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Showing posts from November, 2005

Who Needs A Military When There's McDonalds?

It is a well established fact that as of this writing, no two countries that have a McDonald's in them have gone to war since that McDonald's opened. This theory has stood true in the Middle East, South America, and other conflict heavy regions such as the former Soviet Union. Historical enemies, such as France and Germany, or China and Japan, have yet to go to war after McDonald's introduced them to fattening American foods. The key word in that last sentence was American.

The greatest strength America has lies not with its military power, but rather with its economic and cultural strength. The way to peace throughout the world and excellent foreign relations isn't to fight a "War on Terrorism," but to instead promote US culture everywhere to make other countries more receptive to the US message. If they begin to consume the US culture, they will be more receptive to US ideas.

The US should turn its attention away from using military might for its foreign poli…

Beggar Republicans and Deficit Spending

Before the Republicans managed to gain control back in the late 70's , they were known for quite a few things. First, they were known as war hawks. Second, they were anti-affirmative action (and some, against other races in general). Finally, they were anti-social service spending. But most importantly of all, Republicans were known to be fiscally responsible, wanting to cut so called "wasteful" spending by the government.

Those days are over. Today, after a takeover of the House, Senate, and Presidency since 2002, we see that the Republicans, when it comes to fiscal policy, have no fucking clue what they're talking about. For years, Republicans have been decrying "tax and spend" liberals. Now they've shown that they don't "tax" and "spend", they just spend other people's money. For years now, the Republicans have been driving up a deficit, a deficit that we will have to pay later. By we, I mean my generation and following gen…

To Those Who Question High School (A Statement By Aricelis Biel)

I’ve got very strong views on this topic, partly because I remember, as I am sure Jon does, as well, some very painful and melodramatic conversations with my parents about how I should balance debate and school. I was not a model student.

Therefore let me state this in the strongest possible terms for everyone who might read this: Learning is NOT what you do in a high school classroom. Learning is not, in general, what happens in schools (any school!) at all. Learning is what takes place in your own mind, as you sit in a library, your kitchen, your own room - and painfully read through a troubling paragraph over and over and over again, scribbling notes until the matter becomes clear to you. Learning is what happens when you (for example) read something out of a cognitive science journal that so fascinates you that you find yourself at the library at 8:00 pm on a Friday night, checking out 18 volumes, with the vain belief that you CAN read every goddamned thing mentioned in the that ki…

Farm Subsidies Suck

$143 billion. That's the amount the American public has paid to failing agriculture industries in the United States. How much growth has resulted from this investment? $0.

That's right, none. Agricultural economic growth has been seen out of this at all in the last 10 years. American tax dollars have given $143 billion in help to US farmers, and yet it takes Ben and Jerry to save small farms. This is just sad.

Why are farm subsidies so bad? It's because no matter how the agricultural season turns out, the government loses. Shortages on the crops? The federal government loses as farms across the nation default on loans. Surpluses in crops? The federal government loses as well. How? It's because the farmers are afraid of inflation, and have all crops set at an "ideal" 1929 adjusted price. Guess what the US government has to do? It has to buy up all of the surplus so the price stays the same. Either way, we lose.

That's $143 billion wasted for nothing. There mu…