Archive for the ‘Boston’ Category

These songs helped me get through the last 12 months   Leave a comment

…For those who didn’t know, today is my birthday. I would’ve posted this sooner but I was at Anime Boston until about 2 hours ago. That’ll be my whole weekend. LOL.

Anywho, here are 15 songs I have listened to quite alot since my last birthday. No doubt most of these will surprise you:

15. Despacito by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
14. Team Skull Theme from Pokemon Sun/Moon and Pokemon UltraSun/UltraMoon
13. Lost in Thoughts All Alone by Reina Strober (Fire Emblem Fates)
12. Some Bodies Gonna Get It (WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry’s Entrance Music)
11. The Future (WWE Superstar Asuka’s Entrance Music)
10. The Rising Sun (WWE Superstar Shinsuke Nakamura’s Entrance Music)
9. Champion by The Roots
8. River in the Desert by Lyn (Persona 5)
7. Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There by Lyn (Persona 5 OP)
6. Beneath the Mask by Lyn (from Persona 5)
5. The Hero!! by The JAM Project (One Punch Man Season 1 OP)
4. History Maker by Dean Fujioka (Yuri!!! On Ice OP)
3. Mother Africa by The African Children’s Choir
2. N’kosi Siekele Afrika (God Bless Africa) – South Africa’s National Anthem
1. Unto Us (Isaiah 9) by Sandi Patti

…I believe this is the first time I have put together a list that didn’t include anything Michael Jackson. All of these songs are on my iPod as well. My playlist is very…international to say the least. Feel free to look up all of these if you’d like. My reasons for putting all of these songs on the list has a story and I will update this post to explain after the weekend.

For now, here’s 3 of the songs courtesy of YouTube:

 

…Update to this post to come sometime next week.

Also, please donate via PayPal if you are able. I’m mostly saying that because it’s my birthday but really, it would be appreciated ^_^

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I’ve been thinking about my future alot lately   Leave a comment

Image result for Houses in The Philippines

…Until recently, I never seriously considered leaving the U.S. Then, I made that list of countries I wouldn’t mind moving to if I did. For those who didn’t read that blog post, my top choice was The Philippines. Then I decided to do some research on The Philippines in recent months. I know 10 people who live in The Philippines as well and they provided additional information I couldn’t easily find online.

The more I learned about The Philippines, the more drawn to it I became. Then…I realized something: I could make a fresh start over there.

From an economical point of view, it makes sense: Rent starts at 3500 Philippine Pesos (PHP), which is about $67 USD (rounding to the nearest USD). You can also buy a house starting at 1,516,050 PHP, which is about $30,000 USD. There is a BIG catch, however: Foreigners can’t buy property or land in The Philippines BUT they can own land signed over to them. What this means is you would have to have a local you trust buy property on your behalf and then transfer ownership over to you.

Moving on, my tradeskills in education and Writing abilities should ensure I don’t have too much trouble finding a job very quickly either as a tutor, a consultant or an advisor with a decient salary. I am already seeing several jobs I can do remotely so…yeah. Ensuring I can jump into a job now given I am still currently Unemployed is big.

The climate in The Philippines is fairly easy to predict: There is no snow. So, I would need to plan for heavy rain and hot weather instead. The region does have Typhoons (Hurricanes in the Atlantic) and but the areas I am looking at are high enough for me to not have to worry about flooding.

The Philippines is a former U.S. Territory so almost everyone knows English  as well a Tagalong (Filipino) as a result. So, unless you’re looking to be a translator you shouldn’t have too much difficulty talking to folks. In fact students from other Asian countries in the region including Korea, Japan and China move to The Philippines to learn English while taking advantage of the country’s low cost of living.

Speaking of the cost of living: $1.00 USD = 50.27 PHP. $100 USD = 5027.40 PHP. $500 = 25,137 PHP. $1,000 = 50, 274.

So, yeah.

