CRN 52695

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  1. 63-Year-Old Pipeline Causes Threats to Straights of Mackinac
    By Kelly Tracy
    “Where going up north”! That’s what I always said when I was a kid, and never did it occur to me to mean anything but driving with my mom and dad to go camping on the Great Lakes coastline. My childhood memories are filled with great times swimming and playing on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Superior. If you’ve lived in our beautiful state I’m sure you’ve had those experiences also. Our beautiful Straights of Mackinac are at an extreme risk of oil spill due to the 63-year-old pipeline that runs from Canada through the Upper Peninsula down to Detroit. The company that owns this pipeline is oil transporter Enbridge. Their Line 5 pipeline carries 23 million gallons of light crude oil a day through our straights. Scientists at The University of Michigan and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory conducted research and provided 840 scenarios in which oil would spread in an oil leak at the straights and the results were scary to say the least. Michigan must ban the transport of crude oil through the straights pipeline.
    We are putting too much risk into harming our lakes if we continue to allow oil to be transported by line 5. Heavy currents in the straights would cause oil to spread almost to the thumb of Michigan. The U.S. Coast Guard said the straights are the worst possible place for an oil spill. High seas which occur regularly at and surrounding the straights make it extremely unsafe to dispatch the types of ships needed to clean up an oil spill.
    Enbridge has also violated an agreement between them and the State of Michigan by not maintaining the pipelines support structures. An 80-page report from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality Safety Task Force which was released in July 2015 showed gaps in methods and results of pipeline integrity inspections. The agreement between the company and Michigan also includes a stipulation that Enbridge must carry insurance on the pipeline in case of a spill and documents regarding the insurance were not released.
    Enbridge says they have maintained the pipeline, and installed on three different occasions different support structures under the pipeline. Their statement regarding the University of Michigan study claims that only 4,950 gallons of oil would be spilled in a leak at the straights because there are automatic shut off valves on each side of the straights that would shut off the leak within three minutes.
    In 2010 the oil leak in the Kalamazoo river was caused by a pipeline also owned by Enbridge. This leak spilled 800 thousand gallons of oil and lasted 17 hours. They had to pay $1.2 billion for clean-up and were fined another $80 million by the state. It is just not worth the risk. An environmental group named for the Love of Water provided an easy alternative to Line 5. We also have the Alberta Clipper and Line 6 which are pipelines in Michigan that could very well carry the oil for line 5.
    Mackinac Island, Mackinac city, St. Ignace. They’re all places vital for our tourism. They are the definition of Pure Michigan. We have to stop the transportation of oil through our straights to protect our environment and to provide a vacation destination for generations to come. It would be so sad if our children could never visit Fort Michilimackinac or take a ferry over to the island and ride on a horse and buggy.

  2. The Federal Minimum Wage: making it livable
    By Nicola Vesia

    The minimum wage is supposed to raise with economic inflation, if it actually did, the minimum wage would now be $25/per hour. But as we all know, the federal minimum wage has not been raise for five years and is currently $7.25/per hour. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law The Fair Labor Standards Act. This law was passed to ensure that employees would be paid equitable salaries and be treated fairly. Back then the minimum wage was set at 25cent/per hour. In fact, this law remains in effect today, updating periodically with the inflation. The minimum wage is supposed to help the poor with less skills and the younger workers of the economy, but it does not; some researchers and experts in economics argue that minimum wages does very little to help poor people but instead, it harms the minority population they were intended to help and support. A worker earning our current minimum wage would have to work about 8 hours of a full day to be able to buy the average amount of schools supplies needed by a third grader. Increasing the federally mandated minimum wage will lift people out of poverty.

    Raising the minimum wage in America will give people a livable income and improve their living standards. They would be able to lift themselves out of poverty. People getting out of poverty will also lead to potentially less people on government subsidies, so America will have more people earning livable wages, less people using government subsidies and that equals more transaction, more money flowing into the economy. That will lead to less government spending but also more government income collected. According to Bernie Sanders “In the year 2015, a job must lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage and must be raised to a living wage.”

    Increasing the minimum wage will higher workers morale, it has been shown to be a powerful driver of performance in all organizations. Research shows its advantages in efficiency, benefit, consumer loyalty and workers wellbeing. If you pay someone how you would like them to work and you pay them well, you are going to see them work well. If you pay them like garbage, do not be surprise with what you get when you pay them terribly. A morale boost is going to benefit companies down the road, it is a trickled down effect. Increase morale means more pride in their work which means they are going to work harder and are going to provide a good service, the consumers are going to be satisfied and as we know, they are the ones who give you the money to pay and support your business. According to the American Psychology Association, companies that meet the criterion of a psychologically healthy workplace environment, benefit from improved work quality and productivity, lower absenteeism, less turnover, and better customer service ratings.

    It will be devastating for smaller businesses detractors argue. Increasing the minimum wage is a cost to businesses, if this cost is raised, the money has to come from somewhere, and most likely where is going to come from is from additional hiring. When the minimum wage is raised, the net job creation goes down. Companies do not see a lot of laid off but it does slow the hiring process and right now that will be that last thing Americas economy needs. According to Kevin Hassett, economist at the American Enterprise Institute and former advisor to John McCain & Mitt Romney “Lifting the minimum wage would result in job loss. A bunch of workers would get bigger checks while a bunch of workers would have to lose their jobs”

    Detractors argue that increasing minimum wage would increase unemployment and that it will result in 500,000 jobs lost. But actually that number is not a substantial amount considering how many people are unemployed in America. According to Arindrajit Dube, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, increasing the minimum wage by 10 percent would decrease employment by less than 1 percent. Most of the time, businesses have sufficiently high profits to bear the cost of paying their workers a higher salary. Therefore, most businesses would not need to fire workers to make up the expense of an expanded salary.

    Over six hundred economist, including seven Nobel Prize winners endorse raising the minimum wage. They agree that past increases in the minimum wage has little to no impact on employment. Congress could raise the federal minimum wage from 7.25 to 10.10 an hour and have a positive impact on lower income people making the majority of them have a livable wage and live over the poverty line.

    1. April 16, 2016

      Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage Is Harmful

      By Seth Johnson

      According to the April 6, 2016 issue of By the Numbers: Federal Minimum Wage, “the federal minimum wage in 2016 is $7.25 an hour.” Minimum wage is set by the federal government however; states can have a higher minimum wage rate. California and New York have recently passed legislation to increase the minimum wage. The article in By the Numbers: Federal Minimum Wage also states, “California’s minimum wage will be $15.00 by 2022” This would be the highest minimum wage in the nation. Increasing the minimum wage will hurt the economy thus hurting individuals and small businesses. Some believe small business will struggle to survive with higher minimum wage requirements. Some businesses would not be able to afford to hire additional staff if the minimum wage is increased and some people may actually be laid off. Increasing the federal mandated minimum wage will hurt individuals and small businesses.

