Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doing Something I Will Totally Hate

I remember back during my freshman year in high school, our Homecoming Dance was around the corner. Being a freshman and not knowing anything about high school dances, I became interested in attending the dance. Then, the venue was revealed “Excalibur” night club. My first thought was that I would totally hate the dance. Why? Because it was at a club. I did not think that I would fit in with the “club life”.

After all, as you can recall to my previous blog, one of my guilty pleasures is listening to Blues Music. I don't know any of that rap and hip hop stuff. If I don't know it, then I know I certainly can't dance to it either! These thoughts would come after I purchased the tickets for the Homecoming Dance. I knew this wasn't going to be any fun. In fact to top it all, I did not have a date. Although, at my high school, no one really worried about having a date got Homecoming. It was not nearly as crucial as if you were a senior going to prom.

As I walked into the door of Excalibur, I was greeted by some school officials. They were checking our school ID's. In a way, this served as preparation for the real life when some of us actually start clubbing. Then as I proceeded into the main area, I noticed that it was very cold. The air conditioning was powerful, almost too powerful. As the night wore on, the club became packed and the majority of the students proceeded to the dance floor, including myself. I began dancing to songs I thought I didn't know, but somehow had heard once before. Everyone was dancing, laughing and having a really good time. I danced with a variety of people and had a really fun time. For something I thought I would hate, it actually turned out to be a lot of fun.

Guilty Pleasures

When thinking about “Guilty Pleasures”, many thoughts come to mind. Depending on you and your beliefs, anything can be considered a “Guilty Pleasure”. My “Guilty Pleasure” is really not that guilty. My “Guilty Pleasure” is that I listen to the Blues. Now many of you may wonder how that makes me feel “guilty”. Here is what you probably don't know about me. I am only 18 years old and the majority of my generation becomes confused when you mention B.B. King.

All throughout my childhood I felt like an outcast. Very seldom did I meet someone who listened to my music. It was very awkward when someone would try to talk to me about the latest “Snoop Dogg” or “Nelly” rap song. When people would make references to “Soulja Boy”, I thought they were making a military reference. In fact, I usually nodded my head and acted as if I knew what they were talking about. Eventually I broke out of my shell, but I still keep it a secret. You could say that I am hiding in the “Blues Closet”.

If anyone watches me with secret surveillance cameras, then they know that one of my favorite songs is “Wang Dang Doodle” by Koko Taylor. As much as I love that song, I am too embarrassed to even mention the title to my friends. I fear that they may laugh me out out of the room just by the name of the song. Even though one of my life motto's is to “Walk to the beat of your own drum”, I prefer to do it quietly. One day, I will proudly tell someone that I don't listen to Rap and Hip Hop Music. Hopefully they will not frown down on me. But then again, who cares, I will listen to what I want to listen to. If they don't accept it then too bad.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Illegal Vs. Undocumented

Illegal and undocumented are two words that have two different meanings. Yet both of them are used synonymously when describing individuals who have entered our country without becoming naturalized citizens. Although the term “illegal” has upset many across the nation, it is actually an acceptable term. The debate on these two words began when various people started referring to illegal aliens as undocumented immigrants. “Illegal” has been seen as a word that dehumanizes a person.

The real question is why are so many people offended by the term “illegal”? Why does it come off as an insult? Let's just face the facts. If you enter our country without becoming a naturalized citizen, then you have broken U.S. Law. The term “alien” however may be a little extreme and out of date. When referring to aliens, the first thought that comes to mind is an extra-terrestrial form of life living in outer space. Obviously, people who cross the border aren't aliens, at least I hope not. But Illegal immigrants is a better term than illegal alien.

Why should we as a society worry about offending those who enter our country illegally? They are immigrants and they are here illegally. If illegal immigrants then maybe they should go through the naturalization process like other legal immigrants. Why come here illegally when you face the chance of deportation? Plus, when you're illegal, you cannot receive the same benefits as citizens. For instance, getting a well-paying job. Many illegal immigrants have to work under the table for wages much lower than the minimum wage. Conditions are better for those who are citizens.

