OUR PICKSThe Proud Boys Love a Winner | How to Be Anti-Semitic and Get Away with It | What Would It Mean to 'Absorb' a Nuclear Attack?, and more

Published 6 December 2023

·  The Proud Boys Love a Winner
A second Trump term would validate the violent ideologies of far-right extremists—and allow them to escape legal jeopardy.

·  Why Doesn’t the U.S. Military Have a Railgun Weapon?
Railgun weapons were supposed to be the future of the U.S. military. So why doesn’t America have any systems built?

·  There Is No Right to Bully and Harass
Progressives who once argued that free speech is violence now claim that violence is free speech

·  How to Be Anti-Semitic and Get Away with It
Too many communities have developed ways to excuse or otherwise ignore prejudice.

·  Police Can Spy on Your iOS and Android Push Notifications
Governments can access records related to push notifications from mobile apps by requesting that data from Apple and Google, according to details in court records and a US senator.

·  What Happened When the U.S. Failed to Prosecute an Insurrectionist Ex-President?
After the Civil War, Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy, was to be tried for treason. Does the debacle hold lessons for the trials awaiting Donald Trump?

·  What Would It Mean to ‘Absorb’ a Nuclear Attack?
The DoD was forced to go back and do new calculations reflecting these points, and they came out about 1,000 times higher: 20 million—on the order of 20 million people killed.

The Proud Boys Love a Winner  (Juliette Kayyem, The Atlantic)
Until the very end of his presidency, Donald Trump’s cultivation of the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and other violent far-right groups was usually implicit. He counted on their political support but stopped short of asking them to do anything.
Trump had mastered a form of radicalization sometimes known as stochastic terrorism—riling up followers in ways that made bloodshed likely while preserving plausible deniability on his part.
But in the weeks after November 3, 2020, his language became more direct. He named the place and occasion for a “big protest”—on January 6, 2021, when Congress would be certifying his election loss—and told supporters, “Be there, will be wild!” When that day arrived, Trump told the assembled crowd, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” With that, the president of the United States embraced violence as the natural extension of Americans’ democratic differences, and he has not stopped since.
Trump continues to lash out at his perceived enemies. Yet Americans have mostly been able to treat Trump’s extremism as background noise. That’s partly because he’s no longer in office, and partly because he’s no longer using Twitter. But it’s also because the legal counteroffensive against pro-Trump extremism, along with a proliferation of court proceedings holding Trump himself to task for his misdeeds, appears to have given his fans reason to think twice before committing crimes on his behalf.
If Trump wins another term, both he and his most disreputable supporters will feel vindicated. The Republican Party has already given Trump a pass for exhorting a mob to break into the Capitol. In turn, Trump has promised to pardon many of the January 6 insurrectionists. His forgiveness could extend to extremist leaders convicted on federal charges.