20070430

Can't force love

This one will be short.

You can't force someone, or something to love you.

This is an important lesson to learn early because it will most definitely help a person stop dreading on an uncontrollable situation. I have the perfect example.

I have 3 cockatiels. A brother and sister duo named Nibbler, Chirpy, and Gracie, respectively. Although I shower them with affection, attention, and food I am pretty sure they don't love me. Of this I am sure of. Especially since Nibbler will always capitalize on the opportunity to remove a chunk of flesh from my body. He can be quite mean.

I have finally come to terms with their lack of reciprocal affection. Will that stop me from trying? No. For the next 20 or so years they will be under my care and I'll do my best to make their little lives enjoyable.

In conclusion, you cannot force someone to love you. Whether it be a person, an object, or an animal. Love just happens. So, live well.

20070427

Implementation of the Criminalization of Production and Sale of Tobacco Products

Abstract
This report looks at the health and economic impact of tobacco production and sale in the United States. A brief summary of several tobacco related diseases and nicotine addiction show how tobacco is a harmful substance. This paper proposes legislation that would eliminate all tobacco sale and production rendering the tobacco market obsolete. The use of tobacco would not be prohibited except in public places.

This paper hopes to present a convincing argument for the feasibility of this proposal while presenting a rebuttal that tobacco producers and sellers may offer or have offered in the past regarding municipalities and smoke free ordinances. This paper concludes that if tobacco producers and sellers no longer operated the health and economic condition of this country and it's people would be greatly improved.

Introduction
Tobacco use is widespread throughout the United States. The main ingredient in tobacco products is tobacco. Tobacco leaves have been used for centuries for making smoking and chewing tobacco (Tobacco, n.d.). Tobacco contains small amounts of nicotine. Nicotine is one of the most heavily used and addictive drugs in the United States and cigarette smoking has been the most popular method of taking nicotine since the beginning of the twentieth century (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2005).

Nicotine is absorbed readily from tobacco smoke in the lungs and when tobacco is chewed. With regular use of tobacco, levels of nicotine are present for 24 hours per day because nicotine accumulates in the body. Nicotine increases the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which affects the brain pathways that control reward and pleasure (NIDA, 2005).

Smoking tobacco produces tobacco smoke which is a known harmful substance. Environmental smoke occurs when nonsmokers inhale other people's tobacco smoke. This smoke contains the same chemicals as the smoke smokers inhale. It contains larger amounts of the same toxic and cancer-causing substances than mainstream smoke (American Cancer Society, 2006). Mainstream smoke is the tobacco smoke emitted from a person's mouth after inhaling it.

There are currently thirty-eight of the fifty states, including Puerto Rico, that have some sort of smoke-free legislation enacted to keep environmental smoke out of most public places (Smoke Free World, 2006). There are usually many exceptions which may include bars, restaurants, casinos, or sexually oriented businesses. State laws addressing tobacco control vary in relation to restrictiveness, enforcement and penalties, and exceptions. For example, Arizona has recently passed legislation creating a smoke-free indoor air policy for most commerce sites. Most states, including Arizona, also restrict the sale of tobacco to persons over the age of 18. To restrict young people's access to tobacco, advertising is also restricted and there are excise taxes on cigarettes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1999). This makes cigarettes less appealing because they are not as visible in the public and are more expensive to purchase.

It is the purpose of this paper to promote the criminalization of tobacco sale and production. It is not the purpose of this paper to promote the criminalization of the use of tobacco. If this were achieved the public's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke would be reduced.

It is also of great public benefit to restrict the substance's availability; tobacco is a known health danger (ACS, 2006). Benefits to this proposal include healthier communities and financial savings related to health care costs. The main drawback which may occur would be an economic loss due to the absence of a major market in the United States.

Supporting the Proposal
Health Consequences of Tobacco Use
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 70.3 million Americans aged 12 or older reported current use of a tobacco product, 29.2 percent of the population in that age range (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2005). Cigarette smoke is a harmful complex mixture of compounds produced by the burning of tobacco and other additives. The smoke contains tar, which is composed of over 4000 chemicals, 60 of which are known to cause cancer (ACS, 2006). Some of these substances cause heart and lung diseases, and all of them can be deadly.