If you are referred to as an illegal immigrant and you are offended, then maybe this should encourage you to become a U.S. Citizen. However, there is a slight problem with that, our naturalization process moves very slowly. Our government should work at speeding up the process. However for the time being, it is better to be safe than sorry. Go through the naturalization process, it will work out for you in the long run.

For those of you who are against the term “illegal” then how is undocumented a more accurate term? To be honest, they are both accurate descriptions. Illegal refers to the fact that these people broke the law. Undocumented refers to the fact that they are not documented citizens. Undocumented only removes the negative connotation from the term illegal immigrant. Of course people may say that illegal should only be referred to people who commit serious crimes such as murder, theft, etc. However is trespassing not a serious crime? Regardless if it is a “serious” crime or not, it is still a crime which makes them undocumented immigrants “illegal”.

This is a debate that should cease to exist. Instead of arguing about whether or not illegal is acceptable or not, maybe we should be working on a way to speed up the naturalization process. If foreigners were able to become citizens in a much smoother process, then we would not have this debate. Whether you like it or not, if you came here illegally then we have a right to refer to you as an illegal immigrant.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Rahm Emanuel, The Struggle for Chicago's Power Switch

Earlier this week, we found out that Rahm Emanuel was booted off of the ballot for mayor of Chicago. Then, Emanuel's Lawyers filed for an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court. They unanimously decided that Emanuel should stay on the ballot. This was all due to a question about whether or not Emanuel fulfilled his residency requirements. Here is the run down on the situation:

When Emanuel left to serve as chief of staff for President Barack Obama, he rented out his house. The person, who was and still is living at that house is Rob Halpin. The argument, was that since Emanuel was registered to vote at that residence and was not currently living there, he was ineligible to run for mayor. Halpin, even considered a mayoral bid to try to block Emanuel's efforts from running for mayor. After a series of hearings with the Board of Elections as to whether or not he was a resident, the board ruled in favor of Emanuel.

Everyone thought that the fight stopped there. However lawyer Burt Odelson was not through with the fight. He decided to take this fight to court, which led to the recent rulings earlier this week. So does Rahm Emanuel fulfill his residency requirements? According to the courts, he has fulfilled the requirements. Why? One of Emanuel's main arguments was the amount of personal belongings he kept in a locked storage space at his old house. He used that argument to prove that he had intentions of returning to his hometown. But why did this fight last so long?

The fight lasted this long because there are many Chicagoans who cannot handle saying Mayor Emanuel. All of the polls have him in the lead for Mayor. In fact, some people are even saying that this whole residency controversy actually helped him in the polls. Giving him the sympathetic vote. Why do so many people feel sorry for him? Has everyone forgotten how vulgar and nasty Emanuel can be behind the scenes. Remember when he referred to a group of Democrats as a bunch of f---in retards? Sure, that's very professional.

On top of that, what are his real political aspirations? Did Obama want Emanuel to take over for Daley so he could have complete control over Chicago? Remember, even though Obama an Daley are “friends”, Daley has his own empire. Was it really Daley's decision to “step down” or was there some pressure behind the scenes? We may never know. But one thing we do know is that us Chicagoans seek a powerful mayor. Regardless of how much people may hate Rahm Emanuel, they still would rather see him as mayor than Carol Mosley Braun. We cannot forget about her trips to Nigeria, Medicaid scandal, manipulative husband....should I go on? Gery Chico hasn't been too active in politics, but people aren't too familiar with him. Other than his “work” with CPS.

This was a controversy that was too far stretched. Everyone knew Emanuel fulfilled his residency requirements. They just wanted to see the outcome of a non-Emanuel election. Who would be mayor is Emanuel can't run? What would happen to the city? It would actually be pretty exciting an chaotic at the same time. Now with Emanuel on the ballot, the questions are: Will he win with 51% or more of the vote? And If he is forced into a run-off election, will he win?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Skins, Your Teenager's Favorite Show

Skins, an intriguing title for a TV show. It is definitely not another “Bones” type of show. Instead it is a British Teen Drama, focused on the lives of your average dysfunctional teenager. Ever since the show has aired on MTV, it has caused many ripples on our television airwaves. The main reason for this controversy is due to the amount of “skin” shown throughout the show. In fact, a few MTV executives were a bit nervous putting the show on-air.

