Moment of awesome
This post presents this week’s travel adventures as metaphors to explain current US politics. Every nation has momentous events that get people out of their homes. The Netherlands’ Soccer team gets neighborhoods to flood the streets and crowds gather in India to watch their countrymen play in the Cricket World Cup. The US has one of its own: the Presidential Debates. Two contestants remain after months of campaigning. With Best Actor in a supporting role for Ken Bone (Halloween costume anyone?) during Hillary’s and Donald’s touching duet at the second debate, the third debate was the last opportunity for both candidates to attract voters. IT WAS AWESOME!
Reference to the photo: Who is going to win?
This picture was taken just north of the Golden Gate bridge at Kirby Cove. For those willing to take the 8 mile bike ride from the city your reward will be this awesome swing. What does this have to do with politics?
The winner of the election mostly depends on the result in the swing states (most importantly Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio). The 10 swing states account for 142 of the total 538 electoral votes, roughly 26%. Currently, the polls indicate that the swing states are confidently leaning towards Hillary, but nothing is certain as history has taught us. Check out this cool little map to create your own forecast (link).
Favorite landscape picture
Will the next President build bridges between nations, or raise a wall at the border? Many are curious about how the outcome of the election is going to affect the political landscape between the US and the rest of the world. The main topics around foreign policy concern immigration, the role of Russia and China, and the relation with the Middle East and the Muslim world. Interested in what both parties have to say about foreign policy? Check out this link!
Picture above: Panorama view of the Golden Gate from Battery Spencer, North side of the bridge.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the US has 42.4M immigrants (i.e. people who are born without US citizenship), roughly half are naturalized US citizens. Immigration from Mexico accounts for 28% of the total foreign-born population, followed by China, India, and the Philippines. 69% of Mexican immigrants are in the civilian labor force, which is more than that of the native-born population. Since the US depression in 2007, the flow of immigrants from Mexico has almost halved (hit this link for source data).Here is the real kicker
- The top 1% earners in the US pay an average 5,4% income tax.
- Undocumented immigrants pay, on average, an estimated 8% income tax. As icing on the cake, 75% of undocumented immigrants pay for social security – a system they would not be eligible to receive as it’s only paid to US citizens (hit this link for source data).
Guilty pleasure meal
What’s better than pizza and a sandwich? A pizza in a sandwich! Only in the US will you find the Pizza Sub. And this is one of my favorite things about the American melting pot; the mix of cuisines that create colorful meals such as this.
One other thing that is unmistakeably American is the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms). I think gun control is a serious issue, but I think anyone with a sense of humor should watch Jim Jefferies’ clip on guns in America (see video). The facts he mentions in his show are remarkably accurate.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I can change.”
– Carl Rogers (1902 – 1984). American psychologist, considered one of the founders of the psychotherapy research. The quote expresses that only once you have accepted your imperfections you can stop spending energy on things you are not. Once this concept has settled in, you can change who or what you are. This applies on a personal level, and I firmly believe this quote applies to nation states as well; once a nation accepts where it stands it can change the direction it is going.
Favorite gadget / book / app / life hack
Next time you think about taking the big piece of chicken, think about this book! Few other books that have so profoundly changed my thinking as this! Ryan Holiday dropped out of college at 19 and had made it to Marketing Director of American Apparel at age 23 where he witnessed the rise and fall of the company’s founder.
The book details how it’s good to be ambitious, while at the same time not losing yourself chasing your goals. The book provides plenty of real-life examples as well as historic references. It was an easy read and the lessons were easy to apply in my life.
Click here to order the book on Amazon for $15 (yes, I get a sales commission 😉 )
This is kind of exciting for me: my first sponsorship. It’s in the form of a free T-shirt, but it’s a start. It was given to me by SFC on 702 Larkin Street, SF. I passed their store on my way to the Pres Deb (you should know by now what that stands for), and dropped in to look around. Their casual cycling merchandise is honestly really sweet, and I got a free shirt if I promised to take a cool picture with the shirt and leave a link to their website. Thanks Sarah for modeling the shirt for 20 minutes as we tried to take the perfect picture!
SFC does international shipping, so get your order in if you like their stuff!