“Hurricane Katrina Was My Rock Bottom”

People often ask why I didn’t just get out of New Orleans. The answer is simple, and will ring true to any addict: I stayed behind because I didn’t have enough heroin to last more than a day. I never even thought about leaving my beloved home city. Why would I venture to some unknown place where I had no idea where to score? more … [Read more...]

“When a horrific rape leads to an innocent life”

Tim Carney: ...Jenni was conceived when her mother was raped by a boyfriend as a teenager. She is a human reminder of an uncomfortable truth denied and minimized by people on all sides of the abortion issue: Rape can result in pregnancy, which means it can create innocent babies."A lot of people like to sweep it under the carpet," Jenni told me Wednesday. But, if commonly cited statistics are correct, hundreds of thousands of Americans walking around today were conceived in an act of rape. … [Read more...]

“Does Religion Cause Violence?”

a really excellent essay from William T. Cavanaugh. Excerpt: But what is implied in the conventional wisdom that religion is prone to violence is that Christianity, Islam, and other faiths are more inclined toward violence than ideologies and institutions that are identified as "secular." It is this story that I will challenge here. I will do so in two steps. First, I will show that the division of ideologies and institutions into the categories "religious" and "secular" is an arbitrary and … [Read more...]

“Is ‘The Culture’ Really the Church’s Problem?”

Some great stuff in this interview! Here's just a small taste: CP: Practically speaking, how has the church been too influenced by the broader culture?Myers: Here's a small list:The way in which the dominant role of technology in our lives promotes the deep assumption that we can fix anything; The way in which proliferating mechanisms of convenience erodes the virtues of patience and longsuffering; The way in which the elimination of standards of public propriety and manners … [Read more...]

After the house of the dead

The extensive government regulation of behavior extends after the prison. As UCLA law professor Sharon Dolovich argues in “Creating the Permanent Prisoner,” those leaving prison enter into a dense web of government management, simultaneously punitive and neglectful. People who leave prison face “[b]ans on entry into public housing, restrictions on public-sector employment, limits on access to federal loans for higher education, and restrictions on the receipt of public assistance… The American Ba … [Read more...]

“A Provocative Essay on Law and Order”

Reihan Salam comments. I haven't read the essay itself yet, but wanted to point you to Salam's excerpts and notes, and will definitely read it since the world the essay describes is largely the one I'm exploring in the novel I'm working on, about martial artists in a futuristic prison. The excerpts in the Salam piece seem right-on to me.ETA: more. … [Read more...]

“The Beasts and Children”

My take on Beasts of the Southern Wild. Spoilerrific so the short version is that it's totally worth seeing! … [Read more...]