From around the blogosphere: Another weekend of ludicrous assertions in 140 characters or less. I used to enjoy creating these link round-ups. Now, it just reminds me how depressed I am about the world. But the show must go on, as they say. So here we go. Anyone who knows me knows that my understanding of anything that has to do with economics remains limited at best. Jacobin has written a critique of ‘fiscal conservatism’ that I actually understood, which in and of itself is a marvel. The European single market since 2004 (with the inclusion of most of Eastern Europe) has visibly benefited many Western European employers and migrant wage-seekers. Yet, the social repercussions have not been as rosy and seem to be coming to a head now with Brexit and the rise of the far Right. Surely, there must be some middle ground here? Open Democracy One of the side effects of all the tom-foolery that is Washington these days is that I approach anything said by any official or pundit with several more grains of salt than I used to. That said, this 40-year foreign service vet’s warning about Russia is chilling. Politico This Globe and Mail article cautions against reading the EU election cycle as only one of Far Right triumph. Actually, it looks very similar to what we saw in the US – anger at the status quo and all the expensive aspects of daily life that it no longer provides for. My students and I were just grappling with the seeming contradiction of international law and an anarchic state system. According to Jeffrey Sachs, the Republicans are seeking to avoid such contradictions by just getting rid of the former. Sachs says this is a mistake. Boston Globe The New York Review of Books has an interesting piece on Rosa Brooks’ new book. It used to be that war was a pretty straightforward thing – declarations, uniforms, battlefields, etc. Not so anymore. Does this mean we should rethink what we mean by the term and its associates? Probably. Sociological Images has an automated graph of political polarization in the US (especially with regard to social inequalities), and it is kind of mesmerizing. In a terrible way, mind you. So Trump’s latest bout of Twitter cray-cray seems to have put the Republicans in a bit of a tight spot. Or so says the New Republic. However, everytime a pundit or media organization ‘swears’ that this is the tipping point, everyone somehow still goes back to their partisan corners, so I remain doubtful. Did you ever play the Blob tag game in gym class when you were little? It seems Trump, Ben Rhodes, et al are trying to recreate that dynamic here in Washington, though the blob is meant to be on the defensive. But truth be told: it was always kind of fun being part of the blob and swinging out at the ends trying to capture the uninitiated… Politico Magazine The Conversation has a piece that says what I’ve been noticing this last year! It’s our moral indignation that makes us hate each other. Well, you know, but said better and explained all scientifically and stuff. Word. Patrick T. Jackson offers his own take on truth, truthiness, alternative facts, and fake news in a public call to reinstate integrity, academic rigor, and discipline into [American] politics. Duck of Minerva And now, puppies. And unicorns. Because why not?