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Archive for May, 2011

On Burning Down the House…

[ 11 ] May 31, 2011 |

Good catch by Media Czech on the consequences of anti-government speech. Turns out that some forms of violent radical extremism are more equal than others…


New Research on Global Agenda-Setting

[ 1 ] May 31, 2011 |

My inaugral post as an LGM rookie (we lost it in the changeover: here’s the cross-posted version) was entitled the “Top Twelve Emerging Human Security Issues of the Next Decade.” Those of you who have followed my writing know I’m especially interested in candidate issues that for one reason or another get neglected relative to others that end up being more prominent in global policy networks.

As many of you know, this is part of a longer book project on the politics of issue selection in advocacy networks. Since I’m taking a break largely to make time to actually write up the book version of what I’ve found on that score, I thought I’d at least leave you with the slick glossy report version of a piece of the project: our descriptive findings from focus groups with human security practitioners.

We’ve written that report so as to be fun and easy to read by non-academics, but as an academic let me just highlight an interesting finding we downplay in that report, on the composition of the human security network itself. Read more…

Winger Memories

[ 8 ] May 31, 2011 |

Ah, Online Integrity — the blogosphere’s short-lived and even more risible companion to the Euston Manifesto. It was important for one reason: as the parody site almost immediately got more attention than the real one, it was a rare example of the blogosphere actually being self-correcting.

Beginning of the (Working) Week Links

[ 22 ] May 31, 2011 |

The Kid

[ 22 ] May 31, 2011 |

Very sad news.

I will admit that, as someone whose love for baseball started with the Dick Williams-era Expos, that Carter was never one of my favorites. His rah-rah and theatrical hustle, while not as extreme as Pete Rose’s, were still pretty irritating, and he was easy to hate if you weren’t rooting for him. But it also made him one hell of a player, one who waited way too long to get into the Hall — Ivan Rodirguez, for example, was never the player Carter was in his best years. And while we think of Game 6 as a Red Sox loss, the Carter hit that started the rally should be remembered. What made him irritating ensured that he never quit. I’m sure he’ll bring the same spirit to the disease he’s been inflicted with.

Moron FIFA

[ 15 ] May 31, 2011 |

I recognize that I’m carefully flogging a dead horse here, but things are moving apace.  The Guardian has a good live blog on the ongoing patheticness.  The news today is that both the English and Scottish FAs have called for the election tomorrow to be postponed.  Yesterday’s allegations included the surprising suggestion that Qatar might have bought the 2022 World Cup.

Blatter, of course, now facing precisely zero opposition, is quite clear that Qatar 2022 will go forward.

Tells You What You Need to Know

[ 48 ] May 31, 2011 |

When Republicans take power, they generally try to make the electorate smaller and more affluent.


[ 72 ] May 30, 2011 |

The Ohio State University: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Disaster Relief Post Waiting to Happen

[ 1 ] May 30, 2011 |

In my Notice and Comment thread joejoejoe requested a pre-hiatus blog post on disaster relief:

Can you talk about the some of the current trends in disaster response? Is there a conflict between the the practical requirements of humanitarian response and the need for state authorities to project control?

If I understand his second question correctly, the general answer in my view is yes, but I’m not going to be able to deliver a proper commentary on this in the next couple of days. So instead, regarding the first, let me point to some of the smartest blogs I know of on the general topic of humanitarian relief.

First, check out ConflictHealth by Christopher Albon – a source I’ve valued on human security and disaster relief. A lot of the coverage is focused on conflict zones rather than natural disaster relief, but he covers both, emphasizing the importance of security to disaster relief in particular.

Second, read The First Tranche, AidData‘s blog written by Mike Tierney and his colleagues. You may find this post on foreign aid allocations interesting, and also these two posts that are tagged with “disaster relief” – I especially like the second because it deals with developing countries as providers of relief.

Third, the Humanitarian Practice Network is a great resource for professionals and students of this burgeoning industry. Here is their equivalent of a blog, with regular posts by various members of the community. They tend to be NGO-humanitarian-relief-worker oriented rather than donor state oriented, but this has the effect of giving you a good sense of practical dilemmas faced by those on the front lines of this work.

Finally, I was saddened to realize when I went to link that AidWatch is going off the air. However the blog will remain on the site, and it’s chock full of links to humanitarian and development blogs and other resources. (There’s also a fascinating info-graphic there on the relationship between religion and income level in the US and some of you may find interesting.)

Pima Raid

[ 47 ] May 30, 2011 |

Read David Axe’s fantastic account of the Pima County SWAT raid:

The May 5 assault by a Pima County SWAT team on an address on Red Water Street, outside Tucson, was meant to apprehend a suspected member of a “rip crew” — a team of heavily-armed thugs, working for one of the cartels, that steals drugs from rival cartels. The special-weapons team, made up of at least seven men and seen in the leaked helmet-camera footage above, would pull up in a “Bearcat” vehicle — a sort of law-enforcement-optimized Humvee. Then they’d bust into the single-story house, hold the occupants at gunpoint and serve a search warrant, looking for drugs, illegal weapons and other evidence of cartel involvement. Just another day for a team accustomed to risky missions.

But something went very wrong. And within seconds of ramming in the door, the SWAT team opened fire, killing Jose Guerena, the owner of the house. Guerena, a 26-year-old Marine veteran, reportedly confronted the police with an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, possibly to protect his wife kids, who were huddled in rooms behind him.

Let’s say it again; there is no remaining plausible defense for the War on (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs. Whatever interest the state may have in controlling consumption of certain substances is clearly overwhelmed by the economic, social, and legal cost of enforcing prohibition.

Long Weekend

[ 9 ] May 30, 2011 |

Rock out. With Jonathan Richman covers.


[ 188 ] May 30, 2011 |

This wouldn’t have been my first choice:

John F. Kennedy will have a second aircraft carrier named after him.

The Navy announcement came Sunday, on what would have been the president and World War II naval veteran’s 94th birthday.

Designated CVN-79, the carrier will be the second in the Gerald R. Ford class of carriers. The first, the Gerald R. Ford, CVN-78, is scheduled to be delivered to the fleet in September 2015. It was unclear when the John F. Kennedy would be completed and delivered.

I dunno; seems to me that the USS Roosevelt could be renamed “Eleanor Roosevelt,” thus freeing up FDR for a second carrier. On the upside, at least they didn’t name it after yet another Republican President; with Harding, Nixon, Hoover, and Bush II still toxic, we might have been stuck with the USS Calvin Coolidge or the USS William Howard Taft…

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