Sunday, July 29, 2012

NBC's Olympic Coverage terrible!

Whenever the Olympics roll around, I always love watching the various events and praise NBC for having numerous channels and therefore a variety of events to watch. However, the people they get to do the commentary is just terrible. As I was watching the Lochte / Phelps race last night, I hated how the commentators and follow-up reporters who interviewed the two were creating such drama and rivalry between the two. While I am not a big Phelps fan, I did enjoy how he brushed off the reporter and didn't feed into her attempt to spark rivalry between his teammate.

And Ryan Seacrest / Meredith Vieira? Why are they there? Ryan Seacrest's pompous attitude ruins the coverage whenever he makes an appearance, not to mention the fact that he's trying to turn the athletes into celebreality. It's always nice to hear the athletes' stories, but I don't need a little bio film with him Q-and-Aing the family. I think I'll be flipping the channel whenever he makes an appearance... Meredith is another story - why is she even there? And how much work has that woman had done on her face?

Regardless, I'll continue to watch!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Expectations vs. Entitlement

Earlier this week I was browsing Reddit and found a post on r/Boston by a young radio producer who works with a Boston-area station that produces NPR-like content. His post was title "Youth unemployment is double the national average and median net worth for young households is down 68% in the last 25 years. In short, the “American Dream” isn't what it used to be. I want to tell this story" and basically he was looking for subjects willing to discuss their stories relating to not being where they want to be in life. Feeling very passionate about the subject, I volunteered myself and we met up yesterday afternoon.

After telling my story about college, my views on the difficulties faced by liberal arts grads, my take on Teach for America, and my short stint on unemployment, we got to summing up the argument as coming down to expectations vs. entitlement.

Throughout my story, we both realized that I didn't feel like I was entitled to anything, whether that be a better job, a higher salary, or better benefits from the government. However, I came to realize that my expectations had really changed over the past decade.

Upon entering high school, the American dream teaches us that college is the path that we need to take. College, it is told, will open up paths and jobs that are not available otherwise. If this is true, why are so many degree-holders currently working at coffee shops and reception/admin jobs? Why am I working at a job right now that I could have done without a college degree?

Therefore, college grads should have expectations. We should expect to get a well-paying job upon graduating that we couldn't normally find without a degree. We should expect to make above minimum wage after graduating from college. Otherwise, why did we go so far into debt for something that isn't aiding us? 

Expectations have changed drastically. The US higher education system has opened the floodgates and allowed too many students to attend college, thus making Bachelor Degrees only a step up in value over high school diplomas. Yet, what really gets me is that while this devaluation of our education is occurring, the cost of college education continues to rise!

And while I don't believe I feel entitled, I think college grads like myself SHOULD feel entitled. We spent tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands) on a college degree that isn't taking us (all) where we should be going. We're consumers - we purchased our college experience, some went for high-end private schools, more frugal others like myself chose state schools, so we should be entitled to a society or system that values our commitment to education and the purchase we made. Yet we graduate and find that this is not the case.

Disclaimer: I know a bunch of people who have done wonderfully with their Bachelor's Degrees and commend them. It is my personal opinion, however, that the struggle is new-found for grads in the humanities and liberal arts.

Starting Fresh

Alright, I'm going to start blogging/writing again. I am starting fresh. But I'm not going to clear this blog or start a new one because looking back I still believe that a lot of my earlier posts contained decent content and warrant being saved.

So let's try this again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Right Click, Save As

Sorry that I've recently been utilizing this space to "SAVE" images and articles that I especially enjoy. I've had a writer's block in terms of creative output, and I never feel in the mood to rant about society or America - especially when I can find articles and images off Reddit that explain all of my feelings and sentiments so nicely :)

The US Prison System

‎"America, Land of the Free has always been a myth, but now it’s becoming something even worse: a lie. The majority of young people no longer believe it. Ask them. Your children no longer believe the textbooks you give them. The American Dream, too, is becoming a load of crap. Study hard and work harder, and you’ll most likely end up with nothing more than fatigue and a life-long mountain of student debt."

‎"The presentation also pointed out that the U.S. has never slowed, even a little bit, in its continuous creation of new laws. The disappearance of freedom in America is a process that has been going on for decades."

Reddit Gold

So simple, yet so difficult for so many Americans.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Couldn't NOT Re-Post

"Even as the Republican candidates fight to see who can get furthest to the right, acceptance of gay people and gay marriage in the United States is moving briskly along. Gallup finds support for same-sex marriage now at 53 percent, up from 40 percent in 2008...Just two decades ago most Americans said they didn't know anyone who was gay. Now only 22 percent say that — a remarkable level of change. Acceptance and visibility rise in tandem."

"Republican leaders know that opposition to same-sex marriage is strong in their base right now but that young voters support marriage equality overwhelmingly. They don't want to lose a whole generation."

"If the federal court decision holds up in California and gay marriage is restored there, then almost a quarter of Americans will live in states with marriage equality."

"That sound you don't hear — the absence of outrage over marriage rights, and gay spokespeople for middle-American companies — is the sound of social change."

