Editorial: We Can’t Legalize Weed – Here’s Why

Mr.  Ethan Duncan

Dear reader,

We cannot legalize marijuana in Vermont (or any other state, for that matter). It is too dangerous to us as people and as a society. The mental and physical harm that it causes is too great, it affects the lives and well-being of America’s future (kids and young adults), and the government, as it is with everything, would be ineffective in controlling the industry.  

Marijuana undeniably has some benefits, which is probably why 22.2 million people have used it in the past month in the US, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. According to Business Insider, glaucoma treatment, epileptic seizure control, and anxiety decrease, are just some of marijuana’s supposed medical benefits. However, it should not be available to the everyday person for recreational purposes because the risks of smoking weed outweigh any potential benefits.

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Image courtesy of ScubaBrett, via Flickr

First of all, the physical and mental harm that marijuana has on a person is simply crushing. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, marijuana affects brain development and impairs one’s long-term thinking ability, making it dangerous to young people, especially teenagers, who could suffer for the rest of their lives.

A study by the National Association of Sciences found that people who heavily smoked marijuana during their teenage years lost 8 IQ points on average between age 13 and age 38. Marijuana also causes breathing problems and lung irritation. The American Lung Association states that while they encourage the continued research of marijuana’s potential benefits, they caution the public against smoking marijuana and that it can cause “chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis.”

It also causes increased heart rate, which makes people more vulnerable to heart attacks. Studies also find that pregnant mothers who have smoked marijuana find their newborns have a lower birth weight on average and a greater chance of behavioral and brain development issues over time. Marijuana, according to LiveScience and the National Institute of Health, causes feelings of fear and panic, hallucinations, trouble concentrating, decreased ability to perform tasks, and decreased motivation. This is especially terrible for a nation in which people are developing a reputation of acting entitled and lazy.

Tim Trevithick, a counselor at CVU, spoke to the physical effects that he has seen in our own communities, stating that, “We have seen kids develop cases of cannabis psychosis. It used to be really rare, and now it is becoming less rare. Marijuana is highly celebrated by the pro-legalization side, but it is really one of the least understood drugs.”  

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Student-led Walkout Honors Parkland Victims, Advocates for Change

Mr. Scott A. Stanley

HINESBURG, VT — The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida left the entire country in a state of shock and dismay. School shootings seem to have become more and more frequent since Columbine in 1999, and little has been done to prevent them. On the 14th of March, schools nationwide held walkouts to bring awareness to these atrocities and to push for change. The US Congress’ inability to institute new laws to protect school children have left many frustrated and demanding change. 

Because of a Nor’easter that shut down schools across Vermont, CVU Principal Adam Bunting moved the planned student action to Friday, March 16th. An estimated 600 students and faculty gathered at the entrance to the school.

While there were many people who both supported and opposed the walkout, Principal Adam Bunting decided to allow it. “We did it first obviously to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, two, to encourage student advocacy, whether it’s one way or another.”

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Republican Majority in Politics Harms Renewable Energy Markets

Mr. Isaac Cleveland

Screenshot 2018-02-20 at 7.57.48 AM

What does a Republican majority mean for our energy industry? There is going to be a whole lot of fracking, coal mining, oil burning, and especially a lot of deliberate ignorance. Also, let’s not forget that it will most likely screw businesses in the renewable energy markets. Surprisingly, even as a documented liberal state, Vermont is still feeling the whiplash of the GOP’s absurd power. With both Republican President Donald Trump and Republican Governor Phil Scott heading our national and statewide issues, the big wind companies in Vermont have come to a crossroads and their options aren’t looking good.

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APGOV Wire: We Need a Change in the Political Climate Regarding Climate Change

Ms. Lily Miner, APGov Correspondent

During this first year of the Donald Trump presidency, we have witnessed many questionable decisions being made for our country that not only affect us, but also those around the world in a negative way. One particular decision, however, has set our country on a path to continue the horrific damage being done to Earth. President Trump’s adjudication to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement has left us as the only nation in the world to oppose it since Syria signed to join in November. The main objective for this agreement was to restrict levels of CO2 emissions from each country. The consequences of Trump’s withdrawal are grave, as CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen past 400 parts per million—levels that are already superseding what Earth can handle to support the flora and fauna living on it. Continuing this trend will most likely result in a mass extinction event.

Hearing the White House argue that removing us from the agreement will help boost our economy filled much of the American public as well as climate experts around the globe with a sense of outrage. We have already accumulated a surplus of evidence that man made climate change is having a drastic negative impact. In the past two decades, sea levels have risen at a rate of .13 inches, which is twice the rate of the past century. From 1992 to 2011, Greenland lost 152 billion tons of ice per year, West Antarctica lost 65 billion per year, and the Antarctic Peninsula lost 20 billion per year. Increased intensity in extreme weather including hurricanes, floods, and snowstorms has been recorded since the 1950’s. These are just a fraction of the plethora of examples. Given the massive amount of damage that has already been done, how can it be justified to place the economy as a higher priority?

Thank you to the United Nations for graciously sharing your Paris Agreement logo.

Thank you to the United Nations for graciously sharing your Paris Agreement logo.

 

This choice is especially irresponsible when considering the fact that the United States produces more excess CO2 than any other country. While there are many factors to blame, one of the largest and least necessary of these is the use of fossil fuels. They provide 81% of the energy in the United States, yet they are both incredibly harmful and incredibly easy to replace. A change needs to be made.

It is imperative that we as a global superpower begin to invest in renewable energy such as wind and solar. Many economists agree that the long term benefits from switching to renewable energy would outweigh the short term costs, improving the economy through more environmentally sound means. Certainly a more competent course of action than removing ourselves from the Paris Agreement. Though the cost of installation for these methods are pricier than more conventional ones, they have no fuel costs once they are functioning and the maintenance costs are cheaper. The United States has not only the resources, but the duty to fight against these issues. We need to combat this now, because we will not be given a second chance later.

Editor’s Note: this essay was one of the finalists of Bernie Sanders’ State of the Union Essay Contest.

 

APGov Wire: How ‘Bout a Little Mutual Respect?

Ms. Ella Whitman, APGov Correspondent

When my high school principal told us that there were only three rules we had to follow I was shocked. How can you sum up every expectation that must be demanded of a young adult into three things? He went on to inform us that we must take care of ourselves, take care of each other, and the place. While thinking about these three guidelines it became apparent that achieving them can be challenging at times but the step to do it is simple; you must respect all things. Looking at our nation today it is clear that lack of respect creates the most conflict in our nation. Our negligence to respect each other’s bodies, opinions, ethnicities, races, backgrounds and beliefs leads us to discrimination, hatred and prejudice. We see endless examples in our lives today.

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The lack of respect for one another’s opinion is vividly apparent in politics today. The Pew Research Center recently reported how the partisan divide on our nation’s politics is increasing. A study concluded, “The shares of Republicans and Democrats who express very unfavorable opinions of the opposing party have increased dramatically since the 1990s, but have changed little in recent years.” This is alarming because if we as people can not see others perspective, we will not be able to collaborate or work with one another to collectively strengthen our nation. By respecting others’ opinions we can gain insight and also learn their specific needs.

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Will our Economy Tank if Our Politicians Don’t Start Compromising?

Mr. Isaac Cleveland

We can’t seem to get anything done. Our economy’s GDP growth rate and inflation rate has been fluctduating around 2%, indicating one of the worst recoveries after a major recession in the history of the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Our politicians are particularly struggling to pass laws around healthcare and tax reform among other issues. What does that mean for us? We may see an unhealthy rise in prices, a lack of jobs, and the U.S. government may even shut down due to the inability to decide on a budget.

Is our government taking the appropriate steps to combat our stagnating economy? Americans have the appetite but congress can’t seem to compromise. The polarization both between Democrats and Republicans and between the members in each party makes resolutions of certain issues impossible.

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Graph courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office

Take the healthcare issue, for example. Many of the reasons why Republicans can’t agree on a healthcare bill are because of different ideologies and re-election thinking. As President Trump mentioned in his pre-election campaigning, he would repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “much better and less expensive.” However, the unpopular Obamacare bill has remained unchanged, mainly because our politicians are so divided on what should be implemented as a replacement.

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Opinion: ATC Privatization is the Wrong Move for Cutting Federal Spending

Image courtesy of the FAA

Image courtesy of the FAAAir Traffic Control (ATC) privatization is not the correct approach to reducing federal spending.  From the point of view of someone who flies, this is likely one of Trump’s largest missteps.

Mr. Enzo Delia

ATC privatization is an atrocious attempt to cut federal spending. Trump argues the Air Traffic Control system is, “an ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible system that doesn’t work.” Though the system isn’t without flaws, it sure isn’t as bad as he makes it seem. How would he know anyways? After all, his only airline economics experience consists of investing $365 million in his own airline only to have it come crumbling down into the depths of bankruptcy only 4 years later.

Privatization would have a horrendous effect on ticket prices. There would be an estimated 20-29% increase in ATC fees according to a 2016 Delta Airlines study. This would end up increasing prices for the consumer, as part of the cost of a ticket consists of ATC fees.

