If you are not worried about leaked tax returns, you’re not paying attention

Everybody’s posting on Rachel Maddow’s debacle from last evening, where viewers sat through 20 minutes of preamble leading to this, After the first break—at which point the tax returns were already available on the internet and glossed by the Daily Beast—Maddow was joined by Johnston, and she began by asking him how he knew Trump … Continue reading If you are not worried about leaked tax returns, you’re not paying attention

The Economist lowers the bar on low expectations

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz Thomas Jefferson, farmer, architect, at age 33 one of the writers of the Declaration of Independence and later one of the framers of the U. S. Constitution, ambassador, and President, is known as the sage of Monticello, after the essay written by Inez Nellie Canfield McFee in 1913 (and part 6 … Continue reading The Economist lowers the bar on low expectations

The Pontifical Council denounces ISIS

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz In view of the genocide against Christians, the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which traditionally keeps a low profile, issued the following (emphasis added):This Pontifical Council, together with all those engaged in interreligious dialogue, followers of all religions, and all men and women of good will, can only unambiguously denounce … Continue reading The Pontifical Council denounces ISIS

And now, for a “train deal” with Mexico

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz From the BBC: Guatemala, Mexico and the United States have reached a deal to try to prevent migrants from jumping onto a freight train in an attempt to reach the US, according to Guatemalan officials. The three countries said they would establish more checkpoints. Let's look at this for a moment: … Continue reading And now, for a “train deal” with Mexico

The US’s toothless sanctions against Venezuelans

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz The Obama administration passed a few sanctions against Venezuela this week. No, the sanctions had nothing to do with the Pollo and Venezuela's involvement in the drug trade. Instead, the sanctions are against individuals linked to the bloody repression of student protesters this year. In our days of "smart diplomacy," this … Continue reading The US’s toothless sanctions against Venezuelans

O’s foreign policy, Northern Triangle edition

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz [The Northern Triangle refers to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in Central America.] I live in Princeton, NJ, where you can find the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. I am not connected to the School, or to Princeton University, but over the years I have attended many speeches, … Continue reading O’s foreign policy, Northern Triangle edition

Did you know the IRS employees are unionized?

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz Imagine my surprise when I opened my email this morning and found a link to Roger Kimball's post, Deunionize the IRS. Say what? Deunionize? As Roger asks, "The government’s tax collecting agency is unionized?" What union? The union in question is The National Treasury Employees Union. According to the web site of the … Continue reading Did you know the IRS employees are unionized?

5 lessons Hillary could learn from Isabel

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz One of the benefits of being fluent in more than one language is that it allows you to watch hoity toity stuff from abroad. You know the type - soap operas wrapped around history/period pieces, like The Tudors and such, only in languages other than English. After the success of The … Continue reading 5 lessons Hillary could learn from Isabel

The case for harmless escapism

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz Granted, low-information voters live in a state of permanent blissful ignorance. My friend Denny even has a weekly joke dedicated to them (it used to be a Saturday blonde joke, but then I made a suggestion, and the rest is history). Da Tech Guy Blog's readers are definitely not low-information voters, … Continue reading The case for harmless escapism

Immigration and the new vulnerabilities of fundamental transformation

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz The latest invasion of thousands of unaccompanied children at the border raises some very important questions, not all on immigration: Who paid for their transport? Coyotes (who are agents of the drug cartels controlling illegal border traffic) charge thousands of dollars - from what I have heard, US$5,000 per person. Did … Continue reading Immigration and the new vulnerabilities of fundamental transformation

Immigration’s lost children

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz My friend Silvio Canto brought to my attention this article: Wave of Minors on Their Own Rush to Cross Southwest Border (emphasis added)Since Oct. 1, a record 47,017 unaccompanied children have been apprehended at the southwest United States border, most traveling from Central America, part of a larger wave that includes some … Continue reading Immigration’s lost children

Venezuela: Bi-partisan US Congress approves sanctions bill

The House of Representatives passed on Wednesday HR4587, the Venezuela Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act, which will impose targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for carrying out or ordering human rights abuses against the citizens of Venezuela The purpose of the bill is to deny visas to enter the United States, block property, freeze assets, … Continue reading Venezuela: Bi-partisan US Congress approves sanctions bill

Colombia: What the FARC really want

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz Colombia, the closest Western ally in South America, has been waging a war for half a century against narco-terrorist group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The FARC, which the U.S. considers to be a terrorist and drug trafficking organization, relies heavily on cocaine trafficking to finance its activities. Previous … Continue reading Colombia: What the FARC really want

Cuba and moral blindness

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz Yesterday I came across an article by Salman Rushdie where he claims that Gabriel García Márquez’s Work Was Rooted in the Real because "in his pages I found a reality I knew well from my own experience in India and Pakistan." According to Rushdie, [Gabriel García Márquez, a.k.a. Gabo] was a … Continue reading Cuba and moral blindness

Venezuela: Crackdown time

An update on Venezuela by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz: The country, well into Communism by now, continues its descent into chaos. Nine senior government officials, including military officers, one diplomat and pro-government politicians, are in the most recent U.S. government's list of active drug kingpins and terrorists, the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN). Price controls wreck … Continue reading Venezuela: Crackdown time