Peace, Love, and Positivity

What if we just stopped? We stopped advancing, we stopped forcing education upon people who aren’t going to use it. What if we let people pursue their interest and interest only. We don’t force kids into memorizing the bones of the body when all they want to do is cook. What if we stopped materializing money and let people work for each other. What if we let the people who like painting paint the houses of the baker and the baker gave him bread to feed his family. What if the stress of keeping up with a materialized monopoly society went away and people could be positive. What if this positivity lead to love. Everyone needs love, love completes the heart and brings it to the surface. What if this love lead to peace. What if the peace allowed cultures to blend and boarders to open. Culture leads to education, but the natural kind. No one can deny the correlation between positivity, love, and peace.

Mental health is hugely underrated as an issue in this country and across the world. Striving for peace, love, and positivity can help alleviate these issues and stop the suffering me and many others have endured. These actions are more accessible and possible than people think and these actions can translate to words. Strive your life to be filled with peace, love, and positivity because without that, people are going to continue to be afraid to turn on the news and travel and interact and why the technology business is so attractive.

People are going to tell you that you aren’t making a difference but that’s not true. Jesus Christ wouldn’t have died for all of us if we didn’t matter. Remember to work for each other and strive to be the happiest version of yourself. Without that, you won’t reach peace, love, and positivity.

This isn’t a cry for radical change or peace on any level but a personal one. Do what’s in your grasps and don’t try and do it for others because you’ll forget to make the changes for yourself.

God Bless…

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David Accam is a Union

In a blockbuster deal announced last Friday at the 2018 MLS Superdraft, David Accam was traded from the Chicago Fire to the Philadelphia Union. The deal totals $1.2 million with $300,000 in general allocation money and $900,000 in targeted allocation funds according to ESPN FC. Accam is a 27 year old Ghanian international who will fill the second designated player spot on the Union roster. In the three seasons he’s spent in the MLS so far, he’s tallied 33 goals and 15 assist. Accam really put his name in lights last season with 14 goals and 8 assist to help the Fire to a third place Eastern Conference finish. Second only to MLS Golden Boot winner Nemanja Nikolic on the Fire.

Before coming to the MLS, Accam was a student and player at Hartpury College in England. After moving on from college, he found himself playing for two non-league clubs in England as well as the Nike Football Academy.

Accam then packed his bags and headed from Sweden under the wing of English born manager Graham Potter to third tier side Ostersund. After an impressive debut season, he was sold to top flight team Helsingborg for what is still a record transfer fee of $2.0 million. (The highest fee paid for a third tier player in Sweden). There Accam continued to sparkle collecting 30 goals in 62 matches.

So why exactly am I so excited about David Accam? He offers us another goal scoring threat besides CJ Sapong. Not only can he create chances for others from the wing, he can create his own chances. With players like Bedoya and Medunjanin in the midfield both possessing excellent vision, it will stretch the field and hopefully open up more room for CJ or our yet to be named number 10. On the other wing met with the a lot of pace to burn is FAFA quite similar to the playing style of Accam.

Initiative. The most important thing this move shows the Union have. Coming off another season where we didn’t make the playoffs, the Union are starting to realize they need to do things to keep the fans around. With one more spot for a marquee designated player left, and a hole to fill in the number 10 role, I don’t expect Accam to be the biggest offseason move.

With a highly talented and praised academy coming through the ranks, the Union need to get this right and bring in three seasoned designated players to help mold these kids into the MLS and I think David Accam is a step in the right direction.

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2018 World Football Predictions/Wishlist

2017 was a great year for football around the globe and 2018 is already shaping up to be an even better year. Of course when it’s a World Cup year it’s hard to say it won’t be a summer glued to the TV. Although the United States won’t participating, my 2018 won’t be completely ruined if these few things happen.

Entering my sixth season as an FC Buffalo season ticket holder, those summer nights at All-High have became a staple in my agenda. Only once in those six years have we qualified for the playoffs. Most years missing it by only a few points and often coming down to the last game. I’d love to see us qualify for the playoffs. Nick and Frank are creating an awesome product on and off the field and with the removal of Cleveland from our division, I think this can be the year to get us back into the playoffs. Expect a big season from Akean Shackleford.