      Raising the minimum wage will increase the unemployment rate. When states enact a rate higher than the national average, a large number of people will be out of work. Mark Wilson from the Cato Institute wrote, “The basic theory of competitive labor markets, predicts that a minimum wage imposed above the market wage rate will reduce employment.” Raising the minimum wage can also force employers to pay more for workers than what they deserve or what is required of the job. For example, if companies are forced to pay unskilled workers the current rate of skilled workers, companies may higher fewer workers.

      Increasing the minimum wage will be devastating for small business. Small businesses need to be able to hire additional workers as they grow in order to thrive and survive in a competitive market. Small business will not be able to afford to hire additional workers because of the increased costs. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, “A government mandate such as this would need to be completely absorbed by small business owners, who are already operating on razor-thin margins.” Small businesses already have a hard time competing with larger businesses. Forcing small businesses to pay more in wages will continue to be a hardship for companies.

      Opponents argue that a growing minimum wage will improve living standards and lift many people out of poverty. Some believe that raising the minimum wage rate will provide more income to families who are struggling to make a living. Many low wage workers include teenagers, first time workers, and unskilled employees. Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz wrote to Congress, “A minimum wage increase would provide a much-needed boost to the earnings of low-wage workers.”

      Congress could raise the minimum wage to provide increased pay to people in the lower income bracket. Raising the minimum wage would be an effort to improve the standard of living for people struggling because of a low income. However, many people living in poverty do not work so increasing the minimum will not help improve many lives. Politico commentator Michael Salstman wrote, “A majority of our country’s poor don’t have employment, and thus won’t benefit from a raise.” Increasing the minimum wage will not help individuals who are not in the workforce.

      Increasing the minimum wage rate can have a negative impact on both individuals and businesses. In order to raise the rate, Congress must pass a bill and the President must sign the bill before it becomes a law. States like California and New York are providing solutions on a more local level by passing laws to increase the minimum wage over a period of time. By increasing the wage over a longer duration, the government will have time to study the results on the local and national economy.

    2. Increasing the minimum wage: not the best solution to decrease poverty
      By Nicola Vesia

      In 1938 President Franklin Roosevelt established the minimum wage of $0.25 cents per hour under the simply premise of “pay your workers enough so they can afford the basic necessities of life”. Is not that the young people aren’t working, but is that they are not getting paid fairly. How did America got to a point where employees could work a full time job, 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year and still be in poverty? I am not sure but raising the minimum wage will not reduce poverty.

      Increasing the minimum wage is a cost to businesses. If this cost is raised, the money has to come from somewhere, and most likely is going to come from additional hiring. The free market is going to set minimum wages where they need to be; let’s say that a company wants to pay $5.00 an hour for making hamburgers but no one is interested in the job because is not enough money. The business will have to increase their wages until they can attract the kind of employees the company needs to make the hamburgers. According to Hugh Rockoff, an associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, economies tend to growth less when government sets in control prices. Higher minimum wages restrict the economic growth plus increases unemployment because if the minimum wage is set at $10.00 per hour, the company of hamburgers could only afford to hire one person but if there was an unrestricted wage market, they could attract two workers who would be willing to work for $5.00 an hour each. Heritage Foundation expert James Sherk argues, “Labor economists have repeatedly studied the effects of minimum wage increases. They find no correlation between higher minimum wages and lower poverty. Raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour as the President suggests simply would not reduce poverty.”

      According to the United States Department of Labor, in 1993 minimum wage was $4.25 an hour. That means that that $4.25 an hour today would be $6.97 cents an hour. Minimum wage has actually kept pace with inflation and up to this year the minimum wage is actually above the inflation rate. This says a lot, it means government and business owners are not stealing from anybody and that its pretty much the same now as it was twenty-three years ago. So current minimum wage is not a bad thing, if people 23 years ago could do it, why can’t everyone do it today? Setting a minimum wage is an attempt to alleviate poverty that actually increases it.

      Detractors of not raising the minimum wage in America argue that increasing it will give people a livable income and improve their living standards. They believe that it would give the poor the ability to lift themselves out of poverty. People getting out of poverty will also lead to potentially less people on government subsidies, so according to the Heritage Foundation, a public policy research institute, America will have more people earning livable wages, less people using government subsidies and that equals more transaction, more money flowing into the economy. Bernie Sanders argues, “In the year 2015, a job must lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage and must be raised to a living wage.”

      While in the short run detractors might have some good arguments, in the long run it will actually create unemployment. When an owner of a business realizes that they cannot afford so many workers as they used to, they will start to reduce their personnel and substitute them with machines, less employment for Americans and more people in poverty.

      Minimum wage is not meant to live of off. Nowadays, workers are making more per inflation at minimum wage than what they did 23 years ago. Minimum wage doesn’t need to change at all, it is meant for 16 years old kids with no experience at all or even not a high school or college degree to earn some cash and spend it on the weekend. What really needs to change is the upper 1% that we have in this country that is all about profits and nothing else.

