Blogger Beware: David Merfield of Upload Robots Uses Twitter and Social Media To Exploit Workers

I engage a variety people across social media platforms. Twitter is one of them. They are without a doubt the most popular micro-blogging site that exists right now. And, if you’re a frequent user, you can gain a lot of insight into any number of industries based on those that participate and exchange information. I’ve had memorable interactions on Twitter.

From general conversations to just reading links as others share their time and expertise. One person I follow is Sarah Evans has emerged as an authority in social media (Update: that of course was later called into question). So, when she posted a message (referred to as a Tweet by regular users) about a job listing last month for Upload Robots, I immediately applied.

From Homeowner To Homeless, Technical Issues & Why We Need to Deploy "Stone Soup" Techniques

Today’s episode is brought to you by DSL service that runs as fast as dial-up and the rivalry between code of two blogging platforms….

Hey All! I’m in the process of moving from Blogger to WordPress and I’d love it if you’d all come with me. I have a bit of behind-the-scenes technical glitches to iron out such as why my post disappeared this morning. Wow I’m glad I just checked because it was completely blank except for the title and the tags. Anyhoo, the new blog is at:

On a side note I’d already customized my permalinks at the new blog BUT I may need to change them so I can redirect the blogspot site directly without losing the custom features I’d set up. Plus all of you RSS readers are now my bestest friends. See what happens when you decide you can handle more responsibility….you get it. If anyone has any tips feel free to email me privately. In the meantime you can still visit me here and at my new net address. Onto the post from what I remember:

When I read the article “Foreclosures Force Ex-Homeowners To Turn To Shelters in the New York Times yesterday I felt a shudder. Now aside from leveling a jaundiced eye at their decision to feature an African-American woman in peril angle I also took a hard look at how Sheri West wound up in this situation to begin with.

It could be summed up rather quickly. She was a formerly married working class person who lived beyond her means. The divorce wiped her out and once she went from a two-income family to one that was it. Yet there are plenty of people who face financial obstacles and other crises but they don’t wind up on the streets.

The first night after she surrendered her house to foreclosure, Sheri West endured the darkness in her Hyundai sedan…The second night, she stayed with a friend, and so it continued for more than a year: Ms. West — mother of three grown children, grandmother to six and great-grandmother to one — passed months on the couches of friends and relatives, and in the front seat of her car…But this fall, she exhausted all options. She had once owned and overseen a group home for homeless people. Now, she succumbed to that status herself, checking in to a shelter.

Now here’s a woman who once ran a shelter needing to use the services of one! She has three grown children according to the article. So it begs the question – where’s the help from her family? I suspect this is a woman who was very self-sacrificing, someone who went out of her way to help others perhaps to her detriment. When we think of preparing for a rainy day we’re not always planning for a monsoon!

That is of course if we plan for that rainy day period. You know how a lot of us women are: we think about family, friends, the neighbors, the entire world before we think of ourselves. It’s time to get tough. We must PREPARE OURSELVES FOR SELF-CARE first and foremost. If we’ve given all we have to others that means there’s nothing left for us. People can be fickle once you no longer “amuse” them or give to them and it was un(der)reciprocated to begin with.

There are times we need help. The story of Stone Soup provides a wonder analogy of how people who have little resources on their own can join forces with others to meet the needs of a larger group. There was a village of people withering under the effects of a famine and everyone was hoarding what little they had. A traveler comes to town with a big cast iron pot declaring he’s making a stew. People slowly investigate and seeing how sparse the contents are decide to give a few items here and there. Soon it’s a hearty amount that feeds everyone.

This is an example of an equal exchange of resources and one we need to deploy more often. How many of you can pool them to help yourself and others to keep someone from sinking the way Ms. West has? Hopefully the added attention will result in a job offer or housing or whatever else she needs but this is something we can all do for someone RIGHT NOW. Let’s get out there and make some soup!

A Change IS Gonna Come!

Sometimes we get encouragement during less-than-expected circumstances. I say take it wherever you can get it. For example I read my October horoscope forecast – DON’T LAUGH – at Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone where it stated (excerpted):

There is more good news! Saturn has been a big part of the problem in your chart…Saturn constricts and shrinks all that it touches…It seemed hopeless, but all that is about to be over! Your Mars period will be the perfect time for you to launch a new endeavor on almost any front. Mars will make you courageous, energetic, and very determined to overcome obstacles. You will have impressive staying power and an aura of confidence and authority – all the right ingredients for success. Astrologic wisdom says that any endeavor or relationship started when Mars is in one’s own sign is likely to succeed.

