War “Under the Authority of Our Indifference”: Michael Brendan Dougherty

writes: Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama is now facing some tough decisions about two countries he is bombing in the Middle East. Watching the demoralizing carnage in Syria and an uptick in the hostilities in Yemen, an itchy press corps and policy class are starting to demand that Obama sack up and really fight. They warn him that he is the president who did nothing while Iran burned down the Middle East. But listening to that advice could radically shape Obama's legacy for the … [Read more...]

Sex Ed in the Renaissance Tavern

Over the weekend I drove to a wedding with a bunch of strangers. We got to talking about our memories of middle and high school. One of us went to either a small-town public school or a private religious school (can't remember which), one to a single-sex Catholic school, and two of us to an intensely progressive private school. And none of us had had any kind of sex ed that struck us as even marginally relevant or insightful.So look, if fools didn't rush in, would we even need middle-school … [Read more...]

“Eat, Pray, Tail: I Wore a Tail for a Week and Learned Nothing”: A Modern Ascetic

at Jezebel: I don’t remember exactly how I played myself into wearing a tail for a week—I just know that it wouldn’t have happened were it not for my pride. more … [Read more...]

Return to Osmia, Or The Resurrection of the Nose

Concussion Diary, Week Four I Think. (Previously, on "Concussion Diary"...)First of all, it's weird looking back on the first day after my concussion and remembering how I assumed I'd be completely back to normal in a couple days. Ha ha. I can work normally now--I was able to read and concentrate without pain after about two weeks iirc--but my head still hurts and I still can't sleep on my back because I have a knot on the back of my skull. Also another thing I'll talk about in a moment. … [Read more...]

NO SURFERS: “Tuff Turf” (1985 at Its 1985iest)

So they told me that James Spader and Robert Downey, Jr., in their misspent youth, once played semipunk delinquent BFFs. They did not have to tell me more.Tuff Turf (dir. Fritz Kiersch, and now I want to know why I don't know this name already) is sort of John Hughes high-school class-war romance (only not annoying like John Hughes movies always eventually are), in the Reseda version of the school from Class of '84. Gangs prowl and switchblades bristle, but instead of CO84's howling anger … [Read more...]

“To End the Affordable Housing Crisis, Legalize Main Street”: Jonathan Coppage

in the Washington Post: In a sign that market solutions for the United States’ growing housing affordability crisis are beginning to earn bipartisan support, the White House this week unveiled its “Housing Development Toolkit,” which encourages state and local policymakers to undertake a number of long-overdue reforms.The tool kit draws on some of the best and most up-to-date research on housing affordability and cites such respected researchers as Harvard University economist Ed Glaeser. Bu … [Read more...]

The Unimaginable Atheist: Aleteia Took Down My “Loser Letters” Review; You Can Read It Here

Late last month Aleteia asked me to review "The Loser Letters" at CUA. I ended up giving it a negative review. They have now pulled that review from the website, which they've explained here. (I should say that I like Elizabeth a lot & realize she is trying to manage many conflicting demands and impulses.) I'm posting it largely because CUA chose to highlight the production and required all or most of their freshman class to attend, and I think that's a serious mistake for reasons I tried to … [Read more...]