degree not worth the price you paid?

There should be a cap to student loan debt.  The should not be a medical expense for emergencies.  In these two categories are where the majority of Americans’ debt lies.  The good thing is that 20-30 years ago it was credit card debt.  The difference, clearly, is that more people started to go to college, there has been poor healthcare reform up to this point and most people learned their lessons with credit cards or simply has no more credit.  The bad part is that we are in debt, credit ruined and, in part, due to either trying to advance ourselves and the other, unforeseen illnesses that we would rather not have contracted.  It almost like being punished for having to go to the doctor or hospital.  Now, doctors got tired of making less than basketball players and they have decided to get their share, no matter if it’s fair.  There are so many rampant cases of welfare fraud.  Meanwhile, we have these insurance companies that don’t seem to be helping the matter, nor do they advocate for patient care.  People say that Americans don’t want socialism, but it seems Americans don’t want the label.  It seems that if everyone having insurance and hospitals being public means be a socialist society, a good number of us understand and welcome that advantage.  For the skeptics that remain; clearly, you simply having had this problem.

As it is, half of us don’t have insurance and this is a problem when we find ourselves in need of medical care because even if we had insurance, we would be charged astronomical fees for mediocre care.  At least when you have insurance, the hospital and affiliates can hope to recoup at least a portion.  This is why medicaid is not favored: there is a cap to what they will pay and it’s called the diagnosis-related group.  So what happens is that doctors turn away medicaid patients for regular preventive care.  People without insurance, often aren’t leading the healthiest of lifestyles (i.e. no regular exercise regimen or nutrient-rich diet).  By the time these un[der]insured people seek and attain medical care, it’s usually when the condition is progressed and symptomatic.  This will require more expensive lab work and imaging that the person cannot afford to pay for.  For those people that think Charity Care serves as insurance, what it serves as is a pardon–that you will not be charged for services you clearly couldn’t begin top afford.  This leads to more people out of work applying for state assistance.  The states are buckling under the weight and referring these people to apply for federal benefits.  This is how 47% of the population ends up collecting some form of government assistance.  There are also a number of veterans and seniors that account for the 47%.

The problem with student loans is that the cost of education is not realistic and has too much profit in mind.  The more education you want, the more specialized you aim to become the more in debt you are, the more successful you need to be, the more stressed when getting out about repaying the loans, the higher the rates of depression and then, again, more people receiving government assistance, perhaps in the form of disability.  Americans are a stressed bunch.

As for socialism, since it benefits society as a whole to have more healthy, educated/skilled citizens and that is the first four years of higher education and emergency medical expenses should be paid by state and local government.

rainbow coalition

Without being racist you can honest and the truth is, it looks bizarre to see a couple that are from vastly different backgrounds.  It is odd to see a white Irish with a black African.  It’s odd, for that matter, to see a white African with a black Irish.  It is odd to see a Korean and Mexican.  It is odd to an Indian with a Puerto Rican (no matter what race, and no, Puerto Rican is not a race).  It is odd because we expect people to be attracted to people that look like them.  It is further perplexing when the people are not only of different races but different cultures. When people adopt outside their race, it’s commendable.  However, when a white woman has a black daughter, she needs to study up on black hair.  Bad enough black people need to learn how to take care of their hair (see: snatch-ponytails, “Black Hair”- Chris Rock).

I am always fascinated by what people’s parents look like.  I’m fascinated by people that look exactly like their parents….I wonder what that must be like.  I am fascinated by people that look nothing like their parents and wonder what that must be like. Oddly, I am not fascinated by doppelgangers.  I figure with the amount of people living and dead, there were only but so many combinations of features–there was bound to be some repeats.

By Avery Michaels Posted in Race Tagged

playgrounds

Technology is changing at a faster pace than in previous generations.  Now, the latest technology is outdated as soon as 3 months, no later than 3 years.  Before I could purchase a car with a cd player, they were already obsolete (that could just be a matter of poor finances hindering my ability to keep up).  The ipod and it’s variations had a 3 year run. The wii changed to mii.  Even playgrounds have changed.

During my childhood, playground equipment was made of metal and rubber.  There were a few plastic items, but the playground staples were a jungle gym, slide, merry-go-round, seesaw and swing set.  I don’t see monkey bars, uneven bars or many merry -go-rounds.  I’m glad that they got rid of the things that sit on a spring that you mount to rock back and forth; as a child, I never liked them.  Playgrounds now?  They have learning tiles with letters, numbers, animal puzzles, factoids… they have funhouse mirrors, tunnels to climb in, numerous slides: some with speed bumps, some with ridges, some with tunnels, some that twirl, some that curve, steep slides, fast slides etc.  There are fire poles and twirling poles.  One thing I must say is that it is counterintuitive to have the flat plastic seats for slides.  I shit you not, every time I’ve seen someone swinging on them, I’ve seen someone fall off of them.

the oldest profession

Prostitution should be legal.

There’s an episode of “Rules of Engagement” in which Timmy  and Russell are sitting down at a diner discussing dating and Timmy is convoked to clarify himself, he says: It’s called dating, sir; whereas one leaves money on the table at a restaurant, as opposed to her nightstand.

And there it is.  The act of courting is wooing with words and material items and the incentive is sex.  Whether a woman asks for payment up front or you pay with your life (marriage), it’s up to her individual self to determine the value of experiencing her body.  As long as there are rules for registering and getting tested for STD’s and safe-sex practices and education, there is really no need for it to be illegal.  Some states, like VA, like to make laws that reflect individual morals, such as the ban on [heterosexual] couples living together unmarried.   Prostitution, on a grander scale, is illegal  because it is widely unaccepted.  But here’s the thing: that doesn’t stop it.  What it does is deters prostitutes, strung-out or not, from being honest with law enforcement and healthcare professionals.  Communication is key for prevention of anything.  We don’t have to like or partake in something for it to be a legal activity.  Smoking is legal, drinking is legal, gambling is legal in some areas…prostitution should be legal. Going to jail is more often adding to the trauma that precipitated the behavior that resulted in the crime.

Of course there are a few places where it is legal.  Places where it remains illegal need to run some stats and determine areas where regulations could use improvement and then implement those very modifications to the legislation in their respective districts.

There are many kinds of prostitutes.  They’re not all just addicts.  And those that are addicts are prostituting to support a habit they developed during either a carefree-fun or a horrible time in their lives they continue to use everyday because they are now running from some demons that they are trying to drown.  There are high class, there are casual, there are professional, there are incidental prostitutes.

What’s funny is how much we blame the women.  IT’S THE MEN.  Men are openly sexually preoccupied.  The men that are paying for the services are the ones that create a market for these women in the first place.  If you own something that people are willing to pay you to experience, why wouldn’t you sell it for fast money? In some regard, you gotta admit that john is the fool.  So what, women slide down poles naked?  They wouldn’t be doing that if people weren’t willing to pay to see it. And people pay a lot of money for sex.  It so happens that drugs will always at some point end up in the mix.  Sex and drugs, like any other product, are  propelled by supply and demand.  As long as people want it, there will be someone that is willing to give/get it.  Rather than punishing people for addiction or solicitation, we need to address the crux of the matter.  This is not to say that I’m suggesting anyone become ‘Captain Save-a-ho’, but that the problem needs to be dealt with on a more intimate, yet communal, level.  For instance, what circumstances and factors account for their choice of lifestyle, what life skills are needed to overcome the lure of fast money?  Not all prostitutes need to be saved, but for some, it’s a red flag to their loved ones, a cry for help for others.  The point being that prostitutes exist becuase men want them to. There are the few public officials, law-makers, there are the average citizens, but if men did not patronize sex-workers there would be no industry.   If anyone is being immoral, is it not the married man or the middle-aged man that seeks teens rather than the prostitute that allows her body to be used for a nominal fee?  Handle the problem in an intimate manner by discussing it with your children and be communal in that the neighborhood needs to reinforce the values enforced at home.  If, in your neighborhood the case is already the latter, and yet prostitution and drug- dealing is acceptable, you might need a new neighbor; you’re only as good as the company you keep.  The community should be vigilant of 13 year old girls on the streets on a weekday morning/early afternoon, rather than being in class.  Truancy laws are hard to enforce when there are so many truant children and even more disengaged and disinterested adults in their lives.

