Browsing All Posts filed under »human rights & social issues«

The Parable About the Boy Who Tossed Bottles at the Wall

January 28, 2020


A boy was busy throwing bottles against a wall.   Some broke because they struck a hard part of the wall. Some broke because they struck in a weak spot of the bottle.  Some broke because they were picked up and thrown again.   Other bottles survived because they weren’t thrown quite as hard. Other […]

Legends of Myself 109

September 2, 2019


109. Shrug While I’m in the company of my sisters, and before I climb into the social worker’s car to ride to my next placement, let’s talk a little about families. Foster agencies don’t do family very well. I had been separated from my parent all right, but I had also been separated from my […]

Legends of Myself 103

August 6, 2016


Burnaby, 1961. Astronauts, Magic Pencils and Snowball Fights. Although they dominate, not all the memories I have of Schou School are of the schoolyard.  I remember our teacher bringing his old Edison phonograph into the classroom, and I got my first look at an Edison cylinder, a technology obsolete before my father was born.  Even […]

Tossing Bottles at the Wall

December 7, 2013


Concerning Welfare and Welfare Bums You talk about people on welfare and immediately you have a chorus of other people explaining how they (or sometimes their parents) avoided it because of some sense of pride and enterprise which made them (implicitly) above welfare.  I was too good for that. I was taught better than that. […]

Merry Christmas! It’s the 5 Week Month

December 5, 2013


It happens four times a year and always at Christmas.  Every welfare recipient knows about it, the dreaded five week month. Welfare recipients live from Wednesday to Wednesday, because cheque day is always on Wednesday.  Sometimes it’s four weeks away, and you have maybe $50 a week after rent and utilities to get through those […]

Why We Eliminated the Death Penalty in Maryland

September 1, 2013


A Message from Governor Martin O’Malley State of Maryland, Office of the Governor Thank you for contacting me regarding your support of repealing the death penalty in the State of Maryland.  As you may be aware, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 276 – Death Penalty Repeal – Substitution of Life without the Possibility of […]

Are You Smart Enough to Vote in Louisiana?

July 2, 2013


Set your timers and put your perfection shoes on, and see if you can answer the following 30 questions flawlessly and thus qualify to vote in Louisiana.  This test comes to you courtesy of the Supreme Court of the United States who have legally declared racism to be over and effectively repealed the Voting Rights […]

The Germantown Protest (1688)

February 22, 2013


The first (White) discourse against slavery in the American colonies. In 1688, some settlers from the Rhine Valley, fleeing persecution in their homeland, looked at the institution of slavery as practiced by some of their fellow settlers, and identified that as persecution as well.  We would not wish this done to us, they said, which […]

Easier as a Latino, Mitt? [video]

October 18, 2012


One of the most telling moments in Mitt Romney’s famous “47%” video is when–to the hilarity of his well-heeled, largely White audience–he claims that he would have a better shot at the presidency if he were Latino.  Instead of a rich White privileged male. This is classic paranoid White male syndrome.  A rather extreme case, but […]

The Joy of the Jailer

September 27, 2012


Is it really such innocent fun? Let’s build more prisons, Stephen Harper says.  Let’s pass more laws to fill those prisons. People like locking other people up.  There are whole television franchises concerned with the issue of whether the felon of the week gets his. There oughta be a law, we say. We’ve been taught […]