Category Archives: National/International News

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.

North Korea Hydrogen Bomb: Hoax or Not? Story By: Andrew Van Helsing

North Korea Hydrogen Bomb: Hoax or Not? Story By: Andrew Van Helsing

kim jong un-1“This H-bomb test brings us to a higher level of nuclear power.” Declared North Korean State News Agency. Recently, there was a small earthquake reported near a well-known nuclear test site in North Korea, and the Korean media reports that it was a successful test of a small hydrogen bomb. And now, China, one of North Korea’s closest allies, is outraged because of this claim.

It is hard to believe North Korea actually tested a successful H-bomb because of their previous false claims to have successfully tested nuclear weapons. Which, included a “ballistic missile” that was shot from a submarine through some waters not far from North Korea. It turned out this was actually just an ejection test, and the “ballistic missile” fell into the ocean, after traveling about 100 yards.

So, what should we believe? Is there the possibility that North Korea actually tested a successful H-bomb? Well, to find that out, let’s take a look at the type of bomb we are dealing with.

Now, there are two kinds of nuclear bombs, atom bombs and hydrogen bombs (Atom-bombs & Hydrogen-bombs). An A-bomb, also known as a fission bomb, works by breaking up the largest atoms, which mainly comprise of Uranium or Plutonium, causing a huge chain reaction that releases and explosion of up to tens or hundreds of thousands of kilotons of TNT.

The H-bomb, also called the fusion bomb, uses various types of hydrogen isotopes, hence the name hydrogen bomb. It works by taking two of the smallest atoms and smashes them together, with an incredibly large force, causing them to fuse and create a larger atom. Then, that larger atom throws off the neutrons and energy causing more atoms to fuse together. This, when looking at a typical H-bomb, yields an explosive range that reaches up to tens of millions of megatons of TNT.

hydrogen-bomb-1North Korea’s claimed H-bomb, in particular, is smaller than most, so the bomb’s explosive range is not as large as the typical H-bomb. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a force to be reckoned with. Remember, a normal H-bomb is much larger than an A-bomb, so a smaller H-bomb can be just as dangerous as an A-bomb, maybe even more powerful.

These claimed tests are what causes North Korea’s ally, China, to become so outraged, and causes us to turn our attention to what is happening there. A scary fact, is the test was conducted underground, so we don’t know whether the experiment was a success or not. And even if the experiment did fail, it still means that they have come farther in research with nuclear warfare and technology. If it didn’t, then it looks like we may have to deal with a new powerful force on the rise.

Who Will Be the Republican Candidate? Story By: John Holmes

Who Will Be the Republican Candidate? Story By: John Holmes

 

Republican Candidates…who will be the primary? Photo by: disqus.com
Republican Candidates…who will be the primary? Photo by: disqus.com

Our country is on the verge of a new term, but the question remains – who will be our next president? This daunting question vexes the minds of all voting United States citizens, and grows ever more puzzling as the elections draw closer. Here are some of the platforms of the top Republican candidates.

According to a poll on the Huffington Post, Donald Trump is the foremost candidate – with a 38.1% poll. Trump’s platform focuses on reforming U.S and China trade, Veterans Administration, and the U.S tax system.

The goals for Trump’s tax plan include growing the American economy, less tax on middle-class Americans, and a simpler tax code.

According to Trump’s tax plan, if you are single and earn an income less than $25,000, or you and your spouse jointly earn less than $50,000 for a household income, you owe no income tax. There would be only four tax brackets – 0%, 10%, 20%, and 25% – rather than the current seven. No business would pay above 15% of their profit in taxes.

Ben Carson – another potential Republican Party runner – has a different tax plan. Carson’s plan includes a simple flat tax, or a tax with a constant rate. Under Carson’s tax plan, income would be taxed at a uniform 14.9%, without tax shelters or loopholes. The tax would only apply to those who are 150% above the Federal Poverty Level, to protect individuals who are in proximity of the poverty level. Under this plan, a family would not be taxed on their first $36,375.

Ted Cruz promotes a similar flat tax plan. Personal income will be taxed at a fixed 10%. A family of four would have the first $36,000 tax-free. Payroll tax would be eliminated, as well as corporate income tax. A business flat tax will be placed on corporation with a fixed rate of 16% of revenues.

Jeb Bush has also given some input on a new tax plan. Bush’s idea consists of creating three tax brackets – 28%, 25%, and 10%. The loopholes in the current tax code would be eliminated, reducing the deductions that special interest groups can make. Lastly, corporate income tax will be cut from 35% to 20%.