    3. Raising the Minimum Wage Causes More Harm than Good
      By: Parker Marsh

      Raising the minimum wage is an effort being led by many hard working American citizens who want nothing but to allow themselves and their fellow workers to have a livable wage for their families. This endeavor is good hearted and has the right intentions. However, raising the federal minimum wage would have many adverse effects that would not be immediately apparent. Increasing the minimum wage will cause an increase in unemployment that would be devastating for the American economy, will not bring individuals out of poverty, and will be disastrous for small businesses that are already struggling to make ends meet.
      Increasing the federal wage would inevitably lead to an increase in unemployment. The law is, at its very core, an unemployment law. Artificially forcing wages to rise cannot possibly add jobs to the economy, it can only eliminate ones that do not meet the standards of the United States Government. According to Tim Worstall of, the earned income tax credit has been proven to increase employment. Due to that, we can then say with certainty that the minimum wage will increase unemployment. Worstall also showed evidence that adding a $15-dollar minimum wage could cause the economy to lose as many as three million jobs.
      The argument is also heavily predicated on the idea that lower income families are the primary beneficiaries of the minimum wage. This is not necessarily the case. According to the Congressional Budget Office, they declared that the primary recipients of the minimum wage come from middle class families that are in no danger of entering into poverty. This increase in the wages would cause those that are truly in desperate financial need would be those most hurt by the increase in the wage. They will be the primary victims of price increases that would inevitably come with an increase in the federal minimum wage.
      Proponents of a federal minimum wage increase believe that it is in the best interest of the business as it will increase their workforce’s morale and thereby increase productivity. This might be true to an extent, but it is nonetheless not the job of the united states government to interfere in the business practices of private institutions. We see examples of companies that follow this train of thought without the requirement of government force to make them undertake this method. Costco has already voluntarily increased their worker’s wages to over $20 dollars an hour. Costco has come out in support of a higher minimum wage because, according to Worstall of, because they already pay a much greater amount than minimum wage because they know it will hurt their competitors. If companies believe paying their employees more is in their best financial interest, then they will do so without the forceful coercion from the government. The truth of the matter is, that some businesses are not financially capable of being able to afford such a drastic increase in their payroll. If companies believe that it is in their best financial interest, and would increase productivity to the point where they believe a drastic pay raise is justified, then they will increase their wages regardless of the minimum wage. Increasing the minimum wage only hurts the employers without the morale boost of their workforce being enough to make up the deficit.
      Increasing the federal minimum wage sounds great at a surface level, but an in depth look at the economics behind the issue shows that this is a naïve, yet good intentioned movement. It will cause a drastic increase in prices for low income families that they will not be able to afford and will increase the already high unemployment rate.
      Instead of raising the federal minimum wage, the government ought to look towards increasing the earned income tax credit. This, according to Carrie Sheffield at, would allow lower income families to keep a larger portion of the earnings from being collected in taxes that they cannot afford. This becomes a much more market-friendly idea that does not put all of the burden on small businesses to foot the bill of an expanded minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage has inevitable adverse side effects, but raising the EITC can only benefit those struggling to get by.

  3. Body Cameras and Law Enforcement
    By: Riley Carbonell
    Over the past few years the news headlines have been dominated by stories about law enforcement officers shooting or killing unarmed citizens. Body cameras have recently been named as the best way to investigate violent police incidents and bring more transparency to America’s law enforcement officers. The complaint is that the frequent incidents of violence between law enforcement officers and unarmed citizens could be more easily prevented or justified with video evidence from body cameras. These body cameras would’ve been very useful in investigating the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri. Many details of the shooting have been undetermined and could have been better clarified by the use of body cameras.
    Body cameras will help to increase the accountability of law enforcement officers. Officers will find it much easier to behave and follow the rules when everything they do on the job is recorded by a camera. This is important because when the police are following the rules it makes the population feel safer and more protected from police misconduct. A South Florida University report showed that when officers were equipped with body cameras use-of-force incidents fell by 53%, civilian complaints dropped by 65%, and there was also a significant reduction in the amount of civilians injured by those officers (Wing).
    Body cameras can help to reduce frivolous complaints and false accusations against law enforcement officers. This is significant because these frivolous complaints waste tax-payer money and also time, while false accusations against officers can lead to unjustified corrective action and lengthy court battles with citizens. According to a study by the University of Cambridge, complaints and accusations against officers dropped by 90% over a 12 month period, compared to the prior year (Ziv).
    Outfitting law enforcement agencies with body cameras is a very expensive endeavor. While the cameras alone can be quite expensive, the real cost is in handling the storage for all the video that is taken. This is important because while many people support the idea of using these body cameras, they say that the high cost just isn’t worth it. Many police departments simply don’t have room in their budget to buy cameras without laying off employees. In Baltimore, MD a proposal to buy body cameras was vetoed because the estimated cost of video storage each year was 2.6 million dollars (Bakst, Foley).
    While the cost of body cameras seems overwhelming, they are becoming an absolute necessity in today’s world. The benefits that these cameras will offer far outweigh the monetary cost. The research has proven that body cameras greatly reduce the number of citizen complaints and use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. We simply cannot ignore the safety of our citizens and law enforcement officers just because of the cost, we must find a way to pay for it and enact it.
    All law enforcement officers should have to wear body cameras so that we can see what really happens during a life threatening encounter. Many violent encounters that involve law enforcement officers just create questions and doubt. Body cameras will create definitive answers and evidence in incidents involving law enforcement officers. We must utilize this resource to help keep everyone safe, no matter the cost.

    1. The Price of Accountability
      By Andrew Thompson

      Over the past several years, there has been an influx of the numerous incidents brought to our attention involving altercations between police officers and citizens, where the citizen ends up hurt or dead and no charges are brought up on the officer. This is a real problem that has a potential real solution. People want their law enforcement departments to be more transparent and held more accountable, and they are justified in that. It is the duty of officers to serve and protect. A potential and seemingly obvious solution would be the implementation of body cameras to be worn by officers at all times to document every interaction with citizens. While this is a brilliant idea, the question arises as to how much will this cost? While we all want to see transparency in our law enforcement agencies, the price to hold officers accountable exceeds what taxpayers are willing to pay.
      Budget problems are an affliction that government agencies contend with, and police departments are no exception. Putting the pressure on law enforcement agencies to outfit their officers with body cameras puts more strain on a budget that is probably already tight as it is. The cameras are not cheap. Outfitting law enforcement agencies with body cameras can be a very expensive endeavor. The cameras alone can range from $100 to $1000 each. Last September, the Justice Department pledged $23 million to aid agencies in outfitting their officers with body cameras. While this is a step in the right direction, the reality is $23 million does not come close to what every law enforcement agency across the country needs. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake reported that the cost to outfit the city’s police department alone would be $11.6 million.
      Even if the required funding was obtained to satisfactorily equip officers with the body cameras, there is concern at how officers could feasibly get around the usage of cameras. Cameras could break or malfunction is other ways with no way of proving that that the officer had any intent in contributing to the malfunction. Harvard Law Review referenced an instance where a New Orleans police officer who was equipped with the body camera provided by the department, shot an unarmed man while attempting to take him into custody. However, the investigation found that she had simply turned the camera off right before the incident happened.
      While the cost of body cameras may seem high to fiscally responsible taxpayers, it is important to note that body cameras have been used with great success. Data collected from the Mesa Police Department in Mesa, Arizona found that officers who wore the body cameras had better interactions with the public than those who did not. Officers who did not wear the cameras had 65 percent more complaints than those who wore the cameras. The cameras provide the transparency that people want from law enforcement. Transparency and accountability play a very important role to bridge the gap between law enforcement agencies and ordinary citizens. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “transparency leads to public trust and trust benefits the community.” At what costs are we willing to pay for this trust?
      Law enforcement officers have an obligation to serve and protect its citizens. In many law enforcement agency’s offices or websites, you will find the phrase, “To serve and protect.” The lengths that they are able to go to accomplish their mission depends largely on the budget provided to them and that budget is highly dependent on us as taxpayers. As taxpayers, we do not want to pay the price that body cameras would cost us.

