Tag: Opinion

Making your own clothes has benefits

by Abi Hernandez

Many clothing companies have many different types of machines that produce their clothing. If we made our own clothes, it could be beneficial in so many different ways.

For starters, making your clothes is a whole lot cheaper than going to the store and buying anything made mechanically. When you buy clothes, you usually are only buying the brand of the product and the type of material. Also, the more people get a certain item, the higher the demand will be and the higher prices will get.

It’s also extremely affordable and really fun to be able to see how creative you are. If you make your own clothes, you can make your own unique style. Making your own style is like showing your creativity and also helps people express themselves. Drag Queens are a prime example of expressing themselves with what they wear, because it is all about appearances.

I have a cousin who likes to dress up in drag, and he makes every outfit he wears by hand. He even sews his own wigs. All his outfits are made out of fabric he buys from a cheap fabric shop in Lubbock. When he makes his outfits, they are his own ideas, and they fit him perfectly, since he tailors them to his exact size and comfort.

Making your own clothes can turn into the start of a new career. Why go somewhere and pay extra for something you can do on your own for free? With enough practice and dedication, you possibly could even become a tailor, or a fashion designer for some big-time company with a popular label. For example, the singer Selena Quintanilla designed and made all of her band’s outfits herself. Sewing can also lead to new jobs that are looking for a seamstress.new new

Sometimes, if you go to certain stores, the sizes only range from x-small to medium. The average person is medium or large, and they don’t carry larger sizes. If you make it on your own, you will never have to worry about finding the perfect size again. Many stores carry smaller sizes of clothing in stock, so some of the larger people cannot find clothes as easily as people who wear smaller sizes.

Also, making your own clothes gives you a chance to learn how to sew. Sewing is a skill that a lot of people don’t have that is very useful. It also comes in handy if your clothes get a rip in it. Then you can just mend the hole.

Another advantage of making your own clothes is that you gain self-esteem.  When you make your clothes, it will be something you like and look good in. It also gives you a sense of pride, as you can look at your clothes and be like “yeah, that’s right! I made this!”

Also, when you make your own clothes, you can show off to your friends. You will have clothing that nobody in the whole world has that you made uniquely for yourself.

Disney Studios ruining good franchises with greed

By Kendall Rainer

Disney Studios holds the largest film franchise on the planet and is still growing, with new stakes in entertainment companies arising every year.  

The familiar family-friendly company has made its mark with some of the most profitable movies that have hit the silver screen. However, they are steadily ruining some fan-favorite film series. 

Disney purchased Lucas Films in 2012, which subsequently gave them the rights to the “Star Wars” franchise. Shortly after the purchase, Disney Studios began production of the first installment of a sequel trilogy set to take place after “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” Star-wars-9-plot-reveals-guerilla-war-1013044

In December 2015, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was released. The film grossed more than $245 million on opening weekend. That figure makes it sound like it was a big hit. However, the film was lackluster in both story and the overall action that fans have come to expect from a “Star Wars” film. Although the visual effects were quite stunning and done well, there was still something missing that didn’t quite make it feel like a “Star Wars” film.

Disney continued to produce “Star Wars” Universe films such as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in December 2016, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in December 2017, and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” in May 2018. All of these movies hit it big on opening weekend but seemed to be missing a lot of the traditional “Star Wars” feel that came with the original six movies.  

Since Disney has taken over the “Star Wars” film franchise, the films have suffered. If George Lucas had not sold his company, “Star Wars” films would be significantly better. The fan base of the films would be growing continuously instead of shrinking as it has been since the release of the first “Star Wars” film Disney produced. 

Lucas Films isn’t the only film franchise Disney has ties with. Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and has helped Marvel produce the most successful film series to hit the big screen, grossing more than $18 billion worldwide. 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has 28 films in the series. Some of the highest-grossing films from the series include: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (July 2014), “Doctor Strange” (October 2016), “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” (April 2017), “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (April 2017), “Thor: Ragnarok” (October 2017), “Black Panther” (February 2018), “Avengers: Infinity War” (April 2018), “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (July 2018), “Captain Marvel” (March 2019), “Avengers: Endgame” (April 2019), and “Spider-Man: Far from Home” (July 2019). cover

However, Disney did not ruin any of these films. They were actually a huge success. The film that began to round out phase three of the MCU, “Avengers: Endgame,” was one of the most highly anticipated films of the year and grossed $1.2 billion worldwide on opening weekend, breaking the record for highest-grossing opening weekend film. 

The following film, “Spiderman: Far From Home,” completed phase three and was a pivotal part of the MCU linking the past 10 years of films with what comes next in the MCU, phase four. 

However, Disney’s destruction of the MCU came after “Spiderman: Far From Home.” Everyone’s favorite “Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman” will no longer be a part of the Marvel Universe, as Disney burned their bridges, at least for now, with Sony Pictures, which owns the rights to the Spiderman films.

The reason for the two cutting ties is the fact that Sony did not agree with Disney’s proposition to increase the financing of the Spiderman films, with Disney receiving 50 percent of the profit from the films. Sony was also disappointed in Disney’s proposal to scale down Marvel President Kevin Feige’s involvement in the films. 

Feige has produced all of the films within the MCU and acted as an executive producer in the Spiderman films within phase three.  

The split, for which Disney was largely to blame, has ruined the future of the MCU, as Spiderman plays a crucial role in phase four and is a favorite character in the Marvel films.

Phase four will still continue to be produced and will garner some amazing movies and television shows. However, Marvel will have a hard time trying to write out Spiderman from the plans. Subsequently, some films may suffer. 

Females should not be excluded from playing football

By Abi Hernandez

Football was traditionally a sport for guys since 1869.

  But now more and more girls are interested in playing football. When guys hear this, they start complaining and bragging that the girls will just get hurt and say that it’s “not for girls.” Women should be allowed to play on football teams. 

In high school, I played football and was pretty good. At the beginning of the season, I got a lot of backlash for even thinking about playing football. When I finally did, it was rough at the beginning. Half of my teammates were not happy when they found out the new player was a girl. My fellow teammates treated me badly. But I would just ignore them and worry about what I was doing. Football

Even my coaches would treat me badly at times, as well as my own friends. Many people doubted me during this time, saying I was just going to let the team lose and I made them look weak and pathetic. I just wanted to open a new opportunity for the girls who would like to play as well.

Girls should be allowed to play football too, because this is a new opportunity and women have rights too. Just because I am a girl, that didn’t stop me. I had a couple of friends who supported me and helped me get away from the mean comments.

girl fbFootball is one of those touchy areas where men still dominate and girls are thought to be too weak and unskilled to play. But girls should be able to play football if they really want to. 

I understand that football is a very physical sport and can cause some health problems, especially for women.  If men can play football, women can play football. Not only can they play with other women, but they should be able to compete with men. It’s only fair. 

Other than the injuries, I don’t see why they won’t give girls a chance. The only thing I do see as a problem is women playing in professional football. High school is different because you are not going against 6-foot-4, strong men ready to bulldoze anything and everything in the way. I am all for girls playing football and trying to get equal treatment. But since the guys are physically stronger, it is more likely for women to get concussions or worse.

