Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Health care for all?

We all know that the current state of health care is on the road to change, but what we all don't know is both sides to the argument.

On one side, people say that Medicare is government-funded and government-run and generally patients love it. So what's the problem? Well the doctors say the problem is that Medicare limits how much they can charge. They say doctors are also facing a potential 20 percent cut in their Medicare payments unless Congress acts on the this health care issue, according to NPR. Should we be worried about there not being enough doctors to care for 46 million newly-insured people?

And we all know that this health insurance reform is expensive, but the Congressional Budget Office estimated that expanding health insurance coverage would probably cost a trillion dollars or more over 10 years, depending on unspecified details that were almost sure to add to the price, according to the New York Times.

On the other side of the argument, they say that we waste $100 - $200 billion a year on the high overhead of insurance companies. $200 - $300 billion a year is frivolously spent to doctors filling out forms for insurance companies.

The compliance cost of patients fighting with insurance companies is unknown, but it is speculated to be in the 100’s of Billions. America is speculated to pay the highest drug cost in the world to drug companies that spend twice as much on profit and three times as much on “marketing” as they spend on research. This is about another $100 billion each year. Apparently this new health care plan will allow everyone to have health care insurance at no more cost per person than we are now paying, according to www.pnhp.org .

So should the government stay out of one of the biggest markets out there? Or should it be regulated and available to everyone? Hopefully we don't result in disaster while we sit back to find out.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Why is civic participation so important?

"Full participation in government and society has been a basic right of the country symbolizing the full citizenship and equal protection of all."
-Charles Rangel

Democracy works best when political institutions – parties, parliaments, local government – are close to voters. This requires that voters are able to make their needs understood; elected representatives explain what they are doing to meet those needs; and mechanisms are in place to make this communication possible.

So why is programs like We the People, that encourage civic participation in the process of being cut out of the budget? Is it a sneaky attempt to hinder the future voters of America from having their own opinion on government? Or was this just mistake that should be looked at again?

Either way the budget should include the funding of programs that only help the progress of our nation and that keeps our very way of governing alive. To me this situation is very discerning to hear about. Not education the youth of today about why it is important to participate in their government will provide a disaster for the future. We seem to forget that the future of our nation will rest in the hands of a very uneducated and uniformed people if we stop the education of civic participation.

Voting is one thing, but encouraging people to find out what they are voting on is another. And when our future America falls into the deception that it is alright not to vote our government as we know it will fail. And because part of the government is the people (the states), it is important for the elected officials to fill their role and foster greater participation in order to connect the communities to each other and to the government.

Non-partisan sites that educate people on the happening of our government and our current issues do help in the matter of enlightening others and promoting civic participation, but more is needed. We need to start this education in the schools. Cutting the funding out of the budget will only make matters worse.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I graduated...now what?

It's that time of year again. The graduation robes and caps are coming out, and the invitations have been sent out. All across the country college students are graduating and entering the workforce. But the big question is, Can I get the job I want in the ailing economy?

The answer is, your screwed. Thousands have been laid off while the toll of the unemployed rises presently. Graduates are scrounging around for a job and are coming up short. Graduates have been left to even move back home.

Only 43 percent of employers in a survey by online job website CareerBuilder.com intended to hire new college graduates this year, down from 56 percent in 2008 and 79 percent in 2007. The site surveyed about 2,500 hiring managers and human resource officials from February 20 to March 11.

Nationally, less than 20 percent of graduating college seniors who applied for a job this year have one, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. That's down more than 30 percent from two years ago when more than half of those who applied for a job had one by the time of graduation according to Reuters.

So what's a grad to do? In order to get your foot in the door many college grads make blogs and websites for future employers to view during the interview process. Popular internet sites promote networking with different companies as well. Searching for a job during a recession isn't impossible at all. The search just requires a lot of extra work to promote yourself.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Didn't your mom ever teach you to wash your hands?

So today I walk into the bathroom on campus to fix my hair. Several seconds later I see a young lady walk into the bathroom and quickly enter the stall. When she is finished she unlocks the stall and marches straight out of the bathroom touching the door knob that have to touch on the event of me leaving the public restroom.

All I have to say is ew! First of all I have to point out that everyone should wash there hands after EVERY time they use the bathroom. Communicable diseases are shared frequently because people either forget or choose to froget about washing there hands. Communicable diseases are those illnesses that can be spread from person to person, or from another infected medium to a person. So please wash your freakin hands!

Hand washing with any kind of soap is most effective when hands are scrubbed vigorously for at least 30 seconds. So don't just run your hands under the faucet either! Throughout the day you accumulate germs on your hands from a variety of sources, such as direct contact with people, contaminated surfaces, foods, even animals and animal waste.

If you don't wash your hands frequently enough, you can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. And you can spread these germs to others by touching them or by touching surfaces that they also touch, such as doorknobs!