USA will always be my first choice national team but when it comes to Europe and elsewhere, Poland is my team, paying tribute to my heritage. Poland is the only one of the two in the World Cup so I hope to see them get out of their group. Robert Lewandowski had the qualifying campaign of his life and will look to outscore everyone is Russia. Senegal, Columbia, and Japan stand in the way of Poland making it to the next round. Arguably one of the toughest groups of the competition. Columbia often struggle to perform on the big stage, Senegal lack depth, and Japan are going to be massive underdogs this entire tournament. I think Poland will get out of their group but only merely on goal difference.

Lastly, I would love to see UEFA crackdown on financial fair play. I don’t think a salary cap is the answer, I think we need to see stricter sanctions. Banning a team like Barcelona for a year of transfer activity after they just sealed the signature of a 21 year old wonder kid and have 17 more in their academy isn’t really going to make a difference. Barcelona will always have the revenue to bring in the worlds best. Sanctions need to be fitted to the team. A four year ban and your league reward money slashed in half would scare them a little more. Banning transfers doesn’t prevent them from making money, take away revenue and then see if they do it again.

2018 will be fun and I want to make this a place for a lot of football discussion and opinions. Follow me on Twitter @JonathanMolik for more!

Three Free Agents that Should Interest the Union

With MLS Cup over and the expansion draft done, the most exciting time of the offseason begins, MLS Free Agency. With very little to build off from last season, and no playoff hangover, the Union need to continue to build and grow this offseason. Here are three players I’d love to see in a Union shirt in the 2018 season.

3. Sal Zizzo

After spending the last three seasons with crosstown rivals New York Red Bulls, Sal is available for taking. At the age of 30 he’s no spring chicken and with no dire need for a starting winger or fullback, he offers experience off the bench and a great locker room presence. With Ayuk Pele, Fafa, and Fabian as our winger core, three young players all who english is their second language, a presence like Zizzo to take them under his wing could be hugely beneficial. As well as give you a solid 20 minutes off the bench or 60 in the Open Cup.

2. Zach Loyd

If you had to put together a list of top five defenders in MLS every season from 2010-2016, Zach Loyd was always going to be in the consideration and conversation. Spending seven seasons with FC Dallas, Loyd went to Atlanta where he failed to make a single appearance. With Maurice Edu and Josh Yaro injury prone and Marquez and Elliott still pretty young, having an experience center back other than Onyewu, I think would be beneficial. He is also versatile and can play on either side.

1.Andrew Jacobson

If you’ve been a Union fan for awhile, you’ll remember the name Andrew Jacobson. He was one of the Unions expansion draft picks back in 2009 and played the opening season with the Union making 25 appearances. He went on to play four years in Dallas and three in NYC with a loan spell to Stabaek in Norway. At the age of 32, and the retirement of Brian Carroll, he is a perfect experience veteran to do a job off the bench and be a leader in the locker room. As someone who can give you a solid 30 minutes, it would allow us to to give Harris and Bedoya more roaming ability and stretch their legs and have cover for them late in the game. He won’t put up points but he’ll do all the little things right.

 

Some Thoughts on the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis is clearly an issue that needs to be resolved sooner rather than later. I think a lot more can be done but is our fear of overstepping boundaries, as a society and government, and fear of causing more issues hindering us from doing so? In short yes, quite like gun control, the government is going to be hesitant to intervene and the opioid crisis is on the fringe of being out of control and it is time the government steps in. On October 26th, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. A public health emergency quite simply means the government is willing to dump the necessary resources into resolving an issue that needs immediate attention and government assistance. Normally these public health emergencies are a result of natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, and flooding. As of today, no more news has come from the White House as to when or how much money we will see given to the issue but the president said in the meantime plans are being drawn up for “really tough, really big, really great advertising”(NYT). If I had to guess what this is gonna be like, just take a look at the Reagan administration’s “Just say no” campaign. To combat an epidemic killing roughly 90 Americans a day, it’s important to first look at what an opioid is and the two sides to the argument of what exactly the people want the government to do about it.

