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  #1  
Old 03-29-2010, 08:11 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

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  #2  
Old 03-29-2010, 09:17 AM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

It's so refreshing to see real political scientists, like Farrell and Drezner, take the spotlight from the hacks!

Excellent Mel Brooks clip! Still, I'm a bit uneasy about the lampoon, because this scandal is all about the abuse of power and trust.

On the Catholic scandals, I wish Farrell could have tied his salient point about German tithes to Drezner's query about the power of developing states' congregations. But, emphasizing the Catholicism as an organization facing pressure to reform by exiting members is a savvy way to start the conversation.

On Greece and the euro zone, wouldn't Germany be better served by retracting the range of the euro to the more prudent economies? High export, high savings might make sense for Berlin, but Greece is far less authoritarian. As long as Germany has markets for its high-end goods, does it need to get involved in the politics of union?

Two thumbs, and two big toes, UP!!
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2010, 02:09 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

[QUOTE=Baltimoron;156578On Greece and the euro zone, wouldn't Germany be better served by retracting the range of the euro to the more prudent economies? High export, high savings might make sense for Berlin, but Greece is far less authoritarian. As long as Germany has markets for its high-end goods, does it need to get involved in the politics of union?[/QUOTE]
You are assuming way to much economic literacy and competence in both German and EU politics.

German politicians, intellectuals and journalists are extreme supply side mercantilists. The solution to all economic problems is always seen in more exports, improving the alleged lack of competitiveness and dealing with alleged german decadence.
This system worked post-WWII. The german trade surplus resulted in low inflation, currency appreciation and low interest rates. So the surplus was recycled into the German economy anyway.
That is no longer the case since the Euro was introduced. German merchantilism has become suicidal policy. German real wages have become severely depressed.

The recent criticisms from outside have been rejected as mere "jealousy" for Germany's alleged "success". The German governement even passed a new ten year plan, focusing even more on exports and making Germany more attractive as a "business location".

Those who want to stick with the old model and shrink the eurozone on the other hand are seen as heretics who are not to be invited in polite society. EU politics is extremely cult like. It resembles a civic religion of sorts. The solution proposed to solve all problems is always believed to lie in the mantra of "further european integration". Criticism on specific policy items are quickly cast aside with reaffirmations about how important the EU is as a "peace project". Admissions that any specific policy was misguided are taboo, for such blasphemeous thoughts could supposedly threaten the entire "european project".

So the natural progression of EU elite thinking points to reducing Greece and possibly other nations into Brusseles technocrat run protectorates.

There will be a lot of push-back from local populations against further integration.

If anybody threatens european integration, it is the overreaching EU elites themselves.
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2010, 06:05 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

Interesting points! When I think of this evolving euro-zone - I'm euro-skeptic without being a euro-heretic - I can't help but think of other states that initiated currency projects like the Europeans. I love the early history of the US, but I wonder how the first years of economic nationalization went. Or, the USSR? The PRC?
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2010, 06:24 PM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

There is a good interview at Doug Henwood's "Behind the News" with a Greek economist, who talks a lot about German hegemony in the euro-zone.

http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/Radio.html#100304

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only commenter who would like to have more academic diavloggers and fewer journalists. A lot of journalists just steal their ideas from academics anyway. Thomas Friedman seems to get 20% of his columns from Michael Mandelbaum. Malcolm Gladwell has made millions with this strategy. David Brooks writes a lot of his columns by going to the library and then writing a gloss.

A complaint, though: there are no links to two books that were mentioned here towards the end, one about the gold standard, and I don't remember what the other one was, Drezner is reading it, and Farrell has it on his to-read shelf.
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2010, 10:18 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

According to The Economist (and another subscriber-commenter), here's two more reasons for concern. Firstly, the IMF is involved. After its performance in South Korea in 1997, I'm skeptical this is good news:

Quote:
The mechanism agreed late on March 25th by the 16 countries that share the euro was harsh. At the insistence of Mrs Merkel, Greece will be able to tap into emergency help only if available market financing has been deemed “insufficient” by experts from the European Commission and European Central Bank. In a sign that something terribly serious had been agreed, the declaration used a Latin term, ultima ratio, to describe the last-ditch nature of the mechanism.

