The Denver Post

Posted by Brennan Walter | Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 0 comments »

In the city of Denver, in downtown, literally on the pedestrian mall/ 16th street, is a curved glass building that used to be home to the first Starbucks I've ever been to in Denver, and the Rocky Mountain News. RIP Rocky, I really did like the cool tabloid covers you had. The Denver Post is the only one left now, besides a right wing-extremist paper that no one subscribes too. Oh well. Anyway, The title of this post is called, the "Denver" post because the post is dealing with Denver, not because I really like the Denver Post, but because this is, in fact, a Denver.... post...


In the city of Denver, a few blocks from the downtown 16th Street pedestrian mall, is a rather imposing building in the Greek revival style. Around this building are hundreds of people with cameras, and numerous police cars. Its a pretty cool place.

In the city of Denver, a few feet from the downtown 16th Street pedestrian mall, is a rather imposing building in the Romanesque style. Around this building are much smaller numbers of people with cameras, and a police car or two, a large amount of buses, and trains - mostly late trains.

These two buildings that exist downtown have an interesting similarity. Granted, they are both in the downtown, urban core (yay!), but the sheer purpose of these two buildings is much more, and the purpose of one of them mutually benefits the purpose of the other, and vice versa. In fact, the mutual benefit can save the entire economy.



What's Wrong?

The American economy is obviously struggling. As banks created more and more money out of thin air (after caps on how much this could occur were removed by the Bush Administration), making frivolous loans, the ability to repay the government for the money they ordered was lost. This is called a "bank FAIL" or, when your bank runs out of money, it can't make loans. And no bank WANTS to make a loan. Why would they? No one can pay anything back because they don't have a job because the company they worked for had to default on a loan because of bad banking practices giving loans to people who can't pay them back. Its a viscous circle, that continues to make itself worse. Thus, the late 2000's recession was born- the worst since 1929.

Reconstructing America

The two buildings that I mentioned earlier are, in short, the answer to our economic issues- Plain and simple. Conservatives argue that we can't possibly keep spending money to solve all of our problems, whilst democrats argue that we have to spend in order to save our businesses and our workers from certain failure- those same workers and businesses that require markets from Americans to stay buoyant. Thats where the first building, the federal mint, comes in. We must understand a few principals of our economy- that is, our money only has the value that our American citizens- and the citizens of the world put into it. The principal of a "balanced budget" in Washington is a bit of a misnomer, then, because as long as the dollar still has value, it will be used to purchase things. Now, I am all for fiscal discipline- don't get me wrong. We really do need to have an income for every dollar that is spent in Washington. But, for the most part, that isn't easy to do- Especially now that we're fighting a war and we have a huge economic crisis on our hands that requires government help to keep basic services and businesses providing millions jobs soluble. Yes, fiscal discipline is great and it prevents inflation as we saw during the Clinton Administration, but sometimes- especially in an economic hard time, we must spend more to get more.

Reconstructing America can, and arguably should be our foremost goal in approaching the solution to America's economic crisis. America's infrastructure is the key to making our industries and corperations tick. If our railroads, roads, bridges, airports, and public transportation systems were up to snuff, we'd all be moving more efficiently. We'd import less oil, soften the blow to our planet, decongest our roads, foster urban development and use suburban land for farming or sustainable development. But, that is an INCREDIBLE amount of infrastructure to build. Here's how all of it could be a single-fell swoop to save the economy, once and for all.

Aside: If WW2 got us out of the Great Depression, that means we'd produced millions of... stuff... and put millions of people to work making that stuff. This is similar.

Yes We Can

So, yes, millions of people, with jobs putting cash in their pockets, building the high speed rail system of tomorrow, building double-track mainlines to haul goods faster, more efficiently, all the equipment, locomotives, rolling stock, train stations, maintenance centers, the steel rails putting rust belt Americans back to work in the nation's steel mills- modernizing them because producing steel in the US, close to rapid demand for steel in large amounts is profitable- to Colorado, where gravel would be mined for road beds, to Maine, where Portland Cement would be poured to make the sleepers for the rails- to Detroit, where skilled auto workers again put locomotives together instead of cars, to Rhode Island, the nation's largest construction economy- building thousands of train stations throughout the nation.

All these people, industries, would have money in their pockets, would modernize and be able to compete in the global economy again like Germany after WW2- again, the USA would top the EU in GDP, and we'd do it efficiently. We'd save the economy, modernize our industries, making ourselves competitive again for businesses to move in, and maybe save the planet while we're at it. Sure, it'd cost billions, but the gratification for such a project would easily pay off in a decade after we're done. And surely in this time of war, if we can find all this money to kill people, we can find money to help people.

Why not print the new money on recycled paper, too?

Thawing Alaska

Posted by Brennan Walter | Saturday, April 25, 2009 | 1 comments »

My first attempt at a political reprieve is this: the plight of Global Warming.

First, this post is dedicated to my sister, Laura Walter, whose dedicated position on the detrimental effect that humans have had on climate in the last few decades.

The context of this post, is written entirely as a response to my cousin, Andrew Schecter, who in a recent post claimed that humans alone can't destroy the environment. The context of which, and the ensuing debate with my sister can be viewed here: Back to Basics

The problem with the entire debate, is failure on both sides of the argument to completely comprehend the entire issue at hand. However, the first step to solving a problem, as you know, is admitting you have one. This, the problem is that we haven't rectified that we are, in fact, at issue in the debate. In fact, numbers just make sense. Based on ice core samples being taken out of the antarctic ice sheets (which are falling apart into the Ocean), we can measure atmospheric Co2 levels all the way back to when Antarctica moved reciprocated into it's current position at the breakup of Pangaea. Now, the breakup of Pangaea was a long time ago, and it took some time for the magnetic poles to rotate to their current position, and for the continental drift to put Antarctica in that exact spot, but the point is, we have LOTS of data from the ice sheets of how Co2 levels compared to that of the modern day.

The graph on the right shows the average Co2 rates for the last few years. as you can see, the graph goes up, showing that the either the rate that we are dumping C02 into the air is rising, or the rate at which it is being absorbed is decreasing. Now, its probably attributed to both, but the rate, although misrepresented by the graph's scale, is great. The graph on the left, shows a larger range of dates, but we can see that during the same time period, and especially during the industrial revolution and the widespread use of the automobile vs. other forms of mass transportation (trains, trams, etc.) during the '60s and '70s correspond to a greater average world temperature. Now, although these two graphs were the easiest to find, others abound on the wide range of Al Gore's internet. Didn't he do a great job?
Andrew Schecter, the cousin of mine who incited this great debate, posed an interesting solution to the climate crisis in "Thawing Alaska-" hence, the name of this second post. The idea is, letting the world warm up to the point that global temperature, especially in the polar areas as it is already doing, melts the ice caps would create enough arable land to sustain a greater number of people on the earth. Cool. (no pun intended)

Methane gas is 10 times as potent as a greenhouse gas as that of Carbon Dioxide. Thus, the effect of putting one ppm of methane is equivalent of 10 ppm of Co2. If you accept the simple fact that rising C02 levels have a correlation with a higher average global temperature, a large amount of methane in the air would be a huge wake-up call.

Now lets think about this. If methane is a highly potent gas, shouldn't states with lots of methane be focused on more than states or causes of C02 pollution? Well, sadly no. The largest producer of methane in the entire world is not a factory, its the Ocean. The Ocean contains billions of tons of methane stored at the bottom of the ocean in the form of ice. Its frozen! However, large amounts of the potent gas are released into the atmosphere on a daily basis in areas where the Ocean is shallower and warmer, the most perfect example is that of the Bermuda Triangle. Oh yeah, Methane gas is also much lighter than water. Or, if water or air has incredibly high amounts of methane in it, you can't fly in it because there isn't enough atmospheric oxygen, and you certainly can't float in it because the pressure pushing back on your boat's hull isn't great enough to sustain buoyancy. Large releases of methane gas have been documented on film and are available on Youtube.

I've actually been a culprit of a mass methane release, when wading down a local creek, I stepped on some old leaves at the bottom of the creekbed, and gas started forcing itself to the surface in large amounts, and it became harder to walk in the water and get out.

Anyway, the Ocean releases a lot of methane into the air in the Bermuda triangle and I just found out that I'm really good about going off on a tangent.

The conclusions one can draw from this are astounding. Scientists speculate that the oceans need only rise, on average, 6 degrees for the deep-sea methane reserves to begin rushing to the surface. After that, they expect that the reaction from this would be so significant that the reaction wouldn't stop, and that so much of the sun's heat is trapped inside the atmosphere that the earth would turn into something exactly like the planet Venus. Until the methane dissipated out into space over millions of years, we'd just be a very, very hot ball of gas floating around the sun. Venus has water in its atmosphere, but no oceans... huh...

Even if these facts are extreme, imagine if the methane levels were not enough to drive us to Armageddon, but think of all the water that would come from melting Alaska. All the glaciers, and all the atmospheric ice. Everything.

An evil, liberal hippy hates San Francisco

Okay, so its Armageddon, but that is seriously what we're looking at if we go on not acknowledging we're part of the problem. Its not a lack of information- any of the facts I've just presented can be found at any worthwhile research institute. Kansas State's own environmental research station at the Konza Prairie has shown an average increase in temperature every year for the last several years- the facts are there, and so is a load of ignorance. My absolute favorite quote of all time ever and everywhere is this:

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
- Galileo Galilei

Use your minds, they were given to you by God to be used. God has endowed us with these facts and intelligence, not for us to refute him on His behalf, but so we can use them for His benefit. Don't you think God wants us to protect this thing he made for us? Think of the potential sins we've done in the simple ignorance of our own achievements!

The New Deal

Posted by Brennan Walter | Friday, April 24, 2009 | 0 comments »

Hey, This is Brennan Walter, and after years watching and listening to a number of various viewpoints, I've decided that I need, again, a little corner of the internets dedicated to me.


When this blog is launched tomorrow, April 25th, 2009- It will mark the beginning of something I hope that will continue for quite some time. Although I'm not going to dedicate myself to a rigorous schedule for posting, I think that this will be able to be updated as time allows, and as need arises.


The topical coverage of this blog will be largely political. I'm not going to lie. I have lots of things to rant about, but first setting everything up is the priority. I will probably cover mine, and other political opinions and point out weaknesses, hypocrisies, and just plain silly stuff. Religion will also play an important part of it, but for the most part, I'll consider this my place to have my own ideas published, recognized, and commented upon.

I look forward to coordinating with other blogs. My sister, of course, with her "Millards in the Mountains" and other family members and friends will all play huge rolls in deciphering the topic of the day. All in good fun, I hope :D


If anyone actually cares with whats going on in my life, A certain portion of this bog will be dedicated to my life, which is somewhat repetitive and boring... Oh well.


The name of the blog is "The New Deal." This was proposed by my dear cousin Jenny Fairchild. Not only is this the "New Deal" in respects to the new blog, the "New Deal" policies of FDR and the Scandinavians during the Great Depression play on much of what is happening this time in America. A bit of "New Deal" economics would be a great refresher for me, at least- and eternal credits to my cousin for the amazing name.


Thats about it for this first post... I'm almost worried about pressing the "Publish post" button... its almost ominous...