Monday, September 25, 2017

Puerto Rico governor: ‘We still need some more help’ from Washington

After facing the devastation of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico fears that Congress will "shortchange his island once the initial wave of emergency relief is gone." The country is currently facing floods, no electricity, damaged housing and infrastructure,  and a death toll of ten. The governor, Ricardo Rosello, has  also stated that he has been unable to hear from mayors of 6 municipalities. Because of the damage they are facing, the governor has questioned the United States, seeing as many residents are U.S. citizens. Despite the U.S. having responded to the circumstance by sending help through FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Defense Department such as making shelters, carrying out rescue flights, and operating nine vessels off the coast, the country needs as much help as they can get. They are in need of more supplies and financial help. They state that they thought they would have received more help from the U.S. seeing as they also lent a hand during the Hurricanes that hit our coast. If they do not receive adequate help, many residents may need to migrate to the Unites States. Therefore, more awareness needs to be brought to the difficulties Puerto Rico is currently facing. An example being that President Trump decided to tweet more about the NFL and the controversy they are facing instead of paying more attention and responding to Puerto Rico's current situation. More compassion needs to be shown towards Puerto Rico and we need to help them in any way possible. Seeing this, what are your thoughts on Trump not addressing the situation? How can we help bring more awareness so Puerto Rico gets the help they deserve?


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Immigration Officials Taking New Steps to Discourage Smuggling of Children

Article Link
Since some people believe it is not possible for them to achieve “The American dream”, they believe that they can send their kids unattended to the U.S, to have a better life. I understand that many parents want their children to have brighter future. While I have compassion for these children, I feel that when they are illegally smuggled here, it is bad for many reasons. When children are smuggled into the U.S, not only do they face exploitation and other dangers, they are also a burden to taxpayers. When they get across the border, they turn themselves into border control and are handed over to the Department of Health and Human Services, and after that, they are placed in shelters until their family members in the U.S can be located. Some are even put on government assistance.  Therefore, many resources are being used to locate family members and support the kids using taxpayer money. It is also a super scary experience to the kids.  I believe that immigration officials should continue to take steps to discourage and reduce the smuggling of children. What do you think? Is it okay for parents to send their children across the border by themselves?

Will Trumpcare replace Obamacare?

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The Republican party is battling to repeal Obamacare. Obamacare is free health care from the government to help citizens that do not recieve coverage from their employer. Over 20 million Americans currently utilize the free health care. Repealing it would take two years until new Republican health care plan was solidified. The plan would include larger companies requiring to cover health care, fewer people qualifying for affordable health care, and limited federal funding for Medicaid. Do you think the repeal should pass? Do you think the new health care act will be better than Obamacare? How should the government handle the 20 million people without health care while trying to replace it?

Merkel gets a fourth term but German voters deliver far-right surge

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This Saturday German Chancellor Angela Merkel won her fourth term as German Chancellor in a pretty solid victory. However, the ballot tolls were not all that the Christian Democratic Union Party, Merkel's party, had hoped for with the worst showing the party has had since 1949. To a surprise of the party, they lost a considerable amount of votes to the newly founded AfD, an overly right wing political party who are already the third largest party since their founding 4 years ago. Personally I think any political party should be allowed to exist as long as they are a serious and organized political party. But this for me raises questions as to the direction the German people are heading. What do you think? Also, if the AfD are actually able to gain control of Germany in say the next 10 to 20 years, how do you think that this may affect their public image? I am interested to hear because of the events that Germany has taken part in (to loosely state) in the past century.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Trump: NFL owners should fire players who protest the national anthem

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Trump's speech is a part of the larger debate surrounding the boundaries of national respect in sports games, as people have differing opinions on whether kneeling for the national anthem before a game is a sign of disrespect to America and is unpatriotic. This discussion is the newest manifestation of the debate on the patriotism of dissent which has been present for all of American history most notably with the antiwar protests against the Vietnam war and in the fall of the Federalist party who withered away because they were considered unpatriotic owing to their opposition to the war with Great Britain. Personally I think that showing dissent through kneeling at the anthem is perfectly permissible and punishing people who knelt would be the real unpatriotic act. What I want to know is do you think that kneeling during the national anthem should be considered unpatriotic? and what should be done about the people kneeling? would you want to endorse their kneeling if not their cause? punish them? permit it silently? or do something else entirely?

U.S. bombers, fighter jets counter 'reckless behavior' in show of force off North Korea coast

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The United States and North Korea have been having increased conflict between them after a "war of words" this past week. Our President recently addressed the United Nations this past Tuesday and stated how the U.S. will take action against North Korea if we need to protect ourselves or our allies. Kim Jong Un responded with some harsh words calling President Trump "mentally deranged". This show of force displayed with fighter jets against North Korea this weekend was necessary in my opinion because it gives them a message that our country will take no threats. The Pentagon states this was in response to their "reckless behavior". This event is similar to Operation Paul Bunyan, which was a show of force shown against North Korea by the U.S. and South Korea in 1976. Do you agree to this response of "reckless behavior" or do you believe our nation should have handled this situation in a different manner?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Georgia Tech vigil for student shot by campus police turns violent

21-year-old Scout Schultz was shot and killed by Officials in Georgia Tech, Atlanta on september 16, 2017. Schultz was reported to have made the initial 911 call describing a man walking around possibly intoxicated and armed. When the police came they found him walking around with a knife and wouldn’t comply with the officers. Schultz allegedly came too close to an officer and with one shot aimed to his chest, was killed. After some investigation authorities found 3 suicide notes in his dorm. Students in Georgia Tech had a vigil shortly after the incident. Some were shocked to find out about the event. Many, however, were disappointed that 5 officials couldn’t stop him and had to kill him. The family knew Schultz was battling with depression but saw no signs in the recent months. Students at Georgia Tech were very upset and some became violent to the extent where someone lit a police vehicle on fire. My question for you all is, do you think the mishap of Scout Schultz was unjust? What about the reaction of the upset students? Why or why not?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Despite Rising Seas and Bigger Storms, Florida’s Land Rush Endures

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People love the sun. Indeed, people love the sunny climate of Florida so much that during the Great Florida Land Boom of the 1920s, prospective land developers envisioned draining a massive swamp to create land for new cities and resorts. But now, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, people are becoming well aware that the swamp is biting back. With anticipated sea level rise and climate change due to global warming, Florida is especially vulnerable to flooding and natural disasters. Indeed, 79 tropical storms and hurricanes have hit Florida since 2000. However, this has not deterred land developers, who are ushering in a building boom in coastal areas of Florida. With a population of 21 million people and growing, it will be a difficult task for Florida to accommodate for all these people in the face of more frequent natural disasters. Should new developments be allowed to built unchecked? Or on the other extreme, should Florida begin a lengthy, expensive process of permanently evacuating all the areas vulnerable to sea level rise? In my opinion, the monetary cost of preparing for natural disasters and building and repairing crucial infrastructure will be a small price compared to the lives that might be lost if no new planning takes place. If many people are willing to live in the path of a hurricane if it means extra sun, so be it. How do you think Florida should prepare for the future?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

London terror attack latest: Second man arrested in tube bombing

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Recently, an explosion in London's Tube station categorized as a terrorist threat was recently downgraded from critical to severe as a second suspect was captured and arrested for further questioning. Critical would mean that an attack is imminent while severe means that it is instead highly likely. The original attack was on the morning rush of travel Friday injuring 30 passengers mostly with flash burns. ISIS has claimed their role in the attack as they tend to do with most of the terrorists attacks that have been taking place throughout the world. In recent years, there has been recent uprising in terrorist attacks throughout the west. From bombings and shootings to vehicular rampages, many are hurt by terrorism. Terrorism is nothing new with the origin of the word dating back from the French Revolution in the 18th century. Events such as 9/11 and the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing helped to gain mainstream awareness on terrorism. Some people have looked towards the recent intake of refugees from some of these countries, other's claim it is ISIS's prevalence and influence on younger generations. I think that an increase of security on public transportation is just one of the few things we should do to help to ensure the safety of our nations. What do you think attributes to all these attacks? How can we prevent these attacks in the future?