A tax plan akin to Bush’s is being proposed by Marco Rubio. The tax brackets will be reduced to three – 15%, 25%, 35%. The first bracket applies to individuals with an income up to $75,000, and increases as income increases. Rubio’s tax plan promises to simplify the tax code by eliminating itemized tax deductions, and a universal $2,500 tax credit will be awarded to those who attend post-secondary school or another qualified career skill training curriculum.

Republican polls…Photo by: Huffington Post.
Republican polls…Photo by: Huffington Post.

Education is another focus on these candidates’ agendas.

According to Rubio’s platform, decisions about education must be returned to the local level. His plan includes giving control of education back to the local levels – states, local communities, and individuals – while preventing federal interaction.

Bush, on the other hand, has several different changes to make to the current education system. One idea is to take 529 College Savings Accounts into Education Savings Accounts. These accounts would allow for individuals to save, tax-free, for education.

For early childhood education, Bush’s platform would give parents a say in their child’s schooling. Parents would be given money to use to further their child’s learning.

Carson’s educational plan includes five principles – school choice, empower local districts and parents, encourage innovation, reward good teaching, and support a simpler student loan process.

The parents, teachers, districts, and states will have the power to make decisions. Carson states he will actively support charter and private school, and innovation will be greatly promoted.

Cruz and Trump did not show any information on education, as of yet.

As for foreign affairs, Cruz has a plan that includes three elements. The first is border security, which includes increased border security, eliminating sanctuary cities, and halting any increase in illegal immigration. Cruz also promises to defend that nation, which includes rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS, and eliminating the Iran nuclear deal. Lastly, Cruz’s foreign affairs policy will strengthen our relations with Israel.

Carson’s policy includes rearming and strengthening the U.S military, reinvigorating our international relations, reforming the national security establishment, and evaluating when it is necessary to put our troops in harm’s way.

Bush’s plan consists largely of defeating ISIS. This includes supporting Iraqi military forces, and conquering ISIS and Assad in Syria.

Rubio promotes a very basic foreign policy – a doctrine of three “pillars.” The first one is redevelop American strength by modernizing our military and empowering our intelligence agencies. Second, promote American prosperity through solidifying the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic partnerships and oppose violations of international waters, airspace, and cyberspace. Lastly, Rubio’s plan will support American values, such as demanding true freedom for Chinese citizens and defeating radical Islamic states.

Only two parts exist in Trump’s foreign policy – reforming our trade with China, and immigration. For Chinese trade reform, Trump proposes that we need to strengthen our leadership and negotiations at the table – increasing our global economic negotiations. For immigration, Trump’s plan includes: 1) building a wall around our borders, 2) passing only border laws that coincide with the Constitution, 3) support immigration plans that improves jobs, wages, and security for all Americans.

 

For more on the issues:

Trump             Cruz                 Carson             Rubio               Bush

BCS National Championship… Story By: Dave Dowel

BCS National Championship
Story By: Dave Dowel

Ohio State Coach holds the New National Championship Trophy … Who is going hold this year? Photo by Allen Kee/ESPN
Ohio State Coach holds the New National Championship Trophy … Who is going hold this year? Photo by Allen Kee/ESPN

Alabama wins the BCS National Champion! The BCS National Championship started at 8:30 PM ET or 5:30 PM PT. It was between the Clemson Triger’s and the Alabama Crimson Tides.

The BCS National Championship game was a great game, it started with Alabama getting the ball first. They went 26 yards and had to punt (punting it is like drop kicking a soccer ball but a football and only on 4 down), after that  Clemson went 26 yards and had to punt as well. Alabama went 3 plays (a play or down is where the team snap (there the center hands the ball to the quarterback) and runs a pass or run) and a 50 yard run by Derrick Henry for the first score of the game going to go up 7-0. Then Alabama kicked off to Clemson, and they went 6 plays with a 31 yard throw by Deshaun Watson to Hunter Renfrow for the second score of the game to tie it 7-7. Alabama went 7 plays only to miss a field goal and Clemson got ball back. They went 7 plays and had an 11 yard throw by Deshaun Watson to Hunter Renfrow for the third score of the game to lead 14-7, after that it was the end of the 1st quarter.

