Monday, March 28, 2016

Will Donald Trump implode all on his own?

Hubris was one of the tragic flaws of the characters in the Greek plays.
It often led to individual or communal tragedy.

WP -- Attacking Cruz’s wife could hurt Trump with female voters

In a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 70 percent of women had a negative opinion of Trump. Nearly three quarters of women overall, and 39 percent of Republican women, had an unfavorable view of him in a recent CNN poll.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

How the Epidemic of Drug Overdose Deaths Ripples Across America

How the Epidemic of Drug Overdose Deaths Ripples Across America

The number of these deaths reached a new peak in 2014:47,055 people, or the equivalent of about 125 Americans every day.

How to kill: America's death penalty dilemma

How to kill: America's death penalty dilemma

With supplies of lethal injection drugs running low and new sources increasingly difficult to come by, states are grappling with alternatives. Virginia is the latest.

Its solution: Bring back the electric chair.

Hillary’s Soft Despotism

The first precedent for judicial review.

In his Second Institutes and as a judge and eventually chief justice of the King’s Bench, Coke attempted to extend the “common right and reason” of natural law and common law to include procedural concepts of due process (Forkosch 1973). In Dr. Bonham’s Case (1610), for example, he stated that the Royal College of Physicians, which had been incorporated by Parliament, could not act as judges, ministers, and the recipients of fines. In what was to become known as Coke’s Dictum he declared an Act of Parliament void: One cannot be judge in his own case.... And it appears in our books that in many cases the common law will control Acts of Parliament, and sometimes adjudge them to be utterly void. For when an Act of Parliament is against common right and reason, or repugnant, or impossible to be performed,the com- mon law will control it and adjudge such an Act to be void.

Hillary’s Soft Despotism

She prefers the hidden authoritarianism of the vast and growing administrative state.

In the American iteration, at least, this often means the same federal agency that writes the rules also enforces and adjudicates them—a confluence of powers Madison once called the “very definition of tyranny.”

Climate Change

National Geographic
If Ice Melted Map

Planetary Visions
The Last Ice Age Map

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Obama Doctrine

The Atlantic -- Jeffrey Goldberg
The Obama Doctrine

A very long but illuminating article on Obama’s perspective on foreign policy

If you are a supporter of the president, his strategy makes eminent sense: Double down in those parts of the world where success is plausible, and limit America’s exposure to the rest. His critics believe, however, that problems like those presented by the Middle East don’t solve themselves—that, without American intervention, they metastasize.

WSJ -- Brett Stephens
Barack Obama Checks Out

A critical review of the article.

“In his place, an exact look-alike of Mr. Obama is giving interviews to Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, interviews that are so gratuitously damaging to long-standing U.S. alliances, international security and Mr. Obama’s reputation as a serious steward of the American interest that the words could not possibly have sprung from the lips of the president himself.”

Friday, March 11, 2016

Losing control of internet domain names appears to be just another bad deal.

The president of ICANN should not have any conflicting interest and indeed there should be a financial disincentive for him to support any new international entity. -- Mario Trujillo
Internet domain handoff takes major step forward

A major step was taken Thursday in the U.S. government's plan to hand off oversight of the Internet domain name system.

A nonprofit international group approved a plan and forwarded it to the Obama administration Thursday for review and approval.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and some others have continued to resist the transition, however. He has said Congress should have to vote before the administration signs off, but he has not succeeded in requiring that. Recently, he has accused the outgoing president of ICANN of having conflicts of interest.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Important world events other than the U.S. primary elections

International New York Times
Democracy’s Disintegration in Turkey

If there was any doubt about why the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seized the newspaper Zaman last week, consider this: Within 48 hours after the takeover, the paper began publishing pro-Erdogan propaganda.

CNN - Dana Ford
North Korea threatens nuclear strike over U.S.-South Korean exercises

North Korea warned it would make a "preemptive and offensive nuclear strike" in response to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that began Monday.