Thursday, October 30, 2003

Home Coming!! 

What is the big deal with home coming. Seriously!!! All of this rave and talk about how good home coming is going to be. Tell me how good is it going to be. What really sets home coming away from any other football game that the Gophers play. I mean it is just another football game right. Or is there some special undermeaning that I am not picking up on. I hear everyone talking about the parade and whats going to be going on. I mean its crazy. Some one let me know what the big deal is about home coming. If you even know yourself.

Tests What Are They Good For? 

Do you ever find yourself studying day after day for that exam that you have to take. For the past few weeks now I have been studying day in and day out trying to learn the material that I need to know for my classes, but I don't find myself making any progress. It is such a never ending battle. Do you ever feel that no matter how much you study it feels like there is absolutly no progress made. I mean seriously. You put in like a week of studying you expect to do good on a test right. Well what do you do or say when you don't. Are you not disapointed in yourself. Don't you feel like you have let your self down. Do you ever ask yourself why do we put our self through this thing called College. I mean really. What are you going to gain from knowing what book Charels Darwin wrote or any other minotinus material that we as students must learn and obtain. Does it really give us a higher title. I mean sure you have a degree in something when you graduate from a four year institution. At least you hope to, but what exactly does that little piece of paper mean. Does anyone think that you might actually benefit more from a trade school? Let me know how you feel about college and all of the studying. Granted it will hopfully pay off in the end, but sometimes it just doesn't seem so enough. Graduation that is.

A Cross Taken Down, A Country Torn 

In Ofena, a small town in Italy, there is a big controversy about the cross. There are crosses everywhere in Ofena, on streets, on top buildings, on churches. But the big problem has to do with one cross in a particular school. A man named Adel Smith brought a case against it, saying it was discriminatory against his Muslim religion. The judge ruled that it should be taken down and the town went wild. The odd thing is that most of the population in Ofena is not even Roman Catholic. There has been no discrimination made against Mr. Smith's children besides the fact that his religious symbol was not hung up. Why did Mr. Smith just not petition to put up his religious symbol instead of taking one down? The people of Ofena wonder if other immigrants will be making them take down their cultural symbols. Do you think that immigrants should have that right? How do you feel about the cross being taken down?

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Make Way for Buffalo 

There was an article in today's paper about a small town of 6 almost becoming a ghost town. There is a proposal that this area be returned to a natural buffalo grazing area to attract tourism. The area would thrive with all of the natural wildlife to create what will be called "Buffalo Commons". I think this is an awesome idea, People love the old west and at times want to relive it. With an area like this people have the oppurtunity. This wild life reserve is also an oppurtunity to bring back the small ghost town of Rawson. The hotel could be reopened fo rtourists and the grocery store opened for the vacation food. What do you guys think of this idea? Do you think its a waste of money, time, and land or think it may be beneficial to the tourism economy?

Head of School Seeking Underage Girls 

A school in Manhatten had their head personal, Mr. John Dexter, arrested for coaxing underage girls to have sex with him over the internet.Mr Dexter straight out told girls that he was 60 years old. Mr. Dexter's lawyer held a conference with all of the other head of the builings at the school about the situation. The lawyer tried to help the staffs cope with the situation. Mr. Dester was the78th person arrested in the past four years for this crime. What does this tell you? Our school officials are impending rapers to an extent. How can you credit a school or even be able to continue to attend a scholl that is run by a man who tries to solicit young girls? I find it unbelieveable. The point that Mr. Dexter is the 78th person makes me even more sick. Schools are suppose to be a safe learning place for children and young adults. How can you trust them? What do you guys think?

New Standardized Testing 

They are now testing little four year olds before they head into kindergarten. These kids are part of the Head Start Prrogram were children are tyo be better prepared before they enter school. The test came about with the passing of the No Students Left Behind law. It emphasizes math and literacy and tests children in third grade to evaluate their academic achievement. However the test does not evaluate individual kids, it evalutes the progress of the Hed Start program. Do you think that testing these kids when they are four is really effective? I'm sure that it can help find out where to start children when they first come into school, but don't you think that it is a little stressful for four year olds? I mean honestly, the pictures in the article show that the kids are incredibly puzzled. Why put the kids through extra stress? They're only four.

Money, Reason for Abuse 

In the Wednesday edition of the New York Times, there was an update to the article about the family that was mistreating their adopted and foster children. In today's article they say that one of the incentives for having children is to get money from the government. This particular family received $30,000 last year from the government. There is no regulation on how many children a family can adopt because the agencies want to find a permanent home as quick as possible. There is another case where a family adopted six handicapped children and complaints were reported that they were abusing the children and that their home was rat infested. Once a child is adopted the state no longer has the right to check up on them. I think the fact that there is no monitoring after an adoption is terrible. Do you think that the agencies should change the rules of adoption so that check ups on the families would be allowed? Do you think that there should be a limit on the number of children a family can adopt? I think that it would be rather difficult to care for more than one or two severely handicapped child(ren) at a time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

"The Doughnut's Hole" 

This article from the 10/27/03 edition of the New York Times, discusses the possible funding idea for senior citizens prescriptions. It suggests that of the first $2000 of their health care they would only pay $500 and the next $2000 would be the responsibility of the senior citizen. However, after the initial $4000 the citizen would pay only 5% of costs. There are however some glitches that still need to be worked out. For example some want the seniors with high incomes to pay a higher premium, and do not want private insurance companies to compete with these prices. The cost of new prescription drugs is quite high in the US because we are paying in part for the cost of the research. In Canada, people do not pay for the research when they get a prescription. Along with this proposal there are hopes that citizens will stop getting prescriptions from other countries. Do you think this a reasonable proposal? The US has considered simply lowering their prices, through estimations of the Canadian prices. Why do you think that the US has to have this fee if other countries can get by without it?

Doctors on Marijuana Advice 

Doctors walk a fine line when it comes to talking about proscribing marijuana to relieve pain, nausea and other symptoms to patients with H.I..V, glaucoma, and cancer. The reason doctors are so perplexed is because the U.S. Supreme Court barred the federal government from punishing doctors who advise patients to use medical marijuana to relieve symptoms but it doesn’t keep physicians from being held accountable when they take steps to help patients obtain marijuana. Doctors can only record on patients’ charts any suggestions of using marijuana but it they write it anywhere else it leaves them vulnerable to prosecution by the Drug Enforcement Administration. So how are these patients suppose to get what their doctor suggest, Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill that established a identification card for users of medical marijuana but in other states such cards are not in use. I personally don’t know anyone with cancer or H.I..V. that has used marijuana to relieve their pain so I wonder how much it really helps these people. What do you guys think? Should patients be allowed to use marijuana to relieve their pain symptoms? Should doctors be held accountable for providing their patients with medical marijuana?

Monday, October 27, 2003

Abuse in Foster Care 

In an article today I read about a husband and wife who kept four of their foster children starving in the basement. The four boys weighed no more then 50 pounds and had resorted to eating wall plaster and digging through garbage's to stay alive. Being able to adopt in this country takes an extremely long time with extensive background checks. How was this family able to fool the adoption agencies for so long with such an extreme case of abuse? How were these four boys put into a family that had a responsibility to care for them but were denied that right and instead got intense abuse? How did the agency, who checked up on this family 38 times in the past two years, not notice the malnourished children? Why would a family adopt children if they are going to abuse them? Abuse in any situation is disgusting and wrong, but usually the reason no one finds out about domestic abuse is because in normal homes there aren't agencies coming to check up on the parents. But in a situation where help could have been distributed numerous times and was denied, that is just about as sick as it gets.

How Much for that Professor? 

In mondays op-ed there was a colum by David L. Kirp regarding higher educations battle trying to aquire the most renouned professors. NYU among one of the leading colleges in this battle have been trying to lure professors in by using mass ammounts of money, great places to live, huge ammounts for them to use for travel, nice labs and so on. They also said that many of the professors brought in by this end up not teaching, or rarely seeing the undergraduates, so what is the purpose of having these highly educated people, to not even help the college? I could in a sense agree with this whole thing, saying that colleges do want to become more competitve by saying they have so and so as a member of their university, but i also have to disagree. My aunt teaches at Columbia in NY, and I guess you could say she is one of these professors, she constantly travels the world, they just made her a huge new lab, she lives in one of the apartment buildings owned by the college so she doesn't have to pay rent, and she didn't teach many of the newer students. However that changed this year, they started having her teach basic biology to the incoming freshmen. So I don't know if they are starting to realize that these professors have so much to actually give the students rather than just luring them in with well known names... what are your thoughts, do you think that colleges should be spending so much money on brining in these professors, rather than bringing in students (and with the extra money making it cheaper for us too)?

Abusing the system for children 

Lately in the news there have been numberous articles regarding New Jerseys activeness in watching over children in foster situations. There have been children dieing, startving, being repeatedly beaten and the caseworkers never saw it. The lastest one just was horrifying. The article reported that a family had adopted four boys (there were other children, but they were just fine) that had been highly malnourished. Not a single one of the kids weighed over 50 pounds, and the oldest, a 19 (!) year old weighed only 45 pounds! I couldn't believe that these people would be so cruel to just allow this to happen, and force this upon this poor kids that had already been through enough. They supposedly lived off of peanut butter, pancake batter and had resorted to eating the plaster walls trying to stay alive. The parents had convinced them that they had eating dissorders, and convinced the neighbors that they had a disease that kept them that underweight. It makes you wonder as to how a careworker could just not see this, I mean that would be pretty hard to miss! I am suprised that they were still alive. I am curious as to what other people think, these kids already have gone through a lot, having to be foster kids then go through adoption, then having to go through more horrors like this. Foster parents get paid to have these children, so do you think they are just trying to do it for the extra income? What are your opinions on New Jerseys care system, and how all of these horrible situations are just managing to get through the cracks?

Sunday, October 26, 2003

The Snowmobile Quagmire 

This one is for all you snowmobilers out there. Since I am choosing to do my research topic on snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park, I decided to write a little blog on the issue. Currently there are few restrictions enforced on snowmobiles in YNP. The two-stroke machines have been outlawed. These machines are loud, dirty and fast. There have been new machines introduced that are four-stroke, which are more quiet, cleaner, but less powerful. People that go to the park and are considerd enviromentalists are against snowmobiles all togather. They claim that they can't enjoy theri visit to the park in peace and quiet. They also argue that theanimals that they might see are scared away by these machines. Personally I think that YNP isn't a place for snowmobiles. We call these places national parks for a reason. They are supposed to be the places in this very industrialized country that animals and people can live/enjoy in peace.
Let me know what you think.


I read an article in the paper last week in the Trib talking about the missions to the International Space Station. The article talked about the mass of money needing to keep it running and how since the SPace flight cancellations at nasa it is getting hard to maintain the sapce station. Right now the Russions have been sending supplies up but they cant send up the mass like we could we the shuttles. What are your thoughts? should nasa start doing missions again? Sould we allow the space staiton to deterioate?


College Admissions 

An article in Wednesday's (October 22) edition of the New York Times entitled, "Lessons in the Fine Art of College Admissions," describes how getting into college has changed drastically over the years. Stressed out highschoolers are worried about SAT and ACT scores and whether or not they are taking enough advanced courses. It's not just the seniors, either. The article points out that parents are now hiring tutors for their ninth graders to get ready for the SAT II. The one big question that runs through most every highschoolers mind when they choose certain activities is, "How will this look on my college application?" On top of everything, when there is alot of competition at a certain school, students also need to worry about what other things help them to stand out. It's a very stressful time to be a college bound student in America.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

U of M Strike??? Who understands it? 

Over the past few days with the people that are striking at the University I believe they have blown it way out of porportion. For the fact that teachers have moved there classes off the University and into other buildings. The thing is that do the strikers pose that big of a threat that you can not get through them to get to your classes. I don't think they do. If you just act normal and don't say anything then you are just fine. Besides that are there that many of them that they out number us students. Give me a break. The other question I have is, Are they really making that big of a difference? Sure the work is going to pile up, but that just means when they settle their disagreement they are going to have a whole lot of work to get done. Maybe its because I have never really seen a strike before or I just don't understand their reasoning. Maybe someone can clear those few things up for me and let me know how they feel about class being moved off campus.

Violence in the Media 

They sasy that exposure to too moch violence in tv and video games will cause kids to be desencitized to it. The fact of the matter is that violence is not only present in thins that kids like. It is in almost every for of media especially movies. It seems like the movies with most violence and special effects sell the most tickets. Movies like Pearl Harbor and Triple X set records. Neither of these movies had all that great of plot lines however. These are movies that don't require a lot of thought. Violence in movies sells. It is probably only outsold by sex in the movies. Is this what we are coming to as a society? Are we moving more and more towards just watching things blow up and calling it a movie? Or are movies like Catch me if You Can, which have good plotlines that make you think, still going to be popular ten years from now? PLease let me know what you think.
In the past few years there has been a lot of talk about GMOs and genetic engineering. companies like Monsanto have been pushing hard to increase the use and production of genetically engineered food. Most of the noise in the debate however has come from the opposition. Groups like Greenpeace and other environmental groups hold highly publicised protests and demenstrations to get the word out that they don't like the idea of genetic engineering. They come up with new words like "Fankenfoods" to try and scare the public without realy stating any facts. They try and over damatize the issue to make the public wory. Frankly genetically modified food is probably not near as dangerous as these people say it is. All that genetic engineering does is change a few of the sequencing codes, out of hundreds of thousands, in the genome of an organism to cause it to produce a certain type of protein. This practice can be used for all sorts of different purposes. One of the only real concerns that the scientific community has with GMOs is that these new proteins may be ones that humans have never been in contact with before and could cause allergic reactions in some people. I'd like to hear how you feel on this topic.

Reality Tv 

Don’t lie. At one point in the last few years all of us have checked one out. Reality TV. It’s become a craze in recent years and now is thriving more than ever. But can it get to the point where enough is enough.? Every major TV station holds one reality show in their line up. NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS all air at least one reality show. From Survivor to the Bachelor, reality TV has taken this country by the hand and attracted millions of viewers. Survivor, American idol, Joe millionaire, Temptation Island and many many more. I know that I am guilty of the reality TV conformity but hey it’s good TV. It’s hard to believe that everything in these shows is true but its better than a lot of other crap that is currently airing today. With friends soon coming to an end I think reality TV will only get bigger and better. What do you guys think about reality TV? Good entertainment or an easy substitute to big money shows like friends?

Gay at Birth? 

A controversial article in Friday’s edition of the New York Times entitled "gay at birth" by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, caught my attention. Kristoff suggested that recent studies may prove why individuals are born gay or lesbian. The study argued how Genetics help explain an individual’s sexual orientation. An example of their claim of genetics was shown through the following study: Differences in brain anatomy help define sexual orientation. "Compared with straight men, gay men appear to have a larger suprachiasmatic nucleus, a part of the brain that affects behavior, and some studies show most gay men have a larger isthmus of the corpus callosum". Whether any of these studies have any relevance at all is yet to be known. Of course there are strange coincidences in some cases but none of them really mean anything. I know that this is not the end of the gay and straight debate and it’s obvious that it will never end. We will probably never know why someone is gay or if they have a choice not to be, but then again who really cares. Why are we spending our time and money on such minute problems? Lets use the money for cancer research or poverty issues. What do you think about this topic? Do you believe someone is genetically made up to be "gay or lesbian". And do these studies have any relevance?

High-Priced College Textbooks 

Its no surprise that most of us have been dishing out the cash as of late. Whether it be on tuition, textbooks, or even food. College is not just a ride in the park, its expensive and impossible for some. Of course they say college is affordable to everyone with loans, but its a sad fact to think that after you graduate you have thousands of dollars in loans to pay off before you can get a house or really move forward significantly with your life. A recent debate surrounding the rising costs of textbooks caught my attention. In an editorial to the New York Times, the author stated that textbooks can cost a student almost 1,000 per year, an insane number that rises with every new semester. The problem with that price is that over seas, you can purchase the same books for much cheaper. Does that sound fair? The book publishers argue that in order to sell any books in the oversea markets, the prices have to be lower; but why then jack up the prices over here? It seems like they throw any and everything in the books to make a simple buck. Its funny how now when you purchase a text book many times you also find a bundle inside with a study guide and cd rom that you really don’t need but never the less pay for. I think the cost of college is outrageous and if they keep raising prices college will not be a feasible option for some individuals. Check out this editorial in Saturday’s edition of the New York Times (oct 25th) and tell me what you think.

Friday, October 24, 2003

The Dark Side of Paris 

I read a very disturbing article in the Times today (October 24) about 'gang-raping' becoming somewhat of a trend in Paris. The article, "A Crime of the Young Stalks France's Urban Wastelands," describes how young boys that are raised in closed, traditional families loosely organize themselves into gangs, prey on neighborhood girls, take them to basements of apartment buildings or other places and take turns raping them. To avoid trouble, girls go out in loose fitting clothing or with a male family member. Some girls even form their own gangs for protection. Many of the girls who go through this don't say anything because they are afraid of not being believed or they are embarrased by what happened. The article states that, "prejudice against the girls lingers." One woman who lived in the apartment complex where a gang rape occured, actually tried to blame the girls by asking what they were doing down there in the first place and saying that they should have known better. Another man from the neighborhood said that if a girl goes out she will get in trouble because "the boys have needs." These comments stunned me. How can anyone blame these girls for the horrors that occured? They will never be the same again and their attackers are usually never caught. In one basement, a haunting message scrawled across a white wall explains why so few cases are prosecuted. "The law of silence is our sixth sense."

Florida Woman Kept Alive 13 yrs by Feeding Tube 

Yesterday there was an article on this Florida woman who has been a vegetable for 13 year, able to breathe on her own, but needing a feeding tube to eat. She is unresponsive--her mother insists that at times she appears to smile and grunt when being spoken to, but doctors say that these are normal involuntary actions for people in such conditions. Her husband has been fighting to have her feeding tube removed since 1998, and says his wife said she "would never want to be kept alive artificially." Her parents, however, are fighting for her to remain alive, and after the husband won the court case, and Governor of Florida stepped in and ordered the feeding tube reinserted. I think it's ridiculous to keep this lady alive when she has been a vegetable for over 10 years. They've tried everything they could to stimulate her brain, but nothing has worked. I know for a fact I would not want to be kept alive in the condition--what do the rest of you think?

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Elizabeth Smart 

On NBC tomorrow night (10/24/03) at 7pm there is an interview with Elizabeth Smart and her famiy about how the abduction has changed their lives. This interested me a lot because I was very interested in this case when it occurred, last year. I think there are so many aspects that one's life that will last forever. I think that many people were concerned at the time and had sympathy, but now since it has passed it seems as though many of us have forgotten. I can't even begin to imagine what scars Elizabeth Smart will carry with her for the rest of her life because of this experience. Personally I think that the most difficult worry to get over would be going to bed at night. It would be so difficult to get over the fear and forget the terror. Also, I think it would be difficult to live daily life, without looking around and wondering if the stranger walking in front of you was going to take you away. I know that may seem a little extreme, however these types of situations play over and over in my head and I have never been kiddnapped. I don't know about everyone else but I am looking forward to learning how she has been ifluenced by this terrible event. Not only will it be interesting to hear Elizabeth's update but also how it has affected her parents, sibblings, and friends.

Does Sex Sell!! 

Have you ever noticed how much advertising companies try to appeal to your senses. Yeah, its their job you say. Does it ever seem that they use half naked people to sell their product to you. Of corse it does, but how far is to far. Over the years products being advertised by proper women dressed in nice dresses. Then you take a look at now a days and go wow that woman is in the null. It almost gets to the point where you don't care what they are selling its more or less that you just want to see the naked people. I guess what I am trying to say is why are advertising companies so infatuated with advertising with naked people. Of corse its a major turn on for most, but what makes it so appealing. I am sure most arn't really interested in what they are trying to sell, but merly what they are trying to hide. What do you think about the fact that advertising companies use so much sex in their ads to try and sell their product? Let me know how you feel on this particular topic?

Farmer Kills for Land 

In Milo, Iowa, there is a severe competition for farmland. Mr. Heemstra and Mr. Lyon were fighting over a piece of land as soon as it went on the market. Mr Heemstra signed the contract on the same day it went on market for $800,000. Mr. Lyon however had been previously leasing the land and had right over it for the rest of the growing and harvesting year (2002). Mr. Heemstra said Mr. Lyon continued threatening Mr. Heemstra so Mr. Heemstra was going to take the situation in his own hands. The two farmers had a quarrel on the middle of the road new the land up for grabs. Mr. Heemstra evebtually pulled out a rifle and shot Mr. Lyon inthe head. Mr. Heemstra then dragged the body onto his pickup, drove to an old well and threw Mr. Lyon inside covering the hole of the well with two haybales. Mr. Heemstra eventually pleaded guilty to commiting the crime and received a life sentence in prison. Mr. Heemstra's farm and equipment was sold at an auction later on. What possessed farmers to do such things? The demand for land reflects the fact that the agricultural economy is in a slump and you cannot make any money without tons of land. I think this was an incredibly extreme case because nothing like this has ever happened in MN. I am from a farm and even think this fighting is outrageous? What do you guys think?

Tough Girl Scouts 

In Wednesday's paper, there was a little article about a Girl Scout Troop in Wisconsin. The troop was the first national Girl Scout Troop in a correctional facility. The group if scouts allows inmates from ages 12-19 to participate in the troop and to do community service and earn badges. They sold $2361 in cookies in 12 prisions. Don't you think this is a little odd? When most people think of Girl Scouts they think of cute little 9 year olds trying to sell you cookies, not correctional facility members. Sure these girls deserve the same oppurtunities as mentally sane girls but doesn't it strive you as odd and just "wow"?

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Guy takes Niagara Plunge and Lives 

Going along with my post about the city kid stunt, a Mich. man decided to go over Niagara Falls without any protection and survives. His family says he was adamant about doing this and now faces charges in Canada. According to scientist this feat is suppose to be mission impossible but this man was able to do it. Now should we look at this man and think this was amazing or look at him like he was insane because basically this is suicide. Daredevil attempts have occurred before but nothing like this. What do you think out this incident? Should we praise him for this miracle or look at it as a stupid thing that most people don’t think about doing in their lifetime? Should we feel sympathy of him if he had died? A25

City tale of subway stunts 

There was an article about a boy that tried to ride on top of the subway and lost his life. Now that is sad that he died, but the author made it seem like it was the way city kids where able to be daredevils. He compares this stunt to suburb kids stealing their parents car for a quick joy ride or country kids playing on railroad tracks. I don’t think that this has anything to do with kids coming from different areas but that this kid was not thinking very intelligently and his friends weren’t smart enough to say something like this is dangerous. I guess if I grew up in the city I wouldn’t feel I needed to ride on top of a subway. So in a way I have no sympathy of actions like this because it should be common sense not to go on top the subway, go on the tracks, open the doors or any other thing that could jeopardized your life. What do you think? Should we have sympathy of kids that are being daredevils? Are these kids a different culture because they grew up in the big city and have nothing else to do? A24

Roadside attractions 

In Wednesday's paper, there was a big section on cars. An article that caught my eye was the one on Roadside Giants that have become Icons.Everyone has seen them on road trips, the worlds largest ball of twine or the 65-ft-long Muskie in Bena, Minnesota..What is interesting is these odd structures where constructed by amateurs not to last as long as they have during the roadside attraction culture of the 70's. I think it is funny that these roadside icons have become so popular now these days because of the internet and movies. I can remember seeing the big Paul Bunyon in Brainerd and being amazed at it size, but I don’t know if I would take the time out of my vacations to travel to some of these sites like people are doing these days. What do you think about roadside attractions? Are they really odd or are they apart of our American culture and our roadsides wouldn’t be the same without them?

Talk about a waste of time 

In the Times this morning on the front page there was an article entitled, "Legal Research? Get Me Sushi, With Footnotes." It was about a paralegal that got asked to find the local sushi restaurants. She did tons of research and ended up writing a memo. It was three pages long, had two sets of menus, and had footnotes. How did the paralegal find time to do this when she works in one of the hottest law firms in New York? One of the things that is being disputed is who got billed for her time? The paralegals either bill a client or the firm. Well there was a comment from a person in the firm that a client was not billed. Well looks like this firm is out money for a paralegal that took a simple task beyond what it was supposed to be. Why would you do that? I just don't get it. I guess she just had nothing better to do.

Gov. Bush can save people's lives 

In the Daily today there was an article about a law that was passed by Gov. Bush of Florida stating that a feeding tube was to be reinserted into Terri Schiavo. The woman was in a coma for several years and her husband got a court order to remove the feeding tube. Her family did not approve and got a lawyer. Gov. Bush once hearing this, passed a law and ordered a tube to be put back in. Politicians are having doubt whether or not they did the right thing. Is it really a politicians place to decide who live and dies? You would think the family would be the people who would decide right? The husband may have known more on the situation than the family. He was closer to his wife and knew more about it more than likely. What are you thoughts on this.... who is the real person that should be able to make the decision?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Kobe Shoots for 'Not Guilty' 

As we all know, Kobe Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old girl last June in Eagle, Colorado. He is now being called to stand trial. So far the incident has been merely discussed in court, the girl and Kobe have both told the two different stories, with the same beginning and different endings. I really don't know what I believe. I really hope that the girl is not lying though because that is taking advantage of a situation where the girl is always looked upon as the victim. If it was consensual sex and she is doing this purely for the attention or money, that is not only sick and wrong, but a slap in the face to all those women who really do get raped. And Kobe makes me sick tool. He has a wife!! Or did he forget? It makes me so mad when people cheat on their spouses. And he especially needs to be careful because of the celebrity that he is. I hope that the right decision is made in this trial because I know that it can't be an easy one. And Kobe, keep it in the pants.

Family Farms 

In Tuesday's (Oct. 21) paper, there is an article about farmers striking in Iowa. The curretn prices now relect an agricultural crisis like the one that happened in the 1980s. Most of it comes in when the government deals international trade. Cooperate farmers are favored in all trade. Cooperations make it almost impossible for small family farms to make money and to stay alive.I know, I come from a 45 cow dairy farm. If you don't know that is very small compared to guys who have 3000 cows. A lot of these cooperate farms are bieng funded by nonagricultural dollars and are hurting the farming economy. The government is importing products from other countries that can produce products for cheaper than the government can buy them from Americans. Talk about having nationalism and being for your own countries when you don't support their economies. This is kind of hard to understand but basically cooperate farms make it impossible for small farms to keep going and the government won't buy American products because they can get them cheaper elsewhere. What do you guys think? What about the strong sense of national is that is suppose to be there? How are American family farms suppose to stay in business?

The Price is wrong....... 

In watch ing the tuesday price is right' I got yet another tuition billing statement. It seems like today as a student it is hard to understand where lot of these additins come from. Why doesn't the college just look at the total cost of attending college and keeo it there. I know that inflation and the standard of living are increasing, but how can the sandard of living increase as students become more indebt from college? They spend years paying off hteir debt to college and never really start living until at least forty. Why is it that tuition increases so much now. Maybe it is the government and their deprivation of support to education. What ever it is colleges need to stand up for these high cost in education.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Dropouts and Jobless 

The article "Locked Out at a Young Age" (Bob Herbert), is a very saddening reality of the degree to which the dropout rate and amount of unemployed young adults there are in America. The study was based on numbers in Chicago but it is estimated that this is an acurate depiction of other urban cities. Among young adults between the ages of 16-24, 22% are not attending school or employed. This is a terrible reality of the increase of people joining gangs, becoming drug users and getting involved in other illegal acts. On top of all of this Illinois schools try to get rid of kids who are greatly suffering in their studies just to keep testing scores higher. This is a terrible way to grow up, I think the education is a very important thing. It is hard to believe that ther are almost 100,000 people between the ages of 16-24 who have nothing specific to do on a daily basis. People do realize that this situation is becoming much to serious to ignore, but what do you think should be done about it?

Are School Buses Safe? 

