Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It never rains but it pours.

I remember once when I was little, my family and I were on a car trip. I forget how old I was exactly, but young enough to believe my Dad could control the weather. It was raining outside and every time my Dad yelled "Stop!" the rain would magically stop. And when he yelled "start!", it would start up again. How cool was my Dad that he could control the weather by the sound of his voice? It didn't matter that we happened to be going under a bridge when he yelled "stop!", and came out from under it when he yelled "start!". All I knew was that when he told the rain to do something, the rain obeyed his voice. Which was true (the rain did respond when he commanded it to)... but I didn't take other factors into consideration. And we all know (or I hope we all know) that no one can control the weather by the sound of their voice.

This reminds me of what's going on financially in this country today. I've heard many people lament about how "bad" things are... of how they had one job during Clinton and had money to spare, and under Bush, they work multiple jobs and are still struggling. And like the rain example, I'm sure it is true to an extent, but people aren't taking other factors into consideration. I'm sure Bush and Clinton aren't the only things that have changed in those people's situations.

My Grandparents worked more hours for less money than people today, but does that mean whomever was President then was worse than Bush or Clinton? No! For one, there's a thing called inflation. Things aren't going to cost the same now as they did in 1940 nor are they going to cost the same as they did in 1980. I feel this is one of the things that people fail to recognize. Please repeat after me: Gas will never again cost under $2.00 a gallon. It'd be nice and sure, $4 a gallon stinks. But there's nothing you can do about it, to get it to go down to $0.99 a gallon ever again, even if they drill, even if we look for alternative resources. We have to accept that.

The value of a dollar changes. Inflation changes. The cost to produce things changes. Supply & Demand change. The amount of resources available changes. Mileage per gallon changes. Even your car changes over time.

I sincerely doubt that anyone (besides my Dad who holds onto cars forever, almost past their time) still has the same car that they had 20 years ago. So if you say "gas under Clinton cost me XX to fill my tank and now under Bush, it costs XXX to fill it". No kidding, you don't say. There were a lot smaller cars on the road back when Clinton was in office, and they probably had an average of 10-12 gallon tanks. Now, everyone has humongous cars that have 20+ gallon tanks. Even if gas was the same exact price now as it was then, it would STILL cost you more because you have a bigger tank!! It's not rocket science...

Now moving away from gas... it's the same logic for the people that think it's Bush's fault that they were able to support themselves from one job during Clinton, but struggle working multiple jobs under Bush - Look to the other factors.

People that are now having families (or have established families under Bush) and buying houses now, were the same people that were in high school living at home or in college, supporting themselves. One job during that stage is enough to support oneself, doesn't matter who was President at the time. But when you grow up, buy big purchases (cars, houses, etc) and start having families, it's going to cost more That one job just won't cut it anymore. I don't see why people expect to afford bigger ticket items and try to support other people on the same job that they used to just support themselves.

Other factors can account for this as well: divorce, losing one's job, getting lower paying job, debt, addition of pets, kids or elderly parents, retirement, moving, etc... No matter what the case, I'm sure all of the people complaining about how things are so much worse now that before aren't in the same exact situation as they were 8+ years ago.

The media isn't helping the situation much, by perpetuating the myth that "evil" Bush is to blame for all of this. And like the rain example, we need to look around to our surroundings for other factors and the answers for our current situations, instead of thinking that one guy is controlling the rain.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Shout-Out to Howard Dean

Apparently, Dean appeared on FOX news recently. I loved this quote of his especially about "race-baiting":
"...there's a lot of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats on issues, but the biggest issue of all is we don't use this kind of stuff. We never have used this kind of stuff, and we're not going to start now."
I think I must have gotten whiplash from the involuntary head-jerk I got while reading that line. "The Democrats have never used race-baiting"??? What planet is he from?
-"You are racist if you don't vote for Obama"
-"You are racist if you find anything wrong with Obama"
-"You are racist if you don't agree with Rev. Wright"
-And the list goes on and on.
Also liked how he said that "We stayed off Fox for a long time because your news department is, in fact, biased". Then why appear on other news departments that are "in fact, biased"? I'm sure he's been on CNN, CBS or NBC before. Aren't they "in fact, biased"? But wouldn't that be the prime reason to be on a network that was different from your own beliefs? To reach others that may not agree with you 100%? Why always preach to the choir? He said that Americans were ready to work together now, and I don't think only appearing on like-minded shows that agree with your views is the way to accomplish that.

View the whole article here: http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/Dean_Accuses_Republicans_/2008/05/05/93456.html

Monday, May 05, 2008

No Boundaries

I saw something that was very disheartening to me the other day. It was an organization that helps cure asthma in minorities. I too, have asthma, so this kind of hit home for me. Why just minorities? This is a chronic disease that affects all colors, all walks of life, all genders...So why just minorities, why not everyone?
Why not focus on curing asthma, period? People die from it every day. People, period. I don’t care if more purple people die from it than everyone else every day. “People” should be the focus of that sentence, and not “purple”. Asthma isn’t selective, why are we? We need to find a cure for asthma, period. We don’t need to exclude when it comes to things like this. It affects us as people – it doesn’t affect us as colors, genders, or income; it affects us as people. And frankly, I don’t care if you are even a cat with asthma, they need treatment too. Let’s try focusing on the real problem instead of separating ourselves. If we all came together and try to solve asthma, and just asthma, with no contingencies, we would have a greater success rate than if we tried to solve it separately. And I’d even be saying this if there were a “Reducing Sunburns in Redheads of America” group. Everyone gets sunburns, and everyone deserves to benefit from that research.
And asthma isn’t the only one that is broken down in groups like this; there are others – cancers, diabetes, etc. And sure, if it’s a disease that only occurs in one group because they are the only group that happens to have those parts, sure, focus on them (ex: Ovarian cancer in women or transgenders with female parts). Don’t be silly about it.
But we don’t need “Curing Diabetes for the Tall People of America” or “Liver Cancer Research for Purple People”. By dividing ourselves, we are not helping ourselves. Let’s seek to cure DIABETES, period. Let’s knock out CANCER, period. Let’s smother ASTHMA, period. No colors, no genders, no boundaries. These diseases don’t know any boundaries, so why do we make them for ourselves?