Alabama got the ball and went 4 plays and punt the ball, after that Clemson went 2 plays and Eddie Jackson (safety) intercepted Deshaun Watson. Alabama went 7 plays and a 1 yard run by Derrick Henry for the fourth score of the game to tie it 14-14. For the next 4 drives Alabama punted twice and Clemson punted twice too. Clemson went 4 plays and missed a Field Goal. Alabama took a kneel (it is where the Quarterback take the ball and then place kneel on the ground to run out the clock) to go to half.

Clemson got the ball to start the second half went 3 plays and punt. Then Alabama went 3 plays and a 53 yard throw by Jake Coker to O.J Howard for the 5th score of the game to take the lead 21-14. Then Clemson went 9 plays and got a 37 yard field goal by Greg Huegel to close the lead 21-17. After that Alabama went 3 plays and punted, then Clemson went 9 plays and a 1 yard run by Wayne Gallman for the 7th score of the game to take the lead 21-24. For the 4 drives Alabama punted twice. The end of the Third quarter was in the last drive of Alabama. Clemson punted twice.

Give me 110% or keep your filthy hands off my rock… And now the Clemson Triger player touch it for luck at every home game and then run down the hill. Photo by Tony Crumpton
Give me 110% or keep your filthy hands off my rock… And now the Clemson Triger player touch it for luck at every home game and then run down the hill. Photo by Tony Crumpton

Then Alabama went 8 plays and a 33 yard field by Adam Griffith to tie the game 24-24. Alabama, after getting the field goal, they kick an onside (an onside kick there the ball as to travel 10 yard before the kicking team can touch it and if go goes past hat the and the kicking team get the get ball back) kick to get the ball back. They then went 2 plays and a 51 yard throw by Jake Coker to O.J Howard for the 9th score of the game to take the lead 31-24. Then Clemson went 6 plays and a 31 yard Field Goal by Greg Huegel to close the lead 31-27. Alabama returned a kick for a Touchdown for 95 yards by Kenyan Drake for the 11th play of game to extend the lead to 38-27, then Clemson went 8 plays and a 15 yard throw by Deshaun Watson to Artavis Scott for the 12th score of the game, to close the lead to 38-33. Then Alabama went 8 play and a 1 yard run by Derrick Henry for the 13th score of the game to extend the lead to 45-33. Next Clemson went 6 plays and a 24 yard throw by Deshaun Watson to Jordan Leggett for the 14th score of the game to close the lead to 45-40. Finally Clemson tried an onside kick to got a hold of it to get the ball back, but Alabama got it and took an kneel to win the game.

Sucking the Sun Dry… Story By: Mack Jastle

Sucking the Sun Dry…
Story By: Mack Jastle

Amid celebration and widespread appreciation of the climate deals reached at the Paris summit, we are all reminded of precisely why it took us this long to reach an agreement in the first place.

Not so sunny…A solar farm much like this one was recently declined by the Woodland City Council. Photo-by: valhallamovement.com
Not so sunny…A solar farm much like this one was recently declined by the Woodland City Council. Photo-by: valhallamovement.com

America’s stubborn denial of proven scientific concepts and generally distorted knowledge of said concepts has been a problem for long while.  This ignorance was let out in the open this past December by the North Carolina town of Woodland, who denied a proposed solar farm over concerns that it would drain the energy from the sun.

Just to be clear, solar panels do not have a draining effect upon the rays of the sun.  They merely take advantage of the rays of photons streaming over our planet; akin to wind or tidal power.  When a tidal generator collects energy from the waves, it doesn’t drain the water.

It’s the same with solar power.  I mean, it’s called renewable energy for a reason.  Now that we have that out of the way, ladies and gentlemen, get ready to bury your faces in your palms.

The city council of the town denied the request for a rezoning of a land strip from agricultural to manufacturing, a move that prevents the proposed solar farm from being built.  In the same meeting, a blanket ban on solar energy was discussed, despite the fact that three farms had previously been granted approval, with one under construction at the time of the debate.

Passed by a 3-1 majority, the vote to reject the rezoning came on request of several concerned citizens within the community.  Jane Mann, a former science teacher in the community, voiced concerns that the local vegetation would suffer due to a lack of photosynthesis, implying that the panels would be diverting the sun’s rays away from the local plant life.

Her evidence for this claim?  Plant life around the panels appears to be brown and decaying.  Horrifyingly enough, several other citizens of Woodland share this belief and oppose the proposed solar farm as a result.

