Friday, November 25, 2016

John A. Daly (1937-2016)

My name is John P. Daly; John Anthony Daly, the author of this blog, was my father. He passed away in the small hours of the morning on Monday, November 21.

He suffered from a neurological condition described as Multiple System Atrophy - and you can probably trace the course of the illness by the volume of posts on the blog over the last year or so. Neither he nor his family really understood the extent of the problem until springtime; we knew he was having trouble walking, and he found his thinking to be less clear than he usually required it to be, but none of it seemed calamitous until around March.

By April, though, he was suffering from dementia; by the time the disease was successfully diagnosed, he was too far gone to say his goodbyes here - or even to remember that he would have wanted to. I should have stepped in sooner, just to explain the silence, and I'm sorry I didn't.

This blog was one of the great passions of Dad's life, post-retirement. I don't think I can really express how honored he was to be read as widely as he was, nor how much he enjoyed interacting with his readers. You brought out some of the best in him, and my mother and I will always be grateful.

I'm sorry we're all going to be denied his insights from here on in. I'm sorry we're missing out on his passions, and his belief in rationality and principle and unapologetic international fellowship; it seems like we as a world are in more need of all that, in general, than we have been for quite some time.

He would want us to carry on, though, so we should probably try.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Russian Connection Between Syria and Ukraine - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The Russian Connection Between Syria and Ukraine - Harvard - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

'For the last fifty-two years, leaders from around the world have gathered in Munichfor an annual review of world security problems. This year's discussion focused on the civil war in Syria. Not only is Syria a political and humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, but the refugee flows from that war are causing a political crisis in Europe. Some observers foresee the unraveling of the Schengen zone for free movement of peoples that has become a major accomplishment of European unity. In contrast, last year the focus in Munich was on Russian aggression against Ukraine. Ironically, it was easier to garner a consensus about a Western response to that threat. Behind both topics, however, lies the question of what Russia wants. At the same Munich Security Conference in 2007, Vladimir Putin had warned of a more assertive Russian policy against the West.

Last weekend, I listened as Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev told the conference that the world has "fallen into a new Cold War" for which he blamed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This came despite the fact that just a few days earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had met with others to try to arrange a ceasefire in Syria....

Monday, February 22, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

WOW Internet of Things Exploding: 50B Connected Devices By 2020

Jim Harris Tweeted the original, and Calestous Juma shared it on FaceBook where I found it and shared it.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Female Genital Mutilation Rates in Africa

Thanks to Calestous Juma for the map.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thanks to William Easterly

Of course the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is much larger than that of the USA.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The World is More Peaceful Now Than at any Time in simce 1950

Source: "OK, Haters, It's Time To Admit It: The World Is Becoming A Better Place"

The trend seems clear. The number of war and battle deaths is decreasing over time, no mater what region you look at -- given a long enough period of observation. The major periods of decreasing violence are: post World War 2. post Vietnam War, and after the dismemberment of the USSR

A brief timeline of war from the late 1970s to 1999 follows:

