06 April 2010

Relax, We’ll Be Fine

Relax, We’ll Be Fine
The United States already measures at the top or close to the top of nearly every global measure of economic competitiveness. A comprehensive 2008 Rand Corporation study found that the U.S. leads the world in scientific and technological development. The U.S. now accounts for a third of the world’s research-and-development spending. Partly as a result, the average American worker is nearly 10 times more productive than the average Chinese worker, a gap that will close but not go away in our lifetimes.

In sum, the U.S. is on the verge of a demographic, economic and social revival, built on its historic strengths. The U.S. has always been good at disruptive change. It’s always excelled at decentralized community-building. It’s always had that moral materialism that creates meaning-rich products. Surely a country with this much going for it is not going to wait around passively and let a rotten political culture drag it down.

Karzai's Taliban Threat: Afghan Leader TWICE Said He Might Join Insurgency
Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened over the weekend to quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform.

Lawmakers dismissed the latest comment as hyperbole, but it will add to the impression the president – who relies on tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO forces to fight the insurgency and prop up his government – is growing increasingly erratic and unable to exert authority without attacking his foreign backers.

Russia Islamist network takes shape as Caucasus hit by another terrorist attack
Five terrorist attacks that killed almost 60 people in a single week have left Russians deeply shaken.

Some experts worry that an Islamist insurgent network led by Chechen "emir" Doku Umarov, who took responsibility for the suicide bombings that killed 40 people at two Moscow metro stations a week ago, may be preparing to launch a new wave of assaults against Russia's heartland.

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