The Future of Water: On the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act

October 19, 2012

When the Clean Water Act was passed by Congress forty years ago under a Republican administration, I was a clueless college undergraduate at Yale. Laws belonged to those serious looking law school students around the corner, perhaps including two I may have passed crossing the quad: Hilary Rodham and Bill Clinton. The environment? It seemed good to me. If I had been questioned, I could have testified, walking with school friends to the banks of the Providence River in Rhode Island to watch the river in flames like the Cuyahoga in Ohio, that triggered the calls for federal clean water standards. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Hidden Metrics of Shadow Inflation: Kudos to Jack Welch

October 8, 2012

Last week’s most fleeting image –reflected, then disappeared into the 24/7 news cycle — was the sight of a steely-eyed Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, accusing the Obama administration of cooking the books of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was there. Then it was gone.

“Can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch complained. For a instant, one could recognize Bush appointees rushing to the defense of the BLS bureaucrats. Then they were gone, too.

But wait. Not so fast. Read the rest of this entry »


Mapping Our Insecurities: The Meaning of Apple’s Map Meltdown

October 2, 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook — astride the world’s largest company by market valuation — made an extraordinary admission of failure last week. In its new iPhone 5 and operating system software, engineers delivered an unreliable maps application. Consumers were outraged. Cook gently steered the offended to competitors’ products as an alternative until Apple does better. Read the rest of this entry »