Money Talks The Loudest

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Now there’s a novel concept!

As the outrage over the civil disobedience of top paid athletes continues, we again find ourselves – as a society – muddling through the murk and sludge of perceptions and individual beliefs. What will we tolerate, and what will we not – as individuals, and as a society.

The issue du jour appears simple initially: privileged players in most sports leagues are choosing to not stand for the National Anthem. In civil disobedience, they are kneeling to show their disdain for our country.

Undoubtedly, the National Anthem is a powerful part of the “Americana” on which our country has historically been based. Its lyrics represent war and division, yet it was ensconced into the sports arena as an iconic beginning to every game from the early 1900s.

It is a ritual that everyone expects.

  • The person who will sing the anthem is introduced at the opening of the game
  • Everyone stands
  • Military personnel and service are praised
  • Hats come off
  • Hands go to the breast
  • Anthem begins
  • Tears flow

Afterward, we are complete, we are united – as a society, as sports lovers, as patriots of our country. We are ready for football.

Of late, many highly paid athletes across many professional leagues, cloaked in the growing pallor of the First Amendment, have thrown us all into the grip of yet another cultural quagmire.

Here is what you might be seeing and hearing in the media and from people you know:

  • President Trump is causing this to spiral
  • President Trump broke the law and caused further division by voicing his opinion
  • The players have the right to express their beliefs in the public arena
  • The National Anthem doesn’t matter anymore
  • Civil disobedience, for its own sake, is acceptable
  • Anyone who doesn’t agree is a white supremacist
  • Anyone who doesn’t agree is not American
  • The owners of the teams have no influence over what the players do

Here are the facts:

  • In other parts of the world, as well as in the US, people are still suffering and dying from the onslaught of Mother Nature
  • Millions of Americans have died and continue to suffer as a direct result of their service to our country. They deserve our respect.
  • The National Anthem is irrefutably a symbolic form of respect and appreciation for the service of millions of military and law enforcement men and women who contribute to making our country free and safe.
  • A NFL standard contract looks like this: “A player who doesn’t ‘conduct himself on and off the field with appropriate recognition of the fact that the success of professional football depends largely on public respect for and approval of those associated with the game,’ or who ‘has engaged in personal conduct reasonably judged by Club to adversely affect or reflect on Club,’ is subject to being fired.”
  • Other leagues have different guidelines
  • While this debate rages, and is argued in the arena of public opinion, these privileged players are still earning millions of dollars every game, every day
  • Politics has been brought into one of the last standing bastions of our lives, where it should not tread

My opinion, based on the facts and my gut, is that these players who are choosing to not stand during the National Anthem are invoking their right.

Do they have the right to their non-violent free speech? Absolutely.

Should they be allowed to do it on my dime, on yours? I don’t believe they should – but that is a judgement call.

They, just like Hollywood actors and actresses who also spout their political opinion from the pedestal of their privilege, are paid to entertain us. Their opinion when they are doing their job is irrelevant.

Bottom line: if you don’t like that the players do not stand for the National Anthem, don’t spend your money on them.

Don’t go to games.

Don’t watch games on TV.

Don’t buy their stuff.

Money talks way louder than words, or tears, or stamping of feet, or ranting.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

 

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Thoughts for the Days

~ “At the precipice, we all change.”  ~ paraphrase from The Day The Earth Stood Still

~ Who needs free speech anyhow?

~ Re-read Ayn Rand, Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell. That appears to be where America is heading.

~”If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” ~ Romans 12:18

~ Hatred is a choice, no matter what direction it is pointed and regardless of the cause. Groups don’t make choices; individuals make choices. Check yourself!

~ Just because you can, does it mean you should…and why would you want to do that anyhow?

~ “Just because there are things you haven’t heard about doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.” ~ Unknown

~ “Find a penny; pick it up.”

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Healthcare for All: A Fallacy

Many believe that single payer healthcare is the cure to all of this country’s healthcare ills. And, it may very well be.

But the newest version of the Medicare For All Act of 2017 is not it.

