The Mobility Crisis

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Rot in the Labour Party

Labour needs more than a makeover.

On Tuesday, Britain’s Labour party adopted the working definition of anti-Semitism that prevails across the civilized world. But don’t break out the champagne and party blowers quite yet. A formal declaration of the kind won’t wash the stain of Jew-hatred left by leader Jeremy Corbyn and his triumphant entourage of keffiyeh-clad cranks and unreconstructed Stalinists.

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A Great Museum Dies

An enormous cultural tragedy unfolded Sunday  night in Brazil when the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro was gutted by fire and largely destroyed.  Along with it priceless collections that ranged from paintings to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian artifacts to anthropological collections to mineral specimens to one of the oldest skeletons ever found in the Americas, as well as a 470,000 volume scientific library, one of the largest in Brazil, were lost as well.

It is thought that no more than 10 percent of the 20 million items in the collection were spared. Fortunately one of them is the Bendegó meteorite, a nearly six-ton iron meteorite that was found in 1784.
Fortunately no one was injured.
What could have caused this catastrophe? The answer, simply, is governmental neglect that borders on the  criminal. To be sure, Brazil has been engulfed now for several years in both recession and a financial corruption scandal that makes Tea Pot Dome look like penny-ante. One president has been impeached and removed, another is in jail. The museum budget has been cut time and again, so there was not enough to even maintain the building, which features peeling paint, exposed electrical wiring, and plumbing leaks. But the maintenance budget of the museum was only 520,000 reals, not even a rounding error in a total federal budget that is well north of  a trillion reals.
There was no fire suppression (i.e. sprinkler) system in place, nor, apparently, smoke alarms. Only four guards were on duty in the vast building. When the fire department arrived, the two nearest hydrants had no water and it had to be trucked in from a nearly lake.
Just further proof, as if any were needed, that governments should not be allowed to run anything they do not absolutely have to run.
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Monica Israel Vivian Bercovici

Following a punchy 15-minute talk about the ravages of online bullying on Monday, Monica Lewinsky took her place alongside star Israeli news anchor, Yonit Levy, for a 15-minute chat about the issues she has turned into a life mission. The Jerusalem convention hall was packed with A-list political and media types, on hand for Ms. Levy’s whopper of an opener.

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Stop Begging Trump’s Conservatives to Sacrifice Their Credibility

A duty to posterity, not Twitter.

Despite all the brooding among the anti-Trump left and the pro-Trump right over the existence of the small band of Republicans who continue to criticize the president when he’s wrong, few  seem any closer to understanding these conservatives’ motivations. The simplicity of the philosophy that animates these rare types could not possibly elude the cliquish sectarians who act as though it is incomprehensible. More likely, they just find it annoying.

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Condoleeza Rice, Political Science, and Honor

A worthy candidate.

It’s hard to believe, but the American Political Science Association (APSA) is honoring a figure who defended a war most political scientists consider immoral and disastrous. I don’t know much about it, but I think I read somewhere that this same person once opposed the war. He reversed himself and even became an all-in cheerleader for it, possibly just to escape from the political wilderness. How dare the APSA honor him?

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