nayeliromero  asked:

Should the United States take the fight to the drug cartels? What would be some reasons why they should and shouldn't?

As in, should we invade Mexico? No, definitely not. The last thing we need to do is to compound the unmitigated failure of the drug war—which itself created the environment in which these horrifically violent cartels flourish just as alcohol prohibition did with the Mafia—by adding a flailing (and likely to backfiremilitary misadventure on top of it.

nayeliromero  asked:

Dear Bonnie, I've just recently joined the Debate team at the University I am attending and I feel very overwhelmed by the fact that I know absolutely nothing about politics, current events, social issues, economic issues etc. What could I do to expand my knowledge about those topics or any topic that will help me in debate. Are there any essential blogs, news publications or websites I should keep up with?

Congrats on the debate team! I’ve answered similar questions in the past, but I think it’s probably time for an updated version.

For broad knowledge:

The Week’s Speed Reads.I recommend this not just because I write for it (and greatly enjoy doing so), but because it’s a legitimately valuable resource. You get short (50- to 250-word) articles which can usually be read in a minute or less. While at least half are political, Speed Reads also covers some entertainment, science, and technology news, as well as a smattering of other interesting stuff.

Google news alerts. If there several particular topics where you’d like to become more knowledgeable, set up a Google news alert to give you a daily or weekly email update on that topic. One big advantage of this method is that Google will probably pick from a wider range of sources than you would on your own, so you’ll be exposed to perspectives you otherwise might not encounter.

News and politics subreddits, like r/libertarian. If you’re not familiar with Reddit, it’s basically a bunch of people submitting links and then commenting on the content. Subreddits are smaller fora dedicated to specific topics. Because there are so many people submitting content, it can be a good source of frequent updates around a given topic or perspective. I’ve linked you to the main libertarian subreddit, but there are lots more you can find which would be helpful. The main politics subreddit tends to be less friendly to small government views, but it is huge and very active.

Drudge Report. More hawkish and socially conservative than I prefer. Actually, I kind of hate it, not least for the design (or, rather, lack thereof). But there’s no denying that Drudge keeps a lot of up-to-date links and, in the process, shapes the news cycle.

For analysis and commentary:

The American Conservative. Founded in opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, TAC is a reliable source of thoughtful and thought-provoking opinion pieces.

Techdirt. Great for internet, technology, and digital surveillance news.

Conor Friedersdorf. A regular feature of my reading rotation, especially on civil liberties topics.

The Atlantic. It’s not that I always find articles here that I agree with, but I do tend to find a lot that I can’t not read. 

Radley Balko. Leading journalistic expert on police brutality.

Reason’s blog. Libertarian takes on a wide variety of issues. They do their own polling sometimes, and the results are frequently very interesting. Lots of stuff about nanny state regulations here.

Rare. Again, not just because I write there. Rare is definitely geared toward a less highbrow audience than, say, TAC; and you’ll have to wade through cat videos to get to the politics. But there are several commentators there, including Lucy Steigerwald, Jim Antle, and Jack Hunter, who offer smart takes on a range of topics, but especially electoral politics and intra-party conflict in the GOP.

Expand your roster:

Obviously you don’t have to read all, or even most, of these things. But particularly once you find some sources of analysis which you like, pay attention to their links. See what they read, and check it out to see if it’s an outlet you should be reading, too. This would even apply to any political blogs you follow here on Tumblr (or Twitter, if you have an account).

Followers, what else would you recommend? 

nelboccadellupo said: RealClearPolitics is a good news aggregator!

Yes! Good idea. I mainly like their video section. It’s a lot of short videos (with transcripts) of noteworthy things famous people have said. It’s nice because you don’t have to watch entire shows to see the important part, and if you want to quote it, the transcribing is done for you.

michaelangerlo said: For analysis and commentary - No LvMI or LRC or tumblr blogs like LA Liberty?

Yeah, fair enough. It goes without saying that LALiberty is fantastic for economics and police state stuff especially; the reason I literally let it go without saying is I was thinking in outside-of-Tumblr mode. (Plus, all libertarian types around here are already following LALiberty, right?)

I read a lot when I was in college, but these days I’m not such a regular reader. A lot of that, I think, just comes from having diversified: I can read Ron Paul at the Ron Paul Institute; antiwar stuff at (speaking of, how did I leave that out in my first list?!); and fresher news somewhere like Speed Reads. Some of it also comes from just getting tired of the angry-old-man variety of libertarianism found there. Mises is solid for academic economic reads, but of course I tend to be more interested in other policy areas.

an-improbable-fiction said: I did British Parliamentary (worlds) debate in college, and our most popular sources were The Economist and Foreign Affairs/Foreign Policy. I also read BBC’s top 10 stories every day to keep track of major happenings.

Good point: Most of what I recommended was pretty America-oriented. If you want something with a more international perspective, I’d add Watching America to an-improbably-fiction’s list. I don’t read it as often as I should, but it’s daily translations of op-eds from other countries so you can see firsthand what people abroad think of American policy. Often fascinating.