BC’s weekend reads

  1. the Kurdish bourgeoisie is against separatism (kinda, sorta)
  2. Qatar waives visas for 80 nationalities amid Gulf boycott
  3. doesn’t Pakistan already suck? Isn’t that why this is happening in the first place?
  4. Similar moves are open to someone living in Pakistan. But those are different contexts than France or the US.
  5. I read this twice, very carefully, but am unconvinced (the use of stats is amateurish)
  6. The music was acid house, the drug: Ecstasy.
  7. The Plastic Pink Flamingo, in America [pdf]

BC’s weekend reads

  1. heads roll at top of Turkey’s military in latest purge | Turkey’s 16th of April referendum will pave the way for authoritarianism
  2. great piece on Macron’s recent economic policies | French expatriates and foreign Francophiles
  3. Italy will be the EU’s third power once the UK leaves | the uniqueness of Italian internal divergence
  4. attempts to shut down free speech will no longer be tolerated, at least at Claremont McKenna | when is speech violence?
  5. cool science stuff is gonna happen soon | what makes it science?

Around the Web

  1. A review of The Iraqi Christ
  2. Looks like the folks at the Atlantic have been reading NOL (though no hat tips were to be found)
  3. Men on Horseback
  4. The one area of political ingenuity where Europe still leads the world

What do Mexicans read for intellectual nourishment?

I asked an old friend of mine (I think he’s a professional economist these days, but I deactivated my FB and haven’t been able to keep up with anyone) to help me find some Mexican media outlets to troll for knowledge and information. I also wanted to know how influential Mexico’s press is outside of Mexico (especially in regards to her smaller neighbors in Central America but also to Spain). He gave me the following heads up:

I’d recommend searching for articles in Nexos and Letras Libres magazines, which are something like the The Atlantic.

Mexico is very insular and there is almost no influence from media outside or from here to other places. However, I believe El País from Spain usually does a good job reporting about Mexico.

My friend and I actually met at a summer seminar put on by the Institute for Humane Studies back in 2009. It’s the same seminar that I met Rick at as well. If you are young and want to be a competent defender of liberty then I would highly suggest checking out the IHS’s programs.

A Libertarian Moment in the US?

I think you’re seeing a growth of self-conscious libertarianism. The end of the Bush years and the beginning of the Obama years really lit a fire under the always-simmering small-government attitudes in America. The TARP, the bailouts, the stimulus, Obamacare, all of that sort of inspired the Tea Party. Meanwhile, you’ve simultaneously got libertarian movements going on in regard to gay marriage and marijuana. And I’ll tell you something else that I think is always there. The national media were convinced that we would be getting a gun-control bill this year, that surely the Newtown shooting would overcome the general American belief in the Second Amendment right to bear arms. And then they pushed on the string and it didn’t go anywhere. Support for gun control is lower today than it was 10 or 15 years ago. I think that’s another sign of America’s innate libertarianism.

This is from David Boaz, who is being interviewed by Molly Ball for the Atlantic. Read the whole interview. There is stuff on Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marxism, the politics of welfare and some recent SCOTUS rulings.

There is a lot to be pessimistic about, but I can see a more libertarian US in 15 or 20 years, provided we do something about ObamaCare and Social Security. One thing we must be very vigilant about is the inevitable push for a more isolated society. Protectionist tendencies are probably going to get stronger if the economy continues to perform as dismally as it has been, and protectionism is the bane of prosperity and cooperation.

The Decline of the State?

From the Atlantic:

Health care for the world’s poorest and human rights for the oppressed as private-sector businesses? Where there’s money to be made, a commercial alternative will emerge. But core state enterprises are subject to increasing non-commercial competition, as well. Many in southern Lebanon willingly receive social services and other incidents of modern government from the terrorist group Hezbollah rather than from the official government. Al-Qaeda presents many Islamic radicals with an even more extreme — and arguably more effective — non-territorial alternative to the nation-state for purposes of waging war.

The whole thing is interesting throughout, though I don’t agree with the author that virtual states are somehow replacing traditional states. I don’t think we’ll see the disappearance of the state anytime soon either. What will happen, I think, is that governments will become more minarchist in nature as markets simply overwhelm the crummy services that governments essentially force on people using their own extracted money.

Around the Web: Lazy Saturday Edition

I’m not actually being lazy, I am just doing a bunch of homework (wink wink).

Knowledge is Power, so let the WikiWar begin!

Illegally Wiretapped? In the US? Sorry, but the courts won’t help you.

Can Syria’s Christians Survive?

Public ignorance about Paul Ryan and federal spending.