Category Archives: National/International News

How one iPhone brought Apple and the FBI to court… By Mack Jastle

How one iPhone brought Apple and the FBI to court

By Mack Jastle

After the San Bernadino shooting, many were struck by the sudden violence and savagery of the attack, but grateful that the fighting was over.

Controversy…The debate over whether or not Apple should design a software tool to bypass iOS security protocols for the FBI is still ongoing, and pending a Supreme Court resolution. Photo-by: forbes.com
Controversy…The debate over whether or not Apple should design a software tool to bypass iOS security protocols for the FBI is still ongoing, and pending a Supreme Court resolution. Photo-by: forbes.com

However, in the months following the shooting, a new battle centered on it had entered the public eye.  A battle over one particular iPhone 5C, and the information it may contain.

Since the shooting, the FBI has been in possession of the iPhone 5C owned by Syed Farook (one of the shooters in the San Bernadino shooting).  Within the 24 hours after the shooting, the FBI had retrieved the phone.  In the wake of the rampage, several personnel at the FBI were tasked with resetting the iCloud password to the device.  They believed that by resetting the password, they would be able to access the data stored on the device.

This had the unintended side effect of locking the phone and making all other attempts to crack the encryption useless.  The FBI had just locked itself out of a potential goldmine of information.

“There was a mistake made in the 24 hours after the attack,” James B. Comey Jr, director of the FBI, stated at a hearing on the matter.

With its tail between its legs (and presumably a few early retirements), the FBI approached Apple and asked them to engineer a software that could be uploaded to the iPhone to disable the encryption and security protocols.  Apple refused the request, stating that it was doing so in order to protect the security interests of millions of users worldwide.

The legal battle that has raged since has brought government influence on our technology and user data security back to the forefront of the American consciousness.

“This is not a case about one isolated iPhone,” Mark Zwillinger, an attorney for Apple, wrote.  “Rather, this case is about the Department of Justice and the FBI seeking through the courts a dangerous power that Congress and the American people have withheld: the ability to force companies like Apple to undermine the basic security and privacy interests of hundreds of millions of individuals around the globe.”

The FBI asserts that it is not ordering Apple to create a backdoor into the security protocols, but merely create software to crack the phone.

A court last month ruled that Apple must comply with the FBI’s request, citing the All Writs Act and the US v. New York Telephone court case as past precedent for the ruling.  The FBI asserts that since Apple already codes and writes software as part of its normal business practice, it would not be any significant trouble for them to create the software.

Apple fired back, stating that not only does it not know exactly how to create the software, but they are concerned about the precedent that would be set.

“If Apple can be forced to write code…what is to stop the government from demanding that Apple write code to turn on the microphone in aid of government surveillance, activate the video camera, surreptitiously record conversations, or turn on location services to track the phone’s user?  Nothing,” as stated by Apple’s legal brief.

Innocuous…An iPhone 5C just like this one has brought government espionage and privacy concerns back to the forefront of the American consciousness.
Innocuous…An iPhone 5C just like this one has brought government espionage and privacy concerns back to the forefront of the American consciousness.

This precedent is a very dangerous one, which could allow the government to put tech companies to work on creating surveillance software and backdoors into security protocols.  This would make mass surveillance even easier than it is now, as every person with an iPhone would be carrying a security camera with a built in microphone in their pocket.

This is a scary issue with even scarier implications down the road.  I know I already reference 1984 far too much already, but the parallels are disturbing.  So far the courts have ruled in Apple’s favor, but if the Supreme Court sees fit, they can overrule that and force Apple to comply.

But in the event that Apple IS forced to write the software, at least we have good old Windows phones to rely on.

(I mean, really, who would hack a Windows phone?)

Illuminati Conspiracy or just Fun and Games? Story By: Lauren Stidham

Illuminati Conspiracy or just Fun and Games? Story By: Lauren Stidham

 

26ea2d0545f20c9a605ffdc26166c4af-1Super bowl fifty had a lot to offer. A Bronco victory, crazily hyped up fans, and bizarre commercials. Right in the middle of all that commotion, there was one event that has become one of the most well-known parts of this American tradition: The Halftime Show.