Rights Groups Accuse Myanmar of 'Ethnic Cleansing' in Rohingya Crackdown

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The Rohingya are a Muslim-minority in the predominately Buddhist Myanmar; therefore, they are often abused, neglected, and treated inhumanely by their state. Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for many centuries, but Myanmar denies them of citizenship and recognizes them as illegal immigrants in their own state. The Burmese military burned 62 villages in the past year in their search for alleged Rohingya militant groups, but in reality this was an effort to drive out the Rohingya people out of Myanmar permanently. There is no point in denying the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar today. It is utterly inconceivable that in this day and age, especially after the horrific genocides of the Armenians and the Jews in Germany, persecuting people for their religion occurs everyday. The United Nations and its various agencies have done a lot in order to help these Rohingya people, but their efforts seems to be not enough. The problem isn't whether or not these people get the protection they need, but it's Myanmar's citizens who think it's acceptable to treat humans with discrimination and hostility. It is too often that we see people of different a race, ethnicity, or religion being discriminated against or persecuted and it needs to end. I think that there is no amount of humanitarian aid or public attention that can cure racism and xenophobia; therefore, it is up to the people to change their mindsets and get rid of their prejudices in order to make the world livable for everybody. We need to advocate for the Rohingya people and condemn Myanmar for their genocidal tendencies. What are your thoughts on the events in Myanmar? Is it possible for Myanmar to change their attitudes towards the Rohingya?

Neil deGrasse Tyson says it might be 'too late' to recover from climate change

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I agree with Neil deGrasse Tyson that TAKING action in ending climate change is needed rather than just continuing a political debate about whether or not it is even real. Even though there is scientific evidence pointing to the fact that climate change made Hurricanes Harvey and Irma more destructive, some people still refuse to consider it as a factor to these storm's strength. Political leaders need to stop fighting about this issue because while they are fighting, nothing is being done.  I feel this is similar to the attitudes of the Holocaust during the 1940s. Many people did not believe that Jews were being killed in concentration camps at the time, and that allowed over 6 million Jews to be executed.
As the water levels rise, all the cities along the coasts will be the first to feel the effects. Being that we live in the Bay Area, does anyone else have any concern with political leaders not moving forward with ending climate change?

Japan split over how to deal with North Korean missile launches

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This past Friday marked the second time North Korea has a fired a missile over Japan in a span of two weeks. These projectiles have been called tests, but many in the international community are deeming these rockets as provocation. Japan is now faced with a tough decision to make, regarding how they should respond to these tests. Some in the Japanese government have suggested scrapping Japan's pacifist constitution in order to re-militarize the nation. Others believe it would be best for the country to acquire nuclear weapons, considering North Korea could be close to making their own. It is important to remember that Japan is the only nation in the world to have suffered the effects of nuclear weapons on a civilian population back in World War II when the United States dropped bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Personally, I think this push for a more defensive nation is understandable. What do you think Japan should do? Should the Japan abide by their pacifist constitution or prepare the nation for a possible attack?

California Legislators Approve 'Sanctuary State' Bill


State legislators approved bill SB-54 which protects illegal immigrants from deportation when dealing with the state police. This bill essentially limits how much the state police can disclose to federal agents if one is an illegal immigrant. I completely agree with this bill as it does not protect immigrants who have committed crimes and only those who may have misdemeanors or have done nothing at all. Since Trump has come into office, there are children and adults who are afraid to go to school, to report sexual assault or simply go out of their house due to a fear of deportation. Say one is undocumented and gets sexually assaulted, they are less likely to report this event to police as they have a fear of being deported. Therefore, the event may go unreported and justice cannot be served. However, with this bill the event could get reported without a fear of the victim being deported for simply standing up against something as horrific as sexual assault. This bill does not focus on protecting criminals but rather people who contribute to our community, contribute to our economy significantly, and have lives in the US. It is a right of every person living in the US to be protected by law and the fact that some people are too scared to leave their houses is completely disheartening. States obviously do not have the power to simply not enact a national law, however, this bill has brought up thoughts of overstepping states power. Some opposers may make this argument, however, this bill simply protects those who are undocumented when they have to communicate with the police which is necessary for anyone living in the US. Preventing people from living in constant fear within California is not overstepping but simply protecting those living in the state and those who contribute to our community and economy. Furthermore, California is not avoiding enacting any laws they are simply creating a new one to protect all people within the state. What do you think?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Why Common Critiques of DACA Are Misleading