This morning while eating breakfast I was listening to one of the many morning news shows when I heard an interesting story. A school bus was recently in an accident injuring several of the students. Video taken from the school buses security camera shows students being thrown violently to one side of the bus. Up to this point in the story I was only moderately interested; then the host began asking questions relating to the safety of school buses and if parents want to send their children into unsafe environments almost every day. Eventually following up with statements about seat belts being used on some buses.

For as long as I can remember school buses have always been a very safe method of transportation. I believe that adding additional safety devices such as stability is really unnecessary. Even in this accident where children were thrown from their seats only a few were even hurt. Also if seat belts were added would the children even use them? Is this turning a molehill into a mountain? Thanks for your opinions

Jon Milton

Sunday, October 19, 2003

United states 

I ahve been reading in the paper lately about all the things with Iraq. WHy does the American Government have to always invlove them selves in everything that goes on? Many countries hate us becasue we help another country out and not theirs. I say if we cant help out everyone we shouldnt at all. Besides we have so many issues in our country the way it is and we shouldnt have to worry about other countries untill we get ours under control. I think if we make a stronger country here we can make a stronger country for everyone. I would like to hear your opinions on this.


Saturday, October 18, 2003

Computers are They Taking Over? 

Computers, are people coming to dependent on them. Over the years I have noticed that the computer market is just skyrocketing. My very first computer was a 286sx that its only function was to process papers. I mean to be honest with you. Have computers become so big that people can't survive without them. Computers are nice I will admit that and they also provide entertainment, but can we not do without computers. I am a computer technician on the side. I built my own computer in fact to bring to college. Since I believe all the large corporations such as Dell and Gateway are there just to take people for a ride for their money. Once their money is gone the ride is over. What are your feelings on human dependency on computers? Do you feel that they are almost to the point of taking over our lives or have they already? Tell me what is on your mind, and let me know how much you hate or love computers. Especially how much the University is utilizing the Internet and computer use. Thanks for your input, and all that great typing you did on your computer to answer these questions.

College Drinking 

College drinking is it something that can be taken to far. Over the past few weeks that I have been here I have noticed one thing. College is a place where an offal lot of alcohol is consumed. I have noticed freshmen girls coming into my class that I attend with them and they are drunk. I mean give me a break. Sure having a drink or two on the weekend is one thing, but the night before class or the hour before class is totally different. Do they believe that they are going to get more out of the class while in a haze? What are your feelings on teenage drinking at college, or just people drinking before class? Have you been drinking before class or do you at least save it for the weekends? Let me know how you feel about those people that come stumbling into your class in the morning with a hang over.

Homosexuality and religion 

I read yesterday in the NYT that an American Angelican church in New Hampshire is trying to consecrate a gay bishop. The global Angelican community is warning them that this action could "crack apart" their religion. What do the rest of you think about religion and homosexuality? Can a gay person be a Christian if God forbids it in the bible? I would think any religion claiming to be based on the bible as the word of God would not be able to allow homosexuality. Hope I don't offend anyone.

National deficit deserves some attention 

In Friday's NYT Paul Krugman talks about the national deficit. He says that the budget deficit is equal to about one fourth of what the government will spend in the next decade, and that Bush doesn't seem to be worried about it. Does anyone else ever think about the deficit? It seems like an issue that doesn't affect us much but we're the ones who will be paying it, if they ever decide to pay it off. Bush's policy is to offer some families tax-cuts, but Krugman points out that this just causes the U.S. to borrow more and more. I know the point of tax cuts is to help the economy, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Maybe we should stop cutting taxes and just try to save money by not spending more than we have.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Smokers derserve everything they have coming 

The tobacco industry has taken some very serious hits in the past few years. With every one who gets lung caner from smoking suing the industry for millions it comes as no surprise that tobacco is hurting. Since it was proven to a certainty that smoking causes lung cancer that cigarette makers have had to put a warning fronm the surgeon general onto the cigarette boxes. This information has hurt cigarette sales. I wonder if some of the same people who went after the big tobacco companies won't start in on the alcohol companies next. Personally I think that the people who wind up getting sick from smoking realy have no right to sue the company. I think that if they knew the dangers of it and were dumb enough to do it anyway they derserve every dead lung cell thay get. The same goes for the poeple suing the fast food industry too. even if they are addicted they can still get up off their cans and go for a walk. And yes a realize how hard it would be to try and quit something like smoking if you are addicted to it but it has been done before by many people, and when it comes down to it isn't it worth the hardship of quiting to avoid something like cancer? You guys are all smart collage kids, tell me what you think.

Too many poeple 

The world population is growing at an alarming rate. It is already over six billion in the world and there is no sign theat the growth will stop anytime soon. It is no wonder that there are so many poeple dying of starvation. In a lot of the poorer nations of the world,where healthcare is not reaily available many die of illnesses that could eaislty be cured here in America. Because of the high mortality rates the mothers in these countries will overcompensate for the children they expect to loose by having twice as many kids than in the western world. Is it possible that the planet will, or already has reached its carrying capacity for humans? Will there not be enough food to go around in tweny years? Even if the world population stops expanding has there already been irreversable damage done to the planet? Tell me what you think.


"An Ugly Game" (NYTimes 10-17-03 Bob Herbert). Ghettopoly is an actual game that was based off of Monopoly. The game pieces are things such as rocks of crack cocaine, machine guns, and pimps. It has been taken off the market and protested against for its racism and depiction of ghettos. It has been taken off markets such as eBay and various other retailers. Herbert poses the question "How can you march against a game and not march against the real-life slaughter on the streets and in the homes of inner cities across America?" I think this is a very good argument, in reality although this game may be offensive to some, it is a reality of what actually goes on in our country. Why should people be pretending that it doesn't exist, and that this game is depicting them poorly? I think that it shouldn't be on the market, but if people are angry over the game, they should do something to stop the real life violence.

Mom Forgets Her Baby in the Back Seat. 

In Madison last week, a mother forgot her child in the backseat of her car. She has an older child who is mentally ill and was up very late visiting her child. She didn't get very much sleep that night and the next day she headed off to work. It wasn't until her husband called frantically looking for their baby that she realized the baby was still in the car. Unfortunately, it was one of the hot days (around 80 degrees) and the baby died. Do you think that the women should be convicted of murder? Something that really bothers me about this topic is what they are saying on the news about it. They were giving suggestions as to how not to forget your baby, putting your cell phone next to the car seat so you won't forget. I think that is disgusting, how can your cell phone be more important, or for that matter, easier to remember than your own child?

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Secondhand Smoking 

When Montana put up the smoking ban in all of their public buildings, society was dumbfounded. Six months after the ban, doctors noticed the decrease in heart attacks. There were two main effects of the ban: one was that people who lived in urban areas heart attack risk dropped 58% but those who lived in the rual areas showed no change. The other part of the argument is that exposure of secondhand smoke caused 30% of the recorded heart attacks. This just shows how many people are actually effected when just one person has a cigarette. I don't smoke and I never will because I can breathe when cigarette smoke is blown into my face. There are a lot of people that smoke that are causing so many more people health problems. I think the initial ban was a good thing. It helped more people say just a little bit healthier. What do you think? Do you think the increase in people's overall health is worth a smoking ban in public buildings?

What about Medical Marijuana? 

In Wednesday's paper of the NYT, there are two articles that talked about both sides of the controversial issue of medical use of marijuana in California. The Supreme Court allowed an appeal to stand that doctors cannpt be investigated or punished for prescribing marijuana for pain relief in certain cases. Doctors can not discuss treatments in the open and can prescribe marijuana publically. The problem comes in with the federal government. The federal government does not allow medical uses of marijuana but the state of California and other Western states allow it. Federal agents have raided marijuana farms, destroyed crops, and closed cooperatives. To government the federal government controls states so their actions are totally legal. But do you think its right? Do you think that federal government has the complete power to take over? Or on the other hand, should California and the other Western stated allowed the use of medical marijuana in the first place? I think that it will just lead to abuse of the drug again. But it could have its benefits medically. But what do you think?

Stay In Iraq 

I know, I know, I think we have all had about enough as we can handle about Iraq. But there it is, still a problem with a solution waiting to be found. An editorial today talks about what a disaster it would be for us to pull out of Iraq and simply declare victory, leaving a disheveled people behind. There have been far too many examples of USA going into fight and leaving way too early. Many people think that there are too many American's being killed and I think that any rational person would agree with that. But there are a lot of Iraqis being killed as well and the killing will not stop if we simply leave. Our credibility as a nation would fall and then everyone would think that the best way to deal with Americans would be to throw bombs at us. There are probably a lot of you democrats out there who think that Bush is a fool for bringing us into this war. Maybe you are right, but should we just pull out of Iraq? Is there more to think about then American lives (though I don't want to say that American lives are not important-they are)?

Flu Season 

In Tuesday's paper of the NYT, the science section had an article on the promotion of flu shots. The past three years we have had moderate winters and correspondingly moderate flu seasons. But the experts think its time for another bad year and are pushing for everyone to get their flu shot. Another concern is that this year is the first year after the SARS outbreak. Some people think the push for more flu vaccinations is because of a likely risk of SARS as well. The main issue here is that people are becoming very aquainted with the flu but as soon as you start talking about SARS, they get all worked up and are trying to prevent any bad bacteria. What do you think? If SARS would have never broke out, do you think that you wouldn't get a flu shot? Or do you get a flu shot every year regardless of new born illnesses?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

A New Meaning to the Phrase 'Jump Into Books' 

At the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at New York University an 18 year old boy jumped from either the 8th, 9th, or 10th story balcony killing himself. Not only is this incident horrific and tragic, but strange as well. This is the second suicide to take place in this library in the past month. Exactly a month ago there was a 20 year old man jumped from the 10th story balcony in another tragic death. For people at the library and a tour that was going on at the time the death was surprising and horrific. The police are checking out if the 18 year old was on drugs at the time of his death. Everyone who knew him said he showed no signs of depression or any reason that he would want to kill himself. This is so tragic and it makes me feel so uncertain. Why do people feel that there is absolutely nothing that they can do about a problem that they want to take away their own life? I wonder if they know that there are people who care about them on earth. And why would they commit suicide at a library? How would you feel if you were one of the people who saw it happen? I think that I would go into shock. At the library they are now constructing new ways to keep things like this from happening. Currently they have security guards all over. Do you think that this will be a big help? Or is this kind of thing unnecessary because nobody else is likely to commit suicide at that library?

