From Nautilus, is Japanese culture traumatized by centuries of natural disaster? How the Emperor became human: An excerpt from 1946: The Making of the Modern World by Victor Sebestyen. Hettie Judah on how Japanese designers pioneered gender-neutral dressing. Japan is building tiny islands in the Philippine Sea — here’s why. When cuteness comes of age: Neil Steinberg flies to Japan and finds a country and culture conflicted over cuteness. Should we be turning Japanese? With economic instability and terror plaguing the open West, a case emerges for the insular approach. Ending a 60-year stalemate: Tom Holcombe on Japan’s push to get a peace treaty with Russia. The ghosts of Fukushima: It’s been five years since the meltdown forced them to abandon their village, and now they’re going home — can a town devastated by nuclear disaster be brought back to life?
John Corcoran (SUNY-Buffalo): Logic Teaching in the 21st Century. Alex Prichard (Exeter) and Owen Worth (Limerick): Left-wing Convergence: An Introduction. Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve racked up prizes — and completely misled you about the Middle Ages. American literature needs indie presses: As books from major publishers get bigger and more expensive, smaller houses are taking risks on more creative, original works. Who cares about free trade? Not many Americans, it turns out. A comprehensive guide to Trump ally Roger Stone, a racist, sexist conspiracy theorist. Francis Wilkinson on how public bigotry creeps into private lives. Websites and apps are designed for compulsion, even addiction — should the net be regulated like drugs or casinos? Here’s the age you peak at everything throughout life.
From Townhall, Guy Benson on five problems with “Republicans for Johnson/Weld”. Roger Stone: Trump should insist on including Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in the debates. How the presidential debates might die: If Trump threatens to pull out, the TV networks should offer the time to Hillary Clinton. Jeffrey C. Isaac writes an open letter to John McCain: “When will you come out publicly against Donald Trump’s Presidential candidacy?” President Obama and Donald Trump team up to put Paul Ryan in an impossible position. If elected president, Trump will not be subject to restraint by Ryan or anybody else; his only mode of cooperation is dominance, and a Trump presidency means a Trump party and a Trump state. Donald Trump begins contemplating the unthinkable: He might lose. Even if Donald Trump loses badly in November, he isn’t going away. The post-election fallout is going to be brutal for the party that loses the White House race.
Ally of Trump staffer Paul Manafort: The staff is “suicidal”, he’s mailing it in. Senior GOP officials “actively exploring” how to replace Trump on ballot if he drops out. Careful what you wish for: What if Trump dropped out? (and more) “It’s possible that Mr. Trump is not entirely out of control, and will stay in the race until Election Day. On the other hand, he may well escalate until some sort of even-more-outrageous-than-usual behavior forces him to drop out. If the latter, and a new ticket — such as Kasich/Pence — takes over, we need to be ready”.
Fiona Ellis (Heythrop): Atheism and Naturalism. Jacob S. Sherkow (NYLS) and Henry T. Greely (Stanford): The History of Patenting Genetic Material. The scale of Turkey’s purge is nearly unprecedented. Geng Ngarmboonanant: What living through a coup taught me about defeating Trump. McKay Coppins on the Religious Right’s dangerous bet on Trump: “God has used worse people”. Meet the young Republicans who founded “Students for Trump”. PJ O’Rourke says blame the elites for Trump and Brexit — and vote for Clinton. Unless you speak English, the Internet doesn’t care about you. Video is the web’s future and it’s a wonderful mess. What’s life like in America’s first city with a Muslim-majority city council? Chris Lehmann reviews The Great Invention: The Story of GDP and the Making and Unmaking of the Modern World by Ehsan Masood.
