Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Migrants across the globe
The disaster unfolding in different parts of the world and our callous response to the outbreak is a culmination of our overconfidence in our existence as humans & ability to overpower anything. It is commonplace to use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools for scenario planning, predicting the disease profile of an unborn and model just about any kind of situation, yet we failed to respond at multiple levels – travel bans, contact tracing, social distancing etc., seemed to be an afterthought.
The COVID-19 outbreak is extraordinary in terms of scale, velocity, and uncertainty. In an unprecedented crisis like this one, the most vulnerable people are hit the hardest. Displaced populations including migrant workers are usually neglected in emergency responses. As compared to the general population they already disproportionately bear the brunt of substandard living conditions, overcrowding, limited access to sanitation and water and poor nutrition making them immunocompromised and easily susceptible to the virus.
In addition, restriction of movement and poor access to health services makes the situation insurmountable. Misinformation/ lack of any causes fear mongering and people have been stigmatized, scapegoated and in most cases completely missed out from the equation. All nations have invoked emergency response in the form of lockdown and relief measures for the
marginalized, but the ‘HOW’ part is still unfolding. While the dominant narrative has been around social distancing, these restrictions have exacerbated existing disparities in resource distribution in informal settlements leading to many individuals masking their health condition for fear of retribution, further perpetuating local transmission.
The disease will inevitably spread to displaced communities, and swift measures and large-scale efforts need to be mobilized urgently to mitigate the short-term and lasting effects on displaced populations and the wider community.
Lockdown in India
The virus has created an unprecedented crisis across the globe, and the impact is even more debilitating in developing economies. On March 24th, 2020 India went into a nation-wide lockdown, unarguably one of the most stringent lockdowns by any nation.
India’s top-down approach to the Coronavirus crisis in the form of a strict lockdown was absolutely critical to save the people of the nation. The government understood early on that under no circumstances could they allow India to become the epicenter for the disease since India’s infrastructure was not ready to handle a crisis of this magnitude.
The lockdown represents a huge logistical challenge in India due to the population density and income inequality. As the consequences of a disease like this can be catastrophic in a population of 1.3 B people with two thirds of the population under poverty i.e. 68.8% of the population according to IMS lives on less than $2 a day, most of them living in villages and moving around the country for labor, thus India has ~40 million migrant population, mostly invisible and undocumented labor. India has way fewer per capita hospital beds and doctors to cater to a 1.3B population.
Low income households and migrant workers are a huge unorganized sector of the economy. No matter how much the Government tries to provide fiscal relief, the containment cannot be left to the government simply because of the sheer population, lack of literacy, cluster living conditions, no real standards for disseminating proper information and minimal digital network, and finally the medical community just not equipped for telemedicine. In such a scenario it is imperative for the community to be in lockstep with the government to expand the reach through community surveillance, isolation and have strategic engagement at different levels as the emergency response has to be tailored for a diverse population, unlike a one size fits all approach. This is where the not-for-profit organizations in India have stepped up to shine the light on the unmet needs of the community and have emerged as a strong backbone of the society to channelize government support and bridge the hardship of the marginalized community. Setu’s work in this time of crisis is an outstanding example for all.
