Political Sci-Fi

I think this is going to be a very exciting century.
  1. Total spread of democracy.
  2. Total, global penetration of wireless broadband.
  3. Universal access to education, health and credit.
Spread Democracy
A Web 3.0 Manifesto
Education, Health, Credit: Universal And Lifelong

You do these three, and you are in political sci-fi territory. It is like we can no longer imagine life before the polio vaccine, life before antiseptics, life before basic hygiene at least in the rich countries. But we do know there is life after all that. We live it, with all the ongoing anxieties. We remain forever hungry for ever more progress.

These three goals look tall for now, but once they are achieved it will be no different from life after the polio vaccine. Life will go on. New challenges will be found. We will stay hungry.

Life goes on.

In The News

Report: Mideast Nuke Race Possible Time an Iranian nuclear weapon frightens the Saudis "to their core" ..... Turkey also would come under pressure to follow suit ..... demands for nuclear energy and for matching Iran's nuclear progress virtually guarantees that three or four Middle Eastern countries will generate nuclear power by 2025.
Bernanke: Recession Is Possible a trio of crises — housing, credit and financial. ...... "Addressing the housing crisis head-on will do as much to instill confidence in the markets as lowering interest rates or bolstering regulatory oversight of wayward mortgage lenders and financial institutions. We need to do all of it."
Obama Keeps Cash Lead Over Clinton Obama raised more than $30 million in the month of March ...... Obama will be able to afford large TV and radio advertising buys in the remaining primary states ..... the New York Senator's total for the month will come close to $20 million .... continued reports that the Clinton campaign is struggling with a persistent debt that at times has reached nearly $9 million ...... Clinton's debt .... hers remains above the norm in size for a campaign at this stage of a race.
Christina's Argentine Honeymoon Ends a spectacle of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, of rhetoric and bombast ..... she said, adding that she had committed two sins: being democratically elected and "being a woman." ...... the wildfire protests that brought down five presidents in a row after Argentina defaulted on its foreign debt six years ago
How Moqtada al-Sadr Won in Basra Despite the fighting, he never pulled his allies out of the government or withdrew his support from Maliki in Parliament ..... Sadr has proven increasingly adept at politics. .... the Mahdi Army can claim a victory by simply surviving an assault
Zimbabwe Suspense: Is Mugabe Done? "It is increasingly clear that Mugabe has lost the support of the rank and file of the army and the police." ....... Mugabe was once a darling of Africa for his overthrow of white supremacist rule in what was then known as Rhodesia, and was praised in the West for Zimbabwe's excellent education system and relative prosperity. ...... Mugabe regularly rails against homosexuals and a Western conspiracy to recolonize Zimbabwe. ..... elections in 2000, 2002 and 2005 were marred by violence and rigging
The Blue-Collar Battle in Pennsylvania On his first bus tour in the Keystone State, Obama's itinerary is like a gauntlet thrown down before Clinton. Everything about his trip is unconventional, from his choice of towns that he is focusing on — Clinton strongholds like Scranton, Altoona, Wilkes-Barre, mostly working-class and white with lots of Catholics — to his quirky events. ....... at least one Pennsylvania poll shows the race narrowing as Obama outspends Clinton five to one on television and radio ads. And a steady stream of superdelegates breaking for Obama has become a form of Chinese water torture for the Clinton campaign. ...... "I think if he loses by five or six points that will be perceived as a victory."
Zimbabwe Suspense: Is Mugabe Done?
Report: Saudis, Turks May Join Nuke Race
Zimbabwe Ponders Life After Mugabe the prospect of a peaceful exit by the country's longtime leader seems to be growing ...... Mobutu Sese Seko is gone from the Congo; Uganda's Idi Amin went long ago. Autocratic regimes remain in place in Equatorial Guinea and Sudan, but democracy is becoming the norm in much of Africa — and with it, not coincidentally, has come peace. .... the discussions between Mugabe's regime and the opposition, mediated by South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki. ..... If the reports prove true that Mugabe is on his way out, Zimbabwe may well be about to experience nothing short of a rebirth.
A Hispanic Hit at the Cineplex Under the Same Moon follows a nine-year-old boy's travels from Mexico to the U.S. to reunite with his mother, an illegal immigrant who cleans houses in Los Angeles. ...... Latinos buy more movie tickets per person than any other segment of the U.S. population. ...... The median age of Hispanics in the U.S. is 27.4 ..... "It speaks honestly about life in this country as an immigrant and that it never gets easy." ..... "They said, 'I've never seen myself on screen before.'" ..... This weekend the movie will expand from 266 screens to 400 before going wider still on April 4.
Dean: Dems Will Seat Fla. Delegates as long as any agreement is supported by the party's two presidential contenders. ...... without them an agreement is not possible .... Dean said discussions were continuing over Michigan and he was "optimistic" that the state's delegates would also be seated. ...... "multiple solutions and formulas that I think are all reasonable."
Starbucks Looks for a Fresh Jolt Schultz, who took over Starbucks in 1987 and transformed it from a six-shop seller of beans into a thread that runs through our social tapestry ...... Starbucks has been so successful, it may seem unassailable, untouchable--unavoidable. It's not. In fact, the company has had a very difficult year. ...... Its stock has slid some 40% in the past 12 months, shaving more than $400 million from Schultz's personal bean pile. ....... McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts and several convenience-store chains that have been making a run at Starbucks' customers ...... the zeal of an empire builder .... $10 billion in yearly sales and 16,000 stores in 44 countries ........ John Moore, who was a marketing manager at Starbucks until 2003 and now runs the blog Brand Autopsy ....... Roberts helped Schultz build Starbucks from 1987 to '96 and heeded the call to return as chief creative officer. ..... In 1981 schultz was working in his native New York City for a housewares company when he first traveled to Seattle and stepped inside Starbucks--a narrow store with a worn wooden counter and bins of coffee beans ...... he returned in 1987 with $3.8 million that he'd raised to buy Starbucks and turn it into the company he envisioned. ...... In 1992 Starbucks went public with 140 stores, and from practically the very beginning, the company expanded at a breakneck pace, growing store count 40% to 60% a year. ........ the average store's $1 million annual sales. ..... Tensions over what Starbucks was becoming--cluttered, corporate, soulless--were rising within the company ..... 4,000-some people who work at Starbucks headquarters ..... It was as if he were reassembling the band ....... in downtown Seattle for three days of 14-hour strategy sessions. The retreat started by listening to Beatles music and talking about how great icons reinvent themselves. ....... reinvigorate the "coffee experience." ....... the return of founder CEOs. ...... a brilliant visionary and a genuinely compassionate human being ..... "Entrepreneurs sometimes don't grow with the business. ...... Too much focus on numbers means less focus on customers
Bush to Bypass Laws to Build Fence 670 miles of fence ..... two types of wild cats — the ocelot and the jaguarundi — in even more danger of extinction. They say the fence would prevent them from swimming across the water to mate.

