Advocacy and Persuasion Assignment Topic

Animal Testing

In support of animal testing with Alexia Mazzarella.

Issue Brief

Statement- Animal testing is widely used in the scientific community to find breakthroughs that would be otherwise impossible. Without the ability to test new drugs on animals, doctors would be forced to make an educated guess on actual human patients to treat an illness that they have never seen before. However, many people find animal testing cruel and advocate against it.

Illustration- An illustration to show the support of animal testing is how an example of a person’s life being saved due to animal testing.

Ramifications- The ramifications would be listing the different drugs and breakthroughs that came through animal testing. Precautions can be listed as well to show how the scientist try to be as humane as possible.

Pointing / Relevance – Since most of the topic is showing how this affects society, we could show people what a world without animal testing would look like.

This is a basic idea of what we could talk about but there is so much information on this topic that it would be easy to expand further.

The Issue of Healthcare

Life has unexpected problems that arise all the time. Each of these issues usually require monetary aid to fix and that amount slowly builds up. Only a small amount of America’s population can financially support all these fees while the general population must cut back on other aspects of life to fund these unexpected issues such as getting sick. The United States realized that this was an issue and began insurance to be able to pay off these unexpected debts. For example, health insurance pays for medical treatment for people. They accomplish this by having everyone on the plan pay a certain amount and all the money is saved for people who need money in the future for health-related issues. However, health care had multiple issues such as not receiving enough funding. Obama focused on this issue during his first term and made Obamacare which improved the lives of millions. Now some people rely on Obamacare for health insurance for many reasons. Republicans believe that Obamacare is one of the worst plans ever put into place and President Trump has proposed a new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. However, this would have many consequences.

The idea of health care is to be able to provide affordable medical care to the lower class by having the upper class pay for them. Health care does this by signing up everyone on health insurance for a rate that is proportional to their income. The people who are healthy and do not need health care do not use it as often and their money goes towards the people who cannot afford their medical bills under the insurance. However, before Obamacare, people who did not use the health care as frequently found that the constant bills from being on the insurance were adding to be more than their medical issues overall so they left the insurance. This hurt insurance providers because as they had less people paying, they could not support as many people. Obamacare changed this so there was a tax for leaving an insurance provider as an incentive for people to stay with their insurance provider. While it is not a perfect solution, it has proven effective and health care is more affordable for everyone. Money is not the only issue though.

Insurance is a business and like many other businesses, they want to make money. The insurance companies are private corporations. As a result, it is very easy for the company to be able to favor themselves whenever possible. One example of this practice is that they would take serious risk people off their insurance as they were “too high of a risk” to support. As a result, many people paid for the insurance but it was hardly used. In the past, insurance companies even discriminated against people who lived in lower economic areas, who are the people that typically needed it the most. Obamacare regulated this by preventing any discrimination so everyone could get the coverage they deserved. Despite this, Trump has found Obamacare ineffective and has taken actions to replace it.

Conservatives in general dislike Obamacare. They believe that Obamacare is collapsing and hurting America. As a result, they put out a replacement for Obamacare that they believe is a stronger bill. One of the first important points is that subsidies to help people pay for insurance would be based off age rather than income. This would hurt many people as people are in different financial positions at similar ages. Trump is also giving a tax break to people who are very wealthy, which would decrease the overall amount of money for insurance. Finally, Trump is removing the mandate to have health insurance, making it beneficial for most healthier people to simply leave health insurance altogether. These changes alone will leave about 52 million people without insurance, which is a clear sign that this bill is not the replacement conservatives have been talking about.

Obamacare is not perfect. There are still a few issues but Trumpcare is not an improvement. The problem is that most people do not know what Trumpcare or Obamacare even do. Some people even think Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are different. This shows that not only does a new policy has to be made if Republicans truly want to replace Obamacare, but people also must be educated on this in the future as this affects everyone eventually.

Works Cited

“Obamacare Summary – The Basics Of Obama Care.” ACA, 28 Oct. 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

“TrumpCare Explained.” Obamacare Facts. HealthNetwork, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

“Trumpcare vs Obamacare: How Does Trump’s Plan Compare?” HealthNetwork, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.


The Effects of Trump’s Budget Proposal

The United States has always had a large sum of money that it collects from citizens to fund different agencies that perform tasks for the country. Different Presidents have had different priorities and shifted the budget in different directions. However, no president in recent history has been as extreme as Donald Trump’s new proposal. Trump’s proposal states how he wants to increase defense spending by $54 billion dollars and cut on 19 other agencies. There will be serious issues if Trump’s proposal goes into plan as it will hurt many people.

