Wednesday assorted links

1. The demand for telephone operators.

2. Visions of ARPA, from Policy Exchange, a genuinely good short, free book on how to create new ARPAs.

3. “Happy Birthday” in the styles of ten famous classical composers.  Recommended, for those who care.

4. How conservatism is changing, with a nod to Leo Strauss.

5. Verbruggen on Christopher Caldwell.

6. Appreciation of Peter Serkin.


"4. How conservatism is changing, with a nod to Leo Strauss."

+1, interesting article with a lot of good back history

This paragraph leaped out:

“Look,” said one editor at a conservative publication, “it’s no secret that this shift on the young right is heavily male. A lot of us just want nice, simple, ordinary lives—lives like our parents lived—and the dating market is not conducive to that at all. I have a lot of friends who are just horrified by what they encounter in the dating market, and there’s an economic dimension to that, too, since houses cost way too much money and we’re all renters and nobody’s moving in with their girlfriends any time soon.”

Housing is really really really cheap in Detroit.

Just because conservatives believe paying workers costs too much and kills jobs doesn't mean the problem is high housing costs. A good income requires policies to drastically increase costs.

Profits are never costs. Profits never create jobs which are always costs.

But the conclusion is spot on:

Enjeti put the matter more bluntly: “The whole reason that the GOP has been able to even compete for so long is that despite their horrible economics, they do hold the cultural positions of so much of the American people. But they keep thinking they’re winning because of their economic policy and losing because of their cultural policy, when really it’s the opposite.”

Racism, bigotry, belief in witchcraft and other lies, are how Trump fully realized the GOP quest for conservative purity.

I must smile at the references to things Catholic, remembering how Catholics were attacked by conservatives, effectively forcing them to be Democrats, but now the GOP has replaced Christians with Catholics, and Democrats with Jews, on SCOTUS.

And the sense of outrage by conservatives that brown women are center stage at the Superbowl dressed that same way sideline white "virgins" are dressed at every football game is just so Trumpian.

All the young Millennial really wants is a house with some space to park his car and park his wife.

You misspelled 'pork'.

Since when is Shakira brown?

If no one is moving in with a significant other, who are the 15% of Americans ages 24-35 who are doing exactly that (2018 stat) which percent is an increase of 3% over the 2010 stat.

4. True conservatives reject the social welfare state that pays women to have children out of wedlock. They also reject redistribution in favor of hard work and struggle. They reject homosexuality and the attendant corruption and seduction of young people. They believe that free market capitalism is the best economic system guided by freedom, rule of law and property rights. They believe that liberty, tempered by morality and religion, will bring freedom and prosperity for all.

How do they feel about fathers who have children they won't, or can't, pay for?

Do conservatives believe in going back to children being the chattel of men/fathers, with men punished for neglecting his children?

What Moynihan pointed out was how limiting welfare to women with children and no man destroyed families because conservatives blocked welfare to families with a man in the household no matter how little income the household had. Articulate as Moynihan was, he failed to realize he needed to explain how welfare needed to be provided to households in poverty without regard to men in the household, because excluding aid to families in poverty if a man was present forced family breakup.

If conservatives really value children, then they would not implement corruption of blood policies to punish children for the sins of their parents, which are at least half the sins of their fathers.

But conservatives, being mostly men, blame women for almost everything that troubles them. As if there were 1,503,361 virgin births in 2015/6

The real problem with welfare is that it is an unconstitutional taking from one citizen and giving to another.

Welfare was created to keep the poor under the thumb of government and to secure their vote forever.

So is paying for national military defense against barbarian invaders, asylum seekers, and those yearning for a "better life".
Everyone should pay for their own defense, out of their own pocket.
Got to be that way.

Not endorsing the point, but come on.

Defense is a common good from which everyone directly benefits. Welfare payments are a particular good that only far away from a priori analysis can you say benefits everyone.

You can make a fine case that welfare is beneficial or that second order effects benefit everyone, but defense is a much more typical public good.

By law the federal government is required to defend the nation. Welfare on the other hand is unconstitutional. If you cannot see the difference I can't help you.

I suspect there's not a lot of demand for your 'help'

"Unconstitional" is not a synonym for "Something I dislike".

"True conservatives reject the social welfare state that pays women to have children out of wedlock."

They were always OK with poor children starving whether or not they could find a "moral" justification for that. Give us this day our daily tax cut for the wealthy. Amen.

"They also reject redistribution in favor of hard work and struggle."
As long they are not the ones working ... or struggling.

"They reject homosexuality and the attendant corruption and seduction of young people."

