Brexit Links (and more)

So the UK has voted, about 52 to 48%, to leave the European Union. The markets and pound sank on the news but rebounded a bit. Quite a few people are being quoted as saying that they just voted for Leave to send a message that they were unhappy with the government but figured that Remain would win. Some number of would-have-been Remain voters also said that they thought Remain would win. It’s hard to know how many of each there are and whether they would have been enough to switch the result. The media may well be seeking out such people to quote. But they point up a lesson for November in the United States: don’t play with your vote. Seriously consider the alternatives. Read More

Debating Nuclear Weapons

There are two sides to the public debate on nuclear weapons. One: All nuclear weapons must be abolished, as rapidly as possible. Two: They have preserved the peace for more than half a century; the world would be more dangerous without them.

Each side is convinced of the morality of its position. Nuclear weapons can destroy civilization, after all. So they must be eliminated. So we must have them to deter their use by others. Read More

Links – June 20, 2016

Vladimir Putin gave a long speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last week. Here’s a summary (photo from here). Some of what he said sounded like he would like to be friendlier with Europe and the United States, but he has said that sort of thing before. One of the problems developing for Putin is that he has said so many things and contradicted them with his actions that it is hard for people to believe what he says. Full transcript of the speech.
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Links – June 17, 2016

Broadening the areas of interest today for weekend reading.

Why young Americans are giving up on capitalism. It’s important to think about the different worlds that constitute our pasts. The world that millennials have grown up in was shaped by Ronald Reagan and the conservatives who cut taxes and government. Good job, guys!

The interesting thing that happened when Kansas cut taxes and California hiked them. The opposite of what those conservatives predicted. Read More

Thinking About Terrorists’ Motives

The police in Orlando, Florida, say that the attack early Sunday morning was terrorism. Information coming out about the attacker offers a great many possible motives: he might have been unable to deal with conflicts between religion and sexuality; he was generally a violent and hate-filled person; he declared his allegiance to ISIS during the attack, to other organizations earlier. Read More