10 December 2010


THE OPPOSING VIEW. In Obama's Hostage Deal, economist Paul Krugman explains in clear detail why the recent tax-cut deal is, in the long run, actually increases the budget deficit, while doing little to reduce unemployment. I've watched Krugman on several PBS news discussions, and his analysis is consistently illuminating. Hearing him, you think, "Yeah, that makes good sense." Check out the article link, and see if you agree.

EYE MOVEMENT AND POLITICAL IDENTITY. This is subtle, but worth considering. "In a new study, University of Nevada researchers measured both liberals' and conservatives' reaction to 'gaze cues' -- a person's tendency to shift attention in a direction consistent with another person's eye movements, even if it's irrelevant to their current task -- and found big differences between the two groups.

"Liberals responded strongly to the prompts, consistently moving their attention in the direction suggested to them by a face on a computer screen. Conservatives, on the other hand, did not .... Researchers suggested that conservatives' value on personal autonomy might make them less likely to be influenced by others, and therefore less responsive to the usual prompts .... Liberals may have responded to the 'gaze cues,' meanwhile, because they tend to be more responsive to others."

All of which is consistent with what we observe -- liberals (being more empathic) generally are more supportive of social assistance programs and civil rights. Conservatives (being less empathic) generally are more supportive of assistance to wealthy business interests which further their own power and prestige. Naturally, there are exceptions to both trends, but the research provides more evidence that "liberals and conservatives perceive the world, and process information taken in from that world, in different ways."

NO VISION AT ALL. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, satirist Andy Borowitz notes the following -- "Wikileaks has finally met its match. That's the bombshell from fugitive founder Julian Assange, who said that after months of hacking former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's brain, Wikileaks has come up empty. 'I challenge the best hackers in the business to take a look inside,' he said, speaking from an undisclosed location. 'There's nothing there .... What little we found was so encrypted it bore no resemblance to any recognizable language .... Most politicians have to worry about their private thoughts coming back to haunt them, but that clearly isn't going to be a problem for her.'

Palin's alleged Twitter response? "How's that Wiki-Leaky thing workin out for ya?"

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