To begin, a disclaimer. I don’t feel all that comfortable giving my opinions on the politics of a nation that isn’t my own. There are certain universal truths I will always promote and defend, even in foreign countries, but getting involved in a debate about an election seems beneath that. I want to be clear that I am forming my opinion on this election based on limited information. I have lived in Malaysia for a few years and had the chance to observe the Malaysian people and hear about the issues affecting the country, but none of that can substitute for living an entire life as a citizen of Malaysia. It’s rare for me to admit this, but I could be wrong. [Read more…]
#RedForEd and Why Americans Are Seeing Red Over Public Schools
Today, there is a statewide teacher strike in Arizona that is affecting 852,000 students. The effort, known by its hashtag #RedForEd, is looking for an immediate 20% pay raise for teachers, and a restoration of around $1 billion dollars in school funding cuts that have been made since the Great Recession.
I’m going to attempt to explain to anyone, but especially teachers, why Americans (not just Arizonans) are increasingly reluctant to increase spending on government-run schools. I’m going to do my best to stay away from statistics (but there will be a few) because they are simultaneously overwhelming and limited. I say that because the vast majority of statistics available are put out by mainstream media and teachers’ unions. [Read more…]
Everything Has a Price, Except Trash
In the 1980s, panic over waste disposal hit a fever pitch. No small player in the panic was a single trash barge called the Mobro 4000, loaded with over 3,000 tons of trash. The owner of the barge was a Long Island mob boss in the trash-hauling business.
He’d come up with a simple scheme. After earning New York rates to receive the trash, he planned to ship it to Louisiana where the cost-per-ton to dispose of it was significantly lower than New York’s. He’d pay Louisiana’s lower disposal fee and make a pretty penny on the difference in cost. [Read more…]
Not All That is Rude is Racist
At their concert in London on March 10, 2003, the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines reportedly said “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” [Read more…]
The Case for Not Voting in Elections
We’ve all heard it. A lot of us have even said it. “Get out and vote!” We’ve been conditioned from a young age to be ashamed of low turnout numbers in elections. We swear to our school teachers that we won’t be someone who doesn’t exercise his or her right to vote. These days, a lot of us even feel obliged to post selfies on social media with a ballot in hand or an “I Voted Today” sticker, admonishing fellow citizens to “get out and vote.”