriend to her grandmother’s house in Norway, fleeing my father’s bankruptcy and my own economic struggles — migratory thoughts are a cozy daydream, fueled by nostalgia and idealism, but no more than that.
I thought of returning abroad after Bush v. Gore. But like thousands of crestfallen liberals, I ended up deciding that things were bad but not quite bad enough — that George W. Bush was a terrible president, but that he was just one man, a usurper. The calamity of his reign, I figured, would pass.
This time around, though, I’m thinking of living again in Scandinavia more seriously than I ever have before. Something fundamental has changed in America, for the worse.

Herman Miller

 
I’m available: Shutters and lower interior walls provide a means for easy and direct interaction among team members and coworkers. Perimeter walls define a group space; this boundary offers its own form of group control.


 
I’m not available: My Studio Environments gives people a means to discourage interruption by closing the door and shutters of the office; the translucent wall allows visitors and team members to see that a person is in the closed office, a clear signal not to interrupt.

Professor Watchlist

Professor Watchlist is a project of Turning Point USA.
The mission of Professor Watchlist is to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.
This website is an aggregated list of pre-existing news stories that were published by a variety of news organizations throughout the past few years. While we accept tips for new additions on our website, we only publish profiles on incidents that have already been reported somewhere else. TPUSA will continue to fight for free speech and the right for​​ professors to say whatever they wish​;​ however students, parents, and alumni deserve to know the specific incidents and names of professors that advance a radical agenda in lecture halls.

Stephen Rose

While there are no standard definitions of U.S. social classes, this report uses the following annual income thresholds for a family of three in 2014:

  • Poor and near-poor: $0 to $30,000. Families in poverty and up to 150% of the poverty level; 19.8% of the population.
  • Lower middle class: $30,000 to $50,000. Families 1.5 to 2.5 times above the poverty line, but below the median income; 17.1% of the population.
  • Middle class: $50,000 to $100,000. Families in poverty and up to 150%2.5 to 5 times above the poverty level and includes the median income; 32% of the population.
  • Upper middle class: $100,000 to $350,000. Families earning six-figure incomes at least five times the poverty level; 29.4% of the population.
  • Rich: $350,000 and higher; 1.8% of the population.

Meredith McIver

Meredith McIver explained that she included the passages from Michelle Obama’s speech after listening to Melania Trump read passages from the 2008 address.
Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.

Jon Favreau

    Jon Favreau

  • I tell the president to start speeches in the most organic way possible. You wouldn’t start a conversation by saying ‘As John F. Kennedy once said…’, so you shouldn’t start a speech that way either.
  • It’s good to put in jokes that are really funny but not ‘appropriate’ for a politician to tell.
  • The personal stories that work tell people why you do the things you do. If you’re telling a personal story make it authentic – talk about tough times.
  • What might seem like a good needling of the opposition on paper sounds a bit harsher in reality and you won’t get the applause. So a little goes a long way – the press will always pick up on it when you try to ‘draw a contrast’ as we call it. Humour is a great approach.
  • “I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the president. I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return.” These lines were going to be at the top of the speech, but we moved them to the end because it was worth having a dramatic moment …

George Hahn

nyv
In a strange way, my current relationship with Manhattan now feels like a betrayal of a disloyal lover who traded-up for someone with more money. New York has been my home for more than two decades, and the thought of leaving truly breaks my heart.
… So head where? Do what? I’ve made no definitive decisions yet. This is just a period of realizations. We do what we do until it stops working. Then we change. Of the many things I’ve learned while living here, I’ve learned how to be resourceful, how to adapt and how to survive. I’ve changed careers, learned new tricks, earned self-taught skills, rolled up my sleeves and built something. I can do it again.

Jacob J. Lew

LewGiven the backdrop of weak global growth, Japan needs to look to domestic, rather than external, demand. It’s important that overall fiscal policy be supportive and that an ambitious structural reform agenda prioritizes measures to lift near-term growth. Despite recent yen appreciation, foreign exchange markets remain orderly.
It’s true that moves are not very volatile if you look at foreign exchange markets today, literally now.
Japan has to be careful not to slip into another economic decline, which means they’re going to have to be careful about how they phase the timing of future tax increases and whether they offset that with spending in their economy so it doesn’t create fiscal drag.
We agreed as a group, and Japan made this commitment, to refrain from competitive currency devaluation, and to communicate with each other so there’s no surprises, and to refrain from exchange-rate targeting. The fact Japan has reiterated those commitments is significant. We expect all G-7 and all G-20 members to keep their commitments.

