Saturday, December 15, 2012

Democratic Senator Compares Private Student Loans To Dickens-Era Of Debt Prisons

Democratic Senator Compares Private Student Loans To Dickens-Era Of Debt Prisons: pThe inability of Americans to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy proceedings creates a system of indebtedness like the one that existed during the era of Charles Dickens, when people who couldn’t afford to pay their debts were routinely tossed into prisons, a top Democratic senator declared this week. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (D) has [...]/p

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bucks readers weigh in on whether forgiven student loan debt should come with a fat tax bill from the Internal Revenue Service.
(Above from the NYTiimes blog.)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bankruptcy on Student Loans

Encourage bankruptcy, not forgiveness, for student loans (essay) | Inside Higher Ed

I'm not sure which sounds better, but Inside Higher Ed does make a very pointed case for reactivating the ability to discharge student loans in bankruptcy over either student loan forgiveness or the current situation.

Highlander – Dead and still buried in college debt: let’s forgive student loans

This article makes a interesting and sensible point regarding how we should deal with student loans when they don't provide a return on what we invest, as in when a loan holder passes and the loan holder's parent are stuck with the bill. It's interesting to think of a school loan in a more concrete way. That's one difference between education loans and housing loans; you can't repossess someone's education as you would their house, or car. Education is an abstract object, but what if, especially in circumstance of death we are able to "return" what we invested in considering if we do continue to pay we are paying for something that's going unused. This isn't a broken toy here, you break it you bought it shouldn't apply. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Note To Self: No National Economic Problem Doesn't Mean There's No Problem

Why not to fear a student-loan bubble - The Tell - MarketWatch

I've seen it argued a few times that there's nothing to worry about as far as U.S. debt bubbles go because there's not really one. I don't know if that's true or not, but whether it's either or, student borrowers should still take time to get acquainted with the loaning system. We should know how much money we need to pay for school and if the pay off after is worth the debt we accumulate during. Also we need to know whether we believe we'll have the ability to pay off the debt in the long-run. Paul Dales, the guy quoted in the piece linked above says that now this dept bubble (blip?), "just needs to be monitored," so we probably won't see any huge changes in the system anytime soon if others find this student loan thing to be more of a blip than a bomb.

Monday, November 12, 2012

For example, debt relief is like taking gummi bears to treat Ebola. Without institutional change, debt will reload within a decade.
Umair Haque , tweet (@umairh)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Few More Important Articles Regarding Student Loans...

Election will affect student loans, Pell Grants - News - Daily Campus - Southern Methodist University

When heading to the polls, which candidate is right for economy? What about education? Because, you know, those two things are highly related. What will President Obama do if he's reelected in the current election? Governor Mitt Romney? Is either plan right for you?

Speaking of...

Which Candidate Has Good Student Loan Plan? Neither - US Business News - CNBC

It turns out no matter which of the two candidates you pick, you've picked the wrong one on education...

Complaints may presage student loan crisis - The Washington Post

When are we going to take the "debt bomb" seriously? Maybe we can preempt the looming catastrophe and prevent four or more years of slog the way we didn't with the mortgages. Or maybe it's all just a bunch of hoopla...

Don't buy myth of student loan 'crisis' | The Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia, Missouri

See? Hoopla.


Don't take on new loan debt |

Because Michelle Singletary is doing an excellent job over at the Washington Post writing about student loans. Plus the advice of the above article, though aimed at recent graduates, is a universal one: Look before you leap (or better yet, considering the clear evidence of the currenct educational/economic problem, it's probably better to just not leap while you look).
Nick Gidwani: Obama and Student Loans: Income-Based Repayment

In 2010 we started an overhaul on healthcare with Obamacare. I think it's time to do something similar with our education system. The Huffington Post article by Nick Gidwani, linked above, starts the conversation off and points us in a direction. In it he describes our current detrimental situation and steps that have been taken by the president to rectify the situation.

