Liberal Reflections

an Oredigger Blog

Sick And Tired

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First of all, I would like to apologize for my last entry. There was another writer lined up to do this blog, but his schedule filled up so he was unable to take over. Thus, I’ll be writing this blog at least to the end of this week.

Now, onto more important things: I am getting sick and tired of getting political propaganda in the mail. I really don’t pay attention to the referendums and amendments; I say take them for their face value (we can all read, so we should be able to make our own decisions). Yes, the wording is complex, but you should not rely on ads for this. Do what I did and crack open a newspaper. There is still some political spin in here, but at least they are looking at the wording and explaining their position.

What is really getting on my nerves are all of the pro-McCain letters I am receiving. I’ve already voted, so it’s a little late to be changing my opinion. I have one question for the McCain party: do you really think that you will win this election due to a mass snail-mail bombardment? These letters are so frustrating that I’ve been known to use them for anger management. On the last one, I bit the head of the guy on the front cover (I spat it out because he was disgusting). Stop sending letters, the elections should be decided in active forums, not in our mailboxes.

I’m interested in co-writing this blog with another person. If you want to write for this blog (and are interested in making a little bit of cash on the side), please send an email to rgill@mines.edu.

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Written by Robby Gill

October 29th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Posted in General

Nukes on a Plane

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Today marks my last entry for this blog, so I went to Foxnews.com to find something that would bring my blood to a boil. However, I found something so strange that it deserves to be in this entry. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about the United States of America: this next catastrophe in the making comes to us courtesy of the U.K.

Apparently, U.K. scientists are actively exploring the possibility of using nuclear power to fly commercial planes around the world. Now, I have to say that on paper, it sounds like an awesome idea. Imagine, anyone could fly anywhere in the world without having to refuel. It sounds like a pilot’s dream. For now, that’s what it should remain. We already have enough airport security issues as it is. Imagine what would happen if we started using planes that could destroy whole cities? I may be a liberal, but clean energy is not a good reason to put a bomb in the sky.

Honestly, I was expecting the military to do something like this first. Their radar planes and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles would become so much more useful if they rarely had to land. Plus, I’m pretty sure that our Air Force could keep a vehicle like that safe from enemy fire. It would be a lot easier than defending a fleet of airplanes.

We need more time before we try something like this. I’m not saying we should wait for the world to stabilize (seeing as that has little chance of happening anytime soon). We should wait until we have fusion technology before using nuclear power in airplanes. That way, one accident won’t destroy a portion of the country.

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Written by Robby Gill

October 27th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Posted in General

Below The Belt

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I understand that character can be very important in a presidential election, but we are taking its importance way too far this year. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Both sides seem to understand this comment. Obama and Palin have praised one local sports team over another, then gone to the other team’s city and done the reverse. That’s just how politics work. What irks me is that McCain chose to attack Obama on this front. Firstly, why did McCain choose such a petty issue to bring up? Has he officially run out of ammo? Secondly, why would he play this card when Palin is guilty of the same ‘taboo?’

The strained personal attacks do not end there. This issue focuses on reporters: lay off of the candidates’ wives! What they choose to do does not speak for their husbands. They will have an effect on the image of America, but anyone who thinks it will be at the same level as Eleanor Roosevelt is dead wrong. This nation is not in need of a den mother; what we are looking for is a strong president. Love is a complex thing and unless their spouses pull off a crazy publicity stunt of some sort, it should not speak for the character of a president.

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Written by Robby Gill

October 23rd, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Posted in General

The Thrill of the Vote

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I just finished completing my mail-in ballot a couple of hours ago. I remember when I was younger, I had two dreams: I wanted to be able to legally drive and vote. When I finally turned 18 last year, the 2008 elections were just barely beginning. I wanted to make sure I made the right decision, so I sat out of the primaries by not declaring my allegiance to any party. Fast forward to earlier today. Sitting down to cast my ballot, I knew I was going to vote Obama and I was pretty sure of what I wanted to see happen with the amendments and referendums. However, what I was met with was not the romanticized story I had heard about voting growing up; what I found was a demon.

I had generally remembered the commercials on TV, so I had an idea of what each amendment was about (at least that’s what I thought). Every line I had to reread more than once. Determined not to have my voice ignored, I tried to cast a vote on everything. Now, instead of feeling patriotic and heroic, I feel evil and scared. Have I just sentenced Colorado to suffer for many years to come? I call out to everyone, whether they are liberal, conservative, or something else; do not let someone else become your voice. Vote with your brain, and if that fails, vote with your heart. We have been given one of the most important responsibilities of our lives. We are no longer the future; we are officially the present.

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Written by Robby Gill

October 20th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Posted in General

School Loans

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The economy is the lifeline of America. It controls everything ranging from government projects to public education. It also has a significant impact on private education. A private school has to take out loans in the same fashion that businesses do. Thus, if they take out an adjustable-rate mortgage, and, if the economy sinks, the interest rate increases substantially. What that means is that the school will have to make more expensive payments and, if they can’t be met, the school is shut down. This is what happened to Renaissance Academy in Colorado Springs.

