Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Sarah Palin made the news again, while making an appearance on "Good Morning America," after she complained about the double standard when it comes to politicians crying in public.
The ex-Alaska governor was asked about incoming House Speaker John Boehner's tendency to shed a few crocodile tears during an interview with Robin Roberts of "GMA." “While Palin said she had respect for her fellow Republican's emotional side, she suggested he gets a pass because he's a man.”
Palin continued by saying:
"I don't know if a woman would be given a pass necessarily. That's one of those things where a double standard is applied. I'm sure if I got up there and did a speech, and I started breaking down and cried about how important it is to me that our children and grandchildren are provided great opportunities, I'm sure I would be knocked a little bit for that."
Palin also mentioned that it is ok that there are double standards out there for women because it encourages women in politics to work harder and be tougher. But it's ironic that she brought up the fact that there was a double standard in the first place.
I just want to know why, if she was ok with this originally and was compelled to be tougher in politics that she would bother complaining to the entire the world. And it is especially irrelevant because Boehner did receive some slack indirectly about his constant weeping.
But it’s not all unfair for women in politics. Female public displays of emotion can go both ways. Hillary Clinton's teary remarks on the presidential campaign trail in early 2008 gained critiques from fellow candidates and commentators, but also were seen as a contributing factor in her primary victory in New Hampshire. Maybe Palin should realize that the world isn't fair, stop complaining and just keep to herself for once.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
At times, it really seems as though college students are being deterred from graduating our universities. Despite expanded federal aid including tax credits, veterans' benefits, and a record expansion of the program for low-income students, college affordability still appears unattainable.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Safety guidelines would be put in place and farmers would be encouraged to use environmental conservation practices on their farms in order to reduce the likelihood of contamination with food-borne pathogens.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
World AIDS Day (the first of which was observed in 1988). World AIDS Day is devoted to raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and chooses to do so by choosing annual themes
This year’s theme, Lights for Rights, is encouraging cities and towns all over the world to leave the lights on and breakdown some of the needless stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS. The World AIDS Day campaign is encouraging people to go out and get involved in promoting awareness.
What is HIV/AIDS?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. HIV spreads by way of bodily fluids and it can be contracted by sexual intercourse without using a condom with someone living with HIV, sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment or from an HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that affects the human immune system which is caused by HIV.
According to the CDC, an estimated 56,300 Americans are newly infected with HIV each year. And according to the The World Factbook, 33,000,000 were predicted to be living with HIV/AIDS in the year 2007.
A recent report from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has brought news that fewer people are becoming infected with HIV than 10 years ago, and those who have already acquired the virus are living longer. But every day 7,397 people contract HIV at a rate of 308 people every hour.
In the year 2008, 2.0 million people died from AIDS. And since it was first recognized in 1981, AIDS has killed more than 25 million people making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Because HIV can be transmitted by having sex, through someone’s blood, or from a mother to child, the best ways to reduce your risk is abstain from sex and wearing condoms consistently and correctly.
Other ways of preventing transmission is to use shared needles and to take antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy and labor as well as administering the medication to the newborn baby to reduce the chances of the child becoming infected.
Remember for you and your partner to get tested for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases to further stop the spread. It is one of the major ways to reduce the increase in cases of those with HIV.
And though, abstinence greatly reduces your chances of becoming infected with HIV, educating the public about safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases can help more people in the long run. Having the information to protect yourself and others from harm is very important.
HIV is preventable when caution is used. ONE, a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization, is already advocating for a world where no child is born with HIV in 2015. Hopefully this and other campaigns can rid the world of new cases of people contracting HIV. And I also pray that one day we will have a cure for those who already have the virus.
Reposted via Surf Bakersfield Mag.
Madonna narrates the video, "I Am Because We Are."
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The truth is that we have. The world has changed culturally more in the last 40 years than it ever has before. Advances in technology before the last 40 years were only steadily groundbreaking. Older generations had the time to adjust to the new and innovative things being tossed at them. But now, in the digital age, the 40 and over crowd is struggling to stay afloat among the clutter.
