Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Personal Legend

It's going to be a late night, and I'm feeling thoughtful. These are quotes from my most favorite book of all time: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. It's about a Spanish shepherd boy. It is epic. A book rarely applies to my life like this one, and I hope these quotes offer guidance and such as they did for me.

"It’s [your Personal Legend] what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend."

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams."

"When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision".

"Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place".

My Personal Legend: being a veterinarian. Who travels through space! Everything seemed a lot simpler when I was younger. College=choices, and I think it's important to remember to follow your intuition with so many people influencing us to do this, and look into that.


"My choice is what I choose to do,
And if I'm causing no harm, it shouldn't bother you.

Your choice is who you choose to be,
And if you're causin' no harm, then you're alright with me.

If you don't like my fire, then don't come around,
'cause I'm gonna burn one down.
Yes, I'm gonna burn one down.

Herb the gift from the earth,
And what's from the earth is of the greatest worth.
So before you knock it try it first,
Oh, you'll see it's a blessing and not a curse."
- Ben Harper

Should marijuana be a choice, like eating oreos? It's a prevalent issue in California, and, in all honesty, Aragon is definitely no exception. I think it's interesting how some people are so dead-set against marijuana, and others really couldn't care less if they or their friends smoke. Opine away.

Is school stressful?

I've been reading about how much pressure students are facing when it comes to school/education these past few decades and found some things I think are worth sharing:

The last link is a website for parents but I thought article was incredibly accurate when describing school nowadays.

"One recent study from the Stanford School of Medicine indicates that the number of children, ages 7-17, treated for depression more than doubled between 1995 and 2001."
The article states that this is a repercussion because more kids are stressed out.

It doesn't seem like there are any ways to avoid this highly competitive realm if we want to succeed. It seems like there are a thousand people waiting to take your spot. It's like running a race, the second you slow down there is someone there to pass you by and move you further back.

(that last paragraph was awkwardly worded...)

Health care, international style.

So if you've ever talked to me about health care in Switzerland, you've probably seen me nod my head a little and smile. Well, it's time to come clean... I can't be living a lie anymore. Forgive me.
Fact: I had absolutely no idea about the health care system in Switzerland...that is, until now!

For those in the same position as I was, here's the general gist:
1. In Switzerland, health insurance is compulsory. The government provides the $$$ for those who cannot afford it.
2. There is ONE price, no matter what your income.
3. Their health care is based on individual choice. "individuals — not employers or the government — choose from a broad array of health plans, sold by private insurance companies."
Now you can nod and smile unpretentiously....

From reading the article (link posted above), Switzerland's system is interesting. I mean, the statistics, seen on the graphs to the left, seem pretty appealing. Many Swiss citizens are happy, and the only complaint is the cost. However, it seems like ultimately they still pay less than we do here in America. So let's just adopt the health care system straight from the Swiss! Win, win situation? Everyone is happy? If only it was that easy.

Interesting note:
When I was staying in Taiwan, all I had to do was walk into a hospital like it was a Safeway. Clinics are open all day until 9pm or even 10pm. (Yes, even on weekends.)
Everyone has to bring a card when seeing a doctor. The doctor would then scan the card on a computer and the patient's history and medications all show up a screen. No paperwork!

-Phoebe Chao

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"I'm an American too, Damnit!"

"What does it mean to be a real patriotic American? Nothing aggravates me more than the stereotypical Middle American patriot. You know the kind, the flag-waving, “support our troops” types. The soccer moms who boycott French wine with one hand and drive SUVs that guzzle Saudi oil with the other. Or maybe it’s the corporate American “red stater,” who uses his connections to get his boy into Texas Tech and sees absolutely nothing wrong with sending Hakim from Crenshaw off to die like a dog in the desert. I have been called “anti-American” by these “patriots” on multiple occasions.

Recently, I signed a delayed enlistment contract with the United States Marine Corps. This was the culmination of about six months of diet and exercise that would allow me to pass the physical tests required to even go to basic training. No more than two weeks after I receive my high school diploma, I shall be on the bus headed for boot camp. Why am I doing this? I love my country. Not the president, not the government, but the idea of the United States and the values I have come to equate with it: equality, social justice, and tolerance.

Do any of these “real Americans” have the cojones to do what I have? I think George W. Bush is the worst president I will ever see in my lifetime, and the Iraq War is the most flagrant misuse of governmental power that I have witnessed in my young life, but still, I shall go. My home is decent, my school is good, and my family could pretty easily afford to send me to college. I owe my country something for being so fortunate, but more for those less fortunate than I. For the poor son of a Nebraska farmer dodging bullets for the GI Bill, for the Mexican immigrant chasing the American dream who must sign up or starve, for the patriotic homosexual who is denied the chance to even serve because his country tells him that he is a second-class citizen, those are the people for whom I fight.

The people who say “one nation under god” need to be taught a lesson. They need to see that atheists can be in foxholes. I have no designs on finding Jesus in some hope-forsaken Iraqi slum. I shall show them by example. This left-wing libertarian pseudo-intellectual has more bravery in him than all the beer-guzzling, date-raping, all-American, pray-every-day football players combined.

Support the troops indeed! I do wonder if these Middle American patriots will continue to support me when they find out what I support. But ultimately that doesn’t matter, because I am still willing to fight and perhaps die on their behalf, whether they appreciate it or not, and that is what being a patriotic American means to me."

This is an essay by then 17-year-old Bill Kephart. I wanted to share it because, for one, this guy can write way better than I can. Additionally, this essay asks a good question in it's first line. What does it mean to be a real patriotic American? Or, to reshape the question a bit, what does being American mean to you?
Baseball and apple pie? Playground diplomacy? Freedom? Inept government? Opportunity?

As a result of past events, a majority of the world criticizes Americans, specifically U.S. policy and American leaders. Sometimes it's kind of embarrassing to hear a story about your friend traveling in Europe and having to purposely wear a Canadian flag on him at all times to avoid being harassed.

For me, the simplest, un-Bill-Kephartic answer I can provide is that being American means that I have access to many underappreciated advantages.

-Phoebe Chao

P.S: your opinions on Kephart's piece are fun to read! So tell me what you think.

Dear Prospective College Student...

Planning on applying to any UCs or CSUs?

-Remember the UC college application workshop is tomorrow morning in the library and the CSU one is next week.

-Remember that the UC and CSU systems are recieving less money from the state because of the economic crisis.

-Remember that the UC and CSU systems now have to face these state budget cuts

-Remember as a result of buget cuts colleges may reduce the number of classes they offer or the number of faculty they keep on the payroll

-Remember that many college students are not graduating on time because they cannot get into the classes they need to graduate

-Remember that now colleges are hiking up the cost of tuition and going after the higher paying out of state student instead of the taxpaying California student to compensate for the state budget cuts

College is getting harder to get into more now than ever. The financial crisis is not helping either. Good Luck!


Gold Stars and Smileys for Human-Rights Criminals?

So there's a genocide in Darfur right now that's been going on for 6 years. I'm not saying anyone reading this doesn't know about it, it's just surprising how many people don't. If you want to know more, go here: (I don't know how to do the embedded link thing).

Anyways, an article just came out about what the Special U.S. Envoy to Sudan (Scott Gration) has been up to in the past 6 months. The fact that Obama even appointed an envoy is a good thing, since before this the U.S. government has taken...basically zero real action to end the genocide. U.S. diplomacy in Darfur, the only country whose president is a convicted human-rights criminal, is almost entirely in the hands of Gration. But Gration may not be taking the right approach. He's definitely leaning towards appeasement: his belief is that, "We've got to think about giving out, countries -- they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement."

Agreements and talks are often the best approach for conflicts within countries. I don't like meeting violence with violence, and I'm usually all for peace talks. But Gration is dealing with a genocide, and numerous people have told him that the Sudanese government is decieving him in their promises for working towards a settlement. And just the way he phrased that quote is kind of...weird. In general, war-torn countries shouldn't be simplified to "kids". And I bet Bashir and his administration won't apreciate being acredited the mentality of a child who responds to smileys and cookies. Yet there is also the risk that a more agressive approach would only alienate the Sudanese government and make peace impossible. I'm interested in anyone's opinion on this: is appeasement or force better for making an uncooperative government respect human rights?

-Liza Brownstone

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wait, where is that again?

Last Friday, Mr. Silton was talking about how a few years ago numerous Aragon students organized a "Walk Out" to protest the War in Iraq (At least that's what I remembered it to be). Well, not surprisingly, most students equated "protesting" with "burger eating."
When the next day rolled around, many students expected an excused absences for their worthy cause. The answer? No.
A question was raised, asking, "Why should the students get excused when more than half of them probably can't even point out the Middle East on a map?"

