29 April 2012

The Nightstand (April 29)

The Nightstand

Since Mitt Romney has now all but sewn up the GOP nomination, this will be a particularly Mormon-heavy edition of The Nightstand.  A couple of days ago, I wrote on a friend's Facebook wall that I thought, in the final analysis, we will be able to look back on this year or eighteen-month period as a real flowering of writing about Mormons, by both Mormons and non-Mormons alike.  This is notwithstanding all the nonsense that will get published alongside it.

Democrats Have Bigger Anti-Mormon Problem than GOP Has (Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast)-- Yes, the thesis of this article is about as good as that disaster of a headline.  Responded to by Joanna Brooks here and expanded on by Paul Waldman here.

Go West, Young Religion: Mormonism on Exhibit (Edward Rothstein, NYT)-- Note to Peter Beinart: This is how you write a headline.

On Mormon Secularization and Politics (Patrick Mason, Peculiar People)

How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes (Charles Duhigg and David Kocieniewski, NYT)

Homophobic? Maybe You're Gay (Richard and William Ryan, NYT)

A Europe Tired of Cutbacks Has Few Alternatives (Jack Ewing and Liz Alderman, NYT)-- Glad to see France flirting with the possibility of a big bank-hating socialist for president.  Austerity has been a disastrous policy in Europe, so why not try something else?

The Economic Impact of Raising Taxes on High-Income Households (Jared Bernstein, On the Economy)-- I point to Bernstein's post, but really what you want to see is the study he is discussing (link in the article).

Bullying the Nuns (Garry Wills, NY Review of Books)

Vive la Mere (Ann Crittenden, The American Prospect)

The Politics of Sight (David Sirota, In These Times)

"It All Turns on Affection" (Wendell E. Berry, National Endowment for the Humanities Lecture)-- Even though it casts the primary benefactor of my alma mater in a pretty terrible light, I think this is an excellent analysis of contemporary alienation-- from our land, our peers, and ourselves.

The Romneys' Mexican History (Hector Tobar, Smithsonian)

Bad Douthat (Mark Silk, Religion News Service)-- Really good take-down of Douthat's latest.  One of the best openings to a review I have ever seen.

22 April 2012

The Nightstand (April 15)

The Nightstand

Lay Clergy: The Democratic Vision of Mormonism (Alan Hurst, Peculiar People)-- I have to say that I have been really impressed by some of the early writing on this very new blog, but I should not be surprised.  There are some experienced and brilliant hands at work here.

A Slow-Books Manifesto (Maura Kelly, The Atlantic)-- This is something I really need to work on.  I read a lot, but I am afraid that too little of it makes much of a lasting impression on me (in the case of some books, I may be grateful for that).

Mitt Romney flashback: Stay-at-home moms need to learn "dignity of work" (Ezra Klein, WaPo)-- Surprising absolutely no one, it turns out that Mitt Romney's equalization of work with childrearing only holds for rich white women.  If poor women want to stay home with the kids, that's not "work" enough for welfare benefits.

Ann Romney and the Mommy Wars (FMHLisa, Feminist Mormon Housewives)

End the mom war (Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon)

Don't trust corporate charity (Murtaza Hussain, Salon)

How the 'L.A. Noire' makers re-created the city of 1947 (Charlotte Stoudt, LA Times)-- Though this article was written early last year, I just ran across it through Roger Ebert's Twitter feed.  I played L.A. Noire last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I have some quibbles with the gameplay and certain aspects of the narrative, but the atmospherics and detail were amazing.

15 April 2012

The Nightstand (April 8)

The Assault on Public Education (Noam Chomsky, In These Times) and A Coming War on Universities? (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)

The War Against Youth (Stephen Marche, Esquire)

Where Failure is Rewarded (John Plender, Times Literary Supplement)

Christianity in Crisis (Andrew Sullivan, Newsweek)

What's the Point of College? (Clare Malone, The American Prospect)

Your Safety Net on Block Grants (Jared Bernstein, On the Economy)-- See also Welfare Limits Left Poor Adrift When Recession Hit (Jason DeParle, NYT)

The Nightstand (April 1)

The Nightstand

Hemings and Jefferson Together Forever? (Max Mueller, Slate)

What Every Black Man in America Must Learn (Roundtable, Socialist Worker)

We're So Exceptional (Michael Ignatieff, NYRB)

Marx at 193 (John Lanchester, London Review of Books)

The Phantoms I've Killed (Tom Murphy, Do the Math)-- I wish I could say I was ready to go for this, but there is no way I am turning my AC either off or down in the middle of spring/summer in Houston.  You would have to come mop me up off the floor.

A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney (David Javerbaum, NYT)

World War 3.0 (Michael Joseph Gross, Vanity Fair)

Capitalism: a Ghost Story (Arundhati Roy, Outlook India)

01 April 2012

The Nightstand (March 18-24)

The Nightstand

Why Some Countries go Bust (Adam Davidson, NYT)

Age of Ignorance (Charles Simic, NYRBlog)

International at BYU: Difficulties of the Unrepresented (Erik McCarthy, The Student Review)-- The BYU Student Review, only resurrected late last year, has been putting out consistent strong journalism every month, shedding light on previously untold stories and uncomfortable issues that other institutions in Provo will not touch.  This is one example.

The Reproduction of Privilege (Thomas B. Edsall, NYT)

America is Stealing the World's Doctors (Matt McAllester, NYT)

Introducting iGov (Ethan Porter and David Kendall, Democracy)

Is a Calorie a Calorie? (Mark Bittman, NYT)

In Europe, Where Art is Life, Ax Falls on Public Financing (Larry Rohter, NYT)

What to do about Inequality (David B. Grusky, Boston Review)

Sworn-Again Americans (Eric Liu, Democracy)

The Nightstand (March 11-17)

Yeah I'm behind, so sue me....

The Nightstand

Mitt Romney and the Politics of....Mitt Romney (Armand Mauss, By Common Consent)  Last week I posted Stuart Parker's piece on "passing."  This is Mauss' critique and response, worth reading in its own right.

The Unpersuaded (Ezra Klein, New Yorker)- against the "speech-making" theory of the presidency.

How Not to Attract Tourists (Mark VanHoenacker, NYT)

Is Silence Going Extinct? (Kim Tingley, NYT)

What Isn't for Sale (Michael Sandel, The Atlantic)

Keeping Mormonism Really Nice-for-All (kiwimormon)

Hey, kids! Anybody here not hear the f-word? (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Correction of the Year (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)

An Abortion in Texas (Andrew Sullivan, The Dish @ The Daily Beast)-- The longer story is at the Texas Observer.  I generally find it impossible to adopt for myself either of the labels "pro-life" or "pro-choice," since I cannot countenance the extremes in either camp.  I am Clintonian by temperament-- abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare."  But I expect we will hear many more stories like the one linked to above before a real movement starts to stop punishing women who are already in the crux of an incredibly difficult decision.

Discussing the Motives of the Afghan Shooter (Glenn Greenwald, Salon)-- Clear example of the fundamental attribution error.