THE GLOBAL NEWSSTAND

Stories that matter from near and far.

Boris and the Battle for Brexit

Three years after the British people voted to leave the European Union, Britain is still stuck. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s threat to leave without a formal Brexit deal has triggered a crisis in Parliament. Behind this commotion is an intransigent E.U., mindful that without the threat of a “no-deal” Brexit, the U.K. has no bargaining power. Christopher Caldwell, writing in The Claremont Review of Books, deftly fills in the blanks on the Brexit debate, especially regarding the Eurocrats. The E.U.’s ability to evade democratic responsibility, Caldwell warns, may be even more robust than its most vocal critics feared.

Boris and the Battle for Brexit

Three years after the British people voted to leave the European Union, Britain is still stuck. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s threat to leave without a formal Brexit deal has triggered a crisis in Parliament. Behind this commotion is an intransigent E.U., mindful that without the threat of a “no-deal” Brexit, the U.K. has no bargaining power. Christopher Caldwell, writing in The Claremont Review of Books, deftly fills in the blanks on the Brexit debate, especially regarding the Eurocrats. The E.U.’s ability to evade democratic responsibility, Caldwell warns, may be even more robust than its most vocal critics feared.

The Archive

Welcome to Hotel Canada

Few politicians have ventured as far down the postmodern path as Justin Trudeau who famously proclaimed that Canada was a “postnational” nation, with no “core identity.” The refusal to accept any distinction between one’s conationals and foreigners reduces citizens to mere consumers and creates a nation united only by economic considerations. C2C contributor Bradly Betters, writing in American Thinker, looks at recent headlines which suggest that — contrary to common wisdom — millennials are flocking to Canada’s major cities. However, a deeper analysis suggests that Canadian millennials are leaving the city, forced out by pressures exerted on the real estate market by foreign buyers.

Psychiatry for the Do-it-yourself Crowd

It is normal for psychiatrists to examine patients before giving their diagnosis. This strikes us as sensible. But Bandy X. Lee, psychologist and Yale Professor, decided that when assessing the cognitive competence of President Trump such quaint protocols no longer apply. Following her example, Chadwick Moore, writing in The Spectator USA, uses his psycho-analytic acumen to examine some media personalities. Mr. Moore is a journalist. But he demonstrates conclusively that you don’t need a fancy degree to take the measure of someone’s mental health. What is most needed are strong opinions, the conviction that you are sane and grounded, and the certitude that you are a morally superior specimen. Fortunately, there appears to be no shortage of qualified individuals.

Not the Right Kind of Muslim

Political parties require talented and accomplished candidates. Why then did the Conservative Party of Canada disallow Salim Mansur to represent the party in London North Centre? Mansur is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario, a newspaper columnist, a full-throated opponent of radical Islam, and a devout Muslim. Writing in the Post Millennial, Cosmin Dzsurdza unpacks the timorous thinking behind the party leadership’s decision and tells why ditching Mansur bodes ill for the upcoming election and future recruitment of Conservative candidates.

The New Age of Old Superstitions

G.K. Chesterton famously proclaimed, “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” More recently, Jordan Peterson suggested, “If people think they are atheistic, it means they are unconscious of their Gods.” Tara Isabella Burton, writing in The American Interest, examines the spiritual and metaphysical beliefs of secular progressives. God may be dead for many of our social justice warriors, but psychics and astrologers, witches and demons, stars and signs and the casting of spells and hexes, are experiencing a renaissance.

Twitterpation and Regulation

The bloom is off Big Tech’s rose. The past few years have borne witness to the downside of social media – especially for conservatives – as they spawn a host of awful tactics from doxing to online bullying to de-platforming individuals who fail to adhere to the bumptious, ever-fluid ethical norms of Silicon Valley tech tycoons. We have lost our privacy, grown increasingly distracted and stood by almost clueless as toxic emotions and poisonous ideas corrupt our public discourse. Glenn Reynolds, writing in the Spectator USA, likens Twitter to a “virus of the mind.” He joins the growing number of critics who argue that it is time for American regulators to invoke antitrust laws and break up the big tech behemoths.

Should we seek happiness?

Happiness is frequently posited as the ultimate good, the summum bonum to which all humans aspire. The United Nations now measures the collective happiness of nations even to the third decimal point. But is individual contentment really the point of existence? And what happens to a society which believes the only goal of life is the pursuit of happiness? No people have pondered these questions more profoundly than the Russians, whose grim history has compelled a clear-eyed and honest appraisal of the human condition. Gary Saul Morson, writing in The Athenaeum Review, tells us how Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Solzhenitsyn captured the psychic impoverishment of those who neglect their soul and measure their lives merely by material comforts.

Slouching Towards Climate Utopia

The fear that the Earth faces an unprecedented threat from “human-induced climate change” has become an article of faith among the chattering classes. Open dialogue has all-but disappeared, as even professional societies succumb to groupthink. Scientists who stray from the so-called “consensus” are subjected to professional censure. One is Alberta’s Allan MacRae, who had the temerity to write about the damage done to humanity and the environment by radical greens. “The takeover of environmental institutions by extremists is now almost complete,” write Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr on PJ Media, and truth is only one of the victims.

Murder, Treachery, Lust and the State of Nature

Great news for Deadwood fans – a movie version’s out! The HBO TV series vividly traced the history of Deadwood, South Dakota, from a rough-and-ready 1870s mining camp into a thriving small town, bawdily showing how civil society and functioning politics can overtake a lawless state of nature. The May 31 release of the new Deadwood movie enabled Robert Herritt to reflect on its deeper themes in The New Atlantis. “Deadwood inverts a certain rationalist picture of the social and political — of top-down, technocratic deliberation as the ideal of proper action,” Herritt writes. In recognizing reason as subordinate to the exigencies of life, Deadwood subtly presents a Burkean philosophy. That’s certainly one explanation for the aptly named Swearengen’s continuous F-word eruptions.

Trump Versus the Generals

In 1961 U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned of the “military-industrial complex,” an unholy alliance that would devour revenues, undermine democratic politics and commit America to endless wars. Early this century American man of letters Gore Vidal updated Eisenhower with his description of the “permanent war party,” one wing of which was called “Democrat” and the other “Republican.” In his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to extricate the United States from military adventurism and end America’s “forever wars.” Andrew Bacevich, writing in The American Conservative, was initially hopeful that Trump would follow through. The latest tensions with Iran, however, lead Bacevich to think Trump will likely not prevail against his generals and bellicose advisors.

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