First, thanks to Exploratoria for pointing to Shipwreck Central a few days ago. Neat stuff if you're interested in Maritime History and Archaeology.
Second, I ran across these very interesting photographs of North Korea taken by a Russian. (I can't remember where I got the tip, sorry).
Third, I just thought that this observation made by Alan Wolfe in his review of William Bennett's new book was interesting:
Precisely because he is so proud of his country and wants to celebrate its greatness, Bennett calls attention to all those movements toward liberty and equality that enabled the United States to expand its ideals and strengthen its citizens. The fact that so prominent a conservative as Bennett accepts nearly all the major reforms of the 19th century suggests just how much the current American consensus remains a liberal consensus.I think that Bennett's apparent preference of Jefferson contra Adams and Washington with regard to their respective policy regarding the Barbary Pirates could be interpreted as favoring the more liberal (or libertarian) versus the more conservative.
Fourth, Michael Barone has a job for future historians:
Historians may regard it as a curious thing that the left and the press have been so determined to fit current events into templates based on events that occurred 30 to 40 years ago. The people who effectively framed the issues raised by Vietnam and Watergate did something like the opposite; they insisted that Vietnam was not a reprise of World War II or Korea and that Watergate was something different from the operations J. Edgar Hoover conducted for Franklin Roosevelt or John Kennedy. Journalists in the 1940s, '50s and early '60s tended to believe they had a duty to buttress Americans' faith in their leaders and their government. Journalists since Vietnam and Watergate have tended to believe that they have a duty to undermine such faith, especially when the wrong party is in office.
Back in March, Josiah Ober wondered if democracy was effective. A couple days ago, Jerry Bowyer sketched out the difference between those who do or don't believe in the portability of liberty. These pieces strike me as worthy of comparison. Maybe after the 4th....
Finally, Robert J. Lewis doesn't subscribe to a cyclic view of history and explains why.