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Showing posts from 2005

Abort Mission!

The United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq immediately. If I would have said this a year ago, most people would probably have scoffed at me and then rubbed it in my face the George Bush had won the election... but times have changed. Congressman John Murtha recently gave a speech on the House floor calling for the military to leave Iraq; Dick Cheney was not happy. A year ago the Vice President would have been able to throw out the classic line and accuse Murtha of trying to undermine the troops and democracy effort, but that doesn't work quite as well anymore. Now that we're beyond the phase where we blindly support "freedom" and the troops, we can finally start to think about this war and where it is going. John Murtha has a few compelling reasons for leaving Iraq, and logically he's just correct.

Most warmongers justify continued presence in Iraq by arguing that once the US leaves, civil war will erupt. They're probably right. Unfortunately, the …

Political Apathy

"You see Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care." ~Peter Gibbons, Office Space

This quote describes more than Peter's attitude toward his job. This quote represents the attitude milions of Americans have for politics, current events, and other real-life situations. The reality of this quote really hit me today when I was sitting in a business-type class at school. The professor spoke with an accent and challenged the class to guess what country she was from; someone threw out Lebanon, and she indicated they were very close geographically. The sad part is... most people had no idea where Labanon was or what other countries were near it. Serbia and Japan were thrown out as possible countries she could have been from; and most people hadn't a clue at all.

I normally wouldn't be surprised at people's ignorance; but I considered that I was sitting in one of the most elite universities in the country, among who are supposed to be so…

Big Oil's Paradigm Shift

George W. Bush doesn't believe in global warming... But whats interesting is the approach to environmental issues that big oil has taken. Less than a month ago I saw a commercial for BP which touted their movement toward more environmentally fuel. According to the advertisement, BP already sells low-sulfer gasoline in over 40 American cities, which releases fewer harmful chemicals into the atmosphere when burned. In fact, BP's own website contains the quotes: "There is evidence that the earth’s temperature is rising" and "There is an emerging consensus that climate change is, at least in part, linked to the production and consumption of carbon based fuels." BP even has a multiple-part report on global warming and how they plan to address it.

In recent weeks shadier companies like Exxon Mobile, ConocoPhillips, and Kerr-McGee have launched their own advertising campaigns bragging about their contributions to reducing global warming. But what is the impact of a…

Who Needs Kids?

In a children's care facility, about 40 miles southeast of Cleveland, the lives of about 130 kids are in jeopardy. They live in a place licenced by the state of Ohio as an Immediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded. Their lives are different than most of us could ever imagine, many of them require round the clock attention from medical staff and recieve all of their food through a tube attached through their stomach (sounds familiar doesn't it?). Many of them were brought in by family members who, although having loved their children very much, couldn't handle the burden of having a disabled child to constantly care for. Despite their condition, all of these children can laugh, smile, cry and feel emotion.

And our Governor, Bob Taft, wants to eliminate funding to the facility. Medical professionals unanimously agree that without the ICF/MR clinic many of the children will die. It is amazing, that in this "culture of life" that Republicans have been promotin…

Girls Gone Wild

Many consider Ohio University in Athens to be the state's biggest "party school," which I guess can be taken to mean whatever you want. In addition, OU has arguably the best journalism school in the state with an outstanding local newspaper, The Post. Recently I came across an editiorial article written by freshman journalist Ashley Herzog, which really hits the nail on the head in determining where the line should be drawn between feminism and promiscuity.

I've been known to be sympatheic with a lot of feminist arguments, and am often frustrated by "weak" women who so easily get exploited by men. Although I can't personally point to extreme examples, its easy to see girls in high school who will do anything to appease a guy just so she can have a boyfriend; and it often makes me sad to realize that people in this world can be so shallow. Nevertheless, Some of my best female friends from debate camps have been strong women who are open about their embrac…

Criticize Your Government

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend an hour of my day listening to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones upon her visit to our school. Very few people knew she was coming until few hours before the speech was schedualed, and it was a surprise to many. After it was announced that we would be listening to the congresswoman talk at about 10 am, everyone in my homeroom has some wise-ass comment to make. The thing that I found most amazing however, was how few people actually had any idea who she was... I heard people call her everything from a state senator, to city councilwoman, to Ohio represenative. People were asking if she was a Democrat or a Republican, what she looked like, and why she was here.

