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Britain’s Liberal Democrats party drops candidate over posts on Jews – The Times of Israel

The Liberal Democrats party in Britain suspended a candidate for parliament over social media posts it deemed anti-Semitic.

Waheed Rafiq, a candidate from Birmingham, posted on Facebook in 2010: shocking to see how the Jewish government call them self Jews when they are wiping out all the people of Gaza, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

In a post from 2014, Rafiq called on his Facebook friends to boycott WhatsApp because he claimed it was Zionist backed, and promoted a trope about the Rothschilds family of bankers, who are Jewish.

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Please note Jeff Rothschild is the Vice President of Infrastructure software and thus also a share holder in Facebook, he wrote. There are other non Zionist apps such as the Telegram Messaging App. Its available on both android and apple users created by two brothers in Berlin. Its better encrypted, much safer and thus better than WhatsApp.

A screen capture of a caricature that Waheed Rafiq shared on Twitter in 2012.

Never forget WhatsApp is Zionist backed so all we do and say is monitored and can leave us vulnerable to be exploited later.

In 2012, he tweeted a picture of a snarling man with a large hooked nose and sharp teeth and a helmet with a Star of David licking a popsicle bearing the colors of the Palestinian flag.

It is utterly inexcusable to share a hideously antisemitic cartoon of a hook-nosed, bloodthirsty Jew or to rant about people using Zionist websites, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl wrote in a statement calling for Rafiqs expulsion from the party.

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Britain's Liberal Democrats party drops candidate over posts on Jews - The Times of Israel

What Twitter Has to Say About the Wednesday Impeachment Hearing – Slate

Another day, another round of allegations against the president. Up Wednesday are three witnesses: U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, one of the so-called three amigos; Defense Department official Laura Cooper; and State Department official David Hale. Sorting through the ever-mounting body of evidence that President Donald Trump tried to bribe Ukraine to boost his reelection chances is more fun when you follow along on Twitter, which is why weve rounded up the top liberal and conservative commentators below. Youll see liberal tweets on the left and conservative tweets on the right.

You can also watch the hearings here or see all of Slates impeachment coverage.

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What Twitter Has to Say About the Wednesday Impeachment Hearing - Slate

The crisis of liberalism: why centrist politics can no longer explain the world – The Guardian

We know were living through a period of crisis, but its sometimes hard to know of what kind. The financial crash of 2007-8 seemed to mark the beginning of the most recent crisis of capitalism; 2016 brought news of a crisis of democracy, and the political and constitutional crisis created by Brexit marks its second act. Every day the climate crisis heats up. Crisis has become the new normal.

Its often said that we are also witnessing a crisis of liberalism: liberal norms are being eroded, institutions are under threat, and across Europe, parties of the centre are haemorrhaging votes. Meanwhile, the critics of centrism are louder than they have been for years. Even many in the mainstream of British politics have begun to acknowledge that in the past decade centrists have been neoliberalisms willing bedfellows, supporting policies to shrink the welfare state and crush unions. Liberal centrism has left people behind, and in its support for free markets and globalisation, created new forms of exclusion. More damning critiques are also gaining currency: that the liberal way of running politics was always bound up with imperialism and colonialism, sceptical of democracy and workers and a cover for capitalist exploitation. Even the Financial Times the pinnacle of economic liberalism recently argued that the capitalist model needs to be reset .

So liberal centrists arent wrong that their institutions, parties and ideas are being challenged. But the problem may be a deeper one: that the categories of mainstream politics as we know it can no longer explain the world.

As an ideology, liberalism can be hard to pin down. Its capacious and it has adapted throughout history. From John Locke to John Maynard Keynes, liberals have prioritised the values of liberty and equality (though theyve disagreed about how much the latter matters to the former and what those values mean in everyday politics). They have supported the rule of law, rights and representation, as well as private property, markets and, for the most part, capitalism against socialism. During the cold war, liberals often defended the status quo, seeing a slide into totalitarianism behind every scheme for political change. There is a long liberal tradition of attacking the left to defend the centre. In the 1980s, a faction of Labour MPs left the party to found the SDP. In the 90s, as New Labour disciplined the partys left wing, liberalism took the form of the Third Way. Today, many liberal centrists paint Jeremy Corbyn as an extremist on a par with Boris Johnson, and draw false equivalence between left and right.

At the end of the 1990s, there was one thing that many liberals shared: an optimism about the direction of history

Yet in many countries, Britain included, liberals also helped to build the welfare state and have used the machinery of central government to enact progressive reforms and benefit the poor defending the NHS, civil and human rights, social equality, migration. Often, they aimed not to liberate workers but compromise with them, in order to minimise the risks individuals face. Social liberals have sometimes opposed economic liberals: the concern to limit inequality has trumped the defence of laissez-faire and capital markets. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown enshrined minimum wage laws but encouraged the privatisation of public services; they founded Sure Start but helped sell off the NHS.

At the end of the 1990s, there was one thing that many liberals shared: an optimism about the direction of history and about the fate of liberalism. Famously many agreed that history had ended, following the end of the cold war. All that was needed was steady incremental reform of the status quo. These 90s assumptions survived well into the new century. We now know that such declarations were hugely complacent. The biggest mistake of liberalism was thinking it was all over.

Today, few have properly come to terms with that mistake. Many are on the back foot, insisting that any move away from their ideas marks a step backwards into a far nastier history. Such defensiveness is not novel: liberalism has often been a negative sort of politics a politics of second best that protects against worse scenarios. Liberals have been the first to prophesy new end times the demise of democracy and the Pax Americana and see in Brexit and Trump a slippery slope to war and fascism. Where conservatives look to restore a lost past, liberals defend the gradual reform of an established order and respond aggressively to any threat to it, whether real or imagined.

All this worry about values and norms makes it possible to miss the fact that liberalism as an ideology still dominates how we see the world. It does not just occupy a place between left and right; it cuts across both.

The liberal worldview frames politics as something that happens mostly in Westminster, and about which most voters care little, so it downplays the politics of everyday life in the home and workplace. On this view, the political realm is inhabited by powerful individuals whose decisions make a difference, and who operate in institutions that are neutral. Values conflict, but compromise is the aim except where liberal values are deemed to be threatened; it can sometimes seem that liberals believe in the possibility of consensus, but only if the other side accept the basic facts that liberals hold as true. This can mean touting virtues in principle but refusing them in practice: the Liberal Democrats demanding compromise and cooperation while they reject a Corbyn-led coalition is a case in point.

For liberal remainers, Brexit is either a giant misunderstanding or a mistake: it has been brought about by voters lack of knowledge, or by party misjudgments and the rightwing media; it has been prolonged by Rasputin-like advisers (whether Dominic Cummings or Seumas Milne). Undoubtedly, centrist thinkers, with their focus on institutions and those who control them, can provide answers to important questions: how the common law relates to the constitution; how EU regulations and the referendum dilute parliamentary sovereignty. At a time when we are meant to have had enough of experts, it is ironic that expert knowledge is in extremely high demand in public institutions in the civil service, parliament, the courts, and the press. But its easy to mistake symptoms for causes. Though Brexit will surely have disastrous consequences hurtling us towards a neoliberal, deregulated and depressed Britain with an empowered right on the rise that doesnt mean the liberal diagnosis tells the full story.

Hampered by the need to defend the EU as a site of cosmopolitanism in the name of stopping Brexit, many remainers have framed any opposition as a threat to a political order that has no need for change. The rightward drift of the Lib Dems as they look to rebuild their vote by becoming the party of remain illustrates this bias to the status quo. For all its references to history (particularly to the totalitarian threats of the 1930s), the current liberal vision is often quite ahistorical: we dont hear much about Britain before the referendum. Even the most radical version of liberal centrism has only a partial diagnosis: it points to rising inequality and a growing generational and educational gap. Liberals may focus on defending norms, but norms themselves are only how particular political settlements are made legitimate. They dont tell us much about the limits of the settlement itself.

The view of Brexit and Trump as a crisis of institutions, norms or civility, and the focus on the narcissism or hubris of political personalities, is too limited. The alternative is not merely to accept the narratives of the right that Brexit is about a defence of sovereignty or kicking it to liberal elites. Both of these inhabit the conventional terms of debate. By slipping into a kneejerk defence of the status quo, we risk not understanding where the threats come from and how they can be fought. By focusing on individuals, we ignore how classes are changing. By looking to reason and forgetting ideology, we miss the pleasures of resentment and commitment, and how new political forces have developed to capitalise on those pleasures in particular how the Conservative party has reinvigorated itself by building new class alliances and using a heady mix of Thatcherite, nationalist and colonial tropes (a strategy that is haphazard but may well prove successful).

If we define politics too narrowly and dwell on historical parallels, we miss our own history and the social and economic changes that have paved the way to where we are now a situation where the institutions and infrastructure of British public life are dysfunctional, where productivity, investment and wages are low, where the public sector has been hollowed out and the steady job all but disappeared. If we worry only about the breakdown of parliamentary checks-and-balances, we miss that this gives the lie to the liberal dream that certain institutions are neutral and beyond politics. When we see the rise of the right in terms of a crisis of civility, we fail to ask what resentments the veneer of civility masks, as well as who it benefits and harms. When we focus on constitutional crisis, we risk forgetting how Brexit manifests deeper disruptions and social instability and that the coming election is also about our prospects for fixing these.

We risk forgetting how Brexit manifests deeper disruptions and social instability

These alternative diagnoses have major implications. The end of the liberal dream of neutrality opens up a view of the world where politics is found in new places the courts, the market, the workplace, the home and where political analysts take seriously arguments that have long been made by those outside mainstream politics, who have been marginalised by class, race, gender, geography, immigration status and age. This may be unsettling, but it can point us away from the old divisions of parliament versus the people, so easily deployed by the right and point to new battle lines: not between norms and their violation, or Brexit and its reversal, but to what we want for the future of the UK.

Crucially, these diagnoses can also show us where the deeper political crisis lies. The lasting damage to Britain may not be caused only by the constitutional chaos, but by the long-term collapse, defunding and decay of our public institutions the NHS, legal aid, our underfunded schools. Paradoxically, it was the stability of such institutions that made liberal centrism make sense as a way of thinking about politics. With public institutions dysfunctional and liberal democracy hollowed out, liberalism no longer looks like an ideology that can explain the world: its basis falls away. Liberal political thinking is stuck. It can no longer give a convincing account of politics, except to describe whats happening as an assault on itself. What would help liberalism make sense again is the rebuilding of those public institutions. It is an irony for liberals that this is precisely what the Labour party today is proposing.

What is needed is a longer and wider view than the liberal vision of politics allows one that enables us to see how social, economic and ideological changes intersect with and shape personality and procedure. This is why elements in the press have started to listen to the left once again, discussing resetting capitalism in the context of inequality and climate crisis, and engaging with talk of interests, class and ideology that has for so long been labelled as irrelevant. Now liberals also have to choose: to stay where they are and try to squeeze new developments into old paradigms, or to recognise these limits. Instead of a revival of liberalism, we might need a reckoning with it.

Katrina Forresters In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy is published by Princeton.

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The crisis of liberalism: why centrist politics can no longer explain the world - The Guardian

The Future My Well-Meaning Liberal Parents Want – The New Yorker

President Joe Biden signs an executive order mandating that all adult children of liberal baby boomers retroactively like the Facebook memes their parents shared calling Donald Trump a Covfefe Cheeto-in-Chief.

