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 Political Awareness  

What exactly is political awareness? Some experts have argued that it’s related to sensitivity about government and public policy and the agendas that encourage politicians. However, in a more general sense, in terms of emotional intelligence, it’s about understanding the hidden agendas (currents) in a particular organization, and especially in power relationships.

I today’s world many people have decided to oppose being politically aware. That’s due to seeing people who “play” politics or use political methods in order to control other people. However, when it’s used well political awareness is a tool that can provide benefits. It can also help to get things done in businesses and organizations. It’s also a critical tool in life.

“Organizational politics” takes place within a group, team or company. That’s true whether it’s a commercial or social one. This term is used to describe various power relationships within that group. In particular, who has the power for making decisions? How do tasks get done? Who acts on the decisions? These are all important questions that should be addressed.

Organizational politics doesn’t have much to do with the hierarchy of an organization. Instead, it’s about people. In particular, it’s about past experiences, personalities, and relationships. So the big question is how this is all related to political awareness. Political awareness is about understanding these power “webs” and also a way to navigate them. This will result in things getting done.

It might seem that political awareness isn’t related at all to commercial awareness. However, the opposite is true and there’s actually a close link between the two. However, while commercial awareness is mainly based on the outside environment of a company, political awareness is related more to the inside environment. This is a major difference between the two that should be noted because it’s a significant difference.

If you have got any further questions about the work that we do we would gladly answer your questions!

We can also help you with any further inquiries that you may have about your original Constitutional rights. So if you want to send us questions about the legalities of that topic, please do not hesitate to send us a message through this website.

 Is political awareness important?

The next question is whether or not political awareness is important. In fact, it can provide various benefits.

  1. You can learn more about yourself

This might be surprising. When we think about politics we tend to think about society or even politicians themselves, so what’s it all about? When you keep up with current events it helps you to learn more about your opinion about various issues that are controversial.

It’s very easy to pick a side on an issue based on propaganda or popular beliefs. However, it’s important to know what your own opinions are. When you become politically aware, that’s one of the key benefits. Instead of getting on the bandwagon of opinions you develop your own opinions and ideas based on information you have about different issues.

  1. You can learn about the political system

In 2007 only about 70% of Americans could name the Vice President of the country. This is an example that many countries’ citizens aren’t aware of basic information about their country’s political situation.

In a democratic country freedom is important but often people don’t use it enough. If you learn more about your country’s political system you’ll also appreciate it better. It’s important for people to use their political rights. There are times that wars are waged to defend those rights so it’s critical to practice them since they’re critical for putting democracy in practice.

  1. You can use your voice

It’s important to have a voice and not just the words that you say. It’s also important to have an opinion about various political issues whether they’re local, national, or international. It all starts by determining exactly where you stand on some of the most important issues of the day.

However, the next step is to have a voice. This could involve speaking, write, or demonstrate. What’s important is to show where you stand on the issues. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to make a political statement about each issue that affects your country.

On the other hand, it’s important to state your opinion at the right times. You have that right based on the Constitution, which is another important issue to consider.

 Constitutional Education

It’s important to know the constitution of your country. You don’t necessarily have to become an expert on the issue. However, you should know the basics about the document. It’s part of being politically aware.

It’s difficult to argue that you’re politically aware without knowing the basics about your constitution. That’s because it’s the basis for your country’s political system. If you learn the basics of the constitution then in a sense you’re already aware of the country’s political system. Here are some key issues:

  1. Preamble

In a sense, this is the “summary” of the constitution and helps to give an overall picture of the key values of your country’s founders. That’s why it’s important to know the preamble in particular. It could be argued that it should be memorized.

However, even if you don’t memorize the preamble it’s highly advisable to learn some of the basic concepts that are found in it. If you learn and understand the preamble it will be easier to comprehend the rest of the constitution. Not only that but you’ll be able to put the rest of the document in perspective. That’s critical to get the best results.

  1. Knowledge

It’s important to think about the constitution as a manual of sorts. It’s difficult to fully understand your country’s political system without reading and understanding the constitution. In fact, it can cause a lot of problems in terms of putting your country’s history in perspective without also knowing the constitution. That’s why it’s a very important document to read and learn.

  1. Responsibility

There’s that old saying that with freedom comes responsibility. While most constitutions promote freedom, it’s also important to practice responsibility in enjoying that freedom. Part of it is knowing your constitution. It can make it easier to participate in the country’s political system.

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Fear and Greed to Dominate US Policy in Iraq?

In a recent appearance to Congress, US ambassador to Baghdad, Ryan Cocker, sent a chilling message to lawmakers. The message was simple — leave Iraq and oil prices will stay high or rise, stay in Iraq and oil prices will go down. Though Cocker didn’t state it so plainly, his message is clear. Leaving Iraq would destabilize the Persian Gulf, sending this critical oil region into a state of conflict that would disrupt oil supply when the world is, increasingly, having trouble pumping enough of the stuff. On the other hand, staying in Iraq would result in increasing flows of oil to the world market. Analysts, such as Time Magazine’s Ryan Baer, have even raised the possibility that Iraq could surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production. And while these claims may well be an exaggeration, it does seem possible for a stable Iraq to double production with proper investment and in a time-frame of around five years.

An unhappy reality

The above statements and possibilities underscore how difficult it will be for even a democratic president to withdraw troops from Iraq. As oil prices continue to rise, and supply becomes increasingly thin, pressure will be placed on politicians to provide the oil by any means necessary. Cocker’s visit to Congress is just the first wave and, especially in an election year, we can expect more to follow. But what Cocker’s statements also highlight and clarify are our motivations for being in Iraq in the first place. Those motivations hinge on fear and greed. It is worthwhile, given the critical age we live in, to look deeper down the oil hole and take a good hard look at the reasons and psychology behind our military, political, and geopolitical stance in Iraq.

