Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Trouble In The Arts

We do not always understand one another because the world is such a diverse place. We live in different geographical locations and speak different languages too. But if there is one language spoken by all regardless of race, culture, education, and status in life, it is obviously the arts. None of these factors matter in your appreciation for the arts.

We were all born with artistic sensibilities. The art gives us a sense of calm and balance - away from the chaos of modern living and the fast pace of modern life. But not everyone knows how to appreciate its value. Since not technically considered a human necessity, the art sector will cease to enjoy big funding from the U.S. government.

New York City sees itself as the cultural capital of the nation — if not the world — but its artistic community is suddenly vulnerable to budget cuts in Washington, where the administration of President Trump is considering eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, which provides millions of dollars each year to groups in the city.

The future is not so bright for those in the arts and everyone else who will be affected by the budget cut. We feel for struggling artists who wants to make a name in this world and give back to the world through the art pieces they make.

“The president and his cabinet are working collaboratively as we speak to create a budget that keeps the president’s promises to secure the country and prioritize taxpayer funds,” the statement said.

Losing N.E.A. funding “wouldn’t mark the end of the organization but it would be quite a hit,” Mr. Greenberg said. “We depend on every penny to make things work for us. A world without the N.E.A., not just the money aspect of it, but the idea of the government supporting culture, I think would impact us psychologically, too.”


More questions pop regarding the arts. How do brands work now with the arts in Trump’s America?

With news that President Trump plans to gut funding for the arts, it begs the question: What is the role of SXSW 30+ years later?

If you are clueless on what an SXSW is, it is an abbreviation for South by Southwest – a collaboration of inventive groups (from the music, theater, and the arts) that takes place in Austin, Texas each year.

At SXSW, the presence of brands can feel suffocating, and often draws the ire of purists. What's been lost in the commercialization of SXSW is that the festival at its core is all about music, filmmakers, technologists... creators. For marketers, artists are the life source of our work.

Preserving and supporting the arts is as much our duty as marketers as it is in our own interests. If we can’t do it ourselves, the onus is on us to identify partners who can. The lust for art, music, and performance by the consumers we tirelessly seek favor with is undeniable. To support the arts consumers love serves the interests of all parties.


The arts need more help that it can get today if brands can’t help them anymore because many are apparently in approval of Trump’s decision to reduce art funding.

Next week, Donald Trump releases his new budget. It's expected to cut spending on things like the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


Government has no business funding art. When politicians decide which ideas deserve a boost, art is debased. When they use your money to shape the culture, they shape it in ways that make culture friendlier to government.


We can only hope that the new president makes rational and fair decisions in the policies he makes and not just because he feels like it or not. The lives of billions of people rely on his good judgment and leadership. For now, all we can do is to wait and watch whatever unfolds on the big screen of life today in Trump’s era.

Trouble In The Arts was initially seen on The I Am Not An Artist Blog


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Environmental Issues That Matter Today

We take for granted many of the things around us. Try to look back a century ago and compare the quality of our lives. You buy water now. You even buy air through the air conditioning units you install at home. Many of the things that were free before are now for sale. What does that mean?

It can mean two ways - either that entrepreneurs found a way to make a sale and enjoy bigger profits or that our environment is deteriorating. Well, the reason is likely both. You need a good product or service to make a name and a living in this world. And if you can make people buy something that used to be for free, then you hit the jackpot.

But if you also survey your surroundings, you’ll see that it is far from pristine and we contributed to its deterioration. Can you safely drink water from streams and rivers today? Probably not. It is no longer safe for human consumption that even fishes can be rarely seen or fished. But it is not yet too late to save the environment if we all unite and act now.

Five dozen demonstrators marched through the streets of downtown Oakland on Tuesday afternoon at a “Resist Trump” rally focused on protecting the environment.

Marchers, carrying banners that said “One Planet, One People, No Pipeline,” started at 12th and Broadway and stopped at two downtown banks that they said were funding the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

“The climate crisis is a symptom of a deeper problem — an economy based on extraction and exploitation of resources and people,” said Martha Kuhl, treasurer of the California Nurses Association, as she addressed the crowd.

