Hi everyone! It’s that time of week again, and I know you’re all as excited as I am, cause I’m pumped to go over this week’s news. But before I get to that I just want to say: Sparklers are seriously the awesomest. Your comments on last week’s post were insightful, intelligent, well-written and respectful, and y’all just make me happy. Pretty, pretty please with nutella on top, keep up the comment debates—I think everyone, myself included, learns from them. Now on to the news!
-International affairs have dominated many of this week’s headlines. Specifically, Syria (it’s a Western Asian country between Turkey, Iraq and the Mediterranean). Brace yourselves, guys: more than 108 people were massacred in the Sunni area of Houla on Friday. Among the dead were at least 49 children and 34 women. This mass murder was carried out largely by “shahiba,” government thugs reportedly working in concert with president Bashar al-Assad.
This is an absolute atrocity. A tragedy. And it’s not an isolated incident; this type of conflict has wracked the country for about 15 months. The United Nations did, in fact, issue a cease-fire, which the Syrian government agreed to in mid-April. Now, in response to the massacre at Houla, the international community has taken more drastic action. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the Syrian government, and Western nations have expelled Syrian diplomats from their embassies. Additionally, a number of countries, the United States included, have stated (not threatened, just stated) that military action will become more likely if atrocities continue.
-Deep breath. Okay, onward we go. It’s come out that President Obama has what some are calling a “secret kill list”—a list of individuals the United States wants dead. Since April, 14 people in Yemen and six in Pakistan have been killed, all to the detriment of al Qaeda. These attacks have largely been carried out by drones with no risk of American loss of life, but often with risk of civilian casualties. Obama requires that each strike receive his personal approval, and places himself as the final moral arbiter of each killing.
Here’s my opinion. The right is fond of criticizing Obama as soft on terrorism or unable to make the tough decisions. Well, the facts say otherwise. Obama has taken an extraordinary amount of action to combat the enemies of this country. No, I’m not talking about bin Laden. I’m talking about things like these strikes that rarely get the publicity Obama needs them to get. I do have some qualms about one man as deciding what this country considers just acts of war, but I’m over them because that man is an extremely qualified, educated, intelligent one. So, in my opinion, point to Barack.
-I’d like to begin our next news story with an anecdote. My third grade teacher, Mr. John Doe, was recently arrested, charged, and tried for pedophilia and child pornography. This goes to show ya, heinous crimes are everywhere, including Rutgers University.
Rutgers student Dharun Ravi will begin serving a 30 day jail sentence today after he was convicted of using a webcam to spy on his roommate’s intimate encounter with another man. Ravi posted about it on Twitter; two days later his roommate, Tyler Clementi, threw himself off the George Washington Bridge. Ravi was charged and found guilty of 15 separate crimes, including invasion of privacy and bias intimidation (basically, criminal bullying).
Though he was not charged with Clementi’s death, Ravi faced up to ten years in prison. Prosecutors plan to appeal the judge’s decision and try for a harsher sentence.
I’m having trouble with this one, guys. On the one hand, one boy may have partially caused the death of another out of pure cruelty. On the other, he’s just a kid who thought he was amusing himself and his friends. Maybe he’s ignorant. Maybe he doesn’t understand how his actions could affect others. I see both sides, and while it is undeniable that what Ravi did was wrong and hateful, I don’t know a post on Twitter deserves ten years in prison.
-This is all heavy stuff, I know. But there’s happy, in fact, downright hilarious news too: Saturday Night Live recently aired their 100th digital short. Check it out; it’s AWESOME! But be warned: it's intended for mature audiences.
What are your opinions on this week's events?
Post by dianamer994. Check out the rest of her series here!