Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all the Americans out there! This blog isn’t really an observer but is thankful for everyone who follows, consumes, enjoys, and disputes the Blues. It was a week of mixed and violent emotions — the Ferguson decision’s release has sparked national and international outrage, and several areas are in the midst of extreme struggle, not least of all Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Still, Iranian nuclear talks have yet to stall altogether and international cooperation is excelling in many areas. As we inch closer to 2015, the world becomes a place of infinite highs and lows. Bonus: A surprising history of Turkey (the country and the bird) in America.
It has been QUITE THE WEEK. Keystone XL is briefly dead in the US and immigration reform is a go, Democrats and Republicans have gone to war, Ferguson MO is in a state of emergency, China and Thailand aren’t digging the Hunger Games, Russia’s playing nice with no one, Israel and Palestine are on the brink of holy war, terrorism abounds in MENA and South Asia, and Mexico is on fire. It looks like 2014 is going out with a bang. Stay safe wherever in the world you live, friends.
On Thursday, President Obama began a massive immigration overhaul which will aid approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. | The full text. (Republican court of public opinion: Ted Cruz channeled Cicero and he was only one of many.)
Breaking this morning: Republicans are suing Obama over health care.
This past weekend an American aid worker and humanitarian was murdered by militants along with a handful of captured Syrians.
Converting to Islam won’t save you from the Islamic State/Daesh. Because they are terrible.
The new issue 2(3) of Migration Studies is out. It contains a short symposium on the impacts of irregular status with contributions by Elzbieta Gozdziak, Janina Sohn, Daniela Borodak and Ariene Tichit. Using ethnographic methods, Gozdziak examines how irregular immigration status affects the educational opportunities of children in the US, concluding that ‘the kind of assistance and support Latino students need will not come solely from immigration reform and policy changes, but rather paradigm shifts in our attitudes toward and programs for Latino children and their families as well as policies aimed at alleviating poverty of immigrant families’ (Gozdziak, 2014, pp. 392–414). The nexus immigration status and educational attainments is the focus also of Söhn’s article (2014). Borodak and Tichit explore the impact of status on migration projects and conclude that, while ‘the total duration of migration to a foreign country is the…
Today’s New York Times carries a story describing efforts by “preservationists, historians and art lovers” to capture and share art produced by the ongoing occupations in Hong Kong:
Because most of the art is still on the streets, the archiving is largely digital. Some digital renditions and objects are already running alongside the “Disobedient Objects” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The Umbrella Movement Visual Archives and Research Collective, led partly by academics, is creating open-data platforms and Google maps to mark the locations of art pieces.
A new group—Umbrella Movement Art Preservation, or UMAP—has “rescue team members” on the ground, armed with cellphones and ready to mobilize volunteers to evacuate art on short notice. They have received offers of help from sympathetic truck drivers and about a dozen private galleries…
“It is all installation art,” said Mr. Wong of UMAP.
This process strikes me as unavoidably exploitative. The…
Denton, the little Texas city that could, banned fracking recently. Worry not, opponents of justice — the state legislature is quickly drawing up legislation to avoid local bans on things they should be allowed to ban.
Republicans won control of the Senate Tuesday evening as GOP candidates across the country swept to victory in crucial midterm elections, reflecting widespread unease about the nation’s direction and the electorate’s disenchantment with President Obama.
The GOP took control of Democratic held seats in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia, giving the party seven additional senators. It had needed six to control the chamber for the first time since 2007.
The rapid-fire victories represented a repudiation of the president, who rode into office on a mantle of change in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012 but whose second term has bogged down in a problems ranging from crises abroad to the arrival of Ebola in the United States. Throughout the hard-fought the campaign, Obama was a target of Republican candidates and in the end was reduced to campaigning only in secure Democratic bastions.