Tips For Being Safe At College

College safety rules to live by

Have fun at College

It sounds like something parents would say but staying safe at college can be as simple as remembering a few basic tips and adhering to a couple of strategies.  College can be a great experience and enlightening, but it can also be a little bit intimidating.  On the turn side, some people ride around college on their inexpensive bike or cheap skateboard, oblivious to the world.

Room safety

The first thing to remember is to lock the door to your room at all times.  When you were at home, you wouldn’t leave the doors open, so apply the same line of thought to your room, even if you are in halls of residence.

Once the door is locked, don’t open it for just anyone.  Again, at home, you wouldn’t invite a stranger into the house without a very good reason, so keep this in mind at college.  Someone may say they have a reason to be in your room, or even your halls, but that doesn’t make it true.

If you leave your room for any reason, even if its just to pop and see your neighbour, lock your door.  You don’t want someone wandering into your room and helping themselves to your stuff, or worse, be waiting for you when you come back.

Also, lock up your laptop, be it a physical lock or an electronic device.  These things cost a lot of money so are targets for opportunistic thieves.  Plus, if you lose all of your valuable work, you are going to heart broken.

Safety when out and about

If you are taking your car to college, remember a couple of basics.  Lock the car whenever you leave it, even if it sits right outside your window.  And if you park it out of sight, keep an irregular check on it if you don’t use it on a daily basis.  Pop around at random times to make sure nobody has been interfering with it.

Take special care with your stuff when you are in places such as the library or student bars.  Don’t leave valuables lying around when you aren’t with them and especially don’t leave your keys on show.

Keep emergency numbers on your phone for things like credit or bank cards.  Therefore if your purse or wallet gets stolen, you will have the information on who to ring to stop them immediately.  Add the number for Campus Safety on your phone as well, you never know when it might come in useful.

When you are going somewhere on a night, let people know.  Give a roommate or a friend the details of where you are going and what time you think you will be back so that if anything happens, someone has the background of where you have been.  If the campus has an escort service for nighttime trips, make use of it!  It’s a free ride, and it’s extra safe.

 

Bad things happen and no matter what you do, sometimes they may happen to you.  But if you take a few basic precautions when away at college, you can lessen the likelihood that they will happen to you or that you will be prepared for the worst if it does.

Obamacare: Good, Bad, & Ugly

Affordable Care Act and Obama

Courtesy of drcw

Unless you’re living in a cave, you’ve heard the term Obamacare thrown around more than a frisbee at the beach. If you already have insurance, it doesn’t affect you much, so you may not have thought much about it. We hear that it’s going to help people, but how exactly is that happening? So, not to pull you away from the chillow reviews you’ve been looking at in preparation for the hot summer nights that are soon to come, but let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Obamacare.

The Good

President Obama has said that the intent of the Affordable Care Act is that people of any income level can afford insurance. Well, how is that done? If you don’t already have employer provided insurance and you want to buy it, you can get the government to pay for some of the insurance premium if you fall within a certain income level. The law also states that you cannot be denied health insurance if you have a pre-existing condition. That used to be a loophole insurance companies would use for not selling their insurance to people who have a disease or ailment that will cost the insurance company a lot of money.

The Bad

While the above stated facts are good, the law does not come with its problems. So, people who fall into certain income levels get help paying for their premiums, but where does that money come from? It comes from the individual mandate. The government now states that you have to have health insurance whether you want it or not. So, folks who keep themselves healthy and don’t have the expense of health insurance now have to buy it. You can choose not to buy, but you have to pay the government a fee for choosing to do so. The law is predicated on young, healthy people who don’t usually have insurance and don’t usually go to the Dr’s to buy the insurance and rarely use it to balance things out.

The Ugly

The most controversial part of the law is the individual mandate. Millions of people didn’t have insurance by choice because they kept themselves healthy and saved money in the long run. Now that choice no longer exists. There are a lot of people who don’t fall into low enough incomes to receive government help to purchase insurance, but they also do not have the extra money to buy insurance on their own. These are the folks who will be affected the most. The ACA states that every health plan must cover 10 specific areas, so the days of cheap catastrophe insurance that you could buy to cover major surgery are gone.

To enforce the law, you will have a question on your tax returns as to whether you have health insurance or not. So, there will inevitably be people who check the ‘yes’ box who actually do not have insurance. The only penalty you can receive for doing this is having your income tax returns confiscated. The government cannot put you in jail, seize your property, or garnish your wages. Once people figure out that the only punishment they will receive for saying they have insurance when they don’t is losing their tax return – which they can manipulate anyway –there will be less healthy people that actually have insurance to balance out the cost for the poor and sick people who sign up.

Capitalism, Socialism & Communism

Catooncampus politics and cooking

Courtesy of Jacob Botter

They say there are two things you never discuss with your friends: politics and religion, and for good reason. Most people have their minds made up on such things, and passionately stick to those beliefs. You probably didn’t pay much attention to politics in high school, but now that you’re in college you see how big of a deal it truly is, so you want to be informed. I know you’d probably rather be looking at http://www.grillreviewguide.com/ while getting ready for summer cook outs, but when discussing politics it is important to know what someone means when they discuss a political ideology. Let’s take a look at the three major political ideologies and succinctly define them. These won’t be exhaustive definitions, but they will give you an idea of what someone means when they bring them up in conversation.

Capitalism 

Living in America, it’s hard not to hear this word thrown around, but what does it mean? If you watch CNN or MSNBC, it’s often talked about in a negative tone, while on Fox News you’ll hear just the opposite. At its core, Capitalism can be defined as the economy being owned and operated by people and businesses rather than the government. In other words, businesses are owned by people (or groups of people). The law of supply and demand (companies will decide what to sell by customers’ purchases) is used to determine what products and services are offered. The government has very little interference in the market, other than regulations on safety, and occasionally blocking monopolies.