This is a recount of the many interviews I have done with migrants and others who were severely affected and received help from Setu’s relief efforts:
Interview with Bala Saheb Deshmukh, a transgender and HIV patient, May 1st, 2020
Bala Saheb Deshmukh also known as Gayatri Devi is a transgender. He got associated with Setu Trust through the control of HIV and AIDS program for transgenders. Bala is a home-based sex worker at Jalna, Maharashtra. During this time, he has received assistance in the form of counselling and medication from Setu Trust ever since he came in contact with the volunteers of the Trust in the year 2016. During the lockdown period Bala was staring at starvation as he had no source of livelihood. He soon fell ill and was running very high temperature. He needed urgent help but was at Badnapur, a remote village, about 30 miles from Jalna and therefore could do nothing and no villagers came to support fearing the worst. Not knowing who to turn to for help, in desperation he contacted Ganesh Waghmare, Setu Trust Jalna (Out-reach worker) and told him about his problem on the phone. Ganesh immediately informed Shakeel Ahmed, Project Manager about Bala’s predicament. Mr. Ahmed in turn contacted the district coordinator MSACS (Maharashtra Aids Control Society), Mr. Gaikwad, who immediately arranged for an ambulance to carry him to Jalna Civil Hospital. He stayed at the hospital till he was fully cured. He mentioned in the interview that Setu volunteers were always available for help during his stay at the hospital. They also provided him food grain kits for a month. “It is difficult to find people these days, who care for orphans, however Setu Trust is a shining example of hope and nobility. I am thrilled to receive your call and be able to speak with you on the phone to tell you my story. “
Interview with Rafiq, project manager Parbhani, May 10th, 2020
Setu Trust partners Maharashtra Aids Control Society (MSACS) for counselling and medication of sex workers to check spread of AIDS and HIV. During the lockdown period special care has to be taken of HIV affected persons as their immunity is low and they are susceptible to common ailments. Setu Trust provides food and medicine to all HIV patients through home visits. During this lockdown period one Tamasha artist (Tamasha is an Indian folk drama and dance from the 18th century, originated as an entertainment for encamped armies), an HIV patient had travelled to Pathri about 25 miles from Parbhani, city, her home. She could not return due to lockdown. In the mean while her medicine got exhausted and she was in desperate need of medication for survival. She approached project manager Mr. Rafique over phone. Mr. Rafique immediately consulted the civil surgeon who advised him to send a photo copy of the prescription. He also spoke to the doctor, who arranged for the medicines. Timely intervention by the project Manager helped contain a critical situation for the patient. Daily food items were also provided to the patient by him.
Interview with Charan Singh, a migrant laborer from Jharkhand, May 15th, 2020
Charan Singh Raghunath Munda, 28 year old is a resident of a very small village in Ranchi, Jharkhand had migrated to Walunj, Maharashtra to work as daily wage worker. He was living with his wife in a small rented tenement in Walunj since 15th , March. Since livelihood is very difficult in his village he would travel in search of work. He had worked at this site two years ago and hence was familiar with the place. This time too he applied for a gate pass to enable him to work at the factory. His application was delayed to due to some error in the paperwork and he was awaiting arrival of further identification documents from his native place. He had very little money to buy provisions and somehow managed to pull on, remaining hungry on few days. On 22nd March he heard about the dreaded Corona disease and the lockdown that would follow. He had no money left. Who could he turn to for help in a place where he knew no one? On March, 26th the situation turned so bad that they did not have a morsel to eat. He was regretting his decision to move to Aurangabad. He could not ask for assistance from his parents who were themselves very poor. Finding no help, he set out from his home, promising his emaciated wife that he would return with food. As he was passing by the factory gate he saw that truck drivers were being served food. He eagerly started moving towards the food distribution center but was chased away by a security guard. He pleaded with him that he had not eaten for several days and must get some help but the guard was unmoved. The Setu volunteer serving food overheard the conversation and called out to Charan. The volunteer gave food enough for the two assuring that he could return to get food twice daily. When Charan broke this news to his wife, she was thrilled and immediately informed her parents that God had taken care of them and that there was nothing to worry. It has been 6 weeks since that day, Charan has been getting food daily and is very so grateful to Baliram Dhere of Setu Trust. He thanks God for leading him to Setu center and would remain ever grateful to Dhere and Setu Trust for saving his family from the impending starvation.
migrated to Walunj, Maharashtra to work as daily wage worker. He was living with his wife in a small rented tenement in Walunj since 15th , March. Since livelihood is very difficult in his village he would travel in search of work. He had worked at this site two years ago and hence was familiar with the place. This time too he applied for a gate pass to enable him to work at the factory. His application was delayed to due to some error in the paperwork and he was awaiting arrival of further identification documents from his native place. He had very little money to buy provisions and somehow managed to pull on, remaining hungry on few days. On 22nd March he heard about the dreaded Corona disease and the lockdown that would follow. He had no money left. Who could he turn to for help in a place where he knew no one? On March, 26th the situation turned so bad that they did not have a morsel to eat. He was regretting his decision to move to Aurangabad. He could not ask for assistance from his parents who were themselves very poor. Finding no help, he set out from his home, promising his emaciated wife that he would return with food. As he was passing by the factory gate he saw that truck drivers were being served food. He eagerly started moving towards the food distribution center but was chased away by a security guard. He pleaded with him that he had not eaten for several days and must get some help but the guard was unmoved. The Setu volunteer serving food overheard the conversation and called out to Charan. The volunteer gave food enough for the two assuring that he could return to get food twice daily. When Charan broke this news to his wife, she was thrilled and immediately informed her parents that God had taken care of them and that there was nothing to worry. It has been 6 weeks since that day, Charan has been getting food daily and is very so grateful to Baliram Dhere of Setu Trust. He thanks God for leading him to Setu center and would remain ever grateful to Dhere and Setu Trust for saving his family from the impending starvation.