The steps basically is a tighter form of student loan forgiveness--a cause I believe in for obvious personal reason, but one that I realize is rife with problems; the largest being where would we get the money to do that and what lesson do we learn by doing it. The latter of the two problems is what Gidwani caps his article off with and he's right.

Student loan forgiveness, or leniency as the College Cost Reduction and Access Act referenced in the article would closer resemble, would only relieve the immediate problem and only a narrow slice of it at that. The immediate problem is that college cost is getting high, and that's not including the fact that it has become harder to pay for college due to stagnant pay and rising cost of living. The article suggests that making it somewhat easier to pay loans back and cancel them decades down the line causes them to also look more attractive to potential students. This is bad because isn't out problem that too many college students and graduates are saddled with debt that they are struggling to repay. Not only that I've seen several articles connecting rising college tuition with the increase of loan acquistion. Again Gidwani is right. This is "a conversation n we need to have."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Note To Self: No Loans Unless You Have Money To Pay Back, Quickly

Sallie Mae Assists 2.2 Million Student Loan Customers to Avoid Default - DailyFinance

Sallie Mae Tops Student Loan Complaints - Business Insider

I have problem with Sallie Mae too, but I know in my case it's not at all their fault, and in a general sense I don't believe it's entirely their fault. Fact of the matter is personally I should have never done business with Sallie Mae. I knew nothing about loans and took the advice of people that didn't realize I knew nothing about loans. It was kind of a Catch-22 situation. If I knew more about loans I probably would have been able to asked the right question, but not need to. Since I didn't know anything about loans I didn't know the right questions to ask when I really needed to.

I believe loan company try to help and more specifically their employees. I talked to the really nice guy named R__ recently. He did his best to help, it's just that the means the company provides to help is kind of like a Catch-22 situation. If I were able to pay you $3000 to bring my payment up-to-date you would so not be calling me right now because surely I would have been making the, what, $50 or $100 payments all along. But sometimes policy trumps people. That's not the company's fault, completely. They service upwards of 2.2 million people (I'm using the figure in the article cause I don't have the actual one right now in front of me.), so they have to protect their interests to keep operating and providing loans to the needy.

That's tough.

I just wish there was an easier way to individualize the process. Really give people who can't options and ways to payback the loan. I'm sure not everyone who borrows money is looking for a way not to pay you back. If they had the cash flow, the payment surely would be flowing the way of the lenders. At least that's the way I feel about my personal situation compared to how I must look to the Sallie Mae, (etc.), computers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Crushing debt: Students finding solutions to avoid or survive loans | Deseret News

From Deseret News, a hefty chunk of information about student. It amounts to get as much information as you can throughout the process. "Knowledge is power," is basically the key to stopping further problems with indebtedness due to student loans and is almost a carry-all when it comes to most problems faced. The more you know the more information you have to deal with what comes next.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On Higher Education: Student Loan Q&A, Value of a College Degree

Grad cap by katagaci
Answers to Your Questions About Student Loans, Part One
Answers to questions about public service loan forgiveness, options for people with private loans who are struggling with their debts and the impact of student loans on debtors' credit score.

This is a pretty good Q&A overview of student loans and how to go about getting and/or attending that type of financial assistance for school.

Finding the Value in a College Degree By EQUAL JUSTICE WORKS

This brings up the good question of whether the degree a prospective college student is going after is worth the debt. According to the article a degree is still a very valuable asset in this economic climate, but it suggests maybe to get the most out of your college education assessing whether your time and money is being utilized well might be pertinent. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Federal government push to collect on student loans amid bad...

Federal government push to collect on student loans amid bad...