  4. Liberty Must Supersede Security
    By: Parker Marsh

    We live in an age in which the media is capable of accessing their audiences instantaneously. As a result, Americans hear stories of terrorism on a regular basis. With Isis and mass shootings capturing headlines, we as a society must make the commitment to our personal liberties, guaranteed to us by the founding fathers of this country. With the recent renewal of the Patriot Act, passed with support from both parties, the American willingness to give away our individual freedoms is becoming all too real a threat. Making the correct decision is not always the easy one, but we as a society must be willing to sacrifice some of our security in order to guarantee our freedom.
    As I have already stated, The Patriot Act was a movement passed by congress in the months following the September 11th attack on the world trade center in 2001, and recently renewed under the Obama administration with some small changes. According to David Rosenzweig of the Los Angeles Times, this piece of legislation violates individual liberty. NBC News reported that, in 2007, two provisions of the USA Patriot Act were ruled unconstitutional because it allowed search warrants to be issued without probable cause being declared. These measures were allowed to stand for several years before they were pulled. This was able to go on the records for several years due to the fear of another attack similar to 9/11. This paranoia allowed freedoms to be constricted for a significant amount of time.
    National security is certainly on the minds of American citizens after the attacks in Paris and Brussels. According to Libby Nelson of, a new poll showed that as many as three out of four Americans believe there will be a terrorist attack on American soil in the next year. This fear could easily be taken advantage of by those in charge to push measures that infringe on the right to privacy. Is this fear truly warranted though? According to Nadia Khomani of the Guardian, there have been less than 15 terrorist attacks on U.S soil since September 11th, most of them unsuccessful. This number, for the amount of fear that is generated by it, is rather low. It certainly is a fear that should be fought as best as it can. But as a society, Americans must not be willing to sacrifice their freedoms in defeating that evil. If so, the terrorists have achieved their goal, scaring the American people into obedience.
    The debate about liberty versus security has been raging for years, with many neoconservative politicians strongly defending the government expansion of surveillance programs in the wake of 9/11. Former vice president Dick Cheney has been a proud supporter of government surveillance programs. In an article by Jake Miller of CBS News, Cheney defended the idea that the programs are absolutely necessary to prevent another terrorist attack in the future. He and his ideological supporters believe that 9/11 could have been prevented had these measures already been in place at the time. “When you consider somebody smuggling a nuclear device into the United States, it becomes very important to gather intelligence on your enemies and stop that attack before it ever gets launched,” he said.
    Cheney’s entire platform is predicated on fear of the unknown. This paranoia without concrete evidence can allow government to expand into the lives of citizens without end. If Americans believe that they are in danger, regardless of the actual evidence supporting so, they are more willing to sacrifice their personal liberties. In a statement reported by CNN writer Jeremy Diamond, The Bush Administration admitted that “a large portion of data collected will not be related to terrorism.” This is not worth sacrificing the right to privacy for.
    Since the days of our original founding fathers, the debate between liberty and security has been a hotly contested topic, with strong supporters with valid points on both sides of the aisle. However, the freedom to privacy and independence from government oversight is one of the founding principles of American society. Freedom does not always come free, and it is impossible to stop all bad people from doing horrific things. As a society, America must not be willing to sacrifice their right to liberty in order to gain a little peace of mind. If America allows government tyranny to take place, then terrorism is being enabled to be successful. We mustn’t give in.

  5. Birth “Control”?
    by: Trent Lyons

    When teenage girls become pregnant, they are not left with many options. It basically boils down to dropping out of school to support the child, putting the child up for adoption, or abortion. Sure, everyone argues for the youth to be responsible and have safe sex (myself included), but mistakes happen and they always will happen. So why are prescriptions required for birth control pills you may ask? That is something that many people wonder. Birth control pills have been around for decades and while outlawed at first, eventually became prescription drugs. Condoms don’t require prescriptions…so why are we making it difficult for younger women in society to have safe sex? Prescriptions should not be required for birth control pills.
    With abortion stirring such an enormous debate recently, it seems like taking the route of preventing women to even have to choose would be wise. Abortions were practiced up until they were declared illegal in the 1880’s, and later legalized again in 1973 due to the famous Roe v. Wade case. By making birth control over-the-counter (OTC), the drug would be far more accessible to women trying to prevent pregnancy, which would ultimately lead to less abortions. An article from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shared that of 100 women who use this method each year, about nine women may get pregnant on the combined pills and five will get pregnant on the mini-pills. The article also indicated that the risk of pregnancy is much less for women who take the pill correctly—every day at about the same time. Those statistics prove that birth control pills are, in fact, an effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, leading to less fuss over the issue of abortion.
    Any citizen that is aware of how drug sales work might question the government’s choice to rule birth control pills a prescription drug. It is commonly known that for the most part, prescription drugs are more expensive than over-the-counter drugs. A story by Soumya Karlamangla in the Los Angeles Times quoted Sarah McBane, president of the California Pharmacists Association, “The easier it is for someone to access medication, the more likely they are to use it.” Not only are prescription drugs costlier, but as indicated in the quote they are also more difficult to acquire. Karlamangla later stated that California will be ruling birth control an over-the-counter drug later this month (April). It is time for all states to push for this and force the government to repeal their greedy declaration of birth control being prescription drugs just to gain profit. By doing so, our nation would be cutting down the cost of the drug, making it more accessible, and perhaps forcing the government to stop determining certain drugs prescription simply for financial gains.
    Any drug being changed to OTC raises some concerns for all citizens, including birth control. As with any other drug, deaths have occurred to those taking it. That is the main concern of those against declaring birth control OTC. A piece from CNN by Jacque Wilson shares that the pill can increase a patient’s risk of blood clots and stroke, especially if she is obese or smokes. Not only can accidents happen with this drug, but it can be misused more often by consumers if made more accessible.
    For those concerned over users abusing the pill once made more easily obtained by buyers…that is none of your business; its harsh, but true. If one wanted to, they could go buy a gallon of bleach right now and chug it all. What is to be done about that? Put stricter laws and requirements on the purchasing of bleach? At some point we need to just accept the fact that there are stupid people in this world and there always will be. That being said, the pros would still crush the cons with my proposal. A study by Phillip Hannaford from thebmj revealed an interesting statistic that mortality among ever users of oral contraception was 12% lower than that of never users. So not only is the death of birth control users minimal, but it actually happens to be lower than those who do not use the pill.
    Eliminating the need for prescriptions for birth control pills would bring more good than bad. By allowing easier access to this drug, accidental pregnancy numbers would plummet and so would the abortion numbers. Also, the pill itself would be much cheaper being that it would be an over-the-counter drug. The only way to accomplish this goal is for state governments to start a new movement, much like California already has. All it takes is one state to persuade others to follow in their footsteps. When California erases the need for prescription on birth control this month, all of the results I mentioned above will inevitably occur and other states will soon follow. It is time to abolish this unnecessary difficulty placed on citizens attempting to have safe sex.

