Monthly Archives: September 2013

What is Sarin Gas?

According to the Center for Disease Controal and Prevention: Sarin gas is a man made chemical created in 1938 in Germany.Originally created as a pesticide, it is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas.Because it evaporates so quickly, it can spread through the air causing everyone to be contaminated. It also mixes with water. People can become exposed to sarin through skin and eye contact, as well as clothing and water. It also evaporates  out of the air quickly. Symptoms are said to appear from within a few seconds or hours depending on the  form it takes. The serious of symptoms depends on how much sarin an individual is exposed to.
Some of the symptoms include:
Sweating
Muscle Twitching
Watery Eyes
Lost of Conciousness
Blurred Vision
Rapid Breathing
Drooling

To learn more about sarin visit:
http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/sarin/basics/facts.asp

Sarin in the media: The Newsroom
Red Team III, Episode 17 of the HBO series the News Room- Operation Genoa
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-the-newsroom-recap-genoa-20130824,0,4272190.story

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The President on Syria

Tuesday night,  the president addressed the nation on Syria. There he discussed that no military action on Syria would pose a threat to national security. According to the speech, the Assad regime has admitted to having chemical weapons.According to the president, sarin gas was used on Syrian civilians. Sarin gas is a colorless and odorless gas, that can be spread through contact and can kill a person within hours. It evaporates from the atmosphrere quickly. Syria is a part of  Chemical Weapons Convention, that  prohibits the use of chemical weapons.The president described the attacks in Syria as a crime against humanity. Thus, not attacking Syria allow the justification of the use chemical weapons by Syria, other nations, and terrorist. The president ensures , he will not put boots on the ground.  He has furhter postponed his descision until after he meets with  russia, china, and gathers more evidence.
One of the problems I had with his speech was  the  reference to the crimes against humanity. I guess the argument would be, that chemical weapons kill more people at a rapid pace. However, what is the difference between chemical weapons, drones and bombs? Drones have killed many innocent people, we should ban them also. Wars have killed a ton of people, should we ban those too? Everything seems to contradict it self.

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Shortage of Truck Drivers

This morning I listened to NPR Morning Edition. There it discussed the shortage of truck drivers. It seems that society has trained us to think of truck drivers in a stereotypical manner. This includes the middle aged man, who is usually white, with a bald spot and no hygiene. The truck driver who has sexist views.The racist hillbilly.  Yet, even worst they have trained us to think of these jobs as not as valuable because of the  non-appealing connotation attatched to them. Yet, without truck drivers, prices may go up. Without truck drivers , many of the things we ordered would not be shipped. We may not even be able to enjoy things like seafood, ipads or ebay. According to the NPR podcast   many people are afraid of being truck drivers due to the fatigue and the low pay of $40,000 a year. There are also many who apply , who are not qualified.  Truck drivers are important to the economy. Just like doctors are important to life. Just like the cleaning staff is important to  the prevention of disease. Just like builders are important to the recognition of civilization.

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Obama Invites Congress To Hold Hands and Jump

Zero Tolerance For Silence

The entire policy of the Obama Administration toward the Syria mess is if we wait and keep looking the other way, somebody else will fix this problem.

Nobody has.

This is not simply Obama’s fault, but repeatedly drawing lines and daring Assad to step over them and doing nothing when he does has only emboldened him to unleash chemical weapons against his own citizens.

There is no taste for the United States to get into yet another war in the Middle East. Been there, done that and got the flag-draped coffins and maimed soldiers to prove it.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad‘s decision to use chemical weapons on over a thousand of his citizens finally has forced Obama to move from talking tough to threatening to launch missile strikes against the dictator.

The United Nations, Congress, no public outcry for intervention and other factors have served to make the president’s…

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Daily Prompt: Name that… You!

My name is Kayla. I have looked up what my name means, at a time whne it was the trend on facebook. They say the origins of my name come from an arabic culture. I’m not really sure. It means purity, but honestly I just feel like it represents me. A shy, politically awate, and curious person. I feel like it represents my love for following rabbit accounts on instagram. It represnts my the love I have for my twin, who is probably the only person that I have a really close connection with besides my parents and the rest of my family. It represents my over due clubbed foot.  I think it fits me. I think it fits my drive.  I feel like it tricks people. For, when I start talking , they do not realize how much power my voice has.

( http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/daily-prompt-identity/)

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Chicago Students Have Protection While Heading Off to School

 Chicago and Safe Passage I recently listened to a radio podcast entitled Wall Street Journal this morning. Over the years  violence in Chicago has been getting worse. At one point over the year, the only thing I heard about were the crazy issues that Chicago was and still are facing: Crazy political leaders, closing down schools, and tons of gang violence. However, school has started back, and the issue of children walking to and from school safetly has been improved. Chicago has launched a safe passage program according to the Wall Street Journal This Morning podcast. This  consists of part-time city employees who stand on the sides of chicago’s streets, and guide students on where to go. These employees identify the safest streets to take when walking to and from school. According to the podcast, 15.7 million dollars was spent on this budget, and this number has doubled. Why is this so important? This is community organizing. This is a government, the people and the government officials working together. Could this model be used for students walking to and from school in other cities? I recently wrote another article about the Safest City in America that I will be posting soon. In it the head police cheif says that the people of the community should also take their own steps, to protect their communities and prevent crime.
Original Photo: http://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chicago_Chinatown_night.jpg
Graphic by: Ambitious Jackson

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Safest City in America: Scholarship Paper

Flint,Michigan  is listed as the No.1 most dangerous city in the US  according to a 2010  report, released by the FBI. It has a population of 111,657  and  it has reported 8,641 crime incidents as of 2013.
According to a Business  Insider , poverty rates and unemployment are  contributing to the rise in crime. Budget cuts in the public safety department are also contributing factors.
One way to improve the safety of the city is by looking at what the safest city in america is doing.
I recently interviewed Greg Rushin to get his advice on how to keep a city safe.
Rushin is the Chief of  Police in Plano, Texas; Plano is listed as  the No.1 safest city in America according to Forbes.
“The citizens are the first line of defense against crime,” says Rushin.
“If we can educate them [citizens] to take basic safety measures, they will not be victims of crime.”
According to Rushin, safety measures could  include things like: closing garage doors,  removing valuable items from cars; or, in this case, installing an alarm system.
Rushin also believes that there is  a direct correlation to how much and how well a city  can engage its citizens.
“We have thousands of citizens who have graduated from our Citizens Police Academy,” said Rushin.
“We have over 200 citizen volunteers who patrol our streets, sit in sky watch towers, issue handicapped parking violations, etc”.
In a nutshell,  Rushin  also believes that there are more  ways to  to improve  the safety of a city. These include : hiring the best employees, engaging citizens, studying crime,  and having regular management meetings. As well as, using the best strategies; and, participating in task forces and joint ventures.

“We have been one of the safest cities in the country for many years, and we believe we have the winning formula,” says Rushin

Community is very important  in a time period where many public safety jobs are being cut.
I recognize that those in  the community  will  be  affected by or may be committing these crimes.  Thus, the city of Flint  should   invest more time and money  into  advertising programs such as their Flint  Blue Badge Volunteer Corps.
Programs like these could reduce the amount of crime in the city . These programs will further explore why some people commit crimes ,and should also teach  those who commit crimes, alternatives.

Another  solution would be monthly meetings in areas where crime is high.
Law enforcement and members of this program, should make an effort to educate the youth and  other members of  the community.
Furthermore, I believe law enforcement  should be more involved in the community. They should be  helping to better the community through community service projects such as helping to maintain the community garden. These programs could help unite and uplift the community.