Bill Maher hosts the White House Correspondents Dinner and my moms birthday dinner.

I am court-ordered to explain what cisgender means.

Pussy hats are legally renamed something more appropriate to say out loud in a Nordstrom caf.

Women from all over the country come together and hear my dad out on some things.

I am court-ordered to explain what non-binary means.

The Patriot Act is amended to give my parents access to my Instagram.

I am court-ordered to explain what Elon Musk means.

Finally, an* overall** return to American*** values*****Jon

**Stewarts

***The

****Daily Show

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The Future My Well-Meaning Liberal Parents Want - The New Yorker

mile Durkheim and the Religion of Liberal Democracy – Tablet Magazine

The end of the 19th century, as the Dreyfus affair shook France and anti-Semitism surfaced as a political force, was not an obvious moment for a French Jew to rediscover optimism. mile Durkheim (1858-1917), the countrys foremost sociologist, was an especially unlikely candidate for hope. He had spent the last decade in a state of well-informed anxiety. His research seemed to show that economic tensions and cultural fragmentation were unraveling the conditions for collective existence in France and throughout the world.

The 1894 condemnation of Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus by a French military tribunal on false evidence, and the ensuing partisan, virulently anti-Semitic efforts to prevent a retrial, might have confirmed Durkheims despair. Instead it revitalized his faith in France and its liberal democracy. This faith was not metaphorical. Durkheim insisted, to the chagrin of allies and opponents ever since, that democracy was a religion, and the rights-bearing individual its god. A century later, as individual rights and popular sovereignty are increasingly embattled, Durkheims intellectual legacy challenges defenders of liberalism to embrace emotion, community, and faith.

A rabbis son, Durkheim left the religion of his childhood to study philosophy in Paris. At 29, he began to teach, offering courses on political philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. These forebears, he found, had made a fatal error. Basing their theories on the notion that individuals, naturally endowed with liberty, had been brought together in an artificial social contract, they saw society as something extrinsic to human nature, and philosophical speculation as something prior to empirical research. They devised ideal constitutions in which a general will, embodied by a monarch or a majority opinion, would dominate the selfish desires of individuals. Yet these philosophers seemed to know little about individuals, society, and the state as we find them in the world. If we want to know about the nature of things or the rules for living, Durkheim chided, we must go back to things themselves, and thus to science.

Durkheim became one of the founders of sociology, a budding discipline meant to provide scientific knowledge about topics that had long been the preserve of speculation and belief. In the following decade of the 1890s, he wrote a manifesto, The Rules of Sociological Method (1894), that called for empirical research into human behavior and the evolution of social structuresonly after this kind of study, he argued, could political and ethical theorizing proceed on a sound basis. However Durkheims research for The Division of Labor (1893) and Suicide (1897) brought him to a precipice of despair.

Inspired by biology, Durkheim tried to explain why people in capitalist societies, bound by complex networks of exchange, seemed to be drifting ever further apart. Think, he asked readers, of the finches Charles Darwin had studied in the Galapagos Islands. Under the pressure of competition for resources, the members of a single species separated into a variety of new ones, each with physical features adapted to different sources of food. In what seemed to be an impeccably scientific analogy, Durkheim argued that people and societies evolve in just the same way. Members of traditional, pre-modern societies, like the original finches, are more or less identical to each other. The pressure of capitalist competition introduces a principle of differentiation, as people divide themselves into increasingly specialized economic roles, with finely tailored lifestyles, identities, and values to match.

In its economic form, as the division of labor, this growing specialization permits a vast increase in societys productive powersbut with dire social and psychological consequences. Traditional bonds of religion and family collapse, and individuals, ironically isolated by the economic forces that overwhelm them all, take refuge in illusory communities, which are too frail to bear the weight of human fate. The anarchist, the aesthete, the mystic and the socialist revolutionary, he warned, all hasten societys demise.

Durkheim saw little remedy for this crisis. Modern capitalist societies like France were losing the shared sets of values and points of reference that make life bearable, breaking down into fleeting, fragmentary tribes whose members were aggressively narcissistic and desperately lonesome. Even if by some incomprehensible miracle there appeared a moral code to reunite society, the competitive logic of the capitalist system would drive its members again into self-centeredness and division.

***

While Durkheim was researching his way into hopelessness, the 1894 condemnation of Dreyfus was transforming French politics. By 1898, many of the countrys most eminent writers, artists and scholars had come to Dreyfus defense. The more politically savvy of Dreyfus defenders, the Dreyfusards, saw his unjust sentence as an opportunity to defend the principles of human rights and to weaken the army, a bastion of conservatives who seemed to be waiting for their own chance to sabotage the Third Republic, Frances liberal democratic regime. But the republics enemies also sensed an opportunity.

Founded in 1870 after decades of authoritarian rule and frequent coups, the republic appeared to many French observers as a creation of Jews, Protestants and nonbelievers. These minorities were accused of using the forms of liberal democracy, such as an emphasis on individual rights, to protect themselves fromand indeed to oppressFrances Catholic majority.

The grain of truth in the anti-republic perspective was that minorities did have good reason to see the republic as their best defense against intolerance. The Dreyfus affair offered anti-republicans a chance to exploit anti-Semitic prejudice, charging that Dreyfus defenders treacherously insisted on the rights of the accused in order to undermine Frances national defense. If Dreyfus name were cleared, conservatives warned, military morale would plummet, leaving the nation vulnerable to a rising Germany. The rights of a single individualespecially a Jewcould not be allowed to imperil the needs of the entire country. This argument, bruited by many anti-Dreyfusards, was delivered with particular flair by literary editor Ferdinand Brunetire in an 1898 article, After the Trial.

Brunetire argued that the affair had revealed a fundamental conflict within the Third Republic between responsible people who accepted that the needs of the community must overrun individual rights, and the anarchists, socialists and radical individualists who were willing to risk the very existence of France for the sake of a single persons freedom. This was an argument that Durkheim could understand, one that might have appealed to his own concern about the pernicious individualizing forces of modern society. But Durkheim had changed his mind. In a series of essays written in 1898 and 1899, he answered Brunetire, defended the Dreyfusards, and outlined a vision of society and politics that shattered his earlier pessimism.

Durkheims thinking was transformed by an empathetic and critical engagement with the anti-Dreyfusards. In an essay on anti-Semitism, he dismissed the idea that Dreyfus opponents were motivated by hatred and prejudice. Anti-Semitism, he insisted, was an expression of capitalist societies economic troubles and moral distress, phenomena he had documented himself. Ordinary people, no less than sociologists, seek explanations for the bewilderments of modernity and, too often, find scapegoats.

In Suicide, written only a few years earlier, Durkheim saw the ideologies that arose in response to contemporary capitalism as mere continuations of its atomizing tendencies. Now, reflecting on the French response to Dreyfus convinction in 1894, Durkheim recalled a surge of joy on the boulevards. The French crowds had been delighted, Durkheim suggested, not because they had an excuse to persecute a member of a despised minority, but because they had been relieved to find themselves gathered together before an explanation and an answer to their sufferings. The structure of anti-Semitism suggested a way out of the troubles and distress of modern society: a shared longing for a comprehensible world.

The anarchist, the aesthete, the mystic and the socialist revolutionary, mile Durkheim warned, all hasten societys demise.

In a companion essay on militarism, Durkheim deepened his analysis of the anti-Dreyfus camp. Like anti-Semitism, militarism now appeared to him as a distorted form of a vital social imperative. He argued that the French people, seeing the army as their defense against Germany, had made it the object of a cult something untouchable and sacred. By sacrificing the innocent Dreyfus, they were trying to appease their god.

Durkheim could have lingered on the cruelty and irrationality of this sacrifice. Instead, he suggested that the task of liberals was to find a better cult. The French needed other ideas in which they can commune with each other, other ends to pursue in common. The Dreyfusards would have to offer not only political principles, such as individual rights, but also a sense of belonging, a form of collectivity organized around transcendent values and directed toward the realization of concrete ends. Dreyfus would be saved not by mere appeals to due process, but by a cult of justice, a collective passion for individual rights.

Such a religion of individual rights could hardly be whipped together for the occasion, Durkheim noted. But in an 1898 essay, Individualism and the Intellectuals, he argued that this religion was in fact already the common faith of France.

In another paradoxical argument, a match for his claims that the anti-Dreyfusards were motivated by a misguided love of truth and community, Durkheim set out to prove that the Dreyfusards insistence on the rights of a single person was an act of worship that united the members of the French nation to their countrymen and to a shared past. In doing so, Durkheim confronted Brunetires critique of individualism, which so resembled his own earlier assessments of modern society. Brunetire had argued that liberal democracy weakened the nation by emphasizing individual rights over the needs of the group: Countering Brunetire, Durkheim paradoxically traced the history of these rights, beginning with the Enlightenment philosophers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau who first conceived of them.

***

The Dreyfus affair had given Durkheim a new, ironic perspective on the Enlightenment project. Years before, the theories of Rousseau and his colleagues had struck Durkheim as shallow and idealistic. They had suggested that society was only a kind of contract to protect the rights of the individuals who composed it, but, as Durkheim the sociologist had showed, it was society that created individuals, not the other way around. The philosophers had been wrong about human nature and the relationship between individuals and societyyet, however mistaken, their ideas had entered into the repertoire of beliefs and prejudices shared by most French people, and so in the process attained an unexpected kind of truth.

The key ideas of liberalismthat society is founded by and composed of originally isolated rights-bearing individuals, and that the legitimacy of the state is based on its offering protection to individuals rightsare false from a scientific or philosophic point of view, Durkheim argued, in that they are unable to stand up to critical scrutiny. But they have become, as it were, effectively true, or true enough. French people believe in the existence of the liberal individual and see their history as the story of his triumph.

It was the religious fervor of the Dreyfusards that seems to have set Durkheim on this path of thought. After all, Durkheim observed, it should surprise us that thousands of people could be so committed to the defense of a single stranger. What mere individual can be worth risking the safety of a whole country? Something more than scientific or philosophical rationality must be at work. When we are horrified by violations of someones rights, Durkheim argued, we are experiencing the disgust and fear that religious believers feel when something sacred and inviolable is being transgressedthough we are not much concerned about the actual person whose rights are being violated, the particular being that constitutes himself and carries his name.

Thus it was not really Dreyfus whom the Dreyfusards wanted to defend, but an impersonal and anonymous individual, an abstract humanity in which all members of liberal democracies share. As Durkheim said: man has become a god to man each individual mind has within it something of the divine, marked by a characteristic which renders it sacred and inviolable.

Liberal democracy, Durkheim argued, is therefore best understood not as an accurate or even rational set of claims about the proper relationship between individuals and society, but rather as a religion that enshrines and celebrates the rights of the ideal, abstract individual, who is its god.

Against Brunetires charges that an exaggerated respect for individual rights was endangering the French nation, Durkheim countered that it was this religion that was its very soul. For this reason, Durkheim warned, the goal of a cosmopolitan order in which the nation-state might disappear was an illusionliberal norms can only be sustained by a community of believers rooted in shared patterns of life and circuits of feeling. Until the end of his life, despite the growing influence of international socialist movements, Durkheim hoped that French socialists would return to French traditions and abandon the dream of a global revolution; liberal democracy is a religion, but it is a national, not a universal belief system.

