Should Everyone go to College?

Central Station

I think education is one of the most important things anyone can give themselves. Now the world is changing, and a bachelors degree by itself doesn’t get you as far as it used to. Any good parent wants the best for their kids, and most believe that a college degree will help them get there. The sad part is for the first time in our countries history; I am part of the generation that will probably make less than my parent’s generation did.

That brings me back to my statement should everyone go to college. Honestly, I don’t believe everyone should go to college. However, I do think that everyone should be prepared to do so.

It’s has become hard to answer that question because is it worth spending four years of your life to getting that piece of paper and accruing all that debt. After you are done with college and you are starting to make some moves in life, it’s hard to overcome all the debt from college. On the other hand, that piece of paper has become the passport needed to apply for more lucrative jobs. Whatever you pick its a hard choice. For myself, I couldn’t imagine not having a bachelors degree. I feel like life is hard enough, and it would be much harder without a degree.

Do Parents Really Matter?

I have been thinking about how much do parents really matter for a while, and I have been going back and forth. I know people with very involved parents and others that have gone without. Most of my life I thought kids learned almost everything that they would need from school or their friends. I felt parents were more of a cheerleader and a financial provider in their kid’s lives. 

I didn’t realize how important parents are until I found kids who had absent parents. This was the first time I saw parents put their wants before their kid’s needs. These kids are missing basic skills, and they are set to be nothing more than footnotes in their own lives.

I have concluded that kids need someone who cares for them. If you are a parent, then do what you can to make sure they are raised the best you can. If you are asking what is the best I will refer you to well know monk Thomas Merton when he said: “I don’t always know the right thing to do, Lord, but I think the fact that I want to please you pleases you.”  As long as you try and you want to be a good parent you will be. If you are too busy to bother with raising your kids, I know of plenty of amazing people who would love to Adopt.  

Surviving Life

New York Skyline

This may be the millennial coming out in me, but life is getting harder. My generation has been told go to college to get an education and then you will get a good job. They left out the part about student loans, and a college degree doesn’t guarantee a good paying job plus the dollar has less value than it uses to.

Businesses are more in-sink to the market, and they don’t hesitate to correct to the market needs. Sometimes that will include a reduction in force. Most of the consistent jobs have been automated away. Being a member of the modern workforce, you need to learn to become flexible with your job description. Along with this flexibility, you become familiar with the uncertainty of employment.

Working for a company for 30 years is no more than a dream because the same position probably will not be around for 30 years let alone the same company. Now it’s all about trying to surviving and understanding that planning long term becomes a fool’s errand.       

How I feel about Government

New York Stock Exchange

I was looking back on all my writings and discovered I talk a lot about the government which makes sense knowing how much I care about our country’s well-being. You can read about my thoughts on the Creation of our Nation and how I feel about Guns. I even talk about Why I love Politics, how vital is the Separation of Powers and of course I had to state my opinion about our current President. After all this writing I noticed I think there is room for improvement. One day I may try to fix it, but for right now I am going to keep telling you what I think is wrong with it. Thank goodness there is so much to work on and to write about.

Small Town Boy in the Big City

Cherry Creek Park 1

I have been thinking about people in big cities vs. people from small towns lately. I have concluded that people are very similar, but there are some differences. I have noticed that people in small cities are more friendly, but the people from the big city are more excepting. Soon I will be starting the next chapter in my life, and I will be making some significant changes. This is causing me to think about where to live.

Don’t get me wrong I like living in a big city. There is always something to do and see. I enjoy people watching, and Denver has some great characters to rest my eyes on. I also enjoy being with a group of like-minded individuals. However, I do miss the small town life. Living in a small town, you know everyone, and they know you. A handshake means more than any contract. It is easier to break out and become a big fish in a small pond if you choose to.

In the next chapter in my life, my copilot brought up living in a small town with some excitement. So we are maybe leaving the big city life for greener pastures. This next adventure is mostly up to my creator; either way, I will be facing the next chapter with the love of my life. Where ever we end up it will be different and exciting.  

Honestly, I can go either way when choosing the size of the city I live in. There are pros and cons to both a big city and a small town. I do know however I will always miss the small town that made me the person I am today, and I will never forget the values I was raised with no matter where we end up so in some way I will always live within a small town even if I live in a city with a population of a million. Thanks for still being with me people of the Colorado plains. 

Remembering the past and HB19-1177

16th Street Mall

I have been reading a lot on Facebook about what people think the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) is. I thought that some would like some clarification on ERPO also known as HB19-1177. I’m going to focus on the original bill; please understand that bills usually do change before they become law. I bet this one will do the same because it has only passed the Colorado House and is making its way through the Colorado Senate. 

