A Thin Line

The article describes the circumstances of the death of  Israel Leija Jr and the proceeding lawsuit which was lost by his family. The article is written by Pete Williams former government communicator of the year and assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. Mr. Williams is also a Stanford graduate and a respected journalist. He states Israel Leija Jr started to flee from police after a policeman approached Mr. Leija’s vehicle to warn him about warrants issued.  Leija immediately sped away and began an eighteen minute car chase. Leija called police multiple times claiming he would shoot if the chase was not stopped. Police had the idea to set up tire spikes at three spots on the interstate. Then Trooper Chadrin Mullenix of the Texas Department of Public Safety got the idea of trying to stop the car by shooting at it. He radioed for approval from his supervisor, who told him to stand by to see if the tire spikes worked first. Mullenix got out of his patrol car, took a position on the overpass, and fired six shots at Leija’s car. After hitting the tire spikes, Leija’s car rolled two and a half times. Authorities later determined that Leija was killed by Trooper Mullenix’s shots, four of which hit him in the upper body.  In November, the supreme court tossed the case against Mullenix.  There has been growing animosity between the people and the police department throughout the United States. More and more officers are being videoed and convicted by the media for police brutality. If the problems continue america could be heading towards a setback and potential civil war.

Later in the article Pete Williams quotes justice Sonia Sotomayor saying the ruling endorses a “shoot first, think later” approach to policing. There is a thin line between police brutality and proper policing. The line is being crossed too many times according to the public’s frustration. Policemen are knowingly crossing the line and disobeying protocol and orders. Mullenix was told to be on standby until after the car had crossed the spikes.  Mullenix, on his own, decided to shoot what he referred to as “Six shots in the dark” at the vehicle.  The problem is not only did Mullenix disobey orders but he also could have harmed any near bystanders with his shots. Mullenix was wrong in the situation but was rewarded with a innocent verdict for killing a man. The court also made this decision based solely off of written documents. There was never any oral arguments therefore leaving the american people to believe the court thought the case was clear cut. I do not believe in every case all policemen are guilty of brutality. In fact, I believe more times than not policemen are wrongly accused by media of brutality. The public uses only a small portion knowledge they have on the situation without waiting to find more details before making judgements. The public’s ignorance causes good policemen to lose their jobs and potentially  wrongfully go to jail. Although I am in support of the police I do believe when policemen disobey orders and murders another human they should be held responsible for their actions. We, as a society, must begin to demand for better police treated and also understand that one officer’s actions does not reflect  on every policeman.

For a successful democracy the people must be able to work along side of the government. The reason a democracy will work is because the people do not fear the government but trusts the government. The discourse and hostility between the people and the government will cause our country towards war and mayhem. We need the police and government to ensure none of our constitutional rights are violated.  Expectations and protocol must be met and followed by the police we trust to protect us but as people we must allow policemen to do their jobs without hostility towards them.

How Did We Get Here?

 

How ridiculous, students getting hurt over racial slurs and “other incidents” to later then go on strike until the president of Missouri stepped down.  On November 9, 2015, former President Tim Wolfe and chancellor of the flagship campus, R. Bowen Loftin stepped down from their position. As former president Tim Wolfe stepped down he asked “How did we get here?”, well that is a wonderful question.images

Eliot C. McLaughlin, a writer for CNN since 2005, writes “African-American students at Missouri have complained of inaction on the part of school leaders in dealing with racism on the overwhelmingly white Columbia campus. Black student leaders have conveyed their displeasure over students openly using racial slurs and other incidents.” Once the students let their voice be heard multiple organizations such as the football team, and the student association asked Mr. Wolfe to step down. Once the football team threatened to not play or practice until Jonathan imgresButler, student who was a major factor of this movement,  ended his hunger strike. Which led to the Tim Wolfe stepping down, mainly because if the football team did not play their upcoming game against BYU that would mean the University having to pay a million dollars.

