Tag Archives: Blog Post 3 – The Analytic Post

Critique

The StarTribune headline “St. Paul denies landlord’s request to lock skyway doors early” is not the catchiest title but still caught my attention. This article draws attention to concerns over Saint Paul’s skyway rules. Specifically regarding a City Council hearing involving building owner Jaune Brooks’ defiance of these rules.

The debate over Brooks’ building is a microcosm of the larger conversation going on in St. Paul. City officials, residents and building owners are trying to figure out how to improve safety in the skyway system without limiting public access.

Unlike Minneapolis, St. Paul’s approximately 5-mile network of enclosed walkways is public. The city paid for most of the skyways and, in exchange, requires private property owners to allow people to connect to them between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m.

The City Council members voted not to grant Jaunea Brooks forgiveness for violating Section 140 of the Skyway Ordinance. Brooks claims the fines she will be assigned will be less than the cost of cleaning and repairing after hours damage to her building.

I am sure which side I agree with on this subject but now I feel that I have a more whole picture of the issue. If only we could look into all news articles and world issues this easily…

Jaunae Brooks, a Lowertown building owner, stood in the skyway that she believes should be able to lock to prevent people from coming through her building and creating problems at night, Wednesday, June 7, 2017 in St. Paul, MN. The city will consider Brooks' request to close her skyway earlier at Wednesday's council meeting. ] ELIZABETH FLORES ï liz.flores@startribune.com
Advertisements

Chasing Trump’s Gaffes, Not His True Failures

The Internet has exploded overnight — President Trump, at 12:06am, shared a completely non-sensical tweet.

Unknown

The tweet was deleted, but not before it was screenshotted and widely shared. Immediately, he was roasted left and right by people making fun of this embarrassing tweet, and the fact that he frequently tweets completely out-of-the-blue thoughts at all hours of the night. The unfortunate gaffe received a lot of media coverage, such as this article at The Guardian. It’s a deep dive into the incident and the broad response from the public it collectively laughed and mocked the President.
The article, written by veteran reporter Elle Hunt, is actually quite well-written. It’s a humorous look at the incident, with a negative tone to it. This isn’t from Hunt’s own words, but rather the huge tide of negative conversation on Twitter.
The issue I have with this coverage — and the Internet as a collective being — is that it’s stupid, pointless things like this that get people fired up and get them active in conversation. In some ways, it makes sense. Watching Trump make a fool of himself is easy to bash, as it doesn’t require a lot of critical thinking. When a politician makes a mistake, it’s totally fair game for the public to go on the offensive. That’s just the way the Internet works.
Yet, there is so much more happening with this administration that’s incredibly important, but not getting people fired up on social media. I have no problem with Elle Hunt’s article on its own, but in the context of the larger political issues, the stupid tweet seems hardly worth mentioning. Like a lot of writers these days, she’s biased toward covering stories that will get a lot of attention and engagement on social media. I’m not saying that she, or anyone else in the media isn’t covering the right stories about Trump and his people, but little side things like this are just a distraction. They take eyeballs away from stories that might determine the fate of our entire world.

Let’s Talk Teavana

Yes, I know, another post about tea.

In my last post on tea, I talked about shaking up the coffee-drinkers routine by adding tea to the mix. With different flavors for all palates, great health benefits, and less caffeine jitters, tea is truly a great option for people who are tired of coffee or want to add another caffeine addiction to their day (I, personally, drink both because I love having multiple beverages to choose from at any given time).

 

Now I want to talk about bad tea, and how certain companies sell it by thriving off the terrible, terrible sugar epidemic in America.

Basically, I want to talk about Teavana.

Continue reading Let’s Talk Teavana

Bad choices are not choices

 

ThinkstockPhotos-176936509_1I have had the duty and privilege of voting in 7 Presidential Elections since turning 18. 

I can honestly say in each and every one I’ve voted what my conscience and research lead me to as the best possible choice for the country.

In some cases my choices have won the elections, in others they have not.  I’ve voted for Republicans 4 times and Democrats 3 times.

My allegiance is to the person whom I believe can best lead the nation; sometimes that is due to internal issues going on within the US and, at others, in the larger world around the globe.

Continue reading Bad choices are not choices

Should College Athletes be Paid?

money Nocera wrote an article in the New York Times on “Ways to Start Paying College Athletes.”  The article focuses on large schools with football and basketball programs.  He proposes we start paying players based on their positions and potential of going pro. He states schools generate money based on college games and ticket sales, televised games, college video game sales, apparel, and boosters and athletes should receive a salary of that profit.  He believes each player should have minimum salary of $25,000 and then speciality and star players can be offered anywhere between $40,000-$60,000 at recruitment.  One of his arguments is that if college athletes are paid it will reduce the one year drop outs and encourage college athletes to complete their 4 year college experience, resulting in academic benefits.  According to his plan, athletes should have lower academic loads and extended college time and still be considered full time students.  Nocera goes on to explain that smaller colleges or universities (not known for their sports)  would have to figure out a way to pay their players.  

