The system needs $31.8 billion in repairs, but if the city ever finds that kind of cash, “it should split the money into $79,500 checks and give one to each public-housing resident, then send them to find private apartments.” Because “when everyone owns a building, no one owns it. It is in no one individual’s economic interest to keep the place safe, sanitary and attractive to preserve resale value as, say, a homeowner would — or a private landlord.”
Security desk: Iran Deal Haunts Its European Sponsors
In one of his “rare lucid moments,” then-Secretary of State John Kerry nonchalantly admitted in 2016 that Iran would use some of the money from the nuclear deal to fund terrorism, recalls Commentary’s Sohrab Ahmari. As footage of those remarks shows, it seems like the idea of “transferring money to some of the world’s most lethal terrorist groups bothered him not in the least.” Fast forward to this week, as Germany charged an Iranian diplomat with involvement in a plot to bomb an anti-Tehran rally in France. Imagine if the plot had succeeded, says Ahmari — and then “think back to Kerry’s arrogance and indifference to what it would mean for the US and its allies to grease the wheels of Iran’s terror machine.”
Foreign desk: US Can’t Fight Both China and N. Korea
The time is “rapidly approaching” for President Trump to make a decision, warns Harry Kazianis at The Week: He can “either take on a rising China or seek to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. America simply can’t do both.” That’s because Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy on Pyongyang “relies on America’s top geopolitical competitor to enforce it.” And with “90 percent or so of the Kim regime’s exports going through China, maximum pressure will only be as successful as Beijing allows it to be” — this as the president has launched a full-scale trade war on Beijing. So in order to “box in North Korea,” America “needs China’s help.” But to “fully take on China . . . the price might be a nuclear North Korea.”
Tech watch: Twitter’s Big Purge Solves Nothing
Everyone’s talking about how many Twitter followers many celebrities lost in the company’s “much-hyped crackdown on dubious accounts.” But Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky suggests that “what looks like a major purge” is actually “a public relations onslaught, as Twitter and Facebook try to outdo each other at showing they care about the health of the social network conversation.” Fact is, most of the targeted accounts weren’t bots — they were set up by real people whom Twitter can’t confirm still control the accounts. But, like Facebook’s similar “purge,” this didn’t “decimate its user base” — because doing so “would have sent the stock price tumbling.” So is all this improving the health of social media? Bershidsky’s answer “is a resounding no.”
Media critic: Times Critic Dances to Anti-Israel Tune
The Algemeiner’s Ira Stoll takes issue with a recent review by New York Times chief dance critic Alastair Macaulay of an Israeli troupe’s performance. The piece opened by noting that “human rights protesters” picketed the theater, objecting to “Israel’s repression of the Palestinian people” and the troupe’s role “as a front for that repression.” Why, asks Stoll, was this the lead of the review? (There were all of 50 demonstrators.) Why were they called “human-rights” protesters? And why were their claims about Israel “taken at face value” rather than attributed to them? The answer seems to be that Macaulay appears to share their views: He writes that the dancers “look like citizens of a totalitarian state” and left him “cold and annoyed.” The article headline spoke of “politics inside and outside” the theater. It might well have added: “also in the Times review.”
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