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TLP Week in Review, 9/24-9/30
Your weekly summary of what we've been up to here at The Liberal Patriot.
What We’re Reading (and Watching and Listening To…)
“We’re all going on a witch hunt: Why woke politics is so vicious”: British journalist Nick Cohen explains on his Substack that identitarian politics winds up so noxious because “many people who consider themselves good and responsible will welcome the chance to bully and ritually humiliate scapegoats in the name of a righteous cause”—or at least the opportunity to avoid becoming victims themselves by going along with the authoritarian crowd. And progressives can’t blame Trump for this “inquisitorial turn of woke or identitarian culture” since they did that all by themselves.
“Baltimore adored Brooks Robinson for his talent and loved him for his heart”: “‘Around here, nobody’s named a candy bar after Brooks Robinson,’ Baltimore-based sportswriter R. Gordon Beard said in 1977, referring to the confection named for New York Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson. Instead, he said, ‘We name our children for him.’ Celebrity is not the same as decency, and not every hero is worthy of memorializing with something as personal and eternal as a child’s name—but Baltimore Orioles legend Brooks Robinson, who died Tuesday at 86, absolutely was.”
The Saint of Second Chances: A documentary about the true story of a father and son who innovated how Americans experience the national pastime at the baseball park, but also a story about family and commitment to communities.
A Haunting in Venice: The third entry in director/actor Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot series sees our favorite Belgian detective retired in Venice until persuaded by a mystery writer friend (Tina Fey) to debunk a medium (Michelle Yeoh) at a Halloween seance—until murder forces him back into action. A perfect whodunit for spooky season.
“Sweet Sounds of Heaven” by the Rolling Stones feat. Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder: The Stones are no spring chickens and they haven’t broken new ground in decades, but Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and company still make excellent, moving music when the mood strikes. This blues- and gospel-inflected tune from their forthcoming album Hackney Diamonds recalls classic Stones songs like “I Got The Blues,” “Moonlight Mile,” and “Shine a Light,” and takes on an added air of melancholy with the passing of drummer Charlie Watts in 2021.
Cousin by Wilco: The Chicago indie greats return to their experimental side on their 13th studio album and only their second with an outside producer—Cate Le Bon. Check out live versions of interesting new songs like “Pittsburgh” and “Infinite Surprise” on their recently started North American tour.
What We’ve Posted
“How ‘Opportunity Pluralism’ Can Renew K-12 Public Education,” by Walton Family Foundation senior adviser and former assistant secretary of education for policy Bruno V. Manno.
“The ‘Bidenomics’ Pitch Falls Flat: Never tell people they should be happy when they’re not,” by TLP politics editor Ruy Teixeira.
“TLP/YouGov 2024 Presidential Election Project—Wave 2: President Biden continues to hold a narrow lead over Donald Trump, but inflation concerns and doubts about his economic agenda weigh him down,” by TLP editor-in-chief John Halpin.
“Joe Biden and Donald Trump are Competing for Labor Support: The fact that it’s a competition at all speaks volumes,” by TLP contributor Musa al-Gharbi.
“The Case for Democratic Capitalism: An interview with former Representative Stephanie Murphy,” by TLP contributor Christopher Hunter.
“Rising Above Israel’s Secular-Religious Divide: How political turmoil forced secular and religious Israelis to take one another seriously,” by Ofer Zalzberg and David Barak-Gorodetsky.
Ruy’s Science-Fiction Pulp Cover of the Week
Just one more thing…
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission came to an end on Sunday morning when a reentry capsule containing a sample of the asteroid Bennu floated back down to Earth in the desert west of Salt Lake City. NASA scientist have already cracked open the asteroid sample container in a clean room at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Oh, and there’s a one-in-2,700 chance the Empire State Building-sized Bennu itself could slam into Earth by the year 2182. But don’t worry: even if Bennu does hit Earth, it’ll only release the energy of 24 of the biggest nuclear weapons ever detonated—a far cry from the energy of 10 billion World War II-scale atomic bombs let loose when the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs smashed into the planet 65 million years ago.