A Collection of Three Poems

Chris Kresser

Atone
The game show has begun
Stop talking when you hear the bell ring
You may respond if you’ve been called
Now let them all sing

We are here to find a leader
The one who will gladly take up the cup
Not for greed, power, or lust
But for god, guns, and country

Argot spoken from golden tongues
Ensemble suits and pockets weighted
The accusatory finger pointed at the congregation
But you will find no members of the cloth here

You say you know us
You say you know where we have been
“I am you”
But I cannot see what you claim

I see hefty shoulders and chins held to the sky
I see men with opulent houses
I see women with eyes burning and wide
Absent is the eagle’s seal

Bearing no branch of olives
No strife, nor character to claim
“The fault lies in you”
Says the appointed few

But to the land you love to castigate
Your contributions show only deposits
While the starved feeble parish
On the roads you paved with promises

Where will you go, when your kin ask you to atone?

Wise Words from the 26th
Red pen marks that circle around text
Covered across the white pressed surface
Looking on with doubt
I must remind myself “It is not the critic who counts”

To mark a page is painless
To shout at the stage is seamless
To call every play is effortless
To mock the one who tries is cowardice

Without sounding preachy
During my life I have come to know
When you’re the one in the arena
It is not they who make the mark

The only one that can critique
And second guess your every step
The only one that can truly fulfill you
Is the one who continues on

Till the very last breath

The Algorithm
Attached at the hip. Spines of rigid cogs and screws
An extension of my fingers. Printed black text
Updated constantly with the news.

ANDERSON COOPER SECRETLY A MORMON
ROBERT DE NIRO DEAD IN THREE DAYS
BOMB WENT OFF IN SYRIA TODAY

The cacophonies rip at my back bones
But hey, at least now I fit the mold
Information bought not sold

I feel the dashes and dots in my brains
I can hear it coursing through my veins
All of it noise and echo chambers

Did you know this? Did you know that?
This is cool! This is bad! Error ERROR!
System hack. Upload. Reboot. Crash.

Traveling Backwards

Miriam Nei

With so many medical technological advances being made in today’s society, we seem to be regressing when it comes to rhetoric surrounding women’s healthcare. While Congress focuses on the controversial topic of abortion, albeit an important topic, they are neglecting with other issues relating to reproductive health such as sexual and reproductive education, maternity care, mental health care and access to affordable contraceptives. Our society is progressing in so many different fields and we need to start taking bigger steps to ensure progress does not slow and the protection of women’s right to health care, no matter what type is upheld.

Before the Obama administration passed the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), health insurance companies applied what is referred to as “gender rating”. Gender ratings determined how much a person would be charged in monthly premiums, based off their gender, (Healthline) and is comparable to car insurers charging higher premiums for young teenage drivers. According to healthcare.com, before the ACA was passed, women were paying up to 50-81% more in monthly premiums than men (Healthline). Insurance companies justified this inherently discriminatory action on the basis that women live longer and give birth therefor requiring more medical care, and thus requiring more costs, than men. However, thanks to the ACA, it is now illegal for health insurers to use gender rating along with requiring basic birth control and women’s wellness exams to be covered in full under every plan (Healthline). The Trump administration has upheld its intent to repeal the ACA showing no concrete alternative to replace it. Women’s reproductive and basic healthcare is in jeopardy because of this push.
With the election of Trump came the rising wave of women flooding doctor’s offices to get intrauterine devices or (IUD’s) before their care is irreversibly compromised. Women have had strong reactions, and with good reason, even with the successes of the ACA in regards to reproductive healthcare, there are still dire issues. According to World Health Organization (WHO), about ⅓ of the health issues in women ages 14-44 are caused by sexual and reproductive problems with 222 million women not getting the contraceptive services they need. Deaths were around 300,000 from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, most of which could have been avoided with access to proper family planning and basic services (WHO). It’s time our government and medical professionals make women’s health a priority.

