Monday, December 13, 2010

Current Event 12/17

This week you have the option of either reading a new article on the topic of your choice and reporting on that OR reading a fellow classmates' post and commenting on their post. You all have done a great job finding interesting and relevant information over the last few weeks. Take at look at some of the entries made by your fellow students and consider adding onto or making an argument against their posted comment. Have fun and be thoughtful in your response. 


  1. Leila Doerfer

    Mother's that aren't able to breast feed their children, have started getting breast milk from other mothers that have a surplus, over the internet. In November the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) warned mothers against this process. The FDA claims that the milk could be coming from a donor with a serious infectious disease that could endanger the life of their child. One reason that mothers are tuning to this is because they don't have enough money to buy it from places like Human Milk Banking Association of North America. So women have been turning to websites like and These are cheaper alternatives to some milk banks which charge $36.00 for an 8-ounce bottle of human milk. One of the founders of Eats on Feet claims that their company is perfectly safe, and that some mothers have formed a network of trust. They say that a mother wouldn't put her own baby in danger. If she is giving her baby the same milk that she's donating, then it's most likely safe. Women have found a way to pasteurize the milk so that it inactivates the HIV if it is there. Emma Kwasnica says, "risks for the baby include exposure to infectious diseases, to chemical contaminants such as some illegal drugs, and to a limited number of prescription drugs that might be in the human milk, if the donor has not been adequately screened."

    I think that the government should come up with a healthy way to give breast milk to mothers that can't breast-feed their own children, I think it's sad that mothers are turning to something that could very well be threatening their child's health. I understand that they are only doing it because they have to, which is why i think the government should com up with a cheap way that they can provide healthy milk to mothers, so they don't have to turn to this. I think they should have Human Milk Banks that don't cost as much as they do now. I think it's fine for someone to get milk for their baby from a friend or relative that they know leads a heathy lifestyle. I feel like getting if over the internet from someone they don't know is sort of irresponsible, but i understand that this is, they feel, their only option.


    In Stockholm Sweden on December eleventh a bomber killed himself and wounded two other people who were minding their own business in the commercial district of Stockholm that just happened to be packed with Christmas shoppers. This suicide bomber was believed to be part of the pattern of Islamist terrorists; also he is believed to have been moving between Europe and the Middle East while he was planning his attack. The bomber, later identified as Timour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, was 28 Swede but had Iraqi origins. He had been living with his wife and kids in Luton three weeks earlier. The police searched both his house in Luton and his apartment in northwestern Stockholm suburbs. Right before the explosion he sent a recording that was apologizing to his wife and children for lying to them about the trips he had been taking to the Middle East, he had said it was for business but really it was for “jihad” or holy war.

    I believe that what this man was bad but it would have been worse. He really only impacted himself seeing that he committed suicide but only injured two others. I think that his message he sent right after the explosion was very sad. He realized that he needed to apologize to his family for all the wrongs he committed throughout the years saying he was simply on business trips. If I were his family I would be overly disappointed in him but maybe also a bit in myself. I think this because he made many trips to the Middle East quite often and usually they aren’t that often if he was really going for business so maybe the family should have been a bit curious as to why he had to leave so much, but then again I’m not blaming this on them at all. I think that Sweden needs to step up their police forces at least till this mess is all dealt with.

    Leah Whitney


    This article talks about the government slapping a fat tax on sugary drinks in order to get the middle class to lose weight. At first they were thinking about a 20% tax increase, but now they're leaning towards a 40% increase of tax. They think that this would provoke more people to not buy sugary drinks, they say that it would cut about 12 calories. In April NPR and Thomson Reuters surveyed Americans for their position on the tax increase, about 51% of more than 3,000 people surveyed either opposed.
    How is this suppose to help us, the people in any way? Really from my perspective this is a small step towards the government controlling the people's lives. I fear eventually the people may overthrow the government because of this. Soon it will reach the schools cafeterias and there'll be rules on how much sugary foods they're allowed to serve. To me this is implying that parents don't know how to raise or feed their kids. This act also includes sports drink, I'm pretty sure athletes, myself included, would be annoyed by this.

  4. My current event this week is about diets. Yes I’m sure we all hate them, but this might be a new way to stick to it. It’s called the Imagine Diet. It sounds a little crazy but you go about it like this; you imagine the food you want and pretend you’re eating it. Carnegie Mellon University has reported that while imagining to eat this foods it make you less likely to gorge yourself on the real thing. This “diet” sounds almost unbelievable, normally when you think of a food it just makes you even more anxious to eat it. Eventually as your body adjust to your minds thoughts of food, it gets use to your cravings and ultimately ends up ignoring them, this is also referred to as habituation. There was a study that was done at the Carnegie Mellon University the people in the study first imagined eating M & M’s and cheese cubes. They were then shown the M & M’s for three seconds and the cheese cubes for five seconds. For the habituation affect to take place it requires a lot of mental eating.