***

After the deceptions of his fathers Judaism, Enlightenment philosophy, and the scientific study of society, Durkheim had found what he recognized to be a new faith. For the next two decades, until his death in 1917, he would devote himself to proving that all societies have a religious basis (in his Elementary Forms of Religious Life, 1913) and to providing French teachers with the courage to embrace their role as priests of the republic. They must instill in children a democratic morality, built of respect for individual rights and love for the nation. History, for example, should be taught as the achievement of the former by the latter: the child, and later the adult, will learn that the rights that are granted to them, the freedom that they enjoy, the moral dignity that they believe themselves to possess, all of these are the creation of that personal but impersonal being we call France. Only by confronting rigidly enforced rules will children learn to respect something greater than themselvesthe basic attitude required for all religions, including that of liberal democracy.

While he did not argue that the state should limit religious freedom, Durkheim did not imagine that it could be possible to separate church and state in the sense usually understood by defenders of Frances particular form of secularism, lacit. Religion is the foundation of politics, he insisted. The Third Republic could only thrive if its defenders accepted it for what it was: the true church of the French, the institution through which they worshipped the rights-bearing individual.

Durkheims idiosyncratic calls for the state to shape individuals on societys behalf, and to manage their education as a religious enterprise, alienated potential allies, like liberal Jewish and Protestant intellectuals, who fought for a public sphere that could accommodate many forms of religious practice. Anti-Semites didnt care for Durkheim, either. In 1911, the nephew of Gabriel Tarde, a rival sociologist, co-authored a pamphlet suggesting that Durkheims conception of society was a Jewish God, a tyrannical entity ruling humanity through a caste of priests.

Later generations of French Jewish intellectuals, including Durkheims own nephew, Marcel Mauss, have not been much kinder. In the 1930s, as they watched the Nazi party take power in Germany through quasi-religious public rituals, it seemed to Mauss and Durkheims former colleague Lon Brunschvig that the sort of collective faith Durkheim celebrated was serving fascism, not democracy.

But the dangers posed by the Third Reichanti-Semitism, militarism, contempt for individual rightswere dangers Durkheim knew. It had been precisely by meditating on their social and psychological causes that he had found his controversial faith in liberal democracy. And indeed, the case of Germany, seen through Durkheims eyes, shows that what threatens democracy most is too little, rather than too much, faith in the individual.

In a 1915 pamphlet, The German Mentality and the War, Durkheim laid blame for the outbreak of World War I on German thinkers such as Heinrich von Treitschke who had doubted the capacity of individuals for moral collective action. Taking to heart the philosophical sketch of individuals offered by the Enlightenment tradition, and by social scientists like Durkheim, Treitschke saw them as essentially self-interested, isolated beings unable to form authentic social bonds that could transcend their egoism. He reasoned accordingly that instead of worshipping an ideal individual, who is never actually found anywhere, German thinkers rightly worshipped the statewhich had the advantage of actually existing. The German state, thus worshipped, was given free rein to oppress its subjects and invade its neighbors. Germanys authoritarianism and aggression were the consequences of its thinkers faith in a visible godthe state.

It might seem that by endorsing a religion of the ideal individual, Durkheim was inviting readers to embrace a noble lie about individuals, who can be dreadful. Yet far from choosing to ignore the darker aspects of human nature, Durkheim in his post-Dreyfus perspective appears to have become a more sensitive observer of its paradoxes.

Days after his son was killed in action on the Balkan front of WWI, Durkheim wrote to his nephew Mauss, life triumphs over death. He told Mauss that his grandmother, after her son had died, spent a week mourning, but on the eighth day couldnt stop herself from asking about neighborhood gossip. She had not forgotten her griefbut to be alive is ever to be pulled away from reckoning ones own pains and pleasures and to be drawn into the lives of others. What seem like the hardest things religion can demandthe overcoming of self-interestedness and of the terror of deathare in fact sublimely ordinary.

Every feature of human nature that might inspire hope, Durkheim knew, can be put to evil use. Our desire to stand together in a comprehensible world, our longing for community, and our readiness to project idealized visions over unsatisfactory realities may lead us to commit horrible deeds. But it is these enduring emotional structures that also lead us to connection with other people and offer the only possible foundation for a decent political order.

***

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Blake Smith is a Harper Schmidt Fellow at the University of Chicago, where he works on cultural ties between France and India.

Original post:

mile Durkheim and the Religion of Liberal Democracy - Tablet Magazine

Why Are Liberal Democrats Leading the Constitutional Campaign Against the Wealth Tax? – The American Prospect

For constitutional originalists, its crucial to get your history right. This is especially important when little-known provisions of the Constitution are invoked to resolve hot-button issues of contemporary importance.

The perils of bad history are on vivid display in recent high-visibility critiques of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for their proposed wealth taxes on the super-rich. In a recent New York Times op-ed, Professors Daniel Hemel and Rebecca Kysar assert that these wealth tax initiatives violate a constitutional provision that was part the founders notorious compromise on slavery.

To seduce the South into the Union, the Philadelphia Convention authorized the Southerners to add three-fifths of their slaves when reapportioning their representation in the House and Electoral College after each census. That concession meant that the North would have the House and presidency stacked against it, making it very tough to restrict slavery for many generations to come.

In exchange for these devastating concessions, the convention offered the North a consolation prize. They could use their limited political leverage to get Congress to pass a tax package that would require the South to pay a bigger share of the total bill. While other taxes had to be uniform throughout the United States, the founders added a special provision authorizing the government to impose a head tax that would hit each slave at the same rate as each free citizen. Since slaves represented 30 to 40 percent of the population in the South but only a small share in the North, these head taxes would have a disproportionate impact on Southern whites.

This part of the deal only took final form at the conventions mop-up session of September 14, as the delegates were heading toward the exit. While the terms of the capitation tax on slaves had been up for grabs during the preceding weeks, it was only then thatGeorge Read of Delaware moved to add the three words Capitation and other direct, taxes to the final draft, explaining that [h]e was afraid that some liberty might otherwise be taken to manipulate the terms of the deal. Since the convention had lots of other compromises to make as they rushed out the door, Reads last-minute addition was accepted without further debate. Yet it is precisely these three wordsother direct taxeswhich Hemel and Kysar propose to weaponize in their constitutional campaign against the wealth tax.

Yet the original understanding of this provision refutes their interpretation of this formula. The meaning of other direct taxes was the very first high-visibility question presented to the Supreme Court in 1796. Newspaper coverage was intense, as the country considered how the Court would handle its constitutional responsibilities. (This was seven years before John Marshall handed down his famous opinion in Marbury v. Madison, the first case in which the Court asserted the power of judicial review.)

The justices responded in Hylton v. United States by unanimously rejecting an expansionary reading of the other-clause, with the principal opinion by Justice Chase insisting that the rule of apportionment [by population] is only to be adopted in such cases where it can reasonably apply.

Although Hemel and Kysar reluctantly recognize this point, they try to trivialize its significance by recruiting Alexander Hamilton to their side. To assess their maneuver, here are a few facts. Hylton involved a direct tax that Congress had imposed on luxury carriages. Since these expensive vehicles were concentrated in a few commercial centers, treating this tax as if it were a direct tax would not have imposed a disproportionate burden on the slave states, as originally intended. Instead, turning it into a direct tax would have hit the relatively poor states, both North and South, where luxury vehicles were rarely to be found.

In response to this obvious injustice, Congress followed the rule of reason and invoked its broad constitutional power to impose all indirect taxes on a national basis, requiring carriage-owners to pay the same amount without regard to their particular state of residence.

Alexander Hamilton served as the principal lawyer defending this congressional decision when it was challenged before the Court. In making his case, however, he engaged in a characteristic lawyerly maneuver. Rather than inviting the justices to announce broad principles in their maiden constitutional voyage, he urged them to stick to the particular problem at hand. He emphasized that the carriage tax did not involve general assessments on the whole property of individuals, but only targeted a single asset. As a consequence, the Court could uphold Congresss decision in this particular case without definitively resolving the larger question whether a more comprehensive impost might qualify as a direct tax.

Hemel and Kysar seize upon Hamiltons lawyerly maneuver and use it as decisive evidence that the founders believed that a general assessment on overall wealth required state-by-state apportionment. They fail to mention, however, that none of the justices unequivocally endorsed Hamiltons position in their opinions. Moreover, the Court included two leading members of the Constitutional Convention and one signer of the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, their self-conscious refusal to sign on to Hamiltons position argues against, not for,the Hemel-Kysar effort to make Hamiltons extreme view central to the original understanding. Perhaps Lin-Manuel Miranda should consider making the justices dramatic rejection of Hamilton into a sequel to his Broadway success.

Nevertheless, the critics might be able to salvage their position if Hyltons rule of reason had provoked intense opposition throughout the country. Instead, the decision generated a wave of popular support. Only one year passed before Congress enacted the nation's first wealth tax, imposing progressive rates on recipients of legacies and owners of shares in insurance companies and banks.

Given the Courts recent decision in Hylton, these taxes did not provoke litigation, since they were sure losers. But over the course of the 19th century, nationwide taxes on both income and wealth repeatedly drove taxpayers to the courts, only to find the justices consistently upholding their constitutionality. As a consequence, the drafters of the 14th and 15th Amendments saw no need to repeal the apportionment requirement for other direct taxes when they swept away every other textual expression of the founding compromise with slavery during Reconstruction.

In 1881, the justices upheld the decision by Congress to continue imposing income taxes even after the Civil War emergency had passed. It unanimously rejected the inevitable complaint that they involved direct taxation. Relying explicitly on Hylton,the Court could not have been more explicit: Our conclusions are, that direct taxes, within the meaning of the Constitution, are only capitation taxes, as expressed in that instrument, and taxes on real estateand nothing else.

Yet 14 years later, five of the justices defied a century of precedent in their 1895 decision in Pollack v. Farmers Loan and Trust, striking down a new congressionally enacted income tax. By the narrowest majority, they dramatically expanded the scope of the direct tax provision. As in the contemporaneous case of Plessy v. Ferguson, Justice John Marshall Harlan issued an emphatic dissent denouncing the majority for reinvigorating the nations constitutional legacy of slavery. But while his great dissent in Plessy was ignored, his eloquent opinion in Pollock helped provoke a broad-based movement demanding a return to Hyltons rule of reason.

Within three years, Congress responded to this popular groundswell by defying the Court and enacting another wealth tax on inheritance. This forced the justices to confront a moment of truth. If the conservatives continued to insist on their precedent-shattering expansion of the direct tax provision, they would trigger an escalating confrontation with the political branches that threatened to destroy the legitimacy of the entire enterprise of judicial review.

When faced with this prospect, the conservatives retreated in disarray. In its 1900 decision of Knowlton v. Moore, the Court unanimously upheld the new wealth tax. While different justices explained their dramatic U-turn in different ways, there was no mistaking the Courts return to the narrow reading of direct taxation that had prevailed since Hylton was decided in 1796.

Yet the Courts humiliating turnaround wasnt enough to satisfy the Progressive political movement once it gained a decisive victory in the elections of 1908. The new congressional leadership immediately moved to pass another income tax statute and force the conservatives on the Court publicly to declare that Pollock was wrong from the moment it was decided.

