Afternoon Links: Amish Rock, Paul Nehlen Works the Alt-Right, and Journalistic Trust

The Amish help build America’s biggest concerts. Who would have thought that some of the most technologically advanced live music shows out there are brought to you, in part, by Lancaster County’s Amish population:

This company based on technological innovation is not only situated in the heart of Amish country, it’s entirely symbiotic with the back-to-basics ethos and economy. The agricultural supply chain and network of small metalwork forges allows Tait’s designers and architects to build anything. A Mennonite company that makes steel cattle grids, for instance, also cuts the metal supports for Tait’s rock shows.

“All my neighbours are Amish,” explains Adam Davis, Tait’s chief creative officer, an enthusiastic tousled man in his late 40s. “When you’re a farmer and you break something, you have to fix it, especially if you’re still using traditional tools and not computer-driven combine harvesters. So, when it comes to creative problem-solving, the Amish are the masters – they just get on with it. All of these farms are enterprises, with this incredible culture of innovation and making that doesn’t exist in most places. If a show designer needs something made, we’ll prototype custom shapes and sizes in our steel shop within 15 minutes. Then we go to an Amish forge and they’ll turn out 10,000 of them almost overnight.”

My parents now live on the border of Ohio’s Amish country, and you have try Amish cooking. One bite, and you’ll forgive getting stuck behind buggies from time to time.

Bill Kristol’s interview with Vox. I’d recommend earmarking some time over the weekend to read Bill’s interview with Jane Coaston. Here’s Bill on why the whole “balls and strikes” thing—trying to judge Trump on his actions and not his personality—is a bad analogy:

So the balls and strikes thing is just simple-minded and silly, ultimately. I mean, you’ve got one team, if you want to use this analogy and belabor it, that isn’t committed to playing the game according to the traditional rules.

At that point, you can’t just sit there and say, “I’m just calling balls and strikes and I don’t care if the pitcher is, you know, stepping 20 feet off the mound and throwing spitballs and trying to bean the other team’s batters.” At some point, you have to say, “We have to defend the rules of the game.”

So it does get complicated. I’m not on the “balls and strikes” side. I’m not on the “fanatically opposed to everything that the Trump administration does because it’s done by the Trump administration side,” either. So I support the moving of the [US] embassy to Jerusalem, or the revision of Title IX, or traditional positions the Weekly Standard has argued for before Trump even existed.

But I think it would also be foolish to go the other direction and say you don’t rethink anything. The fact of Trump is a big fact. You’d be foolish not to rethink your judgment of some aspects of conservatism, insofar as it’s enabled Trump, insofar as so many conservatives are enabling Trump. It has made me rethink certain aspects of conservative doctrine and dogma.

Check out the whole thing.

Tourists rescued from buried Alps vacation town. Can you imagine 22 feet of snow? That’s what happened aroundZermatt, Switzerland, where an avalanche trapped residents and tourists for a couple days. Rescuers finally cut through and now people can get out, and the pictures are surreal.

Paul Nehlen works with alt-right fringe to fight the “Jewish media.” BuzzFeed has a sensational look at how Paul Ryan’s would-be challenger is trying to create media buzz now that all of his far-right backers dropped him due to anti-Semitism.

“It’s pretty obviously coordinated,” Nehlen continued, referring to remarks from conservative and pro-Trump personalities like Town Hall’s Kurt Schlichter and the Rebel’s John Cardillo who’d denounced his tweets. “Cardillo and others like him are working for Jewish media then there are the fake conservatives who happen to be jewish,” he wrote to the group telling members to add Schlichter to his list. “Im going to decimate them all and y’[all are gonna help me.”

Sure, Paul.

Trust me, I’m a journalist. The Economist has a look at how the trust of the press correlates with trust in government. They warn:

By undermining trust in the media, Mr Trump may be endangering both his own agenda and those of his successors. Among the countries surveyed by Pew, positive views of the press and the government move in almost perfect lockstep: the places where respondents say they are satisfied with the media, above all in sub-Saharan Africa, are those where rulers are trusted to do the right thing. The converse is also true, as South America brings up the rear on both measures. This link does not guarantee that declining confidence in the media causes or even foreshadows a future reduction in trust in the government. Nonetheless, it should give Mr Trump cause for concern that the American public’s already low faith in their leader may have yet more room to fall.

Indeed, correlation does not equal causation.

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