Between all the dance moves, popular lyrics, and brilliant colors, there may have been a deeper, darker, story to tell. According to several resources, there was occult symbols throughout the whole show.

So what mysterious signs were hiding right under the noses of about 115.5 million fans? If someone was to take the time to inspect an overhead picture of the halftime show, they would see striking resemblance to multiple occult symbols. Most well-known of these is probably the all seeing eye; using the crowd and stage as the iris, the two angles on either side as the corners of the eye, and the small white dot that Coldplay is dancing on as the pupil. This All Seeing Eye would represent spiritual sight, enlightenment, the eye of God. It has universal meaning and isn’t specific to any one occult.

giphy (2)-1 Another widely known symbol that the half time stage and bodies resembles is the unfinished pyramid with the All Seeing Eye on top. In order to see this one easier it is best to block off on of the halves of the picture. There are two unfinished pyramids that are almost like a mirror image. The vertical line of the stage separates them. The pyramid on each side is made up of the crowd and is sideways. The All Seeing Eye is represented by the 0 in 50. The pyramid with the eye on top represents the eye of Lucifer, God, or the enlightened, it has masonic origins. It appears on the back of the dollar bill.

The next possibility is also a masonic symbol; the one that actually represents them as a whole. The Compass. It basically represents becoming perfect and balanced. It is a little harder to see than the other ones, but it still bears resemblance. The two angles are like the compass and the square edge. The crowd is quartered much like the blank spaces inside of the symbol, and the stage is like the rectangle in the middle.

images (2)-1There were also several other not well known symbols that the picture resembles, but those were the prevalent and commonly known ones.  However, the symbolism doesn’t stop in just the layout, the entire performance told a strange story. It starts with Coldplay wearing black, singing his songs. After singing for a few minutes, he then moves into this iridescent circle of light projected by the dancefloor. He dances and spins in there for a bit before coming out. Right after coming out, he takes off the black shirt so that he is in white.

Then Bruno Mars and Beyonce come onto the scene. After they each do a short act (both wearing black) they are united by Coldplay on the stage. Meanwhile, a crowd (all of which are wearing black) cheers them on admiringly.

images (3)-1What is could mean is this: The stage represents some occult. Coldplay is part of the occult for a little while. His black shirt and the black shirts of the audience and other artists represent not being enlightened yet. After going into the glowing white circle (white would mean enlightenment) he takes off his black shirt and is now considered enlightened. Then he brings in two other “converts” Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. They are not enlightened yet because they just joined the occult. All the while, the crowd stands in awe practically worshiping the enlightened Coldplay and his two converts.

So yes, there is a multiplicity of ways to interpret all this hidden symbolism. Maybe it was all just a big coincidence. Perhaps not.

Hyper-speed? Hyperloop… Story By: John Holmes

Hyper-speed? Hyperloop… Story By: John Holmes

 

The winning design…by MIT. Photo by Priscila Mosqueda.
The winning design…by MIT. Photo by Priscila Mosqueda.

New technologies are arriving with the New Year. One of these technologies is a device known as the Hyperloop.

What is a Hyperloop? In 2013, SpaceX director and owner of Tesla Elon Musk wrote a white paper describing his vision for cost effective, high speed travel: the Hyperloop. Musk’s idea involves the construction of a tube – placed either above or below ground – that contains a special, low air environment. The near-vacuum state of the tube would allow for less friction as a transportation pod travels through it. The pod would be levitated by a magnetic field. The overall design would allow for supersonic speeds – according to Musk’s theory.

Last year, SpaceX announced a design competition, challenging teams from around the world to design a Hyperloop. Overall, 120 teams joined – including 20 foreign countries and 27 States.

On January 30th, 2016, the teams presented their designs. The winning design was created by the team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Team MIT…Photo by: Hyperloop.MIT.edu.
Team MIT…Photo by: Hyperloop.MIT.edu.

MIT’s design – which is capable of traveling at 110 meters per a second – is aimed at creating a safe and feasible pod design. Their plan involves a high speed, low drag system with a magnetic stability module. The pod features a hydraulic breaking system and lift suspension as safety characteristics. The levitation module involves skis at the bottom of the pod built with an array of permanent magnets that act against the track – causing it to float on air. The design currently does not have a passenger or payload compartment, as this is only the prototype design.

Though this is an amazing idea, it may be difficult for Musk to put it into reality. Musk’s idea is capable of traveling at supersonic speeds, but according to the EPA and FAA, this is illegal. FAA regulations state that no commercial or private craft can travel at or above the sound barrier, which poses a problem for the Hyperloop. However, the FAA regulations mainly apply to aircraft, so Hyperloop may eventually become reality.

No matter the regulations, the competition continues on. This summer, the selected pods from the design competition will compete to find the best pod design for this new technology.

Antonin Scalia….Unfortunate accident…or something more? Story By: Mack Jastle

Antonin Scalia….Unfortunate accident…or something more? Story By: Mack Jastle

Independent…..Scalia’s scathing dissents and innovative legal theories changed the way the court decided on a variety of issues. Photo-by: motherjones.com
Independent…..Scalia’s scathing dissents and innovative legal theories changed the way the court decided on a variety of issues. Photo-by: motherjones.com

Last weekend, on Saturday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead at a resort in West Texas.  He was 79.   Scalia was a staunch conservative, and his written opinions and notable dissensions on court issues shaped the way the court decided on a variety of issues.

Scalia was found dead in his room Saturday after he missed breakfast and his hunting group left without him.  Someone on the ranch decided to check on him and found him unresponsive in his bed.  He had died in his sleep.  The diagnosis made sense; Scalia had gone to bed Friday night and had told his friends that he wasn’t feeling well.

However, the exact circumstances of his death have stirred up controversy.  Some accounts stated that he was found with a pillow over his face, while others argued that it was merely on his forehead.  Join Pointdexter, the owner of the ranch Scalia was found on, stated that “The pillow was against the headboard and over his head when he was discovered.”

He was pronounced dead by Presidio County Judge Cinderella Guevara over the phone late Saturday afternoon, after several marshals arrived on scene.

The official cause of death is natural causes, but many are questioning how this verdict was reached, since Scalia’s body never got autopsied.  The decision was made not autopsy by both the family and the Texas Justice of the Peace.

This inevitably made people suspicious.  A highly respected Supreme Court justice dies in his sleep, but it pronounced dead over the phone, and his body is never autopsied?  Conspiracy theorists went into overdrive.

The flames were only fanned when, William O. Ritchie, the former head of criminal investigations for the Washington D.C, questioned the decision not to autopsy.

In flux….Many of the cases going in front of the Supreme Court in the next few weeks have an uncertain future due to Scalia’s death. Photo-by: Wikipedia.com
In flux….Many of the cases going in front of the Supreme Court in the next few weeks have an uncertain future due to Scalia’s death. Photo-by: Wikipedia.com

“As a former homicide commander, I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia,” Ritchie said via a Facebook post on Sunday, according to reports. He added, “My gut tells me there is something fishy going on in Texas.”

Countless other tweets and Facebook posts dominated social media in the days following Scalia’s death.  Rumors of possible CIA ‘heart attack guns’ and Illuminati assassins as the causes of death invaded the internet.

But Antonin Scalia did have health problems, and he was 79.  It’s entirely plausible that he simply died in his sleep, especially considering the fact that he felt bad going to bed the previous night.

Regardless of the true cause of Scalia’s passing, his death comes an interesting time.  With only eight justices on the on the court, there is now a real possibility of 4-4 ties.  If one of these occurs, the decision of the lower courts would stand.

