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Boston Marathon Bombing Reflection

Explosions At 117th Boston MarathonThe bombing that took place at the Boston Marathon is a tragedy. Lives were lost including the life of an 8-year-old boy. Several people were injured, and limbs were lost.  In the wake of this event, people across the country and world were brought together in mourning over another act of terrorism. Prayer chains were sent out via social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As we continue to learn more about what occurred that day, it reassured us that anything can happen anywhere at any time. It’s a scary thought, but we cannot and should not allow it to dictate our lives.

During times like this, we often experience a series of emotions and thoughts.  We grieve for the families that were affected, and we feel a sense of patriotism because the attack took place on American soil. But what about the thoughts we have about who is to blame for causing such destruction? In reading tweets and Facebook posts during the early stages of the Boston Marathon Bombing, people already began to speculate as to who it could be. Well, rather the nationality of the offenders.

It saddens me that in this day of age, people still discriminate against whole groups of people because of what certain people do. A lot of people assumed that the men who committed the horrendous acts at the Boston Marathon were of Middle Eastern decent. Needless to say, a lot of people were surprised to find out that the suspects were Russian, and both of them were granted American citizenship. When people commit these types of acts or any criminal act, it shouldn’t matter what their decent is because not every one of that particular background is like that.

I can honestly say that I had no thoughts of who might have committed the crimes, but I was definitely eager to find out. Not so that I can see which nationality they belonged to, but so they could be brought to justice. People have to do a better job; not only for themselves, but for future generations. Discriminatory, racist, and bias thinking is learned. At times, people subconsciously make assumptions. The best way to handle that is to realize that you’ve made an assumption, and work to remove it from your perception so that you can view things without bias. Viewing the world with blinders on is a completely dated mentality. Not everything is in black and white; there is a massive amount of gray area. The sense of patriotism and togetherness that Americans feel at times like this shouldn’t only occur when bad things happen. Nor should it be used to feel resentment toward groups of people. That feeling of strength and togetherness and hope that Americans feel should be felt ALWAYS.

I know this post probably won’t affect too many people because people tend to get stuck in their ways and their way of thinking, but I thought it was something that had to be said. Local residents attend a candlelight vigil in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston

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3rd Presidential Debate 2012 (My Review)

This debate was definitely a good one. Foreign policy is an interesting topic to debate because only one of the candidates can speak from experience, while the other would have to speak hypothetically. The  moderator did a decent job balancing the time between the candidates, and standing his ground when the candidates tried to speak over him. I will be the first to admit that  it was kind of hard to follow, but as the debate progressed I found that the questions and answers were easier to comprehend. With that said, I’m going to give a break down of each candidate’s delivery and then discuss my take on their answers.

Mitt Romney: Romney for the most part came prepared with a different strategy. He was very passive during this debate. Although he spoke over the moderator quite a few times, I thought he limited his assertiveness and aggression tremendously. He claimed to be attacked quite a few times during the debate as well, which I believe to be a very strategic move. For some people, it could have given the  impression that President Obama was bullying Gov. Romney. Throughout the debate, it was quite evident that Gov. Romney was upset about some of the things Pres. Obama said.

Barack Obama: President Obama definitely came prepared to defend his stance on foreign policies. He spoke clearly and concisely. He was assertive and aggressive, although he was spoken over a few times. The President was very poised and comfortable during this debate. I think he might have enjoyed this debate more so than the others. President Obama definitely exuded a sense of confidence throughout the showdown.

Mitt Romney: I’m not really sure where Gov. Romney stands on foreign policy, except on a few topics. For the most part, he agreed with practically everything President Obama is doing or has done concerning foreign policy. However, his stance on some things has changed over the course of his campaign. For instance, during the last debate Romney bashed the Chinese completely, but this time around he was more open to building a relationship with China. Although  he said some of the same things from the last debate, he definitely portrayed a different attitude toward our relationship with China. I also thought it was quite interesting that Gov. Romney did not try to rebut Pres. Obama’s comment about Mitt Romney’s businesses doing business with Iran through China. In addition, I thought that Gov. Romney’s stance on the military should be duly noted because he wants to increase the military budget, although the Pentagon hasn’t requested it. His comparison of today’s military to the military of 1916 just proved how out of touch he truly is.  As aforementioned, Gov. Romney’s answers were vague and very similar in some aspects to Pres. Obama’s.

Barack Obama: President Obama stance on foreign policy remained consistent throughout this debate. He emphasized along with Gov. Romney that America would have Israel’s back in a war. Pres. Obama went on to talk about how he ended the war in Iraq, and captured/killed Osama Bin Laden. Another key topic he spoke about was the departure of the troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. This action was also interestingly enough backed by Gov. Romney, who previously did not support it. Although the President didn’t do an adequate job answering the question about America’s role in the world, I thought he adequately described what relationship the United States should have with China in the future. I also thought Pres. Obama’s point about taking care of home first was a very important one to be made. Although some may say that the Presidents’ comments about horses, bayonets, and battleship were unnecessary, I have to disagree. I think he made a valid comparison to show how uninformed Gov. Romney is concerning our military. Another point that I thought was important was Pres. Obama’s comment about Gov. Romney’s businesses working with Iran, the country we “despise”.  The President spoke on experience during this entire debate; it was evident that he knew what he was talking about.

The media will have you to believe that there was no clear-cut winner, or that Gov. Romney played the part for a reason, which in turn provided him with a win. However, it was clear that Gov. Romney has no stance on foreign policy or at least it doesn’t differ much from President Obama’s. It would be negligent of me to say that this debate was a draw, or there was no clear-cut winner. In my opinion, the POTUS most certainly came out on top in this debate. The polls can also attest to that.

With this being the last debate, and with the race so close, all I can do is continue to encourage people to go vote. This is a very important election as are any other elections in America. So, please exercise your right to vote!

