January 18, 2017 5:31 AM HomePoliticsMorning Reads for January 18, 2017 Morning Reads for January 18, 2017 By edatlanta Politics 37 Comments What if I told you on Friday the office is getting lunch. Instead of ordering what most of the office wanted, the minority choice would be ordered. You’d be pretty upset, huh? “Jupiter” by C Duncan. NYT takes in-depth look at new Falcons’ stadium redevelopment. Former Klan Grand Dragon asks King family for forgiveness. GSU crushes rival, becomes winning Sun Belt team since 2013 when GSU re-joined the conference. 10 compare-and-contrast photos of Atlanta. Morehouse gets $1m donation; getting a new president. How will the Trump aesthetic change America; who will be his Walt Whitman? Seriously, his Poet Laureate is going to be a joke. Financial Times Books to Look Out for in 2017. The problem with English: “The US has just been outsmarted by foreigners it didn’t understand.” Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrRedditEmailPrint Related About Author edatlanta 37 Comments xdog Dear Leader Don Trump Il will cater the best lunch ever. January 18, 2017 7:27 AM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope Well, that DeVos hearing was a dumpster fire. Good thing Alexander limited Democrats to just 5 minutes of questioning a piece. January 18, 2017 7:41 AM Log in to Reply Bart I thought it was great, nothing like 3 hours of dems whining about needing more time to whine. Especially Pocahontas who refused to shake hands with the nominee as she was exiting the panel. January 18, 2017 9:32 AM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope Nothing like 3 hours of learning that the nominee to run the education department doesn’t know what the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is. January 18, 2017 9:36 AM Log in to Reply Dave Bearse besides the facts we all knew such as that she has never worked in education (or government for that matter), attended public schools, or had children attend public K-12 schools. January 18, 2017 9:47 AM Log in to Reply Bart Maybe if they added a 2nd round, the dreary senator from Washington could have really gotten to the bottom of the Trump video scandal she decided to ask about with her last question. I’m sure that would help improve education access for all the kids in the IDEA program. January 18, 2017 11:02 AM Andrew C. Pope Well considering DeVos was also ignorant of Title IX applies to sexual assault on college campuses, it seems somewhat relevant. January 18, 2017 11:08 AM Dick West Request: please stop posting FT or other subscription-only sources. January 18, 2017 7:52 AM Log in to Reply edatlanta Request: provide a source as good as the FT. Also if you register you get, I think, five free articles a month. January 18, 2017 8:55 AM Log in to Reply Teri I don’t think it lets you register without a credit card. Is The Mirror And The Light on that list? January 18, 2017 1:17 PM Log in to Reply raconteuse The English language used to be an asset of the US and UK. Now it has become a weakness. Let’s zoom out from the Russian hacking of the American election. More broadly, hacking means extracting someone else’s information or inserting the hackers’ own information. English-speaking countries are particularly easy to hack because their enemies understand what they are saying. Being an English-speaking society is like living in a glass house: it makes you transparent. Conversely, foreign countries are opaque to mostly monolingual Britons and Americans. Foreigners know us much better than we know them. This asymmetry probably helped Russia get its favoured candidate into the White House, and it will handicap Britain in the Brexit negotiations. The role of English has been changing fast. Until the 1990s Russia and China didn’t know much about what went on in western societies. Most Russian and Chinese anglophones had been killed or exiled after the communist revolutions, and were never replaced. Even the KGB was short of English-speakers: much of the intelligence sent to Moscow by British spies Kim Philby and Guy Burgess was never translated. But from the mid-1980s, the opening of China, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the coming of the internet all boosted English. Chinese and Russian elites sent their children to study in the US and UK. From 1990 through to about 2010, British and American media and films gained unprecedented global influence. In this period, the asymmetry of knowledge between English-speaking countries and their rivals became extreme. “There are now several million Russian citizens who are essentially bilingual and intimately acquainted with anglo societies,” says Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, political scientist at Oxford university. By contrast, most anglos stopped bothering to learn foreign languages. This first became a problem after September 11. The US and UK found the Arab world opaque. John Nixon, the CIA’s expert on Saddam Hussein, couldn’t interrogate him in Arabic. Nixon recounts in his new memoir Debriefing the President that, during the interrogations, the CIA’s interpreter would quarrel with the military interpreter: “No, that’s not what he said!” A