Tag Archive: USA



Four years have passed, and I can’t say I’m disappointed with Obama, as I’ve heard many people proclaim; however, I admit that he didn’t turn out to be the president that I expected when he took office. I really did expect him to be someone who was going to fight tooth and nail for his positions; I was really surprised to find out that he was such a great compromiser.

Yet, I do understand why this happened. The entire Republican Party revolted against him, and he needed to make a great effort to allay their fears and anger in order to get anything done. Could I have done better myself? Of course not! That’s definitely not what I’m insinuating. I’m insinuating that I thought Obama could have done better. But, this is just idle speculation. I am appreciative of his achievements while in office thus far.

But now is his second term. If the Republicans are still not happy with him, then they have a serious problem. He has been a puppy dog in comparison to their quarrelsome behavior. It’s time for Obama to become a junk yard dog.

He’s shown glimmers of it in the past when talking to reporters and when teasing Donald Trump’s birther conspiracy theory activism, now he needs to focus this energy against the immaturity coming from the Republicans, in a relentless fashion. He’s been elected to a second term: he’s earned this right.

Republicans are still unwilling to compromise on issues such as taxation and gun control, among others. So be it. Obama must be just as unwilling to budge on his positions. Further, Obama should be seriously critical of the behavior of Republicans. We have seen that Obama clearly has enough intelligence to embarrass people who act foolishly. Now is the time to employ this superpower and let everyone know just how foolish the Republicans are being every time they disagree for disagreement’s sake.

Of course, it is not only Obama, I understand, that must make this choice: his fellow Democrats must also be willing to stand united with their leader, just as the Republicans have decided to do against Obama for the past four years.

Perhaps this is too audacious of a hope, but I can dream 🙂


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In America, there always seems to be a problem with discussing gun control. So much so that terrible events like school shootings don’t generally generate a discussion about the need to limit access to guns and rifles. Why is this? There are many tactics used by gun-lovers, and I will go through them one by one below.

1. “This is not the time to be talking about gun control”

Whenever a terrible act of gun violence occurs, we will always hear the same response: This is not the time to be talking about gun control. However, the reason that people say this is because this is exactly the time to be talking about gun control: this is the time when people are paying attention to this issue. Why is this a problem? On a smaller scale this doesn’t make sense. If I punch you in the face while walking down the street near a police officer and the officer does nothing, aren’t you going to ask the officer, “Why don’t you do something?” Is it fair for me to then retort: “This is no time to discuss police inaction”? On a larger scale this doesn’t make sense. If suddenly the glaciers covering Greenland sheath off into the sea and someone says, “We need to reduce our carbon emissions!” is it fair to respond: “This is hardly the time to discuss carbon emissions”?

Of course it is better to discuss issues before they become a problem, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot discuss issues after a problem has occurred. This is just not logical.

2. “It’s our second amendment right to bear arms. If we don’t have weapons, we will be allowing tyranny to take over our country!”

Two problems here. First, at the time of the second amendment, concealable automatic weapons did not exist, assault weapons did not exist and even handguns did not exist. The fact that the word amendment is part of this argument should demonstrate something. The Constitution is a remarkable document, and it admits that it cannot foresee societal and technological developments that might change how society must be structured — amendments allow this document to be updated. The second amendment is a modification to the Constitution. Likewise, it can be amended again when new developments occur. Few people use muskets anymore and I doubt any spree killer has ever, would ever or could ever try to use this technology to kill multiple people. Spree killing was simply not possible when the second amendment was written. Accordingly, there is nothing wrong with making another amendment to update the second amendment to prevent spree killers from killing many people.

Second, although it’s nice to imagine a group of well-intentioned and well-armed civilians taking back the American government from a tyrannical leadership,  it’s simply not feasible and, unfortunately, this dream must be abandoned. Consider what this scenario would actually look like. Let’s say this hypothetical rebel group is deciding to attack the White House. First, the group would need to be sufficiently large to begin with — something difficult to achieve because you’d need some charismatic leader to inspire people to go to battle and probably give up their lives. I say probably because there are many levels of government protection that this rebel group would be facing. If the rebels attacked the White House, the first groups to respond would be the Secret Service and the Washington Metropolitan police force. Combined, a somewhat formidable force, employing handguns, kevlar vests, helicopters and some assault weapons. Fine, let’s say the rebels take down the secret service and the local police and take over the White House. Now what? The president is either held hostage or dead. Is this the end of America? No. The government will not suddenly collapse. The remaining government will react quickly to this insurrection with full scale military force. Now you have the US Army, Air Force, and Marines attacking you from all sides. Unless you can convince a massive number of Americans that this insurrection is a good idea (with little or no media access, by the way), you’re doomed. Fine. Let’s assume that you convince millions of Americans that this is a good idea. What about the other Americans? Now you have a civil war. You don’t need a degree in mathematics to realise that the probability of overcoming all of these problems is infinitesimally small. Sorry, you and your brother Bobby aren’t going to topple the American government, regardless of how many AK-47s you’ve stockpiled.

Am I saying that you should just give up if your government slips into tyranny? No. However, with modern weaponry, such as jet aircraft, drones, and nuclear technology, it’s no longer as simple as gathering a group and attacking the government. It requires a much more well thought-out campaign using various media (old and new) as best you can to sway public opinion, holding mass demonstrations (non-violent and violent, depending on the need), and possibly, guerrilla warfare.

3. “This was the act of a crazy person and this couldn’t have been prevented.” (AKA “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”)

On the same day as the Newtown massacre, a crazed man in China attacked a school with a knife and stabbed over 20 people. None died. Is this not a clear enough comparison? Although we cannot stop people from having mental breakdowns perfectly, we can limit their ability to kill people.

4. “I don’t want the government getting into my business and controlling my life.”

The government does this all the time and we accept it. Now, I will admit, there is a line, and I do consider myself to be a bit of a libertarian in many respects; however, government interference is not always tyranny. Most government interference in the States is done for the safety of Americans. I know this will irk many libertarians, but think deeply about it. There may be many things that you don’t want the government controlling (drug use, prostitution, marriage, etc), but there are many that you do want them to control. Any law is an example of government getting into your business and controlling your life. Organizations like the FDA ensure that the foods and drinks we consume are not poisonous or dangerous: this is also a form of controlling your life. So, unless you want to live in a state of anarchy where anyone can kill you at any moment, you can’t actually believe this statement genuinely.

5. “Banning guns will only take guns away from law-abiding citizens. Criminals will be the only ones left with guns.”

First, this argument assumes that there are certain people considered “criminals” and certain people considered “law-abiding citizens.” This is not true. We are all capable of being either criminals or law-abiding citizens given the right circumstances. Just because you have never committed a crime before doesn’t mean you will never do so in the future. So how can you be justified in having a gun? Just because someone has committed a crime, doesn’t negate the possibility that they only want a gun for self-protection.

Of course, there are life-long criminals in society. This leads to my second point: banning guns does not empower criminals over law-abiding citizens. If criminals need a gun on a regular basis, they will be more subject to being arrested and more concerned about hiding their weapons.  In countries where handguns or automatic weapons are illegal, it is quite shocking for people to see one of these weapons lying around a house. A society that does not accept the prevalence of guns is a society that is more likely to talk about people who do own these guns and therefore, more pressure is placed on these people to not carry or to hide  these weapons very well.

What is the overall solution? That is where individual beliefs come into play and I think that there is a lot of reasonable sway here. I can accept the right to protect your family, if you think that owning a handgun will do that. I can accept even stockpiling short clip rifles if you’re worried about doomsday or something like that. I cannot accept owning an assault weapon for any reason. There’s no purpose other than killing people and/or feeling cool. Not good enough for me. I would be fine with simply a ban on automatic weapon sales, but I would prefer that the government went a little further because concealing handguns can cause many deaths as well. So, while there may be a gray area as to how much the government controls guns, America is definitely in the black extreme right now and needs to shift towards the white.


There are many writers who claim to have a solid idea of what the world will look like in the near (and sometimes far) future. The standard methodology that “experts” tend to use is to consider the past and try to project that into the future. I will not go into the fact that this is actually a logical fallacy (I know this only because I had an artificial disc put in my neck, and all studies in the past 10 years have shown it to be superior in every way to the older alternative surgery, cervical fusion, but just because all of these factors demonstrate it to be superior now, this doesn’t mean that this trend will continue further into the future) but instead I will just try to get peoples’ opinions about which country or countries will be the superpower or superpowers twenty years later.

There are my top three choices. I will put some pluses and minuses that I notice for each country’s present conditions.

America – Pluses

– massive GDP

– a draw for talent from around the world due to its liberal economics and civil liberties

– high pay for technical and specialized work

– English as a global language

– soft power (culture) is unparalleled

– a large population with a high GDP per capita (i.e., mass consumption)

– technology leader in the world

– a powerful military.

America – Minuses

– economy seems to be slowing and maybe contracting

– military power declining

– continuous contention with Islam and Islamic terrorism particularly

China – Pluses

– largest population

– tech-savvy population

– nimble command economy (has shown it will do things that harm its citizens for the advancement of the country)

– not afraid to use espionage to acquire new technologies

– growing military

– very large economy

– technology quickly improving

– mass mobilization of citizens for civil or military projects

China — minuses

– unstable politically, especially on its peripheries

– slowing economy dependent on US imports

– disparity in GDP per capita

– little soft power on a global scale

– tensions with Japan and South-east Asian countries

– censorship and mistreatment of its citizens discourages immigration from citizens from developed countries

– lacks oil resources

Russia – Pluses

– largest landmass

– large population

– massive untapped resources

– some parts of the tech industry are advanced

– nimble command economy

– large economy not dependent on US imports

Russia – Minuses

– growing dissatisfaction with government

– Islamic terrorism

– insurrections at peripheries

– poor image worldwide

– large disparity in GDP per capita

In twenty years time, I’d bank on America still being the global superpower, but with a much diminished role on the global scale. My major reason for this is the instability of the hegemonic contenders.

What do you think?

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