Archive for July 2008

The First Amendment

July 31, 2008

One of the most misunderstood amendments the Constitution has, is under attack. It isn’t from the government passing the PATRIOT Act, it isn’t from a radical militia roaming the streets, the first amendment is under attack by ignorance.

 

Connie Heermann, a teacher in Indiana , was suspended for 18 months with no pay, for allowing her students to read a book about overcoming adversity. The school board found the book inappropriate because there were swear words in the book. Connie said on an interview with CNN: “This is how they speak, this is what they relate to.” Connie was reprimanded for giving her students a book to read, even after she had given out permission forms the student’s had to have their parents signed.

 

In 2006, the Supreme Court took up a case involving a high school student who was suspended over a “Bong Hits For Jesus” banner. The Court ruled in favor of the School, citing that “It was reasonable for (the principal) to conclude that the banner promoted illegal drug use– and that failing to act would send a powerful message to the students in her charge,” 

 

In 2005, Protestors demonstrated outside of a soldier’s funeral. The soldier died in Iraq, and the Protestors carried signs saying “God Hates Fags“, “Pope In Hell” and, “God Hates the United States” Extra police were called in to protect the rights of the protestors.

 

Where have we gone as a nation? The first amendment was to protect people from persectution for speaking their mind. When was it considered acceptable to carry “God Hates Fags” signs at a hero’s funeral, but the moment we curse in the classroom, or talk about Jesus, we must immediately retract our statements. I don’t know about anyone else, but if a man wants to burn an American flag on his front lawn, I let him. Sure, I may flip him off, or curse at him as I walk by, but that is his RIGHT to express himself, and that is my RIGHT to express myself. While disrepectful, his demonstration is not disturbing the peace. It is not blocking traffic. We need to grasp the fact that no one has the same the views on everything. Democrats, Republicans, gay, straight, teachers, students, supreme court, guy burning a flag on his lawn, we all live under one roof; America. It is time that we start respecting the fact that people are allowed to speak their opinion as long as it does not put anyone else in danger. We need to learn to respect that I may say Jesus and you may say Mohammed We need to learn to respect that I may be straight and you may be gay.  We need to learn how to respect one another enough to see that although what someone else is saying may be offensive, it is our right to say it, and it is our right to defend it.

Barack Obama: The Change World Tour

July 24, 2008

If you have been feeling down and blue with no explanation lately don’t fear. Not yet President Barack Obama has left the country. He recently embarked on a world tour, focusing on the Middle East and Europe. That explains your recent sadness.

Also if you somehow realized that Brian Williams, Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson have been replaced this week, well Barack invited them along. What about me Barack? If you want St. John’s University’s most influential blogger on your side you damn well better take me along next time!

Now there is a lot of media attention to this tour. If he screws up it’ll be everywhere. I recommend he doesn’t eat the Wendy’s Baconator in Baghdad. Let’s see if he screws up.

So Senator Chuck Hagel went along with Barack Obama to Afghanistan to meet with President Hamid Karzai. Below is a picture of Senator Hagel with President Karzai.

So his meeting with Hamid Karzai went well, he didn’t screw anything up. But surely he’ll make some sort of mistake, maybe he’ll screw up the name of a city or a country.

Yea… like that. The Iraq – Pakistan border. Otherwise known as Iran…..

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Hate to Say I Told You So

July 17, 2008

Well well well…after being laughed at and disrespected in public by both John McCain and George Bush, Barack Obama has proven (once again) to be correct: Diplomacy is indeed the best option. The Bush Adminstration has decided that they will send diplomats to Switzerland where they will meet Iranian diplomats the discuss the escalating tensions between the two nations.

Could it be that our founding fathers were actually intellegent? Could their philosophy of non-interventionism actually works? Could I ask any more obvious questions? People describe Barack Obama as an insane liberal who is going to raise your taxes and let gays have rights. Yet, what could be more “conservative” than returning to a foreign policy of reason? No more wars of agression, no more manipulation, no more unnecessary spending on governments that supress democracy.  Barack Obama is apparently no more radical than the Declaration of Independence.

From Barackobama.com

The Problem: The United States is trapped by the Bush-Cheney approach to diplomacy that refuses to talk to leaders we don’t like. Not talking doesn’t make us look tough – it makes us look arrogant, it denies us opportunities to make progress, and it makes it harder for America to rally international support for our leadership. On challenges ranging from terrorism to disease, nuclear weapons to climate change, we cannot make progress unless we can draw on strong international support.

A leader who looks at the world and sees oppurtunity, hope, and potential progress? Pinch me I must be dreaming.

