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BY 11/21 -- America's Free Speech is Perplexing to the Rest of the World

BY 11/21 -- America's Free Speech is Perplexing to the Rest of the World | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
While even highly offensive speech is protected in the U.S., that level of freedom is quite unique.
Alan Perel's insight:

This piece contrasts the American approach to "free speech" to that of European countries. While many western countries place restrictions on speech that prohibit hateful, offensive speech, Americans insist that such a practice violates the concept of free speech. Consequently, people in other nations have difficulty understanding how the United States can allow certain offensive discourse to go unpunished.

 

I think that the European approach is a small but significant step in the effort to eradicate certain prejudices. That being said, I can see why many people consider the idea inconsistent with the First Amendment. Another amendment would have to be ratified if we were to take a similar approach. 

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Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:52 PM

Although many nations around the world are democracies, the U.S is unique because it gives its people more personal freedom. The U.S. isn't conscerned with other people getting offended, as long as each person has the right to expression it is okay. The only ban that we have on this is clear and present danger. There are certain guidlines that have developed in order to rule an action potentially dangerous or not. Other countries are astounded by this practice.

Nghi Bui's curator insight, December 20, 2013 4:38 PM

No protections for those that shrieks obscenities and the clause to discern speeches that invokes clear and present danger are there. This just lacks bold enforcement. Governments are scared of crazy Americans' revolts and teachers fear students. Of course the rest of the world looks down on us. We lack culture, sophistication and moderation.

 

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 2, 2014 10:32 PM

This article talks about how France prohibited people from talking about prophet mohammad and how although they are a democratic country free speech is not as open as it is in the US over there are stricter rules. I think one of the great things about America is the freedom to make your own choices and speak up and how you are aloud to say what you want. People who have problems with the government are aloud to voice there opinions here it would be against the 1st amendment to limit free speech. Obviously there are offensive things people should not say but we are aloud to voice our opinions when and how we want. 

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BY 11/12 or 11/13 -- 3rd or 4 -- Pastor loses bus driving job for praying with students

BY 11/12 or 11/13 -- 3rd or 4 -- Pastor loses bus driving job for praying with students | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
A bus driver for the Burnsville school district was fired last week for leading kids in Christian prayers on his bus, even after he was warned to stop — a move he considers a violation of his freedom of speech...

Via Teresa Herrin
Alan Perel's insight:

This article is about a pastor employed as a school bus driver. He was fired for "leading kids in Christian prayers on his bus, even after he waa warned to stop". The pastor-driver claims, of course, that his termination violated his freedom of speech.

 

I think the bus company's decision to fire Nathaniel is completely justified. He was explicitly warned that his behavior was inappropriate. Because he worked for a public school district, he should not have conducted prayer on the bus. I think that public school employees should avoid religious practices in such a setting, especially around younger students. In leading prayer on the bus, the pastor-driver offended parents, who consider religion a more personal matter. This was particularly inappropriate because the children were young and most probably were not able to decide on their own how to respond to their bus driver's actions.

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Adriana Cruz's curator insight, February 2, 2014 10:36 PM

This article talks about a bus driver who lost his job because, even after a few warnings, he chose to pray to students on his bus. He believes that him getting fired violates the first amndment, right to religion. I can see his point on this, but I feel like if you're doing something like this is public and offending others then youre in face in a sense violating their right to religion, so it's a lose-lose situation, and he was bound to lose his job.

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 2, 2014 10:43 PM

I think that although i am a christian it  can be very uncomfortable when people get a religion forced  on them. Praying on a public school bus can probably be uncomfortable for some kids and although it was in good intentions it is probably not the best. It's good for people to share their religion but on their own time not during school. If it were a private christian school then that would be completely acceptable. 

Ashley O.'s curator insight, March 7, 2014 9:45 PM

That is unfair, he has every right to express his faith, just like those who are not religious and express their personal views. 

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BY 11/12 or 11/13 -- 1st of 4 -- Snake Handling: Law vs. First Amendment rights

BY 11/12 or 11/13 -- 1st of 4 -- Snake Handling: Law vs. First Amendment rights | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
A LaFollette pastor headed to court next week for having dozens of poisonous snakes at his church said the laws he allegedly violated in Tennessee infringe on his freedom of religion.

Via Teresa Herrin
Alan Perel's insight:

A pastor from LaFollette, Tennesee faces trial next week for having poisonous snakes at his church. He claims that the law prohibiting him from doing so violates his First Amendment rights.

 

This is one of many cases in which the defendent tries to invoke First Amendment rights. I think the court will conclude, as usual, that First Amendment rights do not permit the pastor to endanger the community.

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Nghi Bui's curator insight, December 20, 2013 3:54 PM

Religious or not. Law or not. Who cares?! If people's lives are clearly at risk, why are such practices disputable? It's apparent that if people are not professional at handling dangerous animals, do not do so. Period. Why is the government dragged into this? and why is this stupid minister leading a blind crowd?

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, February 2, 2014 12:55 PM

This article talks about a Pastor who has to go to court because he had poisonous snakes at his church during service; however some may say that this violates one's freedon of practicing religion. In court he justifies his act with the 1st Amendment. 

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 2, 2014 11:18 PM

I think that if you bring a poisonous snake into your church it will probably not help bring people back. So on the pastors part that was just a weird and irrational demonstration that he could have gotten his point across in a different way. Although you do have freedom of expression and speech i do not think that is how it should be used. 

