Curious about how the math works out on Gingrich’s incredibly ambitious proposed tax cuts? Check out my post on the Devil Dems blog.
December 8th, 2011 — Uncategorized
November 22nd, 2011 — Uncategorized
Here are some highlights from yesterday’s report on the Devil Dems blog about the status of women in politics:
- The ‘political scene’ on Duke’s campus has become increasingly female-dominated. The President of Duke College Republicans, the President of Duke Libertarians, one of the two Duke Democrats Co-Presidents, and both of the Duke Political Union Co-Chairs are women.
- Of the 51 appointments made by the North Carolina General Assembly between July of 2008 and June of 2009, only 7 were women.
- The 2012 Presidential campaign have been ridden with sexual or gender-based attacks on female politicians. Herman Cain called Nancy Pelosi “Princess Nancy” in his comments about health-care reform, something that even Former George W. Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino objected to saying: “Ay yi yi, former Speaker Pelosi called a princess in the debate? Not fair. We may disagree on policy, but she earned the Speaker title.”
June 22nd, 2011 — Uncategorized
“Well then, we’re just going to have to innovate like crazy.”
June 16th, 2011 — Uncategorized
Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt proposed in 2005 that there might be four rational reasons why Americans vote:
1) They are behaving “rationally” under incomplete or false information that their vote might “matter” in the sense of influencing the electoral outcome.
2) They vote because it would be fun, even if very low probability, if their vote did “matter” in the sense of influencing the electoral outcome (this is compared to entering a lottery). This assumes that there is a binary … [Read More]
According to Article 26 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, “Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.” North Carolina would be saying: if you’re undocumented, education is not only not compulsory, it is discouraged.
When most North Carolinians continue to patronize business that make use of illegal labor, it shouldn’t surprise us that desperately poor families from other countries decide to come to America. The children of these workers belong in schools–not in the fields, not in restaurants, and not in the streets.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me about this issue.
Co-President of Duke Democrats
May 26th, 2011 — Uncategorized
1. The average life expectancy of a United States farmworker is just 49 years old — 10 years less than the average life expectancy in Haiti or in Ghana!
2. Organic food isn’t necessarily better for farmworkers — while it is grown with fewer pesticides, the tendency towards seasonal labor in organic farming makes it harder for farm workers to organize, and means …. [Read more]
April 12th, 2011 — Uncategorized
Check out my post on the Duke Democrats blog about the most recent round of budget negotiations:
I’ll even quote Douglas Fieth here, because I sympathize with his point–and he is by no means one of my personal heroes: “The kind of people who put bumper stickers on their car that declare that ‘War is not the answer,’ are they making a serious comment? What’s the answer to Pearl Harbor? What’s the answer to the Holocaust?”
Operating under the assumption that war is the answer to some questions — is it the answer to all of the questions we’ve been asking?
There seems to be an itch to use our military, even when it comes at an enormous cost relative to other possible conflict-resolution options, and when no clear, compelling reason to believe that, costs aside, using the military would lead to the best outcome in the situation.
The last 5 decades are riddled …. [Read More]
Read More about the Issue at the Duke Dems blog: http://dukedems.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/nc-republicans-dont-return-stimulus-funds-especially-for-mass-transit/
Rep. Ric Killian,
My name is Elena Botella–I’m from Charlotte, North Carolina where I attended Myers Park, and I’m now an undergraduate at Duke University. I wanted to express my opposition to your proposal, and ask you a few questions. If you don’t mind, I might quote your responses on the Duke Democrats blog–this is an issue of interest to many Duke students.
On your platform, you said, “Traffic congestion is a significant problem in the Charlotte region. Congestion is a disincentive to economic development and decreases the quality of life of all citizens. Efforts to relieve congestion through mass transit have are questionable at best. Moreover, taxpayer dollars must be used most efficiently and therefore I continually and forcefully advocate for the completion of I -485 in North Mecklenburg and the expansion of I-485 in South Mecklenburg.” Why should roads come above mass transit as a solution to congestion in the Charlotte area?
You also emphasize that “our duty is to protect our citizens.” Isn’t a part of safety making sure the train systems are safe–why would you turn away money to improve the safety of the rail system?
In committee you said: ““Folks, what we need are private sector jobs. We do not need publicly financed jobs. Taking federal dollars for temporary jobs in our state, it’s not going to solve our economic
problems.” Why then do you advocate for the expansion of roadways in Charlotte using public funds?
I would agree with you that temporary jobs aren’t the whole economic picture, but the economic benefits of a well-maintained and efficient rail system go far beyond that.
Anybody who has driven on a highway in the last 50 years should have no problem with the idea that the government subsidizes transportation. If you commute to work, if you use goods and services
that come from more than a few miles away, you know that investment in transportation networks underlies economic prosperity. For too long though, the types of transport that the government has subsidized (by building, expanding and maintaining roadways, by holding onto a massive Strategic Petroleum Reserve, by offering tax breaks to oil companies and providing military protection to oil-rich areas of the world) haven’t been the right types of transportation to invest in.
Europe’s choice to subsidize mass-transport has built strong, condensed communities where, in many places, having a car isn’t requisite for day-to-day life. Reducing our reliance on petroleum is good for the environment, good for our national security, and moving away from the the car encourages public health and reduces the problems associated with congestion and urban sprawl.
Investments in infrastructure create jobs, and this is just the type of infrastructure we should be investing in to make North Carolina safer, greener and more efficient.
This money is good for North Carolina. As a Charlottean, I watched first hand my hometown transform when Republican Mayor Pat McCrory created the city’s celebrated light-rail system.
This isn’t just about the jobs that will be created as the improvements are actually built, but about making North Carolina a more desirable place to do business and to live, which is extraordinarily important to the economic future of the state.
Can I also ask, which, if any, business leaders you’ve consulted with that asked you to return the stimulus money?
My best regards,
April 4th, 2011 — Uncategorized
Recently, I’ve become frustrated that in any public forum (whether that’s in class, online, at meetings), it seems always presupposed that any statement must be making an argument, rather than putting forth an idea or asking a question.
Isn’t there value to brainstorming? We need to preserve spaces that are open to people working out their ideas and hearing comments, leaving space for creativity, rather than expecting finished, static, certain intellectual products.
I want conversations that will iteratively transform some initial seed.
If you’re a college student in North Carolina, this legislation impacts you. Check out my post on the Devil Dems blog:
What this means if you’re a Duke student: hold on to your voter ID card. Given how buzzing the Duke Card Office is most days, this might be a challenge for the average college student. The BOE across the state will have to be very conscientious about explaining to people that they must maintain their voter ID card. I’ll give the Republican party due credit for attempting a compromise.
I’m still not convinced that a solution is necessary, because …. Read More