For a moment, I thought you said Jews. Maybe it is the mindless scapegoating that draws the unfortunate parallels. Well, you still can support serial adulterers such as Trump, Johnson, Gingrich and Netanyahu. For Jesus and the American family of course.

"They believe that free market capitalism is the best economic system guided by freedom, rule of law and property rights."
Unless freedom is being exercised by someone they do not like. Then, they will slander and persecute until they get their way.

True. This IS why we can't all just get along. Because the Democrats and Republicans insist on sticking their noses into areas where their noses have no business.

If political parties simply said "Do what you want, but don't violate anyone's rights" we could easily get along. There'd be friction sure, but nothing near the partisan politics of today.

As long as you declare certain people to be subhuman (which is what the post in question does to homosexuals, children of umarried mothers, and, implicitly, non-Christians) YOU are why we can't just all get along. You do not get to punch someone in the mouth and then complain when they react with hostility. My son learned that in preschool; that grown adults find this hard to comprehend is simply insane.

-5 internet points for blatant hypocrisy

This is why "True conservatives" won't get much of a foothold outside of the Christian faiths.

Let's be honest, whenever someone says "religious" in the USA they mean Christian. Can you imagine the uproar if a Wiccan coven tried to set up a private school? Or an Islamic group? People would be murdered over this!

This is enforced by blind support of the alleged "nuclear family". The idea of "family" is one that has changed surprisingly rapidly through time. In terms of marriage there are concubines which were considered acceptable until surprisingly recently; in terms of the family unit, there were multi-generational homes, groups that included non-relatives (servants, usually), the clan concept (a version of the extended family that was MUCH stronger than extended families are today), etc. Even the Christian Bible includes several dozen variations on the concept of a family.

As for homosexuality, what business is it of yours what I do in my private life? Denial of marriage contracts to homosexuals is flagrant discrimination (no, civil unions are NOT the same, an no, no one is saying that your church needs to recognize or condone homosexuality).

These contradictions are far worse than they sound. They open the door to tremendous abuse of power. How are you going to know if I'm a homosexual? How are you going to know what religion I practice? Or what arrangements my family makes in terms of how we live? The only way to accomplish this is to institute a mass surveillance state on par with that necessary to remove guns from homes.

This is why I prefer the term "classical liberal". If it doesn't break my bones or pick my pocket my opinion doesn't matter. I'll judge you six ways from Sunday, but it's a PRIVATE judgement, anyone is free to disregard as completely irrelevant. Practice whatever faith you want, sleep with whatever partners are willing, eat whatever foods you want. And let me do the same.

+1. If your way of life or club is so great, people will tend to join it without the state twisting their arm, and if you need the state to sell it, it’s probably not that good.


Cigarettes were clearly a great club.

There are a heckuvalot of clubs with massive negative externalities.

Or an Islamic group?

FWIW, there are already Islamic private schools in America. The fact that you haven't heard anything about them suggests that there is probably no huge controversy surrounding their existence.

I was dimly aware that they existed, and there IS controversy about them. I tended to tune it out because after reading a few back-and-forths on this issue I concluded that no one writing about Islam in the USA had a rational viewpoint. (Dawkins getting caught citing a satirical website, and his disciples rushing to defend him, was the acme, or nadir if you prefer.)

But don't confuse an example with the principle in question. When Americans talk about "religion" 99 times out of 100 they're talking about Christianity. Substitute Shinto or Inuit instead--or really any other religion--and my statement holds mostly true. The ability to pick out minor exceptions doesn't mean that what I'm talking about isn't the norm.

You said, "People would be murdered over this!" That is the part I was responding to, and that is the part that is very obviously wrong.

I agree that people in America generally think of "religious" to mean "Christian," but that doesn't mean that everyone else is getting murdered. You exaggerated.

I would submit that Israel has had every flavor of true conservatives expressed in a Jewish context. Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism ... somehow it is not particularly hard to find this outside of Christianity. Certainly the US has a centuries old tradition of private Jewish schooling, often with some of the most conservative factions of Judaism running the place. Last I checked, nobody gave a rat's ass for 80 years.

But lest this trigger yet more special pleading we should recall that this is not that uncommon. The Kmer Republic, for instance, was briefly run by a conservative Buddhist party that tracks quite closely with US divisions. And similar things can be found elsewhere (e.g. Shiv Sena has a lot of this from a Hindu perspective). Arguably, true conservatives are weakest in the historically Christian countries of Europe and strongest in emerging countries.

