Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday Spending

First off, for those of you who don't know what it is, Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season.

The term dates back to at least 1966, although its usage was primarily on the East coast. Many retailers open extremely early, with most of the retailers typically opening at 5AM or even earlier.

The term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day, but more recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being in the red (i.e., posting a loss on the books) to being in the black (i.e., turning a profit).

This year consumer spending was slightly higher on Black Friday. I suppose the stores opening earlier and less supplies of popular products wouldn't be to blame would it? Preliminary sales data already show shoppers spent $10.66 billion when they hit the malls on the day after Thanksgiving, up only 0.5 percent more than last year,according to ShopperTrak RCT Corp.

Shoppers crowded stores and malls in the wee hours Friday, some after spending the night waiting in line, to grab early morning deals and hard-to-find items. The nation's retailers expanded their hours and offered deep discounts on everything from toys to TVs in hopes of getting consumers, many of whom are worried about high unemployment and tight credit, to open their wallets. 

A number of stores, including Walmart and many Old Navy locations, opened on Thanksgiving, hoping to make the most of the extra hours. Toys R Us opened most of its stores just after midnight Friday. Which makes me wonder if people even celebrated Thanksgiving.

So hopefully with all this added time to shop, when the final numbers come out about Black Friday sales we'll see a greater increase in spending.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Health Care A Go?

So for those who have been following the news lately, you are already informed about the situation that the new health care reform bill is in.

We know that the bill is most likely going to get passed if all the Democrats in the Senate vote in favor for it.

Depending on who you decide to talk to, the facts that you will receive will vary quite noticeably.

On the one hand, a Democrat in the Senate who agrees that the bill should be passed will tell you that 98% of Americans will get covered in this new government run health care plan and the 31 million needed to finance this bill will only be a result of taxes that those who earn at least $200,000 in their annual salary or more will have to pay.

But on the other hand, a Republican in the Senate will inform you that important regular screening such as mammograms and cervical cancer screenings will be limited and most likely rationed out despite the need for women to get screened early and often.

The so called "recommendations" that were just released from the government had recently informed people that women over 50 were the only ones who should really worry about mammogram screenings and that cervical cancer screenings were really "recommended" for women 21 years of age or older. These new releases actually sparked the concerns of rationing from the health care plan because the statements were actually misleading.

But of course if you talk to Democrat in the Senate, like Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu who according to the Associated Press says she will vote yes on the bill, will tell you that they guarantee that there will be no rationing of much needed procedures and screenings and that everyone will still be able to receive these simple procedures and screenings just like how it is actually recommended.

I for one would like the voters to actually review the bill thoroughly and revise any "misleading" information in the plan. But that of course is wishful thinking and something left for a perfect world.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Biggest Issue Right Now Is Education

We now have all experienced the weight our crippled economy with the recent budget cuts for our schools, job losses and massive unemployment and issues involving health care.

And with the rumors that are going around about various departments and programs on campus being cut, students currently in school are experiencing this heavy burden now at a greater level. With students with in the mist of registering for classes, being informed that some of the majors offered at certain campuses will eventually not exist due to a lack of much needed expenses.

Already the classes in every department have been limited to the bare minimum now to the point where a number of students are left waiting for that one class that they need to graduate. Those certain classes that students are never able to register for, due to the overcrowding within the classrooms, often diminish the process of graduating on time. It saddens me to say that some departments will eventually be cut altogether.

Currently the school that is the quickest to drop departments is Cal Poly Pomona due to its very limited budget. Smaller programs such as philosophy and history are up for discussion for being cut within the budget. And even with the thought of certain departments being cut for good on campus, and at other departments being cut at other CSUs, the most disturbing news is that all of these decisions are to be finalized only within the next few weeks.

And because of this situation, in outrage, faculty and students plan a walk out at 11:30 am on November 19, 2009 according to the California Faculty Association. A teach-in sponsored by the CFA and Students for quality Education will inform the people attending the walk out on ways to fight back against this terrible situation.

The event will be located in the main quad in Pomona, and it would act as a demonstration to show that there are people who will not let this issue pass quietly about the mutilation of their university.

And despite $77.5 million being allocated to the CSU system, the budget is still having to be cut and acts such as limiting the number of units students could register during their registration period is still occurring. And the problem isn’t being fixed anytime soon. The state of California is running out of money and the CSU system is weakening by the minute.

I’m concerned to what is to become of our state’s higher education. Fewer classes, majors being cut indefinitely, and less money being available for the shape of education, have painted a grim picture for students both now and in the future.

And the fault doesn’t lie upon the students unlike how the dark anticipation of a system on the verge of collapsing looms about, nor does it drape over the faculty or the CSU system itself.

No, I believe that there are others responsible who are entitled to act and change this horrific spiraling fireball that we relay as the cutting of our education. And surely I suggest to the students to make sure that the people at fault are aware of our dreadful situation.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shutting Down the Fox News Channel and Our Freedom of Speech?

 So I know I'm a little late to comment on the matter, but this issue of potentially getting rid of a whole news channel kind of makes me nauseous.

So as everyone should know, during an appearance on Fox News, Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean said that Fox's news coverage has at times been "shockingly biased, and I think that's wrong and I just say so right up front."

The party Chairman also said he agreed with the netroots campaign to boycott the Democratic debates on the network.

Immediately after hearing this news my mind flashed back to the first Amendment, you know, the one about our freedom of speech? So what if a news station is a bit biased. They still report the facts while suggesting their opinion on the matter. It's impossible not to have an opinion.

And maybe I just think this way because I'm a blogger who is obviously extremely opinionated about everything as I'm aloud to be, but with so many options of news coverages, how else is each channel going to stand out?

Everyone pretty much covers the news at a relatively quick response within minutes of the break of a newsworthy story, but what makes people actually choose a specific source is now mainly the accuracy and the opinions provoked. And with the accuracy box checked on Fox News Channel, I believe they are allowed to voice their opinions on everything political. That's just the way I view the matter.