Category: Politics

Digital infrastructure at high risk

The unprecedented development of the internet during the 21st century has resulted in unique security problems for the government. Our digital infrastructure is at risk because the current policies designed to defend against cyber attacks are inadequate for a threat that is constantly advancing. Further, the lack of public knowledge on cyber security issues has also desensitized our awareness to criminal activity, reducing the effectiveness of our preventative measures and jeopardizing our economic and national security interests. President Obama’s recent directive to review the nation’s cyber security policy resulted in a strategy intended to address cyber attacks at large: improving resilience to cyber incidents and reducing the cyber threat. While the effort is marginally better, the strategy is insufficient. The problem is that our lack of preventative measures means that current cyber security policies rely upon cyber attacks to occur, first, before a defense can be mounted. This is because Continue reading

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Ready or Not?

Elections are over and now there is no question that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will go into implementation. H.R. 3590 was nothing if not controversial. Introduced on September 17th 2009, signed by President Obama on March 23rd 2010 without bipartisan support, and upheld by a surprising 5:4 majority in the United States Supreme Court two years later on June 28th 2012, the Affordable Care Act has come a long way. Schoolhouse Rock never let on that it took Bill that long to become a law, and while some would have preferred it, not everyone was cheering when Nancy Pelosi came running down the capitol steps spreading the word that Bill passed.

While most Americans would agree that some type of healthcare reform is necessary, it is a drastically different story when it comes to how to reform healthcare, thus strong arguments were expressed for and against PPACA. Yet, polls are still showing the public to be very much torn on the issue of healthcare reform. Consider a Gallup poll taken following the SCOTUS ruling. The poll attempted to gauge the public’s perception of how Continue reading

Reflecting on the GOP

With only a few days remaining until the election is decided on Tuesday next week, I reflect on a long campaign trail that has been among the most divisive elections to date. If President Obama wins, he could face the prospect of a much tougher second term as Republicans struggle to accept yet another loss from the Democratic incumbent. But should this be the case, Republicans have a great deal of internal restructuring to do before the 2016 election comes around. As witnessed throughout these past four years, the GOP has been anything except consistent in their party ranks. From the emergence of the Neocons  at the start of George W. Bush’s first term in office, to the moderates, the extreme right fundamentalists, the libertarians, and recently, the Tea Party activists, Republicans have yet to agree on a common party identity that they can all rally behind. This is problematic because while it might be clear to them that President Obama’s policies are not the way to go, it’s not entirely clear to everyone else what the Republican vision of the next four years in the US ought to be.

We also shouldn’t forget to mention what an utter disaster the Republican primaries turned out to be. Barring aside Continue reading

The first presidential debate hurdle

All eyes were on the Denver University arena last Wednesday for the first presidential debate between President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Pre-debate polling had consistently been showing Obama with a slight advantage. The day of the debate, Rasmussen polling showed Obama two percentage points ahead of Romney with 49 percent compared to 47 percent of likely voter support. How much of a difference the first debate will ultimately have on the election is up for deliberation, however, the Rasmussen poll shows that Romney and Obama’s positions have now flipped with Romney leading 49 percent to 47 percent. Sunday’s poll is the first to Continue reading

Religious barbarism must stop

The Islamic protests that occurred this past month over an offensive anti-Islamic film titled The Innocence of Muslims stand among a myriad of recent global uprisings targeting anyone suspected of being a religious offender. Similarly, in recent months, a 14 year old Christian Pakistani girl who was falsely accused of burning the Quaran was met with a mob confrontation, and continues to undergo charges for blasphemy; while in Bangladesh, Muslims burned down 10 Buddhist temples after a Facebook photo of a burning Quaran was attributed to a local Buddhist boy. The senselessness of these acts leading to the deaths of a diplomat and the ostracism of religious minorities are justifications enough to condemn the situation in the Middle East, but doing so would only undermine the larger and more dangerous issue Continue reading

Muslim fury shakes the world

Over the past week or so, large scale protests by Muslims in various countries have shaken the world. The protests took place over a film produced in the US by a person of Coptic-Egyptian descent, which greatly insulted the prophet Muhammad and depicts him in a very crude manner. Some of the protests have turned violent, notably with the killing of the US ambassador in Libya, when violent protesters attacked the US embassy there. Many of the protests have been aimed at the West, specifically the US, but have failed to recognize the fact that the film was produced without any US government endorsement and the film is protected by free speech Continue reading

Understanding the middle class vote

With November 2nd just around the corner, President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are doubling down on campaign efforts to gather support from a broad base of Americans. While the two parties typically cater to different demographics, this year both held conventions focused on reaching the ever growing number of self-identified independents, more specifically, the 35 percent within the middle class.

Vying for the votes of the same crowd, both parties attempted to surge ahead of the other coming out of their conventions by clearly distinguishing their roadmap for the nation from the other party. Republicans stressed that Continue reading

The scandalous glorification of an Azeri ax murderer

Over the past week, a serious diplomatic scandal has brewed up between Hungary, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The story starts like this: an Azeri officer, Ramil Safarov, along with an Armenian officer, attended a NATO Partnership for Peace conference in Hungary where, during the meeting, the Azeri officer alleged that the Armenian officer insulted his country. At some point thereafter, Ramil Safarov purchased an ax, which he used to brutally murder the sleeping Armenian officer at night, nearly severing his head. He then attempted to kill another sleeping Armenian officer in another room, but was not able to get through the door before he was finally caught by authorities. For his brutal murder, the Azeri officer was sentenced to life in a Hungarian prison without the possibility of parole until 2036. However, during the time of the sentencing, the murderer was Continue reading

Brian from Ohio: A tale of sound and fury, signifying nothing

For all the talk by political pundits about how this election will be decided on important issues like the economy or health care, you’d be hard pressed to find evidence that candidates actually have anything substantive to say on those issues if you looked solely at the ads they pay for. Examples are the easiest (and most entertaining) way to illustrate this, so take a look at a 30-second ad paid for by the Obama for America campaign, available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgjTYFE2aYc&feature=share&list=PL7D1934B46A0575CE.

Here is what the advertisement tells the viewers: Brian from Ohio was an autoworker who got laid off and was worried about how he would support his son and wife. President Obama restructured the auto industry, thereby providing Brian with a job that he is extremely grateful to have. The story is simple and given to viewers with Continue reading

Voter ID laws disenfranchise Americans

Republican legislatures throughout the country have been pushing for Voter ID laws to stop what is, according to them, an epidemic of voter fraud.  Studies conducted on the subject of voter fraud reveal that this, however, is not the case. A new study published by News21 found that voter fraud rarely occurs in the US, with only 10 documented cases of in-person fraud recorded in the US since 2000, which, split between the 146 million registered voters, equates to about one case per 15 million people. Voter fraud occurs more commonly with absentee ballots or voter registration, neither of which would at all be impacted by the enacting of Republican sponsored legislation. The reason in-person voter fraud is so rare is because of the large risk and small reward associated with it. For example, the punishment for fraud in Connecticut for those ineligible, or those voting twice, is Continue reading