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#4: Wow. That was shockingly obtuse. In every Islamic country that has held an election, Islamic parties won handily. The #2 part in the Egyptian elections, the second place finisher was even more Islamic than the Brotherhood. You would think that western intellectuals faced with the evidence would drop the fantasies and accept the fact Islamic people want an Islamic society. An Islamic society cannot and will not adopt western-style liberal democracy. Never.

"Never" is an absurdly long time. The same things could've been said about Christian societies for hundreds of years. Moreoever, it's too general. There are plenty of smaller Islamic communities that would vote for Western-style liberal democracy.

At this point, what has Western liberalism/democracy ever done for these folks? Besides bomb them, I mean.

>The same things could’ve been said about Christian societies for hundreds of years.

And so it was. Outside of some tiny isolated pockets like Venice, we needed the Enlightenment before adopting "western-style liberal democracies".

Other than displaying your ignorance of western history, I'm not sure what the point is here. There are no examples of Islamic countries adopting anything but Islamic government, when given the chance. That's their right. Given the demographics of the world, they may have it right. After all, the future belongs to those who make it to the future. Plunging fertility rates in the West means there will be far fewer Westerners in the future to argue about it.

"There are no examples of Islamic countries adopting anything but Islamic government,"

The thing that I love most about the internet is the number of people willing to double down on bit of knowledge that can be proved false with five minutes of Googling.

How exactly are you defining "Islamic people" and "Islamic country?" Here are the countries with the 5 biggest population of Muslims and they're recent election results:

Indonesia - Democratic Party candidate won the 2009 presidential election
Pakistan - The Pakistan Muslim League won the last election, but the time before that it was the Pakistan People's Party.
India - No major representation for Islamic parties at the national level
Bangladesh - The social democratic Bangladesh Awami League won the last presidential election
Nigeria - Goodluck Jonathan, the People's Democratic Party candidate for president elected in 2011

Perhaps you want to say Middle East and North African instead of Islamic, but that wouldn't let you make blanket statements about Muslims.

*their

#3: the food culture that is the State Fair. Hardly limited to or indicative of Indiana alone.

Just be happy that the flyoverlords briefly acknowledged your existence, even if only to affirm their smug superiority.

Congrats on reading a blog post on Indiana's state fair by a professor at the Indiana Univ. School of Medicine in the most negative way possible.

My comment was directed at the foodie-in-chief of this blog. That wasn't clear. Oh well, we're all prone to uncharitable readings I guess.

Back to the author, though. What's the best possible interpretation? "Indiana is great because of all this crappy food? In spite of it?"

I think that the prof is saying "this state fair is fun as shit and a lot of it has to do with the food and also look at the pictures of my children except for my daughter who is of the age where she finds everything her father does to be profoundly embarassing."

I agree. The food served here is very similar to the food served in other Midwest state fairs.

I think maybe a more appropriate name for this link would be "The food culture that is Midwest State Fair". And I include Midwest, because state fairs are big deals in Midwest agrarian states, where farmers come to show off their prize livestock.

Among Indiana originals are:
Sugar Cream Pie - the Amish are mentioned in the blog post, from whom this delicious pie came
Pork Tenderloin sandwiches - they are pretty good at Culver's, a Wisconsin fast food chain that has a presence in many Midwestern states.

+1

Midwest State Fairs are a lot of fun.

Indeed. Awesome, wholesome family fun.
The "new foods" introduced each year are a news cycle by themselves. http://www.mnstatefair.org/fun/new_food/
I would love to hear Tyler's take on a wine glazed deep fried meatloaf.

+1 for Culvers. I almost forgot it's a Wisconsin chain.

Not too many posts about my home state, so the earlier one in this series caught my eye too: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/08/assorted-links-198.html. I agree this is fair fare and not food specific to the Indiana State Fair (or Indiana more broadly). Also having grown up on a farm, I associate the unique part of the state fair (and county fairs) more with the livestock show arena and 4-H exhibit hall ... the food actually pops up at any festival, albeit on a smaller scale. A fun post.