One major issue for many people is security. People hear more about major news such as terrorism and possible threats from other countries. As a result, people believe the world is in a state of constant danger and begin holding prejudice against certain races. An example of this was the travel ban from the Middle East that happened earlier this year. Trump has used this fear and pushed for more defense spending to fight these terrors of the world. The issue with this is that the United States already spends the more on defense than China, Russia, United Kingdom, France, Japan, and India combined. However, the world has actually been in one of its longest eras of peace as diplomacy is much more cost effective for different countries. Also, there are less reasons to start a war now. In the past, wars were fought for border disagreements and natural resources, but globalization have pretty much eliminated these issues. As a result, increasing the defense budget would not be used in an efficient manner. Even reducing the defense budget in half would still have the United States with the largest defense budget in the world. However, the cuts have more severe consequences.

There have been cuts to 19 different agencies which each have vital roles in maintaining the country and the world. One significant cut is to the EPA, which had a 31% cut as Trump has stated “we will be fine with the environment, we can leave a little bit, but we cannot destroy businesses”. However, as stated by the overwhelming majority of scientists and the population, this is simply not true as global warming will lead to many severe consequences. Another cut that they made was to the Department of Transportation, which will remove airports from more rural areas which could not fund an airport otherwise. This is not just affecting the current generation though, it will also affect the younger generations. Wings for Kids is a free after school program for families who need to work and cannot stay at home taking care of their kid. It is essential for the kids to go to school at all, but with Trump’s new proposal, all funding for this program will be eliminated. Many more cuts are being made that will decrease funding for research, energy, and agriculture. Each one of these cuts will have a major negative effect, but the scariest part about this proposal is the support it has from leaders despite all this information.

Once people create something, most people have a bias towards what they have made. As a result, many Republicans are saying that they support this bill and that “they can ask people to pay money for defense but they cannot ask people to pay for other agencies such as the Department of Public Broadcasting”. They also state how they need more money for nuclear weapons and defense to defend from the world. This view of the world is not supported by the fact and statistics presented though, meaning that these leaders are uncappable of seeing that their bias towards their proposal is clouding the facts. This is concerning because it means that they will continue to listen to Trump and his cabinet regardless if what they are proposing is right or wrong. This leaves the citizens to speak up so the United States moves backwards due to the new administration’s “pride”.

This whole post has been very liberal and I will admit I have a very liberal mindset. I try to be open to other opinions and on many issues regarding Trump, I try to understand how the other side views this issue. However, this proposal does not show any benefit and hurts both people who support and do not support Trump. While I understand people will still not listen to what I have said because of my views, I encourage all to try to start talking about these issues and figure out what is truly best for the United States because this administration has already shown that we cannot sit passively anymore.

Works Cited

Federal Budget: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO). Perf. John Oliver. HBO. HBO, 19 Mar. 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Friedman, Benjamin H., and Justin Logan. “Why the U.S. Military Budget Is ‘Foolish and Sustainable’.” Orbis 56.2 (2012): 177-91. Mar. 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Soffen, Kim, and Denise Lu. “What’s Getting Cut in Trump’s Budget.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 16 Mar. 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.


Initial Deliberation Reflection

The deliberation was about different approaches on immigration. The group delivered an approach before allowing the audience to discuss about the ideas we had delivered. The audience seemed to have similar views each time but their approach continued to change as different ideas were delivered.

During the first approach, which was closed borders, the audience seemed opposed to the ideas. Each stated how they understood the concerns of safety, but they did not believe that safety should be the main factor for immigration. To further show what they believed, they expressed the benefits that immigrants bring to the United States. For example, immigrants increase the overall economy because immigrants tend to take more manufacturing jobs for lower wages, allowing companies to increase in size. One popular counterargument is that the immigrants would take jobs away from American workers. However, the group responded by saying that there are many educated immigrants who would begin creating more businesses and jobs, ultimately creating more jobs. The next argument we used was how America focuses on other countries so much that they are helping other countries before themselves in aspects such as trade. They told us that trade actually benefits America as we have a steady supply of resources that we would not necessarily have otherwise. The other approaches brought out a different aspect of the issue.

During the second approach, which was open borders, the overall moral of letting refugees in was discussed. The situation of how the refugees were running away from terrorist groups that made their old houses unsafe living environments. As a result, rejecting them and sending them back would only result in putting them in danger. As a nation built from immigrants, that was not something the audience would not feel comfortable with. So, there are ethical and moral reasons for their decisions.

The moderate border was one last discussion to allow the audience to discuss a moderate approach, expecting them to have similar view that they had in the last two discussions, but they did not. Rather, they expressed how it may be beneficial to have a moderate immigration system, but the immigration process would need to be fixed first. They expressed how it was inefficient to have everything by paper still and how people currently find it too much of a hassle to try to become a citizen. Instead, most simply get a green card or visa. This allows them to reside in the United States without the paperwork of becoming a citizen. Each of these discussions brought to light a new issues with immigration and it will not go away anytime soon.

Ban or Appeal?

One big issue currently is the immigration ban. This ban barred any Syrian refugees from entering the United State for 90 days from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This also prevents many green card holders from these countries to return to the United States. Many stories have come out about the struggles for citizens to get in and out of the country due to the ban. One situation is a man who cannot leave the country for a conference which will give him exposure to leaders in his field to prepare for the job market after his post doc. If he does leave, he may not be able to return to finish his post doc. Many other issues have arisen from the ban, some more severe than this, but this is not all the ban has created. However, this ban has created more problems than just legal issues. The ban has been perceived by some as racist towards Muslim people, a topic that has become more prevalent since the new administration.

The Middle East is predominately populated by Muslims. As a result, that area is typically associated with Islam. One group of Islam that many know about is ISIS. ISIS is a group of radical Muslims that have committed many crimes around the world. Muslims are also associated with 9/11. Ever since the terrorist attack on the twin towers, there was an upsurge in negative stereotypes towards Muslim Americans. The typical stereotype depicted them as dangerous and people treated them as such due to the recent events. While the racism never disappeared, it lessened over the years as people began to feel safe again. However, this new ban has brought back those fears that have laid within some people all this time. More racist comments are being made and Muslims have felt less welcome in the United States after this ban. Racism has always been an issue in the United States, but with the Trump administration, it has increased because the administration has painted Islam as something to fear as their constant comments towards the Middle East. This newfound confidence has also bled into to other race issues. People find it more acceptable to call out other race groups when surrounded by others of a similar mindset, this is called riot mentality. This administration has grouped these people and have moved the issue of stereotypes “backwards” and we need to reevaluate how we treat other groups. One must understand their mentality though.

One thing that should be clear is that not every supporter of Trump is a racist. These are smaller groups that have begun stating their distraught with the state of the country and blame it on these other groups. The ban was not created though with racist intensions. The ban was created to reduce the number of immigrants that come into the United States so that more American workers could get jobs. The Trump administration felt that the United States helped other countries when it did not focus on itself. People supported Trump in this as job security was important for them and they felt that this ban was the first step for jobs to return to the United States. The accusations of racism are deflected as liberal supporters still being upset of the election results. The idea is to put America first, but the question is how well is this plan going to work.

The unemployment rate in America by the end of Obama’s presidency was under 5%. While this is not one of the biggest problems that America faces currently, people view it as an issue as the wage gap only continues to increase between the classes. My view on the whole issue is while that job security is important, equality is a struggle that people have dealt with for centuries and America cannot move back on equality. Globalization is only expanding and for America to compete, I feel that we cannot waste time focusing on how we are different and instead focus on innovation. Regardless of one’s views, everyone wants to see America to succeed and neither opinion is definitively correct, but an issue like this requires people to talk about to find the solution that will make America flourish the most.

Works Cited

Coleman, David. “United States Unemployment Rates by President, 1948-2016.” Research. History in Pieces, 12 Dec. 2016. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.

Khan, Mussarat. “Attitudes Toward Muslim Americans Post-9/11.” Khan, Mussarat. Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2012. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.

Liptak, Adam. “President Trump’s Immigration Order.” New York Times. The New York Times, 28 Jan. 2017. Web. 7 Feb. 2017.

Morello, Lauren, and Sara Reardon. “Meet the Scientists Affected by Trump’s Immigration Ban.” Macmillan Publishers, 29 Jan. 2017. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.

The Effect of the Growth of the Industry on the Environment

The environment is something we must protect as we all rely on the earth as our home. However, the environment is not always beneficial financially. Right now, we are going through a transition of power here in the United States that could result in many environmental issues being ignored for the benefit of corporations. They want the cheapest and most efficient fuel to power these rising industries, which is currently fossil fuels. In America, we have plenty of crude oil, specifically 35.2 billion barrels, lowering the prices to burn these fuels. This seems like a simple decision to some people because economically nothing can beat fossil fuels; however, there is a dark cloud looming in the future.

