Capitalism Vs. The Environment – Nov. 1st

Capitalism Vs. The Environment?

Once upon a time Conservatives wanted to conserve things. Teddy Roosevelt would not be conservative by today’s standards, but he said “I intend to be most conservative, but in the interests of the corporations themselves, and above all in the interests of the country.” Although he favored big business he opposed unfair competition and busted up the big trusts. He said that labor should trump capitol and believed in fairness. Above all he believed in a square deal for workers.

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Wealth Redistribution/Social Programs Oct. 18th

Some people think that taxation is just a way to steal people’s hard earned money, and is some sort of communist type wealth redistribution.

On the other hand, you need some revenue just to run the government. The sixteenth amendment to the Constitution says: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever sources derived, without apportionment among several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Continue reading

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The Utility Death Spiral and moving off the grid. Oct. 8th

The Utility Death Spiral and moving off the grid. Oct. 8th

If energy prices get too high people can install their own photovoltaic power panels and hook them up to a battery system so they can drop off the energy grid. When too many people do that it hurts the energy utility because they still have to maintain a lot of infrastructure. To do that they have to increase the rates they charge the remaining clients. That increases the incentives for more people to produce their own power and drop off the grid.  That means higher prices which means more people will drop out. Thus spiraling down to collapse or insolvency. The decreasing prices of solar power is making it easier to do this.

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Election Reform – June 21st – Antonia Lewis

Americas system of electing representatives is the costliest and in many ways one of the least efficient electoral systems in the world. Electoral reform should be one of Congresses highest priorities.

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Racism by Antonia Lewis Feb 26th

Some questions to consider:

  • What is “race” anyway? Different people mean different things.
  • Compare racism with tribalism.
  • What everyday things can we do to combat racism around us?
  • We can honestly examine our own feelings in an attempt to see life from other people’s perspective, both the “racist” and the victim. Can we attempt an empathetic attitude?
  • What about reverse racism? Does that exist? How does it manifest itself? And why?

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Charter Schools Feb. 15 by Becky Callison and Gayland Hokanson.

To begin – there are good and bad charter schools – the same goes for public schools. Key factors that drive both are good teachers, manageable class sizes, oversight  from local school boards and parents.
There are many dimensions to this topic. Horror stories coming out of public schools involving unruly students terrorizing teachers and class rooms have recently been in the news. Most parents will not tolerate situations like this. Options available are to work with school boards and administration to first identify the problems and then take action. If satisfactory results aren’t forthcoming then parents with financial means can elect to chose the private school option. But charter schools may be another option. Continue reading
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The lack of empathy Jan. 8th Antonia Lewis

“Consider what happens inside us when we view the suffering of others. When we experience physical pain or emotional distress ourselves, a neural circuit becomes activated (anterior cingulate cortex—or ACC–and insula). Neuroscientific research shows this same circuit gets activated when we see others suffer pain or emotional distress. So seeing the suffering of others causes us to suffer as well.” Continue reading

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