The Jones Act and the Struggling Puerto Rican Economy

Since the 1920s, Puerto Rico has been subjected to following the Jones Act.  This act requires all ships that bring goods between U.S. ports to be brought by ships that belong and are administered by U.S. citizens.  According to the article, “A 2010 study at the University of Puerto Rico concluded that the island lost $537 million per year as a result of the Jones Act.” For the first time in history, following the destruction of Hurricane Maria, the acts requirements are being temporarily waived to support aid efforts to Puerto Rico. Overall, the disaster just brings to light the effects that the act has had on the Puerto Rican economy for almost a century.

“The American War” and what it means to be patriotic

Here’s a link to a podcast produced by the Washington Post about the Vietnam War series on PBS.  This episode follows Part IX of the series, just aired last night (but viewable online, too).

After each episode of “The Vietnam War” airs, our new podcast — “The American War” — will break down the major themes and questions raised. We’ll talk to Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and others involved with the documentary for a new perspective on how the film was made and what it all means.


History, Race and Sports

This article is called “Trump, The NFL And The Powder Keg History Of Race, Sports And Politics” and it discusses the current conversations about protesting around racial injustice in the realm of sports. It quickly recaps the history of these protest  dating back to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.


Dyson Designing Electric Cars

Dyson, the company known for making vacuums and fans, has announced that they are designing an electric car. This article talks about James Dyson’s new project and his goal to have a finished product by 2020. Dyson said since 1990 he has been interested in developing filtration technology to stop diesel emissions polluting the environment, but the motor industry was not interested so he switched to electric cars.

Sir James Dyson

Some Russians Fired Up Over New Kalashnikov Monument

I thought this article was interesting because it talked about Russian’s reactions to a new monument that was put up. Many don’t approve of it because they see it as a monument to guns and violence. Though it’s pretty different to the reasons why American’s are currently upset about monuments it still shows the profound impact monuments have on a community.

History repeating itself: 1990s & the “Trump Teens”


“Ever since, it has been hard to miss the 1990s underpinnings of the Trump Teens. The tabloidism. The gutter talk. The kinky dossiers. (Remember the X-rated Starr report?) Had America not absorbed the sheer skeeviness of that decade, how else would it have become comfortable electing a thrice-married man who ran beauty contests and graced casinos, one of them with a strip club, with his name — a man accused of a string of unwanted sexual advances and assaults (all of which he denied)?”

Letters to Memory

This is an extraordinary essay about Letters to Memory, a new book on the Japanese internment during WW2, written by Karen Tei Yamashita.  The reviewer writes:

“Yamashita calls her project “memory”—it is memory that blends the author’s own recollections with historical narratives, personal papers, bureaucratic records, and great historical tomes. It is perhaps a species of group memory formed over thousands of years as humans have engaged the questions of war, necessity, failure, grievance, law, justice, forgiveness, and transcendence, all taking place through the medium of the written word. As we all must do, she is finding her own place in this legacy, hewing out her own sense of what she is and what has transpired in the lives of those closest to her.”

It’s a thoughtful piece about the relationship of history and memory, about family and personal stories, about the importance of preserving “difficult” histories.