Read my review of Joseph Amato’s “Buoyancies” in the Rain Taxi Review

I'm happy to announce that my review of Joseph A. Amato's Buoyancies: A Ballast Master's Log (Crossings & Spoon River Poetry Press, 2014) appears in the latest print edition of The Rain Taxi Review of Books. Don't worry: My article's short. (Plus, if you get bored of my writing, you can literally turn the page and read an interview with Beat poet Diane di Prima).

Other Charity Challenges That Didn’t Catch On

By now, I'm sure your Facebook feed has been overrun with videos of friends and people-you forgot-were-friends participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. According to their own estimates, as of September 8, 2014, the ALS Association's raised over $111 million dollars, which is more than four times their annual budget. That's pretty awesome and it's going to do a lot of good. Much like a straight-to-DVD film with a title practically indistinguishable from a summer blockbuster, though, (I'm looking at you Transmorphers), the ALSA's success has not escaped imitation. It's unlikely you'll see your school president participating in any of the following, but they're worth suggesting. Here are the other charity challenges that didn't quite catch on.

How not to report the news: Food stamp fraud edition

After my father died, growing up, my family depended on entitlement programs like WIC, free school lunch, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Hardly the mystical "Welfare Queens" conservatives imagine, we were just a low-income, single-parent household. You know, like a lot of families who rely upon these programs. By not worrying about where my … Continue reading How not to report the news: Food stamp fraud edition

The Virus of the Mind: Imperialism, Syria, and Selective Accountability

Who's to Blame? Years ago, when I was a freshman in college, I remember having a conversation with a young Republican. I can't remember the context or how the subject came up, but we were discussing the blameworthiness of those implicated in the escalation of the Vietnam War. "It all began with Kennedy," he claimed … Continue reading The Virus of the Mind: Imperialism, Syria, and Selective Accountability

Wikipedia joins internet blackout; watch out for the Research Works Act

Recently Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales' request for input on what the Wikipedia community should do in response to the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, which I am sorry to say was supported by both of Minnesota's senators and has only recently lost traction given the Obama Administration's opposition to it, and even though there is division within … Continue reading Wikipedia joins internet blackout; watch out for the Research Works Act

They just don’t learn, do they? Abortion still doesn’t cause mental illness.

Just as I was writing about the fact that the conservative talking point of "abortion causes mental illness is wrong (but the associated stigma has consequences)", some anti-abortion advocates were out publishing papers in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggesting the exact opposite. The following is quoted from blogger PZ Myers who has an excellent … Continue reading They just don’t learn, do they? Abortion still doesn’t cause mental illness.