Last night in the town of West, Texas, a fertilizer plant exploded after a fire had broken out and spread to ammonia storage facilities. At least 15 people are expected dead and over 160 people have been injured.
While the story is receiving news coverage, it’s interesting to note that most people simply do not give a fuck.
Compare the reaction on your facebook newsfeed to the Boston bombings on Monday. How many updates did you see about praying and supporting Boston? Yet the Texas explosion is suspiciously lacking.
The Boston Marathon bombings is a tragedy that can be pointed squarely at one person. There is something wrong with him/her. Texas, on the other hand, is a tragedy which points to all the things wrong with our country.
The state of Texas is notorious for it’s lax business regulations and it’s disregard for employee safety. Could the fire have been prevented? Could better safety standards have stopped the explosion? Is it time to make businesses responsible for their actions?
Unfortunately the victims of the Texas explosion will not get any sympathy from their fellow Americans. Unless it’s a tragedy that can be rallied around with patriotism and an us vs. them mentality it will continue to be ignored. No one wants to acknowledge something that is us vs us.
President Obama’s proposal to raise minimum wage to $9.00 an hour has reintroduced a common controversy to the public. Currently, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of minimum wage employees are not high school students trying to earn extra money. They are over 20 years old and work full time.
Minimum wage has not been adjusted to include rates for inflation since 1968. If it had been, the current rate would be $10.56 an hour. In comparison, our $7.25 rate has 30% LESS buying power then it’s 1968 counter part. With an economy that grows on consumer spending, how can we expect a recovery, let alone growth, without giving employees (who as so many forget are also shoppers/buyers/consumers) the ability to spend?
But beyond consumerism, $7.25 an hour simply does not meet the demands of living.
I live in Arizona, a state with notoriously low standards for living, and this is a quick break down of some of my monthly expenses, and what it would look like on minimum wage.
I recently got a quote on health insurance from United Healthcare. As a 24 year old, non-smoking female, my monthly premium would cost $160.00. That is 22.07 hours of work, over half of my working hours in one week to just pay for health insurance.
I drive a Subaru Forester 2006, which averages 28 mpg, and my fill up costs around $45.00. It would take me 6.21 hours of work to just be able to DRIVE to work. I usually fill up about 3-4 times a month, but let’s just say for this example it averages to 3 times a month.
The car I need to get to my job costs me $90.00 a month to insure, or, 12.41 hours of work at minimum wage.
My rent, in a very low end complex I might add, is about $560 a month. This means that 77.24 (almost two weeks), goes strictly to putting a roof over my head and not sleeping in the streets or living with my parents.
Now let’s add my electric bill, which averages at about $110.00 a month (for the record, I am very energy conscious). This is 15.17 hours of work.
Let’s exclude other expenses like food, children, medication, etc. My monthly cost of living for just health insurance, gas, car insurance rent, and electricity is $965.00, which at minimum wage, means I need to work for 120 hours to afford these bare essentials of life in the U.S. This means that my remaining 40 hours of work I have a left over, paying $200.00 BEFORE taxes, would have to cover everything else. Again, my break down of living did not include:
-Credit card payments
-Cell phone/house line
Many argue that raising the minimum wage to $9.00 would hurt the economy. How? How is allowing people in the richest country in the world to meet the essentials for living a negative thing? Fun fact, cities and states with minimum wage closer to that of the newly proposed federal level have less unemployment than the national average, indicating a stronger and healthier local economy.
One can argue that a wage increase will encourage employers to lay off employees. However, do you really think that managers and executives at Walmart are going to descend from on high to do the menial tasks of store personnel? There is no business which is flush with companies. Most prefer to operate at the fewest employees possible to provide the minimum of services with the most profit. These companies would not be able to cut employees without cutting their bottom line, as they would have to reduce services to customers.
In the 21st century United States, anyone who works full time should not live in poverty. It is a testament to our truly twisted morals and corrupt political system of corporate incentive trumping the common good, that has created such a paradox.
There are multiple reasons that people cheat in their relationships unhappiness in the relationship, lack of respect, hoping to get dumped, etc. Research has provided us with all sorts of statistical characteristics for if someone will cheat, but is there a way to side step all of that science jargon and just know from the get go? Do cheaters share common traits?
In an anecdotal way, yes.
