Monday, November 28, 2011

The Ultimate Frustration

   I know that no one will agree with me on this topic. Not many people do, but this is one subject that I have thought about, written about ( a whole entire thesis) and researched a lot about and it is the topic of political ideology. I have studied Edmund Burke, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Irving Kristol, and many others. I suffered through book after book about the topic during graduate school to the point where my incessant self-reflection on the matter almost drove me crazy. It is for this reason alone that I am so glad I was on vacation when the super-committee failed. Had I been home, my computers would have been found on the sidewalk, broken in frustration, along with my televisions and radios. Instead, I took the news half drunk on a beach in St. Maarten, thank God.

   With all of my hard work, researching, writing, and graduating behind me, I can honestly say, "HA! You stupid politicians! At least I would be able to control my passions, judgements, insecurities, irrationality, and most importantly my ambition to do something good for my own country." I can also honestly say if you are someone who champions this failure, then God helps us all. This is not the kind of democracy and government our "founding fathers" envisioned. This is something  I know about and it scares me to see, nay, experience, in this...our nation's time of need. Can you imagine how America's history would have unfolded had our government always been racked with inaction and an inability to come to a consensus. Also, if you have forgotten a consensus does not mean one way or the other. Again, I say shame on you if this is what you espouse.

    Imagine how many solutions are off the table when one party, with one ideology goes it alone. I might even go so far as to say it is very similar to totalitarian governments, one party, one solution, a whole population without a voice. We should be well aware of all, when I say all I mean more than two, the different economic, social, and religious theories out there. That being said, if you can wake up every morning and look in the mirror with the honest moral certitude in knowing that what you think is the right and the only way without one fiber of doubt, then I cannot decided whether to congratulate you what I see as an impossible feat, or bite my tongue while holding the utmost contempt for your contribution to the downfall of our society. Because, I my friends, questions every thought that pops into my head, every answer to every questions, every analysis to everything I read, every feeling, every emotion, every action, every dream, every experience, and every conclusion. I used to think it was a curse. That I would be bound to aimlessly wander this difficult world without any sort direction, but the older I get I find myself with more opportunities. It has granted me the ability to change with time, circumstance, and the unpredictable. It is something our government should be able to do, but I am finding it crippled with inaction because of the demands from a growing segment of the population, conservative and liberal, who cleave to the notion that resting on your laurels and principles in an unbending fashion is a virtue to be emulated. I will not deny that there are basic principles and common decencies that should always be adhered to, but if in that quest we allow for incompetence and tyranny, if we cannot better ourselves with the time and circumstances we are given, then what is the point of living. We move forward with the future, and this may be my inner coach, but if you cannot wake up every morning excited for what the future will bring then you will never move forward. If you wake up every morning, looking to repeat what happened yesterday, then how can you look forward to a new day, with new beginnings.

    Look at the original Neoconservatives, Irving Kristol, Ben Wattenberg, Paul Wolfowitz, or Jeanne Kirkpatrick, even they took a multi-ideological approach to their politics. They took the what they perceived as the best of conservative foreign policy ideas and combined those ideas with the best liberal domestic policy ideas then formed the basis of their own group. Unfortunately it was hijacked by narrow minded ambitious power grabbers, like so much in this country, and the neoconservative ideas that originated in the 1970's are completely unrecognizable today. Taking this ultra-partisan approach to anything is quite frankly, obtuse. It reflects an inability to see anything beyond your own nose and I have a hard time believing this will ultimately help America solve its problems. In reality, I see it as the major factor contributing to America's ruin.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Loss of Civility

  A lot of people have been writing about the subject of values and morals lately, so I understand it is an over done topic. However, after my last two weeks, a discussion with my father, and a lot of self-reflection, I was able to come to my own conclusion, though as of today, it is of little solace. Right now the only job I can get is substitute teaching. If I was not married to the best husband in the world, I would not even come close to being able to support myself. There is nothing I want more than a "real" job, a career, where I can feel like I have a purpose, and contribute to my families finances in a meaningful way. That would be ideal, but right now I feel like I am being responsible by taking whatever work I can get. For many it still is not good enough, regularly pointed out by statements from public figures, and just people in general on places like Facebook or the editorials.

  On days that I get to work, I wake up and drive to the school. When the bell rings, the torture begins. "Quiet down, sit in your assigned seats so I can take attendance." After that there is usually a tense moment, like two dogs meeting for the first time and they are measuring each others weaknesses. I do not flinch, I am a little tougher than most, which comes from my years as an athlete, taking regular abuse from coaches. Inevitably they get restless, and this is where the problem lies. If they ask me to go to the bathroom or get a drink, 9 times out of 10 I will say yes. If they ask if they can sit wherever they want, I bargain with them. "If you guys work quietly, then for the last half you can sit where ever you want." More often than not, recently, I have been getting push back from the students, simply for asking them to act like, well decent students. If I received $5 for every time I was called a "bitch" by one of my students for not letting them do whatever they want when they want to do it, I would be able to retire early, without ever even having a real career. I get that no one respects substitute teachers, especially when so many do not even respect regular teachers. Now I realize it is not even just respecting teachers, it also respecting doctors, lawyers, police officers, or the waitress at your neighborhood restaurant. We do not respect each other period. We all know better than everyone else, and guess what? That attitude is rubbing off on our children. Why would they respect anyone, when their parents do not respect anyone?

    The idea that we are constantly trying to screw or dig on one other is over-rampant. "The teacher is just picking on my kid, know one knows my kid better than I do!" To these parents I would love to ask, do you know how your kid acts with 30 other kids, is that a dynamic you are familiar with, then do you know your child's group of friends better than anyone else? "What does that doctor know, they are just in it for the money, same with the lawyer." Are you going to diagnose yourself and represent yourself in court, since you know more than them? My favorite though has always been the waitress thing. Being an over-educated waitress myself, it is not hard to understand why we need to have a drink after our shift ends. The scenario goes something like this: I walk up to a table of 4, who sat at a table for 6, at the old martini lounge I used to work at. I take their drink orders, come back with them, take their food orders. Writing nothing down, I nod at the last order. Out of one of the ladies mouth, "Um...don't you have to write this down or something? We don't really have time for you to mess up our order." After checking the urge to slap her across the face, I calmly respond, that, being a history and art history majors, I am pretty much expected to remember the history of whole world. I then explain that because of this, I probably have the ability to remember their 4 orders for the 1 minute it takes me to walk to the computer and enter their requests. Needless to say, her husband tipped me very graciously that night. However, I cannot help but wonder, if it is one of her kids that calls me a "bitch" on a regular basis.

