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Posts Tagged ‘2012’

Apocalypse Now & Then: Aunt Margaret and the Mayans

In Children and Family, Economy, Entertainment, Health, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, psychology, Religion, Science, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Technology, television, Uncategorized on November 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Case in point. The graphic is actually the AZTEC calendar, commonly misused to represent the Mayan version. Misinformation is only part of the problem with the doomsday scare.

By Gery L. Deer

People seem to have a bizarre, and sometimes irrational, fascination with the end of the world. So far, however, concerns about ominous apocalyptic events have been little more than the babblings of high-profile conspiracy nuts, money-grubbing religious fanatics and an over abundance of exaggerated media coverage. Still, the idea of impending doom must generate some money for someone because every few years, there’s a new disaster on the horizon.

In November of 1999, at the age of 91, my Great Aunt Margaret was still a smart woman, if not particularly personable to some, and she’d lost most of her eyesight to Glaucoma. A retired school teacher, she had spent more than three decades living alone in her old, block house at the foothills of the Appalachians, surrounded by other even more isolated senior citizens.

I was standing with her outside the house, watching my dad do something to her garage door, when I felt her frail, thin hand take my arm as she said, calmly, “Gery, what’s this about the world ending or everyone losing all their money because of a problem with all the computers?” Catching me somewhat off guard, I had to think for a moment on how to explain to her the Y-2-K issue in a way she’d understand, considering she knew nothing about computers. Her home still had a manual television and rotary telephone.

“Well,” I began, “old computers only allowed for two digit year notations in their programming so when they roll over from the year 1999 to 2000 on December 31st, they’ll think it’s 1900.” I went on to explain how some software would generate miscalculations but it really wouldn’t cause as big a problem as the media had blown it up to be. Satisfied with my understanding and explanation of the problem, she nodded and dismissed it. But for a time, she was frightened, actually scared she’d lose all her money and that the electricity and water to her home would stop flowing to her isolated home in the hills.

The idea that she and her elderly friends were so frightened by disinformation legitimized by a panic-loving media really angered me. A short time later, laying my technical and writing careers on the table, I published an editorial denouncing Y2K as little more than techno paranoia. As it turns out, unsurprisingly, I was right, but now we’re faced with a similar problem in the form of the Mayan calendar prophecy and other end of the world predictions set for December of this year.

Just like their Y2K counterparts, religious and survivalist extremists from all over the world are out there touting an imminent doomsday of Biblical proportions, stirring up baseless fear and panic. As the stories continue to be blown further out of proportion petrified people pointlessly buy everything from survival books to bomb shelters in an attempt to protect themselves. But experts say there is nothing to fear. The misunderstood Mayan prophecy is based on a calendar that restarts, marking a long period of time the way we might catalog a century or millennium.

Of course we could still fall victim to our own stupidity and blow ourselves up over petty arguments about who owns the world’s resources or whose god is the ‘real’ one. We’re human and we’ve been killing each other since the model was introduced so that’s not likely to stop. But the idea of a cataclysmic natural disaster destroying all life and civilization on earth is pretty far out. Is it impossible, no; staggeringly unlikely, yes.

In any case, if something that big happens there’s nothing that any of us can do about it. All the lunatics out in the woods with a few boxes of dried beef and lots of guns will be just as dead as the rest of us.

Sadly, my aunt passed away several years ago, well into her 90s. But, for all the other “Aunt Margarets” out there, frightened by all this apocalyptic nonsense, please count your blessings, sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays. I promise you, like I promised her; the world isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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There’s No Place Like Home. Again.

In Business, Children and Family, Economy, Home Improvement, Jobs, Local News, Media, Opinion, psychology, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on November 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm

DEER IN HEADLINES

By Gery L. Deer

Economists suggest that the Great Recession is over, but the aftereffects are still quite apparent. Along with record unemployment and a troubled political landscape the fiscal meltdown left one more frightening thing in its wake … junior, who came back home to live in your basement.

According to a February 14, 2012 story in Time magazine, more than 25 million adults returned to live with their parents because they are either unemployed or underemployed, or for a variety of other reasons, primarily economic. Another piece in a recent edition of USA Today quotes Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project.  “This is a case of families adapting to difficult circumstances,” he says. “Family is the ultimate social safety net.”

A temporary social safety net, yes, but it shouldn’t be indefinite. Most of the adults, single men and women between the ages of 22 and 34, moved back in with Mom and Dad because he or she could not find work in the same field or at a previous level of employment. With rent and other necessities becoming more difficult to manage, they end up on the doorstep of their family home hoping for a fresh start.

