Half of Beijing’s private cars have been ordered off the streets, while construction sites, factories and schools are closed as authorities in the smog-shrouded Chinese capital respond to public criticism over air pollution. The alert – the most serious warning on a four-tier system adopted in 2013 – is in effect through Thursday, meaning authorities have…
Cover Photo Credit: egorgrebnev/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)
What Do You Think?
You Might also like
We are an emotional society.
We want answers, justice, and peace, and we think, discuss and act based on our feelings.
But we will not achieve anything through bereavement and hate.
This kind of behavior shapes a constant cycle that renders the topic of racism untouchable, non-relatable, and non-discussible.
It is dark and we cannot see, we cannot breathe.
But our cries and our chants, our fear and our hate are not good enough.
Mourning is important, but it is an inadequate way to promote change.
Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Trevon Martin, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, these are names we should remember and honor, but they are not the platform in which we should lead off of to demonstrate our outrage.
Instead of looking at the real issues that are allowing these murders over and over again, instead of demanding that our government change in order to actually function for and by the people, we are more concerned with how what we say makes people feel.
We are talking about who has a right to say what and when, we are speaking past one another about events that have broken our hearts but that cannot rebuild our country.
Our emotions are slowing down our aspirations, and if something is ever going to be done, we must aspire to redefine this nation’s identity.
Police brutality is an abominable action that causes men and women leave their homes fearing that their children, siblings, or spouses will be shot down and murdered for the color of their skin.
This is an intimate, deep, and powerful fear, and it should not exist in the minds of our citizens.
But police brutality is also a problem that feeds off of the systemic biases and political violence of a nation.
It is a historical and ongoing economic and political plot to keep specific people from obtaining a better and equal quality of life.
Like dust, American citizens are swept under the carpet, hidden in the fabrics of forgotten neighborhoods and overlooked schools.
And if that doesn’t do it, they are put in prisons, leaving their children alone and unsupported.
Accomplishments and success are faded or tainted because of national prejudices that disregard the brilliance of black culture by commercializing and whitening it.
As an American minority member you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t and no one ever stops to stand up and shout “enough”, but then again, no one ever acknowledges that there is a problem in the first place.
It is important to declare ones outrage and it is true that black lives are constantly targeted, but it is ineffective to make this solely an issue of police brutality.
That is a branch on a tree of racism that is rooted through this country.
When Philando Castile was bleeding to death in his car, his fiancé pleaded to the officer, “He has never been arrested or nothing, he isn’t in a gang or nothing”.
This concept is the soil around this tree that nourishes each branch of structural and social violence.
The fact that she felt that she had to justify his lifestyle contrary to the color of his skin speaks to a horrifying notion that this country has deemed black men guilty before innocent.
This prejudice is illegal, it is sickening, and it is a long practiced piece of culture.
Slavery and Jim Crow abandoned the very idea of humanism and instead, replaced it with a beast that thrived on the over and misuse of people for economic gain.
But that is not solely about black people, our history was made on the backs and blood of Native Americans, and Latino/a Americans are perpetually treated in a socially violent and disregarded manner.
These are the origins of America, this is the problem.
The problem with police shootings besides racism is that they are not adequately trained to deescalate situations.
That, and a systemic bias make for very volatile situations.
Our prison system is corrupt and ensures that with ones sentence comes recidivism and a country that deems a perpetrator of even the smallest crime, unfit for society.
We teach our children right from wrong, and then we eradicate that ideal by producing immeasurable destruction to the lives of the marginalized.
Leon Bing describes in her book, Do or Die that just miles apart from each other, a quiet, suburban neighborhood with freshly paved roads and a school with a fenced in field sit above a dilapidated school in Compton, where the walls have holes and the ceiling is leaking and there aren’t even enough chairs for students to sit in for class.
This is a creation essentially encouraging kids to find salvation elsewhere, if the school system has failed them why should they oblige and attend it?
America needs to open their eyes and mouths and own up to it’s not so ignorant ignorance.
We know the system is unfair, we know populations are being ignored, and we know police brutality is just once piece of the violence.
But why do we still only talk about that one issue?
Black Lives Matter is an important organization, but it has not yet found a way to address racism in a manner that demands national political and social change.
If you make a movement solely about the experience of African Americans, you automatically exclude the rest of the population and in doing so; exclude your own ideals from the rest of the country.
This way of advocacy is entirely understandable, but it is not as effective as demanding that as a nation we change the foundation that separates us from each other.
The Civil Rights Movement fought for shared liberties like using the same restrooms, drinking fountains, and restaurants.
We are in a new age and are desperately in need of a new civil rights movement, but just like that last one, it must fight for a shared quality of life rather than separating itself from the rest of the population.
Instead of discussing how a white person you can show support, we should all be discussing what pieces of our government are allowing institutional racism to run our nation.
