Browser Daily Newsletter 1258


Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

After Action Report

Phil Klay | Longreads | 11th March 2014

An American armoured vehicle is ambushed in Iraq; the soldiers return fire; tragedy ensues. Powerful tale extracted from Redeployment, a collection of short stories by Phil Klay, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Anbar province. Dexter Filkins of the New York Times called Klay's book “the best thing written so far on what the war did to people’s souls”. NB: As you might expect, much strong language and violence (5,940 words)

Ukraine: The Do-Somethings Will Do Nothing

Simon Jenkins | Guardian | 11th March 2014

However sated you are with writing about Crimea, find room for this jagged, sparkling polemic against intervention: "The West is agreed on the Ukraine crisis. It agrees that something must be done, and it agrees that nothing can be done. Paradox is the stuff of foreign policy. It produces summits, holds conferences, forms and reforms contact groups ... Some people just cannot bear to be left out of a fight" (1,120 words)

Are Jews A Dog People Or A Cat People?

Joshua Schwartz | Tablet | 12th March 2014

Dogs were often "held in contempt" in biblical Israelite society due to their "penchant for dining on blood and carcasses". But cats ranked even lower. They are "not mentioned at all in the Bible", perhaps because "Jewish attitudes were functional", and cats performed no recognised service, whereas dogs could hunt and guard. "There might have been good dogs and bad dogs, but cats at best were merely suffered" (2,620 words)

My Life As A Retail Worker

Joseph Williams | Atlantic | 11th March 2014

White House reporter fired by Politico hits bottom, takes a "nasty, brutish and poor" job serving in a sporting goods store. "Having once supervised an 80-member news division of a major metropolitan newspaper, the first weeks on my new job triggered a self-esteem meltdown ... As my past life faded over the horizon, I started to take a weird, internal pride in my crappy menial job, almost against my will" (3,840 words)

Replace Obamacare

John Goodman | National Review | 10th March 2014

Doing healthcare differently: "Suppose we offer every adult an annual tax credit worth $2,500. People would get this subsidy so long as they obtained credible private health insurance, no matter where they obtained it. We could allow everyone, regardless of income, to enroll in Medicaid, and at the same time allow everyone on Medicaid to leave the program, claim the tax credit, and buy private insurance" (3,190 words)

Video of the day:  Font Men — Hoefler & Frere-Jones

Thought for the day:

"Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats" — Howard Aitken

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