Oil and the politics of fear

In the case of fear, it is important to note that the US imports more than 10 million barrels per day as crude and more than 1 million barrels per day as product. Since the US produces about 5 million barrels per day of its own oil and 550,000 barrels per day of biofuel, the US must purchase more than double the amount it produces on its own. And while these figures, by themselves, do not entirely describe the problem, they give us a good idea of our starting point. Primarily we need a lot of the oil that other people have and so we are forced to buy it at any cost. Today, without that added oil, our economy would crash as much of our transportation infrastructure, food and chemical production, and other aspects of modern industry fail. The ripple effect of stagflation and shortage would create a vicious system of aftershocks that would be felt in every corner of the US economy. High oil prices and increasing oil scarcity is a slow burn of the above scenario. So we have a lot to fear and our occupation of Iraq is, in large part, driven by that fear. Given the dire situation in world oil markets, can the US amass the political will to overcome an obvious and very real risk of losing a large part of its Middle Eastern oil supply?

Oil and the politics of greed

Moving on to greed, we come to our second major motivation for Iraqi occupation. The value of that oil in the ground, if it could be sold cheap to the US market, would revitalize the US economy and give us a number of years respite from the inevitable depletion of our supply base. Looked through the lens of greed, Iraqi occupation could bring us back to prosperity if we could only stabilize and increase oil production. From the point of view of greed, this increase in production must be possible, otherwise, there’s no reason to be in Iraq in the first place.

Oil addiction, greed, and fear

Yet our greed and fear obsession in Iraq is as poisonous to us culturally as it is dangerous to us economically. The first reason is that our fear delusion leaves us without hope of any alternative to the massive amount of oil we consume. If we believe that oil is the only source of our potential for economic growth, then we will, like a desperate addict, take what we can by any means possible. This reaction, as we have seen in Iraq, Nigeria, and the larger Middle East, leads to more instability than it solves and forces the United States to justify unilateral action in order to secure its oil addiction. The second reason is that our greed delusion leads us to believe that we can benefit economically from the flow of oil from these foreign entities. The sad reality is that the more addicted we are to oil, the deeper our trade deficit becomes, the more we invest in foreign wars, and the less we invest in sustainable, job creating, infrastructure at home. In the case of our oil addiction, not only do we harm foreign countries through constant military action, but we also loot the future of our children by taking from them the sustainable world we now have the power to create.

One wonders, given our way of doing business, if we will retain that power for much longer? But let’s follow the oil hole a little further and see where it leads…

Potential for Iraqi oil uncertain

The US Geological Survey estimates that Iraq has ultimate recoverable oil reserves of around 78 billion barrels of oil. In the current world, this supply would cover all of world consumption for a little more than two years. At its current rate of production, 2.4 million barrels per day, Iraq could continue to supply this oil for around 80 years. If Iraq produces substantially more oil, that length of time shortens as Iraq depletes its oil at a faster rate. Increasing Iraq’s oil production to match Saudi Arabia’s, for example, would deplete Iraqi oil in 20 years. Simply put, in the oil world, faster production means faster depletion. One other fly in the Iraq ointment is the fact that Iraq has been producing its oil for over 70 years, and reserves figures haven’t changed much since the 1970’s. In the 40 years time that has elapsed, Iraq has likely produced over 30 billion barrels of oil. So given the maturity of the Iraqi oil industry, it is likely that producing very large amounts of oil will be challenging if not impossible.

Military presence as a catalyst for instability

Furthermore, as noted above, US military presence in the Persian Gulf continues act as a catalyst for instability in the region. Insurgents or anyone else unhappy with the US occupation supply a population ready to take up arms and fight our forces on the ground as well as disrupt the oil supply. Our presence may also draw aggression from other quarters. With demand growing in India and China for the foreseeable future, and with world supply likely to remain flat or fall into decline, other countries may attempt to exert military influence in the Persian Gulf region. Such projections of power would only increase instability and the likelihood of broader war in the region. It doesn’t take too much imagination to envision a very ugly situation evolving around the oil producing states in the Middle East.

Hope for a future beyond oil

Must we choose this future? Couldn’t we better invest our time and, still considerable resources? How many solar panels, wind mills, and nuclear power plants would our expense to secure oil each year purchase? How much could we advance our battery and electric vehicles technology if we weren’t spending so much money on technology to detect and destroy IEDs? What could we do if we spent our considerable ingenuity and still considerable resource endowment in creating a real future for ourselves and our children?

As for fear, greed, and oil addiction, I have glimpsed the future it brings. That future is a dirty, dangerous, and diminishing place where life is hard and short. But we don’t have to choose that future. Instead, we can build a future that doesn’t have to enforce scarcity or rely on military might to secure wealth and well being. Are we wise enough to make that choice?

The Power of Fear: Shaping the US Constitution

By the time key revolutionary figures and representatives from the twelve participating states began gathering in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation, the newly liberated American colonies were in dire need of a more permanent and effective form of government. Since the end of the American Revolution, distrust, civil discord, and a general lack of congruity between the thirteen states had threatened to tear the newly independent union apart from within. The Constitution was to be drafted in a trial-by-fire of heated debates and resistance stemming from the nearly unanimous fear of tyranny associated with more centralized government; the very freedom so hard-won under empowering new ideals of liberty and the fiery rhetoric of revolution and equality was at stake. The United States Constitution was a necessary solution to ward off looming disasters promised by civil strife, economic depression and the sheer inadequacy of American government under the Articles of Confederation, but its creation and the men most responsible for it were influenced as much by the irrepressible fear of oppressive patrimony and autocratic government apparatus as by visions of unity and reform.

In her book A Brilliant Solution, historian Carol Berkin describes in detail the rifts emerging in early post-revolutionary America, and the inability of its government to effectively combat them. As Berkin explains, the government warily established under the Articles of Confederation “grew more impotent, more lethargic, and more incompetent with every passing day” (6). One of the most threatening factors contributing to this stagnation was the “fierce localism” which had come to dominate the American political landscape after the war (6-7). Independent states had a great deal of local autonomy, and there was very little – if any – sense of loyalty or unity among them; as “competition and exploitation reigned,” economic depression was on the rise. “Our treasury was empty,” notes Berkin, “debts to foreign governments and debts to our own citizens could not be paid,” and discontented farmers and working class citizens began violent uprisings, with “no police force of any sort, military or civil,” to enforce order (5). In the absence of a cohesive federal government, especially one with powers of taxation, aggressive and oftentimes vindictive policymaking between the thirteen states set the pace for most active legislation, and new restrictions like tariffs and trade barriers inhibited American commerce in much the same way the British had (Berkin 15).

