Monday links

1. My favorite right-wing economist, Paul Craig Roberts, argues that the USA is headed for ruin.  He seems pretty happy about it.  (Counterpunch)

2.  Dana Hunter has some things to say about what happened to Pompeii in AD 79.  She isn’t at all happy about it. (Scientific American)

3. Gary Younge points out that the US states that favor the rightwardmost social policies are those which are the biggest net recipients of federal spending.  Makes me wonder when the deficit hawks will suggest kicking them out of the Union. (The Nation)

4. Do countries with ethnically diverse populations have higher homicide rates than those with homogeneous populations?  No, not particularly.  (hbd* chick)

5. Having completed a bachelor’s degree in Classics at Berkeley in 1961 doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t say something asinine about ancient Greek 51 years later.  (Language Log)

6. According to Jenny Hendrix, Evelyn Waugh’s Helena has some really good bits.  These sentences of Ms Hendrix’ are irresistible:

In recognizing the Magi as patron saints of the unnecessary (what use, exactly, were myrrh and frankincense to the kid?), he reconciles prayer and literary aestheticism. The Wise Men, though committing, as Waugh put it, “every kind of bêtise,” arrive in the end and find their silly gifts accepted. In so doing, they allow for the acceptance of the artist’s gifts as well: “For His sake who did not reject your curious gifts,” Helena entreats, “pray always for all the learned, the oblique, and the delicate.” (Slate)

7. Yes yes yes, cats doing cute things are the ultimate Internet cliche, but I defy you to look at this for less than five seconds: tumblelog)

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