Call Me English

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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category


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Earlier today, a young woman was walking down the street around the corner from my apartment building.  She was carrying out an errand for the salon she works at.  A highly agitated homeless person described as slovenly and mentally ill tried to snatch her bag, and when she resisted, he stabbed her in the abdomen.  It was covered extensively on the local news and in blogs.

The victim’s injuries are not life-threatening, but the assailant was able to flee the scene.

This attack is very frightening because it has the aroma of a time from 1965 to 1995 when the city was not safe. At all. Random acts of violence committed by the unsheltered and neglected mentally ill in an area of the city unaccustomed to disturbance of any kind should raise concerns for all of us because they highlight three things we straight-up suck at as a society:

  • Properly treating mental illness
  • Eliminating homelessness in a compassionate but effective way
  • Race/class relations (the assailant in this case was black, as determined by surveillance cameras)

I asked a staff member in my building about this very thing… about whether we might be going back in time to the bad old days.  “The truth is,” he told me, “crimes like this never stop. They just don’t happen often enough around here to numb you. In some parts of the Bronx, this is known as a Friday night.”

So how do we do it? How do we get the homeless off the street?  How do we properly treat the mentally ill?  Do they wish to be helped, and do we wish to do the real work of helping?

Written by Dave

July 17, 2012 at 22:53

A more perfect union

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Today is July 4. Independence Day is a great opportunity not only to have hot dogs and watch fireworks but to reflect on the ways to make this country better.

If you have had the pleasure of travelling to other countries, you can observe the way things are done in other places and can think about how other nations’ successes could possibly be applied here.  If only there were not such division, stubbornness, and ignorance among wide swaths of our own population and among some of our politicians of both long and short tenure.  I grew up in an environment of Jews, Europeans, and other liberals who knew exactly what needed to be done to have a solvent universal health system, sensible gun control, equal rights for the LGBT community, and fair treatment of the workforce – among many other things – but this same group always felt it was impossible get the rest of the country to go along.  I never understood that.  I never understood why people on the other side believe that government cannot actually be used to help its citizens when that exact thing has been done so many places before. Try telling Canadians you want to take away their health care, or try telling the French they can’t have their holiday time, or try telling Scandinavians there is no more public education.  Watch what happens.

Why do we go around telling everyone, including each other, that we’re number 1 when all we’re really number 1 at is telling people we’re number 1?

Written by Dave

July 4, 2012 at 11:30

Health care law upheld

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Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States decided by a 5-4 margin in which Chief Justice John Roberts was surprisingly the swing vote that the individual mandate included within the Affordable Care Act pejoratively referred to as “Obamacare” was permissible on its own as a tax. So the law can stand. This is an excellent development for anyone who has ever travelled outside of this country and seen how badly we lag behind other developed nations in taking care of our own citizens. It’s a bad day for crazy, for stupid, for petty, and for racist. It’s a bad day for those who wanted to see the law that was at first glance a carbon copy of “Romneycare” get thrown out just so they could say that a foreign-born black Muslim communist had failed.

To those polarizing, ignorant mere excuses for people: you lose.

Written by Dave

June 28, 2012 at 12:52

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man

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A friend of mine from college posted a link from Buzzfeed detailing how the Oreo page on Facebook had posted a picture of a multi-layer rainbow Oreo in recognition of (LGBT) Pride, which took place this past weekend.  The image is innocent but clear enough:

Well, some bitterly ignorant bigots made their presence felt by threatening to boycott one of the most successful baked goods ever made.  A sampling of some of the negative comments…

  • “Being gay is totally wrong and should be a crime.”
  • “gays need to leave america”
  • “I won’t buy any oreos or other Kraft products anymore(;) looks like you have plenty of Faggots to keep your business going!”
  • “Yet another liberal company destroying our religious values and teaching immorality”
  • “This is absolutely disgusting. Your attempt to ‘normalize’ the behavior of homosexuals has cost you a customer.”
  • “Gays can all go kill themselves(;) they are sinners and will burn in hell”
  • “don’t support gays or the companies that do and hell yea I’m a hater! being a fag is just wrong and always will be!!!! you should all be exiled to some island where you can all share aids together!!”
  •  “I hope Nabisco goes out of business for supporting this atrocity. I will make sure my friends and family never again buy your products. Fuck faggots. Hate them so much. So many whose skulls I want to smash in with a hammer. I thank those who support this boycott and GOD BLESS AMERICA.”

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?  Where do they come from?  What sham of a religion do they pretend to adhere to?  Maybe I wasn’t exposed to self-loathing closet cases like these growing up in New York City or in Canada, but I want nothing to do with anyone who would kill someone over a picture of a fucking cookie.

Jesus might have “saved” you, but he thinks you’re a disgrace to humanity.  Homophobia of this sort is so over, it hurts. The only cure is death… or to have someone you really love tell you he or she is gay.

For every cowardly, criminally backward comment on that picture, there were two dozen positive ones.  And the number of people who liked Oreo on Facebook went up.  Way up.

I’d tell you to rot in hell, bigots, but I know you’re already there.  It’s not too late to secede and form your own failure of a country while the rest of us retake our position of respect and decency among nations.  Just keep that in your back pockets.

Written by Dave

June 26, 2012 at 23:07