Obama’s second term blues

President Obama is heading to Ireland for the G8 Summit next month. It won’t be a moment too soon for him. The current scandals that may hamper his second term ambitions are currently gaining traction in Washington. The Republicans smell retreat. Yet, Obama can put his best foot forward at the G8 Summit next month in Ireland. Obama has a lot more on his plate than IRS and AP scandals. What the the U.S. needs right now is leadership. The worst thing that can happen is for Obama to deflect all attention from himself to his subordinates. Attack the problems head-on, the country needs that much.

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College Crime Stats and the Clery Act

Are colleges disclosing an accurate picture of crime on campus? The Clery Act mandates that colleges must report crimes. Colleges can possibly lose financial aid assistance if they fail to honor the provisions of the Clery Act. When you think of the college environment you probably think of beer bashes every weekend. This type of behavior can lead usually normal students to act out in a criminal fashion. When students are trying to figure out what college they would like to attend, they should do several things. First, go on campus at all times of the day and night. Talk to current students and look for some type of security presence such as cameras and call boxes. If there is a sworn campus police force have them take you on a tour and ask for security tips. Bottom line, find out what type of crimes have occurred on campus and what the college does to protect students.

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Hurricane Sandy/The Aftermath

Some residents of affected areas are still living in motels. Why? FEMA is picking up the tab for motel costs. Displaced residents also need other services. Can state and government agencies take all the blame for not getting displaced residents back in their homes? Red tape seems to be playing a big role in slowing the process. Insurance companies and new local building requirements are not making the task any easier. Could it take another year or two to get everybody back in their homes? Probably, it’s just another thorn in the side for displaced residents in attempting to get their lives back to some degree of normal existance. We all hope that Hurricane Sandy is a once in a lifetime event. Hopefully government and relief organizations will continue to improve and review the whole assistance process.

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Are you comfortable with technology?

Whether it’s killer drones or robots performing medical procedures, technology is invading our everyday lives. Yet, do you feel that society will be able to adjust to this new world. Some technology saves lives, while others take lives. Killer drones are at the forefront of attacking terrorism. However, this same technology has killed many innocent people. Where do you stand? As technology evolves we have to be very careful in the way we utilize it. The other question I think about, is have we become too dependant on these new devices? Look at mobile technology. Do you prefer to text someone instead of face to face contact? We will loose interpersonal skills and a big part of our humanity. Bottom line, it’s time we take a closer look at where technology has taken us.

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Will Boston ever be the same?

The people of Boston have endured a hellish week. The Boston marathon explosions turned an annual cherished affair, into a nightmare. The attack showed that in the face of diseaster, ordinary people jumped in to help others injured by the explosions. What concerns many after an attack of this magtitude, is whether the powers that be, will overreact and put tougher restictions on movement. What price are Americans willing to pay for security? More cameras, facial recoginition programs and domestic drones. Will this make us safer? It’s a big question all of us have to ponder. The bottom line is, look at the big picture and balance security with common sense.

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Education in America/Cheating 101

The recent test cheating scandal in Atlanta and elsewhere shows a distubing trend in where teachers chose money over students. How would you feel if your child attended one of the schools where standardized test scores were inflated? This type of behavior is why the United States is far behind in overall academic achievement worldwide. Are test scores that important that some teachers will break the law? Should we discontinue the use of standardized tests? In order for America too remain competitive, we must make sure that our children get the best and honest education possible. Bottom line, teachers and parents have to set the tone when it comes to values. We must have safeguards in place in order to stamp out this criminal behavior before it compromises our whole educational system.

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Cyprus/Who will save the banks?

Cyprus is on the brink. In order for Cyprus to receive another bailout, it will have to place a levy on savings accounts. Banks in Cypus have been closed this week. Cyprus has until this Monday to let the European Central Bank know if they will accept their conditions. Russian has indicated that it can help Cyprus with its banking problem. Russia has billions of dollars invested in Cyprus. The Church of Cyprus has also offered to help, by selling some of its assets. It may be a little to late for all of these measures. Default may be the only option for Cyprus. This would cause Cyprus to exit from the Eurozone. Cyprus is not alone with its financial problems. Countries like Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy and others are also looking at what’s happening in Cyprus. They are concerned about their savings accounts being raided. Only time will tell how this whole mess will play out. Bottom line, this could be the unravelling of the European Union.

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Hugo Chavez/Will Venezuela ever be the same?

The death of Hugo Chavez has shaken Latin American politics to the core. Will Vice President Nicolas Maduro be the man? The important thing is to have a fair election process. Are there moderate candidates out there waiting in the wings? In the short term, Venezuela will probably not deviate from its current foreign policies. Hugo Chavez was not a big fan of United States. Chavez’s tilt towards Cuba and Iran angered Washington. Depending on who you talk to in Venezuela, Chavez did improve health care and education. Also, he tried to tackle the extreme poverty in some areas of Venezuela. The bottom line is the United States has an opportunity to reset their relationship with Venezuela. The U.S. and Venezuela can try to work together in their fight against drug trafficking. If the two nations can develop a rapport, better relations will follow.

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Conspiracy Theories/Do you believe?

The amount of Americans that believe in conspiracy theories is surprisingly high. What causes some to believe that government is hiding important information, or worse, covering things up. Stress and the everyday barrage of corruption probably contribute to the feeling that things are not right. Whether its the JFK murder or UFO’S, people are concerned the truth is out there. Of course with the advent of the internet, you can immerse yourself in any conspiracy your heart desires. This is not to say its not a good idea to question things. You never know when you might find out the truth. So go out there and search, just be careful, you might not like what you find.

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PETA/Are their tactics effective?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has a long history of aggressive tactics. Some say that it is needed to expose the abuse of animals. Whether its animal medical testing or circus animal abuse, PETA will try to put the media spotlight on it. Most people identify PETA with their so called “naked fur” campaigns. There is no doubt the anti-fur media campaign is effective. PETA claims it has over 3 milion members. It is a group that’s on a mission. Whether you agree with PETA’s methods or not, PETA will no doubt be around for a long time. As long as any organization sticks to its core principles, it will accomplish its objectives.

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