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Eric Bias
Just your standard issue progressive NYC millennial by way of WV. Interests in migration, politics, social science, data viz, and tech. Have bike, will travel.

Trump’s anti-immigration policies have done lasting harm beyond the border. Reversing them can’t come quickly enough.

Photo by Miko Guziuk on Unsplash

During the first several weeks of his new term, President Biden wasted no time in fully dedicating himself to the erasure of much of President Trump’s harmful legacy. Through a volley of executive orders, Biden allowed transgender Americans to serve openly in the military again, rejoined the Paris Climate Accords, and finally started taking a more aggressive (and factually coherent!) position on how to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of President Biden’s orders were specifically targeted towards reversing Trump’s especially cruel and damaging anti-immigration policies. He organized a task force to reunite migrant children still separated from their families, a…

And I rode… I rode so far a-way-ay-ay…

For those of us in NYC who’ve spent the better part of an entire year quarantining ourselves due to the pandemic, it’s often been pretty difficult finding ways to cope with the isolation. For me, while I’m thankfully privileged enough not to have lost a loved one or a job this year, I’ve mostly tried to use this time as much as possible for self-improvement, say, more time exercising, less time in front of the TV with my Switch. …

Riding the South County and Old Croton Aqueduct Trails

For almost as long as I’ve lived in New York, one of my favorite pastimes has been exploring it, not under the streets via the subway, but on them, by bike. One of the first things I bought for myself a few months after I moved here was a clunker found off Craigslist that was almost as old as I was at the time. …

Using Nighttime Satellite Imagery to Survey the Effects of Conflict with the Islamic State in Iraq

Mosul, after the bombs fell. Photo credit: AFP

If you have kept up at all with news last year regarding the prolonged conflict with the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, then you’ve likely seen the devastating images of once large, beautiful cities like Mosul and Aleppo bombed to unrecognizable expanses of rubble. In Iraq alone, more than 2.5 million people have been internally displaced as of 2017, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. Millions more sought refuge in nearby Jordan, Europe, or elsewhere.

For a project last year, I was interested in trying to find some new perspectives on the conflict and its effects. This…

The Underrated Threat of a Weak Cybersecurity Regime

Here’s a little thought experiment for you. Let’s imagine for a moment that under the cover of darkness, a hostile foreign power landed a covert team of intelligence operatives on an American beach. They secretly infiltrated the headquarters of a major US corporation, ransacked the company’s computer files, and then detonated a bomb in the company’s basement, destroying millions of dollars worth of property. Their mission completed, the agents then slipped away, never to be seen again.

A version of this tale was offered by New York Times cybersecurity reporter, David Sanger, during a screening and panel discussion on Alex…

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.

AKA Julian Assange has lost the plot.

Whether concerning US drone strikes in the Middle East, Freedom of Information Act requests, or government treatment of whistleblowers, the Obama administration has not taken very kindly to government transparency, despite promises to the contrary early on during Obama’s tenure. Enter WikiLeaks, the rogue organization of activists, hackers, and journalists dedicated to exposing government secrets, especially those pertaining to “war, spying and corruption.

WikiLeaks first grabbed the national spotlight by releasing hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and other classified materials obtained by US Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning back in 2010. While these were certainly embarrassing to nations involved, they…

AFP Photo/Henning Kaiser

Why the US Needs to Stay the Course

When thinking about the current, turbulent events in Turkey, two notable quotes come to mind. The first is from none other than Turkey’s embattled president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who remarked that democracy “was a vehicle, not a goal.” The second dates from back in 2008, the height of what would later become known as the Great Recession, when then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

There’s no crisis like a coup attempt.

Since being popularly elected in 2014 after decades pulling strings in Turkish politics, Erdoğan and his Islamist…

“Who’s bollocks idea was this nonsense? Oh wait, mine.”

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all…

So, that happened.

Last month in an unprecedented referendum, a majority of UK voters advocated leaving the European Union largely amid fears from many that immigration, sovereignty, and the British national identity is drifting out of control.

The response, as predicted, was not pretty. The British pound sunk to its lowest value against the dollar in 30 years. Global stock markets lost $3 trillion in two days. David Cameron, the current prime minister and chief proponent of the Remain camp, pledged that he would resign in October. Scotland, having voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the EU, signaled that it…

“She’s more electable!” “He’s more honest!” Ugh, shut up already.

Growing up, my political leanings always trended left of center, maybe more than most. I was an enthusiastic supporter of Ralph Nader in 2000, even so far as to print out all 30-odd pages of the Green Party platform to measure each bullet point against my own beliefs. In 2004, I found Vermont governor Howard Dean’s anti-Iraq War candidacy exciting, even after the infamous Scream Heard Round the World (to think that now, in the Age of Trump, that was then the apex of political extremity). Likewise, I voted for hopey, changey Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012. But…

An epic example of Democratic trolling.

As liberals confront the ever-increasing possibility of a Trump presidency, let’s indulge in a bit of political escapism with a different set of fanciful events:

In the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death, Obama fulfills his constitutionally-mandated duty and appoints a nominee to fill the vacancy on the bench, perhaps with Sri Srinivasan, Jane Kelly or perhaps Elizabeth Warren (not really). The Republican leaders in the Senate, obstinate as ever and especially desperate to avoid a bitter primary fight when their reelection campaigns roll around, choose a risky gamble and stonewall against any confirmation. Populism prevails on the Republican…

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