The 52nd State
America / Politics

The 52nd State

Now that Puerto Rico might break our 53-year streak of a 50-state Union, who should bear the torch as the proverbial 52nd state? I suggest the Mariana Islands. Most of you are asking, “But James, where is that?” This is an island chain in the Pacific currently made up of two political entities you may … Continue reading

The National Debt: Factors Contributing to Growth and Decline
Debt / Economy / Fiscal policy / U.S. Domestic Policy

The National Debt: Factors Contributing to Growth and Decline

Our elections may be over, but our growing national debt remains. It is also approaching unprecedented levels—last year, it exceeded 100% of GDP for only the fourth time in history. The other three times were during World War II, when we were fighting a war on all seven continents. Yet the economy is recovering from … Continue reading

Why Should America Explore Space?
America / Economy / Events / U.S. Domestic Policy

Why Should America Explore Space?

Few people lack an opinion on “what” the NASA should be doing. But even fewer have tried to answer the overarching question of “why” we would want to invest considerable resources in exploring our extraterrestrial neighborhood. Yet a comprehensive answer may be the key to reviving the struggling space program. This week, the George C. … Continue reading

When Politicians Talk About History
America / Politics / Presidential Race 2012

When Politicians Talk About History

Historians rightfully get a bit leery when they hear politicians talk about history. All too often, history becomes a convenient rhetorical device for promoting a political agenda. Both parties maintain an arsenal of historical narratives which they enjoy reciting to the public. Here are some common fallacies… Notion of Progress: “We are enlightened and our … Continue reading

One Giant Leap for Aerospace
America / Economy / Other / U.S. Domestic Policy

One Giant Leap for Aerospace

Last Sunday, the private aerospace company SpaceX launched the first commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). This launch, carried out by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, is part of a $1.6 billion contract signed with NASA in 2006 to carry out at least 12 such missions. The unmanned launch carried needed supplies … Continue reading