Monday, April 13, 2009

Light posting, and this time I mean it

Barring some totally earthshattering event, there won't be any posting here for the rest of this month. Too many other things to deal with right now. I do have one or two things in the works, so be sure to check back in May, y'all.

And one word to my (very) small group of regular readers: Thanks.

Friday, April 10, 2009

On Britain, France, and border controls

Ten of the twelve suspected terror plotters arrested in the U.K. in the recent raids were in the country on student visas (and were Pakistani nationals), leading to calls to reform the visa system, among other things. Border and immigration controls continue to be contentious, even when the threat of terrorism is not the main issue. In 2003, Britain and France reached an agreement giving each country's border police some limited jurisdiction in the other country: France in a zone in Dover, Britain in a zone in Calais. Now the two countries are working on a controversial plan to build a new center in Calais with the aim of making it easier to deport undocumented asylum-seekers, particularly Afghanis, Iraqis, and migrants from the horn of Africa, who seek entry into Britain by getting on trucks that will cross the Channel (via the tunnel).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rodrik on Johnson on bankers

I hadn't been over to D. Rodrik's blog in a long time. This post is interesting, plus an exchange in the comments.

Perhaps not a great idea

From James R. Martel's review (in Political Theory, current issue) of Philip Tetlock's Expert Political Judgment:
"Tetlock tells us that we need to filter out a lot of the 'noise' that is out there in the world of expert judgment. His proposal, to expand the anonymous peer reviewing that we have in academic publishing to other kinds of expert interesting. He himself concedes it might be a tough sell, however, given the free for all in contemporary punditry."
A tough sell ... um, yes. And it should be.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

15th anniversary of Rwandan genocide

Rwandans have held vigils and other ceremonies on the fifteenth anniversary of the 1994 genocide. The Rwandan genocide, tragic in itself, aggravated a simmering war in eastern Congo, helping to turn it into a full-fledged civil and regional conflict. Despite a number of books on the genocide, the full history of its intersection with the conflicts in Congo and the broader region probably has yet to be written.

Update: Gérard Prunier, Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe (Oxford UP, 2008), may be what I had in mind.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Gold on the floor

From Christopher Hitchens's review (Atlantic, April '09) of Francis Wheen's book on Marx's Capital:
"Sometimes...Marx did manage to illuminate the ways in which the industrial system really functioned. But very often he allowed sheer outrage to guide his pen.... In the first volume of Capital..., he has capitalism speaking in the words of Shylock; includes an extract from Timon of Athens wherein money is described as the 'common whore of mankind'; and offers still another denunciation of the cash nexus, from the Antigone of Sophocles. One of the most famous phrases of Marx's vast correspondence during the writing of the book expresses his hatred for having to work on 'the economic shit,' and one recalls Lenin's revealing opinion about gold -- that it was fit only to supply the flooring for public lavatories."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Light posting

There probably will not be any posting here for the next couple of weeks.