Socialism

Socialism is different than Capitalism in that some of the major industries are owned and operated by the government rather than by individuals and companies. For example, in socialist countries like the Netherlands and Canada, healthcare (for the most part) is government run. In other words, hospitals are owned by the government and paid for by taxes rather than paid by patients and private insurance companies. It’s similar to America’s Medicare program, except that it covers all age groups rather than just the elderly. The government decides how much a doctor, nurse, or surgeon will get paid, and anyone with their government issued insurance card can go to the Dr’s without a fee, because that person’s tax dollars is paying for the service anyway. They may also own industries like power companies and public transportation, and implement strict regulation on the quality of food that can be sold.

Communism

While Socialism has some of the same characteristics as Capitalism, Communism is at the other end of the spectrum. In a communist country, the government owns all or almost all of the major industries. While some socialist countries allow private Dr’s offices, a communist country would only have hospitals and Dr’s offices owned and operated by the government. They would also have a complete grasp on things like energy, transportation, food, and even the media. In a communist country, the government oversees and operates almost all businesses, and the very few it does not (like fast food restaurants) it heavily regulates.

 

In reality, there are very few countries that can say they are genuinely any one of the three, because most have a mix of the ideologies, and we’ll never see a day where everyone agrees on which is best.

Popular Campaign Hairstyles For Women in Politics

catooncampus hairstyleson the campaign trailWomens hairstyles are the last thing a voting public notices when the style is perfect for the candidate, yet it is the first thing that is criticized if poorly worn. The bigger question regarding hairstyles is, whether the woman is already securely entrenched in the political arena, or is beginning a freshman campaign.

 
Fortunately, there are many powerful women in the political world who have hairstyles that are both luxurious and appropriate for the business of nation management. Most Women who are already enjoying long political careers either as legislators or spokespeople, have a bevy of fashion experts at their command. A woman starting a high-profile political career must be careful to convey the correct attitude via her locks. There is much to be learned about female hairstyles and campaigning from examining the hairstyle choices of some of today’s most powerful women.

 
Several women in government have adopted hairstyles that continually compliment their status. For generations, women like Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer choose short, minimally-styled matronly styles. These styles change from time to time with different types of highlights and short/long contrasts, but always reflect the consummate businesswoman’s sensibility. These women manage to retain the look of youth and class with hair that is full of body, sure to show other dressage like jewelry and toned skin, and is roughly in a neutral square shape.
Other women who have successfully campaigned showing unique hairstyles, change their styles once they have succeeded in securing an elected position. Patty Murray from Washington State is one example. During her campaigns, she wore a hairstyle that was full of complex contours, curls and teases.

 

She obviously spent a lot of time with stylists and professionals (like the experts at BHD) to get the advice she needed to improve her looks. Now that she has been in government for several terms, she is wearing a minimalist boy-cut with soft crown and nearly buzzed sides. This hairstyle is appropriate for a powerful woman that is more concerned with her daily duties rather the hours needed to maintain a complex style.

 

There are two hairstyles that should be forbidden for any woman who is attempting to enter the political world. One is the uptight, schoolmarm look. Pulling back the hair into a bunch not only makes a female candidate look mean, strict and inflexible, but it prematurely ages the skin on the face because of tension. Ruth Bader-Ginsberg is a perfect example of what hair not to have. Though she is a powerful and respected woman, her “bun” makes her appear a bit “witch-like” and unapproachable. It’s a good thing she was appointed because she would probably never have been elected looking so drawn and sleek.

 
The second hairstyle that should never appear in a campaign is the Jordana Brewster a’ la The Faculty style. This hairstyle is known for three inch bangs, a strong middle part, and torso-length ironed-straight locks. Any woman on campaign donning this style risks being mistaken for some other candidates elusive, expensive mistress. Few women in a campaign can pull off this type of style and retain an authoritative presence.

 
Like it, or not, a woman who has continually exhibited the best hairstyle no matter the situation is Sarah Palin. Politics aside, from the time this woman entered national politics to her settling as a news contributor, she has worn unarguably-perfect hairstyles. Her secret is having a reliable three variations on one choosy look and making sure she’s always taking care of her hair.

On the road she likes her luscious brown-red locks up. They are never tight however, and always allow her natural square-jawed beauty to be most prominent. Second, is the “up” style with a few strands hanging near her neck. This look combines strong professionalism with the illusion of hard work and hands-on experience.

 

Third, is the evening commentary, shoulder-length style. Ms. Palin sometimes lets the hair hang, but never without a half-perm and dark highlights. All three of these styles make her look peppy, bright, well-rested and comfortable. Any woman entering politics should take cues from Ms. Palin’s hairdresser, if not her entire campaign staff.

Make Smoothies In Your Dorm

best smoothies on campusSmoothies are not only a fun treat. This icy delicacy can also be healthy depending on the ingredients. Making a tall frothy smoothie can be simple with the right equipment. It’s not until visiting an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop that many would-be frozen treat makers realize the difference between what they make at home, and commercially made versions is actually the blender. While a large commercial blender isn’t needed at home, one that possesses the same type of power, and has the same top of the line abilities is available for the dorm. Blenders capable of making almost anything from icy frothy smoothies to sauces, with prices that usually range from $50 to $500 dollars.

 

Watts the Difference in Power?

 

Power isn’t everything but the best blender for smoothies will need at least 500 watts to blend frozen ingredients such as fruit or vegetables. Typically the higher the wattage of the blender the bigger the price tag, but often it’s possible to find reasonably priced blenders even when 1000 watts or more. Power isn’t everything however when the plan is to make perfect smoothies, and other attributes should be weighed against a mixer of this type that lacks some other abilities.

 

Bigger and Better Controls

 

Most cooks have found that having a blender with large controls works best for them as opposed to smaller buttons. The reason for the bigger buttons is this makes it less likely to hit the wrong control at pivotal moment in following a recipe. Flip switches once very popular are found less frequently now as these limit the number of functions to one or two on the blender, and this mechanism is more likely to have mechanical problems. Larger markings and easy to read numbers on the blender also make it easier to avoid mistakes.