Which reminded me of THIS.

And, being the jumpy person I am, this all brings me to:

Remember the Tibet controversy? I was watching the news one day and a reporter went around the streets of San Francisco during a protest with only two things in his hand: A map of China and a microphone.
He then proceeded to ask everyone at the protest to point out where Tibet was on the map.
In fact, after some Youtube searching, I found the video of it.

I find both the walk-out Aragon students and the interviewed protesters in San Francisco to be kind of hilarious (but not the burger eating part though). I think the protesters should have done a little more homework on their part. I mean, really? To make some kind analogy, that's just like an Obama fanatic thinking Obama was born in Kenya. It makes you doubt how much that person really knows about the president.

Does the location of the place even matter? Is it really just enough to know the issues? How much does it take to be a qualified protester? What are some thoughts? I'm curious.

-Phoebe Chao


Towards the end of last semester North Korea's missile launch was in the news quite a bit. In case you are not very familiar with it, here is the basic idea: North Korea tested a missile that they claimed was for carrying a communications satellite, however many countries speculate that they intend for it to carry nuclear war heads. North Korea claims the test was successful however other countries including the U.S. have reason to believe it failed and fell into the sea.

In the past few decades, North Korea has become a hot spot when it comes to nuclear energy/arms/threats. The U.S. first helped North Korea develop nuclear energy (as means of safe clean energy) under the Clinton Administration. North Korea made it pretty obvious that they had developed nuclear arms, especially when they withdrew from the Non-Proliferations Treaty. [SIDENOTE: under the Bush administration, Bush referred to North Korea as among "the axis of evil" which also included Iran]

The reason I brought up North Korea was that when I was reading the article about Iran(link at the top), it reminded me of North Korea. North Korea is now a nuclear threat, even though the country's nuclear technology was initially intended for (non-threatening) energy purposes. There is no way to know if Iran would develop nuclear arms if they had nuclear energy. Not to mention, a while back Ahmadinejad (Iran's President) said something to the effect of Iran wanting to "wipe Israel off the map." [Because it was translated those were not his exact words but that is the general idea]. Would it really be a good idea for Iran to develop nuclear energy when they have made statements such as that?

Do countries have the right to develop nuclear power as a source of clean energy, when it so often leads to nuclear threats?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Team Miku

While you may not have heard of Hatsune Miku, you've most likely heard one of her songs. She is a voice synthesizer program created by Crypton Future Media using Yamaha's Vocaloid2 technology to create songs. She is probably the greatest computer program ever made, showing how far technological advancements have come, thanks to Japan. The world is becoming a better place, where even average people can become pop stars. Hundreds of people have become amateur artists, creating songs rivaling and sometimes even exceeding the quality of many "professional" artists. On the popular Japanese video sharing site, Nico Nico Douga, there are thousands of songs and music videos created with Hatsune Miku from metal,to pop and techno. Over iTunes, many of these amateurs have sold hundreds thousands of copies of their songs and are spreading the culture over to the West.

We at Team Miku wish to help spread the word about the greatest program of all time. Join us at our blog, or join our Facebook group under "Team Miku."

Team Miku Awww Yeah

-Weilu Jia

Obama wants to shorten summer vacation

In most Asian countries (India, China, Taiwan, Japan, etc), students spend more days in school. They also "persistently outscore the U.S. [students] on math and science tests."

Obama's perspective: "Obama says American kids spend too little time in school, putting them at a disadvantage with other students around the globe." He wants to extend school days until dinnertime and extend the school year.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan agrees. "Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today," Duncan stated.

This got me thinking. Many of the students at Aragon either work, play a sport, or do some other sort of activity of hobby outside of school. Personally, I'm involved in a few activities that take up most of my time, with homework fitting in when I get free time. Year round, I'm involved with a coneoing team, Bay Area Dragons (BAD), which competes locally, nationally, and internationally. It takes up 3 days of my week, plus extra effort outside team time. Also, I'm involved with the Aragon Robotics Team, which you may be familiar with. We compete in the FIRST Robotics Challenge at the Silicon Vally Regional (held at San Jose State Univeristy) in the spring, and the WRRF CalGames in the fall. It also takes up alot of time away from school. In the fall, we meet twice a week after school till 5, and in the spring, the team stays at school till 7 four days a week, eating dinner together for six weeks, until mid-febuary. We also spend time at school on the weekends if needed.

If Obama is able to get his way and extend school days, most of these activities students participate in these days will either get cut back or get canceled. Students wouldn't be able to have extra time in the school day to themselves.

Oh, and what about all the extra hours of labor? Teacher's aren't going to work extra for free, right?

What do you guys think on this? Some students like the extended year program so far, being able to learn a lot more information. I would like to hear your opinions on this topic.

Armaan Vachani

Flooding in the Philippines

The tropical storm Ketsana hit the capitol of Manila on Saturday, and I feel like this is turning into a rerun of Katrina. Right now hundreds of thousands of people are pouring into hundreds of makeshift evacuation centers where, "food, medicine and other relief supplies are in dire shortage". The Philippine government is facing a huge humanitarian crisis, and has been slow to respond. Officials in charge of the centers are saying they are simply unable to cope, and don't know for how much longer they can sustain the centers.

I think that unless the international community responds to the government's appeal for help, and responds fast, the situation will deteriorate quickly. Looting and general anarchy probably aren't too far off in these centers, and I really hope the refugees get the supplies they need. I also hope the international community shows that we still support each other in times of crisis, and steps up to give the necessary aid.

And does this have a connection to global warming? I think most definitely ( It's unseasonably hot here (not that I'm unhappy about that), and there's crazy weather all over the world. Luckily, it looks like Obama wants the US and China (the two biggest GHG emmitters in the world) to work together for climate change in some upcoming talks. So at least there's some good news.

-Liza Brownstone


Bob Woodward reported that President Obama has scheduled five extensive meetings with the NSC (National Security Council) and field commanders to rethink and reexamine their Afghanistan strategy over the next couple weeks. These meetings follow closely on the heels of a 66 page report from his commanding general, recommending that we execute a “surge” of troops, and vamp-up counterinsurgency tactics.

I am hesitant to support a surge in Afghanistan for several reasons that I feel should be pretty obvious.

1) We are already really in debt, and further action in Afghanistan would significantly add to the deficit, more than the proposed health care bill ever would.
2) We have had troops on the ground there for 8 years, and have been fighting two wars in the region for 6. Thousands of our soldiers have been killed, not to mention countless civilians.

However, there are also some very compelling reasons for staying. Among these is the fact that we do not want Afghanistan to turn back into the cesspool that it was--and for the most part still is--before we were attacked back in 2001. Furthermore, in addition to our national security interests, some would argue that we have a moral responsibility to help Afghanistan. We spent $1 billion pouring weaponry into Afghanistan in the early 80’s, and afterwards did nothing to help them build schools or infrastructure. We turned a country filled with tribal violence into a heavily-armed country of tribal violence and then washed our hands of the whole thing! Whatever we do, we need to make sure that when we leave Afghanistan, terrorist training camps don’t spring up in our place.

-Riley G.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Job openings still declining

Over the last year, we've all gone back to our daily lives and most of us probably think the economy is getting better, and it is. However, the job market isn't. Job openings are still decreasing and the unemployed are still rising, though layoffs have slowed down. According to Thomas A. Kochan, a labor economist at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management. “There’s too much uncertainty out there, There’s not going to be an upsurge in job openings for quite a while, not until employers feel confident the economy is really growing.”

But how do we know the economy is "really growing". The less jobs everyone has, the less they will spend, and the less money companies make to give out paychecks. It's understandable that companies don't want to risk the economy dropping again and lose money from hiring people, but at times like these, the companies are the ones holding the economy back. 

-Weilu Jia

Friday, September 25, 2009

Goodbye Guantanamo

Goodbye Guantanamo, We Knew You Too Well

Almost everyone who has paid any attention to any sort of politics whatsoever in the last eight years has heard of the dreaded detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Since late 2001, when prisoners from the war in Afghanistan began being brought there, the prison has been plagued by one scandal after another. The controversial technique known as water boarding, a technique now deemed an act of torture by the U.S. government, was only one of the many scandals that the detention center was involved in. Upon his inauguration, however, President Obama signed an executive order, stating that the prison was to be completely shut down in one year.

