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WNC #12

November 19th, 2010 by Gustav

As you might have noticed, i like to write about opinion pieces. This week i chose another story from the N.Y. Times. I want to keep it short. This article is about the pertaining situation of the economy. The author says it may be over, but it’s not going away. There are references made to children living with their grandparents thus causing a rather imbalanced social network system. Built on that, a lot of people take their benefits early, which hurts the economy in the long run.

This article sums it up for me. Anyone who claims we’re out of recession doesn’t fully understand the situation. You can only get out of a recession if you’re in a recovery. Right now, the nation is even struggling to maintain everyone’s benefits, and the upcoming decision about tax cuts (of the Bush admin) will stir the pot even further. I chose to look for something on the recession because i knew i would find some article like this one. That just goes to show you that we can euphemize all we want, but on paper, there no lies!

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My Audio Story

November 12th, 2010 by Gustav

FINAL Obama facing Republican House

check out Prof’s opinions and backgrounds…


Last week, the Republican Party regained some major legislative clout in this year’s off-year election. President Obama now has to work on policy differences to get the progress people just not yet saw happening.

For the first time since the 107th congress and the first Bush administration, the President has to face an opposition controlled House of Representatives.

This year’s elections might be a great indicator of what might or what might not be accomplished in the next two years.

Before the elections, former president Bill Clinton said he thinks, if Republicans take over the House, Obama’s chances for reelection might improve.

Political Science student Seth McCauley agrees:

I think the Republican’s new responsibility is going to create a new nationwide perspective. I think once the public sees both parties fail they’ll realize they may have been a little harsh on Obama in the first place, and may be willing to grant him a second term.

The US Senate remains Democratic, but only has a slight majority over the republicans.

The big debate was whether Obama would lose his grip over the House, and in fact he did. The Republicans took control over the House of Representatives and now have about 50 more seats than the democrats.

Patrick McKinlay is a professor for political science. He commented on the reasons for this situation:

I think that the Republicans were able to tap into some major discontent with the economy.

It is traditional that the president’s party will lose seats in an off-year election.

Parties usually lose votes and seats because of a low overall approval rate of the current administration. The debate about health care, troops, and the economy helped Republicans stir the pot.

History and Politics professor Kathleen Green confirms:

Clearly for the first couple years the strategy was to oppose anything that Obama was behind for political reasons because it’s paid off.

Probably the worst-case scenario would be that nothing gets done in a very serious economic times.

However, Green holds some hope:

Some dove of peace could descend from above and the democrats and republicans could work together.

That might be very difficult to attain, as newly proposed bills usually end up in a gridlock.

McKinlay elaborates:

We may see some very sharp contrast. But of course that’s gonna make it hard because you need 60 votes to get anything done in the senate.

Everybody says they want compromise, but there haven’t been any tangible rewards for compromise, whereas the voter seem to be rewarding people who take extreme views.

In 2006, Bush faced an almost equivalent situation when the Democrats won the majority of the house by about 7 million votes. Consequently, Nancy Pelosi emerged as the speaker of the house.

John Boehner is currently leader of the minority house. He is poised to take over Pelosi’s role after the Congress convenes on January third.

On the chances of the new government, McKinlay said:

We might see a lot of contentious politics, but not a lot of policy.

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WNC #11

November 11th, 2010 by Gustav

So this time, again to mix it up a little bit, i thought i share some hilarious but also kind of sensitive stories to “entertain”.

The first story is about a 56-year-old woman who didn’t pay her bar tab and then was found down the street lieing drunk in the grass. The funny part of this story?! The women led the policemen to her home, ostensibly to “pay” her tab, but then attacked the officers with a “rigid feminine pleasure device”.

The second story i found presents a guy who bought a sandwich and later ate it quietly at home. Why funny? Because as he was buying his sandwich he was shot two times. He decided to dig into his food before seeking medical care.

And last but not least, something out of the biology department: A cricket with an incredible body weight – testical – ratio. The Bushcricket testicals make up 14 percent of its bodyweight. That is a world record (in this particular relation). Funny comparison: A 200 lbs man would carry around 28 lbs of testicals if that ratio applied to male humans. Check out the story

These stories relate to our discussion about newsworthiness and readers’ attraction. The examples above definitely rely on bizarre concepts. To speak for myself, but probably for many others, this post was the funnest one because i enjoyed reading those stories more than the other ones you can find in my blog. Absolutely hilarious. Wouldn’t we all want more of this…?!

Posted in Weekly News Comment | | | 1 Comments

WNC #10

November 4th, 2010 by Gustav

This is a very insightful article about the newly popularized alcoholic energy drinks, particularly the brand 4 Loko’s. i found the article through an editorial letter. In the main story, the drink is criticized for its severe combination of caffeine and alcohol. The author tried to prove that this might be something lawmakers have to look into. The drink supposedly has been causing many emergencies (among adolescents as well as adults) and is aimed mainly at under-age drinkers. The editorial letter adds how the drink may cause severe brain damage, even on a long-term foundation.

I chose this pairing because it fits into my own life. Just recently, when i was eating lunch with my roommates, a journal reporter came up to us and asked us about the 4 Loko drink. Who hasn’t tried it was our response to him. And indeed, it is a very popular but dangerous drink. I am glad that the nation is raising awareness of such things. The drink itself might be legit, but the question is whether inexperienced aka under-aged drinkers can handle it. Surely they aren’t supposed to, but they definitely like the idea of a cheap “boomer” as i heard it be called since it can get you intoxicated for long times. I believe this drink is not a good idea. The suggestion for half the alc. percentage seems very reasonable to me. I like the way the author of the story tried to stay neutral but lead towards the issue. The editorial definitely sums up the concerns. Alcohol education is indeed something spelled in CAPS in the US of A… what a pity!

Posted in Weekly News Comment | | | 1 Comments