Wednesday, September 14, 2016

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture ...

A People’s Journey, A Nation’s Story Welcome to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

The Grand Opening will be September 24th

2016 Democratic Party Platform

The 2016 Democratic Platform calls for the abolition of the death penalty.

Criminal Justice

“We will abolish the death penalty, which has proven to be a cruel and unusual form of punishment. It has no place in the United States of America. The application of the death penalty is arbitrary and unjust. The cost to taxpayers far exceeds those of life imprisonment. It does not deter crime. And, exonerations show a dangerous lack of reliability for what is an irreversible punishment.”

Diversity Instead of Unity Is Pathway to Chaos

Emphasizing Diversity Instead of Unity Is Pathway to Chaos
Real Clear Politics -- Victor David Hanson

Emphasizing diversity has been the pitfall, not the strength, of nations throughout history....For some reason, contemporary America believes that it can reject its uniquely successful melting pot to embrace a historically dangerous and discredited salad-bowl separatism….America's melting pot is history's sole exception of E pluribus unum inclusivity: a successful multiracial society bound by a common culture, language and values. But this is a historic aberration with a future that is now in doubt.

Equality as an affirmation of our common humanity

College Costs

The Inflation of College Costs

The simple chart below from the American Enterprise Institute beautifully illustrates the absurd inflation of college tuition and textbooks over the past 20 years. In real terms, the cost of college has effectively doubled over that time period.

Now what would cause such massive inflation? Could it be our government tripping over itself to provide cheap student loans for children to spend on vacations, iPads and kegs (i.e. "college"; see "What Student Loans Are Used For: Vacations, iPads, Kegs, Entertainment"). Or, per the Daily Caller, perhaps the issue is administrative bloat at our institutions of higher education: The exact reason prices have increased so much has been hotly debated, but one critical factor at most schools is administrative bloat. While student to faculty ratios have remained relatively steady over time, the number of administrators and other non-teaching staff has exploded at schools across the country.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Obama and Iran

Obama and Iran: A Misguided Messianic Mission
Real Clear Politics -- Peter Berkowitz

Desperate to strike a deal to avoid the embarrassment of betraying the president’s promise to employ military force to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, the administration acquiesced to a cascading series of Iranian demands. Instead of requiring the complete dismantlement of Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities, the administration agreed to their reduction and regulation. Instead of banning the development of ballistic missiles, whose main purpose could only be the delivery of nuclear weapons, administration permitted it. Instead of barring weapons trading, the administration allowed it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Erdogan has his own agenda which is often in conflict with that of the United States.

The New York Times -- The Associated Press, Aug 28, 2016
Syrian Rebels Advance on Kurds as Turkish Strikes Kill 35
Turkey-Backed Rebels Expel Kurdish Forces From Syrian Towns

Rebels backed by Turkey made major gains Sunday in northern Syria, expelling Kurdish-led forces from towns and villages as part of a determined campaign by Ankara to push the militants east of the Euphrates River.

The operation, labeled Euphrates Shield, is also aimed at pushing back U.S.-allied Kurdish forces. The fighting pits a NATO ally against a U.S.-backed proxy that is the most effective ground force battling IS in Syria.

The New York Times -- Tim Arango and Ceylan Yeginsuaug, Aug 17, 2016
Turkey to Release Tens of Thousands of Prisoners to Make Room for Coup Suspects

Since the failed coup, Turkey has once again become the world’s leading jailer of journalists.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Overstaying VISA's.

Why the U.S. Still Can't Track Visitors Who Overstay Their Visas
The Atlantic -- Steven Brill
Proposed “entry-exit” systems seem simple but have succumbed to real-world complications.

Even if the airport and seaport problems could be resolved, the inability to deal with the higher percentage of people exiting the U.S. over land whose exits could not be recorded would make any alarm system targeting those not reported to have left on time subjec to false alarm rates of 50 percent or more.

So despite spending $600 million on failed pilot projects, there is still no Entry-Exit system.

In the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, 527,000 overstayed their visas.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Register to Vote!

How to Register to vote in every U.S. State and Territory

“Voting: If you want to have your say at the ballot box there are a few things you need to know.
Rules vary widely from state-to-state, and some requirements, like voter ID laws, are still being hashed out...”