It makes a whole lot of sense why Western Retirees–mostly from the U.S.–choose to live out their retirement in The Philippines. The most you will likely pay to buy a house in The Philippines is just $20,000 USD (19,891 PHP) or rent to own starting at rent pricing over 20 to 30 years. Probably shorter if you work something out with a local.

It’s a good investment longterm, especially if you know someone living in The Philippines already: You can arrange to buy a house and have someone you know in the Philippines maintain the property for you when you’re not there. That way, you don’t have to worry about the property falling into disrepair when you’re not there. It’s become an opportunity for some Filipino natives living in poverty over the years and also a way to stay off the streets and out of trouble. In exchange for taking care of the house, they can be paid to maintain the property while the owner is abroad.

As it happens, I know at least 10 people who live in The Philippines and have for some time now. I recently talked to one about the idea and they are open to helping me maintain a house over there. I’m now helping them plan a trip to Boston hopefully sometime early next year where we will talk in more detail on the matter, among other things.

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…All that said, The Philippines does have its share of problems. It IS considered a third-world country after all.

Of note:

  • The Philippines became a U.S. Territory at the close of World War II (liberated from Japan) and remained one until it regained its independence in 1987. In the 30 years since becoming independent The Philippine government has had one corrupt, authoritorian government after the next even today. There is widespread poverty and a lack of opportunities for many Filipinos as a result.
  • The Philippines has two official languages: Tagalong (Filipino) and English. There is open discrimination among Filipinos against those who do not know English and those who have dark or tan skin. Knowing English is viewed as a sign you are an educated person. Having lighter skin means you will be able to blend in should you go to China, Japan or South Korea for work or school. Otherwise you’re likely to go to Hawaii, California, Samoa or The Middle East if they’re Muslim.
  • In an effort to promote national pride, anyone born to a Filipino parent is now considered a citizen of The Philippines. This policy was recently done to help encourage those who left for better opportunities to return and those who were born to a Filipino parent to visit the county of their family’s birth. Most but not all who leave for work or school overseas never return and eventually go on to become citizens of the country they move to. Rather than invest in their homeland, many choose to remain overseas where they will have a much higher quality of life.
  • Until about 10 years ago, The Philippines was the #1 destination for retirees from the U.S. That changed after the Recession. Some were even forced to move back to the U.S. to help their families. The timing was bad as The Philippines has undergone an explosion of construction for new housing opportunities since then. Housing set aside for foreigners to rent that the government is now trying to repurpose.
  • Due to the strong influences of the Roman Catholic Church which until recently prettymuch ran the country,  Sex Education is lacking and contraceptives are a taboo. The teen pregnancy rate in The Philippines is one of the highest in the world and in fact, some girls have had sex starting as young as 11 in some cases and will have had their third child by the time they’re 18. The situation is so bad, non-profits and relief organizations that come in to teach Sex Ed hand out condoms in an effort to curb the out of control birthrate. The Philippines is a textbook example of why an Abstinence-Only Policy (No Sex before marriage for those who don’t know) does not work.
  • Going with the above: Once a woman gets pregnant, she is not allowed to work most jobs for safety reasons. If she is single and pregnant–and this is also a widespread issue–she is often disowned by her family. Some women are driven to undergo an abortion at one of the many underground abortion clinics in a country where abortion is illegal. Some turn to prostitution or the rapidly growing Live Cam industry to make money off foreigners.
  • For those who don’t know, there are no government assistence programs in The Philippines like Food Stamps and Social Seecurity in the U.S. for those in need: Becoming pregnant at a young age or having several children in a few years when you’re not financially stable is exasperated by the fact good paying jobs are hard to come by without a good education. Getting pregnant young means dropping out of school.
  • Although Cambodia is more known for this, The Philippines is the #1 destination for sex tourism in the South Asia Region. I mentioned earlier dark-skinned Filipinos are often discriminated against by lighter-skinned Filipinos. Filipinas with darker skin out of work and knowing little to no English often find themselves the victims of Sex Tourism and Sex Trafficking. Even worse, some end up pregnant and never even know the identity of their child’s father. Some even contract STDs from their clients from overseas and unknowingly spread it to others. It’s at the point foreigners are offered condoms at the airport.
  • The Philippines is the #2 destination behind Cambodia in the world for Pedophiles from the U.S. and Europe looking to openly prey on children since it’s far easier to find victims to prey on without anyone knowing. Really, this is a thing and has been for a some time. Pedos going overseas “to get their fix” is nothing new but over the last 10 years, they’ve been going in much larger numbers (credit to MSNBC Journalist Chris Hansen and his To Catch a Predator show). They go there because they can molest or worse and be completely invisible. Only in recent years has the practice become more known to the public and the UN is offering assistence in identifying and arresting those who travel to The Philippines for Pedophilia. Local authorities in The Philippines are also warning the public about the problem as well.

…I’m sure that last one jumped out on you.

In short, The Philippines has many of the problems one would expect from a country with rampant poverty, lack of education and a lack of opportunities for most of the population. I’m sure this is a surprise to many given it’s a former U.S. territory but shouldn’t given it was prettymuch cut loose by the Reagan Administration “to save money” though it was presented to the world as giving Filipinos control of their homeland. The economy is almost non-existent and most of the revenue is funneled directly into the coffers of the government. Little is actually invested into the country. Non-profits, missionaries and relief organizations are a lifeline to those who would die otherwise.

Despite all the challenges, I maintain what I said earlier about the country having much potential. After all, there are many foreign companies who have set up shop over there. To say The Philippines relies on those jobs would be an understatement. Much more needs to be done on the ground over there to put a dent in the widespread poverty.

Vocational Schools will go a long way in training people of different age groups with the skills they’ll need to help lift the economy in The Philippines, which is virtually non-existent: In fact, the country is most known for exporting Filippinos to other countries to work. Those working overseas in turn send money back home to support their families.

  • Unfortunately, some end up becoming victims of Debt Human Trafficking: They’re tricked into accepting a pile of money and legally becoming slaves until they can pay off a debt their debtors know they can never pay off on their own. Most don’t even realize they signed themselves over to become slaves until it’s too late.
  • Some end up being caught up in Sex Trafficking rings, mostly in South Asia: They’re recruited by a Filippino ring member they befriend not knowing what they’re getting themselves into. Not until after their passport, visa and cellphone are all taken from them. Most are immediately forced into prostitution but some are forced to pose in front of a camera for live cam shows, usually under the threat of violence, calling the police or deportation.

The above points aside, those with the means to leave tend not to return home though they will visit. They will either just finance their family’s immigration or send money to keep their family going back home. Hong Kong is now the #1 destination for Filippinos looking to work overseas. The demand for overseas workers exploded after Hong Kong officially came under the juristiction of the Chinese government a few years ago.

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Due to America’s anti-immigration policies since 9/11, it’s now much harder for overseas workers to apply for a visa to work in the U.S. Overseas workers are now looking elsewhere to more immigration-friendly countries to work. Most Filippinos who immigrate to the U.S. now do it for one of two reasons: They either have family already here or they are in a relationship with a U.S. Citizen, usually the second reason. 9 out of 10 times it’s a Filippino woman and a Male American Citizen so…yeah.

For those who may be wondering yes, the U.S. Citizen will be on the hook to sponor their new wife’s Marriage Visa. Costs to file the paperwork while she’s home is $850 excluding the required Medical Exam which starts around $300. If she’s already here when you file, it will cost an extra $985 to change her Tourist Visa into a green card. This is in addition to the $850 for the other paperwork plus the Medical Exam, which are both also required get the her status legally changed. Oh and you also need to get a Marriage License in the U.S., which proves you and her are legally married. Reverse the gender if it’s a Female U.S. Citizen and Male Filippino but everything else is the same.