Take a look back at what we have done in the last 40 years. The computer was born in the 1970’s. Then, the magical data-storing agent was accessed only by Bill Gates and super geniuses of the like. But by the time the 90’s rolled around, the World Wide Web gave birth to an infinite number of possibilities in the realms of communication and connectivity.
Fast forward 20 years to the present and you get whiplash moving from Web pages accessible through a graphical user interface and basic email, to the current use of over 92 million websites and counting online. And in an instant, the Internet condensed our huge world of billions of people and made it flat creating a connection, accessed by our fingertips, across the span of our planet.
Want to know what that guy, you met at that one party ten years ago, is doing right now at this moment? Why not stalk him on Facebook. Do you want to know every thought that Brittney Spears is thinking throughout the day? Why not follow her account on Twitter. Would you like to know how to make quiche at this very second? Just whip out your Smartphone and Google the recipe in your kitchen. Heck, watch someone prepare it step by step right in front of you on YouTube.
We can find the answer to any question that we might (or might not) have thought of by simply typing it in the search bar. The internet is so ingrained in our lives that we would all fall apart if it ever disappeared (or seemed as though it has disappeared). Y2K scare anyone?
The digital age has morphed the world into something so unrecognizable. It’s even apparent when we see people locked up for 20 years, who were recently released from prison after the dot-com boom, so incredibly confused at what the heck happened during the time that they went away.
We've even changed the way in which we react to things. We rather tweet about someone passing out in public than running to that person's aid. We document everything that we do, every second of the day, and display it on the inter-web for the entire world to see. Are we narcissistic, or has technology changed human behavior permanently?
Our livelihoods have been flipped upside down as we accommodate are swiftly evolving technology. Fifty years ago, a college level communications class would have never dreamed of electronically interacting with their fellow students outside of the classroom in a personal, yet public, blog. Technology has, and will always, drastically change the way we live our lives. And maybe a few years from now, I’ll be texting my confession to my priest instead of heading for the confessional. You just never know with this new world in the digital age.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
|A report reveals the state of our education system in California.|
Monday, November 1, 2010
Here’s something that caught my attention the recently. According to the CDC, one in three adults will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2050. And with obesity and the rate of consuming processed and fast foods are on the rise, the number doesn’t seem to surprise me.
Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of increased thirst and hunger. There are three main types of diabetes that include Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes
The number of new diabetes cases a year has been predicted to increase from 8 per 1,000 in 2008 to 15 per 1,000 in 2050 via the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2050, between one-fifth and one-third of all adults could have diabetes -- with virtually all the increase attributed to type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable.
The projections are due to an aging population, an increase in minority groups at higher risk for diabetes, and the fact that diabetes patients are living longer. But obesity is also plays an important role in the increasing rates of type 2 diabetes as it is a major risk for acquiring it.
The typical American lifestyle also takes a partial of the blame for this awful trend. And although Type 1 diabetes can't be prevented, the same healthy lifestyle choices that help treat prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can help prevent them.
Eating healthy foods is a great way to prevent diabetes. Opt for foods low in fat and calories by focusing on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A vegetarian diet is a great way to stay healthy and keep diabetes at bay. Strive for variety to prevent boredom and to obtain all of the required vitamins and nutrients.
Another way to beat the statistics is to participate in physical activity. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day like a brisk daily walk, riding your bike, or swimming laps can help you stay in shape. If you can't fit in a long workout, break it up into smaller sessions spread throughout the day.
Finally, because research has shown that there is a correlation between obesity and diabetes, losing excess pounds can lower your risk as well. If you're overweight, losing even 5 percent of your body weight can reduce the threat of diabetes. To keep your weight in a healthy range, focus on permanent changes to your eating and exercise habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.
For those who may have diabetes:
No matter what type of diabetes you have, make a commitment to managing your diabetes by learning all you can about diabetes. Remember to make healthy eating and physical activity part of your daily routine. Establish a relationship with a diabetes educator, and ask your diabetes treatment team for help when you need it.
