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The Voice of Poverty and Disability

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Thank you SO much for the invitation to this group.

  • polly7 (2614 posts)
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    Thank you SO much for the invitation to this group.

    This is something I deeply care about.  Our poverty up here is becoming noticeably worse right around me as oil prices have dropped as well as our dollar.  People are jobless, two of my neighbours are packing up to leave.  Thank goodness we’re a farming community as well, or it would be a ghost town.

    The writing here is just amazing and really touches the heart.  I once did live in my car for a few months as I got my EMT training and couldn’t afford gas to go back and forth or stay in a motel, but I’ve never suffered like so many.  I saw so much in Edmonton and Calgary when I took part of my training there and got involved with women’s shelters.  Getting calls to the homeless on the streets affected us all – in a country as rich as Canada people were sleeping wherever they could find even a bit of heat as it snowed and stormed and temps. dropped so low your bare skin froze within minutes.  It was always heartbreaking, no matter where or when.

    Back home in rural Saskatchewan, we have no people on the streets … but the poverty is still there behind the curtains and walls.  I also do books for small oilfield companies (just one, now), and was talking with a friend the other day whose diabetes and obesity have made it impossible for him to find work.  I tried to help him as much as I could for as long as I could, but he needs to apply for social assistance, something he’s fighting against doing.  But, he has a young son he needs to think about also.  He’s humiliated at not being able to work – I’m not sure what to say to him anymore.  I gather clothing, blankets, toys, etc. to take into Regina every few months to one shelter there.  I mainly only do the odd transfer now with the ambulance and occasionally take full shifts when they’re short, but so many of the calls I had taken were to elderly people who quite often were living in horrible, sad conditions.  Those without family to help get them into nursing homes, or who were just too ill and down to care anymore and had no-one to check up on them.  People think of us as such a prosperous country – it is, for many but certainly not all.

    Anyway … I’m a boring and terrible writer but I’ve loved reading the posts here.

    I had posted this a few days ago and thought you might find it interesting, though I’m sure you already have known every bit of what he’s talking about:

     

    America Wants Those “Pull Ya Up By Your Own Boot Straps” to Hang You With

    You do your your time behind bars and enter a panoply of bars and prison time out here in the normal world

    by Paul Haeder / July 15th, 2016

    ~snip~

    The gentrification, the displacement, the stop and frisks, the toxins-chemicals-pollutants warfare in our barrios and ghettos, the razing of public space-public education-public services, the school to prison pipeline, the economic totalitarianism, the diseased food, air, water, media – like a type of ecocide placed on poor people, people of color. You think maybe that war of aggression by the Elite, the Money Changers, the FIRE army (finance insurance real estate), that maybe it all is part of a giant metastasized war of aggression set upon 80 percent of us in the USA?

    ~snip~
    But, when you are a case worker – I work with people just out of prison or those just going into recovery, homeless, families, veterans, some being treated for mental health issues . . . some with ALL of the foregoing descriptors co-occurring – well the daily slog is fraught with huge life changing successes, admiration and honorable thanks from some survivors.

    Work to try and get these fellows and women on their feet. Amazingly fucked up, this country of constant lock-up, threats of being locked up, extradition, warrants that go back a decade, fines and bills and, well, you get the picture. For every disaster in a family, in an individual’s life, there are entire industries set to capitalize on this. Ambulance chasing in a sense. Even without the extreme poverty, crime, addiction, mental health issues, homelessness, a group of around 20 percent of the population (read, controlling 92 of wealth) wreaks havoc upon the land? Well, in this disaster capitalism, a whole lot of people are out of real work, a bigger number in work they despise, and an even larger number precarious, working to supply a medical habit, food habit, rent/mortgage habit, lack-of-savings habit, a debt habit, an aging habit, survival habit.

    No invasions, skirmishes, illegal intrusions, wars – hot or cold, all of that shit that this empire doles out to the rest of the world and the result in this sadistic capitalism is A Whole lot of people out of work.

    And, the elite, the shimmering few point one percent, not hefting away billions upon billions.

    Full article:  http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/07/america-wants-those-pull-ya-up-by-your-own-boot-straps-to-hang-you-with/

    melurkyoulongtime, Enthusiast, TM99 and 9 othersDont call me Shirley, NVBirdlady, cleverflamingo, davidthegnome, Haikugal, daleanime, Infact7, LiberalArkie, Dragonfli like this

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18 replies
  • Dragonfli (1028 posts)
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    1. I invited you personally, by the way, I had not seen the article you posted

    I am glad that you did, I may be aware of what it speaks of and lays bare, but not everybody does, also I like to read other people’s view on our ever worsening situation.

