Archive | Hot Topics

Resolved, that “Islamophobia” exists in our nation.

Islamophobia is defined as a fear of people who worship the religion of Islam, and many argue such a fear exists in America today. Supporters of this resolution note that since the 9/11 attacks on American soil, guards have been checking people that have been associated with the Islam religion more often, they are getting dirtier looks, and they are being treated as if they are a dangerous group as a whole. However, people opposed to this resolution state that Americans are not afraid of the religion of Islam and its followers, only the radical fundamentalists. They say that America is an extremely tolerant nation, and while Americans are afraid of terrorists who endanger their lives, they are not afraid of all people who worship Islam. Do you believe that Islamophobia exists in the U.S.?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Hot Topics1 Comment

Resolved, that teachers unions are detrimental to public education.

Given the renewed concerns of teacher unions raised by the documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” many have started questioning the viability impact of teacher unions in the education system. Opponents of unions point out the inability to make necessary changes, or implement a merit based pay system, which may be vastly beneficial to the students. Furthermore, the unions may protect ineffective teachers in school. Proponents of teacher unions, however, point out that it gives people incentive to become teachers and that it protects teachers from administrators, who may not have the same experiences or viewpoints as the teachers. Also, it is shown that in areas where teachers do not unionize has a serious and detrimental impact on our education. Are teacher unions hurting our education system? Or protecting their jobs and our education?

KS/MARCH 2011

Posted in Education, Hot Topics0 Comments

Resolved, that tenure for teachers be based on a student vote.

Under the current system of tenure, school administrations choose the length of time before a teacher receives tenure, and then after that point it is virtually impossible to get a tenured teacher fired. Proponents argue that this is not a fair system, and students who are affected should be the ones to have a say in which teachers are granted tenure. However, opponents would state that it is too arbitrary to leave someone’s jobs in the hands of the students, and that teachers would cater too much towards the student’s needs and not teach the material properly if this system were put in place. Either way, the students will be the ones that are directly affected. In your opinion, would this student-voted tenure system be beneficial to the education of millions of American students?

KS~MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Education, Hot Topics1 Comment

Thought Talk: How long will the Tea Party Movement last in America?

Composed mostly of more educated, wealthier, white Americans, the members of the tea party movement consider themselves to be libertarian or conservative populists. Critics charge that the Tea Party is a front for corporate interests.  The basic proponents of their demands include: much more fiscal responsibility, a repeal of laws that give the federal government more power, and more tax cuts. Many pundits say that, considering the economic times and changing geopolitical patterns, these goals are unsustainable, but still the group has gained momentum through the last few years. While some say that movement is short-lived and is simply a backlash of the enormous growth of the national government, but others believe that the appeal of the Tea Party movement is deeply rooted in the basic desires of the American people, therefore providing for its continuation. How long do you think this movement will last?

KS~MARCH 2011

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Hot Topics1 Comment

Thought Talk: Should the phrase “under God” be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance?

Since grade school, we have been taught to stand up every day and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. This promise spoken by children contains the continuously debated phrase “under God”. As children, we don’t understand the implications of a possible religious reference in a government allegiance, but the controversy becomes apparent later on. During this debate we must consider the First Amendment, separation of church and state, political interests to the issue, and ethical implications. What are the possible consequences if we removed this phrase?

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Hot Topics0 Comments

Resolved, that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a denial of constitutional rights.

“Don’t ask, Don’t tell” is a law enacted in 1993 that mandates the discharge of openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual service men and women. According to Zogby International 2006 survey, 74% of military personnel are comfortable serving alongside gays and lesbians. Even 58% of conservatives are in support of the repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” according to the Gallup poll from 2009. It is believed to be an invasion to the freedom of speech in the First and Fifth Amendment and because it infringes on the sections stating: “Nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Is denial to serve your country an infringement of constitutional rights? What could the United States gain by repealing this act?

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Hot Topics, Military2 Comments

Resolved, that the Tea Party movement is beneficial to American democracy.

The Tea Party, a recent populist movement, emerged through a series of protests in 2009. It is not a political party and does not officially run candidates. Various polls have found that 88% of the party supports immigration laws, 82% believe that gays should not be allowed to marry, and 52% believe that “lesbians and gays have too much political power.” They follow a 10 point agenda called “Contract from America”. These are to: 1)Identify constitutionality of every new law, 2)Reject emissions trading, 3) Demand a balanced federal budget, 4)Simplify the tax system, 5) Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality, 6)Limit annual growth in federal spending, 7) Repeal the healthcare legislation passed on March 23, 2010, 8) Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy, 9) Reduce Earmarks, and 10) Reduce Taxes. Do these points align with major goals of improving the American democracy?

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Hot Topics, Pop Culture0 Comments

Resolved, that the construction of the New York Islamic Center be relocated to a location farther from Ground Zero.

The September 11th terrorist attacks that were carried out against the World Trade Center in the United States left strong feelings in the hearts of many Americans, particularly when it came to certain racial ethnic groups. The individuals that were responsible for these attacks were inspired by a form of Islamic extremism. Many Americans feel that the construction of an Islamic center near the site of the tragedy is an insult to the individuals who lost their lives in 2001. Others feel it’s a violation of the First Amendment’s freedom of religion to impede construction. What is justified in light of this monumental tragedy?

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Hot Topics0 Comments

Resolved, that the Gaza Strip embargo is inhumane.

The Gaza conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip began in the winter of 2008 and lasted for three weeks. During those three weeks, Israel shot bombs and invaded Gaza, destroying government buildings, police stations, military targets, and endangering and killing people living in the Strip. The conflict ended with a ceasefire by Israel who withdrew by January 21, 2009. However, during the conflict, or what some consider a massacre as more than 1000 Palestinians were killed compared to Israel’s 100-some, there was also an embargo placed on the Gaza Strip. Everyday common goods were no longer allowed to be imported into Gaza, only humanitarian aid which could barely cover what the people living in Gaza were used to. Power plants were forced to close down as they did not have fuel to continue running, jobs were scarce, and relocation was common. The jobs that were available were also known as “death jobs” as Israeli militants were not afraid to shoot the Palestinians on the grounds that the people, who were merely looking for scrap metal through the rubble of destroyed buildings, could easily be hiding a weapon and turn against the Israeli soldiers. However, the embargo was necessary for Israel to make sure no country was sending Gaza weapons and other goods that would make the conflict last longer. Fortunately the embargo did not last long enough to make lasting damage. If anything, the conflict itself was the worst situation to be in, not the embargo alone.

Posted in Hot Topics, International Affairs3 Comments

Resolved, that Roe v. Wade was unconstitutional.

As one of the most controversial decisions in Supreme Court history, Roe V Wade determined that women have the constitutional right to privacy, which extends to abortion. Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of the majority opinion, stated that the Constitution does not explicitly mention a right to privacy but, “in varying contexts the Court or individual justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right.” Some critics of the decision feel that Roe V Wade actually created the right to privacy, one that was not in the constitution, but simply expanded on the 9th amendment as one of the “enumerated rights.” Did the courts expand on the “enumerated rights” of the ninth amendment in an unconstitutional way or did they do their job and protect the rights of all citizens?

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Hot Topics2 Comments