Friday, December 6, 2013

Spidey Trailer Over-Analysis

Jack Ciolli of the comic book Atlas and Nick Ciolli of the Loyola Phoenix go overly in depth on the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Representation without Representation


             It seems to begin earlier and earlier every year.  In June of even-numbered years, a hard, heavy, and steady artillery fire of political campaign ads begin to batter the American people.  The barrage continues until the second Tuesday of November, when citizens drag themselves to their polling places and cast votes for their Congressional representatives and senators.  Once these Congress members win election they travel to Washington, D.C. to serve the interests of their constituents.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

If I Were a Betting Man


Sports, professional in particular, are likely the most popular form of entertainment in the world today.  Sure, everybody likes movies, music, and television but people are incredibly passionate about sports; they live and die by results of their favorite team’s games.  Professional sports today are more popular than they have ever been.  That being said, two questions dominate the wide world for sports:  should athletes really make as much money as they do, and are these sports safe.  But another question lingers in the background: should we be able to gamble on these sports?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An Argument Which Does Not Exist


           This week featured two happenings in the drive to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.  First, the Supreme Court finally heard cases concerning the constitutionality marriage restrictions and second, Facebook was hit by a wave of profile picture changes to a red equals sign.  One of those matters a great deal, one hardly matters at all.  I’ll let you decide which is which.  My distaste for internet activism aside, same-sex marriage is the topic of the hour and I would be amiss if I did not add my two cents.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Roadblocks to Effective Government


Citizens of the United States often complain that their Congressional representatives and senators focus on ensuring continual reelection over effectively governing the nation.  Desire to maintain political power discourages members of Congress from tackling politically sensitive and often times vitally important issues, resulting in the crippling gridlock we have experienced over the past decade.  While it seems like an easy fix to this problem is to create term limits for representatives and senators, effecting change in this area is not as easy as it sounds.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Inception of World War One


             At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 after the end of formal fighting in World War One, Britain and France, over the objection of the United States, forced Germany to accept a war guilt clause.  This clause put the complete responsibility for dragging Europe into the war in 1914 on Germany, forcing the state to accept draconian punishments.  These included complete disarmament, significant land concessions, and substantial war reparations.  While the German delegation had little choice but to sign it, the reality is that Germany did not prove to be the state most at fault for the descent into war. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

World War One and Total War


            While World War One may not have been the first global war (the Seven Years War featured fighting in Europe, North America, Central Asia, and numerous naval skirmishes all across the globe), it was certainly the first total war.  To be considered a total war, a war must have profound impact on the daily lives of nearly every citizen in the combatant states.  Their social, political, economic, and cultural lives become directed by the state in such a manner that it benefits the military effort.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Implications of the Second Industrial Revolution


            Europe in the late nineteenth century experienced a remarkable boom of industrial, technological, and educational advancement as well as significant electoral progress.  These transformations primarily came about as a result of the Second Industrial Revolution and the important social changes which occurred in its wake.  The three decades proceeding the turn of the twentieth century, however, planted the seeds for a wave of cultural malaise, social tensions, and movement away from traditional liberal ideals.  These downsides primarily occurred due to the sudden and abrupt manner of the changes.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Please God, Don't Let It Be Rubio


            While most Americans experience election fatigue weeks before the election even occurs, the media never ceases to speculate about the next presidential election.  Who will run?  Will the demographic alignments change?  Who will win?  It is fun to ask these questions, but difficult to answer them due to the sheer temporal distance between now and 2016.  This has not stopped some media outlets and commentators from pegging Florida senator Marco Rubio as the front runner for the Republican nomination.  If the Republican Party wants to lose in 2016, they should run Rubio.  If they want to win, they should run Jon Huntsman. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

State of the Union Response


            In 2010, “Despite our hardships, our Union is strong.”  In 2011, “…and the state of our Union is strong…”  In 2012, “…and the state of our Union will always be strong…” and in 2013, “…we can say with renewed confidence that the state of our Union is stronger…”

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Death of Native Belief


            The societies of the Americas and Oceania in the pre-European contact era had numerous different religions, nearly a unique belief system to each individual tribe.  These belief systems had existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years—generations of believers linking the present to the distant past.  The culture shock of even the initial contact must have been extreme; a huge and abrupt paradigm shift which immediately challenged age old traditions.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Small Government is Dead


            It is not uncommon for conservatives to be portrayed in the media—typically popular media, but occasionally the news media as well—as stupid, ignorant, or racist; often a combination of all three.  (For the record, I distinguish a difference between “stupid” and “ignorant”.  “Stupid” implies an inability to understand something while “ignorant” implies the ability to understand something, but the willful refusal to understand.)  This characterization is, of course, not true.  While it is nearly undeniable that some conservatives are stupid, ignorant, or racist, there are likely just as many liberals who are stupid, ignorant, or racist.  However, there are inherent flaws in the typical ideology which many conservatives subscribe to; one of which is their insistence on small government.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Not Even Drops in the Bucket


            In the quest to eliminate the budget deficit and reduce the national debt both political parties have proposed numerous solutions.  It is typical for Republicans to suggest spending cuts and for Democrats to suggest the increase of certain tax rates.  While both parties seem to be firmly ingrained in these positions, the reality of the situation is that a combination of selected spending cuts and tax increases will be required to find a meaningful solution.  Additionally, there appears to be a courage gap between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party; while Democrats are fully prepared to propose tax increases on the wealthy, Republicans tend to expound on the need for spending cuts but avoid specifics.  The reason for this is that the only way for spending cuts alone to solve the economic crisis is to deliver deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and the military; the first two tantamount to political suicide and the last against the party’s other positions. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Programming Poll

I'm thinking about slimming down my post length to generate more content. The plan would be three posts a week of about five hundred words, with at least two posts a month of my typical length (about one thousand words). Just want to do a quick poll.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Tea Party, Occupy, and a Gun Rally


            The First Amendment guarantees Americans five freedoms, chief among them freedom of speech and religion.  The fourth freedom mentioned in the amendment is the “freedom to peaceably assemble,” essentially ensuring that Americans are free to form protest rallies, provided they do not spill out into violence.  This right belongs to everybody in the nation, on both sides of the political spectrum, and is a powerful tool when conducted correctly.  In recent years, there are two notable examples of its use, one from of the two prominent ideologies, as well as an interest group which should call for a national rally.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ways to Reduce the Deficit and Debt

            The United States budget deficit and national debt problems remain a highly popular political issue, and while some economists, namely Paul Krugman (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/), assert that it is not as life-and-death as news outlets and politicians will have citizens to believe, it still garners much discussion.  With the 2013 budget deficit estimated at about nine-hundred billion dollars and the national debt hovering at about sixteen trillion dollars, there are numerous ways to address the problems.  Here are simply a few.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chuck Hagel, Defense Secretary Redundancy, and Obama’s Leadership


            With Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta retiring this year, his post is yet another Cabinet position which President Obama must refill for his second term.  Obama’s choice, former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, has begun his confirmation hearing this week and his statements illustrate a disappointing trend in the President Obama’s leadership methods and style.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Iranian War


It is becoming increasingly hard to go three days without reading an article or seeing a news segment concerning Israel, Iran, and the possibility of a new Middle Eastern war for the United States.  The cause of this conflict is Iran’s burgeoning nuclear program and it government’s repeated threats and innuendos that Israel has no right to existence; something the Israeli government is not very agreeable with.  It is believed that Israel will attack Iran in one form or another, with or without American aid.  While many decry the possibility of another American war in the region—fittingly in the nation between the United States’ other two conflict zones—there is reason to believe that such a military involvement may turn out better than expected.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

National Interest or Self-Determination?


            The history of the United States’ involvement in the political affairs of foreign nations is not an exceptionally long one.  For the first one hundred thirty years of American history, the nation largely kept to itself on the international stage; a policy known as isolationism.  The reasons for this self-induced isolation are multiple.  On one hand, the nation followed George Washington’s advice to avoid foreign entanglements, while on another the country had a literal ocean between it and the hotbed of political activity at the time—Europe.  Once the United States truly stepped onto the global stage in the aftermath of World War One, the nation’s outlook on foreign involvement began to evolve, culminating in the present-day struggle between national interest and self-determination. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Guns, the N.R.A. and Domestic Mutually Assured Destruction


             As shooting deaths continue to compile since the Newtown tragedy, the debate over gun control rages on, nearly encompassing every aspect of American society.  While both sides have their points, the argument of the National Rifle Association’s chief executive officer, Wayne LaPierre, that “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” sounds awfully familiar to a policy employed by the United States during the Cold War—with success—but is generally looked unfavorably upon.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Instances of Space-Time Compression

            The concept of space-time compression has been of vital importance both to the trend of globalization and the emergence of what can be considered as global history.  This compression refers to increase in the spread of information across large areas in a speedy manner.  The spread of information—be it news events or intellectual thought—is a prominent and key factor in the integration of the modern world, an integration integral to global history.  The speed at which this information travels across borders, both political and geographic, has played a large role in this integration; this speed has not been constant throughout history, however.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Buck Stops Somewhere Else


            Personal responsibility is dead.  Long live personal responsibility!
            I cannot speak for other nations, but America suffers from a debilitating lack of ability to take responsibility for its own failures and faults.  Every time something bad happens, all involved parties shift the blame to the other parties, yet when something goes right all parties claim the success for themselves. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Worst Acts in Presidential History


            The United States of America has had forty-four presidents over its two hundred twenty-four year history.  Some have been great—George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt come to mind—while others have been very forgettable, such as Millard Fillmore, William Harrison, and Gerald Ford.  Despite having some presidential duds, America has been blessed the good fortune of never having a truly bad president.  This does not mean, however, that American presidents have never made bad decisions.  This is a listing of some of the worst policy decisions in the history of the American executive branch, in order from least egregious to most.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Assault Weapons Ban and the Second Amendment


            Interpreting the Constitution has long been a hallmark of American society and in the aftermath of the numerous gun-related tragedies over the past two years, one particular aspect of the document has found itself under intense scrutiny.  The Second Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791, protects the right of private citizens to possess arms, although its language causes confusion and strife in today’s society.  While it is tempting to attack the amendment, one must be careful when scrutinizing any constitutional amendment, taking into account the language, the original impetus and modern interpretations via court cases.