Interview with Sopan, a truck driver in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, May 20th, 2020
Sopan Yashwant Landge a resident of village Chondhi, district Hingoli, Maharashtra has been working as a truck driver for the last four years, transporting motorcycles manufactured at Bajaj factory at Walunj to different states. He returned to Walunj on 21 March after one such trip. By this time the pandemic had gripped the country and a lockdown was clamped on Aurangabad and surrounding areas including Walunj. He had no option but to stay in the truck parking area. He prayed that the lockdown would be soon lifted and he could travel back to his village. There were restaurants where the drivers used to eat but they had shut business. He was carrying enough money but could not buy any food. The currency notes were just paper and useless for him. There were some drivers who had managed to buy some food grains and shared with him for a few days. But their stock was getting exhausted and he could no longer depend on them. He was at the point of starvation and was suddenly reminded of HIV advocacy volunteers of Setu Trust whom he had met on a few occasions. He immediately contacted one of them and told him about the precarious condition that he was in. He got an immediate response from Setu’s project manager Mr. Dhere who was carrying out a survey on how many truck drivers were in a similar situation and promised that food would be available from the next day. True to his words Mr. Dhere called and gave him enough food on the appointed date. There were 400 other people who were similarly served. Sopan was awestruck as he could not believe that there were persons who would go beyond the call of duty at personal risk to help people in need. The volunteers personally supervised distribution of food twice daily. They have been visiting the distribution center everyday to supervise cooking and distribution of food. The entire trucker community is highly indebted to the organization and its volunteers for saving them from certain starvation. Sopan said “I am touched beyond words for the act of charity and nobility of the volunteers, they were really God sent at a very critical period in my life.’ He recounted another glorious act of bravery and forgiveness of Mr.Dhere. Dhere was beaten brutally by the police for riding his motorbike while he was returning after the food distribution one day. He bore body marks of the beating but wanted no sympathy. He had forgiven the policemen saying that they were doing their duty and he should have obtained a travel pass from the government for the lockdown period. How does one describe this kind of humility and forgiveness. I bow my head before him and his Organization which has inculcated a supreme sense of service among its volunteers.”
