1. Robert Farley rightly criticizes the professional sports scam in which team owners somehow convince taxpayers to pay for new stadiums. The Braves’ new suburban outpost will likely cost the public about $450 million. But in addition to that cost, Braves fans will also need to schlep out to Cobb County for the privilege of paying higher prices for tickets and concessions. The median hourly wage in the state of Georgia is about $15.50. The odds are that won’t cover the cost of a beer and a dog at the taxpayer-funded new stadium.
By why move the stadium farther away from the city? It’s Georgia. You already know why.
Joe Dendy, chairman of the Cobb County Republican Party, says that he has two conditions for supporting the Braves’ proposed move (h/t Jim Galloway):
1.) That Cobb County citizens won’t have to pay higher taxes as a result, and
2.) “It is absolutely necessary the (transportation) solution is all about moving cars in and around Cobb and surrounding counties from our north and east where most Braves fans travel from, and not moving people into Cobb by rail from Atlanta.”
Again, that’s from the chairman of the Republican Party in the state’s wealthiest, most sophisticated GOP stronghold. If you want to know why the Atlanta region has trouble acting and thinking like a region, why we have abandoned mass transit options that every other major urban area in the country is pursuing, and why we have forfeited the economic dynamism that once made this city/region the envy of much of the nation, there you have it.
2. Is Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen just trolling the whole world? Or is he playing some strange game of How Appalling Can I Get Without Getting Fired? Maybe his contract has some sort of golden parachute, with a huge severance package tied to his getting nixed for writing bewilderingly insensitive and insensate things about race. See Ta-Nehisi Coates on what ought to be the final nail in Cohen’s coffin.
3. A United Methodist pastor “is facing a trial before the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church.” His alleged “crime”? He officiated at his son’s wedding.
Note to the UMC: It doesn’t matter what else you have to say for yourself here. When you conduct a trial for a pastor for the “crime” of officiating at his own son’s wedding, you’re behaving badly. This makes you look like jerks. Acting like jerks tends to do that.
4. Reading this profile increased my respect for biblical scholar Robert Cargill — and also for Nicole Kidman. Cargill is one of the scholars featured in the History Channel’s new miniseries, Bible Secrets Revealed, which debuts tonight at 10 p.m. with an episode exploring the problems and perils of Bible translation. (The move from Mondays to Wednesdays resolves my Spader conflict, but alas I’m at work on Wednesday nights. Fortunately, though, the History Channel rebroadcasts its shows as relentlessly as it hypes them, so I should still be able to catch this.)
5. “No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger …” (via Jay Lake).
(A shorter literary reference also works: “Who’s there?“)
6. Katie Grimes: “(Un)just War and Veteran’s Day”
Today I find myself torn between two undeniable realities.
One: millions of U.S.-Americans have fought and sometimes died with the intention of securing the “freedom” of their fellow countrywomen and men.
Two: many of these wars have been unjust. The United States military has oppressed at least as much as it has liberated. It has inflicted violence upon the defenseless bodies of children at least as much as it has protected them from it.
These two truths do not sit easily within me.