Thursday, 9 February 2017

Links 9/2/17


What does it mean for American politics that cities often oppose the policies supported by both the federal government and the states they are located in?
By and large, though, cities hold the weaker hand. It makes sense that these areas, finding themselves economically vital, increasingly progressive, and politically disempowered, would want to use local ordinances as a bulwark against conservative state and federal policies. But this gambit is likely to backfire. Insofar as states have sometimes granted cities leeway to enact policy in the past, that forbearance has been the result of political norms, not legal structures. Once those norms crumble, and state legislatures decide to assert their authority, cities will have very little recourse. 
The Atlantic: Red State, Blue City, March 2017 Issue
While most of the world (or at least, the so-called "liberal bubble") was horrified by the executive order passed to bar individuals with valid visas from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the US, Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Prime Minister, made it seem like the only relevant question was whether the agreement of the US accepting refugees from Australia's highly questionable offshore detention centres would still hold - leading to a phone call that will perhaps go down in history as the perfect example of Trump foreign policy. 

The executive order containing the travel ban is worded so broadly that it could have wide-reaching consequences for tourism. 

The first counter-terrorism raid of the Trump administration in Yemen, deferred by President Obama for his successor, went awfully

The Trump administration is attacking and removing every single institution that opposes it. 

Anti-fascist activists believe that the only way to meaningfully oppose right-wing radical / neo-nazi ideology is to remove their ability to make themselves heard and spread. 

After a few weeks of hesitation and half-assed compliance, the Democratic party is stepping up as a serious opposition party to the Trump administration, and the predictable leader of that opposition is Elizabeth Warren

Queer Muslim women in the South of the US share their fears about the new administration. 

Alternative facts do not exist, says Ursula K. Le Guin

Imagine a world in which language itself created a reality in which we cannot conceive that white straight male violence is part of a greater trend of radicalisation and ideology

Pop Culture: 

I have started to read Octavia E. Butler, and this has proven to be the greatest thing so far in 2017 - here is a long essay about the elasticity of sexual norms in her works. 

Taraji P. Henson should have been nominated for an Academy Award for her amazing work in Hidden Figures. 

Kristen Stewart, who has just hosted one of the most widely discussed episodes of Saturday Night Live (mostly for Melissa McCarthy's genius interpretation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer), is starring in Olivier Assayas' ghost film Personal Shopper. She is also, like, so gay. 

Marvel's Runaways, which went on hiatus years ago after the promise of a movie or tv show adaptation, and then returned with an entirely new cast, has finally taken one step closer to becoming a moving picture reality - there's a cast now. 

John Darnielle has published a new novel. 

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