Friday, November 30, 2012

Don’t Believe the Hype: The Future of Guantanamo Bay

                No nation is perfect.  Every country has either a checkered past, a disgraceful present, or an ugly underbelly, although most have some combination of the three.  The United States is no exception.  With slavery, the brutal treatment of Native Americans, and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two in the past, contemporary America looks pretty good.  This is not to say that there are not problems which should leave a bad taste in the mouth of patriots; the denial of equal rights to homosexuals certainly illustrates that point.  One issue which hurts the United States in terms of international standing does not technically exist in legal terms.  This refers to, of course, Guantanamo Bay.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Fiscal Ditch and Republican Economic Brinksmanship

                Aside from the Benghazi incident and the scandal around former C.I.A. director David Petraeus, the most talked about political issue since the November 6th elections is the “fiscal cliff.”  This refers to the automatic spending cuts which will affect a substantial amount of the government and the automatic rise in tax rates across the board due to the expiration of the Bush-Obama tax cuts.  When looked at through a policy lens, one can see that “fiscal cliff” is a misnomer.  A more accurate term is “fiscal ditch,” a ditch which separates old policies from new.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Federalist Farmer's Almanac

Good evening everybody, hope you all had a pleasant Thanksgiving.  I am pleased to announce that my blog will resume with shorter updates for the next few weeks while I work on a project entitled "The Federalist Farmer's Almanac" which will include some of my favorite entries thus far, some exclusive content from me along with writing from outside contributors.  The project is still in the preliminary stage as I continue to recruit writers.  If you are interested in submitting a piece contact me at  My first post back should be up later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Welcome back.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Important Programming Note

      As the temperatures drop and winter approaches, the Farmer is going into hibernation for a few weeks while I write a pivotal paper for one of my classes and work on a super-secret project, details of which will be given shortly.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Fallacies of an Ideological Victory Lap (or Tailspin)

           Now that the 2012 elections are in the books, President Barack Obama has earned another term in the White House with an impressive electoral victory of 332 electoral votes to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s 206.  With President Obama’s victory, social media exploded with happiness amongst those who lean towards the Democratic Party while those who sympathize with the Republican Party reacted with bitterness and disappointment. 
            However, in the afterglow of the election, the expectations for the next four years baselessly swung to the extremes for both parties.  Democrats began praising America for accepting the equality of all people regardless of sexuality, the acknowledgement amongst Americans that the rich should pay more, and extolling the basic promotion of freedom.  Republicans once again retreated to their metaphorical bunkers – stockpiled with guns, ammunition, and canned goods – to shield themselves from the coming storm of socialism and demonization of those with wealth.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The State of Statehood

            On November 6th, while all eyes were fixed on Ohio and Florida, waiting to see who would win the presidential election, an often forgotten member of the United States was holding a monumental referendum.  Puerto Rico, an America territory since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, voted for the first time in its history to become a state.  This does not end the process, however, as the procedure to become a state does not often run smooth.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Death of Peacetime

           Much is made about how the United States has not fought a war since World War Two, labeling all the other conflicts “police actions” or a myriad of other excuses.  But the reality is that the United States in the past seven decades has been one of the most bellicose powers the world has ever seen.  In the second half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty first, America has had thirteen presidents, and every single one of them have seen American troops on the ground in foreign nations.  The reason for this militaristic attitude is twofold:  first, because of America’s emergence as a superpower and two, because of the most astonishingly abrupt ideological shift in the history of American politics. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gun Control and the Supreme Court

If 1968 was the year of the assassination, with both Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. falling victim to deranged assailants, then 1981 was the year of the failed assassination.  In March of that year, newly elected President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr., but survived after he was quickly rushed to a hospital.  A mere six weeks later, Pope John Paul II was shot four times while in Vatican City by Mehmet Ali Ağca.  Pope John Paul, however, also managed to survive this attempt.  Despite the failure of these two assassinations, a wave of fear spread across the United States that gun violence would spill into the everyday lives of regular citizens.  Anti-gun sentiment reached a fever pitch, particularly in Chicago where the murder rate stood its highest point in years.  Mayor Jane Byrne proposed a ban on the possession of handguns, giving citizens who obtained a license before the ban grandfather-clause immunity.  The gun control law passed along with several similar laws across the nation.  It seemed as though the gun control question was settled until, in 2007, a lawsuit reached the Supreme Court and once more opened the Pandora’s box of gun control laws.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Socialism of the Wealthy

           In my experience, the most common barb levied at the Democratic Party’s desire to tax the income of the wealthiest two percent of Americans at a higher rate, as well as maintaining and increasing the capital gains and estate taxes is that such efforts are socialistic attempts to take hard-earned money from the successful to give to those who are lazy and unsuccessful.  While I believe that I thoroughly debunked the argument regarding higher income taxes, as well as the supposed laziness of the poor, I am focusing on the capital gains and estate taxes in this venture into the murky waters of economic theory.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Two Types of Vigilantism: Political Vigilantism

If you missed Part One, concerning criminal vigilantism, check the archive to the right, as well as the post immediately below this one.  Without further ado, I give you a discussion on political vigilantism.

The Two Types of Vigilantism: Criminal Vigilantism

            I believe that there is a streak in our society of slipping into delusions of potential grandeur wherein the common man becomes some sort of action hero.  This was seen in dazzling display after the Aurora theatre shootings where several commentators on the bastion of conservatism, Fox News, lamented the fact that nobody in the theatre was carrying a firearm of their own.  They believed that if somebody had a gun, they could have used it to protect themselves and the other innocents in the theatre by shooting and stopping James Holmes before he could kill and injure as many people as he did.  While in reality, the likely result of such a scenario would be more causalities, I have wondered what gives so many intelligent people such a faulty assumption prone to a sense of vigilantly idealization.  The answer, I believe, lies deep within our nation’s history and all the way back to a medieval folk tale of the nation from which we took our independence, England. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Israel and the International Community's Inability to End it's Exercitation of the Rights of Conquest

           With the supposed “death of war” which has accompanied the widespread rise of liberal democracies, as there is a general unwillingness of democracies to go to war, especially against other democracies, the concept of conquest has almost completely disappeared from international discourse.  In the age of kingdoms and empires, conquest was one of the most important goals of governments as can be seen by such conquering powers as the Macedonians, the Romans, and especially the Mongols.  While the issue has almost been rendered irrelevant since the end of World War Two, a lone nation still exercises the right of conquest over two territories with enormous geopolitical consequences to today’s world.