The One-Percenters believe they are being persecuted. Have compared themselves to the Jews persecuted by the Nazis. Okay, so here’s my problem. Either, we need to drag them out of their houses in the middle of the night while their neighbors watch and torture and kill them, or they should have a little more respect for what Jews went through.
I really think this whole thing about being persecuted for your wealth is ludicrous. A One-Percenter on Bloomberg News said that others should stop envying them and emulate them. However, if that is the case then there would be no teachers, or garbage men, police officers or civil servants. Everyone would be looking at what they can get on the backs of someone else and no one would be interested in helping each other.
This fantasy that Americans quote unquote pull ourselves up by our bootstraps is a fable that those who make it tell those who haven’t. It’s not because of lack of opportunity, poor living conditions, inadequate schools, or broken families. It’s because you didn’t work hard enough. It doesn’t matter that the ones who have made it usually have at least the right networks and the right schooling. No, it’s because they work harder than other Americans.
Work Harder! I’ve seen people that make little to nothing work hard. I know for a fact teachers work hard. I know that those who pick fruit work hard. I know those that do the jobs that some people stick their noses up at work really hard. And still they may never make it.
The truth is that in order for others to have, someone has to have not. The truth is the reason these lies are stuffed down poor people’s throats is to keep them quiet. The truth is the reason One-Percenters tell themselves they are being persecuted is to quiet their guilt and help them sleep better at night.
I worked out today. Wish I could say I’m going to work out tomorrow, but I think I better not promise it. What I can say is that I’m glad I did today. Got out of bed, did a workout session, off to work. God is good.
Today I let go of something I have been holding on to for a long time. I’m not sure if that makes me brave or shows a lack of faith. Or maybe it shows an abundance of faith. Believing that there is something out there that is better, that is right. Somedays my faith is so clear, other days I feel like I’m absolutely upside down in my belief. But that’s okay too. I love the Lord. He loves my soul. I’ll be alright.
Darn it! Got to start over again. Doing this is pretty humbling. It shows me how I let the gift I have been given take a back seat to other things. I don’t prioritize writing so I forget to do it. It also shows that I lack follow through. Not that I don’t know that but everytime I have to start at Day 1 again, I have to face it. I must say, as much as that sort of sucks, it also is good for me. Enjoying it. Hope I do better as a 34 year-old….Woohoo another year on Earth! I am so blessed. Thirty-three was pretty awesome I must say. Hope 34 is even better. :)
Seahawks suck! LOL. Okay, something more productive. I learned some new things today while trying to produce a mini-report at work. It felt good to take in new information and to be challenged even though it was stressful.
Today I also learned that being patient and learning acceptance is not a one day thing. It’s not a weekend jaunt. For me, learning to be patient has been extremely hard, long and nerve-wracking. And learning to accept? I just got another lesson on that yesterday (which by the weekend, probably won’t stick)!
Truthfully, what God has for you can not be manipulated, pushed, pulled, sped up or slowed down. It just is. It comes in God’s time, not our own. Which I would like to say sucks (like the Seahawks) but I have spent enough time with God to know that His time really is best. It’s just fact. Sometimes, you are not allowed to move forward or back, left or right. You just have to stand. Stand in the knowledge and the faith that God keeps pouring into you.And even though I say stand, I know that somedays all I can do is fall on my face in faith.
"Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair." I don’t think anyone’s has - no matter what their station in life. This life is not easy and the reward is not given to the weak. No matter how much at times I just want to throw in the towel, it looks like God knows better. He’s not giving up on me. He’s not letting me give up on me. And for that…
Being talented is a burden of sorts. Some of the most talented people on Earth are also cursed with the biggest demons. I guess that’s why so many great singers die young or have tragic endings. It’s like the spirit in them is so bright that it can’t fit in this world for long. It shines over all of us and then before we can truly appreciate it - it’s gone. God bless those he’s sent to be a beacon of his love and a testament to his beauty. R.I.P. to those who we’ve lost along the way.
I played pool tonight. My friends had a great Sims interaction.
Thought of the Day
What is the point of doing the right thing if it doesn’t pay off? I guess it’s still the right thing. There should nee comfort in that. Unfortunately like everyone else, I’m completely extrinsically motivated at times. If it’s not going to make a difference shouldn’t I be able to do whatever I want?
