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Good Reads

A collection of thought pieces and research, all from respected sources, that I thought might add light rather than heat to today's debates:

Understanding the Israel-Hamas War, Michael DiMino, Defense Priorities, November 3, 2023. This is a cogent and nonpartisan explanation of the current situation, and advocates for a US withdrawal of ground troops from Syria. A five minute read. (Bob's comment: these troops are classic tripwire deployments, as the Biden Admin is scarcely lifting a finger to deter attacks on them and has no strategic offensive purpose for them.)

Should Mexico's Drug Cartels be Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations?, Brian Michael Jenkins, Rand Corporation, March 22, 2023. This is a concise and compelling rebuttal to the idea proposed by lawmakers (including Chip Roy) that we should militarize the drug war. A three to four minute read. (Bob's comment: It might sound viscerally satisfying to "bomb them", but it would be colossally stupid. 1) It would drive the Mexican government into even more tacit alliance with the cartels; 2) it would make easy kidnap or murder targets of the more than one million US expats currently living in Mexico; 3) it would disrupt trade with our #1 trading partner; 4) the violation of Mexican sovereignty would drive them into a closer relationship with China.) 

The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis, John J. Mearsheimer, The National Interest, June 23, 2022. This speech argues that the US, as leader of the NATO allies, provoked Russia's invasion of Ukraine by aggressively pursuing Ukraine membership in the alliance. A twenty minute read.  (Bob's comment: one needn't see Putin as a victim here [he's certainly not], but Mearsheimer explains how our interventionism was designed to tighten the screws on a country with 3,000 nuclear warheads pointed at us and, up until 2008, zero evidence of expansionist territorial ambitions. Putin is no saint to be clear, but painting him as Hitler 2.0 is propaganda designed to drive public opinion to support this proxy war.  Russia doesn't have the wherewithal to invade a NATO country -- Ukraine has proven that in spades. Mearsheimer probably overstates the case: there were many causes of this war, US/NATO provocation being only one of them.)

How does Government Welfare Stack Up Against Private Charity? It's No Contest., Joel Lim, Foundation for Economic Education, December 4, 2021.  A compilation of academic studies shows that private charity performs more efficiently and effectively than government welfare programs with similar stated objectives. A three minute read.

More Imprisonment Does Not Reduce State Drug Problems, Pew Research, March 8, 2018. This is the summary of a very detailed data study, the results of which essentially debunk the claims made by proponents of incarceration for drug possession convictions that prison deters drug use. A 20 minute read.

The Mainstreaming of Libertarian Constitutionalism, David E. Bernstein and Ilya Somin, Duke Law Scholarship Repository, 2015. This is legal scholarship that traces the demise of libertarian and federalist thought in the judiciary during the progressive era, and its rebound in more recent years.  A 45 minute read.

Paid for by Bob King for Texas-21
Kristin Abel, Treasurer
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