The smoke also contains the poisonous gases nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. Smoking is known to cause the following cancers: bladder, cervical, esophogeal, kidney, laryngeal, leukemia, lung, oral, pancreatic, and stomach (Surgeon General's Report, 2004). Smoking is known to cause the following cardiovascular diseases: abdominal aortic aneurysm, atherosclerosis, cerebrovascular disease, and coronary heart disease (SGR, 2004).

Smoking is known to cause the following respiratory diseases: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, respiratory affects in utero, and other respiratory affects in childhood, adolescence, adulthood (SGR, 2004). Smoking is known to cause fetal death and stillbirths, fertility, low birth weight, and pregnancy complications (SGR, 2004). Lastly, smoking is known to cause diminished health status, hip fractures, low bone density, and peptic ulcer disease (SGR, 2004).

Nicotine and Addiction
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. It provides an almost immediate "kick" because it causes a discharge of epinephrine frmo the adrenal cortex (NIDA, 2005). It stimulates the central nervous system and other endocrine glands, which causes a sudden release of glucose. Stimulation is then follow by depression and fatigue, leading the abuser to seek more nicotine (NIDA, 2005).

Most smokers, in fact, identiffy tobacco as harmful and express a desire to reduce their use or stop using altogether (NIDA, 2001). The addiction is so strong it is reported that cigarette smoking is the most difficult thing to quit (Peele, 2005). According to a study done by McGill University, it does not take several years of heavy or dailiy smoking to become dependent on nicotine, young people become addicted earlier and fater than originally suspected (Gordon, 2005). An esimated 35.3 million Americans aged 12 or older met the criteria for nicotine dependence in the past month based on cigarette use. This represents 14.7 percent of the population (SAMHSA, 2005).

Economic Impact of Public Tobacco Use
Tobacco costs the United States economy billions of dollars each year. Smoking causes more than $167 billion each year in health related costs. This includes the cost of lost productivity due to smoking. Smoking related medical costs totaled more than $75 billion in 1998. This accounted for 8% of personal health care medical expenditures (ACS, 2006).

Death related productivity losses due to smoking among workers cost the United States economy more than $92 billion yearly from 1997 to 2001. For each pack of cigarettes sold in 1999, $3.45 was spent on medical care due to smoking, plus $3.73 in lost productivity for a total cost $7.18 per pack (ACS, 2006). So while big tobacco companies may reap the benefits of tobacco sales, the United States is forced to pay the health care costs that are a result of tobacco use.

Tobacco companies argue that smoke free legislation is harmful to the economy but more than 4800 municipalities or 34.7% of the United States population is under a 100% smoke free provision and it is only tobacco funded research that shows any economic loss (ANR, 2004). Smoke free laws have no economic impact on individual businesses. According to the October 2004 edition of Contemporary Economic Policy, smoke free laws add value to establishments (ANR, 2004).

Summary and Conclusion
Tobacco contributes a great deal to our national community. Tobacco increases the rates of several cancers, diseases, and complications. NIDA claims that the use of tobacco products may be the most critical health problem facing our nation today and that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States (2001). It is an even greater concern than obesity. Unfortunately for tobacco users it is not that easy to quit. Nicotine is highly addictive and smoking cigarettes is the most difficult thing to give up. The economic footprint that tobacco leaves on this country is massive. At over $167 billion each year in health related costs, it is a massive footprint.

All of these losses for our country are preventable. By banning the sale and production of tobacco in the United States our country will save $167 billion dollars a year. That is money that can be put to better use funding education, developing a national health care system, and funding a myriad of national health promotion programs. This will create a near smoke free society. Granted, there will still be tobacco use, just as there is illicit drug use, but tobacco use should not be punished with criminal penalties or fines like illicit drug use is punished now.

Only the tobacco companies should be punished with extensive over the top fines and criminal penalties. It should be made very clear that tobacco sale and production shall not be tolerated. This is the necessary action needed to save our country from the throws of tobacco related health problems. Restricting access to tobacco products will reduce the number of people that fall victim to the grip of nicotine addiction and it will save our country billions of dollars. Banning the sale and production of tobacco will save lives. A tobacco free society shall result in the decline of the consumption of tobacco products, an increase in the cessation rate among smokers, and a decline in the social acceptability of smoking.

Opposition to the Proposal
Tobacco & Health Concerns
The tobacco industry agrees that extended use of tobacco products has an inherent risk attached. There is even a risk attached to second hand smoke (Health Issues, n.d.). However, it is the choice of an individual to consume or not to consume tobacco. On the topic of second hand smoke, Judge William Osteen, invalidated parts of the 1993 Environmental Protection Agency Report on Secondhand Smoke rendering it ineffective (Americans for Nonsmoker's Rights, 2004). This ruling struck down the EPA's contention that secondhand smoke causes cancer and destroyed a basis for agencies or municipalities to have smoking banned or restricted.

The EPA report relies on a threshold model, a method of analysis that assumes a hypothetical threshold below which exposure to secondhand smoke poses no risk (ANR, 2004). Oak Ridge National Laboratory conducted studies that question the science of secondhand smoke (ANR, 2004). In 2003, the British Medical Journal published a study that claims to have found only a weak correlation between secondhand smoke exposure and heart disease and lung cancer (ANR,2004).

Marketing of Tobacco
As it relates to young people and tobacco, the tobacco industry claims that the use of tobacco is clearly marketed towards adults. Philip Morris USA, the nation's market leader of cigarettes, has a policy to advertise in magazines that adults are more inclined to read than children, to advertise at retail stores that adults are more inclined to peruse, and to have corporate sponsorships where a majority of minors will not be present (Marketing Practices, n.d.). Tobacco companies claim to have a responsibility to their customers to maintain attractiveness for their product and do so by legal marketing towards adults.

Economic Impact
The tobacco industry claims to pump billions of dollars into the economy yearly. The tobacco industry reported $16.6 billion in earnings with a profit margin of 9.5% and offering a 29% return on equity (Yahoo! Finance, 2006). This has a tremendously positive effect on the economy. Smoke free laws only hurt those figures. There are many instances where business owners lose money when smoke free air laws go into effect. It is even possible for restaurants to lose up to 50% of their revenue as a result of smoke free air ordinances (ANR, 2004).

Smoking is a Fundamental Right
The tobacco industry claims that it is each individual's choice and right to consume tobacco as long as it does not affect anyone else. By eliminating the sale and production of tobacco those rights are being infringed upon. The choice for tobacco consumption should remain with the individual.

Summary and Conclusion
Although the tobacco industry agrees that tobacco use increases the risk of many diseases there are studies to refute few of those claims. Tobacco is a product allegedly intended for adults and is allegedly marketed only toward adults so the risk of a child's exposure is limited.

The impact tobacco has on the economy is massive. By putting $16.6 billion dollars yearly into the national economy tobacco products allegedly increase the revenue of the United States in both sales and tax revenue. Tobacco companies claim smoke free ordinances hurt local business owners and other options for reducing environmental smoke from tobacco should be investigated. It is up to each individual to decide to smoke or not to smoke and the tobacco industry does not believe it should not be left up to the government to decide what a person can or cannot do.

Conclusion
Tobacco is a dangerous and addictive substance. About 15% of the population is already addicted. Drastic and effective action must be taken to curtail this threat. The United States would be far better off without the presence of tobacco. From a financial standpoint, this country would be saving more than $167 billion each year. From a healthy people standpoint, less people would be diagnosed with various types of cancer and disease that go along with chronic and addictive tobacco use.

Companies like Philip Morris USA makes a profit off of the suffering of their customers. It is why they target young people so aggresively in their marketing campaigns. Even now, after legislation has been passed preventing their indirect marketing strategies to lure teenagers and children into tobacco use, Philip Morris USA is getting television time by showing anti-tobacco advertisments. This may be an instance where any publicity, even bad publicity, is good publicity.

Tobacco funded studies may claim no links between environmental tobacco smoke and disease but the truth is tobacco smoke is dangerous. Big tobacco may claim that it uses sound marketing practices but young people will always be their target market because of their susceptibility to addiction. Big tobacco may claim that the economic void left behind would be insurmountable. Big tobacco companies claim that businesses would lose clientele and profits would plummet.

There are claims that the tax revenue generated by tobacco products makes government funded programs possible. These claims are unwarranted and illegitamte. There is no evidence to support that tobacco smoke is not harmful or that the United States economy depends on its production and sale.

Characters like Joe Camel may no longer legally exist but the imprint that tobacco has left on this country is devastating. Tobacco causes about 440 000 deaths in the United States each yeah while the tobacco companies reap the profits (Facts, n.d.). This is unacceptable.

References
American Cancer Society. February 13, 2006. Questions about Smoking, Tobacco, and Health. Retrieved March 6, 2006 from http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_2x_Questions_About_Smoking_Tobacco_and_Health.asp?sitearea=PED&viewmode=print&
Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (2004). What to Expect from the Tobacco Industry. Berkely, California
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1999). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. June 25, 1999. (Vol. 48 No. SS-3) Retrieved on April 1, 2006 from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/ss/ss4803.pdf
Facts. (n.d.). Truth: Found. Retrieved April 15, 2006, from The Truth.com Web site: http://www.thetruth.com/index.cfm?Found=Facts
Finance.Yahoo.com. (2006). Cigarettes Overview: Industry Center retrieved April 12, 2006 from http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/350.html
Gordon, Dianna. (2005) Too Many Kids Smoke. Annual Editions: Drugs, Society, and Behavior Twentieth Edition, 8-9
Health Issues. (n.d.) Philip Morris USA. Retrieved April 15, 2006, from PhilipMorrisusa.com Web site http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/en/health_issues/default.asp
Marketing Practices. (n.d.) Philip Morris USA. Retrieved April 15, 2006, from web site: http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/en/responsible_marketing/marketing_practices.asp
National Institute on Drug Abuse. August 2001. Research Report Series: Nicotine Addiction. (NIH Publication Number 01-4342).
National Institute on Drug Abuse. March 2005. Cigarettes and Other Nicotine Products. Retrieved March 6, 2006 from web site http://www.drugabuse.gove/infofacts/tobacco.html
Peele, Stanton. (2005). The Surprising Truth About Addiction. Annual Editions: Drugs, Society, and Behavior, Twentieth Edition, 37-39
Smoke Free World (2006). Smoke Free USA. Retrieved April 12, 2006 from http://www.smokefreeworld.com/usa.shtml
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2005). Overview of Findings from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Office of Applied Studies, NSDUH Series H-27, DHHS Publication No. SMA 05-4061). Rockville, MD
Surgeon General's Report (2004). The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General.
Tobacco. (n.d.). West's Enclyclopedia of American Law. Retrieved April 15, 2006, from Answers.com web site http://www.answers.com/topic/tobacco

20070426

Happiness and How to Obtain It

Simply put happiness for me is to be accepted and nurtured as a whole person. I want the people in my life to love and trust me. In order for me to obtain this sense of happiness I need to establish meaningful relationships with people around me.

I offer this same advice for anyone else. It is better to live life with groups of people. Human beings are social by nature and it is necessary to have a sense of belonging and purpose in one's community. I recommend people become involved in their communities and work towards improving them for everyone.

In this way the community is improved and the people in that community can have a greater appreciation for the person doing the good work. Ideally this will result in an endless loop of compassion and selfless work where individuals work to maintain and support their community.

To obtain happiness a person must give to others without expecting anything in return. To obtain happiness a person should find a group of individuals that can be supportive and nurturing.

20070425

Success

Success is the completion of a specific goal that a person may have. It can be considered a favorable outcome in relation to a person's life or a specific task. For me specifically, success has many stages and many outcomes. Collegiate success would be completing my classes and really absorbing the information so I can apply it later. Being accepted to graduate school would also be a success because it would mean I can continue my formal education and expand my opportunities further. An emotional success will be when I can say that I am in a deep and committed relationship with a person that I can completely trust and give myself too. A social success for me is every time I develop and maintain a relationship with a significant person.

My life will be successful when I have accomplished my current educational, social, emotional, and physical goals.

20070424

Fundamental Needs to Achieve Happiness and Peace of Mind

I need to be trusted by others. This indicates that I am of significant importance in another person's life. This tells me that I have impacted the life of another individual enough so that person feels accepted, supported, and nurtured by me. This gives me a deeper connection with the people around me and helps me to give energy to the relationships that I am involved in. This furthers my emotional and social development.

