Monday, January 18th, 2010

Nations with Public, Non-Military Disaster Relief Personnel in Haiti, Roughly in Order of Distance from Earthquake Epicenter

Dominican Republic Cuba Jamaica Costa Rica El Salvador Honduras Nicaragua


The Rape of Africa: Designed in California, Made in China

At the celebration of all things capital known as the D conference, put on by the Wall Street Journal, Vagina Monologuist Eve Ensler raised the topic of the coltan trade in the Congo. It was a classic piece of "awareness raising" in the Southern California celebrity cause tradition, where a bit of conscience was paraded out to the crowd of venture capitalists and technology acolytes but no conclusions drawn or consequences demanded. During the discussion with the Journal's Kara Swisher, Ensler brought up widespread sexual assault in the Eastern Congo as part of ongoing regional warfare.


Gulnara Karimova: Uzbek Oligarch, Pop Musician, U.N. Representative

In the United States, the rich are often a few steps removed from the havoc they wreak on society. For instance, the trader in commodities derivatives is a step away from the commodities trader, who's a step away from the bulk buyer of actual, physical commodities, who's a step or more a way from the farmer who grows or raises the commodities. While the derivatives cowboy may take some interest in how corn is grown in America, when it comes to the realities of the field and plow, he couldn't be more ignorant. That ignorance means he can operate free from any bounds of conscience when making trades. And, at [...]