In Which I Try To Figure Out How I Feel About Cory...
If you don’t follow @CoryBooker on Twitter, you should. Booker is the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, one of the many cities that has been buried by the recent blizzard. He has been going around with snow plow crews, personally helping dig people out, shovel driveways, deliver diapers and food to people still blocked in, etc. People send him messages telling him this street or that street...
Social Justice With A Seven-Year-Old, or: What...
Catherine: Where are they going?
Me: Well, not all parents have enough money to buy their children presents at Christmastime, so people who have lots of toys give them to those parents so they have gifts to give their children.
Catherine: *pause* Why doesn't Santa bring them presents?
Me: *frantically thinking - if she were my kid I'd just have said "Santa's not real," but she's not, so I didn't*
Catherine: I guess children whose families don't have any money just must not listen to their mommies and daddies and sisters and teachers.
Me: No, NO - Catherine, that's not it at -
Catherine: I guess they must not behave.
Me: Catherine, NO. It's got nothing to do with that. It's that, um, uh, well, sometimes families without money don't have a house to live in, so Santa has trouble finding them.
Catherine: Do they live in a hotel?
Me: Well, no, honey, no exactly.
Catherine: In their school?
Me: No, they live in shelters, or sometimes on the street.
Catherine: *pause* Well that's not very good.
Me: No, no it's not.
Catherine: Nobody should have to live on sidewalks. There's no oven to make roast beef.
Me: No there isn't.
Catherine: Nobody should let little children live on sidewalks. That is not behaving.
Me: What's not behaving?
Catherine: Anyone who lets little kids live outside is not behaving. That is not being very nice.
Me: You're right.
Catherine: Those are the people who shouldn't get any presents from Santa.
Me: Who shouldn't get any presents from Santa?
Catherine: Anyone who lets people not have houses with their mommies and daddies. Why do people still let other people live on the streets?
Me: Uh, it's a complicated problem.
Catherine: After I go to college and get married I am going to make sure that no kids live on the streets. And anyone who doesn't help me won't get any presents from Santa.
I tell you what, I love this kid.
On Stewart, Murrow, Comedy, and Policy →
I love Jon Stewart. I think he and his staff are funny, talented, funny, passionate, smart, and funny. And I have heard him claim, again and again, that he is NOT, repeat, NOT a journalist. In pretty much every interview the guy does, he argues that he’s not a journalist. Until his big show on the 9/11 responders bill, I agreed. But that show changed things. He may still be able to...
The defense could have proposed that it’s never normal or sane to believe you’re...– Scott Carrier on the trial of the Utah man recently convicted of abducting Elizabeth Smart: an inside look at the mystical religious fervor that grips many Americans…and took center stage in Smart’s case. (via motherjones) I love Scott Carrier on This American Life, and he’s great here too.
An Open Letter to the Driver of the Expedition...
Dear Sir, I recognize that you have a big car. A huge car, as a matter of fact, and that you can definitely plow through more snow than I can in my little Toyota. I also recognize that you likely have inferiority issues, as evidenced by the Bush 04 sticker, the “I’m-Mad-As-Hell” Paladino sticker, and the girls in bikinis sticker. I ask, however, that you remember this: the...
Me: *grabs several handfuls of single-serve cream from Wilson Farms*
Clerk: Uh, miss?
Me: (unnecessarily) I'm getting cream.
Clerk: I can see that. A lot of cream.
Me: Look, I work at the International Institute, in the Victim Services Department, where we serve victims of human trafficking. That means we spend our days trying to help people who have been abused and traumatized, kept as slaves, and it is exhausting. And coffee helps, so we have a coffee pot. But we are out of cream. I am a member of AmeriCorps, which means I make less than minimum wage, less than you, and I do not want to buy more cream, so... so I just want to take some of these.
Me: Sorry. Been one of those days, you know?
Clerk: Wait here. *goes in back, then returns, holding a huge box of single-serving creamers*
Clerk: *holding out box* take it.
Me: Uh, thanks. Very much
Clerk: *now looking bemused* Yeah. Happy holidays.
Me: Happy holidays!
This isn’t like racial integration in that you’re moving massive amounts of...– Historian Nathaniel Frank, on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, on NPR’s Fresh Air 12/7/10 (via nprfreshair) Also, even if repealing DADT would mean a couple late nights, weekend work, and cranky meetings, I wouldn’t give a damn. Sorry if giving people their civil rights is going to be work,...
Why I Love My Little Sister, Reason #36748
She attends a private Catholic all-girls high school just outside of Boston, near where my family lives. Actually a pretty liberal school, but the administration just refused some kids the right to start a gay/straight alliance club. A monitor from the Massachusetts Public Schools has been visiting the school over the past week or two, to make sure the school is living up to its accreditation. ...
“When do you give up?” I live forty minutes from Niagara Falls. It’s an impoverished city surrounding one of the world’s most majestic natural features. This is a riveting description of the town and its problems.
Snowing like the dickens
I can now cross getting stuck in a snow drift with a client and two young children in the middle of nowhere in Western New York off my to-do list. Wait, that wasn’t on my to-do list? Well damn. Looks like nothing on my to-do list got done this morning.
While I am of course glad troops don’t appear to care much if we repeal DADT, I really don’t care what they think on this issue. How would it have been if Lincoln had said, “Oh, I know we should integrate the army, but what if racist former slave holders don’t like fighting alongside black people?” If you are a member of the United States Armed Forces and do not want...