Tag Archives: Natasha Sapp

No Mr. Rowe It Isn’t Just About Making Work Cool Again

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

It’s about making work functional for both employer and employee, not matter your field, your vocational talent, conventional or unconventional skill, skill set; it’s about us, society deciding what’s more important, our biased, antiquated views on work or a system where everyone who both can and desires to participates…Remembering this is the same Mike Rowe as mentioned in the Fox News piece of the show Dirty Jobs, Somebody’s Gotta Do It, better known these days for adhering to the Bill Maher, Dennis Miller school of thought mocking occupy Wall Street, spouting ‘we can’t all be the one drawing on the cave wall, ‘we need people who do something’ mocking liberal, entertainment, animation and standard art degrees. Mike Rowe who would probably wholeheartedly agree with the final judgement given to a cop suing a local Starbucks for the major burn on his leg costing him time off work, very literal and legitimate pain and suffering; without ever realizing both his purpose in suing wasn’t his too late comprehension coffee is hot, deficient intelligence robbing him of that conclusion earlier and that the whole situation could have been avoided if they switched from a 5 cents to make cup to a 10 cents to make cup, from a 2 cent lid to a 5 cent lid that, side effect fit properly, neither collapsed or boke, to quote Homer Simpson: DOH! Mike Rowe who has an odd bias toward blue collar work, a genuine desire for that kind of work he was steered away from in his youth. Yet an odd bias all the same coloring everything from his view, understanding of why students today shy away from it, to why their parents will do almost anything to steer them away from work they, themselves supported a family on. Sentiments blinding him to those up and coming persons who are proud to be a 3rd, 4th or 5th generation laborer in whatever industry, contributing factors vastly changing the landscape of employment, how manufacturing, pipe fitting, welding, engineering jobs are done, skills mandated to be successful in them. Mike Rowe who tried to explain Trump’s election by contrasting the white working class, rural voters to hedge fund managers making the papers, news for raking in millions while not completely buying his promise to bring back manufacturing jobs as he campaigned; saying to Fox News at the time looking back didn’t make sense to him, his philosophy was looking forward enter: comments on skilled trades and industries so desperate for workers trained individuals can write their own tickets. Mike Rowe who told students last year, in what was supposed to be a commencement speech, for a dubious university, not to follow their passion in seeking employment and that a degree didn’t mean ticket to your dream job instead admonishing students to follow, opportunity predictably in a skilled trade….. So in honor of 2017’s graduation season and the potential we could be wasting here is an in-depth look at Rowe’s concepts on American work, workers and how none of what he says truly works….Oh where to begin deconstructing his ignorance laden misconceptions, ones guesses it’s to say country wide STEM (science technology engineering and math) initiatives routinely overlapping traditional skilled trades aside no, we haven’t removed vocational training from high schools, wholly, completely or nationally; better classifying what schools have done, they have removed it in parts of the country where it is, by and large not used, major metropolitan economies much more dependent on other industries, hardly without individuals in all the trades Rowe mentioned and added ones to boot, just less so, based on need… Proof positive vo-tech is neither dead nor dying my high school alma mater in the Midwest hasn’t scrapped skilled trade prep in the least, the exact opposite, both expanding and adapting it to changing needs and times, creating more advanced block classes, direct lines to internships on school time if/once a student completes prep course X, reaches a certain level; H/VAC and construction equally popular with youth programs and vocational training seekers post college, engaging in retaining, jobs beyond minimum wage. I don’t fit well into my local economy because I’m neither good with these industrial trades or the helping/healthcare professions; leaving me virtually opportunity-less. Same regional area, take the McCaughey septuplets who reached a milestone times 7 graduating high school last graduation season, among them 2 hopeful computer science majors, 2 future teachers to be, one about to be military man, a music major, and 1 of the 2 staying home as opposed to utilizing the offered Hannibal Missouri scholarship studying what, construction; no coincidence either they are from Iowa. Even if Rowe were marginally right it wouldn’t impact where we are at present because, no matter how extensive high school courses, accompanying internships that rarely are long enough to encompass the full scope of jobs or satisfy employer experience requirements, students would still need continued instruction at a vo-tech school teaching advanced skills, certifying abilities, funneling graduates into the workforce; without it there would be left only another facet of employer complaining high school programs that aren’t good enough, expansive enough, teaching the right skills. Further rendering his assertions on high school instruction irrelevant, vo-tech has its place on the post-secondary circuit just like colleges, technical institutions provide classes, certifications and where appropriate ‘degrees’ in the very skilled trade aspects he’s talking about, a tech institution in nearly every state; many also present in local community colleges serving the same purpose singular possible exception, tiny rural areas or urban blight effected schools where there isn’t a shop teacher due to being unable to afford one, yet that has to do with the dollars and cents of simple math not Washington lobbying, the ‘national push to say this is the best path for the most people’ unto success and pulling back the curtain on 4 year college degrees. You also won’t see a trigonometry, advanced science teacher in aforementioned areas for the same lack of both funds and interest, local economies that just don’t support it. Other factors drastically effecting where students nationally, on the bigger macro-scale, get a job, what career they ultimately land in has nothing to do with positions parents, mentors, school officials, demonized by the coinsure of ‘dirty jobs’ repeatedly, guidance counselors think is ‘cool’ or the converse ‘uncool’ translating into totally unacceptable for my kid. Though, regular readers remember this one, multitudes believe parents who’ve ruined their joints by 55 after 30 years of jackhammering, ruined their knees via 30 years navigating an 18 wheeler, 30 years plumbing, crawling through sewer systems, multiple tight spaces for work, chasing various types of farm animals, 30 years on a bobcat giving them sciatica, injured on fishing, deep sea drilling oil rigs (think deep water horizon, oh) forcing them on disability long before the benchmarked 65 while the government keeps hiking up the retirement age incrementally pointing to longer lifespans and medical advancements evolving into a better quality of life they just don’t see, can be forgiven wanting better, different options for their kids, pushing their kids toward anything far from what they do daily, less grueling, catastrophic on the body… Similarly we don’t have crumbling infrastructure systems because there is a massive shortage of people to perform the work regardless what the numbers are telling us, Rowe’s theory kids of the past generation right up to the current one got psyched out said solid jobs due to ‘degree pushers’ calling college higher education and skilled trades, vo-tech, tech institutions alternative education developing a sigma personified in ‘if you couldn’t/can’t hack the other one; preposterous bullshit putting too much weight on what he believes guidance counselors are telling kids, precious little it might be added, and emphasis on parents’ wants kids are wired at that age to ignore anyway. We have a D+ graded infrastructure causing a domino effect of problems whether it’s tragic train derailments, subway/commuter train delays caused by crashes, mechanical failures and old underground structures directly because the federal government won’t release funds for upgrades and replacements, state and local governments don’t have it, won’t use if for that if they have monies to do the slightest incremental repairs, the true story behind our nation of potholes, rotting and collapsing bridges. Or their shady attempts to privatize aforementioned work to corporations/private contractors, think what Backwater did in Iraq when they were supposed to be rebuilding, getting rich while infrastructure doesn’t improve, improve enough to make a difference. Flint’s water crisis, subsequently found pockets indicating high lead levels in city tap/drinking water isn’t for want of pipe fitters, welders, pipe makers, machinists working together to make it happen, instead bluntly about a lack of political will to ensure the safety of our nations drinking water; Flint switched over to the dirtier water source sans chemical treatment neutralizing known lead in the water/pipes to save a few bucks. Older buildings, disproportionately public housing, subsidized section 8 housing are potentially lined with interior/exterior lead paint; one such complex in Mike Pence’s Indiana no less, built on the site of a lead industrial plant in years past sans adequate testing to ensure soil safety; because, we don’t have the political will of elected officials to remove all the lead from existing buildings, care enough about citizens, both current and future workers, to allot enough to public housing proper for adequate lead removal, vouchers for subsidized housing keeping up with rental costs so recipients don’t have to live in a dilapidated house, apartment, a dump that’s potentially toxic. Rather than the easily dismantled Rowe doctrine, diagnosis of what’s wrong with the American employment system current ‘job outlook deficiencies’ are indiscriminately tied to businesses, employers desperate for employees having, readers hearing this before too, done an abysmal job of saying to students these are jobs for which you can get paid money, earn a solid paycheck…
Where we’ve gone horribly wrong, beyond the extraordinarily specific job skill subsets within traditional general skilled trades/engineering, welding, pipe fitting, plumbing, bricklaying, machinists, industrial machine maintenance and repair, exc., workers holding those jobs past or present immediately highlighting don’t translate well into broader umbrella manufacturing or skilled trade jobs, often necessitating retraining when switching jobs, is where we’ve always gone wrong for the last 45 plus years. America’s projected 6 million jobs job gap encompassing every region has far less to do with skills and everything more to do with dissemination of information, hiring practices and bias against the very workers they need; starting with are the jobs listed even available or are they doing as some applicants have speculated listing jobs just to see what skills are out there… Shamefully New York has judges sitting on the bench, presiding over cases who don’t hold law degrees, mystifying is how that’s possible even adjusting perspective to understand small town court rooms, tiny townships; why it’s such a big deal (in light of popular shows like Suits, which at least housed a legal prodigy who could pass the bar sans a degree, expediently test out of courses to obtain his degree if he chose) isn’t limited to the staggering misconduct by judges egregious enough it would mean firing from any job let alone something as important as a judgeship, ultimately expelling them from the bench. It’s their totally lacking comprehension of basic legal principles, lack of jury boxes, an actual judges bench, ‘official proceedings’ held in office buildings, basement rooms, witnesses not sworn to hell the truth, no verbatim recording of testimony. “But serious things happen in these little rooms all over New York State. People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding. In violation of the law, defendants have been refused lawyers, or sentenced to weeks in jail because they cannot pay a fine. Frightened women have been denied protection from abuse. The examination found overwhelming evidence that decade after decade and up to this day, people have often been denied fundamental legal rights. Defendants have been jailed illegally. Others have been subjected to racial and sexual bigotry so explicit it seems to come from some other place and time. People have been denied the right to a trial, an impartial judge and the presumption of innocence…” [Sic] And there are too many lawyers, though perhaps it does explain the bizarre rulings coming out of court rooms today, slaps on the wrist and diversionary programs for rapists, ignorant justifications offered for why what happened wasn’t rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment….Endless résumé advice, a constant revolving door of do’s, don’t, cliché phrases to avoid; alternative providing examples of how you cut costs, improved sales figures exc., shutting out people in janitorial, reception work, anyone whose biggest selling point is they came to work consistently and constantly did their unglamorous job well. What they provided their employer, apart from a consistent worker, was a lack of hassle forced to hire someone else; as opposed to having a uniform résumé format at most varying by field of employment, a uniform transitional format for résumés of persons changing fields so applicants are not being docked points for meaningless aesthetics. Applicant seekers, businesses bemoaning sparse workforces, worker choice too enamored by outcomes produced from amateur psycho analysis of handwriting, what can be read into your walking gate, condition of your teeth, whether or not you wear glasses, wear a watch (it makes you seem punctual, organized caring of others time); swallowing valuable interview time, passing over potentially very talented, capable persons doling out ‘snowflake tests,’ the latest variation on asking silly questions what space alien/animal you are to determine personality, if you fit the work culture rather than investing in job scenario questions, paring answers to experience listed on their résumé, deciding who of those individuals had the best answers and hiring them. Flagrant abuse and misuse of Skype, Facetime, video chat services interviews as a window into an applicant’s home, routinely their bedroom, to make otherwise unattainable value judgments about crooked pictures, Victoria Secret posters, book titles on a bookshelf; just the latest in trends of finding increasingly petty reasons not to hire a worker. Taking a big gamble they even have access to fundamental hardware moving the interviewing technique outside tech, computer jobs; plunging neck in neck with using Equifax and Spokeo to ascertain credit scores, personal data employers shouldn’t have access to specifically age and relationship status, 2 things barred from job applications for a reason. Worse, Equifax lost a multi mullion dollar lawsuit for failure to correct serious errors on a woman’s credit report despite her repeated attempts and filling out reams of paperwork; an estimated 1-4 reports containing significant errors incorrect birth dates, social security numbers, and that was roughly 5 years ago. Where are you placing your want-ad, your job opening, older workers probably aren’t perusing the internet for employment, if they are they certainly aren’t using professional job boards, exclusive websites; skilled tradesmen not looking to uproot, relocate across the country, to a different city, town, state are most likely networking where they live, connecting with friends, family, work associates to land a gig, visiting the local employment agency. If you don’t then have a sign plumbers needed, ads in your city, town paper, postings at the employment agency, don’t use word of mouth, you’re missing out; i.e. in Larimer county Colorado….Next let’s stop beating around the bush about employers who have summarily done away with the internship, apprenticeship across all fields in the employment sector, even to a significant extent skilled trades; skilled trades producing students who will still need real working world experience and time to hone their skills to equal persons on the job 5, 15, 25 years. Hardly to be dismissed, employers unduly let off the hook, worth chastising them about also is their complete abdication of any job training at all, rudimentary basics they are many times legally mandated by law to give regardless experience level, past job experience they not only don’t, but blatantly refuse; their habit of hiring individuals off the street with no prior experience and no training fully expecting the employee learn by osmosis, observation, as a last resort ask similarly poorly trained co-workers how to do task X. Example, young man looking for a job, applies to an auto parts distributer is hired his responsibility, going around to local auto-parts stores ensuing they have the inventory they need; except he had no clue how to do that, differentiate parts, facts known to the employer upon hire, based on application materials, résumé finally fessing up to his boss how lost he was….Alluded to in the introduction was the interesting why everything had gone to a class, everything has gone to a class, certification, certificate or degree, less because the colligate money making machine and Washington lobby made it so and more due to employers expecting their applicants to come in with those skills, experience under their belt, believing it the responsibility of the higher educational institution excluding any corresponding internship cooperation to reach that goal; and, when that drastically turned out not to be the case, they couldn’t get all they wanted including the preverbal kitchen sink, then came the job listings demanding both degree and experience creating much of the catch 22 new grads find themselves in, but all we need to do is make work, as defined by Rowe, cool again…Paralleling the above asking when was the last time businesses wanting employees went into an educational institution and spoke, when was the last time companies like GE in Erie Pennsylvania took the highest aptitude workers/job applicants, (because the middle age worker has a point, you want the degrees but you have provided no means for experienced workers, been doing it for years, to get newer skills) and sent them to school, crafted programs only teaching the math and science, engineering skills for the job, the field not a 4 year degree, not a years long certification process? Contrast their mindset to the CEO paying for all his full time workers’ children to attend college irregardless where they choose to go to school, what the intend to major in because he knows what it’s like to watch a parent get by on minimum wage, knows what it’s like for higher education to be a dream and actively seeks to pay it forward. Contrast the G.E. standard approach to employers who have taken it upon themselves creating their own training programs, work in tandem with local community colleges, take the step to pay for a young workers’ college education that will advance them in the job they already had during high school, they are met with overwhelming success and experience, no shortage of workers, interested candidates, applicants; chief reasons Jamie Dimon’s aerospace high school and IBM’s fast track high school melding diplomas and associates degrees plus an internship at IBM remains so successful is directly owing to they are teaching up to the minute skills coupled with hands on internships. Conversely, universities, tech and trade schools can’t keep current if employers insist on keeping silent, being absent from the conversation, talks to aforementioned institutions, simultaneously complaining to any news outlet, labor study complier they can’t find workers; have eliminated and continue rebuffing the internship, apprenticeship, don’t know what to do with them when they have them, regularly giving them coffee fetching, filing busy work unrelated to the job, (to the point their next employer is saying I need to know if you got coffee or did actual work) shunting them away from true experience…. Adjacently America, society, teachers, guidance counselors, mentors, job coaches must strive to reorient existing, isolated up and coming workers expectations, employer expectations round 2; many of the people in ‘Trumpland’ rustbelt states, former, current manufacturing hubs housing those who excel at construction, bricklaying, drywall, plumbing, pipefitting, welding, machinist, mechanic exc., several kinds of factory work are quite frankly living in a 1980’s or earlier time warp. Why did the younger of 2 men featured in the Carrier update announcing jobs still going overseas, down to Mexico despite president Trump’s previous efforts think he would be able to retire at Carrier at his age of no more than 40; why does the 38 year old profiled in the obstacles to the American dream piece think at 38, taking a factory job just out of high school, he would retire in that field, be guaranteed a job all his working life? Mindsets dying latest, at the turn of the 21st century starting with the year 2000; trends any employment forecaster or person with eyes could conclude in the early, mid 90’s. 3rd case in point, you live in Williamson West Virginia and all you’ve wanted to be all your short life is a coal miner, yes there’s an argument for exposing people to job opportunities, young people to career fields especially in a place caught in an obvious time capsule, looking for all the world like the set of Steven Spielberg’s Goonies; immediate question jumping out is where are/were the city managers, city, state chambers of commerce bringing new business prospects in and why does it seem they’ve been asleep since the Carter administration, arguably when local establishments got a new coat of paint? Then again strapping 20-year-old, you own at TV don’t you, heard about Trump from TV didn’t you, don’t you ever see something on TV you’d like to be, aspire to besides coal miner, what’s holding you in Williamson, talked about elsewhere Erie, PA; why are you so insularly and like president Trump uncurious about your world, the rest of your country, what might be out there for you should you leave your dilapidated, one horse, run down home town? Why the clinging to a ‘home town’ that is literally dying, why does it escape the understanding of you and the newly minted college graduate in Erie that that dying is normal, the ebb and flow of time since the goal rush days, mining boom towns leaving the moment mineral access dried up, oil wells ran dry; your best course of action up against those odds take any, every opportunity to move, leave, go where things are that fit your credentials, what you want to do, talents you have. Continuing, for the former of the 2 young men, if you can sit through a class on underground drilling, you can sit through a class on installing solar panels to rooves, clean energy installations of any kind, an industry showing exponential growth, sit in a construction, welding, pipefitting, journeyman class. Ideal people to be inspired by fictional characters Augie March and Tom Joad read about in school, apparently not, ideal people to believe that is a path to a better life, larger achievement, greater stability apparently don’t, yet millennials are pegged as the go nowhere generation…On the flipside employers act put out they can’t find workers, claimed to have raised wages, offered amenities toward enticing workers to jobs, but never offered to cover even a fraction of relocation expenses for a single worker and their family content to wring their hands, whine to print publications, news outlets about ‘the skills gap;’ extraordinarily self-defeating when the problem in Larimer county Colorado (video 1 after paragraph 2) was they added almost twice as many jobs over 5 years than they did citizens, how does that even happen?