Monday, December 06, 2004

Blog # 15 - Vaibhav Shah

At first when I entered Dr. Tryon’s English class for the first time, and learn that its topic was “Rhetoric and Democracy”, I was a little apprehensive. I was barely interested in politics, and the fact that I was an international student and knew nothing about American politics seemed especially daunting. Before coming to America, on learning that the presidential elections would be held in a couple of months, I had asked my father whether President Bush was a Republican or Democrat. This memory now seems absurd and mildly amusing. As the first day of class ended, and later when I read about Adonal Foyle and his initiative, “Democracy Matters”, I felt a little interested as to what exactly we would do. But as class progressed, my interaction with the media gave me all the comprehension I needed to understand the politics behind the elections. I now began to form my own political views. Unlike earlier, when I had realised myself to be a supporter of George Bush, primarily because I could connect with him, having read about him in the Indian media, I now gradually shifted to support the Democratic Party. This change was essentially brought about by the exposure I had to American politics, and the knowledge I gained about the policies and stances of both the parties on various issues. Besides being highly educative and stimulating, the class was fun. The interaction with technology that the class called for removed all restrictions from one’s creativity. Blogging, making a group video presentation and watching a movie will certainly be an important part of the highlights of this class, alongwith the improvement Dr. Tryon’s instruction brought about in my English.

Blog # 14 - Vaibhav Shah

Response to Saumya’s blog “ The confusion with Florida never ends” in the group “At the Back”: http://attheback.blogspot.com/2004/11/confusion-with-florida-never-ends.html

Since the controversy surrounding Florida’s voter fraud in elections 2000, it has taken the spotlight in all voter fraud investigations. As America had expected, elections 2004 brought along the same confusion surrounding the votes cast in Florida. Saumya in her blog “The confusion with Florida never ends” addresses this important issue and calls for reform so that future elections are not marred in this manner. To support her arguments, the writer uses the example of three democratic counties having voted Republican. With effective use of statisitcs, she further proves how conflicting reaons for erratic voting patterns exist, thus leading to great confusion. In her blog, Saumya also mentions an interesting observation that with increase is voter participation, more space is being created for voter fraud. She thus calls for action to fill such gaps in the elections, and is successful in maintaining an unbiased view on matters.

Blog # 13 - Vaibhav Shah

http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=9s9c2pnhni7yfcnc0b6015u2n3gm78v

Students in different colleges across America participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement, thus giving an idea of how much students study, participate in various activities and rate their college experience. Eric Hoover in his article, “Undergraduates Study Much Less Than Professors Expect, Survey of Student 'Engagement' Says,” talks about how college students have been studying much less than it is suggested by the faculty, don’t take their learning outside the classroom and spend little time exercising.

I, as a college student myself, do agree with the statistics the writer deploys to support his arguments. Despite having 17 credit hours, I barely study throughout the week, and as an end result, end up staying up late the night before tests. The urge to go out in the corridor and have a nice time with floor mates gets hard to resist, especially when you can hear them having a good time, while you’re stuck doing calculus. But the problem is not my grades, but being disciplined. A student basically ends up blaming the college of being to tough, if he has too much to handle in the last minute.

It is difficult to go out of the way and exercise, but I have found that if you get a partner to exercise with, its works out quite easily. An integral part of college life is also participating in co-curricular activities. As I haven’t been quite an active member of the student body, besides having done some community service, I just pacify myself by saying that this is my first semester and I am only settling in. College life is fast and quite an experience. To not regret having wasted it later on, students need to realize that they have to take full advantage of it now.

Blog # 12 - Vaibhav Shah

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6405673/

Not even a month after the elections, would be presidential-candidates for election 2008 are being debated. As the Republicans settle down having won the elections, the Democrats are trying to make a come back. MSNBC News’ article “Maneuvering begins for 2008” discusses the options before both major parties in choosing a presidential candidate.

Unlike the elections held last month, the next one, four years later, will be open to new candidates, with President Bush’s cycle coming to a close. Many believe that elections such as the former one essentially check on the current president’s performance. With both parties putting forward fresh candidates next times, the odds should be evenly split for both.

In the Democratic Party, former vice-presidential candidate, John Edwards, seems a prospective presidential candidate. John Kerry has given the impression that he will not be contesting again, possibly owing to the complexity of that path as proven by Al Gore. The party has now realized the need to win at least some Southern states, and Edwards thus might have an upper hand being from North Carolina, even though he failed to secure that state for Kerry. Former first lady, Senator Hillary Clinton has also emerged as a strong contender owing to her widespread recognition and following. The article also talks about potential Republican candidates such as John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani.

The article offers an impartial view on potential presidential candidates. It is clear that it does focus more on the Democratic Party, but it is probably because of the party’s attempts to recover from its two consecutive failures.

Blog # 11 - Vaibhav Shah

http://www.local6.com/news/3918352/detail.html

Since President Bush’s re-election last month, the Cabinet has had a number of changes. Out of 15 of the Cabinet Chiefs, 6 have resigned leading up to “a major second-term shakeup.” A few who have resigned: Secretary of State Colin Powell, Education Secretary Rod Paige, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. The article “Official: Bush Asks Rice To Be Secretary Of State” focuses primarily on the appointment of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice as the new Secretary of State and the world’s reaction to Powell’s resignation, and also analysis the roles other resigning chiefs have played.

As he resigns, Colin Powell has made it clear that his resignation had been planned, and that he is “pleased” with what he has accomplished. Despite his resignation, Powell plans to work hard till the end, following his usual agenda, and attending various meetings and conferences. The article names various countries and diplomats who have praised Powell for his work, despite having differences with USA over certain issues. It also mentions that many have believed that Powell was not an extremist, and has diverged from more belligerent members of the administration over issues such as Iraq and other foreign policy matters. The article thus hints to the reader that Powell might have been forced to support positions from which he differed.

The article summarizes the achievements and failures of the three other chiefs. It mentions Energy Secretary Abraham’s success in protecting nuclear materials and criticizes his energy plan as a whole, which also led to a rise in gas prices. Paige is praised for his work behind “No Child Left Behind”, but attention is drawn to his comment on the National Education Association being a “terrorist organization.” It also praises the Agriculture Secretary for working hard in fighting against the mad cow disease.

The article thus does not show any political affiliations, but draws attention to the number of resignations being handed in, in the Bush Administration, immediately after the elections.

Blog # 10 - Vaibhav Shah

http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=8852

The elections held last month have left many wondering which issues did actually matter to the electorate, and what the loosing party’s shortcomings were. Jared Bernstein’s “It’s Still the Economy, Stupid” addresses the important question of whether the state of the economy played an important role in the elections. Berstein’s rhetoric is effectively structured in its appeal to readers having various political affiliations.

The writer strongly disagrees with the pundits’ opinion that one of the many lessons learnt of the elections was that owing to the stability of the American economy, its people have moved onto more demanding issues. He accepts the fact that the economy does play a smaller role in influencing the elections today, but conveys that certain exclusive issues are being confused for permanent ones, thus distorting peoples’ opinions.

Bernstein, to support his argument, refutes six assertions made by such pundits that the economy does not matter. He notes that the Republicans, while campaigning, have been smart to deviate from the topic of the economy, and have talked very little about it as well, in the Republican National Convention. Since the time when Bush has become the President, the economy has gone down. So what the Republican Party has done is that it focused on the condition of the economy only during the last four months, during which it has improved, drawing attention away from its decline in the long run. They have even gone to the extent of saying, “Ignore the depth of the hole you’re in, and focus on the fact that you’re finally climbing out.”

The writer refers to facts and statistics to back his arguments. He points out that according to the National Election Exit Poll, 20% of those who polled, stated the economy to be their primary concern, and that 80% of those supported John Kerry. With rise in globalization, technology and outsourcing, the economy is faced with many problems. For the economy to influence the electorate’s decision, the electorate must believe in the candidate’s ability to tackle and reform these problems. The writer even suggests that the fall in the importance of the economy could be due to ineffectiveness on the part of John Kerry’s campaigning.

The condition of the economy has been hidden by transient issues like Iraq and Homeland Security. Jared Bernstein thus advises the Democratic Party to be smarter next time in promoting the issue of the economy, as it does matter to the electorate.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Blog #15- Bumjoon Kim

The 2005 budget bill is passed by the Republican-led Congress recently. This article is talking about 2 percent cut of funding for the National Science Foundation. It is not only the United States’ assignment, but also the world’s assignment of developing an alternative energy resource. The weakness in this article is that the reason the author thinks the budget for the National Science Foundation is based on a few people who works in a science field. Shirley Ann Jackson, the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says the U.S. won’t have the scientific foundation to sustain its high standard of living in 15 or 20 years. I fully understand his authority in the field, but his idea can be biased because he was opposed by the legislation. This article tries to avoid being offended against the President Bush of not saying he has a background of the oil companies. However, it is just my suggestion of saying it could be more effective way to say he might try to delay the development of the alternative energy resource to protect his constituency. This article tries to tempt the President Bush to develop the alternative energy is like China for the President Nixon or the moon for J.F.K. What I think is that fly to the moon project was one of the measurement of the U.S. energies and skills, and also competition against the Soviet Union. On the other hand, developing alternative energy is far more practical than going for the Moon, and it is the time-limited project that should be done on time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/05/opinion/05friedman.html

Blog #14 - Bumjoon Kim

This E. J. Dionne Jr.’s article criticizes about the recent legislation that bars military recruiters from campuses without the risk of losing federal money. He points out that this law will intensify the current gap in our military and our society. It quoted a former Navy secretary Lehman’s word, ‘our all-volunteer force, for all its many virtues, is not representative of American society’. What it means is that our military is mostly consisted of the poor and minority groups rather than upper middle class. However, this article failed to explain the connection between members of military and members of society makes something positive. We can assume the military can have a sense of incongruity, and the article says the military is becoming more conservative and more politically active than ever before. But judging whether the big group is conservative or liberal, or whether politically active or not is more likely opinion than the fact. It failed to describe the stats or records showing the tendency of the military. Another mistake in this article is that it doesn’t compare the positive side of the legislation and the negative side of it. In the beginning of the article, it says ambiguously like ‘whatever the merits of the ruling, the idea of keeping recruiters away from elite universities is a large mistake’. Even after the author successfully pointed out the negative aspects of the law, we’re not sure whether the legislation is conclusively good or bad.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30182-2004Dec2.html

Friday, December 03, 2004

Blog #13 - Bumjoon Kim

Everyone recognizes the need of reform Social Security. The government actually is trying privatization to solve the problem now facing. It may because birthrate is decreasing and average life span is increasing. As time goes on it’s inevitable to see payments going up and benefits going down. Social Security is very sensitive issue, because it directs people’s own interest. It’s good to see American companies do well in worldwide, and a right of minorities is protected. However, Social Security is the future of yourself, and how you would live on your old age. The emergency surgery is needed on Social Security, but everyone also have anxiety of changing on their plan. It’s the change in order to make a positive contribution, but no one is confident that it won’t go wrong. The government is trying something that is extremely sensitive for people, and also thinks it could go wrong. I think what the government should do from now on is that they should convince themselves even though they’re not sure about the outcome. Since they decided what to do, they have to be confident in order to comfort the nation, and try their best to satisfy people. There is an expected part for this administration on Social Security issue, and that is doing something. Of course, it isn’t doing anything, so they have to be prudent of choosing a right plan. But if they are too much concerned about the public opinion, and just spending time on a desk theory, they are not doing what the time’s asking them to do.

New Homeland Security Appt.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20041203/D86O71700.html

Bush continues to set up a good cabinet around him as people begin to resign and others jumbo on bored. Former NYPD commissioner Bernard Keric, who helped rally
New York City's police force and its citizens following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, is President Bush's pick to run the Homeland Security Department. The post will be vital to the success on the war on terror. The person assigned to this new spot on the cabinet revitalized the New York crime system with Rudy Giuliani. They helped make it safe to walk through Central Park and to ride the train system at night. I hope that Keric will do just a good a job in protecting the United States from a different sort of violence. The war on terror coupled with the efforts of Homeland Security has almost nullified terrorist activities within the last few years. The job of Homeland Security is to make the people aware of the terrorist threats, and to keep a watchful eye for anything that looks to suspicious. The warning system, although mostly ignored, was important in keeping the United States Population on the lookout. The department knows that they cannot be everywhere in the United Stats, so the [government must have faith in the people to defend their land, and the people must know that the government cannot do everything under the sun. The United States has become a much safer place once we became aware of the nasty things that the terrorist could do to us. Terrorism was not on TV anymore it was in our own backyard. It became a major issue on the last Presidential Campaign, and it surly will until the problem is taking care of.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Blog #12 - Bumjoon Kim

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/02/opinion/02dowd.html?oref=login

This is a Maureen Dowd’s article about there are always one tall handsome white male anchor with bespoke clothes, and no chance for women or black minorities. I found some contradiction in this article. She said those white male anchors have charming appearance, and every parents want them for husband of their daughters. On the other hand, she is saying the era of women’s coming. The reason why the network companies keep choosing those ‘typical anchormen’ is that they give more sense of security just as she said. It can be fair to say that it’s because the minorities never had a chance to make that image, but they chose different type of anchor, because the era of minority’s coming or reward for previous blame, it can be an another discrimination. As a personal taste, I like the variety of styles in news choice unless they seriously distort the contents. There are different types of people looking for different type of delivery, so I think it should be the future for news broadcasting companies. But if they choose women anchors just because there have not been any before, and other minorities are complaining if they don’t get one, it’s not even what equality really means. Maybe it’s the era of waiting for one more time. Just as quoted in this article, even the former typical anchorman even indicates the time for women anchor is near, and I don’t find any reason of the media pressuring network companies for a minority anchor.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Blog #15 - Terrorist, Pennsylvanian Governors, and the Color Orange

Well yesterday the news broke out that Tom Ridge would be leaving his position of Secretary of Homeland Security after this term. This news has been met with a great deal of criticism on his competence and performance since the position was made in 2001. The media has been covering it pretty in depth and editorials are abundant like Mr. Ridge's Red Alert Day written in the New York Times. Many people have made fun of his color coded system to deal with threat levels in the United States. But weren’t they effective? Have we had any new attacks at home? Have concerns of attacks caused wide spread panic? Is the System easy to understand? Grading the system on these questions makes it seems as though it did its jobs rather effectively. The system allowed for Americans to know that there was a potential threat, with out knowing more than they needed to. The only issue I see that he didn’t handle well was the period of Anthrax scares. But who can blame them? This was a position made on a moment’s notice that had the goal of protecting our nation from terrorism. Being a former constituent of Tom Ridge I have a lot of admiration for him and feel that he took on quite a task. While 3 years after it started it is easy to cite errors in his work, but for the difficulty of his brand new position I think he did a pretty good job.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Blog #15 - Dan Grigoras

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, the Solomon law which requires that public Universities and Colleges allow for military recruiters may soon be ruled unconstitutional because it infringes on the right to privacy and freedom of speech. In the article “Campuses May Bar Military Recruiters,” Esther Schrader explains why certain Universities believe the Solomon law is such reprobation. The matter was recently brought to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. According to the decision panel, "The Solomon Amendment requires law schools to express a message that is incompatible with their educational objectives, and no compelling governmental interest has been shown to deny this freedom." More than 25 schools, including Stanford, NYU, and Georgetown filed suit against the pentagon on the matter in early 2003. The matter is just now being approached. Unwilling mandatory military recruitment on private University property like Stanford or NYU is completely inane. Why should Stanford agree to accommodate recruiters for something they might not even support? If military recruiters should be allowed on campus, the campus directors should not be required to accommodate their needs. The military should provide these recruiters with everything they need to do their jobs. Unfortunately, because of the possibility of losing hundreds of millions of dollars in the suit, almost all law schools backed down from their bans. They are agreeing to allow military recruiters on campus if invited by a student group or if they conducted interviews off campus.

#15 Is it Piracy?

"Movie piracy thrives on the Net" is an article that attempts to describe one use of the internet. Every day people are downloading music and movies. But the real question is, is this a crime? The companies that produce these movies and music say yes. They say that it was not paid for and is causing them to lose money that they would otherwise have gotten. I say no. Every time you get on the internet there is a little thing at the bottom of the screen that says loading. These movies and music is just one more thing people can load onto their computer using the internet. As for paying for the movie, everyone who has the capability of downloading pays an internet bill. I do not believe that the producers are missing out on money. Most of the people download these things would not pay the money for the movie in the first place. After all, normally when someone is done watching the movie, he will delete it off of his computer. If the producers are so worried about losing customer then I have a solution for them. The best way to sell more movies is to lower the price. I don't want to pay $20 to get a movie or $10 to go see it in the theatre. If they cut the price by at least half, then they would have a lot more people buying the music and movies from store rather than the internet.

The use of Torture

"Pentagon disputes Red Cross criticism" is an article about the prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay. Some of the things being done to these prisoners were completely wrong. It is said that prisoners were forced to perform homosexual acts. This is wrong for more than one reason. Perhaps the greatest is that Muslims believe that homosexuals go to hell for sure. By doing this, the guards serve to dehumanize not only the prisoners, but also themselves. However wrong this may have been, I would be surprised to hear that prisoners did not suffer in any way. Look at what the opposing side has done to our prisoners. They have beheaded them. This was their answer to our actions at Guantanamo Bay. It seems to me that certain methods are necessary to get people to talk. I would say that starvation is an expectable way to use in times such as these. I would also say that the use of temperature may be used. Is it better to "torture" a few men or have another 9/11 attack on the US? This is the question that should be asked.

Racism

"NAACP President to Step Down" is an article written about Kweisi Mfume, who plans to leave his position which he has had since 1996. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the oldest civil rights group in the country. I ask why there is a need to have such organizations. The more fair we try to make things, the less fair they will become. I am a college student and I have experience much racism. Ever time I fill out a form which requires me to check a box indicating which race I am, I am experiencing racism. Is this box necessary? It would seem that if we are so concerned about racism, this box would never be located on any other than surveys. Job applications are the worst place to have these. In government positions, when a person is selected for a job, it must first be reviewed to make sure no racism was involved in the decision. Some interviews are done over the phone or even the internet where the only reason someone can know of what race a person is from the box checked on the résumé. This is racism. Race should not matter. The person who is better qualified for the position should be selected.

In response to Conservitive Calling

I believe it is not the right idea to take gay marriage to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. It should not be brought up in an Amendment to the Constitution as well. I do not support gay marriage, but I do think that the issue is a state issue. Each state has the right to have laws concerning things such as gay marriage. I am a conservative, and I think that this very pointless arguments. The privacy of two people should be protected, and they should be allowed to do what they choose. I do not believe they should adopt because of the physiological effects of the homosexual parents. This is the only problem I have with the argument, but it should not be a big deal. Especially when we have terrorist attaching our country, and children not learning anything in public schools. The gay marriage should be a state issue and should not by any means be a national debate. The conservative platform is largely based on this issue and it seems very strange to me. It does not bother me. I think politicians distract us from the real issues by arguing about such fickle things as gay marriage. I am not saying that they should not have right; I just believe that states should discuss and handle it in their own fashion. The same way that America has functioned over the past 200 years, with the stats having their own balance of power. It is ashamed that people are not focused on the real issues in America.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Blog#14- Professors are liberal!? -Chris Clarke

Academia, Stuck To the Left - Washington Post

In a shocking new study it appears that Liberals outweigh Republicans at many of our liberal art colleges across the nation. The study shows that the ration of Liberals to Republicans is 9:1 at the schools Berkley and Stanford. It appears that through the years this gap has only managed to increase. However, fear not George Lakoff says that there are more liberals in these institutions because “Unlike conservatives, they believe in working for the public good and social justice.", how nice. These prestigious colleges such as Harvard and the University of California contributed around 19 times as much money to Kerry as they did Bush this campaign season. Mark Bauerlein seems to think Conservatives don’t survive in the Academic world is because they are the minority in a sea of Liberals, something most of them probably find hard to deal with. But of course all of this brings up the question, are these top ranked schools really that diverse? I mean sure they have diversity when it comes to religion, skin color, and sexual preferences, but if your in the minority of political preferences, you are probably going to have a bumpy ride. Many students would agree that being able to go a class such as history and get the viewpoints from both sides or a side of their choosing would be a great idea. While I am not saying that some of these more liberal colleges “brain wash” students as some put it, but they really seem to make it difficult for those on the right to survive, as their papers and answers will most likely conflict with those of the professors, the people who decide the grades. A little political diversity never hurt anyone.

US Intelligence

"Intelligence impasse mainly a question of control" is an article by John Diamond posing a question asking why the US does not have more intelligence on weapon of mass destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. The CIA is fighting with the military in Iraq over who get priority on the use of spy satellites. The CIA wants it to look in on the Iran weapons of mass destruction program, and the military needs it to check up on the situation in Fillujah. This bickering has caused delayed a bill to restructure the United States intelligence system. The 9/11 Commission pushed this bill into Congress with great momentum, but this seems to be failing. What the author is trying to say is that he feels that the different intelligences agencies should share the information that they have instead of doing all this wining that is going on. I agree with this. The article mentions something about one man taking control of the funds. This could help the flow of things. He would have the final say of who gets what. This could be an added possession to Bush’s cabinet or could be given as another task to one that already exists.

US business partner: Canada

"Bush seeks to soothe Canadian relations," an article in USA Today talks of President Bush's visit to Canada in order to talk of trade and security. The first thing the author does is post a picture of a flag upside down, showing one Canadians dislike for America. The article begins on a negative note. This article informs the reader that The US and Canada exchange $1 billion daily. I knew we traded with each other, but I did not know it was this much. Canadians are angry over two main things. First, the US put a tariff on lumber from Canada. This makes since. It is better to tax things that come in to the country than things that are already in the country. Second, the US put a ban on live cattle from Canada due to the case that occurred last year. This also makes since. We do not want to have this disease come over the border. This is President Bush's forth meeting with Prime Minister Paul Martin. The Prime Minister would like to improve the relations that had been weakened by his predecessor, Jean Chrétien. Polls show that 80 percent of Canadians still agree with their ruling of not sending troops to aid America in the War in Iraq. President Bush is meeting with other misters and Stephen Harper, the leader of the Bush administration opposition.

Blog #11- Bumjoon Kim

Life always isn’t easy. Even after the Republicans take control over all the levels of government, they cannot do everything they want. The Republicans may now be astonishing about their previous Congress members who have been worked through things without holding great majority. The President Bush declared that they will do what they want to do, and there’s nothing strange. The American people gave the Republicans the power to do, so it is reasonable for them to fully use that power. However, the Democrats are not dead yet. They have a power to delay the works in Senate by using filibuster. That’s the rule of checks and balances made by the founders. For the Republicans, the power of using filibuster might look reasonable, but it came as the greatest obstacle they have to face.
They still got a chance of getting over by changing the law. However, it’s the straight challenge over the nation’s greatest law, the Constitution. Americans have a history of preventing centered power and made a law of checks and balances, and that is the Constitution. They are now controlling the government, but it’s only a few years and they have a duty to keep it as long as possible. If they will be strongly offensive to the Democrats, their majority control won’t last long. This is the dilemma the Republicans are facing. They got the control over the government, but they can not finish important jobs because of filibuster. If they change the law, it might be the political suicide and they will give Democrats back a leadership. Time chose the Republicans for 2 to 4 years, and they must prove themselves worth it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/28/opinion/28sun1.html?oref=login&oref=login

Conservative Calling

"Supreme Court won't step into Massachusetts gay marriage fight." Conservative tried to gain justice, and get the Supreme Court to overturn the legalizing of gaymarriage in Massachusetts, but failed. This is a subject that needs to be fought and won by the conservatives. Not only is gay marriage morally wrong, but it is also lawfully wrong. Morally, gays feel that conservative are trying to force their morals upon them. Is this not what laws are in the first place? Laws are created to force those who do not see the same as the government to behave themselves. The greatest law that homsexuals are breaking is Natural Law. What they do serve no purpose. If a group of both sexs of homosexuals were placed on an island, then they would be forced to perform natural acts in order to continue thier esistance. We live in a country that pride itslef on the seperation of church and state. Seeing that it was the church that created marriage, it seems that the church shoudl be the only one who should be able to decide who should be allowed to be married.

