On Wednesday, President Obama hosted his second State Dinner at the White House, honoring Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón. Prior to the engagement, Obama and Calderón held a joint press availability to discuss the common issues shared by the neighboring countries. In addition to the highly controversial Arizona Immigration Law, the two leaders spoke of their mutual desire to confront and curb the violent influence of the drug cartels. President Obama spoke to this critical shared interest, stating:
President Calderón and I also reaffirmed our commitment to stand together against the drug cartels that have unleashed horrific violence in so many communities. Mr. President, you and the Mexican people have shown great resolve in a fight for the security and safety of your country. And as I’ve pledged to you before, Mexico can count on the United States as a full partner in this effort.
As your partner, we’ll give you the support you need to prevail. Through increased law enforcement on our side of the border, we’re putting unprecedented pressure on those who traffic in drugs, guns, and people. We’re working to stem the southbound flow of American guns and money, which is why, for the first time, we are now screening 100 percent of southbound rail cargo. And guided by our new National Drug Control Strategy, we’re bringing new approaches to reducing the demand for drugs in our country.
… I said the first time I met President Calderón and have said ever since that I greatly admire his courage, his dedication, his tenacity in trying to deal with the drug traffickers and cartels that have created such a public safety crisis in many communities within Mexico.
(Read the full transcript of remarks by the President here.)
Bruce Zagaris, author of the recently released International White Collar Crime: Cases and Materials, dissects one example of the crackdown on these cartels and shows the wide-ranging legal collaboration necessary to achieve a drug trafficking indictment.
Mexico Extradites Alleged Drug King Quintero-Payan to U.S.
by Bruce Zagaris
Volume 26, Issue 7, July 2010, p. 271
On April 23, 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s offices of Houston and San Antonio announced the extradition from Mexico of alleged drug kingpin Juan Jose Quintero-Payan, 68. Quintero-Payan contested extradition for eight years. Mexico extradited him to San Antonio to answer a four-count indictment alleging his responsibility for $20 million in various cash movements. Although he would be eligible for a life sentence, Mexico stipulated as part of the extradition order that he would not be sentenced to life imprisonment. The indictment alleges Quintero was the head of a criminal enterprise whose operations included South America, Mexico, the United States and the Cayman Islands during the years of approximately 1978 to 2002, when the superseding indictment was filed.
Owning a Stradivarius is actually quite precarious/Let me tell you, honey, they cost a lot of money/But as violins go they’re the very very best. Stewart Pollens‘ Stradivari featured on The New Yorker’s Book Bench Blog!
From Copenhagen to ClimateGate, the context and controversy surrounding any discussion of global warming has proven a significant handicap. This week, a group of distinguished climate scientists, economists, and policy experts published The Hartwell Paper – the outcome of a meeting convened by The London School of Economics. Fundamentally re-framing climate policy, these experts argue for a radical change in approach, insisting that progress in confronting climate change is now possible because of the epic failure of international cooperation on policy in 2009.
(Contributors to the Paper include the Press’s own Professor Mike Hulme – who had been featured prominently in the coverage of the ClimateGate scandal and is author of Why We Disagree About Climate Change.)
The Hartwell Paper proposes a three-pronged approach in objectives:
ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.
Learn more about their thesis on the LSE’s homepage here.
TALKING SENSE ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING
LONDON – In February, 14 distinguished climate scientists, economists, and policy experts came together to discuss how to tackle global warming. This week, the London School of Economics and Oxford University are publishing their conclusions. They are worth considering.
Craig Collins, author of Toxic Loopholes: Failures and Future Prospects for Environmental Law, points to methane gas – from its incendiary role in the BP oil spill and the Massey mine explosion to its latent potential for wreaking further havoc. While the slow-moving mass of oil reaches our shores, with new ever-escalating estimates of the gallons spilled being announced, Collins reminds us of the lesser recognized hazards of methane gas and the further damage it can cause.
The Grim Reaper of Greenhouse Gases
By Craig Collins, Ph.D. California State University East Bay, Environmental Law & Policy
Although carbon dioxide is the most talked-about greenhouse gas, we ignore methane at our peril because it may prove to be the deadliest greenhouse gas of all.
Unlike CO2, methane is flammable.
Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography by Julian Young in The New York Times Book Review: Whether we acknowledge it or not, we continue to live within the intellectual shadow cast by Nietzsche. Postmodernism, deconstructionism, cultural relativism, the “free spirit” scorning bourgeois morality, even New Age festivals like Burning Man can all ultimately be traced to [...]