Category Archives: Uncategorized

Opioid Crisis and the White House: A National Emergency of Mixed Messages

written for Inspire Malibu

A little more than a week ago, on August 10, President Trump announced plans to declare a national emergency in lieu of the nation’s crisis of opioid overdose deaths. According to the White House’s own survey, opioid related fatalities now kill 142 Americans every single day. read more

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Trump and the Politics of Evangelicals: Complete Q&A with Randy Roberts Potts

QUESTION: Will you give me snapshot of how you were brought up, what it was like and talk about your journey out of the church.

RANDY: I was born into the Televangelist Oral Roberts family. He paid my mom to make my middle name Roberts, with an S. So, I was stamped at birth with the mark of a televangelist. We lived on what the family called “the compound.” It’s like a nine acre, gated, family compound in Tulsa. My family actually moved to Colorado for about half of my childhood. While we were in Colorado, we still went to Pentecostal Assembly of God churches. The second half of my childhood, I lived back on the compound in Tulsa. There, I went to an Evangelical Christian school and Evangelical Church. Until late high school, I probably didn’t ever interact with anyone who wasn’t evangelical. read more

Post-Truth and the Politics of Evangelicals: A Discussion with Christopher Stroop, Ph.D., an Ex-Evangelical Christian and Modern Russian Historian

March 24, 2017

Tumultuous, as a description for the first two months of Donald Trump’s Administration, falls short. Terms like missteps, chaos and, as of late, collusion are now ubiquitous in the mainstream press, but they’ve become small explosions drowned out by the roaring inferno that’s engulfed American politics. read more

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Post-Truth and the Politics of Evangelicals: Complete Q&A Transcript with Christopher Stroop, Ph.D.

QUESTION: What’s it like growing up in an evangelical enclave?

CHRISTOPHER: In my case, this was mostly a middle to upper-middle class, white evangelical milieu, but when I say I lived in an enclave, I mean that my social world consisted of practically, entirely, people from church and Christian school. The churches we went to…we changed churches a few times through my childhood. Some were Baptists, Wesleyan, nondenominational, but supported by the Missionary Church, Independent Christian Church. The Christian school, too, was an interdenominational school, pretty much protestant one, though with a lot of Baptists and a lot of Baptist trappings. We basically lived in that parallel world. A lot of the things that we consumed came from those parallel Christian structures and institutions, like contemporary Christian music, Christian bookstores, literature. I did have some windows into the outside world because it’s not like we had no secular books and things of that nature, magazines in the house. But I didn’t know any Jews, for example, until I went to college, except for those who had converted to Christianity. I knew a handful. read more

Criminalizing Overdoses: A bad Idea Laced with Good Intentions

Written for Inspire Malibu

March 21, 2017

Nestled between Columbus and Cincinnati, Washington Court House, Ohio, a town with little more than 14,000 residents at last count, is now charging drug overdose survivors with “inducing panic.” The misdemeanor, which can result in a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail, is levied immediately after first responders save a victim’s life, in most cases, with naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. read more

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Angela Shelton: A Comedienne’s History with Race

September 17, 2016

left: Angela Shelton and Frances Callier

LOS ANGELES – “I identify as black,” says Los Angeles based writer, actor and comedian Angela Virginia Shelton. “I don’t mind being called African American because I think that’s polite and appropriate, but my personal position on it is that I’m not an immigrant. I say black and I always have because I’m an American.” read more

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Pesticides & Politics: California’s Recreational Marijuana Industry

written for Inspire Malibu

February 28, 2017

LOS ANGELES – Before the ink on new marijuana laws has even dried, there are looming signs of trouble. To coin a phrase, where there’s smoke, there might be a federal raid underway. read more

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Rent Spike and a Wage Dip: Living and Working in Los Angeles

September 3, 2016

STUDIO CITY, Calif. – Freelance photographer and writer, Allen Nalasco, walks in the dim, early morning hours to make his Thursday shift as an assistant manager of a neighborhood sporting goods chain. read more

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