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BY 11/10 or 11/11 (3 or 4 total) -- Video: 'This Week': Rick Perry in Iowa

ABC's Jeff Zeleny goes one-on-one with Gov. Rick Perry on his first trip to Iowa since 2012.
Alan Perel's insight:

Jeff Zeleny interviews Gov. Rick Perry, asking him about "true convservatism" and a possible 2016 presedential bid. Gov. Perry is actually more moderate than he tries to appear in order to satisfy conservative voters, a fact that seems glaringly obvious in this interview. Yes, he's "conservative", but many of his policies don't bring to mind the idea of "Texas conservatisim", which really means he is playing the same game as Gov. Chris Christie. A final observation: I appreciated Gov. Perry's poking fun at his "oops" blunder. Though the mistake left me questioning how certain Gov. Perry was of his proposed policy, I appreciate him admitting the error, something that I can't imagine candidates like Mitt Romney doing.

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Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:33 PM

This video is a discussion with Rick Perry, talking about issues like Obamacare. He is very bold and is not very afraid to say that he is against the act. He obviously is unhappy with the current situation in the White House, and wants to make a change in 2016 by running for the presidency himself. I am interested to see how the 2016 election turns out for him.

Nghi Bui's curator insight, December 20, 2013 3:50 PM

With one year left in office, Perry is planning on running for the 2016 Election as is predicted in his trip to Iowa.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 28, 2014 8:28 PM

This video talks about Rick Perry and his plans to run for president in 2016, Perry discusses his views on Ted Cruz and his agreements/disagreements with this tactics. He also says that Christie may not be a true conservative.

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BY 11/10 or 11/11 (1 or 4 total) -- Did A Supreme Court Justice Just Admit To Being An Atheist?

BY 11/10 or 11/11 (1 or 4 total) -- Did A Supreme Court Justice Just Admit To Being An Atheist? | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a case about the constitutionality of a New York town's practice of beginning local legislative meetings with mostly Christian prayers.
Alan Perel's insight:

During a Supreme Court trial regarding prayer, Justice Stephen Breyer made a remark suggesting that he is an athiest. This would be a first for a Supreme Court Justice.

 

That this and Cory Brooker are "big news" is evidence enough that the United States is not as progressive a leader as we sometimes claim. In the most developed European countires, athiesm is a total "non-issue", yet in the United States people cling to the idea that the United States is fundementally a "Christian nation". It's no wonder we have such an issue with religious discrimination -- negative attitudes pervade even the highest levels of government.

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Nghi Bui's curator insight, December 20, 2013 4:05 PM

I can see how this irritates people but not enough to ....offend them. Seriously? Who cares if people are praying, "beginning legislative meetings with Christian prayers" is a practice done by Christians (if they're so fervent, FOR CHRISTIANS. If you are not a part of that group, then shut them out and look bored. 1st Amendment protects freedom of religion, so are judges and politicans not the people? Getting upset over such trivial matter, beliefs inherent in a faith BELIEVED by THE PEOPLE --is in itself a discrimination. I refuse to pity those that feel "outcasted", if you're so bold on nonconforming, you're expected to be 'strong' when people practice their religions. Not weak and complaining all the time.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, February 2, 2014 1:02 PM

This article talks about Justice Breyer and how he admitted to being an atheist. I don't really think that this should be of much importance, even as a christian myself, because our nation is based on separtion or church and state, right? If a justice chooses to be an atheist, then let them.

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 2, 2014 11:12 PM

I think that the supreme court has made it a point to be very neutral when it comes to religion topics and that in public situations no religions should be favored. But all of the supreme court members have always been religious so it is interesting that he may be athiest and it would be interesting to see how the country would perceive that. 

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BY 11/3 -- Tale Of The Tape: Comparing The Budget Committee Heads

BY 11/3 -- Tale Of The Tape: Comparing The Budget Committee Heads | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray are likely to at least set a friendly tone during budget talks.
Alan Perel's insight:

This article compares and contrasts Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, who head the House and Senate budget committees, respectively. According to Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the two have "'established a good working relationship with mutual respect for each other'". Hopefully their politics, which are very different, will not get in the way of keeping things running, so to speak.

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Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:25 PM

This article compares the leaders of the House and Senate Buget Committees. It is very good to know that two people who disagree about policy issues can still get along; which is very difficult to find nowadays. In Congress nowadays, this seems to be very rare. However, this does not mean it will be easy to compromise about the budget since the two parties they represent might not be willing. Many members of Congress should look at their example and learn from it.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 28, 2014 3:36 PM

This article talks about Paul Ryan and Patty Murray's  different approaches of handling the budget issue. They both each have their own style which approaching the decisions, and different plans as to how to solve the issue.

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 2, 2014 11:42 PM

Both Paul Ryan and Patty Murray are extremely different I think it should be interesting to see how they will work together it says they both come from similar backgrounds. When Paul was 16 his father passed away and when Murray was in her teens her dad developed an illness and her mom found a job and they lived off of welfare so they are both raised with common backgrounds but their ideologies now are extremely different so it should be interesting to see how they work together. 

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BY 11/3 -- Is email ever private? Take a tour of the path traveled by your email

BY 11/3 -- Is email ever private? Take a tour of the path traveled by your email | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
Video on msnbc.com: Critical questions are being raised about data safety in light of hacking reports and news about NSA data collection. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk explains what happens after you hit ‘send’ on an email message.
Alan Perel's insight:

This short video summarizes "what happens after you hit 'send' on an email message." Email data for Google, Yahoo, and other email users can be stored around the world.

 

Knowing now that the NSA intercepts private email services, many people are concerned about their online privacy. Though I strongly believe in digital privacy, I think the email story has been used by the media as a scare tactic and something to keep Americans hooked. Though no one *wants* thieir data to be monitored by the NSA, the bulk of Americans shouldn't be so scared if they have nothing to hide. 

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Melissa Aleman's curator insight, December 20, 2013 3:07 PM

This video enlightens us in depth of the workings of email and how it is possible for others to view and who could possibly be watching where it goes. Suprisingly the data doesnt stay in the states but actually travels over seas. This video just re stated all that we know and gave more detail about the whole situation.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 25, 2014 6:43 PM

This video shows us that it true when they say anything you put on the internet will be there forever, and many of us blow that off. I feel that we all need to be a little more mindful of what we say and do online, and we should keep a lot more private.