Julie Bort

AnchorFree, a Valley startup that lets its users surf the Web anonymously, just announced a $52 million Series C financing from Goldman Sachs.
AnchorFree came to fame for its Hotspot Shield, an application that let’s users privately surf the Internet, free from prying eyes.
Facebook and Twitter got most of the credit for launching the Arab Spring. But how did users in countries where those services were blocked get online to use them?

Last year, AnchorFree CEO David Gorodyansky told Fast Company that his users in Egypt suddenly jumped from 100,000 to a million “overnight,” as protesters used it to get to Google and Facebook without the eyes of their oppressive government seeing anything.
AnchorFree now has 60 million users worldwide using it to surf two billion Web pages per month, the company says. That makes it 51st most trafficked site on the Web, according to Quantcast.
But the company has been hot in other areas, too, particularly mobile. iPhone and iPad users like it because it creates a secure connection on a public Wi-Fi network. For instance, if you are the coffee shop and you want to access your bank account, this app lets you do so without the risk of hackers snooping and stealing your password.
Goldman Sachs is joining a roster of famous tech people who have also invested in AnchorFree, including Flickr backer Esther Dyson, former Huffington Post president Greg Coleman, and Bert Roberts, the former CEO of MCI.

Frederick Kaufman

Demand and supply certainly matter. But there’s another reason why food across the world has become so expensive: Wall Street greed.
It took the brilliant minds of Goldman Sachs to realize the simple truth that nothing is more valuable than our daily bread. And where there’s value, there’s money to be made.

The result of Wall Street’s venture into grain and feed and livestock has been a shock to the global food production and delivery system. Not only does the world’s food supply have to contend with constricted supply and increased demand for real grain, but investment bankers have engineered an artificial upward pull on the price of grain futures. The result: Imaginary wheat dominates the price of real wheat, as speculators (traditionally one-fifth of the market) now outnumber bona-fide hedgers four-to-one.

Karl Rove

Karl RoveThat’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

Sam Stebbins, Evan Comen, Alexander Kent, Thomas C. Frohlich

10 Cities Where You Don’t Want to Get Sick

City Readmission rate Avg.
30 day mortality rate
Hospital safety score grade Preventable hospitalizations (per 1,000)
National Average 15.2% 11.5% 59.3 *
Binghamton, NY 17.3% 14.2% C- 59.4
Morgantown, WV 17.0% 13.3% C- 88.6
Kingston, NY 17.5% 13.3% C 64.2
Hot Springs, AR 15.8% 14.3% C- 66.7
Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA 17.0% 13.4% C 51.2
Madera, CA 16.4% 13.9% F 49.0
Bowling Green, KY 17.3% 11.8% C 101.5
Greenville, NC 17.2% 12.8% D- 57.9
Odessa, TX 15.9% 13.6% B- 77.0
Jonesboro, AR 16.0% 13.5% C- 71.5

* 59.3 patients per 1,000 Medicare enrollees were hospitalized for conditions otherwise treatable by ambulatory care.

WWII U.S. War Department Technical Manual

In the Japanese social system, individualism has no place. Children are taught that, as members of the family, they must obey their parents implicitly and, forgetting their own selfish desires, help each and every one of the family at all times. This system of obedience and loyalty is extended to the community and Japanese life as a whole; it permeates upward from the family unit through neighborhood associations, schools, factories, and other larger organizations, till finally the whole Japanese nation is imbued with the spirit of self-sacrifice, obedience, and loyalty to the Emperor himself.

Jon Stewart

StewartjpSince Mr. Stewart started hosting “The Daily Show” 16 years ago, the country’s trust in both the news media and the government has plummeted. Mr. Stewart’s brand of fake news thrived in that vacuum, and turned him into one of the nation’s most bracing cultural, political and media critics.
A Pew Research poll said there were nearly as many viewers who distrusted it as those who trusted it, and there was a significant divide among the liberals who craved it and conservatives who loathed it.

