To Drill or not to Drill: That is the Question

So I was reading a couple of articles on the legislation in the United States that was stopped before it began on the possible drilling of off-shore locations for an increase in the domestic oil production of the US.  The bill was designed to allow lands, that were previously off limits, to be accessed for use in drilling to increase the domestic supply of oil in the US and help brunt some of the increase in costs on the amount per barrel.  Many politicians saw this as a way to help the consumer absorb some of the cost that they were paying at the pump, while others saw this as a “big oil” or  “anti-environmental” movement aimed at furthering the destruction of the planet.  Continue reading

Trade Subsidies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

In the market oriented world, trade subsidies are supposed to be an advantageous means to protect a country’s ability to produce a good and have a chance to be marketable on the global market.  Thus when one country produces a product at a lower cost and begins exporting it globally, another country has the ability to place an export duty or a trade subsidy on it so that their product meets the price of the same or similar product in that nations market.  Thus, if an African country can produce, say wheat, at a lower cost and ship it worldwide, then Europe would subsidize their farmers and pay them the difference in the market value so that the European farmers could sell their wheat at the same price as the African country.  Thus, the African country loses the battle because their product is no longer as competitive as it was when it was shipped from their ports.  Continue reading

The New Deal: Savior from the Great Depression or Creator of the Welfare State?

Looking back over the history of not only the United States, but the history of most of the now modern world, the Great Depression was a defining moment in many people’s lives.  This was a time when the world economy came to a grinding halt for some, or slowed down so significantly that the people were desperate for any means possible to get out of their economic depression.  The evils of capitalism would not and could not allow for the economies of the world to rebound as fast as the people wanted or needed and thus drastic measures were required.  At least that is how the political figures in-charge defined their arguments for such “New Deal” policy and legislation.  Continue reading

The Gore-Ax: By the Castaway Castro

Yo, I am the Gore-Ax, who speaks for the trees
 I speak for the Earth and she wants to say “Please!”
 “Address global warming as soon as you can.”
 “The sun cannot cause it. The culprit is man.”
 Oh Gaea, so fragile, she can’t take the heat
 A few more degrees and the Earth is dead meat
 From choking on carbon emissions, you hear?
 More threat’ning than any munitions you fear
 Your minivans, Hummers, immense S.U.V.s
 Are wreaking great havoc on Earth and her trees
 And muscle car drivers, you ruin the air
 So switch to a Prius to show that you care
 Or better yet, travel by bus or by train
 And then my new limo can have a clear lane

 For I am the Gore-Ax, who speaks for the trees
 I’ll speak for the Earth until everyone sees
 The danger that climate change poses to all
 Especially if suburbs continue to sprawl
 We must limit suburbs if we’re to defer
 The global catastrophe soon to occur
 If glaciers keep melting, the oceans will rise
 And polar bears surely will meet their demise
 My house in the Hamptons, right there by the shore
 Will be underwater if Earth heats up more
 When oceans get warmer, more hurricanes form
 My house in the Hamptons might fall in a storm
 It’s Earth in the balance.  Am I getting through?
 Do all that you can to reduce CO2

 Now, I am the Gore-Ax, who speaks for the trees
 When saving the Earth I refuse to appease
 You stubborn deniers who won’t see the light
 We have a consensus that says that I’m right
 You shill for big oil and guzzle gas, too
 It’s time for a carbon tax levied on you
 The planet’s in peril, so cut back or pay
 Your country should bow to Kyoto today
 I know it’s not easy, but what can you do?
 A truth inconvenient is nonetheless true
 I’ve so much to teach you, but must say goodbye
 My Gulfstream is waiting. It’s time that I fly
 To Hollywood, Davos and maybe to Cannes
 So limit your energy use when I’m gone

NATO: The Price of Defense

In a world that is ever changing and in a time where providing for your nation is tantamount to the survival of your people and society, we need to have a better understanding of the governmental regimes that are at play in our world.  From dictatorships to monarchies, democracies to socialist regimes, countries around the world are creating a future for themselves in which government has an important role and place in their society.  Some societies feel that government should be the “be all and end all” of their world and provide for it, everything they need to live the best life possible.  Others believe that the people should decide how they live their lives and that government should be there to provide stabilization and a governing force to protect their basic needs and tenants. Continue reading

Scare Science: Fear in Sheep’s Clothing

Today I received an email providing me with a link to a website from a broadcasting company in Australia known as ABC.  I clicked on the link and to my surprise I was not sent to the website to learn about the news or to read a story that would be pertinent to my life or enrich my experience as a human being but to a website about “my CO2 influence on global warming.”  Now, first off, I want you to understand that I was surprised that something like this existed.  Secondly, I was shocked that they were portraying this as some kind of “scientific” measure of my contribution to global warming.  The debate over what causes global warming is still raging, whether people choose to believe this or not.  So why do these websites exist in the first place?  What is their true purpose, and why do people take them as “intelligent pieces of equipment” capable of giving us a true indicator of what is really going on in the world. Continue reading

Policy vs. Politics: The Unknown Battle in Government

In our ever changing world, the idea of policy and politics tends to have a powerful and often times contentious meaning.  People see politics as a necessary evil in their day to day lives and for the most part completely forget the policy behind the politics.  In some cases, and more than most of us would like to think, we combine the world of politics and policy and blur the lines of what they truly are and represent. Continue reading