I love my father. He’s not a good father but he has spent time trying to form and maintain a bond with me. However, due to his flaws and fears, it has been difficult for him - for both of us. But I want to give thanks today for him. He tells me he loves me. He gives just because he wants me to have it. He thinks of me. Ours is not a great relationship and I can’t say that it will ever be. But somewhere down the line, he made a choice to actively try. I appreciate that.
And for all of my father’s other children who have not had a relationship with him or who he has neglected to keep up with, try to love him anyway. Not because he’s a great father, but because you’re here and you can learn something even from an absentee father. I oftentimes feel very conflicted about my dad and I’m not sure I’ll ever be happy with our relationship or the man he is. But I am glad I’ve had chances to get to know him and I’m glad he’s in my life.
I am afraid of Thanksgiving. More accurately, I am afraid of what Thanksgiving tells us about both the dominant culture and much of the alleged counterculture.
Here’s what I think it tells us: As a society, the United States is intellectually dishonest, politically irresponsible, and morally bankrupt. This is a society in which even progressive people routinely allow national and family traditions to trump fundamental human decency. It’s a society in which, in the privileged sectors, getting along and not causing trouble are often valued above honesty and accountability. Though it’s painful to consider, it’s possible that such a society is beyond redemption. Such a consideration becomes frightening when we recognize that all this goes on in the most affluent and militarily powerful country in the history of the world, but a country that is falling apart — an empire in decline.
Darn it. I didn’t write yesterday even after I reminded myself. I was supposed to take a moment to jot down some of my thoughts. Sucks. Blame it on Houston and the beautiful family I have here. Thanks for the laughs, fam.
Thought of the Day
Lord, help me walk in acceptance. Let your will be done.
There was a time in our relationship where I was brave and you were unafraid. How fragile the time. Swept away in a twinkling of an eye. Before we let what we thought the other wanted, be more important than what the other wanted. Before we let our insecurities in and began to pretend. Drawing caricatures of ourselves hoping to please one another. Scared to be real once we began to feel for one another. Knowing the price of vulnerability. Having paid before. Memories of mistakes laced with feelings of inadequacy and the misplaced guilt of what others did. Shouldering the guilt of others’ choices.
You and I. So similar. More than we probably realized. Turning into the skeletal versions of ourselves. Hoping bones are more palatable than flesh. Because the flesh carries flaws. Scarred from previous encounters, at times missing its shine. The luster scratched but not fully lost.
We trotted out our doppelgangers for one another when we never really had to be anything other than ourselves. Because ourselves was always enough. I miss when we were true to each other. Free moments gone on the breeze. The only way to find those people again, is in our memories.
Lord, I am crying inside. I don’t want to. I don’t want it to matter. I understand that you hav a plan for me and I want to follow it. Yet still I feel brokenhearted and disillusioned and angry. Please God help me to stay dedicated and joyous about my path.
I watched a really uncomfortable video. It was so PG and R rated at the same time. Was not ready.
Thought for the Day
Church isn’t doing it for me. I haven’t been a church regular in about a year and a half. Before that I had a regular church I attended in New Orleans. I’ve been going to this church since before Katrina. So whenever I’d move back to New Orleans, I’d go back to my church.
Well, when I came back this time, it wasn’t the same. Or maybe it was the same and I am different. But it didn’t feel like it fit anymore. It was like putting on your favorite shirt that you’ve had in the back of your closet. It was supposed to feel familiar and fit just perfectly, but instead it felt foreign and showed bulges in places never noticed before.
Going back to the church and not finding my home there felt strange. I didn’t expect that. It was part of the whole package about me coming back to New Orleans. When I decided to take the opportunity here I thought it would be sort of like a homecoming - my old church, and old friends, and old hangouts. I felt like moving here would give me a chance to heal a broken heart and I could take comfort in the familiar.
But reality is different. The truth is: I think my old church worries more about getting in people’s pockets than they should, my old friends have their lives that they have crafted without me while I’ve been traveling, and my old hangouts have memories of personal love stories that never had happy endings. New Orleans isn’t quite as comfortable for me as I thought it would be.
I guess it’s time to start thinking about my new adventure. Anyone know how I can live in a foreign country next year?
