Thursday, September 18, 2008

Questions pressed on me by my experiences in urban Dallas or "questions my friends ask me". . .

1. Is the United States willing to elect an African American to be its leader?

2. Does anyone really understand poverty?

3. How many of our local, state and national leaders understand the challenges facing poor people when it comes to. . .

. . .finding and paying for child care?

. . .accessing health care?

. . .housing costs and quality?

. . .diet and nutrition?

. . .education?

. . .public safety?

. . .work and wages?

. . .transportation?

. . .hope?

4. How is it that when wealthy, upper class people bend rules, commit fraud, take short cuts to their advantage, set up systems that make them mega rich and break laws meant to protect all of us from financial disaster, they receive giant loans on extremely favorable terms, as well as awards that the rest of us eventually have to pay for to "bail them out"?

5. How is that when poor folks make mistakes in their lives they suffer alone, go to jail and/or never really recover?

6. Why do the biggest champions of charity seldom understand even the simplest principles of justice and equity?

7. Why is my very small, monthly food stamp allotment considered "welfare" and the bailout of a poorly run, failing corporation considered good public policy?

8. How can there be so many churches, so many small group Bible studies in a city like this and at the same time so little understanding of poverty or regard for those who live in it?

9. Why are city code rules "enforced" differently from neighborhood to neighborhood across the community?

10. Why do slum lords and absentee owners have more rights when it comes to the condition of their run down, ratty properties than the rest of the people who are forced to live in or around such eyesores?

11. What does it say about a city when over 90% of the students in the public school system are eligible for free and reduced cost lunches every day? How does poverty effect a child's ability to learn?

12. Why is the vast majority of growth and development still headed north in this area?

13. Why is the bulk of the land still open for development south of the city?

14. Why does US Highway 175 (an inner city freeway) take a 90 degree turn before the Hatcher Street exit? Where else in the city would such a safety hazard be tolerated?

15. What are the ongoing health consequences of the old lead smelter on West Dallas residents?

16. Why isn't there more discussion in Dallas about workforce training and skills development/improvement?

17. How many churches, synagogues mosques and other faith communities could justify their tax exempt status in terms of value added to the communities in which they are located?

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12 comments:

belinda said...

I heard on the radio this morning that there will be less money for college loans because there's not enough money. BUT there is enough to bail out all these companies and kill people in other countries. DISGRACEFUL!

Anonymous said...

belinda - I have a family member fighting ( or as you say, "killing people in other countries") to keep you safe and to protect our country from further terrorist attacks. I guess it is easy for you to sit in your air conditioned house and blog while i have family fighting for the USA. I guess you forgot or don't care about 9 -11. I would love to be with you the next time our country is hit hard by terrorists and see how you feel about our military and my family fighting this war. You make me want to puke.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

First you give us quiz (ok, multiple choice so not so bad). Now you want us to answer 17 questions?

If I wanted to work this hard I'd go back to school and finish my doctorate!

John

Justin said...

Because all the empire cares about is protecting its power. That will not change, no matter who gets elected.

Larry James said...

John, guess I've been in a testy mood lately.

Anonymous said...

1. Is the United States willing to elect an African American to be its leader?
I certainly hope that the country elects the best candidate (John McCain) , and is color blind

2. Does anyone really understand poverty? Yes

3. How many of our local, state and national leaders understand the challenges facing poor people when it comes to. . .. . .finding and paying for child care? . . .accessing health care?. . .housing costs and quality? . . .diet and nutrition? . . .education? . . .public safety?. . .work and wages? . . .transportation?
. . .hope?
Many do! Yes bring on more nanny government. It has worked well in every Marxist country

4. How is it that when wealthy, upper class people bend rules, commit fraud, take short cuts to their advantage, set up systems that make them mega rich and break laws meant to protect all of us from financial disaster, they receive giant loans on extremely favorable terms, as well as awards that the rest of us eventually have to pay for to "bail them out"?
Class warfare – it always work for the Marxist!