Their initiative, however, met with resistance from the newly elected William Howard Taft, who would later become the only president to ascend to the chief justiceship. When campaigning for the White House, Taft had explicitly supported the Progressives plan: [I]t is not free from debate how the Supreme Court, with changed membership, would view a new income tax law.But once installed in the White House, he refused to take the risk that the reactionary Court of the Lochner era would hold its ground and strike down the income tax yet againdramatically damaging its legitimacy before the public. Instead, he wanted Congress to do it, by proposing a constitutional amendment repudiating, once and for all, Pollocks precedent-shattering reading. But this required the Progressives in Congress to win two-thirds majorities in both House and Senate before their initiative could be sent to the states for ratification.

Building these supermajorities would be a tough for the congressional leadership. Nevertheless, they went along with Tafts request and made a good-faith try. Since Knowlton had already upheld wealth taxes, the leaders on Capitol Hill made coalition-building easier for themselves. They framed the 16th Amendment to make it a symbol of the widespread popular demand to repudiate Pollock once and for all. Their text focused on the imperative need to grant the national government the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived.

Their strategy was remarkably successful. Within a year, supermajorities in both houses backed their initiative. Once Congress sent its proposal to the states in 1909, it took only four years for 42 out of 48 of them to say yesmaking the 16th Amendments enactment one of the most remarkable achievements of popular sovereignty in the 20th century.

Yet Professors Hemel and Kysar entirely fail to confront the original understanding of the voters and their representatives in speaking in the name of We the People of the United States. Rather than recognizing the 16th Amendment as a self-conscious decision by Americans to return to the founders rule of reason, they are urging us to rehabilitate Pollocks discredited effort to breathe new life into the Philadelphia Conventions compromise with slavery.

Senators Sanders and Warren should not let such a maneuver deflect them from their efforts to confront the escalating inequalities of the Second Gilded Age.

The Roberts Court should also reject their invitation to strike down a wealth tax if Democrats manage to win the coming election and enact it into law. If the current conservative majority is to remain true to its professed commitment to originalism, it has no choice but to recognize that the American people have addressed the precise issue in the 18th and the 20th centuriesand resolved it both timesin a fashion that clears the way for a wealth tax.

Their fidelity to originalism would also permit the justices to avoid a constitutional crisis of the first magnitude. Given the political furor surrounding the appointments of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, it is imperative for the reconstituted Court to demonstrate that its originalism is not merely a pretext for exercising a right-wing veto on the voters decision to elect Democrats to govern the House, Senate, and presidency. If a majority strikes down the wealth tax, it would provoke a legitimacy crisis on a scale not seen since Roosevelt tried to pack the Court in 1937.

Nobody can say how such a confrontation will turn out this time around. There can be doubt, however, that Chief Justice John Roberts is well aware of the dangers involved. Recall the way he was the swing vote in upholding Obamacare in June 2012, despite his own very grave reservations as to its constitutionality. Nevertheless, he recognized that a 5-to-4 veto of the presidents signature initiative would have provoked a Democratic counterattack on the conservative justices during Obamas re-election campaignand that such an onslaught would grievously damage the Courts legitimacy for a long time to come.

I have no doubt that Roberts would once again try his hand at judicial statesmanship if the Democrats emerge victorious in 2020. Only this time around, he is no longer the swing vote who can mediate the divide between conservative and liberal judicial factions. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to convince Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to recognize that prudence, as well as principle, requires them to uphold the wealth tax, and avoid a shattering crisis to the Courts legitimacy.

Sorry, but my crystal ball clouds over at this point. But if the new appointees resist, we will be witnessing a tragedy in the classic Greek sense.

Professor Ackerman has provided advice to Elizabeth Warren about the constitutionality of the wealth tax.

The rest is here:

Why Are Liberal Democrats Leading the Constitutional Campaign Against the Wealth Tax? - The American Prospect

Infant Baptism and the Logic of Liberalism | Brandon McGinley – First Things

My family goes to a lot of baptisms these days. With several of our Catholic friends raising young children, rarely do a few months go by without fifteen minutes spent peeking over shoulders into the baptistery.

One tradition that surprised me the first time I witnessed a baptism in the Extraordinary Form is that the parents are basically spectators: Its the godparents who hold the child and accept the Faith and its obligations on his or her behalf. The rite beautifully symbolizes how the Christian community takes responsibility for the relationship with the Lord established by the sacrament. It communicates the resolution to one of infant baptisms apparent paradoxes: The sacrament is necessary for salvation, and yet children can neither understand nor fulfill the duties this implies on their own.

In its ritual and theology, infant baptism makes it clear thatthe nature of our relationship with God and his Church is incomprehensible on the individualist and voluntarist assumptions of modern liberalism. Former president of Ireland Mary McAleese recently had the bad manners to point this out:

The newly-minted doctor of canon lawshe was, unaccountably, awarded the degree for her thesis on this topic by the Pontifical Gregorian Universityadds that the Church has never considered the ethical, legal and moral implications of imposing lifelong membership of the Church and a body of obligations on a baby who is not in a position to weigh the implications.

This is, of course, nonsense: There are few things the Church has considered more deeply than the theory and practice of forming Christians to recognize and embrace their eternal destiny. What McAleese really means is that the Church hasnt brought her understanding of baptism and membership in the Body of Christ in line with the modern liberal understanding of autonomy.

Here, McAleese gets at something deeper than she realizes. The Church has spent the last several decades (and even longer in America) bringing her public face broadly in alignment with liberal principles, including doing things like giving Mary McAleese a doctorate in canon law. At the same time, the Church has attempted to cordon off the distinctively religious aspects of her mission from interference. Thus we end up with the Vatican enthusiastically signing up for the 1989 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Childthen balking when the oversight committee asked, 25 years later, to have a look under the hood of canon law.

Of course Rome was right to object. The question is: What did they expect? The truth of baptism, and the duties it imposes, clearly violates the rights of children (and of adults for that matter), so far as liberalism can perceive those rights. The indelible mark of baptism brands our souls for God first and forever; in light of this, every liberal notion of rights and privileges and autonomy either loses its coherence or must be comprehensively dismantled and reconstructed. The salvific order of the cosmos is inescapably illiberal.

The Churchs gambit has been that she can embrace liberalism exteriorly while remaining interiorly true to the illiberality of Gods order. Challenges like McAleeses threaten to puncture this arrangement, and so Catholics first defensive impulse is generally to adopt the rhetorical conventions of liberalism and claim bias or bigotry.

This strategy only makes sense, though, if we believe the Church has successfully positioned herself within the liberal order while maintaining her integrity. But she has not. The logic of liberalism has seeped into the faithfuls understanding of God and his Church through every imaginable pore.

Just look at baptism: Catholic parents now routinely wait months or years to have their children baptized, and the role of godparents has been reduced to a one-time honorific. Catechists will tell you about how parents send their kids to class, but not to Mass. The sacraments are commonly seen as rites of passage and nothing more, the Church as one voluntary association among many, and God as a cheerful but invasive grandfather against whom we have certain rights, like the right not to be bothered with or by him.

Rather than lash out at Mary McAleese, we should thank her. She dares to clarify, saying what too many in the Church have trembled to say for generations: The sacramental order cannot be reconciled with liberal notions of liberty and autonomy. In these signs of heightening contradictions we should find hope and a refreshing freedom to build families, communities, and societies that take our baptismal promises at their word.

Brandon McGinley is a writer and editor in Pittsburgh.

See more here:

Infant Baptism and the Logic of Liberalism | Brandon McGinley - First Things

A Gen X Liberal’s Take on the New Woke Left – Daily Signal

I consider myself a liberal. I still consider myself a feminist, says writer Meghan Daum. But the past few years have left her shaken. I did not feel that the new left was necessarily representing my values all the time. There was a sort of purity-policing that interestingly we used to associate with the right.

Between #MeToo, smugness on social media, the Covington high schooler incident, and an interest in the so-called intellectual dark web, Daum is carving out her own political path. Read a lightly edited transcript of our interview, posted below, or listen to the podcast:

We also cover the following stories:

The Daily Signal podcast is available onRicochet,iTunes,Pippa,Google Play, orStitcher. All of our podcasts can be found atDailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at[emailprotected].Enjoy the show!

Kate Trinko: Joining me today is Meghan Daum, the author of The Problem with Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars. Meghan, thanks for joining me.

Meghan Daum:Thanks for having me.

Trinko: OK, so, I actually started reading your columns when you were at the [Los Angeles] Times. I was in college at the time, and I know you always had an interesting perspective. You seem to not be quite right, not quite left. But I recently rediscovered you when you were writing about the intellectual dark web and your flirtation with it.

So, that really interested me because, of course, youre on the liberal side, and I was surprised to see some of the ideas and people you were listening to, and you also chronicled this in your book. This is such a weird way of putting it, [but] what attracted you, I guess, to the intellectual dark web?

Daum:How did this all come to be?

Trinko: Yeah.

Daum:I can best answer that with a personal story. So, I got divorced about four years ago, and my husband, for all of our problems, had really been my intellectual ally. We talked about things all the time. We always were on the same page. We saw the same world. Even if our friends seem to be having a different set of ideas, we always felt sort of aligned and we both considered ourselves liberals, but we were very skeptical.

We were both journalists. So we took the issues on a case-by-case basis, and were able to just constantly be talking about stuff. And the book is called The Problem with Everything because, like I say, we were always talking about the problem with everything.

Like when you have a great, sort of intimate conversational rapport with somebody, youre always sort of chewing on this: What is the problem with the world? Whats the problem with everything?

So when we split up and I lost that, it happened to coincide with the time around 2015 when a lot of people on the left started to just engage in a rhetoric that was really extreme and very outrage-based.

And people who had once seemed very reasonable and questioning and like critical thinkers didnt seem to be thinking as critically anymore. They were being enabled by social media. And this was well before [President Donald] Trump. Mind you, this was not a Trump effect yet.

So I had lost my intellectual ally in my husband, and a lot of my friends seem to be not occupying the same universe anymore. And I found myself watching people on YouTube talking to each other. Scholars and scientists and academics and politicians and all these sort of things.

So I sort of drifted into this world that would later become known as the intellectual dark web.

Trinko: So among those figuresand some of the ones that are associated with the movement are Joe Rogan, Sam Harris, you mentioned Christina Hoff Sommers, Ben Shapiro to a certain extentare there particular voices you listen to especially, and why do you think you were open to that?

Daum:Well, what got me started was Glenn Loury and John McWhorter on Bloggingheads.tv.

Trinko: Oh, I forgot about that.

Daum:Oh, this is the best show in town, Im telling you. So, Glenn Loury is an economist at Brown University. John McWhorter is a linguist and a cultural critic. Theyre both African American. Their show is called The Black Guys on Bloggingheads.tv. And they would talk about all kinds of things, but especially issues of race in this incredibly nuanced, just really intellectually honest, thorough, thoughtful way that I had never heard anybody talk about race like that before.

And I was totally mesmerized. And I think Glenn is a little bit on the right, at least very centrist. John is a liberal, although I think he was affiliated with the Manhattan Institute at one point.

Anyway, theyre not hardcore left or right. I would say theyre certainly not Trump supporters. I doubt they vote Republican. Im sure Glenn did at one point. Anyway, all this is to say it was not a partisan show. That was not the tenor of the conversation.

So I started watching them, and they would have these about hourlong conversations every couple of weeks, maybe every month. So I started watching them on YouTube, and then the YouTube algorithm started taking me down the rabbit hole of all sorts of other people. And I would watch Camille Paglia talking to Christina Hoff Sommers. Thats where I started. I saw a little bit of Joe Rogan at that time.

And some of these figures I liked more than others, but this world of people talking to each other for long periods of time became a sort of sustenance for me and it just became a huge part of my life, in my sort of brain life.

Trinko: I think you used the phrase echo chamber and how this moved away from it. And why do you think that liberalism is moving in this direction where there isnt as much room for disagreement right now? Whats going on there?

Daum:Well, I would say I think it started on the right. Rush Limbaugh was the original outrage machine, and now the left has just sort of co-opted it. The left has become in some corners, not all, but in many, like a bunch of little, teeny-tiny Rush Limbaughs, right?

So thats what we see on Twitter. I think that social media has just flattened discourse in such a way that its much, much easier to just say something very simple, very reductive. Something that you know the people who follow you are going to approve of and therefore give you likes, and its like a dopamine hit.

Were not really participating in conversation as much as saying things in order to have other things echoed back to us, so it all feels good. To me, it really comes from a place of loneliness and I think thats true for everybody.

This is a universal human problem right now were all so much on our screens and so much of our social interactions are happening in this mediated way that were sort of desperate for any kind of connection. And connection online can only be found if you say something immediately translatable and very easily hashtagable or memeable or whatever it is.

Trinko: Yeah, and I would agree thats a problem on the right, too, Ive noticed. Ive been on Twitter since 09, it seemed to me in the early years it wasnt as much like this.

Daum:Yeah. Thats about when I joined, too, I think.

Trinko: Did it seem to you that around 13 or 14, I felt like there began to be a shift, and you would say, What is the most partisan thing you can throw out there? And then that would get all the retweets, and it changed it completely.

Honestly, I stopped tweeting a lot because it felt like, whats the point of preaching to the choir?

Daum:Well, exactly. To me, especially if youre a journalist, if youre a writer or somebody whose job it is to think in the world, preaching to the choir is a dereliction of duty, in my opinion.

It is our job to look at the world and see where the hypocrisies are, and see where the cognitive dissonance is and think about, OK, well, this is whats going on in the world. And these are the assumptions, and the approved messages, and do I think those are true? What do I think people are getting wrong about that?

And its our job to take all of that and metabolize it into something thats interesting and provocative and thats going to make people think. And that very process is disincentivized now because of the value system of social media discourse.

Trinko: Yeah. And I think about your Rush Limbaugh example, I was like, I dont think thats true.

The reason I would push back a little on that one, and this might be my own bias showing through, is I think that conservatives, and I was homeschooled, I know the conservative bubble. But theres no media that reflects it. You get the opposing view in your face all the time.

Daum:Oh, the mainstream media is left.

Trinko: Yeah. I think, and just in terms of story selection, The Daily Signals a conservative outlet, that affects what we choose to cover. So, I dont know. In some ways I would say that Rush was an alternative, but the ability to stay in that bubble was pretty hard.

Daum: What actually really interests me about conservative talk radio is that it coincided with people moving to the exurbs. So, the longer people had commutes in their cars, the longer distances they were driving, the more they were listening to Rush Limbaugh and the AM radio guys.

I find this fascinating because Im a huge radio fan, I always have been, and so that kind of dynamic is I think compelling and worth thinking about. But now people are listening to podcasts while theyre driving.

Trinko: And no commercials, which is nice. But I remember growing up, my mom switch[ed] the dial between Rush Limbaugh and then at commercials we would go to the liberal station. And it was great. We would get both perspectives.

Daum:Thats good parenting.

Trinko: So on the social media, you also get into one chapter, The Infamous United Airlines Leggings Incident, and thats

Daum:It is the controversy of our time.

Trinko: Right. For readers who arent familiar, a girl was told she couldnt go on a United Airlines flight because she was wearing leggings. It turned out she was on a discounted ticket because she was with a United Airlines employee.

They all have a dress code that all got lost and it became a huge thing about, why is United policing what girls wear? And you said this particularly rankled you. Why?

Daum:Well, it particularly rankled me because I am a fuddy-duddy when it comes to how people should dress on planes. I lived in Los Angeles for a long time and I always said, I think it is actually against the law to fly in or out of LAX without wearing sweatpants with Juicy written across the butt. I think that is required. I think it is [a Federal Aviation Administration] regulation that you cannot land or take off from LAX unless you are wearing this.

It rankled me because it was just such an example of, first of all, somebody butting their nose into a situation that they really did not know was going on. So specifically, yeah, it was a family traveling on an employee buddy pass and there were maybe three kids, there were some girls.

And so there were little girls, and they were wearing leggings and were allowed to keep the leggings on. But because there was a girl over 12 or something like that, according to the regulations, she had to just put on a skirt over the leggings.

The family, by the way, was completely fine with this. It was not an issue. They were not politicizing this moment. They were just trying to get on the plane. They were like, OK, OK.

And what was happening was there was a woman in another line, not even for the same flight, kind of a few gates away.

Trinko: I dont think I knew this. This is perfect. Some busybody whos just watching.

Daum:Yeah, and the woman who was watching, she was observing this from afar and seeing this going on and she starts tweeting, Oh, a little girl is being body-shamed and not allowed to get on this flight because of sexist gate agents at United. Or something like that.

This woman happened to have a lot of followers. She was herself a very well-known activist and gun control activist. So she had a lot of followers, she starts tweeting this, and then a bunch of celebrities picked it up.

I dont know if it was the usual suspects. Alyssa Milano, I know William Shatner tweeted photoseveryone started tweeting photos of themselves in leggings, including William Shatner, who had a very hilarious shirtless photo of himself in leggings and everyone was jumping in on this. Male celebrities, female celebrities, trying to show solidarity with this girl that was being body-shamed, and the whole thing was absurd. And nobody connected that this was just a normal dress code because they were traveling on an employee buddy pass, which is actually a pretty serious perk.

And until recently, men flying on this pass had to wear suits, coats, and ties. This is a serious thing. Yes.

Trinko: Thats insane, in my view.

Daum:Its not insane. I think everybody should wear coats and ties to fly.

Trinko: I hope you never run an airline.

Daum:Really? I think many people would fly my airline. Its called Fuddy-Duddy Air.

So that was an example, and it just exploded. Every celebrity was using it as a vehicle for their own self-promotion and to virtue-signal and to really gain social capital off of this situation that was effectively a fictional one, because this is not what had happened.

So I use that as an example of something that can just catch fire and has no meaning whatsoever. And in fact, what happened with the Covington High School kids a year or so later is exactly the same dynamic, and it caught fire in a much bigger way and with much greater repercussions for people. Just the absolute lack of will to understand that situation. I dont know if we need to remind our listeners what that was.

Trinko: Well, I think theyre familiar with the boy who was at the March for Life and smirked in front of a Native American activist.

Daum:And when in fact what he was doing was holding his ground because what was the group, there was another group, the Black Israelites or the whatever

Trinko: Yeah, they [say] really crazy things. I cant remember their name.

Daum:So this kid was shamed for supposedly smirking at a Native American activist, when in fact he was trying to keep calm because there was another group yelling absolutely appalling, and Im sure to a high school kid from Kentucky, totally baffling and shocking things.

So actually the kid shouldve been commended for his composure, and it totally went the other way. And it became a calling card for a lot of people on the left. Just, once again, reaffirm where they stand, and signal to their tribe that theyre on the right side. And that to me is just the height of not only dishonesty, but laziness.

I see that more and more with the way the media handles any number of stories. Theres no will to actually scratch beneath the surface and see whats going on because complexity is not only not rewarded, its penalized in the current landscape.

Trinko: Its also interesting because and this is going to sound very old-fashioned of me, but we seem to ignore that there are vices of, I think you used the word schadenfreude in your book?

Daum:Schadenfreude.

Trinko: OK, thats how you say it. Sometimes it just seems that so much of the internet is making fun of other people, and sometimes its people who deserve to be made fun of.

But I sometimes wonder when I catch myself spending time doing this, Im like, Is this really the best use of my life? And its a little uncomfortable. It strikes me as interesting that theres not more attention in our culture where we wonder, Ought we to do this? But, anyway.

Daum:Yeah, I was thinking we should ask ourselves, if were about to tweet something or put something up, say, Am I doing this? Do I feel a moral obligation to say this, or am I actually just self-soothing? Because I think thats a lot of whats going on.

You say it because you have a moment of insecurity or loneliness or anxiety or whatever. And Im going to say this thing and I know its going to get a response, and its going to give me a little jolt and make me feel better. For one second. And then youll have to do it again 10 seconds later.

Trinko: Yeah. Those jolts are real. I realized how bad my own addiction was a few months ago. My sister is like, OK, Im not going to check my Instagram likes after I post this picture for three hours. And I was like, Whoa, what? Self-control. And then I was like, What is wrong with me?

Daum:Right. Im going to go to a meeting during these three hours to my 12-step, so I cannot look at Instagram. Its Instagram Anonymous.

Trinko: Do you think theres any hope for social media? Is there anything that could make it better?

Daum:I think were already starting to see the tipping point. People are really, really sick of this, and I can tell you a few things about this book. A lot of people told me not to write it, so I consider myself a liberal. I still consider myself a feminist. I always have, but it really came out of a certain increasing disconnect with the contemporary iteration of both of those things.

I did not feel that the new left was necessarily representing my values all the time. There was a sort of purity-policing that interestingly we used to associate with the right, right? We would associate it with Jesse Helms and Tipper Gore, even though she was a Democrat. But remember when she was putting labels on records and so there was this sort of moral authoritarianism that the left really never had anything to do with?

And suddenly it was coming from there, and I thought, My gosh, everything that I stood for, the rights of the individual and just letting people do what they want and not being such a prudeother than in flying, of course, I remain my prudish selfsuddenly the left is espousing all of these things.

So I felt very alienated from it, and I wanted to write a book that really captured that very confusion. And it wasnt just that I wanted to hammer away at things like trigger warnings and radical campus activists, because a lot of people have done that and I think there are very obvious things to say about that.

I wanted to really examine my own confusion and I wanted to do a self-interrogation. What is it about growing up when I did in the 70s and the 80s that made me identify as a feminist in certain ways, and why is the contemporary version of feminism so alienating to me?

So I wanted to do that kind of book. And this is to your question, people were saying, Dont do it. Dont do it. We cant, for so many reasons. First of all, Everyone will annihilate you on Twitter and your career will be ruined. Youre a person in the media, you need your tribe.

Another thing that the left continues to say, and I hear this, [is] that the Trump emergency is so dire that we need all hands on deck and we need to be totally on message, and anything that might tease out any issue in a way that requires talking about it for more than 30 seconds, or thinking about it deeply and considering other points of view, might give leverage to the other side.

And it might be an opportunity for the other side to take your point and twist it up and use it for nefarious purposes. And you see it happen all the time. You try to have an intelligent conversation about something like the gender wage gap, for instance, and the other side will go and just say, Oh, yes, youre right. It is womens fault that theres a gender wage gap.

And Im actually saying, Well, its the result of a lot of things, including choices women make and on down the line. But the other side will take it and run with it. And then the left will say, See, you shouldnt have brought it up. You should not have brought it up because this is what happens.

That makes me so crazy. And really the crux of the book is a call for nuance, and a call for people to just calm down and have conversations and entertain complexity.

I think that social media makes that difficult. But I also am seeing more and more people listening to podcasts. Theyre listening to three-hourlong podcasts, theyre listening to people talk to each other for hours and hours. And I can tell you, going around and talking about this book, doing events, there is such hunger to have more nuanced conversations.

People come up to me and say, Oh, my God, just thank you for saying all this. And so that really makes it worthwhile, even though a lot of my colleagues in the media still think Im crazy.

Trinko: Yeah, its awful. You get really scared to think out loud at all because its like, Oh, well, what if I misphrased something? Or if

Daum:But thats our job. I always say, If the smart, thoughtful people dont step up and speak the truth and try to make complicated, honest points, the stupid, thoughtless people are happy to do the job for us.

Trinko: So, you mentioned feminism, you talked about #MeToo in the book and that you felt you were an older feminist in that movement. What did you think of #MeToo? And what did you think of the feminist response to #MeToo?

Daum:Its such a hard question because #MeToo is so big and its so evolving all the time. Its a spectrum. Obviously, cases like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, thats not negotiable. I dont think any sentient person would argue that was handled improperly.

But then you have cases like Aziz Ansari, where something that, to somebody my age, Im 49, Im going to interpret that as a bad date, a yucky experience. And women 20 years younger will say, We need to put this in the category of real harm done and some kind of violation that requires adjudication or some sort of corrective.

And that was the moment where I think the generational divide became totally pronounced. We were sort of onboard for a while and then that happened. There was a real split. And so what I wanted to do to answer your question is to, again, not just say, Well, you guys are wrong and the older ones are right and you guys should just toughen up, and all that, but I wanted to go back and think about what it is that made me that way. And I dont know how old you are, I think youre a lot younger than I am.

Trinko: Thirty-two.

Daum:OK. But I can tell you that growing up in the 70s as a kid, as a girl, it was a great gift. Maybe its the first youre hearing about this, [but] it was a time when there werent super girly girls or super macho boys. Everyone was just sort of a kid. There was a sort of weirdly

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A Gen X Liberal's Take on the New Woke Left - Daily Signal

In Moments of Crisis, Behind Every Moderate Liberal, There’s a Fascist – Jacobin magazine

There are multiple lessons to draw, but we also need to think a bit deeper. Winning with 62 percent in one election and 47 percent the next time is normal enough indeed, many governments around the world rule with 35 or 40 percent support, and sometimes less. But for a progressive government, things are more complicated. If ruling with such a base of support is routine practice for a normal, merely administrative government, winning with under 50 percent support poses different challenges to a government that is pushing transformations in society. One such challenge is how to neutralize and transform the states legitimate power of coercion. In this sense, Venezuela was more advanced than all the rest of us.

Indeed, beyond any problems it may have, Venezuela had the virtue of creating a defense structure within its revolutionary process, parallel to the state. We didnt build that. Not because we did not see it as necessary in fact, initiatives did exist but perhaps this was not done quickly or deeply enough. This is a key consideration.

This debate goes back to Salvador Allende. Is it possible to reach socialism democratically? Yes. But there also have to be structures to defend democracy itself. For me, democracy isnt just elections Im talking about a deeper conception of democracy. Democracy is equality, the broadening of rights, the de-racialization of authority and the rights that people enjoy. For this reason, there can be no transformation process if it is not democratic. This transformation has to take over the institutions but also have organizational forms capable of defending its achievements when faced with disturbances triggered from the outside. It is clear, in this case, that the money coming into the hands of police and military command came from the outside and its a lot of money.

Faced with the possibility of constitutional breakdown, there need to be popular defense structures. Venezuela built these; we didnt. This is the first lesson. The second is that if progressive processes are, indeed, progressive, they have to generate mechanisms of social mobility. If you were very poor, you now join the somewhat poor. If you were somewhat poor, you now come to have a middle income. If this does not happen, then clearly collective resources are not really being democratized.

But at the same time, its only normal that those who came from the popular layers and now have middle incomes have developed a different type of expectations. We cannot blame them for this. But what happened in Bolivia is not the same as in Brazil or certain other countries in Latin America. There, the regressive process began when the popular middle classes gradual rise ground to a halt and they felt the risk that they would fall back into the abyss once more. There, there was a moment of conservatism. But when we in Bolivia saw this in other countries, we did everything to make sure this social mobility did not fall the curve did slow a little, but it continued rising. So what happened?

What happened is that the traditional middle classes saw themselves as being invaded by popular and indigenous layers who now had university education and savings, and now had greater capital of various kinds to take on public posts. This traditional middle class was paralyzed precisely because new middle classes from popular backgrounds were emerging. And it crystallized around ever more conservative positions.

What were we missing? We did not widen our discourse to embrace this traditional middle class as well as some fragments of the new middle class. Perhaps, as we governed, our discourse remained out of step with the realities that were developing. Materially, the classes had changed, but the core of our discourse remained anchored in the old reality.

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In Moments of Crisis, Behind Every Moderate Liberal, There's a Fascist - Jacobin magazine

Liberal Democrat manifesto: party promises 50 billion remain bonus and legalising cannabis to fund the poli – The Sun

THE Liberal Democrats have today published their full manifesto for the upcoming election.

They vowed a 50billion 'Remain bonus' if Britain stays in the EU to fund public services, and promised to freeze all peak train fares.

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Jo Swinson's party also says they will raise 35billion by putting a penny on income tax, and will hike taxes on flying to help save the planet.

After a flurry of announcements, The Sun Online looked at some of their pledges to see if the experts reckon they would work.

Stopping Brexit would add give the government 50 billion more for the government to spend by 2024/25.

Fact-checking charity Full Fact said the figure is a fair assessment based on current forecasts, but the actual amount is "highly uncertain" and should come with a health warning.

They said it was "far too early to categorically say" that there would be an extra 50billion to spare.

It uses a figure that claims GDP would be 1.9 per cent higher if we Remain in the EU, but it doesn't factor in inflation.

The IFS said earlier that "there is a lot of uncertainty over such an estimate" although concluded it's "plausible" to say so for sure.

Legalising cannabis and making a regulated market would raise 1.49 billion by 2024/25 which could then fund the police and youth services.

International development organisation Health Poverty Action say the policy could earn the treasury 1bn a year in tax.They say the current system is having "devastating consequences", and moving towards legalisation couldincrease social spending and improve health.

Martin Drewry, Director of Health Poverty Action, said:"Regulating cannabis can safeguard young people by restricting their access to it and ensuring people have accurate information about what they are taking, rather than the current lottery in which people have no way of knowing its strength or its contents."

The main Lib Dem announcements

Build 300,000 homes a year by 2024, including 100,000 social homes.

The Conservatives had already promised to build 300,000 homes a year, but so far failed to do so.

The Housing Builders Federation say the target is challenging, and would need more funds for housing associations and support for the private sector.

They explained the government had got close to the target, only to see the number of new homes being built in second quarter drop 8 per cent compared to last year.

Every single adult would get a 10,000 skills wallet, which can be spent on approved education and training courses to train them for the jobs of the future.

Further colleges body the Collab Group say the focus should instead be on improving skill levels, with chief executive Ian Pretty expressing concern it may only go towards higher education.

He said: The reference to the OfS here seems to imply that the focus of the allowances will be towards higher education courses.

The fact remains however, that to really get to grips with our national productivity and social mobility challenges we need to be doing a lot more to help individuals progress from levels two to three, or from levels three to four."

Help those on zero-hour contracts by boosting the minimum wage for it by 20 per cent.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies say it might lead to people instead being offered regular contracts, but more people seeking out the contracts for the flexibility.

Despite the Lib Dems saying it addresses the uncertainty of fluctuating hours of work", the IFS say it could actually make things harder.Jonathan Cribb, senior research economist at the institute said: "There could be fewer opportunities for these contracts and more people searching for them."

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Improve the rail network by moving to entirely ultra-low-emission technology (electric or hydrogen) by 2035.

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The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen say the move would make trains even worse, with hydrogen both slower and taking up more space.

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Liberal Democrat manifesto: party promises 50 billion remain bonus and legalising cannabis to fund the poli - The Sun

Liberal Democrat candidate for St Albans Daisy Cooper on why you should vote for her in the General Election – Herts Advertiser

PUBLISHED: 15:35 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:02 20 November 2019

Anne Suslak

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Daisy Cooper is standing to be MP for St Albans in the 2019 General Election. Picture: Supplied

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Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for St Albans, has explained in her own words why you should vote for her in the 2019 General Election.

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She said: "St Albans deserves a strong local champion who shares our values.

"I've campaigned with the Save St Albans Pubs campaign, and marched with locals for a People's Vote on the Brexit deal. I've protested to protect the River Ver and to save Ellenbrook Fields.

"I've demanded answers on ambulance waiting times, and I've organised community meetings on schools funding and children's mental health. I set up a commuter action group, which now has more than 1600 members, which secured extra compensation and influenced a Parliamentary inquiry. It would be an honour to continue this work and much more as your MP.

"I am also the only major party candidate who lives in St Albans, and the only real challenger for the seat. A vote for me and the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a strong local voice who will represent our values here at home and in Westminster. And boy, do we need it.

"After three years and three prime ministers the latest Brexit option will make the country poorer, weaker and at the mercy of Trump's America. It's a national humiliation. Enough is enough.

"Liberal Democrats are on the up and we have an ambitious plan for the future. First: we will stop Brexit and invest the 50 billion Remain Bonus into public services.

"Second: we'll tackle the climate emergency, jump-start the economy and end fuel poverty by investing billions in offshore wind and tidal power, and launching an emergency house insulation programme.

"Third: we'll invest in our schools, NHS and social care. We will recruit 20,000 more teachers and restore schools funding to 2015 levels. We'll create the best mental health service in the world by ensuring support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And we'll ensure social care is properly funded.

"Imagine what our future could be. A vote for me and the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit, to become world leaders in tackling the climate emergency, to invest in our schools, NHS and social care and to ensure that St Albans residents have a brighter future."

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Liberal Democrat candidate for St Albans Daisy Cooper on why you should vote for her in the General Election - Herts Advertiser

Brexit Where do Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats stand? – The Sun

THE upcoming election was brought about by Brexit and looks set to be defined by it.

But what are the main parties saying about the issue? Here's what you need to know.

1

The Conservative Party has made Brexit a central plank of its campaign so far.

It says it wants to leave the European Union by the end of January with Boris Johnson's renegotiated deal.

The deal is a revised version of the one negotiated by Theresa May, and provides alternatives solutions to the problem of how to keep the border on the island of Ireland open after Brexit.

It would see a legal customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but checks would not be carried out on that border.

Instead, they would happen at "points of entry" to Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

Speaking during a tour of an electric taxi manufacturer outside Coventry yesterday, the prime minister said: "We need to get Brexit done so we can spend... money on our priorities, end the uncertainty, and get on with our programme of uniting... the UK".

The Labour Party says it would renegotiate the deal to include closer economic ties with the European Union.

It says it would then put that deal to voters in a referendum.

The party earlier voted to block the prospect of Britain leaving the EU without a deal.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn has said of the party's position: "If you want to leave the EU without trashing our economy or selling out our NHS, youll be able to vote for it.

"If you want to remain in the EU, youll be able to vote for that.

"It wont be a rerun of 2016.

"This time the choice will be between leaving with a sensible deal or remaining in the European Union.

"Only a Labour government will put the final decision in your hands.

"Thats the policy. It really isnt complicated."

The Liberal Democrats have said they would revoke article 50 if they won a majority in the coming election.

Failing that, they are in favour of a second referendum.