… Combine that with entire growing segments of the population who are excluded from workforce participation through one hurdle or another; here’s a hint it’s not the typical republican, Robert A. Hall, Mike Rowe, Dennis Miller, Bill Maher, screaming, complaining and telling bad, supposed to be timely jokes, regaling us via relentless mantras depicting people too stupid or lazy to earn a paycheck. Top on the list women, we already know it isn’t safe, forget fulfilling to show up for work, whether you work somewhere like Fox News as a television anchor doing so much as your local news, in a place however reminiscent of Hollywood, that needs to retain its professionalism, sell jewelry at Kay, women sales staple Avon, try to sell your own created brand of product X, work in the tech industry unless you enjoy being inundated with work while on negotiated, unpaid maternity leave, relish being the odd duck in the office, only one of your gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation; here everyone thought it was because math was just too hard for their ‘fairer sex,’ programing/coding too complicated…. Proven you can’t be an athlete and a woman either, just ask the U.S. gymnasts systematically sexually abused as teenagers by the team doctor; don’t go into management women, don’t try to compete there guaranteed you won’t get it and be utterly demeaned in the meantime, passed over hardly knowing why. Jill Abramson was unceremoniously fired from her prominent newspaper job then replaced by a man known for punching holes in walls either because she couldn’t save an already sinking ship or for speaking out about the pay gap she discovered. When you can be fired in some states if you don’t wear makeup, deign to use birth control, veteran senator Elizabeth Warren is being told to sit down and senator Kamala Harris basically told to shut up; congress has new ‘dress codes’ for reporters standing outside the Whitehouse in dangerous heat told to don sleeves, too well do we remember the national outcry over former first lady Michelle Obama’s bare arms. Now imagine being a girl, woman holding an interest in the very do something, dirty jobs Mr. Rowe champions, does he honestly think that will go over well in the overwhelmingly male dominated fields he put on his show, housing the most vacant jobs, noting it took a viral twitter hashtag to break through stereotypes of who looks like an engineer, a line of pink building toys to let girls freely explore building things, chronicling news stories about air marshals gone wild resulting in the suicide of one lesbian marshal thanks in part to a perverted Jeopardy game played around the office demeaning women, minorities and the LGBT community, the sexual assault of another female marshal. Sexual misconduct, harassment, assault and full-blown rape in the military is as par for the course as boot camp; worse, women serving in military ranks who report sexual assault are pegged as having a personality disorder and told to get over it or discharged entirely, lock step in line with a society where Jennifer Lawrence’s self-deprecation regarding her pay inequality and lagging negotiation skills was readily accepted, women continually berated for lacking negotiation skills, so called refusal to negotiate. Compartmentalizing the undeniable questions about can a woman handle large hammers, industrial sized equipment, construction equipment, unscrew corroded pipes, handle large animals, manage duties on a fishing ships, comments on their lesser upper body strength, based on medical research or no, can they tolerate grueling hours, the sexist nature those comments are bound to take, fact employers, no matter how desperate, wouldn’t dream of hiring a woman to do these jobs. Who would tell their daughters to go into such a field understanding how easily they could be sexually harassed, assaulted on a construction jobsite, inside someone’s home as a plumber doubted for her abilities, the reverse of perception on male handymen, predators posing as utility company workers, using that job to assault people when; 2 New York City female bus drivers performing an unsung, do something job allege they were systematically sexually harassed at work to the point one contemplated suicide to end pressure of keeping quiet, who felt broken like never before post the experience of having her face licked trying to pick up her daily schedule…Similarly, persons overcoming disabilities, mental health challenges, developmental delay are a whole different section of slammed doors in their faces; because despite the Americans with disabilities act, businesses determined to help these individuals secure a job and a means to support themselves, at least in part, there aren’t nearly enough of them to accommodate need….Returning exclusively to the able bodied or mostly able bodied, further if you want to start, have a full discussion about both moving forward, defacto meaning embracing innovation as well as filling jobs that consistently go wanting for workers, there has to be a serious conversation surrounding restoring the dignity of work; not just how we talk about blue collar work and workers, not just convincing employers to fill said positions they must raise wages, moving it away from implied hazard pay for extremely strenuous work, being covered in various levels of filth for the should be middle class life they can’t achieve. Rowe is right it is completely up to us to define what a good job is, what productive, solid work looks like, fine; however, a good job should be one where employers are treated with decency beyond how their bosses and co-workers speak to them, tones on the jobsite…Why, not because of ever talked about American laziness, lacking stamina, perceived softness; but, knowledge people allowed to do physical labor safely, correctly can work longer, be on the same job along enough to pass on their expertise to younger workers, cost less to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, such people need less disability payouts, none at all. No young person 16 to 30 is going to entertain the idea of engaging in do something, manual labor work despite their inclinations, known skills with their hands until you do, not because they are allergic to work, fear getting their hands dirty, possess an aversion to sweat, but because they know the end result of decimated physical ability and live in an increasingly health conscious society. Instead of the most basic safeguards complying with laws we already have, workers are daily subjected to dangerous conditions, temperamental, poorly working machines, outdated, overly repaired rather than replaced tools or equipment partially explaining the man in the extended Erie, PA profile haughtily asking how much the jobs scooped up be immigrants pay, causing viewers to bristle until he mentioned unsafe working conditions and hazardous tools; Deepwater horizon oil rig explosions, mining operations leading to the death of workers, factory fires all things we know/knew about. Proving there is nothing perfect or reasonable about asking someone to do a job, in order to earn a living that will eventually leave them with a serious musculoskeletal deformity in their golden years no matter how good a shape they keep themselves in throughout their life, there is nothing to be celebrated, around a kitchen table or anywhere else, about promoting work, doing work that multiplies exponentially the chances of respiratory disease, cancer and other serious maladies, literally cripple young, youthful persons in a few short years because it satisfies anyone’s definition of what a good job, hard work, solid work looks like, what it is to be a man’s man or any of that other macho, rah, rah crap that went out with the 1950’s for good reason, and no, Tucker Carlson there is nothing dignified, that confers dignity about forever being sweaty, filthy, dirt covered, unable to get car grease, industrial lubricants or the remanence of manipulating plumbing all day, farm excrement, meat packing scraps out from under your nails, out of your work clothing, chancing experiencing heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia or frost bite, constant exposure to temperature extremes weakening the immune system and leading to colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sick days, extra sick days taken, blindness or asthma just to go to work….As mentioned at the start of the paragraph embracing technology, as opposed to shunning college degrees, comprehending computer programing, coding, robotics, engineering and all its facets will solve problems of both now and in the future preserving the health of current and coming generations, believe it or not; calculating how many practical applications of science, engineering, technology and math bent towards solving an existing conundrum, bettering someone’s life with cheaper adaptive technology, prosthetic limbs or related materials began as high school, 4 year university class projects in STEM, advanced STEM subjects, science fair contest entries, robotics competitions. Whether you’re talking about the incubator designed specifically to aid low birthweight babies in developing counties miles from a hospital, the boy who invented a lighter more portable and effective sandbag, the older young man who created a better detector for pancreatic cancer, the disease taking famed lecturer Randy Pausch, the middle school class who used 3D printing to create a prosthetic limb for a farmer following in the footsteps of college students who did the same for people in war torn Africa; another created a custom wheelchair for a little girl who couldn’t easily fit into standard models, never mind her parents couldn’t afford it, weighted backpacks helping calm kids with autism. Too it’s acknowledging the primary reason we don’t already possess machines, innovations, apparatuses to help workers work safer, to make work less strenuous and grueling toward lessening joint degradation, eventual replacement, chronic pain is precisely due to there also always having been an immigrant, slave, negro, disadvantaged African American or desperately poor white person, prior convict, societies ‘undesirables’ willing to do such back breaking work, viewed lowly, humble work for meager money. However, just because we always previously could hire such workers and cheap too, doesn’t mean we should have in the past, should continue doing so now; said advancements positively putting less stress on human bodies not because we’re wusses, have gone soft, are ‘all obese and so out of shape we can’t work,’ and countering instead because repetitive stress injuries, tendonitis, arthritis and joint damage were always bad, costly and most importantly unnecessary in the modern era…Using either robots to fight fires or soundwaves to douse flames only makes sense considering both monetary and human cost should a firefighter be injured, burned unto death, inability to continue working as a fire fighter or working at all; mitigating, minimizing property damage, fire spread, possibility for greater loss of life if spread is an added happy side effect. Imagine for the remainder of coals usage as fuel using robots to enter mines, do work, collect natural materials saving future generations’ black lung; it can happen if we let it. Hopefully machines changing pipes in tight places, navigating dirt and debris in some of the places Rowe has routinely filmed himself removing the daily contortions required for the love of saving the human musculoskeletal structure of every U.S. inhabitant; migrating the machines globally for everyone’s benefit. Science, technology applied to everyday problems is what’s going to eliminate flushable wipes clogging of sewer pipes, the toilet paper clogging pipes in Mexico and more importantly eliminating the filth in the poor man’s job who’s raking that ewww away from a water filtration screen; either by creating a better degradable wipe, a natural non-toxic substance to be put in pipes removing clog build up and/or replacing the man with a robot absent a sense of smell….
