Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

June 29, 2019

Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Advocates Agreed! But Not For the Same Reasons

By Grace Moritabeautiful-woman-brunette-expectant-2100341.jpg

Last week, a woman in the UK was court-ordered to have her unborn baby killed. The woman’s doctors convinced Justice Nathalie Lieven to compel her to have an abortion because of her mental disabilities. The doctors believed that because she has to the mental age of a child, the birth of and care for the baby would be harmful to the woman and to the child. It was believed that the baby might not be cared for and that the mother would be subject to psychological damage in the process of childbirth. The baby’s grandmother, mother of the woman, joined forces with the woman’s social worker and lawyers to make an appeal because they all believed the baby should be born. Internationally, the public was rooting for the woman; it was even a possibility that the US would get involved in protecting the woman and her child. Many are rejoicing, however, because the ruling was overturned

It is significant that here, many on both sides of the abortion argument agreed that this woman should not be forced to have an abortion.

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June 29, 2019

Changing Life’s Course: CRISPR and Gene-Editing Technology

gene-editing-2375732_960_720Numbered are the days where having your “mother’s eyes” or your “father’s nose” are products of a genetic lottery. Since the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), methods to repair, replace, and repurpose life’s genetic code have become increasingly prevalent. Within the last decade, genetic engineering’s small beginnings have erupted into an industry dedicated to the manipulation of genomes. From increased crop yield to improved disease treatment, the applications of genetic engineering reach far and wide, but this Russian biologist wants to make it possible to choose what features you want in your children.

At the forefront of genetic engineering is a technology known as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, or CRISPR, whose functions could dictate everything before and between birth and burial. Through its widespread applications, CRISPR pushes scientists to set their sights on creating bigger, better solutions. Some scientists, however, have pushed the envelope of genetic editing by tampering with human life. Stories like China’s commitment to creating more gene-edited babies sparks contentious debate about the ethics of genetic editing and invites an obvious question: should gene-editing technologies, specifically CRISPR, be more heavily regulated?

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June 29, 2019

Kim, oh no.

The Kardashian family being in the news is nothing new. Positive or negative, it seems like every aspect of their life is a headline. The Kardashian family are the reality TV royal family. The Kardashians are an empire. If you live under a rock, the Kardashian family is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, if not America. It all started in 2007 when the first episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians aired on TV. Pitched by “momager” Kris Jenner, the show original followed the crazy life of Bruce Jenner, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Rob, Kendall and Kylie. Twelve years later, it’s expanded to include husbands, kids and close friends and still continues to be one of the most watched shows on television. Kim Kardashian may be the most notorious of the group. Originally known for her friendship with Paris Hilton, leaked sex tape with Ray J and numerous other famous boyfriends. Kim has grown to become a model, business owner, wife, mom and now “human rights activist”. It seems like Kim Kardashian is always in the news about something. 

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June 29, 2019

Why Reparations Don’t Make Sense

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Photo by lalesh aldarwish on Pexels.com

By Zack Chan

Finally, a topic Americans can agree on: Slavery.

Narrow-minded perspectives and heated debate are problems plaguing both politics and daily life, as we are led by a government driven by agendas and live in a society riddled with extremists unwilling to find middle ground. So at last, an issue we 21st century Americans can agree on; the horrible, evil, inhumane concept of slavery. And we end up here, celebrating Juneteenth, the day word of emancipation reached Texas, the day slaves were freed from the hopeless sorrow of captivity. A positive, joyous day that marks an end to the era of original sin.

But it’s 2019, so we still find a way to make a two-sided argument out of it.

So on this joyous day of new hope, we find ourselves engaged in a heated debate as to whether or not reparations for slavery are right, and if so, how they will be implemented.

In answering this question, I reference a breaking news story from Europe, as just this past week the Dutch national railway company, NS, announced its plan to pay €50m in reparations to surviving victims and descendants of the Holocaust. Further, I talk about a similar instance of Holocaust reparations by another rail line, in which the company announced personal liability, fault, and grief for the lives it affected. I cite these examples as well as statements by current US politicians to show that reparations for slavery in the US are both wrong and impossible to implement.

The question drawing debate is whether descendants of slaves should be paid reparations for the cruelty suffered by their ancestors. And if so, how much, where does the money come from, and to whom?

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June 28, 2019

E-Cigarette Debate on Possible Bans

Smoking is bad for you, period. No one can deny that. E-cigarettes were created as a replacement for traditional, harmful cigarettes. The use of tobacco started about 2,000 years ago, though it has been growing for around 8,000 years. Initially it was used to be smoked during cultural or religious ceremonies or events. During the 1920’s was when the first medical reports linking lung cancer to smoking tobacco began to appear. Despite these new findings, many newspapers refused to print these findings as to not offend tobacco companies, which were heavily advertised in the media. Smoking increased dramatically during the world wars, especially among soldiers as cigarettes were used as a morale booster. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that it became less popular when people became more educated on the adverse health effects smoking has on a person’s body. It has been predicted that by the year 2020, approximately 10 million people will die annually from continuous tobacco use.

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June 28, 2019

Why We Should Accept Immigrants

We have seen the pictures; we have heard the stories. Everyone knows about the crisis that is going on at the Mexican border of the United States of America. But what exactly is happening down there? We hear opinions, usually one extreme or the other—we hear those who share the harrowing stories of immigrant children who died in America’s custody, and we hear those who agree with President Donald Trump’s bogus idea of building a giant wall all along the Mexican border—but rarely do we hear what is actually occurring. So beyond the pictures of innocent foreign children whose lives have been cut short, beyond the intensely heated debates about shutting down DACA and forcing Mexico to pay for this wall, let’s take a look at the facts. The real stories. And in doing so, I will show you why America should be more kind and accepting of immigrants into this country; why we should not build a wall between America and Mexico, why we should stop these horrible raids committed by ICE (the US Immigration and Customs Enforcements), and why we should make conditions safe and healthy for immigrants waiting to cross over into this “great” country of ours.

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June 27, 2019

Reparations, but 100 years too late.

Juneteenth. June 19. This day in 1865, is the day when those who were enslaved in Texas learned that they were free. Both their physical and metaphorical shackles were broken. So, they thought. Enslaving Africans is what many Americans define as America’s original sin. From 1619 to 1865, those who were enslaved could only dream of a day like Juneteenth. Between 1619 and 1865, that’s 246 years. Generations came and passed and didn’t know an America without slavery. Many Americans thought that after slavery was abolished, that was it, life was great for all Americans and America’s original sin would be remembered no more. The years that followed the abolition of slavery consisted of racism, discrimination, segregation, Jim Crow laws and many other laws that hindered the growth of African-Americans in the United States of America. Americans think they’re doing a lot betterthan they truly are. 

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June 26, 2019

To Be or Not to Be: Gun Control

Gun Control. Just the mention of those two words is usually enough to start an uproar between those for stricter gun control regulations and those who want better freedoms. This unique issue has affected almost every person in our country due to skyrocketing numbers of deaths that have occurred because of these weapons. Although this is such a major issue many prefer to use these violent mass shootings to justify their viewpoint rather then consider the opposition’s view. This controversy alone has led to a division in the political world, and a division across America. 

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June 26, 2019

The Egyptian Silence

flag-1699424_960_720While confined in a soundproof glass cage, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, former president Mohamed Morsi, dropped dead during a hearing on charges of espionage against him. Despite his significance in Egyptian politics, many state newspapers only published homogeneous, 42-word news articles that were hidden within the third or fourth pages—sections that are usually devoted to monitoring criminal cases. Even the current Egyptian president has remained silent about the death and chose to praise the behavior of Egyptian fans’ during a football match instead of acknowledging Morsi’s passing.

The death of a former president usually triggers national mourning, regardless of location. State funerals are a hallmark of the United States, crowds fill the streets in Canada, and even communist countries, like China, hold nationally televised memorial services for their former leaders. However, Egypt has yet to formally acknowledge the death of their former president.

The action, or lack thereof, raises a crucial question: is Egypt’s indifference toward the passing of Mohamed Morsi justifiable?

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June 25, 2019

Vaccinations

This has been the worst year for measles outbreaks in 25 years. (LaVito, Schoen) There have been 1,044 cases of measles as of June 13th of this year. (Akpan, Dennis) “There have been more measles cases in the United States the first five months of 2019 than there were in all of 1992, when the last large outbreak occurred.” Europe has reported more than 41,000 cases, which have resulted in 37 deaths. 28 states in the U.S. have also reported measles cases. (Delulio) No deaths in the U.S. have been recorded as of this year’s outbreak. Luckily, in the United States at least, those who contract the disease rarely die. (Akpan, Dennis) Though, unfortunately, this is not the case world-wide. Federal health officials blame the spread of misinformation about vaccines. (Stack)

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June 25, 2019

The Elusive Answer to Sex Abuse in the Church

There is something profoundly horrible about sexual abuse. A woman may be taken advantage of while intoxicated at a party. A teacher may ask for a favor in return for a grade. Children may be molested at home. A woman or child may fall victim within their church, which is supposed to be a safe place. People generally feel disgusted at the news of rape, whether they can relate to the victim or not. Similarly, it should stir the hearts of all people to hear that hundreds of Christian churches are guilty of committing and covering up sex abuse.

