Category: CULTURE & CRITICISM

Democrats and the Crisis of Legitimacy

ROB URIE—Charges that foreign influence determined the 2016 electoral outcomes are wholly implausible when placed in the context of the scale of voter disaffection with the duopoly Party system. For instance, 71% of eligible voters didn’t vote for the Democratic Party candidate. 73% didn’t vote for Donald Trump (Clinton won the popular vote). Ninety million eligible voters (40%) didn’t cast a ballot at all.

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Junk Planet: Is Earth the Largest Garbage Dump in the Universe?

ROBERT J BURROWES—Well, for a start, even recycled rubbish is not always recycled, and even when it is, the environmental cost is usually high.

In fact, the various costs of dealing with rubbish is now so severe that China, a long-time recipient of waste from various parts of the world, no longer wants it. See ‘China No Longer Wants Your Trash. Here’s Why That’s Potentially Disastrous’.

Of course there are also special events that encourage us to dump extra rubbish into the Earth’s biosphere. Ever thought about what happens following special celebrations like Christmas? See ‘The Environmental Christmas Hangover’ or the waste discharged from cruise ships? See ‘16 Things Cruise Lines Never Tell You’.

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Capitalist Fluctuation and the Partisan Presidential Praise and Blame Game

PAUL STREET— [Neither capitalist figurehead in the White House, Democrat or Republican controls the fluctuations of the US economy. The latter moves as a result of myriad factors well beyond the short-term control of the President or his cabinet.] That’s how the binary partisan political game works in accord with an endless dance between the capitalist business cycle and the more precisely time-staggered, Constitutionally mandated U.S. election cycle.

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Jewish identity politics: Why are liberal Jews like Jerry Seinfeld progressive until it comes to the IDF?

PHILIP GIRALDI—Unfortunately, Jerry the Jewish liberal is not that unusual. American Jews, who are the key to the continuing blank check American support of Israel, balk at recognizing the evil that the self-defined Jewish state represents even though both opinion polls and voting patterns suggest strongly that they are predominantly reliably liberal regarding both social and political issues. Israel does, in fact, reject the values of most diaspora Jews while also contradicting the moral and ethical tradition of Judaism itself, which it claims to uphold. It is the antithesis of what many American Jews believe to be the right way to behave.

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Concerning Our Endless Quest for Self-Improvement

STEPHEN COOPER—Equally more illuminating than Brinkmann’s minimalist musings is masterful American writer James Baldwin’s take on modern society’s lack of consciousness. In his essay “Mass Culture and the Creative Artist,” Baldwin piercingly observed: “What the mass culture really reflects . . . is the American bewilderment in the face of the world we live in. We do not seem to want to know that we are in the world…

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