Monday, January 12, 2015

The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same

History tells us that some of the ancient people of our day used human sacrifice as a way of worshiping Gods. We often times think of the Aztecs and other Mezzo American cultures when we think of human sacrifice. No one did it better than they in the history books. Never mind the Romans and all the killing they did in the coliseum. That was for entertainment history will argue which is different than sacrifice. Naturally Catholics remember Jesus being executed. This execution was so brilliant that people never want to forget how Jesus died. We as people in this day and age may not know or understand a whole lot about Jesus Christ but we certainly remember the execution, if nothing else. If Jesus Christ didn't get executed, I really doubt anyone would give a crap about all the other things he was said to have done. Not even turning water into wine would have remained in our memories like a good execution. It's not the miracles or the message of peace and hope that we remember, its the way he was able to suffer on the cross. After experiencing this torture, even Jesus had to leave the building so to speak. God must have known that in order to get the attention of the human a human sacrifice had to be made. However, we don't see Jesus as a human sacrifice by the Gods. Even if we did, we would find a way to make this act seem civilized. Thus dulling our minds to the fact that human sacrifice is a part of our daily understanding of religion. Now of course Christianity and the like are not the only religions. However, there is a lot of blood being spilt in the most famous religions. Human sacrifice is an essential part of life. Killing a human before natural death has always been a way of appeasing a God. Though I am sure there are some who would argue that there are cultures of people who did not believe in this human sacrifice, I argue that in life, an early death is necessary to sustain life. We kill plants and animals to sustain ourselves. We for example do not wait for a head of lettus to die of natural causes before we eat the lettus. We certainly don't wait for a cow to die of natural causes before we eat the cow. Indeed all existence depends on the early death of another species. I believe though that this concept is therefore extended to how species live amongst each other. Too many mouths to feed creates an over use of resources. Nature designed species to have certain life spans. Most life spans in the animal kingdom don't last for more than a hundred years. Those animals that do last a couple centuries like certain Whales and torus are for the most part vegan ore eat small plankton. Animals who kill and eat flesh have to live short life spans. Additonally, animals that are in great abundance have short life spans. Most animals on this planet have incredibly short life spans. Therefore, it is natural for a primitive society to feel as though killing by sacrifice its own species is appeasing their God. When you think about this in this way, they may be right. The less people there are, the more abundance there is as a result of less mouths to feed. Though this concept may be considered primitive, I think we still have killing of humans by humans for the same underlying reason. Wars, excecutions are usually avoidable and done to benefit a portion of society. In war, we have to accept that killing the other person or people allows for less competition for resources. It's a sacrifice to God saying "we are willing to die so that others may live. Please give us our bounty." War and fighting of any kind, especially when it involves death, is thus a sacrifice in much the same way as any human sacrifice in ancient history. I'm not trying to judge whether it's right or wrong. Maybe it's right. Maybe not. The one thing that is certain though is that we as a people have a built in desire to kill each other in the name of what is good and right and I don't believe that this is a coincidence. Furthermore, I don't think such sacrifices will end since by the looks of our human growth, we have multiplied ten fold over the centuries. I guess God has been answering our prayers. One minute we are running from lions and the next minute we are driving them into extinction. Dying on a pyramid in Central America thousands of years ago by human sacrifice or on a battle field in 2015, takes honor. Notice the term sacrifice is used when talking about what happened in Mezzo America. This is because those people who were killed were dying for someone else to live. It was an honorable thing to have done. That's why it was not called a murder I imagine. In just the same way, we refer to the people who are dying on the battle field as soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice. In short, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

You Owe!