That is a discussion that everyone should be involved in regardless of ones skin color, because it affects Americans and taints this country’s identity.
Supporting each other comes from identifying problems and executing solutions.
We should all be able to recognize now that the experience of a black American is far different than that of a white American, but more importantly, we should be able to identify the qualities of the U.S. that make day to day life more violent, more hateful, and more oppressive.
We can’t breathe because the air is too thick with the blood of innocent people and the ignorance of a nation that turn a blind eye after a week or two.
In the play, Angels in America, Tony Kushner writes,“The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word ‘free’ to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on earth sounds less like freedom to me”.
It isn’t just the police, it is our nation, and it is in the soil and the air and it reaffirms a history that consistently belittles its citizens.
If we are going to change anything it has to be about the foundation that causes our loss and our pain.
We are outraged, and that makes sense, but it isn’t good enough to be outraged, we have to be pragmatic if we are going to redefine our history and end this cycle.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Christopher Dombres/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 561
What Do You Think?
This story was originally published on risemiaminews.com. Because seriously, who doesn’t love Chipotle? The original piece has been adapted below.
By Dylan Grosz
Intern at ApartmentList.com
It’s basically a universal truth that the only thing better than Chipotle is…more Chipotle. I’m no religious scholar, but I’m pretty sure heaven is just one big Chipotle restaurant where the guac and chips are ALWAYS free and hell is just some Taco Bell. So when one of my co-workers at Apartment List brought up the question of how to hack Chipotle to get the most burrito for your buck, I was intrigued. If ever there was a noble intern task, this was obviously it.
Through a lot of burrito research and even more company write-offs and office burrito donations, I’ve discovered these 6 tips that can increase the size of your burrito by 86% without spending any more money.
You’re welcome, world. Please send the Nobel Prize to my mom’s house.
So I took my geeky love of data and my black hole of a belly to Chipotle for several days and ordered 5 burritos each day (35 burritos total), then returned to the Apartment List office to meticulously separate out and weigh the ingredients. Finally, I combined all the best methods to confirm the total burrito size increase. Additional methodology footnotes are below, but for now – on to the meat of the experiment (pun intended).
Tip 1: Get a burrito bowl with a tortilla on the side
At its onset, Chipotle introduced the innovative burrito bowl that combined its authentic Mexican cuisine with the ease of knife-and-fork dining. Burrito legend has it that the bowl’s lack of tortilla constraints influences servers to give burrito bowl customers huge portions in general.
In my experiments, I found that this method alone gets 15% more ingredients across the board, without changing anything else about the order. Still craving that full burrito experience? No problem – you can easily ask for a tortilla on the side. Which leads to our next tip…
Tip 2: Double wrapping (asking for two tortillas)
This method of calling in tortilla reinforcements was initially introduced by Chipotle to save burritos that busted open their first tortilla, but Chipotle sometimes lets you ask for a double wrap for free, which adds another 4.25 ounce tortilla to your burrito (ask for the tortillas at the end, when the staff just wants you to go away).
Congratulations, your burrito just became 25% bigger. Ordering tortillas on the side and wrapping it yourself may be a daunting task for some, but if you value the time it takes you to wrap the burrito at $0 per hour (hey, burritos are worth your time), then you should add this method to your burrito maximization arsenal.
Tip 3: Order both kinds of rice
The next time your server asks if you want white or brown rice, request both types – you’ll get almost 93% more rice, at no extra cost. This carbo-loading method increases the overall weight of the burrito by 23%. As an ancient American proverb puts it: more burrito, more food, more happiness.
Tip 4: Order both types of beans
Just like rice, there are two different types of beans we can choose from: black and pinto. If you really want to maximize burrito weight, asking for both kinds gets you 92% more beans (another note: we aren’t responsible for the gas you’ll be having afterwards). With this method, you get a 16% burrito weight increase.
Tip 5: Half/half meats
In theory, asking for half chicken, half steak should yield one full serving, but our tests showed that you actually get 54% more meat – basically 3/4 scoop of each. This increase in meat grows the burrito’s weight by around 9%.
You must note, however, that you’ll be charged for the more expensive of the meats, but we’ve put the many finance and accounting degrees here at Apartment List to good use and determined that it’s still financially worth it.
Tip 6: Ask for fajita veggies and corn salsa
Hidden away and rarely mentioned by servers, the fajita vegetable mix and corn salsa are free to add, and taste good to boot.
These underappreciated ingredients will cure any feeling you might have that your burrito might be lacking in terms of a balanced Food Pyramid. Grilled veggies and corn not only add more color and flavor to your burrito, but they also add around 2.55 ounces, increasing the weight by about 15% (vs. the standard burrito).
Not only do you have more burrito, but you can also tell your friends and family that your burrito is totally 100% healthy.