Leaders made clear that, for the moment, Greece—which must raise €54 billion ($72 billion) of debt this year—had not asked for any assistance, and expressed hopes that Greece’s austerity plans would reassure markets, making a rescue package avoidable.

In a second German demand, a substantial proportion, perhaps a third, of any loans extended to Greece (or any other euro-area country in a similar pickle) would come from the International Monetary Fund. IMF involvement is seen as a guarantee that financing would be subjected to tough conditions.
OK, Greece needs help, not punishment. Berlin's first demand is overkill; the second is questionable. Not every state in the EU can be Germany, and after this I doubt few Greeks will even contemplate the comparison.

A commenter points out a future cause for worry: is Italy next, and will Greece's wobbles and Italy's predicament cause a permanent North/South split? Beyond the macro-economic issues involved, I think is misapplying what it thinks it's learned from its history to a region of Europe that needs better attention.
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2010, 03:11 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

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Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
It's so refreshing to see real political scientists, like Farrell and Drezner, take the spotlight from the hacks!
And how.

I really enjoy hearing them apply political science frameworks to current events. It would be great if they dialed that up to 11. Give us the hard stuff. We can take it.
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2010, 04:40 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

I would also love to see these guys do diavlogs with Mark/Matt from UN. It would be interesting to hear hard reporters like Mark/Matt bounce stories/questions off these more anlytical poli-sci guys.

PS- Henry, great jacket!!
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2010, 05:59 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
I would also love to see these guys do diavlogs with Mark/Matt from UN. It would be interesting to hear hard reporters like Mark/Matt bounce stories/questions off these more anlytical poli-sci guys.

PS- Henry, great jacket!!
A hearty second to both the pairings suggestion and Farrell's jacket.
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  #10  
Old 03-29-2010, 09:39 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Jungle jumble

Is "Frumble in the Jungle" a reference to Rumble in the Jungle, or Bungle in the Jungle?

Last edited by Simon Willard; 03-29-2010 at 12:05 PM..
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  #11  
Old 03-29-2010, 09:40 AM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Default Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

Like Bruce Willis, in the "Sixth Sense" ... walking around not realizing he is dead, the USA is a "zombie power".

The decline of the US from "the world's sole remaining superpower" to "zombie power" in a few short years can be discussed using macro level indicators such as Chinese communist government holdings of US government bonds, Russian foreign policy adventurism due to oil wealth, depletion of US military power as a result of over extension of US forces around the world, the bleeding of resources as a result of the Iraq and Afgan wars and finally the Israeli lobby control of Middle East policy due to ... you know what!

A micro level analysis reveals the extent to which "clients" of US power have turned into masters of US foreign policy. The tail is wagging the dog ... and the superpower is now a zombie power and it does not know that it is dead!

1. Turkey, Iraq and the Kurds

Notwithstanding US tacit support, for over 60 years, for Turkish cultural genocide of its ethnic Kurdish minority, Turkey refused to allow US forces to use Turkish territory to invade Iraq. No US retaliation for this insolent behavior.

2. Turkey and the Armenian Resolution

Armenian resolution almost destroyed decades long alliance between Turkey and US. American politicians can be bought for a political donations.

3. Iraq is expelling US forces after 2011 contrary to US desire for permanent base. Can't the CIA overthrow these suckers?

4. Macedonia - "What's in a name"?

A small change is the US Report on Human Rights in Greece foreshadows a change by the Obama administration regarding the current US recognition of the Republic of Macedonia by its constitutional name instead of the UN imposed compromise of FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).

The US once overthrew a democratically elected Greek government and supported a military dictatorship, now Obama smashes a plate every time the Greek lobby says "opa!"

