Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Friday, September 17

Welcome to the third week in September! This week the topic for current events is up to you (it is a little tough to find articles about colonial America :)). So have fun finding an article that YOU find interesting. Use the same format, PROOF READ your comment, and do not forget to copy and paste the link to your article.



    [with references from /2010/09/10/us/10obama.html?ref=koran]

    Pastor Terry Jones annulled his church's plan to burn the Koran today, and the majority of America can release a big sigh of relief. After days of nebulous unrest from people across the nation and the subsequent decision to suspend his plan, Pastor Jones publicly called off the demonstration, claiming that God was telling him to stop. It appears that Jones wanted to negotiate a deal with Feisal Abdul Rauf, leader of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, to relocate the mosque to a less offensive area; unfortunately, even the decision to spare the Koran failed to appease him. Pastor Jones nonetheless announced that he and his church had accomplished one of their main missions: exposing the real and radical side of Islam.

    I honestly think that this transient event kept citizens across the world waiting on edge very needlessly. I understand the disconcertment and personal rage many Americans feel toward Muslims; however, using United States’ protection of individual rights to set aflame the holiest book of Islam is profoundly naive. Pastor Jones's extravagant claims not only misrepresents the respect and ideals on which the United States was founded; if his intentions had been dutifully carried out, Jones would have directed enormous danger on our soldiers stationed in the Middle East. Our class has learned and studied the responsibilities and duties of an American citizen; all of them imply loyalty to and protection of our nation. I am very grateful Jones chose to spare the Koran, because God was not the only one telling him to stop.

    Jessica Gao
    6th Period

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    BP Oil Spill: What Happened to the Oil?

    We all know about BP’s large scale oil spill. The results of the oil spill were tragic including the death of much marine life plus there could even be damage we do not know about. Of course, BP was forced to clean up their mess. Obviously, they could not have cleaned every single last drop of oil from the spill. The big question is, where did the large amount of oil they could not clean up go? Well, the answer is now a highly debated topic. After surveys of the ocean floor very soon after the oil spill, people found a layer of oil. In some places, this layer can reach up to more than two inches deep! Now, people are pointing fingers at BP, but there could be many other reasons why there is a layer of oil sitting on the bottom. Samuel Walker, an analyst from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, claims that people should not just start blaming BP for this because this could have been caused by many other factors. In the mean time, people are bringing samples back to analyze in order to determine how biodegraded it is. However, it was noticed by Samantha Joye, a researcher, that the “flocculent” layer of oil was in fact not present at the beginning of the oil spill in May. She has concluded that it has had a development time of four months, which incidentally is about the time it took to stop and clean the oil spill. Some people, like Samantha, believe that BP is responsible for this. While others, such as Samuel, believe it has been caused by other factors such as leaky pipelines or boats.
    I am strongly in favor of Samantha’s beliefs. The facts lead me to believe that there is a much larger chance of this being BP’s fault, while it is unlikely that this was caused by other factors. BP tried to clean up their mess, but nothing can be done with perfection, so odds are that they missed a large quantity of oil. At first, I wondered why this would cause a problem, but after reading the article, I was able to answer this question. The article states that this could pose a threat to insignificant bottom dwellers such as arthropods. However, it also stated that it could be a threat to other sea life that nests at the bottom of the ocean. I immediately thought about how some species of marine life lay eggs on the bottom and how the populations will begin to decrease due to the toxic oil. In addition to this, if there is oil on the bottom, then there is probably a chance that there is also oil floating around above the bottom. However, I believe that we should not argue and point fingers, yet instead we should just take the according action. It may be hard to get oil off of the ocean floor, but the time that is wasted by debating could be used to think of solutions. This oil will not go anywhere, nor will it stop causing harm, so I think people should stop arguing and do something about it.


    A major egg producer has been associated with a salmonella outbreak that dates back to 2008. This outbreak affected around 1,500 people. There were nearly 73 cases where factories have been tested and there had been a positive showing for salmonella bacteria. In some of these cases more tests showed that it was also a positive reading for the toxic form of salmonella that causes extreme illnesses. Last month there was a recall for over 500 million eggs when there was salmonella bacteria found in some companies. Some of these farms, where eggs were produced, they found maggots, flies, rodents, and overflowing manure piles. In some committee letters it shows that they had asked for all the investigations of the barns, but the farms failed to show the 73 cases where there was a positive reading for salmonella. Also the same company more than a year ago had a salmonella outbreak in peanut butter too. In this case the company had failed to wait for the results of contamination testing, and shipped the peanut butter out before it was cleared. This contamination caused over 550 illnesses.

    I believe that this is an extremely important concern because it is dealing with people’s health. These outbreaks caused over 2000 people to become infected, and it could have all been avoided if they were more careful and concerned with people’s health. The companies would rather earn as much money as they could instead of actually caring about the people that they are giving their food too. The thing that is really shocking to me is that in the first case they knew that it was contaminated but they chose to still follow through with shipping it out. Also in the second case they chose to not even wait to make sure it wasn’t contaminated and then just shipped it out before the tests came back, and once they did it was found contaminated and this then caused more people to become sick. This story just makes me somewhat worried about what I am eating and whether or not it is contaminated because clearly some companies aren’t telling if they know their food is contaminated, and this is something that shouldn’t be happening.

    Leah Whitney
    Period 7


    A Medal of Honor is a very prestigious award given out to very few individuals. THese individuals have done something higher than themselves. THey have risked their own life to save that of others. Since Vietnam, there has only been one living Medal of Honor recipient. His name is Salvatore Giunta, and he was awarded this honor just weeks ago for his brave actions and aid to others. On way back to base, his deployment was attacked form the front and left, causing many soldiers to be wounded. Giunta saw one being dragged away as a prisoner and risked his life to save this man. He did "take care of" the two Taliban members carrying off his fellow soldier and immediately started providing first aid to this man. He did not even realize that he himself had been shot 2 times, he was just looking out for his soldiers and helping them in times when they needed it most. LAter, after his return home, Giunta was surprised by a call from the president, awarding him with the Medal of Honor award.

    I believe what Giunta did here was truly out of good will and concern for his fellow american citizens. It did not matter to him how much danger he was putting himself in, he just wanted to save a life of one of his soldiers. I feel that this story is amazing due to the fact that even though Giunta was hurt himself, he still persevered and help others purely out of concern and worry. He didn't do this for the fame or glory, but just to be a good person. II feel we need more people to act like this, helping others and looking at the big picture. Often people are very selfish and just want to protect themselves, however Sgt. Salvatore Giunta really shows us the importance of helping fellow citizens and putting others before yourself.

    Cole Shoup
    Period 7

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    On September eleventh 2010, many people went to honor their lost family members and friends who died due to radical Muslims who crashed planes into the world trade center. President Barrack Obama went as well. During his speech he said that although radical terrorists will try to break the USA apart, he and the rest of the American citizens will not give in. At the end, he stated that as Americans we are not and never will be at war with Islam. This article also talks about interviews with lots of family members of the people who died on 9/11, and people were asked about their opinion on building a mosque on ground zero. Most of the people who were interviewed do not support this. It continues to talk about how Terry Jones has made a decision to stop burning Qurans forever. It finishes with saying that the intent of activists who don’t want to have a mosque near ground zero are peaceful.

    I personally find great importance in this article, because it covers many issues the nation is facing. First of all I completely agree with what president Obama said, although the radical terrorists who caused the many deaths in 9/11 should be caught and punished, America should not blame Muslims in general for this. I think that making peace with non-radical Muslims would create a better unity in America, which is clearly what president Obama wants. As for the creation of the mosque on ground zero, I believe that the mosque shouldn’t be built near ground zero because of respect of those who died on that day. As for Pastor Jones deciding to stop burning the Quran, I am happy he decided to stop because if he were to continue burning Qurans that would create more enemies of the US and no one should disrespect a faith because of the actions of some radicals.

