Tag Archives: skid row

Federal Funding Debate + GRE Issue Essay Practice #2

28 Apr

3:34 PM


“As long as people in a society are hungry or out of work or lack the basic skills needed to survive, the use of public resources to support the arts is inappropriate—and, perhaps, even cruel—when one considers all the potential uses of such money.”

Point:  Supporting the arts is irresponsible if there is need in society which is the most basic and exigent place to spend public resources.

Opposing:  Though the arts don’t put food on the table, having them available to the majority is valuable to society.

+When we have to chose between a child getting fed and clothed verses funding extraneous culturally enriching activities, it is a no-brainer which should receive priority funding.

+People camping in tents on Skid Row could benefit in a tangible way from money wasted on unnecessary art.

+When people in this country are in dire poverty, it is not just those individuals that suffer.  Our productivity as a nation suffers, as does our global image.

+Addicts who lack the basic skills to survive, impede the happiness of everyone in society.  They are regularly participating in crime, engaging in unsightly activity in the streets, and using up enforcement, judicial, and incarceration resources.

+ We have a responsibility to care for those less fortunate than ourselves in society–giving money to the upper-echelon while lower classes suffer would be a travesty.

-Without the arts, life would be austere and boring.

-The arts enrich our lives by fostering creativity and outside-the-box thinking.

-Who is to say funding the arts is hurtful to society?

Take a Stand:  

Though I think funding the arts in times the economy is doing well is important to foster creativity and asthetics, society has to err on the practical side of things when money is tight.  We could not in good consciousness allow a child to go hungry while giving extraneous endeavors, whatever they may be public funds.

3:54 for brainstorming (20 of 45 min)


“As long as people in a society are hungry or out of work or lack the basic skills needed to survive, the use of public resources to support the arts is inappropriate—and, perhaps, even cruel—when one considers all the potential uses of such money.”

The issue of where to spend tax money is a controversial one, just look at how our politicians struggled last week to decide on the final budget.  They almost shut down the federal government because they could not come to a decision!  Every advocate and organization can present a good case as to why they need more funding.  Food benefits, unemployment pay, and job training are all practical ways for the country to spend public funds.  On the other side of the coin, galleries, parks, and music education are important for enjoyment and recreation and enrich us as a people.  In the final analysis however, I support the more tangible benefits gleaned from spending tax payer money in practical ways such as welfare programs, rather than giving what little money we have to extraneous sources such as the arts.

My difficult decision which favors giving money to people in need over handing it to culturally enriching programs is simply prioritizing who needs the money more.  For instance, when weighing hungry children with youth eager to learn an instrument, I have to side with the basic necessity of food.  In addition, looking at spending resources on people who just got laid off from their job trying to make ends meet verses spectators wanting to look at art in a museum for enjoyment it is evident that I have to side with the needy people of our country.  As a third example of prioritizing needs, I would have to choose funding shelters for the homeless rather than parks for the public to enjoy.  Sure, artistic endeavors are beneficial for society.  They help people think outside of the box, foster creativity, and lend asthetic appreciation of culture.  When times are bad and people are suffering it is more imperative that we help people struggling to survive.  Just like our political leaders, I do not want to have to make choices, and would prefer to fund both the  necessary and the enjoyable, but in bad economic times, I have to choose the most dire.

Aside from being a bigger priority, funding need awkward!  does not just help the individuals benefiting from the public resources.  When the streets are free from homeless addicts and petty theft is minimized we are all better off.  To illustrate:  Having a Skid Row costs us money in the long run.  Enforcement for petty desperation-driven crimes ends up costing the taxpayer money.  Maybe if these people had shelter, they would not be engaging in prostitution on the streets.  Certainly if people were given enough food and trained for employment, they would not have to steal to meet their most basic of needs.  When drug addicts are arrested and go through the court system, it again, costs the tax payer money.  Institutionalizing people in mental health facilities and incarcerating them in prisons also takes away public funds.  Giving money to the arts instead of cleaning up Skid Row is detrimental to our entire country.

