From What’s Probably an Afterword to Andrey Platonov, “The Foundation Pit”

this book looks super All these works appear at first glance--especially to a reader unversed in Soviet history--to be highly surreal. This impression, however, is misleading; they contain barely an incident or a passage that does not directly relate to some real event or publication from these years. Platonov's focus is not on some private dream world but on political and historical reality--a reality so extraordinary as to be barely credible. buy book here; cf also my constant refrain, … [Read more...]

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“Needing My Neighbor”: Great piece by Matthew Loftus

“I’ve always wanted to help people.” My medical school application essay opened with those words, and when I came to Baltimore at age twenty to start my medical training, I was dead-set on helping people in Africa. After two years of attending church in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, though, I fell in love with the community, so my wife and I decided to move into the neighborhood in 2009. I admired the work my church there was doing to deal with the poverty, racism, and institutional negle … [Read more...]

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“Love and Death in the Multiverse”: I review “Constellations”

for AmCon. Sorry for radio silence! I will be back after Easter. Also this play closes THIS WEEKEND so most Catholics who haven't seen it won't--I fail at service journalism--but in case a review is still useful or interesting to you, here it is: Constellations, playing through March 27 on Studio Theatre’s 4th Stage in Washington, is a slender play that uses its increasingly-familiar structure to illuminate less-familiar questions.This is one of those Rashomon-like plays where we see the s … [Read more...]

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Three Women Discuss What We’ve Learned from Not Having Sex

I am the lifer in the world's most boring women in prison flick: ...One woman, Kat, chose to stop having sex with her boyfriend of two and a half years as a way to strengthen her relationship with God and to gain a sense of control in her life. The other, Eve Tushnet, is the author of Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith and Amends: A Novel. She became a Catholic in college and, in doing so, began a life of celibacy.Listen to the podcast below to l … [Read more...]

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“Free-Market Labor Wins Wage Boost Victory”: Reason.com

via Jesse Walker: ...The Walmart agreement is the latest, the largest, and probably the most surprising win for C.I.W. in a decade-and-a-half campaign to increase wages and ease working conditions for Florida produce workers. For free marketeers the story is how the agreements were won: entirely without government certification, regulatory backing or legal protection. C.I.W.’s innovative use of protests, pressure campaigns and solidarity boycotts to win concessions from the world’s biggest food … [Read more...]

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What Does Your Local Crisis Pregnancy Center Need?

I've been volunteering as a crisis pregnancy counselor for a little over a decade, and my friends often ask me what they can give us or do for us. It's Lent so maybe you're thinking about what you can give to women and families in need. Here are a few thoughts ranging in commitment level from very low to very high.First, obviously, the easiest way to know what your local center needs is to ask them. (I didn't do that for this post because I'm not actually going to donate anything so I didn't … [Read more...]

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The Administrative State vs. the People

Two links. First, "Four ways occupational licensing damages social mobility." I know it's easy to caricature licensing requirements without knowing much about what's actually being regulated--hairdressers often work with chemicals that can harm people, they can spread lice, etc etc, you're not just "teaching" somebody how to braid hair like their momma did. But the huge gaps in cost and length of training across states should suggest that lots of people are spending time and money for what's … [Read more...]

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