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26 May, 2010

Notes From All Over 26/05/2010


A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit.
 

THE REPUBLIC

Hannah Rosen Atlantic Magazine. July 2008.

Over the last decade crime rates in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago have all shrunk. A great American success story? Not quite. While the crime rates of the big cities fell, the prevalence of gang wars, drug routes, and sexual assaults skyrocketed in the suburbs.  Today it is Memphis, Kansas City, and Nashville that top the homicide lists. Hannah Rosen explains why this transformation took place.


There seems to be a bipartisan consensus on this issue: the debt needs to be stabilized. But just how should we do that? The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has developed a simulator that lets each user try and stabilize the debt themselves. It is harder than most think.

"Will". League of Ordinary Gentlemen. 15 May 2010.

It is common wisdom that the one thing government consistently does right is public transportation infrastructure. It seems the common wisdom is wrong.

 Rapheal Cohen. World Affairs Journal. April 2010.

An intelligent thought piece on the ways in which our current wars will change the way policy is made in the future.


INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

John Burnnett, Marisa Penalosa, and Roberto Benincasa. NPR. 19 May 2010.
An NPR News investigation has found strong evidence of collusion between elements of the Mexican army and the Sinaloa cartel in the violent border city of Juarez.
This is a huge story. Completely ignored by most parts of the American press, but incredibly significant nonetheless. It is worth remembering that we have agreed to help bankroll Mexico's war against the drug dealers. If what NPR reports is true, this was a mistake. The end goals of Mexico City and Washington are simply not compatible. The Mexicans want peace, and are willing to give on cartel a monopoly to achieve it. The Americans want to break the cartels before they get the chance to become entrenched in the United States. It is in Washington's interest to wage the drug war as far away from American streets as possible. Mexico City does not want to wage our wars, and no amount of aid money is going to convince them to do it.

More on this story can be found below:

Bruce Liverly. Montreal Gazette. 22 May 2010.

"Buggs". Borderland Beat. 20 May 2010.


Ethan Gutman. World Affairs Journal. May 2010.

One hears a lot of talk these days concerning the coming revolution of decentralized warfare. While the West has been arguing about it, the Chinese have been perfecting the art. Gutman's history of Chinese hacking - from the first clumsy attempts a decade ago to Party's legion of cyberwarriors now - shows just how states can leverage these processes for their advantage. It is a scary read.

"Boz". Bloggings by Boz. 25 May 2010.

1,200 American servicemen have been sent to the U.S.-Mexican border... but to what point and purpose? As Boz points out, the strategic logic behind this decision has not been explained to the public. Given past history, it would not surprise me if these questions have not been answered because the men at top have simply do not have any to give.


Richard Joseph and Alexander Giles. Brookings Institute. May 2010.

A thorough overview of Nigeria's recent political history and the problems it will cause for President Goodluck Jonathan.

Yigal Scheifer. ISN. 25 May 2010.

On issues of privacy the tide might just be turning. Britain's new ruling coalition has expressed concern with that country's absurdly high number of CCTV units; these protests in Turkey suggest that such concerns are global in nature.

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Ashok Malik. Open Corner. 18 May 2010.

Harsh Pant. Outlook India. 18 May 2010.
China, as seen by the India. I recommend both articles to the armchair geopoliticians among the readership.


Nirmalangshu Mukherji. Outlook India. 19 May 2010.

This is the most valuable article I have read on the subject of the Naxalism this year. Mukherji's editorial is a synthesis of hard-hitting analysis and a wide survey of the available literature. Taking a wide range of CPI-Maoist party documents, government reports, and eye witness accounts of the tribal interior where the insurgency thrives, Mukherji deftly slices apart the myth that the Naxals are helping the Adivasi.

Granted, as long as the Indian government persists in doing things like this, reports of this type matter little. It is still useful for those seeking to understand the dynamics of this conflict, however.


ECOLOGY & THE ENVIRONMENT

Andy Revkin. Dot Earth. 19 May 2010.

A paper published in Nature definitively ends an argument many an advocate of a carbon emissions scheme has used: the clear connection between rising temperatures and high levels of malaria. The problems with this argument should be obvious to any with a sense of history (in the colder world of the 1800s both Illinois and St. Petersburg were notorious for the ague), but this paper goes beyond these limited examples by examining malaria rates on a global scale.

"Fabius Maximus." Fabius Maximus. 14 May 2010.

A useful round up on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the methods that have been deployed to try and manage it.

CULTURE

Claire Berlinski. City Journal. Spring 2010.

In the past decade several men have risked their lives stealing top-secret documents from the Kremlin's archives. While they received political asylum, there has been no interested in the translation or publication of their contents. Americans, it seems, like to leave our past behind us.  (H/T War News Updates).


HISTORY

Lenn Evan Goodman. Journal of American Oriental Society, Vol 92, No 2. April 1979.

I recently read Khaldun's Muqaddihmah. I have not been able to find anything else that explains his thought as well as this essay. (For those without access to JSTOR, feel free to send me an e-mail. I will be happy to send it to you in PDF form.)

Editors. Atlas Obscuria. Last edited May 2010.

A lake is found with hundreds of dead skeletons, all several centuries old.....


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