this isn’t a joke. factory farming uses more fossil fuels and produces more toxic emissions than the entire world transportation sector. note that almost every article i cite states that money and tradition are the only reasons people don’t agree with this. that’s kind of like money and tradition being the reasons people didn’t want to stop having slaves. there is no logical basis. just so you don’t think i’m ‘biased’ because i’m vegan, also note that several of the articles claim people can still eat meat, just a lot less (that’s how we got this problem in the first place, but the point is that meat eaters are addressing the problem, not peta). they suggest pasture-raised alternatives for increased sustainability. while this would in theory cause fewer emissions due to the more natural diet (also a myth), it requires even more extreme amounts of water and land and is therefore also unsustainable. tl;dr: your hummer is more environmentally friendly than a steak.
one of the main reasons i support carly fiorina for president in 2016 is because of a statement she made in her speech at the reagan library last night: every american has God-given gifts that must be allowed opportunities to reach their full potential. in answer to a question from a woman in the audience about how americans can be confident that republicans support personal choice as much as the democrats claim to, carly points out that democrats were the ones who pushed for the denial of the family’s choice in how to educate their children, instead advocating a one-size-fits-all, dumbed-down approach called ‘common core.’ she reminds the audience of karen lewis, the head of the teacher’s union in chicago, saying the teachers of the schools ‘can not be held accountable for the performance of the students in [their] classrooms because too many of them are poor and come from broken homes.’ (note: i just spent upwards of twenty minutes searching for a source of this quote but all i found were articles espousing the typical liberal narrative that because lewis is a black woman she can do no wrong. even google has a side.) carly points out the implications this teacher’s union head’s words carry: that the poor and those with less-than-stellar home lives must not have any ability to move forward in the world, that they are somehow lesser humans and that society and educators are in no way obligated to respect their goals and motivate them to work for success.
i am an adopted child of an interracial couple whose parents were racist against each other. they were young and unmarried at the time of my birth and already had my brother to take care of; without support from their families, they were forced to give us up in hopes that another family could better provide for our needs. if the words of karen lewis are to be taken at face value, i and my brother, coming from a poor, unstable southern family, shouldn’t have been given the opportunities that adoption into a more financially stable home with married parents would provide, specifically relating to education. we, according to her, are lesser humans with no potential to succeed. i’d love to see her face as she reads of my accomplishments in school: skipping a full grade due to intelligence and moving forward another grade in math. taking an a.p. english class in high school. graduating as valedictorian. auditioning for and getting into a prestigious high school choir and receiving the second-highest ranking at regional competition three years running. running in the state cross country meet twice despite having never been in the sport before. receiving $6500 in scholarships to my chosen college the day i applied simply due to my g.p.a. and having it increased by $1000 upon further review of my transcript. can she really say my parentage cancels out my potential?
carly speaks for all americans in her belief that each of us has something valuable, viable, and irreplaceable to offer to the world. we must support a candidate who will recognize human dignity, promote the advancement of individual potential, and reject the idea that anyone’s birth forecasts her future.
3. she understands that special interest groups promoted by liberals are not, in fact, a celebration of individuality, as those encouraging them would have us believe, but an exercise in division.
4. despite formerly being the c.e.o. of a major corporation that could benefit from the current tax code due to decrease in competition, she wants to reform and simplify the code to benefit everyone, in particular small businesses.
5. she despises dependence on the government and promotes the perhaps lost values of hard work, independence, and self-sufficiency, which bring the sense of pride that founded america. (note: as an idealistic communist/collectivist i don’t even agree with half of these points, including this deeply capitalistic one, and i still find them positive.)
5. she’s like the only female g.o.p. potential ever like how cool is that
6. she drives home the point that conservativism is not, in fact, the old white man’s ideal, but a lifestyle for everyone regardless of all the little labels we’ve become so accustomed to blinding ourselves with.
7. she’s not one of those out-the-womb career politicians; she is an activist, a businesswoman, and then a politician.
8. she wants education to be accessible and relevant.
9. she is a fricking breastcancer survivor i mean come on
this list will continue to grow throughout the season but for now, enjoy this sampling.
UPDATE: she doesn’t let loud, pushy talk show hosts who are used to running the conversation interrupt her but she isn’t rude about it.
i found an interesting article on foxnews.com today, and it got me thinking. in the article, andrew p. napolitano writes that given the various nsa and patriot act related scandals in the past decade, the fourth amendment (lawful search and seizure), among other parts of the constitution – chiefly discussed after snowden’s revelations and consequent government outrage was free speech – has become merely a list of words on paper, with no relevance or authority in modern society.
i have conflicting thoughts on this. while it is true that many of our constitutional rights have been repeatedly violated under the premise of ‘national security’ by both the bush and obama administrations, it is also true that many people in the states are united in the belief that terrorism is the unforgivable sin, if you will, and must be prohibited at all costs, thus providing justification for all the past decade’s violations: widespread surveillance of common citizens, rash dealings with whistleblowers, yet more wars to add to the list of those unauthorized by congress (over 170, last time i checked). the chief debate in recent years has involved the nsa’s collecting of all information, sensitive or otherwise, from all american citizens and inhabitants, and storing them in national databases.
this raises many dissenting opinions on what privacy should be defined as and just how far it extends. is privacy a natural right, given by God (or whatever source of morality you believe in) for all humanity? or is it a privilege granted by governments to citizens, trusting it will not be misused and taking it away if it is?
perhaps an analogy is a good way to clarify my meaning here. look back on your school days. how many times did one or two rowdy students cause a teacher to have the entire class write an essay, take a pop quiz, lose talking or bathroom privileges, etc.? not very fair to the majority of students who were doing what was asked of them (or who were better at hiding the fact that they weren’t). yet the teacher’s reasoning never changed: ‘if one of you can’t handle this, it’s easier to take the privilege from all of you than to try to monitor who is mature enough for it and who isn’t.’ now apply that logic to the government – for instance, their dealings with internet security. since many terrorist threats and attacks seem to be made and planned online these days, the government, being the lazy, indecisive, shut-down prone installment it currently is, has decided it would be far simpler to deny all americans free, unsupervised internet usage than try to severely narrow the field of focus on truly threatening information. (which really should be none, in my opinion – i’m of the school of thought that we should only attack in self defense, and so far this decade no entire nation has directly attacked us.)
but then we come to the privacy aspect. yes, there are certain things the majority of the government should not have access to, given the potential for corruption and misuse: credit card information, social security numbers, other financial information, etc. but we the people have chosen to put these things on the internet for the sake of convenience. and the government officials are citizens too: they are on the internet. and as we all learned from the target credit card hacks, among others, putting something in a website, no matter how secure the server, opens doors for potential fraud. so perhaps the real question is, if we are so enraged at having a government database hold all our secrets, why are we putting them in a place that is easily accessed? i’ve always lived by the philosophy that nothing should be done if it has to be kept secret. (permanently – obviously i love surprise parties as much as the next person.) perhaps this is a philosophy americans should adopt as well, amended to fit the situation: don’t put anything online that you don’t want the government to see. or, the alternate approach: stop being so concerned that the government sees it. this is not to say that what the nsa has been doing is ethical; i merely suggest that as long as this is an issue, it would be easier for us to recognize that we are being observed (while also recognizing that this is not a close, specific observation – no need to be paranoid when the field is so broad and those surveying it aren’t even close to omnipresent or omniscient) and move on. after all, the convenience of such things as online shopping, online bill-paying, and online resumes is commerce too valuable in this age of immediacy to pass up because of the nsa playing big brother. i mean, reality check here: if the information being collected were actually being used, i and most of the political bloggers i follow on tumblr would have been detained by now for being a threat to national security (read, a threat to the liberal agenda). also, if the nsa officials are anything like the imbeciles ‘running’ the country right now, they don’t have a clue where to begin using the data they have, much less how to specifically target anyone with it.
as a bit of an afterthought, i didn’t really understand the shock of snowden’s revelations – not the shock of the scope of surveillance, but the shock that surveillance is being conducted in the first place. after all, the government did invent the internet.