Friday, December 9, 2011

Inspiration at its Best!

Firstly, I want to say that this classmates blog post is completely inspirational. Not only does Roseanne Barr for president sound like a great idea, especially with all the commone sense, practical ideals that she holds but because she stands for everything someone should be when running for president! You shouldn't have to be big time or politically corrupted to run for president, you SHOULD be a driven, hardworking individual with a platform FOR THE PEOPLE. I absolutely love this.

Her goals are simple: arrest the corrupted (which would probably make up most of the political offices held today), outlaw war (because as history tells in America, the goals of war are a little skewed and again, probably corrupted), turn public funds back into the hands of the PUBLIC not the rich, and most importantly, outlaw all the BS that goes on constantly throughout our everyday, American life. My question is: why aren't all these GOP candidates focusing on the same issues? Aren't these just as IMPORANT? But then again, the presidential race is more about winning then it is about actually changing what is messed up.

Roseanne Barr, you symbolize everything that a presidential candidate should possess: solid, logical ideas and strategies that will make this country a better place to live. People like this give me hope that the American Dream isn't just a "dream," that peace itself isn't just a word that is thrown around for a political agenda, that it exists and there are people who truely wish to enfore it, rather than war. Thanks you, Andrea, for the post!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Herman Cain

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain seems to just keep digging himself into a bigger hole these days: first, with the emergence of his alleged sexual harrassment scandal, and then recently, the revealment of a supposed 13 year extra marrital affair with Atlanta business woman Ginger White. Not only has his image been completely tarnished by such accusations, but his ability to hold a ethical, drama-free presidency is now questionable.

Even if Cain decided to continue on his campagin, which he revealed has become less viable throughout the past couple of months and has therefore had to "reassess," it is hard to believe that he could pull out of such a sticky predicament and regain any kind of popularity that had been lost. Furthermore, if Cain were to hypothetically acheive the Republican nominee for president, he would be demolished, crushed, by Obama simply because of such scandals. Herman Cain, who continues to focus and rely on his "999" tax plan to overshadow the news allegations, simply will not be able to bounce back. America doesn't want a leader that has possibly sexually harrassed a woman or has possibly been cheating on his wife for 13 years. America, who is in an economic turmoil and citizen unrest, wants someone strong, someone reliable to help pull through the mess, not create an even bigger one. America has already seen someone fail at the presidential moral code (Clinton) and more than likely will not let that happen again. Therefore, Cain's allegations have proved to America all they need to know: Cain just doesn't fit that kind of bill. Sure, he has good ideas, and sure he seems like a nice guy, but his past and his inability to firmly take anykind of stance on such issues have caused his campaign to continually digress (Not to mention how he couldn't come up with an answer posed by an interviewer about what he would do concerning Gadaffi and Libya, how he basically forgot what he probably at one point had memorized, what he probably didn't have any personal thoughts towards anyways). All of these things lumped into one equal a very rough road ahead for Cain, and possibly mark the beginning of an end to his campagin.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Costs vs. Benefits: College Education

A fellow classmate brought up an interesting point in blog stage five, explaining the soaring costs of college and how student loans have skyrocketed. As I completely agree that paying for college has gotten out of hand, considering that most college-hopefuls have to resort to loans in order to pay for the education that will hopefully allow them to earn a well paying job, it is key to add that there is more to this dilemma than the cost. The blog mentions that President Obama plans on enacting laws to help pay for these loans post-college, but in the end, will the massive debt accrued to simply get a Bachelors Degree be worth it? Will the outrageous costs be outweighed?

I personally believe that the college education that everyone strives for has become overrated and shady. Sure, it is a chance for one to better oneself and become more knowledgeable, but again, at what cost? It is now becoming a trend to see students studying in a particular field, graduating, and then unable to find work. It is no longer possible to major in something one truely enjoys or else risk the fact that all the money spent and the debt accrued will go to nothing. That person either has to settle for a low-paying job that has nothing to due with the countless hours put into the past 4-6 years or go back to school and put another $25,000 into the money-machine. Thats another $25,000 in debt and another $25,000 the school is putting into their pockets. I feel that it is no longer about the education and the drive to allow the younger generations to thrive and become successfull but about money and greed. Kids should be able to college without ruining their financial life before their life has even come close to beginning. Its pure insanity to think that college students already have piled up debt before they even reach their 20s. The loans are becoming outrageous and the jobs are harder to find, therefore making college contain characteristics that illogical and ridiculous.

