In countries around the world, the pandemic is giving leaders an excuse to entrench themselves. And the public is going along with it.
Dante RamosHungary's Viktor Orban gets to rule by decree—and he's not the only one seeking more authority. Here's where @anneapplebaum lays out how, when disease comes, more power flows to the people in charge
Megxit is the most complicated, self-involved, grandiose, shortsighted, letter of partial, fingers-crossed resignation in history.
Dante RamosIf the Germans invaded Britain by land, @CaitlinPacific writes, "the plan was, literally, to 'Keep calm and carry on,' as the poster said. Today it’s a reminder to go to yoga even if you can’t find your good top."
They get away with raising rents in places where local regulations impede the construction of new apartments.
Dante RamosLeft-leaning politicians like to blame corporate landlords and corrupt developers for rising rents, @jenny_schuetz notes. But global capital distorts the housing market most in places where local rules make new apartments impossible to build.
George Zimmerman’s lawsuit is part of a much broader pattern: Gun-rights advocates have recast perpetrators of violence as the real victims.
Dante RamosGun-control and racial-justice advocates want to prevent deaths like Trayvon Martin's. Meanwhile, in one state capital after another, the gun lobby is recasting would-be shooters as the real victims.
In a repressive society, dark political jokes allow regular people to describe what they see with their own eyes.
Dante Ramos“Why do the KGB thugs always walk around in threes? One can read, one can write, and the third keeps an eye on the two intellectuals.” Don’t miss the very funny @AronRTTT on the legacy of Russian anekdoty—and their importance in the Putin/Trump era.
The pursuit of money from wealthy donors distorts the research process—and yields flashy projects that don’t help and don’t work.
Dante RamosThe Epstein/Media Lab scandal is the kind of thing that happens, @SarahTaber_bww says, when labs push flashy projects to pull in wealthy funders—and science becomes a mere fashion accessory for plutocrats.
When the terrorist attacks happened, trivial decisions spared people’s lives—or sealed their fate.
Dante RamosEven 18 years later, @vermontgmg shudders at the sheer randomness of 9/11: Move an 8 a.m. meeting to 8:45 because of a game on TV the previous night, and you lived. Do a favor for a coworker, and you lived. But make the wrong turn into the hallway...
In an ultrasound room far from home, I discovered more than I was looking for.
Dante RamosIsrael and the US have strikingly different legal regimes for abortion. In an ultrasound room near Tel Aviv, American ob-gyn @ChaviKar wrestles with whether and how to talk about termination quite late in a pregnancy.
If Trump were an immigrant, the U.S. might not let him in.
Dante RamosSo @shadihamid wants to know: What would it really mean to judge migrants on their “cultural distance” from American values? European countries define themselves by ethnonationalism—but we don’t. If a Swede held Trump’s views, we might not let him in.
Google and Facebook aren’t infringing on the right’s freedom of expression, but insisting otherwise is politically convenient.
Dante RamosCongress could look into a zillion tech-related issues—antitrust, data privacy, etc. etc. But for some reason, Republicans are hung up on the myth that Google and Facebook are suppressing conservative views. @sivavaid looks into why
Cameras are everywhere, and data brokers are vacuuming up information on individuals. But regulations have not kept pace.
Dante RamosWhen we think about online privacy, we focus on things like what a website does with your birthday or address after you type it in. But there's a bigger problem in privacy today, as @tiffanycli explains in this very insightful piece
A show of military might to gratify the president’s ego—on Independence Day, no less—is yet another blow to republican virtue.
Dante RamosTrump's Fourth of July idea "has blown through the romance of Bastille Day and past the stodgy opera of the Soviet May Day reviewing stand, and is now squarely in the North Korean 'Because I feel like it' mode." Here's a fun one from @RadioFreeTom
Applying to schools has become an endless chore—one that teaches students nothing about what really matters in higher education.
Dante RamosAmerica's nutty college admissions process teaches students nothing about how to succeed once they get there, @CollegeBoard CEO David Coleman argues. In this piece, he points out all the stuff that students need to know but probably don't.
The 2020 candidates are resisting the latest brush with war, but they’re not going far enough.
Dante RamosBy calling out Iran's "malign activities" while opposing war, Democrats think they're splitting the difference. In fact, @PeterBeinart insists, they're letting hawks define the debate—and keeping the U.S. on a path toward military conflict.
The same technological and economic developments that are pulling couples apart are also making geographic separation less stressful and more enjoyable.
Dante RamosAmazing stat in this @jpinsk story about long-distance relationships (a subject newly dear to my heart): In the late '50s, a minute of cross-country phone time cost $3 a minute—more than the hourly wage at the time. At current value, that's $26 a minute!