Think first, then Vote

Is this the first Presidential election in which you’re eligible to vote? If so, you’re in the same boat as I am. At 20 years old (and 21 before the next President’s inauguration) I’m part of a group of young voters that largely do not show up on Election Day. In the 2008 Presidential Election, there was a 51% increase in voters aged 18 to 29, likely due to the enthusiasm that then-candidate Barack Obama was able to generate. Yet even then, the total turnout of those aged 18-29 was still less than half – 49% – of those eligible. The national turnout rate among all voters regardless of age was 64%. Still, it was a considerable increase in the amount of young voters.

But how many of those young voters were informed on where the two stood?

The government often makes decisions for society. Examples: The government decided not enough low-income people owned homes, so they pushed banks to issue risky mortgages. The government decided not enough people went to college, so student loan availability and pell grants were increased. The government decided too few people had health insurance, so they forced everyone to purchase it or face a penalty (or as some Supreme Court Chief Justices might say, a tax).

All of these are bad ideas that have led to a housing bubble, an imminent student loan bubble, and (unless Obamacare is repealed) increased healthcare costs, respectively.

But perhaps the most dangerous thing of all is government influence to vote.

We hear it all the time: “Just Vote!”, “Vote!”, and “Rock the Vote!”. What these exclamations lack are any incentive for young people to even somewhat inform themselves on the two candidates before turning out at the polls. Barack Obama is purposely targeting young voters again this election cycle, scheduling tons of speeches at universities. It can be confusing (I recently had a text conversation with a girl who confused Todd Akin with Mitt Romney) but it’s really not that hard to get an idea of the two visions each ticket has for the country. I personally might suggest, but really, if you can’t take a few minutes to do your own research, you probably aren’t smart enough to be voting in the first place.

And, if you’re among the folks (often far up or down on the vertical political spectrum) who advocate conspiracy theories, anarchy, or say there’s no point in voting because everything’s a lie or politics is all crap – you’re missing the point. Regardless of how much you may abhor our two-party system or politics in general, you must come to terms with and acknowledge that – for this election cycle at the very least – it’s here to stay. If you really do hate both candidates, choose the lesser of the two evils. If you really like a third-party candidate, go for it. But as you and I both know, your guy won’t be winning.

So don’t just rock the vote. Instead of watching Jersey Shore or Teen Wolf one night, learn about both candidates and make an adult decision about who you want to be the leader of this little thing called the United States of America that you’re a citizen of.

The integrity of our generation depends on it.

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Romney-Ryan 2012: First Reaction

I’ll be straight-forward: I love the pick of Paul Ryan to be the Republican vice presidential candidate in this election. Here’s why.

  • It will put the ticket on the right, honest side of the entitlement debate – Democrats will immediately jump to attacks of the “Mediscare” variety, such as that video from a liberal think tank that featured Ryan pushing Granny off of the cliff. The masters of ignorance, liberals and Obama will make the mistake of continuing these attacks, while Romney and Ryan will explain simply to the independent voters that the current path of entitlement growth isn’t sustainable. Entitlements are the single biggest driver of the debt and deficit. The “Bush tax cuts” are dwarfed incredibly by Social Security and Medicare liabilities over the long term. It’s not even close.
  • It makes entitlement reform an issue, finally – Related to my first point, this is a huge deal. I have long said my main issue is long-term entitlement spending. For so long, politicians have been reluctant to take on our unsustainable entitlements and put out reforms. The choice of Paul Ryan is a vote of confidence in the one man who had the courage to release a blueprint of his own. Explaining that hard choices like entitlement reform are necessary for the future to be sustainable is what I call fighting the good fight. Statists who think there can be no end to government and government spending will have nothing to do but dream up scare tactics, or try and convince people that it’s fine as is. Independent voters will prefer the side who explains the reality of the situation rather than the side who tries to distort it using negative attacks.
  • It’s a bold and unapologetic pick to go along with Romney’s theme – Mitt Romney has long made it central that neither he nor America owe the world an apology. This pick is a bold one. He didn’t go after a boring Tim Pawlenty, or a safe Rob Portman. He chose someone that Democrats truly despise to be his running mate. Someone who isn’t afraid to boldly talk about the future. Someone who had the guts to release an honest assessment of the choices we have to take as a country. He isn’t afraid of the tactics his opponent will use. In fact, he’s inviting them.
  • It shows Romney isn’t purely political – I liked Marco Rubio for VP a lot. But the truth is that he just wasn’t ready. Picking Rubio would have been seen as a purely political pick to win a critical swing state in Florida, and also appeal to Hispanics – a demographic where Romney has done poorly.

This will be an election about solutions, and finally the public and independent voters will see a vision of the future that’s clear and strengthens America, rather than the Obama plan for the future, which essentially allows the U.S. to face a similar future to that of European countries whose entitlement states and debt have destroyed them from the inside out.

A Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket isn’t the perfect one, but it’s a far better choice than the two Democrats currently occupying the White House.

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A message of YOLO circa 2005

“…Fear of embarrassment or failure… all of these things just fall away in the face of death.”

Anyone who knows me, knows the amount of respect I have for the recently deceased Steve Jobs.

While I openly criticized his company’s business model and their products (among other things) the amount of change to the technological world – most for the better – that Steve’s vision and innovation brought us was undeniable.

After his passing earlier this year, there was an oft-quoted video of Steve addressing the role of death in society. I’ll let you listen to it below – it really speaks a lot of truth, and above all, reminds us to never fear failure, rejection, or embarrassment. One’s time on earth is limited. Make use of it.

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Counting down to Montréal

So if you’re a regular follower of mine on Twitter, there’s no excuse for not knowing that I plan on tearing it up on Saint Laurent Boulevard this weekend with some friends. It didn’t take long for me to embrace the fact that it’s common knowledge that Montréal is filled with fly girls.

“J’mappelle Sentrix”

Maybe not.

It’ll be my first time on the international club scene since Space Electronic Discotec in Florence, Italy back in 2009. That was on a school trip. There were a multitude of people just straight having sex on the upper dance floor there.

That said, I do have a little experience with Canadian girls. I’ve been out in Vancouver and some surrounding areas such as Surrey during my Seattle trips. And while I’m as patriotic as the next guy, I need to be clear about something…

Canadian girls are light years more fly, among other things, compared to American girls.

Prove me right, Montréal…

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This hockey coach is an Alpha Male

Enter Mr. Marlin Murray, coach of the Dauphin Kings in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Note the aloof, unapologetic, badass look in his mugshot on the website. But don’t worry, this guy is (now) known for more than just his appearance.

During Game 4 of a playoff series against the Winnipeg… (I forgot it’s not important), the Kings were assessed 16 minor penalties. That’s 32 total minutes shorthanded, meaning that the Kings spent more than half of the entire game down a man. A complete hockey game includes 60 total minutes – 20 each period.

On those 16 powerplays, the opponent Winnipeg scored four times en route to handing the Dauphin Kings a 5-1 loss, and gained a 3-1 series lead – a virtual stranglehold on the series.

Clearly, Mr. Murray wasn’t thrilled about the result or the officiating.

Posted in Life and Philosophy, Sports | 4 Comments

If She Has A Boyfriend…

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Oh yeah, it’s March. Yeah.

Apologies for the Jersey Shore/douchebag tone. I only write this way when I’m excited.

Spring is so close, you can literally taste it.

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