    Basirul Haque
    7th Period

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  10. These days it is a highly common practice for animals on large factory farms to be pumped full of antibiotics, which serve "to ward off possible illness" after weaning and "promote faster animal growth." Now, however, after many years of discussion and argument, the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has plans to implement much stricter rules on usage of these drugs for health reasons. Among other things, the usage leads to the "emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria", including E. coli and salmonella. The potential ban is angering a number of farmers who claim that there is no proof that there is a link between sickness in humans and the farms where these antibiotics are used. It is likely, however, that consumers and the FDA will win out in the end.

    The food industry is something that has required constant monitoring during our country's history. About 100 years ago, journalists and writers forced an overhaul of the meat industry. Changing policies of factory farms is something long overdue. This closer scrutiny of antibiotics is hopefully just the beginning of a much larger reform. Our food is so packaged and full of chemicals that once it gets onto a dinner plate there's no telling how much has been done to it. I have very positive feelings about these new guidelines.


    On I-19 in Arizona, the signs are marked in kilometers not miles. They have been this way since the interstate was constructed in 1970. Now there is controversy over whether or not to change the signs to miles, since that is what all other interstate markings are. There are over 400 different signs along I-19, and they would all have to be replaced. If the signs are changed to miles, the exit numbers would be changed also. A kilometer is equal to 0.6 miles, so the corresponding exits would have to be changed. Oridginally officials planned to use $1.5 million dollars of taxpayer money to fund the project, and claim the signs need to be changed for "safety priority". Officials say they arent reflective enough at night. Several people in the communities surrounding I-19 want to keep the signs the way they are. They think that the signs are unique, and not confusing. The interstate is full of tourist attractions, and when the come through they simply are inrigued by the signs, not confused. A survey was taken and the majority stated that the signs should stay the way they are.

    I agree with the majority of the citizens to keep the signs in the metric system. The signs are unique and make I-19 special. Metric signs are used around the canadian border, and it shouldn't be a big deal for them to be in the metric system on one interstate. I am somewhat confused myself when it comes to the metric system, but even i think that the signs aren't confusing. All the exits are marked, and you are given notice well in advance of your exit. When tourists come through they dont seem confused, so why do they need to be changed. Town officials are so keen to change the signs to make the interstate more "normal". Sometimes "normal" is boring, I-19 is special, and as long as the signs arent causing major problems i think the signs should stay the way they are.

    Riley Hutchison
    7th period


    This past Sunday, a crowd of self-proclaimed "Tea Party patriots" gathered at the U.S. Capitol building for a march through Washington. These “Tea Party Patriots” who support the Tea Party movement, came together to protest out-of-control spending and excessive taxes by the government. Dick Armey, the chairman of the FreedomWorks group that organized the rally said, "There's only one power on Earth that is big enough to wreck this country, and that's big government." A large reason why these people are meeting is because they think that it is time for America to take back the Congress. Some people held up signs that read, "Less Marx, More Jefferson" and "Big Government is Organized Crime." Sunday’s protest was the second September 12th rally in Washington, following a similar event last year.

    This event is important because it shows that people are standing up for what they believe in and utilizing their right to freedom of assembly. This rally relates to early United States history because the freedom of assembly is in the 1st Amendment. The first amendment gives you the right to assembly and petition, both of which these “Tea Party patriots” did this past Sunday. I think that it is great that people are getting together and showing others what they believe will help the government. Even if I do not agree with them, it is good to know that people care about what is going on in the government.

    Andrew Cohen
    7th period


    In May of this year there was a bomb attempt on Long Island, New York. A suspect, Mohammad Younis, was released with many conditions and a few bail requirements until his pre-trial hearing later in September. One requirement is a $100,000 personal bond and accepting pre-trial supervision. The suspect, who is pleading not guilty for transferring money to New York for the attempted car bombing, is losing is passport as well. Younis was arrested on Wednesday for" conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business and conspiracy to conduct an unlicensed money transmitting business."

    I think it's ridiculous for a person to try and get around American security. The government has done a very good job at stepping it up and having tighter security. I don't understand why Mohammad Younis tried to help out his friends in bombing Times Square (if he really is guilty.) He should have been smarter than to try and go under the United States government.

  14. Recently there has been the creation of something called the Tea Party Movement. An article I found discussed the convergence of all these so-called "tea party patriots" in Washington D.C. Thousands of people gathered in the capital to protest, in their opinion, out-of-control spending, excessive taxes and a government that is simply a mess. The Tea Party consists of dissatisfied Americans who believe that our government has finally gone off the deep end. They believe that the U.S. government has gained too much power and must be limited in its actions. They want to get rid of what they call "big government" and return Congress to the people. Of course there are those who have a sense of disdain towards this movement and wonder where this whole thing was during the Bush Administration. As they marched down Pennsylvania Ave. Tea Party members encountered many such criticisms from onlookers. The Party was simply happy with the fact that they were attracting both Democrats' and republicans' attention.
    As a person who really isn't entirely sure where this whole situation came from, I think it's slightly ridiculous. People have never been completely satisfied with our government, that is a fact. We have always been in a significant amount of debt, that's another fact. So why all of sudden people can't cope with that is beyond me. Things are going to get worse before they get better, and to me it seems as if there's a lack of patience among these disgruntled Americans. Yes, we have a lot of issues and yes our politicians seem to only be fighting amongst themselves and potentially misusing their power. However, isn't it enough that we are steadily progressing to solve these problems? When did slow and steady suddenly not become the solution? I think these people are blinded by their fear of said problems. Blinded to the fact that we can solve these issues in a less abrasive manner. Our government knows we're unhappy and is trying to help. But it's hard to people who want to be difficult.


    Although Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida decided not to burn the Qur’an, the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, led by Rev. Fred Phelps, already has. The church holds protests at funerals of U.S. soldiers who were killed while fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. Many families of those in the military have been trying to sue Westboro that many of their offensive picket signs do not fall under the freedom of speech in the First Amendment. They also protest at funerals of those who died from AIDS or similar conditions believing that this is God’s way of punishing homosexuals and the right of homosexuality. Phelps has gone as far as to call the Qur’an a “300-page work of Satanic fiction”. The churches most recent action was to declare they would burn the Qur’an and the American flag (claiming the country is “doomed”) Saturday, September 11 at noon. All Baptist conventions have banned the Westboro church for their beliefs and actions.
    I strongly disagree with their views and the actions the Westboro Baptist Church is taking to support these views. They are allowed to have their own viewpoint but they should not be allowed to continue expressing their feelings by destruction of religious items of other religions. Also in the First Amendment, side-by-side with freedom of speech, is freedom of religion allowing Americans, or anyone in America, to pursue any religion they so desire. This includes Islam therefore Muslims should not be punished for their beliefs. Although this persecution comes from the hatred towards the terrorist group who hijacked planes and crashed them into the twin towers, the pentagon, and attempted to crash into the White House, the general Muslim population is not a group of terrorists waiting to strike the country any chance they get and they are also not a Satanic people.


    Kendall Simms 6th pd.

  17. Having the ability to be educated is a crucial need in many people’s lives, especially those at a young age. The problem is people don’t have an easy-access like others do. Last Wednesday in South Africa, they are starting to build schools for people who don’t have education provided for them. Many children in South Africa grow up with the absence of being sophisticated. Most young men like Gcobani Mndini, join gangs when they are young. “I joined the gang because I wanted to belong,” he said. Most kids thought it was how to fit in, but now that they are attending school they see that they can fit in with a safe group of people. Gcobani refrained from the gang life and started to enjoy science and to learn after starting school. Segregation is still playing a role is the schools in Africa today. Everyone should have the ability to learn, and they are fighting for their rights.

    No matter your age or where you‘re from, everyone should be able go to school. When kids are growing up with no morals and simple skills, they get involved in bad things to make them fit in such as gangs and violence. These schools are giving people chances to go further in life. The students are grasping their interest in learning and meeting a lot of new people that they are comfortable around. People are having opportunities they never thought could be possible, and it makes everyone feel accepted within each other. Each person in the world should not be put down on how they look like because everyone has essential abilities that can help out in the world.

