the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

Archive for July, 2009

Antitrust Chief Hits Resistance in Crackdown

Posted by ecoshift on July 26, 2009

Antitrust Chief Hits Resistance in Crackdown – NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s top antitrust official and some senior Democratic lawmakers are preparing to rein in a host of major industries, including airline and railroad giants, moving so aggressively that they are finding some resistance from officials within the administration.

The official, Christine A. Varney, the antitrust chief at the Justice Department, has begun examining complaints by the phone companies Verizon and AT&T that their rivals — major cable operators like Cablevision and Cox Communications — improperly prevent them from buying sports shows and other programs that the cable companies produce, industry lawyers said.

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Why personal change does not equal political change

Posted by ecoshift on July 13, 2009

Food for thought. I’m not sure I see the options as quite so stark, but I do agree that consumer power is limited. It’s like trying to drive a car without a steering wheel…

Forget Shorter Showers | Derrick Jensen | Orion Magazine

“WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?”


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California: Teetering closer to junk

Posted by ecoshift on July 7, 2009

California: Teetering closer to junk
By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Last Updated: July 6, 2009: 7:17 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — California’s bond rating is far from golden.

Citing the Golden State’s ongoing budget upheaval, Fitch Ratings on Monday downgraded California’s long-term debt to BBB, one category above junk bond status. The next step is BBB- before the state’s bonds would be considered speculative debt.

Fitch also maintained its so-called negative outlook on California. “[I]nstitutional gridlock could persist, further aggravating the state’s already severe economic, revenue and liquidity challenges,” Fitch wrote.

The agency had downgraded the state to A- on June 25.

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‘Greedy’ trees

Posted by ecoshift on July 6, 2009

‘Greedy’ trees still leave room for the little plants
06 July 2009 – New Scientist

While they might hog the bulk of the resources, trees still leave enough “crumbs” for smaller neighbouring plants to eke out a living, researchers say. The finding contradicts previous notions of plant competition and adds support to a new view of how a plant’s size affects the survival and composition of its neighbouring species.

Previously, it was assumed that trees and other large plants monopolized sunlight, water, and other available resources, limiting the number of smaller plant species that can coexist in their vicinity. Research in greenhouse settings supported this view.

Now a study of forests in southern British Columbia shows that larger plants do not always correlate with fewer species in an area.

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