Summary of “Kent Sorenson Was a Tea Party Hero. Then He Lost Everything.”

After his bed was finally vacated and Sorenson was allowed to settle in, he started chatting with a nearby neighbor.
Then it happened: Wall Street, perched above Sorenson one day, spit downward on his rival’s head. Rushing up to face him, Sorenson was flanked by both Dough Boy and the Gangster Disciples’ shot-caller.
One day, he was pulled aside by a prison official: The MCC had been contacted by Grassley’s office, and Sorenson needed to sign a waiver giving the prison permission to discuss his status with a third party.
“Kent Sorenson personally told me he was offered a large sum of money to go to work for the Paul campaign,” Bachmann told reporters outside of her campaign bus, barely three hours after Sorenson’s speech.
Sorenson tells me he said this on the advice of his attorney, Ted Sporer, who felt it was legally defensible because the money had been routed through the audio-visual company to Sorenson’s LLC, not directly to the senator himself.
A few weeks after Kent Jr. passed, without any idea of how the word could have gotten to USP Thomson, Sorenson received a sympathy card in the mail with handwritten notes from dozens of his former inmates.
The effort had been organized by Nicholson-who, Sorenson later learned, lost 21 days of “Good time” from his sentence because he had communicated with a paroled convict.
Kent Sorenson has a more pressing task: salvaging a shred of hope from the wreckage of his life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In Cyberwar, There are No Rules – Foreign Policy”

According to U.S. census data, there are currently 87 people in the United States named Sarah Connor.
The U.S. government has fumbled on cybersecurity, outsourcing much of that area of conflict to the private sector in accordance with the Trump administration’s most recent National Security Strategy-leaving the country exposed to foreign attack.
That’s a problem because cyberwar won’t be waged with the informed participation of much of the U.S. technology sector, as the recent revolts at Google over AI contracts with the U.S. Defense Department and at Microsoft over office software contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement demonstrate.
If a country or terrorist group decided to take out a sitting U.S. senator undergoing robotically assisted surgery and then covered its tracks, the perpetrator’s identity would be hard to pinpoint, and there would be no clear U.S. legal precedent for classifying the hacking of hospital equipment as an assassination or an act of war.
Part of the problem with defining and evaluating acts of cyberwarfare against the United States is that U.S. law is unclear and unsettled when it comes to defining what constitutes an illegal cyberact as opposed to normal computer activity by information security researchers.
Any strong defense against cyberattacks should follow the same principles used for basic U.S. infrastructure design: strategists plan, technicians execute, and experts examine.
In the U.S. case, former President Barack Obama responded by declaring a month before he left office that the United States would respond at a time and place of its choosing.
Despite the consensus among experts and intelligence services that Russia tampered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it is proving extremely difficult to gain nonpartisan consensus that Russian-targeted advertising purchases on social media constitute hostile acts by a foreign power.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Polarization in Poland: A Warning From Europe”

Some of my New Year’s Eve guests continued, as my husband and I did, to support the pro-European, pro-rule-of-law, pro-market center-right-remaining in political parties that aligned, more or less, with European Christian Democrats, with the liberal parties of Germany and the Netherlands, and with the Republican Party of John McCain.
Others wound up in a different place, supporting a nativist party called Law and Justice-a party that has moved dramatically away from the positions it held when it first briefly ran the government, from 2005 to 2007, and when it occupied the presidency, from 2005 to 2010.
Although the law was eventually changed under American pressure, it enjoyed broad support by Law and Justice’s ideological base-the journalists, writers, and thinkers, including some of my party guests, who believe anti-Polish forces seek to blame Poland for Auschwitz.
In Europe, two such illiberal parties are now in power: Law and Justice, in Poland, and Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, in Hungary.
If you believe, as my old friends now believe, that Poland will be better off if it is ruled by people who deserve to rule-because they loudly proclaim a certain kind of patriotism, because they are loyal to the party leader, or because they are, echoing the words of Kaczyński himself, a “Better sort of Pole”-then a one-party state is actually more fair than a competitive democracy.
Why should different parties be allowed to compete on an even playing field if only one of them has the moral right to form the government? Why should businesses be allowed to compete in a free market if only some of them are loyal to the party and therefore deserving of wealth?
Americans are of course familiar with the ways a lie can increase polarization and inflame xenophobia: Donald Trump entered American politics on the back of birtherism, the false premise that President Barack Obama was not born in America-a conspiracy theory whose power was seriously underestimated at the time, and that paved the way for other lies, from “Mexican rapists” to “Pizzagate.” But in Poland, and in Hungary too, we now have examples of what happens when a Medium-Size Lie-a conspiracy theory-is propagated first by a political party as the central plank of its election campaign, and then by a ruling party, with the full force of a modern, centralized state apparatus behind it.
The authoritarian state, or even the semi-authoritarian state-the one-party state, the illiberal state-offers that promise: that the nation will be ruled by the best people, the deserving people, the members of the party, the believers in the Medium-Size Lie.

