(Continued from: getting paid was a bonus.) As I recall, I worked six days, maybe 10 hours a day, before there was any talk of compensation. All this occurred long ago and memory can play tricks, but whatever the details, I’m sure that my circumstances broke every labor law then on the books. Continue reading
(Continued from: momma gave me away) Exactly what happened after my mother presented me to these grizzled old men is obscured by the passage of time. As I recall they agreed to put me to work and decide later what I was worth. My mom apparently considered this akin to free summer camp, with the possibility of getting a paid as a bonus. Continue reading
In the summer between grade school and high school my mother took me by the hand to the fruit stand down the corner from our Brooklyn apartment building and lined me up with the first, most physical and, in retrospect, most important job of my life.
A study of attitudes toward militancy among poor Pakistanis rediscovers what should have been obvious — with disastrous consequences for misguiding U.S. foreign policy. The study said that poor Pakistanis opposed violent tactics like car bombings and that extremist leaders come from the more affluent. Now CNN is citing the study to question whether anti-poverty programs can stem global terror. Wrong! Have we forgotten the concept of political efficacy — that the poor have no hope, and are therefore numb to action, while revolutionary leaders come from above. Continue reading
I can’t recall a time when I didn’t write, or enjoy reading, learning, thinking and debating. Blame it on my upbringing. As the oldest of six children in a second-generation immigrant family, I learned debating at the dinner table. The public library was my playground and to this day I’m hungry for ideas, and have an unusual appetite for concepts that might be considered alien to a person of my age, class and gender. Continue reading