Friday, February 5, 2016

All Hamburger Meat Has Poop in It


Hmmmm, does that hamburger look good to you?  Does poop look good to you? Yes, it looks as if every sample of hamburger meat tested last year had some poop in it (poop is otherwise known as 'crap' or 'shit' in America - it is waste material...the stuff that drops out of your butt and into your toilet bowl).

How did poop get into all hamburger meat? I don't know, nobody is saying. But since I read this article back in April of 2015, I have not had one hamburger. Cows love me now. And I probably won't get cancer as quickly either.

Yes, I would advise you to please stop eating poop...I mean hamburgers.

The article:
http://nypost.com/2015/08/24/your-ground-beef-is-probably-contaminated-by-poop/

Vocabulary from the article:

to be contaminated by - this means that something you think is pure really has something else in it that you don't want to have in it

Labor Day barbecues - Labor Day is in May - it is a holiday celebrating work. Many people barbecue in their backyards on a grill on this day.

fecal - poop-like

urinary tract - the little biological tube that allows the pee to leave your system and go into the toilet

antibiotics - medicine to kill germs

a sustainable environment - an environment which is not being destroyed, an environment which can survive on its own

to confine animals - to keep them in small areas

to slaughter - to kill animals for food

to crank out - to produce quickly with little regulation or monitoring

superbugs - germs that can't be killed (bacteria or viruses)

160 degrees F = 71.1 C

to be on guard - to be super careful, to watch something or some situation closely

Monday, February 1, 2016

Reparations for black folks in the USA?

{{{A photo of a black child picking cotton - after the Civil War black people who had been slaves were not given many opportunities for success.}}} 

After the US Civil War, black people could no longer be used as slaves. However, they had few opportunities. Many of them continued working on the farms where they had worked as slaves. They were now paid, but they were paid very little.

Some historians believe that African Americans in the USA still suffer from unequal economic, social and educational situations because they were not helped after the Civil War.

Therefore, many African Americans, these days, are asking for 'reparations'. Reparations payments are usually paid by losing countries to winning countries after wars are over. In this case, however, African Americans believe that an injustice was done to their ancestors and that they should now receive money from the US government for all the years their ancestors worked as slaves. Many Americans feel this money would finally help African Americans to get on the road to true freedom and equality in the USA.

Here is an article about a UN group and about how horrible conditions are for black folks in the USA. The Christian Science Monitor magazine might force you to take a brief survey to read the whole article. Sorry about that. I took the survey quickly - it was two questions.

The Article:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2016/0131/UN-group-recommends-reparatory-justice-for-African-Americans

Vocabulary from the article:

reparatory justice - justice meant to fix or repair a wrong situation

disparities - differences that constitute inequality

preliminary - the first draft

the legacy of slavery - the history which continues to affect black people

subordination - forcing people to become inferior in status

reconciliation - making up, fixing problems so that nobody feels resentment or hurt any more

due diligence - conscientiousness, a sense of doing the right thing

disproportionate imprisonment - black people are thrown in jail at much higher rates than white folks

a massacre - when many innocent people are killed at one time

persistent - in this case: continuing

structural discrimination - discrimination is applied racism and if it is structural, it is built into the system

de facto barriers - 'in fact' barriers...they are not supposed to be there, but they are, in fact, there

wealth - amount of money and property

commemoration - remembering

profound - in this case: serious

manifestations - how something shows or reveals itself

xenophobia - hating people who are different or who come from different countries

reignited - started again...to ignite a fire is to start a fire

internment camps - places people are held temporarily until a time comes when it is felt safe to release them. Japanese Americans were forced to live in such camps during World War 2 because the US government did not trust them.

sins - wrongs done, usually to God, but a sin can be a wrong committed against another person.

maturation - growth, development

Monday, December 28, 2015

India wants to buy weapons from Russia while 3,000 Indian children die, per day, of starvation (not enough food)


There is a moral crisis in India that the world is ignoring. As you can see by this article below, 3,000 children do not get enough to eat and are dying due to a lack of food (starvation). That means 1 million Indian children each year are dying of hunger. That is like 10 Hiroshima atomic bomb explosions in India per year.

This is a silent but real tragedy that has to be stopped.


Frankly, I think it is time for the civilized world to demand that India take care of its children before it buys weapons. Seriously, India needs these missiles to protect whom? Its starving children?

