Reading Time: 10 minutes A Canadian embarrassment involving a Ukrainian WWII soldier given undue applause is being put to bed with a political resignation. But we need to deal with the underlying illiteracy in our war history as well.
Reading Time: 11 minutes Being the infuriating story of a unique historical treasure so irreplaceably precious that posterity would surely want to be damn careful not to lose or alter one damn word.
Reading Time: 10 minutes On September 9, scientists and other protesters involved in the Extinction Rebellion (XR) launched their latest direct action by marching daily on the Utrechtsebaan, which is part of the A12 highway around the Hague, in the Netherlands. 2,400 protesters out of around 10,000 were detained by police on Saturday, and a further 500 were detained […]
Reading Time: 15 minutes The word “socialism” lives a stunted life in current politics, but it’s important to have a good vocabulary for discussing public policy. In this overview of many “socialisms”, we hash out a few ways to think about all the ideas this one word contains.
Reading Time: 11 minutes It’s a tale as old as Constantine: churches benefit from tax-exempt status. In medieval centuries, the church was often configured as an essential extension of monarchy: critical for upholding the myth of divine royalty, and key for delivering social welfare in societies with few other dedicated institutions. In Britain’s North American colonies, taxation itself became […]
Reading Time: 16 minutes For the last few months, we’ve been exploring the possibilities of a Humanist Book Club through The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow. The idea wasn’t simply to move through the text, but to think about the stories that carry us forward. To try to empower ourselves […]
Reading Time: 15 minutes One of my favorite Old English poems is called “The Ruin”. Written in the 8th or 9th century, this elegy ruminates on the structures of an ancient city, imagines what life might have been like for its occupants, and depicts its possible downfall. It is a reminder, for me, of the curiosity of those who […]
Reading Time: 6 minutes As I noted in a four-part series on Israel and the West, writing on Middle Eastern conflict is plagued by the immediate search for bias, with which to dismiss any competing intel from “the other side”. Al Jazeera will always report with certain priorities. The Times of Israel will report with others. And as situations […]
Reading Time: 11 minutes Welcome back to Humanist Book Club. I’m a huge fan of deep-diving into history to grapple better with the present, whether in fiction or humanist essays, but last week we were dealing with a lot of living history, especially in the US, so this series on The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity […]
Reading Time: 13 minutes We took an unintended hiatus last week for Humanist Book Club, but hopefully for the better. Comments to date on this series suggest that many folks aren’t reading the book directly, but responding to my summaries and analysis of author commentary. This places an added burden to ensure that I’m articulating key points properly, and […]