Jeff Ma

Indonesia is an archipelago consisting of five major islands and 30 more groups of islands. All total, Indonesia contains 17,508 islands. Many of which are uninhabited.
Indonesia has a population of over 245 M people making it the #4 largest country in the world. Of it’s 245 M, only 30 M are online. Yet Indonesia ranks as the #3 country on Facebook (behind the US and UK) with a whopping 27 M Facebook users. You don’t have to know how to count cards to realize that that means 90% of the people that are online in Indonesia are on Facebook.
Furthermore, Twitter penetration (HR) in Indonesia continues to grow with it currently ranked as the number one Twitter penetrated country in the world. According to comScore, 20.8% of its online users are on Twitter, compared to the average country where only 7.4% of their online users are Tweeting (many of the younger Indonesians are learning English because of their desire to Tweet.)
So what does all of this mean? I’m not sure if I know yet but one thing is certain. As I look for my next opportunity in technology, learning more about Indonesia and potential opportunities there is going to be at the top of my to-do list.

The Associated Press (AP)

Officers with a finger on the trigger of the U.S. Air Force’s most powerful nuclear missiles are complaining of a wide array of morale-sapping pressures.
Key themes among the complaints include working under “poor leadership” and being stuck in “dead-end careers” in nuclear weapons, one email said. The sentiments were expressed privately by members of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, in an unpublished study for the Air Force. The complaints also said there was a need for more experienced missile officers, a less arduous work schedule and “leaders who will listen.”
Taken together, the complaints suggest sagging morale in arguably the most sensitive segment of the American military.

Jacquelyn Martin

JacquelynMartin
FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2014, file photo. Fox News reports Republican gains in the Senate in an empty White House briefing room as poll numbers begin to pour in on election day in Washington. It’s the stuff of Republican nightmares: Fox News runs out of advertising space for the 2016 presidential campaign. But a company that handles placement of political ads for cable systems, NCC Media, is already working out how to accommodate ads coming from everyone in the race.

Jon Terbush

Fox News: Fair and Balanced — and, according to a new survey, the most trusted news source around.
Tucked inside a big Brookings survey on immigration are a few questions about the integrity of television news. And there, 25 percent of respondents say they trust Fox more than any other TV source for “accurate information about politics and current events,” giving the network a slight edge over generic broadcast news. By contrast, MSNBC places last with just five percent, a hair behind The Daily Show.
This isn’t the first time a poll has found Fox as the most trusted news source. For five years running, the network has taken top honors in PPP’s annual media survey.

Jerry A. Coyne

The battle between science and religion is regularly declared over, with both sides having reached an amicable truce. “Accommodationists” on both the religious and scientific sides assure us that there is no conflict between these areas, that they deal with separate spheres of inquiry (science deals with the natural world, religion with meaning, morals and values), or even that they can somehow help each other via an unspecified “dialogue.”
But despite these claims, the dust hasn’t settled. Why the continuing publication of accommodationist books if the issue was resolved long ago? Why do 55 percent of Americans aver that “science and religion are often in conflict”? Why are less than 10 percent of all Americans agnostics or atheists, yet that proportion rises to 62 percent of all scientists at “elite” universities, and to 93 percent among members of the National Academy of Sciences? In a poll taken in 2006, 64 percent of Americans claimed that if science contradicted one of the tenets of their faith, they’d reject the science in favor of their faith. Clearly, there is still friction between science and religion, even if some scientists can leave their faith at the laboratory door.
In fact, the conflict between science and religion—at least the Abrahamic faiths dominant in the U.S.—is deep, endemic, and unlikely to be resolved. For this conflict is one between faith and fact—a battle in the long-fought war between rationality and superstition.

Barack Obama

It is not good enough simply to show sympathy. You don’t see murder on this kind of scale with this kind of frequency in any other advanced nation on Earth. Every country has violent, hateful, or mentally unstable people. What’s different is not every country is awash with easily accessible guns. And so I refuse to act as if this is the new normal.

Fermilab

FermilabWhat are we made of? How did the universe begin? What secrets do the smallest, most elemental particles of matter hold, and how can they help us understand the intricacies of space and time?