But on to more silliness. Homosexuality typically has a far higher R0's for STIs in equivalently promiscuous heterosexual populations. With HIV the mechanics of gay male sex lead pretty directly to a few million people dying, most of whom were neonatal infection cases in Africa. Beyond that antibiotic resistant gonorrhea is on the rise and again gets a huge leg up from MSM transmission. Absent changes to trend lines, in a generation or two we will be seeing some pretty terrible outcomes that are easily an order of magnitude worse. Male homosexuality is simply vastly more dangerous from an STI epidemiology standpoint.

Which is interesting, because pretty much every culture that did historically accept homosexuality had a lot of cultural taboos in place to limit role swapping (e.g. receptive partner pre-puberty, insertive post-puberty, two-spirited being receptive for life) and the modern free-for-all of sexual expression and habit having been recorded nowhere in sustained cultural transmission.

And of course, it did not stop at the bedroom. For some reason, a number of municipalities have decided to take resources away from orphans because some religious charities, who in my experience were massively more effective at helping orphans, refused to place with gay couples. Somehow, it was deemed worthwhile to spend literally millions of dollars reinventing the wheel rather than find some sort of accommodation with religious charities.

So let's cut the moral grandstanding. Sure is some impossible utopia, you might have a point, but in the real world we live with public consequences to private actions all the time. Prostitutes, MSM anal intercourse, IV drug use ... all of these breed nasty pathogens that kill people (mostly babies). Likewise, I have watched more than one foster care child commit suicide while the local adoption/foster care system fell to shambles after the largest charitable providers were shut down by the state over gay marriage silliness.

In the real world, things you espouse here have killed people. Why shouldn't I care about people dying?

Criminalizing and stigmatizing homosexuality led (still leads?) to many suicides. So do you care about people dying or not?

Does it?

The LGBT suicide figures I read are depressingly resistant to change. For instance, California's LGBT teen suicide rate is not all the dissimilar to that of Alabama. Likewise the LGBT teen suicide rate from 2004 (first legal gay marriage) to 2015 (all 50 states) shows a remarkedly small decrease in LGBT teen suicide (about 14% compared to a 7% reduction overall). Whatever one wants to say about the "stigma" of having to use a different adoption agency than the one run by a Catholic charity, I cannot fathom how it would have a larger impact than gay marriage legalization.

Further, even if the LGBT suicide rate back in the old days were double the modern rate, the harm reduction calculus should haven fallen squarely on stigmatizing MSM anal intercourse. The disease impacts of MSM anal intercourse on the spread of HIV are just massive public health nightmares.

So yeah, I care, and you will note that I said nothing about what social position was the optimum outcome (I am, after all, a big fan of decriminalization as a good tradeoff between prohibition and full legalization for many things). My point is that in the real world, what people do in the bedroom has impacts that can lead to a million dead children.

It is a vastly different conversation to say how much society should care and what penalties/rewards it should impost than to say that society has literally no interests at stake.

If you agree that there is some trade-off then sure, we can discuss brass tacks, but if we are asserting that society can have no interest at in behaviors that have historically contributed, greatly, to killing millions of people ... sorry I cannot buy that.

Trump of course believes in none of these things. Conservative political parties succeed by putting cultural identity in the foreground rather than economic policies or morality. Trump gets that. More importantly he also gets that for most white Americans cultural identity actually is closely related to ethnic and geographic identity.


4. Interesting stuff, this battle among the intellectual right for the soul (and votes) of the common man (and the patrons who hire them). Of course, conservatives have always leaned authoritarian, but Trump has discovered the magic elixir. I've tried to keep up. Yesterday, I listened to Ezra Klein's interview of Yuval Levin. Levin could have been a NASCAR driver: he goes round and round. What I know, what Cowen knows, is that it works. On both coasts, but especially in places in between. Fake left, go right. It works in football and basketball too.

"Of course, conservatives have always leaned authoritarian"

That's kind of a half statement. Lefties have always leaned authoritarian also. Indeed, it's why Europeans find American descriptions of Left-winger as Liberal confusing. Many/most strident Progressives are clearly not Liberal. The fringes of both side are extremely authoritarian, because they want to force everyone to live by their rules.

And if the Europeans are calling you authoritarian.....

Then watch out, because they have a lot of experience in what authoritarian regimes look like, how they get into power, and the results of such takeovers. Which are generally ugly, using European history as a guide.

It is amusing to remember that the main criticism of the U.S. from a European authoritarian perspective over more than century is that the U.S. was simply unable, institutionally, to act in a true authoritarian fashion due to such ludricrous ideas as checks and balances, or adherence to a written Constitution over the needs of the state as determined by a leader with the power to do what they wanted.