Maybe India should just surrender to its enemies and allow foreign countries to take over so these countries can feed the 1 million children who will otherwise starve. I am surprised that Vladimir Putin has not considered secretly invading India since he is such a great humanitarian (that's called sarcasm) and he is really good at invading countries - Ukraine and Syria for example.

By the way, an Indian citizen told me that I do not have the right to criticize India because there is poverty in the USA as well. It is, however, absurd to equate poverty in the USA with poverty in India.

Children are not dying of starvation in the USA. 3,000 die each day in India. Many of our poor people in the USA live in free housing, with free food and free medical care. They have access to free public schools to the age of 18 (and inexpensive public universities afterwards) and they have access to vote for politicians who will help them. There is a way out of poverty in the USA and many take that road each year. It is true, however, that there is still much work to be done.

Here is an article on the purchase of weapons by India. 


Vocabulary from the article:

India cleared purchase - it should be: India has cleared the purchase of.....(news sources often abbreviate headlines). So the government has "Ok'd" the purchase of these missiles from Russia. The government is ready to buy the missiles.

acquisition - obtaining, getting

a council - an official group

the procurement - the obtaining, the getting

charged with - given the responsibility to do something

lukewarm - not eager but not completely not eager; if water is lukewarm it is not hot and not cold,just a little warm. India agreed to buy 154 airplanes from Russia and never did so, therefore Russia does not seem to want to sell these missiles to India.

ballistic and cruise missiles - these are different types of missiles: ballistic missiles are guided by the laws of ballistics (gravity) and cruise missiles are guided by some type of computer system.

simultaneously - at the same time 

allegedly - supposedly

purportedly - supposedly

inducted - ready to go

to deploy - to set up or to put something in place somewhere

to bolster - to strengthen

Sunday, December 13, 2015

An anti-overdose drug will now be available 'over-the-counter' in NY



It seems that many people have been dying due to overdoses of the illegal drug heroin in NY City.

(an 'overdose' is when you take too much of something that can kill you - heroin is an illegal and highly addictive narcotic drug) 

(if a drug is available 'over-the-counter', this means that you do not need a doctor's permission to buy the drug...US pharmacies often have lots of over-the-counter drugs on display that a person can buy, but a doctor's prescription (note) can only be filled by a licensed pharmacist behind a counter)

There is a drug which can be taken if a person feels he/she is dying from an overdose of heroin, and this drug can save the person's life. This drug is called naloxone. 

Until recently only a doctor could provide the medicine directly or a person needed a prescription (a notice that a person could legally buy the medicine from a pharmacy).

Because so many people have been dying, heroin users may now buy the drug naloxone and keep it with them while they are using heroin, in case they lose the ability to breathe (naloxone apparently helps a person breathe again after an overdose, thus saving the person's life).

What do you think about this? Some folks say that by making naloxone easy to get we are encouraging people to use heroin. They argue that if it is safer to take heroin, more young people will now take heroin. Yet, it's true that there has been an increase in the number of young people who are dying from heroin overdoses. Should we allow some young people die in order not to encourage others to try heroin?

An article about this:

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/anti-overdose-medication-nyc-pharmacies-article-1.2458390

Vocabulary from the article:

anti - this means to be against something; pro means to be for something

opiates - these are drugs that come from the poppy plant; they are, basically, pain-killers

a pharmacy - a place to buy medication, either over-the-counter or through a doctor's prescription

De Blasio - the mayor (leader) of New York City

sobering - information is sobering if it shocks you; the opposite of sober is drunk

new stats - new statistics,new numbers about something

-------------------

Please consider buying my ESL book. :)  It is available as an e-book and I kept the price down to make sure that anyone who wants it can afford it. It is only $3.50 :) I hope you enjoy it.

http://www.amazon.com/York-Sucks-Youll-Wanna-Anyway-ebook/dp/B004TSPAQS

Friday, November 6, 2015

A more accurate look at Asians in the USA - no "Asian Advantage"

The New York Times isn't the quality newspaper it used to be in its glory days (the days in the far past when it was truly great). It did not adjust well to the development of the internet and has lost many of its best journalists. Many of the pieces I read in the Times (when I bother to read it) are not especially well-written or thought-provoking. Some articles are really bad.