Being the public isn't easy. We the public get screwed and then blamed for everything. The most common blame we the public get issued on us is voting. The people didn't get out to vote so now we have a republican house and senate. This is confusing since regardless of who votes, the republicans are going to win no matter what. They have made it so that although they have a 5% approval rating, because only their district votes are counted, they stay in power. How is that the publics fault? It's not our fault our votes don't count. Not to mention the voter suppression laws requiring people to have state ID as well as the ending of early voting and voter laws to compliment the legal cheating of voters. Now there is the voting purge accusing people who have the same name of voting twice regardless of the fact that the social security numbers don't match. Yeah but with all this it's still the public's fault. This is a common strategy of blame the victim. Progressives are good for this. It becomes confusing. We are told by progressives to get out and vote then in the same sentence we are informed that our votes don't count. The public is not stupid. We know we're being screwed. We know that elections are for the most part rigged. This crap I just mentioned is completely legal. It's just the tip of the iceberg. This is just the slop that spills out of the pan. The stuff they can't hide. I really don't think that this country is held together by a lousy vote by the people. Since when have what the people wanted ever mattered? None of the decisions that are made are made due to humanitarian reasons. Gas prices didn't fall because there was too much of a burden put on we the public. No one came forward saying that we lowered prices at the pump to help you people. In fact, the news is trying to make us feel guilty about falling gas prices by explaining how these poor oil companies are loosing money. Boo hoo! Where was the oil company's feelings for the last decade and a half? I don't see them feeling sorry for us. From mortgages to credit to student loans, the underlying reason for anything the public gains has to do with the corporation. The public is nothing more than a resource to be exploited for the benefit of powerful. Indeed we are taught to believe this is good. Indeed we are brainwashed to serve the corporate good putting ourselves last. We live a life of guilt. We constantly have to owe money to this company and that company. Phone bills, rent, mortgage, electric bills, education bills and the list goes on. We live our lives feeling like we owe and when you owe, it implies guilt. The words YOU OWE A DEBT usually precede something that indicates you're being ungrateful. Let's face reality, if there were solutions that gave us free unlimited energy and a huge decrease need for money, how likely would we be to have this luxury since we the people owe so much as it is? We are indebted to pay since we owe. Since this is so, it makes sense that we the people are getting screwed in the ballot box. After all, what right do we have to pick our public leaders when we are in fact the ones who OWE. Our leadership doesn't feel like it owes us, with the exception of a few. Yes we are the victims being blamed. We don't vote because we haven't earned the right since our votes dont count because we didn't pay our bills so therefore we OWE and we don't count. Instead we are being counted. We are indentured servants with no rights until we pay off our debt. Unless and until we pay back what you owe, we will never have democracy since in the minds of our political corporate economy, we are the ones screwing them. They who gave us electric, education, cars, homes and everything else. We are ingrates who should be punished and we are punished by a lifetime of guilt, rigged elections and ownership of our lives through debt, malnutrition, greed, need and unrest. But hey things could be worse.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

TV Is Good

Some people believe that watching TV is bad. I can understand this belief. However let us not forget what people did for entertainment before there was TV. Before television we people used other forms of entertainment. One popular form of entertainment was public execution. In the United States invitations would be sent out for families to watch hangings. Death was very popular to watch before TV. Sure there were plays but nothing could draw a crowd like a good hanging. Mark Twain wrote about how people behaved during public executions saying it made the crowd vicious. Let us remember Rome. The Romans built the world's biggest monument for killing attracting thousands of people. These people watched other people die for entertainment. In contrast to watching television, I think that this entertainment was far more deadly. I further believe that the mind was impacted far more negatively than the mind that watches TV. So while we might not like the way TV influences us, I think it's safe to argue that we people have come a long way. Indeed violence is human nature and there must be a way to satisfy our blood lust. In prison, TV calms the housing areas. Without TV in prison, there would be riots everyday. People should be aware that TV has saved us in many ways. We people need entertainment and the bloodier the better. I'm just thankful it's done these days with actors pretending to die rather than with real people who really die.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Make Hacking Relevant!