The big question is, can they play? Of course. Not every position in football requires you to bench 300 pounds or run a 4.3 40. There are several positions that if a woman wanted to play she sure could. A great example is a kicker. When I played, I was a center field, and on occasion, I was a cornerback. 

I got injured during my freshman year and I was almost paralyzed. I broke my knee and dislocated my shoulder because I wasn’t that big and the other guys were husky and shredded. During the summer, I recovered and worked until I was happy with my body size and my muscle mass. So I totally understand the concerns, but women still deserve a chance to play football.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Feature editor thankful for journalism experience


After 101 days writing for the Plainsman Press, I’m done.

That’s really not a long time. One semester of writing and that is it.

I’ve always been a curious person. After my last interview, which I’m currently working on, I have no excuse to interview a new professor or student and get to know their story. I can no longer be brave through the lens of a journalist.

I had no idea what I was getting into at the beginning of the semester. I soon learned that the Newsroom was a small family. We eat together, we laugh together, and we stay up until 3 a.m. together. I learned that I would get out of the Newsroom what I put into it.

From the beginning, I knew I wanted leave with a better understanding of journalism and what true objectivity looks like. On the other side of the semester, I’ve gotten that and so much more.

Being on the newspaper staff has been both fun and stressful. The nights have been long, the proofreading seemingly never ending, and new corrections ostensibly kept coming up.

As the feature editor, I interviewed professors, students, and alumni. I got to know their stories and draw inspiration from each of them. Each interview presented a unique story that I learned something from. I love that I was allowed to write what I wanted but was also pushed to expand my writing.

In the Newsroom, I was reminded of the struggle newspapers are having. The Plainsman Press is fortunate to have support from the college. I’ve delivered newspapers to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and to President Satterwhite’s office. Numerous staff, students and alumni read the paper. I’ve received emails from past faculty who read a feature on a student they had years ago. We have the support of so many people, but especially the college. So many newspapers aren’t so fortunate to have that much support.

Newspapers across the nation are starting to shut down, closing down their printing presses. If journalism dies, so do people’s stories. We need more people to be bold and ask people to sit down, maybe over coffee, maybe in an office, and tell their story. There are so many people who have an amazing story to be told, and there needs to be people there to tell those stories.

As long as the Plainsman Press and the staff are around, journalism will live on. If there are teachers and students to read the amazing work that this staff creates, journalism will have a place at this college.

I never planned on getting into journalism. I took this class to fill my degree requirements. But the paper has turned into so much more than a class to me. This experience has opened my eyes to the opportunities I have going forward. I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had working at the paper and all of the people I’ve grown closer to during the semester.



Print journalism major gains new experiences, meets lifelong friends

I’ve stared at a blank Microsoft Word doc for days now.

For someone who struggles very little with writing and putting words on a page, this particular article was difficult to start. I just did not know where to start.

I have spent so many hours in the Newsroom in the Communications Building, since fall 2018. Which stories do I tell, or which ones do I not? Not to mention the emotions that will come with writing this farewell piece.

DSC_0142I started my journey with the Plainsman Press in the fall 2018 semester. We only had six staff members, all who wrote and edited the paper. I was a determined, inspired journalist who wanted a handson experience of every part of the newspaper. Yet I had no idea of the work, time, stress, and fun that would go with it.

My first paper week was rough for several reasons. The main reason was I am not a night person, so when 11 p.m. hit, I took a nap on the floor in between the desks and the whiteboard. I got in trouble for that later. However, Kendall was nice (for once) and waited for me to wake up before getting on to me. He explained that even if you are done with your work, you help others with theirs so everyone can get done sooner.

Another reason was I had no idea what in the world I was doing. Between working with the In Design software and trying to figure out how Apple computers work, I struggled with laying out my first page. I cannot even guess the number of times I asked Autumn for help that week. Through controlled breathing and gritted teeth, she kindly helped me every time.

Now do not get me wrong; everyone loves everyone in the Newsroom. But when it’s 3 57289369_2451997331499208_8184277129916055552_na.m. and everyone is tired, hands tend to go to throats.

You will get glared at and yelled at, but I promise you will be doing just as much glaring and yelling as well.

The strangers in the class become staff members, and the staff members become family. You will find yourself coming into the Newsroom in your spare time to eat, talk, joke, play games, and work on homework with them. That is part of the reason why everyone gets on to others as much as we do, because we are family.

You will get to know people way deeper than you expected. They will share their life stories, even if you do not want them to. They will share the good, bad, funny, and sad ones, but none will be more hilariously sad than either half of Kait’s poor fish.

You will be picked on, and every one will poke you until all your buttons are pushed and you storm out of the room. However, you will never have a group of friends more loyal. If you come in talking about how someone really hurt you and messed up your week, they will come up with a plan for how to kill, who will do the killing, where to bury the 58381199_2465730280125913_8928513452423512064_nbody, and who will pay for the deed. The News crew will be more than willing to back you up, no matter what the cost, and by cost I mean prison for life. (No one was killed, or harmed, in the making of any newspaper).

The girls will have your back when you want to go walking down the haunted hallway, and the guys will do their best to scare the girls as they come back.

I wish I could tell you which part is the best and which part is the worst. However, it changes every week, and every single thing about the Plainsman Press will be your favorite/worst part.

One of my favorite parts that never changes, though, is the people. I go get my nails done with the girls in the Newsroom and go out to eat lunch with Reece, Austin, and Victoria at least once a week, if not more. And on Thursdays, Charlie takes the Newsroom to the BSM, and those who do not have class eat together. Typically, the group will walk to the BSM. That is my most favorite time on Thursdays. The walk to and from lunch consists of stories, laughter and jokes. Not to mention everyone is able to get outside for a bit and breathe in fresh air.

While being on the Plainsman Press staff, I was able to interview author Jodi Thomas, Television News Personality John Stossel, and many more awesome people. I got to write opinion columns and typically got to pick which stories I wanted to write.

Charlie, our instructor and advisor, tries his hardest to make this experience the best for the students. He listens to story ideas, and as long as they will not get the college (or him)56247840_2431591733539768_315491963803533312_n sued, you are able to write/cover it.

Charlie does a lot more than just critique your stories, though. He is also a great mentor. Charlie truly cares for each of his students and tries his best to prepare them and give them what they need in order to move forward in their career.

The Newsroom has been like a second home to me. We laugh, cry, and confide in each other. We know when someone needs a hug, and we know when someone just needs food. I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone into the Newsroom and Autumn, Victoria or someone else has looked at me, and noticed that I am in an off mood, asking “Want to go get food?”

Eventually, everyone will be able to tell when you are hiding your true feelings and will sit you down and tell you to talk.

Sometimes the talk is just about a bad day, or about troubles with a relationship. Other times, the talk requires shutting the Newsroom door (because it locks when it is shut and you cannot get in without a key). Those are the real talks. You know something is going down, typically within the Newsroom, when they get up and shut the door.

