Digest – Feb 14 2010

The weekly round-up:


Tom O’Connor of Progressive Economy on government policies and the revamped spin being put on them. Read the comments too.

Ronan Lyons with a great piece of analysis on men between 20 and 24 and unemployment;

These astonishing figures add up to almost 100,000 job losses in a segment of the population that had only 175,000 employed at the peak of the boom. Over 55% of jobs for young men have disappeared. One occasionally hears the argument that, as bad as things are, an increase in unemployment of ten percentage points means that 90% of us are in more or less the same position now as during the boom. What these figures show is that while the rest of the economy has lost perhaps about 10% of its jobs, young men have lost more than half theirs.

Rob Kitchen of IrelandAfterNama puts his finger on it.

The Cedar Lounge has the best piece on the George Lee thing. (The Tribune has a four page spread on it today, four pages! Plus other stories on Lee on the news pages. It happened Monday!)

Damien Mulley’s FOI on wasteful government spending on a now-scraped website is on his blog.


Lots of Simon Johnson this week; firstly in the Wall Street Journal with Peter Boone, ‘The Greek Tragedy that Changed Europe‘. Next on The Baseline Scenario with this very readable piece of in-depth economic writing from a US perspective on Europe (part of his testimony to the US Senate Budgetary Committee). Lastly, Waiting on the G7 On the Euro.

Again on The Baseline Scenario, James Kwak writes about survey results.

Adam Curtis of the BBC is asked ‘do people heckle?‘ He doesn’t think so…

Is it that they have come to see their politicians as creatures who no longer have any ideas or vision, and who have absolutely no idea or understanding of what is happening in the world, so there is no point in heckling them any longer?

Or is it that we, the people, have no ideas and no understanding of the world ourselves? That we have no vision any longer of what the world could be like, or what changes we would like made – so we have nothing to say? And thus nothing to heckle about.

Mark Urban, also of the BBC (diplomatic and defence editor of Newsnight), reviews his feelings about Iran on his blog.

Rachel Maddow fillets US republicans for their hypocrisy on Obama’s stimulus package in the video below. It’s good stuff, though a pity it was on MSNBC, which is fast becoming the Fox News of the Left (it’s even more partisan than previous years with Obama now in office). Preaching to the converted and all that jazz; undermines the journalistic value of what is said. Al Jazeera is where it’s at, journalism junkies (I recommend The Listening Post particularly).

Anyway, Maddow is worth watching, though she does drag it out an lickle-ickle bit near the end

John Cassidy of The New Yorker has simple [visual] memo to Allen Greenspan and Ben Bernanke.


The aforementioned Adam Curtis had a short piece on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe about fear-mongering in the media. I’m a Curtis fan, this piece is – as always – thought-provoking, though a little confused at the end. His style is fascinating, but his reliance upon the hypothesis that everything is related can become stretched, especially in short pieces like the one below. Still, if you do get a chance to watch The Trap – his best work in my opinion take it. It’s TV that’s good for your mind, even if you disagree with him. You can watch it by clicking the links on this blog [follow my link then do ctrl+F and type ‘trap’].

TV3 could do with having a think about that clip. I’d be interested in seeing the research on which the basis for their latest number of ‘documentaries’ about massive upsurges in burglaries and violent crime being caused by economic recession is based. They’ve been infected by Donal McIntyre ‘journalism’, it appears.

Lastly, Battlespace have a photo slideshow on the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions by a group of independent photojournalists which should be viewed. It’s the first time I’ve seen wounded and dead American soldiers on film. It’s important that the West sees these things. Mutilated bodies and blood warning, obviously (and sadly). Click Enter Exhibition.