UC Berkeley

How Democrats Missed Their One Chance To Put Rating Agencies in Their Place
July 28, 2011

On Wednesday morning the managing directors of Wall Street’s biggest bond rating agencies lined up in front of the House Financial oversight committee. To the administration and the Treasury, these men currently represent their worst nightmare. In the last two weeks, Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, and Fitch have all threatened to downgrade America’s triple-A debt rating, a move that would cost the government billions in raised interest rates and spark disastrous macroeconomic consequences for the country.

Don't Believe the Hype About Aborigines, Yiddish, or Ebonics
September 02, 2010

LANGUAGE AS THOUGHT: WATCH OUT FOR THE HYPE Judging from how the Times magazine’s excerpt from Guy Deutscher’s new book has been one of the most read pieces in the paper for over a week now, the book is on its way to libating readers ever eager for the seductive idea that people’s languages channel the way they think--that is, that grammar creates cultural outlooks. “Oooh-mmmm!” I heard in a room once when a linguist parenthetically suggested that the reason speakers of one Native American language have prefixes instead of words to indicate mixing, poking, and sucking on food is because they

Don't Believe the Hype About Aborigines, Yiddish, or Ebonics
September 02, 2010

LANGUAGE AS THOUGHT: WATCH OUT FOR THE HYPE Judging from how the Times magazine’s excerpt from Guy Deutscher’s new book has been one of the most read pieces in the paper for over a week now, the book is on its way to libating readers ever eager for the seductive idea that people’s languages channel the way they think--that is, that grammar creates cultural outlooks. “Oooh-mmmm!” I heard in a room once when a linguist parenthetically suggested that the reason speakers of one Native American language have prefixes instead of words to indicate mixing, poking, and sucking on food is because they

BP Stops Leak, But The Gulf Crisis Isn't Over
July 15, 2010

This is welcome news if it holds up: "BP says oil has stopped leaking into the Gulf for the first time since April. BP has been slowly dialing down the flow as part of a test on a new cap. Engineers are now monitoring the pressure to see if the busted well holds." Here's hoping it does. Still, the Macondo site won't be fully and permanently plugged until BP finishes drilling a relief well.

Looking Beyond CO2
March 04, 2010

When it comes to pollutants that alter the Earth's climate, heat-trapping carbon-dioxide gets most of the attention. And rightly so. But there are other pollutants out there that also fiddle with the planet's thermostat in various ways, and they can have a significant impact, too. As the IPCC noted in its 2007 report, aerosol pollution—which includes everything from sulfur-dioxide to particulates—actually has a cooling effect that partly offsets the warming effect of greenhouse gases.

The Good, Bad, And Ugly Of Brooks’s 'moderate Manifesto'
March 04, 2009

David Brooks's "Moderate Manifesto" has attracted much attention, and deservedly so. It is a cri de coeur from a respected commentator who cannot stomach what conservatism has become, but who also cannot embrace what he calls the "transformational liberalism" of the Obama administration. Brooks' critique is fiscal, ideological, and moral--so let's cover the fiscal aspects first.

San Francisco Dispatch: West Bank
June 24, 2002

Isaac Goldstein enrolled at San Francisco State University (SFSU) in part to get away from the anti-Semitism he experienced in the small Northern California town of St. Helena. "I got called a dirty Jew all the time and harassed," says Goldstein, who was one of only three Jews in his high school class of about 120 students. "I thought San Francisco was a liberal, open-minded city and people would accept all kinds of thought." It hasn't quite turned out that way.