    You are contributing here already!  Yes, you belong here and the article you contributed is equal to any other contribution, this is not a group for original writers and writing only, David did a fine job of stating it’s purpose, but relevant articles are important if they fall within our core issues.

    Thank you for your contribution.

    “We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” Thurgood Marshall

      

    • polly7 (2614 posts)
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      2. Thank you, Dragonfli.

      I was proud to see your invitation, that really touched me.

       

      • Dragonfli (1028 posts)
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        3. We've corresponded enough that I knew you would be interested.

        I just hope I didn’t touch you in any “naughty places”, as I live near a school. LOL

        “We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” Thurgood Marshall

          

  • davidthegnome (1004 posts)
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    5. Absolutely not boring. Absolutely not a terrible writer.

    I once told my favorite Professor that it is passion that makes a writer.  Compassion even so more.  I still believe that.  We all have our own stories of pain, of struggle, of some way in which poverty has touched our lives.  Your empathy for others is a credit to you as a human being and is about as far from being boring as you can get.  I know what it’s like to live in the cold, living up here in northern Maine – I’ve never had to live in my car yet, but without my family, I would have been in a shelter, or on the street long ago.

    One of my most painful memories is of living in South Dakota about thirteen years ago.  My fiance and I were living with her parents and two kids.  Her step father was laid off from his truck driving job – and money went from being super tight to just not being there at all.  He and I went together to interview with some company that did wood work, I don’t recall exactly what they built, but I do remember that, before the interview, they gave us work sheets with several math questions, measurements and so on.  My issue was… I had never learned to read a tape measurer – and had no idea how.

    The manager who came to speak with me looked at me like… well, it was not a nice look.  Full of contempt.  He told me “Look kid, you can’t even read a tape measurer, I’m not going to waste my time with you.  What the hell have you been doing with your life if you can’t do that?”  I told him that, for the last few years I’d been trying to take care of the kids at home, because we couldn’t afford daycare.  If anything, he got even nastier after that.  He told me that people like me should stop cluttering up the gene pool.

    I was young and had precious little self confidence.  I let him keep talking to me like that for a few minutes before he finally sent me home.  A short time later, my fiance and I were searching through the house, under couch cushions and so on, trying to come up with the change to buy milk for the kids.  When we came up short… something in me snapped.  I grabbed my tattered coat, walked out the door and made my way to the nearby grocery store.  Went right to the milk section, looked around carefully to make sure no one was watching, grabbed a quart of milk and stuffed it in my coat.

    I was nineteen – I was lucky I didn’t get caught, because I definitely would have been charged.

    I share that story to make a point – which is primarily that we need to change the narrative about poverty.  It is assumed by many people that we are lazy, stupid, good-for-nothing.  I recall that manager’s eyes when he told me that people like me should stop cluttering up the gene pool, I recall the various things he said after.  I remember staring at that damn tape measurer without a clue.  I remember the immense feeling of failure and shame when I resorted to shoplifting.

    There are stories like mine – and worse stories, all over the world.  What I would have people acknowledge is that we are people who have value, that there, but for the grace of God, go you or I, but even beyond that…

    In a society that worships celebrities and billionaires… the people who, I feel, really deserve to be admired, who are really heroic, are those who struggle with these odds every day – and yet remain human, remain compassionate, remain good people.

    Sorry, I tend to get carried away with my rants…

    What I wanted to say to you is mostly this: Compassion and empathy are worth more than any amount of money.  If we are to ever make things better, those are the essential tools that will enable us to do so.  You write well – and you are absolutely not boring.

    “There is no distinctly native American criminal class save Congress.” - Mark Twain
    • Dragonfli (1028 posts)
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      7. Not to embarrass polly7, But the very first instinct is "how can I Help"

      Reflexively empathic, is the embodiment of  polly’s true nature, in matters large and small it is always the first thought that comes to mind.

      A personal experience I would like to share is the reaction I received when Polly found out I was having difficulty posting, making each post often take hours due to a broken keyboard with some keys that would stick and others that only worked when they felt like it causing constant non stop editing for me to write every post, within three days Polly had purchased and shipped me a replacement keyboard.

