Archive for February, 2009

Where do we go from here? A rant of sorts, on the economy and ‘change’…

School, and life in general, has been keeping me busy lately. Not so busy that I haven’t been keeping up with the news, and the seemingly haphazard way the new administration is approaching things. There is already ample opinion within the “blogosphere” but I may as well add my take on things, so here goes.

First up, and I know this will not be changing anytime soon, I really wish presidents would stop using “mandate” as an excuse for everything. When you preface your argument by stating you have achieved a “mandate from the people”, and then proceed to support your plan as infallible because it was clearly supported by the “overwhelming” desires of voters, you open yourself to all kinds of attacks. Here’s one of them. President Obama won by a pretty clear margin, so it is fairly evident that a high number of people agreed with his campaigning. If we are to believe the position of President Obama regarding the virtues of his economic plan, how can we possibly reconcile his praise of his own plan and his (and other welfare-liberals’) attacks on “Reaganomics”? Thus far, the only actual reason given by the current administration for embracing this new plan, which certainly isn’t being met with resounding success, is that there was a mandate. If that is a reason for things being inherently brilliant, there can not possibly be a single inch of room for the current administration to criticize the economic model of the Reagan Administration – Ronald Reagan did, after all, win a larger mandate than anyone since FDR.

Next, if the news is worth reading you should probably read it from several sources. No story is ever long enough to cover every angle, and you’ll often miss very important details, or nuances that may spur you into investigations of your own. Every major newspaper I’m aware of has a pretty decent website available. Some of them may require you to register, and you should. For what it’s worth, I’m registered at several and have received exactly zero unwanted emails from the lot. Every single day, I go through the following sources: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, The Austin American-Statesman, The San Antonio Express-News, and The San Marcos Daily Record. This keeps me fairly well abreast of the ongoings of my city, my region, my country, and ultimately (through international editions) the world. Hitting up is probably a good idea as well, if you’d like to stay on top of what your government is doing (and you should be very keen on doing just that).

Wait, this was supposed to be a rant. Right then, onwards!

The first bit of news I came across today was Explaining a ‘No’ Vote on Stimulus in Michigan. The headline is a bit deceptive, as I found no real explanation for anything. Rep. McCotter simply doesn’t feel the plan will work, sentiments echoed by “experts” ideologically aligned both left AND right (though clearly for differing reasons). The rest of the article basically focuses on the the political strategy side of the stimulus bill. If it works, those that voted against it may find themselves out of office come the next election. If not, maybe they’ll be heroes of democracy!? I have to wonder about at least one point, this Connie woman’s sons were veterans of some sort. While the era in which they served was not mentioned, it is pretty difficult these days to NOT qualify for at least some form of veteran’s health care if you were honorably discharged in the last…. oh… decade.

What I would like to see, is a rational explanation for actually voting for this stimulus bill (or the preceding stimulus bills). For me it’s a bit of a stretch to think that Congress actually has explicit rights to even do half of the things they intend to do with the bill. Many of these new billion-plus dollar plans and programs are not in line with the powers delegated by Article 1 of the Constitution, and a few more trample all over the rights of states to conduct their own business. Somehow, this all goes by without much scrutiny from anyone – and certainly not from the Harvard educated constitutional scholar we presently call Mr. President. It actually is pushed for by that very man, who believes the constitution is more an obstacle to be surmounted than a set of boundaries within which we should operate.

Apparently some Governors are concerned that the bill might erode the rights of the state even more, and ultimately cause greater financial problems in the long run – when the well runs dry at the end of the stimulus. Of course there are plenty of people willing to call this purely political, and even racist, but it’s hardly illogical. If you’re suddenly given an operating budget thirty times the size of any historical operating budget, you’re going to get a little spend-happy. When your budget is forced back down into the world of normalcy, you will no longer be able to sustain normal operation and back into the cycle you go. My impression is that this entire stimulus will ultimately result in that very problem across the nation. From the private citizen all the way up to government agencies. History repeats itself.

What we heard so much about leading up to the election was “change.” What I said before the election that the only change we would likely see would be the direction from which government abuse comes. It seems that was about as accurate a prediction as one could have made, and it has since been echoed in virtually every news outlet I’ve come across. It is still early, but signs are not good for the current administration’s quest for change. Soon, we may all be lucky find any change at all – but worry not, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are ready to sprinkle all the change in the world about the streets.

Full speed ahead

The start of this semester has pretty much been a whirlwind of activity in my little world. I’ve aggressively become active in the student media world here at Texas State, because I don’t think I can sail through life on my DD214 forever. While my résumé is far from lacking content, none of that content really relates to my desired field. There is no time like the present to address the issue, and I’m attacking it with a full frontal assault.

Wednesday, I was elected Vice President of Texas State University’s Society of Professional Journalists student chapter. Following the meeting, I headed down the hill to the University Star and burned the midnight oil importing content from the print edition to the new online edition. By the end of tomorrow, hopefully we will go live with the new site. Somewhere in between all of that I finished my letter to the scholarship committee within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and rocked a few exams.

In the not too distant future I also hope to write some content for the Texas VFW magazine, and maybe even the national VFW magazine. Transitioning from war to the classroom, in a span of just a few months, was quite the adjustment. That adjustment I would not have happened anywhere near as smoothly had I not been guided in the right direction by the members of my local VFW post. Chances are I’d have stumbled through more than just the VA paperwork for my disability claims had they not been around to help. Since the service branches generally do a terrible job of informing those separating from service about the opportunities available to veterans, membership in a VFW post can be a real blessing for qualified veterans. I intend to spread that information far and wide, so those that come after me have an easier time than I did with their transition.

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