Links for 2-8-2015

  • Kevin Williamson believes the current “libertarian moment” is more about opposing government coercion:

    All of those are relevant, but consider one further, broader dynamic at work: The Right is finally coming around to the understanding that what mainly distinguishes it from the Left is not its general preference for muscular foreign policy, its not always convincing defense of the Judeo-Christian tradition, or even its relatively faithful reading of the Constitution, as important as those things are. Rather, the fight between Right and Left is about coercion.

    Later:

    The Left’s last big idea was Communism. When Lenin turned out to be the god who failed, the Left undertook wide exploration for another grand unifying idea: environmentalism, multiculturalism, economic inequality, atheism, feminism, etc. What it ended up with was an enemies’ list.

    That and a taste for brute force.

  • Robert Weissberg makes a good argument that most conservative leaders are cowards, with self-censorship being their worst offense:

    Such silent cowardice is typical. If America’s educational woes are the subject of a conservative forum, don’t expect respectable conservatives to even hint of group shortcomings in cognitive ability and the shifting demography of America’s K–12 students. Discussion will address sanitized ephemera – the alleged benefits of school choice, excessive power of teachers’ unions, the centralized curriculum, merit pay and tough testing, the curse of cultural Marxism, and teacher tenure. Hardly surprising, since nearly all self-defined conservatives discussing education dread being labeled racists, haters, xenophobic believers in false stereotypes, or worse. Better to get it wrong than cause trouble.

  • At least three of the “Muslim leaders” who met privately with President Obama last week have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott survived a leadership challenge from within his party.

  • British special forces troops are being deployed to provide search and rescue services in the event additional planes are shot down during raids against ISIS.

  • The U.S. delivered $25 million worth of weapons and ammunition to Lebanon’s army.

  • The commander of Chadian forces in Niger, General Yaya Daoud, was shot while his troops fended off a Boko Haram attack.

  • Turkey arrested another 21 police officers and charged them with illegal wiretapping.