I hope all of my American readers had a nice and safe Thanksgiving. We did!
I am still in holiday mode and so this probably won't be a long post today. But we'll see what happens as I start writing! Sometimes I surprise myself.
I have been reading The Raven Tower, by Ann Leckie, and now in the phase where I'd really like to be sitting out in my backyard enjoying the sunshine and reading it. It is very different from the Imperial Radch series but I think it is equally good.
One of the interesting things in The Raven Tower is the world-building around how gods work, and I think anyone who enjoys that aspect of The Raven Tower might also enjoy the Tales of the Polity books by Francesca Forrest, which Annorlunda Books is publishing. The Inconvenient God is available now, and Lagoonfire will come out in March. The world of the Polity is not at all similar to the world in The Raven Tower, but there is something about the exploration of what it means to be a god that makes me think these books go well together.
Speaking of Lagoonfire... it got a review in Publishers Weekly! It is a nice review, and I am very excited about it.
OK, on to the links.
This piece by Amanda Mull gets at some of what I think has gone so wrong with America's pandemic response even in places where state and local government are taking the pandemic seriously. Our failure to provide aid to sectors that really can't operate safely is leading to illogical rules and that undermines all of the messaging from health departments.
This Greg Sargent interview of David Wasserman is an interesting discussion between two people I find to be pretty smart on electoral politics.
The story of what happened in Michigan after the election is amazing and infuriating.
If you think the only shenanigans that Trump is getting up to on his way out is trashing our democracy by falsely claiming vote fraud... think again. This is pretty terrible, both for the career government employees he's apparently planning to fire right around the holidays and for the fact that he wants to fill these positions with loyalists:
This is an extremely important story that isn't getting the attention it deserves.— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) November 27, 2020
After GSA initiated the presidential transition, I warned that there would still be new Trump sabotage to come. This is exactly what I was concerned about.
Here's what's happening-- 1/ https://t.co/alqbEA2qS5
I have so many podcast recommendations for you!
First up: Ezra Klein's interview with Ian Haney López about what Democrats get wrong about Latino voters is not what you probably think it is going to be and it ended up being a really hopeful listen for me. Haney López has done research into what messages work well with different types of voters and his findings are really interesting, but more important (to me) is the fact that a message that I think is true - that powerful interests are amplifying racial conflict to protect their own economic interests - works well across many different types of voters.
I also have two podcasts that are both about how to heal the divisions in America right now.
The first, from Krista Tippet, is an interview with Karen Murphy, who has worked in Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and other places with an organization called Facing History and Ourselves. She has so many interesting things to say about how her work could be translated into our current situation in America.
The second I found a bit frustrating, but it is also really worth your time: Ezra Klein interviews/debates with conservative writer David French about how to move forward now. French is arguing for more federalism as a solution. It is an interesting argument. However, the thing that really frustrated me in his argument is that he points out that his conservative neighbors speak with real enmity about "Blue America" but he does not interrogate why that is or acknowledge that they may be reacting to a caricature of us provided by the right wing information sources they prefer and not how we really are. He just accepts that this is where we've landed and argues forward from there without interrogating the way that this enmity his neighbors express might be a real threat for left-leaning people who live in their communities in a way that is not mirrored on the other side. Still, I am glad I finally listened to that discussion.
Finally, I keep forgetting to post this lovely interview between Krista Tippett and the Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who died recetly. Sacks has some really interesting things to say about working with people with different beliefs while remaining true to your own beliefs. I really enjoyed this podcast.
And some things that made me smile:
This beautiful tree:
A pretty bird:
I think wombats were nature's way of saying "sorry for all the deadly animals" to Australia:
Here's your rabbit of the week:
Happy weekend, everyone!