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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

So This is Goodbye

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 at 11:33 pm

This Saturday, I will officially make the transition from professional student to career professional. Okay, that’s not quite true. I actually plan to prolong my misery by spending one more year in Syracuse, New York, pursuing my master’s in television, radio and film.

As my short-lived career as a Joplin Globe blogger comes to an end, I’ve decided to reflect on the many things I have learned while floating about in the blogosphere:

  • First and foremost, check your facts, check your facts, and then check your facts. I should have learned this lesson a long time ago when I would argue with my father and his only rebuttal was to ask me to “cite my sources.”
  • It’s human nature to form an opinion, and then seek out facts/information in support of that opinion while ignoring contradictory evidence; “What’s that? I can’t hear you — la, la, la, la!”
  • Bloggers are arrogant.
  • Our opinion really doesn’t matter.
  • People like political identity — it makes them feel safe.
  • Mainstream media lies (OK, I already knew this one).
  • Generational discrimination, although subtle, is more rampant than gender discrimination.

And there you have it: My quarter-of-a-century years’ worth of wisdom.

Peace and Liberty.

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HB 1070: Profiling Implied

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 2:48 am

On Thursday, Republican Sen. Gary Nodler met with Missouri Southern students to talk politics. During the question and answer period, one woman asked Nodler his opinion on the Arizona immigration bill.

Twenty-three year old student Echo Essary brought up the issue of discrimination. However, Nodler dismissed the idea that the law advocates “racial profiling.”

But does Arizona HB 1070 indeed promote prejudice law enforcement?

Here are the more controversial exerts from the bill:

FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON.

A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, WITHOUT A WARRANT, MAY ARREST A PERSON IF THE OFFICER HAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THE PERSON HAS COMMITTED ANY PUBLIC OFFENSE THAT MAKES THE PERSON REMOVABLE FROM THE UNITED STATES.

It should be noted that HB 1070 was amended on Friday in an attempt to make the bill constitutionally correct. The amending legislation, HB 2162, changed the phrase “lawful contact” to “lawful stop, detention or arrest.”

However, HB 2162 only clarifies what constitutes legal contact. A “stop” can be legal — all that is needed is probable cause. As every person residing legally in the United States knows, probable cause can be anything from mud on your license plate to jaywalking.

So the problem has not been put to rest. The real controversy is that surrounding the phrase “REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN.” Arizona lawmakers have yet to clearly define what exactly would make a person suspect of being an “alien.”

So a person is lawfully stopped with probable cause present. What then suggests to the officer(s) the person is undocumented?

What Nodler and others refuse to recognize is that the Arizona law makes racial profiling nearly unavoidable. Both the plight and reaction of Arizonans is understandable. But let us be honest about the consequences their new legislation.

Picking presidents; debate commission controls candidates’ chances

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2010 at 2:15 am

From the time American children enter school they are told they can be anything they want to be — even president of the United States. After all, America is the land of opportunity where all you need is a big dream and a little hard work.

In reality, only those allowed to participate have a shot at the United States’ presidency.

I’m not talking about the vast amounts of wealth, Harvard degree or friends in high places one needs to be eligible. While a certain pedigree and small family fortune (or, at the very least, wealthy donors) are necessary steps toward the Oval Office, the most insurmountable obstacle is that posed by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

The commission was created in 1987 to “ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners,” according to its website. But civil rights activist and lawyer Connie Rice says the CPD is far from being a public service.

“The CPD is under the total control of the Republican and Democratic parties and by definition bipartisan, not non-partisan,” Rice said.

In Rice’s Top 10 Secrets They Dont Want You to Know About the Debates, she contends that the CPD purposefully shuts out third-party candidates.

“This is what I call the Obstruction of Democratic Debate Rule, which sets an impossibly high threshold for third-party candidates… Where are we, Russia? Isn’t Vladimir Putin wiping out democracy in Russia by excluding all opposing candidates from the airwaves during his re-election campaigns? Most new ideas come from third parties — they should be in the debates.”

Rice is not alone in her harsh criticism of the CPD. The League of Women Voters, which used to run the debates, withdrew its support in October 1988 because of the “campaign-controlled environment.”

“The League of Women Voters is withdrawing its sponsorship of the presidential debate scheduled for mid-October because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter,” League President Nancy M. Neuman said in a press release. “The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”

But hoodwinking is exactly what the CPD does.

According to the report, Deterring Democracy: How the Commission on Presidential Debates Undermines Democracy, the Democrat and Republican parties took over the presidential debates in 1986. The CPD was created by then chair of the Republican Party Frank Fahrenkopf and then chair of the Democratic Party Paul Kirk. Both Kirk and Fahrenkopf still reside as chairmen on the committee. The consequences of such partisan creation and control are devastating, according to the report:

“Candidates that voters want to see are often excluded, such as Ross Perot. Issues the American people want to hear about are often ignored, such as free trade and child poverty. And the debates have been reduced to a series of glorified bipartisan news conferences, in which the Republican and Democratic candidates exchange memorized sound bites.”

Even Walter Cronkite called CPD-sponsored debates an “unconscionable fraud.”

It’s disturbing that in a so-called democracy as America, such a dictatorial system exists. When it comes to selecting the most important person in the nation — and arguably the world — debates, and thus elections, are anything but democratic.