    Stacey Cutrell
    7th period

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    September 11, 2001 is to date, the only major act of terrorism committed on United States soil. The terrorists responsible were on a jihad in the name of their religion, Islam. Americans now view all Islamic people as threats to the security and wellbeing of America. Due to this prejudice, the proposed location of a ground zero mosque has raised some serious debates. Muslim groups in the New York area are proposing a new building complex, Park51, to go up within sight of ground zero. Sarah Palin urged “peace-seeking Muslims” to reject the proposed location, calling it an “unnecessary provocation.” However, some argue that the government has no right to choose where religious centers are located, because of our constitutional rights.
    The 9th anniversary of 9/11 has just passed and I think that Americans are just now starting to recover. The memorial site is set to open by next year and an underground museum is set to open within the next few years. I think that the location of the proposed complex is as Palin said, an “unnecessary provocation.” America was devastated by the events of 9/11 and placing a mosque right near ground zero is in my opinion a further reminder of what happened. I think that there are multiple places where the mosque would be better suited. It is unnecessary for the complex to go up so close to ground zero. Many people consider it offensive that the Muslim community would put a mosque right near the site of the terrorist attack. However, our constitution does guarantee freedom of religion, so if this case goes to court I think that the complex will go up in its proposed location.

    Zach Visco
    September 16, 2010
    Period 6

  20. Logan current event 2
    Republicans take on mosque issue for voter support

    Lately the republican’s party has been taking on the mosque issue to get voters support in upcoming elections. Canites do not like Rick Lazio, who is running to become the govener has bashed his democated oppnent for nor investgateing sorces funds for the project. This recent amusement boosted the pools for Lazio and gave him an edge on democratic opponent. Things like Florida pasture Terry Jones threatening to urn the Koran if the mosque is not moved is giving the replicas an edge on there slide of not supporting the mosque being built. The short term boost that republicans might get might give the evade in upcoming debates and over all in the upcoming elections.
    I think that republicans are taking a side on this not just because they care about the feelings on 9/11 victims but to also give them a boost. This is the wrong way to win an election in my eyes, people should voice there options to help people under stand what they want and not bash things that will give them an edge in the election. The right way to this is to voice there options n the mosque but not accuse democrats on not taking aside or supporting the mosque. If this is done the republicans might be seen in a better lit and would maybe when the elections moral way.
    by connor randolph


    On september 9,2010, a gas pipe line exploded in a suburban neighborhood in San Francisco. The explosion killed four, injured 52, three people are still missing, and destroyed 37 homes. This disaster has effected many, and has called many people to wonder if this could happen again. Governor Schwarzenegger has requested a federal disaster declaration due to the damage caused. Recovery costs are soppoused to reach 10.4 millin dollars. The disaster decleration could free California of these costs. The gas company was soppoused to replace a section of the pipeline in 2009, but could not "afford" the 5 million dollars needed. Instead, the company put off the project until 2013. The company instead put their money towards a "higher priority project". The company reportedly put their five million dollars for bonuses for their top six executives.

    I think companies such as these need to be monitored by an outside source. They were almost were able to get away with what they did. What if gas companies all around America have put their money towards bonuses, and not fixing the pipes or monitoring the pipes? Disasters like this one would become more frequent around America. Gas pipelines should be checked routinely and should be replaced when they need to be. Disasters like this can and should be avoided if everyone does their part and their job. There is no need for this to be happening. If the company had indeed fixed the pipeline when they needed to, the pipe may not even have exploded. I agree that it was an accident, but there are many ways to prevent this accident from ever occuring again.

  22. This article is detailing the company Boeing’s entrance into the space commercialization business. They recently won an 18 million dollar bid for the rights to design a space capsule fit to take 7 passengers up to space. 4 of these passengers would be NASA astronauts. But the 3 remaining spots could be filled with people willing to pay an obscene amount of money to see outer space. They say that by 2015 there could be tourists up in space. This is all part of the Obama administration’s efforts to let private companies take NASA astronauts into space. That way NASA could focus on ways to help commercialize outer space instead of building rockets. However some senators disagree with this. They think NASA should follow a natural progression and develop rockets that fly to Mars and the moon.
    I don’t agree with the president’s plan. The estimated budget for these plans is about 9 billion dollars. I would love to go see outer space as a tourist but it’s just not very practical. First of all, you’re investing in something that’s not a sure thing. How do we know that these private companies are going to come up with space shuttle designs that actually work? I think this money could be invested in something more worthwhile like education or health care. Besides if we commercialize space, what’s next? Most everything in our world has been commercialized and I think we should leave outer space alone.
    -Zach Jansen

  23. Pope Addresses Sex Abuse Scandal

    The pope made comments about the sexual abuse scandal regarding priests just before he boarded his plane to Ireland saying that these accusations were coming as a shock to him. Many people, including those who were, and those who were in support groups for, abused by priests, said the pope hadn’t done enough to punish the priests at fault. Joelle Casteix, a representative of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), commented on what the pope had said regarding the failure to stop these crimes by the church authorities, saying that they weren’t quick to stop these crimes, but quick to sweep them under the rug. The pope was under the media spotlight as he made his trip to England, and it came with many scrutinizing questions about his disciplinary actions toward the sex offenders.
    In my opinion, the pope does need to do more to right the sexual wrongs of the priests at fault. There needs to be great action to counter what is consuming a faith. Instead, the pope just comments rather than taking the necessary measures to discipline the offenders. A question that was called to my conscious as I had read the article was this: “How has something like this gone unnoticed by the pope while organizations like SNAP even exist?” The answer is one of the following: there is covering up of the crimes happening by either local religious officials of various churches, he is choosing to ignore the facts because he is in denial, or the pope himself is trying to cover this scandal up.

    Original article link:

  24. On Wednesday, a police raid on a house in Baghdad ended in fatalities. As American and Iraq police forces closed in on the house of a presumed insurgent leader, shots were fired from within the house, and the retaliation from the security forces resulted in seven civilian deaths. Not all of the identities of the deceased have been released but four were brothers, all underage, and one had been a colonel under Saddam Hussein. The militia’s outline of what occurred and the reports taken from civilian bystanders were exceedingly dissimilar. The American military claims that they were only aiding the Iraq security force in arresting the suspects and they did not want any violence taking place. In contrast, residents declared that the police were firing at innocent people and creating confusion and turmoil.
    I think that it’s tragic that the raid on the suspect’s house resulted in 7 deaths, four of which were minors. American soldiers were supposed to leave Iraq after the United States declared the end of war on August 31. Despite this there are still 50,000 troops still stationed in Iraq. I believe that we should remove all of our troops from Iraq. If we were not still in Iraq these kind of things would be less common.

    Maria Miggs
    period 7

  25. Jay Htut

    6th Period

    An Islamic Cultural Center is proposing to be built next to ground zero in New York City. This article informs the reader about the heated debate over the establishment of an Islamic culture center next to ground zero. Arguments can be made for both sides. However, I believe that this cultural center should be established.

    Many citizens are saying that this is an insult to the memories of those who died at 9/11. Their thinking is based on the belief that all Muslims are terrorist. This, of course, is not true, and is based on the presumption that Islam promotes violence and warfare. However, some passages in the Koran, the Bible, and the Torah contain language that seems questionable in current times, but was perfectly normal in the times in which these texts were created. The religion of Islam does not promote violence, but there are extremists who practice that religion. However, what Americans fail most to realize is that there are extremists in every religion, including Christianity. To suggest that all Muslims are terrorist is extremely Islamophobic.

    Building an Islamic Cultural Center next to ground zero is not an insult to those who died at 9/11. Despite the horrible happenings at 9/11, we fail to realize that Islamic terrorist not for the sake of Islam, but for financial and political reasons caused this incident. The main source of wealth in the Middle East is oil. The U.S. has a long history in being involved in the oil industry in the Middle East. Osama bin Ladin announced that Al Qaeda attacks were caused because of U.S. acquisition of much wealth through the oil industry to the resentment of Middle Eastern countries, as well as U.S. support of Israel and unfair treatment of Palestinians. Based on these statements, Al Qaeda sees itself as a defender of the entire Middle East, defending it from domination and the loss of wealth through U.S. involvement. Al Qaeda feels that they are being thieved from and having their resources stolen to the benefit of the U.S.

