Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why Parkland different

Parkland is another shooting that will be a statistic and forgotten or will it?  How many of these shootings can keep happening before Americans say enough already.  Have we become so numb to these shootings that we have just stopped caring because it happened over there and not over here.   When those 26 kids in Connecticut were gunned down I thought this will change but I was wrong.  The NRA won out again pretending they wanted to partake in some laws that would limit the mentally ill from getting guns.  The bill died in Congress because the NRA threatened some lack of funding for their campaigns. 
Congress and the Senate and many local legislatures have continued to be supported by the NRA.  There is no incentive to change the way things are done because of the greed of the NRA wanting to sell guns to everyone from the cartels, to the mentally ill to children, there are no limits.   
We are becoming so divided in our politics that we allow innocent people being gunned down due to inaction.  We the people have given away our power and our rights to live in the pursuit of happiness liberty and justice for all because of our affiliations with political parties.    
We as Americans need to examine ourselves and decide if we want real change or if we just are going to continue to lie down and take all of the crap our politicians are allowing these shootings 
to continue.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

America is Divided so how to bridge divide?

America is so divided because of three issues that have never been really resolved, first the issue of race,  second the issue of social class, and third and the most divisive is that of political affiliation.   

Slavery has left a mark on America so deep that it scars the American fabric of life.  Many African Americans have lost their history through the unjust practice of slavery, many were given only first names or numbers as property. When slavery was abolished many slaves did not have a surname so they took the names of their former slave masters.   The fourteenth amendment gave slaves their citizenship so they could not be sent back to Africa or Liberia as former slave owners wanted.

Race has always been an issue in America because people are afraid to talk about it for fear of offending someone or because they are afraid of being called a racist if they speak openly about race.   Although the conversation is a start it will not do much to change race relations in America unless action is taken.  The issue of race will never be dwelt with unless people stop self-segregating themselves into specific neighborhoods that have no diversity.   If you live in a predominantly white community or black community you will never expose yourselves to diversity or different cultures.  Each racial group has stereotypes about different racial groups that are reinforced by the lack of knowledge of each other.  

Another reason racism is strong in America is that it is generational,  kids are taught racial attitudes by grandparents and parents. During the 1960s, civil rights legislation may have changed laws to be more just in areas of segregation but it didn't change the hearts and minds of the segregationists of the South, Midwest, and surprisingly some places in the Northeast. The Bronx in NYC, was named as an area in civil rights violations for voting rights at the polls. 
There were areas in the North that civil rights legislation was applied to as well.

Secondly, we are divided by social classes.  The poor are seen as lazy, with no ambition to change their situation, and as mooches.  The middle class is seen as hard-working, upward mobility, and as the taxpayers paying more than their fair share.  The rich are seen as greedy, people not engaged in the underserved communities, and as trying to pay very little taxes by using elaborate tax shelters and tax loopholes.  These stereotypes are reinforced by the current political environment and the media. There is a division of the social classes by pitting one against each other in society as not pulling their weight.  When in reality, the poor pay taxes such as sales tax, in some cases property taxes.   The rich pay a lot in taxes since they don't get a tax return but they do pay less than their tax bracket when they use tax loopholes.  Some corporations have gotten away with paying no taxes with these tax shelters and loopholes.  The middle class does pay the highest taxes since many don't itemize their taxes and are not allowed the same deductions as the rich.  
The Republican tax reform has made this tax system more unfair because it doesn't cut taxes for the middle class permanently; only for eight years.  
Corporations get a 24% tax bracket along with all of their loopholes so now they may be paying either less or no tax at all.   
If the tax cuts were permanent for all it would be a fair tax system but in a few years, the middle class will see their taxes go up.
We need a just tax system in which everyone pays some tax based on their income. there should be a flat uniform rate that individuals pay of 10%.  Corporations should pay 24% like it is now but no loopholes, just straight tax.