A second grade boy looks at his dingy sock poking through the hole in his tattered sneaker as he walks to the bus stop in the crisp morning air.  He is wearing his ripped jeans, his mother’s least favorite, because she was still at her second job when he left the apartment.  As the little boy waits for his ride to school his stomach growls furiously. . .  We have a responsibility to assist those less fortunate.  Clearly, children should not be forced to miss a meal because it is a greater priority of our society to fund artistic programs.  It is a blight on America’s overall productivity, not to mention global image when we have destitute people living on the streets, while the upper classes enjoy art.  We cannot in good consciousness pour money into unnecessary pursuits while our future generations starve.  As a union, we need to make sure everyone’s basic needs are met before putting any public funds into organizations pandering fun.  Redundant I side with giving public funds to those that need to meet their most basic of needs before giving it to extraneous, though culturally-enriching arts programs because I have a responsibility as an American to do so.  State a clear and specific example instead of reiterating my generalization.

Though we really enjoy the benefits of art, love having recreation available in the form of public parks, and are creatively indulged when learning and listening to music, it is more important to make sure everyone in the country reaches a certain minimum threshold of survival before giving funds to the fun stuff.  Though I feel the arts are important, I do not think they are exigent when people are faced with a lack of shelter, food, and work.  If ever there is a plethora of funds, by all means let’s increase funding to the arts, but until then we have to prioritize as a country and help the lowest end of the spectrum just eek out a survival first.

4:46 PM (4 min? over time alloted)

No time to read over and edit

Plight of Planned Parenthood

8 Mar

I am writing this letter on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day to defend the rights of females.  Statistics 1!) convey that one in every five women has utilized Planned Parenthood in her lifetime.  Ensuring the health (reproductive and overall) of women ensures the (literal, economic, and overall) health of our community.

Women’s rights are a human rights issue.  As Americans we should be aware of regressing.  Right now, in Africa and the Middle East women have virtually no liberties:  Enslaved, beaten, mutilated, raped, tortured, and murdered these women remind us how far our own country has come, and the perils of taking away rights.  When women are abused and neglected at the hands of men and their government as a whole, it pulls the entire country down.  And taking away federal funding from Planned Parenthood, which is sure to abolish it, is a good example of that slippery slope to complete inequality.

Aside from being an integral option for females, Planned Parenthood is an important overall health resource for (marginalized) individuals.  Planned Parenthood specializes in prevention and according to “The Reflector,” Planned Parenthood provides information to over one million people in a year.  In a country that does not have an affordable universal health care system, these services are crucial.  Prevention is the best way to avoid costly and deleterious health concerns as well as community disasters.   Education is known to empower people and is proven to bring positive change where it is is easily accessible.   Undereducated, young, low-income, racially diverse, and at-risk people need that help.  Without Planned Parenthood where else can these people go?

And don’t think for a minute, the people that go without health care and education will be the only ones affected–it is the community that will reap the brunt of this oversight in the form of higher instance of communicable disease, and increased population.  A relevant example that illustrates this point is Skid Row in Los Angeles:  The deviants living on the streets are not the only ones paying the price of their missteps and mistakes.  I would suggest L.A., the entire state of California, and the nation as a whole are adversely affected.  And in both instances [former Planned Parenthood clients and those living on Skid Row] it is the United States who will have to present a viable option for these under-served individuals.

In the long run, the federal government will have to pay more in the absence of Planned Parenthood.  Unintended pregnancy costs the community tax money, and Planned Parenthood has, no doubt, saved us countless millions by helping people make informed decisions about their health care and reproductive rights.  It has provided contraception and the information to use it correctly, and if need be, abortions.  As appalling as many people find it, abortion is an important component to women’s freedom–because nobody should be able to tell a woman what she may and may not do with her own body.  Also abortion curtails the need for women who are unprepared for motherhood to go on welfare.  The community pays for the child, and the resultant infant is the one who ultimately suffers if they are unwanted.