Some great points made by this article:

*Borrowers should have the ability to discharge student loans in bankruptcy, private or otherwise.
*Borrowers should only have to pay the principal balance, instead of accruing over-the-top interest. (Especially in these difficult financial times.)
*Borrowers should be well informed before being approved for school loans. (Some borrowers are still very young. We assume they're immature in so many other respects, why not this one?)
*There should be a "statue of limitations on collections." (People should not be trying to pay back a 20 and 30 year old student loan. That's ridiculous. If they haven't paid up by then, then something obviously wrong. Parents should have student loans along side their kids. That's weird.)
*Why are people with disabilities, especially ones developed after the loan was acquired, being charged to pay back their loans, with interest. Ditto for other circumstances, like the guy in the article who didn't finish because of graduation requirements. Ditto taking old people's social security. This is also weird.

This system is obviously broken somewhere, most likely in many places. These things, or as many of these things as we can plausibly do, need to be done so things can be set to right, or at least set flush. With hope, sooner rather than later.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Even More on Student Loans

Feds shouldscrap/reduceinterest onstudent loans - Columns - The Guardian

I really think America should, along with Canada, take a serious look at forgiveness in regard to student loan interest. The article makes some great points. The main one would be insuring for the future. People forgiven of loan interest, or at least people with highly reduced interest, have one less thing to worry about. Spirits are pretty low because of a slow healing economy and job market. These are a heavy load to bare, adding student loans to that load doesn't help to lift spirits at all. These spirits are the spirits of people investing in their futures and subsequently the future of our country. Relieving borrowers--relieving us--of the mounting interests takes the heft out of a heavy load and brightens borrowers toward the future. It makes what's ahead feel a little bit more manageable. So I agree hardily with Wayne Young, but in regards to America as well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More On Student Loans

Dollar by jayofboy

The rising problem of student loan debt has been in the news a bit lately. Not enough I believe, but that's more owing to the number of problems (and trivialities) being addressed in the news and the fact that the problem isn't at a DEFCON1 threat level yet. It's also a catch-22 situation, before the bubble pops (student debt bubble, housing bubble, what have you...) everything that's spoken, no matter how sure we are of the potential looming disaster, is speculation. That's why we can easily fall back on pondering on what needs to be done rather than taking action.

I realize there are people in congress trying to get bills passed* based on this issue and that it's hard to come up with a viable solution that we all can agree on, but all this doesn't defeat the fact that many people, like myself, need some kind of help now. 

* Like Richard Durbin, who seems to highlight my point well with the many things he's fumbling on his plate. (Contrast here, here and here.)

"Knowing then what I know now,[...]"

When reading about the student debt crisis I see that we have at least four culprits being mentioned regularly. 

  • The first is colleges. This is due to the rising tuition costs and a mediocre offering of financial counseling. 
  • The second is the lenders themselves, especially private lenders. Lenders are said to have a similar failures in financial counseling as colleges and universities. They're too quick to lend money to less than knowledgeable applicants and hard on providing flexible repayment options. Not only that but private student loans can't be discharged in bankruptcy since 2005, says the Huffpo article linked above.
  • The third offender is congress. Based on the same Huffpo article congress passed the 2005 reform bill that disabled the student borrower's ability to discharge student loans in bankruptcy. 
  • The last, and you probably guessed this from the article quote headlining this section, is the borrowers ourselves. Knowledge is power and without it, it is easy to end up looking helpless. Plus sometimes you can't count on the institutions, like the ones mentioned above, to do what you thought they were suppose to do. You are your own back up plan, just in case they do fail you.  

So I urge those college bound students, parents of college bound students, and people going back to school to better themselves to research thoroughly all aspects of higher education before making any one decision on anything. Understand, not just the college you plan to attend, but loans if you're getting them, and/or financial aid in general. Everything. Try to have as few blind-spots as possible.

 If I knew back then what I know now, that's one of the things I would have done better. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Note to Self: Skeletons Don't Fit in Closets

Yesterday Anderson Cooper came out of what some are calling the "Glass Closet"*.

If I'm allowed to have an opinion on this, personally I think Anderson Cooper, if there is a right way to come out, came out the right way. There was detachment from the situation--it was done in an email posted on the Daily Beast, yet it was thoughtful and personal. Kudos to Cooper. I've thought of him as awesome ever since he and Colbert had a mini "feud" late last year--I realize, even before that, Anderson Cooper had been a serious and respected journalist, therefore awesome without the "Colbert bump".

