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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Five (Or Seven) Links from a Criminal Justice System: Art, Emus, Criminalization of Poverty. But Hey, Emus!

"Rarely Seen Images of the Real San Quentin": The pictures, for the most part, are prosaic, like outtakes from a yearbook photo shoot. One shows five members of an amateur rock band. Another depicts uniformed football players gathered for a team photo. In yet another, a man is shown carving an ice sculpture. Occasionally, though, the subject matter is much darker.One photo comes with caption information: “Martinez Killed in Yard, 1963.” It shows empty bleachers and what appears to be blood s … [Read more...]

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Everything Is Scandalous, Even Super Boring Things

One of the questions I get a lot about Gay Catholic Whatnot comes mostly from well-meaning straight folk. "How can I share my beliefs," they ask, "without people thinking I'm a bigot?"I have various things I say in response to this question but it often struck me as obnoxious. Your life is mostly about my public image!, you know? But the other day I realized something which helped me to see both why this question comes up for genuinely kind and selfless people, and also why it is still the … [Read more...]

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“Gay and Christian: Exploring Vocation, Friendship, And Celibacy”: I’m in this

three talks at the St Benedict Forum of Hope College. Me on "The Radical Challenge of Gay Celibacy," then Joshua Gonnerman on "A Different Conversation: Changing How We Think About Gay Politics," and then Ron Belgau on "Understanding the Bible's Teaching on Homosexuality." … [Read more...]

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From Hans Fallada, “Wolf Among Wolves”

[The police officer Leo Gubalke] sighed. If one considered the matter closely, the world was surprisingly full of obstacles for a man who believed in order. Hundreds of things which the less scrupulous did every day were out of the question for him. On the other hand, he had the pleasurable feeling, without which a man could not live, that he was not only keeping the world in order, but was in harmony with it himself. (I wish I could quote every single line of the tale of Leo Gubalke. It's … [Read more...]

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From Hans Fallada, “Wolf Among Wolves”

One nice thing about reading so much Hans Fallada (for an upcoming review/profile) is how often I think, "Okay, that sounds a lot worse than right now." But then there are moments like this exchange, between a former Army officer who now does entry-level labor at a hotel, and his landowner friend: "Of course we took up the wrong attitude. I've discovered that ninety-nine percent of mankind have to torment themselves about money; they think of it day and night, speak of it, spend it, save it, … [Read more...]

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“Book Recommendation: Poor Relief in England 1350 – 1600”: The Dorothy Option

relevance! ...McIntosh also takes care to outline the change in attitude toward the poor as she finds it in legal verbiage. Rather than charity as a meritorious act, the new laws concerning the poor become much more concerned with control of aid recipients, placing much more emphasis on behavioral conditions the poor must meet, and implying that poverty was less a result of misfortune and more a moral short-coming on the part of the needy, an attitude McIntosh connects with the Puritan … [Read more...]

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