Anderson Issues

Commentary on the Zeitgeist

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Welcome to US History!

Posted by Mr. Earhart on August 23, 2013

Trayvon_ObamaAs you can probably tell from our first activity, this course will not stray from tackling the series issues that face our society.  If this summer taught us anything, it’s that we have a quite a way to go in resolving our political differences in a productive manner.  Many significant events happened over the summer; the goal for this course is to examine how we have reached this point in history – and, more importantly, to contemplate exactly what “this point in history” actually means.

For those that went all Rumpelstiltskin this summer, here are a few highlights:

Texas Senator Wendy Davis put the Lone Star State through the national news cycle with her filibuster of a bill placing restrictions on a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.  While Sen. Davis stirred-up quite a ruckus, the bill eventual passed in yet another special session.

The Supreme Court (kinda’) upheld the right for same-sex couples to marry.

The US Senate passed an immigration bill that would allow more rights to the undocumented.  But the House of Representatives refuses to take a vote on said act.

But the biggest story of the summer was the debacle that became the “trial” of George Zimmerman and an overwhelming lack of justice in the senseless death of Trayvon Martin.  Regardless of your feelings on this particular case (one can certainly disagree with the extremely biased author of the previous sentence); the response to the Zimmerman verdict clearly put on display the ugly truth that America is far from a “post-racial” society.  One only needed to be a member of the world of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets to be inundated with racially abhorrent comments.

As an extension of our in-class activity on the first day of school.  I encourage you to read this article in which journalist Jesse Washington is forced to explain the “Black Male Code” to his 12 year-old son.  An excerpt:

Always pay close attention to your surroundings, son, especially if you are in an affluent neighborhood where black folks are few. Understand that even though you are not a criminal, some people might assume you are, especially if you are wearing certain clothes.

Never argue with police, but protect your dignity and take pride in humility. When confronted by someone with a badge or a gun, do not flee, fight, or put your hands anywhere other than up.

Please don’t assume, son, that all white people view you as a threat. America is better than that. Suspicion and bitterness can imprison you. But as a black male, you must go above and beyond to show strangers what type of person you really are.

I was far from alone in laying out these instructions. Across the country this week, parents were talking to their children, especially their black sons, about the Code. It’s a talk the black community has passed down for generations, an evolving oral tradition from the days when an errant remark could easily cost black people their job, their freedom, or sometimes their life.

The mere fact that these conversations exist is proof that America has work to do.  Hopefully this course can be part of that work.

Welcome to US History.

***Which of the above issues do you find to be the most important?  Post a comment and share your views.  Let’s have a conversation.***

Posted in History, Politics, Society | 56 Comments »

Should you assume that most people believe in God?

Posted by cookieseller1000 on May 23, 2013

Tornado survivor Rebecca Vitsmun and her 19 month old son stood in front of her leveled home on Tuesday in Moore, Oklahoma, while CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked her if she thanked the Lord. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Politics, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Feminism

Posted by Mr. Earhart on May 6, 2013

Shulamith_FirestoneI’ve struggled with how to introduce the concept of feminism to our class. Imagine that, a white man from Missourah struggling with feminist theory: who’d a thunk it!

Anywho, in my rather lengthy search for the perfect introductory article, I ran across a classroom blog, called F to the Third Power that seems like it will suffice as a starting point. It was hard to pick just one of these student-generated posts, as each student touches on a variety of feminist issues.

If ye’ want a more challenging read, I suggest this piece from a recent New Yorker, one of the tenants of the piece is that many of the revolutionary feminist pioneers, were unable to enjoy the benefits of what they fought for. The article, Death of a Revolutionary, focuses on the life of Shulamith Firestone. It was one of the more interesting reads I’ve encountered in some time, as I found myself returning to this article several days after having read it.

So… I propose a feminist read-a-thon, blog-a-thon type of thing. Read some of the students posts, comment below, post links and videos, and let’s have a discussion here on Anderson Issues.

Posted in Politics, Society | 7 Comments »

Gun Bill Fails in Senate

Posted by oblama on April 22, 2013

The bill for expanded background checks failed to get the 60 votes required for the bill to pass the senate. This bill was the last hope for passing any legislation to try to reduce gun deaths in the U.S. Expanded background checks would force anyone buying a firearm to undergo a background check.Image Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Politics, Society | 3 Comments »

Famine in North Korea

Posted by shishimato on February 21, 2013

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It was recently revealed that a North Korean man has been executed by firing squad for allegedly  killing and eating his two children out of a starvation-produced madness. This case and others have shed a harsh light on the poor conditions in North Korea, whose food rations in 2011 lowered to around 400 calories per-day, per-person.

To put it in perspective, this is about the equivalent of a medium order of fries at McDonald’s.

Frequently, the issue of malnutrition among North Korean citizens was blamed, in-part, on the North Korean government’s preference to feed their massive army over their citizens.

Even for the soldiers, however, conditions aren’t good.

Based on their appearances, it seems that many of the young men in the video are suffering from a stunted height due to lack of nutrition when they were children. It is likely that they were growing up during the 1994-1998 famine in North Korea, but even so, about 45% of children under the age of five are stunted from malnutrition. Defectors who have successfully crossed the Chinese-NK border are reporting that, as of 2011, the famine began again and has continued in full-swing.

Posted in Politics, Society | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Connecticut Elementary Shooting

Posted by oblama on December 14, 2012

screen-shot-2012-12-14-at-10-25-59-am   APTOPIX Connecticut S_McGu

Newtown, Connecticut has been rocked by killing of at least 28, 20 being elementary schoolchildren.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Politics, Society, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Can we avoid the Fiscal Cliff?

Posted by cookieseller1000 on November 26, 2012

If you watch the news, you may be hearing a lot about the fiscal cliff. What does it mean? Should you be worried? How did this happen? Back in August of 2011, Congress wanted to borrow more money, but the debt ceiling had to be raised. The Republicans did not want to raise taxes on the wealthy and the Democrats did not want to cut spending, so they devised the fiscal cliff; whereby, to compensate for the raising the debt ceiling, on January 1, 2013, there would be massive cuts in government spending and the Bush era tax cuts would expire. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mitt Romney’s 2011 Tax Return

Posted by cookieseller1000 on October 27, 2012

Mitt Romney paid $1.95 million in taxes on income of $13.7 million in 2011. While having to pay almost $2 million in taxes sounds like a lot, the effective tax rate is only 14.1 %.The rate for the highest income earners — those making over  $379,150 is 35%. To understand this discrepancy, one must look at the character of Mitt Romney’s income. The majority of Romney’s income is investment income from capital gains and dividends, which is taxed at the favorable capital gains rate of 15%. Capital gains are profits made from the sale of capital assets, typically stocks, bonds, land, artwork, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Prince Harry Targeted by The Taliban

Posted by shishimato on October 2, 2012

Prince Harry of Wales, who has been serving his second term in Afghanistan as an Apache co-pilot and gunner, has been directly targeted by the Taliban. Shortly after being deployed in early September to the temperamental Helmand Provice, where he will be on the front line in the NATO-led war against Taliban insurgents, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, explicitly stated that the Taliban force in Helmand was using all their strength “to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping,” in what Mujahid dubs as the “Harry Operations.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Foreign Policy, Politics | 2 Comments »

Campaign Project

Posted by Mr. Earhart on September 10, 2012

This project is due Friday, November 16th.   The project will serve as the final exam for this course, and thus count toward 25% of your grade in Contemporary Issues.

The election is set for Tuesday, November 6th; Phase Four of the project will need to be completed in a timely manner.  The first three Phases can be completed at any time, though Phase Two will need to be arranged to fit your schedule – in other words: avoid procrastination!  

Your task is to research and follow an electoral race or issue.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Course Info, Politics | 5 Comments »

 
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