Best Of The Web
“This week saw the culmination of the great wall debate. President Trump made his case—one I generally agree with—and explained what an extra $5.7 billion (approximately 0.1% of the budget) would do for the security of our southern border. Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi immediately dismissed it. It is honestly surprising how quickly and thoroughly Democrats adopted the notion that a wall of any kind is such an obviously stupid and immoral idea. Well, is it? Let’s lay out the claims one by one:
• They’ll just climb over it, dig under it or break through it. Just like that huh? I spent 10 years as a Navy SEAL, and people often say, “Dan, you know better than anyone how ineffective a wall is.” Actually, I know how effective walls are, even against skilled SEALs. Planning to scale a 30-foot steel slatted barrier is a daunting challenge. Do you bring an enormous ladder all the way there? How do you get down from the top? Jump? Rappel? This isn’t a Tough Mudder course. A few skilled and well-equipped people may figure it out, but the reality is that most will be deterred.
The same goes for “digging” or “breaking.” Tunneling would require special equipment and hundreds of hours to dig under the barrier, the base of which would penetrate many feet underground. To break through it, you’d need specialized circular saws, torches or explosives. Typical equipment for a special-ops team, but not exactly on the packing list for a migrant. And Border Patrol agents would easily detect such a ruckus.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Let’s hope the February meeting does not occur. Trump had been successful through the middle of May of last year when he was pressuring—but not talking to—the North Koreans."
"...taking seriously Dr. King’s critique of Northern liberalism means also calling out liberal public officials and residents who profess commitments to equality yet maintain a corrupt criminal justice system and a segregated school system."
"There are now three “states” involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Hamas in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Israel. Any attempt to move the peace process forward must account for this reality."
"In director Chris Smith's new Netflix documentary, Fyre – about the "elephant of a clusterf--k" that Fyre Festival actually became – we see footage of tech entrepreneur and Fyre founder Billy McFarland telling a bunch of the world's biggest supermo"
"The government shutdown flooded folks with fear. Yet it shouldn’t. The aftermath of shutdowns is also great, with U.S. stocks averaging 12.8 percent in the next 12 months."
"Channel surfing feels futile, if not obsolete. TV is no longer a remote-controlled menu to peruse as much as it’s a Tube Goldberg machine carrying our eyes from one diversion to the next."
"Natalie Wynn, the creator of the comico-philosophical YouTube channel ContraPoints, wanted to make a video that was both more trenchant and entertaining than the others. "
"Fukuyama’s new book does contain a thesis. As it happens, the new idea stands in the sharpest possible contrast to the older one. Liberal democracy, far from showing us a glimpse of a universalist future, now, we are told, faces a severe crisis. "
"...the FDA's newfound sense of urgency regarding teen e-cigarette use is overdue. Beyond the nicotine in e-cigarettes, there are other less well-understood chemical threats like diacetyl..."
"Vegetable-themed snacks like cauliflower puffs and Peatos aren’t traditional potato chips, but they’re not not chips, either."
"Homo erectus was in the news over 2018 thanks to new discoveries in the Philippines and China, which have transformed our understanding of this not too distant family member."
"I am Jewish and queer. But neither of these identities managed to make an impact on the co-chairs of the Women’s March as I begged them, again and again, to take my pain seriously."