The world has its own story and its own fate according to the times its in. In 2019 the world seems to be rising with emerging nations from Asia-Pacific taking over the western countries within the next 3 decades creating a whole new shift in world order. I laugh at the gleeful optimism these naive humans have. In 2019 people believe cancer will be cured and immortality would be achieved. Nonetheless I am going to tell you what actually happens a 100 years later through my story as a war prisoner in a rogue state where tyranny and barbarism holds no bounds. I am the only human surviving the rest of the world is debilitated and only the Yazata people manage to survive. These hooligans believe they are the only race that is worthy of living and are trying to create a complete Yazata based society. These people are not humans but monsters. They are testament to the tyranny that the human race is capable of bringing. Unlike what many may think this situation was bound to happen and History shows that. Only fools are incompetent from looking from the past and that is unfortunately the only term I can describe humans with. Their folly knows no boundaries. However the hindu concept of Karma now resonates with me. It was a religion that existed 2 years ago and now has been wiped out from the surface of planet earth. The mess I am in is not something unprecedented . The pressure had been amounting for decades and things just blew like no one could think of in their worst nightmare. The human lapse in judgement and the control dopamine has is toxic and destructive. The destruction of planet Earth is solely because of the human lust for supremacy and quirks in their personality the ego of a human is not to be irked, believe me, it can cause nuclear destruction. It all began in 2019 when the UN security council was debating whether to create a militant force in Afghanistan and the United states urged on sending troops there however China rejected any such proposals and urged they would send theirs.Their sole ambition was dominion over oil rich Afghanistan. Soon there was communal disharmony between the UN Security forces and the US and China waged full scale war. A bunch of rebels in the UK who were part of a non-governmental militia in North-Western England started to get interested in this so in the midst of the war these people covertly dressed as US army men and went to Shanghai so they could stage a coup and set their hands on the prize and rest assured the US leadership was too corrupt and lazy to properly administer the armed forces. As soon as they reached Pudong district they strategically and effectively raided the smallpox laboratory in Beijing, China. The strength of this capture was unfathomable as a simple leak of this virus in civil society could cause an epidemic worse than what Medieval Europe had experienced in the middle ages. The smallpox virus was kept in case the smallpox virus were to break out again then there would be a counter attack mechanism however this instead of saving the world was captured by a rogue organisation that called themselves Yazata. For the first time in human history did people witness an existential threat to human civilization. This should have been the moment that mankind comes together and removes any difference and exhibits Gods love however that was not the case. The United States threatened pulled out of China and China before declaring a national health emergency signed a deal with Pakistan whom they share border disputes with in Kashmir to hand them Aksai Chin,(China occupied Kashmir) and covertly signed a deal with Yazatas granting them political autonomy in Aksai Chin and hence they bluffed Pakistan. The Yazatas created a government there before Pakistan could do anything. Hence instead of sharing neighborly love with Pakistan: China played a bluff that would cause the eradication of mankind. Yazata kept no diplomatic or political relations with any country. They officially endorsed state sponsored terrorism and unfortunately Pakistan itself was going through tumultuous political and economic circumstances hence they couldn’t fend themselves from the Yazata. The first step of the Yazata was to create internal instability of Pakistan and eventually capture it. The North West of Pakistan in Wazristan was already almost in Afghan hands and by now Afghanistan had been declared a failed state and had no military control. The entire force was controlled by the Taliban who eventually tied up with the Yazatas. Since no country could deploy troops in Afghanistan the situation there had become reckless. The already fragile part of Pakistan was now under Taliban control and indirectly under the Yazatas. The army chief of Pakistan in fear of his life gave the Yazatas the Nuclear launch codes and sold his country to war mongerers. Yes now the Yazatas controlled a Nuclear state. They were invincible and they were the hub of terrorism. Terrorist group leaders came to get funding. Nothing could stop the Yazatas as they had menacing leadership that could launch Nuclear Weapons at any time. The world had very little knowledge of the doom impending upon them. This state had created a system where no political rights existed. Nobody was allowed to leave the state of Yazata(which now composed of Aksai Chin, Afghanistan and Pakistan). There was no access to the internet except for the heads of state who contacted terrorists. Three major terrorists groups joined together and made up the armed forces of the country. People could be hanged if they laughed to much or smiled in public or cried in public. They had to pledge allegiance to Yazata and carry out all state operations with determination. They had enforced jingoism as a state doctrine. Women were treated as third class citizens and crimes such as rape were excused . They could be beaten up if they questioned their role in society. The act of propagating feminism was equivalent to treason or death by waterboarding. Children for education were forced to study Yazata doctrine and become jingoistic and they were trained in how to attack different places. They were indoctrinated so as to make them think that they were the supreme race. They burned books and any other knowledge was irrelevant and Satanic in that society. Soon India managed to gain some insight through the strict surveillance they kept in Indian Kashmir and revealed intelligence to America. The League of Nations soon decided to have a meeting. However this was not going to be possible. In the State of the Union address where all the important members of the US government were present there was an explosion. In this explosion there was only one survivor and he automatically by being the designated survivor