Finally, people who have a passion for the work they do, do their best work period end of sentence; people who have a passion for their work 9 times out of 10 have an inherent talent for the largest part of their job description, making them better than the best educated, trained person you cultivate for years because they possess a natural instinct for what they are doing. Perhaps a more accurate, inspiring way to phrase, rephrase what Rowe was getting at is to replace the word passion with natural talent, aptitude, what you do best and how you can turn that into a job or career, avenue to make you money. Watch video on the high school who made the students it’s IT department; sure under Rowe’s doctrine he’d much rather our featured young man walk his original course going into diesel mechanics, because we desperately need those, but he found something that ignites his world, makes it worth living in and isn’t that the point too, where all the dirty job workers would like to get to? Nor is it that there aren’t people who want these so called and aptly named dirty jobs, forgetting momentarily all the pervious aspects discussed about job knowledge, post high school training while costing less than college is still unaffordable to persons possessing no way to pay for post-secondary schooling at all; people who desire vacant jobs driven by dollar signs, the last remaining employee market where they can drive their own destiny, may not have the mathematical skill, but more importantly the mechanical aptitude to quickly distinguish tools i.e. types of wrenches, screwdrivers or drills, may not be physically capable of doing the job owing less to obesity and poor physical shape instead manual dexterity, individuals who are clumsy, klutzy, don’t work well with their hands, excel and wood working or even understanding welding, small gas engines, have no facility with computer operation, never mind coding or programing, clearly their brains aren’t wired to excel in this area. Exactly who you don’t want working in a STEM or dirty job; if someone is more likely to show up at a Mike Rowe apparently coined phrase ‘shovel ready’ job promptly bonking themselves in the head with said shovel, stabbing their co-worker in the foot with it, they need to be somewhere else and that’s ok. We want them somewhere else, if we’re smart, we’ll help them find that somewhere else making room for people with the aptitude, inherent skill; the challenge is getting them out and the right people in.

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Microchips Are For Fido Not For You; It’s Not Hip, Cool, Cutting Edge Science And Is In Fact Dangerous—Fundamentalist Religious Connotations Aside

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Maybe an interesting way to keep track of socks, locate lost possessions, car keys, tools, go into so called wearable technology but not in you, and certainly not for want of never losing your keys, finding a place to put your wallet/credit card, room key at the beach, medical records available at a swipe, thrill you get at doors opening by the wave of your hand… It isn’t a real life substitute for the force and it’s not supposed to be; as great as technology and the world is today this isn’t Star Wars. Oh how quickly we forget that universe too had its problems; great to read about, see movies about, absolutely horrible to LIVE in, remembering exactly where Darth Vader’s force sensitivity led him, hmm….While the Ohio surveillance company ‘implantation’ was completely voluntary and clearly testing the waters 11 years ago and the BuzzFeed author was delving into the future of money, how he chose to go about it represents choice, exploration, curiosity; Sweden’s moves are a little more insidious and compelling. First, as the BuzzFeed author noted, they have migrated farther away from cards or the nearly obsolete cash payment forms opting for mobile payment systems and chip readers not to mention professionals to implant them; next workers at the company featured by BBC all apparently agreed to chip implantation as a condition of their employment, we don’t need a crystal ball to see where this is going do we? How long before, in Sweden at least, it isn’t voluntary if you want a job, need medical care, wish to buy standard, basic personal hygiene items, food, rent an apartment; the UK and other small European countries the next to likely follow suit. Sold to the public as ultimate security, identity protection, removes the need for carrying cards or documents, eliminates what can happen in fire, natural disaster— loss of important personal data. Here is what older, slightly religious to absolutely fundamentalist religious persons, those simply reasonably cautious talk about when they shout mark of the beast, start correlating RFID technology to eternal damnation laid out in the bible for all who take the mark in their hand or forehead, without which they will be forbidden to buy or sell goods. Current technology, its pushed for direction begging the question, if the bible is the hoax, merely moral guideline book filled with endless inaccuracies, implausibilities, then why does RFID, its potential future offshoot technologies include a creepy picture of a man wearing an adhesive circuit board on his forehead? Thankfully the U.S. and most of the world has a long way to go before RFID could be remotely commonplace….People familiar with my work know my continued chronicling of this technology and repeated cautioning against it; in addition to the litany of possible negative bodily effects always seeming to get the last 2 lines maximum in any article, no true in depth thought given to what could physically, medically go wrong, are the vastly underplayed societal ramifications equally needing to be combatted, as is public apathy to something that has the potential to exert more control over a person than any object, government entity has a right to. Those who dispute biblical references to the mark of the beast, the eternal damnation comeuppance purportedly visited upon non-Christians to be doled out at a still undetermined date in our distant, not so distant future featured so prominently in the Left Behind book series/movies should ponder the following question left as yet unanswered; if not spiritual consequences, are we in for continuing to use said technology fostering a one world government where, ‘the man,’ apply called ‘big brother’ is in every aspect of your life to far greater degrees than we now constantly must resist, keeping in mind reactions to warrantless wiretapping, NSA surveillance, Edward Snowden anyone, government mass data collection. Worried about the vast number of cameras snapping photos of us throughout any given day; data breaches not only representing disconcerting flaws in our ever dependent technology but anxiety producing hyper vigilance around privacy; who has our data, what they plan to do with it, what technology will let them do with it before laws are crafted to protect us. Said laws being continuously undermined by the current presidential administration just putting forth a bill that would allow internet service providers to sell your browsing history to third parties, surely under the pretense of giving you a better browsing experience, ads only tailored to products interesting you and your family; opposing lawmaker summing it up beautifully, “Give me one good reason why Comcast should know what my mother’s medical problems are,” said congressman Mike Capuano during the hearing before the vote, explaining how he had researched her condition after a trip to the doctor. “Just last week I bought underwear on the internet. Why should you know what size I take? Or the color?” [Sic] All due respect to the congressman’s undergarments and the tinge of silliness housed in the example versus say political searches, employment searches, he is absolutely right on 2 distinct fronts; first, it is none of their business understanding existing law doesn’t say they can’t sell user information only that they must obtain your permission before doing so, respect your decision to opt out, say no to selling the information. Secondly, arguably more important to their financially driven ends, if you flood the person with ads for item X, Y type of underwear in specific brand, color Z it will be futile because you’ve already bought the underwear you need; sidestepping if they were a gift for someone, you’re researching something for the purpose of expanding your knowledge not exclusively for personal use, then sellers of your browsing history have given a false impression to the end recipient of that information meaning they won’t sell to you as successfully as they planned…. Now picture a world where there is no expectation of privacy, it’s all right there in/on your chip and with a simple scan everyone can know everything about you; don’t like it, find it unnecessarily invasive, then you can figure out how to get a job, rent an apartment, buy foods, see a doctor sans a chip when everywhere requires one. Sounds pretty close to the descriptions depicting the mark of the beast to me, unable to buy or sell goods, easily extrapolated own a business, absent a mark, chip, barcode on your hand or forehead, and to a plethora of others; digressing from the spiritual once more, whose response to reports about chip technology to be put inside persons as identification, medical record storage or the cool factor of opening doors at the wave of your hand is to say they would rather starve naked in the woods, live totally off any grid than be subject to that kind of control. Hardly difficult to see why when thinking a short time about it; compounding the perceived invasions of privacy, intrusions on free will we contend with today, try being confronted by your employer because you were tracked to a bar after work by your chip, ‘caught’ with a different girl every night of the week at which point they fired you despite being single. Have credit card debt, student loan debt you’re blocked out of buying that morning latte, any fast food, that outfit or dress never mind if it’s for a major event say a wedding, new clothing for work, cable or internet services, throwing out completely you may use one, perhaps both to get a job, seek a better, higher paying job, you have basic cable because over the air TV no longer works where you live and you still need news and weather, use that to write freelance materials, putting lines on your résumé toward paid work. Also you can forget that car loan, so much as funds to repair your old one being released to you, though its your money you worked hard for, independent your need for a car, vehicle to get to work, earn money to continue making payments on your debt. Welcome to wage garnishment to the nth degree in the 21st century and beyond; shouldn’t we all be proud? Sick, have a chronic medical condition say diabetes no more cake, ice cream, junk food, red meat, soda available for you, dido if you are obese; we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic, to that end no Easter, Halloween, valentines candy. Cake and ice-cream for your kid’s birthday, you still can’t have it; planning a summer barbecue, family reunion or other event with food, where you, yourself plan to eat almost none of the unhealthy things precisely because of your health status, condition, those realities don’t matter. Under this system no need to outlaw foods, vastly regulate the food industry, oh no, just regulate who gets access to what food generating a whole different type of class warfare. Struggle with alcohol addiction, suspected an alcoholic, forgo expensive, repetitively, ‘ineffective’ drug treatment, taxpayer dime funded rehab, merely block them from buying alcohol, history with pills: red flag their medical file to cut off pain medication, gambler prevent them from participating by locking funds, dispatching social, morality police to remove a gambler from an establishment specializing in same, restrict their internet access based on personal history with gambling sites, or the other popular ‘addiction’, porn viewing. Notice operative words in the previous list were suspected and addictions; reasonable proof not required to trigger government imposed freedom restrictions when 99% of the time the singular person hurt is one’s self…. Juxtaposed against the strictly social RFID negatives are technological realities conveniently ignored; we’ve seen the