Best Of The Web
“In Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, the anarchic anti-hero Captain John Yossarian marvels at the beauty of the trap he finds himself in. To escape the war he is being forced to fight, he must prove he is crazy. But asking not to fight proves he is not crazy. Therefore he has to fight.
The trap is inescapable. “Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle,” Heller wrote. “‘That’s some catch, that Catch-22,’ he observed.”
The two remaining contenders to replace Theresa May as Conservative Party leader and, by extension, British prime minister—Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt—now find themselves in a trap of almost equally simplistic beauty. To win the Conservative-leadership race, they must promise to succeed where May failed and take Britain out of the European Union, ideally by October 31, the new, twice-delayed deadline. But how?
The trap is this: There is no majority in Parliament to agree on May’s negotiated deal enabling the United Kingdom to leave the EU in an orderly manner, with opposition centering on a £39 billion ($49 billion) divorce settlement and the Irish backstop, which ties Britain into the EU’s customs union after Brexit. And yet, there is also no majority in the House of Commons to leave without a deal, because of fears over damage to the country’s economy and standing in the world. (Though Britain leaves the EU by default on October 31, with or without Parliament’s consent, members of Parliament have shown they are willing to enact legislative barriers to stop this from happening.)”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."
"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."
"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."
"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."
"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."
"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."
"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."
"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."
"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."
"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."
"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."
"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."