The orginal article.

Summary of “John Roberts and the Second Redemption Court”

Like the Supreme Court of that era, the conservatives on the Court today are opposed to discrimination in principle, and indifferent to it in practice.
The lesson of the post-Reconstruction Supreme Court is that a determined Court majority can prove stubbornly resistant to short-term swings of political fortune.
As the historian Nell Irvin Painter has written: “The Court increasingly used the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to protect corporations from state regulation rather than the civil rights of persons.” In case after case, “The U.S. Supreme Court had come to embrace the logic of corporations,” Painter wrote in Standing at Armageddon, her history of the Gilded Age.
While the Roberts Court will never explicitly endorse a white man’s government in the way the Redemption Court did, in pursuit of other cherished ideological goals it will be asked to pave the road for a white man’s government by another name.
The justices of the Redemption Court “Had a very limited and restricted view of racial justice. They lacked imagination, and because their view was so limited, they ended up destroying Reconstruction,” says Anderson Francois, the director of the Civil Rights Clinic at NYU. “In the travel-ban case, Roberts tries to pull the same stunt, pretending not to know or understand the social context in which Trump ran and which he has used to govern. The Trump administration, without exaggeration, is committed to maintaining some form of white supremacy and white control.”
The Roberts Court need not be any more consistent than the Redemption Court.
The Redemption Court was arguably constrained by the broad public consensus among white people of all political stripes that black people were inferior and undeserving of full citizenship, a consensus that hobbled enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 even before it was struck down.
The Redemption Court was “Naive to issues of racial justice, but not necessarily hostile to them That Court could not also imagine a world in which blacks were fully equal; it could not imagine a world not subject to white supremacy and white control,” Francois says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Get the Nazi out of New York.’ The secret operation to deport the last living Nazi defendant in the U.S. was a rare success.”

He had watched eight Nazi war criminals die on American soil long after federal judges had ordered them to leave, so when the email came in early July with news that Germany would finally take the last surviving Nazi defendant in the United States, Eli Rosenbaum tried not to worry.
Rosenbaum had long thought of the 6,000 Jewish prisoners who were executed on a single day at the Nazi labor camp in southern Poland that Palij once guarded.
On Aug. 20, federal agents took Palij into custody and shuttled him to a chartered air ambulance waiting in Teterboro, N.J. Then, just after 4:30 p.m., nearly seven decades after Palij sailed into the port of Boston on the USS General Stuart Heintzelman alongside hundreds of Europe’s war refugees, Rosenbaum got the two-word update he had waited years to read. “Wheels up.”
The sudden deportation of Palij after more than a decade of unsuccessful attempts was the result of a closely guarded operation that spanned government agencies in Washington, New York and Berlin, including the Justice Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues and the U.S. Embassy in Germany.
Last year, every member of the New York congressional delegation and more than 80 members of the New York State Assembly wrote letters to federal officials pushing for Palij’s removal.
Rosenbaum started to pull together a detailed timeline about the case, which was launched in the 1990s after OSI historians found Palij’s name on a roster of Nazi guards that had been stashed for decades in the archives in Prague.
Palij has denied taking part in any killings, telling the New York Times in 2003 that he was “Never a collaborator.”
At his desk at the Justice Department days before Palij’s deportation, Rosenbaum reread a transcript of a confession he got 26 years ago from another Trawniki man, Jakob Reimer of New York, who died on U.S. soil in 2005, a few months after the OSI launched a deportation case.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How does recycling work in the United States?”

