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One Thing the Current Border Crisis is not…

us-politics

…is an example of how unsecure the border is.  Indeed, catching the migrants in question coming into the country at the border has not been a problem, what with them turning themselves in and all. As such, this points to a simple fact:  doing a better job of securing the borders is not the main […]

Some Facts for the Immigration Crisis Discussion

travel-suitcase

NBC Bay Area has a pretty good run down of the situation here:  Kids Crossing the Border: What to Know About the Immigration Crisis. A key fact that is useful in trying to determine whether the simplistic narrative that is all about Obama administration policies on immigration or not is the following: Migrant children aren’t […]

That Word Does not Mean…

us-politics

Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) earlier this week on the floor of the House in regards to the ongoing crisis of under-age immigrants at our southern border: Madam Speaker, the World English Dictionary defines “invasion.” Among the definitions is: invading with Armed Forces; but it is: any encroachment or intrusion; the onset or advent of something […]

Some Observations about Common Core

professor-teaching-cartoon

Just some things to consider about Common Core standards.

Delay in Legal Marijuana Sales in Uruguay

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Uruguay legal cannabis sale delayed to next year, says president Uruguayan President Jose Mujica has said the start of legal cannabis sales will be delayed until next year due to "practical difficulties". Sales in state-owned pharmacies were due to begin as early as November. Under the new law the following will be […]

Tally me Banana?

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Cocaine valued at £25m found in banana delivery Cocaine with an estimated street value of £25m has been found hidden in a consignment of bananas from Colombia. Scotland Yard said 150kg of the drug was found packed into plastic bananas following an "intelligence-led" operation. Day-o, indeed.

Chart of the Day

us-politics

The following chart rather dramatically illustrates why talk that our military is being cut back to much is simply not the case.  (It also show why one of the classic blunders is getting involved in a land war in Asia):   Source:  The Business Insider.

Huh?! (Temperature on Mars Edition)

intellectual-invention

“I won’t get into the debate about climate change but I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”–Kentucky state […]

Presidents and Prime Ministers

Presidents

More on instiutional design.

Institutional Design and Governance

constitution-preamble-quill-pen

A piece at Foreign Policy provides a chance to give some thought to institutions.

Ingraham’s Immigration Policy Prescriptions

american-flag

Discussions about immigration policy are, unfortunately, very much like Groundhog Day.

A Quote on Primaries

us-politics

Apropos of my previous post, I just came across this while working on the index of A Different Democracy:  American Government in a 31-Country Comparison: “Primaries mean that the ability of party leadership to shape a party in a particular direction in terms of philosophy or party choice is quite limited.  Rather, the process is […]

A Quick Note on Voters (MS Primary Edition)

Voter-ID-e1301046802166

Parties do not own voters, and the job of campaigns is to attract voters.

“Redskin” as Slang and Slur

us-politics

An interesting read via The Atlantic:    When Slang Becomes a Slur. UPDATE (James Joyner): An excerpt: Whatever the connotations of “redskin” now, the question facing the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board was whether it was disparaging when the team first registered it as a trademark in 1967. [...] That may not have been so terribly […]

Another Capo Caught

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Mexican Tijuana cartel boss Sanchez Arellano ‘captured’ The Mexican army says it has captured the leader of the once-powerful Tijuana cartel, Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano. In the 1990s, the cartel controlled much of the drugs flow from the northern Mexican city of Tijuana to the United States. But it was dealt a […]

No Female Priests for you (Mormon Edition)

church-state-street-signs

Via the BBC:  Mormons oust Ordain Women’s Kate Kelly over women priests The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has excommunicated a prominent backer of ordination of women priests, her advocacy group has said. Kate Kelly, founder of Ordain Women, was notified of the ruling on Monday, a day after a trial by judges […]

The Queen Plays the Game of Thrones

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC: Queen and Prince Philip visit Game of Thrones film set. The trip is part of a three day visit to Northern Ireland. I find this photo quite amusing:

Solar Power in Germany

travel-suitcase

Via the Local:  Germany produces half of energy with solar Analysis from the Fraunhofer ISE research institute showed solar panels in Germany generated a record 24.24 GW of electricity between 1pm and 2pm on Friday, June 6th. And on Monday June 9th, which was a national holiday, solar power production peaked at 23.1 GW, which […]

The Basic Thing about the Bergdahl Swap that Bothers me

Sgt Bowe Bergdahl

Politics.

Significant Drug Gang Arrest in Colombia

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC,  Colombia: Rastrojos members held in Barranquilla raid: Colombian police have arrested 46 members of the Rastrojos criminal gang in northern Atlantico department. They are accused of extortion from shop owners and selling illegal drugs in the coastal city of Barranquilla. President Juan Manuel Santos described the operation as "the biggest blow against […]

Colombia’s Presidential Elections

col-flag

Looking back at the first round and forward to the second.

Colombia’s Presidential Elections, First Round 2014

col-flag

A Photo Essay.

Homeland Security Gone Wild?

us-politics

Ok, I can’t help but think that this is a a rather ridiculous case of over-militarization of the police. Via WSFA:  Troy police given armored personnel carrier The city of Troy’s SWAT team has a brand new tool in its arsenal to help them react to emergency situations, and it’s the only one in the […]

Hashtags and Scorn

travel-suitcase

Look, I agree that the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls will not, in fact, lead to said girls being brought back (see a discussion of this by Megan MacKenzie at The Duck of Minvera). But, I am not sure why it is necessary to be either a jerk about it, a grump about it, or a mocker over […]

Bad News for Democracy

us-politics

Via AL.com:  Where are the candidates? No contests in 20 of 35 Alabama Senate districts on June 3 All 35 seats in the Alabama Senate are up for grabs this election year. But candidates are sparse. There are no contested races in 20 of the 35 districts in the June 3 primary, now less than […]

The Anti-Federalist Impulse

Federalist Papers

Many who speak with great passion about the Constitution rather frequently make anti-Federalist arguments.

