Monday, December 24, 2007

The Greatest Gift

By Laura Ingraham

Megan pulled a three-ring binder out of her bag and showed me a photograph of herself and her husband. Young — they’re both 21 — with big smiles on their faces, and obviously wildly in love. “That’s what he looked like,” she said with a somber face, “He was such a cutie-pie, always buying me little stuffed animals and writing the most thoughtful notes the entire time he was in Iraq.” Then she showed me the photo of her husband receiving the Purple Heart on Wednesday from President Bush at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. As President Bush pinned the medal on Mike as he lay unconscious in the ICU, having suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by a piece of shrapnel that pierced his temple.

“This is my Mike now,” she said, rubbing her eyes. He is completely blind and to alleviate a terrible cranial pressure build-up, doctors had to remove the front of his skull. Since being wounded several months ago, Mike has never regained consciousness and suffers from terrible seizures. “That’s my guy,” she repeated, before she went on to tell me about how they met and fell in love.

As I met Megan, I kept thinking about the fact that some person somewhere carefully assembled the IED that would eventually maim Mike and many others. They are often packed with nails, hunks of lead, and screws to cause maxim human suffering. When they explode, the contents rip through flesh and bones, shattering countless dreams in the process.

How can we comprehend this level of evil, and the physical and emotional agony it causes? This young woman and her husband should be out buying their first Christmas tree together, going to parties, and raising a glass to their future. When I asked what she was doing for the holiday she said, “I’ll be here with Mike. I would never want him to be alone on Christmas.” They had been married for about three months when Mike was wounded. In these days before Christmas, Megan and other military wives and moms gave me a precious gift. They reminded me that true love requires sacrifice — sometimes seemingly unbearable, heart-wrenching sacrifice. They are living out their love in big and small ways. Many have moved thousands of miles to relocate to the hospitals where their husbands, wives, sons, and daughters are being treated. This takes an enormous emotional and financial toll, yet they do it for love. When they are not at the hospital bedsides of their wounded warriors, they sit for hours a day in waiting rooms across the United States, hoping for good news — or at least hoping to be spared more bad news. They pray with each other, cry with each other, and yes, even manage to laugh with each other as they hope for a day when they can return to “normal life.” Yet the families of our most seriously injured troops know they face a “new normal,” one that is much different from the normal life they knew before.

As we are about to celebrate Christmas spending time with our families and friends, let us all do our best to live up to the true spirit of this season — and to make it a time filled with love, faith, gratitude, hope, charity, and... yes, let’s try for some peace on earth. Let’s also remember the military families and our wounded heroes, who will spend this Christmas at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Brooke Army Medical Center, Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and other medical facilities across the nation. As we rush anxiously around because we “haven’t found the perfect gift” for so-and-so, these families hope and pray for gifts that cannot be put under a tree: a hand that squeezes back, a smile, the first step on a new prosthesis, or a positive medical report.

They need our prayers and support at Christmas and every day. Please give what you can to any of the wonderful organizations that support our bravest and their families.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Final Post of 2007!

This semester has gone by so quick. I have decided to give extra credit to all who were in attendance at the debate party at ESU#3. This will count as the 10 extra credit points for blogging for this unit. Thanks for going and you did it without even knowing you were getting anything for it.

As for the test, it will be given on Wednesday, instead of Tuesday, due to a rescheduled pep rally on Tuesday. As a result, I will probably not get your final grades to you prior to your last day. You may email me or check the online grades over break.

Finally, If you have any comments or suggestions about this class, please feel free to send me an email or post a comment. Also, you are more than welcome to jump in and blog even if you are not in this class anymore. Good luck as you continue your preparation for the future!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Who Would You Give To?

Nebraska lotto winner giving gift to homeless shelter guests

One of the eight Nebraskans who won the February 2006 Powerball jackpot, Alain Maboussou, is giving a $40 Target store gift card to each guest of the Siena Francis House homeless shelter.

Siena Francis House staff will distribute the gift cards to guests of the shelter, and will also provide transportation to the Crossroads Mall’s Target store Wednesday morning to allow them to do Christmas shopping, the Siena Francis House said today .

“This is an extraordinarily generous gift by Mr. Maboussou," Siena Francis House Executive Director Mike Saklar said. "On behalf of Siena Francis House guests, we are very grateful to him for helping our shelter care for those who come to us in need.”

Posted at the Request of Michelle

Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Issue of the Week: Violence in the Media-Should Government Do More to Censor It?

Click here for a site explaining censorship.Violence in mass media, which encompasses television, film, video games and music, has long been a controversial issue in America. Since the popularization of television in the 1950s, a segment of the U.S. population challenged the broadcasting of violent images. The fundamental question at that time remains the same in the twenty-first century: What effects do violent images have on the nation's children? In the 1960s and 1970s, as media portrayals of violence increased, reactions against these images intensified and actions of censorship were demanded. This uproar incited an anticensorship movement as activists voiced their concerns about potential societal repression and loss of free speech. Despite various studies (dating from the 1960s and still being conducted today) that link aggressive behaviors with media violence, the entertainment industry consistently denies that violent images negatively impact children. In response to the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, the Clinton administration funded a Federal Trade Commission investigation into media violence. The FTC’s 2000 report, Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children, concluded that the entertainment industry characteristically markets violent material to children under seventeen. Consequently, self-regulatory rules were enacted against the industry. In spite of the directives and subsequent changes to the industry, media violence continues to be a concern of mainstream U.S. society. This divisive issue continues to be debated among politicians, the media industry, advocates of federal restrictions on the media and opponents of these governmental controls.

Numerous studies, cited in such articles as Does Violence in the Media Cause Violent Behavior? and Link Between Media and Aggression Clear, Experts Say, have concluded that violence in the media has a detrimental effect on children’s behaviors, feelings and attitudes. Since the majority of people in America find fault with media violence, some feel that the entertainment industry should comply with these mainstream moral views. This viewpoint is elucidated in such articles as Media Violence: Ugly and Getting Uglier and It’s Time to Stop Training Our Kids to Kill. Others insist that the government sanction restrictions on violent media content. The articles Children, Violence, and the Media: A Report for Parents and Policy Makers and Violent Kids: Can We Solve the Problem? consider pros and cons of legislative action against violence in mass media.

Restricting the content of media raises free-speech concerns and is a censorship issue. Opponents of political control of media content feel that it is not the government’s place to make decisions about what is dangerous and or acceptable for the nation’s youth. In the article Violence, Games & Art, author Thom Gillespie suggests that “Media in all forms can move people to consider things they had not considered before. But media cannot take over a mind and make anyone do something he's not predisposed to do. Media are, at best, a nudge.” In The Columbine Tragedy: Countering the Hysteria, author Barbara Dority, president of Humanists of Washington, executive director of the Washington Coalition Against Censorship, and cochair of the Northwest Feminist Anti-Censorship Task Force, argues that “terrorist know-how, complete with illustrated instructions for making bombs, is also frequently available in military manuals at surplus stores, as well as in numerous mail-order civilian manuals, which are available through some public libraries. Are proponents of censoring this information advocating that we somehow locate, remove, and destroy all these sources?” Author Daniel Koffler examines “the ridiculous jihad against video games” in Grand Theft Scapegoat.