    1. Birth Control Prescriptions Keep Women Safe
      By Savannah Jensen
      According to moms across America, the best form of birth control is a night spent caring for an infant. However, for millions of other women, it is the little pill they swallow every morning. Birth control pills, also known as oral contraceptives, have been one of the most popular forms pregnancy prevention for decades now. These pills have always been available by prescription. But now, some states want to make oral contraceptives a drug that can be sold over the counter. Doing this would pose an enormous threat to many women’s health. It is for this reason that birth control pills must remain obtainable only by prescription.
      First, taking the pill can come with many health risks. Some of these risks include blood clots, strokes, and death. These are risks that doctors are able to assess at appointments made prior to them approving a women to start birth control. According to the article, Should Birth Control be Over the Counter?, OBGYN and hormone specialist, Dr. Poppy Daniels, sees a substantial amount of patients who have developed blood clots thanks to their hormonal birth control. According to Daniels, blood-clotting disorders are extremely common, and are typically related to a gene mutation that affects an estimated forty percent of the population. If women were to buy birth control pills over the counter, their individual risks for these health complications could not be assessed, putting an extremely high number of women’s health, and even their lives, in danger.
      Next, a required prescription makes women have to meet with a doctor before making the decision to start birth control. In this meeting with the doctor, women are fully informed of things they may not know, things they will need to know, and have a chance to ask any questions they may have before starting this daily regimen. They will be able to discuss which birth control is best for them with a professional. In the article, An Over the Counter Pill Isn’t Safe, Endocrinologist, Dr. Michael Olamoyegun, explains, “People should visit medical practitioners before taking any birth control pill. This is because there are things we observe in individuals before we recommend the best type of pill for them. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to oral contraceptives”. Picking a pack of pills off of a shelf, and hoping that they will be the right kind is not a safe enough option when it comes to birth control pills. With the help of a medical professional, women have the ability to be fully informed about decisions they are making for the care of their body.
      Lastly, some argue that making these pills over the counter as opposed to needing a prescription for them will make them less costly, and therefore possible for more women to obtain. However, any women wanting to start birth control pills that does not have the financial means is protected under the Affordable Care Act. According to Planned Parenthood, a health care provider with centers located all across the nation, the current Affordable Care Act birth control benefit allows women to receive any FDA-approved contraceptive method without a copay, as long as they have a prescription. Meeting with a medical professional, obtaining a prescription, and picking up pills can all be completed at one of their many locations. This allows women to receive affordable birth control pills while still getting to meet with a medical professional beforehand.
      To conclude, it is necessary to continue the process of getting a prescription before recieving birth control pills so that risks can be assessed and the best possible decisions for each individual woman can be made. It is understandable to want a quick and cheap way to prevent pregnancy, but it is clear that selling birth controls pills over the counter is not the way to do it. For the safety of all women, it is imperative that America keeps birth control a prescription drug.

      1. Benjamin Price
        Professor Kelly
        Writing 122
        18 April 2016
        Over-the-Counter Birth Control: the Solution
        Illegitimate pregnancy is a problem that looms over this nation. At one point in time, contraceptives were viewed of as unholy. Today we teach “safe-sex” in school to teenagers. Condoms are encouraged in order to prevent STD’s. For some reason oral contraceptives, or ‘the pill’ are extremely hard to come by. They are only available Over-the-Counter in Oregon. For those teenage girls in the other 49 states they have to have a prescription. It can be hard for minors to ask their parents to take them to the doctors so they can get birth control. Making birth control available OTC would greatly reduce the number of accidental pregnancies across the country.
        Making these pills available over the counter as opposed to needing a prescription for them will make them less costly, and therefore possible for more women to obtain. “According Reproductive health researchers at UCSF created a statistical model supposing that over the counter birth control pills would be available at low or no cost to women. In this scenario, an additional 11 to 21 percent of low-income women would start using the pill, resulting in an estimated seven to 25 percent decrease in unintended pregnancies.” A decrease in unwanted or unprepared pregnancies will benefit the parents as well as the quality of life of the child. To a teenage woman, pregnancy can mean that you have to drop out of school to make money to raise the child. The mother should have stayed in school, and waited to have a child when she was prepared.
        By making birth control available over-the-counter, the drug would be far more accessible, which would ultimately lead to less abortions. According to experts at Planned Parenthood Less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they always take the pill each day as directed. At least 50% of all American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45 and nearly 40% off all unintended pregnancies are terminated by abortion. Abortions are extremely dangerous, side effects include heavy or persistent bleeding, infection or sepsis, damage to the cervix, scarring of the uterine lining, perforation of the uterus, damage to other organs and worst of all death.
        The risks of abortions seriously out-weigh the risks of birth control. Many people who argue against making birth control available OTC argue that taking the pill can come with health risks such as blood clots. Experts Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstestrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine; practicing ob-gyn Alyssa Dweck, M.D., coauthor of V is for Vagina; and renowned breast cancer researcher Marisa Weiss, M.D., founder and president of, were asked to speak on the health risks of oral contraceptives. The general consensus is that the pill does increase the risk of blood clots, particularly the pills containing estrogen. However thats all in perspective, pregnancy will increase the risk of blood clots more than the pill. Smoking and being overweight are much worse for you than the pill, in fact many doctors prescribe birth control to control acne. The FDA would not allow this to happen if there was any serious health risks.
        Making birth control available OTC is a reliable way to prevent pregnancy and will be cost effective which will lead to more people using it. The benefits of ‘the pill’ include reducing the chances of pregnancy by 99.9%. 40% of all unintended pregnancies are terminated by abortion which could cause serious side effects, even death. Why should we make it more difficult for teenagers to practice safe-sex? Birth control should be available OTC because there are little to no repercussions of taking it.

