Can we be religious without God? Sean Illing interviews Alain de Botton, author of Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believers Guide to the Uses of Religion. People everywhere think atheists are bad, says new study. Are religious people more moral? Cultures around the world share the belief that atheists lack morality — the evidence, however, tells a different story. How many American atheists are there really? “There’s a lot of atheists in the closet” — why most polls on religious belief are probably wrong. Joseph Blankholm reviews Village Atheists: How America’s Unbelievers Made Their Way in a Godly Nation by Leigh Eric Schmidt. “Spiritual but not religious”: Tara Isabella Burton goes inside America’s rapidly growing faith group. Can we learn to believe in God?


Kelly McEvers interviews Elizabeth Catte, author of What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia (and more and more). Spare us your elegies: Who will advocate for West Virginia? Redressing the consequences of generations of corporate land grabbing in the southern mountains: An excerpt from Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia by Steven Stoll. The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal. Coal’s demise in Appalachia leaves education in the lurch: Clean energy, other industries unlikely to move into former coal-mining areas. In Appalachia, coding bootcamps that aim to retrain coal miners increasingly show themselves to be “new collar” grifters. In West Virginia, free community college would come with a drug test.


Noel B. Salazar (Leuven): Anthropologies of Tourism: What’s in a Name? Colin J. Beck (Pomona): Revolutions Against the State. Sophia, with love and hate: Will robot rights outweigh migrant and indigenous futures? Bernard Avishai on confederation: The one possible Israel-Palestine solution. It’s time to audit America’s secrets: Declassification should be determined by the American people, not partisan politicians. No one is silencing Katie Roiphe: #MeToo has started a robust, complicated conversation — whether or not she’s listening. Thread: “You think this is nuts? Oh hon. Welcome to my life”. The journal Radical Philosophy returns, with a redesigned website, an open archive of all its previous volumes, and a new issue.


From Lawfare, Carrie Cordero on the Nunes memo and the law of unintended consequences. #ReleaseTheMemo succeeded — here’s how the mainstream media helped. The GOP and Big Lie politics: Conventional media is not equipped to deal with willful lying in the public sphere. Jeff Flake is a product of the same politics that brought us Donald Trump: His protests are welcome, if not always self-aware. Where do Republicans go from here? It’s time to stop speaking delicately about this. Trumpism is modern Republicanism. Masha Gessen on Donald Trump’s very Soviet fixation on applause. Trump’s “marching orders” to the Pentagon: Plan a grand military parade.

Donald Trump is playing to lose: Whereas past presidents have sought the middle ground in an effort to develop effective policies and win re-election, Trump seems dead set on antagonizing the majority of Americans who did not vote for him.


The problem with courting Amazon: When cities compete to attract big employers, the country as a whole suffers. Tax breaks may endanger cities’ essential services: Elite economists are warning cities to stand up to Amazon. Cities that lure Amazon with incentives may be getting a “bad bargain”, new study says. Cities scrambling to attract Amazon because it “creates jobs” are being sold a lie. Unfulfilled promises: Amazon fulfillment centers do not generate broad-based employment growth. What Amazon does to poor cities: The debate over Amazon’s HQ2 obscures the company’s rapid expansion of warehouses in low-income areas.

What to do about HQ2: Ask any of these urban and economic policy experts, they’ll tell you the escalating bidding war to court Amazon HQ2 is dangerous — they have different ideas about what to do about it.

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