Wednesday, February 29, 2012

He said what?

This is what Mitt Romney had to say about China.  “How is it China’s been so successful in taking away our jobs? Well, let me tell you how — by cheating, when you hold down your currency artificially, it makes your products artificially less expensive, and by virtue of doing that and holding down their prices, they are able to put American businesses out of business, and kill American jobs.”
I'll just interject something here.  China has absolutely no responsibility for the continuation of jobs in America.  We do not have any responsibility to give jobs to the people in China.  What you should be going after are the companies that choose to build these companies in China, if you're really that upset about it.

He continued,“They also steal our designs and our patents and our brand names and our know-how. And on that basis they’re able to take jobs. And they hack into our computers — corporate computers and government computers — and steal as well.”

I would pull a "come on, man" moment from youtube that ESPN does when people do something stupid in sports.  Unfortunately, that's the most racist thing I've seen on television.  You know, before I heard from Romney that China are thieves and cheaters.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich recently said that if he became president that gasoline at the pump would cost $2.50 per gallon. An empty phrase that I didn't think was going to show up in this election year. This phrase was that we can lower gas prices. 

To be fair, this phrase was uttered when George W. Bush was president.  In fact, it was the calling card of a lot of Democrats during the election year of 2008.  Democrats did place a lot of blame on the president for having what we thought were high gas prices.  Then the recession happened and we forgot all about high gas prices.

Well, sort of.  I mean, I forgot about them.  But Michele Bachmann did not.  She said,"The day that President Obama took office, gasoline was $1.79 a gallon." Which is entirely true.  But you know, 70% of the price of gasoline is based off of the price of crude oil (see the linked article in previous statement). What about the other 30%?  Or a better question is, how much impact does the president actually have in determining gas prices?

President Obama did put a moratorium on deepwater drilling, which in turn have been blamed for rising gasoline prices.  But this moratorium did not affect gas prices like some noted Republicans have said.  In fact, one former  Mobil Oil Executive said that the impact of the moratorium on gas prices was "nothing. Zero."  (Click)  The deepwater drilling moratorium did not affect any of the wells that were already in place but did place a stop on any new ones being placed.  How much of the production for the United States is really going to be changed by this?  Let's find out. In 2010, there was a record number of oil being produced from these deepwater drills.  It was producing 1.64 million barrels per day despite the spill in gulf and the moratorium.  In 2011, the Energy Information Administration projected that because of the moratorium the production would fall by 240,000 barrels per day.  But before the moratorium, they were projecting that we were already going to be behind by 130,000 barrels.  So the difference is really 110,000 barrels per day.  This still seems like a lot, however, the United States consumes nearly 19.30 million barrels per day of oil.  What we're talking about losing is "six-tenths of one percent" of the amount of oil consumed.  The former Mobil Executive said that it "might affect gas prices by one or two cents per gallon."  What he blames for the rising gas prices are a series of global events, such as a series of refinery accidents, a labor strike that led to the closing of refineries in France, "operating problems" in Venezuela, Mexico, and other South American countries and unrest in the Middle East.  All of this led to the price being over $100 per barrel.

But what if we're importing more and more oil each year?  Well, that is not the case.  We actually imported more "liquid fuels"  measured as a share of our use of these "liquid fuels" in 2005 and 2006.  The imports were at a 60% share.  They declined to 52% in 2009.  It is expected to decline to 42% by 2035.  Using the 2010 data, FactCheck used the monthly import figures compared to the 2008 figures, to compare how much we were importing per month as compared to 2008.  In 2010, we imported 2.3 million barrels per day from 13 countries in the Middle East.  In 2008, we imported 3 million barrels per day from the same countries.  In 2010, we imported 1.6 million barrels per day from 11 countries in Africa compared to the 1.7 million barrels per day from the same countries.  Overall, the U.S. imported 11.75 million barrels per day in 2010 as compared to the 12.91 million barrels per day in 2008.  An interesting side note: the United States imports more oil from Canada than any other country. 

But Newt Gingrich has said that President Barack Obama has an EPA plan that will raise gasoline prices 25 cents per gallon.  Yes, he has said that.

He's wrong.  It brings me no joy in saying it.  That's a lie.  I just wish he was more honest about what he was talking about because I think he is a genuinely smart person.  Well, to sum up FactCheck's wonderful research, the study is not based on an EPA proposal but rather a proposal from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.  This proposal was to create a National Clean Gasoline.  This proposal is actually tougher than what the EPA is considering for both sulfur and Reid vapor pressure. 