If you're of the old-fashioned conservative type, then you may find the show offensive. That is perfectly okay, however please do remind yourself that this isn't 1962 anymore. The teens on the show depict the true behavior of many troubled teens. Growing up in this day and age can be very wild and crazy. They have 16 year olds doing drugs, having sex and some are even gay! In high school, I remember knowing similar people, some who I even daresay called my friends. So what is the big problem with “Skins”?

Is it because the show is actually giving parents a reality of what their children are really doing? So many parents today are living in outer space. They make countless attempts at trying to limit their child's freedoms. Of course, these attempts usually fail, as teens end up sneaking out their bedroom window to go to a Friday night party. After these teens come home, they get to watch replays of the latest “Skins” show, where these actors are basically re-enacting the night at that party. We don't want teens to see this type of behavior because it serves as a bad influence. Yeah right!

Now, a mere fact that these actors are the same age as the characters they portray may be a bit disturbing. Why? Because these are under-aged teens that are having sex. Or in the show's case, showing too much “skin” which could technically be considered as “child pornography”. However, regardless of the law, the show is still being true in depicting teen life. Of course, every teen isn't some pot smoking, drug using punk, but every school has a few....or a handful.

This TV series is almost like a spin-off of the “Kids” Movie. Does anyone remember watching that? It came out when “Walk-mans” were still in style. In fact, you could even re-name “Skins” to “ Kids, 21st Century”. The plots are similar and the kids are just as loose as before. With a show this controversial, should we continue to watch it or ban it from our homes? If teens are watching this show, could it perhaps have a reverse-effect and convince kids not to make the same immature mistakes as the ones on the show.

Maybe more people should watch this show. More teens might start thinking things through and not become a projected drug user, etc. Keep the show on the air. Expose the truth and nothing but the truth about teens today.

Support to Repeal Current Health Care Law Declines/ Politicians to Act More Respectful

According to an AP-GFK Poll, only 25 percent of surveyed people support a repeal of the current

“ObamaCare” Law. The Republicans are currently in a rock in a hard place. After the fatal killings that

took place in Arizona, many politicians are trying to change their “tone”. My question for our current legislators is why does it take a shooting of a congressman, for our representatives to act more humane. Obviously, everyone who is in Congress, has some interest in our current government. Even the corrupt politicians are still aware of the amount of influence they have on creating and passing laws.

So why has it been so hard for our politicians to sit down and actually discuss the issues. Part of the reason why “ObamaCare” was due to the strong support from Democrats. Some of which knew they would not win re-election. It was almost a race to the finish line: Who can create a pass a healthcare law first? Without thinking about the influence this law has on America's businesses. They were more worried about carrying out the President's Agenda. When we rush to create laws without thinking them through, what is the true goal? Are the representatives trying to polish their tarnished images?

Are Republicans trying to display themselves as the voice for the unemployed? The main argument many Republicans have been using in order to defy “ObamaCare” is that the healthcare bill will cause many employers to eliminate jobs. That it will work with more of a ripple effect. With Americans showing less concern to repeal the bill, what is the point of fighting it? If Republicans want to make a come back, shouldn't they focus on something that more Americans are concerned about? If the healthcare bill turns out to be a big disaster, then let that destroy the image of the Democrats. The Republicans can sit idly on the side and simply say “ I told you so”.

If we reach the point, where “ObamaCare” is highly disapproved of, then let's work together to repeal the law. Sometimes, people learn best through experience. Hopefully, with this new tone of attitude congressmen are trying to display, they might just decide to move on from the “ObamaCare” issue. They should not let their emotions get the best of them. In order to have emotions and perspectives about various issues, we had to listen to someone. This new civil attitude that is being displayed on Capitol Hill may be for the better good. How long will it last? In the next 6 months, will we forget about everything that has happened thus far and return to normal? Only time can tell.

It is time to focus on some more issues that have yet to be resolved. There is still major debate on whether or not abortion should be legalized. Or how about the debate on Gay Marriage? Or better yet, gun laws? That does not begin to sum up all of the issues we have on our plates.