Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Final Week Of Last Block--Off To A Slow Start

This is supposed to be my last week of my final block and I wanted to work towards 25 hours, but my body isn't cooperating. Monday, I was just so wiped out, that I decided to take the entire day off. Furthermore, all the riding I did last week has given me a mild case of tendinitis behind my left knee. I went out Tuesday at lunch to run, and after about 100 yards realized it was stupid to try to run; I'd just hurt myself and jeopardize prolonging/exacerbating a small injury so close to IMAZ. So, I just walked for an hour. It was nice just to walk around and take in the autumn weather. After work, I swam 3500 meters. This is the first time I've swam in a week. I took a break to get over the Swimmers Ear--this really worked. My ears and sinuses cleared up. I felt good during the swim and didn't feel like I missed anything fitness-wise.

It's now Wednesday morning, my tendinitis is getting better with rest and anti-inflammatory medicine. I'm still going to give myself a couple of days before I start running again. I'm not sure I'm going to be putting up some big numbers this week. I've been sleeping really hard these last few nights recovering from last weekend. I guess this weekend was more intense/demanding than I thought. Tonight, I'll swim for 1.5 hours and bring it home with some time on the trainer. Last night the cold weather came that usually shows up around late October in Albuquerque. I'm probably going to have to live with it now. I'm OK with it though; the warm weather has lasted a long time.

The presidential elections are just around the corner and I'm still not decided. Actually being undecided isn't a fair statement--I'm not enamored with either candidate. Why do we have to only have 2 viable candidates? Both candidates offer a mixed bag of promises--good and bad. During the debates, both candidates were great at discussing their opponent's weaknesses. That being said, I really never got a sense of what the two candidates believe or a fair measure of their quality; I just got lots of buzzwords and distorted claims. What makes it worse are the terrible television political ads airing every commercial break. These need to be illegal; they are about at trustworthy as the National Enquirer. They pander to the lowest lifeforms that claim the title of human being! What a waste of resources. At the end of the day, it seems both candidates are more concerned with winning than being the best man(women) for the job.

At the risk of offending anyone, these are the political issues that most concern me. If you can find a candidate the best represents my views, I'll vote tomorrow!

1) I'd like to end the war in Iraq. America is using too much of it's resources fighting in Iraq when the benefits are marginal. We don't have the resources to fight a war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and spend 850 billion to sure up our financial system all at the same time. The toll these three major efforts are having on the financial welfare of our country is significant.
2) I don't think it's the government's prerogative to define how much personal income is too much. I've heard it mentioned on numerous occasions by one candidate, that if he's elected, there will be no new taxes unless you make $250K or more. Many of the people who earn upwards of $250K have worked hard through education, taken significant risks, and worked their fingers to the bone to realize the American dream. This tax policy will deter that character. Conversely, are we willing to reward someone for not pursuing the American dream?
3) I'd like a leader to tell the voters it's not just Wall Street that's responsible for the current financial crisis. We chose to purchase homes that we couldn't afford. We chose not to save for a rainy day. We chose to max out our credit cards. We chose to finance cars we couldn't afford. What happened to personal accountability? Being a leader means telling someone something they may not want to here because it's true rather than telling them everything they want to hear to get their votes!
4) I'd like to strive to be an energy independent nation. This means drilling for fossil fuel in Anwar and off-shore or where ever. This means building much more nuclear energy plants. This means funding research for renewable energy technology to make them viable--because now their conceptually nice but extremely impractical. Energy is my professional vocation so I feel strongly about the subject. We shifted so much economic power to the Middle-East with both our excessive demand for oil and our inability to politically allow for us to internally meet that demand. Let's shift the power back home!
5) I have 4 children in public schools. My wife used to be a school teacher. Our public schools are in dire straits. Public teachers, try to support themselves on salaries roughly equal to $25K , which also must be used to for setting up a classroom (i.e. decorations, reading books, and other objects that teachers would use to supplement their teaching). My kids' teachers sell pencils and other school supplies during lunch to the students to raise money for a field trip. That's not right. We need to double, if not triple, teachers' salaries. Our children's' education is one of the most important long-term investments we can make. It's time to make that investment.
6) I'm not hung up on gay marriage or gay rights. I don't publicly display affection for my significant other; all I ask is the same restraint. Why are we making such a big deal about this?
7) I'd like to set term limits for all elected positions. If it were my choice, there would only be one term, but I can live with 2--max. It's distasteful the some politicians make a career out of elected office. That was never the founding fathers' intent! Elected office is a brief civic duty not a career. Congress would function much more efficiently if the elected officials knew they only had 1 term to make a difference--rather than a life time.

I can think of any other pressing political matters, but if you can find a politician that embraces these views, I'll vote today--even if it's a write in candidate!

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