From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Jason Brennan on the ethics and rationality of voting. Ethicists say voting with your heart, without a care about the consequences, is actually immoral. Tom Jacobs on how to use Facebook to increase voter turnout: Reluctant voters respond to social pressure. Liz Olson on the less noticed battles that may decide the presidential election: State skirmishes over the right to vote could help determine the outcome of the November election. Critics see efforts by counties and towns to purge minority voters from rolls. Five major GOP voting restrictions have been blocked in 10 days: Ari Berman on how courts have ruled against Republican-backed voting restrictions in five states (and more and more and more). This is how the Supreme Court could stop future voter suppression laws. If you’re not voting this election, you’re ridiculous.
Jill Lepore on a tale of two conventions: The spectacles in Cleveland and Philadelphia both came down to a question as old as the Republic — who are the people and who speaks for them? Only 9% of America chose Trump and Clinton as the nominees: While Donald J. Trump or Hillary Clinton will represent the entire country, the Americans who selected them are a small part of it. Timothy Noah on how Trump vs. Clinton is the 1980s vs. the 1990s: The best way to understand this election is as a clash of decades. Religious Right author Wayne Grudem says voting for Trump is not “morally evil”.
Hillary Clinton targets a skeptical crowd: White male voters. America the Terrible: Reihan Salam on why Donald Trump’s pessimistic worldview resonates with Republican voters in 2016. Donald Trump and the myth of mobocracy: Robert Zaretsky on how the dubious ideas of 19th-century Frenchman Gustave Le Bon reverberate in 2016. What do Donald Trump voters really crave? They want respect because they haven’t just lost economically, but also socially. Alexandra Wolfe on J.D. Vance and the anger of the white working class. David Frum on why Trump supporters think he’ll win.
Electoral map gives Donald Trump few places to go. Donald Trump, discovering new way to undermine democracy, calls election rigged: “Trump is going to do serious damage even if he loses. If he wins, the future of the Republic is in serious danger” (and more). Whether Trump is starting to lay the groundwork for contesting the election on claims of widespread voter impersonation fraud or some kind of broader effort for election officials to falsify results, we’re entering a dangerous new phase of the 2016 election campaign.
Lauren Sudeall Lucas (Georgia State): The Free Exercise of Religious Identity. Frederick Mark Gedicks (BYU): The Religious-Question Doctrine: Free-Exercise Right or Anti-Establishment Immunity? Adam Lamparello (Indiana Tech): Contextualizing the Free Exercise of Religion. Paul Horwitz (Alabama): Against Martyrdom: A Liberal Argument for Accommodation of Religion. Nelson Tebbe (Brooklyn) and Micah Schwartzman and Richard Schragger (Virginia): How Much May Religious Accommodations Burden Others? (and more) Micah Schwartzman (Virginia), Chad Flanders (Saint Louis) and Zoe Robinson (DePaul): The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty. Perry Dane (Rutgers): Scopes of Religious Exemption: A Normative Map. Travis S. Andrews (Virginia): Delegating Religious Liberty: The Executive’s Role in Accommodating Religion.
Ronald F. White (Mount St. Joseph): Political Behavior and Biology: Evolutionary Leadership and Followership. David Graham on Confederate monuments and their complicated legacy. Set it and forget it: Lena Groeger on how default settings rule the world, the many ways we act by default (without even knowing it). Kevin Hartnett on using proof to create a perfect computer system. The beating heart: Tomoe Hill on an argument for email. Niina Pollari on how the phone is a public space. How to write a novel: Akilesh Ayyar on planning vs. spontaneity in the novel-writing process. Charles Koch’s disturbing high school economics project teaches “sacrificing lives for profits”. Koch network seeks to defuse donor frustration over Trump rebuff. The DNC email leaks could be payback from Russia for American meddling in foreign elections.
Ruby Cramer on why America couldn’t hear or see Bernie protesters during Hillary Clinton’s speech. Who or what ended the “Bernie or Bust” revolt in Philadelphia? Why this black Bernie Sanders delegate says he doesn’t have the luxury of going “Bernie or Bust”. From Humphrey hatred to Bernie or bust: Peter Knobler on the high price of the politics of petulance. Are Bernie or Busters becoming the tea party of the Left? Jill Stein’s ideas are terrible — she is not the savior the Left is looking for. Third parties ruin everything, according to political science.
