Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
Comment: Erdogan is transforming his country, and not for the better. For years, Turkey was secular, a legacy of Ataturk’s revolution after World War I. Erdogan has turned it toward Islam, though not as strident a form as some other countries. For years, Turkey was a semi-democracy. He has increasingly assumed dictatorial powers and is in the midst of an election to reinforce those powers.
Having failed to enter the European Union, his latest gambit was to hold up Europe for ransom to slow the flow of refugees fleeing regional wars. Now, Erdogan sounds less and less interested in that bargain.
◆ As North Korea’s arsenal grows, experts see heightened risk of ‘miscalculation’ (Washington Post)
ZipDialog has frequently focused on the growing threat from this belligerent, erratic country with an unstable regime.
Over the past year, technological advances in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have dramatically raised the stakes in the years-long standoff between the United States and the reclusive communist regime, according to current and former U.S. officials and Korea experts. Pyongyang’s growing arsenal has rattled key U.S. allies and spurred efforts by all sides to develop new first-strike capabilities, increasing the risk that a simple mistake could trigger a devastating regional war, the analysts said.
The military developments are coming at a time of unusual political ferment, with a new and largely untested administration in Washington and with South Korea’s government coping with an impeachment crisis. Longtime observers say the risk of conflict is higher than it has been in years, and it is likely to rise further as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seeks to fulfill his pledge to field long-range missiles capable of striking U.S. cities. –Washington Post
◆ Saturday Night Live has become an editorial page. Will viewers prefer that or comedy?
The New York Daily News, which shares SNL’s politics, puts it this way: “Trump-dominated SNL showdown features ‘complicit’ Ivanka Trump, ‘racist’ dog, ‘distracted’ Jeff Sessions” and called it a “mud-slinging showdown.”
◆ Harvard Library lists many legitimate, conservative news sites as fake. (Washington Examiner)
Included on their “fake, false, and misleading” list are the Washington Free Beacon, the Weekly Standard, the Daily Caller, the Washington Examiner, and Independent Journal Review, but not Fox News. The sites listed are legitimate sites with strong conservative leanings (of different varieties). Comparable progressive sites, such as Mother Jones, are not listed.
Comment: If this were an editorial for Slate or the New Republic, it would be par for the course. But it is not. It is presented as a seemingly-neutral, professional guide for students and scholars. In that guise, with Harvard’s official imprimatur, it is truly shameful.
◆ Genetic testing and the workplace: major privacy issues CNBC reports
Workers participating in so-called workplace wellness programs reportedly could be ordered to get genetic testing — and hand over the results — by their employers or face financial penalties, if a bill being pushed by congressional Republican becomes law.
That bill, passed by a House committee Wednesday, could end up as part of the second phase of planned Obamacare-replacement legislation, the STAT health-care news site reported Friday. –CNBC
Comment: Expect a slew of ethical, legal, financial, and political issues to arise as medical-testing technology improves. We will have ever-increasing capabilities to link genes to future diseases and even behavior. Employers and insurers will want to know. Individuals will want privacy.