Don’t Ignore Twitter

Jack Shafer, who spent months asserting the media did not create Trump and they did a fine job covering him — despite Trump announcing his plan to use media coverage to avoid spending on TV advertising, and copious data showing the media actually gave him billions in free advertising while relentlessly tearing down Clinton — now thinks […]

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Why Outrage Is So Important

There is a growing movement, among the smarmier class, to say that we have no right to be outraged at the many horrid, outrageous things President-elect Donald Trump has done. The outrage “burning up social media,” as one put it, is distracting from more substantive aspects of disagreeing with Trump’s policies. “He will use these […]

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Why Trump is a Trigger

It took some thinking to figure out why so many people have a visceral, bile-in-the-throat reaction to President-elect Donald Trump. And going back to one’s childhood might offer the best perspective for explaining why. Donald Trump is the guy in middle school who would turn “smear the queer” into its own blood sport after school, […]

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The Coming Kleptocracy

A kleptocracy (“rule by thieves”) is a type of authoritarian government in which a small ruling cabal uses the power of the state to enrich itself at the expense of everyone else. They have a strong flavor of nepotism, and the ruling elite often blur the line between business and government. Moreover, they often come into […]

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When Racism is Built-In

A year ago, when Donald Trump first floated the idea of requiring Muslims to register with the government, there was a lot of debate about what he “really” meant. Because of how imprecise he is with his language, it can sometimes be hard to parse out what Trump means when he answers a fairly open-ended […]

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The Abnormal Presidency

The effort to make Donald Trump seem normal is to be expected. American politics works on a script most of the time, with very few surprises. We are all used to the system working as it is supposed to, with people of generally good faith respecting the institutions they comprise. Sometimes, this falls apart, like […]

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This Is Not Normal

About the nicest thing you can say about President Trump’s incoming administration is that it is without precedent. But there is another way of looking at it: it is not normal. Normal, you might argue, is a bad thing when people are hurting. In fact, there is enough polling about why people voted for Trump […]

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The Most Pressing Cybersecurity Issue

At least some measure of blame for why there is currently a proto-fascist on his way to the White House is that the emails of the Democratic National Committee (and several key advisors to Hillary Clinton) were hacked by a group linked to the Russian government. These hacks took the form of spearphishing, which is […]

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How (Not) to Regulate the Internet

In 2012, famous computer security expert Bruce Schneier worried about the rise of what he called “security feudalism.” This is the process by which users place their trust in a given vendor to safeguard their data and their devices — whether through automatic updates, automatic backups, required two-factor authentication, and so on. Echoing the old […]

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