NCAA

For me as a former college athlete I believe this is wrong on so many levels.  In his article he focuses on basketball and football athletes but what about other sports and other players that generate money into the school.  By paying only basketball and football players you would draw a wedge and would be giving a message that they are above others students.  Another concern is giving an 18 year old, so much money and them not having a clue what to do with it.  Lawyers and financial advisers would have to brought in which is even more of an expense.  I believe paying college athletes gives the message that money triumphs over education, respect, and self worth.  I wonder how the the sports programs would be affected by this money going to the athletes instead of school programming.  Would schools be able to still travel and cover travel expense, new stadiums, uniforms, facilities, athletic trainers and coaches.  Could college sports programs still give scholarships if this money is being given to its players as salary?  It seems as if this money is going to be taken from programming for students.  Playing college athletes loses the focus and importance of a college education.  It sending a wrong message to our youth that excelling in sports is everything, that you don’t need to be educated in order to make money.  Its taking away the message that the college journey of hard work, team work, unity, and goal making the college experience provides.  Our youth are worth more than just the money they make.                           

football

Nocera, Joe. “A Way to Start Paying College Athletes.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 Jan. 2016. Web. 02 June 2016.

 

Drinking from the Wrong Lemonade Stand

Let me cut right to the chase. I’m sure you have heard that Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith proclaimed May 23, 2016 to be “Beyoncé Day” in Minnesota.

 

Proclaiming “days” isn’t anything new for Governor Dayton. He actually proclaimed 20+ different ones in May. Heck the Queen Bey shares her day with the Terrace Theatre in Robbinsdale, MN. So really May 232016 isn’t “Beyoncé Day”, it’s “Beyoncé and Historic Terrace Theatre Day”.

Let’s push “Historic Terrace Theatre Day” aside (sorry Robbinsdale!) and talk about “Beyoncé Day”.

Continue reading Drinking from the Wrong Lemonade Stand

The Gorilla and the Boy

You can’t go too many places right now without hearing people talk about the little boy who “slipped” into a Gorilla cage at the Cincinnati Zoo recently. Depending on where you read your news, you could be hearing many accounts on this event. The accounts that really have my blood boil revolve around statements stating this is all the mom’s fault. The article on CNN included in their headline, ‘critics blame mother’. Really? Whether reports are true that this woman had 4 or 5 kids at the zoo with her that day, when a 4 year-old child gets something on his mind it is difficult to stop him from doing that so-called thing. If you turn your back for a second to, I don’t know, sneeze or attend to another child that may need a moment of your time, a 4 year-old on a mission can be yards away before you turn back around. In this case, this boy jumped himself right into the Gorilla habitat.

gorilla

As I read some of the comments on Facebook or other sites covering this story, I can’t help but think, I wonder if the people making comments against this mother ever had any children themselves. I know, before I had a child, I was one to say, “When I have kids, my child will never…” or “When I have kids, I will be the most attentive mom and my kids will NEVER…” Well, I had a kid. All the mistakes that I said I would never make or things I said MY kid would never do…they happened. So, I reference the verse in the Bible, John 8:7, “Let he without sin cast the first stone.” Therefore, I will NOT be quick to judge this poor woman, who is already beating herself up about this, and I will remember until I walk a mile in this woman’s shoes, I will not assume her parenting, or lack of parenting, is at fault in this situation.

Media’s Spin on Things

One other thing that bothered me about this particular coverage is the quote: “It is unfortunate that to save the life of a child, an animal had to be sacrificed.” I understand that there are animal activists that may just turn against me here, but when did animal rights become more important than the rights of humans? I understand this species of gorilla is an endangered species, but the zoo officials did what they deemed necessary. In a post by Amanda O’Donoughue,  an expert in zoology, she gives a good account of why the zoo had to make the decision they made. Wild animals are unpredictable and don’t rely on logic when spooked. I am sad that we lost another silverback gorilla and that the gorilla was only doing what he knew to do to protect himself, but if it were my kid that jumped overboard, I know what I would encourage the zoo officials to do.

