stephbb

my thoughts on our ever-changing political world

Reflective Journals January 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephbb @ 22:16

This week I wanted to reflect on the question asked in the lecture on Tuesday “what does money mean to you?”. I was thinking about it after class for a long time, and for me at this point in my life, money means the ability to have new things and to be independent. This may sound very superficial but whenever I get a new pay cheque, I think about how happy I am that I can rely on myself to buy the things I need/want and not others. I hate owing people money and being financially dependant on people, so to me money might be a type of freedom. It also symbolizes that I can do/buy what I want because the money is mine. This view isn’t the best, because money is not everything, but as a teenager in university who loves shopping, that’s my view. I am sure that as I grow up it will mean more things such as financial security, but for now, money is independence.

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Question of the Week – Social Classes

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephbb @ 22:05

My question of the week relates to social classes. I’m wondering why is there the need to group people into categories? Why is it important for me to identify as a lower-upper class rather than an upper-upper class? To whose benefit are these groupings? In my opinion, the groupings only make it seem harder to improve your situation. Say I was a lower-middle class, and I saw all the definitions for that, I would feel like I should become an upper-middle class instead. But I may have been perfectly happy with my situation before I realized I was lower-middle. I think the only reason to have these groupings I to know who to give government care to, such as possibly the lower class, and those groups of people usually know which class they are without the lists or charts. I remember during high school I’d have friends over from other parts of town and they would say I lived in the “rich part of town” and that we were all rich snobs. I would always be confused because I knew my own family was having financial problems, and I knew that my friend’s families in the same area were too. I didn’t view us as rich at all, and when I asked my dad about it, he said we were probably middle class but he didn’t know or care. I realized when he told me that, that those groupings only help people discriminate, against the rich and the poor.

 

Research Quest

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephbb @ 21:56
What is your political ideology?

Your Result: Social Democrat
 

This quiz has defined you as a Social Democrat (you may or may not be a Democratic Socialist as well). In general you are in the Liberal mindset, but wish to take it a step further. You favour the broadening of various social programs and a progressive income tax system to help alleviate social inequality. You wish to change the current social paradigm, but through gradual means.

 I had to look up “social democracy” to get a broader grasp on what it is, and I think the quiz did a very good job pinning me. I do not know a huge amount about politics, but I do believe that humans deserve not only equal voting rights but also equal rights to education, healthcare and security. I like what it says about changing through gradual means, because I believe that a change can’t be made overnight when it comes to the government and state. I don’t know exactly how I feel about the progressive income tax, because I realize that if you make more, you should pay more, but at the same time I don’t really agree with taking from those who have become successful. I think that if there was a different way to have attainable taxation for everyone that would be better than having the taxes rise with your income. I think with more accessible income and healthcare for those who don’t have it, it would be easier to climb the income chain, and once you get up there it would be ideal not to have to pay more taxes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Media Stories

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephbb @ 21:37

MAJOR:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tech-news/in-a-span-of-minutes-egypt-goes-offline/article1887207/

This article is called “In a span of minutes, Egypt goes offline”. It is about how Egypt’s government shut down all internet providers and basically took Egypt off the online map. This was shocking to me to read, because now there is such limited information going and coming from Egypt. Having the internet enabled many citizens to voice their anonymous opinion, or to join certain protest groups, and above all have unlimited information about what is happening to their world. Taking their internet down has really disabled their free speech, and it’s questionable whether it should be legal or not. The internet seems like something everyone takes for granted, and as I sit here on many different internet pages, I’m thinking about what it would be like to suddenly have the whole country wiped of internet. It would be such a bizarre feeling, as although one could compare it to a power outage, there’s always somewhere that has power. It is such a powerful move to take away the internet, and I’m excited to see what happens next.

MINOR:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/World/1224912.html

This article is called “Don’t ask, don’t tell lawsuit to go ahead”. It is about the struggle to get “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed. President Obama says that he expects it to be repealed by the end of the year, but protesters are saying that it should not be put on hold until military members stop getting discharged. I think that the sooner this policy is overturned, the better. When I first heard about don’t ask, don’t tell I couldn’t believe it. Why would anyone care if the military members are of a different sexual orientation? They are all trained the same and all work their hardest together. So why should those who are gay or lesbian find themselves being discharged and sent home just because their orientation? And the name “don’t ask, don’t tell” is ridiculous. Many of the people discharged were “caught” because someone went through their messages or read personal emails. Those people weren’t asked, they were spied on. I think that until the military has equal rights, the Americans should stop being so proud of it.

 

“Beyond the Text” Jan 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephbb @ 20:45

This political cartoon reminds me a lot of “public policy” that we talked about briefly last class. It goes to show that although governments can implement policies that will affect us negatively, we sometimes only hear the ones that will affect us positively (and even then some can backfire). It shows we are also very inclined to demand tax cuts, but as research has shown, countries who have higher taxes also have better rates of living. It just goes to show what is important to individuals.

 

Question of the Week January 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephbb @ 05:30

My Question of the Week is related to something I learned it my other Poli Sci class which was stemmed from the book “Murder City” by Charles Bowden. It is about the murders in cities in Mexico related to the drug war. My question is: How can so many murders happen on a daily basis until the rest of the world steps in and takes notice? It’s not as if people are dying from an epidemic or a disease, they are being killed. The world can try to dismiss it as a drug war between cartels and only the “bad people” are dying but taking one look at the statistics will disprove that. Ordinary citizens ranging from children to elderly are being killed and there is just complete silence. This issue really provokes something in me; reading about how people don’t even report missing people because they know nothing will be done and they could be harmed themselves. No one should have to live in a world where they aren’t sure if they will live to see the next day because of the violence in their city.

 

“Media Analysis” week of Jan 17-21

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephbb @ 03:58

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/atlantic/notorious-nova-scotia-drunk-driver-challenges-stiff-sentence-for-23rd-offence/article1883055/

This minor news story is called “Notorious Nova Scotia drunk driver challenges stiff sentence for 23rd offence”. It is about a man from NS who has had 23 drunk driving offences, and is the country’s most notorious drunk driver. The article focuses a lot on the fact that he is getting a too harsh jail time but I am more focused on the 23 offences. I have lived in NS all my life and I am appalled that this man has been allowed to drive our roads for so long. I can’t believe that it has taken this long for him to get prolonged jail time. This is a problem for everyone because with a danger like that on the road it is hard to be safe. He has a loooong history of hit and runs, which can cause more accidents on the same day! I’m happy he is getting prolonged jail time, fair or not. He needs a wake up call and with him locked up the roads will be that much safer.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/World/1224004.html

My major story isn’t really major but it is a reflection on a major story from the past, the Virginia Tech shootings. It is about a man who’s wife was killed in the shootings, and he reflects on how everytime there is a shooting in the world he feels the pain again and he says the saddness never goes away. I feel very strong about this story and the stories such as the Montreal Massacre because I can’t believe that things like that happen in this world. I think sometimes that people don’t relate enough to these stories, and it’s important to put yourself in their shoes. I sometimes imagine what would happen if such a thing were to happen in my hig school or Acadia, it would affect everyone in the school and the community. These traumatic events can be forgotten about after time but I think it’s important to always remember.