Best Of The Web
“Since she succeeded David Cameron in the wake of the Brexit vote, the accidental British prime minister, Theresa May, has been trying without success to have things both ways. On the one hand she’s having to pretend to observe the wishes of the British public, which voted to leave the European Union, but her own inclination — shared by many Tory Remainers — is to keep fumbling the football until the clock runs out. Meanwhile, the Labour Party, which is now led by an out-and-out communist in Jeremy Corbyn, is delighted with the whole mess.
Across the Irish Sea, Britain’s ever-restive former colony, Ireland, is having its own troubles. The withdrawal from the EU by the United Kingdom will mean that the rump state of Northern Ireland (whose votes Mrs. May needs to keep her in power, as shaky as her current hold on it is now) will require some sort of border with the Republic to the south.
Meanwhile, in central Europe (where I am as I write this), the old European cultural fault line of the Alps that once divided the Protestant north from the Catholic south has been rotated vertically to the Oder-Neisse line, which used to simply separate postwar Germany from Poland, but now splits most of Western Europe from the former captive nations of Eastern Europe, with Germany, France, and Britain on one side and Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia on the other — the group of four nations that constitute the Visegrad Group.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Donald Trump is the only President of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union who has been unable to “reset” the U.S. relationship with Russia."
"This past weekend Melania Trump’s spokeswoman penned an op-ed for CNN in which she criticized the media’s unrelenting criticism of the first lady... Is it true that the media have a fixation on the first lady’s fashion sense?"
"Ultra-Orthodox Jews are smarter consumers, have interest-free loan funds, and are satisfied even if they are poor, the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs has found."
"In Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, out January 8, Melissa Click delivers a collection of 15 essays by scholars exploring the many ways there are to hate, and why we love to do it."
"For more than a decade, ultrarich people from the former Soviet Union, China and the Middle East have turned to London mansions, New York high-rises, and chic properties in Vancouver, Miami and Paris to store their cash."
"Virtual worlds give back what has been scooped out of modern life . . . it gives us back community, a feeling of competence, and a sense of being an important person whom people depend on."
"It’s the end of 2019 and America’s bountiful harvest is in. But President Donald Trump is facing a crisis few contemplated the year before: a food shortage almost everywhere else in the world."
"Christopher Hitchens died seven years ago this Saturday, a decade after breaking ranks with onetime friend Gore Vidal and beginning a feud that symbolized major changes in left-wing politics."
"I could try to find out where my ancestors may have come from, but that is never going to show me what I’ve actually inherited."
"Have you eaten a Cheez-It sometime in the past eight years? If so, as they say on TV, call now because you may be entitled to compensation."
"An intelligent fish has stirred up a debate about how to measure self-awareness among animals—and what self-awareness even is in the first place."
"...either our youth walk out on Judaism or maintain a lukewarm relationship with Jewish observance; or, they become so obsessed by its finest points that they are incapable of seeing the forest from the trees."