journalism, politics

Today’s non-mainstream news

Time to worry less about ISIS and more about disabling the Axis (of two parties in the USA)? Read on …

Is the “homegrown jihadi” movement actually declining?

The Daily Dish has a few dismissive voices on the direct threat ISIS poses to the USA and adds a link to New Yorker peek at Westerners joining terror groups. The latter has this hopeful bit …

And Maher, for one, doesn’t believe the situation to be hopeless. Until 2005, and the London subway bombings, he was himself a member of a radical Islamic group, Hizbut Tahrir, which operates inside of Britain and supports the formation of a global and puritanical Islamic state. Since the bombings, he and other moderate British Muslims have been campaigning against the jihadis, and the would-be jihadis, with some success. At one time, Maher told the Journal, Hizbut Tahrir rallies could draw twenty thousand supporters, but these days “they struggle to get one thousand.”

2. Third-party time!

If you think Obama is weak on foreign policy while the GOP is weak on admitting science is real, why not another alternative? So says The Economist:

AMERICA’S two-party system is a creaking monstrosity that has helped bring its politics to a grinding halt. The country urgently needs a nationally competitive third party (if not a fourth and a fifth) to crack up its frozen ideological landscape, and to shift incentives away from the politics of total resistance and towards deal-making and compromise.

The piece backs away a bit from its stern lead, but it’s a good point to ponder, particularly on an issue like climate change:

In the two-voice dialogue of American politics, there is a natural tendency for each party to oppose the other one’s take on a given issue. In the case of climate change, there was a time when Democrats and Republicans both agreed on the reality of the problem and on the need for some form of carbon emissions reduction scheme. But the natural dynamics of political argument gradually led Republicans to first deny that any form of government carbon emissions regulations were needed, and then to claim that global warming had actually stopped, or that climate scientists were engaged in a conspiracy of exaggeration. Because, in a two-party system, all political questions end up ranged on a left-right axis, each side spends its time trying make more and more extremist claims in order to shift the Overton window. And political loyalty demands that one defend the positions held by one’s own party; the political arena comes to feel like a permanent war zone, and dissent equals betrayal.

If you prefer the words of our Founders, here you go:

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.” – George Washington


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