Sunday, September 05, 2004
This is a sticky post written the day we first appeared on the internet: Welcome to article43.com - a memorial to the layed off workers of (PRE SBC MERGER) AT&T, and the disappearing MIDDLE CLASS citizens of America. It is NOT endorsed or affiliated with AT&T or the CWA in any way.
In addition to INFORMATION, resources and opinion for former AT&T workers DEALING WITH the EFFECTS OF LAYOFF and looking for meaningful employment, some articles here are meant to bring into awareness the LARGER PICTURE of corporate dominance of the UNITED STATES’ political and economic policies which brazenly DISREGARDS, disrespects and EXPLOITS worker, citizen and HUMAN RIGHTS under masks like FREE TRADE and the PATRIOT ACT - resulting in a return to a society of very rich and very poor dominated by a few very rich and powerful - whose voices are anything but - for the people. If left UNCHALLENGED, the self-serving interests of those in control may result in the end of DEMOCRACY, the end of the middle class, irreversible ENVIRONMENTAL damage to the planet, and widespread global poverty brought on by exploitation and supression of the voices of common people EVERYWHERE, while the United States turns into a REINCARNATION of the ROMAN EMPIRE. Author Thom Hartmann shares some history and outlines some basic steps to return our country to “The People” in his two articles TEN STEPS TO RETURN TO DEMOCRACY and SAVING THE MIDDLE CLASS. I support CERNIG’S idea for a new POLITICAL MOVEMENT - if not a revolution to cleanse our country of the filth ruling it - as we EVOLVE into a GLOBAL community - assuming we learn the THE LESSONS OF OUR TIME and don’t DESTROY CIVILIZATION first.
Everything here can be viewed anonymously. Inserting or commenting on articles requires a free user account (for former AT&T employees with a real, non throw-away, email address.) Requests to the new user registration page are redirected to BLOGGED DOT COM’S site because most new signups I get are from COMMENT SPAMMERS and their ilk, so if you want to contribute, contact me through email, phone, or some other way.
There’s no third-party scripts here like privacy-eroding WEB COUNTERS, hidden datamining widgets like Pay-Pal donation boxes, or AMAZON DOT COM tracking stuff. The RSS feeds are pulled by the server, and have no relation to anything you may be doing here. Standard Apache WEB LOGS of info like IP, and pages visited are rotated every few days, and used internally to check the web server’s performance. Logs of suspicious activity may be shared with law enforcement, or other ISPs, to deal with troublemakers. Nothing here is for sale, and donations are not solicited.
If you get an email that claims to be from somebody here that’s anything but a request to post your article, or report suspicious activity (like logs sent to an ISP to report an attack) - it’s SPAM. I do not, and will not - ever - join the junk mail sender community. There are no mechanisms to prevent anyone from forging anyone elses email address in a “from” or “reply-to” mail header. For those of us whose email addresses are fraudently used, the best we can do is filter out NDR REPORTS.
Per U.S.C. COPYRIGHT LAW - TITLE 17, SECTION 107, this not-for-profit site may reproduce copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such articles will either have a web link to the source, home page, and/or show credit to the author. If yours is here and you have a problem with that, send me an EMAIL, and I’ll take it off. Stuff I wrote carries a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE permitting non-commercial sharing. In addition, this site’s owner forbids insertion and injecting data of any kind - especially advertisements - into ours by any person or entity. Should you see a commercial ad that looks like it’s from here, please report it by sending me a tcpdump and/or screenshot in an EMAIL, then READ UP about how the PARTNERING OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS and companies like NEBUAD are DESTROYING INTERNET PRIVACY.
Resumes of layed off AT&T workers are posted for free HERE.
Links to some Telecom companies’ career pages are HERE.
Click HERE to learn a little about Article 43 and why I loathe the CWA.
Click HERE or HERE to learn what the CWA did when given a chance to do the right thing.
Click HERE for a glimpse of undemocratic and hypocritical CWA practices.
Click HERE for an article on Corporate Unionism.
Click HERE for an article of AFL-CIO’s undemocratic history.
This site can disappear anytime if I run out of money to pay for luxuries like food, health care, or internet service.
Discernment of truth is left to the reader - whose encouraged to seek as much information as possible, from as many different sources as possible - and pass them through his/her own filters - before believing anything.
...the Devil is just one man with a plan, but evil, true evil, is a collaboration of men…
- Fox Mulder, X Files
No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.
- John F. Kennedy
Today my country, your country and the Earth face a corporate holocaust against human and Earthly rights. I call their efforts a holocaust because when giant corporations wield human rights backed by constitutions and the law (and therefore enforced by police, the courts, and armed forces) and sanctioned by cultural norms, the rights of people, other species and the Earth are annihilated.
- Richard L. Grossman
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
- Albert Einstein
He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King Jr
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
- Benjamin Franklin
If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.
- Benjamin Franklin
We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
- Albert Einstein
Solidarity has always been key to political and economic advance by working families, and it is key to mastering the politics of globalization.
- Thomas Palley
The impending credit crisis cant be avoided, but it could be mitigated by taking radical steps to soften the blow. Emergency changes to the federal tax code could put more money in the hands of maxed-out consumers and keep the economy sputtering along while efforts are made to curtail the ruinous trade deficit. We should eliminate the Social Security tax for any couple making under $60, 000 per year and restore the 1953 tax-brackets for Americans highest earners so that the upper 1%-- who have benefited the most from the years of prosperity---will be required to pay 93% of all earnings above the first $1 million income. At the same time, corporate profits should be taxed at a flat 35%, while capital gains should be locked in at 35%. No loopholes. No exceptions.
Congress should initiate a program of incentives for reopening American factories and provide generous subsidies to rebuild US manufacturing. The emphasis should be on reestablishing a competitive market for US exports while developing the new technologies which will address the imminent problems of environmental degradation, global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, resource scarcity, disease and food production. Off-shoring of American jobs should be penalized by tariffs levied against the offending industries.
The oil and natural gas industries should be nationalized with the profits earmarked for vocational training, free college tuition, universal health care and improvements to then nations infrastructure.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Religion And The Brain
Neural Markers of Religious Conviction
By Michael Inzlicht, Ian McGregor, Jacob B. Hirsh and Kyle Nash
University Of Toronto and York University
Many people derive peace of mind and purpose in life from their belief in God. For others, however, religion provides UNSATISFYING ANSWERS. Are there brain differences between believers and nonbelievers? Here we show that religious conviction is marked by reduced reactivity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a cortical system that is involved in the experience of anxiety and is important for self-regulation.
In two studies, we recorded electroencephalographic neural reactivity in the ACC as participants completed a Stroop task. Results showed that stronger religious zeal and greater belief in God were associated with less firing of the ACC in response to error and with commission of fewer errors. These correlations remained strong even after we controlled for personality and cognitive ability. These results suggest that religious conviction provides a framework for understanding and acting within one’s environment, thereby acting as a buffer against anxiety and minimizing the experience of error.
Researchers find brain differences between believers and non-believers
Believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress, according to new University of Toronto research that shows distinct brain differences between believers and non-believers
University of Toronto
March 4, 2009
Believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress, according to new University of Toronto research that shows distinct brain differences between believers and non-believers.
In two studies led by Assistant Psychology Professor Michael Inzlicht, participants performed a Stroop task - a well-known test of cognitive control - while hooked up to electrodes that measured their brain activity.
Compared to non-believers, the religious participants showed significantly less activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a portion of the brain that helps modify behavior by signaling when attention and control are needed, usually as a result of some anxiety-producing event like making a mistake. The stronger their religious zeal and the more they believed in God, the less their ACC fired in response to their own errors, and the fewer errors they made.
“You could think of this part of the brain like a cortical alarm bell that rings when an individual has just made a mistake or experiences uncertainty,” says lead author Inzlicht, who teaches and conducts research at the University of Toronto Scarborough. “We found that religious people or even people who simply believe in the existence of God show significantly less brain activity in relation to their own errors. They’re much less anxious and feel less stressed when they have made an error.”
These correlations remained strong even after controlling for personality and cognitive ability, says Inzlicht, who also found that religious participants made fewer errors on the Stroop task than their non-believing counterparts.
Their findings show religious belief has a calming effect on its devotees, which makes them less likely to feel anxious about making errors or facing the unknown. But Inzlicht cautions that anxiety is a “double-edged sword” which is at times necessary and helpful.
“Obviously, anxiety can be negative because if you have too much, you’re paralyzed with fear,” he says. “However, it also serves a very useful function in that it alerts us when we’re making mistakes. If you don’t experience anxiety when you make an error, what impetus do you have to change or improve your behaviour so you don’t make the same mistakes again and again?”
Section Spiritual Diversions •
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one •
Printable view • Link to this article •
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Cancer Of Joblessness
Long-term unemployment is one of the most pernicious effects of the Great Recession
The persistence of LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT is one of the most pernicious and enduring effects of the Great Recessionand one at serious risk of being overlooked.
While the US economy has substantially recovered and the overall unemployment rate has fallen sharply, the percentage of the unemployed who have been out of work for more than six months is still approximately one in four job seekersחlevels unseen in the United States since the nations worst previous recession in the early 1980s. What we need is to recognize the severity of the nationҒs long-term unemployment problem, raise awareness especially with employers and policy makers, and develop and support new cost-effective tools and programs to make it possible for struggling job seekers to reconnect to employment.
Lingering long-term unemployment wreaks havoc on social mobility. Described as a “cancer in the job market,” long-term unemployment has devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities.
The long-term unemployed are five times more likely to be living in poverty than employed individuals. Further, there is evidence that even when the long-term unemployed do find new jobs, they often EARN FAR LESS than they were earning previously, and take a step down the career ladder. Other research has found that not only is within-career mobility affected by long-term unemployment, across-generation mobility suffers as well, starting with evidence that the children of those who lose jobs have poorer academic performance.
Long-term unemployment also afflicts a wide swath of the labor forceincluding college graduates. A person with a bachelorגs degree or higher is only slightly less likely to be among the long-term unemployed than a person with less than a high school diploma. However, several demographic groups, including blacks, Asians, and older workers, are more likely to experience long spells of joblessness.
The results of this unemployment include isolation, stress, anxiety, and depression. Being jobless for months or even years can permanently alter individuals personalities, and lead to higher mortality rates and declining life expectancy. Joblessness also increases the incidence of alcohol, drug abuse, and even suicide.
Regrettably, the under-resourced public workforce system is not providing sufficient services to combat this terrible condition. During the depth of the Great Recession, nearly two-thirds of unemployed workers received up to 99 weeks of Unemployment Insurance. Those benefits were eliminated in 2013. Now, qualified unemployed workers receive no more than 26 weeks of aid.
According to the Heldrich CenterҒs surveys of the long-term unemployed, almost half of those who did obtain Unemployment Insurance ran out of benefits before they were able to find work. The vast majority of those who were laid off during and after the recession reported that they received no other form of government assistance. In 2013, less than 1 in 10 of the long-term unemployed received help from a government agency when they were looking for a job. Less than 1 in 20 were enrolled in a government-funded training program to prepare for new job opportunities.