This might not seem so significant, but the possibility of ties could have a major effect on the landmark cases set to go before the court in the near future.  These cases include Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a Texas case on abortion regulations, Evenwel v. Abbott, which challenges states’ redrawing of legislative districts for voting, and United States v. Texas, a case that challenges President Obama’s immigration executive action.  The lower courts struck down the action, and a tie here would leave that verdict in place.

These are very important cases that will have far-reaching effects.  Antonin Scalia’s death will undoubtedly affect the outcome of these cases.  Whether his death was an accident or otherwise, it will continue to affect the legal world for some time still.

Escalation or De-Escalation? Story By: Lauren Stidham

Escalation or De-Escalation? Story By: Lauren Stidham

“During my career, I responded to 5 hostage situations.  All were cases in which an armed man had taken hostages.  All 5 ended in no shots fired, no injuries and the surrender of the suspect.  This was accomplished because we had a plan in place to contain the suspect, control the environment and communicate with the suspect…We prepared to use force but only as a last resort.” – Patrick Pezzelle former officer of Phoenix, Arizona 1972-1992.

Police School... Police Officers have to undergo a large amount of in class training.
Police School… Police Officers have to undergo a large amount of in class training. Photo By: Laura Moon

Police officers must be ready to handle a very diverse range of incidents, they can be faced with anything from a situation like the above that involves hostages and firearms, all the way to showing up after the crime and needing to comfort victims.

“In my early days as a patrol officer I learned that my interpersonal skills had to be applied very time I had dealings with another person.  It didn’t matter if it was another officer, a superior or a citizen.  I had to learn how to get along with all the different personalities I encountered in order to do my job.”            -Patrick Pezzelle

Officers are trained to be able to handle everything thrown at them, in this article this training will be referred to as de-escalation training.

This sort of training did not start for Pezzelle until well after his employment. Police are trained to do two things during it: Learn to treat everyone as a suspect and to know how to calm a situation without using force.

In Pezzelle’s case, he did not receive formal training on treating everyone as a suspect. However, he did go through an eight hour training course on “verbal judo”. During this course a phycologist gave a four hour lecture on using words to solve situations, instead of using force. After the four hour lecture there was four hours of role playing in which the officers went through the motions of many different scenarios.

A softer side... The men and women in the police force are faced with many situations that stretch their interpersonal skills. Photo By: CTV news
A softer side… The men and women in the police force are faced with many situations that stretch their interpersonal skills. Photo By: CTV news

These skills are applicable in many situations and prove themselves time and time again. The ability to use skills like de-escalation are what make a good police officer. However, the over dependence on using words instead of power to calm a situation can be very deadly.

During Patrick Pezzelle’s carrier, one of his co-workers was answering a domestic violence call by himself. He was offered backup but when he got to the crime scene thought it would be best if he were to do it alone. (The reason for this is that he didn’t want to make the situation worse by adding “unnecessary” force.)

“…The officer was confronted on the front porch by a man wielding a large kitchen knife.  The officer back away from the man who continued threatening the officer with the knife.  The officer tried verbal judo and was rewarded with a stab wound.  In this case, there had been a seed planted in the young officer’s brain that the use of force would never be necessary if verbal judo was applied”                 – Pezzelle

Many people believe that de-escalation training is making our police force overly militarized. However, there are two reasons why this is invalid. One being that the police force was designed to be similar to the military.

“…all police departments are paramilitary organizations.  They have a military structure of rank and file.” – Pezzelle

The other reason being that de-escalation training should actually be doing the opposite. Police are being trained to not use force whenever possible. Police officers have to go through a large amount of phycology courses.

How safe is your Water?… Story By: John Holmes

How safe is your Water?… Story By: John Holmes

The contaminated water of Flint…can be seen while a city employee flushes a fire hydrant. Photo by: CNN.
The contaminated water of Flint…can be seen while a city employee flushes a fire hydrant. Photo by: CNN.

