Links: Fed hiring freeze, politics and nonprofits, LA Measure S, modern Linux for non-developers, bikes, policing, education, coffee, and more!

* “Trump Orders Broad Hiring Freeze for Federal Government.” It’s been our experience that such “freezes” usually don’t amount to much, as veteran federal bureaucrats know how to maneuver around them.

* “Blue states are in for a world of pain.” The “are” should right now actually say “may be.” The biggest challenge is that Congress’s tax plans “would eliminate most itemized deductions — including those for state and local income and property taxes.”

* The Many, the Humble, the Ubuntu Linux Users. About using Linux from the perspective of a writer rather than a programmer. There are also now very good laptops that come with Linux pre-installed, like this Dell XPS 13″.

* “Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich.”

* We will miss antibiotics when they’re gone.

* On Forged Through Fire: War, Peace, and the Democratic Bargain.

* “Blue Lies Matter: How Video Finally Proved That Cops Lie.”

* Yes, there have been aliens.

* “Revenge of the bureaucrats: Federal workers fume over Trump’s vows to freeze hiring and shrink the government.” How policies go from high-level, highly abstract politicians to actual implementation on the ground is an unimportant theme that hasn’t been covered adequately. See the first link, above, about government “hiring freezes.”

* The next [debt or financial] crisis?

* “What the Death of the T.P.P. Means for America.” The short answer is, “Very little that is good.”

* Why bike lanes may appear to be underutilized.

* Chicago cops, unaccountable by design.

* How to Culture Jam a Populist in Four Easy Steps.

* “How Virginia’s Hospital Licensing Laws Led to an Infant’s Death.” The depth and bizarreness of medical licensing is hard to believe; we’ve heard all kinds of strange, fascinating stories about them from our clients.

* The ambiguities of dual citizenship.

* “How Immigration Uncertainty Threatens America’s Tech Dominance.” Well-known to people in the field and not known at all among voters.

* America needs to abandon its reverence for bachelor’s degrees.

* Life, death and demolition in Baltimore: “As Maryland’s largest city has dwindled from a peak population of 950,000 in 1950 to about 620,000 today, the receding tide has left behind 17,000 boarded-up houses and buildings, unoccupied, unwanted and unstable.”

* “U.S. nonprofits, including churches, should be allowed to take sides in politics.” I’m not convinced, but the argument is reasonable.

* All aboard: the Second Avenue Subway is here.

* To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics.

* Why does infrastructure cost so damn much in the U.S.?

* “Preschool can provide a boost, but the gains can fade surprisingly fast.” We’ve posted about this before, in, for example, “New York City is Having Trouble Giving Away Free Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Slots.” Still, we write lots of preschool proposals, because politicians and interest groups love these programs, which are more about hiring low-skill workers than education, which tends to be minimal at that age, for reasons obvious to anyone who’s spent time around three year olds. .

* “Stop Humiliating Teachers,” a lovely piece though unlikely to happen.

* “From work to income to health to social mobility, the year 2000 marked the beginning of what has become a distressing era for the United States.” Maybe.

* The great American streetcar myth.

* “Professor Lisa Servon spent 4 months working in a South Bronx check-cashing store says we’re getting it all wrong.” Useful especially for anyone who write DOT CDFI grant proposals like us.

* Why Dell’s gamble on Linux laptops has paid off.

* “The case for going to bed at 2:30 am.”

* “In praise of cash;” seems like an obvious point to me.

* “The Number of Children in L.A. Is Shrinking — Which Could Be a Disaster.” Blame housing policy and politics. L.A.’s Measure S ballot initiative could make the situation much, much worse.

* How Alcohol and Caffeine Helped Create Civilization.

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