In 2000 the US declared itself Measles free. Thanks to a measles vaccine that had proven to be very effective at preventing the spread of the disease, measles went from infecting 3 to 4 million people per year to infecting less than 100 in 2005. But the disease won’t fully go away and the numbers of the infected have begun to rise. We are currently experiencing outbreaks of various levels in more than 25 states some of which have declared a state of emergency. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we are going to be getting into what the measles is, what it can do to you, and why it isn’t going away.
In 2001 Venezuela was the richest nation in South America largely on the back of its oil production. It boasts the largest oil reserves in the world and for a period it was a shining example of what some would call socialism, others would call democratic socialism, others would call a government taking care of its people, others would call a government covering corruption and nepotism, and others would call a nation headed for disaster. And while in some form or another all of those people would be right, it can’t be denied that the country had cut its poverty in half, raised its literacy rates, raised the quality of life for its people, and in general was a better nation than it had been.
All of that is a far cry from where the country is now. A country that has seen more than 3 million of its 30 million people fleeing as refugees. A country with an inflation level currently at 2.6 million percent (and expected to reach 10 million percent at some point this year if things continue). A country that has had to change its currency 3 times in the last 10 years to combat inflation. Which you’d have to do if a 99 cent pack of gum all of a sudden cost $25,000 which is roughly what 2.6 million percent inflation looks like (for further reference, imagine that same $1 pack of gum costing $100,000 and you are now thinking about 10 million percent inflation). A country that has 2 presidents fighting for power and has become another staging ground for the ongoing standoffs between China, the US, and Russia. In 2017 some sources say that the average Venezuelan lost 24 pounds of body weight and 90% of the people live in poverty. On this episode of lessons from the screen we are going to be talking Venezuela, how did we get here, and what can we learn from it.
Sources (not all sources used were listed):
On December 27, 2018, during the middle of the government shutdown that continues, the EPA issued a proposed rule change that would revise the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, aka the MATS rule. This rule put in place by the Clean Air Act of 2018 required air emissions from various places to be monitor and to have harmful substances removed from their exhaust. During this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we are going to dive into what that all means and how it affects us as well as what we can do about it.
EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0794 and may be submitted by one of the following methods.
Online: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for submitting comments to EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0794.
Email: Comments may be sent to a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov. Include Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0794 in the subject line of the message.
Mail: Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Mail Code 28221T, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0794, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460.
Fax: Fax your comments to: (202) 566-9744. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0794.
Hand/Courier Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Room 3334, EPA WJC West Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0794.
Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.
With the election Tuesday, the American People had a chance to give their opinion in the most direct and influential manner possible within the American System of Government; voting. The people voiced their opinions and what happened was somewhat expected, somewhat joyous, somewhat upsetting, and very much representative of the world we live in. As has been the fallout from those upset that things didn’t go totally their way. Renewed concerns about the irrelevance of voting especially amongst us Black Folk who found members of our race on the losing end of 3 Governors’ races; Florida, Georgia, and Maryland.
While these loses were upsetting for many of the Black People hoping to be a part of history making in their respective states, the larger liberal movement, of which the majority of Black Folk consider themselves to be a part, did have an overall good election. Democrats received the lion’s share of the votes taking control of the house in congress, and also improving their control locally. They increased their control over total state governments, meaning having control over the governorship and both chambers of congress, from 8 states to 14. They increased their control of legislatures in states from 14 to 18, and they increased their control of legislative chambers from 31 to 37 (legislative chambers are local houses and senates). While these are all great gains, they are also modest gains falling below the average and on the lower end of midterm changes during which the controlling party usually loses control. In this case, the Republicans maintained control of the senate and of the majority of state legislatures, and even though Republicans lost 6 governors seats, they still maintain control of the majority of them with 26 State Governors seats.
So the results are a mixed bag, and while the majority of the news coverage has been explaining that mixed bag. Today on lessons from the screen we are going to talk about what this mixed bag means for us as Black People. We are going to be talking about the 3 governors races, what the difference between the house and senate are on the federal level, and what it means to be a race of people that live predominantly in red states while identifying politically with liberals. We are also going to be talking about some of the common misconceptions surrounding voting and the American government. We have a full plate on our return show, so let's dig in.
With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Republicans have effectively consolidated power for the next few decades on the supreme court, effectively gaining control of the judicial branch far into the future. At this point, they have control of all three branches of government on the federal level. The 33 governors mansions that are lived in by republicans effectively give them executive power at the local level in roughly 70% of the nation. 31 State Governments are controlled by Republicans, with 26 states being totally controlled by Republicans compared to just 8 for Democrats and the rest have a combination of mismatching governors and legislators. By these measures, they have near total control of the American Political Establishment with Democrats being opposition virtually in name only.
