Feb 3 2017

Six Things to Read for the Weekend

typewriter

Six Things to Read for the Weekend

Here are six things to read for the weekend:

Caterpillar’s HQ Move to Chicago Shows America’s Double Divide,” by Aaron M. Renn at NewGeography.com, February 3, 2017:

[The] two major divides in the American economy.

The first is between cities positioned advantageously vs. disadvantageously. Chicago is the former (along with Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, etc). Peoria, along with most sub-million metro areas with an industrial heritage, is the latter. It’s simply difficult to keep higher end jobs in these cities. This robs of them of not just some high wage positions, but also significant talent firepower that could be invested in civic betterment.

The second is between those who are prospering with high skills, and those who are not. Chicago has a serious murder problem that’s been making global headlines for two years. It also has a huge financial problem on its hands, especially in the school district.

Who are Those Refugees Australia Doesn’t Want?” by Shoshana Bryen at The Gatestone Institute of International Policy Council, February 3, 2017:

The United States and Australia both had reasons not to admit the migrants closest to their borders, but trading Central Americans who wanted to come to the U.S. for Muslims who wanted to reach Australian shores would allow Turnbull to keep a campaign promise and Obama to divert attention from the massive breach of America’s southern border.

Diversity, leaky roofs and aging priests: Inside the changing U.S. Catholic Church,” by Leah Libresco at AmericanMagazine.org, February 1, 2017:

The simplest takeaway is that the Catholic Church in America is strained by the task of caring for such a large, mobile population. For instance, the distribution of American Catholics has shifted dramatically to the South and the West, and these two regions now hold nearly half of all Catholics—up from only about a third in 1985.

Leaving Islam in North America,” by Hrishikesh Joshi at National Review, February 3, 2017:

Given the challenges associated with leaving the religion, Sarah Haider regrets that people like her do not receive more support from the left, as she detailed in a 2015 address given to the American Humanist Association:

I always expected feeling unwelcome from Muslim audiences, but I did not anticipate an equal amount of hostility from my allies on the left. For example, when I first published a piece fact-checking Reza Aslan, who is a prominent Muslim scholar, on his dismissal of female genital mutilation as only an African problem, not a Muslim one, I got many responses from people unhappy with what I wrote, almost all of whom questioned my motives rather than addressing my claims. To my surprise, most of my critics were not Muslims. Rather they identified as liberals and sometimes even atheists. Some darkly alluded to my “agenda” and others claimed that as a former Muslim, there was no way I could be trusted with fair criticism. Now remember, I published a fact-check. It seems to me that it would be easy to verify my claims, fact-check the fact-check, so to speak. But instead, Muslims and some people on the left preferred . . . to throw around suspicions about my character and my intentions.

Ursula Le Guin rebuts charge that science fiction is ‘alternative fact,'” by Danuta Kean at The Guardian, February 3, 2017:

The 87-year-old author, whose bestselling novels include The Earthsea Chronicles and The Left Hand of Darkness, called out the phrase alternative facts as a disguise for lies that “are seldom completely harmless, and often very dangerous”. She added, in what appeared to be a direct reference to the new president, that peddlers of alternative facts were liars, whom most people consider “contemptible”.

James Joyce: Right About the Church?” by Melinda Selmys, First Things, June 25, 2013:

The natural Christian response to Joyce is defensiveness or dismissiveness, possibly peppered with ad hominem attacks against the author. Joyce, however, cannot be so easily dismissed. Raised in a Catholic culture, his knowledge of Christianity was not lacking. His work frequently references obscure theology and ancient Church councils, and he was a shrewd and insightful observer of human psychology.


Feb 1 2017

Reading About Russia (and other things)

pencil shavings

Reading About Russia (and other things)

An excerpt from Victoria Lomasko’s book  In Tbilisi ‘”It’s forbidden to be sad in Georgia,” in n+1 magazine. Also Benjamin Cohen’s “Letter from Ukraine: Don’t Let Refugee History Repeat Itself,” in The Forward, January 31, 2017.

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Meanwhile, stateside: Aaron M. Renn’s “The Real State of America’s Inner Cities,” in NewGeography.com from February 1, 2017.

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And it was a rather London morning in Austin earlier:

 

#Morning #fog and streetlamp, #Austin

A photo posted by Christopher Landrum (@landrumc) on

Update: color photographs of the Soviet Union in the 1950s from On Wednesday, we wear red Tumblr: