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Rip al

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by Earth Wind and Fire, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Jun 5, 2010
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    This is the story of Al, one of those statistics you all talk about, one of the constituents you read letters from on the Senate floor, on the House floor:

    "He did everything right: worked hard all his life, paid taxes, took care of his family, participated in his community. Then boom, one day he was laid off at age 58, and for more than two years after that could only find odd jobs here and there. Jobs he applied for had many people showing up to try to get the same 1 job. When he reached 99 weeks and lost his unemployment benefits, he lost his home, he put his disabled wife and son into a homeless shelter, he lived in his van, he suffered when the police confiscated his license plate due to nonpayment of the registration. (He later had his plate returned to him after a kind soul paid his registration fee.) Unable to drive the van for a time to seek work, he walked miles and miles, and prospective employers told him that he would not be hired because he was too old. Managers at both McDonald's and Wendy's told him that the was too old to work for them. The welfare office said he couldn't have food stamps without a mailing address. The homeless shelters that accept men told him they were full. He managed to hang onto his laptop and used it to email Congress and the White House to help the 99ers, but no one listened. Then one day last week, he gave his laptop away to a fellow jobless man who had just sold his own computer to buy milk for his baby, walked a few miles back to where his van was parked, and shot himself in the head."—a fellow unemployed poster

    Today we learned he is no longer with us. He was declared brain dead yesterday. His family courageously and most lovingly removed him from life support, and he died.

    Sen. Casey, your constituent is gone. Sen. Specter, your statistic is gone. And his representative? Someone from your district has passed.

    While all of you were aiming your slings and arrows at each other—you know, your good friends on the other side of the aisle—day after day, week after week, month after month, no one was noticing that many millions of Als were trying to live through one more day of heartbreak, terror, disgust, anger and a million other emotions—while attempting to find something to eat, someplace to sleep, and, yes, by golly, being chipper on that job hunt.

    Today I'm not addressing this to Democrats. Today, I'm not addressing this to Republicans. Today I'm not addressing this to an Independent. I'm not addressing it to your political beliefs, your deficit spending or not. I'm addressing this to each and every human being in Congress, and I'm putting you on notice that a man died—a 99er died—because no one moved fast enough to help him.

    Do you know how many 99ers are near bottom right now—who don't know if they can stand one more day, or even one more hour, trying to hold on until financial aid comes to them? They are white collar, blue collar, degreed and not, many years of experience, just out of school, with families, alone, with lives they've had to just give up, lives that don't exist anymore in any way resembling "the old days" when they were proud to be employed.

    We are grateful that a bill for the 99ers has been introduced. But I cannot physically fathom that you people are leaving, and leaving millions of needy people behind. By your return from your recess, there will be more Als who just. give. up.

    Do you know what it's like to be penniless? I do. I've been.

    Do you know what it's like to watch your loved one die from a brain injury? I do. I've watched.

    His family members and close friend Bruce have been in agony since July 27 because you didn't do something to help this man in time.

    Do the honorable thing tomorrow. Don't recess. Stay. Fulfill your moral obligation. And if you didn't know you had a moral obligation as a member of Congress, then maybe you ought to consider another career, perhaps as an accountant, something which makes you accountable for money, but unaccountable for lives worth saving and lives worth living.

    Today we should all be mourning. This was a life lost. Al wasn't your constituent. He wasn't your statistic. He was a living, breathing, desperate human being.

    How many more lives will be lost before other living, breathing, desperate human beings are helped?

    Michele Lang
    Chicago, IL