Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

CAN WE AFFORD TO HOUSE THE HOMELESS?

January 11, 2014

It may sound callous and indifferent to say it would save taxpayers significantly to house the homeless. But we apparently live in a nation of many callous and indifferent people, who seem to think it’s in their own best interest to simply ignore the homeless.

Based on actual calculations by the state of Utah of how much it costs to arrest and jail the homeless and provide emergency room services, the average cost per homeless person to the taxpayers of Utah is over $16,500 per year. Utah has discovered housing the homeless instead, including the cost of providing a social worker, costs the taxpayers about $11,000 annually, a savings to the taxpayer of over $5500 per homeless individual.

Unlike many cities continuing to pour taxpayer dollars down the drain arresting, jailing and re-arresting the homeless, Utah has since 2005 began offering those without shelter an apartment and, the entire state is on pace to eliminate homelessness by 2015. While housing the homeless for no cost might not be the best idea, most certainly housing them for one-third of their income, regardless of what it is, would save taxpaying citizens significantly.

Not included in the above calculations, are many other additional not so obvious costs to taxpayers when cities refuse to provide affordable housing. Perhaps most importantly and least understood by American citizens in general, it is a well-established historical fact that pandemics and plagues typically arise among the poorest sections within large urban areas, where adequate shelter, nutrition and medical care is most lacking.

Scientists for several years have been warning that major plague is long overdue and could erupt at any time here in the 21st Century. Disease knows no economic or other boundaries and can quickly spread in all directions upward and outward. It isn’t an exaggeration at all to say that failing to provide adequate shelter, nutrition and medical care for everyone within our borders, is simply begging for national and global disaster to erupt. No one is safe from contagious diseases, regardless of how wealthy or insulated we may be, nor are any of our own children.

Many millions of federal, state, county and city tax dollars are spent in various ways on social outreach services and similar programs that would not be spent if there was no homeless population. And, many billions more are spent by private charities, where much of this is donated by taxpaying citizens. The total cost of private donations combined with various taxpayer funded social outreach programs, significantly adds to the cost of not housing the homeless.

With all costs included, it is at least 50% less expensive to house a homeless person, charging them one-third of their income, than to not house the same homeless person. American cities could begin buying up vacant homes and other structures and start housing the homeless, which would have the added benefit of reducing crime, stabilizing and driving up property values in distressed neighborhoods. Can we afford NOT to house the homeless? You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

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SHOULD WE BOYCOTT WALMART & EXXON-MOBILE?

January 11, 2014

There are sometimes well-meaning but misguided efforts pushed by various organized groups to protest high fuel prices, encouraging consumers to not purchase gasoline on a specific date. It is highly unlikely such token resistance will result in positive change.

Refusing to purchase gasoline for a day or, just not purchasing from Walmart for a weekend, is ineffective and a waste of valuable organizing time and energy. It will require significant economic threat to reform the greedy corporations currently holding a corrupt stranglehold on the American political and economic reality.

A much more effective way to protest is for consumers to target boycott Exxon-Mobil and Walmart, agreeing to purchase only from their competitors. American citizens could force significant reforms, just by agreeing not to purchase from the two worst economic enslaving human rights debasing offenders.

Anyone can protest and complain. It is quite another thing to act wisely to actually correct what is wrong. If American consumers had already united using wise activism, as demonstrated by Mohandas Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez, we could long ago have corrected several of our worst 21st Century problems.

Attempting to boycott every offending corporation on a widespread basis is an obviously impossible task. However, if consumers would join together and agree to permanently boycott just Exxon-Mobil and Walmart, until such time as they engage in reasonable human rights, environmental friendly and other fair and just practices, major reform in America could easily and peacefully be achieved.

That is all it would take. Target boycotting of salt by Gandhi in India resulted in substantial positive gains for poor people who were in effect, slaves of the British Empire. Target boycotting of city buses in Montgomery eventually resulted in a Southern president signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And, target boycotting in California by Cesar Chavez resulted in substantial wage and other improvements for migrant farm workers. 

Target boycotting not only serves to reform the targeted industry or company, it also serves notice on all other companies that if they fail to treat workers and consumers fairly, they will be next. There is no reason for violence here in the 21st Century, in order to achieve substantial positive human and civil rights gains. We the people hold the power of the consumer purse. As such, we have the power to bring greedy corporations and their corrupt political pawns to their nefarious knees, without firing a single shot.

Until Americans stop voting for corporate stooges, stop listening to divisive political and religious pundits and, start practicing wise united activism on a large scale, we will likely continue to march down a freedomless road to historical oblivion. It doesn’t take much courage to complain about what is wrong. It requires bravery and perhaps a little personal sacrifice, to stand up for actually fixing America.

Where are great leaders of heroism and sacrifice, like Gandhi, Parks, King and Chavez, when we need them the most? Should we boycott Walmart and Exxon-Mobil? You Decide. 

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

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GOD: a perspective

April 4, 2010

Ancient Galilee covered an area of approximately 1,000 square miles. The area of the earth is about 197 million square miles.  Thus, it would take approximately 197,000 ancient Galilees to cover the surface of the earth.

Earth is larger than it’s immedite neighbor planets.  But, roughly 1,400 earths would fit by volume inside of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.  And yet, the sun compromises over 99.8% of the total mass of this same solar system.

Most astronomers believe our sun is larger than an average star.  Yet, our sun is tiny compared to a star called Arcturus.  And, Arcturus in turn, is very small compared to another star known as Antares.  VY Canis Majoris is the largest known star in the universe and next to it in illustration in a typical book-sized drawing, our sun becomes essentially invisible to the unaided eye.

Even this largest of stars would easily fit within the vastness of our own solar system.  But our solar system is but a grain of sand in a Milky Way galaxy of 200 billion stars, which is about only 1/5 the size of galaxy M-31, also known as Andromeda, estimated to be 220,000 light years in diameter.  And yet, M-31 is miniscule compared to the estimated 6 million plus light year diameters of the largest known galaxies.

Space is so vast, that the nearest star to our sun is over 24 trillion miles away and yet, there are an estimated 100 billion galaxies of stars in the observable universe.  Some scientists believe that the currently visible approximately 13.5 billion light year radius, represents an area smaller than a period on this page, compared to the actual size of our universe.  And some scientists believe there may be as many universes as there are stars in our own.

It is fair to say that creation may go on forever and ever.  And thus, someone standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee today might feel overwhelmed and incredibly insignificant. But this is only part of a much larger or as some might argue, smaller picture.

There are an estimated 10 trillion cells in an average adult human body, perhaps 50 times as many as there stars in our Milky Way galaxy.  And about 100 trillion micro-organisms live in a typical adult human gut, about 100 times as many as there are stars estimated to be in the Andromeda (M-31) galaxy.

About 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms are thought to be contained in a typical adult human body.  Atoms are similar in size of our solar system in relation to the sun and and planets, in comparison to the size of various sub-atomic particles within them. And similar to the sun in relation to the planets, the nucleus of an atom contains over 99% of its total mass.

If someone were to illustrate an atom in true scale, showing its protons and neutrons as being about 1.5 inches in diameter, then electrons and much smaller yet other particles, would be less than 0.1 millimeter in size and, the atom itself would be about 6.25 miles in diameter.

Human beings are very large in the light of subatomic particles and, very small compared to the size of the observable universe, thus we are placed inbetween the largest and smallest expressions of creation art.  And, just as a great artist like Rembrant might paint a large mural and yet, pay close attention to the smallest detail of facial expression and slightest variation of color, how much more then, does our Father in heaven, in a grand expression of creation art, pay close attention to the most microscopic realities of creation?

And then, there is the sacrifice of God’s son for the human race on a Roman cross, the ultimate expression of God’s love beyond any and all magnitude of comprehension. Thus, it is no small wonder that no one can deserve God, no matter how righteous, intelligent, strong or otherwise superior to others, we in vain may fancy ourselves to be.

Many people casually assume their religion or viewpoint of God is mainly correct, without ever stopping to consider what and who the known evidence demonstrates God really is and, how little they actually know about either God, life, love or anything else.  Atheists and agnostics pretend the grand design of the universe could somehow magically exist without any Grand Designer, as if a living being as incredibly complex as a fruit fly, could somehow randomly appear on it’s own and magically over time, change into a somewhat less credible human being fancing him or herself as being “educated”.

Thus, we should be quite careful about trusting religionists, scientists and other educators to actually know much more of value than the average truck driver or motel maid.  And, we should be even more careful about passing on to our children what we supposedly know is true about God.

Or otherwise, will the lies we tell our children and mis-information we leave them, come back to haunt us for a very, very, very long time? After all, as the Bible says, let God be true but every man and woman a liar and, there is a most obvious of reasons for the cross.

You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

WHAT IS THE REAL RIGHT-WING AGENDA?

October 17, 2009

Right-wing extremists are the first to wave flags and pretend how much they believe in the Constitution and yet, they constantly whine and complain we can’t trust the government.  Apparently, they were asleep at the wheel during civics class, when the rest of us learned we the people are the government.

How many times must we endure Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh blather on and on about how we can’t trust our own selves, the government?  We can’t trust ourselves with tax dollars, we can’t trust ourselves with health care and we most certainly can’t trust us the government, to decide a convicted felon shouldn’t be armed to the teeth with every bazooka-type weapon imaginable.