I would say that the European propensity towards authoritarianism is a bad guide. I've known several people in abusive relationships, and they have all been horrible at identifying abusive relationships. That's why they keep getting into them.

To quote an anonymous Boeing engineer, Iowa was a fiasco of epic proportions "put together by clowns, and supervised by monkeys."

I can't believe how badly they've screwed up. More unbelievable still is how large numbers of their base will be willing to go along with the numbers, which are not to be believed and frankly disqualifying on their face.

When are we going to get a 'How Liberalism is Changing'?

I agree, numbers coming out from the IDP WAY overstate Bernie’s votes and they at shafting Biden.

4. “Yet President Trump has been plagued by both real and invented scandals since entering office and remains unpopular despite presiding over a sustained economic expansion.

“ A great deal of attention has been paid to the ugliest manifestation of this intellectual free-for-all: The increased visibility of white nationalists and their fellow travelers, who saw in the 2016 election a vindication of the idea articulated a generation ago by the paleoconservative Sam Francis—that the GOP must transform itself into a de facto white party in order to halt the dissolution of the country’s ethnocultural “core,” and who were given endless hours of free airtime by a press eager to paint Trumpists as monsters.”

Stupid and slanderous. No wonder it is noted by the clueless professor.

Re: #4 As Rush Limbaugh has shown, the beauty of calling yourself conservative is that you can hold all sorts of conflicting views at once.

Whereas the beauty of calling yourself a progressive is that you can hold all sorts of principles at once.

Do progressives have principles? Do they stop emoting long enough to establish any?

4. really do think that having sex saps the purity of essence of your precious bodily fluids. So really, there is nothing new under the sun since the Cold War.

"Of course, conservatives have always leaned authoritarian" Or perhaps Left and Right just approach authoritarianism differently?

For the right-wing nationalist, authoritarianism may be an aim in itself: strong nations (it is said) need strong leaders, and strong leaders need the authority to do what must be done.

Whereas to the utopian left, authoritarianism is an unfortunate side-effect of The People's unwillingness to live as the utopians think they should.

For example, the utopian leftist may insist that you should be as concerned for a child you've never met as you are for your own, and therefore even if supplies are critically short you should share them. Yet you, in your stubbornness, claim you can't help caring more about your own family than you do about people you've never even seen.

And so if supplies are short and you're worried about the future, you'll be sorely tempted to hoard what you have rather than share it. Yet this can't be permitted, for if people behave this way then the revolution will be lost. And, therefore, hoarders must be punished.

Yet ordinary punishment mostly causes hoarders to be more careful not to get caught rather than to stop hoarding, and indeed most can't be caught. And, therefore, if the revolution is not to be lost, hoarders, when found, must be deterred. And what better way to deter than to administer public violence of shocking intensity.

Because, see, the left-wing utopian really didn't want to hurt anyone. But, damnit, you made them do it! The Great Leader didn't wish to be authoritarian at all, but you, through your stubborn failure to fully support the revolution, made it necessary.

In the end far-left and far-right may approach authoritarian rule from different directions and for different reasons , yet the gulags and blood-stained prison walls are no less brutal for all that.

4. FWIW, none of these people mentioned are Daniel E. Burns (he's better on Strauss too)

4. Boy that was a long and meandering piece. Just when it looked like it was going to pick up a theme, it quit and picked up another one.

I say the themes to pick up on are (1) the college educated are abandoning this new populist conservatism, and (2) there are attempts, attempts I say, by some Straussian wierdos to pick up the intellectual slack.

The Straussians just serve annotate Trump's tweets, as conservatives commonly do, when they wish everything could be seen in a better light.

Yeah, no.

In your own words, what does Straussian mean?

No tweets please ffs.

Did you read the article?

It was adequately explained there, in a lengthy middle section, what the "East and West Coast Straussians" thought they were trying to do.

And their problem isn't even internal to that, or their disagreement.

Their problem is that conservatism is now Trumpism, an anti-intellectual movement, and *all* intellectuals are outside looking in.

If they think they're going to pick up some power by providing post hoc rationalization for Trump's policy-by-tweet, they have not seen how this guy operates.

Every would-be adult in the room was chewed up and spit out, from Mattis and Kelly to Bolton.

an anti-intellectual movement,

In other words, a movement with which you do not agree, hence its members are stupid, and anti-intellectual.

You're just like Pelosi. Your display of TDS amounts to nothing more than a silly, futile gesture.

As I've said, the Republicans went nuclear in their politics years ago. The Democrats have been very measured, adult, in response.

But if that buys them nothing, why shouldn't they too *be* Trump?

Why should you expect any more of Pelosi than Trump?

