Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some Links of Note

* John Wilkins has made a nice online version of Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (PDF), color-coded to make it easier to distinguish the speaking parts. It's easily the best online version at present.

* Joe Carter had an interesting post recently on serious imbalances in the helium market caused by the combination of government surplus and party balloons. Helium is used extensively in technologies that use superconducting magnets, and it is not a renewable resource, so it has very wide implications; our wastefulness of helium is already making it difficult to do medical scans.

* At ConText you can look at James Madison's notes for the Constitutional Convention.

* The Jerusalem Post discusses outbreaks of anti-Semitism in France.

* Ronald Rychlak discusses misconceptions about Pius XII.

* The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has come out with its 2012 annual report. A lot of controversy in this one; they listed Turkey as a Country of Particular Concern, and, of course, Turkey is not pleased. If it were just a report and nothing else, they would no doubt simply register a protest and be done with it, but the USCIRF report is one of the reports used to determine the shape of trade relations between the US and countries who end up on the list, and can lead to selective embargoes or less favorable trade relations. It also creates an occasion other countries to raise awkward questions when dealing with a country on the list, and Turkey has been trying to deal with awkward European questions for some time now. The placement of Turkey on the CPC list seems to have been a narrow decision within the USCIRF itself; and, despite the ever-worsening religious liberty conditions in Turkey, there's a pretty good argument to be made that it's not in the league of the company it's keeping on the CPC list -- not, of course, that that's a very high standard.

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