   Face it we are nasty to one another. We are so judgmental, ready to pounce on someone with an "I told you so." We love to point out others alleged mistakes, even if said actor does not even think they have made a mistake. What is completely ironic and ridiculous is that we understand our culture to be a completely individualistic society. It is something America has prided itself on, just watch an old western or read an American classic book. For taking pride in our individualism, we sure are quick to stick our noses where they do not belong. We seem to relish in causing pain for others, pointing out others faults, "AHA!" and take a sick pride in all these "Got ya!" moments. Whatever we can do to prove that we are better than others are eagerly sought after. We are being swallowed by our greedy ambition to always seek and prove our worth above all others. Sadly it is being reflected in our youth. As much as I love catching up with old friends on Facebook, I equally hate it for letting others put me down for my decisions or life in general. I hate than nobody stands up to this behavior, except maybe Paul Krugman in his article today. Honestly, ask yourself, what have you done today to make someone feel good or bad. Are you addicted to pointing out other people flaws, regardless of the fact that you might not know what life has thrown at different people. Can you see beyond your own nose, or are you so high on yourself that this post is making your blood boil? Christians often say that only Jesus was perfect. I tend to believe them when they say this, and I wonder, if Americans have forgotten this.    

Thursday, October 20, 2011


   Ambition is defined as, an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment. As I revel in the self-pity only those unemployed or underemployed understand, it is only natural that I question every decision I have made in the past three years. It is the curse only those with too much time must bear. It is greatly exacerbated by every employment rejection received, especially those with the too inexperienced, too under-qualified, or the too over-qualified, etc..If I would have stayed in my old job, where would I be? Then I begin to lament my lack of ambition. However, all of the reason why I have done what I have done, come flooding back to me. Waking up with anxiety every day, grinding my teeth when I slept, the little sleep I did get. I worked for a madman and that is the greatest curse of all (especially because I cannot put him as a reference since he ran his business into the ground.) So it is not lack of ambition, it was my desire to truly enjoy what I do, and not gain 25 lbs due to the stress of a career, commute, and boss who was an utter nightmare. Regardless of what "the college senior who is perfect" or Herman Cain say, I do not lack ambition. My motives are sincerely different than most others.

    I, unlike many, am asking for something different. It in no ways means I am lazy or unmotivated, I have just assessed my ambition differently. My ultimate goal is to not be wealthy or powerful, I simply want to be happy and make a difference in what I do, and I want to be able to get by while doing it. I am trying to avoid the endless ambition of those who are never happy in their job, home, relationships, and life in general because they always want more. The idea that there is something greater, materialistic wise, out there can only mean that you will never be happy, because when is enough, enough. When I sink in despair, whether it is because I am debating what I can or cannot afford or get another job rejection, I simply have to remember my motivation.

    Monday was a rough day, that stupid letter written by the alleged college senior, telling everyone how great he/she is and how you have to be a complete idiot to end up not like that person was making the rounds on Facebook again. Here I am on the train, sick with snot literally pouring from my nose and delayed of course and without Kleenex(and I had finished the book I brought with), and there it was staring at me, the 29 year old, with student loan debt, no great job prospects, and a 1996 Volvo that recently has been having trouble just even getting me to Waukegan. It was enough to put anyone into a funk in circumstances even remotely similar to mine. Tuesday as I cleaned my house again, for about the hundredth time in the last month, I wallowed deeper and deeper in to the abyss of self-doubt. By Tuesday night, I was on the verge of drinking a whole bottle of wine, when I saw a new Frontline was on PBS. Watching that episode was enough to remind me of my mission. Like I said, it is not to be wealthy, or powerful, it is simply to make a difference and be happy. While I might be struggling right now, at least I am being true to myself.

    You see, that Frontline episode highlighted our immigration problems in the United States. It displayed the agony being inflicted on families, good families, with good kids and good hearts, all because our Federal Government is completely inept. It is inept for one reason and one reason only, ambition. The old fashioned ambition that caused the perpetual wars throughout the world, pre-enlightenment period. The Hundred Years War, the War of Roses, etc...all of those glorious battles between knights and kings with the express purpose of changing the existing world order because of greed and unchecked ambition. I almost gagged as I watched President Obama's Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Cecilia Muñoz sell-out her beloved cause for the enjoyment of the position she holds now. All of the hard work for La Raza, down the drain, her voice filled with spite as she declares the President is only doing what he is doing because of congress. Like he cannot stand up for his cause, like she cannot stand up for her cause. I often feel the same about President Obama. I sometimes chide myself for thinking he sold himself out these last years, and for what? To remain in office for another four years. I might be in rough spot right now, but at least I will not sell out my beliefs and principles for the sort of ambition that propels me to the understanding that regardless of everything I am doing now, there is something better out there. I will not sell my principles for money or power, or to join the robotic corporate machinery. It is not just Democrats who do this, look at Republicans, especially those of the establishment who find themselves fighting amongst those who claim to be in their own party, to hold on or move higher in their position.

      So while I might have student loans (Holy crap that must be treasonous now days...I should probably hang for it) and a 1996 Volvo, at least I have an amazing husband, dog, and house that I would never trade for all the money in the world. It is not the money anyone should be seeking. Money is good admittedly, and we need it, but we also need to live with dignity, principle, and compassion for others. So I for one am going to hold out. Continue to be true to myself, even if it means going to job interviews in clothes that are totally appropriate (GOD FORBID I DO NOT WEAR AN UGLY WOMEN'S BUSINESS SUIT) but show that I have a personality, because I am sure there is a company out there that will recognize I do have a lot skills, (even though I was completely moronic enough to take out a student I should probably be deported for that) a great work ethic, and ambition. I am worth something, a lot of people out there are worth something, regardless of if they are having trouble finding employment, or took out a student loan. It truly makes me sad that I even have to write that, because we are all Americans, and neighbors and a community. Wanting the best for everyone is not a crime and it is NOT Socialism or Communism, it just means you have enough AMBITION to care about others and believe in the greater world around you.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Need Some Soul

  Lately I have been listening to a lot of artists like Sam Cooke, James Brown, and Otis Redding. I think it is because they are giving me something I am craving and missing. Their music, Sam Cooke especially, exudes raw emotion and the lyrics just take my breath away. "If you ever change your about leavin', leavin' me behind." Completely different than, lets say, Katy Perry. There is nothing wrong with that. I love me some Katy on a Friday night, when I act like I am still young enough to go out into the wee hours in the morning, when in reality I end up in bed at 12am. It is great party music. What Sam Cooke offers me on the other hand is plain naked honesty and passion. "I will always be your slave, until I'm buried, buried in my grave."