Robert D. Blackwill, Ashley J. Tellis

No other U.S. relationship approaches that with Japan in maintaining the current balance in Asia and dealing with the rise of Chinese power. Indeed, without close and enduring U.S.-Japan security cooperation, it is difficult to see how the United States could maintain its present power and influence in Asia. Thus, as Japan continues to emerge from its post–World War II self-imposed security constraints, the United States should continually support this crucial alliance partner by

  • substantially expanding its security relationship with Japan, encompassing all of Asia;
  • helping upgrade the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), including Japan’s capabilities for joint/combined-arms/amphibious operations;
  • aligning concepts such as air-sea battle and dynamic defense through a dialogue with Japan on roles, missions, and capabilities;
  • reinvigorating an extended deterrence dialogue with Japan;
  • intensifying ballistic missile defense (BMD) cooperation with Japan;
  • signaling more often that Japan remains fully and reliably under a U.S. security umbrella;
  • supporting Japan’s cooperation with Vietnam, Australia, India, and other nations concerned with the rise of Chinese power; and
  • allowing liquefied natural gas exports to Japan.

Hillel Aron

The only thing New Yorkers love more than talking about New York is talking about how Los Angeles isn’t New York, how our streets are too long; our public transit, nonexistent; our pizza shitty, our bagels shitty, our bars close too early, everything closes too early, no one dances at shows, everything is too slow, and everyone is too polite.
And when an Angeleno visits New York? We’re kind of like, whatever. Cool place to stay for a week or so, as long as you have a couch to sleep on, ’cause you have to be, like, an oil magnate to afford a hotel room.
Because you can love L.A. without being obsessed with L.A.; you can love L.A. but not have your identity be all about being from LA. Our history is not so overbearing, or buildings not so iconic, our accents just ambiguous enough to allow us to wear our L.A.-ness like a loose garment. Ours is a kind of freedom New Yorkers will never know. And that is why they hate us. They hate us because we are free.

Karen Attiah

IfIf what is happening in Baltimore happened in a foreign country, here is how Western media would cover it:
International leaders expressed concern over the rising tide of racism and state violence in America, especially concerning the treatment of ethnic minorities in the country and the corruption in state security forces around the country when handling cases of police brutality. The latest crisis is taking place in Baltimore, Maryland, a once-bustling city on the country’s Eastern Seaboard, where an unarmed man named Freddie Gray died from a severed spine while in police custody.
Black Americans, a minority ethnic group, are killed by state security forces at a rate higher than the white majority population. Young, black American males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than white American males.

西山隆行

アメリカ的信条を構成する自由や民主主義などは、かなりの程度に普遍性を標榜できる価値観である。このような価値観は、アメリカのアイデンティティを定義するだけではなく、他の多くの国でも程度の差こそあれ、受け入れ可能であるに違いない。そして、多くのアメリカ人は、そのような価値観を世界に広めるのがアメリカの義務だと考えていて、実際にそのような活動を熱心にやっている。圧政に苦しむ人々のいる地域に自由と民主主義を広めるのはアメリカの責務だという考えが、当然のように表明されるのである。
だが、一般的にいえばその活動は他国に対する内政干渉である。ならば、何故、そのような一般的には認められない活動がアメリカには許されるのかというと、アメリカが例外的な国だからだというより他はない。このような議論は、アメリカ例外主義論と呼ばれており、アメリカ国民に広く受け入れられている。 。。。
アメリカでは、アメリカ的価値観の素晴らしさに魅了されて移民がアメリカを訪れ、その価値観を受け入れていったのだと主張された。その結果、アメリカ的信条は普遍性を持ち、世界中で受け入れられるべきものだと解釈されるようになっていったのである。
世界で多くの国が自国の文化的伝統に誇りを持ち、その独自性を強調するのは、一般的に見られる現象である。だが、その特殊性は他の国には模倣することのできない固有のものだと主張されるのが一般的である。これに対し、アメリカでは、その特殊性はむしろ他の国によって模倣されるべきモデルだと主張される点に特徴がある。それらの特殊性を表記する際に英語では、アメリカ以外の国については、Japanese uniqueness やGerman uniquenessなどのようにuniqueという表現が用いられるのに対し、アメリカではAmerican exceptionalismという表現が用いられる点も興味深いといえるだろう。

Jamila Trindlemarch

Whatever the effect of a Fed move might be on India, Brazil, or Turkey, it’s not supposed to be part of the Fed’s decision-making process. The Fed has a dual mandate of maximizing U.S. employment and holding down U.S. inflation — worrying about emerging markets isn’t part of Yellen’s job description. Still, she said, a healthy U.S. economy is a boon for everyone.
“A strong U.S. economy certainly is something that is good for other countries as well,” Yellen said Wednesday.

