Via Mike Lukovich, amuniversal
In the past couple of days, the Los Angeles Times letters to the editor about the jobless and homeless knocked it out of the park. I'm sharing a few samples, because our voices matter:
Re "222,000 in state to lose jobless aid," Dec. 25
So, Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky claim that funding extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless would hurt their chances of getting hired.
By that logic, it would necessarily follow that the homeless should not be given rent subsidies for an apartment because it would hinder them from buying a house someday.
I get it now.
"222,000 in state to lose jobless aid" — that was the headline I saw Christmas morning, and it totally ended the joy that day should have brought.
I hope Santa had 535 lumps of coal for each voting member of Congress.
That was just in California. Nationwide, the number of those who will no longer receive unemployment benefits skyrockets to 1.3 million. Did I mention that Congress members-- who are paid $174,000 a year-- are taking a holiday break (yes, another one) to rest from all the work they didn't do?
And we all know what unemployment can lead to, right? If you answered "homelessness," you would be correct. And as so many American families struggle to eat and stay alive, the very, very wealthy struggle to come up with ways to keep up with the over-the-top Joneses by outdoing one another with preposterously showy novelty perks.
There is no link to the following letters, because, true to form, The L.A. Times failed to post these online. I transcribed these from my morning paper and added a link that is a MUST-read:
Re "Union Station's homeless," Editorial, Dec. 25
Once again we read on this Christmas Day that the business community-- in this instance, aided by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority-- finds no room for the desperately poor at Union Station.
One way to justify keeping the homeless at bay is to perpetuate blatant stereotypes, exemplified by the oft-repeated phrase "aggressive panhandling." Both words are extremely negative and imply that people asking for charity are not only "bums" but that their actions, as the word "aggressive" conveys, border on violence.
When our favorite nonprofit organizations beg for our money, we call it intensive fundraising and assume it to be normal and expected, even when we are "aggressively" bombarded with stacks of nuisance letters and phone calls-- something no person without a home has ever done to me.
I suspect The Times was being ironic when it mentioned that only 4,000 shelter beds are available each night for Los Angeles County's more than 57,000 homeless, and then that outreach workers should encourage people at Union Station to seek out Shelters.
Douglas J. Miller
On Christmas Day, an article in the Business section reported on houses built with moats and other luxuries selling for as much as $50 million.
In the same paper, The Times editorialized on the homeless in Union Station. The editorial noted that there are 57,000 homeless in L.A. and only 4,000 beds to serve them.
Something is seriously wrong.