Public urination in NYC is okay, & why the poor vote GOP

Finally! A week with multiple pieces of thought-provoking writing! Before I get to my favorite five articles this week, I'd be remiss if I didn't say anything about the terrible attacks on Charlie Hedbo earlier in the week.

I tend to focus on analytical and long-form pieces in my links each week, and what's happened is too recent for there to be any kind of heavy analysis out there yet. But I do think that in coming days its important that we not only condemn the attacks and support the freedom of expression that Charlie Hedbo represents, but also look at the political environment in France that contributed to this. Any population that's treated as second class, like France's Muslim immigrants, is going to react negatively to that oppression. The attacks are heinous, but the response must be inclusion and moving forward for all people in France, not a tack to the right and Le Pen, as some have suggested.

Speaking of extremists religions and public accommodation...

It's time to arrest ultra-Orthodox Jews who delay flights over seating
I've never heard of this phenomenon prior to reading the article, but based on the comments it's a fairly regular occurrence for those flying to Israel or out of airports with big Orthodox populations. I agree with the author - it's not reasonable to expect an airline to never sit you next to a person of the opposite gender. Similar to overweight passengers, if you want to guarantee that accommodation, you have to buy the extra ticket or deal with it.

The NYPD's virtual work stoppage
Rolling Stone hails the NYPD's decision to stop enforcing minor violations as part of their ongoing battles with Mayor DiBlasio as a potential model for community policing. I'm not sure I agree, although I think draining the city's coffers is an effective form of protest. While I hate that the kind of quality of life infractions that are not being enforced disproportionately target minorities, I do think they help improve the city and deter larger criminal activities. 

That's not what the Bible says
My middle and high school education included daily religious classes. As I've been exposed to difference Christian viewpoints, it's clear that these lessons were pretty balanced in the overall scheme of religious education. Newsweek has a look this week at how different groups distort the Bible to present their own slanted viewpoints of the world, and the damage treating a flawed document like the word of God does to our community.

How the craft beer movement abandoned Sam Adams
Sam's Summer and Winter Warmer are two the mainstay beers in my parents' house; you're more likely to find a bottle of Yards or Dogfishhead in mine. Boston Magazine looks at how the craft beer movement has exploded, and left behind the man (and company) that started it all. 

Why poor states are red and rich states are blue
The answer: blue states aren't actually rich. I've only lived in the Northeast, but have traveled quite a bit to South Carolina for work over the years. I've seen firsthand how a paycheck that's barely sustenance in Boston provides a comfortable, enjoyable life in a city like Columbia, SC. Quality of life means more than the number on someone's tax return, and this piece makes a compelling case that even if red states are making less, their money is going much further and the life they're leading, accordingly, is better than those of us making six figures in the Northeast and barely getting by.