Recycling has worked well for the last 40 years because recycled waste was valuable and in high demand in countries around the world.
The United States has historically sold most of its recycled goods to China.
Contamination levels in America are at 25 percent right now, meaning 1 out 4 items in a recycling bin should actually be thrown in the trash, according to Waste Management.
“China is sort of saying to itself we want our socioeconomic industrial programs to have recyclable programs like America does,” National Waste & Recycling Association director Steve Changaris said.
Many Materials Recovery Facilities, especially in states that don’t put much emphasis on recycling policies, are going to be facing a hard decision as they continue to lose profit.
Unless they come up with a sustainable solution, recycling in large swaths of the United States might come to an end.
In the future, cities less committed to sustainability might have to drop their recycling programs in favor of an easier disposal program, Sims Municipal Recycling manager Tom Outerbridge said.
In the mean time, MRFs are tightening up production by adding more staff to ensure that the materials collected are of the best quality – as well as altering what is collected to more closely match the market demand according to the EPA. Recycling hasn’t reached critical failure just yet, but the industry is in desperate need of an upgrade.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China’s Mass Internment Camps Have No Clear End in Sight – Foreign Policy”

Hundreds of thousands of minority men and women, mostly Uighurs but also others, have disappeared into these compounds in the last year, usually with no notice to family members and no charges of illegal activity.
It is not surprising that the most common officially cited purpose for the internment camps is to purify people’s thoughts, “Eliminating extremism” and instilling a love for the party.
A recorded announcement leaked this month from Xinjiang’s Communist Party Youth League, designed to calm rampant fears about the re-education camps, explained that camps “Treat and cleanse the virus from their brains.” The names used for camps have varied widely, both for the same camp over time and from one camp to the next, but most have included the word “Transformation”-for example, “Concentrated education transformation center.”
The handful of people released from the camps and able to share their stories describe a variety of indoctrination techniques aimed to instill love for the Communist Party of China and its leader, Xi Jinping.
In January, an instructor at a daytime re-education course told his students that they would be sent to the internment camps if they could not memorize both the oath of allegiance to the Communist Party and the national anthem in Chinese within three days, according to village police who spoke to Radio Free Asia.
Across the world, Uighurs with expiring passports or visas are currently weighing whether to claim asylum in foreign lands and never see their families again, or to face near-certain internment upon their return to Xinjiang.
At the upper end of the Zenz estimate, Xinjiang’s re-education camp population exceeds the peak daily inmate numbers of Nazi concentration camps, is several times the number of the Japanese citizens interned by the United States during World War II, and amounts to about half the capacity of the Soviet gulag system, which held around 2 million people.
Barring a complete abandonment of the camp system, the most moderate plausible outcome is that at some point authorities dramatically reduce the number of internees, maintaining recalcitrant inmates in the camps, and preserving the capacity to return huge numbers to extrajudicial internment.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the U.S. Has Failed to Protect the 2018 Election-and Four Ways to Protect 2020”

