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News 05.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 05.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@annarvitiello
News 05.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@franzibower
News 05.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
@annarvitiello

Would You Let the Police
Search Your Phone?

Law enforcement officers on the doorstep threatening to “come back with a warrant” is a cliché of police procedural dramas. Things are much less dramatic in real life: The officers ask if they can take a look around, and the civilians say yes without putting up a fight.

A key question in so-called “consent -search” cases is why people so readily agree to allow intrusions into their privacy. The answer, as we argue in a forthcoming article in The Yale Law Journal, is that psychologically, it’s much harder to refuse consent than it seems. The degree of pressure needed to get people to comply is shockingly minimal — and our ability to recognize this fact is limited.

The legal standard for whether a consent search is voluntary — and thus whether any contraband police discover is admissible in court — is whether a reasonable person would have felt free to refuse the officers’ request. Courts tend to judge the voluntariness of consent by looking for clear markers of coercion. Did the officer phrase the request as a demand, instead of a question? Were weapons drawn? If not, the search is likely to be deemed voluntary.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

News 05.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

What Happens to a Factory Town
When the Factory Shuts Down?

News 05.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Lordstown plant has been a pillar of the regional economy since it was built in 1966. G.M. constructed the then-state-of-the-art facility (it included 26 robot welders) in the middle of a cornfield 15 miles northwest of Youngstown. It chose the site because of its distribution possibilities; half the population of the United States lived within 600 miles of it. Lordstown quickly became an important addition to the heavily industrialized Mahoning Valley, whose center was Youngstown (“Steeltown, U.S.A.”), which, after Pittsburgh, was the second-largest steel-manufacturing city in the United States.

After decades of industrial job losses, the valley’s fate has become a national political issue. Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign relied heavily on the promise of restoring those jobs, a message that helped him win Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Significant to his Ohio victory was flipping the Mahoning Valley from blue to red. In the summer of 2017, Trump visited Youngstown, signaling the importance of the region to his re-election prospects. “Don’t move; don’t sell your house,” he said. “We’re going to fill up those factories.” (In a sign of how concerned he may be about Lordstown’s closing, he recently took to Twitter to personally attack Dave Green, who had appeared on a Fox News segment about the plant, writing that Green “ought to get his act together and produce.”)

People in the valley take immense pride in their automaking heritage. Since 1966, the Lordstown plant has produced more than 16 million vehicles and more than a dozen different models, including the Chevy Impala, the Chevy Vega, the Pontiac Sunbird, the GMC conversion van and the Chevy Cavalier. G.M. cars and trucks are ubiquitous here, especially the fuel-efficient Cruze, which, at a time when gas prices were high, helped lift G.M. out of bankruptcy. Though profit margins are thin on the Cruze, it remained one of the company’s biggest sellers; last year, G.M. sold 143,000 Cruzes in the United States, the sixth-highest in volume out of the 38 models the company sold here.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

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Against Cheerfulness

I once ended up at a Boy Scout ceremony in the northeast United States, where I inhaled the American spirit unfiltered. The boys’ uniforms had Stars-and-Stripes patches sewn on next to their badges. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance in front of an oversize US flag, and we prayed to America’s vague God, giving thanks for this and that, and asking for some strength or protection. The boys recited their Scout Law: to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, and… cheerful.

As a philosopher influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, I’d always imagined cheerfulness was a sickly child, born nine months after a Tinder date between Stoicism and Christianity. But that night I learned that cheerfulness was a British orphan smuggled into the US in the early 20th century, and was now making a living spreading itself all over contemporary American kitsch: throw pillows, coffee mugs and slippers. Cheerfulness has planted deep roots in US soil, and the poor Boy Scouts are made to believe she’s a virtue.

Read the rest of this article at: aeon

News 05.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Want to Build a Far-Right Movement?
Spain’s Vox Party Shows How.

News 05.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It is dawn in the Spanish countryside. A man is walking, and then running, in slow motion. He climbs a fence. He crosses a field of wheat while brushing his hands, as in a Hollywood movie, across the tops of the sheaves. All the while, music is playing and a voice is speaking: “If you don’t laugh at honor because you don’t want to live among traitors . . . if you look toward new horizons without despising your old origins . . . if you can keep your honesty intact in times of corruption . . .”

The sun rises. The man climbs a steep path. He crosses a river. He is caught in a thunderstorm. “If you feel gratitude and pride for those in uniform who protect the wall. . . . If you love your fatherland like you love your parents . . .” The music climaxes, the man is on top of the mountain, the voice finishes: “. . . then you are making Spain great again!” A slogan appears on the screen: Hacer España Grande Otra Vez.

The slogan translates to “Make Spain Great Again.” The man is Santiago Abascal, and this, of course, is an advertisement for Vox. Vox is Spain’s fastest-growing political party, and Abascal is its leader. In the Spanish parliamentary elections of 2016 — the year that Abascal starred in that “Make Spain Great Again” video — Vox and its macho, cinematic Spanish nationalism did not win a single seat; soon after, one Spanish website posted an article asking, “Why doesn’t anybody vote for Santiago Abascal?”

Read the rest of this article at: The Washington Post

How America’s Oldest Gun Maker Went Bankrupt:
A Financial Engineering Mystery

News 05.06.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

he news spread around Huntsville, Ala., in the winter of 2014. Remington, the country’s oldest gun maker, had decided to expand from its historic home in upstate New York to a gigantic former Chrysler factory near the airport. Workers at the new plant, the company said, would earn a minimum average of $19.50 an hour assembling shotguns, pistols, hunting rifles and AR-15-style semiautomatics. The city’s mayor wrote in a newspaper column that he was thrilled that Remington’s quest for a new factory space had ended in Huntsville. He calculated the typical annual salary as $42,500.

Huntsville is a boomtown in the Southern mold. The unemployment rate is lower than the country’s, and educated workers are in high demand. Southwest of downtown, in a facility that synthesized chemical weapons during World War II, the Army maintains a major research center and garrison. Orbiting the Army base are military and aerospace contractors: Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Car companies from Japan, an electronics manufacturer from Korea and many other concerns churn out goods for the domestic market. “Cutting taxes and simplifying regulations makes America the place to invest!” President Trump tweeted in January 2018; he was talking about Huntsville.

Since 1993, when the state gave Mercedes-Benz $253 million to build its first American auto plant in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama has refashioned itself as a kind of foundry for the rest of the country and the world, first courting automakers and then becoming an all-purpose workshop and technology hub. Airbus produces A320 jetliners; Toyota makes engines for Rav4s and Tundras; Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’s “spacefaring” company, recently broke ground on a rocket-engine plant. These companies are drawn here partly by the benefits that Trump cited, but most forcefully by the generous tax-incentive packages doled out by officials in Montgomery, the state capital, in concert with pro-business mayors.

Huntsvillians take pride in their economy, and when a new company comes to town, good will cascades toward it. In early 2015, wearing a shirt and hat from Remington could even score you the best table at a restaurant. In the display cases at Larry’s Pistol and Pawn, Huntsville’s most respected gun shop, managers made room for Remington pistols stamped with “Huntsville, AL”: It was a point of pride to carry a weapon made in-state. “Locked and Loaded,” ran the headline in The Huntsville Times, for an article describing how the factory would ultimately create more than 1,800 jobs.

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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