Monday, December 3, 2007

You Tube Debate Reflection

After eleven years of teaching, I came into this school year with much anticipation about meeting new students and teaching a subject I enjoy teaching. I never would have guessed that a 50 point project would have led me to have second row seats at the CNN/You Tube Republican Presidential Debate in St. Petersburg, Florida.
I have this belief that, as a teacher, it is important to try different methods of reaching students. I believe it really keeps me fresh in my teaching. Sometimes these methods don't pan out exactly the way I would like and other times, end up in St. Pete.

I said to my wife many times throughout the debate, "Why are we here?" It seemed so unbelievable. I still truly don't understand why it happened. However, I can, without hesitation, say the odds of a teacher in Papillion, NE attending were not good. Isn't that so American?

The odds can be stacked against you and because of the great opportunity in this country great things can happen to anyone. I am not saying it is easy and often it requires a little fortune or luck, but it is possible! In some countries in the world and for a lot of the population in the world, hopelessness describes everyday life. As I was sitting in the Mahaffey Theatre chatting with Chuck (Norris) and Janet(Huckabee), we're on a first name basis, I was really struck with the thought that in America everyone is equal. No person is better than another, regardless of his or her station in life. Although the feeling of power was emanating throughout the arena, I felt just as important, if not more, than the many senators and representatives in attendance. Why?

Well, simply put two words...Chuck Norris! As these high powered big wigs sent their programs down the aisle to get Walker Texas Ranger's autograph, I was getting a video shout out for the Titans and a slap on the back from Chuck Norris. Not to mention, Mrs. Huckabee is videoing the whole thing and I was scared I was going to be tackled by the secret service. It truly was a special event.

I think we need a leader of this country that truly understands what it means to be real. Someone who can connect with average people. This person needs to be intelligent and well versed in many issues. That is why it is so important to start the process of choosing our next president in the Midwest. Iowa voters will have an opportunity to once again apply Midwestern values to the process of choosing a new president. I am not saying this should result in front runners Mike Huckabee or Barack Obama (both leading in Iowa at the time of this post) being selected per say, but I do believe we need to contemplate carefully the selection of the next president and what better place to start than in Iowa. Some say the process to become president takes too long and is too drawn out. I say the process should be difficult and lengthy. Too much is riding on the selection of this very important position and the Iowa Caucuses provides a very neighborly way of selecting this person. Let the fun begin!

So, do the You Tube debates lessen the seriousness of this process? Do snowmen and cartoon questions demean the Presidency? My answer is absolutely not. In my opinion, it gets our citizens interested again in the process. If it can get my students interested, with as busy of lives as many of them lead, it can get America interested again. If the young of our country fight our wars and grow our economy, it makes perfect sense that they should shape, in some small way, the process in which we select the leader of this nation. The only thing that would be demeaning about the You Tube Debate process would be if candidates refused to answer the questions of the people (most of them submitted by young Americans) of this great country. Let's not alienate the young because we aren't used to communicating this way. Let's allow them to get excited about the process, by letting them be able to shape the process. Isn't that why many of my students got together to watch this debate and posted over 7oo comments about it? It is not because it was assigned for them to watch, it is because it has become interesting to them and there was free Chex Mix at the party (never underestimate the power of food).

Finally, let's always remember that America is the land of opportunity and You Tube makes that opportunity available for all citizens to express themselves and have an impact, even people like my high school students living in little Ol' Papillion, Nebraska. Thank you, my students, for making this possible for me. I will never forget it. You all are the best.

By Mr. Keller

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Issue of the Week: Immigration

If you want to access to the linked articles, and you are not at school, then you will need to enter a username (NE79445) and password (68046).

America is a nation of immigrants—everyone’s ancestors are from somewhere else. Even the earliest Native Americans may have walked here from Asia on a land bridge that once connected present-day Alaska to Siberia. Up until the early decades of the twentieth century, the majority of immigrants to the United States were from Europe. Today, most are from Asia, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the numbers are much higher today than in the past. Up to one million people enter each year, with an additional 500,000 illegal or undocumented entrants. Larger numbers of immigrants mean greater impacts on population growth, the economy, schools, and the welfare and healthcare systems. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, lawmakers have sought to revise immigration laws and policies in order to increase national security.

Those who favor unrestricted immigration say that immigrants provide cheap labor and services and keep costs down for American consumers. They often perform the low-paying or undesirable jobs that many Americans don’t want. In the article Immigrant Assimilation: Is the U.S. Still a Melting Pot?, economist Pia Orrenius argues that “immigration is key to current economic growth,” noting that “immigrants contributed over 40 percent of labor force growth in the mid- to late 1990s.” Proponents of immigration contend that “foreign workers are revitalizing cities that would otherwise have lost population, paying taxes to prop up Social Security and the federal budget, fueling growth and bolstering wages at the upper end of the income scale” in Economists Debate Whether Immigration Is Fiscal Boon or Financial Strain. In his article Importing People: Why Modern America Needs but Resents Immigrants, Bryce Christensen refutes the anti-immigration argument that the national identity of the United States is being threatened by the failure of immigrants to assimilate.

Those opposed say that immigrants take jobs away from American citizens and put a strain on government-financed social services. Fred Dickey, an opponent of unrestricted immigration, argues that “record numbers of illegal immigrants are pulling wages down for the poor and pushing taxes higher” in his article Undermining American Workers. In the article Patriots on the Borderline, author Dan Baum cites a 1997 National Research Council study showing that “overall, legal and illegal immigrants…receive more in publicly funded services than they pay in taxes.” Samuel P. Huntington, an accomplished Harvard Professor, argues that “the persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages” because “unlike past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other Latinos have not assimilated into mainstream U.S. culture, forming instead their own political and linguistic enclaves--from Los Angeles to Miami--and rejecting the Anglo-Protestant values that built the American dream” in The Hispanic Challenge.

Information Provided by SIRS Researcher Pro and Con Online Database.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Debate Details

Hey students! I just wanted to let you know the details regarding the debate party. Many of your classmates will be attending and I know that you will want to be there to possibly watch one of your questions be asked to the Republican Candidates for President during the CNN*You Tube Debates.

What:Debate Party, Chex Mix and Soda, plus your very own Live Debate Blog with yours truly as your on location correspondent. If you have your own laptop, and would like to, you may want to and are encouraged to bring it with you. Also, be prepared to be interviewed:) You never know what may happen!!!

When:6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28.

Where:Educational Service Unit #3 located at 6949 South 110th St.

Sign up with Mr. Keller on Monday or email Mrs. Alfrey on Tuesday.

Bottom Line: Don't miss out on a great night of food, friends and politics!!!

Congressional Election Simulation Final Results

Final Results - Congratulations to all of you for a great project!

1st Hour
Republicans 50.86
Democrats 49.14

2nd Hour
Republicans 50.92
Democrats 49.08

3rd Hour
Republicans 50.08
Democrats 49.92

4th Hour
Republicans 49.62
Democrats 50.38

6th Hour
Republicans 49.87
Democrats 50.13

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What Does Iraq Cost? Even More Than You Think.

