As promised, I have a big batch of articles to share. I read most of these while on our trip last weekend, thus on my Kindle, which meant I couldn’t clip pull quotes as I read. With a couple exceptions, you’ll just have to trust me that these are worth your time. Most are pretty lengthy, so if you have travels planned for next week, or just need some distractions to get away from “loved ones” who rub you the wrong way, these could be ideal.

I went to Target the day before Halloween to grab the small amount of candy we need every year. The Halloween section was being cleared out and replaced with Christmas candy. Again, on the day BEFORE Halloween.

This story popped up the next day. Target isn’t alone, and there are a lot of factors that go into it. But, seriously, could you wait until November 1 to do the change-over?

‘Christmas creep’: Why holiday candy hits shelves so early

I was re-reading a post from 2013 and came across this article I linked to back then. At the time it marked the 30th anniversary of one of the most dangerous years in the Cold War, and it seemed hopelessly in the past. Add ten more years, the rise of authoritarianism around the globe, a ground war in Europe, an expansionist China, the latest conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, plus everything going on in our fair country, and it seems like we could pretty easily slip back into the dark days when global nuclear conflict is not a totally unrealistic option.

Inescapable, apocalyptic dread: The terrifying nuclear autumn of 1983

As the parent of a Swiftie, I enjoyed this quite a bit.

My Delirious Trip to the Heart of Swiftiedom

This is an incredible story, both in the audacity of the crime and the utter lack of recourse most victims have. If you plan on doing any major projects around your home, I recommend reading it closely. And write checks or wire money. Never, ever use a peer-to-peer payment system for anything other than childcare or reimbursing a friend for lunch.

The Great Zelle Pool Scam

There is a movie coming out about Diana Nyad’s exploits. Apparently it has pissed a lot of people off, which is something she’s been doing her whole life. I don’t really know or care what the truth of situation is, but this was an enthralling piece.

Diana Nyad’s Swimming Brought Her Glory, Fame, And An Adversary Dedicated To Exposing Her Lies

I’m always suspicious of articles like this about retiring politicians as they try to claim the moral high ground, suggesting if their colleagues just behaved like them our political process would be less dysfuncitonal. But Mitt Romney’s viewpoint here is compelling and yet another sign our country is well-down a dangerous path that will likely take decades to get off, if we’re lucky.

What Mitt Romney Saw In The Senate

Here is a piece I did go back and find a pull quote for. It is about the small group of lawyers and support staff in Germany who are still searching for surviving Nazis. Their search has expanded to include administrative staff who worked at the death camps. It raises an interesting moral discussion about whether a young woman who typed orders given and followed by others is responsible for the deaths of the names on those pieces of paper.

This passage was especially chilling and powerful, given it was a German taking his own people to task for just going along or following orders rather than standing up to genocide.

The Furchner case upturned his thinking about the Holocaust, Kleist told me, finally making sense of the number of people the Nazis were able to murder in a mere 12 years in power. “This genocide wasn’t efficient because of the crazy people at the top,” he said. “It was efficient because every day, thousands of Germans like Frau Furchner showed up at an office and did their jobs. This is why they got so far. This genocide. It was so…so ordinary.” He hoped her case would lay a new inscription on the past: that ordinary people did this too. He hoped it would send a different sort of message to the future: that ordinary people could do this too.

The Race to Catch the Last Nazis

What if someone who had a similar name and similar career to yours turned into a conspiracy-spouting nut job and you were the target some of the blowback for their behavior? Author Naomi Klein has been dealing with exactly that for the past few years.

I realize I’m on her side here, but I continue to find it baffling how the Covid pandemic has pushed so many people from various perspectives into the lunatic fringe, where government actions designed to contain the virus and prevent deaths are seen as a way of crushing the individual, implementing socialism, etc. It’s even more amazing that while the pandemic began with our former president in office, many of these people have decided our government’s entire response to the pandemic is part of a Biden-led plot. I mean, look at a calendar, people…

Naomi Klein on following her ‘doppelganger’ down the conspiracy rabbit hole – and why millions of people have entered an alternative political reality

Finally, a fun, lighthearted, and educational piece.

Are any words the same in all languages?