 

The Best Speed for a Smoothie

 

The blender needed for a smoothie will need multiple speeds from low to high. In most recipes there’s a call for ice, frozen fruit or vegetables or both. Having a setting for grinding or slower speed will help in getting finer crystals of ice rather than larger chunks that most people find less appetizing. Higher settings to completely blend the smoothie are also recommended. Some blenders even have a smoothie setting to use after the ice or frozen items have been broken down enough to blend. Pulse settings will also help for the fine blending of all the smoothies ingredients if this is the way it is to be prepared. Depending on individual taste a fine blend with a little froth suits many lovers of this treat, while others prefer being able to discern tiny pieces of fruit or other ingredients and a little foam. The pulse will run the blender between settings faster with less lag time.

 

The Blade versus the Power

 

For some the blade is more important than the power itself. While it takes power to break down frozen ingredients or ice the blade is doing the actual work. Looking for those blades specifying the ability to break down or chop up ice is called for if this blender will make a perfect smoothie. Those blades not suited for this purpose will quickly become dull and the blender harder to use even for softer foods.

 

The Best Selection Possible

 

Even with all the attributes and controls a blender has it will not be used often if it is not handy and convenient to use. Finding the size, shape and style that works best in the kitchen ensures the blender isn’t hidden under a cabinet forgotten and unused. The easy to reach blender is more assessable and ready to make smoothies

Getting Involved in Protests vs Getting a Second Job While in College?

cato on campusMany college students face an important question when they are studying. They ask themselves: What should I do while in college? Not all students think that college is for partying after classes. There are some students who wish to help change the world and there are others who want to make the best out of their time by doing something productive so they just have to have a second job to afford being in college

Should  I get involved in protest?

Those students who have a social awareness cannot avoid to stay quiet while they see some injustice in front of their eyes. Many claim that we all should exercise our right to protest. Without this right to protest, they believe that we would not have a healthy democratic society. The things that we cherish could be in jeopardy if we decide to close our eyes to the things that are causing harm to our society. When we hold back to protest, we are in some way accepting what is happening and choosing not to do anything. On the contrary, when we protest, we are not making things easier for those who wish to do what they want. However, it is important for every student who wish to get involved in protest to ask himself: Will I accomplish what I want by being part of a protest? It is worthy to note that even when things are accomplished by protestors, the aftermath invariably brings new troubles. Find more here.

Should I get a second job?

Things are not always a picnic for students. Not everyone was blessed with rich parents to take care of all the expenses while in college. Many students have to deal with the debt like the people at DegreesandDebt.com and are obliged to take a second job, so they can afford to pay the loan and cover their expenses. When the situation is too critical and there is no other way but to get a second job it is very important to analyze the options. A great option could be a job that helps you earn more than the minimum wage. The tips are a great help for those who get an hourly job at a local restaurant. Remember, the extra work will take extra energy from you so you better take a good care of yourself to keep your good health. Before taking a second job, consider the possibility of getting a raise at your current job.

When you compare these two options of things to do while in college, try to think about the one that will benefit you the most. Fighting for a cause is a noble thing to do. Remember that there may be times when is just not worthy to join a protest. On the other hand, if you are struggling with your financial situation you should find a reasonable second job option and try not to compromise your health. Sometimes, the answer to your economical problems could be to simplify your life, ask for a raise at your current job or find the best second job.

Going Green and Wrinkle Free

Wrinkles…the inevitable, mean little monsters that we always heard our mothers grumble about while looking in the mirror every day when applying whatever skin cream was being peddled by one beautiful model/actress or another. My mom would always look at her watch while applying the wonder cream of the moment and complain about the amount of time and money that she spent trying to look younger and healthier. I always thought that I would be able to avoid the signs of aging if I did all the “right” things. I don’t drink, smoke or go out in the sun without sunscreen, so I should be in the clear right? Wrong. While my skin is still in pretty good shape, I do have the beginnings of some fine lines around my eyes. Some call them laugh lines, but I call them a pain in the…well you get where I was going with that, right?

I live a pretty green lifestyle and try to avoid as many chemicals, carcinogens and manufactured products as possible. I was pretty amazed at the ingredients listed on the most popular anti-aging wonder potions and even more amazed that people actually put this stuff on their skin. Nothing says radiant, healthy skin like Methyl, Propyl, Butyl or Ethyl Paraben. Well, maybe not so much. Reading the labels of lotions and creams that are filled with chemicals that are known to cause skin issues really got me thinking about natural ways to reverse the signs of aging.

I have poured over research until the wee hours of the morning on my search for the fountain of youth and to be wrinkle and fine line free. I came across some pretty interesting information that I can’t help but be excited about and want to share. Better skin is within reach with natural ingredients that many of us greenies already have in our fridge our pantry. Who knew it was so easy, affordable and accessible to turn back the hand of time? Take a look at your watch before and after applying these simple remedies and you will be happy to see that they take little to no time at all

I am going to make this very easy on those that are reading this in hopes of using natural remedies to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. All we need are three simple little things that you probably already have in your fridge, fruit bowl or pantry. I prefer to go the organic and raw route with these things, but if that is not an option don’t worry too much about it. Ready for it…Here is what you need and what it does:

Papaya – This is a power fruit that is loaded with carotene, vitamin C, tons of essential minerals and an enzyme called papain. You can use a papaya as an exfoliant, skin brightener and to open the pores.

Avocado – These little green wonders are the bee’s knees of the fruit world. They are jam packed with healthy fats, potassium and vitamins A, B, D and E. Applying avocado to your skin as well as eating them will help your skin remain healthy and supple, which will in turn result in less wrinkles and fine lines. You can make a simple mask to moisturize, cleanse and brighten then skin my mashing avocado, coconut milk and a little bit of raw honey.

