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Alarmists

Global Warming Alarmists Shouldn’t Exploit Hurricanes by Myron Ebell.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report expresses “low confidence” in predicting increases in the intensity and duration of tropical hurricanes and typhoons worldwide over the long term and in predicting a human contribution to any trend.

To take one example, 10 hurricanes of Category 4 or 5 hit the U.S. from 1920 through 1969. From 1970 through this past week, only five hit. Thus, if there is any causal connection, it looks like warming produces fewer major hurricanes.

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Doomed

Our Civiliation is Doomed! by Nigel Barber.

What gets us in the end is surprisingly simple and frighteningly obvious.

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Hart

LARB profiles theologian David Bentley Hart.

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Too Many?

The Teacher-Shortage Myth by Larry Sand.

There is no dearth of teachers; in fact, we may have too many.

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5

The First Web Apps: 5 Apps That Shaped the Internet as We Know It by Matthew Guay.

Something new was in the air. It was July 1995, the hottest New York summer in a decade and a half, but heat wasn’t making the headlines. Tech was. Within weeks, tech’s 900 pound gorilla would conquer the Empire State Building, turning it red, yellow, and green to celebrate Windows 95’s launch. Web browsers were the hot new thing—or so Netscape’s PR team was telling everyone who would listen, ahead of their upcoming IPO. The frenzy of next half-decade would bring unprecedented tech riches, the ultimate triumph of the nerds.

But that was then, and this was now. Everything was just starting. Floppies were far more common than CDs. Cell phones made calls—just calls. The internet had only been fully privatized two months earlier. The goldmine was barely even discovered.

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Merkley

Meet the Leader of the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy by Edward-Isaac Dovere.

Jeff Merkley could inherit Bernie Sanders’ progressive mantle in 2020. But for now, he’s spending his time plotting the resistance against the Trump presidency.

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Damage

Why Medicare for All Would Damage our Republic by Jay Cost.

Giving trillions to the medical-services industry would turn it into a kind of Praetorian Guard, wielding huge influence over the affairs of state.

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Speech

The Natural Law of Free Speech by William J. Haun.

With Progressives increasingly condoning censorship of conservative views as “hate speech,” conservatives are responding with an increasingly absolutist freedom of speech. Some recent essays written in reaction to the Antifa/neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville show the appeal that the absolutist view has to conservatives: If political communities were prohibited from drawing content-based restrictions on almost any expressive activity, dissent from the dominant political and cultural orthodoxies (read: conservative views) would be protected.

To be sure, the absolutist view is rooted in the past half-century of Supreme Court jurisprudence. Even so, conservatives ought to pause before embracing it.

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Freedom

Kurds Need A Street: A (Classical) Liberal Case for Kurdistan by Jonah Cohen.

The eyes of the world are fixed uneasily upon a referendum about to be held in the Kurdish region of Iraq. Kurds will, undoubtedly, vote for an independent homeland. It is widely felt that the fate of these people is coming to a head, their freedom calling, and war looming. Nervously, Western leaders are pressuring the Kurds to postpone the vote, as they eye the alliance forming between the Sunni dictatorship in Ankara and the Shiite theocracy in Tehran which, at last, have found a common interest: crushing Kurdish independence. The possibility of a free Kurdistan is perhaps the only flower to have grown out of the rubble of the 2003 Iraq war, but scarcely a flower grows in the Middle East without an army boot eager to trample it.

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The Road

The Road Goes on Forever and the Story Never Ends by S. C. Gwynne.

Lance Armstrong has a new narrative about his incredible rise and fall. Should we believe him this time?

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Capitalism

First Things and the Market Economy: A Response to R. R. Reno by Samuel Gregg.

More than ever, religiously informed conservatives should underscore the importance of market economies for ordered liberty.

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Stereotypes

Myths and Truths about Successful CEOs by Ray Williams.

How CEO stereotypes persist despite contrary evidence.

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Views

Views Among College Students Regarding the First Amendment: Results from a New Survey by John Villasenor.

College students’ views of the First Amendment are of profound importance for multiple reasons. First, colleges and universities are places where intellectual debate should flourish. That can only occur if campuses are places where viewpoint diversity is celebrated, and where the First Amendment is honored in practice and not only in theory. Second, what happens on campuses often foreshadows broader societal trends. Today’s college students are tomorrow’s attorneys, teachers, professors, policymakers, legislators, and judges. If, for example, a large fraction of college students believe, however incorrectly, that offensive speech is unprotected by the First Amendment, that view will inform the decisions they make as they move into positions of increasing authority later in their careers.

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Con

The Green Investment Pension Con by Ike Brannon.

Public pensions are complicated beasts. They represent the aggregation of promises made to public employees—both current and former—to pay them benefits from their retirement until their demise. They sum to a growing—albeit somewhat imprecise—stream of payments that presently extends to close to the end of the current century. The predilection of politicians to make promises that won’t come due until long after they’ve left office has resulted in many states with promised benefits far in excess of the money set aside to meet them.

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Taboo

Higher Ed’s Latest Taboo Is ‘Bourgeois Norms’ by Heather Mac Donald.

An op-ed praising 1950s values provokes another campus meltdown— from the deans on down.

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Worried?

How Worried Should We Be About Artificial Intelligence? by Sean Illing.

“We should take seriously the possibility that things could go radically wrong.”

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Threat

NPR reviews World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer.

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Aspirational

The American Conservative reviews The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett.

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Documentary

Watching William Friedkin’s Documentary About Exorcism Can Make You Believe In God by Samuel Buntz.

William Friedkin, director of “The Exorcist,” is releasing a new documentary, “The Devil and Father Amorth,” detailing a real-life exorcism. Last year for Vanity Fair he wrote about filming it, in an article as frightening as it is intriguing.

Friedkin received special permission from the Vatican’s chief exorcist, Father Amorth, to film him performing an exorcism on a young Italian woman. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival in late August, and has yet to be widely released, but by all reports, the documentary is disturbing. Friedkin not only captures the demonic possession on film, but interviews leading psychiatrists, who find his footage to be inexplicable within given medical language.

The fact that such things happen regularly in the modern world jars our complacent sense of reality. While someone is binge-watching “The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt,” someone else is writhing on a couch, screaming in an inhuman register, “We are an army! Our name is legion!” I’ve known quite a few atheists who, while unmoved by the idea of God, seem to be afraid of the Devil and conscientiously avoid horror films.

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Capitalism

CJ reviews The Creative Destruction of New York City: Engineering the City for the Elite by Alessandro Busà.