For me a authoritarian regime (dictatorship) is a place where the leader can order opponents murdered, without consequences. Russia and Saudi Arabia in 2020, for example.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) scores countries on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.
Nations are then classified under four types of governments: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.
Communicable disease has haunted humanity for all of history. As such, the responses to coronavirus in our midst have a grimly timeless quality. In fact, to one scholar, epidemics are a great lens for peering into the values, temperament, infrastructures and moral structures of the societies they attack. Frank M. Snowden is a professor emeritus of the history of medicine at Yale and author of Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present. An epidemic, he writes, “holds a mirror” to the civilization in which it occurs. In this podcast extra, he speaks to Bob about what we can learn about ourselves from the infectious diseases we've faced, from the bubonic plague in the 14th century to the Ebola outbreak in 2014 to COVID-19 today.
This interview originally aired as a segment in our March 6, 2020 program, Our Bodies, Ourselves.
Best part is when she went to meet her High School boyfriend. He had been in prison for 14 years. Out and clean for 3 years.
“Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea” follows comedian Chelsea Handler as she confronts and explores her personal and cultural impacts around white privilege.
Handler travels around the country speaking with a wide range of people on the topic of race including fellow comedians Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and W. Kamau Bell, anti-racism writer and activist Tim Wise, a Republican women’s group in Orange County, CA, college students at an open mic night, and her former high school boyfriend in New Jersey.
American Dirt is a 2020 novel by American author Jeanine Cummins, about the ordeal of a Mexican woman who had to leave behind her life and escape as an undocumented immigrant to the United States with her son.
Lydia and her eight-year-old son Luca are the only survivors of the backyard barbecue massacre of her family by a drug cartel.
Her husband had been a journalist who was reporting the crimes.
Mother and son become two of the countless undocumented immigrants from Latin America who undertake the dangerous journey to the United States.
The novel has been optioned for a film adaptation.
Oprah loved the book. I’d agree.
But many, especially Mexican writers, accused the author (American, born in Spain) of exploitation and inaccuracy in her portrayals of both Mexico and the migrant experience. A planned book tour was cancelled.
Personally, the book was insightful for me. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to appreciating the experience of a migrant trying to cross the Mexican border illegally.
A recent article of his in Rolling Stone sums up how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era.
In a dark season of pestilence, COVID has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism. …
No empire long endures, even if few anticipate their demise …
In 1940, with Europe already ablaze, the United States had a smaller army than either Portugal or Bulgaria. Within four years, 18 million men and women would serve in uniform, with millions more working double shifts in mines and factories that made America, as President Roosevelt promised, the arsenal of democracy.
When the Japanese within six weeks of Pearl Harbor took control of 90 percent of the world’s rubber supply, the U.S. dropped the speed limit to 35 mph to protect tires, and then, in three years, invented from scratch a synthetic-rubber industry that allowed Allied armies to roll over the Nazis. At its peak, Henry Ford’s Willow Run Plant produced a B-24 Liberator every two hours, around the clock. Shipyards in Long Beach and Sausalito spat out Liberty ships at a rate of two a day for four years; the record was a ship built in four days, 15 hours and 29 minutes. A single American factory, Chrysler’s Detroit Arsenal, built more tanks than the whole of the Third Reich.
In the wake of the war, with Europe and Japan in ashes, the United States with but 6 percent of the world’s population accounted for half of the global economy, including the production of 93 percent of all automobiles. …
COVID-19 didn’t lay America low; it simply revealed what had long been forsaken.
As the crisis unfolded, with another American dying every minute of every day, a country that once turned out fighter planes by the hour could not manage to produce the paper masks or cotton swabs essential for tracking the disease. The nation that defeated smallpox and polio, and led the world for generations in medical innovation and discovery, was reduced to a laughing stock as a buffoon of a president advocated the use of household disinfectants as a treatment for a disease that intellectually he could not begin to understand.
… With less than four percent of the global population, the U.S. soon accounted for more than a fifth of COVID deaths. …
Odious as he may be, Trump is less the cause of America’s decline than a product of its descent. As they stare into the mirror and perceive only the myth of their exceptionalism, Americans remain almost bizarrely incapable of seeing what has actually become of their country. …