Once-Loud Opposition to Gay Marriage Has Quieted (by David Boaz)

Kirk Cameron

Obviously Cameron and Baldwin do not represent all evangelicals. “Despite what Kirk Cameron said on CNN's Piers Morgan program, being gay is not unnatural, detrimental, or destructive to the foundation of civilization,” said Todd Ferrell, president of the Evangelical Network. "The church in large is part of the problem but has great potential to be a part of the solution. The church and Christianity have gotten off track by overemphasizing religious legalism and underemphasizing a relationship with God. They also are simply out of touch with where America is on equality. Churches across America are seeing lower attendance, and much of this has been attributed to their nonstop preaching against gays and lesbians.”

Kirk Cameron's Antigay Remarks: Celebrities Respond (The Advocate)

Friday, March 2, 2012

iPad America

Today I was taking the subway to work and it finally dawned on me how much I despise the iPad. There I was, standing on the train, and I look down at this man sitting next to me watching a TV show on his iPad. Now, I understand that the iPad does have some unique functions which makes it a strong asset to have, making it essentially a lightweight and more portable laptop. However, all I could see was the iPad becoming the "TV screen away from the TV" for Americans. Finally, I realized that the Wall-E depiction of Americans being enslaved by the boob tube isn't that far from reality.

And yes, I do have an iPod which I listen to while on the go, but usually I listen to my music and read a book at the same time. Watching a TV show seems to be in another category in my mind.

Need More Reasons?

An article from The Advocate, Indiana Lawmakers Working Hard to Trash Gay License Plate caught my attention earlier this week because Republicans in Indiana are working around the clock to try and ban license plates that support LGBT issues and funding that supports LGBT groups through the plates. Other plates are also in the cross hairs as Republicans "determine" that "enough is enough" with specialty plates - which provide the state and groups with additional (and probably much needed) funding.

What gets me angry is that once again Republicans are wasting both time and money to attack or put to rest something that is trivial. Are specialty plates hurting anyone? If there is a market for them, the state should pursue it. And again, it's the democrats who have the clearest head:

Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, said that shifting the issue back to the legislature will insert politics into the specialty license plate process. "I am afraid in today's environment that we will use this as a device to attack certain groups," he said. "Look at the collateral damage. This bill will have a negative impact on people who support Marines, people who support military funerals, the zoo, perhaps the Special Olympics."

"I'm not willing to pay that price," DeLaney said. "I don't want to spend the next few years voting on license plates and having every hate group driving me crazy."

Reasons Why I Love (Hate) America

Thought I'd share some pictures that I stumbled across on the internet this week:

A wonderful example of just how terrible Rick Santorum is...

What's taking you so long, America?

Even though I hate voting, I will turn out for Obama.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Wonder...

Could someone press charges against Rick Santorum for his blatant discrimination?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"We the People"

I must add one more great article from today:
‘We the People’ Loses Appeal With People Around the World
A great article about how the US Constitution is becoming less and less a model that other nations look to when drafting or amending their own. I also learned from it that it's a common practice to completely change or redraft a Constitution ever 19 years - so why has America's yet to be overhauled? The article also goes on to say that our Constitution is one of the most difficult to amend - not surprised there!

Some great quotes:
"The rights guaranteed by the American Constitution are parsimonious by international standards, and they are frozen in amber. As Sanford Levinson wrote in 2006 in “Our Undemocratic Constitution,” “the U.S. Constitution is the most difficult to amend of any constitution currently existing in the world today.” (Yugoslavia used to hold that title, but Yugoslavia did not work out.)"

"It has its idiosyncrasies. Only 2 percent of the world’s constitutions protect, as the Second Amendment does, a right to bear arms."

“America is in danger, I think, of becoming something of a legal backwater,” Justice Michael Kirby of the High Court of Australia said in a 2001 interview.

How DO They Get Elected!?

Louisiana Congressman Mistakes Onion Story for Factual News
Representative John Fleming, a Republican from Louisiana mistakes a satirical Onion story for truth, in what I would call a show of humiliation.One seriously needs to ask how the people of the United States continues to elect and support such idiots to political offices. I cannot wait for the day when the younger generations move the older people in power now out and change this nation, and revert the damage that religiously overzealous Republicans and southerners have wrought.

I was thinking last night as I sat in front of the computer reading some news: I need to make it a bucket list addition to vandalize the graves of these so-called "politicians" when they expire. For example, I'll make it my dying effort to find Rick Santorum's grave and photograph a gay marriage being held right behind it.

The greatest quote ever:
Hudson Hongo, the brains behind Literally Unbelievable, said he finds it “extremely satisfying to see a politician being made the rube by just the kind of sensationalism (in this case satiric), that they seem so adept at manufacturing these days.”

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Worse Than Convicts?

"Santorum Says Gay Parents Worse Than Convicts"
Where is the line drawn between this political nonsense and complete bigotry? And why would we choose someone so close minded to be in one of the most powerful positions in the world? How does the media not highlight the offensive nature behind these comments made by big-name politicians? If you were to omit "gay" and fill in "black," "Asian," etc. into the phrase, people would be up in arms.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Voter Turnout

I'm aware that I live in America, the "land of the free" and a nation that values and protects an individual's democratic values and rights. However, there is one thing I'm not ashamed to say: I NEVER vote (for the president), and I don't see myself turning out in the foreseeable future.

