Quotes & Links #3

1) thedish.com: Sarah Palin: Anti-Christian

And she seems to endorse it as an introduction to captivity. “Waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists” is a glib statement but a revealing one. Baptism is the beginning of something, an introduction. And so torturing prisoners accused of terrorism is a signature of the America Palin believes in. It’s how we welcome them to our prison camps.

2) the.week.com: This is a perfect example of why scientists don’t vote Republican

It’s no wonder that only six percent of scientists are Republican.

And all of them economists! ;)

3) jimromenesko.com: What makes a Wall Street Journal story has changed in recent years, says editor

A relatively short time ago we had a basic rule at The Wall Street Journal for what made a story, or not.

Would it appeal to the readers of our U.S. paper… Yes, we did it… No, we didn’t.

In the past few years, that has all changed. Now, our thinking is… Does a story appeal to a digital audience somewhere in the world that is important to us?

If the answer is yes, we do it.

4) vox.com: Is Ukraine heading for civil war? We asked one of the world’s leading experts.

Let’s focus a little bit on Russia’s thinking here. Is Putin just trying to expand Russia, or are there other motivations going on? Is there a good base of evidence to understand what’s going on in this case?
I’m myself partial to thinking this is not so much what realist writers, or people who describe themselves as realists, are saying: that losing Ukraine is posing a military threat to Russia. But rather that this has a lot more to do with Russian domestic politics. Putin’s kind of ultimate insecurity as an autocratic leader there.

c.f. 1. Mai in Moscow (pictures)

5) S.P.O.N. – Der Schwarze Kanal: Ideologie vom überlegenen Volk

Bei der Linkspartei und in Teilen der Sozialdemokratie sieht man in Putin immer noch einen Mann in der Tradition der sowjetischen Parteiführer, die für eine wie immer geartete Idee des Sozialismus standen. Deshalb funktionieren dort auch noch die alten Solidarisierungsreflexe. Aber das beruht auf einer Verwechslung: Putin ist nicht Postkommunist, er ist Postfaschist.von Jan Fleischhauer

I’m still having a tough time formulating my actual thoughts on the Ukraine conflict. The speed at which the situations is changing does not make it easier.

Siehe auch: 6) faz.net: Sind die Deutschen zu weich? Der Westen leuchtet heller

Das ist der Grund, weshalb jene Rechten, denen die Homosexuellen, die Frauen und alle Minderheiten schon viel zu frech geworden sind, genauso mit Putin sympathisieren wie jene Linken, die in jeder Geste, welche sich gegen die Amerikanisierung und Globalisierung richtet, nur Befreiung und Selbstermächtigung sehen. Und nicht die brutale Aggression.

7) vox.com: You’re already eating some insects — but you should be eating more of them

These insects also have much higher levels of nutrients like calcium, iron, and zinc, partly because we can eat them ground into a fine powder, exoskeletons and all.

Yummy. I’d eat insects, no problem. As long as they are tasty and dead. Like my other meat.

8) nytimes.com: Don’t be surprised that people still say racist things
Some interesting charts on racism.

9) nytimes.com: How Not to Be Misled by the Jobs Report
Nothing new, but the illustrations are nicely done.

10) fivethirtyeight.com: Are White Republicans More Racist Than White Democrats?

If there’s a discouraging trend, it’s not so much that negative racial attitudes toward blacks have increased in these polls, but that they’ve failed to decrease under Obama, as they did so clearly for most of the past three decades.

Again, some nice illustrations and some results did surprise me.

11) nationalinterest.org: Thucydides Trap 2.0: Superpower Suicide?

And deny it all he likes, Obama isn’t shifting over half of American naval assets to the Asia Pacific to contain pirates.

Ukraine, Syria and a future conflict with China? Three reasons you don’t want to be an American president. ;)

12) guardian.com: Our manifesto for Europe

The point is not to pool all our taxes and government spending. All too often today’s Europe has proved to be stupidly intrusive on secondary issues (such as the VAT rate on hairdressers and equestrian clubs) and pathetically impotent on important ones (such as tax havens and financial regulation).

Some interesting ideas, although not particularly original. But then again: one does not have to reinvent the wheel for most problems. None of them will (for obvious reasons) be implemented anytime soon, so their desirability doesn’t need to be discussed. Yet.

13) bbc.com: The curious tale of the economist and the Cezanne in the hedge

The British government had borrowed considerable amounts of money from the US to help them fight the war. They had lent much of it on to the French, who would never be in a position to pay it back. So Keynes argued that he could purchase a few paintings, which would grow in value, for effectively nothing. It was positively, well, Keynesian.

14) nytimes.com: Inequality Has Been Going On Forever… but That Doesn’t Mean It’s Inevitable

Inequality, then, is less an inevitability than a choice. Just as societies have conquered many of the challenges of the natural world — making childbirth safe for women or beating back common illnesses that once were frequent killers — we can alter the course of inequality, too.

A nice summary of Piketty’s argument with a sprinkle of cross-country comparison.


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