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Last Tuesday President Trump ordered an end to DACA. DACA allows children of illegal immigrants to receive a temporary reprieve from deportation as well as being granted the ability to study, work, and receive driver's licenses. Why would Trump end this program? Well besides his infamous views on immigration, most supporters of the cancellation of DACA have three main reasons which are mentioned in the article. Even with these faults pointed out, many Trump supporters continue to welcome the end of DACA. America was founded by the descendants of immigrants, yet many Americans still look down upon them. Personally this just seems like another outlet for Trump to exert his xenophobic views on immigration and, in turn, raising both social and political tensions within America.  I'm interested to hear your views on the subject, and if you have any reasoning for ending DACA that hasn't been disputed in the article I would be intrigued to hear you justify it.

UPDATE: Trump Confirms Support for Law to Protect 'Dreamers'

Trump DOJ To Supreme Court: Making Gay Wedding Cake Would Violate Baker’s Rights

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In the argument between freedom of religious expression and anti-discrimination, it is important to keep in mind that if you are a business selling to the public, you should always have the desires of your customers come first. I believe that it is ethically wrong to refuse service to a person because they have a different way of living than you do. However, it is also important to recognize that under the 1st Amendment, an individual cannot be forced to create something that violates his or her own beliefs. Although I wouldn't go so far to say that Trump is advocating for a "constitutional right to discriminate," I would have to agree that, in a case such as this, public-accommodations laws should prevail. What do you think? Should the Constitutional 1st Amendment take precedence over anti-discrimination laws?

China Eyes Eventual Ban of Petrol and Diesel Cars

Whether or not you believe in climate change, it is hard to argue that a conversion to more eco-friendly electric cars will help slow down China's smog pollution. However, a Chinese ban on diesel/petrol (gas) cars can permanently change our global economy, for better or for worse. If China, the world’s largest car market, converts to electric cars, many other countries are likely to follow suit, shifting the market towards car companies like Tesla with electric cars already established and leaving companies like Toyota with inferior or no electric cars in the dust. Then there are the gasoline/oil industries that dedicate the majority of their production to transportation, which could crash with the supply of oil overbearing its demand, leading to trillions of dollars invested into oil and gasoline being lost. I do support using electric cars more often as a way to improve the environment, but there could be consequences regarding the economy that should be considered before putting a complete ban on diesel/petrol cars into action. Would you support China or even the U.S. banning diesel/petrol cars by 2040?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Facebook Wins, Democracy Loses

Article Link

In the recent past, the dangers of Social Media and the Internet have become much more visible. Whether it is used against a person, group, or even a country, the damage ends up being much more serious than thought possible. Almost everyone in the United States knows of the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Elections, and now more and more proof is appearing that the greatest weapon of sabotage was the internet. Although the 1st Amendment grants protection to social media giants like Facebook, if what this article states is true, the democratic institutions which the constitution upholds have been broken, and the organization responsible is being protected by the that very same document. I believe that the 1st amendment needs to be taken in context to the era of technology and social media companies must be held accountable for their actions in order to ensure the security of the United States.

Friday, September 8, 2017

UC Sues Trump Administration, Calls DACA Cancellation Unconstitutional

I very much agree with UC President Janet Napolitano on deciding to sue the Trump Administration over the cancellation of DACA.  The UC employs several staff members, who are in the DACA program, and of course the over 4,000 students who are living in the country illegally, who are also part of the DACA program, and pay tuition to better their lives and earn degrees which will allow them to hopefully get better paying jobs.  It is so upsetting that someone would want to destroy something that is so important and positive, while at the same time making our state and country better.  The people in the DACA program are some of the hardest working, most dedicated people.  They are also known as "dreamers", and taking this away from them is absolutely crazy.  I really hope Trump comes to his senses and realizes that this program was put into place to help our country and help younger people succeed in having a better life for themselves and their families.  It is a positive thing and I really hope other Universities besides the UC System in California come forward in support of the DACA program and sue the Trump Administration too. I want to go forward in time, and make our country better. I feel like the is like taking a step back in history and it really makes me upset.  How does everyone else feel about the Trump Administration ending DACA?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Jackson vs Tubman on $20 bill

