Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:54 pm

Op-Ed: Most Americans can't locate Ukraine, but does anyone care?

It's not a very flattering statistic, but a recent survey done by three American university professors found that only one in six Americans could find Ukraine on a world map. Most of the people questioned didn't' even know where to begin looking.
According to the BBC article, of the 2,066 people participating in the poll, quite a few thought Ukraine was somewhere in the middle of the United States. This raises questions about the obviously poor geography grades these people must have gotten in school, but more telling, it raises questions about our interest and commitment as a nation to deal with international issues.
Participants who claimed to be Independents did best, with 29 percent guessing the location correctly. Republicans, at 15 percent, and Democrats, at 14 percent, didn't do well at all. There is hope for America's future, say the pollsters, because Americans between 18 and 24 were able to correctly identify Ukraine's location on a map.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/poli ... z2ySaUUWHJ
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:56 pm

Study: Americans Who Can't Locate Ukraine on a Map Are More Likely to Support Military Intervention

Only 16 percent of Americans can point to Ukraine on a map and those individuals are more likely to support military intervention, a new study finds.

Political scientists Kyle Dropp (Dartmouth College), Joshua D. Kertzer (Harvard University) and Thomas Zeitzoff (Princeton University) surveyed 2,066 Americans from March 28-31 to find out what actions they wanted the government to take in Ukraine. “We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views,” the authors wrote in a Washington Post column Monday.

They found that only one out of six Americans can pinpoint Ukraine on a map and there was a correlation between their lack of knowledge and foreign policy view on Ukraine — the further respondents guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the United States to intervene militarily.

“Even controlling for a series of demographic characteristics and participants’ general foreign policy attitudes,” the authors write, “we found that the less accurate our participants were, the more they wanted the U.S. to use force, the greater the threat they saw Russia as posing to U.S. interests, and the more they thought that using force would advance U.S. national security interests.”

The study found that the median respondent was about 1,800 miles off in accurately locating Ukraine, and younger Americans were more likely to provide accurate answers. 27 percent of 18-24 year olds correctly identified Ukraine, compared to 14 percent of adults over the age of 65.

When broken down along party lines, self-identified independents were more likely (29 percent) to correctly predict Ukraine's position, outperforming both Democrats (14 percent) and Republicans (15 percent).

http://inthecapital.streetwise.co/2014/ ... ervention/
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:57 pm

Op-Ed: What it means that Americans can't find Ukraine

Since Russian troops first entered the Crimean peninsula in early March, a series of media polling outlets have asked Americans how they want the U.S. to respond to the ongoing situation.

Although two-thirds of Americans have reported following the situation at least "somewhat closely," most Americans actually know very little about events on the ground - or even where the ground is.

On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans (fielded via Survey Sampling International Inc. (SSI), what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: In addition to measuring standard demographic characteristics and general foreign policy attitudes, we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge.

We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine's actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.

Ukraine: Where is it?

Survey respondents identified Ukraine by clicking on a high-resolution world map, shown above. We then created a distance metric by comparing the coordinates they provided with the actual location of Ukraine on the map. Other scholars, such as Markus Prior, have used pictures to measure visual knowledge, but unlike many of the traditional open-ended items political scientists use to measure knowledge, distance enables us to measure accuracy continuously: People who believe Ukraine is in Eastern Europe clearly are more informed than those who believe it is in Brazil or in the Indian Ocean.

About one in six (16 percent) Americans correctly located Ukraine, clicking somewhere within its borders. Most thought that Ukraine was located somewhere in Europe or Asia, but the median respondent was about 1,800 miles off - roughly the distance from Chicago to Los Angeles - locating Ukraine somewhere in an area bordered by Portugal on the west, Sudan on the south, Kazakhstan on the east, and Finland on the north.

Who is more accurate?

Accuracy varies across demographic groups. In general, younger Americans tended to provide more accurate responses than their older counterparts: 27 percent of 18-24 year olds correctly identified Ukraine, compared with 14 percent of 65+ year-olds.

