Uncategorized

Silence

I’ve just completed a month-long expedition into Los Angeles County’s ordinances related to keeping fowl in an area zoned as residential, R1. Zoning, Animal Control, and Environmental Health were all contacted and it took a month to move the property owner to force his tenants to remove all the roosters and chickens they were keeping on the place.

Roosters crow all the time, day or night. Now, they do not because they have been removed. Hooray for the sounds of silence.

Uncategorized

Notes on the President’s Address

 

the grip and grin shot – as the President enters the chamber

Topic: Economy and Economic Agenda

"We will rebuild, we will recover, we will emerge stronger than before."

Banks, lenders, what about the real estate agents and brokers? Real estate industry needs regulation and oversight.

Agenda begins with jobs.

reform regulatory system

energy healthcare education

preventive care

dropping out is quitting on self and country

line-by-line vetting of the budget

eliminate no-bid contracts and reform defense budget

tax code adjustments (stop rewarding corporations that send jobs overseas)

medicare and social security

deficit of trust

the chamber acts like they’re at mass

raise pay and provide better benefits to veterans

GITMO closing

"a new era of engagement has begun"

Leonard Abess bank CEO who gave away money to workers

Something worthy to be remembered.

interrupted by applause 52 times

Obama expects to be judged by results.

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Shame

An honor killing outside Atlanta, GA. How odd is that? States dealing with cultural practices from other countries would do well to familiarize themselves with the concepts that shape practices.

The concept of shame plays a significant role in the practice of honor killings. A method of controlling social behavior, engaging in any behavior that might bring shame to the family is forbidden.  The woman in Georgia wanted to divorce her husband. Her father, rejecting the shame that would come of divorce, allegedly killed his daughter and said he had done nothing wrong. From Pakistan, the father was not invoking Islamic tradition, but that of the tribe.

Those who must cope with these situations would do well to look at comparable tribal concepts and traditions in America. The Navajo used notions of shame as a method of social control. People moderated their behavior in order to reduce the possibility of bringing shame and disgrace upon the family. However, killing the offender was limited to those who were believed to practice witchery. If they could be banished, they were in preference to killing as the Navajo have a strong aversion to death and coming into contact with the dead.

Sociology

Don’t know what to do

It amazes me that the government only recently decided that we are in recession. I knew what was up when my teaching gig ended and I could not find work for six months. When I did locate a job, after my unemployment benefits ran out and the bills kept coming, I applied and was hired by a security guard company. Something about the people who hired me did not feel right, but I went ahead with the deal because I was not getting any offers from other sources.

From the very start, I had a problem getting my uniforms and worked in my street clothes for about a month. When I did receive my uniform, it was an oversized man’s shirt with properly fitting trousers that I was told I would have to wear every day until replacement could be found. I was dressed better wearing my own clothing, so after a day of looking like a clown, I went back to wearing my own clothes. Later, I was provided with appropriate shirts, but with constant washing and wearing I needed replacements after about 3 months. I made repeated requests for the replacements and was told repeatedly that it would take about three weeks to get them. Three weeks passed a couple of times; still no replacement shirts.

A supervisor’s assistant came to my worksite and started running his mouth about the identity of his supervisor. The man was the spouse of the branch supervisor, who had to be kept happy. Now, I had read my employee handbook very carefully and the employment of spouses or relatives, in general, was allegedly against the rules and was to be reported if observed. I did so, using the company’s internal complaint resolution website. While I was at it, I complained about my inability to get replacement shirts and expressed my concern that there was some sort of bias in play. That was 18 April.

On 21 April I was fired for no reason. Because this company is an at-will employer, they don’t have to give an explanation of their decision, but because I had observed their tactics over time, I knew that my firing was likely a result of my having filed the complaint. I immediately returned my uniforms and filed for unemployment benefits. I also filed complaints with the EEOC and the Labor Board.

The company tried to prevent me from receiving unemployment benefits by saying that I voluntarily quit. However, they couldn’t make that lie stick and I have been receiving my $81 in benefits to this day. Thank the Fed for the extension or I would likely be on the street right now. As it is, I’m hanging on by a thread and have no idea how I’m going to hang on much longer.

I apply for work every day, but get no call backs. I never believed having higher education meant work would always be readily available. As it stands today, having a degree is often interpreted as threatening and I get that tired "overqualified" excuse from employers who won’t hire me because I have too much education and experience in teaching. I’ve begun telling these people that there is no such thing as overqualified. Either one has the skills to do a job, or one does not.

Obama says this recession will get worse before it gets better. I don’t believe I can take things getting any worse for me, but I know there are others who have it much worse than I do even now. I take no comfort in that. I need work, a steady income, a way to pay my necessary bills. I’ve never had my utilities turned off, but am beginning to experience that now. I am dependent on the library for my wi-fi, have no cable service, no phones, no gas for heating.

When is the government going to bail us, the taxpayers, out of this hole created in part by Bush and company? When is someone going to help regular people who aren’t connected to the auto industry?

What are we to do?