Raw Honey – You may side eye me with this one, but trust me here. Cleansing you skin with honey to keep skin clear of acne and clean pores. I know what you’re thinking: but it’s sticky! Rest assured that the stickiness will easily wash away with warm water. Honey is loaded with anti-bacterial agents and antioxidants that are super healthy and healing for skin.

Interested in a Libertarian CoC Fishing Trip?

We’ve been thinking a bit about how we can bring the community together, and we’ve come up with a few ideas. The first one we’d like to run past you all (we want your feedback on these, it’s important that whatever we do works for a lot of people so we don’t waste everyone’s time) is an idea that our IT lead came up with.

We wonder if there is any interest in a Libertarian Fishing Trip.

Unlike our day jobs where we are in the office much of the time, thinking deeply, writing, researching, and generally unaware of the world around us (we’re all guilty of this…it’s sad but we must take responsibility and do something about it!), this fishing trip could be an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with nature. Without a firm basis in reality, and without respect for the earth and the great outdoors, we can lose perspective and start getting more and more off track until we ourselves, and our policy proposals, are not grounded in reality.

This is something we must not let happen if we are to remain a formidable force moving forwards.

Whether you are a veteran fisherman like Ken, our IT lead, or have never even thought about going fishing (like most of us in the office), we would love to hear what you have to say. Us novices actually think it’s a great idea for the reasons mentioned above, and also because it’s outside of our comfort zone, and because it gets us all together on a somewhat individual, but still somewhat team-based exercise. We can all go at our own pace, fish however much we want, but helping each other with tips and tricks and hopefully when we catch something (fingers crossed!).

What would you need?

We’d like to have a bit of buy in from people. Although we as a group will cover most of the costs, we’d love to ensure you are firmly committed by making a $25 contribution to our group. By doing this, you are helping us continue on our work, but you’re also showing that you are committed to doing this, and not just along for a ride that you don’t put any effort into.

Things like rods, reels, bait, fish finding sonar devices (we’re thinking of getting a few of these ones…what do you think?), will all be provided by us.

You’ll need:

  • Appropriate clothing and footwear for any weather
  • Snacks (we’ll provide lunch)
  • Water (preferably a lot of it, though we’ll have extras)
  • To be able to make it to a meet up within 100 miles of you (we’re hoping to do a few of these so more people can show up without having to travel across the country)

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, please let us know.

We’ll want to do this in the late Spring, so just a few months from now. If we get the feedback we’re hoping for, we’ll start to put things in motion and buy the equipment we’ll need. Also let us know when you contact us how far you’d be willing to go to get to a meet up, and we’ll try to arrange car pooling and buses that people can share costs of.

Being Green by Using Natural Skin Remedies

If you read this blog, it’s probably because you care about the environment. I mean, that’s what we talk about most of the time, right? Lots of the time, we focus on the big political issues surrounding the environment: policy, politicians, global trends, etc. However, we often don’t pay enough attention to what can be done on an individual basis to help the environment.

Being Green natural skin careAnd there are tons of things you can do! Really, there are tons and tons of communities out there that help people reduce their carbon footprints on an individual scale. Most of the time, they focus on stuff like eliminating or donating your positions, transitioning to green energy sources and rethinking your methods of transportation.

And that’s awesome! However, we think there’s not enough attention paid to what we can do as consumers to be green. Because the truth is that a significant portion of most people’s carbon footprint comes from the stuff they buy. I mean, you don’t even think about it most of the time (at least I don’t). It’s just easy to skip over all of the energy spent on that fancy new shampoo you bought when you are totally ignorant of the processes that went into developing, creating, shipping and selling it.

And that’s okay! Our point isn’t to blame anyone; rather, it’s to highlight the need to educate ourselves. So, today, we wanted to talk about one industry in particular: the skin care industry. This industry is one of the worst offenders, next to the beef and pharmaceutical industries – mostly because of its extensive use of chemicals and the almost obsessive buying tendencies of its consumers. It’s one of the only industries out there in which consumers will buy more than one product without even trying them just to increase the odds of something working.

Luckily, the solution is pretty easy: just use home remedies! Here are a few of the best and most potent home remedies for common skin conditions. So try some of these to be green while you improve your dermis!

  • Honey for acne. This is totally counterintuitive but it totally works. Using raw honey can significantly reduce acne breakouts; we don’t recommend using it as a preventive method, but when you see a breakout coming, this is a really awesome tool. Just soak some gauze in one part honey and three parts water and apply it to the affected area for about half an hour. And you’re done!
  • Lemon juice for dark spots. Pretty much anything with an acid base can be used to treat dark spots, since acidic substances include anti-aging properties. Just makes sure to apply sparingly and pair it with a good moisturizer.
  • Coconut butter for dry skin and UV protection. Coconut butter is kind of the alhpa and omega of skin care. It does everything. In addition to acting as a superb moisturizer, it’s also a sun screen. We don’t recommend rubbing coconuts all over your body or anything (what are you, a weirdo?), but using on your hands and face is highly recommended.

Have other tips? Leave a comment below!

Gun Control Should Not Scare Us

gun controlThere is not another amendment that garners more debate than the second amendment of the United States. There are a lot of problems with the gun control debate and there are a lot of people that are blind to the fact that the United States should have gun control. Pro-gunners will fight to the death to protect what they think is their right, without really understanding what they are fighting for. Some pro- gunners even fight when laws to keep guns in gun safes are considered.

There is a limit to the degree of the second amendment, and in the 1700’s, our forefathers, had no idea the degree that guns play in the lives of people.

bullet gun controlIntention of Guns

Guns kill; there really is no other purpose to guns other than to kill. When each family depended on the meat they got when they killed an animal, it was absolutely necessary for each family to own a gun or several guns. No one is disputing the fact that when a family had to protect what was theirs and had to hunt to survive, a gun was just as important as livestock or their home.