Last edited by David Edenden; 03-29-2010 at 10:38 AM..
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2010, 10:51 AM
Lyle
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

Enh... Macedonia is a backwater country unfortunately. Greece is too, but for Turkey.

Last edited by Lyle; 03-29-2010 at 11:05 AM..
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:14 AM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
Enh... Macedonia is a backwater country unfortunately. Greece is too, but for Turkey.
All too true, but that is the point ... Greece and Turkey don't give a shit about the interests of the US because ... it is a zombie power.

US politicians crave the approval of the Greek government and Greek lobby like crack whores crave crack ero ... zombie power!
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  #14  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:20 AM
Lyle
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

Is that really true though? Like you said, the U.S. has been as much, if not more of an ally to Turkey over the years. Interestingly, both populations tend to hate us (Greeks especially... re-call the booing of American athletes at the 2004 Olympics).

... and if the US is going to support the name change of FYR Macedonia to Republic of Macedonia, isn't that a failure on the part of the Greek lobby?
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  #15  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:05 AM
Stapler Malone Stapler Malone is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by David Edenden View Post
...
Tell us how you really feel about Turkey, don't hold back. I'm sure many here are very interested in your subtle analysis on this.
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  #16  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:17 AM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by Stapler Malone View Post
Tell us how you really feel about Turkey, don't hold back. I'm sure many here are very interested in your subtle analysis on this.
Turkey should take its marbles, go home and look to the Turkic countries and Arabs countries for future prospects. Israel will join the EU before Turkey does.
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  #17  
Old 03-29-2010, 12:50 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by David Edenden View Post
Turkey should take its marbles, go home and look to the Turkic countries and Arabs countries for future prospects. Israel will join the EU before Turkey does.
Hmm...yeah, and that's about when the West loses the "war on terror" everywhere, and perhaps irreversibly. Never mind the cultural Europeanness of Turkey (the origins of 'Viennese' coffee, anyone?). The over-my-dead-body attitude that so many European states have to Turkish integration is bad bad policy.

Also, of note: the country most supportive of Turkey's EU bid is Greece.
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  #18  
Old 03-29-2010, 03:57 PM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson View Post
Also, of note: the country most supportive of Turkey's EU bid is Greece.
The Greeks are playing a game that is too cute by half because they already know that Germany will veto Turkish membership anyway. Do they really want a million Turkish workers in Greece after spending 500 years to kick them out? ... I doubt it.

The EU should put a moratorium on future expansion until they have:
1. a common monetary policy (only half od EU members are part of the Euro)
2. a common military policy ... dump Nato ... form an EU army!

The EU is a mess!
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  #19  
Old 03-29-2010, 08:05 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by David Edenden View Post

The EU should put a moratorium on future expansion until they have:
1. a common monetary policy (only half od EU members are part of the Euro)
2. a common military policy ... dump Nato ... form an EU army!

The EU is a mess!
I'm fully behind 1. and partly behind 2. I think NATO should really be replaced with a new treaty BETWEEN an EU military and the US, should we wish to retain that alliance. And yes, I'd be for holding the expansion until that happens. But THEN, I'd push for Turkey way ahead of anyone else on both historical and political grounds.

As for how Germany might be persuaded to play ball: assuming ALL of the EU actually had to go for the euro, Britain would be one of those. The crisis in Britain today is a big deal, but it's not one that is going to send it from the top to the bottom of the heap. Britain is still going to be one of Europe's stronger economies. Which means that were it to go "all in" via the euro, it would be one of the countries that could help Germany bear the load of tugging along weaker states, and would weaken some of the German argument that they have veto on who gets in.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:44 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

Quote:
Do they really want a million Turkish workers in Greece after spending 500 years to kick them out? ... I doubt it.
I don't get how if the Poles and the Germans, the French and the Germans, the French and the English, the English and the Irish, the Slovaks and the Hungarians, the Romanians and the Hungarians, and all the other European Hatfields and McCoys (including, eventually, the Greeks and the Macedonians, or rather Former Yugoslav Republicans of Macedonia or FYROMans or whatever the Greeks would rather have them called) can get along somewhat well in the EU, somehow the feuds between the Turks and various other Balkan countries are just a step too far.