Unfortunately, because of lackluster employment growth in America, there seems to be very little light at the end of the tunnel for those empty nesters who invited kids back into the fold with open arms, but many of whom who were also ready to settle in and enjoy retirement. Instead, they’ve been returned to the days before the kids shipped off to the ivy covered walls of college.

Practical society places great importance on financial and personal independence and the idea that your job defines you. For most people moving back to the family home is a last resort and can often have a profound effect on the ego and the social life; a state to be avoided if at all possible.

For others, however, it’s just a cheap way to get out of having to actually look for a job. If you’re a parent whose children have returned to overstay their welcome, the main question now is when to show Maynard G. Krebs the door. Since you’re home with your adult kids, you can explain who he is after they read this.

It’s hard to say when it’s time to cut the purse strings. The lack of self-esteem brought on by unemployment and social rejection can really have a crushing effect on your child’s motivation to change a comfortable, safe situation.

After a time, gentle encouragement might be ineffective and you may need to use stronger, more direct measures. You might try saying something like, “Junior, it’s time for you to take whatever job you can and get back out there.” If that doesn’t work, try “Get out.” Just kidding; unless you think it would work then feel free to use the quote.

Kids, when you come back home, be respectful of the fact that it is still your parents’ house and you need to do whatever you can to make your stay effortless for them. Do your own laundry, cook, buy your own food, help with bills wherever possible and, by all means, be grateful!

Things will get better out there. There has been some improvement and there are jobs available. Sometimes it’s necessary to swallow one’s pride and take whatever work comes along, always striving to get back to wherever it is you want to be. Just keep at it and don’t give up.

 

Greene County Combined Health District receives $41,999.99 in Traffic Safety Grants

In Children and Family, Education, Health, Local News, Media, State News, Uncategorized on October 12, 2012 at 7:37 am

Federal Funds from Office of Criminal Justice Services Help Save Lives in Greene County

 

XENIA, OH – Laurie Fox, Greene County’s Safe Communities Coordinator, announced today that the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s (ODPS) Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) awarded $41,999.99 in federal traffic safety funding to the Greene County Combined Health District’s Safe Communities program for federal
fiscal year 2013.

“Partnerships are critical to the success of any safety effort and we are committed to working with law enforcement and other safety partners to address traffic safety concerns in Greene County,” said Fox.

The Greene County Safe Communities Coalition has identified that lack of seat belt use, motorcycle safety and distracted/impaired driving is impacting the safety and welfare of the citizens of Greene County. To save lives and improve the quality of life for our citizens, the Safe Communities Coalition will use the grant funds to increase awareness about distracted and impaired driving in the local high schools, motorcycle safety, and continue to educate the public on the importance of seat belt use through participation in local festivals, school presentations and other programming.

The funds are passed through OCJS from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support the efforts of safety partners statewide and focus on traffic safety priority areas such as restraint use, impaired driving, motorcycle safety and youthful drivers.

Competitive grant proposals are accepted and reviewed by OCJS. The FFY 2013 competitive grant process solicited grant proposals from state agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges, universities, hospitals, political subdivisions and other interested groups within selected Ohio counties and jurisdictions (based upon the number of fatal crashes).

For more information about the Office of Criminal Justice Services and statewide efforts to improve safety on Ohio’s roadways, log on to http://www.ocjs.ohio.gov.

Voters can’t handle the truth

In Business, Economy, Education, Local News, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, State News, Uncategorized on October 9, 2012 at 9:03 am

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

Politicians distort the truth and exaggerate facts to elicit effect from an audience. All of them do it. The idea of any candidate being open and honest is not only unbelievable, but would likely bring the American political system to a dead stop.

No one is going to be completely honest and the determination of whether a politician is lying is in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately die-hard fans of a particular candidate will insist that it’s only the opponent who lies. The hard, cold truth is, they all “lie.”

In the Star Wars film series, mentor Obi Wan Kenobi warns Luke Skywalker that many of the truths we cling to in life depend greatly on our point of view. Nowhere is that a more appropriate statement than in the political ring.

Often, distortion of the facts is an effort to cover uncertainty or a lack of knowledge. No one could possibly provide an answer to every problem and, rather than appear weak or uninformed, a candidate has prepared a neutral response to counter his or her lack of a solution. Voters should learn to read between the lines and determine whether this behavior is a character flaw or the nature of the job.

Sometimes a candidate, in a moment of either clarity or misstep, will betray his or her thoughts. Mitt Romney’s off-the-cuff remarks about the 47-percent of people who will vote for Obama because of the president’s predilection for endorsing entitlement programs is a perfect example of what can happen when a candidate’s true thoughts come to light.

Political candidates are under intense, constant scrutiny. Every word, every step, every mispronounced name can affect their overall image and subsequent performance in polling. Even misspeaking can be inferred as a lie and bring a campaign crashing down at any moment.

No matter how carefully words and phrases are chosen, however, they can still be used out of context to paint a candidate with a single brush stroke. Generally referred to as “sound bites,” the act of hacking up entire speeches into 30-second snippets has become far too common and can lead the listening public to the wrong conclusions.

Along the same concept, political advertising should be focused on informing the public about the intentions of the candidate. Instead, the point of these messages is to tear down the other guy, discrediting the opposition to the point of exclusion. Millions of dollars are poured into these ads just so each campaign can go back and forth on television, radio and on the Internet, just trying to counter the latest round of jabs from the other side.

Print or broadcast, generally the ads follow a simple pattern. One candidate takes a stab at the opponent’s position on something which is then answered from the other side with an accusation of lying about it, followed by some kind of weak rebuttal. But who is actually lying? Once again, that may depend on a point of view.

Developing and keeping on track a strong platform is tough for a political operative in today’s 2-minute news cycle. Since the American voter tends to go on hearsay and emotional preference rather than fact, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a consistent message. Much of the time is spent on damage control, like the president is doing now after his lackluster performance in the first debate.

Still, whether or not a politician lies is almost irrelevant to the modern voter. Americans seem to be more interested in trivial issues than the larger picture, proven by how easily they are distracted from more important problems by garbage issues. One man’s garbage, however, is another man’s treasure; so once again, it’s back to the pesky point of view.

One thing is for certain – all politicians lie. Voters just need to come to terms with how much of that really matters and learn how to separate the facts from the rhetoric.

 

Fifty Years and Still Trucking

In Business, Economy, Education, Jobs, Local News, National News, Opinion, psychology, Senior Lifestyle, State News, Uncategorized on September 19, 2012 at 7:07 am

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

Over the last few years many small businesses fell apart as a result of the recession. But one family business in Jamestown is celebrating a half-century of service with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

In the summer of 1962 my father, Gary Deer, Sr., was working the machine shops at the great NCR, laying concrete on his off hours and helping my mother, Lois, raise my brother Gary, Jr., and sister Cathy (I wasn’t quite on anyone’s radar just yet). Money was always tight, but a toolbox full of skills always seemed to provide him with ways to pay the bills, however unconventional his blend of work.

It was around that time, armed only a truck and a scoop shovel, he was hired to haul a load of sawdust from Indiana to a greenhouse in Fairborn. Sawdust was used for landscaping and mixed with potting soil and mulch for bagging trees and other plants. Never one to turn down work, he agreed and that first load of wood shavings and dust led to a job that would support his family for many years to come.

Gary Deer and Son was the name he first gave his business, which included the cement work at the time. Fifty years later, there’s an “s” on the end, but it’s still very much in business and keeping my father and brother busy.

I grew up in the seat of an International Harvester grain truck. It was a beast of a vehicle, nicknamed the “binder” because of its lack power steering, a hand-actuated dump bed with the lever positioned outside and behind the cab and shaky, wooden sideboards. The truck held somewhere around 7,500 pounds of sawdust and always seemed to be in demand by dairies, horse stables and livestock farms.

One of dad’s earliest customers was Young’s Dairy in Yellow Springs. Even today, the popular tourist spot uses the clean, dry sawdust Dad supplies in the barns and around the livestock areas.

Over the last half-century, it’s been a common sight along US 35 to see one of Dad’s signature red (and for a time blue) trucks tarped down in red, white and blue rumbling down the highway. But you can’t imagine what it was like growing up and trying to explain your family’s business to teachers and other kids (particularly those from the city).

While taking a business class at Greeneview High School during my freshman year, we were asked to write a report about a chosen occupation we might pursue. Having no clue yet as to what I wanted to be when I grew up, I decided to write about Dad’s business – assuming I’d eventually be part of the business.