      One’s nature becomes clear by one’s natural reaction without thought, it is something one can see in matters large and small, just thought I would share that small thing to you that meant so much to me and also showed me the true nature of one I now call friend without hesitation.

      “We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” Thurgood Marshall

        

      • Haikugal (5328 posts)
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        11. I was so proud of Polly7 for stepping up and helping you with a new keyboard.

        It was a huge ‘pay it forward’ for everyone who reads you and wants to make the world a better place.

        Thank YOU Polly7, you wonderful person you! :hug:

          Be the bird.....       Hey DNC! Up Yours! It's ON!! Kick against the pricks!!!
      • polly7 (2614 posts)
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        15. Okay …….. you stop that.

        Haikugal was right (but no, I’m not a wonderful person!), it was pay it forward and me being selfish not wanting to chance you give up writing for yourself and us out of frustration.  But you’re very, very kind, Dragonfli.

    • polly7 (2614 posts)
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      13. I'm so sorry you went through that.

      I once believed every person had ‘some’ compassion and empathy just as an automatic result of being human – it took me decades to figure out that no …… I was wrong, some couldn’t care less about anyone outside their circle and having a lifestyle they enjoy.  They didn’t care how they made others feel and at times found it satisfying to hurt.  Those people I began to call soul-destroyers.  How shameful that a grown man couldn’t have taken the time to help you, what would it have cost him?  Most people feel good about themselves if they can help …. some are just assholes for the sake of it.  I’m sure I’d have been angry and demoralized as well.

      I love reading rants here and hope to see many more.  I know it helps us all to realize even more that the person standing next to you or I may be going through things we know nothing of, or have struggled in ways we can’t even imagine, which is why kindness is always the easiest and best option.  Thank you so much.

  • Haikugal (5328 posts)
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    6. Thank You Polly7 for this OP…

    I’d like to give thanks for the invitation to join as well and I enjoyed reading your post very much. I may have more to say a little bit later when I’m feeling more energetic.

    This group is a very good idea!!

    :hi:

     

      Be the bird.....       Hey DNC! Up Yours! It's ON!! Kick against the pricks!!!
    • Dragonfli (1028 posts)
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      8. Invitations were sent by me basically from a place of instinct

      I have always found you an interested and sympathetic ear to every OP I have written on the topics we focus on here, you were in the “no brainer” class! Welcome aboard! There are so many more I should invite, but I don’t want to come off as a spammer.

      :heart: :hi:

      “We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” Thurgood Marshall

        

      • Haikugal (5328 posts)
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        9. It's nice to know I'm in the 'no brainer' class…LOL

        I know what you intended but that’s funny!! :rofl:

        ? :hi:

         

          Be the bird.....       Hey DNC! Up Yours! It's ON!! Kick against the pricks!!!
        • Dragonfli (1028 posts)
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          10. I guess that came out wrong, I am glad you realize

          I meant it was a no brainer for ME to invite you.

          :blush:

          “We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” Thurgood Marshall

            

          • Haikugal (5328 posts)
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            12. No question as to your intent..please don't feel embarrassed…I love to laugh!

              Be the bird.....       Hey DNC! Up Yours! It's ON!! Kick against the pricks!!!
    • polly7 (2614 posts)
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      14. I hope you're feeling much better, Haikugal!

      This group is a fantastic idea, and I’m so glad to see you here.  I’ve been out raking and baling and took a couple of calls to Regina so I’m sorry for not responding earlier.  I can read and rec off my old cell phone on a break but that’s about it, and I don’t use ours with the ambulance at all except to call the hospitals.  I’m glad to see you’re not overdoing things yet – we can’t have you back in one.

      • Haikugal (5328 posts)
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        16. Thank you Polly7.

        I have made myself stay on the couch except for necessities due to excessive swelling. It can’t be good for it and I want to do everything possible to help this new graft succeed. Thankfully my iPad is working (very mysterious recovery that) and I can use it on the sofa. I’m happy to be a small part of this most important topic. :hug:

          Be the bird.....       Hey DNC! Up Yours! It's ON!! Kick against the pricks!!!
        • polly7 (2614 posts)
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          17. LOL I LOVE your profile picture!

          That’s sort of me looking in the mirror this morning.

          Please do take care of yourself.  I’m glad your IPad is working – good things happen to good people!

          • Haikugal (5328 posts)
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            18. That bird makes me laugh…I'm a kid in some ways…LOL

              Be the bird.....       Hey DNC! Up Yours! It's ON!! Kick against the pricks!!!
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