The National Guard Soldiers Trying to Unionize

The National Guard Soldiers Trying to Unionize

When Governor Greg Abbott took immigration policy into his own hands, sending ten thousand troops to the border, not everyone went along.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-southwest/the-national-guard-soldiers-trying-to-unionize

I got spun up on this mission quicker than I did for Hurricane Harvey.” Schuler put in a request to be excused from the activation so he could finish his degree, but he never heard back. “I was, like, Shit, I guess this is really happening. Now I live in Del Rio, Texas.”

The Plan to Make Michigan the Next Space State

The Plan to Make Michigan the Next Space State

Residents are up in arms about a proposed spaceport project, the first of its kind in the Midwest, which would involve launching rockets near the shoreline of Lake Superior.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/us-journal/the-plan-to-make-michigan-the-next-space-state

Perhaps the most striking comment in the report—and potentially the most damaging to mama’s efforts to promote the idea of a spaceport for Michigan—is a line from the executive summary: “the annual revenue generated from a launch cadence of one rocket launch per week in Michigan would have the same revenue impact in the State equal to the annual revenue of two additional fast-food chain restaurants.”

How Democracies Spy on Their Citizens

How Democracies Spy on Their Citizens

The inside story of the world’s most notorious commercial spyware and the big tech companies waging war against it.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/04/25/how-democracies-spy-on-their-citizens

During a recent visit to NSO’s offices, windows and whiteboards across the space were dense with flowcharts and graphics, in Hebrew and English text, chronicling ideas for products and exploits. On one whiteboard, scrawled in large red Hebrew characters and firmly underlined, was a single word: “War!”

Opinion | They Are the Heirs of Nazi Fortunes, and They Aren’t Apologizing

Opinion | They Are the Heirs of Nazi Fortunes, and They Aren’t Apologizing

In a country that is celebrated for its culture of reckoning and remembrance, the richest families are often an exception.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/19/opinion/bmw-porsche-nazi-germany-quandt-flick.html

How can it be that three of Germany’s most powerful business families, their companies and their charities are so out of step with the country’s lauded remembrance culture?

He Was a Penniless Donor to the Far Right. He Was Also a Russian Spy.

He Was a Penniless Donor to the Far Right. He Was Also a Russian Spy.

An investigation in Slovakia has exposed how Russian clandestine operations are trying to sow discord in Europe and create sympathy for Moscow over Ukraine.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/20/world/europe/russian-spies-europe-ukraine.html

“I told Moscow that you are such a good boy,” the Russian spy, Sergei Solomasov, can be heard telling his Slovak recruit before explaining that Moscow would like Mr. Garbar to act as a “hunter” on the prowl for people of influence willing to cooperate with Russia.

Is the Russian Military a Paper Tiger?

Is the Russian Military a Paper Tiger?

At a critical juncture in the war in Ukraine, logistical miscalculations and poor planning have revealed key weaknesses in Putin’s armed forces.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/is-the-russian-military-a-paper-tiger

They were showing the same kind of problems back then: this disunity of command; logistical weaknesses; poorly trained, poorly motivated, poorly led troops; very poor quality of officer corps; very poor quality of campaign design and ability to plan. They also have very poor integration within and among the armed services, including the synchronization of air and ground operations.

Atrocities in Ukraine War Have Deep Roots in Russian Military

Atrocities in Ukraine War Have Deep Roots in Russian Military

Like the shelling of cities, the seemingly pointless, close-up killing of individuals recalls wars in Chechnya. Do they reflect intent, or only indifference, propaganda and a military culture of violence?

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/17/world/europe/ukraine-war-russia-atrocities.html

The brutality of Moscow’s war on Ukraine takes two distinct forms, familiar to those who have seen Russia’s military in action elsewhere.

The Slime Machine Targeting Dozens of Biden Nominees

The Slime Machine Targeting Dozens of Biden Nominees

In an escalation of partisan warfare, a little-known dark-money group is trying to thwart the President’s entire slate.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/a-reporter-at-large/the-slime-machine-targeting-dozens-of-biden-nominees

When I asked Jones for an interview, through the A.A.F.’s online portal, he replied, “Ms. Meyers . . . Go pound sand.” Citing an article that I had written debunking attacks on Bloom Raskin from moneyed interests, including the A.A.F., he said, “You are a liberal hack masquerading as an investigative journalist—and not a very good one.” Jones subsequently posted this comment on his group’s Twitter account, along with my e-mail address and cell-phone number.

The Casualties at the Other End of the Remote-Controlled Kill

The Casualties at the Other End of the Remote-Controlled Kill

Capt. Kevin Larson was one of the best drone pilots in the U.S. Air Force. Yet as the job weighed on him and untold others, the military failed to recognize its full impact. He fled into the California wilderness.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/15/us/drones-airstrikes-ptsd.html

In the Air Force, drone pilots did not pick the targets. That was the job of someone pilots called “the customer.” The customer might be a conventional ground force commander, the C.I.A. or a classified Special Operations strike cell. It did not matter. The customer got what the customer wanted.

The Forgotten Movement to Reclaim Africa’s Stolen Art

The Forgotten Movement to Reclaim Africa’s Stolen Art

A new book explores the first campaign to decolonize Europe’s museums—and exposes the conspiracy that smothered it.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/books/under-review/the-forgotten-movement-to-reclaim-africas-stolen-art

Only a handful of objects have actually been restituted, despite thousands of outstanding requests. Few governments have enacted general return policies. And some of the largest institutions, like the British Museum, have actively avoided the conversation. Could the West’s museums be waiting out the clock, making tactical concessions before reverting, at the stroke of midnight, to what Ishmael Reed once described as “Centers of Art Detention”? Quiet as it’s kept, they’ve done so before.

Only Gilbert Gottfried Could Be So Dirty and So Heartbreaking

Only Gilbert Gottfried Could Be So Dirty and So Heartbreaking

He turned shocking jokes and “Howard Stern” appearances into something of an art form, one he practiced even when the occasion was a school fund-raiser.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/13/arts/gilbert-gottfried.html

Other times, he brought opportune lightning bolts to dopey TV fare. In one notorious clip from “Celebrity Apprentice,” the silky host tells the comedian, “Gilbert, I’m proud of you.” Gottfried stares down his latest mark. “Thank you, mein Führer,” he responds, characteristically more concerned about landing his joke than his odds in that season’s competition.

The Most Popular Chess Streamer on Twitch

The Most Popular Chess Streamer on Twitch

The former chess prodigy Hikaru Nakamura was widely disliked on the professional circuit. Then he started streaming.

via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/rabbit-holes/the-most-popular-chess-streamer-on-twitch

Nakamura beat the crafty Hungarian Grandmaster Richárd Rapport in the first of two semifinal matches. In the video detailing his second, he explained his philosophy. “Now, one of the big differences between now and two or three years ago when I was playing chess professionally—that’s all I was doing for the most part—is that I literally don’t care,” Nakamura said. “What that means is that, in a lot of these situations now, I’ll just pick a line and play it at the board.