Sweet farewell — of sorts. The Blues & the News will momentarily be moving to weekends while the blog undergoes some life shifts and growing pains. We will see how this goes. Kickoff scheduled for next weekend as opposed to this upcoming one. Failure or success? We will seeeee!
A formal congratulations to the two talented souls who are now the co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Sriram Hathwar of NY and Ansun Sujoe from this blog’s home state of TX! Unfortunately, their victory has been accompanied by a disappointing amount of racism and vitriol. Both boys are Indian-American, a trend reflected by the past eight winners. One has to wonder which is more un-American: two citizens winning a difficult competition, or a hoard of individuals on the Internet who enjoy spewing racism at teenagers.
Announcing some upcoming adjustments to the blog: Due to a change in your blogger’s professional life + daily routine, this blog may move to the weekends as opposed to weekdays, with the exception of breaking news updates. Though this is certainly not ideal, it may be necessary. Test-run will come next week and we will see how things shake out!
Things that failed to make my breaking news updates from both NYT and WaPo (I blame my phone) — the misogyny-fueled shooting rampage that took place in California this weekend. Tragic and devastating, though unlikely to shift the American mentality that gun control would be an impossible demand and a burden on our nation’s upstanding and rightly-minded gun owners. (Read: Sarcasm.)
Apart from that, I hope everyone (if based in the US/American/etc) enjoyed and reflected on their Memorial Day weekend. Happy Tuesday!
Misogyny kills: A man who felt undesired by women went on a shooting spree in California this weekend. The nice guy syndrome has now been taken to the next level. Disgusting.
A diverse and politically varied group of judges all have something in common: They have upheld the precedent set by the SCOTUS and overturned same-sex marriage bans. Only North Dakota’s ban goes unchallenged. (Get to it, North Dakota.) Edit: North Dakota’s ban will be challenged. Rainbows for all!
Happy Friday! The Blues are off being bluesy on Monday, and a happy Memorial Day Weekend to you all! In other exciting news, the World Cup is only a few weeks away. GET READY, this blog will be shrine. First-ever Blues & the News sports coverage.
Pending: Will Nawaz Sharif be in attendance at the swearing-in of Mr. Modi? I’ll be checking my news updates tonight and so will everyone else who cares about South Asia. Sources in Islamabad say he wants to, and is merely consulting the correct channels to see if the move is advisable. WE WILL SEE.
Russia and China helpfully shut down a Syrian ICC referral this morning. Thank you not, Russia and China.
A Democratic senator says many people oppose Obamacare because racism. Presented without comment but with the note that this blog supports Obamacare and arches an eyebrow at certain elements of rhetoric used against it.
The US is set to reveal its justification for drone strikes against citizens. Oh boy oh boy.
In a shocking turn of events, it’s Justice ALITO who has halted a death row execution.
Fact check: Those DC metro ads re: Israel and re: Palestine have inaccuracies on both ends. (Side note: This blog takes no real official stance on the overall issue but IS very much against both misinformation from all sides as well as the American Freedom Defense Initiative.)
Daily observation: While I both enjoy his music and have nevertheless always found his politics problematic as a male heterosexual white champion of queer causes, Macklemore has now crossed the line even further. I know antisemitism amuses a lot of people. Your blogger is not one. More here and here.
The CIA has promised vaccine campaigns will no longer be used in spy operations. The promise comes after a massive backlash in Pakistan against polio vaccine workers following the process used to locate Bin Laden.
Concerning read of the day: Is democracy in decline? And something about a “Guardian State” which is reminding me of my Hobbes from high school and early political science and theory courses.
The Holocaust is not a he-said she-said conversation:
According to a recent global survey by the Anti-Defamation League, two-thirds of respondents either had never heard of the Holocaust or believed historical accounts were exaggerated. And the ignorance is concentrated among the young. This school year, in California’s Rialto Unified School District, eighth-grade students were asked to write an essay on whether they believed the Holocaust “was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.” Note “scheme” and “wealth” — words that Jews have heard before. School officials were forced to cancel the assignment. Which National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke described as a “damn shame” — the cancelation, not the assignment. Cooke complained that academic discussion is too often “conducted between narrow and sternly policed rails.” The purpose of education is to cultivate critical thinking, not “to indoctrinate our children with the values of the state.” The application of ideology in this case — an all-purpose conservative critique of political correctness — is intellectually lazy. But the assumption of two-sidedness when considering the Holocaust is positively dangerous.
San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, of whom this blog is a big fan, has been tapped to lead the Department of Housing & Urban Development. This will bring a person of color to what is, disappointingly, a very white and male-dominated cabinet. This will also likely boost his rising star and there’s speculation he could be considered as a vice presidential candidate in 2016. Which would obviously lead to tears of joy from your blogger. Here’s what you need to know about one of this blog’s boyfriends.
A white male Princeton professor is seeing a lot of backlash from a group of African American (and predominately queer) women over an art dispute.
The 20 states with the most segregated schools for African-American students. Related: The nation’s most gerrymandered districts. Related: Holder and Obama (Michelle) talk race in a nation bothered by it.
In an unusually good move for the VA, the wife of a female soldier killed in Afghanistan will receive the same benefits as heterosexual widows and widowers.
It’s a slow news day and unfortunately the blog will be unattended tomorrow and Friday. I’ll be at New America’s annual conference. Tune in via our live feed, and enjoy! Regular blogging will resume next Monday.