Archive for the ‘Politics+War’ Category

Authoritarianism’s Fatal Flaw


(Atlantic Tech) – Zeynep Tüfekçi:

China’s use of surveillance and censorship makes it harder for Xi Jinping to know what’s going on in his own country. …

theatlantic blindness-authoritarianismBig Brother Xi

National Symbols


(New Yorker Daily Cartoon) – Lila Ash:

I feel bad for the national symbols that can’t fly to Canada.” …

newyorker migratory-eagleLila Ash: Migratory Eagles

False Idol


(Patheos::ATP) – Bert Bigelow:

Christian evangelicals are big supporters of Trump, despite his moral shortcomings… serial adulterer, sexual predator, and wholesale liar. The main justification they seem to have is the anti-choice position that he adopted when he decided to enter the political arena as a Republican. He knew that his previous pro-choice stance was a political death sentence as a Republican candidate. Somehow, evangelicals…and a lot of other Trump supporters are able to overlook the seamy side of his character as long as he panders to their adamant opposition to abortion and gay rights. …

tippling false-idolFalse Idol Donald Trump

Suspicious Buttigieg Travel to Afghanistan


(New Yorker::The Borowitz Report) – Andy Borowitz:

In the aftermath of Pete Buttigieg’s strong showing in the Iowa caucuses, Donald J. Trump accused the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor of engaging in “suspicious travel” to Afghanistan.

“People are saying that he went to Afghanistan for seven months in 2014,” Trump told the hosts of “Fox & Friends” in a phone call. “Seven months is a long time to be running around in a Muslim country full of terrorists, don’t you think?” …

borowitz-report suspicious-travelU.S. Soldier Pete Buttigieg

Partisan Hypocrisy


(Patheos::ATP) – Bert Bigelow:

Partisan: (adj.) Exhibiting strong and sometimes blind adherence to a particular party, faction, cause or person.

Hypocrisy: (n.) The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.

Members of many types of groups exhibit partisan hypocrisy; political parties, religious organizations, and many other special interest groups. The recent impeachment investigation and trial were a vivid example of this. The Democrat-controlled House conducted a hearing that has been labeled “unfair” by Republicans and “fair” by Democrats. In the Republican-controlled Senate, a narrow, partisan majority voted to block witnesses, which some, but not all, Republicans applaud, while Democrats, and a majority of the American people, condemn. They especially want to hear what Bolton has to say. …

Think about this: What if Clinton, not Trump, were being impeached right now by a Congress with the sizeable Republican majorities that it had back in 1998? Do you think they would have acquitted Clinton? …

tippling partisan-hypocrisyImpeachment trial of Donald Trump

Chaos in Iowa


(Atlantic Tech) – Zeynep Tufekci:

Don’t blame shadowy foreign hackers for the chaos in Iowa. Blame Shadow’s caucus app. …

theatlantic 2020/02 bad-appIowa Democratic vote counting

John le Carré


(Guardian Books) – John le Carré:

Having received the Olof Palme prize for achievement in the spirit of the assassinated Swedish statesman, the novelist reflects on his life, role models, and on how a lack of leadership today has allowed us to ‘sleepwalk’ into Brexit. …

theguardian 2020/feb/01 john-le-carreJohn le Carré at pro-EU rally

Let’s Abandon Climate Targets


(Guardian Comments) – George Monbiot:

Setting targets for climate action sounds sensible, but is actually impeding progress. There’s a different approach: maximisation. …

theguardian climate-targetsOil rig in the North Sea

How Bernie Will Beat Trump


(The Intercept) – Naomi Klein:

It made for a tough juxtaposition. CBS News reported that Bernie Sanders had just done exactly what many critics have long called on him to do: He asked his supporters to dial back the personal attacks on rivals in the Democratic primary and focus on substantial policy differences. …

I stopped myself from rage-tweeting yesterday and wrote this instead. When I went back online to check in on how that inescapable platform had reacted to the tough juxtaposition of Sanders’s call to “cool it” with Clinton’s nasty provocations, I saw that #ILikeBernie and #NobodyLikesHim were both trending. There was some anger in there, sure, but for the most part, the hashtags had inspired a torrent of heartfelt stories filled with the fearsome power of us.

Not me. Us. That’s how we win. …

theintercept 2020/01/22 solidarityBernie Sanders rally 2019-06-01

The Universal Enemy


(The Intercept) – Murtaza Hussain:

As long as there have been wars, there have been people volunteering from distant lands to join them. Over most of the 20th century, the typical volunteer foreign fighter was a left-wing activist fighting for the cause of international socialism. During the Spanish Civil War, tens of thousands of foreign volunteers took up arms on the side of the republicans, among them a young George Orwell. A romantic image of the idealistic foreign rebel became a familiar archetype in popular culture, celebrated in literature and film. …

Many Muslim-majority countries are still grappling with the traumas of dictatorship, military occupation, and economic injustice. As once-powerful leftist movements in these countries faltered, they were replaced with political movements drawing solidarity from religious identity. There has also been the emergence of a new type of volunteer foreign fighter: the mujahid, a Muslim fighter engaged in a religious struggle — or militant jihad.

This controversial figure is the focus of a new book, “The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity,” by Darryl Li, an assistant professor of anthropology and social sciences at the University of Chicago. …

theintercept jihadism darryl-liDarryl Li: The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity