Picks of the Week— I could not choose between the three, one for the quality and timeliness of the reporting, the second for the way the sheer profusion of profanity perfectly captures what was a truly awful week, and the third for the stunning and authentic voice of its author. You’ll want to check out many of the other links below. It was a good week for The Nightstand.
The Hell of American Day Care (Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic)– Especially for someone like myself with young children, terrifying and heartbreaking. I hope that this is not read as an insistence that more women stay home to take care of their own children. As elegant a solution as that may presume, and as much as I am grateful that my own wife is able to stay home with our three children, we cannot put the horse back in the barn now. Women are going to work, and in ever-increasing numbers. Some will work because they want to (either for financial or other personal reasons), but many will work because they have to. I have yet to see anyone propose a legitimate and practical solution that will persuade one parent (either the husband or wife) to remain home with the children without throwing thousands of families into distress and poverty.
This Week (The Onion)– I wanted to post this to Facebook but it has more strong language than I know some of my friends would be comfortable with.
Gitmo is Killing Me (Samar Naji al Hasan Moqbel, NYT)
The end of sleep? (Jessa Gamble, Aeon)– I like to think that if my healthy sleep was cut in half, I would read more books and write. The truth is, I would probably play more video games. However, it such intervention became widespread, capitalism would almost certainly coopt everyone’s extra free time for more work.
Is it Time for Off-the-Shelf Birth Control Pills? (Elisabeth Rosenthal, NYT)
Five Lessons from the Gosnell Abortion-Clinic Controversy (Scott Lemieux, The American Prospect)
Legalize Polygamy (Jillian Keenan, Slate)
Why did women go to Kermit Gosnell instead of reputable abortion providers? (Amanda Marcotte, Slate)
Hispanics, the New Italians (David Leonhardt, NYT)
When Our Kids Own America (NPR Code Switch)
Texas on Fire, Again and Again (Bill Minutaglio, NYT)
The Excel Depression (Paul Krugman, NYT)
If Companies Are People: A Fairer Corporate Tax (James Livingston, NYT)
How to Save Retirement (Steven Hill, In these Times)
A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip (Gabby Giffords, NYT)– This is another one I could have picked for best article of the week, if there had not been so many other strong candidates. The righteous indignation is palpable.
Measuring College Prestige vs Cost of Enrollment (Paul Sullivan, NYT)
A Radical Anthropologist finds himself in Academic ‘Exile’ (Christopher Shea, Chronicle of Higher Education)– I’ve read Graeber’s Debt and it is a landmark piece of work. A must read. I am looking forward to his new book, The Democracy Project.
Two Cheers for Web U (AJ Jacobs, NYT)
More Cracks Undermine the Citadel of TV Profits (David Carr, NYT)
100 Places to Visit Before They Die (Joshua Hammer, NYT)
The Other Kind of Moneyball (Edward McClelland, Slate)
Boston Marathon Bombings
The Marathon (Charles P. Pierce, Grantland)– Best piece I’ve seen on the Marathon and the way it affects Boston and Bostonians.
What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter? (Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)
The Tragedies of Other Places (Rafia Zakaria, Guernica)– Awesome essay. Americans believe that their suffering merits special consideration. But the suffering other places is so much more frequent and frequently, much worse. Its a special kind of narcissism.
Different but Equal: Another Post on Gendered Priesthood (Brad Kramer, By Common Consent)
Rage against the Machine (Tracy M, Dandelion Mama)