That same science teacher protested the farm over concerns of

Plant Problems…Woodbury resident Jane Mann believes that the proposed solar farm will interfere with the photosynthesis of local wildlife. Photo-by: wiltshirebusinessonline.co.uk
Plant Problems…Woodbury resident Jane Mann believes that the proposed solar farm will interfere with the photosynthesis of local wildlife. Photo-by: wiltshirebusinessonline.co.uk

elevated cancer levels in the area, and more importantly, the fact that no one had tested to make sure that it wasn’t the solar panels causing them.  These fears are completely unfounded, as there is no evidence to support the claim that solar panels can cause cancer.

While the likes of UV rays the solar panels are harvesting for energy are classified as carcinogens, (i.e substances that can cause cancer), solar panels don’t increase or decrease the number of UV rays affecting an area.  This is because, again, solar panels do not suck up the rays of the sun.

However, several others citizens of the town have actually legitimate concerns about the solar farms in the area, citing lowered property values, and the slow departure of residents from the town.  Citizen Mary Hobbs stated that she had “watched it slowly become a ghost town.”  She went on, saying that her property is now surrounded by solar farms and is being devalued because of the facilities.

Digging deeper into the situation, it’s clear that it isn’t as cut and dry as it seems to be.   However, this story does illustrate the rampant misconceptions about renewable energy sources in America today.  A retired science teacher not understanding the process of photosynthesis just goes to show entrenched some are in these positions.

So hooray for another year of ignorance of basic science, and here’s to hoping 2016 will do 2015 one better.

Local Community in Uproar… Story By: Lauren Stidham

Local Community in Uproar
Story By: Lauren Stidham

Men, women, and children are desperately fleeing wars in Syria. “For many, the choice to embark on such dangerous journeys seems the only way to give their children a chance of survival and safety.” – UNHCR. Out of the Syrian population, 4.3 million of them are refugees and 6.6 million are being displaced within their own country. Half of those are children.

Man carries girl from the ashes... This young man carries Syrian girl from the rebel of a heavy shelling attack on the Douma neighborhood of Damascus on June 16, 2015.
Man carries girl from the ashes… This young man carries Syrian girl from the rebel of a heavy shelling attack on the Douma neighborhood of Damascus on June 16, 2015. Photo By: Latin Times

So how is America helping these refugees? As you probably know, the US is helping refugees by taking them into our country and supporting them with our resources. As a nation, the U.S plans on taking in 10,000 refugees this year. Even though that is a nice little number, it is quite petty compared to the situation at hand. There are close to eleven million people that are being moved from their homes, and America is taking 0.07% of them. Eventually we hope to bring in a total of 30,000 but even that is still 2% of the total.

But even though the U.S. is only taking a small part of the total burden, how will this look for the cities and culture of America? Most people instantly jump to the security risk factor. The argument for this is that we are bringing in many people who are of the same religion and race as many terrorists that have viciously launched attacks on America and her allies.

In order to try to keep an event like that from happening again, the government has put into place a background/vetting system. The refugees have to pass a series of tests so that we can ensure that they shouldn’t be a threat to society. “It is not a perfect process. There is a degree of risk attached to any screening and vetting process. We look to manage that risk as best we can,” Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said. (FOX news)

So even though the U.S. has a basic screening process that refugees must go through, it is still possible that there will be mistakes. An argument against this is that since 9/11 the United States has taken in 784,000 refugees from around the world and only three of them have been arrested for crimes related to terrorism none of them were anywhere close to actually committing an attack against America. However, not very many of these people were from religions that members had declared war on our nation in the name of their god.

The truth... This picture depicts the true conditions of which Syrian refugees live in. Photo By: MyCause
The truth… This picture depicts the true conditions of which Syrian refugees live in.
Photo By: MyCause

So it is debatable whether the refugees could prove as a risk to our country, we really can’t say. There is evidence that supports both sides. “People fear what they don’t understand…” – Andrew Smith. America can’t truly know or predict if the refugees will be a threat. But the things that can be predicted and even known include how much it will affect the economy, how much resources the U.S. will need to support them, and possibly what cultural differences it will make if refugees are to be placed in a place like Sandpoint.

Have you ever tried to find a job in Sandpoint? It may not be impossible but it isn’t overly easy either. For a few years after the refugees come, it would be much harder to find an open job for teens and other people without complete and specialized education. Suddenly there would be approximately 350* more people competing of the same jobs that high schoolers and college students want too.

