Weekend Links

“London-based architecture practice Ordinary Architecture have designed a large cross-section of a pigeon that reveals its anatomy to illustrate how the bird’s digestive system works; players aim golf balls through its mouth and watch as they roll through its guts before popping out through its butt.”

London at night

Saul Bellow’s desk finally sold

A traveling show called Famous Deaths lets you experience, in rich multisensory detail, the last four minutes of a famous person’s life.

Dear critics: No one cares about your life.

Correct: “The GOP sucks, but it’s not as bad as everyone thinks”

Donald Trump is not your Daddy

Yes, every word of this Tom Nichols piece. Here’s an excerpt, but go read the whole thing:

Yes, fellow conservatives: Trump is worse than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Their policies are liberal, even leftist, often motivated by cheap politics, ego, and political grandstanding. But they are policies, understandable as such and opposable by political means. Trump’s various rants, by contrast, do not amount to policies. They are ignorant tone poems, bad haikus, streams of words whose content has no real meaning. They’re not positions available either to the GOP or Democrats, because they do not contain a vision of the future over which those parties can fight. In fact, Trump’s policies are not policies. They’re just feverish revenge fantasies. Trump, a scam artist whose entire career has been based on victimizing the working class, should be the target of that anger. Instead, he is encouraging Americans to turn their hostility away from him and against their fellow citizens, inviting us into a war of all against all over which he will preside as an amused dictator…In the end, I can only say it again: if I lose a friend only because I am opposed to man who is, in my view, a mortal enemy of everything American, then so be it.

So damn depressing: “You can see signs of this everywhere, and for once it really does remind me of the dying years of the Roman Empire, when a long and profound and powerful intellectual tradition was simply fading away and becoming invisible to the world. With nothing to replace it, the culture is being hollowed out. We are losing sight of the heights of a 3,000-year-long intellectual and artistic tradition, and somehow I don’t think Beyoncé thinkpieces, much less Beyoncé herself, are going to fill that vacuum.”

Donald Trump and his enablers are killing democracy

Nobody panic:

The entire population of Belgium is to be issued with a ration of iodine tablets, months after warnings about the threat of Isil building a dirty bomb. Iodine pills, which help reduce radiation build-up in the thyroid gland, had previously only been issued to people living within 20km (14 miles) of the Tihange and Doel nuclear plants. Maggie De Block, the Health Minister, said that would be extended to 100km, covering the whole country of 11 million people, following advice from an expert council. The pills will be sent to pharmacies, and the public would be ordered to collect their ration in the event of a meltdown. Children, pregnant women and those breast-feeding would be given priority.

“Making well-off countries poor and poor countries starving is what socialists do.”

Trump really counting on the historical illiterate vote. This may just be the stupidest goddamn speech I’ve ever read in my life. Tom Nichols sums it up best:

So, we now know what Donald Trump thinks about foreign policy. Actually, we don’t. Once again, a Trump speech about policy turned out to be just another word salad of rehashed campaign slogans. And once again, all we learned is that Trump has no idea what he’s talking about, especially when it comes to foreign policy.

Trump’s speech, highly anticipated and no doubt crafted by his advisers in an attempt to make him look sensible, was probably as uncomfortable for him to give as it was for us to watch. Like a child who’s been told he has to give a book report on a subject way over his head, Trump dutifully read a script, slogging through concepts he does not grasp and stumbling over words he cannot pronounce. He touched on many subjects, all of them wrapped in the ignorance and magical thinking that characterizes every Trump speech. Like Barack Obama, Trump thinks his very presence in the Oval Office will itself be change that fixes everything.

There were many more inconsistencies in Trump’s speech, but there’s no point in highlighting them. This wasn’t really a speech about foreign policy. It was a campaign event, meant to reassure Trump’s emotionally-driven, low-information voters that he gave a foreign policy speech. And so he did. Some Republicans, facing Trump’s mounting primary victories, have even embarrassed themselves by praising it already. And of course, it was more than enough for Trump’s loyalists, as anything Trump does or says, no matter how stupid or incoherent, always is. But it is not enough to reassure any thinking American. We deserve better. In this election, unfortunately, we are unlikely to get it.

If Hollywood got nuked I would not shed a single tear.

Here’s how the Obama admin will use taxpayer funds to pay Iran $8.6 million for nuke materials.

Crows remember who wronged them.

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Filed under Around the World, Foreign Policy, Politics, Uncategorized

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