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Stop Begging. Start Fighting.
Plus, Heroes of Mariupol or Neo-Nazi Menace?
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WILL SALETAN: Stop Begging. Start Fighting.
On Tuesday, after a gunman killed 19 children and 2 teachers in a Texas elementary school, Sen. Chris Murphy stood on the Senate floor and implored his colleagues to stop mass shootings.
“I’m here on this floor to beg,” said Murphy, pressing his palms together in prayerful supplication. “To literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues: Find a path forward here. Work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely.”
“I understand my Republican colleagues will not agree to everything that I may support,” Murphy went on. “But there is a common denominator that we can find.”
It’s easy to see why Murphy has reached the point of begging. A decade ago, he saw the Sandy Hook massacre in his own congressional district. It’s dismaying that so little has been done since then to keep guns out of the hands of killers. And it’s natural to hope that at some point, the carnage will prompt congressional Republicans to accept reasonable restrictions on firearms.
But it’s time to stop begging. Begging hasn’t worked. Nothing will change on this issue until politicians who oppose any reasonable gun restrictions start losing their jobs.
BRENT ORRELL AND JAKE EASTER: Rent-a-Robot and Our Tight Labor Market.
Born from a chance encounter between a robotics tinkerer and an Isaac Asimov-inspired engineer-turned-entrepreneur, the Unimate—a single-armed, vacuum tube-driven robot—was put to work on the assembly lines of the General Motors plant in Ewing, New Jersey in 1961. It was a watershed moment for industrial robotics and the first sign of changes that would rewrite the rules for automation, employment, and trade.
Following that first Unimate, industrial robotics progressed in fits and starts thanks to the complicated dynamics of human labor costs, innovations in non-robotic automation, and advances in robotic control technology. While the economic and energy crises of the 1970s slowed the adoption of industrial robots, by the end of that decade, they had started to be deployed not just in the United States but in factories in Japan, Finland, and elsewhere, boasting digitally programmable functions and dramatic advancements in physical mobility. In the 1980s, the field was pushed further by various technical advances, including the capacity to perform multiple functions simultaneously. Boston Dynamics and iRobot entered the robotics market in the 1990s; these companies would become widely known in the 2000s for the robots they designed for industrial, military, and consumer applications. In the year 2020 alone, according to one estimate, 384,000 industrial robots were shipped globally. It’s hard to imagine industry without them—and yet this entire transformation happened in just over sixty years.
The fetish for weapons of war has no end, even when police officers are outgunned. Plus, Trump’s bad day in Georgia and Alabama. Lucy Caldwell joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
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As a critic—or even a simple, discerning moviegoer—it’s important to understand your own biases when examining a film. One needn’t agree with a message to appreciate its artistry and vice versa: a good message cannot be allowed to negate shoddy filmmaking no matter how badly you wish God to be undead.
I bring this up because Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers presents a quandary. Did I enjoy the animated feature starring my childhood chipmunk pals and brought to life by the Lonely Island guys, the comedic trio who rose to prominence in my twenties, because it resonated so strongly with my own personal priors? Or is it genuinely good filmmaking that just happens to align with so many of my ideals?
CATHY YOUNG: Heroes of Mariupol or Neo-Nazi Menace?
To state the obvious: Wars are messy affairs in which distinctions between “good guys” and “bad guys” blur. People fighting for a worthy cause—such as the defense of their homeland against foreign invasion—can champion very bad causes in other contexts. Just as obviously, “neo-Nazi” definitely pushes the envelope of “very bad.” Would the Azov fighters whose heroic last stand in the bowels of the gigantic Azovstal steel factory was the stuff of “300 Spartans”-like instant legend still have won the world’s admiration if they were sporting swastika armbands and doing Hitler salutes? It’s safe to say they would not. But are pro-Ukraine Western liberals willfully blinding themselves to Azov’s thinly camouflaged true nature, or are Azov detractors peddling simplistic and discredited propaganda tropes that have already done tangible harm?
The truth about Azov is all the more complicated because the unit has undergone considerable changes since its founding. For instance, both Tracey and Greenwald talk about the “Azov Battalion,” but that name (derived from the Sea of Azov) refers to the paramilitary group founded in 2014, which later changed its name to the Azov Regiment and then became, formally, the Azov Special Operations Unit of the Ukrainian National Guard. But there is also a nationalist “Azov movement” that may or may not have a relationship with the Azov Regiment. (While that is not the unit’s formal name, I will use it for simplicity.)
Good night, sweet prince. South Saint Louis’s Courtesy Diner, a spinoff of a chain founded in the 1930s, closed today… likely for good. I went and had a final slinger, as this was my go-to spot in college. Luckily, two other locations remain, but this one was near and dear to me. But glad I was able to say goodbye one last time.
Let’s Go Blues! On the brink of elimination, my fingers are crossed. Have they learned from the last two losses? We’ll see.
Get ‘em while they’re young… A look at conservative children’s books that are being published.
Just wait… It’s coming.
Fox News v. Fox Entertainment: Does The Difference Matter? Ken White investigates.
On prison transfers… And what they’re like on the inside.
Meanwhile… Texas just re-nominated this guy to be their Attorney General.
What state tourism logos looked like 10 years ago… And what they look like now.
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