Friday, April 1, 2011


I am sure even if you don't know me well you know just by looking at me that I have a negative relationship with food. Lately I have been feeling more self-conscious about my weight than ever before and have taken little steps to address my over-eating problem. I joined a weight loss forum with other emotional eaters and I made my best friend promise to go to an over-eaters anonymous meeting as soon as I switch back to my normal work schedule. However, today I want to tell all of you about my small bout of willpower.

I was meeting with my daughters father to drop her off for a visit for the weekend at a Super America gas station. I saw a sign at the burger king across the street that said "Buy one chicken sandwich, get one free" and the wheels in my head started spinning. I went into the SA to use the cash machine and I bought myself a diet soda (which is also good because I usually end up buying snacks) and the whole time I was trying to justify going to the burger king and buying the chicken sandwiches.

I thought to myself that I had been good all day, all I had to eat that day was a slim fast shake for breakfast and a bowl of banana nut cheerios for lunch. I knew I wouldn't have eaten both sandwiches (I'd bring one home to my husband) and I begin to promise myself I wouldn't get any fries or anything.

I got back to my car looked at the burger king again and I said to myself "You know what, I'm not going to do it." And I didn't, I went home and ate some ramen instead. I know ramen isn't great either but I am sure it has a lot less fat and calories than that chicken sandwich would have had.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My News Analysis Paper

Analysis of “Wis. standoff over anti-union measure nears abrupt conclusion after GOP outmaneuvers Dems” from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 10th, 2011.

Political tensions have been high in Wisconsin since Governor Scott Walker proposed a bill that would require most state employees to pay more into their pensions and health care plans and strip them of their collective bargaining rights. This proposal has launched many protests state wide and caused all fourteen democrats in the state senate to flee the state in a measure to prevent the senates required quorum of twenty in order to vote on any proposals that include spending. This article describes how the GOP superceded quorum by removing all spending measures from the bill so that the issue of state public union’s collective bargaining rights could be voted on. Many residents of Wisconsin are questioning the intentions of Walker and the states Republicans and whether they are truly interested in balancing the budget or if they are more interested in union busting and weakening their opponents in the Democratic Party.
It seems that unions have been falling out of favor amongst many Americans, according to American Government & Politics Today “The degree of unionization in the private sector has declined over the past fifty years, but this has been partially offset by the growth in the unionization of public employees” (Schmidt, Shelley, Bardes, 146). With the rise in public unions alongside the decline in popularity of unions in general, this may put pressure on some politicians to curb public unions. The source also confirms that politician’s fears of public unions may be valid by stating, “…public employee unions have become quite militant and are often involved in strikes” (146). However it continues by stating “Most of these strikes are illegal, because almost no public employees have the right to strike” (146). This leads to why the stripping public unions of collective bargaining rights is such a hot button issue, because without them and the legal right to strike, many public unions in Wisconsin are now left with little options to defend the rights of their workers.
This leads to where Scott Walker and his colleagues’ true intentions may stand. The public unions affected by the bill have attempted to negotiate with the GOP by agreeing to a cut in pay and paying more into their benefits and pensions. Walker has rejected their compromise stating that he feels ending collective bargaining rights still is necessary. Many skeptics of his policies feel that there is little reason to end collective bargaining rights when the unions have already agreed to the cuts. Another reason skeptics question the governor’s motives is the fact that three public unions have been exempt from this bill. These three unions include the firefighters, the police and the state troopers. Walker says he has exempted them claiming that they are first responders. Many people are not convinced and believe that he has exempted them as a reward for supporting him in his election.
The tactics of both parties in this issue are also up for much criticism. If we look at how the book defines a political party, it states that “A political party might be formally defined as a group of political activists who organize to win elections, operate the government and determine public policy” (143). This may suggest that a political party’s main objective is to win and in my opinion this is how the republicans have conducted business with the way that they moved to remove spending measures from the bill in order to pass the ending of collective bargaining rights. If they were truly representing the people of Wisconsin with regards that the absent democratic senators were also voted to represent their constituents, they would have not used such a vulgar display of power (knowing they had the control of all branches of government) to do their business but rather negotiate with and reach a compromise with the missing democrats. It can be said that the democrats also showed bully tactics to get their way by leaving and preventing quorum, however since they were not given many opportunities to make their arguments and Walker has made it seem like he was not willing to hear them out, they may have felt like leaving was their last resort in representing the people who voted for them.
Despite which side one may stand in the political climate that is happening in Wisconsin, it is possible one thing may be agreed upon: the political parties are becoming even more divided than ever before. Scott Walker is hoping to be an example for states across the nation and strongly believes that the policies and tactics of Wisconsin’s republicans will help every state balance their budgets. There are a few questions that may come to mind when deciding whether these policies and tactics are right for America. Is it in the benefit of the public to render unions powerless? Is making many cuts without raising taxes a realistic approach in balancing a budget? Are tactics used by one party to exclude another party acceptable under a democracy? I am sure there is not one collective answer or opinion to these concerns, but it is certain that the re-election of many republicans in Wisconsin depends on the outcomes of these decisions.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Take Me As I Am