A Gun in the Wrong Hands

"Man charged in hunter slayings in Wisconsin" reports a tragic event leaving six dead and two wounded. Chai Vang, from Laos, was found trespassing. After some words were exchanged, some of them racially related, shots were fired killing six and wounding two. This just goes to show you that guns don't kill people, people kill people. The problem is letting the wrong people get guns. The article did say that there is some confusion over who fired first. If it was someone in the party that was rightfully on the property, then I don't see a problem. After all, Chai Vang was trespassing. If it was Vang then he needs to at least be locked away for a long time. How many Asians hunt? I know this is the first time I have heard of one. It seems awkward to me to hear of an Asian hunting by himself on someone else’s property. If he were on a business trip, out with some of his business associates, I would not see anything wrong with the picture. It is not uncommon for people in sales to take their clients on outings such as hunting. But, this is not what Chai Vang was doing. Obviously, Chai Vang is one of those people who should not have guns.
So how can we prevent this from happening in the future? We should have a background check. I am not proposing that we ignore our right to bear arms. The reason this amendment was made was because back then almost everyone needed guns to hunt with. It should be used for the same purpose today. If not hunting, then for sport, such as shooting clay pigeons and other targets. This is a delicate situation, the limitation of arms. After all, how can one say who can have a gun and who can't?

Black Hawk Down

In the article, "Black Hawk crash kills all seven aboard," the author describes a stichy cituation where can fingers be pointed everywhere. A Black Hawk Helicoptor hit a TV broadcasting tower. The author first talks of telivision company, who says that the tower was not working. This is fallowed by saying that the fog was so thick that one could only see half way up the tower. Jerry Pusley, general manager of the telivision station who owns the tower, said that it was not the tower that was hit but the cables. It almost seems as though the author is trying to blame the television company. One of the first things the author said was that the tower was not working. But, for the most part, the author did a good job of reporting this tragic news without bias. The article is well balanced with a mixture of talking about the telivision company, the military, the fog, and the black hawk design.

A Cuban as Commerce Secretary

According to "Bush Names Kellogg CEO as Commerce Secretary," by William Branigin, President Bush has named Carlos M. Gutierrez, CEO of Kellogg and Cuban born, to be the next Secretary of Commerce. The title appears to degrade President Bush's decision, making it almost comical. People see Kellogg as representing breakfast. It is a fact that a large majority of people do not eat breakfast. It would thus appear that the CEO of Kellogg would serve as a picture of little importance to many Americans. The fact that the author stated that Carlos M. Gutierrez was Cuban means that he feels strongly about this. Perhaps he feels that this is a weakness. Or perhaps he feels that our government is under invasion. It would seem to me that someone born in Cuba would respect the blessings America has given its citizens greater than those who actually live here. Carlos M. Gutierrez would not get a say in the government where he comes from. If he were to speak out against Fidel Castro, he would be shot for sure. Any wealth he has acquired through his prosperity in the business world would be nothing in Cuba. It is a dictatorship controlled area, or at least it would seem. All Carlos M. Gutierrez's money would go to the good of the nation, in other words for the luxury of Fidel Castro.

Soldiers see blood infection

According to "Rare Blood Infection Surfaces in Injured U.S. Soldiers" soldiers are getting a blood infection that is very rare. This infection has seen blood in four sites since January 1, 2002. While this is not that many places, the author feels that it shows a need for better infection control in the US armed forces. Perhaps the author is trying to criticize the Bush administration. Showing up in four places over three years does not seem to be a problem. It also says that of all the cases, eighty five were from the Iraq area. This is not very many seeing that this is not even a fraction of the military and not military personnel the US has stationed in Iraq. Paul Simao, the author, writes that the military hospitals normally see about one case per year. Seeing that in the past few years we have not been at war, it is most likely that the soldiers contracted it on the front lines and not in the safety zones as the author would have you believe. The infection can spread from patient to patient in the intensive care sections of hospitals. This case was seen in the patients who had lost limps during the Vietnam War. The spread of this infection can be stopped by normal sanitary conditions. These are washing of one's hands, swabbing wounds with alcohol, and identify those that are infected. The author implies that this infection is not just spreading in Iraq, but also all military hospitals, by saying that patients who have recently been in the intensive care of these places should get checked for the infection. It would seem that the author is dumping on the whole military as he tries to frighten citizens back home.