A few of these were DVD rentals.
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Professors of international relations shape future policy debates and mold the next generation of leaders. So who are these dons of diplomacy, and what do they believe?Bill Petti mentioned this piece over a month ago on Duck of Minerva (my second home). The complete report is on Mike Tierney's website.
One thing that stands out about these high achievers, though, is how similar they are: Nearly all are white men older than 50.More on that below.
there aren't any women and I think there are some major oversights. I'm guessing that in 10 years, many of these scholars will be on the list: Mike Barnett, Jeff Checkel, Marty Finnemore, David Held, Andrew Moravcsik, Thomas Risse, Kathryn Sikkink, and Anne-Marie Slaughter.If you don't recognize those names, they are younger than those listed above, some are women, some are based abroad, and most are sympathetic to theoretical traditions that are neither realist nor liberal. They've read Wendt (and Ruggie and Cox) and are influenced by the "constructivist turn" in IR. The William and Mary team made note:
When respondents were asked who is currently doing the most interesting research, four women, led by Martha Finnemore at George Washington University and Kathryn Sikkink at the University of Minnesota, scored highly.Does it matter that the field of IR is dominated by white males eligible for AARP cards? Disclosure: I'm only a few years away from that demographic.
Reconstructionists aren’t shy about what exactly it is they are pursuing: "The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise," Gary North, a top Reconstruction theorist, wrote in his 1989 book, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism. "Those who refuse to submit publicly...must be denied citizenship."Sugg links a number of public figures to Reconstructionism: Alabama gubernatorial candidate Roy Moore, Marvin Olasky (compassionate conservatism's chief thinker), Tom DeLay, Promise Keeper Jack Hayford, etc.
The Old Testament—with its 600 or so Mosaic laws—is the inflexible guide for the society [author Gary] DeMar and other Reconstructionists envision. Government posts would be reserved for the righteous, as long as they are male. There would be thousands of executions a year, with stoning a preferred method because it would turn the deaths into "community projects," as movement theologian North has noted. Sinners in line for the death penalty would include women who commit adultery or lie about their virginity, blasphemers, witches, children who strike their parents, and gay men (lesbians, however, would be spared because no specific reference to them can be found in the Books of Moses). DeMar told me that among Reconstructionists he is considered something of a liberal, because he’d execute gays only if they were caught indulging in sodomy. "I’m happy to just drive them back into the closet," he said.OK, one more:
...In his book Liberty at Risk, DeMar writes that "the State cannot be neutral towards the Christian faith. Any obstacle that would jeopardize the preaching of the Word of God…must be opposed by civil government."
I asked [Roy] Moore, "Do you favor a theocracy?" The judge turned and looked at me, shook his head, frowned, and walked away. But DeMar, in our interview, had already answered the question.Happy holidays!
"All governments are theocracies," he said. "We now live in a secular humanist theocracy. I want to change that to a government with God at its head."
We will continue to listen to honest criticism, and make every change that will help us complete the mission. Yet there is a difference between honest critics who recognize what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right.There you have it. Defeatists aren't honest.
Defeatism may have its partisan uses, but it is not justified by the facts. For every scene of destruction in Iraq, there are more scenes of rebuilding and hope. For every life lost, there are countless more lives reclaimed. And for every terrorist working to stop freedom in Iraq, there are many more Iraqis and Americans working to defeat them. My fellow citizens: Not only can we win the war in Iraq, we are winning the war in Iraq.
We're approaching a new year, and there are certain things all Americans can expect to see. We will see more sacrifice -- from our military, their families, and the Iraqi people. We will see a concerted effort to improve Iraqi police forces and fight corruption. We will see the Iraqi military gaining strength and confidence, and the democratic process moving forward. As these achievements come, it should require fewer American troops to accomplish our mission.What he doesn't say is that the strongest military in the world has been in Iraq for nearly three years and the insurgency is not getting smaller. The attacks are not fewer and American soldiers continue to die at a steady rate.
we gave Saddam Hussein the chance to disclose or disarm, and he refused. And I made a tough decision. And knowing what I know today, I'd make the decision again.George W. Bush said that December 12, 2005.
Public opinion is now fairly solidly against the war in Iraq. More than half of Americans – 55% - think the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq (the highest figure to date), while 41% think taking military action there was the right thing to do.That's a CBS news poll from October.
Howard Fineman, Newsweek's chief political correspondent, said Monday night in the first program of a Drew University lecture series, that Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward had become a "court stenographer" for the Bush administration.Wow! "The news about news is really bad," Fineman said.
Standing before a crowd of nearly 300, Fineman, said Woodward went from being an outsider "burning the beltway"with his investigative work in the 1970s Watergate scandal under President Nixon to being, " an official court stenographer of the Bush administration."
"He's a great reporter,"Fineman said of Woodward, "but he's become a great reporter of official history."
Newspaper columnist Robert Novak is still not naming his source in the Valerie Plame affair, but he says he is pretty sure the name is no mystery to President Bush.Wow again! Novak attacked the left for making too much of the case, but also blamed "extremely bad management of the issue by the White House. Once you give an issue to a special prosecutor, you lose control of it."
"I'm confident the president knows who the source is," Novak told a luncheon audience at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh on Tuesday. "I'd be amazed if he doesn't."
"So I say, 'Don't bug me. Don't bug Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is.'"
Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.Scholars have been looking at the relationship between oil and democracy for some time. Whether you study the Middle Eastern suppliers, Nigeria, Central Asia, Russia, or Texas, you know that oil can badly distort politics and undermine democracy.
And tell your friends.
Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."
Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US.
the oil-impedes-democracy claim is both valid and statistically robust; in other words, oil does hurt democracy. Moreover, oil does greater damage to democracy in poor states than in rich ones...Oil wealth has probably made democratization harder in states like Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and Nigeria; it may well have the same affect on the oil-rich states of Central Asia.Norway and the UK are notable exceptions, but their populations aren't poor.
there is at least tentative support for three causal mechanisms that link oil and authoritarianism: a rentier effect, through which governments use low tax rates and high spending to dampen pressures for democracy; a repression effect, by which governments build up their internal security forces to ward off democratic pressures; and a modernization effect, in which the failure of the population to move into industrial and service sector jobs renders them less likely to push for democracy.Anecdotally, even the Vice President recognizes the problem.
At a 1996 energy conference in New Orleans, Dick Cheney, then CEO of Halliburton said, "The problem is that the good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas reserves where there are democratic governments."Thus, Venezuela and Citgo are a truly interesting case, especially given that Venezuela is in the Global South.
"This is a humanitarian gesture on the part of the Venezuelan people to our neighbors in need." ...The program "is consistent with our outreach to other countries in the Americas, using our oil to assist in economic development and regional integration," [Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.S. Bernardo] Alvarez said. "We are all Americans."Before winter is over, other US cities may also receive discount oil from Citgo.
U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman offered a similar response to questions about the program.This is mealy-mouthed.
“We’re for corporate philanthropy, and if that is what he (Chávez) chooses to do, we’re certainly not going to argue with him,” Bodman told reporters Thursday.
The New York Film Critics Circle became the latest group to name the cowboy romance “Brokeback Mountain” as the year’s top film...On Saturday, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association also chose “Brokeback Mountain” as its top film of 2005."The Boondocks" comic also had a fairly humorous take on this movie, from December 5-10.
Speaking to the Kentucky Farm Bureau convention, [Senator Mitch] McConnell said the transition in Iraq has been "rather smooth" - noting that in less than three years Iraq went from the fall of Saddam Hussein to parliamentary elections planned for next week. By contrast, 11 years elapsed in the United States from the time of the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution, he said.McConnell added, losses have been "quite small" because of the "extraordinary effectiveness of our military."
"I think that Iraq is already a success story, and I think it's going to end up being remembered by historians as a huge success story," he said...
McConnell, who has taken trips to Iraq, said all but three Iraqi provinces are "safe and stable" and that life is "dramatically better than it used to be."
..."Well the president does have a plan in Iraq, and the plan is as follows: We're going to stay and win, we're not going to cut and run," said McConnell, drawing applause.
Growing GDP is good for those with access to the twin golden rivers flowing through Iraq -- not the Tigris and Euphrates, but oil revenue and foreign aid. The rest of the economy is, on the whole, weak. Unemployment remains in the 30 to 40 percent range, and the psychologically most critical type of infrastructure -- electricity -- has barely improved since Saddam Hussein fell. Iraqi security forces are getting better, but they are also losing more than 200 men a month to the insurgency. Civilian casualties in Iraq from the war are as high as ever; combine that with the region's highest crime rates, and Iraq has clearly become a much more violent society since Hussein fell. Tactically, the resistance appears to be outmaneuvering the best military in the world in its use of improvised explosive devices. And politically, every move forward toward greater Sunni Arab participation in the political process seems to be accompanied by at least one step back.Every number O'Hanlon provides is document in his reports and the overwhelming majority come straight from the US government.
The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda on detailed statements made by a prisoner while in Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to escape harsh treatment, according to current and former government officials....By March 2004, of course, the US had already been in Iraq for a year, so it was a little late to recant his "intelligence."
The new disclosure provides the first public evidence that bad intelligence on Iraq may have resulted partly from the administration's heavy reliance on third countries to carry out interrogations of Qaeda members and others detained as part of American counterterrorism efforts. The Bush administration used Mr. [Ibn al-Shaykh al-]Libi's accounts as the basis for its prewar claims, now discredited, that ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda included training in explosives and chemical weapons.
The fact that Mr. Libi recanted after the American invasion of Iraq and that intelligence based on his remarks was withdrawn by the C.I.A. in March 2004 has been public for more than a year.
In statements before the war, and without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then the secretary of state, and other officials repeatedly cited the information provided by Mr. Libi as "credible" evidence that Iraq was training Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons. Among the first and most prominent assertions was one by Mr. Bush, who said in a major speech in Cincinnati in October 2002 that "we've learned that Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and gases."All BS.
“I believe in the fallibility of human nature,” Scowcroft told me. “We continually step on our best aspirations. We’re humans. Given a chance to screw up, we will.”Like academic realists, Scowcroft doesn't think much of Wilsonianism:
Scowcroft does not believe that the promotion of American-style democracy abroad is a sufficiently good reason to use force. “I thought we ought to make it our duty to help make the world friendlier for the growth of liberal regimes,” he said. “You encourage democracy over time, with assistance, and aid, the traditional way. Not how the neocons do it.”Scowcroft says simply, "Iraq feeds terrorism."
"She says we’re going to democratize Iraq, and I said, ‘Condi, you’re not going to democratize Iraq.’"Some insiders think the former General speaks for the elder Bush.
“What the realist fears is the consequences of idealism,” he said. “The reason I part with the neocons is that I don’t think in any reasonable time frame the objective of democratizing the Middle East can be successful. If you can do it, fine, but I don’t you think you can, and in the process of trying to do it you can make the Middle East a lot worse.” He added, “I’m a realist in the sense that I’m a cynic about human nature.”
“We always made sure the President was hearing all the possibilities,” John Sununu, who served as chief of staff to George H. W. Bush, said. “That’s one of the differences between the first Bush Administration and this Bush Administration.”The article is filled with criticism of various players in the current administration.
American vital interest requires not the maintenance of the status quo, but the transformation of world politics, and indeed, of the domestic systems of many countries. This project is more far-reaching than traditional empires that sought only to conquer. Although difficult to achieve, this could be accomplished by superior military power. For the transformation Bush has in mind, superior force is necessary but not sufficient; it can succeed only through the efforts of others. Furthermore, not only must the populations and elites in currently dictatorial regimes undergo democratic transformations, but America’s allies must work with it in a wide variety of projects to sustain the political and economic infrastructure of the new world. The unilateralist impulses in American policy are likely to inhibit such cooperation, however.Jervis explains that the Bush administration has staked US policy on the "giant gamble" of Iraqi democratization.