This incident is absolutely ridiculous, I completely agree that racials slurs should come to a stop but 1st amendment states we have the freedom of speech. Whoever is saying these racial slurs can say whatever they want, I don’t think it’s right but it happens. Chancellor Loftin ordered a mandatory sensitivity training for faculty and students, but that wasn’t good enough for the African- American students they wanted more. Then students later stating “Every student’s ability to learn is now affected and threatened by the campus climate.” also “The academic careers of our students are suffering. The mental health of our campus is under constant attack. Our students our being ignored.” If these students truly feel as if “the academic careers of our students are suffering” why not transfer schools? Why stay at a school that doesn’t represent who you are and who you want to be? The University of Missouri took reasonable actions into finding a solution for this issue. That wasn’t good enough so they pushed the president out of his job and the position he held, which led to the Chancellor also stepping down. How did that solve their problem? It didn’t, the students put all the blame onto the president. They set the man up for failure, he can’t force his students to stop all racial slurs because they have the right to freedom of speech. However, what Mr. Wolfe did along with Mr. Loftin wasn’t as effective as the student’s would have liked but the issue wasn’t ignored and in the near future they could have figured out a better solution. As for the coaches and the student athletes that’s a whole different disrespect to their university. First the coaches are being paid to do something they love, to work with these student athletes make them better and to bring home a win. The fact these coaches didn’t defend the university, who they work for is incredible. I understand these coaches would lose all respect from their athletes but they aren’t paid to be favored. As for the student athletes is shocking how they refuse to play until President Tim Wolfe stepped down. It’s shocking to me these students receive a free tuition (for a resident of Missouri the cost is around $25,514 and for a non-resident it’s $40,126) to play the sport they love, football. These students were out of line and should realize they could have been easily replaced with an athlete who was willing to play football for a free education.

The ignorant people who are saying these slurs should get punished for not representing the university they attend. As for the students being “affected and threatened by the campus climate” why not leave? If your academic career is suffering why not change the atmosphere you are around and attend a college that better suits the atmosphere you need to succeed. As a high school senior I have found my number one school. If someone was saying racial slurs to me at the school of my dreams, it’s an opportunity to become the bigger person and reply “I hope you have a great day, God bless you” and walk on. You go to college for number one the education, but also for the experiences that will transform you. I feel bad for Mr. Wolfe and Mr. Loftin having to step down due to the ignorant kids who can’t keep their mouth shut and to the kids who felt removing the president is the best idea. In the society we live in we have to baby everyone, we let kids get away with whatever they want. It’s not the university’s fault, it’s what we let the kids get away with by their physical actions and by what they say. Somehow we have got to a time where the kid/student is always right no matter what, and the adult is just wrong. Which is exactly what happened here students ran their mouths off, which led to students being offended, and when the president didn’t make the necessary actions that the student’s who were offended felt were just, he lost his job.  

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/09/us/missouri-football-players-protest-president-resigns/

http://missouri.edu/

America’s “War” with Police

It seems as if almost every week we hear about a story about police brutality and police killing innocent people, especially blacks. People have started saying that we are in a war with the police, in fact, 58% of America thinks we are in a war with police. They are here to protect us and prevent crime yet there are protests all over the country trying to change the police force. Just two nights ago a black cop was shot in New York City from trying to stop a gang shooting yet there has been very little media coverage over this compared to the incidents with Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. In my eyes it seems that media wants us to believe that there is War on Police and wants us to believe that the Police are our enemy which is completely wrong.

Week after week people are protesting about how corrupt our law enforcement system is, but nobody want to protest about how corrupt the people committing the crimes are. People only want to blame the police for their problems and not take into account that it is actually themselves who are committing the crime. The police are there for a reason and that is to enforce laws, if the laws are broken there will be consequences. Sometimes these consequences can cost you your life but this is extremely rare. If a citizen strikes a cop they are putting their life at risk. Officers see exotic things and when a person attacks them, they truly believe their life is in danger as they should. No person should attack a law enforcement officer.

