- Jacques Barzun, "Byron and the Byronic", republished by the Atlantic Monthly from its August 1953 reason for no discernible reason other than the anniversary.
- John Holbo uncovers an amusingly self-negating paradox in obscenity law in XXX Grounds For Prurient Appeal: Hot N' Horny Nonsense on Stilts, vol. 2 XXX (with two follow-ups so far). I love John and Belle Have a Blog, <sniff="hurt">even if I'm no longer on their blogroll</sniff>, but have they considered what's going to happen in a few years when Zoë learns to read, and wants to see what it is Daddy and Mommy are spending so much time on?
- Another shocking abuse of intellectual property law.
- David Boyum and Mark A. R. Kleiman on "Breaking the Drug-Crime Link".
- Phil Greenspun's blog is generally entertaining, but his let-me-lay-out-the-simple-argument-to-a-contrarian-conclusion shtick can grow wearying --- or rather, it works when it's something about computers, which he understands very well (hence the greatness of How to Be a Web Whore Just Like Me), and it really doesn't work when he doesn't know what he's talking about. Vide his post "Why it makes no sense to tax rich Americans", where he claims they find it so easy to dodge taxes that Bush is right to try to repeal progressive taxation. Unf at Unfogged points out abundant errors about tax law, but the whole thing is silly --- if Phil were right, why would Bush et al. devote any effort to changing the laws?
- Ulrich Beck, "Understanding the Real Europe" in Dissent.
- New Scientist interviews Abdolkarim Soroush, a philosopher of science who's gone from being a prominent figure in the Iranian Revolution to a leading intellectual dissident. Some of his theologico-political writings have been translated (in Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam, which includes an interesting autobiography-by-way-of-interview), but not apparently his technical works.
- An interesting, and gently deflating, review of three recent books on Saudi Arabia from The Forward [via Juan Cole].
- "Sredni Vashtar". If you haven't read it, you're in for a (sharp) treat; if you have, it (and the rest of Saki's Chronicles of Clovis) are better than you remember. [Via John Burke; typo fix from Cris Moore]
; The Commonwealth of Letters
; The Progressive Forces
; The Running-Dogs of Reaction