Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Welcome to Bush's America

I know I haven't posted here for awhile. That's because I've been trying to sort out how I wanted to put this latest entry here.

I finally figured out the best way to do it is just be as honest as I can and let the chips fall where they may.

This has to do with my family - specifcially, one of my two sisters and her husband. Except for my brother, all of them live on the Illinois side of St. Louis - in Collinsville, though we all grew up in Granite City. The reasons for the move are many and varied and I don't think I'm at liberty to talk about it all here. I can say for certain part of it is how badly Granite City has fallen apart. It's basically a shell of what it used to be - but that's another topic for another day.

My brother-in-law (also named Brent, believe it or not) had been working for some 30 years at the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown St. Louis. Had a good job there, in fact. Never caused a problem at all.

A few weeks ago, he was fired from his job.

The details are still somewhat sketchy - I've tried to talk to my mom about it but she hasn't said much - but from what I can gather, my brother-in-law was ousted in just a couple of months by someone who had a vendetta against him.

He was written up for (from I can tell) minor stuff three times in two months and basically forced out the door. I wish I knew all the details but no one wants to talk about it.

Now, from what I know, my brother-in-law and sister are thisclose to losing EVERYTHING - the house, cars, the whole shootin' match - because of petty politics.

My brother-in-law was a year away from being able to claim full pension, health benefits, everything. The health insurance is especially important because he's had some heart trouble recently. He passed out because of a heart stoppage a couple of years ago and cracked his skull, causing some serious problems (he's recovered from that). He also had a pacemaker installed in him recently too.

Now they have no health insurance as well. My sister looked into getting private health insurance for him and found out it was something like $800 a month - precisely what she brings home each month from the Head Start center she works at in Edwardsville, IL.

Tell me that's not screwed up.

And don't even bring politics into this, according to my mom. The title of this post is "Welcome to Bush's America," and I said that to her when I found out what happened.

Problem: The women in my family have all embraced what I believe to be the poison of right-wing Christian fundamentalism, as practiced by the Southern Baptist Convention. They go to a SBC "community" church in Edwardsville, where the far-right doctrine is preached and practiced on a daily basis.

Wouldn't surprise me if they all voted for Bush in November - even though it's obvious he will NEVER represent their best interests.

A headline in a London tabloid put it best in November - How can 59,000,000 (can't rememer the exact number) be so DUMB?

I don't think it's a stretch to think my brother and I aren't thought of too fondly by my mom and sisters when it comes to poltiics. We're both the type of guys who listen to "Democracy Now!", support anti-war efforts and think big-ass corporations need to think about people first rather than how much more profit they can squeeze out.

I could be wrong, of course, but I don't think so.

I'm just tired of garbage. My brother-in-law deserved FAR better than he got by Your United States Government.

Hope maybe this will be the wake-up call the women in my family get to see how screwed up their poltiical stances are. But I'm not holding my breath.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does your brother-in-law think it has to do with national politics or 'office politics' or both or neither?

There may be an appeal procedure in civil service jobs, though I am not sure.

CS

3:17 PM  
Blogger Brent said...

Thanks for your comment CS!

I'm not 100 percent sure on what my brother-in-law thinks; I've not talked to him since it happened. It could be office politics, national politics or some combination, for all I know.

I did find out last night from my brother (via my mom) that they have been talking to a lawyer and are considering their options. That's as much as I know about it.

To my knowledge, there is an appeals process in place but I don't know if he's using it or not.

Again, thanks for your comment!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Brent said...

I'm not 100 percent sure on what my brother-in-law thinks; I've not talked to him since it happened. It could be office politics, national politics or some combination, for all I know.

I did find out last night from my brother (via my mom) that they have been talking to a lawyer and are considering their options. That's as much as I know about it.

To my knowledge, there is an appeals process in place but I don't know if he's using it or not.

Again, thanks for your comment!

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it at all possible that your brother-in-law was just a typical Civil Service fuck-up and now he's paying the price for a career of screwinbg us all?

And is it possible that the women in your family are smarter than the men?

Sure looks that way to me.

2:35 AM  
Blogger Gordon said...

First, to the non CS-Anonymous: wow, it takes real guts to not sign a name (or even initials) to a counter-post. Wow, wish I had the guts to do that.

(Sorry, Brent, for the sarcasm)

It's funny, because right now is not a good time for our country - we've had a government that has gotten involved in a death that it had no right to get involved in (want proof? Even some evangelical groups fought Bush on this one), our economy is not moving forward, and quite frankly, when your working and/or middle class is living from paycheck to paycheck...

Even if it wasn't, as Brent said, a vendetta - there are other alternatives, even in civil service. Most employers have progressive discipline, not "three-strikes-you're-out". I'm not going to Bush bash - his record, especially in recent times, speaks for itself - but there is (and has been) a growing climate of intolerance on both sides, and it needs to end - pronto.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw that in a previous post you mentioned eHarmony. Now, seeing this post, I thought you would like to know:
eHarmony's extreme right wing politics.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/2/5/145919/2183

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try walking a mile in Brent's shoes before criticizing him!

4:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home