The July 2005 Edition of Street Spirit

A publication of the American Friends Service Committee


National AFSC AFSC Economic Justice BOSS Website



In this issue:

Oakland Youth Organize

Hate Crimes Against the Homeless

Food Bank Helps Ease Hunger

Food Bank Keeps Growing

San Diego's Economic Cleansing

Psychiatric Abuse and Repression

Transit Activists Win Victory

Technology for the Poor

Violent Arrest at City Hall

The Dream of People's Park

New Richmond Shelter to Open

Street Spirit Vendor Tony McNair

Bush's Tax Cuts for the Rich

Corporate Benedict Arnolds

Rain Lane's Photographs

"Say Something" A Short Story

Poor Leonard's Almanack

Poetry of the Streets


June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005






Street Spirit is published by American Friends Service Committee.

All works are copyrighted by the authors.

The views expressed in Street Spirit are those of the individual authors alone, and not necessarily that of the American Friends Service Committee.

Poor Leonard's Almanack

Quotations and original thoughts by Leonard Roy Frank

Street Spirit, July 2005

Random Wisdom

1. The first casualty of a war is man's humanity.
THOMAS ALTON (Brooklyn, New York), letter to Wall Street Journal, 7 May 2001

2. For I am my mother's daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.
MARY McLEOD BETHUNE (educator and founder in 1904 of Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach), "Faith That Moved a Dump Heap," Who, The Magazine About People, June 1941

3. We go on multiplying our conveniences only to multiply our cares. We increase our possessions only to the enlargement of our anxieties.
ANNA C. BRACKETT (educator and writer, 1836-1911), quoted in Rosalie Maggio, editor, Quotations from Women on Life, 1997

4. A growing body of evidence suggests that the meritocratic ideal is in trouble in America. Income inequality is growing to levels not seen since the Gilded Age, around the 1880s. But social mobility is not increasing at anything like the same pace: would-be Horatio Algers are finding it no easier to climb from rags to riches, while the children of the privileged have a greater chance of staying at the top of the social heap. The United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society.
THE ECONOMIST (British magazine), "Ever Higher Society, Ever Harder To Ascend," 29 December 2004

5. Bloomington (Indiana) is a university town, and among the 1,000 protesters at a peace vigil there on Sunday night was Glenda Breeden, 52, a Unitarian minister's wife from rural Spencer, Ind., who said the idea of the United States as the aggressor had upended her worldview. She said she could barely play with her young grandson lately without thinking, "Look what the U.S. government is planning to do."
Ms. Breeden, who said she grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home, was scornful of President Bush's push for war. "I try to imagine him standing face to face with Jesus, with the traditional Jesus that a lot of Christians believe in," she said. "I just can't imagine Jesus saying, 'Go for it, George.'"

DAVID M. HALBFINGER with JACQUES STEINBERG, "Relief on End to Uncertainty and Fear About War's Toll," New York Times, 18 March 2003, one week before the invasion of Iraq

6. Not one ignoble thought or act is demanded of any one of all men and women in the world to make fair the world. The call is for nobility of thinking, nobility of doing. The call is for service, and, such is the wholesomeness of it, he who serves all, best serves himself.
JACK LONDON (writer and activist), introduction to Upton Sinclair, editor, The Cry for Justice: An Anthology, 1915

7. What doesn't have credibility today is the truth.
BILL MOYERS, Jon Stewart television interview, The Daily Show, Comedy Central, 23 June 2005

8. In this silent, serene wilderness the weary can gain a heart-bath in perfect peace.
JOHN MUIR (Scottish-born, U.S. naturalist and conservationist), journal, 16 July 1890

9. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT, campaign speech, "The Progressive Covenant With the People," Oyster Bay (New York), August 1912. At the time, Roosevelt was the Progressive Party's candidate for president.

10. While running on the beach, a friend saw a man busily occupied at the water's edge. A high tide washed all the little fish onto the beach where they were all gasping for breath. So here's this fellow scooping up each fish and throwing it back into the sea, and my friend goes up to the fellow and says: "This is a fruitless task. It's not going to make any difference."
And the fellow picks up a fish, throws it into the sea and says, "To this one it does."

PETER C. WHYBROW (psychiatrist), slightly modified, in Irene Lacher, "In New Book, Professor Sees a 'Mania' in U.S. for Possessions and Status," New York Times, 12 March 2005

11. The gossip-monger and the listener fall into the same pit.

12. The need for a service varies inversely to its availability.

13. Most people fall into one of three categories: the police, those who the police control and those who control the police.

14. Success, n. More achievement than expectation.
Failure, n. More expectation than achievement.

15. Fortune favors those who advance her purposes.

Leonard Roy Frank is the editor of Random House Webster's Quotationary (20,000-plus quotes in 1,000-plus subjects). His "Frankly Quoted" column, which is distributed freely over the Internet on the first of the month, consists of 30-35 chronologically arranged quotes and original thoughts, mostly about current events. To get on the "Frankly Quoted" listserve, send your e-mail address.

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