Time Article About Texas… and More!

            Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Who knows, by the time this article is ready for publication my blog (at blog.com) might actually being working so that I might actually be able to publish at my primary blog location (URL). Yes, I know that most people could give peanuts less if I am able to publish at the same URL that I have been publishing too/at for the past three years. However, I do care if I am able to publish to www.theothershoe.blog.com. Did you, My Dear Readers, know that I am rapidly approaching the magic number of Three Hundred articles? Yes, at The Other Shoe I will be publishing my  300th article… perhaps before Halloween.\

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[I would like to make it perfectly clear and understood. I do NOT agree with the author of this article at Time magazine. As a Texan I was offended by many of his assertions and his backhanded compliments did not make up for his gross mischaracterization of Texas and Texans. Whereas, I do believe that ‘low wage zero growth’ jobs are NOT the future for Texas or the nation. I happen to know that Texas is growing jobs of all kinds. I wrote about this article because I found it sorely lacking in the facts department and I really wanted my friends and family, in Texas, to be aware of this article.

I hope that everyone… all of you, My Dear Readers, understand and accept this article as it is presented to you. As a factual piece, taking aim at prejudices and gross mischaracterizations within national media, about the Great State of Texas. Thank you.]

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The United States of Texas

(Photo-illustration/ Sarah Illenberger for TIME)

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Three hundred article in just three years. I am rather proud, if I may say so myself. That is not what I came here to write about, this late Friday night. Nope, I have come here to write about… Texas. More specifically? To write about the Time Magazine article in the October 28th, 2013 edition of Time magazine. Here is what I wrote earlier today:

.             “TEXAS made it to the COVER of Time, this week. The feature article will NOT be very welcome in my home state. Here is an excrpt from the second paragraph:

 

“A recent report from the FBI found that the home state of Chuck Norris (who lives just outside L.A.) LED THE NATION as the place the most people got kicked punched to death in 2012.”

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 Not my words, a quote from Time magazine October 28th, 2013.

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 Being in the national spotlight is not all it is cut out to be, let me tell you.”

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Then I read on… further in the article.

            “Roughly a quarter of residents have no health insurance…”

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Here is when I began to realize that the writer of this article, at Time magazine, was…colouring his ‘facts’ in this… non-objective article about Texas. Here is the reality about the uninsured in Texas:

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            “Texas is the uninsured capital of the United States. More than 6.3 million Texans – including 1.2 million children – lack health insurance. Texas’ uninsurance rates, 1.5 to 2 times the national average…”[1]

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The real number is more like 33%… see the image below from the Texas Medical Association web site:

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Uninsurance rates in Texas 2009-2010

Uninsurance rates in Texas 2009-2010

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I am looking for more recent data, as I am writing this article and reading from about six different sources at the same time. Back to the article in Time. The writer freely admits that most of the job growth in Texas (for the pasrt ten years) has been in low wage and unskilled work. Released during the last Presidential campaign, under Governor Rick Perry the average wage of the “millions of jobs” created in Texas was below the Federal Minimum Wage. .

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The writer admits this fact, but counters with this statement:

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            “Automation and globalization don’t just make a lot of goods and services much cheaper—they sometimes make them free.”

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Lat me ask. Is there free food in Texas? Is there free gasoline in Texas? Is there free rent in Texas? Is there free health care in Texas? Is there free electricity in Texas? I didn’t think there was free stuff essential to life, in Texas. As well, I hardly think that lower costs can even come close to making up the difference between a minimum wage in Texas and a real living wage.

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See, this author is promoting “The Texas Model” and saying that what is working in Texas will soon be what works all over the United States. I completely disagree with this ‘libertarian’ point of view. To prove what the author was pimping, here is another quote (I find… disingenuous);

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            “There’s no reason a worker should need legal permission to become, say, a barber or a cosmetologist…”

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I just could not disagree more with this uninformed opinion. Did you know that barbers need to be trained in basic chemistry? Yes, if they are going to color or frost your hair… well you bloody well better hope that they have received the proper training in the chemistry of hair coloring and that the4y have passed a recent TEST on said chemistry. As well, you really do want your Pharmacy Technicians to be fully trained and regularly certified by the state they practice. Often, the only thing that stands between a distracted doctor and a lazy pharmacist sending aspirin to a patient on blood thinners is a well trained pharmacy technician. (FYI if you were to take aspirin or aspirin based product while taking a blood thinner? You would end up bleeding out of your; eyes, ears, mouth and anus… bleeding to death)