   Aside from the sappy love part, the passion these Soul or R&B singers embody is enviable. A love of music, making music, singing, and performing. In short, loving what they do. There is nothing more satisfying than making something beautiful, whether it is a map, a cake, a photo, or just being successful. I miss that feeling. The feeling of purpose that is missing when you just do not have a job, or you have a job, like me substituting mean teenagers. For some people, the idea that finding work is hard is completely incomprehensible, like Herman Cain. Well I am sorry Mr. Cain. It is not that I  am not trying, submitting resumes almost everyday. This is not by choice and I bet, I just bet, that if you look at the activity of the rest of those who are unemployed, it is probably the same. So there is nothing that I think is more discouraging, more heartless, more disgusting, and more pitiful than someone standing there, telling the world through CNN or Fox News, that those of us who are not working are not trying. That we are lazy and like to be unemployed. It is not productive and it is scary that those types of words come from people in respected positions. All I want is a career at this point, it does not have to be my passion, just enough to make my student loan payments, and maybe get new brakes in my 1996(that is not a typo) Volvo. I can keep fulfilling my needs to create something beautiful or to have passion through listening to Sam Cooke. All I need from people like Herman Cain is to have a heart and soul and be less like Gargamel, scolding and chiding those he feels are lesser.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Wasted Opportunity

    When the Wall St. protests stared, it was kind of exciting. When I heard it would spread, I was equally excited. I supported them and I still do, but nothing will come from their efforts because their message, or slogan or whatever, is absolutely ridiculous. 99% versus 1%....really you think that is the problem? Unfortunately it is not the reason why we are in this mess and it is not the reason we can not get out of this mess. The issues facing our nation are bigger than that. I am 100% annoyed that not many people can see the big picture, or put forth a realistic agenda.

    I realize my mistake. Honestly, I am continually frustrated because there are no politicians who voice my concerns, except for maybe Jon Huntsman and Hillary Clinton. Democrats and Moderates are not really in the news, they are on public broadcasting, but they are preaching to the choir there. I really thought the message that would come out of the Wall St. protests would speak for me and sadly they just are missing an amazing opportunity. I keep hoping that someone will move me, someone will say something or truly make a difference that affects the whole country in a good way. I am waiting for someone to stand up and say:

         Listen our situation sucks right now. We are facing one of the hardest times this nation has seen and for many generations it is the worst that they have seen. However, we can not let hard times dictate how we move forward to the future. It might seem hopeless for many of the unemployed, the underemployed, and those that wake up everyday to march forward in their struggle to survive. It is the time to focus on the big picture that effects everyone and not become distracted by issues that are of little consequence. There is no class warfare, it is not 99% versus 1%, but it is about being a decent human being and living up to your civic responsibilities. If corporations what to be considered the same as people, dictated by the Supreme Court, then they have every civic responsibility that regular American's have. How can we all make our communities and our country as a whole better? Is it not about setting record profits for your investors. It is about treating your employees like human beings and providing them a living wage. If your answer to "How can we make things better?" includes making more money and that is it, then you are missing the big picture. If you respond like the CEO of Bank of America that "We have a right to make a profit." Then we are not going to get out of this mess. To work hard and make money is part of the American dream and if you become a millionaire all the more power to you. But if you make your millions dishonestly and off the backs of those who trust you with their hard earned money, then you do NOT deserve to continue on the way you have always done business. That is what the Wall St. protests should focus on. Why, banks and investors, are you to big to fail, but your neighbor is not important enough to have their house saved? Why has nothing changed with the way YOU do business, but my friend who owns a small business can not get a loan, Tangible reforms are needed and they are needed badly, and that is what we need to demand and what we need to focus on. If Jeffery Immelt wants the Tax Holiday for offshore accounts to come back to America, fine. Lets do it at 10%, but if you still can not create jobs, invest in research and development, or in short invest it into the future of America, then you know what, we will take that extra 25% out. I am tired of empty promises by those who are in charge and I am tired of the ineptitude of Washington D.C. I am tired of extremist setting the agenda. If you refuse to compromise, you are not living on principle, you do not belong in the government of our great republic and if you champion this behavior, you certainly are not a patriot. The simple truism, that if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem, is ever present. It is not making the our current issues better, it is making them worse.

These are the types of messages I sincerely wish those who are given a voice should focus on. I know it is wishful thinking and I know my best course of action is just to open another bottle of wine and forget it, because I fear we have all lost our minds to either end of the spectrum...I guess if you read this and are angry, republican or democrat, then maybe I am hitting the nail on the head...or you just are engulfed in the bitterness of the situation that you are stuck thinking unfortunately that it is the 99% versus the 1% or that those Wall St. protestors are nothing but a bunch of hippie anarchists. I am going to continue to hope that a leader emerges among the movement that has a real vision and can make a change. Then again, if nothing happens in a few weeks, I will just give up, but it does not mean I will not stop looking. Like David "Blow Your Mind" Brooks said today, "Don’t be fooled by the clichés of protest movements past. The most radical people today are the ones that look the most boring."  Maybe Huntsman will pull something off, or Obama will come to his senses.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Take

    Everybody has an opinion on what the protesters are doing on Wall Street, of course they are all different. "Why are they there?" "What do they want?" "When is going to end?" "What does it mean?" If you are having trouble grasping the whole concept of it all, it is simply because you just do not get it. It is not a "you just do not get it man" way where it is generation versus generation. It is probably because you just do not need to get it. You have a comfortable job, you are not buried under a mountain of student loan debt, you can get married because you simply can afford to, and you can buy or already own a house. If you do not get it, it is probably because you actually feel like you have a voice. Your politicians listen to you, do what you want. Most likely, you just do not get it because you have hope that you can lead your life the way you want, so you put your head down and go about your business.

      In his 2001 book, The Conscience of a Liberal: Reclaiming the Compassionate Agenda, Senator Paul Wellstone (r.i.p) wrote about this passivity as such, "You do not want to lose your job. You have to put bread on the table and prioritize for your family. That is why most people, as someone once said, are more concerned with making a living that with making history." Those thoughts are almost twenty years old and I would not be so annoyed if I thought that was the case today. I think we are so disconnected with our families, our friends, our neighbors, and our communities that we no longer can relate with each other. Which spills into our politics, making our system inefficient, where it only works for some and ignores others.

