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Showing posts from 2010

kings of convenience - weight of my words

The Weight Of My Words Lyrics

by Kings Of Convenience

There are very many things
I would like to say to you,
But i've lost my way
And I've lost my words.
There are very many places
I would like to go
But I can't find the key
To open my door.
The weight of my words-
You can't feel it anymore.
The weight of my words-
You can't feel it anymore.
There are very many ways
I would like to break the spell
You've cast upon me.
Because all the time
I sacrificed myself
To make you want me,
Has made you hant me.
The weight of my words
You can't feel it anymore...

Ms. Heidi Jane Smith-a Ph.D. candidate in Public Management within FIU's Public Administration Doctoral program-was awarded the Fulbright-Garcia Roble

Ms. Smith, MPP and recent candidate in Public Management, was selected for the Fulbright Garcia-Robles Grant to live and complete her dissertation research in Mexico City for the academic year 2010-11. She is researching local public finances and municipal debt capacity for the 2,454 local governments in Mexico. Furthermore she will be working as a visiting professor at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), one of Mexico's most important centers of teaching and research in the social sciences.

Furthermore, her dissertation will examine local governments’ efforts to promote economic development in Latin America. The research uses a mixed methodology to explore how cities make decisions to innovate, develop
and finance economic development programs. First, this study will provide a comparative analysis of decentralization policies in Argentina and Mexico as a means to gain a better understanding of the degree of autonomy exercised by local governments. Next, it will e…

Too Nice to Land a Job

You are reading a letter of recommendation that praises a candidate for a faculty job as being "caring," "sensitive," "compassionate," or a "supportive colleague." Whom do you picture?

New research suggests that to faculty search committees, such words probably conjure up a woman -- and probably a candidate who doesn't get the job. The scholars who conducted the research believe they may have pinpointed one reason for the "leaky pipeline" that frustrates so many academics, who see that the percentage of women in senior faculty jobs continues to lag the percentage of those in junior positions and that the share in junior positions continues to lag those earning doctorates.

The research is based on a content analysis of 624 letters of recommendation submitted on behalf of 194 applicants for eight junior faculty positions at an unidentified research university. The study found patterns in which different kinds of words were more likely …

Local Governments Mentioned in the Mexican Constitution

Mexican Constitution: Article 117. The States may not in any case:
2. Make any alliance, treaty or coalition with another State, or with foreign powers.
3. Deleted.
4. Coin money, issue paper money, stamps, or stamped paper.
5. Levy duty on persons or goods passing through their territory.
6. Prohibit or levy duty upon, directly or indirectly, the entrance into or exit from their territory of any domestic or foreign goods.
7. Tax the circulation of domestic or foreign goods by imposts or duties, the exemption of which is made by local customhouses, requiring inspection or registration of packages or documentation to accompany the goods.
8. Enact or maintain in force fiscal laws or provisions that relate to differences in duties or requirements by reason of the origin of domestic or foreign goods, whether this difference is established because of similar production in the locality or because, among such similar production there is a different place or origin.
9. Issue bonds of public deb…

The Sobriety of Class Warfare--in the US

But the double-page centerfold that he prepared for Thanksgiving Day 1860 is about as subtle as the slash of a cavalry saber. “THANKSGIVING DAY, 1860 – THE TWO GREAT CLASSES OF SOCIETY,” Homer titled the engraving. The spread is divided into two halves: on the left, “Those who have more Dinners than appetite,” and on the right, “Those who have more appetite than Dinners.”

There is precious little celebration in Homer’s tribute to the national holiday, let alone flattery of well-heeled Harper’s readers. His portrayal of the rich is eviscerating. On the left-hand page, two overdressed, supercilious socialites peer through opera glasses from an ornate theater box. Above them, a self-absorbed young woman reads a magazine as a maid fusses over her hair. In the adjoining frame – least appealing of all – a lounging wastrel smokes his pipe by the fire, thrusting his fashionably pantalooned crotch into the viewer’s face. Lest anyone miss the point, the words “HARPER’S WEEKLY” are visible on the…

Innovations in local public finances in Latin America

This research will study municipal capacity in order to find out
whether further autonomy leads to cities engaging in more or less
economic development activities.

What explains the degree of fiscal autonomy a municipality might have?
What contributes to the greater degrees of fiscal autonomy for a
municipality? Two what extent does fiscal autonomy influence the
economic development of a municipality? What factors generate a
greater or lesser autonomy for a municipality?