Compounding the lack of government aid is the fact that many employers are reluctant to hire the long-term unemployed even when they have the requisite skills and experience. In addition to suffering from the stigma of long-term unemployment, older workers, who are overrepresented among the long-term unemployed, often experience age discrimination. Because many older job seekers have not looked for work in decades, they are unfamiliar with contemporary job search techniques and need advice about the best ways to restart their careers.
n the past few years, several initiatives to assist long-term unemployed individuals have gotten under way. The US Department of Labor is supporting efforts in 23 communities to provide training and other resources through its $170 million Ready to Work grants. The AARP Foundation is providing assistance to older, long-term unemployed job seekers through its Back to Work 50+ program. In late 2015, responding to the high long-term unemployment rates plaguing New Jersey, Rutgers Universitys Heldrich Center for Workforce Development launched a statewide effort called the New Start Career Network (NSCN) to assist long-term unemployed, older workers.
NSCN is currently providing free-of-charge services to over 900 older, long-term unemployed workers, including information and advice about the labor market and job search strategies via a website (newstartcareernetwork.org) and group tutorials, one-on-one coaching from over 140 trained volunteers, and access to a broad range of services through over 25 nonprofit, government, and employer partners, including education, training, mental health counseling, and incentives to encourage employers to offer trial employment and on-the-job training.
In June 2016, the Heldrich Center announced plans to greatly expand NSCN, in partnership with the Philip and Tammy Murphy Foundation and more than 25 other organizations, in a Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America. Through the CGI commitment, NSCN will be well positioned to engage with new partners that can help in its plans to assist 9,000 long-term unemployed workers by the end of 2019. After all, no institution can take on such an entrenched and complex problem alone.
This story is part of a series addressing a central question: How Can We Accelerate Social Mobility in America?Ӕ The authors are participating in the 2016 meeting of CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE (CGI) AMERICA (June 12-14 in Atlanta), where leaders in business, philanthropy, government, and nonprofits are turning ideas into actions that help strengthen the US
Section Dying America •
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one •
Printable view • Link to this article •
Monday, July 04, 2016
Demonizing The Poor 2
It Is Expensive to Be Poor
Minimum-wage jobs are physically demanding, have unpredictable schedules, and pay so meagerly that workers can’t save up enough to move on.
By Barbara Ehrenreich
Jan 13, 2014
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a move that was unprecedented at the time and remains unmatched by succeeding administrations. He announced a War on Poverty, saying that its “chief weapons” would be “better schools, and better health, and better homes, and better training, and better job opportunities.”
So starting in 1964 and for almost a decade, the federal government poured at least some of its resources in the direction they should have been going all along: toward those who were most in need. Longstanding programs like Head Start, Legal Services, and the Job Corps were created. Medicaid was established. Poverty among seniors was significantly reduced by improvements in Social Security.
Johnson seemed to have established the principle that it is the responsibility of government to intervene on behalf of the disadvantaged and deprived. But there was never enough money for the fight against poverty, and Johnson found himself increasingly distracted by another and deadlier war - the one in Vietnam. Although underfunded, the War on Poverty still managed to provoke an intense backlash from conservative intellectuals and politicians.
In their view, government programs could do nothing to help the poor because poverty arises from the twisted psychology of the poor themselves. By the Reagan era, it had become a cornerstone of conservative ideology that poverty is caused not by low wages or a lack of jobs and education, but by the bad attitudes and faulty lifestyles of the poor.
Picking up on this theory, pundits and politicians have bemoaned the character failings and bad habits of the poor for at least the past 50 years. In their view, the poor are shiftless, irresponsible, and prone to addiction. They have too many children and fail to get married. So if they suffer from grievous material deprivation, if they run out of money between paychecks, if they do not always have food on their tables - then they have no one to blame but themselves.
In the 1990s, with a bipartisan attack on welfare, this kind of prejudice against the poor took a drastically misogynistic turn. Poor single mothers were identified as a key link in what was called the “cycle of poverty.” By staying at home and collecting welfare, they set a toxic example for their children, whoimportant policymakers came to believe - would be better off being cared for by paid child care workers or even, as Newt Gingrich proposed, in orphanages.
“Welfare reform” was the answer, and it was intended not only to end financial support for imperiled families, but also to cure the self-induced culture of poverty that was supposedly at the root of their misery. The original welfare reform billa bill, it should be recalled, which was signed by President Bill Clinton - included an allocation of $100 million for “chastity training” for low-income women.
