Wednesday, May 25, 2011
"I believe if the original framers were resurrected, they would be disgusted and shocked by the corporate effect on American politics. They tried to create a government run by elites so they have the least to gain, but in present day America we have elites accepting bribes from elite elites so that they may become elite elite elites."
So the school year is over and the blog going back into hibernation. HAGS!!!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Ok, so this is the second time I have written this post, as the first time there was an error. yay. anywho. as you all hopefully know, we have accomplished the goal that we set out to do in the afghan-u.s. war. osama bin laden is dead, and while politicians and civilians alike are still contemplating the actual significance of his death (is it crucial, or just symbolic?), there is debate over a bill introduced by california republican Representative Howard P. McKeon, chairman of the house armed services committee. the bill is riding the coattails of the concept that rather than withdraw all troops because of bin laden's death, we should actually use this moment as a catalyst for more anti-terror warfare, enough to bring al qaeda to the table for negotiation. the bill is a defense authorization bill, an update of the power granted to congress after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. it proposes that the US is in a conflict between "Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces", and that the president is able to use military force to quell those forces, including detention without trial of members or "substantial" supporters of terrorist groups. groups like the center for constitutional rights, and the american civil liberties union are in uproar about the possibility of so much open-ended power being given to the executive branch. they believe that this bill allows or the president to wage endless wars, with no time limits or ranges. although the article goes on to talk about insurgents and the pakistani government, i chose to focus on the issue of the proposed bill..how do you feel about so uch power being given to the president? and on a much-debated note, how do you react to the fact that there is the potential for detainment without trial??
Saturday, May 14, 2011
"The administration has taken significant steps to better protect America against cyber threats," an official said. This cybersecurity legislative proposal is used to demonstrate Obama’s “commitment to addressing complex and systemic national vulnerabilities that place the American people and economy at risk," the official said.
The proposed bill will focus on improving cybersecurity in the critical national infrastructure and in the government's networks and computers. The official also commented on the potential opposition from privacy groups who may argue that the bill will affect the balance between protecting civil liberties and economic growth. The White House is anticipating Congress to take action on the cybersecurity bill this year.
I am not quite sure about how this process of improving cybersecurity will work, but ultimately it sounds like a good idea to me, especially in regards to the recent numerous Facebook hackings. Do you guys agree with the pursuit of this plan, and how do you think Congress should go about it?
The council voted 3-2 to ban dispensaries after the strong opposition from the community. Mayor Kevin Mullin, Vice Mayor Richard Garbarino and Councilman Pedro Gonzalez supported the prohibition, while Karyl Matsumoto and Mark Addiego dissented. Before this decision was made, the council heard from many community members who were against having a collective in South San Francisco. The council also took in consideration the recent incidents at El Camino High School in which students got their hands on drugs through connections to people with a medical card.
"It's unfortunate that patients in the South San Francisco community won't have a place locally to get their medicine," Scot Candell (an attorney for a group that had been trying to establish a dispensary there) said. "Their choice now is to procure it illegally in South San Francisco or travel distances to get it in compliance with the law. Unfortunately, some patients don't have the ability to travel distances."
Matsumoto (council member) voted against a ban, saying, "I feel strongly that there is a need for medical marijuana. I know there's abuse. But I believe medical marijuana is less insidious than potent drugs."
I personally strongly agree with Matsumoto in that medical marijuana is needed, and it is definitely not as dangerous as many other drugs.
But what do you guys think? Do you think medical marijuana dispensaries should be abolished although it is clearly legal to have them?
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I don't agree with the point of view being indirectly expressed by this Star Wars analogy, but it is clever and amusing.
On the other hand, I have grown tired of the ideology of "American Exceptionalism" (as has the blogger in the immediately preceding link) and the empire that feeds off that ideology. I'm perfectly happy to have the United States be a world leader through its ideas and innovation, becoming one of many successful and civilized societies on earth, and not an egotistical bully intent on maintaining global dominance no matter what the cost in lives, freedoms, and values.
The Jedi weren't terrorists and the US has never committed genocide as the Galactic Empire did with Alderan. But the empire creaks under its own weight nonetheless.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The article is about how Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is trying to ask the Supreme Court to repeal the Arizona Immigration Law Ruling. This planned appeal will happen for the second time after Brewer was denied by the Circuit Court of Appeals that refused to prevent key parts of the law to be enforced. The federal government says that the Arizona Law disrupts relations between the US and Mexico, intrudes on the exclusiveness of immigration, and severely burdens the legal immigrants in the country. The law was passed to quell complaints about how the federal is not doing much to regulate illegal immigration.
