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Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Der 3. November 2020 – der Tag der Entscheidung für den Westen

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2020

Joschka Fischer was German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005, a term marked by Germany’s strong support for NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999, followed by its opposition to the war in Iraq. Fischer entered electoral politics after participating in the anti-establishment protests of the 1960s and 1970s, and played a key role in founding Germany’s Green Party, which he led for almost two decades.

BERLIN – Das Jahr ist noch jung- und dennoch ist bereits heute seine Bedeutung abzusehen. Es wird ein Jahr der Weichenstellung, zumindest aus westlicher Sicht. Denn am 3. November 2020 findet die wichtigste Entscheidung des Jahres statt, die, soviel lässt sich bereits heute sagen, wahrhaft historische Bedeutung haben wird. An diesem ersten Dienstag im November wählen die USA ihren Präsidenten. 

Amerikanische Präsidentschaftswahlen waren und sind immer wichtig, weil dabei über die Führung der mächtigsten Nation für die Dauer von vier Jahren entschieden wird. Diesmal lautet aber die konkrete Frage, ob der amtierende Amtsinhaber, Donald Trump, wiedergewählt wird oder nicht, er also vier weitere Jahre erhalten wird, um die von Amerika seit den vierziger Jahren erfolgreich geschaffene liberale Weltordnung und deren Allianzen zugunsten eines engstirnigen Nationalismus weiter zu zerstören und am Ende gar die Demokratie und die Gewaltenteilung in den USA selbst zu gefährden. Ob er also das Mandat für vier weitere Jahre der Systemveränderung erhalten wird oder nicht. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wall Street Can’t Burn Bernie

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2020

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, The Age of Sustainable Development, Building the New American Economy, and most recently, A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism.

America’s plutocrats and their media allies are certain that US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is unelectable, or that, if somehow elected, he would bring about the collapse of the republic. This disdain is both telling and absurd.

NEW YORK – The narcissism and Panglossian cluelessness of the Wall Street elite is a marvel to behold. Sitting on their perches of power, and enjoying tax breaks, easy money, and soaring stock markets, they are certain that all is best in this best of all possible worlds. Critics must be fools or devils.

When I have mentioned my support for US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in their company, it has been to audible gasps, as if I had invoked Lucifer’s name. They are certain that Sanders is unelectable, or that, if somehow elected, he would bring about the collapse of the republic. To varying degrees, the same sentiments can be found even in “liberal” media outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post.This disdain is both telling and absurd. In Europe, Sanders would be a mainstream social democrat. He wants to restore some basic decency to American life: universal publicly financed health care; above-poverty wages for full-time workers, along with basic benefits such as family leave for infants and paid leave for illness; college education that does not drive young adults into lifelong debt; elections that billionaires cannot buy; and public policy determined by public opinion, not corporate lobbying (which reached $3.47 billion in the United States in 2019). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Who will benefit most from the data economy?

Posted by hkarner - 23. Februar 2020

Date: 20‑02‑2020

Source: The Economist

It is already unequal and that inequality could get worse

The data economy is a work in progress. Its economics still have to be worked out; its infrastructure and its businesses need to be fully built; geopolitical arrangements must be found. But there is one final major tension: between the wealth the data economy will create and how it will be distributed. The data economy—or the “second economy”, as Brian Arthur of the Santa Fe Institute terms it—will make the world a more productive place no matter what, he predicts. But who gets what and how is less clear. “We will move from an economy where the main challenge is to produce more and more efficiently,” says Mr Arthur, “to one where distribution of the wealth produced becomes the biggest issue.”

The data economy as it exists today is already very unequal. It is dominated by a few big platforms. In the most recent quarter, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook made a combined profit of $55bn, more than the next five most valuable American tech firms over the past 12 months. This corporate inequality is largely the result of network effects—economic forces that mean size begets size. A firm that can collect a lot of data, for instance, can make better use of artificial intelligence and attract more users, who in turn supply more data. Such firms can also recruit the best data scientists and have the cash to buy the best ai startups. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump: “screw Amazon” out of the JEDI contract – backfires

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2020

Date: 15‑02‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Subject: Federal Judge Halts Pentagon Cloud Contract

Decision is a win for Amazon and a blow for Microsoft

WASHINGTON—In a win for Amazon.com Inc., a federal judge ordered the Pentagon on Thursday to halt work on the massive JEDI cloud‑computing contract awarded to rival Microsoft Corp.

Judge Patricia Campbell‑Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued a preliminary injunction to block the Pentagon from proceeding in response to a lawsuit from Amazon contending improper influence from President Trump.

Mr. Trump, a Republican, has blamed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for unfavorable coverage of his administration in the Washington Post, which Mr. Bezos bought in 2013. The Post says its editorial decisions are independent. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Worst Enemy

Posted by hkarner - 15. Februar 2020

Date: 14‑02‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

He needs to stop tweeting about cases and let Barr do his job.

After his Senate impeachment acquittal, we wrote that President Trump’s history is that he can’t stand prosperity. Well, that was fast. The President’s relentless popping off this week about the sentencing of supporter Roger Stone has hurt himself, his Justice Department, and the proper understanding of executive power. That’s a notable trifecta of self‑destructive behavior even by his standards.

