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Hillary is the President Presumptive. With a Trump loss, as Ben Domenech persuasively argues, the GOP will remain unchanged. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan will be the leaders of the Republican Party, organizing either majorities or substantial minorities in the two houses. Hillary will not have much of a mandate, but she will certainly be […]

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Donald Trump is often assailed for implying that he will use the power of the state to fix the problems of the working class. This is seen as fundamentally un-conservative. The leader of the Conservative Party, Theresa May, doesn’t just imply this. She said it explicitly in her Wednesday speech to close the Tory party […]

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Donald Trump’s economic policy, outlined in his address to the Economic Club of New York, is a curious thing. At its heart is the American System: every policy decision we make must pass a simple test: does it create more jobs and better wages for Americans? If we lower our taxes, remove destructive regulations, unleash […]

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Ignorant, Calculated, or Just Weird?

 

PepePipeHillary Clinton’s website has published an “explainer” about Pepe the Frog, an omnipresent character in the meme-verse. Despite being used in every possible way for years — many highly unsavory, this being the Age of the Internet — the Clinton machine explains that poor Pepe is “a symbol associated with white supremacy.” But how?

Pepe is a cartoon frog who began his internet life as an innocent meme enjoyed by teenagers and pop stars alike. But in recent months, Pepe’s been almost entirely co-opted by the white supremacists who call themselves the “alt-right.” They’ve decided to take back Pepe by adding swastikas and other symbols of anti-semitism and white supremacy.

Sounds legit, if you ignore the “almost entirely” and the equivalence of “white supremacists” and “the Alt-Right.” But what about the cooption? The source is described as “a prominent white-supremacist” via the Daily Beast. Although it turns out that rather than “prominent,” the source is better described as “anonymous.” The name? Maybe it’s @JaredTSwift or, perhaps, @PaulTown_, both of whom are referenced elsewhere in the piece. Or perhaps not.

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What would you think of a foreign policy focused on advancing America’s core national interests, promoting regional stability, and producing an easing of tensions in the world? One that aimed at gradual reform, not sudden and radical change, in the Middle East? One that promised to harness military warfare, but also cyber warfare, financial warfare, and […]

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One of the most interesting things to come out of this most fascinating (in that ‘passing a car crash’ way) of election seasons was the Journal of American Greatness, a pseudonymous group blog attempting to provide the intellectual case for Trumpism (as opposed to Trump himself). To some extent they did this by defining Trumpism […]

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Milo Yiannopoulos — former podcast guest — is currently undertaking a provocative speaking tour of US university campuses. Provocative in style rather than substance. His entrances — borne aloft in a chair, dressed as a Village Person policeman, preceded by a mariachi band — are upstaged only by those protesting his views (or imputed views), […]

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Saving the Republic from the Heckler’s Veto: The Moral Imperative to Elect Trump

 
burningtrump

Photo credit: Russell Contreras.

We know that freedom of speech is under attack in America. Whole areas of discourse are off limits in the public square; wrongthink is punished by federal or state investigation; and any attempt to puncture the illusions of the unhinged Far-Left is increasingly met by violence which — in the classical statist two-step — leads to official censorship on the grounds of public safety.

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Today a team of researchers at the University of Southampton (the original one, in the UK) have published an achingly right-on report on The rise of anti-politics in Britain (pdf). Stripping away the usual soft-left attitudes one is left with some suggestive nuggets about the impossibility of democracy in the age of the all-encompassing state. What […]

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Ricochet has a vast array of podcasts. Although I don’t listen to any of them (any more), I am constantly reminded of this by the appearance of the Main Feed, which resembles a river of podcast entries overwhelming the stepping-stones of textual content. Each podcast entry is visually busy — the playing widget, the bar […]

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One of the pieces of evidence adduced for the charge that Hungary is slipping/has slipped into a post-modern authoritarian state is the new constitution introduced in 2011. There seem to be two classes of accusation with respect to the constitution: (i) that it was introduced by the (newly elected, with a parliamentary super-majority) ruling coalition […]

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Post-Convention Cruz

 

DecisionTreeLet us assume, for the sake of argument, that Ted Cruz is not the GOP nominee for the presidential election. What does he do? This breaks into two, interlinked, questions: what does he do between the convention and November, and what does he do after the election?

If Trump is the GOP nominee, then Cruz could:

  • Actively support him in the general (and there is that pledge to think about)
  • Actively oppose him in the general (at the limit, running a third-party campaign — but I don’t see it)
  • Seek to avoid doing either thing, for example concentrating on supporting down-ballot candidates (“I’m not here to talk about Donald, I’m here to talk about my good friend Homer, who will be the best darn dog-catcher Springfield has ever seen!”)

(If Trump is not the GOP nominee, then presumably the first option would be favored.)

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The (British) Institute of Economic Affairs has just published a book called In Focus: The Case for Privatising the BBC. What is perhaps the key chapter, “The Problems of Bias in the BBC”, is available as a free pdf download. It is an informative and easy read, truffled with case studies which you will see circulating […]

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Cruz on Foreign Policy

 

jeanekirkpatrickMuch to the chagrin of a media that had been enjoying an almost entirely content-free election, Senator Ted Cruz has had occasion to speak and write about foreign policy. He has also announced, rather than an adviser or two, a vast “National Security Coalition” of almost two dozen names (immediately denounced by the media as neocons, Islamaphobes, and Likudniks). I don’t know enough about the Kremlinology of the foreign policy establishment to draw any conclusions from this array of names, but I trust other Ricochetti will be able to shine some light.

One influence Cruz has mentioned explicitly is Jeane Kirkpatrick, and, in particular, her (in)famous 1979 “Dictatorships and Double Standards” essay in Commentary. The lesson he appears to draw from it is that the US does not win by replacing dictators with terrorists. He views with favour, for example, Netanyahu’s stance on the civil war in Syria: i.e., don’t support either side.

When Cruz can restrain himself, he refuses to be drawn on the specifics of military intervention: being Commander-in-Chief is not a game of Risk, but a matter of setting an objective (“kill the terrorists and come home”) and letting the relevant folks suggest whatever is necessary and required. When he can’t restrain himself, he talks of arming the Pershmerga, including Jordanian and Egyptian military in operations, ordering “non-photo-op airstrikes” (or even the notorious “carpet-bombing”), and giving South Korea missile defences. Additionally, he says Putin is a KGB thug with a simple goal of re-establishing the Soviet Union (geographically rather than ideologically), and embarrassing the US whenever opportunity presents.

Panama Papers: “Journalism” in the Service of the Omniscient State

 

shutterstock_397698664As you’ve likely heard, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has published a tell-all about heads of state, their associates, and their families using offshore companies to hide their assets. But while you’re being inundated with innuendo the evil of wanting privacy, remember these things:

There are legitimate uses for offshore companies, foundations, and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Power Players interactive application have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.

That’s from the ICIJ site. Although they clearly are suggesting and implying these things.

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Marco Rubio needs something to do. He has a young family he wants to spend more time with. He’s just come from a brutal and unexpected political lesson. He has a pretty face, a winning rhetorical way (when he isn’t doing the robot dance), and sound conservative instincts (when he isn’t trying to make policy or […]

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The EU’s latest response to the vast wave of migrants from the war zones of the Middle East and Africa is to bribe Turkey to take care of the problem by housing them in return for money, travel privileges in Europe, and a speeding up of the previously interminable application process for accession to the […]

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