Then there is housing. Where could Sandpoint possibly fit an extra 700* people? Each family would need a home that would suit their own specialized needs. The refugees don’t just need housing for 700* people, they would need housing for a large group of families. Maybe the refugees would need three five-bedroom houses, two four-bedroom houses, six studios, and ten tree-bedroom houses. The city couldn’t simply provide them one or two large buildings to all live in, because it would create a very segregated culture.

Then, if we were successful in creating a non-segregated housing situation, in order to maintain that culture Sandpoint would need to equip the schools. The schools would need teachers that could speak Arabic and English fluently so that we could effectively teach the students. The question is, where can the schools find these teachers? Arabic isn’t a commonly spoken language and not only that, but the few who do speak Arabic are likely to not be qualified teachers.

Next, Sandpoint must observe the additional resources needed to effectively provide for the refugees. They would need food, clothing, proper tools for their religion, and transportation.

Obviously food would be a huge factor, for a long period of time, the refugees would not be economically stable enough to afford food. The same applies to proper clothing, perhaps they would have some clothing with them, but it is most likely that they would not have winter boots, jackets, gloves, and hats. What about transportation? Either the government would need to upgrade the Spot buses or somehow provide them with vehicles. Now this would all add up to a major bill, but who would be funding it? Would it be footed with tax dollars? If so, just about think how much taxes would have to go up.

What about their religious needs? They would need a place to pray and worship, but how could it ever possibly be funded through tax dollars? Really, there is no constitutional way to do that.

Should Sandpoint Embrace Syrian Refugees?

  • No (53%, 21 Votes)
  • Yes (48%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 40

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Times are Changing…Story by FBCHS Journalism Class

America is Changing... I came across the dead mall phenomenon in the United States and question the class on some of the radical changes I am seeing just in my lifetime in the culture. This article is a reflection on what they see.
America is Changing… I came across the dead mall phenomenon in the United States and questioned the class on some of the radical changes I am seeing during my lifetime in the American culture. This article is a reflection of what they see.

What’s Next?

We live in what is called the Y generation. This generation is one that invokes the questions of; ‘why work?’, ‘why earn money’, and ‘why wear decent clothes’. These questions then form new ones, and it becomes a total domino effect as time passes. People in my generation don’t view as getting their first car as a freedom, a ticket to getting away from their suffocating parents. No, now kids are seeing cars as a standard, a name tag, a label, and stereotype. The more expensive, the cooler your car is, the more you are paid attention to and people will notice you more. We have drifted into a generation of being lazy, addicted to electronics, buying whatever we want, and really not caring about a lot of things.

Being detached from people and addicted to things such as the newest iPhone. People becoming so dependent on nonliving things is worsening health, personal relationships, mental health, and people’s abilities to survive in this world. It’s as if everyone is like a child. They still need to be coddled by their mother, protected by their father, have their family’s money to support them, and the comfort of an electronic. It’s quite a depressing things to me that we have turned into this rather shameful generation. Of course I can’t say that I’m not on an electronic a lot, or having my phone on me all the time, but I do understand how it’s unhealthy to be addicted to them. To me, fighting with your parents is better than being on an electronic because at least you’re able to verbally express yourself, feel human emotions, and are able to see and hear the person quite clearly.

Since my generation is the future of this world, I’m quite worried to be honest. I mean, who will be able to succeed in life if all they care about is having the best of the best, being able to hack into electronics, or do things related to electronics only? People who lack real life experience flounder as they get older. Soon they will turn to someone who has supported them before. Then they will become dependent on that person or people. Being dependent on someone whenever you meet a challenge in life shows how weak and vulnerable the human race is. We are able to adapt, to form to our environment. We as properly functioning people can handle things differently than animals or infants. As adults, or even young adults, we are able to get in touch with our emotional side and deal with things, grow from experiences, and learn how to survive in this world properly.

We won’t have people to protect us for our whole life. We need to learn to look up from the computer screen, go outside, breathe fresh air, have fun, hang out with friends, and get a job, an education. I truly believe that we need to ditch the title of ‘Generation Y’ because the longer we have that title, the more people will adapt to it. Turning around this generation will be hard. After all nothing is really easy in this world. Having less addictive electronics in life can help people learn from hands on experience, become healthy, happy, and live better lives. Sure, people will trip and fall, maybe scrape a knee or hand, but that pain will help shape them into a person they can be proud of. Hey, you never know. Maybe the first person who truly begins to try and turn our generation around might end up as our president. Anything is possible, as long as you look up from the screen long enough to imagine it.

