Assisted Suffering

So, I voted.Remember how I said my ballot would be a fractal of civic helplessness? That's especially true because of the current DC political issue that isn't being put to referendum: Assisted suicide will almost certainly become law here early next year, due to support in the city council and likely from the mayor. Only two councilmembers (Yvette Alexander and Brianne Nadeau, both Democrats) voted against legalizing assisted suicide here.The arguments on our side that I've heard here … [Read more...]

“On the Brink of a ‘Filipino Moment'” in the Catholic Church: Crux

dispatch: ...On any list of the most consequential Catholic nations today, the Philippines would easily finish in the top five, and there’s a good case to be made that it’s #1.It’s the third largest Catholic nation on earth, and unlike its two larger peers, Brazil and Mexico, its levels of faith and practice remain robust. For another, given the swelling Filipino diaspora, in a staggering number of places today, from the Arabian Peninsula to Malaysia, Hong Kong, and beyond, often the most dy … [Read more...]

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...]

“How Isis Resembles Yesterday’s Anarchists”

End Italian Immigration Now! Today, revolutionary anarchists seem archaic, almost quaint. But for around 50 years, from the 1880s to the 1930s, anarchists carried out terror attacks all over the world. Buildings blew up; world leaders and random civilians alike were killed.The parallels between then and now, when we face the threat of ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups, are many. During the decades of anarchist terrorism, it seemed like each week we heard of another incident carried … [Read more...]

Not Peace But a Sword: “The Birth of a Nation” (2016)

The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker's searing life of Nat Turner, is a brilliant and iconic piece of Christian moviemaking--right up until Turner's slave rebellion begins.Birth has attracted intense controversy in part because of rape charges against both Parker and his co-writer. I'm not going to get into that, largely because you'll have your own beliefs on whether or how those charges should color your ticket-buying decisions, except to say that the portrayal of sexual violence in the film … [Read more...]

A Long Summer: Movie notes

In the order I saw them. Saving the best for last.Hush: Home-invasion horror centering on a deaf woman. This is very suspenseful--really effective--and I loved that three of the four characters were noticeably, extremely quick-witted and resourceful. Absolutely worth watching if this is the sort of thing you like. Quite bloody. The ending has some degree of ambiguity; I'm choosing the grimmer interpretation because I think the movie has already given you plenty of reasons to consider even … [Read more...]

“Why It’s So Hard to Measure Racial Bias in Police Shootings”: Ezekiel Kweku

I feel v. old telling you to go to MTV for hard-hitting statistical and political analysis, but this is our world: What if the core of the Black Lives Matter movement is based on a lie? What if there is no racism involved in police killings? Harvard economist Roland Fryer Jr. has come out with a headline-grabbing study about police shootings: a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper that arrived with a write-up in the New York Times' data blog The Upshot. According to The … [Read more...]