This week in Quebec

The Americas are littered with anti-colonialist movements which have abandoned any pretense of social democracy upon achieving power. All that remains of their original vision is bankrupt nationalism, stale rhetoric and xenophobic gestures.

Los votantes franceses de Quebec de rotundamente optaron por rechazar la política de la división.

Is Latin America making progress?

The question is inspired by a tweet which contains the photo below.

Photo is from Twitter.

We're not No. 1!

This is an opinion piece talking about the US. In particular, it is suggesting that GDP is not the right measure. It doesn't make Nicaragua No. 1 but it does suggest that there are some things to measure besides wealth.

The piece is in the New York Times and is written by Nicholas Kristof. It is both about perceptions and about measurement. The article has multiple links to support his conclusion.

Predictions: CIA vs. "ordinary folk"

Well, it really isn't about the CIA in particular but about the concept that a group of ordinary people can be better than the experts at predicting things. It's interesting as are the comments.

An NPR blog offers up the article. The project is an experiment that seems to have some pretty interesting results.

Journalism vs. National Security

I mentioned this video in another thread but had not watched it at the time. Now that I have watched it I want to highly recommend it. It is one of the few things about what the Snowden revelations mean in global terms that stays on subject. That is, it talks about the revelations rather than focusing on the person.

Why are so many migrants here in the first place?

The question is being asked from the US perspective. While immigration to the US is not just from Latin America, there is clearly where the big numbers come from. Many articles try to justify immigration by saying "we need them". Maybe the US does -- or the price of California lettuce would go up -- but that doesn't address why they see the US as the land of opportunity.

Who says you can't get off the US no fly list?

We all know about the US no fly list. What we don't know is what it takes to get on the list. While some people seem like obvious candidates to go on the list, many people seem to have ended up there because someone in the government just wanted to harass them. Up until now, we also haven't known what it takes to get off the list.

Well, good news. One person actually did manage to get off the list and her story is available with lots of details. (Note that she was put on it by mistake -- it is probably harder to get off the list if you were intended to be there.)

Bill Blum on the NED

Bill Blum offers up a monthly missive under the title The Anti-Empire Report. While much of this month's report is about Ukraine, there is a part which seems important to Nicaragua. It is about the National Endowment for Democracy or NED.

Edward Snowden before the EU Parliment

Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, has been talking with Germany about a direct fiber optic cable between the two countries. For Latin America this would be a great thing because virtually all traffic currently is routed through the US. This would offer faster Internet connectivity between the EU and Latin America and would likely drive the expansion of connections in the region near Brazil.

Why Bitcoin (for the third world)

Many people, probably most people see Bitcoin as yet another currency. The big question then becomes "why would I want to use just another currency?" Trying to see it as a very different thing is difficult.

If you are trying to sort this out, a discussion between Andreas Antonopoulos and Stefan Molyneux available on is a good time investment. It is titled Bitcoin vs. The Federal Reserve.

Legatum Prosperity Index

It is hard to compare country X with country Y in a meaningful way because so many indices are meaningless. To offer a simple example, saying that heating oil is cheaper in Minnesota than Nicaragua is meaningless when you don't need any in Nicaragua.

Enter the Legatum Prosperity Index. (That link points to the Nicaragua entry.) While there is an overall rating list, the details are available and pretty interesting. You can compare Nicaragua to your home country on all sorts of items.

A government here to help you

Earlier this morning I read an article about US Corporate welfare with Boeing at the top of the list. (Corporate Welfare) Then I just read a newsletter that actually talks about a government is here to help you. The specific government that is being talked about is Chile and the subject is agriculture but the article is an interesting read.

Fukushima and the West Coast

Opinion varies but many people who live on the US West Coast are concerned about radiation from the Fukushima disaster. Some are concerned about other parts of the Pacific coast of the Western Hemisphere.

News on dangers is all over the map. Well, I just found a a web site called Fukushima Shield that seems to be a good resource. By resource, what I mean is that it has some content but also lots of links to other content.

Nationalization of US retirement funds

It is sounding like the US government is on its way to helping usanos better manage their retirements accounts. If you have an IRA or 401k, an article in International Man seems worth a read.

What if US health insurance "worked" in Nicaragua?

There is an interesting article titled Medical Travel: If Bill Gates Wanted to Do Something Good for the World in Truthout that offers a good start on a question. While the article is about the idea that someone with a lot of money could start an insurance company that encouraged cost-effective health care, we can ask the same question about Medicare.

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