I have observed of myself that I have a tendency to hide or even feel ashamed of certain aspects of myself. So at this moment I would like to make a promise to be more true to myself. No longer will I hide my tastes in music, TV, movies or beliefs out of fear that I will not be accepted. Current and potential friends and acquaintances do not need to like or believe the same things that I do but they need to accept and not berate me for what I like and believe. I of course, in return will extend the same courtesy. So yes, I like nu metal, I like a pop or country song or two. I LOVE Twilight and Jersey Shore. I am overly liberal on some issues and conservative on others but moderate on most. Deal with it!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Years Resolution

I have not made new years resolutions in the past (or at the very least, I do not remember making them) but this year I have decided to make one.

I am staying away from the health and weight loss resolutions, I don't know why, I just don't feel right about those. This year my resolution has to do with people.

Over the last year I have discovered that I have some serious social problems. While I seem to have no problem making acquaintances, I have not really made any close friends in ages(besides my friend Michelle). This year, my resolution is to make a new friend.

This may sound like an easy resolution to some of you, but it isn't for me. I do not seem to make friends easily. For one, I am socially awkward and I do feel that many people see my as a weirdo. Second, when I do meet someone I would really like to be friends with, I start to feel intimidated by them. I am a little insecure about myself and I am constantly feeling rejected and that no one likes me.

But this year I want to stop feeling that way and make a new friend or two. If anyone has any advice whether personal (stuff you have observed about me) or general, please feel free to communicate it to me. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Office Contract Workers and The Concept Of Hegemony.

A major topic within many American communities now days is the topic of Health Care. I feel we are focusing way too much on the broad aspect on health care and I am wondering if our politicians are looking into why so many working adults do not have health care. There are a variety of reasons, some considered valid and some considered wrong (subjective of course) but there is one business practice that I feel is one of the wrong reasons; that is the practice of large lucrative companies that hire long term contract employees (basically permanent temps.

There is no doubt that the reason for this practice is to avoid paying for benefits (such as health care) or sick pay and can save a company thousands of dollars. This may be fine for smaller companies that could not afford to lose so much; but what about the larger companies whose CEO's are bringing in record profits of multi-million dollars? The argument largely relies on the idea of consent. Most managers will remind you that you agreed to this and they may even deliver you the infamous line of "If you don't like it here, then go work somewhere else."

However as I normally believe that nothing in this world is that simple and here is something to think about. That is the idea of hegemony. The dictionary defines hegemony as simply influence or authority over others, however hegemony mainly means domination or slavery by consent. The slaves or people being dominated consent to being enslaved because they know that their choices are limited.

