NO TRANS: ISSUES WITH TRUMP’S DECISION TO NOT ALLOW TRANSGENDERS TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY

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“To serve or not to serve.”


President Donald Trump announced his decision yesterday that the United States military will not be allowing transgender men and women to serve. This comes as a shock to most, considering not long ago, under President Obama, the LGBT community won a victory with the legalization of gay marriage. Now, a year later, we are seeing reversals of decisions being made. It seems as if everything that Barack Obama did during his reign as president, Trump is working to undo. So as gays now have the right to marry, transgender men and women can’t serve in the military. What was once a victory is now short lived because the community iS right back where they started. A sign that more work is still to be done.

Well, what are some repercussions, if any, from Trump’s decision. For starters, every male must sign up for selective service. It is a requirement for being a citizen in the United States. If you identify as transgender, does that mean you still have to sign? Or, are you exempt? And what are the guidelines for saying you identify as the opposite gender? How do we know to get out of selective service, there won’t be people who use this as an excuse to not enlist? Then there is the flip side of keeping transgenders from serving. And that is if you are willing to fight and protect your country, you should be able to do so. Are we going to keep that same sentiment if a war breaks out?

People at home have all these reasons they agree with the president. Yet when people start dying and drama is all around you, the last thing you think about is the sexual orientation of the person fighting with you. It must be a deflating feeling to know that a country where you are told to pay taxes and follow the laws you can’t protect the freedoms you have. This is yet another decision that could be overturned by our government. Trump’s views were aimed at not incurring costs for rising medical windfalls by the military. And this is when I started to question, “What costs? Are transgender men and women’s surgeries and enhancements being financed by the system? Do they need specialized physicians unlike everyone else? When you transition, do you need special medication because you are no longer who you once were? All of the above questions are not true.

And in the end, that is people’s problem with this decision so far. The transgender servicemen and women is so small, this seems more personal than fiscal decision making. Our military defense budget is between a range of $500 – $700 billion, with medical expenditures being around $50 billion. Any real cost incurred by the transgender community is a few million dollars. It’s so insignificant, that it could be mistaken for personal preference. But like I said earlier, the government may react quick to overturn this decision as well. This will just add to the ongoing tension between Trump and his adversaries in and out of government. Meanwhile he has not lost support from his voters.


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LUXURY SAYS WHO: WHY STYLE, CLASS, AND SOPHISTICATION IS MORE PERCEPTION THAN REALITY

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“It’s not what we perceive it to be.”


Living in New York City, you are constantly inundated with fashion. Especially considering I live in the borough of Manhattan. Doesn’t matter if it’s the tourist attraction that is 5th Avenue, or a more upscale area like Madison Avenue. The jam packed Times Square district, or Lower Manhattan areas like Soho, Nolita, Greenwich, and the Meatpacking District. Fashion is more than just what you where, it is a cultural statement in New York City. And for those that love it the most, it’s what they eat and breathe. But my question to you is, what is real style, real class, and real sophistication? We always say, “Oh, that’s classy, or that person has impeccable taste.” Yet, does it really have meaning?

In my quest to understand the true meaning of what fashion is and why also Related imagethese male and female designers are considered geniuses, I decided to break down fashion. Michael Kors, a staple in the fashion industry, recently purchased Jimm Choo for just over $1.5 billion. Jimmy Choo itself is a well known clothing brand and fashion designer. Now, a lot of people would tell you that both Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors are Image result for jimmy choo logoconsidered style, class, and sophistication. Yet, the meaning of style, class, and sophistication are very broad terms. But more than that, can you truly say that these clothing brands really epitomizes style, class, and sophistication. Just think about it, what happens when you purchase the clothing brand at various locations, does that change the image.

Meaning, what happens if you buy Jimmy Choo at Bergdorf Goodman? Does that mean it’s less valuable than if you made the purchase at a Jimmy Choo store? Or look at Ralph Lauren, another well known designer and clothing brand. If they sold Ralph at a Costco, would it change your ideology on Ralph being style and class? Related imageAnd oddly enough, people would look at Ralph a lot differently than they did prior. Hmmm, that’s interesting, so you mean to tell me that the difference in style, class, and sophistication is the venue in which you made the purchase. That would mean that these fashion brands are not real class; they’re not real style; and they’re not real sophistication. Then again, the ambiguity of the the prior three italicized words can have so many meanings.

