Book of the Month

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Oh, the Media's Red Glare

I'm bemused by all of the attention given to Christina Aguilera messing up a few lines of the National Anthem at the Superbowl last night. I enjoyed Leah Michele's performance of America the Beautiful. I wasn't listening very closely to Aguilera, but I read that she lost her way in the fourth line, but kept going.

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What does it mean when you don't find something to eat?



I tuned into The Takeaway at 7:10, while waiting for the bus. The topic was food inflation, and the hook was whether common American breakfast foods would be luxuries in a few years. Coffee, orange juice, grains, sugar all have risen sharply. An analyst from the NY Times, Louise Story, noted that common measures of inflation exclude food and energy, which amused the radio hosts, but said that was something economists debate a lot. She discussed whether Bernanke's Quantitative Easing 2 was to blame for rising food prices, thus for the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and unrest throughout the Arab world. Bernanke denies that, claiming that a weaker dollar means a stronger Egyptian currency for buying food. Story blames, "a little bit global warming, a little bit economic recovery, a little bit politics." 

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Fill Yore Hands, Egyptians



During the video and reporting from Cairo last night, I heard automatic gunfire. MSNBC said it was just the army keeping order because neither protesters nor thugs were likely to have firearms. It occurred to me that it could have been very different if they had our gun culture. Not surprisingly, numerous bloggers had the same idea, and they show the usual divide:

Anti-gun bloggers expressed relief that few Egyptians, only 3% or 4%, are allowed to carry handguns, else there would have been far more bloodshed.
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Assange: "I'm Not Yet A Martyr. ...



... Let's keep it that way." With a 6 AM appointment in Pittsburgh, we had to get to sleep early, but I couldn't resist staying up to watch Julian Assange: The "60 Minutes" Interview, which is still available on CBS and Mashable. CBS also has an article about the making of the interview.
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Tase of the Union



We saw the state of the union speech under unusual circumstances.
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Who Can Spend?


In good news for my profession, architectural billing has come back from the abyss.


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A Less Obtrusive Wind Device

Update:

This video Resistance linked to is also interesting - recovering oil from plastic. Again, you have to evaluate whether he is spending more energy melting the oil than he is getting back, but it sounds good.

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Speculation: Finders Keepers

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Foodflation, Food Insecurity and Civil Unrest



My wife and I noticed several months ago that the food we chose to buy was getting much more expensive. I was probably more inspired by Michael Pollan and she by Mehmet Oz, but years ago we agreed that we would cut out the hydrogenated stuff and the high fructose stuff and the high sodium stuff.
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Killing Fathers and Children

In his post from Tuesday, Nihilism in Action, "real" conservative Daniel Larison joins movement conservatives in rejecting any political attribution of the bald, smirking assassin :

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Book Review: Shooters



I wrote this review for another site last May, but it seems pertinent now, so I'm reposting it here. [Read more]

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WikiLeaks in the Free Culture Movement

Although various leaks and a few other leaking groups are still cropping up in the news, Liberty and Solidarity offers the first argument I've seen that puts WikiLeaks in context as part of a larger, coherent movement.

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Phone Sex + 3 Minutes



Update: Rather than push Stardust's piece down, I'm updating here. Mother Jones has a photo essay on phone sex operators, which will ... probably not be so good for business. The woman above writes:

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Monsters from the Id


"Anne Francis stars in ... Forbidden Planet" RIP

Doomer James Kunstler is telling us, Gird Your Loins for Lower Living Standards. He says something like that every year right about now, so it must be time to put the Xmas tree back in the box. Still, he is entertaining.

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Inside, Outside - Leave Me Alone




James Hamilton mentioned that The Wall Street Journal had a list of the best economics blogs, including his own - Econbrowser. Another was The Baseline Scenario run by James Kwak, who I recalled from a Democracy Now! interview, and Simon Johnson (above).
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The Starved Class

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Bottom Ten

It seems traditional to do top ten lists this time of year, but I was stumped until A-Man noted that blogs had ruts. So I want commenter lists of the top ten subject ruts, which will really be the bottom ten, least-covered, but important subjects.

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Hacking, Phreaking, Carding and ... Leaking?



WikiLeaks is still hot, and the top story at the New Republic today is Game Changer - Why Wikileaks will be the death of big business and big government. Noam Scheiber predicts that WikiLeaks will both survive and will shrink overbearing organizations until they are no longer Big Anything.

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