In another blog, the discussion was brought up whether makeup means success. When most people think of objectifying body image, they usually think of woman . Recently though there has been a series of different memes relating to the subject of men's bodies and what the trend is now. Some people stand behind dad bods and some stay with the time old image of a guy with washboard abs.
For many years woman have been judged for not being skinny enough or being too skinny. Different trends come and go body shape and size. In most cases men's body size and shape has stayed relatively the same; tall, skinny, and muscular. Now people are testing the boundaries arguing dad bods are in and six packs are out. In case someone didn't know dad bods are classified someone who isn't trying to impress girl's anymore and have let themselves go, to an extent. A slight belly, strong but not toned, and looks they have fathered a child, hence the term dad bod. As urban dictionary put it "if human bodies were sea mammals, dad bod would be more like a grazing manatee than a speedy dolphin."
What's your opinion on this? Do you think it is weird dad bods are in trend? Should men have the same physical standards as women? Does this new idea of how men look represent the upcoming generations idea on body image?
Recently, a reporter by the name of Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by a Saudi hit squad. This man was an international journalist with American residency. He has been reporting for several years on the Saudi royal family (specifically the crowned prince) and their inhumane acts against Saudi citizens. Khashoggi was gruesomely suffocated slowly within minutes of entering the Turkish embassy. His body was then dismembered with a saw and most likely dissolved in acid (this was found out from a auditory recording device that was in the room where he was killed). This man was doing his job to report on Saudi Arabia’s human right violations and was murdered for giving the embassy a bad rap. Reporters all over the world risk their lives to seek the truth and relay information to us. Yet, they are never recognized for their heroic livelihood, only criticized and patronized for passing around “fake news.”
An independent press plays a crucial role in American democracy - free press is specifically emphasized in the first amendment of the constitution and is a trademark that represents our freedom. No news organization is perfect, but they more or less get the word out. There are also several sources out there to fact check. Having news/knowledge is power, and it entitles the people to have opinions and refute atrocious acts committed by others.
The Trump Administration, along with others, makes life even more difficult than it is for journalists. President Trump called journalists on his first day of office “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth.” He also has called them several bad names in his special way of speaking. Trump has continually kicked out reporters from press briefings. By labeling reporters as liars, he apparently hopes to discredit into silence any person who challenges his version of reality, same goes for any other person who has criticized reporters. It is a proven fact that previous rulers (mostly dictators) like Josef Stalin and Hitler convinced their followers to distrust the press because it gave them an advantage to carry out their horrendous acts behind the scenes. Withholding the press is an act against freedom and is often a factor in genocide. Having confidence in the public to right each other’s wrongs requires constant evolution and self-examination. Even though the news organizations are not flawless, they are still an important part of democracy and should not be silenced or harassed.
On the flip side, there is the issue of fake news. Many individuals feel news organizations are failing to get the facts right. Some think the news is brainwashing them into believing illegitimate facts and stories. The press often fails to give equal time to both sides of the situations. It is easy to agree with one side when the other side does not have a chance to make their claims. Many media organizations are biased, and it can get sticky when reporting the truth may be a swayed truth. There are ways to get around this by fact checking with different news reporters, but some folks do not have time or desire and, consequently, only listen to one organization. In addition, having two strong, partisan parties definitely increases biases within our media.
Where do you get your news from and do you feel it has correct information? How important is free press in a democracy? What would be the consequences of not having a variety of news organizations? Should our leaders be discrediting journalists and the media? Do you have any ideas on solving fake news?
Women these days (men too) tend to get shamed for either wearing or not wearing makeup. “Too much” is apparently slutty while none is overly modest. It is a debate of whether wearing makeup makes you more attractive or not. Sure, everyone deserves to express themselves in their own way, but how does cosmetics transfer to workplace suitability?
At first glance, a woman wearing a professional amount of makeup may seem a better choice for a job. Perhaps they appear more “put together”, but can decisions be made solely on appearance? Studies seem to show that. A choice to not wear makeup should not have to interfere with a woman’s success, but there is a certain amount of crowd appeasement that needs to happen.
A woman cannot expect achievement without giving some extra effort. The difference may be small but has the potential to be significant. For example, in a hiring situation, if all requirements are met, the decision honestly may come down to looks and first impressions. On the other hand, employers should be able to recognize a woman’s preference to not wear makeup. But how do we know they will acknowledge it appropriately?
What do you think? Should women be expected to wear makeup to “boost” chances? If you aren’t sure how an employer will react, how can you ensure your prosperity in a qualified career?