Nine months into his term, President Obama and his staff are finding that closing the Guantanamo Detention Center is going to be much harder than originally believed. Of the many challenges involved in closing Guantanamo, the questions of where the prisoners are going to go is the greatest issue. While the administration originally planned on moving prisoners onto American soil, they are finding that most prisons are very unwilling to house them. According to the Washington Post, the White House needs to find “50 to 60 facilities to house prisoners who cannot be released and who cannot be tried because of legal impediments” which will not be easy.

Unfortunately for the President, time is running out to keep his promise to the American public. Back in January, when he first took office, Obama promised to have the Center closed by next year. Now, in late September, Obama Administration officials are starting to say they’re going to be hard-pressed to keep that promise to the people. Oh well. Thanks to the past eight years, the American public is used to the executive branch breaking its promises. Politics as usual in Washington, D.C.

-Riley G.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Palin in Foreign Policy

Sarah Palin. Most likely the first thoughts about her would be her inept stupidity. Notably, how she thought that Afghanistan was a neighboring country. Amazingly Palin is able to string together something competent about foreign policy in Afghanistan in a speech yesterday. Imagine that! Surprisingly, she actually makes some decent points about how we should go into Afghanistan rather than stay in Iraq. "Iraq is no longer the central front in the war on terrorism. Afghanistan is. ".... But when did she learn foreign policy? She can hardly manage a state. And where was this speech when Bush was in office. Looks like another case of band-wagoning when things look good. I'm pretty sure everyone thinks that we 'ought to get out of Iraq, not much to restate the obvious Palin.

-Weilu Jia

The Security Council is at it again....

Here’s a quick blurb about a typical day in a middle school the Security Council.

I just finished reading this article in the New York Times about the multinational Security Council's efforts to adopt a nuclear arms measure. All I could think the whole time was how the Security Council basically has the social structure of a middle-school. Here’s the gist, with an amazing metaphor that I feel is semi- accurate:

France, Britain, and America are all close buddies and Iran is making them look stupid because they don’t seem to be able to keep Iran from bullying all the other nations and making nuclear weapons. Russia, on the other hand, is being wishy-washy about its opinion on the matter, since it wants stay in good graces with everybody...especially after its rough patch with America *cough* Bush *cough*. Meanwhile all the other countries are secretly talking crap about Israel and its “unacknowledged nuclear arsenal”. So, bravo Security Council, you have been my entertainment for the day.

HIV Vaccine Breakthrough

(link embedded in title)

For the first time in 26 years after the discovery of HIV/AIDS, a breakthrough has been made in the prevention of HIV infection. Scientists have been studying with two different vaccines, both which prove to be inferior to the AIDS virus individually. In a recent study, scientists combined the two vaccines, and had a 31% success rate of cutting the risk of being infected by the virus.

This is incredible. I personally thought this day would not come until I was in my fifties. Now it brings me new hope: the hope to see a fully preventive vaccine in the next 15 to 20 years.

Related Articles:
Experimental AIDS Vaccine Delivers Good News

AIDS vaccine protects people, shocks researchers.

-Armaan Vachani

In response to my last post...

Sorry my grammar is absolutely terrible. I didn't notice it the first time around and I feel like an idiot.
-Riley G.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Can A Pitbull change it’s spots? I think not.

During last year’s presidential campaign, Sarah Palin burst onto the election stage. Palin, a far right conservative, was added to the ticket in an attempt to sure up the right wing base of the Republican Party, a move that, obviously, ended in both failure for the McCain campaign, and the election of the first African-American into the White House. Now, just over 10 months after that election, Palin is already setting herself up for a presidential bid in 2012.

Palin, who has come to be shall-we-say as one of the more dull crayons in the box, attempted earlier today to calm concerns about both her less-than-substantial foreign policy profile, and her knowledge of economics, by speaking in Hong Kong to various Asian investors and fund managers. Suprisingly, critics said Mrs. Palin was “…articulate, well prepared, and even compelling.” This comes as quite the surprise, as Mrs. Palin was notoriously a speaker who not only generally had no clue as to what she was talking about, but didn’t care that she had no idea what she was talking about! Supposedly, in this meeting, Palin was respectful and considerate of the President, steering clear her previous attacks on the national deficit and health care.

Palin is trying, in no uncertain terms, to redefine her image, to make people believe she is a changed woman, now festooned with intelligence, experience, and gusto. Simply put, I don’t buy it. I don’t buy that Palin, in the past 10 months, has gained any experience or, more importantly, wisdom, whatsoever. According to a Times article, Palin not only refused to answer questions after the speech, but only invited guests and a few employees of the firm which sponsored the event were allowed inside the ballroom where Palin made her speech. As New Yorker Melvin Goodé put it, “They really prepared her well.” While some might believe that Palin’s changed, I definitely don’t. Leopards don’t change their spots, and neither do pit bulls. Especially ones who wear lipstick.

-Riley G.

P.S. For those of you that may not get the title, Palin referred to herself as a bulldog wearing lipstick during the presidential campaign.

Taxing "Liquid Candy"

(link embedded in title).

Who does not love soda? I know I do, but I simply can't recall the last time I a can of Coca-Cola (I've been trying to kick the bad habit for a several months). I know my sister had a can a couple days ago, and so did my parents (I saw the cans in the recycling).

There's been a debate on the taxing of soda. "Proposals to tax sugary drinks as a way to fight obesity and finance health care reform have found support from medical experts and some interest from President Obama." But it has also faced resistance, particularly from Coca-Cola C.E.O., Muhtar Kent. In Kent's opinion, "I have never seen it work where a government tells people what to eat and what to drink. If it worked, the Soviet Union would still be around."

While the government may not necessarily tell us what to eat or drink, it sure does try to make sure we eat healthy. The government has regulations on pesticide, chemical, and hormone use in order to keep our food natural and healthy. It also sets regulations on what types of food is served in school cafeterias and has sites such as or

I agree with government taxing of soda. I feel soda is an inelastic product in the market. Many people only drink soda and hate the sight of water. Even if a tax is placed on the product, the quantity demand may not be affected, thus financing health care reform. But hopefully people would be smart enough, especially in the current economy, to spend less on soda and just take a glass or reusable bottle to their kitchen faucet.

-Armaan Vachani

Twitter Politics

Everyone has heard of Twitter, but now people in Congress are using it too. In terms of Twitter, Republicans are far ahead of the game, with twice the number of Republicans with Twitter accounts than Democrats and nearly four times the tweets. Most notably, Senator John McCain has the most subscribers on his Twitter, making you wonder whether Democrats should step up their twittering and up their grass-root movements. Twitter seems to be a good way to be transparent to the people and help rally people by getting closer.

The article notes that people who use Twitter are more likely to lean left, and that this demographic doesn't seem to help the Republicans, however this will probably sway many people toward the right. Democrats better pick up the pace and start those tweets. A new age of campaigning has begun.

-Weilu Jia

Openarms Youth Project in Oklahoma

I am about as non-homophobic as they come, but something about this Openarms Youth Project mentioned in the New York Times today didn't quite sit well with me...

For those who want a general gist of the article, Tusla, Oklahoma has enacted an Openarms Youth Project in many middle schools. This project allows for locations in which gay and lesbian youth can go and feel safe from the bullying that they face at school.

Yes, it is great that this youth project is allowing a safe-haven for middle schoolers who are gay and lesbian, but whatever happened to breaking down the homophobic stereotypes within the middle schools?? The real question that I am trying to pose is: When has isolationism solved anything?

If I recall, there was an era not too long ago when African-Americans were treated as sub-humans, and what was the solution? Definitely not keeping African-American children from interacting with white children. These middle schools should be talking with the kids who are doing the bullying and enlighten them about gay-straight alliances. The issue is not the gay and lesbian youth being themselves, but rather the bigotted straight kids learning to treat their fellow classmates with the respect they deserve...or more importantly, the parents who fear the "unnatural, unchristian" ways of homosexuality.

-Riley G.

Is Capitalism A Sin?

I don't think so, but I'm interested in what Micheal Moore thinks. I was watching the television and a commercial for Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) came on. I think it might be an interesting documentary to watch.

-Armaan Vachani

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Update: Extended Benefits Approved by House

So those 13 extra weeks of Unemployment Benefits proposed by Congressman Jim McDermott was approved by the House today. (Refer to my older post, "Extension of Unemployment Benefits"). The link to today's article is in the title.

"The bill passed easily, 331-83, although the two parties cast the measure in different lights. Democrats said the relief was still needed despite positive signs that their policies were reviving the economy. Republicans said the high jobless rate proved that the Obama administration's economic strategies weren't working."

The unemployment benefits apply to the 27 states - mentioned in the previous article here - (including California), Washington D.C., and also Puerto Rico.

A .pdf of the bill (H.R. 3548) can be found here.