became President of the United States. Nobody at the time knew this but the man who survived was linked to the Yazata cause. A low grade agent in the FBI got this information but before that information could become public that man was mysteriously executed. I knew him and unfortunately I only got to see his note when he reached his deathbed and the world was already at the brink of eternal destrutction. The first country to be wiped off was the United States of America instead of trying to bring back the government the phony president organized an election in which there was a toxin on the ballots which caused the spread of a virus throughout the country and the CDC(center for disease control) was overwhelmed as it hadn’t experienced anything of that magnitude before. Now the Yazata were fresh to take over government and the first step was genocide of all the Americans who survived. The crusade of America was a success. Now with access to the strongest weapons in the world the Yazata were near invincible. The only power cable of countering them were Russia but unfortunately Russia had lost ground in Syria a long time back and through Yazata funding Syria became a breeding ground of terrorism again and since a large part of the Russian army was in Syria they had been victim to the terrorism and their army had low morale. At this time Syria struck Russia and captured it. The weapons were in Syrian hands and they wouldn’t budge to take action against the Yazata people.The League of nations was disbanded. Hence a secret meeting was organized between the heads of states from India, South Africa and the UK. This meeting was intercepted and hacked however the preliminary plans were made. The wrath of Yazata made them instigate a civil war in India as the first plan of action was to mobilise Kashmiri separatists and attack New Delhi. I had been deployed by british intelligence to manage the situation. While I was going I heard that Yazata had waged war against India. There was a continuous series of bombings all over. Indian infrastructure was down within a few days and the Government had left to Mauritius and lawlessness and riots were flourishing as there was no local law enforcement and this caused Yazatas to take over India and now India had a third of the population. Britain too was undergoing a bout of Smallpox. Civil war was rampant in Africa. The Zika virus was already causing a menace in South America. Upon my arrival in Aksai Chin( to get to it I had to navigate various paths of Yazata rule and the situation of these places was heart wrenching) I tried to meet with the other agents. We set up a camp in a desert and all of us knew the responsibility on us. While they were setting up the camp I had gone to find a place to conduct my regular inspection of the Area. Within 10 minutes I heard a huge explosion and apparently they had killed all the agents. I was unfortunate enough to survive. I tried to settle in society as I had no role here my government was shattered India was at the brink of destruction. Australia was under the ocean. Africa was under civil unrest that was causing a famine and the rule of Boko Haram which was linked to Yazata. I tried to live life again. I was eventually captured but not killed as they thought they could use me as a political gimmick. I was thrashed each and every day. I saw how humanity could go rogue. I see son fighting father and mother fighting daughter like scavengers and barbarians. A son can turn in his father if he believes he has said anything against the Yazata people. I was whipped 15 times yesterday. I have not seen a single tv or computer here. All the men their had sex slaves who were officially known as public property. They casually had a beheading of the homeless and people enjoyed it. The compassion between human beings ceased to exist. Tomorrow is my execution and if 300 years later things return to normal I hope that the dreams people had in 2019 do get fulfilled. History is a lesson I hope the Yazata who reads this can learn that he/she is capable of bringing radical social changes as has been brought throughout human history. We could defeat the Nazis, colonial control and still reemerge and be the best of what we can. Learn that love is the most important emotion you can bring out and your mind is your best weapon This is a historical document that you hopefully would read in your classrooms and learn that Yazata principles are the principles you should be standing valiantly against.
To understand the basis of views and positions of the American people, we must understand the underlying rationale behind those views and the implications of their implementation. The American people had been through tyrannical British rule, and they had fought a revolution on the ideals of liberty and Republicanism. The articles of confederation in many ways was a failure because it restricted the national Government a lot. So there was a need to ratify the constitution. Nonetheless, we know that any form of Government taken to the extremes of one end is not good. The Federalists want to create a tyrannical system in which the Government has absolute control in a way that makes the US look like it did when it was a colony of Britain. Most people supporting the federalists’ side are people of power who cannot pretend to understand the will of the common man or the importance of Republicanism.
The federalists lack in their understanding of the principles and the functioning of a Republican Government. They inherently are distrustful of the people and are trying to distance the people from the Government. They do not believe that people can make decisions for themselves and hence believe that the views of the people need refinement from people living far away from them. That is the point they make when they advocate for a government that is to function for the people. Their reasoning is flawed because if we were to pay heed to the greatest of history and self-evident truths, we would know that a free republic could not exist when governing so many people. Throughout history, republics have collapsed due to them becoming too big and being of too many opposing forces that deride the people of their well being. Such situations occur simply because in such a large republic, one cannot have their voice heard and delegated at the highest levels. As the country expands, the demands of so many people would make simple transactions impossible. Simple functions of democracy, such as the ability to debate, assembly, and understanding of issues, cannot be adequately done because of the multitude of people within. Legislators must serve their constituents well, and it is impossible to practice Republicanism in such a setup.
