Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Cigars, Booze, Money: How a Lobbying Blitz Made Sports Betting Ubiquitous by Eric Lipton and Kenneth Vogel: “In state after state, while lobbyists for sports-betting firms, casino companies and professional leagues cultivated friendly relationships with lawmakers and regulators, the interests of taxpayers and people at risk of gambling problems were often on the back burner, if they were represented at all….The results of the lobbying campaign have been stunning: 31 states and Washington, D.C., permit sports gambling either online or in person, and five more have passed laws that will allow such betting in the future.”

Even Your Political Enemies Deserve a Slice of Pie by Tish Harrison Warren: “Today, given our epidemic of loneliness and crisis of despair, Tocqueville’s observations seem prophetic. In the midst of convulsive national and international events, it’s easy to overlook the communities and institutions that make up a life: family, religious communities, neighbors, friends, work colleagues, the barista at the coffee shop we frequent, the teller at the bank, the postal worker, the garbage collector. But noticing the stuff of our lives, the gifts all of us receive in even a mundane day, is the font of gratitude.”

Americans are choosing to be alone. Here’s why we should reverse that. by Bryce Ward: “Spending less time with friends is not a best practice by most standards, and it might contribute to other troubling social trends — isolation, worsening mental health (particularly among adolescents), rising aggressive behavior and violent crime. Americans rate activities as more meaningful and joyful when friends are present. Friends and social connections build on themselves and produce memories and fellowship. They also boost health and lead to better economic outcomes.”

Amid rising homelessness, Catholic-run tiny home villages build more than shelter by Katie Collins Scott: “A dearth of affordable housing, stagnant wages and the economic aftermath of the pandemic have led to an increase in homelessness, especially in West Coast cities, and tiny dwellings have become increasingly popular as shelters and transitional housing. A number of local Catholic service agencies, including St. Vincent de Paul and Catholic Charities, have started to manage a broad range of tiny home communities.”

Should Friends Offer Honesty or Unconditional Support? by Stephanie Murray: “To extend honesty, or anything else, to a friend is to run the risk of its rejection. But if it’s friendship of the closest sort that you are after, it’s a risk you’ll have to take.”

Drugs killed 8 friends, one by one, in a tragedy seen across the U.S. by Lenny Bernstein and  Jordan-Marie Smith: “In a nation that suffered more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021 alone, there are many Greenvilles — places where the powerful opioid fentanyl and other drugs have produced clusters of overdose deaths, or picked off victims one at a time. Here, drugs worked their way inexorably through a group of friends, year after year, for nearly a decade. In one family, loss piled upon tragic loss until almost no one was left.”

We disagree about abortion but with one voice support this urgently-needed law by Erika Bachiochi, Reva Siegel, Daniel Williams and Mary Ziegler: “Congress has the chance to enact groundbreaking legislation, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), that would close a dangerous gap in protections for pregnant workers. Without this bill, employers can discriminate against pregnant workers who need common-sense help, denying them exemptions from heavy lifting, as well as bathroom or water breaks – sometimes at the cost of their jobs and health. The PWFA would solve this problem by requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers that do not impose undue hardship on employers.”