Obama’s Squishiness Is Now a Trend

After wimping out on Egypt, is the Obama administration now selling out Darfur

Bashir’s speech today gets Southern Sudan over one big hurdle toward declaring independence, which it is expected to formally do this July. The next test for U.S. pressure and Sudanese diplomacy is whether an equally congenial atmosphere will accompany talks over tricky issues such as border delineation and the sharing of Sudan’s oil.

Democracy vs. Jim Pinkerton in Egypt

I must say I really don’t know WTF Jim Pinkerton is talking about, but I’m willing to give him his say. Between David Corn’s optimistic view on the Egyptian protests and Pinkerton’s, I would side with Corn’s. But then, I would also be cautious about predicting the future.

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The Spurious Iranian Bogeyman in Cairo

Haroon Moghul makes several good points about why Americans should at least not fear either revolution in Egypt or the Muslim Brotherhood.

The rest of the conversation is excellent. I would also point to Moghul’s essay distinguishing the 1979 Iranian revolution from the protests in Cairo.

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Listen! The Pharaohs Are Laughing!

 An Egyptian boy holds a megaphone while chanting anti-government slogans in Tahrir Square the afternoon of January 31, 2011 in central Cairo, Egypt. Protests continued unabated in Cairo January 31, as thousands marched to demand the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)  Continue reading at Egypt Protests In Cairo | NowPublic Photo Archives“‘We want a leader who has used public transportation.’” (The Second World, p. 201) Put that on a placard!

Thinking Into Dead-Ends

It’s an abuse of the term, skepticism, and a demonstration why journalists should not teach. John Horgan demonstrates the limits of teaching about “science” without knowing about science. And, this is what happened:

Steve, a physics major, was so inspired by the notion that correlation does not equal causation—a major theme of the Taubes article on epidemiology—that he questioned the foundations of scientific reasoning. “How do we know there is a cause for anything?” Steve asked. He quoted “a famous philosopher, Hume, who believed that there is no cause of anything, but that everything in life is just a correlation.”

The Daley Era

Did I hear right? Did both Corn and Pinkerton agree – from different ends of the ideological spectrum – that politics is a pragmatic game, not an ideological crusade? Has Bill Daley and the “Chicago Mafia” won the war, and now both Corn and Pinkerton are looking forward to the denouement of the legislative and inter-branch slugfest that none of us can predict? Corn/Pinkerton will be so fun for the next two years!

Jonathan Franzen on “Freedom” (Video)

Jonathan Franzen confirms my suspicion, that no one should ask an author about his/her work. To his credit Franzen, I think, recognizes this, when he characterizes himself as a professional interviewee and an amateur writer. Still that doesn’t stop him from drawing an analogy from friendship to political freedom. It’s part of the Aristotelian framework, but alien to American traditions.

A Random Succession of Times (Video)

I’m determined to post about stuff I’m not fit to comment upon. I’ll beg ignorance about what Lee Smolin is talking about – because of audio problems I don’t know of whom he’s talking – but this hypothesis that time is an emergent property of the universe that is composed of a statistical assortment of moments is very compelling to me. Can anyone decipher the name of the author Smolin identifies as a proponent of this notion?

O’Donnell and the End of American Exceptionalism (Video)

It would be helpful to have a reasonable opinion about the significance for the Republican party of Christine O’Donnell’s primary victory and putative nomination in Delaware. Unfortunately, “a victory for Democrats” is not it. And, neither is Conn Carroll’s nonsensical rationalization, that O’Donnell has a “strained relationship with the truth” but is a “net positive” for the GOP.

Fortunately, there’s this:

Hitting an Income Wall of American Making (Video)

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