Best Of The Web
“After a monthslong stretch of merely sporadic violence and simmering tensions, the Middle East seems on the verge of another fiery eruption, and there are no outside powers with the interest or leverage to douse the flames.
The smoke is starting to billow from three well-worn hot spots.
First, there is Idlib province in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, home to 3 million civilians—half of them refugees displaced by war from other parts of the country—and roughly 70,000 anti-regime rebels, many of them jihadis. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to wipe out all anti-regime forces in air and ground campaigns that will unavoidably kill thousands of civilians, a fact that hasn’t bothered him in previous assaults. His allies, the Russians and Iranians, say they will help, and in fact the bombing has begun.
Meanwhile, Turkey has set up watchtowers within Idlib and warned Assad against an incursion, saying that crossing into Idlib would constitute a “red line,” though it’s unclear what that means. At the same time, the Turks have closed their border to refugees or jihadis who are seeking to flee the impending mayhem.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"The erosion of academic freedom on China’s campuses is directly linked with the increasingly repressive political environment outside the universities. This dynamic is quite clear with respect to labor issues."
"Trump is both too populist and not populist enough. His populism is largely, although not entirely, a matter of style — combative, lacerating, emotive, unpredictable and grandiose."
"Ultra-Orthodox communities are increasingly divided, with a small but growing number of young people openly defying their rabbis and voting for non-Haredi candidates – with major implications for the Diaspora."
"After 35 years as the host of Jeopardy! it’s hard to imagine that the 78-year-old Trebek, who caused fans’ hearts to skip a beat earlier this year when he suggested he might retire in 2020..."
"Generally, people work for employers, whether private organizations or government agencies, because employees add enough value to sustain their wages and still benefit the employer. Under a job guarantee, creating value is an afterthought."
"The first pig-to-human skin graft using live cells is set to take place this month in Boston. At the same time, Tector is readying a clinical trial in which he will install his triple-knockout pigs’ kidneys in dialysis patients..."
"Podcasting is a peculiarly intimate medium. Usually transmitted through headphones to a solitary listener, or played over the car stereo during a commute, an audio narrative can be immersive..."
"The children’s literary canon is sinking into the muck of identity politics, with grievance-studies devotees seeking to either “de-platform” older books, or teach them through the single-issue lens of grievances studies."
"People whose mothers have been married multiple times or have lived with multiple romantic partners are more likely to do so themselves... The longer people are exposed to their mother’s cohabitation, the more sexual partners they tend to have."
"As the Bible tells us, “The truth will set you free.” If you have ever met someone (literally, anyone) from California, you know that In-N-Out is actually a cult for which the pain of defecting is death."
"Mutations allowing humans to live at high altitudes have become more common in populations in Tibet, Ethiopia, and the Andes. The spread of genetic mutations in Tibet is possibly the fastest evolutionary change in humans..."
"The Hebrew Bible tends to regard idol worship as the sin par excellence. To Scott Shay, there is an underlying connection between hatred of Jews and Judaism’s rejection of the idolatrous worldview..."