Holey Constitution

We have learned an excruciating amount of work in this unit. We have mainly talked about how the constitution and the works and its origin. It was made up by several men, including James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. and George Washington. The location of where it was written down right in the midst of Philadelphia This document is the foundation of for the government ran today still. The constitution of the United States established many things. It was formed in order to give the people certain rights that every basic citizen should have. Some examples include the freedom of speech, life, liberty. The constitution has served as the main principle for keeping stability within the walls of our nation. Sadly i didn’t know much of this documents essentials when we started talking about it.  I knew a little of the basics that we configured out of elementary and random facts. Since we have had major discussions as well as group projects.

I learned a wide variety of things of the dealing with the constitution. What i learned from the constitution is that the constitution has many vague rules in it. One of the rules that have a unclear meaning is one in the 4th article. In the 4th article it states that, “Nobody can be sentenced to a cruel or unusual punishment. The words used to describe this random part of the constitution does not make enough sense for every case. It does not speak out on what degree of cruel and unusual it is. It is to the point to where in debates in the judicials power is veered on how they take the words themselves. It leads to a chance of having the constitution unequal to people in the same cases. For instance, in one case you could have somebody could be accepted on how the his punishment is cruel and unusual due to the fact that he has a mental disorder, however, somebody else in another state could get have been revoked from that right, because they interpret the words or phrases in a different way. Even though some people would say that the different interpretations are meant for different situations, I feel that there should be more distinct and clear laws so that the same sentence does not produce different outcomes.IMG_0307-1

Sadly this also happens when two laws conflict with each other. For a fake example, we can say the Future Farmers of of America, a private organization, makes it a policy not to hire any homosexuals as leaders. According to the Constitution, does FFA have the right to do this? You can say that the 14th amendment says that they cannot do that. It says that you cannot discriminate due to a person’s association or ideas on life. That same document reports that people or a group of people have the freedom of assembly. Lots of rules in the constitution can interfere with the others, and sometimes it can start to be a problem. Whether it is in the hands of the jury or the judge, the holes and loops in the constitution can certainly cause problems in some eyes like mine. It’s not a bad document, since we have been using it since the days it has been created, but there is a reason we can still edit it with amendments.


Pop Culture. Entertainment or Manipulation?

Music has always been a force for political change.  Lyrics in songs have often intertwined with politics.  The Greeks were one of the earliest examples of a culture that understood how music could stir a society to rebel against their government.  Plato stated, “When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them.”  In times of slavery in America, songs of protest were sung in the cotton fields, Biblical songs that spoke of freedom, such as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and “Go Down Moses.”  The ‘60s  were a time of great change in this country.  Jim Crow was abolished, communism was beginning to fall, and there was great political unrest.  Bob Dylan’s music was a reflection of all that was going on and people saw it as an echo of  what they were thinking at the time. 1503198-bigthumbnail His music stirred people against the Vietnam War and social inequality.  Rap music of the late ‘80s spoke of more inequality with groups like N.W.A. talking of police brutality and poverty.  Bruce Springsteen, U2, and Madonna used lyrics that expressed their political beliefs.  Springsteen and Joan Baez were part of the Amnesty International benefit concert in 1988.  Baez even stood by Martin Luther King Jr. during a march for civil rights, was arrested for helping Vietnam draft dodgers, and sang “Amazing Grace” in Sarajevo.  This political undertone appealed to people who felt oppressed and those who agreed with that particular cause. The artists had the power to inspire people to action.  There are many current artists who express political views. In Lady Gaga’s song, “Born This Way” deals with gay rights issues.  She became a crusader for people outside the social mainstream and spoke out for no discrimination toward people who had no control over what sexuality they were.  Recent laws have come into place concerning gay rights, and now transgender.  Gay marriage is now legal and homosexuals are a protected group in the workplace.  Many bathroom signs are now for all genders.  Even a few weeks ago a major university announced students would be penalized in grading for the use of the word “female” in their papers.  Some stores are making no separation between men’s and women’s clothing.  Is music a reflection of this social change, or does music help bring about these changes?

Television is another area that helps shape public policy.  With a national election nearing, this is particularly relevant.  Does the media report politics or shape political events?  I think the media is responsible for shaping the course of political events.  The presidential debates held recently were a perfect example.  Some of the questions asked by the media to the candidates were not relevant to their political beliefs and were felt by many to be unfair to certain candidates.  It is felt by many people that the media imposes their own position on topics rather than unbiased reporting.  Presidential candidates need media attention to gain voter attention, so one might ask if voters or the media hold political power?  The media can definitely influence the opinion of voters, especially people who are uncommitted.  Candidates usually try to use the media to their best advantage.  There are many people in the country who are tired of the media coverage and its seemingly biased nature.  News channels who promote they give unbiased news have sprung up as a result.  One presidential candidate has attacked the media, and has gained support with people who feel the same way.  The media has “destroyed” many candidates with details of their private lives.  Even Hillary Clinton has been “forced” to finally apologize for her security breach as Secretary of State with the  constant media attention given to her.  There are other television shows that deal with public policy as well.

