Worth a gander

  1. the Reformation’s controversies are as relevant as ever
  2. who stole Burma’s royal rubies?
  3. the Madras Observatory: from Jesuit cooperation to British rule
  4. There are few better illustrations of how a whole host of people can manage to understand absolutely nothing, act in an impulsive and idiotic way, and still drastically change the course of history.
  5. MacLean’s new book is bad news for the political Left
  6. fascism explained via 90-year-old sci-fi film (are you using hyphens correctly?)
  7. bawdry in the bloodstream (Bohemian nonsense)

Worth a gander

  1. good piece of American sociology by Jeffrey Friedman (h/t Alberto Mingardi)
  2. Daniel Larison on the devastation in Puerto Rico
  3. Don Boudreaux has the best take I’ve read or heard on the Trump-pro athlete fiasco, and remember when conservatives blasted Obama for sticking his nose where it didn’t belong when cops killed a black kid in Baltimore?
  4. Chris Dillow explains Leftist confusion about Brexit
  5. smart Leftists talking about smart things (penguins, of course!)

BC’s weekend reads

  1. The demise of ISIS is greatly exaggerated. Good analysis, but Whiteside is still asking the wrong question
  2. 10% of DR Congo’s landmass is dedicated to national parks and other protected environmental areas. Guess how well they’re protected. Privatization might not work here, though. Why not go through traditional “tribal” property rights first, and then, eventually, mix up the customary land rights with private property rights?
  3. Has Stephen Walt been reading reading NOL? This great essay suggests he has…
  4. Russian politics. Authoritarian regimes have factions, too

BC’s weekend reads

  1. Could Kurds hold independence referendum this year?
  2. Meet Germany’s Alt-Right
  3. Tolerated theft, suggestions about the ecology and evolution of sharing, hoarding and scrounging [pdf]
  4. It’s time for some game theory, United Airlines edition
  5. Mormon Transhumanists

BC’s weekend reads

  1. Generals and Political Interventions in American History
  2. they neglect to take account of the experiences of postcolonial states that form the vast majority of members of the international system. “
  3. The U.S. Hasn’t ‘Pulled Back’ from the Middle East At All
  4. No special sharia rules in American courts for Muslims’ wrongful-death recovery
  5. Is Gary Johnson a True Libertarian? American libertarianism has a purge problem
  6. Identity politics and the perils of zero-sum thinking

BC’s weekend reads

  1. China’s Legalist Revival
  2. Does Europe need a new Warsaw Pact?
  3. Daniel Larison (PhD in Russian History) on Trump’s foreign policy speech
  4. The Anti-Trumplodytes
  5. Why Popular Sovereignty requires the due process of law

BC’s weekend reads

  1. Freedom of the Athenians (book review)
  2. The Myth of the Myth of Barter
  3. Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence (pdf)
  4. From West Philly to Gulshan e Iqbal and Back
  5. Obama’s Witness for the Prosecution
  6. When Your Dream Lovers Die

BC’s weekend reads

  1. A rifle’s journey from Belgium to Gaza
  2. No Libertarian Case for Empire (this is the piece that sparked my little tirade yesterday)
  3. A dust-up over dissenting views at Ohio State law
  4. What really happened on Thanksgiving (le duh; this screams “why Econ 101 is so important”)

Around the Web

  1. Yes, Political Correctness Really Exists
  2. A brief political history of religious exemptions
  3. Cross-cultural atheism and social capital
  4. Latin Lives (excellent)

Around the Web: Disappearances

1. Ron Unz, founder and editor of The American Conservative, skewers the mainstream American media for dropping the ball on all sorts of major scoops, including:

2. Richard Nixon’s abandonment of hundreds of surviving American prisoners of war after the end of hostilities, at a time when he had declared that all surviving POW’s had been repatriated; and

3. John McCain’s exceptionally weird and disturbing role in the decades-long stonewalling of investigations into the fate of these men and efforts to repatriate any survivors.

4. On a separate but similar topic, a discussion of some possible fates of Indian independence leader and Axis collaborator Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose, aka Netaji, officially died in a plane crash in Taiwan, but is widely believed to have died in the Soviet Gulag, to have disappeared into civilian life in asylum in the Soviet Union, and to have lived into his eighties as a “mysterious holy man” in Uttar Pradesh.

Around the Web

Gene Callahan breaks down social thought through the ages.

The auto industry’s success story since Obama’s union vote-buying bailout.

Debt: the first 500 pages. An economist from Australia reviews David Graeber.

Daniel Larison laments the terms of debate in regards to US foreign policy this election.

Assorted Links on Mormon Baptisms for the Dead

Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, says “so what?

Ari Cohen, a Political Scientist professor at the Univ. of Nebraska, says “how offensive!

Over at the American Conservative, Rod Dreher says “so what?

I’ve already gone over this myself, and I am sure that many, many other people have as well, but I just don’t see what is so offensive about baptizing dead people via proxy.  Yes, it is a bit condescending, but we are talking about religion here, right?

This seems to me to be a clear case of Leftist intolerance to other religions.  How many Leftists do you see decrying the Obama administration for forcing religious institutions to provide contraceptive care against their wishes?

The Left can often be good at protecting the freedom of religion, but Mormon proxy baptisms and forced payments for contraceptive care are examples where the Left errs.  And badly, too.

Bizarre Love Triangle: Towards a New Internationalism

Isolationist screeds in the United States are extremely rare these days, which, in my opinion, makes those who promote this noble doctrine to be individuals of exceptional character.  I am a regular reader of the blog Eunomia (authored by Dr. Daniel Larison), which explicates isolationist critiques of current foreign policy (among other things), and I always enjoy what Dr. Larison has to say.

I also happen to find it rather odd that I am often slandered by my sparring partners on both the Left and the Right as being an isolationist, for one reason or another.  I wouldn’t particularly mind being called such, except for the fact that, for reasons I hope to clarify shortly, my positions are hardly in line with those of the paleoconservative isolationists that I have grown to admire (if not disagree with more often than not).

The libertarian philosophy is one of individualism, internationalism, free trade, and the rule of law.  My sparring partners often accuse of me of being an isolationist because of my opposition to wars and “nation-building” abroad, yet this opposition does not stem from a prejudice of robust international diplomacy.  Rather, the war-weariness of libertarianism stems from the fact that war brings misery for the individual, it shatters international consensuses, it disrupts free trade, and it enables governments to ride roughshod over the rule of law in the name of security and of a centrally-planned war effort. Continue reading