Friday, July 23, 2010

Insidious Discrimination Against the Unemployed

My Rant of the Day:  Are you out of a job and looking for a job?  According to a report on CNNMoney, if you’re Looking for Work? and Unemployed you need not apply.

I’ve been working for a living since 1971, and I’ve always been able to get a job in a matter of days.  Not so today.  Since being laid off in late 2008, I’ve applied and applied, to no avail.

I told a friend, “It’s a good thing I have hobbies that pay: writing and painting.  I’ve always written for companies and for publication while holding down a full-time job.  I’ve always painted and hung art showings every one to two years.

It’s a good thing for me, but everyone is not so fortunate.  I see on the news and witness around me, the horrible toll unemployment exacts from those who have nothing to fall back on.

The most recent passage of  HR 4213 – Unemployment Compensation Extension Act will help some of them, but not those who have exceeded 99 weeks.  This is the much ignored 5th Tier that was not added to the current bill and is not a front-of-mind  for our legislators.
“…even the most active members of Congress on the unemployment issue say there will be no bill to help 99-ers by adding a fifth tier of benefits…”

What are these  Americans to do? They have exceeded or will soon exceed 99 weeks of unemployment compensation, and are not considered as viable candidates for hire because of their unemployed status.

What can we do.
  1. If you work for and/or make the policy that excludes people ready, willing and able to work because they are ‘unemployed’, STOP IT!
  2. If you are an agency and are asked to discriminate against unemployed citizens, report that discrimination.
  3. The rest of us need to rabble rouse: Blog it;  Tweet it; deluge the White House, Senate and Congress with e-mails, letters, petitions in support of extending HR 4213 to Tier 5 and looking into the discriminatory hiring practices of U.S. companies.
  4. Here is a current circulating Petition
Please sign it and Thanks.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Are all smokers so hyper-sensitive, or is it guilt?

One of my downstairs neighbor’s visiting sister? is a smoker. Like many smokers, she thinks nothing of flicking her butts anywhere and everywhere.

That everywhere happens to be the yard all of us in this 4-plex share. I stopped one day and asked, “I don’t want to offend you, but could you not toss the cigarette butts in the yard. It’s such an eyesore in our pretty yard.

She complied for awhile, but slowly but surely there they were again. I picked them up for awhile; however, yesterday I tossed one up on her porch. Her sister, Jackie, came banging on my door this morning to inform me, “You are rude; you are not our landlord, and you cannot tell us what to do. My sister can throw her butts wherever she wants…”

She was dressed for church, and I’m sure was off to worship, thinking that’s all it takes to be a ‘good Christian’. Do they take their scripture to heart?

You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:43)

Jesus was summing up all the law in these two statements. If a person loves the God with all their heart, soul and mind, loving their neighbor is the natural result.

I wonder about folks like that. Do they go to church and pray just to be seen praying? Do they ever walk their talk, or is it just talk.

And, why can’t we all be good neighbors instead of having to ‘call the landlord’, as I am now forced to do come Monday morning.

I have too much stuff

It's time to pretend I'm moving soon, because I really do have too much stuff.  Ten years in this my aerie (top left of a 4-plex), and I look around and realize that I've reacquired new stuff to replace the old stuff I got rid of when I last moved.

The only really minimalist room I have is my bedroom: Bed, 2 nightstands, 2 lamp, dresser and trunk.  Well, there is a vanity in there, but it's for sale.  I'm not the kind of girly girl that sits at a vanity to do her make-up.  It is mostly a dust catcher and occasional cat perch.

And no, there is no TV in my bedroom - never has been and never will be.  The bedroom is for sex, sleep, and bit of reading before lights out. But the rest - OMG.  My book shelves alone, have overflowed to the floor, coffee table, and boxes in the closet.  

I have four closets and a storeroom and they are all full of stuff. I'll have to pace myself, or I'll be overwhelmed and stall out before I begin, and begin I must.

First: The clothes closet is full of clothes I haven't worn in over a year and suits for a life I don't have anymore.  Second will be the books.  I'll keep the favorites - the ones I read and re-read, and I'll keep the necessities - the ones I refer to for my writing.  

Baby steps. I'll decide what's next when those two get done.  I have an art rotation closet (I'm keeping that one).  It's hard to part with art, my own or that of others.

What brought this on? Well this morning while browsing Facebook, I ran across a page called Minimalist Journey, and followed the link to Mark Savage's Blog, and then I started looking around at all 'my stuff'.  

I may not get rid of as much stuff as Mark Savage plans to, but I know the good feeling I get whenever I've downsized in anticipation of a move.  It's been ten years since the last time.  

I have no plans to move in the physical sense, but lightening the load of stuff, will make this place feel like new again.