    Personally I think this diet is crazy. Whenever I think about food it makes me even hungrier. I definitely can understand though the adjustment of your body to your mind imagining food. I know that when I get hungry I feel like I could eat a cow, but as soon as I get the food in front of me I can barely eat it all. However there is evidence that it works, guess you can’t doubt science .

    Kendall Simms 6th pd.

    Recently discovered information has revealed that the Internet may not be as private as you think. Experts have shown that a lot can be learned person with only limited amount of information via the Internet. A searcher can find out all kinds of personal details about any frequent online user. This fact has caused many to believe that Internet privacy is dead. The availability of information through social networks and other more public sites has strengthened technological advancement but has also weakened the once hailed courtesy of privacy. Sites like Facebook and Myspace have caused people to become more and more comfortable with sharing details and information online. This openness has left people vulnerable to being hacked, having their identity stolen and many other inconvenient consequences. Social networking sites do enable users to modify their security measures with tools such as filters but these don’t always work. People have tried doing things such as creating accounts under a pseudonym, or false name, as an extra step to maintain their online privacy. However, it’s a popular belief that as long as long as online capabilities continue to evolve, users privacy will inversely decline.
    You’re constantly being watched as you roam the Internet, can you say Big Brother? Anyone who gets online should have no delusions have any privacy whatsoever. I haven’t trusted the Internet since my second or third year of using it. I suppose having the web be monitored is a given benefit in terms of national security so I’m not complaining. Although, we do need to crack down on hackers and identity theft in some way. Whether it be through strengthening firewalls or any other possible solution. People should realize that when they put something personal or private online it could be accessed by several means without your consent. So basically, don’t do anything stupid. I agree with the argument that as long as technology advances the amount of privacy a person can expect will decrease. It only makes sense that as we become smarter, stalkers and hackers will find more ways to get into our personal information. Luckily protection will also increase so that should counteract any potential online threats.


    Andrew Cohen
    7th period

    President Barack Obama signed a child nutrition bill that will completely rebuild child nutrition standards in the United States. It is mostly geared towards improving the nutritional standards of foods that are sold at schools across the nation. It will also help pay for meals that go to children in less wealthy areas. However, this bill does come at the expense of the Food Stamp program, as $2.2 billion are being taken from it and put into this new act. Michelle Obama was very influential in this measure, which sparked Barack Obama to state, in jest, "Had I not been able to get this bill passed, I would be sleeping on the couch.” It was such a priority for the First Lady because it was part of her "Let's Move" campaign that is meant to fight childhood obesity.
    This event is important because this new act will completely change food standards all over our country. The old system will be completely overhauled and, hopefully, the new system will help cut back on childhood obesity. This event relates to what we were studying in class because it is about the legislative process. It also outlines a power of the President, who signed this bill to turn it into a law. I think that childhood obesity is a problem that needs to be addressed in the United States. One out of every three American children is overweight or obese. I find this statistic incredibly overwhelming, and definitely think that this new act is necessary. It will cost a lot of money, but I think that we will begin to see results soon and it will be become apparent that it was a good decision to pass this bill.


    Connor Randolph

    This is a response to Kindles Article

    Recently there was a study done that said that 4,555 people did not qualify for the military because they were to fat. It also said that 9 million people were to fat to qualify to enlist in the army. The military changed there standards so that you have to have less than 30% body fat to qualify for the army. The military is worrying about increasing obesity in the America and something needs to be done about the obesity problem. With the increase of the video games and computer/television viewing there is a very severe rise in lack of education. Also 25% of children do not attended a physical education class. I agree with Kindles that there has to be something done to help obesity in America. Some sort of program needs to be built to help kids who want to go to in to the military but are to fat to get in. this program. This program would help them with exercises and eating right to help them move in the right direction to being on there way to becoming enlisted into the military.

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  9. This is a response to the article about the SpaceX launch posted by Ariel, Jay, and Zach.

    All three of them said that this is a significant historical moment, and I agree. Space exploration has always been something government organizations have pushed for and funded. The Space Race began initially as a part of the Cold War, with the United States facing off against Russia. Now, however, with the Cold War behind us and budgets low, going into space is not a top priority for the American government. To have a private company come in and fill that void is exactly what needed to happen, especially because SpaceX, the commercial Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, had NASA's backing for the launch. It was successful, and is a sign of good things still to come. I am personally excited that there is still the potential and eagerness to discover new things about the unknown realms of space.

