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.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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.