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 2, 2014 11:53 PM

Lately there has been a lot of controversy over the government reading peoples phone txts emails social media phone calls ect. I think that the people have the right to privacy as stated in the constitution. 

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BY 10/31 -- Nightly News: Obama’s approval rating drops to all-time low

BY 10/31 -- Nightly News: Obama’s approval rating drops to all-time low | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
Alan Perel's insight:

This video explores the reason for Obama's now all-time low approval rating. Obama's "second-term curse" stems from public outcry about the Affordable Care Act. This poll, however, is not particularly relevant. Truman, whose second-term approval rating averaged 36.5% (Gallup), is now considered a noteworthily good president by most prominent presidential scholars. We cannot yet determine the lasting impacts of Obama's government.


http://www.gallup.com/poll/116677/presidential-approval-ratings-gallup-historical-statistics-trends.aspx

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Melissa Aleman's curator insight, December 20, 2013 3:00 PM

This video explains the president's approval ratings have dropped and the affect Obama's leadership has on the nation.  I think the trials of Obama have been difficult and must be difficult for him to juggle everything. It makes sense as to why Obama has lost approval ratings because the public is tired of not getting what was promised. Especially now with the NSA leaks as well...He may continue to lose approval.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 25, 2014 5:39 PM

It's not shocking that President Obama's presidential rating and personal rating have gotten dropped to an all-time low. I agree that President Obama should show more involvement with fixing the Obamacare issues because as of right now he's shown very little, and that's one of the many reasons his rating is so low.

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 2, 2014 11:47 PM

Obamas ratings have dropped a lot since the beginning of his presidency the obamacare does not seem to be working out for him very well. His ratings used to be a lot higher and now they are making a record breaking low. 

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BY 10/31 -- NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say

BY 10/31 -- NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
Agency positioned itself to collect from among millions of accounts, many belonging to Americans.
Alan Perel's insight:

This article discusses the NSA's infiltration of Yahoo and Google data centers. It cites representitves for both companies who say that their respective companies did not authorize such data collection. It also provides information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a US federal court established and authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The NSA has manipulated Executive Order 12333 provisions to get away with conducting high volume collection operations oversees -- activities that "would be illegal in the United States". The FISC, in an earlier decision (2011), found a similar but smaller-scale NSA operation illegal and inconsistent with the Fourth Amendment. 

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Melissa Aleman's curator insight, December 20, 2013 2:49 PM

This discusses how public networks like Yahoo and Google are being tapped into by the NSA in order to provide security for Americans through access to lots of personal info. These networks have stated they do not want their databases to be tapped into by the NSA, but that is meerely just a claim. Although, both yahoo and google have started to make a move by encrypting their data in order to prevent any hacking. I think that this is going too far. What happened to privacy? Isn't that OUR right. The NSA is using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to justify their recent moves and decisions.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 25, 2014 5:02 PM

This article talks about the new program made by the NSA called MUSCULAR, which allows them to exploit data centers and flows from companies like Google and Yahoo. This article tells us about the negative feelings towards the federal government as overreaching its powers, the NSA says they only collect information on valid foreign targets, but who really knows.

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 3, 2014 7:55 PM
I think that it is good for us to know what the government is doing but also it makes the USA look weak if one of our own is going and publishing private information that is vital to the security of the US. I think that on the otherhand i do not really want to know all of the spying that the government is doing i would rather not know if the gvt feels the need to infiltrate yahoo and goodle for information that they think could potentially harm the US then go ahead and do it but i think that again citizens have the rights to privacy and Snowden did a very couragous thing by standing up for the rights of the US citizens.
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BY 10/24 -- Rand Paul pushes constitutional amendment on Congress - Burgess Everett

BY 10/24 -- Rand Paul pushes constitutional amendment on Congress - Burgess Everett | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
Forget the Vitter amendment. Rand Paul wants to make sure that Congress can’t ever again write laws with provisions specific to lawmakers.
Alan Perel's insight:

Rand Paul is pushing a constitutional amendment that would ensure that “'Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress,' the executive branch including the president and vice president as well as the Supreme Court". I find his proposal fascinating but am discouraged by his pushing it as a response to the Affordable Care Act and not to more serious power abuse. In any case, such a proposal would never be passed by Congress. 

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Melissa Aleman's curator insight, November 11, 2013 6:00 AM

In this article, Rand Paul is pitching the idea to add an amendment that prohibits Congress from passing laws that Congress is exempt from and having to dealin with lawmakers. Its clearly aimed at Obamacare for the reasons that when it is in action, exchanges must be made by the congressmen and rulings from the O.P.M. in order to receive federal contributions. It is unlikely that Congress will go for more restrictions.

Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 7:53 PM

A kentucky senator, Rand Paul, wants an amendment forbidding senators and representatives to pass laws that don't apply equally to Congress and the citizens. Specifically aimed at Obamacare, this amendment will force lawmakers to disclose exchanges and rulings from the Office of Personnel Management in order to receive federal employer contributions. Amending the Constitution requires a majority vote in both chambers before it can be ratified, and I think Paul has a difficult task ahead of him to convince lawmakers to give up their authority to make laws.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 20, 2014 11:54 PM

This article tells us that Rand Paul wants an amendment forbidding senators and representatives to pass laws that don't apply equally to Congress and the citizens. Paul specifically aims this at Obamacare, his proposed amendment will force lawmakers to disclose exchanges and rulings from the Office of Personnel Management in order to receive federal employer contributions. It seems Paul has a difficult task ahead of him to convince lawmakers to give up their authority to make laws because amending the Constitution requires a majority vote in both chambers before it can be ratified.

