“The Gun Control We Deserve”: Terrific article

at n+1: At the deepest level, the schizoid landscape of American gun control is the product of two phenomena, both baked into the American past and protean in their contemporary manifestations. First, a long history of skirmishes over who should be armed and how—fraught battles that pivot on questions of race, class, masculinity, and the role of law enforcement.1 Second, the synergy between American militarism and capitalism: a perennial entanglement that has produced a society in which there a … [Read more...]

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The Soul Searchers: Four Moral Histories of Washington, DC

In preparation for this exhibit at the Anacostia Museum I've been reading about my hometown's long, hot summer--the years from 1968 through the late '90s--and its aftermath. These are really just notes.Ruben Castaneda, S Street Rising: Crack, Murder, And Redemption in DC: Four stories, mostly deftly woven together. First is our narrator, a reporter in LA who gets hooked on crack before moving to DC to be the night-shift crime reporter for the Washington Post. Our man straight-up interviews … [Read more...]

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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 Links from a Criminal Justice System: Better DAs, Union vs. Heroism, Divisive Forgiveness, The Treatment-Industrial Complex, And What About the Crime Problem?

"How to Run Against a Tough-on-Crime District Attorney--And Win": District attorneys and the prosecutors who work for them are the most powerful actors in the American criminal justice system. They enjoy immense latitude in deciding what crimes to charge people with and how much prison time to push for. And yet their role in the growth of the country’s prison population, which went from less than 200,000 in 1972 to 1.5 million today, often goes unacknowledged as policymakers in Washington d … [Read more...]

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In the Basement of the Doll Hospital: Short movie reviews, mostly women in horror

I continue to believe that since November is the month when Catholics especially remember our dead, I get to watch lots of horror flicks. DON'T JUDGE MY SPIRITUALITY.Also, I couldn't help but notice that the first four of these movies include a scene with a woman peeing. They're all doing slightly different things with it, but is Ladies Pee Too the signature of '10s indie horror? If so, can we get a different signature?Contracted: A new-fledged lesbian with a history of drug addiction … [Read more...]

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Black and White and Red All Over: Short movie reviews, mostly noir

So while everybody else was celebrating Scary Movie Season, I was mostly at AFI's Noir City DC festival. This year the theme was "marriage" so you know that it was like they got chocolate in my peanut butter.Let's start before the festival, though, with 99 Homes. The plot here is that evil developer Richard Carver (Michael Shannon) personally supervises the foreclosure of beleaguered working-class single father Dennis (Andrew Garfield). Then the rapacious rich man, who is named Rich Carver … [Read more...]

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Five Links from a Criminal Justice System

These are fairly random, a grab-bag of the things that caught my attention from the huge heap of powerful writing on cops, prisons etc being done today. So I urge you all to follow PrisonCulture and the Marshall Project on twitter. After this post I'll only post links I'm pretty sure I didn't find through them. Okay, let's go. The theme for this post is, "Like love, original sin and structural racism will find a way," or, Things That Aren't Solutions."Chain Gang 2.0: If You Can't Afford This … [Read more...]

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