The event was led by the Bay Area environmental justice organization Sunflower Alliance. Marchers also stopped at Frank Ogawa Plaza and outside the office of developer Phil Tagami, who has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the city of Oakland’s ban on shipping coal from the city’s port.


And the social and geopolitical instability do not help. Many countries in the Far East are now ravaged by war that its citizens are forced to find a new home somewhere else because there is no more hope left back home.

The world faces a lot of issues but we fail to acknowledge how the environment suffers from the unending conflicts among nations and its people.

Much of the world seems to be on edge. The West’s relationship with Russia, the future of Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the Syrian civil war and refugees, rising right-wing populism, the impact of automation, and the UK’s impending departure from the European Union: All these topics—and more—have roiled public debate worldwide. But one issue—one might say the most significant of them all—is being ignored or pushed aside: the environment.

Allowing environmental issues to fall by the wayside at this time of geopolitical and social instability is a mistake, and not just because this happens to be a critical moment in the fight to manage climate change. Environmental degradation and natural-resource insecurity are undermining our ability to tackle some of the biggest global issues we face.

Environmental insecurity is a major, though often underestimated, contributor to global instability. The UN High Commission on Refugees reports that natural disasters have displaced more than 26 million people per year since 2008—almost a third of the total number of forcibly displaced people in this time period.

But the ultimate point is this:

The crises engulfing the modern world are complex. But one thing is clear: The environment is connected to all of them. Solutions will mean little without a healthy world in which to implement them.


Everyone is busy with things that do not really matter but always point fingers once tragedy strikes. Every day, you hear about stories of war, calamities, droughts, floods, global warming, and climate change among others but only a handful act on these causes.

What’s even more disheartening is that the people in authority and power do not seem to act on it.

Environmental advocates had less to be happy about. Lawmakers are phasing out a tax credit for solar panels. And a bill to continue a clean-vehicle tax credit died.


Let us hope that things will change for the better by raising awareness on environmental issues that plague the world today, to protect the public in general especially vulnerable groups.

Environmental Issues That Matter Today is republished from IANAA


Friday, 17 March 2017

Medical Professionals Are Not Happy With GOP Health Proposal

We can’t deny that major changes are taking place in the country today. With the change in the political climate, we can expect that more changes are still coming our way in the months and years to come. It has been evident ever since the new president took oath and assumed the presidency.

The passage of new bills concerning health care is just as controversial as Trump’s immigration and trade policies. Obamacare has been in place for the last two terms. Various medical personnel all over the country are not thrilled with the current administration’s efforts at repealing it and eventually getting it replaced. got it covered:

The Republican plan to replace Obamacare has a health problem.

On Wednesday, the U.S.’s biggest advocacy group for doctors came out against House Republicans’ legislation, while the insurance lobby expressed concerns with the bill, adding to growing opposition from the country’s top trade groups for physicians and hospitals who worry that it will leave more people uninsured or with limited coverage.

In a letter to Congress, the American Medical Association said it “cannot support the AHCA as it is currently written,” referring to the American Health Care Act, as the Republican proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is named. The association calls itself the largest physician advocacy group in the country, and backed the nomination of Tom Price as President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary and point person on the health law.

Groups of doctors and nurses do not like the GOP plan of replacing the existing health care law and they made sure their voices are heard amidst all the chatter in today’s political circus.

Groups representing hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, patients and older people criticized the Republican proposal. While some major industry players, including insurers and drugmakers, were notably silent, one big Medicaid provider predicted the GOP plan would wreck the insurance marketplace. 

“We cannot support [the speaker’s bill] in its current form,” Richard J. Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said in a letter on Tuesday.

Their reaction right now is a far cry from when the Obamacare was introduced to them back in 2009.

The speed with which major health industry groups distanced themselves from the GOP plan stands in sharp contrast to how Obamacare took shape in 2009. Democrats sought input from the health care industry from the beginning, working to build support before their bill was released to the public.

The National Health Council, a coalition of patient advocacy groups and other organizations, said Tuesday it was concerned that phasing out Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, as the GOP bill would do by 2020, would lead to “the eventual loss of access and reduced affordability for the nation’s most vulnerable.”