The sniper needs a reality check 

Did anyone read the article about the "Sniper" in today’s Headlines of the New York Times? I was incredibly shocked to see he entered a plea of NOT Guilty. John Allen Muhammad is pretty much the dumbest person on the face of this earth. Now I know we are all innocent until proven guilty but the amount of evidence that is set against him is not overlookable. Where does this guy get off? He terrorized DC and parts of the eastern seaboard for weeks and now he claims he had nothing to do with it?? Whats even more disgusting about this case is that it will probably take years to decide as attorneys pile through evidence and argue over a case that seems already settled. Muhammad is pretty much doomed. Everyone in America has heard of him and the acts he "supposedly" committed. It was hard enough for him to find a lawyer who would take his cowardly case and now he has to be appointed a jury. All the jury members will know everything they need to know from the media, their minds are probably all set. The bottom line here is that this guy has not only killed innocent people, but will now drag out his sentencing and cost the government even more time and money. This guy sickens me and the only thoughts I have concerning him are not pleasant ones.

"Bigger Than the Nobel" 

David Brooks wrote an op-ed piece last week on Pope John Paul and the Nobel peace prize. I found it interesting because Pope John Paul wasn't the winner of the most recent Nobel Prize, Shirin Ebadi, a dedicated female who contributed in dialogue and democracy was instead the occupant of this year’s award. Mr. Brooks made a strong argument for the Pope's case which not many will deny. Who else has made a bigger contribution to this society in the fields of politics, religion, morals, and ethics in his or her lifetime? "Defending the dignity of life from the moment of conception to the moment of death, he has fought abortion, euthanasia and the scientific refashioning of human nature, putting himself on the side of conservatives", brooks calmly stated throughout his piece. So why didn't the pope receive the award? Brooks himself thought the Pope was well deserving of the award, maybe too deserving. He stated in his article that maybe the Nobel prize committee simply thought the pope was "too great" for the award. How is that possible? Maybe the pope has just been too controversial and too outspoken but then again that is his job. He needs to take his stands and run the church. What do you think? Should the Pope have been awarded the Nobel Prize? Is it fair to eliminate him from the running of the prize simply because of his moral stands and political out lashes?

New Pill for Women, Is it good or bad? 

This doesn’t apply to everyone in class but can be a topic brought up between girlfriends/boyfriends and husbands/wives. The article is talking about a birth control pill that reduces the mistral cycle to just 4 times a year or completely eliminating it. The debate is whether the pill has long term effects. Some think allowing the menstrual cycle prevents diseases that the pill induces like high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. Some feel the pill causes cancer in women who have used it over 5 years, yet that has not been proven. Others are just happy they don’t have to deal with it every month and wouldn’t mind not having it until they were ready to have children. Do you think you yourself (or girlfriend) would take the pill if it eliminates the monthly problem? Or do you think it is wrong to prevent the natural cycles of women? Tuesday 14 D5+

Limiting athletes because of 1 less organ 

In Tuesday’s article “Pre-game Ritual,” it talks about youngsters getting clearance from physicians to prevent sport-related injuries. At my high school everyone had to get a physical before playing sports, which is fine, now they really want the child’s history. What was interesting about this article was the special consideration that takes place when a child has only 1 of a pair of organs. A 12 yr old boy wants to play soccer for his school but because he had cancer as a toddler, he only has 1 kidney. You would think his parents would be the ones not wanting him to play the contact sport but it is his school district that is saying no. Even with a doctor’s approval and the state Supreme Court's o.k., the school still wouldn’t let him play until the season was almost over. Is it right for school to prohibit participants from sports even if it is for the player’s best interest? Or should schools have no say if the parents and the athlete understand the risks involved? Tuesday 14 D7

Student Sardines 

Just when you thought the public school system in America couldn't possibly get any worse, you read an article in the New York Times about John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx. The article, "Lunch at 9:21, and Students Are the Sardines," describes how this public school is so extremely crowded that they have to separate the lunch shifts into five different times with the first one starting at 9:21. According to the article, printed in Tuesday's (October 14) issue, most of New York's 30 or so biggest high schools are at or over their limits. Classes must be held in libraries, conference rooms, and even a principal's office. To cope, schools are stretching their days from dawn until after dusk, preventing some students from joining teams or holding part-time jobs.

"Golden Goal Proves Magical as Germany Captures Women's World Cup" 

Sorry everyone, I just have to do one blog about sports in support of my homeland. The German women's soccer team beat Sweden in the World Cup on Sunday, October 12. The final went into overtime and Germany won 2 to 1. The winning goal was shot by perhaps the most unlikely player. 23-year-old Kuenzer was recovering from a knee injury and had scored only once in 32 past appearances with the national team. For the first time in history, a country that has produced a men's World Cup champion, has now produced a women's World Cup champion as well. Also for the first time, the winning coach is a woman. Jere Longman, the author of the article in Monday's (October 13) NY Times states that the German women face a problem of cultural sexism from a public that does not consider the players sufficiently feminine. Hopefully, this victory will change the German view that soccer is a "man's game."

"The NRA is Naming Names" 

This article, written by Bob Herbert in the New York Times op-ed section on Monday, October 13, struck me as very strange. According to Herbert, the National Rifle Association has created a "list of enemies" that has been posted on the organization's web site. All included on the list are supposedly anti-gun. This long list includes organizations such as the Children's Defense Fund, the United States Catholic Conference, the YWCA, Hallmark Cards, the Sara Lee Corporation, and Ben & Jerry's. Being from Kansas City, I have to include that the KC Chiefs and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City are also on the list. Celebrities included are Dr. Joyce Brothers, Candace Bergen, Walter Cronkite, Michelle Pfeiffer, Moon Zappa, and the Temptations. Even Herbert himself is on the list. He sums it up pretty well when he states "I'm sure there's a method to the NRA madness, but to tell you the truth, all I can see is the madness." When asked why the list had been compiled, the NRA's director of public affairs responded that they wanted to know which organizations supported the rights of law abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, and which ones didn't. Could any of you please explain to me why this fanatical organization is still around? I just don't get it.

To the Moon 

I read "Fly Me to the Moon" (William E. Howard III, NYTimes 10/14/03). In China this week, the launching of their first manned spaceflight is scheduled. But in the United States the interest in the space program is at a low point. The Columbia accident has caused the people involved in the space program to loose focus, as well as their mission. Howard claims that a new goal that will be attainable as well as beneficial to future missions. With the advancements that China has made with their space program, the United States wants to build a lunar habitat where there would be permenant life on the moon. I think this is a really good idea, it will allow us to improve relations with other countries as well as enhance our knowledge of space for future missions. But do you think having life on the moon permenatly could cause any problems? Do you think that we could ever create a community on the moon?

Monday, October 13, 2003

Patient Sets Fire to Mental Hospital 

link to article
I was suprised to read this article, there was a lot within it that just did not make sense to me. The article covered a fire that occured 150 miles West of Minsk, Belarus. The fire was set by one of the psychiatric patients who has previously tried to set the building on fire (twice!). Spokesmen for the hospital say that none of the nurses were in the building at the time. The building is equiped with security bars on the patients windows, and it was said that all the patients doors were locked. 30 of the 62 patients were killed in the blaze, inclding the one that started the fire. I am curious as to why the patient had access to anything that could possibly start a fire if s/he was known to previously trying. Then, knowing that these patients are not mentally all there it is good to take precautions to make sure they are safe at night, but wouldn't it be smart to have some automatic system over ride in an occurance such as this? One reason that so many patients died was because their doors were locked with no was out and the fire spred too quickly for the nurses to unlock them. I am curious as to what other people think about this, do you think things should have been different at the hospital?

Is Faith Losing its Believers? 

link to article
Many catholic churches have been more quiet than usual throughout Europe. Over the last 25 years the numbers in attendance have fallen drastically. People are finding their faith not to be such a big factor for every day life. Some are believing there are more important issues in todays society to worry about than having your sins absolved and saying your hail marys. Many of the people attending mass are older, from a time when religion was one of the most important things in their lives. In the article, one guy claimed that running seemed like a better use of his time, rather than going to mass. Religious figures are becoming worried that people are just finding what they believe are better uses of their time. Religion has been a backbone, and support for many huge groups of people throughout history. Why do you guys believe that the citizens in Europe are losing their faith? And what kind of impact could this have in Europe, do you think religion could see this kind of decline in the U.S.?