Apparently, the so-called conservative “right” can’t even get our own Constitution right.  The idea of democracy isn’t to openly condemn ourselves by claiming we can’t trust the government.  Rather, the idea is to elect leaders to represent us and, to replace them when they instead, become right-wing corporate stooges and vote against our best interests.

Besides pretending to care about the unborn while totally screwing the already born, what the right-wing agenda really amounts to is, “we don’t believe in spending tax dollars to actually help taxpayers”. Rather, their goal is to use tax dollars for enhancing the bottom-line of the military industrial complex and otherwise, enriching corporations at the expense of us the taxpayers.

Any and every use of taxpayer dollars that will actually benefit taxpaying citizens is branded as “socialism” over and over again, the new all-purpose “red scare” bait-and-switch term of the 21st Century. The now entirely discredited Joe McCarthy appears “fair and balanced” alongside these Savage Nation and Coulter forty-five toting, hate-mongering meglomaniacs.

Education is supposedly high on the right-wing “safe issue” list, but conservative legislators consistently vote against increased spending for education.  Whatever they can’t eliminate because of political popularity, such as Medicare and Social Security, they try to “reform” into oblivion, creating huge funding black holes designed to funnel trillions of taxpayer dollars into big pharma and other deep corporate pockets.

Otherwise, the right-wing agenda is to convince average Joe Americans that all regulation of any kind is evil.  When in fact, wise regulation is what keeps tainted meat from ending up in all-American hamburgers, Joe American construction workers safe on their jobs and American Air Lines planes from falling out of American skies.

Wise regulation is the reason banks were relatively sound under Eisenhower.  While deregulation is obviously why they began their substantially crooked turn for the worse under Reagan, controlled by bloated greedy bastards of mass deception by the time Bush Junior was finished cutting a final slice out of the deregulation corporate mega-pie.

Is branding human beings “illegal” and blaming them for job losses and contagious diseases any different than what gave rise to Adolf Hitler and Auschwitz?  What is the real agenda of slave masters? What is the agenda of pure evil?

What is the real right-wing agenda?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for the above article

CAN WE BLAME SWINE FLU ON IMMIGRANTS?

October 17, 2009

CNN television host Lou Dobbs, who literally lives on land stolen from Mexicans by “illegal” Anglo settlers and their U.S. government, deliberately hammers home the term “illegal” over and over and over again.  Such self-aggrandizing demagoguery dehumanizes hard-working God-fearing men and women, whose only “crime” is trying to feed their hungry families.

Now, several right-wing hate mongers have used the 2009 so-called “Swine Flu” outbreak to pour more fuel on the already blood-drenched, hate-filled immigration issue fires.  Massachusetts talk radio’s Jay Severin, apparently an illegal alien from a galaxy far, far away, was suspended after he called Mexican immigrants “criminalians”, adding emergency rooms have become “essentially condos for Mexicans”.

Daily media diatribes of overt racism and human hatred have resulted in significant violence against poor immigrants in the past several years.  According to Southern Poverty Law Center statistics, hate crimes have increased dramatically, including the beating death of Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez by Pennsylvania teenagers, who were later acquitted of murder by an all-Anglo jury.

A viral disease can “break out” in any apparent “country of origin”, as a result of external transmission of the virus.  European-borne diseases that destroyed entire native cultures would appear today in the same “real-time” ill-informed media reality, as if America was the land of origin.

Since Mexico City and surrounding areas are well-known tourist destinations, it is quite possible (perhaps even probable) that the “outbreak” of the “swine flu” in Mexico was a result of transmission by someone from a relatively immune population.  Thus, the real country of origin could be China, France, India, Israel, Australia or even the United States.

People living in Mexico may be less immune to this particular virus than a population located elsewhere, while that population may not be protected as well against another type of virus.  Even close-proximity populations can have immunities that neighboring populations lack, which could explain why “swine flu” in the U.S. was not immediately as severe as in Mexico.

A contagious disease could just as easily appear to “break out” in the United States, transmitted by a tourist from Scotland, Germany, Saudi Arabia or some other population and, be more harmful to people here than even those living in Mexico and Canada.  Anybody who doesn’t understand that disease is by-and-in-large, a global crapshoot, doesn’t belong on the public airwaves spreading gross deceptions of superstition, fear and racist-fueled hatred.

Some historians suspect diseases that were extremely detrimental to American native populations were transmitted by, you guessed it, herds of pigs that explorers took along with them as a food supply. What killed off native populations could literally have been a form of “swine flu” that European immigrants were immune to, because unlike native populations, they had built up immunities for centuries living in close proximity to their pigs.

Who’s going to immunize us against inhuman alien swine-balls dolled up in right-wing lip gloss?  Can we blame Swine Flu on immigrants? What is the real legacy of human hate-mongers?  You decide?

Link to footnotes and documentation for the above article