From a modern perspective, the vital role the Constitution was to play in alleviating these problems seems almost second-nature, but for those summoned to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and those they represented, it would have been inconceivable. The general suspicion of and disdain for government power and oppression which had been unifying themes during the war made even the possibility of revising the Articles seem radical. The same deeply-rooted fears of large government wresting control from the people were shared even by those in favor of more drastic responses to America’s political problems, but many nationalists like Madison and Hamilton, who came to play a crucial part in the Constitution’s drafting, still recognized the absolute necessity of a central government with independent sources of income and power to maintain law, order, and defense from foreign infringements (Berkin 39-45). In order to accomplish this, sacrifices had to be made; there was no way to establish a central government strong enough to hold the nation together and pull it out of depression without usurping autonomy from the states, and smaller states like Delaware and Rhode Island feared their voices in any form of central government would be overshadowed by the larger, wealthier states (Berkin 45).

Only after Madison’s famed Virginia Plan was presented and began to set the agenda for the convention was significant headway made toward amicable compromise among its attendees(68-73). Fearful as they were of centralized government, the prominent delegates at the convention were significantly less-opposed to entertaining nationalist arguments for drastic change than many others in the new republic who refused to attend – perhaps the most decisive factor in allowing any compromise to be reached at all (Berkin 71). Yet the Great Compromise, as it came to be known, was as much a product of the ardent dissent and debate – and the fears that fueled them – in the assembly’s daily proceedings as it was the desire for change. As the passionate oration of those aware of the need for drastic reforms allowed progress to be made, the fears and reservations of others urged them to proceed with caution and restraint, and both characteristics came to define the drafting of our nation’s Constitution. Reforms including the creation of a government with multiple branches for “checks-and-balances” on power, a bicameral legislature weighted to represent states more equally than the simpler “one-to-one” system, a judicial branch to maintain law, and the much-debated and carefully limited office of executive, all spoke to the influence not only of radical reformists, but of those most fearful of central government in eventually framing the US Constitution.

Fears of government are further made apparent through the rejection of certain proposals such as Madison’s desire for congressional veto of state legislations, and less tolerable compromises on the continuation of slavery to support southern economies (113-115). In the end, however, the bitterly divided political atmosphere of the early post-revolutionary United States made any significant compromise on these issues not only incredibly surprising, but a necessary step in the right direction. Political divisions and enmities would certainly continue, and the path ahead for Americans was anything but smooth, but for the first time an effective government had been envisioned for the United States which would hold our nation together and prove its temper through even the most arduous tests of time.

Works Cited

Berkin, Carol. A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution. Orlando: Harcourt Books, 2002.

I Lend You My Name: Anonymous Politics Can Work

When I was a graduate student at Penn, I was part of a dialogue between the University’s Asian American students and its Oriental Studies Department, whose name some students found objectionable. Some people tried to use this for political gain, and it seemed they would do anything to get their name in the student newspaper. When reporters showed up at one of our meetings (uninvited) I made a spontaneous decision to welcome them to the discussion, but to prohibit them from reporting the meeting. I later circulated a position paper with a strong warning, “not for citation or attribution,” although I gave readers permission to borrow ideas from it freely, and even to quote freely, as long as my name was never mentioned and I was never given credit. Several numbered versions circulated, with increasingly minor refinements, and increasingly strong warnings. Faculty asked my permission to show my paper to the Deans, as a springboard for discussion, and my Department’s student critics politely asked my permission to xerox and distribute this document, which undeniably stimulated constructive debate on campus (as I made the case for both the status quo and change). I permitted my name to be published only once, on a signed letter. This had rather dramatic and positive effect. I have heard that a Dean resigned within a week. I never learned his name, because it was not a personal matter. The dialogue continued and a name change for our Department was eventually negotiated. My role in this is now a matter of public record, because a professor gave a public lecture on these events, in which he respectfully broke my rule of anonymity.

My choice to enter politics anonymously was unusual enough to attract a lot of attention, including interviews by the student newspaper, which I did not let them publish or write about. We insisted on quiet, civil, face to face dialogue, rather than public spectacle. One student in our group made the mistake of speaking too freely in an email chat group, in a posting he designated a “flame.” He called for a Dean’s resignation, among other things. My libertarian friend’s message was xeroxed and posted in the Oriental Studies Departmental office, without his permission, and a lecture he was scheduled to give was canceled, apparently in retribution. Graduate student government, of which I was a part, was prepared to fight on his behalf, but he backed down and left the school. Too bad. Had the student not left, I would have written and sponsored a resolution defending him, and I would have been willing to co-sign his “flame” (although I had no opinion at all of the Dean in question, and held different views on some of the issues). Had I done so, I might never have made it out of graduate school. Free speech is a principle worth the sacrifice of one’s career. It is our civic duty to sacrifice everything we have for this principle.

Later, when I was made President of a graduate student association, and when I had a secure job, I permitted my name to be used on strong letters to the University of Pennsylvania Administration, written by aggrieved students who would otherwise have been afraid to write. Some took me up on my offer, and to this day, I have no idea what was said in my name. I had, by that time, apparently inexhaustible political capital, spent freely on behalf of my constituents, the students.

Now, I find myself in a very dissimilar situation, with no security at all, and uncertain political capital. Even so, I lend you my name, which adorns every page of my website. One of my first students here gave me a generous token of his respect: he designed “Shevek Nagarjuna Kundakunda’s Religious Studies Website,” and I accepted his gift and his compliment. Because he put my name on every page, nobody could mistake this for an official website (although envious people may think I style myself the Program Chair, which I most certainly do not want to be).

My student made my name prominent when I was reluctant to do so. Now, you are welcome to use my site to air your views on education reform, worker’s rights, harassment, free speech, and similar issues of concern to our community. If you wish, I will publish these anonymously. You may, under certain circumstances, even publish under my name, if you are afraid to speak freely for fear of retribution (a very real possibility, here and now).