1st Presidential Debate 2012 [My Review]

Disclaimer: This post is solely derived from my opinions on last night’s debate. I am not trying to persuade anyone to vote one way or the other. Nor do I want to have  a debate with people who fail to realize that these are my opinions, and what I believe to be true.

First and foremost, I thought the debate was  just “okay”. It wasn’t what I expected, but nonetheless, I did see and hear something interesting things. I would like to start with my impression of each candidate and his delivery.

Mitt Romney: I thought Gov. Romney was prepared to debate. He came loaded with statistics. He was extremely aggressive; he spoke over everyone. More often did he look at the moderator and President Obama, and not the camera or the audience. Although he had a smug look throughout the debate, he did appear to be excited to be there.

Barack Obama: I believe President Obama was prepared to debate. He stumbled a few times, but he’s admitted before that he is not the best public speaker. Pres. Obama was very reserved in his delivery, and dealt with his interruptions with poise. When speaking, he either looked at the moderator, the audience, Gov. Romney or the camera. The President looked tense, and at times disturbed.

Here’s what I thought about the debate:

In General: I thought the use of studies and statistics was an excellent idea. Numbers will stick in people’s minds, e.g. 5 trillion and 47 million. However, for those who are keen on research and statistics, we have to ask ourselves where these stats came from and how they were compiled. It’s obvious that both President Obama and Gov. Romney will cite stats that back up their points, but what makes one study better than the other? Now, I have to say that I don’t think the moderator did a good job moderating. I don’t think he allowed a balance between to the candidates in regards to speaking. I felt as though, he allowed Gov. Romney to speak more. I’m quite interested in finding out how long Gov. Romney spoke in comparison to President Obama. What is the purpose of a moderator if he isn’t going to uphold the rules of the debate, and allow the candidates to have an equal amount of speaking time?

Mitt Romney: I thought he included a lot of statistics in his arguments, which will be helpful to him. I don’t believe that he truly answered a lot of the questions asked of him, which he diverted by making numbered points, all of which didn’t answer the posed question. For instance, he was asked what kind of health care reform he planned and there wasn’t a clear answer. The only thing that I got from that was that he was going to do a lot of the same things the controversial Obama care has imposed, e.g. allowing kids to stay on their parent’s insurance, and not denying people with pre-existing conditions. It has also become evident to me that Gov. Romney changed his platform, and just in time for the debate. He is now focusing on the middle-class, but prior to the debate his main focus was the upper-class. While he was more assertive, Gov. Romney lacked specifics. He wasn’t detailed, and I am still clueless on what his actual plan is to put the USA back on track. I think his main focus during the debate was to state everything Obama was doing wrong, rather than focus on what he was planning to do to make things better. There has been a phrase going around concerning the debate, which I think is accurate; Romney addressed Obama.

My opinion of Mitt Romney: He is out of touch with the average American. Here are a few reasons why I believe this. He stated he would cut funding to PBS. PBS has not only provided children over the years with an excellent learning tool through Sesame Street, but it’s also provided the country with other educational programming that have been an influential factor for many generations. Romney has also said that children should ask their parents to pay for them to attend college.  The majority of America do not have that luxury, including me. If my parents had to pay for all of their children to attend college, it wouldn’t be likely that they would have three graduates, and one attending college. Gov. Romney doesn’t know the struggles of middle-class or lower-class America because he has never had to experience them. He will fight for the upper-class because that is what he has been accustomed to, and that makes sense. He doesn’t believe that the taxes should be raised for the upper-class, but I also did not hear whether or not he’d be offering them tax-breaks.

Barack Obama: Obama did not focus on attacking Romney nor did he submit to all the jabs thrown at him, which would have put him on the defense. Pres. Obama remained on the offense, and reiterated his goals for America. He touched on how he wanted to hire 100,000 more teachers, which is something this country needs. I can appreciate that the President wants to strengthen our educational system with more focus on math and science. He also discussed how “Obama care” has helped Americans across the country. Social Security was specifically mentioned, as he reflected on the struggles his grandmother had to endure when trying to get aid. He insisted that Obama care will not hurt social security recipients, but instead it would make things more affordable, like prescriptions.  Pres. Obama also mentioned how his administration ended the war in Iraq, are working to end the war in Afghanistan, and the capture of Bin Laden. His focus remained on middle-class America, and improving their way of life.  

My opinion of Barack Obama: I think that Pres. Obama has taken a lot of heat and I don’t think it’s because people think he’s failing the country, but rather because of who he is. In my opinion, he’s handle all the negativity with such stride, poise and dignity. It’s easier for him to relate to a lot of Americans because of how he was brought up, in a single-parent home and not of riches and wealth. He can’t make everyone happy, but I think he is willing to compromise, and do what’s right for the country.

Reflection: Romney’s use of statistics was a good idea because a lot of people are easily persuaded by numbers, and don’t understand the actual research that goes into obtaining those numbers. I hope more people will take the time to research both candidates’ claims, and come to their own conclusions. I do believe this will be extremely difficult though because there is an immense amount of bias in the media, and research. With that said, I think you have to find a candidate that can relate more to your life and values.

I have to add this. What bothers me is that neither the Republicans nor their presidential candidate will admit to the destruction that former President Bush caused this country preceding President Obama taking office. George Bush put this country in a hole over the course of eight years, and it is expected to be fixed in four? As President Obama has said numerous times, not even eight years will fix the problems that Bush created.

The winner in my opinion: I don’t think there was a clearcut winner in this debate because what one candidate lacked the other made up for. Gov. Romney was assertive and aggressive. President Obama was not. Barack Obama detailed his plans of action, Mitt Romney did not. Each candidate had a completely different approach to this debate, and I look forward to the next.

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