I need to be in meaningful relationships with people. This gives me the chance to comfortably express my emotions deeply and offer my strengths without fear of rejection. Positive relationships provide me with interconnectivity in the world around me. That feeling of interconnectivity strengthens my will to accomplish great things within my society. It is through the love and support of the people important to me that I can work towards achieving my goals and ultimately improving my community and perhaps eventually the world.

I need to constantly be in a state of growth. More specifically I need to grow intellectually, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. I must continue to educate myself and increase my awareness about the world around me. Continuing my education will allow me to keep up to date with new research, new discoveries, and new models of approaching solutions to social problems. Increasing my knowledge base is extremely important to me and I put a lot of energy into my current academic career.

An increased awareness of the world will provide me with an improved insight that I can use to fulfill my social responsibility. I must continue to improve and strengthen my relationships with the people around me as well as foster new relationships with other people that I encounter throughout life. Spiritual growth is important to me.

To make my journey through life easier and more rewarding I shall explore different viewpoints of human spirituality and follow ideologies that incorporate my own beliefs of equality. This path of spiritual growth will help me develop as a person and increase my satisfaction.

The opportunity to improve the lives of others is of massive importance to me. I wish to set a precedent for increasing awareness about issues that affect a majority of the population and implementing procedures that deal with those issues effectively. It is my responsibility to improve the lives of the people around me in any way I can and if I were to fail in this endeavor I may consider my life professionally incomplete.

20070423

Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence

If you've ever had a meaningful conversation with me you know that I am passionate about a couple of things. Sexual assault is one of those things.

It is one of those things that makes me furious, and helpless. Helpless to prevent those I love from being one in six women or one in thirty three men that are victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.

I just participated in the first part of an event this evening. Take Back the Night is a protest against sexual assault and domestic violence. I've always felt strongly about this. But after tonight's event something else crept in. Helplessness. I am only one person. I can't save everyone. I can try, but it isn't possible or even realistic. What is possible is for me to share with you what I've learned. I'll try to keep it short.

Most perpetrators know their victims. 62% of rape and sexual assault victims knew the perpetrator. More than 40% of rapes and sexual assaults came at the hands of a person the female victim called friend or acquaintance. Female victims identified intimate partners as the perpetrator in 18% of rapes and sexual assaults.

Females age 12 to 24 are at the greatest risk for experiencing rape or sexual assault.

Boys who witness their fathers violence are 10 times more likely to engage in spouse abuse later in adulthood than boys from non-violent homes.

No one deserves to be raped. Being in a guy's place does NOT mean that a woman has agreed to have sex with him. Even being ready to go does NOT mean that a woman has agreed to anything. Don't fall for that blue balls bullshit. He'll get over it. Men are capable of exercising restraint upon sexual urges. Everyone's right to say "NO" should be honored, regardless of the activity that preceded it.

The fact that a woman has been drinking does NOT imply consent.

Women do not enjoy being raped.