While it is true that this could change next month and Democrats could take control of the legislative branch, Republican power has still been locked in and will take years to unseat. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we are going to talk about how the Republicans managed to go from the party of Civil Rights to the party of States Rights (which has become code for having the personal freedom to mistreat and abuse others in a lot of circles). The party that while only making up 25% of the population, controls the nation.
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For the last 3 years, we have been engaged in an ongoing discussion about sexual violence. What started with the popularization of the term rape culture moved into street harassment and then transitioned into the #metoo movement. But it’s all still a part of rape culture. Throughout all of this change, we have seen women coming forward in record numbers to talk about their experiences. We have focused, rightfully so, on empowering women and removing the stigmas they face as they come forward. But as with all movements, there are dark places hidden in the light, and rape culture is as deeply embedded into American Society as Racism. Some of the very same tenets that potentially make someone a rapist also make them successful.
We also have to reconcile that even with all this focus on sexual assault, plenty of known perpetrators are still moving seamlessly through the halls of power. Donald Trump was elected president even after he admitted with his own mouth to being a sexual assaulter. Now Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s supreme court nominee is facing sexual allegations of his own. However, it looks like he will still ascend to the highest court in the land regardless of whether he did it or not. As with Trump, a slew of women support Kavanaugh and they too are making their voices heard.
Then, further in the back, we have men who have been assaulted, these men find themselves in the same space that women found themselves in decades ago. Afraid to come forward, ridiculed and teased when they do, and very often met with disbelief. These shades are all part of what we call rape culture, and in this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we are going to dive right in.
Here in North Carolina, we are continuing to recover from Hurricane Florence. A 400-mile wide behemoth that crawled across the Carolinas at a whopping 10 miles per hour. The storm dropped records amounts of rain and here in Charlotte we experienced rain fail for nearly 30 hours straight, people died and the flooding is catastrophic. Not to be outdone by Americans, China and Hong Kong experienced even more brutality at the hands of the weather over the same period as Typhoon Mangkhut ripped through Asia (Typhoons, hurricanes, and cyclones are all the same thing receiving their label based on where they originate).
But the commonality of both of these storms besides them both being the same thing was how we heard about them and how much stock we placed in the person delivering the news. Meteorologists are the scientist involved in weather forecasting and understanding, they are also tasked with delivering the bad news about a 400-mile wide force of nature carrying 150+ mph winds and tons of gallons of water directly towards you and your family. But they aren’t always accurate according to many and things are almost never as bad as they make them out to be, again, according to many. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we are going to take a look at weather forecasting, when did it start, how did it become a part of the news, what they are actually doing, and why they seem to be hyped for nothing.
Congress has a duty to advice and consent. This duty of Congress to Advice and Consent has been and will probably continue to be under the limelight with every appointment made by a president following President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. A nomination that the Senate simply refused to Advice and Consent on leading to him not even getting a hearing. Today on lessons from the screen we are going to be looking at Advice and Consent and the history of confirmation hearings in the United States. Which is again creating interest with the fast-moving appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court by Donald Trump.
We’ve looked at what mental health is, we’ve looked at the disparities and issues with getting mental health services in the community, now it's time to look at what mental health disorders are and the symptoms they present. Because out of the top 7 barriers to treatment, only 1 has anything to do with issues not related to personal beliefs or societal fear.
40% of black people don’t get treatment because they are in denial, 38% are embarrassed or ashamed, 31% flat out refuse, 29% lack money or insurance, 17% are just plain scared, 17% don’t know what to do, and 12% are just hopeless. We are going to get to what can be done but right now we are still in the process of defining the problem. Because we believe that once the problem is thoroughly defined and identified, real steps can be taken towards solving it.
This week on Trending Tuesday We will take a look at the top 10 trending topics according to Google Searches. Addition to a bonus listing from the week prior. Today being the 24th of July we will be going over the top 10 and giving you some insight as to whether or not we think these stories are worth your time based on whether or not we feel that they have a potential impact on your life and of course our own bias and interest. This Trending Tuesday we will be looking at the following topics:
1. Goldfish Recall
2. Yanet Garcia
3. Fortnite Birthday Challenges
4. Jimmy Garoppolo
5. Mila Kunis
6. National Tequila Day 2018
7. Daily News
8. Gary Sanchez
9. Henry Cavill
10. Jesse Camp
We live in a world of genetics now more than ever. For the past 30 years, DNA has become an increasing part of our criminal defense system, our family research into our ancestry, and even our workout and fitness plans. In certain locations, law enforcement has begun to create their own databases of DNA in addition to partnering with some ancestry companies to access their records and DNA profiles (think about that for a moment). A cheek swab is considered a lawful part of a standard search and they can keep your DNA whether you are guilty of something or not. But thus far all of the focus has been on reading and navigating DNA to acquire the information already written into who you are. Now, however, it is possible to erase that DNA in a way that is probably far too simple, genetic cut and paste have become a real thing and it has become available to any consumer without any oversight.
