To understand Trump, looking at Western European populists provides a better framework than anything from US history. His success is causing a crisis for political scientists who didn't see him coming, but also many potentially interesting insights. And about the history of reactionary conservative populism, and the effect of Trump on Republican orthodoxy. And how the racist backlash against Barack Obama brought about Trump.
Far right parties made startling gains in three German state elections, interpreted as a reaction to Angela Merkel's refugee policy. And instead of a comprehensive EU policy on refugees, a questionable deal with Turkey. And the New York Review of Books interviews George Soros about the future of Europe. And more on the future of the European Union, the divide between Germany and the Eastern countries, and the damage of illiberalism:
And herein lies the unnoticed danger that Central Europe’s illiberalism poses to the European Union. It is not simply that Berlin is unhappy with the rise of illiberal governments in the region. It is being forced to question some of its fundamental assumptions about the future of the union. “I can comprehend only with difficulty,” Germany’s president, Joachim Gauck, confessed, “when precisely those nations whose citizens, once themselves politically oppressed and who experienced solidarity, in turn withdraw their solidarity for the oppressed.” Germany and Central Europe are torn apart not simply by policy differences; they are profoundly disappointed with each other.
The New York Times: Will Germany Give Up on Integration?, February 8, 2016
Eye in the Sky, a recent film starring Helen Mirren, depicts the ethical quagmire of drone strikes.
Quartz has a series of articles on the historical roots of IS and this one discusses why Islam is different in different countries, the influence of a variety of legal schools and interpretation and the co-existence with other religions in countries.
About Ulrike Meinhof's legacy:
“The main problem for women is the gap between acting in a political role, and on the other hand, dealing with daily problems,” she added. “Sometimes you feel helpless as a woman in this situation. This is the main problem for women. Their private life in accordance with their political life. This is the oppression of women.”
It was 1969: Just months later Meinhof would leave her two daughters to found the Red Army Faction, a hard-left political gang soon known as the Baader-Meinhof Group. By 1976 she would lay dead on a prison block floor having become the world’s most famous terrorist.
Latterly: The Tough Legacy of Ulrike Meinhof, March 18, 2016
Simone was able to conjure glamour in spite of everything the world said about black women who looked like her. And for that she enjoyed a special place in the pantheon of resistance. That fact doesn’t just have to do with her lyrics or her musicianship, but also how she looked. Simone is something more than a female Bob Marley. It is not simply the voice: It is the world that made that voice, all the hurt and pain of denigration, forged into something otherworldly. That voice, inevitably, calls us to look at Nina Simone’s face, and for a brief moment, understand that the hate we felt, that the mockery we dispensed, was unnatural, was the fruit of conjurations and the shadow of plunder. We look at Nina Simone’s face and the lie is exposed and we are shamed. We look at Nina Simone’s face and a terrible truth comes into view—there was nothing wrong with her. But there is something deeply wrong with us.
The Atlantic: Nina Simone's Face, March 18, 2016
"We are the only poets and everyone else is prose" - on the real Emily Dickinson.
Eric Ripert seems pretty cool.