Torture

The amount of airtime being given to vacuous discussion of whether or not torture produced “actionable intelligence” is a complete failure of editorial judgement. The answer to that question falls outside the scope of human knowability entirely. Its truth value cannot be learned, It is not a valid journalistic question. It is not the job of news to provide an artificial debate of talking heads.

Death of malls

Here’s whats going to happen over the next 5-10 years. Everything tied to traditional malls will die.

Each time a “mall death” occurs it degrades the mall ecosystem and eventually the negative feedback will amplify exponentially and the 90-200 or so non-anchor store chains will all close quite quickly, probably within a few years.

Then assuming that none of the anchors die as a result of this process (for weakened anchors like Penny, Sears a significant possibility) the anchors will be robbed of the foot-traffic needed to survive and will then realize that they can’t close stores selectively because mall usage covenants irrationally impose extreme financial penalties for going out of business they’ll have no choice but to keep their unprofitable stores open and gradually bleed out in place.

These weakened institutions will not have the financial resources needed to re-orientate away from malls the way they once re-orientated towards them in the 70s-80s.

Income inequality

The left has convinced itself that prattling on about “income inequality” is the way to go. This is wrong; Americans want to be rich themselves so soaking the rich is not an attractive proposition.

It’s also too easy for the right to bat aside as “politics of envy” or something like that.

What the left really needs to do is rephrase their points to be about the “dramatic collapse of upward mobility.” Americans like upward mobility, after all, they want to be rich.

Polls show the majority of Americans believe their children will not have superior standard of living and the overwhelming majority of “middle class” adults believe their own standard of living is difficult to maintain. Most under-30s believe they already are the lost generation and have little hope for the future.

There’s your hook.