The Week on Planet Trump: Tweeter-in-Chief Threatens Iran with War and America with Government Shutdown
President Donald Trump late Sunday threatened Iran in a tweet, warning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.” The tweet capped off what was one of Trump’s worst weeks in foreign policy since becoming president and is a marker of escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran. Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal in May, and in June, the administration said it would impose sanctions on all Iranian oil importers by the fall. Officials have since moderated that demand. Trump’s Sunday tweet, which seemed to arrive almost out of nowhere, was an all-caps declaration of potential dire consequences for Iran.
It wasn’t too bad a week. Sure, Owen Jones defended Maoist China, a Tory MEP demanded treason laws cover those with “extreme EU loyalty”, Netanyahu asserted that Hitler didn’t really want to exterminate the Jews a week after turning Israeli Arabs into second class citizens, while Billy Bragg said it was up to the British Jews community to rebuild trust with the Labour party, not the other way around, and a literal neo-Nazi is now openly running for Mayor of Toronto, but the unmooring of Betsy DeVos’ yacht did give me a giggle.
As Jim Thompson said, “Life is a bucket of shit with a barbed wire handle.” This is certainly the case in Vox, the city in which the sci-fi noir masterpiece Dark Star by Oliver Langmead is set. Dark Star is published by Unsung stories, a fiction imprint of London-based independent press Red Squirrel Publishing, Unsung Stories are publishers of literary and ambitious speculative fiction that defies expectation and seek to publish unforgettable stories, from the varied worlds of genre fiction – science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and all the areas in-between. Oliver Langmead was born in Edinburgh and lives in Glasgow. He has an LLB in Law, an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study, an MLitt in Fantasy, and is currently a doctoral researcher at the University of Glasgow.
The major problem with the moral psychology of many people today is this idea that because they believe the right things, signal the right things, and have an undying sense of their own decency, they are therefore “good people” and everything they do is “good” because of it. The fact, this is first position of being able to commit the most atrocious crimes and still be able to excuse them—“Hey! I’m good! Okay? Evil ain’t my bag!”
Anyone living in Britain could be forgiven for assuming that the only real and important economic crisis is the one facing the UK in the form of a hard Brexit. It is certainly true that this country is close to committing an historic act of economic self-harm. But other countries are facing stiff headwinds — and it is only British exceptionalism that makes the media and commentariat focus so totally on it. For many smaller countries the real threat they face stems from the steady increase in US Federal Reserve interest rates that look pretty baked in over the coming months. The semi-annual monetary policy report that the Fed released this month indicated that policymakers remained bullish on the economy’s prospects and that what it called “gradual” interest rate hikes would continue.
US President Trump’s disastrous 16th July meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, is being seen as a major turning point in world affairs. But, rather than being the moment when the global order was pushed off a cliff, history may judge it as the time when the diabolical duo’s onslaught began to falter. Let’s fast forward a couple of years. Trump repeatedly humiliating his own country in front of the whole world contributed to a calamitous result for the Republicans at the November 2018 mid-term elections. Patriotic Americans shunned the party and only Trump’s hardcore supporters turned out to vote for candidates he backed.
President Trump's unwillingness to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint appearance on Monday prompted a groundswell of criticism from Democrats and Republicans — including many longtime defenders of the president. "The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said after a joint press conference between the two leaders. A growing number of Republican lawmakers focused on Trump’s remarks that both the U.S. and Russia were to blame for troubled relations between the two countries.
Jayde Will (1978) is a literary translator. He has an MA in Fenno-Ugric Linguistics from Tartu University. His translations of Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian authors have been published in numerous journals, including Poetry Review, Trafika, and Mantis, as well as anthologies such as the Dedalus Book of Lithuanian Literature and several Best European Fiction anthologies. He has also translated subtitles for numerous films, including the Lithuanian classic The Devil’s Bride and the award-winning Vanishing Waves.
Jon Stone’s School of Forgery opens with the line: ‘Where I come from, it’s the other way round.’ Evocative enough in the context of the opening poem, Near Extremes 1, but when read in the context of the whole collection takes on a more deceptive meaning. It is the first instance of forgery that will go on to characterise the book. In this case, a failed attempt to experience the Christmas season delivered by someone who does not understand the essential element of the experience. Near Extremes 1 continues: ‘we plunk cinder knucklebones into our soda / stand hunched over momentary snowflakes / willing our fags to catch cold, so we can / scorch our lips with frost-feathered plumes.’