Daily Archives: May 13, 2016

NYT’s Glass Is Half Full of Half-Truths

 

“A glance out the window shows blue sky,” Gregg Easterbrook writes in the New York Times (5/12/16). (Graphic: Matt Chase)

“When Did Optimism Become Uncool?” wonders a New York Times Sunday Review piece (5/12/16) by Gregg Easterbrook. “The country is, on the whole, in the best shape it’s ever been in,” Easterbrook writes. “So what explains all the bad vibes?”

It would be easier to be optimistic if the case for optimism didn’t involve so much manipulation and misrepresentation.

Take some of Easterbrook’s major points:

  • “Job growth has been strong for five years, with unemployment now below where it was for most of the 1990s, a period some extol as the ‘good old days.’”

The broadest measure of employment is labor force participation—the number of people working or actively looking for work compared with the working-age population—which has been on a downward trend since the “good old days” of the 1990s. Back then, it fluctuated between 66 and 67 percent; it’s currently 62.8 percent.

Labor Force Participation Rate (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

…(read more).

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‘A Corporate Agenda Is Really What’s Driving the Process’ | FAIR

CounterSpin interview with Karen Hansen-Kuhn about TTIP leaks

By Janine Jackson
Janine Jackson interviewed Karen Hansen-Kuhn about TTIP leaks for the May 6, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

 

Janine Jackson: Corporate media talk about trade pacts, which have little to do at this point with actual trade, but the coverage is generally pretty thin and vague, perhaps in part because for corporate media, corporate globalization is simply inevitable. If the horse-trading of livelihoods and lives for markets is unseemly, well, let’s not try to take too close a look.

The leak of a draft of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, by Greenpeace Netherlands may have thrown a wrench in that deal’s inevitability, though media’s interpretation of the document’s meaning will play a role there. So what’s in and what’s not in the TTIP, according to these revelations? We’re joined now by Karen Hansen-Kuhn, director of trade, technology and global governance at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. She joins us by phone from Washington, DC. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Karen Hansen-Kuhn.

Karen Hansen-Kuhn: Thanks. It’s great to be here.

JJ: I think Americans can be forgiven for not being up on another massive deal that will affect our lives, especially when pains are being taken to keep us from knowing about it, really. So what do we learn from these documents that Greenpeace Netherlands received from an unknown source, and has now released?

KHK: Well, it was a big release. They released something like 200 pages of what’s called consolidated text, so that shows both the US position, the EU position, and areas where they’ve agreed on a number of chapters. It doesn’t include everything, but it includes a lot of the issues that we’re looking at.

…(read more).

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Spacing Out: 6 Cool Theories About Space


National Geographic

Published on May 13, 2016

Get ready to feel existential after reading these space theories.

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Harry Kazianis “’Shamefare’: A New United States Strategy For the South China Sea”


Yale University

Published on May 13, 2016

Harry Kazianis, Fellow for National Security Policy at the Potomac Foundation. Presented at Conflict in the South China Sea, May 6-7, 2016.
An international conference at Yale exploring the history of the ongoing dispute in the South China Sea, featuring speakers from universities and research institutions in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, the Philippines, and across the United States. The two-day event was hosted by Yale’s Council on Southeast Asian Studies http://cseas.yale.edu/, with additional support from the Council on East Asian Studies http://ceas.yale.edu/, and the Institute for Vietnamese Culture and Education http://www.ivce.org/.

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China asks U.S. to consider bigger picture of ties when handling South China Sea issue


CCTV Africa

Published on May 13, 2016

A top Chinese military official has said that when handling the South China Sea issue, the United States should look at the bigger picture of the two countries’ relations and cherish a mutual trust. Fang Fenghui, Chinese PLA Chief of General Staff, held a video conference call on Thursday with US General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Fang said both countries should respect the consensus reached by their presidents on building a relationship of non-conflict and non-antagonism.

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Venture Capitalist Nick Hanauer Dismantles the Trickle Down Myth


The Laura Flanders Show

Published on May 13, 2016

“What that means is a thriving middle class is the source of growth in a technological capitalist economy not an effect of it. Not a consequence of it. Which means that raising the minimum wage isn’t bad for capitalism, even though it may inconvenience a few capitalists in particular, it’s indispensable to capitalism.” – Nick Hanauer, Venture Capitalist and Author

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China stance on South China Sea issue gets support in international community


CCTV Africa

Published on May 13, 2016

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the statement jointly issued by China and 22 Arab states in Doha shows China’s stance on the South China Sea issue is gaining ground in the international community.

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