     So let me try and break it down to an understandable level, not just some incoherent rambling questions from news personalities, and just to mention, I was deeply disheartened on NPR's coverage of the protest as well. To move just slightly further back in history, those who graduated before May 2009 are most likely getting screwed by their exorbitant student loans. For someone in my age range, 25-34, our unemployment rate is 9.5%, with an average $704.00 per week, which adds up to $36,400.00 a year for those with jobs. The median home price in 2010, was $221,800, with an average of $272,900. The average amount of students loans is upwards of $20,000.00. Lets say we find our soul mate, our true love, the one and only...we will combine. Oh, wait, the average cost of a wedding is another $20,000.00. So to sum it up quickly, we are screwed and that is why people are protesting on Wall Street, plain and simple. I did not even get into those of us with advanced degrees and zero job prospects. My generation has no chance, we can not be complacent. We can not sit back in our comfortable houses, because most of us do not have one. (Sorry I do) We literally can not afford to lead the life we want to live and there seems little hope that it will ever be possible.

     Since we are so inconsequential to the United States as a whole, let them do it. No body, I repeat NO ONE is legislating for us. Obviously we can not afford to have commercials and fund campaigns the way corporations and unions can, much less PAC's. Most of these corporations will not even hire us, and when they do it is not at a livable wage and it is not a reliable job. Being concerned with making a living does not apply to us, because it is not available to us. The only thing that is available is making history. I say march on my fellow discontented friends. I see my face, my sisters' faces, my sister-in-law's and friends' faces in all of your efforts and I for one appreciate all of your hard work. If I could afford a plane ticket to New York, I would be there in a heartbeat.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Again...I feel like poo-

     There is one feeling that I absolutely detest, and that is being made to feel like you are "just a number" and like a cow being led to slaughter with the rest of the herd. That who you are and what you think is not important. I went on my first interview in 5 years today, and I left feeling exactly that way. What I do not understand, is that the job I applied for is a job for an extrovert, someone who feels comfortable talking in groups, being the center of attention, and anyone who knows me, would know that is exactly who I am. So I was actually excited for that interview, I was convinced I would nail it! I have grown so much over the years and honestly for the first time I really am starting to feel comfortable being who I am. I was excited to exude that sentiment, to show what I could do, and that is connect with people.

      If those are some of the most important qualifications for the future job, one would think the interview might center around that, well at least I did. So, imagine my surprise when after 6 tests and a quick ten minute interview, I was being told that I should hear from the company in 5-10 business days, that my information would be passed on, and a "thank you" for coming. From my point of view, I took 6 tests, 5 of which had nothing to do with the position I applied for, interviewed with someone who filled out a form, did not laugh at my jokes, sat in a waiting room doing nothing for 40 min, saw some of my competition ( a 23 year old pimply guy in a generic suit, with a generic folder, a woman in her forties in a generic suit, with generic black folder, an old woman who sadly was similar to me, trying to show personality, and an older man who was just as generic as the 40 year old woman and 23 year old kid.) and just in general, I left feeling despair. How are they going to get to know me in that sad little 10 minutes? How I am supposed to convey I am more than qualified for this job, when I spend more time taking tests about numbers and business ethics, than I do discussing the job with someone, or at least making the case that I can do that job, and I can do it well.

      For those of you who study numbers, you win. Fine, whatever, good for you. I still stand by the idea that you can not know or understand someone unless you talk to them in person. Ask questions, get a rapport, figure out what they are about. The idea that we can judge people using numbers, tests with questions that should not be turned in to "yes or no" answers is only further proof that there are too many incompetent people in important positions in this country. It is hard to be easily impressed by people when you know most of them are just full of it. I am disappointed that this was the process. I do not understand why we accept this as the process and I am sure it contributes to feelings of inadequacy many people in the unemployment line feel. The feelings of inadequacy are undeserved and as human beings, we should never be made to feel like an animal or an inconsequential number.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Reverse Bake Sale

     Laina, my dog, eats grass and a lot of it. I have no idea why she does it and I have not really seen many other dogs eat as much grass as she does. In fact her nickname is "brown cow." It must be an ingrained habit, maybe it was way she satiated her thirst as a puppy because she was deprived of water, or maybe she has just always found that grass had a sapid quality to it. Whatever the reason, I am not Laina, so I will never know or understand why she does it. It is something I have to live with and accept. Now granted, I am talking about a dog so I should not understand, but the underlying principle is that she is different and no I should not understand. But not understanding someone or something does not mean we can not be sympathetic or empathetic to their cause.

      It is with this idea in mind, that I dedicate this blog to the UC Berkeley Republicans. You might have heard about their bake sale designed to mock the attributes of affirmative action. Not only was this idea ludicrous and offensive, rightly so to many, it also highlights this student group's complete inability to remotely understand the differences and circumstances of others. By adding the story of my dog, I hoped to make a simple comparison that even the Berkeley Republicans could understand, by using an animal I hope to quietly make a point about how this reflects their feeling about humanity in general. (oops, that cat's out of the bag) So in anticipation of the fact that they still might not get it, I am going to make a short business plan (that is what young republicans specialize in usually anyways right?) highlighting my Reverse Affirmative Action Bake Sale, right here on my blog below. (haha I have no idea how to make a business plan, I am a humanities person) So, here goes:

I will only sell Red Velvet Cupcakes and the base price will be $5.00, depending on which how much ease you live your life, that value will be subtracted from the cupcakes to display the advantages you are so lucky to receive in your quest for the top-

Some background info on Berkeley's undergraduate student body from Fall 2010-  53% are women and 47% are men, 4% were Black, 1% Native American, a whopping 43% were Asian, 13% Hispanic, 33% White, and 8% ethnicity unknown.86% were from California. Yearly tuition this year is +$34,000. GPA range for freshman are 3.76-4.0

So if you are a White or Asian male or female, take off $.50, you most like come from a suburban school, so, minus another $.50 for that, outfitted with modern technology and all of your needs.
                                   White          Black      Asian         Hispanic      American Indian       Other

Cupcake Price            4.00             5.00       4.00          5.00            5.00                           5.00

Take off another $.50 if you are NOT a first generation college student, and another $.50 if you are NOT receiving a Pell Grant because you are poor.
                                 White          Black      Asian         Hispanic      American Indian       Other

Cupcake Price            3.00             5.00       3.00          5.00              5.00                      5.00

Now, lets add $.50 if you grew up in a single parent household, another $.50 if you are a first generation college student. We will top that off with another $.50 if you are the only one in your household who speaks English, and another $.50 if you went to a ghetto urban school where you were fearful on your walk to or from school. 
                                 White          Black      Asian         Hispanic      American Indian       Other