Daryle Hochstetler

For 37 months in a row more than 46 million Americans received food stamps. The Department of Agriculture released figures that show from October 2011 until October 2014 the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) had over 46 million beneficiaries.
Almost more shocking than the number of dependents is the cost associated with food stamps. In October 2014, $5.9 billion was spent on food stamps for 22.8 million households. Over the course of those 37 months, $226.7 billion was spent.
October’s 22.8 million households account for 19.7 percent of American households. The 46.6 million participants compose 14.6 percent of the population. This is a growth of 1516.96 percent from 1969 when 2.8 million people benefited from food stamps.
The figures released on America’s food stamp use comes even as President Barack Obama highlights recent job growth: “Right now, there are more job openings than at any time since 2001.”
President Obama claims to have added 10 million jobs since entering office, but the number of those depending on food stamps has increased by almost twice that. Many of the jobs the president “added” are part-time and low paying.

Attract Women Report

There are cute girls,there are pretty girls, there are sexy women, attractive women, and once in a great while, you run across a drop dead beautiful woman. A woman so beautiful, she affects everyone around her and the very air surrounding her seem charged with heavenly energy.
Awe struck men dare not approach her and women forget to be jealous in their admiration.
Unusually beautiful women, attractive women, and even above average women are generally treated different by mere mortals and that gives them even more power than their beauty inherently grants them.
Because these women are treated in a special way, they have certain traits in common. Certain traits that you must know about and overcome in order to approach these princesses. Let’s break the force field around beautiful women by understanding these secrets of beautiful women.
 

Secret #1 : Beautiful women know they’re beautiful
Secret #2: Beautiful women enjoy getting hit on
Secret #3: Beautiful women can’t be seduced with compliments or the nice guy routine
Secret #4: Beautiful women CAN be picked up

Rein Müllerson

America has been and in many ways remains an indispensable nation; and, I mean, indispensable for the good. But to realise this potential, America needs allies; real allies and not underlings who unquestionably follow their master’s voice; allies who sometimes think differently, may even have different values and interests. In the multipolar century, cooperation and compromises between equals are the order of the day.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar

When he was 11 years old, George Washington inherited 10 slaves from his father’s estate. He continued to acquire slaves — some through the death of family members and others through direct purchase. Washington’s cache of enslaved people peaked in 1759 when he married the wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis. His new wife brought more than 80 slaves to the estate at Mount Vernon. On the eve of the American Revolution, nearly 150 souls were counted as part of the property there.
George-Washington-Mount-Vernon

Stephanie Saul

The archetype of the condo boom is the Time Warner Center. Marketed during the real estate malaise that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the towers were heavily promoted to an international clientele. The Russians have come buying.
Many of the apartments were purchased through shell companies, but a New York Times investigation identified at least 20 that have been owned by Russians or citizens of other former Soviet republics who, in all, invested more than $200 million in Time Warner Center condos.
“This building has so many Russians, it’s unbelievable,” said Stratos Costalas, a real estate broker with Oxford Property Group who has sold apartments in the building.
There is evidence of even more Russian owners, but their identities are so carefully concealed that The Times was unable to definitively identify them.

Amy Chozick

HClintonWith advice from more than 200 policy experts, Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to answer what has emerged as a central question of her early presidential campaign strategy: how to address the anger about income inequality without overly vilifying the wealthy.
lthough people close to Mrs. Clinton say she has not yet settled on a specific platform, she is expected to embrace several principles. They include standard Democratic initiatives like raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure, closing corporate tax loopholes and cutting taxes for the middle class. Other ideas are newer, such as providing incentives to corporations to increase profit-sharing with employees and changing labor laws to give workers more collective bargaining power.

Gideon Rachman

There are growing doubts in the west about the trinity of ideas around which the post cold-war world has been constructed: markets, democracy and American power.
The faith in free markets was severely shaken by the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent Great Recession — and has never really recovered. Although the global depression that many feared was avoided, the exuberant belief in the ability of free markets to raise living standards all over the world has not returned. The belief that there is a market-based formula out there that all sensible policy makers can adopt — a “Washington consensus” — has faded, to be replaced by a global lack of consensus.
Democratic evangelism, meanwhile, has been undermined by the horrors unleashed by the Arab uprisings. The wave of revolutionary change that hit the Middle East in 2011 initially looked like the Arab equivalent of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Authoritarian systems were tumbling and new democracies seemed to be emerging. But the failure of democracy to take root in any of the countries that underwent revolutions, with the exception of Tunisia, has undermined faith in the inevitable advance of political freedom.
The third prop of the age of globalisation is American power. That, too, looks less reliable than it did a decade ago. Here the central event was the Iraq war. America’s inability to stabilise Iraq or Afghanistan, despite many years of effort, has demonstrated that while the US military can destroy a hostile regime in weeks, it cannot guarantee a stable postwar settlement. The rise of China has also raised questions about how long America’s reign as “sole superpower” can continue.

Amy Davidson

A judgment issued on Thursday by the European Court of Human Rights contains an account of the treatment of a man who, after some detective work by a foreign police force, was handed over to the C.I.A. as suspected member of Al Qaeda:

Upon arrival, still handcuffed and blindfolded, he was initially placed in a chair, where he sat for one and a half hours….Then, two people violently pulled his arms back. On that occasion he was beaten severely from all sides. His clothes were sliced from his body with scissors or a knife. His underwear was forcibly removed. He was thrown to the floor, his hands were pulled back and a boot was placed on his back. He then felt a firm object being forced into his anus….He was then pulled from the floor and dragged to a corner of the room, where his feet were tied together. His blindfold was removed. A flash went off and temporarily blinded him. When he recovered his sight, he saw seven or eight men dressed in black and wearing black ski masks.

Four months, two hunger strikes, and a sojourn in more than one secret prison later, the man, Khaled El-Masri, who had been picked up in Macedonia in 2003, was simply dumped by the side of the road near an Albanian border crossing. Along the way, he’d had a gun held to his head as an interrogator berated him, demanding that he admit his connection to Al Qaeda.  … after a couple of months, the C.I.A. figured out that they had picked up not a shadowy terrorist but a car salesman from Bavaria who happened to have a similar name. Even then, they kept him prisoner for several weeks while trying to figure out their next move. There is now no dispute that this was a case of simple mistaken identity.

Henry Paulson

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL FOR TREASURY AUTHORITY
TO PURCHASE MORTGAGE-RELATED ASSETS

Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.
The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time

Sec. 8. Review.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Langston Hughes

Gimme six-bits’ worth o’ ticket
On a train that runs somewhere.
I say six-bits’ worth o’ ticket
On a train that runs somewhere.
I don’t care where it’s goin’
Just so it goes away from here.

Baby, gimme a little lovin’,
But don’t make it too long.
A little lovin’, babe, but
Don’t make it too long.
Make it short and sweet, your lovin’,
So I can roll along.

I got to roll along!

Sandeep Jauhar

In American medicine today, “variation” has become a dirty word. Variation in the treatment of a medical condition is associated with wastefulness, lack of evidence and even capricious care. To minimize variation, insurers and medical specialty societies have banded together to produce a dizzying array of treatment guidelines for everything from asthma to diabetes, from urinary incontinence to gout.
At some level, this makes sense. Some types of variation are unwarranted, even deadly.
But the effort to homogenize health care presumes that we always know which treatments are best and should be applied uniformly. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The evidence for most treatments in medicine remains weak. In the absence of good evidence recommending one treatment over another, trying to stamp out variation in care is irrational.

Gail Collins

We learned a lot from that big Senate Intelligence Committee report on C.I.A. interrogation tactics after 9/11. It was what may be the first time in American history that the term “rectal hydration” appeared in family newspapers throughout the land.
One of the most unnerving parts involves the fact that the waterboarding, ice baths and wall-slamming were conducted under the direction of an outside contractor.

