Jared West

A couple weeks ago John Kasich and Ted and Cruz have annouced that they are teaming up to stop Donald Trump. As of now, Trump is getting closer to acquiring the nomination since he has 956 of the 1,237 needed for the Republican nomination while Cruz has 547 and Kasich having only having 154 of the needed delegates.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich are joining forces in a last-ditch effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination.

Within minutes of each other, the pair issued statements late Sunday saying they will divide their efforts in upcoming contests with Cruz focusing on Indiana and Kasich devoting his efforts to Oregon and New Mexico. The strategy — something the two campaigns have been working on for weeks — is aimed at blocking Trump from gaining the 1,237 delegates necessary to claim to GOP nomination this summer.

Trump's son: GOP would rather lose with Cruz than back dad.

Trump’s son: GOP would rather lose with Cruz than back dad.01:44

The extraordinary moves reflect the national strength Trump has shown and the inability of Republicans who oppose the New York billionaire to come together to stop him. Dividing up some of the remaining primary states by putting forward one strong alternative to Trump in each could be enough to take away delegates and curb Trump’s run to the nomination.
"This is a nationwide campaign and we’re making a decision where to focus our time, energy and resources," Cruz told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Monday. "We are now focused very, very heavily on the state of Indiana. It is significant that John Kasich is pulling out of Indiana and allowing us to go directly head to head with Donald Trump."

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Zainab Iqbal

When Professor Miller asked who was voting in today’s primary, only about four students raised their hand; and I was astonished.

I totally understand if you are not a US citizen, or if you are not 18, or if you are not registered. But otherwise, every single person should be voting. Because what reason could you possible have not to?

I get it, sometimes it’s very hard to find a candidate who best fits your views. And sometimes you don’t want to vote because you don’t agree with any of the candidates running. If this is the case, then I recommend watching Season 8 Episode 8 of South Park- the episode is titled "Douche and Turd".

For those unaware of South Park, it’s basically this hilarious animated sitcom revolving four boys. It uses satire to discuss many political topics- sometimes controversial ones.

This episode starts off with a mascot (a cow) in the school gym, when all of the sudden PETA (an organization which treats animals as its equals) comes and tells the principle to change their mascot. Apparently cows are treated very horribly and it’s not cool to have them as a school’s mascot; resulting in the kids having to vote for a new one. Since the mascots on the ballot aren’t as cool, Kyle and Cartman come up with their own: Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich.

In a way, this may sound horrible, but in all honesty, this episode (among other episodes of South Park) gives a lesson- sometimes, an election is going to be among people you despise (in literal terms according to the episode- between a douche and a turd sandwhich), but that should not keep you from voting.

I am also sure everyone is aware of the fact that women weren’t always allowed to vote. In fact, on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified to grant women the right to vote. We owe it to women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who fought day and night just so women could get their rights.

There are also many countries who don’t give their citizens the right to vote. In fact people have died fighting to earn this right; and some are even fighting right now. In America, we have a privilege- and we should take full advantage.

According to a post on The Guardian, “If you don’t vote then you lose the right to complain about anything the government… [does] until the next general election”.

So please, if you are lucky enough to vote, then vote. We live in a democracy and “democracy only works when the people participate”. So please, I encourage everyone to participate and contribute to this election.

*I recommend you all to watch the episode I discussed above: http://www.watchseries.li/episode/south_park_s8_e8.html (just click on links, and one of them will work)*

Whitney Harrison

Last week, we discussed gender and sex. We also came to the conclusion that humans receive or are assigned gender roles as soon as we are born. The cultural construction of gender is the way humans learn to behave in regard to their respective gender. Gender is divided into two categories masculine and feminine; these two characteristics are assigned to a sex so that each can perform the norms of the assigned groups. Children are the easiest group to target in terms of media enforcement of gender, because they pick up what they see as well as what they taught. I have recently saw this commercial for this toy called GoldiBlox. GoldieBlox’s mission is to reevaluate the way we think of toys for girls and promote STEM amongst them. This commercial can commended for many reasons, it challenges western hegemony (power enforced through ideas rather then force) in that it is promoting a science toy for girls but, I do feel the company could’ve pushed the envelope a little more. Do you feel that this commercial is a step in the right direction? and why?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0NoOtaFrEs

Arielle Tornheim

Last week during our discussion on race and gender we spoke about Caitlyn Jenner at one point. This reminded me about how Caitlyn won “Woman of the Year” by Glamour Magazine, there was a whole controversy on it considering that she wasn’t even a woman for a year. A widower of a 9/11 officer returned his late wife’s award because he thought it disrespected his wife. His wife had to die for our country in order to receive while Jenner just had to turn into a woman. In the article below it shows that Glamour magazine said that they recognized Jenner for being brave enough to come out and show her true self. http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/16/living/widower-911-officer-glamour-award-caitlyn-jenner-feat/

Do you think that Glamour Magazine was right to put Caitlyn Jenner as the “Woman of the Year”? Or was the widower right for returning the award?

13 April, 2016 23:52

On April 5th, Mississippi put into effect a bill that allows business to deny gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of services. This has obviously become such an issue as same-sex marriage has recently been legalized.

This bill has been so widely criticized that even some celebrities refused to preform in Mississippi. Singers Bryan Adams as well as Bruce Springsteen have canceled all performances in Mississippi.

Hopefully this bill will eventually be repealed.

Zainab Iqbal

So in class the other day, the topic of sexism came up. Professor Miller showed us the 1981 LEGO poster, and it just made me think.

