Bare Facts: Betsy DeVos, Free Market Education & LGBTQ safety

In this Bare Facts I’m going to take a quick look at the role of Education Secretary in the US, and at the newly but controversially elected Betsy DeVos. This will include looking at her past experience, the policies she is likely to put forward, and her links to anti-LGBTQ groups and gay conversion therapy. You can find the last Bare Facts Post (Executive Orders, the Trump Muslim Ban and Refugees in America) here.

‘Bare Facts’ are a stripped back look at what is going on in politics and current affairs, with the intention of providing facts which could be useful for you in your own day-to-day debates and defense. It’s always good to know exactly what you’re talking about.

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Sunday Non-Fiction Spotlight: Hamilton, Mike Pence, and American Protest.

I’ve thrown my planned post out of the window today to highlight the amazing book that accompanies sell-out Broadway success Hamilton. It’s a book that tells the story of how the musical came to exist; shares insights from cast and political pundits alike; and spells out a stark, clear message about the historical prominence of protest, rebellion and revolution in the political legacy of the United States.

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Sunday Non-Fiction Spotlight: Theodore Roosevelt and celebrity-presidents.

I spent a lot of time thinking about America this week. I wrote two short editorials about the election, and I thought that this week’s non-fiction spotlight might pick up on the things I discussed there, but instead I’ve chosen to reflect on the changes that have happened throughout history to the role that the president plays in the US.
Theodore Roosevelt has been much explored for his role as a huge transformative force in US politics: one of the most interesting things to consider is the role that his personal character, one might call it a ‘brand,’ had on how the public viewed him as a person, and how it has since changed the role the president plays in America.

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Pity and Piety: musings on third-party voting

Ideological purity is very appealing to a certain type of person. It means that you can engage in something, feel part of a cause or a movement far grander than you are alone, and it gives you purpose.

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle: Shirley Jackson

“My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.”

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