Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tea Party Supporters are not just conservative, they are very conservative

A recent poll taken by New York Times/CBS News reveals that tea party supportes are not just extremely conservative, but they are more educated and have fatter pockets to hold all their money, reported the New York Times.

The data extracted from the poll showed that the supporters are generally, Republican, married, middle-aged to edlerly white males. These tea party supporters obviously oppose Obama's adminstration. One of the many reasons for their opposition is that they believe the adminstration shows favoristism over a specific race and economic class.

"More than half say the policies of the adminstration favor the poor, and 25 percent think that the the administration favors blacks over whites," the article reported.

I wonder if they would have the same perception if Obama was not bi-racial and just white. I get the impression that they feel as though Obama favors blacks because he is half black, but if that is the case, then they are inferring that the last 43 white presidents favored their own race. Moreover, the article cited that the tea supporters do not favor the health care bill or government spending and they feel like they have no voice.

Honestly, the information pulled from the polls did not shock or surprise me. I understand that the Obama administration is not perfect. No adminstration in any case is perfect; however, I would like to know what the supporters suggest Obama to do? Do they have any better ideas and if so what economic class would it benefit the most?

The current recession is creating a significant gap between the upper and middle class. Much of middle-class Americans are experiencing the severe effects from the troubled economy such as, struggling to keep their jobs and homes. A Huffington Post article reported that the government estimates 8.4 million jobs were lost so far. An alarmingly high amout of citizens who have lost their job and health insurance.

Additionally, Americans have become victims of housing foreclosures. An ABC news article titled The Come back: Defining the American Middle Class in Recession noted from Moody's economy.com that, "Since the recession began more than 5.2 million Americans have lost their homes in the financial crisis."

They feel that their voices are not heard, but the same complaint can be made about the 8 years of the Bush administration. Some can argue that their voice were not acknowledge during that administration. And we must not forget how our economy fell to pieces or how we are poured trillions of dollars for war. We are still funding the war with money that is borrowed. I'm still looking for the weapons of mass destruction. More importantly, we can not forget that Bush’s promotion of deregulation allowed Wall Street to run a muck.

It is safe to say that every administration is flawed in some form or fashion; however, it is important for all of us to not lose sight of what is important, which is getting our economy off of life support. It is essential for our economy to be nurse back to health for the sake of the many Americans struggling to regain financial security.

Yes, it may be true that tea party supporters concerns are not acknowledge from Obama's current agenda, but I think that the administration is making a great effort to deal with a grave situation. I believe they are trying to tackle the most pressing issues to the best of their ability.

Image courtesy of Google

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

RNC chairman in the hotseat

In recent events the GOP has taken the spotlight, but not because of their opposition to the health care bill, or Sarah Palin reading notes off her hand; this time its about the RNC's extravagant and non-conservative spending sprees.

RNC staffers enjoyed spending $1, 946.25 of the committee's money at lesbian-bondage club in West Hollywood. Throwing hundreds of thousands dollars away at risque clubs are not the only splurges the RNC is cited for. The RNC donation dollars were used for luxury hotels, private jets and other extravagant ventures, the Washington Post reported.

In light of the extreme spending habits of the RNC, many are questioning chairman Michael Steele's leadership. Damage control is imperative for the chairman to regain credibility and trust.

He has received scrutiny and criticism for letting irresponsible staffers spend committee money inappropriately under his watch, but he claims the he is being treated different from other chairman, according to the Washington Examiner report of the account.

"Barack Obama has a slimmer margin. We all--a lot of folks do. I mean, its a different role for, you know, for me to play and others to play. And that's just the reality of it. But you take that as part of the nature of it," Steele said.

Steele comment gives the impression that he feels that his race may be a factor for the severe criticism he faces. I do not know whether race is necessarily the case for scrutiny, but I do believe that the issue revolves around the fact that thousands of donor dollars are frivolously wasted when the country is experiencing a recession.

Image courtesy of Google

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Elian Gonzalez, A prideful Cuban

Every day I check my e-mails from my three accounts. The other day when I went to check my yahoo account and a feature article caught my eye. In fact, it was the headline that grabbed my attention and then the picture anchored below the headline. The picture showed a teenage Elian Gonzalez.

Can we say a blast from the past? I did not realize that much time has passed since the controversy surrounding Elian's custody battle.

Back in 2000, Elian’s mother fled from Cuba with her then six-year-old son. Unfortunately, she drowned in her attempt to make it to the shores of America, but her son Elian survived. Eilan's story swept the nation and he capturated the hearts of many people.

As much as it was family custody battle over the young boy, I remember it being more of a custody battle between nations of Cuba and the United States. Trials were held to determine whether Elian should be returned to his biological father in Cuba or should he be allowed to stay in the United States with his mother's relatives.

Eventually, Elian’s father won custody and took his son back to Cuba. Now, ten years later the article Cuban Government releases photos of a teenaged Eilan Gonzalez, reports his development as a prideful Cuban. He reportedly joined the Young Communist Union and he is viewed as a national hero.

What is interesting to note is that Elian’s story exemplifies how people are influenced and institutionalized by their government. His mother died in attempt to provide a different way of life for her son. Now, he has become the embodiment of Cuba's triumph over the United States according to the article.

Ultimately, the situation sheds light on the fact that we all are a product of society in which we evolve from. I wonder how different Elian would be if he was raised in the United States. Would he have the same ambitions, dreams, or goals?

(photo courtesy of yahoo)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Is the economy crippling millennials independence?

26 is the cut off age for young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance. According to the new health care bill signed by President Obama in late March, the bill extends the period in which young adults can stay on their parents insurance, the Washington Post reported.

The economic climate is one factor for the change. As more post grads try to obtain employment in the middle of a recession, it is a challenge to find jobs that offer decent health insurance, or for part time employees to be eligible for health insurance.