This election isn’t just Democrat vs. Republican — it’s normal vs. abnormal. Is Donald Trump OK? Erratic behaviour raises mental health questions. The danger of a nuclear war is a good deal greater with Trump as president than with Clinton as president; this consideration alone outweighs lexicographically all other considerations — we must do whatever we can to elect Clinton. In the surreal new world we now inhabit, an answer that would have once triggered a crisis in Trump’s campaign is merely routine — and the notion that Russia hawks concerned about Russian influence should support the candidate Russia is trying to get elected, and oppose the candidate Russia is using every tool at its disposal to defeat, is beyond bizarre. Thomas M. Wells: “Donald Trump hired me as an attorney. Please don’t support him for president”.
Understanding the Trump-Khan War: “A dumb terrible person is almost always dangerous. Trump’s mix of rage and insecurity are so unbridled that it is not simply that he is unable to protect others from their impact. He cannot even protect himself from the damage they create”. The Khan fight highlights a huge GOP problem: No one knows how low Trump can go. Donald Trump is bringing anti-Muslim prejudice into the mainstream. Donald Trump gave Republicans the choice of racism or defeat — they chose racism. Paul Ryan condemns Trump all the time — but there’s one thing he won’t say. Whatever one may say about ordinary voters, the real sinners here are Republican leaders — people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell — who are actively supporting a candidate they know poses a danger to the nation.
Brian Beutler on the Republican Milgram experiment: GOP leaders are administering dangerous shocks to the heart of U.S. democracy, and they can’t stop themselves. Don’t you dare call it “Trump-ism”: It isn’t Trumpism, it’s the Republican Party — and it has been for far longer than Donald Trump has been running for President. Joe McCarthy was brought down by attacks on his decency — Trump will lose the same way.
Scott Ferguson (South Florida): 9 Theses toward a Neochartalist Philosophy of Capitalism Arcade. Was the Nice attacker an ISIS “soldier”? Be skeptical. Make algorithms accountable: Julia Angwin on why we need more due process protections to assure the accuracy of the algorithms that have become ubiquitous in our lives. The introduction to Good Neighbors: The Democracy of Everyday Life in America by Nancy L. Rosenblum. Jonathan Chait on how Barack Obama’s transformational success is only beginning to come into view; and on looking to Harry Truman to understand Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is one of America’s most honest politicians. What does the Democratic Party stand for now? Good question. Clinton’s all-you-can-eat buffet puts the Democratic Party at risk. These are the big choices Democrats will face if they win Congress in November.
Why the very poor have become poorer: Christopher Jencks reviews $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer. Matt Bruenig on how poverty has one dimension: income. Total inequality: Researchers know that it’s expensive to be poor — but they are only beginning to understand the sum of the financial, psychological, and cultural disadvantages that come with poverty. The rich live longer everywhere; for the poor, geography matters. Roberto Ferdman on the big problem with one of the most popular assumptions about the poor. American policy fails at reducing child poverty because it aims to fix the poor. Rebecca Vallas on how the right wing has a solution for poverty: Pretend it doesn’t exist. Robert Greenstein, an expert on fighting poverty, makes the case against a universal basic income.
Ananya Roy writes in defense of poverty: “I worry that the expansive use of inequality distracts attention from specific forms of impoverishment, exploitation, discrimination, and segregation”. Dwight Garner reviews White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg (and more). How racism stalls progressive action: Policies to aid America’s poor are hampered by deeply entrenched bias across parties. Criminalizing the hustle: Daniel Denvir on policing poor people’s survival strategies from Eric Garner to Alton Sterling. Sara Rankin (Seattle): The Influence of Exile (“against the use of the criminal justice system as a response to visible poverty”). Barry Latzer systematically debunks the dogma that poverty causes crime.