Albert Eisenberg: ‘Cancel’ student debt? Sorry, Sen. Warren, but I don’t want to burden others with my choices

By Albert Eisenberg As a college graduate with a significant amount of debt left to repay, I am supposed to “love” Elizabeth Warren’s new plan to “cancel” student debt – or so the senior senator from Massachusetts recently assured people like me. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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David Bossie: Biden the green radical – ‘infrastructure’ spending binge tells you this about who’s in charge

By David Bossie Fresh off the passage of the wasteful $1.9 trillion “COVID relief” bill – less than 10% of which addressed public health mitigation efforts – the Biden administration continues to gaslight the American people with the same strategy for its $2.25 trillion “infrastructure” monstrosity.  …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Afghanistan: Biden Picks Up A Million Dollar Bill Trump Left on the Ground

By Curt Mills

The new president wanted out of Afghanistan.

He had just won a narrow election few had had the foresight to prognosticate correctly less than two years earlier. A definite plank of his appeal was castigation of America’s farrago of endless wars. In his run-up to power, he had proclaimed, “no more wasted lives,” and that he agreed “with President Obama … We should have a speedy withdrawal. … Why should we keep wasting our money — rebuild the U.S.” He flatly stated: “We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan.”

In both tone and early decision-making, the similarities between President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, of course, stop there. At a boiling point, even after increasing the Pentagon budget (as Biden too is now poised to do), Trump was frank with the brass: “You’re all losers. You don’t know how to win anymore. … I wouldn’t go to war with you people.” It is something Biden would never say and when push came to shove, in the summer of 2017, President Donald Trump did do what he said he wouldn’t.

He went (back) to war with those people.

Trump agreed to a modest surge of troops in Afghanistan, that territory of blunder he had disparaged during his ascent. Then, he ultimately deferred to his ruling troika of generals: White House chief of staff John Kelly, secretary of Defense James Mattis and U.S. national security advisor H.R. McMaster. Back then, he gave an address at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia that looked (especially now) more hostage tape than the vitriolic stemwinders that made him president. For many of his core supporters, it was a grave disappointment.

But Trump never veered from his private view. In the years before he left Washington, Trump instructed his hawkish secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to negotiate, with Taliban officials, an exit from Afghanistan, something the hardliner did not relish. A May 1, 2021 deadline was hatched, and Trump flashed increasingly unbound personnel choices he slated for a term two. That is, the choices of retired colonel Douglas Macgregor to be his effective pointman on Europe (as former ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell had been), and relevant here, William Ruger to be ambassador to Afghanistan.

Honoring the May 1 deadline Trump set is not something Biden is pledging to do. But, as of Wednesday, he has pledged to do everything else.

Speaking from the Treaty Room at the White House, rare for presidents in recent years, Biden seemed to take a shot not so much at Trump as the Democratic president he once served. “Think about that. We delivered justice to [Osama] Bin Laden a decade ago, and we’ve stayed in Afghanistan for a decade since,” Biden said. “With the terror threat now in many places, keeping thousands of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country at a cost of billions each year makes little sense to me and to our leaders. We can not continue the …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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The Wall Street Journal Should Not Go Woke

By Robert W. Merry

The New York Times thinks it knows how its great rival, the Wall Street Journal, can boost its readership and improve its strategic position in the realm of big media: It should become more like the New York Times.

That’s the message from an extensive article by Edmund Lee in the latest Times “Sunday Business” section. In the piece, Lee reveals that the Journal “makes money. A lot of money.” He explains that this is attributable in part to the Journal’s brilliant early internet strategy of charging for digital content, when nearly all other publishing companies, including the Times, were giving it away. But that early success, says the writer, “also kept the paper from innovating further.” And that’s a problem, he writes, for a news outlet whose readership is made up mainly of white men—and “at a time when the U.S. population is growing more racially diverse.”

Aha. So that’s it. If that concept generates just a bit of suspicion on the part of readers, a full perusal of Lee’s article would make clear why that suspicion is justified. The writer is saying that the Journal needs to become more “woke” in its story selection and presentation, rather like today’s Times. And that view is shared by an internal Journal committee that produced a 209-page “Content Review” examining how the Journal “should remake itself.” The report, writes Lee, “argued that the paper should attract new readers—specifically, women, people of color and younger professionals—by focusing more on topics such as climate change and income inequality.”

