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Monday, February 19, 2018
Thursday, February 15, 2018 7:54 AM
Reports of the demise of ideology have been greatly exaggerated. The overarching belief systems that proclaim the best way to structure society are still with us. And, looking at the ideological polarization of our current politics . . .
  • George Will, dean of conservative columnists, demonstrated with his usual lucidity in last weekend’s Washington Post that Americans do not save nearly enough for retirement. This has long been noted, but one reason for this is that . . .
  • In 1921, Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset published “España Invertebrada” (Spain Without a Backbone), a collection of his newspaper columns, bemoaning his country’s paralysis, which collapsed with Franco’s 1936 military . . .
  • Two weeks ago in Hawaii, the human-computer interface monster reared up again: Mistakenly pressing a drop-down button automatically spewed out false news of a missile attack. Once “this is not a drill” went out instantly to all cellphones . . .
  • Of all the things President Trump has said, his sneer at “[poop pit] countries” sending us their wretched is one of his least-odious utterances. And what should have been a two-day flap is lasting for weeks, marking a sea change . . .
  • Is President Trump more vulnerable over alleged Russian ties or Oval Office rages? We have been focusing on Russiagate, but Michael Wolff’s new book shifts that focus. Russian meddling points to impeachment, but doubts about . . .
  • If the world blows up in 2018, the underlying cause will be that its three most powerful regimes — the U.S., Russia and China — are scared. They fear, justifiably, instability and the other powers. This makes them dangerous and unpredictable. . .
  • The 2011 film “Margin Call” opens with the risk manager getting fired and escorted out of a major investment bank. As the elevator closes, he slips a thumb drive to a younger analyst, warning, “Be careful.” The stick’s data reveal . . .
  • Building for years, the sexual-harassment issue erupted in October to make the cover of Time and inch Doug Jones to an upset victory in Alabama in December. Multiple explanations for Roy Moore’s defeat are offered, but I would . . .
  • The long-term fallout from Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is that it turns the world’s 1.7 billion Muslims even more anti-American, costing us allies and influence and fueling mass protests and terror . . .
  • Like many, I’m awed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ability to break the tight ring that protects wrongdoers at the highest level. Using the leverage of multiple accusations, Mueller gets targets to confess to just one . . .
  • We are getting into a fix that reminds one of humorist Richard Armour’s play on words in his 1953 It All Started with Columbus. He jested that the early U.S. passed the “Alien and Seduction Act” to save American maidens from foreign . . .
  • In Virginia earlier this month, a “Trump bump” of about 4 percentage points favored the Democrats. Virginia went to Hillary by 5.3 percentage points in 2016; Ralph Northam, buoyed by a better turnout, expanded it to 9 points to win . . .
  • “Cascade” suggests that one event causes and enlarges the next; each splash produces a bigger splash. For decades, claims of serial sexual aggression by powerful males were ignored or minimized. But women no long bury their anger . . .
  • Saudi Arabia’s audacious new 32-year-old crown prince has just carried out what Latin Americans call an “autogolpe” — literally a “self-coup” against a leader’s own government to give himself more power. The prince aims to rapidly . . .
  • The Benghazi and Niger incidents are similar and connected: in each, jihadis killed four Americans in African countries of which the American public and Congress knew little. The small arms and Islamic terrorists liberated by . . .
  • Catalonia in Spain and Kurdistan in Iraq are cases of head versus heart. Painful as it is, I have to go with my head and support keeping them within their respective countries — albeit with ample autonomy. They already mostly rule themselves . . .
  • Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, just called President Trump’s foreign policy the “Withdrawal Doctrine.” We are feeling the symptoms of abandoning global leadership, especially the pushing away of . . .
  • Some fear we have entered a downward spiral. A century ago, in 1914, Walter Lippmann — then all of 25 — feared so too when he published his progressive “Drift and Mastery” to immense acclaim. It delineated an America in . . .
  • Hezbollah and Korea could suddenly unleash a new and dangerous strategic threat: instant escalation. Most analysts portray escalation as mutually aggravating steps that unfold over some time — say, two weeks — and contain “firebreaks” . . .
  • Angela Merkel — Germany’s calm, reliable “Mutti” (mother) — was returned to power in Sunday’s elections, but other electoral news portends trouble. An angry alt-right party enters parliament for the first time, and the only feasible governing . . .
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