hacking of POS (point of sale) machines where you swipe your credit, debit or store card when making a purchase effecting all the major retailers Home Depot to Target and back again, hacks of major banks JP Morgan Chase to name one, Yahoo’s data breach effecting up to a billion accounts worldwide. Devastating exactly what was affected user names, passwords, security questions meant to add safety, phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses, dates of birth happening just under 6 months ago, loudest in the growing white noise of hacks heard about becoming our new normal; previous breaches occurring at the CIA, pentagon pilfering workers, service members social security cards. We’ve seen the vulnerability, drawbacks of smart homes where the internet of things is alive and well, thieves can hack your internet router, home Wi-Fi/internet network and open doors/windows, turn lights on and off, change security codes subsequently robbing you blind without ever having to set one toe into your home, next to impossible to track. And just weeks ago we saw the ‘wannacry’ cyber-attack exploiting a known weakness in Microsoft operating systems software that went global putting at a standstill hospitals and surgeries in the UK, reaching as far away as Mongolia; worse Microsoft was aware of the vulnerability, had created a patch for it but many had not updated their computers. In fact we owe lessened effects in the US to 2 white hat (good guy) hackers who found an uncomplicated way to thwart the attack; over the course of this article’s creation are developing concerns popular Russian made anti-virus software Kaspersky running on a good section of US personal computers, business computer networks, sounding greater alarms government utilized PCs at the US bureau of prisons, select defense department agencies, could be a hidden national security threat requiring whole computer access to achieve the software’s touted protection, a would be tool for enhanced meddling, espionage above and beyond what has been authenticated pertaining to the 2016 election, business spying, intellectual property theft carried out by powers like China…. Domestically substantiating long held fears regarding a cyber-attack on the computers, computer systems that control major networks like city, country electrical grids, water purification and supply facilities, 9-1-1 emergency centers, utility plants, any local nuclear operations, in addition to the foreign threats there’s the hacker who hacked into Dallas Texas tornado sirens and set them off in the middle of the night merely to prove he could do it, to alert officials to the ease with which he pulled it off, a hackers standard way of imploring city, state leaders to fix glaring problems. Giving us a sad glimpse into the future of smart cities, their crippling, possible epidemic starting, national shutdown vulnerabilities that can and will ultimately jeopardize lives if we don’t get smarter in both creating but maintaining technology running them, slated to run them when we discard traditional systems…. Right up there with those headaches we’ve seen when purportedly smart, next generation technology fails spectacularly; the smart dumb fridge that reboots in demo mode after a power outage with the cooling compressor off, result a fridge full of spoiled food, firmware updates to Blu-ray players and you can no longer access your Netflix, Hulu or YouTube accounts through it, Samsung who got into public hot water post stopping produced updates for one player after a measly 3 years. Microsoft made headlines and elicited collective American groans when they announced discontinuance of updates to popular system windows XP, terribly short sighted forgetting its global usage and said usages implications; outer reaches of Mongolia probably are still using it, developing world advancement and cheap software needed on the scale for whole city utilities, emergency services will undoubtedly mean being a couple generations behind the latest Microsoft, wide spread global office, business, record keeping product. Exponentially troubling too tech expert attitudes at home that, if we are running so called out of date tech hacks like ‘wannacy’ are our fault, we are contributing to a growingly devastating problem; oblivious to the reality lesser developed countries can’t upgrade major city systems, medical institutions, critical institution record keeping to windows 10, whatever’s next on a dime and shouldn’t have to….fast forward a few short years and imagine a time, with the gung ho attitude toward RFID, when they aren’t hacking sales devices at stores, hacking hospitals and businesses with so called ransomware, but are actually hacking individuals’ RFID chips, forced to mass reconfigure hundreds to thousands of individual persons chips to get those flights finally moving. Because, contrary to their major current selling point, that imbedding it in several layers of skin makes it harder to hack, RFID is some of the easiest technology to either hack or clone, a system on the whole that is in no way secure, furthest from it actually. Utterly idiosyncratic to the CBS This Morning segment featuring a Swedish tech aficionado doing a presentation, he billed as educating the public on how RFID can help you as well as ways it can be used against you, holding parties where interested citizens can get chipped together, he frankly admitted the chips were insecure, advised not putting your life’s secrets on them. Except held up alongside listed wonders, being able to open everything from your car door to your formerly key-carded office with your hand, your life secrets are your credit cards, your social security number, computer passwords, online account passwords, e-mail to shopping, not just your hush, hush porn habit, kink fetish or diaper obsession, adult baby group membership, your purchases at an adult store. By the numbers, as it stands, identity theft is one of the most expensive threats to handle for the average person spawning security agencies like Life Lock pledging to spend up to a million dollars to resolve your case; holding that thought, put yourself in the position of trying to explain to officials at social security, your bank, the DMV, your doctor’s office your personal chip, residing inside you, has been hacked. The first few hundred cases would be scoffed at, laughed out of institutions, businesses and chalked up to people who didn’t understand how the new tech worked and therefore thought they could escape their bills, pull a fast one claiming to be hacked. To do this, not so incredible hacking, criminals, tech enthusiasts simply create a better skimmer identical to those used to skillfully scan/skim credit card data as you bump into unsuspecting marks in a store, restaurant, skillful skimmers very adept at slapping their own realistic device over ones at the grocery store while keeping you and the cashier dutifully distracted, attached to ATM’s again looking like the real thing so as you enter PIN information it can take you for all you’re worth. Almost guaranteed is they won’t have a mechanism, even with en-masse use, for when early version chips suddenly stop reading or otherwise malfunction locking you out of the ability to perform bank transactions, buy groceries, if technology protagonists and employers a-la Sweden have their way, report to work, be functional, productive once you get there…. Neither, as quickly referenced above, is literally microchipping people medically sound; beyond car accidents, extreme sports causing chip migration that sets off a cascade of possible related health problems extrapolating short or long term into the future, i.e. considering wide spread usage, implantation a matter mandated by law. It is especially disconcerting trying to answer pertinent burning questions: at what age do they implant such a personal data chip, when a child’s hand is big enough to safely tolerate a chip, who determines that safety parameter? Are we looking at a situation where we can no longer practically educate our children on how the world works, how to go through a checkout, teach them money sense, financial literacy by simply letting them use allowance money, birthday dollars to pay for an item due to being too young for chips, chips not allotted to young people until they are 16 and old enough to work? More insidiously if they did microchip babies, toddlers the moment their hands were big enough to tolerate it, hold their chip in its proper place it would doubtlessly increase rates of chip failure and persons having to have more than one input in their lifetime; multiply the chances of chip migration to other parts of the body skyrocketing their potential for heart attacks, strokes, brain bleeds, blood clots, embolisms and aneurisms, serious and often times fatal, amputations when it catches in a major artery and fat or blood collects around it, person oblivious until it’s too late. Would a chip in an infant, toddler, child pre-puberty, the electrical impulses emanating from it interfere with natural development, regular brain electrical impulses, trigger early, so called precocious puberty being bombarded by electrical reading when out in public, prolonged exposure to electrical pulses could it stunt, alter brain growth? Once there is proof of chip migration, for whatever reason, how do you safely remove then replace it remembering it’s mandated by law; what are the risks of said removal procedure, since you are dealing with things roughly the size of a grain of rice is one of the potentially deadly medical complications a bubble in your vein also possible when injecting medicine, illegal drugs intravenously, nicking an artery or vein during attempted removal, suction used to try and extract an errant chip doing identical damage to said arteries, veins? Seems a pretty dire set of choices, near instantaneous death contrasted beside being a health ticking time bomb; less drastically contrary to the idea RFID can be engineered to supplant the Fitbit and Apple watch’s fitness health data collection, concepts behind it as next generation medical monitoring tracking blood pressure, heartrate, signs of everything for irregular heartbeats to stroke, heart attack or onset of diabetes, the soon to be circulated if not already internet meme ‘Fitbit saved my life,’ what happens when your chip inevitably malfunctions sending you scrambling to your doctor, an ER, erroneously dispatching ambulance services, for which you’ll doubtlessly be billed, oh….Which brings us to exactly how many times do we have to see failures of medical devices placed in the body, vaginal mesh lawsuits, hernia mesh recalls to stint apparatuses supposed to prevent blood clots in the lungs that were horribly designed, patently unsafe and the testing corrupted, poorly formed hip replacements, heard about when there’s a class action level lawsuit, major law firm is on TV seeking plaintiffs, before we reduce their number, never mind stop advocating putting foreign objects inside you that have no medical purpose?