Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Eat the rich"

Since my absense, I have learned that rich people invest in order to be taxed at lower rates, more people die from abusing prescription drugs than illegal drug overdoses and that realtors are corrupt and Michael Moore has re-emerged in defense of democracy.

Investments are taxed at lower rates than income. I read that in the Sunday paper a few weeks ago and was surprised that Warren Buffet was proposing that the rich pay their fair share in taxes? The question mark is intentional because there has to be more behind this story...

The most dangerous drug dealers can now be found at your local pharmacy. The new drugs are legal and people are becoming addicted to pain meds and other prescribed medications are increasing rates. It is so common that Dr. Conrad Murray is currently being tried for his part in the Michael Jackson fatal drug overdose that occurred two years ago. Drugs are marketed directly to consumers and that was once illegal.

Real Estate agents continue to legally discriminate against apartment hunters. My friend had been looking for places and the rental application fees were extremely high but he was also refused everywhere that he applied. He has been in the military for 16 years, he has "impeccable credit"-- as one realtor described it and he has a job, but the places he has applied to continue to deny him and I would only conclude it is race-based discrimination. He even had one realtor claim her unit--owned by her and her husband--was granted to another applicant but ten days later, her unit was relisted.

Michael Moore has been in the news again lately because of the state of the economy and unfair debt burdens on the Middle Class and poor.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Feel Good

It is so odd. I am watching "The Dr. Oz Show" and these women with large bellies are crying because they are fat. The fat is not the problem; that they are crying over fat is the problem. I used to be a lot heavier and I understand that weight loss is very hard, especially for women because our bodies change with child birth, menopause and other circumstances; however, we should not be crying over weight! We are made to feel bad emotionally because of superficial things--that we do not look like the advertised women in magazines, that we do not have the money or success of our peers, but these things can be changed and they should not merit as much emotion and attention as we give them. Health is and should always be the goal in life. There are some women without belly fat that are anorexic and their disease has led to cardiovascular and other irreversible health problems. I have always heard that people in areas where food is scare admire those who are fat because girth demonstrates disposable wealth and an abundance of foods to eat. Perhaps, until they discover a magazine or another form of Western influence. I still believe that health takes precedence over shape or weight. Another example: a bodybuilder who uses steroids.

The fastest solution is to accept the circumstances and either work on removing them or learn to be happy despite them. I was being hard on myself today: I was getting extremely anxious because of my unemployment, credit score and every other trivial thing that pollutes my mind and then I decided to talk to myself as a friend--I know that sounds crazy and maybe I am, but it's a coping mechanism and I concluded that I can either worry constructively about (problem solve without internalizing it) or accept it. I chose to accept it. These things matter when it comes to employment and housing, so they are realistic to worry about but worrying has not gotten me anywhere. My problem-solving skills have stalled. I am hoping that Obama's job plan is successful because I know that so many of us could use a change but we should work harder at making ourselves feel good than making ourselves feel bad. There are advertisers, credit companies and so many others that will be hard on us and try to get us down, but with the positive attitude, we can make anything less painful. Bad health and death can even be met with optimism because our minds have the power to do anything--even if it employs imagination.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Texas Story: Dream House for $16.00

This video demonstrates how legal loopholes can allow one to work smarter and not harder. The litigious U.S. has laws for everything and this man was smart enough to do his research and his neighbors are complaining that life is unfair. Yes, indeed, life is unfair and real estate especially has allowed discrimination and other forms of keeping neighborhoods divided in order to avoid White Flight--where is a minority--especially a Black person moves in, they move out. If this man--seemingly, an average male-- found and exploited this loophole, imagine what the corporations and their high-powered attorneys can do!

I am jaded when it comes to justice and equality. There is too much hypocrisy for me to say that what this man is doing is wrong. After all, who wouldn't want high quality at a low price? If one cannot afford luxury and suddenly there is a law that affords them such luxury for nearly nothing, wouldn't he be foolish to pay full price? Sucess= health, water, food, and shelter. A house is the largest debt that most will acquire. This man has a dream house at the cost of 16 American dollars. That is an enormous profit. There was no higher education required. This man did his research-- independently-- and is in the legal process of remaining in the house for 3 years until he receives full ownership of the property. Some strange laws combined with the right thinking can become a capitalist's dream.