The primary object of HB19-1177 is to remove firearms from individuals who want to cause harm to themselves or others. ERPO has a process with many different steps. The ERPO would start on January 1st of 2020 and is initiated by a family member, household member or law enforcement if an individual becomes a potential threat.  The initiator would be referred to as the petitioner. This petitioner must establish preponderance evidence that the person in question is a risk to self or others by firearm. The petitioner must sign an affidavit under oath with the full force of penalty of perjury that everything that they present is true and accurate to a judge. At this point, if the judge sees preponderance evidence of desire to cause harm to themselves or others, then a judge can issue an ERPO up to 14 days to remove firearms. Before the 14th day, a hearing with the person in question must be conducted and which they can face the evidence. At this point, the evidence must be clear and convincing for the judge to continue the ERPO. If the judge doesn’t see clear and convincing evidence, the person in question will be reunited with their firearms. However, if the judge determines the person is going to harm themselves or others, then the ERPO would continue for one year. During this year the person in question can appeal this decision once.

I must disagree with many of the Facebook posts I have read; the goal is not to infringe on any one’s Second Amendment rights, but to save lives. Colorado has a high suicide rate and over 50% use a gun. At a bipartisan meeting President Trump, Vice President Pence and Senator Marco Rubio seemed to support some sort of red flag law.

Almost 15 years ago Logan County had a tragic event that did shake us to our core. An 18-year-old man took his own life after shooting his ex-girlfriend. This bill is designed to prevent tragedies like this. For myself, hearing this news was one of the five times in my life where I recall exactly I was doing when the news spread. I bring this up because we humans forget so quickly and things we think never happen here have happened.

I know no matter what I or anyone else says people are going to think all Democrats want to do is take away guns. I still want to ensure this is not the case. However, Democrats do take their responsibility to help and protect others very seriously even if it is from themselves. The term statesman has gone missing the last few years, and everyone should be frightened of this disappearance. I know it is hard to stand up to supporters. It is time for the return of the statesman because now more than ever this needs to be done for the betterment of Colorado and the human race.          

What you need to Know about National Popular Vote

Union Station

There are a few things you need to know about SB19-042 The National Popular Vote also known as The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). To briefly sum it up it is modifying how the Electoral College works. Last I checked this Bill has passed both the Colorado House and Senate and is waiting on Governor Polis. Once this becomes law and Colorado joins the compact, it would allow our electoral votes to the winner of The National Popular Vote. NPVIC currently has 11 states and the District of Columbia on board with a total of 172 electoral votes. The compact will not be implemented till the compact holds 270 the same number that is needed for a Presidential Candidate to win the Electoral College. 

Rep. Emily Sirota from House District 9 (Denver) who is one of the Bills sponsors said on the Smart Alec Podcast that “the current system of electing the president allows second-place candidates to become President.” I believe most would agree. Some of the opponents say the compact is unconstitutional, it’s not what the founding fathers had in mind, and this would take votes away from rural voters.

The Constitution states in Article 2 Section 1 that “Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress” I’m not a Constitutional scholar, but I would say it is constitutional indeed. From my studies of our founding fathers, they seemed to be concerned with creating a system that could be changed down the road if need be. Honestly, I think it will be a good thing for Colorado Republicans who mostly live in rural areas because Colorado is now a solid blues state and that’s not going to be changing for some time. When NPVIC is implemented the Colorado Republicans vote would be counted for the Nation’s Popular Vote, and that would mean something, unlike our current system where votes are dismissed due to the winner take all at the state level.

There is a reason Democrats are pushing for this change. Historically Democratic Candidates who win the popular vote do not become President due to the Electoral College. In my lifetime Al Gore and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College. After it happened twice, you better believe action would be taken to prevent history from repeating itself.

In the bedrock of our democracy, we are installed with the undeniable truth that every person gets one vote. Even in our preamble, our founding fathers state that all men are created equal. That’s not the case with the Electoral College. How it’s working now a Republican vote in Colorado has less value than it would in Florida or any other battleground state. So if you are on the fence ask yourself does the current Electoral College make your vote count or is it pushing it out of the way for a vote in a battleground state. It’s time for your vote to count and this bill will do just that.

Donald Trump and the Shutdown

Funeral Picture 4

President Donald Trump’s administration is anything but typical, and the same can be said about his business background. I have found that you can tell where someone is going from their past. Now maybe I’m trying to connect fake dots to imaginary lines here, but we can get a pretty good picture of what is in his mind from what has happened in his past.

In particular, when I examine President Trump’s business dealings in Atlanta, we can see how he deals with problems and what he values. In 1991 Donald filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, and there were some victims from this action. Dixie-Narcos claims the Taj Mahal (a Donald Trump business) owed them 6 million for equipment. After the bankruptcy Dixie-Narcos only received 2.4 million and Donald Trump went on the attack and called their claims worthless after that Dixie-Narcos had to make some hard choices from that deal going south.

