Happy Holy Week! Now go flog a banker.

10152025_10152087091149072_2690965789281410973_nAnd thanks, Jay, Karie, and Steven. This is a good one.

Did you see Doug Glanville’s Atlantic piece about racial profiling in Hartford?

leadThe former Major League Baseball player, Ivy League-educated (he got an engineer degree) ESPN commentator and Hartford homeowner was racially profiled in his own driveway.

So now we have a new phrase: Shoveling While Black.

More shameless self-promotion (ICYMI)

In which I argue with CCSU’s Jim Pellegrino on “The Hour”…

And I was on WNPR’s Colin McEnroe Show on  Friday, and you can listen here. I bring the snark.

 

Up the oligarchy

Who governs? Who really rules?

A new Princeton and Northwesternoligarchy-300x300 study says

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized
groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government
policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent
influence.

That’s an oligarchy which is, shortly stated, the power over many in the hands of a few.

You can read another take on that here. And thanks, DickG., for the link.

When a woman works up the nerve to call a domestic violence hotline:

red-phoneWe by-God ought to have available all the services she needs.

I wrote this for C-HIT, ICYMI.

Come to my book party (pretty please)

9780819573407The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is graciously hosting the book launch for “Tempest-Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker,” and if you are already sick of hearing about the book, come to the party and I’ll shut up.

We’ll chat. We’ll eat. We’ll have music, provided by the lovely Elizabeth Dandeneau. You’ll make new friends, and go home happy.

So mark your calendars for 7 p.m. tomorrow (Wed.) at the Stowe Center. Come up and say hey!

(I am convinced that having a book launch party is like attending your own wake, only you don’t have to go through the messiness of dying and stuff. Come celebrate!)

UPDATE: Because so many moochers responded to the “free food” part of the evening, the celebration at 7 has been moved across the street to HartBeat Theater, 360 Farmington. You can still park at the Mark Twain House & Museum lot, and walk across the street. The reception is still at the Stowe Center, 77 Forest.

Sis. Simone says: Pay your taxes

imagesHave you done so already, here on Tax Day? If so, take a selfie and send it here (just like Sis. Simone).

Nevertheless, it might not hurt to inform yourself just a bit with this, from Coin Gordon at Dissent. And to get a feel for federal budgets in general, you could do worse than to go here. And thanks, Leftover, for those links.

Speaking of Jesus statues…

When one of those homeless Jesus statues shows up in a North Carolina town, someone calls the police to remove the riff-raff.

And thanks, Jac, for the link.

This is the boy that Missouri terrorist killed…

10171875_542568429194415_4350699366786957601_n (1)…when he took a gun on the day before Passover and shot and killed three people.

 

Yes. I said terrorist. Here’s the FBI’s definition of domestic terrorism:

  • Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;

  • Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and

  • Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

One victim was a woman at an assisted living facility. One was a grandfather — a doctor who’d moved to the Kansas City area to be near his grandchildren. He was at a Jewish community center when he died.

And one was the doctor’s grandson, 14-year old Reat Griffin Underwood, who was at the center to try out for a singing competition. Singing was his passion. That’s him on the right.

We have photos like Reat’s of one son who made it all the way to Eagle Scout. The bright eyes. The goofy grin. A kid who’s going places until a shithead with a gun decides differently.

Though the shooter is a known member of the Ku Klux Klan and shouted “Heil Hitler” in a hillbilly accent that is my own, all of his victims were Christian.

The news says the shooter lived in rural Aurora, Mo. I spent some summer days there on my step-grandparents’ seven-acre farm. It’s a beautiful land of soft hills that roll out into the Ozarks, and it is hard to rectify the beauty of the land with the ugliness of this.

So it’s one more mass killing by a shooter with no motivation save for hate. Here’s more information on him, from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Here’s a link to some things you can do, from Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America.

Charges should be filed today. Blessings and tender mercies to the families.

 

Louder Than a Bomb

Jac sent me this. Da-yumn…

Stop telling women to smile

 

Women 1 (2)Charter Oak Cultural Center is hosting a workshop/gallery talk from NOON to 1 P.M. on Wednesday on women’s stories about street harassment.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh will be talking about her art project and she’ll be helping participants to make their own posters and tell their own tales of cat calls and whistles.

 

Look for the posters around Hartford. And spread the word.

You can register for the event here.

 

 

 

About that New York Times full-page ad on homeless LGBT youth:

Faith In America took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s New York Times that was signed by Carl Siciliano, executive director of Ali Forney Center in New York, and starts:

A Plea to Pope Frances On Behalf of Homeless LGBT Youth, and then the former Benedictine monk lays out the population he serves at the center. It’s beautifully written and includes questions such as this:

The teaching that homosexual conduct is a sin has a poisonous outcome, bearing fruit in many Christian parents who abandon their LGBT children to homelessness and destitution. How could a good seed yield such a bitter harvest?

At my day job, we were a part of “Invisible No More,” a first-of-its-kind study on runaway and homeless youth in Connecticut, which found, among other things, that LGBT youth are especially vulnerable to housing insecurity, and perhaps you can imagine what life on the streets when you’re young can mean.

I applaud Carl Siciliano for his letter. Click on this Joe. My. God. link.

Happy Passover

I admire any one who will sing off-key in public .

Whatsoever you do for the least of these…

Christ Episcopal Church of East Norwalk, Conn., will display the sculpture, Whatsoever You Do, on the church’s front steps throughout April, in an effort to raise awareness of people who are hungry or without homes.

Whatsover CCEN 796The artist is Timothy P. Schmalz, whom you may know from this piece:

b18cfa20-9f3b-11e3-a91e-810a293a8bab_francisIn May, Whatsoever You Do will leave East Norwalk and travel around the state to Episcopal churches — at no cost other than gas if they transport the piece themselves, says Donald Burr, senior warden at Christ Church, who took that photo of the sculpture out in front of the church. He worked for nearly a year with the artist’s representatives to get the sculpture here.

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On second thought, I think it’s cool if Jesus had a wife

We’ll be talking about that at 1 p.m. today on The Nose on The Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR. I mean, why wouldn’t a man like Jesus have a wife? The papyrus we’re all referencing, of course, should not be confused with concrete evidence that Jesus actually had a wife but why the hell not?

On “American Winter”

Harry Gantz, the co-producer/director of the documentary, “American Winter,” came to Connecticut earlier this week, and on Tuesday, he came to Central Connecticut State University, where I teach.

I’d seen the documentary on HBO already, and knew it would hit people in the gut, and in the heart. The documentary follows Portland, Ore., families who call the local 211 social service hotline. They’re not actors. They’re not re-enactors. They’re real.

As the documentary started, I could hear sniffles from the audience, which was small but engaged (it was the night of the UConn women’s basketball championship game, and Harry, who’d spoken at Wesleyan University the night before — the night of the UConn men’s basketball championship game, acknowledged that his timing was terrible). You cannot watch this documentary and walk away unmoved.

Afterward, in the talk-back session, a student said that the documentary had powerfully moved him, and that halfway through, he’d texted his parents to tell them he loved them. Other student comments were equally moving.

That right there was worth all the effort to bring the documentary and documentary-maker to campus. But even better, what if the revolution — the much-discussed system change — started in New Britain, Conn., that night. What if in that small crowd a seed was planted. It is a wonderful thing to volunteer at a shelter, to cook a meal for a hungry family, but what if we started talking about changing a system where the winners are so fabulously compensated, and the losers are left to languish. At CCSU, we’re going to be concentrating on wealth and income inequality because it’s long past time we do that.

Personally, I’m hopeful.