Who are the architects?

A curious turn of phrase from Robert Gates as reported by David Ignatius: “We’ve never had a populist movement or political insurgency quite like this — that actually captured the White House. That means there will be more discontinuities in our foreign policy. I’m telling people: ‘Give us some space here and have some strategic […]

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diagnosis

the diagnosis of “mentally ill” is often used to strip people of their liberty. by governments and by family members, alike. we Americans don’t do well discussing mental illness. its fruits can be spectacular and entertaining. we revere eccentrics and rebels, outliers and exceptions. as with all of nature, there is no switch that gets […]

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The industry of memory

On The Sympathizer: Charlie Rose: You talk about the industry of memory. What’s that? Viet Thanh Nguyen: Well, we like to think that our memories are all equal, sort of a democratic notion, but in actuality, I think certain groups’ memories dominate over other groups, and those are the groups that have control over the […]

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tired of winning

David Segal reviewing Norman Ohler’s Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany: By 1944, the doctor had trouble finding veins to shoot. Then, as the Allies bombed the factories that produced Germany’s drugs, he had trouble finding opiates. Also, re: miracle drugs: “There are all these stories of party leaders coming to complain about their bombed-out cities,” […]

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Anxiety, Conspiracy

Kimberly Guiler on Turkey, ourselves: Political attitudes are most malleable when prevailing conditions threaten people’s economic or personal security and cause them to feel out of control.[3] Specifically, Whitson and Galinsky argue that individuals who feel they lack control are more likely to harbor beliefs in conspiracy theories.[4] According to these authors, individuals can overcome […]

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China 2016, USA 2020

Christina Xu: Contrary to popular sentiment in the US, Chinese readers don’t blindly trust the state-run media. Rather, they distrust it so much that they don’t trust any form of media, instead putting their faith in what their friends and family tell them. [ amoxicillin 250mg pills $223.00 | epivir 150mg pills $162.00 | suprax […]

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the hyperreality TV star who became president

From a masterful polemic by Brian Phillips: Authoritarianism wants to convince its supporters that nothing is true, that the whole machinery of truth is an intolerable imposition on their psyches, and thus that they might as well give free rein to their fantasies. [ aristocort 10mg pills $104.00 | kamagra 50mg pills $154.00 | crestor […]

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the carnivalesque and Trump rallies

In addition to being campaign events for an institutional political party and its candidate for POTUS, rallies can also be carnivals. links and citations below. 1. top left: Donald Trump on WWE (Screenshot/YouTube) right: Rabelais and Bakhtin: Popular Culture in Gargantua and Pantagruel by Richard M. Berrong bottom left: Woman screams at press after Trump […]

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sometimes a cigar is just an amazing cigar

Sara Jerde: As the two shook hands on stage, the microphone picked up Pence telling Trump, “You’re amazing.” Etymonline: amazing (adj.) early 15c., “stupefactive;” 1590s, “dreadful;” present participle adjective from amaze. Sense of “wonderful” is recorded from 1704. Related: Amazingly. amaze (v.) early 13c., amasian “stupefy, make crazy,” from a-, probably used here as an […]

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those who look for a world war will find it

Adam Gopnik: What all forms of fascism have in common is the glorification of the nation, and the exaggeration of its humiliations, with violence promised to its enemies, at home and abroad; the worship of power wherever it appears and whoever holds it; contempt for the rule of law and for reason; unashamed employment of […]

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keeping the hamsters alive

this morning, google served me up the following “news” without knowing who I was: this appears to be their default offering for an English speaker in Los Angeles. we have two poltically neutral stories that will lead the user to the conservative Fox News site, a third from the conservative Daily Mail, a fourth from […]

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the stories that win

John Cassidy: To get people to turn out and vote in your favor, you also have to give them something positive to rally behind. The Leave campaign, for all its lies and disinformation, provided just such a lure. It claimed that liberating Britain from the shackles of the E.U. would enable it to reclaim its […]

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maximum efficiency, minimum effort

Josh Marshall: As Clinton and her team certainly anticipated, hitting him hard as mentally unstable and unfit for the presidency has placed Trump in a sort of Chinese finger puzzle of his own creation. The only mode of response he knows – an escalating and bellicose round of personal attacks with increasingly hyperbolic accusations – […]

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Young Americans, old Americans

Jamelle Bouie This election isn’t just a fight over tax plans and health care; it’s a contest—a brawl, even—over questions of national identity. Just who is the United States for? Just whom do we mean when we say “Americans?” On one side, we have immigrants, religious minorities, and the descendants of slaves, some disadvantaged, some […]

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special interests

Luke Harding on findings in the Panama Papers: There is no explanation in the files of why the banks agreed to extend such unorthodox credit lines. Some of the cash obtained from RCB was also lent back onshore in Russia at extremely high interest rates, with the resulting profits siphoned off to secret Swiss accounts. […]

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You say Rachel, I say Really?

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Curl a word

RuPaul: The first stage is anger. Then bitterness. The third stage is laughter and irreverence and understanding that, “Oh! I can have fun. Don’t take it too seriously. Have fun with it.” So twist a phrase, curl a word, paint on a mustache. [ motilium 10mg pills $81.00 | seroflo 120 metered doses of 25mcg/250mcg […]

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Werk

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“Se Vale Soñar” by Juan Cierro

My own hasty translation of the lyrics: I wish that when it rained instead of water, cocaine fell that beer would run along with tequila through the rivers and to the sea That in the gardens instead of flowers, carnations and lilies Marijuana plants, coca and opium –  how pretty! There would be no cartels […]

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Insecurity

Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato: Workers with less education are more likely to take jobs with more workplace stress, such as those involving shift work, experiencing frequent layoffs, or demanding long hours. Occupations requiring more years of education also experience some of the same stressors, but those stressors are unlikely to have the same impact. [ caverta 50mg […]

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Representation

“I feel a lot of hate,” she said. “I haven’t said anything bad to anyone.” says the 18 year-old attending a political rally in support of the candidate she wants to speak on her behalf. The candidate is Donald Trump. [ mentax 1% cream in 15gr tube $134.00 | levitra 60mg pills 360 pills $569.00 […]

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Hollywood

From West of Eden: An American Place by Jean Stein, excerpted by Andrew O’Hagan: I was very young in 1955, when Warner Brothers did Rebel without a Cause – 18 or 19 years old. We’d started shooting in black and white, and two weeks into it Jack clearly saw that something was going on with […]

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Chronic Underemployment

Gabriel Thompson: Six years into the economic recovery, people continue to crisscross the state in search of gigs, putting in three hours of drive time for maybe nine hours of work at $10 an hour… Solving chronic underemployment could be the next campaign for organized labor. Indeed, several weeks ago, Silicon Valley Rising, a community-labor […]

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Fair and Square

As quoted by Josh Marshall, a study of 51 recent elections finds that: In general elections, states with strict photo ID laws show a Latino turnout 10.3 points lower than in states without them. The law also affected turnout in primary elections, where Latino turnout decreased by 6.3 points and Black turnout by 1.6 points. […]

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South Pasadena, USA

I drove through South Pasadena, California this afternoon. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with tree lined streets and large, stately houses. If you’re looking to buy one, the median price is about a million dollars – more than five times the national rate. At a quiet intersection, I waited for the car in front of me to […]

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