There are about two in a million people who are killed by police officers. How come the other 999,998 people didn’t have an issue with the police. There are only 1.2 million officers in this country and over 100 have been killed this year, which is a far greater ratio of cops being killed by citizens than citizens being killed by cops. It is a fifty to one ratio, but nobody is protesting about how the citizens of the United States are killing too many police. Police officers wake up everyday and have a 5000% higher chance of being killed by a normal citizen than a normal citizen being killed by a police officer. Even though these statistics are high for the police officers, this has been the second safest year to be a police officer ever.

There is now a serious threat of terrorism on U.S. soil. With so many people protesting for gun control laws, who is going to keep us safe from ISIS members in this nation? If we are not armed and there is a terrorist attack on our soil who do we expect to protect us? Our Law enforcement is our only answer. It wasn’t regular citizens who stopped the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, it was our law enforcement. We need to unite with the people who keep us safe and treat them with respect and honesty. They are putting their lives on the line to save us and help us and it’s our job as citizens to help them back.

The truth is, being apart of law enforcement is a dangerous job and they put their lives on the line everyday to protect us. We should be thanking them for their efforts, not trying to destroy them for their faults. The war with police is no different than it has ever been. The media has grown so large and influential that everybody believes there is a war with police when in reality nothing has changed. If this war is too big for some to burden then it is time you started protesting against the people instead of this nation’s law enforcement.

 

Turner C

Syrian Refugee crisis in Texas

Half of Syria’s population has been forced to flee its homes. Most of them are women and children trying to escape the brutal fighting that has engulfed their country. In this article it states that a group of Syrian refugees are planned to be resettled in Dallas. This crisis greatly affects Texas and people who live there’s safety because of the government’s inability to run effective background checks. Which is why I agree with Paxton this puts not only Texans but all U.S. citizens at risk because the federal government has not properly fulfilled the duty to consult with Texas ahead of the refugee relocation. Like the veteran in the video I agree that we should take the risk of letting refugees in because there could be the chance that they are a threat to us that we could face a similar crisis that Paris did; when it could have been prevented if we protected our borders. Not that I think all the Syrian refugees are a threat or that I am against helping innocent syrian people to live a better and safer life, but it should be America’s first priority to protect U.S. Citizens by properly fulfilling the duties that the federal government has, when it comes to relocating refugees in this country.

Some people may agree with the people in the video that say that it is a sad decision to close our borders no, to the refugees, when we have opened the doors to them for over a hundred years. They question why just the Syrians, there have been many other threats to the country that haven’t been cause by refugees, why not treat them how we want treat the Syrian refugees. I believe that these people who agree with these kinds of opinions don’t understand the consequences that come with it. They don’t understand the major threats that could be caused by keeping our doors open to the refugees. Though I agree with the women in the video that says that not all Syrian refugees are apart of ISIS, but there is no way I’m proving that they are another a threat to us. So in order to keep our country safe I think that we need to shut our borders to the refugees in order to keep us Americans safe from terrorist.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/02/politics/texas-syrian-refugees/index.html

2nd Amentdment

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This sentence in my opinion is one of the most important things in our country. The Second Amendment is the backbone of our nation and is at the very core of what makes us Americans. Our right to bear arms is very important and I believe that some people do not appreciate this right or fully understand what firearms have meant to not only us but the whole world.

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        Recently there was a shooting in a South Carolina church and the first thing that came to my mind can be summed up in this one quote. “If one patriot had been armed in that South Carolina church, nine lives could have been saved. Now, more than ever, we must stand up and protect the second amendment rights that our Founders provided for just such a time as this — a time when self-defense and protecting our neighbors saves innocent lives.” I wish that this statement was being run on the bottom of every new station in the country at all times. When something terrible happens in this country people tend to get what i call “backwards vision”. That is where a person looks at what a person committed a crime with instead of why they committed it. The gun was not at fault in South Carolina, the man was.