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BY 10/22 or 10/23 -- Inside the Bush, Cheney relationship

BY 10/22 or 10/23 -- Inside the Bush, Cheney relationship | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
Peter Baker talks about his book, “Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House.” He calls the relationship between the duo, “one that drifted apart.”
Alan Perel's insight:

According to Peter Baker, the Bush-Cheney relationship has been largely misunderstood. He attempts to expel the "puppetmaster" myth and the idea that Bush and Cheney always shared political stances. Though Baker's new book could be an interesting read, I question its relevance at this point in time. Also, some of Baker's comments lead me to believe that this book might feature a noticeably biased perspective on this misunderstood president-VP relationship.

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Chris Buenaseda's curator insight, November 4, 2013 7:14 PM

The video explains how Cheney was influential in Bush's decision-making, but less and less was he influential towards the end of Bush's 2nd term. This discussion was very interesting to watch as it painted Dick Cheney in another light, other than being the lackey to the younger Bush. Without Cheney's participation and adcive, Bush wouldn't have lasted the White House for past one term.

 

Melissa Aleman's curator insight, November 10, 2013 11:11 PM

This video discusses the relationship between Bush in cheney and how it was not all as it seems and in their new book, Days of Fire, you can see that. All though they had their differences and grew distant they came together when needed. I think it was a nice video and good to hear a little behind the scenes of the truth of their relationship and how it wasnt all good.

 

Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 6:28 PM

 This video is about bush and chaney while they where in the white house. It outlines the breaking and falling apart of their relationship and how bush really didn't have any power and chaney was the one really making the decisions, like a "puppet master". I think that their relationship as friends and as colleges was strained due to the media, the policy agenda and the war in Iraq.

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BY 10/20 -- What Obama and the tea party have in common

BY 10/20 -- What Obama and the tea party have in common | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
They both disdain governing the way Madison intended.

Via Teresa Herrin
Alan Perel's insight:

And here's one from the "'shrilly, shrilly liberal'" source itself! (see "It’s Not Just Political Districts. Our News Is Gerrymandered, Too.")

 

The main point of Will's article is exemplified in this one sentence: "Obama and his tea party adversaries have something important in common — disdain for the practice of politics within the Framers’ institutional architecture". Will expands upon the idea of compromise between competing powers in the American government. He also notes that the Madisonian system of seperation of powers is being challenged in the House of Representatives, an idea shared by Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma.

 

Throughout the article, will quotes Jonathan Rauch's piece "Rescuing Comprimise (http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/rescuing-compromise). In fact, the entirety of "What Obama and the tea party have in common" might really just be a long response to Rauch's thesis with a few more examples thrown in for good measure. I think both authors are correct in their assertions that recently there has been a true lack of compromise between conservative and liberal groups in the American government. Those conservatives in the GOP who are willing to comprimise with liberals are certainly more likely to earn my respect than those who behave in an immature and uncompromising way.

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Chris Buenaseda's curator insight, November 4, 2013 7:10 PM

Both are similar in that they are really hard to compromise with. The framers of the government have aimed for the structure of the govt. to balnce out the power. I don't see any similarities between the two other than their characteristics when it comes to compromise.

Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 6:26 PM

I strongly agree  that politicians these days are so blinded by their parties' goals that they are unable to make necessary compromises that are better for the country. I like the way that the writer compares the Tea Party with Obama. He also says that because of this unwillingness to compromise, Obama has too much power.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 18, 2014 5:02 PM

The article says that both Obama and the Tea Party don't want to go through the process of compromising that Madison had planned out. They're both impatient and arent willing to work together. I think an issue like this should be compromised, They need to come up with a solution together and figure out what to do. Obama does want the legislative branch to touch Obamacare. In my opinion, thats not very democratic or fair. The legislative branch represents the US citizens. we elect representatives in the legislative branch so we can have a voice. With Obama saying he doesn''t want congess to touch it seems like he doesn't really care about our opinion.

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BY 10/20 -- Jim DeMint: We Won't Back Down on ObamaCare

BY 10/20 -- Jim DeMint: We Won't Back Down on ObamaCare | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
In The Wall Street Journal, president of the Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint writes that fighting a law that is unfair, unworkable and unaffordable is reasonable and necessary.
Alan Perel's insight:

In this article, Jim DeMint, president of The Heritage Foundation and former Senator for South Carolina, maintains that conservatives "won't back down on ObamaCare". DeMint, drawing on figures from the foundation he heads, claims that "exchange premiums are going up in all but five states" and will continue to rise.

As commenter "LOYD ESKILDSON" writes,  "other nations avoid [the problems of healthcare ] with much more regulation". I, too, believe that DeMint's ideological battle ignores the simple truth that the most effective healthcare systems in the world are publicly-funded, universal systems. Hopefully the shutdown farce will encourage Americans to reconsider the Affordable Care Act.

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Sachi Kamble's curator insight, October 24, 2013 1:59 AM

Demint is obviously biased because he is the president of the leading conservative think tank in America. He claims that he has met people who complained that their converages have been renounced, their work hours cut and their jobs eliminated, but he doesn't have any direct quotes from these people, so it's all just paraphrased. The premiums have increased in 45 states. Young adult's premiums will be a lot higher than those of elderly, which will be hard on us since the baby boomers are all retiring now. The author claims that the only way Obamacare will lead to single-payer health-care system is by employers droping health-care for their low-wage workers. He also claims that health care will deteriorate in America as access to doctors will decrease. 

Tianna Kelly's curator insight, October 24, 2013 5:58 PM

Jim Dewint is  republican who believed that the recent government shutdown was both necessary and proper. According to him, it was the only option in fighting against an unfair law. However, he does not mention the effect of the shutdown- the government services that went to a halt, the workers who went unpaid, and those citizens adversely affected. In my opinion, DeWint, and those like him, make America the laughingstock of the global community. 

