Not Thinking Straight
Today is apparently one of those days where my brain is running in circles. There’s no reason for it; I’m not dwelling on anything. I just can’t seem to think in a straight line, which is… unfortunate. I’m not even sure how to write about it because I’ll think about writing for two seconds, and then dash off to stare in the fridge, or make a random proclamation to the husband. A bank statement will catch my eye, and I’ll remember to put in a few jots of data. Then I’ll spot a tab open and think, ‘Well I’ve not looked at that in 20 seconds maybe it’s changed if I look at it now oh it hasn’t well shoot I’ll look again in… bank statement!’
It gets old, yo.
At least it’s not the toddler’s fault today, for which I’m grateful. I’m kind of frankly amazed that I’m not a total blithering wreck after the last couple days, but really, today has been pretty decent, ESPECIALLY considering none of us slept that well last night. She’s a good sleeper, mind; we’ve not had to get up to check on her in the night… ever, really. But the husband reported he could hear her moving around and making some levels of noise whenever he awoke last night, but not enough to need to check it out. I’m grateful for his ears – I’m usually out cold until morning; even if I do stir, I’m back out as soon as I’m done complaining mentally that I’ve woken.
*tops up the co-codamol and drums fingers on the desk*
In spite of this, I have managed to spot a few interesting bits in the news, such as:
New elements added to chemistry’s periodic table
Now, I’m not sure how I feel about all these crazy made-up don’t-really-exist-naturally elements that make up the tag-end of the table, but I still like me some frakenscience. Plus, I really hope they keep the name ununhexium, ’cause that’s ridiculously awesome (and Uuh <_____<). Ununquadium (or Uuq) doesn’t have the same ring, yanno?
The other thing on my mind right now is fresh out of Florida:
Florida to charge welfare applicants to take drug test
My first thought was ‘Yeah, that’ll stop leeches!’; this didn’t last very long. Living in the UK and seeing what a wonderful safety net most people have here (with paying less taxes all in, I believe) has made me lose a bit of the personal survivalist attitude that is rather endemic in America. Oh sure, the UK gets it terribly wrong in some ways – I definitely don’t think being a teen mother should be a nearly-guaranteed free council house bigger and better than the one myself and my husband pay for. But really America – way to crap on the huddled masses yet again. Not everyone receiving Welfare are drug-addled mothers of twenty, and nobody should be forced to pay to prove that they’re innocent. They surely will because they are desperate; desperation will make people go out of their way to abase themselves for a bit of crust to survive.
‘But you have to get drug-tested to earn money to pay taxes, so they should to!’ – this is a sentiment I’ve seen going ’round and ’round. And I have to say – bollocks. I’ve been working since I was 16, and I’ve only had one job where I had to be drug tested; this was the United States Air Force. Because I was under contract to the government, I bowed my head to it; as a job that is supposed to be filled by America’s finest paradigms, I didn’t feel it was an unreasonable request. But other jobs that don’t say… require operating guns or heavy machinery? Well, I compare it to the CRB background checks here – you are being forced to prove you’re not guilty (and in the case of the CRB check, paying annually to prove this). You are being called guilty of being a druggie right out of the gate (or a pedophile here), and obviously you must be hiding something if you don’t willingly want to give up your money and debase yourself to prove that you’re guilty.
Which obviously… bollocks. But that’s just my take on it. 🙂 I can hope that common sense will prevail, but with how radicalized politics are in the US of A right now, that’s a loooot of hoping.
Oh yes, if you like what you see, why don’t you go vote for me? You can do it daily too – what fun!
[[radio edit]] There’s a great opinion piece on the Florida matter from Darlena over at Tales of an Unlikely Mother – check it out!
I have terribly mixed feelings on this issue. As a public school teacher I see a LOT of abuse of the system. 55% of our students are on the free lunch program and I would say 50% of those pay cash daily to buy hot cheetos for lunch out of a machine. Fat kids buy sports drinks which are so high in sugar and can contribute to obesity in children. Teen mothers say that it’s OKAY to have ANOTHER baby because they get a check. Mothers come to school so high they can barely stand up. Children have sex in the bathrooms at school for a DOLLAR and when caught say “My momma don’t care, she a stripper.”
The system is broken. It needs repair.
I agree – the system is broken and needs repair. But this is a blatant move to keep people down. As we’ve seen first-hand, psychological problems and drug use have a direct correlation; money should be spent on therapy and rehab, *not* stigmatizing people already brutally stigmatized! 🙂 Because if they didn’t have mental health issues before, you betcha there are going to be more now!
