Alan

Mass incarceration, and criminal justice reform, are not really national but local trends. So national politics matter much less than you might think.

A poignant insider view on how the digital age is grinding down the remaining bastions of old-school journalism.

Thanh Tan, a talented journalist who grew up in Olympia, Washington, recounts the powerful tale of her family’s escape from Vietnam and refugee experience in Cascadia in this video teaser for her forthcoming podcast. Can’t wait for the podcasts!

Kelsey

Sherman Alexie reflects on white supremacy in a recently-penned poem. I needed it this week.

I wish that all of the Confederate monuments with pending removals would be taken down Baltimore-style: secretly, in the middle of the night, and (literally) denying white supremacists protesters the light of day.

Eric

Living dangerously in an era of wildfire. Speaking at a TedX talk in Bend, Oregon, fire ecologist Paul Hessberg gave a nearly perfect 15-minute explanation for why western forests are now subject to epically destructive mega-fires.

  • More Republicans like this please: Washington GOP legislator Paul Graves went on a first-rate twitter storm in the aftermath of Charlottesville. (Among other quotes: “And that’s why we should keep saying it’s wrong. Because those ideologies were used to kill and terrorize and dehumanize millions (15/18).” In the same vein, kudos to Washington State Wire for cataloging (and sometimes rating) the responses from Republican elected officials in the state.

    Kristin

    This is blowing my mind: research coming out of Harvard shows government transparency may be the most important driver of corruption. Yikes! They find that voters don’t benefit from sunshine because they don’t have the time to track policy closely. But special interests benefit because they can track every bill, every amendment, and dispatch lobbyists to pressure individual legislators who vote against special interests.

    Kids benefit from diversity—it leads to better academic accomplishments, less racial prejudice, and better life outcomes. However, you have to drill past school-wide diversity numbers to ensure the classroom itself is diverse.

    To be happier, build a life that requires fewer decisions and surround yourself with people who embody the traits you like.