The Polls are Rigged. No, Really. 

Donald Trump will never really get elected.” 

Looking around, I admit, it’s hard to imagine.

“77% of americans are women, are people of color, are gay, or are other minorities. He can’t win. He won’t.”(Read more here.)

And he wouldn’t, if they were all voting. But in communities of poverty, in communities where transportation is hard to obtain, in communities where lines are longer, in communities where instructions don’t make sense, voting is literally harder, and it’s not a coincidence.

Things like the new Photo ID requirements favor those who are wealthy- with passports and drivers licenses, and the money and time to find the proper paperwork, and the money for fees to get an ID. Although the requirement that citizens have a government issued idea isn’t new, the sudden backing of it is. Why limit how many eligible americans are able to participate in the elections? Because when 11% of the population does not have access to an ID, the overall voter turnout suffers.

Another example of the efforts to create an election where minorities voices are not behaved is the push to shut down early morning Sunday voting in some states where there is a prominent Black community, effectively targeting their religion and how they vote. (read more here)

Or, now that early voting has become popular in low-income and Black communities, it has become a target. Opportunities to register for early voting in communities of poverty are dwindling, at the push of scared politicians.
Maybe you’ve heard, in Texas, concealed carry permits are accepted, but state-issued student ID’s are not.

How about Voter Registration Laws, which both restrict and actively make registering to vote more difficult? 1 in 4 eligible americans are not registered to vote, and laws that make it hard not only to register but to stay registered are not helping.

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Photo Credit: i.huffpost.com

Americans, as a whole, have constructed a false sense of security for themselves, reassured by the idea of just how many people are against the election of Donald Trump, choosing to ignore the ways voting is becoming increasingly biased towards a certain “type” of voter. Do you know who voting is not difficult for? White people. Rich people. Republican people. In fact, voting is designed for the Trump supporters. For dedicated, passionate, privileged people.

It is not designed for Black people, or Hispanic people, or poor people. It is not designed for Hillary supporters.

The reality of President Trump has begun to sound far more possible.  

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Photo Credit: c0.nrostatic.com

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Have Humans Become Gods?

Have humans become gods?

Over the course of 200,000 years, Homo Sapiens have managed to disintegrate every other Sapien including Neanderthals who lived on the Earth 20 million years, but does anyone weep for the Neanderthal?

New technologies and discoveries have been opened to humanity, allowing mass agriculture to large machines that run off of electricity. We harvest electricity from intricate devices that we’ve developed to harness the world and even the sun. This is all considered human progress, but where could the next frontier be?

Last year a new technology has allowed us to push forward humanity further than ever before, to the extent of even seeming science fiction.

That new Technology is called Crispr.

Photo Credit: www.21stcentech.com

Crispr, simply explained, is a DNA archive saved in each cell that is more easily programmable due to its powerful protein Cas-9 which edits DNA. Before the discovery of Crispr, genetic engineering required years to perform and very deep pockets. Now it’s 99% cheaper and only takes a few weeks in an ordinary lab.

Soon new generations of Crispr will be innovated and gene modifying will become even cheaper allowing people in ordinary labs to genetically enhance anything. So sooner or later it will have an effect on everyone. For instance genetically modified food already exists but now it’ll be far easier to create new strains of crops larger and more resistant to drought. Starvation will become less of a problem even in developing countries whom get their hands on these new strains of wheat or rice.

Entire new menus will be created over the next few decades including new tastes and healthy food just as delicious as ice cream. Mutating animals through selective breeding has been ongoing for thousands of years, far before agriculture. Attempting to change their DNA has been attempted for the last fifty years but now it’s cheaper and easier to do.

This genetic door that has been opened will help the fight against diseases or defects as we develop genes in mosquitoes to deny and attack malaria or create white blood cells that are more efficient in killing cancer cells. Yet with all the shining promise,  there’s a much more controversial side to this, such as genetically modifying humans.