The constitution makes it blatantly obvious that we are going to see a massive siege of power by the elite of this humongous republic. It says in Article 1 section 8 “that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution, in the government of the United States; or in any department or office thereof.” This article is listed in conjunction with the enumerated powers, and there is no other legal check on this power. The judicial branch, which will try to increase its own power, will not be inclined to control the actions of the legislature. To understand the implications of this, one must understand the extent of power given to the legislature just within the enumerated powers guaranteed by the constitution. The powers include things like collecting taxes, raising standing armies, instituting courts, and exercising other general powers. The power to collect taxes may be the biggest of them all as state governments rely on money to sustain themselves. However, the unchecked power to tax can dwindle state governments and obliterate any ideas that the will of the people can run the country. Another tyrannical power is the power to raise standing armies that will be the recipe for the destruction of our liberties. These powers aided by the “necessary and proper” clause will see that tyranny will go unchecked, and knowing the nature of man and his power-hungry attitude such an event is destined to happen. It is a lesson of history that men have always been irresponsible in their use of power, and such a constitution will be a recipe for disaster.
There, in literal terms, is no bound to power for the Judiciary. Those entrusted with that power have unquestioned authority over the law of the land. The language that vests authority in courts is crafted in such a way that the common man will not be able to understand the construct of it, and it will vest much power in professionals to interpret and make out the words of the constitution at their will. They may abuse such a power that can have catastrophic effects on society. When mentioning the bounds of power of the federal court, nothing is specified, and the construction provides the most power possible. It initially says that courts will have jurisdiction over all cases of equity, laws of the US, and treaties. Later on, it says that the courts will have the cognizance of all laws in the US; hence, this expands the power of federal courts to nearly that of state courts and in many ways, goes against Republican ideals. The authority of the courts to examine cases that relate to the construction of the constitution provides them latitude to construct the laws in the ways they want. Every word that has a technicality or is vague is subject to the viewpoint of the courts. That viewpoint of a judge will dictate the lives of the citizens of the country. The prospect of a judge’s viewpoint running the country is especially frightening because there is no established interpretation of the articles that govern the nation’s state and federal government. With no specific laws to govern things like equity and power of the General Government, we would have the courts expand such powers as their interests lie in a strong federal government. The court would be made up of people, and the greed for power corrupts people.
In essence, the federalist argument against a bill of rights was that all the rights that are not given in the constitution were reserved to the states and to people to decide and deliberate in their local setup. They said that everything not given was reserved. They also made the argument that making an exhaustive list of rights could imply that rights could be abused or are subject to federal government control. The Federalists do have some merit to their arguments, but they seem to miss the larger picture. Without the Bill of Rights, we have a constitution that lets the judiciary have a free ride, and the legislative has the “necessary and proper” clause. Hence the recognition of our fundamental rights, without which our society would descend into tyranny, are necessary because they would recognize the natural rights of the citizens and limits on the Government. The argument that states the bill of rights would be sufficient is fallacious because the constitution is the supreme law of the land. The bill of rights is needed so that we can have clearer interpretations of some very vague laws that exist at the legislative and judicial levels so that we can are protected from such abuse of powers. The federalists’ opposition to recognizing the fundamental rights of the people coupled with their vague laws can only lead us to one conclusion that the set up they are trying will end in tyranny.