Let’s examine why tall men might be more inclined to cheat. There is a romantic notion among women that a tall man is a better protector or provider. I guess this was applicable when we lived in caves. But that’s not the end of the magical powers that tell men are supposed to posses. We assume that because they are tall they are more masculine and because they are more masculine, they will achieve more sexual prowess. Do tall men incorporate these societal notions into their every day behaviors?
When we teach young men that being tall means that they are more powerful and masculine, our cultural obsession frequently skips over being respectful to others, instead writing them a hall pass for all bad behavior. In studies, those who feel powerful or are in a more powerful position than those around them are more likely to treat this “weaker group” as a commodity, and this extends to personal relationships.
Do all tall men cheat? Certainly not. But can a large stature and a sense of entitlement make men feel like it’s more acceptable to stray?
Can you name a short celebrity cheater? Of course there are the NBA players, but did you know that presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is 6 feet? Tiger Woods is 6′ 1″. But let’s not give all the bad credit to famous men. This happens in every day life too.
My ex was over 6 feet tall and a serial cheater. My friend was cheated on twice by boyfriends who broke that elusive 72 inch mark. I know another woman who only dates guys over 6 feet tall and has been cheated on by every single one of them.
While we could all just vow to seek shorter romantic partners, we can also change our cultural reaction to height. All people deserve to be treated with respect and there is no special trait that gives anyone the right to do otherwise. Instead of going for the tall guy just because he’s tall, go for the man who is kind, considerate, and respectful. And if he happens to be tall, consider it a bonus, but not a requirement
Fuck Gender Norms
Obama’s re-election has ensured that the Affordable Care Act will not be overturned or dismantled. For many business owners, this has meant some hard changes. Employees have to be treated with respect and dignity instead of replaceable cogs in the machine. They now have a right to be healthy. The hardest adjustment have been for businesses claiming that providing contraception to female employees violates religious freedom. But let’s look at some quick facts first:
1. Businesses are not people.
No matter what those at the top may want, a corporation is not a person. It cannot express a religious view.
2. The federal government is not a religion.
To force a religious view on an individual, it has to come from a religious institution. The federal government is not a church.
3. A person forcing their faith on another is ACTUALLY religious infringement.
When a CEO or manager decides that his/her religious views set the standard for employees, that’s when constitutional rights are violated.
Religious hysteria aside, providing birth control to women who want it (remember, not all women opt to or even want to use it) makes good financial sense.
If a company has paid maternity leave (although I hazard that those who are suing against birth control coverage probably don’t), they are paying an employee to not be there. Does that make sense from the bottom line? And if the company doesn’t, they run the risk of losing their trained, competent employee. Either way, that means the possibility of filling in the spot.
If a woman leaves her employment due to an unplanned pregnancy, this means that someone has to due her job. Companies have two options: hire a temp worker who could leave at any time and might not have the correct background, or a new hire who doesn’t have any clue what they’re doing.
Hiring a new employee can be expensive. If you don’t have a full time recruiter you have to contract one. Your HR department will probably need subscription services to job sites to find good candidates. When a possible candidate does appear, they need to be trained and become oriented with their position. An employer can expect 3-6 months of mistakes before a new hire starts to feel comfortable, let alone competent in their new role.
In the end, it’s really not worth it for a company to let one person in management who is uncomfortable with women’s sexuality cost them a ton of money. These people have only their own opinions in mind and clearly don’t care about what’s best for business. It’s also worth mentioning that most employees pay for their insurance as well as their employers, and therefore an employee should not be denied what they are paying for.
So, you’ve met a special someone and you’ve decided to take the next big step and not protect yourself! Many young parents and those afflicted with chronic STIs made this same relationship leap, and none of them regret it. Your love can only get stronger from here! In fact, not using condoms is clinically proven to make relationships more awesome. Let’s take a quick look at all of the reasons barebackin’ it is awesome:
-Vaginas eat sperm. Feeding them keeps them happy.
-Candy wrappers work just as well and add an element of yum!
-Cheating is a myth made up by the liberal media.
-Herpes is the ultimate tattoo.
-Nice things are overrated. Kids are just as good!
-Russian Roulette is an awesome game anywhere, anytime.
-Are you firing blanks? There’s only one way to find out!
-You don’t keep a Ferrari under a rain tarp, am I right?
-You’ve been feeling super lucky lately.
-You really want a show on TLC.