To what extent do cities that have greater fiscal autonomy have in the
implementation of economic development programs?

Ho: If a municipality has greater degree of fiscal autonomy than the
city will be more likely to engage in economic development activities.

Economic development programs is dependent variable
Autonomy is key independent variable

The variation among the cities to engage in entrepreneurial
finances?bonds, outside aid, trust funds, increase taxes or revenue
source?will be evaluated.

Four communities are composite measu…

APA to Launch Urban Planning-focused ECPA Initiative

APA to Launch Urban Planning-focused ECPA Initiative

The American Planning Association (APA) is launching the newest initiative Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 4 – 5, 2010. The path to sustainable cities – those that are more energy efficient, adaptive to climate change, economically diverse, and accessible to its citizens – results only if there is a cultural and institutional base of good urban and regional planning. Through the ECPA initiative and strategic partners, APA seeks to build capacity for urban planning in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to assist ECPA nations fulfill their commitment to promote a sustainable future.

The November 2010 kick-off event in Brazil will draw a diverse set of actors from the Americas to begin forming local, national, and transnational partnerships and networks that will enhance the understanding and use of new technologies and planning tools. The deliberate…

Municipal Diplomacy

At the same time as U.S. foreign aid budgets are dwindling, local public officials are seeking policy solutions globally to fix problems at home. These exchanges are encouraging many subnational leaders to engage in foreign policy efforts. Either through sister city programs, connecting with diaspora communities with their home countries or providing aid and disaster relief to war-torn, climate-affected, in- need areas, there is much work that can be done by the sub-national leaders in the United State.

Somewhat dated, Michael Shuman in his book Going Local sites that in the 1980, many U.S. State, county, and local governments involved in foreign policy activities:
 More than 900 localities passed resolutions supporting a “freeze” in the arms race:
 197 demanded a halt to nuclear testing;
 120 refused to cooperate with the Federal Energy Management Activity’s nuclear war exercises;
 126 plus 27 states, divested from ding business in South Africa;
 86 formed linkages with Nicaragua an…

Urban Finance Topics

Urban Finance

In order to have a strong developed economy, countries must also have strong local economies. Topics to include:

Fiscal Decentralization

Economic Growth

Financing Mechanism

Fiscal Federalism

Urban Development


Independent Auditing

International Financing Institutions

Moral Hazard

My God Is An Angry God

Three of my favorite things--a saab, argentina and good music--all in one video, thanks autoblog!

"My God Is An Angry God (Juan Manuel Fangio Castiga Los Pecados Del Mundo)"

Directed by Davey G. Johnson

The first of the album's "mission" songs finds the assassin Fangio taking out a target about whom we know little more than that he doesn't seem to have any business hanging out in a synagogue. The venue is significant, however, in that our Catholic-born protagonist finds in the idea of the Old Testament God — the "God of wrath" — some measure of justification for his role as hammer of justice. Jericho/Buffalo confusion merely a symptom of overarching Borgesian spatiotemporal displacement.

From the album Fangio, download and vinyl available September 7, single August 10, from Fayettenam Records.

More information about this album and Peter Peter Hughes at

Intergovernmental Relations (IGR)

The concept of federalism dates back to our Founding Fathers. The Framers sought to balance personal rights and property with the role of a strong court and an active party system to the creation of a national system, which prevented internal tyranny. Our Constitution composes of Madison’s institutional framework, Jackson’s patronage system and Jefferson’s ideology of autonomy and independence. The ambiguity of role of local governments in the Constitution gives us the today’s discussions of intergovernmental relations (IGR).

Although the term “local government” is not mentioned in the Constitution, it was the great French writer, Alexis de Tocqueville, who visited the US in the early 1800’s and provides us with our cultural heritage to focus on the importance of local government and civil society in terms of our country’s development of democratic institutions and participation.

For the earlier years, the US lead a regime of Dual Federalism, which allowed the state and federal governm…

urban icebergs

Inhabitat's Week in Green: of mirror cubes and urban icebergs
By Inhabitat posted Jul 18th 2010 8:58PM
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

With summer in full swing, this week Inhabitat watched the mercury rise as the world's largest thermostat burst forth with an array of 72,000 building-mounted LEDs. We also kept things cool with a remarkable plan to transform frozen construction sites into event-hosting urban icebergs. And if you haven't made plans for a summer vacation yet, might we recommend this stunning Swedish "Treehotel" housed within a silvery mirror cube in the sky?

