* “Chaos Overwhelms the Poor”

Yahoo! Voices has released my latest piece:

Chaos Overwhelms the Poor
10/18/2013
“Personal failings” and “an environment that is not conducive to success” so interact that many poor folk come into a state of self-generated, self-perpetuating crisis.  Personal failings can be outgrown, however, and untoward circumstances transcended.

For the moment, this is my definitive expression on the subject.

on air talent, radio talk show, talk show host, the homeless blogger

* Sneak peek

Thanks to the reader who sent me this link:

Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds

I am preparing a substantial response and should have it ready to publish a few weeks from now.  In the meantime, I thought others might be interested in the original article.

* The Parable of the Talents

Matthew 25:

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24 “Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

26 “But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’[”]

On the one hand, I don’t believe Jesus ever said these words. (Link) On the other hand, I firmly believe in the principles expressed, and will have occasion to refer to this text many times.

Opening the present

Several weeks ago, I came into a new frame of mind, in which numerous profound insights have come, and I have seen doors open in my prayer life and elsewhere.  In particular, even though I frankly regard myself as spiritually advanced, one door has opened to a course offering far deeper spiritual growth that may make it possible for me to be happy practically all the time.  I copy pertinent diary entries here below, with commentary.

On reflection, I see that these diary entries assume the reader is well familiar with (1) “silence” and “presence,” which are technical terms referring to specific spiritual practices, and (2) those practices’ effects, especially the ability to choose and change one’s emotional feelings at will.  Accordingly, in the near future I will need to post explanations of meditation, contemplation, awakening the will, and how essential these are for anyone who would follow Jesus.

Until then, one would do well to consult three of Ambrose Worrall’s essays in the Library: “Essay on Prayer,” “Meditation and Contemplation,” and “Silentium Altum (Deep Silence).”

This may not be the best presentation.  But to have these thoughts available for later use, I need to record them now.  My frame of mind is sure to change, at which time, without this record, I am sure to forget these concepts indefinitely.

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News roundup 08/03/13 – Home-schooled = Un-schooled? etc.

Links within this post, to the headlines:
Home-schooled = Un-schooled?
Baltimore City Schools’ BELL program
Exclusive: 4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work
Sexting: How typical is Anthony Weiner’s behavior?
2 ‘Real Housewives of NJ’ stars charged with fraud


Student’s home-schooling highlights debate over Va. religious exemption law

“By the time he was 16, [Josh Powell] had never written an essay. He didn’t know South Africa was a country. He couldn’t solve basic algebra problems.”

He took three years of remedial courses at a community college before obtaining admission to Georgetown at age 21.

“Most of all, he worries about his siblings: There are 11. One, old enough to be well into middle school, can’t read, Josh Powell said.”

City’s summer school program sees results

This is at the diametric pole from the just-previous item. See also the previous post, D.C. to implement 9th-grade rescue plan.

Exclusive: 4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work

I don’t need to comment on that.

Sexting: How typical is Anthony Weiner’s behavior?

This quote struck me:

” ‘ In the case of Anthony Weiner, and other partnered people who sext with non-partners, it strikes me as a kind of pornography, where the drive is toward excited, impersonal sex rather than true intimacy.

” ‘ With Weiner, it’s a case of pornography meets narcissism. ‘ ”

Some folk may be incapable of “true intimacy,” but I don’t see how a life of strictly “excited, impersonal sex” can bring real gratification.

2 ‘Real Housewives of NJ’ stars charged with fraud

As little as I know about Joe and Teresa Giudice, it seems to me this could not have happened to a more deserving couple.

I take some gratification from this news, in that rarely in this life do I really feel I see justice done.

I anticipate having a lot to say about this in the future.

Question for “Light”

Below appears a question I intend to submit to “Light.”  It provides a snapshot of this moment in my evolving cosmology.  “Light” may or may not answer.  I invite responses from you who read this blog.

Please critique the following POV.  Please be patient; it’s long.

For some time, I have been pondering God as the All.  If this is so, then God’s own being must comprehend (include) Darkness and evil as well as goodness and Light (Isaiah 45:7).

I understand from Ambrose Worrall that an energy that may be called the life force, or qi, permeates the universe.  In the past I have supposed this to be Light.  Now I question that.
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D.C. to implement 9th-grade rescue plan

D.C. to implement 9th-grade rescue plan

It is frustrating to me that the page titles online often differ from the hard copy headlines.

DCPS Common Core State Standards

[O]nly 9 percent of 9th grade students in DC graduated from college within five years of finishing high school. Moreover, if you’re a DC student who just makes proficiency on the DC CAS, that level of proficiency translates to only a 16th percentile score on the SAT.

This is a remarkable admission from a public school system in a public document.

Recalling what I’ve written in other recent posts, just yesterday I noted in my diary that the public schools are a ladder.”  The Chaos Factor, however, militates against any and every institution.

The plan in D.C. is to isolate first-time ninth graders from overage students, so that the highest ratio of those who want to succeed can do so, without being distracted and bullied by those who have shown they do not intend to succeed.
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