Here's the proposal and the proposed costs:
  • Reducing sulfur level from the current average level of 30 ppm to 10 ppm. Added cost: 1.4 cents per gallon.

  • Reducing average sulfur level to 10 ppm and reducing RVP year-round from 10 to 9 psi. Added cost: 2.5 cents per gallon when the extra costs are allocated to the entire gasoline pool and 5.3 cents per gallon when applied only to summer gasoline.

  • Reducing average sulfur level to 10 ppm and reducing RVP year-round from 10 to 8 psi. Added cost: 3.9 cents per gallon when the extra costs are allocated to the entire gasoline pool and 10.2 cents per gallon when applied only to summer gasoline.

  • If we're looking at summer gasoline it would be 16.9 cents per gallon or 17 cents rounding up.  For regular gasoline, it would be 7.8 cents per gallon or 8 cents rounding up.  But the EPA is not interested in RVP.  If the EPA is only interested in reducing sulfur levels, we're looking at a much lower cost.  One group has estimated that it would be less than one cent per gallon. 

    Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has said that the president can affect gasoline prices, so much so, that he thinks he can lower the prices to $2.50 per gallon.  He has not specified how we was going to do so.  He has said that by opening up more lands to be drilled and allow for less regulation that the prices would automatically be lowered.  This is not the case.  We have numerous experts stating that the gasoline prices are affected by the world markets.  We have them saying that the price of the policies President Obama has placed on gasoline has maybe made gasoline prices raise one or two cents per gallon.  If these policies are overturned we would be looking at $3.98 per gallon (assuming an average of $4.00, which admittedly I'm pulling out of my ass) instead of the $4.00 per gallon.  This is a farcry from the $2.50 Gingrich has pledged. 

    I should note that there is a possibility that the president could control gas prices to such an extent that would lead to a national average of $2.50 per gallon.  In doing so, you would have to throw out any ideas you have about the government could have about not interfering in the free market.  It is possible that the government could subsidize gas prices from oil companies to such an extent that you would have price fixing from the highest level.  This would create an artificially lower price for the gallon of gasoline at the pump.  In order to pull this off, some oil and gas companies would have to be either a) re-imbursed by the government for their loss of profits or b) get out of the oil and gas industry because they're not making the money. If a were to occur, this would be an outrage at the highest level from Republicans who argue that the government should not be "bailing out" companies or even that the government should be interfering in the free market.  If b were to occur, there would still be the sense of outrage about the government interfering in the free market.  There would also be companies getting out of the oil and energy industry.  In doing so, the companies that still are able to hang in there would have one of three scenarios.  In the first scenario, there would be a monopoly in the oil industry similar to that of which Standard Oil had.  It might not grow to an extent of that size because of the price fixing but that would be something that they eventually would want to figure out with the government.  The price fixing would not last in this scenario because the monopolized company would notice that they can make more money otherwise  The second scenario is that the United States would nationalize the oil production.  This simply would not happen in America without people being lynched for being socialists.  The final scenario is that the companies would no longer want to commit as much time, energy, resources, etc. to producing more oil.  By doing this, they are assuring the lowest possible losses.  Without the time, energy, resources, etc. being used in the way it currently is we would have a lower supply of oil than we currently have.  If we have a lower supply but the same demand we have now, the price fixing will not be able to stick in without overturning the basic tenents of capitalism.  A basic rule of free market capitalism is that when there is a low supply but a high demand there is high prices.  I'm not an economist nor do I pretend to be one.  I do not see any way for Newt Gingrich to get the price of gas to $2.50 per gallon without price fixing.  Price fixing would lead to one of these scenarios, all of which are unattractive not only to Newt Gingrich but to what he is trying to accomplish with the American people.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    The Republican Debate Drinking Game: How to Die from Alcohol Poisoning

    Warning: This post has strong language and is about alcohol.

    Step 1:
    Buy a 1.75 liter of your favorite alcohol. You'll need it all. Do not buy shitty vodka. It's just bad and it'll ruin Russia's greatest invention. Apparently, there is some debate over who invented vodka.
    Buy appropriate mixers for said alcohol.
    Get shot glasses ready.
    Invite friends over. Only alcoholics drink alone.
    Get bottles of water. You'll need it.