Mr. Trump handed another sword to his opponents when he fulminated on Twitter about the initial recommendation of a seven‑to‑nine year prison sentence for Mr. Stone. He is right that such a sentence would be excessive. Mr. Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, which often receives minimal jail time. His conviction for witness tampering was more serious but involved a faux‑macho threat (“prepare to die”) that even the witness said he didn’t take literally.

*** Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump Wants to Double Spending on AI, Quantum Computing

Posted by hkarner - 13. Februar 2020

Date: 12‑02‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

White House budget calls for annual spending of $2 billion on AI and $860 million on quantum within two years

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios says the country faces a ‘global power competition’ for AI, quantum computing and other critical technologies.

The White House on Monday proposed roughly doubling nondefense research‑and‑development spending on artificial intelligence and quantum information sciences, citing fierce global competition, while cutting overall funding for R&D.

The proposal is part of President Trump’s $4.8 trillion federal budget for the fiscal year ending in September 2021. A White House budget isn’t binding; it signals an administration’s areas of focus for congressional budget negotiations in the year ahead.

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Amazon Seeks to Question Trump Over Pentagon Contract

Posted by hkarner - 12. Februar 2020

Date: 11‑02‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

E‑commerce and technology giant says president steered huge cloud‑computing contract away from Amazon

The Defense Department said there were no external influences in awarding the pact, which is valued at as much as $10 billion over the next decade.

WASHINGTON— Amazon.com Inc. asked a judge to allow it to depose President Trump in the company’s legal battle to overturn a Pentagon decision awarding a huge cloud‑computing contract to rival Microsoft Corp.

The Amazon motion, made public Monday, says that Mr. Trump’s bias against Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos “is a matter of public record. Even before taking office, President Trump campaigned on a promise that Amazon would ‘have problems’ if he became President.”

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Trump unbound

Posted by hkarner - 10. Februar 2020

Date: 07‑02‑2020

Source: The Economist: Lexington

Donald Trump is acquitted by the Senate, adored by his supporters and wholly unrepentant

In announcing her decision to vote to acquit Donald Trump this week, Susan Collins said she believed the president had learned a “pretty big lesson” from his impeachment. When next tempted to extort a foreign leader to frame a political rival, the senator from Maine predicted, he would be “much more cautious”. Another view is that, having established Congress’s inability to restrain him, because of the tribalism of Republicans such as Ms Collins, Mr Trump may feel even more emboldened to disregard any rule or convention that stands in the way of his interests. His third state‑of‑the‑union address, delivered to a packed House chamber on the eve of his acquittal on February 4th, offered evidence for that.

Unlike Bill Clinton, who expressed contrition during his mid‑impeachment sotu speech, Mr Trump did not mention his Ukraine scheme or Senate trial it occasioned—which ended in his acquittal on partisan lines the next day: Mitt Romney was the only Republican who voted to convict. Yet he had already repudiated Ms Collins, telling journalists he had nothing to learn, because his approach to President Volodymyr Zelensky was “perfect”. And his sotu performance underlined that he truly believes this.

For most of American history, the annual presidential report to Congress was delivered by letter, because of Thomas Jefferson’s fear that a live address might seem too kingly. Yet an elected despot, with fawning courtiers and freedom to mingle personal and public interests at will, is what Mr Trump aspires to be. It is what he maintains, in his claim to unbridled executive power and attacks on institutions that would constrain him, it means to be president. On the eve of his party’s final capitulation to Trumpism, his last pre‑election sotu was an enactment of that unAmerican fantasy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Everyone Loses on Huawei

Posted by hkarner - 30. Januar 2020

Date: 29‑01‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

Britain OK’s Chinese network equipment, but not too much of it.

The U.K. government on Tuesday unveiled a long‑awaited new policy on Huawei equipment in its telecom network, and it’s hard to find anyone who comes out a winner. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has landed a punch of sorts on the Chinese company, but also managed to give his own administration a black eye.

The cabinet’s ruling, undergirded by a report from Britain’s National Cyber Security Center, deems Huawei equipment a threat to national security, but then still allows some of that kit in Britain’s telecoms networks. British companies will be barred from using the Chinese gear in core parts of their fiber‑broadband or 5G cellular networks, such as routers and software that control the flow of traffic across the network. Huawei components will be allowed in non‑core functions such as antennae, subject to geographical restrictions around sensitive sites and also a cap of 35% on Chinese equipment in the network. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Like It or Not, Automation Is Coming: We should embrace its benefits

Posted by hkarner - 26. Januar 2020

Date: 25‑01‑2020

Source: Scientific American By Erica Jedynak, Taylor Barkley

Like It or Not, Automation Is Coming

More than a century ago, the great composer John Philip Sousa worried about the future of his profession. He feared that a new invention, the record player, would render obsolete “the ennobling discipline of learning music,” putting professional musicians out of work. Sousa’s works have stood the test of time, but judging by the hundreds of music schools and tens of thousands of full and part‑time musicians in America, his prediction has not.

Fear of technological progress is as old as technology itself, especially when it comes to its effect on employment. That is exactly what we are now seeing with automation, which is being described as a threat to the well‑being of Americans. We also hear warnings of millions of workers in the retail, call‑center, fast‑food and trucking industries getting kicked to the curb. More ominously, we are told of possible mass riots, leading to violent deaths and widespread destruction of property.  To ward off this impending social upheaval, some have proposed that the government guarantee everyone over 18 an income, whether they lose their job or not. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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