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Archive for December, 2011

Singin’ In The Rain

I graduated from high school this year. I am apart of the graduating class of 2011.  A problem I faced at the beginning of the year was deciding whether  to take regular AP English or an English elective college preparatory course. I chose the ladder and was placed in a college level film analysis class. In that class I watched a lot of good movies from a lot of great genres. One movie that stuck out in particular though, was Singing In the Rain. It demonstrated a campiness that no other movie could display, it had great choreography, great songs, and ;most importantly to me, it showed love in a way that you don’t often see  in movies any more.

Nowadays you see a lot of Romantic Comedies like Friends With Benefits or movies like that one. Although i liked that movie, it didn’t display love quite in the same way as Singin’ In the Rain. Now there’s nothing wrong with that but it seems like more and more movies and T.V. shows are leaving the innocence of love out of the plot. And because people are leaving the innocence of love out of movies and T.V. shows and even music, kids are only learning about the sexual aspect of love. Since kids are only learning of the sexual aspect of love they have sex a lot younger and they figure if they have sex they’ll fall in love but, you and I both know that isn’t how it really is.

Love isn’t displayed in the media the same way it used to be displayed. It wasn’t that long ago when on T.V. you could watch Cory and Topangas love grow and flourish. It wasn’t that long when a lot of movies were like Like Crazy. Every now and again you’ll find a movie with an absolutely great love story like Blue Valentine or pretty much any other Ryan Gosling love movie but, for the most part you’ll see shows like Gossip Girl or movies like Friends With Benefits where love comes after sex. I don’t want to come off as saying don’t have sex but, sex can blind a person of their true emotions, so I’d just rather see movies where people wait for more than just attraction before they partake in sexual activities.

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Thomas Jefferson A Liberal?

When you look through right wing political blogs you might see people say the founding fathers were conservative republicans but the founding fathers and Thomas Jefferson, in particular, were very liberal in the true sense of the word. Nowadays the words conservative and liberal have become muddled by modern day politics and politicians. If you look at what a liberal or conservative now, there is no true liberal or true conservative. Many liberals are socially liberal but economically they are conservative. And the same goes for conservatives, they are socially conservative but economically they’re liberal. If you want to see a true liberal you’ll have to look at a libertarian.

I am going off what I have looked up, if I am wrong fill free to correct me, but think about what the definition of liberal is. Liberal defined by dictionary.com is “1.favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.2.( often initial capital letter ) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.3.of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.4.favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by lawand secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.5.favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression“. Now really look at the fourth definition. Study it, remember it, and compare that definition to libertarians stand for. Now I’m not calling libertarians liberals in the sense of liberals in politics today but, I am calling them liberal in the true sense of the word.

People will use what ever they can to justify what they do or believe in. In some cases people will use religion to be homophobic. In other cases people will use fear to get what they want. In the case I am talking about, people use Thomas Jefferson, one of the most brilliant persons to ever live, to say the conservative party is better than the liberal party. I am strongly against this method and I am strongly opposed to how the definitions of liberal and conservative have changed. And why do we label a political party on their social beliefs rather than their economic beliefs or the parties economic and social beliefs? Why?

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Why, Politics? Why?

I was talking to my friend and she told me politics are boring and that the focus of my blog should be focused on more 18 year old friendly topics. I told her straight out, politics aren’t boring and what could be more 18 year old friendly than politics, in the first year I’m able to vote. She was like “no you should be talking about music and regular teenage stuff. It’s weird that you talk about politics.”  Well call me weird and strap a weirdo sign to my back.

Politics are important to me and should be important to every person in the world. Sadly, that’s not how it is. In fact, the average American thinks about politics an average of FIVE long minutes per month. Yep, that’s an average of a few seconds a day. And the average is even fewer among young adults. That fact is reflected when I ask my friends what they think about how well the Obama Administration has done so far. Or it’s reflected when my friend tells me even though this is the first year she’s able to vote, she’s not going to because she doesn’t know anything about the people running.

There’s definitely a disconnect between politics and young people. Recently you’ve seen politicians trying to reach out to young people but it doesn’t work. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because young people don’t feel represented politics or political media. Maybe because there’s more interesting stuff to talk about like 90210 or gossip girl. Maybe it’s because teenagers feel they have more important things to worry about, like love, lust, break ups, tests, papers, and just trying to learn how to get by in America.

Politicians need to make a better attempt to connect with young voters. Now I’m not saying promise foolish things but give us a reason to follow politics other than the already important things. Get more relatable people. Do whatever you think will get young voters to pay attention.

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Veterans Ignored

On my last day working with Grassroots Campaigns I was fortunate enough to meet and talk to the kindest elderly man I have ever met. I also, unfortunately, saw repeatedly a homeless veteran dehumanized. This man must have asked seventy-five different people if they could spare some change, in a span of only thirty minutes. Many people ignored him, others lied and told him they’d be back with change, a few begrudgingly gave a quarter or two, and about five people gave him a few dollars.

