Required reading from around the web of the best, most interesting, or most though provoking things we’ve read:
Kheel: NATO chief to Congress: Alliance ‘has also been good for the United States’
““In an ideal world, we would not need to spend any money on defense, but we do not live in an ideal world,” he said. “Hitler could not have been stopped with peaceful protest. Stalin could not have been deterred with words. ISIS could not have been defeated with dialogue.” But, speaking about his visit to Arlington National Cemetery, Stoltenberg also said the “ultimate expression of burden sharing is that we fight together and die together.””
Noel: How May I Close the Border? Let Me Count the Ways
“It is indisputable that if the government of Mexico were to enforce its own laws, we wouldn’t be having this problem. But El Presidente López is no fan of Donald Trump and is quite happy to let these economic migrants be a thorn in Donald’s side. So he sits on his hands and does nothing of substance. While the president of Mexico has been purposefully idle, our president has not. Of particular importance, he has spent two-plus years keeping the promises he made on the campaign trail. . . In short, “Promises Made, Promises Kept” is more than a slogan. It’s reality for everyone, including El Presidente, to see. By now, López must know that Donald Trump’s favorite book is Sun Tzu’s classic treatise, The Art of War. A quick search of it yields multiple principles, with a few ideally suited for this situation. Let’s see how Donald Trump might go forward. Remember, he has already made it clear that he doesn’t make idle threats. China has already had to deal with him.”
Weintraub: Building a Brain Implant for Smell
Researchers are developing a device that could restore olfaction, much as a cochlear implant restores hearing Research on smell lags decades behind that on vision and hearing, says Joel Mainland, an olfactory neuroscientist and associate member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, who is not involved in the new work. Smell studies receive less funding than research on other senses does, he says. And smell involves many sensory components. Whereas vision requires interpreting input from three types of receptors, taste involves 40 and olfaction 400. A surprisingly large number of people have an impaired sense of smell—23 percent of U.S. adults age 40 and older, according to one national survey, and 62.5 percent of those age 80 and older, according to another. Such a decline can result from . . .