Tag Archives: america

The Problem with Consent

Imagine, if you will, a seven-year-old me going to her 2nd grade classroom to find the room filled with sugar cookies and balloons. It’s one of my classmate’s birthdays and their mom had brought in some store-bought birthday themed cookies to celebrate. I was what adults called a picky eater; I still am actually. I hate those store-bought cookies—the ones that come in those difficult to open plastic containers and have frosting that sticks to the roof of your mouth like cement. My parents never bought these cookies and so the only times I ran into them were at events like these.

Before, whenever a parent would come in with these cookies, I’d be given one, which I’d immediately sneak into the garbage can when no one was looking. I hadn’t yet learned the skill of eating something just to be polite. This year though I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to waste the cookie. I told the woman passing out cookies that I didn’t want one, that I didn’t like them.

If you’ve ever been in a situation similar to this one you know how persistent people can be when you tell them that you don’t like a certain food. They’ll cajole, prod, and sometimes even trick you into eating the food. Convinced if you try it just one more time that you’ll love it. This woman bothered and harassed me so much about her gross cookies that I ended up taking one and biting into it, even though the taste made me gag. From then I started lying, telling people when they offered me those cookies that I was allergic to one of the ingredients inside.

On the surface this seems like more of an annoying thing that people do rather than a real societal problem, but it’s actually a larger symptom of the problems with consent in America. In that classroom that woman taught everyone in that room that it doesn’t matter what you want. “No” didn’t mean no. “No” wasn’t the end of the conversation, it was the beginning of a siege. You can see parallels in how people pressure others into drinking at parties or even having sex.

This woman thought she knew better what I wanted inside my body than I did. She wasn’t my mother, my doctor, or me. I’m not trying to demonize her, but to merely show that we have a serious problem with how we teach kids about consent. She taught every child in that room that the word “no” was meaningless and that others can and will bully you into doing things you don’t want to do. We can tell children that “no means no” all we want, but unless we put the weight of our actions behind it, then it’s meaningless. Teaching people about consent starts when we respect people and their own personal wants.

Whether its about cookies or sex, No should mean No.

 

Cover Photo from “Forks in the Road”

Make America violent again?

Wherever Donald Trump goes, trouble seems to follow. He’s the type of man who brings out the worst in people. He succeeds by taking advantage of the uneducated people, the ones who believe it’s okay to oppress a group of people based on fear, the ones who want to build a wall because they think it will improve the American lifestyle, the ones who are okay with a man who continuously says derogatory things to women and minorities. However, the people who disagree with these beliefs aren’t afraid to say so, to protest and riot against Donald Trump’s rallies is the only way they know how to stop him from becoming the next president of the United States.

Is Trump the real deal? Or just a joke? Graphic from Pinterest
Is Trump the real deal? Or just a joke? Graphic from Pinterest

On Friday, March 11, Donald Trump postponed a rally in Chicago because of “fights between supporters and demonstrators, protests in the streets and concerns that the environment at the event was no longer safe.” I wish I could have asked Mr. Trump why he thought that the anger and the riots occurred, because he obviously doesn’t see that behind every single riot or protestings at his rallies, stands Mr. Trump and his bigotry.

Protesters attended the Chicago rally in attempts to shut it down, to “Stump Trump,” and obviously, they succeeded, which caused Trump to cancel it, leaving all supporters and protesters to fend for themselves. He fled, leaving the Chicago PD to clean up the anger, frustration, and unanswered questions. Trump also has a reputation of throwing people out of his rallies, whether or not they are actually protesting or not. At Valdosta State University, a group of black students wearing all black in a silent protest at one of Trump’s rallies, was kicked out for no reason. They were standing silently at their own gym, not causing any issues, but were forced to leave anyway. This is when Trump’s antics have gone too far, where he is taking away people’s right to protest, especially when they are peaceful about it.

