“Many Americans are ambivalent on abortion. But Trump has now turned the attention back from the fetus to the woman. And remember that three in 10 American women get an abortion at some point in their lives.Second, the data suggests that one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of abortions would be to increase the availability of publicly funded family planning. In 2013, publicly funded family planning prevented two million unintended pregnancies, including almost 700,000 abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.”
The Invisible Catastrophe. Over the course of 4 months, 97,100 metric tons of methane quietly leaked out of a single well into California’s sky.Scientists and residents are still trying tofigure out just how much damage was done.By NATHANIEL RICHMARCH 31, 2016
“For half a century, climate scientists have seen the West Antarctic ice sheet, a remnant of the last ice age, as a sword of Damocles hanging over human civilization.The great ice sheet, larger than Mexico, is thought to be potentially vulnerable to disintegration from a relatively small amount of global warming, and capable of raising the sea level by 12 feet or more should it break up. But researchers long assumed the worst effects would take hundreds — if not thousands — of years to occur.Now, new research suggests the disaster scenario could play out much sooner.Continued high emissions of heat-trapping gases could launch a disintegration of the ice sheet within decades, according to a study published Wednesday, heaving enough water into the ocean to raise the sea level as much as three feet by the end of this century.With ice melting in other regions, too, the total rise of the sea could reach five or six feet by 2100, the researchers found. That is roughly twice the increase reported as a plausible worst-case scenario by a United Nations panel just three years ago, and so high it would likely provoke a profound crisis within the lifetimes of children being born today.”
“ISIS is a rocket whose guidance system is a direct descendant of the puritanical, anti-Shiite, anti-pluralistic Saudi Wahhabi ideology, and its fuel system is a direct reaction to Shiite Iran’s aggressive push to keep Iraqi Sunnis permanently weak. As long as Iran and Saudi Arabia are going at it, there will always be another ISIS. Which is why the “peace process” the Middle East needs most today is between Saudi Arabia and Iran.”
“Goodbye to all that. Now we know that Donald Trump would rip up the post-1945 world order, trash an “obsolete” NATO, lean toward a Japan with nukes rather than the “one-sided agreement” that leaves the United States responsible for Japanese defense, tell Saudi Arabia that it “wouldn’t be around for very long” without American protection, and generally make clear that “we cannot be the policeman of the world.”
So much for Pax Americana; it was a bad deal, you see, and in the Trump universe the deal is everything. American power and far-flung American garrisons may have underwritten global security and averted nuclear war for more than seven decades, but they cannot be sustained by the “poor country” the United States has become. Why? Because, he insists, the whole postwar setup is a scam.
That Trump could be the next president of the United States is no longer a fanciful notion. Americans don’t want business as usual; Trump is not business as usual. He’s ranting and schmoozing his way to the White House as the man who, through some alchemy, will make an anxious America proud again. The world — already more combustible than at any time in recent decades — may be about to become a much more dangerous place.”
This is a good piece by Roger Cohen, followed by some amazing comments. Cohen is absolutely right about the importance of NATO. Trump is a disaster, but part of his underlying critique is sound. The US has more re-balancing, more retreating to do, so that our allies can help pay for the world order we have been funding. I would add to the excellent discussion the point of Andrew Grove of Intel, we need a more job centric ecomomic policy and trade policy. He has a great argument for a new Scaling Bank, from his article in Bussinessweek in 2010 referenced in his piece in the NYTimes last week. Once we come up with a new widget, we need to apply tools and investment to manufacture the item here. We need manufacturing to remain competitive on so many levels. If we do not rebuild the middle class, why bother with the expensive foreign policy that is just for the 1%.
I have recently posted both of these referenced Andy Gove pieces at blog 1, InconvenientNew.wordpress.com.
“Last summer, after deceptively edited videos were used to accuse Planned Parenthood of selling fetal tissue, congressional Republicans voted to block all federal financing for the organization, and threatened to shut down the entire federal government if they didn’t get their way.
The charges against Planned Parenthood were completely bogus — investigations in 12 states found no wrongdoing, and one, in Texas, resulted in the indictment in January of the video makers.