The so-called Content Review went further, recommending “putting muscle behind efforts to feature more women and people of color in all of our stories.” That would include monitoring the race and gender of people even just quoted in news stories; how that possibly could be done through the course of routine interviewing on topics that may or may not involve racial or gender matters defies comprehension. Who’s the person behind this call for journalistic wokeness at the venerable Journal? One Louise Story, the paper’s chief news strategist and chief product and technology officer. With a title like that she must have quite a background. And, sure enough, before joining the Journal she spent a decade as reporter and news manager at—surprise, surprise—the New York Times.

It seems that Story, who heads a staff of 150 and directed the committee that spawned the Content Review, was hired by Journal editor Matt Murray to address a problem. News Corp., which owns Journal publisher Dow Jones, wants the company to double the Journal’s online readership to boost revenues and compensate for substantial losses at many of the parent company’s other publishing and broadcast outlets. That’s a tall order, if it is realistic at all. But the remarkable thing about Story’s Content Review (as described by Lee) is how insipid it is in relation to the goals it sought to address. Does anyone really believe that this mountain of a strategic challenge can be conquered by monitoring the racial backgrounds of interviewees?

Based on …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Tucker Carlson: America is now one nation with two very different justice systems

By Tucker Carlson ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ host analyzes the discrepancies between justice doled out to those who agree with the Biden administration, and those who don’t. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Rep. Adam Kinzinger: Biden and Afghanistan – protecting country’s stability more important than politics

By Adam Kinzinger Now is not the time to leave Afghanistan. Through the stabilizing efforts of the United States military, the NATO mission, and the Afghan government, we have achieved so much. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Our Mediterranean Civilization

By Theo Mackey Pollack

If April is the cruelest month, then January and February are the most democratic, meting out their long misery in an evenhanded gray across the Northeastern winter. For months, my usual deep pull toward nature has been held to the silence of moonlight walks through the Tudor blocks of this haunted Gatsby suburb, no other being to be seen but a deer, no other man but Orion.

Ah, but the Mediterranean! Even in dark winter, a thought of its natural gifts is enlivening. Sapphire waters stretching out from the sun-bleached pastel towns of the Côte d’Azur to vast and mysterious Africa. The not-quite-desert scrub, the landscape of wildflowers and herbs captured in a drop of Chartreuse. The palette that enchanted Monet does not retreat here in annual surrender, as its corresponding colors do in the North. With spring, it comes to life with greater lushness.

The spirit of the Mediterranean is more than climate, blue waters, or daring topography. The region’s settlement patterns express an ancient compromise between a milder mood of nature and deeply grounded traditions of land development. The long shadow cast by antiquity over our time offers a tangible counterpoint to today’s approaches.

At its best, urban planning is a fine art. The built environment has a unique power to transmit the life patterns and specific customs of a culture across time. A city, like a custom, is an artifact of generations. Studying urbanism from this perspective offers a sharp contrast to the technical, materialist approach that has prevailed since the rise of industry.

In the Mediterranean tradition, ancient and Renaissance treatises by Vitruvius and Alberti are important touchstones. Vitruvius, who lived at the time of Augustus, left us the only extensive write-up of Roman building practice that survives from antiquity. Alberti, who lived during the Quattrocento, brought Vitruvian concepts to light for Renaissance audiences.

Unlike law or literature, where texts are the primary links in the customary chain, urban planning is fundamentally a tradition composed of spatial, physical instances made real by the work of drafters and builders. One text stands out for its deference to that tradition. In 19th century Vienna, Camillo Sitte was one of the first authors to acknowledge urbanism as a set of living customs driven by unnamed and frequently unknowable contributors. He departed from the Renaissance tradition of treating urbanism as an adjunct to architecture.

His key work, The Art of Building Cities (1889), devoted more than half its pages to southern Europe. Sitte was captivated by the dynamic between buildings, monuments, and public squares. He saw that it had existed since antiquity, and that in southern Europe it had not changed much. In Roman times, the square—mainly the forum—was the focal point of a town. This remained the rule centuries later. Only the name had changed.

Those squares, now piazzas, places, or plazas, resembled parlors. Buildings formed their walls, monuments their art. Sitte saw that monuments had traditionally been placed at the edges, where passersby would encounter them closely, and therefore intimately. Michelangelo’s David, standing outside the …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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