Torture-- is it justified in certain situations, such as matters of national security, or is the act too cruel to justify the means? This intense method of extracting information has been around since the dark ages, and continues to influence society today. Though multiple countries (194, to be exact) have 'banned' torture of any kind, it still takes place behind closed doors. An age long debate continues-- are there circumstances in which torture is justified, or is it always unethical?
Here is one side of the story: torture is pointless and will ultimately get us nowhere. Of course, the various brutal methods do get people to talk, but are the spewed confessions accurate? Not usually. In fact, "After more than five years analyzing 6.3 million pages of documents, they found that the CIA’s enhanced use of interrogation techniques were ineffective in obtaining accurate information or gaining detainee cooperation." Much of the gained information resulting from long standing torture methods are inaccurate and result in more hassle than help. Next begs the question of how much torture is moral, if it ever is. A slippery slope to go down. How should one determine when to stop? When the captive is dead, or are there boundaries--who gets to decide when enough is enough? Also, who could live with the repercussions brought upon the interrogator, lawfully or mentally? Finally, the use of torture actually tarnishes the government's reputation. Forcefully interrogating any person violates their right to remain silent, which every citizen has, and ultimately demotes the 'good guys' down to the social standings of the very criminals they are holding.
The other side: torture is necessary to gain crucial information, and should be allowed to practice. There are certain circumstances in which torture is the only available methods to extract time-sensitive information. These scenarios are called "ticking bombs," in which crucial feedback is needed in a specific-- usually very short-- time period. How else to gain this information? Torture may be old-fashioned, but it is still quite effective. We all know the phrase 'all is fair in love and war,' which happens to be true for this topic. Countless prisoners of war are tortured in the hands of our enemies, and there are training sessions in our own military to help prepare soldiers for that very situation. Our own prisoners of war have been tortured here in the U.S., so we are not exempt. Then, there is the case of torture simply being in the culture. Countries such as Al Qaeda and Vietnam are known for their use of torture as a commonplace method. Can we blame them for following their own government's rules?
What do you think? Is torture justified in any circumstances, or is it inexcusable?
Violence, it's not a new development; however, with the creation of television now anyone can watch someone getting hit by a car. It's not only T.V. that brings violence into focus, video games these days have become increasingly violent and the graphics are just that: graphic. Parents are obviously concerned about the effects on little Timmy if he is shooting someone in the head and watching the blood splatter on a beautifully rendered digital wall. The debate has raged since 1976 with “Death Race” but it really started in 1993 when “Mortal Combat” was released. The violence was astounding at the time with beheadings and spines ripped out of bodies. People everywhere wondered if violence in video games causes violence in the real world.
Just this year the debate continued when President Trump, several Republican lawmakers, video game industry representatives, and others met to discuss the implication video games have on the real world. The meeting was in response to the gunman who killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida who appears to have played violent video games. However, according to this graph from videogames.procon.org violent crimes and video game sales do not correlate. There have also been studies that show video games that do affect aggression levels.
In truth, video games (and the media) have desensitized us to violence. What do you think though, is it because you play “Call of Duty” that you bashed that guys head in or because you already had problems to begin with?
Learning a second language can be beneficial in so many ways. It expands one’s job opportunities, makes communicating with more people easier, it has nothing but positive effects on the mind, and research has even gone far enough to conclude that it prevents age-related cognitive decline. Brain scans have proven that bilingual people have more gray matter in brain areas involving executive brain function which means that bilingual people are not only more efficient in language processing but they are also more efficient at basic tasks. Studies of thousands of high schoolers have shown that students that knew a foreign language, on average, performed better on the ACT than monolingual students. Some have suspected that learning a foreign language at a young age might confuse a child but in reality, the research points to the opposite. Bilingual children perform better in their first language than monolingual children.
Of course, it is not easy to acquire knowledge of a foreign language. Especially after the communication part of the brain is almost completely developed. The easiest and most effective way to learn a foreign language is to be exposed to it as young as possible. Babies are said to be the “sponges” for learning language and children ages 7 to 8 also have a much greater ability to learn and retain a language. The ability to become fluent in a foreign language declines over time, especially after puberty.
With that and all of the benefits in mind, should children be required to take a foreign language early on in school? Some would argue that they should get to choose but if they get to choose that, why do they not have a say in other classes like math or PE? Personally, I think that I would have benefited from learning a foreign language even though younger me most definitely would not have wanted to. I did not want to learn math or English either but it sure helped to have that information later in my life.
