Afternoon Links

Ian McEwan is one of the very, very, very few living writers that is actually talented and readable. Excited to read his new book.

Trump’s campaign has paid his businesses $8.2 million, ‘an unprecedented amount of self-dealing in federal politics.’

Step 1: Give everyone immunity
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Case closed

“’I’m just trying to get this Cruz sticker off my car,’ Rick Tyler, the senator’s campaign spokesman, said shortly after the endorsement was announced. ‘I don’t want anybody to get the wrong idea and think I’m a Trump supporter.’”

The London home that inspired Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” is on sale for £14 million.

Trump continues to never meet a brutal dictator he doesn’t like.

Thomas Hardy’s relationship to London

The Stupid Party. Seriously, it’s hard to overstate how stupid one must be to think free trade has been more of a negative than a positive.

How cats conquered the world (and a few Viking ships)

The way you know Trump supporters are dumb is that they don’t understand that stuff like this matters. And the way you know Hillary supporters are dumb is that they don’t understand that her mishandling of classified information matters.

The simple truth is most voters are stupid, and that’s why we’re here. Thanks a lot, progressives.

Three decades worth of test surveys conducted by the National Assessment of Education Progress, considered the gold standard of student assessments, and other testing agencies have amply demonstrated one of the consequences of the progressive education revolution—the astonishing ignorance of history and civics by younger and older Americans alike. By the end of the 1990s, two thirds of high school seniors were unable to identify the 50-year period in which the Civil War was fought; half didn’t know in which half century World War I took place. More than half could not name the three branches of government. A majority had no idea what the Gettysburg address was all about. Fifty two percent chose Germany, Japan or Italy as “U.S. allies” in World War II.
Several years ago Newsweek asked a sample of 1000 voters to take the same test that new immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship must pass. One third of the respondents couldn’t name the vice president and half didn’t know that the first 10 amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. Only one third knew that the Constitution is considered the nation’s highest law.

How children ate in the 19th century

Victorian treasure discovered on Antiques Roadshow

New technology used to read previously unreadable Dead Sea scroll

Monet and his water lilies

Debate preview: the worst of us is right in front of us

For a country that would sink so low as to elevate such miscreants to this point is at least subconsciously looking to check out. As for the rest of us who’d prefer to choose between eating toe jam or ear wax, we remain in the lobby of the Hotel California. We can check in any time we like, but we can never leave.

This is why we will watch. Not because we care, but because we don’t. We don’t care who wins, we just want to watch the world burn. The same reason we keep up with the Kardashians, care about whether Bruce Jenner is sitting or standing to pee, and know more about Brangelina than we do about governing ourselves. Because 2016 isn’t the election we need, but it’s the election we deserve.

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