Discover more from The Liberal Patriot
TLP Week in Review, 7/1/23-7/7/23
Your weekly summary of what we've been up to here at The Liberal Patriot
What We’re Reading (and Watching and Listening To…)
“Google Isn’t Grad School”: Writing in The Atlantic, Arthur Brooks contends that access to vast reservoirs of information made available by the internet “has also created an explosion of nonsense” that preys on our sense that we know more than we actually do. The end result is “the illusion of explanatory depth,” where we because we can grasp the fundamentals of a concept without being able to explain it—or understand the extensive work that goes into acquiring that knowledge in the first.
“U.S. Is Destroying the Last of Its Once-Vast Chemical Weapons Arsenal”: New York Times reporters Dave Phillips and John Ismay go behind the scenes of the U.S. Army’s destruction of the last of America’s once-vast chemical weapons stockpile at depots in Colorado and Kentucky, a process that involves complicated automated procedures to safely drain mustard and sarin from warheads before they’re broken down by bacteria or neutralized with with water and caustic soda. It’s an effort that’s taken longer and cost more than initially planned due to the need to develop safer methods of disposal for these weapons than incineration.
“The High Price of Dollar Dominance”: Finance professor Michael Pettis writes in Foreign Affairs that the U.S. dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency isn’t all that great for the United States but works out just fine for trade surplus countries—right now, America absorbs “up to 80 percent of the excess production and excess savings of surplus countries such as Brazil, China, Germany, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.” If the dollar were to become less dominant, these countries wouldn’t be able to suppress their own domestic demand and American businesses and workers would likely benefit.
“The Reeves doctrine: Labour’s plan for power”: The New Statesman’s Jason Cowley tagged along with Labour Party shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves on her recent visit to America to meet with her counterpart, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, among other luminaries. The obstacles facing Reeves and Labour are huge: "If Labour wins the next election, the economic challenges will be as critical as those of the late 1970s, when Thatcher won power at a time of trade union militancy and social disorder and then set about remaking Britain through harsh confrontation. It will not be like 1997, when Blair swept all before him and inherited a growing economy in a more benign era."
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: It’s no season three of Star Trek: Picard, but this enjoyable throwback to the Star Trek franchise’s episodic past regales us with tales of the voyages of the starship Enterprise in the years before Captain Kirk took command. Anson Mount leads a solid ensemble as Captain Christopher Pike, the one-time Enterprise captain featured in the two-part Star Trek episode “The Menagerie” way back in 1966.
What We’ve Posted
“Bring Ukraine Into NATO: It’s the best option in the long-term to check Russia’s aggression, help Ukraine rebuild its country anew, and safeguard regional and global peace,” by TLP editor-at-large Brian Katulis.
“Class Is Back in Session! The Supreme Court Has Handed Democrats a Golden Opportunity,” by TLP politics editor Ruy Teixeira.
“Reading Orwell in Tirana: On the importance of the Vital Center and a genuine anti-authoritarian commitment to human freedom and flourishing,” by TLP contributor and Gannon University (Erie, PA) history professor Jeff Bloodworth.
“Breakfast with Thomas Jefferson: A reflection on the ‘Apostle of Freedom’ on America's birthday,” by TLP contributor, Radio Monte Carlo Washington correspondent, and long-time journalist Hisham Melhem.
“We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident…: Most Americans rightly remain proud of their country, even as they recognize its deficits,” by TLP contributor and Blue Compass Strategies director of political research Michael Baharaeen.
Just one more thing…
No matter who wins, we lose—part II: Elon Musk is threatening to sue Mark Zuckerberg’s company Meta over the latter’s new social media platform, Threads, which Musk alleges relies on trade secrets and proprietary information acquired from former Twitter employees that Musk fired and Meta later hired.