Liberal Reflections

an Oredigger Blog

Drillers Get Screwed

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Domestic drilling seems to be on a lot of people’s minds right now, what with the rising gas prices (they will go back up). Many people seem to think that domestic drilling, whether responsible or not, will fix the US economy and lead us all to economic prosperity again.

Let’s go back a bit. Shooting seismic on land takes anywhere from six months to a year, possibly more depending on how remote the location is. Oceanic seismic can take around 8 months. Then, you have to get the data processed, and if you want it done right, that can take another two to six months. Next, you have to drill for the oil and get production going, another long job, because you have to build the rig and production platform, and finally, you have to transport the oil to market.

That means a turnover time of about two to three years before you would see any benefit from domestic drilling. Then, after all the oil has been produced (there are not any massive reserves left), you’re still left with the problem of shifting over to a more renewable form of energy. Domestic drilling is not a solution to energy problems.

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Written by Zach Boerner

September 19th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Posted in General

Unity in Polity

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It’s really intriguing how much a presidential election can unite a community. While it is true that debates can get quite intense, Barack Obama’s arrival shows how important elections are to us. Its one thing to want to go see the man give a speech, and it’s another thing to stand in line for hours on end to get tickets. However, it takes a whole new level of dedication to watch the speech live from a video feed in a completely different building. I really do have high hopes for this election.

Barack Obama coming to town certainly brought out some interesting reactions. We had an interesting combination of people who came out of the woodwork for and against Obama. While I think it’s a bit rude to have signs that say “NObama ’08,” I think it’s nifty to have people display opinions other than “I’m a Republican” or “I’m a Democrat.” Another interesting thing was the Secret Service that was around campus. It was a surprisingly low-key event for the fact that one of the presidential candidates was here. I hope there are more events like this on campus, as it was certainly a way to bring people together.

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Written by Ian Littman

September 16th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

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Green for Grades

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I would like to spend an entry off of the election this week. I stumbled upon an interesting article when I was perusing the news for campaign information. Apparently, some high schools in Chicago are paying students for performing well on diagnostic tests the school gives every few weeks.

I’ve always been for more money for education, but this is a very interesting application. Sure, this could be construed as bribery, but think how beneficial this could be for America as a whole. We’ve all had problems with financing, whether it’s for college, for a project, or just for fun. Now, students will be able to afford more. The Chicago Tribune reported that a sophomore could earn $4,000 by the end of their sophomore year. That chunk of change right there could finish off dues for a semester of college.

There is a good chance that many students will blow it the second they get it, but even that can be beneficial for society as a whole. Spending generates circulation, which is exactly what our economy needs right now. Thus, tax dollars spent on education will almost instantaneously provide returns for everyone. Finally, there will be people that will donate the money to non-profit projects, further increasing returns on the investment. I really think Chicago is onto something with this idea.

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Written by Robby Gill

September 15th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

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Lipstick on Dynamite

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So, Obama made a comment on late-night TV about McCain’s campaign being akin to “putting lipstick on a pig” due to stale ideas. McCain’s camp has jumped back, accusing Obama of making a sexist comment aimed at Sarah Palin.

Perhaps it’s just a little crazy of me, but this doesn’t exactly seem like a comment that a person in a presidential campaign would make as an attack on the other side’s VP pick.  If Obama were to truly make a comment about Palin, he’d be sure to make it a well-developed one. Obama is not a stupid man, and even though he may seem to be doing well right now, he’s not going to throw away the entire race on one comment.

Besides, if Obama were going to make any sort of sexist comment, he’d have made it already, back when Hillary was still in the race. He didn’t make any sexist comments and he isn’t gloating about his victory over her, so why should he make a dumb comment about Palin?

I know that people should think for themselves, but it’d certainly be nice for candidates to drop the slandering. It’d make the whole election process better.