Sunday, November 18, 2007; Page B03

To: President George W. Bush

Subject: The Hidden Costs of Iraq

You may recall that you got rid of your loyal White House economic adviser Lawrence B. Lindsey back in 2002 after, among other sins, he claimed that a war in Iraq might cost as much as $200 billion. At the time, White House staffers sneered that Lindsey was being alarmist. Hardly. One commonly cited estimate of Iraq's cost, based on an August analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, is $1 trillion, and that's probably on the low side. A report released last week by the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee put the war's 2002-08 tab at $1.3 trillion.

But all these figures don't quite get at Iraq's real cost. Indeed, we usually don't even frame the question the right way. We'd do better to recognize what we've lost, rather than focusing only on what we've paid.

We often think of cost simply in terms of dollars spent, but the real cost of a choice -- what economists call its "opportunity cost" -- consists of the forgone alternatives, of the things we could have had instead. For instance, the cost of seeing a movie is not just the dollars you plunked down for the ticket, but also the subtler cost of missing a dinner at home or a cocktail party at work. This idea sounds simple, but if applied consistently, it requires us to rethink and, yes, raise the costs of the Iraq war.

Set aside the question of what we could have accomplished at home with the energy and resources we've devoted to Iraq and concentrate just on national security. Here, the hidden cost of the war, above all, is that the United States has lost much of its ability to halt nuclear proliferation.

Mr. President, when the war started, I was convinced by your arguments that we had to stop Iraq's dictatorship from getting the bomb. No longer. Let's look at some of the opportunity costs the United States has incurred so far:

1. We still haven't secured our ports against nuclear terrorism. The

$1 trillion we've probably spent on the war could have funded the annual budget of the Department of Homeland Security 28 times over.

2. The human toll of the war is dreadful: more than 3,800 U.S. soldiers dead and more than 28,000 wounded, plus more than 1,000 private contractors killed and many more injured. It's harder to know how many Iraqis have died; some estimates claim that the war has caused a million or more Iraqi deaths, and even if that's an overstatement, the toll is still very high. But it's not just the lives that are gone; we've also lost the contributions that these people would have made to their families and to humanity at large.

3. Another major hidden cost: Many of the wounded have severe brain injuries or other traumas and will never return to "normal" life. Furthermore, Washington will find it far harder to recruit and retain quality troops and National Guardsmen in the future.

4. Don't forget the small statistics, which are often the most striking. According to John Pike, the head of the research group, an estimated 250,000 bullets have been fired for every insurgent killed in Iraq. That's not just a waste of ammunition; it's also a reflection of how badly the country has been damaged and how indiscriminate some of the fighting has been. Or take another straw in the wind: The cost of a coffin in Baghdad has risen to $50-75, up from just $5-10 before the war, according to the Nation magazine.

5. Above all, governing Iraq has, so far, been a fruitless investment. According to 2006 figures, U.S. war spending came out to $3,749 per Iraqi -- almost as much as the per capita income of Egypt. That staggering sum hasn't bought a lot of leadership from Iraq, or much of a democratic model for its Arab neighbors.

In fact, Mr. President, your initial pro-war arguments offer the best path toward understanding why the conflict has been such a disaster for U.S. interests and global security.

Following your lead, Iraq hawks argued that, in a post-9/11 world, we needed to take out rogue regimes lest they give nuclear or biological weapons to al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups. But each time the United States tries to do so and fails to restore order, it incurs a high -- albeit unseen -- opportunity cost in the future. Falling short makes it harder to take out, threaten or pressure a dangerous regime next time around.

Foreign governments, of course, drew the obvious lesson from our debacle -- and from our choice of target. The United States invaded hapless Iraq, not nuclear-armed North Korea. To the real rogues, the fall of Baghdad was proof positive that it's more important than ever to acquire nuclear weapons -- and if the last superpower is bogged down in Iraq while its foes slink toward getting the bomb, so much the better. Iran, among others, has taken this lesson to heart. The ironic legacy of the war to end all proliferation will be more proliferation.

The bottom line is clear, Mr. President: The more you worried about the unchecked spread of doomsday weapons, the stronger you thought the case was for war in the first place. But precisely because you had a point about the need to stop nuclear proliferation, you must now realize that the costs of a failed war are far higher than you've acknowledged.

Ironically, it's probably the doves who should lower their mental estimate of the war's long-haul cost: By fighting a botched war today, the United States has lowered the chance that it will fight another preventive war in the near future. The American public simply does not have the stomach for fighting a costly, potentially futile war every few years. U.S. voters have already lost patience with the pace of reconstruction in Iraq, and that frustration will linger; remember, it took the country 15 years or more to "get over" Vietnam. The projection of American power and influence in the future requires that an impatient public feel good about American muscle-flexing in the past.

Even if the wisest way forward is sticking to our guns, the constraints of politics and public opinion mean that we cannot always see U.S. military commitments through. Since turning tail hurts our credibility so badly and leaves such a mess behind, we should be extremely cautious about military intervention in the first place. The case for hawkish behavior often assumes that the public has more political will than it actually has, so we need to save up that resolve for cases when it really counts.

So, Mr. President, I wonder: Lawrence Lindsey is gone, but exactly who else will end up getting fired?

Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason

University, is the author of "Discover Your Inner Economist:

Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting,

and Motivate Your Dentist."

It's true: Iraq is a quagmire

Sunday, November 18, 2007
By Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

But the real story is not something you have heard
We're floundering in a quagmire in Iraq. Our strategy is flawed, and it's too late to change it. Our resources have been squandered, our best people killed, we're hated by the natives and our reputation around the world is circling the drain. We must withdraw.

No, I'm not channeling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. I'm channeling Osama bin Laden, for whom the war in Iraq has been a catastrophe. Al-Qaida had little presence in Iraq during the regime of Saddam Hussein. But once he was toppled, al-Qaida's chieftains decided to make Iraq the central front in the global jihad against the Great Satan.

"The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this third world war, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation," Osama bin Laden said in an audiotape posted on Islamic Web sites in December 2004. "It is raging in the land of the Two Rivers. The world's millstone and pillar is Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate."

Jihadis, money and weapons were poured into Iraq. All for naught. Al-Qaida has been driven from every neighborhood in Baghdad, Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, the U.S. commander there, said Nov. 7. This follows the expulsion of al-Qaida from two previous "capitals" of its Islamic Republic of Iraq, Ramadi and Baquba.

Al-Qaida is evacuating populated areas and is trying to establish hideouts in the Hamrin mountains in northern Iraq, with U.S. and Iraqi security forces, and former insurgent allies who have turned on them, in hot pursuit. Forty-five al-Qaida leaders were killed or captured in October alone.

Al-Qaida's support in the Muslim world has plummeted, partly because of the terror group's lack of success in Iraq, more because al-Qaida's attacks have mostly killed Muslim civilians.

"Iraq has proved to be the graveyard, not just of many al-Qaida operatives, but of the organization's reputation as a defender of Islam," said StrategyPage.

Canadian columnist David Warren speculated some years ago that enticing al-Qaida to fight there was one of the reasons why President Bush decided to invade Iraq. The administration has made so many egregious mistakes that I doubt the "flypaper" strategy was deliberate. But it has worked out that way. It may have been a mistake for the United States to go to war in Iraq. But it's pretty clear now it was a blunder for al-Qaida to have done so.