Abortion already being a touchy and highly controversial subject, a turning point occurred on February 8th in Oklahoma, with two House Bills (HB) being presented that would potentially compromise women’s already imperiled healthcare options. The first bill, HB 1549, would keep women from having access to an abortion due to the fetus having a genetic abnormality, no matter how early a woman sought termination. This bill was struck down after it concluded that it was not the imperative of the government to question why a woman elected to have an abortion as long as it was before the time of fetal viability (The Intercept). This means that as long as the fetus was aborted before the state’s cutoff date (usually around 22 weeks) the government can have no say as to why a woman is electing termination.
The second bill, however, was even more alarming. Presented by representative Justin Humphrey, HB 1441 would require any woman looking to undergo an abortion to acquire written consent from her sexual partner before an abortion could be performed. (Jordan Smith) This bill would also potentially allow the procedure to be forestalled if the father of the fetus wished to contest paternity. HB 1441 has the potential to put women in extremely dangerous situations, both physically and mentally, especially for the victims of domestic abuse. With the presentation of this bill, women were essentially being told that they have no right to make a highly personal and difficult decision about their own body without the permission of a man, something that is downright archaic. Luckily, this bill failed to pass, much like a similar provision that was turned down in 1992 (Smith). The presentation of this bill alone, however, I believe is an affront to women across this nation.

According to The Intercept, Humphrey justifies HB 1441 by stating he believes men are “excluded from these kinds of decisions” despite the male-dominated Congress. Women have a right to make choices about their own bodies, but without their needs being represented there would have been violations for their right to healthcare.
Humphrey states he understands that women feel their body is their own, but in a recent statement, women are actually what he refers to as a “host”, stating women should not decide to go back on being a good “host” once she’s pregnant (The Washington Post).

Where we stand today, not only is the rhetoric surrounding women’s health care is at best subpar. We as a society need to focus more on general and preventative health care. Also, we should encourage healthy decisions through sexual and reproductive education, and ensure that women have access to the proper care they need and most importantly are represented in government. It is time for a revolution within the healthcare community.

References

Theintercept. “Oklahoma Lawmakers Want Men to Approve All Abortions.” The Intercept. Jordan Smith, 13 Feb. 2017. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.

Somashekhar, Sandhya, and Amy B. Wang. “Lawmaker Who Called Pregnant Women a ‘host’ Pushes Bill Requiring Fathers to Approve Abortion.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.

Bustreo, Flavia, Dr. “Ten Top Issues for Women’s Health.” WHO. World Health Organization, 8 Mar. 2015. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.

Written by Rose Rimler | Published on June 13, 2016. “Should Women Pay More for Healthcare Services?” Healthline. Healthline Media, 13 June 2016. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.

Inconsistencies with the Pro-Life Movement

A problem with the pro-life movement and its supporters is not the moral opposition to abortions by virtue of their religion. Rather, it is the complete hypocrisy and refusal to acknowledge the facts surrounding the issue of abortion. Most of us understand the seriousness of this issue and the moral dilemma that coincides with it. No one is truly “pro-abortion.” I ask, If pro-life leaders are so vehemently opposed to abortion, why are they not doing all they possibly can to lower the abortion rate? Pro-choice supporters, on the other hand, respect the decision of a woman to choose while also attempting to combat the root problem of unwanted pregnancies through affordable contraception and improved sexual education programs.
Poor sex education combined with limited access to birth control is proven to lead to unwanted pregnancy. If a pregnancy is unplanned, it is more likely to lead to abortion. The pro-life movement only directs attention to the result of unintended pregnancies. It is reactive instead of proactive. If we focus on preventing unintended pregnancies by improving the country’s sexual education with programs that are based on facts, not religion-based abstinence, then we will have better success at achieving our goal. 37 states require the inclusion of abstinence in their sex education programs, with 26 of those states requiring that abstinence be stressed (Guttmacher Institute). States with abstinence-only sex education have higher rates of unwanted teen pregnancies than states who include methods of birth control (Health Research Funding). The fact that many schools across the country are still teaching students abstinence- only in sex education is absolutely ridiculous. Republicans and pro-life supporters need to come to terms with the fact that teens are still going to have sex, and teaching inaccurate and biased information based on religion has no place in sexual education programs.
The defunding of organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which offers pap tests, breast examinations, STI treatments, and access to birth control all in addition to abortion services, also increases the number of unwanted pregnancies. It should be easier for women to access safe and affordable birth control instead of more difficult. A study done in the state of Colorado from 2009 to 2014 shows that providing teenage girls and poor women with intrauterine devices (IUD’s) and implants has decreased teen births by 40 percent and teen abortions by 35 percent (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment). The argument that more access to affordable contraception does not decrease abortion rates is simply false. The decline is huge. If pro-life supporters really want to get what they want- fewer abortions- they need to support improved accessibility to contraception.
But they seem to be perpetually stuck in their ways, afraid of change, and attached to their limiting traditional values. The battle over abortion has been going on for so long that acknowledging effective solutions that may compromise their moral values is something they are unwilling to do. I hope they realize soon that what they are supporting- the reversal of Roe v. Wade and the defunding of Planned Parenthood- is very dangerous and limits accessibility to safe abortions while also infringing on the sovereignty of women’s bodies. I hope they can eventually come to terms with the facts, and that there are real, plausible solutions to lower the number of abortions that occur in this country.