Taking care of your teeth is also a big thing to remember. Diabetes may leave you prone to gum infections, so brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, schedule dental exams at least twice a year. Consult your dentist right away if your gums bleed or look red or swollen. Diabetes is a serious disease, but following your diabetes treatment plan are worthwhile as careful management of diabetes can reduce your risk of serious — even life-threatening — complications.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
According to the American Cancer Society, women who have a family history of breast cancer may get it not specific due to gene mutations, but, rather to a combination of shared lifestyle factors and genetic susceptibilities.
How can I find out if I have breast cancer?
How could I reduce my chances of breast cancer?
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
|Smog settling over Los Angeles skyline.|
Saturday, September 25, 2010
It’s unnatural and disturbing not to know what you’re eating, and according to a poll conducted by the Washington Post, a lot of other people agree with me. An overwhelming majority of people would rather know if they are dinning on Frankenfood. But ignoring the public opinion, the FDA is actually thinking of approving GE salmon that grows twice as fast as the conventional fish and not labeling it as GE product.
So far the FDA claims that they have been researching the “Frankenfish” for 10 years now. But many say that Frankenfish could cause allergies in humans and eventually destroy the already endangered wild salmon population.
No one should have to fear what they are eating. But the way this disaster is turning out, Frankenfish could potentially be the tip of the iceberg to a genetically engineered Frankenfarm. Did someone rip a page out of the novel Brave New World? Way to go FDA, tomorrow the country could be chewing remnants from a lab somewhere and we’ll never know it.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
It’s not looking so hot for the GOP right about now. Odds have dropped recently from a 26 percent chance to a 15 percent chance of the House being taking over by Republicans. The main reason for the decline is the outcome of the Republican primary in Delaware where the Tea Party sensation, Christine O’Donnell, defeated Michael N. Castle.
It seems that the times are changing, and in the past few years a lot of people in politics have wondered about the possibility of a third party. And with the wide expansion of the Tea Party Patriots, that has brought together countless activists and thousands of local groups, maybe that major third party is actually here.
Scott Rasmussen and Doug Schoen in the Washington Examiner had said that "the Tea Party has become one of the most powerful and extraordinary movements in American political history. It is as popular as both the Democratic and Republican parties. Over half of the electorate now say they favor the Tea Party movement, around 35 percent say they support the movement, 20 to 25 percent self-identify as members of the movement." And so far the Tea Party is not a wing of the GOP but a critique of it.
The party is angry and they want to be noticed. They’ve become a huge movement moved by the people. They’re fed up and they are ready to prove that they can hang in the ring with the major Parties. And maybe we’ll be sure of it in 2012.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Nine years ago our nation was changed forever. And as the country watched their television screens in utter shock, we stood in fear for our loved ones and when we found out that it all was intentional, we wondered why anyone would commit such an act. But as I sat and watched my world come to a halt for a moment, I never would have thought nine years from then I would still feel as though the county has been ripped apart.
After the attacks on 9-11 our country has come together in the wake of a horrific event, displayed patriotism by mounting flags on car antennas and in yards all over the nation, and for a moment, showed the world what it was like to stand together as the United States. You couldn’t go anywhere after that day without running into a flag flying proudly in the wind. We covered our land from sea-to-sea in the valiant red, innocent white and our perseverant blue. And then one day our attitude changed.
Over the nine years our country has taken down our beautiful flags, we tucked our patriotism away and found ourselves divided. We pointed fingers at our neighbors and replaced the feeling of being united as a country with the feeling of fear.
What happened during the period between our devout patriotism and our current fear? Did we finally let the terrorists win? Why can’t we go back to being united as one nation again before the pointing of fingers and the overwhelming feeling of fear that we hold today? The anniversary of the September 11 attacks should be time for Americans to respect religious freedoms and “rekindle that spirit of unity and common purpose” felt nine years ago like President Barack Obama has said. We are all Americans; ALL of us. And the anniversary is an excellent time to think about that.