Men tended to do better than women, with 20 percent of men correctly identifying Ukraine and 13 percent of women. Interestingly, members of military households were no more likely to correctly locate Ukraine (16.1 percent correct) than members of non-military households (16 percent correct), but self-identified independents (29 percent correct) outperformed both Democrats (14 percent correct) and Republicans (15 percent correct). Unsurprisingly, college graduates (21 percent correct) were more likely to know where Ukraine was than non-college graduates (13 percent correct), but even 77 percent of college graduates failed to correctly place Ukraine on a map; the proportion of college grads who could correctly identify Ukraine is only slightly higher than the proportion of Americans who told Pew that President Barack Obama was Muslim in August 2010.

Does accuracy matter?

Does it really matter whether Americans can put Ukraine on a map? Previous research would suggest yes: Information, or the absence thereof, can influence Americans' attitudes about the kind of policies they want their government to carry out and the ability of elites to shape that agenda. Accordingly, we also asked our respondents a variety of questions about what they thought about the current situation on the ground, and what they wanted the United States to do. Similarly to other recent polls, we found that although Americans are undecided on what to do with Ukraine, they are more likely to oppose action in Ukraine the costlier it is - 45 percent of Americans supported boycotting the G8 summit, for example, while only 13 percent of Americans supported using force.

However, the further our respondents thought that Ukraine was from its actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene militarily. Even controlling for a series of demographic characteristics and participants' general foreign policy attitudes, we found that the less accurate our participants were, the more they wanted the U.S. to use force, the greater the threat they saw Russia as posing to U.S. interests, and the more they thought that using force would advance U.S. national security interests; all of these effects are statistically significant at a 95 percent confidence level.

Our results are clear, but also somewhat disconcerting: The less people know about where Ukraine is located on a map, the more they want the U.S. to intervene militarily.

http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/op- ... -1.7634304
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:26 pm

vbattaile wrote:Op-Ed: What it means that Americans can't find Ukraine

Since Russian troops first entered the Crimean peninsula in early March, a series of media polling outlets have asked Americans how they want the U.S. to respond to the ongoing situation.

Although two-thirds of Americans have reported following the situation at least "somewhat closely," most Americans actually know very little about events on the ground - or even where the ground is.

On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans (fielded via Survey Sampling International Inc. (SSI), what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: In addition to measuring standard demographic characteristics and general foreign policy attitudes, we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge.

We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine's actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.

Ukraine: Where is it?

Survey respondents identified Ukraine by clicking on a high-resolution world map, shown above. We then created a distance metric by comparing the coordinates they provided with the actual location of Ukraine on the map. Other scholars, such as Markus Prior, have used pictures to measure visual knowledge, but unlike many of the traditional open-ended items political scientists use to measure knowledge, distance enables us to measure accuracy continuously: People who believe Ukraine is in Eastern Europe clearly are more informed than those who believe it is in Brazil or in the Indian Ocean.

About one in six (16 percent) Americans correctly located Ukraine, clicking somewhere within its borders. Most thought that Ukraine was located somewhere in Europe or Asia, but the median respondent was about 1,800 miles off - roughly the distance from Chicago to Los Angeles - locating Ukraine somewhere in an area bordered by Portugal on the west, Sudan on the south, Kazakhstan on the east, and Finland on the north.

Who is more accurate?

Accuracy varies across demographic groups. In general, younger Americans tended to provide more accurate responses than their older counterparts: 27 percent of 18-24 year olds correctly identified Ukraine, compared with 14 percent of 65+ year-olds.

Men tended to do better than women, with 20 percent of men correctly identifying Ukraine and 13 percent of women. Interestingly, members of military households were no more likely to correctly locate Ukraine (16.1 percent correct) than members of non-military households (16 percent correct), but self-identified independents (29 percent correct) outperformed both Democrats (14 percent correct) and Republicans (15 percent correct). Unsurprisingly, college graduates (21 percent correct) were more likely to know where Ukraine was than non-college graduates (13 percent correct), but even 77 percent of college graduates failed to correctly place Ukraine on a map; the proportion of college grads who could correctly identify Ukraine is only slightly higher than the proportion of Americans who told Pew that President Barack Obama was Muslim in August 2010.

Does accuracy matter?

Does it really matter whether Americans can put Ukraine on a map? Previous research would suggest yes: Information, or the absence thereof, can influence Americans' attitudes about the kind of policies they want their government to carry out and the ability of elites to shape that agenda. Accordingly, we also asked our respondents a variety of questions about what they thought about the current situation on the ground, and what they wanted the United States to do. Similarly to other recent polls, we found that although Americans are undecided on what to do with Ukraine, they are more likely to oppose action in Ukraine the costlier it is - 45 percent of Americans supported boycotting the G8 summit, for example, while only 13 percent of Americans supported using force.

