Paul Santos World

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Race and Religion in America

Excerpt from term paper, by Paul Santos

The year is 2004. The month is October. And the day is Thursday. Our country should no longer be thinking about race as a "dangerous topic," but unfortunately we do. There was a time when "race" meant only a sprinting contest. Today, it means something much, much different. Many people don't even think of the sprinting contest part. They think only of "race" as in human variations in evolution. In the dictionary, the word "race" actually has 17 unique definitions, and therefore unique interpretations. One of the more obscure definitions of "race" is, and I quote, "a distinguishing or characteristic quality, such as the flavor of a wine." Clearly, our country has avoided straight talk about this topic, and are paying for this today.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Santos' Squawkbox: October 2004

Get at me.
Voice your thoughts on this thread.
Hit me up with comments.

The Problem With Voting

A lot of people have been discussing the positive aspects of voting. I'd like to take a moment to shed some light on the "dark side" of the democratic process--the side that the media is afraid to point their cameras at, or write about in their newspapers and magazines and othe printed material. The shadows of elections are rarely covered by radio reports with their microphones, or internet news agencies and their keyboards. With the current economy, I think that a lot of news people (in any of the aforementioned media outlets) are literally fearful for their jobs, and abstain (in a non-sexual way) to cover what's REALLY happening.

Issue Number 1: Voting Happens In Places You Wouldn't Expect
Ever thought about *WHERE* you'll vote this year? Usually, you imagine voting in a large room with marble floors and tall columns reaching up, two, maybe three stories. And there is stained glass, with the afternoon sun casting colors across the freshly-mopped floor. You notice that there is Latin engraved into the seal in the center of the floor. To the North and East are doors, and they appear unlocked.

Well, WAKE UP CALL. Chances are, you won't be voting in some beautiful insitution of democratic splendor. I've heard that some people vote in schools (with kids running around!!!), in dingy public services offices, and even FIREHOUSES. Tell me, what would happen if there was a fire on November 2, somewhere near our university, and someone was in the middle of voting? Do you really think you'd vote for John Kerry in the midst of a fire? Of course not--that's an easy vote for Bush, automatic. Let's start thinking about this issue.Comments welcome.

Issue Number 2: You Can't Vote if you aren't American
Obvious? Not really. Tourists have to pay the same tolls on our roads. They have to pay the same taxes on our food. And they have to serve in the same jails if they commit a crime in our country. Can you imagine being an American in, say, Australia, and you were visiting with a friend on election day. The friend says to you, "Hey, I'm going to vote AND YOU CAN'T COME." Can you even picture that? Of course not. No other civilized country, on this earth anyway, would be as disrespectful as our country is to its tourists. Tourists are a real source of income for our country. I have heard stastics that our national tourism income is in the BILLIONS (that's right, with a B) of dollars. Simply put, Tourism is good for our economy, and therefore for the American worker. John Kerry will fight for the tourists' right to vote, and there's one more reason to vote for JFK II. Comments

Issue Number 3: Don't Make a Mistake Because You Can't Fix It
In simple terms, there is no "UNDO" button an hour after you've gone to the polls. Be warned...know that if you make a mistake, the mistake shall be cast, and counted among all other votes that are not mistakes. One of the things that I hope gets instituted soon is some sort of system that would enable you to dial a 1-800 number to modify your vote. So, at the polls you would get a unique number identifying your ticket (maybe it's your SS#). When you get home, and realized that you made a mistake, you could dial the number, punch in your unique code, and change your vote. Could you then change it AGAIN, if you thought that your change was a mistake? Probably not. We have to draw the line somewhere.Comments

Issue Number 4: Don't Go to the Polls if You're Hungry
To me, voting is a lot like donating blood. It's the right thing to do, and it will help people, especially if you have O- blood type. The big difference, though, is that after you donate blood, you get to have orange juice and cookies. At the voting booth, however, you get nothing. You'll wait in line forever, then you wait in line again, and then you actually vote. After all that, it would be nice to have a cookie for the ride home or something. They should appreciate that we're even there, helping out by donating our votes to the country. It would be interesting to get some companies involved to donate food to the polling places.Comments

Issue Number 5: You Can't Know Everything
I know you've heard that many times throughout your life: "Paul, you can't know everything!" is like a broken record in my life. This couldn't be more true come Election Day. I'll tell it point blank:You're going to have to make a lot of guesses on the ballot.You're going to see a lot of names you haven't heard before, and you're going to be voting for governmental positions that you couldn't even have imagined. Plan on NOT knowing anything (that's the only thing you can be sure of!).Comments