Recently someone who writes for the NY Times stupidly asserted that "Asians" as a group had an 'advantage' over other races in the USA and he provided various statistics to 'prove' this. Asian folks, themselves, have responded by saying he is merely promoting a harmful stereotype about Asians.

A stereotype is an image or belief about a certain group of people based on a few examples. As other Asians have pointed out, there are many Asian people who are suffering in the USA. Certain Asian groups in the USA are doing well, but this does not mean that a racist stereotype should be created. But that's what the NY Times did. 

The Economist also did this by calling Asians 'the model minority group' - meaning the perfect group of people in the USA who do not represent the 'dominant' group...but everyone knows the Economist is a piece of garbage conservative magazine.  (A conservative person or magazine does not like to see things change and supports businesses over people. George Bush was a conservative in the USA.)

This article below is just wonderful - so intelligently written. It points out that there were two basic 'waves' recently of Asian immigration to the USA. In the first wave highly educated Asians were allowed into the country and in the second wave people escaping from war were let in. Yet, when some people look at 'Asians in the USA' they only look at the first wave of immigrants and ignore the second wave. Then they look at the first wave and say, "Look at how well they are doing! There must be something in Asian culture to make Asians so successful. maybe it is Confucianism!" This is, basically, racist and encourages non-Asians to look at Asians the wrong way. What a great article! Thank you CNN.

An article about this (this is a GREAT article):

http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/14/news/economy/asian-americans-disadvantage/index.html?fb101415asiandisadvantage700story

Vocabulary to help you understand the story:

to be ignored - if something is being ignored, attention is not being paid to it

troubling - if something is troubling it makes you feel concerned, worried

the numbers are compelling - the statistics make it seem as if what they are saying is true. If something is compelling it holds your attention and seems to be true.

when you dig a little bit - when you investigate a little further

diverse - wide, not uniform, not the same, a variety

he penned a response - he wrote a response

perpetuates - continues

garment workers - people who make clothing under terrible conditions

disproportionally stars - there are more 'stars' among Asians than other groups

to air their discontent - to express their anger and how upset they were

to elide it - basically he used the wrong word here. He should have used 'avoid' - to elide is to not pronounce a sound that is supposed to be pronounced in a word. God the NY Times sucks.

trauma - if you experience trauma you have had a terrible experience and still feel the psychological effects of it

war-torn countries -  countries where there is war occurring

tenet - assumption or belief

to fuel something - to keep it going

devastating - shocking, psychologically harmful

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A woman was fined for a nasty and malicious Yelp review


For some reason, people think they can post anything they feel like saying on the internet. Well, one woman learned (the hard way) that you simply can't do this (according to the judge who fined her).

She felt it was her 'freedom of speech' to attack a business owner whom she didn't like on the website "Yelp".  Indeed, Yelp does not seem to have any guidelines posted for its users about what is freedom of speech and what isn't, so I think Yelp should be sued by the business owner as well.

Unfortunately, this is impossible because of a 1998 law that was passed by the US Congress. According to this law, no internet company can be held responsible for postings placed on it. So if I own a website that allows comments by anyone, and someone writes something horrible about another person which is not true or which is meant to harm the person, according to this law the person who posted the statement can be sued but I who own the website can't.

This law was passed during the early stages of the internet and is clearly a bad law.  Why? Well, if someone who doesn't like you goes to a site and attacks you, and you write to the site, it will basically simply tell you that they don't care. Congress passed a law which absolves them of responsibility (says they are not responsible for what is on their site) and so they won't remove nasty, false and malicious comments even if it is readily apparent that the statements are false and that any decent company would remove them. You have to sue the person who posted the content.

Their attitude seems to be: "OK, this is horrible, it might destroy an innocent person's life, but we don't have to remove it and so we won't. It's too much trouble for us and we don't want to hire a few more employees to help make sure that innocent people are not hurt." The 1998 law was meant to protect these companies from crazy comments users might make, but the companies have been using the law to justify these harmful comments and the cyber-bullying that goes on on their sites. Why? Money makes the world go around. A responsible company would remove anything harmful and malicious, but the current internet companies simply refuse to do this.

So this woman learned a big lesson and she was lucky. The judge probably should have, in my opinion, fined her more for her attack on the guy. 