Tips for keeping yourself safe
  • Be aware of your situation.
  • Watch for warning signs - being alone with someone you don't know or someone that insists on making all the decisions.
  • Trust your feelings.
  • Give yourself permission to be impolite or overcautious.
  • User assertive resistance.
  • Don't blame yourself for the situation.
  • Use the buddy system because there is strength in numbers.
  • Leave with people when you leave the clubs, parties, meetings, etc.
  • Ask questions now. Who is this person? What is their full name? What are their references?
  • Be alert.
  • NEVER leave your drink unattended.
  • Communicate your limits clearly.
  • Self - Defense. Learn to defend yourself. I can help you with this. Ask me how.
  • Tell someone you trust where you are, where you are going, etc.
  • Keep gas in your car and keep it running well.
  • Always park your car in well lit areas and always lock your doors especially when you are in the car.
  • Avoid walking alone if you are upset. I've seen this happen so many times.
  • Avoid a false sense of security.
  • If you see someone being hassled help them or call for help.
  • Practice your self defense training with friends. I CAN HELP!
There is no way to reduce your risk to ZERO. Sexual assault is not your fault. Rapists are responsible for their actions you are not. Rapists and abusers are manipulate and deceitful. They are adept at creating situations where they can take advantage of a person's trust and good will. Watch out for people that:
  • Don't listen to you, ignore what you say, or pretend not to hear you. Perpetrators generally have little respect for their victims.
  • Ignore your personal space boundaries.
  • Push you to drink beyond your tolerance level or wait to make their move until you are extremely intoxicated.
  • Use hostile or possessive language about their victims. Words like bitch, whore, or stupid or derogatory language. They may refer to their partner as their possession. This is objectification.
  • Have wrong or unrealistic ideas about women.
Some good reasons to leave your lover:
  • A push for quick involvement. Take it slow, there should never be a rush.
  • Jealousy.
  • Controlling.
  • Verbal abuse.
  • Sudden mood swings.
  • Past battering.
  • Threats of violence.
What to do when a woman confides in you:
  • Above all else, believe her.
  • Acknowledge and support her for talking to you.
  • Let her know that you consider her feelings reasonable and normal.
  • Let her lead the conversation.
  • If she asks you to do something you can't or don't want to do, say so.
  • Tell her you care about her and her safety.
  • Don't blame her for the abuse.
  • Offer your help to find resources in the community for protection.
  • Respect her pace and be patient.
  • Remind her of her strengths, accomplishments, and positive attitudes.
  • Always support her when she acts on her own behalf.
  • Remind yourself that many communities still don't protect women's rights.
  • With her permission, work on expanding her circle of support.
What to do if you are assaulted:
  • Call police as soon as possible. DIAL 911 and tell them that you have been assaulted. If your keys are stolen with your information:
    • Don't return home. If you have a roommate, call home and tell them, and replace your locks.
  • Seek medical help.
  • Have any police officer you speak with provide you with their name, badge number and your file number.
  • Don't be ashamed, remember it's not your fault. Ask a friend to be with you as soon as possible.
  • Try to detail on paper a description of the attackers and the incident.
  • Seek help.
Sexual Assault resources:
  • RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline 1 800 656 HOPE (4673)
  • Maricopa County Sexual Assault Hotline 480 736 4949
Live well.

20070419

Self Destruction

Thoughts.

Thoughts are something. Aren't they?

Positive uplifting thoughts have the power to turn someone into a god.

Negative destructive thoughts have the power to, well, destroy a person. Mine can be especially bipolar.

I've seen it in others too. I know of a person, a person that I care for deeply, that was so stricken by her own gloom that she was ready to drop out of school and go home. It was bad. She felt that in that moment she had no success in her life. She was ready to give up.

If you know me, you may have heard me say this.

Never give up, because the moment you do is the moment that you could have succeeded. It is the moment you could have overcome your obstacle.

She did not give up. Now she is moments away from graduating and having the best life ever.

I can only speak from personal experience. Through what I have seen in others and what I have experienced myself I can shape a reality of what it is like. What do you do, when you feel like your world is falling apart?

I don't know. I can be there for others. I can give them support, advice, and love. I can relate to their situation. I just can't be there for myself. I think this holds true for everyone. Everyone needs a support system.

Without that, we are incapable of breaking out of the darkness. We turn into the demon that manifests itself within our mind. We break down. We take incredibly drastic measures to rectify the situation.

The loss of life at Virgina Tech this past week is tragic. We can learn something from it. The importance of a support system is immense. We all need it in some form or another. I would suggest that you find a person, in your life, that you trust completely and tell that person that you appreciate his or her existence. Offer your support to others in your life. Build relationships of mutual trust, respect, caring, and love.

Live well.

20070416

Female Objectification

Today's topic: Female objectification, or de-humanization.

De-humanization is a process where someone's humanity is taken. The person simply becomes an object without any emotions, thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, or rights. More specifically, female objectification is specific to females. And in our society, this is more common than one might think.

Take for example, the best example, a strip club. Dancers are viewed as objects. They are things. They are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. This makes it ok for another person, say a customer, to do anything. Thankfully there are security measures in place to prevent most instances of violence or humiliation but the concept is still there. The entertainer, is a sexual object.

