LA Times automotive writer Dan Neil is proposing to lift General Motors from its economic morass by nationalizing the automaker.
Yes, socialism has worked so well elsewhere (see the USSR, Cuba, North Korea, etc.). And let’s not forget the resounding sucess of government-backed monopolies like the U.S. Postal Service and Amtrak.
GM did pretty well for much of its first hundred years. Now, they’ve fallen on hard times, through much their own fault. It’s not clear how nationalization would improve GM’s odds of surviving, except that GM would have access to a much larger pool of money to lose.
I hope Neil is a better auto writer than he is at understanding economics or political theory.
A former newspaper reporter is calling for Barack Obama to resurrect the Federal Writers Project, to create work for laid off journalists.
Mark Pinsky writes in The New Republic that a revived Federal Writers Project “could begin by documenting the ground-level impact of the Great Recession; chronicling the transition to a green economy; or capturing the experiences of the thousands of immigrants who are changing the American complexion.”
The transition to a green economy? Yeah, that promised to be a best seller.
The original FWP existed from 1935-39 as part of Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration and was noted for compiling interviews with more than 2,000 former slaves. Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 was the most comprehensive set of interviews ever done with ex-American slaves.
Fifty years ago today, baseball Hall of Famer Tris Speaker died. Though he doesn’t have the fanfare of contemporaries like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth or Walter Johnson, Speaker was a true superstar.
He had a career batting average of .345, more than 3,500 career hits and even today, 70 years after he retired, remains baseball’s all-time career doubles leader. If that weren’t enough, he struck out just 220 times in 10,195 at bats.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937, the second year of its existence, alongside the likes of Cy Young, Connie Mack and John McGraw.
For personal accounts of Speaker’s exploits, pick up Lawrence Ritter’s excellent book, The Glory of Their Times : The Story of Baseball Told By the Men Who Played It.
Patriarch Alexy II, 79, was described by the BBC as a “favourite of the KGB,” which added that “he was promoted rapidly through the Church hierarchy, doing the Kremlin’s bidding at a time when dissident priests were thrown into jail.”
Despite helping cover up the repression of Russian Christians and defending the Soviet system to the outside world, Alexy “went on to oversee the revival and flowering of the Church, exuding moral authority and inspiring devotion among his followers,” the BBC said.
In 2007, he presided over a union with a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church whose members fled abroad to escape the Bolshevik Revolution, ending an 80-year schism.