The Other Side – Religion and Politics

I’ve made it plain in my writings, that I’m not at all fond of talking about myself.

Though I periodically expose small bits of information here and there, I try to keep it to a bare minimum, and I always attempt to ensure I’m not doing so gratuitously.

Put another way, if it doesn’t serve some greater purpose to add some part of my history to the thing I’m writing, I make it my business to avoid doing so.

If you follow my attempts at writing, you’re probably aware that I wrote a piece in which I talked about the foibles and failures of government. That post was called Social Safety Net.

That particular article, was talking about my dealings years ago with the local food stamp office (from when I lived in Washington state).

I wrote yet another piece, that was called Lock Step, it talked about more recent experiences with the government.

A significant portion of the text in that article was devoted to my dealings with the local unemployment folks in the last few months.

In case I haven’t made it clear, my writing as I do, currently brings me zero income. I hope at some point that will change; and yes, I do understand that’ll largely be on what I do to make it happen.

For the moment though, I live in the land of the “not working, but in search of gainful employment.”

As things presently stand, I’ve been out of work since the end of May; at present, it is nearly the middle of September. From the time of my contract ending to the present moment I’ve had no income of any kind.

You can be pretty sure, what little saving I was able to do before I found myself out of work—though it’s helped a great deal—is almost depleted.

You should also know, I’m making sacrifices on a daily and ongoing basis to just survive. This is even more true, considering I’ve an eight-year-old, Moderately Autistic son.

His eating habits are a great deal less regular than my own, in that the total number of things found in his diet can be counted on fingers and toes.

As such, when I go to get him food, at present, I don’t join him in eating from the places it’s gotten, because I cannot afford to do so and still feed him.

I want to make it plain, I well understand there are many many people in far worse situations than my own. I don’t assume myself to be comparatively all that badly off.

I further want it understood that I don’t talk about this for pity’s sake or in order to spur the reader to action in my behalf.

Your question at this point may be, “So why do you bring it up?”

I want for people to understand that even in my mid-fifties I still have trouble providing for myself and my family. As such, I have some understanding of poverty—mild though mine may be by comparison.

And I’ve been here before, though I’ve learned how to deal with it substantially better, from the last time, to the current one.

This is at least the second time I can claim to be in this state (and if you want to count periods of less than a year, the number is two or three greater).

Over the course of time, my hope is that I’ll begin again, to be in a place where I’m earning a living—where I’ll make enough money to not be counting even on unemployment insurance, to help me to get along.

I want you to know though, there are a good many people who’re poor for entirely different reasons.

It’s true that young people tend to be less affluent as a result of lacking the skills and educational wherewithal, to gain a position that pays reasonably. For the most part though, unless they plod down the wrong paths (and the possible bad passages are many), chances are good they’ll end up happily earning a sufficiency.

There are others though, for whom that’s not likely to be the case without substantial help.

Put simply, in almost all cases (though there’re always exceptions), the folks in question are broken.

I learned something years ago, that one of the folks I follow on social media, has confirmed is more true than anyone wants to admit. I discovered it on the edges of temporary homelessness. He did so while working in a homeless shelter.

What is it we both came to know as a result of our experience? Simply that many homeless people are without a place to live by choice.

That’s certainly not true for all on the street—I wasn’t among that number. That said, it’s true that very many people not currently sleeping under roofs choose to be where they are.

The reasons are varied. Some have drug problems, but opt to follow the substances rather than living a normal life. Some are mentally plagued in some way. I’m sure you could find many other things that got them, and keep them where they are.

This applies too, to those working in low money jobs. Again, not to all, but to many. If they’re still in those jobs after years of being there, unless they’re not yet adults, there tend to be causes people don’t want to admit, can’t see, or can’t fix.

In the end, what this means is, those folks need help, and where a small amount of that help might be in the form of food and monies to keep them afloat, a good deal more should be designated to helping them to break the various chains that bind them.

You may believe that the folks in question just can’t possibly be brought to places where they’re self sufficient, I’m pretty certain for most of them, that’s not true.