question everything; accept facts

The truth is that religion discourages thinking and demands that you forfeit logic and go on all faith-no matter the cost-blind obedience:

This was the case as Abraham was directed to offer his son as a sacrifice in order to demonstrate faith and obedience.

Galatians 3:6-9  Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.  The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Psalm 33:4-6 For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.  The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.  By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

and the Q’uran:
[21:23] He is never to be asked about anything He does, while all others are questioned.
and
[21:24] Have they found other gods beside Him? Say, “Show me your proof. This is the message to my generation, consummating all previous messages.” Indeed, most of them do not recognize the truth; this is why they are so hostile.

Of course, it only makes sense for a religious work to self-promote and discourage doubt, less it be ineffective.  In order to suspend disbelief we are given viable examples of when having faith gives a person [an inner] strength to deal with tribulation.

The the word which was transcribed by the hand of Man, susceptible to flaws in transcription, handwriting interpretation, language interpretation (this includes dialectic and colloquial changes) as the book was reproduced time and time and time again.  From the production of one version to the next there was room to be reinterpreted to satisfy alterior motives.  A present day example is the Shiite and Sunni interpretation of  appropriate Muslim female attire.  And if something can be understood and implemented in so many ways, who is to say which is right? Apparently culture and ancestry–outside forces, determine how the text is to be understood and applied in daily life.  So the sanctity of your soul is contigent upon how well you adhere to what turns out to be Man-made standards of conduct.  And by Man-made I also mean made by men and need to emphasize that, it was only within the past century that women began the steps to becoming less than second class citizens-baby-making property…at least in the United States.

Know this: When the Bible (and other works) were written, the majority of the population was illiterate.  The literate people happened to be the wealthiest people, with few exceptions. The wealthiest people happened to be the monarchs/pharaohs/emperors, religious figureheads and those born into wealth.  It so happens that the wealthiest people were also the bureaucrats instituting laws based on religious works that only few could read founded by revelations very few had had.  With the heads of state and heads of church are also of the elite class, ‘best believe that there will be modifications and accommodations made to the rules on their behalves.  Examples are the rules about premarital and extramarital affairs and the double-standard by which these acts are judged.  It’s always a bit more horrific when your daguhter, not son, conceives at 14 years old.  Males might even get a secret high-five.  And women get a ‘scarlet letter’, should they step outside of marriage–it’s only because women walk away bearing the seed of deceit while men just wipe it off.

Also consider that it was not so easy to get a copy in your language if you didn’t speak the most common language.  An example- if you spoke French and lived in Rome, the Bible would be found in Latin.  Not to mention that books were luxuries that manyh people couldn’t afford–remember, most people cannot read.  There was a good number of thousands of years were education was not available universally.

So far, there are 2 barriers for you actually having access to the words by which you desperately try to live.  So, like the majority of fellow followers, you receive your religious guidance by word of mouth.  If you are older than 10 years old, you should know, like the game of ‘telephone’, the story is never the same on the other end.  But let’s just say that it is.  So far, the Bible has managed to be the unadulterated word of The Supreme Spiritual Being that made man in his own image (does that mean God has an anus?  Why would he need one?  Or hands and feet?  Where is he walking?  Oh! I guess the clouds)  and created the Heaven (which we later found out to be one in many galaxies in a massive universe) and Earth (the formation of which science offers ample explanation and evidence).  This unadulterated word should only have interpretation since there is only one God.  Why would God play his children against each others for thousands of years?  The lesson is lost with each “holy war”.  Holy shit, what a contradiction!

