Tag Archives: poverty

For the love of Moses must it be so damn hard?

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For the love of Moses must it be so damn hard?

Just a brief observation:

I have employer provided insurance and my kids have insurance provided by their step-mom….however, both do not cover everything so we have “Medicaid” aka “Washington Apple” as our secondary. I just received our renewal packet and a lengthy application, in English. The instructions say to do it online because it’s faster and easier. Mind you, it says this in English.

So I go online because I have that privilege and there is an option for Spanish.

Cool thus far, everyone knows that people in Washington ONLY speak English or Spanish. Duh.

I go through the damn lengthy process where I have to answer some tax questions that confuse even me, because of the verbiage. Now, I consider myself to be a pretty savvy person, masters degree and all….but please don’t ask me about my filing status as it relates to the amount of student loan debt or other deductions I might itemize….direct all such questions to Turbo Tax, thanks and goodbye…

I digress.

I finally get to the end and they can’t process it because of an “error code 3079.”

I call the fancy number and sit on hold forever because (lucky me) I have the privilege of unlimited minutes. I finally get a person, a nice well spoken person named Tracy who figures out the problem (I put “$0” as my personal insurance cost through my employer, which is the truth; but the website requires me to lie and say it costs me a $1, then electronically sign something that says I swear under threat of perjury that everything I put is truthful, you know whatever…ANOMIE) and BAM everything is better and my decision is immediate. Yay! We have health care totally covered in case I need to get me some birth control and abortions! (cause what else could a 34 year old divorced woman need it for?)

Now what if I can’t read?
What if I can’t speak English or Spanish?
What if I don’t have an address to send the packet to?
What if I can read, but for fun let’s say I read at a say 6th grade reading level, but do not understand the tax language?
What if I do not have a computer?
Can’t get to a library?
Can’t use a computer?
Have no interwebs?
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.

Oh sure, I know some of you are going to say, well there are people to help! Options! Go to the social services office! Some, like my pal Daniel, will probably go on some rant and tirade that makes me question why we are friends about poverty and education and “woe is the poor white male American,” but seriously.

Do there have to be so many barriers to getting health care that is MEANT for people in poverty?

With barriers already?

For real?

What happened to this magical Obamacare y’all were so scared of making it so easy for those lazy immigrants to come steal your insurance and jobs?

For fraks sakes.

(*&*&%&%$%$#@&)((*()_

For fucks sake.

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Poverty. Totally a choice.

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Poverty. Totally a choice.

Bootstraps. Pull yourself up by them!

Unless you are barefoot and pregnant….and that was YOUR decision. Fu*king breeders!

Just kidding. I get tired of feeling like I have to explain my clients or enlighten people on oppression and poverty and every other ism that exists in my world (your world too, just FYI). I digress.

When I started out down the social work path, I was very vigilant and ready to educate the masses; I was excited to understand the criminal justice population I had previously been working with in another light. I wanted to fix the world, change society.

Now I just want to help individuals. I am sure that is why nothing changes and if it does it is a very slow painful process….because all our passion gets sucked out and replaced by not apathy but sheer exhaustion. Or we feel liuke we did something by liking something on Facebook or blogging about it or signing a dumb ass petition on change dot org….

You can’t fix ______________ so you just try to negate the damage.

It’s sad, but it is what it is.

I read this today and thought it was a nice look into the lives of the people some of you are blaming and bitching about.

http://killermartinis.kinja.com/why-i-make-terrible-decisions-or-poverty-thoughts-1450123558

And just for fun, here is my favorite explanation of white privilege for you white boys who don’t believe in it.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

I hope Daniel reads this.

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Want to begin the end of poverty? Want to address the profitable prison industrial  complex? Here is a first step. All you have to do is sign your damn name and vote. C’mon Oregon.

For those who can't afford free speech

By Naivasha Dean, Contributing Columnist

Chances are, you’ve signed a petition or two recently. Advocates looking to get their initiatives on the ballot in November must reach 116,283 valid signatures by July 6, and the impending deadline means that they’re ramping up their efforts. Chances are also good that you’ve encountered a signature gatherer that asked you to sign a petition to decriminalize marijuana.

You might already be familiar with the arguments — our current marijuana laws cost too much to enforce, and they don’t work. But what you’ll rarely hear from the person with the clipboard is that the injustices go much deeper than a matter of principle, or a waste of time and money. Oregon’s 475,000 marijuana users are facing even more alarming collateral consequences — especially if they happen to be people of color.

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Poverty, Homelessness and privilege:

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Poverty, Homelessness and privilege:

Have been the topics du jour in my classes this week. My poverty class is putting together a small Peoples Movement Assembly on poverty next month at Portland State, so I have been thinking a lot about poverty.

Homelessness is one of the many frustrating facets of it which are immediately apparent, particularly for me here in Portland. They make fun of the “gutterpunks” and the  panhandlers on “Portlandia,” but rarely do you see the REAL inequities and injustices without being here. I watch people a lot on the trains and at the stops and just downtown in general; most people avert their eyes as if not looking at the homeless will make them go away. Shameful.

I read a pretty resonant blog today that I would like to share with you:

http://adventuresofcassandra.tumblr.com/post/21338683124/homeless-happy

I encourage you all to remember that poverty is a human issue, not a poor issue. It is systemic. It is RAMPANT in the United States, despite what we may want the world to believe.

Don’t turn away. If you have nothing to give, you are dead. Sometimes just a smile can change someone’s world. Energy is cyclic.

Thanks, Cassie.

xoxo

Jani

Can I have this dance? Yeah. You. Over there….

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Can I have this dance? Yeah. You. Over there….

This song makes me want to waltz.

It’s tre’ magnifique.

“…just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?”

XoXo

Jason Mraz is magic.