Many believe that Darwinism has died and Idiocracy will rule the earth, however this isn’t as true as perceived. Already we have selective breeding of sorts where doctors may scan pregnant women and show that their children has down syndrome or other youth disorders. Many women decide to terminate the pregnancy. Research in Britain has shown a 30% dip in down syndrome cases. This is slowly eradicating the gene to extinction.

This genetic engineering may allow parents options to choose how their children look and how intelligent they are. Letting human course run its natural path will no longer will occur as modified humans are born and inevitably pass on their genes in the population. Then there is cloning, where in sixty years it may be possible to have an army of genetically modified super soldiers. This not only hits the heart and minds of science fiction lovers, but now is truly a controversy that humanity will be debating for the rest of its existence.

Blurred lines on what is morally right and wrong haunt the idea of genetic engineering, especially in the polarized U.S. However, no matter what laws are set, humans will start adopting body modifications with or without governmental permission. Allowing a disconnect between the government and genetic research can be hazardous for everyone. So keeping a keen eye on this research may be the only road to take.

This door which humanities shoved their foot into no longer can shut. Just as inventing nuclear weapons, you can’t simply delete it. People may think “okay, let’s ban human genetic modification and cloning- it’s too dangerous.”

That’s easy to believe, but look at in another perspective. Why would you impede human progress? Let’s say with mass production in one hundred years you’ll be able to buy super sight for an easy sale of 100 dollars(no inflation). There are now no diseases and the average human life expectancies triples; people may now even look younger as scientists fight against the side effects of aging. The average human has an IQ of 135 due to wide-spread designer babies and personal preference mutation.

With genetic engineering, mankind pushes the boundaries of nature. Humans may truly create species and bring back dead ones such as the wooly mammoth. Life is truly limitless in the hands of scientists for the very first time. Humanity does gods work for him, so what’s to say we’re not gods ourselves?

Everyday, humans will have mods to themselves, anything they want or can imagine. While some will always resist this practically necessary change, slowly and over generations everyone in future existence will be changed. So, an interesting question to ask oneself is in five hundred years, will anyone weep for the ‘traditional’ Homo Sapien?

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A Day at the Theatre

Recently I had the good fortune to see Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge. It was at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre. The play in its original form is straight from the kitchen of a struggling family in cold war era New York.

A home drama usually staged in an actual house was turned into a play on par with a Greek tragedy. Staged on a sterile white floor boxed in by clear siding with sharp black boards on top, there was a black step leading to a crisp doorway at the back of the set. There were no changes to this set up.

There was a large black box that was raised and lowered at the beginning and end of the show that completely covered the entire stage and rested on the black boundary.

It felt like I was a giant looking into a world like my own, but not.

This was the work of Ivo van Hove. His interpretation dialed into human nature and what desperation does to the mind. It put all the attention on the actors, emotion, and themes that run throughout the play.

Accompanied only by an occasional drumbeat and Gothic church music, the actors carried every part of the play.

Photo Credit: www.centertheatregroup.org

It was an amazing way to spend a Sunday afternoon. My head buzzed afterward.

The play was a microcosmic view of modern life, it remains applicable today. Immigration, prejudice, the weight of living.

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Do you like the weather in Ojai ?

Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

This summer, I spent my whole summer vacation in the San Francisco Bay Area. To me, the weather there does not qualify as summer. It was foggy and windy most of the days and you always needed a jacket when you went outside. One might think that’s great weather for the summer because there is no heat, but I hated it. It made me feel dull and was very depressing.

I was very excited to come back to Ojai in September because the weather is the complete opposite. The summer in Ojai is dry and sunny all the time. The bright and warm sunshine makes me happy and more energetic. But I’ve noticed that when it rains in Ojai during the winter, I get a migraine and it makes me very sleepy.

The weather really affects how I feel physically and emotionally. So the Ojai weather is perfect for me.

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School Dress Code

 

Photo Credit: Twitter User @Harika101

School Dress Code. It’s quite a hot topic at pretty much any school that has a dress code. The most frustrating aspect of most school’s dress codes is the attitude taken toward female students.

