• The Wisdom of Intellectuals

    by Cliopatria

    "So my comparison country, I look believe it or not at Belgium, which has got debt which is I think 87% of GDP. And Belgium is, you know, is nothing particularly special. It's actually a little bit less stable than most Western advanced countries because of the ethnic and linguistic divide. But there's no run on Belgian debt. They're able to do that. So that suggests that we could probably, in the United States, add debt that was like forty percent of GDP, if it became necessary, which actually does turn out to be $5.6, $6 trillion."

    -- Paul Krugman, July 7, 2009

    "Juan Linz, professor of social science at Yale, argued that parliamentary systems are superior to presidential systems for reasons of stability. In a parliamentary system, he contended, the legislature and the executive are fused so there is no contest for national legitimacy... Remember, the political battle surrounding the debt ceiling is actually impossible in a parliamentary system because the executive controls the legislature. There could not be a public spectacle of the two branches of government squabbling and holding the country hostage."

  • Things Noted Here & There

    by Cliopatria

    Carnivalesque LXXX, an early modern edition of the festival, is up at Adam Hooks's anchora.

    History Carnival CV will be up at Chick History on 1 December. Use the form to nominate the best of November's history blogging.

    Military History Carnival XXIX will be up here at Cliopatria on 1 December. Use the form to nominate the best in military history blogging since 29 August. Deadline for submissions is 28 November.

    Mike Dash, "The Mystery of the Five Wounds," Past Imperfect, 18 November, looks at the appearance of stigmata as a historical phenomenon.

  • Military History Carnival #29

    by Cliopatria

    The twenty-ninth edition of the Military History Carnival will take place here on December 1. Please submit the best recent military history (broadly conceived) on the web for consideration for posting. Deadline is TOMORROW, November 28.

    Submissions here

  • The Whites of Their Eyes

    by Cliopatria

    "A few prominent African Americans, such as Cornel West, Russell Simmons, Kanye West and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), have made appearances at Occupy protests. 'Occupy the Hood,' a recent offshoot, has tried to get more people of color involved. But the main movement remains overwhelmingly white: A Fast Company survey last month found that African Americans, who are 12.6 percent of the U.S. population, make up only 1.6 percent of Occupy Wall Street."

    -- Why African Americans aren’t embracing Occupy Wall Street. Washington Post, Nov. 25

    "We really can do it. We can reclaim our country from the oligarchs. We can recapture what America used to be about."

    -- How Occupy Will End. Huffington Post, Oct. 31.

  • Boston College (Cont.): Paging the Energizer Bunny

    by Cliopatria

    On Monday, a federal judge gave permission for the lawyers for a pair of Belfast Project researchers to file a response to the government's response to their petition to intervene in the case. I'm giving up on background at this point, on the assumption that anyone who cares already knows it. Bottom line: in March, the federal government began trying to secure a subpoena for archival files at Boston College, and the matter is still unresolved in November. While Irish-American activists hammer away at the politics behind the request, the Department of Justice can't get the court to pull the trigger.

  • Weak Endnotes

    by Cliopatria

    Michael Bérubé, "At Penn State, a Bitter Reckoning," NYT, 17 November, is consistent with the University Faculty Senate's call for an investigating committee controlled by people without ties to the University.

    In 1775, Samuel Johnson asked: "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes?" Julie Flavell, "What Dr. Johnson Knew," Yale Press Log, 16 November, offers a tour of 18th century Fleet Street, whose American side featured both the drivers and the driven. Flavell is the author of When London Was Capital of America.

  • Boston College (Cont.): Pushing Holder

    by Cliopatria

    It's been political all along, so it's finally becoming political.

    While the District Court in Boston has taken no action since October 5 regarding the federal government's effort to subpoena archival material about paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland (background is here), the heart of the fight is no longer in the courtroom. I'm still working on details, but the outline is clear: Members of Congress are becoming concerned about the subpoenas directed at Boston College, and are beginning to express those concerns to the Department of Justice.

    The emerging change in political climate is the result of the work being done by three Irish-American organizations: the Irish American Unity Conference, the Brehon Law Society, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. At the bottom of this post, for example, is a letter sent last month to Attorney General Eric Holder (which is also available on the IAUC website). Irish-American activists have met with members of Congress, and have been trying to get meetings at the State Department and in the White House.

  • More Noted Things

    by Cliopatria

    In Dylan Riley, "Tony Judt: A Cooler Look," New Left Review, Sept/Oct, the UC, Berkeley, sociologist argues that Judt was a talented pamphleteer and polemicist, but a historian of limited ability.

    Emma Mustich interviews "Mary Laven on Renaissance Worlds," The Browser, 14 November, for her recommendation of five essential books on the subject.

    Nicholas Lezard reviews John Fletcher's new translation of Voltaire's A Pocket Philosophical Dictionary, for the Guardian, 15 November.

    Jason Boog, "People's Libraries," LA Review of Books, 12 November, looks at "people's libraries" during the great depression.

  • Two Weeks to the Military History Carnival Deadline

    by Cliopatria

    The twenty-ninth edition of the Military History Carnival will take place here on December 1.  Please submit the best recent military history (broadly conceived) on the web for consideration for posting.  Deadline is November 28.

    Nominations can be submitted here.