Monday, December 11, 2006

Urban ministry?

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Venkatesh's account is the role of neighborhood ministers. Clergy resolve disputes, but they don't do it for free. Numerous ministers accept "contributions" from gangs and drug dealers for their services. They take other forms of payment, as well; Bird, the prostitute, has serviced "most of the preachers in this community." Other ministers have been known to hide guns, drugs, and stolen property for a fee. Nannies rely on preachers for referrals to families but must pay a 10 percent commission. The residents are unshocked by all of this. They conclude that it would be impossible to navigate the community without making certain allowances. "We are poor people. And so are our ministers," one congregant says. "We need [a minister] to be our leader, not perfect or without sin."

Kucinich is running again "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try again."

So far we have...
Dems: Bayh, Biden, Kucinich, Vilsack, and Gravel.
Reps: Brownback, Cox, Smith, Hunter, Giuliani, and McCain.
It seems to me that the serious Republican candidates are accounted for, but the Democrats are all waiting for something... someone... Al Gore and Hillary Clinton.