-Every person you’ve been with has said they’re a virgin.
-Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t need condoms.
-It’s time to find out if it really does have teeth.
-Babies are like dogs that stay puppies longer!
-Antibiotic resistant gonorrhea is for guys who can’t lift like you, man.
And finally, the most important reason of all:
-You have no respect for your body, your health, and of course not your partner’s! I am totally willing to make the sacrifice of health for a few minutes of possibly increased pleasure.
I recently found an article claiming to know when and why women cheat in relationships. What could have been an insightful piece about poor communication, drifting apart, or avoidance ended up being a rambling, poorly worded manifesto of internet fueled misogyny.
Newsflash, women have other things going on in their lives besides rubbing your feet and listening to your COD kill stats. Instead of assuming the worse for having a life, these frantic bro-dudes need a healthy dose of reality in their relationships.
Number 10: She detaches herself from your family
“The less she immerses herself in your circles (which contain people who are painful reminders of her sins), the less mental anguish she’ll have to endure.”
Perhaps, or more likely, she doesn’t enjoy the company of your friends or family members. Maybe, just maybe, she might want to spend time with her own friends and family.
Number 9: She nags you incessantly
“… if she habitually begins to point out your every flaw, you may want to get to the bottom of what’s really going on because it’s one of our signs she’s cheating on you.”
It seems that “nagging” in this case is just code for “expresses her opinion too much.”
Number 8: She has a mysterious friend
“Whether it’s someone she claims is a coworker or an old friend from way back, she keeps this friendship under wraps and is hesitant to share any general details about him, much less introduce you.”
She might just be embarrassed by your douchey behavior. Or she may assume you won’t approve of her friendship and want her to end it. Sometimes, gentlebro, a cigar is just a cigar.
Number 7: She deflects simple questions
“If she gets defensive about disclosing information that she used to volunteer without hesitation, she may be hiding something or someone and it’s one of the surest signs she’s cheating on you.”
When questions become accusatory, repetitive, or just plain asinine, constantly answering them becomes exhausting and annoying. Pay more attention and ask less stupid questions.
Number 6: She shifts her priorities away form you
“Suddenly, there are no more implied Sunday dates at the movies or something always comes up on dance-lesson Thursday.”
This doesn’t sound like a priority shift, this sounds like boredom. This particular bro, who I doubt has ever taken a dance class, needs to spice up the routine.
Number 5: She puts more effort into looking sexy
“Just as you tried to impress each other at the beginning of your relationship, she’ll try to impress her new flame with a sudden urge to improve her style, change her makeup and alter her physical appearance for the new man in her life.”
God forbid she try to look nice for herself, become interested in a style or trend, or try to look nicer at work to increase chances of a promotion. Why don’t you try cleaning up a bit to match her efforts?
Number 4: She become autonomous
“Moreover, she does more things on her own and stops consulting you about future plans.”
Honey, please accompany me to my gynecologist appointment. Afterwards I wanted to meet my friends to go shopping and to watch bad TV. The evening was going to spent with a book. But let me run all that by you first so your masculinity isn’t threatened.
Number 3: She has no interest in sex with you
“…she may suddenly become bored by your performance and appear to be thinking about someone else when you do make love.”
So the correct response to a sex life that has become less than passionate is to troll the internet looking for reinforcement of your paranoid beliefs. It’s called a sex store. Visit, learn things, try things.
Number 2: She’s secretive about her schedule
“Disclosing her itinerary to you at the last minute and overlooking your plans in the process can mean many things, one of which isn’t that she’s forgetting, but rather leaving you out.”
I don’t tell my partner my every day movements, because with a full time job, they tend to be virtually the same. I also don’t demand to know his, because I’m not that empty.
Number 1: You become irrelevant
“In other words, she doesn’t place the same importance on what you think and what you do as she once did, especially on things that directly affect the relationship.”
Puppy love fades, my friend. It’s impossible to keep a relationship filled with fireworks going forever. She’s also probably well aware of what your interests and hobbies are and may not care about impressing you. Are you still involved in her love of collecting puppy pictures?
Could some of these signs be actual indicators of infidelity? Definitely. But they are also dismissive of relationship problems such as poor communication, feelings of being unappreciated, and lack of effort to keep a relationship interesting and engaging. Perhaps she’s not avoiding you, but avoiding the problems that have come up between you and her.