The show “Modern Family” depicts three families.  One married couple has a significant age difference and cultural diversity; one couple consists of two gay men with an adopted daughter; and the other couple is married with children.  This is a reflection of our society today.  To repeat, gay marriage is now legal in the United States.  James Twitchwill says, “Television plays a major role in our daily lives.  It not only influences our preferences, it affects our beliefn their music.s, our likes and dislikes.  It can strengthen our knowledge and broaden our perspectives.  Many different goals are achieved from the television.”

Sports can also influence public policy.  Almost all people are affected by sports.  There are youth sports, adult sports, professional sports, and supportive fans.  The violent nature of some sports has been given attention in the last several years.  Rules have been passed in football regarding targeting players, spearing in the head, and others.   It has been determined by the medical society that the danger of concussions can be detrimental to future health of the athlete.  The NCAA ConcussNFL-vector-logos-708x534ion Policy and Legislation has been put into place that ensures athletes are educated about the symptoms of a concussion.  A player showing symptoms of a concussion must be removed and evaluated by medical staff educated in concussion diagnosis.  The player cannot return to play that day and must have medical clearance to return.

Another sports concern that was given plenty of media attention this past year has been domestic violence.  This was brought to attention when Ray Rice, a member of the Baltimore Ravens, punched his wife in the Atlantic City
Hotel.  Rice was given a two- game suspension.  The public was furious. This outcry resulted in new penalties.  Now there would be a six-game suspension for the first offense and a 1 year suspension for the second.  If a player is charged with domestic violence or sexual assault, the NFL requires mandatory evaluation and counseling.  Patti Giggans, executive director of Peace Over Violence, a Los Angeles sexual assault, domestic violence and youth violence prevention center, said, “Those of us who work in the field of domestic violence and sexual violence can be really disheartened and upset when sports heroes who are also abusers are forgiven right out of the gate by their fans.”

All three of these pop culture icons—music, television, and sports, do affect public policy.  We have no way to measure just how much, but the huge influence and amount of time the public spends listening to music, watching television, and following or attending sporting events, does have an influence over what we think, which leads to how we vote.

Anna S.

Celebrity Candidates – Can Traditional Republicans Beat Them?


Source: Alabama Media Group

In the wake of last night’s GOP presidential candidates’ debate in Boulder, Colorado, two Senior Fellows in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution have asked an interesting question: Can any Republican beat the celebrity candidates? 

“The question in the Republican presidential nomination race,” according to William Galson and Elaine Kamarck, “is whether a traditional candidate—someone with government experience—will emerge in time to challenge and then defeat the celebrity candidates who have never spent a day in elected office but have been dominating the public’s attention and the polls so far.”

“With evident exasperation,” the Brookings Fellows note, Ohio Governor John Kasich described traditional Republicans’ challenge in his opening statement at the debate: “We’re on the verge of picking someone who can’t do this job.”

Latest data from realclearpolitics.com shows Donald Trump polling nationally at 26.8% and Ben Carson polling at 22%. The leading traditional Republican, Senator Marco Rubio, sits a distant third at 9% followed by Governor Jeb Bush (7%) and Senator Ted Cruz (6.6%).

Galson and Kamarck offer their prediction as the conclusion of their post:

“If the Republican nominating campaign belatedly moves past the celebrity candidates and returns to its traditional pattern, it could end up pitting the leader of movement conservativism against the champion of the establishment, and we could end up with an all Cuban-American final.  Alternatively, the Republicans could offer us someone with gubernatorial experience opposing a senator who lacks such experience.  But if the nominating electorate continues to turn its back on the entire leadership of its party, the 2016 Republican presidential nominee could end up testing the public’s willingness to entrust the Oval Office to an untried and unpredictable candidate.  Unless all the rules of American politics have been abrogated, the odds are against it.”

Rubio versus Cruz? Bush, Kasich, or Christie? Can a traditional Republican candidate beat the celebrity candidates and win the GOP nomination for president?

Dr. O.

Road Rage

The constitution is our government’s policy for knowing what’s right and wrong. We base what we should and should not do on the Constitution and the laws that are set for us. When people break those laws we label them as criminals and we prosecute them using our legal system. In some cases the criminal is never found and in others it might take time to find them. Each case is different.

