Jan 17, 2021

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News from all over the USA

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Political theorists have been worrying about mob rule for 2,000 years

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  • But a few pessimists continued to warn that democracies might well degenerate into mob rule if they neglected the health of their political institutions and civic culture.
  • A more practical thinker than Plato, Aristotle argued that there were two ways of preventing democracy from degenerating into mobocracy: mix in elements of kingship and aristocracy to restrain the will of the people; and create a large middle class with a stake in stability.
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Big tech and censorship

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  • Although Twitter cited a “risk of further incitement of violence” by Mr Trump, the tweets it pointed to did not cross the common legal threshold defining an abuse of the constitutional right to free speech.
  • On January 6th, with 14 days remaining of his term, the social-media president was suspended from Twitter after years of pumping abuse, lies and nonsense into the public sphere.
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Donald Trump’s reckoning

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  • That is why the House was right to vote to impeach Mr Trump and why the Senate should move fast to convict him.
  • If it prevents a Senate trial, Congress must fall back on other, less satisfactory tools such as censure or banning Mr Trump from office under the 14th Amendment for having “engaged in insurrection or rebellion”.
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Trump? Don’t think I know him

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  • Nigel Farage, former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party ( UKIP ) and then the Brexit Party, rejoiced in his position as Mr Trump’s leading British fanboy, acting as a warm-up act at recent Trump rallies.
  • The bond between the British and American right was supercharged by Brexit.
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What the Big Mac index tells you about currency wars

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  • Of the currencies of the 20 trading partners studied by America’s Treasury, our measure suggests that all have gained relative to the greenback since July, but that all apart from the Swiss franc are still cheap.
  • A burger in Thailand costs 25% less than in America when its price is converted to dollars at prevailing exchange rates, for example, suggesting that the Thai baht is undervalued.
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