Just some links

December 16, 2021

December 16!  Battle of the Bulge began 77 years ago today.  A gruesome, bloody mess.  Among other events.  That one sticks with my mind, as events of WWII occupied the mental space of my parents in a vivid way, and so it bled into my worldview.  We forget, sometimes, how our elders' vision of history enframes our own.  

But none of that here--here it's just links.


Fairly detailed information about abortion in the US.  Worth learning about which women have abortions.  I wish there was some way to incorporate men into this data—would be interesting to know how many men are involved in this process.


"I haven’t been able to fathom a lot of what’s been happening in terms of politics over the last several years." If only Guelzo had stuck with this claim. I think this is at the heart of a lot of "older centrist" discourse, though rarely stated so openly.


“The crisis of Evergrande and China’s large property sector is a manifestation of the crisis of China’s growth model.”  A useful account of the economic crisis emerging in China.


For airplane nerds, a very long—two hour!—tour of a B-52.  Amazing to think these aircraft, designed in the early 1950s, will be flying effectively a century later; is there any other weapon or weapons platform of which this is true?  Maybe medieval castles are the last example; even early modern fortresses were rebuilt more frequently than that.


“Iris Murdoch used to say that she and Powell were agreed on this, that their lives as novelists had begun in their solitary childhoods.”  An interesting piece on the novelists Anthony Powell and Iris Murdoch (Murdoch was many things, philosopher among them, but she was definitely a novelist), talking about resonances in their lives and works.


This is very smart. A piece by Kieran Healy, written right after Gary Becker died, of Michel Foucault’s account of Becker, back in 1979, which has some plausibility as being one of the first observations of neoliberalism:

“The shifts in focus Foucault picks out here, and the concepts and methods that accompanied them, are why Becker’s influence has been so enormous, why his work has been the straw man in so many social science articles, why his methods allow for such broad application, why the imagery of choice and responsibility that so often accompanies them has proved so politically attractive, why the world is now full of economists who feel empowered to dispense advice on everything from childrearing to global climate change, and why the audience for this advice is so large.”


With the recent retirement of Angela Merkel, this seems like a good moment to consider her remarkable political career as a whole. She surely has to count as one of the most consequential post-Cold War political leaders. However, a focus on domestic policies and an inability to recognize the importance of geopolitics beyond what is economically advantageous to German businesses, is emblematic of a certain capacity in the European political class as a whole. They often fail to understand a global vision of power politics. Perhaps, on the other hand, that is an advantage for the US, as it has incapacitated them from generating a rival vision of global politics. Perhaps, that is, this incapacity is actually the US’s fault.


Once again, a powerful case can be made for “using infrastructure spending as a countercyclical macroeconomic stabilization tool.”  Plus, we actually need to rebuild the US’s infrastructure. Maybe we can actually do it this time.  Sen. Manchin's hesitancies may destroy the chance, however.  Well, him and the GOP.


Enough for now.  Be well, everyone.  Hope you're staying safe, esp given the new Omicron variant...