Friday, September 9, 2011


The news has left me paranoid and depressed. There is too much redundancy with the ten year anniversary and the stories are only of grief. I have lost people close to me and I will grieve forever but I find solace in our good memories. One of my greatest friend's parents chose to have a memorial for her instead of a funeral. The memorial was held on her birthday and her friends and family could celebrate her life and move on with her still in their hearts, versus focusing on our loss and feeling the void that she left. I think that fear is dangerous. I am naturally timorous but sometimes the news exacerbates my stress to levels of delusions. No, I will not seek medication, the way that the media frames circumstances makes the fear logical and inevitable. I hope that everyone is safe and remains that way.

It should come as no surprise that Jackie Onassis made remarks about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that were derogatory. I have always thought of her as having class but it appears that was only on the surface. These are the history lessons that should be taught in learning institutions because it reveals why racism was allowed to survive--legally--until 1965. Every African-American in the United States was a second class citizen until 1965 and that is me being brutally honest. That Obama became President only 40 plus years after African-Americans becoming citizens is amazing. For that reason alone, I believe it is a historical presidency--not because he is "Black", which he is as much White as he is Black, but because of the huge amount of progress that the U.S. has made since using the National Guard and unfair laws against Blacks to the Presidency. We are still not extending our equality to homosexuals. I will not believe that I live in a fair country until homosexuals are granted the rights to distribute their property as they please and to marry whoever they love.

As a teacher, I would find it very difficult to ever sugar coat the harsh realities of our history. We need new history books to be written that are the antithesis of traditional history. Howard Zinn's book, "A People's History of the United States" is one of the few books that tell history from a different perspective. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's only a game

Football--the one played with hands and not feet--is considered an all-American sport. The Green Bay Packers are playing The New Orleans' Saints to begin the season. I have never been able to associate myself with any sport as others do. I was good at being smart and not a jock. Using my objective reasoning, I have been known to cheer for both sides when a play merits praise. I will also switch my team to the winning one--pathetic, but true, so that I am always a winner. 

Games seem harmless but there are times when the outcome of a game incites violence. Some fanatics are not allowed to attend soccer games because they are known to be violent or have some criminal record associated with attending a prior event. These fans travel to different countries and cities to see their team play. I do not understand that--at all, but I recently saw a game that I did not find funny.

I saw a clip of a game and the goal was to kill Tea Party Members who were zombies? I question that because the game used the actual peoples' likeness? and even if it is a parody, it is not funny. The Tea Party Members are human beings and they should not be marked targets in a game or any other parody. Violence is not funny. 

Chelsea Handler makes rape "jokes" sexual assault is not funny. It begins with humor in order to extenuate these circumstances into the mainstream. Violence is no longer heavily debated as it was when I was younger. Supposedly, the rating V leaves it to the viewer's discretion. The rape jokes are new to me. Racist jokes have always been around and will always be, but one must recognize that even pretend violence against someone is dangerous.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Science is racist, too.

A few weeks ago, it came as no surprise that Black Scientists receive 10% less funding than their White counterparts. Science is as racist, too. This is the system churning at its best: beneficial to Whites and harmful to Blacks. How would those funding these research projects know that the Scientists are Black? On the race bubbles that are sometimes mandatory I fill in other and state, "human race". The military is an institution that requires one to fill out such race bubbles and the last time that I encountered one, it did not have the option to fill in other or be two or more races.

Science is not a new racist. Linneaus was very racist in his categorization of races. Eugenics and other movements were racist also and Watson--of DNA double helix fame--believes that Blacks are genetically inferior--a very dangerously ignorant statement coming from an "educated" man. Racism will remain and in order to not become a victim, we must be cognizant of such occurrences. Once it is recognized, we must find ways to become autonomous in a sense that we remove ourselves from institutions that aid and abet systematic racism and other systems: isms.

