Daily Archives: 06/12/2012

Rand Paul’s Unnecessary Praise for Romney’s Foreign Policy Is What Makes the Endorsement So Troubling


Dylan Hales’ main objection to the content of Rand Paul’s Romney endorsement is very similar to mine:

It is one thing to say “I am a Republican Senator from he great state of Kentucky and like the majority of my state I will gladly vote for our party’s nominee in November.” It is quite another to tout Mitt Romney as a man with a sensible foreign-policy vision.

That’s exactly right. What makes this part of Sen. Paul’s endorsement so unfortunate is that it was entirely unnecessary. There were several ways that he could have handled his differences with Romney on foreign policy that would have been more satisfactory. The easiest would have been to fall back on the overused line that someone in agreement with you 80% of the time is your ally. That would not have created the impression that Paul believes Romney’s foreign policy to be sound. One has to hope that Paul doesn’t actually think this, but that is what he said. At the same time, it would have avoided emphasizing those differences when the point of the endorsement is to do the opposite. Another way would have been to find some foreign policy issue where he and Romney are more or less in agreement, if there is such a thing. Perhaps he could have found some common ground on foreign aid spending. Failing that, it would have been better to avoid saying anything on the subject.

Sen. Paul’s comments wouldn’t have been quite as worrisome if Romney belonged to the Republican realist tradition. There would still be many disagreements on specific policies, but it wouldn’t be so incredible to conclude that such a person wasn’t unduly reckless. Romney is nothing like that. If anything, his foreign policy views represent the complete repudiation of foreign policy realism inside the GOP. At least Huntsman admirers had a little something to back up their arguments in his favor. Romney has given the public no reason to expect anything but the worst in the conduct of foreign policy by his administration if he is elected.

Rand Paul’s Unnecessary Praise for Romney’s Foreign Policy Is What Makes the Endorsement So Troubling
Daniel Larison
Tue, 12 Jun 2012 23:26:42 GMT

Bits Blog: Verizon Unveils Wireless Plans That Cover Several Devices


The new plans will allow customers to pay monthly fees to share data, voice minutes and text messages across multiple devices, like smartphones, tablets and notebooks.

Bits Blog: Verizon Unveils Wireless Plans That Cover Several Devices
Wed, 13 Jun 2012 01:16:08 GMT

Doom and Gloom maybe not, but a blow to our spirit

A new study has come out as they do maybe every decade or so that we are killing the earth.  The club or Rome in the 70’s said we’d run out of every thing by now, and the world would be worse now.

I think humanity will survive we’ll adapt.  The following elaborates pretty well why; but is that all we want to do?

Nature (an academic journal) is grabbing headlines with a new “big think” piece.  Here is a quote from the LA Times
“A group of international scientists is sounding a global alarm, warning that population growth, climate change and environmental destruction are pushing Earth toward calamitous — and irreversible — biological changes.
In a paper published in Thursday’s edition of the journalNature, 22 researchers from a variety of fields liken the human impact to global events eons ago that caused mass extinctions, permanently altering Earth’s biosphere.
“Humans are now forcing another such transition, with the potential to transform Earth rapidly and irreversibly into a state unknown in human experience,” wrote the authors, who are from the U.S., Europe, Canada and South America.”
These scientists could certainly be right about their predictions about global climate patterns but how do they know that we (both people and creatures) have such limited ability to adapt to the “new normal”?   I don’t see any social scientists involved in this project.   I would like to see these 22 researchers tell a convincing story for how the trends they highlight will decimate our world and that we will be defenseless to protect ourselves in the face of this change.
I would like to see these “crystal ball” researchers explain in nitty/gritty details the “calamitous” scenarios they envision for us and creatures.  If they foresee this tragedy, are there really no pathways to adapt? 
To quote these guys again,
“The swiftness of climate change is likely to outpace the ability of species to adapt, especially as natural habitat becomes more fragmented, Barnosky said.
All this could produce a biologically impoverished Earth that would rob humans of vital ecological services such as insects that pollinate crops, forests that provide clean water, and tropical species that are the source of new drugs.
“We have created a bubble of human population and economy … that is totally unsustainable and is either going to have to deflate gradually or is going to burst,” said co-author James Brown, a distinguished professor of biology at the University of New Mexico. “If it’s going to burst, the consequences are really going to be grim for people as well as biodiversity and the rest of the planet.”
So, take a look at the middle paragraph. If we anticipate that Mother Nature won’t be providing these services anymore, isn’t there a profit opportunity for innovators who can deliver a substitute?
I disagree with Prof. James Brown.  He needs to take a class in econ 101 at the Economics Department at UNM.   Capitalism will be the solution here not the problem.

Doom and Gloom and the Absence of Social Scientists
Matthew E. Kahn
Fri, 08 Jun 2012 22:41:00 GMT

I think we can likely get by with less biodiversity, but you can live without a lot of things, you just might not want to.

The diversity of life on this planet makes it a lovely place.  Maybe it reminds that we are just one species.  Maybe it reminds us to be humble and that we are gifted with out existence by God.  If we as humans come to be kings of a domain with few any subject left, I think we’ll regret that.