Wednesday, January 30, 2008

State of the Onion

He's done it again. Luckily, I'll never have to say that again.

George W. Bush's State of the Union address brought bittersweet feelings into the hearts and homes of millions Americans, myself included. Bitter because of the mess this man has made of the economy, the homefront, and quite frankly, the Middle East. Sweet because unless some unholy amendment is illegally chained to the Constitution, he can't run for a third term. But to hear him speak last night (or on any occassion, for that matter) you would think that not only are things going great at home and abroad, but that he's the one that made it that way.

The economy, health care, AIDS, and energy aside, I want to focus in on one thing that has been particularly disturbing to me for several months now. Once again, as he has done many times before, President Bush boasted the improved status of Iraq as a result of the controversial troop surge. Republicans and loyal Bushists won't stop citing its success. On the other side of the aisle, Democrats won't stop denying it. Let me bridge this gap and bring one and all into the warming light of reality.

According to its original designs and main objective, the troop surge HAS NOT worked. Now don't get all crazy on me. Allow me to explain such a bold assertion. Bush, Patreaus and the whole Executive gang clearly stated that the primary goal of the surge was to create a diplomatic environment for the strengthening of the Iraqi government, and ultimately political progress.

So far, this we have not seen. This is not to say that progress has been absent from the entire operation. Only mindless, radical leftists would be so ignorant to say so. No, there has been much progress as a result of the surge, but it has been primarily militarily- and casualty-based.

Now I don't want to come off sounding like a heartless jerk here, so do not confuse my words to think that this kind of progress is not important. It is SO important. The decline of butchery and bloodshed in the world would no doubt be my greatest wish. But the truth is (or at least I hope it is), American troops cannot stay in Iraq forever. We cannot keep the peace forever. What concerns me is what will happen after we leave. Can anyone say with confidence that this fragile peace will remain intact without our force and influence a stone's throw away? Of course not. That is why diplomacy and political solutions are essential to a "successful Iraq". Anythings else will only temporarily pacify the chaos.

I'm sure Mr. Bush has heard this argument before, and although I would hope that his sense of reason and logic would lead him to unequivocally agree, I fear that his trademark arrogance will keep him in the comfort of his ignorance and naivety. I just hope we, whether Republican or Democrat, will see the truth and face it, rather than justify our odds against it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

JCOM 2310 - press release #1

For Immediate Release
ABC Real Estate, LLC
Logan, Utah

Brett Cob, president and CEO of ABC Real Estate, LLC, has helped to develop a new real estate strategy that may very well put an end to the housing market crisis.

Cob, who was trained in California in the revolutionary approach to home ownership, says that he's "ready for Utah."

The unique strategy is based on multiple beneficiary parties: the resident, who has a low monthly payment that is like a mortgage rather than rent; the creditor, who provides their good credit history in behalf of the resident; the investor, who comes away with benefits based on the monthly payments; and lastly, the settler, who is the author of the arrangement and handles the administrative dealings.

Cob said that he has no intention to work with banks on the deal, despite the fact that he used to work for one. He said that this is part of the beauty of his plan, not owing to any formal partnerships with big banks. He did say the process will likely involve mortgage brokers.

"This is a major part of the solution to the housing market crisis the country is now facing," Cob said.

Cob also noted that although the revolution is still in its infant stages, it has already turned the heads of Wall Street traders, who are anxiously awaiting the outcome of this real estate experiment.

For more information, simply contact ABC's media relations department.

Media contact:

Jackson Olsen
(435) 555-1129

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dear Cousin...

Dear Mordecai,

In response to your most recent inquiries, I felt obliged to explain in greater depth exactly what it is I'm studying, and, perhaps more importantly, what I'm going to do with it after graduation.

Public relations in its simplest terms is communication; whether it be between two people, the media, a product, or George Bush himself. Public relations is the vehicle by which messages and ideas are carried to and from various parties.

Public relations is diverse. To this fact I owe my current situation. Last year when the time had come to elect a degree to pursue, I was torn in several different directions, each offering a valid list of pros and cons. But in time I came to two irrefutable and concrete conclusions that helped point me in this direction. First, I like working and communicating with people. And secondly, I'm pretty damn good at it. As you well know, dear Mordecai, I've spend the majority of my life in positions of leadership, whether it be in school, church or the community. And in those positions I've gained an immense amount of experience in doing what I just explained: communicating - the foundation of public relations.

Public Relations professionals have a myriad of opportunities to be communicators, and while some may become political spokesmen or directors of a product development team, all will do it through writing in one form or another. Commonly, PR professionals will be asked to write press releases, product summaries, marketing strategies and political speeches. Behind every campaign and behind every advertisement, there's a PR professional putting his skills to work. Think about that next time you here the president deliver the famed State of the Union address, or the next time you watch a Budweiser commercial.

Well, Mordecai, I hope this has been helpful to you. If it hasn't, I'd say that it's a good thing I'm still an undergrad.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Campaign Cash and the Decline of American Politics

The more I've exposed myself to politics, the more I've realized that it's more math than it is political science. It's more accounting than it is constitutional studies. The harsh truth is that the seemingly callous world of American politics has evolved from a global beacon of liberty and freedom into a money-hungry partisan prostitute; a corrupt whore who steals from the poor and gives to the rich (or at least appoints them to a position of prominence).

If you're unfamiliar with the aforementioned enemy, allow me to introduce her. She is the senator or member of Congress, suaded and influenced by corporate dollars rather than the needs of of her constituents. Being a politician isn't cheap. It costs money to get elected - lots of money. A study conducted by The Center for Public Integrity found that in 2004, it took an average of $7 million to get elected to a seat in the Senate, and $1 million to clinch a seat in the House of Representatives. The same study showed that the presidential candidates of that year each spent well over $20 million on their campaigns. The important question is: where does this money come from?

Now, that's a rather grim perspective on what so many believe to be the greatest democracy and society in the world's history. The good news is that such pessimism does not extend to Washington in its entirety. No, thankfully there are, even now as I write, a gallant few on Capitol Hill and and throughout the country who give faith to those like me who've become jaded at the sight of such blatant obstruction of the Founding Fathers' vision for America. To them, I take my hat off and give my thanks.

Friday, January 11, 2008

And so it begins...

This post marks the first of many important articles and observations to be published by a politic-crazed, sports-adorning college student preparing to make the leap into the real world. I encourage feedback, even if it's critical and sharply contradictory to my views or beliefs. If the matter cannot be settled through protocol and friendly debate, we'll arm wrestle.