      2. The Restrictions of Birth Control

        By David DeYoung

        In a world filled with uncertainties should we not be doing our very best to eliminate potential life changing events? If I told you that a train was speeding down the rail road tracks towards you and all you had to do was step off to the side to avoid certain death, would you do it? It seems like a rather silly question. However, in the world of birth control we are faced with a relatable dilemma. Unplanned births have gone up in recent years and we have just what we need in order to address this issue. Birth control should be made readily available for over the counter use. There are several reasons why it makes sense to make birth control readily available. The first and ,somewhat for most, being the lower costs offered. As stated by Senator Murray “I believe strongly that women should be able to get the comprehensive health care they need, when they need it, without being charged extra, without asking permission and without politicians interfering.” In This statement she is referring to a new bill she is working towards passing that will force health insurance companies to pay for the contraceptives in their entirety. Therefore, effectively removing cost as an issue. The other issue that remains would be making sure that the women receive top of the line assistance in the selection of anti birth pills. The solution is not to see a health care professional but to be guided by a knowledgable individual such as your pharmacist. In this quote from the Huffington post we see that we are actually behind the rest of the world in this area In all, only 45 countries require a prescription for birth control pills, while women in 102 countries can either access the pill over the counter or do so once they’ve completed a simple screening.” Some will argue that over the counter will lead to higher over all health issues. In this quote from the Daily Beast we see the this exemplified Dr. Poppy Daniels is an OBGYN and hormone specialist with over ten years of clinical experience. Daniels specializes in treating blood clotting disorders at her clinic in St. Louis, MO., and sees a substantial amount of patients who have developed blood clots thanks to their hormonal birth control. Most patients, she says, want to transition to another contraceptive method and have come to her for help.” However, If the proper explanations and educational resources are provided women should be more then capable of determining the proper birth control pill to fit their life styles. One hundred and two counties around the world are using this method and seeing positive results in real time. In conclusion I personally see over the counter birth control as the answer to a vast amount of unexpected pregnancies. In the same article from the daily beast, it was sated that a more readily available contraceptive would eliminate up to twenty-five percent of unwanted pregnancy. Why would we not implement such a ground breaking improvement?

      3. Just What the Doctor Didn’t Order
        By Breighn Lehmann
        What women want has been a long standing question on the minds of many. However, over the last couple years, it has become increasingly clear that what women really want is over-the-counter (OTC) birth control.
        There are people who believe that birth control pills should only be obtained by prescription through a medical professional, due to the enormous threat over-the-counter pills impose on a women’s health. The fact of the matter is that while over-the-counter pills would be cheaper and easier to gain access too, they would still generate the same health risks as birth control obtain via prescription.
        Over-the-counter birth control is no longer a radical idea of the future. Changes are being made within the government to allow certain birth control options to be sold over the counter, making it much more affordable. As stated in Wall St. Cheat Sheet: Why All Birth Control Pills Should be OTC, Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a surgeon and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, states “Over-the-counter sales would drive down prices substantially due to competition”. By wanting a piece of OTC pie, competition by the pharmaceutical companies would in turn create lower pricing for customers. An OTC birth control could potentially cost ten to twenty dollars per pack, which may seem pricey to some. However, when you compare the cost of an OTC pack of birth control pills to an unplanned pregnancy and raising a child for eighteen years, the twenty dollars a month seems like chump change.
        In addition to the cost savings, OTC birth control would also be more easily accessible, which is what women want. Women don’t want to have to wait around for hours at the doctor’s office just to obtain a prescription. They don’t have to wait on a prescription for emergency contraception anymore, so why does it need to be done for birth control? According to an article in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, author of Over-the-Counter Access to Oral Contraception: Reproductive Autonomy on Pharmacy Shelves or a Political Trojan Horse, Sara Mac Dougall states that studies show “sixty-eight percent of women in the United State favor OTC access to OC. Forty-one percent of those in favor were women who would start to use OC if it were available in pharmacies, and women who are uninsured and women with low incomes are proportionately more interested in OTC access”. By making oral contraceptives more easily accessible, that would be an additional forty-one percent of women who are protecting themselves against unplanned pregnancies.
        It’s said that over-the-counter birth control could be potentially dangerous due to the associated health risks that could occur, such as blood clots, but The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists puts that theory to rest. In the article Ob-Gyns Want the Pill Available OTC, the College points out that no drugs are risk-free, which includes commonly used pain relievers, such as aspirin and acetaminophen, and that although blood clots can occur with the use of birth control, chances are significantly lower than the risk of blood clots during pregnancy or even after. Health risks and medicinal side effects are listed for every drug on the market. If you are willing to put a drug in your body, then you are willing to take a chance at side-effect roulette.
        Risk assessment can be completed during a medical visit to help determine the best possible decision for each individual women, but if women aren’t given the freedom to purchase low cost, easily obtainable birth control to safeguard themselves, these women will soon be turned into mommies. Unplanned mommies, that is.

    2. Controlled for a Reason
      Ashley Bessette

      Birth control. It’s just a pill you’ll pop daily; it’ll prevent you from having children. That’s all there is to it, right? Everyone should have easy access to an over the counter birth control pill, right? No prescription should even be necessary, right? Wrong. That’s called a condom. Birth control has more effects and contraindications that women need to be aware of. Birth control absolutely needs a doctor’s prescription to be administered.
      Just as any medication, overdose is possible. Death can occur. Not only is death by overdose a concern, but also other health related issues are a concern. In 2015, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a study regarding glioma, which is a rare form of brain cancer. The study focused on the effects of hormonal birth control on the central nervous system, finding that there is indeed an increased risk of acquiring glioma with long-term birth control use. The survival rate, noted by the American Brain Tumor Association, is very low; the median time-span is 14 months. The two-year survival rate only reaches 30% of patients.
      Currently, to get birth control, you have to see a doctor. The doctor usually asks questions regarding family history of hypertension, cancer, thyroid disorders, and cholesterol. They ask these questions for a reason. There are side effects and contraindications with birth control! Hormonal birth controls act in the pituitary gland, which regulates the release of hormones, including thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). If a patient has a thyroid disorder and takes birth control, thyroid levels could drop or increase drastically causing abnormal bleeding, fatigue, weight gain, and increased cholesterol. The American Thyroid association states that up to 60% of thyroid disorders are undiagnosed. Now, without a doctor testing your TSH, T3 and T4 levels, how would you ever know if your birth control is going to effect your thyroid disorder?
      Prescription drugs can be more expensive than over the counter drugs, but not always. reported that birth control costs range from $15-$50 whether the patient has insurance or not. Personally, I paid $25 for a one-month supply of birth control when I lost my health insurance. When I had health insurance the month before, I was paying $10 per month. The difference isn’t bending my wallet.
      Birth control should be easily accessible, especially for the younger population, but a doctor must regulate it. There are extreme health risks involved with that tiny little pill. A doctor has to be aware of the changes a woman’s body is going through before, during, and after taking birth control. A doctor must be able to make necessary changes regarding the dosing or type of birth control a woman is taking.
      Our goal with implementing birth control is to prevent “accidents” in young women. We should also be concerned about their health, not their easy access to the shelf at Rite Aid where they’ll grab their synthetic hormones and go about their life. They could unknowingly be causing a lot of damage to their body.

