Immigrants are Americans

In a recent letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, someone named David Ferris wrote Unfortunately, during the 2000-05 recovery, immigrants – both legal and illegal – got the jobs that should have gone to the youngest and poorest Americans. If we don’t make every effort to ensure that any jobs created go to our own […]

Divided States of America

Sometimes I wonder if the South losing the Civil War was such a good thing. I don’t mean that slavery should still be a publicly sanctioned and popular practice. I do mean that Lincoln’s determination to keep the union together may have been misguided, in the long-term. Blue states. Red States. Bipartisanship. Why? Ever heard […]

Girl skateboarders are cool

I’m so used to seeing, over the past couple of decades, groups of boys skateboarding or one lone girl skateboarder amongst a group of boys. Recently, though, I’ve seen a few groups of girl skateboarders walking (with boards) or skateboarding around San Francisco, and I have to say it’s refreshing. It’s cool to see these […]

Dress code enforcement obsession

I’ve worked in a number of high schools, both public and private. I also went to high school myself (obviously). In every school, there were always a handful of teachers or staff members who were obsessed with punishing (or at least commenting incessantly about) violations of the student dress code. I don’t think it’s appropriate […]

Isn’t it okay to be just rich and not filthy-uber-super-disgusting rich?

One time when I was in elementary school, my teacher asked us what socio-economic class we thought we belonged to. We lived in one of the richest suburbs in our state, and yet almost all of us said we were either “middle-class” or “upper-middle-class.” No one said “I’m upper-class,” but our teacher insisted anyone living […]

It’s not always blaming the victim

I don’t watch Tough Love, and I don’t even know who this Steve Ward guy is. I also think there is altogether too much victim-blaming when it comes to women and rape. It doesn’t matter what a woman is wearing. She does not deserve to be raped. It doesn’t matter if she’s a tease or […]

Leslie Bennetts – Betty Friedan for a new generation

Two books that changed my life were recommended to me by a good friend during senior year of high school. One was The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and the other was The Feminine Mystique. Recently, I picked up Leslie Bennetts’ The Feminine Mistake from the library, and I think it’s a life-changing book that everyone—both […]

On consumption and censorship

The recent news about Wikipedia being blocked in the UK (not totally but mostly) because of album cover art in an article about a 70s band being possibly child pornography got me thinking about censorship and consumption. Generally, the debates I’ve heard about censorship are polarized. On the one hand, I hear the “decency” folks […]