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Tag Archive for NAFTA

“Corn. Miles and miles of corn.”

During my misspent youth in Rhode Island, my buddies and I had this ongoing joke about the midwest. “Why, I’m from Indiana,” one of us would say. “And ya know what we got there?” “Corn. Miles and miles of corn,” the rest of us would chime in. So when I saw the news that our…

Rich Man Expresses Solidarity with Me

I have been, for the most part, unemployed and ineligible for unemployment since January. I have a college degree, and as a grant writer, a $4.5 million dollar track record of success. I have glowing references. I write good cover letters and give good interviews. I have, so far, been able to find only part time work that pays me about as much as when I was a 25 year old cook, except a dollar went a lot farther then. Today, my gas was turned off: tomorrow it will be back on, because my part-time gig first paycheck finally arrived, I have pending Airbnb funds coming, and I made a little income on my -ahem- side gig. I also applied today for LIHEAP and SNAP. Although I am legally entitled to these stingy benefits -which, in the case of SNAP, is an understatement- I am not happy about this. I have worked hard. I worked hard through college, and never got to travel the world like my friends because I always worked. When my son was born, I quit doing music professionally so I could work instead because I was playing by the rules. It has got me NOTHING. I am trying to exercise a positive mental attitude, but today I am deeply, deeply angry and saddened.

I have not been paying attention to the news as much as I should be, but apparently the cops in Baltimore killed or injured some guy, and now there are riots. Real ones. The governor has called in the National Guard. I am too tired to provide links. Find ’em yourselves.

Except, perhaps, a link to this incredibly wealthy person who’s the COO of the Baltimore Orioles and who seems to get it about what’s gone wrong with America:

[M]y greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

I am 44. I have MORE than paid my dues at this point in my life. I am so tired of working my butt off, and yet all I do is look for work so I can hopefully work my butt off for more nothing. I know I try to abjure profanity at this new incarnation of my blog, but ya know… fuck this fucking bullshit, because it is fucking BULLSHIT. People like me need jobs. People like those poor motherfuckers rioting in Baltimore (and Ferguson and everywhere else) need some fucking JOBS that pay some decent fucking MONEY and have some real fucking BENEFITS so we’re not fucking POOR anymore. When I see some of my friends make racist comments, I want to say “You know the difference between ME and that broke-ass nigga who got shot by a cop for selling weed? I’m white and I’m not dead.” That’s it, really. I have no job, no real prospects, and you know what every day I really AM hustling, whether its Airbnb or yard work, if not Rick Ross style.

The COO of the Orioles is right: dating back to Bush Sr, and accelerating under Clinton, Bush 2, and almost certainly under Obama, we have been sending the jobs away while using the cops and the perverted justice system to control all the victims of 40 years of shitty economic policy that benefited the few at the expense of the rest of us. I’m living proof of that. We need some jobs. Good ones. Hurry the fuck up.