As I watched people pass this man by, I thought to myself, ” What’s happened to America?” This man fought to protect our rights and people turn their noses up to him and pretend he doesn’t exist. People don’t look at him as a protector of rights though, they see him as a blemish. A blemish on their perfect little world that they try to get rid of by any means they see fit. It’s utterly disgusting that people are willing to send troops over seas or how they are willing to protest to have these troops come home but when the troops finally get here they ignore them.

We build monuments for the soldiers that have given their life’s to protect our rights and we set up laws to protect the homes of soldiers but why can’t we set up more things to help keep our veterans off the street. It’s terrible, the percentage of veterans that come home and eventually become homeless. They suffer from PTSD, manic depression, and many other social and mental disorders that come along with going to war. These disorders may ultimately leads veterans to being homeless.

It’s time we stand up for our veterans. It’s time we do something because 1 out of every 4 homeless people is a veteran and that’s just unacceptable.

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Block the Vote

All across the nation we are seeing republicans trying to “block the vote”. They are enforcing laws that would require voters to carry photo identification with them to the polls, in some places there are more radical changes. Now this wouldn’t be a problem but, at the beginning of 2011  the only states that had these laws previously were Georgia and Indiana. As of now, there are  eight states that have strict photo I.d. laws and fifteen states require photo I.d.s to vote. Strangely enough though, most of the states that require photo I.d. to vote are red states.

These laws would have a negative affect on many of the minorities as well as young people. To say these policies aren’t to make it harder for minorities to vote would be stupid and to say these policies aren’t a little racist that’d be equally stupid. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe the individuals that drafted these bills are racist but, I will say they definitely saw the benefit of constructing a law that would restrict the voting rights of people that were more likely to vote democrat.

Republicans say they set up these laws to help voter fraud. That’s a blatantly outlandish lie they used to cover up the fact they are doing everything they can to ensure Obama is a one term president. I’ve looked up the numbers and you are more likely to see a person struck by lightning than see a person commit voter fraud. In the last election there were only 9 possible occurrences of voter fraud and in that same year there were 352 deaths caused by lightning.

To put everything out there, these laws are beyond stupid. In most states that require photo I.d.s  to vote, a student I.d. wouldn’t work but, if you live in Texas you can use your gun license to vote. Sweet, I can use my gun license to vote but if I’m an out-of-state student and my university I.d. card is the only form of identification I have then I’m shit out of luck. That alone is ridiculous enough to make me want to slap every person in the Texas legislature. But on top of the ridiculous voter I.d. requirements republicans also want to cut out early voting, same day registration, and the way some people register. Two teachers in Florida were actually jailed and can face up to thousands in fines for helping their students register to vote. That’s beyond ridiculous, the republicans are getting to the point where the only people they care about are themselves and big government.

But the best way to beat this voter suppression is to get all the proper documents because if you don’t your voice won’t be heard. Don’t let them BLOCK THE VOTE

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I recently got hired by Grassroots Campaigns and we’re working on behalf of the Southern Poverty Law Center to end bullying in schools. What I do is I go out in the streets of Westwood and just ask people to join up in the fight against bullying. I live in Long Beach and I catch one train and two buses to get to and from work. I spend a total of five hours on the bus and train and often don’t get home until 1 in the morning, so I’m not just working here for a paycheck. I actually feel strongly about what I’m doing and I enjoy doing it, but it becomes disheartening when I hear what some people actually say.

I’ve only been working at Grassroots Campaigns and already I’ve heard the worst remarks possible. I had one woman tell me ” Sorry I’m a bully, so why would I help end bullying.” Or one man asked ” Are you fighting against gay bullying? If you are I can’t help you.” When I heard these people say these things I thought to myself  ” What’s happened to Americans.” When did the American people stop caring. Then on top of the rude people there’s people who I’ll tell what I’m fighting to end and they’ll say “Ooh that’s a good cause.” and they’ll walk away. I’m not saying they should care as much as I do but care a little bit enough to allow me to teach them about what’s going on.

Dispense No More

As recently as October the federal government shut down at 38 California dispensaries. If you don’t know what a dispensary is, it’s a store that can legally sell and distribute marijuana to patrons for medicinal purposes. One said dispensary that was shut down was frequented by the elderly. Since that dispensary has been closed many of those elderly patients have struggled to find another where they can legally purchase their medicinal marijuana.

To say the legalization of medicinal marijuana would benefit the U.S. economy is an understatement. Annually the government spends 42 billion dollars in its war on marijuana. Now what could we, the American people, do with 42 billion dollars. A lot of different stuff. Like hire more teachers, give the teachers already teaching a raise, health care to kids, and keep some after school programs. So we know how much the U.S. spends annually on the war on marijuana but how much the pot sellers make? It is estimated that pot sellers make 113 billion across the U.S. annually. So you take how much the U.S. would save by ending the war on pot, 42 billion annually, then add how much pot sellers make,113 billion annually, and what do you get? You get 155 billion dollars of extra money per year. Now if you do the math for ten years you can get a sizable amount of money that can help the U.S. economy. Of course my numbers are off a bit but, they’re close. I personally wouldn’t use marijuana but I think it could help the government and it would be one less thing to argue about in congress. So let’s legalize marijuana and put some extra money in the pockets of our U.S. government.