I challenge you to realize taking away Planned Parenthood is not going to stop people from engaging in risky behaviors.  Young adults will not be coerced into abstinence.  Poor people will not stop having sex because they cannot afford to raise a child without the help of taxpayer money.  Drug adducts will not be forced to take responsibility just because there is no longer an institution to provide them a safety net.  People of all ages and maturity levels, financial statuses, and varying backgrounds are going to have sexual intercourse, and legal or not, women will get abortions.  Planned Parenthood is not culpable for these undesirable behaviors–they are just helping real people prevent and deal with the consequences.

These groups must be made aware there are consequences of their actions and simultaneously educated about risks of STDs, methods of contraception, and behaviors that lead to pregnancy.  And it is not just a matter of downgrading their data plan or giving up their monthly pedicure–these under-served groups literally cannot afford to get regular health care, prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy by getting contraceptive, or raise a child alone.  They need private, affordable, and accessible means to take control of their own health, and Planned Parenthood has been doing a stellar job providing all of this for the last 69-plus 2!) years.

Help Planned Parenthood keep their federal funding for the sake of women.  Do it for all of the uninsured people who have no other viable health care option.  But mostly keep funding Planned Parenthood’s educational services, preventative methods, and easily ascertained health care for the community.

1!) http://www.reflector-online.com/mobile/opinion/planned-parenthood-funding-essential-1.2507310

2!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_Parenthood

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Homeless + vocab

2 Jan

At the acme of my worst financial situation, I was lucky to have people who were able to provide financial support, so I wasn’t at risk of becoming homeless.  I can’t imagine losing my job and having to abdicate my house.  Instances of homelessness could be reduced substantially if people would just abstain from drugs.  I advocate laws that keep homeless out of sight and away from the public–desperate people could do anything.  When you are in money trouble, you need to react with alacrity to avoid real trouble.  Government assistance alleviates a lot of hardship, but they don’t have enough money to support everyone–and there is a lot of hoop-jumping required.

The life of a homeless person must be so ambiguous–I can’t imagine having no place to go and no schedule or routine.  Something arbitrary could happen to anyone and cause them financial trouble–especially if no one is in a position to help them when they need it.  A strung out person probably could not articulate that they need help–so they will get more and more desperate.  I have a constant phobia that the homeless will assail me to rob, rape, and render me dead.

Bifurcating with an addiction is very difficult and requires outside help in most cases.  I think there are government programs designed to teach a technical skill or provide education so the homeless can bolster their position in life.  Irresponsible people, who live only for bonhomie can get themselves in economic trouble quickly.  Hopefully when the economy recovers, jobs will burgeon, and there will be less homeless people.

It is so annoying that homeless people feel they have to deface underpasses and train cars and walls with their graffiti.  I giveencomium to the people charitable enough to help the homeless with donations or time.  People should be able to forestallpoverty at least enough to keep shelter.  For some reason, the homeless are the most gregarious when they are outside of grocery stores.  I feel sorry for veterans and other people with mental disorders that end up homeless-as a nation it isgrievous that we treat war heroes and incompetents with such disdain.  It comes down to the fact that people heterogeneousto well-adjusted population are homeless-they fail somehow.  In my mind, it takes some time to become impecunious–it seems people should be able to avoid it.  People that are traversing through some addiction or that have some sort of mental disability are often impetuous–so that could explain some of the poeple that have no shelter.

If I were homeless I would be terrified–I would hardly remain imperturbable.  The transient people are either that way because they were bad in someway or get impious as a result of such a hard life.  The only reason people would be living outside rather than in a shelter is they are somehow intractable, addicted to some substance, or are otherwise unable to follow the rules.  Maybe my phobia has made more invidious towards the homeless–but I feel the fear is based on fact.  I believe homeless people are in that situation because they have made decisions that are less than judicious.

There must be a juncture in someone’s life where they just give in to what ever tribulation they are wading through and decide they don’t care if they have a place to live.  If homeless people could kindle any motivation there are always crap-jobs they could do–even felons.

