Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Police on Wednesday were trying to piece together how a 49-year-old skier whose disappearance sparked a massive search on a snowy New York mountainside ended up six days later in California, confused and still in ski clothes. Toronto firefighter Constantinos "Danny" Filippidis told investigators he doesn't know what happened after he was reported missing Wednesday, Feb. 7, from Whiteface Mountain during an annual ski trip with colleagues. The search ended Tuesday when Filippidis turned up in Sacramento, California, some 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) west of the Adirondacks. "At this point, we want to assist Danny in getting back the last six days of his life," said New York State Police Maj. John Tibbitts. read more

Many of America's cities are struggling. Once-strong communities have experienced post-industrial collapse, rampant unemployment, and brain drain. Crumbling infrastructure, the opioid crisis, and a host of lesser pathologies have contributed to instability and frustration among citizens and leaders. In the face of these challenges, the available policy solutions often seem unsatisfactory. Some people say we need a new federal fix -- a renovated set of Great Society programs, perhaps, or a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. It may be that fresh answers can be found among the "localists" -- intellectual and wonkish conservatives and liberals who have found, at least when it comes to problems, some common ground. Inspired by such writers as Wendell Berry, Jane Jacobs, and Wilhelm Röpke, localism generally asserts that federal oversight is usually too heavy-handed, uniform, and cronyist to serve local communities well. read more

Angus Deaton, the Nobel-prize winning economist, recently reiterated his belief that on the whole the world is getting better – if not, as he accepted, everywhere or for everyone at once. Perhaps that comes as no surprise, but the idea that the world is getting better in regards to poverty is actually a deeply unpopular view. Ask most people about global poverty, and chances are that they'll say it is unchanged or getting worse. A survey released late last year found that 92 per cent of Americans believe the share of the world population in extreme poverty has either increased or stayed the same over the last two decades. There are a number of cultural and psychological explanations for the persistence of such pessimism. Bad news makes for good headlines, and tends to dominate media coverage. Psychologically, people tend to idealize the past, and recall dramatic and unusual events more easily than steady long-term trends. They may also use pessimism as a means of virtue signalling. read more

A year ago, I lived in San Francisco. I spent over $2,000 a month for one bedroom in a two-bedroom apartment in the Mission District. Outside of working on my startup, I devoured books on my Kindle and brooded with my fellow liberals about Trump and the GOP on Twitter. Most everyone I knew was agnostic. I had my whole life planned out. Decades of startups, at least one of which would hit it big. A retirement full of vapid, but pithy tweets. Today, I live in Provo, the most conservative (and religious) city over 100,000 people in America. I live in a one-bedroom apartment that costs $800 a month. I no longer tweet as much, and especially not about politics. A majority of my friends, including my girlfriend, are religious, and most of them are conservative. I go to church every Sunday. What changed? read more

Monday, February 12, 2018

Nigel, a handsome gannet bird who lived on a desolate island off the coast of New Zealand, died suddenly this week. Wherever his soul has landed, the singles scene surely cannot be worse. The bird was lured to Mana Island three years ago by wildlife officials who, in hopes of establishing a gannet colony there, had placed concrete gannet decoys on cliffsides and broadcast the sound of the species' calls. Nigel accepted the invitation, arriving in 2015 as the island's first gannet in 40 years. But none of his brethren joined him. In the absence of a living love interest, Nigel became enamored with one of the 80 faux birds. He built her -- it? -- a nest. He groomed her "chilly, concrete feathers ... year after year after year," the Guardian reported. He died next to her in that unrequited love nest, the vibrant orange-yellow plumage of his head contrasting, as ever, with the weathered, lemony paint of hers. read more


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