Volume 2.48 (Nov. 25-Dec. 1)

The Big Picture

How Can We Jump-Start the Struggle for Gender Equality? (Philip N. Cohen, NYT)– “So why did progress stall in the 1990s? First, despite the removal of many legal and social injustices, the movement away from traditional forms of gender segregation has remained decidedly unidirectional…Strikingly absent is the substantial movement of men into even one female-dominated major.  The same is largely true of occupations, with the most female-dominated — such as librarians and early-childhood educators — remaining that way…The second hurdle we face is the failure to develop work-family policies that promote gender equality by enabling women to become parents without sacrificing their engagement at work and encouraging men to work in ways that do not sacrifice their engagement as parents.”

Generation Hopeless? (Matthew Richards, In These Times)– “At some indiscernible point, the triumphs of Occupy transformed into the dying gasps of a movement on its way to popular irrelevancy.  Occupy didn’t fail due to the lack of a “clear message.” It didn’t fail due to a lack of structure, organization, hierarchy or visible leaders. It wasn’t because Occupy wasn’t radical enough, or wasn’t reasonable enough, or was “too polite” in its protests. It wasn’t because of the narrow-mindedness or egos of the activists.  Occupy was doomed to fail from the start because it faced challenges no other U.S. social movement has had to face. Occupy was created in the midst of a Category 10 shitstorm that involved a hostile American social climate, decades upon decades of brainwashing, a media black-out, an unrelenting foe and an unprecedented amount of police repression.”

Racism isn’t over.  But policymakers from both parties like to pretend it is.  (Ezra Klein, Wonkblog)– “It’s easy to say that racism isn’t over. It’s harder to face up to the policy implications of that. The question for the RNC — and, for that matter, for the DNC — is if the fight against racism is ongoing, how should policy reflect that? When it gets down to that tangible level, this isn’t a conversation the Democratic Party is much more comfortable with than the Republican Party. The theory is that the legacy of racist policy can be met with colorblind policy that helps the poor. There’s not much evidence that that theory is working.”

Pope Francis Releases Super Rad Commie Manifesto (Eugene, Critical Theory)

American Workers: From Bounty to Bleakness (Leo Gerard, In These Times)– “The six Waltons who own Wal-Mart are the richest family in the world. They’re worth $102.7 billion, more than America’s poorest 49 million families put together. The Waltons’ turkeys will be served with gold leaf on gold platters. By private chefs. On very, very private estates. There won’t be any Wal-Mart greeters or cashiers or stock boys sitting side by side with Waltons at their opulent celebration of bounty. Meantime, the Waltons pay such poverty wages that Wal-Mart workers can’t afford their own Thanksgiving meals. The Walton heirs’ gluttonous, aristocratic attitude betrays the promise of the New World.”

Obamacare

Medicaid Growth Could Aggravate Doctor Shortage (Abby Goodnough, NYT)

The Media Need to Do More to Help People Navigate Obamacare (Paul Waldman, The American Prospect)– “But helping citizens understand and respond to changes in the law is part of any major media outlet’s mission. The fact that a law is controversial doesn’t absolve them of the responsibility.”

Inside the Race to Rescue a Health Care Site, and Obama (Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Michael D. Shear, NYT)

Economics

A universal income is not such a silly idea (Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist)– “There is an alternative way to look at all this: an increasing number of economists are beginning to worry that technological change may make large numbers of people completely unemployable. In short, the robots are coming to take our jobs. These concerns have been wrong before, but perhaps this time really is different. If so, we’ll need an economic system that can cope when lots of people have no way to making a living.”

Culture

The Big Picture Strikes Back (A.O. Scott, NYT)– “You might end up watching these at a theater, on a tablet or in your den, courtesy of Netflix or BitTorrent or your local cable provider. But you will not be able to mistake them for anything but movies. What is cinema? You know it when you see it.”

Education

The Real Humanities Crisis (Gary Gutting, NYT)– “This talk of “a subject they love” brings us to the real crisis, which is both economic and cultural (or even moral). The point of work should not be just to provide the material goods we need to survive. Since work typically takes the largest part of our time, it should also be an important part of what gives our life meaning. Our economic system works well for those who find meaning in economic competition and the material rewards it brings. To a lesser but still significant extent, our system provides meaningful work in service professions (like health and social work) for those fulfilled by helping people in great need. But for those with humanistic and artistic life interests, our economic system has almost nothing to offer.”

Foreign Affairs

Confidence Enrichment: The Nuclear Deal with Iran was about Trust, not Verification (Kenneth Pollack, Foreign Affairs)

Russia’s Putin is too weak to stop Ukraine joining Europe.  But it will try. (Charles Crawford, The Telegraph)

Dreams of a Different China (Ian Johnson, NYRB)

Politics

The Spooks Next Door (Maggie Garb, In These Times)– “The covert capital, the northern Virginian analogue to the overt capital in D.C. proper, produced the human and material capital that made for efficient, methodical, secretive and bloody operations abroad. The purity and ostensible simplicity of suburban family life, Friedman says, nurtured the violent activities of so many of McLean’s residents. “The geography of empire,” he writes, “reproduced itself at home in architecture and spatial relations” just as the home front “incubated the empire.””

A 31-Year Old Is Tearing Apart the Heritage Foundation (Julia Ioffe, The New Republic)

Mormonism

On Giving a Sacrament Meeting Talk about Official Declaration Two (Gina Colvin, Kiwi Mormon)

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