I won’t be writing for the next two weeks, and unfortunately won’t be able to approve any comments. See you soon!
The River of News (Also known as the Nile)
I won’t be writing for the next two weeks, and unfortunately won’t be able to approve any comments. See you soon!
Some of the media has painted the recent crisis in Greece, and in all of Europe in general, as an apocalyptic end-of-the world situation. Though the economic troubles there are terrible, on a recent trip to Europe, I didn’t find anything suggesting that Europe is on its way out. People filled the streets, shops were crowded; hard times or not, the people of Europe continued their lives. There were very few beggars; very few signs of an imminent apocalypse. I sincerely hope that soon, every single European will be able to enjoy life as they did before 2008.
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.
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>.
President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same sex marriage on Wednesday caused confusion, controversy, and anger all over the United States. While Sean Hannity of Fox News said that it “sounds like this president can’t make up his mind very well” and Michelle Malkin, also of Fox, said that Obama is “trying to pander to wealthy, gay donors”¹, ABC News called Obama’s endorsement a “historic political and cultural moment in this country”. All the positive and negative media attention has made it difficult to figure out whether Obama’s move was a good one. Here are a few reasons why Obama didn’t hurt himself in endorsing gay marriage, and why Mitt Romney is in deeper trouble than before.
1) Donations To The Obama Campaign Have Greatly Increased
Though many homosexual voters already supported Obama before his endorsement of same-sex marriage, his announcement has further increased his popularity. According to CBS News, “President Barack Obama has seen an uptick in fundraising since he announced his shift on gay marriage, with some Democratic rainmakers citing renewed interest from gay and lesbian donors who had been urging the president to clarify his stance on the divisive social issue.”² By voicing his support for same-sex marriage, Obama almost guaranteed himself a large portion of the LGBT vote.
2) Though He Hadn’t Officially Endorsed Same Sex Marriage, Obama Was A Longtime Supporter Of Gay Rights
Before his endorsement of Same Sex Marriage, Obama voiced his support for civil unions and repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Most Gay voters still supported him because he was in favor of more rights for them, even if he didn’t want same sex marriage.
3) Romney Bullied A Gay Student While In School
Though he and other conservatives deny it, substantial rumors have circulated that Romney cut off the hair of a crying gay boy while at prep school. Phillip Maxwell, one of Romney’s former classmates, said,”this was bullying supreme”⁴, and several other classmates came forward as well. To “bubble” voters still deciding between Romney and Obama, this incident could persuade them to vote for Obama.
Nobody likes a school bully.
Barack Obama’s decision to support marriage was a correct and timely one. Gay voters will almost certainly vote for him, and borderline voters scared by Mitt Romney’s behavior as an adolescent will also give him their votes. Obama has given himself a bigger advantage going into the fall elections.
I was unable to post the ABC News video. However, it should come up easily when searched on Youtube or Google.
1. Vamburkar, Meenal. “Hannity Panel Blasts Obama’s ‘Flip-Flopping’ On Gay Marriage.” Mediaite.com. Mediaite, LLC, 9 May 2012. Web. 12 May 2012. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/hannity-panel-blasts-obamas-flip-flopping-on-gay-marriage/.
2. “Gay Marriage Shift Gives Obama Fundraising Boost.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 11 May 2012. Web. 12 May 2012. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57433121/gay-marriage-shift-gives-obama-fundraising-boost/.
3. Negrin, Matt. “Bullying Story Sidetracks Romney’s Campaign.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 11 May 2012. Web. 12 May 2012. <http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/bullying-story-sidetracks-romneys-campaign/story?id=16327280>.
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.
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>.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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>.
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/>.