Thursday, September 30, 2010
The coloring books are supposedly for children from age 2 - 10. The book is overall a testament to the beliefs and ideologies of the coloring book, however this pleasant (seemingly) propaganda is also filled with statements that will make false impressions of government for children: "When taxes are too high, the high tax takes away jobs and freedom." These statements will confuse some children and some critics say it's inappropriate. I don't know, would you (at age 2 - 10) want this coloring book??? What happened to coloring books on dinosaurs and superheroes and ponies? But it is way too out there to death threaten these people too!
First of all, this is gross and absolutely horrific for a teacher and a school district to have to face. Not only does he have to be looked at as vermin by everyone else, but his nasty sex addiction cost him his job and cost the district their good reputation in which many have said is a good educational system overall...until it was rocked with this horrible scandal. People don't think and Alferez obviously wasn't thinking of his consequences until it was too late. This gives teachers a bad name and the school one as well. The horrible part (not that the story isn't already so horrible) is the fact that he engaged himself with young children (elementary age) which is like 20 something years younger than him....
WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?????!!!! Scandal after scandal corrupts our media news and is so disheartening to see the growth in crime through the years. I don't agree that he should be on paid leave, he should be fired, and left in jail to rot for a long time (this is harsh...but remember...he did it with elementary school children)
All I know is there was a lot more than dancing going on in his classroom....
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
True, Brown was quite all - over the place and gave convoluted answers that always related to his success. And yes, Whitman always found a way to answer the question given to her with, "We need to put Californians back in work,". Overall, a poor performance in some aspects on BOTH sides, with some brief shining moments.
Typical conversation: (of course made - up, but you'll all get the picture)
Reporter: How will you improve California's economy in such as recession as today?
Brown: Well, in the past I got us through other hurtles.
Whitman: Californians need to be put back to work.
Reporter: What are your first initial plans for you if you are elected governor?
Brown: Well, I was governor before, so I'll just do whatever...I got through it before....I have a wife now...I won't close the bar the night I get elected like last time though!
Whitman: Well, we need to get Californians back to work!
Reporter: One more question, what is 1+1?
Brown: Well, last time I was governor, it was 2...so today it is still 2.
Whitman: Well I don't know, but we need to get Californians back to work!
You see? The overall debate also touched on issues such as economic problems, tax cuts, education funding (UC/CSU system), water bill, illegal immigration and the death penalty. Overall, there can't be 2 winners, but I guess there is nothing wrong with...2 losers???!!!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I’m a little surprised that no one has posted about the governor debate yet. Anyways…I watched the debate in parts and some of the videos wouldn’t load for me. But these are the topics that I actually watched: budget, death penalty, job creation, pension reform, and voting.
Whitman is for cutting down the people while Brown is for cutting down
*just a side note, Brown talked about how many times we have all seen Whitman’s face and TV and I would like to corroborate that point because even my mom knows who Whitman is. And my mom rarely watches TV or follows politics. So Whitman definitely got her face out there.
Both candidates are in favor of speeding up the death penalty appeal process, but through different means. Brown says the right to a proper trial and lawyer belongs to the condemned and that can speed up habeas corpus. Whitman is tough on crime and will appoint conservative judges to the bench. She says that a federal program in the Criminal Justice League would accelerate the appeal process but never says what the program is. She made a good point saying that CA shouldn’t waste money on death row infrastructure anymore. Brown rebuts saying that law enforcement agencies have his back and talks about his record in Oakland, but I feel that the point regarding Oakland was to his disadvantage because Whitman got the last word in this round. She ended with giving stats that showed how ineffective Brown was as mayor of Oakland. Whitman said that Oakland is the fourth most dangerous city in America and the homicide rate doubled after Brown’s term. She was also quick to attack that Brown suddenly changed his moral stance on the death penalty last week (Brown had been morally opposed to it for the last 40 years and changed his mind last week). I say this round goes to Whitman partially because of her last arguments.
Whitman began by throwing out more stats at the audience. Starting in this round, anyone can tell that she was very scripted and her body language was restricted by the podium. She repeated a lot of same phrases over and over again. She proposed factory tax cuts and startup tax cuts that both favored businesses (predictable since she is Republican and a businesswoman herself). She argues that tax revenues will be higher if we lower factory tax because that creates more jobs and more companies. She talks about Texas as a good economic example here. Brown compared Whitman to George Bush first thing on the rebuttal. That’s a
By this round, it was visible what themes each candidate focused on. I won’t go into details about the rest of the issues because this page would get too long, but here’s a quick debrief:
- Whitman focused a lot on statistics. At first it was effective, but it was overused. She started to sound like she was just showing off her brain after a few rounds. She was more scripted compared to Brown and always had a smile on her face (sometimes it was a smile/scold/smirk). She had a good flow in her speeches but also had a lot of repetitive phrases. Of course she had to deal with the fact that she wasn’t registered to vote for something like 20 years, but she addressed it, apologized for it, and moved on. That was fine for me.
