Thursday, December 13, 2012

The News of the World

            The internet is almost without a doubt the single most important invention of the last thirty years.  People are interconnected to a degree scarcely imaginable a century ago, the time it takes to contact someone across an ocean is no longer than it takes to reach somebody down the street.  Additionally, news travels faster than ever before.  Where an individual in the 1940s had to rely on newsreels and newspaper stories for foreign news—typically weeks out of date by the time the average citizen could obtain the stories—one nowadays simply needs to type a few key words into any search engine and the news of the world is before them.  With such increased availability of news, one would imagine that Americans would be more informed as ever; regrettably, this is not the case.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gun Control after a Tragedy

At this point, the sad story is known to just about everybody.  On December 1, Jovan Belcher, a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, who was also the mother of his child, and drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility and killed himself.  The next day, at halftime of Sunday Night Football, sportscaster Bob Costas gave a two minute monologue expressing regret about the tragedy and stating his belief that if Belcher had not possessed a gun, he and his girlfriend would both be alive.  The reaction to this short and measured statement has been unfortunate.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Defeat in Victory for the Democratic Party

            Aside from the presidential election and the Puerto Rico statehood referendum which I have discussed in the past, another very important election was held in the state of Massachusetts last month.  The statewide senatorial election between incumbent Republican Scott Brown, who had won the seat in a special election after the passing of Ted Kennedy in 2010, and Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and an architect of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.  When Warren defeated Brown rather convincingly, Democrats celebrated the reclamation of a seat which had long been held by their party.  The Democratic Party may come to regret their victory in this election, however.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Exaggeration of Presidential Constitutional Violations

Conservative commentators, such as Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, love to bemoan the assault President Obama is waging on the United States Constitution.  This belief, popular with fringe members of the Republican Party, has been given an image in paintings by Jon McNaughton, a Utah based artist.  One of his works, entitled “One Nation Under Socialism” depicts President Obama holding the Constitution as it is consumed by flames.  Another painting, entitled “The Forgotten Man” shows President Obama standing on the Constitution with President Madison, known as the “Father of the Constitution,” begging him to get off the document.  Additionally, a depressed man sits on a nearby bench being comforted by Republican and early presidents as Democratic presidents applaud our current president for trampling the Constitution.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cents and Sensibility: The Elimination of the Penny and the Nickel

Those closest to me know that an issue which has always been one of my pet passions is that of penny and nickel elimination.  As such, it was with joy that I read reports this week that the Treasury Department will begin removing pennies and nickels from circulation starting in 2013.  This should be just the first step that the nation takes to modernize our currency system in order to save money.