San Diego

Read This Before Sean Hannity Does
July 20, 2010

Speaking of Massachusetts, and related issues, here is my latest column for Kaiser Health News: The weekend’s newspapers included a pair of headlines about health care reform. And they were probably not the kind that reform advocates like to see. One was in the Boston Globe: “Firms Cancel Health Coverage.” According to the article, a number of small businesses had recently decided to stop offering insurance to employees.

The End Of The Hoover Dam
July 09, 2010

Michael Hiltzik has an interesting piece in the Los Angeles Times on the false promise of the Hoover Dam, that great symbol of the New Deal (even though, of course, the dam wasn't actually brought about by the New Deal—FDR had initially campaigned against Hoover's large public-works projects, and only changed his mind once in office). During the postwar era, the reservoir created by the dam helped transform the U.S. Southwest, allowing Los Angeles and San Diego to balloon in size and setting the stage for a major agricultural boom in the region.

Suburban Spies Among Us
July 02, 2010

The revelation that suspected Russian spies have been hiding in the suburbs of major U.S. cities has been regarded by some as a throw back to postwar Cold War novels replete with money drop-offs, hidden identities, and old school technology.  Perhaps the most telling aspect of these Russians’ retro status is their attempt to “fit in” with a suburbia that no longer exists. At least eight of these alleged spies were classic suburbanites replete with dogs, families, or suburban jobs which could be part of any 1950s “welcome wagon” contingent.

June 18, 2010

                    Items worth reading from around the web: Comings and goings: Forbes magazine has a nifty online tool that shows county migration patterns based on IRS data. The numbers are from 2008, however, and don’t take into full account the migration stagnation that has occurred since the onset of the recession. One thing that probably remains true is the status of Texas as a migration magnet--click on Harris (Houston), Travis (Austin), and Dallas counties--due to its relatively decent economic performance over the last year.

Is the Economic Recovery Running Out of Steam?
June 15, 2010

Nationwide, the economic recovery looks more fragile than it did just a few months ago. GDP is growing at a moderate pace but not nearly as rapidly as at the end of last year. Almost no private sector jobs were created in May. The unemployment rate dipped from 9.9 percent in April to 9.7 percent in May, but mostly because fewer people were looking for work. Nearly half the unemployed in May were out of work for more than six months.

Pondering American Imperialism in Dubai, En Route to Johannesburg
June 10, 2010

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— At JFK, waiting to board the Emirates flight to Dubai that the Times Square bomber guy was yanked from trying to flee the country, I sit next to a guy from San Diego wearing a blue USA jersey with the excellent Joe Gaetjens 1950 throwback sash. My unofficial lounge tally: more Mexico shirts (plus two sombreros) than American ones. Then there’s the dude with a rooster mohawk in an Argentina shirt with a “10” shaved above his left temple and—this is the beautiful part—a mirror image “01” above his right.

The Wasteland
April 07, 2010

Where should all the waste from our nuclear power plants go? This isn’t a new question—quite the opposite, it can be shocking to realize how long the debate has dragged out. This past February, in San Diego, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), some of the world’s top experts on nuclear-waste management held a panel discussion. Papers were read. Exciting ideas unveiled. Yet some of the attendees couldn’t shake the sense of déjà vu.

Speaking of Individual Responsibility...
April 07, 2010

Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. The current Pediatrics includes a timely article, which in its way is as frustrating as any account of Tea Party protesters shouting about death panels. The article by David Sugerman and colleagues recounts a 2008 measles outbreak in San Diego. This outbreak began when an intentionally unvaccinated 7-year-old contracted measles on a trip to Switzerland. The boy unintentionally exposed 839 people before the outbreak was contained.

Glorious Misfits
March 30, 2010

Joaquín Torres-García: Constructing Abstraction with Wood San Diego Museum of Art Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective Tate Modern   Anne Truitt: Perception and Reflection Hirshhorn Museum   Formal values are personal values. What holds us in a painting or a sculpture is not art history but an individual’s history, some inner necessity or imperative that has been expressed through the forms available at a particular time. There are classicists and there are expressionists in every age, and the twentieth century was no exception.

Is Education on the Wrong Track?
March 16, 2010

From: Kevin Carey To: Diane Ravitch, Richard Rothstein, and Ben Wildavsky Subject: Looking for answers to the problems plaguing education? Diane Ravitch doesn't offer them.  Apostates always make a good story. So it's been no surprise to see Diane's high-profile repudiation of her ideological fellow travelers, chronicled in The Death and Life of a Great American School System, featured prominently in The New York Times and The Washington Post. The book is selling briskly.