Dennis Deery

National/International Politics

Public Policy CAN Change Behavior

June 26, 2007

Ireland National/International Politics Rural Issues
One of the things we had to adjust to when we moved to Ireland was taking our own cloth shopping bags to the grocery store. Why? Well, Ireland levies a €0.15 tax on plastic grocery bags, so every time we forgot to take our own (a lot, at first), we had to spend 30 or 45 cents to buy plastic bags. We’ve since gotten in the habit, and so no longer have to buy plastic bags, and thus no longer consume more scarce natural resources for both making the bags and then disposing of them.

Death and Taxes

June 21, 2007

National/International Politics Technology
Wonder where your federal tax dollars go? A freelance graphic designer by the name of Jess Bachman has designed a poster that shows in simple form the breakdown of the federal budget. It’s a great example of graphic design being well-used to present a ton of information, and it’s a simple way to envision what the federal government is spending your money on. Check it out.

The Arts Make Money

June 15, 2007
Professional CommunityDevelopment
Ireland National/International Politics Photography Rural Issues
The Wisconsin Arts Board has come out with a new study showing the impact the arts have on local economies. According to the report, “in 2005, Wisconsin’s non-profit arts industry generated over 15,000 full-time jobs and $61,840,000 in state and local government revenue. Cumulatively, the arts contributed $418,055,786 in total economic activity.” The Wisconsin Arts Board hopes to use the report’s findings to improve public funding for the arts in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Blue Books Online

June 8, 2007

National/International Politics Technology
The University of Wisconsin has created an online digital collection displaying all Blue Books since the the very first in 1853. The Blue Book is the almanac of Wisconsin state government. This is a great resource for history buffs, and includes many old maps and photographs. It’s also a fine demonstration of the power of the internet to make public resources more available to people. State of Wisconsin Blue Book Collection

Does this make sense?

May 31, 2007

National/International Politics
“At 10:14 EDT, CBS affiliate KOTV (Tulsa, OK) reported that a lightning strike had caused a fire at an Oklahoma refinery–sparking a flurry of excitement among energy traders and boosting U.S. crude prices 40 cents.” Does it really make sense to base so much of an economy on such a volatile market? With the oil market in such unstable shape, we’re really just waiting for the disaster that shoves things over the edge.

Some Random Thoughts and Facts on the Election

May 25, 2007

Ireland National/International Politics
469 candidates vying for 165 seats - wow! Candidates don’t have to live in the constituency (district) where they’re running for office. So, some candidates can’t even vote for themselves - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is one example. There has been no television advertising during this race - I’m assuming it’s against the law. The signs - man, it’s hard to describe how many signs are up around this country.

Election Day in Ireland

May 25, 2007

Ireland National/International Politics
Today was election day in Ireland for national offices. People are headed to the polls to elect their local Teachta Dail (similar to U.S. Representatives). Because Ireland has a parliamentary system, this election will also decide, somewhat indirectly, who will run the country for the next few years. Citizens will elect the members of the Dail Eireann, the national parliament. Members elected to the Dail will then caucus to determine which parties will control the government.

June 29, 2005

National/International Politics
*Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. * -Albert Einstein *The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them. * -Albert Einstein Just finished reading the President’s speech from last night. The above seems the only appropriate response. How many times has he given that speech now? See you all again this time next year?

May 20, 2003

National/International Politics Rural Issues Technology
USDA has awarded $20 million through their Community Connect Grant Program to provide broadband network development in 40 rural communities across the country. Grants like these will be very necessary for the future of rural areas due to the difficulty of recouping infrastructure costs in areas with a low population density. I think an effort similar to the REA will be required to ensure that rural America is not left behind in this newest digital divide.