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July 2016

"All Hell Breaks Loose at the Democratic Convention"

Interesting observation from lefty journalist Ron Fournier:

The American public has lost trust in virtually every social institution—schools, churches, businesses, charities, police, courts, and the media—because those entities have been slow to adapt to sweeping economic, demographic, and technological changes.

I don't know about all of them, but for schools and businesses, I think a substantial part of the problem is too much badly drafted and enforced legislation and regulation. Example: much of the recent upset in higher education is the direct result of the recent extension of Title IX to topics it was never intended to cover.

Refutable hypothesis: cut back Big Government--especially federal government--and trust will recover.


Line of the week

Glenn Reynolds: "Government is just another word for the things we choose to screw up together."

And now would be a good time to revisit another fine effort by Professor Reynolds: "How David Brooks created Donald Trump".

Brooks is, of course, horrified at Trump and his supporters, whom he finds childish, thuggish and contemptuous of the things that David Brooks likes about today’s America. It’s clear that he’d like a social/political revolution that was more refined, better-mannered, more focused on the Constitution and, well, more bourgeois as opposed to in-your-face and working class.

The thing is, we had that movement. It was the Tea Party movement.


"Nice attack: Why the terrorists are winning the intelligence war"

David P. Goldman makes a point that I haven't seen made elsewhere.

The terrorists, in short, are winning the intelligence war, because they have shaped the environment in which intelligence is gathered and traded. But that is how intelligence wars always proceed: spies switch sides and tell their stories because they want to be with the winner. ISIS and al-Qaeda look like winners in the eyes of western Muslim populations after humiliating the security services of the West.

As a result, western European Muslims fear the terrorists more than they fear the police. The West will remain vulnerable to mass terror attacks until the balance of fear shifts in the other direction.