Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jane Austen?

A month or two ago, sitting with a girlfriend in my kitchen, drinking beer and sewing curtains, we gossiped, as people do, about relationships - past, present and future. As stories unfolded, she looked at me, gentle readers, and told me that I should write them all down, so that when she was finished reading the works of Jane Austen, she could read the tales of your MatchGirl's loves and losses.

Now, your MatchGirl has not read a lot of Jane Austen, though perhaps that would be a good summer reading endeavor, but my life's loves are certainly full of complex stories. There are none so simple as "girl meets boy". Of course, is that ever really the case in this modern society? We spend so much time online - making friends and acquaintances over social networking sites. We keep in touch with those we love over text messages and e-mails. I don't know about you, dear readers, but I barely just talk on the phone any longer.  It's a rare treat when I have the time.

I have one dear friend who met a girl in real life, and then, while living in separate countries, and chatting online and via Skype on a regular basis, decided that they should be in a relationship - before they had ever been alone together.  They've, of course, since spent time together.  And, to my eyes, and your MatchGirl has known this gentleman for a very long time, he is very happy.

Your MatchGirl, in case you could not tell, loves the written word.  And I love getting to know someone using the written word, but I wonder if all these things (of which I heartily partake) that are supposed to make it easier to communicate really make it harder.  I wonder if we were better off in those days where you met someone, in real life first, and got to know them slowly over a matter of time - over drinks and coffees and dinners and walks from the movie theater.  I remember those times.  I'm not sure my life was any better for it, but I wonder about them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Benefits Getting The Boot?

Listening to On the Point last night on NPR, gentle ones, your MatchGirl was stunned that so many still think that those collecting unemployment benefits are lazy.  Happy just sitting on their asses while "collecting free money" and making fools of those who are working, paying for their cushy, unemployed lifestyle.

As someone who was unemployed for a year and a half, who worked my ass off looking for jobs, working on my resume and trying to find new and different things to do and new directions for myself, I am offended by people who say these things.  While there are lazy people amongst the unemployed, they are, in my experience, not the norm.  Just like any government program, there is always the assumption that the majority of the people benefiting from it are taking advantage - milking the system - and not those actually in need.

And, this, dear readers, is bullshit.

Below is a an overview of On The Point and links to some of the guests.  No surprise that the most offensive of them is Stephen Moore, of the Wall Street Journal.

Give it a listen and see if you agree...

Census Bureau Says One in Seven Americans Lives in Poverty 

The National Bureau of Economic Research said today the Great Recession that started in December 2007 officially ended in June of last year.  But don't tell that to the 43.6 million people who are trying to live below the poverty line.  That's 14.3% overall, or one in seven Americans and includes 20% of all children, 25% of blacks and Hispanics.  It's the highest poverty rate since 1994, and the Census Bureau says it would have been worse except for government safety nets. Food banks, shelters and job-opportunity centers around the country tell us they're serving a new and different class of people, the recently unemployed. What's the reaction in Washington, six weeks before the November election? Will the private sector start hiring or should government create new jobs?


Friday, September 10, 2010

PRESS RELEASE | Unemployed People Speak Out!


September 8, 2010

Kevin Powell Holding Press Conference with Members of the Unemployed Community, Inviting Towns and Barron

(Brooklyn, NY) This Saturday, at 1 pm, Congressional Candidate Kevin Powell will be holding a press conference at Pathmark located at 11110 Flatlands Avenue highlighting the unemployed members of our community who continue to look for work and find no opportunities as a result of our government's perpetual bailouts of big banks instead of addressing the concerns of the jobless in our communities.  Charles Barron and Congressman Towns will be invited to listen to the community and provide ideas on how we can work through the financial crisis together.

"We're looking forward to meeting with members of the community whom have been out of work for a long time as a result of this economic downturn and our government's misguided attempts at recovery that have clearly failed our community and have set Wall Street against main street" says Powell. "We have some ideas, but we need to hear from those most affected as some of the best ideas come from our community, not from our legislators."

As for why he is inviting his opponent, Ed Towns, Powell responds, "Charles Barron and I have been working together and in opposition to Ed Towns, however we all need to hear ideas directly from the community.  This has been a heated race.  Both Mr. Towns and I intend to win.However, regardless of Tuesday's outcome, we're all better off if we remember who we serve, not the other way around."

Some of Powell's ideas to aid the recovery can be found at