Chris Buenaseda's curator insight, November 4, 2013 5:50 PM

President of the Heritage Foundation Jim Demint states that he and many others are not stopping until they have gotten rid of Obamacare. Some main points against Obamacare is that it causes employment issues and citizens can not, financially, withstand the pressure that comes with the arrival of the ACA. While this guy tries to fight against a cause that no one has succeeded in passing for almost 50 years, Obamacare is still alive. Has he done his job in stopping Obamacare.

 

No. Obamacare is still up and running. 40+ times has it been challenged and 40+ times has it succeeded in staying alive and constitutional. Maybe they should stop trying. "Three times, the charm" is the phrase, not "40+ times, the charm."

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BY 11/12 or 11/13 -- 4th or 4 -- Texas and 5 Other States Resist Processing Benefits for Gay Couples

BY 11/12 or 11/13 -- 4th or 4 -- Texas and 5 Other States Resist Processing Benefits for Gay Couples | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
Some states are citing a conflict with state laws to defy the defense secretary’s order that gay spouses of National Guard members be given the same federal marriage benefits as heterosexual spouses.

Via Teresa Herrin
Alan Perel's insight:

This New York Times article is about state recognition of same-sex marriages and the implications for gay military couples. It addresses the ambiguous nature of our federal system. The states claim that enacting Sec. Chuck Hagel's order "that gay spouses of National Guard members be given the same federal marriage benefits as heterosexual spouses" are trumped by state laws. I agree with the opinion that "in an age that saw the scrapping of the military’s ban on openly gay service members, it is discriminatory — and humiliating — to have to jump through extra hoops to receive benefits". The six states are some of the most conservative in the country, and I honestly think that citing state laws in defiance of Sec. Hagel's order is just an act of resistence against progressive policy. 

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Nghi Bui's curator insight, December 20, 2013 4:12 PM

Some States deny the confirming of marriage benefits for homosexual couples. Personally, I find this a little funny, because the article notes that these States want to "uphold their integrity". Uhm, what sort of integrity? That homosexual marriages are not....marriages- that is, believed by the people and conservative state legislators? I can't figure out this lame excuse of "integrity", because really, refusing to accept other people's decisions are no sort of integrity. (Feeling neutral about gay marriages does not mean I fervently support it).

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, February 2, 2014 1:09 PM

This article talks about Texas and other states refusing giving the same marriage benefits to gay couples as man/woman couples in the national guard. Defense Secretary Hagel had ordered that gay spouses of the National guard be given the same rights, but Texas and others aren't budging. 

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 2, 2014 10:58 PM

I think that gay people should have the same rights as other marriages. I think that especially same sex military couples should get the same benefits as everyone else. It doesn't affect anyone but them so it is obnoxious and annoying not to give it to them. Yes the states that are resisting to give the gay couples the benefits are very conservative it does not mean that we should not give everyone the same military couple benefits no matter who they are it is there right they risk there lives to serve our country and can't get couple benefits all because they are gay. That is absurd and ridiculous. 

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BY 11/12 or 11/13 -- 2nd or 4 -- Supreme Court hears argument on prayer at government meetings [UPDATE]

BY 11/12 or 11/13 -- 2nd or 4 -- Supreme Court hears argument on prayer at government meetings [UPDATE] | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
The U.S. Supreme Court heard argument Wednesday on the constitutionality of opening government meetings with prayer, but the justices seemed unsure how to rule.

Via Teresa Herrin
Alan Perel's insight:

This article refers to the Supreme Court hearing the case "scooped earlier" regarding prayer at government meetings. It states that "the justices seemed unsure how to rule".

 

This case is highly controversial because it concerns church and state. I am surprised that the Obama administration is supporting the Town of Greece, but this move might be a strategic attempt to reconcile with the GOP without seriously upsetting the Democrats. For now, we can only wait to hear the Court's decision. 

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Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:45 PM

The case won't be settled anytime soon due to that covers  controversial issues between the First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and speech, and the separation of church and state. It will be interesting to see where Anthony Kennedy's vote goes toward on this case.

Nghi Bui's curator insight, December 20, 2013 4:17 PM

I can't understand this government's "endorsement of religion". Does the free excercise clause only pertain to prohibition of enacting a single religion? Does it exclude the right to be proud of having a religion? Would it be distasteful if a teacher wear a rosary? As long as a religion is not enforced upon the unsastisfied individual, then let the government and its civil servants be humans with religions (practice as they so choose to).

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, February 2, 2014 1:29 PM

This article talks about prayers being said in a court room. I don't see why this is such a controversy, let people be and pray if they want to. Yes I get the separation of church and state thing, but this really doesnt affect the "state".

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BY 11/10 or 11/11 (4 of 4 total)-- How Obama Blew the Entire Last Year (Be sure to include the graphic in your analysis!)

BY 11/10 or 11/11 (4 of 4 total)-- How Obama Blew the Entire Last Year (Be sure to include the graphic in your analysis!) | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
In the 12 months since his reelection, the president has achieved far less than he expected and suffered one mishap after another.
Alan Perel's insight:

This article and graphic identify and analyze the reasons for Obama's "annus horribilis" and his overall approval ratings. In the article, Condon points out that both parties are  guilty of attacking the other party instead of working together. The graphic is especially interesting. I am surprised that Obama's approval rating is so low. Despite the factors that negatively impacted his approval (mostly concerning the economy), I think that his rating is so low in relation to previous presidents. This is an effect of exteme polarization occuring within recent years.

