Monday, July 18, 2011

Howard Beale Aint' Got Nothing On Me

Why am I mad as hell and ain't gonna take it anymore? 1000 jobs:  I have applied to 1000 jobs.  1000 times I have hit send (almost always online now: and do not ever think about actually dropping by in person or following up with calls or other emails).  1000 times I have sent an email to a complete stranger, asking them to think about me in their office or organization.  1000 times I have asked a stranger (in a couple of paragraphs and some bullet points ) to please take the 45 seconds it takes to read a cover letter and think about gandering at my resume (which is attached below with references, per your request).  My resume…the three page opus that sums up the last two decades of my life.  Dates and skills that were acquired during the ocean voyage of change that is adulthood.  Some sunsets off the port side, but mostly storm-tossed days and nights of career choices, shitty bosses, days of work through illness, divorce, despair and the shear WTF of trying to build a work and education history in the Inferno of modern life, and since I have wandered into the darkened wood of higher education and white-collar work as the first in my family, I have no Virgil to guide me.

In the coliseum Caesar would judge how well you fought and entertained the crowd by a thumbs up or down.  The coliseum has been replaced by an inbox, and Caesar is now the staffer the 20-something staffer who is going to determine if you are worthy of working in the same office as they (but you won’t be because you aren’t Facebook friends with them). 

1000 jobs…some of them that I am qualified for, and most that I am overqualified for.  These are not jobs where I may be a stretch in the realms of qualifications or education. No , Captain: these are mostly jobs where my education exceeds the need by years, and my experience is more than they can think to put in their advertisement (and they can never dream that someone exceeding their requests would apply, because, hell, if you don’t have a job with all your education and experience there must be something wrong with you, right?)

1000 jobs...entry-level jobs that cause them to look askew at you as an applicant when they want new grads and you are comfortably at the midpoint of your 30s. 1000 jobs where a masters degree and a GED pull the same weight.

1000 jobs…most of them in politics, and as a member of the working man’s party, jobs I would proudly fill, even for wages that couldn’t support a single human being in a Third World country.  Jobs that, as the son of a union machinist , mean something to me.  Jobs that, as a former Army grunt, would be beyond the wildest dreams of my family even one generation back.  And speaking of the military, the 1000 people who read your cover letter don’t respect that you wore a uniform.  They don’t see you as a veteran: they see you as a chump.  Like senior citizens they only need during elections, you are something they only need on the 4th of July and Memorial Day, where they memorialize the fact that they didn’t make the same mistake you did of pledging yourself to something bigger than you.

1000 jobs…most where some prick who read Nickel and Dimed feels that they know better than you the plight of the working poor, when that is the only title your American caste has known.  Jobs with offices and computers and break rooms and water coolers and cake for someone’s birthday and emails about Taco Day.  Jobs where you don’t have to go underground to dig coal or up on a roof on a hot day to shingle it. Jobs where a machine won’t cut off your fingers or paralyze you.  Jobs where you don’t have to carry a rifle or wait for a phone call that is going to take you across the world and will send you back different: even if not in a wheelchair or a metal casket, in a fog that will envelope your brain and never let you find your way out.

Jobs advocating for those who cannot…jobs where you can bridge the divide between rich and poor.  Jobs where you can look back and see the divide you have crossed and can make sure the bridge is stronger and more direct for those coming behind you. Hell, jobs where I promise to get coffee and dry cleaning for people-far removed from leading anyone out of bondage, financial or otherwise. 

1000 times I have tried to cross that bridge, bringing with me every no that has ever been directed towards me…and 1000 times I have been told the bridge is out, even as I watch others cross it.
More to come, team…as we say in group, I had to get that out that out there.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cuyahoga Tributaries: A Burning River Coming To Your Town Soon

 Republicans are saying that as a government we cannot afford to protect air and water quality.  As a nation we are the envy of the world when it comes to natural resources, and what does the GOP think? Pure water is a socialist plot, and the 'Merican people won't stand for it.  For the next fundraising dinner, I suggest steaks from an unregulated slaughter house and ice-cold DC water all around.  You want to take this country back? Let's take it back to 1906! Upton Sinclair would be put in the camp of global warming alarmists today.

That is the headline that I run with an any race against a member of the House: Congressman X believes there simply isn't room in the budget (your tax dollars) for clean air and water. What is more important than that? If you cannot breath clean air and drink non-carcinogenic water, what is this country worth?
I want to know the business interests that are more important than pure natural resources. Please turn to your child on a hot day as you had them a drink of water and say "Sorry, baby: I know the water is black and tastes and smells like burnt rubber, but we have to make sure oil companies keep their tax breaks to increase their record profits. When you grow up you will realize that is what the Founding Fathers risked their lives for - oh, that and ending slavery: hat tip to Michele Bachmann."

The new House majority has had a good time their first six months, as it has been fairly easy. All they have had to do is find a friendly reporter and say that they were elected to Congress to slash all spending. Well, team, Americans pay taxes for other things than just to pay the salaries of their reps: they pay them so that they won't choke to death breathing or poison themselves or their children when they turn on the tap or eat fish from local waters. In 1969 the Cuyahoga River burned (yes, Mr. Wizard: water burned) due to all the chemicals clogging Cleveland's waterway.  This led to the president at the time (wish I could remember his party affiliation...) to sign into the law the Clean Water Act and oversaw the creation of the EPA.  Will someone tell me why the right wants to get rid of these protections and turn 21st century America into a post-apocalyptic Cormac McCarthy novel?

This is supposed to be a hard job, ladies and gentlemen. It's not just parades and fundraisers. Politicians say that they don't want to leave the next generations a financial catastrophe; don't leave them an environmental one as well. This is more than just an issue for sportsmen: it's an issue for anyone walking this earth, and hunters and anglers will walk right to the ballot box and make a change they can believe in.