However, the further our respondents thought that Ukraine was from its actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene militarily. Even controlling for a series of demographic characteristics and participants' general foreign policy attitudes, we found that the less accurate our participants were, the more they wanted the U.S. to use force, the greater the threat they saw Russia as posing to U.S. interests, and the more they thought that using force would advance U.S. national security interests; all of these effects are statistically significant at a 95 percent confidence level.

Our results are clear, but also somewhat disconcerting: The less people know about where Ukraine is located on a map, the more they want the U.S. to intervene militarily.

http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/op- ... -1.7634304

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.—Aldous Huxley”

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

To the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth,” 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

http://mountainrepublic.net/2014/02/15/ ... rvey-says/

The Most Effective Weapon Of The Globalists
http://thesleuthjournal.tumblr.com/

What is the best way to ensure that gun control takes place within a generation?

Forget trying to change the minds of those who already have guns. The best way to do this is to encourage a culture of fear among young people.

And the public school system, with all of its zero tolerance lunacy, is doing just that. They are setting the stage for tyranny.

Case in point:

In Baltimore, some students saw a person carrying a tripod through the school. Frightened, they reported this to administrators, which resulted in an immediate lockdown:

http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/setting ... ture-fear/
Attachments
zzaaa.jpg
zzaaa.jpg (104.79 KiB) Viewed 24540 times
tumblr_mv7r3iqxFg1sqvzhpo1_1280.jpg
tumblr_mv7r3iqxFg1sqvzhpo1_1280.jpg (37.83 KiB) Viewed 24543 times
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:52 pm

War For Dummies

Sorry for the headline if it got you hoping for a quick 1-step guide on how to bomb a country without breaking a sweat. I didn't actually mean that I could teach a dummy to wage a war. I meant that only dummies want to wage wars.

Need proof?

Check out a recent Washington Post report.

Now there I go misleading you again. While it's true that the editors of the Washington Post are often dummies and often want wars to be waged, that's not what I mean right now. I think members of the U.S. government and its obedient media constitute an important but tiny exception to the rule this report points to.

The facts as reported on April 7th are these:

13% of us in the United States want our government to use force in Ukraine;
16% of us can accurately identify Ukraine's location on a map;
the median error by Americans placing Ukraine on a map is 1,800 miles;
some Americans, based on where they identified Ukraine on a map, believe that Ukraine is in the United States, some say it's in Canada, some Africa, some Australia, some Greenland, some Argentina, Brazil, China, or India;
only a small number believe Ukraine is in an ocean.

And here's the interesting bit:

"[T]he further our respondents thought that Ukraine was from its actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene militarily. Even controlling for a series of demographic characteristics and participants' general foreign policy attitudes, we found that the less accurate our participants were, the more they wanted the U.S. to use force, the greater the threat they saw Russia as posing to U.S. interests, and the more they thought that using force would advance U.S. national security interests."


I take this to mean that some people believe that attacking Alaska or the continental United States (where they believe Ukraine to be located) will advance "U.S. national security interests." This suggests one of two things: either they believe the United States would be better off bombed (and perhaps suicidal tendencies account for some of the staggering stupidity reported by the Washington Post) or they believe the United States is located in Asia or Africa or somewhere other than where they've indicated that Ukraine is on the map.

I also take this report to mean the following: ignorant jackasses are the only statistically significant group that wants more wars. Virtually nobody in the United States wants a U.S. war in Iran or Syria or Ukraine. Nobody. Except for serious hardcore idiots. We're talking about people who can't place Ukraine in the correct landmass, but who believe the United States should go to war there.

People informed enough to find Ukraine on a map are also informed enough to oppose wars. People who can't find Ukraine on a map but possess an ounce of humility or a drop of decency also oppose war. You don't have to be smart to oppose wars. But you have to be an unfathomably ignorant jackass to favor them. Or -- back to that exception -- you could work for the government.

Why, I wonder, don't pollsters always poll and report sufficiently to tell us whether an opinion correlates with being informed on an issue? I recall a poll (by Rasmussen), tragic or humorous depending on your mood, that found 25% of Americans wanting their government to always spend at least three times as much on its military as any other nation spends, while 64% said their government spends the right amount on the military now or should spend more. This only gets tragic or humorous if you are aware that the United States already spends much more than three times what any other nation spends on its military. In other words, large numbers of people want military spending increased only because they don't know how high it is already.