In the essay, I explained that sawdust was a major commodity within the agricultural, livestock and lumber industries. It’s a by-product of the wood finishing process in pallet shops and lumber yards, essentially vacuumed from beneath the saw tables and piped into a pile or building for storage. The mill can then sell off the sawdust at a premium, making money from what was basically waste material.

I went on to explain how grain trucks, semi trailers and wagons are used to then transport the material to dairies and stables to be resold as bedding. People make money by reselling the material, something my father and brother have now been doing for decades. The irony here was that the teacher gave me a “D,” not for my writing ability, but instead citing that sawdust hauling was, “not a viable career.”

Having effectively insulted my family business and our livelihood, the teacher was strongly encouraged by a higher power to change my grade and I wonder what he’d say today? That was more than a quarter-century ago and, though many businesses have dried up and blown away, Dad’s is still going, there’s even a website, garydeerandsons.com.

But I can’t help thinking sometimes about how things worked out, how random that first call was back in 1962 and where it led for my parents. It taught me that sometimes the simplest of circumstances hold opportunities you can’t even yet imagine. Mom and Dad created and managed the business on their own, with no help from anyone, and we are all forever grateful.

Beavercreek Computer Service Celebrates Grand Opening with Ribbon Cutting

In Business, Jobs, Local News, Politics, Technology, Uncategorized on July 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

By Gery L. Deer

The Jamestown Comet.com

 

Beavercreek – On Tuesday, July 10, Computer Troubleshooters of Beavercreek celebrated its one-year business anniversary with a ribbon cutting at its new location at1255 N. Fairfield Road. Part of an international network of franchises, Computer Troubleshooters provides IT support for residential and commercial clients servicing both Apple and Windows based computer systems.

President and CEO, Cliff Brust spoke briefly after the ceremony. “We’re happy to be here and we hope you don’t have too many computer problems, but if you do, remember we’re here to help you.”

Among the thirty-plus attendees for the event were Beavercreek Mayor Vicki Giambrone, Vice Mayor Jerry Petrak, Council Members Scott Hadley, Debborah Wallace and Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Clete Buddelmeyer. Guests received a tour of the new office and two desktop printers were given away as door prizes. Refreshments were provided by Subway and 4Starters coffee shop.

The celebration continues this weekend. Computer Troubleshooters is holding a public grand opening from 11AM until 3PM on Saturday July 14. Visitors can stop in to meet the staff and register to win a free desktop printer. For more information contact Computer Troubleshooters by calling (937) 458-2000 or visit http://www.ctbeavercreek.com.

Computer Troubleshooters To Hold Public Grand Opening July 14

In Business, Economy, Jobs, Local News, Media, National News, Science, Senior Lifestyle, Technology, Uncategorized on July 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm

BEAVERCREEK, OH – Computer Troubleshooters of Beavercreek (CTB) is celebrating one year of business with a public grand opening of its new office at 1255 N. Fairfield Rd., Suite 103. From 11 AM until 3 PM on Saturday, July 14, the public is invited to visit the new facility and register to win a desktop printer.

Part of an international network of independently owned franchises, Computer Troubleshooters provides complete information technology (IT) support for residential and commercial clients. In addition to the new location, the company is celebrating one year in business.

CTB President Cliff Brust is excited about the growth of his company. “We’ve been fortunate to find success in the Beavercreek area and we appreciate the support of the business community to allow us to continue to serve them,” he says.

“We have also focused on our managed services and cloud computing for business and medical documentation to provide our clients with the most advanced technology and highest quality support available to them.”

Brust will appear on WRGT TV’s, Fox 45 in the Morning, Monday, July 9th at 8:15AM to talk about common mistakes made by both commercial and personal computer users. For more information contact Cliff or Genevieve Brust by calling (937) 458-2000 or go online to www.ctbeavercreek.com.

A Half-Century of Walmart. Economic Savior or Evil Empire?

In Business, Economy, Entertainment, Jobs, Local News, National News, Opinion, Politics, Senior Lifestyle, sociology, Uncategorized on July 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Singer, songwriter Jessica Frech’s satirical music video, “People of Walmart” has attracted more than 6 million viewers, and probably offended just as many. (Jessica is in the upper left square of this screen shot from her video.)

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

Most people don’t realize that Walmart is the world’s largest private employer. According to a recent article in Time magazine’s business section, only the U.S. Department of Defense andChina’s People’s Liberation Army employ more people than Sam Walton’s massive dynasty of discount. On July 2, Walmart turned the half-century mark of rolling back prices and shaking up the competition.