I lend you my name. Please use it with respect. Don’t be a victim, fight lies with truth. Never subtmit to censorship, never give in to a bully. Walk tall and stand up for what you believe, like the heroic physicist Shevek in Ursula Kroeber LeGuin’s ambiguous utopia. And please remember, anonymous politics can work. So can a transparent pseudonym…

US Politics News Bits

Animal rights group releases video of live chicks ground at Iowa egg plant

Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, exposed serious cruelty at an Iowa egg plant. In a video released by the group, workers toss unwanted baby chicks into a grinder while still alive. Male chicks are sent to the grinders because they are of little value to the egg plant since they are unable to lay eggs and cannot be raised for meat.

Health care reform supporters are hopeful that September will change the discussion

Supporters of the health care reform bill are hopeful that in September the debate will change for the best. September 15, President Barack Obama will give a speech about health care. A CNN Research Poll shows that the President has only 44 percent support from American on the health care issue.

Pres. Obama feels good about direction of manufacturing sector

President Barack Obama feels positively about a report saying that the economy is in the process of recovering. Manufacturing has seen a substantial jump, finally moving upward after a 19 month slump.

U.S-Cuba talks to resume in September

September 17, the United States will continue negotiations with Cuba that will allow Cubans to legally immigrate to the U.S. The talks started, which started in late spring have eased restrictions on travel to and from Cuba. For 46 years mail could not be sent directly to Cuba from the United States. Restarting direct mail services between to two nations will be a point of discussion in the September talks.

Obama will host dinner in honor of Ramadan on Tuesday

Tuesday, President Barack Obama will host a dinner in honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Muslim leaders, ambassadors from Islamic nations, United States government leaders and Congress members are expected to be in attendance. The holy month of Ramadan began August 22.

Obama’s administration may not support defense spending bill because of jet engines

President Obama’s administration refuses to support a defense bill that would approve $680 billion in spending if fighter jets have two separate engines. Robert Gates, Defense Secretary, has stated that having two separate engines for the jets is an unnecessary luxury.

Russians remember 2004 attack on Belsan school

Tuesday, Russians remember the attack on a Belsan school. September 1, 2004 over 1,000 individuals were held hostage by militants calling for the withdrawal of Russian military from Chechnya. More than half of the 334 people who died were children.

Martin Meehan may run for Senate

January 19, 2010, an election will be held to fill the seat left vacant after Senator Ted Kennedy’s death. Martin Meehan is considering running in the election to fill Kennedy’s seat. Late this week, Meehan will announce his decision. Martin Meehan is a former congressman of Massachusetts.

President Obama encourages Americans to get swine flu vaccination

The fall flu season is quickly approaching and the threat of a major swine flu epidemic has prompted President Barack Obama to encourage Americans to protect themselves by getting the vaccination. He wants Americans to be “prepared”.

FAA to hear pilot scheduling regulation recommendations

The FAA will issue new regulations, which are intended to reduce the number of fatigued pilots and make the skies a safer place to fly. At this time, airline companies have voiced their desire to schedule pilots who have less strenuous flight schedules for longer hours, but the unions object. Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will hear regulation recommendations from an advisory committee.

How to Get the Printing Right with a Heatpress Machine

Political awareness has already brought its platform onto various media, including printing on t-shirts. You’ve seen them a lot these days – people are getting too aware of the government’s every move that they need to bring awareness to others in order to make them vigilant against anyone that wishes to destabilize or retain the current government. And what better way to convey messages of political awareness is through t-shirts. To get the quality and image clear on the shirt, it is best to use the heatpress machine.

Many manufacturers these days make use of the heatpress machine because they know how it is very effective in printing designs on shirts using heat transfer and the Transfer Paper. Do keep in mind that in order to make the most effective printing on t-shirts with the heatpress machine, here are tips that will help you get it right.

Choosing the right fabric

Not all fabrics are compatible with the heatpress machine. Any material that melts right away on a hot surface like thin fabrics and synthetic material should never be considered on a heatpress machine. You have to ensure that when you print on t-shirts or any material or item must be washed after they are printed with the heatpress machine. However, this is not done right away as the print must be left for at least 24 hours to settle on the surface.

Experts also advise that it is best to pre-wash the fabric before the design is printed on the surface of the fabric. If you don’t wash them beforehand, there is a high possibility that it will appear wrinkly after the first wash. The most common kinds of fabric used with the heatpress machine include Lycra, spandex, nylon, cotton and polyester. If you possess fabrics that are not mentioned in the list, you have to ask a clothing expert for advice if they are good to work with the heatpress machine.

Prepping the artwork

The standard in preparing the artwork on the heatpress machine is printing the design first using any form of printer, whether it is laser or inkjet using the Transfer Paper. First is you need to choose a design, in the case of political awareness the right words to use. You can utilize a software called Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. One of the most challenging issues with using the heatpress machine is that the inkjet printer doesn’t have a white color. This means that it is not capable of printing white and that if you want to print something of that color, rather than printing the white ink, it will show the color of the fabric instead. The solution to this is to choose a t-shirt of the color off-white. You have to consider this carefully when you are creating the artwork on your t-shirt using the heatpress machine. You also need to flip the artwork horizontally using the software you made the design. If you can’t do this part well, just expected a flipped artwork when it is already printed on the shirt.

Expansion of the US

As the American frontier came to a close, a new policy of expansion was brought about. This new policy during the late 1800s early 1900s had very few similarities with that of the old. It still held the belief that the US needed to expand in order to sustain the ever-increasing population but did not go about it the same way, intervening in places off the coasts of the occupied mid region of North America. Economic growth continued to be a motive for the US to expand with more of an appeal towards widening the market and trade. The policies put forth during this period dealt with the inhabitants of the area, just like in the past, but took a more aggressive toll when it came to enforcing the Monroe Doctrine and addressing personal interests. Thus, through the US’s more developed expansion policy towards gaining more land, trading with countries abroad, and taking political interests in lands near by, one can observe that the old expansion policy was integrated into the new by only a small degree of consideration.

