Friday, June 08, 2018

Weekend Reading: The Edition I Don't Have a Name For

The weather here was gorgeous today. It was the first time in awhile that I've been able to go rollerblading in shorts, and it felt great to be out by the bay with the warm sun and the cool breeze.

I'm trying to notice these small happy things a bit more, as an antidote to the large unhappy things going on in the news. It isn't that I want to ignore the news, it is that I need to hold on to the happy things to give me the fortitude to keep facing the news and trying to do my bit to make things better.

The "notice the happy things" message came at me from two directions this week: Once from Laura Vanderkam's new book, Off the Clock (which I've finished and enjoyed and will be writing about over at my real name blog soonish) and once from the episode of Ana Marie Cox's podcast With Friends Like These in which she interviewed Diana Butler Bass.

So anyway, it was a particularly nice rollerblade today, and I made a point of noticing that.

On to the links!

In semi-self-promotional news: The ebook edition of Tattoo, Michelle Rene's novella about a future in which our pasts are written on our skin, was on sale for $0.99 this week. The price will go back to normal tomorrow, so if you act quickly you can still get a discounted copy.

In other news:

There were two stories this week about how we're missing the forest for the trees in the Trump-Russia affair. First David Corn wrote about how Trump's simple, repetitive lies are setting the narrative and making people overlook what is obvious:

"In 2016, Vladimir Putin’s regime mounted information warfare against the United States, in part to help Trump become president. While this attack was underway, the Trump crew tried to collude covertly with Moscow, sought to set up a secret communications channel with Putin’s office, and repeatedly denied in public that this assault was happening, providing cover to the Russian operation. Trump and his lieutenants aligned themselves with and assisted a foreign adversary, as it was attacking the United States. The evidence is rock-solid: They committed a profound act of betrayal. That is the scandal. "

Second, Josh Marshall wrote about how we obviously have a problem with a President who is advancing Russia's interests, and how it doesn't really matter at this point if we can prove there was a quid pro quo that led to it:

"We have a President who clearly got a great deal of assistance from Russia in getting elected. We can argue about how important it was to his victory. But the reality of the help is not in any real dispute. His campaign at a minimum had numerous highly suspicious contacts with people either in the Russian government or acting on behalf of the Russian government while that was happening. That is a very generous interpretation. He’s doing all the stuff he’d have been asked to do if such a corrupt bargain had been made. At a certain point – and I’d say we’re clearly at or past that point – it really doesn’t matter whether we can prove such a bargain was made."

The news this morning about Anthony Bourdain was so sad. If anyone reading this is struggling right now, please reach out for help and please know that we want you to stay here with us. You matter.

There are a lot of people writing about Bourdain today. This short piece by Joshua Keating was one that really resonated with me, probably because it is about the travel aspect of his work (I'm not much of a foodie).

I would also like to post a link to an old post I wrote about a time when I failed at keeping my asthma under control, because every time I share it I hear that it helps people understand how chronic illnesses can get out of control.

The story about a DREAMer from Iowa who was sent back to Mexico and killed by gangs within weeks is heart-breaking. There are so many heart-breaking immigration stories right now. I have to look away from a lot of them, because they overwhelm me.

Jamelle Bouie got into a rather surprising Twitter argument about the Enlightenment and racism, and that turned into a really good essay.

In recommended listening: The With Friends Like These episode I mentioned above was good. I would also really recommend Ezra Klein's interview with Mehrsa Baradaran about the racial wealth gap.

Here's something happy:

And here's something LOLSOBy:

And here's some bunnies:

That's all I have this week. Happy weekend, everyone!

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