But what I want to know is: Do the individuals who have the facts most wrong want the biggest spending increases?

And I wonder: do pollsters want us to know how much opinions follow facts? If opinions follow factual beliefs, after all, it might make sense to replace some of the bickering of pundits on our televisions with educational information, and to stop thinking of ourselves as divided by ideology or temperament when what we're divided by is largely the possession of facts and the lack thereof.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/War-Fo ... 9-731.html
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:55 pm

America Is The New Jew
BernardGoldberg.com

For thousands of years, the Jew has served the world as its most popular scapegoat. If crops failed, a battle was lost or an economy tanked, tyrants would invariably blame it on the Jews. Adolf Hitler wasn’t the first and he hasn’t been the last. Throughout the Middle East, whatever troubles beset an Arab or Muslim nation, you can bet that the resident kingpins are blaming it on Israel.

But in more recent years, the United States has become a target. When the economy bottomed out under Venezuela, Hugo Chavez blamed the U.S. When Iran has trouble building a nuclear bomb or Syria’s al-Assad has a problem defeating the rebels, they blame us and the Israelis. When the world speaks out against Putin’s attempts to restore the Soviet Empire and the Russian economy finds itself in the toilet, he blames America.

Actually, being blamed by despots for being at the root of their problems is a badge of honor. Our problem is that instead of being led by Moses, as was the case with the Jews, we’ve chosen to saddle ourselves with a leader who far more closely resembles King Herod.

Before people tried to watch Barack Obama deal with Vladimir Putin, they should have been warned – especially children and the faint of heart – that it could be traumatic. I mean, if this administration wasn’t prepared to defend Crimea, we should at least have had weapons on their way to the Ukrainians and those promised missile defense systems on their way to Poland and the Czech Republic the day after the Russkies crossed the border. At the same time, we should have announced that we were reversing our present course and increasing the size of our military, contrary to Obama and Hagel’s earlier plan to gut it.

Because programs generally need a slogan to sell them to the voters, I would have suggested “Billions for Defense, Bubkas for Food Stamps.”

If I didn’t despise Obama for all the things he’s done to America in his attempt to radically transform it, I might feel sorry for him. After all, this is a guy who has coasted through life like a traveling salesman, relying on a smile and a spiel. Suddenly, he has come face to face with the reality that you can’t keep the peace by calling for time-outs with people like Putin and the Ayatollah Khomeini the way you can with Sasha and Malia. Affirmative Action, he has finally discovered, can only carry you so far.

Speaking of frustrating activities, is there anything more pointless than two guys arguing over the existence of God? It seems to me that people should be free to believe or not to believe, as they see fit. Believing in God doesn’t make people good, just as doubting His existence doesn’t make them bad. Among the more prominent atheists, you will find Katherine Hepburn, Jawaharlal Nehru, Marlene Dietrich, Randy Newman, Mark Twain, John Malkovich and Penn & Teller. Among the more prominent believers, you will find Osama bin Laden and a great many Mafia dons.

Aside from Islam, which I regard as an evil cult, I personally prefer those who believe in something greater than themselves to those like Obama, Hugh Hefner and Bill Maher, who appear convinced there could be nothing greater.

The people I don’t get are those like Englishmen Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, who seem or seemed totally preoccupied with proving the non-existence of God, and, of course, those folks who paid good money to sit and listen to them debate believers. Frankly, I would rather watch a soccer game than watch two people trying to prove or disprove the unprovable. If ever there was a case for live-and-let-live, I would think this would be it.

Speaking of things English, teachers over there are being encouraged to grade papers using green ink instead of red. England’s educational nannies, who are obviously trying to match our own, inanity for inanity, regard red as too harsh, even though English students apparently prefer red because it’s easier to read.

Still, assuming the nannies aren’t entirely daft, they may have a point. So when I insist that Obama is the vilest disaster to ever befall America, I want him and the IRS to know that I mean it in the nicest green way imaginable.

My friend Bernie Goldberg recently wrote an article in which he questioned whether Obama is delusional or merely political. Personally, I think he’s both. On the one hand, he is clearly a partisan creature who is willing to lie, cheat and wipe his shoes with the Constitution, in order to promote his agenda.

