Teacup Reads: taking a break edition

Minnie Pearl is very interested in non-political news.

Teacup Reads are usually focused on political articles, but this week I needed a break. So, I’m unilaterally declaring this Sunday to be a day (mostly) celebrating the non-political aspects of being a person in the here and now. Also, I’m posting a picture of my dog.

Later this week, TongassDemocrats.com has Nancy’s first Chair’s Corner since she got back from vacation, a look at the Trump slump in tourism, and a round up of what’s happening with Alaska’s budget. So, enjoy today’s break, and stay tuned for when we get back to politics!

Alaskans need to get their phones 
The only big Alaska news I’ll mention this week is the budget, and that news is so big, I’ve got another post coming out about it later. So, I’ll  leave you with just this: if you know people up north who can tell their State Senators to go with the House version of the budget, this is the time to call your friends and encourage them to do so.

Trump is not normal and we shouldn’t pretend that he is
My sense of civic duty got the better of me, and this section is the result.

With all of the shiny Russia and bombs going on, don’t let yourself get distracted: the stench of self-enrichment surrounding the President cannot be ignored. Whether he does it to pad his bottom line deliberately or not, things like Mar-a-Lago getting a $35,000 payment from the Secret Service (for golf carts) are important.

Step one in dealing with Trump? Deal with this [content note: autoplay]: “What the chart shows is the almost complete disappearance of competitive House districts over the past two decades.” Want a step two? Try brand jamming, as described here by Naomi Klein [content note: autoplay].

Memories are the subject of From Kidnapping to Kids, My Life on and off the Rock in Outside Online. Beth Roddin talks about growing up as a high-performance athlete and how being kidnapped while on a climbing trip to Kyrgyztan changed her.

If you are nearing retirement age, you might want to take a look at this chart about the financial effects of claiming Social Security at varying ages. For today’s near-retirees, this article from The Motley Fool shows that it depends on whether or not you think you’ll live to 85.

Getting rid of irreplaceable natural history collections so there will be more room for sports? This makes me so sad.

I’m sure you heard about United Airlines beating up a doctor so that they could get their off-duty flight crew transported? Now that politicians have started making noises about limiting the practice of overbooking, airlines are upping their game a bit.

Life behind the paywall
I feel a bit self-conscious about this, but after Trump came to power, I decided to buy a subscription to The New York Times to stay more current. I found a 50% off intro buy-one, get-one deal and split it with a friend. So, the next few things may show up as being behind a paywall, but I’m sharing them because they are just darned good articles. I hope you are able to read them.

I used to live downstairs from one of my nieces and her family, and this article about upstairs-downstairs sisters brought back some very fond memories.

Speaking of what I used to do, I spent years writing grant proposals for programs that funded Alaska Native teacher education, and The Real Reason Black Kids Benefit from Black Teachers made so much sense to me:

Black students need teachers who understand that they’re capable of the full range of anxieties and insecurities, greatness and success, hilarious moments and generous surprises. The amount of melanin in my skin is neither necessary nor sufficient for this: It’s not a magic formula. But I can remember a time when I looked and sounded like my students. That helps me see myself in them, and all they’re capable of. I hope they can see themselves in me.

I’m a Vanguard investor, and it worries me a bit to be one of the popular kids.

Years ago, I read about a study that revealed a disparity between what physicians would want for their own end-of-life care and the care they provide for their patients. It was nothing nefarious; doctors just have a deep understanding of the ramifications of their decisions that is difficult to transmit to their patients. Anyway, recently I read that some people are suing over “wrongful life” after their loved one’s Do Not Resuscitate order was ignored. I would not want to live the life that the woman covered in this story has after her “remarkable recovery.”

OK, this one might be kind of political :). I once read that the difference between liberals and conservatives is just the way we think about evidence: conservatives look for evidence they are right, and liberals look for evidence they are wrong. I mention this in the context of Supply Side Economics, but for Liberals:

Economists have often taken it as a given that there is an inherent trade-off in which the larger the social safety net, the fewer people will work.

But what if that framing is backward? Certain social welfare policies, according to an emerging body of research, may actually encourage more people to work and enable them to do so more productively.

I’m not convinced that the ultimate purpose or meaning of life comes from engagement in commerce, but I do enjoy reading about reality – even with its well-known liberal bias.

Do you take vitamin D, too? This article questions whether there is a benefit for otherwise healthy people. I do note, however, that I’ve spoken to a lot of Juneauites with levels under the normal range.

Have a great week!
– Mary

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