Rachel Strohm

Political science PhD at UC Berkeley. Co-founder of the Mawazo Institute.

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Rachel Strohm

2 hours ago

"What the Kremlin fears most today is that Trump may be ousted or even killed. His ouster, Kremlin insiders argue, is bound to unleash a virulent and bipartisan anti-Russian campaign in Washington. Oddly, therefore, Putin has become a hostage to Trump’s survival and success. This has seriously restricted Russia’s geopolitical options. The Kremlin is perfectly aware that Democrats want to use Russia to discredit and possibly impeach Trump while Republican elites want to use Russia to deflate and discipline Trump. The Russian government fears not only Trump’s downfall, of course, but also the possibility that he could opportunistically switch to a tough anti-Moscow line in order to make peace with hawkish Republican leaders in Congress."

The Kremlin Is Starting to Worry About Trump

foreignpolicy.com

Rachel Strohm

5 days ago

"Though Mr. Kushner has visited Israel since childhood, and more recently to do business, he is little known there. He holds strong views about the state of Israel, but he has not been outspoken about them, save for editorials in The New York Observer, the newspaper he owned. His thinking on matters like settlements is not well understood.

“Israel wasn’t a political discussion for him; it was his family, his life, his people,” said Hirschy Zarchi, rabbi at the Chabad House at Harvard, where Mr. Kushner was an undergraduate."

For Kushner, Israel Policy May Be Shaped by the Personal

nytimes.com

Rachel Strohm

5 days ago

"I didn’t taste the pancake on a stick. But the chicken and roasted potatoes at lunch were pretty good. I might have used a little more salt, but then I don’t have the USDA looking over my shoulder when I cook. Were it not for the red plastic tray, I would not have even known this was school lunch, so tight are my associations with metallic-tasting green beans, bland pizza and desiccated crinkle fries. I was impressed."

She Outsmarted Jamie Oliver — And Figured Out The Future Of School Lunch

highline.huffingtonpost.com

Rachel Strohm

6 days ago

"If Black Lives Matter is “identity politics,” then identity politics has provided one of the most significant political mobilizations in defense of freedom in the United States in my lifetime."

niskanencenter.org

Rachel Strohm

6 days ago

Masterwork of stories about mapping difficult places -- the fjords of Greenland, the slums of Port-au-Prince, and even black holes.

Here Be Dragons

vqronline.org

Rachel Strohm

6 days ago

"So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. US health care costs about four times as much as equivalent health care in other First World countries; US subways cost about eight times as much as equivalent subways in other First World countries."

slatestarcodex.com

Rachel Strohm

7 days ago

"How do you confess aloud that you come from a place that unstitches you?"

This is your morning

aeon.co

Rachel Strohm

10 days ago

"Someone like Milo or Mike Cernovich doesn’t care that you hate them—they like it. It’s proof to their followers that they are doing something subversive and meaningful. It gives their followers something to talk about. It imbues the whole movement with a sense of urgency and action—it creates purpose and meaning.

You’re worried about “normalizing” their behavior when in fact, that’s the one thing they don’t want to happen."

I Helped Create the Milo Trolling Playbook. You Should Stop Playing Right Into It.

observer.com

Rachel Strohm

11 days ago

"Unlike a public square, which tends to operate as a successful political space to the degree that it’s an effective public one, the airport is a hospitable host for protest precisely because of how poorly it works in terms of civic design on a typical day.

The narrow sidewalks; the pedestrian bridges leading to and from parking structures; the little islands of pavement where we wait for shuttle buses; the bi-level ring roads that encircle every airport: These were the stages on which the protests were most effective on their own terms, both in clogging traffic and producing media-ready images of an angry, loud and unnerved public."

Building Type: The airport as public square and protest central

latimes.com

Rachel Strohm

11 days ago

"All it took was the right engineer – and a government desperate to show its people progress – to uncover and dismantle a web of corruption that was stealing power from households for nearly a decade and distributing it round the clock to some industries."

How Nepal got the electricity flowing

csmonitor.com

Rachel Strohm

11 days ago

"The right wing of the Republican Party has spent an enormous amount of time and energy over the past decade running primary challenges against moderate Republicans and replacing them with fire-breathing extremists. Many said this would render the party increasingly unacceptable and unelectable outside deep red states. That hasn’t happened. Instead, far-right Republicans have moved not only their party but the country as a whole to the right; they’ve shifted the terms of the debate and are poised to pass the most radical and comprehensive legislative package this country has seen since 1968."

Why Republicans Are Impressive

currentaffairs.org

Rachel Strohm

11 days ago

"To help Korbin escape the competitive straitjacket of the Chinese education system, his father had paid nearly $40,000 to an education consultancy to get him enrolled in a public high school in Michigan."

The Parachute Generation

nytimes.com

Rachel Strohm

12 days ago

"Half a century ago, an American commando vanished in the jungles of Laos. In 2008, he reappeared in Vietnam, reportedly alive and well. But nothing was what it seemed."

M.I.A.

magazine.atavist.com

Rachel Strohm

12 days ago

"For thousands of people in my country who have no access to clean running water, reliable electricity, adequate health clinics, schools for their children, or freedom of speech and assembly, ExxonMobil’s engagement under Tillerson has emboldened a dictator, providing him with an economic lifeline to become the longest-ruling “elected” head of state in the world today."

How our incoming secretary of state helped to enrich Africa’s nastiest dictatorship

washingtonpost.com

Rachel Strohm

14 days ago

"

The arrests of Mr. Singh and a younger cousin, Pargat, have infuriated their relatives, who say they face prosecution only because they are so poor.

“The big fishes have lots of money, so they pay the money and they get out of it. The politicians protect them,” said Iqbal Singh, 70, Pargat’s father. “The small people, they get arrested.”

Equally maddening, to many, is the fact that many in the governing party deny that drugs are a problem."

Punjab’s Heroin Problem Bursts Into the Open as an Election Issue

nytimes.com

Rachel Strohm

15 days ago

"Inside a two-month program that aims to end prostitution—and help dismantle the patriarchy—by rehabilitating the men who perpetuate it."

Can We "Cure" the Men Who Pay for Sex?

gq.com

Rachel Strohm

15 days ago

"Comparing the current crisis to events like the Revolutionary War and World War II, Bannon appears to believe that the US is heading inevitably toward violent conflict."

What Steve Bannon really wants

qz.com

Rachel Strohm

15 days ago

"Kennedy’s experience among the flood of women, mostly white, who entered Columbia University during WWII — and who were barred from admission after the war — led her to connect the oppression of white women and Black people. She began to see an alliance of the two as a force that could be tapped against white male hegemony."

The Lasting Legacy of Florynce Kennedy, Black Feminist Fighter

solidarity-us.org

Rachel Strohm

17 days ago

"The labour required to build a great castle was vast. We have no documentary evidence for the numbers involved in the first great round of castle-building in England, after 1066, but the scale of many castles of this period makes it clear why some chronicles speak of the English population as being oppressed by the castle construction of their Norman conquerors."

How to build a medieval castle

m.historyextra.com

Rachel Strohm

17 days ago

"The Syrian refugees I have met are ordinary people whose lives have been upended by extraordinary suffering. Some were tortured for peacefully calling for freedom. Others spent months eating leaves when their communities were encircled and starved. Still others barely escaped bombs that flattened their neighborhoods. They have lost homes, limbs, loved ones, dreams. All say that they would prefer to live with safety and dignity in their own country if they could. But they cannot."

I interviewed 300 Syrian refugees. They are far from a security threat.

washingtonpost.com

Rachel Strohm

22 days ago

"My grandfather’s near-miss has haunted me 
for years—what if he hadn’t made it to this country when he did?—but the thought has been relentless these last few months. Ever since Donald Trump’s upset victory, I’ve had the sickening sense that history is reversing itself, whipping us back to a time when a noxious, state-sponsored xenophobia gravely imperiled millions of would-be Americans. It’s not that I have any illusions about the Obama administration, with its mass deportations and failure to welcome even a fractional number of Syrian refugees. But with Trump’s ascendancy—with his plans to ban Syrian refugees, suspend immigration from majority-Muslim countries, round up undocumented immigrants, and begin construction of a “physical wall”—we seem to be witnessing the rise of something at once utterly distinct and hauntingly familiar: a revived anti-immigrant regime, a nativist moment not unlike the one that seized this country a century ago."