This was how the myth of Black criminality started, for the record. After the abolition of slavery, a lot of states made laws targeting Black people specifically, and then put them on chain gangs to get free labor from them.
Oh, and the US is still disproportionately incarcerating Black people and private prisons are making huge amounts off them.
I am really struggling with acceptance. I know how to acknowledge. I acknowledge that things are the way they are and that I am not in control. I acknowledge that God has a plan and that everything must fall under his will. What I’m struggling with is accepting it.
And not in some philosophical way, that doesn’t hold up when the rubber hits the road, but in a get-up-and-live-it-every-day way.Which isn’t as easy. I make declarations to myself all the time that I am going to accept my lot and thank the Lord for it. But inevitably, later that day, I’m back on my knees praying for things to change.
Sometimes things don’t work out. I get that. I am not naive. I listen, I learn, I understand and I accept. At least that’s what I want to do. But lately, it’s been hard to keep my self-made declarations to just let things go the way they must, to keep my hands off it, to trust that everything will work out right. And I guess the reason is because I don’t always feel that way. I can’t help but continue to question. Question my actions. My choices. My belief.
But it doesn’t make me happy. Turning over every rock in my head doesn’t make me wiser or stronger. It makes me tired and it hurts. Which brings me back to acceptance. Maybe I have to accept to make the hurting stop. Maybe it is only acceptance that makes you wiser and stronger.
I’m not sure. But even if that is true. How do I get from where I am now to that place of full acceptance and peace? I don’t know the answer to that. Does anyone?
Random Thought: I wouldn’t make it in the Zombie Apocalypse.
Follow-Up to Random Thought: I wouldn’t want to either.
Thought for the Day
My knee hurts. I am getting older. Gotta start taking care of myself. It was a notion before but now it’s a mandate. Your body changes, it can’t do all the things it used to, even when you will it to. Instead, you learn that you have to change the way you’re used to doing things to accommodate the pain or stiffness or whatever it may be. Bodies change, aging is not just a number change but physical changes too. Of course, I knew that, but now I’m beginning to live it and it’s freaky. I’m not used to thinking about longevity and what type of life I want to have when I’m older, but I find myself looking at the future these days. Imagining myself and what I want and what I want to avoid so that my future days will be comfortable.
Three students at San Jose State University have been charged with misdemeanor hate crimes and battery after being accused of tormenting a black roommate.
University police announced on Wednesday that arrest warrants were being issued for 18-year-old freshmen students Colin Warren, Joseph Bomgardner and Logan Beaschler. According to police, the three students hazed a fellow student while they were all living in an eight-person suite between Aug. 20 and Oct. 13.
The San Jose Mercury Newsreportedthat the victim’s parents first suspected that something was wrong with the living situation in mid-October when they noticed a Confederate flag covering a cardboard cutout of Elvis in the dorm room. They also reported to campus police that they had seen the N-word scrawled on a dry-erase board.
Police reports indicated that the students gave their 17-year-old victim the nicknames of “Three-fifth” and “Fraction,” referring to the way the original U.S. Constitution treated slaves as part of a person.
At one point, the victim allegedly had a “U” shaped bike lock placed around his neck and was not set free for as long as 10 minutes. A struggle occurred after the suspects tried to place the victim in the bike lock again and bruised his lip.
Investigators found anti-Semitic items in the dorm room, including a photo of Adolf Hitler and a swastika. There was a pentagram on one wall that was used to offend the victim because he was a Christian, police said.
“He was targeted because he was different, because he was black,” Deputy District Attorney Erin Westsaid on Wednesday.
Three Fifths. Fraction. They called him names that imply a fairly high level of historical knowledge on the subject of American slavery. These aren’t crude dive bar “jokes”, nor locker room “humor”…this is calculated, intentional and in every way vile. To have spent time in that toxic environment for a day, let alone months…
I can hear the defenses for this
"it was just a prank"
"they weren’t being racist"
"he couldn’t take a joke!"
Put a fucking lock around his neck? FUCKING REALLY I CAN’T WTD Fucking racist pieces of shit
I’ve seen at least one white liberal woman saying that we should be trying to rehabilitate these assholes
They tortured this kid. They tortured this kid to get their racist jollies.
And here is what enrages me: these kids could be convicted of a felony and still have a better chance at employment than their victim.