You have no idea how much reading that helped boost my mood yesterday. I had a very productive day as a result. I take astrology with a grain of salt but I do believe our personality traits, zodiac signs and other things have just as much validity as birth order or any means of evaluating ourselves. I think there’s much insight that can be learned from understanding the psyche – it’s what makes us tick.

Yes, that would make me a believer of Carl Jung’s theories on psychological archetypes. I found a rare interview on Youtube.

If you’d like to view the rest, here’s Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

So go out there today and GET YOURS!

Bookmark and Share

Revisiting the Tale of Banita Jacks: How Unsupported Mothers Fall Through The Cracks

I’ve been getting an uptick in traffic from my original post on Banita Jacks from July. To bring you up to speed, Ms. Jacks is on trial for murdering her four children. Her story could be any woman’s story. An average woman living life, with a career who decides to be a mother, loses her job, gets no help from immediate family or from the father(s) of her children, has a bank pursue foreclosing procedures on her home and she loses it. She was found in her home with their decomposing bodies and claimed they were possessed by demons.

Now the judge wants a review of her competency before sentencing.

Of course there were choices made that may not have ultimately been in her best interest that lead to this deterioration. The bottom line though is that she was failed. Failed by relatives and failed by a system. At the time DC Mayor Adrian Fenty said he wanted to go through the records of every agency that she’d been in contact with to made changes in evaluating at-risk women and children. But as usual actions > talk. He’s since closed low-income child care centers in favor of dog parks! Yeah some people DO care more about their pets than other human beings (children). These are the same organizations that were supposed to be in place to help women like Banita Jacks. That didn’t…and won’t now that he’s gutted them.

If you are a woman with limited resources a true assessment is in order regarding your life choices. Be it getting funding to attend college or a trade school or whether you bring another life into this world know that these programs are all in jeopardy especially in this current economic depression, recession, downturn. I wouldn’t believe any “expert” that claims it has recovered. Maybe for the top 1% but not for the bottom 25%. If you are on your own and surrounded by unreliable people you may find yourself really on your own when you need help the most. Please don’t take on any more burdens. If you are already in a challenging situation try to get help as quickly as possible. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can deal with it on your own.

This poor woman broke under the pressure of not having enough and harmed her children. Meanwhile we’re chasing after the latest idiot male celebrity mocking us or excusing his past crimes committed against us without ever having made amends. Or some of us are acting surprised when we see the violent acts of youths committed against each other when we’ve allowed a savage mentality to flourish and influence them. We need to get our priorities straight.

Bookmark and Share

Regarding Tyson: Confessions On National TV Is Not A Substitute For Therapy

I thought the Mike Tyson interview on Oprah earlier this week was a HAM. It’s great for her and the ratings but ultimately how does this actually benefit any of us? I wasn’t sure there’d be any benefit to watching it as I didn’t need that episode to tell me Tyson has serious problems. Since she had him back on yesterday for Fridays Live I thought a discussion was warranted.
Here are some of my thoughts in no particular order:
  • He may be more self-aware but he’s still a menace.
  • His limited education (and perhaps capacity for learning) is a huge impediment.
  • We can see yet again the result of letting a fatherless male child grow up in society without guidance.
  • Of course someone should have been concerned about Oprah’s safety – he’s made a career out of brutalizing men and is a convicted criminal (but she as a security detail).
  • Forgiveness and redemption are not to be doled out like candy. They must be earned and appreciated.
  • He’s apologized to Evander Holyfield – again – but is he actually remorseful. Seriously?
  • What amends has he attempted to make to Desiree Washington for raping her and Robin Givens for beating her?
I would not be alone in a room with that man under any circumstance. He seems rather volatile and ready to go off at any second. I still sense his rage and his insecurities just beneath the surface. Who are these women that line up to have sex with this man and have children with him? You cannot convince me money is not a huge incentive. His current wife’s denial was even called out by Oprah during the first interview.
Despite his sorrow, his increasing self-awareness and his public display what has he actually learned and how has he changed? Crying relieves stress and looks really good on television. It doesn’t guarantee a fundamental shift in one’s core. Despite his numerous points of dysfunction he mentions he learned how to treat women from watching pimps. Pimps are criminals who exploit women. At what point did he ever ask himself why he chose to model his actions based on the dregs and predators of society? Do I even need to mention that he was obviously influenced by the rather typical rejection of certain black women by mostly African-American males for one who falls in the lighter-skinned long hair category? There’s a rather distinct pattern here.
Finally, I conclude this entire interview is one that belonged on a therapist’s couch not a television talk show host’s. Ditto for the dad in the audience that said he could relate to the loss of his child from watching Tyson. Some may feel as if they’ve seen a whole new side that “explains” him better. I have to ask why it would take such an interview that scratches the surface and should be a beginning point for personal transformation for someone to figure out the man has had emotional problems? Many of us have things we must work through but don’t substitute the confessional aspects of sharing your dysfunction with the entire world for the real work of intensive therapy.
Nor do we choose to take it out on others we perceive as being weaker or less likely to be protected. Did you get the part where he said he doesn’t want the details of what happened to his 4 year-old daughter because he’ll “blame” someone?! There was a definite implied threat behind that statement. Someone who’s actually changed doesn’t constantly revert back to destructive and violent patterns. So as far as I’m concerned he hasn’t changed at all. Not where it really counts. Don’t spread the message that African-Americans are such a damaged people. Which also brings me to another question for these men (like the dad featured) who have children out of wedlock: if you care so much why aren’t you providing an intact family structure for them by marrying the mother of your children?