Sources

“Sex and HIV Education.” Guttmacher Institute. N.p., 01 Feb. 2017. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

“American Teen’s Sources of Sexual Health Education.” Guttmacher Institute. N.p., 1 Feb. 2017. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.

“20 Abstinence Only Sex Education Statistics.” Health Research Funding. N.p., 09 Oct. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

“Colorado’s Teen Birth Rate Continues to Plummet.” Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. N.p., 21 Oct. 2015. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

Linker, Damon. “The Glaring Hypocrisy of the Pro-Life Movement.” The Week. N.p., 4 Aug. 2015. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.

 

Women’s March on Washington 2017

The Woman’s march on Washington was a collection of identities that intersected in one purpose; rallying for Civil Liberties. Joining together for the freedom that was promised to us as our birthright. America is our home; she is our adopted mother. During President Trump’s inauguration speech, he promised to put America first.

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But his rhetoric is indicative of a single type of America, a single story. The American that is of European decent. The one that is rich in money and intolerance. The one who has gotten what was promised to him from the moment he was born. That is not the Common American. She is one of many faiths, ethnicities, abilities, orientations, occupations, genders, and other many cultures. We are proud, intersectional, and we are strong.

The America that I know is one that is made stronger by our differences. The lines that divide us; we use to build the strongest foundations. We have grown from 200,000 in 1963 (History) to 470,000 in 2017 (NY Times). Arm in arm we march and we lend our voices to each others life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

We marched for that America.

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Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher who was viewed as more of a threat to our society than the disease of segregation, than intolerance, and especially the domestic terrorism that has been waged and still is being perpetrated against the most vulnerable of us. In my eyes this domestic terror starts with hate speech, and that violence has no place in this nation.

During the hearing of Dylann Roof, a young man who shot nine black Americans in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Chruch on the basis of their race; a victim’s family member said this “We are the family that love built, we have no room for hating” (CNN) Our strength in the face of violent hate and after losing so much, is forgiveness.

But, we must remember the pain of extrajudicial killings from police officers; the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, and countless unnamed others whose justice was denied without police accountability for their fatal actions. Remember that the change we need doesn’t come from a single person, it comes from a movement, it comes from a place of love.

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We have not come to denounce each other, we are here to grow in our understanding of each other. To show our solidarity to all others who are also living their nonviolent struggle for peace. I am here to say that Black Lives Matter, Islamophobia is Anti-American, we stand in solidarity of our water protectors in Standing Rock as well as all those people still suffering in Flint MI. Among so many others we stand in solidarity. We must answer the hate by filling the world with more love. I’m hoping by standing out here that the other side will see the validity and soundness of our arguments and appeals. They will gather around the firmness of our truth and our love.

But as Gandhi once wrote back in 1918 in the Indian times, “Prejudices cannot be removed by legislation… They yield only to patient toil and education.”

Donald Trump attended Fordham University and the University of Pennsylvania (BS). And in places of such learning, it saddens me that some lessons didn’t stick with President Trump. With his prosperity, he went to turn over the earth, instead of building bridges and he built walls around his home.

He forgets that we are not opponents on either side of an ideological war. We are not authoritarian soldiers coming to take everything that he holds dear. We have no guns, no tanks, no swords; We only have our pens, our voices, and our want for peace. Especially for those backs that this country was built on. Those who are still searching for the freedom that they came here to find, and who’s justice has been denied for far to long.

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To invoke the words of Martin Luther King Jr, just before he was shot like so many of ours today. I have been to that mountaintop, He saw America for all that she could be. He was dismissed as a radical by many but as he states in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” He is a radical of love. He lived the revolutionary moment that existed in his mind. And like him, I have seen that shining city upon that hill.

You are here because you have seen what I have. You have heard the words of our new president and you know that those words do not represent America, our shining city that exists in all of our minds. We have seen a world were people are heard and believed and protected from those who would do us violence. Looking at the past of America; we know that intolerance will fail as all things tended with hate do. Progress is achievable because when we rise with love in our hearts; we win. 