Sounds like to me that we can find some similarities between 1991 and our last government shutdown. Federal employees were hurt from the shutdown just like Dixie-Narcos was in 1991. 

Then like now Donald Trump went on the attack. From what I can see Trump is heartless, and he has a track record to prove it. Even in this last year, we saw his administration separate parents from their children along our Southern border. I don’t think he cares much for others who are suffering. However, he will do anything for his supporters. 

That is why we see this new state of emergency to pay for the border wall. President Trump’s supporters are in love with the border wall, and as we know, he will do anything to keep them happy. Someday soon we will see if I am connecting fake dots to imaginary lines because we may see indictments on some of his family members. We will see how far he will go to protect the ones that are the closest to him and we will see if we are indeed a country of laws.

Is Washington Really Broken?

Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are not many similarities between President Obama and President Trump. Both have entirely different directions they want to take our country, and their administrations are creating policies to do just that. However, in speeches, they both use one line “Washington is broken.” Almost everyone that heads to Washington uses this one line in almost ever address they give. “Washington is broken” is used so much it could be played on repeat, and you wouldn’t know a difference.

I happen to disagree with both Presidents and every member of Congress. Washington is working just how they want it to. To understand what I’m talking about you need to think about the political parties differently. Think about the Republican and Democratic party as companies just like Apple and Windows. In the home computer industry, there are only two different companies. Both benefit from the limited competition because they have a Monopoly and it is hard for competition to enter the market. When was the last time you saw a computer run on an operating system other than Mac or Windows? Both companies appeal to entirely different customer bases. Windows are geared for business and Mac is more for creativity. There is some overlap between functionality, but anyone can see the difference.

Washington has designed a process that favors a two-party system, and this is the way they want it. This structure is causing difficulty for a third-party to enter politics. This favoritism of needing to be part of either Democrat or Republican party to be on the ballot creates a reliance on the two-party system. It’s hard to find a person who has won a race who was other than Republican or Democrat. Both party’s appeal to different basses but it’s hard to believe that anyone is 100% liberal or conservative. However, politicians must declare to be one or the other. Most of the campaign resources are split between the two parties with their databases, volunteers and the party donors causing a greater control of a Monopoly. 

Is it time for we the people to fix Washington and give up on the false sense of voting out our current representatives is the only way to fix our government? We have been trying to kick the elected out election after election with little to show for it because we only have similar representatives to replace them. Maybe it’s time we rethink the wheel and get rid of the party’s on the ballot, make it easier for people to run for office who don’t fit in the categories of Democrat or Republicans, and have the public match donations for candidates. Things genuinely need to change because our current status quo needs to go to save democracy or what’s left of it. 

Government Shutdown

Funeral Picture 5

After the longest government shutdown in our nation’s history you know I’m going to say something. Being a political junky, I’m not surprised by the closure, but I am concerned and confused. This last shutdown showed us how far both sides are willing to go and now each side appears to be taunting each other. First President Trump grounded Speaker Nancy Pelosi from traveling and in retaliation Speaker Pelosi postponed the state of the Union. In the latest news, there is talk about the Trump Administration declaring an emergency along our southern border to fund the wall. I believe it is safe to say that we are probably going to see another government shutdown at the end of next week.

If you are not aware, there are a large number of Federal workers in Colorado and a shutdown affects the Colorado economy. One of my neighbors works for TSA and has gone a month without pay. He has been asking around the neighborhood if he could do some work for my HOA so he could put food on his table. It kinda freaks me out when the guy whose job it is to keep bad guys off planes is struggling to pay his bills. I know that Federal employees have integrity but at what point would they turn a blind eye, so they don’t have to choose between paying the rent or not eating. The same could be said about Federal Prison Guards; I bet prisoners are always trying to bribe them.

Now the part that is confusing to me is why didn’t Congress pass a spending bill when Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate? The government shutdown did start on their watch, and they just extended the shutdown until the democrats controlled the house. If border wall funding was so necessary to Republicans why didn’t they pass it back in December? I believe that this is nothing more than preparing for the 2020 election and both sides are playing for keeps in the Presidential election. Hopefully one day we the people will figure out this experiment in democracy, and I don’t feel like this country I love is on Jerry Springer on an episode titled “And you Think you had Problems.” 

I hope everyone who is reading this would agree with me that we don’t want to be the country that is known for putting their employees to work without pay for a month on end. It’s frustrating when the greatest country in the world closes itself for political gain. Most Politicians don’t keep all their promises, and a border wall is just a campaign promise that just can’t be kept. In the next week or two, I will be posting on my website codyengelhaupt.com what I think is going through President Trump’s mind about this shutdown. I hope you will visit to find out.