Will Barton

My brief recommended reading list for a nuclear crisis, in order:

Ostracization

I’m finally reading through the Supreme Court’s Town of Greece, NY v. Galloway ruling, and it’s a dismaying and infuriating combination of disdain and ignorance toward non-Christians and atheists.

Weaponization

For as long as I can remember my dad has had a wood shop and made odds and ends for family, friends, extended acquaintances, and the like. In Real Life™ he’s a pharmacist, but when he got home most evenings he would tinker around in the garage. I have in my house a stool and a toy chest he made for my kids, a trash can, and two cabinets he made for his sister and mother from glass and wood that came from his father’s pharmacy. He is like my great grandfather in this way. I have a grandfather clock and coffee table that my great grandfather made for my grandfather.

In his interview with Charlie Rose, President Obama is quoted saying:

I have created an eBook, in ePub format, of the United Nations’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Hopefully it can be useful as a reference to have handy. It includes both the full declaration as well as summaries of each of the articles.

On the Natural History of Destruction, by W G Sebald.

Very few writers could approach this book’s subject matter and deliver such a powerful, methodical damnation of a generation. W G Sebald asks a simple question in the first essay: how is it that the near-total destruction of Germany by allied bombing in World War II has been so completely ignored by the survivors, and particularly by German culture and writers?

Today I encountered a campaign to end Sweden’s sterilization requirement for transgender individuals to have their preferred gender recognized (complete with poignant video). I would urge everyone, particularly anyone reading from Sweden or Europe, to sign the petition. I did a bit more digging, and found this astonishing paper from the Council of Europe.

The dual loss of Christopher Hitchens and Václav Havel this week have left the world intellectually poorer. Hitchens would be the first to disavow any comparison between the two of them, but there is a line in Disturbing the Peace that I believe speaks to the essential struggle of both: