Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Creator of Emmett Till ‘Open Casket’ at Whitney Responds to Backlash



Link

Recently a new painting has been put on display at the Whitney Museum, in New York City, that has aroused many conflicts between people. The painting of “Open Casket” by Dana Schutz’, was an inspiration of Emmett Till’s death. This painting has brought backlash, and African-Americans saying that the “white” artist has no right to be painting black’s pain and suffering. While others believe that her race does not matter and since it was an iconic symbol of the civil rights movement, her race should not matter. The painting in the past days has been blocked by black artists and has brought hate comments to Schutz. She has recently responded by saying that the painting itself was not easy to draw and she understands people’s questioning of her right to draw it, but it should be “an open discussion”. Schutz claims that she was inspired to create the exhibit due to all the 2016 killings of African Americans by police officers. This reminds me of the civil rights movements, because Emmett Till’s death and open casket pictures played a major role in the movement. In my opinion I believe what Dana Schutz drew was not meant to be wrong, she was only inspired by what was going on around her. I also understand the backlash going on about this, since Emmett Till was such a strong symbol in the civil rights movement, but I feel all this hate shouldn’t be let out on the artist simply because of her race. What do you guys think, is it right for the artist to receive hate about the picture? Is the painting considered culturally inappropriate? Should there be this much controversy about the painting?

White Supremacist James Jackson Says He Killed a Black Man to Deter Interracial Relationships














Article Link

James Harris Jackson, 28, is charged with with murder as a hate crime. The "self proclaimed bigot" tried to "kill as many black men as he could" to stop the spread of interracial relationships. His only victim however was Timothy Caughman, 66, of NYC. The army veteran allegedly stabbed Caughman with a sword. Caughman was able to take himself to the hospital, however he died a few hours later. Jackson supposedly was raised "was raised in what was described as a churchgoing, liberal family in a Baltimore suburb, said his ideal society is "1950s America." This reminds me of the hate crimes that happened before and during the Civil Rights Movement. The article concluded that Jackson has "clear psychological issues" but what do you guys think? Was this mindset influenced by parents or other authoritative figures in his life or does he just want to be famous? What do you think his punishment should be?  Comment below :) 



Monday, March 27, 2017

Push for Internet Privacy Rules Moves to Statehouses



Several states are looking to strengthen their internet privacy laws in light of federal rollback of such regulations under the Trump administration. While lobbyists from major tech giants Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple fiercely fight against these privacy measures, both liberal and conservative legislators are joining together to get these bills passed at the state level. With the federal government seemingly siding with large corporations rather than protecting consumers, this situation is reminiscent of when the federal government protected corporations over the rights of workers during the industrial revolution. Personally, I think that internet privacy laws should be a top priority for federal lawmakers. I find the situation to be hopeful despite the strong corporate forces fighting against internet privacy because of the teamwork amongst liberal and conservative politicians at the state level. Do you think internet privacy will be adequately taken care at the state level? What will it take for consumers to push for their rights at the federal level? Who do you think will ultimately win, corporations or consumers?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

US bans larger electronic devices on some flights from Middle East




Image result for etihad airways


New TSA guidelines affects travel on few airlines originating from the Middle East. Passenger travelling to and from USA on Royal Jordanian, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air, Saudia Airlines, Kuwait airways, Royal Air Morocco, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad will not be allowed to carry electronic devices larger than a cellphone. After the Trump administration’s failed travel ban, this one will again cause a lot of inconvenience to passengers. The fact that the electronic devices are allowed in checked-in baggage is a bit mind boggling since the same risk applies to checked-in baggage as well. There are concerns that this ban may just be an excuse to go over a passenger’s data stored in an electronic device. The Emirates flight from San Francisco to Dubai is 16 hours long and a lot of families travel with kids. Not been able to use an electronic device like a laptop or and iPad will surely go down well with passengers.
The ban is technically related to ten airports in eight countries:

  • Queen Alia in Jordan
  • Cairo International in Egypt
  • Ataturk International in Turkey
  • King Abudlaziz and King Khalid in Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International in Kuwait, Mohammaed V in Morocco
  • Doha International in Qatar
  • Dubai international and Abu Dhabi international in the United Arab Emirates.
Are we going too far with airline security? What do you think will come next? A ban on hand baggage altogether?

United Wouldn't Let 2 Girls on a Plane Because It Apparently Has a Leggings Ban

article link
This Sunday, a United Airlines gate agent denied two girls entrance onto one of their planes because the girls were wearing leggings. Shannon Watts, founder of the Moms Demand Action campaign for gun safety, saw what happened and tweeted about it, sparking a huge uproar on Twitter. She said that the two girls who were refused entry were teenagers, and that there was another girl as young as ten who was also wearing leggings but was allowed to enter once she put a dress that she happened to have in her backpack. United Airlines issued a statement saying that the two girls were relatives of United employees, receiving free or reduced rates, and that there is a dress code pass travelers have to follow, the code apparently including a "ban on spandex." United also has rules where they can refuse any passenger's boarding if he or she is "barefoot or not properly clothed," but not stating what "properly" means. I think that while their rule for general passengers makes sense, the rules need to be a lot more specific as to what is or isn't proper. However, my main problem is with their choice to ban spandex for pass travelers, as they do not see it as appropriate attire. Shouldn't you expect people to dress comfortably when they are on a long flight? And the fact that they refused service to two teenagers and would have also done so to a ten year old, who might not even be a pass traveler, is beyond me. United's inability to accept leggings as appropriate and proper clothing reminds me of the 1920s, when it was hard for society to accept women dressing in more revealing clothing. To me, this rule against spandex is pretty sexist, as they are denying women service based on what I believe is totally appropriate clothing.

Do you agree with United Airlines refusing service to the girls wearing the leggings? Should the rules  about proper attire and pass travelers be changed? Is it okay for an airline to deny service to people based on what they wear, as long as their clothing is not too inappropriate of course?

A Pro-Trump Rally Ended Up With a Man Getting Beaten With a ‘Make America Great Again’ Sign


Article Link Video can also be found on the site
At a pro-Trump rally in California, over 2000 protesters peacefully gathered to represent the current president. Things got violent as they clashed with a group of anti-Trump protesters, and arrests had to be made for usage of illegal pepper spray and physical violence. Though I realize the two groups were both protesting, this seemed like a downscaled version of the attacks made on civil rights protesters in the 1950's and 60's, for both began with peaceful protests that were attacked in one way or another. Despite my own opinions about the current president, I am appalled that either group would allow themselves to physically harm the other. I feel as though everyone is entitled to his own opinion, and as long as such opinions are expressed peacefully, there should be no violence necessary. Do you think such violence is acceptable is one is truly against another's beliefs? How can protesters work to remain peaceful and get their point across without violence-especially in situations such as this?

GOP health-care bill: House Republican leaders abruptly pull their rewrite of the nation’s health-care law

  article 
Republican leaders in the House conceded defeat on their attempted overhaul of Obama Care on Friday, March 24, going back on President Trump's most loudly trumpeted campaign promise during the recent presidential election. Surprisingly, although the bill met fierce opposition with the democratic party, the bulk of its failure can be attributed to fractures within the Republican party, as speaker Paul Ryan and other supporters of the bill failed to strike a compromise that would satisfy the most conservative Republican congressmen, who demanded a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. I personally think that this was a good outcome for the majority of America, as it was made clear by the bill's repeated modification and rewriting only the night before that it was half-baked, and did not account for necessary expenses. Passing of the bill would have lowered taxes at the expense of health coverage for millions of Americans, and I am glad that this was not the case. This fragmentation in the Republican party brings with it ominous implications for the future of the party, and a failure to achieve party unity can bring struggle and potential overhaul of a party, as when Theodore Roosevelt parted ways with the Republican party in the 1912 election after his loss of the Republican nomination in order to create his own progressive party, fragmenting the Republican party and resulting in a handy defeat at the hands of democrat Woodrow Wilson. What do you guys think? Was the failure of this bill a good thing? What does this failed campaign promise mean for the future of the Republican Party? Is the door now open for democrats to begin to take control of congress and eventually the presidency? I know its early, but any thoughts?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Long-Range Missiles in North Korea

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/20/politics/north-korea-rocket-test-icbm/index.html

North Korea tested their rocket engine yesterday, March 19th, and its engine was proven to be able to handle the first and possibly second stage of a large intercontinental ballistic missile. However, an expert in Missile Defense claims that the engine is too big for the intercontinental missiles currently in their possession. Because this could possible threaten the US, defense officials are keeping a close eye on North Korea and its rocket programs. President Donald Trump had previously tweeted two months ago in January that a nuclear war with North Korea wouldn't happen, but this Sunday had claimed that the North Korean leader was "acting very very badly."

What does this mean for us? How do you feel about what President Donald Trump had said? Will we come close to another repeat of the Cuban Missile Crisis? Or do you think North Korea won't succeed in developing their ICBM (Intercontinental ballistic missile) since the technology is very advanced and hard to develop? 

Duterte Opposes Gay Marriage in Philippines, Reversing Campaign Pledge


                                                                                   Link

In the Philippines there will not be any legalization of same sex marriage. In Duterte's campaigns he had made a promise to push for equality for the LGBT community. He is now reversing on his promises declaring that the Philippines can not support same-sex marriage because they are catholic, however, during his campaign he claimed that the bible should have stated that marriages are for gays as well. Ever since he had won his presidency he has been back tracking on his word. He claims to say that he has no issues with anyone's sexuality and that some of his family members are gay. His associates have relegated on a bill that protects the rights of  gays but it has not moved for 18 years. There has been substantial backlash to the passing of these laws because the church has a large political influence. The large religious influence on the government reminds me of the first colonies in America. For a long time the Church had a large say on the legislation passed, however I think it is important to separate church and state. In the first amendment it is states that no law should be prohibited by religion. If many people are agitated by the effect religion has had on passed legislation, I believe that the Philippines should look into limiting the influence the church has.  Do you think Duterte needs to step up on his promises? Do you think it is unfair that the Church has such a big influence on the legislation? What steps do you think the LGBT community in the Philippines need to make?



                    

Sunday, March 19, 2017

#BoycottHawaii Spawns Hilarious Twitter Reaction


http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/BoycottHawaii-trending-11007436.phpMany states who oppose Trump's ban had their federal judges freeze actions. President Trump's executive order seeks to temporarily ban the issuance visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Libya. The order also suspends the admission of new refugees to the U.S..Most recently Hawaii has joined California, Washington, Oregon and several other states in opposing the Trump ban. As a hawaiian federal judge chose to freeze Trump's ban, many hawaiians took to Twitter to help and support their Judge Watson. Soon, the hashtag #BoycottHawaii had gone viral by Trump supporters who wanted to fight back Hawaii and other states who opposed Trumps Ban. Do you think #BoycottHawaii will have any impact on the states like Hawaii who are fighting Trump's ban? Do you think the hashtag could be used to "advertise" a state like Hawaii for tourism or is it really just an argument over Trump's?

Costs and Benefits Rise for Many All Americans with Proposed GOP Health Care Act


On March 6th House Republicans released a bill that is intended to replace the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare as President Trump promised during his campaign trail speeches and in his Address to Congress earlier last month. However, the hard-line Republican Freedom Caucus suggests that the bill does seem to have an objective focused on "amending" rather than "repealing" as it does retain clauses such as prohibiting insurers  from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions or setting annual and lifetime limits on individual coverage. Additionally, it allows dependents to stay on health insurance plans until the age of 26.


On the other side of the political spectrum, Democrats have heavily criticized the bill because of how quickly it has been moving through the legislative bodies, all done "without hearing from consumers, health care providers, insurance companies or state officials — and without having estimates of the cost or the impact on coverage from the Congressional Budget Office" (NY Times).


It is true that Obamacare took much longer to pass through the various legislative committees and had more consultation with health care companies yet the American Health Care Act is focused on eliminating taxes that were implemented with the Affordable Care Act which raised premiums and enrolled more people below the poverty line into coverage that was subsidized by the Federal Government. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the GOP plan headed by Paul Ryan will lead to 14 million Americans losing coverage over the next year and 24 million over the next decade due to the fact that it permits insurance companies to charge older customers up to five times the amount of younger customers (it was three times the amount under the Affordable Care Act) and doesn't fine individuals who don't have coverage. This event reminds me of the universal healthcare provisions that were part of Truman's Fair Deal but were eventually struck down with vehement opposition coming from the American Healthcare Association. As of late many Americans think of healthcare as a very important issue when it comes to public policy.


Do you believe that universal healthcare or some forms of it are here to stay? Which health care bill do you prefer? Is it fair or unfair to charge older healthcare customers five times more? Is there an alternative that you believe would be better for Americans?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Why Emma Watson could be any of us


http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/06/opinions/emma-watson-marines-sexism-filipovic-opinion/index.html

About a week ago, Vanity Fair released a group of photos of Emma Watson to the public, which included a photo that exposed a fair amount of Watson's chest. As soon as this photo was released, Emma Watson received incessant comments from the public and from public figures both criticizing and praising her photos. However, the criticism seemed to have surpassed the praise. A British radio host, named Julia Hartley-Brewer attacked Emma Watson, claiming you cannot be a feminist and complain about "not [being] taken seriously" and also expose yourself to the world. I believe Hartley-Brewer's definition of feminism is wrong, for feminism is advocating for the meaning of a woman unapologetically, and if Emma Watson believes a woman is sexy and comfortable with her physique, then she has every right to express herself that way. This controversy reminds me of the 1920s, and the "flappers" that came in that era- the unapologetic, sexy, overly-feministic woman. Many people, including other woman, criticized flappers in the 1920s because they were unusual or different for the time. Like the flappers, Emma Watson is showing herself the way she sees herself- sexy, beautiful, feminine and most of all proud. I find it incredibly hypocritical and painful that another woman would criticize Emma Watson for being herself, because isn't that what feminism is all about? Do you believe Emma Watson's photos were inappropriate? Do you believe she is or is not proving the idea of feminism? 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Are Teens Replacing Drugs with their Phones?

Link
With the rates of kids on drugs decreasing, people are looking for the cause. The rate decline has come over the past decade, which is when spark of the smart phone came into the lives of many. The correlation of just "being bored" may have shifted what kids do in their free time. The rate of marijuana in 8th and tenth graders along with cocaine, ecstasy and LSD being way down in our nation's 12 graders. Even as heroin has become an epidemic and an issue with the adult communities, it is down with teenagers. It seems that playing video games and using social media may have had an impact on what teenagers choose to use when seeking sensation. What you also need to remember is that this is also the decade when our government started putting a serious effort and more funding towards the programs that attempt to keep kids off of drugs. There is a direct correlation to the decrease in teenage drug use with the prevention campaigns and public education about the dangers of drugs. To me, that seems like a more logical explanation. What is the main reason for the decrease in teenage drug use? Do we owe it to the anti-drug campaigns or our smartphones?

Monday, March 13, 2017

‘No one escaped': Poland accuses 98-year-old Minnesota man of ordering a Nazi massacre



Article Link

Recently, Michael Karkoc, a 98-year-old U.S. citizen living with Alzheimer’s has been accused of being a Nazi commander who ordered the killing of two Polish villages in 1944. After the Germans surrendered WWII and the war ended, the commander slipped into the U.S., lied about his military service, and settled in the country. For decades, the Nazi who ordered the killing has been unknown, with their war crimes being unpunished. This connects to WWII because in WWII, the Nazis were brutal and committed many war crimes, one of which included the genocide of Jews. 73 years later, Poland still seeks to arrest Michael Karkoc for his actions. In my opinion, I do not think that Karkoc should be arrested. Sure, he committed a war crime and caused many deaths, but it is 73 years since the event and many things have changed since then. In addition, the article states that he suffers from Alzheimer’s, and I believe that he deserves to at least live the rest of his life peacefully, as he is also 98 years old. Do you think that Karkoc deserves to be arrested? Does it matter how long ago the crime was committed? Should Poland, who is interested in arresting him and forcing him to spend the rest of his life in jail take into account of his Alzheimer’s in addition to his old age?



US Marines in the Fight Against Raqqa



Article

A ground force of 400 Expeditionary Marines and Army Rangers have arrived in Raqqa to support the push into the Islamic State capital. This marks the first time in many years that the US has had a major conventional ground presence in the war on ISIS. US troops will be providing artillery support for Iraqi forces. While President Trump has been pushing for a stronger stance against ISIS, this offensive has been in planning since before his presidency. This event marks a shift from purely aerial support and special operations to a more conventional front line invasion by US forces. The debate of this new conflict in the Middle East against ISIS concerns the global involvement of America, and whether we should be getting involved. It's very similar to the debate between isolationism and war during the pre WWII period, when Americans did not agree on if this country should get involved in conflicts in other regions. The controversy is even bigger this time around, as the US has already sunk more than $3 trillion into 2 lengthy and ineffective wars in the Middle East. I believe that American support is crucial to global cooperation in solving the Middle Eastern conflicts. However, the military must have clear objectives and form a clearer plan for stability in the region. What do you think America's involvement in the Middle East should entail? Do you think President Trump's plan for a stronger offensive against ISIS is an effective plan?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Australia considers childcare ban on unvaccinated children

Medical vials and a syringe

The Australian government is considering enforcing a nationwide policy in which children who are unvaccinated would be prohibited from entering childcare centers of any kind. Personally, I agree with this course of action. Parents who do not let their children be vaccinated jeopardize the health of not only their own children, but also the children around them. Moreover, these people especially put those who have immunodeficiencies and cannot get vaccinated at high risk. I can understand why this act may be controversial, as the government would be depriving non-vaccinated children of early education and interactions with other children. However, the beliefs that influence the lack of vaccinations have no substantial backing to them, making it entirely unjustified not to vaccinate one's child. I'm not trying to suggest anything negative about what Australia is doing, but this does remind me somewhat of how the US dealt with communism in the Red Scares of WWI and WWII. The general public did regard communism pretty much as a disease in its own, and people who were communists were ostracized from some public services and jobs. The US people's fear of the spread of communism parallels to some degree the Australian people's fear of contagion.

Do you believe this is the right course of action from the Australian government? Or are they overstepping? Do you think there is any alternative or better way to go about this?

Radioactive Boars in Fukushima Thwart Residents’ Plans to Return Home

Image: Wild boar


After the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Northern Japan, radiation from damaged power plants continues to prevent residents from returning to their homes. Now, the Japanese government is hiring hunters to kill radioactive, wild boars who have taken over the area. Even if the boar problem is resolved, most residents still do not want to return to Fukushima for fear of radiation and the safety of the power plant. This is obviously related to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of the lasting effects of radiation from nuclear energy. While this radiation exposure was the result of a damaged power plant, not a bombing, the atomic bombings in WWII were the first demonstrations of the lasting damage of radiation from atomic energy. Personally, I would also worry about being in the area given how aggressive and dangerous these boars are. Do you think residents justified in not wanting to return? And are the benefits of nuclear energy worth the risk it poses to people’s health?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

UC Berkeley ponders People’s Park for housing in controversial move



Link

In a controversial move, UC Berkeley plans to build more student and homeless housing on the infamous People's Park near the campus. This decision comes after several previous attempts to secure the park for housing, all of which ended in riots, protests, and even death. May 15th, 1969, aptly dubbed "Bloody Thursday," peaceful protests turned riotous as students hurled bottles and rocks at armed guards sent to protect the park's fences (although at the time the "park" was merely a deserted lot), which led to police retaliation and ended in the death of one student, the blindness of bystander, and many more student injuries. Now, the People's Park is considered a symbol of a still-active social justice movement, which is where the opposition to new housing stems from. However, to appease and negotiate with possible protesters, the university has agreed to provide both student housing and homeless shelters on the property, both of which are becoming a necessity with the rising residential prices. In addition, the park will be memorialized as a place of significance in Berkeley's vibrant social justice movements. Personally, I think the issue of student housing is one that will only grow in the rise of college tuition and surrounding housing unavailability. Because UC Berkeley depends on donations, grants, and federal/state funding for its budget, it's difficult for the student population to find relatively commutable housing. Therefore, I see the merits in developing the People's Park into more student housing, and homeless housing for the surrounding community. However, there will always be protesters, as there is always opposition to large companies or universities commandeering swatches of land. Such protests remind me vaguely of unionized strikes (like in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) and organized marches (most famously the marches of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s) we've been studying in class. In a way, the university stands in for large corporations, while the students represent, well, workers, and other student protesters.

What do you all think of UC Berkeley's decision to use public land for student housing? Is a long-term benefit for both students and the community? Is it an unfair advantage for those also looking for affordable housing?

Friday, March 10, 2017

WikiLeaks Dump Reveals CIA Has Ability to Access Smart TV Microphones

Image result for smart tv



        The US has always been known as "The Land of the Free" due to its being one of if not the first nations to include several fundamental human rights in its constitution. As of late however, some of these rights have been challenged and even violated for several reasons, the most prominent being to fight terrorism. Many instances of these violations have been revealed through confidential document dumps from people such as Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange. This latest dump reveals the terrifying fact that the CIA has the ability to tap the microphones of some Smart TVs. Though this article doesn't state how many times this practice has been conducted or to what extent, the fact that a government agency has the ability to do this is absolutely bone-chilling. This and similar practices remind me of the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917-18 and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. These bills didn't allow for government invasions of privacy, but they also restricted a few fundamental human rights i.e. a free press and freedom of speech and expression. Are any of you as concerned about this as I am? How would you suggest combating rights violations such as these? Or do you think this or other practices are suitably justified and why?

The Super-Secret Division in Charge of the Russia Investigation




This story talks about the super secret division in the FBI known as the Counterintelligence Division. The CD works to uncover enemy spies currently in the US. They're tasked with uncovering the identities of major threats in the US by foreign nations. They were responsible for investigating the Hillary Clinton email scandal and are currently investigating President Trump's mysterious relationship with Russia. Similar to the ideals of the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Cold War, the CD has to investigate suspected spies and bring therm to justice. However, the CD works within the law and gather sufficient evidence on a suspect before detaining them. The House Un-American Activities Committee would often arrest suspects with little to no evidence violating their constitutional rights. What do you believe the CD does differently to protect suspected spies’ human rights unlike the House Un-American Activities Committee? How has U.S. policy changed toward suspected spies since the Cold War?

Monday, March 6, 2017

President Trump Accuses Obama Of 'Wire Tapping,' Provides No Evidence

NPR Article


On Saturday, standing President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wire tapping communications at Trump Tower prior to the 2016 elections and after his victory over Hillary Clinton. Trump's evidence is unsubstantiated and uncorroborated(Mr. Colgazier triggered.) The origin of Trump's conspiracy theory may have its roots in an article by Breitbart.com in which they accuse Obama of rallying a "silent coupe." It's worth noting that Breitbart was published by Steve Bannon before becoming senior adviser to the president.Trump has equated Obama's alleged illegal activity to the Watergate Scandal and McCarthyism via his Twitter account. McCarthyism refers to Senator Joseph McCarthy who was a very prominent supporter of anti-communist actions during the Second Red Scare in the early 1950s, many of which were not entirely legal, hence Trump's claim against Obama's "wire taps." Kevin Lewis, spokesman to Obama, denied the allegations by stating that "neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false." Do you believe Obama's administration is guilty of wire tapping Trump Tower? Do you believe that Trump's allegations are preposterous? What information do you have supporting either side? What do these accusations mean in relation to the peaceful transition of power?  


Sunday, March 5, 2017

In the era of Donald Trump, Germans debate a military buildup



Ever since the Nazi horror in World War II, Germany has mostly dismissed militarism. However, with its inconvenient diplomatic position in the middle of Russia and the US, Germany has decided to begin building up its military in response to the deterioration of transatlantic relations. Under the Trump administration, it is a possibility that Europe may have to live without the support of the US, their most powerful ally. With Russia's aggression at an all-time high, I believe that Germany is making a smart decision in expanding its military because it should be prepared for the worst, given the current instability in Russia and the US. I think that other European countries will respond by building up their own militaries as well, since Trump has stated that the US will not help to defend Europe any longer. If the US plans to act randomly and aggressively just like Russia, I don't blame Germany for being concerned and taking action. In times like these, I believe it is vital that the members of NATO communicate thoroughly and work together. Do you think Germany and the rest of Europe should continue to build up their military? What are your thoughts on NATO and Russian aggression? Is a war imminent?
This May 4, 2001, file photo shows Kim Jong Nam, exiled

Since the death of Kim Jong Nam, Kim Jong Um's half brother, on February 13. 2017, tensions have risen to new highs between the Asian countries in the region.  Many put the blame  on the North Korean government for executing the horrendous act of murdering Kim Jong Nam. Kim Jong Nam's idea of a free market for North Korea problibly lead tot his. One country in the region that responded to this was  the country of Malaysian. The country condemned North Korea's government for their lack of investigation and expelled their ambassador Kang Chol due to the fact that he refused to apologize for accusations made towards Malaysia’s handling of the investigation. The Malaysian government claimed that they would not allow for the North Korean government to manipulate the results and investigation. The government claimed the Kang Chol to be "persona non grata" and was given 48 hours to leave the country.

This reminds me of conflicts during the cold war between Communists countries and Democratic countries ad their ideals. More specifically conflicts between North and South Vietnam, when Capitalists countries tried to intervene with Communists ones over policies. Do you think Malaysian's actions were uncalled for or are the actions appropriate? How do you believe that America should respond? How do you think these actions will affect countries and relations?

Article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/03/04/malaysia-expels-n-korean-envoy-wake-murder-probe/98735020/

New Orleans' Police Use Of Body Cameras Brings Benefits And New Burdens



In 2014, the New Orleans Police Department required all of its officers to wear body cameras while working. Over the past three years, the department noted better police conduct among its officers and better accuracy regarding the circumstances of an arrest: for example, the footage could be used in a defendant’s case. However, these cameras burden public defenders and police supervisors with more work, which can hinder the efficiency of a police department. The New Orleans Police Department, in particular, is “chronically short-staffed and has a history of long response times for 911 calls.” Although these drawbacks are definitely important to consider, I believe that using body cameras was a good decision on the part of the police department, since they ascertain the validity of police arrests and lead to better police conduct. The misconduct that the body cameras are meant to combat reminds me of the rise of public police departments during the Gilded Age. In the late 19th century, the job of a police officer was often filled through political patronage, and the officers themselves were corrupt and prejudiced, and often used unnecessary brutality. Personally, I’m glad to see that this police department is taking steps to combat this type of corruption. What do you think about the necessity of body cameras? Other than the use of body cameras, what other steps do you think police departments should take to prevent misconduct among their officers? Do you believe that police misconduct is still an issue today?