I do agree with you and Preppy, however, about how the EU shouldn't expand any more until it gets itself in order.
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  #21  
Old 03-30-2010, 10:46 AM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by kezboard View Post
I don't get how if the Poles and the Germans, the French and the Germans, the French and the English, the English and the Irish, the Slovaks and the Hungarians, the Romanians and the Hungarians, and all the other European Hatfields and McCoys (including, eventually, the Greeks and the Macedonians, or rather Former Yugoslav Republicans of Macedonia or FYROMans or whatever the Greeks would rather have them called) can get along somewhat well in the EU, somehow the feuds between the Turks and various other Balkan countries are just a step too far.

When all of the above countries take in large immigration from other "Christian" European countries, after say a few hundred years, they will all be assimilated in the same way that London mayor, Boris Johnson, has some Russian ancestors, yet he is fully assimilated as an upper crush, snotty English twit.

After a few hundred years large scale "Muslim" Turkish immigrants will not be assimilated.

There's the rub!
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  #22  
Old 03-29-2010, 10:57 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Edenden View Post
(...)

A micro level analysis reveals the extent to which "clients" of US power have turned into masters of US foreign policy. The tail is wagging the dog ... and the superpower is now a zombie power and it does not know that it is dead!

(...)
Some people just can't stomach the advent of multipolarity in the world.
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  #23  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:11 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
Some people just can't stomach the advent of multipolarity in the world.
Seriously. Mostly, it seems to me it's because they can't think of a way to exert power and influence, which is what foreign policy anywhere in the world seeks to do, without being THE most powerful. Drezner writes well about this, and about how much the US CAN do even if it's NOT a superpower forever.
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  #24  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:16 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

There are two issues here. Firstly, what is the current distribution of power globally right now. Secondly, what is the most advantageous configuration of power? I think Edenden is in denial about the first, and believes unipolarity is more advantageous on the second.
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:49 PM
PreppyMcPrepperson PreppyMcPrepperson is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
There are two issues here. Firstly, what is the current distribution of power globally right now. Secondly, what is the most advantageous configuration of power? I think Edenden is in denial about the first, and believes unipolarity is more advantageous on the second.
Yep.
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  #26  
Old 03-30-2010, 10:53 AM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
There are two issues here. Firstly, what is the current distribution of power globally right now. Secondly, what is the most advantageous configuration of power? I think Edenden is in denial about the first, and believes unipolarity is more advantageous on the second.
I actually think that uni-polarity is not sustainable and puts a too heavy financial burden on the US military and taxpayer.

The US should withdraw From Europe, scrap Nato and let a EU army protect itself from any Russian aggression. Send Brussels a license plate from New Hampshire ... "Live free or Die".
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  #27  
Old 03-30-2010, 12:28 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

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Originally Posted by David Edenden View Post
I actually think that uni-polarity is not sustainable and puts a too heavy financial burden on the US military and taxpayer.".
Exactly. But when will the average American taxpayer figure this out? Perhaps when he figures out that the recent HC reforms are bankrupting him because they fail to address the main problem---escalating costs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Edenden View Post
The US should withdraw From Europe, scrap Nato and let a EU army protect itself from any Russian aggression. Send Brussels a license plate from New Hampshire ... "Live free or Die".
The US was never in a position to defend Europe in the event of a Soviet attack because the US never had enough troops in Germany to fight a conventional war. NATO has always been a fraud.

But I agree that NATO is in any case an anachronism. If the US military were to scrap NATO, no one would mind--- except maybe a few Germans who benefit economically from the presence of American military bases.
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  #28  
Old 03-30-2010, 06:03 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Is the USA a "Zombie Power"?