… common sense says people who are diagnosed with the above, epilepsy, have a pace maker probably shouldn’t add in another electric device to their existing one, certainly not in the name of cool factor, convenience, ultimate government bureaucracy laziness, underlying mentioned control. Epileptics routinely triggered by bright lights, flickering strobe type lights staples during music concerts, stage shows; video game consoles reaching back 20 odd years or more, accompanied by specific games, categories of games have carried the potential for seizure warning. Speaking of people with disabilities, society appears growingly determined to exclude them, make their lives harder, oblivious to the rigors they face daily doing normal activities most take for granted; how difficult it is to bank, buy things, travel through an airport when you can’t wave your arm well in front of a scanner or hold your head up well for a forehead barcode scanner due to advanced Parkinson’s MS, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, results of an accident rendering you quadriplegic. Forced to sacrifice what little independence, dignity they possess, shouldering a financial burden utilizing a care attendant to bag their groceries at the store because electronic check outs and a fully chipped society have removed actual people from said venues cutting down on business operating costs. Often too readily dismissed gaps between cutting edge medical marvels helping children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, those newly diagnosed with degenerative, progressive diseases, chronic ailments and individuals who were born with their condition and have dealt with the effects 20, 30 years, people who, according to studied medical data on treatment X, will receive little or no benefit due to the stage of their disease, underlying wear and tear, secondary problems of say cerebral palsy on muscle and bone, prior surgeries to correct deformities, aid in walking, limb function. People who will thus still require, continue using assistive services, adaptive technologies evolving and continuing to be made; a plethora of reaching grabbing tools for people with varied physical disabilities, automatic door openers on public places, specialized easy open door handles for home, transfer apparatuses for showers, the computer generated voice computer set up used by Steven Hawking, those afflicted by debilitating degenerative conditions. Developmentally delayed Americans, frightening rises in rates of neurological disorders on par with autism and its spectrum of disorders, behavioral manifestations need a whole different set of assistance tools, long term care well into adulthood; here are people who may need to hold a paper bus pass, bus pass punch card to understand it, apps like Autismate facilitating communication among the non-verbal garner such success with featured case Joe because they use video of the actual person performing the desired task, doing the selected activity compensating for spectrum disorder persons’ lacking imagination, easing frustrations decoding symbols for tasks, activities they don’t comprehend. Understanding, comprehension an advocacy point pushing past a quark board, set of refrigerator magnets has never been hacked for keeping intact the United States postal service, paper bill statements, mortgage and insurance policy statements sent to senior citizens, remaining an option for older Americans who don’t possess computer skills or good ones, who can’t afford internet, computer and printer, combat age related limited mobility to frequent the local library, senior center to conduct such business, print paper copies of bills, banking statements…Some may be quick to point out lines in the introduction about hardly believed in spiritual consequences, only speculated government control a speck on a still distant horizon of maybe, referencing common knowledge medical techniques, devices and call out hypocrite; highlighting no one is screaming mark of the beast about them ready to chalk that portion up to lunatic religious fanatics. While concurrently giving a short history of modern medicine resistance to new techniques Jehovah’s witnesses that think, to this day, a blood transfusion is the same as occult blood drinking mentioned in the bible, people who shuddered at the concept of organ transplants believing they desecrated the dead to finding it plain grotesque to have another person’s organs inside you, pro-life advocates who believe life begins at conception and wish those lives prior to reaching medically/scientifically determined fetus stage, zygote, gamete level be granted personhood, full rights of any citizen under the law, one must realize that pace makers, cochlear implants for the deaf, hearing impaired and hard of hearing, even the new technology implanted into a paralyzed man’s brain to use in conjunction with a standard computer is meant to restore functions. Pacemakers regulate the heart to beat normally allowing a person to live and not die, correct suffering arrhythmia that can stop the heart completely; cochlear implants bypass the damaged portion of the ear transmitting sound impulses to the brain allowing a form of hearing. Subcutaneous insulin pumps are primarily outside the body except for the tube dispensing insulin at select times, wearable glucose monitors routinely worn by type 1 diabetic kids, are adhered the skin again on the outside of the body preventing dangerous highs and lows especially while sleeping producing happy side effects of saving young lives still outdone by diabetic alert dogs increasingly common place and slated to take over, if we haven’t found a cure, better treatment in coming decades. Think pancreas islet cell replacement via stem cells stimulating the body to make its own insulin, the failure causing type 1diabetes. Remember the height of the embryonic stem cell research debate, science surpassed it by finding different places for essentially blank stem cells that could be converted to any cell, tissue, organ in the body, cord blood and resulting cord blood banks storing umbilical cord blood to name one; cancer treatment progressed to using chemo therapy, radiation to eradicate the cancer then take either bone marrow or stem cells for the persons own body, re-implanting them cancer free; lifesaving methods when transplants weren’t available, rare matches couldn’t be found. The circuit board-esque system the young man featured had attached to his brain A- was intended to bypass his damaged spinal cord allowing limited limb movement for basic tasks i.e. holding/grasping a spoon, swiping a credit card similar to advances in prosthetics; futuristic medical machinery to stop epilepsy or curb obesity are correcting malfunctions and dysfunctions all, not necessarily using computer chips or omni-trackable. B-none are engineered capable of self-awareness evolving into a Skynet like hell scape, are in no way sophisticated enough to supplant or override human thought, impulses, basic will; key too is it uses a person’s own thoughts, recognition of brain impulses to control the artificial limb, sent though the device rigging as opposed to the spinal column to achieve movement. A leg up from deep brain stimulation used to control Parkinson’s tremors, Tourette’s ticks, balance mood in major depressive patients who’ve tried everything else, offered in extreme cases for weight control of morbidly obese persons to staunch cravings, but absent any chance to influence a person’s cognitive ability, will, desire. Finally, C- represent stop gap technology until we can either generate an artificial spine, already in the research works, or totally organically progress stem cell treatment to completely repairing devastating spinal injury….RFID, most importantly is a complex, prone to malfunction redundancy piled onto redundancy; jumping well past fear inducing scenarios generated from contemplations on should our futuristic one system for everything suddenly crash is ever expanding proof once and for all we don’t need it, it solely invents new problems without solving the old ones…Countering chicken little ism thought we must eventually do this or else there will be no privacy, security, reasonable means to protect ourselves, buy good, services, merchandise independent being robbed blind, new forms of protecting and verifying identity crop up daily including Pulse Wallet that works by scanning the veins in your forearm, ideal for someone who has been in an accident whose face is prominently disfigured, who may have also lost finger prints, one or both hands. Smart home alternatives to traditional locks feature a key pad to enter codes of authorized persons than when entered will unlock the door; thumb print scanning home door locks are a little lesser known but widely available. Easily adaptable to disability accessible needs; voice recognition doors placement of thump, retinal scanner into a wheelchair, mobility device likely coming quicker than accessibility parameters to mass use devices predictably looking identical to airport body scanners. Key fobs are todays keyless entry people, you don’t even need your key to start the vehicle with the starter buttons hello; inclined to think waving your hand and having your car unlock is still the height of cool, hackers are well on their way to stealing cars via hacking, giving up good old fashioned grand theft auto for pilfering the information from your car’s very own key fob, all the more proof and reason we don’t want them hacking us, our RFID chip to abscond with our wheels. Simplistic safeguard for key fob code theft, when you lock your doors upon getting out go ahead and press that lock button 2-3 extra times resetting the codes and rendering any code taken useless; almost guaranteed is they won’t have that uncomplicated a fix for a first, second even 3rd generation hacked chip. Car dealers already have means to disable your vehicle if you miss a payment much to the chagrin and danger of a women trying to juggle her chronic kidney disease, constant need for dialysis and an eventual kidney transplant plus her car payment, stories of parents trying to get their child to an emergency room, parent having stopped somewhere and the child is left stranded at a school; further alerts about such devices were about how they were used, lack of regulation, dangers if the dealer isn’t paying attention when the shut off the vehicle, only failsafe is the car can’t be moving. But there you go a tool for both non-payers and something to activate should the car be stolen, comparable the i-phone kill switch installed after people were literally being attacked and killed for their next generation i-product before being able to use it; switch rendering it useless if stolen removing the incentive for violence over a piece of entertainment technology…. Read More

Pepsi Ad Controversy: It’s Black Hermione, CBS’ Pledge Of Allegiance Debate All Over Again Race And Issue Batting We Don’t Have Time For

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Proof you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t whether you try to stay above the fray as CBS did or try to make a statement, be culturally relevant, positively impactful even while selling soda, candy, entertainment, foods. And no, America doesn’t need a better, more attuned emotional quotient unless it involves not falling for these non-scandals, but certainly not in terms of avoiding the ‘Kendal Jenner’ ad as it has since been dubbed or immediately recognizing why it is offensive. Because just as fans, the internet’s debate of a black Hermione for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage production had nothing to do with race and everything to do with J.K. Rowling’s constant additions, revisions, inconsistencies and incongruent information sessions during, but especially post, series following in the unfortunate steps of George Lucas and Star Wars, leading to a situation making casting a black Hermione the way they did completely silly and untrue to the character. Dawning comprehension CBS’ rejection of a cute little girl reciting the pledge of allegiance had absolutely nothing to do with the unpatriotic, un-American sentiments of network bigwigs, an attempt to appease secular humanist liberals, social justice whine-o’s who want to annihilate America’s cultural history, generate a forced utopia as fake as reality television with twice the devastation, and was contrastingly centered around its ill-fit to sell real estate, varying kinds of insurance for those properties even to a local audience viewing an annual rodeo event. Because they knew where opinions would fall on both sides, the further likely spawned uproar regarding using patriotism to sell a product, any product versus say giving to charity; lively discussions talking about using a child in such a shameless way, not to mention the added, special permissions needed to use children in such commercials, particularly scrutinizing known exploitation revealed running wild in Hollywood on top of the droves of lost young stars, ruined young talent chewed up and spit out by too much pressure too soon. All detracting from the goal: to sell insurance, draw business to your firm, agency, group, bring in dollars for the TV network; CBS, reading the landscape tealeaves, shrewdly said no thank you. Returning us to the latest hot button, trending topic, social media explosion cranking out article after article, warranting a nightly news mention, Pepsi’s gamble arguably should have been worth it offering a totally different message that should have resonated rather than making people feel patronized, their struggle cheapened, angling a bid for unity, defacto providing recognition in a more vibrant, lasting form than endless protest footage on wall to wall cable news….
