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The Changing Faces of Nationalism

As a historian who sometimes teaches about Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, I have to give Trump credit for one thing: His constant upending of the broad political consensus that emerged after World War II and the Cold War means that basic historical terms are constantly making it into the news and national discourse as quasi new problems, new questions. As upsetting as these times are, as abhorrent as Trump is, it is hard to deny the value of Ron Elving’s reaction to the president’s recent statement about… Read more The Changing Faces of Nationalism

All DC area residents have complaints and even horror stories to tell about the Metro. Since introducing it to children in the family from out of town, I’ve started looking at it with fresh eyes. (Four photos.)

Some elephant seals seen on the coast of California on May 14, 2018.

Monsters in the News

If you have the stomach for more on relating to a filmmaker’s work who you now know (but perhaps tried to forget) is a child molester, this piece from May 2016 by Matt Zoller Seitz is worth considering: “I Believe Dylan Farrow.” Such is the kind of reading I sometimes find myself doing these days when I least expect it. I’ll try to escape the everyday with a comedy, but then I’ll dig around the web to learn more about its makers or players. If this effort lands me back… Read more Monsters in the News

The caption reads, “I’ve decided to accept God, but he has to become Italian.” The German here for “accept,” “gelten lassen,” could also be translated as “allow.” Source: Simpicissimus, May… Read more

I have had health insurance through my employer these past seven years, but I still depend on the Affordable Care Act. It has made the scope of coverage meaningful, especially… Read more

How Open is Open Access?

The following quote from an article about art education seems to have broader implications: “Early excitement for the Internet’s democratic potential has been replaced by a complicated marketplace of competing agendas of consumption, entertainment, social networking, and political action that continues to offer both opportunity and exclusion. Increased participation is coupled with a persistent digital divide, a gap in who has access to digital technologies and who does not, illustrating that ‘disparities in technology access and use are related to socioeconomic status, with income, educational level and race among the… Read more How Open is Open Access?

Dear National Security Establishment, Please stop your collective freak-out about North Korea. The power of that country’s weapons lies mainly in our inability to tolerate any risk whatsoever.

Information and Meaning

False information gains strength from its roots in stories that make sense to a lot of people; mow down the latest false facts and more will soon sprout until we address those stories themselves—and the reasons people believe them.

– Paul, J. Croce, “What We Can Learn from Fake News,” History News Network, July 23, 2017, http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/166400.