Since the creation of the US after the American Revolution, the idea of expanding was in the minds of many. In the 1840s the idea of manifest destiny, God had destined the US to expand, was established and was the issue in the election of 1844. The reason for this was that the east was filling up and new areas for settling and job production were needed. This belief of the necessity of expanding was also seen in the late 1800s early 1900s. There was, however, a distinction between the areas of interest during these two different periods and that is what sets the policies of expansionism apart. In the earlier decades of the US, people felt it was obvious that they would have to move west since there was much land left to settle in to the west. However, the close of the frontier towards the 1890s made the US look for other places to settle. This is where one can see the fine line between the old and new expansionism. In The Interest of America in Sea Power by Alfred T. Mahan, the interests of the US are basically summed up saying that the America wanted to be the dominant nation in the western hemisphere securing it from the major powers in Europe and Asia. McKinley in 1898 annexed Hawaii and began to intervene with Spanish colonies. The primary reason for the arbitration was that the people of the colonies wanted their freedom and that the US was going to honor the Monroe Doctrine. After defeating Spain in the islands surrounding the North America, the US decided to stay attached to all of them in one way or another. They kept the Philippines, as Albert J. Beveridge said in his speech to the 56th Congress, because it allowed them to be closer to the great market of China and allowed for their dominance in the Pacific Ocean. Places such as Cuba were forced to write into their Constitution that the US would intervene if order was not maintained and Guantanamo was sold to them as a naval base. The US taking these islands is completely unlike its past expansionism where it was just a movement towards the west. Now it was becoming more like an imperialistic expansion where they had their own colonies. Thomas Nast’s The World Plunders shows Britain, Russia, and Germany grabbing colonies from the areas in the eastern hemisphere, leaving the western hemisphere to the US. Another key difference between past expansionism and new expansionism is that there was opposition to the newer policy. The Anti-Imperialist League felt that the US was going against its beliefs by taking over these lands that wanted their freedom. In the past, people were eager for expansion and there wasn’t much opposition where as now people found it to be unethical signifying the differences of the time. It seemed as if Josiah Strong’s Our Country: It’s Possible Future and It’s Present Crisis was influencing the US making it think that eventually the US would spread all over the world.

As the US got more desperate for land, it lost its sense of liberty and morality thinking only towards the economic benefits. Boosting the economy was, however, always an incentive for expansion. In the Jefferson administration, Thomas Jefferson wanted the New Orleans area for it controlled the mouth of the Mississippi and was a major port area for trading with South America. In 1840, Polk wanted California for it would be the gateway that opened up the Pacific Ocean allowing trade with the East Asian markets. These advancements in trade did not allow that much of diversity when it came to trade. Even though it did open up the Pacific Ocean, it was a long haul to Asia. This was the old expansion policy where it was to grab whatever that could be reached by land route. The fact that the US wanted to trade with eastern Asia for profits carried over to the new expansion policy and that is where the similarities between new and old end. The US went about doing this by taking control of the Philippines, which was nearer to Asia. This opened up trade with China and the US did all that they could to appease China to make friendlier relations between them. The US told the other countries swooping in for parts of China to respect the traditions and culture of the Chinese people even while having a part of its land. This was called the Open Door policy. In the past, the US never tried to help a country in the eastern hemisphere in order to get its favor when it came to trade. This shows that this was indeed a departure from the old expansionism. During Roosevelt’s administration, Roosevelt enforced a different interpretation of Monroe Doctrine where the US would take over a country near them if they were having financial issues with the major powers of the east. This allowed the US to gain money in the long run by paying off the debts of these unprivileged nations and receiving payments from the countries that were assisted. Just like how the expansionism policy was almost completely different in this new era, the Monroe Doctrine became nearly an entirely different law.

This new Monroe Doctrine had completely changed the politics involved with expansion. In the past, expansion was solely based upon the acceptance of the inhabitants to be ruled by a country, wars that determined who gets the territory, and treaties. In 1850, the US annexed Texas, which had wanted to be annexed since it first fought for its rights from Mexico. When America finally recognized Texas’s pleas they helped fight Mexico. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo settled the boundaries between Mexico and Texas and recognized that Texas was a part of the US. This was the traditional way to receive land and the only thing that followed through into the new expansionism was that policies were put forth to establish a civilized society. This is a very little portion of the new expansionism since it was mostly about becoming a world power through “helping” other countries, showing that the expansionism during the late 1800s and early 1900s was in fact mainly a departure from the old expansionism. This new expansionism called for enforcing the Monroe Doctrine so that the US remained dominant in the western hemisphere. After taking control of all the colonies that Spain held around the North America region, the US began trying to help civilize them through provisions. Even though the US promised Cuba their freedom through the Teller Amendment, the US forced them to write within their constitution the Platt Amendment allowing the US to intervene if there was any type of disruption. The Senate kept the Philippines as US territory due to their rejection of the bill to set them free. Theodore Roosevelt said in his annual message to congress that they would give areas their freedom if they saw that they could manage to become civilized. However, the Philippines didn’t get a chance to prove itself. This was an unfavorable thing and one can see that this was contradictory towards the past expansion where the inhabitants accepted the settlement of their area placing this expansionism in a category of departure from the old policy.

As the US made its way into the 1900s, there were significant changes when it came to expanding the country. The US found that the only way to expand was to look outward and so it began enforcing the Monroe Doctrine in a way that deemed it a world power. The US fought Spain for the colonies they possessed and from it gained a wider range of markets to trade with. Thinking it would profit from the colonies, the US tried to keep itself attached to the islands through trying to civilize the people and solving issues for the territories that involved the eastern powers. When looking upon the expansionism of the time, it is quite evident that the only parts that remained of what it was before were the roots to what all expansionism is: get land, make laws, and prosper.

US Politics News Bits for Saturday, May 20th 2017

President Obama scraps Bush’s missile defense plan in Eastern Europe

Thursday, President Barack Obama canceled the United States’ missile shield plans in Eastern Europe. Former President Bush prepared plans to build the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic to protect against “rogue states” like Iran. President Obama contacted the Polish and Czech governments to alert them of his plan to scrap Bush’s missile shield plans and to map out his new missile defense project. Obama promises that the new project will provide greater protection for America and its allies. It is thought that Obama changed course from the Bush administration missile shield plan because of projections that set the project’s complete date at up to five years later than anticipated.