After I read this article, it seemed obvious to me that Tubman should be on the front of the $20 bill. I see how people believe former President, Andrew Jackson should still be on the bill because even though he was pro-slavery, he was a people's president and he has done great things for our country. On the other hand, Harriet Tubman, in my opinion, might just deserve it more. Tubman has fought for both African-American and women's rights and she has increased the quality of life for many people in the South during the American civil war. One of the main causes of the civil war was the issue regarding slavery, and that is how this present issue connects to history. Even though we all know that President Trump is very fond of Andrew Jackson, I hope he sticks with Obama's decision to replace him with Tubman. What do you guys think? 

Other source:

Sunday, September 3, 2017

US man gets 2 years in prison for aiding Chinese nuclear energy program

I agree that it's unacceptable for a US citizen to be assisting other countries in risky areas involving nuclear aid. This violates the Atomic Energy Act, which states that there shouldn't be any exchange in information about nuclear knowledge with other countries.  Even though this may not be involving North Korea, it's better to be safe than sorry. You never know what a country may be pursuing for especially when it could push for a nuclear war. This event can tie back to the Cuban Missile Crisis. When America found out about missiles set up in Cuba, they immediately set up blockades to prevent them from being launched in a close distance. If America's nuclear energy programs were to be used against themselves, what benefit would that bring us? Would it be pleasant to hear that America has contributed to a terrible cause? That's why we shouldn't take any risks with foreign nuclear assistance. It could only bring harm to the US and ultimately another war. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest we ever got to a nuclear war, and we don't want to get any closer to that scenario. What do you think? Are there situations in which America should share confidential nuclear intelligence with foreign countries? Comment below.

Trumps cares more about ideology then the victims of Hurricane Harvey

Image result for mexico help hurricane katrina

At first, Mexico offered to help the US due to the state that Texas and Louisiana are facing due to Hurricane Harvey. Some believe that Trump has refused to take the offer due to his ideologies on Mexico. Mexico also developed one of the most effective search and rescue capabilities due to the help of their military's excels at domestic disaster recovery missions. This may reflect the time when the US was struggling Hurricane Katrina, and George W. Bush simply accepted the help of Mexico. We are all hoping for Trump to accept Mexico as an ally/neighbor in order to have an enormous help, and "could [also] end up as being an important down payment on rebuilding the U.S.-Mexico relationship."

“We only shoot black people,” Georgia cop assures woman during traffic stop

I agree with German Lopez that police officers need to address their mistakes and “take transparent steps to fix them,” instead of saying things like “we only shoot black people,” whether jokingly or not. Furthermore, even if the Georgia officer meant it as sarcasm, joking about senseless murders – like those of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner – is intolerable. I know that police officers are frustrated by the idea of “legal cynicism” many Americans seem to hold (like the woman the officer was arresting) but statements like this only add to the stigma surrounding police officers, and hurts the chances of improving the legal system and the chances of building trust between civilians and law enforcers. In some ways I think this recent incident mirrors the black codes that were implemented following the Civil War, which were primarily established to marginalize and oppress African Americans through intimidation and unjustified violence. While the black codes were much more overtly racist, I think that brutality against African Americans is still a relevant issue. What do you think? Can this simply be brushed off as a bad joke?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Chilean Tribunal Weighs In: Some Abortions Will Now Be Legal