[Edit: Since the bill has only been passed by the House, it still must go through the Senate, and eventually to the hands of the President before being enacted.]

-Armaan Vachani

Obama Snubs NY Gov. Paterson...a Democratic Soap Opera ensues!

Yesterday, President Obama met with David Patterson, the Governor of the State of New York, for one simple reason: to ask him to step aside and allow for newcomers in the 2010 elections.

Now, President Obama’s involvement here is dually interesting and important for a few reasons. First and foremost, the President doesn’t normally involve himself in the elections of unpopular Democratic governors, and secondly, this raises the issue of whether or not it’s politically acceptable for him to do so!

In an anonymous comment on an article in the New York Times regarding the issue, one person asked, if the president was so concerned about Democratic governors who are polling poorly, why he has yet to involve himself in the elections of other governors who exhibit similar showings, such as the governor of New Jersey. (The answer is that New York is much more politically important than New Jersey…but that’s beside the point).

The true issue is whether President Obama, the highest-ranking member of the Executive Branch, a federal operative, should be involving himself in state issues! Obama already has his handsful right now, and should leave Governor Paterson's term of leadership to die a natural death, without getting involved.

-Riley G.

The Addicting Wii

Come on! Who doesn't love the Nintendo Wii?! And especially that bowling game?! I know I do. Here's something I found funny and thought I'd share (link embedded in title):

In March of this year, "Polk County undercover drug investigators stormed the home of convicted drug dealer Michael Difalco near Lakeland. While some detectives hauled out evidence such as flat screen televisions and shotguns, others threw strikes, gutter balls and worked on picking up spares."

I find that amazing. For 1 whole hour (according to the article), investigators played the Wii instead of, well, investigating.

I hope you all enjoyed my short post. Thanks for reading,
-Armaan Vachani

(sorry about the small font, I don't know why it won't change)

Climate Change Fail

Now we've all heard about global warming at one point or another and how we keep trying to do things, but never end up doing enough. Well, here we went again today at a UN Conference to talk about global warming. And you guessed it, we aren't doing enough.

China is currently the largest air polluter in the world, closely followed by the United States.  During today's United Nations meeting on climate change, over 100 countries discussed their goals on reducing emissions by 2050.

Most industrialized nations have agreed to "a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020". However, developing countries like China have said "Due to their low development level and shortage of capital and technology, developing countries have limited capability and means to deal with climate change". Despite this China said they would "cut carbon dioxide emissions by a “notable margin” by 2020 compared with 2005 levels; drastically increase the size of forests; increase the use of nuclear or non-fossil fuels to 15 percent of power by 2020; and work to develop a green economy."

A fairly arbitrary percentage for the more industrialized nations. They need to set a far stricter goal that isn't so vague. China had a slightly more focused plan, actually stating what they want done in a period of time, but the notable margin part is a bit more bleh.

President Obama wants the U.S to invest largely on renewable energy, and giving incentives for cleaner vehicles and clean energy. He also wanted developed countries to provide both financial and technological aid to developing countries to help the world reduce carbon emissions. 

While this looks very nice, none of this has really happened. Frankly, the Cash for Clunkers thing wasn't useful at all. It required you buy a vehicle with a fuel economy of over 22 MPG which is absolutely abysmal.  Older cars from 10 years ago had mileages ranging up to 45 miles per gallon, and after over a decade, all we ask for is 22 miles per gallon? Come on!

Many environmentalists still don't feel we are doing enough to cut emissions, however the target date is so far into the future that Indian environmental minister Jairam Ramesh said that "It is the height of dishonesty to have a target for 2050 because none of us will be around to be held accountable,".

The main problem I've found with climate change, is that no one now actually cares. They won't live long enough to see it, and their children may or may not see it either. Furthermore, all we've done so far is plan. We "plan" to cut emissions by 2050. We "plan" to invest into various clean energy. Not much has actually happened to do anything of the sort. With dates like 2050, as the Indian environmental minister had said, are so far into the future that President Obama can just push the problem onto the next president, and not have to do anything but lay a big speech on how we'll do something about it. We need change now, not in 50 years.

-Weilu Jia

Monday, September 21, 2009

Extension of Unemployment Benefits (plus added ranting)

A few days prior, Congressman Jim McDermott, a Democrat representing Washington, proposed a bill, which, if passed, would extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks. The states affected would include those with unemployment rates above 8.5% - this includes California and 26 other states.

So far, Congress has passed 53 weeks of unemployment benefits and is being exhausted of federal funds. The current national unemployment rate is about 9.7% and is expected to soar over 10% as early as 2010; all federal funds for unemployment benefits are expected to be exhausted by 2011.

When one is not affected by unemployment, he or she criticizes unemployment insurance, but the unemployed (many who have been unable to find jobs for over a year), and their families, have faced drastic changes in their lives.

Last year, a mother was laid off from her job and started receiving unemployment benefits, which lasted for a few months to help the family during this harsh period, in which she was to find a new job. The family relied on her unemployment and Social Security checks and her husband's job to run the family. Several months later, the family received news that the husband was being laid off and would have a few months of unemployment benefits from the company in order to have time to find a new job. That was in January of 2009. It is now September of 2009 and he is still unable to find a job; in all the interviews he's been to, he's received one of two responses: "You are over qualified for this position" or "We cannot offer you the same salary as you used to receive." Both responses in a way say he is getting older and the company is looking for younger, more energetic employees, or they are scared he will receive a higher position and the interviewer him/herself will lose their job. Before the economic recession, the family moved to a new house so their son could receive an education at a school such as Aragon High School. Also, they bought 2 new cars; a van and a hybrid. The family has started to tap into their son's college savings in order to run the house and pay their taxes. Their Social Security checks has run out and their unemployment benefits end at the end of September.

300,000 people are in the same position of this family; on the verge of losing their home. If the new bill is passed, they will receive an extra 13 weeks of grace period to find a new job.

The economy needs people to spend money in order to flow. Personally, I believe the problem today is people are scared; they don't want to spend money in risk of losing all their savings, and eventually, their homes. It's like a positive feedback loop: people don't spend; companies lose money; people make less money; people save money and don't spend; companies lose money and have to let go of workers; those workers save their money and don't spend. And the whole economy spirals down until we return to the Great Depression and hope the war boosts our economy. Knock on wood.

Armaan Vachani

[Edit: link to the original article is embedded in the title.]

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Political Cartoon

LINK to the cartoon

To start this off I am think I am legally allowed to do this but I am not sure. It says it costs 3 dollars to use this cartoon on a school site, but I am not reproducing or placing the cartoon on this site just linking to it on their page. If anyone has any definite proof that this is illegal please say so and I will delete asap.

The cartoon is one of a man with an elephant face for a head and another man with a donkey face for a head and the caption reads (paraphrasing for legal reasons even though I am not sure if I have to) something like:

So all of America is going to be denied health care because of THEIR pre-existing conditions

In case someone does not get it: the two people are representative of the republican and democratic parties. The author makes a joke at the fact that many Americans are turned away from health care because of pre-existing medical conditions and they may be further turned away by health care because of the pre-existing political conditions between the two parties.

I find the cartoon funny and agree that the politics between the democratic and republican party sometimes get in the way of many bills being passed.

This has nothing to do with the current post but my session of blogging is finished so I decided to have some fun:

Calif. panel set to recommend major tax overhaul

Calif. panel set to recommend major tax overhaul

As Mr. Silton has been pointing out in class, California has a very fluctuating economy. In her article Judy Lin argues that the fluctuating economy has to do with "The top 1 percent of income earners. . . pay[ing] roughly half the state's personal income taxes".

She states that because such a significant part of the budget is from very wealthy citizens that when the stock market fluctuates and that top 1 percent (who generally have a significant amount of their money in the market) lose money, the entire state suffers.

A commission put together by the governator and the state assembly are drafting a plausible new tax structure. This new tax structure would cut the taxes on the wealthy and enact a tax on all businesses in California.

Many are complaining that this tax structure would be outrageous. Jean Ross, "executive director of the California Budget Project, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that advocates for lower- and middle-income families" (Judy Lin) states that "This is taxing groceries to finance tax cuts for millionaires and taxing child care so oil companies don't have to pay a corporate income tax".

The idea of lowering taxes on the wealthy is never a popular idea during a budget deficit. However, I see what the committee is trying to do. If the budget is less based on the wealthy and more on the economy itself then the budget will fluctuate less. If the budget can remain reasonable through the business tax and not fluctuate than the state government can finally stop making cuts and have a stable economy.

THC Gene found in Cannabis Plant

There have been a couple blogs on marijuana so when I found this article I thought it might be relevant.
Scientists Find The Gene That Produces THC
Summary: The gene for THC in pot plants has been identified. This allows scientists to potentially control the amount of THC in cannabis plants. Controlling the potency in cannabis plants could allow legal cannabis free of THC in order to make hemp or very potent THC cannabis plants in order to have more effective medical marijuana.


Here's one thing most of us agree upon, but it still deserves some attention, and while i'm not here to post on every topic out there that deserves attention, i will on this one.

Animal cruelty, it comes in so many forms, and you all only know about the tip of the iceberg. This is because over 90% of incidences of animal cruelty, both domestic and government related, are never seen or heard about. No actual national system for reporting cruelty exists, and we must rely on local and state collections of data both for stopping the violence, and for our statistics and research. Lets start at domestic abuse. How come we only seem to notice this subject when people like our dearest mr. Vick show up on the news. Is dog fighting and abuse of pets not interesting enough for you all to think about unless it happens to be a celebrity doing it. I think that's ridiculous. And to all of you who are or are trying to be a vegetarian or a vegan, its a commendable choice, but why don't you stop taking perscription drugs when you are sick too because those are tested on animals as well and are all too often lethal to. Heres a video about the eggs you and i eat, and what happens to their brothers.

I'm not going to go deep into the food production industry, or into animal testing, (thats a video link) or into simple animal abuse, but i want you all to know, its worth thinking about more often than you do, and its worth contributing to more than you do, and most of all, its always worth it to fight for something you believe in nomatter how much money it costs you, how much time you spend, and nomatter how hopeless the fight may seem.

remember, you've only ever heard about, and probably only ever will hear about, just the TIP, of the iceberg


Legalizing marijuana, a topic that seems to be coming up now more than it did a few years ago, and thus deserves some attention. You know that Ron Paul wanted to do it, most students at Aragon High school wouldn't mind either, and personally, i think its PREPOSTEROUS!

Basically everyone who wants to use marijuana can, because it's everywhere, and most who use it, also sell it, meaning there are a lot of small time dealers around. So why not legalize, so that it can be taxed, and can thereby help the state and its population with that money?
BECAUSE while im sure there will be someone in the class who tells me that it'll create jobs, deal a large blow to drug cartels, bring in money, and save on enforcement of law, it is still another drug that even more people will be abusing, getting addicted to, and affecting others in the process.

People drive while high, people don't make thoughtful decisions while high, most people don't even compose complete strands of thought, logic, or reason while high. Being a pothead has medical repercussions, and while less so than smoking or drinking, it has more of the "ruin your life" effect. YES, YES, i will be criticized for saying that marijuana ruins your life, but the fact is, when addicted, which happens easily, kids forget about their education, and live mostly to feed their addiction, hurting their families, friends, and themselves. The last generation was full of potheads, and look how they turned out, just fine. But if you think of how much better they could have turned out, how many years they lost to addiction, how much they sacrificed, and how much harder it was to work up to middle class after quitting, is it worth the cost?
I don't think so, not at all.


50 years ago, when you got punched at school by either someone like you, or a bully twice your size, you could punch them back, maybe get into a fist fight, and then get pulled apart by teachers. Today, if i get punched, i can run, if i get cornered and punched, i can push and then run. if i get stabbed, i can now punch, and perform joint locks and breaks, which i happen to be proficient at.
This phenomenon is called protective force when applied to self defense.

If i break the rules of protective force, then i am nearly as responsible as the aggressor, and if we will both be expelled from school if that is where the incident occurred, and will also probably be reported to juvenile authorities who can give us time in juvenile hall.
While i do not condone violence and do agree with doing anything within bounds to lower the occurrences of violence both in and out of school, i do not agree with protective force. I can end up being killed in a hall at aragon because i dont want to get expelled and arrested for defending myself. The choices are great aren't they?
One of my friends was nearly killed in middle school, when a boy kicked him for something he may or may not have even insinuated, and remembering his lessons from D.A.R.E., he screamed for an adult. One was on the way to the corner where this boy had my friend trapped, but the boy managed to get another kick off at my friend who was on the ground. He hit him squarely on the throat. And for those of you (most of you) who don't know, having your windpipe broken is a fatal injury, and to do so, when it is not flexed, you need only the weight of your arm falling. My friend was picked up by his parents and rushed to the hospital, where he was told that he was lucky to be alive and that he should be able to swallow again in 2 weeks when the swelling goes down.
Can you think what he could have done had he not panicked and forgotten that he was allowed to push the bully and run, he could have saved himself. And this amount of restriction on self defense is ridiculous, because unlike you lucky women, we guys aren't allowed to stab keys or pens into our assaulters necks because of the probability of rape. I just wish this were a free country again.

Aragon School Attendance Policy

Who here has never called into school sick when they were not actually sick? I would guess very few and far between. At Aragon the attendance policy is rather strict. If the activity or reason for being absent is not on the small list of excused absences than it is an unexcused absence. Unexcused absences in their nature just cause problems.

I have heard of many reasons that students call in "sick". The need to finish a school project/paper that is due that day, the need to relax from being overworked, vacations, etc. Are these reasons rather great? Not really. The first one I personally find rather despicable. The second and third one are understandable from the student's point of view but at the same time understandably not acceptable from the school's perspective. I cannot say I have never had to call in "sick" to go on vacation or the likes.

However, along with the questionable reasons people get out of school for, their are many circumstances where students really should be excused out of class but are not by the school.

One fellow student comes to mind immediately for me. I will not mention his/her name because I have not asked him/her about writing on his/her situation on the blog.This person goes to aragon and is part of the search and rescue team in San Mateo county. That means he/she is called when they need to have a massive search to rescue people in serious danger. However, search and rescue is not on the list of excused absences. Therefore even though the police call him/her to give him a rescue mission the school does that excuse him/her. He/she has to call in sick . . . Apparently saving lives is not a good enough excuse to miss class.

Another such situation is visiting colleges. I know personally that I do not want to go visit a college while it is on vacation. I want to see the school while students are there and the college is buzzing with activity. However, normally when they have class, so do we. The counselors themselves incourage visiting the colleges while they are in session. However, college visits are not on the list of excused absenses. Therefore one of the counselors him/her self said to me "just call in sick".

To play the devil's advikit, there is a reason for the strict attendance policy. I believe it is state law or something to that affect that only certain excuses be excused absenses. It is part of the state's/district's/whoever sets the rules 's way of trying to keep attendence up so that we can all get a better education.

However, some of the things such as college visits do make our education better but require us to miss a little school. I believe that the school should have a more loose system for aquiring excused absences. Although the system of simply calling in sick works, it is a crummy system and needs to be chaned.


This will be my last post regarding president Obama and his ACTUAL agenda. I may comment in the future, but tomorrows posts, if any, will be on other topics.

You guys may keep quoting msnbc as long as you want. It still does not make it true. Still nothing but far left socialist propaganda. This discussion truly makes no sense to be continued if you cant tell the difference between freedom and dictatorship even when the dictatorship is laughing in your face. The discussion can only be continued when the two parties participating in the discussion are honest at least with themselves. And if you think you are, i'm afraid you're up for a big disappointment.

If you can't learn from the mistakes made by people a hundred, fifty, or even ten years ago, you will simply have to learn from your own. You're either in denial, or you're not strong enough to admit the mistakes in your beliefs. If you don't think they're mistakes, then you clearly think history can't repeat itself. I wonder how long you'd be willing to stay in denial. I wonder how hard your life has to get before you begin realizing your mistakes. And then how long it will be after that, before you start admitting them. It really isn't me that you're angry with, its not even all those angry mobs at town hall meetings and the tea baggers. What really bothers you is the lack of substance that the left party is experiencing when its time to answer questions raised by the true patriots of this country. It's so much easier to accuse them of racism than to simply deal with the questions being raised. Because you're being caught lying over and over again. And being stubborn after you realize that you've been wrong for so long really isn't the greatest sign of intelligence. I'm glad that at least on this blog you don't denegrate yourselves to the level of degenerate insults and threats that i've been recieving from so many of you in face to face conversations. Why would someone who has a good argument in their pocket belittle him or herself to the level of barbaric insults.

And if the teacher at school, is proud of the nickname commissar, if the teacher clearly favors one political party, and preaches that to his students, then i don't know what would be more of a clear indicator, that education is being politicized. I thought that that was not a role or job of a schoolteacher. Eerie how similar it is to the education in countries that we recognize as dictatorial. Every little similarity adds up. And i have shown, that there are many thats are more than little. If you can not see that, can you ever even tell the difference between truth and lying propaganda? How many times will we fall into the trap of "it cant happen here." It is happening here..

Wouldn't it be more simple for all of you to win this discussion simply by good argument. You couldn't could you. All of what i've seen so far has been pointless refutation of fact with myth and biased if not outright incorrect speculation. Please continue to preach that it can't happen here and then go out and read 1984 again, i don't think you did so carefully enough on the first run through. But if a communist dictatorship is what you really want, at least, be honest about it.

Im extracating myself from this discussion from this point on due to the lack of a WORTHY OPPONENT. Lets all agree, that time is truly the best judge of all. Lets let history run its course, and maybe in a year or two, the truth will become so apparent that nobody will be able to SPIN it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Don't Throw Me in Jail, Just Tax My High

So here is a controversial topic for you: legalization of marijuana. There are lots of reasons for it to be legal, and I am going to discuss them.

First I’m going to take a look at the reasons criminalization of marijuana does not work. People in law enforcement will tell you flat out that it should be legal; laws against it just don’t work – they cannot be effectively enforced.
California has over 0.6 percent of its adult population in prison – A higher rate than any other state in the United States, and higher than most other nation states, even those with repressive regimes. 21 percent of inmates are drug offenders. I’d say this is a good sign that the law is in no way lowering drug usage.
Criminalizing marijuana is a failed experiment – just like prohibition. Making marijuana possession a crime didn’t eliminate usage, it just drove it into the black market. So now a lot of people go to jail for it, and we get no tax money from the sale of it.
And instead of going through legal markets, it goes through drug cartels, who use the drug income to fund other criminal activity. Marijuana now funds violent crime, smuggling, and prostitution.

Now what are the positives of having it legal? First and foremost, tax money. The state of California could be raising a large amount of tax revenue from marijuana sales, if it were legal. Other drugs such as tobacco and alcohol are legal and taxed, why shouldn’t marijuana be?
And I know some arguments against its legalization will be that use of it is immoral. But we legalize and tax plenty of other so-called immoral activities, such as gambling, and use of the drugs I just mentioned – why not marijuana?
Another pro of legalization is regulation. If it is a legal enterprise, not only can it be taxed, but sales can be regulated by the state. If you make it legal, you practically destroy the black market for it, and thus make it much more difficult for those who are underage to procure it.

Now I want to address two more arguments I know will be raised against my opinion.
First, people will say it is bad for you. My answer to that is simple: Yes it is, but so are tobacco, alcohol, and Twinkies, and marijuana is much less dangerous than any of them. The answer is not criminalization, it is effective and correct education to go with free choice.
Others will tell me that studies have shown it to be a gateway drug, that use of marijuana leads to use of other more dangerous drugs. My answer to this is even simpler: These studies have been proven inconclusive or incorrect.

-Ilan Seid-Green

Why should we do that? We might get Sued!!!!!!!!!

I am tired of the ridiculousness of lawsuits. We have all heard of ridiculous law suits such as a robber breaking into a garage while a family was out of town and getting stuck inside the garage. He then had to live off of dog food for a couple weeks. When the family came home and found him rather than being put in jail, he sued the garage making company and WON.

Well that case may be true or not, many other ridiculous law suits do happen in America.
Examples 1-12
I am assuming that most of these lawsuits were lost. However, even when a failed law suit occurs, legal costs and time are both quite a hefty loss to the defendant.

The consequence of these ridiculous law suits is that many companies and organization take ridiculous measures not to get sued.

I work at California Pizza Kitchen. Every night when closing up all the extra bread left over ( sometimes up to 15-20 loafs) is thrown away. When I asked my boss why we do not donate the bread to a soup kitchen his response was "It is company policy that we have to throw it away. We do not want to give it to the homeless because if they get sick they could sue us". I did not have a response to that. That kind of logic is so stupid that it is sad.

California Pizza Kitchen is just one example of a common trend in America. 1) People believe law suits are the solution to all problems 2) People are overly afraid of law suits. These two trends seem to contradict each other. If law suits are becoming overly common then wouldn't the companies be justifiably afraid of law suits? Not Really. In my opinion, there is still a line that should not be crossed. If it is the right thing to do, fear of lawsuits is not a good reason not to do it.

Friday, September 18, 2009


this will be a quick post responding to the lovely people at school whom i dare not name because my sarcastic tone will be "offensive" to them.

not you katie jensen, this is someone else who criticized my tone.

For most of you who did not hear this verbal attack upon me, i was told today "you're a f word racist pig, an im not afraid to say it. some day you will end up alone and unhappy, with all of your homophobic, racist comrads, you stupid narrow minded piece of [fill in the blank], (synonym feces). I wanna see what you have to say after we show you what we obamunists do around here to haters like you." by the way, i will excercize my first amendment rights and not tell anyone who questions me who it is that said this, because i think that the fact that i put it online can get them into alot of trouble, and that is not my intent, nor will it happen.

In responce to the sensitive, tolerant, open minded young future voters who said this to me, i think that you should be posting more of this up on my posts as comments. really, i wouldnt mind, what could the commissar do if you posted anonymously? i'd rather hear the more honest opinions rather than class grade oriented watered down 'find something original to say' comments. While i do not discourage this, go ahead and look out for your grades, but if you actually want to voice an opinion however you want to voice it, go ahead.

I would hate to wake you all up from your brainwashing, but believe it or not, while being against gay rights and abortion are perfectly valid opinions, not every conservative holds them.

For example, I do not hold these opinions, I am Pro-Gay Rights, and Pro-Choice, which i know, many of you are not. Drew, don't bother responding angrily, which you may or may not want to do, i know you're against abortion, you've told me many times. go ahead and list your reasons, it is your right, of course. For now at least, while the first amendment hasn't been clarified, (aka limited) further.

I think it isn't fair that today i was threatened today for blogging about how i think Obama is a socialist or worse.. oops since half of my class may or may not be socialist, i guess i'd better say: or farther left. but in my opinion, farther left=worse for the country. so to clarify, that earlier "socialist or 'worse'" was not worse as in you are worse people it was worse for the country.

Now, for some novelty, I want to talk about motivation and perserverence.

Everybody at some point in their lives has experienced some sort of motivation and has acted on it. feel free to challenge that.

and, in this country, people seem to take too much for granted.
Why don't you listen in your classes when they tell you how people raced and are still racing to get into America, the land of oppertunity. They know, they know that if you come, and use the free education, then you can become a doctor, you can become a lawyer, you can go to any university, you can design bridges, you can convert at will, you can live without fear of political persecution (well for now), and you can forge your own life. Not depending on whether or not the government can put you in a good position, but depending on your own initiative, motivation, drive, and desire to perservere.

For some reason socialists dont understand that this can and probably will be gone if the government runs the economy, small business and the private sector, and just our lives in general eventually. And liberals not fighting against socialism are taking us there. Thanks!

Now, to my other point, while everybody else in the world understands what this country stands for, while still capitalist, the people born in it seem not to.

We all, including myself, take our education for granted. We all, including myself, have felt like school was a nuisance at times, some people more than others of course. But on the other side of the world, people are dying to forge a nation where their grandchildren might have the opportunity to grow up treated like humans, not dirt. While we think about the 2 hours homework will take out of your weekend others are thinking about how if they swam the ocean, they might not starve as often, and might even go to school someday.
So next time you think of being bored at school, unstimulated, or even unmotivated, think about how many people would murder for your place. Think about how lucky you are and actually force yourself to feel different.
take advantage of opportunity, while you still have it, because it may not be around forever.

The Legal Right To Discriminate By Age

In America, we are taught it is unjust to discriminate. Discrimination by race is wrong. Discrimination by gender is wrong. Discrimination is wrong wrong wrong, except when it comes to age.

Citizens cannot drive untill till they are 16.They cannot vote, make their own decisions, buy porn, or drive while on the phone until 18. They cannot drink until 21 etc. The list could go on forever. I have mixed feelings about discrimination on age. Do I want 5 year olds looking at porn, driving, and voting? Not really. However, what is the difference between 17 an 18 or 20 and 21.

The first aspect of discrimination by age is the legality behind it. It is perfectly legal. The Constitution and Laws of the United States condone discrimination by age and apply it constantly. The Constitution gives the right to free speech correct? Wrong. The Constitution gives those over 18 the right to free speech. Parents can take away this right at any time they like. The Constitution creates a nation of liberated people correct? Wrong. The Constitution gives those over 18 the control of their own life.

I think that age discrimination itself is a hard topic to argue simply because it is necessary but at the same time people mature at different ages. Does there need to be a voting age requirement? yes. However where it has to be is rather unclear personally. Some people begin looking into politics, following elections, and having opinions at 14. Some start at 16. Some people never do. Why should an 16 year old child educated on the issues with a thought out opinion not get to vote, but the 25 year old homeless person who does not even know the candidates have the ability to vote.