When he talks about journalism it's easy to tell he has established some strong and honest principles that he sticks by. Not only that, in reading the email at The Daily Beast you can see that he's a person who's not afraid to analyse those principles, weigh the pros and cons, and reevaluate them in situations where they may need to change. In short, he seems to be a man of integrity.

All this is why it upsets me that opinions like this from proponents of gay rights exist. It's pretty disheartening that someone who is a homosexual would talk and feel almost antagonistic toward someone else that's a homosexual. To me there's a problem in pleading, and falling a mite into the realm of demanding, that some else comes out of the closet, glass or otherwise. And to add ridiculousness to injury, the person actually uses the Edna Lovejoy argument, "Can't someone please think of the children!" Really!? Isn't that like the same tagline many of us Christians across America are using to detract from the "gay lifestyle"?

First of all, Anderson Cooper is not a role-model to many children. And you'd have to largely assume the two kids in America that come home after school and beg there mommy to, "Please, turn on CNN? 360 is coming on and I don't want to miss a second of the 'Silver Fox'," are homosexual or in need of a role-model because they live in a conservative household that frowns upon the "gay lifestyle" (but somehow don't mind CNN or their children calling Andy Coop the 'Silver Fox'). Anderson Cooper's demographic are moderate/liberal adults, college educated, ages 25-54. By the time people are watching Anderson Cooper they're at the age where they don't give a F what anybody says**.

I hope Cooper's coming out does help some young people struggling with their sexuality, but I don't believe there's a need for people to come out because it supposedly helps young people deal with their trying ordeals at home*** and in school. I don't believe that for a second. I believe It helps society at large though. The more gay people come out the more boring it is when they do. America doesn't need another role-model. I'm pretty sure overproduction of role-models is one of the problems of consumerism

I agree with the Guardian's Emma Keller. People shouldn't bully others into coming out of the closet. Bullying is bullying whether it's well-meaning, misguided, or purposeful. Bullying is never courageous, only fearful. It's disrespectful and thoughtless. Not at all something anyone should be proud of doing. 

Good for Anderson Cooper though. What he did was something one day people won't "have to" do. 

*It's offensive.
** I do realize there's no such age, for some reason we can't shake being shaped by those around us, but based on the principles of the It Gets Better campaign, let's just roll wit it.
***I think the role-model think would work better for kids being bullied at school than for the children who probably also have a difficult home situation.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

No Note, Just More on Student Loans

market movements 1 by svilen001
I talked about the student loan situation before and today I still wanted to address it a bit further. Let's see where to start...

Like Infomercials 

Most reports about student loans and the problems there in is chucked-full of examples of students and former students wrestling with expensive student load debt for too long. There usually is one super debtor, a person that works an expansive amount of jobs to pay off unexpectedly high student loan debt. It's a teacher in this PBS report. It's a great report, covering myriad problematic aspects to the growing student loan crisis in America: from the starry-eyed high school graduate signing promissory notes without reading to the college graduate years obtaining that degree (and racking up debt), applying for a third job to finally start paying off that debt, wondering all the while if higher education was really worth it. There's got to be a better way, is the exclamation at the end of the report. The responding question is, is there...

A Care Call

I personally don't know. If I did, I wouldn't be just another statistic right now, but I did find a few articles that seem to suggest some solutions to this problem. Did you know that there are ways ARM can help? Well, there are and I have to say I do believe Mr. Rudd has some great suggestions. In particular, the first two suggestions:

1. Student loan specialists: This would definitely help with some of the other bullet points, especially the second.

2. Treat them with respect (self-explanatory)

Help! He's Homeless.

Keith's story is about where the "worst that can happen" lie. He's homeless and in debt. This is the worst situation, the ultimate nightmare of a person in debt. The article says Keith believes Congress should, "return the "Truth in Lending" policies and procedures to all student loans," and allow, "the ability to discharge student loan debt through bankruptcy."