A system is a mixture of inter-related components into a giant system. To take a systems approach you must consider the type of system you want to examine. Each system is affected by the environment and the mesosytems within it. A systems approach involves choosing the type of system you want to examine and then seeing how the inter-dependent parts connect and the way the other components interact. A systems approach involves an analytical rather than a reactionary outlook as reactionary outlooks can lead to disastrous logical fallacies. I like to think of myself as a thinker and I have some thoughts that profoundly scare me. I have in a way had an existential crisis. This in my view is the best topic to examine. To take a systems approach in regards to existence and how meaningful it is you must apply a systems approach. In a macrosystem we examine the value of life of humans and animals and what the world be without it. To take this to a more micro level we see 2 factors that could explain the value of the living world; one is philosophy and the other is the physical value. Philosophically speaking religion gives a special place to humans and affirms that nothing is more important than the sons and daughters of God, which is mankind. The physical explanation shows us that in an ecosystem all parts of the environment are essential to the greater well being of the planet so a more physical explanation of the value of our existence has to do with the gap we create when we leave hence our value is affirmed. Another component to measure our value is the purpose we have for ourselves. A life can be truly meaningless if one doesn’t steer in a direction he or she likes to see. Hence we must know our goals to bring meaning to our life. A systems approach would gather this analysis and craft that our value comes from our self-worth and our ambitions. The opposite of a systems approach would lead us to a logical fallacy that could negatively alter the assessment of our own existence.
The ballooning of student loans is a crisis throughout the country. To tackle this problem we must simply not just throw money at the problem. At the heart of this are many issues such as the prospect of ballooning taxes and federal funding. Forgiving student loans is simply not an option such raising of taxes has historically not yielded the returns. If we get into a system where people anticipate that their loans will be forgiven in the future, I think we’re only going to see that problem exacerbated. The Federal Government should cut down on the loans they provide and provide a more risk based loan system. There should also be a debt to major ratio that gives loans based on expected returns. Colleges should recieve funding under mandates so that colleges don’t spend it in a wrong way. Universities should be held accountable for the way they spend their money. Students should enroll in things like income based payments that have shown to pay of very well. The student loan forgiveness should be about 30 percent of the income and students should be able to opt out of forgiveness for tax breaks.
The NEA , the nations largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause for public education. The primary goal for the NEA is to ensure teachers are being treated fairly and their members are protected. The NEA also has a goal of ensuring that the public education system thrives and helps students. The NEA relies on members to perform much of their work and provides a strong local, state, and national network in return. The NEA has managed to have a far reaching influence in American society at all levels and structures. The NEA wants to reform the NCLB act. It wants to change laws regarding charter schools. Increases education funding. They want to discourage school vouchers and all forms of competition from public schools. The NEA wants to repeal two aspects of the social security bill that they believe negatively impacts teachers. NEA has received criticism for many of its actions such as opposing measures that help bring disciplinary action and also they have opposed things such as merit pay and weakening of teacher tenure. In 2014 the NEA opposed the continuing appropriations resolution. They opposed the NCLB(No Child left behind) act. The NEA supports the EESA as they believe that it brought national attention to the equality of opportunity for poor kids and directing federal funds according to need rather than performance. The NEA allied with the Department of defense schools to oppose funding for the border wall so that schools with kids of military officials don’t lose funding. A bill that the NEA is pushing is the HR 4301 that will make the secretary of education work in conjunction with the Attorney general and the secretary of health and human services to publish an annual report on school crimes and safety. The NEA is heavily involved in litigation and defending its members and they file law suits against bills that don’t match their ideology. State affiliates of the NEA regularly lobby state legislators for funding, seek to influence education policy, and file legal actions. From 1989 to 2014 the NEA gave over 92 million dollars to political campaigns. Most of the NEA funding comes from dues paid by members(297 million/344 million budget). The NEA, at the local level, raises funds for scholarships, conducts professional development workshops, and bargains contracts for school employees. At the state level, they lobby legislators for funding, seek to influence legislation, and campaign for higher standards. The NEA at the federal level lobbies for its members. The NEA is the largest labor union in the US hence it has a powerful voice in the political arena. The NEA has formed allies within the US house and senate and they give these people high ratings, which helps the candidates in elections, in return the elected officials help the NEA achieve its goals. A successful example of NEA achieving its goals was when it successfully sued the state of connecticut for underfunding the schools. The NEA targets the legislative branch of the government. The NEA lobbies at capitol hill and has formed and endorsed senators and house members. These members advocate for the policy positions of the NEA to get a favorable rating by them so that their electorate is happy. The NEA gives most to the education/labor committee and gives a significant amount to the Budget, Health, and Banking committees.
