Sunday, November 29, 2015

Flaws in the United States Prison System

The United States prison system is extremely flawed, leading to a gross overpopulation. To reduce the amount of people, sentences should be lowered for petty crimes and nonviolent drug offenses. Due to Ronald Reagan's “war on drugs”, prison sentences for drug offenses are excessively long and borderline ridiculous. If a person receives a trafficking charge along with 2 separate drug charges of any kind they receive life in prison. Around 50% of all the prisoners in the US are incarcerated for these nonviolent charges, making us the country with the highest amount of people in jail. So, reducing sentences for nonviolent drug offenses would significantly lower the number of people in prison. This would have an extremely positive effect on the country, as the taxes that were previously used for prisons could be used to provide higher education to poorer parts of the nation. This would help to further reduce the amount of prisoners as well, due to the fact that people who didn't complete high school account for 41% of American inmates.
            In addition, the living conditions in prisons should also be addressed. Prisons should not only punish, they should also “repair” the prisoner to make them suitable to be a productive individual in the outside world. This should include education, rehabilitation, and work skills. Allowing the prisoner to pursue a job or career after their release, rather than going back to a life of crime. Since only a small amount of prisons offer this, 68% of prisoners return to jail, and I believe reforms like this could reduce that number significantly.

read more here

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ben Carson controversy

Recently controversial allegations concerning presidential candidate, Ben Carson have been made by the media. The media dug into his childhood and uncovered events that could possibly harm his campaign. It has been reported that the candidate had anger problems in the past, even including a failed attempt to stab a kid at school. But as time went on, he learned how to keep his anger under control and eventually became a successful surgeon. His anger issues  shouldn't be a problem, since they are under control and no recent evidence has suggested that they are still present. 

Is it really fair to look into his past like this?

The media went so far as to interview his old classmates to find out his information. This is extremely invasive and unfair. This brings up the question of why the media is doing this, and what their motive is. Ben Carson seems to believe that the media doesn't want him to become president and is therefore ruining his campaign and painting a negative picture of him. In a press conference he stated that “There is a desperation on behalf of some to try to find ways to tarnish me because they've been looking through everything, they have been talking to everybody I've ever known, everybody I've ever seen”. Everyone has things they are not proud of, but they definitely don't define the type of person they are. By the media constantly bombarding him with questions concerning the validity of what he says about his pasts and the events of his past he is unable to showcase his ideas for the country, which is what the elections are about. The media should solely focus on what his ideas are for the future of and the type of person he is now. 

Read more:

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Get a Job!!!! (Parent blog)

Chart above (taken from shows the percentage of teens employed from 2000 to July 2015. The good news is that employment rate appears to have based at 25% after dropping from 35% during the 2008 financial crisis.  That said,  we are no where near the teen employment levels of 2000 despite the fact current US employment is running near its lowest level since pre-Lehman. 

High School years are an interesting time of transition as children make the transformation to adulthood.  As teens they begin to build upon their natural talents and improve their skill set as they set goals for the future. These days it’s common for the Generation Y’ers to hold off taking a job until college or even after they earn their degree. Why is it that teens before could hold a part time job, engage in sports, earn good grades and do chores around the house but today’s teen’s don’t seem to be able to handle the stress.  I hear all the non-sense or excuses that “Oh my kid is in all 4 level classes” or “plays a sport” and can’t work. Is this behavior creating a “give me” type of entitled society?  What happened to teaching kids to be self sufficient? Teaching them to cook, do their own laundry, and solve their own problems?  Well, kids in my generation didn’t seem to have a problem entering the workforce in High School.  Nowadays, It’s pretty typical for recent college grads to take a year off to “find themselves ” I honestly don’t really comprehend what that means.  To me its just a way to delay responsibility.  Getting a low paying job teaches humility, which can be a very good thing for a child that has been told he or she is “special” since birth. Holding a job in their High School years will teach them basic skills of handling cash, delegating tasks, customer service, responsibly and punctuality.  It’s also a great way to start networking and potentially get post-graduate job leads from co-workers, customers and supervisors.   Additionally, it will enable them to differentiate themselves on college applications and avoid the Catch-22 many recent college grads run into where in order to get hired they need to have some type of work experience. 

By: Brian Liebovich

Physician assisted suicide

Physician assisted suicide is when a mentally capable terminally ill patient chooses to terminate their life via lethal substance with the help of a medical professional. I believe this should be legal because it allows patients with terminal illnesses to escape months of endless pain that would eventually lead to their death. By prescribing a lethal medication to these patients it gives them the option to end their lives with dignity and peace. Currently this is only legal in five states and more are becoming more accepting of this law, this is largely due to Death-with-dignity advocate Brittany Maynard. 

Brittany Maynard was a 29 year old with stage 4 Glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant brain tumor, was given 6 months due to her tumors size. During these months she learned through research that she would experience morphine-resistant pain, as well as personality and cognitive changes. Since she didn't want this situation for her family, she began to research death with dignity, which is an option for mentally capable patients with 6 months to live or less to use medical aid in death. After her research she was inspired to be an advocate for the organization. Eventually she then got the pills, not because she wanted to die, but as an option if her life becomes unbearable. This choice to end her life allowed her to have a sense of peace, rather than a painful one and enjoy life while having a safety net. 

If someone has no chance of long-term survival they should have the right to peacefully die when they choose. If someone has no quality left in their lives because of an illness like this, they shouldn't have to continue to suffer for extended periods of time waiting to die. Therefore, physician assisted should be legalized.