I don't even know what "Truth in Lending" policies are or how bankruptcy could help me with my loan. If these options should, or could, be on the table they should actually be discussed more fully at colleges and in homes. Though it's not a key issue in this election yet I'm glad some people care about education and more light is being shed on the issue by those people.

You're Suing Me, Mommy? 

No, she's not. Thank goodness according to Dr. Don from Fox Business, it might be a little harder to get sued by your parents if they co-sign on a loan. Damned if that doesn't fill me with mixed feelings though. Parents shouldn't have to carry a burden so heavy when all they're trying to do is help better their children's future. It's kind of horrible and makes that bankruptcy thing Keith was talking about, if what it does is wipe the slate clean, sound like a downright euphoric prospect to elevating a lot of people's debt troubles. The mom in the Dear Abby is disabled and her daughter is a lazy good-for-nothin' (kinda like me) without a job. Again, that's a horrible situation and too much overlooked.

Kinda Like AllState, Right? 

I'm going to leave you with these two thoughts because writing takes a lot out of you, even if you're not doing it very well (probably, especially if...). 1. This situation isn't very simple, as stated in the ARM article above, not even from the perspective of the borrower. There's barely anything put in place to help ordinary loan accumulation, so what happens to our people out there with bloated debt and Asperger's? 2. And maybe a combination of the National Service Corps and the Student Loan Forgiveness Act--If done right. (Anybody ever try to get hardship deferment? The joke is, it's hard.)--could help get this runaway debt train on the right track.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Note to Self: When You Go to College, Double Down

"Can't Do Nothin' Thout No College"

I've been holding on to Adam Davidson's New York Times article, The Dwindling Power of a College Degree, for a while now. It's a subject that's important to me because I've been in a very dangerous limbo stage pertaining to higher education, for too long. The article basically says, this is fast becoming an economy driven by specialization. (That particular type of economy may already be here, hence the U.S.'s possibly forthcoming financial troubles, "the next debt bomb," as they say.)

The point of the article is that it's becoming harder to skate by in life on simple credenttials, with an unimpressive degree. Our cultural attitude is becoming what Rick Santorum would probably call snobbish. I'm apt to agree, though I'm agreeing in a far different tone. I would be elated at the prospect of a country full of hoity-toities, if only it wasn't to our detriment. We're moving entirely too fast. In the long run, let's say a hundred years from now, the speed might not matter so much, but the problem is we're operating right now. How can we affect a change, that doesn't topple our economy, right now?

My story goes, the kid (me) gets to the university, with stars in his eyes, prepared to live the college life, but unprepared for what that entails. New singer, old song. There's no overt blame to place on the way the system is run, most of my problems were personal. I'm pretty sure if everyone went to college and followed a strict plan they'd be 'in and out' in no time. I didn't follow that plan, went in and prematurely came right back out. Now I'm facing many more problems than before: I'm buried up to my neck in student loans, it's more than difficult for me to get a job, and it's not any easier for me to get back in school to get my degree. Life's hard and the sad part about it is, at least right now, all I can do is live through it.

"I Thought The Cold War Was Over"

This student loan "debt bomb" thing is outrageous, The Real Meaning of $1 Trillion in Student Loans. I agree with Jordan Weissman, one trillion dollars in student loans very well may be "a sign, partly, that more students are going to college," but I believe there should a big emphasis on the word partly. There might be more important factors going into the boom in student loan debt.

One of these factors is the rising cost in tuition: Mississippi, California.

Students have to do more to pay for tuition. Hold down a couple of jobs while studying. Things I was told about consistently while I was in school. " So-and-So is a mother and she works part-time at a pharmacy while going to school", "Whatsit-Whosit works full-time at Wal-Mart, took a year off, and still went back to school--two years, then four years--for a degree in psychology" etc. etc. There are a number of them, mostly the lady folk--as if they have anything to prove*, but they're only a few of the nearly 2 million graduates a year (2,350,000 enrollees). What's the story after they graduate? Or the story of the ones that don't graduate? Mine is above.

