NATIONAL DONUT DAY
2 days ago
A brief-yet-ongoing journal of all things Carmi. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll reach for your mouse to click back to Google. But you'll be intrigued. And you'll feel compelled to return following your next bowl of oatmeal. With brown sugar. And milk.
PCs, notebooks and PDAs (personal digital assistants) are the tethers that bind people to their jobs, wherever they happen to be.Maybe we were so busy focused on the work world that we forgot to pay attention to the all-too-short summer season that's now rapidly giving way to chilly autumn nights and the rush to get the kids back to school.
Info-Tech senior research analyst Carmi Levy says there's a struggle to balance work with personal lives.
"This is the dark side of mobile communications," he said in a press release from the company.
"The reality is the lines are totally blurred between personal and private time because we now have the technology to virtually take the office on vacation with us. And no one wants to hear Donald Trump's classic phrase 'you're fired' because they took their eyes off e-mail to go to a baseball game."
For the companies involved, the recalls raise the delicate issue of how to reassure customers during a peak shopping season, even as pranksters stoke fears by posting fake videos of exploding laptops on the Internet.
``We hear anecdotal cases of back-to-school shoppers who are wary of Dell machines,'' said Carmi Levy, an analyst at Info-Tech Research in London, Canada. ``Apple has to deal with that, too, since they are so much stronger in the educational sector. This announcement couldn't come at a worse time for Apple.''
ummm .. yeah .. anyone of us could be Colin ... if we were irresponsible ALCOHOLICS, who had no regard for our jobs, spouses, and children. Colin's problem is not housing. Colin's problem is that he is a substance abuser who did not bother to straighten himself out when he hit rock bottom. What about Colin's family? They lost their home because of his reckless behaviour. Perhaps THEY would have qualified for the affordable housing you discuss in your article. Maybe his son would be raised in a stable environment, and find the resources and confidence to enjoy a post secondary education. Maybe one day that son would become a tax paying contributor to our society.Here's how I responded:
Canadians are famous for cleaning up the dirt others leave behind. When will we get serious about circumventing our problems and spending more time and
energy on intervention?
Simply putting more roofs over the heads of alcoholics, crack addicts, schizophrenics, and deviants is not the answer. Our tax dollars fund their homes, do they return the favour? Do they devote any of their time to community-based services? They should, they have nothing BUT time.
How much sympathy can one conjur up for members of society who offer nothing, but expect all the creature comforts that we tax-paying citizens
work hard for.
Hope his son turns out better than his deadbeat dad. For all our sakes.
Thank you for your note. I always appreciate hearing from readers.Your turn: I know I was a little more harsh in my response than I normally would be with someone who disagrees with me. Do you think I was out of line? How would you respond to a letter like this?
You write as if he became an alcoholic by choice. Children of alcoholics - which Colin was - are at significantly greater risk of becoming alcoholics as well. There is a genetic predisposition to substance abuse that has been rather thoroughly documented by the scientific community.
My entire point in writing this column was to illustrate how precariously close so many of us are to homelessness. It doesn't take much to slide from the world of the haves to the world of the have-nots. Colin's tragedy was alcoholism. Yours could be something entirely different.
I invite you to follow the discussion on my web log (http://writteninc.blogspot.com). As you can see from the comments, regular folks from all walks of life all admit having been precariously close to - or over - the homelessness edge at some points in their lives. I hope you have the courage to share of yourself in this forum, and I invite you to do just that.
I hope you're never in need of assistance from the broader community. And if you do, may those who sacrifice of themselves to help you have more empathy than you seem to exhibit in your anonymously-penned note.
All the best,
We could end up homeless, tooYour turn: How close do you think any one of us is to homelessness? Why does society marginalize the issue?
Published Thursday, August 17, 2006
The London Free Press
By Carmi Levy
Not so many years ago, I stood in a bitterly cold doorway of a men’s mission in a forgotten corner of downtown Montreal, chatting with a gaunt-looking resident named Colin.
I was barely a teenager, working on a university journalism class reporting assignment. I asked how he came to be there. His eyes blazed out of their hollow sockets as he answered.
“I had a wife, a job, a house, a son,” he said. “All the things that most people have, I had, too.”
It started as a small drinking problem that eventually worsened. The job went first. Then his wife and son. Finally, the bank took the house. And Colin took to the streets.
London New Democrat MP and housing critic Irene Mathyssen is calling on federal Human Resources and Social Development Minister Diane Finley to ensure continued funding for London’s homeless. Her appeal comes amidst conflicting reports of federal cuts across the country.
Ottawa would do well to listen to her. Any one of us could be Colin.