Class is a grouping of people who share a common educational, social, and economic bond. Style is the manner in which someone wearing the attire has a distinct appearance in alignment with who they are and how they carry themselves. Sophistication is embodying a worldly view as it pertains to knowledge and views that can be interpreted in a complex manner. All three Close-up of Shoes And Bagwords are open to interpretation given their definitions, yet we in society have defined a singular view on each word. And we usually associate all three words with luxury and wealth. But luxury says who; wealth says who? You can walk inside of Target and if a upscale brand were to sell here it would bring the value down. But if the brand is real, you should be able to sell the brand anywhere. You should be able to sell Jimmy Choos in a Bergdorf Goodman, Jimmy Choo store, or even a WalMart Supercenter.

In the end, fashion is not real style, not real sophistication, and not real class. Wearing fashion, knowing fashion, loving fashion, is a shared experience with those who indulge in the likes of what you have come to love. We place a high price tag on it, build an attractive location, and style celebrities & socialites in the attire. Now it’s supposed to be the end all be all. Yet all it takes is purchased in a different location that we perceive to be classless, lacking style, lacking sophistication, or cheapened; and our experience is ruined. Some people always say, perception is reality. No perception is perception. It’s just that we have built such a culture around fashion, we truly believe it to be real. The most common term is misdirection: what the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes. Control the brain and the body will follow.


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THE K AND J EFFECT: WHY THE KARDASHIAN-JENNERS ARE SO APPEALING TO THE MASSES

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“They’re young, rich, beautiful, and influencers.”


For the past ten years, we have been inundated with the presence of the Kardashian-Jenner family. From the reality series of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, to their numerous business ventures. This family has grown into a nearly $1 billion brand that stretches all around the world. We were first introduced to the surname Kardashian from the O.J. Simpson trial. Robert Kardashian, the girls father, was an accomplished attorney who served as one of the counsels for former NFL runningback O.J. Simpson during his trial. He passed away back in 2003, while the name is still being held strong by his daughters. And as an addition came the Jenner family when the mother remarried former Olympian Bruce Jenner (Katelyn). Two of the Jenners would go on to edge out their own identities in society: Kendall and Kylie.

Why has the influence of the sisters grown in size the way it has grown. Ten years ago, when their reality show first aired America, must less the world, didn’t even know of the sisters. As socialites in their hometown of Calabasas (Los Angeles), CA, they were known among a small group of friends. Once the reality show took off, we were first introduced to the second oldest sister, Kim Kardashian. Soon after we began to get to know the two other sisters Kourtney, the oldest, and Khloe, the youngest. Even their brother Robert was brought into the mix. And the influence of the sisters began to spread. We only knew them as reality personalities, not business women. That is until they introduced us to their store in Los Angeles D.A.S.H.

And slowly, but surely, the two Jenner sisters began to emerge as well. We knew them as the rambunctious pre-teens from the reality show. But eventually, Kendall would be introduced into the modeling world via her mother and sisters. Not long after her introduction into modeling came her younger sister Kylie. Now with all the girls more focused on their own business ventures and less with the reality series, my question still remains. How did they manage to garner so much attention? And why do so many young girls and boys flock to them? That’s right girls and boys. And here is one of my theories as far as exposure is concerned.

When we look at the Kardashian-Jenners, they were supposed to be like anyone else who popped on the scene the way they appeared. They were supposed to get their 15 minutes of fame, and vanish like everyone else; yet they didn’t. So, why have they managed to garner attention and stick around so long? Here is a theory of mine, the introduction of social media. Getting involved in social media with an early start before so many other people joined. Their series became popular not that long after airing on television in 2007. But guess what else took off around that time as well Twitter (founded 2006), Instagram (founded 2010), Facebook increased popularity (founded 2004), and YouTube (founded 2005) increased popularity. Also, the launch of major networks such as the one their show is on E!, introduced between the years 2002 – 2009. They became popular right when social media and reality television was taking off. Fact of the matter is, they got in early.

That is a strong reason as to how they became so popular. Then what about the popularity with so many young people. Well, young people are what young people have always been. The age group of 18 – 35 is such a wide demographic, yet this group makes up the validation and association group. From the highly publicized relationships of the sisters, to their signature look. So many young girls and young women want to be associated with the K & J (Kardashian and Jenner) name.  But the boys love them because one, the girls love them. And another reason is the other one, status. Men need to be validated just as women do. So, to men, we look and go young, beautiful, their own wealth, liberated, and famous. Dating a “K” or a “J” would be the equivalent of winning the lotto and moving from your one bedroom apartment into a 10,000 sq. foot manor. The underlying theory is that if you date one of them, or a woman that resembles them, you have arrived.