  10. This is my response to the Smoking article posted by Geoffrey.

    Geoffrey made a great point saying why smoke in the first place. We have been given all of this information about how bad smoking really is, and we still dont avoid it. There is all this evidence of the pain it causes families, and yet people are willing to keep smoking because it is too hard to stop. My grandmother died from lung cancer because she was a smoker all of her life. I wish that the information was more frightening so that possibly she would have been more inclined to quit. So many people i know are either in a home with a smoker, or know someone who smokes. The statistics show that secondhand smoke is just as harmful, so why put the ones around you in danger also! There are way too many people around that smoke, and you think they would realize how restricted smoking makes you. You cant smoke in resturants, or in certain public places, so why is it worth all of the trouble. The statiscics show that more people than ever are in the hospital every year from smoking related causes, and about 443,000 people die every year. I dont understand why people are willing to risk their lives for something like smoking.

    Riley Hutchison
    7th period

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    Amid new controversy over the health care law Congress recently passed, which requires that all American citizens have health care, Judge Henry Hudson, a federal judge in Virginia, ruled that the law was unconstitutional. Two other judges have ruled in favor of the law, but this recent ruling, backed by the challenges numerous states have made to the law, seems likely to eventually push the issue into the Supreme Court. Although several cases have set a precedent of allowing the federal government wide regulatory powers over personal economic choices, some argue that a lack of health care, instead of a choice, is an inaction - and therefore Congress is not allowed to regulate it. Judge Hudson felt that this law gives the legislature tremendous and absurd powers over citizens. Its precedent, he said, could give Congress the power to make citizens “buy an automobile... join a gym... [or] eat asparagus.”
    This issue clearly illustrates the powers of judicial review that federal courts have. Although the Democrat-supported health care bill easily passed Congress due to their super-majority in both houses, it may yet be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. I think that this shows the necessity of having three branches of government. Without the powers of judicial review vested in our courts, this issue would go uncontested until the next election, although there are obviously citizens who are not happy with this controversial legislation, as shown by these cases. The judiciary's powers give discontented people an immediate outlet to voice their concerns, thus reinforcing the justness and responsiveness of the federal government.

    Shane Sater
    Pd. 7

  13. This is a response to Kendall's article about obesity in the military.

    Kendall makes a great point in that how can we feel safe in our country when those "defending" us can't run a mile in under seven minutes. Food companies everywhere are trying to sell us food. For this reason, the obesity and overweight percentage of Americans has skyrocketed. We are an extremely obese country compared to others. More than 4,500 people were discharged from the military because they were too obese to perform their jobs. Nine million Americans are too obese to even enlist in the military. This sickens me and I honestly feel that unless a major change is made not just to military standards, but national standards as well, we will be facing serious obesity issues in the near future.

    Zach Visco
    Period 6

  14. There has been a new surgery that has come out that can possibly stop a child from having any heart defects or specifically, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, or HLHS. The surgery is very delicate and has to be exact for all the problems to be solved. If the surgery isn't present, then the baby will be born without one half of its heart. A statistic says around 17000 babies are born with a heart problem every year. Several aren't lucky enough to have the surgery because it is either too late to spot the problem or are undiscovered and have no cure. The way the surgery works is that you need to have a very skilled doctor to stick a needle through the womens stomach and into the heart of the fetus. Kim Well was told that she was going to have a baby born with a heart defect unless she had this surgery. Very rarely does this operation take place, and there has to be a lot of patience involved. 15 weeks after the surgery, Well had her lovely baby girl. Hanna, at age 6 and only having two minor surgeries, shows no signs of once having a heart defect and is a very lively child.

    I think that this idea for a surgery before the baby is born to stop heart defects is such a good idea. It resolves multiple surgeries and doctor check-ups in the future. Although the surgery takes a lot of skill and isn't preformed a lot, once doctors find more and more information on the topic the operation will be very successful. I think it is a awesome that doctors are starting to find easier ways and more simpler ways to deal with something. They are preforming surgeries that can help several people survive. We need more people in the world who are welling to research like that and find new answers.

    Stacey Cutrell


    In response to King Htuts (Jay’s) article

    I am not lying when I say Jay is like my twin. Him and I think incredibly alike and our thoughts on this article are no exception. I find the idea behind the dragon (which is what the craft is called) to be very cool! Being the first commercial spacecraft to enter space and orbit earth is no small feat. Prior to this happening only 6 other nations have gone to space. However, SpaceX (the company that created the dragon) is not a nation or government, it is an independent company that received 1.6 billion dollars for taking a transport cargo to space. Hopefully soon it will be able to take regular people like myself. Its always been a dream of mine to go to space and this is experiment is the first steps towards it. Hopefully I will live long enough to see the stuff in science fiction novels and books become reality.