Do children need to be cared for and under the control of their parents? Yes. However, when does one stop being a child. Maturity is different for everyone. I know 14 year olds more capable to make thier own independent decisions that some 18 or even 24 year olds.

As I said at the beginning of the post I have mixed feelings about the issue. Obviously, I am biased because I am under 17 and victim to age discrimination. However, my age does not change the issue. What is your opinion of age discrimination? How do you set a universal age requirement when everyone has a different maturity level and background?

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I am at a loss of understanding whether i need to provide specific evidence of what our president is doing wrong or not.
Earlier today you put this question for me on the internet.
Later today, you withdrew your question. Kindly, Clarify your stands. Do you still need me to explain to you what i meant, or have you figured it out on your own?
...History WILL repeat itself.

SO, lets analyze the historical economic path that socialist countries have taken and what exactly had led them to economic disaster all over the world.

October 1917, the Russian Revolution began. The very first declaration by the government was to nationalize by declaring ownership of industrial factories, agricultural lands, and small businesses. I believe that the Russian government did this under the assumption that it would be better able to run the economy and businesses including the private sector better than individual businesses, private enterprises, and entrepreneurs. Today, all of the latest actions and decisions made by the white house are clear evidence and indications of the same approach and belief that the Russian government exercised from 1917 to June 1987.

After the revolution, the Russian government seized all news publications and completely silenced the opposition. The country became a one party system, or simply, a dictatorial regime that really wasn't any different from Nazi Germany which started from the same idealistic social democratic ideas. Today in America, the white house has already made attempts to silence talk radio when it attempted to silence conservative host Rush Limbaugh.

Pretty much in every socialist, communist, and fascist country, the opposition was vilified and columniated. They were then called dissidents. Most of them were either sentenced to 25 years to life of hard labor in camps, and many were executed simply for voicing a different opinion. But nevertheless, it started with simple vilification of these people. Today in America, people disagreeing with the white house's policies are called unamerican, angry mobs, tea baggers, brown shirts, nazis, and racists.
I wonder how long it will be before they are being prosecuted?
The first amendment the liberals used to fight for, is already being challenged by no other than liberals themeselves.
Lets not forget June 1989, when hundreds of dissidents, or could we call them tea baggers, were leveled into the pavement by chinese tanks on Tainanmen Square.

Once upon a time, this country used to have a legislative process in which politicians used to represent people to the government. There was an electoral process, where people of this country, had elected these representatives into the senate and the house of congress, and therefore, the people, of this country, had vested power in these representatives.
Today we have 33 czars, never elected, never scrutinized. They can not be questioned by the people, they cannot be questioned by the senate, and they cannot be questioned by the congress. They only answer to the new president of the United States. From this example, we may conclude that slowly but surely, our new president is seizing power!
This process, in an awfully similar manner, has been used in EVERY country known to to us as a country with a dictatorial regime.

In communist China, Mao Zedong created a new movement of civilian security forces, the hunweibins.
In Nazi Germany, we had brownshirts and Hitler youth forces.
In Russia, they started with C.K. later known as NKVD, later the KGB.

-all of these groups were used as civilian security forces or secret police, and were specifically used to control the political views of the population.

Our President mentioned several times that this country needs civilian security forces just as big, as powerful, and as well finded as an american army. considering historical examples of every country under dictatorial regimes in the world today and in the past in which civilian security forces were always used strictly to control political views and subjugate citizens, i cant find an answer as to what use civilian security forces would have in the country by the people and for the people.
Democracy and civilian security forces dont really go together because the second will cancel the first.

all of these countries driven by noble ideas, politicized education in schools. And students had to pledge to be loyal servants of the leading party and the leader. Wasnt that quite literally the same the part removed from President Obama's address to the students recently. The white house made a request to the board of education to impliment a "suggested lesson plan that calls on school kids to write letters to themselves about what they can do to help President Obama...For grades 7-12, the Department of Education suggests teachers prepare and ask as questions for students to prepare such as 'How will he inspire us? How will he challenge us?'" Obama went so far as to request that a pledge of service to him to be made by all students. Later, the white house removed this request because of critics responces.

We can go on and on, the amount of evidence indicating the shift from democracy to dictatorship is overwhelming.

Its a convenient game of obfuscation when true intentions are hidden behind beautiful words, ideas, and ostensibly philanthropic intentions.
But in the end, its ALWAYS a dictatorship, no matter what you call it.

How About That Blogging?

So I’ve noticed some flaws in the mode of discourse on this blog. I do not feel that people here are paying enough attention to their writing. I feel compelled to discuss proper writing and discussion techniques.

First, I have noticed a problem with grammar. It seems to me that people assume that because this is online, they can write things hurriedly, without much or any proofreading, and without conscious attention paid to being grammatically correct. Not being grammatically correct can be a serious hindrance to communication. I admit, minor problems in spelling or punctuation may not throw most people off. They do throw me off, as I notice the problem and begin thinking about it instead of the point of the article. However, when you get into seriously incorrect sentences, it can make it near impossible for the reader to understand what you are trying to say.

A second problem I have noticed is posts that seem to have no central theme. Without a central point to focus your writing on, how can you get any message across at all? People tend to couple this with a lack of clear progression and connections. If you make a statement, it is necessary to follow it up, and make it clear how what you say next is connected to your statement. People tend to say something, and then randomly jump to another topic, or throw in a few examples without explaining how the examples are pertinent to their theses.

A third major failing people seem to have on the internet is respectful civic discourse. Flaming is not the only way to fail at this. To come across as respectful and intelligent, you must have respect for the intelligence and points of view of others. Part of this is the tone of discourse: Hostile confrontation or an accusatory tone does not assist in advancing ideas. However, another part is what is hidden or implied in seemingly respectful or civic words. For example, if you state something as fact and in some way say that intelligent readers will of course agree with you, you may not say it, and you may sound perfectly respectful, but you are quite clearly calling all those who do not agree with you stupid and/or illogical.

This leads us to a discussion of logic. Making statements without proof or making clearly illogical arguments not only makes your post harder to understand, and makes people less inclined to agree with your point of view, but it is also annoying to no end, and will cause people to pay less attention to anything that you say that actually is logical. Blogging may be about opinion, but it is about expressing your opinion in a clear way to others. For this to happen, you must use logic.

Last, but certainly not least, is audience. If you are going to get your point across, it is an absolute must that you have some sense of your audience. If you do not understand who is going to be reading your post, or you do not understand what kind of person you are discussing with, your post is going to have a very serious weakness. If you are not writing to the readers, the readers will not understand.

I admit that I may, and probably have, made some of these mistakes myself. I will do my utmost to fix it from this point on. I hope that I have followed all of my own criteria in this post, and I do hope that those of you who aim to discuss things with me in the future will attempt to follow them as well, as I will, so that we may have meaningful discussions.


I want to ask you all, meaning i want responses, do you think that given a perfect meritocracy cannot happen, we should be moving towards merit based success, or either aristocracy or politically-correct success.
Let me explain myself, I am by no means a white supremacist, a racist, or any type of elitist, but, i think that affirmative action is the biggest load of garbage political correctness (aka the government trying to control you all by guiding and restricting your freedom of speech) has ever come out with.
Lets say a college is accepting its final round of students. It has accepted without much discrimination based on mostly merit so far but now comes the percentage inflation week. Here at this (basically any) admissions office, during percentage inflation week we will try to make up for the vast number of white applicants who deserved to get in outnumbering the number of ethnic minority applicants who deserved to get in. In essence, we will take any ethnic applicant who is equal to or bearably lower in standard than those applicants thus far and let them in with no questions asked because we need 2% this ethnicity, 6% that ethnicity, and if 4 of the 6% did not deserve to get in at all, well who cares? maybe we'll consider bumping it down to 5.9% for this year and then 6.1% the next.

Also i would like to differentiate between colleges looking into background and looking into racial background. It is more difficult to get far from a lower position, and therefore, more merit should be awarded to the mexican-american who applies from a poverty stricken background than to the pretty white boy who was nursed in a seperate 3 story house in the backyard just waiting for him to grow up and inherit it. However, this is not racial, the poverty stricken student gets more merit because of being poverty stricken and in a more difficult starting position, not for being mexican-american.

This same garbage happens in workplaces everywhere, and is accepted. Because if anyone disagrees with it, and they are a white male, then as commissar says, its just their white supremacy complex showing. If they are not a white male, well....then that's just their opinion and you cant do anything about it being wrong can you?

