Day: April 30, 2006

Article: The Crony Fairy

From the April 28th NYT:

The Crony Fairy
By PAUL KRUGMAN

The U.S. government is being stalked by an invisible bandit, the Crony Fairy, who visits key agencies by dead of night, snatches away qualified people and replaces them with unqualified political appointees. There’s no way to catch or stop the Crony Fairy, so our only hope is to change the agencies’ names. That way she might get confused, and leave our government able to function.

That, at least, is how I interpret the report on responses to Hurricane Katrina that was just released by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

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Article: How Marley Caught Fire

An interesting WSJ article from a number of different standpoints, especially if you’re interested in music, marketing, and/or Bob Marley. Cheers!

How Marley Caught Fire
Repackaging the Reggae King As a Rock Star Helped Sell His Music to the World
By CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY
April 27, 2006

The reggae star Bob Marley never sold out, but he understood the importance of selling well. He came to terms with the necessity of marketing at an early age.

He began his music career in 1962 in Trench Town, a ghetto area of Kingston, performing the jittery Jamaican dance music known as ska, before settling on reggae — a warm, rhythmically mesmerizing music that was also born and bred in Jamaica. Initially, he made so little money that he relocated to America for a short time to work in an automobile-assembly plant to support his family.

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Article: War Clouds

From the April 28th LA Times:

War Clouds
Russia’s dangerous double game with Israel and Iran could easily spark a Middle East conflict, with dire consequences for the U.S.

By Rosa Brooks

LET ME TELL YOU about the next war.

It will start sooner than you think — sometime between now and September. And it will be precipitated by the $700-million Russian deal this week to sell Tor air defense missile systems to Iran.

When the war begins, it will be between Iran and Israel. Before it ends, though, it may set the whole of the Middle East on fire, pulling in the United States, leaving a legacy of instability that will last for generations and permanently ending a century of American supremacy.

Despite the high stakes, the Bush administration seems barely to have noticed the danger posed by the Russian missile sale. But the signs are there, for those inclined to read them.

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