Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Trump and Putin / Da Vinci’s genius / Sexism and Clinton’s culpability / Tracing your Texas ancestry / A trans woman’s journey as Beyonce

This week: Trump and Putin / Da Vinci’s genius / Sexism and Clinton’s culpability / Tracing your Texas ancestry / A trans woman’s journey as Beyonce

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Why Putin Keeps Outsmarting Trump
By John McLaughlin | Politico Magazine | Nov. 17
“The Kremlin leader is trained to lie. Trust me, I ran the CIA: Believing anything he says is folly.”
Also, from The Economist: America’s foreign policy: embrace thugs, dictators and strongmen

2. Puerto Rico’s DIY Disaster Relief
By Molly Crabapple | NYT Daily :: The New York Review of Books | Nov. 17
“Two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit, aid remained a bureaucratic quagmire, mismanaged by FEMA, the FBI, the US military, the laughably corrupt local government. The island looked like it was stuck somewhere between the nineteenth century and the apocalypse. But leftists, nationalists, socialists … were stepping up to rebuild their communities.”

3. Trump era sparks new debate about nuclear war authority
By Robert Burns | Associated Press | Nov. 19
“[W]hat would happen if an American president ordered a nuclear strike, for whatever reason, and the four-star general at Strategic Command balked or refused, believing it to be illegal?”

4. Latino vote
By Bill Lambrecht | San Antonio Express-News | Nov. 19
“Latino success in Virginia and across the country in recent elections continued a run of historic victories in 2017 and left leaders confident of their strategy heading into mid-term elections next year.”

5. What Made Leonardo da Vinci a Genius?
By Simon Worrall | National Geographic | Nov. 4
“Hint: The great Italian artist was interested in everything.”

6. Sexism on America’s Front Lines
By Susan B. Glasser | Politico Magazine | Nov. 6
“Six top national security pros sound off about an adversary closer to home: piggish men.”
Also, from The Atlantic: What Hillary Knew: Hillary Clinton once tweeted that ‘every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.’ What about Juanita Broaddrick?
Also, from the Guardian: I saw how we failed Bill Clinton’s accusers. We can’t do that again
Also, from the New York Post: Let’s just cancel the Oscars

7. ‘Everybody’s Cousins’: Tracing San Antonio Ancestry To 1718 And Beyond
By Norma Martinez | Texas Public Radio | Nov. 17
“A lot of South Texans can trace their ancestry back to 1718 and beyond. For those who can’t, a nonprofit is making it easier to follow their family tree.”

8. Becoming Beyoncé On Stage Helped One Trans Woman Come Into Her Own
By Danny Nett | Fandoms :: NPR | Nov. 19
“At first, she didn’t even have a strong, personal connection to Beyoncé the way people might expect, she says. That came later.”

9. Get lost in this visualization of interconnected global issues
By Robbie Gonzalez | Wired | Nov. 13
“[T]here’s more to Knowledge Maps than pretty diagrams. In fact, the tool’s utility becomes clear when you explore its less-mesmerizing features: a series of summaries and content feeds curated partly by humans and partly by machines.”

10. The Making of an American Nazi
By Luke O’Brien | The Atlantic | December 2017
“How did Andrew Anglin go from being an antiracist vegan to the alt-right’s most vicious troll and propagandist—and how might he be stopped?”

Visit Mission Concepcion on Oct. 16

For just one night, on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, at 8 p.m., an artist will project light onto the building, virtually “restoring” the Mission to its former glory.

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I’m a history teacher at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio. I teach both parts of the introduction to U.S. history. HIST 1301 begins the tour in Native America and ends with post-Civil War Reconstruction. HIST 1302 begins with Reconstruction and brings it to the modern era.

Every teacher ends the second half in different places: the Reagan Revolution, 9/11, the election of Barack Obama. Because I’m emphasizing the relevance of history to current events (if they leave my class with nothing else, at least they will be more sensitive to and appreciative of the historical roots of news events all around them), I intend to end the second half with the rise of ISIS.

I’ve slowly come to appreciate the historical richness and importance of San Antonio, if only because of my lifelong failure to fully appreciate Mexican and Tejano culture. But San Antonio has captured my heart and, more importantly, my respect as a historian. I’ve tried to share my new enthusiasm with my students by making them aware of the truly unique place of San Antonio in Spanish, Mexican, Texas, Confederate, and U.S. history.

One of their extra-credit opportunities is to visit one of the San Antonio Missions (a visit to the Alamo doesn’t count). They have to take a picture of themselves next to a sign indicating which Mission they visited, show it to me, and then they get an extra ten points towards their final grade for the semester.

As I just told them on our class blog, Ortiz History, I recently learned of one more reason to visit the beautiful Mission Concepcion. For just one night, on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, at 8 p.m., an artist will project light onto the building, virtually “restoring” the Mission to its former glory. That will be the highlight of a three-hour festival of food trucks, picnics, historical tours, music, and family-friendly activities spread throughout the mission grounds. Festivities begin at 6 p.m.

Learn more about the event on its Facebook page.