As a matter of fact, that's my opinion, and i'm a conservative white male. And i believe in COLORBLINDNESS, where race doesnt matter at all, as if you are blind to it, whereas merit does matter.
If you think that affirmative action is good, i urge you to look into your liberal values of equality and justice and tell me if its fair that you can get something based on the color of your skin in this country. This is supposed to be the land of opportunity, not the land of political correctness, and reverse racism.


I'm going to be making several posts today, each not as big as the one from yesterday which i wish to see more comments on.
So, first off i would like to praise and give a round of applause to a few select liberal students at Aragon High School who after reading my blog yesterday, did exactly what i expected them to, and i wish to tell you about it, because after all, while i cannot insult anyone on this blog, i can tell you what happened to me today.

Yesterday i wrote a post that seemed to offend many Obama fans and Obamunists at school, and they had things to say to me. Now, i am a conservative, and i am open minded. I can see and find merit to both sides of almost anything, but i am not a hypocrite, there is still always a better choice.
Liberals at Aragon who claim to be open minded, tolerant, and welcoming to opposition seem to be under a misconception.
Today at school i noticed many people starring at me and glaring me down. When i walked over to some of them, they told me that they had read my post, and asked me whether or not it was a joke. I said no, and was called an "insane idiot."
After telling another open liberal that i was not joking last night, i was informed that i was "out of my goddamn mind"
Now I know that this is virtually no representation of the liberal population, but it does make me wonder. How can these specific people call conservatives close minded, unintelligent intolerant, and uptight. My pinion is that they do so for two reasons. First, they are trying to deflect attention away from the fact that it is really them who are close minded, unintelligent, and intolerant of opposing views, and second, that they are trying to convince themselves that they are what they advocate, and that the other side is not, that the other side is wrong. Both of these traits are signs of their weakness to me, and that is why i was not offended when a particular freedom fighter today who read my post said i was a "racist pig", and that is why i am calling them on it.
But what shocked me the most today, was that a particular person at school used their power to play off of the rather large audience's opinions and get them riled up against something while really, truly, i feel as if this act was directed towards me. And this act was a responce to my post and i feel that it was meant to make a joke out of my views. To this person, i can only say this: WHY BOTHER?

Now, to the jist,

For all of you who read my post yesterday, i have a question.
once upon a time the liberals in america used to say "I may disagree with you sir, but ill fight to the death, for your right to say it"
I think those old fashioned liberals were really fighting for everyones ability to excercize their first amendment rights. And the first amendment itself was designed to protect an unpopular opinion.
It seems that i am the only conservative in this class. Do you all still believe in the first amendment, or would you fight to the death until i shut up, or pretend to hold your brainwashed in and guided opinions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

President of The United States

The position of the president of the united states is one of immense power. It is the power to represent a nation of over 300 million people. The power to veto bills of legislature. The power to order troops. The power to be heard by every single person in the nation. So how did the colossal power end up in the hands of a moron such as George W. Bush? Is this blog going to be a Bush bash? a bit but more importantly it is about the effect of having such an idiot be president.

For me, my entire view of the presidency has been of Bush. Bush was elected in 2001. I was 9 when that happened. I had no idea of politics or Clinton when I was 9. So before Obama was elected last year, I had never been aware of another president. This means a huge amount. My personal respect for the position is much less than that of someone who has in their life had educated and intelligent people lead the nation.

More than just Bush's intellect (or lack of it), the hatred of him (especially in the bay area) really has a lasting effect I think. A lot of people disprove of Obama. However, a lot of people aprove of him as well. To me it is wierd to think that people whom I respect or agree with at times praise the president. It feels wierd when I agree with Obama because I am so used to hating the person who holds that office.

I hope my natural feelings towards the position change overtime but I do not know if they will. I think that Bush did to the generation of adolescents during his office as Nixon did to the adolescents during his presidency. Before Nixon, it was not uncommon to have complete faith in the president. However after his corruption, many people became more cautious and cynic about what comes out of the president. It is different though. While one can call Nixon a crook (despite any speeches he may have given denying it), no one can call him stupid or unintelligent. I think that while Nixon degraded the trust of the president, Bush degraded the respect of the president.

In all honesty, how useful are political debates?

Political debates occur all the time. Whether between high school students between classes or adults at work, many like to voice their opinion. However, the percentage of the time in which I have actually seen someone change their minds is small. I feel like if someone is fiery or opinionated enough to enter a debate that they have generally already decided what he/she thinks. period

I think that this might occur for many reasons.

1) like Mr. Silton (I think it was Mr. Silton) brought up in class, it hurts to be wrong. It is an unpleasant feeling and just sucks. The only thing that sucks more than being wrong is having to admit to someone you are arguing with that not only are you wrong but they are right. It is a necessary thing that you should just suck up and admit sometimes. However, a lot of times people will convince themselves they are right or just not admit they are wrong

2) The political party system just screws things up. Oh I am a liberal and a republican came up with the idea so I should not support it. Or my parents/ congressional representative / Barack Obama is against it so I am also against it.. Just because the apozing party came up with something or because someone you support does not support it should not affect your opinion. The politcal system works bottom up NOT TOP DOWN. We the people are supposed to decide on how we feel about an issue. Then the people who represent us or whose politcal party we are in are supposed to represent what we feel as the people. Deciding on an issue because the person you voted for supports it is so ass backwards it is just wrong.

In my experience the only time that politcal debates or arguments really affect anyone's perspective is when one or more of the people involved have a huge lack of knowledge or real preference. Generally the otherside will present some facts that the other is simply not aware of and that will change his/her opinion.

Are politcal debates useless? I do not think so because many crystallize /refine their views through debate. However, I do not believe that they are very affective in the aspect of changing someone's side of a political issue.


I wonder how many people understand the meaning of the phrase "those who don't know history are prone to repeat it"
That makes me wonder how many of you know history, and i dont mean know the facts, i mean know the concepts, what they indicate, and how they relate to today's issues.

1917, there was a massive redistribution of wealth in Russia. in 1918, massive civil unrest, followed by civil war, poverty, starvation, and millions of deaths. it took the government four years to realize that the government cannot run business and the economy as well as small business enterprises driven by profit can.
What do you know?

1922, the government implemented NEP. How many of you actually know what this abbreviation stands for??? After starving dozens of millions of people to death, the government allowed NEP to happen.
New Economic Politics, a controlled form of capitalism, in which everyone who seized their newly granted opportunity, succeeded and prospered. Former Russia, now the Soviet Union government, realized its incompetence in economics and its ability to run business.

There were another 20 million people who were free to challenge the government, but the government was better informed, better backed up, and more experienced. And so, while they were free to express themselves, the government knew what was better for them, and 20 million people were executed in Russia in the 1930's.

Should we be talking about the 60 million people executed by marxist believers in China?

Im not sure if i should make you guys waste your time THINKING about what marxism (the base philsophy behind communism) did to people of Cuba and North Korea. We are all aware that life there is so great, that people just cant line up fast enough to immigrate to those countries.

There are several more dozens of countries in the world that have tried to run this experiment successfully and YES, it was a GREAT success, for the very tiny, elite groups of people that in so called, in uneducated, obtuse, southern-type thinking states, we call dictators. NO, these people are more accurately labeled by the liberal politically-correct term: Freedom Fighters.

All these wonderful people have started with such magnanimous ideas, why not, after decades of their progress, and history in the making, just take a tour through those countries, converse with people, breath some free air, and share the joy that those free people are experiencing today.

And less than a hundred years after the first experiment, through our reforms, we're following in the exact footsteps of Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Hitler (who by the way, started as a national socialist), Castro, and please dont forget Kim Jong Il!!

You might ask WHAT politics of our president today have in common with all the above mentioned philanthropists.
For one, they all engaged in the redistribution of wealth. One of the greatest things that all of these leaders had in common was that they promised a free heaven on earth to everybody who would follow them. However, so far, our leader was not as successful at silencing the opposition as were the other philanthropists, although, there have been a few attempts by the white house in recent months to silence radio talk shows stirring up opposition. But then again, Why should atrue intellectuals waste their time by listening to Rush Limbaugh? All of the fortunate people from the past thought that the government can run things better than the private enterprises and look where they are now, 'heaven' on earth!

Maybe, just MAYBE, its time, to start thinking, to start using your own brains!
Make your own analysis.
But then again, WHY BOTHER.....just look at the wonderful worryfree life that marxist based socialist countries have to offer!
Lets all support Obama as he takes us towards socialism. Lets all put on hats with red stars. And sure enough, Mr. Obama will take care of us.