So as far as office contract workers go, they agree to the contract because their choices are limited; especially in this economy, one most likely does not have the resources to drop everything and find another job. These companies know this and use this to hire contract employees without paying them benefits. Of course now days people every where who are employed should be thankful to have a job; but I still feel it is wrong for companies to take advantage of the average worker in this fashion.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tiffannies Tips for the Moderate Voter

On Tuesday November 2nd, we will be voting for our governors, senators, representatives and other branches of local government. Why should we vote in the mid-term elections? Because the people up for office in the mid-term elections affect our daily lives way more than the president ever will. As our country becomes more polarized by the empty kettle Democrats and Republicans, it can be difficult for the dedicated moderates to keep from choosing sides and staying neutral. Here are a few things I practice and keep in mind to stay level headed and to try and vote responsibly.

Tip #1Know your values

Before figuring out who you want to vote for you first need to think of which political issues are most important to you and which don't seem like that big of a deal to you. Knowing where you stand on issues and the ones that are important to you are especially critical for a moderate who may agree with one issue on the candidates platform but disagree on another issue with the same candidate.

Tip #2:Vote for people, not parties.

I realize this is easier said than done, however if you look at each candidate individually you will find that not every candidate agrees with their party on every single issue. Also, each Candidate has a back story which can help you identify where they are coming from and how they came to be where they are today.

Tip #3:Do your research
Of course looking for the right candidate shouldn't feel like studying for a mid-term exam (no pun intended), but there are little things you can do in your spare time to educate yourself on your candidates. I personally find reading the candidates platforms and backgrounds on their personal website helpful. If you are able to talk to some of your candidates personally just to get a feel for them. Also watching interviews and debates can also be helpful to figure out where your candidates stand.

Tip #4:Ignore Political Commercials

TV commercials are the worst place to get information on the running candidates. Even the commercials that aren't all about slandering the other candidate tend to be exaggerated and lacking of crucial information. If possible, go as far as to walk away from the TV or at least press the mute button when these commercials are on because even looking at them can slightly askew your view. Also another thing to keep in mind, not all of these commercials are endorsed by a candidate; various lobby and interest groups also create TV commercials.

Tip #5:Disregard political buzzwords

Just because your so-called friend may call you a fascist for leaning a little to the conservative side or a bleeding heart, socialist, communist Marxist for leaning towards the liberal side doesn't mean you should take it to heart or even take it as an insult. These are emotionally charged buzzwords to make you feel guilty for being who you are. Many people who use these words may not even know what they really mean. Think about it, how many of your acquaintances that use the term "Marxist" have ever read Karl Marx? Probably not many. I find that most people who use this vocab on a regular basis are less interested in politics and more like drama or like to fight and find that politics are an easy outlet for that. A level headed Conservative, Liberal or Moderate will not use insults and know how to agree to disagree.

Tip #6:It's OKAY to vote for Independent candidates

My biggest political pet peeve (other than the name calling) is when someone tells me that if I vote for the Independent candidate, then I am wasting my vote. It is true that they are less likely to win, however one of the main reasons why that is true is because people have been told they are wasting their vote if they vote for independents. By all means, if both the major party candidates seem like pawns and you actually like an Independent candidate, take a stand and give them your vote. Maybe then more people will take a stand and vote for who they want and not who they are told to vote for.

Despite popular belief that Moderates are indecisive and flaky, we know the truth. We want level headed solutions and we want to take the good ideas from both of our nations political sides to make something even better. We realize that opinions are subjective and we try our best to respect the opinions that differ from our own. I feel that we need to be just as present in the voting booths as our party member counterparts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pop Music

I like to watch rock music videos on youtube and I admit, I also like reading the comments that people post on these videos. Even though most of the comments are left by empty kettles, I really do believe it shows how we sometimes live inside of our own little boxes and fail to respect and understand the likes and dislikes of other.

In particular I keep seeing the "metal militia" and the "Rock Nation" calling for rock fans to post insults on various pop stars( i.e. Justin Beiber) videos on certain dates. I fail to understand what this accomplishes. For generations there has been some sort of pop scene and I am pretty sure there will be for many more generations; and you know, that is alright by me. People should be able to like what they want to like when it comes to music.

Bashing another for their taste in music is another form of unjust intolerance in my opinion. Difference in musical tastes is one of the great things that makes us all unique.