Friday, April 8, 2011

In Case Of Fire, Close Yosemite Park

Over the past few years, the news has been littered with reports of entire households being murdered by one individual. The perpetrator wasn’t a stranger, but a parent in the household. In these cases, one adult, of sound mind and body, decides that the financial outlook for the entire span of time is so bad that everyone is better off dead. Instead of getting a loan, begging, borrowing, stealing, seeking government aid or getting a third shift night watchman job, they chose to kill their families instead. Upsetting? It should be. Have we seen the last of it? It’s doubtful, and the next spate of tragedies may be sparked by our own government. As I type this, we are a scant 12 hours away from a government shutdown. As ominous as the term is, we aren’t in any danger of anarchy, martial law or nuclear disaster. (Our thoughts and prayers remain with our brothers and sisters in Japan.) The shutdown, in actuality, is more akin to a breakup left on a voicemail. True, it’s easier to rid yourself of an unwanted relationship that way, avoiding the awkward facial, vocal, and possibly physical response from the ex. Like a cowardly boyfriend or girlfriend, the government’s meandering procedure avoids a great deal of responsibility. It says that making faithful, but somehow non-essential, employees take involuntary, unpaid vacations is the most viable solution to coerce an opponent into action. This tactic, while not new, further underscores a fundamental flaw in our political system. It’s Democrats versus Republicans, liberals versus conservatives, when it should be our government versus the debt (or poverty, or discrimination, or drugs, or violence et. Al.) . Cutting off hard working citizens and small businesses contracted to perform services for government is the equivalent of burning down your house so no one ever tries to break in. Not only does “ridding ourselves of these non-essentials” do nothing to reduce the burden, it will in fact add an unnecessary strain to the already beleaguered morale of our country. We don’t have time for stubborn, uninventive people to stand their ground about the issue so long that everyone loses as a whole. President Obama is much underrated, and it’s because he keeps his hands relatively clean. The problem there is that American society has become so cynical that we only trust certain people when we have a disagreeable past to which they can be compared. However, being slow to anger and slow to speak, though encouraged in the Bible, has side effects. Take it how you like, but because Obama appears to be weak to some people, that misperception has empowered a movement against him. Introducing today’s GOP, or as I’ve dubbed them: the “Change Backs”. Despite their press releases and sound bites, my beloved Republican Party, of whom I am a registered member, are fighting President Obama is every way possible except for the correct way. To unseat an incumbent President is not impossible, but there is a reason why we’ve had two consecutive two-term Commanders-In-Chief. People are happy when change occurs and it betters their lives. Though it is important, it is very hard for Americans to wrap their minds around doing their part to reduce national debt, when they can’t even get their personal debt under control. The HAMP program was and is successful, but the elements aren’t understood by all, and we all know that when someone or something isn’t clear, the ignorant tend to deem it evil. So-called Obamacare has some significant costs with it, but the main cost I support is the $100 less per pay period that Aetna gets to take out of my check. I have not yet heard if they will have to do massive layoffs or borrow from the government to keep their doors open. Democrats did fail to settle on a budget last year, and that has now carried over into the 2nd quarter of 2011. Republicans can pounce on this screw up and put themselves in a better position to take over the White House, the House and the Senate. Or, and I like this idea better, they can come up with a viable, bipartisan solution, and actually solve the issue. But such as it is – if nothing happens by midnight, our troops don’t get paid. Hey, Pvt. Johnson, we need you to move out with your unit! We have an urgent need for reinforcements! Okay, Commander, just looking at this email from my wife: “Hi honey! Sorry to bother you while you are off defending our ideals and battling terrorists, but the car just got repossessed and the house is in foreclosure! All the checks I wrote bounced because your paycheck didn’t post into the checking account! On the plus side, the government is saving $25,000 a week because the national parks are closed! Yay for democracy!” (While satirical in nature, this is potentially what can happen to our soldiers.)

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