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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 20,226

Journal Archives

Latest Obama Ad: What Romney had to say in his acceptance speech

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Aug 31, 2012, 02:33 PM (8 replies)

Republican Women for Obama

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Aug 24, 2012, 02:32 PM (7 replies)

Poll: Republicans REALLY dislikes Muslims and Arabs

A new survey shows just how uncomfortable the Republican base is with Muslim and Arab people

By Alex Seitz-Wald for salon.com

Anyone wondering why Rep. Michele Bachmann would launch a witch hunt against Muslims or why the Republican Party would add a plank to its platform opposing Sharia law need look no farther than a new poll conducted by the Arab American Institute.

The results are split sharply along partisan lines. Overall, Republican voters hold strongly negative views of Muslims, with 57 percent saying they view them unfavorably and just 26 saying they view them favorably — more than double. The numbers are similar for Arabs, whom Republican respondents view negatively by a slightly smaller margin of 26 percent, 53 to 27 percent. When asked about “Muslim Americans” and “Arab Americans,” the numbers improved slightly, with a 12 and 15 percent net unfavorable rating, respectively.

By contrast, Democrats held favorable views of these groups by margins of at least 20-35 percent in all four cases cases. The view of Muslims and Arabs among Democrats was still less positive than other religious groups included in the survey, however, underscoring a resilient problem of post-9/11 America. Still Democrats gave no group a net negative rating, while Republicans gave negative ratings to Muslims, Arabs, Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans.

Of the 13 religious or ethnic groups included in the survey, only Sikhs had anywhere close to the negative ratings Muslims and Arabs. Among all respondents, the religious group is viewed favorably 45-24, but Republicans are split 36-35, with almost a third unfamiliar. All other religious groups had strongly favorable views by margins of up to 60 percent in the cases of Presbyterians and Jews.

On the question of Muslims and Arabs in the government, the results were similar. While about twice as many Democrats said they were confident a Muslim-American could do their job and those who said ethic loyalty would interfere, the results were flipped among Republicans. A slim majority of 51 percent said ethnic loyalty would trump job responsibly, while 25 percent said they were confident Muslim-Americans in government could do their job.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Aug 23, 2012, 12:13 PM (13 replies)

Thomas Frank: Obama’s squandered hope by David Daley for salon.com

Obama’s conciliatory nature has been a tragic flaw, one exploited by conservatives in Congress again and again. But he also argues that Obama has “enthusiastically adopted” the ideas of the right when it comes to deficit spending, Wall Street regulation, torture policies, healthcare and more. And his reward for reaching for compromise and grand bargains, “for bowing to their household gods,” has been to be depicted as a socialist and a radical leftist.

Well, certainly there are differences, of course. I don’t think Bush would have pulled out of Iraq so quickly. How soon we forget. That would still be dragging on in some way, I think. The stimulus would have been handled differently. Bush did several rounds of stimulus as president, and they always involved tax cuts. And I don’t mean to brush off the way the Obama team runs the apparatus of the state; go back and look at something like the Labor Department under George Bush, which was a joke. They were cracking down on labor unions. That’s what they thought their mission was. Of course, that’s no longer going on. The EPA — the Republicans put it in the hands of a series of people who were hostile to the mission, and that’s not going on any longer.

Obama cleaned the Republicans’ clock in 2008. And then, as you write, handed “a vanquished but utterly intransigent foe a veto” over his agenda. How does that happen?

That part of it, it’s the insult added to the injury. The worst part of it is that he didn’t seal the deal after he won in 2008. He did not want to talk about the economy and what went wrong; he did not want to talk about what went wrong with the Bush administration, and you think of all of the sort of regulatory disasters … You want to talk about what went wrong, about the people regulating Wall Street, and you couldn’t have an easier way of making that case about regulatory capture. You look at these agencies, who was in them, who was in charge of them, who they answer to, and they’re filled with lobbyists from the financial industry. It was open and shut. He doesn’t want to go back and talk about it.

Every financial commentator of the last 20 years was proven to be an ass; Alan Greenspan and all of them, looked like fools. All the people who were put in charge, all the people who were on the Op-Ed pages, like the New York Times, all the popular financial books, everything. I thought that we really had arrived at a kind of day of reckoning, and here was Barack Obama to make it happen. You think back to the 1930s, and there was this huge intellectual shift. It wasn’t just political, it was intellectual, in the academy and in magazines, everywhere you looked, in the way people felt about the economy. And that didn’t happen this time. All those people who were so badly discredited, they hung on. They’re still there; they got to keep those jobs. They just went from the old administration to the new one. He just brought in a couple of Clinton retreads and even a couple of Bush retreads, and they just kept going. There was no fallout for these people. There were no consequences for these people. The most disheartening thing when you look at it is that we didn’t make the turn. History came to a corner and we didn’t turn.