Bookmark and Share

Old School Friday – Out Darn Song!

It’s Old School Friday time! This week’s meme is Songs You Despise But Know the Words To. I had to think about that one for a while. Since the rules are songs must have been released before 1999 that leaves out all of the current music I’d most certainly choose. So I thought of this song because of the obvious street harassment/sexual objectification angles. Before anyone thinks I take this one song very seriously though I don’t – necessarily.

Watching video of the Commodores at that time usually made me laugh because they’d be considered so fey in today’s hypermasculine/thug culture. Also I look at this song as part of a larger evaluation of the oversexualization that occurs within a segment of the black community where women “let it all hang out” for male approval. Clearly that needs to change if women are going to be empowered. We must be able to relate to men – or have them relate to us – in a manner that benefits us across all strata of society. What may be “acceptable” in some circles would be detrimental in others. Also we all know we may want to be able to be sexy but it needs to be under circumstances and in an environment of our choosing. Ok, that was way more intense than intended but pop culture certainly provides a means of making things more relatable.

Bookmark and Share

Since When Are Hetero Marriages Under Attack?

“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.

Wow what a “nice” man letting us colored folk use his bathroom and all. Does this sound familiar? Any person part of a marginalized group can certainly relate to hearing this type of attitude.

A Justice of the Peace (oh the irony) in Louisiana refuses to issue marriage licenses for interracial couples. Yeah I had to check my calendar as well – cuz I thought I was stuck in some weird time warp back to 1959. Before the Loving v. Virginia ruling. He claims to be concerned about any future offspring of these couples. Well first of all people don’t have to be married to procreate – so before he breaks out into “The Greatest Love Of All” he might want to remember that.

It sounds as if he’s only interested in preserving a racial hierarchy. This definitely reminds me of the refusal of officials to sign and issue licenses to LGBT couples in CA during the height of the Prop 8 war. This is why it’s so important to fight for justice across the board – not just for topics of particular interest to you as an individual. Remember love is a battlefield to some who’d like to deny consenting adults the right to choose who they love. Some laws are designed to protect us from discriminatory practices. This should serve as a reminder how important the enforcement of those laws are.
Bookmark and Share

Couple Discusses 1st Time Homebuyer Tips But What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Angie and Hawk make an attractive couple don’t you think? This show is a follow-up series that revisits home buyers after they’ve made their purchase. They offer advice and share things they’ve learned since closing. I really love the decor in their dining room as well. Everything seems to be going well for them.

Let’s scratch beneath the surface a little shall we? Angie seems like a nice lady – the type that would do anything to keep her man happy. I’m certain she considers herself a modern independent woman as well.

So despite all appearances to the contrary what’s wrong with this picture?

Bookmark and Share

Dunbar Village Miscreants Get Life While A New Set Arrested For Setting A Teen On Fire

I was just reading the post at What About Our Daughters regarding the reaction of the family and supporters of those convicted in the Dunbar Village case as their sentences were issued. The relative youth of some of those criminals regarding getting a life-term is up for debate amongst some people. Even after the fact. I understand the defense attorneys fighting it because that’s their job but there are still people who think crimes committed by those under the age of 18 solely involve their lack of judgement. While that may be true to varying degrees sometimes a criminal is just a criminal. Some youths are well on their way to being sociopaths. Some boys have been allowed to flourish as if under the direct guidance of Lucifer himself. Everyone cannot be rehabilitated or redeemed. Not when they have no remorse and no conscience.

I used to think prosecutors were singling out youths of color and the push for charging juvenile’s as adults was cruel and unusual punishment. Since I didn’t work in law enforcement or with youths I didn’t realize the accumulation of a population that has grown to be more brutal over the years. It is sad because it means that children are being failed in every way possible. It also means a lot of people who do procreate should not until they learn how to be a parent – of course that’s not likely to occur. The more atrocities I read about the more I realize it’s open season for many who reside in certain residential areas.