So how do you wash your hands properly? Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available and rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces of your hands. Continue rubbing your hands for 15-20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend. Rinse your hands well under running the water. Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer and if it's possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.

And remember to please wash your hands after every trip to the bathroom, it's disgusting not to.

Can I trade my future for some gas in the tank?

Good Lord! Do you dare wish to know the average price for gas in California at the moment? Well for all those brave souls out there, the current average is $2.891, according to the Energy Department's weekly survey of filling stations. It's up 13.5 cents, and because it's the season of summer road trips, prices will raise even higher. 

Now I know it's not as bad as the mind boggling $4.00 a gallon that we all had to endure last year, but what pains me to say is that we are all wasting our money that is putting our nation into further political turmoil.

So what do I propose? Well you should already know the answer. Lying in the midst of a breakthrough is the use of alternative fuel. 

Hello, we already have hybrids and just recently I've seen the new Prius with a solar powered air conditioning system. So don't tell me that we don't have the technology when we do. We all just actually need to start using it.

Other alternatives for those with diesel engines are bio diesel and filtered vegetable oil, vegetable oil being very easy to make and use. And there are plenty of different other options out there as well. 

My point in being, we all need to just try something different than continuing our dependency on oil. Again if not for the ailing environment, do it for yourself and your children. The only way we can fix this problem is to actually go out and fix it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hey! Where have all the fish gone?

Today, Monday, June 8, is recognized as the first U.N.-sanctioned World Oceans Day. According to CNN, "the U.N. reports that 75 percent of seafood species are maxed out or over exploited. Catches of nearly a third of these species are less than 10 percent of what they once were. Ninety percent of the big fish -- sharks, tuna, swordfish -- are already gone, according to a 2003 study in Nature."

I don't know about you but I feel as though we should be a little alarmed upon the matter.

"The chemistry of the oceans is changing as they absorb 11 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, and scientists say the acidifying waters will make it impossible for coral reefs, the nurseries of the sea, to grow. At the current rate of acidification, corals, sea snails and other calcium-carbonate-requiring life forms could begin to dissolve by the middle of the century, with potentially catastrophic results. Shellfish and fish will be in deep trouble as well. This is all happening on our watch" says Danson of CNN.

So what can we do about this?

Recycle. Recycling is one of the first things you can do about this situation. Every year, about 300 billion pounds of plastic is produced around the world, and only a fraction is recycled according to Greenpeace. The majority ends up in landfills, but some finds its way into our oceans. Plastic is valued for its resistance to degradation, so its life span can be hundreds of years. When plastic reaches our oceans, it eventually breaks down due to the action of the sun, wind, and currents, into small, literally bite sized pieces that wildlife confuse with food.

These clumps of trash and debris has been directly blamed for the death of a wide range of animals including albatrosses and sea turtles. This massive amount of trash can trap thousands of creatures, there are also concerns that even the smallest pieces of plastic may pose a problem, as plastic often accumulates in the digestive tract, many animals essentially choke on plastic intake.

And if you can't recycle (or just choose not too) you can just throw away trash you see lying on the ground. This trash can get carried away into our water system and eventually can get swept off into the ocean.
And even if this appears to be too much for you, you can at least try to watch your consumption of wasteful products. Try buying things that have more recyclables in the package at the store, or at least buy the package with the lesser amount of plastic.

Being green is not all that hard. In fact you'll even find your wallet to come out a little heavier in that back pocket of yours. So if not for the well being on the planet that you live on and the health and safety for the plants, animals and your fellow human beings, be more environmentally conscious for the future of you and your children.

Cutting Knowledge From the Future Generation

First things first, as a Californian, it is important to know that the California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has proposed cutting public spending in almost all areas. The most important cut that has occurred was the slashing of funds that went towards education. California's public schools already trail most states in academic performance and they suffer from high dropout rates. Now they face a historic state budget deficit that is expected to force deep cuts in education funding that will lead to thousands of teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, school closures and a shortened school year.

How does this effect the students you ask? Well let me tell you what has happened to me and my fellow students in the surrounding area.

Currently things have become ridiculously insane around the Cal Poly Pomona campus as all the summer courses have been canceled and our governor attempts to cut more of the educational budget. Currently I cannot take a single summer course that I actually need due to the unavailability.

Classes during the academic year are even scarce to find as well, proof being in the fact that I still can't get into that darn English 105 course after attempting to do so for the entire first year of college! Music majors here on campus have to transfer to other schools because most of all the required courses are being cut as well.

And on the elementary school level, back in Bakersfield where I went for most of my high school career, the entire music program is being demolished from the Fruitvale school district.

So not only is the economy spiraling down the toilet, but the future generations will enter the world of business completely ignorant of all things cultural, retarded from the vital information they so desperately need to function, and so unhealthily obese because the physical education is being cut as well.
So good job govenator, you have completely destroyed the future!