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:25 AM (8 replies)

Imperial by Design- How America has gotten into a such big mess in foreign policy -John Mearsheimer


A fascinating lecture by one of America's leading foreign policy thinkers from the University of Chicago. Dr Mearsheimer explains the four major schools of thought on American foreign policy and how one of them has gotten America into such a big mess.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Aug 21, 2012, 01:45 PM (1 replies)

Imperial by Design: How we got into such a big mess in foreign polciy - John Mearsheimer

A fascinating lecture by one of America's leading foreign policy thinkers from the University of Chicago. Dr Mearsheimer explains the four major schools of thought on American policy and how one of them has gotten America into
such a big mess.
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Aug 21, 2012, 01:34 PM (1 replies)

Peace Is Increasing by Prof. Joshua S. Goldstein author of "Winning the War on War"

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:52 AM (0 replies)

Niall Ferguson trolls everyone in Newsweek by Alex Pareene for salon.com

Getting every single fact wrong in a magazine cover story is a great way to get everyone's attention

Niall Ferguson (Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Niall Ferguson is an intellectual fraud whose job, for years, has been to impress dumb rich Americans with his accent and flatter them with his writings. It’s a pretty easy con, honestly, if you’re born shameless and British (or French). His main argument is that Western Civilization as embodied by the British Empire is awesome and wonderful even though it traditionally involved quite a bit of killing and enslaving of non-Westerners. Since becoming an insufferable American political commentator he’s decided that America needs to cut Medicare and spend the savings on fighting neo-imperialist wars with an army made up of “the illegal immigrants, the jobless and the convicts.” (Also he sued the London Review of Books for publishing this devastating review of his career.)

So Ferguson wrote a Newsweek cover (Newsweek has become “trolling America weekly” since Tina Brown took over) about how he thinks Obama shouldn’t be president anymore, and while there are tons of very legitimate and compelling arguments against the Obama presidency, Ferguson instead based his article on a bunch of crap he made up. And the piece is full of just really obvious fallacies and little moments of mendacity like this:

In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak.

Hm! Weird that one thing is measured from January 2009 and the other thing from January 2008, right?

So his piece is just fundamentally dishonest, top to bottom. Like, he says: “The president pledged that health-care reform would not add a cent to the deficit. But the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation now estimate that the insurance-coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of close to $1.2 trillion over the 2012–22 period.” Except costing money isn’t the same thing as increasing the deficit, if the provisions are paid for, which the CBO says they are.

read full article:


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:30 AM (3 replies)

Is War on the Way Out? - Institute of Politics at Harvard


Joshua Goldstein, author of "Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide," and Steven Pinker, author of "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined," discuss the meaning and implications of their latest releases with HKS professors Monica Toft (author of "God's Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics" and Stephen Walt. Both Goldstein and Pinker, from distinct vantage points, argue for the counterintuitive notion that violence, among both individuals and states, is on a downward trajectory. Both the supporting data and reasoning behind this positive shift is hotly debated. Professor Joseph Nye moderates the discussion.
Date: Jan 30, 2012

A non-utopian discussion based on hard data - asking the questions about the relative decline in violence worldwide. I first got interested in this subject upon reading a incredible book that challenges all my previous assumptions - The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has declined - by Harvard psychology professor and historian - Steven Pinker


I posted another video a few days ago featuring a presentation by Dr Pinker:


I am beginning to feel disturbingly optimistic about the future of the world This is a new experience for me and very scary.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Aug 20, 2012, 12:16 PM (8 replies)

The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined

War Appears to be as old as mankind, but peace is a modern invention - Henry Maine

Recently I have been reading perhaps one of the most interesting books I have every come across in my entire life. In fact I would have to say that because of this book that I am in danger of becoming optimistic. The book I am talking about is by Harvard Psychology Professor and historian, Steven Pinker and the title is The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined

This riveting, myth-destroying book reveals how, contrary to popular belief, humankind has become progressively less violent, over millenia and decades. Can violence really have declined? The images of conflict we see daily on our screens from around the world suggest this is an almost obscene claim to be making. Extraordinarily, however, Steven Pinker shows violence within and between societies - both murder and warfare - really has declined from prehistory to today. We are much less likely to die at someone else's hands than ever before. Even the horrific carnage of the last century, when compared to the dangers of pre-state societies, is part of this trend. Debunking both the idea of the 'noble savage' and an over-simplistic Hobbesian notion of a 'nasty, brutish and short' life, Steven Pinker argues that modernity and its cultural institutions are actually making us better people. He ranges over everything from art to religion, international trade to individual table manners, and shows how life has changed across the centuries and around the world - not simply through the huge benefits of organized government, but also because of the extraordinary power of progressive ideas. Why has this come about? And what does it tell us about ourselves? It takes one of the world's greatest psychologists to have the ambition and the breadth of understanding to appreciate and explain this story, to show us our very natures.


here is a brief 21 minute talk by Dr. Pinker in which explains why the world is in fact getting better; much, much better:

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Aug 18, 2012, 08:15 AM (8 replies)
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