I agree with the choice made by Chile's constitutional tribunal to legalize abortion under the following circumstances: when the fetus is nonviable, the mother's life is in danger, or the pregnancy is the result of a rape. Anti-abortion supporters address abortion as a morally bankrupt procedure, regarding it as the termination of a baby's life. However, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 66 percent of legal abortions occur within the first eight weeks of gestation, and 92 percent are performed within the first 13 weeks. Only 1.2 percent occur at or after 21 weeks (CDC, 2013). In other words, most abortions occur within the early stages of the developing fetus, when it is not a developed baby. I also believe that if a pregnancy occurs through force, the mother may not have the means to take care of the child. The child may be raised without the resources needed in order to ensure its growth and without proper parental care. Additionally, many people who are pro-life primarily care about only the birth of the child, but do not support causes to help raise that child and ensure its well being once that child is born. If there are arguments that claim they believe abortion is unjust, I would be intrigued to hear their perspective as to how they would engage in supporting causes that help ensure the stability of that child after its birth. If the mother knows her child is nonviable, this means she has to endure the horrendous pain of child birth, knowing that her child will ultimately pass away. This forces the mother to undergo the severely emotional and physical pain of child birth, knowing her child will not survive. Arguing that a women should conceive, despite the fact that her health will be put in danger is contradictory to people's argument that they value lives. According to the Harvard Crimson, "It is morally irresponsible to believe that a pregnancy must be brought to term even in case of the mother's death simply because it is a matter of nature and out of our hands when we have the medical means to save the mother." Through out history, women are often portrayed as having the role of being mothers. This worn out idea that a women's purpose in life is to be a mother and wife can prevent a person's ability to view women as individuals detached from that idea. Viewing women as "baby-makers," rather than for their contributions that benefit society, creates a perspective where people view conceiving a child as an obligation of a women.

other sources:

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Health Care Company Leaks Patients HIV Lab Reports
Aetna, a health care company sends out 12,000 letters revealing a patient's confidential HIV status through the plastic screen on the envelope. This information should not be visible to anybody else, except the patient and doctor. Having this information placed on the screen violates the 4th Amendment. This Amendment states that people should be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures." (NCCS) I consider this to be a violation of one of our basic rights as a US citizen. Although they claim this to be a 'mistake,' this situation should of not happened in the beginning. This was a flaw that should have been prevented right from the start. This is a type of information that should be kept private between the patient and the person diagnosing you. Doctors have a code that they must follow which consists of privacy kept between the patient and the Doctor in most situations. This troublesome incident can relate to the Equal Pay Act in 1963. During this time employers were not allowed to ask women about their earning because that was a private subject. This was private because men and women had unequal pay and women had the right to have privacy in not telling how much they won. Later on, this led to a US Federal law stating that employers must pay equal wages to men and women.

What's your opinion?

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Violence breaks out at Berkeley protest


It's crazy how far the violence can travel in our country. This article doesn't make it entirely clear which side, white supremacists or those against them, started the violence. This protest demonstrates how peaceful protests are slowly becoming lost in all the chaos (it also can be likely it's just undocumented and doesn't go on the news). Freedom of speech is legal, but that's if it's peaceful and doesn't harm people. It's a shame that in a country where our morals lie upon liberty, freedom, and equality, people are still trying to make a case that one skin color is more superior than another. These violent protests remind me of the civil rights movement around the 1950s, in which many protests became violent quickly. Most these protests became violent with police, with either side starting it (KKK and lynchings weren't really mass protests/riots because it wasn't one side vs another, rather than several black people being killed/tortured). Now that it's a new day and age, civilians take it upon themselves to hurt each other while protesting. And it's ridiculous that a race of people have been oppressed for so long in a country called "the land of the free" and our president downplays it. I understand people are allowed to voice their own opinions peacefully in this country, but I've had enough of discrimination and injustice just because a bunch of white supremacists can't see past the color of someone's skin. The heartbreaking reality of violence in America (and now in the bay area) over this issue has become increasingly popular ever since January 20, 2017 (inauguration). I also don't want to downplay the violence from those who are fighting against white supremacists. Violence should always be the last resort and I think continuous and persistent peaceful protests should be the way to go. Peace and love have been lacking in this country for much too long.

Pardoning Sheriff Joe is the absolute epitome of Trumpism

Article Link

(If you don't know what Arpaio did, here is another link)

