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General Current Events Thread

Snow Queen

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This thread is here so we can just bring to attention any current events that we feel should be noted. Things like the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, events in the Middle East, and more can be posted here.
 

A Link In Time

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The recent funeral of the two slain police officers in New York City adds an extra layer of complexity to the police state and increasing militarization of police forces in the United States. While the protests against police brutality are completely justified in light of recent years, there are many officers that are also caught in the crossfire of this controversy. I think it's interesting the polices' contempt for the major occurred in New York City of all places. Measures like the "stop-and-frisk" policy are among the most discriminatory in the nation. At the end of the day, however, the officer protest in New York shows that pointing fingersconky exacerbates the issue.

I'm curious to see what others think about the matter.
 

Djinn

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I'm on a forum that has been keeping up with lots of other instances where police shot either an unarmed or unrelated bystander and little to nothing came of it outside of paid leave for the officer. And this type of thing has been going on for a while now. I'm not too surprised that things have finally come to blows after so many of these events going on across the country over several years. Things have been building up everywhere and tensions are incredibly high. Not even counting Ferguson.
 

Snow Queen

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I think that this outcome was unnecessary. Two people were killed. What changed? Nothing but the increase in tension between police and civilians. A waste of life in my opinion.
 

Kybyrian

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Didn't I already answer this one?
How about two exact opposite pieces from other sides of the world?

Gay Marriage Legalized in Florida

Russia says drivers must not have 'sex disorders' (Trans people are no longer eligible for licenses)

To be honest, the news out of Russia is almost shocking. Though we've heard a lot of news coming out of Russia about the continued oppression of those in the LGBT community, it's still shocking to see such legal steps being taken to strip human beings of some of the most basic rights—driving isn't just a commodity anymore.

It's interesting to see how two different countries can be progressing among two entirely different routes when it comes to human rights and equality.
 

Azure Sage

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How about two exact opposite pieces from other sides of the world?

Gay Marriage Legalized in Florida

Russia says drivers must not have 'sex disorders' (Trans people are no longer eligible for licenses)

To be honest, the news out of Russia is almost shocking. Though we've heard a lot of news coming out of Russia about the continued oppression of those in the LGBT community, it's still shocking to see such legal steps being taken to strip human beings of some of the most basic rights—driving isn't just a commodity anymore.

It's interesting to see how two different countries can be progressing among two entirely different routes when it comes to human rights and equality.
Well, America isn't as progressive as it might seem. Especially in regard to civil rights. Michigan passed a law recently that allows doctors to deny medical treatment to members of the LGBT community: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/05/1349672/-Michigan-House-passes-anti-LGBT-right-to-discriminate-law

That article also covers the other challenges people of that community face.

That bill is absolutely disgusting. Not only is it completely unconstitutional, it's completely lacking in morals. Private businesses are one thing, but medical treatment? Absolutely not. If you would actually let someone potentially die because you don't agree with who they are, you don't deserve to call yourself religious, much less a doctor. People who use religion to do stuff like this completely miss the point of religion and don't deserve to call themselves as such. They make me sick to my stomach.
 
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Azure Sage

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Privatized discrimination is still discrimination, and shouldn't be tolerated, or given legitimacy.
Yeah, I completely agree with you. I just brought it up because it still falls under the constitution as of now, as much as I do want it gone.
 

Ventus

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Privatized discrimination is still discrimination, and shouldn't be tolerated, or given legitimacy.
I disagree. Private business, private practice, = the private peoples' rules...to an extent, of course. If they choose to discriminate, they should be allowed to.
Another event, the terror attack in Paris. Check it out if you haven't yet: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30740115
Every day we get more and more news of these attacks. I kind of just don't want to read the news anymore. First it's Florida with its slew of textbook-idiotic crimes. Now we have more terrorist attacks across the world. The hell is their motive, really? If they wanted power, they could do it the easy way. If they wanted money, they could do it the easy way. If they wanted peace, they could do it the easy way. These terrorist attacks do absolutely nothing.
 

DekuNut

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Every day we get more and more news of these attacks. I kind of just don't want to read the news anymore. First it's Florida with its slew of textbook-idiotic crimes. Now we have more terrorist attacks across the world. The hell is their motive, really? If they wanted power, they could do it the easy way. If they wanted money, they could do it the easy way. If they wanted peace, they could do it the easy way. These terrorist attacks do absolutely nothing.
I agree with this, for the most part. Except my Mock Trial teacher makes us watch the news every day...
What the people in ISIS want is a new country for Muslims. The Jews got one, so why can't they?
The Paris people wanted justice for the Prophet Muhammad, who was made fun of in the editorials there.
Still, I agree that these people are choosing all the worst ways for these causes.

No. They shouldn't. No form of discrimination can justify itself
I agree, but it's not something we can actually stop. People will always have their chosen discriminations, whether we like it or not.
 

Djinn

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Obama to propose two free years of community college for students

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/barack-obama-free-community-college-114094.html#ixzz3OHbjmLj6
President Barack Obama will need the approval of Congress to realize his proposal for making two years of community college free for students.

So far, that plan doesn’t have an official price tag — other than “significant,” according to White House officials. If all 50 states participate, the proposal could benefit 9 million students each year and save students an average of $3,800 in tuition, the White House said.


But administration officials insisted on a call with reporters Thursday evening that “this is a proposal with bipartisan appeal.”

Case in point: Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, whose brainchild Tennessee Promise program strongly influenced Obama’s proposal. Beginning this year, any high school graduate in that state is eligible for two years of free community college tuition under the Tennessee Promise.

Obama, alongside Vice President Joe Biden and second lady Jill Biden, will tout his proposal dubbed “America’s College Promise” during a visit Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn., on Friday.

“What I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it,” Obama said in a White House video posted Thursday evening. “It’s something we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world.”

The president’s proposal would make two years of community college free for students of any age with a C+ average who attend school at least half-time and who are making “steady progress” toward their degree.

To be eligible, community colleges would have to offer academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities or training programs with high graduation rates that lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt “promising and evidence-based institutional reforms” to improve student outcomes.

Federal funding would cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college, and Obama is asking states to pick up the rest of the tab — assuming Congress agrees to the plan in the first place.

“I hope we’ve got the chance to make sure that Congress gets behind these kinds of efforts to make sure that even as we rebound and grow in 2015, that it benefits everybody and not just some,” the president said in the video.

Obama said his online announcement was “a little preview” of his plans for the Jan. 20 State of the Union address. The cost details will be in the president’s 2016 budget proposal, White House director Cecilia Muñoz said.

Muñoz said Obama aims to make college “the norm in the same way high school is the norm now.”

The Tennessee Promise idea has, needless to say, caught on. And Education Undersecretary Ted Mitchell said on Thursday’s call that he hopes Obama’s plan will encourage more states to start similar programs.

But the idea is not without critics.

The Institute for College Access and Success, which is typically in step with the Obama administration, called the proposal “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Among the problems, TICAS says, is that the more substantial costs of college — living expenses, textbooks and transportation — are typically left out of the deal.

And Bryce McKibben, a former Association of Community College Trustees policy analyst who recently became a policy adviser to Democrats on the Senate education committee, has noted potential flaws. For instance, the program could end up doing more for less needy students than those who need it the most, because low-income applicants may already be covered by Pell grants and other federal aid.

Since state appropriations plummeted during the economic recession, students and families have been forced to pay more for college. From 2008-12, public college funding in 26 states fell by 5 percent or more, according to a recent Center for American Progress report.


Advocacy groups including CAP, which has counseled the Obama administration on higher education issues, have promoted ideas to spur both federal and state funding to boost college enrollment.

“The first order of business is to make college more affordable — and by affordable, we mean basically make it free for low- and moderate-income families through federal investments and stimulating state investments,” David Bergeron, vice president of postsecondary education at CAP, told POLITICO earlier this week.

At the same time, Bergeron had some reservations about Friday’s announcement.

“I don’t want to just have our low-income and least prepared students going to community colleges,” he said, “because those community colleges are the least resourced.”

But Thomas J. Snyder, president of the massive Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, says he fully supports the idea, which he called “a game-changer.”

“We have ground to make up against other countries, and this is a big first step in doing just that,” Snyder said in an email. “It will make the goal of achieving a college degree more attainable for more Americans — whether it be a two-year degree that leads to a good-paying job or the first step toward a more affordable four-year option.”

Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander will both be on hand at Friday’s event. Alexander plugged the Tennessee Promise on the Senate floor Wednesday. But the newly elected Senate education committee chair also said that simplifying the federal financial aid process is “the one thing the federal government can do to give more opportunity to Americans, particularly in community colleges.”

Also Friday, Obama plans to announce the new American Technical Training Fund to “expand innovating, high-quality technical training programs across the country,” according to a White House release. The program will award programs that partner with employers and include “work-based learning opportunities,” provide accelerated training and accommodate part-time work.

The president has some limited authority to steer Department of Labor funds toward skills training that focuses on partnerships with employers and accelerated training. But a larger investment would need to be authorized by Congress, and in recent years both chambers have more or less ignored Obama’s proposals for investments in jobs-driven training, such as a 2015 budget proposal for a $1.5 billion “Community College Job-Driven Training Fund” that went nowhere.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/barack-obama-free-community-college-114094.html#ixzz3OPJgWZpm
Sounds like an interesting idea but I am wondering exactly how this will work out in the long run. Free college is pretty great but there are some severe limits on the options when it is community college in a lot of areas. Still even a two year degree provides much better opportunities than nothing.

What I am wondering is if this will actually replace the high school diploma as the standard basic level education.
 

Ventus

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Obama to propose two free years of community college for students

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/barack-obama-free-community-college-114094.html#ixzz3OHbjmLj6


Sounds like an interesting idea but I am wondering exactly how this will work out in the long run. Free college is pretty great but there are some severe limits on the options when it is community college in a lot of areas. Still even a two year degree provides much better opportunities than nothing.

What I am wondering is if this will actually replace the high school diploma as the standard basic level education.
What I wonder is why America hasn't adopted the model already. The top countries have (mostly?) free education even into the bachelor's degree. Meanwhile, America is holding its students back with silly policies like "you'll start college in debt and end college in debt."

As I say that, though, you are right: college is already the standard basic level of education. Nobody will hire a guy with a HS diploma unless you're talking about flipping the good ol' Bs. And even then, there's some stiff competition..
 

Djinn

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What I wonder is why America hasn't adopted the model already. The top countries have (mostly?) free education even into the bachelor's degree. Meanwhile, America is holding its students back with silly policies like "you'll start college in debt and end college in debt."

As I say that, though, you are right: college is already the standard basic level of education. Nobody will hire a guy with a HS diploma unless you're talking about flipping the good ol' Bs. And even then, there's some stiff competition..
For the exact same reason why we are one of the last first world nations on Earth that does not have a real health care system. It's evil socialism that does not make anyone rich. We instead have a massive industry designed to ensure that someone makes top dollar for things that are commonplace for all citizens of most other modern nations and are tax paid.
 

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