    Illegal Immigrant Students Await Votes on Legal Status

    Eric Plevy

    Recently, Hector Lopez (age 21), along with his parents were deported back to Mexico. His parents had come to the US when he was only six weeks old. As a student, he became the student body president for his school and was going to graduate. However, this had been foiled by his deportation. A proposed bill was made to prevent such situations, but people are hesitant to believe it will be passed. The reason being that the House is about to become a Republican majority. The Democrats would give their support towards the bill, but the Republicans are thought to disagree with this bill and might not let it pass.
    Basically, I agree with Norman on every aspect. The article had mentioned that Hector does not know any Spanish whatsoever. What difference would it make if we deported a natural born citizen from a six week old immigrant? There would not be a difference except for the fact that you can not deport a citizen. Well, Hector does not remember the slightest bit about Mexico; after all, he grew up in the United States. I agreed with how Norman stated how ethnicity and culture are two separate subjects. I also agreed with how Norman emphasized his success as a student and the absurdity of Hector’s deportation. Overall, I think that this bill should be passed. Honestly, as I said before, there is little to no difference between deporting a man like Hector and deporting an American citizen. Also, as we talked about earlier in the year, the child should not be punished for his or her parents’ mishaps.

  17. In Response to Leila doerfer’s blog:

    In Chicago, a 15 year old boy was found guilty for the murder of an innocent 16 year old. I find it terrible that this sort of thing is happening in the country in which I reside. The fact that teenagers are able to murder a peer with their bare hands and not feel guilty about it astonishes me, and I blame the coldness of this crime on society. Media and society brainwash boys from the day they are born. Through action figures, violent video games, action movies, etc., boys are taught at a young age to be tough, emotionless, and anything other than that would be ridiculed. I’m glad the court system did such a quality job in convicting the boy for the horrible crime he committed. But there is just one thing I believe they should have done better; tried the other kids who were involved in the gang fight and in the murder of the boy.

    Cerys Humphreys
    7th period

  18. Geoff Thomason – Period 7 – This is a response to Kate’s article.

    Kate did a great job analyzing the pros and cons of the new bill, concerning the children of illegal immigrants. She was also very expressive of her opinion in supporting the Democrats, who are all for the new bill. I agree with everything that Kate said, and everything the Democrats stand for, but I also agree with the Republicans. The Republicans believe that these new benefits for the children of illegal immigrants, will encourage and motivate more people to immigrate illegally, while the Democrats think that this will mainly encourage the immigrants that are already here to give back to America by serving in the military and receiving a higher level of education. I think that a compromise is needed, if the bill is going to be passed by the Senate. All of the benefits towards immigrants should remain, but there must be a more firm restriction on the control of illegal immigration. This would help the immigrants that are already here, help the specific category of immigrants yet to come, and wouldn’t apply to some immigrants. That way, population doesn’t inflate, and everyone is benefitted.

  19. I am commenting on Leila's current event about mothers shareing of breast milk. The article was talking about if it was a good idea or even better healthy for mothers to do it. In my opinion every mother is differnt and if they are not able to give there babies milk. Then they can find some other way to feed then. Because some dont want to give powder formula. I belive if they can do what ever they want, if they think is safet then by all means go head and do it.

  20. This Wednesday,the Senate approved the $858 billion tax bill that negotiated by the White House and republican leaders.This approved plan is the one with the compromise of both democrats and republicans,that democrats agreed to continue the Bush-era tax plan and republicans agreed to back up a huge group of people that might also get benefits.The democrats in the House would like to see it get approved this week,even though some of them are still trying to make the changes on the bill that to increase the tax amount of people of wealthy class,republicans do not want to make any changes.They believe that everything else can wait but this,Mr.Mcconnell called on democrats to stop spending measure and leave them for the year,because passing the tax legislation will help accomplishing the most basic function of government.
    I can call this bill is going to be an accomplishment if it becomes a law,because it's established and based on the compromise,agreement and cooperation of democrats and republicans.This tax measure will benefit a lot of people and might decrease the unemployment of the U.S. and give its benefits for at least 26 weeks.I also like the part of the bill that contains the continuing of a college tuition credit for some families,and an expanded child tax credit and an earned income tax credit,because they all decrease the social pressure of people who are under unemployment and poor-family condition,etc.

    Jessica Yin
    7th. period

  21. (

    On Tuesday morning Elizabeth Edwards who is the wife of former senator John Edwards passed away in Chapel Hill at her home, surrounded by relatives. She was 61 years old. Her cancer had spread to her liver on Monday when she posted a facebook status saying “I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces — my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope.” Mrs Edward was an accomplished lawyer but fought through many difficulties in her life such as the death of her 16 year old son, getting cancer at 55, and Mr Edwards having an extramarital affair. The article goes on to talk about John Edwards affairs and how Mrs Edwards handled the situation, but as of right now, she rests in peace.
    I think that this loss is very unfortunate to the Edwards family, and the world in general. Mrs Edwards was a good human being. She was very strong to have been fighting cancer for 6 years while also going through the many losses and tough experiences in her life. Its inspiring to see what this woman has gone through and how she stayed tough throughout the years. It is saddening to see that she has lost her battle against cancer.