I entirely agree with Chris Cillizza's article. Donald Trump tries to accommodate his "own base." This means that Trump condones racial profiling to placate the white supremacists who put him in office. We already know that President Trump discriminates against Latinos and various other races, but what Sheriff Joe Arpaio was doing to people in Arizona was outright un-humane. Just because a person was Latino, Arpaio would put them in jail because he thought they were undocumented. It seems like he is demonizing those who look Latino. Trump uses this "evil" stereo-type and people's prejudices to keep his approval rating up. What he and many others fail to see, is that Latinos, like most immigrants, come here for a better life. Most are not evil drug lords corrupting Americas youth; most are hard-working people who are just trying to provide for their families. Also, I don't quite get the argument that immigrants are replacing Americans because most of the US was Mexico until President Polk decided to start a war with Mexico for land(US Mexican War). When the war was over, the US received what is now Texas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The big surprising fact is that many Mexicans stayed in the US legally, but in 1930, Latinos were blamed for the Great Depression, so they were unfairly deported. Americans are the ones who replaced Mexicans, not the other way around. Mass deportation doesn't work either. In 1986, Ronald Reagan implemented the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 which actually increased illegal immigration. People got legal visas and then, because that it was so hard to get back to Mexico, they decided they would be better off staying in the US. This increased illegal immigration by over 200%. Considering all these facts, obviously I don't understand how Trump, or anyone for that matter, could condone what Sheriff Arpaio has done or why he did it. What do you think? Can you see Trump's or Arpaio's point of view?

Trump Orders Military to Reject New Transgender Recruits

Article Link

Recently, Donald Trump tweeted that he would be preventing any Transgender individuals from joining the Military. Now before I get started, It needs to be known that this originally was an attempt to take attention off of all the sessions drama. Ok, now that we know that, lets break down the article. First, the Viagra statistic, Is misleading. "By contrast, the military spent $84 million on Viagra and other drugs for erectile- dysfunction, ..." Interesting... Proportionally, 0.1% of transgender people in the military cost 8.4 million annually, but there are 320 times more members that fall under the category of needing that type of treatment. Yet, they only get 3 times the budget. The reason that the article did not mention the numbers behind the rest of the cost for transgender people, is because they fall in under different categories. Additionally, the real problem was allowing this change to the military in the first place. A year ago, in June, when Obama allowed Transgender Individuals in the Military, it caused for a dramatic change, including having higher acceptance ratings with mentality instable people, changes in testing protocols for male vs. female individuals*, and lastly, it caused problems with formerly female individuals showering in the men's showers. I don't think that this should have been done the way it was (STOP TWEETING EVERYTHING), but I also don't think it should have been instilled in the first place. This however, can be compared to when women were not allowed in the Military. It is a privilege to join in the Military and assuming that someone should not join because of their gender, is wrong. However, there's a fine line between discrimination upon a certain group of people, and preventing a burden on the military, Which is why I think that this is a smart call by Mr. Trump.
* Women get tested differently than man do when before entering the Military. How are we supposed to test Transgender individuals?

Poland not accepting any EU demanded refugees

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The Prime Minister of Poland made a statement that the country of Poland will not accept any of the EU demands they accept as they pose a threat to Polish people an society. Almost all terrorist attacks since 9/11 have been commited by Muslims, and it is a majority of the refugees are Muslims.  As a result of not bringing in any refugees Poland has not seen any terrorists attacks. So Poland has decided that for the safetly of it's people they will not bring in any refugees. As a result of this, EU is threatening legal action should Poland not comply. I personally agree with the Prime minister since I think that the safety of a country's people should be the number one priority. Poland is ranked the second safest country in the world and the safest in Europe according to the OECD. Also I am 50 percent Polish, and a part of polish heritage is a mistrust in outsiders so I can understand other reasons why Poles aren't allowing any refugees. This is similar to the interment of the Japanese in WWII since the government didn't allow people into society based on a certain aspect of a person. That is my take on the Poland refugee crisis. What's yours


Monday, August 21, 2017

A woman in India just won a divorce because her husband failed to provide her a toilet. That’s huge.

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It seems funny at first, but very soon you can realize toilets can be a woman's rights issue. It's hard to realize that society's around the world have different customs, some more advanced and some behind the curve. The ability to access a toilet, and a divorce, are basic rights that should be available for every human. That's an easy opinion to have I guess, but how to achieve it. Move too fast with change, and people backlash. But move to slow, and people who need help don't get it. During the early decades of American history in the late 1700s and early 1800s, women didn't have the right to a divorce, much like rural India today. What can the U.S. gain today from this story on how to provide equal opportunities for women in India? For me, I think city, state, and federal government organizations should lead. But I recognize the value of individual people making change in their own families and communities.

