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posted by Mike on August 15th, 2007

Bye Nicole!

Darfur death toll
Interesting NYT op-ed on how some think the Darfur death toll has been exaggerated. Eric Reeves responds. Back in 2005, when we made our Darfur movie, we used a very high number based on Eric Reeves’s latest estimate, which he later revised downwards. I think that criticizing Darfur stats is an important part of public discussion of this issue, and is very different from attempts to claim there’s nothing untoward happening in Darfur; I’ve criticized that sort of attempt before.

Worcester, an immigrant sanctuary?
Buck Paxton:

So in reality, the only bad that could come from Worcester becoming a sanctuary city is a 450% increase in the quality of local food offerings and maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to afford to have a guy mow my lawn. But, Worcester being what it is try explain that to the locals who feel compelled to scapegoat anything that may out their own failings.

Related: Should newspapers run letters that aren’t factually accurate?

South Bend: mural vanishes (2006 vs. 2007)
Give Thanks To The Migrant Farmworkers

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Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Like you, I’ve recently begun experimenting more with social networking sites. On a recent podcast, Steve Ely offered Ely’s Heuristic:

My new rule of thumb for social sites is this: If we’re not hoping to work together, or sleep together, please don’t ask me to join stuff.

(The accompanying short story, “Reggie vs. Kaiju Storm Chimera Wolf,” is worth a listen too.)

Dr. Bronner podcast
Sara Lamm talks about her new Dr. Bronner documentary. Includes a clip of Dr. Bronner’s son Ralph talking. Ralph is a big supporter of the Milwaukee Catholic Worker. I once talked with him for 20 minutes, and based on that limited experience I’d agree with Lamm that he is “an incredibly enthusiastic and generous person.”

Wealth of Networks audiobook, tweaked
There’s now a podcast feed for my audiobook of Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks. If you use iTunes, an easy way to download the audiobook is to subscribe to the feed.

Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, uber nothin’
Nice essay on Wal-Mart’s lackluster present and prospects:

The company’s growth rate has slowed to a crawl, overtaken by rivals once thought to be no match for the “beast of Bentonville.” Average annual profit growth lags that of Target Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp. and other competitors. Wal-Mart’s repeated efforts to push upscale merchandise have ended in tears. Expansion at home is still thwarted by hundreds of U.S. communities; and several forays abroad are struggling or have been scrapped. The stock price is down 32 per cent since the turn of the century, when CEO Lee Scott took the reins, while the Morgan Stanley retail index has soared 180 per cent.

Some in Worcester have been resisting a Worcester Wal-Mart, in part because W-M cannibalizes local business, leading to fewer jobs and less opportunity for entrepreneurs to get a start. That resistance is looking better all the time.

Related: 5 business lessons from Costco

And, a few more links:

Published in: Items | on August 15th, 2007 | Permanent Link to “Items” | No Comments »

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