During Tuesday’s midterm, Florida voted to repeal the ban on felons voting. In America, there are approximately 6.1 million felons without the right to vote. There are currently thirteen states that remove a felon’s voting rights indefinitely depending on the severity of the crime, twenty-one that do not allow felons out on probation or parole to vote, and fourteen that return the felons voting rights automatically after the time incarcerated. The only two states where felons never lose the ability to vote in currently are Maine and Vermont. In states such as Idaho, Alaska, Texas, Colorado and seventeen others, previously convicted felons are required to pay certain fees in order to vote. Sentences are determined based on the class of the felony, class "E" being the least serious with generally at least one year, and class "A" being the most where felons can receive life without parole.
What do you think on this topic? Does a criminal act invalidate a person’s value to society? Is the amount of time served by these people worth re-enfranchisement? Should the severity of crimes affect one’s right to vote while incarcerated? Is the permanent ban reasonable? Could these 6.1 million votes from currently or previously incarcerated felons change the morality of the results? Is voting a civil privilege and not a civil right?
As yet another shooting occurred this weekend, Americans ponder the age-old debate over gun control. We as students are the voice of the future of our country, and how we feel about certain issues such as gun control will determine how these problems are settled in the future. So, I know that this can be a touchy debate, but let’s discuss.
First off, should Americans even be able to own guns? And before all of my fellow hunters get worked up about that one, WHY should we be allowed to own guns? If we could not hunt, that would boost the economy by people buying more meat at the grocery store which in turn benefits the ranchers and farmers who provide the meat. In addition, if no one could own guns then the amount of shootings would go down simply because firearms would not be as easy to obtain.
But, outlawing guns infringes upon our “right to bear arms”, as described in the Second Amendment. I have grown up around firearms, they are a part of my family’s lifestyle and I love to hunt. Personally, I would protest very strongly against guns being outlawed. But, I see the points that others have made and do agree that regulations need to be put on owners. What type of regulations might be beneficial? Should civilians be allowed to own military-grade weapons? Should there be a limit on how many guns a person can own? Are background checks necessary?
To wrap this up, how can we ensure that the public is safe and still be guaranteed the rights that we are promised as citizens of this free country?
The affordability of college education has been a highly debated subject. Around two dozen countries offer tuition-free or nearly free college. In 2017 the student debt rates rose 6%, so free college sounds great right? Unfortunately, just like with everything else, there are pros and cons to having a free or nearly free college education.
Right off the bat drop-out rates would lower, thus raising graduation rates. Many students drop out due to how expensive college so more lower-income students would have the chance to finish their schooling. This also means that student debt would be basically nonexistent. Of course the money would have to be generated elsewhere: taxes. Many people do not think they should be paying for someone else's college through their taxes, and this potential raising of taxes is one of the most controversial cons of tuition free college. Other arguments are the amount of people going to college and the importance of this higher education.
Due to more people having the ability to attend, it means our work force would grow and the economy would be boosted. But this also means paying more money through taxes because of the increase of attending students. Many also believe that making tuition free would devalue the college diploma resulting people not caring as much about earning it. When students are paying for their degrees they will be sure to attend classes and do well because they are getting they money's worth. But without this monetary motivation it is believed that students would become lazy and less caring.
Do you believe free tuition would be a good thing for our future? Do you think students would become lazier or more willing to earn their degree? What are some other pros and cons that may change someone's argument?
Human’s developments of technology have followed them into a very unavoidable thing in today’s society; warfare. Since the beginning of war, there have are three known revolutions, gunpowder, nuclear, and now the third is just being introduced, autonomous robots. People argue robots in war can save “good” lives and decrease the threat to soldiers out fighting, “avoiding civilian casualties in war and only killing the enemy”(Shapiro), but it brings serious repercussions. With automatons, war loses (whatever) morality that it has had, and also loses the very human trait of mercy. It brings up a question of “what is legal in the laws of war [or] what is morally right - [for that is] something autonomous weapons might not distinguish”(Shapiro). There is also the threat of malfunction and friendly fire as well.
Should robots be used in war, should they only be “strategically” used, or should they be banned altogether? What is the best way to deal with these new technological advances?
Peralta, Eyder. “Weighing The Good And The Bad Of Autonomous Killer Robots In Battle.” NPR,
NPR, 28 April 2018, www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/04/28/476055707/wei ghing-the-good-and-the-bad-of-autonomous-killer-robots-in-battle. Accessed 23 April 2018.
Shapiro, Ari. “Autonomous Weapons Would Take Warfare To A New Domain, Without Humans.”
NPR, NPR, 23 April 2018, www.npr.org/sections/alltechcosidered/2018/04/23/6 04438311/autonomous-weapons-would-take-warfare-to-a-new-domain-without-humans. Accessed 23 April 2018.