If the Bush administration overestimates the extent to which it can and needs to make the world democratic, it incorrectly assumes that the American domestic system will provide the steady support that the Doctrine requires. (p. 375)
For Castillo: The Minnesota Twins gave them pitchers Travis Bowyer (24) and Scott Tyler (23).From that list, Petit and Ramirez are the big prizes, though Jacobs had quite a debut with the Mets last year after a great year at AA. 3B Posmas is at least a year away, but he had an outstanding 2005 at Hagerstown.
For Delgado: The New York Mets sent 1B Mike Jacobs (25), RHP Yusmeiro Petit (21) and INF Grant Psomas.
For Beckett, Lowell and Mota: acquired SS Hanley Ramirez (21), RHP Anibal Sanchez (21), RHP Harvey Garcia (21), and RHP Jesus Delgado (21) from the Boston Red Sox.
State failure is a new label that encompasses a range of severe political conflicts and regime crises exemplified by macro-societal events such as those that occurred in Somalia, Bosnia, Liberia, and Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) in the 1990s. This web site lists comparative information on cases of total and partial state failure that began between 1955 and 2001 in independent countries with populations greater than 500,000. The types of events included are revolutionary wars, ethnic wars, adverse regime changes, and genocides and politicides.That's pretty comprehensive, eh? By the way, Dan Drezner today has a short summary post about the latest Human Security Report on genocides, politicides, conflicts and wars.
The list of state failure events (i.e., the State Failure "problem set") has been compiled from multiple sources by researchers at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM), University of Maryland, and is regularly updated and revised with input from area and subject-matter specialists.
sought to identify the underlying or structural conditions associated with the occurrence of state failure within the next two years. These conditions were first identified for a global model encompassing all countries and all types of state failures.OK, so researchers undertook a comprehensive multi-year study seeking to explain the causes of state failure.
when applied to historical data, correctly classified stable countries and countries headed for state failure with 70- to 80-percent accuracy.Here's the key set of findings from the global model:
The strongest influence on the risk of state failure was regime type. All other things being equal, we found the odds of failure to be seven times as high for partial democracies as they were for full democracies and autocracies.So, now, what about Iraq?
In addition, each of the following risk factors roughly doubled the odds of state failure:
• Low levels of material well-being, measured by infant mortality rates.
• Low trade openness, measured by imports plus exports as a percent of GDP.
• The presence of major civil conflicts in two or more bordering states.
This analysis also found that total population and population density had a moderate relationship to state failure. Countries with larger populations and higher population density had 30-percent and 40-percent greater odds of state failure, respectively.
No direct relationship to state failure was found for environmental factors, ethnic or religious discrimination, price inflation, government debt, or military spending. Nevertheless, such factors might have indirect effects on state failure, if they influence a country’s material well-being or its engagement in international trade.
Three new factors emerged as important in this model. First, countries with Islamic sects faced odds of failure three times as high as those lacking such sectarian activity. Second, the religious diversity of the population as a whole mattered. Countries with either unusually diverse or unusually homogeneous populations had odds of failure nearly three times as high as those with moderate religious diversity. This relationship may exist because the exclusivist claims of Islamic religion are pursued more vigorously if one group is highly dominant, or if none are, whereas societies that include several major religious groups may tend to habituate compromise or cooperation. Finally, membership in regional organizations was also found to have a stabilizing effect; countries with relatively few international memberships were almost twice as likely to experience state failure as those with many memberships.This doesn't look good for Iraq, eh?
Taken together, these findings suggest a broader conclusion regarding the role of religion in state failure in the Muslim world: although religion clearly is very salient to politics in many Muslim countries, the key drivers of state failure in the Muslim world are, in most respects, the same as those in the rest of the world.
A team of European researchers analyzed tiny air bubbles preserved in Antarctic ice for millennia and determined there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than at any point during the last 650,000 years.Think about that again: highest level in 650,000 years.
The study by the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica, published Friday in the journal Science, promises to spur "dramatically improved understanding" of climate change, said geosciences specialist Edward Brook of Oregon State University.
Whether it is an increase in poor health from diseases such as malaria or shrinking water supplies, nations in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and South America are vulnerable to the consequences of changes in global temperatures.150,000 deaths per year, now, according to the WHO!