After backlash, San Jose reduces number of ‘tiny homes’ sites for homeless

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People want solutions to societal ills. But what a shame when people don't want to be affected by those solutions. The concept of NIMBY (not in my backyard) is a powerful one. End homeless. Great. Providing shelter for them near my house. How dare you?! Homelessness became a larger issue during the industrailization of the U.S. in late 1800s, but we still haven't found that silver bullet to fix it. Would you be willing to have these temporary "tiny" homes near your home/apartment? Me, I would. But I have to admit, with two small children who play outside, it would cause me to be more vigilant. Seems like an simple enough sacrifice to reform a 21st century problem.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chronicle investigation spurs calls to close foster care shelters

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Charities that provide services for the most needy must serve that population rather than abuse it. Easier said than done when the amount of people that need help surpasses the ability for organizations to provide it. However, to prevent abuse, the government, in this case the city government, should regulate them, providing oversight and protections from misuse. A basic difference between modern day liberals and conservatives was born out of the New Deal during the Great Depression of the 1930s: what about of government response should be provided? Will solutions come from individual ingenuity or state and federal government mandate? In the San Francisco case, regulation failed as it was the free press, a newspaper, that exposed the jailing of juveniles at high rates from these shelters. What do you think? Is the answer more government regulation?

In Barcelona, a heartening rejection of Islamophobia

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The integration of immigrants into a country, providing space to practice home country customs and acceptance into the new country's culture, seems to me to be a much better answer than separation and phobia. The threat of "home grown terrorists" does not change my opinion. The existence of discontented immigrant youth tells me more needs to be done by the home country to provide economic opportunities for immigrants. I'm heartened by the Spanish response to the terrible attack; this somewhat rivals the backlash against Muslims in the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks. Education and discussion are the answers to this threat, in my opinion. You?

Confederate Statues and ‘Our’ History

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I agree with the premise of Eric Foner's editorial here - to remember the past is very different than honoring it. Therefore, Confederate statues and memorials are evidence of praising a certain value system. The question is, do you subscribe to it? If not, then a healthy, democratic discussion must be held about the purpose of continuing their public display. As Foner paraphrased the historian Carl Becker, "history is what the present chooses to remember about the past." What a great quote to help drive home the point of how history is different from the past. While we live in California, separated from the daily reminders of the Civil War (like I witnessed growing up in Tennessee and northern Virginia), it might be hard to see the tension. But with what you know, what should be done with the Confederate statues throughout the country? What about the high schools and roads named after them? A great purge? Keep them? I learned this week that there are statues of 10 ex-Confederates in the U.S. Capitol building. For me, I say get rid of them from public parks and government buildings. Resign them to museums or archives so we can study our past, and how we remembered it decades later.

North Korean threats make Bay Area ponder the unthinkable: a nuclear attack

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So I get the irony that when both sides have nuclear weapons, they won't be used due to the concept of mutual assured destruction established during the Cold War against Soviet Russia. As the nuclear weapons expert said in the article, "The trick is to not have nuclear war in the first place" seems to be so simple but so true. Therefore, actions and statements that heighten the possibility of it, seems not just dangerous but irresponsible to human nature. Trump's statements of "fire and fury" seems to be a poor decision from me, but maybe the strong talk is to scare North Korea to the negotiation table. Let's assume North Korea can't hit the U.S. mainland yet, but what should U.S. policy be to prevent their ability in the future? My simple answer is negotiation even though that will be difficult to achieve. Even so, that's a much better option than a military answer to this threat.

Save Your Sanity. Downgrade Your Life.

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Advancements and innovations have no doubt benefited humankind: the internal combustion engine, electricity, the television, etc. The smartphone is no different, but like any invention, the benefits must outweigh the costs. Of late, I find myself using my smartphone for the wrong reasons and vow to change. Just today, after reading this editorial on my smartphone ironically, I left it at home before going on a hike with my family in Grand Teton National Park. No doubt new gadgets will get made and I'll have to fight the instinct to use them. But in the quietness of nature today, where I saw a black bear mom with two cubs cross a stream while foraging for huckleberries, I realized humanity needs constant reminding about the misuse of modernity. This editorial helped remind me. You? Are we becoming tools of our tools?