Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday grab-bag

AKA what would have been called the "Friday grab-bag" if I had managed to get it written and posted on time.

● This is the best article on crime policy I have read in ages. Here's what journalists call the nut graf:
I argue that (blue-collar) crime—theft and assault, in all their varieties—is still a real and major problem; that its economic and social costs are vastly under-appreciated; that its primary victims are disadvantaged minorities and poor people; that the current criminal-justice system wrongs them by under-enforcing the law against those who victimize them (who are, of course, mostly people like them in racial and class terms); that better criminal-justice policy could give us less crime and less incarceration; and that better and more equal law enforcement ought therefore to be as central a progressive political goal as better and more equal education or health care.

● I don't think many people have heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership yet, but they will. Here's Crooked Timber on why it matters. If CT is right, then NAFTA is a good reference point for understanding the TPP; Dean Baker explains why he thinks NAFTA was a raw deal for most Americans here and here.

● This interview with Joshua Greene makes me want to read his book Moral Tribes. Robert Wright's The Moral Animal blew me away back in the day, but that day was 1994; we've had another 20 years of research since then.

Video of the week: Damn, this is a beautiful song:

Here are the lyrics (Source):

Asimbonanga (We have not seen him)
Asimbonang' uMandela thina (We have not seen Mandela)
Laph'ekhona (In the place where he is)
Laph'ehleli khona (In the place where he is kept)

Asimbonang 'umfowethu thina (we have not seen our brother)
Laph'ekhona (In the place where he is)
Laph'wafela khona (In the place where he died)
Hey wena (Hey you!)
Hey wena nawe (Hey you and you as well)
Siyofika nini la' siyakhona (When will we arrive at our destination)

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