If you ever want to know the impending weather, or the political forecast, or how a community is feeling at a precise instant in time — spend a few minutes in your local McDonald’s, and you’ll instantly know if it’s going to rain that day, or if there’s rage on the street, and you’ll learn how neighbors feel about each other.
During one recent stint in the McDonald’s coffee queue, I witnessed a Jersey City municipal worker, a restaurant regular, who walked in and pointed to the current special on the menu board — two Sausage Biscuit with Egg sandwiches for $3.00 USD — and he said he wanted four of them, but only the sausage and the egg part, for a grand total of $6.00 USD out the door.
Not so fast!
We have been taught since childhood that self-harm and suicide are inappropriate and never the solution to any problem. Yet, every year, many of us still decide to end our lives by our own hand.
Do we kill ourselves because of a lack of coping skills? Do we raise our hand against our minds because we feel helpless and lost? Does turning on the “Off Button” somehow lead to the easing of an inexpressible pain?
We already sadly know that fewer teachers lead to more high school dropouts and that, in turn, results in higher rates of incarceration that becomes a burden on taxpayers:
On any given day, about one in every 10 young male high school dropouts is in jail or juvenile detention, compared with one in 35 young male high school graduates, according to a new study of the effects of dropping out of school in an America where demand for low-skill workers is plunging. …
Yesterday, we learned a just as sad, but less astonishing, fact of the doldrums of inhuman nature: Higher home foreclosure rates create an increase in child abuse:
As I am writing this article, news that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act is ringing like freedom throughout the United States. It is a great day to be an American, and an even greater day to be an American if you happen to fall ill. “Obamacare” is now a law of the land milestone and is no longer a political insult.
Fresh from my Inbox:
The Affordable Care Act has already made a significant difference in the lives of millions of Americans, including those living with disabilities. Today’s ruling is an affirmation that all Americans, and especially those living with disabilities, should have access to the care that they need. This decision means that individuals cannot be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition— and for the disability community, affirms the definition of equality as set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Stephen Bennett, United Cerebral Palsy President & CEO. “Today’s decision is a clear victory for Americans living with disabilities. UCP strongly supports the Affordable Care Act and will keep working to ensure its implementation eliminates disparities and guarantees equality for all Americans.
Here’s a current scenario that is happening all too often to way too many of my friends and family and hundreds of thousands of strangers across our great Homeland.
You are a loyal and longtime worker. You’ve been with the company for over 20 years. You’re called into the office a year before your 62nd birthday and told you have two Hobson’s Choices: “Sign this paper saying you will retire the day you turn 62 or get fired today and lose your health insurance and go on unemployment. The decision is all yours!” Of course, these “new firees” are terrified and stunned and only hear, “You’re fat and ugly and stupid and smelly and we’re through with you, now get out!”
I was talking to a financial planner friend of mine the other day, and one of the standardized questions he asks clients and potential clients is if they had to, could they come up with a thousand dollars in one day for an emergency?
For the past couple of months, protesters in Lower Manhattan have taken part of a campaign called Occupy Wall Street, fighting against many things including the disparity of wealth between the top 1% of the nation’s wealthy and everyone else. They are fighting against a system where people can get their homes taken away from them after years of perfect mortgage payments when their required payments suddenly double or triple without warning. If evicting people from their homes wasn’t enough, one New York foreclosure law firm added insult when they had everyone dress up like the homeless and mock them in a Halloween party last year –