Weekend Reading 5/17/13

A world map of racism, lead wars, and more.
This post is 107 in the series: Weekend Reading

Alan

National Journal takes a look behind the scenes at what Republican leaders and activists are saying about climate change, and it includes some good news.

Anna

The best thing I read this week was this European history told the way we’re used to hearing about Native American history. It’s funny in that way that also makes you want to cry for shame.

The best thing I heard this week was Barbara Ehrenreich on Alternative Radio talking about how in this country we have a nasty practice of kicking people when they’re down. “Do we lend a helping hand to the poor? Barely. Let them eat op-eds about values and the virtues of hard work. There’s billions to fund the latest F-whatever fighter jet but scant little for people in distress. The pounding the needy are taking is particularly severe because much of the social safety net has been shredded. Can anyone say compassion and caring?”

And, trusty old Bill Moyer talks to the authors of Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children—continuing his excellent series on how money secretly (or not so secretly) rules politics in this country.

Eric

Check out the table on the bottom of the first page of Pew’s polling on European attitudes. My favorite element is that, almost without exception, every country believes that it is the least arrogant and most compassionate country in Europe.

The Washington Post’s world map of racism is worth absorbing. Based on a Swedish researchers’ (admittedly limited) survey, it produced results that I did not find entirely surprising.

Washington is the least foul-mouthed state.

I confess that I find Michael Pollan to be insufferable. So on the occasion of his recent visit to Seattle, I wallowed gratuitously in the writings of those who share my point of view here, here, and here.

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