Wednesday, December 12, 2007

4 5 6 o'clock, 11 o'clock rock

11 o'clock news! The CBS 2 News on December 11th started with a large Nor easter coming towards area's north of New York City. This was followed by what they called their "other top story" which was on a rapist on the run. It then switched too a fire which killed four people, which then changed into a robbery story. Still no news on Politics and we are 10 minutes into the show. Fifteen Minutes in and all I am hearing about is illegal cab drivers. This is, of course, followed by the whether and another story on the snow storm and cold front coming. Twenty five minutes in and I have just heard about Jessica Alba's Pregnancy, but nothing at this point on politics. The show ends after sports without even mentioning politics.
This is the news! How can you possibly not even mention the thing that drives the news in the first place! It is not even really news to me and many other people unless you at least know what is going on outside of your very small community. Also, to be completely honest, I am not at all entertained watching the 11 o'clock news, and I am actually a bit afraid to go outside alone. For the first ten minutes of this program, all I can hear is how one awful person after another is on the run from the law and planning to rape or rob people. After then ten minute mark all I hear about is the weather and fluff about celebrities and whether or not they are pregnant. We finished with sports where they show highlights of the Knicks. Nobody cares about the Knicks! The players on the Knicks don't even care about the Knicks! This is not news!f
I am not surprised anymore that people turn to watch The Daily Show to get their news instead of watching their local station's news programs. When your choices are between a show which is uplifting and very funny or a show that makes you afraid of leaving your house, very few people actually choose the latter. I know I sure would rather watch the one that leaves me informed on my news on a national level instead of the one that leaves me depressed. This wasn't entertaining and I didn't learn anything from watching it. I feel like I just wasted thirty minutes of my life.

Gay Witches and Wizards and Warlocks OH MY!

Sure....I am about 4 months behind on this. Also it is true that I am not a very religious person. But this article by Pastor Joshua on Dumbledore from Harry Potter and his homosexuality has got to be one of the most awkward pieces I have ever read. I am not entirely sure whether to be completely shocked by this persons ignorance or to laugh hysterically at it. Ok, I did both.
The article begins with calling Harry Potter's author J.K. Rowling a "bint" (british slang which resembles bitch) then goes into a rant about Dumbledore's gayness and how horrible of a person Rowling is for allowing this to be said. Ill show you this piece of the article just so you understand how crazy this "Pastor" is.

Rubbish! Twaddle! Are we now going to see old Dumby snuggle up to some other warlock and have a passionate snog? Do you want to see that? How about you gay boys? Does that do it for you? I think even you “light in the loafers” lot would be grossed out by that scene.

What parent now wants to explain the fact that this very attentive old man is now perhaps attracted to Harry or perhaps one of the other young boys who attend the school of witchcraft? It was bad enough that the young male star, Daniel Radcliffe recently decided to shed all his clothes in a play he was in, no doubt sending legions of boy appreciating sodomites into tizzes of lustful interest.

Now we have Dumbledore as the ultimate NAMBLA candidate…charming…. Is he going to be paying close attention to young Mr Potter’s magic stick?

I can honestly say that I do not know where to begin with a response to that post. Joshua seems to be angry not only at J.K. Rowling but also at the fact that a gay character might be resembled in a decent light in the media for a change. Not Dharma and Greg style, with a very flamboyant person running around discussing sexual conquests, but as a smart and quiet, heroic person. That being said, this is no way excuses the Pastor for this crap that he has posted on this Christian site. He starts out with a decent argument on why it should even matter, but then goes into a grossly offensive anti-homosexual rant.
The idea of a homosexual in the Harry Potter books was to open people's eye's that it does not matter if Dumbledore is gay or not because he was a great person in these books. He had a troubled personal life and there was no mention of him ever even having a relationship. Is it really that surprising to you? Joshua then goes on to compare Dumbledore to a sodomite and describes a scene he seems to have conjured up in his sick head. Dumbledore might be gay, but that does NOT make him a pedophile. It is grossly offense to homosexuals to push gay people into that stereotype, especially when the same amount of straight people are pedophiles as much as gay people. The pastor did not go on a rant about how Professor Trelawny (a female teacher in the books) might end up hitting on Harry Potter just because she is straight and not married.
The second that you compare a gay person to someone in a sick group such as NAMBLA simply based on their sexual orientation, it is easy to tell that you are a bigot. This Pastor Joshua is a bigot. Dumbledore may be gay, but that does not make him any less of a hero to the billions of adoring fans across the globe.
The article ends with Bigot Joshua saying A witch is a witch but a queer warlock is sickening. Why is it sickening? Just because their orientation does not live up to the fantasy world portrayed in your little mind, where every man is with a woman and marriage is truly an everlasting bond that goes on for eternity in the heaven which only the true believers of Christ are in. I think it is sickening that people like Joshua actually voice their misguided and offensive opinions with this much certainty in their stance.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stewart v Carlson

