The United States of America is the mightiest nation the world has ever seen. (Murica!)
Its economy is bigger than the next four national economies combined. Its military spends more than the next 20 nations combined. Its human rights and democracy record are admired throughout the world. And in terms of pop culture, it’s arguably the “coolest” nation on the planet.
So how did the United States achieve all this?
History buff Balaji Viswanathan makes a pretty convincing argument on Quora. Here are his reasons: Continue reading…
Les Films du Losange
Four disturbing but important stars out of five. My wife and I enjoyed, pondered, and discussed it very much.
I’ve done some light reading on time use this summer — invigorating stuff, I know — and came across some insightful observations from John Robinson. He’s spent the last four decades reviewing thousands of “time journals” from people around the world. Continue reading…
With the help of two babysitting grandmas, a good job, and lots of decisiveness, Lindsey and I vacationed in Paris this year for her birthday. It was our first time to Yurp. (And I thought Boston was old!)
Travel bragging aside, I learned several things on the trip, including a few reoccurring generalizations. They are as follows: Continue reading…
At least according to a few sample surveys by Google (below). For the record, I tip 18% on average (more or less depending on service and pity, but rarely for carry out), have a family friend take our yearly family portrait, exercise regularly because I value my health more than getting ahead, and I call it “Coke.”
I’ve been thinking lately how we can make America great again. And all these shallow thoughts are causing me to overstate things like how the oppressed, poor, and innocent abroad no longer want to come here. Or how the current president is taking the country to hell in a hand basket, just like the last president of an opposing party did.
But I digress. After taking an interest in politics twenty minutes ago, here’s what I’ve come up with. From better loopholes to land deals, and political entrepreneurship to corporate welfare, here are six ways America can better protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the rest of us: Continue reading…
If you listen only to Chicken Little environmentalists, you might think America has done little to help save the planet for future generations.
On the contrary, the country has contributed quite a bit, experts say. In the last 20 years, U.S. engineers have either improved less sustainable technologies or helped revive previously impotent ones such as wind and solar, says Joel Balbien, managing director at GreenTech Consulting.
“Cheap and powerful silicon has led to enormous energy savings in other sectors of the economy, ranging from vehicles to aircraft and office buildings,” Balbien says.
In fact, America gets a lot more bang for its energy buck now than it did in 1991, and that includes clean fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol blends that “extend fossil fuels and reduce emissions,” said Joey Shepp, sustainable programs director at Dominican University of California.
What that means is the planet can do more with less. It also buys scientists more time to identify and adopt more sustainable energy, as society continues to burn through finite amounts of decomposed dinosaurs (i.e. fossil fuels).
2 Muslims travel 13,000 miles across America, find an embracing nation
An excerpt: “After 13,000 miles, I think that America still exists, and I’m happy to know that it does,” said Tariq, a 23-year-old American of Pakistani descent. “It’s really made America feel like home to me in a way that I’ve never felt before. The America that we think about [as immigrants] is still actually there. I’ve seen it! And I’m seeing it still.”
Democrats in the House of Representatives last night approved a controversial healthcare bill, written and approved by Senate democrats in December. The president is expected to sign the bill into law on Tuesday, “then hit the road to sell it to a reluctant public,” reports the Associated Press. Here’s how those in favor of reform have responded to the unpopular bill:
- Why would any damage control be necessary if this bill is so good and will do so many good things? Why did it take a year to pass and why was it passed without any Republican input or votes? How come the people in the party that crafted it needed to be bribed and bought off to vote for it?
- This bill should have been broken into smaller single elements, each being its own bill, then voted on.
- I want reform, but smart reform. Not this.
- The reason we think Washington is dysfunctional is not that nothing gets done, it is because Washington does not listen to those who put them there. Had they scrapped the bill and fixed the things that are broken, no damage control would be needed.
- And how does passing this make Washington functional? They passed it when nobody wanted it (in its form that passed). Wouldn’t that make it dysfunctional?????
- It’s amazing the arrogance of the House to force this atrocious legislation through despite all the public resistance to it. Anyone who voted for it has no business even being elected again.
- Congress ignored the people and now must suffer their wrath in November elections.
Of course, many Americans are elated with the bill, even though most agree it’s “imperfect.” And the bill is a step in the right direction on reigning in ridiculous health insurance policies. But it’s frustrating to see our politicians pass imperfect legislation just to get something passed. Why not wait until we get reform right before passing something? It boggles the mind. Good thing legislation isn’t reversible.
Now before any dreamy eyed Obama voters get offended by the timing of this, I’m in no way calling our nascent President a failure. I’m still hopeful. But as an American, I want answers, which is what good reporting should be seeking anyway. So why haven’t these questions been asked (or maybe I missed them)? Continue reading…
I have been against any type of taxpayer bailout or “stimulus package” since Congress and America’s most liberal-spending president first passed the $700 billion one in October. I even asked my representative not to vote on the bill, which he did anyway.
As the majority of Americans predicted (60% in both a CNN and Gallup poll), the bailout didn’t work, according to today’s report in The Washington Post. Banks aren’t lending the $200 billion they received from taxpayers back to taxpayers. How kind of them. Continue reading…
Lindsey and I watched a PBS special on Arab-American comedians earlier this month and got cramps from laughing so hard. It was funny stuff filled with perspective and comes highly recommended. I can’t think of a better way to combat muslim stereotypes (or any stereotype for that matter) than with a hearty laugh, which is innately human.