At the Calgary Stampede they seem to come up with something new to deep-fry every year, including butter: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/05/02/calgary-stampede-midway-food-bizarre.html

When I saw "the food culture that is Indiana" I thought of my visit to West Lafayette and the Triple XXX Diner (motto: "On the hill, but on the level"). Get the half-order of biscuits and gravy, which covers an entire platter. The full order? Two platters.

In 2., the link concerning Bezos is titled 'Why The Washington Post isn’t a charity case for Jeff Bezos'

And an interesting case of something (which probably has a good German word to describe it) that such a title is turned into being summarized in terms of a 'vanity project.'

However, at least one thing is clear - the family owners of the Post have put more faith in for profit education services than they do in journalism. And Bezos has used ca. 1% of his wealth to pick up a new toy - and won't a couple of brother billionaires wonder why they didn't jump on the bandwagon earlier?

And let us be honest - Bezos is still a cautious businessman stepping into the pool of influencing DC, compared to convicted felon Moon and his Washington Times money pit sideshow.

In the UK, billionaires buying newspapers as a hobby are completely normal.

"won’t a couple of brother billionaires wonder why they didn’t jump on the bandwagon earlier?"

They've been trying; the Koch Brothers have been trying to buy the Los Angeles Times for months. So has Rupert Murdoch, local real estate billionaire Eli Broad, and a variety of other parties.

In the UK, billionaires buying newspapers as a hobby are completely normal

The UK has radically more restrictions on political campaign contributions, so owning media is the only way to express your political beliefs loudly and effectively. Here in the U.S. billionaires form PACs, Trade Groups, Think Tanks (or hire lobbyists) to amplify their political speech.

#1 Traveling from Holland to Belgium, you see the change in landscape almost immediately. This is the result of lax regulation and a culture that aspires to owning a house.

Or the sign of freedom. I agree on the aesthetics of the Belgian houses (they are ugly) but I like a world in which we are allowed to have different tastes. I don't think the removal of the externality of ugliness is sufficient to outweigh the loss of freedom. Unfortunately in most of the western world we have snobs desperate to impose their tastes which results in many unintended consequences that are much worse.

It's not so much that "different tastes" are allowed in Belgium that are not allowed in Holland, but rather that lack of restrictions in public planning have led to significantly more "urban sprawl" in Flanders (the Belgian region bordering the Netherlands). In Flanders 26% of the area has been built-up; in the Netherlands 14,5%. So Holland has more densely populated areas, and yes, more uniformity in the way these have been built-up, due to larger scale housing developments.

If you speak about unintended consequences of the snobbish attitude to urban planning, you also have to look at the price of Belgian/Flemish freedom (or anarchy): less green space, significantly more traffic, more congestion, and the worst number of traffic deaths in Western Europe, more than twice the Dutch number of traffic deaths per million kilometer - it is widely suspected that famous Belgian "linear settlements" play a role in that, together with the freedom-loving tolerance of alcohol and driving. And what do we buy for all this past freedom? Planning laws have become nearly as restricted as anywhere else, but the legacy of sprawl and its consequences lives on.

I don't get it. Most of those houses don't even seem particularly ugly. Merely average, at worst.

2. " Here is why WaPo is not a vanity project for Bezos." says the Washington Post.

But it supports Tyler's narrative, so it must be true.

The actual fallacy in this case is "Tyler linked to it, so it must represent his views."

Well, dan, there was no question mark at the end, which Tyler usually includes if he is dubious. Also, this echoes what he said the day before. So, no fallacy.

Please note the punctuation at the LeBron link.

#3. I'm a proud Hoosier and I LOVE our State Fair. I didn't realize how good of a fair we had until I moved to Colorado and their joke of a State Fair... What I wouldn't give for a nice deep fried twinkie, snickers, or even just a good old fashioned elephant ear...

Regarding Belgian houses, sure, some are ugly, OTOH, they have one of the largest collections of beautiful and innovative art nouveau houses and some other architectural styles. Cut them some slack for their occasional losers. Have you not seen their winners, not to mention their world-leadingn collection of Magrittes? Tsk tsk.

Has anybody made serious money out of Amazon besides Jeff Bezos? Work conditions look pretty rough if the highest paid employee has only $20m in restricted stock.

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