If you think about it, there are people who assume that everything has to do with race or, everything has to do with gender. But that is not the case. The Oscars this year was hosted by Chris Rock, whom as we all know is Black. And as you all also may know, there was a huge controversy regarding the lack of nominations among the Black actors/actresses. In fact, it became such a huge problem, that many people boycotted the Oscars. But, you know what Chris Rock said in his opening monologue? He said, "Everything’s not sexism, everything’s not racism", and he’s right.

Now this brings me to the LEGO poster. There are people who think this was made to show that girls play with LEGOS. But I did some research and that isn’t exactly the case. Basically, what it’s teaching is to stop gender segmenting children’s toys. In fact, Huffington Post news editor writes:

"This little girl is holding a LEGO set. The LEGOs are not pink or “made for girls.” She isn’t even wearing pink. The copy is about “younger children” who “build for fun.” Not just “girls” who build. ALL KIDS. In an age when little girls and boys are treated as though they are two entirely different species by toy marketers, this 1981 ad for LEGO — one of our favorite images ever — issues an important reminder."

And the clothes the girl is wearing, those were literally her own clothes that she chose to wear.

"And those were her own clothes—the comfy jeans and blue striped t-shirt and sneakers without a hint of pink that she wore in off the street." (womenyoushouldknow.net)

This ad was not made to show that girls were treated any less than boys. This was created to show that ALL kids play with LEGO’s. In fact, it was mostly to show other toy companies to stop putting girls and boys into separate categories.

"Let’s give all children a world of play that includes all colors and all possibilities, and let’s market it that way" (womenyoushouldknow.net).

And like Chris Rock once said in his opening Oscars monologue, "Everything’s not sexism, everything is not racism."

*if you want to check out the article: http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/little-girl-1981-lego-ad-grown-shes-got-something-say/ *

Lauren Sitt

Today in class we spoke about gender equality, and i just heard that today is equal pay day. I looked it up and equal pay day is the symbolic day when womens earnings finally catch up to what men earned in the previous year. Women make up to an average of .79 cents for every dollar a man makes. however the size of the gap varies based on ethnicity. Latinas get paid as low as 50 cents compared to an average non hispanic man. Like we asked in class, i wonder if as time goes on will this gap get smaller? right now women are getting paid 21% less than most men for doing the same job. According to the Atlantic president Obama said that companies with over 100 employees are required to report to the government how much each employee is getting paid including their race, gender, and ethnicity. As I’m reading more about it, I am noticing that the best path women should take right now is to fight for better pay. We have a long way to go until we will hopefully achieve equal pay. However my advice for each individual women is to go talk to your co workers and see what they are getting paid and then talk to your boss. Do this in a respectful way and don’t do this if you will risk losing your job. Hopefully in the future this won’t even be an issue anymore. What do you think women or even men can do to even the wage gap?

Marcella Meykler

I was in the Wall Street area on Friday and I saw a bunch of people gathered in a square with posters saying things like "Impeach Obama" and "Bring Back Hamiltonian Ways". I don’t know if it could be called a rally, but it was basically people part of a movement called the LaRouche Movement who were trying to spread the word around. Seeing such radical and extreme ideas may turn off many people and cause them to ignore it. I was thinking about the different political movements and the excerpt we read from Putnam’s Bowling Alone about political participation, so I decided to find out more about the movement. Everyone was more than happy to share and explain the movement. They call themselves the LaRouchePAC. The guy started out with explaining how Wall Street banking is all about speculation and the main purpose is to make money, which originated from the British economic system. He said the American way is to be more productive in order to "create" products and "create" jobs. Their goal is to eliminate Wall Street and speculative banking. They also want to reform education in order to create "geniuses". Meaning, for students to be able to reason things out using logic rather than referring to textbooks. They wanted to bring back the policies of FDR, such as the Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited commercial banks from engaging in investment business. He told me that Obama is just continuing George Bush’s policies and is supporting Wall Street, rather than trying to eliminate it.

The ideas themselves may be attractive to many people, but the way they are presented makes them seem very extreme, which might turn many people away. As I approached the square where this was taking place, all I could see were posters with extreme sayings. As the guy was talking to me, he used many phrases that came off a bit odd, such as "we want to turn our children into geniuses" when talking about educational reform, and "Obama will start a nuclear war".

Some of the ideas presented seem perfectly reasonable, but the strong language, and the extreme statements may turn some people off. I was thinking if the way that information is presented to people may be the reason that so many are turned off and don’t participate.
What do you think is the best way to present information to people when you are trying to persuade them or share your beliefs?
What do you think about this movement?
.
This is a link to their website.
https://larouchepac.com

Sasha Bonilla

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/17/truth-in-signage-in-the-toy-aisle-after-target-removes-gender-labels-whats-next/?_r=0

Today’s class discussion reminded me of how a few months ago, Target removed gender labels from certain departments in their store. One of the more significant changes was the removal of gender labels from the toy department. Target’s toy section no longer specifies girls toys vs boys toys. Personally I feel this is a step towards removing gender limitations in childhood and allowing children to develop without being categorized. Like mentioned in class we are already categorized so much by society and we shouldn’t subject children’s toys to categorization. Some would argue this change is abandoning traditional beliefs such as girls play with dolls and boys play with building blocks, but when a large retailer like Target removes gender signs the effects ripple. Studies have shown that children as young as 30 months old are already avoiding toys associated with the other gender either by type, label or color. I feel this inhibit a big part of childhood development. In the article I linked above the author, Erica Weisgram, suggest that alternate labels be used now that gender labels are no longer in use. The article suggests labels such as “Spatial skills” (blocks, Legos, puzzles, vehicles, crafting toys), “Thinking” (puzzles, board games, educational toys) and, “Nurturing” (baby dolls, stuffed animals, vet and doctor sets). What do you guys think about these labels? Are they a successful alternative to gender labels? Comment what you think about this article or any other thoughts/concerns you have!