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Nghi Bui's curator insight, December 20, 2013 3:30 PM

Kind of a biased article. Catalogued how Obama managed to screw up his second term by promising to have more actions and less talk (as they've always done) but he ended up swallowing his words. Wasting huge national sums on....gun control (because a crazy dude killed 20 elementary kids)...really how hard is gun control that you have to spend so much on it. In his second reelection, he stated that he wanted to focus more on immigration laws. Wait, I haven't heard anything significant about such matters. Ah well, I guess he's trying to save the economy. No, not happening either, because he came up with a very smart plan, the National Healthcare (no really, its a very merciful plan but it needs MORE planning yeah?) and that basically screw up another large chunk of dough. Oh boy, I guess he still has his Congress to help him out. NOPE they're full of Republican babies. Then Obama wanted to help out with Syria, asking Putin to withdraw their rejection but Snowden is stuck in Russia, revealing unwanted, embarassing government documents. Obama is at a standstill.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 28, 2014 7:57 PM

This article talks about Obama's struggles as president throughout both terms, and his struggle with dealing with the republicans. At the moment, our presidents approval ratings are at their lowest because it seems as though Obama's getting nothing done in office. 

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 3, 2014 8:09 PM
I think that Obama was not expecting all these setbacks. He set high goals for himself and he was determined to carry them out. Things have not gone as planned for Obama and his polls have gone down. In the video the guy said "the obamacare website is one month old and still like all one month old it is still shitting its pants" so that speaks for itself and how obama is doing.
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BY 11/10 or 11/11 (2 or 4 total) -- Video: 'This Week': Twitter Transforms Politics

The roundtable debates the role of social media in politics following Twitter's IPO.
Alan Perel's insight:

This video addresses the growing trend of Twitter usage among American politicians. Roundtable members discuss the positive and negative implications of this trend.

 

Personally, I feel that Twitter is a two-edged sword in the realm of politics. It does a good job of engaging young people in politics and keeping them informed. That being said, it can also promulgate inaccurate and false information that less informed users take to be fact. Twitter's prominence means that politicians and their spin teams must be much more active in ensuring that their images are not tainted by falsified or unsavory information. 

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Maddie Callen's curator insight, December 20, 2013 11:39 AM

twitter has greatly changed politics for better or for worse. consituents can communicate with representatives even easier. some politicans are thought more of as celebrities now especially during election time when they will be on the cover of magaizines and on tabloids. politicains can sometimes seem unproffesional on twitter using slang and abreviations but i think they should try to sound more proper.

Nghi Bui's curator insight, December 20, 2013 3:39 PM

Almost 100% of politicians are involved in the practice of twittering. It's another way to rant, complain and tattle tale through personal media. There's no way for policies to restrain politicians from interracting with the public through media. Politics can now reach out to the lazy, young generations and plus they can control the news they want to put out individually.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 28, 2014 10:06 PM

This video talks about how twitter is changin politics and the information communicated through it, using twitter makes it that much faster and easier to get information out there. Twitter has such a large ammount of users interested in politics, that it made sense for politians to create accounts. It's cool seeing politians, old and young, adapt to these new trends!

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BY Friday, 11/8 --ONLY ONE Scoop -- Nate Silver on 'This Week' (See the instructions for your Scoop)

ESPN's Nate Silver, the roundtable analyze the political picture for the 2014 election.


Via Teresa Herrin
Alan Perel's insight:

Nate Silver, who "nailed" calling the 2012 election, joins "This Week" to talk about 2014 midterms. In the past year, both Republicans and Democrats have reached low approval ratings. This week, Bill de Blasio and Chris Christie were successful in their bids for office. It is difficult to predict a total victory for either party in the coming years, but the Democrats are gaining steam.


I think the mistakes made by both the GOP and the Democrats this year will add to the competition in 2016. Now is the time that candidates are really trying to boost their image, so we'll see some very active politics soon ...

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Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:29 PM

This video discussed the chances of Republicans or Democrats winning the House in the upcoming midterm elections. Many of the issues that seem to be swaying voters one way or another are social issues, so if they want to win, they need to choose the social issues that appeal to the largest amount of voters.. Voters want to vote for a candidate that they think is most like themselves. 

Nghi Bui's curator insight, December 20, 2013 3:16 PM

Congressional approval rating is down to 12% approved due to the Repubs' demand for a shutdown and the Demos' disorganized healthcare bill. Guesses for the coming House election has Demos and Repubs on an equal stand, Demos leading by only 8%. Who's to say states are getting ready to shift colors. 8% is nothing to give the wins to Demos. The healthcare bill doesn't seem to work itself out anytime soon, and as laid offs increase, the anger for govt shutdown decreases over time. I don't see any faction in the lead, the 48 to 40 percent will equal out quite soon.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 28, 2014 7:18 PM

This video talks about how Nate Silver predicted 2012's election outcome. Later the midterm election is talked about. Apparently the rating fot democrats and republicans are low because of  the government shut down and problems with  Obamacare.It's evedently clear that the minority opinion is becoming stonger and stronger.

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BY 11/3 -- Booker Brings Dash Of Diversity To Still Old, White Senate -- Demographics of Current Congress

BY 11/3 -- Booker Brings Dash Of Diversity To Still Old, White Senate -- Demographics of Current Congress | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
Cory Booker becomes ninth African-American to serve in the Senate, replacing Frank Lautenberg.
Alan Perel's insight:

Cory Booker, who was on Thursday sworn in as a U.S. senator, is making headlines because he is black. The article addresses the lack of diversity in the Senate, which is composed of mostly old, white males.

 

Are we so far behind socially that a black senator should impress us? Did Booker's tenure as Mayor of Newark demonstrate policy markedly different from young white politicians? Let's instead be happy that the Senate is getting younger. I hope Booker will live up to the high expectations I have of him based on his decisions as mayor, and I won't applaud mediocre senatorship just because Booker is of a minority. 