At the same time, he seems to ignore the polls and even the desertion of House and Senate Democrats, who have finally awakened to the fact that blindly following his lead was turning them into lemmings who would inevitably topple over the edge of the electoral cliff.

But, ask yourself: why wouldn’t he be delusional? Here’s a middle-aged man who, as a young boy, was abandoned by his father, his step-father and, ultimately, by his nutburger of a mother, who dumped him on his aging white commie grandparents.

With that background, it’s no surprise that he wound up so loony that he actually believed his election would mark the lowering of the ocean and the healing of the planet.

The biggest surprise is that, with such a torturous upbringing, he didn’t wind up a serial killer.

On the other hand, if he had, he would only have had a handful of victims, and not an entire nation, and by now would probably be in jail, not the White House.
- See more at: http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/america- ... GZsFu.dpuf
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:20 pm

Ukraine crisis: Could geographic ignorance spark a war with Russia?

War, goes a saying usually attributed to Ambrose Bierce, is God's way of teaching Americans geography.

Now, a trio of researchers might have found corollary to this maxim: Those who don't know their geography are more likely to want to go to war.

At least that seems to be the case with the crisis in Ukraine. A survey conducted by political scientists Kyle Dropp, Joshua Kertzer, and Thomas Zeitzoff, published on the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, found that just one out of six Americans could find Ukraine on a map.

By itself, this isn't surprising. Americans are famously ignorant about geography. But there is a twist: The farther a person's guess was from the actual location, the more likely that person was to support US military intervention. Overall, 13 percent of respondents favored deploying US troops against Russian forces. This correlation held up even after controlling for education and general attitudes about foreign policy.

The researchers surveyed 2,066 Americans, asking them to identify Ukraine by clicking on a high-resolution world map. Sixteen percent correctly clicked on a point on or within Ukraine's borders, and most people correctly identified Ukraine as existing somewhere in Eurasia. But the median click was 1,800 miles off the mark. Kazakhstan was a popular choice, as were points in the middle of Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

As for the rest, some 80 respondents clicked in Africa, and 50 or so placed Ukraine in Greenland. Two clicked in Australia. Three placed Ukraine in Canada's Hudson Bay. One clicked just off the coast of Antarctica.

At least 11 people apparently thought that Ukraine was Alaska, and another six placed it in the United States, raising the prospect that at least some Americans believe that parts of the United States are currently occupied by the Russian military.

"If I thought Ukraine was in Kansas, I would have perceived it to be a larger threat," says Dr. Dropp, a professor of government at Dartmouth college.

Dropp believes that it is more likely, however, that those who clicked in the United States misunderstood the question, or perhaps they just didn't care. When he and his colleagues prepare their findings for a peer-reviewed journal, Dropp says that they will largely ignore data generated from clicks outside Eurasia and Africa.

The method devised by Dropp and his colleagues is unique in that it uses a measure of geographic distance. "Many previous measures of political knowledge have been dichotomous. You're either right or your wrong," Dropp said. "We're excited that this measure can be continuous."

When asked to speculate why there exists such a strong correlation between geographic ignorance and willingness to wage war with Russia, Dropp suggested that "familiarity with geography could be associated with the amount of news that people are exposed to, and that could be associated with the perceived cost of action."

Thinkers since Socrates have argued that wisdom begins with awareness of the limits of one's knowledge. In 1999, Cornell psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger sought to test the relationship between people's ignorance and their awareness of their ignorance by asking undergraduates to rate their own abilities on humor, grammar, and logic. They then tested them on these subjects (the humor skills were assessed by professional comedians).

Dunning and Kruger found those scoring in the bottom quartile grossly overestimated their abilities, while those scoring in the top quartile tended to slightly underestimate their abilities. "We propose that those with limited knowledge in a domain suffer a dual burden," wrote their authors in what would become a landmark study in social psychology. "Not only do they reach mistaken conclusions and make regrettable errors, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it."

Dr. Dunning said that he had actually been in the middle of reading Dropp, Kertzer, and Zeitzoff's article when the email from the Monitor requesting an interview arrived in his inbox. He said that he saw in their survey some aspects of the Dunning-Kruger effect, as it has come to be known. "I'm not surprised that a lot of people would misplace Ukraine," he said.

