Rhymes with Gracchus

In some eras the gap between the wealthy and the destitute was wider than normal; the United States has three distinct eras where the wealth gap was particularly striking. The first is known as the Gilded Age - born out of the fruits of the industrial revolution, the Gilded Age generated wealth that was unimaginable to the common man of his time. It was unimaginable because this wealth was generally kept out of his hands - those that had money to begin with were the primary receivers of the wealth generated in the factories…

Russian Tango

It is important to keep in mind what Russia's likely objective was for the 2016 election - it wanted to destabilize the United States so Russia could pursue its own interests unimpeded by American resistance. This is why the Facebook advertisements they took out were on all sides of the political spectrum - while the lion's share was in support of Republicans and Trump, there was also many for Black Lives Matter, Bernie Sanders, and other anti-Trump factions…

Taming the Beast – Governance in the Past, Present and Future

With this accumulated knowledge of the current geopolitical status, human history, and human nature, what is the optimal path to take to ensure the most good for the most amount of people? We have learned that a government must be able to enforce its laws, but cruelty isn't necessary in the enforcement and is sometimes detrimental; we've learned that the personal interest of those in power can overwhelm the public interest if there are no check on their power…

Storm in a Vacuum

…with no domineering power in the world, regional powers will aspire to become superpowers. And as regional powers clash in this aspiration, the apocalypse that was suspended in the Cold War risks a return to relevance. If America does withdraw back into a shell, the world will likely have China be the most important country in the world, Russia the most aggressive country in the world, and Europe either shattered into pro- and anti-Russian alliances or united vigorously against Russia…

The Lion of the Union: The Pelvic Wound of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Chamberlain was given the command to attack and, although accustomed to following orders, on this day he was hesitant. He reported back to his superiors: "I am advanced a mile beyond our own lines in an isolated position. In front of me at close range is a strongly entrenched line of infantry 3,000 strong with projecting salients to my left and right, such that my advance [will] be swept: by a constant cross fire. Despite these adversities, Chamberlain was ordered again to attack…

Droning out the MADness

The development of drone vehicles for military purposes has been met with relative success - the usage of drones by the American military has widely expanded since the Predator's introduction in 1995. And it is not only America that utilizes drones - ISIS included footage of drones dropping grenades in their propaganda, showing that drones are not limited to sophisticated militaries. Drones in warfare will become more widespread, and this will have gargantuan effects on the geopolitical stage…

Executive Execution

…the state exists first and foremost to maintain order in its domain, and though the methodology of maintaining this order has changed over time, the need to maintain order in the domestic and foreign spheres is of paramount necessity for a state. The person does not need to make order a priority; most often, survival was the first priority. And occasionally, survival is separate from order. Similar to how a prisoner might try to burn down a prison to escape, an individual may try to burn down a government to avoid prosecution.

Sacre Red, White and Bleu

…the initial instigators of the French Revolution were not the poor, huddled urban masses. They were wealthy owners of property and capital that wanted to expand free trade for their own gain, which would in turn benefit France. But the proles in the urban masses did not care about free trade - they cared about not starving. They wanted a paternalistic guarantee of bread and safety, not free trade. The initial phase of the French revolution did not reverse the calcification of wealth, all it did was redistribute where the wealth flowed.

Divine Divorce

Jerusalem is at the heart of the three major religions in the area. It was the capital of the ancient Jewish kingdom of Israel; it was the location of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and subsequently became a magnet for Christian pilgrims; and as Muslims consider Christ a prophet – not as important as Muhammad, but still vital to the Islamic faith – Jerusalem became the second most sacred location for Muslims after Mecca. In addition to being the bastion of faith for two major religions and the religion that served as their theological progenitor, it is also at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

A Better Choice

Giving each voter one vote is a very simple concept. After all, in a theoretical republic composed of equals, one man’s choice should not be given greater weight than another man’s choice. This concept was in glaring conflict with the institution of slavery, the squelching of women and the initial requirement of land ownership to vote; but as time paced along these restrictions were lifted. First past the post is another simple concept – the candidate with the most voters supporting wins the election. But this system has a side effect – voters become more concerned about stopping the candidate they like the least from entering office rather than voting for the candidate they truly support.

The Meaning of Life

What is purpose? One way that it can be defined is through the Japanese concept of Ikigai - simplified, it is when you conflate what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. This will be something that changes for each individual person - it could be that you spend hours in the workshop crafting your knowledge of machinery to fix what needs to be fixed...

Greenlight the Red Light

Many ill effects stem from prostitution. Sexually transmitted disease can spread without oversight, pimps maintain their control over their stable with emotional and physical violence, and customers can be robbed or have their family lives ruined by a vindictive drug-addict. But a recent Dutch study asserted that cities that legalize prostitution experience a steep decline in sexual abuse and rape, which begs the question - what purpose does keeping prostitution illegal serve?

Tackling the NCAA

The crux of all of this is the refusal of universities to pay students to be athletes, and what enables this is the myth of the student athlete - when professional leagues exist for the sports being played in college, collegiate athletics essentially becomes the development league for the professional leagues. Instead of going to the bodies on the field, the income generated by viewers and attendees for these kids...

Weed Whacked

The rollback of cannabis legalization exacerbates all of this. By making cannabis profits a monopoly for the black market, we are not only getting less funding for schools, roads, medicaid and other social services - we are ensuring that the funding is instead going to the vicious tattooed bogeyman that serve as the raison d'etre for the War on Drugs. It's senseless, it's self-destructive, and it does not serve America's best interest...

To The Other Side

The culmination of all this scientific research and physical sacrifice is a more understood world; a world where we have less unknowns to fear and more tools available to craft our dreams. Getting to where we are right now required the discipline and courage of the aforementioned heroes; countless others did their part to push us forward toward a brighter dawn in a softer world.

Work Out The Knots

The Democrat and Republican parties have drawn their lines in the sand on these subjects and have their own base support, while Independents tend to consistently vote for either Democrats or Republicans, despite not being a member of either party. Which way a person votes is going to be tied to what they consider the biggest threats to America are - so what is really the biggest threat to America?

Shot In The Foot

Such a contradiction in policy is egregious not only in its hypocrisy, but in its cruelty. Assuming that gun violence in America is at its core a mental health issue (and considering the proportion of suicides included in gun deaths, it certainly is), withdrawing the ability for a citizen to be fiscally able to visit a psychologist is endangering not only citizens at risk for suicide...

Birthright Wrongs

...this is not a proposal that applies only to recipients of DACA or other recent immigrants - this is a proposal that will also apply to people whose descendants arrived on the Mayflower. Regardless of who your parents were or whether you live in Arizona or Appalachia, you should contribute in some fashion to the growth, maintenance and excellence of the United States...

Qing in the North

...North Korea recently claimed to have developed a thermonuclear weapon, and the claimed test may have been accompanied by a cave-in at the test site. The analysis by the Hefei team serves as a non-official warning to the North Korean government - their nuclear testing is already putting Chinese interests in danger. Now it may be putting Chinese lives in danger. If there is another underground nuclear test - at least, at the Punggye-ri test site - this can be interpreted as reason enough to turn their back on their fellow nominal communists.

Imperial Echoes

A stronger nation is more able to protect its people, and if this strength comes at the expense of people not part of its nation - too bad. This is not a system ideal for human rights or fairness. This is a system ideal for survival in a cruel, antagonistic world filled with enemies whose motivations are impossible to discern. It was in this world that the empires of old rose, conquered, prospered, and fell...