  • In the late 1970s and 1980s there were the Afghanistan War and the Iraqi-Iranian War; the latter war ends in 1980; Great Britain and Argentina have a limited war over the Falkland Islands
  • There are massive demonstrations calling for less Communist ideological regime in the Warsaw Pact nations in the early 1980s as well as demonstrations calling for reforms of the Chinese government.  Israel invades Lebanon.
  • In 1985 Gorbachev succeeds to power in Russia, 
  • In 1986 the Chernobyl disaster takes place, leaving a large footprint of radioactive gas west of the site in the Ukraine.
  • 1987: the Iran Contra scandal become public.
  • 1988: George H.W. Bush become U.S. president. Benazir Bhutto is chosen to lead Pakistan. 
  • 1989: The Berlin Wall comes down. The beginning of the end of Communist government in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania can be perceived (perhaps in retrospect, better than at the time). Huge pro democracy demonstrations are held in Tiananmen Square in China. The Soviet Union withdraws its troops from Afghanistan.
  • 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait igniting the Persian Gulf War. East and West Germany are reunited. The Cold War is officially ended as the U.S. and USSR negotiate arms accords. Nelson Mandela is freed. leading to a public process to normalize governance in South Africa. Leaders of 34 European nations proclaim a united Europe.
  • 1991: The U.S. led alliance wins the Persian Gulf War. Communist hard-liners attempt to overthrow Gorbachev, but the coup fails. Gorbachev resigns as President. The USSR dissolves into 15 separate republics. The Warsaw Pact for military protection is dissolved. Boris Yeltsin is elected as the president of the Russian Republic. South African parliament overturns apartheid laws.
  • 1992: Presidents Bush and Yeltsin declare a formal end to the Cold War.
  • 1993: Clinton becomes U.S. President. The European Union is ratified. American soldiers die in Mogadishu, Somalia. Rwandan genocide begins. A Western multinational effort begins seeking to stop ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. President Boris Yeltsin's forces crush a revolt in the Russian Parliament. South Africa adopts a majority rule constitution.
  • 1994: Ethnic cleansing continues in the former Yugoslavia. In Rwanda, Hutu militias kill up to a million Tutsis. South Africa holds its first interracial, one-man-one-vote election and Nelson Mandela is elected president. Russia attacks the republic of Chechnya after Muslims there attempt to secede.
  • 1995: Fighting escalates in Bosnia and Croatia. At the end of the year, combatants sign the Bosnian peace treaty.
  • 1996: Taliban Muslim fundamentalists capture Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Later al-Qaeda terrorist training camps are set up. Iraqi troops fire on Kurdish positions in the north of the country. The U.S. warns Iraq, attacks Iraq's air defenses and declares a "No Fly" zone in the north of the country. Refugees in Rwanda and Burundi are caught up in new fighting and killings.
  • 1997: 
  • 1998: In Northern Ireland, the Good Friday Accords promise peace and political power sharing. Violence in the former Yugoslavia continues until NATO reaches a settlement with President Milosevic in October.
  • 1999: NATO air strikes move to Kosovo. In May, Serbs agree to pull troops out of Kosovo. Israeli prime minister Ehub Barak and PLO leader Yasir Arafat announce peace accord. 
  • 2000: Palestinian and Israeli violence explodes into the "intifada."
  • 2001: On September 11, terrorists attack the World Trade Center in New York.
  • 2002: Israeli tanks and warplanes attack West Bank towns in retaliation for 14 suicide bombing incidents. 
  • 2003: In March, the U.S. and Britain launch war against Iraq. Within a month, Baghdad falls. By July, the war is costing $3.9 billion a month. Saddam Hussein's sons are killed in a firefight, but their father remains at large. In December, Saddam Hussein himself is captured by American troops. Israel retaliates for suicide bombings by killing top members of Hamas. Other militant Palestinian groups formally withdraw from a cease fire. Bush's "road map" to peace collapses.
  • 2004: Iraq weapons investigator David Kay resigns saying there is no evidence that Iraq ever had weapons of mass destruction. U.S. media release graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. Protests erupt all over the world. In June, the U.S. hands over power to an Iraqi interim government led by Iyad Allawi. In November, U.S. troops launch attacks on Falluja. Spain is rocked by terrorist attacks, and al-Qaeda claims responsibility. NATO formally admits seven new countries from the former Soviet block. Sudanese rebels and the government reach accord to end the 21-year-old civil war. But in a separate war in western Darfur region, the killing continues. Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan admits he sold nuclear weapons designs to other countries, including North Korea, Iran and Libya. UN weapons inspectors tell Iran to stop enriching uranium. Iran claims they are building only peaceful uses for nuclear power.
  • 2005: In Iraq, elections are held to select a national assembly; Iraqi voters turn out again in October to ratify a new constitution. In December, 11 million – 70 percent of those registered – vote to elect their first permanent Parliament. The European Union abandons plans to ratify the proposed European constitution by 2006 after both France and the Netherlands vote against it. London is hit by Islamic terrorist bombings, killing 52 people and wounding 700. The Irish Republican Army announces it is officially ending its violent campaign for a unified Ireland and will instead pursue its goals through the political process.
  • 2006: In January, President Bush announces he will send a "surge" of 20,000 more troops to Iraq in addition to the 130,000 already there. In Iraq, violence between different sects increases. In November, voters elect Democratic Party majorities in both the House and the Senate, largely due to opposition to the war in Iraq. Defense Donald Rumsfeld steps down and is replaced by Robert Gates. Iran removes United Nations' seals from its uranium enrichment plant and production of the fuel is resumed. 
  • 2007: The top commander in Iraq, Gen. David Patraeus, says the troop "surge" is working, reducing sectarian killings in Baghdad and across the nation. At a hearing at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed confesses to planning the September 11 Al Qaeda attachs on the World Trade Center. He also claims responsibility for a number of other terrorist acts.

This timeline is summarized from a more detailed one.

Monday, January 18, 2016

We will miss Alan Rickman

Sometimes you have the right idea bu don't trust it.

"Businesses grow because the people working there are good at solving problems — whether that means solving a customer’s problem through the creation of a new product or solving an internal problem, such as recruiting or communication.

"There’s one question that the best CEOs use to help their people become better problem solvers. It’s a little bit of mental jiu jitsu and gets the subconscious mind working in the background to magically start piecing together the solution to a problem."

Read the rest of the short article!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Monday, January 04, 2016

Job Growth Is Strong

Average monthly new jobs                          Yearly average unemployment
By Year 2006 ti 2015  Source: The New York Tmes