As summer has gotten into full swing, gas prices across the nation have once again crept to the $4/gallon mark. The last time gas was under $2/gallon in the United Stages was November of 2008. Since then the price has fluctuated, but the average is consistently around $3.40/gallon. According to the EIA (Energy Information Administration), at the current rate of consumption the US has enough natural gas for the next 92 years, and recently calculated estimates show 7.4 billion barrels of oil and 6.7 trillion barrels of natural gas in the Dakota/Montana region alone. These deposits are just beginning to be excavated. So why are Americans paying so much for gas?
One reason is the constant debate between environmentalism and fossil fuel energy productions. It never ceases to amaze me how if you are pro-drilling you must automatically be anti-environment. I find this argument ludicrous. I love nature, I love animals, I have dozens of “earth bags,” and I attempt to recycle whenever possible. However, whenever I say we should be drilling more I invariably hear that drilling is bad for the environment and we need to care for the earth by investing in alternative energies. Awesome! I am all for investing in alternative forms of energy.Read more
I have a teenage daughter, and have been amazed over the last few years by the pressure she feels to have her makeup and hair just perfect before she exits the house in the mornings. Regardless of how naturally beautiful a girl is, the pressure to be perfect is something that has become more and more prevalent in our society today.
Don't get me wrong, I think makeup is pretty awesome stuff. I've always had the motto that if a barn needs some paint, then by all means, paint it...but I think sometimes the "paint" becomes our identity.
Grammy award-winning, singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat is kinda tired of having that expectation thrust upon her and she's more than a little bit tired of being photoshopped at every turn. After a little inspiration from an unexpected source - a man, she decided to create something for her latest album that would speak to this issue. The video you see below is the result - her new single, Try.Read more
What is happening in the Northern Triangle is tragic. The fact that the families feel they have no other choice but to send their children on a journey over thousands of miles, alone, across several nations, is heartbreaking. However, it was a choice, and that choice included breaking the law. The thousands of Central American citizens that are amassing on the U.S. southern border are attempting to cross into this country illegally. They are circumventing the law, and straining an already overloaded system.
Yesterday, President Obama held a press conference in Texas addressing what he calls a “humanitarian issue on the border.” His speech addressed several things, the first being that he plans to do “the right thing by the children,” although he did not elaborate on what that is exactly. While he did not say when or how the children would be returned, he did say “it is unlikely that they will stay.” Second, he made a point of explaining that that the immigrants are entering mainly through “one sector of the Rio Grande Valley,” that they are being apprehended and detained, and that there are “more agents on the border than ever before.” The third aspect of his speech dealt with Congress. He made it abundantly clear that Congress holds the cards right now, by explaining that his office has petitioned Congress for funding in order to carry out the necessary actions needed to resolve the current border issue. He went as far as saying that if Congress had acted on immigration last year, or the year before (SB 744—an 1198 page immigration reform bill—has yet to be introduced in the House), this border crisis could have been avoided. Essentially, he laid the bulk of the issue on the door of partisan politics, specifically Republican politics.Read more
In light of the Supreme Court ruling on the Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby case, the two candidates facing off in North Carolina's hotly contested senate race came out swinging.
In a statement following the ruling, Republican candidate Thom Tillis said “Today the Supreme Court made a strong stand in two cases for important First Amendment freedoms – the right to not be forced to pay union dues and the right to religious freedom. Although today was a loss for Kay Hagan, Barack Obama, and the Washington bureaucrats who want to run our lives, the American people are the clear winners".
Incumbent Kay Hagan's campaign followed his statement with their own press release,
“I am extremely disappointed in today’s Supreme Court decision. It is shameful that a woman’s access to contraception is even up for debate in the year 2014. The choice about whether to use birth control should be between a woman and her doctor, not her boss, and no employer should be allowed to interfere with a woman’s access to contraception. The contrast on women’s health in North Carolina could not be clearer today as the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision allows some employers to interfere in women’s access to health care. While Kay opposed an amendment that would let employers interfere with access to health care for their employees, Thom Tillis believes that it’s acceptable to let corporations and employers interfere with contraceptive access for their female employees.”