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Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:30 PM

The electio of Senator Cory Booker will add some diversity to the Senate because he is a a relatively young African American. Most of the Senate consists of old white people. This trend is starting to change a little, especially the Democratic side. A more diverse Congress will be able to better address the concerns of different groups of people.This is reflecting the nation a little bit more, the diversity of this nation.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 28, 2014 4:07 PM

This article talks about the young and new african-american senator and the diversity in the senate. With our country being as diverse as it is, so should our government. That would lead to a better represented population.

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 3, 2014 8:05 PM
I think it is good for congress e to be diverse and have different ethinicities, different genders, different ages, and different parties. When passing bills and making decisions you will get a diverse group of opinions making it better for the people
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BY 11/3 -- Secession Movement

BY 11/3 -- Secession Movement | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
Residents of rural areas feel shut out of their states' politics, so why not create their own?

Via Teresa Herrin
Alan Perel's insight:

The article addresses movements for the secession from existing states and the establishment of new states. This is a trend among states where there are regions that do not share the political orientation of the state as a whole, and particularly in conservative, rural areas. Secession is unlikely to occur, however, because "'You'd have to persuade the U.S. Senate to add two more senators, but why would they do that, since that would dilute their own state's influence and might well add votes to the opposing party?'", according to Berkeley law professor Daniel Farber.


Personally, I think the idea of these small areas creating new states is both unreasonable and unviable. They simply do not have the necessary resources or infrastucture. Should we applaud them, though, for not suggesting to seceed from the United States? 

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Melissa Aleman's curator insight, December 20, 2013 3:12 PM

This article talks about citizens, counties, and groups in general in certain states claiming that they want to secede from their state and make a new one. The main group that seems to have a problem is the Republicans living in a Democratic region. For example in Colorado, a vote is going tobe held for secession. I  think that if people have problems with beliefs and the way things work in a certain state, that they should leave. You cant change the whole state to meet all of your standards.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 28, 2014 3:29 PM

The article says that many counties's rural residents  are feeling the need secede and create a new state. Northern counties want to create their own state because they don't agree with the rest of colorado. While the creation of a new state seems a bit extreme, I feel like these residents need to be better represented to avoid ideas like secession. 

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 3, 2014 8:00 PM
I think this is simple if you don't like where you live move. It would be completely outrageous to secede and create another state let alone new gvt. The economy would fail and it would be a mess.
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BY 10/31-- Sebelius apologizes for healthcare website debacle

BY 10/31-- Sebelius apologizes for healthcare website debacle | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
Alan Perel's insight:

Ms. Sebelius handled the situation responsibly by taking the blame for the website failure even though she is obviously not one of its engineers. Unfortunately, the website has become a major distraction from the actual goals of the health care reform. Many people who were originally neutral regarding the Affordable Care Act now hold negative opinions of it because of the way the website situation has blown up.

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Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:09 PM

Sebelius keeps apologizing for the problems with the Obamacare website, taking complete responsibility for the dysfunctionality of the incident. Officials in charge also reassure the public that, within 30 days, the site will be up and ready to be used to sign up for coverage.

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 25, 2014 4:40 PM

This video tells us how Sebelius takes the blame for the failed lauch of Obamacare. Sge later ended up answering the people's questions based on promises the president made. I think it was smart of Sebelius to take the blame for it because it encourages people to trust her and she is wise in saving others deserving of blame.

Alex fowler's curator insight, February 3, 2014 7:47 PM
I dont like Obama so I do not really like his healthcare and the fact that the website was having problems makes it even more sketchy and harder for it to be promoted and talked about well.
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BY 10/31 -- How the NSA is infiltrating private networks

BY 10/31 -- How the NSA is infiltrating private networks | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
The NSA, working with its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), secretly taps into the internal networks of Yahoo and Google, the two biggest Internet companies by overall data traffic.
Alan Perel's insight:

In this article, the authors summarize the processes that the NSA and GCHQ might be using to tap into the internal networks of Yahoo and Google. Sadly, I cannot say that I'm surprised, given other recent developments in the ongoing NSA spying ("surveillance"?) story.

In regard to the comment "By the way, given the rate at which we're cannibalizing our Constitutional protections, I think we all have to agree: Al Qaeda won," I'm not sure what user EhWatson really wants to say. The  comment oversimplifies this domestic crisis by harkening back to the Cold War, when American politics seemed to revolve around the question "Who's winning?". What exactly did Al Qaeda win? None of its stated goals even remotely suggest eliminating the protections of the US Constitution. 

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Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:12 PM

This article detailed exactly how the NSA has cracked into Google's data centers. The full repercussions of this scandalous news hack does not seem to fully register to the American public. The NSA has to be stopped and will not stop unless the American voters do something about it, whether it be through protest or voting in new representatives. It violates our constitutional rights.

Adriana Cruz's comment, January 25, 2014 3:31 PM
This article talks about how the NSA has infiltrated into the public in order to ensure safety. For example, the NSA can monitor all Google Cloud actions. It is very interesting to note that the Washington Post is willing to share this information to the public; it almost seems risky. At the same time, it makes me feel very unsafe in that the government could monitor anything that I do online.
Alex fowler's curator insight, February 3, 2014 7:52 PM
It is illegal to have a website that the gvt cannot get into but that does not mean that the gvt should tap into google or yahoos networks through wiring and invade peoples private information. It is against the rights of American citizens.
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BY 10/24 -- Ted Cruz returns to Texas as a hero who is reshaping the state Republican Party

BY 10/24 -- Ted Cruz returns to Texas as a hero who is reshaping the state Republican Party | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
Although a newcomer, he is rapidly becoming the model for GOP politicians throughout the state.
Alan Perel's insight:

Tumulty writes about Ted Cruz's popularity in Texas despite his poor reception in much of the US. She points out Cruz's unique style of politics and how it has become a model in the GOP.