In class we often try to look at both sides of an argument in order to gain knowledge on both sides. I have tried and tried to see where people that are against the second amendment are coming from and i cannot figure this out. These people will often argue that owning a weapon is dangerous and that you are at a higher risk if you own a firearm. I would argue that they are mistaken. I learned in this class that if you are going to say something be able to back it up. So with my statement i give the following information and statistics. Detroit’s police chief, James Craig, ran a little experiment. In 2014, Craig encouraged the city’s residents to arm themselves. His police department issued over 1,100 handgun permits. More than 8,100 guns were registered in the city. As a result, crime dropped by 12 percent. He then went to local prisons and asked convicted felons what they fear most. Unanimously the answer was, “an armed citizen.”

20120724-2nd-amendment-cartoon

The debate about gun control has been around as long as guns have. Recently the debate over gun control has found its way towards the Holocaust. Ben Carson, a current presidential candidate, when asked about gun control responded that if the Jews and other affected groups had had access to guns Hitler’s march against them would not have been as effective. The response was seen by many as inappropriate and historically incorrect. However what I believe these people are not seeing is that there were more things going on than what most people would have realised. For the sake of respect I am not going to go into all these details because I believe that this is a sensitive area. I will however just leave the idea that I believe that based on historical information gun control did negatively impact the Jewish people during this awful time.

Another event in recent time was the San Bernardino shooting. This was yet another mass shooting, defined as three or more deaths including the assailant, that has brought up yet another strike against firearms. The most notable response I believe was from President Obama. President Obama had an Oval Office address where he spoke on the issues of gun control and that the shooting had been a possible terrorist attack. In the address he said that people that are in the country illegally should not be allowed to own semi-automatic weapons and that American citizens should not be able to own or buy assault weapons (anything within the AR platform). I believe that the President was correct with some of the things he said but i still believe that he may be jumping the gun. The issue is not the weapon it is the system that regulates the weapons. I believe that is an addressable issue. We should be looking at the way people acquire the guns and not how they are using the guns. I think we are getting closer and closer to a solution but I wish that we would realize this issues without a tragedy occurring.

The most basic thing about being human is our desire to defend ourselves against possible threats. I believe that if we as a nation decide to implement more stringent gun laws that the argument could be made that we are suppressing our basic human rights and I believe that to be unconstitutional. Whether or not a person believes in the right to bear arms they should consider the situations where these weapons have been helpful, even necessary, in people’s lives. It is our job as responsible citizens to view issues with a clear head and I believe that the 2nd Amendment is something we should all care about.

 

L. Ivy-O’Donnell

Credible Sources

 

A catastrophe based on lies?  A poop swastika, on and off campus racial slurs, and a hunger strike.  These are the accusations made by some of the students at Mizzouri that lost many people there jobs.  But was this information credible and accurate?  No, none of the following were actually proven.

In U.S. Government, we are taught to find a good credible source for things like this.  The thing is that for each of these, there is no evidence.  In today’s era, teens and college students take pictures of everything, and almost everything that happens in college turns up on videos, but not one photo or video was taken of the poop swastika.  There is also no eye witness that can say the poop swastika existed.  UPDATE: Mizzou has released a police report of the poop swastika.  The police report says that an officer observed a poop swastika on the wall with feces beneath it.  Isn’t the first thing that comes to mind a deranged individual instead of a campus overrun by racism?  Wouldn’t you think that someone who puts poop in their own hands and writes on a wall is insane?  

Mizzou’s student body president, Payton Head, a gay black man, accused unknown and never found perpetrators in a red truck of hurling racial slurs at him off campus.  Even if this happened, how is Mizzou responsible for something that a non-student says off campus?   Furthermore, isn’t it more interesting that the students of Mizzou voted for a gay black man as president?  The university also supported Michael Sam, the first gay black NFL football player.  Does that sound like a campus with inclusiveness issues to you?  A divided and racist campus wouldn’t have Head as the president and wouldn’t support Michael Sam.   Head also lied about the KKK being on campus and being in touch with the National Guard to get it resolved.  So if Head lied about that, then how can anyone believe that he actually got racial slurs thrown at him?  And what is the President of Mizzou suppose to do about an off campus racial slur?  He can’t do anything.  