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that climate change leads to more than 150,000 deaths every year and at least 5 million cases of illness.
In the new study, published today in the journal Nature, a group of British oceanographers surveyed a section of the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Africa to the Bahamas that has been studied periodically since 1957. They found the overall movement of water had slowed 30% in the past five decades, particularly in the flow of cold water back to the south.It's a "large scale geophysical experiment" on the planet earth, as oceanographer Roger Revelle remarked in 1957.
The findings are the first evidence of such a slowdown.
"The result is alarming," Detlef Quadfasel, a climate expert at the University of Hamburg, wrote in a commentary accompanying the research. The findings provide "worrying support for computer models" predicting that global warming could disrupt the way the planet regulates heat, he said.
Computer models have long predicted that warming of the oceans and "freshening" of the seas with water from melting glaciers and increased precipitation — all linked to warming of the Earth by greenhouse gases — could slow down the currents. But scientists did not expect to see such changes so soon.
Scientists differ on the potential effect. Some say weaker currents would cool Europe by several degrees, causing problems for agriculture and ecosystems and ushering in far more severe winters. Others say the cooling would probably balance out the effect of global warming in Europe, which is expected to raise temperatures globally by several degrees over the next century.
"My personal guess is there would be no overall cooling, just a slowdown of the warming," Quadfasel said in an interview.
The Chinese government said Wednesday that despite being one of the world's worst polluters, it was already cutting greenhouse gases and called on the United States to join the global community under the Kyoto Protocol to protect the earth's atmosphere....China has been exempt from Kyoto because it is a developing country, which means that per capita emissions are historically low.
"We really feel pity that the U.S. has not yet, and is not going to join the Kyoto Protocol, not only because of the size of its total emissions, but also because of its higher per capita emissions," said Sun [Guoshun, director of the Department of Treaty and Law at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs].
...He noted that China's annual production of carbon dioxide was 2.6 tons per 1,000 people, while the average was 19 tons per capita in the United States.
These decisions about troop levels will be driven by the conditions on the ground in Iraq and the good judgment of our commanders -- not by artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington. (Applause.)Is anyone really talking about an artificial deadline? What kind of withdrawal plan would NOT constitute "cutting and running"?
Some are calling for a deadline for withdrawal. Many advocating an artificial timetable for withdrawing our troops are sincere -- but I believe they're sincerely wrong. Pulling our troops out before they've achieved their purpose is not a plan for victory. As Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman said recently, setting an artificial timetable would "discourage our troops because it seems to be heading for the door. It will encourage the terrorists, it will confuse the Iraqi people."
Senator Lieberman is right. Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a message across the world that America is a weak and an unreliable ally. Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a signal to our enemies -- that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run and abandon its friends. And setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorists' tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder -- and invite new attacks on America. To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your Commander-in-Chief.
I will settle for nothing less than complete victory. In World War II, victory came when the Empire of Japan surrendered on the deck of the USS Missouri. In Iraq, there will not be a signing ceremony on the deck of a battleship. Victory will come when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, when the Iraqi security forces can provide for the safety of their own citizens, and when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot new attacks on our nation.Once again, it appears as if the President is arguing against a strawman position and offering mere platitudes in a debate calling out for serious thinking.
"to be judicious as to how to use the military. It needs to be in our vital interest, the mission needs to be clear, and the exit strategy obvious."That statement, by then-Governor George W. Bush, was offered in the second debate against Al Gore.
I'm worried about overcommitting our military around the world. I want to be judicious in its use. You mentioned Haiti. I wouldn't have sent troops to Haiti. I didn't think it was a mission worthwhile. It was a nation building mission, and it was not very successful. It cost us billions, a couple billions of dollars, and I'm not so sure democracy is any better off in Haiti than it was before.The White House continues to claim that Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism, and says that those commiting violence are terrorists, but that doesn't mean we have to believe them.
Although well-intentioned, humanitarian aid to Rwandan refugees in Zaire became the fuel for more repression and death, Fiona Terry says.The award is a $200,000 prize. Terry's book was published by Cornell University Press and is available in paperback.