    Lastly, 63 known Muslims were victims on 9/11. American’s should seriously consider whether they are at war with Islam, or Terrorism. All wars are based on money and resources, including this one. If an Islamic Cultural Center were established in New York City, it would give Americans a chance to reconsider the true teachings of Islam. By doing this, it could foster American understanding of Islam, and could lead to peace in the Middle East.

    Last week, a federal court in California ruled that the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy is unconstitutional. The policy prevents gays from serving openly in the military. The judge said that it violates the First and Fifth Amendments, because it regulates speech in the military. While heterosexuals can speak about their family and orientation, homosexuals cannot, therefore violating the First Amendment. She also said that the restrictions on speech are broader than necessary to accomplish what the government really wants to do. According to some cited witnesses, it also does more harm than good and creates separation in the units.

    I think it's a great thing that it was ruled unconstitutional. It's an important step in getting this policy repealed. "Don't ask, don't tell" clearly violates the First Amendment. It doesn't make sense that gays can be open about their sexuality anywhere but in the military. We should not take away fundamental rights from citizens because they are serving in the military. While nothing may happen immediately, I believe this is a good step towards equality for all.
    -Kate Boyd (7th period)


    Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of BP's compensation fund for those affected by this spring's Gulf Oil Spill, is getting increasing negative feedback on the inefficiency of his the claims process. Around two months ago, Feinberg traveled around the Gulf states mobilizing support for his plan after he took over the compensation program. He said that claims from individuals could be processed in 48 hours, and claims from businesses could be processed in a week. However, the program has not delivered anywhere near the promised results. Recently, he has again traveled the Gulf hoping to ease concerns over the slow response; however, many residents remain angry. A woman holding a protest sign at one of the meetings seems to characterize the public reaction well: "This is the longest 48 hours of my life [getting a claim paid]". Aspects of the plan, including the declaration that money earned working for BP during the cleanup effort would be deducted from claims, has increased the outcry. According to Feinberg, he has processed approximately 16000 of the 52000 claims filed. However, Michelle Brooks, a worker on a shrimp boat, tells a different story. Her personal claim has not been processed at all, and although the captain's claim has been "processed", he has only been given a fourth of the money he requested. It is impossible to quantify how many of the approved claims have been paid in part like this, but it illustrates that Mr. Feinberg's statement does not paint a totally accurate picture of the situation.
    I think that the affected people of the Gulf are understandably angry with Feinberg. The process has been so much slower than he promised that he even admitted it to some extent, if as an extreme understatement: "It has not gone as fast as I had hoped". Apparently, one major difficulty of the claims process is that many claims are not well documented, and their validity is questionable. Although it is necessary for Feinberg's staff to be certain a claim is honest before handing out money, it is equally understandable that residents are angry at the extremely slow work. Most residents do not keep detailed, legally confirmed records regarding the economic effects of nearby bodies of water on them, and most could not stand the expense or time input involved. Feinberg, as the person in charge of handling claims, certainly has a difficult job on his hands. However, he should have been able to assess the difficulty of it at the start, instead of making unfulfillable promises as he did. Some of the affected residents feel that this makes him a liar, and I don't think they're very far wrong.

    Shane Sater Pd. 7

    In 2009, the poverty rate became 14.3%, which is the highest it has been since 1944. About one out of seven people lived in poverty in 2009; one of five children lived in poverty. Due to the recession, many people have been forced to live in multifamily households. In fact, there was a 11.6 percent increase of those people. It is expected that the poverty rates will continue rising in 2010. Unemployment benefits have helped over 3 million families stay over the borderline of being considered to live in poverty. There is a trend of more young adults without college degrees living in poverty.
    I was amazed that the recession had caused this much poverty in the United States. I knew that the recession had affected us, but I did not know that it was up to this degree. Charity food banks have worked more days this year than last. Reading about this has made me discover how volunteering our time can help these families. It may be a little time to us, but they will remember it forever. People can't even afford to pay rent today. I hope that our economy can recover to the point where a significantly less amount of poverty is present.

    Nicole Chang
    7th period

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  30. Today, Senate passed a multi-billion dollar bill in favor of small businesses. The bill would award tax brakes and governments-backed loans for small businesses. Those in favor of the bill say that it can spark growth and hiring in business. The bill will now be passed to the House of Representatives, and, if passed, from there to the President. The bill would also create a lending program that would channel government back-loans through community banks.
    I think that this bill is a good idea. While big superstore chains like wal-mart employee hundreds, small businesses help to create more jobs and local chains in communities that are not big enough to have superstores. I think that by the government helping out small businesses, it is helping to give them the funding and extra push they needed to continue businesses, or help older ones.

    Jessica Batson


    Pastor Terry Jones has decided that his planes for Burn a Koran Day are still on. His plans are that on 9/11/2010 his small church in Florida are going to burn over 200 Korans in response to the New York City mosque controversy. Pastor Terry Jones has been told my many sources including United States commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus that the plans are foolish and will only cause more conflict. Gen. Petraeus is afraid that once word of this gets nationally exposed the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will be put in more danger than they already are because of the anger it will give the people in these areas. Pastor Terry Jones has already said that he understands the conflict it will cause but he feels it is still the right thing to do. The Pastor was asked if what he thought Jesus would do and being a Pastor and understanding his faith completely he still answered that he thought Jesus would approve. Pastor Terry Jones says he has received many people in support of this day and some have even sent him copies of Korans. Pastor Jones shows no sign of stopping the event so far.
    Personally I think the event is ridiculous and needs to be stopped at once. I think that Pastor Jones only wants attention no matter the kind and will do whatever it takes to get it. I hope that he either changes his mind or gets shut down. I don’t understand how he could think that this will help the controversy in NYC. It seems to me that this will only make Feisal Abdul Rauf want to continue his plans to build the Islamic center which by the way I think would be a great thing for NYC but that is a different issue. Overall I feel that all Jones is only after is his 30 minutes of fame on the news and I hope for everyone’s sake that he stops this event.

    Jack Haskins
    7th Period

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    Oil has been found coating the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico by a group of reseachers from University of Georgia. The oil layer is as thick as 2 inches in some areas. The researchers belive that the oil came from the BP oil spill a few months ago. They found the oil layers in places ranging from 2 to 80 miles from where the oil spill began. However, they cannot be sure that the oil is from the BP oil spill until they compare the chemical contents of the oil to BP's oil. It is not unusual in the Gulf to find oil in its water due to spills from other vessels and leaking pipelines. However, the researchers are almost positive that it is BP's oil because many of the sites with the oil layers didn't have them in May after the spill occured. "[These layers have] developed over the past four months." This is worrying researchers because some organisms have been found in the oil layers. This is a potential red flag to those bigger organisms who go the the sea floor to find food.

    I never thought that this oil spill could do so much damage. This conflict has been going on for about four months or so, but people are still finding oil they believe came from the oil spill. When will it end? It's good that they found oil in the ocean floor though. If nobody found it, the fishes that go to the ocean floor are in danger from being in contact with the harsh chemicals. This causes many problems for the fishermen living in the Gulf. They already have been having a hard time because a lot of the fish nad/or other organisms have been contaminated by the oil. Those organisms are impossible to sell due to their danger to us. The oil layer found in the sea floor doesn't make this any easier. Who knows how they are going to get the oil out of the water, and who know when the fishermen will be able to get back in the sea without a fear of not making a profit. This oil spill conflict needs to end soon.

  34. Peace in the mid east-

    Peace talks between palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued today and look like the topics are boiling down to two strong sides of which wish to stay how they are. Mr. Abbas threatened to walk out of the peace talks should the Israeli people not place a moratorium on construction of settlements, however this did not seem to be a standing issue as there has been no further talk and the contract is set to expire as of september 26th. Also, Israeli border control has increased and this has the palistinian demographic distressed and agitated.