Water is a vital resource to a community. But, do we know how safe our water actually is? Residents of Flint, Michigan, had suspected a bad water supply after local officials decided to switch from the town’s original water line. The town was paying for the original line – running from Lake Huron. Two years ago, city officials decided to switch the water supply to Flint River – a river that runs through town, notorious for its filth. The switch was due to a financial crisis for the town.

Though the water looked and smelled suspicious, residents of Flint were told by city officials that the water was fine. It wasn’t until August of last year that a contamination of the city water was discovered.

A research team from Virginia Technical Institute conducted several in-home tests of the drinking water. Their findings indicated elevated levels of lead in the water. In relation to the lead, there is also a high capacity of iron. The Flint River water supply is 19 times more corrosive than the Lake Huron supply, according to the Virginia Tech. (For more about the Virginia Tech’s involvement, see here).

Several Flint residents are involved in a class-action-lawsuit against the state of Michigan, including former governor Rick Snyder.

But what about our own water? Is it safer than Flint’s?

Idaho’s water…pretty clean, isn’t it? Photo by: Idaho Conservation League.
Idaho’s water…pretty clean, isn’t it? Photo by: Idaho Conservation League.

According to the City of Sandpoint’s most recent Water Quality report, the two water sources used by Sandpoint residents are Sand Creek and Lake Pend Oreille. There are no lead contaminants running from the sources, though the pipes do contain lead. However, the lead content is well below the maximum limit of 15 parts per a billion – ranging in at an average 3.33 parts per billion. (For more on Sandpoint’s water supply, see here).

The report also states that there have been no violations of Federal standards.

Also, if you use a well on your property, it is relatively simple to test your water. Here are some directions to test your well water. So, Idaho residents, you need not worry about your water.

Cubicles or Conversation… Story By: Harry Henderson

Cubicles or Conversation… Story By: Harry Henderson

olly’s art class hard at work assembling the wooden cubicles.Photo by: Harrison Hertzberg
Holly’s art class hard at work assembling the wooden cubicles. Photo by: Harrison Hertzberg

Do you think that social interaction and communication is important? Do you think that kids should be spending hours starring at a screen without talking to another human being? Forrest Bird Charter Schools has recently received a donation or many wooden study cubicles by Mike Zakowski, who runs Sandpoint Taekwondo. He donated many cubicles because he homeschooled his children and now he doesn’t need them anymore. These are large cubicles that are about five feet wide each, they are compatible in that they fit together so that one wall be the divider for two cubicles. They have been constructed by Holly Walker’s various art classes and student council with some difficulty assembling them. Many students at FBCS believe that having the cubicles is a good idea so that kids that need to study or take a test without any distractions can have their needs met. But many students also believe that spending the majority of your study lab time in a cubicle isn’t healthy either. They believe that time should be split between group work, individual study time, and social interaction.

 

An FBCS student working in an assembled cubicle.Photo by: Harrison Hertzberg
An FBCS student working in an assembled cubicle. Photo by: Harrison Hertzberg

The US Government has recently donated large amounts of cubicles to schools nationwide, they justify this by saying that they are trying to prepare students for the workplace and future jobs. Many Educational Groups oppose the use of cubicles in schools because lots of students aren’t going to be working a desk job. There is currently a conspiracy that the US Government is trying to donate cubicles to schools in order to organize a more communistic way of learning. This conspiracy is built off the principal that our government is trying to have it so kids are coming to school and then they go right to their cubicle and get on their computer and learn from an online teaching website with instructional videos and interactive learning. All of the students interviewed at FBCS responded negatively to this idea and way of learning. FBCS student Lakiah Turnbull, “Social interaction is a key part of childhood development and student life.” In conclusion, the portion of the student body that was interviewed reacted harshly towards the thought of everyone sitting at cubicles staring at a screen all day, this might not be the way we want our educations taught to us.

