Summary: It’s “ask a question” time. In the comments “ask the mineshaft”: post questions about geopolitics — and your answers to other people’s questions. This is a community exercise, from the German “Gemeinschaft” (see Wikipedia).
Questions are especially welcome about current events and recent posts (which appear on the top of the right-side menu bar). Please reply to comments using the REPLY button (to keep the thread together).
- Why don’t libertarians consider Somalia and Kansas to be similar near-ideal models? Free markets, low levels of government spending, little regulation, low (and falling) taxes.
- Why does Portugal have universal health care and America does not?
- What does Greenpeace’s @shellprepared hoax show about America today?
- Why is terrorism consider a greater danger to the US than gun-related deaths, despite the body count? I have no ideas whatsoever as to the answer. Please give your answer in the comments.
(2) Review of this week’s news about trends discussed on the FM website
(a) First quote of the Week
“Either we have our strategic priorities all mixed up, or the DoD is doing something very wrong. I would note in passing that Mitt Romney thinks we aren’t spending enough, that we ought to cut taxes even more and that we also need to balance the federal budget. Needless to say, this combination makes no sense, and Romney (who seems to know a lot about clever accounting when his own fortune is involved) is being disingenuous or simply lying.”
— “Connecting the Dots” by one of America’s greatest geo-political experts – Stephen M. Walt, 18 July 2012
(b) Obama makes it difficult for Romney’s campaign by copying so many of Bush Jr’s policies
Example number 10,001 of neo-cons praising Obama’s foreign policy: “Where Obama Shines“, David Brooks, op-ed in the New York Times, 20 July 2012
(b) Romney’s missed opportunity: his speech to the NAACP
He could have built a bridge to them, gaining respect and good press. For example, by disowning the birthers and their delusions. Instead he repeated myths, like that of the widespread success of charter schools (eg, studies by the Stanford U and the Department of Education).
(c) Second Quote of the Week
“With genuinely well-established scientific theories, ‘consensus’ is not discussed and the concept of consensus is arguably irrelevant. For example, there is no point to discussing a consensus that the Earth orbits the sun, or that the helium molecule is lighter than the nitrogen molecule. While a consensus may arise surrounding a specific scientific hypothesis or theory, the existence of a consensus is not itself the evidence.”
— No consensus on consensus, Judith Curry (Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology), Climate Etc, 13 July 2012
Also: look at the FM Twitter feed on the top of the right-side menu. Hit the “follow” button and try it out!