Links for 7-11-2017

Links for 7-9-2017

  • North Korea’s latest rocket engine resembles a 1960s-era Soviet design, the RD–250. There’s no record of North Korea obtaining the blueprints for that engine.

  • Rich Lowry writes on Donald Trump’s plan to create a joint U.S./Russian cyber security unit:

    Vladimir Putin has to be having a good, dark chuckle over that one. There are conflicting accounts of what Trump said in their meeting about the Russian interference in our election and how tough he was about it, but judging by how Trump tends to be all over the map on this, the right answer is probably “all of the above.” As I’ve said before, I believe Trump refuses to frankly acknowledge that Russia did the hacking because he doesn’t want to give people trying to undermine his legitimacy any satisfaction. But now he’s in a position where that refusal has him implicitly accepting Putin’s brazen lies about the interference. Trump is obviously determined to try to have a bromance with Putin no matter what and Tillerson is in a John Kerry-like fever to cut deals with Moscow in Syria. The best case here is that eventually, like with President Xi, cold-eyed geopolitical differences overwhelm naive expectations based on supposed personal chemistry.

  • A Washington Post article tries to blame a right-wing radio talk show host for inciting a left-wing Bernie Bro to shoot Steve Scalise.

  • Germany started withdrawing its troops from Turkey’s Incirlik air base. Germany is moving its planes to a base in Jordan.

  • A prominent leader of France’s The Republicans political party, Valerie Pecresse, is starting a new party called Libre:

    She [Pecresse] told Sunday newspaper Le Journal de Dimanche she would seek to position her grouping between those who have joined Macron’s government – including prime minister Edouard Philippe – and those who would follow a line she called “aggressive opposition,” and which has gathered around the party’s right wing.

    She said she wanted “an authentic right, neither subsumed by Macron nor porous with the (far right) National Front (FN.)”

  • Three Hungarian right wing groups formed a new group called Force and Determination:

    “We have to declare war against the force which represents Satanic darkness and which has made Europe unlivable and indefensible,” said Zsolt Tyirityan, leader of the Outlaw Army, one of the groups in the new alliance. “This is called liberalism. It makes people lose their awareness of nation, their racial identity and, slowly, their sexual identity, too.”

  • Eritrea resumed mass arrests of Christians.

Links for 6-14-2017

Links for 6-7-2017

Links for 4-22-2017

Links for 4-16-2017

  • North Korea launched another ballistic missile as Vice President Mike Pence was flying to South Korea. The missile exploded almost immediately.

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in a referendum to approve constitutional amendments that would change Turkey from a parliamentary government (led by a prime minister) to an executive government (led by a president — Erdogan). Turks who live in the U.S. voted overwhelmingly against the constitutional amendments. Erdogan immediately warned his opponents not to challenge the result; they’d likely end up in prison with the tens of thousands of people who were arrested after last year’s attempted military coup.

  • Someone staged a truck bomb attack against buses that were evacuating people from government-held towns in Syria, killing 126 people, including 68 children.

  • There was another riot near the University of California at Berkeley campus when pro-Trump demonstrators were attacked by counter-protesters. Twenty-one people were arrested.

  • Sharyl Attkisson assembled a timeline of Obama administration surveillance of whistleblowers, journalists, and people with connections to Russia.

  • An anonymous professor at an American university details the de-professionalization of the academy:

    In the fall of 2005, I began working as a full-time faculty member in the General Studies program at Hudson University. I was promoted to full Professor last year. Thus, the tale I tell does not represent sour grapes. Rather, what follows is a jeremiad decrying the direction that academia has taken in order to underscore the threats posed to academic integrity and institutional legitimacy. Over twelve years, I have watched with increasing dismay and incredulity as academic integrity, fairness, and intellectual rigor have eroded, with the implicit endorsement of administration and faculty alike. I have witnessed the de-professionalization of the professoriate—hiring policies based on tokenized identity politics and cronyism, the increasing intellectual and ideological conformity expected from faculty and students, and the subsequent curtailment of academic freedom.

    Later this professor chaired a committee to hire a writing professor:

    In the Skype interview following this discussion, a fellow committee member proceeded to attack the next job candidate, a candidate whom I respected. In fact, before the interview, this colleague, obviously enraged by my criticisms of her favorite, announced that she would ruthlessly attack the next candidate. She did exactly that, asking increasingly obtuse questions, while adopting a belligerent tone and aggressive posture from the start. That candidate, incidentally, had done fascinating scholarship on the history of U.S. journalism from the late 19th through the first half of the 20th Century. He had earned his Ph.D. from a top-ten English department, had since accrued considerable teaching experience in relevant subjects, and presented a record of noteworthy publications, including academic scholarship and journalism. He interviewed extremely well, except when he was harangued and badgered by the hostile interviewer. He should have been a finalist for the job. But he had a fatal flaw: he was a white, straight male.

  • Der Spiegel reported that the Tunisian man who drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin received his orders directly from ISIS.

  • Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht paid $3.3 billion in bribes between 2005 and 2014. This was discovered as a result of the investigation into the Operation Car Wash scandal.

Links for 4-3-2017