Windows 10; A shiny, modern operating system, or an NSA plot in disguise….? By Mack Jastle

Windows 10; A shiny, modern operating system, or an NSA plot in disguise….? By Mack Jastle

Invasive…There is controversy over Windows 10’s default privacy settings, and just how much data they transmit back to Microsoft.  Photo-by: microsoftstore.com
Invasive…There is controversy over Windows 10’s default privacy settings, and just how much data they transmit back to Microsoft. Photo-by: microsoftstore.com

There’s no doubt that Windows 10 is a wildly popular operating system, and with 2.5 billion questions asked of Cortana since launch, over 82 billion photos viewed within the Windows 10 photo app, and over 4 billion hours spent playing PC games on the operating system, that fact is undeniable.

Those stats are pretty impressive, but the fact that they exist at all is very troubling to a lot of people.

Since the launch of Windows 10, programmers and normal PC users alike have noted the invasive default privacy settings on machines running Windows 10.  Isn’t it a little strange the OS would automatically track how many photos you viewed, how many times you asked Cortana a question, or even how long you spend using Microsoft Edge, the new operating system.

These are very personal statistics to collect, and the fact that they are sent to Microsoft by default is strange, considering Microsoft’s past policy.  In the past, Microsoft has had an ‘opt-out’ feature, but this is nowhere to be seen in Windows 10.

Insecure….After the Snowden leak, the NSA was shown to have coerced companies to give user data, increasing violation of privacy concerns nationally.  Photo-by: ubergizmo.com
Insecure….After the Snowden leak, the NSA was shown to have coerced companies to give user data, increasing violation of privacy concerns nationally. Photo-by: ubergizmo.com

The practice of gathering user data isn’t at all uncommon.  Google and other search engines have known to sell information to government agencies, or third parties.  Cell phones companies have also done the same in recent years.  After Edward Snowden leaked the NSA’s PRISM program, multiple cell phone carriers and internet corporations (including Microsoft), were shown to have been sending users’ personal data to the NSA.  The NSA had used top secret court orders to force these companies to hand over user data.  Microsoft since campaigned publicly to combat these orders, becoming one of 140 companies to send an open letter to President Obama asking him to impede intelligence agencies’, such as the NSA, ability to collect user data.

Considering this righteous campaign against government data mining, one would think that Microsoft would greatly value the privacy of its users.  But these default settings paint a very different picture.

Coming back to Windows 10 in particular, the absence of an opt-out button means that all of that data is sent by default…and the user is never notified or asked for consent.

This default setting means that most users of the OS will have no idea just how much personal information they are giving up to Microsoft. According to programmers, this data grab can include anything said into a microphone, every keystroke on a keyboard, and it can even use excessive amounts of bandwidth to transmit raw files if left unattended.

We seem to be getting closer and closer to a 1984 style world where everything we say or do is monitored and analyzed.  Hopefully Window’s 10 isn’t indicative of a larger problem.

(But it probably is.)

Mysterious “Planet X” suspected to orbit beyond Pluto… Story By: Mack Jastle

Mysterious “Planet X” suspected to orbit beyond Pluto… Story By: Mack Jastle

Strange Behaviors….This diagram shows the peculiar orbits of the objects around the supposed planet.  Photo-by Science Magazine
Strange Behaviors….This diagram shows the peculiar orbits of the objects around the supposed planet. Photo-by Science Magazine

On Wednesday, January 20, 2016, two scientists presented evidence that a large planet with the mass of around ten Earths is orbiting in our solar system past Pluto.

The scientists responsible for these new findings, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, are respected planetary scientists, and they believe they’ve found Planet X.  After examining the orbits of multiple distant objects and running countless computer simulations, the pair are convinced that Planet X exists.

Notably, Mike Brown was one of the scientists who got Pluto demoted to the status of dwarf planet.

“Killing Pluto was fun, but this is head and shoulders above everything else,” Brown stated.