For one, I do not believe that healthcare is a right. Neither God, nor man, has granted that. And man has only struggled with a way to provide “free” healthcare in recent history. If it were a right, ordained by God or not, we would not be in the predicament that we are now. A predicament we as the human race has struggled with since beginning of time.

That said, I do believe that good healthcare for all has a place in any civilized society. Members of society who are healthy probably produce more and contribute to moving things forward. Those of poor health probably do exactly the opposite.

I would not object to a plan that would better provide affordable healthcare to all, even if the government ends up paying for it. And, we all know that the government can only pay for it because we – the tax-paying citizens of the US – pay for it. Let’s make that clear.

But, even then, I am ok with it. As long as it is fair to all.

The healthcare industry – in fact the entire structure – is corrupt from top to bottom. In my humble opinion, that is the problem. Corruption.

I have several problems with the current version of Medicare for All Act of 2017.

  1. Why does it cover “individuals residing in the US and US territories”? I believe it should be “citizens”. Citizens pay for it with taxes; citizens should be the only benefactors.
  2. Why do they keep referring to it as “free healthcare”? As established above, it is most definitely not free. We, the citizens of the US, will pay dearly every paycheck.
  3. Why can “only public or non-profit institutions participate”? Has anyone done any analysis at all on the havoc that will wreak on the economy as a whole? The jobs lost, the networks upended, the systems and processes that rely on certain institutions that may not be public nor non-profit?
  4. Why are “financial incentives between HMOs and physicians based on utilization prohibited”? That is one of the agreements that keeps costs to the insured low.
  5. Has anyone determined the effect of using only public or non-profit providers on the quality of the care? That won’t work well with the top surgeons and doctors that citizens from other countries seek when their countries can’t or won’t treat them.
  6. “The program is funded….by instituting a progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income.” Really? What might that be and what is the full definition and details of “progressive”? Who? How much?
  7. And, this is probably the best one of all…wait for it…“the program must give employment transition benefits and first priority in retraining and job placement to individuals whose jobs are eliminated due to reduced clerical and administrative work under the bill.” The creators of the bill know this will wreak havoc on a huge industry. But, I wonder how they will help to re-employ those people when they can’t even keep employment statistics positive as it is. If you are in the healthcare industry, you should be very afraid of this aspect alone.
  8. Scary…doctors will no longer be in charge of a ill person’s prognosis or treatment plan. “The bill establishes a National Board of Universal Quality and Access”. Basically, that means that your treatment will be ranked – by committee and bureaucracy – against treatment, cost, and prognosis of everyone else in the system…and no money will allow you to buy anything better. Hearing me…your money, if you have it, will not be able to save you.

While a universal healthcare system is likely where we are headed…this is definitely not the way to do it.

The kind-hearted liberals who believe in this plan are just that – kind-hearted. Bless their cotton socks. But, unfortunately, I don’t believe that they are all thinking of it as how it will affect their personal situation. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe they think they will be immune, saved because of their current social or financial status.

And, the politicians are in a whole different arena. We all know that they will most likely vote themselves out of anything that they vote in for the public.

Guaranteed.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Why I Write

To be honest, I write mainly for me. It’s a selfish interest – or at least it begins that way.

Writing helps me analyze everything: me, things, people, spaces, events, thoughts, perceptions. I guess it is one way that I have found to maintain my sanity when nothing seems to make sense.

Sometimes the writing comes at the beginning of the analysis. Most times, it comes toward the end as I strive to put the pieces together – pieces that I have been spinning and re-positioning in my head for God knows how long – and prepare to move on.

And everything gets analyzed in my world. If it is personally compelling enough for any reason, it gets written, and usually published to this blog.

Once a piece is written, and published, it becomes public domain and holds the power to influence a reader in whatever way the reader needs to perceive it.

Its message is perceived and used in ways only the reader can fathom. To a reader, my reason for writing becomes personal to him or her. It is no longer about me.

To a reader, I write for different reasons. And, in reality, these other reasons are a secondary benefit to me as well. If my writing has the power to achieve these goals for other people, in their time of need, then it was time and effort well spent.

