Friday, December 27, 2013

Essay Question. Respond to the Following Excerpt

  From the January 2014 issue of Scientific American: "Claude Steele of Stanford University has documented the negative impact on test performance when a minority student, before the exam begins, is asked to check off what racial or ethnic group the student belongs to. The late Nalini Ambady, then at Harvard University, demonstrated even preschool girls at a Harvard day care do worse on a simple math test if they are first subtly reminded of being female."

Whiny Guy Returns

Today I'm going to grumble. I'll try not to mumble. Some of you are chronically ill and you know what I'm going to say all too well.  I hope it makes you feel feel a little bit better because you know that there is someone else out there who knows what you are going through.  I'm not going to detail a long list.  Let it suffice to say that in the last few hours I have managed to break a tooth while chewing soft food, broke my favorite teapot, well… You get the picture.

The feeling I'm referring to is the awareness that your body doesn't work right anymore. I'm not just referring to age, this can happen to people of any time of life. I'm referring to the feeling you get when that car you love so much not only doesn't work but the mechanic says, "We can't get parts for that anymore. I don't think sure we CAN repair it."

As some of you know, I spent years training my family to laugh at these problems. Given the choice of crying about them or laughing about them,  I'll choose laughter without hesitation. 

But right now I just want to grumble a little.  Writing this and then posting it makes me feel a little better.  I invite everyone to shake their heads, put on a wry smile, and laugh about it. That will make me feel much better.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Deserving Poor

In response to Bobby's post in which a businessman complained about the homeless taking over San Francisco, threatening its residents, and creating unacceptable levels of disorder, I posted:

One of the reasons I refuse to consider myself a liberal is because it seems to be a tenet of liberalism that the homeless are always the victims, never the victimizers.  Having worked with poverty in my professional days, I am well aware of the poor who are suffering for no good reason and certainly through no fault of their own. But I am well aware that a good many of the homeless are homeless because of their drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or mental instability. I hate to sound like I'm from the 19th century but some of the poor aren't among the "deserving poor".

I have known individuals who refused to go to shelters to keep safe because they were not allowed to use drugs or alcohol while they were there.

The problem is complex, but in its simplest form we need to provide support for those who need it and want it, while at the same time refusing to allow the dangerous and addicted to take control of our streets.