Leader Jo Swinson has criticised Jeremy Corbyn for not being willing to work with the Lib Dems in an anti-Brexit alliance.

"I've worked with Labour MPs who want to stop Brexit in parliament, but unfortunately the Labour leadership doesn't want to stop Brexit and when the Unite to Remain alliance was put together they approached the Labour party who said absolutely not," she said.

Though she has also denied that she would work with the Labour leader after the election.

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"I am absolutely, categorically ruling out Liberal Democrat votes putting Jeremy Corbyn into No 10," she said.

"On so many grounds, Jeremy Corbyn is not fit for the job of prime minister."

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Brexit Where do Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats stand? - The Sun

The Liberals need to win back their credibility – Economic Times

Since the time Mr Modi has caught the imagination of the countrymen and emerged as one of the popular leaders there has been a raging debate on some contentious issues like Nationalism, Ultra Nationalism, despondency amongst minorities and as a result we had an Award Waapsi episode in 2014-15 and thereafter an Intolerance campaign, as a mark of protest by those who claim to be liberals.

I do not think those who protested and have been opposing Mr Modis rule on these aforesaid issues gained anything substantial because Mr Modi has once again come back to power in 2019 with a bigger mandate.

It is not very difficult to identify a conservative, because he usually derives inspiration from the past, established practices, norms, customs, traditions and so on. As per the definitions given in various dictionaries, one can safely define a Conservative, as someone whopromotes traditional social institutions in the context ofculture, religionandcivilization and they usually opposenew ideasand often seek a return to "the way things were ; Shariat rule, Ram Rajaya, Caliphate rule etc.

From purely behavioural point of view, one can easily identify the Conservatives, the moment they open their mouths and at times even by the dress they wear. On the other hand, a liberal can only be recognised when he puts forth the ideas and views.

For instance, A Muslim CONSERVATIVE would normally have a beard, wear a skull cap, will speak about ; Muslim interests only, in favour of triple talaq, in favour of Burqa, about governing the society through Shariat law, dress code, Islam being in danger. Similarly a Hindu conservative would usually ; have a tilak on his forehead, saffron thread on his wrist and will talk of HINDUS interest, establishing Ram Rajya, following traditions and practices as written in old religious scriptures, and so on. This is applicable to members of other religious communities as well.

As a norm, Most of the conservatives wear their religion on their sleeves and their sentiments get hurt on slightest of criticism and even by cartoons. A liberal on the other hand does not carry any burden of the past. He is open to new ideas, respects and allows different types of beliefs and faiths, supports individual rightsandhuman rights,democracy,secularism,gender equality,racial equality,internationalism,freedom of speech,freedom of the pressandfreedom of religion.

However, as everything cannot be categorised in this world into Black and White and will have to accept the existence of lot of grey also, hence there will be Conservatives who are a bit Liberals and so there can be Liberals also who may be a bit Conservative as well. I am for the purpose of this article addressing all of them as Liberals.

When we look back into our history, we find that Liberals have played an important role in various revolutions ; theGlorious Revolutionof 1688 in England,theAmerican Revolutionof 1776 and theFrench Revolutionof 1789, in overthrowing the tyrannous rule and ushering in parliamentary democracy. During 19th and early 20th century,it were the Liberals who spearheaded movements bringing about reforms in almost entire world be it Europe, Ottomon empire, USA and even in India reformist Leaders like Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Harbilas Sarda put an end to old evil practices of Sati, suffering of widows and Child marriage. The democratic principles of equality, liberty, inclusiveness as we see today are an outcome of the efforts of liberals.

But astonishingly one today finds that those who are labelled as Liberals in India are doing a great disservice towards the society and at times appear to be more Conservative than the conservatives themselves. They are largely status quoists, sycophants and attitudinally have no conviction to change things around. And it is because of this reason that Indian liberals today are fast losing their credibility amongst the masses.

The reasons are not difficult to be found.

When these liberals were supposed to stand for Kashmiri Pundits whilst their Human rights were violated, our liberals remained silent and are now speaking up for the human rights of Kashmiris when Article 370 has been repealed. They were expected to oppose the unfair muslim law and support the cause of the Muslim women being tormented by triple talaq but they rather preferred to stand steadfastly in support of a status quo, despite the SC orders of 1985( Shahabano case). Thousands of innocent lives were lost due to repeated terror attacks but they never spoke out to bring about a change in legal provisions to tackle this violation of human rights of masses but they spoke out for a convicted terrorist. They should have stood for Taslima Nasreens and Salman Rushdies freedom of speech but they succumbed to the pressure of the conservatives and instead stood for the freedom of expression of MF Hussein. They remained selectively quiet or spoke selectively when some were picked up and lynched to death ; whether they were Hindus in Kerala and in West Bengal or Muslims in UP, Rajasthan and MP, as if those innocents deserved to die and shrugged off their responsibility by conveniently palming it off to respective states, as a Law and Order issue.

We can go on and on describing their spineless behaviour and sycophancy and it is this reason that the conservatives have struck back and have labelled them as ANTI NATIONALS. It is the outcome of their sycophancy and double standards, that a great liberal leader, Mr Nehru who stood for all those democratic norms that India is now known for is being blamed for wrong reasons.

The Liberals had ample amount of time and numerous opportunities in all these years, to return their awards and also start an Intolerance campaign, but they did nothing and chose a wrong time to do so.

However, notwithstanding the above, the society needs Liberals in sufficient numbers because it is they who can take the society ahead, It is the Liberals who can inculcate an attitude of scientific enquiry amongst the people, It is they who can prevent violation of human rights, it is they who can prevent those who govern, from abusing the power, It is they who can remove the obstacles that prevent individuals from living freely and enable them to fully realize their potential. It is they who can make India a pleasant place to live in. It is therefore extremely important for the well being of the society that the Liberals regain their credibility.

But for that to happen the Liberals must first have to inculcate some soldierly habits ; calling A Spade A Spade, and have to give up this habit of speaking up selectively.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

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The Liberals need to win back their credibility - Economic Times

Liberal Democrats and SNP lose High Court bid to force ITV to include them in election debates – PoliticsHome.com

Senior judges at the High Court ruled the decision to exclude Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon from the prime time clash on Tuesday night was lawful becausethere was "no arguable breach" of the broadcast code.

ITV had warned it would pull the debate, which will feature Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, if the case had gone against them.

The Liberal Democrats had claimed the "voice of Remain" would be excluded if Ms Swinson was not allowed to participate, while the SNP accused the broadcaster of taking a "deliberate decision that contravenes the broadcasting code" by not including Ms Sturgeon.

But their arguments were thrown out bytwo leading judges, who saidthe head-to-head debate between Mr Johnson and MrCorbyn could lawfully go ahead.

Announcing the ruling, Lord Justice Davis said: "The clear conclusion of both members of this court is that, viewed overall, these claims are not realistically arguable.

"It follows that the television debate scheduled for tomorrow evening between the leader of the Conservative Party and the leader of the Labour Party may lawfully go ahead."

Speaking after the ruling, the SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Scottish voters were being treated like "second-class citizens".

"This election is a chance for people in Scotland to vote to escape Brexit, to protect the NHS and to choose their own future with independence yet they will not hear that argument in the debate tomorrow night," he said.

He added: "What is now clear is that the UK broadcasting system is similarly incapable. Indeed the result of the decision to exclude the SNP is to discriminate against Scottish voters and to effectively treat them as second-class citizens.

"That is, quite simply, a democratic disgrace, and the fact that election law and broadcasting codes allow such gross unfairness is unacceptable."

Liberal Democrat President Sal Brinton added: "The Liberal Democrat's position, and that of our leader is unique.

"Jo Swinson is the only leader of a national party fighting to stop Brexit. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to side-step debating the issue of Brexit with someone who wants to Remain, and ITV should not give them the opportunity to do so.

"That's why this is an incredibly disappointing verdict. Not just for Liberal Democrats but also for democracy in this country and for every Remainer who deserves to have a voice in this debate."

Meanwhile, Lib Dem education spokesperson Layla Moran tweeted: "It is outrageous that the Remain voice is missing from the ITV debate.

"It's simply wrong of broadcasters to present a binary choice and pre-empy the decision of the people in a general election."

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Liberal Democrats and SNP lose High Court bid to force ITV to include them in election debates - PoliticsHome.com

A Liberal-NDP coalition may depend on these two women – Toronto Star

A small, eclectic crowd of journalists and political types was on hand this week at a Sparks Street bar in Ottawa to see the debut performance of the Lowertown Riffraff, an East Coast party-music band, also made up of journalists and politicos.

At one of the big tables sat two women who have come to know each other well over a decade working behind the scenes in federal politics: Katie Telford, chief of staff to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Anne McGrath, who is currently in charge of transition for New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh.

Its become far more rare over the past decade or so in Ottawa to see cross-party socialization: partisans are far more likely to hang out with their own teams in the polarized after-work circuit. But this week wasnt the first or last time that Telford and McGrath would find themselves around the same table.

Eleven years ago, Telford and McGrath worked on the teams negotiating the 2008 Liberal-NDP-Bloc deal that almost brought down Stephen Harpers newly elected government. Four years ago, the two were the campaign chiefs for their parties in the 2015 election.

On Thursday morning, hours after taking in some music together, McGrath and Telford were reunited yet again this time at the Trudeau-Singh meeting to explore possible harmony between the Liberals and the NDP.

While its true that Trudeau may find other dance partners to support the government in this minority Parliament, the long history between Telford and McGrath may bode well for a working relationship between the Liberals and NDP. Its worth noting that both of these women have been working at co-operation between the two parties much longer than either of their current leaders have.

Telford had been widely rumoured to be the next Canadian ambassador to the United States if Trudeau won a majority, but shes staying on as chief of staff and Trudeaus institutional memory in this minority Parliament. So rather than practice diplomacy with the Donald Trump administration, as she did during the marathon free-trade negotiations with the U.S., Telford will be working out deals here in Canada with opposition parties.

McGrath is only newly back in Ottawa. After the 2015 election, she headed out to Alberta to serve as a top adviser to premier Rachel Notley and then, briefly, as a candidate in the provincial election that knocked Notleys NDP out of power after one term.

McGraths experience in Alberta dates back to the 1980s and is not inconsequential to the current governing dynamic, given all the preoccupation with Alberta alienation. Singh, some may have noticed, has not included pipelines which the Notley government supported among his make-or-break conditions for working with the Liberals.

Telford and McGrath, for all their party differences, have much in common, as I wrote in a previous column, four years ago, about their working relationship. They both have extensive experience in labour negotiations McGrath worked for years with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, while Telford was a lead player in the Ontario governments deal with teachers unions and school boards in the 2000s.

Theyre also best known in their respective party circles for their attention to campaign organization and practical politics. Neither is known for spin with the media; they tend to be more low-profile. (It was, for instance, impossible to get them to speak to me for this column.) Neither is fond of courting controversy, though in their jobs, its hard to avoid.

The mere mention of the 2008 coalition crisis, as its called, can still enrage Conservatives and the party was stoking up the memories of the deal during the most recent election, warning that the Liberals and NDP were working on getting the band back together. A Coalition You Cant Afford was the tag line in a wave of late-campaign advertising by the Conservatives last month.

We wont know until early December what the Liberals are willing to offer to the New Democrats to win some co-operation, but the avenues of agreement will be much different than the deal that Telford and McGrath helped negotiate 11 years ago.