To a reader, I might write……

To educate

To enlighten

To inspire

To reveal hope

To commiserate

To vent

To entertain

To change perspective

To deliver a message 

I met up with a few friends for drinks, and during the course of conversation I revealed that I am not a caregiver personality. I mean anyone that knows me knows that I have a good heart (at least, I hope they do); but I don’t ordinarily go out of my way to help others unless I am asked or unless I am keenly aware that they need and will accept my help.

That said, I hope that my writing “helps” others to work through their own issues in their own time, in their own way.

In a prismatic manner, maybe I am a caregiver after all.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Speech, Speech

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

A quote from Eleanor Roosevelt.

Too scary? Believe me, I know.

With my life still in somewhat of a daily atmosphere of impending doom – as it has been for about 10 years now – I have learned to employ a method of living that eliminates risk, or at least drastically reduces it to self-perceived manageable levels.

It may sound boring but I have actually grown accustomed to it. I rush home to it every day; I battle it every time that fun and frolic come knocking on my door.

Yesterday, I broke out of that method and tried something new and scary.

I had been introduced to the idea of this new and scary thing many years ago. At the time, I discarded it as something I was distinctly not – nor ever would be – interested in.

But, for some yet undetermined reason, the idea has recently re-emerged. It must be in cahoots with that whispered urge that hints to me here and there that I need to expand myself. That urge beckons to me, like a lulling melody or a lilting aroma, that the way is clear and it’s safe for me to start venturing ahead to forge new experiences.

I have never been one to turn down the new, or the adventurous. So, I think this is why the whispered urge reminded me of this aged idea.

Yesterday, I finally acted on the idea after weeks of thinking about it. After all, I am not one to engage whimsically. I plan, I gauge, and then I pursue.

The idea, you say? I can tell you now.

Toastmasters.  Scary, right?

Many things scared me about this idea from the first time it came into my conscious realm. Probably not unlike the things that scare anyone about it.

  • Public speaking
  • Public speaking in front of people I don’t know
  • Being critiqued by people I don’t know about my public speaking
  • Impromptu public speaking – can’t prepare and can’t rehearse

Throughout my adult working life, I have been called to various types of public speaking.  I have been both a teacher and a trainer. Both roles involve preparation and rehearsal.

Currently, as a business analyst and project manager, I meet with people all day, every day. I host meetings: plan, rehearse, orchestrate. There is an end goal and I know the agenda. The only judgement is whether I can get the project done. Easy. I can do that.

This is different. And a challenge that I am now ready for.

The meeting itself was inspiring in quite a few ways:

  • the group was large – roughly 40 people
  • I was not the oldest – only the 3rd oldest
  • there were many newbies, like me
  • there was an air of mutual respect
  • they used Robert’s Rules of Order – yaaaayyy
  • it was engaging, captivating, interesting, inspiring
  • it was apparent the value it had to specific people

In the end, the best of all is that I walked out knowing that I would return to this group – Central Austin Toastmasters – next week, and the week after.

And, yes….of course I put it on my phone calendar.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

 

 

Sticks and Stones

….will break my bones; but, words will never hurt me.  Remember that one?

I do.

According to my Google search, it first appeared in a publication called The Christian Recorder in 1862.

Basically, it means that you cannot be hurt by words. Only physical things, like sticks…and stones, can really truly hurt you. I expect that many Gen Xers and beyond, possibly even a few Millenials, remember the phrase, and hopefully its meaning.

I view its meaning as a tenet of maturity and wisdom – a principle. Principles are to be upheld at all costs. I raised my children to know this principle – understand it, and apply it. The expectation was, and is, don’t say things that will hurt others, and don’t get all bent out of shape when someone says something to try to hurt you. In order to achieve this, a person obviously has to have a very well established ego and self-esteem; basically, they need to know who they are and be proud of themselves.

Not an easy undertaking in our current society.

By the looks of it, however, it appears that many who are driven to frustration and anger over the state of our society and the status of the political spectrum have forgotten this phrase.

Many are trying to hurt with their words.

Many are being hurt by those very same words.

There is a vicious cycle brewing and bubbling.

Many of those words are opinion, not fact – yet, those words are being propagated as fact.

And those words sting.

The words being thrown around are nothing less than horrifying and degrading. In that sense, they could be allocated the weight of a stick or a stone, in certain individuals.