As for the respondents' support for military intervention, Dunning said that without seeing the data, there is no way to tell whether their ignorance led them to support a war, or whether their support for war fueled their ignorance. "There are a lot of ways to get a correlation," he said. "You don't know which way the influence flows."

It's easy to feel superior when it comes to other people's ignorance – writing for Mother Jones, journalist Kevin Drum has fun speculating that "[i]gnorant folks are more likely to be jingoistic supporters of military action" or perhaps that "[l]ow-information respondents are more easily manipulated by rabble-rousers" – but the point of the Dunning-Kruger effect is that it is universal. No matter how educated we may be, we all have our gaps, and we all lack awareness of the size of those gaps. "For each of us, our knowledge is amazing," he said, "but our ignorance is infinite."

"The thing to remember about all these studies," Dunning says, "is that they are always about 'us' and not 'them.'"

http://www.minnpost.com/christian-scien ... war-russia
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:11 pm

Canada

Time for a US-Canadian merger - Russia and China have their sights set on Canada's "rich and poorly defended open spaces", writes syndicated columnist Froma Harrop. If the US wants to protect its northern neighbour, she says, there's an obvious solution: a merger.

Harrop talks with the National Post's Diane Francis, who calls for a US-Canadian union in her new book, Merger of the Century.

"A merged Canada and US would occupy more land than Russia or all of South America," Harrop writes. "It would become an energy and economic powerhouse less subject to foreign intrigue. And few countries would mess with either of us."


http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-26943479
Attachments
13951579.jpg
13951579.jpg (79.59 KiB) Viewed 24533 times
save-the-canadians-agree-that-canada-waste-space-and-should-politics-1397019564.jpg
save-the-canadians-agree-that-canada-waste-space-and-should-politics-1397019564.jpg (101.26 KiB) Viewed 24534 times
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:35 pm

US and Canada: Together at Last?

What country do Americans overwhelmingly like the most? Canada.

What country do Canadians pretty much like the most? America.

What country has the natural resources America needs? Canada.

What country has the entrepreneurship, technology and defense capability Canada needs? America.

Has the time come to face the music and dance? Yes, says Diane Francis, editor-at-large at the National Post in Toronto. Her book "Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country" is both provocative and persuasive.

"The genius of both societies is that they are very good at assimilating people from all over the world," Francis told me. "So why can't they do it themselves?"

Relatively small differences are why. Canadian intellectuals have long portrayed the United States as their violent, unruly twin. Many conservatives in this country, meanwhile, deride Canada as the socialistic land of single-payer medicine, gun control and other heavy regulation.

"I don't buy the narrative of American exceptionalism or Canadian superiority," says Francis, a dual citizen (born in Chicago). "Both have good points and bad points."

Americans close to the border already think a lot like Canadians, she notes. Some northern states actually have more liberal laws and lower crime rates than Canada's. "They are more Canadian than Canadians."

But set aside these "local" considerations. There's a big, scary reason the countries should merge: to create a united front against outside aggressors, especially China and Russia. These countries' sights are set on Canada's rich and poorly defended open spaces.

"Neither nation upholds the same values as Canadians or Americans," Francis writes, "and they represent Trojan horses that are eager to partition an already weak, fragmented Canada."

She goes on: "China has targeted Canada for years because of its enormous oil sands, its undeveloped resources, its dominant Arctic position, its backdoor entry into the U.S.
AD FEEDBACK
market and technology sector, and its vast landmass capable of supporting millions more people."

For example, China's state-run oil company was able to buy Nexen, the Canadian oil giant, for $15 billion — despite loud public opposition and warnings by Canadian intelligence. China got a trade deal giving it special market access for 31 years, while Canadians are still banned from buying China's iconic corporations.

Meanwhile, the melting Arctic is exposing massive resources. Canadian blood pressure rose when Russian explorer Artur Chilingarov announced, "The Arctic is Russian" — and then his sub planted a Russian flag on the seabed.

Canada can hardly defend its territory in an age of resource grabbing while ranking 14th in defense spending and 74th in military manpower. Only the United States can do that, which, of course, it's been doing all along. Americans are tiring of providing free rides to other countries.

The United States and Canada could reach the altar by several paths. One would start with a single currency, move to a customs union and end at political union. Europe is already at monetary union. "The countries have different health care systems, different taxes, but there's no border."

