Controversy over Confederate Statues Inspires Betsy DeVos to Google Civil War | The New Yorker


The raging controversy over Confederate statues has impelled Betsy DeVos to Google the Civil War, the Education Secretary confirmed on Thursday.

DeVos said that, prior to Googling the Civil War, she believed that parents should have a choice as to whether or not their children learned history in the nation’s schools, “but now I’m starting to rethink that.”

Source: Controversy over Confederate Statues Inspires Betsy DeVos to Google Civil War | The New Yorker

President Trump Revives the Culture Wars | US News


Historians trace the modern version of the culture wars to President Richard Nixon, who tried to divide the country on the basis of race, class and the acceptance of “family values” in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Trump appears to be following Nixon’s lead today as he attempts to appeal to white voters on wedge issues including race and crime.

Source: President Trump Revives the Culture Wars | The Report | US News

Charlottesville Violence Spurs Cities to Remove Statues | US News


“This was the city that promoted the view that the confederate cause was a noble thing – ‘It wasn’t about slavery, it was about people fighting to be free,'” Phil Wilayto said.

And he says the statues are likely to be a draw for the same white supremacists who came to Charlottesville for an armed defense of Lee’s statue, which the city had decided to remove from the center of town.

Like New Orleans, Memphis and Lexington, Kentucky, Richmond has engaged in the hard, bitter, painful debate over memorials to Lee and his rebel comrades, in the name of racial reconciliation and public safety.

Source: Charlottesville Violence Spurs Cities to Remove Statues | The Report | US News

Museum or dumpster? U.S. cities wrestle with Confederate statues’ fate


Since Monday, officials in Baltimore and Gainesville, Florida, have taken down statues while another was torn from its plinth by protesters in Durham, North Carolina. Calls for more to be removed have grown louder.

This has created an additional headache for cities and spurred another debate: how to dispose of the statues once they are taken down.

Source: Museum or dumpster? U.S. cities wrestle with Confederate statues’ fate

Why Trump Blames “Both Sides” For Charlottesville


In other words, Trump may do what autocrats have always done: create or exploit a crisis in order to consolidate power.

By framing Charlottesville as caused by two equally violent sides, Trump is developing a framework through which to crush opponents of racism, who also happen to be opponents of Trump. By showing he will protect his neo-nazi followers, he encourages them to riot again, as they will not be blamed by him.

The blame would fall squarely on the anti-racist protesters, who Trump would claim provoked the violence (we can argue, if you wish, whether striking the nazis who descend upon your city is an act of violence or an act of self-defense).

This propaganda would likely be aimed at his eroding base of moderate Republican supporters.

Source: Why Trump Blames “Both Sides” For Charlottesville

Three Things About the State of Education That I Learned From Visiting My Old High School [TK] | Pacific Standard

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“It’s easy to look at technology as the biggest change between these kids and their parents,” says Mr. Edelstein, “but a bigger effect on young people is the corruption in the world around them.”

Two wars, the financial crisis, rapidly eroding democracy. “I’m much more panicked about that lesson than any video game.”

Source: Three Things About the State of Education That I Learned From Visiting My Old High School [TK] – Pacific Standard

The Fight for Racial Justice Can’t Stop With Fixing a Broken Policing System | Pacific Standard


The chokehold that killed Eric Garner, a maneuver prohibited by the NYPD, takes center stage in Paul Butler’s latest book, Chokehold: Policing Black Men.

Butler employs the chokehold—the maneuver as well as the metaphor—as, in his words, “a way of understanding how American inequality is imposed.”

Although applicable to many marginalized groups, Butler uses the experiences of black men to unpack and understand the chokehold. He takes the literal, physical chokehold and applies it to the figurative chokehold with which the criminal justice system has gripped the lives of black American men.

Source: The Fight for Racial Justice Can’t Stop With Fixing a Broken Policing System – Pacific Standard

The Escalating Global-Warming Crisis, in One Chart | Pacific Standard


Last month tied July of 2016 for the hottest month on record, according to a new analysis from researchers at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Sixteen of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred in the 21st century, including 2015 and 2016, both of which saw a temperature boost thanks to a strong El Niño event.

Source: The Escalating Global-Warming Crisis, in One Chart – Pacific Standard

Josef Stalin statues go up in Russia as U.S. Civil War statues fall


Many here apparently don’t know that on July 30, 1937, Stalin’s secret police launched a campaign that would see more than 1.5 million “anti-Soviet elements” arrested and nearly 700,000 of them killed, according to Soviet archives.

Historians say that during Stalin’s three decades of rule, which ended with his death in 1953, an estimated 15 million to 30 million people were executed or died in labor camps or starved to death.

Although condemned for his brutality after his death, Stalin is now getting new respect from both an older generation nostalgic for the lost Soviet empire, which collapsed in 1991, and a younger generation of nationalistic Russians.

Source: Josef Stalin statues go up in Russia as U.S. Civil War statues fall

The big problem with the North Koreans isn’t that we can’t trust them. It’s that they can’t trust us. | The Washington Post


The security dilemma refers to two related ideas.

The first is very simple: Things that one state does to make itself more secure typically have the effect of making other states less secure. For example, Kim is trying to develop a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability to make his government more secure, but this has the effect of making the United States less secure.

The second is about how this fact could lead states whose leaders are both basically interested in maintaining a non-conflict status quo to end up in a very costly war.

How might this work?

Source: The big problem with the North Koreans isn’t that we can’t trust them. It’s that they can’t trust us. – The Washington Post