    The effects of these new advancements could leave to some very intense and sticky conversations in which radical decisions could be made and minds could be set in ways that others wished they werent. The new border inforcement has been placed to stop trafficing of weapons to fellow palestinians in case of a war, however their leaders are speaking of peace at the same time... is this a bluff or could it lead to a sudden outbreak of violence and postpone peace in the mid-east? I also believe that unless an agreement about the construction is reached with in the remaining 10 days then the entire process could be a massive extravagant waste of time.

    Ian Hill
    Logan 7th


    In the mid-sixties, Lyndon B. Johnson launched a war on poverty and expanded government aid programs. At that time, twenty-two point four percent of Americans were under the poverty line and while today’s numbers are down from that, they are still sobering. After fifty years, fourteen point three percent of Americans live under the poverty line. That’s approximately forty-three point six Americans living with an income of 11,000 or less. The amount of people who were laid off from 2008 to 2009 considerately impacted this data, and the only reason that this factor did not completely deteriorate the work we have done, is the bare threaded cushion that the stimulus package has provided.
    As a world superpower, we pride ourselves in being the protectors of the young and weak. We send aid all over the world, spend billions of dollars in other countries when we are in debt, and yet we can’t take care of our own people. How are we supposed to fix the world when we are broken ourselves? One in five children in the US lives in poverty; and nine point six adults are unemployed. We every resource to fix our problems, if we could sit down and think all decisions through before throwing our money away. For the benefit of the average citizen of the country, we need to reinstate jobs and truly fix this crisis before we begin on another humanitarian mission.

  36. Thomas Nguyen
    9/16/10 p. 7

    Before the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001 there was a Muslim prayer room in the south tower where Muslims could come to pray. Mr. Sinclair Hejazi Abdus-Salaam would come to the Muslim prayer room to pray. He would see other Muslims like financial analysts, secretaries, carpenters and other jobs come to pray. He watched the south tower collapse with the Muslim prayer room in it. With the continuing opposition of building a mosque near the World Trade Center, not only was the Twin Towers destroyed but the Muslim people and the religion itself was part of the World Trade Center and it had been damaged. The Muslim prayer generated no opposition after a tower was bombed by a radical Muslim in 1993. People who oppose the mosque project at Ground Zero say that building a mosque there dishonors those who fell to the Islamic extremists.
    Even right now, this is a big issue. A lot of people don't see that the Muslim religion was part of the Twin Towers. It didn't make headline news, but it showed that America is a diverse culture. Other cultures have fused with American culture. I feel the loss of the Muslims during 9/11/2001 and even right now. People have started being suspicious of Muslims today because they fear they might support the mosque at Ground Zero. They just want to practice their own religion. One of America's principles is the freedom of religion. This is similar to what we are studying in class because although different religions learned to live with one another like today, the mosque project is similar to the tension between the Puritans and Quakers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony back then.

  37. This past Sunday a forest fire rose in California. This is the regions seconded forest fire this summer. The past fire began late September and was responsible for 16,000 burned acres and destroying eight homes. As of now the bush fire has grown in a fire stretching thirteen square miles. Currently the Fire raging in Southern Sierra Nevada has to put a good fight against fire fighters. A light wind a helped out the fighter fighters as Bulldozers dug firebreaks in the ground. Air craft will be key in this fight, says the fire chief. The main priority we have as of now is to keep the fire from getting near northern Los Angles. Authorities say that the fire was ignited by a car which was driving by interstate 5. Still no one is able to tell whether or not the fire was intentional or accidental.

    Earlier in the week heavy winds kicked up causing hundreds of residents to evacuate their home. Over 200 hundred homes were threatened by the fire, and close to 300 hundred other residents lost electricty as a result of the burning powerlines.


    Boeing announced on Wednesday that they will begin taking tourist into space. They will be working with NASA, to get U.S. astronauts into space since NASA will not be send any more shuttles to the International Space Station. They plan to build a capsule that will hold seven people, four space station crew members, and three tourists. Boeing was given an $18 million dollar contract to design the capsule. Flights could start as early as 2015, and they would launch from Cape Canaveral, the launch site at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida. At this point, they are ready to begin talking to prospective customers. Obama thinks this is a good idea since NASA's new budget doesn't allow for reasonable human space exploration.

    I think Boeing should definitely do this, since now NASA is becoming less about exploration, and even being in space, and just using probes and satellites. A lot of the space at NASA will jut become a monument to what our country once achieved. I think it's important to keep exploring space since if we stop then we cannot move forward. We could move forward in different branches of science, but through space exploration we can find new things and possible discover things such as cures for diseases, and ways to sustain the Earth. I think it's also important to keep U.S. astronauts working in the International Space Station, and I think it's a big mistake to cut NASA's funding.


    China is having troubles meeting its energy goal. They wanted to cut their energy consumption by twenty percent by the end of 2020. They are spending quite a bit of money on new green technologies, but because they are also making more of the less environmentally-friendly products as well, their energy use is actually going up. The main product that is causing this upward trend is cars. According to several models, China will reach 40 million automobiles a year by 2020. At the peak of the United States’ economy, right before the crash, we were making 17 million, and we are now reduced to only 12 million. As these numbers show, China is making a lot of non-ecological emissions. They are also investing in infrastructure such as high-speed railways which are extremely energy-intensive to make. However, China is still trying to meet its goal. Money is being put into developing electric cars and production is being cut in some high-energy areas. For example, steel production is being cut six percent.

    I think it is important for China to strive to meet its goal, however hard it may seem to reach it. We are steadily killing our planet by putting so much carbon into the atmosphere and depleting the ozone layer. The effects of global warning are already being felt all over the world. China, as one of the world’s leading generators of carbon emissions, must take a large role in trying help the environment. It is also important for other energy-intensive countries, like the United States, to work on keeping our planet clean and healthy.


    Earlier this year, a cartoonist named Molly Norris published a poster on the internet which satirically suggested that draw pictures of the prophet Muhammad on May 20. It has been recently revealed that Ms. Norris is now in hiding after having threats put upon her life by Islamic extremists. She has moved, changed her name, and virtually deleted all traces of herself from the world. The poster she posted grew quickly in popularity, and soon spawned Facebook groups both for and against the idea, and even gave the idea for many "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" events. Norris immediately backtracked and tried to shut down all of the controversy, making many apologies, and even joking about an "Everybody Draw Al Gore Day", but it seems that all of this was in vain. In July, a man named Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been accused of ties with Al-Qaeda, stated that she "should be taken as a prime subject of assassination". Ms. Norris' cartoons began to be published about two months ago, with her final one published in the September 8th issue. Norris has deleted her personal website, stopped responding to emails, and gone into hiding, in a legitimate fear for her life.

    I feel incredibly sorry for this woman and for Muslims who have gotten a bad reputation because of the extremists who spoke out and acted out against her. While Ms. Norris' comics may have been rude and religiously insensetive, nothing she has done deserves the reaction she received. Once she realized the stir she was causing, she immediately tried to reconcile, but that was ignored. She did not deserve to have her life ruined for such a small issue. I also feel incredible sympathy for the Muslims who have been affected by this happening. When extremists of any religion do, well, extreme things, the whole religion seems to suffer. Events such as this place a largely negative social stigma on innocent people of the religion involved, which is unfair in every way. In my opinion, a little more tolerance, understanding, and a basic sense of calm would go a long way with a thing like what has happened here. This small event never should have had such a negative impact on anyone.

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    Earlier this year, a cartoonist named Molly Norris received terrifying death threats because of a religious cartoon she drew. This cartoon satirically suggested that people draw the prophet Muhammad on May 20. There was an immediate violent response to this cartoon, and soon, a man named Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been accused of connections with Al-Qaeda, was quoted saying that Norris "should be taken as a prime target of assassination". As soon as Norris realized the stir she was causing, she immediately tried to reconcile, making numerous apologies to anyone who was bothered by her cartoon. Obviously this was ignored, seeing she she is now in hiding, having changed her name and deleted all traces herself in serious fear for her life. Norris' cartoons began to be published in Seattle Weekly about two moths ago, with her last being posted in the September 8 issue. Ms. Norris has deleted her personal website and no longer responds to emails.

    I feel an incredible amount of sympathy for this woman, and also for the Muslim people who have been affected by this. While Ms. Norris' comic may have been religiously insensitive, she did not deserve to have her life threatened because of it. Obviously, she did not mean to offend anyone, as she immediately backtracked when she realized that her comic had offended people. There is absolutely no reason for this one small issue to have ruined her life as it did. I also feel just as much sympathy for the innocent people of the Muslim religion who have been affected by this. When religious extremists do, well, extreme things, the people of that religion all seem to suffer, and a negative social stigma begins to be placed on them. I believe that a little more tolerance, understanding, and a basic sense of calm would hove done a lot of good in this situation. There is no way to explain why it rose to the magnitude that it did, negatively affecting so many people. This small conflict should have quickly blown over, rather than explode in everyone's faces as it seemed to.

    Kim Rubish
    6th Period

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    Just about nine years ago, America suffered a devastating, heart breaking tragedy; the September eleventh terrorist attacks. There were seven planes hijacked on this unforgettable September morning, two of which we remember quite clearly, from the constant video feed of the chaos occurring in lower Manhattan. American Airlines flight 11 and United Airlines flight 93, the two planes that abruptly crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center. The fall of these towers represents the only example of complete collapses of steel-framed structures in history. Today, Muslim people are pushing the idea of building an Islamic center and a mosque just a couple blocks from ground zero. Understandably, sixty eight percent of Americans oppose this idea, but there is major conflict because the United States of America is a place where we guarantee religious freedom, as stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Obama and many other people believe our commitment to this amendment must be unshakeable, while many believe it is completely wrong and insensitive to have a place of Muslim worship built less than a mile from Ground Zero, where so many lives were shaken and torn apart less than a decade ago.

    I’m very too sided on this subject. I believe that America is and always should be a place of religious freedom. However, I also believe that it is insensitive and rude to build a Mosque so close to Ground Zero. Why can’t they just build it a couple miles farther from it? Although most Muslim-Americans are fairly patriotic, respectful and supportive, there are many who are here to commit and invoke treason. After 9/11, investigators found that the majority of the hijackers had spent time in, or had close connections with, the biggest mosque in Washington D.C., and it’s scary to think that people are plotting terrorist attacks against us within our own nation, not to mention our nations capital. Another interesting article caught my eye that held another perspective. Why don’t Americans want the mosque CLOSER to ground zero? The Freedom Tower, which is currently being built on Ground Zero, will be a MAJOR target for those who hate America, and the one thing that might stop them from destroying the superior American structure is the fear that they may destroy their sacred mosque.

    Julie Wulforst
    6th period

  45. Ryan Rainey

    Recentley poverty in the united states has hit an all time high. 14.3% of American citizens are thought to be in poverty. The country is filling fast and jobs are very limited and the available jobs do not pay well. It is believed that 43.6 million Americans are needing financial help. The jump in poverty was 3% more than in the year 200. President obama claims that the census will help the situation but no matter what is said action needs to occur. The middle class has been stagnent even though Obama says he is making a larger middle class. He says after seeing this number he will increase employee benefits. The rate saround the country in poverty vaery but everyone believes something needs to be done.


    On September 3, 2010, Craigslist, a website that facilitates online sales, closed its section for sex advertisement. It used to have an extensive section for prostitute advertisements, but the site closed the web pages under pressure from the House subcommittee on crime, terrorism, and homeland security. Craigslist maintains, however, that they do have the right to allow clients to post sex ads. Elizabeth McDougall, a partner at Craigslist’s law firm, said this was a move in the wrong direction. Previously, Craigslist worked closely with law enforcement to cut down on the amount of forced or underage sex trafficking. Now, Ms. McDougall fears the site will not be able to help law enforcement, and the traffickers will simply post on new sites. Ernie Allen, head of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, says that Craigslist was just the start, and that other sites will soon be targeted. His goal is to cut off the traffickers’ profits and make sex trafficking a way to lose money, rather than make money.

    I agree with Ms. McDougall, in that it will be harder for Craigslist to help stop trafficking. However, I think that the removal of these ads is a good move. Websites posting sex ads should work closely with law enforcement to reduce the number of illegal transactions to begin with. Eventually, the ads should be removed and new websites should be targeted. This way, the number of sites advertising prostitution will decrease in an orderly, swift manner. The Internet has made sex trafficking easier, and sites allowing sex ads should carefully regulate them. This move by Craigslist is a step in the right direction for the movement against sex trafficking. There are 2 to 3 million prostitutes in India, many held in brothels against their will. Cambodia is another country in which there are many sex slaves. The Internet is one point we must attack, but we must also plan how to empower the women in these countries to have the same rights we women have in America.

    *Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn is a great book for anyone wanting to learn more about sex trafficking and how this worldwide problem can be solved. The authors have been recognized as Pulitzer Prize winners for their work against sex trafficking.

    Hannah Blackburn
    Period 7


    Park51, formerly named Cordoba House and commonly referred to as the “Ground Zero mosque”, is a proposed thirteen-story Muslim community center near Ground Zero, or the location of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centers. The controversy over the location of this community center has quickly spiraled into a national debate between Democrats (who believe that it is not within the government’s rights to intervene with the location of a house of worship) and Republicans (who claim that the sensitive location of Park51 is both offensive and even insulting). Both President Obama and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York have openly supported this project on the grounds of religious freedom. Conservatives such as Sarah Palin claim that it is an aggressive act and an “unnecessary provocation.” Polls show that two-thirds of New Yorkers are opposed to the project.

    I personally believe that this project should be carried out. At this point, if Park51 is not build it would create the perception that Islam is under attack. Due to the way the media has portrayed the “Ground Zero mosque”, a common misconception is that Park51 is exclusively a mosque. In reality, Park51 is going to be a Muslim community center that contains a 500-seat auditorium, pool, culinary school, childcare services, restaurants, and much more. It is interesting to note that there will also be a memorial area dedicated to the victims of 9/11. Only a small portion of this will actually be a mosque, and it will be run separately from Park51. Another important fact is that the community center will be located two blocks away from Ground Zero in a building that was once a Burlington Coat Factory. This building is not even visible from Ground Zero. Many people view this area as a “hallowed ground” and believe that it is insulting to build Park51 in the midst of it. However, I think that it is ridiculous to find a Muslim community center offensive in an area where there is an abundance of strip clubs, prostitutes, and betting parlors.

    Maria Yao, 6th


    About a year ago, we heard the shocking news that three of our own people traveled to Iran to go hiking. They were caught by Iranian guards who accused them of spying so they were arrested. The United States government was being hit with this breaking news. It was a hard situation to be in because Iran wasn’t just going to give them up. There was two men and a woman hiker. The woman, Sarah Shroud, was diagnosed with breast cancer so the United States begged to let her go. The Iran agreed but only her and they would have to pay a $500,000 bail. After a year, the United States paid and Sarah was released from Iran on Wednesday. Her fiance, Shane Bauer and their friend, Josh Fattal remain prisoners.
    This event is important because it’s our own people. When things like this happen people tend to sympathize then forget. I remember hearing about this a year ago but then never hearing it again until just yesterday. This relates to Civics and Economics because it revolves around government and how they deal with the situations. I think that the Americans could’ve been a little smarter in where they pick their tourist spots. Hiking in the country that we’ve been battling with for years is not the best idea.

    Ashley Dwyer
    7th period


    As most of you know, last Saturday was the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. On September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked 4 commercial airplanes and ramming into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. One of the planes was taken back by the passengers and crashed into Pennsylvania. The resulting damage was the loss of almost 3000 lives and the destruction of the two World Trade Center towers. All around the United States, people took time to mourn those who died and their families. Most ceremonies honoring those who died took place in New York, New York and Arlington, Virginia and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the planes crashed. Even England had a memorial service for those who died.
    However, this year’s 9/11 was marked by controversy. The main cause of it was the proposed building of a mosque near ground zero. A mosque is where Islam worship is practiced by Muslims. As all 19 terrorists were Muslim, this caused an uproar throughout the United States. A pastor from Florida named Terry Jones threatened to burn hundreds of Qur'ans with his church. A Qur'an is the Islam holy text. Fortunately, he decided against it and canceled it permanently. Obama also stated that Islam did not cause the attacks, it was al-Qaeda. This is not a good way to remember one of the saddest days in history and should all be put aside for 9/11.

    Mark Stouffer
    7th period


    This article expresses former mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani’s view on the ground zero mosque, known as Park 51. He believes it would “horribly offend” families and friends of 9/11 victims and should be built in an alternate location. Giuliani said that instead of sparking religious tolerance, the center would bring about “more division, more anger, and more hatred” towards the Islamic culture. The former mayor also stated that he was very suspicious as to how the Muslin group would finance the $100 million dollar project.

    Personally, I disagree with Mr. Giuliani’s position in this situation. I understand that it is a very soft topic for many New Yorkans and their families, but there are some things you just have to let go. I’m not saying that people should forget about the horrific event that took place at the twin towers, but there should be a point where people begin to accept the muslim community for who they are and stop blaming them for something a small group of muslin extremists did. Also, the “mosque” which is really just a muslim cultural center, has the legal right to be built wherever they please. I’m amazed this was such a big controversy in the first place.

    Cerys Humphreys
    7th Period


    This article is about the shocking victory of Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino, over former congressman Rick Lazio, in the Republican primary for governor of New York. Carl Paladino is a multimillionaire Buffalo native who was recently caught forwarding e-mails containing racist jokes, pornographic images, and many other offensive remarks. Despite the e-mail scandal, Paladino was able to energize Tea Party followers and other conservative Republicans with inflammatory rhetoric and an anti-establishment attitude. In spite of this surprising win, the September 14th article in the New York Times hinted at the ever growing possibility of a lopsided general election in favor of Democrat Andrew Cuomo, who is maintaning a commanding lead in the polls.

    I feel that the nomination of Carl Paladino has sealed the victory for Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo. Carl Paladino’s severe right wing opinions and his anti-establishment attitude will surely scare off the independent voters, who in the end truly decide the election. The independent voters are less likely to vote for an extremist, so between the two candidates, Cuomo is the more moderate. In addition, Cuomo has strong name recognition in New York because his father was governor. Even though Paladino’s conservative, Tea-Party-backed, attitude won him the Republican nomination, it will surely be the kiss-of-death in the general election.

    Brady Strine
    6th period

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    You are never too young to make a difference. A little boy named Zach Bonner began changing the lives of the people around him when he was just six years old. When Hurricane Charlie hit Tampa, Florida (Zach’s home town), he went around trying to help others in any way he could. Zach walked around with his little red wagon collecting water, clothing, and food for all the homeless families that had been affected by the disaster. This was only the beginning of Zach’s life as a philanthropist. A philanthropist is someone who has altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement. Zach is currently twelve years old and he has already taken an extraordinary journey across America to bring awareness to the homeless youth that lives out on the street. He literally walked from Tampa, Florida, to Santa Monica California. Zach walked approximately 2478 miles, and crossed over 8 states. He walked about 20 miles a day, and in his last mile, he was joined by many other followers. Reporters were so inspired by Zach Bonner’s story that they have decided to make a documentary of his journey. Zach says he doesn’t care as much about the fame he receives, but more about the cause he did it for.

    Personally I believe that he has an incredible story. It is truly inspiring to hear about so such a young person trying to make such a big difference in the world. I also think it’s so amazing how selfless such a young person could be! Usually when people are young they just think about what they want and not about what others need or want, but Zach is exactly the opposite of that. It’s amazing what things you can accomplish if you just put your mind and heart to it.

    Laura Musalem
    period 6th


    This article reports the latest news in the battle between President Obama and congressional republicans over the Bush tax cuts. This debate is not a new one (having gone on since the election in 2008) but now that things are start to fall into place, everyone has something to say. Obama states that the he is not raising the taxes, but simply restoring them back to their previous figure. Our president also insures that, those who annually make less than $ 200,000 individually or $250,000 as couple will not be affected. Rep. John Boehner of the Republican Party rebuttals stating, “Listen, the American people want to stop all the tax hikes and Republicans are going to continue to stand with them”. This statement left the Ohio representative heavily criticized and isolated from his party. Boehner’s comment that, “Raising taxes on anyone, especially small businesses, is the exact wrong thing to do in a struggling economy”, does bring up a good point, however only 3% of small businesses would be affected by the tax restoration.

    I believe that many interesting point are made in this article. I think that it is harmful when people to try to label the reinstatement of taxes as “tax hikes”, for there are clearing nothing of the sort. As for the argument that small businesses will suffer, well, since only 3% would be affected, how much suffering is that? One also has to think of the greater good of the country. Of the over three trillion dollar in tax cut over the past nine years, 700 billion of those dollars come from the wealthiest 2% of Americans. For the good of the country, I think that it would be proper for those taxes to be restored.

    Norman Archer, 6th Period

  55. E-Cigs: REALLY?!

    Electronic cigarettes are being sold to everyone across America. Teens are buying these electronic cigarettes that have flavoring and nicotine in them. Flavors include cookie dough, bubblegum, and popcorn. Health experts are concerned with the effects the e-cigarettes will have on teens. Some of the chemicals used in these e-cigs have not been tested and could be very dangerous. No one knows how dangerous these cigarettes could be, but they have proven to cause some side effects such as: dizziness, racing pulse, diarrhea, slurred speech, coughing, mouth ulcers, and sore throat.

    I think that the selling of these electronic cigarettes is a horrible idea. Selling these non-tested cigarettes with nicotine and other chemicals is very dangerous especially to teens and growing kids. Nicotine is an addictive drug and may get kids hooked in it. Even though the “smoke” is actually vapor in the e-cigs, we have to realize that smoke isn’t the only harmful thing in real cigarettes. These new electronic cigarettes are only encouraging drug use and addiction in teens.

    Tristin Van Ord
    period 6

  56. Brinklee Bailey
    Civics P.6
    Current Event #2

    My article was about the flooding that happened in Thatta, Pakistan which occurred earlier this week along the Indus River. Lots of people were misplaced due to this flood. Not everyone dreaded this flood though. One man stated that he was happy about the flood. He came from a long line of fishermen and was discussing how they had been suffering recently due to the lack of water. Others in the region did not have the same reaction. The powerful figures however want to build dams and irrigation projects to contain some of the water outflow and also to prevent more things being destroyed in floods such as this one. There have been discussions going on within the Pakistanian government about flood relief and how help is to be distributed, which could pose a problem to those who have less many and less say in what happens. Almost 100 years of some pretty serious irrigation done to the Indus River has made Pakistan a major exporter of cotton and food, but so much water is being used from the Indus that it is almost dry by the time it reaches the Arabian Sea. These floods are destroying fertile paddy fields and killing off costal mangroves, which are natural breeding grounds for fish.
    Basically I think that this situation is going take awhile to fix. There is apparently no way to stop flooding, but there is however ways to lessen the impact of the floods. Since this has been happening for all of these years it should become a priority for the Pakistanian government to fix. It’s going to take a lot of listening and understanding the views of all classes of people that live in that area to proper asses and correct the problems. I do however believe that this problem has been going on long enough, and it’s time to take some major action.

  57. Leila Doerfer

    Violence in the emergency room is common. Maybe people aren't satisfied with their treatment, or the treatment of a family member but that's not a reason to kill, beat, and verbally attack the staff. In an incident last week, at a Valley Hospital in New York, a man broke the leg off a chair and used it to beat a 53 year old nurse. She had to have eye surgery after suffering wounds in her head, face and neck. Last year a man wasn't happy with the treatment his mother was getting at Columbus, Georgia hospital, and killed one of her nurses and another employee before being shot. A survey last year showed that half of emergency nurses had been spit on, scratched, and verbally assaulted on the job. On in four out of almost 3,500 emergency room nurses reported being assaulted more than 20 times in the last three years. Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has taken extra measures and installed metal detectors. In just the first 6 months they found 33 hand guns, 1,324 knives and 97 chemical sprays.
    I know that some of the people that make these attacks are on a lot of drugs, or have a mental illness but i think that we should think of a way to keep the nurses and doctors safe. These are people whose jobs are to save our lives and keep us healthy and when someone kills another person, especially when they're trying to help you, what does that do? I had no idea that violence in the emergency room was even an issue. I also understand that people sometimes aren't satisfied with the treatment they're getting but what comes from killing your doctor or spitting on your nurse? I think that we should come up with a way to keep the nurses and doctors safer while they're at working in the hospitals.

