Poll: We Want More Government

The latest New York Times/CBS poll shows that a growing percentage of responders to surveys want more governmental interference, I mean control, over our health care system.  You see only 895 people answered this survey, so could they really speak for the 280 million in this country?  I guess they can.  According to the poll, 85% say there should fundamental changes to the health care system and 72% would like to see the federal government administer such a change.

Let me remind you what they already do with our tax dollars: of the thousands of agencies in the federal government, just Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security make up about $1 trillion of the budget.  That’s about a third of Obama’s budget, and analysts keep telling us that these programs are in the red and cannot maintain there current path.

So how is the President and his team going to offer coverage to the whole country without bankrupting us all?  I don’t know and neither does the President.  I find it disingenuous for him to say that government health insurance can reduce costs and increase efficiency while not cutting any services, accepting any pre-existing conditions, and covering the 47 million uninsured.  

(You can read Obama’s own words here.  The Republicans have an alternative plan, but don’t know how they are going to pay for it either.)

Getting back to the NYT/CBS poll, the respondents may want more government in their health care, but they also want government in their wallet, with 57% saying they are willing to pay higher taxes.  I think this signals a dramatic shift in the spirit and ethic of this American society.  The “old-fashion” idea of working hard and paying for what you get, combined with a freedom to live your own life in both success and failure, is gone or least fading rapidly from the American landscape.  What has replaced it is the notion of entitlement and fairness.  “I want what I want when I want it and no one should have more than me!”  

Wasn’t it my coach who said “life isn’t fair”?  It’s a game of winners and losers.  And the only way to eliminate the possibility of losing is to also give no chance of winning.  Can you imagine the uproar if the NFL decided that all future Super Bowls will have no score?  It’s enough to just watch the game and enjoy how two teams move the ball without the hinderance of an unfair goal line.  How boring and how ridiculous!

It’s time to wake up and follow what’s going on, whether the issue is TARP funding, auto bailouts, or health coverage.  Because the most telling statistic from the NYT/CBS poll had to do with those who are informed about the issues.  Kevin Sack and Marjorie Connelly of The New York Times state, “It is not clear how fully the public understands the complexities of the government plan proposal, and the poll results indicate that those who said they were following the debate were somewhat less supportive.”

Read.  Learn.  Know.  That way no matter what direction this country goes, you know the truth of how we got there.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 1:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Apathy in America

Even though I notice it more and more often, I usually just let is slide by, but today I was listening to talk radio and the guy hit the nail on the head: “Have you noticed that people just don’t listen anymore?”

That’s exactly it!  And it manifests itself through apathy, inconsiderate actions towards others, and a lack of concern for the thoughts and sometimes even the existence of others.  The examples are endless, and I’m sure you’ve got your own.  Here are a few of my own experiences:

• Movie theaters seems to be one the most common places for rudeness and being inconsiderate. I have witnessed a little teenager girl not only answer her phone but have a conversation, en entire family discuss the movie while chewing loudly on their popcorn, someone kicking my seat even after “the look back”, a group of rowdy teenagers laughing and giggling and talking during a dramatic scene, and not to mention the mess that most people leave behind when they leave.  Is it that hard to carry your cup to a trash can? 

• Then there’s all those 1-800 customer no-service numbers.  Why are those people on the other end of the phone if they either do not understand my problem and try to help or have to put me on hold for 15 minutes while the supervisor is brought on the line to assist me?  Then there’s the customer service reps who are in another country and can’t speak English…does it really cost THAT much to have an American call center?

• I thought Orlando was bad, but since coming out to Vegas I now realize that the West Coast has the worst drivers in the country.  They will ride your bumper for “only” going 80 MPH, turn left from the right lane, weave in and out of traffic, nearly miss hitting you by inches and then give YOU the finger — and all of this without using a signal!  

