31 December 2012

The Nightstand (Dec 16th)

FYI-- all posts relevant to the "Wear Pants to (LDS) Church" Day will show up in the subsequent edition of The Nightstand in order to capture all the post mortems.

The Newtown Tragedy and Guns

Ten Arguments Gun Advocates Make, and Why They're Wrong (Paul Waldman, TAPPED)

Newtown and the Madness of Guns (Adam Gopnik, New Yorker)

The gun control that works: no guns (Lexington, The Economist)

All Eternity Shakes: Mormonism's Weeping God (Jacob, By Common Consent)-- A Mormon take on Newtown, suffering and the problem of evil

Foreign Affairs

Hedge Funds Stride the Stage of World Affairs (Peter Eavis, Dealbook-NYT)

Zero Dark Thirty: CIA hagiography, pernicious propaganda (Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)

Washington's plan to derail the Arab Spring (Editorial, Socialist Worker)


The Wise Man Doubts Often, and Changes His Mind (Nathaniel Givens, Times & Seasons)

Queer Today, Gone Tomorrow (William Saletan, Slate)

A Queer(er) Mormonism (Xarissa Holdaway, Peculiar People)


How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society (Judith Shulevitz, The New Republic)

09 December 2012

The Nightstand (Dec 9th)

The Economy

What If We Made Fewer Ph.Ds? (Leonard Cassuto, Chronicle of Higher Education)

Free Market Fairness (Martin O'Neill and Thad Williamson, Boston Review)

Raise the Economy's Speed Limit (Jared Bernstein, NYT)

The Measure of All Things (Jennifer Burns, The American Prospect)

Special Report: Amazon's Billion-Dollar Tax Shield (Tom Bergin, Reuters)- Few days go by when I don't feel worse about shopping at Amazon.

The Future of Shopping (Megan McArdle, The Daily Beast)


School Prayer (Rachel Whipple, Times & Seasons)-- This is about in line with my own thinking on the subject.  Also, let it be known that Raymond Takeshi Swenson has no idea what he is talking about on this issue, but let's at least all be grateful that, for once, he was able to keep his comment brief and to the point.

Babies, Nickled and Dimed (Amanda Marcotte, The American Prospect)

How to Talk about a Changing America (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)

Greedy Geezers, Reconsidered (Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect)

Laws Not Fit to be Defended (David Cole, New York Review of Books)

Paying for charitable giving (Fred Hiatt, WaPo)

How racism lives on in a 'color-blind' society (Brian Jones, Socialist Worker)

Global Issues

What is Peace? (Margaret Paxson, Aeon)

Save Your Kisses for Me (Adam Curtis, BBC The Medium and the Message)-- Great video/photo essay.

Aleppo: How Syria is Being Destroyed (Charles Glass, NYRB)


The Plight of the Alpha Female (Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal)

I Am, It Turns Out (C. Jane Kendrick)-- A more personal take on a Mormon feminist "coming out"


Tentative Notes Toward a Theory of Liberal Mormonism (Matt Bowman, Peculiar People)

How Mormonism Changes and Managing Liberal Expectations (Nate Oman, Times & Seasons)-- THE big Bloggernacle post of the week, prompting comment all over the place, including Oman's own Facebook wall.  As others point out, I suspect that Oman is right about the way that the Church actually works (i.e. leaders following the mass opinion of the members rather than determining it) but his ascribing a misunderstanding of this primarily or exclusively to "liberals" (theological, political, or both) seems way off base to me.  Reactions from BCC here and by TT at FPR here (with Nate's reply here)

Previewing 2013: A Look Forward to Exciting Books in Mormon History (Ben Park, Juvenile Instructor)

2012 in Retrospect: An Overview of Noteworthy Articles and Books in Mormon History (Ben Park, Juvenile Instructor)-- I look forward to these posts from Ben and others every year.  It is always a huge help updating my Amazon wish list.

LDS Church Launches New Website Calling for Greater Openness and Understanding on LGBT Issues (Joanna Brooks, Religion Dispatches)-- Definitely the biggest news in Mormon world for this week, excluding the extensive navel-gazing prompted among the Bloggernaclerati by Nate Oman's post at Times & Seasons (see below).

Shunning Your Fellow Saints: You're Doing it Wrong (Jacob, By Common Consent)

02 December 2012

The Nightstand (Dec 2nd)

God's Tax Subsidies (Matthew Yglesias, Slate Moneybox)

Abraham Lincoln and the Cost of Inequality (Ezra Klein, Wonkblog)

The Shocks We Will Face After This Life (Kent Larsen, Times & Seasons)

Pioneer Prophet Roundable: Turner Responds (Juvenile Instructor)-- The Mormon historians' blog Juvenile Instructor has been publishing a roundtable discussion of various aspects of John Turner's recent biography of Brigham Young.  This post is Turner's response and all previous posts are linked to here.

Wal-Mart could easily pay (somewhat) more to its associates (Matthew Yglesias, Slate Moneybox)

When right-wing blather killed (Joan Walsh, Salon)

A minimum tax for the wealthy (Warren Buffett, NYT)

America, Israel, Gaza, the World (Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest)

Confronting a global austerity agenda (Socialist Worker editorial)

A Hospital War Reflects a Bind for Doctors in the US (Julie Creswell and Reed Abelson, NYT)

The great uncompromiser (Alan Maass, Socialist Worker)

As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price (Louise Story, NYT)-- The beginning of a series on "The United States of Subsidies."

A New Leader Pushes a Different Side of Mexico (Elizabeth Malkin, Randal C. Archibold, NYT)

Tax Burden for Most Americans is Lower than in the 1980s (Binyamin Appelbaum, Robert Gebelhoff, NYT)

Reflections on my Spiritually Heterogamous Marriage (Gina Colvin, Kiwi Mormon)

Its Time to Stop Killing in Secret (David Cole, NY Review of Books)

The Nightstand (Nov. 25th)

Its not an article, but I cannot recommend Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day Lewis' Lincoln highly enough.  Everything-- the cinematography, the staging, the acting, the screenplay, are just about perfect.

Israel/Palestine Conflict

The Tunnels of Gaza (James Verini, National Geographic)

Wrong side of the fence (Rachel Shabi, Aeon)

I Didn't Come Back to Jerusalem to be in a War (Dahlia Lithwick, Slate)

The 'both sides are awful' dismissal of Gaza ignores the key role of the US government (Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)


How Costco Became the Anti-Walmart (Steven Greenhouse, NYT)-- This is a seven-year old article, but several friends were posting it around Black Friday when the Walmart strikes were getting fired up.  We are Costco shoppers for life (or at least as long as their customer- and employee-friendly policies remain in place).  See also Ezra Klein's Has Walmart been good or bad? at Wonkblog.

Inequality is Killing Capitalism (Robert Skidelsky, Project Syndicate)

A Free Market in the Sky (Clifford Winston, NYT)-- Anything that could make air travel cheaper and/or more pleasant-- bring it on.


Why Not Socialism? (Maria Svart, In These Times)

Time to end the war on drugs (Katrina vanden Heuvel, WaPo)


The Evolutionary Mystery of Homosexuality (David Barash, The Chronicle of Higher Education)

How to Survive Societal Collapse in Suburbia (Keith O'brien, NYT)-- Surprise, surprise-- he's Mormon.

When Do We 'Get It'? (A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis, NYT)-- Great back-and-forth on emerging trend of non-straightforwardly narrative films.


The 'Truth' About Mormonism and Women (miri, Through the Looking-Glass)