…Mind you, this is separate from retirees moving to The Philippines. Sometimes the Filippino woman will have a child (one or two on average) from a previous relationship and the child’s father is either dead or out of the picture completely. Of course, any guy who decides to be with her knows they’re getting a package deal. So, when you marry her and she becomes a U.S. Citizen via a Marriage Visa, her kids under 18 become one also. As it happens, both The Philippines and The U.S. allow dual citizenship between them. Anyone born to a Filippino parent overseas is also automatically eligable for dual citizenship. Want to become a Filippino Citizen? It will take 10 years but that time is cut in half if you marry a Filippino citizen.

Goes without saying the reason I know all this stuff is because I have been doing alot of research in recent years. I meant to post this last month but I’m glad I waited since I kept updating this post over time. I will revisit this topic throughout 2018 as well ^_^

Gordon Hayward’s devastating leg injury shocks the Sports World   Leave a comment

Image result for Gordon Hayward Injury

 

 

Dwayne Wade’s expression perfectly describes the shock and horror everyone unfortunate enough to see it felt and probably still feels almost 24 hours later. It was NASTY.  For that reason, I won’t embed the footage. If you want see it, here is the link. The injury happens at the very beginning of the video. That sound you hear when Hayward lands is his left Tibia breaking. In the next moment, everyone is shocked into silence at what they are looking at.

I’ve seen footage of basketball injuries. I always look at the reactions to it by those witnessed it. Paul George’s was pretty shocking even though it technically happened during the offseason. Kevin Ware’s was GRAPHIC and even caused some of the opposing players to vomit or cry in horror at the sight of the injury. Hayward, on the other hand…you could tell everyone FELT it and that’s what made it so devastating. I am pretty sure that if the game was cancelled right there, most would have been relieved. That’s how bad it was.

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This brings me to the obvious question I have seen get asked on ESPN all day: Does the injury deny them a return to the Eastern Conference Finals against Cleveland?

Not necessarily.

Make no mistake Hayward WILL be missed. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Celtics have no chance of making it back to the ECF this year. It will just be more of a challenge. We all saw what happened when Isaiah Thomas got hurt last year: Next Man Up. Marcus Smart will start for Hayward from now on as well.

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…As the Celtics have their home opener tonight, there is talk Gordon Hayward could recover in time to play as soon as after the All Star Game. It obviously wasn’t a life-threatening or career-ending injury. Just a horrible freak accident. Even so, you can’t help but feel for him and his family.

He will be back. Of that you can be certain.

Donald Trump’s latest Tweets against Colin Kaepernick and Steph Curry rally the NBA and the NFL   Leave a comment

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…Isn’t it something how “That son of a bitch” is now likely going to get signed to a team just to stick it to #45? LOL. The Tweeter in Chief called out Colin Kaepernick during a political rally yesterday though he did not use his name.

Trump made reference to the fact Kaepernick protested violence by Law Enforcement last year during the NFL season by kneeling during the national anthem. Other players who agreed with his reasons for doing so did the same and some do now during this season. Kaepernick announced at the end of the previous NFL Season he would not kneel during the anthem after that season because he felt it would no longer be necessary. The media saw that to mean that this would be the end of the story.

The problem is 8 months later, Kaepernick remains unsigned to an NFL Team. The fact that NFL teams in need a Quarterback during the offseason and even now still ignored him make it clear he was being punished for kneeling during the national anthem last year even though he said he would not do it again. Sounds silly but that’s the truth.

Clearly now that will change.

Everyone in the NFL from players the Commissioner to the Team Owners (who wield the real power in the NFL) have come out together to express their anger and disappointment at #45’s request that NFL teams “should immediately release anyone who even thinks of protesting during the anthem for any reason”. He took shots at the NFL as a whole in general so…yeah. Teams reacted by kneeling during the Anthem in solidarity wit hthe NFL on Sunday. Not for Kaepernick but as a show of unity.

 

Let’s be clear: The hate against Kaep’s Anthem protests and the fact that he remains unsigned has little to do with is skills as a player and everything to do with politics. The term in the sports world is Black Balled: Being punished directly or indirectly because the player protests against something unrelated to sports. That fact that he remains unsigned even though he is ready to take the field on a moment’s notice has everything to do with his anthem protests last year.  Everyone knew it or didn’t want to see it that way.

