I started posting short snippets on my Tumblr blog a while. Most of my day-to-day blogging has shifted to there. Other than the occasional essay on Bolivian politics (or other political issues that strike my fancy or that I can carve out time for), most of my blogging will be found at Teaching (Comparative) Politics. Especially if you want to look for some classroom discussion ideas, check it out.
A few days ago, a reporter called to ask me about what the Chilean mining story meant for Bolivian-Chilean bilateral relations. In the end, my quotes didn’t make it into the story that ran in The New York Times (no biggie, I understand how things get cut during the editorial process). But the issue of whether this would help improve bilateral relations between the two countries was intriguing.
What happened yesterday in Ecuador was a type of coup, or golpe (to use the Spanish term).
I know there’s some debate over whether to consider it as such (Boz has a good rundown of both positions). Clearly, Correa is milking the situation to his best advantage (or at least hoping to). But that shouldn’t matter in terms of what to call the event itself. In fact, Correa would have to be a fool of a politician if he didn’t seek to spin the even to his best advantage. Another controversy concerns the intent and/or extent of the police uprising or mutiny. Greg Weeks, who I respect, uses the ambiguous and/or limited goals of the police protesters/mutineers to argue that it was not a “coup” (see his post).
Below is the text of a (very) brief comment I was invited to make as part of their “Featured Q&A” on the current situation in Bolivia—particularly w/ reference to the conflict between the central government & the department of Potosí—for today’s Latin American Advisor (a daily newsletter put out by the Inter-American Dialogue). I always enjoy the challenge of giving a commentary on something as complex as Bolivian politics in 250 words or less.
There’s been an ongoing controversy over the president’s religious status. Namely, accusations that he’s a (secret) Muslim. Recently, I ran across an ABC News story in which Franklin Graham suggested Obama was “born a Muslim” (whatever that means). One could dismiss the comment, if it weren’t for the fact that Franklin Graham is the son of the late Billy Graham, one of the most iconic Evangelical preachers of the last several decades.
Just a shameless plug a few things of mine that just came out in print. Two are specifically on Bolivia; the other is a published version of the writing/discussion assignment I developed based on American Idol & presented at the 2009 APSA Teaching & Learning Conference.
My friend @kohenari has an interesting post about plagiarism on his blog. The topic’s been under discussion a lot lately (both in the mainstream press & in places like The Chronicle of Higher Education). What makes Ari’s post interesting, however, is that he objects to the conventional wisdom that students today are more likely to plagiarize because the digital age makes it easier—and perhaps even reduces previously existing taboos about intellectual ownership. Further, Ari suggests that new social networking technologies (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) actually foster attribution, not plagiarism.