This past tuesday in Albuquerque a man was arrested for a fatal road rage that ended with the killing of four-year-old girl named Lilly. No one knows for sure the motive behind the tragedy that took place. However, officials did say the suspect “engaged the girls father in a road rage incident and then fired shots. From what we understand the cars were both moving, one car pulled up against the other car and started firing rounds.” After the shooting the father pulled over their car and realized his daughter had been shot. Paramedics hurried onto the scene and rushed her to the hospital where she passed away late tuesday.


On Wednesday police tried tracking down the killer. They had been given information about what the man looked like and what kind of car he drove all they had to do was track him down. They were told he was a white or hispanic male in his 20’s or 30’s in a new model red or maroon toyota camry. They even had a 1,000 dollar reward for information leading to an arrest. They did not make an arrest until later that day because they had to wait on the proper paperwork (warrants)  in order to arrest him.

I think the police did everything right in this case. They waited for warrants to make the arrest, they gathered information about the man, and they did what needed to be done in the right way so they could make a proper arrest of the right man. According to the fourth amendment without proper warrants (arrest warrant) police can not make a legal arrest. An arrest is using legal authority to deprive a person of his or her freedom of movement. In some cases an arrest can be made without a warrant but they must have probable cause and exigent circumstances presented at the time of the arrest. So, according to what the police have said in this case they needed the arrest warrant and without it the man who killed Lilly could get off because the police did not follow protocol.

After the arrest is made police might look into if the man who shot Lilly had the right to have a handgun. According to the second amendment you have the right to bear arms, but in order to carry a concealed handgun in your car you need a concealed handgun license. If he did not have one that can be used against him when Unknownhe is taken to court.

Sometimes when people get put on trial they get let off even if they did commit the crime it’s all up to the jury and how they decide to rule this case. The police took all the right actions to get this man arrested and put behind bars so, let’s just hope he stays there. Hopefully our legal system will help the family by putting away the man that killed their little girl and although this tragic event should have never happened I believe justice will be done for the family and most importantly for the innocent little four-year-old girl who should not have lost her life.  



Jonathan Adams Case

Jonathan Adams, twelve year old boy who was charged with first degree murder. Jonathan shot his next door neighbor with his father’s 12-gauge shotgun taking it from an unlocked closet.He did this because his eight year old neighbor would not let him hold her puppy when he asked. Should the court be able to sentence Jonathan a lifetime in prison even though he is only twelve? How old is old enough?Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 9.33.11 AM

In my opinion, I think that no child under the age of 18 should be charged with adult crimes. Most people until the age of twenty do not adapt crime, meaning they do not know what they are doing until after it has already happened, or they might not have meant to commit their crime but it happened on accident. Humans do not have that violence tick in their brain yet at such a young age.

More than 10,000 children are in prison in the America today. I do not think that this is right of America in any way. Children are not capable to know what is happening at such a young age. They can not physically understand crime or the fact that after killing that person they are not coming back. As a kid you should not have to know what crime even is. Being put into jail at such a young age is the worst possible thing you could do to a human. You have not even given them a chance at life yet. Also children at that age have a higher percentage of being raped or abused while in prison which could result in many more suicides.

Looking from the girls families point of view, I could not even imagine the types of grief and pain that they would feel, but in my honest opinion I do not think that grown ups could have the capacity to put a child in jail. I do not think that it should be legal to put a child under the age of eighteen in prison. If it was juvenile detention then that would be something that I could understand but prison with all of the felons and criminals that are in there, that would be setting the child up on its death bed.Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 9.33.28 AM

This raises the issue of whether prolonged incarceration of children violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. In saying this, I personally think that rather than prison being Jonathan’s option the court should consider Juvenile court because he will still be having to serve a severe punishment and learn that what he did was wrong but he should not have to lose his life when he has not even had an opportunity to live it. Jonathan will have to deal with these consequences for the rest of his life but putting a child into prison for a lifetime is cruel and unusual punishment. Jonathan’s deserves to be punished but not with adult consequences, his punishment should be strong enough to the point that he regrets for the rest of his life but not something that could potentially kill him.


New Two-Child Policy

AbbyCThroughout the last 45-50 years, China has had a one-child policy in their country. This Policy by definition only permits a couple to have one child. This policy was put into place because of the large amount of Chinese citizens that was growing at a staggering rate. The country could not keep up this this influx of people at this fast of a rate. This was also a controversial topic because most people where under the impression that the government could control how many kids I want to have, right? Well as it turns out they can; and they did. For the past 50 years the government has been doing ‘random’ searches on houses that they believe or have been reported by friends or neighbors to be holding more than one child. These searches are an invasion of privacy, put also a cruel punishment for the families that were torn apart because of this crime. Many families were separated and never repaired, but this lead into a bigger issue; the genocide of Chinese baby girls. How can we fight for women’s rights when they are still killed for being alive all around the world?

