Link list: Monday, June 15 2020

On Cory Doctorow’s Pluralistic:

Mad Magazine’s Al Jaffee is retiring young – he’s only 99.

Jaffee launched “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” and the fold-out.


Marie Foulston and her friends held a pandemic party in a spreadsheet.


The pandemic is rising in red states because it turns out you can’t just ignore healthcare and trust that only brown-skilled people, who are Democrats, will die.

The GOP is trapped in a prison of its own making. To keep the fortunes of the 1% intact, they need to restart American commerce. But doing so will not just murder racialized people who don’t typically vote Republican, but also the GOP’s base: elderly and rural people.


The US has virtually no cyberdefense; it’s virtually all offense.

[Jason Healey on the Lawfare blog:] “There are tremendous risks when a fearsome offense is paired with a weak defense,” because “a more fearsome cyber offense makes it more likely they will get in a sucker punch on the U.S. before Cyber Command can bring its big guns to bear.


NYC community activists are scraping traffic-cam to find evidence of police brutality against Black Lives Matter protesters.


Security researchers find a huge trove of data belonging to customers of “niche dating sites.”


Why the Pandemic Is Driving Conservative Intellectuals Mad. Conservative intellectuals view respect for life and health as symptoms of civilizational decay.


What We Know About the White House’s Secret Bunker Popular Mechanics: “There’s a whole city’s worth of stuff underneath the White House and other government buildings in and around Washington, D.C.”


“Is God Dead?” at 50

54 years ago, Time Magazine put an essay on its cover: “Is God Dead?”

The authors did not mean to claim that religion was irrelevant (which was my interpretation of the question).

The article was far more nuanced than the cover might suggest, but [theologians William Hamilton and Thomas Altizer] were not hedging in their views. It’s tempting to take them metaphorically, to say “death” and mean “irrelevance,” but they were speaking literally. The idea was not the same as disbelief: God was real and had existed, they said, but had become dead.

Jesus Christ was a better model than God for the work that needed to be done by man, of which there was a lot—particularly, for him, within the civil rights movement. He saw religion’s place in the human realm, not in heaven. Altizer took that idea a step further: Jesus Christ had to die in order for the resurrection to happen all those Easters ago, and likewise God had to die in order for the apocalypse to take place.

Today, religion is a far more powerful world force than it was in 1966.

“Nobody would ask whether God is dead [today],” says Rabbi Donniel Hartman, author of the new book Putting God Second. “You can’t understand three-quarters of the conflicts in the world unless you recognize that God is a central player.”

And yet, 97% of Americans professed belief in God in 1966; by 2014, only 63% of Americans “believed with absolute certainty.” And while religious conservatives control the White House, Senate, and judicial benches, the biggest religious affiliation in America is “none.”


The GOP is rolling over its 2016 platform for 2020, with numerous criticisms of the “current President.”


Alexis Madrigal: America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic


Jesus Christ, Just Wear a Face Mask!: There is plenty of evidence that face masks and social distancing are effective and easy methods of blocking the spread of COVID-19 and permitting safe reopening, and no good reason not to use them.


Civil Rights Law Protects L.G.B.T. Workers, Supreme Court Rules

A good day. And Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch led the decision.

Conservative hypocrites who claim to support the literal interpretation of the law are now tying themselves up in knots trying to criticize this this decision, which is based on literal interpretation of the law.

Also, Justice Samuel Alito says it’s a terrible decision because women go crazy if they see a penis.


Supreme Court lets stand California’s ‘sanctuary’ law on undocumented immigrants

A victory for decency and common sense.


Mo Rocca: The Forgotten Forerunners: Three people who changed history, but who you’ve probably never heard of: Black woman Elizabeth Jennings integrated New York public transit a century before Rosa Parks and years before the Civil War; Black man Moses Fleetwood Walker played pro baseball more than a half-century before Jackie Robinson, and Lois Weber was a highly paid, successful and prolific movie director in 1910s Hollywood.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner