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Noted With Interest, October 2009

Oct 19, 2009

To Cut Costs, Airlines Send Repairs Abroad
By Daniel Zwerdling. The airlines save 2/3 of the hourly rate for union maintenance workers in the states when they outsource these vital services to nonunion foreign labor. From National Public Radio, Oct 19, 2009. Accessed Oct 19, 2009.

Looking for a Middle Class
by Maria Cocco. We are each and every one of us under assault by the plutocracy. Wake up! From Truthdig.com, Oct 15, 2009. Accessed Oct 16, 2009.

The Truth About Jobs That No One Wants to Tell You
by Robert Reich. Put America to work! It is our only way out from under. And it’s cheap! See Hey, Buddy, Can You Spare a Job? From Robert Reich’s Blog, Oct 1 & 2, 2009. Accessed Oct 3, 2009.

tags: Noted with Interest

Compare and Contrast

Oct 14, 2009
Two stories in the NY Times caught my eye today. They brought back the feeling of those old English classes in high school and college where we were invited to “compare and contrast” a pair of literary entities, such as characters in a Dickens novel or the way Fitzgerald and Dos Passos envisioned American in the 1920s.

These stories, by implication, compared and contrasted two modes of contemporary life in the U.S., and without belaboring you with my own two cents’ worth regarding their messages, I will simply link them and encourage you to read them both:

U.S. Pay Czar Tries Again to Trim A.I.G. Bonuses
Still on the Job, but at Half the Pay

tags: Employment | Poverty

Obama and Peace

Oct 09, 2009
Twitter is all a-twitter, with tweets running seven to three on the “embarrassing joke” side of the equation.1 Kristof called it “premature” on his blog.2 Fellow NY Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s tweet asks “[W]hat on earth has he done to deserved [sic] this?”

The progressive press is leaning the other way. After a somewhat snide opening by someone calling themself “PZS,” Truthdig just reports the facts, ma’am, and leaves for Editor Robert Scheer to figure out where he stands in an upcoming column,3 while the Huffington Post comes right out and says “Bully for him!” or words to that effect.4

Meanwhile, a relative tweets, “Am I the only one who thinks it’s great that Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize?“ Apparently not.

For myself, I was shocked, shocked, to hear the news out of Oslo this morning (shocked enough to take pen to ATN after a long hiatus). Premature? Wishful thinking on the part of the Nobel committee? Or just plain politics as usual? My concentration does tend to be on the domestic scene, where a house in terrible disorder crumbles more each day; where one of our two political parties has regressed to a second, choleric childhood; and where the politics of hope and change has morphed into an intractable status quo.

How much better is the international scene, and has a sitting commander-in-chief managing three public wars and who knows how many secret ones ever won the Nobel Peace Prize? Where is George Orwell when we need him?

Meanwhile in the two most dangerous lands on earth, a lone figure of enormous vision continues planting seeds of peace, as he has done for almost two decades; establishing scores of schools for girls and boys; raising now a second generation of informed, curious people who have been imbued with an understanding and appreciation of freedom and democracy which no gun can ever impose.

The great tragedy of Obama’s peace prize is that it did not go to Greg Mortenson.
1 Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize: 60% of Twitter Users Don’t Get It
2 Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize
3 Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
4 President Obama’s Noble Nobel Prize
tags: Obama | Politics

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