Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More hurricanes predicted

The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season will produce eight hurricanes, four of them being major, the CSU hurricane forecasting team predicted on Wednesday. The season should start around June 1 and it's six month season would likely see 15 tropical storms. There is a 69 percent chance that one major hurricane will land on U.S. soil.

My Opinion: Time will certainly tell if we have bad hurricanes or not. If we do, oil prices will go up because the oil companies will freak out. That will not help our economy to grow. Also, if we have bad hurricanes, millions of dollars will have to be spent for rescue operations and rebuilding operations. So the potential for hurricanes is great, and hopefully we will be able compensate and be ready for them, and hopefully they will not hinder our economy more than it is or increase gas prices more than they are.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Obama is limiting potential uses of nuclear weapons

The U.S. is pledging to not use nuclear weapons against countries who don't have nukes, no matter what they use on us. The U.S. will "keep all options on the table" when it comes to dealing with North Korea and Iran. In Obama's new nuclear policy, the U.S. will not develop or test any new nuclear weapons. The policy is aimed at reducing the world's stockpiles of nuclear weapons, however some are concerned that the U.S. could put itself in danger if others don't follow. Robert Gates said that this document doesn't quite declare that the U.S. will never be the first to use a nuclear weapon. Nuclear treaty violators like Iran and North Korea are exempt from this new policy.

My Opinion: This has potential to be okay. I think that if countries use biological or chemical attacks on our country, we shouldn't entirely rule out nuclear weapons. However, the basic idea of not shooting off nukes on people who don't have them is probably an okay idea. I am glad that North Korea and Iran are not included in this new policy. It seems like North Korea and Iran are pretty unstable, and we need to keep enough nukes for the U.S. to be able to defend itself against these countries in the event of a threat from them.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gas Mileage

Obama has come out with his fuel economy standards. Now starting in 2012, every car manufacturer will have to increase the fuel economy of their fleet by 5% each year. "The status quo is no longer acceptable," Obama said, warning that the American appetite for oil comes at a "tremendous price." "This rule provides the clear certainty that will allow these companies to plan for a future in which they are building the cars of the 21st century," Obama said. "Yes, it costs money to develop these vehicles. But even as the price to build these cars and trucks goes up, the cost of driving these vehicles will go down, as drivers save money at the pump." These new standards are supposed to att $1300 dollars onto most vehicles. But drivers should make that money back within 3 years with all of the gas savings. These new rules will require fleet fuel effeciency to meet 35.5 MPG by model year 2016.

My Opinion: This is the wrong time in which to do this. The economy is bad, the automakers are having a hard enough time as it is. Every time a president increases the MPG standards, the automakers have more layoffs and more strain on their business. Not to mention that most cars won't be able to get this. The only way for cars to acheive these MPG ratings is for the automakers to put four cylinder or less engines in all of their vehicles. Four cylinder engines get good gas mileage. My sister's 2000 Camry gets 34 on the highway, it was rated at 30. However, there are two problems I have with four cylinder engines. First, in trucks, they would be useless. Most four cylinder engines have no power until at least 4000 RPM, so in a Suburban, you would have to redline you engine just to get on the Interstate. If you pulled a trailer, you would have drive in a gear low enough to get the RPMs up to pull the trailer. Now, all of that redlining in a truck might get better mileage than a V8, but it will cause increased wear in those engines, causing more to be in the junkyard. Also, having to drive a four cyinder engine hard will not get you amazing gas mileage. So this is a bad time to do this. Yes, it might save money at the pump, but it is hard to shell out $1300 more at the car lot.


This isn't a current event.

I was a little confused as to what we were supposed to do for our project. I thought that one person would give a five minute speech, and then the rest of us would answer questions. I didn't know that each of us were supposed to give a speech. I was confused as to the format of what we were supposed to do.

