Notes From All Over (13/04/09)

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit.
“Fabius Maximus”. Fabius Maximus. 31 March 2010.
Fabius Maximus points to a painful truth: increasing inequality of income and declining social mobility is tearing our America apart at the seems. A Republic, you say? No, ours is plutocracy.

The Rise of New Paternalism
Glen Whitman. CATO Unbound. 5 April 2010.

A long essay on the contradictions of the new paternalism popular with behavioral economists. If you have the time it is worth the read.

How the Left Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the FBI
Anthony Gregory. The Independent Institute. 30 March 2010.


Russia, IAEA Agree to Establish First Nuclear Fuel Bank

Richard Solash. Radio Free Europe. 30 March 2010.
Carola Hoyos Financial Times. March 29 2010
The low coverage these stories received mystifies me. The establishment of this fuel bank was a greater diplomatic victory than for the Russians than any of the arms agreements that have been in the news of late. The bank gives Russia no small amount of leverage over any country that wishes to use its contents. The certification of Gazprom’s North Stream pipeline will offer similar benefits.
Praveen Swami. The Hindu. 22 March 2010.

Sheikh Abul Bashar hoped, Gujarat Police investigators say, to deepen the bombers’ theological understanding of the war they were engaged in. He came armed with Salamat-e-Kayamat, an evangelical video replete with scriptural prophecies of the triumph of Islam before the day of judgment. He also acquired a copy of Faruk Camp, a paean to Taliban rule in Afghanistan, from Usman Aggarbattiwala, a young commerce graduate from Vadodara’s Maharaja Sayaji University who allegedly programmed the integrated circuits used as timers for a separate set of bombs planted in Surat.

Bored by the religious polemic, though, Bashar’s students turned instead to Anurag Kashyap’s movie Black Friday — a riveting account of just how a group of hard-drinking, womanising gangsters carried out the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai to avenge the anti-Muslim riots that that tore apart the city after the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

More evidence that Islamic terrorism – at least among the rank and file – is hardly about Islamic theology. Read the piece in full for more on this point.
Nicolai Ouroussoff. The New York Times. 30 March 2010.
I would keep on eye on this project. If successful, it will likely set the pattern for development and reconstruction projects the world over.
The Economist. 31 March 2010.

Wars Aren’t Pointless
“Texas in Africa”. Texas in Africa. 5 April 2010.

Five Misconceptions about the Congo Conflict
Jason Sterns. Congo Siasa. 5 April 2010.


The Limits of Earth Hour

Leigh Ewbank. The Breakthrough Institute. 1 April 2010.


“Jfxgillis”. Correctly Political. 19 March 2010.
“Jfxgillis”. Correctly Political. 26 March 2010.
This essay (along with another brilliant one concerning the passage of the health care bill) has earned Correctly Political a spot on the blog role. In the first, Jfx provides four convincing arguments for the imminent death of the Blue Dog Democrats. As he concludes:

For now, the fate of the Blue Dogs is sealed, their doom is at hand. They can’t save themselves voting this way or that, or collecting money from this lobby or that, or running attack ads against this opponent or that. Their problem is far too profound to solve with such petty and trivial machinations.

For those interested in the future of our party system (a hot topic of late), this is a must read.
Along this line of thought:
“Christian.” OKTrends. 31 March 2010.
The most stunning set of political graphics I have seen this year. And they are from a dating site!
Mark Thompson. League of Ordinary Gentleman. 1 April 2010.

Again – I’m not looking for civility or nuance or anything of that nature.  Public political discourse is and will always be nasty and ugly, even if it’s far better than the alternative.  Instead, all that is required for an effective and non-violent political discourse is two sides who fight by responding to actual arguments, however wrong those responses are, rather than just repeating the same rote response over and over again or feigning victimhood.

This one deserves a full read.
Brad Hall. American Creation. 10 April 2010.
Stephen Morillo. Journal of World History. 1995.
A fascinating account of the early modern “military revolution” as experienced in Medieval Japan. It occurs to me that the same approach can be used to explain the Warring States explosion in army size as well. That, however, is a project for a different day.

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