* The US drought map is starting to look a little dire (see also the current Palmer Drought Index map). This is a big issue, and not just for Americans: the United States is the world's biggest exporter of corn, wheat, and sorghum and is neck-and-neck with Brazil as the biggest exporter of soybeans. It is also a significant exporter of rice and barley, although it's a relatively minor player on both fronts in comparison with the other major exporters. Due to our very high production per acre, our relatively good distribution systems, and lots and lots of good agricultural land, the breadbasket of the United States is one of the breadbaskets of the world; severe drought in the US means harder times elsewhere. It still isn't 1930s bad, but by some measures we are currently in the worst drought since the 1950s.
* Greg Forster corrects David Barton's errors on John Locke.
* A Mosaic Depicting Envy at "Laudator Temporis Acti"
* A website on the Scotist version of the doctrine of the primacy of Christ.
* You can often find people saying that Theodosius I abolished the Olympic Games in the fourth century. As Roger Pearse notes, however, the evidence is not quite so clear.
* David Goldman on circumcision.
* Michael Habib on flying lizards and gliding snakes.
* An interview with Hadley Arkes
* Schwitzgebel on the external world. His posts on this always remind me of Lady Mary Shepherd's approach to the question -- different specific arguments, but the same general idea and inference-structure.
* "The Homeless Adjunct" gives us How the American University was Killed, in Five Easy Steps. Not all the details are entirely plausible -- for instance, at several points there is an assumption of deliberateness for things that were probably not at the forefront of most people's minds and were probably mostly due instead to not thinking things through adequately -- but the basic outline seems right.
* I just recently learned that Alan Saunders died this past June. Saunders was the very excellent host of what was the best philosophy-focused radio program in the English-speaking world, The Philosopher's Zone, which was one of the gems in the crown of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
* Liam Heneghan discusses Konrad Lorenz and Nazism. I think there are actually more options on the table with regard to Heidegger, whom Heneghan uses as a comparison case, than are suggested here. It's not all-or-nothing. The position I've advocated with Heidegger has been that the best way to handle it is to read him but accept nothing from him that cannot clearly or rigorously be disconnected from anything even suggestive of Nazi political thought.
I think this is harder to do than many of Heidegger's fans think; I think most of the quick dismissals of the difficulty are due to a naivete about what Nazi political thought actually was, since it was not all of a piece and there was a lot of in-fighting over the precise direction the Nationalist Socialist party and state should go. When you look at early Nazi political philosophy I don't think there's much room to be in doubt that Heidegger's philosophy, while more sophisticated, fit right in; which explains quite easily why Heidegger also had problems with the Nazi Party, since most of the more conservative Nazi philosophers and thinkers had serious problems with the direction they thought Hitler was taking -- and Hitler and his immediate circle, of course, thought that they were refusing to follow through on the principles they claimed to uphold. It's often forgotten, for instance, that Kurt Huber, the famous hero of the White Rose who was executed for stirring up resistance against Hitler, was actually a Nazi philosopher himself, as is clear from his interrogation interviews; he claimed that he was in favor of National Socialism but that he thought that the NSDAP old guard should push for a constitutional regime and that the Hitler faction within the Party was pushing the Party in a leftist direction, of which he regarded the alliance with the Soviet Union as a symptom. (Huber thought that the most natural ally of a Nazi Germany, if the Nazism were old-school rather than Hitlerism, was Britain, and that Britain and Nazi Germany should have joined together to fight Bolshevism as soon as the Nazis took power.) There were multiple philosophical positions vying for power in the Nazi Party, all of them consistent with the general ideology but disagreeing as to details and priorities. Yet I've repeatedly seen people point to Heidegger's difficulties, and the suspicion with which he was viewed, as if it somehow were evidence of a sharp disconnect between Heidegger's philosophy and Nazism. To be sure, some of the connection may well just be general folk conservatism, which is what attracted quite a few people to the Nazi party originally; but this needs to be shown rather than airily assumed. But regardless of the difficulty, it needs to be done. I suspect that this denazification is much easier with respect to Lorenz than Heidegger, I would advocate the same thing with regard to him, as well: nothing accepted that can't be replicated in ways inconsistent with Nazi ideology. And the cautionary tale that Heneghan mentions is also quite important.
* Richard Langworth looks into the matter. Richard Langworth is pretty much the source to go to for determining whether Churchill quotes are spurious or rightly attributed. Did Churchill say:
If you make ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.
The Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.
The best argument against Democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
A fanatic is someone who won't change his mind and won't change the subject.
There are few virtues that the Poles do not possess -- and there are few mistakes they have ever avoided.
Another tidbit: What did Churchill think of the novel, Gone with the Wind, as well as its movie version?