Do not pass Go, Do not collect 3.8 million dollars

July 15, 2008

Why 3.8 million dollars? 3.8 million dollars represents the record setting fine that Freddie Mac had to pay to the Federal Election Commission for hosting over 75 fund raising events for members of ONE house committee in an 18 month period.

This amount does not include the combined 3.5 million dollars spent by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in lobbying fees for the first THREE months of this year ALONE.
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Shamil Rodriguez Bows out of CDA Race

July 11, 2008

Today Shamil Rodriguez stated exclusively to the St. John’s University College Democrats Blog that he was officially dropping out of the race for Development Director for the College Democrats of America. The following below is the official press release:

Dear Friends,

I’m writing you today to inform you of my decision not to run for Development Director of CDA. This decision came about after much contemplation and solemn thought.

These past few years have been monumental for the Democratic Party. We’ve seen our country take a turn that none of us would have expected, and now is the time to get back on the right track. Although we are all members of the Democratic Party, it is important to recognize our unique identity as college students. College students have always been at the forefront of every battle, whether it is taking up arms to free an entire continent from an oppressive regime, or standing still in front of an oncoming tank. As College Democrats we are the promise of this nation. We are what our elders, the youth, of this country are putting their hope in.

I began my CDA Development Director campaign to remind college students that we must do better if we want to live up to the great promise of this country that we all love. I have dedicated almost four years of my life to the College Democrats of America and now that hard work has paid off with an opportunity with the New York State Democratic Party. I have been given the chance to stand as my ancestors have, and fight the good fight of ensuring democracy. I have learned much from my years as a College Democrat and I believe it is time for me to step aside so that we can pass the torch to a new generation of college activists. We do not know who will take the final steps to Denver, but what we do know is that the College Democrats will make history. We will be strong, we will be unified, and with our ideas and a new generation of progressive leaders we’ll reinvigorate hope and opportunity for this country again.

I am so proud to have had all of my supporters who chose to stand with me; I cannot thank all of you enough. Whether it was a few minutes of time or a few dollars out of your budget, you made the sacrifice to see the reforms and changes you believed in. Know that whatever you sacrificed has not been wasted. You have been an instrumental piece of a movement in history. A moment when a young generation realized their duties and their goals. A moment that the spirit of our forefathers enlightened us all to become active in these troubling times. A moment when we knew what had to be done to make this country right again.

The future for all of us is an uncertainty. Great things wait for us all on the other side of life. Helen Keller once said, “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” In these troubling times, as people begin to lose hope, it is important that we keep our head above the water. I look at my friends today and see a group of optimistic leaders. I see future Senators, future Governors, and even a few potential Presidents. We are one family all striving for the same goals. Together with our diversity, hope, dedication, and common purpose we can perpetuate the spirit of the College Democrats of America.

Thank you,

Shamil Victor Rodriguez

Better Know A Member

July 11, 2008

So today we have Shamil Rodriguez, Chair of the Hispanic Caucus of the College Democrats of America sitting down with me for our latest installment of Better Know A Member.

CP: So Shamil, why did you decide to become a democrat?
SR: My father went to Iraq and came back injured and he wanted me to go more on the education route. And he was afraid that I would be treated the same way he was, so for me, I just saw the war and I said why couldn’t I be one of those decision makers. Why can’t I be one of those guys that makes the decisions.

CP: So, you were president of College Democrats two years ago, what was it like 2 years ago?
SR: We used to have two meetings, it was a lot of infrastructure development. Our biggest concern was just being able to have consistent meetings and being able to have a few programs a year and increasing membership. We were unknown to everyone, people didn’t even know if there was a college democrats chapter on campus.

CP: So what was your biggest obstacle then?
SR: Increasing members, and increasing the active membership and developing infrastructure. Our executive board saw first hand what could happen to an organization if the entire e-board graduates. We had to literally re-create the wheel.

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Should American Airlines be American owned?

July 11, 2008

I’m not talking about selling AA to a foreign investor, I’m talking straight up communism.

Should we nationalize the airlines? Now you’ve probably heard all the news on CNN or in the New York Times about how airlines are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The only reason they’re staying afloat is because of the fact that the U.S. government, using your tax dollars is making sure these companies don’t go bankrupt.

Meanwhile the CEO makes $6,500,000.00 in a failing business. Now talk about overpaid and under performing. A-rod, you’re off the hook. When your company is losing $328,000,000.00 do you really think you deserve making six figures?

You’re probably thinking, lets nationalize already! This is such a joke. However, think about that…. (more…)