Updated: 5/16/2006; 3:02:24 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses


daily link  Monday, November 15, 2004


Map of the World Values Survey: "The World Values Survey is a worldwide investigation of sociocultural and political change. It is conducted by a network of social scientists at leading universities all around world. The survey is performed on nationally representative samples in almost 80 societies on all six inhabited continents. A total of four waves have been carried since 1981 allowing accurate comparative analysis.

The World Values Survey has produced evidence of gradual but pervasive changes in what people want out of life. Moreover, the survey shows that the basic direction of these changes is, to some extent, predictable."

  2:22:12 PM  permalink  

Bin Laden + Nukes? "Osama Bin Laden approached a prominent Saudi Arabian theologian to obtain religious approval for the use of a nuclear weapon against the United States.. The theologian provided a “rather long treatise” that concluded Bin Laden was entitled to use the weapon because America was responsible for “millions of dead Muslims around the world”, said Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA unit dedicated to tracking Bin Laden.  Scheuer resigned from the CIA last Friday to enable him to speak freely .. Scheuer says Bin Laden was criticised in some Muslim circles because he failed to provide advance warning of the September 11 attacks and, according to some interpretations of Islamic law, should first have offered to help convert his victims to Islam.  Scheuer argues that Bin Laden’s recent video appearance amounted to a warning of a future attack. "

Meanwhile, "A key al-Qaeda operative seized in Pakistan recently offered an alarming account of the group's potential plans to target the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction, senior U.S. security officials tell TIME. Sharif al-Masri, an Egyptian who was captured in late August near Pakistan's border with Iran and Afghanistan, has told his interrogators of "al-Qaeda's interest in moving nuclear materials from Europe to either the U.S. or Mexico," according to a report circulating among U.S. government officials. Masri also said al-Qaeda has considered plans to "smuggle nuclear materials to Mexico, then operatives would carry material into the U.S.," according to the report, parts of which were read to TIME. Masri says his family, seeking refuge from al-Qaeda hunters, is now in Iran. "

  11:43:50 AM  permalink  

10-region electoral map: Interesting way to read the national results, with a slightly clearer analysis from a newspaper.  11:15:32 AM  permalink  

Powell's legacy: Excellent, and highly critical, review of Powell's role in Bush foreign policy.  "Powell has chosen to remain associated with a foreign policy that has been calamitous in its application, if not necessarily its goals. The irony, of course, is that it is a foreign policy over which Powell has exercised little influence. But resigning out of pique or principle is not the Powell way, and his willingness to conspire in his own diminishment is entirely in character: As an Army staffer during the Vietnam War, he failed to investigate reports of the My Lai massacre; as Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger's military attaché in the 1980s, he put aside his own objections and helped funnel weapons to Iran as part of the arms-for-hostages deal. .. there is no evidence that he protested the decision to put the Pentagon in charge of administering postwar Iraq; no evidence, either, that he tried to intervene when Warrick was barred from going to Baghdad, or that he spoke up when the Pentagon began blocking other State Department appointees to the Coalition Provisional Authority. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz have repeatedly muscled in on Powell's turf, Bolton has repeatedly subverted his authority. But if Powell has voiced any displeasure to the president, or even to Rice, it is the best-kept secret in Washington. "I don't think he's fighting, and I can't understand why," says one high-ranking official from the first Bush administration. "  8:47:34 AM  permalink  

DEMS WON 3,000,000 MORE SENATE VOTES THAN GOP: Summing popular vote in Senate races, Dems have won more votes than republicans in the last 3 election cycles, yet have never controlled the Senate.  By the way, for reference, 39% of elegible voters didn't vote in 2004, making the presidential vote 31% to 30% of eligibles.  12:33:43 AM  permalink  

 
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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 3:02:24 PM.