Times are A-Changing

Today it is not the case that each family has to hunt to survive. Guns are for hunting – for those that enjoy hunting and eat what they hunt; gun control for hunters is not the type of gun control that is usually up for discussion.

big gunRight to Bear Arms

The right to bear arms is a strong and powerful saying. There should be policies set in place that removes the ability for people to own guns if they suffer from a mental issue. A felon should not have a gun under any circumstance. There should be stricter punishments for any crime committed with a gun. There are so many simple things, like keep guns in a gun safe, that can be done to protect people from bad guys getting guns. It is time to act and time to set aside differences and get the guns out of the hands of the bad people.

Prevent Deaths

Gun murders, suicides, and other crimes can be prevented if there is rational and reasonable gun control. A federal background check is a good way to start to move towards better gun control. One, connected system would not only help with gun control but might help with crimes committed. We should use technology to work with us and not against us.

rifle gunEmbrace Change

People should not be afraid of change but more afraid of guns on the street. We have come a long way since the 1700’s and the second amendment should grow with us.

Gun Safety and the Need for a Middle Ground

Nearly everyone believes that something must be done to improve the gun safety situation in the United States. A majority of Americans believe that the government must restrict firearms. In fact, those who would see unfettered access represent a rather small minority. Another small minority would also like to see a complete ban on all guns. Neither side is likely to get their way. Instead, the way to gun safety will lay in a nuanced application of bans, restrictions and licensing by the government.

US Gun ArticleRural Vs. Urban Population

There must be an understanding that the needs of the rural population are different from the needs of the urban population. Most urban guns are not kept as hunting tools but are either for home protection or, more rarely, target shooting and most families in these areas practice proper gun safety. Urban owned guns are also more likely to be used in a crime or to hurt or kill another human being than put dinner on the table.

Here are some basic examples:

• A smart person will not leave the safety of the road without first grabbing a bear gun in parts of Alaska. Bears are an active threat in the wilderness.

• A person in rural Pennsylvania has many opportunities to legally hunt deer or other wildlife. A properly secured hunting rifle in the vehicle makes sense in that situation.

• Neither situation applies in the urban parts of the country.

 
But, a Chicago native has no bear to shoot, nor deer to take home. Nor will the favored small caliber hand gun be much good in a hunt for four legged game. Instead, any shots fired may very well end up in one of the 200 or some children shot in that large city each year. Different localities, different needs. We need to respect these differences.

Types of Guns

There are simply some weapons that are too dangerous to be on the street. Many of these guns are already banned. Others are selectively allowed after modifications. Still, one has to question why a gun like a semiautomatic that allows for rapid bursts of firepower is allowed onto our streets. It has no place in civilized society; we are no longer an unsettled frontier. Our laws must reflect reality. These guns are used in mass killings and not hunting. You cannot eat an animal that has been torn apart by gunfire.

Rules and Restrictions

The government has a great tool to further gun safety in requiring all gun purchases to be tracked. Too often, a person who is not allowed a gun gets them through a loophole. It would also go far in keeping deadly weapons out of the hands of those who would misuse them. Many guns used in crimes started out as legally sold items before entering the gray market via a gun show sale.

Lock Up

It is often said that our abysmal mental healthcare system is at least partly to blame for the state of guns in this culture. True or not, a required mental screening for gun applications could help identify those individuals who may be in need of care. Licenses to purchase would be a local governmental tool to keep weapons that the local people choose out of communities. At a very minimum, there should be restrictions to keep firearms locked up.

Law abiding and mentally sound citizens should be allowed to possess weapons for sport or hunting. Good laws will protect them from the excesses of the criminal element, to allow them to continue to enjoy their hobby. Good laws will also allow the growing numbers of citizens who have no interest in having guns in the home or visible on their streets to feel and be safe.

Are You Craving Sleep?

Are you craving sleep because you stayed up all night studying for finals? Getting a good nights sleep is more than having a decent dorm bed. More often than not, it’s also having a nice pillow. If you aren’t getting enough sleep worrying to much about your professor’s grading, or are waking up in the morning feeling like you haven’t slept or otherwise are not feeling as good as you would like to be, there are a few solutions to remedy that problem. It’s easy to convince parents to buy a new pillow so that you are doing all of the right things to get a good college education.

What Kind of Sleeper Are You?

best pillowThe first issue with finding the best pillow is to make sure you figure out what your needs are first. Your best pillow could be different from another persons best pillow depending on what your needs are. Usually this depends on what side you sleep on. If you’re a back sleeper (meaning you mostly sleep on your back), you will want a pillow that is a little more thin than someone who sleeps on their side or stomach.

This is because a big, fluffy pillow will push your head up and make it harder to breath, as well as keep your neck out of alignment.

If you sleep on your side, you will need a slightly more fluffy pillow than someone who sleeps on their back. The reasons for this are essentially the same as the reasons for getting a thin pillow if you sleep mostly on your back. Your neck needs to be aligned and it needs to be easy for you to breathe.

If you sleep on your stomach, you need a pretty thick pillow. Again for the same reasons. Although many experts recommend that you don’t sleep on your stomach at all for support reasons. If you must, make sure to get a pillow that aligns your neck with your spine and makes it easy for you to breathe.

The Pillow Test

A good way to test if you have the best pillow for your sleeping arrangement is to sleep with a pillow for a night or two. Give it a test run and see how it works for you. If you are waking up in the morning with lots of neck and back issues, don’t feel rested, or are otherwise unhappy with your nights sleep, then you need to take a look into getting a different pillow.  Check in with your college roommate and maybe they will trade pillows with you for the test.  If your roommate says no way, say you can change pillow cases when you do it.

best pillowsNow if you already have the best pillow for your sleeping position, and you’re still having issues, you need to look into different types of pillow construction materials. Most people buy regular cotton pillows. These feel soft, but often times are not the best to sleep on over long periods of time.

They often go flat quickly, and generally don’t regulate heat well. If you have problems with your pillows going flat or getting too warm, look into buckwheat or wool pillows. They tend to stay inflated longer and the fibers don’t break down as easily. They will be slightly more expensive, but in the long run, a good nights sleep is worth paying a few more dollars for.