What do you do when you really want something…when you really need things to work out in your favor? Yet, you realize the probability of that happening runs asymptotically. The more you hold out, the closer you get to zero.
It’s like waiting for rain in a drought. You pray. You hope. You watch for signs. But day after day your crops wither and the health of your livestock fades as do your hopes. And it makes me wonder - how do you make yourself not want something? How do you hope against your hope? Pray against your prayers? Which ones will God answer?
When I was younger - not a child - just younger, I had faith. The type of faith that shows up in the Bible. The childlike faith. Strong, bright and true. Stronger than what my grownup self could ever produce now. Faith that everything would work out right. And I guess it did. But along the way, I met with disappointment and heartbreak. Those things changed me, in a way I am only beginning to understand.
Now, I find myself wondering. Questioning. Trying to access that part of myself again that had such blind, wondrous, blessed faith. She didn’t die. She’s still there. Buried alive under worry and fear and a growing lack of hope for the future.
I worry about myself sometimes. I worry about what will become of me. Wondering if I am just going through a phase or if I’m fundamentally changing. If the losses in my life and the times I’ve been knocked down have changed me much more than I would have imagined they could. Left me praying, but not trusting. Wanting but not believing. Needing things to work out in my favor but understanding they probably won’t.
Today was good because I spent some time fantasizing about what I’d write on my 3rd day. Of course, I have completely forgotten what that was.
I’ve been thinking about kicking people off of my Facebook page. I’m thinking of doing it in waves. First, I want to move all of the people who are work acquaintances only onto LinkedIn. If it’s about the network we form and keeping up with people that have influenced us or can have an impact on my future career, they should be on LinkedIn where I’m not likely to post something that will offend delicate sensibilities.
Next, would be the kids. I know right - so sad, so sad. Well, it’s like this. Either I need a completely different page for them or I need to make sure they are all in a group that has privacy settings such that I can control the flow of information to them. One, because I am an adult and I would like to have adult conversations, and two because some of the things they write on their Facebook pages make me want to gag. And since I haven’t figured out the role I should play in letting them express themselves versus chastisement, I’d rather not be a part of that at all.
The third group of people voted off the island would be those who would always be too sensitive to discuss topics not watered down or sanitized. But those, I do not have to kick off - they’ll self-select to leave as I begin to express myself more.
I’ve been very careful of how I message myself on Facebook based on the audience of “friends”. However, I’m sick of that. I’m starting to think like Mystikal - “If you’re going to be down with me, be all the way down with me or get from round me.” That way, I’m only talking to the people in my life that are open-minded enough to appreciate the tough conversations, mature enough to access the content, and close enough to handle my faults.
This is what I’ll do. I’ll make myself write everyday and see what I come up with. I’ll keep track of how many consecutive days I write and start over on days when I don’t write. Let’s see how far I can go before starting over.
Love doesn’t care if you don’t want to fall in love, are not interested in falling in love, would be much better off without ever ever ever falling in love. Love’s more like, “Fuck it. I think we should do it anyway.”
The Love Emotion is brave. It treks through carefully-constructed circumstances, well-laid plans and heavily-contemplated action to bring you right where it ultimately desires. You think you’re in control but you’re not. Before you realize how deep things have gotten, you’re right back in time again. To the emotion you swore you wouldn’t allow yourself to feel. Hoping that this time the outcome will be different. That your head can overrule the erratic beat of your heart. The swelling of hope. The thrum of newly awakened yearnings. But it can’t. And it won’t.
No matter how much you may have wished otherwise. Or how fervently with God you’ve pled. You find yourself in love. Again.
Following the report that Insurer Humana was fined $65,000 in Kentucky for sending out 6,500 misleading cancellation letters for low-premiums plans only to be automatic re-enrollment in high cost plans before these customers were given a chance to shop on the open exchange for a better and cheaper plan - we now have a new report that Anthem Blue Cross is being sued for tricking people into dropping their “grandfathered” plans.
“Blue Cross successfully enticed tens of thousands of its individual policyholders to switch out of their grandfathered health plans and forever lose their protected grandfathered status,” states the lawsuit. “Blue Cross concealed information about the consequences of switching plans and intentionally misled its policyholders to encourage the replacement of grandfathered policies.”