The Great Recession should have put the victim-blaming theory of poverty to rest. In the space of only a few months, millions of people entered the ranks of the officially poor - not only laid-off blue-collar workers, but also downsized tech workers, managers, lawyers, and other once-comfortable professionals. No one could accuse these “nouveau poor” Americans of having made bad choices or bad lifestyle decisions. They were educated, hardworking, and ambitious, and now they were also poor - applying for food stamps, showing up in shelters, lining up for entry-level jobs in retail. This would have been the moment for the pundits to finally admit the truth: Poverty is not a character failing or a lack of motivation. Poverty is a shortage of money.
For most women in poverty, in both good times and bad, the shortage of money arises largely from inadequate wages. When I worked on my book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, I took jobs as a waitress, nursing-home aide, hotel housekeeper, Wal-Mart associate, and a maid with a house-cleaning service. I did not choose these jobs because they were low-paying. I chose them because these are the entry-level jobs most readily available to women.
What I discovered is that in many ways, these jobs are a trap: They pay so little that you cannot accumulate even a couple of hundred dollars to help you make the transition to a better-paying job. They often give you no control over your work schedule, making it impossible to arrange for child care or take a second job. And in many of these jobs, even young women soon begin to experience the physical deterioration - especially knee and back problems - that can bring a painful end to their work life.
I was also dismayed to find that in some ways, it is actually more expensive to be poor than not poor. If you cant afford the first month’s rent and security deposit you need in order to rent an apartment, you may get stuck in an overpriced residential motel. If you don’t have a kitchen or even a refrigerator and microwave, you will find yourself falling back on convenience store food, which - in addition to its nutritional deficits - is also alarmingly overpriced. If you need a loan, as most poor people eventually do, you will end up paying an interest rate many times more than what a more affluent borrower would be charged. To be poor - especially with children to support and care for - is a perpetual high-wire act.
Most private-sector employers offer no sick days, and many will fire a person who misses a day of work, even to stay home with a sick child. A nonfunctioning car can also mean lost pay and sudden expenses. A broken headlight invites a ticket, plus a fine greater than the cost of a new headlight, and possible court costs. If a creditor decides to get nasty, a court summons may be issued, often leading to an arrest warrant. No amount of training in financial literacy can prepare someone for such exigencies - or make up for an income that is impossibly low to start with. Instead of treating low-wage mothers as the struggling heroines they are, our political culture still TENDS TO VIEW THEM as miscreants and contributors to the “cycle of poverty.”
If anything, the criminalization of poverty has accelerated since the recession, with growing numbers of states drug testing applicants for temporary assistance, imposing steep fines for school truancy, and imprisoning people for debt. Such measures constitute a cruel inversion of the Johnson-era principle that it is the responsibility of government to extend a helping hand to the poor. Sadly, this has become the means by which the wealthiest country in the world manages to remain complacent in the face of alarmingly high levels of poverty: by continuing to blame poverty not on the economy or inadequate social supports, but on the poor themselves.
Its time to revive the notion of a collective national RESPONSIBILITY to the poorest among us, who are disproportionately women and especially women of color. Until that happens, we need to wake up to the fact that the underpaid women who clean our homes and offices, prepare and serve our meals, and care for our elderly - earning wages that do not provide enough to live on - are the true philanthropists of our society.
Section General Reading •
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one •
Printable view • Link to this article •
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Can I Get PTSD From My Job
Can I Get PTSD From My Job?
By Dr Z.
January 23, 2010
PTSD can be caused by four broad categories of trauma. PTSD wounds our souls. We usually think of rape or military service or natural disasters as causing PTSD. Yet, a question I sometimes get is, “Can I get PTSD from my civilian job?” (This essay was expanded on 24 Jan 2010)
The short answer is “Yes.”
Does It Matter How I Got PTSD?