Granted, probably only a minority of the people at school are represented by her since they live in Cleveland's "thriving" subburbs, but it seemed odd that no one knew who the congressperson from their major city was. Of course, I'm not going to claim to know all of the represent…

De Facto Racism

A company recently decided to discontinue public transportation service to its office; I don't know what the official reason is, but the unwritten reason is simply disappointing. I can understand a company wanting its employees to have a strong work ethic, to abide by uniform rules, work well with co-workers, etc. But it seems as though this time they are taking an approach that obviously discriminates against a certain group of people.

Statistically, it is true that African Americans make up the majority of public transportation riders in this area, and are less likely to be able to afford to drive or own cars than the average white person. I'm witness to the fact that there are plenty of hard working people that ride public transportation every day, myself being one of them. Unfortunately for these people, unless they start driving, they're not going to have the same opportunities they used to have. In a perfect world, a company would hire or not hire based on how good of…

Pro Life Kiss of Death

The Terri Schiavo drama has fired up just about everyone in the country, from religious conservatives, to federalism proponents, to marital rights advocates, and the political implications have been huge. One thing, however, is for certain: Terri Schiavo's case paints the perfect picture of how the Bush's as well as other congressional pro-lifers really do care about their cause. Listening to banter a few months ago about how people were voting for George Bush because he would end abortion made me laugh because of the track record Republicans have had when it comes to those types of issues, and the most recent front page headlines fall right in line.

The litigation and legislation surrounding the Terri Schiavo case has been a no-win situation for either Democrats or Republicans. Former states rightists have pushed for federal jurisdiction to cover the case and gone against popular opinion of America. Sure they've shored up support with the religious conservative base... but…

Parental Discretion is Advised

...is usually a phrase I see being displayed before episodes of CSI or ER where large amounts of blood and gore are about to follow. As I tuned into The Simpsons tonight, it was preceded by a new warning message: This episode contains discussions of same-sex marriage. Parential discretion is advised. I guess I can understand warning parrents before a show where people are getting murdered or coughing up a lung and dying, but before the Simpsons?

I think this goes as a prime example of how our current politicians and administration is portraying the gay rights movement. Recent Bush appointee, Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education, told PBS not to air an episode of the show Postcards from Buster, featuring a rabbit who travels the world visiting a diversity of places and people. One episode in particular, however, had Buster visiting a home where the parents were both women, and thus, was never aired. I'm sure Ms. Spellings recieved a gold medal from Bush for that one. Meanwhile…

Kill 'Em All

A few weeks ago I wrote about Al-Quida training missions and how the actions our military was taking is just fueling hate towards Americans. The elections in Iraq might not have been perfect... 44 civilians were murdered, the ballot was huge and confusing, in some Sunni neighborhoods only 2% of the population actually got out to vote... but overall it looked like things might for the first time be taking a step in the right direction. Then Tuesday night our military held a forum in Sothern California to discuss the war on terror. Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corp was quoted by the Associated Press as making the following statement:

"Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain&…

The Varsity

Located in Downtown Atlanta, GA only a few blocks from the area's largest interstate highway, is the epitome of American culture and everything in this country that could really benefit from change. Staffed mostly by lower to middle class African Americans trying to earn enough money to attend Universities like Georgia Tech and University of Georgia, The Varsity is frequented by middle to upper class white families, and they seem to like it that way. Every Sunday good Christian families drive their gas-guzzler Expeditions and Suburbans with W'04 bumber stickers downtown to attend the "after church rush."



As you enter The Varsity you become witness to one of the largest counters in fast food history. Standing in line you hear the employees yelling "Whata ya have?" to the customers and punching orders into the register. The food is what many people, from where I come from, would call disgusting. I personally find the food to be a cross between White Castle and…

Hotel Rwanda

I’m usually not one to write movie reviews, even though I usually have an opinion on just about every movie I see. However, after receiving the ability to attend the advance screening of Hotel Rwanda this previous Wednesday I felt something had to be said about it. The true tragedy of this movie is that its an extremely limited release and therefore will probably only be seen by those who are truly interested. I guess in a lot of ways its pretty consistent with America’s media portrayal of genocide and African policy.Think what you may about the Rwanda situation, but it’s hard to deny that genocide is happening in the world right now; Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are considered genocides by many in the world, and even Colin Powell held a press conference declaring the situation in Sudan’s Darfur region a genocide… and then our military did nothing. Meanwhile we continue to occupy two nations, hold thousands of potential “terrorists” prisoner, and our media and government…