Archive for January, 2009



16
Jan
09

the wine cellar of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

Will Obama’s Change We Can Believe In go as far as expanding the ignominious wine service of the Bushie administration? Of course having a President that actually drinks wine will help.

According to Shanks (current White House Wine Steward), the White House currently stocks around 500-600 bottles. That is pathetic and another example of how America’s infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate. During his eight years in office, Thomas Jefferson amassed a 20,000-bottle collection, which he kept in a cellar that he had built under what is now the West Wing. Two centuries later, that space is being used for other purposes, and the president of the United States has less wine in his basement than I have in mine.

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12
Jan
09

things worth pondering

november-4-2008More illustrations from Patrick Moberg’s blog.

12
Jan
09

news from the front lines

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A statue of Rigas Feraios, a Greek writer and revolutionary who died in 1798, stands vandalized with an anarchy symbol outside the Athens University.

Photos from the riots in Greece.

10
Jan
09

Migration controls are the new apartheid

As technologies advance and more efficient transportation methods develop, we can only assume migration controls would only begin to weaken. The idea of abolishing national boarders isn’t as far-fetched as one may believe. Europe’s Schengen Agreement, which allows residents of participating countries to travel more easily through their borders, is just one example of how free-market forces have begun to dissolve national boundaries.

It has always struck me as odd that we are so keen to allow the flow of cash and goods across borders without let or hindrance, but try so hard to deny the same rights to people. That is both unfair and a denial of the free-market theories on which much of the world’s economy is built. Surely if free trade and the free movement of capital is so good for an efficient global economy, then the same should apply to the free movement of labour?

Continue reading Fred Pearce’s article Migration controls are the new apartheid, via New Scientist.

09
Jan
09

Nouveau Poor

Times are tough and analyst only predict tougher times ahead for 2009: Chronically Indigent Resent Influx of Nouveau Poor

Closely connected to the political landscape, the recently struggling pornography industry is asking for a $5 billion federal bailout. Video producers, directors, technical crew, and onscreen talent warn that the Government’s failure to invest could force many professionals onto the streets.

08
Jan
09

Filmed by Bike 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

08
Jan
09

demographic inversion

This is the generation that grew up watching “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” and “Sex and the City,” mostly from the comfort of suburban sofas. We have gone from a sitcom world defined by “Leave It to Beaver” and “Father Knows Best” to one that offers a whole range of urban experiences and enticements.

They are drawn to the densely packed urban life that they saw on television and found vastly more interesting than the cul-de-sac world they grew up in. And, by and large, I believe central cities will give it to them.

We will never return–nor would most of us want to return–to the close-knit but frequently constricting form of community life that prevailed 50 years ago. But, as we rearrange ourselves in and around many of our big cities, we are groping toward the new communities of the twenty-first century.

Deindustrialization, lower crime rates, higher gas prices, and a young population adopting different lifestyles than their parents have contributed to the general flight from today’s car-dependent surbia and into urban environments. Very similar comparisons can be made today that parallel the demographic inversion of European cities of the mid-19th century. Continue reading Alan Ehrenhalt’s piece on Urban Inversion.

Alan Ehrenhalt is executive editor of Governing Magazine and author of The United States of Ambition and The Lost City.




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