Friday, October 22, 2010


Six days in Hawaii. Five of the six days the hotel workers were on strike. Five nights at $300 per night and do it yourself housekeeping - "the sheets are on a cart in the hall." Five days with no on-site restaurants, no pool service, no sweet ukulele music playing throughout the resort and no refund, no offer to move us to another hotel, no perks whatsoever. Five days and nights of exhausted managers listening to thousands of complaints. Day two cookies and juice in the lobby, small consolation for being awakened (each of the five days) at six am by strikers on bullhorns, picketers banging drums, pots and pans and chanting at the top of their voices. Two days of listening to ugly yelling every hour - "We're Local Five.Go home! Go home!" - Day five finally becoming crazed and joining the thousands of complainers. Day six, the strike is over. Clean sheets, sweet music, all restaurants open, silence in the morning. Alas our day to go home. I don't think I will ever stay at a Hilton again. The tired managers credited our bill with a token $250 - for the inconvenience of staying in a luxury resort without even the basics. Today I made my own bed in my non-luxurious home, put on a CD and danced the Hula.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ya Can't Win for Losing

I've been trying to help a young man who has made just about every mistake a guy could make. I am stunned by the incredible obstacles the "system" puts in the path of a person who wants to change his life. I am embarrassed by judges who sit in their robes and insult young people with their sarcasm and jibes. I am incensed by probation officers so jaded by their clients that they believe nothing, acknowledge nothing, offer no hope, no encouragement and no support. I am enraged by landlords who charge outrageous rents for roach infested rooms - because folks with records can't get anything else. I am dumbfounded by courts that impose fines that people can't pay and then send them to collections who compound them with maximum interest. I am dumbfounded by a jail sentence for not paying fines. I am furious with a system that asks a guy with no drivers license and no money to travel 200 miles from his home twice a month to "report" and then return 200 miles within 24 hours to "report" again to his probation officer in his home city. You can't win for losing.