We are being hypnotized by these systems that give us beliefs without any credible evidence or antithetical viewpoints to make a fair decision. It is even more dangerous when there is no exposure to certain groups. I remember a girl in college who said, "We don't have homeless people in Orange County". From my experience, homeless people are everywhere but in a private community I could understand why she made the statement. I believe that if someone such as Michelle Bachman exposed herself to homosexuals by going into homosexual communities or volunteering in organizations that deal with hate crimes and other issues, a paradigm would occur.

I believe the only way to truly overcome these systems is to step away from the system and induce paradigms. I am watching the candidates closely to see if any of them would be up for such a challenge. I would love to see the privileged try to survive in the social conditions they so often ignore or debate vicariously. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I have heard that the term "Gypsy" is derogatory. For too long--ignorantly--that was the only name that I knew for the Roma. I had first encountered The Roma in Europe, but they are spread throughout the world. I lived in a very friendly country in Europe but the Roma were stigmatized. I was immediately told that they were thieves and I began to hate them because I heard stories of how they would sell roses with cocaine inside, so that when the buyer or recipient sniffs the rose, they become high and will be hooked on drugs for the rest of their lives--please remember that I was ignorant and I have always hated drugs.

I had seen a few Roma boys break into my babysitter's car and steal our roller skates. They dropped them after they were caught; therefore, I did not hold a grudge but it seemed as though even the most polite person would have a negative stereotype or experience with the Roma. The Roma culture is very exclusive. They do not mingle with outsiders.

The Roma would sell clothing and other goods at the market. Being that they are a people who travel and often cannot find work due to discrimination, I would often wonder if these items were also stolen. I noticed, however, that that was the time that everyone would interact with the Roma. The people who held such hatred for them did not have any qulams about purchasing their goods and I was partially disgusted by it but I followed the majority blindly. I loved to go to the market and I liked that I had the opportunity to speak to them. I have always been curious about everyone but they were all business.

The exclusivity of the Roma is possibly part of why they are misunderstood. The Roma do not allow outsiders into their social circles. Their social cohesion is rare because literally, if you fight one of them, you will fight their entire family. Tony Gatlif's film, "Latcho Drom" portrays the journey of the Roma. In the film, it traces the trade route and shows the diversity of the people. The scenes in Spain are very powerful because a woman tells of being "Gitana" and compares it to a black bird.

In the U.S., "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" airs on The Learning Channel and I have watched a few episodes to witness their culture. Co-cultures have always fascinated me but the discrimination is obvious and what I fail to understand is that they look like the majority. Often, in societies, the outcasts are visible minorities but I cannot distinguish these people as "travelers" as they are called in Ireland and other countries. One thing remains constant: if it involves money, most are willing to forgive one's background. The weddings are big business and the outsiders will often host the Roma--in the similar way that everyone would interact with the Roma at the market.      

Monday, September 5, 2011

The industry that is impervious to the downturn in the economy is *drum roll*

The Sex Industry. Instead of the joke about college students stripping to pay their tuition, it is probably more accurate-- in the contemporary-- that degree holders are doing the stripping.

My goals in life are to help others and implement change in the world. I have two major problems with the sex industry: 1., The social conditions that drive some to enter the sex industry such as molestation, parental neglect and various other traumatic experiences in their lives. 2., There does not appear to be any drug testing/mental health evaluation/background check. The sex industry appears to hire on the spot and workers begin employment immediately. I find that problematic because one desperate for money may make a brash decision that would have otherwise been left unconsidered. 3., The workers may not understand the impact it will have on their future, as well as their family members, friends and others who are associated with them.

