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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...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Conformity Among States and Nations



Pictured second from the left, Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, welcomes Syrian refugees and hands out winter coats.

Over the past months, many questions have been raised about Syrian refugees entering other counties after many reports have found that terrorists have entered their target countries disguised as refugees. Such questions and fear that has been raised with them has led to even tighter restrictions on who can enter the US as a "refugee". For example, in addition to U.N. background checks; U.S. background checks; multiple interviews; and a special vetting process for Syrian refugees, congress recently passed a bill that requires every single refugee to enter the U.S. to have the signatures of the Secretary of Homeland Security, FBI Director, and National Intelligence Director. Not only has congress made it nearly impossible for anybody fleeing their home country to find asylum in the U.S., but state governors have also made their beliefs quite public. Many of the state governors have made the promise that they will not allow any refugee into their state, a power they do not have. Donald Trump has also tagged along in this trend stating that he will ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., if he is to be president.

Amid all of these shocking comments and new regulation, our neighbors to the North have something else to say. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refuses to conform to what many other politicians say, "Is the only way to be safe". This past Friday, Trudeau welcomed a plane load of Syrian Refugees into Canada, saying, "You're safe at home now,"while many Americans are running to their local gun stores, Canada is giving these people a home. Trudeau further says, "Tonight they step off this plane as refugees, but they walk out of this terminal as permanent residents of Canada," according to the New York Times.

As we have seen also seen this weekend, conformity can do great things, it can bring broken nations together, it can also lead to the first, all nations included, U.N. climate resolution. Yet, at the same time, nonconformity can show the true light of the good-hearted.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lynwood Police Shooting

This morning, at around 11:00 A.M. Pacific time, Lynwood Police shot a supposedly armed black man, outside of a gas station. Protesters already have begun marching and demanding a third party investigation of the incident, as well as a review by the Department of Justice. Nowadays, people are very quick to protest or really make any sort of noise to try and taint the image of the police. Now, the people's anger in not unfounded, police brutality and bias has been proven over and over again, however they now seem to be quick to make judgement. 

The police claimed that the man was armed and was being reckless with his gun in public, even discharging it earlier in the day. For the first time in a while, for a police shooting that has made national news, the police are able back up their claims with video and eyewitness'. A phone call to the police earlier that day said that this same man was firing his weapon reckless in public, and when the police arrived on the scene he was waving it around with many bystanders near him. Yet, many people still came out today waving their signs and screaming through a megaphone, protesting the incident. Seemingly without even looking at the footage, or the provided evidence. While I can understand anger over recent police shootings, I think you should probably look at the evidence before making your claim.

The L.A. Times provide two different video sources of the incident in their article, here.

Paris Climate Deal

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Yesterday, Saturday, September 12, 2015, many hope will mark the beginning of a great change in the world and leave a mark in history books. As we all should know, yesterday was when over 190 countries, in fact all 196 (although the US State Department only recognises 194) countries agreed to the landmark UN climate deal. In short, the climate deal raises money for developing countries to have access to clean energy; gradually wanes developed countries to more clean energy; and limits the global temperature rise 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels by the year 2020. While deal was surprisingly ambitious in its goals, many still raise concerns.

One of the largest concerns with the deal, just like any other UN resolution, is how are we and other countries going to ensure that everyone else complies.  All of the news and in many interviews officials give a simple answer with little meaning, that the deal is "Legally binding". While this may be true, who is going to oversee a that countries are complying? And more importantly, who is going to enforce the new standards if they don't? No country can sue another country and I don't believe anyone is willing to go to war over this, so there really isn't any way of making sure anybody follows through on their word.

Here is a link to  The Guardian's report of the deal.