Pounding up against the stone and steel


“A little courage goes a long, long way / Get’s you a little bit further down the road each day / And before you know it, you’ll hear someone say / That’ll do, pig, that’ll do.” And in other news: Elizabeth Warren takes on the lords of credit-scoring, bad Lifetime movies, messy ecclesiology, and Jimmy Carter’s presidential film festival. [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war (9.8)


“You have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?” [Read more...]

The earth spins on and on and so much news is bad

This stuff really puts the invasive in exotic invasive. (Wikimedia photo by O. Pichard.)

Something the size of a mustard seed can produce a nasty invasive weed … or a hilariously inept piece of graphic design. Also: Residency incentives; civilian courts prove capable; “5 Christian Books I WIsh I’d Never Read;” and the archetype the gatekeepers require us to describe as a historical person. [Read more...]

Meanwhile, in a secret base beneath the Walmart …


On Monday, Walmart abruptly shut down five of its stores for at least six months due to “problems with plumbing.” But no plumbers have been hired and no plumbing permits have been requested at any of the five locations. This is probably just crude garden-variety worker intimidation and union-busting. But what if it’s something else entirely? [Read more...]

I see you darkly through a glass again


It really took a lot of work to imagine that a law mandating and subsidizing health insurance wouldn’t increase the number of people who have health insurance. Plus: Batgirl, Philomena Cunk, Rick Santorum, subsidizing sprawl, and why pop songs should be about more than one thing. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (4.8)

Fred Kaplan on the outline of the deal with Iran. Mary Hunt on the Vatican Council on Women. Helaine Olen on the amnesia of the poor scolds. Marika Rose on the meaning of “Christianity.” And Ed Kilgore reminds us that “We’ve Used ‘Religious Liberty’ for Discrimination Before.” [Read more...]

Talking to people that I’ve never met


Besides all that lightning, stove, bifocal, swim-fin, Treaty of Paris, fire department stuff, Ben Franklin also invented Net Neutrality. Really. Plus: Oil trains blow up, Roman civil religion, a historical society wants to believe, and a reminder that mosquito bands, homeopathy, and Mickey Kaus are all bunk. [Read more...]

Campus ghost stories and real American history


I’m happy to read about the Penn Ghost Project. I do not believe in ghosts, but I do believe in ghost stories. Searching for ghosts is bound to be a fruitless waste of time. But searching for ghost stories can be important and meaningful. [Read more...]