AARP blasted the bill as “a sweetheart deal” for drugmakers and insurers, and said it would weaken Medicare, raise costs for seniors, and cut Medicaid.


Members of the Democratic Party share the same sentiment as these disappointed healthcare professionals and can’t help but worry about how it will affect the masses over time. However, they can't control as to what actually gets approved or not considering that it is the first time the Republicans once again have total control of the White House and both chambers of the Congress.

Democrats, meanwhile, have denounced it as a gift to the wealthy that will take insurance away from millions of people.

"What they’re doing is very destructive. ... It represents the biggest shift of money to the wealthiest people in our country, the top 1 percent, at the cost of working families," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters.

Doctors and other providers said the bill would probably cause many patients to lose insurance and raise healthcare costs. The American Medical Association urged senior lawmakers in a letter to reconsider drastic changes to Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor.


People are upset because their lives will be affected by these drastic changes in the health care system. If these politicians really care about the public – especially the vulnerable groups who rely on the system to take care of them when they get sick – they will consider their welfare and not just repeal the current system because it was drafted by the opposition.

They should be open to debate – both with the Democratic party and even have a dialogue with the public and the health care sector – to find out what needs to be changed and what already works and not just make life-changing decisions without understanding the real issue.

Medical Professionals Are Not Happy With GOP Health Proposal is courtesy of Blog


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Why Traveling Is Good For The Soul

2016 has come and gone but there are still many places you’d love to go and explore this 2017. With all the wonders (known or hidden) of this world, you won’t run out of beautiful places to visit.

Investing in memories is always much better than acquiring material stuff. Snapping a photo or two of yourself in to-die-for locations will not only earn the thumbs-up of family and friends on Facebook or Instagram but even the envy of many.Take the time to travel especially in your youth when you still have the energy to walk miles after miles of unknown roads and not easily feel exhausted.

So, take the time to travel especially in your youth when you still have the energy to walk miles after miles of unknown roads and not easily feel exhausted.

Traveling is that one thing everyone would like to do more often in their life. Unfortunately, work gets in the way and makes it impossible at times.


Whether it be an interstate travel or to a farther tropical destination in Asia, the change in scenery is always a welcome change in your life. The key here is planning in advance – even months ahead before the big trip to make sure everything is covered. Plot those vacation leaves, set up a piggy bank for your travel pocket money, buy items of clothing and shoes that fits where you are going, and just about what needs to be done to prepare for your trip.

You don’t have to be rich to afford the vacation of your dreams. You can even go backpacking or stay in cheaper hostels or Airbnb accommodations to save money without sacrificing any other aspect of your travel. If you are up for it, you can also travel during off-peak season to enjoy bigger discounts and savings.

Traveling is good for the soul. You can relax and unwind and enjoy many new experiences in places you can only dream of. It lets you enjoy the following benefits:

Learning: A trip out of your comfort zone and into a place you do not know is a learning experience. A crash course in learning how the world outside your daily life functions. And if you are travelling abroad, this learning widens. You get to know a new language, relish a new cuisine, discern different aspects of their faith or spirituality.

Discovering yourself: When you travel, you discover more about you than when you are at home. There is time for introspection, appreciation for things that you otherwise take for granted and a change in your perspectives.

Having an adventure: An adventure need not necessarily translate to climbing a mountain or going on a diving expedition. It can also mean something as simple as trying out street food in a city you are travelling to.

Relaxing and rejuvenating: The home-work-buy groceries-cook routine will tire you out in time even if you enjoy it. So, travel. Try a 10-day meditation break or a relaxation treatment in one of the spas tucked away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It will improve your mood and outlook on life.

An escape from the mundane: A demanding job that leads to a burnout, a bad break-up – whatever be the issue, pack up your bag and travel. Stepping away from things you see and feel every day is a perfect way to come back rejuvenated.


You can still have a great time and enjoy traveling even if you’re a parent with kids in tow. You’ll do things differently but having them with you can also open you up to new experiences. And traveling is good for kids too.

Your children will learn so much

I am a firm believer that most things learned are taught outside of the classroom and travel is a great teacher. Even at 2 years old my oldest has learned that there are many different types of people in the world who all look very different. She knows and understands there are different languages spoken and different foods served based on where you live. She doesn’t have negative preconceived notions about people who are different from her, in fact she has plenty examples of many different types of people who have been kind to her.


Give yourself a break and indulge in travel now and then. You work hard and you deserve to play harder. Start exploring local destinations and travel abroad when you can. The happiness of going somewhere new by yourself or with the people you love is something money can’t buy that you’ll always cherish in your lifetime.

Why Traveling Is Good For The Soul See more on:


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Snoring Indicates More Serious Health Problems

We all just want to sleep after a long day at work or at school. You can’t wait but to hit the sack and get some well-deserved snooze and recharge for the next day. But getting a good night’s sleep is not always possible with the many distractions in our life right now – and I’m not just referring to surfing the internet until the wee hours of the morning.

A lot of people snore. And it can deprive you of a much-needed sleep as it does to your spouse. But if snoring does not just prevent you from sleeping but also leaves you feeling exhausted in the morning, then it is not just a simple case of snoring but a more serious condition known as sleep apnea.

Medical professionals reveal that snoring indicates more serious health issues.

Annoying and more often than not, disruptive, snoring is the most common problem affecting more than 90 million Americans of both genders and all ages.

The National Sleep Foundation says 37 million Americans snore on a regular basis.

More than an annoyance, snoring is body’s way of telling you something is wrong, according to doctors. It has many causes and the trick is to find out why you snore, which is difficult.

Patients diagnosed with sleep apnea snores.

Sleep Apnea happens when the person actually stops breathing briefly during sleep. It’s a condition doctors said can lead to heart disease, stroke and even death.


But how serious can snoring really get?

Snoring can be caused by narrowing of the airway in the nose or throat and may occur nightly. It may be related to intermittent obstruction with a respiratory infection, such as the common cold, that will resolve spontaneously. Congenital facial or airway abnormalities can also lead to snoring. More worrisome is snoring caused by intermittent blockage to airflow in the back of the throat which is called obstructive sleep apnea.

What serious health issues people who snore and has been diagnosed with sleep apnea face?

Snoring can be an early sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a very common problem, estimated to occur in 15 percent to 20 percent of adults. Sleep apnea is caused by intermittent relaxation of the tongue and muscles in the mouth and throat. When the tongue relaxes during sleep, it falls back in the throat and blocks breathing. This blockage may last anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute or more. As a result, sleep is disturbed and less oxygen is available to the body. The combination of the blockage and the reduced oxygen levels creates stress on the heart, brain and other organs. If snoring is the result of sleep apnea, this represents a very important and serious disorder that needs to be treated. Severe untreated sleep apnea can lead to poor control of blood pressure, poor management of diabetes, heart rhythm irregularities, heart failure and stroke. It can also be responsible for daytime sleepiness.

In addition to health-related challenges, being excessively tired during the day can cause other problems. Untreated sleep apnea may lead to severe daytime sleepiness, which can cause cognitive impairment with decreased memory, focus and concentration. These can severely compromise the way work, school and other activities are performed. Many times, people are not even aware that interrupted sleep at night is causing these disruptions.

Excessive sleepiness can also jeopardize driving. It is widely recognized that many motor vehicle crashes are the direct result of sleepiness from untreated sleep apnea. This is such a significant problem that it is becoming a common practice for high-risk commercial drivers to be tested for sleep apnea. Recent data has shown a marked reduction in motor vehicle crashes in truck drivers who have been treated for previously undiagnosed sleep apnea.


Do not hesitate to see a sleep specialist if snoring is increasingly becoming a problem for you, not just in affecting sleep quantity and quality but in putting you at risk of more life-threatening conditions or even lead to death.

There is a cure as long as you ask for help. Wearing anti-snoring mouthpieces while sleeping is a popular management for people who snore and it won’t hurt if you give it a try. Even simple lifestyle modifications like losing weight and reducing alcohol intake can reduce snoring episodes too.

But probably the best way to address a snoring/ sleep apnea issue is to undergo a sleep study, so your doctor can assess your condition properly and come up with the best medical management for your particular case.

Snoring Indicates More Serious Health Problems See more on: I Am Not An Artist Blog