“Did the Red Cross Let Its Fear of the Occupy Movement Interfere with Its Disaster Relief?”: Jesse Walker

at Reason: If you paid attention to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, you probably know that some of the centralized institutions charged with disaster relief, such as the Red Cross and FEMA, performed very poorly. You may also have heard about Occupy Sandy, an Occupy Wall Street spinoff devoted to helping people after the storm; by all accounts it performed very well. The latter group's effectiveness was recognized even by the Department of Homeland Security, an organization not ordinarily inclined … [Read more...]

“Ghost Stories for Christmas”: Kindertrauma

makes some solid recommendations: I’ll be watching both Black Christmases this holiday season along with assorted Silent Nights but I decided to take a break as far as posting about them. I feel that anyone who has done a “Help Mrs. Mac Find Her Hidden Hooch” puzzle has done their due. After seven years the idea of writing about the usual horror Christmas flicks made me want to hang myself like a stocking and that’s not very Christmas-y at all (unless you consider the statistics.) Unfortunately … [Read more...]

If this is paradise, I wish I had a lawnmower: Best-of 2014

I know we've got a few more days of 2014, but I'm sick and I'm wallowing. Nothing but true crime and schlocky suspense/horror for me until the New Year. So let's do this thing! As always I will wander freely and without warning between "best" and "favorite."Best books read (nonfiction): Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Meditation on Fathers, Brothers, And Sons. I read this because Wesley Hill loves it so much. What should I read next year, Wes? ...My psychology doesn't always … [Read more...]

“Marilynne Robinson in Montgomery”

This essay takes a while to get going, but it's a good, steady look at the way aesthetics and theology can lead us to flatten human experience--especially when "us" is white Americans writing about race. As somebody with a very "suffering and humiliation keep you close to Christ, you should consider them sometime" spiritual style myself, it was good to get a reminder of the way that kind of spirituality can cut against a communal pursuit of justice. As somebody who loves Robinson's books, it was … [Read more...]

The Butcher Birds: Lloyd Alexander, “The Kestrel”

I recently read a q&a with two authors in which one of them, Rachel Manija Brown, was asked for recommendations of books on post-traumatic stress. She's written some really clear & useful posts on the subject, so I was interested in what she'd say--and especially intrigued when she cited a children's fantasy novel as "one of my favorite depictions of how war can make people completely lose their minds, and how some of them come back from that and some don't."I'd read a couple of the … [Read more...]

“A Meditation on the Bloody Octave of Christmas”

Reposting this piece from 2012 by Msgr Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington: Many are shocked to walk into daily Mass on December 26 and instead of hearing more of the “Baby Jesus” we are confronted with Martyrdom, “The Feast of Stephen” is ancient on the Church’s calendar. More ancient than the Christmas cycle and hence it was not removed to another time. Bu the martyrdom does not stop there. We are in the midst of the Christmas Octave, an Octave filled with blood as we shall see.more; an … [Read more...]

“The Season’s Upon Us”: Holiday Cheer from the Dropkick Murphys

Surprisingly heartwarming! … [Read more...]


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