In the Land of Cognitive Dissonance…

Cliven Bundy

ATVs for liberty!

New President in Panama

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Outsider Juan Carlos Varela wins Panama election Opposition leader Juan Carlos Varela has won the presidential election in Panama with almost 40% of the votes. Mr Varela, who is currently the vice-president, had distanced himself from outgoing President Ricardo Martinelli. I must confess, it is a bit odd to call the Vice […]

More on Moore

Moore

The line “don’t know much about history” comes to mind.

The Government-Liberty Connection: Hobbes

Hobbes-Leviathan

An ongoing set of considerations on the relationship between liberty and government.

The Government-Liberty Connection: Looking to the Founding Documents

constitution-preamble-quill-pen

The “Founders” founded a government and the “Framers” were framing the basic structure thereof. This should be obvious.

On the Connection of Law to Liberty: An Observation

us-politics

To draw an admittedly imperfect parallel, I would note that the Law of Gravity impedes my perfect freedom, thank goodness.  Freedom from the strictures of the gravitational pull of the Earth would be liberating, no doubt, but then how many other things would I be unable to do without its yoke?

The Basics of Federal Land Ownership in Two Maps

HoraceGreely

How did the west become part of the US?

The Bundy Video

us-politics

Via TPM:  Here’s Video Of Cliven Bundy’s Remarks About ‘The Negro’.

Cliven Bundy on Race

cliv4

Not only does the headline-making rancher have unique views on the nature of both grazing fees and the federal government, he has some positively retro (to use a kind word) views on race.

Bryan Cranston: Prom Broker

movie-popcorn-filmstrip

Via the BBC:  Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston helps fan win prom date

Tales from the Dumb Side

academic-book-glasses

Via the AV Club:  Professor suspended for Game Of Thrones shirt that threatened community college kingdom.

That’s Just Fancy Mini-Golf

movie-popcorn-filmstrip

Via the NYT:  In a Hole, Golf Considers Digging a Wider Among the unconventional types of golf is an entry-level version in which the holes are 15 inches wide, about four times the width of a standard hole. [...] Another alternative is foot golf, in which players kick a soccer ball from the tee to […]

Escobar’s Hippos

travel-suitcase

Via Worldcrunch:  Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Are Running Wild.

Talks in Venezuela

travel-suitcase

Via Reuters:  Venezuela’s Maduro meets opposition as death toll from protests rises Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro cautioned opposition leaders to keep their expectations modest on Thursday as he hosted them for mediated talks intended to stem two months of deadly political unrest. Maduro has held similar meetings previously but this was the first to include […]

More Rhetoric over the Falklands

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  UK Falklands military exercises ‘provoke’ Argentina Argentina has accused the UK of provocation over plans to hold military exercises in the Falkland Islands. It said drills by British forces would include missile launches and were part of a "pattern" of "hostile acts". The British ambassador in Buenos Aires has been summoned by […]

Confrontation Between Rio Police and Squatters

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Clashes as police evict squatters in Rio de Janeiro A huge police operation to evict hundreds of families from abandoned buildings in Rio de Janeiro has ended with violent clashes and some injuries. More than 1,500 police officers had arrived at dawn to evict nearly 5,000 people from the site, belonging to […]

Status of Afghan Elections

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Afghan poll: Abdullah slightly ahead as count continues Partial results from the Afghan presidential vote show former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah slightly ahead of Ashraf Ghani. With about 500,000 votes in 26 provinces counted, Dr Abdullah has 41.9% with Mr Ghani on 37.6%. [...] The partial results gave another main contender and […]

It’s Not Over in Ukraine

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Nato alarm at east Ukraine violence. Lots of details, so just follow the link.

New President in Costa Rica

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Leftist Luis Solis wins Costa Rican presidential poll Luis Guillermo Solis of the centre-left Citizen Action Party (PAC) has won the presidential election in Costa Rica. With almost all the votes counted, Mr Solis had 78%. He had been expected to win after his rival – governing party candidate Johnny Araya – […]

Nigeria’s GDP Largest in Africa

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Nigeria becomes Africa’s biggest economy Nigeria has "rebased" its gross domestic product (GDP) data, which has pushed it above South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy. Nigerian GDP now includes previously uncounted industries like telecoms, information technology, music, online sales, airlines, and film production. GDP for 2013 totalled 80.3 trillion naira (£307.6bn: […]

Afghans to the Polls

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Afghanistan election: Millions vote in presidential poll Eight candidates are seeking to succeed Hamid Karzai, who is barred by the constitution from seeking a third consecutive term as president. [...] Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel said seven million people had voted by 17:00 local time, when the polls had […]

New Argentine Peso Features the Falklands

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Argentina launches Falklands currency note to mark anniversary Argentina has launched a new 50-peso currency note featuring a map of the Falkland Islands to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the invasion of the British archipelago. First, given the debacle that was the invasion of the Falklands/Las Islas Malvinas by the Argentine military, […]

Of Definitions, Real and Straw

us-politics

Charles Koch takes to the pages of the WSJ to fend off the attacks of the “collectivists” against himself, his foundation, company, etc. The piece itself is fairly banal, to be honest.  I am not a fan of the Kochs,* but I will say that he has a point about the unnecessarily personal attacks that […]

Who is Going to Break it to the Cable News Folks?

newsman

Via the BBC:  Missing plane MH370: Malaysia mystery ‘may not be solved’

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