Matters have come to such a point that the Department of Defense ordered a study to review the field of synthetic biology and the report has some alarming things in it. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be looking at the technology that allows you to modify your genetic code as well as looking at the report commissioned by the department of defense. We will be giving you some information in this episode, but we will leave the takeaways for you to gather for yourself and share with us on our website or through the Freedom Train Social Media Handles. In this episode of lessons from the screen, we will be talking about, The Age of Synthetic Biology.
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In September of 2016 students in Detroit decided enough was enough. They filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Michigan declaring that their fundamental rights were being violated on the basis of race. In addition to being taught in classrooms filled with rodents, insects and mold, buildings with non-functioning A/C, and in some cases being taught by other students because teachers weren’t available, they had to contend with textbooks that were 20 years old and falling apart. They didn’t even have enough of those textbooks to go around. In the case 5 schools were listed, 3 public schools and 2 charter schools, each with horrible ratings representing the worst schools in the state. Going from a scale of 0 - 100 the schools are rated 1, 2, 4, and 6 with one of the schools being closed. Less than 5% of students scored proficient or above in the third grade of one school compared to 46% statewide. At another school, 12.5% of students scored proficient or above compared with 49.2% statewide both with regards to English proficiency.
The Schools lacked adequate teaching, with one of the schools going out and recruiting Latino children and telling them they would provide English instruction only to not have any teachers that could provide the service. Amidst all of this Governor Richard Snyder appointed Darnell Earley to administer the DPS Schools. This is significant because Darnell is largely blamed for the flint water crisis. It has to be mentioned that he claims that the plan to switch to Flint River was decided before he arrived and what fell to him was to carry out the plan. With all that in mind and after nearly 2 years of legal battles, Judge Stephen J. Murphy has made a ruling on the case.
In this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we will be going over that ruling as well as some of the details of the case itself. As always we will be giving some of the takeaways from this case. Stick around as we dig into Literacy, a Fundamental Right.
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It's the day before the 4th and every year its time to re-evaluate what this year's celebrations mean. Taking a look back at Frederick Douglass's 1852 speech "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro," we simply ask the question: Have things changed? This is not a question we seek to answer during this show, we simply provide the lecture to be digested, and ask the question. Getting together for the holidays is significant and we should enjoy any opportunity to enjoy each other. But we should also take those opportunities to have real discussions about what is going on in our families and in our larger communities. Has America changed, or is it the same America Frederick Douglass blasted over 150 years ago? What do you think?
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This week on Trending Tuesday We will take a look at the top 10 trending topics according to Google Searches. Addition to a bonus listing from the week prior. Today being the 26th of June we will be going over the top 10+1 and giving you some insight as to whether or not we think these stories are worth your time based on whether or not we feel that they have a potential impact on your life and of course our own bias and interest. This Trending Tuesday we will be looking at the following topics:
Argentina vs Nigeria
Argentina vs. Nigeria: World Cup 2018 Live
Australia vs Peru
Peru shuts out Australia for first World Cup win in 40 years
Supreme Court upholds travel ban
Argentina vs. Nigeria live stream info, channel,updates: How to watch World ...
Denmark vs France
France and Denmark Advance After World Cup's First 0-0 Draw
Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: GE, LEN, FDS, HOG, VALE & more
Bill Russell flips off Charles Barkley in a gesture he described as 'pure ...
Antonio Sabato Jr
House Candidate Sabato Calls Waters 'Hustler of Hate'
Congressional intern suspended after yelling obscenity at President Trump in ...
Richard Harrison Pawn Stars
Richard Harrison dies; the 'Old Man' of 'Pawn Stars'
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2 years into the Trump Administration and we are seeing everything that we thought we would see but hoped we would not. The erasure of Obama era policies was to be expected especially considering the relationship between the 2 men. Although the legacy of Michelle oddly lives on and occasionally makes a guest appearance in the mouth of Melania, the current first lady. The embracing of the White Supremacist and their alt right conspiracies was again, expected, especially given Trumps track record for racism and for living in controversy. But other things that we are seeing while expected, we really hoped would not come to pass. The disruption of global politics to the level of making friends of enemies and enemies of friends is something that we expected but really hoped wouldn’t happen and prayed that congress would intervene if it looked like things were going in that direction. Changing military standards was something we expected but hoped wouldn’t happen and has with the introduction of the ban on transgenders. And racism, something we new all to well was going to be present but that we hoped would be kept to its usual undercover hidden in plain sight form, has reared its head loud and proud above the surface like a cancerous lump protruding ever farther from the skin of american society.