    Step 2:
    Make yourself a mixed drink. Mentally prepare yourself for an intense night of drinking and yelling at the television over things that make absolutely no sense.

    Step 3:
    Turn off cell phone. You'll be hammered. Friends don't let friends drunk text or dial.

    Each candidate has certain rules that if they happen to do these things, then you and your friends have to chug hard alcohol Ron Donald (Party Down) style. I'll break down each candidate by what you have to do when each candidate does these things.

    Rick Santorum:
    If Santorum says Romney is not a true Christian because he is a Mormon, you are fucked. Chug it down Ron Donald style. I should've mentioned before that you should have a 1.75 per every three people.

    If Santorum makes a remark about gay marriage that you agree with, take a sip of water.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink whenever Santorum mentions he is a Catholic.

    Take a shot when Santorum tells the story about his poor child who has a birth defect or disease.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink whenever he does not answer the question asked by the moderator.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink whenever Rick Santorum questions someone's Christian values.

    Take a shot when Santorum states that we are losing our values.

    Ron Paul

    If Ron Paul dies chug your hard alcohol.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink whenever Ron Paul talks.  This asserts that your civil liberties are not being taken away.

    Mitt Romney

    If Mitt Romney sings a song from the Book of Mormon. You have to chug your hard alcohol.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink whenever Romney says a variant of the phrase "as Governor of Massachusetts."

    Take a drink of your mixed drink every time Romney is clearly defensive about something someone says.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink every time Romney smiles. Since he is a robot, this will not happen.

    Take a shot if he mentions his book. Reading is for chumps.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink when he talks about the immigration law that he signed.

    Take a shot when Romney questions the values of America and/or the other politicians.

    Take a sip of water whenever you think Romney is not listening. This is whenever he is not talking. Feel free to drink water.

    Newt Gingrich

    If Newt Gingrich calls Barack Obama a Muslim, chug your alcohol.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink whenever Gingrich puts his smug smile on is face.

    Take a shot when Gingrich questions the conservative values of the other.

    Take two drinks of your mixed drink if Gingrich mentions the moon colony.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink whenever Gingrich says something that is not true. Use PolitiFact to double check.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink when Gingrich talks about immigration issues.

    Take a drink of your mixed drink when Gingrich says a variation of the phrase "as speaker of the house".

    Take a sip of water when Gingrich thinks he's smarter than the rest of them. Feel free to drink water.

    Take two drinks of your mixed drink whenever Gingrich uses any variation of the phrase "as a historian".

    Empty Phrases part one

    Every campaign and every election have phrases that are ultimately empty.  They are the type of phrases that you would put in your conclusion of a paper when you didn't have anything else.  You would say something like "if we spend more money on education then we would not have problems with racism today."  Or "as our founding fathers knew, democracy was a good thing."  These phrases are ultimately meaningless; yet we still have politicians saying them all the time.  So, here's an incomplete list of the empty phrases I've heard in the Republican race (primarily) so far.  I'll also explain why I think they are meaningless. 

    "Creating jobs/job creation"
    Why it's meaningless (I'm going to say a variation of the phrase so much, it'll make you sick):  It doesn't explain how we are to create these new jobs.  It doesn't explain what policies you are going to undertake to create these jobs.  It doesn't show any proof that your policies are the ones that will create these jobs.  In the age of globalilzation, it might be hard to create certain jobs because it will be cheaper for the companies to continue to produce in other countries.  Ultimately, the companies are responsible for their own bottom lines.  Individual states currently offer competing tax incentives and various other packages to companies to create jobs in each individual's state.  This comes as a challenge for each state to offer the best package to these companies.  What is the best package for each company is up to the companies themselves.  Certain technologies make it so there is no need for certain jobs anymore.  There are jobs out there, that used to exist, but no longer do.  As we become more reliant on technology, it will be harder for us in the United States to maintain our service economy unless we are all educated enough to work on each of the various technologies we have.  I could ramble for awhile on this one. 

    "Secure the border"
    Why it's meaningless: Again, it fails to address how to do so.  I'll address the problems more coherently.

    A) It comes off as racist.  We are securing the border from illegal Mexican immigrants.  By marginalizing one set of immigrants we are running the risk of marginalizing a whole set of our minority.  We did this in the past.  For example, the Irish were poorly treated and were marginalized.  There are still people out there who do this.

    B) We're ignoring our past.  There's almost a 100% chance that you, yourself, are descendants of illegal immigrants.  I hate to break it to you.