See, in the end, the Kardashian-Jenners have tapped into something in America. And that something lies in the very fabric of our nation. That something is capitalism, validation, and fame. All three things the sisters have, all three things society holds up as a standard for what you should want, even if you never attain it. I don’t see them going away anytime soon. Because that 15 minutes, is pushing 15 years. And still, with business opportunities endless, fame and being a socialite is crumbs compared to if they really position themselves well. They are in the app world, and we all know how lucrative the tech industry can be. Whether you like them or not, they are no longer socialites, but the society standard.


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GOVERNING SENTIMENT: WHY LEGISLATING FEELINGS IS DANGEROUS FOR AMERICA

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“I feel therefore it should mean something.”


In the United States today, we are constantly in these debates on what you can and cannot say. No matter if it’s in a public space or in private; we tend to disagree with the language. But are we just attacking the language, or is it something more? I have come to the conclusion that it’s not the language per se, it’s more so the sentiment. And then we get into the debate in how one should feel in regards to dealing with other people in society. But you can’t have a country where there is a governing of sentiment. Because whose to say how you feel is the right way when feelings can be so ambiguous.

I posted a recent article pertaining to the differences and similarities between former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and political commentator/author Anne Coulter. How sentiment forced both of them to be locked out of career opportunities because of their stance. Only difference is that Colin was employed on a team and Anne is self-employed. But neither one of them broke any laws. And both were compliant with how they expressed themselves; staying in alliance with their first amendment rights. But the actions of people and how they felt is what effected Colin and Anne. Although people might argue against my point on why Anne said what she said, Colin did what he did, it doesn’t matter. The right to take an action that is within the law was infringed upon.

But what about people in our society. We are so dishonest on how we really feel, and we also are quite selective in what makes us upset. Someone on the left and the right will say their rights are under attack. Yet they are willing to stand in the way of each other’s rights because of how it makes the person/people feel. My real reasons why people are so willing to go against what they feel is wrong is because of how they look at their own lives. The less satisfied you are with your own life, the more willing you are to infringe upon someone else’s life. Anything so someone knows what it’s like to be you. Also, the changes in people’s lives creates a moment to moment sentiment. Which is a main reason why legislating feelings can cause so many problems. Laws are supposed to be resolute, and changed only under drastic measures. The following examples is why you can’t govern sentiment.

I am a Conservative Christian, who believes Gay marriage is wrong. Allowing Gays to marry goes against my Christian beliefs. So therefore we should legislate against Gays ability to get married. Gays state that this is wrong to legislate for this person/people because of the sentiment under a belief that is based around faith, not fact. But here is a flip side example. I am a Liberal Gay man, and the fact that you would say Gay marriage is wrong, you should lose your job. Now anti-gay sentiment is not illegal, but you should lose your job from the sentiment alone. Both examples at the top is why government can’t legislate feelings. Because in the end, whose to say how you feel is always right. As a matter of fact, it might be just as dangerous. Another main reason the government shouldn’t legislate feelings is because feelings shift so much. Law should be more resolute, and not constantly changing. So for now, as it pertains to discussion, everything is on the table.


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FEAR OF REJECTION: HOW TO COPE WITH HEARING THE WORDS NO

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“It hurts to say no, sometimes we don’t even ask.”


There are far more hurtful experiences in life than getting rejected. But the feeling of being told no can be so painful. Rejection can be such a broad word: from not getting the job you want, to getting rejected from the school of your choice, and even someone telling you they’re not attracted to you. There is almost this exposing feeling of someone figuring you out. You had this secret and now they know, and there is no going back. What are the various ways you can cope with rejection you face in your life? Does the feeling of rejection ever go away?  Let’s start by analyzing the ways we experience rejection.

When in the case of attaining employment, rejection becomes difficult especially when it comes to that job we wanted for so long. We have all gotten that letter from a job telling us we regret to inform you that you Image result for REJECTIONweren’t selected for employment. And that deflating feeling you get once you realize you weren’t among the individuals selected. Funny thing is, you receive so many of these that they don’t even matter anymore. You actually become numb to the feeling of receiving these letters. And another key observation is you don’t have to deal with the human element of rejection. And that brings me to the next form of rejection that is probably the toughest to deal with in life. And that is the dating rejection.

When you are young, especially a guy because typically we are the ones engaging in conversation first, you don’t have a defense. There is not this real mechanism in place that will aid you in dealing with rejection. So you Image result for REJECTIONapproach and she tells you that she is not interested and you walk away with a sense of failure. The face to face rejection is so tough, and this is why computer apps like Tinder have become so popular. It makes life easier to deal without the face to face rejection. You swipe to accept or swipe to reject when someone wants to talk to you further. It is an impersonal way to communicate, but it kills the weird after rejection vibe from dealing with hearing the words no. Yet there is still another feeling of rejection that hurts just as much. And that is not getting accepted into your school of choice.