- Brown was more animated and emotive. He wasn’t afraid to stutter at times. To me, it didn’t take away from his points and instead made him seem more human. He focused a lot on his past records as governor and mayor of Oakland (Oakland wasn’t always a good idea b/c I believe that the people around the Bay Area are more informed about the city than people from other parts of California. So an advancement that he made in Oakland may seem great compared to Oakland, but not compared to some other city in CA). He has an advantage over Whitman in that he is a more experienced politician. His humor was more approachable (as opposed to Whitman’s hunting story with the governor of Texas). He explained a lot of government vocab that I didn’t understand like the “big five group” and “AB32” and so it was easier to follow.
I say Brown won this overall (from the five rounds that I was able to watch online) because he had a better connection with the audience and didn’t seem as elitist. He didn’t do an awesome job regarding some of the content in debate such as job creations (his only idea was green jobs) and that seemed too limited. But overall, he did better compared to Whitman.
Links to the videos on ABC (Thanks Jessia!):
First of all, why "fudge" at all in this day and age, since of course, everyone is going to find out sooner or later...????!!!! And also, what does this reveal about our politicians these days? How can we trust those in power when they don't put their right foot forward and treat us as if we were born yesterday...
Ms. O'Donnell's actions makes her a joke and I don't believe the publicity is good publicity and good media-attention. If she wanted taht, she could've just auditioned to be on Jersey Shore...but this is politics! This is the real world, Christine! The part that really gets me is that our politicians these days are so centered on being powerful and influential, without anything to show for it. She is a joke and should be treated as one...Where did the real people with real values go? She also does a double injustice by putting other colleges down, the fact that she feels ashamed of her real education that she has to lie about it and mask the truth reveals her insecurities as a person, and these days, in any political position, we need level - headed, smart and strategic people with human beings being their focus. Not a scandalous show and front page of a tabloid - kind of campaign...
Monday, September 27, 2010
Wiretapping has been present in American society ever since when the first telephone was invented. The term has now expanded to include tapping internet connections as well.
The U.S. is looking to enforce new regulations for wiretapping the Internet because criminal suspects are abandoning the telephone as a means of communication. Federal law enforcement agencies claim that they need to keep up and expand their power in order to wiretap “all services that enable communications.” That includes Facebook and Skype. Once again, this raises the question of the balance between security and privacy.
Valerie E. Caproni, general counsel for the FBI, said that “We’re talking about lawfully authorized intercepts. We’re not talking expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”
They are looking to expand this power abroad because currently, U.S. telephone and broadband services are already required to have the capacity to be intercepted under the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (1994). This bill would also mean that the government has to increase its subsidies for communications companies (on top of the large defense budget).
I say we let them do it. We have accepted social networking on the Internet, so we should be aware that the Internet is the last place where we should look for privacy. And besides, I doubt that any of us writes: “I’m about to bomb Times Square, come get me FBI!” for our status on FB.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Need I say more on the story? This is wrong on so many levels.
So what if there is more Middle Eastern influence? America is getting so paranoid about other cultures that happen to be from that region. Newsflash: not all Arabs are terrorists! I would like to think that we're beyond that point of Islamaphobia, but recent story such as the Mosque in NY have led me to believe otherwise.
I also think that it's completely ignorant of the School Board, if not on a humanitarian level as a political level. A lot of what is fueling the tensions between the West and the Middle East is the lack of understanding and education on both parts. Those in the Middle East are told that Americans are all pigs and care about nothing but materialism, which may be true to an extent, but does not accurately describe American culture as a whole. Furthermore, we're told that the Middle East is full of radical Islamic fundamentalists who want nothing but the destruction of the West and our way of life. Which, again, could apply to SOME people but certainly not the culture as a whole. Curbing this lack of understanding is a key step in ending the viscous cycle of war and violence. This cycles costs a lot in human life as well as trillions of taxpayers' dollars.
The day that America as a whole is able to get over its fear of Islam may be the day I'm gone from this Earth. But it has to start somewhere, right?
I've had a fun time blogging and (hopefully) stirring things up. My parting message is: speak the truth and be honest. If people think you're mean, you've done your job right, because the truth hurts. Keep it real, people.
Love, The Power Gay
However this is usually not the case. For most people, the drugs may buy them a few months or years. And as time goes on, many people struggle to come up with the money to pay for their treatments. For example, job losses have led some people to stop taking Gleevec, a $4,500-a-month drug by Novartis AG that keeps certain leukemias and stomach cancers in remission. "Higher costs seem to be more accepted for cancer treatment than for other illnesses, but there's no rule on how much is too much," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society's deputy chief medical officer. For the last decade, new cancer-fighting drugs have been topping $5,000 a month. In a year, that would be $60,000!
