Posts Tagged: Politics


25
Jan 10

GlacierGate

More on the political and religious drama that is Greenism. The latest fiasco has been given the name: GlacierGate. From "UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters"….

THE United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report’s own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.

The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month’s Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions.

Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change minister, has suggested British and overseas floods — such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 — could be linked to global warming. Barack Obama, the US president, said last autumn: “More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.”


24
Jan 10

Canadian Diplomat to Iran was CIA Spy

From "Canada’s man in Tehran was a CIA spy "

The diplomat praised for sheltering Americans during the Iranian Revolution tells The Globe he was made ‘de facto CIA station chief’ in a secret deal between a U.S. president and prime minister Joe Clark

Ken Taylor, the Canadian diplomat [...] actively spied for the Americans and helped them plan an armed incursion into the country.
[...]
His intelligence-gathering activities were kept secret by agreement between the Canadian and the U.S. governments [...]

Trent University historian Robert Wright, author of Our Man in Tehran , a new account of the incident released today, strongly implies that then-prime-minister Joe Clark insisted Mr. Taylor’s spying be kept quiet, fearing a negative political fallout if the Canadian public learned that one of its envoys was a U.S. spook.
[...]
The request that he provide “aggressive intelligence” for the Americans was made personally by U.S. president Jimmy Carter to Mr. Clark, likely in a telephone conversation on Nov. 30, 1979, according to Prof. Wright.

(Link)


23
Jan 10

Minimum Wage destroying jobs again. This time in Samoa

In reading and blogging about Samoans and Football I noticed an excerpt from the article, that is yet another example of minimum wage laws destroying jobs.

Football has never been more important to the island than right now, because this season there’s been more than the usual trouble in paradise. The island may lose its tuna industry. One cannery, Chicken of the Sea, has left. And because the U.S. Congress wanted to help Samoa by imposing American minimum wage, Governor Tulafono is worried that the last cannery, Starkist, could look to other shores.

Tulafono said that some economists have estimated that 80 percent of the Samoan economy is wrapped up in tuna canneries.

“Eighty percent of everything that goes on around here,” he stressed, “is dependent on the prescence of the canneries.”

And they just lost one of those canneries on Sept. 30.

“What does that mean to you?” Pelley asked.

“Devastation,” Tulafono sighed.

(Link)

UPDATE: There’s a video for this available. (H/T David Henderson)


23
Jan 10

Bill Clinton (re)defines the word “Terrorism”

Forgetting for a moment that “terrorism” is actually a tactic (and actually means something different from the way most politicians seem to be using it), people’s usage of the word “terrorism” has changed to mean something other than the “real” or “original” meaning.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton took a stab at defining what “terrorism” means….

Terror mean[s] killing and robbery and coercion by people who do not have state authority and go beyond national borders.

(Source) (Via)

The “who do not have state authority” part is actually a pretty important point. As when all the “terrorism” hysteria started years ago, groups such a police actually were terrorists under the original definition of the word “terrorist”.

The “authority” part is why taxation is not considered theft. And why a cop arresting someone and taking them away is not considered kidnapping an abduction. And why, in the past, lords who had forced sex (under primae noctis), were not considered rapists.

Of course, the usual caveats about this, that one need accept the notion of authority for arguments for such labeling to be cogent.


16
Jan 10

Saudis fire 1400 rockets into Yemen

Saudi fighter jets have launched another round of aerial bombardment of Houthi positions in northern parts of Yemen along the border with the oil-rich kingdom.

According to a statement released by the fighters on Thursday, Saudi forces carried out 13 aerial raids on Jebel al-Madood as well as villages in close proximity to the border region in northern Yemen.

The statement added that Saudi forces fired some 1400 rockets against the rugged area.

(Link)


16
Jan 10

Maine may seize cottages to cover Medicaid

Maine’s budget proposal would allow jointly owned camps or summer cottages to be seized to help reimburse the state for Medicaid expenses.

Many Maine families have owned and maintained camps or summer cottages through joint tenancy deeds, which permit them to keep the property within their families.

But as Maine Public Radio reports, the state would get the power to seize those properties in some cases. Health and Human Services Commissioner Brenda Harvey says the change would allow the state to be reimbursed for its costs if one of the property owners uses Medicaid funding to pay for long-term care.

Under present law, those properties can’t count as an asset toward their expenses.

(Link)


16
Jan 10

American Democrats and Republicans actually look different

An interesting paper…

Democrats and Republicans Can Be Differentiated from Their Faces

Nicholas O. Rule*, Nalini Ambady
[...]

Abstract
Background

Individuals’ faces communicate a great deal of information about them. Although some of this information tends to be perceptually obvious (such as race and sex), much of it is perceptually ambiguous, without clear or obvious visual cues.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we found that individuals’ political affiliations could be accurately discerned from their faces. In Study 1, perceivers were able to accurately distinguish whether U.S. Senate candidates were either Democrats or Republicans based on photos of their faces. Study 2 showed that these effects extended to Democrat and Republican college students, based on their senior yearbook photos. Study 3 then showed that these judgments were related to differences in perceived traits among the Democrat and Republican faces. Republicans were perceived as more powerful than Democrats. Moreover, as individual targets were perceived to be more powerful, they were more likely to be perceived as Republicans by others. Similarly, as individual targets were perceived to be warmer, they were more likely to be perceived as Democrats.

Conclusions/Significance

These data suggest that perceivers’ beliefs about who is a Democrat and Republican may be based on perceptions of traits stereotypically associated with the two political parties and that, indeed, the guidance of these stereotypes may lead to categorizations of others’ political affiliations at rates significantly more accurate than chance guessing.

(Emphasis mine.)

(Link)

(H/T Dienekes Pontikos)


11
Jan 10

How Things Got Better In Iraq

An except from “Why Are They at War With Us?“…

Consider. America lost 4,000 soldiers in six years in Iraq, with 30,000 wounded. Yet not one American of the 125,000 soldiers in Iraq was killed in December [2009]. Why not? Because we no longer conduct raids, patrol streets, kick down doors, and pat down suspects. We have ended our combat operations, withdrawn to desert bases, and seem anxious to go home. When we stopped fighting and killing them, they stopped fighting and killing us.


11
Jan 10

Moral Foundation Theory and U.S. Politics

Jonathan Haidt and Joshua Knobe talk about Moral Psychology and Moral Foundation Theory as it applies to U.S. politics.

(Link)


9
Jan 10

Happiness and the Foundations of Morality

Will Wilkinson talks to Jonathan Haidt about Moral Psychology and Moral Foundation Theory.

(Link)