Posts tagged ‘Barack Obama’

November 19, 2012

President Obama’s push for cleaner environment is a wise choice

Obama through the years

Media Design by Krista Brooks

By Krista Brooks

Published Monday, November 19, 2012 – The Daily 49er

http://www.daily49er.com/opinion/president-obama-s-push-for-cleaner-environment-is-a-wise-choice-1.2795504#.UKnMNIenKa8

In President Obama’s first campaign, he vowed to end the war in Iraq, provide health care coverage to all Americans and take action against the potential global climate change.

All promises have been kept, but since Hurricane Sandy, the climate change has been a main focus by the Obama administration.

Their efforts have been redirected to develop cleaner sources of energy and improve fuel efficiency in vehicles.

Obama addressed this last issue in his recent acceptance speech: “We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

Friday, the Department of Interior ceased development in oil shale (a type of rock that contains kerogen, a low-grade fuel) from 1.6 million acres of federal land in the west.

This can be extracted to produce oil by heating and cooling, which is a less cost-effective method compared to hydraulic fracturing with oil shale.

Other venues for clean energy have been initiated by Obama and his administration.

This October, he has announced an initiative for 96,000 acres of water near Delaware to provide alternative energydevelopment.

Also, they announced expansion of wind power development in Wyoming which alone can provide 3,000 megawatts of power.

Lastly, the Obama administration has announced alternative energy initiatives to take place in Arizona. This utility-scalesolar energy will be accessible to neighboring states through transmission lines.

These initiatives are only stepping stones to the Obama administration’s plan to use alternative methods to generate clean energy, reducing negative impacts on our environment. Finding a source for clean energy is one part and dealing with the energy and fuel that we have available is the second.

Obama has cooperated with auto companies to create a 54.5 mile-a-gallon fuel standard, a goal to achieve by 2025.

This long-term plan will lower America’s reliance on off-shore oil as well as reduce carbon emissions from our vehicles. This will reduce the costs of vehicles and their fuel for American drivers.

In lieu of his second term, Obama is also pushing for the renewable-energy tax credit to be passed this year in Congress. This is an initiative to give back to those who make an effort to use cleaner energy and alternatives to fossil fuels.

With more land to create in-state energy alternatives and car companies willing to go green, our country has jump started a mission to clean our air and cool down the climate.

Despite the campaign and possibly your candidate losing, recognize that Obama has stuck to his word and respect the move towards a healthier environment.

Regardless of political parties, our Earth should be first priority, and Obama has shown us that he cares.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

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October 17, 2012

Pizza Hut political stunt may lead to more debate viewers

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, October 15, 2012 – The Daily 49er

http://www.daily49er.com/opinion/pizza-hut-political-stunt-may-lead-to-more-debate-viewers-1.2778872#.UH7q-xweXAg

Topics for debate: education, the economy, health care … meat toppings on pizza?

Last week, Pizza Hut announced that they’d reward a brave soul who would ask the presidential candidates what their favorite toppings are at tonight’s debate.

The company was criticized for its unnecessary involvement in the political campaign, and making a mockery of the presidential candidates for the thought of wasting their time.

“Sausage or pepperoni?”

Pizza Hut had offered one free pizza per week for 30 years or a check for $15,600 to anyone who asked this simple question at the debate. The rules did not specify whether or not the contest winner had to receive an answer from the candidates.

The contest attracted several outlets: those willing to ask the candidates and those slamming the political stunt.

Comedy Central talk show host Stephen Colbert was amused by the situation. He laughed at how the prize of a pie a week could kill you within the 30 years of free pizza. Colbert asked his audience, “What could be more American than using our electoral process for product placement?”

Gawker website ran a headline that read, “Want Free Pizza Hut Pizza for Life? Just Make a Mockery of the American Democratic System on Live TV.” The New Jersey Star-Ledger referred to Pizza Hut as “knucklehead of the week.” The restaurant chain has now altered their contest to question their customers rather than President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. With just an email and zip code to enter, one lucky contestant who answers will be selected at random to win free pizza for life.

“The anticipation and buzz around this question proves that this debate should be taken to the people,” Pizza Hut executive Kurt Kane announced. “We’re no longer asking a few hundred attendees at the town hall presidential debate on Oct. 16 to pose the question, rather we’re bringing the question — Sausage or Pepperoni? — to millions ofAmericans.”

Food industries and politics just don’t mix. Chick-fil-A was recently given a national day from a politician who agreed with the owner’s political views but received negative feedback from customers who just don’t agree. Recently, Papa John’s pizza announced it would raise its prices if Obama’s health care reform law goes into full effect.

All in all, I respect Pizza Hut for creating a competition to encourage people to the watch the debate without choosing and promoting a certain candidate.

