(Long) weekend reading

Not so much long reading but a long weekend, at least for some readers, with a holiday on Monday in Victoria for Labor Day. (Which seems to cope without commemorating any particular historical event, raising the question of why Australia Day can’t do the same.)

So here are some suggestions for interesting things I’ve come across lately on the internet.

at the Bay City Beacon reviews two books that tell the sad but under-appreciated story of how zoning laws have been used to maintain residential segregation and limit opportunities for the poor and (especially) the non-white. It’s about the United States, but many of the same problems have been reproduced in Australia.

Hamish McDonald at Inside Story gets in early for the thirtieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre with an excellent survey of the problems facing China, and the divergence between the country’s real interests and those of its leadership.

This one is a couple of weeks old but not to be missed: Genevieve Fox in the Guardian profiles Gina Rippon, the neuroscientist exploding the myths of gender ideology, and explains why her work is so controversial and so important.

Also in the Guardian, Xan Rice with a long read on the history of Aldi, a heartwarming story of capitalism at its best.

I’m hoping to get around to writing something on the Kashmir flare-up, but Arundhati Roy in the Huffington Post covers it extremely well, indicting both the two parties and the rest of the world for their refusal to actually listen to the wishes of the inhabitants.

Back in Australia, Robert Manne in the Monthly reviews Kevin Rudd’s memoirs, and particularly his account of his deposition by Julia Gillard. A very fair and even-handed assessment, although perhaps a little too generous to Rudd.

Irfan Yusuf at Ten Daily uses the George Pell case to reflect on the similarities between the situation of Catholics and Muslims, and the need to avoid stigmatising the ordinary believers of either faith for the sins of some of their leaders.

And tangential to the Pell case, Les Green at Semper Viridis comes to grips with the thorny question of how we should remember the contributions of people who led less than exemplary lives, taking Michael Jackson and Martin Heidegger as his examples.

Scott Morris at the Bold Italic reports on how the city of Oakland demonstrated how more effective policing doesn’t necessarily require more resources, just more intelligent application of them.

James McAuley in the Washington Post has a new take on France’s “yellow shirt” protests, looking at the response among the poor non-white populations of Paris’s suburbs, which have had rather different experiences of popular protest and official reaction.

And also in France but in a different era, Matt Pickles at the BBC has a very interesting piece on how the museum on the spot commemorates the catastrophic French defeat in the battle of Agincourt.

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