Being in the Newsroom, whether you want to be a journalist or not, is so much fun and worth the time. It is a place where you can and will belong.

There will be days when you ask yourself why you ever got into it. But when the paper comes out, you realize the worth of your work and nothing else matter. So you excitedly do it all again.

South Plains College has been a wonderful college for me. I was homeschooled my whole 55489158_2421469114552030_6289754600245297152_olife, and although I was active in sports and extra activities, transitioning from homeschooling to public school terrified me.

SPC is a great place for people who are nervous about transitioning into college. There are wonderful professors who are willing to help you when you have trouble with your assignments, and some professors try to get to know you personally as well.

Emily Brunson, who is an English instructor, would bring M&M’s in a bowl and pass it around. We could only grab one M&M, and depending on what color we got, we would have to answer a question, such as “What’s your favorite color?” Then we would be able to get more M&M’s afterword.

Dave Cleavenger, an agriculture professor, enjoyed talking with students after class. He also cared about the students’ health. Once I went into class with sunglasses on and just kept my head down because I had a really bad migraine. Cleavenger noticed me not being myself and asked if I was OK. When I told him about my migraine, he massaged a pressure point in my hands that relieves migraine pressure. Because of that, my migraine continued to get better for the next few hours. By the middle of the day, my head was fine.

SPC has been a great twoyear college for me, and I will forever be grateful for this college, the professors, and friends that I made here.

Veteran develops communication skills at SPC

My time at South Plains College is coming to an end. Like many before me, I will continue on to a traditional four-year university. I came to South Plains on academic probation from Texas Tech University. Mad and fearing that I would never amount to anything, I found comfort in this college.
When I first came to South Plains, I was still determined to be a nursing major. I thought I would take a few classes in mass communications to help balance out my workload. These classes were to help me with my podcast and what I thought was just a hobby. My hobby turned out to be my passion and what I’m now pursuing my degree in, mass communications.
I cannot express the amount of gratitude that I have for the Science Department at SPC showing me that I can use my disabilities with dyslexia to level the playing field. It’s with the help of these educators that I was able to build confidence and eventually recover some of my bad grades in science courses.
  The thing I’ll take away from SPC is the mass communications program and the hands-on experience.  The instructors have worked in the field and show you what you need to do to be successful. It’s not just textbook learning, it’s real-life, real experience, everything from writing for Mrs. Kirby in TV, news and radio scripts, to meeting deadlines for Charlie each week for this newspaper. Mrs. Kirby taught me how to speak professionally. She showed me how much work goes in to a daily show and newscast. I found myself becoming a better speaker and putting out a better pod cast each week because of her classes. She also showed me, and many other students, the many aspects of communication, including the many ways people speak and how ads can be sold in different ways.  All of this is very valuable life experience.

Billy Alonzo is always a friendly face, willing to help you with audio questions or just tell you a bad joke to help brighten your day. Billy has shown me why it is important to test your equipment and do a run-through before recording. Charlie and the newsroom was the class I was most nervous about. News writing was where I think I grew the most. I was challenged to write about new things and was taught many things about writing reviews and sports stories. The Communications Building is one of the friendly and most well received places I’ve ever been. It’s because of these great teachers in this great program that I received my associate’s degree last fall, and I will have success in all my future endeavors ever because of those who helped me achieve that.

Some may look down upon South Plains. I will always be proud to be an alumni of South Plains College.


Staff writer finds outlet to share thoughts in Plainsman Press

I am very glad I got to be a part of the newspaper staff this spring semester.

This has been a great experience. I learned so much about South Plains College. The newspaper staff class is like a family, and it’s really fun to be a part of it.

The amount of work and dedication pays off for the bi-weekly paper that our class works to get published. I am amazed by how many different parts go into publishing our college newspaper.

Many times, it’s overwhelming to understand, but when the paper is published and you see your work in the paper, it is a great feeling of accomplishment. I would say that during my time in this class, my writing skills have developed and have become stronger. The type of stories that I have written for the newspaper have been about entertainment, opinion, and a couple of news stories. I really enjoyed writing the entertainment pieces and also the opinion articles because it was a chance to share my thoughts on any given topic.

My professor, Charles Ehrenfeld, runs the Newsroom in a way where students help each other and are able to communicate with each other. I really recommend students take this class. It was really fun, and I had a great semester in this class.

Being in this class will teach you how a newsroom works and what roles and jobs are involved for the newspaper staff. There are many opportunities available for students who are interested in the News Reporting class. There are important roles, such as the editor-in-chief and the rest of the editorial staff, that are very important for the newspaper to be successfully published.

This is my last semester at SPC, and I am proud to announce that I will be obtaining an Associate’s degree from South Plains College. I have had a really fun experience being a student at SPC. The teachers here are really great and I have become accustomed to SPC. I am going to miss going to school here. I am going to miss this institution so much that it makes me sad that I have to leave. But I’m happy at the same time because I am accomplishing my academic goals that I have set for myself.

I really will miss all my Professors and friends that I have met at SPC. This fall, I will transfer to Texas Tech University to earn my bachelor’s degree in Digital Media & Communication. I’m grateful that I have had such wonderful learning experiences while I have been a student at SPC that I will carry with me for the rest of my educational career. I have enjoyed my time at SPC, especially in News Reporting class, and I have learned skills that will help me in my field of study for my degree in Communications.

Nontraditional student steps out of comfort zone through reporting



Saying “Good bye” has never been an easy thing for me to do.

Through the years, when I get close to anyone, letting go is so hard.

Working with everyone at the Plainsman Press has been a happy experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of a class, as you will not only learn but have a good time while doing it.

I have always enjoyed writing. Writing for the newspaper has been a whole new level. Trying to find topics that will not only interest the reader but provoke them into looking at the next issue, and, better yet, talk to others about whatever they have read, is not an easy task.

As I think back on the articles I have written, I have enjoyed the opinion ones probably the most. However, two articles made me step out of my comfort zone. The first one was a report on South Plains College expanding in Lubbock. They started a culinary program at the Lubbock Center. It was interesting. To see the facility, well, it is nothing short of amazing.

The second one was interviewing Ted Cruz. Not only was it exciting, it was an honor to meet someone who works for you and me. He not only knows that; his actions show it.

I don’t want to leave out getting to meet Alan Munde, a world -renowned bluegrass musician and retired SPC professor. He was so kind and easy to talk to. It was like a new friend. I had no idea when I was interviewing him that he is an icon. As I asked him a question, his humility was astounding. He never once acted like he was a “bluegrass star.” That most definitely was a once- in- a- lifetime moment.

I must admit Charlie is one of the best bosses I have ever worked with and for. He is patient yet precise. Serious, yet fun. He is concerned with a gentle kindness. I will miss him when I leave this campus. He feels like family.

Life doesn’t always go like you planned. In my life, I knew I wanted to be a wife and a mother to the best of my ability. I am very blessed that both of my sons are amazing adults. But I failed as a wife. I am not saying I was totally to blame, because I wasn’t. I just couldn’t ever figure out what my husband wanted from me.