For analyzing how that occurred and urging international aid groups to understand that their actions can have unintended consequences, Terry was awarded the 2006 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order....
Terry, 38, is an Australian who worked for Medicins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) in camps in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo.
She wrote a book in 2002, "Condemned to Repeat? The Paradox of Humanitarian Action," about that tragedy and similar ones in refugee camps around the world.
"Not enough organizations look into the political side of their aid, what they're contributing to," Terry said. "They turn a blind eye to it."
In Zaire, Terry said she saw how the assistance that nations, including the United States, were sending was being diverted to illegitimate purposes.Terry also claims that aid to Afghan refugees in Pakistan gave birth to the Taliban.
"The aid was helping the refugees," Terry said, "but the refugees were being controlled completely by the same people who had committed genocide in Rwanda."
The majority Hutus had directed a bloodbath against the minority Tutsis, resulting in up to a million deaths and a mass exodus of Tutsis and moderate Hutus to neighboring countries.
As the Tutsis wrested power from the Hutus in Rwanda, many of those responsible for the mass killings ended up in the camps as well. They "were stealing the food and preventing the refugees from going home," Terry said.
Eventually, the French section of Medicins sans Frontieres, including Terry, pulled out of Zaire.
"We have an obligation to say no sometimes -- 'This is unacceptable,' " Terry said.
The Hutu militia used the camps as bases to attack Rwanda, and in 1996 Rwanda attacked and destroyed the camps.
"Up to 200,000 people went missing from the camps," Terry said. "It was really a slaughter."
Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy and tax charges and tearfully resigned from office, admitting he took $2.4 million in bribes to steer defense contracts to co-conspirators....Cunningham pled guilty to a variety of charges, including conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, and tax evasion. Cunningham, in a related statement, admitted to receipt of $2.4 million in bribes, including $1 million in cash.
Cunningham answered "yes, Your Honor" when asked by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns if he had accepted bribes from someone in exchange for his performance of official duties.
...now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.The "iron triangle" linking the Pentagon, the Congress, and defense contractors is potentially quite dangerous. The machine needs the continual infusion of cash to churn out weapons, whether those arms are needed for war or not.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Had the decision belonged to Senator Kerry, Saddam Hussein would still be in power, today, in Iraq.Well, to quote Pete Townsend, "Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has said that human rights abuses in Iraq today are as bad as those during the rule of Saddam Hussein.You may have missed the news earlier this week, but US troops found a secret prison inside an Iraqi interior ministry department. They found 170 "apparently abused captives."
In an interview with the UK's Observer newspaper, Mr Allawi said that Iraqis were being tortured and killed by secret police in secret bunkers....
"People are doing the same as (in) Saddam Hussein's time and worse," Mr Allawi told the newspaper.
"It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam.
"These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam Hussein, and now we are seeing the same things."
Moneyball is now a descriptor of a specific philosophy for building a baseball team.And here are the handy references Black provided:
As I re-read the book, I tried to identify specific quotes that would describe the Moneyball philosophy.
p. 33 -- The ability to control the strike zone (meaning K/BB ratio) is the best indicator of future success (for a hitter).By the way, economists Jahn Karl Hakes and Raymond D. Sauer have authored "An Economic Evaluation of the Moneyball Hypothesis." Hakes and Sauer conclude that any market under-valuing of OBP (on-base percentage) was history by the time Moneyball was published. This is their abstract:
p. 34 -- The larger the number of pitches faced per plate appearance, the more effective an offense is likely to be.
p. 37-38 -- College stats are better for predicting the future of players than high school statistics. For high school players the competition is too weak and the sample size it too small.
p. 57 -- The number of runs a team scores correlates closely to OBP.
p. 125 -- Closers are overpriced and rarely worth the investment of a large contract.
p. 129 -- The ability to get on base is undervalued. (NOTE: Is it now overvalued because of the book?)
p. 137 -- Hitting ability contributes far more to the success of a team than defensive ability.
p. 248 -- Player development follows similar, predictable patterns.
