A few links to things I read while having my Saturday morning coffee today:
One of the many things I’ve thought about since COVID-19 forced us into severe social distancing is the effect it must be having on military units. It has to have limiting effects on recruiting and basic training, and I”m not sure how tank platoons keep training and operating effectively unless medics can test and track the spread of the virus within the ranks. This story about the outbreak on the Theodore Roosevelt brings that worry home.
If you’re looking for a good Twitter “List of epidemiologists, researchers, public health experts & journalists tracking COVID-19” you could do worse than this one from @Joshtpm.
Going through a few of the open tabs on my iPad with a cup of coffee this morning:
At Talking Points Memo: I saw this Associated Press report: DOJ Lawyer: Steele Said Russian Intelligence Believed it Had Trump Over a Barrel. Looks like Bruce Ohr met with Christopher Steele, who shared some information that did not make it into the dossier Steele wrote for Fusion GPS. This is one reason why Trump wants to discredit Ohr – he likely knows things the White House would rather keep under wraps.
On a related note, William Saletan lays it all out at Slate:: We Already Know Trump is Betraying His Country. This is a pretty good rundown of how Donald Trump has put Russia and his wallet before America, including some thoughts on why, all in one place.
At The Atlantic, Yuval Noah Harari lays out his thoughts on Why Technology Favors Tyranny. He touches on something I’ve given a lot of thought to: how will social norms change as technology replaces workers in the last remaining jobs that don’t require complex education or training (e.g., long-haul truck drivers). If dying industry led to right-wing populism in rust-belt states, what happens when artificial intelligence replaces every worker who drives something for a living?
Fred Clark, a progressive Christian, writes about the intersection between religion and politics, among other things, at Slactivist. In a series he calls “The MAGA Commission”, Clark discusses the Great Commission Christ gave his followers to spread his word and how the purpose and identity of evangelical Christianity has shifted from this missionary work to politics. Part One linked above; Parts Two and Three are also up. Clark is an excellent writer, and I urge all of you to check out his work. His exegesis of the truly awful (both as writing and theology) Left Behind books and films is especially interesting – and funny as…hell (sorry).
Another Progressive Christian and former megachurch pastor fired for his “provocative” (read: “progressive”) writing, John Pavlovitz asks Christians to Stop Blaming God for your LGBTQ Hatred. He thinks Christians should stop applying the Bible to other people’s lives. Like Clark, Pavlovitz is a great writer, and like Clark has a blog name I wish I’d thought of myself: Stuff That Needs to be Said. Go check him out.
Some good reading this morning that could take you on a nice stroll through the internet. Enjoy the holiday weekend.
A few links to things I read this morning:
Not sure what to think about the Omarosa Manigault-Newman thing, but this Slate article gives an interesting take. I like this part:
Either because or despite the fact that Omarosa once belonged to this lair of liars, one can admire the skill with which she has orchestrated these tapes’ release so as to maximally damage the White House’s credibility just as it was trying to torpedo hers. The tapes are essentially booby traps. Katrina Pierson’s reputation may not be a central concern in Trumpworld, but Lara Trump’s is getting closer; no wonder the White House is scared. Omarosa knows—as even his lawyers do—that a man who lies about everything must be guarded against, and learned that lesson early.
Can’t wait to see who gets caught in the next “booby trap.” Go read.
Senator Elizabeth Warren has a plan to save Capitalism and has introduced legislation. Over at the Washington Post, Warren answers a few questions for Jennifer Rubin. Asked about cheating and insider trading, Warren responds:
Sure, it includes insider trading — but it’s a lot more than that. In a well-functioning market, companies compete by providing better products, better service, or better prices. That kind of competition benefits customers and rewards businesses that out-innovate or out-work their competitors.
But when companies can deceive their customers about the quality or price of their products, that’s cheating — and the market stops working. Companies that are willing to deceive their customers are rewarded with more business, while honest companies struggle to keep up. That’s bad for customers and bad for the companies that just want to do the right thing.
Yves Smith explains why she thinks this would be good for shareholders over at Naked Capitalism. Definitely following this one.
Finally, if you don’t know about XKCD yet, you should go check it out, especially if you’re interested in coding or math. Great cartoons, including one of my all-time favorites. But if you’re worried about hackers getting into voting machines, this cartoon won’t make you feel better.