Thursday, June 03, 2010

Brave New World? At What Price Lower Prices?

We posted previously about Foxconn here and the Chinese company is again in the news at Why Apple and Others Are Nervous About Foxconn.

News that Really Matters : Has American Car Culture Peaked?

Richard Florida at The Atlantic in The Great Car Reset refers to an article -- The End of Car Culture -- by Nate Silver at Esquire magazine and to a similar article by Jack Neff at Advertising Age -- Is Digital Revolution Driving Decline in U.S. Car Culture? -- which provide evidence that America's car culture has peaked.

What will take its place?

Speaking of "Judges": Armando Galarraga Throws a Perfect Game, but Umpire Joyce Blows a Clear Out Call at First Base with 26 Batters Down : Video Proof : Baseball Commissioner Lets Decision Stand

Two down, one to go in the 9th inning of a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Armando Galarraga on the mound has thus far thrown a perfect game for the Tigers. Are the umpires ready? The ball heads for the plate. Strike 1. The next pitch is low. Ball 1. On the next pitch Jason Donald hits a slow grounder into the hole between first base and second base. It is fielded by the first baseman Miguel Cabrera who throws it to first base, where Galarraga, covering first base, catches the ball one split step ahead of Donald. OUT!

Wait a minute!The umpire at 1st base, Jim Joyce, calls the runner SAFE! Is the man blind, or is the mustachioed umpire subconsciously seeking a place in the history books?

Umpires are a colorful element of baseball, but they do not always get the calls right, as the video below proves -- unequivocally. This may go down as the worst blown call in the history of baseball, costing Armando Galarraga a legitimate perfect game. On the other hand, perhaps because of this judging error, it will remain the best known perfect game that never was. Life, as they say, is neither fair nor just, and much is often dependent on how other people see it, rightly or wrongly.The lesson here for judges in the courts is that when the chips are down, pay attention, be alert and don't drop the ball! Joyce -- dropped it. (We are thinking here of Bilski).

Update: Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is letting the umpire's decision stand

Legal Accountability for the Disaster in the Gulf: The Obama Administration Takes a Stand : A Full & Vigorous Accounting

Here is an email that I received from the WhiteHouse concerning the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the actions that the Obama Administration is taking with respect to it:

Good afternoon,

Yesterday, President Obama and I met with former Senator Bob Graham and former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly who will chair the bipartisan BP Oil Spill Commission. The President has tasked the commission with conducting a full and thorough investigation of the cause of the BP oil spill.

As the President stressed in his remarks, the Administration will do everything in our power to ensure the American people never have to face another crisis like this one again:
If the laws on our books are insufficient to prevent such a spill, the laws must change. If oversight was inadequate to enforce these laws, oversight has to be reformed. If our laws were broken, leading to this death and destruction, my solemn pledge is that we will bring those responsible to justice on behalf of the victims of this catastrophe and the people of the Gulf region.
You can watch the President's remarks on the bipartisan BP Oil Spill Commission here:

Watch the Video

Last week, I travelled with President Obama to Grande Isle, Louisiana. The President heard heartbreaking stories from the Mayor of Grande Isle, David Carmadelle, about fishermen who didn't know where their next paycheck would come from and residents who watched in horror as oil washed up on the shores threatening fragile coastal ecosystems and their way of life.
To be clear: BP is responsible for this oil spill, and we will make sure that BP and any other responsible parties pay not only for the cost of the cleanup, but also for the economic damages suffered by people living in the region whose livelihoods have been affected or destroyed by the spill. We will hold BP and other responsible parties accountable. And where government officials have been too cozy with the oil industry -- a problem that goes back a decade -- we will clean house.

In the coming weeks and months, the bipartisan commission will hold public hearings and request information from the government, experts in the oil and gas industry, and relevant companies with the full support of the President and the Administration.  In six months, they will deliver a report to the President with their findings and options developed to ensure that a tragedy like this one never happens again.

In the meantime, we will continue to make every effort and listen to every idea to stop the damage, contain and clean up the oil, and help the people of this region return to their lives and livelihoods. You can track our progress and find additional information and resources on the ongoing Administration-wide response to the oil spill on the White House website:


Carol Browner

Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change


Contact the White House

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

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