In Mideast House of Cards, U.S. Views Lebanon as Shaky. Some of the problems here are structural demographics. The institutions of Lebanon’s democracy were formed when Maronite Christians were the plural majority, followed by Sunni Muslims, then Shia Muslims, and finally minorities such as the Greek Orthodox and Druze. Today the likely plural majority are the Shia, followed by the Sunnis and Maronites. Add on top of this the fact that the Shia tend to be poorer, and, have an invested international backer in Iran. The connection between the Iranian Shia and the Lebanese Shia has traditionally been closer than between the Iranian Shia and the Iraqi Shia.
Saudi Border With Yemen Is Still Inviting for Al Qaeda. Interesting coincidence that I posted on this issue last week. I think my libertarian friends such as Will Wilkinson and Bryan Caplan will get their wish for relatively open borders in the 21st century as a matter of pure probable prediction (there will be exceptions, I suspect Japan may be one). The future will be something more like the United Arab Emirates, though I hope we’ll be able to effect some humanitarianism on the margins, as well as mitigate the popularity of ugly modernist mega-structures.
Steve Hsu has an interesting weblog. He’s a physicist at the University of Oregon with an interest in various other topics, including behavior genetics and psychometrics. He also looks things up.
Dusk in Autumn is a weblog by an individual who goes by the handle “agnostic.” He doesn’t post often, but when he does it is generally interesting and quirky. He is a callipygiaphile.
reaction norm keeps pumping out content. Don’t burn yourself out dawg.