Archive for March 2019

I’ve decided I’m going to be shipping out of Boston   2 comments


This is not a decision I make lightly. After all, Boston is the only home I’ve ever known. Like I said in one of my posts a while back, I have been seriously thinking of moving out of Boston for several years now. More so given the rising housing costs and gentrification going on in the Boston area specifically. There’s also the fact September 8 will make it 3 years since I became Unemployed. I have been looking for work all this time or rather looking for someone willing to hire me. I’ve been doing odd jobs, volunteer work and taking vocational classes to learn new trade skills while still job hunting for those who are wondering. Just trying to keep my skills sharp while developing new ones.

As for where I would want to move, I would prefer to stay in Eastern Massachusetts for now. I am looking at southeasten Massachusetts and specifically New Bedford, Taunton, Dartmouth and Fall River. The cost of living is the lowest in the state down there for one. Second, it would push me to get my driver’s license. I’m not entirely sure if I mentioned this on my blog before but I actually do have a Learner’s Permit. I got it two years ago but outside 2 hours of Driver’s Ed, I’ve never driven a car before. “What the hell?!”, I know. My Learner’s Permit will expire on my birthday, which sucks but as of right now renewing it will have to wait until after I get a passport.

I do plan to eventually move out of state. Hopefully before I turn 40. After I move to Southeastern MA I am looking at Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota specifically. Why? The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater lakes in the world. As in, you can drink from them. It would make the most sense to be near large bodies of water but far enough away from the ocean to not have to worry about coastal flooding as is the case over here on the US East Coast. Boston has been pretty lucky up to now but experts agree it’s a matter of when, not if. The weather’s also not as different as what I’m used to over here in Boston. I wouldn’t have to worry about earthquakes (Southern California), tornadoes (Central Plains, Southeast and Southwest) or brush fires (Southwest). Ideally, I could buy some land to live off of. I would be open to Nebraska, Missouri or Kanasas as a backup option though.

Also ideally–and I know this would take a lot of planning and money–I would move out of the US. I do have a short list of destination countries I am looking at personally:

  • The Philippines: I spent an entire blog post talking about it. I do see a lot of potential…and opportunities I could make use of if I were to move to The Philippines. I am also very interested in learning Tagalog personally.
  • Canada: There has already been a steady exodus of Americans moving to Canada since Trump took office. Given I plan to move close to the Canadian boarder, it makes the most sense to seek Canadian citizenship at that time. I actually do have an uncle who lives outside Toronto so that would certainly help.
  • Kenya: Like The Philippines, it has a lot of potential and more so when certain key problems are taken care of. It is one of the few sub-Saharan countries with political stability. The biggest problem in Kenya is how remote most in the country live. Many of these remote population areas lack clean water sources and paved roads. Non-profits and faith-based programs have been doing what they can but it’s clear that more can and should be done within the country. I believe I can help with that. I am also very interested in learning Swahili and Xhosa.
  • South Africa: It is the most developed Sub-Saharan nation on the African continent. Refugees displaced by civil war and political unrest in nearby nations travel there where they stay in refugee camps co-managed by UNICEF and the UN until they can be relocated. It is one of the youngest democracies in the world (as of 1994) but has been thriving. Yes, political corruption is a problem but the country IS stable.
  • Australia: I do think I could make it work if need be. It would clearly be a one-way trip. Like Canada, I wouldn’t need to learn a new language either.
  • Japan: Like The Philippines, I do see a lot of potential in moving to Japan. I’m looking at living in a rural area personally. Hokkaido feels like a good place for what I might be looking for. Japan’s got a very rigid immigration process that is the envy of some in Europe and the US and that is something to consider.
  • China: The balance of power on the world stage has clearly shifted in China’s favor. It is also no longer the same country it was 30 years ago in many regards. The world is looking to China, not the US for leadership on the world stage. That should tell you something. It certainly helps China is offering a free ride to foreign exchange students. More and more colleges around the world are offering Mandarin and Chinese History so…yeah.

 

…This is just my short list.

All of them are politically stable as well–for now, anyway. I wouldn’t consider anywhere in Europe or South America personally. Way too much political instability on both continents. I’m sure it’s surprising to a lot of people to know I would seriously consider moving to China. Well, I would. It’s not as hostile to Christianity as it was in years’ past and they are always looking for non-Asian foreigners. I didn’t number that list but I am personally leaning heavily toward Kenya, The Philippines and Canada.

As for why I would want to leave the US. My biggest reasons are human rights-related. Trump being the current president is irrelevant to my reasons as I have felt this way since the mid-2000s. That said, I am most concerned by the fact this country has embraced its slow, gradual transformation into a police state in recent decades. The one thing America has always consistently excelled at is mass incarceration so…yeah. America is a society does not believe in second chances. A criminal record means you forfeit the right to vote in most places. Many people won’t hire you. Many people won’t rent you an apartment. If you were in prison for a long time, your family might be dead and gone when you get out. This country’s “pride” in having the largest military budget in the world–bigger than the next 12 countries combined–should tell you something.

I am also concerned by the current adminstration’s efforts to defund everything and make life harder for people just trying to survive. I don’t just mean the cuts to government programs but making as hard for people to leave as it is for people to come here. Did you know it takes MONTHS to be approved for a passport in the US? It also costs a lot of money compared to most of the world. $120 on average but if you pay $170, they can take 2 months off the filing process. Why does a passport cost so much and take so long compared to the rest of the world? It makes no sense. My friends in The Philippines, South Africa and the UK can get theirs in a much shorter amount of time and for far less in comparison.

Another concern I have is my current unemployment status. It’s not from a lack of trying that I am still job hunting 3 years later. It’s like I’ve been saying to folks over the last 8 months: Finding a job is the easy part. The hard part is finding someone willing to actually hire you. I agree with everyone who’s told me there is no reason I should still be unemployed after three years. Yet I still am. Do I want to work? Of course. Am I actively doing things toward that goal? Yes I am. Last year, I started taking vocational classes and job training courses being offered for free by various organizations. I also volunteer my time. I am doing both so I can at least update my resume. I already know one of the first questions I’ll be asked is “What have you been doing since you became Unemployed?”. So, I’m making sure I have a few things I can point to on paper.

I do feel I will have much better economic prospects in all seven of those countries and in some cases, I will be trained and paid while training. We don’t do that in the US anymore and haven’t for decades. Even in entry-level job positions. In the US, you’re expected to be experienced and know everything when you come in. The catch 22 many college students have been finding out in the last 20 years is even after putting themselves in debt with 4 to 8 years of college, that doesn’t guarantee employment. Even if you have the skills, companies don’t want to pay you what you’re really worth because it’s not cost-effective to them. So, they turn to cheap labor instead.

Most importantly, I know I will have an easier time buying land to live on in most of those seven countries. The current US Government is openly hostile to immigrants but what I am more concerned about that not enough people are paying attention to is the US is also enacting measures to restrict the movement of US Citizens both within the country and internationally. Europe and Canada are getting beyond annoyed with the US government’s double standard on the topic of international travel so…yeah. The US is demanding exemptions and immunity from the international community but won’t do its own allies the same courtesy unless something is given in exchange.

The complete and utter abandonment of compassion and the disregard for human decency…I’m done. Kenya, Canada and The Philippines are my top 3 choices of countries I’d want to move to. I tell you this: Even after I move out of Boston, I will still be planning to move out of the country. That will be the ultimate goal. America is a Police State. There are so many distractions and traps looking to ensare everyone in America. I’m talking about the immorality promoted and glorified online as well as in Music, Movies, TV Shows, Video Games and even on the News.

America lost its moral authority for good during the 1960s and didn’t even know it. It’s fixated on hypocrisy. The only things it can and is interested in offering to the world now are war, violence, captivity, destabilization, materialism, greed, exploitation and sexual gratification. Nothing else. How can a country that many of its people calls a “Christian Nation” be like that? That’s a whole other topic I will cover on two of my other blogs eventually. I don’t want to digress further here.

For the things I want to do with my life, it’s time for me to look beyond Boston. That much I have realized and more so since I haven’t actually left Massachusetts in almost 10 years now.

 

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The Simpsons to remove iconic 1991 episode featuring the voice of Michael Jackson from ALL platforms   Leave a comment

Image result for The Simpsons Michael Jackson

 

…This is sad and heartbreaking.

The Simpsons Executive Producer Jamees L. Brooks announced earlier today that he will personally oversee the removal of the iconic 1991 episode from existence. The episode from Season 3 (1991-1992) titled “Stark Raving Dad” features the voice of Michael Jackson, who is credited in the episode’s credits as “John Jay Smith”.

