In the last issue of SPARE CHANGE NEWS, there was a news article by Alex Ramirez about how the sequester cuts will affect federal funding to programs that service the poor and homeless. It will greatly affect housing vouchers like Section 8, which subsidizes rent for those who cannot afford the full price. Not only will the housing waiting lists become longer, but some who now participate in the program may be cut from the rolls which will make them homeless once again.
From looking at mainstream coverage of Anthony Weiner’s ongoing scandals, it would seem there are only two possible positions to take on the embattled politician. On one side are those who denounce Weiner’s sexting and lies as disqualifying him from office. On the other are those, mostly liberals and progressives, who argue that Weiner’s behavior is a private matter, and its eruption into a public scandal is yet another sad sign of American prudishness and misplaced political priorities.
Like everyone else in the Boston area, the Open Media Boston staff is still numb with shock at the news that a vicious explosive attack was perpetrated by forces unknown against innocent civilians at the Boston Marathon just last week. Three people are dead as of this writing -- one of them an eight-year-old boy. Well over 100 people have been injured—quite a large number with damage to their lower extremities. A significant percentage of those unlucky people have already suffered through single or double amputations.
You can’t turn on the news today without hearing about the debate on gun control. With our nation divided between regulating the sales of firearms and our second amendment, where we stand in regards to laws in the coming months is still up in the air. One thing that is not being talked about is the state of our mental health system.
Dark and cold we may be, but this
Is no winter now. The frozen misery
Of centuries breaks, cracks, begins to move;
The thunder is the thunder of the floes,
The thaw, the flood, the upstart Spring.
Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride of soul we ever took.
Affairs are now soul size.
—Christopher Fry, A Sleep of Prisoners
I’ll be the first to give credit, when and where it is due. We are fortunate to live in a state that considers and integrates equality and diversity in many of our policies and services. It’s a walk through Boston’s Downtown Crossing or one visit to an organization like Bridge Over Troubled Waters, however, that makes apparent at least one particular failure of local government; so many Massachusetts youth are homeless, especially those who identify as LGBTQ. It’s an uncomfortable truth and juxtaposition to a thriving urban landscape of seemingly continuous development.
A day after the Thanksgiving holiday, 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was shot by a 45-year-old assailant, Michael David Dunn. Dunn claims that he unloaded his gun into a vehicle full of teens in “self-defense” after stopping the youths to order them to turn their music down. Davis was Black. Dunn is White.