Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Lord grant us honesty, but not just yet!

Great NY Times article on Mexico with the headline, Mexico's Government is blocking its own Anti-Corruption Drive"!

This of course is the ultimate dog bites man story, especially under the current EPN government. Mexico has long been a country with beautiful laws that are not worth the paper they are printed on, and EPN is notorious for announcing major reforms to great fanfare that go nowhere.

But on to the specifics. How is the government blocking the corruption commission, you ask?

None of the 18 judges who are supposed to oversee anti-corruption cases have been appointed by lawmakers. The prosecutor empowered under the new system to pursue investigations independently has not been named. And members of the citizen commission say they have been routinely shut out of discussions about big corruption cases.

“It is a bad joke,” said Luis Manuel Perez de Acha, a tax lawyer on the commission. “I was naïve when the system launched. I believed and had hope that it would work.”

“I know now that they are trying to sabotage everything we do,” he added.

Here's a good summary. The guy gets it in the end. The system isn't broken, it's working exactly how the government intended.

“The Mexican government feeds us placebos and we believe they will cure us,” said Juan Pardinas, the president of the Mexico Institute for Competitiveness and one of the chief architects of the anti-corruption system. “I drank the Kool-Aid and I passed the jar to a lot of people, believing it was a path to change.”

Mr. Pardinas has been one of the most prominent public voices fighting corruption, its corrosive effect on democratic institutions, and the lives it sometimes claims. He ultimately became a target of the spying technology purchased by the Mexican government to surveil criminals and terrorists.

“I killed myself for three years to achieve this, and it’s basically broken,” he said of the anti-corruption effort. “Well, maybe the system isn’t broken. It’s actually working perfectly to allow impunity.”

Monday, December 04, 2017

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  Trumpy Bear. Don't miss the video.

2.  Or maybe Trump makes you sad. If so, there are always... Garbage Pantz!  Those make everyone sad.

3.  If you want to excel, you can't use Excel.

4.  It's important to understand the Nazi next door. Or, is it?  The embarrassing thing is that "postcards from flyover country" is being done with such breathless naivete. Or is it?

5. Save the internet, and keep it safe for one, or another, set of powerful interest groups.

6.  This is hilarious in many ways. On this blog, Brendan Nyhan as been identified as being so nice that he has his own label, "Stuff you won't find at BrendanNyhan.com." I have, in fact, called him "painfully earnest." And yet David Frum (another famously earnest guy) blocked him.  Excellent.

7.  Why tell fibs that can be so obviously called out? Have we all just given up?

8.  This story seems silly. The actual story is a bit more nuanced. The "story" of math does emphasize the achievements of white Western thinkers. That may be entirely accurate, but it also may not be. It is true that work of the high Islamic scholars is not often credited. Still, to the extent that the prof's message can even be MISinterpreted as "don't learn math, it's white" there is a problem. I don't think she said that, exactly, but that is what is coming across.

9. Nice piece by KPC friend SR, on the Indian judiciary. The less you use discretion, the more you have.

10. Michael Munger (not me) put this up. It is a pretty good commercial, in terms of weirdness.

11. So proud of Florida. If you are in the position of having to deny fake-humping a female mannequin with an ice-penis, you may already have lost.

12. Invoking a right or committing a crime?

13. Garrison Keillor is scornful of the idea that men should be held responsible for sexual harrassment. And now we know why.

14. Cows and chickens have beef.

15.  Will the music "business" find a new model? It would be ironic if the digital revolution moves the business model back to live performances in excludable settings, where ticket sales are the only way to get paid.

16. Bitcoin 10k.

17. On Venditio...

18. Drunk as a ....possum?

19.  Art Carden and sharing.

20. The great baby bust of 2017.

21. On Gordon Tullock.

The Grand Lagniappe: