Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Will Deepfake Technology Become the Ultimate Weapon in the Disinformation War?

by Nomad

Last week, there was a lot of agitation made about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's faked video. If you missed it, a viral video emerged on social media which- through digital manipulation- appeared to show Pelosi three sheets to the wind.
As a method of digital deception, the video was, in fact, extremely crude but apparently sophisticated enough for most Trump supporters.
And if Trump tweeted it, it had to be true, right?

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Three Surprisingly Good News Stories on Tackling Climate Change

by Nomad

For good reason, climate change has been called “challenge of our generation.” Experts have been warning us that the possibility that a runaway warming of the planet will make vast areas of the planet uninhabitable is real. And the window of opportunity is slowly closing. The world needs US leadership on the issue. Unfortunately, the only thing America seems to have to offer is Donald Trump.
In the midst of this glum forecast, we can still find some positive signs.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Paying the Price: Why American Farmers Have Become Trump's Trade War Casualties

by Nomad

There are always casualties in war, even in trade wars. As tit-for-tat tariff hikes between Trump and China begin to spin out of control, US farmers are already starting to feel the pinch. And it is likely to get much much worse.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Looking back at Alistair Cooke's "Letters from America"

by Nomad

A Letter from Home

Many many years ago, when I first came to Turkey, I lived in a small and very conservative town. Those first two years were not easy ones and I often felt as isolated and lonely as a space explorer. I was very likely not only the sole American in town, but the only foreigner.

Even though I never mentioned it to my kind hosts, I often craved the sound of a speaker without a Turkish accent. I had to travel two hours by train to Istanbul just to purchase an English book or a cassette of American music. Letters from my parent took two weeks - or more- to arrive.
As far as official news from home, a civil war could have broken out in the states and I would have been none the wiser.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Why Trump's Evocation of Executive Privilege is a Doomed Act of Desperation

by Nomad

Trump's decision to use executive privilege to defy Congress is a last ditch effort to escape accountability. If history is any guide, it is unlikely to succeed.


This week, Attorney General William Barr joined the list of Trump administration officials who have thumbed their noses at Congress by threatening to stonewall House committee oversight.

After a disastrous testimony before Congress, the House Judiciary Committee threatened to hold Barr in contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report. Said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the committee.
“Yes, we will continue to negotiate for access to the full report. And yes, we will have no choice but to move quickly to hold the attorney general in contempt if he stalls or fails to negotiate in good faith."
Good faith was clearly in short supply.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sanity Sunday - Nomad's Chill Mix No. 2

by Nomad

No doubt about it: for anybody following US politics, this has been an exhausting and demoralizing week. We have had front row seats to the dismantling of institutions that we once believed were the safeguards to the American Republic.
And next week is not likely to be any better.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Why the Trump Administration Threatened to Veto a UN Resolution on Wartime Rape

by Nomad

Ever since the human species climbed out of the jungle trees and began throwing rocks at one another, one of the recognized spoils of war was pillaging of the villages, the looting of the valuables and the raping of the women.
For those who subscribed to the adage that might makes right, it was only logical that the weakest should pay the price of the barbarian conquest. 
Throughout our history, women were always at particular risk of sexual victimization during conflict. "To the victor go the spoils" has long been a war cry, and female bodies generally have been classified as part of those spoils of war.