Still, the stunt was poorly executed, and the company could have gained support and sales had it gone another route. Through the competition, Pizza Hut may have encouraged many to watch the debate regardless of who is the target of the competition. The first debate between Romney and Obama earlier this month earned about 67.2 million viewers. The viewership should rise, and Pizza Hut may have gained some extra eyes with its ridiculous political stunt.

Krista Brooks is a sophomore journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

October 2, 2012

New Arizona law allowing police to question citizenship is wrong

By Krista Brooks

Published Sunday, September 18, 2012 – The Daily 49er

http://www.daily49er.com/opinion/new-arizona-law-allowing-police-to-question-citizenship-is-wrong-1.2765415#.UGpm_k3A-Gk

After two years of battling the provision in Arizona court, police can now say to civilians, “show me your papers.”

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton passed the controversial immigration law, and five states — Alabama, Utah, Georgia, Indiana, and South Carolina — have since instated a law based on the same grounds.

The law allows police to question the immigration status of suspects who they believe to be in the country illegally.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the measure into law in 2010 in Arizona, a state known as the busiest illegal entry point in the country.

Great timing, everybody.

Elections are coming up, and this is the perfect way for a state to essentially pick who it wants to vote for.

This law will single out Latinos and breed distrust between police officers and their communities, which they have promised to serve and protect. This sense of distrust will only expand when police officers begin to ask registered citizens for their papers just because they look like they could be an illegal immigrant.

This will brood both fear and loathing of police in Arizona citizens, who are worried they could be suspected of beingillegal immigrants.

There is also the notion of having to always carry around your papers.

Neither I nor many other Americans carry around any form of “papers” all the time, proving that we’re citizens.

If someone is questioned and they don’t have their appropriate paperwork, they can be detained and taken into custody on the basis of suspicion alone. Being a law that is derived from suspicion, it can be seen as an infringement on civil rights.

If determined illegal, federal immigration officers can be contacted by Arizona police to have unauthorized residents deported.

Both supporters of Brewer and the provision questioned if federal immigration officers would comply, to which the officers responded that they would help based on level of threat and priority.

From the small buffer created by the federal immigration officers, some illegal immigrants may be exonerated, but nonetheless they will still be targeted by state officers.

President Barack Obama’s administration motioned to repeal the law on the grounds that federal immigration lawtrumps state law, but that was denied.

The officers are being trained to distinguish the features of an illegal immigrant.

Couldn’t that be just about anyone?

Hopefully Arizona citizens will band together to fight this new law.

Arizona citizens should refuse to be profiled on a daily basis by how legitimately “American” they appear.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism student and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

September 4, 2012

Our View: Military funerals should be free of protests

Westboro

By Krista Brooks

Published Wednesday August 8, 2012 – The Daily 49er

http://www.daily49er.com/opinion/our-view-military-funerals-should-be-free-of-protests-1.2749352#.UEaTo_XueSo

Family, friends and survivors of military veterans will be granted some peace and quiet from the rambunctious individuals picketing at public funerals, thanks to a new law Congress has passed.

The Westboro Baptist Church’s persistence to protest at military funerals has led to Congress passing a new veteran’s bill, restricting protestors from coming within 300 feet of a military funeral, two hours before and after a service.

President Obama signed “The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012” bill this past week.

Not obeying the rules of this bill can lead to substantial fines, or deserved jail time.

The military funerals cannot be private, because they are set in military cemeteries, or in other words, public property.

Funerals, regardless of military standing or not, should be a sacred ceremony and give families and friends a chance to mourn the loss of a loved one.

Westboro Baptist Church protestors say soldiers are dying because of America’s lenient view on homosexuality. The casualties in the war against terror aren’t from our enemies, they are results of God’s wrath, condemning the county for allowing homosexuals to exist, the church claims.

The First Amendment protects the congregation’s right to hold its own view, but sometimes laws need to be created to protect the most vulnerable, the families and the next of kin, while they grieve.

Even with the backlash the church has received for their actions, members from the Westboro Baptist Church plan to continue picketing as they did before, but within the law. They will be there two hours before and after funeral services and will stand approximately 301 feet away.

Protest can be a force of change, but one needs to ask what the is church gaining from this?

The rallying and protesting will not affect the life of the passed military soldier. The Westboro Baptist Church protests have the ability to garner attention, but only because they occur during a most inappropriate time.

While freedom of speech is a valuable right we hold, it always produces a gray area.

Where does heckling the deceased fall under?

The Westboro Baptist Church takes advantage of free speech in way almost no one appreciates.

Recently, there have been groups taking action against the protestors. The counter-protests have been successful, but haven’t put an end to the group’s persistent rallying cries.

Texas A&M University created a “human wall” with thousands of people in maroon shirts blocking the Westboro Baptist Church’s protestors.

This can be considered a small victory against an evil force that is abusing their right to free speech. We can only hope there will be more victories in the future.

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