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In late 2008, the agreement included Liberal and NDP ministers in government and a range of policy proposals to respond to the global economic crisis of the time, with a focus on jobs and worker protection. (The Bloc Qubcois agreed to time-limited support of the coalition, but not to participation in it.) Neither climate change nor Indigenous issues merited any big mention in the agreement.

This week, Singh left his meeting with Trudeau pronouncing himself hopeful for progress on issues such as pharmacare, reconciliation with Indigenous people and concrete measures on climate change.

Just as times have changed, in other words, so have the areas of potential policy overlap between the Liberals and the New Democrats.

But if Trudeau and Singh do manage to get a working relationship going in this minority Parliament one that lasts longer than the ill-fated coalition of 2008 it could be because two of the key players behind the scenes have remained the same.

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A Liberal-NDP coalition may depend on these two women - Toronto Star

The Tories are playing with fire by drumming out liberal conservatives like David Gauke – Telegraph.co.uk

I have had a career in and out of Government and politics stretching over nearly two decades. After leaving Government recently, I wrote a piecesetting out that the Prime Ministers only route forward now was to delay Brexitand to get a deal.

Both of these things have now happened, although I realise manyreaders will not have welcomed them. Butwith this in mind, I thought it might be worth setting out how Johnson risks an event that will be even less welcome:a hemorrhaging of support in the South to the Liberal Democrats, and a potential Corbyn-led Government.

In 1846, the Conservative Government of Robert Peel repealed the protectionist Corn Laws. Peel was opposed by many in his...

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The Tories are playing with fire by drumming out liberal conservatives like David Gauke - Telegraph.co.uk

$1M gift from alumna will name center in College of Liberal Arts – Temple University News

Joyce K. Salzberg, CLA 69, SSW 79, an alumna with a long history of giving back to Temple, is supporting a professional development center within the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) with a generous $1 million naming gift.

To honor Salzbergs exceptional commitment to the college and its students, the center will be renamed the Joyce K. Salzberg Center for Professional Development. Currently located in Paley Hall, the center will move to a new space in Gladfelter Hall in the fall of 2020.

Joyce Salzberg has been incredibly supportive of CLA for many years, and this financial gift will take our professional development program to a new level, said CLA Dean Richard Deeg. As a first-generation college student who became a successful business entrepreneur, Joyce is an inspiration to our students and alumni who aspire to her academic and professional success. Her generosity ensures many more can follow in her footsteps.

A Philadelphia native, Salzberg is the co-founder of Sunny Days Early Childhood Developmental Services, Inc., one of the nations leading early intervention and autism services providers, and founder and CEO of Oxford Consulting Services, which serves schoolchildren with developmental needs and developmentally disabled adults. Salzberg, who currently serves on the CLA Board of Visitors, earned both her bachelors in comparative religion and her master of social work at Temple.

I want our students to have opportunities that I never had and to appreciate the value of a liberal arts education, Salzberg said of her gift.

Its a simple motivationand one that aligns with CLAs strategic plan to provide better student support and superior career preparedness through internships, networking opportunities and related initiatives, and to be state-of-the-art, both in its facilities and in the quality of services it provides to CLA students and alumni.

Liberal arts students are bright, creative and industrious, among many other traits, Salzberg said. Future employers are recognizing this. The students and their families need to recognize that and feel confident that they will be very marketable after graduation.

As someone who has dedicated her life and career to helping others, Salzberg is pleased to add to her Temple legacy with this gift, which will endow the center with resources for generations to come. The gift is just the latest instance of Salzbergs long and storied relationship with CLA and Temple.

The centers new location in Gladfelter Hall is currently under construction, along with a new Anderson Hall lobby, terrace garden, courtyard and lecture hall.

In this new location, the Joyce K. Salzberg Center will be part of Temples ongoing campus transformation, which in recent years has included the debut of the world-renowned Charles Library, the Aramark Student Training and Recreation (STAR) Complex and the Science Education and Research Center.

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$1M gift from alumna will name center in College of Liberal Arts - Temple University News

General election 2019: Liberal Democrats say government should run permanent spending surplus in dig at Tories and Labour – inews

NewsPoliticsDeputy leader Ed Davey laid out the Lib Dem economic policy during a speech in Leeds

Friday, 15th November 2019, 10:14 pm

The government should run a permanent spending surplus, the Liberal Democrats have said in a bid to position themselves as the toughest party on public finances.

Laying out the party's economic pitch in a speech in Leeds, deputy leader Ed Davey insisted the Conservatives and Labour were offering "fantasies" which would wreck the public finances.

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And he claimed the Lib Dems are now the leading pro-business party as he pledged to crack down on US tech giants to help British start-ups challenge larger firms in future.

Sir Ed said that if they got into government, the Lib Dems would run a 1 per cent surplus on current spending - meaning that day-to-day costs of public services would be lower than the amount raised in taxes. He claimed a "Remain bonus" would help shore up state finances.

Borrowing limit

Borrowing would only be allowed to pay for capital investment projects judged by an independent watchdog to generate more money for the taxpayer than their initial cost.

The fiscal rule is stricter than that proposed by the Conservatives, which would see current spending balancing taxation within three years. Labour also want a balanced budget but say it would take five years to reach. Sir Ed told activists: "Just look at the contrast with the other two parties. The spending competition between the Brexit parties, the Labour and Conservative fantasists, has made Santa Claus seem like Scrooge."

The Lib Dem plans are in some ways stricter than the fiscal rules introduced by George Osborne when he was Chancellor - raising the prospect of a swift return to austerity.

Sir Ed said the party would raise spending, for example on childcare, but would balance it out by a rise in corporation taxes and capital gains tax. He added: "You can still meet fiscal rules and be economically responsible, and make important environmental, social and economic investments. You just have to be honest about where the money's coming from. So on the revenue side we've talked about a Remain bonus, but we've also talked about modest tax rises."

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The Lib Dems are calling for tougher new rules on competition which could see company bosses jailed if they breach antitrust laws - claiming this would help start-ups from the UK to challenge the entrenched champions. Sir Ed told i: "These big corporates, particularly from the USA, are just taking us to the cleaners. The Tories are going to be soft on big business and give the tech giants a free pass." He dismissed Labour's call for a nationalised broadband service as "just mad economics".

The Lib Dems face continued questions over what they would do in the event of a hung parliament, when the party could hold the balance of power. They said they could work with a minority government led by Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn on an "issue by issue" but ruled out a formal coalition or confidence and supply pact.

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General election 2019: Liberal Democrats say government should run permanent spending surplus in dig at Tories and Labour - inews

Why conservatives are better at dating than liberals – New York Post

Its a Grand Old Party especially if youre single.

Conservatives are much better at dating than liberals, according to a new survey by the over-50 dating app Lumen.

The company found that right-wingers are more direct than their left-wing counterparts. They clearly state to potential lovers what they are looking for in terms of life and romance, according to the findings.

They also value family and friendships higher than liberals and have a smaller, more intimate group of friends. By contrast, liberals tend to thrive in larger social groups. But left-leaners have their advantages, too they are generally carefree and more fun than conservatives. And theyre more inclined to explore and travel the world than those who lean right, Lumen found.

Unsurprisingly, people who share the same political opinions flock together like birds of a feather.

Conservative women are twice as likely to chat with their right-wing peers than to initiate a conversation with their liberal counterparts, according to the survey. Left-wing women are similarly set in their ways, as are liberal lads, who are three times more likely to chat with fellow liberals than conservatives.

Lumen, owned by the same holding company as Bumble, made the findings after analyzing data from its 1.5 million user base.

The survey comes after The Post reported that dating can be difficult if you back Donald Trump, especially in blue cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

I think theres a special stigma when people say theyre supporting Trump because of some of the brash things that hes said, lifelong Republican David Goss, founder of TrumpSingles.com, told us in June.

That immediately gets [projected] on his supporters and makes it hard for them when trying to date.

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Why conservatives are better at dating than liberals - New York Post

The degradation of classical liberalism – The Rice Thresher

By David Getter 11/12/19 10:23pm

Free markets are not very popular on college campuses. As rigid economic regulation has become a staple of leftist politics, another market the marketplace of ideas is now being subjected to the same type of boundless regulation.

The marketplace of ideas, coined by John Milton in 1644 and popularized by John Stuart Mill over 200 years later, posits that free-market principles ought to be applied to speech in the same way as they are to economics. John F. Kennedy affirmed this sentiment a mere six months before coming here to deliver his iconic We choose to go to the moon speech at our very own Rice Stadium.

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values, he declared. This idea that it is okay to be subjected to speech that strikes us as unpleasant or distasteful is a classically liberal idea.

Liberalism, which comes from the Latin root liber, or free, is the foundation upon which all valid democracies have been built. Classical liberalism is predicated on the notion that freedom is paramount. It identifies the individual as unique, free-thinking, and highly rational. However, such emphasis on individualism has fallen out of favor with the modern left, supplanted instead by collectivism and group politics. The type of liberalism that pervades todays college campuses is not classical liberalism. It is defined by the postmodern belief that it is our responsibility to legislate thought and punish ideas that we perceive to be hurtful.

This phenomenon is evident in our reaction to the incident at Willys Pub last Thursday in which three members of the Rice community made the ill-advised decision to wear U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement uniforms for Halloween. Their costumes were perceived by many to be crude and racially insensitive. Two of the students were subsequently asked to step down from their positions as committee heads at McMurtry College, and one was even fired from his job at Pub. The Rice chapter of Jolt Texas went so far as to urge Dean [of Undergraduates Bridget] Gorman to consider social rustication.

However personally offended this incident makes you feel and I happen to believe strongly in the validity of such feelings and the offensiveness of the actions in question we all have a vested interest in promoting free speech. When emotion takes precedence over rational thought to the point that free speech is called into question, we have arrived at a state of Social Marxism, where thought is regulated as stringently as the Nordic economies. Locke argued that our aim should not be to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom, including for those whose speech we find objectionable. In ideologically homogeneous communities like colleges and universities, however, this argument has fallen on deaf ears, which has led renowned free-market economist Thomas Sowell to decry postmodern liberalism as nothing more than totalitarianism with a human face. The late Milton Friedman remarked that liberalism now stands for almost the opposite of its earlier meaning.

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True classical liberals would never actively wish fear or pain on another person, but they are also cognizant of the fact that a world without fear or pain is a world without liberty, and such a world is antithetical to every fundamental American value that makes this country the shining city that it is. If you dont want to listen to me, heed the words of former president Obama. A few weeks ago, the liberal icon denounced what he called woke culture, saying, "If all you're doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far. A few months prior, he rebuked what he called the circular firing squad, where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues.

As postmodern liberals attempt to grapple with this new wave of political correctness, purity tests and Twitter mobs, they will have to find some way to reconcile these new liberal ideals with the fundamental American value of free speech. So, next time someone on campus wears an offensive costume or says something culturally insensitive which is inevitable lets try to find it in ourselves to restrain our inclination to react punitively and instead use the intellectual acumen that we all possess as Rice students to settle our disagreements in an open marketplace of ideas. For a community that views diversity as paramount, it is imperative that we protect diversity of thought with the same vigilance that we protect other forms of diversity.

In short, it is incumbent upon the entire Rice community to abide by the age-old adage first uttered by Voltaire three centuries ago that instructs us to defend to the death the right of others to say that which we disapprove of. Only then will we truly realize our stated goal of cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery.

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The degradation of classical liberalism - The Rice Thresher


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