When the homeless approach me, I am laconic as possible and attempt to disengage, because I am afraid of what they might do to me.  The homeless people fording the viscous Spokane River were languidly drinking beer when we saw them at 10:30 AM one Sunday morning.  What do you expect if you are nothing but listless?  Of course you will lose everything!  On one hand the number of homeless people makes me lugubrious, but on the other, I can’t help to think they are responsible for their situation.

When Mike brought the homeless girl into our house, I was very mannered, and didn’t know how to act.  Tabitha talked about volunteering with the homeless, but it was more meretricious than sincere.  I wonder if homeless people ever feel mirthagain?  It is ostensible that homeless people lived a smart, pious life and just fell on hard times that could not be avoided–but it doesn’t seem to happen that way often.  When I see the homeless people walking around the community, they are always cursing and loud, very plebeian in character.  If people spent wisely and used more prudence in financial decisions, there wouldn’t be nearly as many homeless people.  If I were homeless, I would be hustling to improve my situation, but it seems the people I see living on the streets are quiescent and glutinously resigned to their fate.

The “Ellen” episode where she unknowingly invites a homeless man to her repast is easy to criticize–they were so awkward!  Like addicts, probably every single thing that comes out of a homeless person’s mouth can be repudiated.  People are usually reticent about why they are living on the streets-it’s probably not a pretty story.  A lot of homeless people usetangential reasoning for why they are in dire straights–them blame other people.  Homeless people are quick to go into atirade about how it isn’t their fault. . .  Yeah. . .  Maybe if their parents had given an damn and upbraided their kids when they were naughty, teaching them responsibility, those kids wouldn’t have grown up and failed at life to become homeless.

Panhandlers are so verbose about their need–when does pride go out the window?  Kids can be whimsical, but if they don’t have a grip on reality as adults, they will be at risk.  At night, walking alone, I see wraiths of homeless people and transients in my mind’s eye.  Living outside, by a river, especially in a northern state could be zephyr and thickly cold in a hurry.

Skid Row

31 Dec

Skid Row seemed terrible–all decorous behavior vanished, everyone lived like foul-smelling animals.  There is no beauty in poverty, and no comeliness in the life of an addict.  The fetid food offered by the missions is meant to be sustenance, not known for itstastefulness.  The decaying buildings were far from displaying pulchritude–even the shelters.  The hapless and malodorous residents are living in disgusting circumstances.  Some were just unlucky, ill-fated.  Most can blame their “ill-starred” plight on drugs.  Someluckless folks can blame their life on the fall of the economy.  Whatever the reason for their ill-fate, it is marring our beautiful country, and we have to come together as a nation and deal with the problem.

On Skid Row, pretty much anything goes–appropriate, socially correct behavior is relative.  Anyone who uses properEnglish on Skid Row would be marked as an outsider in no time–education is not valued there.  No one is courteous–instead using brawn and viciousness to obtain daily needs and wants.  The filth surrounding Skid Row is appalling–certainly far from comme il faut.  How can you expect manners or politeness from heroin addicts and drug dealers?   I noticed how most of the people on “Skid Row” were ultimately fallacious–reverting back to the same ‘ol drugs when it came down to it.  One of my favorite quotes:  How do you know an addict is lying?  His lips move.  It seems like all addicts are sophistic andspurious by nature.  Homeless people don’t want to be that way so they say plausible things about their goals and aspiration to get help, but the addict part kicks in.  It is ostensible that a drug users are enjoying themselves–when they’re under the influence, but being an addict isn’t fun.  It’s really sad that spurious junkies involve their families in their addictive behavior and its consequences.  The rank people on Skid Row are mostly addicts–70-90% of them, so the police know they are beyondreproach.  Addiction is one of the least handsome afflictions–it wracks the mind and erases all physical gorgeousness a person ever had.

