Good contest on health care reform

I love this webzine. Good is having a contest to create an infographic about the new health care bill. It has a great roundup of links: The piece from The New York Times helps sum up the major changes. This piece in the Washington Post shows how people in the House voted, and how much money they took from the health-care lobby. Here is a great bullet-pointed list from CBS. Here is the full text of the bill, and here is the Congressional Budget Office's estimation of how much it costs. Feel free to supplement this with any data you find yourself. And please, help each other. No one will get extra credit for using special data, so if you find something cool or helpful, please post it in the comments. … [Read more...]

FTAs and Big Ag’s equivalent of the “financial innovations”

. The China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) went into effect this year amid much anxiety by ASEAN. Years of stalling due to fears of a massive influx of already cheap and now subsidised Chinese goods that ASEAN countries cannot compete against finally fell amid the sudden loss of Western markets for Southeast Asian exporters in the crash of 2008. The fears haven't gone away. Barely hitting the news -and finally at that- are concerns faced by India in its free trade agreements (FTA) with Australia and New Zealand, as well as with the European Union and Japan. At issue are intellectual property (IP) regimes that use these instruments to harmonise protections (of seed varieties patented by agricultural multinationals as in the piece … [Read more...]

new dating site for finding submissive Asian ladies

So there's this new website pandering to all the stereotypes about Asian women. Ah, progress the modern way: to get dumb and dumber. No need to have any sense whatsoever or plain smarts anymore. Thinking is taboo; we will fight for the freedom to be ignorant as long as Wall Street, Big Ag, Big Pharma or any other alchemist with magic to peddle will simply spoon feed us our most basest desires. Heck, let 'em roll our economic reality into a black hole while our government deficit spends and bails these buffoons out for nonsensical wars so we can set the next one up and rule the world. No, really rule the world. But I digress. Here's a less grandiosely oversimplified commentary from Sociological Images: [These Asian women] aren’t trying … [Read more...]

when Asia’s per-capita income catches up to the West’s.. by Hans Rosling

Check this video out. The Asian Century has never been more real, yet it's still surreal for those of us used to a western-centric world. Presented so compellingly by Hans Rosling, the public health infographic brains behind the Gapminder, this modeling sends home a message that isn't new but is quite amazing even for the rapidly changing times we live in. … [Read more...]

Employment recession

Quoted from Silicon Alley Insider, the chart above by Calculated Risk... ... shows the decline in jobs as a percentage of the work force at the peak. To date in this recession, we've lost more than 8 million jobs.  The decline as a percentage of the workforce is the worst since the Great Depression, matching the sharp but short drop in 1948, as the war machine wound down. Equally important, the duration of these job losses, as well as the lack of a sharp recovery (at least so far), suggests that the problem will be with us for a long while.  We're now 24 months into this decline, and we're still at the bottom.  By this point in most previous recessions, we had already recovered all of the lost jobs. Wow. … [Read more...]

Investing in an Empire of Illusion, by Chris Nelder

Here is a good piece in its entirety below, via @pdenlinger and written by @nelderini, critiquing "an America in thrall to its illusions, unable to respond meaningfully to the challenges of peak oil, climate change, and population." Agree or not on any of the points, if you invest or follow climate, oil and energy policy developments, it is a thinking piece on the status quo. -------------------------------- As my regular readers know, I've spent much of this year contemplating big themes, like the long-term picture for energy, energy and monetary policy, black swans and the human penchant for valuing the present more than the future, the problems of complex systems like the energy-food-water nexus, sustainability, and the relationship … [Read more...]

A pharma christmas carol

from Pharma Gossip, a little carol (to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"..) Got rest us, pharma CEOs, let nothing we concern Ineptitude will not reduce the millions that we earn Our management is failing yet we think we need not learn No tidings of comfort or joy Comfort or joy For the scientists we used to employ God bless ye, Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer’s dubious accolade A corporate malfeasance fine, the largest ever paid Regarded as a simple cost of business, I’m afraid Sad tidings of marketing fraud Marketing fraud Sad tidings of marketing fraud Financial joy for Fred Hassan, now Schering Plough’s been sold His second mega-golden parachute can now unfold And twenty thousand Pharma hands once more are … [Read more...]

My consumption impact

From American Public Media: The Earth coudn't support its 6.6 billion residents if everyone lived like a typical American. Consumer consequences will tell you how many planets it would take to support your lifestyle on a planetary scale and share some ideas for making your "footprint" a little smaller. This formula has been making the rounds of the blogosphere, news and ads. The game walks you through some lifestyle questions such as the energy usage, transportation, food and shopping, and results show how many "Earths" worth of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans if we all lived just like you. In my case, we'd need 3.5 planet Earths :-( … [Read more...]