17 February 2013

Moving Day

Last week's issue of The Nightstand will be the last hosted at this URL and the Blogger platform.  This week's edition will be posted at wmotlthenightstand.wordpress.com.  (Don't try to remember it, just bookmark it or throw it into your RSS feedreader if you are so inclined).  I don't have any major complaints about the Blogger platform, but I was looking to shed myself of some baggage associated with the address (its misspelling for one, a mistake my wife has never let me forget).  I started this blog back in the summer of 2007 as a means of participating in the "Bloggernacle," or the online universe of LDS/Mormon-focused blogs that were popping up willy-nillly in those days.  It did not take long to realize that I was not going to be able to put the time and effort into the blogging enterprise to make much of a mark or attract a significant readership.  I have been heartened by the occasional appreciative comment or bit of praise I receive for something that I posted on the blog.  Gradually, I began to see myself in more of a curator's role, culling articles and longform pieces from around the Internet for the consumption of others.  This weekly collection, The Nightstand, started up as an adjunct to my own writing, but has gradually become my primary means of expression on the blog.  It turns out that as a busy associate in a BigLaw firm and a growing family, I have even less free time and less intellectual energy than I had as a law student.  So the new blog will be "The Nightstand @ Weightier Matters of the Law."  I cannot promise that I will not post something of my own as time and degree of interest allow, but I am going to let go of my own personal guilt for not getting it done.  I will also be adding a couple of new features to The Nightstand over the next couple of weeks and months, things that I hope will make it more reader-friendly, fun and useful.  I hope that as many of you as have followed me for some period over the past nearly six (really?) years will continue with me to a new venue.  I will keep this blog online and available for as long as I can, if for no other reason than nostalgia and to preserve the value of any links that have been made to it over the years.

10 February 2013

The Nightstand (Feb 10th)


Chilling legal memo from Obama DOJ justifies assassination of US citizens (Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)-- An extremely effective and thorough take-down of the "white paper."

Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office? (Jesse Lichtenstein, Esquire)

What Democracy Lost in 2013 (Bob Moser, The American Prospect)

The NRA vs. America (Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone)

The real debate over citizenship (Robert Reich, The American Prospect)

Freedom for the few (Anthony Kammer, The American Prospect)

The Economy

Going Back Too Soon (Sharon Lerner, The American Prospect)

How We Overregulate and Underregulate at the Same Time (Matthew Yglesias, Slate)

The Global Farmland Rush (Michael Kugelman, NYT)


The Academic Counseling Racket (Joe Nocera, NYT)

Hip-hop Speaks to the Guns (Ta-Nehisi Coates, NYT)

The Boy Scouts vs. the Supreme Court (Cass Sunstein, Bloomberg View)

How the post office made America (Richard R. John, NYT)

Battling College Costs, a Paycheck at a Time (Ron Lieber, NYT)

Pass it on (L.D. Burnett, SUSIH)


Speak, Memory (Oliver Sacks, NYRB)-- I have often said that if I could have done anything else in college and with my career, it would have been neuroscience.


Reawakening (Megan Geilman, Scarlett called Scout)

She Says/He Says: The Give and Take of Temple Marriage (elisothel and rah, Feminist Mormon Housewives)

My missionary moment (Rachel Whipple, Times & Seasons)

On Coke, caffeine, and the Word of Wisdom (Aaron R., By Common Consent)

Date Me, Not My Uterus (Tracy M, By Common Consent)

A darn shame (John C., By Common Consent)

Pants, Prayers, and Women, 'Oh My!' The Role of Women in Early Christianity (David Bokovoy, Worlds without End)

The cosmology of the 'priesthood' restriction (J. Stapley, Juvenile Instructor)

How not to think about fundamentalism (Matt Bowman, Peculiar People)

Why would someone choose to follow Brigham Young? (Ben Park, By Common Consent)

03 February 2013

The Nightstand (January 27th)

Roe v. Wade Anniversary

Better Reporting for Abortions (Charles A. Donovan, NYT)

Leeches, Lye and Spanish Fly (Kate Manning, NYT)


Dumb America (Garry Wills, NYRB)

Please Take Away My Right to a Gun (Wendy Button, NYT)

Maximum lies about the minimum wage (Samantha Valente, Socialist Worker)

The Obama Majority (Harold Meyerson, WaPo)

How to Get America Online (Susan Crawford, NYT)

Everything you know about health care spending is wrong (Matthew Yglesias, Slate)

Is America a 'kludgeocracy'? (Ezra Klein, Wonkblog)

Freedom to choose, freedom to marry (EJ Graff, The American Prospect)

The Prosecution of Aaron: a response to Orin Kerr (James Boyle, The Public Domain)


Source Over Content: General, Generic, and Genereal Conferences (Daymon Smith, Uncorrelated Mormonism)-- This revelation feels so damning...

