Things I Read This Week

Feb 3-11, 2024

Welcome to Things I Read This Week, which is — brace yourselves — a short list of things I read this week that I think are especially important or interesting or cool. I’m going to try to make this a weekly thing, though I haven’t decided whether to send it on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. If you have an opinion, artificially boost my engagement sound off in the comments!

(Seriously though, your input would be appreciated)

I’ve always been pretty upfront about my almost-pathological inability to stick to a schedule or follow through on regular features, and I cannot promise you that this will be any different. I’m going to try very hard to make it A Thing, though, because it will force me to read through the avalanche of news that lands in my inbox, and maybe even explore the stack of magazines on my magazine-holding table.

I have done my absolute best to link to free versions of articles whenever possible. If something is paywalled, here are some links that might help: archive, If you find yourself returning to a paywalled site again and again I think paying is the right move (help save journalism!) but needing a subscription to read a single article is a terrible business model.

Speaking of giving money to websites, you will notice below that I have included links to Substacks. I recently moved my writing off Substack because of the whole Nazi thing, and I hope that the people I subscribe to follow suit. I have, however, decided to maintain my subscriptions, both free and paid. I pay for a lot of terrible things in the course of my work, so it’s hard for me to justify not paying for great things. I also think there’s a difference between sending a few bucks to a company that I dislike and creating content for one — neither thing is good, but one is a lot worse. Are these all just a bunch of self-serving excuses because I want to keep reading Ettingermentum? Maybe! Is it what I’m going to do? Yes. You may make a different choice, and I absolutely respect it.

Without any further ado, let’s talk about some of the best things I read this week:

  • Why Trump Is Winning — And How To Beat Him (Ettingermentum, paywalled)

    • You’re going to see me link to Ettingermentum a lot on here because it’s my favorite newsletter on the internet right now. This specific very good article, written before the doc drop on Thursday, is about how the Biden campaign is messing up and how they can fix it. I plan to send it to everyone on the Internet that insists Biden is running a great campaign and that journalists or naysayers are to blame for

  • The immigration "compromise" (Popular Information)

    • A great, short breakdown of why Biden’s compromise immigration bill is unbelievably terrible. Let’s just say it’s heavily based on Trump’s immigration policy: you know, the one we all freaked out about (or at least I certainly did). Features a great interview with Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director of the ACLU's Immigrants’ Rights Project.

  • Federal Records Show Increasing Use of Solitary Confinement for Immigrants (New York Times)

    • Great news for sociopaths and investors in private prisons: The compromise immigration bill would increase detention, which would presumably increase torture. The average stint in solitary confinement for asylum seekers? 27 days; nearly twice what the UN considers torture. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, the withholding of water and medical care, sleep deprivation. Many of these people are asylum seekers. Some of them were tortured in their home countries. Now they’re tortured here. I miss the days when Abu Ghraib was shocking.

  • Netanyahu’s War On Truth (The Intercept)

    • A very long list of all the evidence-free and debunked claims Israel has made since the beginning of the Gaza war. Good to send to people who repeat Israeli talking points verbatim, if you’re feeling like a fight. Trust is earned, not given; after everything that’s happened, swallowing Israeli propaganda without asking some questions would be an enormous mistake.

  • The journalists killed in Gaza — and what they tried to show the world (WaPo)

    • I sometimes get very annoyed at the press’ propensity to talk more about reporters killed than other people who deserve to be alive, but I’m making an exception for this article, because the sheer volume of journalists killed makes it virtually impossible to report on those other people. The Israeli military has killed more journalists in ten weeks than any single year since 1992. The rate of journalists killed each day is .72: the closest rate in modern combat, Iraq, was .07. This article discusses what a problem and an aberration this killing is, and includes short biographies of some of the reporters who have died. Warning: a harrowing read.

  • Why Americans Are So Down on a Strong Economy (WSJ)

    • All across America, liberals are asking: why isn’t Biden getting credit for how well the economy is doing? This Wall St Journal article offers an explanation: the future feels extremely unstable, and prices are still high. Move past your rage at the woman who makes $200,000 dollars and still feels like she’s “on thin ice”; that’s not what the article is about. The future is uncertain, and people are afraid. Myself included.

  • On living and working with "Nazis" (Gordon’s Notes)

    • A pragmatic and tragically heterodox take on dealing with the Nazis in our midst. Short and worth your time. Also links to Dorothy Thompson’s spectacular 1941 Harper’s article, Who Goes Nazi, one of my top five articles of all time and which I will never not link to given half a chance.

Thanks for reading! If you are a writer and would like to send me something you’ve written, please feel free to do that (at least one thing on this list came to me courtesy of the author). I cannot promise to include it in the weekly newsletter, even if I like it a lot. If I listed everything I’ve enjoyed reading this week, the feature would be unusable. 

Have a great Sunday! Enjoy the Superbowl if you’re a football person and/or a Swiftie. Not proud of this, but I’m rooting for the Chiefs for the same reason most not-super-interested-in-football women in my demographic are rooting for the Chiefs. I just want her to have her happy ending, OK?!!

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