Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stupid political arguments of our time

John McCain says it is 'Time To 'Pull The Trigger' On Tougher Iran Sanctions' [TPM LiveWire].

There is just one teensy little problem. The US already has a full economic embargo on Iran. It is illegal for any US citizen to engage in any form of commerce with Iran including buying Iranian made goods and selling goods to Iran. So when McCain is saying that the US should pull the trigger, he is referring to a gun that has already been fired.

The only way that the US can bring any greater pressure to bear on Iran is by getting other countries to support the sanctions regime. And that in turn is made rather difficult by the fact that US credibility is rather poor after the lies told by Obama's predecessor to gain support for the US invasion of Iraq.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Waiting in line not for an iPad, but for a new shell - Local News Updates - MetroDesk - The Boston Globe


Waiting in line not for an iPad, but for a new shell - Local News Updates - MetroDesk - The Boston Globe

Using field studies, lab experiments, and computer models, the biologists discovered that hermit crabs join together in what is known as a "synchronous vacancy chain" when they are looking for a new home.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Cry Anti-Semitism

There are still a large number of people who ascribe to a wide variety of bigotries. But I think rather few people will agree that current criticism of the Pope's handling of priests who raped children is in any way motivated by sentiments comparable to anti-Semitism [BBC News].

At the root of the current crisis is the fact that the current Pope was determined to suppress criticism of the church by any means, even if doing so would inevitably lead to offenders being left to rape yet more victims. And now the claim of anti-Semitism is being made in the faint hope of bullying critics into silence.

The claim might be received a little more sympathetically if the Vatican had actually managed to apologize for its failure to condemn the holocaust as it was happening. Likewise it is rather hard to see an institution as being victimized by bigots when it spends so much time and effort promoting the cause of anti-gay bigotry.