Dukakis likely to take Senate seat

Michael Dukakis, former presidential contender for the Democratic Party, is a likely candidate for the seat left open by the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Dukakis, Paul Kirk Jr., former Lt. Governor Evelyn Murphy, and former state Senate President Robert Travaglini are candidates for the impermanent appointment to the Senate seat.

Tax provision in Baucus proposal upset Democrats

A tax provision located in Max Baucus’ proposed health care bill displeased Democrats Thursday. They feel that the tax provision would burden an already hurting middle class. Baucus’ bill makes obtaining health insurance a requirement and requires health insurance companies to cover those already having health conditions. To support the proposed legislation, Baucus wants to place a tax on family health insurance plans exceeding $21,000 and individual plans exceeding $8,000.

House votes for college aid revamp

Thursday, the House voted for a major revamp of financial aid programs servicing college students. The bill improves need-based grants and creating grants that are intended to boost current rates of graduation.

Former VP Cheney has back surgery

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, age 68, had voluntary back surgery on Thursday. Cheney’s representatives told the press that the procedure was successful and he will be discharged from George Washington University Hospital shortly. Cheney suffered from lumbar spinal stenosis, which caused lower back pain.

Pelosi concerned about course of current health care dialogue

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker expressed her concern that the current anti-government dialogue concerning the volatile health care reform debate is reminiscent of the 1970s gay rights debate. Pelosi warned individuals using “hateful or violent rhetoric” that they are accountable for the outcome.

US Politics News Bits for Friday, May 19th 2017

Finance Committee Chairman ready to move forward with health care bill

Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and Finance Committee Chairman, is ready to move forward with the health care reform bill. The bill, which is being developed by negotiators, would reduce the cost of health care reform to less than $1 trillion over a decade’s time.

AP publishes images of dying Marine; Gates strongly disproves

A vocal Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed his strong disproval of the Associated Press’ decision to show images o f a dying marine, calling the decision “appalling”. The photograph was published even after the father of the Marine requested that the photos not be published. Associated Press stood by its decision to publish the images saying that they wished to communicate the horrors of war to their readers.

US angry that Israel to continue settlement building; delays Mideast peace talks

Just this week, Israel-Palestine peace talks resumed after months of non-communication. The United States insisted that the resumption of peace talks was contingent upon Israel’s decision to halt new settlement building projects in the West Bank. Friday, Israel seemed to defy the United States when it announced its decision to continue its West Bank building projects. President Barack Obama’s administration expressed its disproval in a statement that made it clear that the United States would not recognize Israel’s new settlement projects as legitimate. The United States continues to encourage Israel to halt their settlement so that peace talks can continue. Saeb Erekat, Palestine’s senior negotiator believes that Israel’s decision will delay peace talks indefinitely.

Iran’s chief envoy accuses US government of forgery

The Iranian government accused the United States of forging important documents in order to build a case against Tehran’s nuclear program. In a letter, Iran’s chief envoy wrote that the documents are not authentic, but neglected to specify which documents the United States allegedly forged.

CIA Director’s position seems safe

Currently, Leon Panetta’s seems secure after some uncertainty about the security of CIA Director’s position. Panetta attempted to keep the CIA’s secrets under wraps after investigations into their interrogation practices began. His arguments for keeping CIA interrogation information secret did not convince the Obama administration to keep quiet about the findings.

Democrat support for troop increase in Afghanistan waning

Support for increasing United States troops in Afghanistan seems to be falling among Democrats in the Senate. While some in the Senate feel that increasing troops in Afghanistan is the only way to be successful in the war, other are less certain that a major troop increase is the answer. Democrats in the Senate, sensing the fall in public support for the war, are interested in speeding up the education and furnishing of Afghan armed forces with what it needs to assume responsibility for the security of the war torn country.

Obama allows WH visitor logs to be made public

President Barack Obama has authorized the release of information regarding White House visitors. Previous administrations keep the visitor logs secret, but the Obama administration has, for the first time, made the information public.

US Politics News Bits for Thursday, May 18th 2017

Coast Guard exercise near 9/11 memorial ceremony causes trouble

Friday, a Coast Guard exercise taking place near to a ceremony in memory of September 11, 2001 went awry. The Coast Guard exercises taking place near the Pentagon were confused for a terrorist attack. Coast Guard radio messages, which could be overheard by the public, led to confusion and numerous false reports of an attack. Misreports of gunfire and an attack near to the event, which was attended by President Barack Obama, led to flight groundings and a rush of FBI Agents to the Pentagon.

President Barack Obama calls Americans to serve

On the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President Barack Obama delivered a speech at the Pentagon, encouraging Americans to recall the “ordinary goodness” that followed the attacks and to come together in the spirit of servitude. He urged Americans to band together to “strengthen” our communities, our country, and our world.

Senate revisits health care bill in light of Rep. Wilson’s outburst

Friday, the Senate revisited what they believed to have been a complete health care bill. In light of Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Barack Obama’s Wednesday night speech, senators wanted to ensure that the bill contained sufficient provisions which would prevent illegal immigrants from accessing federal subsidized health care benefits.

Democrats in the House intend to vote on punishment for Congressman Joe Wilson should he refuse to issue an apology on the House floor. Wednesday night, during President Barack Obama’s health care speech, Wilson yelled “You lie!” breaking House rules and causing a major backlash against the congressman. As a result of the outburst, Wilson’s 2010 campaign has raised in excess of $700,000. His opponent, Rob Miller has raised more than $1 million.

Senator Carl Levin reluctant to deploy more troops to Afghanistan

Democratic Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has expressed his reluctance to send more troops to Afghanistan. The Senator wants to focus on helping Afghanistan’s security forces become more “self-sufficient”.

