“In Fresno, A Community-Policing Ethos Builds Ties Between Officers and Residents”

from the Washington Post: Not long ago, the Hispanic residents of this gang-ridden neighborhood in Southwest Fresno would not have voluntarily spoken to a police officer, much less attended a police-sponsored block party and taken photos with the chief. But over the past decade, a sustained policing initiative marked by community meetings, Christmas gifts and dozens of neighborhood events has fundamentally altered police-resident relations. more (there are serious limits to attempts to "reform … [Read more...]

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“Our Children: Gay Christians Can’t Afford to Be Divided”: I’m at Level Ground

with not my strongest piece, but I think the underlying point is necessary. One thing I wish I'd added is that gay people who accept the Christian sexual ethic are both the ones serving our neediest and the ones in need: We too have been rejected by our parents and even kicked out of our homes for coming out, and have suffered other economic consequences--sometimes both the economic injustices associated with being gay and economic injustices associated with celibacy or unmarried kinship. We're … [Read more...]

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The Opposite of Anti-Gay Discrimination: What I Said at Steubenville

Hi y'all. Last week I had the chance to speak at the terrific BookMarx bookstore in Steubenville, OH. ("I'm here to do a job, I won't buy anything. ...I'll just buy like one or two very slender books." Walked out with a stack of sci-fi, Rumer Godden, and Italian epics. Some men, some men....) I'd been asked to speak on "unjust discrimination" against gay people, a term which comes from the Catechism. This is roughly what I said.I started by describing life in a bifurcated culture, where lots … [Read more...]

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“Seven Reasons We Hate Free-Range Parenting”: Megan McArdle

writes: ...Why has America gone lunatic on the subject of unattended children? Parents hover over their kids as if every step might be their last. If they don't hover, strangers do, calling the police to report any parent who leaves their child to run into the store for a few minutes. What's truly strange is that the parents who are doing this were themselves left to their own devices in cars, allowed to ride their bikes and walk to the store unsupervised, and otherwise given the (limited) … [Read more...]

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Video Killed the Video Star: Short Movie Reviews

Blonde Venus: This is a severely odd movie. Dir. Josef von Sternberg. Cabaret star Marlene Dietrich is wooed, won, and whisked off to America by Herbert Marshall... but when she has to return to her nightclub job and Cary Grant starts tiptoeing around, all bets are off. Going in I only knew this as "the one where Dietrich sings in a gorilla suit" but maybe the most memorable part of it is the extended passage in which she tries to avoid losing custody of her child due to homelessness. The ending … [Read more...]

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When Inmates Write the History of Their Own Prison: Slate

reports: Recently, a group of women currently incarcerated at the 142-year-old institution (now called the Indiana Women’s Prison) began to pore over documents from the prison’s first 10 years. They had set out on an ambitious project: to write a history of the institution’s founding decade, one that tells quite a different story from the official narrative. What happens when inmates write a history of their own prison? In this case, the perspective that the group brought to the project took wha … [Read more...]

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A Criminal Justice System: Link Round-Up

Depending on how you've calibrated your expectations, some of these might be construed as hopeful!Others not so much.1. "Fourteen Years After Decriminalizing All Drugs, Here's What Portugal Looks Like":In 2001, the Portuguese government did something that the United States would find entirely alien. After many years of waging a fierce war on drugs, it decided to flip its strategy entirely: It decriminalized them all. If someone is found in the possession of less than a 10-day supply … [Read more...]

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