Durmuş said a chapter on evolution was being removed from ninth grade biology course books, and the subject postponed to the undergraduate period. Another change to the curriculum may reduce the amount of time that students spend studying the legacy of secularism.
Complimenting his purge on western words from the Turkish language, this is clearly another step of Erdogan to entrench his power.
More can be found here.
In May 2016, The Urban Institute, not known as being a bastion of free market thought, released their best cost estimates for Bernie style “Medicare for all.”
Below is the executive summary (minus a overview of their methods). You can read the report in its entirety here.
The Sanders Single-Payer Health Care Plan
Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders has called for adopting a single-payer health care system in the United States.1 He proposes replacing the programs established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as preexisting public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, with the new system. Under his approach, all individuals in the United States would be covered by a single insurance program. Sanders’s plan would eliminate all private spending and replace all private and public coverage programs, except Veterans Health Insurance and the Indian Health Service. Benefits provided under the insurance plan would cover all medically necessary services, and cost sharing would be eliminated entirely. Coverage would include both acute and long-term care.
Our central findings of the effects of the Sanders approach are shown in table 1 and include the following:
- All American residents would be automatically enrolled in acute care coverage, increasing insurance coverage by an estimated 28.3 million people in 2017, from an uninsurance rate for nonelderly adults of 10.4 percent under current law in 2017. In 2026, the Sanders plan would decrease the number of nonelderly uninsured by 30.9 million, or 11.0 percent of the population, relative to current law. (The uninsurance rate under current law in 2026 is projected to be larger than the rate in 2017 as a result of demographic changes and a slight decrease in the rate of employer-sponsored insurance.) Although the intent is unspecified in the campaign’s materials, this finding assumes that the plan would cover the undocumented population as well as citizens and other legal residents.
- National health expenditures for acute care for the nonelderly would increase by $412.0 billion (22.9 percent) in 2017. Aggregate spending on acute care services for those otherwise enrolled in Medicare would increase by $38.5 billion (3.8 percent) in 2017. Long-term service and support expenditures would increase by $68.4 billion (28.6 percent) in 2017.
- Together, national health expenditures would increase by a total of $518.9 billion (16.9 percent) in 2017, and by 6.6 trillion (16.6 percent) between 2017 and 2026.
- The increase in federal expenditures would be considerably larger than the increase in national health expenditures because substantial spending borne by states, employers, and households under current law would shift to the federal government under the Sanders plan. Federal expenditures in 2017 would increase by $1.9 trillion for acute care for the nonelderly, by $465.9 billion for those otherwise enrolled in Medicare, and by $212.1 billion for long-term services and supports.
- In total, federal spending would increase by about $2.5 trillion (257.6 percent) in 2017. Federal expenditures would increase by about $32.0 trillion (232.7 percent) between 2017 and 2026. The increase in federal spending is so large because the federal government would absorb a substantial amount of current spending by state and local governments, employers, and households. In addition, federal spending would be needed for newly covered individuals, expanded benefits and the elimination of cost sharing for those insured under current law, and the new long-term support and services program.
- State and local governments could save $319.8 billion in 2017 and $4.1 trillion between 2017 and 2026 as the federal government absorbs these costs under the Sanders plan (not shown in table 1). A maintenance-of-effort requirement could make state and local funds available to help pay for the plan, but the legality of such a requirement is in question.
- Private health care spending by households and employers would drop as the federal government would absorb their spending under current law. Private sector expenditures for these groups would decrease by $1.7 trillion in 2017 and by $21.9 trillion between 2017 and 2026. These considerable savings would partially offset the impact on the private sector of new taxes required to pay for the Sanders plan.
- Analysis by the Tax Policy Center indicates that Sanders’s revenue proposals, intended to finance all new health and nonhealth spending, would raise $15.3 trillion in revenue over 2017 to 2026. This amount is approximately $16.6 trillion less than the increased federal cost of his health care plan estimated here. The discrepancy suggests that to fully finance the Sanders approach, additional sources of revenue would have to be identified; that is, the proposed taxes are much too low to fully finance the plan.
Employing the same tactics of fear that he used to win 2016, Trump has encouraged public fear for political gain. See his Churchillian tweets below.
This was in response to the mayor of London notifying the public to not be alarmed to the increased police presence resulting from the recent attacks.
It would be assumed that proper leadership would reassure during a crisis, but the new normal in America is prepetuaing fear, whether of Mexicans, Iran, healthcare, or even Skittles.
You can read good analysis here and here.
These are sad times for America.
Can be found here.
Here is one bit
Anecdotes about Mattis’s audacity in the field are legion. Early in the Iraq War, he met with local leaders and told them, “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I will kill you all.”
There is also this
But, in embracing Mattis’s Mad Dog persona, Trump neglected a side of him that appealed to many others—that of the deeply read scholar-soldier and sophisticated analyst. In this view, Mattis is a kind of anti-Trump, a veteran of three wars who has been sobered by their brutalities, a guardian of the internationalist tradition in American foreign policy. Mattis was endorsed by Henry Kissinger, whom he had worked with at Stanford University. As if to prove his judiciousness, Mattis, during his job interview, tried to persuade Trump to abandon the idea of reinstituting torture as an interrogation tool, saying that offers of beer and cigarettes work just as well. Even the nickname Mad Dog is a misnomer; none of his friends use it, and Mattis himself does not care for it.
On American political culture,
When I asked what worried him most in his new position, I expected him to say isis or Russia or the defense budget. Instead, he said, “The lack of political unity in America. The lack of a fundamental friendliness. It seems like an awful lot of people in America and around the world feel spiritually and personally alienated, whether it be from organized religion or from local community school districts or from their governments.