The main reason? Because an individual's vote is not representative of who is elected.

Take for example these caucuses and primaries. Why is it that certain "swing states" basically have more of a voice and more of a decision that other states? Why is it that we allow states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, among others, to have such a strong voice in politics? Why do politicians hit these states hard but rarely come to a state that they know they won't win? If they basically give up on state's that will never turn in their favor, then why are we still one unified nation? Why not split into two countries: one of red states and one of blue states?

And speaking of red and blue states, another main reason why I don't vote is because of the "electoral college" nonsense. If this were a true democracy, or as true as we can get in this day and age, then why not allow the popular vote to reflect the electoral outcome? I've never understood this. Who cares if one state's population is larger than another's - if the vote of each citizens truly counts, that shouldn't matter. Basically, since I live in Massachusetts, no matter who I may vote for, my state will always turn blue, and simply put my vote doesn't count.

And the last reason is this bipartisan nation we live in: why does everything have to be black and white? It's become evident that Republicans and Democrats argue and disagree with laws and social impacts just to disagree! Why hasn't any other party gained a foot in Congress? If you look to the UK, Canada, or other nations with similar governments as ours, there are numerous parties present in government, working together to enact change and getting a lot more accomplished than they do up on Capitol Hill.

Lunchtime Bully

Absolutely embarrassing that this man is so close to being the nation's president. Topic of discussion aside, he sounds like a high schooler arguing over the lunch table in the cafeteria. Sad.

I guess he got booed off the stage after that - good!
Just wish that had made it to this video clip...

One Last Thing...

This is sort of a follow-up post to the one that I just posted moments ago (see below first?) because I'm delving more into recent news articles and getting myself into an unnecessary earlybird morning rant.

It's just that American politics embarrass me; it just seems as though politicians in this country make a mockery of the nation and our democratic values. On one hand, you have a nation founded on representation of the people, yet you find politicians who remotely listen to their constituents. And many of these old men remain in positions of power far past their time of usefulness (if they ever had it). What's left are men who argue and push for change that benefits their "party" and not the nation, the people, or society.

The Resident just gets me:

A few examples? How about the various threats of government shutdown because Congress can't agree on issues of funding? Or the failure or certain politicians to sign bills that would help society without appropriate amendments for oil pipelines?

But what's worse are the politicians who bring their religious beliefs into the mix, and let's face it, nearly all of the big ones do. The up-for-grab Republicans of 2012 speak of religious and god in nearly every speech - just watch the Rick Perry TV spot that's gotten so many negative hits. I'm sorry, but I didn't realize I was living in medieval Europe - didn't we agree to separate religion and politics?

But no - we still have people who wish to deny marriage to certain groups of people because their religion defies marriage between a man and a woman. Again I'm sorry, but how does that affect the nation? We don't all believe in God, nor will we all be getting married in a church, or look for the approval of religious leaders or politicians.

Just what is the politicians job in this sense? They need to enact laws that are best to serve society - and seeing that LGBT people make up more than 10% of it, I'd call it bigotry (as the article previously posted did) to outright deny a group of people something that will better their lives at the expense of no one.

I'll just post this and then peace out:

For and Against

A bad stomach ache has me up right now at 5AM, but at least I'm sitting here trying to catch up on some news rather than lay in bed with the false hope that sleep will surely come (and not). What I enjoy most is when I read an op-ed piece that nearly word-for-word connects to exactly how I feel.

I give you A New Way to Challenge Antigay Politics. Some great talking points of the piece:

Just in the past month we’ve had Rick Santorum (Google that name, please) telling us he’d “invalidate” our legal marriages via a constitutional amendment (as if the president had that power). Newt Gingrich has likened sexual identity to so-called lifestyle choices such as celibacy. Ron Paul is hiding behind the mantra of “Let’s leave things like marriage to the states” (“states’ rights!”) while two-facedly reiterating that he supports the federal Defense of Marriage Act (which defines for the states what the federal government will recognize when it comes to marriages).

Every election cycle we say “This one is more important than ever.” We’ve become immune to it; some of us are even immune to paying attention. It’s dangerous because this past year we’ve achieved such critical victories — on the marriage equality front and an end to over a decade of the official bigotry of “don’t ask, don’t tell” — that our enemies are now fighting even harder. To be sure — and this is really important — our allies and enemies cannot always be identified simply by whether they have a big (D) or (R) after their name. And, indeed, we do ourselves a disservice by marching blindly in lockstep behind one party.

I think I'll give this web show a looksie when it starts to broadcast. If you go to HereTV you can watch a short preview clip of the what's in store and what the host aims to do. Being seemingly bashed constantly from Republicans/politicians makes me angry, but then again I try my best to shrug it off since politics in this country will never leave me satisfied.

I'm off to lay in bed and watch last night's Jersey Shore :)