This is unacceptable. While the government is not legally obligated to provide support for private primary schools, I believe some kind of safeguard measure must be put in place. Private schools offer an alternative to attending standard schools. Honor programs can provide a great basis for learning, but a public school environment can ruin the benefit for many students. While it is the family’s choice to pay for school or not (besides through taxes), the choice should always be present. Perhaps more affordable and stable loans should be provided for private schools? That way, they can remain private but also remain open. Schools, whether public or private, should not have to be closed due to a lack of funding.

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Written by Robby Gill

October 3rd, 2008 at 1:03 pm

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Let’s Talk Space

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Yes, that big thing in the sky with the pretty lights. Before the 1960s, it mesmerized every American to an extraordinary extent. Now, on the verge of NASA’s 50th birthday, we are almost completely ignoring the space program, barring disaster or miracle. Sure, it may not be a big deal in this Presidential Election, but we cannot forget about the ‘Final Frontier.’

I have always be one for space exploration. I was delighted to hear the shuttle was going to be retired soon and NASA would be using old school spaceship systems. I have never really liked the space shuttle. Don’t get me wrong; I would love to be able to travel to and from Earth with relatively little turnaround time, but the technology just hasn’t caught up yet.

Also, the shuttle is preventing us from further cosmic exploration. By already having a human-bearing vehicle, it is hard for NASA to convince Congress to fund another one. However, I’ve heard rumors that the economy might delay the shuttle’s retirement. The shuttle has come to the end of its ‘lifespan.’ We cannot let the economy prevent us from switching away from this primitive system. Otherwise, who knows what might happen within NASA?

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Written by Ian Littman

October 1st, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Posted in General

The Debate

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So, the presidential debates were this Friday, and Obama won hands down. Not only is Obama a better speaker, a quality almost required in a president, McCain never had to call bullshit on anything Obama said. Anything McCain brought up Obama quickly shot down, and the only time at which it might have appeared McCain gained the upper hand, Obama revealed that he, too, agreed with a statement.

It doesn’t help your case when your only mode of campaigning is attack ads. So far as I’ve seen, McCain hasn’t run an ad that merely exemplifies his qualities or policies. All I’ve seen just attacks Obama, many times about his personality, especially the stupid celebrity attack ads. While many people seem to think either candidate would be a good president, McCain seems to be stuck in a world where everything is still black and white, where everything has clear-cut boundaries the world is an easier place to navigate.

While Obama may seem to be naive, he at least understands that the world is not a happy place, nor is it a nice one. He understands that we can’t just go around bombing countries, and that’s why he wins.

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Written by Robby Gill

September 29th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Posted in General

The Devil Went Down To Georgia…and Venezuela

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So, the Russian military is showing its might in the Caribbean near Venezuela. I can’t help but think Russia is gearing up for another Cold War. Now, before anyone comments that Russia is just simply trying to get some respect in the modern world, let’s look back at August. The whole Georgian conflict is a giant indicator of Russia’s world attitude and that they’re not going to stay back just because the rest of the world sided with Georgia.

Now, on the other side, we are not doing anything to make this escalation any better. We’re making threats that we won’t back up under most circumstances, and meanwhile, we’re also provoking Russia into a more aggressive stance. Putting a missile defense system in Poland certainly wasn’t a great idea, what with the current tensions, even if it would make Poland a much better ally. Besides, the more we provoke Russia, the more likely they are to attack, and our military is already not in a great position. We cannot afford a major world war, and we certainly aren’t invincible. Fears of mutually-assured destruction may have worked the last time around, but if tensions escalate, it won’t work this time.

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Written by Zach Boerner

September 25th, 2008 at 1:08 pm

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From Great Bailout to Great Depression?

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It saddens me greatly to find out that Ben Bernanke, the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve, thinks the Bush Administration’s $700 billion dollar bailout plan is a good idea. Considering this current economic “crisis” is a result of banks and other financial institutions taking too much risk and paying the price for it, I see no reason why they shouldn’t be made to suffer, especially since if they do get bailed out by the government, they’ll just do it again in ten years or so. Perhaps I’m just being cynical, but this seems a horrible idea to me.

This is a perfect example of when we should take a lesson from the past. While the circumstances leading up to it are different, we are on the verge of a second Great Depression. What we need to do is move the government’s investments back onshore. If we could initiate programs like those from when Franklin Roosevelt was president, not only would the economy recover, we could fix many of the other problems we have. I think it’s high time for the three-letter anachronisms of the 1930s to make a comeback. Buying out failing mortgages isn’t the solution, creating jobs is.

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Written by Robby Gill

September 23rd, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Posted in General

It’s The Economy, Stupid!

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It’s pretty clear now that the economy is going to be a critical factor in the Presidential Election. As painful as it sounds, we will have to spend more before we can recover. I do not see any feasible way we can recover at the rate we are going (barring some freak incident). This not only applies to the government, but to everyone in America. Every individual person affects the economy. The more we are able to spend, the greater overall cash flow increases, which is what sustains any economy (whether local or national).

By this reasoning, I agree with Obama on making bankruptcy laws more lenient. Bankruptcy is supposed to help a party recover when they are too deep in debt to do anything. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be punished for doing something wrong; let the credit bureaus decide if those who go bankrupt should be allowed to take out more loans. I’m saying we should get them back up to a reasonable place financially as soon as possible. Let their assets flow through America. Freezing their assets will not do us any good. Once they start spending again, at least they’ll be generating local cash flow.

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Written by Robby Gill

September 22nd, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Posted in General