Link Round-up for April 4

From around the blogosphere:

All-in-all, despite the Nuclear Summit here in DC and the late breaking news of massive world leader corruption, it’s been a relatively calm news week. Of course, that does not mean that the interwebs have been quiet. Negative, Ghost Rider. It does mean that we have quite a diverse selection of tidbits for your reading pleasure:

Here’s an interesting take on Brexit, which suggests that part of the gulf between the UK and the EU stems from their historically different legal foundations. It’s always cool when current events can be explained by comparing esoteric passages of different versions of the Bible. open democracy

The Panama Papers: hmmm, doesn’t really leap out at you and say “global corruption scandal” … Not sure why they didn't call them something more sexy like ’All Our World Leaders and Celebrities are Douches’ Papers, but we’ll let it go for now. Biggest leak ever. I bet Anonymous, Snowden, and Assange are all feeling just a wee bit lame in comparison. The Atlantic

Yep, people with lots of money are hiding much of it in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes, among other things. If any of them are now feeling contrite, I have an excellent tax write-off suggestion: pay off my student loans!! I swear it will get you back into Heaven. boingboing

The grieving process is long and arduous. Brussels took one more step in that journey on Friday when it reopened the airport. Word to the wise: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. The Atlantic

Two interesting ‘here’s why’ posts from the Monkey Cage this weekend:

  1. Ron Krebs and Roy Licklider warn that disaster usually looms when a country recovering from civil war attempts to unify the warring parties into a single national military.

  2. Not sure I’m totally on board with this one, but Loubna El Amine says the time has come to stop thinking that the spread of democratic values is still a legacy of colonialism. Uh... well, I will concede that perhaps it is time to stop apologizing for it.

So the Nuclear Security Summit shut down much of downtown DC this week, making traffic even more abysmal than normal. As for the substance of the gathering, everyone once again pledged to keep nukes safe, particularly out of the hands of terrorists. Slugger O’Toole gives a fairly extensive review of the likelihood of any such scenario occurring. Cautious optimism?

Oh, and Obama threw down on Trump’s dismissal of non-proliferation: Politico

Terrorism: Noun. Tactic. Threat or use of violence against civilians to achieve some political purpose. In a reversal of the normal Q&A, this post debunks or challenges typical assessments of our current War on Terror, much of which hinges on said definition. Still, “blah blah terrorism isn’t new... blah blah this isn’t unprecedented... and blah blah we’re safer now than we’ve ever been” doesn’t really sell well, particularly during U.S. presidential elections. The Atlantic

Here’s a more radical assessment, not surprisingly from open democracy: the current 'terrorism mess' is mostly our (Western/U.S.) fault. The debacle that has been the War on Terror, and before that our flip-flopping meddling in the region, have been the real sources of radicalization, not really some distorted interpretation of Islam. Mohammed’s just the window dressing.

Another historical reality-check on the origins of ISIS and Islamist fundamentalism dismisses Linker’s recent argument that Marxism is the real culprit behind radicalization. Actually, liberalism is not the panacea so often proffered. It is just another culprit with a slightly brighter, shinier veneer of legitimacy. Salon

Let’s go back to the definition of terrorism. The recent rash of stabbing and shooting attacks against Israelis by lone Palestinian individuals – often children – has been unproblematically labeled ‘terrorism’. OK, but what if doing so is problematic? The Intercept

Putin doesn’t share nicely with others. Shocker! His tactic in Georgia/South Ossetia? Sneak around in the middle of the night and basically short-sheet the Georgians’ wheat fields. Politico

Climate change, people!!! Who cares about Trump’s walls if we won’t have a stable enough planet to build them on… Salon

Speaking of the election (I know, I know…) – this is currently how I see the struggle for sanity. A few brave souls left to defeat the behemoth Cthulhu that is the U.S. election cycle. Unite or perish! boingboing


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