Category Archives: Opinion

A Message To Those Who Still Support Joe Paterno

For many years, Joe Paterno was revered and admired as a skilled football coach, a visionary who cared deeply about Penn State University. Even as more and more evidence surfaced about his former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State community stood in solidarity with Paterno. It appeared that Paterno was innocent, that he knew nothing of the horrific abuses committed by Sandusky. Now that solid evidence has surfaced that Paterno knew about the abuses all along, and tried to cover them up, the late football coach deserves no support whatsoever. His actions merit no positive recognition. Instead of helping out the abused by reporting the paedophile, he wilfully ignored the victims, forever tainting his and Penn State’s reputation.

Giving this man support ignores the abuses Paterno covered up, and is unfair to the victims whose lives were terribly changed.

Click here for the recent report.

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Gay Rights Take Another Step Forward

Giving more options for gay couples.

Though the Catholic Church is far from approving the idea, the Episcopal Church voted to approve the blessing of same-sex couples. The Church, which at nearly two million members is the “largest U.S. denomination to officially sanction same-sex relationships”, also voted to allow transgender Christians to become priests (“Episcopal Church Approves Same-Sex Blessing Service“).

The Rev. Ruth Meyers, who helped develop the blessing, said that though the blessing was not the same as marriage, there were “‘a lot of similarities. The couple give their consent to being joined in lifelong commitment, they exchange vows…There is a blessing over the couple'” (“Episcopalians Approve Rite to Bless Same-Sex Unions“).

Though a good number of bishops and clergy were against the decision, it was widely approved; in the House of Bishops, 111 people voted in favor, 41 against, and 3 abstained (“Episcopalians Approve Rite to Bless Same-Sex Unions“).

With these decisions, the Episcopal Church demonstrates its willingness to adapt to the changing times around it. This is essential; now more Americans can experience the freedom they deserve.

CNN.com and The New York Times were used as sources for this article. Please contact me for full source information.

I’ll (Not) Have Another Triple Crown

 I’ll Have Another

 

Will there ever be another Secretariat?

Yesterday’s stunning announcement that Triple Crown contender I’ll Have Another was pulled from the Belmont Stakes posed a question that has befuddled horse racers and bettors alike: will another horse ever win the Triple Crown?

Here are some reasons why the Triple Crown and horse racing’s popularity in general, are falling.

1) Injuries are Common, Unexpected, and Devastating

Thoroughbreds are easily injured and disabled during strenuous practice and long races. According to the International Veterinary Information Service, over-exercising horses “at fast speeds has been implicated”¹ in fatal horse-racing injuries. Unfortunately, this sort of stress is often necessary to produce a winner. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “A trainer has a better chance of screwing up a horse by either overtraining or undertraining. Usually, it’s overtraining. “² Horse-racing injuries have changed the sport for the worse, shaming trainers, decreasing the chances of a horse enduring three Triple Crown Races in first place, and making the sport much more ambiguous and unpredictable.

2) With Few Chances of a Triple Crown Winner, The Public Loses Interest

The general public’s interest in horse racing grew when I’ll Have Another won the first two Triple Crown races. However, when he was scratched from the Belmont Stakes, people lost interest again. According to Bloomberg News, “Without I’ll Have Another, the race figures to draw fewer viewers on NBC, which said it is ‘working now to adjust the game plan accordingly'”³. Because there is a very small possibility of a Triple Crown win in the futures, most people will care little about horse racing. Fewer people will come to the racetracks or watch it on television.

The future of horse racing looks to be quite bleak. Unless there is a way to prevent injuries and find another horse that will win the Triple Crown, horse-racing may become a forgotten sport reserved for washed-out gamblers and bettors.

WORKS CITED

1. Wilson, Julia H., Kristin K. Shaw, and Vickie King. “Thoroughbred Racing Injury Rates Are Inversely Associated with Trainer Success.” Ivis.org. International Veterinary Information Service, 1997. Web. 9 June 2012. http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/aaep/1997/Wilson.pdf.

2. Rini, Tony, and D’arcy Egan. “The Triple Crown Is Unlikely to Be Accomplished by a Horse of the Future.” Plain Dealer. Cleveland Live LLC, 8 June 2012. Web. 9 June 2012. http://www.cleveland.com/horseracing/index.ssf/2012/06/the_triple_crown_is_unlikely_t.html.

3. Levinson, Mason, and Eben Novy-Williams. “I’ll Have Another Retired From Racing After Belmont Scratch.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P., 08 June 2012. Web. 09 June 2012. <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-08/i-ll-have-another-is-out-of-belmont-stakes-trainer-o-neill-says.html&gt;.

Obama Shouldn’t Worry About The Votes He Can’t Get

On the front page of May fourth’s New York Times, an article titled “4 Years Later, Race Is Still Issue for Some Voters” brought attention to the many Americans who have qualms about voting for Barack Obama because of his race.

In 2008, this was an issue- many Democrats voted for third-party candidates or didn’t vote at all because they felt they couldn’t trust a black man in office¹. However, Obama won the election based on the values he supported and the agendas he constructed. American voters trusted him to lead the country through two difficult wars and a financial crisis. So why should his campaign strategy  be any different this year?

There are many more Americans who care about a responsible president than ones who only care whether he is white and Christian. Obama’s campaign should play to these voters, not the racist, bigoted ones. If President Obama continues to discuss his basic principles, his good actions in office, and his plans for a second term, he will gain far more supporters than if he produces his birth certificate again and desperately tries to prove his Christianity.

Wiston Churchill, the famous British leader, once said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

Barack Obama should abide by this saying. Though many racist, misinformed Americans won’t give him their vote, he will win because of the votes of the Americans who know what he truly stands for.

WORKS CITED

1. “4 Years Later, Race Is Still Issue for Some Voters.” New York Times. The New York Times Company, 3 May 2012. Web. 5 May 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/04/us/politics/4-years-later-race-is-still-issue-for-some-voters.html&gt;.

Five Reasons Why The Odds Are Stacked Against George Zimmerman

Ever since he shot and killed seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, George Zimmerman has faced death threats and severe criticism from the public. Though he claimed self-defense and was initially not arrested, Zimmerman was charged by Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey with second degree murder in April. He now faces a long and tedious trial process and a possible sentence of life in prison.

George Zimmerman

Though Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara may be “fearless” and “will come up with the best defense that Zimmerman is entitled to get”1, Zimmerman may find it difficult to avoid jail time due to these five reasons.

1) Florida Special Prosecutor Angela Corey Is Tough On Repeat Offenders

In 2005, Zimmerman was charged with two third-degree felonies, for which he did not serve jail time”. Even though he did not serve time in prison, these felonies may become a serious disadvantage to Zimmerman in the trial. Special prosecutor Corey is particularly unforgiving of repeat offenders. Says Corey, “We promised tough justice and aggressive prosecutions, and we followed through on that”2. Because he has already committed a crime, Zimmerman may have a difficult time of getting away without time in jail.

Angela Corey

2) Zimmerman’s 2005 MySpace Posts Show Possible Racial Profiling

Recently, several of Zimmerman’s MySpace posts from 2005 were uncovered, and their information could be used against him. In the posts, he railed against “Mexicans” and wrote about “getting knives pulled on you by every Mexican you run into!” 3Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for the Martin family, will take advantage of the opportunity. “He [Zimmerman] has a history and a habit of profiling people. He thinks certain things about certain racial groups.”4. Zimmerman may come to regret what he wrote in 2005. It could be a key point of debate during the trial if he takes the stand.

3) Martin Was a Minor

It is a tragic occurrence when anyone is shot and killed, but when the victim is not yet an adult, it is heart-wrenching. Vagabond or not, Martin had a long life ahead of him when he was killed.  His family and their lawyer will use this against Zimmerman during the trial- it could be the difference between a shorter sentence and a longer one.

Trayvon Martin

4) Zimmerman Didn’t Listen To His Previous Lawyers

In early April, Zimmerman’s two previous lawyers, Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner, withdrew as his counsel because Zimmerman had lost contact with them and was “taking actions related to the case without consulting them.”5 Zimmerman even created his own website to plead his innocence! In such a high-profile case as this, Zimmerman’s actions demonstrate desperation, even paranoia.

5) Zimmerman Disregarded the Advice of a 911 Operator and Followed Martin

Had George Zimmerman waited for the police to arrive, as the 911 operator ordered, instead of continued to follow Martin, Martin would still be alive. Zimmerman precipitated the confrontation between him and Martin. Even if Martin had attacked Zimmerman, the fight wouldn’t have even begun had Zimmerman stayed behind to wait for the police. Zimmerman made an enormous mistake in following Martin after being told by a professional not to- this action could be the difference between his acquittal and his conviction.

George Zimmerman should prepare for some time in prison. Bad decisions he made in the past have greatly decreased his chances of being acquitted. However talented his lawyer may be, Zimmerman will almost definitely be sent to jail.

 

 

WORKS CITED

  1. Leitsinger, Miranda. “Zimmerman’s New Attorney: Who Is Mark O’Mara?” U.S. News. Msnbc.com, 12 Apr. 2012. Web. 04 May 2012. http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/12/11163332-zimmermans-new-attorney-who-is-mark-omara?lite.
  2. Alvarez, Lizette, and John Schwartz. “Prosecutor in Martin Case Will Alone Determine Its Merits.” Nytimes.com. The New York Times Company, 9 Apr. 2012. Web. 4 May 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/us/grand-jury-review-skipped-in-trayvon-martin-case.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all&gt;.

3,4. Press, Associated. “Old George Zimmerman MySpace Page Surfaces with Apparent Disparaging Ethnic Comments.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 02 May 2012. Web. 04 May 2012. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/old-george-zimmerman-myspace-page-surfaces-with-apparent-disparaging-ethnic-comments/2012/05/02/gIQA9pMqwT_story.html&gt;.

5. “Zimmerman’s Lawyers Withdraw from Shooting Case.” Cbsnews.com. CBS Interactive, 10 Apr. 2012. Web. 04 May 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57412046/zimmermans-lawyers-withdraw-from-shooting-case/&gt;.