December 11th, 2010

International Human (and Huwoman) Righs Day

First, I'd like ro take a liberty and congratulate local inhabitants, including the members of community's Politbureau.

Second, I am curious ro know - what right(s) are you missing right now, folks?
Be creative, try to take higher than picking up in your noses or other interestng places, touvarisches.

E.g., I am missing the right to legally have what I want to by free downloads, including but not limiting to, torrents et al. Yes, copyright legislation must be revised.

Start donating your views right now.
Indication of country appreciated but not mandatory.

PTO Will the mod on duty put the tag 'survey' please?

Conservative Minds, Liberal Media

Reblogging a Tumblr post of my analysis of a Twitter conversation I had:

Here’s a short transcript of a Twitter skirmish wherein I find Mr. Conservative spouting ideological tweets opposing Bernie Sanders. I thought the Sanders filibuster was about the most truthful thing I’ve seen in American politics in my lifetime, so I became curious to get some insight into the minds of those who oppose this kind of exposure of important issues.

He summarized the Bernie-fest thusly:

[Conservative Guy] bernie sanders fillibuster summary: “regardless of what history has shown, socialism is good. the rich are the problem *and* our solution.”

So I decided to step in…


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She Blinded Herself With Science

A female evolutionary biologist takes a majorly WTF-inducing post by a woman with a REALLY poor understanding of science but a love of railing against evolutionary psychology and rips said arguments to shreds. It's pretty darn interesting reading.

Now I'm a bit on the fence in regards to evolutionary psych. But as McCreight points out that whatever evolution might have biologically wired us to want to do we all have free will. Her example of wanting to eat sugar but that we can chose not is perfect. But she also brings up the critical fact that a lot of people love science until its finding don't support their world view. Then suddenly science is ruled by The Other Side and is a chain keeping them down.

Science is about facts and truth. It's people that cheery pick science to support often questionable ideas. The fault is with them. Not with science.

In newly released tapes, Nixon Rails About Jews and Blacks

Newly released White House tapes pull back the curtains on a White House characterized as paranoid and very distrustful of minorities. While President Nixon confided to Charles Colson that he wasn't prejudiced, but said instead “I’ve just recognized that, you know, all people have certain traits.”

“The Jews have certain traits,” he said. “The Irish have certain — for example, the Irish can’t drink. What you always have to remember with the Irish is they get mean. Virtually every Irish I’ve known gets mean when he drinks. Particularly the real Irish.” Nixon continued: “The Italians, of course, those people course don’t have their heads screwed on tight. They are wonderful people, but,” and his voice trailed off. A moment later, Nixon returned to Jews: “The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality.”

Nixon listed many of his top Jewish advisers — among them, Mr. Kissinger and William Safire, who went on to become a columnist at The New York Times — and argued that they shared a common trait, of needing to compensate for an inferiority complex.

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How sad it was read this. Nixon's small-mindedness is so startling and scary on so many levels. For a guy who won the White House by the slimmest of margins of victory, you'd think Nixon would have been, more humble or appreciative of his position. In reality, he wasn't anything much different or less vindictive than Archie Bunker.

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The War in Yemen Heats Up

Some members of this community prefer to steer clear of anything that doesn't portray their government in the best possible light. Those people might want to avoid this discussion.

Yemen fascinates me for a number of reasons. It was once the center of a vibrant civilization. Ancient literature refers to it as Arabia Felix because of its hospitable climate. It was a trade center between India and Africa for centuries. It is where the bin Laden patriarch was born. It hosted the phone hub that the CIA tapped into for a plethora of information on Al Qaeda before 9/11. It was the location of an attack on the US military by Al Qaeda in the final weeks of the Clinton presidency.

Glenn Greenwald points to a blog page on the Wikileaks cable about Yemen that made a big splash in the past few days. Here's a sample excerpt from that page:
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My take on the Yemen deception is that the Yemeni government doesn't want to take flak for being a flunky of the Evil Empire from the other side of the planet.