As the moral lies that have been laid over the american foundation of cruelty have been pulled back one layer at a time we get to the truth of what it means to be an american. A truth that has not changed since the founding of this nation. To be an american is to be White first, foremost, and with the utmost importance. As comments about shithole countries filled with brown and black people fly out of the white house, immigration policy changes have begun to take effect. We spoke in a previous episode about immigration changes targeted at preventing immigration from Africa countries. Now the Trump administration has begun a mandatory policy of separating children from parents at the border as a deterrent to keep people from trying to cross, and to make matter worse, they are losing chunks of the kids. In addition to that they have immigration agents stationed ahead of checkpoints preventing people from reaching US soil and claiming asylum. Of course these are almost always brown or black people. During this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be taking a closer look at some of these Human Rights Violations with a special emphasis on immigration. As Black People, we should always pay extra close attention to how others are being treated because we know that what they will do to another group of people they will do to us. And in this case, they have done it before.
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MoTown Is BACK!!! Well the formula that they used to churn out supergroup after supergroup and hit after hit earning them the nickname of the hit factory is anyway. That formula involved taking a group of people each with a specific look, talent, and feel, putting them together and training them in all manner of performance arts, and having them perform songs specifically written for them by the most talented songwriters in the world. The result of that formula is something we are all familiar with, an explosion of Black Music all over america, the successful crossing over to white audiences by many black bands, and an exponential growth in black contributions to the American Economy and cultural influence overseas through exporting Black Music and Black American Culture.
It’s Black Woman Appreciation Month this month on the Freedom Train Network. Lessons from the Screen is using its first show during this month of May not to blindly appreciate Black Women, but to let Black Women know that We See You and we Hear YOU. Black Women have always found themselves in an awkward place in American Society. In some ways viewed as not quite the same as Black Men and in other ways viewed as not quite the same as White Women but never really recognized as a unique entity. This middle ground has often times led to a level of invisibility and a constant amount of being used by all sides without offering any major assistance for their own issues. Black Men seek unity with our Black Women as we fight against racism. White Women seek unity with Black Women in their fight against sexism. Neither of the groups however, seem to make much of a fuss about issue affecting black women only and both groups are extremely critical of Black Women especially when they chose to identify as something different from their respective groups.
During this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be looking at the Syrian Civil War, what started it, and how did the superpowers get involved. We will also be looking at what causes the missle strikes as well as the fallout from these missile strikes. Finally we will be talking about a few lessons Black People can take from these stories. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be looking at the Russia, Syria, and the US.
During this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be looking particularly at the Deadspin Video showing several News Anchors reading a part of a script and talking about its reception and what it really means. We will also be going briefly over various other “news” stories flying around social media and the need for us to Fact Check Everything regardless of source. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be talking about, Propagating Spin.
Over the past few years the Opioid Issue has become a full blow national crisis and over the past year it has taken the spotlight as the key health issue of politics. With the numbers of pills circulating continuing to rise along with those addicted. The effects on families and children are being defined very clearly and on a very deep level and people are starting to talk about punishing everyone from doctors to pharmaceutical companies. Amidst all this Donald Trump the man elected as the President of the United States in 2016 has made strong statements about dealing with the crisis and on March 19, 2018 in New Hampshire he revealed his plan to the nation.
During this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be jumping into School Shootings. The history of school shootings will be looked at as well as looking to see if there have been mass shootings in Black Schools in recent times. We will also be looking at the political debate and how both conservatives and liberals are using the Black Community to advance their goals.
This week on Lessons from the Screen we will be talking about the 2018 State of the Union address given by Donald Trump after his first year in office. We will be breaking down what was said and what wasn’t said as it concern Black People. We will be addressing any takeaways and in general just covering relevant points to our community.
This past weekend of January 20th to January 22nd we saw our government shut down. With congress failing to to pass a Continuing Resolution that would have continued government funding for another month, the nation experienced its 19th funding gap in roughly 30 years. 2 programs and a campaign promise have been attached to this issue, none of which had anything directly to do with the Continuing Resolution itself, as the shutdown served as a wakeup call for just how polarized the American Nation has become.
This week on Lessons from the screen we will be looking at cryptocurrencies. We will tell you what it is, go into a bit of the history, go into a lot of the present, and finally give some takeaways for this particular situation. With the vast amount of wealth flowing into and out of these new pieces of code, obviously there are a lot of people trying to jump on board the money train and ride it to the top of the mountain. But some are risking without understanding, and in our community, that is a mistake we can no longer afford to continue to make.
is a lover of learning and analyzer of anything that can be analyzed, even if it probably shouldn't be.