Cupcake Price            3.00           6.50      3.50-4.00     7.00              6.50                      6.50

Now obviously this a rough projection, since I have other things to do, like listen to NPR and make croissants in my kitchen, in a good neighborhood, on a lake in relative comfort. Anyways my comfortableness is besides the point, what is the point is the price difference in my demonstration. I think it too nice. I could add in a comparison of unemployment rates relative to Berkeley's stats, along with medicare and medicaid rates, etc..  I think African Americans and Hispanics find it more than just 2x harder to get by than their white suburban counterparts. But to argue that they are granted equal opportunities as you, Berkeley Republicans, is just laughable. To suggest that their road to Berkeley is paved in gold is an insult to them, their mentors, families, and in general humanity. It is delusional to think that you are being discriminated, that your life is harder. America is the land of opportunity for everyone, not just those who have an easy way to get there. It is the accessibility of the opportunity that is at stake, not their ability or relative success at getting through that opportunity. So the next time you decided that your snarky little experiment is a good idea, why don't you head over to LA and visit and inner city school and then tell me you are right.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Dichotomy of Truth

    My masters thesis consisted of 113 pages, contained 322 footnotes, which were all garnered from 38 different sources. Now all of this was just for my simple little masters thesis, which took me a little less than one whole year to complete and subsequently defend. The thesis is of little to no consequence to anybody but myself and possibly my advising professor, thought I am sure he has already forgotten about it. However, it was what is required of many people who go on for advanced degrees. It proves we can manufacture an original idea, or thesis, and do the work required to back it up and defend it, which is the ultimate proof that we are not that crazy. But, here is the little secret, when you sit down to really do it, finding and doing the research is actually enjoyable and not that hard. The fact that your research contributes to the evidence that you are not completely insane with your thesis, makes it all the more rewarding. It is with this thought in mind that I am politely requesting our politicians to please stop outright lying. No, I am demanding it.

     Had I been disingenuous or dishonest with my research I would have failed, period. Two years of studying down the drain, years of tuition money wasted, and more importantly my reputation damaged beyond repair. I could never return to another "reputable" school. Not to mention I have a conscious. So, as I stated before, all of my work is of zero consequence to anybody but me, how come if I mess up I have a higher price to pay then lets say Michele Bachmann? Beginning simply, a quick Google search of John Wayne or Waterloo, Iowa for that matter would have given her ample proof that, in fact she did not have the correct information when she stated the famous western star was also from Waterloo, Iowa. Somebody in her camp should have been fired, or she should have been discredited. Further proof of her inability to tell the truth was her ludicrous statement that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. The John Wayne lie, or misinformation, was just a plain little white lie, no harm, no foul. The HPV vaccine lie has the potential to harm many young women's lives throughout the country. If I ever contributed to a lie that could potentially cause the death of one person, I could not live with myself. But, then again, as also stated earlier, I have a conscious.

     Going back to my original point, why are we letting opportunistic politicians make false statements that have the potential to cause great harm? Is it because some of us just plainly do not want to hear the truth? Those little truths that might add a little inconvenience to our lives are so repugnant to many, is utterly mind blowing to me. Which brings me to the Rick Perry phenomenon. I would love to see the research for his book, when I say research, what I mean by that is the notes he wrote on his research before he wrote his damning book filled with claims about Americans being lied to. It is just as near as the bible to some people, who take his word as seriously as the gospel. Then again, he tells the certain population out there what they want to hear, double for his debates. Lets take his claim that many scientists are now questioning the claim that climate change is caused by human beings. Now, I believe that got just a "False" rating on politifact, but it should have gotten a "Pants on Fire" rating in my opinion. If you read the research that politifact does for you, you come across the 2010 study by the US National Academy of Science. Their study found that out of the 1,372 climate researchers a gigantic 97-98% of them have recently written that they in fact do believe climate change is caused by human beings. Why can he make that claim without any repercussions?

     Now to get down to it, I am a moderate. You search moderates, Jon Huntsman, our president, and people like David Brooks or Paul Krugman (who admittedly is very liberal, but I do love him!), do they have "False" claims, yeah, but nothing outrageous that puts the health of people or the world at stake and in grave danger. Honestly. I did 15 minutes of research for this post and realized that no, not every politician does this. In fact, many of them do not. Why are we letting the quack jobs and nut-bags (do not get me started Palin) take over our political rhetoric. As an American I am totally ashamed at what comes out of there mouth. As a moderate I am confused as to why someone like Jon Huntsman is not taken more seriously, when he is the most contentious of what he is saying. As an over-educated waitress, I am becoming increasingly bitter that politicians who are not even qualified to take orders at McDonalds are continually looked up to and actually encouraged to behave the way they do. But then again, as I said before, I have a conscious. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

What are we doing?

    Perhaps you have heard of Edmund Burke, if not, he is most commonly know as the founder of modern conservatism. He we a 18th century philosopher who was a great admirer of the American Revolution and a unyielding critic of the French Revolution. If you are unfamiliar with his work, then you must be asking yourself, "What is the difference?" The answer is easy. It is simply, extremism. He revered the American practice of forming their institutions and constitution on the ancient traditions of Great Britain. He hated the French for slaughtering their nobility with the guillotine and for tearing down and dismembering all of France's ancient institutions and traditions. His philosophy is the bases for why American Conservatives, after 1917, despised communists and communist revolutionaries who were prevalent in Latin America in the 1960's and 1970's.

     Poor Edmund Burke. He must be rolling in his grave today. I say these words with a keen eye on not only our politicians, but also the American citizens who are so intent on letting their manufactured anger continue to be their guiding principle. To understand my own personal fear, all one must do is listen to the national discourse, the political debates, and the never ending line of talking heads. It is found in the cheering of those at the recent Republican debates about how many people have been executed, or cheering at the example of the 30 year old man dying for lack of insurance, or the incessant name callings and inability of our government to do anything. The old cliche that moderation is the key is not a lie, or a fallacy. As Burke so aptly states, "social and civil freedom, like all other things in common life, are variously mixed and modified, enjoyed in very different degrees, and shapes into an infinite diversity of forms, according to the temper and circumstances of every community." So people, why all the tension?