The lawsuits, filed Monday in Superior Court, may signal an emerging customer pushback against the approximately 900,000 cancellations in California alone of individual health insurance policies that will take effect Dec. 31.
900,000 Cancellations. False Cancellations of plans that, which under the Affordable Care Act are “Grandfathered” and Don’t Need to be Cancelled. The Insurance Companies are doing it to Scam their Customers into higher cost plans and away from the ACA Exchanges in a practice that violates State Law known as “Twisting”.
The plaintiffs, Paul Simon, 39, and Catherine Corker, 63, of California say that they are among the customers that Anthem Blue Cross pressured to drop their grandfathered policies in 2011 without giving them all the facts about new Obamacare requirements that could raise the price of their plans in an effort to cut its own costs. Simon and Corker would have preferred to remain on the grandfathered plans permitted by the law, and are now asking the courts to block Anthem from canceling any more policies unless the company allows consumers to switch back into their grandfathered plans.
“This is about an insurance company manipulating the situation and concealing the facts,” said William Shernoff, an attorney for both the plaintiffs, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “We are asking the court to give our clients and everybody else in the same situation the option of going back to their grandfathered policies.”
These lawsuits may take some time to work their way through the court system, but what can work even more quickly is the CA State Insurance Commission and also the Court of public opinion. Just like in Kentucky the CA Commission has the ability and power to Restore These Improperly Cancelled Plans and get customers back the “Plan they Prefer” if that’s what they truly want.
Perhaps if a few (thousand) of the customers who received letters claiming their “grandfathered” plan was cancelled were to contact that commissioners office, there might be some action on this faster rather than later.
Someone please explain to me how defrauding 6,500 people leads to a $65,000 fine. A $10 fine for robbing someone of what could, over time, become hundreds of thousands of dollars?
Just like the Republicans crying “Voter fraud!!” while they fraudulently disenfranchise voters, the real insurance fraud is being committed by those who use fraudulence as a MacGuffin.
These cancellations, keep in mind, are a large part of why the Republicans have been screaming about the President “breaking his promise” that people can keep their plans if they like them, and why he just capitulated and gave insurers an additional year to maintain inferior plans that leave people underinsured, financially vulnerable and unable to afford care despite paying premiums faithfully.
So here’s the sequence:
Insurers know they’re going to have to do away with noncompliant plans by 1/1/14 but continue to sell them even after they knew the requirements of the ACA and after it was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Insurers then act in bad faith, fraudulently cancelling plans unnecessarily or automatically enrolling customers in higher cost plans, in order to steal customers’ money.
The insurers are not punished in any reasonable way for this fraud.
Republicans blame the president for these bad acts, rather than the insurers who carried them out.
The national media, especially TV media, follows suit, trotting out “victims” of policy cancellations and running factually false pieces about cancelled plans were cancelled.
House Republicans put up yet another piece of legislation meant to undermine and destroy the ACA by giving insurers another year to comply with the minimum coverage regulations required, but it ends up being moot because the president does the same executively, thanks to the pressure brought to bear because the insurers committed fraud.
I want to be brave. I want to say what I’m really thinking, and challenge my words to do the impossible…Stand for something. Be worth the moments I spent tapping away on my computer keys staring at my computer screen. Be the truth. A basic or complex one. A surface or in-depth one. The truth bright and blazing or dull. Just as long as you serve to illuminate my reality. That will be enough.
So, tonight I was having a beer at the bar after work and the guy to my left struck up a conversation with me. Somehow, we started talking about the fact that I’m a teacher. The guy couldn’t get over the fact that I was a teacher, and he kept asking me over and over again,…
The hardest part of dreaming is waking up and seeing the world is not as you imagined it. On the same note, dreaming while awake makes you see that you are not as you imagined you’d be. You’re full of fear and limitations - some self-imposed, others not. And you start to realize that its easier not to dream because there’s a price to hope. For those who have lost before, they know just how much hope can hurt. So I close my eyes to dream. But what is the point of dreaming, of seeing something great, if you are too afraid to make it a reality?
The problem I have with the education reform movement is this: we are moving toward an era of process engineering education when education is a complex system of interactions that should not be managed as you would the manufacturing process of a company. Six Sigma has no place in education. Instead, we should be looking at how to educate to the complexity of the world not make products for sell in a fragile economy.