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Is Our Culture Changing?

Is our culture changing? Between the dead malls and shift in technology, I would say yes. While our culture hasn’t changed drastically, it has changed; technology’s advances, age norms, and the open mindedness of my generation are great examples of how our culture is changing.

I’ve been inside a mall a grand total of 15 times. In the past, the mall is where you went to meet friends and find a date. Over two dozen malls have been shut down in the past two years, and it is estimated that 10-15% of malls in the US will be shut down within ten years. This is due to the advancements in technology, we no longer need to drive to the mall to meet our friends, or to even shop. We used to be more social creatures, technology has taken out the face-to-face aspect of many teens lives. In the 1800’s women would be married very young, around the age of 13 or 14, and begin having children shortly after. In the 21st century 25 is the average age for, first, marriage and pregnancy. 10 years is a huge difference, so is the openness we have around the LGBT community. Most of my friends are gay or Trans, and in our world today they are accepted.

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Times are Changing

The times are changing in a way unlike ever before. It is the truth, we are turning into a society that is based on innovation and technology. The question is, is this a turn for the worse or not?

If you peel back the appealing top layer of luxury that comes with the innovation and technology, I believe you find an uglier result. Although it is non-intentional, I think our culture is becoming a place where you as a person do not matter as much, it is all about what you can offer.

Now of course, people like employers don’t care so much about you as a person as they do your capability to get the job done correctly. That is how it has always been, and always will be. What I am saying is that perhaps these innovations will slowly take away some of our basic social capabilities. Things like understanding, judgment, and some character could easily be taken away by our dependence not on each other, but our technology.

Already ethics have changed. More and more people are taking the easy way out. From online shopping to broken relationships, people are making every shortcut to make things more comfortable and easy.

The effects of this are showing even in newspapers. Reporters go for hype and yellow journalism just to make their stuff more appealing, they use an “anything for another five readers” type philosophy. News is their own personal shortcut to fame.

The next question we must ask now is: What do we do about it? Or how could we do anything about it? After all, if the world is changing, is there really anything we can do about it?  Should we revert from the old ways and simply become the next generation? Or can we take a stand for what used to be?

For now all we as a newspaper can do is supply a genuine feed of solid news and do our best to be our best.

What Really Happened?… Article by Mack Jastle

What Really Happnened? Story by Mack Jastle

In light of the recent memorial service held for the victims of the Paris terror attacks that took place two weeks ago, I think that now is as good a time as any to look back on the attacks and what they mean for the world at large.

First, an overview of the attacks.

On November 13, 2015, in a nearly simultaneous attack involving three teams of extremists, Paris was hit by multiple attacks, shootings, and suicide bombings leaving 130 dead and hundreds injured.  It was the worst terror attack Europe had faced in over a decade.  Some of the targets hit included the Bataclan concert hall, where dozens were cut down by gunmen wielding Kalashnikov-type assault rifles.  Eighty-nine people were reported to have died there, with another 99 in critical condition.

The second deadliest attack of the night occurred at the La Belle Equipe bar in the 11th district.  Witnesses reported a black Seat pulling up to the terrace of the café, and two men then opening fire on the terrace.  Nineteen died in that shooting, with another nine people critically injured.

A map displaying times and locations of the attacks. Diagram by bbc.co.uk.
A map displaying times and locations of the attacks. Diagram by bbc.co.uk.

French president Francois Hollande promised vengeance against ISIS for the attacks, stating that “we will be ruthless.” Many nations around the world have echoed this sentiment, pledging support to help destroy ISIS and their extremist agenda.

However, France wasn’t the only one attacked that week.  The day previous, the city of Beirut in Lebanon was attacked by two suicide bombers who killed 43 people and injured hundreds more.  A surviving member of the extremist force claimed to have been recruited by ISIS, and ISIS later publically took credit for the attacks.

All this violence and bloodshed follows in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January, which left eleven dead and more injured.

In the wake of such bloodshed, it’s obvious something has to be done.  But what?  For many, the solution seems to be denying Syrian refugees asylum, on the grounds that there could be terrorists moving among them and thus into these countries.  This includes our state of Idaho.

While at first this might seem like a logical stance to take, the scariest part of it all is that it might just be exactly what ISIS wants.  In a ten page editorial published on the Islamic State’s online magazine, the author describes the grey zone most Muslims inhabit between “the caliphate and the infidel.”