University of Missouri Turmoil

Members of black student protest group Concerned Student 1950 hold hands following the announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

A student went on a hunger strike for grad school healthcare costs, at least initially.  He is the son of a man that made 7 million last year.  His family has a 1.3 million dollar home in Omaha.  There isn’t even any proof he actually did follow through with the strike.  Also, he lied about death threats being made on campus through twitter so much that the official account of Mizzou responded to him and shut down the possibility of those threats ever occurring.

As you can see, only the poop swastika was confirmed to be factual.  All the rest were accusations.  Even the accusations that weren’t proven true were told by people who are proven liars.  If you’re willing to lie on social media then you are sure willing to lie in person about a major world issue.  Many people lost their jobs and income over something that couldn’t even be controlled by the University.  Furthermore something that wasn’t based on facts or evidence.

 

http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/outkick-the-coverage/is-the-entire-mizzou-protest-based-on-lies-111115
(The UPDATE in the second paragraph was made after I started writing the info before.  I didn’t want to delete my work so it is still there.)

Tanner R.

ISIS attacks around the world

In recent news, we were all shocked by the sudden attack The Islamic States (ISIS) made upon the beloved city of Paris, France. Reaching worldwide news in a matter of minutes put everyone on the edge of their seat, and placed fear in the eyes of many people. Not only didn’t they commit terrorist attacks on France but other countries such as

On Friday, November 13, 2015 an epidemic of terror crossed the world as we all were informed of The Islamic States attack on civilians in Paris, France. ISIS was the cause behind six attacks across Paris including, the siege of a concert hall resulting in the death of 100 people. The attacks ISIS made were said to be, “The worst attacks to hit Paris since World War II.” Not only has ISIS attacked France, but Egypt, Bangladesh, downed a russian civilian plane and more.

These recent acts of terror have not only affected the civilians of those countries, but also many other countries around the world, such as the United States. Ever since September 11, 2001, when terrorist attacked the world trade centers in New York City, citizens of the United States have become very aware of terrorist attacks and feel for those who are affected by them. This could be debated as one of the worst moments that the United States has ever had to deal with, and wouldn’t want other countries to suffer the pain and lost that was felt.

Since we are very cautious of terrorism in the U.S. it is a major priority when searching for the next President of the United States that they will take actions against the terrorist takes taking place not only around the world but especially those that take place on American soil. In United States Government, our main goal is to become informed and active citizens in our own government. Keeping ourselves informed of current events and what is going on in the world on a day-to-day basis we are helping equip ourselves with the knowledge needed to elect the next president we believe to help our country the most.

Even though terrorism isn’t one of the most exciting topics to keep up with it is necessary because of the impact it has on those affected by it and the way that our country is run. Shortly after the Paris attacks, there were immediate threats to several countries and many different cities within the United States. While we try to keep a very close watch on what is happening in the United States it is hard to determine when these acts of terrorism might happen. It is important that the President come up with a plan that will help not only keep the citizens of the United States safe and at ease, but also put a stop to ISIS all together.

On December 3, 2015 there was a shooting in San Bernardino, California and shortly after ISIS took credit for this act of terrorism. This is probably the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil since September 11. President Obama addresses his solution to this situation by saying, “The threat from terrorism is real, we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us.”

As President Obama’s time as the head of our country is coming to a close and we are beginning to search for the next president of the United States, many people’s first priority is to find a president that will help defend our country against terrorism and other countries around the world as well. Terrorism can never fully be stopped, but it is our job to be engaged citizens and inform ourselves of the things happening around the world so that we can approach the situation in the best way we feel possible.

Jessica R.

Sources:

http://www.vocativ.com/news/250318/isis-supporters-celebrate-paris-attacks/

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/california-police-respond-report-active-shooter-35536102