Trump

Tax Cuts for Good

Tax Cuts for Good

The Republican Party recently passed a tax bill that is bad for America, but good for some Americans.  As one of those Americans, I had to figure out how I was going to use that benefit:  Purchase a new computer? Pay down the $14,000 in student loan debt my wife and I have? Go on a small vacation to Alaska?

Ultimately, we decided against all of these options, preferring to reinvest the benefit into the people and communities that will almost certainly be robbed to pay for it. In doing so, I set out to begin a three-part journey into identifying the most efficient, progressive, and beneficial charities, lobbying organizations, and political action committees that are taking on this fight for us.

The Third U.S. National Climate Assessment

The Third U.S. National Climate Assessment

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA3)  published a rather dire scientific report Friday detailing the growing threats of climate change. The report stands in stark contrast to the administration’s efforts to downplay humans’ role in global warming, withdraw from an international climate accord and reverse Obama-era policies aimed at curbing U.S. greenhouse-gas output.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to attempt to deny the existence of climate change while Chinese leadership assumes the mantle of combating it, and Russia repositions its naval and air forces, and petroleum industry, to benefit from it.  The current Secretary of Defense, Mattis, at least recognizes the instability that Climate Change can bring, but he seems decidedly alone in this Administration.

Unfortunately, consumer consumption reductions alone cannot stop or reverse Climate Change.  This is a global crisis that requires a global response - starting with our elected officials. Vote for Democrats or Common-Sense Republicans at your local, state, and federal levels.  If you have the ability:  Donate to their campaigns.

The Accidental World War

The Accidental World War

A recent report by the Washington Post claims that the IC is investigating the possibility of Russian influence in American politics through cyber attacks, propaganda, and disinformation.  While this makes for a fantastic headline, it doesn't really tell us anything.  

However, the existence of the investigation does give us an interesting thought experiment. US interests are routinely being barraged by cyber attacks, like the Sony hack by North Korea in 2014, that are nominally ignored by the US government apparatus and IC alike.  However, there are two key differences between an attack at the electoral system:  First, it is an attack that undermines our ability to practice democracy; and second, it undermines our ability to project military, political, and technological power throughout the rest of the world.

Pre-election Homework: Understanding the Issues

Pre-election Homework: Understanding the Issues

There are a lot of issues at play in this election cycle; some of them are very well voiced by both candidates (e.g. immigration) and others are secondary.  If you're looking for an essay on the feasibility of Trump's fabled wall (or how he's backpedaling on that promise), or whether or not Clinton actually stored classified information on her servers (or if her security inadequacies just made that possible), then this is not the article you're looking for.

This article seeks to paint the broader context in which these more sensational actions occur. It's one thing to be for, or against, Trump's resistance to multiculturalism and something else entirely to know that the United States has been resisting multiculturalism since before they were united.  Similarly, it's one thing to lament Obama's soft approach to dealing with ISIL and something far worse to consider that Obama is attempting to prevent the same mistakes that Bush (and a first-term Obama) made against AQI.

In understanding the broader context, it is my hope that we'll be able to understand the motivations of the candidates and the likelihood of them actually carrying out their various promises and threats. It's very rare that we see a candidate actually uphold his, or her, campaign promises, but when we consider the broader context of US political history, we needn't be as surprised by the promises they choose to leave unfulfilled.