 

Now it’s taken on a whole new meaning in light of Trump’s recent comments. It’s galvanized the NFL as a whole. Even those who expressed support for #45 are taking a stand in the aftermath of Trump’s latest comments. Contrary to what the closeted racists who think the athletes hate the U.S. Military and Law Enforcement–that’s what those who oppose the protests have been saying–may have wanted, we can expect to see more and more players kneel or otherwise silently do something during the anthem.

The thing folks need to keep in mind is Trump made these remarks a few months after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated during the offseason–and I’m paraphrasing–“I don’t like the fact that the anthem protests are becoming a distraction.” This statement came after several NFL Owners and Head Coaches said on and off the record they either wouldn’t want players to protest during the anthem or feel they should stand, saying it’s a distraction. This is why Trump said what he said and it’s worth mentioning that since Corporate Media is acting like Trump said something that hasn’t been said by others first.

So, yeah.

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…This brings me to 2-Time NBA Champion Steph Curry.

Unlike the NFL’s Gooddell–I’m actually starting to feel bad for him now between the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, getting booed out of Foxboro Stadium and being trolled HARD by Tom Brady–the NBA’s Adam Silva is known as The Players’ Commissioner. Prior to the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Silver released a series of statements encouraging players to use their status as public figures and athletes however they like. NBA Players wasted no time taking advantage on that note. When the Cavs won the NBA Championship last year, they moved up the annual White House visit so they could meet President Obama before he left office.

A few days ago, Steph Curry said in a statement he doesn’t know if he will go with the team because he doesn’t like the fact Trump’s comments and policies were diving the country along racial lines. Trump responded via Twitter stating Steph Curry was “uninvited”. The team’s head coach Steve Kerr responded by stating Trump was making it very hard for the team to consider committing to visiting the White House. The team announced hours later they would visit Washington but they would not be going to the White House.

 

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…Look. The media is doing what it does best and is going out of its way to not really talk about WHY these protests are happening. They’re just doing head counts of who and how many are and are not kneeling during the anthem. The media couldn’t be bothered to explain why exactly they are doing what they’re doing. Not that people don’t know why. 1st Amendment goes both way but I digress. Now whole teams are taking a knee all over the NFL today. Not for Kaep, mind you but in solidarity for the brand AND to show their displeasure with #45’s recent comments.

Take a look at this:

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This is today. You have most of the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots kneeling during the anthem on their home field. The fans expressed their displeasure at this by booing loudly. This was likely compounded by the fact one of the players who took a knee during the anthem was the face of the NFL, Tom Brady. Team Owner Robert Kraft said in a statement yesterday he is disappointed by #45’s recent comments. Brady made a joint statement with Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rogers last night stating Kaep should be playing right now. For those who need a reminder, Brady and Kraft are both friends of Donald Trump. This should tell you something.

…So to those who don’t like seeing images like this, get over it. LOL.

The Boston Celtics officially introduce new All Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to the media   Leave a comment

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It’s now official.

It’s easily the biggest press conference since the summer of 2007 when the Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. We know how the 2007-08 season ended so…yeah. Odds are pretty good we will see Banner 18 this coming June ^_^

 

BREAKING BOSTON SPORTS NEWS: Boston Celtics Trade Isaiah Thomas to the Cleveland Caveliers for Kyrie Irving   Leave a comment

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30 minutes ago, news of the pending broke the internet. 10 minutes ago, it became official: The Celtics and Caveliers Traded their respective All Star point guards for the other.

Here are the details of the trade.

Boston Gets: Kyrie Irving

Cleveland Gets: Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the 2018 Brooklyn Nets 1st Round Draft Pick and a 2020 2nd Round Pick.

…All I can say is it’s right up there with the Brooklyn Trade involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett 6 years ago only the Cavs didn’t mortage their future for the next six years (LOL!). In other words, the Celtics got the better end of the deal long-term and short-term. We get Kyrie Irving for two years while the Cavs still have to deal with the real possability LeBron James could leave after this coming season.

