North Korea

January 12th, 2012 → 6:41 am

    “The patient dies while the physician sleeps;
    The orphan pines while the oppressor feeds;
    Justice is feasting while the widow weeps;
    Advice is sporting while infection breeds.” – The Rape of Lucrece

The people of North Korea – the sick, the orphaned, the widowed – deserve more.  There really isn’t much more to add.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Republican Presidential Debates

January 10th, 2012 → 8:42 am

“[He] speaks an infinite deal of nothing.” – The Merchant of Venice

There are so many Republican presidential debates this election year!  And none of the candidates seem to say anything new or interesting…

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Bashar al-Assad

January 8th, 2012 → 6:42 am

“The king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make when all those legs and arms and heads chopped off in a battle shall join together at the latter day and cry all ‘We died at such a place.'” – Henry V

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to kill his people.  The siege of Hama last July was the worst, in part because of the historical symbolism of the place, but these latest protests and deaths are pretty bad too because they indicate that Assad just isn’t getting the message.  It is time for him to go!

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Iowa Caucus

January 2nd, 2012 → 7:11 am

“Men prize the thing ungained more than it is.” – Troilus and Cressida

It’s going to be interesting to see who wins on Tuesday, but in the end, it probably doesn’t matter much.  I bet Mitt Romney will be the ultimate Republican nominee regardless.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Durban Climate Agreement

December 18th, 2011 → 6:08 am

    “O ruined piece of nature, this great world
    Shall so wear out to naught.” – King Lear

I keep reading that the U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa last week were a success.  Really?  So very little was accomplished regarding actually decreasing emissions that it doesn’t seem that way to me.  The problem, of course, is that everyone is worried about the economy instead right now.  Which is why I became an economist 15 years ago in the first place – because I saw how fundamental it was to so many other, more important issues.  If only economics weren’t a social science, but a hard science, and we could jerry-rig things to work as we pleased…

Filed under: Blog & Economics/Money & Politics/Politicians

Newt Gingrich

December 14th, 2011 → 8:15 am

“I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men.” – Henry IV, Part II

This pompous line was said by Falstaff, a comedic, rotund character who regularly thought far too highly of himself (remember that “wit” often referred to intelligence in Shakespeare’s day).  Who doesn’t think Newt Gingrich is a modern day Falstaff?

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Vladimir Putin

December 10th, 2011 → 7:52 am

    “The laws are mine, not thine. 
    Who can arraign me for’t?” – King Lear

I woke up this morning to find that the protest bug has hit Russia too.  Apparently thousands gathered Saturday morning in Moscow to protest apparently rigged elections in Putin’s favor.  I hope the rally is a success; Putin is a demagogue who seems to think that Russia is his personal playground. It’s time for him to go already.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Republican Presidential Field

December 6th, 2011 → 6:55 am

“There’s small choice in rotten apples.” – The Taming of the Shrew

Need I say more?

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Syria & Turkey

December 4th, 2011 → 6:29 am

    “After summer evermore succeeds
    Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold.” – Henry VI, Part II

I’ve been fascinated lately with the morphing relationship between Syria (and President Assad) and Turkey (and Prime Minister Erdogan).  Just a few years ago they were the best of friends, with a warm, laughing relationship.  Now Turkey is imposing sanctions on Syria and Erdogan is lecturing Assad like a grandmother.  It is really, truly fascinating to watch.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians


November 10th, 2011 → 7:07 am

    “…we cry that we are come
    To this great stage of fools.” – King Lear

Originally I was thinking that this quote fit the Republican presidential debate last night (and in particular the gaffe by Perry).  But the more I think about it, the more it seems to fit everything that is going on right now.  The political leaders in Europe and their poor handling of the debt crisis, the shocking sexual abuse cover-up at Penn State, a number of my colleagues at work.  It really makes one want to throw up their hands and cry!

Filed under: Blog & Economics/Money & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People