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Rap Kills Child

A 1-year old,Hiram Lawrence was pronounced dead yesterday after being taken off life support. Hiram was shot in the head while his father was with him at the filming of a rap video in Oakland. While the father says “I was running around with the wrong people. It’s not my fault. It’s not my son’s fault.”  I’d beg to differ. No his father didn’t actually shoot his son but, he himself  said he was running around with the wrong people and those wrong people got his son killed. I feel sorry for the family and wish the young child rest in peace.

Others on forums such as yahoo blamed rap itself. They said “If we didn’t have these thugs as role models there would be less violence.” That’s so untrue. Kids don’t say “I wanna grow up and be a gangster like, Ice Cube.” No they want to grow up and have the same money like Ice Cube. They sell drugs and join gangs because they see that as a way to get money fast. And joining gangs is a way to make them feel they belong. What I’m saying is in the poorest of poor communities the young kids join gangs to feel like they belong.

I’m so tired of people saying rap makes people do violent things because it doesn’t. Poverty makes people do violent things. People are ignorant though, and will believe what they want but if they actually cared about the problem they would visit impoverished areas and try to fix the actual problems. Instead they sit in their Ivory Towers and call every body who listens to rap a thug. I listen to rap and I am in no sense a thug. They say rap makes you stupid, another untrue statement. In my placement test for college I received a 99 out 100 in English and in my math I received a 90, so obviously rap didn’t make me stupid. I don’t smoke or drink or sell any drugs so rap didn’t make me do that. But who cares, people hear about the shootings in rap and then they are like “Hey, the shoot guns in the ghetto so rap must be making those thugs shoot those guns.” That explanation is laughable and stupid. People need to realize rap is music and music never made anybody do anything.

One example Natalie Portman makes people do the things she says

Aesop Rock is a real bad person

The pharcyde are bunch of real bad dancers turned rappers

Atmosphere just spews violence into his Minnesota atmosphere

And Shad a rapper from London whose parents were Rwandan refugees and one album of his is dedicated to his parents. Yea his lyrics really make kids want to go out and commit genocide.

What I’m saying is there are so many different kinds of rap and for people to blame violence on rap is stupid. Again I’d like to send my condolences to the Lawrence family and I wish you all the best Hiram Lawrence on your ascension to heaven. I’m sure God will be glad to have you up there.

Guns Should Stop Crime Not Create It

In this past week there have been two major shootings across the nation. People will say these actions prove that guns should be outlawed and others will say that these two gun men are an outlier. They will claim these guys were off their rockers and that they should have never been able to own guns. You know what though? They were able to own guns. They were able to get those guns. And they got those guns very fast.

From my first paragraph you’d figure me to be very anti-gun. On the contrary, I am all for my second amendment right and the second amendment right for all my fellow Americans. I myself plan on owning a few guns when I get older and I might join the NRA but there is an essential difference between me and your ordinary run of the mill gun lover. I believe there should be a limit to the number of guns a person can own and I believe a citizen has no purpose for a gun that is at the military grade. On top of my already extremely “radical” gun control notions I believe when purchasing a gun a person should go through some sort psycho-analysis examination, to detect any psychoness, as well as a mandatory gun safety and handling course. That seems reasonable, right?

Some people would disagree with my views though. People would say that they need to own a gun right here and right now, but I’ve seen the repercussions of these kinds of laws. In some areas where it is easy to get guns people will buy a number of guns and then sell them to the young boys who are in gangs. The gang member will then in turn participate in drive bys. Or then there are the shootings like the Columbine shootings, young kids bullied and decide to get revenge on their bullies. Those boys bought there bought there guns over the internet and bought their ammunition at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has since stopped selling fire arm ammunition at its stores but there are still plenty of sources for people to buy their ammunition and weapons.

Now I’m not waging war against guns but if the NRA and its’ anti-gun counterpart came together and compromised I think that would be one less argument for Americans to fight over. If there’s one less argument to fight over then there’s more time to be spent on more important things.

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It’s Time

If you can watch this video and not want these two to be allowed to get married then there’s something wrong with you.

This video portrays perfectly what it’s like to be in a relationship with some one you care about. It’s not until the end of the video though that you find out the couple is gay. This video is so moving and if  you find yourself still saying homosexuality is unnatural and a sin then, I don’t know what to tell you. I watched this video and I thought “Wow, this makes me support same sex marriage even more.” I find love to be one of Gods greatest gifts to man and I believe God created every man and woman the exact way God wanted them to be. Yea the bible says homosexuality is a sin but the bible was written and translated by many men therefor the bible is bound to have some mistakes in it. And a lot of theologians and linguists and even some preachers believe the bible in its’ original Greek form didn’t actually condemn homosexuality.I am inclined to agree with the people that support same sex marriage because when I see people preaching against homosexuality I hear hate in their sermons. Then when I see people supporting homosexuality and same sex marriage I see and hear love. Now there’s always the people that aren’t their companions but I am not for not allowing two consenting and loving adults to get married. So, It’s time let’s all come together and support same sex marriage.

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