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Dialogue & Discourse
News and ideas worthy of discourse.


Picture Credit: Hassan Abbas.

“Men learned to fight like they learned to breathe, without even thinking. They fought dogs, they fought cocks. They fought tiny delicate birds that fit in a human hand and lived in a human coat pocket, and they bet on the results. They fought wars for decades until no one seemed to remember quite what they were fighting for. The national sport was essentially a fight, on horseback, over a headless calf or goat. Over the years, whenever Afghan men would tell me that they were tired of fighting, looking weary and creased, I would have only one response: Sure…

For all the doubt that Donald Trump and his administration cast on the reality of COVID and the efficacy of the vaccines, they made one thing absolutely clear. Whether the vaccine worked or not, America would get their shots first. As Biden took over the vaccine rollout, his administration made tireless strides towards crushing the virus. Even in the face of the Delta Variant, vaccines have doubtlessly saved thousands of lives. However, as the virus poses an increasing threat around the world, Biden’s administration revealed something that he and the most hard-line Trump officials would agree on. … Usage given with email from cartoonist

Now that McConnell and McCarthy have torpedoed the independent January 6 insurrection commission, let’s see what might become of Joe Biden’s promise of a Republican “epiphany” once the “former guy” was marooned in Mar-a-Lago. Would it lead to at least some substantive negotiation and policy with civility, if not kumbaya comity? So far, the Republican approach to negotiation is Kevin McCarthy tweeting a story time video reading Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham in a symbolic revolt against cancel culture. …

By Divyansh Kumar

Photo: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the developed world was undergoing an extraordinary period of economic growth. In 2019, despite significant population ageing, a bigger proportion of adults over the age of 15 were in the labour force — that is, employed or searching for work — than at any point since at least 1990. The working-age employment rate (the percentage of 16- to 64-year-olds employed) was at an all-time high in more than half of developed countries.

Now, labour markets have undergone an unexpected reversal. Although harmonised figures will not be available for some time, estimates, based…


Viva Ruiz, “Thank God for Abortion” (2019), photograph (all images courtesy of the individual artists and Downtown for Democracy)

Abortion-ban is equivalent to chastising women due to their gender. It takes us back to the fundamental evils of society —gender inequality and patriarchy — and how they cast their dirty shadow and soil almost all dimensions of a woman’s life. These medieval anti-abortion laws make life even more difficult for them, both emotionally and logistically. Looking at where we stand today, I sometimes wonder how much longer do we have to wait before gender ceases to be a factor. …


In the opening episode of HBOs Chernobyl a crackly voice cuts through, backdropped by a series of dim, domestic scenes. The voice belongs to none other than Professor Valery Legasov who spearheaded the scientific inquiry into the Soviet Union’s 1986 nuclear disaster.

His grim musings flow from an initial question:

“What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth; the real danger is that if we hear enough lies that we will no longer recognize the truth at all. What can we do then? …

In August, Senate Democrats forged ahead alone, without an iota support from their Republican counterparts, to pass a $3.5 trillion budget resolution.

This resolution, of course, is the necessary precursor to Senate Democrats being able to go it alone in approving a historically massive and desperately necessary investment in the nation’s human and environmentally responsible infrastructure. …

Image obtained by Defense One shows hundreds of Afghans inside US military cargo plane C-17 Globemaster III, flown from Afghanistan to Qatar on 15 August 2021, following the fall of the capital Kabul to the Taliban (Photograph: Courtesy Of Defense One/Reuters/ Guardian)

In the aftermath of 9/11, it was clear that doing nothing was not an option. Even the November 2001 overthrow of the Taliban, and not just going after Al-Qaueda, was also proportionate. The first few months of the military operation were executed with, well, military, precision.

In the orgy of hubris and certainty shared by lawmakers, generals, and spymasters, the delusion of enshrining a centralised democracy, based on a Western template, took hold. Nobody paused to reflect, during an exercise of colossal group-think, that including Afghans, and the Taliban, in this process was crucial.

Those easy, early, victories put paid…

EU’s CDC Says No ‘Urgent Need’ For COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

The European Union’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control published a report this week with results from a study that concluded fully-vaccinated individuals — who are not immunocompromised — do not need another vaccine shot.

The report made the distinction between “booster” doses for people who responded adequately to primary vaccination and additional doses for those with weakened immune systems who did not respond adequately.

The EU CDC report differentiated between booster doses as those given to fully-vaccinated people to restore protection after it would have waned, and additional doses that are part of a primary vaccination series given to…

Texas and American flags
(Image Credit: Public Domain)

Texas House Democrats fled to Washington DC for 6 weeks to avoid voting on the new bill. After two special sessions, though, Republicans forced a vote and passed the bill to overhaul state election laws in a late-night win, 80–41. Democrats fought so hard against it because they believe it imposes unnecessary restrictions on marginalized voters, most of which are likely to vote Democrat.

Dialogue & Discourse

News and ideas worthy of discourse.

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