You are currently browsing the daily archive for January 20, 2009.
And that’s limited to men of working age. Here’s the article. The report for the Oxford-led study is published at The Lancet, but I don’t feel like paying for a subscription just to read the article, which summarizes as follows:
The rapid privatisation programme, part of a plan known by economists as ‘shock therapy’, led to a 56 per cent increase in unemployment, which the study says played an important role in explaining why privatisation claimed so many lives. Many employers provided extensive health and social care for their employees, so through privatisation workers experienced the ‘double whammy’ of losing not only their livelihood but also their means of surviving the crisis.
However, while life expectancy plummeted in some countries, like Russia and Kazakhstan; the populations’ health steadily improved in other countries, such as Slovenia. Previous research shows that unemployment and levels of alcohol consumption are major factors behind these differences, but this study is thought to be the first to isolate aspects of the reforms process that might cause these variations. It finds that death rates are linked to the speed and type of privatization and resulting unemployment – and also to the level of social support available. If at least 45 per cent of the country’s population were members of at least one social organisation, such as a church or trade union, they were better protected from the economic shocks, the authors found.
The summary provided by the Lancet for free includes these summaries of methodology and findings:
MethodsWe used multivariate longitudinal regression to analyse age-standardised mortality rates in working-age men (15—59 years) in post-communist countries of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union from 1989 to 2002. We defined mass privatisation programmes as transferring at least 25% of large state-owned enterprises to the private sector within 2 years with the use of vouchers and give-aways to firm insiders. To isolate the effect of mass privatisation, we used models to control for price and trade liberalisation, income change, initial country conditions, structural predispositions to higher mortality, and other potential confounders.associated with increased mortality rates (3·4% [95% CI −5·4 to 12·3]; p=0·44).
Mass privatisation programmes were associated with an increase in short-term adult male mortality rates of 12·8% (95% CI 7·9—17·7; p<0·0001), with similar results for the alternative privatisation indices from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (7·8% [95% CI 2·8—13·0]). One mediating factor could be male unemployment rates, which were increased substantially by mass privatisation (56·3% [28·3—84·3]; p<0·0001). Each 1% increase in the percentage of population who were members of at least one social organisation decreased the association of privatisation with mortality by 0·27%; when more than 45% of a population was a member of at least one social organisation, privatisation was no longer significantly associated with increased mortality rates (3·4% [95% CI −5·4 to 12·3]; p=0·44).
I’ve been told by email that all of the Bush Street signs in San Francisco have been covered with Obama stickers. If so, and nobody got caught, it had to have been a large group of well-organized people.
The photo comes from sfgate where you can find photos of lots of inauguration events around the Bay Area.
Addendum: It was probably the same group who did this in 2001. Thanks to a Calitics poster for mentioning it.
And this gentleman has been arguing for a name change for two years.
We’ve a new president. I watched it with my family and a bunch of kids at Cecil’s. Thanks to Rebecca for making that happen. I may have some photos of the kids watching the changeover later on. None of the aging hippies in the room seemed to be even remotely cynical. Quite the moment.
I actually enjoyed the festivities, particularly the presentation of what was essentially the Travelling Wilburies of classical music.
A couple of lost opportunities. It would have been really funny for Obama to have turned to President Bush after making the oath and said “you have the right to remain silent….”
Another was Poet Elizabeth Alexander’s moment when she should have said “in honor of the presence of Rev. Rick Warren I’m going to recite Howl for you…”
They just didn’t ask me!
The photo of the million-strong crowd comes from sfgate.
More throughout the day.
Addendum: Okay, let’s see if I can embed this.
Okay, I’m feeling a little bit like Chief Justice Roberts right now. I’ll have to work on this later.
Second addendum: Heraldo saw our very own Brenda Starr on TV at the inauguration.
Nelson Mandela calls Obama “a new voice of hope.”
Meanwhile, 22 minutes into the new presidency, right winger Michael Goldfarb is already blaming Obama for Iraq. He was patient. Rush Limbaugh blamed Obama for the recession a couple of months ago.
And the Republicans are blocking Hillary Clinton’s confirmation vote. Really, really stupid politics on their part.
