November 12, 2008

Universal Health Care

Universal health care is, in its purest form, obviously, a proposal to give everyone in the universe health care coverage. It has recently been watered down to only apply to Americans. Why is this? If you think we should have universal health care in this country, why do you think it should only apply to Americans? And if you say it's because Americans are the ones paying into it, do you approve of our progressive tax system that requires the wealthiest Americans to pay for much more of it, while people who pay no income tax could potentially get healthcare benefits for free. If they can, why shouldn't wealthy Americans be forced to fund it for people outside America, too?

November 11, 2008

Chef Boyareyoucrazy

Why does spaghetti cost $16 at Italian restaurants? I know they're using Barilla, and I can buy a serving for $0.30. Do they think we're dummies? Secondly, shouldn't Italian restaurants be serving fresh, handmade pasta anyway? 'Cause I'd pay $16 for that. Don't fall for it. Next time you go out, stick to veal. Morally, it's a bigger victory.

November 10, 2008

Why Wait ‘Til Love To Have Sex?

That's the common TV show advice, right? The parent finds out the kid is thinking about having sex, and sits the kid down to tell them that "sex is something very special, that should only take place within a loving relationship, and you should wait until you're sure you're ready." Why? Is it because sex depends on a high level of trust? Is it because if sex is dependent on love, a commitment to the other person is the greatest example of that love. Is it because sex creates an emotional attachment with the other person that can only be healthy when there is already a commitment there? Is it because taking the risk of having a child is a big leap if the other person hasn't promised to stick around? For all these reasons that waiting 'til love before sex makes sense, doesn't waiting 'til marriage make even more?

November 7, 2008

If Obama Wins, I’m Moving To….

You know how Democrats used to joke about moving to Canada or France if Bush won the last election? Escaping to a country that offers more comprehensive social welfare programs for its citizens. I didn't hear many Republicans threaten to leave the country if Obama won. Is it because there aren't any alternatives that offer freer markets or less government rule?

November 6, 2008

Bring Back the Duel

On Tuesday, the state of Washington legalized physician-assisted suicide, making it only the second state after Oregon to do so. This, obviously, just a slippery slope on the way to giving citizens back control of their lives. The only good thing that can come from this is that perhaps we'll decide duels are okay again, or what I call, faster-man-to-turn-around-assisted suicide. And I can't wait. I've been demanding satisfaction for quite a while now.

November 5, 2008

The Union Lives On…

For the joyous: Do not stop. Continue to pursue the ends of the social injustices that caused you to vote the way you did. There are non-profits around the world doing amazing things. Join them. Help them. Do not wait until others are forced by legal mandate to fund these social programs you desire, but pick your priorities, and work toward them yourself as well. And continue to enter conversations with the intention to persuade, and with the humility that you may be wrong. For the despondent: Do not stop. If Obama was elected in some European country, you’d probably like him, right? Well, that’s how the world is looking at us today. They’re happy. And there are major benefits that come from global optimism. For all the financial woes you fear will stem from Obama’s policies, there truly will be offsets from this increased stability. Plus, he promised to put the entire budget online, and make it accessible to the public. That’s pretty awesome. Be encouraged as we enter into a new age of accountability. And continue to enter conversations with the intention to persuade, and with the humility that you may be wrong.

November 4, 2008

Before You Vote…

Ask yourself one question. How does Renee Zellweger keep getting cast in movies? I don't know ANYONE who likes her. Guys don't think she's cute, and therefore, do not like her. And she's no Meryl Streep, whose acting makes up for that aesthetic lack. And since she's neither talented nor pretty, girls don't admire her. Who keeps putting her in movies???

November 3, 2008

Adjustable Brake Lights

Ever been driving behind someone on the highway, and you see their brake lights go on? So you lay off the gas a bit to slow down, and then...AH! They're actually braking to a stop on the highway??! So, you slam on the brakes and sort of steer the nose of your car toward the shoulder as you whiplash yourself to a stop 6 in. from their bumper, because you didn't see the traffic jam ahead. Bright brake lights can mean anything, so we make our best guess subconsciously based on where we are. Coming up to a red light? Yeah, they're probably stopping. On the highway? They're probably just slowing down for some reason I can't see. Let's end the guessing game, and create adjustable brake lights that adjust intensity based on the amount of force given to the brake pedal. That way, we'll know for sure. And have less accidents because of it. (idea submitted by frequent contributor, Matt)

October 31, 2008

Global Warming: A Generational Mission?

(a continuation) Global warming is a big problem, with many consequences. The question is, where should this fall on our priority list? Many people devote themselves to causes because they stumble upon them. Like a ballplayer who starts a diabetes fund because their kid gets it. The problem becomes real, because we see it. Global warming became real to us through news stories, celebrity spokesmen and movies. But, are there other problems, bigger than this, that we simply haven't stumbled upon yet? The 2004 Copenhagen Consensus sought to develop a comprehensive list of global challenges and opportunities, prioritized based on the amount of good that can be accomplished per dollar spent. Topping the list are HIV/AIDS control, providing micronutrients to the impoverished, making trade free, and malaria control. Climate control bottomed out the list, simply in terms of the amount of good done with the amount of resources required. For example, $1 spent toward HIV/AIDS treatment does about $40 worth of good in terms of fewer dead, fewer sick, and less social disruption. For every $1 spent on the Kyoto Protocol, we will do about 30 cents worth of good. Perhaps this a callous way to look at it? But, if our desire is to truly accomplish as much as we can with the resources we have, shouldn't we look to prioritized lists like these as our starting point for discussion, and prioritize our spending percentages to match these lists? So, that's where I'm at. Help me out. What do you guys think?

October 30, 2008

Global Warming: Kyoto Protocol?

(a continuation) If every country not only participated in the signing of the Kyoto Treaty, but actually adhered to it, we would delay the 4.7 degree Farenheit increase expected over the next century by five years. Instead of getting there at 2100, we'd get there at 2105. Some people argue that the treaty is more symbolic than practical, and that it's a great opportunity to get universal buy-in on this global problem, to start doing SOMETHING. So, that begs the question, is there a better something we should be pushing for? Proponents of Kyoto talk about how the treaty will encourage eco-friendly technology investments, while cutting down heat deaths, malaria outbreaks and floods. This is all true. At the estimated cost of an estimated $180 billion a year. If these are the real consequences we're trying to prevent, is there a way to be more efficient with our resources, and fight these fights directly? Preventing malaria through vaccinations and mosquito nets, preventing flooding through improved levee systems, preventing carbon-emissions by increasing eco-friendly R&D? All for much, much less money, and with much, much better results. Isn't a wealthier world going to be better prepared to tackle the real problems of global warming? For instance, in the 1920s, one of the malaria hotbeds in the world was Missouri. Today, it's gone. Wealth killed it.