Nobody Wanted to Take Us In: The Story of Jared Kushner’s Family, and Mine

thenation.com

Rachel Strohm

24 days ago

"Gaetano Basile, a writer and lecturer on the food and culture of Sicily, does know. He has invited me to Lo Scudiero, a family-run restaurant in Palermo, as a tasty introduction to the island’s food and its history. He explains that the appetizer I am eating, caponata, exists because of transformative events that took place more than a thousand years ago. It was then that Arab forces invaded, bringing new crops, agricultural know-how, and other innovations that were far above the standards of medieval Europe."

Much of the Cuisine We Now Know, and Think of as Ours, Came to Us by War

smithsonianmag.com

Rachel Strohm

24 days ago

“People have completely forgotten that in 1972 we had over nineteen hundred domestic bombings in the United States.” — Max Noel, FBI (ret.)

Days of Rage

status451.com

Rachel Strohm

24 days ago

"The evidence is mixed on whether compulsory voting favors parties of the right or the left, and some studies suggest that most United States federal election results would be unchanged. But all that misses the point because it overlooks that compulsory voting changes more than the number of voters: It changes who runs for office and the policy proposals they support.

In a compulsory election, it does not pay to energize your base to the exclusion of all other voters. Since elections cannot be determined by turnout, they are decided by swing voters and won in the center."

Voting Should Be Mandatory

nytimes.com

Rachel Strohm

24 days ago

"For example, in south-eastern Kufra district, Gaddafi played the Zway (aka Zwai) people off against the Toubou. He denied the Toubou citizenship rights, which included access to schooling and social security. Meanwhile, he empowered and invested in the Zway, giving them the upper hand in smuggling activity across the district and on the route up to the coast. This gave Gaddafi influence over their activity, and the Zway were additionally tasked with policing the region for signs of subversion."

People smuggling in Libya: You can’t bomb away a problem of economics

africanarguments.org

Rachel Strohm

25 days ago

"Spoiler alert: we care about logarithms because of navigation at sea."

The Humble Logarithm

forbes.com

Rachel Strohm

25 days ago

"What began to happen with New Labour’s shift to the right was that the working class no longer had anyone in this arena to champion their interests. It is this, not the dissolution of social class itself, that has altered the political landscape. As the middle class has expanded, the images and policies of the political parties have changed to accommodate its values, excluding the working class in the process. “The new party of the working class,” this study suggests, “is no party at all.” From the 1960s to the 1980s, working-class men and women were almost as likely to vote as their middle-class counterparts; it is only from the 2000s that a gap begins to open. It is not because they have ceased to exist or are glued to Strictly Come Dancing that working people tend not to vote as much as they did. It is because those in favour of greater social equality, economic redistribution, more social welfare, higher taxation for the rich and less privatisation, as many in the working class are, have nowhere politically to go."

The New Politics of Class review – has the working class been left behind?

theguardian.com

Rachel Strohm

25 days ago

"History will be stained by the enormous tragedy that is Syria. Almost six years of brutality have left upwards of 500,000 dead and more than 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. If the same happened in the United States, that would mean 6 million people killed — or roughly the entire cities of Los Angeles and Houston combined. Imagine for one moment what it would be like to have half of our population displaced: this is exactly what has occurred in Syria."

usatoday.com

Rachel Strohm

25 days ago

""Wherever you look in Europe the Socialists are not doing well, with the exception of Portugal,” said Philippe Marlière, a professor of French and European politics at University College London. He added that the left lacked “a narrative that tries to unite the different sectors of the working class.”

Each country has its distinctive dynamics, but one common theme is the difficulty many mainstream left parties are having in responding to the economic and social dislocation caused by globalization."

