What I’m Reading – 8/8/09
- Newsweek – August 10/17 2009
- Israel’s Chief Diplomat Goes M.I.A. – Israel’s top diplomat takes a trip to South America when Obama’s Middle East envoy, defense secretary, and national security advisor come to negotiate. He’s ultra-right wing and apparently an embarrassment to Israelis.
- Iran’s Widening Fault Lines – Economic differences between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have the supreme leader reducing the president’s powers behind the scenes.
- No End to Earmarks – Despite Obama’s pledge to crack down on earmarks, the practice continues. Not a surprise to me – earmarks are a fundamental way to keep in good standing with your constituents and with lobbyists. What would the Congressional incentive be to stop?
- Russia’s Dry Well – While the world economy is starting to mend, the damage in Russia will take longer to recover from. $200 billion in debt, and businesses won’t be making huge profits in the coming year.
- New York Times
- Job Losses Slow, Signaling Momentum for a Recovery – The panic of this recession begins to subside as the number of eliminated jobs for July drops to 247,000 from a high in January 2009 of 741,000.
- U.S. and Pakistan Say Taliban Chief is Believed Dead – A drone has taken out the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. The war goes on.
- Conservatives Warn Ahmadinejad Not to Defy Ayatollah on Cabinet Picks – Two days after he is inaugurated, Ahmadinejad is told to stick to the conservative party line.
- MSNBC’s Olbermann and Fox’s O’Reilly Fire Up the Insult Machines Again – Just as I was getting hopeful, two networks disappoint. The battle between personalities continues, while American commentary suffers.
- Microsoft’s SharePoint Thrives in the Recession – “SharePoint is saving Microsoft’s Office business even as it paves the way for a new era of Microsoft lock-in,” said Matt Asay, an executive at Alfresco, which makes an open-source content management system. “It is simultaneously the most interesting and dangerous Microsoft technology, and has largely caught its competitors napping.”
- Richmond Times Dispatch
- Recession Hasn’t Cut Enrollment for Some Schools – The University of Richmond was aiming for 805 students this fall, an increase from last year’s 738. We now have 926 first-year students registered for the fall. It turns out other area schools had a similar enrollment experience.
- Chapter 5 – The Rites of Almost-Men: Binge Drinking, Fraternity Hazing, and the Elephant Walk: College life for young men is described, with one shocking episode after another. I continue to search for a rigorous approach to the subject, but the argument of the book continues without qualification or much quantitative information.
- Milton among the Philosophers
- Chapter 2: The Life of the Soul: The Cambridge Reaction – Just getting started with this chapter, which discusses Cudworth and More’s attempts to justify the ways of atoms to God.
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