watching Saddam cunningly took advantage, bonding with the military interpreter. Just as English let down the anglophone powers in Iraq, so did their other traditional weapon of influence: warfare. They have given up on invasions. The US now spends $597bn a year on its military and still can’t stop Russian adventuring. The new weapon is cyber warfare, but it works best for the US’s enemies. Hacking foreign files is worthwhile only if you can use the information. Russia and China have lots of well-informed people who can sift English documents looking for intelligence, says Adam Segal, author of The Hacked World Order. If they find anything embarrassing, they can disseminate it through English-language social media or the useful idiots of WikiLeaks. American media can then be relied on to amplify the story. Alternatively, foreigners can simply make up fake news in English. “It’s harder to do it in the other direction,” says Segal. The US lacks linguists who understand which foreign information matters most. Nor can it easily send the information back to ordinary Russians and Chinese, as China, in particular, censors the internet. The west’s old practice of “democracy promotion” has been superseded by the east’s “autocracy promotion”, says Soares de Oliveira. English-language newspapers and the once mighty BBC now face millions of new competitors on social media. Britain has its own problems with English. Its twin centres of political power, Westminster and the tabloid newspapers, are almost entirely monolingual. Brits therefore voted for Brexit blithely unaware of how other European countries would respond. The Brexiter fantasy broadly went like this: “We’ll stop immigration, keep free trade with Europe, and sign whizzo new trade deals with everybody else.” Britain does have a coterie of multilingual experts (mostly diplomats) who knew this wouldn’t fly. But precisely because these people understand European thinking, they are distrusted by Westminster and the tabloids. A case in point is last week’s resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK’s permanent representative to the European Union. Just as Donald Trump’s people have ignored the US state department, the UK’s Foreign Office — the one bit of the British state packed with foreign knowledge — has been sidelined ahead of the Brexit negotiations. Instead, the new department for exiting the EU will lead. Its boss, David Davis, is the man who said the Germans would give the UK a good deal because they sell cars in Britain. “The British political class is astonishingly ignorant of the EU, whether they are pro it or against,” says Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform. The European principals in the Brexit talks understand Britain rather better. Grant continues: “They do watch the BBC, they can read English, they do read tweets of what the Daily Mail is saying.” Even Angela Merkel, schooled in East Germany, taught herself English by reading the communist Morning Star newspaper. The US has just been outsmarted by foreigners it didn’t understand. Britain may be next. January 18, 2017 1:08 PM Log in to Reply Benevolus “The US … still can’t stop Russian adventuring.” Sigh… This isn’t a movie where you just go blow some stuff up and everybody goes home, problem solved, end of story. Of course we don’t want to get into a shooting war with Russia, but that is not our only recourse. The other options just take a little longer (maybe) and aren’t as dramatic, and cyber warfare isn’t the only other one. I think there is a real appetite for us to go try to kick someones ass. I guess this makes some people feel ‘proud’, or strong, or something. Despite the advance of technology, and culture, and the perspective of history, something in us- perhaps genetic- still wants to beat someone else to feel better about ourselves. January 19, 2017 12:06 PM Log in to Reply xdog 44th president Obama pardons #44 Willie McCovey for a guilty plea to tax fraud 21 years ago. Stretch admitted failing to report income from autographs and memorabilia shows, paid a fine, got probation. In what I consider a serious journalistic lapse for America, the best story was put out by the Brits in The Guardian, but The Mercury News has some first-rate pictures. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/17/hall-of-fame-first-baseman-willie-mccovey-pardoned-by-obama http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/01/17/willie-mccovey-among-those-pardoned-by-obama/ January 18, 2017 8:27 AM Log in to Reply drjay “What if I told you on Friday the office is getting lunch. Instead of ordering what most of the office wanted, the minority choice would be ordered. You’d be pretty upset, huh?” well if we had agreed ahead of time that each dept. gets to vote for lunch because if they just did raw numbers there are a couple of wacky depts with lots of people who always try to order the gluten free kale stir fry, then you know everyone could just kinda deal with it… January 18, 2017 8:48 AM Log in to Reply edatlanta So you agree its a bad system? Thanks! January 18, 2017 8:56 AM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope Kale stir fry is delicious, but if you’re looking