PTSD does not care how you got traumatised. It just cares that you did get traumatised and then it tries to isolate and harm you. If you get PTSD from a civilian employment situation, you still get to experience the same PTSD symptoms and PTSD-Identity that soldiers and veterans get.
When I listen to military veterans, rape survivors, and others, they almost all exhibit similar PTSD symptoms. But they all got PTSD producing trauma in individual and different ways. Hopefully, as American society matures, we will realize the point is not how did I get PTSD, but that I have PTSD. People who have their souls wounded by PTSD, regardless of how they got it, need our prayers and compassion. Some of them will also need medical treatment for symptoms.
Compassion Deficit Disorder
When dealing with my own PTSD, and when I help others realize they have value in spite of their PTSD, I still frequently find people (who have usually not suffered much themselves) judging what sort of trauma is worthy of PTSD and hence, their compassion. If someone is in pain, they are worthy of our compassion.
But what about compassion deniers who themselves suffered from real trauma in their own lives? Sometime people will suffer from COMPASSION DEFICIT disorder because when they suffered people showed them zero compassion. They were told to just get on with it, or quit whining. That treatment added to their own suffering. Unfortunately, they then fell into the trap of treating others with the same lack of compassion. When we recognise someone elses suffering and can be compassionate, not only do we help them heal, but we heal a little more ourselves.
The PTSD-Identity wants to deny our own need for compassion and it denies that anyone else needs compassion. It knows that your soul will start to heal if you allow yourself to be compassionate.
PTSD From Civilian Jobs?
f your job routinely involves trauma then you can easily acquire PTSD from your job. Firefighters, police officers, emergency room technicians and paramedics can all be at heightened risk for PTSD.
Trauma From “Non-Emergency” Jobs?
This has more to do with the work environment, the sort of culture that the company allowed to develop.
Employment which is high stress, high risk, or with horrible supervisors or co-workers can all cause PTSD in their ways. If your co-workers are sexist or racists, that produces stress. If your boss is a screamer or sets you up to fail, that is also difficult to deal with.
PTSD risks beyond the job’s culture happens when trauma shows up unexpectedly. Then PTSD can be acquired in jobs that are not normally considered as emergency work. In fact, if your job is one that we dont expect to be stressful or traumatic, we can be caught off guard and even more easily harmed when things get horrible. For example, a bank teller is not an emergency trauma worker. If there is a shooting in the bank, the tellers can get PTSD.
Harrassment Can Cause PTSD
If your employment culture allows you to be harrassed, then you can get PTSD. Work place law even recognises that verbal harrassment is a criminal offense and companies have paid substantial fines for allowing it. Subtle discrimination on the job can also traumatize a person, especially when every job is at risk due to the profit first, people never machinations of Wall Street financiers and moving our manufacturing jobs out of the country.
Harrasment, on the job or not, is always despicable. In some cases it will traumatise us so deeply as to wound our soul and hinder our ability to have proper relationships.
Business Uncertainty and Unemployment Are Trauma Producing
The recession can cause PTSD for some people. The stresses of round after round of layoffs is a traumatic experience. It is traumatic to be laid off (fired?) from your job. It is stressful and traumatic waiting to see if your name is on the next list of people who are dismissed.
Being unemployed can also cause trauma. Applying for unemployment or welfare is stigmatized in American society. Even if you lose your job through no fault of your own, people act as if you are a leper. And if you have kids who are members of the “Entitlement Generation,” then not having the money (or the credit) to keep them in clothes and electronics can also be traumatic.
PTSD is Not Inevitable
We are not all fated to get PTSD. Yet, we are all at risk of being traumatized. Knowing that it can happen and that PTSD is a normal outcome of trauma can help us more easily heal.
Regardless of how we get the soul wound of PTSD, we still need prayer and hope. We still need compassion and forgiveness.
Section Dying America • Section Workplace • Section Spiritual Diversions • Section Personal •
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one •
Printable view • Link to this article •