public transportation

Rose Marie Berger 07-17-2013

The metro is crowded today, and the 20-something, well-dressed white man has to stand, one hand holding the bar and the other his smartphone. It’s the end of the day. All the commuters — but one — are turned toward home. The young man’s face, like most of the others, is dulled with exhaustion. No one makes eye contact.

    In a seat near the door, one woman sits facing everyone, looking backward. She studies the young man’s face intently, uncomfortably. He shifts. She rearranges the bags at her feet. Her reflection in the window shows an ashy neck above her oversized T-shirt collar. The train hums and clicks through a tunnel. As if in preparation, she takes another sip from the beat-up plastic cup she’s holding.

    At last, she raises her voice and asks: “Why are white people so mean?” Boom! The electricity of America’s third rail crackles through the train. Faces fold in like origami or turn blank like a screensaver.

    Jim LoBianco 08-19-2011

    When it comes to homeless youth the facts are simple, services in the City of Chicago are falling far behind the need. A survey of Chicago public school students from 2009/10 revealed 3,682 children who identified as being homeless and in need of shelter. In contrast there are approximately 189 beds for homeless youth (ages 18-25) funded by the City of Chicago. In 2010, 4,775 homeless youth were turned away from youth shelters for lack of room. To be clear, that was 4,775 instances where homeless youth sought shelter and were unable to find it. To date there are only 10 percent of the beds needed to provide safe shelter and supportive programs for the estimated number of Chicago's homeless youth.

    We have come to an impasse in the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling because of several conceptual errors in our public discourse. These errors were most glaring in the remarks recently delivered by Speaker of the House John Boehner in his response to President Obama. The largest conceptual error is the idea that the government of a constitutional representative democracy is different from the people. Boehner said, "You know I've always believed the bigger the government, the smaller the people."

    What does this mean? The government is composed of the people, and if people are paying attention and voting according to their own interests, the government ought to work toward the happiness of the people. The problem is that too many Americans have bought into this conceptual error that the government is some kind of leviathan, a monster that exists to take away their liberties. This is nonsense. A correction of another conceptual error in Boehner's presentation makes my point.

    Robert Chao Romero 01-05-2011
    I am greatly saddened and angered by Congress' failure to pass the DREAM Act before Christmas last year.
    Jennifer Kottler 08-12-2010
    "Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." William Jennings Bryan (1860 - 1925)
    Julie Clawson 07-26-2010
    This month marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. It seems a bit strange when you think about.
    Dave Allen 06-21-2010
    In early June, a week-long gathering at the Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School brought together a diverse group of Ch
    John Gehring 02-19-2010
    The recent blizzard of bunk coming from climate change deniers giddy over the recent Snowmageddon that paralyzed the nation's capital is a classic case of putting ideology and politics before scien
    Jennifer Kottler 11-05-2009
    I don't know about you, but I rarely, if ever travel the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. I've heard it's a rough neighborhood -- people get robbed, beaten and left for dead.

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