On Iraq 2003
Mattis believed from the start that invading Iraq was a bad idea. In the spring of 2002, he told me, he was in Kandahar, commanding a Marine task force, when a superior officer summoned him to the United States to begin preparing his men for the invasion—which had not yet been publicly discussed. “I said, ‘Are you joking?’ ” Mattis recalled. “And I’ll never forget what he said. He said, ‘Jim, just go down and get those sailors and marines ready. You’re going.’ And so we went down and we did it.”
I don’t agree with Mattis about everything, but he is clearly one of the few adults in the room.
First there was the handshake with a message. We are still not sure what the message is, but apparently it’s serious.
Now Macron is taking on Putin’s policy in Syria informing him that if chemical weapons are used again, Russia will have France to deal with.
I’m not sure if he is serious or if this is just sour grapes because both supported his rival. But if there is any country that needs to look at itself before beyond its borders it is France. At one point it was a regional hegemony, but France today doesn’t get much correct.
Below are two indicators of its economy, unemployment and GDP growth. Both are from FRED and both speak for themselves.
There is also the seemingly perpetual issue of integration and terrorism. France more than the United States, the U.K. or Germany seems to have a unique problem integrating members of foreign cultures into their society.
But regarding foreign policy, France should be mostly concerned with Germany’s apparent willingness to chart a more independent path. The biggest long term concern for France is still Germany. NATO was just as much designed to keep the Soviets out as it was to keep control over a recovering German.
That is the new insult being lobbed among China based netizens.
Although the emphasis varies, baizuo (or white left) is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.
You can read more here.
The 2015 (fiscal year) American defense budget is approximately 600 billion.
If the American defense budget were a state’s GDP, it would be ranked twentyfirst in the world.
||United States Defense Budget
||Taiwan Province of China
||United Arab Emirates
||Islamic Republic of Iran
||Hong Kong SAR
||Democratic Republic of the Congo
||Trinidad and Tobago
||Papua New Guinea
||Bosnia and Herzegovina
||Republic of Congo
||Central African Republic
||Antigua and Barbuda
||St. Kitts and Nevis
||St. Vincent and the Grenadines
||São Tomé and Príncipe
Keep in mind that this doesn’t even include the vast intelligence apparatus created after 9/11.
All data are in current, USD. The scale is billions.
You can see the original data here.
The $54 billion defense spending increase the White House has proposed is a sign that President Trump intends to keep his promise to rebuild the military. Yet simply increasing the defense budget will not be enough. The president must fundamentally reshape the way Washington approaches defense spending if he hopes to be successful.
Our defense budget is a sieve for congressional pet projects, special interest contracts, and social engineering programs. Pumping more fuel into the tank is little use if you don’t patch the holes in the bottom first.
There is more than enough money already allocated to make American “safer.” The US military, just like any large institution, is grossly inefficient and rent seeking is rampant.
You can read the rest here. The author is James Hasson.
Not all leaking is done by whistleblowers. Sometimes leaks are strategic…such as releasing one good year of tax returns after you have accused the former president of wiretapping your office despite zero evidence.
David E. Pozen has a fascinating read on just this, titled “The Leaky Leviathan: Why the government condemns and condones unlawful disclosures of information.”
Here is the abstract.
The United States government leaks like a sieve. Presidents denounce the constant flow of classified information to the media from unauthorized, anonymous sources. National security professionals decry the consequences. And yet the laws against leaking are almost never enforced. Throughout U.S. history, roughly a dozen criminal cases have been brought against suspected leakers. There is a dramatic disconnect between the way our laws and our leaders condemn leaking in the abstract and the way they condone it in practice.
This Article challenges the standard account of that disconnect, which emphasizes the difficulties of apprehending and prosecuting offenders, and advances an alternative theory of leaking. The executive branch’s “leakiness” is often taken to be a sign of organizational failure. The Article argues it is better understood as an adaptive response to external liabilities (such as the mistrust generated by presidential secret keeping and media manipulation) and internal pathologies (such as overclassification and bureaucratic fragmentation) of the modern administrative state. The leak laws are so rarely enforced not only because it is hard to punish violators, but also because key institutional actors share overlapping interests in maintaining a permissive culture of classified information disclosures. Permissiveness does not entail anarchy, however, as a nuanced system of informal social controls has come to supplement, and all but supplant, the formal disciplinary scheme. In detailing these claims, the Article maps the rich sociology of governmental leak regulation and explores a range of implications for executive power, national security, democracy, and the rule of law.
It is a long read, but well written.
You can read the entire thing for free here.
In wake of the angry mob (or engaged students) at Middlebury College, I found this open letter written by Charles Murray.
I link this letter to my blog because it is actually a quotes from his work, which is rare whenever his actual work is discussed, and helped clarify about what his work actually did or didn’t conclude.
What the Bell Curve was actually about is below
Predicting the course of society is chancy, but certain tendencies seem strong enough to worry about:
- An increasingly isolated cognitive elite.
- A merging of the cognitive elite with the affluent.
- A deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive distribution.
Unchecked, these trends will lead the U.S. toward something resembling a caste society, with the underclass mired ever more firmly at the bottom and the cognitive elite ever more firmly anchored at the top, restructuring the rules of society so that it becomes harder and harder for them to lose. [p. 509].
This seems rather representative of what we observe today and explains why we elected someone as tacky and heavy handed as Trump, as well as almost nominating a cranky park bench socialist for the Democratic party.
The rest of his letter discusses his writing on race and IQ which is obviously controversial yet much more nuanced then any commentary I’ve ever read on his work.