With French Socialists in Crisis, Manuel Valls and Benoît Hamon Head to Runoff

nytimes.com

Rachel Strohm

25 days ago

"Exactly how harmful remains hard to determine, but the available data is not reassuring. Demand for vegetables is declining because people don’t have the money to pay for them, for example, and some service industries are reporting steep job losses."

In Its Third Month, India’s Cash Shortage Begins to Bite

nytimes.com

Rachel Strohm

25 days ago

"The first and most important conclusion is that dictators do not lie openly to the media about things that are easy to check. Lies, which are studiously avoided in any case, are reserved for facts that cannot be checked."

Dictators use the Media Differently than Narcissists and Bullies

tompepinsky.com

Rachel Strohm

25 days ago

"My mom said her cousin’s veterinarian believes that this is the cat that ate the rat that ate the Minnesota salad bar cheese ball appetizer"

3:AM Magazine

3ammagazine.com

Rachel Strohm

26 days ago

"There’s a fusion, I think, of his childhood, an emphasis on being combative, being killers—as his dad famously instructed his boys to be—but also, I think, his own competitive nature, and then his grasp in early adulthood that being a bully and really putting it to other people and not backing down often works. He also had his church background telling him that being a success was the most important thing and that got fused with the sort of ‘You want a crowd to show up, start a fight,’ P.T. Barnum-type thing early on in his career. And then Roy Cohn as a mentor, a guy who stood for cold-eye calculus about how bullying people works. And you put all of those pieces together, that he’s been doing this his whole life, and I don’t see a single reason for him to back down. He’s going to go full blast ahead with that."

‘He Has This Deep Fear That He Is Not a Legitimate President’

politico.com

Rachel Strohm

27 days ago

This interview with Mississippi-based organizer Kali Akuno is essential reading.

A Conversation with Kali Akuno

thebaffler.com

Rachel Strohm

27 days ago

"“I feel that it is absolutely imperative for me to stand up and remind people of our history,” Matsui, 72, said in an interview. “The fear that drove the decision to unjustly place Americans of Japanese descent into the camps is the same type of fear that drives this type of rhetoric about a Muslim registry.”"

Born in internment camp, California congresswoman vows to watchdog Trump’s treatment of Muslims

sfchronicle.com

Rachel Strohm

27 days ago

"Most oil-rich countries not named “Norway” have tended toward either a Saudi-style welfare state (laced with varying degrees of moral regulation) or a Equatoguinean paradise for predators. Yet Venezuela’s collapse looks not like any of the standard oil-bred malaises, but rather the typical end-stage of a failed Communist state."

Most oil-rich countries not named “Norway” have tended toward either a Saudi-style welfare state (laced with varying degrees of moral regulation) or a Equatoguinean paradise for predators. Yet Venezuela’s collapse looks not like any of the standard oil-bred malaises, but rather the typical end-stage of a failed Communist state.

Crude Nation, Raul Gallegos [Review]

paulmusgrave.info

Rachel Strohm

27 days ago

"All over the world, in fact, evidence for alcohol production from all kinds of crops is showing up, dating to near the dawn of civilization. University of Pennsylvania biomolecular archaeologist Patrick McGovern believes that’s not an accident. From the rituals of the Stone Age on, he argues, the mind-altering properties of booze have fired our creativity and fostered the development of language, the arts, and religion. Look closely at great transitions in human history, from the origin of farming to the origin of writing, and you’ll find a possible link to alcohol. “There’s good evidence from all over the world that alcoholic beverages are important to human culture,” McGovern says. “Thirty years ago that fact wasn’t as recognized as it is now.” Drinking is such an integral part of our humanity, according to McGovern, that he only half jokingly suggests our species be called Homo imbibens."

Our 9,000-Year Love Affair With Booze

nationalgeographic.com

Rachel Strohm

28 days ago

"Malaysia and Ghana could have very well been referred to as identical twins just about five decades ago. Today however, even a call for comparison between the two raises eyebrows. Both Malaysia and Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957 and stood shoulder to shoulder in terms of their economic state, human and natural resources. And today, though to be taken with a pinch of salt, sources say, if Malaysia was your home instead of Ghana, you would use 18 times more electricity, live nine years longer, make five times more money, be 72 per cent less likely to be unemployed, and consume 7.5 times more oil, among many other privileges. The big question is – why this divergence?"