However, that doesn't entirely excuse our group. I don't think we knew as much as we should have about the flat tax. From what I see, it looks like an excellent idea. I read about it online, and I watched a video on YouTube with Steve Forbes talking about it. I feel that the tax rate would be more fair to American families. The current average tax rate is 22 percent. This would be 17 percent. I feel that it is good and especially beneficial to not tax savings accounts and retirement accounts. It seems like with the flat tax, if you are smart with your money, you don't have to pay as much in taxes. It's a consumption tax from what I understand. I don't think that the rich should get higher taxes for being rich. Yeah, they can afford it, but it's not fair. If I work hard and earn a lot of money, then I don't want to have to pay for other people's laziness and unwillingness to work (although I do understand that there are a lot of families who work hard, but their jobs don't bring in much money.) The redistribution of wealth is not good in this country.

While I do not know everything about the flat tax, it looks like it might be a good idea. The government would spend less money on the IRS because the IRS would be reduced in size.

Also, it is hard to know what the people's questions are when everyone keeps interrupting. Mia asked a question about how poor people would pay for health care or something like that, and I am not sure if I got remotely close to answering her question (although she probably wouldn't agree with my answer anyway). That was frustrating.

So here's to better communicaton and preparedness in the future.

Oh, and I wasn't just sitting around watching TV on my day's off. I applied for a lot of scholarships and applied for three jobs. I also went to the elementary school where I work.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dad charged court fees for protesters

A man was ordered to pay the court fees after anti military protesters came and picketed at his son's funeral. The man's son was a Marine who died in combat in 2006. The father, Albert Snyder, was ordered to pay the $16,510 owed to Fed Phelps, leader of the extremist Kansas Westboro Baptist Church. That church picketed Matthew Snyder's funeral. According to a Web site created in Snyder's honor, his relatives filed the civil lawsuit against the Westboro Baptist Church to "bring an end to the reign of terror and abuse that they inflicted" upon grieving families of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Snyder said that he is going to defy the court order. He has gotten a lot of support from people across the country. Even Bill Oreilly, who has a show on Fox News, said on the air that he will help Snyder with the legal fees saying, ""We have a foundation set up to help those in need of assistance, we will help Mr. Snyder who we feel is a victim of judicial injustice." Snyder also filed a brief with the Supreme Court. The high court agreed to consider whether the protesters message is protected under the First Amendment, or limited by competing privacy and religious rights of mourners.

My Opinion: While it might be their First Amendment right, this is definitely wrong. This is adding insult to injury. I do not feel that Albert Snyder should pay the court fees for a group that was protesting his son's funeral. You may not respect the war, but you MUST respect the warrior. The warrior gives us the freedom to disagree with the war, along with every other freedom in America. The warrior serves his country for us, the United States of America. He needs to be respected for that. America, for the most part, learned that after Vietnam. Apparently some people didn't learn that.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bullying led to Massachusetts Teen Death

Nine teens have been charged with "unrelenting bullying" in the death of 15 year old Phoebe Prince. Phoebe moved here from Ireland. She had been raped and endured months of torment from classmates. District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said Phoebe was stalked and harassed from September until she killed herself January 14. The bullies-four girls and two boys- face charges including statutory rape, assault, violation of civil rights resulting in injury, criminal harassment, disturbance of a school assembly, and stalking. The case is still under investigation, and the DA hasn't commented on the circumstances of the rape.

My Opinion: It can be hard for people to fit in in high school. There have always been cliques and groups. Those are normal and a part of life. Not everyone fits in and gets along with everyone. However, bullying is purposely going out of your way to make somebody's life miserable. Teens have a hard enough time with acceptance today. We don't need other teens making our lives more miserable. This is sad, and it's terrible that it happened. But, hopefully people will start to realize that bullying is bad, and just doesn't occur on the elementary school playground.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Abortion ban on Colorado Ballots

An abortion ban will be on Colorado ballots this fall. The Secretary of State's Office said that Personhood, USA, which is based in Colorado, got enough valid signatures to put an abortion ending proposal on Colorado ballots this fall. This proposal would give unborn babies human rights in the state constitution. This would likely conflict with the U.S. Constitution and a woman's right to an abortion.

My Opinion: I feel that this is good. It has potential to give babies the chance to live. I agree with this ballot. A person is a person, no matter how small. I like how babies would get human rights.