Morning Belz, April 26
Albion's Seed, again.
The problems of the “New Right” — Scholar’s Stage*
Microsoft has some creepy things in the works — Patent Drop
School custodian fired for refusing to download location app — CBC
The importance of STEM education — Noah Smith
Actual research on “long COVID.” Seems to be real — Nature
Lester Maddox & Jim Brown on Dick Cavett, 1970 — YouTube**
Knee-taking, fist-raising will be punished at Tokyo Olympics — Reuters
Who would win a war over Taiwan? The U.S., for now — Bloomberg
*Lengthy essay by a guy named Tanner Greer, and it might help if I try to quickly summarize. This “New Right” he discusses wants to direct the popular force of Trumpism into something new that divorces itself from hawkish neocons and American libertarianism. On the first, sure, no problem, Greer argues. On the second, not a chance. Libertarianism is so deeply embedded in American culture, and especially among the backcountry voters that formed Trump’s base, that a new right coalition that de-emphasizes libertarianism, even on economics, will never happen. Greer brings in Albion’s Seed, a book I like, to argue his point. And of course I find it persuasive. Picture above is Andrew Jackson, not a very good man and perhaps the archetype backcountry American.
*Maddox, then the governor of Georgia, was a proud segregationist. Brown, the NFL great and Hollywood actor, showed what seems to me to be remarkable restraint. Interesting how some of what Maddox says sounds like some of what people on the Right say today. For instance, he all but explicitly says the words “all lives matter.
I have the Amazon unionization failure and shooting range videos to edit (and probably write a little about). Hoping to get both done this week. My latest video, speaking with Asian-Americans about racism in the U.S., is here.
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“I’ll never forget working on the Herald Tribune the afternoon of John Kennedy’s death. I was sent out along with a lot of other people to do man-on-the-street reactions. I started talking to some men who were just hanging out, who turned out to be Italian, and they already had it figured out that Kennedy had been killed by the ‘Tongs,’ and then I realized that they were feeling hostile to the Chinese because the Chinese had begun to bust out of Chinatown and move into Little Italy. And the Chinese thought the mafia had done it, and the Ukrainians thought the Puerto Ricans had done it. And the Puerto Ricans thought the Jews had done it. Everybody had picked out a scapegoat. I came back to the Herald Tribune and I typed up my stuff and turned it in to the rewrite desk. Late in the day they assigned me to do the rewrite of the man-on-the-street story. So I looked through this pile of material, and mine was missing. I figured there was some kind of mistake. I had my notes, so I typed it back into the story. The next day I picked up the Herald Tribune and it was gone, all my material was gone. In fact there’s nothing in there except little old ladies collapsing in front of St. Patrick’s. Then I realized that, without anybody establishing a policy, one and all had decided that this was the proper moral tone for the president’s assassination. It was to be grief, horror, confusion, shock and sadness, but it was not supposed to be the occasion for any petty bickering.” — Tom Wolfe, Rolling Stone, 1980
About: I was a newspaper reporter for 14 years, most recently at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I explained why my family left Minneapolis here. Now we live just outside Chattanooga and I work on Scuffed News, a project that either succeeds by July or will have to be abandoned. This is my newsletter. Please share it with anyone you think might enjoy it. And please consider supporting this work with your money on Patreon.