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Culture

The Real Train Wreck by Steven Malanga.

What the latest Penn Station derailment says about the New Jersey/New York political culture.

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Struggle

Garry Wills reviews The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald.

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Abuse

Did the Obama Administration’s Abuse of Foreign-Intelligence Collection Start Before Trump? by Lee Smith.

One clue: The Russia story is a replay of how the former White House smeared pro-Israel activists in the lead-up to the Iran Deal.

Nore.

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Libertarianism

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Libertarian Atheists by Rachel Lu.

Libertarians may miss certain cultural nuances that traditionalists are able to see, but the reverse is also true. In this moment of political transition, we should be grateful for minds that turn endlessly on the government-skeptical spit.

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Unlikeliest

Populism, VIII: The Unlikeliest Populist by Victor Davis Hanson.

On Donald Trump and the mantle of a growing movement.

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Information

Why Information Matters by Luciano Floridi.

When we use a computer, its performance seems to degrade progressively. This is not a mere impression. Over the years of owning a particular machine, it will get sluggish. Sometimes this slowdown is caused by hardware faults, but more often the culprit is software: programs get more complicated, as more features are added and as old bugs are patched (or not), and greater demands are placed on resources by new programs running in the background. After a while, even rebooting the computer does not restore performance, and the only solution is to upgrade to a new machine.

Philosophy can be a bit like a computer getting creakier. It starts well, dealing with significant and serious issues that matter to anyone. Yet, in time, it can get bloated and bogged down and slow. Philosophy begins to care less about philosophical questions than about philosophers’ questions, which then consume increasing amounts of intellectual attention. The problem with philosophers’ questions is not that they are impenetrable to outsiders — although they often are, like any internal game — but that whatever the answers turn out to be, assuming there are any, they do not matter, because nobody besides philosophers could care about the questions in the first place.

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Noise

Noise Is a Drug and New York Is Full of Addicts by Susie Neilson.

We may complain about a defining feature of the city, but we also feed off it.

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Unmaskers

The Real Unmaskers by Aaron M. Renn.

Independent bloggers and social-media voices are scooping the mainstream media.

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Revolting

Why France Is Revolting against the Ancien Régime by Michel Gurfinkiel.

The old political guard is collapsing in France. A matter of neglected issues: Muslim immigration, the drift towards a two-tier society, and a weird electoral system.

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Defend

Egypt Has Figured Out How to Defeat ISIS: Defend Christians by Micah Halpern.

Al Sisi knows that once ISIS is finished with Egypt’s Christians, they’ll turn to mainstream Muslims.

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Skepticism

Skepticism About Skepticism by Tania Lombrozo.

Better than skepticism is truth-telling and humility, says Tania Lombrozo.

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Crisis

CJ reviews The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class—and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida.

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Undoing

The New York Review of Books reviews The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis.

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Interpreting

The Constitutional Position and Powers of the Presidency: Executing Laws and Interpreting the Constitution by Michael Stokes Paulsen.

The framers deliberately gave the president independence, unity, and vast powers. This is only a problem if the office is badly filled.

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Inside

Inside the Mind of God by Benjamin Grant Purzycki.

Punitive Big Brother; cosmic petty-thief-catcher; vigilant landlord. Why is God so interested in bad behaviour?

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Libel

The ‘Racism’ Libel Against the Trump Administration by David P. Goldman.

There is a deep civilizational divide between the Judeo-Christian West and Islam. No Muslim-majority country has yet entered the modern world, with the partial exception of Turkey (which modernized by suppressing Islam).

Whether pre-modern, largely tribal societies can become functioning democracies is a matter of controversy. George W. Bush and his neo-conservative advisers thought the effort worth rivers of American blood and oceans of treasure. Donald Trump won the Republican nomination in part by repudiating this agenda (as did Sen. Cruz, the only other serious contender).

The debate over America’s attitude towards the Islamic world has been bitter, even vitriolic. But no-one to my knowledge in the Republican camp ever alleged that racism motivated the opponents of the Bush Freedom Agenda — not until the odious Max Boot denounced Trump’s GOP as “the party of white nationalism” in a March 14 screed at the Foreign Policy website

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Brainwashing

Brainwashing in Canada by Stefan Kanfer.

The regime re-educates old thinkers in new ways.

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Legacy

The Enduring Legacy of the Pocahontas Myth by Gregory D. Smithers.

Four hundred years after her death, misperceptions of the Native American icon continue to shape the cultural image of indigenous peoples—though that’s starting to change.

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Balance

Ten Problems with EPA’s Clean Power Plan Analysis by Diana Furchtgott-Roth.

President Trump has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to take another look at the Clean Power Plan, which would oblige utilities to lower carbon dioxide emissions to two-thirds of 2005 levels by 2030. The review should highlight the flaws in EPA’s cost-benefit analysis—calculations agencies are required to make to show that the benefits of a rule are larger than the costs.

Everyone wants cleaner air, but people also want the security of employment that comes from economic activity. Most would agree on the need to strike the right balance between the economy and the environment. The question is what is that balance.

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Unified

Unified Theory of Evolution by Michael Skinner.

Darwin’s theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution’s anti-hero: Lamarck.

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