Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Defense Article: Gays in the Military.

This article deals with the attempted repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy which continues to support the discrimination of homosexuals in the military.

Link to article: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1975451,00.html

Monday, March 29, 2010

Could the problems in Russia affect the US?

This Sunday, 2 suicide bombs went off in Moscow's main metro station, Lubyanka. The blasts killed 38 people and injured 60 more. The bombers are suspected to be from the North Caucasus region of Chechnya which has had a long history of clashes with the Russian government. The primarily Muslim region of Chechnya has been attempting to gain independence from Russia for many years, but has failed due to Russia's intense interest in Chechnya's oil reserves. However, Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, declared that "Terrorists will be destroyed." Perhaps another civil war? I think that possibly if Russia goes to war with Chechnya, the US may be forced to intervene. The question is: on which side would the US step in? Classically wishing to protect human rights across the globe, the US could be expected to defend the oppressed Chechnyans. However, the US has been making major attempts to establish peace with Russia and alleviate Cold War tensions. Hopefully both sides will keep a cool head and no one will have to deal with making that decision.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Russia makes nice.

Obama recently announced that he and Russia's president Dmitri Medvedev have reached another nuclear arms deal that will this time slash nuclear arsenals to one quarter of what they used to be and begin an inspection cycle that will make sure each side is holding true to the deal.  However, this agreement will not impede the US's plans for a missile defense base in Europe.  I think this is a great step in the relations between the US and Russia as well as progress in the nuclear warfare threat.


Death threats, really?

Immediately following the House vote on the health care bill Sunday, several representatives that voted for the bill received death threats, menacing photos, and vandalism to their homes and offices. New York Rep Louise Slaughter received a message concerning possible sniper attacks against the members of the House that voted for the bill. Arizona Rep Gabrielle Giffords' office was also vandalized. Now, while I understand that people may be upset about the passage of the bill, I certainly don't think it calls for death threats - the bill is about health care for god's sake. It just doesn't make any sense. How dimwitted and anti-democracy do you have to be to send death threats to people elected to vote according to their own judgement. What would those people prefer? A government that is run by one person's decisions, and only if that person is a Republican? It's just so uncompromising and truly anti-American if they expect everyone to bend to their will and yet they show no compromise or concession in return.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Public education = classist.

In Chicago, reports have surfaced that members of the Board of Education have been keeping a "VIP" list containing certain select students who have major connections to politicians that were given preference when applying to be admitted to some of the most prestigious public schools. The Department of Education office claims that the log only listed names of people who had asked for help, yet reports show that these people were shown preference during the application process.
I think this is a little outrageous. If any city wants there education system to flourish it has to rely on talent and students' own dedication, not on having the "right" political connections. It's not going to help anyone if a less qualified student is admitted to one of the most rigorous schools; it will hurt the more qualified applicants who were denied, and not provide the most appropriate place for the student granted admission. In my opinion, in any case like this, applicants should be judged on their own personal merit, not on external fluff.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Won't someone compromise for the animals?

At a UN conference on endangered species in Qatar this week, American proposals to ban international trade of bluefin tuna and to protect the polar bears from hunting were shot down. Mostly to the delight of the Japanese, who enjoy bluefin tuna in their sushi, the conference held that the fish was to marketable and not in immediate danger of extinction due to commercial fishing. In the worsening case of the polar bears, the conference delegates decided that the polar bear population severely threatened by global warming is healthy enough to withstand small hunting.
I think this is a real tragedy for the polar bears. While there may be a large enough population now, the population of the polar bear is decreasing at astronomical rates, mostly due to the rapid melting of the ice caps on which they live. It appears that once again mankind has chosen the selfish, short-sided route that will benefit today and leave tomorrow in ruins. Research shows that if nothing is done to assist the survival of the polar bears - which nothing is - they could be extinct in as little as 50 years.


Will the US interfere with Irsael's plans?

The Obama administration has yet to announce a decision on what the US will do in response to the Israeli plan to build 1600 homes on the disputed territory with Palestine. So far, the US administration has released several statements of their disapproval of the action as well as Hilary Clinton's calls for peace talks between the two leaders. However, none of the scolds have been responded to by the Israeli government, and plans for construction seem to be ready to move along as scheduled.
I think that while the US should possibly offer to facilitate peace talks between the two areas to avoid some type of violent outbreak that could occur if the issue is not addressed. I think it is ridiculous that Israel would chose now, one of the most peaceful times in that area's history, to rock the boat and cause trouble. While I understand that they believe they are entitled to that land, I think that if they were smart, they would chose to play nice with the Palestinians for the safe of their own people, and their country.