So, God has allowed Man to fight and murder in his name, ruthless and relentlessly since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.  With this in mind, knowing that generations upon generations have been misled by the guise of a religious institution.  So many people continue to be taken advantage by their religious leaders or spiritual guides, so many people that fall victim to cults… People remain vulnerable because everyone wants comfort of believing there’s more to this life which, for some people, is heaven on Earth, but for the majority is HELL.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a precise number for the number of people to be admitted to Heaven.  The problem is, that number was formulated in the 20th Century.  No matter how faithful one might be, if you’ve lived since that time, the odds are against you.  And does that number apply to innocent babies or people outside of the US and the Western Hemisphere, who are also the children of God, although they may be unfamiliar with Jehovah’s Witnesses? There are more people on the Earth at this moment (7 billion) than those to be admitted to Heaven. 144,000 was the number deemed for the anointed.  20,000 people died in the tsunami 12/25/04.  Again, the odds are against you.

How could one so passionately believe in something from which they are so far removed?  Like Kwanzaa…WTFIT? But really, there are so many religions, denominations, sects, etc that it seems obvious that they can’t all be right.  They can, however, all be wrong.  Despite the good intentions people have abused religions to the utmost.  There are wonderful lessons to be learned among the teachings of all religions.  The stories may be figurative or they may be figments of someone’s imagination.  Perhaps they are drunken revelations or pipe-talk or a culmination of philosophical works cloaked with spiritual references or maybe they are as good as the Brother’s Grimm and Aesop’s Fables.   The bottom line is that you should not have to subscribe to the words in a Bible in order to have a moral compass.

a growing chart

Assume with me, that there are 2 different worlds that we could choose to live in.  Because there are 2 specific (according to the rules of this assumption) you can only choose either or.  In the world of morals, every one subscribes to a religion.  In order to live in either world you agree to adhere to the rules, especially since they will presumably be more in line with your own beliefs.   The telling of events would be as follows:

The world of common sense The world of morals
CFO of Major Corporation USA misplaces important contract while under the influence of marijuana, however, shortly after, is able to locate it.  He then realizes the importance of temperance and has thus calls for moderation. Religious holidays; Jews having more time off than Muslims and Muslims more than Christians because of the multitude of holidays , yet making the highest earnings causes uproar.
Teen pregnancy rates decease by 70%.  Researchers attribute the changes to: better education within previous under-served communities, increase in parental involvement, open discussions about the consequences/responsibilities associated and availability to contraceptives.Parenting classes required if under 18 Teen pregnancy rates rage out of control as more teen are rebelling against the latest law aimed at reinforcing rules of abstinence; avoid talking about sex
Rates of alcohol abuse lowest since (1920’s). 30% population incarcerated.  16% incarcerated for life.
Crime rates decrease.  Apparently most people’s needs are met, drug crimes reduced by the advent of drug town and revamped laws of intervention and rehabilitation rather than imprisonment and punishment. Crime rates increase with the population, institutional corruption increases
Africa—the investment; many corporations invest in African business infrastructure and trade while many formally occupied territories have not had civil wars in nearly 2 decades Suicide rate doubles
Fewest people in prison in modern history Africa diminishes in population and livable land
Less prescriptions—marijuana use triples 68% population takes medication
The middle class makes up 85% population, impoverished 25%, wealthy 10%New middle class = annual vacation, 1 car per 3 people, 70% own property, 20% self-employed, 80% higher education 25% higher education, 50% people impoverished, 5% wealthy 45% middle class as defined in 2013
There are same sex parent households, allowed to adopt, foster Same sex parents not allowed period
 The most families in history are multiracial Some places have re-instituted some form of segregation; either religious, racial, socio-econonical or gender