I share both Florian's and your skepticism about US military commitments, including Japan and Korea. But, I think DoD dependents will still benefit from health care and other services for much longer, and that's a more serious drag on overall Fed spending than deployments. Reintegrating DoD 's empire back into the mainstream is the first priority. That leaves time for a grand review of foreign policy. I'm more concerned about a Cato-led pullback than overreach. Some form of engagement is necessary; what that is, is what we pay politicians to devise.
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  #29  
Old 03-29-2010, 10:52 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Catholic church attendance

I was interested in Henry's prediction of strongly declining church attendance in Catholic Europe. Along with the comment that the scandal's shock "hasn't penetrated as it has in the US" yet, this seems out-of-sync with the facts in the US, where attendance shows a long slow decline since the 1950's but no fall-off that can easily be connected with the scandals.

From my vantage as a non-Catholic with family connections to Catholics, I see some concern about the scandals, but little evidence of loss of faith among parishioners. Will this be different in Europe?

Last edited by Simon Willard; 03-29-2010 at 10:58 AM..
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  #30  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:34 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Catholic church attendance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
I was interested in Henry's prediction of strongly declining church attendance in Catholic Europe. Along with the comment that the scandal's shock "hasn't penetrated as it has in the US" yet, this seems out-of-sync with the facts in the US, where attendance shows a long slow decline since the 1950's but no fall-off that can easily be connected with the scandals.

From my vantage as a non-Catholic with family connections to Catholics, I see some concern about the scandals, but little evidence of loss of faith among parishioners. Will this be different in Europe?
I have the impression that US Catholics have for some time felt less closely connected to the Vatican than European Catholics. If that is true, I could imagine that the scandal could be seen over there as a rather severe shock.

However, my Catholic relatives (here in the US) by and large reacted to the child molestation scandals here in the US by further affirming their connection with two things: their own understanding of what it meant to be a Catholic/Christian, and connections with their local parishes. I could imagine that happening just as well in Europe, especially if my sense of stronger connection to the Vatican is exaggerated. (To the extent that I know anything about the European attitude toward the Vatican, it is skewed by knowing most about the Italian view, and that's probably the most strongly connected, for obvious reasons.)
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  #31  
Old 03-29-2010, 11:42 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Catholic church attendance

ON the topic of Ireland and the abuse scandal, Sinead O Conner penned an interesting op/ed in the WaPo.
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  #32  
Old 03-29-2010, 06:51 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Catholic church attendance

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
ON the topic of Ireland and the abuse scandal, Sinead O Conner penned an interesting op/ed in the WaPo.
Which has allowed us to discover that wingnut scold Newsbusters' Tim Graham is objectively pro-pedophilia.
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  #33  
Old 03-29-2010, 12:02 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Catholic church attendance

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
I have the impression that US Catholics have for some time felt less closely connected to the Vatican than European Catholics.
OK, that's a good point.
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  #34  
Old 03-29-2010, 01:40 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Re: Catholic church attendance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
From my vantage as a non-Catholic with family connections to Catholics, I see some concern about the scandals, but little evidence of loss of faith among parishioners. Will this be different in Europe?
My take on this, is that scandals like these motivate those, who would eventually leave anyway, to go to the relevant public agency to finally withdraw their membership. The spokesman of the austrian catholic church has recently confirmed my suspicion and pointed out that withdrawals also spike dramatically whenever the pope visits and the media is full of good news about the church.

The church tax system is an ingenuous revenue maximizing scheme. As long as you are baptized, you are automatically in the government organized tithing system. To leave requires initiative and paper work.

Catholic reformers on the other hand claim that those who leave are really just disgruntled liberal reformists, who would surely return into the fold if only the church would adopt progressivism.

I find this hypothesis to be absurd. Devout believers who believe in god, transubstantiation, saints, rites, prayer, etc. would never leave the church, regardless of any scandals. Catholicism has a proactive way in dealing with sin through confessions and constant reiterations that everybody is a sinner. So there is more tolerance and acceptance of transgressions including those commited by the church itself.
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  #35  
Old 03-29-2010, 12:01 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

The discussion of Frum is incredibly blinkered here. I don't if these guys missed a lot of the follow up discussion to the Frumble incident, but many of the elements that they claim to find disconcerting about the whole situation have to some extent been dispelled. No one seems to be taking the donor pressure idea all that seriously. Matt Yglesias actually had a good post saying basically, look, it's a think tank, they need to make money, we can be adults and admit that factoring in things like that aren't totally beyond the pale. Conor Friedersdorf then examined the claim from Bruce Bartlett that AEI thinkers had been muzzled on the health care debate, and found that to basically be entirely wrong. And lastly, Charles Murray wrote something over at The Corner in which he pointed out that David had basically done nothing for AEI, and really only posted at his own blog, and promoted his own ideas. The last point seems especially salient; if you're being paid 6 figures by a think tank, it would be nice to actually work for it to some degree. The idea that this is some sort of self immolating rush to ideological purity on the right is plainly stupid, and ignores the idiosyncrasies of this situation.
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  #36  
Old 03-29-2010, 12:22 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
The discussion of Frum is incredibly blinkered here. I don't if these guys missed a lot of the follow up discussion to the Frumble incident, but many of the elements that they claim to find disconcerting about the whole situation have to some extent been dispelled. No one seems to be taking the donor pressure idea all that seriously. Matt Yglesias actually had a good post saying basically, look, it's a think tank, they need to make money, we can be adults and admit that factoring in things like that aren't totally beyond the pale. Conor Friedersdorf then examined the claim from Bruce Bartlett that AEI thinkers had been muzzled on the health care debate, and found that to basically be entirely wrong. And lastly, Charles Murray wrote something over at The Corner in which he pointed out that David had basically done nothing for AEI, and really only posted at his own blog, and promoted his own ideas. The last point seems especially salient; if you're being paid 6 figures by a think tank, it would be nice to actually work for it to some degree. The idea that this is some sort of self immolating rush to ideological purity on the right is plainly stupid, and ignores the idiosyncrasies of this situation.
I don't think two of your points are indisputable. As far as I could tell from Conor's post, he heard from some AEI people who said "we're not under pressure" and acted as though that was a representative sample. It wasn't. It was a self-selecting sample. I know he encouraged AEI people who felt differently to contact him, but that he didn't hear from such people does not really close the case. I could easily imagine someone who felt more like Bruce Bartlett would think, especially in this tough economy and tough time for conservative intellectuals, that keeping quiet might be the way to go for the time being.

Also, if you read some of Frum's later posts (after his short one making the announcement), he goes to some length to describe the work he did which he felt was on behalf of AEI, and he says that one needn't go into the office to be making a substantive contribution to an organization. I have no idea, and not much more interest, in how true his claims are, but as an abstract matter, I'd say his claim has to be counted against the claim of a tool like Murray that Frum was coasting.

I think, finally, that if you are disputing the larger point, that there is no shortage of consideration given to what the paymasters of these conservative think tanks want discussed and advocated in public, you're almost certainly being naive. Ideologically zealous billionaires are not known for their appreciation of a robust debate.
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:26 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

... add Tunku Varadarajan. Not exactly a white militia, pitchfork type.
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  #38  
Old 03-29-2010, 12:34 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

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The discussion of Frum ..
See also claymisher's post here.

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... add Tunku Varadarajan. Not exactly a white militia, pitchfork type.
Regarding Varadarajan, see here and here.
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  #39  
Old 03-29-2010, 12:46 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

Haha. You linked to yourself.
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  #40  
Old 03-29-2010, 12:50 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Fun for the Whole Family Edition (Henry Farrell & Dan Drezner)

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Haha. You linked to yourself.
And?
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