Antinomianism and the Church (J. Stapley, By Common Consent)

Of Prophets, Elephants, Truth and Charity (David Tayman, Worlds without End)

The Priesthood is not a Superpower (John C., By Common Consent)

Picketing Zion (Rachael, Peculiar People)

Ten Reasons Why I'd Like to See a Woman Pray in General Conference (Brad, By Common Consent)

The Implications of Encouraging Early Marriage in a Global Church (MMiles, By Common Consent)

Top 3 Scriptural Justifications for Cultural Lag (BHodges, By Common Consent)

On Complaining (Julie M. Smith, Times & Seasons)


Diderot, an American exemplar? Bien sur! (Andrew Curran, NYT)

Looking for Truth in Utah (Jean Cheney, Humanities Magazine)

Selling a new generation on guns (Mike McIntire, NYT)-- Earning their nickname the "merchants of death"-- just like drug peddlers.

A Farewell to Arms (Susan J. Douglas, In These Times)

MLK's vehement condemnation of US militarism are more relevant than ever (Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)


Nothing to celebrate in Mexico (Jose Vivanco, WaPo)

The Nightstand (February 3rd)


Confessions of a Liberal Gun Owner (Justin Cronin, NYT)

Moral Perversity in David Mamet (Andrew Sullivan, The Dish)-- Responding to this nonsense.

Breaking the Military's Brass Ceiling (Jeremiah Goulka, The American Prospect)

Obama, FDR and the Second Bill of Rights (Cass Sunstein, Bloomberg View)

Making Voting Constitutional (Jamelle Bouie, The American Prospect)

Worried about the economy?  Then pass immigration reform (Ezra Klein, Wonkblog)

Obama's Big and Quiet Transformation (Michael Tomasky, NYRB)


Earthly Father, Heavenly Father -- Earthly Mother, Blank (Alison Moore Smith, Times & Seasons)-- All sorts of problems with this video.  (Also an excellent discussion at BCC at Tree of Life II)

On Missionary Work (Ben Park, Feminist Mormon Housewives)

Earthly Failings, Heavenly Success (Brad, By Common Consent)

In Defense of Higher Criticism (David Bokovoy, Worlds without End)

Mending a Fractured World (Ben Park, Peculiar People)

How Mormons and Evangelicals Became Republicans (Mark Silk, Religion in the News)


When Jim Crow Drank Coke (Grace Elizabeth Hale, NYT)

Aaron Swartz, Intellectual Property and the Humanities (Ben Alpers, SUSIH Blog)


Awaiting a New Darwin (H. Allen Orr, NYRB)

27 January 2013

The Nightstand (January 20th)

Aaron Swartz and internet freedom

How the legal system failed Aaron Swartz-and us (Tim Wu, The New Yorker)

The Death of Aaron Swartz (Clive Crook, The Atlantic)

Aaron Swartz's illusion over research (John Gapper, Financial Times)-- A useful counterpoint to some of the other discussions going on.  I'm not sure I am convinced by the final conclusion, but agreed that "liberating" scholarly articles from JSTOR et al. would not suddenly create a utopia of cheap information.  I can see a system emerging something like what exists (as of only recently) with judicial decisions.  They are available for free using Google Scholar; however, Westlaw and Lexis give them to you with lots of bells and whistles (hyperlinking to other cases, checking the validity and subsequent history, etc.)

Invasion of the data snatchers (Bill Keller, NYT)

The death of Aaron Swartz (Peter Singer and Agata Sagan, NYRB)

Carmen Ortiz and Stephen Heymann: accountability for prosecutorial abuse (Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)


Who Has Abortions and Why It Matters (Jamelle Bouie, The American Prospect)

POW! CRACK! What we know about video games and violence (Suzy Khimm, Wonkblog)

The most depressing graphic for members of Congress (Ezra Klein, Wonkblog)-- If they hate it so much, why don't they change it?

Gun research is allowed again.  So what will we find out? (Brad Plumer, Wonkblog)

Programmed for primetime (Bhaskar Sunkara, In These Times)-- It should be clear that I like Ezra Klein, since at least one item from Wonkblog shows up in every edition of The Nightstand.  However, I think there is something to the critique of an abandonment of pure progressivism in pursuit of technocratic respectability. Of course, there is the difference in venue and audience to contend with as well.

The case for socialist organization (Shaun Harkin, Socialist Worker)

After 'the end of big government liberalism' (Ezra Klein, Wonkblog)

Who Says You Can Kill Americans, Mr. President? (Vicki Divoll, NYT)

Southern Discomfort (George Packer, The New Yorker)-- Goes well with Garry Wills piece on the South from the January 27th edition.

Twelve Questions for John Brennan (David Cole, NYRB)

Enlightened surveillance? (Stuart Armstrong, Practical Ethics)


The delights of disgust  (Justin E.H. Smith, Chronicle of Higher Education)

Us and them (Marek Kohn, Aeon)


All is Well in Zion (Mark Brown, By Common Consent)

Roles, responsibilities and rights: what was Elaine Dalton talking about? (rah, FMH)-- What indeed? (See also Dear President Dalton (winterbuzz, FMH)

'Help Meet' or Their Own Agent (Brent Beal, FMH)

Manti Te'o and the Imaginary Mormon Girlfriend (John Turner, Religion in American History)

Should Women Pray in Public? (Julie M. Smith, Times & Seasons)