Links: defeat of the German right; overhaul of the American flag; The $ 25 / hour New York restaurant is a good start


At the Washington Post, health journalist Rachel Roubein examines the complicated issue of Medicaid funding for U.S. territories like Puerto Rico. The Biden administration issued a different interpretation of the law from that proposed by President Donald Trump, with the result that the island will receive $ 2.9 billion instead of the $ 392 million it was to receive under of the Trump approach. Considering the high rate of poverty on the island, this is an extremely important victory for the health and well-being of the people of Puerto Rico.

On Politico Europe, a look at the German elections and, more specifically, the good news that the vote share of the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany has fallen from 12.6% in 2017 to just 10.3% this year . It has been overtaken by both the Greens and the Free Democrats, so it is now only the fifth largest party in the Bundestag. Alternative for Germany managed to come out on top in two regions of the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Saxony and Thuringia, so it is unlikely to disappear. His defeat at the national level is however very welcome.

On, David DeSteno, a social psychologist, explains that as a scientist he always assumed that religion was based on “opinions, conjectures and even hope, and therefore unrelated to my work. “. But then he had a revelation:

I realized that much of what psychologists and neuroscientists find out about how to change people’s beliefs, feelings, and behaviors – how to support them when they are grieving, how to help them be more ethical, how to let them find connection and happiness – echoes the ideas and techniques that religions have used for thousands of years.

Imagine that! There was wisdom before the development of the scientific method! Who knew? Specifically, the differences between social psychology and faith remain significant, and the two disciplines cannot be merged simply because they produce similar results. Faith is received, and received as true, regardless of the consequences. To reduce religion to its usefulness is the worst betrayal of the gospel.

At the same time, the editors of the New York Times decided to organize a competition for a new design for our national flag. Bad idea – and if you doubt it, take a look at the participants! In large part, because ours was a nation state before it was a nation – that is, it did not develop organically from a particular group like the Franks or the Celts – we invest our symbols with more importance than other countries and we have very little. I admit I always thought the American flag was, like most Americans, a little too brash, but I know any suggestion to change it will become catnip for the folks at Fox News and the countryside. Presidential election of Trump.

Thus, the United States is not alone in the right to life or the common good, asking the government to allow the unvaccinated to worship indoors with the vaccinated. Where did these prelates get their training in moral theology? Or is the problem that they don’t want to face the backlash from anti-abortion fanatics who think they own the Catholic Church?

From Business Insider, a story about a Manhattan restaurant owner who decided to start paying all his staff $ 25 an hour. Yes, she had to raise the prices to do so and there is no tip policy at the restaurant. At a time when many industries are struggling to find staff, this has not been a problem for this store. “I still think we don’t pay them enough,” she said. She’s right, but hats off to her for taking a step in the right direction.

On the Working-Class Perspectives blog, Tim Strangleman from the University of Kent in the UK examines the recent announcement from global accounting firm KPMG that, as he seeks to diversify the upper echelons of his organization, he will include class considerations, hoping to have 29% of its associates and directorships occupied by people from working-class backgrounds. Great! But there is also a problem. It turns out that some people, like all nations, get their own history wrong, inflating the humility of their immediate origins to justify and inflate their own sense of personal accomplishment. A very interesting analysis.


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