a little common sense goes a long way

At some point, you have to follow the train of logic.  If the concept of evolution makes more sense and answers a lot more questions than any holy book one might read…I’m inclined to believe there might be something to it.  In watching the Science and History Channels, I have to give myself credit for my own deductive reasoning.  I’m not suggesting that I specialize in these fields of study, but that, since science and math are laws of nature that can be studied, like anything that you study, they need to be applied and reapplied by way of deductive reasoning.  To the question of “how do the bugs get inside the lighting fixture, anyway??” I say: because insects lay their eggs on or in the fixture. I have never looked this up because it satisfies logic; if bugs are attracted to light, if eggs usually require some heat to hatch, since you can’t see the bugs getting in…since they can’t get out..  There are so many questions that we could find the answer to if we just gave it a bit more thought and admit to ourselves that there really is so much we do not know, without forsaking how much we can still learn. An example would be the chicken and the egg.  The chicken came first because it has to incubate the egg.  The problem lies in the pretense that God made all creatures as they are (otherwise there would have to be some process of evolution for a chicken to exist in the first place).  Because one mustn’t deny the Almighty, we forgo what makes the most sense and chalk it all up to a conundrum.  If a tree falls a forest, of course it makes a sound whether or not there is any human ear to receive the resulting sound waves.  Only in matters of quantum physics, might one see it fit to argue whether reality exists outside of the human imagination, but the fact remains that if a tree falls in the forest, you don’t have to hear it in order to see it lying on the ground and can therefore use deductive reasoning and prior experience of what happens if something so large falls to determine that it did, in fact, make a sound. The more background knowledge, the more angles at which yo have to evaluate any circumstance; for that, you need an open mind. Our mind needs to be ready to receive another puzzle piece.  It happens that, the same as we look in the refrigerator time and again– as though something will appear, we tend to try to make sense of nonsense and make fit what does not fit.

FEAR

-you don’t have to like it or admit it but it’s REAL and you have it

So often, a person will specify, “I’m not scared of […] I just don’t like it”.  No one likes to admit fear because of an associated stigma.  Sometimes it is actually the case, that one is not fearful and that the object or activity is simply distasteful.  Those instances are not applicable to this post.

Fear is a good thing for the most part–it keeps us alive.  However, it inhibits us from doing things that will not cause us death, harm, embarrassment, or other loss.  People fear failure.  Fear keeps people from leaving unfulfilling/destructive relationships.  Fear keeps people from leaving their jobs to pursue their dreams.  Fear keeps people from leaving their comfort zone to explore what the rest of the world has to offer.

How do you know if it’s fear?  Well, normally, it starts off with excuses–many of which are viable.  But then there comes a time when years have passed and the excuses are never exhausted but still the goal remains way out of reach.  It’s fear when your excuses are nothing more than that- excuses.  These excuses can be resolved or overcome, but instead, they are given the authority to dictate actions and major decisions.

Why it matters that you recognize your fears is simple: it’s the only way to overcome them.   As long as you keep dancing around the fundamental issue, you will never resolve it.  An easy example: pursuing a better career.   Let’s say that you have a wife and 3 kids and you work a corporate job with benefits and ample compensation, but you are utterly unfulfilled, unhappy and approaching a mid-life crisis.  You have always wanted to be a volunteer fireman, but that ship has sailed.  You also wanted to have your own business offering your professional services and working from a small office close to or within your home.  You don’t pursue this path because when you mentioned it to your wife, she told you that it wasn’t a sure-thing and that the family was doing well with the income that was coming in.  you don’t want the argument so you continue to work in this position for years to come.  Albeit a legitimate excuse that you do not want to have an argument with your wife, it is just that–an excuse.  And although the income and benefits are good, they are not making you happy–fulfilling your self-worth.  What is really holding you back is fear that you will struggle and it will not all have been worthwhile.  That is a matter of perception and will have to be dealt with as it comes along, ‘for nothing in life is guaranteed, nothing is forever; not struggle, not happiness and not the job security that you may think you have.  If it is the case that your livelihood is dependent upon a paycheck from this employer, it is not absolutely impractical that you should decide that you want to be your own employer and be in better control of your financial future.