Mystician Student Opinion Blog

The Mystician 83.8 May 2022

The In Betweens

By Autumn Beto, Columnist

Today is a rainy day. These days are the ones I take to think about what is going on around me as well as the direction that I want my life to go. It’s the same feeling as the color grey, the age 17, and a Thursday afternoon. Many things that share the same feeling.

 

From my perspective, they all remind me that there is more to come, and this is but a mere milestone in life. Thursday is going to turn into the wonderful Friday, and 17 turns into being the young adult, 18. Grey is the special one. It’s the one that has so many possibilities. It can go from grey to white, to black, to blue, green, etc. Grey is amazing because of its many opportunities.

Graduating from Bismarck State College)with your associates shares this same feeling. It is like the color grey and the age of 17. This is a milestone that for me, must come before the other events in my future. At the same time, it leaves room for different decisions for me to make. I could get a true, “big girl” job and begin settling down. I could take a break from school and travel the world learning about new cultures, new foods, history, and so on. I could continue my education and learn more; the opportunities are endless. 

For some, this wide range of decision options is not the most exciting. This is one of those things that has ‘scary’ attached to it. What if the continuation of school doesn’t work out? What if the "big girl/boy" job turns out to be boring? These are all questions that must be asked to continue driving on the road of life. Yes, it’s terrifying but that is the fun part. One had to make a decision to start at BSC and get as far as he or she did. 

It’s true when they say, you can make it through anything you set your mind to because you have already been through what you thought to be your worst. During the moment you thought ‘there is nothing worse than right now and I am never going to make it through’, you were wrong because you made it through. Now, you might still be struggling, there will always be something to be there trying to push you away from your goals—which, side note, is extraordinarily impolite. You just have to go along for the ride because over time it will get better, and doors will open for you.

Considering the many people graduating with worries of what will happen in the future, try to take a breather on your next rainy day. Enjoy the moments you have in front of you because before you know it life will fly by and will be an entirely new place for you to explore. Take advantage of the in-between.

The Mystician 83.7 April 2022

Ukrainian and Russian Conflict

 

By Gavin Raschke, Columnist

Ask any military or political expert before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and they would say that Ukraine doesn’t stand a chance. Russia has 144 million people, compared to Ukraine’s 44 million. Russia has an economy five times bigger than Ukraine’s. In addition, Russia has the second-best military in the world.

 

With all that said, it is shocking that Ukraine has done so well in the first two weeks of the conflict. Russia has failed in capturing major cities; made little territorial gains, has huge logistical problems, and the death toll on the Russian armed forces is massive. In the first two weeks of the invasion, Russia has lost about four times the amount of men than America had in 20 years of Afghanistan. 

So, what went wrong for them? In short, a little bit of everything. The problem with dictators is that they often surround themselves with yes-men who tell the dictator what he wants to hear even if that goes against reality or logic. Putin was most likely told before the invasion that the Ukrainian people would just give up fighting after the first couple of days. 

Obviously, that hasn’t happened.      

But that caused Putin to underestimate Ukraine. Russia did not bring enough firepower, troops, or supplies to fight. The Ukrainian army plus their citizen territorial forces are bigger than the Russian invasion force, and they are the ones that get the ‘honor’ of playing offense. 

There is a common saying in the American military, “An amateur thinks about tactics, but a professional think about logistics.” The Russian army lacked this mindset going into the invasion. Their troops lack food, medicine, and ammunition. That causes them to have low morale and perform worse on the field. 

Springtime is not a good time to invade. Heavy army trucks easily get stuck in the mud, so that forces them into the road network of the opposing nation. Roads are narrow checkpoints that are easy prey for enemy forces, as well as create traffic jams that delay supplies to frontline troops. 

Even now there is currently a 40-mile long Russian convoy outside of Kyiv, full of tanks, trucks, and armored vehicles that could go to the front line. The Ukrainians however, made the entire convoy obsolete by destroying the lead vehicles and creating a huge traffic jam. Simple things like this have pointed to Ukrainian courage and fatal flaws in the Russian war machine. 

Ukraine has also been boosted with western technology and intelligence. Ukrainians know when, where, and how the Russians are going to attack thanks to American satellites. And American shoulder-fired rockets are excellent at destroying Russian helicopters and tanks. 

So, what are the odds of a victory for Ukraine? It is simply too early to tell. Russia could still win by sheer brutality and firepower. They could just level Ukrainian cities to the ground to break the will of the people. Ukraine could win by forcing Russia into a long guerrilla war. Or they could get the Russian people to turn on Putin. 

However it ends, may the world hope the lives that are lost will not go in vain.

The Mystician 83.5 February 2022

Seven percent more money than last year means nothing changed.

 

By Gavin Raschke, Columnist

That is a very bold claim, but mathematically speaking that is the fact. The typical inflation rate for the United States along with most of the western world is 3%. In 2021, the inflation rate is now 7%. Inflation is the increased amount of money circulating in the economy compared to the previous year. If the inflation rate is 7%, that means that there is 7% more American currency floating around in the economy. In other terms, inflation could be described as the decrease of purchasing power because of rising costs of goods due to each individual dollar having less value. 

 

Is that a good thing? Absolutely not! Money is valuable because it is finite. More

money equals less value. Less money equals more value. That is why air is free and gold is

expensive. Since there is more money in the system a person would need to make more to be of the same wealth they were in the year prior.

 

Inflation makes the prices of goods and services go up. And that leads to workers spending less, which then causes companies to shut down. Inflation can be checked naturally if wages are going up, but lately- especially 2020 and 2021, that just isn’t the case. The people that hurt the most from inflation are paycheck-to-paycheck low-income workers. They have no cushion when inflation predictably rises.

 

If inflation is so bad, why do governments let it happen? That is a complicated question, but the biggest reason is government overspending. In short, governments spend more money than they get from taxes. The amount of money they spend, but don’t have available, gets printed. Governments do this because they need money now, and the easiest way to do this is to simply print more money. The printed money gets pinned on the federal government as debt, but that doesn’t help solve inflation.

 

Before citizens blame politicians for all of their woes just know that to fix a one-year U.S. federal government budget you would need to cut 2.77 trillion dollars out of the

Budget or about one-third. So, kiss goodbye to all your favorite government programs such as pensions, welfare, Medicare, infrastructure etc. Nobody would vote for the guy that wants to take away grandma’s medicare, but that is what it would have to take to fix the budget and stop inflation. 

 

Yes, society is truly doomed, however, know these simple ways a person could use to grow their wealth and stay on top of inflation. Investing in stocks and getting passive income is a great way of staying ahead of inflation. If the inflation rate is 7% but a dude’s stocks grew 8%, he would be 1% wealthier. Now combine that with his income from his job, now he isn’t doing so badly. Everyone knows that the rat race sucks—and it does.