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Nuclear 'Command And Control': A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophes

Globally, there are thousands of nuclear weapons hidden away and ready to go, just awaiting the right electrical signal. They are, writes investigative reporter Eric Schlosser, a collective death wish — barely suppressed. Every one is an accident waiting to happen, a potential act of mass murder, …

Why acknowledging white privilege is not surrendering to “white guilt”

Recognizing the historic burden of whiteness is not self-abasement or lame apology. It’s the pathway to freedom<p>One commenter on Salon got my attention last week during the furor that followed my essay about “white privilege” as a concept that helps us understand both what actually happened in …

The Politics of the NICE - Notes from Mere O

There are a number of specific intellectual and philosophical assumptions that come together to make up the N.I.C.E. outlook. They are “progressive” …

Speakers of Light - Notes from Mere O

Saying things is easy. Meaning them—in the realm of will and emotions—is harder. Knowing what they actually mean is more difficult still. Living out …

On Church Membership and Theological Disagreement

<i>“Port William repaid watching. I was always on the lookout for what would be revealed. Sometimes nothing would be, but sometimes I beheld astonishing</i> …

Tolkien and Violence

There’s a further Tolkien-related question that needs to be discussed after last week’s comments by George RR Martin, concerning the role of violence …

The Death of Jerry Umanos: Filling up what is Lacking in the Suffering of Christ - Mere Orthodoxy | Christianity, Politics, and Culture

Jerry Umanos (along with two other physicians) was killed last week, murdered by a police guard in the very hospital where he worked. Dr. Umanos was …

The Future of Protestantism Full Roundup - Mere Orthodoxy | Christianity, Politics, and Culture

Normally this would go up over at Notes, but we wanted to be sure that everyone sees the full roundup of responses (so far) to last week’s Future of …

Mass Murder Relies on People Like Us: An Interview With Thierry Cruvellier

In Phnom Penh, between 1975 and 1979—the years of Khmer Rouge terror that Cambodians often refer to simply as Pol Pot Time—a former schoolteacher named Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, orchestrated the torture and execution of at least twelve thousand men, women, and children. The Khmer Rouge …

Sixty Years Later, We Need a New Brown

Sixty years ago this Saturday, on May 17, 1954, a unanimous Supreme Court held that state segregation of black schoolchildren was unconstitutional. Brown v. Board of Education marked a signal moment in American history—not only constitutional history. In the turbulent years that followed, the …

Letter From the Archive: The Trauma of Abducted Children

After spending the past few weeks reading Alexis Okeowo’s excellent coverage of the kidnapping of more than three hundred girls in Nigeria, I found myself returning to an article that I’d read years ago: Elizabeth Rubin’s “Our Children Are Killing Us,” about the Lord’s Resistance Army and its …

Documentaries Have Always Been Fake

The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s extraordinary series “Art of the Real,” which runs from today through April 26th (and which I write about in the magazine this week), is nourished by deep roots extending to the very source of the history of cinema. Already in 1895, the primordial documentary, …

Weekend Reading: A Master Scam Artist, Remembering Kurt Cobain, Knausgaard’s Regrets

My favorite thing that I read this week might be this little piece in <i>Smithsonian</i> by Karen Abbott, about a woman named Betty Bigley, born in 1857, who made a living as a master scam artist. Her life of crime began at age thirteen, when she persuaded a bank to advance her funds based on a forged …

Avoiding the Black Plague Today

Though it calls to mind medieval massacre, the deadly infectious disease known simply as plague is still around. New research on how the disease spreads helps us better understand the pandemic that killed up to 100 million people, and how to continue to keep it in check.<p>Even in areas of the world …

How Congress Stayed Wet in the Dry Years of Prohibition

Meet George Cassiday, official Washington's favorite bootlegger.<p>In a yet-to-be-gentrified area of Northeast D.C., a nondescript warehouse was unusually lively last Saturday afternoon. Inside? A spirited bottling party.<p>The Ivy City warehouse is home to New Columbia Distillers. Started in 2012 by …

What's Wrong With Sentimentality?

A conversation with Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams<p>What does it mean to be a tourist inside someone else’s suffering? Sometimes, it means taking a bus ride through Los Angeles’s gang-ridden neighborhoods, or watching a former addict bleed and sweat and grow blisters as he tries to run a …

U.S. Ambassador: Moscow Is Behind Unrest in Ukraine's East

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said Sunday Russia’s actions suggest it’s interested in a land grab in eastern Ukraine.<p>“In the …

Russia

The Bestsellers: Your Best Life Now

A short time ago I launched a new Sunday series called “The Bestsellers.” The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association tracks sales of Christian …

My Journey From Homeless Drug Addict To Magna Cum Laude

I was fighting a rat for the remnants of a corn dog I'd salvaged from the trash. That's when I realized I'd crossed the final line I had drawn.<p>I had told myself, as long as I don't shoot up, I'm OK. As long as I'm not homeless, I'm OK. But now I was shooting up and homeless, and there was nowhere …

Pope takes unprecedented step in abuse comments

Pope Francis asked forgiveness for the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church on Friday, the first time he’s done so as pope, and also …

12 Common Catholic Problems

Your priest absolutely knows its you in confession because you're the only one there who has four kids who confess right before you.<p>Your active …

Understanding a More Religious and Assertive Russia

April 2, 2014 by Guest Contributor<p><i>A very important and informative article by my friend Mark Tooley.</i><p>*<p>By Mark Tooley<p>In his widely analyzed March 18 …

Where Franklin Graham Has Gone Wrong

March 31, 2014 by Peter Wehner<p><i>I’m always pleased to publish a post by the esteemed Peter Wehner.</i><p>*<p>By Peter Wehner<p>The evangelist <b>Franklin Graham</b> had …

The Intriguing “Saffron Cross” by J. Dana Trent

April 5, 2014 by Guest Contributor<p><i>by Laurel Woolcott Dalrymple</i><p>In my few travels to other lands, Hindu India has always struck me as a place where …

I Want My Kids Brainwashed

“I don't want to send our son to church to be brain-washed like those Stoddard kids!” our atheist friend said to his wife. He grew up in East …

FBI finds 'priceless' Polish art in Bay Area storage facility

Polish artist Hanna "Kali" Weynerowska - she took the nickname, as a World War II resistance fighter, from a fierce Hindu goddess - spent her last 45 years in San Francisco, where she created paintings displayed around the world. Before her death in 1998, she bequeathed 78 artworks to a Polish …

San Francisco

UK urged to admit that CIA used island as secret 'black site' prison

Human rights group representing Gaddafi opponent rendered to Libya via Diego Garcia says Britain must 'come clean' over role<p>The government is under mounting pressure to "come clean" about the role of an overseas UK territory leased to the US and allegedly used as a secret "black site" detention …