Archive for ‘economics’

January 1, 2012

AP poll finds that Bin Laden killing the biggest story of 2011 and my end of the year rambling commentary

The top story of the year according to a survey of U.S newsroom directors and editors.

The results to the annual poll of U.S news editors and News directors was released in mid-December and the next few posts will likely seem to have happened a few weeks ago, because I have had other issues to cope with and hence the back log.

Anyway since we are on the precipice of 2012, (which as this cartoon I came across illustrates, I think is just a plot by the Mayans to freak us all out ), it seems just as timely as it was weeks ago.

Gauging the opinions of 247 U.S  News Directors and News Editors, the Associated Press asked them what was the biggest story of 2011. By an overwhelming majority, 128 of them said the NAVY SEAL operation that located and killed Al-Queda mastermind Osama Bin Laden. The Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown that hit Japan in fairly quick order of one another, came in a distant second with 60 votes.

Obviously, since those  in charge of U.S News rooms and not media outlets around the world, the selection would seem to be tilted towards stories that have a substantial effect on or involve America. As the AP noted however, this year about half  have an international flavor to them. 

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November 28, 2011

Weekly Links- Nov 20-27

A little slower than usual on the news front this past week given the Thanksgiving Holiday, but with the Iowa Republican caucuses just thirty-six days away, there seems to be yet another seismic shift in the  field of candidates.

  • The campaign of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been seen as a long shot since it was rather clumsily announced last March. Recent questions about money he made advising Federal Housing giant Freddie Mac and statements he made criticizing child labor laws, seemed like they would be additional blows to an already flagging campaign.
  • But as of about two weeks ago, some opinion polls show Gingrich inching out a lead over former Massachusetts  Governor Mitt Romney, indicating that he may be the latest in a long line of candidates that conservatives are flocking to him, as an alternative to Romney.
  • Last Tuesday, in a CNN Republican primary debate about  National security issues, many observers said Gingrich gave a strong performance.Gingrich, also made headlines in the debate, when he spoke of the need for a ‘more humane’ immigration policy that would forge a pathway to legalization’ for those immigrants who may have entered the country illegally, but now have families in the U.S and have assimilated into the fabric of American life.
  • Some conservatives slammed Gingrich for the move that has been widely seen as a tact to the center. Iowa Congressman Steve King  as well as primary rivals such as Romney and Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann called such a policy ‘amnesty’.
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November 21, 2011

Weekly Links- November 13 – 20 ‘Happy Thanksgiving’

The week began with the clearing out of ‘Occupy’ protesters from Zucotti Park Tuesday morning, and the subsequent re-occupation (minus the tents and camping accouterments) of members of the two month old movement against what they say is corporate advirace and income inequality. Nearly 200 were arrested by police during the eviction.

  •  Structures were dismantled and some property was confiscated by police. Among those entities taken apart, was the so-called ‘People’s Library’, an accumulation of books and periodicals set up for public consumption at the camp site. After Police took down the initial library and confiscated the books, a new collection was begun at Zucotti Park. Then that library was also dismantled and its materials destroyed. The American Library Association has expressed alarm over the incident.
  • In New York City and other communities and college campuses around the globe, ‘Occupy’ demonstrators participated in  what was deemed a ‘National Day of Action’ to condemn the crackdowns, rail against austerity measures, and celebrate the two month anniversary of the movement. Marchers took part in acts of civil disobedience  attempting to shut down financial centers, tie up traffic, fill subways, protest in large banks, and march across bridges and landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge. Hundreds were arrested by police including a retired Philadelphia Police Captain and a  New York City Council member. I will also be posting a slightly belated article on events correlated to the ‘Day of Action’ that took place in Amherst on Thursday.
  •  In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), banking lobbyists reveal their desire to derail the ‘Occupy movement’ and help defeat any Democrats that might sympathize with their calls to reign in the power of large financial institutions that many blame for the 2008 meltdown. They also express fear of a populist alliance between the ‘Occupy’ movement and the ‘Tea Party’ that could be detrimental to them.
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August 11, 2011

Too many heroes?


Picture courtesy of world.edu

Farmers markets have gained traction in recent years as cooperative locally based venues where small farmers can sell their goods to consumers, while getting people acquainted with where their food comes from and cutting down on the amount of energy used to harvest it. The number of such markets has soared, increasing in number by 17 percent according to the U.S Department of Agriculture; going from 6,132 such markets around the nation to 7,135 in the past year alone.

Massachusetts is one of the states with the most, having as many as 255 peppered throughout town squares and parking lots throughout the Bay State. But have these alternatives to a world of agribusinesses and corporate grocery store giants, begun to crowd each other out? In other words in some areas are there more vendors selling goods at more of these markets in a given area then there are customers to keep all these markets profitable?

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