The restrictions placed on girls’ outfits can be numerous. There are restrictions on girls tops, in case their shoulders are too inappropriate to show in broad daylight, or, god forbid, her bra strap shows. Because the fact that many females wear bras is a secret that the female population must keep under wraps for the protection of adolescent teenage boys. Or, even worse, girls don’t wear a bra. Because male nipples are okay, but female nipples are a crime?

There is also the problem of shorts, skirts, and dresses. Too much of the thigh can’t show, because, as everybody knows, the skin on ones upper thigh is completely different than the skin on the knee, calf, or arm. Even butt cheeks! Everyone has them, crazy right?

All jokes aside, no one is expecting the school system to allow students to wear whatever they want, be it their birthday suit or a pant suit. But schools do need to recognize that modern fashion does not fit into what many school’s dress codes allow, and if they’re expecting female students to dress in Bermuda Shorts (YUCK) and long sleeves as to not “distract” the other students from learning, here’s a tip: stop sexualizing female bodies and treating them as a distraction, because a girl attending school should not be thought of as a “distraction” for dressing in modern clothing.

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September 11th

September 11th, a grave day in history that will never be forgotten, forever looming over our history like the dust and debris that was left after the world trade center was hit. To some this day is almost insignificant, and to some this day means more than anything else.

Most people remember it as the day that the United States was attacked. Before the attack, September eleventh was simply just another day of the year. But after that attack, just mentioning the day “September 11th” brought a hush to a crowd, or caused someone to look down in sorrowful remembrance. For some people it made them feel uncomfortable, for some people sad, and some people resentful. I’ve seen all of these reactions. But what I saw the most was acceptance, not because people didn’t care, but because to a certain extent nothing could be done; the plane crash couldn’t be taken back, the lives lost couldn’t be brought back and the birthdays, as insignificant as it might seem, would never be the same.

My older sister had her 7th birthday on September 11th. Now, being that I was three years old when the attack took place, I don’t remember what I was doing, or what we were doing that day for my sister’s birthday, but I can almost promise you that with a catastrophe like that, her birthday was altered in some way.

I remember that I didn’t really understand what was happening when my parents tried to explain to me that the plane had crashed into the world trade center. For a three-year-old, death is an unfathomable idea, let alone combined with the catastrophe of 9/11 accompanying it.

As the years have rolled by, September 11th has become less of a painful reminder of what was lost that day. However, the pain that was caused will never fully disappear. The disheartened look that people get in their eyes when my sister says that her birthday is on September 11th will never go away, the damage that was done to hundreds of other families, to the world trade center and to our nation will never go away. But like human nature, we learn how to deal with it and accept it. 

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The Ups and Downs

Life is like a roller coaster. Filled with ups and downs, twists and turns, and abrupt starts and stops.

Your future is like the tedious clicking of your cart on the incline. Each time you move a little forward, the safety kicks in to make sure you don’t fly back.  Those have been put there so you can only move forward. Time is what moves you along, what makes you get on with your life.

Once you reach the top, another goal is met. You are on the brink of a new adventure, a new path in life. You are relieved you made it, but are anticipating something new; whether it be a drop, jolt, or loop. Anxiety fills you as you are thrown into the unexpected.

Well, it turns out it was a drop. Not just any drop, either. Full 80 degree, head-first sensation that is heading straight for the ground. Hardships don’t slowly make their way into your life. They burst in and blind you. They take you by surprise and totally change your perspective.

Your cart continues the course of the ride and then it’s over. You can get off the ride and move on to the next thing. Some people say rollercoasters are just one thing, so they only stimulate one thing, one life. However, rollercoasters are almost the opposite. They’re one moment. When you go to a theme park, you don’t just go on one ride. You wait in line after line, just waiting for something new.

The one thing all the quotes relating life to rollercoasters forget to mention is others. You aren’t in that cart alone. You are sitting next to your best friend, your sibling, or a stranger, but you are never completely alone. These people are experiencing the same moment; they drop when you do and they soar just the same.

Life is a series of moments, a series of rides. Life isn’t just one big moment, but a mixture of many. However, the people around you and the way you deal with the big drops and loops can surely affect your ride.

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