Other scientists outside the project verified the calculations, and many are experiencing an odd mix of skepticism and cautious excitement over the discovery.

You may be asking, how is it that we haven’t discovered this planet sooner?  After all, if it’s as massive as ten Earths put together, a planet of that size would be pretty easy to spot, right?

Well, not exactly.

Doomsday….Many believe that Planet X, aka Nibiru, will one day bring about the end of our planet. Photo-by Dreamstime.com
Doomsday….Many believe that Planet X, aka Nibiru, will one day bring about the end of our planet. Photo-by Dreamstime.com

There isn’t actually any photographic evidence of the new planet.  Brown and Batygin inferred it’s presence from the unusual orbits of six objects clustered beyond Neptune.  Their theory is that a large planet brought the six objects into where they orbit now.  The pair say that there’s only a one in 15,000, or 0.007% chance that the orbits of these objects are a coincidence.

If Planet X truly does exist, it would shatter preconceived notions of our solar system.  The closest possible approach for this planet to the Sun would be 200 astronomical units (AU).  (An AU is the distance from the Earth to the Sun, so 150 million kilometers.)  This is seven times further than the orbit of Neptune, and calculations show that it could roam as far out as 600-1200 AU, far beyond the Kuiper Belt.

As of yet there is no concrete evidence that Planet X actually exists, just a theory.

“Until there’s a direct detection, it’s a hypothesis-even a potentially very good hypothesis,” Brown stated.  The team has secured a large telescope in Hawaii to search for the hypothetical planet, and their hope is that other astronomers will be inspired to join in the search.

Now, with this discovery of a possible ninth planet, (ninth due to Pluto’s unfortunate demotion) the doomsday rumor mill has gone into overdrive.

Theories of an unknown planet (named Planet X or Nibiru), crashing into the Earth have been a popular topic of conversation for internet conspiracy theorists for a long time.

Originally, Planet X was supposed to deal the killing blow in 2003, but that date was amended to December 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar and the date of the winter solstice.  However, the world kept on spinning, and general awareness of Planet X died off.

However, this new discovery has people convinced that the planet is real, and that it’s heading our way.  There has been rampant speculation that NASA has been hiding the truth about Planet X from the public for years.

NASA has gone on record to completely deny these rumors.

Regardless of whether or not it will end up causing our extinction, the discovery of a possible ninth planet in our solar system (Sorry Pluto), is a huge deal.

A Close Race… Story By Harry Henderson

A Close Race… Story By Quentin Acer

The presidential election is going to be close this year, maybe too close. The selection for this year’s democratic candidates really comes down to two, Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Hilary

This is a picture of Hilary Clinton giving a speech in New Hampshire on the campaign trail. Photo by – CNN Money
This is a picture of Hilary Clinton giving a speech in New Hampshire on the campaign trail.
Photo by – CNN Money

Clinton is currently leading in the polls, but not by much, Sanders is close behind and rising. Many believe that Hillary Clinton changes her perspective to in turn be more favorable in the eyes of the voter, but Bernie Sanders has had the same political views for over 50 years and now it is finally paying off. Sanders got an immense amount of support when he explained what democratic socialism really is, many people think of labor camps when they think of socialism, but Sanders idea of socialism is quite different. Analyzing data in recent polls, the majority of Americans think that Hilary Clinton is not a trustworthy candidate for president, yet data shows that many people think that she is going to win the election. If you are interested in the two top democratic candidates and their campaigns, political past, and their stance on the issues, then I recommend that you on.

