Category Archives: Justice

Does McDonald’s discriminate against the homeless?

  UPDATES APPEAR IN THE COMMENTS.  

Blogging experts tell us to give our posts dramatic titles. I might not tell the story at all, but on the one hand there is an expectation that (though I seldom do) a homeless blogger will tell about the difficulties homeless people face.  On the other hand, it provides occasion for me to set forth William Tell’s current approach to injustice.

It will also let me model the principles of Free Speech Handbook.

This concerns an incident of October 7, 2014.
Continue reading Does McDonald’s discriminate against the homeless?

Life in the outer darkness

The appointed Gospel text for Sunday was Matthew’s Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22:1-14.

I was struck by verses 11-14 —

11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

— in that, last Tuesday at McDonald’s, I’m the one who got thrown into the outer darkness.
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My own experience with “ban the box”

Md. Lawmakers Overturn Hogan’s ‘Ban The Box’ Veto

From a previous post:

This affects me.

In August ’10 I became the first member of my family in three generations ever to be arrested, let alone jailed. It was the only time I have ever been arrested. I was locked up for 40 days before being sentenced to “time served” on one misdemeanor charge. I have no other convictions.

In the months following, I applied to all kinds of jobs, including at each of the half dozen major hospitals located in downtown Baltimore. I was applying for secretarial jobs, janitorial jobs, groundskeeping — anything I could possibly do, as remains so today.

Each of those hospitals has its own online application system, and they’re all very similar, so I don’t recall which specific hospital this story involves. You enter a “profile” into their database, that includes all your employment information, history, references, etc.; this takes 90 minutes to two hours. That information is kept in their database, and thereafter you can apply to any job listing with just a handful of clicks. You can also access a listing of the jobs you’ve applied to, and each application’s status.

One Saturday I was at the public library submitting applications online. Click, click, click, submit. Check out the next listing; decide “go” or “no go;” click, click, submit. I did a bunch of those, and then went to check the list of applications’ status.

A number of the applications I’d submitted in the previous half hour had already been turned down.

I really don’t think anyone was working in the HR office on a Saturday screening applications. Clearly, they had some automatic software set up to pre-screen applications and reject anyone who admitted a criminal record.

The question is whether reformed criminals can find honest work.

Subsequent post: My record cannot be expunged..

Bill O’Reilly: The truth about white privilege

At the risk of copyright violation, I’m reproducing the whole text; from here.

Published August 26, 2014 | O’Reilly Factor | Bill O’Reilly

By Bill O’Reilly

Last night on The Factor, Megyn Kelly and I debated the concept of white privilege whereby some believe that if you are Caucasian you have inherent advantages in America.

Talking Points does not, does not believe in white privilege. However, there is no question that African-Americans have a much harder time succeeding in our society. Even whites do. But the primary reason is not skin color. It’s education and not only book learning. Here are the facts.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for black Americans is 11.4 percent. It’s just over five percent for whites, 4.5 percent for Asians. So, do we have Asian privilege in America? Because the truth is, that Asian American households earn far more money than anyone else. The median income for Asians, close to $69,000 a year; it’s 57,000 for whites’ $33,000 for black — so the question becomes why? And the answer is found in stable homes and in emphasis on education; 88 percent of Asian Americans graduate from high school compared to 86 for whites and just 69 percent for blacks. That means 31 percent of African-Americans have little chance to succeed in the free marketplace because they are uneducated. They are high school dropouts.

Asian Americans also tend to keep their families intact. Just 13 percent of Asian children live in single parent homes compared to a whopping 55 percent for blacks and 21 percent for whites. So, there you go. That is why Asian Americans, who often have to overcome a language barrier, are succeeding far more than African-Americans and even more than white Americans. Their families are intact and education is paramount.

American children must learn not only academics but also civil behavior, right from wrong, as well as how to speak properly and how to act respectfully in public. If African-American children do not learn those things, they will likely fail as adults. They will be poor. They will be angry, and they often will be looking to blame someone else.

One caveat, the Asian American experience historically has not been nearly as tough as the African-American experience. Slavery is unique and it has harmed black Americans to a degree that is still being felt today, but in order to succeed in our competitive society, every American has to overcome the obstacles they face. And here is where the African-American leadership in America is failing.

Instead of preaching a cultural revolution, the leadership provides excuses for failure. The race hustlers blame white privilege, an unfair society, a terrible country. So the message is, it’s not your fault if you abandon your children, if you become a substance abuser, if you are a criminal. No, it’s not your fault; it’s society’s fault.

That is the big lie that is keeping some African-Americans from reaching their full potential. Until personal responsibility and a cultural change takes place. Millions of African-Americans will struggle. And their anger, some of it justified will seethe. The federal government cannot fix this problem. Only a powerful message of responsibility can turn things around. And that’s “The Memo”.

It comes down to this.

I ask anyone the same question I ask myself every day:

What will you do
today
to improve your lot
today?

On the other hand, many people are incapable of responsibility, for reason that they lack any understanding of cause and effect.  I will discuss this more in a subsequent post, How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty, currently scheduled for release November 29.

FOOTNOTE, 2014-10-24:  Remark from my diary:  “Responsibility presumes ownership of power. But ownership of power is impossible without a grasp of cause and effect.”

(Originally posted 2014-09-13.)

Podcast – Rich and poor

If I prosper, will God love me?

The William Tell Show — Rich and poor

Mike and the Mechanics, “The Living Years”

Related:  Questia – Martin E. Marty, “An ordinary oppressor”

Donald Sterling sex tape

Bookmarks:
Donald Sterling sex tapePolice chokehold deathChild border crisis follow-upFacebook is cracking down on click-baitChronic lateness

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Chaos overwhelms the poor

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

Carter Scott, Karma and Chaos

(Originally published 06/05/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 06/04/14.)

Short life of Carter Scott marred by accusations of family violence

It’s difficult to start this post, as the story’s prone to leave one speechless.

What sort of karma would impel a child to be born into that context?

At the shelter, we’re compelled to attend chapel every night. A different preacher comes each night, in a monthly rotation. These generally disappoint me in their utter failure to speak to the sort of situation in question here. About 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with what will become of your soul when you die; whether you’ll go to heaven or hell; and your need to “believe in Jesus” as the key to salvation. It’s all about a cognitive assent, saying “yes” to a certain set of ideas. There is no presentation of Christianity as a lifestyle, nor any discussion of the role of discipline in following Jesus.

Another 40% of the presenters are preoccupied wholly with obtaining “blessings,” principally by the means of praise: “When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” A “blessing” here is always a material, for example monetary, advantage that one has done nothing to earn. It is as if God were some cosmic King Lear jealous for flattery.

Neither group mentions the call to repent, in terms of any need to change one’s ways.

The only hell that concerns me is the living hell that folk create in this life, here and now, for themselves and their community.
Continue reading Carter Scott, Karma and Chaos