Friday, November 26, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jeff Jacoby: Abolish the TSA.


At CNET, a primer on rare earth metals.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two items on the Internet and geopolitics, one welcome, one worrisome. Welcome: Stuxnet has Iran anxious. [Later: The New York Times (via AmSpecBlog) had a story on Stuxnet yesterday.] Worrisome:
For about 18 minutes in April, a Chinese telecommunications company hijacked 15 percent of the Internet, redirecting U.S. government and military traffic through Chinese servers. The misdirection affected NASA, all four branches of the military, the office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Senate.
I don't know how thoroughly the US can secure the Internet from attack, but to the extent that we can, we should, even if doing so riles other countries.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Michael Knox Beran in the current National Review:
The creation of the constitutional state has undoubtedly been the greatest political achievement in history: It has made life, liberty, and property more secure than they ever were before, and through the mechanism of national markets has wrought a material prosperity that would not so very long ago have seemed a whimsical dream. But the cultural achievement of the nation-state may be doubted.

If we gain where politics and commerce have (in large measure) been nationalized, we lose where culture is made coterminous with so enlarged a civic sphere. It is the paradox of Western civilization that the work of its universal culture was for centuries carried on exclusively in local settings, in the small enclaves and intimate communal life of towns and city-states, aristocratic courts and monastic centers. These cultural sanctuaries have since disappeared, or have lost their old virtue and dignity. The destruction of their local influences, and the replacement of their deep yet idiosyncratic culture by the shallow, uniform, and monotonous culture of the nation-state, have impoverished us in ways we every day feel.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Theodore Dalrymple on why Pinochet was so hated: "Hell hath no fury like an intellectual proved wrong."