If you wonder why so many who count themselves Conservatives don’t support pouring billions or trillions more into welfare, I hope my observations help to make that clear. We want solutions for the majority of impoverished folks, that get them out of poverty and help them to help themselves, not things that will likely keep them there indefinitely.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

3 responses to “The Other Side – Religion and Politics”

  1. > In case I haven’t made it clear, my writing as I do, currently brings me zero income. I hope at some point that will change; and yes, I do understand that’ll largely be on what I do to make it happen.

    I will pay you $500 to read and provide a per chapter summary (additional analysis and commentary are allowed and encouraged, but optional) of Noam Chomsky’s “Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky”.

    I will provide a copy of the book for free in any format you prefer (paperback, digital, audiobook, whatever). I would expect >= 1000 words **per chapter** (about the size of one of your blog posts, so one blog post per chapter). The chapters are quite large, so this seems like a reasonable word count requirement.

    I will pay you on publication of **each chapter summary**. The book has 10 chapters total, so that will be $50 per 1000 word chapter summary, paid immediately on publication of the summary to this blog (ping me when you publish an article and I will venmo or paypal you the money once I verify the word count). So if you write a summary for all 10 chapters, you will have been paid the $500 total incrementally (there is no extra payment on completion of the entire book). There is no requirement that you complete the entire book for payment; again, you will be paid on the publication of each chapter, so if you only choose to write a 1000 word summary of the first chapter, you will still be paid $50 for your effort.

    I do not consider the task complete if you haven’t fully read/listened to the chapter you’re summarizing. That you finish reading the chapter is based on the honor system. I trust that you’ll fulfill this requirement if you choose to accept this offer.

    Again, providing your personal perspective/analysis to the summary is encouraged, but not required.

    • Daniel,

      Though this isn’t really my cup of tea. I’m considering the idea. My first warning would be that you might not get what you expect in terms of summary.

      My second is that, I intentionally write blog posts of roughly 1,000 words, this is to not deluge readers–few though there be. The result is, if I felt the summation of a given chapter could not be done in a single blog post, it might be necessary to do a couple (this is assuming a long or particularly complex chapter, neither of which I would be surprised to hear were likely in a work by Chomsky).

      Honestly, if you think reading the book to be sufficiently important. I would be willing to attempt to do so, and comment on it without any kind of pay.

      You can imagine, the only reason I would be willing to accept such payment, is that at present, I’m:

      Trying to find ways to survive as a writer

      So, I’m willing to try this, with the express understanding that:

      This really isn’t my thing
      I may or may not be able to make it happen

      That said, if you are willing to get me a copy of the book, I’ll at least look it over to attempt to determine if what you’re suggesting is feasible.


      Dad (Kurt).

      • I expected that this wouldn’t be “your thing”, which is part of the reason I’m offering to pay to make it worth your while.

        The other (and main) reason I’m offering to pay is because I’m **expecting** some kind of personal spin/flare/whatever that makes it yours. That your summaries would be different from what I would personally create is the primary source of their value to me. My only expectation is that you **at least** provide a clear and accurate summary of the ideas in each chapter before you add your commentary or potential refutations of those ideas (ask yourself, “Would Chomsky be OK with how I’ve summarized his ideas?”). You don’t need to (and I don’t expect you to) agree with the summarized ideas, but I do expect you to do your best to state them as clearly and accurately as possible at a minimum.

        I tried to devise a payment method that gives you the ability to quit if you truly hate the work, but still be compensated for the work you’ve done before quitting, so it’s not an “all or nothing” kind of proposition. I’ve read the book a few times and I believe 1000 words should be sufficient to at least give a high level summary of any individual chapter. If you want to add more words or further blog posts for further commentary on a single chapter, you do so on your own dime.

        Email me (using the email I provide in your comment form) your venmo or paypal info and I’ll send you $30 so that you can purchase the book yourself in whatever format/s you find to be most convenient. The $30 to buy the book/s does **not** count as any of the payments you would receive for a summary; consider it a freebie.

        As a bonus, if you end up providing a summary for all 10 chapters of the book, I will read any book you recommend by Thomas Sowell.

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