Sticks and stones being heaved over social media, just because they can.

If you view the words – thrown around like stones and rocks – as fact, this is what MSM, and even some of your Facebook friends, would have you believe:

  • that you are worthless because of your beliefs
  • that your beliefs are worthless because they are contrary to “xxxx”
  • that your beliefs are worthless because they are contrary to someone else’s
  • that you are not an individual if you support certain ideas
  • that because you are not an individual, you are stereotyped into a certain group
  • that the group you are stereotyped into is not worthy of anything except contempt
  • that your opinion is irrelevant
  • that you are wrong

What it boils down is these facts:

  • Judging your neighbor or your friend in the previously listed areas is now acceptable
  • The use of angry language and nasty epithets (basically depersonalizing another human being) against someone because they don’t agree with you is now the way to win the argument
  • Acknowledging that another human being has a different point of view, and that point of view is valid even though you don’t agree with it, is now out of fashion

Here is my opinion, based on the facts:

  • Each person is responsible for his actions and his words.
  • A person cannot be held responsible for the actions or words of someone else.
  • Our society is overrun by people who have an inability to think, speak, and act independently.
  • When people are not able to think, speak, and act independently, they are then more likely to not take responsibility for themselves. They will blame and instigate.
  • Groups of people who are followers, with no independent thought or personal responsibility, are dangerous.

What appears to be happening in our society now is disheartening and pathetic. I truly hope is only a blip and that it will subside and leave us a better people as a whole.

In the meantime, we, as individuals, have a lot of work to do. For as we take the actions that will uphold our fellow human beings, friend or not, we will propagate the ideals to make our society a better place after the turmoil in over.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

 

 

DACA – Not What They Want You to Think

The newest and greatest controversy of the Trump presidency is DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

It was initiated by President Obama in June 2012 as a means to allow the children of illegal immigrants, who entered our country as minors, to apply for a renewable permit to remain in the country.

Now, President Trump is rescinding the program, probably as part of his campaign platform to reduce illegal immigration in our country.

While well-intended, the design of the proposed solution was illegal from the start. The reason it is illegal is because the Executive branch – the President – cannot determine who is illegal in America, and who it not. The determination for naturalization is up to Congress, not the President. Yet, President Obama attempted to institute it anyhow. In a nutshell, President Obama was breaking the law, and everyone turned a blind eye.

In 2014, the state of Texas, along with 24 other states, even sued the Federal Government over proposed expansions to DACA because the costs involved in maintaining it would be overwhelming.

The ideal was sound: Children of illegal immigrants are not party to any decisions made by their parents, so they should not be penalized later on because of it.

I get it.

But, unfortunately, the premise was instigated on shaky Constitutional grounds. President Obama never had the power to do that, according to our Constitution. The 14th Amendment allows citizenship to those born on our soil. The kids born across our borders but brought here by parents, made up a grey area that he tried to color in.  But Article 1, Section 8, allocates the authority for establishing standards for citizenship and naturalization to Congress. Not the President.

Here is what you will hear from the MSM or from your friends on Facebook – or both:

  •  that rescinding DACA is punishing the children
  •  that most DACA recipients are productive members of American society
  •  that rescinding DACA is contrary to our American spirit and common sense
  •  that America will somehow lose value
  •  that America’s economy will suffer

Here is my opinion, based on the facts I have reviewed:

  • DACA needs to be placed back in the hands of Congress to pursue a solution that is legally binding. President Trump’s action to rescind DACA with a 6 month grace period is doing exactly that – let’s see what Congress can create, legally.
  • Current DACA recipients should be measured based on their individual success and contribution to American society.
  • DACA program should be grandfathered for those children already in America.
  • Grandfathered DACA program should have a definite end date.
  • Older DACA recipients should be transitioned to a full naturalization program.

Here is a statistical analysis of DACA applicants and recipients from 2012 through 2016.

Again, this is yet another element of our continually homogenizing society that we need to transition together. There are many different opinions, but only a specific set of facts. Those facts are irrefutable. Let’s look at this with open minds and creative approach and pray that Congress can do the same – for the sake of the children and young adults affected.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.