Category Archives: Women & Girls

A Light For Life On Death Row? A Unique Story in Graphics

The Marshall Project: In 2022, I [Maurice Chammah, Staff Writer at The Marshall Project ] spent several weeks shadowing investigator Sara Baldwin as she tried to save a man from execution. Bernard Belcher had killed a young woman named Jennifer Embry; despite deep remorse for his actions, he couldn’t explain why he did it.

Baldwin’s goal was to unearth his life story, looking for material that would persuade a jury to choose mercy. Her job title is “mitigation specialist,” but I started calling her a “mercy worker,” seeing in her profession a set of lessons for how to build a less punitive country. Continue reading A Light For Life On Death Row? A Unique Story in Graphics

Early Abortion & The Priest With Two Stethoscopes

Kansas & Wyoming, 1958-1960

St. Josephs Military Academy, Hays Kansas, late 1950s.

In those old days of the  (pre-Vatican Two) Catholic Church, they used to say of people like me that we had “lost our faith.”

In my case, it wasn’t quite true. That year, 1958,  as I turned sixteen,I didn’t lose my faith.  Instead, I discovered I just didn’t have any.

I was a junior at a Catholic boarding school, St. Joseph’s  Military Academy, in western Kansas. How I got there (my family was then on an Air Force  base in Puerto Rico), and what led me to realize my faithlessness are stories told in another place (for the curious, details are in the memoir, Meetings).

Continue reading Early Abortion & The Priest With Two Stethoscopes

Poland Enters Political Rehab; & the U. S. Military (Mostly) Repels An Assault By the Anti-Woke Brigades

Restoring democracy in Poland
Donald Tusk, prime minister of Poland again after eight years, has a hard job ahead, Gwynne Dyer writes.

Gwynne Dyer — December 15, 2023

Donald Tusk, Poland’s New Premier

It didn’t take the United States long to restore the normal constitutional order after four years of Donald Trump. He is a ruthless and lawless man, but also a lazy and feckless one, and he simply didn’t bother to do all the damage he might have done to American democracy.

Donald Tusk, prime minister of Poland again after eight years of Jarosław Kaczyński’s Law and Justice Party (PiS) being in power, has a harder job ahead. Kaczyński had twice as long to entrench his “illiberal” allies and henchmen in Poland’s courts and its media, and he is a wily and determined enemy of liberal democracy. Continue reading Poland Enters Political Rehab; & the U. S. Military (Mostly) Repels An Assault By the Anti-Woke Brigades

More Melancholy Wisdom on Israeli-Hamas War Myths

[NOTE: I agree with just about all that Nick Kristof says here. But his roster of myths  is incomplete. He overlooks a fourth “myth” that gets in the way of his humane insight and hope like the piles of rubble that mark this war on every front. More on that below.]

New York Times:

What We Get Wrong About Israel and Gaza
Nov. 15, 2023

By Nicholas Kristof, Opinion Columnist

With the bilateral slaughter in the Middle East unleashing poisons that are worsening hatred worldwide, let me outline what I see as three myths inflaming the debate:

The first myth is that in the conflict in the Middle East there is right on one side and wrong on the other (even if people disagree about which is which).

Life isn’t that neat. The tragedy of the Middle East is that this is a clash of right versus right. That does not excuse Hamas’s massacre and savagery or Israel’s leveling of entire neighborhoods in Gaza, but underlying the conflict are certain legitimate aspirations that deserve to be fulfilled. Continue reading More Melancholy Wisdom on Israeli-Hamas War Myths