Monthly Archives: September 2016

Chaos overwhelms the poor

(Originally posted 08/06/14.)

Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”

Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”

Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor

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A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY

(Originally posted 10/05/13.)

The Marshmallow Study Revisited

For the past four decades, the “marshmallow test” has served as a classic experimental measure of children’s self-control: will a preschooler eat one of the fluffy white confections now or hold out for two later?

Now a new study demonstrates that being able to delay gratification is influenced as much by the environment as by innate ability. Children who experienced reliable interactions immediately before the marshmallow task waited on average four times longer—12 versus three minutes—than youngsters in similar but unreliable situations.

The article explores the issues in some depth.

Job search diary 09/08/16 – 09/20/16

THURSDAY 2016-09-08
CVS
Visited site using a Mac in a different part of the church office. Had to change password. Was unable to access any information about my previous applications. No current openings suitable for me in Maryland. Will need to ask someone more familiar with this terminal to help me turn on the sound.
The availability of this terminal to me is a game-changer, as I will be able to access numerous other sites, e.g. Target, that had only been available to me at the library. However, I will also need someone to teach me the basic Mac keyboard shortcuts; I’m only familiar with Windows.

Continue reading Job search diary 09/08/16 – 09/20/16

Are blacks more violent?

Confronting the myth that “black culture” is responsible for violent crime in America

Friday, September 2, 2016

On the one hand, I am strongly tempted to include this one in my list of “biased headlines.”

On the other hand, whether or not I agree with him — At this writing, I’ve read most of the article but not all, and have not yet been able to determine whether or not I do. — German Lopez presents here a very thorough and balanced analysis.  This piece is to be regarded as a tremendous resource for any future discussions.

 

Courage to walk unarmed

A Nation of Cowards

Jeffrey Snyder suggests that carrying a handgun is both a right and a duty of every law-abiding citizen.

This is hard for me to relate to; as, for all practical purposes, no such people exist in my world.

Gun lovers’ slogans include, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Forget laws; in my world, only outlaws have guns now.

I have no impulse to join them.
Continue reading Courage to walk unarmed

Prayer cannot be politically correct.

Monday, September 5, 2016

There is a certain time in my daily prayer routine when I give attention to each of certain names that aren’t on any list.  This happens to include every single member of the church youth group whose name is known to me.  (It happens to include all those names.  It’s not by design.  Each one got on there individually.)

Only one of those individuals is the same color as me.

Continue reading Prayer cannot be politically correct.

Take things in stride

16:03 Thursday 2016-09-08

A case on point.

Today as I walked toward the shelter, I contemplated that I am likely to have no smokes during the day tomorrow. How will I handle this; how will I feel about it? Factors:

• How important is it, compared to other things I may attend to?
• Can I take things in stride?
• (There was a third one, that escapes me just now.)

Then I arrived at the shelter. It was 15:25, and the gate was locked. In the end, I got turned away.

For the second time in two days.

Continue reading Take things in stride