Open Issue

September 11, 2009 - 4:35pm -- swingbug

I’m going to take a few minutes to bring up a few issues that are important and then point you towards smart people who have informed opinions worthy of your attention.

First let’s talk about the University of California and the budget crisis. There’s a lot of budget problems going around right now, from familial to federal. But just about everybody around here has been impacted by the UC budget and the solutions the regents have come up with to fix it. I know the staff furloughs have had an impact on this household. We’re doing alright, but it’s not like we haven’t noticed. It’s had an impact on the faculty and lecturers at the university too. And all of this trickles down to the students who are probably largely unaware of it. The arguing mainly happens over the summer, you see.

In an effort to make the student body aware, there is a faculty strike planned. I don’t know how I feel about this. I’m generally torn about strikes. The students should be made aware that there are problems going on behind the scenes that directly affect their very expensive education. True. Will a faculty walk out on the first day of classes sent a message to the regents and improve student awareness, or just put the students at an even greater advantage? I don’t know. I know a lot of people I have respect for are on the walkout list, folks I’m friends with and folks I studied under. And if the furloughs aren’t the way to solve problems, what is? I’ve heard some absolutely ludicrous solutions, that’s to be sure. I’m not educated enough on the ins and outs of the budget to step forward with any equally ludicrous solutions of my own, but I wanted to throw it out there into cyberspace. If you live in California, you should know this is going on.

I overheard a woman in the parking lot at the county fair complaining to her companion that because she doesn’t have children she objects to having any portion of her property tax going towards education.

I do have children so I supposed I’m biased, but I have to think that the level of education we provide to our students, from K through college, directly impacts our society and should definitely be supported by all the people who make up that society. So this big issue going on here? I tend to think it should concern everybody, not just those folks depending on a UC paycheck at the end of the month.

Now let’s talk about universal health care.

Oh boy, here we go. You’re really living under a rock if you haven’t picked up on this one.

I called my friend Chezza a couple of weeks ago with an inquiry.

“So are you going to blog about this health care thing?”

She sighed. “Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it.”

“Good. If you do it, then I can just link to you. You’re smarter than me.”

She laughed.

Folks, meet Chezza. She has a masters degree in public health and is one of the smartest people I know. You don’t have to agree with her (shoot, go ahead and argue with her, but if you get in a fight, my money’s on her) but you should listen anyway. She’s got a few health care entries on her blog. This one is a letter to her representative in Congress. Novel concept, that.

And while we’re talking about smart people, President Obama addressed congress on this issue last week. Did you catch that? Then catch it now. This is quite literally a life-and-death issue, folks. You can spend a few minutes of your useless internet time on it, at the very least. The White House is all but begging you to pay attention. They’ve got websites, blogs, they tweet. And if you don’t want to listen to Big Brother, I’m sure you can find some info at the news dispensary of your choice. Go forth and gain knowledge.

Remember, the more informed and involved you are, the more right you have to bitch if the powers that be don’t do it your way. Preserve that right.

Alright, I’m done preaching politics. Where’s my yarn?

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