It’s been a busy week in the immigration debate that has been steadily gaining momentum in the UK over the last months. What started as a timidly-voiced fear of a Romanian and Bulgarian influx last year has now turned into the next big thing in electioneering. Everybody’s got something to say about immigrants, and most of it is scary. What’s missing is the loud voice of protest against the rhetoric almost all political parties are now using. Read More Expat Ramblings: The Trouble with Immigrants
As of Wednesday evening, the U.S. government shutdown ended and almost nothing was accomplished. This sigh-worthy story and more, after the jump.
We’d rather die on our feet
Than keep living on our knees
Say it loud
I’m Black, and I’m proud
“Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” – James Brown Read More “Make Me Wanna Holler”: How My Dad & His Music Influenced My Politics
As the United States (U.S.) government shutdown drags on past ten days (and counting), I have begun to fear the long-term consequences of such a halt on the most vulnerable populations in the United States. I’ve already witnessed some of the consequences for my Oneida tribe. All over the U.S., the shutdown disproportionately affects tribes and especially tribes who experience high poverty rates. While the government shutdown continues, the U.S. fails to uphold their treaty obligations to all U.S. tribes. Read More The Government Shutdown & Tribes: Or the Continuing Failure of the Fed to Meet Treaty Obligations
How can we go around the world and saying that we’re the bastions and the light of freedom throughout the world, when we marginalize people within our own country and our own society?
–from Baldemar Velasquez in an interview with Bill Moyers about the ongoing David vs. Goliath struggles to ensure fairness for American farm workers
I want to live in a world where the George Zimmermans of the world run to help the Trayvon Martin’s of the world, not hunt them down. Read More Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: Why Are We Still Talking? Do Something!
Drift, Rachel Maddow’s book on the state of the American military, was first released last year. Despite being a huge fan of Maddow, I didn’t get a chance to read the book until just a few months ago. I was massively interested in her thesis statement – namely, that the American process of war has become unmoored (i.e. has drifted) and unattached from the American public. That is to say, Maddow is arguing that it is far too easy to go to war these days. I think this is something that we can all agree on simply from watching the nightly news. But to hear Maddow explain it is truly a treat. It’s clear from reading this book that Maddow has done her homework. Maddow posits that this problem – as with many things – can be traced back to Vietnam.
Recently, a friend asked me for books, preferably fiction, to help her understand the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. I don’t think I can adequately cover that subject (ever, it’s just so big), but I can offer some suggestions regarding Israel, Palestine, Syria, and the changing face of the Middle East. I do want to offer a caveat that I had a hard time finding books by Arab authors, but I tried to include what I could. I also wanted to try to avoid books that came off as rabidly pro– or anti–Israel. I couldn’t find any fiction, but I did find some non–fiction that can hopefully offer some insight into what’s going on in an area that’s often misunderstood or underestimated. Read More Ask A Librarian: A Brief and Incomplete History of the Middle East
On this Friday afternoon – whether you’re lamenting the cost of putting gas in your car, or maybe you’ve received new work wardrobe requirements, and you know, orange MusicTown aprons really don’t suit you – there’s just one thing to do…