Too bad there is only one Romney, eh?

A few more and they could have stemmed the tide, prevented the total downfall of American politics.

I guess the really funny thing is that you expect more of *me* than you expect of Trump!

You don't expect me to build my arguments on "nicknames" like Wanky JWatts

Somewhere in New Mexico I once ran across a hamlet, or really just a crossroads, with an unusual roadside marker: a touching tribute to a lady switchboard operator, who stayed at her post ringing the locals up to warn them that the river - or creek, I no longer remember where this was - was in flood, and was herself drowned. The marker notes that it was erected via small donations given by the members of a professional society of women telephone operators of the period.

Wow, yes: Sally Rook probably saved dozens of lives at the cost of her own in Folsom NM in 1908.

One the one hand, an automated switchboard will never be a hero. OTOH, with modern automated technology we can send reverse 911 calls, although I don't know how well the calls can be fine tuned to go to the people who need to hear them. Also I don't know how well they actually work, I usually have my phone off and I don't always have it with me.

Then there's this modern-day 911 operator who criticized a woman whose vehicle was stranded in rising flood waters and subsequently drowned.

I do have some sympathy for the operator though. It was a tense moment for her too; her responses were .... sub-optimal, but in a stressful time such as that I think only a well-trained or well-experienced operator would respond better.

It looks like there are two memorials, one placed on a boulder by her grave in 1926, and what appears to be a newer one in town. She seems to have been named Sarah but went by Sally.

I expect that unless people rise to the occasion technology will work about as well as it did the day of the Albert Pike campground flood in June of 2010. A few years ago, driving through the national forest there, I had that deja vu common to people like me with very poor memories, and asked my husband, didn't we once camp here? We had. Now it was deserted and abandoned. I looked up what happened, and read it right there in what was left of the campground. It might interest you: google "Swept Away: the Albert Pike Flood" from the Dart Center.

An excellent piece of reporting, that. A lost art.

That was a good read. Made me nostalgic for less-sophisticated times when adverse weather could be described in the press without blaming climate change.

#1: "Around the turn of the century, the companies catered to their operators with libraries, athletic clubs, free lunches, and disability plans. Operators took their breaks in tastefully appointed, parlor-like break rooms, some with armchairs, couches, magazines, and newspapers. "

That description reminds me of the dorms for the mill girls who worked in Lowell, MA (the national historic site there provides the most economic insights of any museum or national site that I've been to). Most Americans wanted no part of industrialization as experienced by the British, so the mill owners knew they'd have trouble attracting workers. Someone, IIRC Lowell himself, came up with the bright idea of hiring farm girls to work in the mills. And to reassure them and their families that the girls wouldn't be consigned to Dickensian squalor, they built dormitories (single sex of course) that had activities such as publishing literary magazines.

It was a capitalist utopia, but it was not the equilibrium. Markets are markets, and competition brought down prices and put downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on the pace of work. Immigrant workers put further downward pressure on wages, there were strikes, etc.

It's also worth contemplating what this says about the gender gap in earnings. Both the mills and Bell found that the market left an exploitable gap in women's wages compared to men's. In theory competition drives wages to the level where every worker is getting paid their marginal revenue product but I suspect that some gaps persist. E.g. how many autistic employees does your company hire?

Larval Republicans are always so precious. This time around trade the bow tie for skinny pants.

Never very far from the Marxists they claim to despise. But insisting that they've thought theirs through.

The best thing about Trump is that he has severed the GOP from any pretense of supporting religion or traditional values. Made a living promoting gambling and booze, married and divorced several times, paid for hookers, doesn't go regularly to church or belong to a congregation , paid numerous legal fines, stole from charities, serial liar and grotesque boaster, draft dodger,

... and yet Evangelicals give him full throated unequivocal support.

The true value of Trump is removing all pretense in the GOP that they stand for anything besides the GOP.

Ehh, unlike a lot more respectable politicians, Trump is delivering on his exact promises to Evangelicals. For the first time in forever, the ratchet of greater official tolerance for violations of traditional sexual mores was actually moved back when Trump banned gender dysphoric patients from the military. For the first time, the judiciary appointment process has been staffed all but entirely by Federalist Society folks.

Republicans have long campaigned for Evangelical votes, yet once in power Evangelical priorities slip down the docket. A constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage had majority popular support back when Republicans ruled in Washington under GWB. Yet somehow no progress was made. Likewise, Planned Parenthood has received huge amounts of money from government sources, Republicans have long pledged to diminish or deny this funding. Yet for decades this never occurred.