    C) If we build a wall, who will build it?  Nearly 25% of the labor force in construction are Hispanics. 

    D) What soliders are supposed to secure the border?  We are already at war in Afghanistan, still have some troops in Iraq, some stationed all over the world, and we might be at war with Iran soon.  With our military already stretched, do we really want to stretch them even further by securing something we've never bothered with before?

    E) Why is it necessary to secure the border?  That's just as big of a question as the others.

    I could keep going but let's move on.

    "Making our country secure"
    Why it's meaningless: A) What does that mean?
    B) How do you plan on doing this?
    C) This implies currently that our country is not secure.  Do you have proof of this, currently?

    "Killing jobs"
    Why it's meaningless: A) See job creation. There are jobs that are no longer necessary.
    B) What jobs are being killed?  More than likely, these are jobs that are either low-paying or unnecessary
    C) How are the jobs being killed/is there a way for the intent of the proposed action to be executed without jobs being killed?
    D) This implies that jobs are more important than other things.  Is this actually the case? The burden of proof would fall on the person saying that.

    "Balancing the budget"
    Why it's meaningless: A) This implies that this is a worthwhile goal. 
    B) How do we plan on doing this? (see next empty phrase)
    C) Why should we balance the budget?  It's understandable that there is a certain limit to which America can fall into debt without being labeled as a "failed state."  But to imply that the rest of the world is going to watch America crumble underneath this debt is almost laughable.  In the globalization age, there is just no way that other countries will allow the biggest consumer to fail.

    "Lowering taxes/broadening the tax base"
    Why it's meaningless: A) It's not meaningless in and of itself.  The problem is that it is used in conjunction with the empty phrase listed above this one.  You cannot assume that you are able to cut enough of the budget that you would be able to universally cut taxes across the board and still have the money to balance the budget.  I'm sorry, but it's just not possible.
    B) It implies that those who deserve tax breaks are going to get them and those who do not deserve the tax breaks will not get them.  Unfortunately a) who decides who is deserving of tax breaks and b) those undeserving of tax breaks still get them.
    C) There are tax loopholes that people can get around in the current tax system in which taxes are even lower for them.
    I get angry when I talk about that one so I have to push forward.

    "Cutting entitlements/cutting off the safety net"
    Why it's meaningless: A) It implies that people are taking advantage of the system.  Which, I know some people are taking advantage of it.  But is it enough?  Are there enough people who legitimately need the safety net that we need to have it in place?  Yes, I believe we do.
    B) If the economy is, as bad, as each of these people claim does it not make sense for the safety net to be necessary?
    C) This phrase is usually talked about with job creation.

    The final empty phrase for today: "energy independence/cutting dependency on foreign energy"
    Why it's meaningless: A) I should clarify. It's not meaningless in and of itself.  The way it's used, however, is meaningless. (I was going to make an inappropriate comment about the HPV vaccine and mental retardation). The phrase has come about, mainly, because of the Keystone Pipeline.  The claim by many is that the Keystone Pipeline will help us become less energy dependent on foreign energy.  Remember where the Keystone Pipeline is coming from.
    B) The energy independence that people are clamoring for is really just dependence on oil that we, ourselves, are drilling.  This, technically, I suppose is energy independence.  It's not sustainable, but it lessens our need for foreign energy. Technically, they are right.  In practice, they are wrong.  How much oil can we really get from the the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?  How much can we get from technically federal lands in deep sea territories?  Is it going to be enough to make a difference?  The answer is no.  How much natural gas can we get from our reserves?  We can get some, but ultimately, this is a futile exercise.  There is only so much energy we can extract from non-renewable energy resources before it's gone.
    C) The amount of energy, time, resources, etc. that we plug into trying to figure out how to do things that save us 500,000 barrels of oil (estimate) from non-OPEC producers we could, instead, be focused on putting that money in developing wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources. 

    Stay tuned for part two (in case you were wondering I'm breaking up all posts to separate parts for my own sanity).

    Wednesday's Wisdom

    "The Supreme Court on Tuesday signaled that it might end affirmative action in public colleges and universities, Adam Liptak reports. All sides agree that such a decision would reduce the number of African-American and Latino students at nearly every selective college and graduate school in the country, with more Asian-American and white students gaining entrance instead."