Third addendum: According to this report, if I’m reading the order of events right, the WH secretaries had some executive orders ready for him to sign “before he even left the building.” Before he left the building to take his oath? Are those orders even valid if he hadn’t sworn in yet?
Fourth addendum: Speaking of Rush Limbaugh, he’s in top form today:
I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, “Well, I hope he succeeds. We’ve got to give him a chance.” Why? They didn’t give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated the search-and-destroy mission had begun.
Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy collapsed at the inaugural lunch.
Oh, and this just in: non-believers are Americans too!
Fifth addendum: Rahm Emmanuel’s first act is to shut down Bush’s late hour regulations.
And Kos has a “preemptive memo to wingnuts and PUMAs:
No, the fact that Roberts and Obama tripped over the oath doesn’t mean that President Obama isn’t actually President Obama. Nor does his birth certificate. Nor does that fact that he was born in August, or in 1961. Sorry! He’s your president now!
Nyah nyah nyah.
Kos by the way is my age. Chronologically.
I voted for Obama and I’m upbeat about the change in power, but my tolerance for mindless hoopla is limited so my news watching has been greatly limited in recent days. I don’t want to hear about what people are wearing to the inaugural (unfortunately I listened long enough tonight to hear that Michelle Obama hasn’t yet decided what she will wear to the inauguration nor the ball afterward); which celebs will be present; why Sarah Palin didn’t attend the dinner Obama held for McCain; what the throngs crazy enough to be within a hundred miles of Washington DC have to say about hope and change; and whining from the nuttier elements of the right wing about the fact that Obama will use his middle name for the ceremony.
So I thought I could trust Fox to throw water on the hoopla and Sean Hannity did me one better. He ignored it altogether. Instead he conjured up another wannabe scandal about the new White House Counsel Greg Craig. Apparently he once represented a Panamanian accused of killing an American soldier and advocated for him. Then there was something about foreign lobbyists getting to Obama through him.
There was something about the price tag of the inaugural celebration, but I didn’t make it that long before I was sufficiently bored to allow my wife to change the channel to that show about the couple with like 40 kids due to invitrio insemination without complaint.
Today we celebrate the Reverend Martin Luther King’s birthday. He would have been 80 last Thursday. Normally I’d post something about the King nobody likes to discuss citing some of his more radical speeches and writings. Probably his opposition to the Vietnam War. Maybe point out that he was killed only when he started fighting with unions and thereby expanding his concerns from merely race issues to class issues. Or maybe I’d provide a littany of the people who hated King when he was alive but became great fans once he was dead and safe as an icon rather than agent for change (now some are even claiming he was secretly a Republican). Well, here’s a little speculation on what King might tell Obama. It has a little substance. Nothing earth shaking.
You know how we left wingers like to revel in the fact that Boy Scouts sing This Land is Your Land and point out that it was written by a communist? We often talk about those radical verses that the Boy Scouts don’t learn until their first college sit-in. Well, Pete Seeger doesn’t have much of a voice left these days. But he did manage to inject, with the help of The Boss, those verses into today’s concert for Obama.
Cool to see someone blacklisted by McCarthy performing at an inaugural concert. I don’t know if it’s a first, but it’s still a milestone.
The concert also featured Beyonce singing America the Beautiful, a song which many liberals have argued over the years is a more appropriate national anthem than a song about the War of 1812 adapted from a drinking song. Am I patriotically incorrect for not liking the Star Spangled Banner? Shouldn’t the song be more about the country than the flag? Plus, America the Beautiful is easier to sing. Of course I’d be happy with This Land was Made for You and Me.
One note about the video from someone posting at the Youtube site:
What a fabulous and moving show-stopper…But did you notice that the primary lead vocals were coming from Tyler (I think that is his name?)- Pete Seeger’s grandson? While the cameras stayed on Pete and Bruce, ironically the richest voice was coming from this young man. Hope we hear more from him in the future…time to pass the torch!
Wondering what President Bush did tonight? The embedding on this video is disabled, but you can watch it through this link.
Cool cover for The Nation this week.
In respect for the 20 senior officials who will skip the festivities and head for the White House immediately after the swearing in, I bring us back to business with Dissent’s virtual panel discussion about the first 100 days.
Addendum: Bishop Gene Robinson’s kick-off prayer.