Ralph Blumenthal, who has done some fantastic investigative crime reporting, wrote an article in the Times this weekend examining the FBI's efforts in the 1980s to break up a sect of the Sicilian Mafia by cooperating with the Italian government. Blumenthal wonders if this method could be used to break up some of the drug gangs in Mexico. The comparison both works and doesn't. Clearly we live in a vastly different world than the one the Brooklyn Mafia dominated, but the common thread is asking for international cooperation to leverage power against drug lords that cannot be countered by one government alone.
Dana rightly pointed out that affirmative action is under threat this fall in several states, but there is some good news. It's not five states, as Dana said, it's now four. Oklahoma withdrew it's anti-affirmative action ballot initiative earlier this month due to a lack of signatures. In fact, the secretary of state found that of the 141,184 signatures gathered, many were duplicates.
Yesterday Dana and Kate wrote about a NYT article on the increase in the prison population in the United States. Naturally, then this Inside Higher Edpiece about how prison spending is also up isn't too surprising. What is interesting is how they compared prison spending to the amount spent on higher education by state. For states like Connecticut, Vermont, Michigan, Delaware and Oregon, the spending is nearly one to one.