Michael Wolraich's picture

    Upgraded!

    Hi folks, I want to offer my gratitude to everyone who helped out with the dagblog upgrade, both those who tested the new site and those who contributed to the development cost. I received $424.22, which by coincidence almost exactly covers the cost. You guys are the best!

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    Ramona's picture

    These Children Are Lost and They've Entered Our Village

     

    Thousands of Latin American children have been arriving in the U.S. over the weeks and months, in scenarios more like that of a fictitious screenplay than of real life.  Out-of-control gangs, drug cartels, and corrupt government officials are the antagonists in horror stories of a kind we can only imagine. Poverty, exploitation, rape, torture, murder--so common now in Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, there is little chance those countries will ever float free.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Jaws and Climate Denial

    There is no better Fourth of July movie for my money than Jaws. I would watch it at least twice every Independence Day weekend if that wouldn't bore and annoy my spouse. It was designed and filmed so carefully that time has transformed it into a beautifully accurate period piece, capturing the New England beaches of my 1970s childhood in loving detail. Time has also turned it into something else it was not originally meant to be: a parable about the dangers of denying climate change.

    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    True Personhood

    The moment I saw him, I knew something was different. He was a giant, in his way, and he seemed to be involved in everything. He was no ordinary man. He was a person. He was General Electric.

    "We bring good things to life," General Electric told me. And I believed him.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Religious Freedom vs, Religious Privilege (or, Franklin vs. Penn)

    The version of "religious liberty" currently promoted by the American right, best exemplified by the Hobby Lobby decision and the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," is not only a recipe for future religious disputes and persecution. It represents an approach to religious freedom that has already created trouble. It was tried and abandoned so early in the American Experiment that most of us don't learn it in school.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Get Things Wrong

    Leslie H. Gelb's op-ed in The New York Times this morning struck me as important. I don't know if he's right that Iraq needs some sort of unified, three state confederation.  It seems reasonable to me. I'm sure it's more complicated than it sounds. But, consider this:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Your Boss Makes A Lot Of Decisions For You

    Doctor Cleveland says this morning

    "Your religious freedom is yours, alone. It does not belong to your employer, to your landlord, or to anybody else. The deepest stupidity of the inane Hobby Lobby decision is that it uses religious freedom to let your boss take away your religious freedom. That is not acceptable. And it is not sustainable. Five allegedly rational Supreme Court justices have just opened the door to vicious religious conflict. Because letting your boss make your religious decisions is not acceptable, and over the long run people will not accept it."

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Religious Liberty vs. Hobby Lobby

    Let's start with one thing. It is not acceptable for my boss to make my religious decisions. It is not acceptable for your boss to make your religious decisions, or for somebody else's boss to make religious decisions for them. Your religious freedom is yours, alone. It does not belong to your employer, to your landlord, or to anybody else. The deepest stupidity of the inane Hobby Lobby decision is that it uses religious freedom to let your boss take away your religious freedom. That is not acceptable. And it is not sustainable.

    Ramona's picture

    Today Five Members of the U.S. Supreme Court Moved Us Closer to a Theocracy

     

    Today the Supreme Court ruled that private, family-owned businesses--in this case, Hobby Lobby--could opt out of paying for contraceptives if their objections to them are based on the owners' religious beliefs.

    The case came to the attention of the Supremes when the Affordable Care Act included this mandate:

    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Domestic Policy People Think, Part I

    Here is a Wonkblog article by Zachary A. Goldfarb about why taxes have to eventually rise on the middle class.  Whether or not you buy that premise, look at this:

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Valkyries' Lament

    There is something odd about the chorus of criticism against President Obama's foreign policy. Normally, the age-old debate over military intervention revolves around a particular conflict. From WWI to the Iraq War, hawks and doves have always squabbled over the ethics, efficacy, and necessity of attacking a particular enemy at a particular time.

    But Obama's critics haven't focused on any particular conflict or enemy. They speak of the peril in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Ukraine, and the South China Sea. They warn of threats from Putin, Khamenei, Kim Jong-Un, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, or, more generally, dictators, fanatics, and terrorists. George W. Bush's Axis of Evil has become a Legion of Doom with new enemies, like ISIS, regularly joining the pantheon of international bad guys.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part VI

    This is easier to write than Rocky!  It does all of its own work.  I'll try to stop soon. But this, from Brookings, is hard to take.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part V

    Today's edition is about track records.

    Here is Anne Marie Slaughter, more than a year ago in the Washington Post, telling us all exactly what would happen, and how the world would react, if the U.S. failed to act militarily against Assad in Syria:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part IV

    This time, from Rand scholar Karl P. Mueller, about civilian casualties in the event of air strikes against Iraq:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part III

    Here is a New America Foundation blog that gathers various perspectives on how the U.S. should deal with ISIS.  There are outright calls for the use of force and absolutely no one explicitly takes the position that the U.S. could make matters worse by intervening militarily in either Iraq or Syria.  But, aside from the uniformity of voice in a supposedly diverse round-up, only one participant considers the idea that U.S. military involvement could end involve U.S. sacrifices.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Dag's New Digs

    Dear friends,

    Dagblog will turn six years old this September, which is 42 in blog years. Like many of us in our forties, the site has become a little chunky. OK, I'll be blunt. Dag's fat. Way fat. 9290 blog posts, 442 creative posts, 5250 news links, and 109,567 comments. Along with williamkwolfrum.com, who hangs out on the same server, dagblog often violates the 640 MB RAM limit, which is why it's been stalling and crashing so often.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part II

    Oh, wow.  Anne Marie-Slaughter has resurfaced in The New York Times to upbraid Obama for not having acted to stop the formation of ISIS in Syria two years ago. She begins:

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    Ramona's picture

    What Does The Death Of Cursive Mean?

     

    As someone who dreaded Penmanship class, and who always–and I mean always–got poor grades in it, let me just say if writing in cursive goes away I’ll be right up there in front mourning the loss.  (Cursive:  flowing letters all connected to make one word.  What we used to call “handwriting”.)

    We learned the Palmer Method in grade school, where every letter had to follow a pattern and fit between the lines, and where loops and curlicues had to loop and curl, but not too little or too much.  Just right.
     

    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People and Presidents Think

    I read Robert Kagan's essay "Superpowers Don't Get To Retire" with an eventual blog post in mind, likely one that would attempt to rebut Kagan's latest call for greater American military action in the world, including dangerous neighborhoods like Syria and Ukraine. But I think that those of you who know me know where I stand on that and for those of you who don't (Hi!) I have to admit that my anti-war arguments are not particularly novel.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Wall Street Should Be Terrified?

    Interesting post at Business Insider about how the loss of Eric Cantor is a blow to Wall Street.  The establishment Republicans love the Street while the Tea Party insurgents are enemies of finance and friends of the real economy.  I used to actually buy something like that when, during the financial crisis, I saw an opportunity for anti-bailouts liberals and libertarians to make common cause but... that was a mirage.

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