Politics

The Killing of Kern County

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Located over the mountains from Los Angeles, Kern County has always been a different kind of place. Settled largely by “Okies and Arkies” from the Depression-era South, the area has a culture more southern than northern, more Ozarks than Sierra. Home to just under 1 million people at the southern end of the state’s Central Valley, Kern is noted for producing the “Bakersfield sound,” epitomized by the late country star Merle Haggard, and is sometimes even referred to as “little Texas.”  read more »

America's Overdue to Unfriend Mark Zuckerberg

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Many have understandably applauded Facebook’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump from the site for the next two years, but the ability of a company to decide who should be in the public square, which the social network has effectively become, raises troubling questions about  read more »

A Middle Class Rebellion Against Progressives is Gaining Steam

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A specter is haunting America, a great revolt that threatens to dwarf the noxious rebellion led by Trump. The echoes of a another potentially larger pushback can already be heard in progressive America. But it's not towards socialism, as many suggest. It's the opposite: a new middle-class rebellion against the excesses of the Left.  read more »

A Working-Class Bill of Rights

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The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights have always been aspirational. When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, it was hardly self-evident that “all men were created equal.”  It took almost a century before the 14th Amendment promised “equal protection under law,” and another century before could be seen as anything but a cruel hoax.  read more »

Joe Biden's Imaginary America

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After two painful recessions and ever greater national discord, there is considerable support for a new beginning, even if it takes massive federal spending. The question we must ask now is what kind of spending makes sense given the character of the country, its geography, and its economic challenges. America remains a vast and diverse place, and decisions that make sense for one locale do not necessarily make any sense in others. A dispersed country needs dispersed decision-making, not edicts issued from on high by the D.C. nomenklatura.  read more »

Why Jews Are Confused

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Assailed from two sides, American Jewry is having an acute crisis of identity.

Es iz schver tzu zein a yid. (It is hard to be a Jew.)

—Sholem Aleichem  read more »

$85 Billion for Empty Buses and Railcars

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The future of public transit is nearly empty buses and railcars. Yet President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for spending $85 billion on transit. Although transit carries less than 1 percent of passenger travel in the United States, and no freight, this represents 28 percent of the funds Biden proposes to spend on transportation.  read more »

The Fall of the American Establishment and Its Consequences

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What are political norms so badly eroded? Why are fair play and following the rules in decline in our society? How do we explain the decline in trust in institutions and the rise of conspiracy theories? What accounts for the electoral success of a charismatic populist like Trump?  read more »

Subjects:

The Rise of Corporate–State Tyranny

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In explaining his shift away from Maoist economics, Deng Xiao Ping, chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, described his market-oriented changes as “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Today, American businesses, as well as the media and academic establishments that serve them, increasingly embrace what can best be described as “Chinese capitalism with American characteristics.”  read more »

How America Turned Into the EU

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For many liberal Americans, the European Union is the perfect elite model: a non-elected, highly credentialed bureaucracy that embraces and seeks to enforce the environmental, social and cultural zeitgeist of the urban upper classes. It is, as the establishment Council on Foreign Relations puts it, a “model for regional integration”.  read more »