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[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M1WJ48_wac&w=854&h=480]

“There is nothing more American than peaceful protest”

— Russ Feingold

 

 

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/march-on-washington/videos/martin-luther-king-jr-leads-the-march-on-washington

Empathy is Prejudice?

You’re most likely to empathize with people who are like you and those who have been kind to you. Empathy is vulnerable to bias; you must choose who you believe; choose who is important. Paul Bloom describes this as a “Spotlight effect” in his book, Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion – we focus on certain tragedies while unable to empathize with those who are affected by them every day. We shouldn’t be trying to be empathizing while making decisions, because we’ll always play favorites and we won’t know where to put the bright-line. Ask yourself if altruism is really the best tool to solve these problems. While It’s okay to feel outrage for someone; it’s okay to feel grief for someone but, those who devote themselves to compassion are not using their empathy. Doctors do not focus not on feeling bad for others. It’s useless to live suffering vicariously through others, that will only leave you sad, drained and ashamed. Instead focus on the problems that causes that suffering, even when we use empathic ideals and galvanize people in order to get things done.

With this “We have to do something” mentality we laser-focus on certain issues we empathize with, and as a society the issues that we chose to address are not to those who actually may need our help. Our existing biases aided and reinforced mostly by an empathetic largely white mainstream media, while never trying to solve the root causes. People still do nothing; being empathetic is not only useless but a unsustainable mindset to use a framework. Often, our gut feelings are not good policy. Sometimes military intervention is necessary but there is too much suffering in the world. We cannot alleviate all of the harm done, and most of the time we do more harm than good. The reason for military action shouldn’t be based on empathy, it should be based on effectiveness.

The Super Power of the President

As Barack Obama stepped down and continued the tradition of peaceful transfer of power, another man with radically different political goals took his place. Donald J. Trump was elected November 8th 2016 and since then his administration has begun sweeping changes via the dismantling of regulatory executive agencies such as the EPA, and other executive orders, such as the ban on travel between us and seven Middle Eastern and African countries. But what does the leader of the free world really do? 

A very important power of the president is called an executive order. In the first two weeks of his presidency Donald Trump has used his single-most powerful tool liberally. Presidents have been getting stronger since the beginning of our government. Executive Orders, according to NBC, “stem from a president’s desire to bypass Congress. The legislative body is not required to approve any executive order, nor can it overturn an order. The best it can do if it doesn’t like an executive order is to pass a law to cut funding for the order’s implementation. But even then, the president can veto such a defunding law.”

The President is the Chief Executive Power; Commander in chief of the army, his decisions affect every aspect of our government. The president’s role isn’t covered in the constitution extensively, so its hard to say where the limit was intended to be. Throughout our history the presidency was shaped by the wearing down of time. 

Franklin Roosevelt expanded the power of the presidency in the New Deal by issuing over 3,000 executive orders over the course of his presidency. With the start of World War II, FDR issued the executive order to force any US citizen of Japanese descent into internment camps, which has been regarded as one of the more deplorable acts in US history. FDR was also the only president that had served for more than two terms. Another time decades later, during the 70s, Nixon reluctantly begun the Environmental protection agency and passed the Clean Air Act due to public pressure. 

According to the Constitution, Congress should be the center of lawmaking as well as deciding whether or not we go to war. However, during the cold war, the president was given unilateral authority over the CIA, which during this time was doing a lot of shady things abroad to say the least. (Klein) A president has tried to wage full out war without congress’s approval, which ended up as the 1973-war powers act which checks the President’s power to commit to conflict.

Which brings us to the fact that our separation of powers; checks and balances itself but it doesn’t operate the way people think it does. The president is the leader of party, country, and entire executive branch. But he’s not all powerful. He’s not superman. He needs cooperation from party and the nation. Guantanamo bay is a good example of party blocking, for example; Bush was blocked and Obama was blocked by both his own party and the GOP. He had to sidestep congress and execute his executive order just like so many presidents before Obama.

In 2014, Obama tried to revamp immigration processes and help undocumented migrants in his executive order but was blocked by the state of Texas along with 26 other states; In United States v. Texas, No. 15-674. Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, stated “Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: One person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law, This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”

While a President’s executive orders were ultimately meant to further the quality of life for the common American and therefore fulfill their duty, a check of powers is necessary in order for a government to work sustainability and service its people properly. A solid democratic and representative Government is not based on the whims of a single administration, or a single group of people. It is based on the strength that our diversity and our reason brings us.