So, after much heartache and 29 years, I chose to start life over. That was not an easy decision, but it was necessary. I have learned from my experience. If ever my knowledge is needed, I hope that I can help someone not go down the path I did. I do not regret my choices, because I do have many blessings that happened at the same time. I just learned a lot by the things I went through.

When I decided to come to South Plains College, I did not know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many nice people, not only the students, but the staff on every level.

There are so many gentlemen here on campus. There have not been many doors that I have had to open myself. That shocked me. I thought chivalry was almost dead, if not already gone. But I was wrong. Even the youngest of the men on campus would gladly hold the door, and usually with a smile. That made my heart feel so proud of not only them, but the other ladies on campus getting treated like that.  Thank you to every gentleman on campus. There were a few times that a female held the door out of courtesy. I don’t want them to think their kindness went unnoticed.

I hope to continue on with my education after I am finished here at SPC. I still have two classes that I need to complete an associate’s degree. Then I plan to go to Texas Tech University to get a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I would like to work with troubled kids in school before it is too late.

I say all of this to say, I feel very blessed to be a part of South Plains College. It is a really special place to learn and grow. I hope I can influence others to become part of this big family.    Farewell, because goodbye just doesn’t fit.

Traveling frequently promotes personal growth

Traveling is a great way to learn and gain new experiences throughout life.

I enjoy traveling very much. I have traveled so much growing up, and every time I travel or go somewhere new I learn something new.

I think every student should have a travel bucket list, whether it’s a town only 50 miles away or in a different country. Traveling is an experience everyone should get to have. On of my first trips was to visit family who lived six hours away, and I still haven’t forgotten that time. My first plane ride also is a memory that has stuck with me.

IMG_7856Traveling has taught me many lessons. I have learned how important it is to save up for trips, and how to budget while on my trips. I have met new people, seen new places, and have amazing memories from the places I have visited. I have been to so many places in the United States, and each trip has always been different. Every trip has a unique story with it.

Growing up traveling, I have learned my way around Texas and how to go to where I want to go. I love traveling out of state on road trips, especially west. California is fun to visit. I always make sure to visit the beaches.

I have traveled to many monumental places. I went to Washington, D.C, and the history there is so interesting. There are so many places to go and things to see. The White House, the Arlington National Cemetery and even George Washington’s house are among my favorites. On every trip I go on, I always make sure to get a souvenir and take tons of pictures.

Travel is also a great way to just get away and relax. Resorts are great for having a peaceful getaway. I favor resorts because I had such great experience, and I like how everything you want is there. Great food, pools, and fun activities are available to do with your family. Last summer, I went to Italy, and it was so awesome. I wrote down a list and saved up money. I gave myself enough time to plan everything and get everything paid for.

I really encourage students to travel. It’s so much fun going to places you’ve never been 586F9986-F1EB-490A-AC3C-6B8029E28B52-2before. Visiting the Colosseum in Rome was so crazy. I couldn’t believe I was actually there. Being in places you see on TV or in movies is so breath-taking to me.

I like accomplishing my traveling goals, and I hope you start a travel bucket list for yourself. Learning history and visiting Europe was a great experience, and I highly recommend students travel to wherever you desire.

Making memories and going to new places will even teach you things about yourself. You will learn how you are in new places, and whether you are good with directions or how well you do budgeting with your money.

Green New Deal aiming to reduce carbon emissions entirely

A bill to reduce America’s impact on global climate change is being developed by Democrats, much to the dismay of the many Republicans who claim it isn’t feasible or even that it’s radical.

The Green New Deal (GND) echoes a portion of Obama’s stimulus package from roughly 10 years ago, which primarily focused on improving the economy and avoiding a depression. Tens of billions of dollars, however, created jobs and infrastructure to produce clean energy. While many Republicans don’t afford much attention to climate change, some Democrats have talked about the Green New Deal in a radical way, suggesting changes that are beyond reasonable considering our country’s dependency on fossil fuel.

AOC photoAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, upcoming Democrat and state representative of New York, has repeatedly said on the record that the goal of the Green New Deal policy is to reach 100 percent emissions-free energy production, a noble goal with a caveat. Reaching zero carbon emissions just isn’t achievable overnight. Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) pushes it as a goal, making Republicans nervous that a green energy initiative will prove a costly, radical undertaking in which Democrats bite off more than they can chew.

Details about what the new policies will look like, and if they will affect other energy resources, are slim. But to much Republican delight, AOC is not on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s committee to create the GND.

Despite Democrats praising the green initiative, AOC has been given most of the credit, since she has acted as the catalyst for it and fanned its flames through interviews and social media. AOC has released a preamble to the GND, boasting goals of creating jobs, focusing on renewable energy and charging companies for carbon emissions. Her intense support has led to her having to shelter the majority of the criticism for the concept, though. Her Socialist affiliation also has left a sour taste in the mouths of many Republicans.

Stimulus packages have proven necessary to protect the economy from excessive decline in the past, but the huge sums of money put into a select industry does constitute a redistribution of wealth. The GND is already being defamed as a socialist policy before it has taken any shape that will actually pass a vote. While a stimulus package could once again prove necessary in the future, most stimulus packages aren’t so heavily focused on a single industry, but are more diversified. The opposition of the GND has been quick to cite the half a million dollars Obama’s stimulus funneled into a failed solar energy company, Solyndra.

President Donald Trump has already mocked AOC publically, referring to her indirectlyGND speech as a “bartender,” and vowed to oppose the GND in 2020. The plan may prove to be unreasonable, but writing it off so early also is troubling, considering the evidence stacked in favor of climate change. The GND poses the risk of making the nation’s energy production far less efficient than countries with less moral hang-ups and wasting taxpayer money on dying solutions such as Solyndra. But the concept of green energy shouldn’t be written off.

As a military, economic and political superpower, the United States can influence the world and should pursue green energy while encouraging others to do so. Environmental specialists have already predicted that climate change will become somewhat irreversible in less than two decades. This, paired with other countries contributing mass amounts of carbon emissions to the problem, means a complete, instant switch to green energy might not be enough to prevent this.

The world is already behind the curve on the problem, and politicians will fight about solutions for years to come. But the reality is that it is too late to avoid serious repercussions, and green policies can’t reasonably be enacted all at once, but gradually.

Rushed marriages lead to higher divorce rate


There are many important decisions one will make in life, and picking the right mate ranks at the top.

It seems that today so many kids are encouraged to start liking the opposite sex so young. You can hear any parents ask, “Is he your boyfriend? Or do you like him/her?” I was blessed that my parents encouraged me to not rush that. Enjoy just being a kid, they said.

When I was raising my sons, I taught them the same words of wisdom.

couples arguing DebbieIt breaks my heart when I see men and women around 30 years of age breaking up families with divorce. Getting a divorce not long after getting married is so hard on the children.

So, what can be done to avoid that heartbreak? There are several things that can be done to decrease the divorce rate.