    Basriul Haque
    7th period)

    Jay Htut
    6th Period Civics

    If you cannot tell, i am responding to

    "Brosirules Hawks", (cousin of Tony Hawk)

    amazing post about an amazing women that i am sure the world will truly miss. When i think of Elizabeth Edwards, i think of a strong and compassionate woman who does not deserve to be cheated by that douche bag. As a matter of fact, I applaud her efforts in her fight against cancer. However, due to the recent drama that has happened in the Edwards family, i think that was her final straw. Despite of all the drama involved, i only hope that people will remember her for who she truly is, an amazing woman that should deserve recognition for her fight against cancer. In addition, Elizabeth Edwards has inspired me very specially. If i should ever develop breast cancer, i will fight and persevere like Elizabeth did.


    I agree with Leah Whitney that these discounts should not have been given and then just taken away. The article made it sound like this was started with general hospitals, then broadened to children's hospitals. I think if discounts should be taken away, it should be from the general hospitals. I'm not trying to sound like a cruel person but they are children and they are the future of the country; should they not be more cared for? Congress should at least have found a way to only decrease the discount, but taking it away altogether, especially since it was up to 50% off, is a drastic change that is hard to cope with when it happens so suddenly. There are ways, such as decreasing the discount a little at a time, to prevent such a blow to the children's hospitals.

    Jacob Harris
    7th Period


    Experiments at Carnegie Mellon University have shown real evidence that the Imagine Diet may be worth recognizing. The Imagine Diet does not involve eating healthy foods or exercising; simply imagining the desired foods is enough. For example, if you have a craving for M&Ms you would imagine eating the M&M's one by one until you no longer wish to eat them, or as many of them. This effect is called "habituation". In other words, you lose your appetite for a certain food as you eat it. You probably do not want to eat the same meal you ate for breakfast for lunch, because you have habituated to it. The Imagine Diet might be useful for other things as well. If smokers imagined smoking cigarettes, would they want them as much? The same goes for other addictive substances.

    I think that the Imagine Diet is extremely silly and a terrible weight loss method. I tried to keep myself from eating some chocolate covered raisins by imagining eating them one by one, and I just wanted them even more. In fact, I probably ate more chocolate covered raisins than I would have if I did not think about them so much. America's obesity problem is not going to end with imagination; exercise and a healthy diet is a more reliable, consistent method.


    On Tuesday night, 56 year-old Clay Duke killed himself after barging into a Florida school board meeting and firing shots at the board members. Just minutes after a public award ceremony at the meeting had ended, Duke ran into the nearly empty room, spray painted a large, red V with a circle enclosing it on the side wall, and held his gun at firing position toward superintendent Bill Husfelt. Duke proceeded to speak about taxes and the school system's laying off of his wife, who was a special education teacher at an elementary school. He commanded the female board members to leave, and superintendent Husfelt attempted to negotiate with the gunman. After firing many unsuccessful shots at the board members, a security guard wounded him. Duke fired his last shot at himself; it was the only bullet from his gun that pierced human flesh. Duke's wife, Rebecca Duke, acknowledged that what he did was wrong. However, she injected tearfully that her husband was a "gentle giant," and had only acted out of helplessness and frustration.

    I first saw coverage of this event on ABC World News on Wednesday. Hearing such an unfortunate happening in a completely mundane school board meeting shocked me; I recently attended a school board meeting, and I could not imagine myself, or anyone who was also present, being faced with such a life-threatening experience. I find it amazing that the school board members remained calm and outwardly collected throughout the eight-minute exchange. Though the shooting could not have been prevented, everyone made it home safety and Clay Duke ultimately killed himself. I am grateful for the survival of all the school board members, but I am mournful for the loss of Rebecca Duke as well.

    Jessica Gao
    6th Period

  25. This is a response to Leila Doerfer’s current event on breast milk. She found an article that said that many women that are unable to breast feed their children have begun to get milk from websites that sell other women’s surplus milk. I agree with her that this is not a good trend. Our FDA regulations are there for a reason. This milk is potentially very dangerous for the newborns that are consuming it. Young babies are much more susceptible to disease because their immune system is not built up yet. The FDA has warned that the milk may carry infectious diseases. The mothers should not have to put their babies at such high risk. There needs to be a cheap way for parents to get milk for their children.

    Chiara Salemi

    Senators Have Votes, if Time Permits, to Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
    The articles address the possible repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. It appears that sixty one senators have expressed support for repealing the military policy. If democrats can bring the bill (to repeal DADT) to a vote before the holidays there is a definite chance of that it will be passed. Several Republican senators announced that they were “ready to vote in favor of a stand-alone bill that would repeal the long standing policy”. The Senators include Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine. Despite their statements, Republicans continue their pledge to block all legislatures until an agreement on the tax-cuts is reached.
    I really hope that DADT is repealed. I think that the policy is absolutely absurd because it prejudice toward homosexuals. This is the land of free, and if you have to lie about how you are to be part of it, then how free is it really? How can the armed services deny perfectly good soldiers because they are gay? That is complete discrimination. As long as the United States continues to discriminate gays, we have no right to say we have social equality.