That episode was memorable for 1-minute song Michael Jackson wrote and performed alongside Bart Simpson’s voice actress Nancy Cartwright:

 

 

…I saw it when it first aired. It was such a touching episode and was long considered by series fans to be one of if not the best celebrity episode in the show’s history. Not just because of the featured celebrity but how they worked with Michael Jackson after the 1990 TV premiere of the Black or White music video on FOX to keep his direct involvement in the recording of the Season 3 episode a closely guarded secret. When the episode first aired back in 1991, viewers immediately recognized his voice and looked for his name in the credits. Everyone knew it was him but was shocked to see his name was not in the credits. It actually was: Brooks revealed several years later they decided to use the alias “John Jay Smith” per his request not to have his name featured in the episode’s credits. A few other celebrities have made the same before and since so it wasn’t exactly uncommon.

Brooks made the call to basically wipe the episode from the existence after he saw the HBO Documentary Leaving Neverland. The Documentary features one of Jackson’s former accusers coming forward with new accusations. The new accusations come a few months before the 10th anniversary of Jackson’s untimely death. Jackson died suddenly in 2009 from a medical drug overdose. The accuser, who had apparently been forgiven by the Jackson family and was present for Michael Jackson’s public memorial service in 2009 shocked the family with this documentary.

The surviving Jackson brothers got in front of cameras and condemned the documentary as well as the accuser a few weeks ago. They view the new accusations as a betrayal since they had invited him into their home after Jackson’s death as well as nothing more than a cash grab. More so given unlike before, Jackson is no longer alive and can’t defend himself from the new accusations. It’s worth noting The Jackson family is following through on a lawsuit against the accuser and HBO for defamation and libel. His 3 kids are aware of the new accusations and the family is pulling out all the stops to protect them during this very difficult time.

I have not seen the documentary myself and have no desire to personally. This is not the same as R. Kelly and Bill Cosby. Michael Jackson was tried and acquitted a few years before he died but the court of public opinion still considers him guilty of the charges he was proven NOT GUILTY of in court. I don’t hear calls for R. Kelly’s music to be pulled from iTunes or The Cosby Show being pulled off Hulu. Like Cosby, Jackson had his day in court. The evidence proved he was not guilty. The star witness–one of his alleged accusers–said Jackson never hurt him ever. So, why this now?

One word: Money.

Brooks doing this tells me he belived Jackson was guilty of what he was accused of and was just looking for a good excuse to erase this episode from existence. Well, he got what he wanted in this documentary. Not only is the episode being pulled off TV but is also being removed from ALL streaming platforms and digital stores such as iTunes, Google Play, Hulu, Amazon Prime and YouTube. Brooks even plans to go so far as to remove the episode from future DVD and Blu Ray box sets as well as having existing box sets with the episode in stores recalled so they can be destroyed and replaced. No, really.

I plan to download the episode via iTunes, Google Play and YouTube when I can to protest the decision. The episode first aired 28 years ago. Why do this now? It makes no sense. The best time to have done it would have been back in 2004.

 

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The New England Patriots acquires Michael Bennett via Trade and his brother Martellus could join him   Leave a comment

Image result for The Bennett Brothers NFL

 

At one time the Bennett brothers were adamant about always wanting to play on separate teams. Above are the brothers pictured after the Patriots won Super Bowl 51 back in 2016 (the game was in 2017).

Michael Bennett candidly said this during an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2017:

 

 

Then with the Seattle Seahawks, Michael Bennett’s team lost to the Patriots a few years back. The Elder Bennett left the Seahawks for the Miami Dolphins until he was traded to New England today. His brother became a free agent after Super Bowl 51 and played a year with the Green Bay Packers before he retired. Marty B teased in a video he posted on Instagram after the Patriots won their 6th Super Bowl last month he might unretire and rejoin the Patriots to play with Tom Brady again. Now that his brother is going to be a Patriot, it should come as no surprise he is very interested in playing for another Super Bowl title. Michael’s a Defensive End and Martellus is a Tight End. So…yeah. They would join twin brothers Jason and Devin McCourty as the second pair of brothers to play on the same team at the same time. I mean all four playing together on the same team. Rob Gronkowski and his brother Eric both played together on the Patriots for a season a few years ago.

It would be fair–or unfair if you hate the Patriots–to say New England is already favored to repeat next season before today. The addition of both Bennett brothers could see the Patriots make a serious run at trying for an undefeated season again. Even as a Patriots fan, I understand all too well how…demoralizing everyone outside New England feels knowing the Patriots will be in the Super Bowl again next year. LOL.

 

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