We always describe life as something that is priceless, so is any amount of money worth a few more moments of life? Or could it be that outrageous prices (like Provenge's $93,000) still aren't worth it, even in the face of death?
Asa fan of the show, I found the sketch to be pretty funny, as I have with a lot of their political satire. The show has taken on politics regularly (especially since the 2008 Presidential Campaign) and even hosts these political faces on the show, to poke fun at themselves and other issues.
So what do you guys think of SNL's political satire?
Friday, September 24, 2010
A past Latin America national security adviser, Robert Pastor, reported last year that there were at least 6,600 U.S. gun shops within 100 miles of the Mexican border and more than 90% of weapons in Mexico come from the U.S.
American leaders, however, are acknowledging the problem and trying to solve it. "It's not only guns; it's weapons, it's arsenals of all kinds that come south," Secretary of State Hilary Clinton recently stated, "So I feel a real sense of responsibility to do everything we can. And again, we're working hard to come up with approaches that will actually deliver."
This issue has also brought heat to another touchy subject: the claim that high crime rates are directly related to illegal immigration, as some U.S. politicians have contended. "Border violence and crime due to illegal immigration are critically important issues to the people of our state," Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said, "There is no higher priority than protecting the citizens of Arizona. We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of the drug cartels. We cannot stand idly by as drop houses, kidnappings and violence compromise our quality of life." However, Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa claims that there's no evidence linking high crime rates with illegal immigration. The two largest Latino populations in the United States are in the New York City and Los Angeles areas, she said, but both locales have seen a "dramatic drop in the crime rate."
So which one do you think is a more pressing problem? The U.S. weapons floating into Mexico, or the illegal immigrants escaping into the U.S.?
This scares me. This reveals a few things to me:
Like the extremely effective anti-tobacco ads, MADD has done its work. Driving while drunk has become (and rightfully so) stigmatized. I assume that the reason for this is that alcohol has been here forever, giving humans times to develop social rules surrounding it, like not to drive under the influence. Texting, however, as a relatively modern phenomenon, has not yet developed the same etiquette rules as the rules surrounding the drink. Therefore, people don't associate as negative a stigma against texting while driving. Maybe it's time to start.
16,000 deaths since 2001 is 16,000 deaths too many.
Soon texting will surpass drunk drivers as the main cause of driving fatalities. Just because MADD hasn't attacked you doesn't mean that it's ok. Please, put the cellphone away when you're driving, or pull over to use it.
Love, The Power Gay
Thursday, September 23, 2010
At the end of May, the Mid Rivers Mall (St.Louis, Missouri) put their "parental escort policy" in action and they seem to have reported a higher percentage of customers and sales. After a month, their mall traffic was up 5% on Friday/Saturday nights, and sales went up between 3% - 10%, depending on the category.
And with schools starting up again and students running to the mall, many shopping centers are following Mid Rivers Mall's example and taking up the "parental escort policy." With thousands of "teen mall rats" roaming around, general manager Joe Castaldo of Crossgates Mall called it a "a babysitting service,"and decided to enact a teen curfew. "The policy is that kids aren't allowed to use the mall as a hangout," said Joe DePlasco, a spokesman for Atlantic Terminal Mall, "We're concerned about the overall experience at the mall."
With so many teen-oriented stores in the mall, including Abercrombie & Fitch and Hot Topic, banning these young people should have a negative effect, but instead, it has proved quite the opposite. Department stores, like Macy's and Nordstrom, make the bulk of the money for a mall. "There has to be a balance," Howard Davidowitz, a retail consultant said, "The problem a developer has is if [the mall] becomes a hangout, it becomes scary for older customer. That's the department store customer, and that's the anchor of the center." Castaldo of Crossgates Mall feels that his sales have gone up because the older customers start feeling welcome again, and the teens that decide to come have their parents' wallets in tow. "Now instead of teens just spending $10 on something, parents are coming in with their credit cards," he said.
Lenore Skenazy, a columnist and author, however disagrees with these policies. "They're treating 17-year-olds like they are babies who need supervision or juvenile delinquents who should be behind bars," she said. "There's a lot of self-fulfillment in that policy. The less chance we give them to prove themselves worthy of our respect, the less likely they will."
I wholeheartedly agree with Skenazy. By introducing these curfews and policies, malls are not only rejecting a significant part of the population, but also feeding their rebellion. In my opinion, enacting these policies won't stop teens from going to mall. It'd be near impossible to prevent teens from going because it has become such a staple in our lives. Sure, malls might make more money by attracting adult costumers, but it would also lose something that's part of the mall experience: the energy and liveliness that teens provide. Imagine cruising through the mall and everyone's talking quietly and walking around properly. Doesn't really feel like a mall, does it?