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History

November 18, 2014

"Why Ronald Reagan’s ‘A Time for Choosing’ endures after all this time"

Summary: because he was right.

See also "Ronald Reagan’s ‘A Time For Choosing’ Is 50 Years Old Today: Does It Hold Up?"

October 15, 2014

"Why Europe Is Irrational About Israel"

An analysis that was new for me.

To propose immediate Palestinian statehood under these circumstances is psychotic, to call the matter by its right name. The Europeans, along with the United Nations and the Obama administration on most working days, refuse to take reality into account. When someone tells you that Martians are transmitting radio waves into his brain, or that Elvis Presley really is the pope rather than an Argentine Jesuit, one doesn’t enquire into the merits of the argument. Rather, one considers the cause of the insanity.

The Europeans hate Israel with the passion of derangement. Why? Well, one might argue that the Europeans always have hated Jews; they were sorry they hated Jews for a while after the Holocaust, but they have gotten over that and hate us again. Some analysts used to cite Arab commercial influence in European capitals, but today Egypt and implicitly Saudi Arabia are closer to Jerusalem’s point of view than Ramallah’s. Large Muslim populations in Europe constitute a pressure group for anti-Israel policies, but that does not explain the utter incapacity of the European elite to absorb the most elementary facts of the situation.

Europe’s derangement has deeper roots. Post-nationalist Europeans, to be sure, distrust and despise all forms of nationalism. But Israeli nationalism does not offend Europe merely because it is one more kind of nationalism. From its founding, Europe has been haunted by the idea of Israel. Its first states emerged as an attempt to appropriate the election of Israel. 

October 05, 2014

Presented as a public service

"What’s Racist, What’s Not (As of Friday, Oct. 3, 2014)".

Including the American Revolution and a cartoon cupcakes ad. 

 

September 23, 2014

"What NYC Restaurant Menus Looked Like 100 Years Ago Vs. Today"

Very interesting. One noticable thing: there were a lot more vegetables on the menu in those days.

September 10, 2014

Five on Los Angeles

"26 Things You Will Only See In Los Angeles".

"Los Angeles’s Great Flood: The city’s infrastructure crumbles as public-employee compensation balloons."

"15 Things You Learn in Your First 5 Years in L.A."

"A Blast from the Past: Los Angeles from 1898 Till the 1960's".

"The Urban Oil Fields of Los Angeles".

September 07, 2014

"The Pearl Harbor Myth"

I learned from and enjoyed this piece.

Yet a detailed examination of the preparation and execution of the attack on the Pacific Fleet reveals a much different story. Even after 10 months of arduous planning, rehearsal, and intelligence gathering, the attack was plagued by inflexibility, a lack of coordination, and misallocated resources. A plan for a likely contingency was cobbled together by three midgrade officers while en route to Hawaii. The attack itself suffered significant command blunders. Though armed with enough firepower to destroy up to 14 battleships and aircraft carriers, the Japanese landed killing hits on only three battleships; luck, combined with American damage control mistakes, added two more battleships to their tally. Not only was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor far from brilliant, it also narrowly avoided disaster.

September 04, 2014

"What Did We Give Up With the Big Red Cars?"

An article by the recently deceased UCLA econ professor George W. Hilton putting to rest, if it is needed, the claim that GM destroyed mass transit in Los Angeles.

August 26, 2014

Two from Professor Gordon

Fine posts.

"History lesson".

But this California history shows once again that in times of boom, people were too busy to fall into the hole of zero-sum hatreds. Its the old story. Prosperous people or people who take seriously the prospect of prosperity are nicer and more tolerant.

"Three or four-hundred years?"

The story ends with the predictable "give us more money." More money has been going to employee pension funding -- and even then there is a reported unfunded pension fund gap. We get the gap, high prices, floods, and questionable service. There is never enough money when there is a politically influential and unionized workforce.

July 07, 2014

A small feast

"Small" only in the sense of being relatively short. In "Deirdre McCloskey and Economists’ Ideas about Ideas" Don Boudreaux, Joel Mokyr, and John Dye discuss McCloskey's recent work. Of interest, I think, to anyone who is interested in economics, history, or public policy. 

July 05, 2014

"How Qatar Got So Rich So Fast [PHOTOS]"

Few places, I'll wager, have seen as much physical change in a few decades

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