Archive for April, 2014

April 30, 2014

We Need Campaign Finance Reform

imagesThe U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (FEC), has given wealthy donors the carte blanche right to buy an election by effectively eliminating meaningful limits on campaign contributions. The ruling builds on the Citizens United ruling, which opened the door to unlimited fundraising and spending by super PAC’s and dark money nonprofits. Following the rise of television and social media after World War II, the cost of running a political campaign increased dramatically.

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April 28, 2014

Time for an Upgrade?

Microsoft-Windows-XP-logo-blissTechnology is advancing like the speed of light, and every day, month, and year, something new is being released making current technology outdated. The possibility of the advancement and what we can do with technology is so great, that it makes running businesses and even our personal lives easier.

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April 26, 2014

Democracy at Russia’s Front Door

imagesOn March 18 of 2014 Vladimir Putin, the longstanding autocrat of Russia, stood behind the pulpit and addressed a mass of Russian parliamentarians and aristocracy. “Therefore,” he spoke, “an overwhelming majority of people of Crimea, and an absolute majority of Russian citizens support the reunification of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with the Russian Federation.” 

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April 26, 2014

Common Core State Standard – A Rushed Out Idea to Standardize Education?

Girl drawing back to schoolEverything always looks good on paper when you draft out your ideas. However, often times when you take the idea from paper and turn it into a product, it doesn’t always turn out how you’ve envisioned it. The Common Core State Standard, who was developed by the nation’s governors and education commissioners through their representative organizations, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), is an example of such an envisioned idea.

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April 26, 2014

3D Printing: An Opportunity Worth Taking

Three dimensional printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is the process of using filament to form a solid 3D object from a digital model. Since the introduction of this new technology, 3D printing has become a major influence in today’s market being distributed and manufactured for uses and application from engineering to our military.

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April 26, 2014

Equal Pay for Equal Work

women gradThe Paycheck Fairness Act has been presented before the House of Representatives and Congress three times from 2009 -2014, each failing to get the required number of votes to get a filibuster in the US Senate. With the bills reintroduction in 2014, there was no support from Republicans who stated that the bills recent reappearance was nothing more than a Democratic ploy to gain female voters in the upcoming election. While this issue may be viewed as a political tactic depending on whom you ask regarding it, it doesn’t change the fact that the issue of unequal wages between the male and female sex has yet to be resolved despite past legislation outlawing pay discrimination.

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April 26, 2014

Two Should Play A Game

file000704919536In his 2014 State of the Union Address, President Obama promised a new effort to promote gender equality in the work place. “It’s time to do away with the workplace that belong in a ‘Mad Men’ episode. This year, let’s all come together – Congress, the White House, and businesses from Wall Street to Main Street – to give every woman the opportunity she deserves. Because I firmly believe when women succeed, America succeeds.” The crowd erupted in cheers and applause.

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April 26, 2014

Witless Protection: Consequences of the Anti-Vaccination Movement

syringeThe influence that anti-vaccination advocacy groups have that may cause parents to refuse vaccinations for their children endangers millions of lives. The wave of paranoia inspired by such groups causes parental mistrust of actual expert scientific information, which leaves children vulnerable to terrible, albeit preventable diseases.  The mere idea of children contracting and possibly dying from a preventable disease because of fear mongering and misinformation should be infuriating enough, but because of these advocacy groups spreading these dangerous myths it has become a reality.

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April 26, 2014

Minimum Wage: Up it or Leave it

money-found-1428300-mIn recent times one of the biggest headliners is how President Obama had increased the minimum wage of federal contract workers to $10.10. This, however, isn’t where he wants to stop: he is out to increase the public minimum wage to the same amount, so that everyone making under $10.10 an hour will see an increase in their pay checks. This has sparked debates between many types of people, from politicians to the average person. The current minimum wage is $7.25, which is on the lower side, and people who work 40 hours a week for this amount are barely able to support themselves, much less their family. For example here in Hawai’i minimum wage workers currently earn $15,080 annually working 40 hours a week for 52 weeks. A person with one child earning $15,080 is $2,770 below the Hawaii poverty level in 2013.

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April 26, 2014

Solar Standoff: HECO Oligarchy

solar-panelsHere in the aloha state we are no stranger to monopolies. In the late 19th century the sugar industry began to dominate the Sandwich Islands, giving rise to the Big Five that controlled everything from public policy and taxation to voting and land acquisition. This ultimately led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy by the turn of the 20th century. The US military has dominated land control since before statehood, while the pineapple and sugar industries maintained water control by the millions of gallons. Matson shipping has continued to run a virtual monopoly in the islands since three Big Five executives became Matson directors, shipping nearly all of the agricultural goods to the mainland.

Tax breaks and exemptions historically seem to favor the more fortunate, but perhaps we are in for a change. Solar energy in Hawaii has seen an explosion in the last decade, with rooftop solar becoming a commonplace throughout the islands.

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