5. How is that when poor folks make mistakes in their lives they suffer alone, go to jail and/or never really recover?
See my answer to #4

6. Why do the biggest champions of charity seldom understand even the simplest principles of justice and equity?
See # 4 answer

7. Why is my very small, monthly food stamp allotment considered "welfare" and the bailout of a poorly run, failing corporation considered good public policy?
See #4 answer

8. How can there be so many churches, so many small group Bible studies in a city like this and at the same time so little understanding of poverty or regard for those who live in it?
See #4

9. Why are city code rules "enforced" differently from neighborhood to neighborhood across the community?
See #4

10. Why do slum lords and absentee owners have more rights when it comes to the condition of their run down, ratty properties than the rest of the people who are forced to live in or around such eyesores?
See #4

11. What does it say about a city when over 90% of the students in the public school system are eligible for free and reduced cost lunches every day? How does poverty effect a child's ability to learn?
See #4

12. Why is the vast majority of growth and development still headed north in this area?
Because of the many blights and slums created on the south side. Let’s throw government money here! Citizens unite and take care of your own neighborhoods. Don’t rely on others to tie your shoes.

13. Why is the bulk of the land still open for development south of the city?
Why is that an issue for you?
14. Why does US Highway 175 (an inner city freeway) take a 90 degree turn before the Hatcher Street exit? Where else in the city would such a safety hazard be tolerated?
Not aware of the issue


15. What are the ongoing health consequences of the old lead smelter on West Dallas residents?
What is it?


16. Why isn't there more discussion in Dallas about workforce training and skills development/improvement?
Given enough time and COMMUNITY ACTIVITISM, I’m sure this will happen, and whoever is left among the declining taxpayer base in the city will pay for it.
Why don’t people take responsibility for their own lives? What has happened to individual freedom and non reliance on government and / or socialist handouts driven by hidden agendas?

17. How many churches, synagogues mosques and other faith communities could justify their tax exempt status in terms of value added to the communities in which they are located?
Tax status ,as I recall from Government 101, is not contingent on the Marxist doctrine you denote

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:41, if you are going to level accusations against Larry and his concern for the poor as being Marxist, I think it only fair that you place your name on such a post. If I were him, I'd zapp such nonsense from the site. How absurd!

Your point of view is so ridiculous that I have no doubt serious students of the community and of those burdened by poverty will pay no attention to you.

I am certainly happy to realize that you have been able, completely on your own of course, to forge a great life for yourself, avoiding the pitfalls and "moral failures" I am sure you feel are responsible for the status of the poor and those who don't "make it" in the community.

Or, possibly, you are among those who regard your success as the mark of your own election by God as one of the chosen. Enjoy your blind, foolish happiness. Someday you'll understand.

Paula Johnson

Scott Childress said...

perhaps there needs to be a bit more humility and kindness in these posts?

these are complicated issues - that should be discussed with some open-mindedness and civility rather than being reduced to bumper sticker slogans and partisan politics.

many of these comments are dis-heartening.

belinda said...

anonymous, 5:33 PM: Where do you live? How many times have you been told that the war in Iraq and 9/11 have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Yes, your family member is killing people. What else would you call it? We don't even have to debate the justifiable war theory to get to that point.

Anonymous said...

Belinda - your an idiot and I hope your kid gets shipped off to war and shot at like mine is. Better yet, maybe you could be sent to war and get shot. Your an ungrateful pig.

Anonymous said...

wow 2:21... certainly expressing the love of Christ...

Larry James said...

I regret so much the tone here. It was not my intention to set off such a firestorm of hatefulness. I was simply reflecting questions and concerns that I hear expressed where I live and work in inner city Dallas.

Anon 5:33 and 2:21, if you are the same person or different persons, I regret so much that your loved one is now in harms way. We can differ and discuss the policy issues and the politics, and we should. But nothing should change our concern for what you are enduring as a family. War is a bad thing. I will pray for the safety of your family member. I will also pray for peace and the end of death on both sides of this current conflict.

I also, think Scott is on the right track when he counsels civility and honest conversation without the anger. The policy decisions certainly merit severe and objective critique--lots of grave errors and distortions here. But, the military men and women merit our compassion, support and concern, as do their families.

And, we need to call forth real faith as we pray also for our enemies.