July 22, 2014
"I’m not two anymore, I’m three!"

— LittleBoyProf, who is indeed three today.

July 21, 2014
A Moderate Voice On Israel and the Palestinians

kohenari:

I have a guest blog post up at the Houston Chronicle's TexasSparkle blog this morning. Of course, you can also read it right here:

Over the past few weeks, extremism and violence once again escalated and finally exploded in Israel and the Gaza Strip. Space for a moderate…

Politicalprof: there always needs to be space for careful and thoughtful reasoning. I am glad to signal boost this editorial. The Southerner in me does ask: do people really get to axiomatically determine democratically the character of their state? In all cases? Given what democratic majorities have promoted in this world, I’d love to see that notion fleshed out in a way that doesn’t quite make me see Selma, AL.

July 21, 2014
astrodidact:

Taken 45 years ago today via I fucking love science

astrodidact:

Taken 45 years ago today via I fucking love science

(via affably-evil)

July 20, 2014
Israelis gather on hillsides to watch and cheer as military drops bombs on Gaza | World news | The Guardian

The video gameification of war …

July 20, 2014
LittleBoyProf, a dandelion, and a rock. Burnsville, NC.

LittleBoyProf, a dandelion, and a rock. Burnsville, NC.

July 19, 2014
Sometimes I think that all texts on democracy and democratic theory could be replaced by”Yertle theTurtle”

I’m just sayin’

July 19, 2014
kohenari:

As seen on Facebook, shared by a Tea Party group that has a few hundred thousand Likes.
Because, of course, their feelings about the president have nothing whatsoever to do with race. As they’ll tell you, the only people bringing up race are liberals. The good folks sharing this meme are clearly color blind.

Politicalprof: ah, America. You CAN always go lower …

kohenari:

As seen on Facebook, shared by a Tea Party group that has a few hundred thousand Likes.

Because, of course, their feelings about the president have nothing whatsoever to do with race. As they’ll tell you, the only people bringing up race are liberals. The good folks sharing this meme are clearly color blind.

Politicalprof: ah, America. You CAN always go lower …

July 18, 2014
The United States of Equal Population … 
I would live on the border of Sangamon and Maumee ….
per VOX

The United States of Equal Population …

I would live on the border of Sangamon and Maumee ….

per VOX

July 17, 2014

Anonymous said: What are your views on the conflict in the middle east between Israel and Palestine?

"It is difficult to get a man understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

         —Upton Sinclair

July 17, 2014
The Arrogance of “Us”

It seems to me that there are at least two kinds of explanations in the world: those that try to explain things as a result of factors that are intrinsic to the issue, and those that try to explain things as a result of factors that are extrinsic to the issue.

Put another way, do things happen because of forces “inside” the group or object being explained, or do things happen because of forces “outside” the group or object being explained?

This question seems to me to be at the heart of the discussion of the child refugee crisis on the US border. Tens of thousands of children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are arriving at the United States’ borders seeking entrance to the country by whatever means possible. Some have endured horrific conditions on their journey; others face horrific conditions no that they have arrived. It is a real human crisis.

The domestic US politics have been remarkable. Many describe the refugees as fleeing gang and drug violence in their respective countries. In this account, desperate parents pay smugglers vast sums in a faint hope that their children might live a better life — or live at all — in the US, whereas the murder rate is so high in El Salvador that it’s safer in Baghdad.

Put another way, the refugees as coming because of reasons that are intrinsic to their group: they have a problem they are seeking to solve through migration.

An opposite account asserts that the refugees are coming because the United States is the land of opportunity. They are attracted by our jobs and our benefits. They want our life … and so the children are sent as a wedge to open the border to all future comers.

Or, to use the logic offered here: the refugees are coming because of “us” — extrinsic factors are pulling them here rather than intrinsic factors pushing them.

Which is staggeringly arrogant. Americans are so damn convinced that they are so damn wonderful that they never question the notion that no one — or at least almost no one — would put their children on a bus and into the hands of criminal strangers to sneak them across multiple borders all for some plot to wedge their way into the United States. That is an act of desperation and fear, not hope and politics.

The “US” explanation is really an “it’s all about us” explanation. It compliments us. It makes us feel good about us. And it excuses us for our complicity in creating the problem of drug gang violence in the first place — since absent our market, why would the drug gangs exist?

But it has nothing at all to do with why all those children are arriving on our borders.

The arrogance of “Us.”