A Lot of Disputed territories in Eastern Europe


Brexit: deals and no deals

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

What is a ‘No Deal’ Brexit? Part of the (sometimes deliberate) confusion around this is that there are, essentially, three deals to be done between the UK and the EU. The decision tree looks something like this:

Chart made with SmartDraw

Deal 1: Article 50 Agreement

This is an agreement on the terms of separation. It includes things like:

  • Liability for pensions for EU staff;
  • Share of the European Investment Bank;
  • Funding commitments made by the UK for projects beyond March 2019;
  • Relocation of EU agencies in the UK;
  • Rights of UK and EU citizens after March 2019.

As Anand Menon says, a failure to agree on these basic terms could happen in two ways; the UK walking away from the negotiations or a timeout where no agreement is reached by  the March 2019 deadline. This is what Professor Menon called the Chaotic Brexit:

There is no Article 50 agreement…

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Fifth Gaza rocket attack this month not newsworthy for the BBC

BBC Watch

In the early hours of June 27th Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip once again launched rockets at Israeli civilians.

“Rocket sirens blared throughout the predawn hours of Wednesday morning in the Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip as Palestinians launched over a dozen rockets at southern Israel after the military struck a Hamas vehicle in the center of the coastal enclave.

The alarms rang out in towns and small communities throughout the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev and Hof Ashkelon regions, several times from approximately 1:45 a.m. to 4 a.m., sending thousands of Israeli running into bomb shelters.

At least three rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. There were no reports of casualties or damage in Israel. In addition, no rocket impacts were reported inside Israeli communities.”

Twelve hours after the last incident took place, there is still no mention of the attacks whatsoever on…

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No suit for you: Federal court dismisses California climate change cases against oil companies


Cities across the country have brought novel lawsuits seeking to hold oil companies responsible for climate change—in particular, the city’s cost to adapt to rising seas and other climate change impacts. Although property owners can generally sue those who damage their property, these cases are unusually complicated because of the number of contributors to climate change and uncertainty about where it’s impacts will be felt, when, and how costly they will be.

On June 26th, a federal court dismissed the first of these lawsuits, brought by two California cities. This is a significant setback for the cities pursuing this approach and signals similar results in the other cases.

The cases have been controversial, to put it mildly. Earlier this year, the Niskanen Center’s David Bookbinder (who represents Boulder, Colorado in one of these suits) and R Street Institute’s Josiah Neeley and William Murray had a thoughtful debate about using the…

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Free speech for me but not for thee

John Stuart Mill’s claim, in On Liberty, is that all speech deserves a platform to help us winnow good ideas from bad, and to help us examine and hone our position

Why Evolution Is True

This article in the New York Times‘s philosophy section “The Stone”, is a mixed bag, but on the whole not a bag that’s so great (click on screenshot to read it). The author is a professor of philosophy at Wuhan University, Yale-NUS College and Vassar College, as well as the author of Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto. 

Click on the screenshot to read it:

Van Norden’s point is that not everyone deserves a platform to espouse their ideas, even if they deserve free speech in the Constitutional sense: freedom from government censorship. And I don’t think many of us would disagree with that. I am not, for instance, going to invite a creationist to speak to my department, though I didn’t try to prevent someone in physics from doing that a few years ago. I wouldn’t invite Alex Jones to speak here, either. But that doesn’t mean that…

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Stigler explains how intellectuals and consultants ply their policy trade honestly