 

 http://www.cnbc.com/2014/01/28/executive-orders-what-they-are-and-how-they-work.html

https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/japanese-relocation

https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/obama.html

Klein, Naomi. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Metropolitan /Henry Holt, 2007. Print.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/us/supreme-court-immigration-obama-dapa.html

Here’s to Hoping: An Analysis of Republican Alternatives to Obamacare

By Sam Langheim

As we tally the days of a Trump Presidency with a Republican controlled House and Senate the issue of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has become increasingly murky. Democrats are trying to make do with what little power they have to halt all efforts to “repeal and replace” the ACA while Republicans cannot seem to agree on a replacement. The more I hear of Republicans plans for “repeal and replace” the more confused I get. One of the most troubling questions that continued to come to mind was whether or not Republican’s have a potential replacement plan of the ACA and what does this replacement entail?

On January 12th Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, gave his thoughts on the issue of the ACA during a town hall meeting with CNN. A clip, that quickly went viral, shows Ryan responding to a question of why he would repeal the ACA without a replacement. He proposed the U.S. use state high-risk pools for the uninsured and those with preexisting conditions, citing that in his own state of Wisconsin this was a very successful system.

Come March we will see just how much power Republicans now currently hold; unfortunately it seems the ACA’s days are numbered. Coming to terms with the reality of a republican dominated congress and executive, I figure it is only fair I hear Paul Ryan out. The question I had on my mind: “Do state high-risk pools actually work for the ‘uninsurable’?”

Before trying to understand whether high-risk pools truly worked as an alternative for those with preexisting conditions lets lay down some basics about these pools first.

State high-risk pools are self-funded insurances plans organized by state governments, which serve to insure those denied by insurance plans within the private market.  According to the Journal of Insurance Regulation, these high-risk pools are funded by “assessments on health insurers that are proportional to their market shares.” Any pool financial losses that may occur are paid either by general revenue funds or taxes made with a focus on funding high-risk pools.

Enrollment in state-pools are completely subject to the demand for such programs in each state and have often yielded better results in states with smaller populations. These programs often lie square on the shoulders of the states that have them. Although there are many aspects of high-risk pools that remain constant from state to state, these plans often vary from each other slightly depending on each state’s individual needs.

Before the ACA high-risk state pools were seen in 27 states across America. These programs were seen in both “red” and “blue” states as a response to those who were “uninsurable”. A majority of enrollees are middle class and acceptance into these pools usually requires proof of rejection from other insurance companies and proof of residence in each state. It is important to keep in mind that, as stated earlier, although there are constants in how state high-risk pools work these plans come in many slightly different varieties depending on each state’s requirements.

Now the question remains, do these state high-risk pools actually work? In 2008 a study was conducted by the University of Kansas took 416 enrollees in the Kansas high-risk pool with that same central question in mind. These enrollees suffered from conditions ranging from diabetes, cancer, back pain, spinal disorders, mental illness, cardiovascular conditions, and morbid obesity. The criteria for participants in the study were, as follows: a) at least six months of member ship in the state’s high-risk pool, b) age 18-60, c) working at least 40 hours per month, and d) experiencing a potentially disabling health condition as listed in Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines. The participants of this study began receiving benefits from high-risk pools on April 1, 2006 and the results of the study were concluded on September 30, 2009.  

So what did the study find? Due to the high out-of-pocket costs for medical services 26% of the study participants faced financial hardship and debt. Many who cited having debt reported that this was due to high deductibles, high coinsurances, and services not covered by their plans. In addition, 20% reported having medical needs that had little to no coverage under these plans. Participants also reported that high out-of-pocket costs would deter them from seeking wellness and preventative services such as Pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, and a variety of blood tests. More than half of the participants reported dissatisfaction with the high-risk pool coverage, because of the heavy financial burden that came from high out-of-pocket costs, high premiums, and limited coverage.

The authors of this study, Hall and Moore, concluded that state high-risk pools “in their current role as ‘the coverage of last resort’ and without broad federal financial support or regulation, these high-risk pools are limited in their ability to provide the coverage needed by many of their enrollees to access services that might prevent their chronic illnesses from becoming disabling.”

