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Weekend Reads 9/29/18

Fed up by crazy hospital bills, state makes passive-aggressive T-shirts

The actual bills from hospitals around the state are highly variable. This is partly due to the fact that some hospitals simply charge more for the same things. But there’s also the issue that some hospitals tend to make more mistakes than others—for which they are then required to do more procedures, driving costs up further. These are called “potentially avoidable complications.”

The surest way to become a monster is to imagine you’re a hero

Slowly, Niemöller developed theological and ecclesiological qualms about the Nazi agenda he had enabled and welcomed. He eventually, belatedly, joined with folks like Bonhoeffer and began preaching against the Nazis’ attempts to strip the rights of conservative Protestants like himself. That got him thrown into a concentration camp in 1937. He survived.

“Once the legend is stripped away, Niemöller necessarily disappoints us,” Hockenos writes. Perhaps that’s not surprising for a man best remembered for candidly admitting that “I did not speak out.” But Hockenos still wants us to learn from Niemöller. He has a great deal to teach us not because he was an exceptionally virtuous and heroic person, but because he was not.

A pivotal moment at the Brett Kavanaugh hearings

Ari Fleischer, press secretary for George W. Bush, formulated a widely expressed view: youthful transgressions should not “deny [people] chances later in life.” If that were to happen, the argument goes, a whole lot of men would be disqualified from public service.

To which the reply must be: If so, what would be so bad about that?

Japanese Startup ispace to Launch Moon Lander Missions on SpaceX Rockets

Both of these missions — which ispace is bankrolling via its Japanese-record haul of more than $90 million in "Series A" investment funding — are technology demonstrations designed to lay the groundwork for the startup's ambitious future plans. Eventually, ispace aims to set up a robotic lunar transportation service and use its bantam rovers to identify and help exploit the resources available on Earth's nearest neighbor, such as water ice.

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