 Thirdly,  we are divided by our political leanings or affiliations.   Everything in America is political.  There was a study done on people who shop at certain stores that tends to be conservative or liberal, they found if you shop at Lands end, you are conservative, if you shop at H&M you are liberal.  Even our shopping patterns are being politicized?  Republicans supposedly represent family values and morality which are embedded in their platform.  They call themselves conservative, they are anti-climate change, anti-science, anti-abortion, and anti-civil rights.  What do they represent in America, a supposedly moralistic pure society where they would go backward in the strides made to change unjust laws in America for certain racial groups.  We are going backward as a nation when Louisiana decides that they will not teach science courses in public schools, since when did science become political. Many would argue since the Scopes trial in the 1920s when a teacher tried to teach Darwinism instead of Creationism that all started this debate that if you believe in science you somehow are anti-religion. 
As a nation, we are going backward because politicians put the party before the country.  George Washington said the death of democracy would be the political parties, he predicted that these parties would push their agendas even if they were anti-democratic in their policies.  People in America say that would never happen in America but look at former nations that once were Democratic and have turned into dictatorships like Venezuela,  Cuba, Syria, and Turkey, don't think it couldn't happen here.  Both parties have extremes but the Republican party has control of the Judicial branch of government. The Republicans have control of most State Houses in the USA. They are in a position to create voting restriction laws like the 1960s.  The Republican party is being ruled by an extreme wing that does not share the mainstream view of moderate policies.   The Tea party group is one example of these groups that have had full control of their Republican legislators. Who are afraid to compromise and pass sensible legislation because of the threat of being voted out or primaried.   Republicans are great in messaging because they have a media empire in conservative talk radio brainwashing Americans with extreme propaganda and anti-government rhetoric at the same time making a cool mint with lots of money being made on books, ads, and even travel tours.   This demonstrates that these Americans are being taken for a ride because this is a  fake news media complex designed to make money and at the same time disenfranchise their own viewers with policies that hurt them long term.  Americans should realize that these conservative commentators are selling controversy and are not politicians.  By revving up these constituents, politicians are forced to do the bidding of the loudest guy in the room.
The Democrats are revved up over Trump but will translate into votes not sure.  They do protest a lot but where it counts in the voting booth many are lacking, that is how we got Trump into office, last 2016 election 58 million voters did not vote.
We are divided into political categories, red states, blue states, and purple states.  The people have forgotten that we are the United States of America.  Politics shouldn't divide us; we need to listen to each other again.  We need common sense in government again and political courage to stand up to the extremes on both parties.  Americans have forgotten what America stands for it is a beacon of hope for many who want to have opportunities that this great nation offers.  It is a country of many cultures, not just one coming together to make America great.  We need to remember we are a country of 

In summary, America is divided into these three categories, race, social class, and politics.  We must bridge these divides to function as a country.  If we remain divided we will no longer be the great nation that the world admires and dreams of joining. Instead, we will be known as a dysfunctional nation that couldn't agree on policies and become a laughing stock to the world.  

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Suicide rate in Puerto Rico jumps

Suicide rate in Puerto Rico jumps since Maria

Hurricane Maria has not only brought economic and physical destruction, but it has also taken a toll on the people of Puerto Rico emotionally and mentally. 
The suicide rate has jumped in Puerto Rico from 2 to 70 in the past four months since Hurricane Maria. 
The people who have lost everything including their jobs find themselves in a helpless situation with no positive means of getting out of an economic crisis. Congress has not approved the aid promised to Puerto Rico only a 400 million dollar loan was offered to the island to add to the debt they already have. 
There is a good percentage of people without light and in some cases without water.   The debris has still not been collected in some rural and urban areas.  It is a dangerous situation with live power lines still on the ground.  According to Wapa news, some cows on a farm were electrocuted causing a loss to the farmer. 
As long as the island continues in this condition there may be a continuous loss of life by suicide in Puerto Rico if there is no intervention.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What makes you unique and an asset?

What makes you unique?

As I searched online on Google I kept getting this question as a job interview question on several sites.  How many of us can accurately answer this question about ourselves? I thought.  How can we examine ourselves to find the answer to this question?   What makes you unique in reality is what makes you different from the rest such as personality skill set, confidence, things that set you apart from others. Things that make you one of a kind and valuable to yourself and others.  How do you express this answer on paper?  How do you fully answer this interview question without sounding too overbearing? I mean, you would normally recount your achievements and successes when answering this question to set yourself apart from the rest of the interviewees. Is there another answer to this question a more scientific answer to this question? 
According to an article in psychology today, based on a study with twins showed that genes matter.  In fact, they concluded that the environment did little to increase intelligence but rather that genes help the environment.  
In a contradictory explanation and according to the same article, another study determined that DNA alone does not determine the person but rather the environment and experiences one has determined the person, especially " the development of trait of characteristics". According to a study by David Moore.  Parenting matters " parenting behaviors are determined by genes".   "Nature and Nurture are complementary not at odds to make the individual who they are.  This article is by Scott Barry Kaufman. So, which is it? Is it nature vs nurture or vice versa?  
I think that the environment plays a major factor in increasing intelligence after all we are not born with inherent knowledge.  We learn in school and in the environment, we grow up in. In reality, it is a combination of both genes and environment that play an important role in your dealings with society.  After all, does having good genes help one adapt to the environment they are in? I think so.  