Death Penalty 

Is it effective for a society to have the death penalty? In an editorial in today's paper I read about how they are trying to improve the laws on the death penalty. The death penalty is a very controversial issue in today's world and there are many pros and cons to each side. While I personally do not believe in killing someone, I do believe that people need to be severely punished for murder and other crimes. But I also think that our death penalty system has a lot of problems. What if after someone is found innocent after they are put to death? And I am not sure it is all that morally acceptable. But with this new system there would be better lawyers defending and prosecuting in top cases and a closer look at all the DNA and evidence that is present. These wouldn't get rid of all the problems altogether, but it is better then the latter option. I guess I really don't like the idea of the death penalty at all but I am glad that the government is doing something about it.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Beauty Sleep not Just for Beauty 

"Sleep Appears to Rescue Memories," an interesting article in the October 9 issue of the Times describes how two studies have shown that sleep apparently restores memories that have been lost during a hectic day. Researchers say sleep can rescue memories and store them deep into the brain's circuitry. These results might influence how students learn, and could also one day be incorporated into treatments for mental illnesses involving memories, like post-traumatic stress disorder. One study showed that subjects understood more words after one night of sleep than those who were tested just hours after training with no sleep. Another study found that memories were consolidated in three stages in a process similar to storing information on a computer's hard drive. The second stage required sleep. We've all heard mother's good advice before, but now we really know what to make a priority before an exam.

School Pedophilia Scandal Shakes Portuguese Society 

This article, printed in the Thursday, October 9 issue of the New York Times was very disturbing. Author Craig S. Smith describes how a state school in Portugual for orphans and underprivileged children is now wrapped up in a scandal that has been going on for years. Children of the school have been sexually and physically abused by a school chaperone named Carlos Silvino, nicknamed Bibi. The allegations don't just end within the school, but reach out further to the political leaders of Portugual as well. The arrest of a prominent political figure and his denials have raised the possibility that top officials are somehow involved. How could this have gone on silently for so many years? One woman said that "the reputation of the institution took precedence over the quality of life for the children." That one statement sums up how horrible this case is and how tragic for the many children whose lives are now ruined.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Food Iriradiation 

A while ago I read a New York Times article about a fruit called the mangosteen. The mangosteen is native to Southeast Asia. It is a small fruit about the size of a plum with a fiberous rind. Imports of the mangosteen fruit to America are banned because a fruit fly species that could be potentially harmful to the ecosystem often use the fruit as a nesting site. The article went on to talk about a possible breakthrough that may allow mangosteens to be imported to the United States. It's called irradiation. IT is basically the process of sending a beam of electrons surging through the food, essentially electrocuting it killing most pathogens and other life forms the might be in it. A lot of people are afraid of food irradiation claiming that it is an unnatural process and it somehow changes the food. Personally I think that these people aren't real smart and have no Idea what they are talking about. I would like to hear how every one else feels about food irradiation and whether you think it is safe or not.

US Russain relations 

I read an article in the New York Times from Thursday October, 7. It was about the relationship between the United States and Russia in relation to world wide problems like those in the Middle East and nuclear proliferation. Currently there are Russian companies building a nuclear power plant in Iran. The United States is trying to block this construction for fear that the nuclear waste from the plant could be used to produce nuclear weapons. Russia however claims that according to its contract with the Iranians, they would recollect all of the spent fuel from the plant. The Russians have already built one reactor at the Iranian site and have plans for more. The Americans have demanded that they don't and won't continue any talks until Russia agrees to stop construction. This has kept the two countries from discussing such issues as a possible international spent fuel storage site in Russia. Such a site could help prevent any further nuclear proliferation. It would have kept North Korea from extracting plutonium for weapons from spent fuel rods. It is a good example of how politics and legal maneuvering prevent real problems from being solved. Please, I would like to hear what you think about this.

Friday, October 10, 2003


There was an article in yesterday's paper talking about how there will be a space ship used for traveling in 5 years. this ship will be only used for rescue missions for the first couple of years. then after that it could be used for transporting people to the space station. I think this is kind of cool how we as people can come up with a space shit to that magnitude. they talked about maybe going further then the space station. I think it would be so neat to fly out in space in a space plane or something like that. I think it will be in our lifetime that we make it out there. what do you guys think? I think it would be fun.



I was just thinking about how much sex influences college. Is sex that important for everyone. what happened to the waiting for marriage or the special feelings you are supposed to get knowing that you will love this person forever. Sex these days is like eating. Seems like everyone uses it and there are no feelings behind it. For myself i chose along time ago i would wait for marriage, i thought there would be more in the same boat. I think alot of it has to do with that everyone wants to fit in and expierence a new thing. What ever happened to your will. What to do you guys think? Am i wrong? Is sex still important or is it just something that is done carelessly? Im sorry if i offended anyone.

- crunchy

Hope for Brest Cancer Patients 

There is a new drug that has been tested, and it proved to be so effective that they ended the study early and released it to women that were already taking a placebo. The new drug, Femara, follows a different drug, tamoxifen. Tamoxifen is taken for five years, until Femara was discovered women would just take Tamoxifen and then hope for the best. After they finished with Tamoxifen they had a 2-4% chance of the cancer returning. This drug reduces that risk by almost half. I think that it is great that something has been discovered to help cancer patients in this way. I just wonder since they cut the study short, how can they be sure that there is a better chance that the cancer will not return. Also, how can they be sure that there are no other side affects without letting the study carry out further?

Thursday, October 09, 2003

"Limit Seen on Use of Iraq Aid Funds" 

Today's NYT reports that Iraq will need $55 billion in aid over the next four years to rebuild its infrastructure. These funds will be used for power plants, water and sewage lines, setting up police forces, government stuff and more. The article makes it sound as though Congress is deciding on a bill that would donate $20.3 billion from American treasuries. The rest of the money will hopefully come from donations from other countries, although as of yet they have been slow in coming. Now, I know Iraq needs a lot of work, but $55 billion is a lot of money. Does it all have to be in the form of donations? Last week, William Safire wrote an op-ed suggesting that although America should pay for Iraq's military costs since ousting Saddam was in our interest, it should only provide loans to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure because it will primarily benefit Iraqi people, not Americans. He said that Iraq's oil reserves should be collateral for these loans. $55 billion might be a large debt for the "new" country to undertake, but it is also a lot of money for other countries to be giving up. Do you think it would be realistic to require that at least part of this cost be repaid?

"Rumsfeld Quick to Desmiss" 

The front page of today's NYT had an interesting article about our Secretary of State, Donald Rumsfeld. Apparantly he feels slighted because Condoleezza Rice, the national security advisor, set up an Iraq Stabilization Group to give the White House more control over the occupation of Iraq without consulting Rumsfeld. When a German reporter questioned him about the issue, Rumsfeld retorted that he had already answered the question and asked the reporter if he "understood English." Nice attitude, I'd have to say. Rumsfeld's job, among other things, is to represent the United States. Taking his frustrations out on foreign reporters, in my opinion, shows a lack of professionalism and maturity.

Are pigs really stressed out? 

In the science section of the NYT on 10-7-03, there is an article on the effects of breeding on pigs. In the past 50 years, selective breeding has been a popular mechanism to improve hog operations. It has made the pork industry into a $40 million dollar a year industry. The problem comes in when researchers feel that the breeding mechanism is causing a higher percentage of the porcine stress syndrome. This condition come from breeding for leaner muscle and ultra fast growing status. The porcine stress sydrome further causes a condition called malignant hyperthermia. This is when the damaged muscle do not have time to recover and the meat becomes damaged as well. There are inspections done from a pig's view (on all fours) to insure comfort of the piugs and a stress free environment. What do you think about this? If the new breeding causes more damaged meat are people going to continue to produce and consume pork? Or will the new technology again drive away people afraid of change?

Pregnant Mother's Diets Turn Genes Around 

In the Science section of the NYT 10-7-03, there was an atricle on the research of lab mice and how the alteration of a pregnant mother's diet can alter the color of the offspring. The mice are still genetically identical except for their coat color. Extra vitamins and supplements inactivated a gene in their DNA structure. The alteration of the diet also effect suseptiblility to diseases as well. Eventually this technology could be applied to human is research will let it. Do you think it's right to alter genes and change around physical features in organisms? I think its an ok thing to do since there is no harm to the animal and actually helps a mouse progress. What so you guys think?

Sleep ups memories 

"Sleep Appears to Rescue Memories" by The Associated Press, NYT 10-9-03. In this article, The Associated Press explains how scientists have found that memories lost during the day are restored during sleep. Memories are retained in a biological process of storing and consolidating them. Researchers say that this could influence how students learn and may become part of treatment for mental ill patients that their disorder involve memories. Both University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School have done research involving teaching subjects to do certain tasks. With a nights rest the subjects preformed better or remembered/understood more. The study found memories consolidated in three stages and the second stage requires sleep.
Sleep is good and we should all get lots of sleep but that is not always an option. Studying before we sleep or sleeping on a subject will help our understanding of the subject. Now if we could only get the time to get a sufficient nights sleep to get those memories consolidated into these brians of ours. What do you think about sleep? Do we really understand more when we sleep? It almost seems like we should sleep on a problem or issue and we would wake up and know the solution but I don't that works.