Trump, being utterly disrespectable, pretty much is completely in hoc to Evangelical votes. Unlike more respectable conservatives, he has no hope of letting Evangelical turnout slip and making up the difference by picking up a few more high income folks who are tired of the culture war.

Trump's weaknesses: that he has utterly alienated huge blocks of women, that his twitter account makes him look incompetent, and that his shady business/governing practices make him anathema to process folks are exactly the things that make him completely beholden to one electoral bloc. His ability to defect on conservative social causes is vastly more constrained than GWB or even Reagan.

At the end of the day, the pro-life movement believes that abortion is basically a mini-holocaust every year; suggesting that they vote for politicians that enable all those killings just because the guy moving things in their direction is heavily flawed is just silly.

Maybe this sort of electoral alliance is dumb in the long run, but so far Trump has implemented a lot of Evangelical voters' most important policies.

I suppose that's the (highly) "imperfect vessel" argument.

Evangelicals are around a quarter of the population, a larger amount among registered voters, and an even higher amount among actual voters. They have majority demographic status in multiple states, and reach majority status with a bunch of closely related demographics (e.g. traditionalist Catholics, Mormons) in many more (possibly even a majority of the states).

Yet, somehow, they kept losing on everything.

A constitutional gay marriage ban had to wait for privatizing social security and never got traction. Getting Alito (or a similarly committed jurist) on the Supreme Court required a massive pressure campaign on "one of their own". Planned Parenthood funding was impossible to block, until it wasn't. Pretty much every Evangelical champion either got side tracked once in power or was too reviled to ever attain power in the first place.

And lest we forget, it is not like any other backer of Evangelical priorities would ever be acceptable to the media, academia, or the left half of the political spectrum. Romney was far too socially conservative. Rubio, Jindal, Carson ... all of them were pilloried in the press. Nor is there any smidgen of compromise to found to accommodate Evangelical priorities. Abortion is sancrosanct. But so too are gay rights. And transgender rights. And all the environmentalism policies. And public schools.

Once you make Evangelicals face sunk costs regardless, an imperfect vessel is basically no downside up front.

I mean seriously, what else do you expect them to do? Another round of backing socially conservative leaders who will be pilloried and deprioritize their concerns to run to the middle in the next election? Find some sort of compromise for the left when the left is at least as non-negotiable about the issues as they are? Absent the fantasy that they will utterly abandon their long-stated priorities, I just do not see a lot of alternatives for Evangelicals to achieve Evangelical goals.

...and I'm being kind.

And he is not a little, but a lot, more pro-life than Reagan.

He makes the poor Bushes look like complete reprobates on that issue.

Reassess your priors, Professor.

Really? What's he doing about abortion other than appointing judges, as every GOP President has been trying to do for 40 years. Since any traditional view of the Constitution necessitates an amendment to ban abortion, how's that going ? Oh wait, let's appoint unelected judges. Say goodbye to that BS.

Increased the scope of the Mexico City policy from the half billion dollars of family planning international aid money to the 20-fold larger pot of international health aid money.

Limited the flow of domestic federal funds to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

Codified medical conscience rights for refusing to perform or assist with abortions.

Went after state mandates for insurance coverage of abortion procedures.

In any event, banning abortion is quite simple and consitutional. After all it was explicitly banned by treaty after WWII as part of the UN medical treaties for physicians (since modified). Likewise, an unqualified right to life was supported by the US government at the UN back in the 40s. And of course there is the very simple case of holding that "any person" includes those not yet past the cervix and a right to life is implicit in the 14th amendment. Certainly this would be in keeping with the originalist intent where much of anything past 15 weeks was regarded as a person under pretty much all forms of English common law for centuries.

So yeah, Trump is actually governing as a pro-lifer and changing the legal regime is far easier than a constitutional amendment.

...that Trump has surely paid for a few abortions of his own issue.

the ten composer pastiche was pretty good.

that being said ....

whoever was responsible for the video made Bach sound a little too much like Schumann imitating Bach, their version of Chopin sounded like a much much less musical version of Chopin, Beethoven sounded like an AP Calculus version of Beethoven (that is NOT a compliment), and the pianist wore a bracelet on her right wrist and nothing on her left wrist - no musician who is a real piano player would do such a thing. Trust me, I was taught piano by someone who was a student of a student of a very very famous composer who was not much younger than Mozart, and not much less gifted than Mozart, and I know what I am talking about. Or don't trust me, I don't care, and I never have cared what anyone reading what I write on the interwebs thinks of me ....

I am just trying to communicate a little bit here

Still, pretty good. A little too much sophomoric humor, a little too much joshing around, but that is ok.

