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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Some Facts about the Baltimore Meltdown

Riots in Baltimore the last two weeks come as a very delayed reaction to the death in police custody of a young, unemployed black man.  The press hasn't been emphasizing this as a white cop/black male issue so much, perhaps because Baltimore has a police force that is 50 percent black (along with the police commissioner) and a political leadership that is majority black.  Over the last few weeks, that leadership has performed as badly as Ferguson's did.

What really happened to the original victim?  As is usual in these cases (see Ferguson), the facts take a long time to seep out.

It has been discouraging to read about Baltimore lately.  It is a good, authentic city with a lot of history. Of course some of that history is violent.  Lincoln has to travel through Baltimore in disguise to get to his inaugural in 1861.  I lived there briefly in the 1980s.  Fun place--I drank my share of "Natty Bows"--but you had to stay on your toes.

I post this article as one of the few I've read lately that doesn't blame race for every problem.  A Journalist who has lived there for 30 years 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

More Dangerous Fallacies on Iran

Congressman Tom Cotton became famous for sponsoring a letter to the Grand Ayatollah, which threatened Congress would nix the nuclear agreement.  I link here his interesting interview in The Atlantic, in which he explains that in security matters, it is best to eliminate problems when they are small, before they become big.  The Iran Deal May Lead to Nuclear War

Good advice.  Except some security problems never become big, or unmanageable.  We effectively manage lots of them:  our southern border is "managed,"  Cuba, a "state sponsor of terrorism" until (apparently) yesterday, has long been "managed."  Why?  Because they never become bigger problems or really that threatening.  Maybe we should have just continued to "manage" the Iraq problem, although Tom thinks we could have obtained a better outcome.

Is Iran such a problem that can be managed?  We had been doing it.  Is the worst case scenario really that Iran may start a nuclear war, as Tom warns?   Or is it really that a fifth-rate power will get an expensive weapon that isn't useful or particularly influential?

Tom thinks that Iran gains too much from this deal.  Well, it needs to gain something substantial, or there will be no deal, or a deal that Tehran has every incentive to break.  Same for us.

Anyway, the interview is worthwhile if only for the rare experience of reading a journalist's tough questions and a congressman's honest answers.  Good for both of them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Where's Snowden?

Here's an interesting interview with Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov on how Snowden is being handled.   He is shielded from Russian journalists, who might be expected to be sympathetic to him.  Interesting too that Snowden's latest public comments hinted that he'd be open to compromise on coming back to the U.S.   See Snowden is Acting Strange

This article also has interesting speculation about the Nemtsov assassination, and the recent "hack" of the White House, which was really a phishing expedition.  

Someday, you will come home, Edward.   Probably as an exchange after we round up some Russian "diplomats" in Washington.   It must have been discouraging to find out you are merely a trading card to be used by Putin at his pleasure.

By the way, the Daily Beast is a great source for these types of stories.  Check it regularly.

Greetings to Mighty Whig readers in France!  And to the Le Salon Beige blog:  http://lesalonbeige.blogs.com/my_weblog/web.html