 

There are many fundamental differences between Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton, the first being that Hilary has plans to raise money from the big banks and Wall Street, while Bernie plans to tear them down. Bernie Sanders believes that an imbalance of wealth as severe as it is now in America is a fundamental flaw in our society. Equal rights for all is a very big issue at the moment, especially concerning gay rights for all citizens and the legalizing gay marriage. In 2002 in an MSNBC interview Hilary said that she didn’t think that New York should recognize gay marriage. Also in 2002 she went on the O’Reilly factor and said that she is against gay marriage. Ever since Bernie Sanders began his political career, he has been consistently in favor of gay rights for all and legalizing gay marriage. In Sander’s 2016 presidential race, he has refused to accept money from large corporations, big banks, wealthy individuals, and any money through super PACs, unlike Sanders, Hilary Clinton has raised a lot money through super PACs and accepted millions through donations from corporations and wealthy individuals. Bernie believes that when you have candidates that accept these enormous amount of money from extremely large companies and billionaire donors, it limits the influence that every American citizen has on choosing the next president of the United States. Clinton has raised the most so far with $76 million and has already spent $43 million. Sanders has raised the second most with $40 million and is the only candidate that has spent less than half of his campaign finances.

 

There are many issues where Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders agree, they both support the nuclear deal with Iran and have similar

This is a picture of Bernie Sanders addressing a raise of minimum wage across the nation at a speech in Iowa. Photo by - byzvest
This is a picture of Bernie Sanders addressing a raise of minimum wage across the nation at a speech in Iowa.
Photo by – byzvest

views as president Obama. Clinton and Sanders are both against the Iran war and as a senator, Bernie voted against the war. Both of these top democratic candidates also have similar views on climate change, just different ways of approaching it. Sanders wants to put a tax on carbon and methane emissions so that companies will go green, but Clinton wants to have the country producing 33% of its electricity through renewable energy by the year 2027. Both of them have very similar views on immigration reform as to lead millions of undocumented workers to a path of citizenship. Sanders has a strong stance on income inequality and he wants to tax the rich and make corporations pay their fair share of taxes and of course raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, while Hilary wants to approach it in a manner that is less intense and only raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour and not tax the corporations and the wealthy as heavily. On health care both democrats believe that universal health care is the way to go, Bernie believes that a single payer health care system is the right thing for this country (every majorly developed country has single payer health care), but Hilary thinks that expanding on Obamacare and improving the Affordable Care Act is what this country needs. When it comes to social security they are both interested in protecting it from the republican attacks, but Bernie wants to take it a little farther by making it so the people who make over $250,000 a year pay the same percentage of their income to social security as everyone else. When it comes to making jobs for the country, Sanders speaks loud and clear when he says that he is serious about investing 1 trillion dollars over the course of 5 years into creating and maintaining 13 million jobs, but Hilary wants to create a national infrastructure banks so that money can be made to increase funding for scientific research and grow small businesses. Both candidates strongly support equal gender pay, Clinton embraces the fact that she will be the country’s first female president and makes women’s issues a large part of her campaign, but Sanders is also very progressive on the issue and as president guarantees affordable child care and paid family leave. Criminal justice reform is also a big priority for both candidates, and sole heartedly agree that taking down the private prison industry, ending the war on drugs, and enforcing smart decisions with our police officers. When it comes to gun violence it is Hilary who dominates by making it one of the main pillars of her campaign, Sanders struggles on this issue but plans to make some little changes, like increased background checks. Unlike gun violence, when it comes to College, Sanders rules the stage, because he plans on making all public college tuition free and paying for it through a tax on all Wall Street trades, and Hilary just wants to lower interest rates on student loans and make some community colleges tuition free. When it comes to international trade there is a difference in opinion, Clinton supported the passing of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) but just recently she reversed her position on both agreements and is now against them, but Sanders has always been against trade agreements because it hurts US workers and farmers in the US, central America, and Mexico. Finally, when it comes to campaign finance reform, Bernie and Hilary have very similar views, both of them believe that making elections publically financed will be beneficial because it would reduce the high influence the wealthy has over the political arena, and also this would make the honest and good hearted more inclined to run for office because they don’t have competition from dirty and influenced candidates that can overpower them with money.

 

If you enjoyed learning about the candidates, and what they stand for, then I recommend that you answer the poll at the end of the article and choose which political candidate you think should win the presidential election, if any.