Heartening news rang forth from the renewable energy sector this week as a UN-backed study reported that the building of new renewable energy plants has officially overtaken fossil fuel plants in Europe and the US. We also took a look at two brand new types of power plants --…

Summer Eats

Romance De Curro


La vida y la muerte
bordada en la boca
tenía Merceditas
la del guardarropa.
La del guardarropa
del tablao del "Lacio",
un gitano falso
ex-bufón de palacio.

Alcahuete noble
que al oír los tiros
recogió sus capas
y se pegó el piro.
Se acabó el jaleo
y el racionamiento
le llenó el bolsillo
y montó este invento,
en donde "El Palmo"
lloró cantando...

Ay, mi amor,
sin ti no entiendo el despertar.
Ay, mi amor,
sin ti mi cama es ancha.
Ay, mi amor
que me desvela la verdad.
Entre tú y yo, la soledad
y un manojillo de escarcha.

Mil veces le pide...
y mil veces que "nones"
de compartir sueños
cama y macarrones.
Le dice burlona...
..."Carita gitana,
cómo hacer buen vino
de una cepa enana".

Y Curro se muerde
los labios y calla
pues no hizo la mili
por no dar la talla.
Y quien calla, otorga,
como dice el dicho,
y Curro se muere
por ese mal bicho.

¡Ay! quién fuese abrigo
pa' andar contigo...

Buscando el olvido
se di…

Post-Modern Knowledge Frameworks in Public Administration

Peter Bogason. 1999. Public Administration and Postmodern Conditions, Administrative Theory & Praxis, vol. 21:508-515

In this article, Bogason is describing this potential “ephemeral” theory to its readers and how it was interpreted in the 1990s. Bogason provides a substantiated history for how postmodernism evolved into the social sciences, including rational for why academics have agreed or disagreed to the theory. Highlighting authors in public administration and how they have followed various postmodernist ideas like metanarratives, the understanding the relativity of truth through the use of semiotics, social constructivism, and the questioning of the positivists. Finally, Bogason describes “new” ideas for the future of postmodernism in PA, which include pragmatism, deconstruction and narrative analysis, quantum theory, and suggest additional possible topics.

Gary S. Marshall. 2004. In Modernism’s Wake: Public Administration and Policy in the 21st Century, Public Administratio…

Muddling Through

In his seminal work, The Science of “Muddling Through” Charles E. Lindblom (1959) uses a systems approach to policy formation and suggests that a comparative approach could assist political scientist and policymakers to understand how decision-making happens. In his rebuttal to rational, scientific or mechanical processes, like cost-benefit analysis (CBA), Linblom suggests am incremental approach to understand decision-making. He attempts to describe how decisions are made through various methods of analysis including: the root vs. branch, evaluation and empirical analysis, ends vs. means, testing on hypotheses, non-comprehensive analysis of relevance vs. realism, but concludes that the small succession of events, incremental analysis often helps determine policies. Finally, he adds that while theorist search for the root of the problem and provide possible policy recommendations; practitioners need practical advice immediately on the job and may already be on a new topic when the a…

A Call for Wilsonian Reform in Latin America

Why does the United Sates have a strong democratic government? Is it that the US has a stronger constitution than Latin American governments? Maybe in the US the political parties are less corrupt? Or does the US government have fewer predispositions about influences citizen lives? Even more frequently cited is America’s strong “democratic culture” vs. the “week ones” in Latin America. If one reads the newspapers or follows American politics, there is frequent reference to possible legislators corruption, with campaign finance reform always a hot topics to solve party problems.

Additionally, gerrymandering still lives on to this day; with frequent redistricting requests proposed by congress for “preventive measures.” The Supreme Court reviews hundreds of cases each year to investigate for plausible constitutional reform. The American Civil Liberties Union, a watchdog to ensure that the government does not invade people privacy, receives handfuls of complaints of possible constitutiona…

Private vs. Public Debt: Explaining Borrowing Patterns of Mexican Cities

The Problem

“State and local authorities are hedging and issuing debt in order to deal with the financial crisis,” José Manuel Arteaga reported in an August 13, 2009 article in El Universal, a Mexican daily. Because of our shared border and close relations, the US financial crisis has largely affected our neighbors to the South, in particular Mexico. One of the places where the crisis is profoundly demonstrated is in local public finances. Whereas nascent democracies in Latin America are starting to take hold, so are the challenges to subnational governments with the constant demands on local public services. With severe budget constraints, now is time to analyze how Mexican cities and towns can be more autonomous in order to meet those demands.

