I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face

Bad guys (and gals) beware: Dustin Volz (National Journal) reports that the “FBI’s Facial-Recognition Technology Has Achieved ‘Full Operational Capability’” The agency announced two new services Monday that complete the database's "operational capability." The first, called Rap Back, allows officials to receive "ongoing status notifications" regarding the reported criminal history of people "in positions of trust, … Continue reading I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face

More on Economics of Secession

The Oxford Review of Economic Policy has a brand-new special issue on the economics of independence. The entire issue seems to be open-access right now, so check it out. (HT: Doug Irwin) In Scottish news, polls have turned a bit against independence, and betting markets now price a "Yes" at around 22-24%. I will take … Continue reading More on Economics of Secession

The Coalition of the Kind of Willing?

Barack Obama announced his new strategy for ISIL on 9/10: “So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultation with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.” -- The coalition partners are important because our efforts “will … Continue reading The Coalition of the Kind of Willing?

Airpower Will Solve This. Santa Claus Exists.

Airpower is the simple but wrong/naive answer to complex problems. It just doesn't work as advertised by the airpower enthusiasts.  If you will the ends, you will the means. So those who want to wade back into Iraq or jump into wherever to "degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL" should be honest and note that ground forces … Continue reading Airpower Will Solve This. Santa Claus Exists.

The Presumption of Guilt and the Glories of “Stop and Seize”

Michael Salla, Robert O’Harrow Jr, and Steven Rich (The Washington Post) have written an interesting series on asset forfeiture (see the teaser “Civil asset forfeitures more than double under Obama,” by Christopher Ingraham on Wonkblog). The basic presumption of asset forfeiture is simple: you are guilty until proven innocent. If you are the target of … Continue reading The Presumption of Guilt and the Glories of “Stop and Seize”

Scottish Independence and the Markets

What can we learn from capital markets about the likely consequences of Scottish independence? A trio of recent polls has shown the "Yes" side to have pulled roughly even with "No." With momentum on their side, it's not unthinkable at all that "Yes" will pull it out, resulting in the first secession from a Western … Continue reading Scottish Independence and the Markets

Evil as a Manageable Problem

President Obama’s comments at a press conference in Estonia has attracted quite a bit of heat. The President stated: "we know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem." … Continue reading Evil as a Manageable Problem