MetaDada ‘Pocalypse Review

By Pat Strosahl | About politics and culture and facing the realities of this moment of history. A media companion for my blog metadadablog.com

Fox New’s Kremlin Ties Go Much Deeper Than Just Sean Hannity

A few days ago, I addressed the troubling issue of Sean Hannity, the Fox News star, and his hidden ties to the Trump administration. With the …

Donald Trump

White people in America are sharply divided by education and income: Donald Trump is the result

Non-college-educated white people overwhelmingly voted for Trump. Political scientist Brian Schaffner explains why<p>America appears caught in a maelstrom of what I have described as "malignant reality," sustained by lies, half-truths, misunderstandings, willful ignorance and confusion about many …

Government

Comey sent the Weiner letter because the NYC FBI Office was full of leaking Hillary Haters

CNN reports that the WH plans to counter Comey’s book by casting Rosenstein’s decision to assign Mueller Special Counsel as “payback” for his “good …

Donald Trump

A two-year study of broken politics in America

<b>After more than two years</b> of exploring why American politics is so broken, Jon Ward of Yahoo News today posts his conclusion: weakened political …

Political Science

John Boehner’s claim that ‘we have literally filled up our jails’ with people for minor marijuana possession

<i>“When you look at the number of people in our state and federal penitentiaries, who are there for possession of small amounts of cannabis, you begin to really scratch your head. We have literally filled up our jails with people who are nonviolent and frankly do not belong there.”</i><br>—Former House …

Cannabis

Was the Confederacy really defeated? Why America can’t stop fighting the Civil War

Historian Ed Ayers on why many white Americans cling to the Confederate flag and “a nation based on slavery”<p>On April 9, 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. That moment marked the United States of America's military defeat of the …

War

The painful truth of life after prison: Getting a job can be impossible

We condemn people who go in and out of prison, but won’t fix the system that keeps a new life out of reach<p>One day I pulled over in front of my aunt’s place to use the bathroom. Six pounds on the door before Big Guy A yelled across the yard, “She not home, dummy, you just missed her!”<p>(I’m calling …

New Mexico

Trump's 'Trade War' Irony: America Loses By Not Rejoining The TPP

China has drawn first blood in the “trade war” between Washington and Beijing. With surgical precision, Beijing has targeted America’s farmers, in key agricultural states that are critical to U.S. President Donald Trump’s political fortunes.<p>Chinese tariffs on U.S. pork, nuts and fruits—which were …

Globalization

The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder review – chilling and unignorable

This persuasive book looks at Putin’s favourite Russian political philosopher and the template he set for fake news<p>Even presidents who don’t believe in history need a historian to rely on. When asked, in 2014, by a delegation of students and history teachers for his chosen chronicler of Russia’s …

Russia

Time to Deconstruct Systemic Racism?

<b>It’s time to end it. “But how?” you plead. “Because we are blind. No, not colorblind as we had hoped, but blind to our own prejudice… How can we rise</b> …

Human Rights

How the Vietnam war created America’s modern “white power” movement

Read this historian’s origin story of “white power” activism in the US.<p>“They believe in a racial nation that would be transnational in scope ... based on the idea that white people are the chosen people.”<p>That’s how University of Chicago historian Kathleen Belew describes the ideology of the “white …

Political Science

Extreme anti-abortion rhetoric and “grab ’em by the p***y”: The right’s ugly fantasies about women

Kevin Williamson is no outlier. Violent fantasies about punishing women over sexuality are endemic on the right<p>It's been a week since Kevin Williamson, a conservative columnist who had recently been hired by the Atlantic, lost his job after it became clear that he sincerely believed that women who …

Feminism

Democrats can win by tackling race and class together. Here's proof

The party is often asked to choose between courting white working-class voters and fighting racism but our research shows it can do both<p>We’ve heard this line over and over again: Democrats need to woo the white working class. Of course, Democrats should endeavor to reach these voters – just as a …

Middle-class

Mark Zuckerberg's Congressional testimony showed that a bedrock principle of online privacy is a complete and utter fraud

If Mark Zuckerberg's appearances before Congress this week did nothing else, they should have made absolutely clear to policymakers of all stripes that one of the bedrock assumptions long made in privacy law and contracts is a complete and utter fraud.<p>For years now, web services, app makers, and …

Privacy

Psychological weapons of mass persuasion

The truth about the controversial science that has everyone worried<p>When I was a teenager, my parents often asked me to come along to the store to help carry groceries. One day, as I was waiting patiently at the check-out, my mother reached for her brand new customer loyalty card. Out of curiosity, …

