A concise summary of national security policy since 9/11, tackling the question of whether the US is any safer since the attacks and outlining some of the successful and the less successful programmes and technologies that have been established - and here, more about how resilience in the face of unavoidable small-scale attacks is becoming a more popular buzzword than prevention.
Billions of dollars awaited contractors who promised infallible new technology: bio-threat and radiation detectors in towers to catch border-jumpers, upgraded Coast Guard cutters, biometric identification cards, $1 million baggage-screening machines, new data-collection software.Billions more would go to cities and towns savvy enough to slap a homeland-security label on grant proposals.A burgeoning industry of homeland-security conferences and trade shows sprang up.Across the country, colleges and universities went after research grants aimed at everything from how to make office windows blast-proof to how to secure international shipping channels. Academic institutions began offering degrees in homeland security. I counted 308 such programs when I scanned the web a few weeks ago.
The Atlantic: Is America Any Safer, September 2016 Issue
How Donald Trump has changed the nature of political discourse (and co-opts the elanguage of white supremacists in his campaign):
For generations, politicians have been viewed on a left-right spectrum, according to their policy positions. Now, however, they’re placed on a different spectrum entirely. At one end you find the sanguine technocrats of the old elite; at the other, the angry revolutionaries with no time for constitutional niceties.Call this second group the “chaos monkeys,” the political outsiders who have no interest in mainstream policy debates. They tend to be deeply attractive to a huge and disillusioned “lol nothing matters” crowd, and often their egomania drives them to thirst for ever-greater power.
On the morality of Obama's drone war.
Weird history: When President Nixon changed his mind on a basic income bill.
The consequences of the end of the iron ore boom for communities in Australia, and the effect it has on the Aboriginal communities that struggled to get a piece of the pie from the beginning.
The Immigration Detention Centre in Manus Island will be closed.
New Frank Ocean, and the stream of Frank Ocean and friends building a staircase in a woodshop (and a list of all the collaborators on Endless).
The full history of the banh mi.
The New York Times on Kristen Stewart.
And interview with William Gibson.