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Showing posts from December, 2014

Living on a Dollar a Day

"With an introduction by the Dalai Lama, the 10 chapters focus on issues such as “Children at Work” and “Health Care.” The stories enlighten detractors who think poor people are just lazy, a recurring argument spewed by the privileged.

The chapter “Women at Work” provides countless examples to counter that argument. Jacaba Coaquira, an 80-year-old Bolivian farmer, works from 7:30 a.m. to dusk, gathering oats and green beans. Unable to feed her cow and donkey, she walked five hours to the closest town to sell them. Then there’s 25-year-old disabled single mother Jestina Koko and her 5-year-old daughter Satta in Liberia. Crippled since childhood, Koko scoots around by dragging herself on her arms. She survives by doing laundry, selling cookies and begging. Her only wish is to make enough money to send her daughter to school. Their temporary home is a sliver of dirty floor where they squat in a doorway." Truthdig, Liesl Bradner

Fracturing the Human Heart

Today on Facebook I read how two cars did a sudden U-turn quickly in front of an oncoming car to get into the ferry line-up.

There is a special loop for cars to turn into so they can safely turn into the ferry lane. There are signs to alert the drivers where to turn if the line is full  past that loop. Clearly the sudden U-turns are dangerous for oncoming traffic blindly coming around the corner.

Decades ago rules of the road were created to keep us from reckless danger. Decades ago laws were created to protect workers, consumers, citizens and children from unnecessary harm. Even international laws were created to keep nations from mindlessly slaughtering one another.  Do these laws matter today?

A recurring topic at dinner parties is the lack of ethics and principles in public places by customs officers, police, politicians, and other public servants. There is a perception that stakeholders have given up on caring, that we have no allegiance to anything beyond ourselves.

The media …


"The latest poverty statistics were released by Statistics Canada last Wednesday, and the data once again shows that British Columbia has one of the highest poverty rates in Canada.

Using the Low Income Cut-Off – After Tax (LICO-AT) as the poverty line, 1 in 10 British Columbians are living in poverty. That's 469,000 people struggling to make ends meet. In relation to the rest of the country, B.C. is tied third with Quebec after Ontario and Manitoba."

Trish Garner, Rabble. December 17, 2014.

And an absence of real justice ...

"But most frightening of all is that a crime in America seems to be becoming more what authorities say it is, rather than what the law says.

The most obvious example is the prosecutors who appear to have guided grand juries away from indicting police who killed unarmed citizens, even when there was no obvious need to deploy that kind of force." Neil Macdonald,
These are the signs of illegitimate power at work.