Recently, I was in Mexico for spring break. I had a great time, most people on spring break have a great time. But there were some things that I noticed that infuriated me. Me dio rabia. Some men would walk around and feel up the girls. I know what they were thinking. "These bitches come around here and they dress all hot and slutty. They want me to feel 'em up. They are asking for it. It is my right."

You would be amazed with how many men would force themselves sexually on a woman if there were no consequences. I've seen the research. This mentality of having the right to another's body is out there. It is prominent. Someone, i know and love was unfortunate enough to experience this. She was raped by her husband. He did it because he had the frakkin right to do it because she was his wife. This was his thought process.

This will not do.

You may never lay claim to another person. You may NEVER own a human being. A living breathing person with emotions, thoughts, hopes and dreams.

This needs to change. One way to work towards this is to always, ALWAYS, see people for who they are. Calling people sluts, whores, and bitches just de-humanizes them. Calling someone a pussy dehumanizes them. Honestly, the best insult you can come up with is to call someone a female's genitalia.

Live well.

20070413

Economic Disparity

People are exceptionally good at distrubuting resources, unequally.  Look at this article about how the richest 2 % own half of the worlds wealth.  

The richest 10% account for 85% of all the worlds wealth.  This greatly reflects our specie's nack for inequality.  The average Amerikan's wealth comes out to $144,000.  That happens to be $144,000 more than I have.  Thank you student loans.  This is more than 100 times higher the average Indian or Indonesian.  

This is a reminder that most people do not share our Amerikan middle class existence.  What is the solution?  How do we share the wealth?  

FREE MARKET!!  Or so they would have you think.  Unrestricted free trade benefits those in power of negotiating the conditions of the trade.  Wal-Mart is good at this.  The rise of free trade has grown the gap.  Poor become poorer.  Rich become richer.  

For example, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Sure it sounds good.  Instead of Mexico being able to export its agricultural product to the US, the US has taken advantage of the situation and corn exportation to Mexico has tripled, pushing Mexican farm laborers to...

Amerika, where they are demonized and treated less than human.  After all, if you are not a citizen of the greatest country in the world you surely deserve nothing.  

Health at Every Size Part 5

Concluding my series on health at every size.

Accept yourself for who you are. You are a person and you have a purpose. You are unique and you have much to offer. Do not succumb to prejudice. Do not allow yourself to pass judgment on another based on their appearance. As difficult as it may seem it can be done. Women of all sizes suffer from an intense fear of fat that plays havoc with their body image and self-esteem and promotes disordered eating and exercise behavior. Men suffer as well, by participating in a culture that defines the worth of more than one-half the population in terms of physical appearance, rather than by the recognition of truly meaningful qualities such as honesty, compassion and love. Diversity should be honored. Size should be accepted.

Eat normally. Take your time and enjoy the food that lays before you so that you may experience life just a little better.

I offer a few suggestions for people to restore normal eating habits:
  • Recognize internal cues of hunger and satiety.
  • Legalize foods. Enjoy eating with emotions of fear or guilt.
  • Try to stay away from those magazines where a person's appearance is called into question. Tabloids and celebrity gossip magazines are a great example of what not to read. These wastes of paper unfairly criticize people based on their appearance. They offer ridiculous physical comparisons with no regard for who the person really is. They de-humanize people. Please do not rest your eyes on this repulsive material.
  • BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE! If you read one sentence, read the previous one. Be active. Walk, do things manually, exercise, and enjoy adding more life to your years. It is much easier than you may think.
Live Well.

Interconnected

We all share life on this world.  From the smallest organism to the greatest creature, we all share our existence with each other.  It is with this in mind that it is ever important to do everything in one's own power to ensure that this existence is as good as it can be.

I just completed a Relay for Life fundraising effort.  For those of you not familiar with Relay for Life it is a symbolic event that the American Cancer Society fronts to raise money and awareness for cancer.  Please consider, the word, cancer.

To be diagnosed with cancer can be life shattering.  In many instances it is surely a death sentence.  There is not necessarily a cure but there is promising research.  Cancer is not a death sentence.  People survive it.  Do not fear it.  Understand it.  Take steps to reduce your risk.  Consume less alcohol, abstain from tobacco, and reduce exposure to the sun and other chemicals.