I believe that the Arizona Law must be banned. I think it is very racist and it contradicts the fundamentals of how our country is seen, to be a land of opportunity. The strict immigration policies in Arizona should be considered illegal because I believe that it has state powers mixing with federal powers.
An alternate solution that can happen is to get rid of the Arizona Law, and increase spending on the border patrol. It will satisfy those who say the federal government isn’t doing much on illegal immigration, it will get rid of the Arizona Law, make legal immigrants feel more secure, and it can also help our economy by creating jobs for more border patrol security. So what do you think will happen? Do you think Governor Brewer will get her repeal denied again? If so, what will happen with the people living here illegally in the US? What will happen with our relations with Mexico?
Monday, May 9, 2011
Many officials,and policemen say that there is nothing to worry about when it comes to the Levees, that they will not break down, but with so much water washing into town, that seems too much for levees to handle.20,000 bags are at the ready if the collapse of the levees were to happen, but is that enough to save the city?
So do you think this is normal flooding for that part of the country, or is it more about some mysterious global warming everyone is experiencing? Do you think the levees will hold and protect the town from such water, and can 20,000 bags really be the life saver of this situation?
Sunday, May 8, 2011
President Obama recently decided to not release pictures of Osama bin Laden’s body due to their gruesome nature, but the White House has however recently released five videos that were found at his compound. The videos include footage of outtakes from bin Laden’s propaganda videos, footage of him watching news channels while wrapped in a blanket, and a propaganda video entitled “Message to the American People” in which, like his other videos, bin Laden made anti American statements. The government has released all of the videos without sound in order to not spread terroristic messages. The videos show that bin Laden’s propaganda videos were scripted and that he paid attention to his appearance since it can be seen that he dyed and trimmed his beard.
Notes, computer disks and thumb drives retrieved from the compound show evidence that bin Laden was still greatly involved in planning al-Qaida’s affairs and that he used the compound as an al-Qaida control center. Everything that was retrieved from the compound has been named the “largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever collected”. Within its contents, governments officials have found phone numbers and documents that they hope will help them break al-Qaida.
Bin Laden worked hard to create an image for himself, an image of being a strong tough leader. I agree with many who have said that the released footage greatly hurts that image. Seeing that everything he said in his videos was greatly rehearsed and seeing that he was self-conscious about his image makes him seem a lot less scary and threatening. I also think the fact that the government found evidence that bin Laden was still greatly involved in al-Qaida’s affairs and the fact that they found documents that could help them further try to stop al-Qaida, is good support to argument that it was good to have gone after him and deal with him in the way we did.
What are your thoughts on the released footage? Have they made you see bin Laden is a different light? Do you think pictures of bin Laden’s body should be released? Do you think the fact they are “gruesome” is a good excuse to not release them?
The videos can be watched here:
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Samar's parents were taking their son, also Samar's brother, to the hospital because he was sick. On the way back was when their parents were shot and killed.
Three years later, Samar's brother died from an attack at their house. He was shot several times.
Many of Samar's sibilings are perscribed medication for their mental health problems.
Military forces asked that the pictures taken to no longer be shown to the public. But why are the photos being taken in the first place? Also, why are the U.S. killing the innocent? Why is it that Iraqi children have to see these tramatic actions all over their country? Shouldn't the Americans have some sympathy towards how these people are going to feel after the fact?
Friday, May 6, 2011
Gas prices have been rising daily for about a month, but the national average price for a gallon of gasoline fell by a tenth of a cent to $3.984 today on May 6th. However, economists are saying that it might be too soon to predict if gas price are going to stay at this price. Gas prices might get higher later in the year. Gas prices depend a lot on the price of crude oil. Crude oil fell in price this week, which may have caused the drop in gas prices. It’s estimated by Chris Lafakis, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, that for each dollar that oil prices fall, gas prices fall by 2.2 cents.
Investors in oil believe that the energy demand worldwide isn’t as strong as they thought. This is a reason why oil prices fell. Part of the reason why the economy is at risk is because of the high gas prices. People spend less on other things when they spend more to buy gas. This will make economic growth slow down.
Gas is so expensive right now because the
I think that this small drop in gas prices is a good thing for people, but I don’t think that gas prices will fall a lot more. It is getting close to summer, and a lot of people will be going on vacation. These people will need a lot of gas. Since gas is being demanded more, I think that gas prices will increase.
What do you think? Will gas prices go up or will they fall more? Do you think that high gas prices slow down the economy?
I believe that the Republicans are just trying to prevent President Obama’s popularity from rising for the next presidential elections. What do you think? Do you believe that the Republicans are just sore because they can’t get any praise for the things they were able to do? Do you think we will have another Democratic president in office? What do you think will be the future of Congress? Will they be able to work together with the Executive Branch?