to appeal to hip coastal elites, poke is your best option. January 18, 2017 9:24 AM Log in to Reply The Eiger Just when I was starting to halfway respect you you go and say something like that. January 18, 2017 9:29 AM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope Was it the poke or the stir fry? Now I’m hungry and it’s three hours til lunch. January 18, 2017 9:34 AM Log in to Reply The Eiger Stir fry is great. Poke is great. Kale on the other hand comes from the pit of HELL and you know that. No one likes kale. No one. People that eat kale fall into the same group of people as crossfit crazies and people who eat gluten free items without having a gluten allergy. Do you know how to find them? Don’t worry they will tell you. January 18, 2017 9:37 AM Andrew C. Pope I eat kale, don’t do crossfit, and abhor that gluten free nonsense. Kale is delicious, collards are delicious, turnip greens are delicious… come to think of it, all greens are delicious. January 18, 2017 9:52 AM The Eiger Collards are great, but that is becasue they are cooked in bacon fat or with a ham bone. People that eat raw kale and like it are either liars or spawn of the devil. January 18, 2017 9:56 AM Ellynn I’ve been eating kale since I was a child. My grandmothers were of Irish and German descent. Traditional types of cabbage in Irelend are actually types of kale. Colcannon was and in my kitchen still made with board left kale. Any local Oktoberfest when I was growing up had a beer garden, a schnitzel stand, a funnel cake and pretizel booth and a kohlfahrt (a kale food tour). Our garden always had Russian and curly kale next to the American types of green and red cabbage. The people to worry over (AKA the liars and spawns) are the ones who turn kale into things it should not or ever be. Like kale chips; green glasses of over blended fiber, ect. Personally I find kale ice cream to be an insult to peace loving bovines everywhere. January 18, 2017 12:59 PM blakeage80 Kale shows the power of marketing. Remember when Kale was a garnish at Shoney’s that you thought would make you sick if you ate it? January 18, 2017 10:41 AM Lea Thrace I EAT KALE. IT IS DELICIOUS! I fell for the trap didnt I? Dang it. 🙂 Like ACP however, I do not do crossfit. January 18, 2017 10:29 AM The Eiger Spawn of the devil you are! January 18, 2017 11:14 AM Lea Thrace *curtsies* why thank you kind sir. January 18, 2017 11:47 AM Teri I do crossfit, and I love kale and all other leafy greens. Kale, spinach, cabbage, bok choy, collards, turnip greens, Brussels sprouts – heck, I’ve been known to eat beet greens. The darker the green, the better the green. I could talk for fifteen minutes about the best spinach I ever ate. But, since I’m a crossfitter, can I tell y’all about today’s WOD? (I am decidedly not gluten-free. I’m not a madwoman.) January 18, 2017 1:12 PM edatlanta You’re a crossfitter. You’re supposed to just tell us. Again and again and again. January 19, 2017 11:47 AM Nathan IT will decided because we know what’s best for you. Also, it’s BBQ. Pork. January 18, 2017 9:48 AM Log in to Reply Ellynn I thought it was because IT went into mail servers and changed their answer on their reply emails. Good to know they were looking out for us. (Side note, IT head here is a vegan… is that even allowable under the rules of being in IT?) January 18, 2017 1:09 PM Log in to Reply gcp Ridiculous raises to state employees include Russell McMurry DOT from $186,000 to 250,000, Jay Roberts from 155,000 to 186,000, Charles Cory TRS from 533,000 to 586,000. And perhaps William Pryor for SCOTUS? It would be a good selection. January 18, 2017 9:07 AM Log in to Reply gcp Did not take long for dems to bring up abortion at the Price confirmation hearing. January 18, 2017 10:29 AM Log in to Reply Will Durant “The average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces in 2016 was 58.69 degrees F or 1.69 degrees F above the 20th century average. This surpassed last year’s record by 0.07 degrees F. Since the start of the 21st century, the annual global temperature record has been broken five times (2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016).” http://www.noaa.gov/stories/2016-marks-three-consecutive-years-of-record-warmth-for-globe Meanwhile back at the ranch, and I know it’s purely anecdotal, but consecutive January days in the seventies around here just feels weird. January 18, 2017 12:14 PM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope Chinese hoax. Although my golf game ain’t composing about this weather. January 18, 2017 12:35 PM Log in to Reply Will Durant Western North Carolina trout fishing for me this past weekend and enough from the poker tables in Cherokee to pay for it all. Only ice was in my glass. We don’t need no stinkin’ casinos.[/sarc] January 18, 2017 6:16 PM Log in to Reply Demonbeck The link for bullet number 3 is incorrect. It keeps taking me to a Georgia State basketball box score and has nothing to do with Georgia Southern University. January 19, 2017 8:58 AM Log in to Reply edatlanta Weirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd. January 19, 2017 11:48 AM Log in to Reply Add a Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.