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This is as good as 311. It's aimed at people without documents, but to erase any stigma, it's available to anyone who lives in New York City. They sweeten the pot by including a free one-year membership in 3 dozen city cultural institutions: the Metropolitan, the Museum of Natural History, Wave Hill, & more. Took 10 minutes to get.

I can't make a breezy transition to what I've been thinking since the Paris massacres. I note how many people have said versions of, as well as shared (on Facebook), messages saying no one (on Facebook) cares about the Beirut bombing because "not one white person" died. What I hear is "What about ME. You can't have your tragedy unless you acknowledge mine." I am just waiting for someone to throw out "white privilege" in criticizing anyone for mourning the deaths in Paris.

Ideally we love the stranger as we do our own, but in reality that's not how it works. A cousin was in town this weekend, and the fact that our grandmothers were sisters makes me want to do anything for her. Most people I know put family first, even distant relations over close friends.

How do you stop people who are willing to die? Who pays for all this weaponry? Seriously, the area would be peaceful if the U.S. had stayed out of it? Barbara Tuchman's Bible & Sword certainly rebuts that.
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