Amanda O'Donoghue
Amanda O’Donoghue  feeding silverback gorilla (Facebook page photo)

As humans, we are pulled in by sensationalism. Stories like Cecil the Lion, Pit bulls that attack kids, and now “Gorilla-gate” are reported in a way where we don’t get all the facts at the beginning. People with cellphones are capturing video and posting them before police investigations are completed. Accusations are thrown out at the people in these stories before they have any time to share their side. I would love to see a day when the news is covered as just that, news, without the dramatic music, the sensationalism and the replay upon replay of devastating images that make my stomach turn.

Is it November yet?

I don’t like to wish time away, but I can’t wait for the 2016 presidential election to be over. The mudslinging and sophomoric behavior, from both sides, demonstrates the candidates’ lack of respect for the American people.

Because of their right-leaning views, Fox News’ website posts more unfavorable articles about Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. They often include the most unflattering photos they can find, too. While I don’t care for either of the front-runners, as a woman, I especially don’t like Trump’s misogynistic rhetoric against women.

 

When Trump responds to Hillary’s criticisms of his offensive views on women, I expect him—and Fox News—to come back with an article that attacks Hillary for a similar offense. Instead, I saw the headline: Trump: Hillary’s married to ‘the Worst Abuser of Women in the History of Politics’.

Seriously? While I agree Bill Clinton is a sleaze ball, the article does not illustrate clear examples of where Hillary said disparaging things against women. Fight fair, Trump. You cannot blame Hillary for Bill’s roaming eyes—and hands. Trump goes on to claim Hillary “would go after these women [who Bill had affairs with] and destroy their lives.” If so, provide me with the evidence to back up the claims. Surely, Fox News has a vault full ammunition to use against Hillary—so use it.

Opening a Can of Worms

I have a hard time believing much of what either candidate says on the campaign trail. But when Trump brought Bill Clinton’s sexual scandals into the mix, he should have known he opened up a can of nasty worms.

Trump invited the left-leaning views of the Daily Show to highlight disturbing things he has said about his own daughters. However, unlike Trump and Fox News, they have the video clips with Trump’s own words to back up their claims.

It’s bad enough to hear how Trump objectifies women, but to hear his comments about his own daughters adds another thicker layer of ICK! See for yourself. The following clips are so disturbing and creepy:

  • Mother Jones: Trump (1994) response when asked which features his one-year daughter has of his and what features she has of then-wife Marla. He wonders about her breasts!
  • Daily Show:  Trump (2006)talking about another daughter saying, “I’ve said that perhaps if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, I’d be dating her.”

 

I cannot believe the women in Trump’s life don’t put a gag over his mouth. Could you support a parent in a high-profile race after they repeatedly said inappropriate and disturbing things–including things about you?

Curt Schilling: “Why I Will Vote for Donald Trump”

Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox
Hey Schilling, You’re “FIRED!”

The development of blogging has brought about a valuable space for public discourse. Regardless of the accuracy, everyday people can now share their beliefs on a myriad of topics. Furthermore, the ability of readers to interject their opinions has proven to be a powerful tool to take the discussion to the next step—inspiring social action. While I have a great appreciation for the first amendment, and the right every individual has to possess the beliefs that they do, there is also a newfound responsibility for readers/bloggers to utilize critical thought when reading blogs. This stands true for Curt Schilling’s article “Why I Will Vote for Donald Trump”.

Now, I can appreciate the fact that the election year brings about strongly held beliefs by individuals that deeply care about the direction America is going. However, it’s irresponsible for individuals (especially public figures) to spread inaccurate information.

Let’s unpack that!

Continue reading Curt Schilling: “Why I Will Vote for Donald Trump”

Raising the age to sell cigarettes?

Hey kid are you old enough to smoke?!

A post shared by Mark Rangen (@super.important) on

On June 9th the smoking age in California is being raised to 21. This change has been seen as a positive by most people. According to tobaccocounter.org, 3 out of 4 adults would be in favor of changing the age to 21 and 7 out of 10 smokers are in favor of the minimum age of sale being changed too. However, a recent article in The Los Angeles Times argues that it would be a pointless change and that it will still allow kids to get cigarettes. He argued that high profile stings of tobacco stores catering to children had no effect on the child’s ability to get cigarettes.

Looks enjoyable.

A post shared by Mark Rangen (@super.important) on

I am personally in the group of thought that the law should stay. When I was a kid and tried cigarettes for the first time it was because a senior who was 18 had a pack and offered them to me. While I think that people still can get a hold of cigarettes via parents, siblings, or otherwise, I think that by adding to the age of purchase it will make it less accessible to a lot of people. Researchers are predicting a 9 to 22 percent decline in smokers ages 15-17. Most people start smoking when they’re in middle school or high school.