Miserable States Want America to Be Great Again

Serious Trump supporter

By Lisa Flaugh (Fall 2016 Showcase)

The most miserable states in the country that hope to “Make America Great Again” have struggled for several years in areas of health, drugs and smoking, financial health, and crime according to a Gallup-Healthways poll. States in the Mid-West and in the South that voted for Donald Trump in this year’s presidential campaign have a history of being in the bottom 10 in an annual survey of the “most miserable states,” recorded since 2008 by Gallup-Healthways. Gallup then prepares a Well-Being Index every year to gauge happiness and health by state.   Data shows that for the past several years, the most miserable states tend to stay in the bottom 10 rankings, and the happiest states tend to stay in the top 10.

For the past seven years West Virginia has ranked the worst in well-being with the same states repeatedly ranking in the lowest 10 in the well-being poll. These states are Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas, with Gallup-Healthways noting that “Well-being in the U.S. exhibits regional patterns” in its methodology.

The well being index accounts for several factors such as having supportive relationships, financial health, the ability to manage money, feeling safe in the community you live in, and physical health, which includes smoking and obesity rates, among other factors.

“You should note the income inequality in these states,” says Professor Deborah Popper, Professor Emerita of Geography, Political Science and Global Affairs at the College of Staten Island. Popper also is visiting professor of Environmental Studies at Princeton University in New Jersey. “These states, especially in Mississippi and West Virginia experience high income inequality.” Popper notes some distinct patterns in these states, and what makes some states happier and others miserable.

“What ties all of these states together, the high happiness and the low ones, is that they all have high gun ownership,” noted Popper. “The happier states also have access to more public land and easier access to recreation, as opposed to the others where public land is pretty low. In private land you still do have access to recreation, but it is in a different sense. The government isn’t encouraging you to get out and exercise and you are free to do what you want on the private land.”

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2016 Electoral Map

Exit polls collected by CNN show that in the most miserable states, the same states that all went red for Trump, many people who voted for Trump felt that the economy was the most important issue facing the country and that the condition of the national economy was poor.

Voting history in these states show that since the Well-Being Index began in 2008, three major elections have also taken place, and data shows that those states in the bottom 10 tend to vote red. When President Barack Obama first ran in 2008, the exception was that Indiana and Ohio went blue, a rare occurrence for Indiana but the election data from the New York Times shows that Obama barely won Indiana with 49.9 percent of the votes vs. 49.0 percent of the votes going to John McCain. The remaining states, excluding the swing state of Ohio, safely voted for John McCain with the republican earning a much higher percentage of the votes.

In 2012, when Obama ran for re-election against Mitt Romney, every state that is in the bottom 10 of the Well-Being Index voted red, with the exception of the state of Ohio which went blue for Obama.

Finally, in 2016 in the election for Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, all of those same states voted red, including Ohio. Even before the Gallup Poll started recording data in 2008, these same states voted red in 2000 in the election of George W. Bush vs. Al Gore and again in 2004 when Bush was up for re-election vs. John Kerry, with Ohio voting red for Bush in each election.

The same states that fall into the most miserable also are in the top 10 most obese states according to the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health. In 2015, the states that struggled with the highest obesity rates and also appeared in the lowest 10 in the Well-Being Index are Mississippi and West Virginia as the second biggest states (they were both tied at 35.6 percent of adults), Kentucky as the 5th biggest, Arkansas as the 6th biggest, Oklahoma as the 8th biggest and Missouri as the 10th biggest. (Indiana and Ohio fare better not falling into the list of the top 10 most obese states, with the most obese state being the worst in the country out of the list of 51 that includes Washington D.C

These same states struggle with the highest cigarette smoking rates, according to a Gallup poll that tracks smoking rates. Kentucky had the highest smoking rates in the country, followed by West Virginia and then, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Ohio, Missouri, and Indiana, in that order in 2014.

*Click Here for an interactive map with all the data together.*

Popper also notes that the states with high smoking rates are all states that are anti-regulation states. “Regulation is considered unnecessary,” she says. “So in these states, where prospects aren’t that great – low income inequality, lack of new industry coming into these states – why not smoke? These states are also common tobacco raising places.”