Don’t start dating so young. This starts the hormones racing worse than normal. You have plenty of time in your adult life to date. Use your childhood to take in this amazing journey called life. Don’t look for a happy life in another person. Work at being wholly happy on your own.

When you start dating, date long enough to see them in tough situations.  When you rush into marriage or a committed relationship, you don’t get to see them at their worst, and that will bug you later.

Life will be so much better when you are not sucking the life out of the other person. If you date the wrong one, there are some red flags to watch out for.

One big red flag is if you fight all the time. You will make yourself sick. If you have kids, 5b9e33ac250000360036c1fbthey will not be healthy either. An ugly divorce will most likely be in your future.

Another red flag is the feeling of being “ignored.”  He/she doesn’t like to be friendly or cordial. This will set the marriage up for infidelity.

If he/she gives attention to the opposite sex in a “too friendly way,” it will cause jealousy and lots of fights.

Sometimes people are too needy. They need reinforcement of the relationship all the time. This will get “old” fast.

Marriage is about a partnership. If one side is always first, there will be resentment.

When you are in public, does he/she hold your hand, or does he keep his distance? This is a big red flag, because he/she could be ashamed to be seen in public with you.

Another big red flag is when you are in public, do their eyes wonder to the opposite sex, or is their attention on you?

Ask yourself these questions: Is he nice? Is he kind? Is she thoughtful? Is she patient? Does he think of himself first all the time? Listen and trust your heart.

Another question that you need to ask yourself often, and be open to the truth, is “Does his actions match his words?”

Don’t pursue the male. He was created to do the pursuing. If he doesn’t pursue you, he is not “into” you. I promise you do not want to be with someone who doesn’t want you. If he lets you do all the work to stay in touch, he is letting you know how little he thinks of you, or how lazy he will be.  It is a lonely life if you get him.

When he catches you, it will be so much better.

Trout underpaid as result of faulty statistic

The ink has yet to dry on Mike Trout’s  $430 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels, and yet people are already saying he is underpaid.

downloadIt was surprising to see the Angels spend big money on Trout, especially after their last two big signings were flops. Albert Pujols never lived up to the numbers he was projected to have. Josh Hamilton was just unable to stay sober to let his talents match his contract. Most recently Shohei Ohtani had surgery on his arm midway through his rookie year.

The Angels have had bad luck with free agency and have not made the playoffs since 2014. They have not won a playoff series since 2009.

Trout, 27, is considered the best player in baseball, hands-down. His resume includes two American League MVPs, seven All-Star appearances and six Silver Slugger awards.

Baseball, like most major sports, has fallen victim to the analytics and what they show. That’s how players are valued now. The latest trend in analytics for Major League Baseball is wins above replacement (WAR). Trout’s WAR percentage is 64.9 , which puts him in some very infamous company that includes Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Rogers Hornsby and Jimmie Foxx. Babe Ruth is 13th on the list, with a WAR percentage of 45.4, according to FanGraphs, a website for statistics for Major League Baseball and Minor League baseball, with statistical analysis, graphs, and projections.

 Those are some of the all-time great players in Major League Baseball history. The gamehas changed and evolved, so let’s compare Trout to some modern players. In his first season in 2013, Trout played more than 150 games. His war was 54.1. In second was Josh Donaldson with 35.7. Trout averages 9.0 WAR a season, meaning he alone is worth nine victories a season.  Two other players have only done this once, Bryce Harper in 2015 and Mookie Betts in 2018. They both were MVP seasons.


WAR is valued at $9 million a game, on average. But that number goes up with division games and playoffs, making WAR value more than $35 million for a division playoff game. These numbers are not universal, because not all teams are valued the same.

So if Trout moved to another team in a big market, his value could easily double or triple. The truth of the matter is that his value cannot be truly measured. Until the Angels make a deep playoff run with this once- in-a-generation talent, that won’t be known.

The money spent on Trout does not leave a lot of room for the franchise to add more big-name players around him. Time will tell if it is worth it to pay all that money for one player, or if teams are better off building from their farm system. 

WAR is not a perfect statistic and can be manipulated by changing the criteria. But it’s clear to say that Trout may be underpaid when he’s $70 million shy of being paid half a billion dollars to play a game.

Mapping capabilities of Roomba raises concern

Roombas are mapping people’s homes while cleaning the floor.

Clean-MapRoombas, the small robotic vacuum cleaners, were made to help people reduce the amount of housework. However, iRobot, the company that makes Roomba, made their two latest models, 960 and 980, able to map out the floor plan of the home. Most people thought this was so the robot could function around the rooms better, so it would bump into fewer objects and accomplish a better vacuuming job.

However, Colin Angel, who is the CEO of iRobot, said that the company has access to all of the maps and plans on selling the maps to other companies, such as Google and Amazon. iRobot later came out saying that their CEO misspoke, and that the company has no intention of “selling” the mapping data. They also said that they are wanting to provide the data, with the consent of customers, to other companies to help improve smart homes and devices.

What may be true is that they are not going to “sell” the data. But how are they going to get the consent of customers? Will it be in the long agreement that everyone has to approve before using? If so, hardly any body reads that, including me, and then the company has “your permission” to give out the mapping data of your house.

iRobot has not said specifically how they are going to ask permission. To me, that seems a little sketchy. Also, why does iRobot need to map out your house, store it in their data base, and “give” it to other companies to help smart technology? To me, that does not make a lot of sense. I do not understand how a map of someone’s home could possibly help companies improve smart technology.

Another issue I have with this is how do we know who the company is giving the information to? Will the company give the data to the government? iRobot saying they are wanting the information to help smart technology could just be a ploy for helping the government spy on us.

Will this mapping data just end up as more ads for us? Everyone already knows that roombaspycookies remember what you search and then puts ads on Facebook and other social media sites that go hand in hand with what was searched. Will furniture companies be able to gain the mapping data, and then contact customers in order to try to upgrade furniture?

Other questions that are valid are what happens if iRobot’s data base gets hacked? Then that hacker has maps of many houses. Will that hacker then use it to rob a house?

On a positive note, could this data help people if their house burns down? Would finance companies give them more money if they could get the mapping layout for that house? What if that house is sold? Will iRobot delete the map of that house if the new owners don’t want to consent?

Because Roomba maps out each room, does the company know what room your children sleep in by the room where it bumps into the most toys?

What iRobot is doing could be a catastrophe and could hurt individuals.  Not to mention that the house map storing feature has “sketchy” written all over it, especially since it sounds like the Roomba models 960 and 980 have already been mapping customer’s houses without notice or the permission of customers.

Is iRobot making a robot that is helping with house chores, or is it a robot to spy on us? Personally, I believe it’s more of a spying tool, a way for the company to make more money for themselves, and they are just telling us that it will help with the smart home technology.

Social media dependency detrimental to other aspects of life

Social networking addiction is a phrase that is used to refer to someone spending too much time using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other forms of social media.

The overuse of social media is getting worse in society, to the point where it interferes with other aspects of daily life.

There’s no official medical understanding of social networking addiction as a disease or disorder. Still, the cluster of behaviors that is associated with the excessive use of social media has become the subject of research.

1_akwFBZEOPQ-j2_bAEqcWnwIt is fair to say that many people spend far too much time on social media and may, at the very least, describe themselves as being “obsessed,” if not addicted.

Addiction usually refers to compulsive behavior that often leads to negative effects. With most addictions, people feel compelled to do certain activities so often that it becomes a harmful habit, which then interferes with other important activities such as work or school.

The use of social networking sites has become the cornerstone of modern communication and connection, as it allows users to create a sense of belonging.

In recent years, the mental health community has become increasingly interested in the impact that modern technology has on our lives – both positive and negative.

On the positive side, social media outlets such as Skype, Instagram, and Facebook allow for staying in contact with family and friends on the other side of the planet.

Unfortunately, people spend hours every day updating their status, uploading pictures, commenting on walls, playing Facebook games, reading updates from others, and searching for new friends to add.

From a mental health perspective, I see concerns that have been raised about the negative impact of the excessive use of social networking sites on the health and wellbeing of users, especially of young people who are enthusiastic users of this technology.

I have read about a few studies that were conducted in 2011 that found that, for a small social-media-marketing1minority of individuals, there was a significant detrimental effect on many aspects of their life, including their real-life relationships and academic achievement among those still in education. It had been argued by researchers that such signs are indicative of addiction.

During the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in studies that assess how excessive social media use can impact health negatively. Social media use for a minority of individuals is associated with a number of psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, loneliness, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addiction.

Because social media is most frequently accessed via smartphones, their usage is intimately intertwined. Their mobile nature contributes to excessive checking habits, which often derives from what is commonly labelled as one’s “fear of missing out.”

The good news is that very few people are genuinely addicted to social media. However, social media use is habitual for many, and it can start to spill over into other areas of their lives, becoming problematic and dangerous.

Other behaviors may be annoying rather than dangerous, but may be indicative of problematic social media use, such as checking social media while eating out with friends or constantly checking your smartphone while watching a movie in a theater.

Some people may consider excessive use of social networks to be a phenomenon that first began in the 1990s when internet use was starting to spread. Even then, people theorized that heavy use of the Internet might impair someone’s performance at work, in school, and in family relationships.

Nearly 20 years later, there is still no agreement that excessive use of the Internet or social networking services is pathological or should be considered a medical disorder.

Lack if regulation concerning for parents, YouTubers

The lack of regulation by Youtube to protect children who use the video platform is causing concern for parents and Youtubers.

The controversy concerning child exploration on Youtube became a trending topic in less than 24 hours on other social media such as Twitter.

maxresdefaultEven though this situation has been exposed before on the Internet, the hashtag #YoutubeWakeUP received even more attention after February 17 of this year when YouTuber Matt Watson updated the video, “Youtube is facilitating the sexual exploitation of children, and it’s being monetized.”

Watson’s video talks about how the Youtube search algorithm can easily uncover pedophilia rings on the video service, and there is evidence that those videos are being monetized for brands such as McDonald’s, Lysol, Disney, and Reese’s, among others.

The video shows how a Youtube user can, in less than five clicks, or less than 10 minutes, move from a normal, innocent video to very inappropriate content. The algorithm at Youtube will keep providing more videos with this kind of content since that was the last topic searched.

Quickly after a search for “bikini haul,” you can find videos from older women to young girls. Searching brings to the viewer very similar content and eventually becomes a “wormhole,” which happens when you get stuck in one kind of content on Youtube. The content starts to involve children in inappropriate situations, or just a normal video that is sexualized by those individuals. In many of those videos, young girls are wearing a bikini or small clothes.

The comments usually can be found by predators exchanging phone numbers, social media contacts and links to actual child pornography. They also comment with suggestive sexual emojis, and encourage those young girls to make more content such as demonstrating gymnastic or yoga poses, trying clothes on, showing “morning routines” or licking popsicles.

In those videos can be found one of the characteristics of these predators in the 1_tZEP9UYK_N3Ff5Vc5-bSiwcomments, which are the timestamps. The timestamps are a comment of a specific time in the video. In this situation, those timestamps mark a position or actions that the are found to be provocative or the minor exposed a little bit too much by accident.

Also alarming is the fact that many of those videos are not on the original channel, as it is believed that predators record and re-upload after Youtube has taken the right measures to avoid exposing children to those situations.

Youtube is still allowing people to see the videos but removing the ability to write comments. This does not make much sense, since this content is attracting the wrong attention they are allowing people to see. More importantly, why is Youtube allowing people under age to open channels and produce content if one of the rules of enrollment is a person must be older than 13?

It shows that Youtube is aware that the unusual behavior exists. In response to the situation, Youtube changed the policy on video related to kids or focused on children.

Also, around 400 channels were banned from the platform, and the comments were disabled on a huge number of videos. Disabling the comments is basically one of Youtube’s ways to ‘protect’ children from inappropriate comments.

Youtube has updated their policy and started to apply a policy of three strikes before a channel or account is deleted from the platform.

Universities suffer from waning meritocracy

Ambitious students are forced to cope with the reality that the prestigious colleges and universities they aspire to attend don’t handle admissions fairly in light of the largest prosecuted college admissions scandal in United States history.

college scandal ROSEANNE CHAO-01The FBI investigation has resulted in dozens of people being charged, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. In the actresses’ efforts to buy their children’s way into university, they were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Also among the accused are business executives and a fashion designer, all people who can afford to bribe administrators, counselors and coaches through the guise of donation. Rich parents can give their children the opportunity to achieve the most prestigious degrees, while the top universities can build things such as new libraries without digging into their coffers. The investigation revealed that this influx of unearned admissions has been going on since 2011, and perhaps longer.

With anecdotal accounts of shifty admissions practices springing up through the years, and the fact that most attendees of Ivy League universities hail from rich families, the scandal is more disheartening than shocking. Usually, Ivy League universities admit less than 10 percent of applicants, meaning good students full of potential who have worked hard their entire lives to maintain a high grade-point average can be edged out by students who bring millions of dollars in donations with them. Currently, no universities have been charged, but coaches have allegedly given students fabricated histories in athletics to make them more appealing as applicants.

Many students still believe in the American dream, the idea that hard work and perseverance can lead to prosperity. But opportunity is not fairly distributed. Students who are not affluent can’t afford to wait for years hoping they make the cut one lucky semester, regardless if they barely lost their spot to an underperforming library builder. While colleges are commonly understood to be places of academia, brilliant applicants who aren’t edged out by corruption may still be rejected in favor of athletes.

Surveys have shown that most Americans believe in meritocracy, the idea that opportunity and success should be afforded based on a person’s merit. Most people 1200px-Seal_of_the_Federal_Bureau_of_Investigationbelieve in the logic that people are entitled to what they fairly earn and shouldn’t have their opportunities usurped by a less competent person. If universities put an end to underhanded admission practices, they still wouldn’t be able to have a system based purely on meritocracy because of the prevalence of affirmative action.

