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The Color of Law (review) The GI Bill was a White guy thing. Yes, the famous law that gave so many young veterans a good start in life after World War II. Although technically, it was for all veterans, in practice, African-Americans found it impossible to get the promised support. Before long, they stopped applying for it. And that was only the beginning. In his 2017 book, The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein shows that many housing laws were designed to discriminate against African-Americans. He shows that it was in fact the policy of the federal government to discriminate in housing. And he shows how racial discrimination in housing led to the segregated society we know today; divisions by neighborhood, by financial situation, by profession, and by level of education – all come out of housing discrimination.

On Cliques (September 2021)

Gun Control and/or Civil War? It is currently popular to call for “gun control” in the United States, especially in the wake of senseless mass shootings that have rocked the nation. However, most proposed “gun control” legislation has at its center the punishment of blameless people for the violent acts of a few. That is, these measures restrict or prohibit gun availability to citizens who have broken no laws, have harmed no one, and have merely exercised their rights under the Constitution to buy and own weapons. Promoters of strict “gun control” often seem to vilify gun owners as a sub-class of humans who do not merit recognition, rights, or respect. This polarizing attitude makes effective communication almost impossible.

On Weapons (January 2019)

The Revolution According to Mark Two years ago, I was one of those people who flinched every time I heard the word “Jesus.”  When I told this to my friend Joe Snyder, he said, “Read the Bible. That'll take care of that flinch.” And then he told me about Mark.

On Power (March 2013)

Dear IRS: A Quaker Journey with War Tax Resistance In September 2010, I received a letter from the IRS, which said that I had to pay a “frivolous filing penalty” of $5000 for my action of withholding some of the money I owed for my 2009 taxes. “We have determined that the purported tax return you sent is frivolous and your position has no basis in law.”  Frivolous. The word stuck in my mind.  Part of this journey is about words, about patience, about truth.  It gave me a sort of mantra that is precious to me now, “I didn't ask for this, it is not about me, and way will open."

On War (January 2013)

From Competition to Compassion When I graduated from law school and began working as an attorney, I thought I had “arrived,” that my career would unfold seamlessly, and that I would achieve, through competition and striving, excellent results for my clients. Success was going to happen just at it had in high school and college – work hard, don’t get distracted, follow the rules, and things just naturally fall into place.

On Competition (January 2017)

Testimonies of Separation I have litigated divorce, paternity, custody, child support, and Order of Protection cases in Arizona for over three years. My work has largely been funded by a grant for crime victims’ rights. Almost all of the patterns described in this article appeared many times in many cases and do not refer to particular cases or individuals.  I have omitted all identifying information and, where necessary, have changed particularizing details to preserve confidentiality.

On Separation (November 2019)

Nuclear Waste and States Rights On March 17, 2023, the last evening of the state’s legislative session this year, the New Mexico House passed Senate Bill 53 (SB 53), sponsored by State Senator Jeff Steinborn and State Representative Matthew McQueen. This bill concerns state oversight of a private company – Holtec – and prevents state agencies from issuing permits for a “temporary” nuclear-waste storage facility in southeast New Mexico, a facility that Holtec wants to build to hold all the nation’s high-level nuclear waste, even though zero nuclear energy plants are sited in New Mexico.

On Dignity (July 2023)