By orchestrating these attacks and pushing the world into chaos, ISIS is causing many countries to seriously debate whether it’s worth harboring these refugees.  The more stringent our vetting processes become, the more hostile we become towards these hapless refugees, the more ISIS wins.

Despite the attacks’ relative disconnectedness from the refugee crisis, what many nations and individuals have taken away from these attacks is that the refugees should be turned elsewhere, that they should be someone else’s problem.  The more this happens, the easier it becomes for these people to look at ISIS and say “You know….these guys don’t seem all that bad.”

ISIS is not a threat we can just bomb out of existence.  It’s not all one nationality or one religion’s fault.  We need to be aware that these refugees are innocent, and that denying them asylum or treating them poorly will only hurt us.

Surprisingly, France seems to acknowledge this point.  President Hollande stated that France would continue to accept thousands of refugees, as it was their ‘humanitarian duty” to shelter them.

The world was ready to stand with France when they got hit by the attacks.  Will it support this viewpoint even after the attacks cast doubt on the refugees?

Only time will tell.

Reasons behind school shootings: Part II… Story By Lauren Stidham

Reasons behind school shootings: Part II

One thing that can be linked to school violence and school shootings is violent video games and television. Kids all around our country have free access to countless video games, shows, and movies. Most of these portray violence one way or another. Although some are much more graphic than others, it remains nonetheless.

So what does violent screenplay have to do with school shootings?

Could it really lead to violence?... Could video games really cause a school shooting, or is it just some old wives tale? Photo-By: digitaltrends.com
Could it really lead to violence?… Could video games really cause a school shooting, or is it just some old wives tale? Photo-By: digitaltrends.com

We will start with video games. Many parents, teachers, and other people in authority frown on over usage of video games, and in some cases they don’t allow it at all. Now of course we must consider that there are certain video games that are well designed and geared towards promoting learning, not all video games are violent.

Of course, a majority of the best-sellers are very violent. Out of the top ten best-sellers of 2015, only two of them aren’t graphically violent. The other eight are all based upon extremely violent scenarios and depict scenes of which you are expected to take the lives of people in gruesome ways.

According to studies conducted by Dr. Vincent Matthews from Indiana University, violent video games alter the person’s ability to use emotions, attention, and concentration. His experiment involved making a group of young men play violent video games two hours a day for just a week. In just that time frame, their brains had already altered.

“The brain changes that Matthews’ group saw were similar to those seen in teens with destructive sociopathic disorders” – Time.com

Now think of the kids who have been under the influence of video games for a matter of years, by this time, their emotional and concentration part of their brain would be eroded. Without that emotional part functioning properly, the person can become dangerous. Most of what keeps normal people from killing is the emotional and/or moral standard.

Not only do video games change the way your brain works, but they can also be very addictive. World of Warcraft in particular is the center of many cases of addictions. There are several reasons realism, social interaction, and the ongoing sense that there is always a next level.

The game’s realism is created by having camera views that simulate the views that one would get if you were actually in the game, plus you can adjust the view to get the desired effect. There is a network of people who play the game and you can pair up with them and go on quests together. This provides a source to fulfill social needs. Additionally, World of Warcraft is an ongoing game of which doesn’t have an end. You can continually advance in the game, you can move to a new realm when you max out in one realm. The makers of the game update it and add new realms regularly.

To read an article about how World of Warcraft effected Ryan van Cleave’s life go to http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/aug/29/world-of-warcraft-video-game-addict

Additionally, there is another link between violent video games and school shootings. This one applies directly to violent television.

As earlier stated, kids all around have full access to violent video games and television. This can prove to be bad because as a child develops, they aren’t quite able to tell the difference between reality and fiction.  In the movies like the book of Eli and video games like grand theft auto five, the people don’t have consequences for their actions the way that real people do.  A child could believe that they could do what their favorite television or video game character does.

“I have ultimate control and can do what I want with few real repercussions.” – Ryan van Cleave, former World of Warcraft addict.

How does it Work?... How could watching television really affect your mind? Photo By: Shutterstock
How does it Work?… How could watching television really affect your mind? Photo By: Shutterstock

Further, television can promote the idea of violence. There are many popular movies where the main character is a criminal. Many shows are designed in a way that distorts our idea of a hero. Instead of the classic chivalrous hero who saves the innocent, we have characters who are masters of destruction and know gruesome and cruel means to “get the job done.”

