Curated Nerd Stuff (January 20 edition)
Intermittently sharing what I find digging through the crates of life. Here’s the best and most interesting of what I came across the past couple weeks. ✌️
What Should Progressive Do About Joe Biden?
RootsAction hosted a provocative virtual panel addressing the most important political question facing the left right now—what to do about Biden? It featured the great Max Elbaum from Convergence Magazine.
Event: Chinese and US Defense Spending in Context
The Brown University Costs of War project will be hosting what looks to be a fantastic webinar on January 31. Register here.
This research finds that loyal employees are targeted by managers for exploitation, because they assume loyal workers are readily willing to make personal sacrifices. The relationship between loyalty and exploitation is a vicious circle of suffering.
I’ve never known the world to be any other way.
Reading Politics & Policy
- , “Conspiracy Theories Poison Social Movements. Political Education is the Cure,” Safety Through Solidarity Newsletter
Spencer Ackerman, “VIDEO: The Most Dangerous Moment in The Middle East in The 21st Century So Far (f/Democracy Now!)” Forever Wars Newsletter
Davis Ellison, “Identity Politics and the Orthodoxies of the National Security Policy Community,” Duck of Minerva
Brendan O’Connor, “Among the Thugs: How the Far-Right Beat Went From Backwater to Basic,” The Baffler
Jonathan Guyer, “How Biden’s Foreign Policy Team Got Rich,” The American Prospect
One of my all-time favorite rappers and actors, Mos Def (now called Yasiin Bey), made a rare appearance on a podcast called The Cutting Room Floor. In this clip, Mos levels the most insane critique of both Drake and commercial hip-hop I’ve ever heard. HILARIOUS yet profound.
If you’ve never read Billion Dollar Whale or heard of 1MDB, prepare to have your f*cking mind blown. Netflix now has a great documentary about it, but when I read the book about this scandal a while back it was radicalizing.
The US—and specifically the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” strategy—was directly involved in laundering the reputation of a Malaysian kleptocrat that was siphoning billions from the Malaysian people. Worse, we sided with this kleptocrat in the name of balancing China while he was using the excuse of “national security” to jail political opponents and critics investigating his abuse of power. That the whole saga also involves famous rappers and Hollywood celebrities makes it all the more fascinating. Everyone who works on foreign policy must spend more time worrying about who suffers for what we do. Must watch/read.
Un-Diplomatic is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.