    Currently, about 37% of black males who graduate high school go to college and 42% of black females who graduate high school go to college.  Only 35% of black males who go to college graduate in six years.  Source

    "Women in Arizona supporting Mitt Romney over Mr. Santorum by nearly 2 to 1."

    I wonder why.  It's not as if Santorum has warned against the use of contraceptives and asked for states to ban the use of them.  He may have even said controversial things about women serving in combat roles.

    Rick Santorum warned against Satan attacking America in 2008.  But has decided now to talk about job creating.

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Mandatory Minimum Sentences

    Do not despair about mandatory minimum sentences.  President Obama is reviewing them.

    Yummy Drugs

    Taken from Sam Harris' The End of Faith.

    The facts might be a little outdated after the election of President Barack Obama and the consequential review of mandatory minimum sentences, as well as, some reveiw of how states are allocating money after the recession.

    Each year, over 1.5 million men and women are arrested in the United States because of drug laws.

    Approximately 400,000 men and women are in the U.S. prisons for nonviolent drug offenses.

    One million others are on probation.

    More people are imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses in the United States than all of Western Europe.

    The cost of these efforts at the federal level is $20 billion annually.

    Total cost, if you look at expense to state and local governments and tax revenue lost by failure to regulate drug trade, might be in excess of $100 billion each year.

    About 50% of the trial time of courts are used for drug crimes.

    The trade in illegal drugs is 8% of all international commerce.

    Intensely Talking About Energy part 1

    Newt Gingrich. Oh Newt! Did you really say, "let's be clear what this election is about.  We believe in the right to bear arms and we like to bear the arms in our trucks"? Have you really promised the "American energy policy"?

    Yes, we as Americans, want to "talk more intensely about energy more intensely."  You know what we don't want to do? We don't want to talk about how we're going to use oil and gas in a new way.  At least, I don't.  I have no interest in hearing about increased drilling on federal lands or overseas.  You know why?  All fossil fuels are not renewable energy resources.  At a certain point, we will run out.  Gingrich said that these shale oil reserves are destroying the left's argument that we have limited resources and that we need to ration.  His argument does not make sense.  While it's true that we have these reserves, we only have so much.  We cannot simply make it so that we have more fossil fuels.  It's just not possible.  If it was, we would not be dependent on OPEC and we wouldn't have this debate about the Keystone Pipeline that we are having right now.  The fact is (and remains) oil and gas are fossil fuels.  They require certain conditions to happen so that it is created.  Once the supplies run out, they're gone.  They won't come back for a long time.

    Let's talk about energy more intensely.  Ideally, what we would do is to wean ourselves off of wasting the amount of oil that we use.  This is so we can phase into our next energy source that we use.  If we're not 100% sure that we can run machines on our next energy source, it would be nice to still have the energy source that we are currently using. 

    I'm trying very hard not to strawman Gingrich's argument.  If we want to decrease the price of the pump, we should lower the amount of demand for oil.  Or did we forget the basic tenet of capitalism? 

    "Many experts in the economics of oil dispute that more domestic drilling would significantly lower prices at the pump, because the United States produces only a small fraction of world oil, around 10 percent, and prices are determined by global supply and demand."

    "A study in 2009 by the government’s Energy Information Administration found that with unlimited offshore drilling, the country would produce 500,000 more barrels a day, but on the world market, that would translate to prices of only 3 cents a gallon less for American drivers."

    Those two quotes are from the New York Times article that I linked earlier.

    Let's talk intensely about energy policy, please.  But misleading people to believe that drilling on federal land or increasing offshore drilling is going to curb the price of oil is just nonsense.  Let's phase into our next energy source.  I just hope that this time it's a renewable energy source, such as wind or solar.   

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Abortions and You Part 2

    I guess I should have made something clear on the onset of talking about abortions.  Strong advocates of the pro-life movement have allied themselves with fiscal conservatives.  Their argument is that they have done this to actually get the right people elected in government.  The unfortunate consequence of this is that it has brought up other social conservative ideas into the political arena, as well.  Some of these ideas include the gay marriage debate, abortion, etc.  The other consequence of this is that we are not treating abortions like we are treating anything else in the world.  Imagine if we treated heart disease or cancer the same way that we treat abortions.  Instead of having the proper education for people about trying to prevent heart disease or cancer we decided it was wrong at the end to treat the cancer or heart disease in a particular method.  That's what we're doing with abortions in this country.  Note: I am not saying pregnancy is a disease.  The problem is that the fiscal conservatives who are allied with pro-life people have decided that they are not going to spend excess money on trying to prevent pregnancies because that money can be better used elsewhere.