P. 274 -- Playoff results are essentially random because of a small sample size.
Michael Lewis's book, Moneyball, is the story of an innovative manager who exploits an inefficiency in baseball's labor market over a prolonged period of time. We evaluate this claim by applying standard econometric procedures to data on player productivity and compensation from 1999 to 2004. These methods support Lewis's argument that the valuation of different skills was inefficient in the early part of this period, and that this was profitably exploited by managers with the ability to generate and interpret statistical knowledge. This knowledge became increasingly dispersed across baseball teams during this period. Consistent with Lewis's story and economic reasoning, the spread of this knowledge is associated with the market correcting the original mis-pricing.The full paper is available for download at various sites. Just click the link for the abstract to obtain the link(s).
Nearly six million children die from hunger or malnutrition every year, the Food and Agriculture Organisation says.The article includes links to the full report on "food insecurity" as well as the Executive Summary.
Many deaths result from treatable diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria and measles, the agency says.
They would survive if they had proper nourishment, the agency says in a new report on world hunger.
"Reducing hunger should become the driving force for progress and hope," FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf wrote in the report.Happy Thanksgiving!
civil engineer who had helped Saddam's men to secretly bury tons of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. The illegal arms, according to al-Haideri, were buried in subterranean wells, hidden in private villas, even stashed beneath the Saddam Hussein Hospital, the largest medical facility in Baghdad.The CIA determined that this story was a complete fabrication in December, 2001.
[The INC's] Zaab Sethna, who organized the al-Haideri media exclusive in Thailand for [Australian freelance television reporter Paul] Moran [a covert Rendon operative] and Judith Miller...Apparently, Rendon also worked with Donald Rumsfeld's short-lived Office of Strategic Influence and its less prominent successor, Information Operations Task Force.
...the falsified story about weapons of mass destruction that he [Moran] and Sethna had broadcast around the world lived on....In a report ironically titled "Iraq: Denial and Deception," the administration referred to al-Haideri by name and detailed his allegations -- even though the CIA had already determined them to be lies. The report was placed on the White House Web site on September 12th, 2002, and remains there today. One version of the report even credits Miller's article for the information.
PRESIDENT Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.An anonymous government official is quoted as saying that Bush's remark was made in jest, but several sources are cited as claiming that it was absolutely serious.
But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.
A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it." Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.
analysts say, once someone loses confidence in the conduct of a war, it is exceedingly difficult to woo them back.John Mueller of Ohio State refers to an emerging "Iraq syndrome," which I discussed here more than a year ago.
Pollster Daniel Yankelovich, writing in the September/October 2005 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, states that "in my judgment the Bush administration has about a year before the public's impatience will force it to change course."
The just-released quadrennial survey of American attitudes toward foreign policy - produced jointly by the Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations - shows a revival of isolationism. Now, 42 percent of Americans say the US should "mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own" - up from 30 percent in 2002.So, again, more evidence that the current president has weakened American national security.
According to Pew Research Center director Andrew Kohut, that 42 percent figure is also similar to how the US public felt in the mid-1970s, at the end of the Vietnam War, and in the 1990s, at the end of the cold war.
Iraq and Weapons of Mass DestructionHat tip to Deep Blade, who has been confronting Professor John C. McAdams of Marquette University about the argument that "Bush lied."
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 80
Updated - February 11, 2004
Edited by Jeffrey Richelson
Originally posted December 20, 2002
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.Former anti-terror chief Richard Clarke makes the same charge. So does former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.
Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)As for that part:
SEC. 8. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize or otherwise speak to the use of United States Armed Forces (except as provided in section 4(a)(2)) in carrying out this Act.
SEC. 4. ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT A TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ.Next?
(a) AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE- The President may provide to the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations designated in accordance with section 5 the following assistance:
(2) MILITARY ASSISTANCE- (A) The President is authorized to direct the drawdown of defense articles from the stocks of the Department of Defense, defense services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training for such organizations.
(B) The aggregate value (as defined in section 644(m) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961) of assistance provided under this paragraph may not exceed $97,000,000.