A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘elections

[URBAN NOTE] Four notes about politics and mass transit in Toronto

  • I am decidedly unimpressed by the marijuana dispensary owners who set their employees up for criminal charges.
  • Is the Ontario proposal for a licensed provincial marijuana retailer going to be economically viable? Maybe not. CBC reports.
  • Steve Munro looks at the new 509 Harboufront streetcars with their pantograph power collection units.
  • Edward Keenan makes a well-meaning call to Torontonians to stop speculating about the winner of the 2018 election. (Won’t happen, alas.)
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Written by Randy McDonald

September 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Anthrodendum takes a look at how surfing has been commodified.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the stellar occultation that has revealed information about MU69, the next New Horizons target.
  • Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin takes issue with Mélenchon’s take on anti-Semitism and the French role in the Holocaust.
  • D-Brief notes that we really are not good at detecting faked photos.
  • Dangerous Minds shares some vintage photos of strippers from the 1960s.
  • Michael Sacasas of The Frailest Things looks, again, at the technologically enchanted world.
  • Language Log takes issue with the dismissive treatment of “… in a woodpile.” The expression is poison.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the dual position of the camel among the Sahrawi, as wild and tame at once.
  • Neuroskeptic looks at the problems of neuroscience, statistically.
  • The NYR Daily considers the hacking of the American vote. Who did it? Who gained?
  • Science Sushi notes that climate change threats African wild dogs’ survival.
  • Window on Eurasia notes an Armenian argument that Russia lacks the soft power that the Soviet Union once enjoyed.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO looks at eleven recent Toronto-themed books, from fiction to children’s literature.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the idea of using waste heat to detect extraterrestrial civilizations.
  • Far Outliers reports on how German East Africa substituted for foreign imports during the blockade of the First World War.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that the fall of Rome may have been due to the failure to reconquer North Africa.
  • The NYRB Daily looks at the exuberant art of Jazz Age Florence Stettheimer.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares a stunning portrait of Jupiter from the New Horizons probe.
  • Window on Eurasia considers the idea of containment in the post-Cold War world.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at the British election.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • blogTO reports on the history of Toronto’s Wellington Street.
  • Dangerous Minds introduces me to the grim American gothic that is Wisconsin Death Trip. What happened to Black River Falls in the 1890s?
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to hypotheses about KIC 8462852, one suggesting KIC 8462852 has four exoplanets, another talking about a planet’s disintegration.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper modeling the mantles of icy moons.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at small city NIMBYism in the Oregon city of Eugene.
  • The LRB Blog reports on toxically racist misogyny directed towards Labour’s Diane Abbott by Tory minister David Davis, “misogynoir” as it is called.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reports on the elections in Indonesia, a country increasingly important to Australia.
  • Peter Rukavina describes how the builders of his various indie phones, promising in their own rights, keep dropping them.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer is optimistic that NAFTA will survive mostly as is.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy examines the ruling against Trump’s immigration order on the grounds that its planners explicitly designed it as an anti-Muslim ban.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that the treaty-based federalism of Tatarstan within Russia is increasingly unpopular with many wanting a more centralized country.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomy shares a video imagining of how Cassini will meet its end with Saturn.
  • Cody Delistraty shares an interview with Rebecca Solnit.
  • Far Outliers reports on Margaret Thatcher’s unorthodox campaign in 1979.
  • Joe. My. God. shares Hillary Clinton’s thanks to her 66 million voters.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at gender stereotypes among scientists.
  • The NYRB Daily talks about the visual art of Pipilotti Rist.
  • Otto Pohl commemorates the 73rd anniversary of the deportation of the Kalmyks.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests China might follow Russia’s Crimea strategy in invading Taiwan, and looks at the latest on controversies about Tatar identity and genetics.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that after the Berlin attack, the Toronto Christmas Market has upped its security.
  • D-Brief looks at how roads divide ecosystems.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that WD 1536+520 apparently has solar levels of rock-forming elements.
  • Language Log examines central European metaphors for indecipherable languages.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is diffident on the question of whether Sanders could have won versus Trump.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at the recent depreciation of Canada’s natural resources.
  • The Planetary Society Blog talks about a recent essay collection noting the strides made in planetary science over the past quarter-century.
  • Cheri Lucas Rowlands shares photos from her trip to Hawai’i.
  • Seriously Science notes Santa’s risk of personal injury.
  • Torontoist looks at a University of Toronto professor’s challenges to a law on gender identity.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi likes what Disney has done, and is doing, to Star Wars.

  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russians might want fascissm but lack a leader and argues Western defeatism versus Russia is as ill-judged now as it was in 1979.

[LINK] “Putin Will Find Germany’s Elections Hard to Subvert”

Bloomberg View’s Leonid Bershidsky argues that, owing to the greater resilience of German politics and a more honest media environment among other things, any Russian involvement in Germany’s elections would have more limited results. Here’s hoping.

Merkel’s Achilles heel in this election is the refugee crisis of 2015. I doubt, however, that much unpublished kompromat exists on that: Merkel’s mistakes in handling the crisis were extensively covered by the German press. And unlike Americans, whose trust in the media is at a historic low, Germans still trust traditional media.

There’s a notable difference between the ways relatively conservative Germans and tech-crazy Americans get their news. Only 20 percent of Americans find it in newspapers; 57 percent of Germans still read a newspaper or a magazine every day. That means the effectiveness of fake news campaigns and social network echo chambers won’t be as high in Germany as it was in the U.S.

Besides, Germans are far more amenable to speech restrictions than Americans. Germany has hate speech laws that would be impossible under the First Amendment. Calls to outlaw fake news or prosecute those who spread it are coming from many quarters, especially from Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union, and the other centrist political force — its coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party. Unlike in the U.S., the government in Germany has the ability to go after those who knowingly publish disinformation. A Russian TV journalist who reported on the fake rape earlier this year was briefly under investigation, though he wasn’t convicted.

On Tuesday, the leader of the Social Democrats, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, posted a photo of a handwritten message on Twitter: “A fair fight! That’s how we must fight the 2017 election — not like in the U.S.! No fake news, no bashing, no insults.” Gabriel wrote “fake news” and “bashing” in English. Germany doesn’t even have the kind of echo chambers of anti-establishment opinion that amplified the anti-Clinton line in the U.S., where a propaganda effort could just use the existing channel that gorged on the additional content. In Germany, the channel itself would need to be built.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 14, 2016 at 7:15 pm