Wednesday, February 29, 2012
As you may recall Prop 8 was approved in 2008, making it illegal for gays and lesbians to get married. Thus, since 2008 more than a 10 percent swing in approval of gay marriage has occurred, giving renewed hope to those in favor of same-sex marriage. The biggest shock to me was that the swing came in large part from Catholics, Latinos and older voters. These three voting groups have historically been the strongest opponents to same-sex marriage. Does the increase in approval among these opponents represent a legitimate chance for the same-sex marriage community, or this still too small an increase to bring about actual change?
North Korea as agreed to temporarily stop “nuclear tests, long-range ballistic missile launches, and other nuclear activities, including enrichment of uranium”. This decision has come two months after the death of leader Kim Jong Il. Clinton commented on the matter and said “"On the occasion of Kim Jong Il's death, I said that it is our hope that the new leadership will choose to guide their nation on to the path to peace by living up to its obligations. Today's announcement represents a modest first step in the right direction". In addition to the stop of these activities, North Korea has agreed to let the United Nations into their plants along with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to look and inspect their nuclear plants to monitor their activity.
Why has North Korea decided this? Because in return for stopping this activity in North Korea, the United States is going to help with 240,000 pounds of food. Floods and poor crop production last year has put North Korea in a sticky situation and has sadly caused widespread hunger.
Personally, I think this is a very good idea. For North Korea to take this step is huge for them. I think American helping North Korea with their hunger problem will also help strengthen the bond between the two countries.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
In Syria, more and more people are sadly dying. According to U.N. estimates, there are more than 7,500 men, woman, and children that had died so far this year. They say that this is on average 100 people a day. On Tuesday, there were 91 people that died including 3 woman and 2 children in Syria.
The LCC estimates that since March, when the government started the crackdown, over 9,000 people have been killed including 500 children, 2,493 civilians, and 1,345 soldiers / police (and the number is growing daily).
When I first read this article I could not believe how huge these numbers where. 9,000 people killed since March is astonishing. Although 9,000 is a number it seems even bigger when you think about how these are actually people. When one person dies the whole family goes through mourning. So just suppose each killing came from one family -- that is 9,000 family mourning. That's a crazy number! I just hope this killing can stop or at least slow down.
It should be noted that these deaths are not from hunger or illness but violent killing. "Lynn Pascoe, the U.N.'s undersecretary general for political affairs, told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that Al-Assad's regime has 'subjected residents in several cities to indiscriminant bombardment by tank and rocket fire.'" This seems like a very violent way to kill and I can't believe the United States isn't trying to do more to stop this violent murder.
The USA has always been a super power that has stepping in when people needed help, so why don't we step in now? It seems like the people could really use the help right about now. American has always been against criminals and al-Assad is clearly viewed as a criminal. Even Clinton thinks so! “Clinton, asked at a Senate Appropriations Committee whether al-Assad should be viewed as a war criminal, said, "I think that based on definitions of war criminal and crimes against humanity, there would be an argument to be made that he would fit into that category."
Monday, February 27, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
At the forefront of the opposition to giving the private sector access to these highly regulated, meticulously engineered machines is the question of civilian privacy as well as safety. With the drones requiring "routine and unfettered access to domestic airspace, including around airports and cities," these drones could go crashing into other airplanes or helicopters flying around. Furthermore, having access to these drones would give news organizations practically unlimited access to all events they wish to cover.
Personally, I find the thought of drones flying all over the country rather disturbing. There's no way to know who's on the other side controlling the drone or knowing what the drone is equipped with. Maybe it's just a harmless upgraded version of an RC helicopter or the drone could be used by the media to invade someone's privacy. Who knows?
What are your thoughts on these drones? Does mixing the military with domestic policy seem reasonable?
However, Brewer's endorsement may help him win the primary, but will likely hurt his presidential run should he become the Republican nominee. Brewer's firm opposition to illegal immigration gains the support of conservatives of alienates the Hispanic vote. As expressed by Obama's campaign staff, this endorsement is "great for Republican primary, damaging to general election. Say goodbye to Hispanic vote."
What are your thoughts in Brewer's endorsement? Will this hurt Romney's chances in the election?
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Gingrich's plan includes "increased domestic oil and gas production, along with coastal drilling; replacing the Environmental Protection Agency; cutting regulations which hamstring energy production; and approving the 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas." With this plan, Gingrich promises "$2.50 a gallon gasoline, and about $16 trillion in royalties in the next generation, enough to completely pay off the national debt ... with no tax increase. And at least 8 million new jobs." How realistic do you think this really is?
