Where to go from here?

16 Dec

It was on my way home from Trinity on the 14th when I heard about the horrible massacre in Newtown Connecticut.  The way I learned of the terrible news was on a television in a small rest area in Massachusetts.  When I walked in I knew something was wrong as I saw people of all ages and blankly starring at this tiny television up in the corner of the room. When I went over I saw the headline : ” 27 dead in elementary school massacre”.  I was sure this had to be some mis information as I could not fathom a person that could go into a school full of children and ed their lives so pre-maturly. So this whole weekend I have been thinking about these children and their families and trying to think of the best way for America to move forward in trying to prevent something like this from happening again. The main arguments I’ve heard have been about gun control.  Many say that even with stricter gun laws, “bad guys” will still be able to get their hands on guns and do what they want with them.  Also the same people who argue this also say that maybe we should have MORE guns so everyday civilians could carry weapons and possibly stop something like this from happening again.  Honestly, these opinions make me sick to my stomach as they make me believe that AMerica as a country is becoming more and more ignorant and naive with issues like this.  Fighting fire with fire is not the answer, why would we combat violence with more violence? If it were made nearly impossible for people to get guns then just everyday gun violence as well as massacres would be far less probable. I personally believe that legislature needs to make sure background checks for purchasing guns are far more intense, and also I think people who commit massacres should remain anonymous, because although it is negative, these gunmen gain a certain level of fame.  Overall I think America needs to look very hard at itself and its gun laws, to see how we can change them to prevent further senseless violence from happening in our country. 

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Lower Tuition Strategically

9 Dec

My dad forwarded me this  article about Florida politician, Rick Scott who claims that he wants to run Florida more like a business.  One of his main idea to run Florida like a business to this is to lower tuition for students who are taking majors that are more job-friendly such as engineering or biotechnology. The intent of this move to make Florida more efficient and to help the economy.  I personally have mixed feelings about this proposal because in some ways I think it is a good idea to help our struggling economy. However, by steering people into a certain direction with education kind of defeats the purpose of what college is about; finding something that you’re passionate about.  If people choose a major because it is cheaper rather than because they enjoy it we have may have an influx of workers who are not passionate about their occupation would could lead to poor performance.

Aside 8 Nov

As I write this I hope everyone enjoyed their election day, and I know I personally am very happy with the results from state to the national level.  I was looking through some articles and I found one that was talking about the SuperPAC’s late minute affect on political races at the state level. In Minnesota last minute donations from private donors made a huge impact on the house elections. The effect of the superPAC’s was something everyone would be watching as it is such a new phenomenon in our political system. “Direct corporate spending in campaigns had been prohibited since the era of Teddy Roosevelt until a 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. But the donors for much of the big money that flowed into the 2012 election were not disclosed, and those that were disclosed were largely wealthy individuals and unions. Corporations that gave to groups that disclosed their donors tended to be privately held firms such as Specialty.”

24 Oct

 

When browsing through different news source I found an article that contradicted my thoughts and opinions on the affect of SuperPAC’s. Opposed to the many sources that I have read through, this article claims that SuperPAC’s have not had as big of an affect on the presidential campaign as many had predicted.  However as you read through the article they’re some contradictory statements that shows eaxclty how SuperPAC’s have played a HUGE role in our current election. ” Romney was the beneficiary of super PAC support at crucial points in his campaign for president. During the Republican primary, a super PAC founded by former aides — Restore Our Future — was able to overwhelm Romney’s opposition with millions’ worth of television ads pillorying Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.” This is a prime example of how SuperPAC’s use there almost limitless amount of wealth to be the deciding factor in certain elections. Here is the link http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/24/14671230-super-pacs-havent-become-the-bogeyman-many-feared?lite

SuperPACs on a smaller scale

11 Oct

Today during team study hall I was reading over some old articles I had read about SuperPACs and I realized that the material I had been mainly focusing on was very limited to strictly how SuperPACs are effecting the upcoming the election.  This made me want to see how SuperPACs effect other parts of politics or lesser know elections, and so I stumbled upon this article on Huffington Post.  The article describes how wealthy hedge fund manager, Robert Mercer, has put hundred of thousands of dollars into a Republican Super PAC in efforts to defeat liberal congressman Peter DeFazio. I found this rather strange considering Robert Mercer lives in Long Island, so it made me question his motives about defeating a congressman from Oregon. Regardless, I think this is a prime example of how SuperPACs can be corrupt, is it right that one man can have enough power to keep a congressman from being elected, ESPECIALLY when his power is strictly derived from his bank account.  Something to ponder..

NPR SuperPAC debate

2 Oct

While browsing through the internet looking for new news stories about superPACs I stumbled across a recent debate about whether or not SuperPACs are good for democracy. The debate is 50 minutes long but there were some interesting points that sparked my ideas and solidified why I believe SuperPACs are a bad idea and should be outlawed. First of all there is no limit to the amount of money that a company or corporation could put into a donation to a certain candidate. This made me think of European soccer and there difference with American sports; in Europe there is no limit to the amount of money an owner can spend on players, coaches, stadium improvements etc. So naturally, with no salary cap the teams with the richest owners are the ones who win because they have the most resources. In professional sports on America there is a salary cap to prevent this from happening. So i think if sports teams have already realized that during competition an equal playing ground is necessary for a fair game, or in the world of politics, an election. And lastly, as it is, it is not a rule that the name of the endorser has to be disclosed to the public. although far fetched it made me think, about what if another country with a lot of money piles money into a certain candidate that they have influence over, and then all of a sudden we have other countries influencing our political scene. It just seems that SuperPACs leave room for a lot of un-needed corruption in the American government. Here is the link to the debate. http://www.npr.org/2012/09/13/161111316/are-superpacs-good-for-democracy

Gay Marriage Op-ed

2 Oct

During family weekend while sitting on the hill over-looking the soccer field, my mom brought something up to me on that sparked a bit of a fire within me.  She was reminding me how she was going to send my absentee ballet in the mail to me  so I could vote in the upcoming election. I began asking just a few general questions as too which topics where generating buzz in Maine, and that is when she told me that gay marriage was on the ballot again after being voted down three years earlier. I could tell by my mom’s change in tone of voice when she mentioned this that she cared a lot about this issue, with having a gay brother and many gay or lesbian friends it was very understandable.  The election and this issue in particular plagued my mind all day, as it frustrated me to think that our country which prides itself on fairness, and equal rights to all, are still denying people the right to marry the one that the love.

Pro-gay marriage and acceptance of gays has always been something that my parents have emphasized to me.  It has been easy for me to oblige considering some of the nicest people I know are gay or lesbians.  My first friend I ever made was a Guatemalan girl who was adopted by a lesbian couple, Judy and Nelly.  From the time I was three until I moved away from Cambridge I spent many days and nights playing with Annie at her house and with her two moms, during this time I formed a strong relationship with Judy and Nelly that will forever make me a supporter of gay rights. From bringing me back from school, coming to my soccer games, being stern with me when I would play too rough with Annie, to comforting me when the Celtics lost, or even housing me while my mom was giving birth to my little sister, they did it all, and they did it all with the love, care, and responsibility that any good parents should strive to achieve.

When I think about people opposing gay marriage I feel some sort of pity and sympathy to their ignorance. After reading Don’t think of an Elephant  by Progressive leader, George Lakoff I realized that the majority of people against gay marriage and gay rights are plagued by the conservative “Strict Father model”.  In this model there cannot be two mothers for then there is no father to instill discipline with the sturdy hand of punishment.  Contrary, there cannot be two fathers because they are considered too be less than a real man, who cannot do an adequate job of raising children.  Throughout my readings on this issue, the biggest concern of the opposition to gay marriage is depriving children of either a mother or a father.  More importantly the opposition is concerned that with two mothers, or two fathers, children will not develop right due to the combination of characteristics that are unique to mothers and fathers.  However, who is to say that having a mother and a father is the best way to raise a child? Or if having both a mother and a father even matters for child development.  What children need most is good role models who will love them, care for them, differentiate between right and wrong, and give them good early experiences that will help shape their future lives, and too say this cannot be done by either two women or two men is just plain wrong.

There is hope though, when President Obama came out that he supports gay marriage I felt that it was a sign of a changing of generations in power. For example, When our parents were children most gays stayed in the closet for fear of not being discriminated against, and this has been obvious considering that president Obama is the first president to openly support gay marriage. In turn I feel that our generation is much more comfortable with gay marriage just because it has been something that we have been exposed to our whole lives, and just in general our society has become more accepting of all different kinds of people. Now more than ever it is imperative for our generation to continue being open and accepting of gays.  To put things in perspective and see how this could be done,  interracial marriage was legalized a short 45 years ago, and now if someone were to hint that interracial marriages were not right they would be looked at as a crazy racist.  That is how we must treat opposition to gay marriage, as a purely discriminatory act, that is taking away a vital right that all Americans should have, and that is the right to marry the one you love.