You may spend many hours studying and going back and forth to class and lose a few hours of shut eye before your mid-terms. You can make the best of your hours sleeping and feeling good for the next day of class by having the best pillow.

The Cato Institute Think Tank

Cato InstituteThink Tanks

The Cato Institute is a think tank that focuses on promoting libertarian values. They are located in Washington D.C. and primarily put out publications that advance this goal. In terms of think tanks, they’re one of the most widely known think tanks in the world. In the U.S., they are considered to be one of the highest performing think. Think tanks are non-profit groups, and the Cato Institute is too. They are funded mainly by individual donations, with the rest of their money coming from a few outside sources. They currently receive no government assistance at all.

 

Libertarian Viewpoint

The group is mainly known for their publications and reports that they come out with on a regular basis. They have multiple peer reviewed journals and have published a magazine in the past. They also have a few websites dedicated to educating the public on libertarian viewpoints. In addition to their websites, the Cato Institute also has a social media presence on all the various platforms.

You might think that because the Cato Institute has some conservative ideals, that they would be closely linked to the Conservative party, but this isn’t the case. They prefer to be in their own little bubble. In general the Cato Institute values civil liberties, the free market, and has their doubts about the benefits of social welfare and getting involved in foreign policy.

 13 Major Areas of Focus

Cato Institute home to some Nobel Prize winnersBeing a think tank, the Cato Institute has various (mostly libertarian) viewpoints on various issues. When it comes to foreign policy, the institute strongly recommends staying out of issues that don’t directly involve the country. When it comes to corporate welfare, the think tank strongly advises against doing that. There are actually 13 major areas that the institute focuses on. They range from education and child policy all the way to trade and immigration. The institute has scholars that work full-time and spend their days doing research and writing about the 13 major areas the think tank focuses on.

The think tank actually has had ten different nobel prize winners in economic science associated with it, including Milton Friedman. If you are a college student looking for more interaction on this political standpoint, visit our Cato On Campus page to find our college level organization.

 Cato Institute History

In general, the Cato Institute is a group of people that want to promote libertarian ideals. They gather research on various topics relating to different issues and produce a few different publications that get sent out to different groups and people. They are one of the most productive think tanks in the U.S. and their scholars are widely known and recognized. Around 80% of the organization’s funding comes from individual donations, with the rest coming from corporate groups and other foundations. So far, there have been ten nobel prize winners for economic science associated with the think tank. the Cato Institute was founded in 1974 by Ed Crane, Charles Koch, and Murray Rothbard. However, it wasn’t originally known as the Cato Institute. Originally, the think tank was called the Charles Koch Foundation. The mission of the think tank (from their website) is to originate, disseminate, and increase understanding of public policies based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.

Kibbles and Bits

If you are a college student and want to have a cat on campus (and are allowed) there are a few things that you need to consider when selecting a litter box for your cat. We’ll address dogs and puppies on campus soon.

Cato on Campus CatWhat To Do About a Litterbox

First, there are a few different types and kinds of litter boxes and you can spend as little or as much money as you want on a litter box. Not all litter boxes are created equal, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend as much money on a litter box as you can. Just because a litter box is expensive doesn’t mean that it will be any higher quality than a cheap litter box. The key to selecting the best litter box is to figure out what your needs are for you and your cat.

 Space and Roommates

If you have a smaller place when you’re at school, you probably don’t want to invest in a big litter box. Many litter boxes have tops these days, which are nice, but you may need the overhead space in your place. The key to choosing a good litter box is to figure out how much space you have and what your other requirements are. For instance, if you’re going to be living with roommates, I would make sure that they are okay with having a cat first.

Time

 

Additionally, you need to make sure that you have the time to clean the litter box every day, or your cat will not use it (because it’s dirty). If you are going to be in and out of your place every day and your roommate won’t clean the litter box, it would be a good idea to invest in a self cleaning litter box. The best cat litter boxes these days are all actually self-cleaning, but if you have a few minutes each day, it’s not that big of a deal to clean a litter box. Where people run into problems is when they have to leave for best cat litter boxvacations and trips, or are just generally too busy to clean the litter box.

If you do not want a self-cleaning litter box (or don’t have the space), be sure to get a little box that comes with a scoop. Often times people buy their first litter box and discover that it has no scoop and have to spend time looking for a device that can be used as a scoop. Another handy tip for finding the best cat litter box is to check to make sure your cat is compatible with your litter box before you move into your new place for college. It’s a pain to train your cat to use a new litter box while getting used to a new place, especially if you’re moving to a new place for college yourself. A lot of junk is going to be moved around and it is just too much of a hassle to train a cat and get adjusted for school at the same time.

Immigration and Immigrants

Reasons Why

The Cato Institute recommends that when it comes to immigration, they think it’s a good thing for a few main reasons. First is that immigration tends to make the economy better and increase the well-being of nearly everyone in the country. The immigrants who manage to come to the US are already self-selected for being hard-workers and people who will positively contribute to the country. This is because they’re coming to a new country that has a different culture and language to learn. If you didn’t want to do all the work, then you wouldn’t choose to move to another country. The second main reason is that most immigrants tend to move to the US when they’re still in their working years. This means that they aren’t putting a strain on any of the social security systems and have plenty of time to work and contribute to the economy and society.

Statue of LibertyMore on Why

The third main reason is that immigrants tend to fulfill the jobs that most people do not want to do anyways. When people talk about immigration, often comes along with it talks of “they’re taking our jobs”, which is true. But, the jobs they are taking are ones that most people do not want to do, but still are in relatively high demand. Immigrants do not necessarily take jobs so much as they complement the existing job market. The fourth reason is that many immigrants who make the move to the United States tend to already be high skilled, so they don’t need to have much training to be useful. The children that immigrants have also tend to be hard-working and high achievers in society, increasing the benefit as a whole for the country.

