This is one of those slightly hokey surveys that measures the happiness of nations. Done by the Gallup World Poll and written up for Forbes by Francesca Levy, its results are not entirely surprising. Rich countries generally do better than others, although Saudi Arabia ranks 58th just ahead of Pakistan. Almost three times as many Saudis are “struggling” than “thriving.” On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates (which is a country made up of wealthy scions and resident ex-pats) and Kuwait register respectably 20th and 23rd. So how about Egypt?
A good question! Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski suggest not. Their argument, summarised by Tim Harford, runs more or less like this: - England do about as well as you’d expect, given their size, economic power, proximity to football’s “core” in Western Europe, and footballing history. That is, you’d expect them to usually make the last 16, sometimes make the last 8, occasionally make the last 4 and make the final very rarely. And they do. - Managers don’t make much difference to a team’s expected performance.
Via Joe Klein, here's Rush Limbaugh confronting the increasingly likely enactment of health care reform: I'll just tell you this, if this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented--I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica. As Karen Tumulty notes, Costa Rica has actual government-run medical care. Maybe the Hawaii experience awakened Limbaugh's inner socialist?
When Manuel Zelaya was deposed as president of Honduras with the support of the Supreme Court, the National Congress, the attorney general and most of his own party, much of Latin America went into conniptions about safeguarding the constitution. Of course, that was precisely the issue. Zelaya was about to traduce the constitution, which forbade extension of the chief executive's term, precisely his intention. This is common in the lower part of the Western Hemisphere, and it is the opus operandi of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Zelaya's chosen instrument was a referendum, the tool of tyrants.
Can we stick a price tag on nature? And even if we can—does that mean we should? In recent years, ecological economists have argued that people will never value natural resources properly unless that value can be expressed in terms of dollars and cents.
Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus GarveyBy Colin Grant (Oxford University Press, 530 pp., $27.95) I. In the pantheon of the past century's African American leaders, Marcus Garvey holds an exceedingly ambiguous place.
Where were you when you learned about the fall of the Wall? Me, I was in a grubby, dimly lit roadside police station in rural Costa Rica. Having just emerged from two days of shooting rapids on a rubber raft through jungle mountains, followed by a morning at a remote, coconut-covered beach on the Atlantic coast where the sand and the inhabitants alike are mostly black and mostly untroubled, I was out of touch with everything except the elements.
MANAGUA—There is a small chance that the causes of peace, democracy, and hemispheric security could be advanced by the Arias plan signed by five Central American presidents in Guatemala on August 7. This could occur if democrats outside Nicaragua (especially Democrats in the U.S. Congress) are uncharacteristically shrewd and stalwart in forcing the Sandinistas to live up to the accord they signed. Timetables need to be drawn up for Sandinistas to meet, leading to full, representative democracy.