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« Protest vote | Main | Newish media »

Jan 28, 2011


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You need to learn about decision making based on how you feel rather than facts or knowledge based. Information just confuses your feelings and leads to poor decisions and muddles your gut reaction.

It is even better if you can find a citation from either the Constitution or bible to support your gut feeling.


The USSR did win the space race. They put the first satellite into orbit.

Ed Cone

Sputnik is commonly understood as launching the space race, not ending it. The Soviets held the lead for a few years, then fell behind the US, which won by landing on the moon.

Sputnik happened three decades before the end of the USSR, the moon landing two decades before that collapse. The space program did not bankrupt the USSR.

David Boyd

Right. It was shoulder fired missles into helicopters in Afghanistan that bankrupted the USSR.

Preston Earle

Ed writes: "The space program did not bankrupt the USSR." Others disagree. "Soviet space expert James Oberg comments: “I’m seeing up close how ‘Palin Derangement Syndrome’ can compel otherwise intelligent people to foam at the mouth and babble nonsense to prove they’re right and she’s wrong. . . . It’s more complicated, but the essence is, Palin was right: the Soviets sowed the seed of their own collapse by setting off the Space Race.”

Andrew Brod

By that logic, the Soviets sowed many such seeds, such as when they expanded control over Eastern Europe at the onset of the Cold War. Or maybe it was entering the Olympics at Helsinki. By that logic, any program that cost something contributed to the eventual collapse.


Palin was right: the Soviets sowed the seed of their own collapse

So... WTF is the point being made here? That the US in US v. China 2011 is more analogous to the USSR in US v. USSR 1957?

Grand Goat Master

People are free in their private lives to believe that John Quincy Adams was a member of the slavery-ending Founder's generation,*Ed

More than that Ed! Little John went for the throat of the Beast that rules or controls Slavely during his time......Most unreported History event of it's day...


Really. The lesson of the USSR's collapse is that it was their debt that did them in? Not that Communism is an inferior economic system to Capitalism? Or that freedom will win out over tyranny? Not that running an empire is expensive? Not the real repression of religion?

I always thought it was Levi's that killed the USSR. Once the Soviets saw that ordinary Americans had luxury jeans, they realized that the story they were being told about an impoverished USA were complete lies.

One thing I would have argued with Obama about is foreign students studying at our universities & working in our labs. Being an electrical engineer, I was one of the few Americans in my grad student lab. None of the foreign-born students I worked with have left the US. They had a real intense enthusiasm for the opportunities they had here, and afaik most wanted to become US citizens. The problem isn't that we have these students coming here, it's that we aren't welcoming them with open enough arms to make them citizens and ensure that they stay helping America. (Their counting on their H1B visas staying good is not enough).

Ed Cone

So deranged people expect politicians to know what they're talking about, while rational folk sharpen their lances to tilt at the facts. Interesting taxonomy.

John Wayne

All I know is that stupid Sarah Palin sure does occupy a lot of time and space within the craniums of a bunch of you smarter people.


"All I know is that stupid Sarah Palin sure does occupy a lot of time and space within the craniums of a bunch of you smarter people."

That sort of thing keeps them out of trouble by keeping their......minds otherwise occupied.

It's the same sort of thing that will happen in response to this post. Just watch.

Ed Cone

I agree that people of all POV pay her too much attention, but she is, for better or worse, a major political figure, and is unavoidable even for those of us who don't watch cable "news" or "reality" shows.

If we're supposed to take Palin seriously, you can't really complain when people listen to what she says. Which, in this commentary about the SOTU, was weirdly wrong.


The Soviet Union did not collapse because it was bankrupt. First of all, it wasn't bankrupt. It's economy was sick, but there was a way to go before it collapse into insovlency.

The collapse was more of a "the center cannot hold" event, and in that respect significantly different from the East European revolutions.

Gorbachev's reforms set in motion political forces within the constituent republics that profited by positioning themselves againsts Moscow. E.g., when called to Moscow for meetings, republic officials would not go.

The failed August coup that led to the Union's demise was instigated and led by a handful of hardline cases who wanted to restore Moscow's iron hand of control. They failed to appreciate how much control Moscow had already lost. Most crucially, they were outfoxed by the political skills of Boris Yeltsin and Russian nationalism.

After he returned to power in the Kremlin, the republics operated with little or no regard to Moscow's wishes, including negotioating and entering into treaties among themselves.

Because political forces pulled the Union apart, I don't think the CCCP could have followed the path the Chinese party subsequently followed.

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