An Empathy Machine

By: Sunday April 15, 2012 9:30 am

Rhonda, the heroine of Mary Pauline Lowry’s magical novel, The Earthquake Machine, is a young woman lost in the borderlands of late adolescence, family dysfunction, sexual identity and the mysteries of love, desire and friendship. On a river trip with friends and chaperones along a real borderland, the Rio Grande, Rhonda lights out for the territories – in this case, into Mexico.


The War on Us

By: Sunday October 2, 2011 9:30 am

New York Times columnist David Brooks has long been engaged in a stealth campaign against the discoveries of science – especially neuroscience – that validate a more egalitarian and humanistic political order.

Brooks has skillfully branded himself as the Pundit Who Will Tell You About New Findings in the Human Sciences. But in Brooks’ hands all the new science somehow becomes justification for top-down, conservative and even authoritarian government. It’s all just a magical confirmation of Hobbes.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Kathleen Barry, Unmaking War, Remaking Men: How Empathy Can Reshape Our Politics, Ours Soldiers and Ourselves

By: Saturday July 23, 2011 1:59 pm

In this new book, Kathleen Barry turns her attention as a sociologist to the plight of men trapped in a system which creates and maintains what she calls “core masculinity.” This concept of core masculinity can be summarized this way (and of course I expect that Kathleen will answer questions about it in our chat) that men are trained to take on the role of protector of women and to dominate them from this position.

The Absurdity Of Originalism

By: Tuesday January 4, 2011 6:01 pm

Nino Scalia considerably more concerned with the “original intent” of the 14th Amendment’s authors than the 1st and 2nd’s…

Justice May Be Blind, But She Still Must See

By: Sunday April 18, 2010 5:00 pm

Albert Einstein once said, “A problem cannot be solved from the same state of consciousness which created it.” I offer an addendum: a problem may not be seen by the same state of consciousness which created it. Let’s ensure the Supreme Court can actually see the problems which are presented before it.

Prairie Humanism and the (Just Now) Emerging Progressive Movement

By: Sunday February 7, 2010 9:30 am

To date, there is no authentic, 21st Century progressive movement. Those may be fightin’ words to some, but I think they’re true. The contemporary progressive resistance arose in response to a consolidation of neo-liberal, authoritarian power, maybe just in the nick of time. The resistance knows what it resists; it’s less articulate about its own [...]

American Aparthood

By: Sunday May 31, 2009 9:30 am

The Right believes humankind is sorted naturally upon a ladder. The Left believes we walk together upon a bridge. Aparthood, enforced hierarchy and separation, is the goal of the Right.

Death Before Disorder: Health Care and “The Reader”

By: Sunday February 15, 2009 9:30 am

In the film, “The Reader,” Hannah Schmidt shocks the courtroom when she says that her Nazi-era failure to release 300 prisoners from a burning church made sense because chaos might have resulted from their release. But doesn’t the American health care system lock millions into a burning church that guarantees ill health and death?

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