The NEA favors the democratic party. It contributes to them by donating money and providing political assistance. The NEA is very influential as it is largest labor organization in the US and their vote often times gets streamlined if the heads endorse a party. The NEA has come up with a report card and a list of allies these people have favorable ratings in the NEA and people supporting the NEA can see the list. In around a hundred allies in the house only four are Republican . Endorsed senate officials include Elizabeth Warren, Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders, Jon Tester, and Jacky Rosen. NEA has donated the largest amounts to the Democratic Congressional committe, Million more voters, and Jobs education PAC. NEA in many ways is like a union designed for teachers rights and public school advocacy and such positions have historically been supported by democrats. Unions vote overwhelmingly Democrat. The NEA has always been opposed to Republican education secretary nominees such as Betsy de vos. NEA has many left of center positions. It opposes charter schools, vouchers, school competition, weakening of tenure, essentially all the positions that Republicans support. The NEA is for increasing spending in education; Republicans are viewed as people who want to cut spending. NEA has taken many liberal positions such as opposing the border wall.
The NEA is considered a group that has done the most for American teachers. It has been very effective in its work. They were able to relieve states from some of the mandates of the NCLB act. The NEA was effective in changing state policy in Indiana; they made poverty a big factor in fund allocation. In Maine in 2003 they lobbied for the passage of a bill called the “K-3 plus project”. One of the chief criticisms is that the NEA often puts the interests of teachers in front of the needs of the students they teach. ike any large organization, there have been internal scandals within the NEA including embezzlement and misspending
“Happy and Hopeful 2020” a message to GenZ
We may not realize this but the transition from 2019 to 2020 is much bigger than a change in the year or decade it is a symbolic transfer of power and idealism to GenZ. We will come of age this decade. This coming of age represents not only a possibility for idealism but also the vitality for change. We have many issues to deal with as the next in line. We have commitments to those who have been forgotten and have lived in despair. It is time we end this problem that taints the very core of humanity. It is time for action and our generation will be at the drivers seat for this change. I urge you not to squander this opportunity as it could have bad repercussions. I encourage all of you to use your power to help the forgotten and downtrodden. In the spirit of positivity, idealism , and hope I wish you a very Happy and fulfilling New Year.
We are in many ways more connected and disconnected from each other. The internet has made the world smaller yet we have grown more individualistic and the shared bonds that we had in our communities has eroded. The internet has taken over our lives and we have become attached to it. The internet carries our alias or our alter personality that we may not carry along with ourselves in the real world. A person is complex and made of different experiences and emotions but since the internet has become such a large part of our lives, we have become less of a person even in the physical world. Hence when we meet people we are just carrying around a superficial persona. This has been the primary cause of our disconnect with each other. While we have more physical access to each other, we have lost the soul in our relations due to our common destinies diverging in the age we are living in. This can be seen in our politics. Today the republicans and democrats have moved in opposite direction which is quite surprising especially when you compare it to the 1970s when the drift in views was very similar and Republicans and Democrats converged on a lot of issues. Today the internet and greater options have led us to segregate ourselves into bubbles that don’t seem to burst. We like to live with people who think the same as us and want the same things as us. This rift has been exasperated by our institutions and businesses playing on those differences. It is said that for example Republicans like drinks such as Dr.Pepper more than Democrats. These tactics just widen the divide. At some point we must get comfortable with our human identity and needs as we embrace these changes. Our world has progressed so much over the last 200 years that most of the cave man instincts we have are vestigial. At this point rather than looking negatively at technology, we must embrace it for all the benefits it provides but along with that we must grow comfortable and understand that we are still humans. If we graple this identity crisis then we may reach the society of our dreams.
Why am I writing this? I am doing so because despite being apart of the Gen Z generation, I still am fascinated by the fact that I can connect my identity to people from all over the world. This exchange of speech and ideas is essential for the functioning of our democracy and is the perfect way to express our humaness by expressing our individualism and ideas. I am in High School and my interests are in politics, society, and life experiences. I hope I can put a smile on your face and stimulate your mind.