Archive for the ‘economy’ Category

“Capital, it fails us now / one day all will be living on credit.” These lyrics, from the great agit-punk band the Gang of Four, never seemed more appropriate.  It seems that just about every advanced industrial state in the world is heavily in debt and on the verge of collapse while the citizenry in […]

occupy oakland


Tuesday’s violent early-morning dispersal of the Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza doesn’t come as much of a surprise, even if the reason for the raid given by Oakland’s acting chief of police — that there was a worry about sanitary conditions at the encampment — was surprising enough for Peter Sagal of NPR’s Wait Wait […]

Distance traveled: 230 miles (370 kilometers) Route: From Peninsula, Highway 8 to Interstate 271, then 271 to I-90, I-90 to I-86, 86 through New York until it meets Highway 219, and then south to Bradford. I left Peninsula later than I expected, which isn’t really surprising since there was good conversation with old friends, as […]

Today it’s Christmas in Osaka and, appropriately enough, this afternoon we had the first flurries of snow of the winter season.  Not really enough to stick, but it’s still nice to go stand outside while the soft, white flakes slowly navigate their way to the ground. Since it’s the Christmas season I’ve been teaching Dickens’s […]

This summer on my quasi-annual return trip to the United States I decided that I wanted to travel by train, rather than flying.  This decision was partially to do with the fact that flying is one of the most carbon-unfriendly activities around, but equally due to the fact that I’ve come to despise air travel […]



Toward the end of July and the beginning of August, swarms of swallows began to appear every evening above the small pond that’s located in the middle of the suburban neighborhood where I live in the north part of Osaka.  I think the pond is intended to function primarily as a form of flood control, […]

What’s the smell of capitalist crisis?  It’s the smell of new carpet, freshly laid linoleum, and fiber-board cabinetry being released into the wind as homes that are so new they haven’t even been lived in yet are ripped apart by demolition tractors.  The absurdity of new homes being ripped to the ground immediately after having […]