Bill Maher, a political enthusiast who takes a blunt, yet humorous approach to government and society, recently spoke in one of his "Real Time with Bill Maher" segments concerning college in general. Maher questioned colleges and their purposes, making the suggestion that degrees have become more like "marketing objects" or in other words, similar to something really expensive that you would buy off a shelf at some kind of store. I couldn't agree more. It is not about the education that the degree stands for but instead the amount of money that it is worth. The longer you go to school, the more expensive that peice of paper, that "label" becomes. The more expensive the degree the more chances of an increase in loans. The more loans, the more money banks and colleges are making, but all the cost of the debt ensued on the person. So then, Do the costs outweight the benefits?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Occupy Wall Street...Bust or Must?

With the Occupy Wall Street still in full swing along with the recent upheavel concerning Occupy Oakland, there are still those who believe that the protests lack a consensus, a commonality, a specific kind of leadership that is neccessary for the Occupiers to progress the movement. As I agree that leadership is good to have, especially with such a growing force, I disagree that the lackthereof will cause the protests to fail.

With so many people, so much diversification, all over the country and even beyond, it is hard to imagine that such efforts will go unnoted simply becuase their ideals are not "bunched" or grouped into one. Additionaly, with the growing numbers in so many varying places, finding complete common ground is near impossible. However, even though every man and woman is protesting with a slightly different passion, they all express a general frustration that I believe is enough to make the Occupy protests worthwhile. The 99% have a ridiculously reasonable argument that is hard to deny is anything but the truth, so their voices are both loud and clear. Therefore, while leadership and commanlity could always be a good thing, it will not inhibit those protesting and the people they are representing from fighting the injustice that our country has submerged intself it.

It is difficult to believe that they will be silenced. It is even more difficult to believe that suddenly the protests will just "end," like nothing ever happend, (unless of course all of our problems can be solved dramatically quickly, which is unlikely) like the weeks spent away from the comfortability of their homes meant nothing. I do not feel they will give up that easily, and even if the protesting is all over the board, it is not a fault that is detrimental to the cause. The Occupy protests are only the beginning to what may be a nationwide revolt against a system that has not been able to properly represent the majority of American citizens.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Will We Give Obama Another Chance?

R.W. Sanders, a blogger on Huffington Post, wrote an article yesterday entitled "I Might Not Want to Vote for Obama, but I Have to." As the title already eludes to the upcoming argument, I was entrigued by the idea and the possibility that Obama may actually have a chance at a second term because of this exact attitude.

Sanders began his blog by backing Obama's cause, his shaky past as president, and an explanation on why nothing has changed, as had been promised. Sanders writes that while Obama could have taken an immediate action towards the country's economy when he first entered office, he instead focused on health care reform. With the little "political capital" he had and a history without "any meaningfuly health care reform in at least half a century," the president set a bold, noble goal for himself and his presidency immediately. Sanders also adds that while this may not be apparent to the American people today, and as change usually is not noticed until sometime later, if the health care plan works, it could strike a deadly blow to the "economic morass we find ourselves" in today. While I'm not positive if this is a strong enough argument to support Obama's fervent will to reform healthcare, I do agree that Obama made a decision that was understandable, considering his circumstances.

Lets face it, Obama entered the White House with already the baggage of the previous administration and had to do something to make his mark on the presidency. As for if health care is that shining moment for Obama or not is up in the air, but I do think that it was a gesture that meant well. On top of that, Obama has to deal with a Congress that hates him, a House of Representatives dominated by Republicans refusing to pass anything that Obama puts forth. As Sanders eludes to, I'm actually quite proud that the president accomplished anything at all considering such circumstances. "By paralyzing government, a major weapon in this fight against another economic depression is taken away," writes Sanders, further explaining how this "frozen" Congress refusing to budge because of their personal agendas is not only tainting the reputation of Obama, but ruining our country's ability to fight our economic problems.

So, as Sanders' blog furthers, Obama is at a stand still. Of course he means well, of course he wants to present change to the American people, but their is only so much the man can do. As for his contenders, I'm not sure I trust someone who will simply correlate his agenda, just go along with the people that have "frozen" any decision making entirely instead of fighting one of the root causes of a "no change country." Therefore, Obama is the best choice, and I agree with Sanders that another chance may be worth it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Considerable Trust Issues

Gloria Borger, the CNN Cheif Political Analyst and a regular on such well-known shows such as "The Situation Room," expressed her view in a CNN article that American's simply don't trust government. We want our leaders to get things done, we want such things as Social Security and Healthcare to be fixed, but the level of confidence we place in these leaders to accomplish such feats is at a crucial low, making our relationship with governement completely bittersweet.

I believe Borger has a point here. Maybe its in our DNA: our ancestors fought for indepedance away from a governement unable to directly represent them, which isn't much different from the attitude that many Americans possess today. Where is all the change we were promised and continue to be promised? Where are the signs of progression? It is likely that we are completely turned off by the governement because we are not seeing the results, we are not experiencing the bond between governement and its citizens that is created when the public's interest is being put first. Instead, as Borger adds, politicans make pitches back and forth, completely demeaning the other while simutaneously making promises they can't keep all for the sake of "winning," all to gain some kind of control or power (which is irrelevant when that control has no respect, which we see occuring all throughout the world lately). We simply aren't being represented, instead, being overlooked by petty indifferences between leaders.

Republicans vs. Democrats, Liberals vs. Conservatives, its all nonsense when nothing is accomplished, and that's exactly where America is at. We believe in what our leaders say is possible, though sadly, we don't believe that they can accomplish it. Nobody is working together while everybody is finding something to pick at, while all this time we could be coming together as a nation and focusing on problems we all are affected by. Quite honestly, I find it more effective to have somone in office who cares less about making themselves look better and more about acting on the issues at hand.

On the other hand, it is possible that maybe leaders of both the past and present have skewed our views on governement entirely. Borger adds that Americans so desperately want the government to fix whats broken, even though they know full well that it is entirely made up of "scoundrels." The Bush Administration, for instance, viololently shook American trust with the government, allowing us to question their decisions, question their ability to govern. Why should we trust a body of people who have been known to lie and decieve? Presedient Obama, Borger explains, wants his administration to help, wants America to believe in him and the government itself. This, sadly, is impossible when the entire structure is questionable. Borger says that "the more Congress fools with people's lives...the more the public turns off," or rather, the more we flip flop between having faith in government and not having faith in government, the more we distrust it altogether. There has to be a solid foundation in order to build a respectible government, which has been shaking for some time now, and in order to to do this we have to be able to believe they are capable of what they vouch for. All in all, Borger is completely correct: most American's don't trust the government, even though we so desperately want them to get the job done. One serious lump of irony? I think so.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It All Comes Down to the Power of Choice

Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota expressed her disgust at the CNN Tea Party Debate concerning the federal mandate, under the new health care bill, that requires health insurance companies to cover various contraceptive methods, including the controversial "morning-after" pill, with no co-payment required.

This emergency contraception, which does not abort the pregnancy but prevent it from ever occuring, is not only approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but allows those paying for insurance in the first place to be able to prevent an un-wanted pregnancy, giving women more power for their money. Bachmann views this is a means of control by the U.S. government, a new level of power for Obama, and therefore something that needs to be avoided. However, the fact that insurance companies are required to cover various means of contraceptives, sterilization procedures, health screenings, such as those for HPV, and this morning-after pill is irrelevant. They are still only being offered not forced onto patients, which are two very different things.

While these companies are now unable to choose if they want to cover such things, those with health insurance plans, specifically women, are able to get the medical screenings, birth control prevention methods, etc. that they need or CHOOSE to have without paying more. Therefore, the power of choice is being flip-flopped, which should be viewed as a good thing. The Obama administration even added an amendment to the regulation, allowing religous institutions offereing health insurance to their employees to choose if they want to cover contraceptive services, therefore not stepping on any first-amendment rights.

The below article further illustrates the topic of governement intervention with health insurance and coverage of birth control and is very informative concerning this current political issue. Just as a side note, I find it be extremely interesting in that even when choice is extended for the general public, there is a distinct possibility that the choice of big businesses is still being considered. And it makes me wonder: can Bachmann's drive even be out of personal views towards contraceptives?