7 March 2017   2 comments

The media is reporting a dramatic spike in anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim incidents in the US in recent months.  These acts of hate undermine the civic polity necessary to sustain a democratic republic and it has been disappointing to witness a less than emphatic response by elected officials.  Researchers have done some interesting work on how humans tend to dehumanize others depending on political ideology.  Nour Kteily is a psychologist at Northwestern University whose work resonates quite strongly with the research that has already been done on the topic by other researchers such as Stanley Milgram.   His study asks individuals to rate the “humanness” of others and the results among Americans are staggering.

The recent ballistic missile tests by North Korea led South Korea to decide to deploy The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), an anti-missile system strongly opposed by China.  Anti-missile systems are highly problematic–we do not have extensive combat experience to assess how well they work (the Israeli Iron Dome system seems to work well, but the rockets used by Hamas are quite primitive). Bloomberg has a great article that explains the issues surrounding THAAD very well. 

The New Yorker has a fascinating article on President Trump’s financial interests in Azerbaijan and how those interests have intersected with Azerbaijani oligarchs.  The investment, Trump Tower Baku, remains unfinished but the financial interests involved in the building include elements of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.  There is a strong possibility that the investment violates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act but given that we have no basis for understanding President Trump’s financial interests, it is hard to tell.  Fortunately, the US press is willing to take the initiative to discover the confluence of Mr. Trump’s private interests and his public affairs.

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Posted March 7, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “7 March 2017

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  1. Hi Vinnie, I’m a big fan of your blog! Your posts gave me a chance to learn about world politics as if I’m still taking a class with you. I also learned how to think and approach things in daily life little by little. I’m so grateful to have had you as my professor in college.

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