Increase in suicide

Suicide rates have increased in America since 1999 and are continuing to rise. According to a CNN report, ” Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.”

The only improvement was with black males as they had an eight percent decrease in suicides between 1999 and 2014 as stated by CNN.

The report stated the largest increase was among American Indians and Alaska Natives and was followed by white men and white women. It is said by the report that the increase among American Indians and Alaska Natives could be their socioeconomic status which is on the lower end and can cause them to be more likely to use substance and alcohol.

All of the causes for suicide vary from not having coverage to get proper treatment for depression to antidepressants possibly not helping the patients. Overdosing on painkillers is also a top lead to suicide.

Chief Medical officer of the American Medical Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Dr. Christine Moutier stated, “Access to lethal means is one of the most significant risk factors for an individual to die by suicide.”


More about Zika

The Zika virus received a large amount of attention within the last few months and nobody knew exactly what was happening except that when a pregnant mother had the Zika virus the child was going to automatically be affected by it.

According to CNN, on Wednesday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as CDC, stated, “The Zika virus causes microcephaly and other birth defects.”

CNN also stated the CDC has not confirmed a child would be affected by the virus nor the risk percentage of the possibility.  The British Medical Journal published a study that showed 23 babies in Brazil who were affected by the Zika virus and concluded that the virus causes the children to have severe cerebral brain damage.

“The White House said President Barack Obama will sign a bill that offers incentives to companies working on Zika treatments and vaccines,” stated CNN.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest see’s the bill as a positive idea, but does not feel that it will help the outbreak according to CNN. He compares the investment to preparing for a hurricane by getting an umbrella, implying that this small advancement will not have a huge impact on those affected.

Donald Trump-Nashville, Tennessee: Analysis

On August 25, 2015, presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a speech at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies Presidential Preference Endorsing Convention at the Rocketown Conference Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

“There is a big growing leaps and bounds silent majority out there, and we are going to take this country back, and we are going to make this country great again and so strong again,” Trump said.

Throughout his speech, Trump touched on veterans and illegal immigrants, issues regarding jobs, ObamaCare, trade, his net worth and Univision.


Courtesy of Creative Commons photo of Donald Trump

Trump began his speech by acknowledging his crowd and pointing out Beada Corum, a 92-year-old woman who registered for the first time to vote for Trump.

1. Trump stated that veterans are mistreated and wait too long to receive medical attention from doctors.

According to an investigation from March 9, 2016, conducted by the  Virginia Office of Inspector General in Response to Allegations Regarding Patient Wait Times, it was noted that veteran patients were being, “scheduled several months later for a follow-up appointment,” at the Virginia Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia. There were similar allegations documented by the Virginia Office of Inspector General in Response to Allegations Regarding Patient Wait Times that took place at the Virginia Medical Center in Willmington, Deleware and Gainesville, Florida.

It is true that these veterans deal with long wait times to receive medical attention, but Trump compared veterans to illegal immigrants and claimed that the illegal immigrants are treated better than veterans. To state the wait that veterans deal with is correct, but stating illegal immigrants are treated better is not accurate. According to Health Care, “Undocumented immigrants aren’t eligible to buy Marketplace health coverage, or for premium tax credits and other savings on Marketplace plans. But they may apply for coverage on behalf of documented individuals.”

Although veterans deal with overly long wait times, they have the health care available to them.

2. During Trump’s speech he stated, “We have 93 million people that are out of the labor force.” According to a news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in March of 2014, there were eight million individuals that were unemployed and according to Trump only five months later the eight million multiplied by nearly 12 times the amount. Trump was correct to say there were many people that were unemployed, but was factually incorrect in his statement regarding the number of unemployed individuals being 93 million.

3. As Trumps speech continued, he began to attack the Affordable Care act. Trump touched on the large amount of debt the United States is in and expressed strong disapproval of the Affordable Care Act, informally known as ObamaCare, as he stated that he was going to work to get it removed. He stated the cost of ObamaCare would only increase the deficit that was at $19 trillion.  Indeed ObamaCare Facts states, “As of March 2015, the estimated net cost of ObamaCare’s insurance related provisions is $1.207 trillion.” Here Trump’s claims prove true; ObamaCare helps uninsured Americans afford private and public health care, but it increases the nation’s debt.

4. Trump discussed his views on trade and how he believes in free trade by telling about his experience in Los Angeles as he witnessed a vehicle shipment arrive from Japan. He stated the trade is unbalanced because Japan trades cars for the United States to purchase while the United States sells beef in return. He stated the profit is unbalanced because the price of beef and automobiles are not equivalent.  Trump is partially correct as he stated beef is traded with Japan, but he did not mention the optic and medical instruments, aircraft, machinery, and electrical machinery that is exported along with the beef as outlined by the Office of the United States Trade Representative. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2015, the total amount in US dollars that was exported to Japan was $6,2471.8 million and $131,119.7 million imported from Japan. Trump was correct to state the trade was unbalanced as the balance number was at a negative $6,8647.9 million.

5. As Trump informed about his investments he stated that there are investments that have not been acknowledged and targeted Forbes by stating the business magazine said, “Trump’s only worth five billion or four billion.” He was not very fond of Forbes, as he compared it to a “bankrupt magazine.” The American business magazine has Trump numbered at 324 on the world’s billionaires list with a net worth of $4.5 billion, but Trump believes his net worth should be higher. Forbes has noted that Trump does not release his tax returns which would show Trumps annual income.  Although he believes $4.5 billion is inaccurate, until Trump makes his tax returns public Forbes’ calculation is correct.

6. As Trump carried on, he began to discuss an infamous exchange he had with Univision reporter Jorge Ramos. Trump claimed he is suing Univision for five hundred for dropping, “the Miss USA and Miss Universe telecasts last year after Trump made disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants,” according to Variety. Variety also stated Trump and Univision were able to reach a settlement.

Trump then began to portray Ramos as a supporter of Hillary Clinton by stating in a suspicious tone that Ramos’ daughter works for Hillary Clinton. Backing up Trump’s claims that his daughter works for Clinton, Jorge Ramos posted an article on Fusion that confirmed his daughter Paola Ramos works for Clinton. Ramos said, “Paola, has accepted a position working with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

Throughout the speech there were a few times where Trump excluded vital information in his plan to improve America, but overall, Trump’s claims in his speech in Nashville proved to be mostly true.

Hacker group targets Trump

Donald Trump either has people that love him or hate him as he runs for president, but a group of hackers called Anonymous are certainly leaning on the hate side.

According to CNNMoney, Anonymous hacked information to Trumps phone number and social security number as well as, “phone numbers, home addresses, and other personal information associated with people close to Trump, including his spokesperson, campaign manager and family members.”

CNNMoney was able to contact one of Trumps family members by calling a number that Anonymous revealed. The family member confirmed the relationship to Trump.

Individuals who claimed they are members of Anonymous also posted a video in which they expressed their opinion about Trump.


“You say what your current audience wants to hear but in reality you don’t stand for anything except for greed and power,” as reported by CNNMoney.

The FBI and Secret Service are working together to protect Trump from having more of his personal information revealed to the public.

Anonymous is inviting hackers to participate in hacking more of Trumps information on April 1st.

The unsocial Metro

The number of Metrolink riders has decreased in the recent years. Last month the purple and red line had 142,319 weekday boardings opposed to the 158,086 it had two years prior in the same month according to the Metro’s ridership statistics.

To see why people are not taking the Metro as much, I decided to ride the Metro from Ontario to Union Station in Los Angeles with my Metro-experienced friend Matthew Rickett.

At the Ontario station there were only six people waiting to catch the train including my friend Matthew and I, as well as two cyclists. I did not know what to expect nor how or where I was supposed to purchase my ticket. The only idea I had of the Metro was watching it pass at railroad crossings.

Metrolink contractor Bill Albert had fixed the ticket vending machine minutes before the Metro arrived. As I walked up he was extremely helpful and walked me through the purchasing process while informing me about newbies like myself.


Ticket vending machine at East Ontario Station.

“You have to know the system. A lot of people don’t want to ask for help, but you notice and when I am here to service the machine I am always there to help,” said Albert.

He explained how it all functioned and gave me insight on a method that regulars have as they run down the clock and arrive close to the departing time to slip on the train without taking the time to purchase a ticket.

Unfortunately for them if they are caught, they could be fined 1,500 dollars or more because of the California penal code 640. I would much rather pay the 16 dollars as a student for a round trip ticket than pay the fine. Individuals might think it is too expensive and might be a reason for the decline in metro riders, but paying for gas to fuel a car can be the same amount or more.


Penal Code CA 640 posted on walls at Union Station.

I was looking forward to listening to my surroundings on the metro, but on the two hour ride to Union Station and back, the only noise I heard was the air conditioning and footsteps as people passed by to use the restroom.



The almost empty Metro

It did not take long for me to understand that my expectation to hear people socializing on the Metro was unlikely to occur. Later I met Bill Mcgoff who informed me that the Metro is not a social ride nor a place to find tourists.

“Usually you just give that nod to hello to somebody and maybe you chat up one person. But it’s not like the AM Track where you walk around and you go to a bar cart and meet people. It’s more of a commuter train not a traveling train,” said Mcgoff.

Mcgoff informed that the Metro is a better form of transportation compared to driving, but stated, “you have to plan your days.” Planning may seem stressful because there are so many trains  with different set schedules, but the Metro website simplifies it by providing a way to plan a trip.

The two cyclists who boarded with me in Ontario appeared to be enjoying the peaceful train ride, so I waited until we got off at Union Station to approach them.

Cholada and David from Burbank, who did not state their last names, are familiar with the Metro and other public transportation as well.

“We live in Burbank. We did a bike ride today. We took the Gold line to Azusa to the new station in a Azusa at Citrus College and we rode out to Ontario and took the Metrolink back,” said David.

Cholada stated that they take these trips twice a month and that it is a good way to travel. When I asked them if they meet a lot of new people on their adventurous trips I was surprised to hear they rarely did.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the region’s largest carrier, lost more than 10% of its boardings from 2006 to 2015, a decline that appears to be accelerating.”

Money, planning, and fear of trying new things may cause the Metro to continue losing riders in the near future since there were not many people that appeared to be new to the building full of many terminals. Individuals passing by shared a common appearance of knowing exactly where they were traveling to with the exception of a few individuals asking security for directions.

Ironically the Metro seems to be an individualistic form of public transportation with passengers focused on a newspaper, phone, or tablet. Although it is not a typical place to meet new people as you get from point A to point B, it is a form of transportation that is quick and beats driving in traffic.