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…As a Celtics fan, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge all The King of the Fourth did for the Boston Celtics and all the Celtics did for him. As a reminder: He was picked last in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Sacremento Kings. He was a virtual nobody until he was acquired by the Celtics from the Phoenix Suns in 2013. IT4 later said after arriving in Boston Danny Ainge sat down with him and told him was would do great things in Boston.

By the end of his second year with the Celtics, people started to take notice. He has made the All Star Game the last 3 years as well. All the work he put in was certainly recognized. With Cleveland now, he will be the #2 after LeBron James. Everyone knows what he can do so…yeah. Depending on how he does this coming season, there is a chance he could get Cleveland to give him a max contract even if LBJ leaves. In that case, he could find himself in a situation similar to when he arrived in Boston where the team is rebuilt around him.

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October 17 and February 11. Save those dates. October 17 is the Season opener for both teams in Cleveland. The Celtics will retire Paul Pierce’s number on February 11 when the Cavs come to Boston. Both games just got a whole lot more interesting. Of course, it goes without saying the Celtics punched their ticket back to the Eastern Conference Finals. With Hayward, Horford and now Irving I maintain my position the Celtics are the best team in the East.

Boston vs. Golden State in the NBA Finals?! Sign me up!

 

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This picture sums up what’s happening right now   Leave a comment

Image may contain: 1 person, crowd and text

…Note the conspiracy theory outlined in the previous blog post.

Right now, we are in a cultural civil war. A war manufactured by the U.S. Government to divide and conquer. A war they are winning and will continue to win until the people stop fighting each other and work together. Assuming the clashes between political extremists escalate, this is the logical next step: A hard crackdown by the government the likes of which hasn’t been seen in decades. It won’t matter who is in the White House, the response and how it’s explained will be the same: “We’re restoring the rule of law and suppreessing all the violent factions.”

The current White House administration is destabilizing the country but make no mistake it’s part of a much larger plan and is being allowed to play out on purpose. More so if Trump resigns or is Impeached in the near future: This will allow Pence to come in as someone who is “Not taking sides but will not allow political extremists to tear the country apart.”

That’s the plan and its win-win for The Establishment: They can just blame everything on “both sides” and at the same time, they will have a free pass to strip away civil liberties under the guise of “National Security”.

This actually isn’t a conspiracy theory. We’ve been here more than a few times before.

Most recently: Right after 9/11. That’s when The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and  The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) were created. Don’t even get me started on The Patriot Act, which had been crafted behind closed doors and was far more intrusive than the one we eventually got. The Bush Administration made the case these were necessary “for the purposes of national security”.

As is the trend in this country however, once security protocols are raised they’re rarely lowered after the threat passes. Don’t even get me started on the revolving door of complaints and lawsuits against the TSA, many of which includes rape and profiling. The number of credible threats stopped by the TSA since 9/11 is inconsequential for the “display”. Even worse: There is little to no accountability at the top and efforts to change this are immediately blocked due to politics.

 

Now, before you go “What about the Boston Marathon Bombing?”, take a look at my coverage of that. You will have folks who feel the show of force “just to find two guys” and shutting down Boston for almost a week took things too far. What CNN failed to tell you?  The day of the bombing, there was an unrelated fatal shooting 3 blocks from the house where I lived at the time. There was another unrelated shooting in another part of Boston as well. Neither of those got media coverage. Then again, you have the other extreme Boston residents professed once the suspects were eventually captured and killed: “Why don’t we see this kind of response more often?” We would not see anything like that in Boston again until this August’s “Free Speech” Rally.

Anywho, my point is everything that’s going on is part of a much larger plan. Don’t trust everything you see and hear from the media. Social Media is your friend when it comes to Social Justice issues. Try to keep that in mind moving forward. Given the state of the world and America right now, you can’t afford to be ignorant of what is going on around you.

 

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