Furthermore, in retaliation for the European Union's sanction, Iran is refusing to sell oil to France and Britain. However, both countries don't receive a significant amount of oil from Iran, but the psychological effect is clearly showing; oil prices continue to rise, now reaching $125 a barrel. (http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/25/markets/gas_prices/index.htm?hpt=hp_t3)
What are your thoughts on the impact and indicators of rising gas prices on the economy? Do you think that gas prices will continue to rise? Thoughts on Gingrich's plan?
It has been said that Israel will make some kind of attempt by this summer to stop the nuclear program because if they dont act soon then Israelis bombs wont be able be able to hit the nuclear facilities because they will be too far underground to hit with any airstrikes.
In the past Israel has shown to use its Air Force on other nuclear programs if they feel its justified. In 1981 Israeli Air force destroyed Iraqi nuclear reactor and in 2007 Israeli Air force also destroyed an unfinished nuclear reactor in Syria.
Iran warned everyone saying that if there are any attacks on its nuclear programs that they will fight back as they threatened Israel saying it will "pound them with missiles". They also said that they would launch missiles at jewish states and targets in the gulf that could cause global oils prices to rise
So do you think Israel should take action against Iran or do you think they should let Iran run their Nuclear program? Do you think this is a peaceful purpose?
Friday, February 24, 2012
Romney gave his speech in Ford Field, a football stadium equipped to seat 65,000 seats, to a group of 1200 people. Romney's campaign staff states that they did not even choose the venue; the Detroit Economic Club did. However, this fact mattered little to the media, as they posted pictures portraying the empty stadium before Romney had even uttered a word.
Furthermore, despite the fact that this speech was supposed to be about policy, the media focused largely on the aesthetics of his presentation, leaving only one sentence about his actual policies.
Personally, I think it ties very well with our recent chapter, supporting the fact that the media gives little attention to actual policy and instead focuses on the material that will sell. A headline that could hurt Romney's campaign would catch more eyes than an article about his policies.
What are your thoughts on the media's portrayal? Do you think that this will impact Romney's campaign heavily?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
The 9 year old boy bail was set to $50,000 and if they payed the bail the boy will be released and will be placed on house arrest and will be forced to live with his uncle.
"Todd Dowell of the Kitsap County prosecutor's juvenile division said under state law, children between 8 and 12 years old can face charges if a court determines the child has the capacity to understand an act is wrong."
There has also been other cases like this as in 2000 a 6 year old was fatally shot by her classmate who also brought gun from their house and brought it to school but the kid was not charged with anything because he was too young to be held responsible.
I believe $50,000 bail and house arrest seems like a reasonable punishment in my opinion.
So how do you guys feel about this? Do you think the punishment is reasonable?
White was ultimately fined $1,000 and must serve 30 hours of community service in addition to his year long home detention. With these felony charges potential sentences of six months to three years in jail, White seems to be getting off rather easy. What are your thoughts on this?
Furthermore, with White's job in question, the issue of replacing him has arisen. Governor Mitch Daniels has appointed Jerry Bonnet, White's chief deputy, as the interim secretary of state and it seems that it will turn into a permanent appointment if White's charges are not reduced. However, the Democrats believe that White never should have taken office and that Vop Osili, the runner-up in the election, should take office.
Do you agree or disagree with Nation's decision not to reduce White's charges? What do you think about White's sentence? What about the process to replace White if the situation calls for it?
However, what makes the glasses slightly more controversial is its facial recognition feature. Though it will be useful in playing virtual games, it raises the question of privacy issues. Theoretically, the glasses could match a complete stranger up with shared friends and other social networks.
Furthermore, the government will not be able to regulate any of the content seen on the glasses. Mr. William Brinkman says "it’s also going to change real-world advertising, where companies can virtually place ads over other people’s ads." If the government has absolutely no control over what occurs behind the lenses, how will the media be held accountable for any claims it may make?
What are your thoughts on these new Google goggles? How will it affect user privacy? Will the media change?
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Due to the reports and riots the US defense secretary issued an apology and said that it was inappropriate for the US soldiers to burn a copy of the Quran and that this action does not represent the views of the US military.
I think it was wrong to burn a copy of the Quran because its disrespectful to a religion but i dont think i would have protested against it if it was my religion.
So how do u guys feel about this? Do you think that the Afghan citizens have a right to protest?
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
How do you feel about this? Do you think the United Nations should take action against the fighting in Syria? Do you think the Red Cross will be able to get a cease fire agreement ?
