"The Michigan Promise"

As I have been preparing for college, I am somewhat familiar with the government red tape associated with the financial aid process for federal aid, but now, state aid (from Michigan) has the red tape flying up all around it too. Governor Jennifer Granholm has decided that the State of Michigan needs to get an educated workforce and that it is the job of the government to do so. Wow! Great idea, Governor! How are you going to do this? The answer: by restricting potentially amazing international students to Michigan schools.

I understand fully the ideas behind Governor Granholm's approach- by providing funding to Michigan students, naturally, many will want to stay in Michigan to receive that funding. I, however, prefer to go against the flow and have decided to go to Washington, D.C. What happens to a student like me? A student that needs access to the Federal Government and the resources that Washington, D.C. alone can provide to him?

He gets screwed over by the government. Because I need the resources outside of Michigan, I am an evil student in the eyes of the state government. I am escaping the clutches of our state- heaven forbid! What is Michigan to do? Perhpas by supporting students regardless of where they go, Michigan can paint a good and supportive picture of its education policy. Hey, it is too late for me, though- I wrote the Governor's office and everything. My response from her: "Dear Marcus... My staff and I wish to thank you for your interest in this matter. I want you to know that education is important... blah... blah... blah." The same old political answer. I had hoped for better.


Anti-War Protesting in Washington, D.C.

Here is what I feel sets me apart from many Conservatives: I am not stubbornly stuck to close-mindedness. I almost always agree with Conservative Ideaology, but I am always willing to hear the other side of the story- if I don't, I am not qualified to comment, am I? Recent Anti-War Protests in our Nation's Capitol has made me think of the Leftist side of thinking of the war. Why is it that they protest, I asked myself? Well, I can see their reasoning- they feel that the war is unjust and is wasting American tax dollars and lives. I strongly disagree with them, but in the words of Voltaire:

"I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

I tend to agree with Voltaire on this one- it is, after all, right in our US Constitution- heard of the First Amendment? However, the First Amendment rights include "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom to Peacefully Assemble." Nowhere in there do I see "Freedom to Violently Protest" or "Freedom to Dishonor Soldiers by Spitting on them." That is where I feel the Liberal protesters crossed the line of protest and indecent (Even Vulgar) behavior.

One of America's Soldiers that has served in Iraq was at an "Anti-Anti-War Protest" near the protesters of the war. He was a decent man that served his country and defended our rights and freedoms from terrorism and harm. However, one of the protesters decided to disrespect him by spitting on him. No human, especially one that fights for our rights, deserves to be spit upon- it is below even what we should do to animals. To me, I see Liberal protesting of the war getting progressively more indescent. Why is it that they need to use distasteful strategy and dishonorable methods to get their message across? They don't. That is the problem. If you review the Conservatives that were protesting the protest, do you see them spitting, calling out vulgar remarks, or disrespecting those exercising their First Amendment Right to free assembly? No.

I see our First Amendment as a champion of freedom and democratic thinking. However, people that take it to this context need to get a clue: even the Constitution has limits- they are called common sense and decency. One has no right to violate certain "Natural Rights" (Rights given to us simply because we are human) of any other person. That is unconstitutional in itself. These protesters should be dealt with swiftly- they are breaking the law by threatening others personal security. They even destroyed the windshield of a FOX News Channel truck. Can we say Vandalism? Liberals have the right to protest, but I do wish they'd get a clue and do it peacefully and with some grace.


A Positive Congressional Direction?

This past november, the Democratic Party won control of Congress. Is their "New Direction for America" really a positive change for Americans?

There is no question- Americans came to the polls in November of 2006 and made a clear statement to their elected officials: "We are tired of the direction Washington is headed in." The beauty of our country is that we are able change the path of our government in this fashion. However, I am concerned that this particular change is one for the worse.

Democrats have laid out a new legislative agenda- a typical Liberal focus: Environmental Challenges, Energy Efficiency, Minimum Wage Increases, and so on. Shall I lay out some of their agenda for you?
  1. We will protect Americans at home and lead the world by telling the truth to our troops, our citizens and our allies. If I am not mistaken, our troops already know the truth- that a Democratic Congress is dedicated to ending the war on Terror and in Iraq by cutting the budget for the military and in doing so, risking American Lives. Our citizens will be opened up to a greater Homeland Security threat because of increased instability due to our incomplete mission in Iraq. Our allies will look at us as weak- we can't even finish the fight we began.
  2. We will create a cleaner, greener, and stronger America by reducing our dependence on Foregn Oil, eliminating billions in subsidies for Oil and Gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief, develop energy alternatives, and invest in Energy Independent Technology. Well, this certainly looks good in theory, doesn't it? Look deeper, though. Yes, we need to reduce our dependence on Foreign Oil, but do they describe how we're going to do this quickly without putting an extreme burden on consumers with increased gas prices? By damaging the Oil and Gas companies, Congress accomplishes two things- destroys jobs for thousands of people and puts companies in jeopardy. I cannot argue that Oil companies make TONS of money, but if we cut it off, we're going to have a problem on our hands quickly. You can't provide consumer relief when gas prices are already high because of their prior legislation. Developing Energy Alternatives takes decades and money. We need to do it, but what is going to happen in the mean time? And, someone, define Energy Independent Technology!
  3. We will create jobs that stay in America and restore opportunity for all Americans, starting with raising the minimum wage, expanding Pell grants and making college tuition tax deductible. We also believe in budget discipline that reduces our deficit. The prior bullet point will eliminate jobs. Raising the minimum wage will harm small businesses that simply can't afford to pay their employees more than they already do and will put them at risk of losing their business. Where does Congress expect to get the money for Pell grants without increasing the already high taxes on the American Middle Class? By making College tuition tax deductible, it will help the consumer but rid the government of more tax money- leading to an increase in taxes that cancels out the benefits. By creating discipline, do I hear "Increased taxes, underfunded Defense?"

Your call- is this the affect you wish to have on America?