Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cain kills his chances

Hermain Cain stated this week that if you don't have a job, and you aren't a millionaire, it is your own fault. He told the unemployed to "look in the mirror" when trying to figure out why they don't have a job.

In a political environment where all politicians are yelling and screaming about how they are the ones who know how to bring jobs to the country, and with the unemployment rate still at an all time high, this was an extrememly irresponsible and hypocritical thing to say. How is a canidate going to run on a platform of being the best "job creator", then turn around and say that its the unemployeds own fault that they don't have a job? 

Well at least we know how he really feels.

Ok, so I do see his main point. People do have to take responsibility for themselves. Government can't swoop in and rescue everyone. If manufacturing jobs are going downhill, go back to school and learn a new skill. Take a lower paying job to help support yourself and your family while you look for something better. I get that.

However, the current economic crisis is not the fault of the individual American. There are thousands of people who are unemployed because they got laid off, their job moved overseas, or their company went out of business.  Yes, there are some who are taking advantage of the long term unemployment insurance, some who refuse to look for work because they get paid to do nothing, but these are the exception, not the rule. Many of the unemployed just don't have the skillset to go to college and gain new skills. Others have taken lower paying jobs just to try to squeeze by, but are unable to fully support their families on these lower wages.

What Cain said was a slap in the face to the millions of Americans who are struggling everyday to make ends meet. Not everyone can be a millionaire CEO. These comments truly show how out of touch he is with the American people.

To think I actually liked him before this.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More about the "N" word

After getting a few tweets about my use of the word,  I got to thinking about what makes it one of the most polarizing, offensive words in America. But it isn't just that word. What makes any word so powerful?

The truth is, it isn't the word. It is people. People make innocent words hateful. They make words offensive. People make words powerful.

However, it isn't the user of the word that makes it powerful. It is the person hearing it who assigns a words worth. A word is only hurtful if you allow it to be hurtful. A word is only offensive if you allow yourself to be offended by it. It is only powerful when you give it that power. And when you give words power over you, you give the users of those words power over you.

We shouldn't get mad at those who use hate speech. That is exactly what the perpetrators want. Our outrage gives them power.

As a society, we need to stop allowing words to have so much power. We need to stop the censorship and stop trying to keep all of our dirty little secrets in the closet. Allowing ourselves to have open discussions about these words and these issues would strip them of their power to hurt us.

Isn't that worth the conversation?

What do you think?

Monday, October 3, 2011

The "N" Word

Rick Perry's family leased a hunting lodge called Niggerhead. This is the latest political scandel to awaken the media frenzy.

Yes, the name of the ranch is offensive. Yes, a leading political figure should not be hunting at a lodge called Niggerhead (especially one vying to be president of the United States). However, the real issue runs much deeper.

Hermain Cain was the only person on television who was not afraid to say the word "nigger". This term has become so polarizing that respected journalists fear to say it even when it is a neccessary part of the news (case in point, no one would say Niggerhead when reporting the name of the lodge, they all said "N" word head, or something similar). Why does this word have such an effect?  Why don't racial slurs against other groups command the same respect? The biggest question is, why is it ok for certain groups to use this word and not ok for the rest?

This is just one example of political correctness run amok, and societal rules that were meant for good being twisted. Another example is affirmative action. The intent behind the law was great. It was also a good solution for the problem at the time. It helped minorities get jobs that were being denied to them soley on the basis of race. It helped to break up the "good ole boy" network. But when does it go to far?  Why is ok to discriminate against one group for the sake of another? 

The answer is that is never is. Never. I don't care what race, gender, or whatever you are. Everyone in America is equal. If there is one job, it should go to the most qualified applicant, black, white, purple, green, or whatever. It shouldn't go to a minority applicant just because the company needs more minorities.

Another example is that it is ok for certain groups to have their own clubs, scholarships, etc, but it is not ok for white males. Look at Curves gym for women. It is a great idea, and women love working out there. But what do you think would happen if a man tried to open a gym just for men?  The feminist groups would go crazy. Is this equality? 

The bigger issue here is that these discusions are taboo. Nobody wants to talk about these things in an open, honest debate with an exchange of ideas. Some critics are right, racism and sexism still run rampant in the country. But I think we can find a better solution than having the government shift the inequal treatment from one group to another.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

FEMA Funding

I have a great idea...let us tie funding for federal emergencies to budget cuts elsewhere. This way, the next time a hurricane ravages the Easern coast, we will take money away from education, national defense, or social security in order to pay for assistance to all of the people and communities that have been hurt by it.

This sounds ridiculous, but it is exactly what top congressional republicans have been advicating, and an issue that almost shut down government YET AGAIN!!

Now for smaller emergencies, they are right, this can be done with minimal impact to the American people. But imagine if 8.0 + earthquake hits off the coast of California, and subsequent Tsunamis hit San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Imagine if the super volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park erupts.  Yes, these are some of the worst-case scenerios, but given the recent geological activity worldwide in the past decade, neither is completely implausable. Either scenerio would cost billions, if not trillions of dollars worth of damage. Where would the federal government be able to cut spending in order to come up with enough money to support a natural disaster of this magnitude? It wouldn't be possible without completely decimating every other program that the government supports, which would further lead to a destruction of the economy.

Either our representatives in congress are not smart enough to plan for the worst case scenario, or they just don't care. My bet is on the latter. If their plan was approved, in case of a natural disaster the president would have to chose between assisting those affect and maintaining the services and programs that a majority of voting Americans have come to depend upon. He would be set up for failure. Then the Republicans can point him out and lay the blame solely at his feet.

We have come to a point where representatives will stop at nothing to see the other side fail, including a failure of the United States itself. How have we come to this point?  Why do we let the crazies from both sides of the aisle control the decisions for the moderate majority? 

We as Americans need to address this fundamental problem with government, and work towards a solution that promotes a healthy, operation government.