Obama: Public health care option  amp; competition with private insurers

In response to fears that a government-run health insurance program would compete with private health care options, President Barack Obama emphasized that there would be a multitude of choices available to Americans. At a Saturday rally in Minneapolis, President Obama gave a speech saying that the public plan would be optional and would promote competition.

Obama wants talks about Iran’s nuclear program

Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that Iran will not entertain talks regarding the right of Iran to develop nuclear capabilities. President Barack Obama wants Iran’s nuclear program to remain a topic of international discussion.

US Courts: Justice Run Amok

As we are sure you have noted from media reports, an all-out war has been launched against the family, marriage, and Christianity (singled out among all the religions existing in the US for special persecution).

Some of the courts (whose justices are not elected, often serve for life, and who deem themselves therefore unaccountable to the public) have gone over the edge, ruling in matters that are out of their subject jurisdiction and handing down rulings contrary to the provisions of the US Constitution and the original intent of the founding fathers.

Something must be done, and it must be done pronto before more serious damage is done. A quick study of history will show that the very survival of the nation could be at stake. What we are seeing in the United States today parallels the trends in the ancient civilizations as they slid their way down the tubes in disgrace.

There are things the US Congress can do immediately, if they will:

  1. Impeachment and disbarment is a possibility for some judges, based upon their conduct on the bench and off
  2. Congressional action to remove subject jurisdiction is a possibility
  3. Shutting off the funding tap to renegade courts is a possibility, effectively shutting down those courts
  4. Establishing new courts and reducing the geographical jurisdiction of the renegade courts to near-zip is a possibility
  5. The Congress can align itself solidly behind actions in the courts against the perversity of the few that stand to harm the whole
  6. The Congress can force an up-or-down vote on all court nominees

There is provision in the Constitution and laws of our nation for some of these actions; for some there is even established precedent. The true issue here is whether our elected leaders have the WILL to act in accordance with the desire of the very people who elected them.

History will not be forgiving of any who procrastinate or stick their proverbial heads in the sand. As a nation (and particularly as government leaders) the time to act is NOW. Those who genuinely care about the survival of the family, marriage, our faith and our children’s future are waking up, and are determined to do whatever is necessary within the law to turn this mess around. There is such a thing as righteous, scriptural anger. YOU can make a genuine difference: the ball is in your court.

US Politics News Bits for Monday, May 15th 2017

General McChrystal likely to request additional troops in Afghanistan

There may be more American troops in Afghanistan next year to fight the Taliban. General Stanley McChrystal’s analysis is that the war is lacking sufficient support and strategy to triumph over the Taliban. The general is likely to request more American troops in Afghanistan in the near future. President Barack Obama has already approved a 21,000 troop increase this year.

What helped curb the spread of swine flu in Mexico?

As the northern hemisphere readies itself for the second wave of swine flu, Mexico is taking inventory of which efforts in combating the spread of swine flu were most successful and which were unsuccessful. Public awareness, swift diagnosis, and hand washing are among those things that worked to curb the spread of the disease. Closing schools and using paper face masks were among those efforts that were ineffective.

Push for increased American civilian presence in Afghanistan

Too few American civilians are in Afghanistan, experts say. The war in Afghanistan needs American civilians knowledgeable in areas such as law, architecture, and engineering. The knowledge provided by professionals in these sectors can help improve the war effort and stabilize the war-torn country. Plans to recruit civilians are underway and hundreds are already on their way to Afghanistan. Approximately 450 additional civilians are expected to go to Afghanistan by the end of this year.

Huckabee’s controversial comment on how Kennedy might have fared under reformed healthcare

This weekend, on his Fox News show, Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, suggested that the late Senator Ted Kennedy would have been sent home to die if the proposed health care reform were in place. Media covering Huckabee’s comments find it to have been in bad taste. Huckabee, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, insists that the comment was “taken out of context” and that the response to that comment is “overblown”.

Summer vacation is over for the Obamas and the President has lots of work ahead of him

The First Family’s summer vacation has come to an end. Now that he is back, President Barack Obama will face many struggles in the coming months. The fight over health care reform is ongoing and as approval ratings for the President dwindle and the economy struggles to regain its footing, Obama must work to deliver on the promises he made during his campaign. Additionally, the President must formulate a new strategy for success in Afghanistan. It is anticipated that General Stanley McChrystal will soon request more troops for the war in Afghanistan. Earlier this year, the President approved 21,000 new troops be sent to Afghanistan by the close of 2009.

Israel-Palestine talks may take place this September

Just last week, news of renewed Israel-Palestine talks was announced. Monday, news of possible September negotiations was released. In September, the United Nations General Assembly opens and the UN will most likely host meetings between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Jan. 19 elections will be held to fill Kennedy’s seat

With his passing, Senator Ted Kennedy left an empty seat. Elections will be held January 19 in order to fill the seat.

Republican Jim Sensenbrenner has prostate cancer

Monday, Jim Sensenbrenner, a House veteran from Wisconsin and high ranking member of the House Judiciary and Science and Technology committee, announced that he has prostate cancer. He will undergo radiation treatment and intends to continue working.

US Politics News Bits for Sunday, May 14th 2017

Pentagon program to allow Afghan prisoners to challenge imprisonment

Prisoners in Afghanistan under United States custody will be permitted to dispute their imprisonment under a new program set forth by the Pentagon. Detainee Review Boards will hear prisoners’ challenges to their imprisonment and will consider evidence and witness testimony presented in their defense.

White House and Congress discuss regulation of health insurers

The White House and Congress seem to have turned its attention away from discussion of a government-run health insurance option. Sunday, attention was directed toward discussing the regulation of private insurers to lower health care costs and to make health insurance more accessible to all citizens.

Swine flu vaccine update

Swine flu vaccinations may be available as soon as October, before the height of flu season.

Congressman Wilson refuses to give apology on House floor for yelling “You lie!”

Republican congress Joe Wilson is refusing to deliver a second apology for his outburst at President Barack Obama’s health care speech Wednesday night. The congressman caused a stir when he shouted “You lie!” during the President’s speech. Wilson apologized to President Obama, but refuses to deliver a second apology on the House floor. If he does not give a second apology, leaders of the House intend to officially condemn Wilson’s conduct.