Affirmative action started in 1961 as an executive order to prohibit institutionalized discrimination. But it quickly turned into a tool for universities to maintain admissions quotas for gender and race. Universities have strived to meet these quotas, whether or not each race or gender offers enough candidates who meet its academic standards. Schools such as Harvard have been sued over admitting students for diversity, not only accepting the best applicants of that race, but a mix of elite and lesser students.

Not accepting only the best ensures the university is not forcing all applicants of the same race to compete with each other, but can lead to genius students being turned away. Harvard claims it does not enforce quotas, but a lawsuit against them threatens to remove race from the application process so students may be judged solely on merit.

Diversity and donations that improve the quality of life on campus are great things, but both have been attained through dubious means by universities for decades. Students should strive to seize their potential and never forget that merit does still carry weight in admissions. But with the astronomical number of applicants Ivy League universities receive each year and the shifty admissions practices that have been brought to light, students should be prepared for rejection and always have a backup plan. Keeping an open mind about which university to attend and improving grades are a student’s best hope of getting a quality education.

Veterans Affairs leading to more efficient care, less pill pushing

The healthcare services offered to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the most disorganized, understaffed and heavily criticized agencies of the government.

On average, 22 veterans a day commit suicide, according to Task and Purpose, a veteran-run online newsletter. What’s not said about this is that the majority of the people who take their own lives are older than 50. It’s not necessarily those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

feopioids01The VA is not adapting with the times. They are focused on those returning home and forgetting about those who served previously. They are not seeking their needs. So when veterans feel abandoned, they tend to feel that no one cares about them, resulting in them taking their own life.

President Donald Trump recently signed into effect a suicide prevention Task force on March 5, 2018. This is the first time the VA is seeking to do something other than push pills. The VA has seemed to be about a quick fix and not a long-term, permanent solution.

One submariner living in Minnesota spent the better part of a decade high on pain pills rather than being given physical therapy and pain management. His quality of life drastically declined because he was unable to attend school.  He would forget what to do during the day because of his pain medication that he needed to take to be able to function.

Through the years, his body built up a tolerance to the point that a 30-day supply of pain pills was only lasting him 15 days. It got as bad as only lasting 10 days.  The VA did not refill his prescriptions because of fear of addiction, but addiction had already set in.

It was not until the VA started allowing veterans to see outside doctors that this veteran was able to seek physical therapy for his injury pain management, as well receive counseling and many other medical services needed for him to live a normal life.

This is not a stand-alone story. There are many other stories like this out there, and I don’t believe this is the way veterans should be treated for the sacrifice they put forth. They need better healthcare when they return home, whether they served four years or 30 years. They need better healthcare options, and they need more treatment than just pills.

Aside from the VA just being pill pushers, they left $6.2 million set aside for suicide prevention. That’s money that could’ve been used to hire more counselors or staff and improve the VA clinics. There are many things I could do with that money, but they just let it sit there.

All hope is not lost, though. The new VA director seems to be going in a new direction, allowing people to see doctors outside of the VA clinic in a timely manner instead of having to wait months for appointments. He has increased awareness of the suicide prevention hotline, and has made counseling more available for more service members.

No government entity will ever be perfect, but it’s nice to see one trying to get better.

Backtalk: Classic jams, modern tunes clash

Vintage music has more profound, nostalgic lyrics


There has always been a debate between generations about what’s better – new music or the classic oldies.

There are a lot of aspects that spark the debate, but one thing I can say for certain is that music has always entertained, educated, or informed listeners for years.

But during the course of time, music has evolved a lot. Music, along with everything else, changes with society. So the music we hear on the radio today is really a reflection of our cultural evolution, and it shows what our society is actually like.

I would bet anything that people in the 1960’s thought the Beatles were bad and swing was good, or that people in the 1920’s didn’t enjoy Jazz as much as “older” music. Even people during Mozart’s time probably thought that “modern” music would be awful and Bach was more desirable.

This got me thinking about what type of music I preferred (my favorite old-school band, rapper, and singer vs. my favorite new-school band, rapper, and singer, etc…). When it came down to it, it was a hard choice, but I would say that I prefer to listen to old-school music because I feel that it has more meaning behind it and carries more emotion.

When turning on a popular radio station today, there will more than likely only be mainstream music playing. In a way, I can understand how it is likeable. From the good beats and catchy lyrics, it’s the type of music that today’s generation has grown up with.

But one of the biggest reasons many people may like the music that’s heard on the radio is because we are forced to like it. Think about it this way: everyone has listened to a song that seemed ridiculous and didn’t like it at the time. But as it is played more and more on the radio, the song doesn’t seem so bad after awhile.

This is a basic psychology technique. But the issue with this is that people may lose interest faster. With the oldies, I find that they never get boring. When the oldies come on the radio, most people are able to sing along to them, and some may even reminisce about the good times from when the song was so popular.

Researchers have been able to show that old music sells better than newer music. Through numerous experiments, they have been able to prove that listeners are more likely to have positive feelings from a piece of music that they have heard before. Familiar music can also be a trigger for remembering stored memories and can induce good moods.

Another reason why I prefer oldies music is because it was recorded with actual instruments. During the early days of recording, musicians had to know how to play the instruments well before recording. With certain modern music, that’s no longer the case.

Freddie Mercury, the lead vocalist for the rock band Queen, was ahead of his time when he said, “There will be a time when technology becomes so advanced that we’ll rely in them to make music rather than raw talent. Music will lose its soul.”

Many styles of modern music rely heavily on computer programs. By using these programs, artists can choose the sounds they want without having actual instruments at their disposal, or even knowing how to play them.

Older songs relied on melody, so musicians took more time to create their music. Some artists took years to come up with some of their songs, and it is because they composed their music while imagining how they wanted it to sound. These days, musicians are able to create a song in as little as a few hours by using computer systems and other forms of technology.

I will say that not all music today is bad. There are a lot of artists, even some mainstream, that still have the depth and talent in their music as older artists do. It disappoints me, though, when I see more underground artists with more raw talent getting less attention than a more popular artist that constantly uses a synthesizer or has someone else write their songs for them.

During the 20th century, artists had to be amazing to win over their fans. And if they didn’t, they were forgotten. So the music industry was more selective when it came to who they were putting in the spotlight.

But it’s hard to say that about artists today. They are not as unique and only make music that will make them more popular. But there is nothing objective about music quality. We judge music quality by our own personal contexts. We invest in it with the meaning of our own life and present emotional needs.

Modern music is always evolving


I prefer new modern music.

I believe new music is better than old classical music because the music that is created today is learned technique. Therefore, people who created today’s music learned from old music.

These learned skills that have been taught show how music has evolved. Of course, talent is a necessity in this industry. Music is very powerful, and many people rely on music.

People all around the world use music for many different reasons. Music was the power to bring people together. People use music when they workout, study, and for meditation purposes.