We all share this existence.  We must all work together to achieve our common goal, to continue that existence.  All to often insignificant differences drive us to misunderstand, fear, become angry with, and hate.  Even I am not immune from the human emotions that perpetuate our state of squabble.

I feel very strongly against certain actions that others take.  To the point where I feel anger.  Perhaps even to the point of hate.  I am unsure.  All too often I am witness to wide scale discrimination and legislation that benefits the few at the expense of the many.  

We are interconnected and we should act accordingly.  Take action today, take action everyday to live well.

Is College Really Worth It?

Is College Really Worth It?
James C. Gonyea
Considering the high cost of a college education and the drain that expense can have on one's financial resources and future, I am often asked by college-bound students, "Is college really worth it?"

Here are 10 reasons you should pursue a college education:

  1. Analytical thinking skills: Today's world is complex, and it requires making daily decisions about personal, economic, health, political, professional and social matters. Learning how to approach a decision, gather relevant facts, analyze comparative and contradictory data and draw correct conclusions are necessary skills for successful living. There is no better training ground to develop these skills than college.

  2. Career beginnings: Significant knowledge is required to understand the nature of most occupations. College is usually the most effective way to acquire this knowledge. For many professions, a college education is a prerequisite for entering the field.

  3. Career advancement: Many employers base promotion decisions on an employee's educational attainments. Whether or not a college education is truly required to handle the job is irrelevant. Employers need ways to rank employees, and a college education is an easily identifiable standard.

  4. Financial gain: While there are notable exceptions, individuals with four-year college degrees earn more over their careers than people with less education do. The difference in lifetime earnings between a college graduate and a non-college graduate can amount to several million dollars.

  5. Economic preparation: We all participate in a complex and continually changing economic environment, which requires some understanding of our economy. Where better to learn about managing your life's finances than in Economics 101?

  6. Friends and spouses: Colleges, even non-residential institutions, bring disparate people together in one place. When individuals find themselves sharing similar experiences it's not surprising that lifelong friendships -- and life partnerships -- can develop. Networking within a profession often begins here too.

  7. Life awareness: The next time you're in a group of people, step back and watch how they interact with each other. Humans are social animals -- we bond with each other through conversation and other activities. College serves an important role in preparing individuals for continuing social interaction.

  8. Lifelong source of advice and information: Graduation from college doesn't mean you won't be back. Just the opposite. Today, colleges and universities are eager to keep in touch with alumni, some offering programs and services on both personal and professional issues.

  9. Purpose in life: At some point, most of us wonder about our purpose in life -- why are we here and what should we be doing? An essential part of finding your way is understanding other possible paths. Colleges, by their nature, bring together people with different lifestyles, ideas and experiences. Beyond the opportunities for awareness offered by the classroom and social interaction, colleges also offer independent study and internship programs that can let you explore alternative paths to find the one best suited for you.

  10. Self-actualization: Psychologist Abraham Maslow theorized that we humans have a need to be somebody, to feel important, useful and of value to others and society. This self-actualizing behavior can mean developing and applying knowledge over time to build expertise in a given subject. Becoming expert in one's chosen career field is one of life's greatest feelings of accomplishment. As we age and begin to satisfy the more basic needs in our lives, this need for self-actualization becomes more important. Lifelong learning is a key element in developing a sense of accomplishment, and a college education is the foundation for lifelong learning.

James C. Gonyea has 30-plus years of offering advice as a professional career counselor. He believes that his college education -- BS in education and MS in guidance and counseling -- is worth more than he ever imagined.

20070412

Shady dealings in financing education

This is taken from Banknet360.com

Arizona University Halts Revenue-Sharing Deal With Student Lender

Posted By Aaron Johnson Apr 11 2007 06:02:24 PDT

Arizona State University has cancelled a revenue-sharing deal it had with San Francisco-based Education Finance Partners Inc. amid New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s investigation into the industry.

Cuomo last week threatened to sue the school, which, under its agreement, allowed Education Finance Partners to use the school’s logo on promotional materials and calls for the school financial aid officials to suggest the student lender to prospective student borrowers.

The deal cancellation is just the latest fallout from the nationwide investigation, which includes a handful of lenders and more than 100 schools.

For more information on Cuomo’s investigation, reference past articles posted to BankNet360.com.