Uh Oh, Politics.....
Our ever loquasious leader, the POTUS George Walker Bush, gave the State of the Union speech - or as I like to call it, prime-time tv killer - last night to much Republican fan-fare. The Democrats, on the other hand, seemed to only applaud when GWB tripped over his own words and when he mentioned that social security would run out of funding by 2018, but I will get into that in a little bit.
First and foremost, if you would like to read what Mr. Bush said, follow this link and delight in his words: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/02/20050202-11.html.
My first thought is about his speech as a whole. I know that if I were president I would start my speech by saying, "Hold all your applause until the end." All the clapping and bullshit political posturing really takes away from the message at hand. It breaks up the speech into mini-parts and really effects the flow when trying ot listen from an objective stand point. As much as I dont like GWB, I have always been a sbacker of the idea that one must support our president while he is in office regardless of his political ideals because all the complaining in the world wont get him removed. I am not saying that you have to agree with everything he believes, because it will become obvious that I dont agree with him on many fronts. I am saying that he is our leader and we have to work with that fact to become stronger. My point is that the applause from one side of the room and the crickets churping from the other side shows our country, on a world stage, in a divided light, rather than a united front.
A general problem I had with GWB's speech is that he outlined many problems he had with the country, but he really didnt come up with any plans to get things rolling with any solutions. Again, if I were president, ("Id make sure all the money was spent on good things...."(pharcyde reference, sorry)) I would spend the first half hour of my state of the union speech talking about all the bad things that are happening in our country and around the world. Then I would focus on my plans for correcting those problems.
GWB mentioned that our economy is improving "with more American's going back to work." He then talked about how as a nation we created 2.3 million new jobs. If that is the case, why does it seem that there are more out of work people now than there ever have been? When I initially got my job, two weeks shy of 5 years ago, I was picked out of an applicant pool of maybe 10 people, at the most. Today we hired a new guy that we picked out of a pool of close to 80 people! And to be completely honest with you, there is nothing earth shattering about my job that 80 people should be applying for it. If there are all these new jobs, why are their so many people clammering for a mediocre job at best?
One good benefit that my current employer offers, however, is an excellent 401K program, and after hearing what GWB said last night about the state of Social Security I suppose I am should become more thankful. It seems, at least according to the White House, that by 2018 all of us current social security investors are going to become shit out of luck. Whoops, no more money for us! And instead of coming up with an idea on how to fix the problem, GWB instead put the onus on the congress to fix the problem by re-organizing the present structure. He stressed, with equal importance, the necessity for each private citizen to start planning for their own retirement without the governments help. For me, that is all fine and good, except that I have a problem with paying for my own retirement as well as continuing to fund todays elderly with their retirement! Yes, social security is out dated, but we have become complacent with the idea that as we get older we will have the security blanket that is the government. Unfortunately, by the time I age enough to climb under that blanket and attempt to warm myself up the only thing that is going to be left is blanket shards and threads!
Do I have a plan to overcome this situation? Of course not, but then again, I am not the president and that isnt expected of me. I do recognize that something needs to be done, and perhaps a good starting point is realizing that whoever has contributed to social security is expecting to get something out of it, obviously no one wants to give away money for nothing, we already have enough taxes for that. Bush talked about a thrifty savings plan that all Federal employees can invest in, why not start a nationalized fund where part of the money you put into social security goes into a selection of investments while the rest of the money continues to be used to support our elderly?
He briefly brought up the topic of morals and how we must educate our youth about responsibility. And in doing so, again he supported a constitutional ammendment to protect the institute of marriage. What a joke and a waste of breath. I cant believe that he is still barking up this tree. He says that we are a free society, yet in the same paragraph he is trying to take away some of our freedoms by limiting who we can marry. If we were truly a free society, each individual person would have the freedom to decide how they want to live their lives. It shouldnt be the governments responsibility to decide who I can be with. Did our founding fathers have this in mind when they created the Constitution?
Good Ole' GWB really got on a roll when he started to discuss our foreign relations with the Middle East. He stated:
" The United States has no right, no desire, and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else. That is one of the main differences between us and our enemies. They seek to impose and expand an empire of oppression, in which a tiny group of brutal, self-appointed rulers control every aspect of every life. Our aim is to build and preserve a community of free and independent nations, with governments that answer to their citizens, and reflect their own cultures. And because democracies respect their own people and their neighbors, the advance of freedom will lead to peace"
Does anyone else see the glaring contradictions in this paragraph? He starts off by saying that we dont have the right to push our values on other sovereignties, claiming that evil-doers use those tactics. Then, a short gasp later he is talking about how we need to push democraxy on others because that will advance freedom! Basically, it seems that it is either our way or the highway, and regardless of your nations history, eventually all paths lead towards democracy and we, as the best democratic nation in the world, are going to lead you down this path.
I also found it kind of ironic that he brought up a "tiny group of brutal, self-appointed rulers control every aspect of every life. Refresh my memory, but how did Bush win his first election? And isnt he the one pushing his faith based initiatives on the country as a whole? Seems he is being a little too hypocritical for my tastes.
Also, was it me, or did it seem that he pretty much declared war on Syria and Iran? "We are witnessing landmark events in the history of liberty, and in the coming years we will add to that story." He then goes on to mention the problems in Syria and Iran in the coming minutes, which only leads to one conclussion, they are numbers 3 and 4 on the list, with no specific order mentioned. Doesnt this statement also conflict with his earlier announcement that we dont desire to push our will onto others?
All in all, his speech was rather short, and it really didnt leave me with much of an opinion as to what he plans on doing. He seemed to skirt a lot of issues and pump for lots of applause to use a filler.
Did anyone notice that the Iraqi woman, Safia Talem Al-Suhail, who recently voted for the first time, looks like an Iraqi Monica Lewinski? They should have put a blue dress on her with a promonant stain on it and have her chomping on a cigar to complete the look. Any chance that she was picked on purpose solely because of the way she looked?
Finally, the best part of the speech came when he was talking about how we need to change our immagration policy. Here is the sequence that nearly had me falling out of my chair and onto the ground:
GWB states,"It is time for an immigration policy that permits temporary guest workers to fill jobs Americans will not take, that rejects amnesty, that tells us who is entering and leaving our country, and that closes the border to drug dealers and terrorists." The camera then shows the entire audience, with the Republicans giving a standing ovation, naturally. Then the camera cuts back to GWB who turns to his right and *wink*.
Thats right, after making a comment about closing our doors to drug dealers he turns to the side and winks, almost like saying that he is going to get all the good coke for himself.
And with that I end this topic. I hope you got something out of it, if not, piss off.