Lessons for Ghana in the Malaysian Economic Miracle

blogs.lse.ac.uk

Rachel Strohm

28 days ago

"A timeline of the genesis of the Confederate sites shows two notable spikes. One comes around the turn of the 20th century, just after Plessy v. Ferguson, and just as many Southern states were establishing repressive race laws. The second runs from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s—the peak of the civil-rights movement. In other words, the erection of Confederate monuments has been a way to perform cultural resistance to black equality."

The Stubborn Persistence of Confederate Monuments

theatlantic.com

Rachel Strohm

28 days ago

"A timeline of the genesis of the Confederate sites shows two notable spikes. One comes around the turn of the 20th century, just after Plessy v. Ferguson, and just as many Southern states were establishing repressive race laws. The second runs from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s—the peak of the civil-rights movement. In other words, the erection of Confederate monuments has been a way to perform cultural resistance to black equality."

The Stubborn Persistence of Confederate Monuments

theatlantic.com

Rachel Strohm

32 days ago

The phrase "culture of impunity" was designed for this scenario.

Here Are The Worst Parts Of DOJ's Damning Chicago Police Investigation

huffingtonpost.com

Rachel Strohm

33 days ago

"The IAT, it turns out, has serious issues on both the reliability and validity fronts, which is surprising given its popularity and the very exciting claims that have been made about its potential to address racism. That’s what the research says, at least, and it raises serious questions about how the IAT became such a social-science darling in the first place."

Psychology’s Favorite Tool for Measuring Racism Isn’t Up to the Job

nymag.com

Rachel Strohm

34 days ago

"Neither of these theories hold up in the Central African Republic. Since independence, there have been three coups and two insurgencies that resulted in the toppling of governments, outnumbering peaceful transitions of power. More often than not, external actors sponsored the ascendant opposition. Even though CAR’s borders haven’t changed, there’s still the puzzle: why do leaders facing violent overthrow not build up a violent capacity capable of protecting their throne? Why have they largely avoided taxing their citizens in a standardized manner to fund the armed forces?

My answer to these questions is that the relative dominance of international actors in the CAR means that Central African leaders can never expect to maintain power through force alone. Instead of investing in strengthening state violent capacity, it makes more sense to build alliances with external powers. These alliances are what give Central African leaders the financial and military means to stay in power. In short, if enough foreign powers no longer support a Central African President, they will likely be overthrown sooner or later."

When War Does Not Make the State: the Case of the Central African Republic

thewideninglens.wordpress.com

Rachel Strohm

35 days ago

"Michael Hudson sees the unique characteristics of cities identified by Childe not as responses to population density, but rather stemming from their origins as religious/ritual centers dating all the way back to the ice age. These sites were not occupied year-round, but served as places where widely distributed communities came together to conduct “doctrinal rituals” that bound the society together."

The Origin of Cities – Part 1

hipcrimevocab.com

Rachel Strohm

35 days ago

"Discussing these New Age “translations,” Safi said, “I see a type of ‘spiritual colonialism’ at work here: bypassing, erasing, and occupying a spiritual landscape that has been lived and breathed and internalized by Muslims from Bosnia and Istanbul to Konya and Iran to Central and South Asia.” Extracting the spiritual from the religious context has deep reverberations. Islam is regularly diagnosed as a “cancer,” including by General Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for national-security adviser, and, even today, policymakers suggest that non-Western and nonwhite groups have not contributed to civilization."

The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi

newyorker.com

Rachel Strohm

37 days ago

"Simply posting a cute kid quote on Facebook or Twitter will elicit LOLs and chuckles that make me feel like my parenting is unfolding on a larger stage. And of course, as a blogger and writer, I also relish the feedback I get when I delve into some aspect of my parenting experience in greater detail.

The online recognition that mothers can now access stands in sharp contrast to the way women have experienced their unpaid work for generations. Feminist scholars have convincingly shown the many ways in which caregiving, and other types of work traditionally undertaken by women, have been erased from view."

