Pregnancy, Brexit, China, Disinformation, Iraq

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The Story Of One Man’s Pregnancy

Paula Cocozza | Guardian | 22nd March 2018

Men are getting pregnant, and have been doing so for years. In Australia, 54 people who identified as men gave birth in 2014. In London, Jason Barker has a son aged eight. “In pregnancy, Barker mostly passed as ‘a fat bloke’. No one offered him a seat on the bus. No one batted an eyelid when, dressed in jeans and a cardie, he walked along the canal towpath to Nando’s two days before giving birth. He was both in plain sight and, owing to the relative rarity of pregnant men, hidden” (2,450 words)

Who Are The Patriots Now?

George Walden | TLS | 20th March 2018

Review of books on Brexit by Roger Scruton, Ivan Krastev and others. “Three disheartening themes emerge: virtually no one writes honestly about how the UK got here, few can see a way out, and the EU itself faces a faltering future. To outsiders Brexit must resemble a poorly performed tragic farce. Corbyn in his Lenin cap, Jacob Rees-Mogg affecting Edwardian togs, and a Foreign Secretary down-dressed in running gear jogging the world, a globally failing entertainer” (3,430 words)

China’s One Man Show

Isabel Hilton | Jacobin | 20th March 2018

Interesting throughout. How and why Xi Jinping made himself president-for-life, and what follows for Chinese policy. “They’re alarmed by Trump’s unpredictability, but otherwise Trump suits them pretty well, because dilution of American standing and influence in the world is an opportunity for China. If it went too far, China’s anxiety would be that it would have to step up prematurely to restore order and guarantee trading conditions and all those things that China still depends on” (2,500 words)

Nice People Don’t Go Nazi

Alex Harrowell | Yorkshire Ranter | 21st March 2018

How Cambridge Analytica operates. Its campaigns are not intended to win over undecided voters, or persuade voters to switch allegiance; they are intended to create confusion and frustration to the point at which voters feel there is no point in voting at all. “Advertising aims to convince by advancing its version of facts. Propaganda aims to mobilise by advancing its version of social consensus. Disinformation aims to demobilise and disorient by advancing its version of social conflict” (890 words)

The Legacy Of The Iraq War

Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone | 21st March 2018

“The Iraq war began with a crude congressional dog-and-pony show giving Bush approval for the invasion, followed by an equally thin presentation to the UN by Colin Powell. A decade and a half later, authorities no longer need to ask anyone permission to do anything. They’ve created in the interim an entirely separate, secret set of rules giving them the right to kill, imprison, torture, or spy on anyone; a permanent war bureaucracy, invisible beyond the executive branch” (3,220 words)

Video of the day Random Acts Of Kindness

What to expect:

Animation. In praise of kindness. It enriches everyone — those who give, those who receive, those who observe

Thought for the day

Those who assert that everything is predestined still look before they cross the street
Stephen Hawking

Podcast of the day The FBI | Civics 101

Tim Weiner explains the dual role of the FBI as law enforcement agency and intelligence service
(18m 49s)

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