Well the Daily Show has been on a writer's strike for over a month now. We are left to watch clips of past interviews and other video's from the daily show vault. Searching around a bit I found this clip from over 3 years back of John Stewart on Crossfire arguing against the debate style show he was on. I cannot type my full admiration of John Stewart in the first place, but this clip somehow brought this admiration up even more. Stewart attacks the media we currently have in this country through a style of media he believes is destroying America telling them that he is there to confront them. He then tells host Tucker Carlson that " We need help from the media, and they are hurting us". Stewart then says how much we need a public debate and not a theater show which he says that shows such as Crossfire are. He puts this amazingly well stating that CNN has "a responsibility to the public discourse and they fail miserably" Stewart defends his show vigorously saying that it is a comedy show on before "puppets making crank phone calls" and he does not owe the public hard hitting news that stations such as CNN owe.
Stewart is quick witted and very well thought. Tucker Carlson is quick witted and well thought out as well. This makes for a very well put debate between the two of them. Stewart fights many arguments heard around the right saying that he does not ask hard hitting questions when he has big names on his program. I don't believe that for a second, as he has asked many hard hitting questions and has, at times, gotten into rough arguments with his guests on the shows. That being said however, it is not his job to ask questions that push the envelope because he is not a hard hitting news show, nor is he pretending to be. His show is on COMEDY CENTRAL, which as we all know is known solely for it's hard hitting news coverage and top notch journalists. Its the Daily Show, it is supposed to be funny and semi informative at the same time, it is not supposed to be a place you go to hear all the sides of the argument in the hopes of making a fair and unbiased decision. Thats for the Colbert Report.

The Truman Show Media

Many of us have asked the simple question "where will we be in twenty years". Now take out yourself from that equation. Replace it with "where will reality tv be in twenty years". We have been following around everyone with a video camera for the past 10 years. We broke up Jessica Simpson and Nich Lachey by putting them on camera through the first three years of their marriage and we put out reality shows every half hour on MTV. It seems almost as if people are going through their own versions of the Truman Show but know that it's happening so they are willing to do crazy things for their 15 minutes of fame.
With all of this being said however, reality shows seem to be hitting a crossroads. Shows such as Survivor and the Bachelor are barely remaining on air whereas shows such as the Age of Love (where a 30 year old is forced to choose between a group of 20 year olds and a group of 40 year olds.....tough choice) have been completely taken off the air after a few short episodes. I guarantee that tv producers are scrambling to find out the next new reality hit. All they need to do is ask me and then they will know what their next top rated tv show will be : Reality Congressman.
One of the most scandalous places in the past few years has been congress. Yes the democrats have had a few scandals in the past few years, but as many of us know listening to the nightly news, the Republican side of this congress have been shooting themselves in the feet with the amount of scandals that have been occuring as of recently. Whether its due to tapping your foot under a stall in a Minnesota airport looking for a male escort or laundering millions of dollars on your campaign finances, the ratings would come flying in. We could even do in depth interviews with government paiges in case we run out of footage for a specific episode. They all probably have some interesting things to say.
Just give it a chance ABC....MTV.....I'll even settle for the CW but trust me, we are very close to a large sum of money either through television ratings or laundered money. Either way we could very well be rich!

The 8 I'd Really Rather You Didn't

In response to the last post, I found this while reading The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. While it is a bit risque', it brings up some good points about the way we as humans perceive god and his thoughts on how we act. True this is playing off of the 10 commandments, but it is very well done and almost is the definition of satire. As said in my last post, this is part of the Pastafarian religion which was in response to Kansas deciding to teach creationism in their biology curriculum's. Bobby Henderson named these rules the 8 I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts.