There is potential for Trump to prevent violent protests like the one in Chicago, if he were to simply answer people’s questions, have actual conversations with the American people, and listen instead of preach, repeat the same topics over and over again, and say things that he knows will get a reaction from people. He’s made himself to entertainment and a source of mockery, when he could have made a name for himself in the political world, with real issues and real passion behind them. Trump thrives on the violence and anger because it gives him more publicity. He doesn’t want to make America great again. He wants to make American violent again.

Aspirin cures cancer?

People around the world use Aspirin in their daily lives, whether it’s to treat fevers, inflammation, arthritis, or just general pain.

New studies would like to add to that list. Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands ran a multitude of tests on those with gastrointestinal and colon cancer and found that taking Aspirin after cancer treatment often increased survivability of the individual.

Through rigorous testing post-diagnosis, Aspirin users were twice as likely to survive gastrointestinal cancer than those who didn’t take the drug.

What is unique about this number is that it was determined after taking into account confounding variables such as age, sex, cancer stage, and form of cancer treatment.

Dr. Frouws, the head of research behind this project, came forth stating that he wants to change the medicinal formula that we as a nation have come to accept. The formula we currently have is that medicine should be personalized, which leads to an extreme increase in price and a decrease in effectiveness over the general population.

Dr. Frouws thinks that we need to reverse this idea and instead of personalizing medicine, we need to take a step toward the generalization of medicine.

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Photo By: Danielle Johnson

The benefit of a cheap, well established, and over-the-counter drug such as Aspirin is the key to treating the masses. It’s because that Aspirin isn’t a personalized drug, it can treat a larger group of people all while focusing in on the treatment of a select individual.  

In today’s modern economy where the number of middle class citizens increases daily, this is a step in the right direction. There has to be a trust between government grade pharmaceuticals and the citizens of the country or infrastructure begins to falter. We see people on the news like Martin Shkreli, who bought out Turing Pharmaceuticals and raised the price of the drug Daraprim (a drug used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis) from $13.50 to $750, receiving colossal backlash from the general population. We as a nation can’t have people doing that because it breaks the bridge that took years to set up which is why this study done by the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands is so vital to the progression of medicinal science.

Islam and Christianity: From Al Qaeda to Westboro

Many ignorant and uneducated Americans believe that all Muslims are terrorists, and that every single Muslim participates in and/or supports terrorist groups. After 9/11, many Americans created and subscribed to this very negative stereotype. I’m not blaming anyone other than the attackers and plane-jackers for this. Yet we, as Americans, have to move on and educate ourselves. Continue reading Islam and Christianity: From Al Qaeda to Westboro

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Religious Persecution

I came across a Facebook post this week from my brother-in-law about a group of gunmen in Kenya who killed 68 people in a mall. What bothers me, and what bothered the original poster, was the fact that these gunmen lined people up, asked them if they were Muslim, and then executed them if they were unable to recite lines from the Qu’ran. It’s a truly sickening story, and even more disturbing to know that the gunmen were my age and that three were Americans.

Of course, this post didn’t stop there. That would make for a terrible story. No, this post went the extra mile and used this tragedy to once again claim that we should not be tolerant of Muslims and the Islamic religion because of these extremists’ actions.

Continue reading Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Religious Persecution

Wake up, America

With recent events in Boston, it’s hard not to reflect on what has happened in America the past 18 years I’ve been alive. This country endures a lot of hate and abuse from its enemies. Granted, we are a wealthy country. A good amount of Americas have food on the table and a roof over their heads, which is more than many people in other countries can say. However, watching your country fly up in flames is a tragedy no one should have to endure. Continue reading Wake up, America

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Participation awards

Remember when we were little and we would have competitions, and if we won there was always a big celebration, pat on the back or even an award you could take home? Or if you didn’t win, there would always be someone there to reassure you with a “you did your best” speech and that was it? This wasn’t the case for everyone, of course, because of the many educators or sports coaches who subscribe to the idea of giving participation awards to the losing party.

