FROM Caleb Crain
A New Look at the Pirates of Yore In the interest of stable government, just about every nation supports the death penalty for captured pirates. But piracy flourishes where governments are not stable, and new research suggests it's more complex than reputation suggests. In 1719, pirates off Sierra Leone saved a captain when his crew said they “never were with a better Man.” Off Central America, pirate booty was distributed by a democratic vote. Do today's Somali pirates also behave by codes of conduct? Caleb Crain's “ Bootylicious ” appears in this week's New Yorker.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.