Thursday, November 18, 2010

Murder By Numbers One, Two, Three
While we are living in monumental times with the increase in complexities, we combat the subconscious and conscious fears with knowledge and education.  As a simpleton, I have looked for varieties of answers to a life burdened by human dejection, crass cruelties, undermining thinking and oppressive natures. Social issues arise and reflect the society we have and have breathed life into.  Currently, we are in a crisis that has many people choking for air.  Many issues concern the future inheritances of tomorrow's children and while adults are spinning in confusion as to provide them with protection, I find that many answers are as simple as centuries past.  They are based in the ethical grounds of the days of many great thinkers and shakers.  One of the most fantastic attributes of the great artists, scientists, politicians, world leaders was that they never left that inner voice, childlike innocence behind in a world plagued by atrocities and aberrations.  We are only human beings looking for good, prosperity, growth and security.  Love can often only be shared in families and communities are each social exchange gives us hope and reasons for living. If a child sat to look at his or her math proportions as a social unit, things don't seem to add up in the universal language of mathematics.

With the concerns on the education system, I am still plagued with the State's lotteries willingness to hand over millions upon millions of dollars to one or two individuals with the concept that the system or game benefits the educational systems of each State.  Forget the fact the government takes more or less half of the winnings in taxes.  In the state of California, the Lotto was implemented in 1984.  The  initiative of Prop 37 extols 50 percent of the funds returned to the players in prizes.  Considering that's a huge reward for the supposed average Lotto player, who shells out an average of $83 dollars a year on tickets. Massachusetts returns 70 percent of their funds to their players.  However, in California the State Lottery Commission is comprised of 5 persons appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate.  The Commission (in 1984), oversees 640 employees of the state department who administers the lottery.  This department operates on 16 percent of ticket sales and the remaining 34 percent goes to public schools, community colleges, the University of California system and the California University State system.  Perhaps this helps to keep the cost of higher education considerable lower than others States but 34 percent is not a lot of money to be distributed to all the school systems.  So, someone is being sacrifice for the good of the other, in a sense. Current laws are constantly proposed to increase the Lottery system to benefit those buying tickets and less focus goes to the original purpose of providing funding to the educational systems of the States.  I would be more inclined to dip a dollar or two into a chance of winning a few thousands knowing the winner would be the young population of the State of California.  In addition to the Lottery capping the massive millions distributed by rollovers of the losing draws.  Same deal for multi state lottos, like California's mega Lotto. The highest amount ever paid out was on March 6, 2007 in the amount of $390 million with two winners from Georgia and New Jersey.  The best story was the payout of $365 million to the 8 meat factory coworkers in Nebraska on February 18, 2006.  

The amounts of $390 and $365 million were taken in lump payments of $116 and $177 million.  Now reading these tidbits, I realized that the $390 lump sum payout is less than the $365 one.  There's a site: that shows the breakdown of possible winnings in annuity and lump sum minus the 25% Federal tax and each state's tax percentages.  California and a few other states do not have state taxes on Lotto winnings.  If that's the case, federal taxes well exceeds the 25% mark as half of 390 is 195 not even 116.  So 390 minus 116 equals 274 (which is what the government seized) then the percentage the government took is 70% of the winnings, not the mandated 25% for a lump sum take.  If you choose to get yearly earnings and die next year, you can not transfer your winnings to anyone.  The gamble is larger than people think for the instantaneousness of relief for today and most likely yesterday's burdens.  Another blogger from the UK reinstates George Orwell's book 1984:

"Winston had nothing to do with the running of the Lottery, which was managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being non-existent persons."

While the set up of the lotteries entices us to dream with slogans like:  "Imagine what a buck can do."  In a 2007 article from Senator Dean Florez's site, concerning when Gov. Schwarzenegger proposed leasing the Lotto to help fund health reform, the following was written:

The lottery currently provides a little more than $1 billion a year for schools, a small part of a $66.8 billion budget from all state, local and federal sources for more than 6 million students in kindergarten through high school.
In the early years of the lottery, its advertising slogan was “And the Schools Win, Too.” The teachers union persuaded the lottery to abandon the slogan, arguing that it helped mislead the public about school funding.

Debt collections advertises "pennies on the dollar you can settle your debt", while hounding the consumer with daily phone calls, outrageous lies and constant emotional jeopardy preying on guilt.  Government accountability for the sake of leadership should be equally hounded and researched on whether misappropriations are in effect. There are two online PDF's that give more insight to the accountability of the Lotto Commission, which are the California Budget Project and the Legislative Analyst's Office.

Culturally, society is reaching a dissension point and revolting from the slogans and mottos that has lead us down a dead end road or brick walls erected while we slept.  In every tragedy or anguish, there are small victories.  Concerning the lotto, an art group has taken old tickets and created something out of other people's trash similar to the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." which goes back in time further than any current precedent.  Same as "What is useless to one person might be valuable to another" goes hand in hand with "Waste not, want not."  It's proverb that dates back to 1772 and more or less know immediately as truth once it hits our subconsciousness.  The trouble is drawing it into conscious living.  In regards to recycling old, unwanted, unwarranted lotto tickets (scratchers and tickets) a few states have a recycle and win programs that educate on recycling and gives others to bring in discarded tickets found on the ground for a second chance at winning.  Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hamshire have taken lead on this one.  Two artists from the University of Rhode Island School of Design, Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom have taken thousands of dollars worth of used tickets and created a message through visual designs.
Regardless, it's understood that public institutions and systems require immense funding to keep programs alive and over the years priorities were assessed as the 80's saw a significantly huge increase in funding for Child Welfare and Abuse Prevention, particularly after the McMartin Preschool accusations.  Consequently, the infamous California case is considered the longest and most expensive case in American history.  It lasted 7 years and cost $15 million dollars and never yielded a conviction.  The other recognized legal case in Federal courts is The United States v. Anthony Accetturo et al which was from 1986 to 1988.  The disparity rests in numbers as the psychological bewilderment leaves the mind perplexed and evn in lew of the facts, we are still held hostage to the inevitability of inert thinking and doing.  Then rolls in apathy to replace sympathy due to lack of dexterity of the mind and soul.  So often in the worst criminal behaviors of society, like child abuse regardless if its child imprisonment, prostitution, abandonment, neglect, physical violent depravity, or sexual warfare our abilities to state the obvious remain in conversation and thoughts but actions are confined as no one seems to know how to address the issues.  

Education and perpetual learning about others: victims, survivors, those who provide and assist in protection, prevention and proscription of the maltreatment of children is key in eliminating a social disease.  For those who beg to differ that child abuse is not linked to the undertows of society are sadly mistaken.  The root of evil is not money but as Mother Teresa stated, "One of the greatest diseases is to be a nobody to anyone" and "being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."  

How does a parent prepare a child for a life like this?  It's impossible to teach a child social responsibility without understanding how our own government works or what they do when they do work.  It's like the parent who goes out "saying" he/she has a job but doesn't and then spends their time hiding that fact, living in shame, hatred, anger, frustration and despair.  If that person cares enough to try to keep those secrets from their children or wife, the inevitable overflow of a life unworthy will filter back to the home.  Children are not as easily fooled, either parents can tell them everything is okay but they will feel the sentiment in the air.  They learn to read the unspoken signs and learn from the little known language of emotional intelligence.  Our own government professionals use these same skills for weeding out liars in the mist in understanding what's not said.  It was only within the last 50 years, Bob Dylan said, "People seldom do what they believe in.  They do what is convenient, then repent."  As horror stories of terrible loss has come about from lottery winners of the past, it begs to ask questions about what is the meaning behind a government "game."  Where do we go from here?  

How did I get started on this rant?
My Facebook Post:  Somewhere on post I've seen we are in 17 trillions in debt (17 & 12 zeros). U.s. population is 310,735,300 (in millions). If each of us were to pay off the debt we'd be giving $54,709 per person. 

Now, there are more or less 356 billionaires living in the U.s. (15 reside overseas) if each of these people only had one billion to contribute to eliminating a 17 trillion debt, they would EACH pay $48 to wipe out the entire debt.

Corruption is child's play and in it's complications we kill the youth - we dish out death more than taxes. WTF on extending a TAX break for the rich???? You get what you give, right? Zero, was my hero till someone twisted it around.

"Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." - Benjamin Franklin