 

Cruz entered Texas's politics seemingly from nowhere, but his senatorship is evidence of the growing influence of the Tea Party in Texas's (and the national) GOP. Though I disprove of him as a Texas senator, I am more worried about a future in which he might run for president and gain substantial votes from the growing far right. 

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Melissa Aleman's curator insight, November 11, 2013 6:14 AM

In this article, it describes how Ted Cruz is either one or the other, really liked or disliked, in the country. But right now he is very liked by Texas returning as a hero although disliked in the Senate. I like how Cruz is receiving credit in Texas because I like how he stands up for his beliefs and takes risks. I think its fascinating how they predict Texas will become purple but I dont necessarily believe that a continuously red state for multiple years will all of a sudden go purple.

 

Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:06 PM

Ted Cruz's impact on Texans and the Republican party.Cruz has inspired GOP candidates to rally for secession, rolling back immigration laws, impeaching President Obama, and amending the Constitutional direct election of Senators. People are following him and changing their views on certain things. This article also addresses the fact that Texas is becoming a more diverse state, with a fainter red part but not entirely blue part, making it a "purple state." 

Adriana Cruz's curator insight, January 18, 2014 5:23 PM

The article establishes Ted Cruz as a controversial senator from Texas that has quickly gained the attention of most Americans, and explains the possible political changes in Texas due to Ted Cruz. It's interesting to see that he could possibly create a major political change in Texas, where the state goes from a firmly conservative and Republican state to more of a purple state. Cruz also could possibly spark a big change in the ideology of the Republican Party.

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BY 10/22 or 10/23 -- 1-800-ObamaCare-Denial: Website problems don't matter when your intentions are good.

BY 10/22 or 10/23 -- 1-800-ObamaCare-Denial: Website problems don't matter when your intentions are good. | Alan's BHS GOPO | Scoop.it
The Wall Street Journal on the liberal claim that website problems don't matter when your intentions are good.
Alan Perel's insight:

The new healthcare website "was supposed to be the easy part" of the larger Affordable Care Act reform, and its failure to function properly leads one to question how effective the reform will be as a whole. The author is critical of Obama's missed opportunity on Monday to explain why the website did not work as intended and how the government and citizens should proceed.

This author is clearly biased against the healthcare reform. In fact, much of the article strikes me as a personal attack on Obama. Additionally, the author is defensive of Republicans, as evidenced in the final paragraph. What the article does address is that the public is still very unsure of the Affordable Care Act's implications and how the changes will be rolled out. I agree with the author in his/her assertion that Obama should step up to discuss the website's shortfallings and how they are being addressed. He, not Kathleen Sebelius or other officials, is still the best person to assuage the public's fears and criticisms of the bigger picture.

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Rabika Rehman's curator insight, October 24, 2013 10:37 PM

Obama thinks that the afordable care act is more than just a website.This reform is upsetting insurance company,they are already making changes with their individual policies because they are non-complaint with the obama care. The fact that it's more than a website should scare people.

Maddy Folkerts's curator insight, October 25, 2013 9:21 PM

I don't agree with this article that the website problems means all of ObamaCare will be a failure. It's more of a technical issue than an issue with the whole plan of the policy. This article was extremely biased and touched on irrelevant problems rather than arguing the actual important, debatable topics.

Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 7:47 PM

Obama encourages people to apply for benefits over phone. The article itself is very discriminating and has a very derogetory tone. ObamaCare's real goal is to focus over health care. The disadvantage of ObamaCare is that the enrolled people will mainly be the most expensive patients. Even in the video, obama says that the website is slow and there are problems, but the intentions are good. Some people are going to be paying higher prices than they usually do.

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BY 10/20 -- It’s Not Just Political Districts. Our News Is Gerrymandered, Too.

The government shutdown reflects a political system that reinforces extremism. The news media system isn’t much different lately.
Alan Perel's insight:

Journalist David Carr makes an interesting assertion: "Our news is gerrymandered". In this article, he comments on the political divisiveness of news media. 

Carr is spot-on when he states  that "Unless you make a conscious effort to diversify your feeds, what you see in your social media stream is often a reflection, even amplification, of what you already believe. It’s a choir that preaches to itself ". I think that it is very important to consider even those opinions that are represented by news outlets whose ideologies are opposite to one's own. Aristotle said that "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it". Listening to or reading sources that are seemigly against our own beliefs is not akin to discarding our own ideas. We should make a "conscious effort", like Carr says, to diversify our media intake and in effect attempt to check the pervasiveness of ideology on the acceptance of certain facts. Too often we are blinded by ideology. 

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Tianna Kelly's curator insight, October 24, 2013 5:54 PM

Gerrymandering is the inherently unfair and immoral practice of politicians of reshaping political district so as to give a particular political party the upper hand. According to this article, news media is engaged in the same unfair practices. News is altered and changed to fir the interests of a certain political leaning. Media outlets choose what images and stories to share with the public so as to shape public opinion to fit its own cause. This is an age-old practice, with most people believing that media outlets are generally liberally slanted. 

Chris Buenaseda's curator insight, November 4, 2013 5:03 PM

The article states how the media is bias much like a gerrymandered district. The media outlets portray different idoelogies and thus, they provide totally different point of views. Having these different media outlets gives  people different sides of different stories and to an extent, it is good to have different sides because it makes people more aware of who is spilling the facts or spreading just pure bullshit, much like Fox News delivers their broadcast every night.

Paulina Ho's curator insight, December 19, 2013 6:27 PM

I think that this article is very accurate. People may think they are branching out or exploring new horizons when they search the web and read the news. Search engines actually change and might guide us to only articles of certain viewpoints.  In essence, people don't receive the wide scope of information they think they are receiving because the information we intake is often filtered to fit our needs.