What does each partner have to offer? "Canada's best assets include its resources, stability and banking system, its strong relationship with the United States and an educated, law-abiding people," according to Francis.

America offers a culture of risk taking and entrepreneurship. It leads the world in technology and defense.

"There's no excuse for two countries as similar as us to not get rid of the border after 26 years of free trade," Francis says.

A merged Canada and U.S. would occupy more land than Russia or all of South America. It would become an energy and economic powerhouse less subject to foreign intrigue.

And few countries would mess with either of us.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at [email protected]. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.

http://www.creators.com/opinion/froma-h ... -last.html
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: Foreign Policy

Postby vbattaile » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:43 pm

The Only People More Terrifying Than Us Are Our Leaders
Hazlitt Magazine (blog)

When a recent survey asked more than two thousand Americans to locate Ukraine on a map, some 60 or so (by my count) placed the former Soviet-ruled country that’s been in the headlines a bit lately… in Canada. A bunch of others chose Greenland. A few, improbably, chose Alaska.

The lamentable state of American geographical knowledge is an old story, but then, geopolitical affairs are supposed to be how Americans get better at this stuff. The good news is young Americans (the ones whose brains are supposed to have been rotted with all the rap music and the iPhones and whatnot) provided a correct answer almost twice as often as the demographic who no longer want to be called “senior citizens.” The bad news is they still only got it right 27 percent of the time.

The more alarming fact, in that survey, is that the worse people’s knowledge of the actual geography of Ukraine was, the more likely they were to support an armed response. In other words, we have a direct correlation here between being objectively wrong and supporting a military intervention somewhere in the world.

(Or maybe we’re being jerks. After all, if I thought Russia had recently annexed part of Alaska, Canada, or Greenland, I think I’d be ready to fire up the B-52s, too.)

The “news” that people who are wrong about things are also prone to supporting wars in far-off places might almost be reassuring if we didn’t have evidence, in the last decade, of their political importance. It would be fun to dismiss rubes who can’t find Ukraine on a map as irrelevant, but there were plenty of very important, well-connected people who supported the great policy disasters of the last decade, starting with the Iraq war and moving down the list from there.

It turns out that it’s not just ignorance that leads to supporting terrible policies—it’s certainty. (The two co-occur more often than we’d like to think.) As Ezra Klein explained in one of the early offerings from Vox, when the political side of our brains gets involved, people seem to actually get stupider, missing math questions they’d otherwise get right.

The key insight is that we don’t want to be correct in some objective, empirical sense—we want to be correct in the eyes of the people whose opinions we value. This is an important problem for democracies in an age in which the Internet, if it isn’t making political tribalism more intense than in previous eras, is certainly making it more easily tracked and used by political powers. If the foundational value of a democracy is reasoned debate among equals, how do we deal with a system where all the incentives are against fostering reasoned debate?

It’s no relief, either, to say only the rabid partisans have their brains short-circuited this way. After all, who do you think constitutes the political parties that sit in parliament?

In democracy’s teething years, Edmund Burke told the voters of Bristol, “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” A pretty simple idea: Our politicians are not, in fact, supposed to merely be delegates of the popular will. Rather, they’re supposed to do the work we can’t, devoting their time to using their judgment on matters we don’t have the time or expertise to consider. And, yes, saying no to the rabble when they get some notion in their heads about banning Popery—hey, it was 1774. (Burke lost his seat in 1780, because telling voters you intend to ignore them was no more popular then than it is now.)

The problem is, we have more and more evidence that our modern politics excels at forcing politicians away from their own judgment, away from moderation, and away from general skepticism and intellectual modesty. Instead, the worry is our politics selects for certainty, credulous intellectual obedience, and a total lack of judgement. Resist the urge to aim for some easy target—political parties aren’t to blame, at least not on their own, for adapting to a changing media and political landscape.

Obviously, politics is changing rapidly as new digital tools provide the platform for a more intimate relationship between parties and voters. And maybe voters will be able to make politicians actually use that judgment when it’s necessary—we don’t really know what the future will bring. But I’m worried about who’s listening to those guys who think Ukraine is in Hudson’s Bay.

http://www.randomhouse.ca/hazlitt/blog/ ... ur-leaders
vbattaile
User avatar
Greybeard
Greybeard
 
Posts: 2926
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 pm

PreviousNext
Forum Statistics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests

Options

Return to PolitiChat

cron