A slew of cases recently surfaced in Southern Baptist churches. Thus, people have looked to the Southern Baptist Convention to remedy the situation.

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June 24, 2019

From Fingerprints to Faces: What Should We Make of Facial Recognition Technology?

flat-3252983_640Many of us begin our day the same way we end it: by cozying up to our device. Whether it is to check the time, snooze the blaring alarm, or catch up on the news headlines of the day, the instinctive grab for our personal device is more than a habit—it has become second nature. Our devices have grown into an extension of our body: nearly every occupation, including that of student, requires long hours of work on a device, and many, if not all, of humankind’s greatest modern achievements—think along the lines of the moon landing and the creation of vaccines—would have been impossible without the use of technology.

Without our devices, our livelihoods crumble, and without our livelihoods, life may come to a grinding halt. So, does it really matter if the technology we used to open with our fingerprints has graduated to using our faces?

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June 24, 2019

Chemical Castration Bill

On June 10,2019, Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama signed a bill into law that permits the state to chemically castrate anyone convicted of a sex offense against a child under the age of 13, as a condition of the convict’s parole. If a parolee fails to comply with this law it would be violating their parole and is considered a class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison with up to $15,000 in fines. Offenders are also required to pay for this treatment themselves. (Iati) Alabama is not the first to sign a bill like this into law. California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, Wisconsin, and Oregon are just some of the states that have similar laws. Texas even permits repeat offenders to request surgical castration. (Hess)

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June 24, 2019

No Pride Flags will be Flying on Embassies Flag Poles this Year.

President Donald Trump has been the most supportive Republican president when it comes to gay rights in history. He time and time again has shown his upmost support for the gay community and has publicly recognized gay pride month which is the first time a Republican President has done so. Due to all of this, it has come as a shock to many that President Trump has issued a ban prohibiting any US embassies across the world from flying the pride flag on flag poles during the month of June which is legally recognized as Gay Pride month here in the United States. This regulation is baffling to many Americans considering how strong-willed President Trump has been on promoting gay rights. This recent political issue feels like a blatant attack targeted at the LBGQT+ community and seems as though it has come out of nowhere; but then again, has it?

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June 23, 2019

The Vatican Educates Catholics While Erasing LGBTQ+ Community

The Vatican of the Catholic church has erased the existence of non-cis genders and sexualities through their release of the document, “Male and Female He Created Them.” This document, that was created on February 4, 2019, but not released until Pride Month, deems that third genders and transgenders are choices on gender that are taught to students. The document aims to help guide Catholic religion teachers as they taught Catholic members of the church about gender.

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July 3, 2018

Eye for an Eye

Criminals that commit crimes are taken into court where they face trial of either innocence or guilt. What about those criminals that are held in maximum lockdown? Death penalty is usually sentenced to prisoners that are either found guilty of murder, treason, espionage, or genocide. There’s lots of controversy that death penalty also known as capital punishment, either brings justice or is considered inhumane. Currently in the U.S, 31 states allow the death penalty and 19 states banned the death penalty. Prisons currently uses lethal injection, gas chambers, electrocution, firing squad, and hanging to execute. As you read through this essay, I will address both the pros and cons of capital punishment in the U.S.

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June 30, 2018

An Obstruction of views

Disclaimer *I’m well aware of the fact that the money and scheming behind this project may now be far out of the hands of anything our little governor can do, but a girl can dream, ok?*

Image result for the honolulu rail transit project

Dear Mr. Governor,

I would like you to know, before I proceed in writing this blog post, that you are making a very large mistake. As the governor, you must be highly educated. You must have at least one masters degree, and graduated somewhere near the top of your class. You must have spent years climbing the congressional ladders, observing right from wrong as you went along. You must have grown some sense of intuition when it comes to your job. Assuming the aforementioned to be true, you should be able to understand why I am completely befuddled over the fact that the Honolulu Rail Transit project (otherwise known as the Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project) is still being built. 

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June 30, 2018

Amazon facial recognition, yes or no?

Back in November 2016, Amazon had invented this tech product called Rekognition. This product is known for facial recognition which has an ability to identify up to 100 people in just a single picture (Coberly 2018). The Police Department in Orlando and Washington states have been using Rekognition to help with criminal investigations.

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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 this place called America, from Texas to Pennsylvania, you now only live in North Carolina; oh, and there are fewer 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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