The social conditions that lead some into the sex industry are often disregarded for so long that it appears that the future sex worker was simply promiscuous or someone who is overly sexual but one must examine whether they were sexually abused. I do not believe that the sex industry takes the background of its workers into consideration. The sex industry may have workers that have low self-esteem, eating disorders, and other conditions that make them more likely to work in that industry than to consider other forms of employment. The industry may exploit these workers unknowingly but there does not seem to be any way to check the background of their workers.

Desperation will lead some into circumstances that they would otherwise not consider. Employers in all other fields are very interested in background checks and credit reports but the sex industry does not seem to have a need for employment verification or any of the traditional job selection tools. I think that if there were a waiting period, it would weed out those who are confident and comfortable in the industry from those who felt helpless.

Employment in the sex industry may come back to haunt the worker. Kim Kardashian was initially famous for a sex tape that had been purchased by Vivid Entertainment, an adult video company but she has since become a business woman. However, some will always associate her with that tape and the sex industry. I do cannot speak for Kim, but I do believe that if she truly regretted such decision, she would not have ever received money for her part in that tape and that she would start a foundation or speak to others who are at high-risk for entering the sex industry. If Kim were comfortable with her decision, she should not pretend that she is against the industry. For instance, Playboy is considered the high-end spectrum of the sex industry and Kim seemed to have no qualms about posing for Playboy and then changed her mind and blamed her mom for influencing her while making the decision to pose in the pornographic magazine.

The sex industry resorts to the oldest profession in history: sex for money. It does not have to be engaging in sexual acts, but fantasy and the illusion of sex. If one is comfortable in such industry, I wish them luck but my biggest concern is that in Guam and Rhode Island, the legal age for stripping is 16 and that is clearly child pornography and shouldn't be legal under any circumstances. An abusive parent could force their child to work in a strip club or a child could legally work in the club without their parent knowing.   

Sunday, September 4, 2011

You will never be the same

My friend is a Marine. I met him around three years ago and he would always mention how he wanted children and to settle down. I always found that strange because he was young, but after considering that he had experienced the death of a sibling, it seemed reasonable to me. He had deployed to The Middle East and ever since he has been back in the U.S. his relationships have ended because the women that he was involved with was used to the old John Doe who wanted kids. I began to speculate that it was something about the war that changed his decision about children. 

The classic structure of myth involves a hero who goes on a journey where he learns something that changes him. Once he has been changed, he takes his knowledge back to where he originated. I miss the pre-deployment John Doe. It is unfortunate the effects that war has on people. I cannot imagine what anyone's psyche would be like if subjected to such violence. It is not only the loud sounds, but the smell of blood and flesh and the fear and the uncertainty. I don't understand war. I have been fortunate enough to understand peace and I wish that for everyone. Killing hasn't gotten us anywhere. The violence continues in the countries where there is fighting and until there is a diplomatic solution casualties will continue to rise. 

Everyone is a hero and everyone has gone on a journey. I think of mine as being college. Since I went to college, it would be hard for me to tell children that they should go, too. I would find myself being brutally honest and telling them that it is a lie that they can be whatever they want to be. Maybe I would not be that harsh but I would do a lot of tongue biting. I'm not a dream killer. I would just tell them that there are ways to be successful that do not involve higher education. I remember a guidance counselor at my school used to say that life would not be fair and it depended on the choices that one makes. I thought that was a very dismal saying, but I should have listened more carefully and taken his experience into account. I'm not even sure if I used that saying right. I need to learn American Idioms--idioms, period. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I cannot imagine Eid being celebrated with the turmoil that has been plaguing The Middle East. The Muslims that I knew were very generous during Eid. They would give money to anyone in need and bring huge amounts of food--especially rice and chicken dishes over to our house. It was the custom of the country and if one was begging and I could offer a donation, I would, too. It has always been important for me to respect the culture where I am a guest. I find it rude when people do not know the customs and do not attempt to speak the language. I also have never understood why some people claim that Muslims want others to convert to Islam. In fact, I have heard from a Muslim friend that proselytization  is against Islam. In the U.S., I constantly have proselytizers all over me and I am bombarded with religion. Do I look like a sinner? I don't understand it. I have even had some weird cult people approach me. I know that part of it is that I am a loner. I will venture anywhere by myself but they are so persistent that they will come to you--right to the front door! I enjoy celebrating and appreciating all religions but I think it is a good idea to let someone find their own spiritual path than to lead them to what has worked for you. I'm not making sense. It is those meds and I really wish the doctor hadn't ordered me to take them. I honestly went up until 11:30 p.m. yesterday (Friday) believing that it was Saturday! It was horrible. The medication made me sleep so much and I was wondering why everyone was at work on a Saturday! I have a good sense of humor, so I can laugh at myself but I will tell very few people that story. I'm still on meds and still terrified of the "care" I will receive from the money hungry doctor that I have to follow-up with. I would skip it, but--once again, doctors orders and I have heard that one can lose their insurance if they defy written or oral instructions from a doctor. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Red Alert?

