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Total number of comments: 13 (since 2013-11-28 16:32:36)

skeptonomist

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  • Faux News & Patriotism (Jamiol Cartoon)
    • People believe what they see/hear on outlets like Fox because the "news" reinforces prejudices. Liberals tend to believe liberal media for the same reason - and may like cartoons like this. Fox viewers are not being hyponotized, they are just being told what they want to hear. Telling them they are stupid for doing this won't accomplish anything.

  • Israel, Electric Cars, and Existential Threats
    • Why do Israelis put up with an energy policy so beholden to petroleum producers? Maybe because its not really possible to do otherwise at this time, something which seems to escape many people; if Israel can't avoid dependence on oil, who can? It does not make sense for a tiny country like Israel to try for research breakthroughs on alternate energy sources, or even to experiment on a large scale with known alternatives. Smaller countries are smarter to leave this up to the US, and we aren't doing it.

  • Sarkozy's Loss in Part due to his Islamophobia
    • No, Sarkozy did not lose because of refusal to do a stimulus program, he lost because the economy is bad. If it doesn't improve by the time of the next election Hollande will probably lose also.

  • Obama slams GOP for casual war talk re Iran, stresses Costs
    • If Iran is fully in compliance with the NPT, what exactly are the grounds for US and European sanctions? Are no other countries (which don't already have nuclear weapons) pursuing uranium enrichment? What does the NPT say specifically about enrichment? Is the NPT just symbolic, not spelling out these things? I ask out of ignorance.

  • Dear Republican Candidates, You Have us all Wrong
    • On the economic points, what Americans overall want is not very important to Republicans, or even Democrats. What is important to politicians is pleasing the plutocrats who make the donations which fund the attack ads. If the sharp decline of Gingrich is really due to these ads (and not to people remembering or finding out what Gingrich is actually like), this is an example of how they can make a big change very quickly, and probably cause people to ignore real issues. They may also cause independent voters to ignore the radical positions a Republican candidate has taken to get his party's nomination.

  • World's Stupidest Guerrillas Kill over 70 Shiite Pilgrims in Iraq
    • Many if not most successful revolutions have a long history of lack of "success", that is instant regime change after a few attacks. I believe the communists in China, for example, existed for a long time before finally taking over the country. The revolt in Afghanistan against the Soviet-installed government was not instantly successful. In the particular case of Iraq, the Sunni insurgents may think that their chances of success have improved as Americans leave (and payments to Sunni leaders ceased). They may also think that the general level of dissatisfaction among Sunnis has increased because of government actions.

  • Three Republican Bears and none Just Right
    • This tripartite division omits racism, which will hardly be negligible in the campaign against Obama.

  • Muslim Brotherhood and Liberals Confront Military Rule in Egypt
    • Military control is predictable - it is the usual result of revolutions. Sometimes there are progressive elements in the military itself which bring down the old regime (as originally in Turkey), but they tend to be corrupted by power and money in short order.

  • Palin was Right About those Government Death Panels
    • Al-Awlaki was hardly the only person saying the kinds of things he did or plotting against the US (if he actually did that), nor does he seem to have been the most dangerous. It appears he was targeted because he was a US citizen, not in spite of it. His assassination in that light is an act of vengeance, rather than national defense.

      The Constitution requires Congress to authorize war with a specific declaration, so it is obviously illegal for the executive to carry out acts of war against any organization or person against whom Congress has not declared war. It was certainly not meant that the executive has the power to declare war against small groups or individuals. As far as I know the US has not declared war against Al Qaeda, although there would be some sense in this.

  • Ten Years after 9/11, Do the Arabs value Democracy more than We do?
    • Lenin was not exactly in the vanguard of the Russian revolution. He came in late (with foreign help) and radicalized the revolution, making himself dictator. It is very likely that there will be individuals and groups doing the same in Arab countries - those which are not taken over by the military.

  • Top Ten Myths about the Libya War
    • Of course there were US interests in Libya, but it is farcical to pretend that these interests were a matter of promoting democracy or assisting the Libyan people against a tyrant. There were and are dozens of places around the world where such interests should exist, but the US has not intervened in those places. Depending on who actually gets power in Libya and how closely they cooperate with the US - not on how democratic they are - the intervention may not be nearly over.

  • Hellegers: American Income Inequality is the Cause of our Crisis
    • Income inequality predates Reagan - the steady growth of wages came to an abrupt halt in the late 60's:

      link to skeptometrics.org

      Never ignore the determination of the Fed to protect the assets of the wealthy.

  • Was Amiri a Double Agent who Hyped Iran's Nukes?
    • Whoever Amiri was really working for it seems to be another screw-up for the CIA. Did they really get enough information from him to compensate for the embarassment?

      The idea that he was kidnapped by the CIA and then allowed to post on utube and later walk out is absolutely absurd - not even the CIA would be that dumb.

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