Donald Trump COVID-19

WOMEN AND THE PEOPLE WHO HATE THEM

The legal industry constantly devises ways to nullify the most basic rights of women and children in favour of men. Bri Lee on yet another one. What’s it like to live under an actual abortion ban? Ask a Northern Irish woman. Dear misogynists — stop invoking the Holocaust to justify your opposition to choice.

And what happens in the real world when you change a bureaucratic classification of sexual harassment? More than you’d expect, apparently.

UNDER THE BONNET OF CAPITALISM

How do products and companies get named? Turns out, there’s an entire industry devoted to devising names (strangely, it hasn’t stopped vast numbers of corporate names being asinine, but anyway). 

What’s a little corporate crime between friends? Between 2013-2017, the Pentagon handed a third of a trillion dollars to contractors who had been indicted, fined, and/or convicted of fraud. Not that there’s a whole lot of sense to the US military industrial complex even by its own logic — its determination to outspend its rivals is actually counterproductive.

American CEOs got a pay rise of 7% last year, more than twice as much as US workers. That’s a lazy $800,000. 

And what would Marx make of gaming — and of people feeling guilty about gaming instead of working? (The Soviet Union had video games, and not just Tetris).

GREAT HATCHET JOBS OF OUR TIME

If you haven’t heard of the savaging dished out to Tory MP and über-fop Jacob Rees-Mogg’s risible Boy’s Own biography of eminent Victorians, the Independent rounded up the greatest hits — or you can enjoy a couple of the demolitions at your leisure. 

Meanwhile, when it comes to the lyrical essay and aphorisms, whatever you do, just don’t

PROGRESS, OR LACK THEREOF

The excellent Stephen Fitzpatrick, formerly of The Australian, discusses the Uluru Statement from the Heart in detail in a must-read piece. Irfan Yusuf schools GetUp on effective activism (not sending a bunch of southerners to tell Queenslanders how to vote might be a start?). Amanda Tink on blindness, reading, and the books of Alan Marshall. And Lauren Carroll Harris has written a quite superb review of the new film Acute Misfortune, exploring the artistic failure and rancid masculine posturing of Adam Cullen — and how the media enabled it.

THE RIGHT VERSUS TRUMP

Some of the most incisive analysis of the danger posed by Trump continues to come from publications on different points of the conservative spectrum in the US, with widespread alarm about his apparent drift to war with Iran: Trump’s not up to a crisis and doesn’t know what he’s doing on Iran; Iran is demonstrating how ill-equipped Trump is for the presidency; he should be impeached if he attacks Iran; how Trump’s sabre-rattling toward Iran has turned Washington into a warmongers’ paradise (presumably even more than usual?).

Oh and in case you thought you understood what traditional US policy in the Middle East centres on, you might want to read this from LRB and think again. 

BITS AND BOBS

The disarray of the European Left — why is the populist right more successful than traditional socialists in the EU?

The teen pregnancy rate is decreasing in the US — which you’d think would be welcomed, but no, it’s being used as another opportunity to attack young people (boomers have never forgiven millennials for killing golf). 

Flooding in the American midwest is getting significantly worse (but hey let’s keep on pretending climate change is just another election issue huh?).

Something to enrage the Islamophobes: Macca’s, Muslims and halal-o-fish

(Image: Wikimedia Commons/Solomon203)

Radicalisation isn’t just about Middle Eastern conflicts: the Balkan wars created a generation of far-right terrorists.

Things you won’t read in the Financial Review: according to the Pollyannas at the Reserve Bank and in Treasury, Australian workers will eventually get higher wages growth when the economy picks up some spare capacity. Except, Japan has full employment — 3% — and wages growth is still dead.

FINALLY…

A history of puppy classes — and new evidence shows they’re really good at making Good Dogs even Better Dogs. Hard evidence on why eye contact is crucial for dogs — and why they’re not smiling at us. But do cats and dogs get jealous? Now that’s tricky. That’s my excuse for a cat video, right? You know it

Peter Fray

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