FIGHT THE RIGHT
The threat of right-wing terrorism in the US — already apparent to front-line officials — is increasingly being recognised at high levels of the US government in the wake of Trump’s removal. Paging Peter Dutton: the effort to coordinate the fight against right-wing terrorism internationally was stymied because the Trump administration refused to call right-wing terrorism right-wing terrorism. Plus ASPI’s Fergus Ryan on why Russia and China — two regimes who normally love censorship — are happy to help keep the far-right online.
Meanwhile Republicans are abandoning their party in the wake of January 6 (it only took a coup attempt, not four years of Trump). An ex-QAnon believer explains (and apologises) to Anderson Cooper for believing he was a baby-eating robot (I can’t believe, even in 2021, that I just typed that). And the much-beloved (by the Right) CPAC conference threatens to sue journalists for merely asking questions.
MEMORIES AIN’T WHAT THEY USED TO BE
Ideological myopia or, remembering the late Robert Fisk. Whether you liked Gillian Anderson’s portrayal or not, Thatcher was more complicated than we remember. For those with especially long memories: Hail, Caesar — Augustus and the grimmer truth of the transition to empire. And hail seizure (sorry) — Why pellet ice is wonderful.
The story behind Bellingcat, and why a small army of online users is apparently better at intelligence-gathering than intelligence services — and more transparent too. And how the Russians are using AI-generated photos to undermine the opposition to Putin.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
PUBLIC POLICY AND OTHER ERRORS
Coronavirus death tolls can be deeply misleading (fortunately not a problem here). A rigorous study shows climate change has killed at least 475,000 people in the last two decades (and Paddy Manning’s wonderful Body Count has just won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-fiction).
Should the left oppose Scottish nationalism? The challenge for the English (ah for the good old days when the left hated any nationalism or separatism supported by the US, but embraced it if it was deemed contrary to the interests of Uncle Sam). And do the Gulf sheikdoms qualify as full-fledged slave societies?
IT’S A FREE COUNTRY
The idea of banning online anonymity is the unkillable mole of idiot censorship debate, so here’s a Bookmark This Article piece on why it’s a thoroughly stupid idea. The complex relationship between free speech and bigotry: free speech campaigners and academics try to establish a way forward. Do we have to remain consistent about free speech protections? I think we must, but others say that’s a distraction from the real problem. Case in point: Trump’s social media ban.
They Have Already Landed Watch: One of the last bills Trump signed into law requires intelligence agencies to tell Congress what they know about UFOs. Have fun perusing all of the CIA’s UFO files. And out of the approximately eight million US and European videos uploaded in recent days of dogs running around in snow, I commend this hound for good technique.