Praise capital, from whom all blessings flow. Muslim theologian Farid Esack, quoted in U.S. Catholic (January): "The Buddhist theologian David Loy has described faith in the free market as a religion, a religion with a transcendent god, a god that is worshiped and that its adherents have a deep yearning to embrace and to be at one with--and that god is capital."
News flash: Native Americans have varying opinions. Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network: "I believe that as Native people, we are the land and the land is us. Those of us in the environmental justice movement have started to educate the larger environmental movement that our work protecting the environment is spiritual work" (Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures, Winter 2002, reprinted in "Rachel's Environment & Health News," December 6). David Lester of the Council of Energy Resource Tribes: "Environmentalists are using Indians the way the French and English used Indians in the French-Indian war: We're their foot soldiers" (Sacramento Bee, December 9).
"As the Supreme Court views it, the EEOC and other federal agencies have given disabled people too much statutory power," writes Ruth O'Brien in Crippled Justice: The History of Modern Disability Policy in the Workplace, published in August by the University of Chicago Press. She argues that the key difference between the Americans With Disabilities Act and other civil rights laws is that the ADA "gives disabled people the power to negotiate with their employers or prospective employers." She says negotiating over how to accommodate a disabled person is different from simply not discriminating against a particular minority group. "Only disabled people have the capacity to challenge the natural hierarchy between an employer and an employee. Thus, the federal court judges and justices have rendered a narrow interpretation of Title I [of the ADA] because, like many employers, they perceive disabled people as threatening."
Fighting poverty the EITC way. According to a recent report from the Brookings Institution, 469,529 Chicago-area working poor families received $737 million in earned-income tax credits on their federal income tax in 1998. Nationwide, half of all dollars went to families earning less than $12,000. The report's authors went out of their way to praise Mayor Daley's activism in conducting "the nation's leading municipal outreach program to make families aware of the EITC, and to provide them with access to free tax preparation services that preserve the value of the credit."
Who smokes? According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures for 1999 (Journal of the American Medical Association, December 12), men smoke more than women (26 percent to 22 percent), Native Americans more than Asians (41 percent to 15 percent), people with GEDs more than holders of advanced degrees (44 percent to 9 percent), people aged 18 to 24 more than those over 65 (28 percent to 11 percent), and poor people more than those who aren't poor (33 percent to 23 percent).
See, Osama, we all really want the same thing. Salim Muwakkil in In These Times (December 7): "Soon after 9/11, Bush said the people who perpetrated the terrorist murders hate America because of 'our freedoms.' After a few more executive orders and congressional capitulations, they won't have much left to hate."
"Most people in poor minority neighborhoods have either had a terrifying encounter with child protective services or know someone who has," writes Northwestern University law professor Dorothy Roberts in her new book Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare. "The model for many caseworkers is a white, middle-class family composed of married parents and their children....Many of the indicators child welfare agencies use to assess whether a child is at risk for maltreatment are actually conditions of poverty. Caseworkers routinely check to see how much food is in the refrigerator and how many beds are in the rooms. Even children who have never been mistreated and who are in no immediate danger may be removed from their homes based on these indicators of poverty."