There is no real non-partisan way to go about deeming this news story a hero or hack, so I’ll let you decide. This is a story that has to do with an article we read in class about unmanned drones used in the military.
Just days before the election here in the United States, and unmanned air drone was shot at by Iranian military jets. The Pentagon is not releasing much about it, but here are several “known facts”:
- The drone was flying in International airspace when shot at by Iran. It was NOT flying in Iranian air space
- The drone allegedly was only surveying the area, and was not used for force.
- The drone was shot at, but was never hit and returned to the nearest military base
- United States officials have confirmed the incident, but Iran has yet to come out with a statement.
So the United States was flying a drone in neutral air space for “surveillance” (which I hope everyone questions) and was shot at and missed by two Iranian jets. Not it is not known if they missed on purpose or if they just have bad aim, but needless to say, the Pentagon is pissed. I am curious to see people’s opinion on this. I think its possible that the Iranians missed on purpose and shot at it to make a point that they don’t like the unmanned drones and see them as a great threat. I also think its possible that using the drones the survey neutral territory is a BS story and the Iran was a target only defending itself from being surveyed.
Is it right for us to have these drones? Will they cause more violence and lives than they would save? Obviously less Americans lives are being lost, but is it moral to put that at the expense of other countries? So many different prospectives to take on this one that I cannot say one country is in the right while the other is in the wrong. I did feel like this is a story you should all know about and see how it follows through in the weeks to come.
Source: Cnn.com & Associated Press
The Eminem song, “Guess Who’s Back” somehow seems appropriate for this week’s hack because after months out of the media spotlight, Donal Trump is back.
Hack of the week:
That’s right, he’s back again and you should tell a friend. He is back for a completely different reason this time though. You probably know that a while ago, Trump suggested that Obama was not born in the United States and that he was not eligible to run for the presidency. Well that was all settled as Obama presented his birth certificate and certificate of live birth to the public that proved he was born in Hawaii. THIS time, Trump wouldn’t dare ask for Obama’s birth certificate again, no no. THIS time he is asking Obama to present his passport information and his college application records. (Maybe this is in hopes of still somehow proving the Obama lied about his birth certificate and he is not able to be president.) Trump has stepped up his game too. Instead of just asking Obama for these records, he is challenging the president by offering a $5 million donation to the charity of Obama’s choice if Obama releases these records. Now at this point you may be asking what the point of Trumps actions are, and you have raised a valid question and one that probably can’t be answered in a logical way. If Obama doesn’t release these records, then Trump will go back to arguing that Obama isn’t american which will not accomplish anything except make him and the whole republican party look stupid. If Obama does release the records, then Trump is out of $5 million and he makes himself look stupid. I feel like this is a lose-lose situation and overall its just sad that some people try to make politics resort to situations like these.
Watch the video here
Information from this blog taken from CNN.com
With all these debates going on and a lot of political news out there, I decided to take a break this week and go outside of the political sphere. This week’s post will not be nearly as serious as the past few, and you will soon see why in a minute. It is time to announce our hack of the week. The award goes to……………….
Hack of the Week: Flavor Flav
Yes, we just went there. On Wednesday, Flavor Flav was arrested and charged with battery and assault with a deadly weapon. He lives with his fiancee of eight years and her son. On Wednesday morning, at about 3:30, Flavor got into an argument with his fiancee because he had cheated on her. This argument escalated as Flav started to make threats. The son of his fiancee then started to wrestle with Flav until Flavor went to get a knife and threatened to kill the son. Eventually the fiancee and her son locked themselves in their room until the cops could arrive when Flavor was promptly arrested.
Flav is really known for two things. One, his involvement in the rap group, Public Enemy. The second is the crazy awesome clocks he wears around his neck when he raps. Interestingly enough, as it pertains to this class, the most successful song that Flavor rapped in is called Fight the Power. Anyone heard of it? Well actually we all have because it was featured in Spike Lee’s movie, “Do the Right Thing”. I would like to reserve the rest of this blog spot for pictures of this true American Cultural figure as a tribute to his glorious past, and as a mourning for his plummet in life that led him to pull knives on the teenage son of his fiancee.
(The picture above was taken from Cnn.com. The photos below are taken from Starpulse.com)
Typically when I talk about heroes and hacks of the week, I talk about domestic politics. This week I decided to broaden the scope and go global. This week’s hero is a Chinese writer and author by the name of Mo Yan. On Thursday, October 11, Yan recieved the Nobel Prize in literature, making him one of the few Chinese authors to receive it. More importantly, he is the FIRST Chinese author who is not opposed to the Chinese government to receive the award, thus making his receiving the award publicized in China.
Yan is a crafty writer that infuses fantasy with everyday Chinese life. His literary works are notorious all over East Asia for their truthful depiction of Chinese life while incorporating fictional and fantastical aspects. Although Yan supports the government, he has been known to, in his works, criticize social aspects of Chinese society such as forced abortions.
This brings me to why this is important politically. Yan has indirectly, yet obviously, criticized the social aspects of Chinese society. Even though this is the case, the Chinese definitely support him and his winning the award by publicizing this award and making Yan a type of cultural icon. Previous Chinese authors who have received the award were all open critics of the government and the Chinese government did not make public the authors receiving the nobel prize. Yan is all over Chinese media publications, which is a sign of the Chinese governmental support of him. This is so important for all of China for several reasons. First, it shows that the government is becoming less authoritarian and more open to blurring political party lines. In the past, the government would probably not have supported Yan because of his indirect criticism against Chinese society. Today he has the government support. I would say they are moving in the right direction
This is also important for Chinese culture all over the country. It further promotes expressionism in literature and shows citizens of China that they can express themselves in their own ways. The government supporting independent literature, rather than State approved, is a giant step to the government supporting individual expressionism, and in the end, personal freedom. This one award has shown the world that China may be turning a new leaf.
Information taken from Cnn.com, Foxnews.com, and the Associated Press
Debate season is always a good time of year. I decided weeks ago that I would write this current events blog about the first presidential debate on the 3rd of October. Going into this week, Romney had lost a lot of steam on his campaign and many people, including myself, thought this debate would kill him. Obama has always been very good at public speaking and debates. He is particularly good at his pathos and ethos appeals when making a speech. From what I saw from Romney in the primary debates, I was sure that Obama would crush him. Well as usual, I was very wrong.
I don’t think the night could have gone much better for Romney. He spoke PRETTY good and was able to hold his own against the President. But I think his success was as equal as Obama’s failure in the debate. From just basic body language, it was clear that Obama was not as enthusiastic about the debate and that showed in his responses. Romney was able to dictate the tone and throw the punches during the debate while Obama was barely able to defend himself. Obama never really threw any big hits that Romney couldn’t return. It was interesting to see the ethos aspect of this debate as well. An incumbent president SHOULD have a clear advantage in the ethos department when going into a debate like this, but there were various points throughout the debate where I felt as though Obama did not know the specifics of economic issues or plans (or Romney’s plan to fix the economy) while Romney was able to sit back and jab at the specific “failures” of Obama’s economic policy over the last four years.
All over the spectrum of the media, left to right, agree that Romney outhit Obama all night in the debate and that Obama did not do nearly as well as expected. For those who do not know much about the economic plans and strategies of either Romney or Obama and watched the debate to see, it was clear that Romney presented his side very well while discrediting Obama’s record, and the Romney took this one hands down. To me, this debate showed that the Republicans put up the best candidate to steal Obama’s spot that they could.
Highlights From Debate
I wonder what will come of this for Romney. Historically, for reasons I am not sure, the challenger of an incumbent typically does well in the first debate between the two. Will Obama come back next debate swinging? What will come of it if he doesn’t? The next few weeks will be very interesting.
For anyone that already knows the whole ordeal with the NFL replacement refs and how the regular refs are back, then lets just take a moment to exhale slowly and be relieved that the replacement ref fiasco is over. For those who haven’t heard or don’t know the details, here it is:
Several months ago the contract for the standard NFL referees was expired. The NFL itself is simply a committee/collection of team owners who collectively make the rules and manage the league, including the players and the referees. If you recall last year, the NFL lockout was because of a contractual dispute between the owners (NFL) and the NFL players association (the actual players). This current referee problem was a dispute in the formation of a new contract between the owners and the referees. The details of the entire conflict are very complicated, but essentially the refs felt they deserved more money for their services and more money put into their pension plans because of the rising cost of living. The owners did not want to pay the refs as much as they were asking, so you have a lockout between the refs and the league. As a result, the NFL was forced to hire refs from other non-NFL leagues around the country who were less skilled and knowledgeable about the NFL rules.
One ref calling that the Packers caught it, while the other signals Seattle got it
At first I wanted to believe that the refs won’t change the game, but my hopes were crushed. There were many instances of when the refs were clueless about a rule or blew a call, but the worst one came Monday night in the Green Bay-Seattle game. On the last play of the game, Seattle tried for an end zone pass that would turn their five point deficit into a one point lead as time expired, giving them the win. Well in a confusing play with many bodies trying to catch the ball from both teams, the refs missed an obvious penalty that would have killed Seattle’s chance of scoring and winning. The refs also said that Seattle caught the ball and scored, while many believe that the player did not catch it. All in all, it was a terrible officiating night for the replacement refs and they gave the win to Seattle over several mistakes that would have given Green Bay the win.
This was probably the final, and biggest, straw that destroyed the camel’s back because on Wednesday night, the owners and the refs came to an agreement for a contract that will keep the refs in the league for at least eight more years. Thank you NFL refs for coming back and restoring the integrity of the game.
*Information taken from CNN and ESPN. Image from CNN.com
Political Hack of the Week:
It was only a matter of time until I found something to rip apart and rant about. This week’s chapter of American Political crap is Obamacare, and this one is good. New estimates came out this week stating that the number of Americans that will be hit with the “tax penalty” for not having the proper insurance when Obamacare takes effect in 2014 is nearly double than the previous estimates. When the bill was being debated on the floor of the congressional houses, it was estimated that nearly 4 million people would be hit with Obama’s mandate and be forced to pay a penalty for being uninsured with healthcare. A new estimate shows that number is to be over 6 million now.
This is not a huge proportion of the population, however the new study also shows that over 80% of those hit by the penalty will be middle class: the middle class Obama has vowed to protect. The middle class that is the beating heart of our country. The middle class that, if making less than $200,000 per year, Obama promised not to raise taxes on. But this mandated penalty isn’t a tax, right? Wrong. How else could a mandate from the government that forces each American to buy insurance be constitutional unless the Supreme Court rules that it isn’t a “mandate” but is however a “tax”. To me it is all just a sick game of broken promises and the stretching of constitutional power. Nowhere in the constitution does it allow the government to mandate people to own health insurance. Sure, most states require one to buy car insurance, but that should be allowed because driving a car is optional and a privilege given by the government. Obama’s entire premise on Obamacare is that healthcare shouldn’t be a privilege, but a public commodity. I just don’t understand how it is constitutional to make people pay health insurance or be hit with a harsh penalty (or “tax”).
The last time we saw an expansion of social federal power like this was when FDR set in all his New Deal policies. I also don’t understand how middle class Americans can be for Obamacare when Obama himself said he wouldn’t raise taxes on them, and yet between 4-5 million middle class Americans will be hit with this “tax”. Maybe I skimmed over the part of the Constitution that allows the government to restrict personal freedoms in creating a coveted “National Healthcare System” that won’t provide any real benefits to Americans than they have right now. I welcome comments, especially those who disagree. I take a one-sided stance on this because I simply can’t comprehend the logic to the other side to it. Please let me know what you think.
*Image and Content from the Huffington Post and Associated Press
So its the start of a new week, and the first week of RCL blogging. This one is for the passion blog and I want to take a minute to let people know what to expect from this blog. Its pretty dry to say that current events is my “passion” but I do find current events pretty interesting and important to keep up on. Every week this blog will be dedicated to assigning one person/company/group as either a political or news hero, or a hack. I plan on alternating each week with heros and hacks, but that could change if I NEED to do a hero or hack a certain week. I thought it was a pretty good idea, however I cannot take credit for it. This is similar to an assignment I had to complete my senior year of high school in my AP government class. The hero/hack I do will be slightly different, but the same kind of concept. So here goes week one (I though I would start on a good note with providing a hero):
HERO OF THE WEEK
Chris Stevens, United States Ambassador to Libya
Among three other Americans at the U.S. consulate in Libya, Chris Stevens was killed in in one of the most senseless and heartbreaking American civilian attacks in our lifetime. Several hours before the consulate was bombed, the embassy in Libya was overrun by Libyan nationalists who were responding to an anti-Muslim video that apparently surfaced in the U.S. Why is Chris Stevens a hero? Because he died serving our country. Service to our country comes in many forms, not just military. Stevens had been active diplomatically for years in Libya and was a driving force for the democracy movement there. It is a shame that one has to die for something we all take for granted here: freedom of speech and religion. The Libyan government as well as the U.S. government have vowed to not stop until Stevens’ death has been brought to justice. But is that really the right course of action? Don’t get me wrong, this man certainly did not deserve to die. But sometimes I feel as though American foreign policy goes way past the interventionist line and provokes Muslim and Anti-American groups that only promotes more violence. Shouldn’t there be another way to fix these problems? Military action is certainly okay if our country, or one of our strong ally countries is threatened, and by Stevens’ death it is obvious we are threatened. But did we bring this upon ourselves? Can we point the finger at them, or they point it at us? Is there even a finger to point, or are we just fighting for the sake of our national pride now? I’m only eighteen so I can promise I don’t have all the details of why we intervene in counties. So maybe if I did, I would be on board and say the Stevens’ death was an honorable and necessary one. But for now I question and doubt. Did he really have to die for this country?