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News Roundup – Grand Theft Auto, Affordable Care Act, Food Stamps

The newest version of Grand Theft Auto is now in stores. Before you blow this off as one of those things, this videogame was released on Tuesday. It sold over $800 million on Tuesday alone. I don’t play Grand Theft Auto, but maybe I should. Almost a billion in sales in one day. Holy millionaire, Batman.

A few years ago there was a lot of discussion over whether cancer screening is worth it or not. It appears that cancer screening for colon cancer is effective.

Guess what? The GOP has voted to defund the Affordable Care Act again. Congressman John Boehner, standing in front of a sign which reads – #SenateMustAct – stated, “The House has listened to the American people. Now it’s time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well.” Basically, this is a stopgap spending measure that also defunds the Affordable Care Act and sucks oxygen out of the economic recovery. Then again, what’s new? If I’m not mistaken, this is the 43rd time the Republicans have voted to defund the Affordable Care Act. But, hey, what’s in a number? Let’s be clear. The Democrats in the Senate basically have two options. First, they could pass the spending measures and restore funding for the Affordable Care Act. Or, they can simply not bring the bill to the floor and declare it dead on arrival.

Food stamps? We don’t need any food stamps. At least, the House GOP does not believe that we need any food stamps. Once again, Americans need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, according to the GOP. Too many Americans are simply sitting around and enjoying food stamps. From economist Robert Greenstein (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities), “The House’s passage today of the Republican leadership’s bill to cut SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) by almost $40 billion over the next decade marks a new low for an already dysfunctional Congress. It would increase hunger and hardship all across our country. By cutting food assistance for at least 3.8 million low-income people in the coming year — including some of the very poorest Americans, many children and senior citizens, and even veterans — this cruel, if not heartless, legislation could jeopardize a vital stepping stone to many families who are still struggling to find work or who depend on low-wage jobs. As the nation slowly climbs out of the deepest recession in decades — with 22 million people still unemployed or underemployed — millions of families rely on SNAP to help feed their children.”

Although the new iPhone 5 received a very lukewarm reception, the iPhone 5S seems to be something special. ExtremeTech looks at iOS7 and Android 4.3. Guess who is stagnating?

By |2013-09-21T21:44:16-04:00September 20th, 2013|Economy, Healthcare, Obama administration, Party Politics|Comments Off on News Roundup – Grand Theft Auto, Affordable Care Act, Food Stamps

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing

(I’m re-posting this one. Enjoy.)

Gene Marks, contributor to Forbes magazine, decided that he needed to write advice for the black community. Now, he doesn’t want to give advice to all of the black community, just to “poor black kids.” I find it relatively amusing that a business and technology writer would want to write about sociology in Forbes magazine. You would figire that Gene Marks had grown up in a poor black neighborhood and “pulled himself up by his bootstraps” in order to hand out advice to “poor black kids.” Nope. The fact that Mister Marks is completely unqualified to give any advice doesn’t seem to stop him at all.

Now I’m reminded of that scene in the classic movie The Graduate. You remember when Dustin Hoffman… Instead of me explaining what happens just watch the clip –

Basically Gene Marks yammers on about hard work and a little bit of luck and then he hits on it… technology. Young inner-city black kids need to use technology in order to get ahead (like plastics, it is some sort of magic potion). He then goes into a nauseating list of websites that have tons of information available. All a young black child has to do is get a computer and the Internet and he or she can be successful. It is that simple. The fact that this is one of the most condescending pieces of drivel that has ever been written on the Internet doesn’t seem to faze Mr. Marks.

A recent study details one of the major flaws in Gene Marks’s logic. 33% of households making less than $25,000 a year don’t have Internet access. 27% of black families and 17% of white families do not have any Internet access. It is hard for me understand how families who are struggling to put food on the table and keep the lights on are going to be able to afford a computer and broadband Internet access. Do all these families just lack the type of moxie that Gene Marks is talking about? Or to they lack the MONEY necessary to do these things?

If the problem (of poverty) were easy to solve, it would’ve been solved hundreds of years ago. Simply giving a child a computer with high-speed Internet access is only a fraction of the solution to the problem. First of all, who is going to maintain the computer? Who’s going to add the antivirus software? When the computer freezes up, who’s going to fix it? When the antivirus software is not updated and the latest mega-virus melts the hard drive, what then? Who is going to teach the children how to use the computers? Sure, computers are much easier to use today than they were 10 or 15 years ago, but they still require some instruction. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t think that children can get ahead with computers. Today’s computers, along with Internet access, can open up a world of knowledge. But to assume that all that needs to be done to end poverty in the black community is to give people some Internet access and a few computers is craziness.

There are several thoughtful responses to this absolutely clueless treatise. They can be found here and here.

(I’m sorry, but I just can’t help myself. I must continue. First of all, if you want to fix poverty, how about making these ghettos safe? Secondly, how about jobs where people can make a living wage? Thirdly, how about schools with adequate facilities that would include computers and Internet access? These are just a few of my suggestions to improve inner-city conditions and therefore help these “little black kids.” Oh, if you (Mr. Marks) really have something to add to this conversation, how about writing in a magazine that is read by normal folks and not in Forbes!?)

By |2012-01-05T07:23:00-04:00January 5th, 2012|Race|2 Comments
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