Thursday, May 5, 2011
The issue here is that PG&E is already making more money off the new meters and also raising the prices to make up for lost profit of replacing the analog meters. Last year, though, administrative law said that it would be okay if they did this but for less money than if the meters were actually being used.
The argument is that some feel that PG&E is making too much profit off these old meters, while others feels that it is okay.
A voted decision was made that PG&E will increase their rates about $13 million over the span of the next six years.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I’ve heard many of us ask each other, in class and in blog comments, if we think that celebrating bin Laden’s death is appropriate. I myself have had trouble trying to put my feelings into words, but I stumbled over an article by a Huffington Post blogger, Pamela Gerloff, and found that we both hold very similar views pertaining to this subject.
Gerloff believes that public celebration of bin Laden’s death is not proper behavior for not only Americans, but for human beings has a whole. Part of being human is having the ability appreciate the gift of life. Celebrating a death, no matter whose it may be, is to Gerloff, “a violation of human dignity”. Gerloff feels that celebrations are not portraying Americans in a good light, and states, “We are not a peaceful species. Nor are we a peaceful nation. The public celebrations of this killing throughout the country draw attention to these facts”.
Gerloff understands that bin Laden’s death may bring feelings of closure to some people, especially to those who had lost a loved one in the 9/11 attacks, however she does not think his death should be celebrated to the extent of chanting and singing in front of the White House. Instead of celebrating in such a gaudy and loud manner, Gerloff believes, “A more peaceable response to his killing would be to mourn the many tragedies that led up to his violent death and the thousands of violent deaths that occurred in the attempt to eliminate him from the face of the Earth; and to feel compassion for anyone who, because of their role in the military or government, American or otherwise, has had to play a role in killing another”.
Yes, bin Laden’s death was an achievement, but Gerloff points out the fact that his death has not stopped the War On Terror or created more peace. Gerloff states that since his death,“threat levels are going up, not down”. Gerloff also wants to remind readers that “The impulse to celebrate a death depends on what side you're on”. If another country were to kill an American leader and then go onto cheerfully celebrate his death, how would Americans feel about it?
What are your views on celebrating bin Laden’s death? Do you agree with Gerloff? Please feel free to play devil’s advocate!
Do you think Obama will have enough support from 9/11 families to have them vote for him after he issued American Troops to kill Osama Bin Laden, or will feelings die down by re-election that voters decide on other candidates for the 2012 election?
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
So what do you think? Should Osama's life been treated in such a different way, that way ensuring the safety those who travel to London, Heathrow Airport? Do you think Al-Qaeda is being honest about this and are still discussing when and how to properly do this? Remember how California's Golden Gate Bridge was also a target for 9/11...?
So please, every traveling to London this summer, be safe...
Monday, May 2, 2011
He was the student of Abdullah Azzam and used his family’s fortune to help Azzam and the mujahedeen fight against the Soviet Union's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.
He took part in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and attacks against U.S. soldiers throughout the 1990’s in East Africa and Yemen.
He was the man behind the 9/11 attacks.
He was the leader of al Qaeda, making him one of the most infamous and most wanted men on earth.
He is dead.
Tonight crowds are standing in front of the White House and Ground Zero celebrating the death of a man who saw the United States as the ultimate enemy. Bin Laden was killed in a firefight which was carried out by CIA paramilitaries and the elite Navy SEAL Team Six in Pakistan. While addressing the U.S. of bin Laden’s death, Obama stated that exchanges with Pakistan helped lead us to his whereabouts and that no Americans were killed during the battle. bin Laden was found in a custom-built compound with two security gates located in wealthy Islamabad suburb. Three other men were also killed along side of bin Laden, including one of his sons. His remains were taken into custody and will be handled respectively to Islamic traditions
So how will bin Laden’s death affect the U.S. and the world? CNN's Nic Robertson stated that his death will “make our relations with Pakistan even more frayed and even more difficult” and that “it is unlikely to kill off al Qaeda but it is likely to have a huge psychological impact on the members of the organization.” Robertson went on to state that Al Qaeda members will mostly likely want to see proof of bin Laden’s death from the U.S. to make sure that this is not just propaganda. bin Laden’s death might even affect world markets, a Yahoo Finance article has stated “oil, gold, and silver are all trading lower as a result of the breaking news”. bin Laden’s death will also add to the list of Obama’s achievements and boost his public approval rating, most likely helping him in the 2012 elections.
What are your thoughts? Do you think bin Laden’s death will anger Al Qaeda members and inspire them to further harm the U.S.? How will this affect the 2012 elections? Will his death actually affect the price of oil? Do you think his death even matters? Are you still gushing over William and Kate and not even caring about this bin Laden guy? I am very excited to read what you all have to say!
For kicks and giggles: