“Collateral Costs of Incarceration”: Pew Charitable Trusts

report: Incarceration reduces former inmates’ earnings by 40 percent and limits their future economic mobility, according to a new Pew report, Collateral Costs: Incarceration’s Effect on Economic Mobility. This is a growing challenge now that 1 in every 28 children in America has a parent behind bars, up from 1 in 125 just 25 years ago. “People who break the law need to be held accountable and pay their debt to society,” said Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance … [Read more...]

“7 Konigsburg Takes”: Leah Libresco

in honor of the late EL Konigsburg. … [Read more...]

What I Learned from Being a Christmas-and-Easter Jew

'Tis the season. I went to my first Easter morning Mass ever this year, and holy cats, was it packed! Yikes. Just wall-to-wall Catholics in all phases of forward- and backsliding. It got me thinking about what I learned from being intermittently Jewish as a kid--taken to High Holy Days services a few times, once? twice? to Purim, sometimes to Passover seders. I honestly don't remember how often we did any of this. But somewhat to my surprise, I think most of the lessons I learned from this … [Read more...]

This is how it’s supposed to be.

"Why I Am a Catholic," by Calah Alexander. ETA: and more, in praise of Protestants. … [Read more...]

Papa Was a Rollin’ Dracula

I finally watched Dracula's Daughter, sometimes called the first lesbian vampire movie. It's... a mixed bag. All scenes in which the aforementioned Daughter are offscreen are slow and boring, and the jealous-woman subplot is painful. The gowns are awesome! Also the furs. I thought the sapphic subtext was more blatant than Final Girl did (and yes, I basically stole my post title idea from her). I do agree with this: "Gloria Holden is appropriately mesmerizing as the Countess--her reluctance to … [Read more...]

“What Foster Parents Wish Other People Knew”: Sharon Astyk

blogs: 2. WATCH WHAT YOU SAY AROUND THE KIDS!!!!!! I can’t emphasize this enough, and everyone is continually stunned by the things people will ask in the hearing of children, from “Oh, is their Mom an addict?” or “Well, they aren’t your REAL kids are they” or “Are you going to adopt them?” or whatever.  Not only is that stuff private, but it is HORRIBLE for the kids to hear people speculating about their families whom they love, or their future.    Didn’t anyone ever … [Read more...]

Dead Simple

Just finished watching The Devil's Backbone, a powerful film which may have left me unsatisfied because I was expecting it to be something it didn't want to be. The movie, by Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), is set during the Spanish Civil War at an orphanage run by Communists. A young boy, Carlos, is brought to the orphanage. He's beset by the local bully, and also begins to see a ghost, "the one who whispers," a young boy like himself. The rest of the film plays out the mystery of the … [Read more...]


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