Second the cutting off of aid to college goers: Is HOPE on or off? Not without mentioning, the difficulty involved in attaining aid if it's out there.

Then after we get through with that we can consider the good news of more students attending post secondary school, which I'm sure is caused by the culture change Adam Davidson talks about in his New York Times article.

The very fact that the culture is changing and more importantly how it's changing, is a big problem. The reason more high school graduates are making the decision to go to college is most likely because of our over arching cultural conditioning. Davidson talks about the increase in productivity at jobs with a dwindling need for workers.  The fact that there are fewer total jobs out there isn't helpful. It doesn't take as many employees as it use to to create and run a billion dollar business. Specialization moves us toward this. We saw it through the Industrial Revolution and continue to talk about it today regarding the billion dollar, consumer supported tech companies.

Specialization, by it's very nature means there won't be as many positions out there to supply the growing need for jobs, and/or, there at least won't be enough people to fill the positions. If our economy is supported by these types of jobs, shouldn't it be obvious why the recession hit so hard? Also, specialization entails a difficulty in obtaining the credentials. Now, of course, anyone who sets their minds to it, can accomplish anything, but that doesn't mean everyone will. This new cultural evolution, as well meaning as it may be, values quality while preaching a quantitative message. We feel college education is the pinnacle of success, but the problem with that is we send our kids through this academic bottle-neck all willy-nilly because of these values/ideals. We seem to be all dreams with no substance. Not good at all.


I believe this thing is a little bigger than facts and figures. Sometimes, when we overload on numbers and forget to add nuance to the information, we render data useless. Just a bunch of numbers on a screen.

But if I ever get another shot at a college education, I gotta remember to double down.

*Women are historically smarter than men. I'd write more, but you know, nuff said.

[Edit/add: Another article on student loan debt--Student Loans Weighing Down a Generation With Heavy Debt -, and 5 important fact from said article--5 mindblowing facts about student debt. | ThinkProgress.]

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Note to Self: Learn the Difference Between a Child, a Young Man, and a Youth *

I was reading this short exposition on the Atlantic from Ta-Nehsi Coates, On The Age and Innocence of Trayvon Martin and the discussion of Trayvon Martin's age obviously, even after Coates's post, went on into the comments. 

The discussion at least for a moment moved from the issue people have with Trayvon Martin's age as depicted by pictures, as Coates addresses, to a questioning of the use of the word "child" to describe a 17-year-old male. The person that started the conversation in the comments argued that at sixteen Trayvon Martin would commonly be referred to as a "Young Man" instead of calling him the "child" the media and others are trying to claim him to be. (I found this and would like to expound on this some other time.)  

A couple of quick points because it's late, but I would like to explore this later:

  • I, in personal experience, rarely was called a "young man" at the age of 16, or even older, unless by an older gentlemen affecting some strange species of formality or someone in a suite. 
  • It was pointed out that 18 is the legal cut off age for childhood. At this age you can still be a ward of the state in America, I think, or at least some places in America. That is, if I'm not completely off with what little information I have about my country's social service's system. 
  • My last point is a point that's probably being often repeated in this case and that's probably because it's important for us not to forget what's important in this situation amid the brouhaha. That is it doesn't matter what we refer to this kid as. A man shot this baby, as my mother would call him and any other child she sees as much younger than her, and he's not been arrested based on a bogus law. That isn't okay. Frankly, the whole ordeal is a whole lotta sad, mixed in a bowlful of scary. 

* I know these are more trivial matters than the true issue at hand, and I do have opinions on those issues, despite this I'm going to take the road less traveled on this one because there are more eloquent and adept people speaking on this issue. Besides, we should know better by now. This is the year 20 and 12 of our lord, why are we operating as if a half century ago isn't a world away? We're operating, in 2012, under laws that seem more of a fit for the middle ages. Nonsense. Somebody needs to do something about that find away to throw out what works without toppling civilization and keep the rest. Simple, at least when said. I love Jon Stewart's take on the "Stand your ground" law. (3:40 sec-4:00 in the long video)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Note to Self: Life Really Is No Picnic

If you watched Rock Center with Brian Williams last night, you know what I'm talking about.

