Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

TIME magazine reports from Juarez. Not too much new here, but it's a good summary of what's gone on in the past six months or so. According to the article, new Juarez cops will be paid a starting annual salary of $9,000 and that's TWICE what a regular Mexican police officer gets. Is it any wonder there's so much corruption in the police force? Also, check out the photo gallery.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dorothy was always my favorite on "The Golden Girls." So sad.
Is this thing still on? I had my lowest page views for the week ever this week. Too much stuff to do. I was in the ring for a bona fide media circus this week. Not to be written about, but believe me it was CRAZY.

The rest of my time was spent catching up with friends and my little sister. My baby sister, who treated me to a root beer float at Sonic this week. I'm proud of who my sister has become. It makes me proud of myself to think I had a little to do with it. I also saw a nature movie and attended a march honoring Cesar Chavez, which started here. Quite an interesting place.

Somehow I got Monday off of work. As good a time as any to take a step back and try to sort things out, perhaps even blog.

Friday, April 17, 2009

On, parallels between Mexico's drug war and the war in Iraq:
The drug cartels are a vicious enemy of Mexican democracy and security; I don't mean to sound cavalier about that or to suggest that Calderón should have neglected the problem. But organized crime is a long-festering problem, not (to go back to the Iraq analogy) an imminent "ticking bomb" threat to the Mexican state that requires all-out war. By pretending that it was, Calderón violated the so-called Powell Doctrine, whereby a nation commits forces only when it can count on overwhelming superiority, an exit strategy, a definition of victory, and the full and lasting support of the people. Calderón never had the first three and may be losing the fourth.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Too long after La Brown Girl recommended it to me, I finally finished reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Pulitzer-worthy? Yeah. The book is definitely different from anything I've read. It brings together Dominican and American, Spanish and English, sci-fi and history, nerd and player. It's heavy but also fun to read. Somehow it works. I think Junot Diaz may have created a new genre. Check out this interview. Interesting stuff, especially the answers to the last few questions.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Welcome to spring in El Paso

Stumbled onto this as I walked out the door to get the newspaper Monday morning:

Gotta love a tumbleweed before breakfast.
In TIME, Obama and the science of change:
Which message would persuade homeowners to save electricity: a call to their environmental conscience, or an appeal to their wallet? Cialdini tested those approaches in a San Diego experiment, and the answer was neither. What worked was an appeal to conformity. Residents used less power when they were told their neighbors were using less power.
Social norms help explain the attraction of opt-out 401(k)s as well: it's not just that we're too lazy to check a box but also that we assume the default is the accepted thing to do. Obama's push to weatherize millions of homes — another stimulus bonanza — will require new norms. In Oregon, a countywide program to upgrade windows and insulation at almost no cost to homeowners got a tepid response. But after an intense mobilization campaign — through citizen councils, churches and Girl Scouts who went door-to-door asking residents why they hadn't weatherized yet — 85% of the county enrolled.

Interesting stuff. Maybe a little creepy to be manipulated like that, but I think it's great that this kind of research is being used to make Americans more responsible instead of just making us want to buy things.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Why so sad? What if you just feel like you're a human trapped in a robot body, made to function, not to feel? Sad but without a way to tell anyone about it?

Everyone fails me, but then, I fail them, too.

If I could just spell out to you in minute detail why I think everything is unfair, then I would feel so much better, you wouldn't believe it.

I went to a bar last night, ended up hanging out with four people I had barely met. It was hard to commiserate over the blaring music. Some guy accidentally bought me a glass of Coke.

I think about a friend who used to send me funny texts. I wish he would still send them.

The top story, all but forgotten one week later. That's just sad.