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Paris Climate Deal

Yesterday, Saturday, September 12, 2015, many hope will mark the beginning of a great change in the world and leave a mark in histo...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jon Stewart's Legacy

In early 2001, Jon Stewart took over as host for Comedy Central's The Daily Show, from Craig Kilborn. At the time the show was not particularly popular, nor did anyone expect it to be, yet Jon was able to make the show one of the most popular late night programs. He was the highest paid late night comedian, before he decided to leave the show. In fact, he is classified as the highest payed news anchor, reportedly making $30 million annually, higher than other news anchor giants such as Matt Lauer, Bill O'Reilly, and Anderson Cooper.

While Stewart was making a comfortable living, he decided to leave the show so that he could spend more time with his family. However, Jon Stewart has been quite the influential character in the world of politics, bringing up stories others would not, and looking deeper into those that left shallow. Jon Stewart's ability and power to undermine politicians, specifically republicans, has left some joking that it is not Obama or other Congressmen that they are most forward to leaving office soon, but Jon Stewart. So, will Trevor Noah, the new Daily Show, host be able to fill such big shoes?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Francis in Cuba

For many decades now, the US and many other countries have separated themselves, by choice, from Cuba. This political distance was caused for a variety of reasons, from an ideological war, to promoting domestic sugar sales, to human rights issues, and many more. While some of these issues have faded away, many still pose as a deterrent between Cuba and the rest of the world mixing.

The US recently reopened official communication with Cuba, seeing that the reasons for intentionally keeping Cuba in the dark are no longer of the best interests. With this decision, of course, there are mixed feelings.

Yesterday, Pope Francis arrived in Cuba to give an outdoor mass today to whomever showed up, including the president, Raul Castro. So, is the Pope suggesting that reopening ties with Cuba is the right thing to do? From an initial glance, the answered seemed to be a certain yes. Many other were also hoping that Francis would talk about political freedom, as well as addressing other current issues. Yet, the Pope was careful not to take any sides in any of his talks today, he carefully danced around the issues everyone wanted to hear him talk about. So while Pope Francis' actions suggest that he wants to help improve Cuba and reconnect them with the world, his words are if he never even visited.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Joe: Consequentialist or Categorical Imperativist

Joe, in Louise Erdrich's novel The Round House, must make many decisions, but none nearly important as the choice to shoot Linden Lark, his mother's attacker. But, as Joe himself did not 'finish off' Linden, so we are left to wonder why Joe didn't do it himself. From a strategic and legal point of view, it makes more sense for Joe to do the entire deed, as to not involve Cappy. Now, we are left with only one option as to why Joe could not pull the trigger, he is morally opposed for some reason. For most instances, moral justification for an action or lack thereof can be split into two main groups: Consequentialism and Categorical Imperativism. Now, we are left to further wonder, which of these does Joe fall under in the circumstance of murder.

The Judicial and Law Enforcement systems have failed joe. Letting his mother's attacker roam free only seems to make Joe more and more frustrated and desperate for justice. Even before Joe shoots Linden, he has to convince himself what he is doing is just, "Murder, for justice maybe. Murder just the same," (280). Either way, wrong or right, Joe cannot bring himself to kill; armed with all the evidence and justification needed, he still can't do it. Joe is a Categorical Imperativist. No matter how much convincing he does or proof he gathers, he still finds murder immorally wrong; no matter what good it might bring about.

So, if Joe finds murder immorally wrong, as proof from his actions, is there an instance in which he he thinks it's okay? Because he certainly feels it is the correct response, just not the moral one. Does Joe feel that even after he knows Linden is guilty that a fair procedure is needed to justify morality? Or maybe, does Joe think that even rapists and murders still have some fundamental right?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Migrant vs Refugee

More and more presidential hopefuls continue to place their bids, in an already overcrowded field, one Donald Trump has managed to make the deciding issue that of Immigration Reform. Both candidates and voters seemed to be divided on the subject. However, the U.S. isn't the only one that is having to deal with a large number of immigrants coming in from southern borders. Currently Europe has been having a somewhat similar discussion to what the U.S. is having: how to adequately respond and deal with immigrants. The only difference it seems is that in Europe, the numbers are swelling and don't seem to be going away anytime soon.

According to UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, "It is estimated that over 1 million Syrian refugees were being hosted in Turkey as of August 2014... In Turkey alone, over 81,000 people from Iraq had arrived by the end of August 2014, as well as some 10,000 asylum-seekers from other countries."   While no one is questioning the severity and magnitude of the crisis, news organizations and media reporters seem to be unsure what to call these people. For many months now, these news organizations have been wavering back and forth between the terms "migrant" and "refugee", so which is correct? Are they both exceptable? From a glance, both seem to be interchangeable, they both basically mean some populous or even a single person is moving from point a to point be, right? Wrong. Each term carries its own, and nearly opposite, qualifier. An migrant has the ability to plan ahead, prepare themselves, and can move about freely. A refugee, is forced to leave their country.

Option vs forced. That is the difference between migrant and refugee. While I, personally, do not care much for the politically correct use of semantics, I do feel it is important to recognize that these people fleeing crises and in accordance, use the term refugee. To not show an understanding that these people do not have a choice is disrespectful, by using the correct term, people can more adequately covey the true message.