I know from experience that many retail jobs do not offer any health insurance to employees who work less than 35 hours, and not having health insurance is never a good feeling.This new feature to the bill is good news for Generation X-ers, but it can also be viewed as a setback as well.

Ian Shapira writes that, "In its bureaucratic way, the government's restructuring of health care sets a new starting point for independent adulthood: no longer at age 18 or 21, but deep into the 20s. The new health-care benefit, to take effect in six months, acknowledges the economic and social forces --the grim job market and delays in marriage and childbearing --that have the millennial generation, those generally in their 20s more dependent on their elders than their parents had been."

The economic state is creating a phenomenon of more young adults relying on their parents to provide for them. In my personal circumstance, I know that I will be a victim of parent dependency after I graduate from college. The likelihood of affording my own place is extremely bleak and next to impossible with apartment prices for rent over $1,100 a month not including utilities. I must say that I am not a fan of depending on my parents, but if it will help provide stability long enough for me to get on my feet then I will gratefully accept the invitation.

Image courtesy of Google

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hackers Use Social Networking Sites To Steal Data

Hackers have made a profession out of stealing data from computers. The more society depends on computers to archive and hold personal/non-personal data, the more vulnerable peoples' information becomes to theives.

Computer hackers' current target to steal information is social networking sites. Hackers' hit list includes sites such as, Facebook and Twitter, according to USA Today article titled An invitation to crime. It is problematic when account users log on to these sites at work. Unsuspecting users at work can imperil company data.

"Cybercriminals are moving aggressively to take advantage of an unanticipated chink in corporate defenses: the use of social networks in workplace settings. They are taking tricks honed in the spamming world and adapting them to what's driving growth of social networks: speed and openness of individuals communicating on the Internet," the article reported.

It is difficult to feel safe using the internet these days. I am even paranoid about disclosing particular information on the internet because nothing is 100% safe once its online. Hackers are finding creative ways to take information that is why it is essential for users to be aware of suspicious links or sites. More importantly, no one should log on to these sites in the work place.

I'm a firm believer in maintaining professionalism and a good work ethic. Checking your a Facebook page or other social network sites should not be an option for any employee at work unless it is work related. It is unprofessional to use company time to check out a page even if it is for 10 minutes or 2 minutes.

I was taught that there is a time and place for certain things. The fact that companies data are threatened by hackers because employees view the sites is unfortunate, but maybe it would be best for companies to block unwanted sites.

Network News Cutback

Network news much like the newspaper industry is plagued with downsizing. Decreasing revenue is the blame for networks shaving down their staff size, the New York Times reported. So what does this mean for aspiring journalists like myself? It means that the competition is as stiff as an ironing board.

If entering the industry seemed challenging before, now its downright difficult. Since the networks can not fund for staff that specialize in specific areas such as a camera operator or sound engineers, it is up to reporters to pick up the slack. Needless to say journalists job description and requirements is progressively extending. Ultimately, journalist have no room to compromise the quality of work even if they are taking on more tasks.

Upon reading the March 1st, New York Times article, I was anxious about the development in network news because I have a personal interest in broadcast journalism. It makes me wonder about the difficulty of entering, excelling, and maintaining a position in network news (broadcast journalism).

It seems that job security is a thing of the past. With the economy in poor health, the concept of job security is becoming extinct and anyone can be a causality of layoffs. However, there is a positive side to this grim situation. The rapid changes in the industry will allow for colleges and universities to upgrade their curriculum to coincide with the skills and demands required to succeed as a journalist. The more journalist know, the better.

(Photo courtsey of Google)

HIV rates in D.C. Rise

The heart of the United States is nestled on a small slab of land off the tip of Maryland. This small yet significant piece of land is called the District of Columbia. It harbors the U.S. government and a large part of American history, and it is still making history but not in a positive way.

HIV continues to affect D.C Residents. The HIV rate increases from 3 percent to 3.2 percent as more residents get tested, the Washington Examiner reported.

"Overall, 3.2 percent of the total population has been diagnosed with HIV, and that number will continue to rise as more people are tested, enter medical treatment and receive the care they need to stay alive," the article reported.

There is no cure for the disease,however,the more research and information uncovered helps educate people on prevention. Public schools, free clinics, and the public libraries offer information about the disease, so its appalling that the nation's capital has an alarmingly high HIV rate.

More importantly,diagnosed individuals can have long and meaningful lives due to the advancement in medicine. This is why it is essential for people to be aware and get tested.The earlier it is detected the greater chance of survival.

I find that this problem continues to spread like wild fire; it appears that little progress has been made to address the HIV diagnosis among residents. I hope that the passing of the health care bill will encourage more individuals to get tested.

(Photo courtesy of Google)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Violence Meets Hempstead High Again

Teaching and learning are not the only things happening at Hempstead High School, violence too. Racial tensions appears to be the cause of the latest altercation at the public school. March 9th, Newsday reported the story that ended with eight students being injured in the fight.

The specifics of how and where the affray started is still unclear, however, it seems that those questions are irrelevant. The more pertinent questions are why and what can be done to resolve the apparent issues.

After reading the article, I want to know what the school will do to deal with and resolve the racial divide between the African-American and Hispanic (Latino) communities. It is a ongoing issue that dates back to 2008. So where are the guidance counselors? Are the issues being addressed by the parents and faculty? What plans does the principal have to unite the school? Questions that I would be interested in knowing and hoping to follow in the papers if they make the news again.

I personally do not know why students succumb to violence like its the last resort. It never solves the deep rooted problems that exist among the students. Now I have witnessed a school fight or two, but they never lead to an emergency school closing to prevent jeopardizing the safety of the remaining student body.