Indiana’s unemployment figures for January, released Friday, show Monroe County as having the second lowest jobless rate in the state. This comes as no surprise to those of us who work in social services. Many people are out there feeling like they are scraping their faces on the sidewalk pavement. I am hopeful that perhaps this shakedown in our economy will be what we need to reset our table correctly. One can only hope.
It has been a tough week at work. Can’t say much, other than that it can be tough working in the field of domestic violence. I don’t know why I’m sitting here writing when my brain is fried and I started work at 5am this morning. Strange way to relax, huh? But before I sign off here are a few interesting tidbits to ponder. They do relate to my opening sentence, albeit from an odd angle.
Tidbit 1: While millions of families are losing their homes, jobs and health care, the military budget next year will top one trillion dollars — that’s $1,000,000,000,000. I just divided that by 60,000 to get 16,666,666 jobs at $60,000 per year.
Tidbit 2: Foreclosures are now affecting almost 1 in every 8 American homeowners.
Tidbit 3: Public pensions in the US had total liabilities of $2.9 trillion as of Dec. 16, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Their total assets are about 30 percent less than that, at $2 trillion.
Tidbit 4: This one made me sick to my stomach: The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.
With stock market losses this year, public pensions in the US are now underfunded by more than $1 trillion.
This is the next bailout crisis waiting to happen.
The economy is in a free fall with no obvious brakes in place.
Beauty in the form of Maya Angelou helps to ease my heart. My dearest friend Patricia and I went to her reading presented as part of IU’s annual arts week. The woman is so damn beautiful on a level not seen in many….her mind is like a jewel. This makes what she has survived a reminder of the strength of the human spirit. She spoke about being raped as a child, and how the police officers came to her home to tell her that her rapist, released after only one night in prison, had been found apparently kicked to death. She told how she was struck mute…..afraid that her voice could bring death.
I am ever so grateful that she found her voice.
20 January 1993
|A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
I will give you no more hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
Your mouths spilling words
The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
Across the wall of the world,
Each of you a bordered country,
Your armed struggles for profit
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
The River sings and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
Today, the first and last of every Tree
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.
Each of you, descendant of some passed
You, who gave me my first name, you
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot …
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the Tree planted by the River,
I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Lift up your eyes upon
Give birth again
Women, children, men,
Mold it into the shape of your most
Do not be wedded forever
The horizon leans forward,
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day