Four For Friday

  1. Your Job: What’s the best thing about your job? If you do not have a job, what’s the best thing about not working? Ah, I had to make a list of the best things about my job this week to prevent myself from quitting on Tuesday. The good things about my job: will let me have a flexible schedule so I can go to school, my health insurance is good and affordable, and because we’re union I make a wage that is better than I’d get elsewhere (sometimes, at least).
  2. Health Insurance: Whirlpool Corporation’s refrigerator plant in Indiana has suspended nearly 40 production workers suspected by the company of continuing to smoke despite claiming on health insurance forms they were nonsmokers. Additionally, the company charges smokers an extra fee for health insurance. Do you think companies should be allowed to deduct higher amounts of money from employees paychecks for health insurance if the employee smokes cigarettes? I’m tempted to say yes, but I know that it could quickly go from the mentioned situation to charging people more because they have risky sexual behaviors, or very expensive (and through no fault of their own) medical conditions, and I think that would be not cool. I work with a lot of people who have medical conditions, as well as the situation and find themselves in regarding health insurance, and it makes me believe more firmly (however implausible it may seem) that affordable health care should be a basic human right (notice I said affordable, not free or government-provided; the details can be worked out by someone else).
  3. Borders: In its quest to secure the 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has embarked on a construction project to build a 15- to 18-foot high wall along large swaths of the territory. But a lot of south Texans are mad about the plan. The proposed path of the fence cuts directly through some residents’ backyards and even a local golf course. Do you think the United States should be erecting such a wall? I think a wall is probably the stupidest idea I have ever heard. Seriously. And wasteful of money. And, did I mention stupid?
  4. Deterrence: A wall-mounted gadget designed to drive away loiterers with a shrill, piercing noise audible only to teens and young adults is infuriating civil liberties groups and tormenting young people. Nearly 1,000 units of the device, called the “Mosquito,” have been sold in the United States and Canada, which according to its manufacturer, is a completely harmless solution to the problem of unwanted gatherings of youths and teenagers in shopping malls, around shops and anywhere else they are causing problems. Background: it seems that there is a very real medical phenomenon known as “presbycusis” or age-related hearing loss which, according to The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, “begins after the age of 20…” It first affects the highest frequencies (18 to 20 kHz ) notably in those who have turned 20 years of age or older, which means, there’s real science to this Mosquito gizmo. How would you feel about the Mosquito’s use in areas you or children frequent? I think this is a bad (and potentially hazardous or dangerous) idea. People need to get over the idea that groups of teenagers are inherently evil and that they’ll do bad things. Kids need a place to hang out. It’d be better for them to be at the mall than unsupervised in a someone’s basement having unprotected sex and doing drugs, right? Get a grip on yourselves, people.

Wow. Seems I’m opinionated today.