Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime   Leave a comment

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime by Elizabeth Hinton is a book that’s hard to read, but one that you will want to read if you want to understand a big portion of the reasons why there are so many African Americans incarcerated in our country.  As you may know, the United States as more people incarcerated per capita than any other country on earth.

The basic concept is that due to the ways the war on poverty was implemented, government leaders thought it wasn’t working, and due to the unrest of the 60s and early 70s, they then leaned harder on trying to stop crime.  But due to their own biases they misunderstood the causes of crime and in trying to stop crime, ended up inflaming the problem.  The predictions that were then made of further crime waves drove prison construction, police department mobilization and a larger penal system.  And here we are today….It’s more complicated than that, as you can read, but in some ways as simple as the racial stereotypes held by the leaders who created the policies and made the choices that have led to where we are today.

As I said, the book is painful to read.  Nonetheless I recommend it to any student of where our culture is today and the racial divides we still face.  The author’s detailed scholarship is commendable and pretty difficult to refute, with the caveat that those who don’t want to believe the evidence may continue to place the blame for the violence of the 60s and 70s where it was placed at the time. But for many of us, perhaps the book will turn us to a different path, and enable us to see that we want to move forward to dismantle the vast prison that much of America has turned into.


Posted May 8, 2018 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

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Free Agents   Leave a comment

I have to remember that if love is coerced, it’s not really love.  It’s slavery.  It’s bondage.  It’s fake.  If I can keep that fact in front of me, it provides a needed corrective to my natural tendency.

Whenever I find myself thinking that I wish so-and-so would step up to the plate and do what they’re supposed to, I remember the time I complained to an older and wiser friend about how someone was not doing what I thought he should be doing.  In a way, I was right.  The person had an obligation to me and others in a social context he was not following through on fully.

But in a much, much bigger way I was totally wrong.

My older and wiser friend pointed this out.  She did it just with the right amount of gentle and the right amount of real.  I can’t remember what exactly her words were at this point, but if she’d been totally blunt, she could have just said this.

“Since when do you get to run his life?”

Who made me the arbiter of what another individual should be doing?  Nobody.

I have neither the right nor the privilege to do so.

Thank God, because I too want to be a free agent.



Posted October 26, 2017 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

Overused   Leave a comment

Maybe I’m a grumpy old lady, but when I am enthusiastic about something I hope people can just tell.

It might be they can because I never stop talking about it.  Ask my husband and my friends what I really get excited about. There have been different fascinating subjects I’ve fallen in love with over the years.  The Donner Party.  Getting pregnant.  Homebirth.  VBAC.  Healthy diets.  Food.

Maybe you can tell what I love by what you often see me doing.  Reading, cooking, being outside, keeping up with friends.  I moderate an online support group.   I invite people to dinner.  Working with my husband, I plan next year’s camping trip, and there is nothing better than traveling west with him and the kids.

It’s been a while since I’ve been asked what my interests are when introduced to someone new, so I am not sure how I would bring those things up in a conversation with a new friend.

But passionate is one word I would not use.

I’m honestly afraid that I could never live up to that level of pure emotion.  Shoot, when I was a kid passionate was reserved for how people felt when they were getting amorous.

I’ll try to stick to doing, rather than stating.

Posted September 30, 2015 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

Reunions   Leave a comment

I spent the last hour or more talking to high school classmates on Facebook. We just lost one of our own in December. Since most of us are only 47 or 48 that seemed pretty hard to take.

Yes, I meant that!  I’m *only* 47.  Humph.  That’s no longer old. It was when my teachers were that old.  Actually come to think of it most of my teacher were probably younger than that when they were my teachers….but I would have thought they were both old and wise.

Whether I’m wise remains to be seen.

Here’s hoping I’ll get to see my friends in person this summer for a reunion.  Working on that now.  It will be a trip worth making.

It would be a fifteen hour drive.  So a ways to go, but….

Just have to find a way to carpe diem.

Posted January 29, 2015 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

A Dangerous Cough Drop   Leave a comment

Who would have thought that there was another hazard associated with cough drops, besides choking if you’re not paying attention?

I have come down with a horrible cold as of last night.  I stayed in bed this morning and the kids did school on their own.  So thankful that they are old enough to take the assignments I write down and run with them.  I actually dozed off.

This afternoon with the sore throat I was rolling a Ricola’s cough drop around in my mouth.  My tongue discovered a trench in it, which had a sharp edge.  I’ve never had this happen before, but I guess there is always a first time.

I cut my tongue on a cough drop.  Hunh.  Hopefully, my tongue and my cold will be better tomorrow.

Posted November 18, 2014 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

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Battle For The Net   Leave a comment

Cable companies want to slow down and break! your favorite sites, for profit. To fight back, let’s cover the web with symbolic “loading” icons, to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like, and drive record numbers of emails and calls to lawmakers.

via Battle For The Net.

Posted September 9, 2014 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

in Solidarity   Leave a comment

Today I will have absolutely nothing to say, in solidarity with individuals like myself who live in Turkey and thus are not allowed to blog on a WordPress site.

So — silence.

Posted February 28, 2014 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized