Category Archives: Politics

dark secrets

The New York Times article “Before Joining White House, Stephen Miller Pushed White Nationalist Theories”, reports on leaked emails written by White House advisor Stephen Miller, in which he promoted ideas that are popular with white-nationalist groups before he joined Trump’s administrations.

The author explains that the Southern Poverty Law Center obtained over 900 messages from Miller to Breitbart News between 2015 and 2016, in which he tried to influence Breitbart to include ideas in their news that are regarded as white-nationalist, like the idea that people of color are planning a “white genocide”.

The article then explains the significance of this emails is even higher, because Miller is now one of the main advisors of immigration policy of President Trump.

In my opinion, the article does a very good job explaining what happened and also why it is significant in an objective way, which is remarkable given the subject. The target audience is people interested in politics young and old. Since the article provides most of the facts and background info, the readers does not need a great deal of previous knowledge to understand whats going on in the article.

go green colorado

Vox’s article “Colorado’s cleanest energy options are also its cheapest” shines a light on how well equipped the state of Colorado is, both in terms of environment and political climate, to make the switch to producing mostly renewable energy.

Vox does a good job describing the factors that are needed to successfully make the complete switch to renewable energy and also provides a detailed timeline of how renewable energy is developing in the state. The article also explains that the cheapest option is also the cleanest for Colorado.

The audience for this article is clearly people that are interested in renewable energy and how to implement it effectively. With many graphs and figures, the article is easy to understand for both younger and older audiences.

foreign gains

The Vox article “The emoluments clause, explained for Donald Trump” does exactly what the title says. It explains the emoluments clause and states its significance for President Trump’s plans to host the upcoming G7 summit at one of his own resorts.

The emoluments clause is a group of provisions in the U.S. constitution, which basically state that any person that is holding office in the U.S. is not allowed to receive “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”(Vox,2019)

Emoluments “would encompass sort of the profits of ordinary market transactions.” which makes this clause relevant for the upcoming G7 summit. Trump plans to host the summit at one of his resorts, which would lead to him receiving monetary gain from foreign governments in the form of their leaders and with that, violating the emoluments clause.

The article does a good job explaining these old and complicating provisions in simple terms to a younger audience. It also does a good job applying the concept of the clause to Donald Trump’s case and explaining why this is significant for the audience.

Safe to inject?

The Vox article “Cities are considering safe injection sites. A federal judge just said they’re legal.” talks about the rising movement for safe injection sites in major cities as response to the opioid epidemic sweeping vast parts of the U.S.

The article gives a timeline of the development and gives information on a court case that allowed a Philadelphia based non-profit to establish a safe injection site in their city.

The target audience is most likely a younger audience, concerned with the drug problem of the country and also with social issues in general. The author does a good job giving objective information and a detailed timeline of the events and also does a good job featuring supporters and opposing voices throughout the article.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/1/25/16928144/safe-injection-sites-heroin-opioid-epidemic

Facial recognition regulations

The Vox article “Jeff Bezos says Amazon is writing its own facial recognition laws to pitch to lawmakers” talks about Jeff Bezos and Amazon drafting regulations for facial recognition technology, that they hope to be adopted by U.S. Lawmakers. The article states that this move comes after Amazon got in for their facial recognition technology “Amazon Recognition”, launched earlier this year.

It also talks about what “Amazon Recognition” is and how the tech came under scrutiny. The software is designed to match pictures of faces with other databases of facial pictures in real time. This caused outrage because when the ACLU used pictures of congressmen and matched them with a database of mugshots, it good 28 matches, all of them false and most of them involving congressmen of color.

The article does a good job explaining the topic objectively and reporting on what happened before the particular news and what significance all of this has. The article targets readers that are interested in how the tech world is changing as well as people that are concerned with privacy and surveillance.

Immigration on hold at the border

The Vox article ” The Supreme Court just let Trump close the Mexican border to nearly all migrants seeking asylum.” sheds light on a Supreme Court order delivered on Wednesday, essentially closing the border to all migrants by halting immigration applications and requiring immigrants to first apply for immigration in the countries they came through before.

This decision reverses year of asylum practices, where any person who currently is in the U.S. or arrives in the U.S. would be allowed to seek asylum in order to protect themselves from persecution in their home countries. It also did not follow the usual practice of letting a decision made by the executive branch be presented to the public for comments before taken in effect, which has not happened with this order.

The article is well written and explains the matter at hand as well as the consequences for migrants at the southern border, especially for a younger, politically engaged audience. The author also does a good job of telegraphing the seriousness of the matter without being losing objectivity.

Soccer Politics

Deadspin’s article “MLS Escalates Dumb Fan Feud, Suspends Portland Timbers Supporters For Waving Iron Front Banners” brings light to the fact that the MLS has banned part of the Portland Timbers’ ultra group “Timber Army” for violating the MLS policy which outlaws any kind of political banners during MLS games by flying a flag displaying the sign of the 1930s anti-nazi movement from Germany called Iron Front.

This ban caused nationwide protests and push back from the MLS fan scene, arguing that displaying anti-racist and anti-fascist sign should not be considered political. I think this article is newsworthy because it shows a fundamental dilemma that the MLS has. In order to make the league as marketable as possible, the MLS does not allow political signage in their games but like most other soccer fan scenes across the globe, ultra groups of MLS teams are politically engaged and use the stands as a platform to show their stance against racism and fascism. The league’s attempt to not offend anybody led to most of their current fans being outraged and might hurt the attendance of their games.

This article was aimed at sports fans in general and the informal style of writing and reporting makes it accessible for most age groups but also makes the article appear less valid. Overall, the author stays objective but gets caught criticizing the MLS inputs of the article. He describes the situation and problem at hand well and does a good job showing what consequences this band might have. A little less subjectivity would give this article even more validity.

HONG Kong’S QUEST TO KEEP IT’S FREEDOM

An interesting news story on Vox, called “9 Questions about the Hong Kong protests you were too embarrassed to ask” gives insight into the protests and demonstrations in that emerged in Hong Kong during the last months, sparked by the proposal of an extradition law, allowing foreign governments to extradite Hong Kong citizens without a formal treaty with the city, as well as growing Chinese influence on the city and its election system. This story is very newsworthy in my opinion because it provides a timeline and information about protests for freedom and democracy that the American public has not heard much about, and shows that not only Americans are currently struggling with their governments and for their rights.

This article is aimed at a younger, politically interested audience, that doesn’t know much about the subject.  It uses simple language with little political jargon and makes sure that everybody can understand the inner workings of these protests by providing basic information about why Hongkongers are protesting and background about the city and its unique situation within China itself. The format of asking nine questions and answering them one by one makes the story more engaging and easier to follow for younger people. The author does a good job of presenting the facts about the timeline and background of the protests in an objective way until the very last question, where the author somewhat condemns western countries for taking a weak stance against police brutality and violence against the protesters as well as offering little support.

Overall, this article was very informative and gave a very thorough insight into the situation, especially for readers who were not well aware of the protests. It also gave some commentary on how western countries should act towards this problem without becoming too subjective.

Link to the story: https://www.vox.com/world/2019/8/22/20804294/hong-kong-protests-9-questions