The Cato Institute has written numerous articles on how immigration is good for the economy, even down to the state level. They’re pushing immigration for immigration reform that will benefit both people immigrating to the country, and people who are already US citizens.

Illegal Immigration

Immigration rallyThere are a lot of misconceptions about the current state of immigration in the United States. Many people think that there are higher levels of immigration than ever before. But the truth is that the levels have stayed about the same as they’ve always had as a proportion of our population. The main reform the Cato Institute is pushing is called a temporary worker program to curb illegal immigration.

Most of the illegal immigrants simply want a place to work and tend to have lower skill levels. Another part of the reform would be for a path for illegal workers who are already in the country to become a legal resident. In general, the idea is that the current immigration legislation does not accurately account for the amount of people who want to immigrate into the country and makes it more difficult than it should be to come into the country and work. Most immigrants do not want to cause any trouble and are simply looking for a good job either temporarily or permanently.

Foreign Policy and National Security

Many people think that the Cato Institute only deals with economics and monetary policy. But that’s not the case at all. The Cato Institute is a think tank that is devoted to exploring the ideals of personal liberty in all areas of your life. When it comes to foreign policy and national security, the Cato Institute mostly comes from the perspective that the United States is already safe enough and doesn’t need to spend that much more time on money or security. In other words the marginal benefit of those two things is quite low.

 Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

With regards to international issues, the Cato Institute recommends that the United States stay involved, but do not try and dominate most issues. In general, they recommend a hands-off policy, but with active participation in international markets. They want the US to be seen as an example of how a proper democracy should be run, but not the worlds police force. With regards to national security, the think tank says that risk management should be used to avoid the most harmful threats, and that civil liberties must be protected.

 

National Security AgencyDefense and National Security

The Cato Institute thinks that the defense budget is mostly being spent on the defense of other countries, and not actually protecting Americans. The have the viewpoint that we’re getting dragged into too many conflicts that don’t make sense for the country to be in and that the term defense budget should be re-drawn to better accurately reflect the real sense of the word.

When it comes to NATO and other countries in Europe, the Cato Institute thinks that the countries know how to take care of themselves and should mostly be left alone at this point. This is again a continuation of the United States can keep it’s hands out of everything at this point theme that they’ve been saying most of this time.

Trade

Finally, when it comes to trade, the Cato Institute strongly recommends against using it as a weapon against other countries. Similarly to the issue with regulation, restrictive trade agreements tend to hurt the countries that they’re trying to help the most. The Cato Institute wants to get the point across that there is a connection between Tradeeconomic freedom and a countries political and civil freedom. By having open trade with countries, it becomes easier to promote the civil and political freedom ideals without having to step on any other countries toes.

In general, the Cato Institute wants the United States to become a model for what a good country does, and not try to overtly influence how a country does its day to day business. Matters of national security should be ranked and tackled in order of the highest priority, and in general the US should keeps it’s fingers out of other countries business. The idea of a defense budget should be realized and the money should be spent on actual defense for the country, not playing the worlds police and engaging in many unnecessary conflicts.

Pocket Constitution and Constitutional Money

Pocket Constitution

The Pocket Constitution is one of the Cato Institute’s most popular books. If you guessed it was a small paperback version of the constitution that you could fit in your pocket, you’d be correct. That’s exactly what the Pocket Constitution is. The Pocket Constitution is sold by the Cato Institute to encourage young people to learn about the principles that the U.S. government was founded upon. It also solely isn’t the Pocket Constitutionconstitution but also the Declaration of Independence (including the Bill of Rights). You may be thinking that this is just a way for the Cato Institute to make some money and that these books aren’t really that popular. But, that’s further from the truth. This little book is the Cato Institute’s most popular book and has sold over five million copies. It’s sold in a few different countries, and has made appearances on TV, during debates in the legislature, and even federal judicial chambers.

 

If you’re looking for a pocket copy of the two most important political documents in the history of the United States, the Pocket Constitution from the Cato Institute is the way to go. If you are planning on buying multiple copies (to give to your friends and family, or whoever else you know), the Cato Institute gives discounts for purchasing Pocket Constitutions in bulk.

 

If you’ve ever wanted to know about critical events in the United States history that lead to important chances in its monetary policy, Constitutional Money is the book you want to look at. This book is written by Richard H. Constitutional MoneyTimberlake and goes into detail about nine influential Supreme Court cases and the influence that they’ve had on hour countries monetary policy. What makes this book special is that even though it sounds like a boring textbook, Richard H. Timberlake breaks down the Supreme Court decisions in an easy to understand manner. If you’ve ever tried to look into monetary policy, you probably understand how complicated even relatively simple concepts are. This book starts at McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819 and goes all the way to the Gold Clause Cases in 1934-35. After finishing it you will understand the decisions that went into going off of the gold standard, the forming of the federal reserve system, and the reasonings behind the Supreme Court rulings.

 

The Cato Institute has a small portion of the book available for preview on Google Books if you are unsure if you would like a copy or not. It’s not exactly an easy read, but if you are looking to figure out some of the Supreme Court‘s reasoning behind their early monetary policy decisions, this is the book for you. The author (Richard H. Timberlake) is a scholar at the Cato Institute and a Professor of Economics at the University of Georgia. Most of his research deals with monetary policy and the United States and the history of central banking. In short, if you wanted someone to write a book about the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the monetary policy in the United States, Richard H. Timberlake would be the person you would seek.

Join Cato On Campus

If you’re still in college and want to get involved with the Cato Institute, there are a number of resources available to you as a student. The Cato Institute recognizes that the best way to get someone involved in their fight to influence public policy for civil liberties is to catch people before they become set in their ways.