Flying used to be  simple. I don't know what color corresponds to the threat alert but the State Department has issued a warning and I hope  that everyone is safe and that there is peace and prosperity for us all.

I have a story that would fit well into Michael Moore's "Sicko". I had been very sick but i was fighting it because i was unsure whether there would be a gap in my insurance and I was currently uninsured. I have been uninsured a lot since my parent retired from the military and as a military dependent, i would not have hesitated to receive medical care--it is not that it is "free" but it is a benefit to military members and their families.

I scheduled an appointment with my regular doctor and since no one could take me, I walked in excruciating pain and 89 degrees. I waited and had my temperature taken. I had a fever: 101 degrees. The pain in my back and side was increasing but I waited patiently. The doctor entered and she began looking over my chart. I explained that I suffered for three days because I was unsure if I had insurance with the same insurer listed. As soon as the doctor heard this, she left the room and asked the front desk to run my insurance. She was not interested in my condition, she was only interested in receiving payment for my visit. First, she told me she could not see me if I was uninsured and then, she said I would have to pay cash. I was disgusted by her indifference to my condition, so I left and the pain increased due to the stress, long walk and the extreme temperature. I called my mom crying in physical and emotional pain.

I had to end up calling an ambulance. A vital organ of mine is infected and my temperature was close to 103. i almost permanently damaged my health because a doctor would not care for me. The ER and everyone who treated me took excellent care of me. they took their Hippocratic Oath seriously.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What a Privilege

It's easy to be like everyone else. I have always been drawn to those who think outside of the box; the underdogs and the social pariahs. I do not understand how people--who know nothing of being anything other than "normal"-- feel the right to condescend to those who deviate from the norm. For example, if a heterosexual says that homosexuals should not marry or adopt. What gives them the right to speak on behalf of homosexuals? Do they even realize that it is the stigmatization of homosexuals that has granted them such a privilege to make that statement and be met with laws and other forms of agreement that is strongly in favor of heterosexuals? 

Here are the major systems: capitalism, racism and homophobism. In order to be successful--regardless of race or sexual orientation, one must become successful at capitalism. From what I have experienced, once someone has so much money, race is no longer an issue. If a woman marries a man outside of her race, she may receive backlash from her friends, family, society and so on; but, if that man is a doctor, professional athlete or in another profession that pays well, the stigma will be lessened. 

If someone is a homosexual but works in an industry that allows her to make a lot of money, then she, also, will be seen as green. I use the expression because my brother once stated that "when you have so much money they no longer see you as White or Black, they see you as Green." Capitalists love green. They cater to money and if you have money, you are regarded as worthy of the best treatment.

Quantas Airways recently posted a picture of two men in Blackface on twitter and thought it was funny. This is a great example of how racism benefits one group and not the other. One race can laugh at racist jokes, use racial slurs and discriminate against another because racism has worked that well and continues to work in their favor. 

Systems will continue to strengthen if we do not come to the realization that we are in them. I do not feel that one always has to side with the underdog but I think that both arguments merit attention. Pity is also a form of stigmatization and I try to find myself not pitying anyone; instead, I try to help.