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Although Baad is illegal, it is still present and in the most recent case an 8 year old girl and her cousin were kidnapped and beaten by men carrying AK-47s.
“We did not know what was happening,” said Shakila, now about 10, who spoke softly as she repeated over and over her memory of being dragged from her family home. “They put us in a dark room with stone walls, it was dirty and they kept beating us with sticks and saying ‘your uncle ran away with our wife and dishonored us and we will beat you for retaliation.’ ”
Most of these cases never make it to court because of 2 reasons, "'First, the corrupt administration which openly demands money for every single case, and second, instability." So basically nothing is being done to stop this which is very sad.
So hitchhikers, what do you think should be done to stop this?
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
What do you think? Should the government cut some funding to see who floats and who sinks? Do these Chisago County critics have any base for their claims? Thoughts? Feelings?
Good afternoon, America!
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Here is the transcript of Romney's mistake:
“My course for America is to become energy secure and to open up that Solyndra – that, that pipeline, excuse me, the Keystone Pipeline,” Romney told about 400 supporters at a stone importing company in northern Atlanta. “Not Solyndra. ... The Keystone pipeline to get energy here in this country.”
Sunday, February 5, 2012
How do the Aragon Hitchhikers feel about this?
Remember that Aragon Hitchhikers! We are getting old fast.
I feel that Ginrich is overexaggerating the implications of this new law; the main purpose of Gingrich's invectives seems to be to mobilize religious voters against Obama and appeal to their love of God and country. Such rhetoric further polarizes this nation which must become united, not divided. Yet again, I can see the incongruity of providing free contraception at a religious hospital and why the new policy is perceived as a violation of the "separation of church and state" principle. Nevertheless, I would not go so far as to call it a "tremendous infringement" of religious liberty, as Gingrich did.
Do you think this law is indeed contrary to separation of church and state? Or is it in the states' best interest to have free contraception provided also at these Catholic hospitals?
Here's the article from which I drew for this post.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
According to the entrance polls, Romney won nearly every category. Not only was he favored among moderates and liberals but also among the "very conservative," a constituency for whose loyalty he has struggled. Economic issues seemed to be the most relevant for Nevada citizens, which certainly helped Romney's cause. 45% of Nevada voters said that the ability to defeat Obama was their most important candidate quality, and these adults gravitated towards Romney. He won 91% of the Mormon vote (shocker), but also the largest chunks of the Catholic and Protestant vote.
Rick Santorum did not really bother with Nevada, focusing his attention on getting a headstart in Colorado. He spoke at a dinner tonight, discoursing mainly about liberty, health care, and the qualities of an ideal Republican nominee. Santorum attacked Obama's fancy of entitlement programs and claimed that the president "doesn't believe that America was born great." Santorum is not phased by Romney's win in Nevada, calling the state Romney's "home court." Furthermore, Santorum frequently cites recent polls that show that he, not Romney, would actually have the best chances against Obama.
Newt Gingrich continues to maintain that he will not drop out of the race, at least before Super Tuesday on March 6th, on which day Gingrich expects to win a handful of states.
Although Romney's victory tonight comes as no huge surprise, many commentators believe that his win in this first state in February will set a precedent for the rest of the month, and that that momentum would cut deeply into Gingrich's chances to win big on Super Tuesday. What are your thoughts?
Eliana Lopez, his wife, has told reporters how much Theo misses his father. The boy has implored Lopez as to when his dad will come home; he runs upstairs to the window every evening, expecting Ross to return; he has spent hours crying and wondering where his father is. Mirkarimi recently bought Theo two news books to read until the restraining order is modified.
Yesterday when I was watching news coverage of the case, I witnessed Mirkarimi choke up when asked about Theo and say, "I miss my son terribly and he misses me...excuse me I have to go." It was probably one of the saddest, most touching quotes I have ever heard. Do you think it is just for this father to be kept away from the son he misses so much, especially when the possibility exists that his domestic violence charges may be false?
In chapter 15, we learned about who can or cannot be prosecuted for publicizing classified information. During the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg, a former U.S. military analyst similar to Manning, craftily gave the classified and controversial Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and the Washington Post. The result was New York Times Co. v U.S. (1971), a case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not prevent publication of the Papers. However, it would have won its case against Ellsberg himself, had there not been a plot twist during the trial that involved previous illegal wiretapping by the prosecution.
Assuming that no such lucky event occurs for Manning, do you think he will be convicted of all his charges? What effect will the claims that he is a hero for exposing war crimes have on his trial?