Trump Pulls Out of Paris Deal: Will There Be Consequences?

Ms. Koko Vercessi, Editor in Chief

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Courtesy of New York Media

This Thursday President Trump announced that the United States would be pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord. To many this appeared to be an act that demonstrated a nonchalant view of global warming and climate change issues. All over social media the world is exploding either in protest or support of this sudden and decisive action on President Trump’s part, so what consequences will this choice have if any on the American people and the Trump administration?

In what President Trump called adraconian” international deal, Trump pledged his loyalty to the people of Pittsburgh and deserted the agreement for environmental action signed by 195 nations. In what could be seen as a power play meant to increase faith in the new administration for their prioritization of the American people, or a rash decision that disregarded the importance of pressing environmental issues, no one can deny that this move on Trump’s part is certainly making some waves, and will most definitely come with consequences.

Reading through the many different articles in opposition to Trump’s most recent action, it seems as if his choice may only have fueled that fire that is the belief that his administration disregards the importance of climate change and its effects. However, many seem to ignore the fact that his action may have been made as a way to assert the independence and sovereignty of the American people, not an action that was meant to display a blatant indifference to global warming.

The question now remains, how will Trump’s decision impact the lives of the American people and how will it impact the role of the United States in the global community?

 

 

New Instant Runoff Voting Leads Flad and Koutras to be 2017-18 Student Body President and Co-President

Mr. Christopher T. O’Brien and Jacob C. Griggs 

In the 2017-18 CVU election, seven 11th grade candidates ran for the student body president and vice president for their senior year of high school coming up this fall.

In years past it was common for four or five pairs of students to run for president and vice president; however, this year there’s been more interest, leading to a new voting system.

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The candidates mug for Instagram, appeal for insta-votes.

 

The new voting system is common in France, and is called Instant Runoff Voting. Opposed to selecting the candidate with the most overall votes, the students ranked the candidates from their favorite to their least favorite. Once all the votes are in, the candidate with the least amount of votes are eliminated, and the votes that were for the eliminated candidate are now changed to their second choice and the results are looked at again. The next, least voted group is eliminated, and anyone who voted for them gets their vote changed to their next choice until it’s down to the final two. If one of the candidates has a majority amount of the votes, then that group will win the election on the spot.

Lacey Richards, a CVU history teacher, is a proponent for instant runoff voting, “It allows for more third party involvement. It also is cost effective because there is no need for a secondary election which can be very expensive.” She added, “this voting system allows for people to vote for who they want elected versus voting against a candidate.”

Roarke Flad, from Shelburne, has been elected by the Freshman, Sophomores and Juniors at CVU as the President of the student body for the upcoming school year. Flad says, “My enthusiasm and charisma was what it took to convince the students to vote for us.” Flad’s co-president, Lydia Koutras from Williston says, “We plan on putting a couple of trees in the library and fixing the bell system to not go off radically.”

With the new voting system in place for the first year, it didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the elections, “The new voting system did not play a role in the results, however, it was helpful information and if it were to be a closer race than it would have had an impact.“ says current student body president Annie Bedell.

Whether or not the instant runoff voting helped out for a more fair election this year, with many close elections to come in the future, the new voting system will be able to have a more direct impact on who will becoming the next student body president and co president.

 

 

 

Opinion: Trump Hit the Refresh Button on Democracy

Mr. Shane Beal, Guest Political Commentator

How Trump Rewrote the Political Script as the Founding Fathers Intended

First and foremost, when I say that Mr. Trump is healthy for the political system, I’m not making a defense of his character or any of his particular policies. The reason that he’s good for our electoral process is because he fragmented the strict two party system that has dominated American politics for decades. In this capacity, what he did could have been done by any outsider candidate, and the good he did has to be viewed in the appropriate context.

His victory is good in the sense that it prevented Hillary Clinton from winning. Had she won, both parties would have reinforced the notion that in order to win an election, their candidates would need to conform to traditional party values and platforms. Mr. Trump’s victory showed that a candidate who appeals to the concerns of the citizenry, regardless of where these issues fall on party lines, can win an election, and in doing so, encouraged both parties to diversify their views, reorienting their agendas from reinforcing party platforms regardless of current issues to paying attention to and addressing the individual and fluctuating concerns of the American citizenry. In this context, Mr. Trump’s election is a resounding success for our political system and, more importantly, for the American people. Mr. Trump’s victory now is a victory for every candidate who appeals directly to the citizens rather than to the party, and will allow the citizens of our country to better be represented by their candidates.

John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence" (1819) has hung in the White House Rotunda for nearly 200 years.

John Trumbull’s “Declaration of Independence” (1819) has hung in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC for nearly 200 years.

The oppressive two party system that existed prior to Mr. Trump’s election was an evil that the founding fathers predicted and understandably abhorred. As John Adams said, “there is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

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Opinion: skeptical politicos, it’s time to get real on climate change

Mr. Alex Merrill

Every year it seems that winter is getting a little shorter.  Climate change is a reality that we must understand. Snowfall is becoming noticeably unpredictable. What used to be a thick white blanket that coated the landscape has turned into a variable carpet frequently interspersed with rain and long thaws. While many of us hate prolonged periods of -10°, few of us complain about lots of snow. Shorter winters are the most notable effect of climate change, and others persist.  The drought that we experienced over the summer can also been attributed to climate change.

On a larger scale 100 year storms are occurring more frequently. Is the old 100 year storm now a twenty year storm?  What will the new 100 year storms look like?  Will we see more flooding? More droughts, and more heat waves?  From a statistical lens it appears so. Fifteen of the sixteen hottest years on record (through 2015) have occurred since 2000 according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  This does not include 2016 which may well be the hottest year on record according to weather.com. Saying that this is a coincidence is statistically impossible.

Image courtesy of Skeptical Science

Image courtesy of Skeptical Science

In the last several years, landmark deals on climate change have been reached, culminating in the Paris accords which stipulated that all countries seek to limit global warming.  This summer, a deal was reached to limit the emissions of fluorinated hydrocarbons, HFCs that are 100 more times powerful than other more common greenhouse gasses such as CO2. These international deals represent significant hope for the planet.

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Opinion: Everyone needs to calm down and accept Trump as POTUS

Mr. Willem Hillier

It’s official. No matter how you feel about it, Donald Trump is going to be president of the United States, and there’s nothing we can do about it. This could prove to be the most significant election in U.S. history in a very long time. He has promised to do things that no other candidate has ever even mentioned, many of which are questionable in their legality, morality, and are more often than not, straight-up ignorant. He has insulted every minority out there, repeatedly called global warming a hoax, convinced a large percentage of the general public that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US, and has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple women.

President Trump, Courtesy of Wikimedia

And yet, with all of these potential negatives and the general scandal surrounding him, he is going to become the 45th president. This election has driven a deep divide in the country between the liberal-leaning and the conservative-leaning. Right now, our number one priority should be healing that divide, and Donald Trump needs to work on this himself — choosing Steve Bannon, the CEO of Breitbart News, as the chief advisor was a terrible move for unity due to his affiliations with the alt-right movement. Breitbart news has published pieces with headlines such as “Would You Rather Your Child had Feminism or Cancer” and “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women, They Just Suck At Interviews”. Either of these headlines should disqualify him from being chief advisor immediately.

While Donald Trump may not be making the best choices himself, this doesn’t mean we should do the same. The country needs to come together despite our differences, and yelling “F**k Trump!” repeatedly isn’t going to accomplish this task. Instead, let’s all move forward together.

The chasm between Liberals and Conservatives widens

Ms. Ella Beauchaine

Image Courtesy of New Mexico In Depth

Image Courtesy of New Mexico In Depth

The lack of commonality in the political field has caused an increased divide between not only the two political parties in America,but between the American people altogether.  Knowing what is fact and what is real, has become almost irrelevant to many media news outlets, which has, in turn, caused the partisan polarization in the news to devise itself as the norm.   The way that American citizens are obtaining their news, differentiates in such a dramatically different way that it has caused an information gap and selective perception.

Not only is there an information gap between young and old citizens, there is an information gap between liberals and conservatives.  The gap between the information obtained in the American two-Party system causes all of the citizens to be more different politically than ever before.

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A deficit of Presidential Trustworthiness characterizes 2016.

By Mr. Bryan Claussen 

Turkeltalks.com

Image courtesy of Turkeltalks.com

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the two major party nominees for president, and come January 2017, one of them will be sworn in as President of the United States of America. They have both made lots of promises to voters, but will they keep those promises?

Trust is a delicate thing. Thomas J. Watson said, “The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it’s very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer.”

In this presidential election, many voters have lost their trust for the candidates. Election after election, you hear lie after lie, and these candidates are the worst offenders. 66% of voters think Hillary Clinton is untrustworthy and 57% of voters think Donald Trump is untrustworthy. Continue Reading

Gary Who?

By Koko Vercessi-Clarke

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“Gary Johnson.” The Odyssey Online, Odyssey Online, 13 June 2016, www.theodysseyonline.com/gary-johnson-alternative-clinton-and-trump. Accessed 18 Sept. 2016.

 

So who really is the man polling at an average of 8% among American voters in the 2016 presidential election and who claims to be the “people’s president” and “the voice of reason”?

According to NBC’s 2016 candidate bio, Gary Johnson has a political science degree from the University of New Mexico and is known as the founder of Big J Enterprises, a construction company in New Mexico, the state that he would eventually become governor of in 1995, his total of two terms lasting till 2003.

Johnson’s stance on key issues include: eliminating the current tax system and replacing it with FairTax, cutting government spending, repealing President Obama’s healthcare law, and establishing a “simplified immigration program”. Gary Johnson is also known for his avid interest in health and fitness, but as interesting as scaling the highest peak on each of the seven continents is, Gary Johnson at his core is a true libertarian politician.

Libertarians are known for their, “do what you want as long as you don’t harm others” attitude, and this seems to work just fine with Gary Johnson as he is famous for his open admittance of his daily use of marijuana and his support of  its legalization in his political campaigns.

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Obergefell v. Hodges: One Year Later LGBT activists are still fighting

Mr. Alexander Goodman

All humans deserve equal rights, no matter the circumstances. The gay and lesbian rights movement has been fighting for decades to get equal rights throughout the world. The Stonewall riots in 1969 were some of the biggest historical events for LGBT history; it cemented our place in history and let opposers know we were serious about our rights. The riots were centered around anger towards the police on raids in gay bars in New York City. Rioters fought to acquire more rights and protections in the eyes of the law. The riots were to achieve equal opportunities and protections in housing, the workplace, and more. While activists have made progress towards LGBT rights, 50 years later pro-equality organizations are still fighting for full federal protections on LGBT protections, rather than leaving it to be the state’s decision.

Photo courtesy of the White House Press Office

Photo courtesy of the White House Press Office

It’s been almost a year since the Obergefell v. Hodges supreme court decision. In June 26, 2015 the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case voted 5-4 on a guarantee for marriage equality at a federal level. The case went to court on whether or not the ability for same-sex marriage is a right guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The case ruled that all 50 states must allow same-sex marriage and all other bans against it are now invalid. This means that the LGBT rights movements have reached a huge milestone in civil rights. However, many people hold the ignorant belief that the fight for equality is now over.

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Opinion: The “bathroom bill” needs to be flushed

Ms. Lexi Lewis

On March 23, a law referred to as HB2 was passed in North Carolina. The law prohibits individuals from using bathrooms that do not correspond with their biological gender. The passing of this law brought significant attention to the controversy and brought up the question of whether other states should follow in their footsteps or fight for the law to be diminished.

The law is controversial because the world has only just recently started acknowledge transgenders, and as we know from history, society doesn’t do well with people who are different. Before the 1990’s, the word transgender wasn’t even coined, and although it is highly likely that there were people unsure about their gender identity before then, essentially it has only been gaining acceptability and attention among society for the past decade.

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People feel hesitant to go along with the idea of gender neutral bathrooms out of fear. In the optimistic generation we live in today, there are many  who take advantage of the freedom. True transgender people are born believing that they were born the wrong gender and therefore aren’t a threat to public bathrooms, because they just want to be like any other normal person of the gender they identify with. The problem comes when people who are not transgender pretend to be so that they can enter the opposite gender’s bathroom, which could possibly result in crime.

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The New War Has Already Started: Russia’s recent aggressions

Mr. Michael Regan, CVC Foreign Affairs Correspondent

From 1947 to 1991 America was fully engaged in a series of events known as the Cold War. During this period the only thing that kept the US and USSR from starting a nuclear apocalypse was a theory called MAD. MAD stands for mutually assured destruction and it essentially means that if one side launches a nuclear weapon, the other side will also launch a nuclear weapon of mass destruction. Even though proxy wars such as Vietnam were the result of the Cold War, perhaps the most memorable part of the conflict for Americans was the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the Missile Crisis the USSR had “long range” missiles stationed in Cuba, 90 miles away from the US. This terrified the American population and sent the nation into a state of preparing for war. Today, the people of Russia are preparing for a war against the US and other NATO alliance countries.

Mikhail Gorbachev, former Head of State of the Soviet Union, said, “The world, it appears, is on the brink of the (second) cold war.” Many Russians feel as though the war between Russia and NATO states has already begun.

Image courtesy of Alpha History

Image courtesy of Alpha History

After the cold war NATO stayed intact while the USSR fell apart. Since then NATO countries have surrounded Russia. In reaction to this, Russia used an old tactic from the cold war called containment. Containment is an approach to global security in which controlling the spread of boarders controls the spread of influence. When Russia annexed a peninsula that was previously part of Ukraine, they were containing the spread of NATO ideology. President Putin agreed that the Ukraine was a “buffer state”, and nothing but “a pawn in a containment strategy”.

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Global wealth: it trickles up

Mr. John Thrailkill

Global wealth has recently hit a new high of $241 Trillion which when distributed among our 7.2 billion citizens comes out to around $33,500 per person. Currently the world’s top 1% owns more than 50% of the globe’s total wealth. Wealth inequality has become a huge talking point over the past decade with more understanding the seriousness and not neglecting to follow the facts and trends. Ever since the early 70s, the bottom 80% of American wages has remained stagnant. In comparison, the top 1% have seen increases of nearly three times that amount.

Better Graph

Being equal within a society has always been seen as unrealistic and unachievable, but this doesn’t mean that extreme wealth inequality is the solution. Our economy works best when serving our communities and individuals equally. Unequal societies have low stability figures and have shown to induce slower growth according to the International Monetary Fund.

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Cruz and Kasich Call it Quits; Trump Presumed Republican Nominee

Ms. Lexi Lewis

Both Ted Cruz and John Kasich have dropped out of the presidential race making Donald Trump the republican nominee. Cruz dropped out Tuesday evening followed by Kasich on Wednesday.

“I have always said that the Lord has a purpose for me as he has for everyone,” Kasich told reporters in Columbus, Ohio. “And as I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith, deeper faith, that the Lord will show me the way forward, and fulfill the purpose of my life.”

Cruz ended his campaign by saying “From the beginning I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory…tonight I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed…with a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”

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Bernie Shakes Up the Democratic Status Quo

Ms Kelsey Craige

One of Vermont’s very own, “a guy next door” (figuratively and literally), Bernie Sanders is running in the 2016 Presidential Election as a democrat. Bernie Sanders was born in Brooklyn, NY. He was a congressman in Vermont for the better part of 16 years and is now in his second term in the US Senate.

One of Bernie’s major concerns is bringing this country out of poverty. According to berniesanders.com, “(Bernie) Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020. In the year 2015, no one who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.” He wants people who work full time, no matter what they do, to get a good, fair pay.

Another one of Bernie’s major concerns is caring for our veterans. This is very near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts and it is a topic of concern for many. Right now, the care for our veterans who have come back from war is disgraceful, shameful and unacceptable. Bernie wants to give them more care, the care that they deserve. According to berniesanders.com, “

Sen. Sanders believes that just as planes and tanks and guns are a cost of war, so is taking care of the men and women who we sent off to fight in the war. It includes caring for the spouses and children who have to rebuild their lives after the loss of a loved one. It includes caring for the hundreds of thousands of veterans with multiple amputations or loss of eyesight, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. It includes veterans who are having difficulty keeping jobs in order to pay their bills, and it includes the terrible tragedy of veterans committing suicide.” Focusing on this issue will be very beneficial to many, the least we can do is care for people who risk their lives for our safety.

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Can Bernie’s Brand of VT Socialism Work for America?

Mr. Oscar Da-Man

Bernie Sanders, quite an interesting man. He’s the only self declared democratic socialist in the US presidential race. He is the only senator for the state of Vermont and he is a part of Vermont Progressive Party. He very recently announced his run as President Of The United States Of America, which created big fuss around him, and his sort of special politics. But is his politics actually that special, or is it just America that is not used to this kind of politics?

If we go outside of America there’s several places where this style of democratic socialism has worked out well, especially in Scandinavia and what Bernie Sanders is calling for the “Scandinavian model”. There is especially one country he desired the most, Norway, whom they follow a great system of modern socialism. The problem with socialism is usually how people can think it gets a little extreme as well as unfair.

220px-Bernie_Sanders

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You Kick Like a Girl, New Angles on Feminism

Ms. Anne-Sofie Eide

It is a very unsettling knowledge that the majority of today’s youth, both girls and boys, will deny being labeled a feminist. When a person claims to disagree with feminism, he or she is in fact stating that women should not be allowed to vote. That women’s rights are limited due to the fact she is a woman.  Feminism has gained a somewhat a bad thought in their minds. I dare state that all people who deny themselves to be feminists, have no idea what feminism is or what they are denying.  Feminism is nothing more than equality. If you think that your future wife should get the same salary as her man who has the same education and position in the workplace, and if you feel it would be ridiculous to deny someone a promotion to a high positioned job just because she is a woman, then you are indeed, a feminist.

The youth’s throughs around an “Extreme feminist” is what today is ruining the image of a normal feminist. Now if we give it some thought, the word itself doesn’t make sense.  If the definition of feminism is gender equality, it is possible that someone are pursuing over gender equality? There is, however, a term called Radical feminism- “the perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male supremacy is eliminated in all social and economic contexts. Radical feminists seek to abolish patriarchy by challenging existing social norms and institutions, rather than through a purely political process. “Radical feminists” are the ones giving feminism the bad image, but they are justified and necessary.

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Our Own Devices: How the New Handheld Device Legislation is Holding Up

Mr. Jacob Dawson

Hinesburg– In the state of Vermont, a new law went into place that bans the use of any handheld device while driving. The hope for this was to reduce the number of accidents caused by talking on the cell phone and using other devices.

So far, the law seems to be working. Last year, according to the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance, there were 70 traffic deaths caused by people using any handheld device. As of December

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