#4 is clearly the most popular of all the links, judging by how quickly commenters have jumped on it to ridicule, snark, or

I’ve heard this new breed referred to as “trad-cons”, as in Traditional Conservative, and the best explanation I’ve heard by contrasting with neo-cons.

Neo-cons heralded a brand of conservatism that said “Moral, cultural, and societal values aren’t that important, but economic policy, globalism, and war are.” This opened up conservatism to many folks it was previously closed off to.

However, the big promise of the neo-cons was that globalism would be the tide that would lift all boats. When that promise resulted in huge swaths of America, entire communities and ways of life being wiped out, the stage was set for Trump and Brexit to bang the drum of nationalism.

Trad-cons occupy the vacuum that globalism left behind, and all the people the left has alienated through identity politics and political correctness.

It’s almost like a quilt made from patches of Joe Rogan, MAGA, and Jordan Peterson.

I don’t really follow the inner-workings of the GOP that closely, but I’d wager that the dismissiveness of the comments here is a good indication that the shift in the GOP is real.

At this point it's a pretty well-worn pattern for the right.

1. Over-identify with some sort of -ism and claim it's the One True Way
2. Drive something/somebody/somewhere over a cliff.
3. Re-brand. Repeat.

"Krein and his journal are making their influence felt in the Republican Party. At the National Conservatism conference in July, Oren Cass, who worked as a policy adviser on Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, convinced a room full of conservative attendees of the proposition that “America should adopt an industrial policy.”

See, that is socialism. So no further comments about Bernie Sanders being a socialist. You embarrass yourselves. That must be part of the nationalism platform.

"However, the big promise of the neo-cons was that globalism would be the tide that would lift all boats. When that promise resulted in huge swaths of America, entire communities and ways of life being wiped out, the stage was set for Trump and Brexit to bang the drum of nationalism.

Trad-cons occupy the vacuum that globalism left behind, and all the people the left has alienated through identity politics and political correctness."

That's a damned fine Marxist analysis. Fortunately, it isn't true.

#5: Still working my way through the book, but I think the most important point is that this will have a similar effect to Sohrab Amari's "Case Against Frenchism" Even if the particulars are incorrect, Caldwell has framed things in an effective way that will move the debate.

Verbruggen's claim: "I don’t buy for a second, for instance, that basic civil rights logically require a cavalcade of other developments" misses the point completely.

I had a discussion a while ago about the constitution with a friend. He said that Brown vs. Board had to go around the constitution. What was I going to say, "repeal Brown vs. Board?" The whole discussion was grounded not in logic, but in his intensity of feeling about the wrongs that Brown corrected, and my inability to respond in a way that didn't make me look uncaring and out-of-touch.

"America is doing something wrong, and it's OK to go around the constitution or 'reinterpret the constitution in light of evolving standards' to correct this injustice" was never a logical argument. It's an emotional rationalization of a process to which the left has become habituated. Caldwell seems to want to confront this head-on and the book's existence hastens that confrontation.

4. Libertarians are finding themselves abandoned as the GOP becomes more Trumpian. What I think is going to happen is that the Democrats will find, particularly if they lose in November, that they need to go full anti-Trump, which implies pro-free trade, pro-markets, as well as the social liberalism they have now. You can beat a populist GOP if you bring on board all the finance and business people (and all their money), while keeping the minorities, educated elite and social liberals. There is no place for a Paul Ryan conservative in the GOP; to beat the Trumpian GOP the Democrats may need to become a party where there is no home for a Bernie Sanders socialist. This will only come to pass if Trump beats Sanders convincingly in the fall, but to me that looks increasingly likely. We're seeing the beginnings of a re-alignment reminiscent of the one that the election and popularity of Andrew Jackson initiated. If Trump wins again, that re-alignment will be unstoppable.

A lot of “libertarians” are thrilled with Trump. Trump has inadvertently exposed how many Randian types are secretly authoritarians. They hate the state when it promotes rule of the weak over the strong, as they see it, but now that the state is taking the side of the stong (i.e. white Christian males, i.e. Das Volk) the state as personified in Trump can do no wrong.

Bad analysis. Working class White men haven't been Libertarian for ages if they ever were (gap going back well before Trump) and the White Upper Middle Class are largely different flavours of appalled. Self proclaimed Libertarians who did a volte-face, "Road to Damascus" to supporting either DJT or "White Nationalism" are a bit of a myth.

On the other hand, Libertarians who love "the state when it promotes ... the side of the strong" are a certainly thing and one that has long been around. But more accurately they tend to find the naturally strong who the state should put their thumb on the scale for in "Silicon Valley migrants with aspirations and talent", "meritocrats", "Business", and similar categories.

