Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I think I understand how/why we ended up in Iraq in the first place...I can kind of sort through the tangled web...but, why, exactly, are we still there? The daily death toll in Iraq usually equals or outweighs the VTech killings and although it does not diminish the loss suffered by all I do wonder about the importance, scale, and coverage provided to each. VTech, as with each tragic and unfortunate mass shooting, highlights grave issues with our nation, from the plight of the "nerds" and "loners" to mental health care and treatment, from what is "legal" to the who's and how's of guns purchases. And Iraq highlights its own set of issues in our great nation...a set of issues that I can even begin to scratch the surface of. Of course, millions of people are dieing around the world every day for millions of reasons, and everyone has their own cause to champion, but it still strikes me that the US has a direct, obvious, and controllable ability to lesson the current death toll in Iraq. Iraq might be "old" news, and perhaps we are all tired of it, but knowing firsthand what is it like to have a soldier there, I know that it never gets old to those families, to those relatives, to those soldiers who put their lives on the line every day, some of whom never make it home. It never gets old to the citizens and occupants of that nation, who are dealing with daily suicide bombings and mass murders. At VTech it was clear who had blood on his hands, we know who the murder was, citizenship, personal history, system failings, influences and chemical imbalances notwithstanding, it is still clear who pulled the trigger. In Iraq, as more information comes to light, we see that lies, personal agendas, system failings, influences and chemical imbalances aside we know who pulled the trigger.

Another, slightly less grave question. Why did the CEO of Sallie Mae pay himself a salary of $225 million over 5 years? $225 million. Please excuse my language, but are you F-in' kidding me? This is the former CEO of the same company that a few months ago sent a letter addressed to me at my current address in China, to tell me that they could not locate me, and would like greatly appreciate any assistance I could provide in helping them to locate me. This from a company that charges students as much as 28% annual interest on their loans (according to Fortune magazine). 28%. 28% so that their CEO's can make millions, the corrupt loan officers can make hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks and sweetheart-deal stock transactions and people like me can be told that although I live and attend school abroad and work part-time, I can not get a deferment, I can only make my payments "in US funds drawn on a US bank" (not even a money order) and that they need my help...'cause they are unable to locate me. If anyone ever hears of a lawsuit, petition, rally, or anything that will help to drive Sallie Mae out of business, I'm IN!

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1 comment:

Between the Sky and the Sea said...

I'm with you on the loan A college degree would be so much bigger without that five-figure debt attached to it!