The states that tend to stay in the top 10 of the Healthways Well-Being Index are Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming, and South Dakota. In all elections since 2000, Hawaii has voted blue, with the remaining states showing a mixture of red and blue. Colorado voted red for Bush in the early 2000’s, but has voted blue since Obama first ran in 2008. Alaska, Wyoming and Montana tend to vote red. These states also have the lowest obesity rates states, with Colorado being the least obese as of September 2016, with Hawaii as third lowest, and Montana the fourth lowest. Exit polls in Colorado show that those that voted for Trump felt that Immigration and terrorism were the most important issues facing the country, with the issue of the economy falling very low among those that were polled. (Exit polls were not collected in the other “happy states.”)

“What it comes down to is how leadership works and whether they are responding to the needs of the rest of the community,” continues Popper. “There are states in the happiest group that are red, and states in the lowest group that are red. It just comes down to leadership, and its what a lot of the worries are this year with this election we just had. Will the leadership respond to the needs of the country?”

 

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The Changing World of Video News

Within the past five years, the roll of video in news has changed drastically. What switcherstudio.com calls the “YouTube Generation”, video is the new up and coming medium that some experts say will dominate media over other delivery methods. Video would be the most popular choice over radio/podcasts, reading, and in some cases social media.

Just 10 years ago YouTube saw its uprising and was purchased by Google. Switcherstudio.com notes that in 2010 the portable, handheld digital camera made it easier and more accessible than ever to shoot video and transfer to a computer for sharing. In 2015 as smartphones improved and grew internal storage levels, up to 60 hours of video could be stored on phones

With this, the Switcherstudio.com has also posted data that predicts that by 2020, videos will make up 60% of all mobile traffic data traffic, and 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. Billions of people daily stream videos from apps like Facebook Live, Meerkat, Periscope, Glide, and Twitch.

Will You Make the Switch? Infographic

Trends show that social media is being built up by videos now more than ever. So what does this mean for news? The New York Times has attempted to capture virtual reality as a way to deliver news. The virtual reality experience is a budding area for journalists currently, still in its infancy. The experience of 360 videos in virtual reality generally consists of the viewer wearing goggles that are attached to a phone and when the viewer looks through the goggles, the experience becomes much more life-like as opposed to a regular video on a phone or computer screen.

The experience of virtual reality has limitless possibilities with the right pair of headphones and goggles to make a smartphone screen come to life. The wearer will be able to look above and behind him, and to the left and right for a personalized experience. The headphones bring authentic, realistic sound to further enhance the experience. Sounds that happen behind the wearer in the video sound as if they are really behind you and help viewers observe the scene.

NYT videos even pop up on Facebook feeds and can be enjoyed by moving your phone around or clicking and dragging without the use of goggles.

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Hillary Settles Down in Chappaqua

After the smoke has blown over from the most interesting election this country has ever experienced, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton will be settling down in their new house in Chappaqua, New York.

The house was purchased for $1.7 million on August 11, and located next to their current house. This purchase means the Clintons now own the entire cul-de-sac of the neighborhood. CNN reports that the purchase may have been to help the secret service with protecting both Bill and Hillary.

When compared to President-Elect Donald Trump’s $100 Million penthouse in New York City, the $1.7 Million mansion is less flashy. The Clintons have had their roots in the community since 1999 and are known to lead the annual Memorial Day Parade, shop at the local businesses and hold book signings in the Chappaqua Library.

 

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The Data of the Most Miserable States

Since 2008, Gallup-Healthways has prepared a “Well-Being Index” every year to gauge which states are the happiest and healthiest in America. Data shows that for the past several years, the most miserable states tend to stay in the bottom 10 rankings, and the happiest states tend to stay in the top 10.

The well-being of each state includes five important factors like social health, having supportive relationships in life, financial well-being, the ability to manage economics and money, feeling safe in the community you live in and physical health, which include smoking and obesity rates.

For the past seven years, West Virginia has ranked the worst in well-being with the same states repeatedly ranking in the lowest 10 in the well-being poll. These states are Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas.

So how do these miserable states vote? Since the “Well-Being Index” began in 2008, three major elections have also taken place, and data shows that those states in the bottom 10 tend to vote red. When President Obama first ran in 2008, the exception was that Indiana and Ohio went blue; a rare occurrence for Indiana but the election data from The New York Times shows that Obama just barely won Indiana with 49.9 percent of the votes versus 49 percent of the votes going to John McCain. The remaining states, excluding the swing state of Ohio, safely voted for John McCain with the republican earning a much higher percentage of the votes.

In 2012, when Obama ran for re-election against Mitt Romney, every state that is in the bottom 10 of the “Well-Being Index” voted red, with the exception of the state of Ohio which went blue for Obama.

Finally, in 2016 in the election for Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton, all of those same states voted red, including Ohio. Even before the Gallup Poll started recording data in 2008, these same states voted red in 2000 in the election of George W. Bush versus Al Gore and again in 2004 when Bush was up for re-election against John Kerry, with Ohio voting red for Bush in each election.

The same states that fall into the most miserable are also in the top 10 most obese states according to the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health. In 2015, the states that struggle with the highest obesity rates and also appear in the lowest 10 in the “Well-Being Index” are Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arkansas. (Indiana is the 15th fattest state, fairing better than the other miserable states, however all of these states are ranked in the bottom 15 states out of the list of 51 that includes Washington D.C.)

These same states even struggle with the highest cigarette smoking rates shown in a Gallup poll. Kentucky has the highest smoking rates in the country, with West Virginia falling into the 2nd worst, right behind Mississippi, Oklahoma, Ohio, Missouri and Indiana, in that exact order.

The states that tend to stay in the top 10 of the Healthways “Well-Being Index” are Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota. In all elections since 2000, Hawaii has voted blue, with the remaining states showing a mixture of red and blue. Colorado voted red for Bush in the early 2000s, but has voted blue since Obama first ran in 2008. Alaska, Wyoming and Montana tend to vote red.

These states also have the lowest obesity rates states, with Colorado being the least obese as of September 2016, with Hawaii as third lowest, and Montana the fourth lowest.

HIV in NYC

[infogram id=”0b805598-9df5-4710-9231-48516786bfa8″ prefix=”oYt” format=”interactive” title=”HIV/AIDs in NYC”]

 

 

 

Conversation About Black Lives Matter at Brooklyn College

On a sweltering hot August day in Florida, Austin Harrouff, 19, sat in Duffy’s Restaurant eating with his parents. After showing strange behavior and claiming that he “felt immortal and like a superhero,” he stormed out of the restaurant. Daily Mail online has a detailed account of Harrouff’s actions, finding that he walked more than three miles, took his pants off while walking (his pants were found a mile away from the crime scene) and brutally attacked John Stevens, 59, and Michelle Mishcon – Stevens, 53,  in the garage of their home. Evidence shows that Harrouff may have drank ‘caustic’ chemicals in the garage and then attacked the couple, beating Mishcon to death and stabbing Stevens to death with his switch knife blade. Police who arrived on the scene witnessed Harrouff eating Steven’s face and stomach, growling like a dog, and not wearing pants. The next-door neighbor, Jeff Fisher who tried to intervene was also beaten and stabbed three times in the back. Harrouff, who showed “abnormal strength” as Daily Mail quotes Sheriff William Snyder saying, was tasered four times and a police dog was released to attack him, it took four cops to pull Harrouff off of Stevens. No shots were fired during the altercation.

Just two years prior in August of 2014, two men, Michael Brown, 18, and Dorian Johnson, left Ferguson Market and Liquor in Ferguson, Missouri at 11:54 a.m., the New York Times reported. A surveillance video shows Brown stealing cigarillos and assaulting the store clerk who tried to stop him. Shortly after, Officer Darren Wilson arrived alone on the scene, realizing the two men walking on Canfield Drive fit the description of the suspects. Wilson then positioned his S.U.V. to block the two men and to block traffic, when an altercation between Officer Wilson and Brown occurred as Brown stood at the window of the S.U.V, prompting Wilson to fire two shots from inside the vehicle. Evidence finds that one shot may have grazed Brown’s thumb. As Brown ran away, Officer Wilson pursued him on foot until Brown stopped and turned around. Officer Wilson also stopped and fired several more shots. Multiple witnesses tell different accounts. Some say Brown’s hands were in the air, some say they were at his side. Some say Brown was charging toward the officer. While mystery still surrounds the truth of what Brown’s actions were, the facts show that he was unarmed, and that he was shot 10 times while in the road with Officer Wilson. He was wearing pants, he wasn’t cannibalizing another man, and he wasn’t showing “abnormal strength” while growling like a dog.

The stark contrast in handling the crimes that involve a white man cannibalizing a human vs. a black man committing theft is one of the many reasons why a new, modern civil rights movement has taken America by storm. Black Lives Matter is the result that has arisen from the contrasting situations between how white crime is handled and how black crime is handled.

Currently, Black Lives Matter is surrounded by politics, sometimes taking away from the message that the movement is trying to convey.