The Troubles Just Under the Surface

Putting it back together.

If you live anywhere but Northern Ireland, July 12 is just another day of the week for you. If, however, you happen to live in Northern Ireland, it is a national holiday, but one that is celebrated by only half of the population. You might say it is the Fourth of July in reverse—a celebration of remaining part of, rather than seceding from, the British Empire.

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The Troubles Just Under the Surface

Must-Reads from Magazine

Social Justice vs. Human Nature

Downward leveling.

Last Friday, the New York Times revealed that a lawsuit targeting Harvard University claims the school has systematically discriminated against minorities. That is, one particular minority. The school, it was alleged, has handicapped Asian-American students. Otherwise, they’d have to accept too many qualified Asian-Americans. For a peculiar type of activist for social equality, this was the good kind of prejudice–the kind that privileges accidents of birth over individual merit and achievement. Or, in the soft, docile Newspeak that suffices to comfort the enlightened elites charged with keeping the deserving down: “racial balancing.”

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The Unsympathetic Opposition

Radicalism and self-injury.

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to be uncompromising when it came to immigration. For the most part, he has delivered. An executive order that restricted refugee intake and access to temporary visas in the first days of his administration sparked a wave of popular unrest, but the outrage subsided as Trump’s assaults on America’s permissive immigration regime became routinized. Only when Trump began breaking up the families of asylum seekers did the powerful public aversion we saw with the introduction of the “travel ban” again overtake the national consciousness. The abuse was so grotesque, the victims so sympathetic, and the administration’s insecurity so apparent that it broke the routine.

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Over-Population: The Malthusian Myth That Refuses to Die

A dangerous idea makes a comeback.

The word “ethics” appears prominently in the biographies of the authors who co-wrote a recent Washington Post op-ed lamenting the “taboo” associated with “talking about overpopulation.” Frances Kissling is the president of the Center for Health, Ethics, and Social Policy. Peter Singer is a professor of bioethics at Princeton University. Only Jotham Musinguzi, the “director general of Uganda’s National Population Council,” doesn’t mention “ethics” in the bio. That’s good because the Malthusian views promulgated in the piece are anything but ethical.

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Conservatives Against Virtue

The virtue of virtue.

At some point over the past two or three years–I’m not sure when exactly–“virtue” became a dirty word on the American right. There’s not a little irony in this development. If there’s one commitment that is supposed to tie the various strands of American conservatism, it’s the cultivation of the human virtues–those habits of the human spirit that aim at its perfection: Prudence, justice, courage, and temperance, according to the classical definition.

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PODCAST: This Is a Land of Confusion

Podcast: Border battles and the OIG report.

The implementation of a policy that separates illegal border-crossing children from their parents has thrown the Trump administration into crisis, in part, because no one is on the same page. Depending on the official speaking, this policy is either a necessary deterrent to future migrants, an unfortunate vestigial artifact of the Obama administration, or the law of the land. The hosts break down the political effect of the White House’s confusion. Also, the COMMENTARY Podcast breaks down the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s report that savages James Comey’s behavior in 2016 and suggests FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s anti-Trump bias might have had an effect on the product of the FBI’s Russia probe.

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