permanence

For Saint-Exupery was deeply conscious of the value of permanence, tradition handed down from generation to generation, a Rock of Ages amid the quicksands of modern life.

-Stuart Gilbert, foreward to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Wisdom of the Sands

city

But in reality our cities are, yes, already great — safer-than-ever, culturally-rich, rife with policy innovation, and driving our economic future. They’re places where immigrants flock and college graduates increasingly cluster, compounding their talents through cooperation and exchange, generating new ideas and innovations while the Trumpish hinterland languishes in resentment and nostalgia.

I respectfully dissent. Yes, for many of their inhabitants, particularly the young and the wealthy, our liberal cities are pleasant places in which to work and play. But if they are diverse in certain ways they are segregated in others, from “whiteopias” like Portland to balkanized cities like D.C. or Chicago. If they are dynamic, they are also so rich — and so rigidly zoned — that the middle class can’t afford to live there and fewer and fewer kids are born inside their gates. If they are fast-growing it’s often a growth intertwined with subsidies and “too big to fail” protection; if they are innovation capitals it’s a form of innovation that generates fewer jobs than past technological advance. If they produce some intellectual ferment they have also cloistered our liberal intelligentsia and actually weakened liberalism politically by concentrating its votes.

-Ross Douthat ‘Break Up the Liberal City‘ The New York Times

relieved

“But what did you think when you started hearing the rumors about concentration camps?” I would press her. “Didn’t you ever listen to the foreign news reports?”

“Allied propaganda” was my grandmother’s answer. That’s what Hitler said it was. And she, like many Germans, trusted him. Her trust, apparently, relieved her of the need to understand.

-Jessica Shattuck ‘I Loved My Grandmother. But She Was a Nazi.‘ The New York Times

disintegration

For the European project to survive another 60 years, the key is flexibility, in both directions. Just as Britain is leaving the EU, another country might one day leave the euro. Any such step will be hard to manage. But if the union cannot embrace differentiation, it faces the risk of disintegration instead.

The Economist (March 25 – 31, 2017)

to see

He had a sense of responsibility, a selfless devotion to his fellow men, a burning desire to see, and to make others see, the pattern behind the confusion of our age, which inspired immediate affection and respect.

-Stuart Gilbert, foreward to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Wisdom of the Sands

evidence

He also claimed credit for things he had said that were factually incorrect at the time, but for which he later found evidence.

Before he got off the phone, I tried one more time to get Trump to answer a question about the risk to his reputation caused by false and ever changing utterances. Once again, he would not accept the premise. “Hey, look,” he said. “I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m President and you’re not.” As a factual matter, the last part of this statement is indisputably true. And with that, he graciously said goodbye and went back to running the affairs of the most powerful country in the world.

-Michael Scherer ‘Can President Trump Handle the Truth?‘ TIME