January 31, 2017
I know quite a few Catholics and attend the Catholic Church on Sundays on occasion. After each conversation with Catholic supporters of the current administration, I try to seek out information on how the Catholic Church is responding to the president’s numerous anti-Christian moves. Below are just some of the articles and general resources I have collected of late.
I mentioned Flint’s water crisis in my longform resources letter last week, but I didn’t give enough credence to the problems Flint’s residents still face. While the lead levels in Flint’s water are now below the federal level, all investigations into the crisis have ceased and there are still concerns that the current administration will not uphold the federal support that Flint residents have come to depend on. Meanwhile, Democrats want the case reopened. In any case, here’s the question: would you trust your tap water after long-term lead contamination? And would you trust a government that is slow to rectify the situation in which you find yourself while discussing expediting other unnecessary expenditures?
Reaction from New York Times columnist, Charles M. Blow: “I must keep saying this: How the HELL are we going to spend $20 bil to build the #WallOfHate but can’t find $55 mil to fix pipes in Flint?!!”
The majority of these resources should and will be political in nature, but periodically we will need a break. The Verge decided to write a story about Pixar and I have to say it was close-minded about Pixar’s future. I think the thing that bothered me the most is the presumptions made on the part of the author; the idea that Pixar isn’t working on new and interesting ideas. This argument is similar to the one made by many about Apple; somehow no news equals no news, even when a company is known for its secrecy. Finally, Pixar doesn’t receive the benefit of the doubt here, which is something the company deserves, not only because of its success in the theaters but for its success in pushing the technology of the animation industry forward, even in their sequel releases. Below is a taste of The Verge article (you can probably just skip it) and a link to the technologies that Pixar has made available to the rest of the animation world.
But perhaps Pixar feels differently. The studio used to lead the industry when it came to animated films. When everyone else was making popcorn flicks to kill time with your kids at the mall, Pixar was crafting actual cinema, forging a path in an art form that previously hadn’t been taken very seriously. Now, with Walt Disney Animation, Illumination Entertainment, and DreamWorks all putting out quality films, there’s a bitter irony in Pixar finding itself stuck in a sequel cash-in loop, losing the very thing that made it stand out in the first place. Thankfully, last year Pixar president Jim Morris announced that the studio was putting a halt on new sequels, turning its attention back to original projects. The studio no doubt has the potential to return to its former creative glory, but despite its successes this week’s nominations will continue to serve as a reminder that some of Pixar’s spirit has been lost along the way.
Last Monday, [the president] introduced a far-reaching anti-abortion measure, which cuts the 575 million funding of NGO’s that advise and help women with family planning and safe abortion in forty lower-income countries.
The Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, established an international effort to raise funds that will help replace what the president has abruptly taken away. Awesome!