How the Internet Makes Women’s Work Visible

daily.jstor.org

Rachel Strohm

38 days ago

"Architectural preservation is rarely so thrilling as it was in 1930s China. As the country teetered on the edge of war and revolution, a handful of obsessive scholars were making adventurous expeditions into the country’s vast rural hinterland, searching for the forgotten treasures of ancient Chinese architecture. At the time, there were no official records of historic structures that survived in the provinces. The semi-feudal countryside had become a dangerous and unpredictable place: Travelers venturing only a few miles from major cities had to brave muddy roads, lice-infested inns, dubious food and the risk of meeting bandits, rebels and warlord armies. But although these intellectuals traveled by mule cart, rickshaw or even on foot, their rewards were great. Within the remotest valleys of China lay exquisitely carved temples staffed by shaven-headed monks much as they had been for centuries, their roofs filled with bats, their candlelit corridors lined with dust-covered masterpieces."

The Couple Who Saved China's Ancient Architectural Treasures Before They Were Lost Forever

smithsonianmag.com

Rachel Strohm

38 days ago

"With the resumption of fighting, Machar fled into exile in South Africa. Kiir seized the opportunity to replace him with Taban Deng, a onetime ally of Machar’s who is now widely seen as a traitor by the rebels. Greeted with a collective shrug from the United States and other Western powers, the move amounted to an internationally sanctioned palace coup, and all but guaranteed the escalation of a war that has already claimed tens of thousands of lives and forced more than 3 million people from their homes."

The Revenge of Salva Kiir

foreignpolicy.com

Rachel Strohm

39 days ago

"Effective war stories were definitely required because despite the colonists’ complaints about tyranny and being reduced to—of all things—“slavery,” they were “the least taxed, most socially mobile, highest landowning, arguably most prosperous people in the western world.” Convincing a critical mass of this population to believe their lives were so miserable that they had to take up arms to fight their so-called oppressors required a very good story, indeed. Eloquent words about abstract rights would not do. History has taught the sad lesson that fear and contempt are the most predictably powerful motivators for galvanizing one group to move against another. The same was true for the American colonists with regard to their “cultural cousins.” Leaders of the movement “had to destroy as much of the public’s affection for their ancestors as they could.”

It was essential, Parkinson argues,

to demonstrate that the British were strangers. Suspicious foreigners. To accomplish this vital, difficult task they embraced the most powerful weapons in the colonial arsenal: stereotypes, prejudices, expectations, and fears about violent Indians and Africans.

They tied blacks and Indians and, for a time, Hessian mercenaries to George III, labeling them as his “proxies.” They were all to be considered “strangers,” even though blacks (enslaved and free) had lived among white Americans for years and, in spite of the many conflicts with Native peoples, whites and Indians did not only meet in battles. They were not unknown to one another. British overtures to Indians and blacks were, according to Benjamin Franklin, enough to “dissolve all Allegiance” with the Mother Country."

The Captive Aliens Who Remain Our Shame

nybooks.com

Rachel Strohm

40 days ago

"Doula organizations often encourage their members to volunteer, offer sliding-scale prices, and partner with community-based programs that subsidize doulas for low-income families. Increasingly, some lobby to have doula services covered by Medicaid and private insurance in hopes of a more comprehensive overhaul, cutting costs to patients and creating more steady jobs for doulas — one recent study found professional doula support could save nearly $1,000 a birth. That’s why ProDoula’s insistence that doula services are a luxury, not a necessity, unsettles so many: It clashes with the research the doula movement was built on.

But Patterson has a different perspective on how to make birth better, and it starts with doulas’ bank accounts. “People who have money change things,” she said. She believes targeting higher-income clients will turn the profession mainstream and prevent burnout. Female-dominated care work is historically underpaid and undervalued, and ProDoula wants to fix that by shattering stereotypes that doulas are crunchy home-birth hippies or radical activists who will work for free. Too many women “have a weird time asking for money” and don’t value themselves, Patterson said, which is why ProDoula preaches self-esteem as part of its business model."

This Controversial Company Wants To Disrupt The Birth World

buzzfeed.com

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