The article:
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/s-woman-pay-1g-fine-bashing-business-yelp-article-1.2370681

Vocabulary:

for bashing floor refinishing business; for attacking a business that makes older and stained wooden floors look better

a fine - this is a type of punishment in which a person has to pay the other person or the government money

Staten Island - this is one of the 5 boroughs or areas of New York City

the reviews are in - the journalist is joking a little...after a play the actors will wait for reviews by theater critics and when the papers arrive they'll say 'The reviews are in!'  In this case the review relates to what the woman from Staten Island wrote about the floor refinishing business

to bash, bashing - to attack, attacking

a judge - someone who is in charge of a courtroom



a con artist - 'con' comes from the word 'confidence' - a con man or con artist is someone who gains your trust or confidence only to try to get money from you illegally. If someone keeps promising something and keeps stealing money based on that promise, he is a con man or con artist.

a scathing review - a very, very nasty, harsh, severe review which is critical or attacks someone

rants - negative, nasty, mean and aggressive comments

crossed the line - she went too far, what she did could no longer be considered freedom of speech

to refinish a floor - usually the floor is sanded with an abrasive or rough material ad then varnished so that it looks new

green chemicals - chemicals that will not hurt the environment

peeling - she meant the surface of the floor was coming up in curls

she was unable to contain her  anger in a coherent sentence - she was so angry she wrote in badly broken English; her English didn't really make sense because she was so angry

the guy mat the owner - should be: the guy Matt, the owner, 

coherent - meaningful

is a scam - she meant, is a scammer (someone who steals money from people through scams - illegal plans

to rob - to steal from

BULL-----ER - a bullshitter, someone who lies (this is a dirty word)

urging - encouraging

libel - lying about a person to hurt him/her

personal in their invective - she made very personal comments in her attack on the owner

to impugn his integrity - to call his integrity or honesty into question; to make people believe that he has no integrity

her bid - her attempt

I'll fight you tooth and nail - I'll fight against you with everything I have (like an animal, with my teeth and nails)




Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Obama restricts immigration of 'legal' highly educated foreigners, but wants to harbor (protect) minimally educated 'illegals'


Sometimes it's been hard to understand why the current president has made various decisions which he has made. There's been little logic and no vision for the past 6 years. Instead of showing leadership, he's been hiding and reacting. At times, internationally, Vladimir Putin has made him look like a boy playing a man's game. Right now in Syria Putin is taking action and all Obama can do is complain like a spoiled child. Even his great accomplishment - Obamacare - is a badly flawed system that many people do not like and which may be eliminated if a Republican becomes president.

Now it seems he has made a decision which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There are many many many highly educated foreigners who were lead to believe that they could enter the USA and gain green cards (the ability to work and live in the USA). Obama has changed his mind. Yet, he doesn't seem to have a problem with the 12 million minimally educated illegal immigrants who are in the country and often using government services for free without paying one penny of taxes.

Within a short time Latinos will be the largest segment of the US population, yet statistically Latinos under-perform every other racial and ethnic group in the country educationally. It seems as if we are going to need highly educated and skilled people from outside our borders. 

An article about this issue:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11525621

Vocabulary:

to undo something - to reverse something, to take something that has changed and change it back to its original state

a green card - this is a card which gives the holder of the card the ability to stay and work legally in the USA and to possibly become a citizen some day

an order - something which must be executed, a command

a federal judge - a federal judge works for the US government, not a state or city government. A judge is the person you see in a court room.



to decline - to reject something, to say 'no' to something

permanent residents - people who can legally stay for a long time in the USA without being citizens

initially - at first, at the start, earlier

in the public interest - the judge said it would not benefit the American people if educated foreigners came into the country (we need more uneducated people - because they will stupidly vote for the most corrupt candidates of the Democratic party...don't worry, I hate Republicans too)

to sue - to go to court and try to get money from a person or to go to court to get an order from a judge

revised - changed

class-action status - this means that many people were being represented in this court case

curtailing - limiting

a temporary restraining order - an order by the judge that something has to stop immediately until it can be better looked at

blocking - stopping

backlogs - when work backs up and you fall behind on your work, you get a backlog; when something piles up

streamline - to make it shorter and less than it was

urging them to abide by... - these major companies desperately need qualified workers and are upset that Obama is streamlining this process; to urge is to encourage...to abide by means to obey or follow