Now the question is, does that really cause violence as severe as a school shooting? A majority of perfectly normal people have experienced violent media. Shouldn’t there be a whole lot more school shootings if violence and graphic media are so directly linked?

The truth is that it takes a still developing or unstable brain to see an act of violence and then commit an act of violence as severe as a school shooting. It all goes back to the condition of the brain. Yes, video games and television can help to provoke an act of violence, but it is very rare that it is the sole cause.

However it is not counted out as a possibility for a cause.

“Craig A. Anderson and Brad J. Bushman found a statistically significant small-to-moderate-strength relationship between watching violent media and acts of aggression or violence later in life.” – New York Times

Studies show that there are actually some direct correlations between violence and media violence. To look over the evidence yourself you can follow this link to http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/opinion/sunday/does-media-violence-lead-to-the-real-thing.html?_r=0 .

Words Can Hurt… Story by Catherine Jay

Words Can Hurt

Story By: Catherine Jay

            Bullying. The word itself has been around for years. What do you think when you hear ‘bully’? Many of you probably think of the usual nerd who gets bullied for his money, one of the most common scenarios in movies or books. Bullying really does happen, even if

2012 stats of bullying... This shows the percentage of reported bullying in a high school back in 2012.
2012 stats of bullying… This shows the percentage of reported bullying in a high school back in 2012.

some people don’t want to believe it. There are children, teenagers, adults who suffer from this thing. Bullying isn’t something that’s right, but does that stop it?

            High school. The time in your life where many people are working hard to get into a good college, get their lives in check, find a path they want to go down. So where would bullying fit into this routine? Where would these students find time to bully others? Unlike middle school, high school bullying decreases. However it doesn’t go away. Instead of physical bullying, it’s emotional, verbal, and mental bullying. This type of bullying can be worse than actual physical bullying.

Gays, lesbians, teens with disabilities and teens in certain ethnic groups or who are people of color are often singled out for bullying in high school. This is usually because they are different from the majority in high schools. These teens are getting judged for being different, for being themselves. This can lead to many events such as emotional instability, suicidal thoughts, depression the list can go on, but I will only name a few. There many forms of bullying in schools, but there are ones that are the most known. As mentioned before, high school bullying declines, but it’s not nonexistent.

Physical bullying, such as hitting, kicking, shoving or forced touching, is the easiest form of bullying to identify. Emotional bullying is much more subtle, particularly the usual tactic is to spread malicious rumors about the victim which makes it very difficult to identify the source of the rumors. Other emotional or mental bullying includes making fun of people, isolating them, giving someone the silent treatment, or ignoring them, making them feel like they don’t exist. Emotional bullying usually includes some form of verbal abuse, such as calling the victim fat, ugly, stupid, cursing or laughing at them.

Then there is one of the most cruel and violent ways of bullying. Cyberbullying. This may be one of the most difficult types of bullying to catch and get rid of it. Chat rooms and false email addresses provide a mask to the bully, who can be as horrible and vicious as he or she chooses. Electronic media also allows the bully a wide audience for rumors, innuendo and harassment. Social networking sites, blogs and other forms of web postings can reach millions of people, exposing the victim to further ridicule if other bullies join in.

This is the generation we live in. High school students who appear to have normal everyday stressful lives, may in fact be the victim of some cruel game. The fear of not wanting to tell anyone, the drive of just wanting to end their lives, these teenagers aren’t even able to experience their lives before they may end it. High school students have the highest rate of dropouts and suicide due to the malicious bullying that occurs underneath the watchful eyes of parents, teachers, and peers.

Stop Bullying... People all over the world are being judged and bullied for their differences. Don’t let your child, sibling, or friend become that bully or the bullied.
Stop Bullying… People all over the world are being judged and bullied for their differences. Don’t let
your child, sibling, or friend become that bully or the bullied.

How can we stop these horrible occurrences before they even start? When will the teenagers of our generation be able to go to school without fearing a rumor, a picture, a tweet. The only way we can try and keep these students safe is by raising awareness to the cruelness of teenagers. To help show everyone in schools, jobs, homes, that there are people who care, there are people who are watching out for them. If you are being bullied, or witness someone being bullied at FBCS, please seek out a teacher, principal, or councilor.

You can read more about high school and bullying by following these links;

http://www.stopbullying.gov/news/media/facts/#stats

http://nobullying.com/high-school-bullying/