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Written by Zach Boerner

September 11th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Posted in General

Money Issues

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The economy is going to be a big factor in the coming election. After watching the O’Reilly Factor, I am fully confident in Obama’s plans. While Papa Bear is correct in saying that Obama’s tactics can be construed as “socialist,” this is by no means a socialist movement. By taxing the rich a little more, we are helping to offset the advantage they gained with taxes from the Bush administration. It is important for us to return back to square one. The economy was just fine before the 21st century, so maybe we should revert back to old policies.

In fact, the economy is in worse condition than when Bush first took office. I hate to beat a dead horse, but the Iraq war is taking a huge chunk out of the nation’s taxes. The Republicans in Congress try to blame the Democrats for excessive spending, yet somehow seem blind to the fact that the majority of spending is on Iraq and that “pork-barrel spending” is not something that only the Democrats do. Instead of focusing on petty things, such as declaring a week something or another, let’s focus on actually getting some bills passed that use money effectively.

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Written by Ian Littman

September 9th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Posted in General

Why Palin?

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I really want to know whose idea it was originally to put Sarah Palin on the Republican Vice President ticket. First of all, she’s the governor of Alaska. Thus, until last week, her notoriety was very low. I think it is very unwise to introduce someone that new into the race at this time.

The next problem is that her policies are way too much like Bush’s. America is definitely looking for something new in both the next President and Vice President. This cannot be helpful for her at all. Then again, if the Republicans are pulling their candidates out of nowhere, it’s kind of logical to assume they might be out of touch with what people want in the mainland.

This leads me to another complaint about her; Palin tended to focus on attacking Biden’s lack of experience in politics. She is the governor of freaking Alaska! She may have experience, but I believe it is safe to assume that the key issues in Alaska are different from the key issues down here. If she were a congresswoman, this would be a different story. Obviously, I’m not voting for McCain, but not picking a big name running mate will cost him more votes.

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Written by Robby Gill

September 8th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

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Getting Warm In Here

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Let’s talk about Global Warming as a starter topic. We know that it is happening and we know some of the effects. Why, then, is there still so much debate over it? Even if it is part of the natural cycle of the planet, we’re living on that planet, and something that’s major enough to affect entire ecosystems is certainly going to affect humanity, no matter what the cause.

So, instead of bickering over the cause, let’s just work on the problem. Fossil fuels are one of two possible culprits, so let’s reduce the usage of them by increasing the number of hybrids on the road and investing more in cleaner technologies. Clean coal is another up and coming technology, so let’s focus more on it, especially considering that we have a huge supply of coal. Another way to help reduce consumption of gasoline and diesel is to impose larger taxes and fines on vehicles that don’t meet a requirement of 25 miles to the gallon for vehicles not used for agricultural or construction purposes.

The other possible culprit is that the sun is heating up. I’ll humor that idea for a moment and suggest the wackiest idea I’ve yet heard: putting giant mirrors into space. Sure, it sounds crazy, but it might just work, and if you made them solar panels instead and beamed the energy back to earth in the form of microwaves (Another newer technology), then you’d help provide power, too.

What’s so hard about doing any of these things?

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Written by Ian Littman

September 2nd, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Posted in General

Hello There

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Hello, I’m Robby, a mechanical engineer who loves new technology. I am here along with my colleague Zach to write The Oredigger’s Liberal Blog. I’m usually not a political activist, but I figure, since the elections are close, I should throw in my own two cents. I’m hoping to enhance either the meaning or the entertainment from recent political events and blunders.

Hi, I’m Zach. I’m a Physics student and I’m here to help write this blog with Robby, who’s a paragraph up. I try to keep track of all the up-to-date news, but you just get the refined form here on this blog. I also am not particularly a political activist, but, perhaps now is the time to start.

We’re going to be writing this for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so feel free to stop by every so often, or even every week. If you have any comment about any article or opinion written in this blog, please feel free to add it. We will try to respond to all of your questions (or rants). It doesn’t require much effort on your part and it lets us know that there are people out there paying attention.

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Written by Ian Littman

September 1st, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Posted in General