Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Should Pit Bulls Be Banned?

In December 2007, a New York City official proposed banning pit bulls from the city, saying the dogs are dangerous. Some cities, such as Denver and Miami, have already forbidden their residents from owning pit bulls. Many people believe that American Pit Bull Terriers are dangerous dogs. Pit Bulls have a bad reputation for attacking people, but aggressive Pit Bulls are consequences some irresponsible people who have neglected or abused their dogs or even trained them to be aggressive. According to the Chako Rescue Association for the American Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bulls are actually very stable, intelligent, and highly trainable. They are strong athletic dogs, and they require a guardian who is responsible and will give them plenty of exercise and training. They are very loving and loyal and make excellent animal companions.
Pit Bulls are also use as therapy/service dogs. The Chako Rescue Association has Pit Bull therapy dogs in Texas, Utah and California. Helen Keller even had a Pit Bull as her canine companion and helper. Petey, the faithful dog on the TV show, The Little Rascals, was a Pit Bull. He spent countless hours with children day after day and never hurt anyone. He was one of the most intelligent Hollywood dogs of all time.
Pit Bulls are one of the most stable people-friendly dogs in existence which can make them good family dogs. The National Canine Temperament Testing Association tested 122 breeds, and Pit Bulls placed the 4th highest with a 95% passing rate! As was noted earlier, they are strong, athletic dogs who need people who are able to care and train them properly.
Therefore Pit Bulls should not be banned, but people who cannot provide the right training for them should not be permitted to have them

Should School Reward Good Attendance?

Some schools reward students for good attendance with prizes like movie tickets, cash (as much as $10,000), and even cars. Some people think that this is a good idea because it keeps some kids from skipping school. By rewarding the kids, schools are trying to concentrate on the positive and give rewards for good choices kids make. Schools’ goal is to keep kids in school as long as they can.
On the other hand, some people say that kids should be expected to attend school because education is important. They also say that rewarding kids with good attendance creates jealousy among other kids who don’t have good attendance which will lead to conflict. They claim that kids can’t help it if they are sick or have appointments somewhere, and as a result they do not have any choice other than miss school that day.
I believe that it is great that schools are trying to concentrate on the positive instead of always dealing with bad behavior by giving some kind of punishment as a consequence. Kids need to learn that coming to school is important because they will benefit from it in the long run. At the same time they need to be encouraged to continue making good choices. I also believe that it is not necessary to go to extremes, giving away huge rewards like a car or $10,000 dollars. This would definitely create jealousy among other kids. School should continue rewarding kids with good attendance, but kids with an accepted excuse should still count. One reward idea that kids would benefit from might be contributing a reasonable amount to a fund every year they have a good attendance and once they graduate they can use that fund to go to college.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Snack Attack

Because of a new law, schools all over America are limiting what students can eat. Previously many schools had vending machines stocked with the common vending machine fare: chips, candy bars, soda, etc. Now schools can still have vending machines, but only offering healthy snacks: juice, pretzels, fruit, yogurt, etc. The Institute of Medicine guidelines call for no more than 35 percent of daily caloric intake be from fat and sugar, and a maximum of 200 mg of sodium per day. Naturally occurring sugars in fruit are excepted. The report does not set a standard for artificial sweeteners in food, but does not endorse them in beverages, says registered dietitian Tracy Fox, an IOM committee member.
There have been many complaints from parents claiming that “parents should decide what children eat and not school.” They strongly believe that schools should not take candy away from everyone just because of few unhealthy kids. They point out that soda and chips are fine if kids would also eat fruits and vegetables. But the truth is that once children eat soda and chips, they are not hungry for fruits and vegetables.
Even if parents do not provide healthy snacks at home, my belief is that schools should always provide a healthy environment to their students, including healthy meal and snacks. We should not need to have a law for this to happen. School should also provide information on how important it is for kids to have a well balanced meal in order to have more potential with their learning skills. I don’t see any reason why parents should get upset with schools providing healthy snack options to their kids. Kids do not naturally make good choices. That’s why they need parents to make good choices for them and to teach them how to make good choices. Kids would eat candy, chips, and soda for every meal if it was available. And it is available through many school vending machines. It is time for schools and parents to start acting the part by educating and raising healthy and strong communities. We can start by providing healthy snacks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What Do Girls Want?!

Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High
By KATHLEEN KINGSBURY Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2008
As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies — more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year.

17 girls decided to make a pact and get pregnant at the same time to raise their babies together. Whenever something like this happens, adults (especially parents) tend to look for sources to blame. Some people have blamed movies like Juno and Knocked Up; others blame young super stars who are pregnant. Other people have blamed the school for making pregnancy test available or for embracing young mothers “too good.” I believe these people who are so quick to look for things to blame, are people who do not want to open their eyes to reality. They are missing what is important to these girls.
In the article, they tell a story about a girl who was pregnant at the age of 18; and when she was interviewed, she said that other girls were saying to her “how lucky she was to have a baby and to finally have someone to love her unconditionally," These teen girls like many other ones, are missing something in their lives; and that is exactly what parents, principals and other adults around them do not want to admit. Younger than 16, these girls are still children. These girls don’t even know why they did this. They say they did it because of the pact they made. The reality is that these teen girls and teenagers in general are looking for someone who would love them unconditionally. Not matter how they look, not matter what they wear, not matter what their grades are, they want to feel accepted and loved. As simple as it might sound, it is easy for parents to get busy and caught up with other things and to neglect our kids. And it is also easy for school officials to offer birth control pills instead of looking into what is causing this. When these girls were going to the school nurse to take pregnancy tests, the nurse should have notified their parents. Parents are notified when their kids take an aspirin during school; why not notify them when their children take a pregnancy test?
It is time for parents and school officials to stop playing the blame game (that is just for politicians) and work together for the welfare of our precious children.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

tradition or child abuse?