    We do not always have to agree on everything every politician says and does, but there is NO doubt in my mind that we should also believe that, like us, they want to see America succeed. I might not have agreed with 90% of what George W. Bush did, but did I for one minute think that he wanted to see the destruction of America or that his policies were created for the express purpose of killing our economy. I feel the same way about President Obama, Paul Ryan, Dick Durban, and many more. However, in the same breath, what scares the ever living day lights out of me is the fact that we have politicians surfacing whom I truly believe are only looking out for themselves. Demagogues in the Huey Long and Joe McCarthy fashion. People who enjoy the power and hearing applause. Never before, really, has this been an issue. Americans have always had moderate characters looking out for their best interest, knights in shining armor like; William F. Buckley, Irving Kristol, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., and Huber Humphrey. Today, sadly those voices are being drown out by the applause of those, who do not understand that in politics, as Burke also says, "It is no excuse for presumptuous ignorance, that is directed by insolent passion."  

      In that sense and without protections from influential writers, journalist, academics, and politicians, to keep these extremist in check, it falls on the American people. The true "silent majority" and "vital center." Princeton Historian Sean Wilentz wrote a piece for the New Yorker in 2010, discussing the root of extremism in today's America. Also lamenting the disappearance of reason he states, "In the absence of forthright leadership, on both the right and the left, the job of standing up to extremists appears to have been left to the electorate."  What is the consequence if no one rises to the challenge? I do not even want to imagine. For I do not want any part of a world were compassion and compromise are ugly words. Or where moral judgement of others is the norm and people are excluded from opportunity and living life to the fullest because they simply adhere to a different religion, have a different skin color or sexual orientation. I do not want to be a part of a world that applauds record breaking executions or full of people who are too quick to say "I told you so" instead of offering up a helping hand.

      Let's stand up for humanity, for democracy, and for what the United States of America has always stood for and let's be the community, one nation indivisible, that our Founding Fathers wanted us to be.

I strongly encourage everyone to read Sean Wilentz article.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Young American

    On the verge of turning 29, I have not had a real full-time job for three years. I quit my job by choice, mostly because I wanted out before my paychecks started to bounce and because I was not happy. I went back to school, got my masters and now I join the ranks of the chronically under-employed young adults in America. However, I am one of the lucky ones, for now. I am substitute teaching, married, and have the ability to coach volleyball, which I do not really enjoy but at least I can make a few extra bucks. But, what about all the others similar to me? The single (because they cannot afford to get married), chronically under-employed or unemployed.

    I just read an article, not two seconds ago, discussing the exact situation of us young adults, and let me key you in on the gist of it...our future my friends does not look particularly rosy. People from the age of 16-34 have the highest unemployment rate since WWII. Couple that with article I read last week informing me that if young American's are ever to retire, they need to save an average of $2 million, since we most likely will have little to no safety net. The same safety net that our baby boomer parents will suck dry. With all of this negative information coming at us, it is not time to wallow in our pitiful situations, it is time we demand that our politicians and government start listening to us, not some cantankerous old fart who is bitter, for some reason, beyond our wildest dreams.

   Leaving government debt out of the equation...because honestly cutting taxes continuously, while fighting two wars and trying to dig out of a recession will do that to you. So what bothers me most about the whole situation...cue silver haired men and women, "I do not want my children and grandchildren paying our governments debt." This concern rings hollow, for me anyways, when young Americans are already paying for your mistakes with our meager or nonexistent job prospects.

   As long as I can remember, young peoples opinions just have not had that much weight in most situations. I say we change that in 2012. Politicians should start catering to us...the young, the vital, the future. Thankfully, most of my family and friends in that age group are painfully politically aware. They know for what and who they stand for. I honestly am not sure I can say that for a majority of Americans my age. So please, I beg of you, ages 16-34, put down your game controller or can of Budweiser, turn off NASCAR or the NFL, and get out there. Experience the world, gain perspective (you obviously have the time) and start demanding someone listen to you, because quite frankly, we are the ones getting jacked by the politicians. Not grandma and grandpa. Whether you are Republican or a Democrat, if you want a job, want to know that you are actually working towards something ( a day when you do not have to get up and go to work) that you are also an important American demographic, and more importantly that you have just as much to offer, then you have to get off Mom and Dad's couch in the basement and get it together. We are at an age where we can speak for ourselves, so get out there and do it!

ps, Please, for everyone's sake, do not just vote for someone because they were on The Real World or WWE this is the kind of political action that invalidates our opinion. It is not that easy, nor should it be. You WILL have to research a little, but I promise it does not as much as you did in college.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

American's can not handle the truth

  In a July 2009 article in "Food and Wine" magazine, one writer conducted an experiment that he believed would essentially solve the debate of when to salt your meat. I  know it sounds funny, but in the cooking world there are not many things debated so heatedly. In fact, it is such a contentious issue that you can divide most respected chefs into two categories. Those who believe in seasoning your meat the day before and those who believe in doing it right before cooking. Feelings on the issue are so strong, that the author alluded to the controversy as being almost ideological.

    In his experiment the author, who himself was a 'salt the day before kind of a guy,' readied himself for either confirmation or the devastating news...that he could be wrong. His results, however, were very surprising. He found out, that there was more than one truth to the debate. While chicken and lamb needed to be salted the day before, beef and pork should be salted right before cooking. Therefore, in this ideological spat of when to salt, both sides were indeed correct. I know. You want to think this is an anomaly. How can both be right? We are in America for God's sake...there is only one truth.  

    Does this at all sound familiar? As more and more Americans draw their line, sign up under who they feel is right, and choose their battle leader we are getting further and further away from actually understanding the idea that there might be more than one truth. Why are we doing this and why does it seem to be getting worse? (Insert a political opportunists name here)

    I remember as a kid that nobody really knew where others stood politically, unless at some union hall or church. Now everybody is declaring where they stand, almost like we are preparing for some final battle. We are openly criticizing our friends, family, and neighbors desperately hoping that we are the ones who are right. But, then what happens next. The last time in America we declared sides so fast and rigidly was during the civil war. For what? I hope we certainly do not want one political party leading the country. That my fellow citizens is not democracy, it is totalitarianism. I get it, people are hurting and struggling to get by, but is that an excuse to want to be right so badly that you are willing to hurt your communities and families? This political competition is going to far, the fact that it is already a competition proves that.

    The story above is proof that in many circumstances there is more than one truth. In our political system there is more than one truth, and there always will be. We are a democracy after all, and designed to be that way. So why can we not reconcile our ideas, values, and beliefs with other ideas, values, and beliefs? Why are we drawing lines in the sand when we need to be pulling each other up instead of continuing to tear each other down. Do some of us honestly believe that politicians of the other ilk really want bad things for our country? I am heartbroken and confused as to why anybody, even a minority group would do this. Not to mention we are becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, we are tying the hands and attacking the only entity that can and will help us, our own government Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. We have no idea what we want. Americans are like over-tired toddler. Too tired to sleep, to hungry to eat, and too thirsty too drink. We are now willing to, as my mother used to say, cut off our nose just to spite our faces.

