Assorted links

1. The British Roissy is in fact Speaker of the House.

2. Charles Rowley's blog.

3. A cloud shaped like a UFO.

4. How starfish eat a seal (video).

5. The Arabs, by Eugene Rogan; a superb book which somehow I had forgotten to review this year.  It's especially good for showing how their response to Western imperialism has been conditioned by their Ottoman experiences.

6. Jared Diamond on the greenness of large corporations.


I would counsel Cowen to avoid writing about Arabs, Muslims, or the Middle East. He's got no insights, experience, or credentials in this area. Why do people stand for it? He embarrasses himself whenever he does (check the excoriating comments on his recent "Swiss Minarets" post).

Calling Eugene Rogan's Jew-baiting "The Arabs" a superb book? Uh, did you actually read it?

If an endless litany of pity and selfpity, complaining, feeling sorry for yourself and fingerpointing to everyone (in the west/usa/Israël/jews) except oneself as excuse makes a good read, I wonder what makes a bad read.
It seems that since Obama's election the USA tries to pass Europe in bending over in excuses for everything and all international history.
Rogan a nice help in the process


This might not be the proper place to ask you this but you recently commented on Tom Palmer's book on liberty at the Cato Institute. Maybe you can address these points - if you haven't already - in a separate post. First, you raised the question whether liberty was not culture specific. You didn't offer any answers and neither did Tom. Second, when an audience member asked about the Minaret vote and Islam in Europe you did not comment. I know you commented on the Minaret question in your blog, but what about the integration/assimilation of muslims in Europe. You said in a recent blog post that you thought Europe was actually doing a pretty good job but you didn't explain. Could you?

Thanks Tyler, I love reading this blog.

Bercow plausably denies writing the piece referred to in the first link, claiming it was a parody written by someone else:

What's needed is more emphasis on how the battle for the control of Spain and wars with the Ottoman Empire influenced Europe. Braudel is a good place to start:

"He returned to Paris in 1937 and in 1939, he joined the army but was captured in 1940 and became a prisoner of war in a camp near Lübeck in Germany, where, working from memory, he put together his great work La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen a l'époque de Philippe II (The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II). Part of his motivation for writing the book, he said, was that, as a "Northerner," he had come to love the Mediterranean. After the war, he worked with Febvre in a new college, founded separately from the Sorbonne, dedicated to social and economic history."

For example, it was the Southern European countries that bore the the major cost of fighting the Ottomans. Since Braudel saw the Med as an area of very similar peoples and cultures, the contrast with Northern Europe becomes even more interesting. There are lots of books that touch on the subject, but I can't remember one dedicated to this theme.

One thing to remember is that Europe was generally seen as behind Islamic culture until the 18th century. Although the Ottomans lost the Battle of Vienna, many people believe that it was their battle to lose, which they did. After that, the situation began to change, but it's important to realize the fact that the Ottomans almost controlled half of Europe.

Well, the Ottomans were attacking the heart of Europe while the Europeans were sailing around Africa and venturing to America to avoid crossing the Levant. Exactly who didn't they want to mess with. Fighting the Ottomans had a huge influence on the finances and geography of Southern Europe. Northern Europe benefited from the costs that Southern Europe, especially Spain and Italy, bore fighting the Ottomans. All this is in Braudel, and in "The Venture of Islam", by Hodgson. The Ottomans were not buffoons.The response by Europe to their power and ability is what I'd like to see more work on. Also, the Christian war to regain the control of Spain had a huge influence on Spain and Europe.

4. Wow. In a star-laden cast, the seal pup stole the show. She really went for it in that scene.

Turkey in the Arab world. Kemal Ataturk, the
founder of modern Turkey, arose on the ruins
of the Ottoman Empire, which had controlled large
parts of the Arab world. Turkey became secular
in a way many parts of the Arab world did not.
T.E. Lawrence's "Seven Pillars of Wisdom,"
(Lawrence of Arabia), considers the relation
between Turks and Arabs, whose champion he

Shorter Diamond: Don't worry about changing your life or expectations to save the planet: Big Business and Big Government will make it all right.


You link to your colleague Charles Rowley on the one hand, and on the other wonder why libertarians are associated with the "paranoid style."

May I suggest you read Rowley, and his talk of the "dreaded drop," etc. It might stimulate your thinking on the first question.

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