Posts Tagged politics
It’s hard not to think about the recent weather-related events without feeling frustrated. The first storm of the season to hit the U.S. this year, Irma, was hyped so much that people 3 and 4 hours inland were preparing for shelter. Luckily, that one only injured the Florida coast and it was damage they were familiar with handling. I am not minimizing the damage done in the Caribbean, just focusing on the states.
But Texas is another story, they don’t have that level of disaster preparedness and the damage has exceeded the infamous Katrina in New Orleans. Ironically, many of the people of New Orleans relocated to Texas only to get hit again, only harder. Now, I’m reading that due to a shortage of manufactured housing, it will cost 140,000 for the displaced people of Houston to obtain a 430-square foot replacement home that is basically a reinforced garage and it could take from seven months to two-and-a-half years to get everyone permanently settled again – according to George P. Bush at a hearing at the University of Houston.
Other costs of having 27 trillion gallons of rain and category 4 winds ravage a major city and surrounding area:
- Hauling away debris from thousands of destroyed homes and businesses is approximately $260 million.
- Rebuilding government-owned buildings is estimated at about $175 million – Houston is insured up to $100 million.
- The cost to widen bayous to contain future flooding, purchasing disaster-related equipment, manpower and readiness training is not currently known.
What a relief that the federal government will pick up 90 percent of the tab …
Now, due to a glancing blow from hurricane Irma and a direct hit by Maria, Puerto Rico is described by the FEMA Director Brock Long as “the most logistically challenging (recovery effort) the United States has ever seen.” Between trying to get supply planes and boats into damaged ports and navigating down trees, power lines, and obstructed bridges – all with no telecommunications – getting food and water to the population is next to impossible. A story in USA Today states, “Only 45% of Puerto Rico customers had access to drinking water, according to the White House.” It could take years to rebuild what was already a poor infrastructure and population. It is a shame that our government has let this beautiful island fall into disrepair.
No doubt, many people unaffected by these storms will have friends or families in these areas telling them horror stories about their personal devastation and receiving dysfunctional government aid over incomprehensible time periods. I have friends in Puerto Rico and know a nurse who was recruited to help in a Houston area hospital.
Luckily my friends in Rincon, Puerto Rico could get food, water, and gas, and are currently waiting in line for a plane to take them back to family in New York. However, they decided to leave their restaurant business behind since they are unsure how long it will take the island to get back up and running, if ever. They do not plan on returning and are starting over.
A friend and nurse who helped in Houston is disgusted that she was paid top dollar to be flown and bused in from Colorado to an emergency area that was on the outskirts of the city and not in need of any real FEMA support. It was not flooded. The hospital had changed management companies and lost nursing staff as a result. Timing allowed them to use FEMA funds to rectify the staffing issue since they were near the disaster area. The emergency nursing staff was to be flown by helicopter to the hospital even though there was nothing wrong with the roadways in the area. After paying nurses to wait two days in their hotel for this expensive and unneeded transportation expense, it was determined that the helicopters were too busy transporting people in desperate need. Administrative staff then used their personal vehicles to drive the nurses to the location without incident. This particular nurse really wanted to give needed support during a crisis but experienced what she felt was diverted government funding instead.
Feel free to share your personal experiences during this tumultuous time. Maybe you have heard some positive stories. Regardless, I felt a need to share and some of you might too.
Sources and links:
Moritz, J.C., USA Today, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/10/02/cost-hurricane-harvey-recovery/725473001/
USA Today, Trump heads to Puerto Rico, on the defensive over Hurricane Maria response, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/02/trump-puerto-rico-defensive-over-hurricane-maria-response/722510001/
Photo Credit: Weatherbug.com
I work hard to be politically unbiased, so please take a look at this announcement as my personal achievement in editing a book that is a relevant topic of discussion in today’s media and the people of our country as well as global interests. This is an editing accomplishment I am sharing with my writing community. My name appears under acknowledgments for editing contribution and is now officially part of my work portfolio.
After two months of combined line editing, proofing, copyediting, sourcing, and the addition of some graphic charts, the book by Brad Thomas, The Trump Factor: Unlocking the Secrets Behind the Trump Empire is now on Amazon and you can purchase it by clicking HERE.
The Trump Factor is a must read for anyone interested in what Donald Trump has truly accomplished over 5 decades. The sheer magnitude of the portfolio is compelling. Trump is constantly faced with the complexities of multiple, mixed-use skyscrapers in gateway cities with enormous barriers to entry.
Author, Brad Thomas, had personal access to his portfolio and visited each and every property owned by Trump. If you are interested in knowing what Donald Trump is really worth, you can check the math.
Brad has a real estate investment book being released on Amazon this month also called The Intelligent REIT investor.
If you have a book that needs editing or have a question about the process or costs involved, please leave your information in the form below and I will reply.
I try to stay away from touchy subjects, willing to listen, but not interject a strong opinion either way as I find it counterproductive to most relationships. I’m not particularly interested in politics either, but recently, clients have hired me for writing projects requiring me to research both candidates in the last few months. The articles written were a lesson on being unbiased while uncovering helpful information and statistics, however, it has caused me to perk up when coverage of the election emanates from the television while cooking dinner at night or brushing my teeth in the morning.
The media has captured my attention more than once with unbelievable statements, images, and wild accusations from both sides. This isn’t new behavior, it just seems to get more and more exaggerated as each decade passes. Change happens and technology enables us all to feel more involved and affected by decisions being made by the small portion of society that manipulates our collective interests. This article is simply my observations. How our government operates is a part of life I have no real control over and I have learned to pick my battles based on things I believe are within my personal power to change.
Comments on Clinton
A few months ago, I was hired to write several articles on Obamacare and the changes that may happen in the health care system as a result of the upcoming election; whether the Affordable Care Act law is revised or replaced. I learned quite a bit about the many presidential hopefuls in both parties, especially the history of Hillary Clinton. She has been heavily involved in health care reform since her days in Arkansas when she was an attorney and ended up playing a large role in the current legislation. I was impressed with her initiative and intelligence, however, her motives after decades of questionable decision-making have led to a fairly regular stream of scandal.
No one is perfect, we all make poor decisions here and there, but those decisions don’t repeatedly effect the welfare of the entire country. Clinton has a talent for bending the rules, being very aware of the legal ramifications of her activities upfront. She was determined to be a big player in politics despite the fact that women typically had a much harder time entering politics during her generation. It seems she always had designs on the White House specifically, her relationship with Bill being a beneficial contract toward a single-minded goal. Generous health care programs offered to the general public and a focus on global women’s issue have established the trust needed to gain her ultimate achievement and bolster her own economic status.
Remarks on Trump
A couple months ago, I was asked to work on editing a manuscript regarding valuation of high-quality real estate; largely hotels, condominium complexes, and golf courses, built and managed by Donald Trump. The author is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) expert and he wanted to explain how large real estate deals are negotiated and the skills that are involved. Over the three years of intensive research to create the outline of the book, Trump decided to run for president and the author got serious about getting the manuscript published in 2016. The book doesn’t get into politics, just the man, what drives him, and his knowledge as an investor.
I still managed a complete history on Donald Trump while working on this project. He has a natural gift for finding ailing properties, renovating or rebuilding them, and finally branding them as very high-luxury, high-dollar resorts where the ultra-rich can live, work, and play. He rode a bit of a rollercoaster until reaching his forties when he learned to use other people’s money to leverage assets, debt, and his own name to create a recognizable empire around the world. His personality is geared toward negotiation and getting the job done. He is blunt and brutally honest about his beliefs in business and what he feels epitomizes the American dream; using capitalism to generate wealth. It is clear that whether Trump wins the election or not, he has accomplished his goal of getting the nation’s attention focused on him, his business, and net worth.
We would all like to be able to say what we really feel and mean, unfortunately, some of us learn that at least 50 percent of the population will be alienated by this tactic. Trump simply doesn’t care if he eliminates people from his life that don’t subscribe to his theories. He is not the only person I’ve met who lives by this way of thinking. He is one of the few that can afford to do it, though.
Observation on Capitalism
I did a little investigating on economics and capitalism just for giggles. Politics is more about money as it takes lots of it to develop enough power to smother opponents and sway large corporations along with the media. Our constitution was written by the country’s elite initially because the masses weren’t educated enough to understand the fine details of the laws that would govern them. This set up a system of wealth distribution that was unequal from the start and success of the system is determined by balancing it so the masses stay content with their role in the arrangement. This is a basic interpretation coming from a middle-class writer’s perspective.
This election has pointed out that the balance has shifted power and wealth too far toward the elite and they are now able to act any way they want because the general population can’t really affect them anymore. The only way to fix this situation historically is mass uprising and the late 60’s and 70’s were the last time this country voiced a collective opinion with vehemence. Maybe the outcome of this coming election will impact us enough to call for a major overhaul as our country moves forward. I hope so, not just for our nation’s sake, but for the global implications as well.
Due to client privilege, specific articles written by me on the client’s behalf cannot be shared. However, the lists of sources used that inspired this article can be viewed. They are extensive.
The book regarding Trump’s real estate dealings is being published (as of 8/2016), the source information can be viewed below.
Sources and links:
Sources for Hillary Clinton’s articles: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2YCESOOtekxd2NpUmJ5aFN2M2s/view?usp=sharing
Sources for real estate background and personal details on Donald Trump: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2YCESOOtekxdndFNktKYVBrWXM/view?usp=sharing
Biography/Documentary, 2015. Requiem for the American Dream Noam Chomsky, discusses the deliberate concentration of wealth and power found in the hands of a select few.
How to find the book mentioned in this article and information on the author:
Book being released by Brad Thomas on Amazon in the next few days: http://www.thetrumpfactor.com/
Article written about Brad Thomas:
Wittenberg, D., 2016. The Man Who Knows Trump’s Business Better Than Anyone Else, http://www.benzinga.com/news/16/08/8306820/the-man-who-knows-trumps-business-better-than-anyone-else