      Thousands of people have died in Libya in 2011 just to get a taste of what we have. What do we do? Well we are patiently waiting to tell our friends, family, and neighbors, "I told you so! HAHAHA! you were wrong!" Like it or not, we are a democracy, we have a constitution written in 1787 that trumps states rights, we have the federalist papers explaining why. Still there is no way we can ever properly convey or interpret what our founding fathers wanted or meant. But this, my friends is not it. They what did they fight for? What we can do is realize that there is more than one truth, more than one solution, more than one idea. Only by working together can we get out of the mess we are in. We can do the best we can to get by, alone and fail or together and succeed. I prefer we do this together.   

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

American Dialogue

   Today, David "Blow Your Mind" Brooks provided us with an op-ed that discussed the result of study done by a team of sociologists. The gist of this study was to determine the amount of moral thought in youth today. The study was on young adults 18-23. It is a shocking reflection of our society today.

   A majority of the kids had trouble deciphering or, understanding for that matter, what exactly is a true moral issue. More upsetting is that they were unwilling to let peers, and other people in general, know when they were making a poor moral judgement, like doing drugs, driving drunk, or cheating, Most responded that, to each...their own. It gets better though. They also freely admitted that no matter what they are doing or deciding to do, that if it felt right, they would continue the act. Feeling good is better than doing what it right. The degree of moral relativism, to me, is utterly scary and it speaks volumes about our society today.

    For example, look at our politicians. Last night in the debate, Michele Bachmann bluntly stated that Obama had stole $500 billion from medicare. That pretty much was an outright lie, but no on called her on it. Why? Relativism...she can make it sound like he stole her, Obama stole it, to each their own. Do not even get me started on liberals, who sometimes are not even grounded in reality when they lay claim to these kinds of idiotic statements. But does this really affect the American public?

   Yes! I fully believe this moral relativism resides in many American adults, similar to their children. It is plain to see in the comments readers leave in online articles. There is nothing more painful than reading these comments. I would rather be branded with a hot iron that says "property of Ed" than read those comments. Aside the fact that it is painful, it is also heartbreaking. Let me just give you two examples:

"Anyone on unemployment after 52 weeks should have to do something to continue receiving checks, let them clean streets, parks, schools and cut the grass, it may provide enough incentive to find a better job."

Now this cheeky example is from an article about poverty in America on the rise...Now dear readers, I have friends who have been out of work for years, and let me let you in on a little secret, it is not because of lack of trying, period. Not to mention they are chronically under-employed when they do get jobs. For this commenter, it does whatever makes them feel good. Putting down the poor and blaming them...really?

"Obama and democrats are pure evil"....This is another perfect example.

"Boehner got 98 percent of what he wanted in the debt ceiling bill.. screw the middle class , keep accepting his "cut" from his corporate masters take orders and then bark."

This gem refers to Boehner as a dog. Name calling...another example of why were are lower than the rest of the industrialized nations in education.

Anyways, back to my point. How can we demand morality from our children if it is something we simply do not possess. Does it feel good to blame everyone else for problems? Maybe if you truly believe that...but really who does. Name calling, blatant hate and disrespect for our system will not change America or bring about a return to economic prosperity. Here is a little secret my "old fashioned" parents taught me at a young age. If it feels good to do it and it is too easy to do, then it probably is not the right thing. So let me reiterate. Please get a hold of your senses, calm down, stop hating on Obama and Boehner (They really do take the brunt) and think about morality the way, I do not know, Jesus would.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Get It Together

        Is anyone else sick of the headline, "Stocks swing wildly on fears of Euro collapse"  or is it just me? Just like America, if the European Union wants to navigate successfully out of this economic catastrophe it really needs to get it together. Akin to American politicians, dog racing, and a bunch of chickens with their heads cut-off, the European countries who are best equipped to handle this situation just cannot freaking come through on a solution to head off this crisis once and for all.

       Like an ostrich, Great Britain has its head in the sand. Though they smartly stuck with the Pound, they are still part of the Union and just like the rest of the world has a vested interest in NOT watching the Euro collapse. So why are they so content to sit on their island and quietly watch the continent race around the track without a jockey? Oh yeah...they are also running at record deficits (which in a recession screw the deficit), with unemployment problems, and the gambit. But still, come on, do not just sit on your thumbs.

     And you ask, "Well what about the Germans?" They are too busy pontificating about the importance of living within your means as a country, and making those austerity measures work...or else! Or else what? To me they sound like our own Republican party...delusional. If you think cutting everything to the bare bones will solve all problems, well my friend just pick up any of Paul "The Cool Man" Krugman's brilliant works or just his most recent article in the New York Times. We had a time without regulation and social was called the Gilded Age and it sounded awful...but you really should read about it yourself if you do not believe me. Bringing me to my unemployed self's point.

FOCUS ON CREATING JOBS! The incessant issue about this deficit is getting ridiculous. Guess what....your grandchildren will not be paying off our debt. Get over it. Really...also people HAVE TO start admitting that part of the reason we are in this mess is war fighting, continually cutting taxes on wealthy and corporation, etc...And people have to start admitting why the WHOLE WORLD was hit by the 2008 recession...The general irresponsibility of large banks and wall street. What is happening in Europe would have been avoidable...what a tragedy...but come on so could it have been in the US. People need to get it together...stop being political opportunists (ehem, Eric Cantor) and megalomaniacs. Fellow citizens....I beg of not fall into the trap our politicians want...demand a singular focus on job creation...not deficit reduction....and so far Obama has come up with a game plan. Now I will call republicans bluff. Give us a substantive plan yourself. Better yet, I challenge you to do this without bringing up deficit reduction once.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Brick Wall

