The Atlantic: The End of Welfare as We Know It.
“The numbers of people receiving food stamps will drop, and thousands more people won’t be able to eat, or survive. But to the policymakers who look for a shrinking welfare program, the changes will be considered a success.” Bill Clinton’s cave to the Republican Congress still destroys many lives and families. We thought Reagan was bad; I’ve not forgiven this craven settlement. “Bipartisanship”, my arse.
The Atlantic: Before Katniss and Furiosa, the 1910s’ Female Action Stars Ruled the Silver Screen.
“Serials focused on women action heroes from the start, possibly thanks to the format’s tie-ins with magazines and newspapers, which aimed to draw female readers because they were attractive to advertisers.” I was just wondering yesterday what happened to female bronc riders, seemingly populous prior to WWII. Turns out Gene Autry enforced a Puritanical parochialism on rodeo that still lingers.
Indian Country Today: The Excruciating Legacy of NAGPRA.
LA Times: San Francisco State investigating confrontation over man’s dreadlocks.
“Wait, where’s Egypt? [snip] Tell me.” College fail. Everyone deserves better.
The Atlantic: The State of Palmyra’s Ruins.
Reuters: Cuba’s Fidel Castro knocks sweet-talking Obama after ‘honey-coated’ visit.
NY Times: Sherpa - They Die, We Go Home.
$5k to court death 30-40 times a season. Criminal.
Guardian.UK: Staged picture from Brussels bombings prompts ethics debate.
“It’s one more example of a photographer doing something that destroys public trust in the media.” You hope it’s not too egregious, and yet, given the behavior on Instagram and other social services ...
WaPo: National Enquirer story is ‘garbage’ from ‘Donald Trump and his henchmen.’
“When he’s scared, when he’s losing, his first and natural resort is to go to sleaze and to go to slime.” So, refuse your support under any circumstances. The votes you win may be substantial.
naked cap: How McKinsey Helped Turn Big Pharma into a Rent Extraction Business.
“Drug companies in the US benefit from decades of large-scale research and development by the National Institutes and Health and other Federal agencies. They also get R&D tax credits that to a large degree represent an acceleration of tax break for the expected future profits. Yet when those profits actually show up, they shift them offshore to avoid paying taxes in the US.” And more. How to raise your BP in one short article.
LRB/Colm Tóibín · After I am hanged my portrait will be interesting.
Business Insider: ISIS trained 400 to attack Europe.
Guardian.UK: American tribes are in trouble, and most won’t get $48m to flee climate change.
“A potent combination of accelerating sea level rise, salt water intrusion and subsidence of the land has caused devastating erosion and flooding, exacerbated further by regional oil and gas development and the shipping industry. Today, less than a quarter of the original inhabitants still live on the island, which has lost 98% of its landmass since the 1950s.”
AJ: Iraq and the reinvention of reality.
Youtube: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Border Wall.
The thing that depresses me most about modern political comedy, is that they have to be the ones who lay out the idiotic realities our news media persist in ignoring. Even the smallest bit of investigative journalism is too big an investment, it seems. We all know a wall is ridiculous, and an argument could be made that any sensible person would know this. But rallies and turnout prove that an explanation - in detail - is *not* ridiculous. Indeed, such explanation is sadly necessary. Where are the in-depth analysis - with modern infographics? The fancy Medium/Exposure style image pages with animations? Where are the stats of how many billion gallons of concrete that would be necessary?
Then again, perhaps noone wants to even hint that the whole project would likely be contracted to the Chinese.
GlobalPost: Future American doctors train for free — in Cuba.
“... the Cuban healthcare model is focused on primary and preventive care, where doctors are assigned to take care of people in their communities. In Cuba, doctors will track their patients to make sure specific needs are met.”
PDN: “Make This Picture Invisible” - On the Consequences of Going Viral.
What we don’t often think about, when we press “Upload” on a photograph.
Aeon: Does one ethnic group own its cultural artefacts?
