What I’m Reading this Week: 15 September 2016

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So in my haste to return to blogging, I consumed a lot of press this week. Some of it is older, but still important.

Vincennes, France holds a festival about American culture and literature, and has been since 2008. This year’s was held from the 8-11 of September. The festival chatted with 15 authors and Libération posted excerpts from their chat, which centered around the authors’ ideas and impressions of their personal vision of America. Fascinating stuff. Des écrivains racont leur Amérique [Authors talk about their America] — the original article is in French.

Going on at the same time, in Paris, was la fête de l’Humanité [The Humanity Festival], which is the French Communist Party’s annual festival. It still happens, though the party is apparently unpopular. This isn’t an article; it’s a video with a small report attached, but it’s interesting. France : la fête de l’Humanité, entre évènement populaire et vitrine politique [The Humanity Festival: popular event and political display– report and article in French].

Think Progress reports on several scientific studies about the mental health of Black people in the United States, especially battling the daily micro-aggressions and constant onslaught of race-based discrimination. It’s a glancing read, but each study is probably worth a look. Being Black in America is a heavy burden, one that many people are either blind to or deny.

Swinging back out to Europe, Arstechnica reports on Denmark’s move to pay for the leaked documents, in a bid to research Danish tax evasion (‘Panama Papers: Denmark to pay $1.3M-plus for leaked data to probe tax evasion‘). I usually read Arstechnica for technical news, but when tech and government mix, it can only be a good or bad thing. I appreciate Denmark’s willingness to investigate tax dodgers, instead of letting them run for high office.

Speaking of running for high office, two articles about the American presidential campaign, obviously. The Economist discusses the similarities and differences between the war-hawk policies of Clinton and Trump. American foreign policy is unattractive and scary thing to me, but there you go.

And finally, the Washington Post‘s 18 August report about Trump’s not-so-charitable giving is incredibly detailed and incredibly disheartening. I’m so bewildered by Trump’s continued existence. I’m very glad there’s only eight weeks until the election, but I have no idea what’s going to happen then. Nobody does, it feels like.

That’s all from me this week! Until next time. – SDM

photo by David Mark.

#atozchallenge: The A to Zed Reveal!

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I have been interested in politics since I was fourteen. I have done some writing on political things that affect me, but I was inspired by my good friend Megan, a published author, to ‘get off [my] ass and do something’. She is an unrelenting task master. It took me a while, but I set up this blog and have written a few posts. I have been inspired, it seems, by this year’s election.

It has already been a long and weird ride! I have been voting since 2004, and whilst I have been a resolutely Democratic voter in a relentlessly red state, I have never seen a weirder American election cycle. Combine that with the tumultuous European Union political sphere, and you can see why this year was a pretty fantastic year to start an international political blog. I hope I can get this off the ground and get a lot of eyeballs, so I can do fun stuff like start a vlog and/or maybe one day do some actual political reporting.

So as you can probably guess, my A to Z challenge theme shall be: A PASSPORT TO GLOBAL POLITICS. What this means is that each post will obviously be about global political issues that I find important/that have affected me personally or that I feel inspired by. I have taken tiny liberties with the ‘a to zed’ concept, but I’ve italicised the words that match the day’s alphabet.

Here are the topics I will be writing on. I will link them here as they are posted.

A: L’ancien régime
B: Books (about politics) I’ve Always Loved
C: Capitalism Has Failed
D: The American Dystopia
E: Educating without Moralising
F: Am I a Fellow Traveller?
G: Government is not a Curse Word
H: Ain’t I a Human, Too?
I: Injustice, the American Way
J: Justice vs Equality
K: The American Kleptocracy
L: Liberté, égalité, fraternité
M: The Moral Relativism of a Global Citizen
N: And the Nominees Are…
O: The American Oligarchy
P: Politics in the Classroom
Q: Question Time with the Prime Minister
R: Something Rotten in these United States
S: State of the (European) Union
T: Tout et rien: A September 11th Story
U: USA, USA, USA!
V: Vote of No Confidence
W: Winner Takes All
X: Xenophobia – What it Looks Like Around the World
Y: Youth in Action
Z: The American Zeitgeist

My regular posts such as my weekly read and the weekend coffee share will be updated on their regular schedules as well. And of course, I will offer my insights on the big political stories going on at the time. April is looking to be a busy month!

If you’re still interested in signing up, sign-ups will be open until the 4th of April! Please do join our merry band. – SDM

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#AtoZ: Theme Reveal Sign-Up 2016

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It’s not much of a challenge to figure out what I’ll be writing about this April, but it’s a little fun coming up with an over-arching theme. It shouldn’t surprise you that I’ve already done so.

There are over 800 bloggers signed up for this year’s challenge. I feel a little lost in all the shuffle, of course. I did this last year on my private blog and nothing really came of it, sadly, but I am hoping for that this year is a little different, especially since, peeking around at most of the other blogs, I’m the only one with such a singular focus on a big topic.

I hope to get to know all of you. And of course, there’s still time to sign up! Join us for this crazy month of blogging! – SDM

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Hello.

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It is always very difficult to begin from the beginning. One is always hoping to just hop into this blogging thing in the middle, when there are comments and readers and things like that.

So I’ve decided to do this A to Zed challenge. I’ve added people to my reading list so that I can furiously comment. It is up to me to figure out if the themes can carry me over for the entire month of April (which includes the blessed Spring Break).

Obviously, 2016 is a pretty advantageous time to start a blog about politics, especially living in America as I am. I hope the title tells you that I am also going to be looking outside this weird country to a more international scope, of political matters both great and small.

Thank you for joining me. Let us have a good discussion.  -SDM

NB: I’ll have a better introductory post later; I’m no good at talking about myself, though.