Recommended Reading (2010-07-25)

Lightning streams across the sky towards downtown Chicago, on Wednesday, June 23, 2010.

– The Boston Globe presents a “radical, new idea for foreign aid” – just handing out cash.

– In honor of the proposed two-cent price hike,Tom Scocca proposes that we make the phrase on the USPS “Forever Stamp” our new national motto.  As I’ve seen expressed everywhere (but just cannot find the source for), the fact that you can still drop a piece of mail into a blue box on a random street corner and have it delivered within three days to the other side of the country – for only 44 cents – never ceases to amaze.

– Conor Friersdorf on “The Two Party System at Work“:

Phase One

Liberals: X is a problem, and the government should do Y1 about it.

Conservatives: Stop!

Voters: Yeah, X is a problem, but conservatives make good points about how Y1 isn’t the answer.

Phase Two

Liberals: X is an even bigger problem than before, and the government should do Y2 about it.

Conservatives: Opposition to Y1 was a winning issue for us five years ago. It’s probably smart to oppose Y2.

Voters: Overall we’re still with you, conservatives, but by a lesser margin, because this does sort of seem like a problem, yeah?

And so on.

Foreign Policy bemoans the death of the Republican foreign policy establishment. It’s all left to the crazies now when even the “serious” candidates like Mitt Romney have to turn to the Heritage Foundation to write their op-eds for them.

– A whole mess of luminaries (David Axe, zenpundit, ComingAnarchy’s Younghusband, and many more) have come out with The Handbook of 5GW. Sadly, it’s Kindle-only for the time being, but the print version will drop some time in the fall. At which point I look forward to reading it on paper.

And from the past two weeks on Automatic Ballpoint:

I explained where I’ve been hiding all this time and got pretty confused about Afghanistan. America really loves to test nukes (though the rest of the world’s no slouch). But other than nukes, we don’t build much else these days. Though we could if we had the will to do so.

Also, sex with robots.