In summary, What makes you unique is a combination of genes and the environment you grow in that make you who you are.  Your personality is what makes you unique and different?  Personality is developed through environment and genes. Be who you are regardless. So when you answer that question on the interview sheet or in person. Simply say that you are unique and an asset because of your upbringing and just describe it as best as you can.

What makes a great mind?

What makes a great mind?

We may not be the next Einstein or Stephen Hawkings but as individuals, we are all unique in mind and in spirit. 
Traditional society defines a great mind as a genius as having the highest level of intellectual or creative functioning possessed by a person of such capability.
There are other areas of a great mind such as creativeness, the ability to create or invent original content, art, or products with ingenuity and ease.
According to wiki how  article a great mind develops as the person finds ways to make the brain active by "thinking, doing activities independently, being creative, learning a new language, not being emotional, and getting a good nights sleep"

Our minds are conditioned to function as normal because we rarely exercise our brains.  I read an article where it said that the majority of Americans don't read a book and that they are reading below 12th-grade level.  On the Internet, there has been an increase of free classes whether it be language or coding classes many are free, in an attempt to educate the population for jobs of the future.   It is up to fellow Americans to take advantage of these courses. 

There has been a debate of nature vs nurture or heredity vs environment over what creates an individual's intelligence, drive, or social class mobility. Is it that some are born intelligent and adaptable or can it be nurtured and learned in an environment that is conducive to learning.
According to the Penguin Dictionary of psychology, intelligence is broken into three categories,  concrete(crystalized), fluid(abstract), and non-verbal.   Concrete is the absorption of hard facts.  Fluid is the ability to solve problems creatively.  Non-verbal intelligence is the ability to demonstrate intelligence through performance on tasks without speaking.

Intelligence is measured with IQ tests and is divided into these three categories.  According to by Nic Vaquez, there is an article named 8 habits of a great mind.  The author studied the habits and traits of geniuses like Einstein and Newton and he found the following; they were not easily discouraged, tried to improve themselves, measured progress against their own standards, were risk-takers, were curious, they were passionate, and they wrote down their ideas.

In summary what makes a great mind is the constant improvement of the mind through education and creative thinking.
Great minds aren't born but they are created.  Anyone can have a great mind through hard work an learning.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How to make the Internet friendlier

How to make the Internet friendlier

I always say an anonymous troll will deflate the Internet as quickly as an airless balloon.   What is a troll?  It isn't those hairy scary trolls on the tip of your pens, they were popular baxk in the 1980s.

  On the Internet, trolls are users that follow well-trafficked pages and write negative comments, harassing the author and the people who comment on the page.   Usually, trolls do this to gain recognition, likes, and traffic to their sites.  These trolls say hideous, inflammatory comments anonymously because they don't have the courage or strength of character to stand by their words. They are afraid of being sued or if comments are harassing having criminal charges placed on them.  Unfortunately, we give these trolls an audience and that's why we have all of this online bullying and lack of civility on the Internet. 
These trolls hamper freedom of speech and promote bullying that is why the Internet should eliminate anonymous comments.  Freedom of speech has to be protected especially from those that would shut it down completely with their vile comments.  If they are brave enough to write it then they should be brave enough to own their own words and thoughts will out fear.  
Anonymous postings only encourage online bullying and hamper freedom of speech.  These trolls hide behind Freedom of speech, our founding fathers protected that right so people would not be afraid to speak out.  The trolls want to hamper and limit the freedom of speech of others that disagree with them not by disagreeing on policy or ideas but by personally attacking the author or fellow users on the blog.   Down with trolls.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Junk Drawer Organization

Junk Draw Organization

I use recycled check book boxes as small storage for drawers.  I clean out the junk  drawer by placing small items in boxes.  The larger items are placed towards the back of drawer neatly in rows.  Get a folder for menus and place manuals in a clear plastic bag.  You don't need to invest in expensive organizing trays and gadgets if you want to organize your junk drawer for this year.

Aloe socks helped my dad's feet.

