(CAMP) X-RAY TRANSPARENCY

Carol Rosenberg has covered Guantanamo Bay for 18 years, outlasting everyone except the detainees.

Do you know the one media company that stands poised to benefit from coronavirus?

French conservative feminists grapple with the legacy of De Beauvoir, and fail to break free.

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Is preferring reading books over listening to them a form of snobbery?

And the most hyper-conservative news consumers tend to go to the most to untrustworthy sites — but even so, the prevalence of such sites is overstated, research shows.

VIRUS CRISIS… ARCHDIOCESE?

Right-wingers continue to criticise Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus crisis. Elsewhere in the US, an arch-capitalist prone to dividing people between those who “carry the water” and those who “drink the water” says everyone should be infected with the virus to “get it over with” and move on economically (the gentleman concerned has since issued a grovelling apology).

The virus has prompted a surge of interest in the 2012 film Contagion (starring Jude “the young pope” Law as Stephen Mayne!). But what are the options for European policymakers to respond to the economic impact of the crisis? Not very many.

(Image: AAP/Glenn Hunt)

Finally, some eerie photos of some of the world’s busiest places now empty due to the virus.

WHEN TOO MUCH DEMOCRACY IS BARELY ENOUGH

It turns out “2019 was the 14th consecutive year of decline in global freedom”. And the decline was led by two the leaders of the United States and India. Speaking of which, here are 12 things and people that have ruined India.

The emergence of populism and widespread policy failure has given thinking around curbs on democracy an intellectual credibility it might have lacked a few years ago. See how some political philosophers want to address flaws in democratic systems, including through gambling systems.

Why are America’s leaders so old? And take a deep breath: the Beijing dictatorship is not as bad as the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany (hmmm). It’s all going really well in Kabul: duelling presidential inaugurations.

CLIMATE

Preparing for a disastrous future: a new ASPI report looks at what Australia must do to address the threat posed by climate change to our security. This news comes as we discover that climate change is driving an increase in global hunger for the first time in a decade.

Coal consumption in the United States is collapsing. But the coronavirus crisis, while producing a temporary fall in emissions, is likely bad news long-term for climate action.

ELIZABETH RORSCHACH

Why did Elizabeth Warren, one of the most experienced Democrat candidates (age: 70), perform so poorly in the primaries? Activist groups didn’t turn out for her — but why? Theories abound: she was her own worst enemy; her tactics were flawed; it was misogyny; she never had a chance because the media wildly overestimated her appeal.

Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren at the Democratic presidential primary debate (Image: AP/John Minchillo)

Meanwhile, Roe v Wade is in serious danger of being overturned, while travelling salesmen of misogynist lies go town-to-town in the US attacking abortion rights, and white males with lower education levels face rapidly declining life expectancy.

DISPATCHES FROM THE GREAT NEOLIBERAL WAR

One of the staples of progressive commentary — and I confess I’ve occasionally been guilty of this myself — is a piece that runs along the lines of “<insert bad thing that’s in the news here> is really the fault of capitalism”. Or, commonly, “the fault of neoliberalism”, with that term deployed with less regard for definitional accuracy than as an amorphous catch-all phrase to cover anything the author dislikes (thus, coronavirus is caused by neoliberalism, or at least its spread is enabled by it, or neoliberalism will prevent us from being cured).

If you’re going to do such a piece, at least follow the example of Dejan Jotanovic, whose piece on how capitalism has taken control of Mardi Gras conveys both detailed history and an international context, explaining how the same debate has broken out in LGBTIQ communities the world over.

DEEP GURNING

AI is good at learning what cats are, but hopeless at understanding the most basic laws of cause and effect. Plus, the challenge of trying to find some real darkness in America.

Defeating surveillance: clothes that can defeat the algorithms that enable governments and corporations to track us. What are the pros and cons of remote schooling during school shutdowns? Hong Kong provides some answers.

What makes a murmuration? It’s an emergent property in a system with basic rules, the first one of which is “don’t get eaten”.

FINALLY…

Some glorious murmuration action. And — of course — inside a murmuration of dogs.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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