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Dispatches From the Culture Wars - August 31, 2021

GOP dogs and their tried and tested tricks for 2022, and more culture clash capers

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Credit, Clay Jones

COVID and Personal Responsibility

By Colin Leys
The BMJ

Positioning the next stage of the pandemic as a matter of “learning to live with” covid-19 suits those who do not want to be held accountable for what has happened.

What’s Cooking in Republican Minds

By Greg Sargent
The Washington Post

GOP Governors Abbott and DeSantis declare that covid-bearing migrants are crossing our border en masse. This has been widely debunked, but the story is what matters: covid and migrants as joint infestation.

Next Year’s Conservative Poster Boy

By Barbara S. Held
New York Daily News

J.D. Vance named Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and proclaimed that the “entire future of the Democrats is controlled by people without children.”

Anti-Trafficking and Sex Workers’ Rights

By Lydia Caradonna
openDemocracy

Survivors of trafficking were frequently held up as natural opponents of sex workers’ rights, and decriminalisation was tarred as a selfish pursuit that would also decriminalise trafficking. Neither of these things were true.

The Costs of Kentucky’s Opioid War

By Tarence Ray
The Baffler

Contradictory attitudes toward drug use lay bare a reality: drug use has no intrinsic meaning but is instead a social relation. We ascribe meaning onto it based on the political and economic realities of our times.

Dont Post That Meme

By Tony Norman
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thomas Merton Center co-founder Molly Rush posted a meme on their website. Then she became a target of charges of racism from the Center’s mostly white inner circle.

Space Balls

By Mark O’Connell
London Review of Books

The overwhelming effect of watching Bezos and Branson go to space is a sense of triviality. There is no sense of mission here, and barely any sense of occasion, beyond the personal fulfilment of those involved.

How Lunch Hurts Schoolchildren

By Sarah Jones
New York Magazine

A school board in Wisconsin opted out of a federal program that would give free meals to all students. The assistant superintendent for business services worried that there would be a “slow addiction” to the free meals.

21st Century Gossip

By Marco D’Eramo
New Left Review

If we browse the gossip sections of 21st-century newspapers, we no longer see a sparkling world of nobility and celebrity. Instead, we find ourselves in the boardrooms of major corporations.

SCOTUS Crosses a Line

By Ian Millhiser
Vox

The Court’s decision on Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy upends decades of precedent warning that judges shouldn’t mess with foreign affairs.