Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Business Injustice

How is it fair to allow AIG to give its CEOs bonuses? These supposedly “talented” executives are the same people that steered the economy into this mess in the first place, so while higher-ups at AIG may claim these bonuses are required to keep talented executives from leaving, how about the idea of letting them go? Why should the taxpayers, who, for the most part, are not multimillionaires, pay for someone who did a poor job to be rewarded substantially? The concept of a bonus is to reward people for their successful hard work. These CEOs have done the exact opposite and do not deserve rewards.

Everyone is claiming that the contracts require the bonuses and there is no way around them. When these contracts were written, did the company expect to be paying these bonuses with government funding?

As soon as AIG received taxpayer money in the form of a government bailout, the contracts should have been voided. While it may be upsetting to the CEOs, they make enough that they will get by, and they should not profit off their mistakes from someone raising a family on $50,000 a year, who played by the rules and didn’t get any bonus.

The entire situation is just a gross injustice.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


There is a direction everyone is supposed to take. After graduating high school, attend university, get a job, get married and have children. Some people, however, decide to take different paths in their lives. Many of these people become great, while at the same time, the rest of these people become nothing. It is, like so many things in life, a calculated risk.

People always hold up those that became great as the example to follow, the hope to aspire to, and that is a good thing. It is in those stories that we find inspiration, and that we find the hope we must cling to if we are to keep from hiding in a dark corner, alone and afraid to try, afraid to take that first step out of the dark.

While the aspiration of greatness is a dramatic perspective from which to begin life, and perhaps more than most look for, it seems that without it, we end up where we started. So it is with hope, perseverance and the desire for something more that the search for a job begins.

In that search, a good place to begin is with a definition of what the goal is. In this case, the goal is to find a means of employment that allows one to function in life in a way that does not cause misery and that allows pursuit of the true goals one has, basically something that allows enough income for travel and hobbies.

In the midst of the biggest recession since the Great Depression, I’ve chosen a fantastic time to begin. Unfortunately, that is just how time has worked out. I’ve graduated from a masters program with degree in public policy and international relations, and as I need a job, I’m applying to everything from reception position to property management. Either way, I’m still unemployed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Off Shore Oil Drilling and the Arnold card

Bush has a brilliant new solution to the oil crisis and the rising gas prices. Drill for oil offshore. According to the New York Times, this lifts nearly two decades of executive orders banning the practice. Reading the article a bit further, it is hard not to laugh though. Here is the paragraph: "The lifting of the moratorium — first announced by Mr. Bush’s father, President George Bush, in 1990 and extended by President Bill Clinton — will have no real impact because a Congressional moratorium on drilling enacted in 1981 and renewed annually remains in force. And there appeared to be no consensus for lifting it in tandem with Mr. Bush’s action." So basically, this means that Bush's action is meaningless.

Another interesting development in the political race is the recent suggestion that Arnold Schwarzenegger may be taking a position as an environmental czar - under Obama! Obama has praised Schwarzenegger's efforts against climate change and mentioned his name as a possible cabinet officer, which in interviews, Schwarzenegger has said he would consider accepting.

This means that even though McCain has Schwarzenegger's endorsement, Obama may actually hold the Arnold card when it comes to the election.

To torture...or not to torture, that seems to be the question

I recently watch the BBC show Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman, where they had a segment with a reporter for Vanity Fair magazine, who had decided to investigate waterboarding by going through the experience himself. He had his head covered with a bag bag, a towel placed over his face, and a jug of water was poured onto his mouth and nose. He was given two safety measures. The first was a code word, "red," and the second was two metal objects for him to hold in his hands that he could drop as soon as he felt like he couldn't take it anymore. He did it twice, dropping the metal thing after about 12 seconds, and the second time after about 19 seconds. It didn't look fun. In his comments to Mr. Paxman on the practice, he said it wasn't really so much simulating being drowned, as actually being drowned. His comments would lead most people to come to the conclusion that waterboarding is a form of torture.

Now, moving on the the presidential election, and the candidates, we come to John McCain, himself a victim of torture (as we all know, because no one will let us forget it), declaring that he is against torture, but he supports waterboarding because it is not torture. As someone who has been tortured, this seems hypocritical.

But then, as I see it, if a behavior or practice causes one to question whether or not it is torture, it is best to assume it is not a morally acceptable action in cases such as those involving the government, not that they would listen to my opinion.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court has decided that those detained in Guantanamo Bay will now have access to legal representation being derided by many leading republicans just astounds me, especially the harsh language they used to deride the decision. Surely all this will do is release people that are wrongly being held. Those that are guilty of whatever it is that warrants the punishment of being detained in Guantanamo Bay, whatever that is (it never seems to be made clear) will remain there. This seems more in line with the ideals of the US and the Constitution then holding people for indetermined amounts of time on no particular charge without letting them notify their families, things that human rights groups such as Amnesty International have reported as occurring.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Airline Companies...

I have a question for all the airline companies that are complaining about cost because the price of oil is risen. Airline companies in Europe have been paying more for fuel forever, and still are paying more than their US counterparts, so why is it that those companies are not having so many financial problems? Virgin, in fact, is expanding, adding new stops to the Virgin America routes.

Could it be, more than anything, bad business management, combined with the fact that the airlines overcharge, and have been ripping off customers because they can? If you have to go from Los Angeles to New York, there aren't a lot of alternative ways to get there, and the ones that do exist (bus, train) take a lot more time.

The fact the government is helping to bail these companies out is also questionable. If that is occurring, why do so many US airlines feel they need to drop cities from their itineraries as well as charge passengers for everything they touch. Charging for luggage is ridiculous. It isn't even the amount of the charge that annoys most people, but the fact that it exists. It's bad enough they were charging for bad food and giving you a seat so close to the person in front of you that when your flight ends, you are cranky and suffer back and leg pain. Now you are also broke.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tired of Los Angeles...but it seems everyone lives here

So lately I've been feeling a bit sick of Los Angeles. I love the place, and I think it's more that I miss my family and haven't travelled anywhere recently, but I just feel like I need a bit of a holiday.

The thing that is a little amusing about this is that right now things aren't so bad, and I've got a new bit for the blog: "Today's Celebrity sighting." I just saw David Thewlis, who plays Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films, and that is following the sighting of Elizabeth Reaser from Grey's Anatomy in the same place, my local market. It just makes me laugh a bit that I apparently live in a neighborhood that a lot of celebrities enjoy as well. I love my neighborhood. It's quiet and so close to everything central in Hollywood and Los Feliz. Now I have a new apartment, with a pool! and so it's down to my attempt at a career.

That's always the hard part, isn't it? The elusive career... I'm trying to become a freelance writer, and it's a bit of a struggle, but I'm not in too bad a situation. I have a few things to fall back on, and I have been published in a national magazine so it's a start. This week, now that I've moved, I have more space and am becoming organized so I'm going to be working on it full-time. The depressing part is not getting the full-time check right away. :( I feel like such a Hollywood stereotype....

Monday, June 23, 2008

Music in the Dark

This world is intense and complicated, so this is named after the idea of trying to find a refuge from it. It is the idea of taking some music, sitting in a quiet, dark place, and just listening to it until it takes you somewhere else, away from the worries and pains and stresses of life and you find something else in the song. It's the ability of art to transform something from the obvious to something else less so, and make you think and give an escape and maybe a vulnerability or sensitivity, and, at the very least, a different perspective.
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