Epidemiology is intrinsically at odds with right-wing ideology: the idea that all humans have a shared microbial and viral destiny, one that entwines the poorest and richest among us, which cannot be severed by the highest walls or all the private security in the world is a significant barrier to anyone who dreams of Going Galt and declaring themselves to be responsible only to themselves -- there is no Ayn Rand novel thick enough to stop you from getting antibiotic resistant TB.
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As the Trump administration continues its twin trademarks of "not having press conferences" and "being at the center of gnarly scandals involving spycraft and hacking," much of the reporting on what's actually happening in the most powerful country on Earth is based on quotes attributed to anonymous government sources -- people with something to say but who won't let their names be associated with it. Read the rest
Cynics will argue that Trump's followers don't care if he's lying, but they assuredly care if he's lying about the stuff they're hoping he'll do (otherwise there'd be no trumpgrets); what's more, there's no hope of having a US politics based on rationality and reality if we stop paying attention to facts -- otherwise, we're surrendering to the "we create our own reality" army. Read the rest
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an authoritarian war criminal who is part of the worldwide surge of trumpist leaders and hopefuls, including Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte; Hungary's Viktor Orbán; Russia's Vladimir Putin; South Korea's Park Geun-hye; France's Marine Le Pen; the UK's Nigel Farage, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and others -- bound together by xenophobia, a lack of transparency, violent suppression of opposition, and savvy use of the internet. Read the rest