By then, however, the damage was done. Even before the push in Congress failed, state governments had begun to cut funds for Planned Parenthood, without much national attention.Since last July, 23 states have tried various ways of cutting money for the organization. So far 11 have succeeded, most recently Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed HB 1411, a sweeping anti-abortion bill that, among many destructive provisions, prohibits Medicaid and other public funds from being used to reimburse organizations that work with abortion providers.”
HANOI, VIETNAM — Dr. Bui Xuan Hiep, the head of tuberculosis control in this city’s Hoang Mai district, paged proudly through a large handwritten patient log.“This district’s cure rate averages 90 percent,” he said. Still, Dr. Bui could see problems.Seven patients had turned up with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; four had been cured, two had died — and one had simply disappeared.It’s a story repeated throughout Vietnam. The nation was once racked by a tuberculosis epidemic, one of the worst in which H.I.V. was not the driving force. But officials fought back fiercely.Twenty-five years ago, battered by the aftermath of a long war, chronic poverty and a heavy-handed government isolated from much of the world, Vietnam had nearly 600 cases of tuberculosis for every 100,000 residents. Today, it has less than 200.
“There are a lot of things about the 2016 election that nobody saw coming, and one of them is that international trade policy is likely to be a major issue in the presidential campaign. What’s more, the positions of the parties will be the reverse of what you might have expected: Republicans, who claim to stand for free markets, are likely to nominate a crude protectionist, leaving Democrats, with their skepticism about untrammeled markets, as the de facto defenders of relatively open trade.
But this isn’t as peculiar a development as it seems. Rhetorical claims aside, Republicans have long tended in practice to be more protectionist than Democrats. And there’s a reason for that difference. It’s true that globalization puts downward pressure on the wages of many workers — but progressives can offer a variety of responses to that pressure, whereas on the right, protectionism is all they’ve got.”
“NEXT week President Obama will welcome world leaders to Washington for his fourth Nuclear Security Summit, a biennial event he initiated to mobilize global action to prevent terrorists from acquiring atomic bombs.As this is Mr. Obama’s last such meeting on an issue that he professes to care about deeply, one might expect him to seize the opportunity to announce a major nonproliferation initiative, then brace for resistance from congressional Republicans skeptical of arms control.But reality is exactly the opposite. It is the Republican-controlled Congress that is pushing the most ambitious arms control project in recent memory. Inexplicably, President Obama is the one resisting.Some background: In recent years, legislators on both sides of the aisle have become increasingly concerned about global commerce in highly enriched uranium, the same material that fueled the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. If terrorists obtained less than 100 pounds of the stuff, they could almost surely set off a similar explosion. A country with even moderate technical expertise could achieve the same yield with a much smaller amount.”
Wow, some issues above to research. I suspect this was not a balanced or fair appraisal, we will see.
Andy Grove, CEO of Intel, in 2010, Businessweek:
“You could say, as many do, that shipping jobs overseas is no big deal because the high-value work—and much of the profits—remain in the U.S. That may well be so. But what kind of a society are we going to have if it consists of highly paid people doing high-value-added work—and masses of unemployed? ”
” We got to our current state as a consequence of many of us taking actions focused on our own companies’ next milestones. An example: Five years ago a friend joined a large VC firm as a partner. His responsibility was to make sure that all the startups they funded had a “China strategy,” meaning a plan to move what jobs they could to China. He was going around with an oil can, applying drops to the guillotine in case it was stuck. We should put away our oil cans. VCs should have a partner in charge of every startup’s “U.S. strategy.”
The first task is to rebuild our industrial commons. We should develop a system of financial incentives: Levy an extra tax on the product of offshored labor. (If the result is a trade war, treat it like other wars—fight to win.) Keep that money separate. Deposit it in the coffers of what we might call the Scaling Bank of the U.S. and make these sums available to companies that will scale their American operations. Such a system would be a daily reminder that while pursuing our company goals, all of us in business have a responsibility to maintain the industrial base on which we depend and the society whose adaptability—and stability—we may have taken for granted.”