You may not be aware of the calamities that have befallen al-Qaida, because our news media have paid scant attention to them.

"The situation has changed so unmistakably and so swiftly that we should be reading proud headlines daily," said Ralph Peters, a retired Army lieutenant colonel. "Where are they?"

Richard Benedetto was for many years the White House correspondent for USA Today. Now retired, he teaches journalism at American University in Washington, D.C.

When U.S. troop deaths hit a monthly high in April, that was front-page news in most major newspapers, Mr. Benedetto noted. But when U.S. troop deaths fell in October to their lowest levels in 17 months, that news was buried on page A-14 of The Washington Post and mentioned on Page A-12 in The New York Times. (The Post-Gazette put the story on the front page.)

"I asked the class if burying or ignoring the story indicated an anti-war bias on the part of the editors or their papers," Mr. Benedetto said. "While some students said yes ... most attributed the decision to poor news judgment. They were being generous."

Mr. Peters suspects the paucity of news coverage from Iraq these days is because "things are going annoyingly well."

Rich Lowry agrees. "The United States may be the only country in world history that reverse-propagandizes itself, magnifying its setbacks and ignoring its successes so that nothing can disturb what Sen. Joe Lieberman calls the 'narrative of defeat,' " he wrote in National Review.

If what Mr. Peters, Mr. Benedetto and Mr. Lowry suspect is true, it must have pained The Associated Press to see a correspondent write Wednesday: "The trend toward better security is indisputable." It'll be interesting to see which newspapers run the AP story, and where in the paper they place it.

"We've won the war in the real Iraq, but few people in America are familiar with anything other than its make-believe version," said the Mudville Gazette's "Greyhawk," a soldier currently serving his second tour in Iraq.

First published on November 18, 2007 at 12:00 am

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mary Rodriguez Bringing the Power Back to the People 6th hour Democrats

Despite what many say, Mary Rodriguez and Katrina Bullard are both real-world people. However, unlike her opponent, Rodriguez has valuable experience in government activities, while Bullard has none whatsoever. Mary Rodriguez clearly is the more qualified and the more prepared candidate to hold this chair in office.

Rodriguez will represent all Nebraska citizens of her district. She has been in office because she has a passion for government and wants to have an active role in making Nebraska a better place--not because she woke up one day, decided that she didn't like the current government and decided to run for Congress.

There has been much talk about Mary Rodriguez’s opinion on the abortion issue. She is pro-choice—not Pro-Abortion. Mary Rodriguez realizes that the world is not a black-and-white, right-and-wrong sort of place. She will not force all to adhere to the standards of the few, and she will fight to preserve the constitutional rights of all American citizens. On the other hand, Bullard has stated her views on abortion as being pro-life, but she supports capital punishment. Who are we to judge whether a crime is worthy of killing someone, especially when nothing productive comes out of it?--and it doesn't even save tax payers money. It is not our right to pass judgment on others.

When asked about welfare, Katrina Bullard replied that giving money to others should be more personal. Personally, if my children were starving I wouldn't let my pride get in the way of feeding them. For the rebuttal, Rodriguez stated that it "it is not a Christmas gift, it is food money for starving. Charity is not implemented in American society for the rich to feel better about themselves. It is to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves." The pros of welfare immensely outweigh the cons. We need to let her views echo throughout America.

At the debate Katrina Bullard gave a little bit of lip. When asked about her views on pornography she responded with "I don't understand what this has anything to do with Congress..." Considering the fact that she didn't even know what she was rambling about, I think she had bigger issues to worry about than the relevance of the question--such as her answer. She was making things up left and right while not taking a stance on one side or the other. First, she stated pornography had no place in America, then she said "If you want to make your own [videos], do it yourself but don't access it to everyone in the public, it is for yourself." Rodriguez replied with “What you said totally contradicted yourself…I do believe the bedrooms of American citizens are in America.”
Many are confused now. Does she believe pornography is okay in America, or isn't it? It seems she took a very liberal stance on that subject which may concern some Conservatives.

What else will she flip-flop on?

Katrina Bullard: A Voice for the People

Experience. This is what Senator Rodriguez claims is her advantage over Katrina Bullard, but does she really have it? Sure she’s been involved in politics since her graduation of college, but does this give her the experience she needs to meet the needs of the people? What better experience is there than being a true citizen? Mrs. Bullard has personally experienced the life of a Nebraska citizen, and understands what we need as a people.
Katrina Bullard stands for what is right. She is a strong advocate for protecting the sanctity of marriage. Marriage began as a sacred union between a man and a woman, and Bullard wishes to keep it this way.
Does keeping the money you earned sound like a good idea to you? Katrina Bullard also wants to lower your taxes. She believes in opportunity of results. She disagrees with the fact that some citizens of our government are able to sponge a living off of our tax dollars.
Social security is a raging topic these days. Why not take Mrs. Bullard’s approach? She supports the privatization of social security. What better solution is there than being able to form your own social security account and put money into it whenever you can? This could help all Americans’ futures. When we are retired, that last thing we should be thinking about is if we have enough money to live comfortably. This proposition will benefit all of our futures.
Katrina Bullard will represent Nebraska and show the United States what we stand for. She will be a strong symbol of our support for America. Is the United States known for giving up when things become difficult? No! So why should we start now? We shouldn’t! Ms. Rodriguez wants to give up our mission in Iraq. She wants us to tuck our tails and go home. Mrs. Bullard, on the other hand, supports America. She wants us to finish what we started.
“Who are we to determine who is to live and who is to die?”
If you recall, this is exactly what Mary Rodriguez stated during the sixth hour debate November 7th, 2007. A good ideal? Yes. Does this follow what she even believes in? No. Is this direct quote not exactly what every pro-life follower tries to explain to every pro-choice advocate? Senator Rodriguez seems to be confused on what she believes in. Democrats support the pro-choice stance. This entails the belief that a woman should choose whether or not she wants her child to live or die depending on her personal life. Mrs. Bullard holds true to Ms. Rodriguez’s quote, she holds true to the right to life.
Katrina Bullard holds true to her beliefs, and she will hold true to you. She will use her personal experiences as a Nebraskan citizen to guide her decisions she will make. Mrs. Bullard will represent Nebraska as a symbol of the real American who pulled herself to success all on her own. Vote Katrina Bullard; pro-life, pro-success, pro-you.

Keep your voice in Congress and vote for Kurt Bullard

By Ricardo Alfonzo Valvarista

Kurt Bullard is the solid candidate in the election for Nebraska’s Second Congressional District seat. Senator Rodriguez is full of cracks, with conflicting views on headline issues. How can any candidate in a split-line election be as faulty as Senator Rodriguez is right now? How are we supposed to trust Mr. Rodriguez’s words? He is a pro-choice Catholic! If that isn’t a direct contradiction, I don’t know what is! How do we know he won’t contradict himself in Congress? How do we know that he will stick to his word and do what’s best for our country?