Dog DNA 

"Scientific Team Puts Together A Rough Draft of a Dog Genome" by Nicholas Wade, NYT 9-26-03. Researchers have put together a drat of a dog genome. That is a sequence of DNA units including all the genetic instructions needed to make a dog. Keep in mind this draft is very rough. This genome is enough to make conclusions about the nature of doginess. Another institute is doing the same with another breed of dog, the boxer because the boxer is more suitable from being inbred. REsearchers have interest in the dog genomes because dogs get diseases that humans do. Using the dog genome it will be easier to hunt down the variant genes that causes diseases. Another reason that is stated for finding a doggy genome is to understand the links between genes and behavior. One interesting thing is that there are dog-gene matches for three-fourths of known human genes. Dr. Venter said that his sparse coverage method should work for any species of mammal and the he was interested in doing the smarter ones, like dolphins, whales and elephants. This will be helpful because usually it costs $50 million and the genome must be decoded eight or more times before the exact sequence of DNA units are derived. Dr. Venter's team only decode the standard poodles in one and a half times and only costing $7million and they put the DNA in the right order by comparing them with the completed human and mice genomes. I think this is really cool but it also scares me a bit. The fact that they might be able to find the specific DNA gene that holds behavior in it and someday be able to change it. What will all this lead to? Making a super breed of humans and/or animals? Breeding specially aggressive humans or animals for war like in movies? what do you think.

Is society doing to Much? 

I was reading through section A (page 27) on Tuesday (October 7th) when I came across what I consider a rather disturbing case. A Meriden, Connecticut mother has been charged in the hanging death of her twelve-year-old son. The prosecution claims that she did not provide an adequate home life for the child and did not do enough to protect her child from the relentless teasing that he endured in school. The mother now faces up to ten years in prison and is to be sentenced on November 20th. From what I have read and listened to on the news I believe that this mother is being unjustly punished for this action. When our society has come to a point where the parents are solely responsible for anything that could happen to their children. Was the loss of her child not enough of a punishment? The mother�s lawyer points out a scary thought, that every parent whose child commits suicide should fear repercussions from the law. If this is allowed to continue I believe that this type of attitude would escalate into worse predicaments, such as parents being responsible for standing up for their children in school. I believe that today�s society is spending too much effort on doing everything for the children while not allowing them to learn the necessary skills for themselves; similar to the old adage �give a man a fish and he will have food for the day; teach a man to fish and he will have food for a lifetime.� If our society would spend more time teaching children how to deal with issues instead of doing it for them; I beleive many problems like this would cease to exist.

Jon Milton

Is society doing to Much? 

I was reading through section A (page 27) on Tuesday (October 7th) when I came across what I consider a rather disturbing case. A Meriden, Connecticut mother has been charged in the hanging death of her twelve-year-old son. The prosecution claims that she did not provide an adequate home life for the child and did not do enough to protect her child from the relentless teasing that he endured in school. The mother now faces up to ten years in prison and is to be sentenced on November 20th. From what I have read and listened to on the news I believe that this mother is being unjustly punished for this action. When our society has come to a point where the parents are solely responsible for anything that could happen to their children. Was the loss of her child not enough of a punishment? The mother�s lawyer points out a scary thought, that every parent whose child commits suicide should fear repercussions from the law. If this is allowed to continue I believe that this type of attitude would escalate into worse predicaments, such as parents being responsible for standing up for their children in school. I believe that today�s society is spending too much effort on doing everything for the children while not allowing them to learn the necessary skills for themselves; similar to the old adage �give a man a fish and he will have food for the day; teach a man to fish and he will have food for a lifetime.� If our society would spend more time teaching children how to deal with issues instead of doing it for them; I beleive many problems like this would cease to exist.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Lions, Tigers, Maulings, Oh My! 

In an article entitled, "After Court, Tiger Keeper Says He Misses His 'Friend'," a man named Antoine Yates was mauled by his pet tiger. He was keeping him in his apartment with a variety of other 'pets' at one time including even an alligator. He tried to convince authorities that the bite in his arm was from a dog, but his plan failed and the story of the apartment zoo was a front page story. He is charged with reckless endangerment, a felony, and the possession of a wild animal. If he is convicted he could face up to seven years in prison. I feel somewhat bad for this man. He said that Ming (the tiger's name) was his best friend, his only friend. I'm not sure if he is somewhat deranged in the head because nobody would have a wild animal who can be unpredictable in their home. Do you think that he should get jail time for keeping these animals? Or was he only harming himself? Why did he feel the need to keep a tiger instead of maybe, oh, I don't know, a dog or cat? Personally that is the route I would have gone. I also think that wild animals should defiantly not be held in apartment buildings because they need a better environment then that. What are your thoughts?

New fitness with no weights. 

New experiments have been designated to help individuals reach new gains with little to no weight other than your bodiy's weight. As a result of this new type of excercise people are getting less injuries and less have alot less accidents. This new weight plan uses the weight of the individual to build endurance and become stronger. Most excercises in the plan have you sit in a posission for an extended period of time just so the muscle fatigue a little. As you progress in the plan you push your self more and more to work the body more. With this new plan out in book such as the body weight work out people all over are using it since they can do it at the home with no cost of going to a gym. In the long term an indvidual spends less money looks better, and is healthier than the old fashion way of lifting until you are burned out.

Drug testing 

As new people are experimenting with new drugs in hope to help the future athelete reach new bounds, is it right to allow college students to test these drugs? This question came to me mind as my friend called me saying he is recieving money to test a drug that allows a persons joints to be more flexible. It sounded good for the money, but what would happen if humans who test these drugs become very ill. Would the drug companies pay for the hospital bill or would they completely reject the indivduals proposal by saying "We have a contract". I believe if a drug company allows citizens to test the drug, the company should be fully responsible for the possibility of the experimental individual getting ill.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Drugs To Die For 

In an article today entitled "Justices Let Stand Ruling That Allows Forcibly Drugging an Inmate Before Execution", I read about a case where a man is going to be forcibly drugged in order to be sane for his execution. This man, Charles Laverne Singleton, was taken to prison for killing a grocery store clerk in Arkansas in 1979. This brings about many controversies such as the role of the death penalty itself. Is it moral to kill people for killing people? And also, if someone has to be drugged so he or she can be sane enough to endure the death penalty what does that say about our legal system? Granted this man is sick and he was completely sane at the time of this murder, but he should be institutionalized not killed. I am against the death penalty and I guess that in extreme cases it is necessary, but should we really executing a man who is insane? Justice Marshall called it "the barbarity of exacting mindless vengeance" and I really agree. He isn't sane enough to realize what he did so why would he care if he is killed or not? If they treated him and he got better then his punishment would be to have to live with what he has done for the rest of his life. I personally think that that would be a better solution. When you die you have eternity to pay for what you have done on earth, so prolonging the suffering on earth would be like a pre-hell. That sounds a little morbid, but isn't that what punishment is all about? A penalty imposed for wrong doing? What are your thoughts?

Adult Charges Sought for Athletes Accused in Sex Assult 

The Long Island high school football players who sexually attacked and sodomized their freshmen teammates are in for some unsympathetic penalties. District attorney Mark R. Zimmer announced that he has asked the courts to try the 3 accused varsity players as adults. This would result in harsher sentences up to 20 years in prison. They charges against them are all felonies and were acted out voluntarily. “Not one of them stood back and said this is wrong,” said Zimmer. Their victims are embarrassed to go to school, some had to have mental attention and others feel it is their fault they were victimized. So do you think these 16-year-olds should be tried as adults in their case knowing they could face up to 20 years for an act this did in high school? Or does that not matter because what they did was cruel and has ruined their victim’s lives as of now?

Angle-Grinder Man (Car Owners' Hero Dresses for the Job) 

A superhero that fights against the police’s efforts to immobilize cars for parking violations and other infractions has made a name for himself. He is becoming well known in some parts of London. He comes to the rescue of those how have boots put on their cars. He saws them off and is gone as fast as he came. His main motivation is he’s, “anger at politicians for the way they treat people in this country.” Needless to say, anyone who admits giving consent to Angle-grinder can be charged with criminal damage on top of their parking fines. What do you think about this modern day hero who rescues cars from the boot? Would you want his help or do you think what he does is wrong since he is breaking the law?

Medicare for the Fiscally Healthy 

An interesting editorial was published in today's New York Times about Medicare. The author suggested that upper level income citizens have enjoyed disproportionate benefits under the Bush tax cuts and now its time for them to pay. Most people know that Medicare is a struggling yet extremely important program. Many elderly citizens and retirees lean on Medicare just to survive. While some users of Medicare struggle to make the payments, other high-level income citizens reap the benefits at very low costs. Recently, the GOP led congress suggested that upper income citizens be forced to pay more for the same Medicare program. This would help decrease the deficit and also support those citizens who can barely afford the program as it is. I think that this idea does make sense because it was stated that even if the price for Medicare rises for upper level citizens, it would still be a very cheap investment. It’s very unfair for some citizens who can barely get by in the Medicare system. I can also understand the high-income citizen’s concerns that it is unfair to charge them more just because they have more money. It will be interesting to see how congress handles this. Medicare is a great program but lately its been suffering. There are many citizens who cannot afford the program and therefore cannot get the assistance they need. Somehow we need to make this program affordable for everyone, even the poverty stricken citizens. What do you think? Is it fair to over charge upper income members? Or does this program just need to be completely revamped?

The Lumps of Labor 

In today’s day and age, getting a job, or keeping an existing job can be a scary situation. We all know this economy is not at its best, and while others blame the president, many just target the war and September 11th. PAUL KRUGMAN, author of the article "Lumps of Labor" believes that "growing lumpishness of American thinking about jobs is dangerous, in two ways" First he says that by not believing new jobs can be created, it will actually do more harm than good. We need to continue pressuring the government and stay optimistic about new job saving policies. Second he says that our pessimism in new jobs will lead to a demand in protecting the jobs we already have. This will not be good for our trade markets and limiting exports from developing countries would be a bad idea. People seem to forget about the dangerousness of the job situation in this country. It’s always in the back of our minds that the economy is slumping but we never realize that this can grow into a VERY serious problem. Sooner or later we need to tackle this issue head on. I think the president needs to do a better job with focusing on this country's needs rather than what country he can attack next. I'm not damning our presidents actions but I think he's done enough now and he needs to stop interfering with some countries business. I'm not knocking on those of you who agree with Bush I'm simply stating my opinion. Maybe there is a lot more to this issue than I know so if you have any comments or objections, please feel to comment.

