Sen. Sanders’ response to my email.

Dear Juan:
I want to take this opportunity to thank you very much for contacting my office regarding the recent tax deal struck between President Obama and the Republican leadership. Frankly, the response from Vermonters and Americans all across the country – like you – was far beyond anything we could have imagined. As of this writing, we received a total of more than 10,000 phone calls and 9,324 e-mails. More than 98 percent of the responses were in opposition.
In my view, this huge outpouring of concern was not just about this harmful bill. It went deeper than that. It was a cry from the middle class who are deeply worried about the future of our country and where this agreement, and similar type bills, will lead us in the years to come.
At a time when we have a $13.7 trillion national debt and the most unfair distribution of income in the industrialized world, why are we giving huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires? Is there no end to their greed? And does anyone really believe that this will only be a two-year agreement with no future extensions?
Why should we be significantly lowering rates on the estate tax when it applies only to the very, very richest people in this country, the top 0.3 percent? The richest 1 percent already owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Isn’t that enough?
With the American people deeply worried about the future of Social Security, why are we diverting $112 billion from the Social Security trust fund in order to provide a ‘payroll tax holiday?’ Why is a Democratic president adopting this position, which has long been held by Republicans who want to eventually destroy Social Security by choking off its funds? With the Republicans coming to power in the House in a few weeks, why should anyone not think that this ‘one-year’ diversion will be made long-term or permanent? According to one major senior citizen organization, this action could be the beginning of the end for Social Security – the most successful anti-poverty program in the history of the United States.
It goes without saying that we must extend unemployment benefits for the millions of working families who, in the midst of this terrible recession, are about to see them expire. But why is this considered a ‘concession’ when for the last four decades Democrats and Republicans have always worked together and agreed that benefits must be continued when the unemployment rate is higher than 7.2 percent. This is not a ‘concession’ on the part of the Republicans. This is a continuation of long-held, bipartisan policy.
In conclusion, I believe that we could have reached and should reach a better agreement that represents the interests of middle class and working families of our country.
Let’s keep working together.
Sincerely,

BERNARD SANDERS

United States Senator

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My Letter to the ACLU

Dear Mr. Nsombi Lambright, Executive Director

ACLU of Mississippi

753 N. Congress Street

Jackson, MS 39202

 

Hello, my name is Juan Alonso. I do not live in Mississippi, however, it was brought to my attention that the state constitution of Mississippi prohibits atheists and non-religious persons from holding public office. It is my belief that this is unconstitutional, I am not a lawyer, nor do I claim to have any legal knowledge about our court system, however, I do think that the state constitution is discriminatory, and promotes religion. The specific article of the state constitution that I’m referring to is the following:

Article 14, section 265: “No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.”

I think this provision violates the Constitution. I’m sure it violates the First Amendment of the Constitution, but it also violates Article V, section 3 of the United States Constitution, that reads as follows:

The Senators and representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several states Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but  no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

 

The provision in the state constitution of Mississippi is discriminatory, and, in my belief, unconstitutional. It would be greatly appreciated if you would take a look at this issue, and determine whether or not this violates the Constitution of the United States. Even if it does not violate the Constitution, it is highly discriminatively and intolerant of the disbelief of many members of the population of Mississippi. I express my gratitude for any attention that you might pay to this request.

 

Sincerely,

Juan Alonso

Evolution- Unfinshed draft, with a lot of mistakes.

Imagine that you are a teacher of history, and you are teaching your students about the Roman civilization. Now, imagine that a kid raises his/her hand and tells you that the Roman civilization is not real, that it’s just a theory. You, as a teacher, will have to take time out of your class to explain that the Roman civilization did indeed existed. The evidence that exist is irrefutable and indisputable. Now, we all know that no one will really do that in class; well; at least no one will do it seriously thinking that there was no roman civilization. But now imagine that you are a teacher of European history, and that you are teaching them about the Holocaust, and how terrible and despicable it was, but just when you are doing that a student raises his/her hand and tells you at the Holocaust never happened, that it’s something that the Zionists created to guilty the Western powers into creating Israel. Holocaust deniers are real, that they are successful at presenting their arguments as well researched and educated. Now, imagine that these people are able to lobby congress, state legislatures, city councils, and boards of education into forcing teachers to teach the alternative theory, that there was never a Holocaust, and that it was something created by the Zionists . Now, stop imagining, this is something that is happening with science in this country. Creationist all over the country are claiming that Evolution is just a theory, and that it should either not be taught at all, or that creationism should be taught as an alternative explanation in a science class. These people have been lobbying Congress and state legislatures and boards of education into forcing teachers to do this.

