Links for 8-23-2017

  • The U.S. Navy is relieving Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin as a consequence of the all the ship collisions that have occurred on his watch.

  • Ben Shapiro explains that political violence is not OK:

    Words can be awful; ideologies can be evil. But violence breaks a society in half. The Nazis could never have risen without the specter of violent Reds on the loose to fight against. The Confederacy could never have gained steam so quickly without the abolitionist vigilantism of John Brown. Violence — even in the name of wiping away evil ideologies — tends to breed more violence, unless it is a legitimate last resort.

    What’s more, the initiator of violence in the streets tends to offend the sensibilities of those who oppose violence in a civilized society. He thereby creates sympathy for those who defend themselves — even if those who defend themselves are disgusting cretins. That’s because most people in a civilized society agree with Max Weber’s essential dictum that the state’s existence rests on its monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. Whoever violates that covenant destroys the state.

  • Helen Raleigh draws parallels between American anarchy and China’s Cultural Revolution.

  • The co-founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, refused to tell Senate Judiciary Committee investigators who paid for the largely false anti-Trump dossier.

  • Kevin Williamson writes that Congress should pull the plug on Afghanistan:

    “Killing terrorists,” Trump says. Afghanistan has its share of terrorists, but what it mostly has is an endless civil war being fought among rival tribal interests in a rugged and empty part of the world that mostly has served only to get in the way when you’re marching your Macedonian army toward India. “Killing terrorists” in Afghanistan is not a national military goal with a defined set of conclusory conditions and a working definition of victory — it’s an eternal game of Whac-a-Mole using U.S. forces as the toy mallet. If concluding our efforts in Afghanistan before Islamic radicalism has been exterminated there means handing a victory to the ghost of Osama bin Laden — who is, let’s keep in mind, dead — then we are never leaving Afghanistan.

  • A new national Public Policy Polling survey puts Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s approval rating at 9%. In the same survey, Vladimir Putin’s approval rating is 11%.

  • There’s photographic evidence that Iran is using its national airline to transport fighters to Syria, which is a violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.