On that date in 1962, Sam opened the very first Walmart store inRogers,Arkansas. Fifty years and four-thousand, three-hundred-ninety-nine stores later, the chain employs more than 2.1 million people and sets the standard by which other budget retailers are measured.

Along with those who appreciate Walmart’s contributions toAmerica’s economy, there are equally as many who regard it as an evil, impersonal, corporate monster. And they may be correct, after all, it would have been impossible to become the discount retail leader without doing some damage to the competition and holding fast to as much of its own money as possible along the way to get there.

Impenetrable by unions and continually slammed by the liberal left, the bargain behemoth continues to rake in the cash, bringing in a whopping $443 billion last year. Revenue like that must please the company’s shareholders, who, ironically, are probably the last people to set foot in one of its stores (at least while someone’s looking).

But what is Walmart, really? Is it evil? Or, is this just the price that has to be paid for corporate efficiency and unprecedented business growth? Do small towns really dry up and blow away when Walmart moves in?

The pros and cons of Walmart are probably more a matter of perspective than fact. Walmart shoppers are hard to categorize, but the common image is the middle to lower class, interested in getting the lowest price possible on toilet paper while caring nothing about the environment in which it is sold to them.

Well if you believe singer, songwriter Jessica Frech’s point of view in her satirical YouTube music video, People of Walmart, shoppers simply cannot be categorized. They come in every shape, size, color and creed, from every socioeconomic background and lifestyle. They come at every hour of the day and night in search of, well, a great deal on whatever it is they need.

It’s worth mentioning also that many Wallyworlders found Jessica’s music video terrifically offensive because it uses actual photos of Walmart shoppers in their native habitat. Even so, People of Walmart has been watched by more than 6.1 million viewers. People of Walmart 2, released last November, already has more than 1.6 million views. Apparently people weren’t that offended.

The economic effects by Walmart on local communities are as mixed as its clientele, probably more so than people generally know. According to a 2009 study, most negatively affected by the big box giant are those mom-and-pop retailers selling products in direct competition, such as small, higher-priced grocery, clothing and dry-goods stores.

The research also indicated that retailers offering products and services not available from Walmart tend to do better if in close proximity because people are already prepared to spend the money.

As for Walmart’s overall effect on and property values, new research released by the National Bureau of Economic Research startled the company’s critics. A 2001-2006 study of 159 new Walmart stores found that homes within a half-mile of each actually increased in value as much as 3-percent. Local tax revenue also increases substantially.

Like it or not, Walmart is here to stay. Anytime a business or an individual is successful, they will always have critics and even enemies. Fifty years ago, it’s doubtful that Sam Walton could have imagined what his small shop would eventually become.

Today his company provides jobs, affordable food and clothing, and the most unusually diverse array of patrons any retailer could imagine. So, happy birthday Walmart! Keep the rollbacks coming and, please, could someone fix the wheel on that one shopping cart that just won’t roll when you’re in a hurry?

Public Transportation Issues Expose Ignorance and Prejudice

In Business, Children and Family, Economy, Education, Jobs, Local News, Opinion, Politics, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on June 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

Plans for public transportation service to local communities stonewalled by ignorance and prejudice. Photo courtesy RTA Dayton Wright Stop Plaza Transit Center

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

Throughout most ofOhio, public transportation mainly consists of busses and commuter trains. But around the country, public transportation also includes cable cars, street cars, subways, ferry boats, and a host of other means, all of which are vital to the communities they serve.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, in 2010 Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transit systems. The organization also reports that for every $1 spent on public transportation, $4 of economic return is generated.

Additionally, out of every dollar earned, Americans spend 18 cents on transportation and 94 percent of that money is used for maintaining a personal vehicle. People who use public transportation can save that money or use it for other expenses, providing further economic benefit.

So why are so many local government leaders in towns like Beavercreek and Tipp City resistant to the idea of placing public transit stops in their communities?  The answer is simple; the same things that tend to limit progress in any small community – ignorance and prejudice.

Regardless of how much positive information is provided regarding public transportation, some communities believe that unwanted elements outweigh any potential benefit. One argument leveled by critics is that buses will increase traffic problems. In reality, they actually ease road congestion by reducing the number of individual cars.

Proponents say that civic leaders want to block public transit stops so they can be more discriminating about who has access to certain neighborhoods. In the media both sides seem to be dancing around the concept that minorities, lower income people, the disabled and elderly, and even criminal elements are presumed to be the primary customers of public transportation.

