Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


Stumble of the Week

  • A123 Systems, the battery maker for electric cars, filed for bankruptcy this week. One of the Obama administration’s investments in alternative energy, A123 had also sought a huge infusion from China to prop it up. The lesson, I think, is that, while the federal government should support research and development of new technologies, it should not back individual companies.
  • Clear Channel, a subsidiary of Bain Capital, is refusing to clarify who paid for hundreds of billboards against voter fraud that appeared in largely minority urban neighborhoods in Wisconsin and Ohio. A Clear Channel spokesman wrote NPR that, although anonymity violates company policy, the contract was signed “by mistake” and the billboards will stay up. No word on why the same “mistake” was made in 2010.
  • Sanctimony took a double hit, as the Boy Scouts, who have a long history of opposition to diversity, atheists and gay people, released 15,000 pages of documents that revealed decades of sexual abuse and thousands of victims; and Lance Armstrong was finally unmasked as a cheater. Both have done many good things, and yet the legacy of each is forever tarnished by arrogant secrecy.
  • Koch Industries continued to push the limits of corporate hypocrisy by providing a ham-fisted list of approved candidates to all 50,000 employees, spending millions on political advertising, and requiring company approval for employees seeking public office.
  • Finally, me. Apologies for my technical ineptitude that sent yesterday’s blog directly to many spam folders, which some of you have suggested is their proper destination, and then compounding the ineptitude by showering you with duplicates.

A Modest Proposal (Updated)

Oh, Canada