Category Archives: politics

Stephen Fry on Trump and the Dunning-Kruger Effect

Now here’s a 7-minute video featuring two intriguing people: one smart and funny, and the other the incompetent victim of the former’s sarcasm. I speak, of course, of Stephen Fry and Donald Trump,  respectively, with Fry discussing whether Trump illustrates the Dunning-Kruger Effect: the observation that individuals of low ability tend to overestimate their competence more than do […]

Obamacare repeal passes House on close vote, still dicey in the Senate

I am amazed that anybody thinks the Republicans’ healthcare act is superior to “Obamacare,” and it may be that a lot of Americans will discover that hard truth, including those who mistakenly voted for Trump on the assumption that he’d improve their healthcare. This afternoon the House voted to replace Obamacare with the Republican plan. […]

Heather Hastie on the problem of North Korea

I call your attention to a new piece at Heather’s Homilies, “The problem of North Korea.” Like many, I’ve been concerned that the fact that a wacko is head of state in both the U.S. and North Korea makes the peninsula a powder keg, a possible site for a nuclear war. Heather has convinced me […]

The intractable problem of North Korea

As you may know, North Korea, the world’s most repressive nation, is about to test a new nuclear weapon. Within two decades, says the New York Times in an article published today, the DPRK will have the ability to deliver nuclear weapons via intercontinental missiles. That means the U.S. will be in danger. So far […]

What’s wrong with a bit of tyranny for the greater good?

by Grania Spingies A drive-by commenter named “Jaime” appeared yesterday evening when Jerry posted his commentary on the hoax that fooled the South African branch of the HuffPo. (Recall that the original piece published by HuffPo called for both removing the ability to vote from white men for several decades, and also confiscating and redistributing […]

I weep for Turkey: Erdogan wins vote to greatly expand presidential power

Kemal Atatürk must be spinning in his grave, for his people have narrowly given Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist President, a victory in a referendum vote. I’m leaving New Zealand in a few hours, and won’t bother you with the details (see them at the New York Times), but the referendum expands Erdogan’s powers, making this […]

Sean Spicer: “Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons”

Here we have Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, implicitly claiming that Bashar al-Assad is worse than Hitler, as Hitler didn’t sink . . .to using chemical weapons.” Spicer apparently forgot about Zyklon B and carbon monoxide. Called out by a reporter, Spicer was unable to admit he was wrong, and instead says this: “I think when […]

Friday roundup

by Grania It’s been quite a day all around the world. After the horrific and cruel chemical attack in Syria earlier this week, the American strike appears to have put a serious dent in Trump’s friendly overtures to Putin. The New York Times reports that the Kremlin has denounced the strike and continues to deny that […]

Senate triggers “nuclear option” to confirm Neil Gorsuch

Such lovely news to awake to in New Zealand: CNN and The New York Times both report that the Senate voted along party lines to break the Democratic filibuster of proposed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, invoking the “nuclear option.” That option allows a filibuster (Democratic, in this case) to be stopped with a mere […]

“Obamacare is the law of the land”

. . . or so said Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after Republicans, unable to present a credible alternative to the Affordable Care Act, pretty much gave up. As CNN reports: Repubicans were unable to muster enough GOP support to bring their health care bill to a vote. “We came up short,“ Ryan said, a […]