Here’s what to read left and right
We live in partisan times and our new habits can strengthen our own perspectives. See this as an effort to broaden our collective perspective with essays beyond the range of our typical selections.
FROM THE LEFT
Background, from the author: Elisa Wells, co-founder of Plan C, discusses the future of reproductive care after Texas Senate Bill 8, which bans abortions after six weeks, when most people do not yet know they are pregnant.
The excerpt, one of Wells’ responses: In more than 20 states, you can go online, get a consultation, and have abortion pills mailed to your home for a convenient and confidential abortion. Unfortunately, this level of access – what we call modern 21st century abortion care – is not available in many states. In states with restrictions on telemedicine care, there are other ways for people to access abortion pills.
From “Americans have no idea what the supply chain really is,” through Amanda mull in The Atlantic.
The background, from the author: Behind the shipping delays and skyrocketing prices, there are still workers who are at deadly risk of COVID-19.
The excerpt: Americans are usually insensitive to the massive, deeply human apparatus that fundamentally brings us everything in our lives. Much of the country’s response to the pandemic has treated us as somehow separated from the rest of the world and the challenges it endures, but the unpredictably empty shelves, rising prices and long waits are just around the corner. ‘further proof of the folly of this belief. When I called Dan Hearsch, managing director of supply chain management consulting firm AlixPartners, I described the current state of the industry to him as a little wobbly. He’s laughing. “’A little wobbly’ is one way of putting it,” he said. “’Everything is broken’ is another way. “
From “The high human cost of the sugar habit in America», By Sandy Tolan with Euclides Cordero Nuel in Mother Jones.
Background, from the author: There is no doubt that Dominican sugar production has improved (over the past 30 years). … But according to government sources and human and labor rights activists, Central Romana is the most reluctant to change the deplorable conditions that have long plagued the industry. The company ships over 200 million pounds of sugar to the United States each year – far more than any other Dominican producer – and insists it treats its workers “with respect.”
The excerpt: Central Romana has a lot of interests to protect. At the top of the company’s sugar chain: the Fanjul brothers, Alfonso and Pepe, who acquired it in 1984. The wealth generated by their 100,000 tonnes of annual imports into the United States, built on the sweat of men like Julio and Cardenas, helped turn them into billionaires and build worlds of luxury. In the middle of the cane fields of Central Romana is the Casa de Campo complex, a playground for prominent celebrities, European royalty and former American presidents, who can rent villas, shoot pigeons, play golf. golf and polo or pilot a yacht in the sparkling Caribbean. The brothers live in oceanfront mansions in West Palm Beach. … The family holds charity balls, handing out millions to charter schools and daycares, and tens of millions to politicians, who oversee government programs that pay them back multiple times. Speaking in the Senate, John McCain once called them “the first family of corporate welfare.”
OF THE RIGHT
The background, from the author: When COVID hit, many schools and teachers quickly turned to distance learning and worked to move their programs online. While students and teachers may have focused on the technology and frustrating schedules, many parents have glimpsed their children’s classroom experience. And, too often, they didn’t like what they saw: falling standards and hollowed out programs, devoid of meaningful content.
The excerpt: Mathematics, reading and writing are Human skills that any well-taught person can acquire. Lowering the bar – or simply removing the bar altogether – does a disservice to students and their communities. Unfortunate developments like this make it clear why parents have become desperate for alternatives. Many have found one in classical education, which has always sought to cultivate wisdom, virtue and eloquence.
From “How to use the new American peace dividendBy Senator Marco Rubio in the American Conservative Party.
The background, from the author: The reorientation of money from Afghanistan would be a clear message from Congress that it is time to rebalance and focus on strengthening America.
The excerpt: How Congress decides to commit our domestic resources after the withdrawal will be the clearest indicator of the state of our policy towards Afghanistan and our foreign policy priorities going forward. I believe there is only one correct answer: cancel all remaining funds allocated to maintaining a military and diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, as well as funds intended to support the Afghan government or army, and use them better. Namely, putting them in a big power competition with the People’s Republic of China.
Context, from the author: What does the harsh and violent treatment of Haitian migrants say about the soul of America?
The excerpt: Whatever one thinks of who should come here or how much or how we let people in, there is one aspect of this tragedy that we must be clear about: Haitians who come to seek refuge at our border have suffered beyond the imagination of most Americans. The way we see them and deal with them says a lot about the state of our hearts and consciences. Secure borders should not mean closed borders. We can make good human decisions about who we allow to come based on need and merit. … Seeing footage of customs and border protection officers on horseback swinging lariats and pushing migrants back into the Rio Grande only adds to the impression that the US response is a hard-heartedness towards the desperate and vulnerable.