  27. In response to Ariel Gunn
    On December 8th, a rocket was launched by a private company called Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (or SpaceX), into space. The rocket orbited Earth twice before it landed into the waters west of northern Mexico. Its purpose was to give NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) a demonstration that the capsule could ferry cargo and maybe even astronauts later to the International Space Station. The private company had signed a contract with NASA before it had launched the capsule. NASA was shocked by how well the rocket flew and the safety of it and is considering using this model (the Dragon Capsule) instead of the model (the Orion capsule) that it was using before.
    I agree with Ariel that is a major accomplishment. It’s really interesting to see a private company putting a forth a model instead of the government. It’s a big step towards exploring the outer realms of space that the people, not the government, are using technology to move us forward as a society. It is important for us to do this kind of thing because we (the people) are polluting the Earth and we need more options to our future instead of just the Earth.
    Jenny Vaughn
    Period 6

  28. This is a response to Eric's article

    The article that Eric was talking about was of a 21 year old named Hector Lopez. He and his family were deported to Mexico after many years living in the United States. Hector and his family came to the U.S. when Hector was only six months old, and he has fully assimilated into American culture. He was a successful student and a responsible individual and doesn't deserve this treatment. I agree with Eric who believes that the law needs to be passed to allow Hector and his family to live in America. He was only a baby when came here and although his parents are illegal immigrants they just wanted a better life for their son.

    Maria Miggs
    p. 7


    Many Republican senators are complaining about the fact that they cannot be home for the holidays. They claim that the fact that they are to work is disrespectful to one of the two holiest holidays for Christians. Majority Leader, Harry Reid, begs to differ. He says that, "some of my Republican colleagues have the nerve to whine about having to stay in action to do the work American people pay us to do. We could work, as most Americans do, during the holidays." He even adds that maybe they, the senators complaining, have been in Washington for too long. Republican senator, DeMint (South Carolina), thinks that the Democrats are just trying to get the things on the agenda that voters disapprove of passed without the voters noticing at all. Some of the issues on the agenda includes:$1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which is to be a nuclear arms agreement with Russia. Republican senators wish to delay the voting until the new session of Congress is sworn in while the Democratic senators wish to pass it before they leave.

    I agree with Majority Leader, Harry Reid. Many families out in the nation only get a brief moment to celebrate Christmas together because many parents have to go to work on Christmas. It's not fair to those families, but someone has to work at some workplaces at all times. Soldiers also can't come home for the holidays. The senators should be willing to sacrifice their holiday to help us. Everyone knows that nothing is going to pass in Congress when the new Congress is sworn in. It is going to be impossible to compromise between the two parties. Just look at how long the compromise process took on the tax cuts. The Democrats finally agreed with the compromise that was made in order to get the other issues on the agenda passed. However, the Republicans still refuse to do anything else. They should be willing to help the people. Like Majority Leader, Harry Reid, said, taxpayers, our parents, pay for them to do their jobs. They should do it even if it means working during the holidays.

    Jenny Jin
    7th period

  30. Thomas Nguyen
    12.16.10 Period 7

    The Federal Reserve was ordered by Congress to look at the fees to process debit card transactions. They have proposed new rules to cut down on the transaction fees. Analysts from Wall Street expected that the Federal Reserve's rule would cut the fee by 50%. Instead, the Reserve calls for the fees to be cut by as much as 90%. If the law is adopted, card providers such as Visa and MasterCard would lose billions of dollars in revenue. Their shares dropped down by 12% today. The Reserve also wants to limit the interchange fees by 7-12 cents. Currently, the debit card processing fees average to about 1.3%. The rules are projected to be finished in April and fully completed in July.

    I think reducing the transaction fees on debit cards is an O.K. idea, but not an excellent idea. I think a 90% reduction in fees is too much. This means that Visa and MasterCard will generate very little revenue from the fees. ON the other side, people who use their debit cards a lot will amass lots of those transaction & interchange fees. This could allow debit card user who are in debt to get out of debt. A lot of people don't like the amount of fees they have to pay each month for using their debit and credit cards. The new rules could be the beginning for Congress to pass new rules that can cut credit card fees as well.


    Google has made a huge database collected from nearly 5.2 million digitized books. It is now available to the public for free downloads and online searches. The database consists of the 500 billion words that are contained in books published between the years 1800 and 2000. You can read any of the books on this database in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Russian and even Hebrew.

    This is a truly revolutionary thing that Google has done. They have put almost every book on the internet in one convenient place. People now have 5.2 million books right at their disposal. This database is a way of learning things that many would never have any access to. With this much information on Google, you can read about whatever may interest you.

    Chris Barth

  32. This is in response to Leila's article about mothers buying breast milk.

    I think this is really dangerous for mothers to be doing this because there are bad people in the world that we can't trust, especially with the lives of our children. The article said that one of the websites claimed that the breast milk they sell is totally safe, but how can one be sure? People are willing to endanger the life of a child just for money. No one can be sure if this breast milk is totally safe and natural. I agree with Leila that the government should create a more affordable way to provide breast milk to mothers in need. This shouldn't be their only option.

    Laura Musalem

  33. This is a response to Cole’s article about the recall of 13 million boxes of Rolaids.

    I find it unnerving that medical drugs, that are supposed to be helping people, can be put on the shelf while containing things as harmful as woodchips and shards of glass. Products containing such harmful components should not be making it past testing and then being recalled later. I agree with Cole, in that these drugs should be far more vigorously tested to assure that the product being sold is not harmful to the consumers. It’s also a good thing that people are giving feedback to the companies about how their products are harmful. I think this McNeil Company that has been releasing these faulty drugs should be further investigated. They have recalled drugs several times before, so they should be forced to properly test the drugs they are about to release.

    Brady Strine
    6th period


    This is an article about how students are being warned not to read or comment on WikiLeaks, as it could affect whether or not they can get a job with the federal government. WikiLeaks has been getting a lot of attention lately for releasing confidential government documents and posting them online. Universities have been sending out emails to their students telling them that if they want a job with the government, not to go on this site. The government feels that someone believing it's a good site is a good enough reason not to hire someone, because it shows that they are not concerned about security and should not be trusted.

    I'm not sure if this is a good thing. It kind of makes sense that governments should be careful, and being in support of a website like that maybe does say something about one's character when it comes to security and confidentiality. However, I don't think it's necessarily right to hold that against someone. WikiLeaks does have it's merits, as it gives the public more insight into their own government. Simply reading the site shouldn't put someone out of a job. Posting documents on it or donating to it could be an issue though, and it makes sense for the government to look into things like that.

    Kate Boyd
    7th pd


    Paul Waggoner, a U.S. worker, was detained by the Haitian police on kidnapping charges. A fifteen-month-old baby had been kidnapped or died after an earthquake. The incident occurred at a hospital. Waggoner will be transferred to the National Penitentiary, where he could possibly stay for three months while waiting for a judge's decision. The Materials Management Relief Corps claims Waggoner's detainment to be a misunderstanding. Dr. Kenneth Adams, on February 23, showed the father his dead child. Paul Waggoner was present. Because of the father's disbelief, he accused Waggoner of kidnapping. The father claimed that the child had been drugged and kidnapped; the child's eyes were open, thus leading to his denial of the death. Waggoner, aware of the accusations, left Haiti, but returned in March under the belief that the case had been settled. The father recognized Waggoner in a restaurant, and the police arrested him on Sunday.
    At first, I thought that this was completely bizarre. It's hard to believe that someone would falsely accuse another of committing a crime. Later, though, I realized that the false accusation should have been expected. As a parent, it must be terribly difficult to witness your child dead before you are. You want the best for them, and you except them to outlive yourself. Looking at a dead child whose eyes are still open is even more difficult to bear. With open eyes, you feel as if the child is not at peace, and therefore, you believe that he/she will never find salvation from God. This article allowed me to step into the shoes of another and think about the situation from another point-of-view. Overall, I believe that the article sounds somewhat strange at first, but looking deeper into it makes you realize that it's not so crazy after all.

    Nicole Chang
    7th period

    I found this article just really amusing. The governor of New Mexico recently received a petition from citizens saying that they want Billy the Kid to be pardoned. Billy the Kid died over 100 years ago, so many people wonder why they want this pardon. According to records, he promised to testify at some trial so he was pardoned then but it was never official. The pardon came from the deputy governor Wallace but seems to have never been carried out. Many fans of Billy the Kid would love to see him pardoned, but the grandchildren of the sheriff Billy the Kid oppose this pardon. They believe that this would put him in a much better light than he deserves, after all he did kill multiple people. The governor said that he would think about this pardon and examine all sides of it before he made any decision regarding it. He wants to make sure that Wallace did in fact grant this pardon to Billy the Kid.
    I think this is just a fascinating article. One of the main reasons is why would anyone care about a man who has been dead for so long. I never thought that there would be a petition to pardon Billy the Kid. I agree with the committee working to pardon Billy the Kid because if he was promised a pardon theres no reason for him to not receive this pardon. He earned this pardon, and its the governors right to grant him this pardon, especially if it was promised to him. Overall, even if he doesnt get pardoned, this is still fascinating because it shows how much people still care about famous outlaws.
    Alex Grosskurth
    6th period

  37. When I first read Brinklee’s current event I could relate to all of the ripping and running people do when the topic of snow comes into play. I always see people rushing to the grocery store and buy food for days! One thing I didn’t really understand was how Atlanta could experience a drought and then turn around and expect snow. A drought normally means hot and dry weather meaning that even if they did get snow it probably wouldn’t be able to stick to the ground. The snow wouldn’t be able to cause power outages or any other damages because it wouldn’t stick. When small topics such as a light snow storm come about, it’s funny to see people try so hard to prepare for almost nothing.


