Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WTF Rick Scott!!

Today, Rick Scott basically told all liberal arts majors that you are wasting your time and money at college and “we don't need them here [in Florida].” Wow. Governor Alien Head is alienating yet another voting bloc. Not even a year into his term, he has pissed off just about every demographic in the state. One has to wonder if he really wants to be re-elected. Hell, one has to wonder if he even wants to make it to the end of his first term. (Mother Jones has an excellent article on his attacks on liberal arts programs on right-wing radio.)

In his emphasis to push to reduce funding for liberal arts and push more funding toward the “STEM” disciplines (science, technology, engineering & mathematics), I think he should have taken the time to check out what is defined as liberal arts. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines them as “The term liberal arts refers to a curriculum that imparts general knowledge and develops the student’s rational thought and intellectual capabilities, unlike the professional, vocational, and technical curricula emphasizing specialization. The contemporary liberal arts comprise studying literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science. (Hey Governor, I believe two of your STEM disciplines are in here. Di d you know that? Here’s the Wikipedia link if you don’t believe me.)

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for more people getting science, technology, engineering and math degrees. Personally, I feel we really need to step up our game in this country regarding these subjects because we have been falling off our game in recent years. We need to get our competitive edge back if we want to keep up with the rest of the world. But this doesn’t need to be done at the expense of other degrees. There is a place in the world for everyone, and not all people are called to be scientists, IT’s, engineers or mathematicians. To dismiss the liberal arts (or at least the one’s he doesn’t like) as “soft” degrees and not worth state funding is arrogant, ignorant and downright inhuman.

He claims it is to have more of our young people to “get education in areas where they can get jobs.” Well, let’s take a look at this statement, shall we? Over here on the Space Coast, we have over the past year LOST over 10,000 jobs. The people who held these jobs held science, technology, engineering & mathematics degrees. When you turned down 2 billion dollars in federal money for the Sun Rail project, that was a potential 17,000 jobs that would have been created, and many would have been held by people with science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees. Here’s the thing, a college degree is only as useful as your ability to get a job. If you can’t get a job, or the jobs just don’t exist, it is only a fancy piece of paper.

Then there is the impact that cutting funding that goes to the liberal arts programs. For these departments in the larger state universities and liberal arts colleges, this could be a death knoll for them. This would be another economic blow for our state for two reasons. 1.) The loss of these programs & colleges would mean that the jobs of the faculty and staff would no longer exist, therefore more lost jobs. (I thought your campaign slogan was “Let’s get to work,” not “Let’s cut the jobs.”) 2.) The students who would be majoring in these programs would attend colleges elsewhere. When you factor in that these cuts would affect school such as Florida State, University of Florida & University of Miami, the impact is huge. These are schools that not only attract in state student, but a large number of out of state students too. If these students are forced to go elsewhere, they are not spending those college dollars in the Sunshine State.

All I’ve got to say is whoever thought it would be a good idea to vote for this guy, how’s that getting to work-y thing working out for ya?

Friday, October 07, 2011

3 Absolutely False Talking Points

All you hear from politicians nowadays is talking points. Really? Don’t these people have college degrees? You would think with all that higher learning, they could actually express an idea with full sentences, much less actual paragraphs. Let’s be honest, there are many issues that are too complex to be summed up in 10 words or less. This is our country, our way of life we’re talking about here, not a game of Name That Tune.

There are three talking points that particularly annoy the hell out of me. Particularly because they are so absolutely MISLEADING AND DEAD WRONG!!!


These are the folks that don’t believe that any woman should be allowed to have an abortion. This is not necessarily a bad position to hold. Let’s be honest, I have not met a person who is pro-abortion. I seriously doubt you have either. (If you have, this goes against every instinct we are hard wired with to continue the species and they are just not wired right.) And let me make this clear, pro-choice is NOT pro-abortion.

Now, there are a number of politicians and their constituents that have taken the stance of being pro-life, when it would be so much more honest to say they are pro-fetus. When I hear the term pro-life, I see it as meaning someone who respects all life and believes it is all sacred. Those in the modern pro-life movement ONLY the unborn is sacred. Once you’re out of the womb, or not human at all, you are fair game and on your own folks. Most people who are “pro-life” are for:

  • Continuing wars in foreign countries and starting new ones
  • The Death Penalty
  • Hunting for sport and trophies
  • Denying health care to those who can’t afford it
  • Fighting and all attempts at reasonable gun control

Not very pro-life, is it?

~Abstinence is the only safe sex

I have been hearing this one going on a quarter of a century now. We were taught this in high school on up ad nauseam to repeat it to our kids and grand-kids till the day we die. Abstinence is a concept with merit. It is the only 100% way of preventing STD’s and unwanted pregnancy. There is just one thing wrong with what we have been taught. Something cannot be a version of the something it’s not.

Basically, abstinence is NO SEX; therefore it cannot be a safe version of sex.

It’s like saying that the best diet is starvation. A diet is the usual food and drink of a person or animal consumes; starvation is depriving the body of food. There are exact opposites. And so are sex and abstinence.

The correct way to state this would be “Abstinence is the only 100% way to prevent pregnancy and STD’s.”

~Job Creators

This is the newest talking point born just in time for the upcoming 2012 election season. If you make over $250,000 a year, you, my friend, are a job creator. And for this reason, many politicians are saying that you don’t need to pay more taxes. Hell, we should cut them more. Why? So you can take that extra cash, and create more jobs. Sounds good, right?

Here’s the catch, when viewing the figures for the last 30 years the taxes for the $250,000 and above crowd have pretty steadily have gone down, but right alongside it the number of jobs created have gone down too. Actually, the only thing that increased is the number of jobs that were cut. (Facts, the politicians don’t realize apparently, you can find with a mere 5 minutes of research.) So the question becomes, what did they do with all that money they weren’t paying in taxes while the unemployment numbers are at all time highs and the country’s infrastructure is falling apart?

Just today, the CEO for Bank of America defended their new $5 debit card fee that will start next year as people understand that banks “have an inherent right to make a profit.” So how much is enough? At what point is it just plain old fashion greed? And with this profit, will you be creating more jobs at your banks, or will you be cutting jobs to fuel your “inherent right to make a profit?”

The old adage is that you need to spend money to make money. It’s time they put the money where their mouth is and re-invest it in the American people. It’s a very simple equation. If no one has the money to spend on your product, you will cease to continue making a profit. Money needs to keep moving, not be stagnant. That is Economics 101. I think it’s time for these “job creators” to go back to school.