Crises in Sudan--There's an American guy risking his life to bring awareness to the struggle of the people of the Nuba Mountains in Sudan. He's married to a Nuba woman. The people are being subjected to ethnic cleansing, systematic rape, and just plain horrible living conditions--One older woman, during the coverage, was said to be taking care of around 12 orphans she didn't have the means to feed properly, not to mention, they're hiding in caves for safety. This is owed to border disputes waging in the country. They have no place to go because of this.

Ann Curry captured poignant photos during her assignment. They're pictures of the women and children hiding in the mountains for fear being bombarded. The men, Nuba rebels with equipment--tanks, weapons, artillery--they didn't own, but instead had to take from the government.

There's a link on the site with information about the organizations geared toward helping the Nuba people.

[I realize I didn't give you enough information on the situation, but to be honest, I'm no expert. Only found about this last night and it's been going on for years. I know, sad. But I'm young and shelter and can't be expected to know about every injustice, disaster, and problem in this world. I think that's part of the point of this post. I feel bad about not knowing, though, and not knowing what to do to stop it.... I just had a thought. I put it here.]


Kid Leader--This guy is 24 and Mayor of a city. He came from fatherless, homelessness and now he's on a clear track to success with his government career. It's really amazing. And he's very humble and likable, too. What some people would call "down to earth", others might call it real. There's a part in the segment when a lady tells him that's not how a mayor should act. He says he couldn't do it without the people in his life that helped him. It's always great when people acknowledge the ones that gave them a hand up.

This was bitter sweet in a way that makes the dish taste pretty good cause it was mostly sweet since he made it out of poverty to do great things, like get accepted to, I think, Cornell University. Mostly on near perfect SAT scores...Yeah.

I hope he does have success in anything he sets his mind to do.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Note to Self: This Cannot Be Real

Theses people exist part 3 via

And it is too cool if it's real. Freaky, but extremely cool...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Note to Self: Leave Chris Brown Alone

Cause, you know, people in glass houses and all.

More importantly leave the Grammy Awards alone.

Chris Brown is convicted of assault for beating a woman...Bad. Actually deplorable might be a stronger, more befitting word. Whatever the case, he made a big nasty lowlife boo-boo putting his hand on a his girlfriend three years ago, no matter what happened between them.

He made himself a bad guy. To many of the public, now all he'll ever be is a recovering bad guy.

Obviously, not enough people to slow him down. If he does something like this again he will truly be blacklisted, but I hope he doesn't. People are waiting for it, but they shouldn't be because that's as horrendous as beating a woman. To wish for him to fail as bad as he did before is to wish for another woman to be beat again. Of course that's not criminal, but it's disgusting though.

Leave him alone, like that one guy said of Brittany Spears. Stop waiting in the wings for someone to fail cause they're suppose to be the bad guy. Bad guys are going to be bad guys until they die and for all we know they continue the same over into the afterlife. Our waiting isn't going to stop them and I think we know that. Most people are only looking for their "I told you so". I hope they don't get it with Chris Brown. They're are people right now we could care more about. People that are being beat by their boyfriends, husbands, children, parents, and persecuting Chris Brown is only time wasted on a somewhat resolved, if not closed case.

Now if I'm defending the guy with woman flesh stuck to his knuckles, I don't have a problem with the Grammy's acceptance of said felon. We should stop trying to make high profile people/institutions the police of our society. Especially since they have a proven track record of being some of the most depraved, if only because of the higher standards we set for them, as if they are gods rather than men and women. It's understandable. The downtrodden rich and powerful  have far greater assets to execute their depravity than the poor and voiceless downtrodden.