• Now the facelessness of the road is one thing, but face-to-face contact should be better, right?  Well, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been at the register when the cashier doesn’t greet me, talks incessantly to fellow workers who must be “on break” while I’m waiting for my items to be rung up or my order to be taken, and then says nothing as my change is handed to me and moves on to the next customer.

• Lastly, there have been more times than I can count when I have held the door open for someone who walks right on through without so much as a nod or grunt of thanks in my general direction.  I’ve also had someone in front of me just let the door close behind them, without even the slightest push of the door my way so I can grab it as I walk through the doorway.

Now maybe I’m just in a foul mood, maybe I’m being insensitive, maybe I need to lighten up, but am I that far off when I say that people are more rude today than they’ve ever been?  Now as much as we might want to blame it all on those callous and self-centered teens and pre-teens of today, they are only part of the problem.  I’ve seen my fair share of idiotic adults who need some training in listening, watching, and recognizing others in their lives as well.

All I’m asking for is some courtesy and consideration.  I’m not perfect either, but together we can make the day-to-day activities just a little more manageable easy to deal with.  You’ll be surprised how far even the most modest of appreciation and understanding will go, if we all just watch and listen for opportunities to notice those around us.


…Thank you.

Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Potty Break

Now there have been a lot of jokes as well as commentary and analysis on Larry Craig and what he did or did not do.  People have played partisan politics, like this is somehow indicative of the entire Republican party.  Well, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Bill Clinton in the oval office with an intern or Larry Craig in the bathroom stall with an undercover cop, it is a simple combination of lust and poor judgement — and no one party has the corner market on either of these attributes.  You will find a multitude of examples of hypocrisy, greed, power-grabbing, stupidity, and indiscretion on both sides of the aisles.

At this point, however, Larry Craig’s political career and influence are finished.  Bill Clinton, on the other hand, despite being impeached in the House for technically lying under oath, is still highly regarded and could possibly be the nation’s First Husband to President Hillary Clinton.

So why is there such disparity in outcome between these two instances? 

To me the biggest difference is the issue of homosexuality.  Clinton’s affair involved a young woman, while Craig is alleged to have solicited sex with another man.  As much headway has been made by the homosexual community to become more “normalized” in society, there is still a greater outrage to sexual offenses when they involve same-sex partners.  Compare George Michael’s consequences and career since his incident in the bathroom stall to Hugh Grant’s continued popularity since his romp with a prostitute.  Though they are both just as selfish and lustful, the homosexual act is scrutinized with far more shock and condemnation and has more drastically affected the performer’s career than its heterosexual counterpart.  

The second point I want to make or question I want to ask is: Why is what Larry Craig did illegal?  From what I understand there was no public exposure, no money exchanged and no sex acts performed.  So what was the crime?  Simply using hand signals to ask if someone is interested in having sex?  Now while I can certainly see the moral issue with that, I fail to see a legal issue.  I truly know very little of this law, which seems to be in most states in one form or another.

In talking with my friends, I found out that one of them was arrested when an undercover cop asked if he wanted to go back to his place and my friend responded sarcastically with something like, “Depends on what you have in mind…”   So does that mean simply meeting someone and wanting to have sex is a crime?  This seems to make as much sense as those sodomy laws that were in the news several years ago.  I think government has to walk a fine line when legislating morality.  If laws begin to be made that can dictate moral and religious actions that I may happen to agree with, what is to stop legislators from enacting such laws I don’t agree with?  It is especially hard to enforce such laws when they involve two consenting adults in the privacy of their homes.

Now getting back to Larry Craig and Bill Clinton.  Did they make an error in judgment?  Sure they did, but neither of them deserve to be stripped of their political office for that one action alone — unless the people vote them out.  Remember: someone is innocent till proven guilty, there is a democratic process in place of voting some one in or out of office, and most importantly we should all exhibit an attitude of grace and forgiveness towards those who are really no better or worse than we are ourselves.

“There but for the grace of God go I…”

Published in: on September 4, 2007 at 12:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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