Well, so much for hoping. As I conducted my research I tried to be as open minded and unbiased as possible. After all it’s no secret that the ACA has its issues, even Democrats can admit that. Because of my limited amount of knowledge regarding health insurance I thought I may have walked out of this endeavor surprised and willing to embrace a “repeal and replace” so long as the replacement was better. Out of the jumbled mess of proposals that Republicans have for replacement, high-risk state pools seem to be a favorite for them, but evidence indicates not only do these plans not guarantee coverage for the uninsured, they also lead to many of those who are on these plans to fall into debt and eventually default to disability programs funded by the federal government.

It is difficult for an average citizen like myself to understand why Republicans are going through so much trouble to repeal a system that has its flaws but by in large works. Whether it’s the fact that Obama’s name is engrained in the ACA or the fact that repealing it would involve huge tax cuts for the super-rich, Republicans have to understand that their plans for health care moving forward will be traced with intense scrutiny.  They are now more powerful than ever and would do well to tread lightly, if the ACA is repealed with a less effective plan or simply repealed with no replacement at all the fallout for their party would be devastating.

Citations

Hall, J. P., & Moore, J. M. (2008). Does high-risk pool coverage meet the needs of people at risk for disability? Inquiry, 45(3), 340-352. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/58789734?accountid=100

Browne, M. (1997). Health insurance for the “uninsurable”: State high risk pools. Journal of Insurance Regulation, 15, 524-539. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/59769715?accountid=100

Yglesias, Matthew. “The Hidden Reason Republicans Are so Eager to Repeal Obamacare.”Vox. N.p., 17 Jan. 2017. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

“CONSUMER GUIDE TO HIGH-RISK HEALTH INSURANCE POOLS.” National Association of Health Underwriters. N.p., n.d. Web.

The Broken Pack

Fractured into little pieces

The broken totems will rise again  

The will of the alphas, has beaten the people into the ground

No longer are we a single unit

To them we are deadweight, we have been

Buried in the dirt, and freedom seems out of reach

 

The pack mentality has been broken  

And formation of tyranny is upon us

We put into power old men

Who send their young to fight their wars

Fear mongering over our supposed enemies

Segregating our own legion  

Hope has been replaced by contentment

For where we are

No prosperous future  

Will be built

For our young which we so dearly

Fight to protect

Only rotten carcasses

Will be left from our time

  

Arise! Unite the outcasts!

This is what they want

The great dumbing down

Of empathy and compassion

Slowly turning us rabid

 

Our voices will be our weapon

With it we will expose them

And their false claims

Claim they are helping the hungry

When they feed them picked clean bones

But they feed the gluttons

Endless subsidies   

We will expose them all

 

Our relentless howls will break the foundation

Of this this discriminatory food chain

The lies from our bicameral ultimatums

To solutions of our conflicts

Splits the pack in two  

The color of flesh divides, yet we all bleed the same

We have become rotten on the inside

 

There is no armor to defend them

The deceit they have brought on us

Will bring forth a wave of wolves

That have been bred

Through selfishness  

No one is immune

To the vengeance that will come their way

 

By Chris Kresser

The Elect’s first one hundred days

This past November 8th, Donald J. Trump was elected by the Electoral College to be the new President of the United States. This newly elected POTUS has, among other things in his first 100 days, promised to Repeal Obamacare, he has promised to deport over two million people out of our country, wanting to require a Muslim registry. He has also promised to secure funds to build the wall between US and Mexico, promised to eliminate federal regulations and international trade deals, embracing dirty energy instead of investing in sustainability; doing this by bringing back coal, the keystone pipeline, scrapping the Clean Power Plan, and the Paris Agreements. Along with filling his administration with White Supremacists and other alt-right conservatives.

But contrary to what happened, I believe that Trump is not truly representative of America and is supremely unqualified to be our leader. Trump’s goals are counter to our goals and our best-interests as citizens of a democracy. And as free individuals we have a duty to take our government and community into our own hands and start the nonviolent participation in our government. In order to make our government work for us, we need to focus on an issue and tackle it. I believe that letter writing, phone calls, petitions, online publication, and real world participation in our government, such as putting pressure on our own legislators and community leaders. Trump doesn’t make up America, we do. I would eventually like to organize rallies and foster discussion on important issues such as healthcare, race, class, sexual orientation, and gender identification among countless other things.

It is good to be vocal and compassionate in order to start discussions and educate ourselves. All of us are here because we want to see real quantitative change and I hope that by volunteering our time and efforts we can see that happen. In order to be an activist we must educate ourselves and inform others, only by speaking and expressing ourselves we can make ourselves known.