- Phil Schrodt’s very smart thoughts about the NSA and surveillance. [A Second Mouse]
- Anton Strezhnev analyzes the prospects for Snowden’s extradition. Strezhnev’s take is very smart, but I wonder if he overestimates the degree to which this will be a normal case in which Beijing would not choose to intervene. After all, Snowden fled to Hong Kong because of its reputation for freedom–which is something that Beijing might find convenient in underlining one country, two systems. [Causal Loop]
- Ben Schmidt has a more interesting and nuanced view on the “crisis in the humanities” than we normally get. TL;DR: The 1960s and 1970s were periods of anomalously high enrollments in the humanities, and the decline in those fields has been overstated. [Edge of the American West]
- Russia moves closer to enforcing a ban on telling children about LGBT issues. [Talking Points Memo]
- BLTN: has one U.S. party declared war on the poor? [Kevin Drum]
- At The Mischiefs of Faction, Seth Masket discusses how changes meant to reduce political insiders’ powers have had the opposite effect. Unsurprisingly, a lot of political scientists’ evaluations of similar reforms (e.g. the move toward open primaries and reform of the presidential nominations system) have reached similar conclusions. So, my question is this: Is there any basis to ever hope for more than temporary, partial, and ultimately reversible gains from structural reforms? Or are we doomed instead to suffer a reverse-Sisyphus cycle, in which new reforms, enacted at great cost, roll the stone of reform a little farther down the hill instead?