Another major issue of privatization is the federal cost associated with it. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent estimate, the process of privatizing our Air Traffic Control system would cost in the ballpark of $98.5 Billion over 10 years. This money would come from taxpayers, and tax payers may not be able to cover this enormous cost in the first place.

Let’s not forget, privatization would also mean all of the currently federally employed Air Traffic Control Workers would be laid off, and airlines such as Delta would be “outsourcing”, thus taking away jobs and not getting them back (AOPA).

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A Letter to Bernie: Net Neutrality Necessity

Mr. Willem Hillier, Guest Editorial Writer

Senator Bernie Sanders

357 Western Ave. Suite 1B

St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

Dear Mr. Sanders,

I am a senior at Champlain Valley Union High School, and I would like to both thank you for supporting net neutrality and urge you to continue doing all you can to fight against the FCC’s likely ruling this December.

To demonstrate the importance of Net Neutrality, I have a story — a story you may have heard about last year. I modified a Power Wheels car to be used as a wheelchair by a young child with Shaken Baby Syndrome. I used a guide that a different high school team had put up in Instructables.com as the basis for the project, and I improved several aspects of the design in the process, before posting my own version on Instructables.com so that other people in turn can build these mobility devices and learn from my improvements. Likewise, I used many other amazing online resources, like Thingiverse.com, a community-based 3D model repository, and Arduino, a non-profit electronics learning and prototyping platform.

Without Net Neutrality, resources like these likely would not exist. They rely on community-sourced content and support, which Net Neutrality upholds. If it weren’t for Net Neutrality, these amazing platforms likely would not have been able to rise and flourish the way they have. If it weren’t for Net Neutrality, the big ISPs could go so far as to directly censor or block access to these smaller community-based platforms, which they might see as a threat to their corporate mass-media platforms.

The Internet rose from open-source philosophies and transparency, and thus has allowed regular individuals to exchange information on an unprecedented scale. The use of the Internet as a communications platform can only grow in the future, and if we as a country, society, and species want to continue to be able to exchange information in an open and uncensored form then we must preserve the original essential principles that the Web was founded on. As a young person, I feel especially responsible for supporting Net Neutrality; whether it is upheld will likely have a large impact on our society in 15, 30, and 50 years from now – well within my generation’s lifetime.

Thank you for your continuing support in this battle. I urge you to do everything you can to continue supporting Net Neutrality.

Sincerely,

Willem Hillier

 

Perspectives on Confederate Monuments from AP Gov Students

Ms. Emma Rosenau

Dear Editor,

Three weeks ago, all across the country people watched as white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Virginia and clashed with counter protesters. The violence came to a head when a man drove his car into the crowd of people, killing one woman and injuring many others. This disturbing event has since launched a national conversation about what fueled the protests and why a monument to Confederate general Robert E. Lee, which was slated to be taken down from its pedestal because of the racism and division the Confederacy represents, was such a “hot-topic” issue. These tributes to Confederate leaders are all over the South. They are in public places, funded by taxpayers, and increasingly controversial. We are now faced with a tough decision: what do we do with them?

Editorial cartoon by Brenna

Editorial cartoon by Brenna Comeau

 

Many Southerners view the subjects of such statues as heroes of the “lost cause of the Confederacy”, for their ancestorsseen as valiant warriors were only defending what they thought was right. This romantic idea of people like Robert E. Lee is deeply embedded in Southern society.  

Others view the statues as historical, arguing that all they do is commemorate important figures from the Civil War; yes, that war may have been to protect a system of slavery, and what they fought for may have left a legacy of racial injustice continuing into the present day, but removing a monument or two won’t change the past. History is history, and we have to remember it and learn from it…  but these monuments are not history. Not even close.

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Bear Season Loads up on Berries, Goes into Hibernation

Mr. Samuel Comai

CHARLOTTE, VT– Friday, September 8th marks the first day of bear hunting season in Vermont. Local hunters are shining their guns and stocking up on bullets for the season which will last until mid-October.

Bear season is split into two consecutive hunting opportunities. The first season, which lasts from September 8th to October 10th, requires a special tag to hunt. The second season, known as the “late season, is shorter, lasting one week from October 11th to October 18th.

“One black bear per square mile is the current population in Vermont, this is an incredibly high number that ranks among the highest populations in the country,” states VT bear biologist, Forrest Hammond.

Those statistics have created a surge of excitement among hunters all across the state. The 2016 season resulted in 697 bear kills. People may look at these numbers and be disgusted by the heavy removal of black bears. However, hunting is heavily regulated by the state, making it illegal to kill more than one bear a season and, according to Hammond, many hunters say it is incredibly beneficial to a controlled growth in the bear population.

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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.

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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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