General consensus seems to be Pepsi should have just stayed out of it, found another way to sell their product without being utterly tone deaf to the mood of the country; belying to ridiculing the seriousness of resistance and what it means to the activists, people fighting for life, livelihood, the lives of their children, justice for unfathomable wrong those who’ve never experienced it simultaneously can never understand. Situations sufferers already feel the rest of America doesn’t see, white people pre-privileged out of the womb, handed opportunities as their defacto birthright wouldn’t know how to live, function or succeed without and why are you making it worse in the process of selling soda, something you have a thousand other ways to sell it might be added? Recurring theme here, aren’t we putting too much stock in a soda ad, what people could possibly get out of aforementioned soda ad, giving it their maximum attention and let’s face it who does that today with anything forget a commercial, not part of the super bowl set meant to grab and keep your rapt attention costing millions to make and the only consistent time throughout the year you can get a mass audience focused on the same thing at the same time. Commercials, shock and awe, drawing attention to something they, viewers, may not particularly like, won’t necessarily buy, may prefer Coke, Mountain Dew, Doctor Pepper or Root Beer over Pepsi, the unique beverage not the brand…. Further tackling the accusation Pepsi used other people’s pain to sell a product, a particularly crass product in the form of soda with no intrinsic value, hold it; you mean they did what advertisers every one have done for decades going back to the first newspapers, traveling salesmen peddling elixirs, tonics throughout the old west laced with every kind of drug and not fulfilling half their claims, shock everything seen in a commercial isn’t real? Perhaps people need a reality check on the fundamental nature of advertising then along with a twin dose of recognition Pepsi’s advertising tactic is no different than funds solicited for St. Jude or Shriners hospitals, the ASPCA, religious program documentation of abysmal conditions for faith X and needing viewers’ financial help to change it, pictures of the drought induced famine underway in Africa; equally the links to donation options posted on ABC’s website, the donations accumulated from something billed an informational newscast segment. Few see anything wrong with that excepting possibly televangelists bilking grandmas out of social security checks if that wasn’t a stereotypical slanted trope to begin with; quite the opposite argument, the segment was done in hopes it would both make people aware and elicit donations to help save lives. Unhindered and widely un-objected to products do the same too from hair removal wands to bathtub and sink scrubbers, specialty mops whose top selling point is either no need to visit a doctor, pay for expensive electrolysis treatments to remove unsightly hair or clean your home with ease sans bending to reach shower corners, be on your hands and knees to effectivity clean floors. What about specially tubs ideal for elderly persons permitting them to stay in their homes, life alert and adjacent systems of wearable devices connecting elderly disabled persons to emergency help; again granted mentioned causes, attempts to sell certain products are for their target audience’s good making it possible to stay at home safely, mitigating fall, bone breaking hazards for our growing elderly population, convenience cleaning items holding positive implications for older individuals, those with disabilities, painful injuries, but isn’t that always advertising’s angle, even soda can enhance your life with a better tasting drink? Additionally, despite the current political climate, data surrounding the election of president Trump, emboldened hate groups of all stripes, first and foremost white supremacy, spewing their views at every turn, feeling justified in saying what they’ve sadly been thinking for quite some time, directed hate toward African Americans, Muslims, LGBT persons; our activist climate, numerous protests are proof more people want diversity, inclusion than don’t… Too blaming Kendal Jenner, who it has to be pointed out between laborious character assassinations, independent who her family is, the sizeable wealth she stands to inherit at some juncture in her life, may have already inherited since 21 is the standard age for such inheritances to activate chooses to work anyway, unless working in some aspect is tied to receiving inheritance monies, continuing to receive said monies. Kendal Jenner, who regardless of unknown stipulations placed on her in reference to accessing family wealth seems to enjoy the work she does, has several modeling, business venture and writing gigs to her name, belying her fame and popularity comes exclusively from appearing on her family’s reality TV show. Jenner who technically, theoretically, if she ‘truly wanted to work’, be a ‘normal’ contributor to society could have become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, social worker; however, in the longstanding climate of who you know outpacing, outperforming what you know when it comes to career entrance and mobility, she arguably did the right thing parlaying her family knowledge of the business, not just name connections, into opportunities for herself. Nor is she unique in doing so the Olsen twins did the same thing both during and post their Full House years, Hillary Duff, Miley Cyrus, several former Disney stars including Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Selina Gomez branched out significantly from their beginnings; neither is she responsible for the current state, the longstanding state of the industry she elected to work in because it made the most sense, she appears to have a talent for, worthy to keep in mind she is new and just works there. To that end, she showed up to do a job, unknown is if she petitioned Pepsi for the gig, maybe her agent did; stars of her caliber, looking to gain jobs routinely have one, at which point he’s merely doing his job in securing his client meaningful paid work. And, everyone in acting, modeling, TV, show business, by the way, puts in their time, pays their dues doing small parts, underwear ads, TV commercials before hitting it big, moving on to better, greater projects. News at 11:00, bashing Kendal Jenner for being white, privileged and successful all at once is not only reverse racism personified, it will not change race dynamics in this country…. Never mind who exactly is paying that much attention to commercials, who would see it anyway calculating the number of households steadily cutting their cable cords, trading in expensive cable packages for a Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime subscription combo giving them better quality programing and a distinct lack of ads, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast creating similar effect, internet purposefully crafting ads based on user search histories virtually eliminating ads for things that don’t interest that specific person…. . When all else fails, you actually are dealing with old school audience members the invention of the mute button and the fact we all know watchers head for the refrigerator, the bathroom as commercials start takes huge chunks out of the body of persons you’re reaching; before going off shelves entirely VCR’s held an auto-fast-forward activated during commercials no one wanted to see, common knowledge people pause shows using their TiVo, TiVo usage reducing ads seen as well multiplying the fold reduction of people viewing the ad, translating into, again why are we talking about this period, still talking about it?…. Talk about a distraction, wasting ink, talking points, news segment space over Pepsi or Kendal Jenner in this instance is a trolls and the Trump agenda win; because while we were talking about Pepsi’s bad ad in the context of anything other than this is what gives so called social justice warriors a bad name, remarking it leaves them open to being called ‘snowflake,’ pansy ass real things were happening that effect broader swaths of the American people in much realer ways than perceptions from a soda commercial. Setting aside ongoing escalations with North Korea, how the French election impacts Europe, reshapes functional parts of the world, what Russia is doing today to manipulate us, someone else, undermine democracy globally there’s what’s happening here at home, local legislation going on behind the national scenes. Example, do you live in South Carolina, are you of child bearing age; then you might be interested in their latest push to outlaw abortion with hot off the presses incarnations of a personhood bill. For or against LGBT rights, issue neutral: North Carolina you voted out Pat McCrory over the bathroom bill backlash costing the state millions if not billions in revenue from lost advertising, canceled concerts, celebrity and other boycotts, business withdraw, not to mention the NCAA, NBA and every other national basketball organization fleeing the state, so shouldn’t you be more upset they are spending legislative energy trying to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage at least as far as North Carolina is concerned?… Everyone should be paying attention to the flurry of executive orders, regulation rollbacks issuing from the Whitehouse including ones allowing coal mines to dump their waste in rivers, slash safety regulations for workers not to mention potentially their overtime pay, a new religious liberty order greenlighting religious institutions’ foray and monetary donations into politics, possibly streamline with ease discriminating against both contraception and LGBT persons when it refers to religious landlords and employers…Zika funding may end by summer 2017 for want of funding for tracking effects, devastating birth defects i.e. microcephaly and the documented 58 cases, prevention; Zika on track to wreak more havoc as there is an outbreak in Texas ahead of traditional mosquito season even for such a warm area. Stoppage of Zika funding removes too mosquito control that could cut down on other health effects, viruses and sickness carried by the insects, end patient education about the virus, its transmission, potential devastation on pregnancy and the resulting infants. Major headlines are focused recently on healthcare, tax cuts as they should be; sadly meanwhile republicans are likewise very quietly doing all they can to erase precious few gained financial regulations enacted post the financial crisis—chipping away at Dodd/Frank , weakening the consumer protection bureau behind banking regulations, controlling credit card fees, revoking rule preventing commercial banks from risky speculative investments, shrinking the too big to fail test, elongating timeframes between tests to discern health of financial institutions posing a risk to the entire system, paving the way for increased debit/credit card fees. GOP tax proposals released to media beyond projected to explode the deficit, amounting to little more than massive tax cuts for the rich, consisted of one page double spaced bullet points in more fonts than most knew were available in standard word processing programs, extremely light on details pushed out just prior to Trump’s 100 day mark embodying