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“As it turned out, the contrast at this year’s G20 conference of the world’s most significant nations was as stark as possible. Following the news of President George H.W. Bush’s death, the difference between the late president’s leadership as a unifier, whose legacy was to preside over America’s graceful exit from the Cold War, and a deeply divisive President Donald Trump, who has the potential of plunging the United States into a new cold war with the China of Xi Jinping, was on full display.
A severely wounded Trump managed to avert the most dire of consequences — at least for the moment — but, wings clipped, found his two days of summitry most noted for meetings that were avoided or canceled.
In fact, every one of Trump’s potential landmines was there — his autocratic friends, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, China’s Xi; and democratic frenemies, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s Theresa May.
In the end, however, there was only one encounter that truly mattered — the dinner meeting between Trump and Xi. Fortunately, Trump found it prudent to step back from the very edge of an abyss. Each leader is clearly enamored by what they see as the other’s supreme power over his nation and world events. The one substantive difference is that Xi has no term limits, while Trump has two, or at most six years remaining in his tenure.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."
"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."
"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"
"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."
"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."
"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"
"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."
"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."
"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."
"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."
"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "
"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."