Friday, September 3, 2010
|It's unnerving not to know what's going on with your food|
behind closed doors.
Imagine your standing in a room with barely any light. The smell of feces fills your nostrils as you inhale a breath of oxygen. You look around and you notice that you are buried in piles of manure stacked up to eight feet tall. Mice scurry all around you and disease runs rampant. These are the conditions inside the hen houses at the two egg farms suspected of causing a nationwide outbreak of salmonella illness.
Federal investigators made their horrific discover public of Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, two massive egg producers who have recalled nearly 500 million eggs since Aug 13.
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And if the manure wasn’t enough, the investigators also found dead maggots live flies and the Salmonella bacteria in the water used to clean the eggs as well as the food used to feed the hens.
Holes in building or gaps in structures, which allowed rodents pidgins and other wild animals to enter the hen houses lined the surrounding of where the hens were contained. The FDA has said that the agency will begin inspecting 600 egg-production facilities over the next 15 months to make sure they are complying with new federal rules.
But shouldn’t these inspections have already happened? Why haven’t we mandated these inspections in federal law? We do the same in restaurants, but why not do it where our food comes from?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
It’s been 5 years since the flood waters ravished the streets of Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina had destroyed homes, damaged landmarks and left the city in disarray and despair. New Orleans at one point, seemed to have been lost to the storm, but after the waters receded, a ray of hope emerges.
Before the hurricane the schools in New Orleans was deemed unsatisfactory by the locals as. Cash-strapped and under-performing, education sat on the back burner. From 2000 to 2004, enrollment in the schools declined from 77, 610 to 64,920 and an increasing amount of people were dropping out altogether.
In 2005, the state of Louisiana deemed 64 percent of the city’s schools “academically unacceptable. But when Katrina hit at the end of August 2005, the city was wiped clean of its students and teachers as they were forced to evacuate. And in November, the Legislature expressed an emergency session to give the state the authority to take over the school’s districts it considered to be “academically in crisis.”
The “Recovery School District” was then instituted taking 1-7 under-performing Orleans Parish public schools in the city under the states control. Private organizations converted the ailing schools into charter schools and left 16 schools that performed above the state average standard before Katrina.
Today the schools have greatly improved as the Cowen Institute recently reported that just 42 percent of New Orleans schools are “academically unacceptable.” This is wonderful news seeing as the numbers went down from 64 percent from before Katrina.
Education in the Big Easy dramatically improved despite the horrific disaster. The rebuilding of 85 schools damaged during the hurricane acts as a symbol of faith in the next generation’s future. And it just goes to show that good things can come out of a bad situation.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Take for example the current mosque controversy. Individuals on the overwhelmingly right-wing opinionated Fox News channel, like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, have single-handedly confused the public by tugging at the heart strings of the victims’ families of 9-11. They spin tales telling their listeners that the mosque is some sort of terrorist backed attempt to disgrace those who have died at Ground Zero when its really not.
These types of stories never help anyone but the popularity of the people who make them up. And in actuality, they just hurt more people than they might think.
An entire organization was destroyed when the ever-present Fox News brought the nation’s attention to a videotape of ACORN workers seemingly dressed as a “pimp and ho” showing people how to avoid paying federal taxes. But instead of doing any research and running with anything that they come in contact with, they failed to realize that the tape was a forgery made by a crazed conservative activist who was later arrested for breaking into Mary Landrieu’s office.
ACORN was eventually vindicated of all wrongdoing, but the damage was already done. Their funding was terminated and 50 years of helping the poor and minorities were diminished all because the conservative media just loves to lead people to believe in completely inaccurate nonsense.
But it didn’t end there. When Shirley Sherrod was branded as a racist by a blogger who posted part of a speech she gave last month at a banquet, she was forced to resign from her position as the director of the United States Department of Agriculture. She was publicly embarrassed and her reputation was damaged because of a story that never even happened.
The Republican Party has continually bashed the Democrats for some how “brainwashing” everyone with their “liberal agenda.” But while the conservative media is destroying careers, obliterating communities, and destroying organizations tended to helping the poor and less fortunate, they are slowly loosing credibility as responsible journalists and are engulfing their audience into the very act that they pin on their more credible counterparts—brainwashing.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
It seems like every time I turn around there is another recall on some food item. Do we have to play Russian roulette with our food choices, or shouldn’t there be more concern over the safety of our food.
More than 170.4 million eggs were recalled from stores in as many as 14 states nationwide due to a recent widespread salmonella scare that has impacted the lives of more than half a billion people. The FDA announced on July 9 that it had new safety rules for large-scale egg producers, but the new rules came late in the game as they apparently appeared after the salmonella outbreak began.
But what concerns me is that all this could have been prevented in the first place. Jack DeCoster, who leads Wright County Egg, in June, pleaded guilty to 10 civil counts of animal cruelty over his company's treatment of its chickens. DeCoster and his company agreed to a $25,000 fine and made a $100,000 payment to reimburse the state for future monitoring of the facility.
Allegations included too many birds in case, injured chickens not being treated, dead animals not being promptly removed from cages and improper euthanization. But then we wonder why every year something new is recalled.
But this isn’t the first time we had a major country-wide food scare. Anything from beef to tomatoes has been put on a list at one point of tainted foods. Experts say that food-borne illnesses cost the country around $152 billion a year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures there are about 76 million illnesses in the U.S. each year, landing about 325,000 people in the hospital. And about 5,000 people probably die from the illnesses in the U.S. each year. If this doesn’t spark anyone’s interest to make a change in food safety and regulations, then I don’t know what will.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Deng Xiaoping ditched-line Communist policies in favor of free-market reforms in the year 1978.
China’s GDP was reportedly $1.288 trillion more than Japan’s for the second quarter. Predictably the China will take over the U.S. as the number one spot by 2027 according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.chief economist Jim O’Neill.
China has already overtaken the U.S. last year as the biggest automobile market and Germany as the largest exporter. They are the world’s number one buyer of iron ore and copper and the second biggest importer of crude oil.
And with their larger population and our poor economy, China is on the path to take the U.S.’s position as the world’s largest economy around 2020. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
reported in March that China’s future influence on the global economy will increase. Their enormous expansion will contribute one third of the world’s growth this year. So what is our government going to do
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The U.S. has dealt with a lot since it faced the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center's towers almost nine years ago. We’ve entered into war and have been changed forever by 9-11. We have come together as a country since that day and somewhere along the line we have also been driven apart.
Many have engaged themselves in prejudice ideas disguised as defenses against “future harm.” We took what happened nine years ago and labeled anyone practicing the religion of Islam as a terrorist disregarding any source of evidence revealing whether they were innocent of any wrongdoing or not. The goal of terrorism is to create fear using violent acts as a means of coercion. And what seems like extra precaution by the American people is actually the very thing that the terrorists tried to provoke.
Recently there has been controversy surrounding the possible building of a Mosque near the Ground Zero site in Manhattan. Many believe that it would be inappropriate for the project to be completed so close to the site where so many died by the act of terrorism. And instead of allowing the Mosque to be built, many Non-Muslim Americans disregard our first Amendment.
President Obama also came under fire when asked to comment on the project while at a White House event celebrating Ramadan with other U.S. officials. Before dinner was served, Obama gave a speech addressing the situation. He referred to the trauma of the Sept. 11 attacks as unimaginable and continued by saying, "So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground zero is, indeed, hallowed ground." He then added that America's "commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable."
The President was careful in understanding the underlying emotions and thoughts stemmed from the project by saying, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there," he said. "I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."
And Obama says is true. We are a nation of all types of people from various religions, cultures and creeds. We believe that we have the freedom to believe in, or not believe in any religion or belief. And I believe that the second we take that away from anyone, we begin to lose the very thing that makes America truly free.