David Cay Johnston

The U.S. tax debate tends to focus on the top 1 percent. Problem is, the top 1 percent is a very misleading measure. It mixes doctors and billionaires, masking the taxes paid by the middle class and the affluent.
Everyone seems to know that about half of Americans paid no income taxes and that the top 1 percent paid about 37 percent of the income taxes. But how many people know that households making less than $75,000 collectively paid more federal income tax than those making $1 million or more?
The top 1 percent paid an average income tax rate of 24 percent in 2009. That is almost exactly the rate paid by those making $500,000 to $1 million. Those who made $1 million to $10 million paid a higher rate, 26 percent. But those making more than $10 million paid a significantly lower rate, 23.3 percent.
The top 400 taxpayers paid a much lower rate. On an average income of $270 million each, their federal income tax rate was 18.1 percent. A single worker earning less than $90,000 pays a higher rate than that.

Embassy of the United States in Tokyo

j-schiefferJohn Thomas “Tom” Schieffer was sworn in as the 27th U.S. Ambassador to Japan on April 1, 2005 and presented his credentials to the Emperor on April 11, 2005. Prior to his Jan. 15, 2009 departure from Japan, he worked to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, increase trade, and facilitate the realignment of U.S. forces stationed in Japan, among other issues.
Before coming to Japan, Ambassador Schieffer served as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia from July 2001 until February 2005.
Prior to his diplomatic service, Ambassador Schieffer was an investor in the partnership that bought the Texas Rangers Baseball Club in 1989, with George W. Bush and Edward W. ‘Rusty’ Rose. He served as team President for eight years, responsible for day-to-day operations of the club as well as overseeing the building of The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

Victoria Nuland

victoria-nulandThroughout this period the United States’ message has been clear and unequivocal. We stand with the people of Ukraine in their search for justice, human dignity, security, a return to economic health, and for the European future they have chosen and that they deserve.
Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine.

Karel van Wolferen

The American-triggered regime change in Ukraine at the Western end of the Eurasian continent has been widely discussed. Less noticed, if at all, has been the American-triggered change of government in Japan four years ago as part of the so-called ‘pivot’ aimed at holding back China on the Eastern end. The two ought to be considered together, since they share a purpose known as ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’. …
… The protracted overthrow in the course of 2010 of the first cabinet formed by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) does not at first glance resemble what happened in Kiev on January 22nd 2014 – when Victoria Nuland & Co triggered, aided, and abetted an anti–Russian coup d’état. No snipers were involved. No deaths. No civil war against Japanese citizens who had supported a reformist program. It was a gentle overthrow. But an overthrow it was even so. And, importantly, while the Ukraine case served the elevation by consensus of Russia to being the new number one enemy of ‘the West’, the abrupt end to a new Japanese policy of rapprochement was the start of a fairly successful drive to create common imagery of China as a threat to its neighbors.

Daniel P. Bolger

MG_Daniel_Bolger… But as a three-star general who spent four years trying to win this thing — and failing — I now know better.
We did not understand the enemy, a guerrilla network embedded in a quarrelsome, suspicious civilian population. We didn’t understand our own forces, which are built for rapid, decisive conventional operations, not lingering, ill-defined counterinsurgencies. We’re made for Desert Storm, not Vietnam. As a general, I got it wrong. Like my peers, I argued to stay the course, to persist and persist, to “clear/hold/build” even as the “hold” stage stretched for months, and then years, with decades beckoning. We backed ourselves season by season into a long-term counterinsurgency in Iraq, then compounded it by doing likewise in Afghanistan. The American people had never signed up for that.
What went wrong in Iraq and in Afghanistan isn’t the stuff of legend. …

Mike

Why is it that liberals always think the populace is stupid? Maybe it’s because they’re so arrogant, sitting in their ivory towers, gazing down imperiously on the people. Most folks know what’s best for them, whether they have a Ph.D., a Nobel Prize, or not. And they spoke this week in a strong voice. They do not want to go where the Democrats want to herd them. They are shedding Democrats as fast as they can. If it wasn’t for the fact that only 1/3 of the Senate is voted upon at any election, the Republicans would have been in this place four years ago.

Thomas L. Friedman

In May, I visited Vietnam and met with university students. After a week of being love-bombed by Vietnamese, who told me how much they admire America, want to work or study there and have friends and family living there, I couldn’t help but ask myself: “How did we get this country so wrong? How did we end up in a war with Vietnam that cost so many lives and drove them into the arms of their most hated enemy, China?”