Difficult, difficult questions. On a similar note, I’ve been contemplating how accurate history really is. I was just reminded of this, through Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, oddly enough. There’s a passage near the end, that says, “Your retrospections must be so totally void of reproach, that the contentment arising from them is not of philosophy, but, what is much better, of innocence.” Older versions use “... of ignorance” in this spot. Who did the change, why? Which is what Ms Austen wrote? Ignorance and innocence are very different. Ignorance has a stigma today that it did not have at the time she wrote. I tend to believe ignorance correct, given its use throughout the rest of the novel. Not even a footnote or other bit of text to explain the change.
If a beloved classic is being altered so, being brought into a sort of modern literary correctness, what of ... everything else? If Pride and Prejudice is a prized Western cultural artifact, and we’re dumbing it down for ourselves, why should any other culture give us the time of day?
Hollywood Reporter: “Who’s to Decide When You’re Black Enough?”
I agree. No dogs in this fight, perhaps no value to add, but I agree. I have two previous posts on the subject.
Daily Dot: Donald Trump’s volunteer contract forbids all criticism of Trump.
The Atlantic: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Nina Simone’s Face, Zoe Saldana, and the Realities of Blackness.
Mr Coates always waxes eloquent. I think I can sum up his point in short, however. He finds the actress’ natural skin color and overall features are germane to the part, and would only be apparent to a black production crew. Insinuates that Hollywood is ‘whitening’ Nina, in more ways than one. An interesting argument, and worth chewing over. Given that Hollywood fits square pegs in round holes often (Nicole Kidman in prosthetics as Virginia Woolf, say), I’m not convinced.
In a perfect world, the Simone film would have been a wonderful opportunity for an unknown to break through. The sort of breakthrough Hepburn made with “Roman Holiday”. I doubt Hollywood has the up-front cash to troll long enough to find that sort of talent. Should have been a Kickstarter indie film, methinks.
Later, similar: Remember the dustup over the choice of US/Texan Renee Zellweger as British Bridget Jones? A whole lot of screaming and shouting, even worse because it was the Bush years. “Couldn’t you find a SINGLE qualified BRITISH actress?” Her accent and behavior in the actual film won over the British public. Perhaps it would be better to wait and see the movie, than raise hackles now?
Political Wire: Clinton Effectively Blocks Sanders.
Agreed. Some believe Bernie should stay in the race. I’m torn. Given the ridiculous levels of some “Bernie Bros” to tarnish Hillary, it is time for Bernie to start ameliorating his opposition to Clinton - which would do him no good in upcoming contests, but convert his youth vote over to Hillary. To do it suddenly would disenfranchise his entire youth support system. Yet the longer he stays in, the more cover he gives to Hillary versus Trump. Hillary obviously wants to get out there and battle Trump. My fear is, she started this contest with unprecedented levels of support and approval. The more she has been exposed, the less well she has performed in polls and contests. If Bernie stays in, keeping Trump at a discrete distance from the Democratic side, the less time Hillary has to ... underwhelm the populace.
Hillary will never be the Messianic figure Obama was. We have to play to her strengths - and weaknesses. She is not inspiring people as Bernie does. Or as Trump does. She was beaten by a freshman Senator in the last Presidential contest. If she’s the candidate, we need to protect her from the opposition now, for as long as possible.
I was all about firing these candidates in a crucible, up until last night. I wanted Hillary to move further left. I’ve gotten about as much as I can expect; to push further would be stupid. We cannot have Trump as President. It is now about maximizing Hillary’s chances.
Vox/Mischiefs of Faction: The obligations of a political scientist during a political crisis.
Public Books: Turkey’s Progressive Past
“Many observers are already warning of a mass exodus of intellectuals in the wake of attacks on the press and academia.4 Hopefully, Turkey’s modern-day progressives can find some resolve in the Sertels’ unrelenting optimism and firm belief in their own country’s potential in the face of disturbingly similar challenges.”