Last week's trip home was a bit more of an ordeal than expected for a flight from San Jose to San Diego. We were just starting our final descent when the captain came on the intercom and told us that San Diego airport was fogged in. We circled for 30 minutes, and then diverted to Ontario, an airport just north of Riverside. From there, we got onto buses and made the ~2 hour trek home by land instead of air. I was originally scheduled to be home by 9:30 p.m. I actually made it home after 1 a.m. It sort of messed up my weekend: I still had to get up and take the kids to gymnastics on Saturday morning, and then I had to nap after lunch because I was exhausted. I wasn't really "right" until Sunday.
On the bright side, I caught up on some podcasts, as you will see a bit later in the links.
Speaking of links... let's get to them:
If you read only one of my links this week, make it Zeynep Tufekci writing about free speech and our current time period.
Tom Nichols' damage assessment of the first year of Trump is also worth your time.
Sen. Mazie Hirano is asking all judicial nominees about sexual harassment. It seems like a small thing, but Dahlia Lithwick does an excellent job explaining why it matters.
A summary of couple of weeks' evidence of corruption and grift in the Trump administration is really depressing.
Here's some hopeful news on the environment: renewable energy costs are coming down faster than expected.
Cyd Harrell had many interesting, insightful things to say about the false alarm in Hawaii, from the standpoint of software user interface/user experience and government IT. Here's one thread:
on the one hand, people are asking how the Hawaii EMA staffer could make such a mistake - if you've ever not sent an email you thought you sent, or replied-all when you thought you replied privately, this is about that level of error.— Cyd Harrell (@cydharrell) January 15, 2018
But if you're interested in this sort of thing, go to her timeline and read more.
This is a long but really interesting thread:
I've spent the last year and a half kicking myself for choosing terror management theory as a framework to analyze popular diet culture, not because it doesn't work (I think it does), but because it applies so well to our current political situation that I can't sleep at night.— Michelle Allison (@fatnutritionist) January 15, 2018
Now those podcast recommendations I promised:
Susan Hennessey's Twitter feed is one I often check for a clear-eyed and level-headed summary of what's going on. So it is not surprising that Ezra Klein's interview with her is excellent. I highly recommend it if you want an overview of where we are at in terms of the investigations into Russian interference and related issues.
If you've ever despaired about the state of gun laws in America, Jason Kander's interview with Shannon Watts might help restore some hope.
This The Weeds conversation about immigration really captures how I've been feeling about the issue these days. I feel like so many arguments about tightening our immigration laws have been made in bad faith, and that the events of the past week really exposed that. We've gone from wanting to crack down on illegal immigration, to wanting to limit legal immigration, to just outright racist comments about African countries and Haiti. It really does seem like the position is actually: "we want white people to remain the majority in America, and we don't see people who are not white as real Americans." See, for instance, this:
.@MarkSteynOnline on DACA: "In Arizona, a majority of the grade school children now are Hispanic. That means Arizona's future is as a Hispanic society. That means in effect, the border has moved north." #Tucker pic.twitter.com/tCJsNMlT0u— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 19, 2018
And I guess I'm glad it is out in the open now, but wow, it is sickening. (Several people on Twitter pointed out that the commentator here, Mark Steyn, is Canadian, which is just so perfect.)
Also, this outbreak of racism and bad faith behavior is making it much, much harder to come to any sort of reasonable compromise on immigration, which is bad for our country and terrible for the many classes of people now caught in immigration limbo. This makes me very sad.
And here's a bunny to leave us on a happy note:
ほい( *・ω・)ノ pic.twitter.com/9qORJeguR7— nao〜☆ (@evo3183) January 18, 2018
Happy weekend, everyone!