According to drugabuse.gov, Opioids are a class of drug which includes heroin, fentanyl, and pain relievers. These drugs react with the opioid receptors in your body freeing you of pain and releasing euphoria. There is no nicotine in opioids, the addiction is the “high feeling” given off by these drugs. This leads to misuse due to dependence, many addicts will tell you they feel seriously depressed without it. The pharmaceutical companies will continue to tell you all of their drugs are federally approved which is true, so they’ll feel no need to stop advertising.

Most people will agree that drugs are bad and this crisis needs to be put down before it boils into anything more. The only people you may see not on your side is the pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical companies are the companies producing, marketing, and selling these narcotics. Heroin and fentanyl are not the result of a pharmaceutical company let me make that clear. Those are synthetic or “street” drugs. These types of drugs can be made by anyone with the right ingredients. According to Michael La Page of New Scientist, “Humble fungi and a home-brewing kit could soon do what the combined might of the West failed to – halt the thriving poppy industry in Afghanistan, the source of 80 percent of the world’s opium. Genetically engineered yeasts could make it easy to produce opiates such as morphine anywhere, cutting out the international drug smugglers and making such drugs cheap and more readily available.” Afghanistan isn’t the only country with a legal poppy industry, Australia also allows the legal growth of it. Eventually it’ll make its way across the ocean to North America and once you have one plant, you can continue to multiply your crop. Living in a capitalist society, you have to make money to get anywhere and it’s thus becomes the roots of a lot of evil. The pharmaceutical industry has spent “close to $2.5bn into lobbying and funding members of Congress over the past decade.” according to Chris McGreal of the guardian. He goes on to say “Nine out of 10 members of the House of Representatives and all but three of the US’s 100 senators have taken campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies seeking to affect legislation on everything from the cost of drugs to how new medicines are approved.” Many political campaigns and agendas rely on the money coming from the drug industry. This variable will certainly prevent many politicians from agreeing with a bill to use more money to attempt to quiet these companies down. Another argument these pharmaceutical companies and anyone on their side is going to use is you couldn’t just shut down the production and sale of opioids either. Painkillers are a vital part of modern medicine and allow people living with chronological issues such as cancer or nerve damage to live comfortably. It extends the quality of life and even the life expectancy as it’ll allow these people to exercise and do other things to prolong their lives. According to Chris McGreal, “Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, was the single largest beneficiary, with donations from the industry totaling $228,670.” When you go almost to the top trying to influence decisions to benefit these drugs companies, it makes it very hard to counterattack these issues.

It’s important to know that the majority of the population make a much more compelling case as to why the opioid crisis needs to be take care of immediately. Christian McNamara wants to remind us “that we cannot medicate and counsel our way out of the opioid epidemic based on the experience of the last ten years would be akin to concluding that we could not treat our way out of the AIDS epidemic based on the failure of AL-721.” Many people are going to try and come up with ideas and many have already failed. This doesn’t mean the crisis is never going to end. People have suggested that we simply stop prescribing opioids to people which is a bad idea. “Opioids are a vital component of modern medicine that have measurably improved the quality of life for millions of people, particularly cancer patients and those with acute pain.”(NYT). Where we should be reconsidering is being prescribed for chronic pain. Chronic pain is pain someone is going to carry with them for the rest of their lives. This can start at birth of develop later on. In the situations where it develops at birth, someone could be prescribed opioids for their lifetime. This gives a significant amount of time and high possibility of addiction. Instead of stopping the prescription of opioids altogether, we shouldn’t be prescribing kids chronic pain killers. We also need to stress the importance of locking up prescription drugs so help prevent the use of them by people who don’t need them. According to Pain Physician, “Recent data show that the United States, with only 4.6% of the global population, used approximately 69% of the world’s supply of opioids in 2014 (43,44) including 99.7% of the hydrocodone.” The easy accessibility to drugs makes us use them and push them more and not often enough weigh other options.

According to drugwarfacts.org, in the last fiscal year, we spent $23.8 billion on drug control. 73% of this money was spent on treatment and domestic law enforcement alone. The remaining 27% was spent on prevention, interdiction, and international. It doesn’t specify what the international category covers but my guess would be border patrol and assistance of drug raids in foreign countries. It’s absurd we have to spend $1.52 billion on international control of drugs. The problem with the United States is that we want to have a hand in everything happening around the globe and in doing that, we are blinded to our crumbling country. That $1.52 billion should be spent domestically on advertising and publications warning people of the dangers of opioids as well as research to find other methods of pain relieving. It’s simple to just continue doing things the way things have been done for years when it comes to the production of opioids and the pharmaceutical business. In the American capitalist society, why would we shutdwn these companies when it has created hundreds of jobs as well as creates a revenue in the billions. The formula is down locked, there is no continued research, you press a button and pain killers come out. There is no more testing, it’s like the recipe to Hershey’s chocolate, those candy bars will be made the same way until revenue stops being greater than production cost. What we should be doing is taking that money and developing a permanent or alternative psychological cure such as therapy. It’s important not to stop the production of opioids, but invest time into other solutions.

If I had to game theorize what this crisis will lead to, it’s most simply summarized as disastrous. If we continue to neglect the drug problem, the amount of users will continue to be high. Multiple offenders caught with illegal opioids will be put into a broken prison system that is als heavily overpopulated. This will result in more money being spent to extend the prison system coming from the taxpayers pocket. If they aren’t in prison, there is a direct correlation between drug abuse and unemployment. The unemployment rate will raise 1% for every 17% increase in opioid abuse according to 12keysrehab.com. If people are unemployed they won’t contribute to either the consumer or producer in the capitalist society and the economy will drop off. This creates a cycle of stress, abuse, unemployment, and death.

If the government is going to be lackadaisical when it comes to providing new resources and public funding to help fight the opioid crisis, we must look out for each other and create independent resources and offer help to people seeking it. We must keep a close tab on our opioids and follow the rules along with it. We must combat opioids before they combat us.

Sources:

Davis, Julie Hirschfeld. “Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a ‘Health Emergency’ but                Requests No Funds” The New York Times. 26 Oct. 2017. Web.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Opioids: Brief Description” drugabuse.gov. Web.

La Page, Michael. “Home-brew heroin: soon anyone will be able to make illegal drugs” New Scientist. 18 May. 2015. Web.

McGreal, Chris. “How big pharma’s money – and its politicians – feed the US opioid crisis” The Guardian. 19 Oct. 2017. Web.

McNamara, Christian M. “Opioids.” First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, no. 274, 2017, p. 3+. Academic OneFile. Web.

Katz, Josh. “Short Answers to Hard Questions About the Opioid Crisis” The New York Times. 10 Aug. 2017. Web.

Manchikanti, Laxmaiah. “Responsible, Safe, and Effective Prescription of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP)

Guidelines.” Science, vol. 296, no. 5566, Dec. 2002, pp. 253d–253d., doi:10.1126/science.296.5566.253d.

“Economics.” Drug War Facts, Drug War Facts, 2017, drugwarfacts.org/chapter/economics#spending.

“The Relationship Between Drugs & Unemployment .” 12 Keys Rehab, 26 Sept. 2016, http://www.12keysrehab.com/blog/drug-abuse-and-unemployment.

 

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Dear @EricWynalda

I’m writing not only as a member of the independent soccer media, but as well as someone who cares deeply about US Soccer. Someone who traveled to two home qualifiers and to Mexico to watch our team and federation ultimately embarrass ourselves. I’m not here to point fingers, certainly not at you, but rather to seek answers and opinions from elsewhere in US Soccer.

Since “that day” as we’ll refer to it as, US Soccer has fired its manager Bruce Arena. Something that was going to happen anyways and quite frankly isn’t a big deal. Besides that, a fair amount of people have called for the federations president, Sunil Gulati, to step down. Whether or not other people agree, I accredit you with being the first as well as being the first to throw your name in the race to run for president.

When I was a kid I was shown old videos of you playing, my coaches stressed your soccer IQ was amongst one of the best this country has ever produced. You took this knowledge and passion into TV analyst and have put yourself through the ranks to gain the respect of almost every other US Soccer fan who didn’t know you in your playing days.

You are a highly respected man and a pioneer in US Soccer and quite frankly I do have bundles of respect for you and a lot of admiration for continuing your work. This is beginning to be strained as your campaign motors on.

There are two parts of your campaign I commend you on and that is your fight for equal pay for men and women in the federation. The women’s team has been light years ahead of the men’s team for quite sometime now and despite there not being as much revenue in the women’s game, we can’t let that be an excuse. We must generate the necessary funds. I also think your statement to ESPN FC where you said “One important part of this is I’m not running against Sunil Gulati, I’m running for soccer.” I like this for two reasons, one is I think Sunil has done a lot of good things with what resources he has in an unpaid position. It’s natural to blame the top when things go wrong and although Sunil deserves some of the blame, it isn’t all on him. The second reason is it shows you aren’t attacking your opposition or doing this for other reasons, you care about the game of soccer in this country.

What I don’t agree with is the European schedule and promotion/relegation. We live in a country that is so large, it can feel like at times each part of the country is in a different season. I live in Buffalo, NY and from November-March we’re usually buried in snow or at least suffering from arctic like temperatures. While California is still 70 degrees. Switching to a European schedule would mean games in December-March and there isn’t a team in Buffalo, but most of the north-east suffers from winter conditions. Obviously you can’t remove a team from the league on the ground they play in an unbearable climate during certain months of the year. If you were to switch calendars, would that play into a factor when choosing future expansion cities? Would Buffalo be at a disadvantage and maybe never get an MLS team? Will we see every city in California get one?

Secondly, promotion/relegation. When the average salary in Major League Soccer is $148,693 and every salary in your second division is below $100,000 some not even high enough to make a living that it turns into a part-time job and no one in your fourth division getting paid, how can you expect equality and it to work? Your team of parttimers has a blowout season and gets promoted, all of sudden you need to find the neccessary resources for them to become fulltime players, make sure they all live in the area, and everything else. There stadium needs to be a certain capacity and a lot of other expenses. Promotion/relegation can’t be created, it has to be the core of development in a league. The playing field is too uneven. I think it’s a lofty goal and an easy way to bring attention to your campaign.

I said earlier I was a member of the independant soccer media in this country. I co-produce/co-host Yellow Card Podcast. One of 50 podcast MLS wants you to listen too. I want to be sold on your campaign and lofty ambitions. Some of which I agree, others I don’t. I want to give you a platform away from mainstream media to sell your campaign. I know you haven’t always had an easy go with podcast and interviews and have felt attacked and that isn’t my intention.

So I formally want to extend an invitation to you to join me for one show. There is a whole community of people who listen solely to independant media outlets and in my opinio in order to run a successful campaign and gain public backing, you need to try your hand in all communities.

So what do you say?

God Bless,

Jonathan Molik

USMNT Talk: Thoughts on Roster to Face Portugal and Sam Allardyce as Next Manager

There hasn’t been a dual day in US Soccer media since “that day” as it’ll be remembered as, the day USA failed to qualify for the World Cup and Bruce Arena vacating the manager chair. On top of that, many soccer fans here in the States have been calling for Sunil Gulati to step down as president of the US Soccer Federation. Until the final list of candidates is announced, I’d like to stay away from presidential talk and debate.

For now the Men’s national team has to turn its attention to the third best team in FIFA, Portugal. Dave Sarachan has been put in charge of the team as interim manager for the time being. With such a meaningless friendly, we all kinda hoped for a roster not full of usual and just use it as an opportunity to cap tie youngsters and give them their first caps against a formidable opponent in a game that isn’t making or breaking anything.

We got the following roster: (Credit to US Soccer)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; 0/0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 3/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 1/0)

DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 32/3), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United/ENG; 0/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 13/1), Matt Miazga (Vitesse/NED; 3/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 26/1), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 14/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 48/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 16/1), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 65/2), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG; 2/0), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 0/0), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution; 3/1), Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town/ENG; 22/2)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 26/3), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City SC; 3/2), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union; 2/0), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; 0/0)

At first glance I noticed three things: 1.) No Pulisic 2.) No Bradley 3.) No Jonathan Gonzalez. Pulisic has elected to stay in Dortmund camp to focus on their domestic campaign which I’m totally ok with. No Bradley means I don’t immediately start the game with hatred and anger and anxiety. No Jonathan Gonzalez isn’t a make or break for me because he’s only 18 and has a lot to prove to me. I’ve heard a lot of good about him and he’s verbally committed his allegiance to the USA but since it was in the news I thought US Soccer would make it official.

At second glance, and as a Union fan I was ecstatic to see CJ Sapong finally get his second chance with the National team. He became the clubs all-time leading scorer this season and has really solidified himself as a club legend. It was also nice seeing Josh Sargent and Weston McKennie get their opportunity with the senior team after their pivotal role in the success of the U20’s.

Obviously Dave Sarachan isn’t going to last for forever and the discussion over who should take over is in full swing. First and for most we are definitely going to wait until the election of the new USSf president to appoint a coach or at least it’d be in our best interest.

The man who has kinda thrown his own name in the hat is Sam Allardyce. He was quoted on talkSport radio saying:

“Yes I would go, I think. I think there’s a presidential election in January which has stalled the process. If I got the opportunity to speak to the U.S. then I would look forward to it,” Allardyce said. “International football is totally different to Premier League football. It’s 10 games a year. There’s a huge amount of down time, to go and watch the players and all that. It’s not the same day-to-day pressures as you get in the Premier League. I’ve always loved the States. I’ve been going for many, many years. I played there for the Tampa Bay Rowdies and had a terrific time by the way.” 

So the question is, would you take Sam Allardyce? In the Premier League he had a good record of inspiring a group of guys and keeping them alive in the league and safe from the drop. He does mention the shorter schedule and he knows how to get the best outta players when needed. Although I think our upcoming generation is too young for him. He’d try to give the experience players and veterans the chance and we’d dig our own hole. I ultimately wouldn’t be pissed if we got Sam Allardyce but I think there are other candidates we need to take into consideration.

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Why isn’t Mental Health Taken More Seriously?

It’s estimated that one out of every six adults and children in the United States of America is affected by some variation of mental health. That is roughly 53.6 million people. According to the national council, the United States spends $483.7 million on funding for mental health research and treatment. This is only 1.27% of the 2016 federal budget. Compare this to the $598 billion we spend on the US military which is 54% of the federal budget. With suicide taking 44,193 American lives each year leading it to become the 10th highest cause of death in America(AFSP), why is the United States seriously underfunding what should be a national epidemic?

Mental health and mental health funding is a topic I take quite personally and it means a lot to me. I was a born with a speech defecate commonly known as a “stutter”. I didn’t start speaking until the age of two and when I did start speaking, I was unable to pronounce many syllables. Due to my lack of speaking, my social development was severely stunted. It didn’t physically prevent the development of my brain, but it did hurt me mentally. I was picked on in school and often mocked for my stuttering. I was constantly being taken away from my school classes to go through speech therapy. A lot of the time I felt very alone and different from the other kids. I had the impression I wasn’t meant to be here and distanced myself more and more. As I got older and made friends and my speech began to get better. I had a lot of catching up to do socially and although I was always good in school, my mind was so focused on not messing up what I was saying, I didn’t always focus on the task in front of me. I became very obsessive compulsive or OCD. According to psychology today, “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations (obsessions) and engage in behaviors or mental acts in response to these thoughts or obsessions.” I’d find myself focusing so hard on my speech I needed the distractions and focused intensively on everything. I still obsessively almost to the point of insanity over the littlest of things and I definitely sometimes can come off insane. There is no cure for stuttering, I can’t go for an injection and make it all better. But by having more funding, we can offer more speech therapy jobs and make it more affordable for people to seek help early and catch it before it totally ruins their life.

There are many other forms of mental health besides stuttering. Dictionary dot com defines mental health as the “psychological well-being and satisfactory adjustment to society and to the ordinary demands of life.” Mental health is far more than just a physical issue, it’s a way of life issue too. Marla Cantrell puts it best when she said “I challenge you to find any family, during a family’s lifetime, that doesn’t have some kind of mental health problem.” It’s prevalent across all of America and isn’t stopped by social or economical boundaries. It affects more than the person, everyone close to that person can be affected. Many people with mental health require more attention or constant watch. Some can’t rationally think for themselves and someone has to help them. It isn’t like having an elderly grandpa with a heart problem, he can still use the bathroom and make smart decisions and for the most part will have his wits about him. People affected by mental health may have lost their “wit” very early.

It will probably be a very long time or a lot of mass shootings later until the majority of the public agree that mental health needs more funding than the military, especially in post 9/11 America where anyone who doesn’t look like you is looked upon differently. If we are going to remain too stubborn to adjust the budget, we need to think of ways to improve mental health. One of those ways is raising the minimum wage. Bill Gardner wrote in Opposing Viewpoints, “In 1998, Britain passed the National Minimum Wage Act, which created a minimum wage of £3.60 ($7.35 in current U.S. dollars) and resulted in about a 30 percent raise for the typical worker below that threshold. That law, British economist Aaron Reeves and his colleagues report in Health Economics, substantially improved the mental health of low-wage earners “by reducing financial strain in low-wage workers.” Stress is the most common form of mental illness and can’t necessarily be diagnosed. Helping people not worry about whether or not they’ll be able to feed their families each evening is one way to lower the stress level of someone. Also by increasing the minimum wage, people will have the money to pay for medication and treatments that may not be entirely covered by health insurance or previously able to afford. At the low end of the spectrum, an antidepressant will cost you $39 per month equaling $468 per year. Compare this to someone who gets a medium coffee from Tim Horton’s everyday of the year, they will spend about $653.35 that year. Think about how many people rely on their coffee and spend that, some people require medication to make it through the day and we can’t help them pay ⅔ of that. People shouldn’t be punished if they can’t afford the necessary treatment. Stopping someone mid therapy or mid prescription is dangerous and will result in a lot of struggle to eventually be cured or brought to a livable level. Locking up the mentally disabled isn’t going to solve the issue. Mental Health of America writes “For many mental health consumers, access to the full range of the most effective medications is a crucial component of successful treatment and recovery. Such medically necessary psychotropic medications, and their combination with other services and supports, are often essential to permit people with mental health and substance use conditions to recover and to lead healthy and productive lives in their communities.” Instead of eliminating millions of people from society and not giving them the equal opportunity to better society and contribute to the economy, we only hurts ourselves.

It’s hard to escape shootings in America. It seems as if one happens everyday now. Clearly no sane human would ever take the life of multiple innocent people. If we increase the funding and availability to help for people suffering from mental illness, we should see a drop in crime rates. Melissa Healy writes “For people with severe psychiatric illness, taking an antipsychotic medication appears to drive down the risk of engaging in criminal violence, a large study has found. And for patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mood-stabilizing medication has the same effect.” Something as simple as a prescription can be the difference between life and death. I’d like to think I’m not that crazy but what if I didn’t receive speech therapy and what if I never made friends and what if I didn’t have a purpose anymore, who’s to say someone with something as simple as a speech problem could lead to something else. We stress so much in school the dangers of bullying, isn’t not getting people get the necessary help the same as beating up a kid for his lunch money?

Now more than ever we have to raise attention to mental illness because of the current Republicans in the senate and house. In February 2016, congress repealed a rule that use to block the sale of firearms to the extremely mentally ill as well as those deemed incapable to manage their finances. Mental illness usually comes in waves and hits you worse on some days than others. People may not feel the need to constantly be on medication so to save the expenses they drop it and lose medicaid funding and then when they need it, it’s gone. According to Melissa Batchelor, “Under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, an estimated 1.3 million Americans with mental illness gained health insurance for the first time.” Under president Trump’s proposed healthcare bill, the vast majority of these people would once again be without healthcare. You may be thinking that’s fine, there’s always private insurance companies. Well states can now choose whether they enforce insurance companies to cover “essential health benefits” or “pre-existing conditions”. The GOP sees people with mental illness as nothing more than expense. They see us as people who they’ll have to assist for the entirety of our lives and that’s something they don’t want to do. They are far more invested in the growth of the economy and lining their pockets than the people not given a fair opportunity. If we don’t raise awareness now, this bill is going to pass and it’ll be at least another three years until repeal is even talked about.

There are a lot of important things to worry about in this world. National security and the general well being of everyone is increasingly important and I don’t disagree. Making sure people who did good and do good are given food and housing is also important. We teach kids to stress over homework and making sure their every action in school is spot on and get increasingly anal about making sure they stand for the pledge and manipulate them into thinking objective things are subjective. We give the working class so much anxiety over the state of the economy and not letting their part fail. You think that’s bad, try spelling quit, quite, & quiet 30,000 times a day in your head to make sure you remember the difference. I obsess over things to and worry about things like you. I wish I could worry like you did about those things when I just can’t when I’m to focused on remembering my own name. It’s time myself and others far worse than I am are allowed to worry about those things too. We usually can’t because we have to look upon our own emotions and make sure their online and by the time we get up to speed we get knocked right back down. There are a lot of things far from possible in this lifetime. Solving global warming and world peace are two of those things but providing a drug that will help people smile and have a chance at being normal not left out is extremely doable and it’s something we should be doing now.

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Sources:

Batchelor, Melissa “People With Mental Illness Will Suffer Under Proposed GOP Health    Care Plan” Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Galegroup.com

Cantrell, Marla. “Mental Illness is Prevalent in America” Opposing Viewpoints in                 Context. galegroup.com

“Federal Budget for Mental Health & Addictions” National Council. thenationalcouncil.org

Gardner, Bill, “How to Improve Mental Health in America: Raise the Minimum Wage” Opposing Viewpoints in Context. galegroup.com

“Generic Antidepressants Can Save Consumers $1,200 a Year” ConsumersUnion. consumersunion.org

Healy, Melissa “Better Mental Health Care Can Reduce Violence” Opposing Viewpoints in Context. galegroup.com

“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” Psychology Today. psychologytoday.com

“Restricting Medications for Mental Illness Harms Patients” Opposing Viewpoints in Context. galegroup.com

“Suicide Statistics” American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. asp.org

Brian Carroll Calls It Quits- #ThankYouBC

On Thursday October 19th, 15 year MLS veteran Brian Carroll announced he will be retiring following the Philadelphia Union’s season finale this Sunday. Carroll has been with the Union since 2011 and prior spent time with DC United and Columbus Crew. He has won two MLS Cups and four Supporters Shields(Only player in MLS history to win four consecutive Supporters Shields). Only scoring nine career goals and never seeing a red card really helped Carroll fly under the radar, so what legacy will he leave behind?

Anyone you ask who worked with Carroll will say he is a role model and leader. He led from example on and off the field. Carroll was a defensive midfielder. Anyone who watches soccer knows you only notice the defensive midfielder when something goes wrong. I’ve said it before, it’s my favorite position to watch and analyze. As I said before, Carroll was never shown a red card, which as a holding midfielder is really impressive.

Carroll is 4th all-time in MLS appearances with 370 regular season appearances. He is sixth all-time in minutes played with 30,776(This is after not playing any minutes his rookie season or this season). He leads the Union all-time in minutes played with 13,818. Carroll also has eight caps for the US Men’s National Team but none since 2010. Carroll also appeared in 27 US Open Cup games, scoring two games and played in one final(Unused sub in both 2014 and 2015 finals).

Carroll was never going to make the bone crunching tackle or 60 yard pass, but I promise you I’ve never seen him miss hit a four yard square pass. He is the poor man’s Dax McCarty in many ways. He’s simple on the ball, does his job, and has a positive affect on everyone. I had the honor of meeting him multiple times and always had time for a chat.

Carroll says he plans on moving to Indianapolis to be a financial advisor. Personally I think Carroll has to good of a brain not to coach one day. Whether it is High School in Indiana or returns to the Union, this isn’t the last we see of Carroll. Best of luck BC, you’ll be missed but forever loved.

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