Creationists argue that Evolution is just a theory, that there is not proof of Evolution. Most of the arguments that they use to validate their point are based on misunderstandings of Evolution. They argue that there is not evidence for evolution, while in fact there is tons of evidence actually proves evolution. We have fossil records, some of which show the complete transition of a primitive animal into the modern horse, we also recent examples of evolution, for instance, when viruses develop immunity to antibiotics or when old viruses develop new strains, like the HIV virus, or mosquitoes that develop resistance to DDT. These are just a few examples of the tons of evidence that proves that Evolution in not “just a theory,” it’s a scientific fact. One of the misunderstandings about the term theory that creationist have is that they don’t understand, or have a different definition of theory. There are many definitions of theory, but there are two that are relevant to us right now. The first one, which is the definition that the scientists use, when scientist use the word theory they mean to say that it’s a statement that explains a group of facts and observations, in other words they have the facts and evidence first and then they draw their conclusions based on that evidence. So, in scientific terms, a theory implies that something has been proven and is generally accepted as being true. While the definition used by the creationists makes it sound as if a scientific theory was just a that it is a mere guess, or is unproved. It might even lack credibility. That definion is a lot like the definiton of hypothesis, which is just an educated guess based on observation.

something I wrote for a class

Being a parent is a huge responsibility, and it is not an easy one. Parents want their children to be successful and productive members of society. However, this task is a daunting one, mainly because in order for the parents of a child to provide said child with the best opportunities for their futures they have to work really hard to obtain the financial means that would enable them to provide then with those opportunities. This creates a dilemma for working parents, if they are working; someone needs to take care of their children. Unlike Wealthy parents, who have no problem affording this valuable service, low income families do not have the luxury to pay for day care, or a private nanny. It is because of this that the government should help these families that are in dire need of this crucial service. Therefore, it is necessary for the local governments, in particular Miami Dade County, to provide free or affordable child daycare to low income single female parents. The funding for these two programs would come from a 4% increase in property taxes; this increase would begin with properties that are worth $300,000 or more.

Society has become an intrinsic set of patterns that are hard to figure out. This is evident in the way that the global competition among nations has become a fierce struggle to see which nation will come out on top of the other.  Parents realize this fact, and have therefore arrived at the conclusion that their children will need to learn skills that will help them deal with the challenges that the future has for them. High quality day care is the place where children get a head start developing the kind of learning, and social skills that will help them succeed in their academic and professional life. This service also provides something that is crucial for working parents, that is, the ability to concentrate on their jobs knowing that their children are being taken care of. As stated before wealthy parents are able to afford good daycare for their children, thus, they do not care about whether or not the government is helping the children of low income families that lack the financial resources to arrange for such services. This is something that happens everywhere in the country, but it is of extreme importance that we pay attention to the children of Miami Dade County. According to a study done by Indiana University, 27.5% of all single parent homes in Miami live below the poverty line, 32.3% of single female parents live below the poverty line in Miami, and 17% of all children in Miami from ages 0-17 live below the poverty line; the study also shows that 27.2% of all families in Miami are single parent families (de Martinez). This study shows us that there are a large percentage of single parent households here in Miami.

Most single parents nationwide are females. According to a study released by the U.S Census Bureau, approximately 84% of single parents are female, 79% of them are employed, with 50% having a full time job and 29% working part-time (US Census). This statistics show us that most single parents work full time to be able to sustain their children. Affordable or free daycare will provide these families with the help that they need to be able to work with the peace of mind that the daycare would provide them, or it would allow them to improve their economic status by going to college. In order for them to do this they need someone to care of their children, however, the statistics show that most of these families do not have the financial resources to afford daycare. Because of this reason, the local government has to step up and help these families. If the government is able to provide them with daycare for their children they will be able to work better, because they will have peace of mind knowing that someone is looking after their children, and they will have the time and opportunity to improve their living conditions by attending college classes, or finishing their High School degrees. The way the local government has to approach this problem is by doing the following: first, they have to improve the licensing of daycare and daycare workers. The local governments need to set higher standards and work with daycare centers which lack the proper licenses so that they can get them; this can be done by subsidizing the costs of licenses to daycares and child care training to their employees. After this has been done the local government, as well as the state government, should increase their funding to organizations like The Children Trusts, an organization that helps parents, mainly low income parents, to afford after school programs and summer camps. This increase in funding should be conditioned. These organizations should be required to demonstrate that most of the funds that have been given to them are used to help single parents, especially single female parents, to afford daycare services. This should be done to ensure the government that the funds allocated for this program are indeed helping the people that they are supposed to help, namely, single parents. This program should also work with the USDA Child Care Food Program, which is a program that “…provides nutritious meals and snacks each day as part of their program” (USDA), that way single parents will spend less money buying food, and more money providing for other crucial needs, like clothing or school supplies.

Working single parent most of the times are barely able to get by, many times they have to take two jobs to be able to make ends meet. Therefore, a second program should be created with the sole purpose of helping the poorest of the poor. Females, as the statistics show, are the largest percentage of single parents that live in poverty, so it follows logically that both programs should help them the most. This second program is created with them in mind. As a direct result of their economic situation, Miami Dade County should provide government run daycare centers that are only given to those people who can demonstrate that they cannot afford the other option, namely, the one that works with organizations that help parents get daycare within their economic means. This government daycare centers should obviously have all the certifications and licenses required by the state and local government to function, as well as workers that are well trained to take care of the kids.

These two programs aren’t cheap. Miami Dade County will have to raise a lot of revenue to be able to afford these two initiatives. Local governments get their revenue mainly through property taxes. Therefore, it should be of no surprise to anyone that to raise revenue to fund these two programs the local government will have to raise property taxes. This increase should be a 4% increase to properties that are worth $300,000 or more. This increase in the tax rate is necessary to help those who are less fortunate than they are. In fact, these two programs will help these people improve their economic status, which means that they will need less help from the tax payers.

Single parents have a very hard time making ends meet. They also have a hard time dealing with their children and all the nuisances that come with being a parent. It is the duty of the government, and especially Miami Dade County and where many single parents live in poverty, to help these working parents that toil their lives away hoping that their children will not have to go through the same hardships that they are going through, while others are able to afford $300, 000 properties and private tutors and nannies. Obviously, no one is blaming wealthy families for the poverty of the low income families, but we all have a duty to give back to our society just as much as our society has given us, especially those whom society has given the most. It is the humane thing to do, not only because it lessens the burden that these parents have to carry, but also because in the end these programs will help the county and the country to become more competitive in the global arena.

I Want The Government Out of Everything!

Well, as you can see a lot of people want the government to get out of everything. Obviously, they fail to specify what everything means, if it indeed means anything at all. Let’s see, perhaps they want the government to not regulate the food industry, that way, they can get food poisoning without the government’s help.Perhaps they don’t want to send their kids to schools or colleges where the government provides financial aid and students grants and loans; or maybe they want the government not to fix the roads and highways that allow them to reach their jobs and destinations.

These people are so deluded that they cant really think straight. One guy there screamed freedom!, what freedom is he talking about? What freedom is the government taking away from him by reforming health care? None. Perhaps, the only freedom that they are fighting about is the freedom to manage their own wealth. However, these people most likely want the government to do a lot of things without them having to pay for anything. They probably want the roads and highways to be in a perfect condition so that they can travel smoothly on them, but they don’t want to pay for that. They don’t want to pay for the services that they do want. Probably the only thing that they want the government to do and they would be willing to pay for it is to allow prayers in school, and have the teacher read the bible to children.

If these people are so adamantly defending the “freedoms” that they have, then where were they 8 years ago when The Patriot Act was passed? Where were they when Bush tried to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage? What has changed in the last 8 years? Oh! that’s right the political party of the person in charge, and the color, we should never forget that Obama isn’t white. It wasn’t fascist for Bush to evesdrop in the conversations of the people, or to know what books you check out from the library; but it is fascist of Obama to do… to do what? OH that’s right to bail out the banks… wait… didn’t Bush bailed out the banks? Oh, I know A.I.G … wait, Bush bailed out A.I.G. I know! the auto industry, that’s what he did, god damned fascist, preventing the auto industry from failing so that thousands of families wouldn’t go without. Damn socialist taking away my freedom to do… my freedom of… not paying taxes… that’s right, that’s the freedom that I want to keep, because I know that the 4th amendment is worth nothing as long as I don’t have to pay taxes and get all the things I want the government to do for me without me paying for it. Obama is both a fascist and socialist… and I think he might be communist too… They all mean the same thing,right?

Helping The Homeless?

I have always tried to help people who have less than I do. I don’t mind giving spare change to homeless people. But now, there is something that made think a lot today. I was buying a pizza, and in the check there was a “Homeless tax” I immediately thought that it was preposterous that the government is doing something so despotic. Making me pay a tax to help homeless people? Why should I pay for them? They are in that position because they want to,right? Well, not really,). This initial thought is something that is really against what I truly believe. I don’t think that homeless people are solely responsible for their economical situation (some of them are directly responsible, while others have different degrees of responsibility). I do believe that we have a moral duty to help those who are less fortunate than us. So, why did it bother me so much that I was paying a tax to help the homeless?
I think that what really bothered me was that I was being forced to help them, rather than it being a personal decision, the government decided that I was gonna help them even if I didn’t want to. That’s what really bothered me about it. I don’t think anyone should be forced to do something that they don’t want to do it. I feel the same way about capital punishment. I am really against capital punishment for many different reasons. But, believe me, if I had a daughter, and she was kidnapped and raped, I would shoot the son of a bitch in front of court  myself. I also understand the feelings of the families of the victims, and the feelings of anger that this kind of heinous acts create, however, I don’t want the government to have the ability to kill people without any kind of repercussion, that’s like state-sponsored murder.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is that the government shouldn’t have the power to force you to do something that you do not want. Be it helping the homeless, or using your tax money to kill people, government can’t, and it mustn’t be able to force the people to engage in activities that they do not do so freely. For instance, if you don’t want to help the homeless then you don’t have to. If you feel like helping the homeless people, then you should do so out of your own free will, not because someone is forcing you to do it.

“The World’s a Stage”

Do we ever truly know someone? I think not. I don’t think that it is possible for any of us to truly know someone, not even ourselves. You see, I think that the self is a process, as I have stated in some other blog, which makes it impossible for anyone to get to know another person. Haven’t you heard your friends or your parents tell you that you have changed? What about your partners? they will probably notice the changes the most, which is why many marriages end.You can see this when people use that phrase “you are not the same person I fell in love with.”
But,there is another side to this coin. We, as humans, never show what we don’t want others to see. In other words we only show to people what we want them to see. This characteristic of human nature reminds me of that famous quote “the world’s a stage” and indeed, the world is a stage, and we all get to play a role in life.Where we play a character that is always mindful of his/her actions, and that will always try to think everything that is said, not because of the possibility of hurting someone, but because we are always conduction some sort of damage control in our brains.

I also think that we are afraid of taking off the masks, I think that we are afraid of people getting too close to who we really are. We keep people intentionally away so that way we wont get hurt by others. Because of this  knowing someone is something that is impossible, and even if you get to “know” someone deeply, that doesn’t mean that you will understand that person. I guess this game will not end any time soon, and we all need to keep up our charade, otherwise, we might become individuals hated by society.
I think that the reason why we won’t truly show ourselves is not only because we are afraid of people hurting us, but because we are afraid of society. Because society works is such a way that those who are different, think different, believe different, dress differently or do anything in a different way than the pre-set conditions imposed upon us by society will be rejected, hated, discriminated, or even jailed (there was a time in which homosexuality was a crime). So in order for us to keep on living among our peers, we will  show that part of ourselves that we think society will like, or we will need to create a mask that will appeal to society.