Aloe socks helped my dad's feet
These aloe socks and gloves have helped my dad's dry cracked feet become smooth.  I have removed dry skin due to the socks.  At 9.99 it is  good buy at bed bath and beyond. 

Why Norweigens laughed at Trump after shit hole comment

Why Norweigens laughed at Trump after shithole comment.

A reporter asked a random Norweigan woman what she thought of Trump calling African nations and Latin America a shit hole and how he said they needed more Norweigens coming into the U.S.  The lady had no comment and started to laugh. That was the reaction of most Norweigens as they heard the news.  Why would they come to America, if their country provides universal health care, free education, pensions,and social security and other benefits.Norway has gun control laws so they are not killing each other off on a daily basis like in America.This nation of 5 million has a social welfare state that allows for Capitalism but believes in providing its citizens benefits so they can progress.There is little unemployment at 4%, most work to pay the high income taxes to provide these universal services.  So Norweigens may consider the US to be a shit hole country thats why they laugh.

Friday, January 19, 2018

How to turn an unused lanai into a third guest bedroom

How to turn an unused lanai into a third guest bedroom.

When creating a third guest bedroom from an idle lanai, you must first decide if room is large enough and will be comfortable.Many vacant lanai's are not climate controlled meaning that they are not insulated so when remaining room is hot in the summer due  to the sun or very cold in the winter due to frigid temperatures.  If it is in the budget  insulation should be added to ceilings and windows to make room more climate friendly.   But if you're like me who doesn't have the budget to add insulation, here are some other steps to take to turn that unfamilar lanai into a third guest room. First weatherstrip all windows by caulking the out side of windows.   Secondly, caulk the baseboards and the outlet to weatherproof room a little.If unaccounted room is large enough assess if the vacant room can serve dual purpose. By making it into a bedroom slash exercise/craft room like i my case.  I added two twin beds a dresser and a nightstand on one side half of room than on other half of room I added a tall cabinet as my craft center and a thread mill for exercise.  I added a screen to separate both spaces.  I added a rolling closet for clothes as well.   I added a space heater and a fan for comfort and now I have a brand new space.    Here are photos

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

ART is Personal

Art work can be both expensive and inexpensive but it is personal because Art speaks to a person's individual tastes and likes.  The same artwork can be interpreted differently by people, some can be offended and others not.  I like the American and Puerto Rican flags as art.  I hand painted a dining table with American flag design and covered an art canvas with the Puerto Rican flag.  Here are the photos

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Why Dems are underestimating Trump again?

I am a registered Democrat but I think I am more of an Independent.  I don't like it when either party is an extremes whether you're a Bernie Saunders democrat or a Louie Gomer Republican both extremes are bad because common sense is ignored. 
The Dems. are talking about impeachment when they know that Trump hasn't been proven to have done anything illegal only immoral.  The Democrats are using the recent tax plan as a main point of opposition towards Trump and republicans.  The Democrats have forgotten that the tax increase on middle class will be 8 years later. Meanwhile, more people will see more money in their checks and more confidence in economy.  If economy continues to grow the republicans will claim its the tax plan.  The democrats only have the argument that in 8 years that tax cut will expire. 
In the time Trump has entered office he has managed to keep his word to his base.  Trump has created a ban on Muslims, he is trying  to get the wall to be built, he is trying to eliminate Obama care among other promises.   Trump has kept his promises to tackle these issues,  he makes the argument that Congress has failed to pass.  Although, many Americans disagree with policies, I think many Americans respect the fact that Trump is keeping his word to his base.  In a world where politicians make promises and don't keep it, people respect that he is keeping his word.  The democratic party hasn't announced any new ideas or policies, nor have they recruited any new people.  The dems are floating around Joe Biden as a possible Presidential candidate, really again.  The democratic party needs to grow and have new popular policies and popular candidates, maybe the Rock could run.  Who knows?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Is it really DIY if you get help

I enjoy DIY projects because I get a lot of pride knowing I did a project myself.  There are times that that DIY project can be a lot harder than it looks.  There may be a project that may be too hard to tackle and  you need professional trades people to help.  You can order the  materials and become the product manager on job, but its no longer DIY if you get a pro to finish the job.   It is hard to acknowledge when a job is too much to handle; but its better to get help now so  that you don't pay more in the long run for a DIY disaster.

How Inflation is affecting the thrift stores

  It seems that Inflation has hit a 40 year high affecting everything from gas prices, housing, food, and consumer goods.  Inflation ...