Local officials and residents alike apparently believe that by restricting bus routes from higher-end retail areas they are somehow protecting the community from the less-desirable elements of society. How is that not racist or at the very least, discriminatory towards lower income people?

Of course dangerous criminals like drug dealers can ride into town on the local transit bus, but it’s likely that they already have a way in. Research shows that drugs are highly prevalent in upper income neighborhoods – just better hidden – and a bus stop is unlikely to have much of an effect on that problem, one way or the other.

Politically, government officials often take whatever side they think will appease the voters, regardless of what might be the right thing to do. Not everyone does this, but more do than not, unfortunately.

The indication here is that it’s not just the city councils that are uninformed, but so are the residents. After all, any hope of re-election rests with the brainless masses of the voting public. Remember folks that while your elected official is kissing your baby, he or she is also stealing their lollipop.

Regardless of the political implications, increased consumer traffic is good for local merchants and the economy. Public transportation provides more consumers with additional access to restaurants, malls, civic centers, post offices and other business routes. The money they spend goes into the local economy and increases the value of these businesses. When business values rise, so do those of the properties around them – commercial and residential.

In the end, none of the negative arguments hold much water. It still seems to boil down to snobby white guys (and gals) who are stonewalling public transportation expansions because they don’t want their neighborhoods to look like an inner city.

It might behoove these people to do a little research on urban decay before worrying that something like a bus stop is going to destroy their property value. Sometimes stupid is perpetuated by greed, prejudice and arrogance, and this issue is a perfect example of all three.

Empty Promises Headline 2012 Presidential Campaign

In Business, Economy, Education, Jobs, Local News, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized on June 4, 2012 at 10:28 pm

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines
 

Remember when good oratory skills and talk of “change” at least seemed like a good start? The concept might have made a great slogan for candidate Obama’s election run, but there’s very little about it that would apply to his presidency. But would Mitt Romney have been able to achieve any greater success given the same circumstances? Probably not.

The president’s dismal job performance numbers and Romney’s complete lack of connection with those bringing home anything less than a seven-figure salary leave both of them a mediocre choice in November. So far, even the media can’t figure out what to say about these two.

In recent weeks, some of the biggest campaign headlines focus on relatively pointless issues like how much Obama is outspending Romney in advertising or the former governor sending hecklers to an event where the president was campaigning. It’s all fluff and no substance – again.

If something doesn’t happen to really define these candidates, the country may see a repeat of the 2008 election when many Americans were just tired of “W” and hisWashingtoninsiders. Most were happy see him gone but neither did they want a left-wing, America-downing liberal or even another Republican crony. So, who better to put in the White House but an untested, junior senator from Illinois?

As they say at Wrigley Field, “Swing and a miss.” Instead of the hopeful changes promised by the Obama camp, the country slipped deeper into recession and near depression-level unemployment which, incidentally, has yet to return to pre-Obama numbers.

But wait, there’s more. Challenging the president this fall is another millionaire – yes President Obama is a millionaire several times over – the Massachusetts Mormon, former Governor Willard Mitt Romney. Here’s a man so rich and out of touch he seemed in one speech to actually believe that every housewife has two Cadillacs and a summer home inCalifornia.

Why is Romney so out of touch? It might have something to do with that silver spoon sticking he always seems to be gagging on. Despite his profession of “humble beginnings” and being a “self-made man,” he attended Stanford, Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, and finally Harvard.

Given that kind of background, it’s highly unlikely he has any idea what it would be like to have to stand in an unemployment office or apply for some kind of welfare assistance after a layoff. But financial extremism is a problem for both parties in this election.

While the liberal left whines about conservative campaign funding from big business, the president is filling his war chest with least as much from the millionaire actors and studio execs inHollywood. Well, at least both parties are getting their cash from people who make a living off the public while pretending to be what they’re not.

 It’s likely that the 2012 election will come down to two things – the economy and jobs – something neither candidate has much to crow about. However, no one can really be congratulated for that. Many experts suggest that the economy would have eventually recovered in a natural progression without sinking billions of tax dollars into the problem.

However it plays out, in order to reach the voters, Obama and Romney will each need to stop the mud-slinging campaigns and tell the public how they will make things better. So far, all they’ve done is rail against each other. Without some real substance and a plan to get behind, the undecided voter will be stepping into the polls simply to choose the lesser of “who cares.”