Anyway, leave the Grammy people alone too. They are only booking the talent, which slug-her or not, Chris Brown has. They are only giving awards for.. I'm not sure the criteria for doling out the awards. I hate awards period. They're pointless when it comes to dividing talent from talent, which all they'd be doing at a certain point. I mean I understand they giving the winners and nominees a certain about a clout i.e. buy Oscar nominated... or buy the Grammy winning... but as far as telling whose better at certain instances the waters are quite muddy.

Wow. I got off track.

My point was the Grammy Awards are sending out one message and that is keep music is important(and I guess the sponsored messages). If anyone or anyone's kid is getting any other message, like domestic violence is okay, they should be talked to, thoroughly, and not with your fist, use your words. We need to do better at educating the children (and people in general) ourselves, rather than control what kind of message the music business is sending to our children about domestic violence.

An MTV article on Chris Brown's reaction to the "vitriol"/doubt. "Chris Brown Blasts Grammy Appearance Critics 'Hate all you want becuz I got a Grammy,' Brown tweeted." Gil Kaufman.

Also, I wish he wasn't so, retaliatory and aggressive about the situation. I understand that he's human and bound to get frustrated because there's really nothing he could do to make the "haters" look at him any different, but it's kind of scary. Makes him seem still really young, and still really hotheaded. Antagonized somewhat, but a bit hotheaded nonetheless. You beat a woman dude, let the people be pissed and ignore them. If you've changed or are trying to change don't just say, really don't let the hate get to you. Societally, the public kinda has a right to be angry cause we're worried about the nature and morals of our community. You should just let 'em be angry and thank your fans cause without them you wouldn't've had a chance.

[Edit/add: I linked to the the Atlantic article (below) on Google plus. Basically, I'm sharing here because of what I wrote above the link. Overall [sic] on my quote. (That is, if you can do that to your own words). And it proves why the the Atlantic article was far more articulate. Anyway...]

"An Atlantic article, from Ta-Nehisi Coates, on the "Ri-Ri"/"Breezy"...fiasco? (I tried to a bit of discourse, before the collabo, on the Grammy/"Breezy" situation. It felt a bit soapy. This is far more articulate.)"
Empowerment isn't always accompanied by wisdom

Friday, February 10, 2012

Note to Self: Sometimes you don't know the full story...

This is the conversation some people were having about Chelsea Handler's talking openly about the abortion she had at the age of sixteen on The Rosie Show. The article and conversation is on 

Comments on abortion/Chelsea Handler on,,20569103,00.html#disqus_thread

You know the arguments. It's one of the hot button topics in our culture. Abortion. Pro-choice. Pro-life. Yada, yada, yada.

It seems like a personal decision that people should stay out of, but of course, we've elevated to the national level. So now it's everyone's business what unwed, teen mothers and their parents decide to do with the unborn. One side wants to protect the mother's right not to eff up another human life and the other wants to protect that human life... essentially the same thing, no?

It's strange that two factions of people, both meaning well, could be so contentious to the other's point of view.

My opinion? Let abortions exist. What does it matter?

I say we should let there be abortions/abortion clinics/what-have-you, and instead of focusing on this cyclical argument, we should elevate the discourse: We should tell kids, tell people, the best thing to do is not have children until you are ready to raise children in the best environment possible. That's what the argument should be. I personally wouldn't want a child, my child, or me as a child, to be raised by parents that are unfit in anyway. I wouldn't want to throw any child into the system and hope they get Blindsided. Great adoption stories are probably not the norm. All you can hope for is your child to end up with a good family, but probably more often than we'd like, they don't.

So when given a choice between a, most likely, bad life raising the child, a possible bad life being raised "in the system," and no life at all...some people choose no life and for me at least that's understandable. I may not agree with it, but it's understandable. Not heartless and thoughtless.

None of this of course excludes heartless and thoughtless people from existing.

Who else out there is tired of this debate and is ready to move on to something more important like, say, raising the kids that we have to not be in a predicament where they'd have to/ want to get an abortion?