What to Read on Dominique Strauss-Kahn

How Power Corrupts — Jonah Lehrer

Psychologists refer to this as the paradox of power. The very traits that helped leaders accumulate control in the first place all but disappear once they rise to power. Instead of being polite, honest and outgoing, they become impulsive, reckless and rude. According to psychologists, one of the main problems with authority is that it makes us less sympathetic to the concerns and emotions of others. For instance, several studies have found that people in positions of authority are more likely to rely on stereotypes and generalizations when judging other people.

In the IMF Succession Battle, a Stench of Colonialism — Moises Naim

…only a European can become the new managing director of the IMF, an institution owned by 187 member nations. This arrangement…effectively discriminates against 93 percent of humanity…
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Influential European columnists such as Martin Wolf and Wolfgang Munchau have argued in the Financial Times that given the IMF’s critical role in the rescue of the continent’s troubled economies, only someone with vast political contacts in the region can operate effectively there.

Funny how such consideration never seemed to come up when Asia and Latin America had their own financial crises in the 1990s.

The IMF: Violating Women since 1945 — Christine Ahn & Kavita Ramdas

IMF-mandated government cutbacks in social welfare spending have often been achieved by cutting public sector jobs, which disproportionately impact women. Also, as social programs like caregiving are slashed, women are expected to take on additional domestic responsibilities that further limit their access to education or other jobs.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), IMF loans have paved the way for the privatization of the country’s mines by transnational corporations and local elites, which has forcibly displaced thousands of Congolese people in a context where women and girls experience obscenely high levels of sexual slavery and rape in the eastern provinces.

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Ask Your Congressman for Big White Hospital Ships

I promised you more depth on a new U.S. foreign policy if you told your friends to visit Trading Eights and I saw a spike in traffic. Sure enough, the past week saw 60% more viewers than the previous week. I have a hunch that a good portion of that is because I started putting music videos on the site, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. The following excerpt comes from a column I wrote in the Hazleton Standard-Speaker in October 2008 after meeting Admiral Mullen. The previous week, I had criticized both the media and Senators McCain and Obama for “a myopic approach to foreign policy” in the first debate.   Continue reading “Ask Your Congressman for Big White Hospital Ships”