FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekly Reading: Leaping Lines, Revolutionary Baby Jesus, Repo Men at Sea and Great! Post Offices

I read a lot over the holidays so I am still catching up with my summaries of all my December reading.

Reading Is About the Lines That Leap Off the Pages
Much of what you read in the Times you read without giving a thought to who the author is.  I couldn't make that mistake after reading this year-end gem by Dwight Garner, literary critic extraordinaire.  In it he deftly leaps through about twenty different book recommendations, lifting delicious quotes from each of them.

The Christmas Revolution
Smart, well-written article on just how revolutionary Jesus was.  "He saw the inestimable worth of human life, regardless of social status, wealth and worldly achievements, intelligence or national origin. So should we."

ISIS’ War on Christmas
Interesting and thoughtful article on how Salafists think about Christmas theologically.  The author also draws parallels between Islamists' "origin' state and that of the far right en France.

Wow, fascinating report on the gritty underbelly of maritime repossessors.  This has to get made into a movie.

What’s Your Favorite Poem?
A round table of authors discuss their favorite poems--what's not to like!

How I Escaped Vietnam
Incredible untold story of the flood of children that escaped Vietnam in the midst of escalating violence and mayhem.

In Chile, Where Pablo Neruda Lived and Loved
Beautiful writing about the homes of Neruda in Chile.  Essential reading for any Pablophile.

The Deported
I feel like it's all too easy for both sides of the immigration debate to make sweeping statements one way or the other.  Articles like these should hopefully give one pause to consider the actual human lives behind whatever the policies enacted are.

Why the Post Office Makes America Great
Having lived overseas for more than two years in a third-world country I appreciate the author's sentiment.  As Americans we take things like being able to send a letter that arrives where it is supposed to for granted.  

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