I do not have a problem with people performing different religious traditions. Traditions are part of culture which makes a group of people unique. I agree that we need to respect people who have different traditions and way of thinking. What I don't understand and do not agree with is when people oppress other people's rights to follow their traditions. Nepal is a multicultural multi-religious city. A city with numerous gods. There is one of their traditions that has been bothering me and has made me think "What in the world is wrong with people?" People who do this and also people who allow it. I'm talking about the Kumari tradition where they take little girls from 3 years old and keep them in a house (temple) away from the world until puberty. They are only allowed to come out to religious events. These people are talking away these girls' childhood. On top of that, as a test, these little girls are supposed to spend one night in a room by themselves with goats' heads and other animals' heads. I would have to be out of my mind to make my three year old girl be in a room by herself with animals' heads and be away from me.
They don't see their families until they reach puberty and sent back to their families, because they are no longer considered goddesses. This specific tradition is against the Nepalese and world laws, but yet nobody does anything to stop this abuse. When this girls start living a normal life, after they are sent home, some grils do not know how to socialize with other people (even their own families), some keep playing with little dolls at the age of 17, and some just suffer from metal retardation. I would suffer too if I have to stay for many years isolated without contact with the outside world. It is very sad that authorities would not protect the right of these little girls, but instead authorities are the ones who pick who the new goddess is going to be. I have seen pictures of these little girls and I can see how unhappy they look. I really hope that something is done to stop this child abuse they have in Nepal.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dress Codes on Public Streets

I heard about dress codes for public schools, we just implemented a dress code in Lebanon City Schools in PA. But I had never heard of dress codes for public streets.
According to an article from Wave 3, some lawmakers in Louisiana Georgia and New Jersey think sagging pants should be illegal. Since June, sagging pants have against the law in Delcambre, Louisiana. People, who are found wearing them, face a fine of as much as $500 or up to six months in jail. There are similar laws in other parts of the state.
I completely agree that wearing sagging pants which shows underwear should change. Underwear is to be worn UNDER our clothes. The public doesn't need to know what kind of underwear I'm using. I ask myself "What is going to be next?" "Showing our privates?". I do not agree on the way authorities want to handle this problem by making it illegal.
First of all, authorities (or whoever wants to stop people from wearing inappropriate clothes), should ask themselves "Why do people dress like this?" "Where do they get this from?." There is no question that this style comes from hip-hop culture.
If authorities are making this law because they really desire that people should show self respect by the way dress and not because they just want to punish only hip-hop fans, then authorities need to look for other solutions to the problem such as working hand-in-hand with hip-hop singers and working with parents in general discussing about what message we want to send to young people to help them become good citizens rather than punishing young people who are growing up imitating what they think is "cool."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

killing sharks

Scientists Seek Approval to Kill Sharks

enn.com — Federal scientists want permission to kill Galapagos sharks in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in an effort to save the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Scientists argue that the monk seal is globally endangered but the sharks are not.

I can understand if scientists want to save the monk seal from extinction, but killing other species to, later, put them in danger of extinction is what I don't get. The reason the monk seals are in danger is because of human hands. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), mothers take care of their pups for six weeks. During that entire time, they do not leave the beach even to eat. Instead, they live off of fat that they have stored up over the previous year and feed their pups with a fat rich milk. Usually seals can be found with their pups on very remote beaches. However, recent births have been reported in the main Hawaiian Islands including Oahu, Kawai, and Molokai. Human disturbance has been identified as the primary factor in the decline of the species. In fact, if humans come too near a mother seal too often, she will abandon her pup and go out to sea. Unfortunately, this usually means death for the pup. Also, seals often get tangled in fishermen's nets and other trash in the oceans. It has been found that the fish that seals eat have been overfished by fishermen.

We need to keep in mind that sharks are essentials predators which help maintain the balance throughout the ecosystem. Eliminating sharks would have wider effects than just the monk seal. There are other ways we can prevent the extinction of the monk seal. The main threat to monk seals seems to be human intrusion into habitats and over-fishing. Certain beaches can be closed, so people do not get too close to seals raising pups or impose stiffer penalties for disturbing seals. The numbers of fish that can be caught in the areas where we have monk seals can be limit. We have to look at the bigger picture and find other ways to save the monk seals without the unintended consequences of unnecessary killing off a different species.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Illegal Immigrants

LAUREL, Miss. — The largest single-workplace immigration raid in U.S. history has caused panic among Hispanic families in this small southern Mississippi town, where federal agents rounded up nearly 600 plant workers suspected of being in the country illegally.

Routinely hiring illegal workers in the USA is a problem. It is a problem for both Americans and the illegal immigrants themselves. The government is handling the situation in a most inhumane way. Poor and powerless people who want to make a better life for themselves and their families are being punished but the root causes are being ignored as the rich and powerful use illegal immigrants to cut costs by paying lower wages, cutting benefits, and skirt workplace safety and workers rights. Arresting hundreds of victims is not the way to get rid of the problem. By doing this we are making the problem worse than it already is. Governments need to come up with a better strategy for immigration. I say "governments" because I am referring to the federal American government, state and local governments, the governments of the countries people emmigrate from, and the government of Mexico where the border is being crossed.
In the interest of national unity and not creating a generation of disenfranchised citizens, we need to understand that illegal immigrants are not unattached individuals. Many have children, most of whom are born here and are citizens. These Americans are the future of our country. One day they will even be voters. I don't want to see a generation grow up to see this government and their fellow citizens as the people who took mommy and daddy away when they were little, as people who punished their parents for trying to have something better for their children. These kids will have
anger in their hearts for life if the government does not change its strategy