Obama’s Afghanistan plans questioned by Congress

Senator s Diane Feinstein, Carl Levin, Susan Collins, Jeanne Shaheen, and Dick Durbin are questioning President Barack Obama’s plan to increase the number of troops headed for Afghanistan. Senator Feinstein wants to hear word of a particular date to pull American troops out of Afghanistan.

Obama to press on with health despite American protest of spending

Americans’ displeasure at the state of the economy will not derail President Barack Obama’s hopes for health care reform. Saturday, tens of thousands of Americans gathered in protest of excessive government spending.

ACORN and Census Bureau part ways

Associations of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) and the Census Bureau have parted ways. The two dissolved ties because of the Census Bureau’s concern that ACORN’s negative publicity could “negatively impact 2010 census efforts. The Republican Party accused ACORN of fraudulent voter-registration practices after employees of the organization falsified registration forms to increase their income.

5 Reasons Lawyers Invest in Heat Press Machines

A heat press is a type of machine that you can use to print graphic designs onto cups, shirts and other kinds of objects. These kinds of machines make perfect investments for graphic or art-related businesses. With heat press machines, those businesses would actually be able to accept orders and profit from custom printing jobs. While there are many other kinds of printing equipment, it can be a good idea to invest in a heat press. Here are several compelling reasons why any graphic business should consider investing in a heat press.

  1. You can get a higher profit margin.

You can actually potentially make more money off of investing in a heat press. This is because of the fact that these kinds of machines are much cheaper to operate. You would also not have to print such a huge amount of custom designs in order to make a profit. You could just accept smaller custom printing orders, and make a profit out of those orders.

  1. Heat presses are faster and easier to operate.

A heat press is much faster at printing designs than other kinds of printing equipment. You could easily accept more orders because you could just have them printed out and completed right away. You would be able to make more money because a heat press would allow you to accept more printing jobs. And on top of that, the process of using a heat press is fairly uncomplicated. This would make it much easier to use.

  1. It is cheap to purchase.

At most a heat press would only cost a few thousand dollars. You would not have to invest a large amount of money to be able to purchase a heat press for your business. This would mean that even smaller and new graphic businesses would still be able to manage to invest in a heat press. It is not prohibitively expensive to invest in one.

  1. You will get better printing results.

The designs that you can print out using a heat press would also be superior as well. And since you will get better printing results, you may find      yourself with more orders. This is because your customers will like the way that the heat press has printed out their designs.

  1. You can print on a variety of materials.

You will be able to print on mousepads, t-shirts, umbrellas, house mats, curtains, mugs, cups, and any other kind of surface that you can think about. You would actually be able to print on any kind of material. This is because a heat press is very versatile and is capable of printing on a wide variety of materials.

Any graphic business must invest in heat press machines. These kinds of printing equipment are just so much better at doing custom printing jobs. With a heat press, you could offer printing services to more people. And since you can offer your printing services to more people, you can actually get more customers as well. This would mean that a heat press would be a very practical investment for your business.

Constitution in Chains

The American Constitution, the greatest document of liberty and freedom ever in the world, created by years of deliberation and struggle, set the stage for a free and prosperous nation. Now that great document has been locked in chains by those most sworn to protect and defend it.

Liberty has been suffocating trying to breathe because we have turned off the oxygen mask that feeds it and have not nourished it. That food is the U.S. Constitution, a document that the world should see in envy but we take for granted. Take for instance the new health care bill; it is such a unconstitutional power grab that it chokes the very essence of liberty and self choice. Even in the broadest definition of the Commerce Clause no congress has ever forced an individual to purchase a product (Judge Andrew Napolitano). This is why the American people were and are still angry about the health care bill and are calling for its repeal.

The Tea Party movement had grown out of this anger and frustration that our leaders don’t answer to our constitution and ignore the American people and call them nuts and kooks for willing to stand up to their leaders . We need to unlock the chains and restore the integrity of our American Republic.

Better Privacy? Facebook’s Outrageous Policy Switch

Facebook users Worldwide were given an early Christmas present by the HR team over at Facebook in the form of a privacy policy change that was both expansive as it is limiting. If you haven’t noticed the change, it might be time to put on your Home Alone face and scream into the camera because by now, all of your most personal information down to your photo albums were viewed by anyone-even those without a Facebook account.

On December 2009, Facebook implemented features that had been in the talks for some time. What started as a summer announcement has lead to the most criticized update since the popularization of this and other social networking websites.

The Drag

If you were lucky, you noticed the changes and immediately started the automatic process of wading through the various options to pick precisely what you wanted other people to see and what you would rather not share about your other-ahem-hobbies. However, most users were and are still sitting in the dark about the changes that left a gaping hole in their personal bubble.

You Should Always Share

In an instant, your previously private stories became visible to your employer, your worst enemies and those juicy tidbits from the party that night was most certainly viewable by your parents. Ick! The moment those changes were made all of your previous settings were set to the default; to share with Everyone!

One of those changes happen to be the removal of your choice to share or hide your Friends List.

You also have no choice when it comes to opting out of those add-on applications, which will now use your personal data to ‘improve’ the application performance.

The Kick

We do have some good news. All these changes did divide the previously more general categories down into smaller, user-friendly and more manageable details that you can individually choose to display to everyone or customize it to share with just one person, down to the last JPEG you upload into your gallery.

You can also choose to either share or keep private the latest Wall post and status updates. So you can feel free to talk about Bill behind his back and still have him in your Friends List.

The Facebook Future

Like with any social networking group, Facebook is facing the obvious challenges that plague the users and the company.

A free service only stays afloat due to sponsor ads and other, similar supports. Information mining programs are out there and in the wrong hands, can reveal quite a lot about yourself to your future employers or anyone else, for that matter. These days, it is common for your date to have hit the Web for a name search or even a full background check. Every detail that you write down on a status update might just be one detail too many. The last thing you wrote online might just be what tips the scale on your next promotion.

Social Networking will always carry this risk.

Do yourself a favor, don’t be the next Michael Phelps[1] and go through your privacy settings to make sure that you show only what you want to share.