In Speeches, Clinton Often Veers to Dark Side Washington Post In hushed tones, sometimes with palpable sadness in her voice, Clinton tells dark, difficult anecdotes picked up on the campaign trail. They are often related to health matters, culled from her conversations with voters, and are designed to illustrate a policy point. ....... her ability to listen attentively to voters she meets ...... Clinton, who has only recently grown more comfortable talking about herself
Clinton’s Persistence Could Help Obama New York Times and then took a relatively long stroll across the tarmac to her plane ...... at moments she seems almost carefree ..... She recognizes that she probably will not win the nomination. ..... there are still 10 contests to go, with perhaps 43 millions votes to be counted. ...... post-Pennsylvania states where people are thrilled to be part of a process from which they are normally excluded. ..... “This will be the biggest political event in Montana in generations” ...... Pittsburgh had been retrofitted from steel to biosciences
Maureen Dowd: The Hillary Waltz the best way for Obama to prove he’s ready to stare down Ahmadinejad is by putting away someone even tougher
Elite Colleges Reporting Record Lows in Admission Harvard College, for example, offered admission to only 7.1 percent of the 27,462 high school seniors who applied ..... the ease of online applications, expanded financial aid packages, aggressive recruiting of a broader range of young people, and ambitious students’ applying to ever more colleges ..... More than 2,500 of Harvard’s 27,462 applicants scored a perfect 800 on the SAT critical reading test, and 3,300 had 800 scores on the SAT math exam. More than 3,300 were ranked first in their high school class.... “Where we went to college does not set us up for success or keep us away from it.”
On the Campaign: One Bruising Scenario for Clinton Clinton’s best hope now is that Mr. Obama, as a candidate, suffers a political collapse akin to what has happened to the subprime mortgage market ...... Obama has had trouble in competing for Latino voters ..... the potent images of Mr. Wright at the pulpit.
On the Hill: Nancy Pelosi, Mystery Delegate Ms. Pelosi is in a class by herself when it comes to the nominating whirl since, as speaker of the House, she will preside over the Democratic National Convention as chairwoman. ..... the nation’s highest ranking Democratic elected official ...... China is an intensely personal issue for Ms. Pelosi .... would probably be willing to make a pick if she believed it was necessary. ..... she is not about to let a little thing like a historic White House race threaten her plans for an extended House majority.
On the Record: Separating Gender and Political Identity in Clinton Story any Internet search of images of Mrs. Clinton quickly summons “all sorts of visceral and emotional reactions to women, but attached to her” - such as Mrs. Clinton in full attire as the Wicked Witch of the West. Ms. Dolan also noted that gender stereotypes are among the “most engrained,” and argued that much of the news media coverage - from whether Mrs. Clinton was too tough to whether she was crying on cue - played off of those stereotypes. ....... “A lot of men just don’t like her,” said Mr. Kohut. “And that gets us back to the argument, is it something about her, or is it her gender?” ..... “The notion that she is a Rorschach test for where we are on gender issues was true on day one, when we met her, and it’s absolutely true today,” said Ms. Dolan. “So when people say, it’s just her, I don’t buy it.”