Shot to the Face

One afternoon when I was a child I was sitting in the sun just outside our garage while my uncle riffled though my family’s shit, looking for god knows what. He dropped a box, and shotgun shells rolled everywhere, I caught a few and started playing with one. I had seen my dad take the shell and fill it with beads, when clamp it, but he never really explained how it fired–despite being an avid award winning hunter and skeet shooter. My uncle looked over just as I started slamming the primer into the cement, he started screaming at me and took it from my hand. He took a flat-head and pried the top open, spilled out the shot, stuck the primer in a vice and hit it with a hammer–my uncle’s only science lesson. When I was older he taught me how to clean, load and fire a hand-cannon of a revolver. It was a lot of fun, but I’ll always remember the time I almost blew my face off.

Pay Equality

I’d like to set an agenda for the labor unions as we wind this year down, and prepare for the next. As a union employee I enjoy better pay, but my company has found another way to take more away: hour cuts. So, even though my hourly wage is higher, my paycheck is about the same as someone making a little above minimum wage. Depending on where you work, you even stand to lose your benefits. On top of that, women are still far behind in the payroll department, along with POC and many, many others who don’t make as much as the average white guy does.

We can make 2015 the year Americans earn equal pay for the same job no matter their gender or color, and get the hours they need to live a balanced life, and achieve a higher quality of life (without government assistance). There are several things that need to happen to make this a reality, however the main focus right now is minimum wage. Our income hasn’t gone up substantially for almost half a century, while the cost of food, housing, and every other necessity has–along with our employers’ paychecks. But in order for it to work companies must allow a reasonable work schedule that pays enough at the end of the week. We know they’re making record profits, so there’s no excuse for record low income.

For too long we’ve let corporations pull the strings of our lives and our nation on dated, or bad information. Too long have we let corporate greed trump humanity–even putting our democracy at stake. The current system has funneled money (which should be circulating the market) into the hands of a few powerful people tucked away from the scrutiny of society, but that’s going to change very soon because we deserve better for powering this country, and we can get it if we stand together.

Dear Portlanders

There are a thousand ways to introduce yourselves, endless opportunities for the creative conversationalist to make a great first impression. But day after day, hour after hour, so many of you just walk up to me and ask my back, side, or (rarest of all) face a question without so much as a “Hey, fuckhead,” before, “Where’s the whipped cream?” I’m not a corporate drone. I’m a goddamn person who scrapes by week to week so you can pick an apple, and peel a banana from the comfort of an air-conditioned building, so the least you can do is greet me.