…McGonigal, Trump, and the Truth about America …

Thinking about... The Specter of 2016 We are on the edge of a spy scandal with major implications for how we understand the Trump administration, our national security, and ourselves. On 23 January, we learned that a former FBI special agent, Charles McGonigal, was arrested on charges involving taking money to serve foreign interests.  One … Continue reading …McGonigal, Trump, and the Truth about America …

… Why does the world need a Ukrainian victory? …

Fifteen reasons 1.  To halt atrocity.  Russia's occupation is genocidal.  Wherever the Ukrainians recover territory, they save lives, and re-establish the principle that people have a right not to be tortured, deported, and murdered. 2.  To preserve the international legal order.  Its basis is that one country may not invade another and annex its territory, … Continue reading … Why does the world need a Ukrainian victory? …

… The Great Big Medicare Rip-Off …

The government is leaving billions of dollars on the table. Here’s how to fix it. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill establishing Medicare in 1965, he explained that it was part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legacy of government support for those who need it most, the elderly and the … Continue reading … The Great Big Medicare Rip-Off …

… The Autocrat in Your iPhone …

How Mercenary Spyware Threatens Democracy In the summer of 2020, a Rwandan plot to capture exiled opposition leader Paul Rusesabagina drew international headlines. Rusesabagina is best known as the human rights defender and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient who sheltered more than 1,200 Hutus and Tutsis in a hotel during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. … Continue reading … The Autocrat in Your iPhone …

… Ksenia Sobchak fled Russia using Israeli passport …

... Russian star linked to Putin ...   Ksenia Sobchak, a Russian socialite and television anchor with a close family connection to President Vladimir Putin, used her dual Israeli citizenship to flee Russia on Tuesday after a police raid of her home that Russian authorities said was tied to a criminal investigation of two of … Continue reading … Ksenia Sobchak fled Russia using Israeli passport …

… Elon Musk’s Disastrous Weekend On Twitter …

Things are only going to get worse. On Sunday morning, Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and the new owner of Twitter, replied to a tweet from Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s tweet was a link to an L.A. Times report detailing the troubled, conspiracy-theory-laden online past of the man who invaded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home … Continue reading … Elon Musk’s Disastrous Weekend On Twitter …

… Bodies in Bucha … …

... Can we overcome the urge to turn away?... BUCHA, Ukraine — After months of meticulous, painful and at times gruesome investigation, officials in Bucha said Monday that they had reached what may be the closest they will get to a final accounting of victims of the murderous rampage by Russian troops that set off … Continue reading … Bodies in Bucha … …

… Trump, Putin, and the Assault of Anarchy …

We must refuse to get used to it all.   Trump and Putin attend their bilateral meeting at the G20 Osaka Summit 2019, in Osaka, Japan. (Mikhail Svetlov / Getty) I am taken aback, and not for the first time, that terrible and shocking things now just flow over Americans as if chaos is part of … Continue reading … Trump, Putin, and the Assault of Anarchy …

… How Telegram Became the Digital Battlefield in the Russia-Ukraine War …

Before the Russian military invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Nataliia Nezhynska had never used Telegram. Now she can’t go a day without the messaging app. It feeds her an endless stream of updates from her native city of Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, to her home in Lorton, Va. “What the Army is doing, how many … Continue reading … How Telegram Became the Digital Battlefield in the Russia-Ukraine War …

… Putin’s War in Ukraine … through the Cameras …

  Police officers remove the body of a passer-by killed in an airstrike that hit Kyiv’s main television tower the day before. Local men digging a bunker and building a checkpoint at the edge of their village in Hushchyntsi. The body of a Russian soldier next to an armored vehicle that Ukrainian soldiers said was … Continue reading … Putin’s War in Ukraine … through the Cameras …

… Ukrainians Find That Relatives in Russia Don’t Believe It’s a War …

...Many Ukrainians are encountering a confounding and frustrating backlash from family members in Russia who have bought into the official Kremlin messaging.   LVIV, Ukraine — Four days after Russia began dropping artillery shells on Kyiv, Misha Katsiurin, a Ukrainian restaurateur, was wondering why his father, a church custodian living in the Russian city of … Continue reading … Ukrainians Find That Relatives in Russia Don’t Believe It’s a War …

… “We stay in Berlin, period.” President Harry Truman, June, 1948 … … Ukraine March 2022

"We stay in Berlin, period." President Harry Truman, June, 1948 The Berlin Airlift, 1948–1949 At the end of the Second World War, U.S., British, and Soviet military forces divided and occupied Germany. Also divided into occupation zones, Berlin was located far inside Soviet-controlled eastern Germany. The United States, United Kingdom, and France controlled western portions of … Continue reading … “We stay in Berlin, period.” President Harry Truman, June, 1948 … … Ukraine March 2022

… What Does It Mean for AI to Understand? …

It’s simple enough for AI to seem to comprehend data, but devising a true test of a machine’s knowledge has proved difficult. Maggie Chiang for Quanta Magazine Remember IBM’s Watson, the AI Jeopardy! champion? A 2010 promotionproclaimed, “Watson understands natural language with all its ambiguity and complexity.” However, as we saw when Watson subsequently failed … Continue reading … What Does It Mean for AI to Understand? …

…. In Scrutinizing Trump and His Allies, Jan. 6 Panel Adopts Prosecution Tactics …

The House committee investigating the assault on the Capitol and what led to it is employing techniques more common in criminal cases than in congressional inquiries. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol has hired two former U.S. attorneys and more than a dozen other former federal prosecutors. The House select … Continue reading …. In Scrutinizing Trump and His Allies, Jan. 6 Panel Adopts Prosecution Tactics …

…The future of American power …

Why the end of America’s empire won’t be peaceful This By-invitation commentary is part of a series by global thinkers on the future of American power—examining the forces shaping the country's global standing, from the rise of China to the withdrawal from Afghanistan.   As it leaves Afghanistan in chaos, America’s decline mirrors Britain’s a … Continue reading …The future of American power …

… Dave Barry’s … 2021 Year In Review…

Is there anything positive we can say about 2021? Yes. We can say that it was marginally better than 2020. Granted, this is not high praise. It’s like saying that somebody is marginally nicer than Hitler. But it’s something. What was better about 2021? For one thing, people finally emerged from their isolated pandemic cocoons … Continue reading … Dave Barry’s … 2021 Year In Review…

…The Inventors of America’s Most Dangerous Idea …

Freedom was once a rallying cry for justice, but the country’s Realtors had a better use for it. Conservatives in America have, in recent months, used the idea of freedom to argue against wearing masks, oppose vaccine mandates, and justify storming the Capitol. They routinely refer to themselves as “freedom-loving Americans.” Freedom, as a cause, … Continue reading …The Inventors of America’s Most Dangerous Idea …

… Pandora Papers …

  Millions of leaked documents and the biggest journalism partnership in history have uncovered financial secrets of 35 current and former world leaders more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories, and a global lineup of fugitives, con artists and murderers. The secret documents expose offshore dealings of the King of … Continue reading … Pandora Papers …