Add it all together and you get….
There you have it. By using each of the six tricks I suggest, you may end up with a little less cheese and salsa (that comes at the end, when your bowl will already be pretty full), but you get a lot more rice, beans, and meat. My final burrito weighed 86% more than the control. Sounds like it’s time to go to Chipotle!
Find out more about Dylan’s study here.
Photo Credits: ApartmentList.comPost Views: 726
What Do You Think?
The dramatic and sudden closing of all ITT Technical Institute campuses earlier this month left 40,000 students and 8,000 employees wondering what’s going to happen to them in the future.
The good news is debt incurred by ITT Tech students will likely be forgiven.
The bad news is that the credits they earned may not be transferable.
Plus, because of ITT’s reputation, it’s embarrassing for current students and even former graduates to list it on their resume.
What’s more is the closures could lead to a housing crisis for some veterans who were receiving housing allowances. The list of potential problems goes on and on.
As a for-profit school, ITT Tech was not accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which requires certain standards from its schools.
ITT Tech had 130 campuses in 38 states. Thirty percent of ITT students nationwide are veterans.
The Higher Learning Commission will not allow regionally accredited schools to accept credits from for-profit schools that are not regionally accredited, like ITT, for example.
Why did this happen?
A week before ITT closed its doors, the government banned the school from enrolling new students receiving federal aid. ITT relies on federal grants and loans from students for the majority of its revenue. ITT pulled the plug on operations as a result.
However, the Department of Education has been worried about the college for several years.
ITT was facing lawsuits and federal/state investigations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.
The last straw happened last month when the college’s accreditor (Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools) said that ITT was not in compliance and “unlikely to become in compliance” with its criteria.
Today’s postsecondary environment is in a constant state of flux and adapting to the changes is an opportunity for institutions to adapt to and succeed in the current climate, writes Jay Halfond, the former dean and professor at Boston University Metropolitan College.
Unfortunately, it isn’t happening on every level.
“For-profits pray for someone in the White House who will protect their federal source of funds and ignore their (own) accountability,” Halfond wrote.
In 2014, Time magazine ranked ITT Technical Institute No. 2 on its list of “The 5 Colleges That Leave the Most Students Crippled By Debt”.
Among ITT Tech graduates with loans due in 2011, 22% had defaulted by 2014.
The for-profit University of Phoenix had a lower default rate by percentage – 19% at Phoenix vs. ITT Tech’s 22%.
But the total number of students in default from Phoenix was much higher – 45,123 Phoenix students versus 11,260 ITT Tech students.
The death of for-profit schools will likely continue which gives other institutions like online colleges with hearty programs the opportunity to absorb some of that business.
A prime example of a school that saved itself from closure is Regis College in Boston. Regis was once a small, private, all-women’s college. They opened their doors to men in 2002, which helped the school thrive. Another move that helped saved the brick and mortar school is when Regis expanded their nursing program into the online realm.
Online options could be a way for former ITT tech students to re-enroll in school without having to move.
A list of career colleges and trade schools that have formed agreements with ITT to make it easier for students to transfer credits can be found here.
There are two main options for the ITT students left in a lurch.
They can transfer credits to another school with a comparable program, but those students won’t be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness.
If they choose to cancel their loans instead, anyone enrolled at the time or withdrew within 120 days of the school’s closure has the legal right to have their federal loans forgiven under a “closed-school discharge” agreement.
The problem with that route is that students must start all over if they want to further their education.
U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. has warned students to steer clear of companies offering to help in exchange for money.
Applying for any form of loan forgiveness is free.
The future of for-profit colleges
Enrollment in for-profit colleges is declining.
DeVry University said the number of students taking classes is down 23% this year and the University of Phoenix is down 22%.
Harder government scrutiny is one of the reasons.
Other major players will start to shut their doors if they don’t change the way they do business, which is one of the reasons DeVry is trying to differentiate itself.
A few days ago, DeVry Education Group announced it will voluntarily limit the amount of federal revenue it receives back to the 1992-98 federal ratio.
Today the rule requires for-profits to receive at least 10% of their revenue from nonfederal sources, and DeVry plans to increase it to 15%.
Regulatory scrutiny is not going away. Here’s another interesting thing to follow: The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) is the organization that accredited ITT Tech and said they were fed up with the school’s noncompliance issues.
But ACICS may be terminated real soon as recommended by a federal panel, according to Inside Higher Ed.
“When we see schools provide extremely poor outcomes for students – or even commit fraud – while maintaining accreditation, that is a black mark on the entire field,” said Ted Mitchell, the under-secretary of education in the Inside Higher Ed article.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: ITT Tech/ Facebook
WATCH: What Real “Ladies Of The SEC” Have To Say About That Slut Shaming HuffPost PiecePost Views: 1,296
What Do You Think?