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I do not believe that the future of our great Republic lies in; low wage uneducated workers, cheap housing at the expense of the general health of a population, and the gutting of the middle class just to make the already wealthy, more wealthy. I do not believe that Americans should just ‘get used to’ getting paid less for more work each and every year.Accept that One in three adults and one in two children do not have any form of health care. I think it is unconscionable to make light of the growing violence in Texas and just push it off to the side of the page as ‘a cost of living leaner…’. I honestly think that Americans should be safe in their; homes, schools, churches, grocery stores and playgrounds. Further, I am factually certain that ‘arming more of your population results in lower crime rates’ is a bold faced LIE.  

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As this article factually states, Texas instituted a concealed carry permit for guns and it has resulted in; “rates of murder and violent crime… property-crime rates are high…” Texas “led the nation as the place where the most people got punched and kicked to death in 2012…”  Texas had 699 gun related murders in 2011. One of the highest firearm assault rates in the United States @ 58.28%. [2]

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It is going to take many years for the data to be collected and tabulated but one fact is becoming readily clear. Having more concealed weapons does not equal lower; crime rates, murder rates, homicide rates and suicide rats. Honestly, if it were as simple as having more Americans carrying guns? Wouldn’t the ‘Old West’ been a calm a quiet time with longer life spans. As opposed to the reality of the “Old West’ where gun deaths accounted for nearly one in three deaths and the average life span was 35.

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I have written, and published, this article NOT to “Bash Texas”. I understand and fully accept that there are going to be people I know and trust that disagree with my statement. They will insist that I have ill will in my heart and that I am just writing this article to further some campaign of discrediting Texas. You just couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Here are some sobering FACTS about guns in homes;

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            Based on a review of the available scientific data, Dr. (Steven) Lippmann (of the University of Louisville School of Medicine) and co-authors conclude that the dangers of having a gun at home far outweigh the safety benefits. Research shows that access to guns greatly increases the risk of death and firearm-related violence. A gun in the home is twelve times more likely to result in the death of a household member or visitor than an intruder.”[3]

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            Having a gun at home not only increases the risk of harm to one’s self and family, but also carries high costs to society, concludes an article in the February Southern Medical Journal, official journal of the Southern Medical Association. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy.” [4]

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            Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9)” [5]

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            “Nearly 800 children under 14 were killed in gun accidents from 1999 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” [6]

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            “In the 1990s, a team headed by Arthur Kellermann of Emory University looked at all injuries involving guns kept in the home in Memphis, Seattle and Galveston, Tex. They found that these weapons were fired far more often in accidents, criminal assaults, homicides or suicide attempts than in self-defense. For every instance in which a gun in the home was shot in self-defense, there were seven criminal assaults or homicides, four accidental shootings, and 11 attempted or successful suicides.” [7]

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            “Guns and cars have long been among the leading causes of non-medical deaths in the U.S. By 2015, firearm fatalities will probably exceed traffic fatalities for the first time, based on data compiled by Bloomberg” [8]

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            “A gun in the home — thus available for self-defense — is 22 times more likely to be used in an assault or homicide, an accidental shooting or a suicide or attempted suicide.

Researchers reached this conclusion by studying hospital admissions, emergency medical technician reports, police and medical examiner files in 626 shootings in or around a residence in three cities: Galveston, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; and Memphis, Tenn., for between 12 and 18 months” .[9]

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And that was all I could find in just one day pf researching this problem. Imagine the mountain of information and proof I could amass in; a week… a month… a year. I love the great state of Texas. However, I am not afraid of pointing out the shortcomings… in the state of my birth… or myself. America needs to come to the full realization that nothing is going to replace paying our citizens a living wage. Building and providing more affordable housing, and that the aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats” is a truism.

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The future of our nation lies in finding the correct social and economic environment where we can lift all boats. That we can make life at the bottom more livable without harming the wealth, and while expanding the middle class. People, we have done this before in our nation’s history. And we did not do it by dividing ourselves against each other.

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As always, you coming here and reading my words honors me.

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Thank YOU!

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P.S. Please… drop by my eBay page and check out my listings… further… IF you would like to help me.. keep my new roof over my head… and eat a little better? You can contribute to help me at anytime by going to PayPal (click there to take you directly to sending money via email address) and looking up Danny Hanning email enzomatrix@earthlink.net

 


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