  1. I'd really rather you didn't act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don't believe in me, that's okay. Really, I'm not that vain. Besides, this isn't about them so don't change the subject.
  2. I'd really rather you didn't use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don't require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.
  3. I'd really rather you didn't judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, Okay? Oh, and get this into your thick heads: woman = person. man = person. Samey = Samey. One is not better than the other, unless we're talking about fashion and I'm sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuschia.
  4. I'd really rather you didn't indulge in conduct that offends yourself, or your willing, consenting partner of legal age AND mental maturity. As for anyone who might object, I think the expression is go **** yourself, unless they find that offensive in which case they can turn off the TV for once and go for a walk for a change.
  5. I'd really rather you didn't challenge the bigoted, misogynistic, hateful ideas of others on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the girls.
  6. I'd really rather you didn't build multi million-dollar churches/temples/mosques/shrines to my noodly goodness when the money could be better spent (take your pick):
    1. Ending poverty
    2. Curing diseases
    3. Living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable
      I might be a complex-carbohydrate omniscient being, but I enjoy the simple things in life. I ought to know. I AM the creator.
  7. I'd really rather you didn't go around telling people I talk to you. You're not that interesting. Get over yourself. And I told you to love your fellow man, can't you take a hint?
  8. I'd really rather you didn't do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you are into, um, stuff that uses a lot of leather/lubricant/Las Vegas. If the other person is into it, however (pursuant to #4), then have at it, take pictures, and for the love of Mike, wear a CONDOM! Honestly, it's a piece of rubber. If I didn't want it to feel good when you did it I would have added spikes, or something.

Creationism? No....Pastafarianism!

In a recent op-ed piece in the NY Times, the Texas Education Industry became the next state to take a step towards the teaching of creationism (God created everything, scientists are wrong) in schools. Christine Corner, the state's top science education expert, was fired from her job after forwarding an email to her colleagues about a pro-evolution group having a forum on the matter. Now in difficult times like these, it is time that we see the light. The light being shown from his noodly appendage. No...I'm not talking about god, but I am speaking about the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM for short).
Many of you may be asking yourselves what the Flying Spaghetti Monster is. Well it's quite simple really, the FSM is the god for the up and coming religion of Pastafarianism. This FSM planted evidence for evolution all throughout the world just to simply test the faiths of his followers soon after he created the world. As for the other sciences, there is no such thing as gravity, but just his noodly appendages pushing down on all of us to keep us placed on his planet. Also, when you go to heaven, you will see that it strictly contains beer volcanoes and a stripper factory.
Now in truth, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not real, and to be completely blunt, neither is creationism. Both are made up, the only difference is that while creationism was made up as a response to evolution, Pastafarianism was made up as a response to the Kansas school board deciding to teach creationism in its science curriculum. The book's author, Bobby Henderson, wrote it as a satire to the absurdity of creationism saying to the school board in a Colbert-esque fashion, that I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence. Just because one is believe by more people in higher positions, does that really make it any more true?

Flying on the front page?

On the December 10th issue of the New York Times, a story can be found on the front page about man being able to fly. The title says "Humans, Flying Like Squirrels, Hoping to Land With No Chute" and the story discusses Jeb Corliss who shares a dream with people around the world : the dream of being able to fly. The article compares the pursuit like that of climbing Everest, as many nations are setting up their own "squirrel fliers". Jeb plans on wearing winged suit and hopes to land safely on a runway which he designed.
Crazy enough for you yet? Well Jeb has spent over 2 million dollars on his squirrel suit. This is beyond following your dream. This is putting your life in danger to do something that is virtually pointless. Man has always dreamed of flying but these dreams are in the hopes that we can actually lift ourselves off the ground and fly to seperate areas, not in the hopes that we are kicked out of a plane with a suit of wings on and pray that we land in one piece. What blows my mind is that this is obviously a very well educated man. Hell, he built a runway and a flying suit and has done a great deal of work on the aerodynamics of the obstacle he is about to pursue. Why do Americans waste great minds for senseless acts such as this one.
Lastly, why is the New York Times out of all the Newspapers out there, printing this on the FRONT PAGE. This is not front page material, no matter how much you try to compare it to the race to climb Mt. Everest. It is pure fluff. People question why American's seem to be dumber and the answer from my perspective is simple...we no longer read. Everything is spoon fed to us through television and movies. People who want hard hitting news these days read the NY Times for the most part, and when you want real information, do you really want Squirrel Man taking up a quarter of your front page?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Radio Factor

Bill O'Reilly has a radio show? Really? Oh well here it goes.

It starts out with a couple of talking points. It is followed by recent news. This is what grossly offended me. O'Reilly blatantly went on the offense against Hellen Thomas for asking questions about whether or not our military was killing innocent civilians. He then defends Don Imus and discusses whether or not he deserves a second chance. I surprisingly agreed with him and believe he had some well put points about Don Imus's past as a shock jock and how he truly did not go out to hurt the Rutger's Woman's basketball team. He lost me however when he talked about how the NY Times and the Washington Post are destroying the country. I found this very ironic seeing as the radio (which this was on) and the newspaper are both versions of old media trying very hard to remain in the game, and this seemed like a shot at newspapers in general.

The show then goes into it's main topic of the night....forgiveness. I was truly surprised before hand that the show would be on this. One of the main principals of Christianity is forgiveness, but this seems to have escaped many neo-cons so it was a nice gust of wind to know that it is still there somewhere. They then had an expert on religion come onto the show and discuss forgiveness from the standards of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. This was my favorite part of the show and I actually enjoyed it until Bill started taking calls from his viewers. I was overly agitated as he said he believed he was put here by god to protect people and then when somebody showed him up on religion he backed off by saying it wasn't his side to argue on a post-life. Bill then gave signed copies of his books to all of his callers and a few of his emails ( trying to be a bit like Oprah, Bill?).

The show ends with Bill talking to a person who was a scholar on the Jewish faith. The caller argued against the religion expert and this was easily one of my favorite parts of the show. Bill plugged his book and his upcoming tv episode with Al Franken then signed off.

Now, as I have stated previously in past posts, I am not a fan of Fox News. I guess in turn that makes me not a fan of Bill O'Reilly (or as Al Franken calls him Bill O'Lielly). That being said however, I was more than impressed with his taking on of a hard hitting topic such as religion and forgiveness coexisting in the world. While I did not agree with many of his arguments, I actually enjoyed listening to the show which can now be found on a podcast through Itunes. I doubt that I would actually listen again, but I left with a bit more respect for Bill O'Reilly.


Fox News : Noone Covers Politics like Fox News
Ron Paul support in NH
House Page Program
NASA and Atlantis
Richardson and New Mexico voters
5 worst blunder on 08 campaigns. (audio cut) 4 republican 1 Hilary
Landowners on Mexican Border Wall (phrasing done poor about drug smugglers)
Clinton Family Dinner in Iowa

CNN: The Best Political Team in the Nation
Jenna Bush calls family on Ellen Degeneres (funny)
Mccrery not running again, 17 other republicans stepping down from House
Magna Carta up for auction
Huckabee at 39% in Iowa in one poll, tied in others
Clinton family dinner in Iowa

Above is the stories for Both Fox News and CNN Headline News at approximately 3 pm on Saturday, December 8th. As you can see, in the time slots which I watched, the majority of the information shown on both channels was different, with the exception of course being Hilary Clinton eating dinner with her family on the campaign trail (shocking I know). I will go on record as saying that I am not particularly fond of Fox News and believe that their brand of "journalism" is very biased as they seem to be the new talking heads for the bush administration.

That having been said, my thoughts were soon justified as Fox showed a great deal of small mush pieces in between their hard hitting stories (Ron Paul in NH and the White House Paige debacle). This was soon followed by two commercial breaks within 50 seconds of each other after an audio problem occured with a man discussing campaign slips for the candidates. On the other side, Cnn disappointed me. I was hoping for a bit more hard hitting news, and instead got a decent size piece on Ellen Degeneres and Jenna Bush talking to the President on the phone. Hours before that happened, the President gave a speech on Iraq which supposedly answered some lingering questions, but this wasn't even touched upon. When Hilary Clinton showed up on the screen eating with her family in Iowa, i threw a shoe at the television and turned it off. While Fox News was not produced very well (grainy footage and audio difficulties) CNN had crisp pictures and seemed to be more in touch with the public. Although Fox lost this battle quite easily, I am still a much bigger fan of CNN, I just personally wish both would cover harder hitting stories in their afternoon programming.

Half an hour later I turned Fox News back on just to check out what was showing. It was a female reporter bashing Democrats on a bill in the house. There is never two sides to an argument I guess. Fox News coined the phrase "fair and balanced" as part of their slogan, yet they seem to be "unorganized and unbalanced". I have yet to turn CNN back on after showing Hilary's dinner plans.

Hannity v Colmes (cage match)

As many of you know, Fox news hosts a show called "Hannity and Colmes" which features two pundits arguing out issues amongst themselves and with guests. The issue recently brought to the table was whether or not Barack Obama is capable of proving himself to be black enough. The author of a new book on Barack's candidacy claimed that Barack cannot win because he is a bargainer which will not win the black vote across America, because those votes will turn to those who "challenge". The man then goes on to explain that Barack Obama can't win because his color brings problems with it such as white people enjoying him because he doesn't challenge the norm. Now as I have state previously, I am supporting John Edwards for the Democratic nomination for president, but taking illegitimate shots at Barack Obama is just wrong. He has identified himself as a candidate and while he may not be on my top list he is still a very respectable person. Hannity breaks apart the book into just a single quote from the book and attacks that quote even though it had nothing to do with the book itself, then the show ends his segment while he is trying to explain himself.
I honestly do not understand how Fox news continues to put shows on the air such as Hannity and Colmes, with the claim that it shows both sides of the argument just because Alan Colmes proclaims himself to be a liberal. The show, just like it's host station, is very biased and doesn't focus that much on the facts, but instead on sound bites and headlines. We already have multiple shows on Fox where Republicans sit and bash liberals for being "soft on terror" and "incapable of understanding our President", why do we need another? On top of everything, it seems that Colmes doesn't understand a lot of what is occurring on his show. If he was really a smart person, he would have cited instances in which Barack Obama stood up for himself and showed his true personality during the interview. He seems to fit the persona of what Fox News feels Democrats are...Misinformed and not very bright.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Freedom to... .... ....use

A classmate of mine recently posted a response to an article on about a new facility opening up in San Fransisco. Having been born in California and spending a great deal of time in San Fransisco, seeing as my grandfather lived in the city and both my other grandparents lived on the outskirts, this article struck an interest in me. California is known for it's unorthodox way of dealing with problems and in turn known as an unorthodox city. Therefore opening up a clinic in San Fransisco for druggies to inject themselves, while unusual in other cities, seems almost second thought in this area.
Rachael writes that while this is a good idea, there may be multiple problems which arise from it, such as the fact that this institution would be coming from taxpayers dollars. She seems to believe that it would be wrong for taxpayers to support the habits of druggies. Here is where I disagree. With giving the people of San Fransisco a place to support their drug habits, this is a very good step in the direction of legalizing drugs and cleaning up the streets which are both initiatives that i support. I believe that the taxpayers of San Fransisco would be more than willing to clean up the streets of their city by giving these people a safe means to use. Then after giving them this place, we could use it in the hopes that we could turn people away from these drugs and on to a better, more prosperous career. This is a step in the right direction.

Huffington v Rove

Check out this post from the Huffington Post about Rove and the 2002 congress vote for war.

Rove Confronted over Iraq War Lie on Fox News Sunday

Monday, November 26, 2007

Maher On Religion

One of my Hero's on religion

Bill Maher:

When you were a kid and they were telling you whatever you believe in religion, do you think if they had switched the fairy tales that they read to you in bed with the Bible, you would know the difference?

Do you think if it was the fairy tale about a man who lived inside of a whale and it was religion that Jack built a beanstalk today, you would know the difference? Why do you believe in one fairy tale and not the other? Just because adults told you it was true and they scared you into believing it, at pain of death, at pain of burning in hell

see full article of transcript from scarborough country

Australian Greenpeace

Recent elections have caused quite a stir in regards to US-Australian relations. With the election of Labor party candidate Kevin Rudd, the Australian voting public have sent a strong message to the US by electing an environmental politician who will not stand next to the US with the Kyoto Protocol. The British Greenpeace Blog reported also about the Australian government working to heavily lower their dependence on coal energy by shutting down many plants and have started trying to use new reusable energy as a source for their country. This seems to be just another step in the downfall of America's reputation around the world.
Many other countries have stopped their support for the US either by publicly criticizing us or by pulling out their troops from Iraq. Much like Iran did with the election of a figure who was very disliked by Americans, Australia seems to have followed step. You have to wonder how President Bush sees this, or if he even chooses to see this at all. History will vindicate him is his train of thought, but we may be hated for many years to come and this could strongly effect the policies carried out by future administrations. I have to believe in the latter, as this seems to be a continuing trend in the way we are viewed.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