    Is this alliance really necessary?  With the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing abortions.  It is not possible, I do not think, for Congress to be able to overturn the Supreme Court ruling and make abortions illegal.  So, what are those people who are being elected on the pro-life ticket actually doing when it comes up to abortion issues?  How many abortion issued arise each year?  I'll go back to 1998 to the present and see what issues are being voted on that are considered to be abortion issues.

    Abortions and You Part 1

    At some point, someone will ask me if I am pro-choice or pro-life.  I will respond that I am pro-choice.  This does not equate with being pro-death or with being pro-abortions.  In a perfect world, we would not have any need for abortions.  We do not live in a perfect world.  We live in a world where unintended pregnancies happen.  Unintended pregnancies account for nearly half of all pregnancies.  About 40% of unintended pregnancies end in an abortion.

    Our goal whether you are pro-choice or pro-life is to reduce the number of abortions to closer to zero.  There are still situations, such as if the mother's life in danger because of the pregnancy that I don't think we can prevent.  But the question is, how do we stop unintended pregnancies?

    There are a few ways that we could try to cut down on the number of unintended pregnancies.  The first of which is to underperforming and have federal funding of Planned Parenthood.  Congress has prohibited the use of federal funds to Planned Parenthood, just recently.  But wait, Josiah, Planned Parenthood is really just an organization that kills babies. Why do you want to increase funding and have federal funding of Planned Parenthood?  Regardless of what you think of Planned Parenthood, they do provide a service to people.  They do provide contraceptives for people.  In doing so, they are attempting to cut down on the number of unintended pregnancies.  Their services sometimes allows for the only contraceptives that somebody can get in certain situations.  By increasing funding to Planned Parenthood, we would also allow them to focus on educating people about contraceptives.  It's not enough to merely hand out birth control.  You do need to know how to do it the right way.  By misusing birth control, you are at risk of having an unintended pregnancies.

    That brings me to my second way of reducing unintended pregnancies.  The second way is to provide sex education to teenagers and anyone who is really interested.  It would be uncharitable of me to say that teaching abstinence in school increases the number of abortions or the number of unintended pregnancies.  The number of pregnancies have decreased, including when George W. Bush was in office.  This is not something that I would be willing to bet on as a causation.  I think in all likelihood, it is something interesting.  But I digress.  Increased funding of Planned Parenthood and other sex education/family planning services would bring about an increase in their ability to educate people about sex and birth control.

    This is mainly an opinion piece and I'm sorry.  I will provide more facts as I post more about abortions and other issues.  I'll leave you with this example.  Before I turned 21, my parents tried to talk to me about not driving drunk.  Their point was that I should not be forced to make a decision of this magnitude when I was drinking.  I should make this decision before something like this happened.  I should do anything in my power to avoid putting me in a situation where I was forced to make a decision that could change my life.  I feel the same way about abortions.  We should be able to make it so that people should not be forced to have to make a decision that will alter their life.  Creating opportunities to prevent pregnancies before they happen will prevent abortions because it will prevent unintended pregnancies.  I firmly believe this.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Fun Facts About Abortions Part 1

    I hope that embedding works.

    Here are some fun facts about abortions.  This is taken from the Guttmacher Institute.  Here is their link

    I'll run through some of their facts, real quick.

    Each year two percent of women aged 15-44 have an abortion.

    1 in 10 women will have an abortion by the time they are 20.
    1 in 4 women will have an abortion by the time they are 30.
    3 in 10 women will have an abortion by the time they are 45.

    Eighteen percent of U.S. women obtaining abortions are teenagers; those aged 15–17 obtain 6% of all abortions, teens aged 18–19 obtain 11%, and teens younger than age 15 obtain 0.4%

    Women who have never married and are not cohabiting account for 45% of all abortions

    About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have one or more children.

    Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use

    Forty-six percent of women who have abortions had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. Of these women, 33% had perceived themselves to be at low risk for pregnancy, 32% had had concerns about contraceptive methods, 26% had had unexpected sex and 1% had been forced to have sex

    Eight percent of women who have abortions have never used a method of birth control; nonuse is greatest among those who are young, poor, black, Hispanic or less educated

    About half of unintended pregnancies occur among the 11% of women who are at risk for unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives. Most of these women have practiced contraception in the past.