    3. Birth Control and Keeping Women Safe
      Alexia Elston
      Professor Kendy
      WRT 122
      17 April 2016

      Skin rash, nervousness, depression, migraines, and breast and stomach pain are a few of the many side effects listed on the birth control Tri-Estarylla. Liver tumors, blood clots, and high blood pressure are also listed as a side effect on this birth control and on many other birth control pill packages. Some of these side effects can lead to death if not properly treated. These pills have only been available to women by prescription from a professional, but now some states are talking about making these oral contraceptives available over the counter. Doing this would pose an enormous threat to many women’s health. Birth control pills must remain obtainable only by prescription.
      According to an article from Young Women’s Health, nearly 11 million american women take birth control pills. With these numbers in mind imagine all the possible accidents or misuses that can occur if birth control pills become an over the counter drug. Currently, to get birth control, you have to be prescribed by a doctor who usually asks many questions regarding family history of various diseases and disorders. These questions are asked for a reason. Without a doctor asking these questions and properly diagnosing the right birth control how will women know if their birth control is going to effect them negatively? According to The Daily Beast “Dr. Poppy Daniels is an OBGYN and hormone specialist with over ten years of clinical experience. Daniels specializes in treating blood clotting disorders…and sees a substantial amount of patients who have developed blood clots thanks to their hormonal birth control.”
      Requiring birth control as a prescription allows women to meet with a doctor at least once every year and get informed about things they may not know about birth control and the possible side effects it may have. This meeting also allows women to ask questions about taking this daily regimen. Doctors can also discuss which birth control is the best fit for them and caring for their body while taking these oral contraceptives. Dr. Michael explains in an article on Punch Newspapers “People should visit medical practitioners before taking any birth control pill. This is because there are things we observe in individuals before we recommend the best type of pill for them. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to oral contraceptives.” Picking up a pack of pills of a shelf thats looks the most appealing is not a safe option when it comes to birth control pills.
      However, some people argue that more teens will be able to have access to birth control if it was over the counter, therefore bringing the teen pregnancy rate down. Although this would be an ideal situation if birth control was void of side effects, that is not the case. A New York Times article by Pam Bullock explained the new law that was recently passed in Oregon allowing birth control to be over the counter but anyone who purchases it has to be at least 18 years of age. By the time a women is 18 she can see a doctor and get a prescription without a parents consent so this new law is not helping the girls who are under 18 and need access to birth control.

      Birth control should be easily accessible, especially for those under 18, but it must be regulated by a doctor. There are many serious health risks involving the pill that can be monitored carefully by a doctor while a women is taking it and that is why birth control must remain a prescribed drug.
      To conclude, it is necessary to continue the process of getting a prescription from a professional doctor before receiving birth control. It is understandable that some women would want quick and easy access to birth control but for the safety of all women it is only reasonable that birth control remains a prescribed drug.

  6. “In a clinic in Tel Aviv (Israel), 65-year-old Noa lights a joint. She suffers from fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder, and explains how six months of smoking medical cannabis has transformed her life. ‘I can function again. Most importantly, I’m a grandma, I can roll around on the floor with the kids,’ she said as she discussed with a nurse what strain would best alleviate her symptoms.” However, this is not the case with opioids. Opioids are prescription medications that present abuse liability because of its addictive components. In “America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse,” Nora D. Volkow presents that between “26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin.” Opioid drug abuse and prescription drug-related deaths have taken a prominent place in the presidential campaign, and rightly so. The nation’s dependency on heroin and other powerful drugs is alarming. And now all stakeholders are trying to stop dozens of people every day from overdosing on drugs they’ve been prescribed or found on the street. Doctors should prescribe marijuana to patients rather than opioids to fight drug abuse in the United States.

    Israel is starting to attract American companies looking to bring medical marijuana to a booming market back home. This is important because the market for opioids will have to be replaced if it is permanently removed. In “U.S. firms target investment in Israeli cannabis R&D,” it was reported that “Since 2014, US firms have invested about $50 million in licensing medical marijuana patents. ‘I expect it to grow to $100 million in the coming year,’ Kaye said at CannaTech conference in Tel Aviv, one of the largest gatherings of medical marijuana experts.” This industry has already proven itself to be very profitable. So, any financial concerns with dropping opioids are easily fixable.

    Americans are typically prescribed opioids for chronic pain relief in order to manage their symptoms. Researchers wanted to find out what happens when patients supplement their pain relievers with cannabis. This is important because a study has already been done to show the effects of supplementing medical marijuana for opioids. In “The Medical Minute: Is Cannabis an Effective Substitute for Opiate Pain Relievers?” Lisa Rough stated, “By examining data from 273 registered medical marijuana patients at a clinic in Michigan, the results showed that using medical marijuana did not increase the likelihood of abusing alcohol or other drugs.” She also point out, “On average, states that legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes had a significantly lower annual opioid overdose mortality rate after the laws were implemented.”

    At the federal level, marijuana is still classified as a dangerous narcotic with no medicinal value. Because of this, you have to go through added layers of government red tape. It highlights the way marijuana research is being hindered by politics. This is important because without full legalization at the state and federal levels, this supplement of marijuana for opioids is far less likely to happen. Lisa Rough notes, “Even in states that have passed medical cannabis laws, the implementation is painstakingly slow. This lengthy, drawn-out process gives lawmakers time to establish proper rules and regulations, but there’s a risk of patients overdosing on opiate pain relievers as they wait for legal access to medical marijuana.”