Kurt Bullard, on the other hand, opposes abortion and is strongly pro-life. A higher minimum wage would only cause inflation and unemployment. If wages are increased, companies looking to minimize costs will hire fewer people which would make it an impossible task to find a job. A study in Chicago showed that an increase in wages could lead to a loss of $350 million in the state’s economy and 10,000 jobs.

Bullard is the family man that I would expect the district needs now. Kurt Bullard is both honest and trustworthy. He cares about each and every citizen of our country. Kurt is the type of person who will listen to your problems and do what he can to help. He is the type of neighbor who will take time out of his own schedule to shovel you driveway or mow you lawn. He puts others before himself. Therefore, he will surely put the country first. If he wins, he brings tradition and good morals to Congress. No exceptions or questioning beliefs. Bullard is the man that takes public opinion with him to Congress.

The election is going down to the wire. With the preliminary standings released, Bullard is staging a pretty nice comeback for the Congressional district seat.

Who's Ready?

While watching the way that the two campaigns for the second congressional districts were run, I have been amazed at how totally different they seemed. The Democrats have run a slick campaign, highlighting the political expertise that Mark Rodriguez will bring to Washington. Kurt Bullard’s campaign, on the other hand, has been the victim of poor execution, poor planning, and poor preparation.
The first events of the campaign involved a pair of speeches given by the candidates before prospective voters at a town hall meeting. Mr. Bullard delivered a speech that appeared he had never seen before. He struggled through his entire discourse, constantly losing his place even while reading straight off of a sheet of paper, demonstrating almost no preparation. Rodriguez on the other hand had obviously taken pride in his preparation and delivered a well constructed and purposeful speech.
During the campaign both candidates had the opportunity to have their supporters publish an editorial in the Omaha World-Herald to explain why their candidate is the best choice for congressman. Rodriguez’s writers delivered a concise and well thought out paper that showed why a vote for him would help to construct a better America. Instead of trying to explain why Bullard should be elected, his supporters decided that they would be better off delivering a confusing jumble of nonsensical praise for Bullard and ignorant attacks upon Rodriguez and his beliefs.
The two candidates then met for a debate at a local library in front of prospective voters who considered themselves undecided in how they would vote in the next election. Bullard came to the debate clearly unprepared for it and seemingly ignorant as to what he even stood for. He stumbled through the whole debate, even standing silent for almost a half minute because he did not know what to say. Rodriguez, though, had a clear knowledge of what he stood for and was able to explain why he did.
After having watched the way that the two campaigns have been run and how the Bullard campaign has fallen apart as the election has progressed, I can not even imagine what a disaster it would be for Bullard to be elected. Because of this, I strongly advocate that any voters who have not made up their minds yet take a thoughtful look at who they want to represent them in Congress.

3rd hour Republicans: Mars Attack!!!

Beware! America is being invaded by aliens! Not the little, green, Martian type you see in science fiction movies, but the real thing. I’m talking about the illegal type who come in every day and night, by land and sea. Studies have shown that as many as 500,000 illegal aliens make it across the border successfully each and every year. Illegal immigration causes many problems in the United States, including those that affect our economy as a whole, the crime rate, our education system, and overcrowding in cities. All these problems were already inflicting considerable damage to our country. Illegal immigration has only led to further these problems.
There are so many problems and issues concerning illegal immigration. It is time our government did something about it. According to the online Law Encyclopedia, an alien is a non-citizen who has entered the United States without government permission or stayed beyond the termination date of a visa.
There is more to think about. Americans pay taxes monthly, yearly, daily. Yet illegal aliens do not pay taxes. These taxes pay for schools and other public services. Illegal aliens do not contribute to taxes and yet they still benefit from the schools and public services we pay for mind you. This is not fair to the citizens of the United States. Illegal immigration is also unfair in the sense to immigrants that have entered our country legally. It gives all immigrants a bad reputation and labels these immigrants as the stereotypical illegal alien.
We are now in the beginning of the 21st century, and like the beginning of the 20th century, the United States finds itself in the throes of a period of mass immigration. More than one million immigrants enter the United States, both legally and illegally every year. Many argue that this new wave of mass immigration may help sustain the success that our nation is having in regard to the way of living to which many Americans have become accustomed. Yet others believe that although our nation was created by immigrants it is time to “shut down” our borders. The truth of the matter is that there will always be problems in regard to immigration and the policies that the government sets forth in order to control who comes into this country. Now more than ever immigration policy has a greater affect on the American people because the fact that we find ourselves living in a time of great danger due to a possible terrorist threat. Suppose the thought is this; if we are unable to prevent illegal immigration, how do we expect to prevent future terrorist threats? If the American people vote for Bullard to meet the need, we can overcome the great obstacle of illegal immigration and nail it to the ground once and for all. This will bring the nation back to its feet, as it once was. The United States is being invaded by aliens, and something must be done before they annihilate our society.

Mark Rodriguez; the Man for the People.

When faced with the decision of choosing an appropriate candidate to represent me in Congress, I find it to be an incredibly easy decision. I can easily relate to Mark Rodriguez and his policies on how things ought to be run. His family values and morality makes him the perfect congressman to represent the American people.
Mark Rodriguez represents everyone, even those whose lifestyles he doesn’t necessarily agree with. He understands that he can’t only represent the people who share his exact beliefs, but he is ready to give them the rights that every human being is entitled. For example, the issue regarding homosexual marriages and unions does not parallel well with his Catholic background, but he understands that they still deserve their unalienable rights. In comparison, Kurt Bullard chooses to alienate the individuals whose opinions differ from his own and who’s are given to them in a free nation.
Rodriguez is also against abortion because of his religious beliefs, but he respects the rights given to them in the Constitution. Not only that, but across the globe, scientist and doctors alike are saying that no matter if it is legal or illegal, people will still continue to have the procedure done. Therefore, he is attempting to save the lives of women by making sure there are clean and safe facilities for them to have it done, while still insuring that it is practiced as minimally as possibly by placing restrictions on when in the pregnancy it can take place.
Mark Rodriguez believes we should do more to save the environment. He wants to cut back on deforestation, provide more alternative fuel, and he wants to give more governmental mandates for the betterment of the environment. I want someone who cares not only about my generation, but also that of my great-grandchildren to represent me in Congress.
He is the most experienced candidate in this election. His opponent rose from a position at a furniture store in attempt to lead the people. His attempts are honorable, but Rodriguez is more knowledgeable and can comprehend the steps necessary to fulfill his promises to us, the people. He knows exactly what every individual deserves in order to pursue a life of happiness. A vote for Mark Rodriguez is a vote for the people.