  58. After 31 years of China's famed one-child policy, the Chinese government is beginning to rethink their population controlling theory. This restriction has already been lifted in five Chinese provinces where there are low birthrates or low population. Six other provinces, including Beijing and Shanghai, are set to change too, in 2012. The whole country is supposed to tag along and change policies in 2013 or 2014. The new projects, called the pilot projects, allow a family in which one or more spouse is an only child, to have two children. This is planned to be the new policy set in the specific provinces, in 2011.

    China's one-child policy was introduced in 1979, after decades of large population booms followed by a mass death rate increase. Since the population keeps growing, there are not enough supplies or necessities to go around. Ultimately the mass number of deaths is due to food shortage. The policy hasn't really changed since it was made, but it has prevented a total of 400 million births. The Chinese Government was likely urged to let up on the tight birthrate control, by the demand for more children to take care of parents and the distinct difference in the gender disproportion. It was said that China has some 32 million more males than females under the age of 20.

    Geoff Thomason
    Period 7

  59. The FDA said no to a new weight loss drug recently. The FDA claimed that this new drug, Lorcaserin, cause tumors when taken. Tests were conducted on animals, which showed the tumors, and also tested on humns but with no results. The pill also was linked to depression and high memory loss as well. This drug when taken seemed to work however. When patients took placebo they lost 2.5% but when they took this they lost 5.8%. Another reason this drug was declined was because no tests had been done on diabetics and sufferers of cardiovascular disease, two main groups that would use the drug.
    Overall I'm glad that the FDA banned this drug. This drug seems to hurt much more than it helps. True it worked better than any other drugs but we can figure out other ways to lose weight. It's actually kind of sad that these drug companies are making drugs as bad for the human body as this one when they've been doing this for years. They should be able to tell what parts of the drug would cause depression or tumors. It's also sad because of how manipulative they tried to be. By not testing diabetics and people with cardiovascular disease, they were trying to avoid more bad results which is bad science. Scientists should always work to make the best product they can and know the side effects, not hide them. The FDA definitely made a good decision here banning the drug.
    Alex Grosskurth
    6th period

    This aritcle is about a man who went crazy in a hospital in Maryland. The man was identified as Paul Warren Pardus, age 50. He was visiting his 84-year old mother in John Hopkins Hospital and became distressed at news of her health. He shot and wounded the doctor delivering the news and hid in his mothers room. After two hours, police sent a robot in and it detected no movement. Police stormed the room to find both Paul and his mother dead.
    Sam Freedberg(I have no idea why its pockyboy...)


    Hurricane karl has drawn in to the Mexican cost causing water levels to rise up to 12-15 feet, bove normal in the area of the landfall. Then there were two additional hurricanes,and in the a tropical trio manuvered into the open Atlantic Ocean. The hurricanes affected the Leeward Islands, Puetro Rico, and the Virgin Island.

    I personally think that there should be a type of system created to try and prevent the damage done by hurricanes. There should be some type protection for not only the landmarks/regions but the people that lives among the islands. Poeple have to go through a lot when dealing with mother nature while she takes her course. The government or the president should look into the impacts and damages done by these hurricanes.

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    The Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy is a policy prevented openly gay people from serving in the military. It was instituted by 103rd Congress as a Pub.L. 103-160 in 1993-94. I strongly disagree with this law because I believe that gays and lesbians have the right to anything their heterosexual counterparts have the opportunity to do. I hope that Obama repeals the law while he's in office.
    Here are some stats on the law: Public opinion polls have been widely varied in their results. A national poll conducted in May 2005 by the Boston Globe showed 79% of participants don't oppose openly gay people from serving in the military.[30] In a 2008 Washington Post–ABC News poll, 75% of Americans – including 80% of Democrats, 75% of independents, and 66% of conservatives – said that openly gay people should be allowed to serve in the military. An April 2009 CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed that 48% of Americans approved of the DADT policy, 8% believed that the policy was too lenient on gays, while 37% believed that the policy was too harsh. A February 2010 Quinnipiac University national poll shows 57% of American voters favor gays serving openly, compared to 36% opposed, and 66% say the current policy of not allowing openly gay personnel to serve is discrimination, opposed to 31% who see no discrimination. A CBS News/New York Times national poll done at the same time shows 58% of Americans favor gays serving openly, compared to 28% opposed.
    This law is disgraceful to the country and shows that our government is still conservatively run and don't know how to prioritize.

    -Jackson Wright, 6th Period, Sep. 17th


    There is political conflict in California in the effort to pass a landmark environmental protection, and the effort to oppose it. California has always been a leader in counterculture and liberal values, and this environmental protection law will only reinforce the Californian attitude. There is a growing movement in the whole of the United States for the use of reknewable fuels and environmental awareness, but in California in particular is where this movement is especially strong. Oil companies are trying to oppose this bill by claiming that the passage of it will only increase California's already 12.5% unemployment rate and raise gas prices steeply as they will be forced to spend millions in order to comply with the law.

    This is important because while it is important to think about the economy and the effects a law would have on people and their jobs, it is also important to think about the long term effects of what we are doing, and how they may impact our children and grandchildren. There are good points on both sides on this bill but those claiming that the bill will have a negative impact in the end aren't thinking enough about the long term effects of their actions, and how if we don't plan for the future and our children's lives then there is no point of living now.

    Liam Dalton
    Period 6


    The Taliban claimed to have kidnapped 30 people in Afghanistan. These people are campaign workers, election officials and even a candidate for Parliament. The elections are this upcoming Saturday. Gen. Munir Mohammed Mangar promises that these people will be secured and that there will not be any problems. The Taliban have also threatened to attack the polling places for the election. Police will surround these polling places to protect the voters.

    I believe that the Afghans need to put a stop to the Taliban in order to have a truly functioning country. I know that they are trying hard, but it is time that they asked for some help from other countries. They can’t stop the Taliban by themselves. The Taliban shouldn’t be able to influence people not to go out and vote by threatening that they will attack the polling places. If they can do this, it shows that they will be able to control the government of Afghanistan.

    Chris Barth
    7th Period

  67. Since April 20th, the situation in the Gulf of Mexico has been a mess-no pun intended. Around 200,000,000 gallons of crude oil has leaked into the water. To put that in perspective, imagine all of the Earth's oceans combined. If that were an Olympic sized pool, the amount of oil in that pool would be about 10 drops. That's not that much, but the effects of it can still be felt all along the southern coast of America and many of the countries isolated in the Gulf itself. The entire oil spill now covers a 2,100 square mile area. BP has scrambled to save face by mobilizing a massive response team of over 2000 people to monitor the shores, 80 response vessels to filter the water, and hundreds more volunteers to protect wildlife and offset the effects of the spill for local fishermen and restaraunt owners.
    I think BP has taken responsibility and done the right thing by busting their butts to fix the problem. They're really shelling out a lot of money to the coastal economy and should be cut some slack. It was only one malfunction that caused the entire thing, so BP should no be reprimanded so sharply. Although they should continue to clean up the coastal enviroment.

    Leon Pickles
    This article is all about the muslim center being built near ground zero and the controversy about it. This article deals with the Muslim-Americans and what they are thinking about it. A lot of them think that it is their right to build it there. On the other hand they also think that there could be a compromise and just build it further away from ground zero. Some Muslim-Americans also don't want it to be built. But nearly every Muslim-American thinks that they can't back out now because it would fuel people to try to stop other mosques being built.

    I think that they should build it further away but they can still build it. That way everybody is compromised. Also, building it so close to ground zero just sets up this tension all over the U.S. between Americans and Muslim-Americans. There was already tension because of 9-11 but with the center the tension would just escalate.