On paper, participation awards sound like a great idea. If we didn’t know any better, we would call it a nice thing.  It teaches our youth to accept their losses as they come and kids don’t feel so bad about themselves afterwards. On the other hand, it doesn’t leave our youth with enough incentive to try to win. Softening the losses with awards and congratulations for a good effort might not be as beneficial to them as it seems on paper. Continue reading Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Participation awards

Weekly Time Wasters: Time travel and manliness

 

Running out of things to help you procrastinate? Here are some more time wasters to get you through the week:

Wal-Mart is the watering hole of the college apartment dweller. This is due to the fact that they have anything you could possibly need. The downside (and sometimes it turns out upside) of this is that I never know which Wal-Mart, or Great Value brand foods, are good and which are going to make we wish I could get my money back. Well, Good Mythical Morning has a solution to this problem.

http://blip.tv/goodmythicalmorning/walmart-taste-test-the-game-6525235 Continue reading Weekly Time Wasters: Time travel and manliness

Kill your kids or die trying

Smoking tobacco has always been something I’ve felt very strongly about. It’s one of those topics that gets me really fired up and makes me want to have a debate. Why tobacco is even legal in the first place is beyond me, so when I heard that Virginia was trying to pass a law that would make it illegal for anyone to smoke in the car when someone under the age of 15 is with them I was ecstatic. “About damn time” was the first thing I thought, followed quickly by, “Why the hell didn’t they think of that sooner?” Continue reading Kill your kids or die trying

Is America ready to accept non-supermodel actresses?

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McCarthy was in the recent movie, “Identity Thief.” Photo from Creative Commons.

In today’s fast-paced society we have become accustomed to seeing women in television and film that look as if they’re supermodels. Women such as Sofia Vergara, Cindy Crawford and Halle Berry are all models turned actresses. In the greater Western world, these women represent the most gorgeous women that the planet has to offer, but not everyone looks like them. Women come in all sorts of beautiful shapes and sizes, but unfortunately the entertainment industry isn’t as accepting of those who don’t have supermodel-like looks. Continue reading Is America ready to accept non-supermodel actresses?

Contemporary tyranny

A report issued by the Open Society Justice Initiative revealed that more than 50 countries have participated in a program where the CIA sends suspected terrorist subjects to other countries to be interrogated and sometimes tortured. Some of these suspects reportedly ended up at CIA “black sites,” which are secret prisons operated by the CIA in foreign countries. There’s even an account of a suspected terrorist being held aboard a Navy ship for over two months. In total more than 130 specific suspects have been interrogated through this process known as “rendition.”

I’m torn between the principle of the matter and my gut reaction. The utilitarian in me can appreciate the pressing need to obtain information to prevent another terrorist attack. Torturing one to save hundreds is easy math. However, after considering the implications of these actions, I conclude that abducting/exporting suspected terrorists to far away countries like Kazakhstan, Romania or Zimbabwe to torture them is not a good thing for our country or our world. Continue reading Contemporary tyranny

Conservatives certainly aren’t trying to conserve America!

Photo from Creative Commons

When looking through the vast universe that is the Internet, many people may think, “Oh, if it’s on the Internet it must be true!” But what many fail to realize is that anyone, yes ANYONE, can post whatever they damn well please. They could, for instance, make a website saying that the world is going to end in a week and that everyone will have to live on Mars. Whether the world is going to end or not is up to the speculation of the reader, obviously, but it does not mean that it is unequivocally true.

While many liberals may complain that Obama is choosing too many Republicans for important positions, I am still siding with him in the hope that he is actually doing his research in choosing people who he believes actually would make good appointments for the position, regardless of their political party. Barack Obama is the most educated president that we have had since Clinton (and sorry Clinton, I love you, but Obama’s actually still more educated than you; don’t let any Yale grads read this).

It is for that reason that I want to place blame with the Republicans for this quagmire. When action should be taking place, why am I hearing from people that this is Obama