The Choice is Yours--Second Hour Dems

The Choice is Yours
--Samma Montana

You’ve seen the debate, heard the speeches, and seen the commercials. And now, before you know it, you’ll be faced with the decision that could make or break the future of Nebraska. Who will you choose for a seat in the House of Representatives? Republican candidate Kurt Bullard, or Democratic candidate Mark Rodriguez? While both candidates show a few obvious strengths and weaknesses, my vote finds comfort with Rodriguez. His attention to issues, like the environment, welfare, and education have won my support.
One issue that I feel has strongly helped cement my vote for Rodriguez is his stance on education and the negative effects of standardized testing. While standardized tests may help ensure that certain skills are taught, Rodriguez doesn’t believe that teachers should have to teach to the test, students shouldn’t have to learn to the test. Standardized testing isn’t the only thing that calls for change in today’s school systems, education reform in general needs to take place, and Rodriguez will help work to ensure it happens.
Welfare is an extremely important issue in today’s politics. Mark Rodriguez wants to make sure everyone who needs help is receiving it. After all, the government is meant to help people, rich or poor! Bullard wants to cut back on welfare spending, but does he realize what this could do to millions of Americans, such as those with extremely low incomes or disabilities? Welfare includes a variety of programs designed to best fit citizens in need, including low-income undergraduate students, veterans, low-income families, young people with serious disabilities, and even senior citizens in need of health insurance. Why do we need to cut back on helping people who are clearly in need of assistance?
Another issue that seems to have been shoved to the side in Kurt Bullard’s campaign is the environment. Rodriguez is serious about his plans to keep Nebraska, and all of America, as environmentally healthy as realistically possible. Some of Rodriguez’s initiatives to improve the environment include encouraging people to recycle more and helping America to become less dependant on foreign oil by increasing ethanol production. Rodriguez WILL make changes to the environment that will only help Nebraska.
Ultimately, the choice is all yours when you go out to vote on the coming Election Day. But when you do pick your new representative, I hope you’ll keep in mind the impact your vote will have. Your vote will impact not just you but thousands of Nebraska students, millions of needy Americans, and on the health of our entire planet Earth. I hope you will recognize the impact your decision will have on our entire future.

A Man of Action

Kurt Bullard has shown he is not just focused economic issues. Mark Rodriguez has adamantly said how focused he is on environmental issues, but what has he done to put words into action? As you know Kurt Bullard is the Vice-President of Nebraska Furniture Mart. What many voters don’t know is that Kurt Bullard takes helping the environment seriously. Nebraska Furniture Mart sends out hundreds of shipping trucks to all corners of Nebraska and beyond. Using standard diesel trucks would release huge amounts of pollution into Earth’s fragile atmosphere. To prevent further damages to the atmosphere, Kurt Bullard has mandated that all of his shipping trucks must be fueled by ethanol. This not only benefits Earth’s ozone layer, but is also a great profit for Nebraska farmers producing corn. Nebraska winters can and will get cold, very cold. Heating the vast Nebraska Furniture Mart building can be expensive and enviormentally unfriendly. However, Kurt Bullard has taken the initiative to install a geothermal heating system. This system harnesses natural heat from the Earth’s core. Even though the initial cost is steep, the permanent heating system paid for itself in five years. Producing vast amounts of furniture means the use of vast amounts of lumber. In order to reduce his company’s affect on deforestation across America, Kurt Bullard has produced a new line of furniture that uses old plastic milk bottles and other recycled plastic items. Recycling companies melt these plastic items down to mold a wood-like material. You may have seen this method being used at Walnut Creek Lake in Papillion. Dotting the trail are benches also made from recycled plastics. Drivers on Interstate 80 might have noticed several wind mills periodically along the drive. Many do not know this, but Kurt Bullard sponsored the building of these wind mills. The wind mills supply power to twenty-five surrounding farm families. Kurt Bullard is planning to spread this energy source with ten more wind mills ready for use in 2008. For as much talking as Mark Rodriguez has done about saving the environment; he has shown little action to back up his words. Kurt Bullard has consistently shown he is a man of action, not a man of empty words.

Bullard for Nebraska

After watching the debate it is clear to see that Kurt Bullard is the front runner in this race. He stood strong on his Christian values. Mr. Bullard is pro-life and against gay marriage. Sen. Rodriguez on the other hand is pro-choice and for gay marriage, even though he is Catholic. Bullard did his homework and was fully prepared for the debate, while Rodriguez, on many occasions, did not answer the question at hand. He kept going back to the issue of foreign oil and alternative energies, which is not an issue, because both candidates are for lesser dependence on foreign oil. There are more pressing issues at hand than foreign oil. The real issues are those that affect Nebraska and its citizens directly. The war against terror, abortion, gay rights, and taxes are just a few of the important issues.
When asked about taxes Sen. Rodriguez replied by stating “I am not going to raise taxes.” That is absurd with his proposals. Sen. Rodriguez wants to cut our dependence on foreign oil completely and rely totally on energies such as Earth friendly ethanol, wind, and solar power. This is not a bad idea. However, a sudden and complete change would require large amounts of money. This means that our taxes would sky rocket. Rodriguez also wants to pass legislation making it illegal for vehicles in the U.S. to get less than 50 mpg. This is not possible because not all Americans are financially able to buy a new car by the year 2010, like Sen. Rodriguez wants. Besides, we are taking the right steps to save the environment. Right now we are slowly changing cars and other vehicles to cleaner, nature friendly ethanol and hydrogen. We are doing this without our taxes going through the roof. Sen. Rodriguez’s proposal would take hard earned money out of Nebraskan’s pockets. This is not necessary because there are more pressing issues at hand. Note, that not once in the debate did Sen. Rodriguez speak of the Nebraska farmers and how to help them by using Nebraska grown corn for the use of ethanol.
Mr. Bullard is the best man to represent Nebraska. He is a small town man who has worked hard to get where he is at as Vice President of Nebraska Furniture Mart. Without a good work ethic Mr. Bullard would have achieved nothing. He has promised to represent Nebraska and its citizens to the best of his abilities in the U.S. Congress. He will propose legislation to end abortion and gay marriage. He will work on laws to cut taxes for the residents of this nation and more importantly this state. It is clear to see why Kurt Bullard is the best choice for Nebraska. It is your right as a citizen to get out and vote on Election Day. It is your responsibility to get out and vote on Election Day. It is your responsibility to make the right decision and vote for Kurt Bullard for U.S. Congress. Besides, who wants a man to represent them that has held city office his entire life and never seen what the working class is all about, a man who was quoted in the debate as saying “Communism is not such a bad thing.”(Mark Rodriguez, 11/7/07).

1st Hour Democrats

From Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letters from Birmingham: “One may ask, ‘How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?’ Any law that uplifts human personality is unjust. In 2004 there were 902 incidents of hate crime against homosexuals in the United States. When Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his Letters from Birmingham hate crime against African Americans were widespread in the South. Denying homosexuals from the rights the rest of us have is as unjust as the Jim Crowe laws during the fifties and sixties. By passing these laws and preventing them their rights the government is degrading human personality. Rodriquez does not personally agree with homosexuality. However, he does support equal rights for all people, no matter what their lifestyle choices may be. He believes it is their right to choose how they live, not the government’s place to regulate. How would you like the government telling you that you could not marry the person you love? After all, that is all these people want, and it is the purpose of marriage. It is the legal unity of two people who want to be together. In disabling them from expressing their love for each other, we are degrading their personality. This is the way they were born, and the way they choose to live. As citizens of the United States, they should be guaranteed their unalienable right to pursue happiness. Some may say that marriage is solely for procreation. If this were true, we would have to outlaw sterile men and infertile women from marriage as well. A few steps have been made to change these injustices. In Vermont a court legalized a ‘civil union’ between a gay couple, but they refused to call it a marriage. Just like the separate but equal laws of the fifties, this allowance is contradictory of itself. The recurring question comes to mind, “If it is equal, then why must it be separate?” Another argument is that a gay couple is unable to raise a child successfully. People automatically assume that because a child’s parents are homosexual, they will be homosexual as well. This is like saying if a couple is heterosexual they will always raise a heterosexual. We all know this is simply not true. Sure a family with homosexual parents may not be the ‘traditional’ American family. But then again, what is ‘traditional’? With fifty percent of marriages in America ending in divorce, more and more households are being supported by one parent families. Who determines tradition for American families? We should not allow Mr. Bullard to determine whether we are ‘normal’ enough for America.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

CES Polling Data

1st Hour - Bullard (R) 50.02, Rodriguez (D)49.98
Comments: Speech slight edge to Bullard, Commercial strong advantage for Rodriguez, Debate strong advantage for Bullard, Editorial slight edge to Rodriguez. This election is going right down to the wire.

