Archive for ‘National’

July 2, 2018

Mass Shootings and Their Effect On Us

On April 20th, 1999 the most shocking and horrific event in a modern high school took place. Twelve students, one teacher dead. Twenty-four injured. The Columbine High School Massacre was a school shooting that ten years ago we never would’ve forgotten.

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June 30, 2018

Plastic Pollution is a Major Problem

I researched plastic pollution to write a paper about how it affects the environment, when I was a freshman in highschool. Then again as a senior in highschool. 5 years later and I’m writing about it again. I realize all the information is the same, yet the situation seems to be getting worse. Plastic pollution continues to grow throughout the entire world, even to places where no humans being have ever been. Plastic does so much damage to our environment, there needs to be more of an effort to fix this crisis. 

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June 30, 2018

The Last Stand of The Not so Big, Not so Bad Wolf

afterglow-animal-backlit-247583By Kāʻai Fernandez

So, you’re an endangered Red Wolf. First off, congratulations on that; secondly, you’ve got some problems. Okay, “some” is an understatement, but I’m sure you’re not worried… right? You’re an endangered species; that’s a bummer. And even though you used to live throughout America, from Texas to Pennsylvania, you only live in North Carolina now, and there are less than a 100 of you left in the wild. You’ve been hunted, shot, starved and butchered; life’s been difficult.

And life is about to get a whole lot worse.

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June 29, 2018

The Next Gold Rush Won’t Be For Gold

The year was 1848. It was the Monday of January 24th. Anyone familiar with that date? Anyone? Well, it is not an entirely well-known date in American history, or history at all for that matter, unless you are one of the lucky people with an incredible memory for dates. Everyone knows those people. It’s the people who never forget your birthday even though you haven’t talked with them since freshman year of high school, fourteen years ago. It’s the people who know exactly when Memorial Day is versus Labor Day, because let’s be honest, most of us tend to mix the two up. Back to the point however, unless you have an incredibly sharp memory with history, you probably do not recall January 24th, 1848, so allow me to clue you in. January 24th, 1848 was the day Foreman James W. Marshall was working for Pioneer John Sutter up in Coloma, a town about an hour away from California’s capital, Sacramento. While working at Sutter’s Mill, Marshall found a shiny metal in the tailrace of the mill that he was building for Sutter on the American River. Is the memory coming back to you now? No? Well, fear not, I will continue. That shiny metal piece that good ole’ James W. Marshall had found ended up being the beginning of a hunt, of a quest, of a pursuit. For that shiny piece of metal was a man’s ticket to a life full of riches. That shiny piece of metal was gold, and it began what was called the California Gold Rush. 

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June 29, 2018

How Environmental Stewardship Saves Our Coral Reefs

diving-1808717_1920By Eve Berlinsky

Our current geological age has notably been titled the Anthropocene period. Anthropocene means “human caused,” and refers to humanity’s often detrimental influence on the planet that we all call home. This ranges from our impacts on the ocean to the rainforests to the atmosphere to anything else on this planet. There is little to no place on this earth that has not been affected by people in some way. For now, I will focus on the biggest and oldest thing humans have put at risk- the coral reefs.

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June 27, 2018

Keeping Families Together Makes America Great

By Eve Berlinskyposters-2590766_1920

As our country attempts to tackle the topic of immigration, there is heated debate from both opponents and proponents of it. On one side, we see those who believe that immigration should be reduced in order to provide jobs for American citizens. On the other side, we see those who believe that immigrants help better our country by diversifying it, among other reasons. However, it seems that the recently implemented “zero-tolerance” policy has gained the attention of those on both sides. Many people have seen the heartbreaking photos and read the saddening reports of children, as young as two years old, being taken away from their parents as a deterrent to those crossing the United States border. From these accounts, it is evident that this policy is a cruel, barbaric one. Separating children from their parents in a foreign country where many of them do not even speak the language is wrong, and America stands for so much more than that.

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June 27, 2018

Here’s Why We Should Legalize Marijuana

I read an article about a mom who had her cannabis oils confiscated at an airport in the UK, because marijuana is illegal there. However, the purpose of the oils were for her son’s epilepsy. The family has been using the cannabis oils to help calm the natures of the young boy’s seizures. The article says that after having the oils confiscated “he ended up in the hospital after his seizures intensified.” The cannabis oils were later returned on the grounds that this situation was a “medical emergency.” It’s scary to think that without the use of medical marijuana, people in these types of situations don’t have that kind of medication. This is why the use of medical marijuana should be legalized across the US. Don’t you think that if cigarettes are legal, then so should marijuana. Marijuana is illegal, yet is widely known for its health benefits. While cigarettes, which actually deteriorates health is legal. Does that makes sense? No it doesn’t. I believe that all people should have the right to all the types of medication they need. I know a few people who heavily rely on medical marijuana due to pain and mental health. I also have friends who use marijuana to stay away from their addiction to cigarettes and opioids. Knowing this, marijuana should be legal so that people at least have it as a use for medication. It provides many benefits that outweigh the consequences of legalizing it. We need to give a voice to the legalization of marijuana, so that those who are in need of its medicinal properties can have it. 

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June 27, 2018

The Bigger​ Picture: Why the International Space Station should remain in the hands of NASA

By Tahlia W.

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When I was a little girl, my mom and I would track the International Space Station and search for the bright light that shone as it passed us in the night sky. It was during these instances that I first had an inkling of the potential that human beings had in space exploration
if given the opportunity and resources. As a former Houstonian proud of the feats accomplished at Johnson Space Center and a lifelong admirer of all things space-related, I have avidly followed the contributions achieved through NASA’s research. The International Space Station is an example of NASA’s trailblazing work in space research. Recently, however, steps have been taken by the White House that would cause NASA to sever ties with the ISS.

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June 27, 2018

Supreme Court Sales Tax Ruling Could Bury Online Small Businesses

adolescent-bag-beautiful-919436Think about this. When you make a purchase at a store, does the cashier charge you a sales tax based on where you are from or where the store is located? Personally, I’ve never had a cashier ask me for my state ID in order to figure out how much sales tax to charge me. That would be ridiculous and inefficient. Generally, sales tax has been based on where the business is physically located. The business sector has been progressively becoming more technology driven. Some of the most prominent companies in the world only operate online. Companies like Amazon have really changed the business environment in this way. Companies can sell their products globally without having a physical presence near their customers. Clearly e-commerce has been a growing sensation in the world. E-commerce currently makes up for about 10% of all US retail sales. That 10% share is about $500 billion in sales and is expected to grow exponentially.

Since the rise of e-commerce, there has been debates in the US on how these companies would be deal with the varying sales tax policies in each state. In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that state governments may only impose a sales tax on companies that have a physical presence in their state. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overrule their 1992 vote. Now states are allowed to require companies with no physical presence to collect sales taxes on transactions.

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June 26, 2018

From Zero Tolerance Policy to Zero Tolerance Morals

barb-wires-barbed-wire-barrier-340585By Kāʻai Fernandez

America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, was built on the backs of the poor, of the hungry, of the huddled masses. This country of ours was founded on the hopes and dreams of a people who felt hopeless in the Old World, who traveled thousands of miles over open ocean in dangerous conditions, into the unknown, for nothing but a chance at a new life. And after its founding, immigrants came because America had limitless opportunities, because America had freedom, because American had humane, morally good policies for struggling immigrants.

Those humane immigration policies don’t appear to exist anymore.

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June 26, 2018

Deepening the Divide: How the De Niro-Trump feud affects our collective discourse

 

railway-1758208_1920As a student in an argumentative writing class, I have recently cultivated an appreciation for effective rhetoric. Fostering substantive rhetoric is an age-old art and is described by the great rhetors of the past such as Cicero and Quintilian. In their time, rhetoric was a tool by which an issue was deliberated. My study of ancient rhetoric led me to question the quality of our own societal rhetoric. I have observed that the quality of our nation’s rhetoric has slowly diminished as a result of the prevalent state of discourse in our society today. The recent exchanges between actor Robert De Niro and Trump are one instance of many similar to this but highlight the prevalence of empty, meaningless words rather than substantive, logical discourse.

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June 26, 2018

Trump’s New Title X Takes Away Crucial Funding for Family Planning Organizations

Screen Shot 2018-06-26 at 12.00.52 AMSomething I don’t think some people realize, is how grueling having a baby can be. The changes to your body and hormones, medical complications, medical finances, etc. If you don’t have the support and stability for that, what can you do? Some people say adoption, but just having your body change out of your control, and giving birth is something that isn’t easy to endure. Many people focus on all the positive aspects of having a baby. However, for many women who aren’t ready for that, it’s a nightmare. The fear of getting pregnant at the wrong time is why we also have contraceptives and places like Planned Parenthood. It’s to give us choice of deciding what we want to do. A lot of the funding that supports women and families in need are being threatened. Trump’s revision of Title X will ruin what was created to help people.

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June 25, 2018

Why did Businesses Destroy the “Head Tax”?

administration-adult-black-and-white-808424What picture pops into your head when you think about Seattle? Maybe it’s the wide array of scenery, like the Space Needle or the Puget Sound. Maybe you picture its progressive community. Or maybe you picture its thriving business environment. Seattle has shaped itself into one of the most sought out places to live. It is a vibrant, progressive, and modern city with an incredible business market. But, with such rapid economic growth comes a price. Homelessness has become an unfortunate upward trend in Seattle because of the increase in cost of living. Seattle has seen an increase of 4% in homelessness in the past year, and there are 8,599 people living in streets, in vehicles, or in abandoned buildings. A lot of people blame big companies for the increase in living expenses in Seattle. The rising rates of gentrification, income inequality, and homelessness is believed to have been brought by an increase of highly paid tech workers in the city. Houses that are located in King County, which is where Amazon is located, have appreciated twice as fast as the national average. People are being forced to live in the streets because they no longer can afford to pay their rents. If living in the streets wasn’t bad enough, Seattle’s cold climate and geographic location doesn’t help much either.

In response to this growing problem in March of 2017, the Seattle Council Board enacted a ‘head tax’ that required Seattle based companies that made over $20 million in revenue to pay $275 of taxes per employee to combat the homeless issue surrounding the city.

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June 25, 2018

Take the Turnpike to Failing Bureaucracy

bagger-constructing-construction-2489As a child, I found something fun about going over potholes; they’re like jumps after all—and creaking bridges and cracked roads make the world feel old, like life’s an adventure. But by the time you own the car that trips over that pothole and cracks a rim, it’s not fun. And when you pay taxes on the bridges that make you nervous to drive over and cracked roads that make you frown. When there is a lack of results from the private sector and the public sector working together, it doesn’t feel like an adventure. It feels like a horror movie.

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June 25, 2018

Trusting the Science of Vaccinations

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By Eve Berlinsky

When people decide to have children, there are many choices they must make regarding themselves and their children. These can range all the way from what color they should paint the child’s room to which daycare they should place their child in. These choices seem trivial compared to one of the most important decisions a parent must make- whether or not to vaccinate their child. In the past, the answer to this question was always a yes. It seems that only in recent years people have become less accepting of science and medicine.

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June 24, 2018

Amusement and Theme Parks Would Be Wise to Follow in SeaWorld’s Footsteps

Every month I look forward to receiving my monthly copy of National Geographic. The vibrant, striking photos on the cover with their intriguing captions and headlines never cease to capture my attention. This month, when I pulled my copy out of the mailbox, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the iceberg the cover image displayed. It was bright, white, and shimmering in the sunlight, reflecting itself onto the ocean surrounding it. However, upon closer glance, I came to the realization that it was no iceberg at all, but instead, it was a plastic bag partly submerged in the ocean with the headline “Planet or Plastic? 18 billion pounds of plastic ends up in the ocean each year. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”   

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August 13, 2017

Trump’s America: The Charlottesville Horror

TRUMP IS A DUMPOn August 11th, 2017, hundreds of white supremacists rallied together in the collegetown of Charlottesville, Virginia in order to spread fear, hatred, and bigotry amongst the people of the town. For the “alt-right” white supremacists, this was a rally against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. With lit torches in hand, the protesters also meant to strike a message to anyone not of their race and ideology, showing that they were rallying to take back America for themselves.

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August 12, 2017

Democracy Might Be Dead in 2020

ballot-1294935_640As President Trump continues to shock the American people in every waking minute, a new controversial poll broke out this week and, this time, it didn’t come out of Trump’s mouth. The Washington Post recently conducted a poll that asked American citizens if they were to support or oppose a proposal from Trump himself asking for a postponement in the 2020 presidential election that until the country can make sure that only eligible Americans can voice. The results are quite shocking as 52 percent of Republicans say they would support the move. Although some Americans may like the idea of postponement, I am highly against it as it goes against the US Constitution and goes against almost every American moral we stand by. The election may be three years away from us, but there should not be a postponement of any kind to the 2020 presidential election as the democratic process will be destroyed in the making in order to keep Trump’s title of the “leader of the free world.”

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August 9, 2017

Addressing Both Aspects of the Opioid Epidemic

depression-824998_640If there is one thing that every human has in common, it is the fact that we can all feel pain. Recovering from a surgery or getting injured could inflict chronic pain, and when the pain gets unbearable, many people turn to opioid drugs. Opioid drugs, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, are meant to treat moderate to severe pain. But with the rise of opioid addiction and abuse in the United States, are these drugs doing us more harm than good?

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August 9, 2017

Michelle Carter Conviction: Can Words Kill?

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On July 13, 2014, Conrad Roy was found dead in a Kmart parking lot. Roy had committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. However, after further investigation police found thousands of messages between Roy and his girlfriend, Michelle Carter, discussing suicide plans. In a text days before Roy’s suicide Carter wrote, “I still don’t think you want to do this so you’ll have to prove me wrong…Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself. I don’t know. There’s lots of ways.” Not only were they discussing suicide, but Carter was goading Roy into killing himself which prosecutors focused on.

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