    Recent analysis has suggested that the date of 2011 is not going to be the date that our forces will pull out of afghanistan and that we may have up until 2014 to even begin pulling out our forces. Most americans now are not supportive of the war, and as time goes on people will certainly not become more supportive of it.

    I am not entirely surprised by this news as we have not made muc
    much progress in afghanistan at all recently. It makes me think that perhaps 2011 was too soon of a date to be a feasible plan. This news will likely reflect poorly on the obama administration as the leaving of afghanistan was one of his pledges to america during his running and this will only give ammunition to those who oppose him.

  39. Ariel Gunn
    Period seven
    In responce to Tristin

    I think it's terrible that when people say God created all men equal, that they then turn right around and say gays were not. I think it's even more terrible to say mean things to gays, and worse to protest at their funerals. But yet protesting a funeral of someone who just supported gays is the worst. I think it's terrible that people can't just accept what people are, or the people who support them. I just wish that we, as a society, could let everyone actually have an equal oppurtunity to pursue their life, liberty, and happiness.

  40. Tanner Gardner
    In response to Laura Musalem
    7th Period

    The President is a figurehead: the role was created to take the brunt of the outrage and grievances that Americans may hold. His job is to divert attention from those in the background who are truly pulling the strings. I think Obama is doing what's right for America. So far he has increased average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg to 35.5mpg (starting in 2016), signed the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which provides health care to 11 million kids -- 4 million of whom were previously uninsured, and developed a stimulus package, which includes approx. $18 billion for nondefense scientific research and development. The American people don't know what's good for them, and Obama is justified in tricking them with the ambiguity of Change. I hope he has gotten the ball rolling in the right direction.


    NASA is one of America's biggest agencies, and one of the world's largest space expolration. REcently, scientist have been studying the newest American Spasce shuttle. THis shuttle is to be launched no later than february 3rd. THe main aspect they have been studying is the external feul supply on the ship, Discovery, itself. Many cracks and leaks were reported being found on the shuttle, rendering it useless. This minor misfunctions are being either fixed or replaced, making the shuttle capable of being flown again.

    This is important because it shows how big of a deal space exploration is to the U.S. We wre very proud for what hwe have done already dealing with space, and we will continue to do so in the future. Also, this shows how some very Scientific and important agencies can make mibnor mistakes. THes mistakes could endager the people and entire mission for the new Space Shuttle. These problems must be dealt with more carefully and morem time should be taken to ensure that these imprtant aspects in NASA are perfected. Allthough these seem like minor details and not too big of am deal, a small crack in the external fuell rocket could disrupt and endanger the entire mission for the Discovery and its crew.

    Cole Shoup
    Period 7

  42. This is a response the Stacey's article.

    I agree with Stacey on this topic. I think that it's great that this new surgery is taking place. It might be risky at first, but I think that if the surgery is preformed enough, then the operation will eventually become more safe. It will become more safe because they will find better ways to preform it and get more practice. Some people may disagree with this surgery because it is so risky and it is being preformed on babies. I can see this side of the argument, because I know how contraversial these topics are like abortion, and stem cell research: topics around the same neighborhood as this surgery. I understand if arguments are being made on either side of this new surgery but I think it's a great idea, just as Stacey does. I think that it will help lots of babies to grow into happy childeren and have a better life.

    Tristin Van Ord

  43. Ryan Hegedus
    Pakistani officials: Drone strikes kill 21

    Three predator drone strikes killed roughly 21 militants in Pakistan. The drone strikes were ordered in Pakistan’s tribal region which borders Afghanistan. The first and second strikes were fired on militant hideouts in different areas of the tribal region. The third strike was on a militant training center in yet another area of the tribal region. The strikes were confirmed by two Pakistani intelligence officials who could not be named because they are not authorized to speak to the press.
    In the article, it was said that the US usually does not comment on drone missile strikes, but they decided their resistance was a waste of time because we are the only country with the known ability to perform drone strikes. I think this technology is amazing. It shows that we can go behind enemy lines and take out threats or potential threats without actually putting an American life in danger. What surprised me was that we are the only country that has this luxury. I had assumed that other world powers such as Russia would have made this technological discovery by now. Regardless, our country should utilize this tool more often so we can keep from having casualties in the war on terror.