Metallica – Moth Into Flame (2016)

On the heels of their outstanding single “Hardwired” comes “Moth Into Flames”, showing that, into their 50s, these guys are still creating dynamic, new, thrash metal: true to their roots yet also doing something new with their sound.

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JYT: 9/25/16

No matter how tangentially it relates to Jewishness, it’s sure to chart on the NYT ‘most read’ list:

nyt_2016_09_25

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NYT: 9/24/16

They are truly the newspaper of the people! Just look at the diversity of opinion on their editorial pages!

nyt_2016_09_24

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“Why Aren’t I 50 Points Ahead?!”

Who wouldn’t vote for this woman? She exudes authenticity.

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Walt Bismarck – On the Alt Right

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Charles Murray on Future of GOP

Charles Murray, whose work on I.Q. as well as his sociological work on working class white America are seminal, is nonetheless a #NeverTrumper.

Here he is in a recent interview:

Interviewer: You are a self-described libertarian, and your latest book is robust defence of freedom. Do you believe that Enlightenment values such as liberty are enough to stand up to the strong, often tribal, cultural forces at work today? Can they serve as a counter to those divisive forces?

Murray: A year ago, I would have given you a much more optimistic answer than I’d give you today. The thing about the Trump campaign that has been most disheartening has been the realisation that the electorate on the right, voting for Republicans, has many more people in it than I ever realised who don’t give a damn about freedom. They are motivated by the kinds of tribal instincts that you describe, and they are also populist in an authoritarian sense, in that they don’t want to limit government, they just want to use the powers of government for their own ends. In the short-term, then, I’m very pessimistic. I am very undecided about what will happen, but I suspect the Republican Party is going to go into serious decline. And, insofar as it does not go into decline, it is not going to represent policies that foster limited government and freedom. It will be a party that fosters a different kind of authoritarianism than the left does. The only difference will be in the type, not the authoritarian nature of the policies.

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Georgetown Prof: Trump Does Have Ideas

Joshua Mitchell, Professor of Government at Georgetown University, has a piece in Politico titled “Donald Trump Does Have Ideas—and We’d Better Pay Attention to Them”.

Mitchell begins with the basic assumption of GOPE #NeverTrumpers:

Most of the commentary about Trump has treated him as if he is a one-off, as someone who has emerged because of the peculiar coincidence of his larger-than-life self-absorption and the advent of social media platforms that encourage it. When the world becomes a theater for soliloquy and self-aggrandizement, what else are we to expect?

But the Trump-as-one-off argument begins to fall apart when we think about what else happened in politics this year. First of all, Trump is not alone. If he alone had emerged—if there were no Bernie Sanders, no Brexit, no crisis in the EU—it would be justifiable to pay attention only to his peculiarities and to the oddities of the moment. But with these other uprisings occurring this year, it’s harder to dismiss Trump as a historical quirk.

…. But, Mitchell argues, there is more going on with the Trump phenomenon:

If you listen closely to Trump, you’ll hear a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. There are, in fact, six specific ideas that he has either blurted out or thinly buried in his rhetoric: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is inconceivable—must be repudiated.

These six ideas together point to an end to the unstable experiment with supra- and sub-national sovereignty that many of our elites have guided us toward, siren-like, since 1989. That is what the Trump campaign, ghastly though it may at times be, leads us toward: A future where states matter. A future where people are citizens, working together toward (bourgeois) improvement of their lot. His ideas do not yet fully cohere. They are a bit too much like mental dust that has yet to come together. But they can come together. And Trump is the first American candidate to bring some coherence to them, however raucous his formulations have been.

Well, it’s about time someone in academia began to notice!

Trump01What I am saying is that Trump is that quintessentially American figure, hated by intellectuals on both sides of the aisle and on the other side of the Atlantic, who doesn’t start with a “plan,” but rather gets himself in the thick of things and then moves outward to a workable idea—not a “principled” one—that can address the problem at hand, but which goes no further. That’s what American businessmen and women do. (And, if popular culture is a reliable guide to America, it is what Han Solo always does in Star Wars movies.) We would do well not to forget that the only school of philosophy developed in America has been Pragmatism.

Of the “globalization” and “identity politics” configuration of ideas which have dominated American politics since 1989:

The post-1989 order of things fails to recognize that the state matters, and engaged citizens matter. The state is the largest possible unit of organization that allows for the political liberty and economic improvement of its citizens, in the long term. This arrangement entails competition, risk, success and failure. But it does lead to growth, citizen-involvement, and if not a full measure of happiness, then at least the satisfactions that competence and merit matter.

Trump, then, with his promise of a future in which the integrity of the state matters, and where citizens identify with the state because they have a stake in it rather than with identity-driven subgroups, proposes a satisfying alternative.

This is also why it would be a big mistake to underestimate Trump and the ideas he represents during this election.

Should Trump win in November, we will be seeing much more of this sort of introspection.

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There Are No Barriers

From Fox News Latino (sigh):

mexicanflagUNITED NATIONS –  Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Monday defended the need to protect migrants and noted that “history shows that there are no barriers that can stop the movement of people.”

“There are no natural ones or artificial ones. For every river there has always been a bridge, for every obstacle there has always been a road,” said Peña Nieto in his address before the U.N. summit on refugees and migrants.

How inspirational.

I’m getting teary eyed.

He sounds like Hillary’s campaign: We need to build bridges, not walls!

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Trump Shatters GOP Records with Small Donors

From Politico:

Donald Trump has unleashed an unprecedented deluge of small-dollar donations for the GOP, and one that Republican Party elders have dreamed about finding for much of the last decade as they’ve watched a succession of Democrats — Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and, to a lesser extent, Hillary Clinton — develop formidable fundraising operations, $5, $10 and $20 at a time.

Trump has only been actively soliciting cash for a few months, but when he reveals his campaign’s financials later this week they will show he has crushed the total haul from small-dollar donors of the last two Republican nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney — during the entirety of their campaigns.

All told, Trump is approaching, and has possibly already passed, $100 million from donors who have given less than $200, according to an analysis of available Federal Election Commission filings, the campaign’s public statements and people familiar with his fundraising operation. It is a threshold no previous Republican has ever achieved in a single campaign. And Trump has done so less than three months after signing his first email solicitation for donors on June 21 — a staggering speed to collect such a vast sum.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said a senior Republican operative who has worked closely with the campaign’s small-dollar fundraising operation. “He’s the Republican Obama in terms of online fundraising.”

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Larry Summers’ Radical Idea

Larry Summers’ “How to embrace nationalism responsibly” op-ed, cited in my previous post, contains the following elemental axiom:

A new approach has to begin from the idea that the basic responsibility of government is to maximize the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good.

That such a basic idea (i.e., the primary role of government is to protect the interests of its citizenry, not the interests of non-citizens) is deemed ‘new’ by the elite demonstrates just how pervasive the ethos of cosmopolitanism has strangled debate.

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