Getting up to speed
: "If it can get started, the California high-speed train would almost certainly be the most expensive single infrastructure project in United States history. Judging by the experiences of Japan and France, both of which have mature high-speed rail systems, it would end the expansion of regional airline traffic as in-state travelers increasingly ride the fast trains. And it would surely slow the growth of highway traffic."
posted by dhruva
on Jun 14, 2009 -
With all the dust that's been
* riled up
by Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor (previously
), everyone is suddenly taking an interest in Puerto Rico
. A basic question that may come up is why we're there in the first place.
Understanding that, we can see how the complicated relationship
has played out between Puerto Rico, the US, and, most recently, the United Nations. Although the UN has urged
the US to take steps towards establishing Puerto Rico's sovereignty, referendums held on the
island have overwhelmingly preferred the status quo
and the US has been indifferent at best. But independence activists, after a twenty-year decline, may be on the rise
. The island's current governor, Luis Fortuño
, is pro-statehood. But the whole issue has taken a back seat since plans have been made to fire 30,000 government
, privatize some public services
, and sell
some the the government's US$3.2 billion debt. [more inside]
posted by krikkit261
on Jun 10, 2009 -
Standard & Poor’s changed the UK's credit outlook from stable to negative
a few days ago, and warned that there is a chance the UK could lose its AAA rating. Meanwhile, Moodys, another of the big 3
rating agencies, has warned that the US might also eventually lose its AAA rating
. The UK announcement caused sterling to drop by 1% and the FTSE by 2%
. However, many blame
the same rating agencies for their part in triggering
the subprime crisis. The irony of this is not lost on the Wall Street Journal
, who note that "After all, those governments are jacking up spending, in part, to bail out the financial firms who gobbled up those 'AAA' asset backed securities duly blessed by the credit ratings firms." [more inside]
posted by memebake
on May 26, 2009 -
The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald
has new evidence. Previously.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94
on May 12, 2009 -
(Previously: 1 2
the Formal Evidence Session on UK Complicity in Torture on Tuesday 28 April 1.45pm UK time.
You can (hopefully) watch it on Parliament TV
If you want to have a good look at UK / US complicity in torture, this
might be a good place to start...
Please note he has said "There is absolutely no way I am going to kill myself. Just thought it might be wise to get that out in public!". Hopefully statements like that won't be necessary.
posted by debord
on Apr 28, 2009 -
" ... the recession, particularly if it turns out to be as long and deep as many now fear, will accelerate the rise and fall of specific places within the U.S.—and reverse the fortunes of other cities and regions." From The Atlantic Online - How the Crash Will Reshape America
posted by Afroblanco
on Feb 15, 2009 -
is the name given to a group of female soliders, (and the documentary
about them) who were some of the first women
in modern American warfare to engage in frontline combat — something that is officially forbidden by the military. "The
female support soliders were assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion and they were recruited to accompany Marine units during raids. Originally, the female soldiers were there to search and detain any women they came upon and to guard the unit's Arabic interpreter. Over time, however, as the situation in Ramadi deteriorated, the Marine units transitioned into a more offensive role, baiting insurgents into firefights in order to draw them out. Until officers higher up the chain got spooked over the possibility of a female soldier killed in combat and quietly disbanded the unit, members of Team Lioness were often right in the thick of things, including some of the fiercest urban firefights of the Iraq War."
posted by nooneyouknow
on Nov 14, 2008 -
It's (semi) official
: Washington and Baghdad have reached a final agreement after months of talks on a pact that would require U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq by 2011, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Wednesday.
Additionally, "Iraq said it had secured the right to prosecute U.S. soldiers for serious crimes under certain circumstances" "Inside their bases, they will be under American law. Iraqi judicial law will be implemented in case these forces commit a serious and deliberate felony outside their military bases and when off duty." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 15, 2008 -
"Who will win the presidential debates? What does each candidate’s use of words say about how he would govern as president? Can Obama’s rhetorical skills lift him to the heights of Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan—or will his speechmaking do him in? After watching all 47 (!) of the primary season’s debates, our correspondent has the answers—and some harsh criticism for the moderators."
posted by chunking express
on Aug 15, 2008 -
It was a mass protest
held outside the halls of Washington. Led, or at least it was supposed to be, by Martin Luther King Jr.
(before he was assassinated) it was going to show the world the glaring divide
that existed between the Rich and the Poor
of America. Black, White, Red, Yellow
--they all gathered from all over the US, to stay together for six weeks, outside the Capitol, and inform
the public about what life in America could sometimes mean, if you were not considered economically, socially or racially acceptable. Unfortunately, the problem still persists
, even today.
posted by hadjiboy
on Aug 10, 2008 -
The black backs by and on which the fortunes of the New South were built:
On March 30, 1908, Green Cottenham was arrested by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and charged with “vagrancy.”... Cottenham’s offense was blackness.... [After a brief trial] Cottenham... was sold. Under a standing arrangement between the county and a vast subsidiary of the industrial titan of the North — U.S. Steel Corporation — the sheriff turned the young man over to the company for the duration of his sentence.... he was chained inside a long wooden barrack at night and required to spend nearly every waking hour digging and loading coal. His required daily “task” was to remove eight tons of coal from the mine. Cottenham was subject to the whip for failure to dig the requisite amount, at risk of physical torture for disobedience, and vulnerable to the sexual predations of other miners.... Forty-five years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freeing American slaves, Green Cottenham and more than a thousand other black men toiled under the lash at Slope 12.
— from the Introduction to Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II
. The book's website
includes reviews of the book
, an excerpt of the Introduction, and an extensive photo gallery
that includes disturbing images of enslaved and tortured prisoners. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality
on Jun 21, 2008 -