Why do hackers always hack things that no one cares about? For example, we already know that the government does bad things like torcher other people. Let us not forget that America has the largest incarceration population on the planet. If not you, then someone you know has been in the hands of our government for a crime of some sort. Thus, we are well aware of how abusive our Militiristic policing can be. Since Vietnam, we have been aware of war crimes seeing the true horrors of war. This is callous of me, however, if anyone in this country does not know by now that we have created horrible atrocities through illegal wars killing tens of millions of people, then that person is an idiot. This country was born of blood. The indigenous were slaughtered. Slaves from Africa were brought over through a ruthless invasion brought on by Eurpoean desperation. This is not new information so why do hackers waste our time bringing us this trivia? Why hack Sony? What does anyone gain from Sony being hacked? Hackers need to hack things that are useful to the public. I have always thought of hackers, for the most part, as people who stand up for the little guy against powerful elitists. These people who hack are so mysterious that we can neither vilify them nor commend them. Some people love them and some people hate them. In any event, they are always taken seriously. They are taken seriously because these hackers bring home a sense of reality. Through their hacking, we are able to be set free from the bondage of corporate control. These hackers let everyone know who is really in control. Even Sony had to bow to the all mighty hackers. I never saw a major company so scared. Even our President Obama had to tell Sony to pull their skirts down and man up. I wish hackers would take their hacking were it really needs to go; all the way to the student loan office! Hackers need to wipe everyone's student loan debt clean! Now that would be useful! A hacker needs to clean everyone's credit! I'm not asking a lot. I mean it's not like I'm asking for money. Of course money would be nice. Perhaps a hacker with a sense of humor could take money from the 1 percent and put it in the bank account of the 99 percent. Now that would make hacking relevent.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Student Loan Debt Scam

I am a victim of the student loan debt scam. I went to college and earned a Bachelors Degree in Legal Studies and went to graduate school to earn a Masters in Social Work. I have worked as a Mental Health Clinician in Rikers Island since graduation in 2007. My student loans keep collecting interest because I can’t afford to pay and therefore I have them constantly in Forbearance. Last year my student loan debt was 80,000 dollars. This year my Federal Student Loan debt rose to 212,000 dollars at 5% interest. I have never seen 5% interest equal to more than double. Ever!!! There is clearly a scam to burden college graduates with so much student loan debt that it becomes impossible to recover. I have my loans consolidated with the Federal Student Loan Services. Even if I were to not pay any taxes on my income and give every cent I earn to this student loan it would take several years to pay off. My student loan debt without interest is high enough. When I graduated college I was supposed to make payments of 400 dollars a month for 20 years. This is outrages! Now I am expected to make $695 monthly payments for 20 years! I am constantly overdrawn in my bank account because I have to support my family. It is hard for me to understand the logic behind this student loan scam. The only logic I can fathom is to deter people from getting a college education. I have paid back every penny given to me for this education as I am a tax payer and a worker in this economy. I spend every last cent I make in this economy thereby giving every penny I make to the Federal, State and Local governments. However, this is still not sufficient as I am required to live a life of perpetual indentured servitude as a result of my student loan debt. I brought myself off the streets through education. I went to college from homeless shelters and park benches while surviving on food stamps, soup kitchens and welfare. Should I have remained homeless on welfare since obviously there is no way that I could afford education? Would this have been the responsible thing to have done? Would I have better served my country by being destitute and ignorant since being so would have saved the government money sending me to school? Is this the logic we are supposed to live by in America? I ask that my student loan debt be expunged. Every college graduate pays their student loan debt through employment wages. My social security number is 54########. You can see what I earned before I went to college and what I have earned after I went to college. I have more than paid for my education. To have us who went to college unable to earn a living due to student loan debt is un-American. A degree in legal studies and a Masters in Social Work should not cost $212,000. PLEASE EXPUNGE MY STUDENT LOAN DEBT! PLEASE EXPUNGE ALL STUDENT LOAN DEBT!

Students Don't Fail Schools Do!

Recently I spoke with some of my colleagues about the previous correspondence I had sent to you regarding the education system that is failing the majority of our children. After speaking with the mental health staff during the evening here in Rikers Island RNDC jail about the issues related to high school education, a number of concerns have come to light. My colleagues during the evening tour consist of three LMSWs, one LCSW and two psychiatrists. I felt presenting these strategies for an improved educational system to my co-workers was important. This is so because they, like me, are charged with caring for the resulting incarceration of adolescents. This epidemic known as incarceration is no doubt the product of a failed education system. One of my co-workers who joined in the evening’s debate is a social worker in one of these failing New York City schools. During the discussion a number of concerns were presented after I had introduced the idea of GED training and test taking upon entrance into high school. I will list each concern individually then address the concerns stated. My efforts in doing this are to address some of the concerns you may have as my colleagues’ concerns may in fact mirror yours. These efforts are also advanced in the hopes that we find some way to implement these worthwhile, needed and necessary changes. GED programs already exist as well as college classes for students who fail in high school yet these students don’t want to go to school. Here in lies the fundamental problem within our education system. It does not make sense to offer students in high school the opportunity to go to college to earn an associates degree and a high school diploma only when we fail them in high school. In this case, it is important to understand how such an implementation can affect the mental health of the individual. By availing this opportunity only when students are failing is tantamount to saying to the student, “You’re a failure so why don’t you go to “X” junior college to get a degree and a high school diploma?” Why are we to assume that a student who fails out of high school is more capable of earning a two year college degree and a high school diploma? By what logic are we employing a policy that says only when you are totally humiliated by the failure of not passing your regents exam and thus high school are you capable of opportunity. When we think about the effects a failing high school education has on a person’s self esteem, we can realize that a person is no more likely to achieve after they’ve ultimately quit high school. In fact, I challenge that a student is more likely to succeed when they first begin high school in such a program. Bronx community college offers high school drop outs the chance to earn a college degree and a high school diploma within a four semester period. Again, why are we waiting to use this incredible program only when we see the student has failed high school or dropped out? Why are we sending the message that taking this route is the “failures’ route” when in fact it is not. This program should be touted as a fast track to college not as an alternative to a failed education in an educational system that has a dismal success rate when it comes to educating its students. GED programs as well should be seen in these schools as opportunities to advance to college training, vocational training in tech schools etc, not as routes that failures take when they are run out of our failing high school system. By allowing children the opportunity to take these routes of education that can advance students into an early and productive career in every field via college or other training, we can avoid the breeding grounds for crime that these high school campuses have become. We should be using the GED opportunity as a fast track to college instead of demonizing its benefits. Likewise we should be using the program in community college that allows students to gain their education in high school while earning a college degree as a fast track to college. In fact we should name these programs what they are; fast tracks to college. Most importantly, these opportunities should be provided upon entering high school not upon failing high school. High school education is meant to foster a work ethic therefore not completing the four year high school program takes away an important aspect of the student’s development When we think about what work ethic this high school system is offering, we have to admit that we can find more things unethical than ethical. In the 1950s there was a Supreme Court decision titled Brown vs Board of Education. In this decision it was determined that racially segregated school systems were inherently inferior. In 1965 we attempted to bus people of color into the White school system. However, since 1965 our school system has become more racially segregated than when Brown vs. Board was decided in the Supreme Court. It is clear that we have no intention of integrating our public school system. Therefore we can never have a school system that is meeting the needs of these “Black” students or students otherwise ensnared in social inequality. The school system was failing these students in 1956 the same as it is failing these students today. Before we rally around the conventions of new ideas, let’s stick to the fundamentals of the problem that have existed since Jim Crow. The fact has been clarified that we cannot have separate schools where one school is all poor and all “Black” and the other school is all upper income and all “White”. We under this current scenario cannot then begin to talk about creating important student development and a work ethic while we foster this inherently inferior racist system. Since we have no intention of integrating our society or our school system, we are compelling students to participate in an oppressive and exploitative school system. However, if we allow these students to test out of high school and begin a college education or other training on the onset of high school, we can create an advantage for these students. These students realize that they are treated unfairly. Students realize that based on their treatment, no one cares. A student knows when they are being set up to fail. Perhaps this explains why students in these racially segregated high schools drop out. This may explain why so many of these students feel as though they will have a better chance surviving on the streets than in a classroom. It is important to not minimize the extreme effect our failure as educators has on our society. Consequently, upon entering high school, we should allow these students in this high school system an opportunity to advance by graduating with a GED or attending colleges where they can earn their associates degree and high school diploma in 16 months. In this way we can provide these students an advantage that will allow them to compete in our society. When we allow these opportunities, for the first time, these students will have an advantage as a result of where they live like so many of their counterparts. Families are responsible since it takes a strong mother and or father to make sure that the children earn their education. We have to be aware that although most families in the inner city are poor, this in and of itself does not make them stupid. Like these students, these parents are not blind to the reality that they have to send their children to an inferior school system. These parents realize that if anyone has a choice, the choice would not be to send their child to the same school system they send their child. Parents know when they are being humiliated by a racialist school system that is apartheid in nature and Jim Crow in foundation. They realize that “White” parents aren’t sending their children to go to school with their children. This being the fact, how do you tell a parent to advocate for the perpetuation of such a system? How insane are we to not understand why a parent would not advocate for their child to be a part of this abomination? These parents are not na├»ve. They went to these schools also. They know what is going on in this system. They are aware that this is a system that poorly prepared them to overcome its oppression well enough to not have to send their children through the same shameful experience. Perhaps this explains why parents do not become involved in their child’s high school education. People who want to attend this current school system should have the opportunity to do so. However, students who do not wish to attend this current school system should be allowed opportunities to advance via two year degree and diploma programs or GED testing. This way the schools will have to create more productive methods in order to retain students and parents for the standard high school path. Thank you for your time and please feel free to contact me regarding these issues. My contact information is listed below. Evan Baker, LMSW

Sunday, December 28, 2014

This has already happened

Everything we experience has already happened. That's because there is a delay for our brain to process what our nerves tell us. There are two different parts to our brain. The cerebellum and cerebral cortex. The cerebellum is the oldest part of our brain and works with the brain stem to control action, movement, balance and fight or flight. Our cerebral cortex then takes the information from the cerebellum and makes sense out of the experience. Our nerves get their information from the "environment" and respond to it by creating action as described. Now we all shrug our shoulders saying " yeah but this takes a split second"! Let's think about that split second. Regardless of weather it's a split second or an hour, the point is that we are not in control of our actions. Our cerebral cortex makes sense of this action by telling us that we conciously made this decision. That is lie number one. In fact what is really happening is that these actions have already taken place. We walk before we know we are walking. We eat, drink, talk, sleep and everything else including see before we are aware. It takes a milisecond for our eyes to see an object and send the image to our cerebral cortex. Therefore everything we experience is actually a past event. Here's a question. What is the environment we are reacting to? What in the environment tells us to sit, stand, move our head etc.? Our movement through our nervous system is crated by electrical signals. This electrical occurance takes place in cells called neurons. Every action we take, including thought, is the result of an electrical signal. This must mean that electrical signals are being sent from our "environment". After all electricity is the means by which our body communicates with itself. It would be hard to believe that electrical signals respond to non electrical forces to send electrical information. By now your mind has still brushed this off by saying " well a millisecond is not that long. However, we have to understand that in reality there is no such thing as a second. For there to be a second there would have to be a second beforehand. When did the first second begin? It never did. Time is infinite. So take a millisecond off of one day; then one year; then one million years; then infinity and you'll find that not only are we living in the past but we are living in a time that always has been and never was. By now your cerebral cortex is pretty pissed and trying to tell you that this is unimaginable. However not only is it imaginable, it is the only thing that makes sense and it's true. What's not true about time is 12:00am and a second and an hour. Time is not the beating of a heart or a planet's movement around a star. The environment our body is reacting to is our infinite universe or multiverse. We are controlled by our universe. Our actions are being dictated by an ancient dimension. We don't call the shots more than our earth, sun and space do. But our cerebral cortex would have us believe that we control everything and that we are all intelligent. Even more so than our universe! Now that's arrogant! We are simply an appendage to our environment and our dimension controls us not the other way around. Even in religion we are taught that there is a God more powerful than us and that this God controls us. So now your cerebral cortex is saying if we are living in the past, how do we explain our physical being? Our physics being is in no more controlled by us than are the stars controlled by us. Our body is the property of this dimension. Jesus taught us about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is who we are. I feel this way because since everything has already happened then what we see as physical is simply an interpretation. Our lives have already been lived and our conciousness only allows us to experience what we know today. What else can explain a time lapse between environment, the bodies reaction to the environment, and the cerebral cortex interpretations. There is a huge delay that clearly tells us that we are not in control of our actions. And against the back drop of infinity this could mean anything.