March 2017: Duke of URL

Daesh burned the libraries, and Mosul needs books.

Repeat after James Mickens: “The CIA Is Not In My Threat Model.”

The Evola chatter continues with this piece at the Atlantic about how old Jules’s faintly Nietzschean Roman-revivalist ideas should be incompatible with Bannon’s Christianist traditionalism (which manages to be neither particularly Christian nor particularly traditional).  They should be, of course, but the alt-right’s ideological reasoning processes resemble those of Umberto Eco’s Diabolicals more than they do normal political movements.  I remain annoyed that Evola is in the zeitgeist at all.

The Dictator Style guy has analyzed our glorious leader’s felony interior decorating.

I find the Grugq’s theory that Russian lightswitch shenanigans in Ukraine are more about the US-Russia-China cyber arms race than they are about Ukraine persuasive.

“Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon arranged the timing in the expectation that opponents, freed from work on the weekend, would stage huge protests.”

Scott Alexander’s review of Eichmann in Jerusalem is great.

“Facebook’s business is to simulate you and to own and control your simulation, thereby owning and controlling you.”  Really, why are you still on Facebook?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Viktator’s got a man in the White House.  The anti-Semitic Populist-Nationalist International aside, I’ve read this guy’s book about terrorism and it’s crazy enough that it probably deserves a post sooner or later.

“Throughout history, only massive, violent shocks that upended the established order proved powerful enough to flatten disparities in income and wealth.”

Go practice your vehicular surveillance.

From September, Corey Pein at the Baffler on conspiracy theorists.

I’ve always found it weird that people manage to be for the death penalty while also being squeamish about the appearance of whatever method the state uses to kill people.  FiveThirtyEight has weighed in on that lethal injection vs. firing squad debate: the conclusion is tentatively in favor of the firing squad but there’s still insufficient data compounded with puzzling squeamishness. Obvious warning for discussion of execution methods is obvious.  I overthought this and now you can too (out of the methods listed, I’d definitely prefer a firing squad, in case anyone is keeping track, and hold the blindfold).

Rafia Zakaria at the Baffler on flying while Muslim.

“I am a white, English-speaking law professor, affluent, privileged, articulate, and a native-born citizen. Such hair as I have is white and I can hardly seem like a threat to anyone. I have researched the matter, and feel reasonably confident that an agent would have to let me pass if I refused the demand for my papers. If not, I can afford counsel and my family knows excellent lawyers to call. I am vowing here and now not to show papers in this situation.”

I found this article on US-Russia relations from Foreign Policy in my own Hindsight File archives.  Mainly it’s interesting because neither candidate would have followed its advice.

Steve Bannon is a big fan of a weird racist French novel that’s more or less the European equivalent of The Turner Diaries.

“The alternative to facts on the ground is to act, regardless of the facts on the ground. When you act you make new facts. You clear new ground. And when you roll over or roll back the people who have a duty to report the situation as it is—people in the press, the military, the bureaucracy, your own cabinet, or right down the hall—then right there you have demonstrated your might.”

Poland’s governing party is the latest in a string of far-right madpersons taking potshots at the EU, using a bizarre conspiracy theory about the plane crash that killed Lech Kaczynski as cover (Anne Appelbaum sees this as an omen).  By the time this post is published, we’ll know what happened at the summit.  I’m taking odds on the EU surviving until 2020.

You’re not crazy: American media does seem to give disproportionate attention to Salafi-jihadist terrorism.

In which the goddamn Straussians continue to be at it.

FiveThirtyEight finds that, contra the Monkey Cage, geographic polarization is real.  No comment on whether or not it’s caused by foot-voting.  I have a headache, and minus five to Slytherin for two FiveThirtyEight links in the same roundup.

This article from WSJ is for everyone for whom opera has been permanently ruined by Looney Tunes (as always one of the great mysteries of the 20th century is why in hell Elmer Fudd is persistently attracted to a male rabbit in drag.)

Try telling people in this dog-forsaken city that the USSR dissolved for complicated internal reasons and not because of anything in particular the West did, and you’ll get run out of town on a rail.  It’s still true.

A plurality of respondents in Russian polling believe that the Bolshevik revolution was a Western plot.  What.

Randall Munroe tried to warn us.

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