    There are more facts about abortions on the link above.  Please click on it to learn more.

    I'll post my opinions on these facts at a later time. 

    My Classes Would Be a lot Larger...

    This is another oldie but a goodie from Senator Rick Santorum.  If you don't think I'm excited for Rick Santorum potentially winning the Republican Candidacy, you're wrong. 

    Rick Santorum stated that one in three pregnancies in America ended in abortion.  If you wanted to read an article that goes away from my cynicism and sarcasm, I would recommend going to that link and just looking at the figures.  It's more educational that way.

    Well, to quote Dr. Cox from Scrubs, you're wrong.

    In 2003, PolitiFact found that just under one in four pregnancies ended in abortion.  Further, this assumes that those having an abortion would not have children in the future.  Which is also incorrect.  53% of those who had abortions stated that they planned on having children in the future. 

    But you may ask, that was from 2003 what about a closer date to now?  Isn't it true that abortions are generally increasing with time as we go away from traditional family values?  The Guttmacher Institute has shown that the rate of abortions have gone down over time.  There was a peak in 1981 with 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 to 19.6 in 2008.


    Happy 21st Birthday to Me! A Year Late

    It turns out a year ago on my birthday, this happened.  I just found this out. 

    I was hoping that a person running for president running in 2012 would defend something that happened nearly a thousand years ago.  Or you know 500-700 years before the United States became a country.

    Apparently, the Crusades did not show any aggression on the part of Christians.  I am not a historian.  I will not pretend to be one.  With that caveat, I'm pretty sure that's wrong.  There was aggression on both sides, both Christian and Muslim (or I guess the proper term would be Islamic). 

    I'm just glad Rick Santorum is around to point out the fact that the Crusades were not a part of Chrisitan aggression 800-1000 years ago.  I can only hope that he clears up other things such as the Spanish Inquistion, the Salem Witch Trials, etc.

    It was a great birthday present Senator Santorum.  I am sorry that I received it about a year late.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    The initial post

    I was running an informative political blog for the last couple of months called The Informed Voter.  I would still like to continue that blog, as I think it is very important to me that voters are actually informed.  While running that blog, I determined that perhaps the best way to get the issues heard would be to actually run for political office.  As I am only 21 years old, I cannot officially run for any type of national office for a few years.  The first time that I am eligible to run for national office would be in 2016.  At that point, I am eligible to run for a seat in the House of Representatives.  Which is what I plan to do.  Ultimately, my goal is for there to be full participation in democracy.  However, I am not affiliated with any political party.  This is a conscious choice that I have made.  I do not necessarily believe that either political party has it exactly right.  I am also aware that some people are afraid of biases on both ends of the political spectrum.  I know people that would not trust anything that is run by a Republican and I also know some that would not trust anything run by a Democrat.

    I am a registered Independent.  I believe that full participation in democracy is something above partisan goals.  I also believe that factual political information is also above partisan politics.  A fully informed public should be the goal of any republic.  I am hoping that my candidacy will bring up new issues that are not necessarily brought up, otherwise.  I also hope that my candidacy will lead to answers to issues that were not necessarily seen by candidates on both sides of the political spectrum.  If you think that some of my answers are particularly biased one way or another, let me know.  Let's see what you disagree with.  Without political discussion, we may not be able to seek out the answers that we need to find.  Over the course of the next four years, I will be posting on here to get my issues known.

    It will take the course of the next four years to get my candidacy up and running.  If I am still in Nebraska, I need to be able to show that I can garner at least 1% of the vote.  This would require me to get thousands of votes.  I would also need to pay my filing fee which is equal to 1% of the salary that is paid to a Congressman.  The filing fee may be a bit of a problem, depending on what exactly I want to do with my life.  That's why over the next four years, I will need to be doing some fundraisers to raise the money for my filing fee, as well as any advertisements I may want to run.  Ideally, I would be just doing debates and town hall style meetings, as well as regularly updating this blog to by my issues across.

    I will be posting a biography section later about my life.  I don't think it is particularly relevant to politics but I know that if I don't, people will call me out and say that I am afraid to tell secrets or stories about my life.  I also believe that there should be a certain level of openness.  Part of this, would actually have to deal with my personal life.

    So, I hope you start to like me over the course of the next four years so that I could garner 1% of the vote but ideally you will become a more informed voter and actually vote in the 2016 election.