Global warming is something everyone is heard about once or twice; however, the severity of the issue and what it could lead to is not really talked about much. The first thing everyone can probably noticed is how the past few years have become remarkably hotter than years past. It is estimated to have gotten 1.2-1.4⁰F warmer in their past century. Even more specific, ten out of the last thirteen years have been the warmest on record. This has been caused by human activities, specifically greenhouse gases. These are gases that are produced by fossil fuels and other sources such as carbon dioxide. These gases absorb solar radiation, trapping more heat in our atmosphere rather than reflecting it. This is having many different effects around the world.

First, it effects the ocean, which produces 50% of the earth’s oxygen. One of the oceans major purposes is that it cools the earth by reflecting heat back into the atmosphere, but there is too much radiation now to reflect. As a result, this is increasing the acidity of the ocean, which leads to the risk of extinction of calcifying species such as clams, oysters, and corals. This will hurt the food chain in the ocean, including the people who rely on fish as their main source of protein and income in fishing towns. Sea levels have also begun to rise 6.7 inches in the past decade due to glaciers and icebergs melting. This is also hurting the environment of Antarctic species as their environment is slowly getting smaller. However, this also affects humans as the sea levels rise, shorelines will go inwards, resulting in coastal regions to flood. Some may believe that this will only be a small amount of people who would have to relocate, but it is estimate that around 150 million “climate refugees” will have to find new homes in the year 2050. Finally, extreme weather events such as tornados, hurricanes, and droughts will occur more frequently as the temperature of the earth increases. The politicians do not recognize these issues though.

The current issue is that the new administration of the United States does not recognize this as an issue. However, if we do not work to reduce the effects of global warming, they will only get worse than they already have. In order to truly make a difference, one needs to understand the other side of the argument. One example is the Keystone and Dakota pipeline that President Trump recently signed. Putting the ethical issues aside with the Standing Rock Sioux, this would be a $3.8-billion-dollar pipeline that would create many jobs and be very beneficial for the companies. The environmental problem with this is that it would taint the water in the area, increase the amount of fossil fuel that would be burned, and ruin the quality of the soil. It would be beneficial for the companies, but it would destroy the region. Alternative sources of power need to be found to preserve our environments which would hurt the industries income temporarily but save the place we live. However, no one knows a perfect solution to the problem. My request is to put this issue in your mind and look for a potential solution that will benefit everyone in the end. This is our home and we all have to look out to protect it.

One of the few areas destroyed by the Dakota Pipeline

Works Cited

Brodwin, Erin. “Protesters Say a Leak in the Dakota Access Pipeline, Which Trump Just Advanced, Could Be a ‘death Sentence’.” Yahoo! News. Yahoo!, 25 Jan. 2017. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

Climate Change 101. Dir. Bill Nye. Perf. Bill Nye. Youtube. National Geographic Society, 2 Dec. 2015. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

Edelman, Adam. “Trump Signs off on Dakota Access Pipeline Construction.” NY Daily News. Daily News, 24 Jan. 2017. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

Emerling, Christopher A. “What Can We Learn about Our Limbs from the Limbless?” What Can We Learn about Our Limbs from the Limbless? Berkeley University, Nov. 2015. Web. 20 Jan. 2017.

Han, Xinwei. “RNA: An Expanding View of Function and Evolution.” Libertas Academia, 19 Jan. 2016. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.

“U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis.” U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, Year-end 2015. U.S. Energy Information Administration, 14 Dec. 2016. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

Vidal, John. “Global Warming Could Create 150 Million ‘climate Refugees’ by 2050.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 02 Nov. 2009. Web. 26 Jan. 2017.

Yoon, Carol Kaesuk. “From a Few Genes, Life’s Myriad Shapes.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 25 June 2007. Web. 20 Jan. 2017.


Civic Issues Ideas

Ever since I have gotten to college, the issues of the world have become a lot more prevalent to me. As a result, there are many ideas I would like to pursue in this blog. The first idea would be politics particularly towards Trump especially since he has made some questionable decisions already and staying active and educating people about politics is my small way of making that positive change happens. The other idea I have is to deal with ecological issues as the world is being harmed more every day and people have to be aware so that we do not damage our world any more than we already are. I am a person who spends a lot of time in nature so this is a personal issue for me.

The new administration is making new policies to create the best overall outcome; however, they have some negative environmental and ethical effects. Does these benefits from these policies outweigh the costs?

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