To vituperate one person on Skid Row would be pointless, because there are so many criminals right there, and they would fill up all the jails in California–so they are pretty much left alone.  Even recovered people fall victim to their previous vices, and become sophistic about hiding their behavior.  The illusory solution to the problem is to segregate the homeless junkies, but that creates new, larger problems for L.A. and the nation as a whole.  The specious solution is throwing money at the problem, and sure, that would help, but for long term success, America has to fix the housing market, instill education, help inequality–it’s a multi-faceted problem with no easy solution.

Most of the homeless featured in the documentary parry questions, and insult interviewers to remain invisable–there is astigma in living on Skid Row.  These unfortunates do not want the world to see their troubles.  They had to use hidden cameras to film the documentary because the people on Skid Row were so Evasive about being taped.  The derelicts living on Skid Row were paranoid about cameras and camera crews, repelling all media from the streets.  No one wants to be seen in an environment where everything lovely is crumbled and in a state of debilitation.

The stinky residents on Skid Row also avoided police offers, and knew the documentary guy was a phony impostor when he approached police to ask what was happening.  When asked if they wanted to be homeless or do drugs the fetid people woulddeflect the question by foolishly asking for more drugs.  Skid Row inhabitants figured police, FBI, etc had a conspiracyagainst them.  The homeless addicts living there hated the police because they feared an insurrection.

Skid Row is not a new phenomenon–having established fusty, prehistoric roots back in the 1870’s!  Seattle coined thesuperannuated term “skid road” because the funky loggers would sleep in Pioneer Square on their off-season having no work or money.  It’s weird to me that these skid roads are right next to downtown metropolis areas–I wonder which is superseded.  It is no accident these jinxed fellows turned to drugs.  Drugs were introduced to Skid Roads in bygone times–quite early due to people down on their luck and desperate.  Vancouver’s Skid Row has the highest instance of heroin deaths, starting in datedtimes on the North American continent.  The dowdy hotels and cheap housing attracted out of work fisherman and loggers, then the drugs made it even more of a seedy area.

AIDS, HIV, and Hepatitis-C are not obsolete in the areas of Skid Row even with the aid of programs like the IV drug safe injection site in Canada.  Central City East is the outdated term for Los Angeles’ Skid Row.  An outmoded name for an area of 5th street occupied by putrid homeless is “The Nickle.”  There were stale accusations that the police and hospitals in L.A.ludicrously transporting the homeless to Skid Row instead of offering services to them.

The name Skid Row is so passe‘ that the fire station (#9) that services the area has “Skid Row” emblazoned on the sides of their fire-trucks.  New York’s “The Bowery” had the vintage name of Skid Row.  It is crazy to think the Skid Row statistics are not embellished.  Estimates of 7,000 to 8,000 homeless people in Los Angeles are not enhanced–there are really that many people on the streets on Skid Row.  It is not embroidery of facts that California government deemed the number of shelter beds inadequate for the amount of homeless and now absurdly allow camping on the sidewalks within boundaries of Skid Row from 9 PM to 6:30 AM.

The streets are adorned with 51.4% Hispanics, 25.5% Caucasians, and 16.7% African Americans.  It is no exaggeration that the per capita income for Skid Row is 41.8% below the poverty line.  Seeing the streets preposterously bedecked with tents, addicts, and human excrement is quite shocking from my living room–I can’t imagine seeing Skid Row in person.  It’s hard toelaborate on the problem of Skid Row without seeing it.  It is just not a silly problem, or the least of our worries.

In the rain, the rats ford across puddles and scuttle about the shelters to find a dry spot.  The people also traverse huge, puddles of filth on the streets on a daily basis.  Wading through urine, stool, drug paraphernalia, and trash is no way to live.  Almost all the residents of Skid Row suffer some sort of stigma.  They are marked by poverty, blemished from addiction,tainted with mental disorders, and stained from living hard.  The opprobrium falls not only on the homeless themselves, but on society–because we had a hand in putting those people there.  It is a blot on our country that there are Skid Rows scattered throughout with a throw away population living in filthy, horrid conditions.  The third world conditions on Skid Rowdiscredit us as a nation.  This is our punishment for fatuous treatment of failures in our society.