Uhhhh you realize that almost no one occupies the quadrant "Socially Liberal - Economic Conservative". This is THE losing coalition in American politics. NO ONE is a real libertarian except a smattering of upper-class male weirdos. The GOP largely wins national elections on social issues, this is largely what wins them the south. GOP voters have been willing to go along with the economic policies the party elites want in exchange for a commitment from party elites to social conservatism.
The Democratic Party you envision would be even more of a perpetual loser - a rump party of the top 10-15% of the income distribution. They would basically be the Whigs reincarnated.
Paul Ryan was ONLY ever the darling of the Washington Beltway media. Almost no real voters ever gave a shit about him. Trump is wildly popular amongst the GOP base.

If the re-alignment occurred and the Republicans became the party of social conservatism and populist economics they would become utterly dominant and unstoppable in national elections.

#4 Israeli funded (or Israeli adjacent funded) publications will of course tend to overemphasize the respectability of religious intellectuals like the Catholic strains and also overemphasize nationalists. (And of course will worry about "antisemitism" to an exaggerated degree). Israelis gonna Israeli. But I don't think it's totally off, and probably connects more with under-described segment of political reality avoided by most MSM or journal takes.

For an adjacently concerned but different emphasis, I'll conjecture historians of the early 21st century may class a couple of the key political challenges of our era as recapturing public trust in the following areas:

1) Parties which were Libertarian leaning in the late 20th century will have to recapture trust that private enterprise really is superior to government in many areas, on a level playing field, and they are not merely "de-funding" public services in order to win by foisting worse private alternatives on the public for their own personal profit.

This will likely mean commitment to some variant of an intellectual school that does try to actually measure and improve government, yet still allows private enterprise to compete on (again) a level playing field, and believes that business will then "fairly" show its superiority in fields, allowing the state to "wither away" naturally in areas. The public need to believe they are not stacking the deck on the worse option simply for ideological reasons and personal profit. Trust is very low among certain, vocal subsets of the public, yet they have no problem with government issued monopolies being opened up to truly disruptive competition by "tech" when this has recently happened.

(TC's "State Capacity Libertarianism" may be something in this vein, though I see it primarily as getting ahead of the curve on "State Capacity" development economics as they become increasingly prominent in public conversation, fueled by China's apparent successes, and create an "in" for Libertarians to enter that discussion).

This will also mean getting serious about dealing with international tax havens, shell companies and the influence of "Dark Money" on politics, so that overblown Left claims about the influence of finance on politics have nowhere to hide.

2) Parties which have been positive and open on immigration must rebuild trust that migration is managed, slow enough for integration and real, solid shared national identity to build, and is largely for the benefit of the public themselves. Rather than simply for the benefit of business or the state, or to achieve ideological goals motivated by cultural cringe towards the nation, or though sheer bleeding-heart complacency about the risks it poses to ethnic majorities (importing people whose children, after the malign influence of Western academia, would then roughly say about White majorities and their historical colonialism what a '40s National Socialist would have said about the Jews, or worse). This will mean reductions in rate of flow, and probably more complex visa systems replacing a "laissez-faire" attitude.

More broadly trust must be rebuilt that parties actually want to see the continuation of nation-states, not their replacement by post-national and international behemoths and constructs.

I suspect whoever rebuilds this trust and credibility can win. Maybe it'll be these young(ish) Centre-Right types. The Millennial Socialists unlikely to go there.

A state where half of the people believe the government is trying to destroy the country in order to profiteer, and the other half believe that the government is trying to reduce them to the status of a dispossessed and scapegoated ethnic minority and erase their national culture from history, and each regards the other as dupes and fools, is unlikely to last for long. Certainly not as a democracy.

Of course there are other, geopolitical issues which also matter - the increasing perception in the European Union that views the contemporary USA more or less in terms identical to Soviet Union propaganda from the 1970s, Chinese international assertion - but the core may be rebuilding some degree of trust in government.

Whatever the case, if they continue to fatten on electoral vindication, these younger Centre-Right types seem like (contrary to manufactured perception of alt-right ragemonsters) they will increasingly become saliently to appear the most chilled out, calm and sensible folks in the room. The Millennial Left seems likely to become increasingly apoplectic and accusatory if, as continues to recently be the case, they are unable to decisively win the elections and votes that matter and respond by going on epic rants.

Verbrugen gives Caldwell a bit too much credit for novelty. “Conservatives” have been blaming Great Society legislation for crime, drugs, divorce since the Nixon administration.

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