* I’m getting interviews!

Yesterday at noon I had an interview for a Program Assistant position at a medical professional society downtown. This is straightforward secretarial work, and if I get hired will be $15.00/hour 40 hours/week. Thus my gross pay would be $600/week.

I have another interview on Tuesday, October 15, for a Secretary II position at a City agency. I am well familiar with this agency from my previous work with the City, and the job is located just a few blocks from the shelter. The pay would be the same.

(I observe that secretaries’ pay hasn’t changed since 2006.)

An income of $600/week has been my long-range financial goal for a long time. I figured out several years ago, long before Obamacare was ever conceived, that this income level was the threshold for my being able to buy my own comprehensive health insurance. Also, now I will be able to give $60/week to church! But will I be able to get my own place?

Or instead merely take my place among the working homeless?

I want to get a little studio or efficiency apartment in Washington Hill, a nice neighborhood located midway between my church and downtown. Then I’d be able to walk to and from work, and to and from church also. But will I be able to get that for $600/month? (The rule of thumb is that one month’s rent should not exceed one week’s pay.)

Affordable housing is a big issue in Baltimore, one I’ve heard a lot about, but have not personally had to face till now.

I’d rather not get a “room”; I just spent five years in a rooming house prior to becoming homeless, and am not eager to go back to the “drama” such places offer.

The other question I’m asking is spiritual: Do I deserve these opportunities now? Have I earned them? Have I done the work that my homelessness was meant to do? I recall having had the sense in January that my fortunes were about to turn around; that homelessness for me had accomplished its purpose. Maybe I’ve been homeless long enough. It’s been 2½ years.

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My record cannot be expunged

Yesterday I researched expungement in Maryland.  My conviction was in mid-October 2010, and I’d understood one could get a misdemeanor expunged after three years, so I was hoping to take care of that now.  Turns out there is no expungement of any guilty verdict, except in the case of any of a long list of truly trivial nuisance crimes, e.g. urinating in public or not paying one’s fare on the subway.  To clear my record, I must apply for a pardon, for which I become eligible only after five years of being arrest-free after the end of probation (Oct. 2011).  The paperwork is extensive.  One’s application must include copies of one’s high school and college diplomas, any discharge from bankruptcy, and certified copies of one’s driving record from any state in which one has ever had a license (as in my case, Ohio until 1978).

So for the time being, until October 2016, my one (1) misdemeanor conviction will continue to bar me from employment with many of Maryland’s largest employers.

Previous post:  Hiring discrimination and “backgrounds”
 

* Andy Kessler, Round 3: Guilty as charged

I participate on a certain online discussion board.  My premiere antagonist is a man who got trounced by a playground bully in fifth grade.  He never fails to seek to re-enact that battle with me (or any of certain others), hoping for a different outcome this time.  He casts his opponent by turns as the bully he wants to be or the chump he fears he was; and interacts with those projections.  It has nothing to do with me.  He might as well be playing with his G.I. Joe dolls.

Andy Kessler’s 07/08/13 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Summer Jobs for the Guilty Generation,” is little different.  In his quotations of others’ expressions, I hear compassion; he hears guilt.  I hear gratitude; he hears guilt.  I hear hope; he hears guilt.  What’s up with this?

Kessler projects his own guilt feelings onto his son’s generation.  That’s easier than owning them, but solves nothing.
Continue reading

Andy Kessler, Round 2: Intelligence received

One may need to take the term “intelligence” here with a large grain of salt.

At any rate, the reader has provided me with the actual text of the op-ed piece.

There is more to this than other commentators have indicated. I will have my own response here within a few days.

Andy Kessler, Round 1: How to do things backwards

A reader just brought to my attention a recent “controversial article” by Andy Kessler that appeared in the July 8, 2013 Wall Street Journal, suggesting that I might respond to it here.

We’ll see.  Thus there may be a “Round 2.”

One response to Kessler’s editorial: “Andy Kessler, Former Hedge Fund Manager, Says Shelter Volunteers Cause Homelessness”

The big obstacle is that the original is available online only to WSJ subscribers.

Quoting from my e-mail reply to the reader:

Thanks for the lead.  I’ll see what I can do with this. 
 
The most direct help would be if you could use your subscription to get us electronic copies of the text.
 
I could submit comments to [reporting on the article, e.g. at HuffPost] — I did that at NYTimes and got some blog views behind it.  I am wary, however, of responding on my blog to anything other than the original, since responses to the original may misrepresent it.
 
WSJ sort of cooks its own goose as to credibility, handling its site that way:  it comes off as, “Us rich folk can just discuss these things amongst ourselves, thank you very much; we don’t need any dissenting opinions.”
 
I do have a October 17, 2012 post noting a different very rich man who’s taken a far better approach.

 

If you’re not familiar with the October 17, 2012 post, I commend it to your attention now.

 

News roundup 07/27/13 – Serial killers, Biggest problem with workforce, A new Bosnia?

Links within this post, to the headlines:
The Single Biggest Problem With America’s Labor Force
New serial killer in Cleveland
Troubling official statements in Burma violence
Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa
T. Rowe Price raises downtown safety concerns
Rae Dawn Chong Blasts Oprah Winfrey


The Single Biggest Problem With America’s Labor Force

Underemployment

Bodies of Three Women Found Wrapped in Garbage Bags in Fetal Position in Cleveland Neighborhood

I had never heard of Anthony Sowell before.  I have to wonder whether the ethnicity of his victims plays any role in his relative obscurity as compared to, say, Ted Bundy.

Radical monk unhurt in bomb blast

Troubling quotations:
He is the chief proponent of a movement known as 969, which reformist President Thein Sein’s office has described as a “symbol of peace”.
* * *
Reuters investigations in two of the hotspots of unrest – Rakhine state and the central city of Meikhtila – have revealed the violence was on both occasions fanned by monks who led Buddhist mobs.
* * *
The president’s office, which says it wants to foster peace, tolerance and unity in ethnically diverse Myanmar, has described Wirathu as “a son of Lord Buddha”.

Previous post: “Sitra Achra, the Flipside

Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa

Those who don’t know what the term means can consult this Wikipedia article.  In many nations it’s a routine practice to take a razor and shave off a girl’s clitoris, normally in early childhood.  As a result, when she becomes a woman, she will have no access to sexual gratification.  All sexual intercourse, then, is for her in effect no different from rape; all sexual gratification in relationships is the sole privilege of her male “partners.”

The report finds a generation gap in attitudes and practice:  younger women in some places are less likely to have been victims of this procedure, and also less likely to approve of it.  Yet the quotation unsettles me: “We need to create conditions so they can act on their beliefs.”  As reprehensible as the practice is, I am not sure Western folk have the right to impose Western values on anyone.

T. Rowe Price raises safety concerns as it weighs headquarters options

But Elspeth Reeve seems to me to want us to believe there is no crime in America.

Rae Dawn Chong Blasts Oprah Winfrey In A Recent Radio Interview

I never heard of Rae Dawn Chong before, and am no particular fan of Oprah Winfrey.  But for Ms. Chong to spew this language in any public forum about anyone degrades her mightily in my esteem.

I never encountered the term “field N—–” before.  Now I grasp that it is the counter-partner to the term “house Negro,” which Mohamad at the shelter used to use to dismiss the President.  The “house N—–” was a slave suitable to work in the master’s house, given her or his propensity to seemly rather than unseemly manners and conduct.  The “field N—–” would be kept in the fields, given his or her opposite propensities.

No slave has toiled on a plantation in this country since 1865, and it offends me to hear such terms used to disparage anyone.  The N-word itself simply perpetuates the slave mentality, and diminishes everyone who uses and hears it.  IMO no one has any right to use it.