Interesting Take on U.S. Foreign Policy
I was crusing along with my mp3 player yesterday, listening to the podcast of last Sunday night's Laura Flanders' show and heard this guy Jim Willie talking about the U.S. dollar, the Euro and the invasion of Iraq. He is one of those who argues that one of the major reasons for the invasion was Sadaam Huseein's shift to the Euro. Apparently, Iran has also made this move, and this, he says explains the U.S's increasingly threatening posture there. He was on the show talking about a number of things, including the notion that the real topic of Bush and Putin's meetings was the currency used in oil exchange. His "Hat Trick Letter" is part investment advice, part anti-Greenspan diatribe, part dire prediction of complete, Germany-in-the-1920s-styel collapse.
MTA/stadium update: Yesterday's NYT reported that the NFL have picked the non-existent (and as The Gothamist says) possibly doomed West-Side stadium as a site for the 2010 Superbowl.
and back-ground, as PPRM (That's a "pissed-off Puerto Rican Medievalist" in case you were wondering) pointed out in a comment on the last post, Stadiums are a bad sell. Andrew Zimablist's and Roger Noll's 1997 study found
that stadiums did not put money into local urban economies as promised. A more recent study by economists Victor Matheson and Robert Baade says that the Superbowl usually delivers about 1/4 of what the promoters promise.
But will that stop the corporate welfare?
Finally: What ya gonna do with a "staff-run" union ?
There's an interesting debate from last April's Labor Notes on the problem of union professional staff that covers a lot of the reasons for the problems of staff-run unions. I've had my own experiences with this phenomenon, and noted in a talk I gave back in 1998 at the American Studies Association, that the power of "professionally trained" union staffers to over-rule the rank and file members may actually be magnified where you'd least expect it, in academic unions, where new union activists from the middle-class see themselves as "bourgeois" while their staff (often from the same class as themselves) are defined as "working-class" simply because of their status as union activists. At the same time, academics and other white-collar union members tend to respect the authority of professionals and bureaucrats in a way that blue-collar unionists might not. More on this later.