Friday, February 03, 2017

Weekend Reading: The Short Edition

This week's links post is going to be short, for a couple of reasons. First, I was on a business trip Thursday afternoon through Friday evening. I am writing this in my hotel Thursday night, and will (presumably) post it when I get home Friday. Time alone in a hotel room is not something I get frequently, and having had a nice dinner and stroll through town, I plan to snuggle into bed and read a book.

The second reason is less pleasant: the immigration executive order issued last Friday really upset and rattled me. I thought I might write about that this week,but found that I couldn't. I will reiterate what I shared on Twitter. My husband is a green card holder. He is from New Zealand, and even given Trump's surprisingly rude behavior to the Australian prime minister this week, it seems unlikely that his immigration status will be subject to any executive orders anytime soon. Still, a green card or visa represents a promise made by the US government: follow our rules, and you can live here and build a life. To watch my government break that promise to so many innocent people really shook me. I feel like perhaps we are building our life here on a foundation of sand.

Now, Mr. Snarky could become a US citizen, and was in fact considering whether to do so this year. The executive order made up his mind for him. He will not become a citizen under such circumstances. If he gets detained and deported at the border at some point, so be it. I guess the kids and I would come through and figure out how to wrap up our life here and move to New Zealand. That is an extraordinary thing to think about, but I cannot blame Mr. Snarky for his decision. I might make the same one, in his position.

I've talked to many friends in a similar situation as me: married to a green card holder. There seems to be a fairly even split between people taking Mr. Snarky's line and people deciding to hurry up their citizenship process. All of us are now rushing to get our kids their second passports, though. What a sad state of affairs.

Anyway, my anger over this situation changed my reading habits for the week, and I have fewer links to share. But I do have some:

This is an interesting piece about the distinction between conservatives and authoritarians, and what that might mean for us in America right now. The part I'm stumbling on is the idea that liberals should promise to slow down change to make conservatives willing to join in a coalition against authoritarians. I get why that might be a good strategy, but I can't get past the fact that there are a lot of people out there, waiting for the change to happen. It galls me to think we have to tell trans people to wait for the right to go to the bathroom in public buildings, or Black people to wait for us to work more on addressing the systemic racism that has created a huge wealth gap in this country, or Muslims to wait for us to allow them to build mosques where they need them just like we let Christians build churches. It seems to me that these people have been waiting long enough. So I don't know how we get past this impasse.

Here is another conservative's take on this situation. David Frum and David Brooks also wrote about it. Conservative intellectuals are trying. Will anyone in Congress respond?

I keep promising to write about the FDA, and then bad things happen and I can't do it. But here are two more things to read in the meantime: a short piece from Derek Lowe about "the flightosome" that might not make a lot of sense to people not familiar with cell biology, but give it a try, because it might. And a Vox write up (that quotes Lowe) about the problems with Peter Thiel's understanding of the FDA.

This tweet sums it up rather well:

This Jamelle Bouie piece wondering whether the immigration executive orders will have the same galvanizing effect as the Fugitive Slave Act did is interesting.

The story behind that awesome photo everyone was sharing of the two kids, one Jewish, one Muslim, on their dads' shoulders.

Another nice interfaith gesture, but again in response to something ugly.

And that's what I have.

Except there was also a nice review of Caresaway that came out this week.

And of course, bunnies:


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