Not getting accepted into the school of your choice may feel like the end of the world. For the past four years or maybe even longer, you have these ideas of the school you want to attend. Then you gather all the information together and send it off to the top schools you want to attend. And one by one you get the rejection letters sent to you. And that feeling of failure setsImage result for rejection college in and you feel like the past four years was for nothing. What was the purpose of trying so hard in high school. It just didn’t seem worth the work you put in. But in the end, rejection is normal; if you can’t deal with the previous rejections above, you can never become successful. All successful people had some level of rejection. It’s a test of your resilience and strength. So learn how to deal now because it gets worse. This is all a stepping stone toward where you want to be in life.


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DATING ALLEGATIONS: WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU ABOUT A CHEATING PARTNER

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“To talk or not to talk.”


Having a friend in a relationship can be a new adjustment if you guys have both been single for so long. Now this new person comes in the mix and everything is different. But that is not the topic of today; the topic of today is sharing information with your friend regarding their significant other. What if you had proof that your friend’s significant other was talking to someone else on the side? Would you inform your friend that this person was out talking to someone else? Or would you keep the information to yourself? Telling your friend could mean an argument depending on how they felt about the person. But keeping it a secret could mean jeopardizing the friendship as well.

Let’s observe the outcomes of telling your friend. See, if you tell your friend it could go a few ways. The first is that your friend is proud that you would bring the information to them. Allowing them the access into what is going on behind their backs is really important. But there is another outcome from telling them. That is that they might lash out at you for telling them. You don’t know how they feel and it could backfire ending a friendship. So, so many people tend to not say anything and leave the situation alone. But even that has repercussions to it. What are the repercussions for not telling your friend about their significant other?

That’s right, there is the other side of the coin. And that is not telling your friend what happened. This could have its own set of problems by not speaking. Because once your friend finds out what happened and you knew, now what comes of the friendship. When they found out you know, it will put a serious damper on the relationship. Especially if you are their best friend, they expect you to say something before anyone says something. So then if they are mad for you not saying anything, and mad for you saying anything, then what? And it all boils down to the friendship that you and this other person have together.

In the end, friends usually have an understanding whether they would want someone to say something. If you don’t have an understanding with your friend, then it can go good or bad. With no communication, it can go in any direction.



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A LESSON BEFORE DYING POSTS: WHY THE COMPANY YOU KEEP MATTERS

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“The choices we tend to make in life.”


The above photo is of the historical fiction novel, A Lesson Before Dying. This book would later go on to be made into a motion picture played by Don Cheadle, Cicely Tyson, and Mekhi Phifer. A story about a young man sentenced to death for the killing of a store clerk and two of his associates. The film gave a really great depiction of the racial relationships of the South, as well as the harsh realities of growing up Black in the region. Now my topic today is how does ones’ choices influence their lives moving forward. Because in A Lesson Before Dying, all the main character had to do was pass on a ride with his friends.

We may all see it as nothing more than just a ride with some friends. Yet, in the film, there was something that made Mekhi Phifer, the young man sentenced to die, hesitate before getting in the car. Something in him knew he shouldn’t have been riding with those guys. It’s a feeling at times that we all have when being in the presence of someone we know we shouldn’t. It does not necessarily have to be a group of friends. You could be in the presence of family and a monogamous relationship. But the reasoning for Mekhi’s character getting into trouble is a story anyone can relate to; outside the racial premise of the film.

So many young men have been offered rides by their friends. Then get into the car and find out in the course of the ride, their friends have just committed a crime. How do you explain to the judge that you had no hand in the matter? The answer is, you don’t; and unless they state you had nothing to do with the matter, you’ll go to jail as well. Better yet, what happens when you ride somewhere and the people you are with commit the crime while you’re there with them? There is no way to plead your way out of that situation. In the case of A lesson Before Dying, the culprits died themselves, and Phifer was charged and executed for the crimes. In today’s society, you might be able to argue your way out, but not Jim Crow South.

Which brings me to my last reason point regarding the company you keep. You need to understand where you live and the laws as well. Southern laws are of the strictest laws in America. And what may be a slap on the wrist in one state is prison time in another. So in the end, you need to understand a few key words of advice. Watch the company you keep, be comfortable with decisions you make, and understand the place in which you reside.


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