Cato UniversityCato University

The Cato Institute offers scholarships to their yearly Cato University event. The scholarships will allow students to attend what’s normally an expensive event with all their expenses paid for. This is important because Cato University is one of Cato Institutes most important events that they put on every year. Each year the group gets together and invites some of the most important leaders to give talks on liberty and for a few days. The talks are then uploaded to the Cato Institutes website for everyone to listen to after the event is over. There are also separate home study courses for those who cannot attend which go over some of the ideals and general principles the Cato Institute is trying to get across.

 Internship Program

For other students the Cato Institute has a yearly internship program where students can go spend time working with the Cato Institute. The program is open to undergraduate students, graduate students, as well as recent graduates and law students. The requirements to apply aren’t very strict as the Cato Institute wants to make sure they can reach as many students as possible. Interns will spend a semester working with the institute assisting researchers and attending seminars and lectures that have libertarian themes.

Cato On Campus

If you don’t have time for an internship you can still look into Cato on Campus. Cato on Campus is the Cato Institutes outreach program for college students. They have a strong social media presence where they post articles that are specifically written for students as well as job offerings and internships. It’s fundamentally a place where students can get together to learn more about individual liberty, free markets, and Cato On Campuslimited government. Cato on Campus also helps students discover the massive amount of resources that are currently available on the Cato.org website for public consumption. Before Cato on Campus, it was quite difficult for a student to have easy access to libertarian resources on the internet. Of course they existed, but they were hard to find and many of the articles weren’t aimed toward college students and were hard to identify with. Cato on Campus was founded with fixing this core problem and has since helped expose thousands of students to the values of liberty, free markets, and limited governments.

Be sure to check out the Cato On Campus Facebook page where a lot of their discussions take place. If you live in the D.C. area, they also host events specifically for students a few times throughout the year. Be sure to check them out, they’re very interesting.

Regulatory policy and studies

The Cato Institute, as you might imagine, is not a big fan of heavy government involvement and regulation for most industries. They have issued a paper which gives their general stance on regulation as a whole.

Regulatory studiesRegulation

In general, the Cato Institute’s stance on regulation stems from the efficient market hypothesis. They believe that the economic market itself will become balanced overtime with no government intervention. Someone sells a good, and another person buys it. Then you have issues which are called market failures. For instance, if the seller of a good dumps the waste from producing the good into the river. The waste then poisons the river and hurts the surrounding ecosystem. You also have similar questions about what happens if a bank offers a poor loan? What do you do to ensure food is safe for consumers? You also have questions about monopolies.

 The Economic Market

The Cato Institute says that in most cases the markets have been regulated unnecessarily over the past forty years and that only a select group of people get benefits from the regulation. They see regulation almost as like a moat for a castle. If you’re inside the moat and don’t want people to get in your castle (the market in this case), then the regulations are good. But, if you’re outside and want to get in, the moat does you no good. The Cato Institute’s first paper goes over the simple solutions for most of these problems, and generally explains why humans are the cause for most of these problems. Generally what happens is a group of people lobby their legislators to get laws passed that benefit them.

 EducationAgriculture

The initial paper ends with trying to find a solution for the problem. It concludes that education is probably the best way to get the government to stop regulating so much and keep a hands off approach to governing the markets. The Cato Institute has published numerous papers citing the benefits of deregulation. They also have papers giving overviews of the amount of regulation in various industries. From transportation, to banking, to insurance and investment. If you want to know about regulation or deregulation of a given industry, chances are the Cato Institute has some information that may benefit you.

More Examples

They’ve done a paper on agriculture subsidies which talks about the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act, and have papers on both corporate governance and electricity regulation. A big question many people have about regulation is, “what do you do when it comes to food and labeling issues“. Well, the Cato Institute also has a paper on that as well, which explains how food companies use labeling as a business strategy rather than actively comply with the law.

Regulation is an interesting topic and one of the primary issues that the Cato Institute wants to change. Their papers present an illuminating view on the subject, and they try to get their readers to understand that in almost all cases regulation tends to do more harm than good for the general public.

What Is Public Policy

Whenever you hear the term public policy, you may have a hard time understanding what exactly the person who said it is talking about. Many people don’t exactly understand what public policy is, but by the time you finish this article, you will know what exactly public policy is.

 Public PolicyPublic Policy

Public policy isn’t simply making a law or passing some act. It’s a series of changes made at solving an issue. Typically making laws or passing some sort of legislation is a part of public policy, but it’s just one part of a very big bag of tricks. For example, recently, President Obama recently signed into law the Affordable Care Act. This law is to ensure that Americans can have greater access to healthcare at a lower cost. But, the law is a part of the public health care policy as a whole.

There’s many different types of public policies, and in general the policies tend to change depending on which political party is in power in the government. For instance, there are fiscal policies, economic policies, drug policies, and environmental policies. (That’s not the entire list of policies that could fall under the term public policy, but for the sake of an example we’ll use these four). If the Republicans are in power, they might have more conservative fiscal and economic policies, as compared to the Democrats. This means that the laws and  legislation that is passed would all lean toward the Republican viewpoint.

Influence on policy

Now, there are ways to influence public policy beyond sending letters to your senator or the President. There are think tanks and special interest groups which exist to promote their agenda and influence public opinion on a given policy. For instance, the Cato Institute is a think tank that wants to make the public more aware of libertarian values and ideals. They do research, perform studies, and sell books that will help shape the public opinion on various public policy issues. They also give advice to decision makers. Cato Institute scholars are frequently cited and appear on television all the time.

Public Policy on CatooncampusFunding

Public policy doesn’t just deal with legislation. It also has to deal with campaigning for funding priorities and other regulatory measure. For instance, every year there are numerous bills that get passed in which certain groups get certain amounts of funding. Think tanks and advocacy groups would try to influence the policymakers of the bills they’re interested in to make sure the groups that they like get funding they need. The farm bill is an example of this. Every five years this bill gets looked at again and is the major agriculture policy tool of the government. If you’re interested in agriculture in any way shape or form, chances are, your stance on a particular issue has to deal with the farm bill in some way. This means that you need to talk to the right people to get the farm bill changed to benefit your side of the situation.