Merriam-Webster defines freedom as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.” Other definitions include: “exemption from external control, interference, or regulation,” and “the power to determine action without restraint.”
We sing of freedom in our patriotic songs:
“Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” –The Star Spangled Banner
“My country, 'tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty, Of thee I sing;…From every mountain side Let Freedom ring.”—America, My Country Tis of Thee
“The red and white and starry blue Is freedom's shield and hope.”—The Stars and Stripes Forever
But do we truly understand what freedom is? Do we truly want and seek freedom?Read more
In July of 1776 the U.S. fought a war of independence against the British crown. They fought against unfair taxes, quartering acts, lack of representation, and an overreaching monarch and parliament that governed from afar. The Declaration of Independence states:
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
The founding fathers did not enter the War of Independence lightly; it was not smooth sailing, they did not all hold the same opinions, and victory was uncertain. Though today we think of the founding fathers as wise older gentlemen and America as a land of wealth, in 1776 America was a vastly different place. The majority of the founding fathers were around the age of 40, most were of modest means holding several occupations to provide for their families, and America was far from having a military that could face the power of England’s well trained and supplied army and navy. However, what the founding fathers did have was a determination and a united belief that:Read more
On this day, as we celebrate our nation's independence, many of us will sing our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”. Although we often sing this song, many of us rarely stop and think about why, and under what circumstances, this song was written.
Thirty-eight years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, America was still fighting for her freedom. In August of 1814, English soldiers had captured and burned Washington, D.C. and were planning to capture Baltimore as well. In an effort to stop the attack, Dr. William Beanes attempted to arrest a group English soldiers. In retaliation for the attempted arrests, English soldiers took Dr. Beanes as a prisoner aboard an English warship.Read more
The ladies on Fox News' Outnumbered discussed a topic during yesterday's show that I found incredibly fascinating. The Atlantic owner David Bradley interviewed the CEO of PepsiCo, Indra K. Nooyi, during a session at the Aspen Ideas Festival and he asked her "what's your opinion about whether or not women can have it all?" Her answer was quite uncommon, if you consider the average woman in America today.Read more
It is difficult at times to determine which crisis du jour warrants the bulk of our concern, and in our attention-deficit disorder world, Americans are increasingly challenged to focus on one problem before being distracted with yet another headline-grabbing issue or scandal.
I have to wonder if this isn’t all by design. The Friday afternoon news dumps of late certainly appear to confirm my suspicions, and there are times I question just how many Americans even care.
In the midst of new information regarding Benghazi, “lost” IRS emails, the trading of terrorists who remain a threat to our nation, and the ISIS invasion of Iraq, the situation on our southern border has reached a crisis level and demands immediate action, yet there is no indication that the federal government seriously intends to stop the recent surge of illegal alien minors. Instead, the only efforts appear to involve the housing of the illegals in locations across the country.
According to Texas Governor Rick Perry, law enforcement is apprehending a thousand people a day, mostly from Central America, and these numbers are only from the state of Texas. Make no mistake; this is an invasion of epic proportions and will have a detrimental impact throughout our nation.Read more
Are you Republican or Democrat? It is not a question that many adults ask each other out loud. However, as a teacher I have been asked this question many times by students. Although, in my case it is normally more of an indictment rather than a question - ‘You’re Republican aren’t you?’
Though it is frowned upon to discuss personal beliefs in the classroom, I have a personal policy of always answering the kids honestly. So I do, and while I certainly lean Republican I often find it hard to say ‘yes I am a proud member of the GOP,’ because the truth is, I am not a card carrying member. I do not subscribe to the belief that all politics and policy live and die with the party. I tend to form my opinions on a range of issues based on many different factors, none of which are ‘what does the party think?’ So where does that leave me as a voter in a nation driven by a two party system?
Often it leaves me choosing between the lesser of two evils.Read more