Since the 1997 Legal Reform of Article 9 of the National Fiscal Coordination Law (NFCL), which allowed municipalities the right to take out commercial bank credits, there has been a new emphasis on public debt in Mexico. The reform passed succ…

Urban Finance

In order to have a strong developed economy, countries must also have strong local economies. Cities are the economic development engines for the future, and as such, the US should encourage sound urban financial policies for cities around the world. For better part of the past half century, counties have engaged in the various processes of fiscal, administrative and political decentralization, which brings government closer to the people it serves. Fiscal decentralization, or the “transfer of expenditure responsibilities and revenue assignments to lower levels of government” is one key way to promote independent local economies, which are responsive to the needs of urban dwellers.

Concurrent with these trends is the raise of urbanization. For the first time in history, more of the world’s population now lives in cities. As such demands will increase, and therefore state and local governments will be call upon to provide additional services, such as adequate infrastructure for their re…

A "boy crisis" worth Discussing

Where the Guys Are: Males in Higher Education

In 2006, Jennifer Delahunty Britz, dean of admissions at Kenyon College in Ohio, scandalized many readers of The New York Times by her op-ed ("To All the Girls I've Rejected," March 23) about a relatively secret practice that many college admissions officers had been engaging in for years: giving preferential treatment to male applicants. Considering US colleges' history of discrimination against women, this is to many a curious practice. How could colleges and universities be giving "affirmative action"-if that's what it can be called-to men? Why admit supposedly less-qualified males and consequently reject superior female applicants? Have we been so successful improving girls' performance in school that we have, ironically, made it harder for them to get into college?

Even as a sense of a "boy crisis" in schools grips the public, enrollment and degree-attainment gaps between women and men in co…

State of the Art in Public Finance

This document has been prepared in conjunction with the 2008 launch
of the SEFI Public Finance Alliance (or “SEF Alliance”). The purpose of
the report is: 1) to consolidate relevant information about the initiative
– its structure, activities, prospective members, and the contribution it
can make to the development of global sustainable energy markets; and
2) to demonstrate - via concrete examples of innovative actions – some
of the synergies among the relevant programmes of prospective member
agencies around the world, as well as the potential net benefits that
these agencies can receive from participation.

The target audience of this report is officials who manage public money
dedicated to building sustainable energy markets. The document should
serve as a tool for these officials to become more familiar with the SEF
Alliance, as well as with the programmes of some of their sibling agencies
around the world. It should help them begin to consider ways in
which they could become more effective, bot…


According to Wikipedia the meaning of "deflection" varies, depending on its contextual use. For example, deflection can mean bending under load (in engineering) or even shooting ahead of a moving target (in military contexts). Our favorite meaning, because it reflects the deflection we've experienced, comes from physics, in which it is defined as an event in which an object collides and bounces against a plane surface. Here are the seven habits.

Circumspect Deflect. From your first day on campus through the next seven years, keep this simple technique readily available. Upon a request for procedural information, assume a puzzled but attentive air, punctuated with "hmmm." Follow with some variation of "I'm the new gal around here, and I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction. You'd better check with an expert, such as [insert name of 'expert' here]." Don't commit, and you won't be asked again.

Classic Deflect. Leadersh…

Record Breaker

From the NWS statement:


The truth....

You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.

Here. I've been carrying this thing around for months. I don't want it anymore.

Urbanization in Latin America

Did you know that Latin America is one of the most Urbanized regions of the world? With nearly 70% of Latin Americans living in cities of over 500,000. This is one of the most significant urbanized areas in the world. Even though most think of China and India as urban and have high concentrations--yet LAC has its own problems with in-migration to urban areas looking for work, which has been controlled in other regional areas. Therefore, in the next few decades policy makers will have to deal with lots of issues like formalizing land tenure issues, increased reforms with property taxes and re-arranging public finances. Additionally, issues dealing with inequality of basic services within cities like housing, education and health services where they vary in addition to security like policing and areas of cities safe for people, tourist and various classes will be keen in the future. Furthermore, the development of capital markets will be a big issue in the future. Basically macro-ec…