While this failure has left the U.S. unprepared to protect the 2018 elections, there is still a chance to defend American democracy in 2020.
Following an acrimonious debate inside the White House, as reported by the New York Times’s David Sanger, President Obama rejected several retaliatory measures in response to Russian interference-and U.S. intelligence agencies did not emerge with a full-throated description of Russia’s meddling until after the election.
Republican efforts to downplay Russia’s role constitute a dangerous gamble: It is highly unlikely that future election meddling will continue to have such an unbalanced and positive impact for the GOP. The Russians are currently the United States’ most visible information-warfare adversaries, but they are not alone.
Direct attacks against the U.S. election system itself-as opposed to influence operations aimed at voters-were clearly a consideration of U.S. adversaries: There are multiple reports of the widely diffuse U.S. election infrastructure being mapped out and experimentally exploited by Russian groups in 2016.
The combination of offensive cyber techniques with a disinformation campaign would enable a hostile nation or group to create an aura of confusion and illegitimacy around an election that could lead to half of the American populace forever considering that election to be stolen.
While it is much too late to effectively rehabilitate election security for the 2018 midterms, there are four straightforward steps the United States can take to prepare for potential attacks in 2020.
In the run-up to the most recent French and German elections, the respective cybersecurity agencies of these countries had access to intelligence on likely adversaries, the legal authority to coordinate election protection and the technical chops to work directly with technology platforms.
For states’ autonomy to thrive, it is critical for every state to follow the lead of Colorado and a handful of others in building competent statewide election security teams that set strong standards for verifiable voting, perform security testing of local systems, and provide a rapid-reaction function in case of an attempted attack.

The orginal article.

Summary of “New York City is the perfect scooter market, but it’s also the most impossible”

On one hand, New York City is a natural fit for these scooter companies, which have been valued at as high as $2 billion in recent months.
New York is a city with a booming public transit system that millions take every day, but it’s also filled with gaps.
New York would be a “Tremendous scooter city because you’ve got a pretty good public transit infrastructure, but you still have a ton of gaps, particularly in the outer boroughs,” Kazimirov said.
For all of its faults, he said, New York City’s Department of Transportation is one of the largest and most sophisticated in the world, and New York state is perfectly clear about which electric vehicles are legal to ride in the city.
One city councilmember, Rafael Espinal, criticized the city’s approach in an op-ed in the New York Daily News: “If e-bike riders follow the same laws of the road as do nonelectric-bike riders, they should have the exact same access to our streets.”
The scooter companies see opportunities – and dollar signs – in a city as large and dense as New York.
“Are bike riders going to get upset if scooters are zipping by them in bike lanes? Are these scooters going to be able to operate in traffic in New York City streets? Are they going to hurt pedestrians if they’re on sidewalks?”.
In April, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that pedal-assist electric-bikes would be allowed to operate in the city, after previously promising to crack down on the people illegally riding them and seizing hundreds of e-bikes in the process.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Lies My Teacher Told Me,’ And How American History Can Be Used As A Weapon”

Slim in contrast to our hulking required textbook, it was a funny, compelling, even shocking read. Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen, explained how history textbooks got the story of America wrong, usually by soft-pedaling, oversimplifying and burying the thorny drama and uncertainties of the past under a blanket of dull, voice-of-God narration.
Lies My Teacher Told Me overturned one assumption embedded in the history classes I’d been sitting through all my life: that the United States is constantly ascending from greatness to greatness.
The judge – who was an [older] white Mississippian, but a man of honor – took over the questioning, and he said, “But that happened, didn’t it? Didn’t Mississippi have more lynchings than any other state?” And Turnipseed said, and again I quote, “Well, yes, but that all happened so long ago. Why dwell on it now?” And the judge said, “Well, it is a history book.”
That’s what got me so interested in American history as a weapon.
The book is called Lies My Teacher Told Me – what’s the biggest lie in the book?
What I mean by that is the overall theme of American history is we started out great and we’ve been getting better ever since kind of automatically.
It’s so boring! If you think about it, the very first thing that happened in terms of American history is people came to the land that we now know as the United States.
Well, I think there’s one key question to be asked of any source, and that is “Why do you find it credible?” Now, a KKK site on American history is perfectly credible if you’re asking the question “What does the KKK believe about the Civil War?” OK. If, on the other hand, you’re asking, “Why did the Southern states secede?” Maybe you don’t want to cite a KKK site.

The orginal article.