All the President's Men

I recently had the opportunity to view the film "All the President's Men" starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Based on the real life story of the journalists behind the Watergate scandal, this movie tells the story of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's quest to get to the bottom of the scandal. The movie tells the story quite superbly as it shows the reporters going through painstaking research as well as getting involved in some action scenes. Relating this film to current day media may be difficult, but we can see aspects of this past story of investigative journalism in what many reporters do today.
Although newspapers are no longer that popular with the younger generation, and seem to be getting even less, that does not mean that the style of reporting we saw in "All the President's Men" is not there. It is simply harder to find. Most of what we find would be seen on television, as major stories are hardly ever broken on the newspaper anymore now that we have around the clock news channels. Although people like Dan Rather claim that they are just a tool to read the news, there are people like Edward R. Murrow who will put themselves on the line to lead investigations into problems in the political arena. There are still Edward R. Murrow's' out there just as there are Bob Woodward's and there are Carl Bernstein's', it's just more difficult to find them.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

America's Next Top...What?

At a certain Point in Wednesday's Episode of America's Next Top Model, I said to myself "What am I watching and what would my 14 year old sister think". Within the first ten minutes of the episode, all the girls were in skin tight body suits, crawling across the floor on kneepads (so they would not hurt themselves), seductively glancing at the multiple cameras in the room. I just don't understand how this passes for actual prime time television. Maybe the fact that the show is followed up by an episode of the CW's newest teenage hit Gossip Girl. The title says it all. Coming out of a commercial, the girls (still dressed in skin tight body suits that look an awful lot like skin) jump up and down in a huge huddle screaming "America's Next Top Model". This is followed up by a celebrity encounter with Enrique Iglesias as he puts them all in his newest music video, choosing one based solely on looks as his counterpart in the video.

Midway through the episode, one of the top females in the competition (heather) becomes sick and very pale on the set of the music video. She is told basically that she needs to eat more and needs to drink being as skinny as she is in the hot atmosphere. Isn't this the dealer preaching to the addict. Sure you have a plus sized model on the show, but that does not make up for the fact that you are blatantly exploiting females strictly on their bodies. When half the show is based on near nudity and sexual positions, 2 lines in the middle of the show does not make up for this. All but one person on the show is extremely skinny and that is unhealthy. Other models acted surprised when this happened to Heather, but I am pretty sure that many of the viewers at home could have seen this coming.

I believe it goes without saying, but my thoughts are that this has a terribly negative impact on the socialization of girls. It is nice that they seem to care enough to put in an "overweight" model, but that overweight model is still the same size as many normal sized girls in today's society. Girl's will be seeing this and likely dressing flashily like they did in the music videos, or dancing like rap video girls as many of the background dancers did when Enrique walked by. While parents should be monitoring shows like this from their children, the fact that a show about modeling and dressing very provocatively is on at 8 pm on a Wednesday says something about society today.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


The Sullivan Times recently posted a report by Andrew Sullivan himself on the candidacy of Barack Obama vs. that of Hilary Clinton. He tells of Barack's many positions that differ from that of Hilary, then discusses why he is a better candidate. I am sorry Mr. Sullivan, as I appreciate a great deal of the posts you make, but this one I feel is wrong. The reason Mr. Obama is not afraid of the conservative right is because he has not been in office long enough to be afraid of them. Obama is not the one fresh face because of what he believes. Heck No! He is one fresh face because he is new to it. Hilary is a seasoned veteran when it comes to the political life, and she knows how to deal with criticisms along with praises.

I don't think the Republican wing really wants to fight against Hilary Clinton like they did early in this campaign. She has come on very strong as of lately, and on top of that, none of the republican candidates could likely stand a chance against her. Be that as it may, they could likely use the experience factor against someone like Barack Obama. The major problem with these two candidates is that neither can likely win in the south, Hilary Clinton having a much smaller chance then Barack.

What disturbs me about this essay is that Sullivan did not even mention the candidate who is only a few points behind Obama...John Edwards. John Edwards seems to be the best bet for the democrats if they wish to have a chance in some southern swing states, and if they really want to win an election. His beliefs are more moderate then most of the other candidates, yet still very liberal with a major platform of his being universal health care. This is why I am supporting John Edwards for president.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

bother bother bother bother

As me and my sister were sitting in the sold out theater, getting ready for the new harry potter movie (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), some very strange noises were heard behind us. "Snape...Snape.....Severus Snape" followed by multiple teenagers saying "bother bother bother bother". The end result of this was my sister laughing hysterically and me sitting in confusement, wondering if this was just a game they had made up, if they were quoting something, or if something was seriously wrong. After the movie, my sister directed me to youtube where I watched the videos known as "potter puppet pals" which have become hugely popular in the "potter realm". While there are multiple videos for these Harry Potter Puppets, the one that I have heard the most is Bothering Snape.
Bothering Snape is virtually 1 minute and 15 seconds of harry and ron pushing snape as they scream "bother". The video ends with Snape performing a spell on them and Dumbledore dancing in the end. Like most popular videos on youtube, it has gained almost a cult like following as harry potter fans not only quote the video, but wear t-shirts having to do with it as well. It is amazing the impact many people are having just through this youtube site. Bands like OK-GO have even hit their stardom based solely on videos they have posted, and many entertainment tv shows often show the most popular videos from the site during certain blocks of air time. This is usaully chosen by the amount of viewers the video has. The Potter Puppet Pals have multiple other videos, one of which has over 20 million views. As more videos are put out by the minute, more teens around the US are quoting videos found on youtube. This is why youtube is becoming one of the biggest sites visited for teenagers around the US. Potter Puppet Pals is just one of the many videos found which is used non stop for Potter afficianados everywhere.
When things are looked at from a more political side, these small videos can have a very big impact on the larger picture. Now that more younger children are using the internet and going on places like youtube, they are going to start learning about politics at a younger age. With campaigns playing a huge part on the internet, places like youtube and myspace are giving the candidates videos, pages, and air time to get their points across. Some may say that these are just ploys by new media that take away from that of the traditional side, but in truth it is a way for politics to branch off as it connects to a younger, more technological youth.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Feministe Abortions

Feministe (a feminist blog which discusses more then just womens' issues) recently posted about a recent World Health Organization (WHO) study on abortions and the effects of outlawing them. Feministe does a nice job of mixing quotes from the reports given by the WHO and her own opinions/facts. She brings up many good points all of which greatly support the study her post is about. In her post, she talks about how much more dangerous it would be for women if abortions were illegal. While not giving her actual opinion on abortions, she is able to paint a grim picture through common knowledge and previous studies on this account.

Despite having a large amount of quoted materials in her blog, Feministe is able to throw in a great deal of her own information and common sense which makes the blog twice as effective. Information is used through her blog such as "wouldn’t you know it: It’s the countries with the most pro-choice policies that have the lowest abortion rates" and "And when you turn women into criminals, they’re a whole lot less likely to seek out medical care if something goes wrong". She also brings up a very good argument discussing another downside of making abortions illegal when she says "when abortion is illegal, more women are going to be having dangerous abortions in the first place" . This is a great piece of well thought out information, which can also be shown throughout US history. Ranging back from the days of Al Capone, when the US government started the prohibition era and decided to outlaw alcohol. The rise in Alcohol grew and suddenly normal people were being turned into criminals and many were doing dangerous things to buy and sell alcohol. An anti-abortion law will only hurt many of the females in this country today. Feministe has hit the nail on the head with this one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Your Welcome Student, But.....

In a recent article in the times, author Karen Arenson describes the ever growing trend of thank you notes and their involvement in the college application process. She, as well as I, seems to question what is actually going on in the process nowadays, as she speaks of guidance counselors who push their students to write these letters and parents who even on occasion force their kids to. The most frightening thing about this was likely the parent who actually forced her daughter to write a thank you letter regarding a school she took a tour of when she was a junior in high school. College is supposed to be the time where you break off from your parents and enter the world on your own, realizing that it is up to you to not have to lean on mommy and daddy anymore. It is a terrible idea that you could force a child to do something like writing a letter when it is the beginning of their freedom. Let them make the decision for it is the start of THEIR future.
Another aspect of this story that we have to look closely at, is the fact that many colleges are actually putting these thank you notes in the folders of applicants. Instead of agreeing to look solely at the students academic and extracurricular records, they now will add a thank you note to the paperwork. I understand that it is the nice thing to do and probably makes the application feel a bit more human then some of the others, but the colleges should be focused on the application and not the little personal touch that someone throws in. If a few people do it on occasion, then that is one thing because it is then an act of originality, but by forcing someone to do this or by highly recommending it to mass amounts of people, it takes away the creativity and freedoms that college is all about.