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US Military in Context

Posted in Foreign Policy,National Security,U.S.,World by Ryan on the April 30th, 2010

Just came across a fascinating website called Information is Beautiful.

One of the articles that caught my eye was one about military spending & size when taking wealth and population into account.

It doesn’t seem fair to not factor in the wealth of a country when assessing its military budget.

So, if you take military budgets as a proportion of each country’s GDP, a very different picture emerges.

Info-is-beautiful-defence-001

The US is knocked down into 8th place by such nations as Jordan, Burundi and Georgia. The UK plunges to 29th.

New Arizona Law

Posted in Immigration,U.S. by Ryan on the April 28th, 2010

In thinking about the law that was recently passed in Arizona, it seems that many of the things being talked about are just false facades to the underlying debate.  That being that you are either for open borders, or you are against open borders.  From that discussion, you can then move into what to do about the millions already over the border, if you’re able to get that far…

Arguing that this law will lead to unlawful racial profiling is not what it is really about.  If it were, there would be more talk about proposed solutions from those opposed to the bill.  They would be saying:

“This law will lead to racial profiling.  We can think of better ways to solve the issue of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in our state without possible profiling, and here it is: [ ENTER PROPOSED SOLUTION HERE ].”

I’m not holding my breath though because in their view, there is no issue to solve.  My impression is that opponents of the law simply have no desire to allow the United States to assert its sovereignty and treat unlawful residents like, well, unlawful residents.

I Called It?

Posted in Climate Change,World by Ryan on the April 23rd, 2010

Perhaps others thought of the same thing I did, but also dismissed it due to the apparent absurdity.

But yes, some people are openly wondering if anthropogenic global warming is to blame for recent seismic activity.

Yet something else is lately worrying geologists: the likelihood that the Earth’s crust, relieved of so much formidable weight of ice borne for many thousands of years, has begun to stretch and rebound.

As it does, a volcano awakens in Iceland (with another, larger and adjacent to still-erupting Eyjafjallajokull, threatening to detonate next). The Earth shudders in Haiti. Then Chile. Then western China. Mexicali-Calexico. The Solomon Islands. Spain. New Guinea. And those are just the big ones, 6+ on the Richter scale, and just in 2010. And it’s only April.

Does any of this ring familiar to claims about more intense hurricanes, despite no scientific evidence?

I’m no geologist, and neither is Alan Weisman, but his ambiguous assertion certainly plays into the humorous propensity to blame anything bad on human caused global warming.  In the article, it links to an article about James Lovelock, with whom I apparently share some opinions.  Those being that if global warming is happening because of human activity (I think he is more sure than I am), then all the actions we think we can take to save the planet are in the end, pointless.  There is nothing we can do, according to Lovelock, because we’re already past the tipping point.  Enjoy the ride.  If transformational global warming is happening, I don’t know if we’ve passed a tipping point, but my view is that no one is actually willing to literally abandon our carbon rich energy lifestyle in any kind of meaningful way.  So anything short of resorting to an agrarian lifestyle that is car and electricity free, is not going to stop AGW, but will instead just give government more oversight, power and authority without solving anything.

On another note, I recently saw this roundup of global warming mistakes and scandals on HotAir.  A good resource for the inquisitive skeptic.

Southern States Once Controlled by Gigantic Terrorist Army

Posted in U.S.,War on Terror by Ryan on the April 11th, 2010

So says Roland Martin.

Even if you’re a relative of one of the 9/11 hijackers, that man was an out-and-out terrorist, and nothing you can say will change that. And if your great-great-great-granddaddy was a Confederate who stood up for Southern ideals, he too was a terrorist.

They are the same.