In China there are an estimated 200 million babies that have been killed because of this policy. If your first-born is a boy then you get to try again for a girl, but if your first-born is a girl then you are done. This as you can see lead to a mass genocide of the female race, weather that was abortion, or being thrown into the trash like they were worthless. These were innocent children who were being punished for what, being born? There have been countless allegations of women saying their husbands pushed them down the stairs after finding out they were pregnant, to try and kill the fetus. The stories are countless and never ending; or so we thought.

On October 29, 2015 the Chinese Government came out and stated that they were now changing their One Child Policy to a Two Child Policy. The new Two Child Policy stated that no matter what the first child’s birth was, that the parents were allowed to try for a second child. This is a huge step toward same-sex rights ever for the unborn, and for the Chinese people to be able to live their lives a little more with out the Chinese Communist Government breathing down their necks. The Government claims that the instituted the Two Child Policy to let their population grow. While China has a population of over 1.4 billion people, how much more are they hoping to grow their population? As a senior government student I am interested to see where china will get the room and the necessities to provide for all of these children that the population is now allowed to have. I believe that these people have a right to have as many children as they would like; but I also believe that these children that are growing up in this messy Communist country should have some sort of stability. They should know that there will always be enough food, and there will always be enough space for them to go and live their dreams, but hwo can you live your dreams when there is no where to go? Where you can not actually own a home but a small condo to raise a family in. Where you cannot really strive for your dream; just the dream of working in a factory for the rest of your life waiting to make enough money so your children can go to college and be happy. That is not I world I would like to live in.

I am very happy that China changed it policy to allow a two-child family. But I see some very staggering flaws that I am hoping there are resolutions being made. This might be the starting block for the end of the female genocide in China, to the rise of the Feminist movement in China. This is what is going to change China’s history forever.

Abby C.

The U.S Government Needs Stronger Immigration Laws

The United States government should have existing immigration laws, provide more security at both borders and focus on the better good of all U.S. citizens. Our currant immigration system provides many ways for people from foreign countries to enter our country as legal residents or become a qualified U.S. citizen. They include Family-Based immigration, Employment-Based immigration and immigration based on special circumstances.

Under Family-Based ImWhatPartmigration, a U.S. citizen can file an immigrant visa petition for a spouse, son/daughter, parent, or brother/sister. U.S. lawful residents (green card holders) can file an immigrant visa petition for a spouse or unmarried son/daughter.

Employment-Based immigration is when a U.S. employer sponsors certain skilled workers who will be hired into permanent jobs. U.S. law also provides a number of special immigrant categories related to employment needs.

No more than 7% of both Family-Based and Employment-Based visas can enter the states from a single country.

Special circumstance immigration typically applies to refugees being persecuted for their race, political affiliation, religion, or social membership within their country of residence.  These situations usually occur in countries that are unstable, under developed, or ruled by a tyrannical dictator.

Once immigrants enter our country legally, they can pursue U.S. Citizenship.  This is a process where immigrants apply to become citizens of the U.S., which allows them to live here indefinitely and take advantage of many benefits and opportunities.  Citizenship is usually the next step after obtaining a green card for people who want to live in the U.S.

Undocumented immigration, often called illegal immigration, occurs when foreigners bypass the visa process and enter the U.S. by crossing the border or obtain a visa, but overstay the allotted time period.  Undocumented immigration has become a highly political topic that currently dominates the news media.

Today there are many people who work around our immigration laws and enter the U.S. illegally.  The most common way is people cross the Mexican border over to California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas.   Some have their kids born in the U.S, which means the kids are automatically citizens. This makes it difficult to deport the parents because they are the kid’s immediate family.  The southern border is not as protected as it should be.  We have good laws to control illegal immigrants, but they are not being enforced strongly enough. If the immigration laws were enforced, our country would be more secure and the economy would be stronger.  The amount of illegal immigrants entering the country is hurting our nation.

I don’t understand why the government wants to open the borders to undocumented immigrants.  Some politicians in the government want to provide amnesty to undocumented aliens in hopes they will vote for them in upcoming elections. The 2016 Democratic candidates want to give the wealthy tax money to the unemployed and bring immigrants over to the states. These candidates are promising the American dream in return for votes. If I were an immigrant perusing to live in America under the care of the government, they would have my vote too. This is the only way I can understand why some want to help others instead of their own people.

We were founded as in immigrant nation and we need to continue to bring immigrants into our country. However, it needs to be controlled so we know who is coming in and what their intentions are.  We have needs for people with certain skill sets in order to sustain and grow our economy. Therefore, we need to attract people with these skills into our country for the better good of all.  We currently have millions of people in our country who entered illegally and undocumented yet they receive benefits from our government. This contradicts the 14th Amendment of our Constitution.