I have mixed feelings on the Florida welfare issue myself. It drives me absolutely batty when I see people taking advantage of the system that don’t really need it or when I see people using it to buy anything besides decent food. But, I don’t think that this is the answer. The welfare system as a whole does need some big changes I just don’t know what they are exactly. I will say though that I’ve had to do a drug test for every job I’ve ever had from the fast food job I had at 16 to the retail jobs I had at chain department stores to the handful of banks I worked at. Most of them did random drug testing after hire as well. Of course, by random what they really mean is ‘if you come into work looking like you were out smoking crack all night we’re going to send you in’. But still… So yeah…. I don’t know. I am not opposed to drug testing for welfare as a general concept but I think it depends on exactly how they are doing it. I don’t think they should charge for it. My employers never charged me. Lots of rambling, no real definitive opinions from me.
I must’ve lucked out in managing to avoid drug testing everywhere, ha ha. But even now, if I had a need to find another job, I wouldn’t work for a place that insisted on assuming I was guilty and needing to prove my innocence before hiring me. I can understand it in a job that has a clearance, not a burger flipping place. And the reason they keep getting away with this kind of crap is because people are scared that if you say no to such, then everyone is going to assume you’re a crazy druggie and worthy of being ostracized. Go ahead – call me a crazy druggie – I am not submitting to drug testing, just like I’m not going to let the British government accuse me of being a pedophile for being near children. 😉
The thing that really makes me sad is that’s seriously the ‘snappy’ comeback everyone uses – I have to get drug-tested, so they should too… maybe it’s just me, but think about the crazy thing just being said. Especially when say… things like Jones sodas and poppy bagels can make you pop positive on drug tests; oh no, I deserve to lose my job or money ’cause I had a tiny treat.
Oh, and seriously – what’s with everyone insisting that if you’re so desperately poor that you need help that you’re not allowed the occasional luxury? Yes sure, you shouldn’t go get booze and fags and all that every day, but if you can manage to stretch the budget for a little something nice once in awhile, I don’t see why that’s anyone elses’ business. That would be like someone telling you that because you’re a solo income house, you’re never allowed to have steak or wine in my opinion. 😉
Not picking on you, obviously – just taking advantage of the fact that you’ve not classist to plant a few seeds of thought. You’re welcome to dismiss them or cherish them as you wish – you know that I love and respect you for the fact that you are willing to make up your own mind on things, but are also willing to think about other viewpoints. And so obviously, things to think about – do people of higher class have a right to tell you, and those below you, what they can and cannot spend their money on? Because that aspect of this is pure classism, and it is breaking my heart to see my middle class friends take swipes at lower class folk because they have free reign to in this sort of situation. The other being – why is it okay for a corporation to assume you are guilty of a crime and force you to prove your innocence. Obviously, even I have mental exceptions for this, but those include guns, security clearances, and heavy machinery. 😉
Yeah, you make a lot of good points. Like I said, I think the system as a whole definitely needs some fixing but I have no idea how to go about doing that. Part of me is just bitter because we make too much to qualify for any aid yet we don’t make enough to pay our bills and eat any given month and will probably lose our house in the near future since we are dipping into our dwindling savings all the time. I can’t get a job to help because daycare costs too much so we’re kinda stuck. So, I get angry when I see some people on aid that are living much better lifestyles than I could even dream of. Fancy cars and houses and such. My emotions then make me incapable of making a non-biased opinion on the whole thing.
I never really thought about the whole drug testing thing for work because it’s always just been the norm for me. When you word it that way, it makes me not want to be tested. Haha. But, I’ve never done any illegal drugs and have harsh opinions on them just because of what I’ve seen them do to my mother. When it comes to others though, I don’t really care what they do or don’t do within reason. 😉
Thank you for being brave enough to be honest with yourself on this issue – it’s kind of big. 🙂 I have similar issues here, but I do my best to remember that there are people that need genuine help, and that I don’t know and shouldn’t judge other peoples’ situations. It’s hard, and I admit that I’ll always have a bit of a hate-on for silly little girls getting free houses for getting knocked up… *shakes head* The situation is so much worse in the States and so much more… unkindly – Grayson actually said it best over on Facebook – ‘Blimey, if it hadn’t said “Florida” at the start of the article, you’d assume you’re reading an article about someone trying to get help in a Third World country rather than someone desperate for help in one of the richest nations on Earth.’
Also, I think my mother could agree with you on how horrible it is to *almost* qualify for assistance, but not. I seem to remember this being problematic most of my childhood. And thankfully, she never had to pay for childcare for all four of us – by the time she got herself back to work, I was old enough to take care of myself and Becca for the summers (9 and 7, I think?).
As for drugs and drug use… I’m not too fond of it either. Oh sure, I had some childhood usage (pot, like most people), but it didn’t make it to adulthood… instead, it got supplanted by rather severe alcohol problems because that was ‘legal’; the joys of still undiagnosed depression issues. 😉 I merely point out the drug testing as a ‘Isn’t that… strange?’ because it’s little dinks and chinks like this that erodes freedoms. Obama might be doing a lot of good for the country, but he’s not made any real efforts to fix eroded freedoms in my book!
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