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.

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 ...