Hello, my names is James F. Elliott (you can call me James) and I have been invited by Larry, The Barefoot Bum, to occasionally cross-post here. I treat Larry's invitation with the highest respect; in the brief time I have been reading this blog, I have been struck by its insightful nature and clear, cogent language. Larry has a knack for making the complex easy to comprehend, and I hope to be able to do a little bit of the same. Larry has asked me to focus on international relations, though there may be the occasional foray into culture and politics.
A little bit about myself: I work for California's regional center system, serving developmentally delayed (autism, mental retardation, etc.) individuals from ages 4 to 22. This follows a stint as a special education teacher, professional assault response training instructor, and emergency children's shelter supervisor. I hold undergraduate degrees in psychology and international relations (with an emphasis on peace and security) from the University of California, Davis and a master's degree in social welfare from San Jose State University. I've never held a job that wasn't paid for by tax dollars, so I'm obviously a liberal, and being a liberal, I'm obviously a godless and immoral individual.
In keeping with Larry's request to focus on foreign affairs, my first offering will be about the nature of our conflict with authoritarian, fundamentalist Islam.