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History

December 14, 2014

"It’s 1963 Again"

What do Liberals want? A huge part of it is in this short piece. They want--profoundly, desperately--for it to be 50 years ago. The Birmingham church bombing. The March on Washington. The 1964 Civil Rights Act. When they were young--so young--and so noble and fighting that really, really good fight. 

Go ahead and tell me again that conservatives are the ones who are living in the past.

December 10, 2014

"Wheat People vs. Rice People: Why Are Some Cultures More Individualistic Than Others?"

I find explanations of differences in culture and in economic systems due to geography potentially very appealing. (Geography, unlike many other factors, can be safely assumed exogenous.) So this hypothesis is quite interesting.

But the author doesn't mention, oddly, the similarity between this idea and Wittfogel's notion of "hydraulic civilizations".

November 24, 2014

"Lazy"

Michael Greenspan responds, excellently, to Randy Newman's anti-Romney-voter song. 

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.

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