Tiger Mauling 

The article "Onstage Attack Casts Pall Over Las Vegas Strip" from the New York Times, Monday Ocaber 6, 2003, by Mireya Navarro and Laura M. Holson tells a horible story of long time trainer Roy Horn being mauled and draged of the stage by his neck. Preforming at the MGM Mirage Siegfried and Roy with the white tigers have been a hit now for over 10 years. The two illusionists have a special show using exotic white tigers as the main attraction. During one of the shows, Montecore a 7 year old tiger used in shows for several years bit Roy Horn in the neck and drag him off stage causing critical injuries. Some people wonder how safe it really is but when working with any animal wild, domestic, or even generations born and rised, you are at risk. All animals even human have wild instincts and you don't know what trigers them. I don't think that because of this insident the show should be stopped or any other precautions should be taken. You know your risks when you work with an animal and you learn the animals responses. Having been at a show a while back I have seen them bring on a young tiger, never being in front of a crowd before, and preform an act but having the tiger brought out first with a so called leash and warning people befor hand to be extra quiet. What do you think, should they allow wild animals to preform on stage? as many as ten plus? with or without means of restricting the animals (leashes or cages)?


During our class discussion today, I learned a lot more about Arnold Schwarzenegger's running for govenor. I read the article yesterday that was totaly bashing him, but that was really the first I had learned about the election. I didn't know about all of the sexual assult accusations and the way he is handeling them. I also didn't know that he has no political background. After learning more about the situation, I believe that Schwarzenegger should not be elected for governor. I think that his sexual assults do say a lot about how he may handle situations such as funding for womens shelters. Just because that happened in his past doesn't mean that he has changed. For example he may think that since in his oppinion sexual harrassment isn't a big issue that funding for womens shelters and batter womens programs wouldn't be necessary. Schwarzenegger in my opinion is no candidate for president, who knows what could happen to the state of California if he is elected.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Dating! Who's Got the Answer? 

Dating, its just one of those things that everyone has been faced with at least once in their lifetime. Have you ever stopped to think about what the other sex is thinking about? Here at Bailey Hall there is a Blind dating service that has been brought up. If you are interested in going on a blind date you just simply sign up to be pared with whom ever they pare you with. At least that is what I got out of it from all the posters and everything that they are doing to promote this event. I am kind of curious about the whole situation. Personally between you and me from a guy’s point of view I would like to hear what girls are thinking when they meet a guy for the first time. I mean how do you read what women want or if they are even interest in you. I always stop to think about the current situation that I am in. Most guys can relate to what I am going to say, and I believe that women will find this true as well. When guy meets girl usually there is that initial attraction, and that is what it is based on. If the girl has a nice personality the guy will go forward and ask her out on a date. No wait! That’s right, usually the girl comes back before that all happens and says lets become friends first, and see where it goes from there. I am sure some of you guys out there have at least heard this once. The thing is with most guys as soon as they become friends with the particular girl that they are interested in they normally become really good friends with that girl. The thing about dating girls that are your good friends it is almost out of the question for that guy. Girls don’t seem to think it is, but guess what, it is. With most guys like myself they don’t want to date a girl that they are really good friends with because when they do and things go sour with the relationship the good friendship is over. In less the break up is a mutual agreement. Now if the break up is not mutual then the guy doesn’t see how the friendship can continue. Usually the guy wants to get away from that girl as fast as possible, and girls don’t understand why. Now when you sit back and take a look at the big picture, there is no more wonder why guys have more friends then girls on average. Do to the fact that most guys don’t want to take that risk and then lose a really good friend. I personally don’t think I have all the answers nor do I think I am right, but who does and who is? If there is something that some of you girls out there can help us guys with, let us know what some of the hints we should look for. I would be glad to share those little tips with other fellow guys. Let me know your feelings on blind dating and dating your good friends. Thanks for your input.


Arnold Schwarzenegger has definitely made his presence felt the last few months in the political battlefield. Bob Herbert expressed his usually controversial view of Arnold in his latest op-ed piece entitled “ Arnolds Biggest Fan”. It’s pretty obvious that Mr. Schwarzenegger is not your typical candidate for governor. It’s hard to over look the fact that to most people, no matter what Arnold goes on to do in his life, he will always be the terminator. The recent debate surrounding Arnold’s purpose in the race for governor has raised a few eyebrows. Herbert believes Arnold is only in the limelight for publicity and his ego. Others truly believe Arnold wants to move on to bigger and better things. After all, he is one of the biggest action stars to ever hit the screen, and conquering politics would just be another page in Arnolds book. I actually feel bad for this guy. I mean, I know he might not be the best politician but no matter what he does, everyone will always say he got his way because he’s a “Hollywood star”. What do you think? Does Arnold have a place in government? I say, if Jesse Ventura can do it, the terminator can definitely handle his own.

Arnold's Biggest Fan 

Today in the NY Times there is a rather humorous article called "Arnold's Biggest Fan". It is about how Mr. Schwarzenegger really has no clue as to how to govern a state and what he is really looking for in this job is for a way to be adored by millions of people. I'm not sure if I find it humorous or slightly disturbing that he is ranked so high in the polls. He made a comment about needing to abolish some of the overlapping agencies present in California. However, he made the mistake of naming the agency that the co-chairman of his campaign, Pete Wilson, founded. I was also watching the news tonight and another comment that struck me as wise and intelligent was (because he is trying to get rid of the high car taxes) "Hasta la vista car taxes." How is it that this man was allowed to run? Am I being too pessimistic about the whole situation? This man has sexual harassed women, obviously does not know what is going on in the government, and still is seen as someone who would be a great leader. Is anyone else concerned?

Movie Star to Governor? 

In "Arnold's Biggest Fan" (10/6/03 NYTimes) Bob Herbert argues that Schwarzenegger is not fit in any way to be governor. "If there's a voter anywhere in the state who thinks this character will spend even a hot minute wrestling with the realities of budgets and such, that person should seek immediated counseling." I am not saying that I disagree with this, but he doesn't really have any fair argument proving his point. He thinks that Arnold wants to win so he can attain the adoration of the state of California. But what if he really does care and does want to spend time worrying about budgets etc. People can change and just because Schwarzenegger has the image of a buff air head type doesn't mean that he is one. I think that he could have really good intentions of becoming a decent governer and it is said that he is "the betting favorite".

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Future Politician and Sex Offender 

In an article entitled "Schwarzenegger Apologizes After Sexual Accusations", Arnold Schwarzenegger apologizes for having "behaving badly sometimes" towards women. There have been several accounts of sexual abuse and although he did not admit to specific cases, the facts still stand, he isn't exactly innocent. And while none of these accounts can end him up in prison, it still begs the question, what kind of person do we want governing in our nation? How can someone who expects us to look up to him and trust him also be the kind of person who disregards others feelings? Sexual abuse is not something we should disregard lightly. I am aware that some of these allegations may not be true, but a number of them must be if he is publicly apologizing to the women he harassed. I am glad we have upstanding citizens running to lead us. Am I the only one who is a little disturbed by this?

Mmmm Motorcycles 

"Uneasy Rider"(NYTimes 10/3/03) Wow I would never want to be uncomfortable when I am driving. People are buying more motorcycles that are uncomfortable to ride but look really good. Ann Ferrar explained it perfectly with the quote, "Fashion overcomes practicality." it is true that harleys are nice to look at but why would you want a motorcycle if you are only goin got ride it 500 miles a year? I know when I get my motorcycle i will drive it more than that. People could pay almost 100,000 dollars for these artistically altered cycles. it just doesn't make sense. Why would you pay that much for something you will drive minimally? Could somebody tell me why?

Friday, October 03, 2003

Decrease In Average Income 

"Shaking The House Of Cards" (NYTimes 10/3/03). This article really got me thinking, in part the discuss that there has been a decline in the average income per houshold, as well as the number of two income families. This bothers me because although I am not trying to raise kids or pay a mortage I still need to make money. This situation affected me this summer, I wasn't able to find a job I turned in a lot of applications and I didn't even recieve a call. I think the reason for this is because adults that are loosing their jobs and applying for jobs that teenagers would normally do. Has this affected anyone else? I hope that it improves because if it lasts a lot longer the poverty situation in America will continue to get worse.


In Thursday's (October 2) New York Times, an article entitled, "This is Fun, but Did Anyone Ask the Dolphins?" described the cruel business of capturing wild dolphins and selling them to amusement parks for hundreds and thousands of dollars. The dolphins are a main attraction for tourists who often pay high prices to swim and play with them. Mauricio Martinez, director of the Wet 'n' Wild park, said that they are convinced that contact with wild animals will increase people's knowledge and respect. Animal rights advocates argue that there is nothing educational about turning wild animals into lucrative rides. Several trainers and tourists were unaware that sometimes the animals turned aggressive. Even worse, the trainers have only a basic knowledge of dolphins. Two dolphins have died in the water parks recently, one had a stomach ulcer brought on by stress. I completely agree with the animal rights advocates. People can learn about wild animals in ways other than confining them for amusement. This is an inhumane practice that needs to be stopped.

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