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Pavement Dwellers

When I was in Delhi, in ’97, I was struck by the numbers of people living on the streets, living over, among garbage dumps, part of unguided tours given by savvy street kids to American or otherwise well-off tourists.

People were coming into the cities from the countrysides, often lush with green and color, for work. Entire families from less prosperous outlying areas were caught up in the rush, arrived in the cities, on the pavement.

I saw little children pull up some curb and go to sleep like it wasn’t a thing. I learned that just because they were small didn’t mean they were young, just missing meals. Caste was a real thing and I met the Dalits, many who lived amid some of the crumbling ruins of colonial origin. They were still considered untouchable and mistreated shamelessly by those of ‘wheatish’ complexion.

Now, the pavement dwellers are 163K strong in California. In a way, pavement dwellers here are more restricted in where they can live than were those in the subcontinent’s hub cities that experienced high rates of in-migration from the countrysides. Now, in America, we are kicked out of housing because we cannot afford the rent/we lost our job/we have three jobs/all sorts. Replacement housing isn’t available to match the rate of people being made homeless, daily. People and families.

We are awash in rhetoric while people dwell on the pavement, in the wretched heat, in the numbing cold, in increasing numbers. People and families.

Who was that just bought a $76.2 million house?

AS

Traveling While Black Across the Atlantic Ocean

History of Travel

Longreads

Ethelene Whitmire | Longreads | January 2019 | 19 minutes (4,642 words)

“Welcome aboard!” the Cunard agent exclaimed, and I suddenly felt a clichéd warm tingling sensation. After hesitating for several weeks, I finally…booked a passage? I got a berth? I do not know the lingo. So let us say I got a ticket for a seven-day, eastbound, transatlantic crossing on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 from New York City (technically the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal) to Southampton, England for June, 2018, the first leg of a trip to Denmark. I was committed — or semi-committed. I placed a 10% deposit (fully refundable for a few weeks) to hold my space, and immediately made a note in my electronic calendar for two days before the deadline to remind myself to cancel if I changed my mind. I’d visited Denmark 12 times since my initial trip in May and June, 2010, including a…

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Question: When Your Insurance Company is the Biggest Risk, Who Insures You?

Who insures you against your insurance company? I paid for insurance against hazards like theft, water damage, tree limb fall, a toilet seat crashing through the roof. If I had enough money, I could insure against earthquake. I’d be paying big premiums for protection against an infrequent, but potentially very damaging event. I shoulda been a risk analyst.

Who insures against the risk of the insurance company itself? Who knew Safeco/Liberty Mutual would dispossess me? I could never have foreseen myself without the only home I’d ever known. My major concern when the tree limb fell on my home was not becoming homeless, but I am homeless nevertheless. Why am I homeless indoors? Because I should have bought insurance against the hazard of my insurance company. I don’t know who sells it. Do you?

AS

One-Drop Rule

Titles: H.R.40 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Short Titles

Short Titles – House of Representatives

Short Titles as Introduced

Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act

Official Titles

Official Titles – House of Representatives

Official Title as Introduced

To address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to study and consider a national apology and proposal for reparations for the institution of slavery, its subsequent de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.

http://www.virginiaplaces.org/population/onedrop.html

I consider the One-Drop Rule one of the legal cruelties and inhumanities of slavery. It demonstrates one cannot expect morality from legality. It demonstrates the intense concern white folks took to distinguish, to make binary categorizations of human beings that would deny them civil equality.

http://www.afn.org/~dks/race/wright.html

AS

What are You Afraid to Write?

I’m afraid to write that Vince Paglia, the president of Protech Construction, the contractor who lied to my face, stole my home, stole $80+K, and claimed he didn’t know me, is about to be cited by the Contractors State License Board. He may lose his license if he doesn’t pay me what he owes.

I’m afraid to write that Kent Stiles, the claims adjuster who works for Safeco/Liberty Mutual, has not yet been stopped. He has kept my claim file in suspense for a year. No matter who I speak to at Safeco/Liberty Mutual, no matter how many times I tell the story of how Stiles has falsified documents, lied to me, manipulated numbers, I get sent right back to him for resolution. Makes no sense. I am very concerned about customers of this insurance company. They have too many complaints, always said to lowball all estimates, poor general customer service, and the slowest response rates in Christdom.

I am afraid no longer. Funny how that writing what you fear works.