Smart Links 06 March 2012
Commentary on the terrible nuclear dilemma in the Middle East, Israel’s troubled democracy, Greece’s certain default, wage inequality in the United States, robot surgeons, the problem with economics, and John Ivison moves in for the kill.
The thinning red line.
Financial Times -- America and the Middle East: An explosive mix
Just minutes after Barack Obama reassured a pro-Israel lobby group in Washington on Sunday that, when it comes to Iran, “I have Israel’s back”, Mitt Romney went on the attack against the US president.
Foreign Affairs -- What Happens After Israel Attacks Iran
Since its birth in 1948, Israel has launched numerous preemptive military strikes against its foes. In 1981 and 2007, it destroyed the nuclear reactors of Iraq and Syria, operations that did not lead to war.
New Yorker -- Threatened
Democracy is never fully achieved. At best, it’s an ambition, a state of becoming.
Telegraph -- Greek default looms as voluntary debt deal looks set to fail
European leaders are braced for the eurozone’s first ever sovereign default this week as Greece’s efforts to secure a €206bn (£172bn) “voluntary” bond swap looks increasingly unlikely.
Related. Thanks to David of Victoria.
Pdf below -- Unintended Consequences (Europe's Folly)
Unequal outcomes in the USA.
Atlantic Cities -- The Inequality of American Cities
Inequality is shaping up to be one of the biggest issues in the 2012 presidential election. The Occupy movement may have waned since last fall, but its focus on the privileges of the top one percent has yet to go away.
A good friend of mine had prostate surgery recently. He had a choice between a human and a robot. With human intervention he was expected to stay in hospital for four days recovering with a high risk of permanent nerve damage. With the robot he could leave a few hours after the operation with a much lower risk of permanent nerve damage. The catch was that in British Columbia he had to pay $4,000 for the robot to do the procedure because it was not covered. Not only is that unfair, it’s stupid.
The Atlantic -- The Robots of Medicine: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Costs?
The image is an entertaining one: A robot-doctor rolls into a surgical suite in scrubs and gloves and asks its human assistants, "So, what are we doing to this guy today?"
Paul Krugman on the death of economics.
New York Times -- Economics in the Crisis
To say the obvious: we’re now in the fourth year of a truly nightmarish economic crisis.
John Ivison is one of Canada’s best political journalists and that is not just because I have felt the sharp edge of his pen from time to time. Watch John in the coming weeks methodically go in for the kill.
National Post -- Tory database likely key to cracking robocall mystery
Stephen Harper and Guy Giorno, his campaign manager, have come over like T.S. Eliot’s Macavity the Cat in relation to the robocalls saga — whatever time the deed took place, they weren’t there.
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