Music is a very beneficial tool for teaching as well. Teachers use songs for learning and entertaining. That way children are learning while having fun singing tunes. Expecting mothers play certain music for their baby in the womb to accelerate development.

There are a lot of new music types that help people focus and calm down.Music is a type of medicine for people. The many people who choose to listen to modern music may just prefer modern music because they dislike the characteristics of old classical music.

There are various reasons why people choose modern music over old music. First of all, new music has a different sound. Technology has changed significantly during the past 20 years. Sound production has evolved. Musicians have had to evolve with the time. Artist are creating new sounds and collaborations with different people. Many artists now have freedom to produce the type of music they want people to hear, instead of being forced to produce something their label wants to be produced.

When I listen to musicians talk about how they pour their heart and soul into their music for their fans to hear, that is why I listen to now music. To me, modern music is a way that the artist is able to express a part of themselves to their fans. The fans who support and love modern music appreciate that.

Today’s technology allows musicians to update fans with notifications on social media about music information such as album release dates and performance announcements. This allows modern music information to be shared and more accessible.

Modern music is better to listen to because there are so many amazing emerging new artists in many types of music. There are also a lot more ways to buy music from new artists, such as on iTunes or buying subscriptions for music apps. These opportunities are offered to modern musicians that increase the amount of ways fans can access their music.

I like listening to a lot of different types of modern music. I like listening to new creations that artists come up with and challenging myself to learn the words to new songs. One of my favorite apps for music is Pandora. My top three favorite channels I listen to are Today’s Hits, Today’s Country, and This Year in Country Radio. When I relax or want to calm down, I like to listen to instrumental calming music.

The newest challenge that I am currently overcoming is leaning all the songs on Ariana Grande’s newly-released album titled “Thank You, Next.”

New music can create topics to talk about, because there is always new music dropping and people listening.

Sanders announces run in primaries on platform of unrealistic free services

Bernie Sanders recently announced his intention to run for the Democratic Party nomination, giving Americans another chance to see a Democratic-Socialist president.

Late February marked his decision to run, and almost immediately after ActBlue launched a campaign donation website to support the prospective nominee. Expensive healthcare with Affordable Care Act rates rising yearly, paired with astronomical student loans, have drawn a large number of young voters to Sanders. His Socialist policies promise to use government funds to grant free healthcare and higher education to all American citizens.

2000px-Bernie_Sanders_2016_logo.svgBefore the 2016 presidential election, Sanders ran in the Democratic primaries and was not far off from Hillary Clinton’s level of support by the time he dropped out of the race. His supporters were mostly Caucasian men under the age of 40, a group more likely to embrace socialism than most other Americans. He ran a grassroots campaign of donations, protesting the campaign funding system and setting a precedent he will need to follow as he runs again to avoid criticism. Once it became clear Sanders would not win, he encouraged his supporters to vote for Clinton.

The appeal of free services that improve quality of life is plain to see, but the word “free” isn’t exactly accurate. Money for these services must come from somewhere, and the richest of Americans certainly aren’t keen on paying for it. Sanders’ tax plans focus on taking money from rich taxpayers to fund his free education and healthcare, though these plans don’t account for adaptation.

Foreign bank accounts, oversized tax breaks and hiding assets already keep the bourgeoisie’s pocketbooks plump to some extent, but this phenomenon could easily grow as Sanders’ legislation begs for more money. Conceptually, his policies are admirable. Unfortunately, the future of a country isn’t worth gambling on putting pipe dreams into practice.

The senator from Vermont has clung to his ideals fervently for decades, but his crushed hopes for the socialist actions of other nations seems to point to a different narrative than simple political passion- willful ignorance. He praised Cuba for their Socialist accomplishments, ignoring the problems and dissent that the Castro regime incurred without considering that socialism gives the government more power in a world where that power can be abused. He claimed once that the American dream was easier to achieve in Socialist South American countries such as Venezuela, which has since suffered corruption and human rights abuses.

Sanders has also praised countries such Denmark and Sweden for their policies, resulting in a public statement from Denmark’s prime minister claiming that the country is not Socialist, and doesn’t appreciate Sanders’ praise. The country’s government has been trying to wean its citizens off of government services, pushing them farther from socialism.  Throughout his political career, Sanders has watched socialism rob people of rights and quality of life, but has stood up for socialism nonetheless.

If  Sanders were to somehow possess the magic formula to transform our country into a socialist state without suffering the problems every socialist country has faced, he would still have the problem of representing a party he doesn’t entirely agree with. Sanders is technically an independent, and that does not sit well with all Democrats, nor do his Socialist views. While he may accrue massive support and funding like he did during his last run for the Democratic nomination, he could very well drop out and encourage his supporters to vote for party leadership’s preferred candidate. Sanders dropped out of the last nomination process and seemed to only funnel some extra votes toward Hillary Clinton, a wasted effort.

Unless Americans fall in love with socialism and demand Sanders far more than they did in the last election, his chances are slim. He likely would not only have to win the most public support out of the potential nominees, but have that support by a wide margin to convince the party that’s running him to allow him on the ballot for president. The most probable outcome of the 2020 election will be incumbent Donald Trump running against someone who is not a Democratic-Socialist.


Kindness, honesty often overlooked


With Valentine’s Day over, I was thinking, it would be good if we could be nice all year long.

It seems that we deal with negative people every day, either in what they say or what they do. Many times, it is directed specifically at a person or a group of people.

We need to ask ourselves, ”How would I feel if someone said this about me?”gossip

When I was a child, we used to play a game called gossip. We lined up, and the first


 person whispered something into the person’s ear beside them. They turned to the next person and whispered what they thought they heard.

I say, “what they thought they heard,” because many times they did not hear it correctly, or it wasn’t said correctly. This went on down the chain of people.

The last person would say out loud what they think they were told. There was a lot of laughter, because it rarely was close to the truth.

Many times, this is what is going on today.

My mom used to tell me that when someone says something about another person, go to the person and ask them if it is true. Do not believe it just because it was said.

As a mom, I raised my sons the same way. If they came home and someone had said something that was not known to be true, I would say, “Go to the person.” If it ended up being a lie, I personally went back to the person to confront them about that lie.

Even in our childhood movies, we learn this message from Bambi’s mom: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” If only everyone could practice that.

istockphoto-693210524-612x612What kind of world would we create if we all practiced this?

As I think of a way to close this thought, I have to ask myself, how do I live up to this opinion? As I look back on my life, I know there were times when I did not live up to it, and for this I am ashamed. I pray that I was able to say, “I am sorry” to the one or ones I hurt.

How would this would be if when we meet people, we would say, “I know something good about you,” and we treated people just that way?

What kind of world would be created if we shook hands and you could tell by the hand shake that there was a truthful assurance of friendship?

Wouldn’t life be much happier if the good in all of us is what people could think about and talk about?

These things may seem impossible at first, but it is up to us to make it happen. No one can do it alone. We have to decide if we are willing to try. You would be doing the world a favor by practicing, “I know something good about you, and you know something good about me.”