Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Post

On this glorious Earf Day....

... a day co-founded by a man who murdered his girlfriend and on the anniversary of the birth of a syphilitic Russian dictator.

Speaking of Russia...

Russia is already feeling economic pain from its Ukrainian land grab-even without tougher sanctions from the West.

A fresh round of violence in Ukraine has prompted calls for Western leaders to ratchet up economic sanctions against the Kremlin. 

But with capital flooding out of the country, the local stock market falling and Russia's currency weakening, the seizure of the Crimea is turning out to be a costly move. 

"Even if a diplomatic solution to the crisis can be found, this may not be enough to prevent Russia from sliding into recession over the first half of this year," according to Neil Shearing, an economist with Capital Economics. 

Investors have dumped assets this year as President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and massed troops on Ukraine's border, fueling a reprise of Cold War tensions and concern that sanctions could push Russia's slowing economy into reverse. 

By annexing Crimea and massing troops on Ukraine's border, the Kremlin has set off a reprise of Cold War tensions that is already having a chilling effect on trade.

But everyone was so sure this was nothing to worry about.

The death toll in the South Korean ferry disaster has now risen to one hundred and thirty-five:

The confirmed death toll from the South Korean ferry disaster rose to 135 Wednesday, but there were many more bodies left to be retrieved as divers swam through tight, dark rooms and passageways to search for nearly 170 people still missing.

The victims are overwhelmingly students of a single high school in Ansan, near Seoul. More than three-quarters of the 323 students are dead or missing, while nearly two-thirds of the other 153 people on board the ferry Sewol when it sank one week ago survived.

But his opinions would be acceptable if he was a transsexual Muslim lesbian, right?

As explained by the Canadian Press, Frank Coleman — the only candidate in the race to replace former premier Kathy Dunderdale as Conservative party leader — was recently outed for attending anti-abortion rallies in the past.

Incidences of "income inequality" some would rather not mention:

Earlier this year, a team of researchers led by Harvard economist Raj Chetty reported that communities with a high percentage of single-parent families are less likely to experience upward mobility. The researchers' report—"Where Is the Land of Opportunity?"—received considerable media attention. Yet mainstream news outlets tended to ignore the study's message about family structure, focusing instead on variables with far less statistical impact, such as residential segregation. 

In the past four years, our two academic professional organizations—the American Political Science Association and the American Educational Research Association—have each dedicated annual meetings to inequality, with numerous papers and speeches denouncing free markets, the decline of unions, and "neoliberalism" generally as exacerbating economic inequality. Yet our searches of the groups' conference websites fail to turn up a single paper or panel addressing the effects of family change on inequality.

(Gracias, El Barto)

India's caste system affects students even in public schools:

At the government school in this north Indian village, 8-year-old Dilip Banwasi is being taught his place.
His third-grade teacher makes him sweep the classroom floor and sit in the back row. 

When it is time for lunch, Dilip—a member of a low social class referred to as "rat catchers"—is among the last few to be served. At recess, his classmates warn, "Don't play with us," Dilip says.

Dilip's experience reflects a significant obstacle to improving social mobility in India: discrimination in schools. 
Roughly half of all Indian public-school students drop out before eighth grade, and most of the dropouts are from lower caste, Muslim or tribal communities, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch.

The report, which looked at four Indian states, places the blame, in part, on discrimination in the public education system.

And now, an Earth Day cake with a rock candy centre. Enjoy.

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