a play on the saying Jesus is coming look busy; this time constituents are watching look busy…What offends me more than any celebrity, white celebrity doing just about anything, let alone seen in an ad for whatever product racist or no, is minorities paying greater premiums, greater amounts for car insurance for no conceivable reason other than they weren’t born white. Held up alongside people who don’t understand, nor want to understand, initiatives like affirmative action continuing to insist our race problems nationally are in the past, and anyone speaking out about race issues now, it’s all in our heads. Collective society concurrently doubling down on the portrait, narrative black people are Hulk Hogan sized monstrous thugs who need to stop going out committing felonies if they want to be seen otherwise while minorities in F towns like Ferguson Missouri are targeted for traffic stops, jay walking, breaking hardly known ordinances on old cars situated on your own property in order to fill city coffers. And poorer minorities or whites are victims of court systems only open 1 day per month, are miles away from where the ‘defendant’ lives; such persons forced to languish in jail, unable to contribute to their own defense because they can’t afford bail. Cops are caught on tape telling their subordinates to arrest more black people coupled with a jury who couldn’t convict cold blooded murderer, laughing former police officer Michael Slager for the life of them or 50 year old Walter Scott…Offending more still, police manage to avoid charges in the brutal slaying of Alton Sterling though they had him on his back and shot 2 bullets point blank into his chest while kneeling on him; gun he bought to protect himself from area muggings during the course of hocking CD’s out of his car trunk giving what little monetary support to his kids he could after amassing a ‘criminal record’ under previously described F-town conditions, found in his pocket. Officers plainly appearing to panic the moment they emptied his pockets discovering the gun, somehow forgetting as pinned down as he was he couldn’t have reached it anyway. The enraging case of 15 year old 9th grader, honor student Jordan Edwards gunned down by police leaving a party where police allegedly were called to a noise complaint; why, the car came towards the officer in an aggressive manner, claims proven false by body cam footage, as was apparently reports by responding officer(s) of shots fired. Escalating my offense level is, the proms that weren’t desegregated until double digit years of the 21st century because they were hitherto held in private venues, the Mississippi school courts ordered in 2016 to desegregate deemed acceptable until then due to railroad tracks dividing essentially 2 area middle and high schools, not race exclusively ending a legal fight began in the 1960’s. The Alabama school allowed by federal court ruling to return to what is basically segregation or the Florida principal of a largely black school who instructed staff to put all white students in the same class…What offends me more is our society wide failed understanding why personalities a-la Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos never should have been invited to speak on any college campus anywhere, anytime; yes, we know college campus violence, mass protest is rare, most college students are worried about being awake for their first class, passing professors’ pop quizzes, doing well on finals and that Berkley has always been a flashpoint through previous decades, times of national upheaval, unrest for protests. However, problems with the named persons, other headline making commencement addressees, event speakers is not owing to they are conservative and campuses are primarily liberal, not that the term ‘safe space’ has gone so far students think they have the right not to hear viewpoints, different, opposing from their own, coopting too many administrators and professors into believing the same, willing to desecrate free speech by not allowing them to speak in the process. Converse to all that millennial gen Z stemming drama, it’s said speakers behavior, prior, present statements disqualifying them the same way revelations about Bill O’Reilly, Rodger Ailes, Bill Cosby and Shawn Hannity mark them undesirable. The same way we wouldn’t invite a holocaust denier, 9/11, Sandy hook truther to spew their hate; it’s one thing to not impede freedom of speech, it’s another to hand hate, vitriol, inciting of violence and obnoxiousness a podium. The same way climate change deniers, all/most birth control is abortifacient champions would be unwelcome, because the things they are saying are factually inaccurate. Highly offending under listed criteria is why people are confused at uproar over Condoleezza Rice’s Rutgers commencement speech invite years before or Betsy DeVos’ days ago, blaming the students for protests, trying to ban speakers the antithesis of the event they are scheduled to speak during when that falls to, talk about tone deaf, administrators; administrators who should have been cognizant that Rice receiving an honorary doctorate in law hypocritically, not only could be viewed but was, inappropriate. Considering her prattling on beside her boss George W. Bush about WMD that very probably did not exist, her support of water boarding, themed attitude leading to incidents like Abu Ghraib; her actions, support of actions taken during aforementioned administration leading many far removed from social justice warrior college campus snowflakes to believe she should be tired for war crimes. Astute protesting students stating had she been invited to a panel on ethics during war, her administrations, presidential administrations in general’s response, declarations of war, modern warfare as seen in Iraq, Afghanistan Syria, Yemen exc., ethics in modern warfare vis-a-vis the preceding instances she would have been both welcomed and respectfully heard, even if profoundly disagreed with. DeVos on the other hand represents something distasteful to the institution of education itself, incompetence, a job achieved by deep pockets and cronyism while knowing nothing about it; evidenced by her confirmation hearing where she couldn’t answer the most basic questions regarding debates in approaches to education, achievement measuring, is totally clueless on the challenges facing public schools, has never attended one herself, allowed her children to attend a public school, even plagiarizing senate questionnaire answers, irony lost only on her. Provoking legitimate fears, understanding her religious background, she will privatize, monetize through tuition fees, charter schools now public K-12 Ed.; also unsettling her financial support for gay so called conversion therapy and the largely religious institutions who practice it, a practice one state has taken steps to outlaw on persons under 18 cataloging the devastating psychological effects. Sealing her dunce like fate in the minds of even high school flunkies, never mind college educated students set to graduate admonished at the ceremony where DeVos tried to speak, scenes from her confirmation hearing where, when asked about guns in schools and do guns have any place there, presumably in the hands of security guards, conceal and carry authorized teachers to prevent, mitigate loss of life if confronted with an active shooter situation she suggested guns were needed in Wapiti Wyoming to protect students from grizzly bears, footage readily available to mildly tech savvy persons on the internet. What offends me more is looking at the march for science, the climate march, going back to the women’s march beginning of the year comprehending we’ve needed a march on each one of those subjects plus many others besides in growing pockets of the nation for a solid decade or longer when Texas schoolboards decided to whitewash history books translating to the whole nation because the largest maker of textbooks manufacturing facilities are concentrated there, when one state tried to craft an AP history class solely out of the 10 commandments and Reagan speeches, scaling back biology, physiology at the high school level to accommodate abstinence only sex ed. And we’re just now getting national attention to what’s been happening when president Trump was elected? Read More

Revenge or Catharsis

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

People have remarked Hillary Adams set her father up; she wants something from all this. Yes she wants something but it’s far from what some seen to think; she wants her father to be the man she needs him to be and it’s not about money. She said herself she wants him to get help, she wants him to realize he was wrong, to understand the gravity of what he did both there and in other incidents along with the obvious effect it had on her. She wants him to be the loving man she craves as a father figure. At the same time she wants him prevented from coming to the wrong conclusion in another young person’s life. These are not the goals of someone out for revenge, looking to gain something; she was genuinely unprepared for all the attention she has received and as she told Anderson Cooper, unprepared for the number of people who saw that video and commented that they came to the realization they were in a bad situation, they were being hurt and it needed to stop. Not the typical picture of either a gold digger or someone looking for their 15 minutes of fame; in fact some victims’ advocates would say Ms. Adams needs professional help, counseling because she clearly doesn’t see the total severity of his behavior, is still seeking an unhealthy relationship. Revenge or catharsis doesn’t matter; exposing abuse and a hypocritical use, misuse of power matters more. Read More

Why Copenhagen will Never Work in the U.S.

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Re-post original creation date 2009…The Denmark model still has bigger issues than public perception of conservation or government policies; on many practical levels the models would not work for countries, like the US, with large populated landmasses. The whole of Denmark is roughly the size of Minnesota, so in discussing replacement of traditional gas stations with electric outlets designed for cars to be able to plug in and charge or battery exchange stations for long cross country trips, they are talking both less dollars in replacement of technology and less exchange stations needed. Many people in Copenhagen bike to work, school stores, that becoming the primary mode of transportation other than public transit systems; however biking, and the other popular alternative walking, presents problems. Not just in terms of out of shape Americans not physically healthy enough to pull it off, but in terms of weather extremes, hot and cold that make it next to impossible to bike or walk even the majority of the time. In Copenhagen it is done only April through October; persons interviewed for a PBS special leading up to the climate summit said nothing about what they do the rest of the year. Other obstacles in America or major cities worldwide are walking becomes dangerous with so many cars on the road; America cannot afford the daunting infrastructure changes necessary to make things safer for pedestrians. Walking and biking also make you more of a target for crime, ripe for the picking when it comes to theft and assault. Read More