Supporting Friends & Family Who Have Cancer: Jim Henley

A lot of these "what not to say/do" lists strike me as... less "actual advice you might use" and more "venting about how nothing anyone says or does will actually fix the problem, everything anyone tries to say can be in its own way painful and humiliating" (which is totally true and important) but this one is not like that. Warning: Long.I have cancer right now! Here are a few dos and don'ts based on my personal experience. I am sure you'll find my preferences are not universal, but they … [Read more...]

“The Violence of Prison Searches”

What really stands out is the contempt and dehumanization. Which is how the violence happens, I guess. Any particular stories about what it was like there that you’d like to share?Maybe the best way that I could explain is through describing a search. Our dorm gets randomly searched at least twice a month, more if they want to set an example or if somebody has been smoking in the bathroom or if there have been rumors that somebody had some sort of contraband.They use this space more or l … [Read more...]

“The Criminalization of Parenthood”: Radley Balko

again some more: A couple of themes we explore here at The Watch are the increasing criminalization of just about everything and the use of the criminal justice system to address problems that were once (and better) handled by families, friends, communities and other institutions. A few examples from recent headlines show those themes intersecting with parenthood.The first story comes from South Carolina, where a mother was jailed and charged with “unlawful conduct toward a child” for . . . … [Read more...]

“Five Things You Learn Growing Up In (And Escaping) North Korea”: Cracked

makes me choke up, w/the thing about 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Of all the Koreas in the world, North Korea has the most murderous dictators per capita. We've had a lot of fun riffing on the craziest facets of the Hermit Kingdom, but beyond all the hilarious propaganda and somewhat less hilarious threats of nuclear war, North Korea is a nation of 25 million people living very weird, awful lives.We wanted to know what life was really like for those people, so we sat down with an escaped … [Read more...]

From “The Adventures of Sumiyakist Q”

"The something we live for when we're living for something can be replaced by lots of things." --Q, in extremis... … [Read more...]

The Era of Personal Redemption: Sens Booker and Paul Take Very Small Step Forward on Criminal Justice Reform

this is simultaneously heartening, and depressing--every increment paid for with so much suffering. … [Read more...]

“When and Why Civil Resistance Works Against Authoritarian Regimes”: Foreign Affairs

article: Between 1900 and 2006, campaigns of nonviolent resistance against authoritarian regimes were twice as likely to succeed as violent movements. Nonviolent resistance also increased the chances that the overthrow of a dictatorship would lead to peace and democratic rule. This was true even in highly authoritarian and repressive countries, where one might expect nonviolent resistance to fail. Contrary to conventional wisdom, no social, economic, or political structures have systematically … [Read more...]


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