Psychology

James Comey and Donald Trump Go to War

It’s come to this: James Comey, the former head of the F.B.I., says that the President of the United States operates like a mob boss—lying, scheming, and demanding loyalty oaths from his subalterns, with no regard for morality. In response, the President has called the former G-man a “weak and …

James Comey

Trump's Rush to Confirm Comey's Accusations

The White House teased an elaborate plan to push back on the former FBI director’s book. Instead, the president took to Twitter to validate its central characterizations.<p>As the release of James Comey’s book neared, Republican operatives in Washington began spreading the word: They had a plan to …

Donald Trump

Donald Trump and Paul Manafort revived Nixon’s race-based hate strategy for the 21st century

Conservative politicians often use racist dog-whistles to get votes, power, and money<p>April 10th marked the 50th anniversary of the funeral of assassinated Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., capping a week of extensive press coverage about his life and death. However, all that coverage …

Donald Trump

Disinformation is corroding democracy. Here’s how to fight back.

Margaret Sullivan’s April 5 Style column, “ ‘Fake news’ has lost its meaning. Is ‘truth’ next?” offered a cogent assessment of the problem. Part of the solution is to ditch references to “fake news” and focus instead on politically motivated disinformation. The latter gives the appearance of being …

Fake News

Housing segregation is in everything. But to...

Housing segregation is in everything. But to understand the root of this issue, you have to look at the government-backed policies that created the …

'Trump: An American Dream' Plays Like A Supervillain Origin Story

I was fully expecting to finish Netflix’s new documentary series ‘Trump: An American Dream,’ and walk away with a more positive outlook on the 45th President of America. I wanted to see the man beneath the caricature, to understand the reasoning behind the fervent admiration of his …

Donald Trump

Persuasive proof that America is full of racist and selfish people

What millions of Google searches reveal about our national psyche.<p>“Google is a digital truth serum,” Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of <i>Everybody Lies</i><i>,</i> told me in a recent interview. “People tell Google things that they don't tell to possibly anybody else, things they might not tell to family …

Google Trends

Did Fake News On Facebook Help Elect Trump? Here's What We Know

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint Senate Committee on Wednesday, he led off with a mea culpa. Just a few paragraphs into his opening statement, he took personal responsibility for the disinformation:<p>"[I]t's clear now that we didn't do enough to prevent these tools from …

Journalism

Trump thinks any attack on him is an attack on America: Isn’t that the definition of a fascist?

Trump calls FBI raid on Michael Cohen “an attack on our country.” Because democracy is a buzzkill for tyrants<p>Does any real doubt remain that Donald Trump is a fascist cut from an American mold?<p>To this point in the story that is the decline of American democracy under Donald Trump and the Republican …

Donald Trump

Donald Trump: A perfect Republican

Trump embodies many of the nasty trends that have long moved the Republicans away from the path of political virtue<p><b>The Republican Party</b> is now the Party of Trump. That is astonishing insofar as there was a “Never Trump” movement ahead of the 2016 election, when many Congressional leaders were …

Political Science

The Bell Curve is about policy. And it’s wrong.

Charles Murray is an incredibly successful — and pernicious — policy entrepreneur.<p>Charles Murray and his decades-old work on IQ and race, published in his 1994 book <i>The Bell Curve</i>, is back in the news because of a mini feud between “new atheist” author and podcaster Sam Harris and Vox’s own Ezra …

Economics

An Iraq War vet makes the case against shallow patriotism

“I think a lot of people have a third-grade understanding of what patriotism is.”<p>If you’re looking for a rose-colored view of the military, Marine and Iraq War veteran Matt Young’s new memoir <i>Eat</i> <i>t</i><i>he Apple</i>isn’t for you.<p>But if you want a glimpse of the regret and shame and confused pride that consumes …

National Security

Memo from a South African: Peter Dutton is entrenching racist white privilege

My child eyes witnessed racism daily in South Africa. I could escape because I’m white<p>This year marks the 70th anniversary of the implementation of the racist legislation known as apartheid in South Africa. In 1948, laws were signed into effect that forever changed the lives of South Africans, …

South Africa

This new lynching memorial rewrites American history

<b>(CNN) —</b> One of my first thoughts when I arrived in Montgomery, Alabama, and encountered the spring heat was this: How did enslaved men, women and children endure day after day?<p>It was an odd thought, given that I'm a Southerner, and heat, certainly not spring heat, wouldn't ordinarily be …

Black History