Secession in the Crimea, Scotland, and California

President Barack Obama on Thursday said a planned referendum on the future of Crimea is illegal.

“Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government,” Mr. Obama said in a brief statement from the White House. “In 2014 we are well beyond the days when borders can be drawn over the heads of democratic leaders.”

Mr. Obama’s comments come as the Moscow-backed Crimea set a referendum in 10 days to ratify its decision to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

President Obama’s view of humanity is that citizens exist to benefit politicians; in reality, in an ideal world, politicians work for citizens, and when they fail, they are fired like any other incompetent employee. He is not the first arrogant President of the USA; as soon as John F. Kennedy was elected, he beseeched, “my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
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George Will Explains Why Democracy is the Worst Government

The most popular political writer in the USA, George Will, explained today why democracy is the worst government:

It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Nevertheless, many voters’ paucity of information about politics and government, although arguably rational, raises awkward questions about concepts central to democratic theory, including consent, representation, public opinion, electoral mandates and officials’ accountability….
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Charles Darrow on Educating and Raising Children

One of my favorite free Kindle books is The Story of My Life by Clarence Darrow, the great criminal defense lawyer best known as the hero in the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. The book is available from Project Gutenberg Australia. Here are his thoughts on educating and raising children, excerpted from the book.

Clarence Darrow courtesy of Wikipedia.

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What Can We Learn from a 103 Year Old Woman?

Someone asked asked Evelyn, a 103 year old woman, about important career memories, and she responded:

I was a teacher at the age of 14, and I taught in a one room school house. I have a lot of memories about this time in my life. Like the big boys who used to not listen to me. And the day a father came to school and asked me to, “go get your teacher.” I said, “I AM the teacher.” Then he asked me again, and I gave him the same answer. He was pretty surprised that I was handling that class all alone.

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Revolutionizing Health Care Without Obama

Martin Makary discusses how to improve healthcare in his book,
Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care. I excerpted some useful parts in the remainder of this post.
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Canadians Discuss Migration to Chile

The Toronto Globe and Mail describes migration to Chile and Brazil:

In the middle-class kitchens of Chile, it is women from Peru who wash the dishes. The men who pick fruit in the vast agro-estates in Chilean valleys are Bolivians. And many of the men who chip copper from its mountains are Colombians.

The acceleration of Latin America’s largest economies has created an unprecedented flow of economic migration on the continent, pulling workers, both highly skilled and those seeking manual labour, from its poorest countries to its richest.

But there is a near-total absence of legislation designed to facilitate and support that migration in the pull countries, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers – and major employers in the agriculture, mining and service industries – operating in a complicated, often risky grey area.

In Brazil, the continental powerhouse, the number of foreigners in the country increased by 50 per cent in just two years, from 2010 to 2012. And in Chile, the number of immigrants increased threefold in the past 10 years – with half of the entrants coming from Peru, followed by Colombians and Bolivians.

Chile is the first-choice destination for many Spanish-speaking migrants because work in Brazil requires knowledge of Portuguese. Chilean employers are delighted to have the guest workers because a recent surge in standards of living has left even low-income Chileans uninterested in jobs doing agricultural labour or domestic work. The mining and forestry sectors need them too. At the same time, an acute shortage of skilled labour (as there is in Brazil) is drawing professionals, particularly young Europeans facing unemployment due to the economic crises in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

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Psychologist Explains the Engine of Capitalism

Governments often believe that most jobs are created by small businesses and that governments should encourage job creation. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman discusses, “the engine of capitalism” in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. The remainder of this post is direct quotes from his book.
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Will Walmart shoppers support “Every Day High Wages?”

This video is a riot, especially the guy at the end! Only in the socialist USA!

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Chile Competing Against Europe and USA for Migrants

The moribund economies of the USA and Europe is driving some migrants to Chile, according to the Wall Street Journal:

It sounds like the typical American dream for an immigrant: Each month, Marco Antonio Serna sends $500 to his parents, wife and 17-year-old daughter back in Colombia. Except Mr. Serna, 43 years old, didn’t migrate to the U.S. for work; he went to Chile, where he is employed at a small casino outside Santiago.

“There’s a big community of Colombians here,” the former factory worker says…

Mr. Serna of Colombia says he was turned down twice when he applied for a visa to the U.S. In Chile, he says that he has a work permit and “all my documents in order.” He no longer dreams of the U.S., he says: “I have stability here.”

Colombians and Peruvians have flocked to Chile to work in the service sector and to Panama to help expand the canal and airport, as well as build a new subway system in Panama City…

Nearly 44% of immigrants to Chile have a university degree, according to the government. It is attracting Spaniards and Ecuadoreans who previously lived in Spain, in addition to Colombians, Dominicans and others who historically focused on the U.S…

A decade ago, Chile was a net recipient of remittances, with inbound transfers representing 70% of the money crossing the nation’s borders, according to Western Union. Last year, outbound transfers exceeded inbound 60-40 for the company, and so far this year the ratio is the same.

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The Maltese Falcon Visits San Francisco

According to Wikipedia:

The Maltese Falcon built by Perini Navi in Tuzla, Turkey is a ship-rigged sailing luxury yacht, commissioned and formerly owned by American venture capitalist Tom Perkins. It is one of the largest privately owned sailing yachts in the world at 88 m (289 ft).

It was built after the dynaship concept, a 1960s invention of the German hydraulics engineer Wilhelm Prölss, which was intended to operate commercial freight sailing ships with as few crew as possible. The ship has fifteen square sails (five per mast), stored inside the mast; they can fully unfurl into tracks along the yards in six minutes.

The yacht is easily controlled and has been seen to sail off her anchor and away from berths within harbors. The yacht’s sophisticated computer detects parameters such as wind speed automatically and displays key data. An operator must always activate the controls, yet it is possible for a single person to pilot the yacht.

Photo courtesy of rulenumberone2 via Flickr.

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