2nd Hour - Bullard (R) 50.34, Rodriguez (D)49.66
Comments: The only advantage for Rodriguez in this election is the editorial. The commercial was a major victory for Bullard. The Rodriguez campaign must plug the holes in a media group.

3rd Hour - Bullard (R) 50.67, Rodriguez (D)49.33
Comments: Bullard's crumple the speech method was a huge hit and vaulted him to the lead in this election. The Democrats had a slight edge in the commercial, but lost the debate and editorial by about the same margin. The Rodriguez Camp needs to take the victory in the commercial and apply it in other areas.

4th Hour - Rodriguez (D) 50.20, Bullard (R)49.80
Comments: Rodriguez won all areas, except the commercial. This has given them the slight edge. Bullard's speech was a major loss for the campaign. This is still a very tight race. Bullard must improve the communication of his vision to win. If Rodriguez improves the media, and all things stay equal, he will win.

6th Hour - Bullard (R) 50.28, Rodriguez (D) 49.72
Comments: The Bullard campaign won the speech and the 1st commercial in overwhelming fashion. Thankfully for Mary Rodriguez, she was able to conquer her opponent in the debate. She also had a slight edge in the editorial. This election is still very close. If Rodriguez can work out the kinks in the media and deliver a better speech this election will definitely be one of the closest in the end.

CES Project 6th Hour Democrats

CES Project 6th Hour Republicans

CES Project 4th Hour Democrats

CES Project 4th Hour Republicans

CES Project 3rd Hour Republicans

CES Project 3rd Hour Democrats

CES Project 2nd Hour Republicans

CES 2nd Hour Democrats

CES Project 1st Hour Democrats

CES Project 1st Hour Republicans

Friday, November 9, 2007

Issue of The Week: Obesity-Whose Fault is it? Is it a Disease or a Choice?

Obesity is the state of being grossly overweight due to excessive body fat. Men with more than 25% body fat and women with more than 30% body fat are considered obese. This condition occurs when a person consumes more calories than he or she burns. The causes for this may include psychological factors such as emotional eating, genetic factors such as heredity and environmental factors such as the habit of valuing convenience over nutrition. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It has also been linked to other serious health problems, including diabetes, cancer, reproductive problems in women and liver disease. Obesity may also cause negative psychological effects due to th stigma attached to being overweight. Obese people may feel unattractive and others may perceive them as gluttonous or lazy. They may be discriminated against at school or in the workplace. Treatment for obesity may include diet and exercise, counseling, prescription drugs and bariatric surgery. Medicare recognized obesity as a medical illness on July 15, 2004.
Some argue that because obesity leads to serious long-term or fatal conditions, it is deserving of professional attention and should be classified as a medical illness. They note that genetics, along with biologically based problems such as abnormal food cravings, eating patterns or metabolism, are key factors in determining who will be subject to obesity. The article HHS Announces Revised Medicare Obesity Coverage Policy discusses the removal of language from the Medicare manual stating that obesity is not an illness. What the Doctor Orders, by Jacob Sullum, states that "if smoking, alcohol abuse, and illegal drug use can be diseases, surely obesity can." In No. 1 Health Problem, Obesity, Seldom Treated, it is stated that "studies are increasingly confirming that obesity is a medical problem."
Opponents argue that overeating and lack of exercise are the main causes of obesity, even in those with a genetic predisposition. They feel that legitimizing obesity as a medical problem will remove the responsibility from the individual. In House OKs Ban on Fast Food Obesity Suits, the author states that "those who overeat should blame themselves," indicating this is not a medical problem but a lifestyle choice. "Socioeconomic factors significantly and systematically affect an individual’s ability to achieve good health" is an argument put forth in The Role of Economics in Eating Choices and Weight Outcomes. The article HHS Unveils FDA Strategy to Help Reduce Obesity reveals that people should accept more responsibility for their eating and lifestyle habits.

Information from SIRS RESEARCHER

Monday, November 5, 2007

Issue of the Week: Abortion, Choice or No Choice?

Americans have been divided over abortion from the foundations of the nation. As early as 1832, states regulated under what conditions a woman could receive an abortion. Matters such as fetal viability, economics and women’s health were evaluated within medical, legal and government institutions. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 established a right of privacy for the use of birth control and set a precedent. In 1973, Roe v. Wade legalized abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment’s right to privacy provision. The ruling far from settled the public debate or legal battles. Subsequent court cases on the state and federal level reviewed parental and spousal consent laws, counseling in federally-funded clinics and the use of emergency contraception. The development of ultrasound images and prenatal testing further complicated the ideas of fetal viability and whether prenatal diagnosis of disease or disability is reason to abort. While the pro-choice and pro-life movements stand at opposite ideological fences, many Americans advocate for abortion but on a limited basis. Regardless of public opinion, pro-life advocates battle to overturn Roe v. Wade while pro-choice forces strive to eliminate abortion restrictions.
The pro-choice movement supports the decision in Roe v. Wade, the use of emergency contraception and tougher legislation for crimes against pregnant women. Supporters overwhelmingly do not oppose stem-cell research. They believe that life begins when a fetus is viable. Jodi Enda in The Women’s View offers a history of the pro-choice movement and argues that pro-choice feminists must resort to some of the same emotion-filled tactics to counter pro-life efforts to undermine public support for abortion. Professor Francis Beckwith provides a point-by-point critique of Pro-Life rhetoric in Choice Words. Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette makes the argument for free access to the abortion pill RU486 in Restrict Access to the Abortion Drug. In Enough Is Enough: Why Now Is the Time to Act, the Zero Population Growth organization makes the case that the (George W.) Bush Administration’s stance on abortion is part of a larger global assault on women’s health and rights.
The pro-life movement wishes to overturn the ruling in Roe v. Wade, encourages women to choose adoption, is against emergency contraception and is fighting for legislation which recognizes the unborn as separate victims in crimes against pregnant women. Supporters typically oppose stem cell research because it destroys embryos considered to have life from the moment of conception. In Deciding Abortion: The Key Questions, Daniel Oliver deconstructs the Roe v. Wade decision and argues that the Precautionary Principle provides philosophical groundwork for opposing abortion. The history and current challenges to the pro-life movement are discussed in Abortion Now. The article Victims of Their Own Choice profiles women who have experienced “post-abortion syndrome” after their own abortion experiences and now oppose Roe v. Wade. Included is an interview with a pro-choice activist. Lousiana Representative David Vitter explains his opposition to access to RU-486 in Restrict Access to Abortion Drug.
Information from SIRS Researcher Pro/Con Online Database.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Government is not the enemy: on Mary Rodriguez, 6th hour Democrats

When I think about Mary Rodriguez I think of someone who works hard, is dedicated, and is also someone who will not give up. Rodriguez has a lot of experience in the government along with popularity from the public. When describing Rodriguez one would say she is a person who believes that, when run effectively, government can help solve societal problems and that government is not the enemy!