    Federal law will eventually recognize marijuana for its medicinal use. Medical marijuana has a mortality rate of zero. Not a single person has died from marijuana abuse. Meanwhile, prescription drugs and alcohol cause thousands of deaths annually. Medical marijuana has also been proven to help with chronic pain and other disorders with no adverse effects.

    After all, study shows medical marijuana is a booming industry. It is also supplement for chronic pain treatment and many disorders. Opioids are only harming our society. People are always going to abuse something. However we can decrease the mortality rate and stop drug abuse by simply getting rid of these prescription drugs. Doctors should prescribe marijuana to patients rather than opioids to fight drug abuse in the United States.

  7. Patrick Nelson
    Professor Kendy
    WRIT 122
    11 April 2016
    Wage Increase Is Not the Answer

    The governor of California has been under pressure recently to raise the state minimum wage. He has been getting negative feedback from low-income workers from around California that are claiming it’s too hard to make ends meet with the current minimum wage and want it raised. Governor Jerry Brown just recently signed off to have minimum wage increased to $15/hour by 2022. However, what these same low-income workers that have fought to get this raise on minimum wage are failing to realize is, they may have just made things worse. Although the obvious line of thought would lead you to believe its as simple as raising minimum wage equals more money, there are other factors to consider. An increase of minimum wage this big this quickly could have counterproductive results for the average low-income worker. One factor to consider would be that with a raise in minimum wage, the qualifications for these lower end jobs could become more difficult. So instead of helping low-income workers earn more money and make a better living, it could potentially leave them unemployed. Another factor to consider would be that raising minimum wage would also eventually raise the cost of living in that area as well. An equilibrium of sorts is always balanced out between the economy and cost of living in a single area, so although you might be making a little more money after a wage increase, the cost of living is going to increase that same amount so in the end it’ll be just as hard as it was before for low-income workers. All of these things adding up to the same point, raising minimum wage wasn’t a good way to try and accomplish what these California workers wanted, and it will lead to problems eventually.
    Raising the minimum wage is not how low-income workers in California should go about trying to solve their issue. One major flaw in this plan would be that the cost of living in California would increase right along with the minimum wage. This is important to consider because after the cost of living adjusts to the new minimum wage, the same workers making that new minimum wage will still be having just as hard of a time making ends meet as they did before. Governor Jerry Brown warned people of this, stating, “raise minimum wage too much and you put a lot of poor people out of work.” This would be a crucial factor to overlook when considering raising minimum wage as a solution to low-income earners current complaints.
    Another big factor to consider would be the fact that a raise on minimum wage would also make lower level jobs harder to come by for these same workers that are currently fighting for this wage increase. If employers are forced to increase wages, its only natural that their requirements for the job would increase as well. No need to say, this would have a negative effect on these low-income workers, and would only make things harder for them in the long run when these low level jobs become harder to get.
    However, there are also the people that believe that raising minimum wage quickly will simply make things easier for low-income workers, many of whom are single parents trying to support one or more children as well as themselves. This is an important issue because even people without a college education should be able to live comfortably. This specific group of people is where this request for a raise on minimum wage originated.
    California raising its minimum wage was not a good idea, and isn’t a viable solution to these low-income workers quest for more money. Before signing this wage increase into law, they forgot to factor in the eventual increase in the cost of living in California due to this increase in minimum wage. They also ignored the fact that a raise in wages will also in turn make low-level jobs harder to come by, thus leaving more poor people of a job. A better solution to explore before signing off on a wage increase would have been possibly increasing welfare benefits or starting some other government program that’s designated to help low-income families.

  8. Homosexual Population of Excellence

    By: David DeYoung

    It was a beautiful day filled with laughs and sun! Our yearly beach day had been yet another success as all of our family friends pilled into the car to head to our favorite Ice cream parlor. However, upon arrival two of my closest friends ,who were a couple, began receiving stares and bigoted remarks geared towards their homosexuality. Our waiter even refused to look them in the eyes as he took our order.
    In the world we live in today homosexuality is a rather heated topic of discussion. Their are two sides to this issue. There are those whom support and except ,and those whom whole heartedly oppose the life style. These two sides clash rather violently on this issue, so much so that some have resorted to bashing gays as a means to suppressing the opposing view.
    Recently the country of the Dominican Republic held an election for its presidency. The winner of this particular race happened to be homosexual and a highly devoted one at that. A representative, Nuncio Thaddeus, of the Vatican told the newly elected president Brewster this “If you keep your private life behind the walls of your embassy, you’ll be O.K. here.” In a nut shell he was essentially informing the new president that if he desired to be effective, his homosexual life style must remain behind closed doors.
    How can a group of people be effective in furthering their cause and who they believe? They must first stay true to what they believe and show it unashamed. If they are willing to do this through out the world in the same way that they have in America, the tolerance of homosexuals will begin to become more wide spread. In an article by USA Today it explains the progress that has been made “About 55% of LGBT adults say the USA is headed in the right direction in general, compared with about 32% of the general public.” America is one of the biggest global leaders in same sex acceptance. This is predominately due to the efforts many gays have put forth to neutralize the bitter, bigotry directed towards them.
    Secondly the large and influential world of politics needs to become far more excepting of this group of individuals. What is the purpose of not supporting to such a beautiful group of expressive individuals? In fact if the politicians assist in the efforts to equalize gay rights, they can only win. The president of the Dominican Republic states “We knew the warmth of the people,….We also knew this was a place where there was a lot of opportunity to make progress on human rights.” In a nut shell, the promotion of this will allow for a more peaceful culture as well as more loyal voters. It is win, win.
    On the flip side we have individuals whom believe that it would defile the very order of nature to except such an “abomination”. As stated in an article from the TFP student action “Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses.” Clearly stated is the opposing opinion and how it would completely destroy wha nature intended, but is it true?
    Marriage is the union of two people whom love one another to the point they would give up their lives for the other. Therefore, why are gays any less capable of this kind of romantic love? For example, in evolution our world evolved into what it is currently under going vast changes. In the same way marriage is a product of this evolution as is the human race. Gay marriage is simply another faction of a human’s complicity and evolution. Recently following a public rally President Brewster was approached and given a letter written by a young man which reads “I have no words to thank you for being here and give me and my lover hope to fight and stay together.” This is the very essence of love, in a very short concise letter. Therefore, how could gay rights and marriage be so wrong? Its only crime is being different.
    The only way around the negative views and bigotry is by reconstructing our society. The politicians need to allow for gay rights and sponsor the promotion of the gay life style in schools, event, and public places in general. Making the gay life style more wide spread and “normal” will resolve the issues we are facing. In the end we will have a more peaceful society.

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