 This last week, by far, was one of the most interesting weeks of my life. Aside from my sister-in-law's wedding, there were tons of out of town in-laws I had the joy of meeting for the first time. I also discussed politics and lots of it, with conservatives, my perennial liberal father in-law who is amazingly passionate and well educated on the subject, self described tea baggers and libertarians. As someone who just finished a thesis focusing on political ideology and its relation to the formation of foreign policy, I found it especially interesting to hear what they had to say. I also had the joy of hosting two super fun Australian in-laws, whose drinking almost killed me, but it was totally worth it. As one would expect, especially anyone who has traveled extensively, the Aussies had tons of questions about our wacky political system. Mainly, why did George W. Bush get to be president, followed by, well what the hell is the electoral college, and then why do all hate each other?
     Now I pride myself, obviously, on my recent ability to discuss politics without putting my two cents in. That being said...I learned a valuable lesson this weekend. The common American cannot explain the origins of our political system with any sort of indifference to a political ideology. Ask yourself...can I explain the purpose of the supreme court without throwing in the fact that you think they are activists or re-constructionists? Can you discuss current politics without adding the fact that you now think the system is broken or that liberals are better educated or that conservatives care more about family. And I warn you...if you do this to me I will call you out as I did many times this weekend.
     As the poor Aussie's get ready to leave America, they are more confused as ever. When American's drink, they interrupt. Imagine explaining the electoral college with a drunk libertarian interrupting you every second, or discussing the merits of NPR or conservative intellectuals with liberals or conservatives butting in. As an American I am sad I could not help them understand better what our system is about, but honestly it is not like anyone else was trying to. They just wanted to get their own belief or ideology known, maybe foolishly they thought they could persuade the Aussies to understand the way they understand politics.
     The Aussies on the other had were amazingly proud of the close relations between the two countries, how American generals believed their special operations forces were just as good as American. Also, it may be a little cliche, but also how in general the two countries have worked so closely in the fight against terrorism. So you can understand how confused they were by us, our media and let me get to the point...the stupid euphemisms they heard about the president or other politicians. What is "obamacare?" of more importantly the "Jobs killing healthcare bill?" I am sure there are ones directed towards conservatives that I just cannot think of, probably because of the Republican Presidential candidate debate last night really ground those in my head.
      Let me set this straight for you all...the few who read. Regardless of what your persuasion, our system is not broken, our government is not bad, and America is still the nation it always was. Our politicians manufacture these feeling because it helps them become elected or re-elected. We forget about our checks and balances system, our constitution (bc Bachmann has perverted it so badly probably) and all the other things that make America great. If we can restore our confidence in America in general again, we will be as great as ever. If we allow negative, opportunistic politicians and political pundits to destroy our confidence in one of the greatest countries in the world, then God save us (though I am sure I would be left behind) So like I have said before, come on people and demand better. Demand greatness, not negativity, not bitterness and for God-sake demand facts that cannot be disputed (ehem...Republican candidates from the debate last night). It is not lie that if it is too is too good to be true.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Make Believe

    In March, my family and I visited Ireland, which happened to coincide with the largest international horse race purse. It is the Dubai World Cup and the winner took home in $10,000,000.00. This race is not highly televised in the states, you know, not on network for most it is not readily available to watch. This was my first time and I was repulsed by the event...even though I love horse racing almost as much as my dog. As the winner entered the proverbial winners circle it became clear he was a poser. A very young Asian man, heir to a Japanes fortune, who knew nothing of racing, much less horses. Most people who entered the race was as rich or richer than this young man, which is why my gag reflex went into hyper active mode the moment a well dressed Arab Sheik handed the young filthy rich man (Whose father swooped in a last minute) the check. The check would not even put a dent into the fortune he already possessed. So you ask yourself...where am I going with all of this?????
    Well this morning as I was reading one of my faves, David "Blow Your Mind" Brooks, he made a great point about all the jibber jabber from Republicans about...duh, duh, DUH.....America's decline. I tend to mostly agree with what he has to say and today was no different. If America is in decline...who do we blame. The current crop of presidential hopeful's places the blame fully on one man's and party's shoulders, President Obama and the Democrats. "Ludicrous!" I would shout if I heard them say that...and so would "Blow Your Mind" Brooks. If America is actually in a decline, there are many factors, including most importantly but never addressed globalization. Nothing proves that thought more than the retched display of wealth I described above.
      Many Americans tend to adhere to a form of complete oblivion when it comes to the outside world. Which is fine, hey whatever floats your boat right, but when it comes to our leaders ALL options...I repeat ALL options, ALL problems, ALL issues and ALL solutions need to be explored and our current government, as it is right now (partisan bickering and stalling) is completely incapable of leading us through a world that with technology continues to get smaller and smaller.
     In conclusion, in the Dubai World Cup, there were 3 American horses running, the highest they finished was 5th, with the other two finishing second to last and third to last. As American's we cannot let this horse race reflect our position of where we fit into the developed world. Looking at our tests scores, our salaries, our benefits, everything...America is NO longer where it is at. I have a hard time blaming this situation on one man and one party. We are after all...ONE NATION... the UNITED STATES. That is all for the day...oh and I guess I lied when I said they would not be long...hahahahahahhaha! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


   Why am I doing this? I really have no idea. What I do know, however, is that I am unemployed, frustrated with American politics, and quite truthfully am tired of not being heard. I get that "not being heard" is typical. Am I important enough to be NO, but I think this blog will help me feel less frustrated with those whom I feel have no business being heard, yet have a gigantic following of alienated zombies.
    This leads me to the next point. I am NOT some alienated, white, middle/working class person, hell bent on allowing my anger over the cycles of our economic system to propel me into a dismal abyss of "DON"T TREAD ON ME" flags and sputtering demagogues, that perpetuate my hatred for my neighbors who I assume have a much easier go of it because in some way they are connected to "the elite" or "union thugs." Life is never that simple and to assume everyone or thing is against you, is just too easy of an excuse.
     On the other hand, I am not some over-educated housewife, who sees the ultimate truth. We all know what I am talking about, the super liberal who just gets it. The, "I do not get how, you, my fellow man just can't see the light, the truth, and the way." The tendency to to feel superficially better about yourself because, you get it. You empathize with the poor, minorities, sexually repressed, etc...and the rest of Americans, shame on you. Best summed up in my theory that there is not one more judgmental than an ultra-liberal or the Christian Right. At least the Christian Right can say they have God on their side, lol! The liberal has faith in self and is a little too much faith.
      So anyways, back to my point (and posts will never be this long again :)) All I want, and want for everyone, is to demand better of our politicians and each other. We have one of the greatest systems of government in the world. We should happily roll around in the mud of democracy together, instead we pick up democracy's excrement and throw it at each other. This specific behavior is fostered by political opportunists and the media's inability to live up to the standards of journalism. And no...I do not always mean national media...most people watch the local news, read the local paper, and obviously listen to local radio stations. Much like government, everything starts at the local level.
    So while I figure out what I am really doing here, I just want to let people know (if anyone actually reads this) I am very sympathetic to many conservative and liberal ideas. Do I lean left, yes, but I am not dogmatic or stubborn, like lets say...a donkey. I truly believe a majority of Americans feel this way, and I think it is about time someone knock that rattlesnake, elephant, and donkey down a peg a two.