Personally if it came down to it I would trust Rodriguez with my life. She is involved and knows what to say and when to say it! Not all people are qualified for certain jobs and are not always people that I would give those kinds of responsibilities to. I think that when someone wants to come in and strengthen a community they have guts, and that is exactly what she is doing.

Rodriguez takes in the consideration of the people that she is working for. Being a minority and growing up less privileged she understands that things need to be done in regards to every one not just one target audience such as just the the women or just the business owners.

I love my home state of Nebraska. Especially that Cornhusker feeling and personally I want it to stay that way. Mary Rodriguez does not want Nebraska to lose its hometown feel either. A homey town is hard to find but when, you have it don’t let it slip away.

Rodriguez also favors higher taxes on the wealthy and redistributing income to the poorer sections of the country. I also agree with that but also on the fact that big business has taken over Congress.

Everyone sometime in their life has probably held a minimum wage paying job she did too. She worked at the local grocery store through high school, so she could go to college. Because of her struggle to achieve her goal of a higher education she supports raising the minimum wage. Also, many women are single mothers along with being a minority are not able to support a family on a minimum wage job. So I agree with Rodgriguez to raise that baby up!

Now when it comes to Iraq, I 100% agree with Rodriguez’s views. She is taking it from that mothers point of view. If I had to send my child over to fight in a war I would probably lose it and go crazy. Rodriguez is making it a lot easier on those who want to keep their sons and daughters safe by wanting them to bow out gracefully and come HOME! In my eyes Rodriguez is a life saver. She is taking in the consideration of others and I feel she is touching people on a personal and will fight for what we believe is right!

Katrina Bullard: A Voice for the People- Six hour Republicans

Living all her life as an average American citizen, Katrina Bullard has based her values and morals on what she has personally experienced. Bullard understands what it is like to be the recipient of governmental decisions, and therefore has a better understanding of the average American citizen's needs and hardships.
Can we really trust a candidate who lacks such an important component to a good leader? Does Rodriguez really understand what the needs of the people are, or will she just be there to support the wants of the radicals? Rodriguez has only had one viewpoint on America. Never has she been in real America.
Katrina is the perfect example of the American dream. Bullard started her life as an average American citizen who grabbed her chance at success and flew with it. As the former vice-president of Nebraska Furniture Mart has given Katrina the experience of leadership and will help her be able to make strong decisions for the betterment of our country.
Wisdom comes with age. With fifty-six years under her belt, Bullard has a sound stance on her values and beliefs.

All-American Congressman Makes No Promises, Only Guarantees-4th Hour Republicans

By: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivarista

I don’t think either candidate has got a clear upper hand in appealing to the youth vote. Bullard is one that understands where the young people are coming from in that both have or will have to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”.

He is the epitome of a hometown boy to business tycoon story. He is absolutely right when he says he got where he is the “American Way”. What other way is there, the “socialized with all-the-help-you-need” way, a.k.a. the Rodriguez way?

He is surely going to appeal to the people who say “I could have done that!” since Kurt Bullard comes from the same place the people do.

Plus, he pledges to serve three terms and be over with. Who can deny the man his dream of a simple term in Congress?

Kurt Bullard was raised in a Christian home, instilling him with the religious and moral values that have been essential in his life.

Kurt is the All-American guy. He has now decided to give up his manager position at Nebraska Furniture Mart in exchange for a chance to serve the public in the community in which he has been raised, and to prove that he is very much capable of being an effective leader.

Many people admire Bullard’s honest and caring nature. He represents the common people of our country and aims to provide all citizens with an equal opportunity to flourish. He promises to put money in out pockets, as long as we are willing to simply put forth the effort required to earn this wealth.

He is also a social conservative and will always vote to uphold traditional family values. Republican candidate Kurt Bullard is ready to enhance the success of you and the success of your country. With Bullard in Congress, he will uphold his guarantees, not only promises.

When voting for a candidate, it is best to look for consistency. In the case of Mark Rodriguez, he often contradicts himself. Although he is Catholic, he is pro-choice. Also, he is supported by many gay rights groups. He hides these two inconsistencies behind his political career.

With Rodriguez in Congress, the amount of taxes and government spending will soar through the roof!

Mark Rodriguez brings a change to Congress that the American public does not need right now.

The Way to a Brighter Future - Fourth Hour Democrats

Sitting in a library reading about our “successes” in Iraq I begin to ponder why we are still wasting money on what has become a total disaster. It isn’t even a war; it’s more a Republican attempt to force democracy on another country. We had such a problem with Russia doing this with communism yet we’re trying to do the same thing with democracy. So what is our reason for staying in Iraq? Mark Rodriguez knows that there is no sound answer for this question.
With no incumbent running this district has an important choice to make. The Republican candidate, Kurt Bullard, stands for more of the same in Iraq and fully supports the disaster in Iraq. Mark Rodriguez believes that the Iraq war has been a complete disaster for America and he will vote to bring the troops home, end the waste of billions of American dollars, and stop the destruction of the American.
Mr. Bullard supports keeping our troops in Iraq until we have created a “friendly democracy” and opposes setting a timetable for withdrawal. The question that needs to be asked then is what is a friendly democracy? Democracy implies that the country’s future is in the hands of the people. But the Republican goal for Iraq seems to be the creation of a puppet government that Washington can manipulate. Mr. Rodriguez, however, wants change and he wants it soon. He will vote to remove our military presence from Iraq within his first term and to end the pointless deaths of our soldiers.
This war has cost half a trillion dollars and it is estimated that by its end it could cost American taxpayers one to two trillion dollars! This is an immense amount of money to spend on an unnecessary war. But instead of trying to stop this, Mr. Bullard supports the continued waste of American money. Mr. Rodriguez, on the other hand, wants to end this wastefulness and end the war as quickly as possible.
It has been said that opponents of the Iraq war are unpatriotic. On the contrary Mr. Rodriguez believes that pulling our troops from Iraq is the only patriotic thing to do. The war has depleted our military supply depots and we would be vulnerable if war broke out with another country. But Mr. Bullard has ignored this cost of the Iraq war in his blind support for the Republican Party line. Mr. Rodriguez does not want to see our country weakened and because of this he will vote for a rapid pullout from Iraq.
So what will it be? Will you choose a mindless supporter of the Republican Party? Or will you choose someone who has America’s interests at heart? The man who supports our military, the man who will bring our boys home, the man who will not support broken policy. Mr. Rodriguez has the heart of a giant and a vote for him is a vote for a better America.