There are still others involved in the Dunbar Village terrorism who haven’t been arrested and charged for their crimes. It may come down to them committing some other crime to finally get them off the streets. Now there’s another case in Florida getting national attention because of the race of the victim. Five boys are being charged with setting a classmate on fire over a minor dispute. He’s white and some (if not all) of those involved in the attack are black. The victim owed one of them money for a video game so they stole his dad’s bike. Then the victim reported it and they retaliated. The burning gives me shudders because it’s what the other males at Dunbar Village wanted to do to the mother and son to destroy evidence.

I’m sure the background history of those convicted for the Dunbar Village crimes will be similar to those being charged in this incident. The local media offers a bit more information. One of the mothers is interviewed on camera and claims her son was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Perhaps she’s correct..but that’s the same thing one of the mothers said about her son about Dunbar Village. Is there a “My Son Can’t Be A Criminal 101” textbook out there? A lack of sympathy gene? How long until one of the parents of those accused say racism is involved? The response is nearly identical.

Bookmark and Share

Will the Perceived Threat of Limbaugh As NFL Owner Ignite Political Activism Amongst the Players?

Since Rush Limbaugh announced his intention to seek partial ownership of the St. Louis Rams certain players have publicly objected. As we know Limbaugh regularly says incendiary things on his radio show. He’s a highly paid spokesperson for the continued dominance of white male patriarchy. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon either. His perceived power exists only as long as it suits those who pay him and support his career. I say that because once it becomes too burdensome or his ties generate too much publicity that threatens the agenda of those who benefit from his boorishness he will become expendable.

There’s a number of black NFL players who object to his ownership and they cite his many racist statements as the reason. They even got their union involved. Now Al Sharpton – and Jesse Jackson have jumped in the fray. Sharpton was doing the cable news circuit yesterday. He was surprisingly nuanced in his approach but as with everything their reputation proceeds them. I can understand why there’s concern but this was a time for discipline on the part of those players and the racial ambulance chasers. Why? They have little credibility. Between the wife beating, the groupies, the blowing through money and a host of other less than desirable behavior by certain players we’re being asked to ignore all of it and instead focus on one person who wishes to make a profit from them. Is Limbaugh supposed to be the only person in a position of would-be authority who holds self-serving interests? Is racist? Are you kidding?

Also since when do these athletes engage in thoughtful political discourse? Limbaugh is a jerk but he made a point when he referred to the behavior of some players as being akin to the Crips and the Bloods without the weapons. Is he wrong or has he instead brought attention to a negative reputation that should be addressed? No one wants to take ownership of that but who can argue about the criminal activities of numerous players even after they’ve been recruited? Where’s the accountability? Being a professional athlete is essentially a highly visible job requiring a certain skill set. Which is why they are paid handsomely. As long as they bring value to the sports. That job in and of itself does not automatically instill values that override the mentality of those that participate.
The perception of condoned criminality and poor moral judgement is the big elephant in the room and it can’t be ignored. That isn’t racist. Plaxico Burress went to prison for carrying a concealed weapon that discharged in a public place. Michael Vick was just released. This behavior, as exemplified by Rumeal Robinson isn’t strictly limited to the NFL. Limbaugh could also buy into an NBA team or other sports. Just like the White House focusing on Fox News as being the villain when MSNBC has Pat Buchanan in their employ, these players are pointing their finger at the wrong thing. The problem isn’t Limbaugh in and of itself. He’d have a minority stake in the team. If he became too much of an obstructionist that threatened the rate of return for the other investors he’d be gone.

It seems weird that the only thing certain players respond to – yet again – involves the perceived threat from a white male instead of the out of control behavior of their fellow players. That has more serious ramifications and occurs with increasing frequency. They’re not looking at the big picture. There are so few players that take a stand for social justice nowadays because it’s all about me-me-me. This was a wasted opportunity to become actively involved in matters that directly impact others. I’m certain there’s a certain amount of malfeasance on both sides that may never see the light of day but that isn’t the point. Limbaugh is a hypocrite for bringing it up but that doesn’t make him any less correct in his assessment.

Forcing the issue by opposing him because he has differing views undermines them and these players don’t get it. Now they will have no more excuses for bad behavior on or off the field. I hope they have plans to take a more active role in fighting against injustice and displaying moral leadership. If the threat of an unsympathetic “dad” is making those that engage in childish behavior uncomfortable perhaps Limbaugh’s participation will be of benefit overall.

Bookmark and Share