Part 119- Halloween: How should we celebrate in 2020?

 Hello! I have, surprisingly, stumbled across this topic when I was just procrastinating in my mind about what more to add to my Judge Amy Coney Barrett post. It may be a strange thing, to write about a close-coming holiday, but it is an important topic. Not to sound bragging but, especially coming from a kid.

Halloween. The one holiday which lets kids get as much candy they want, all for the price of dressing up in fun costumes and eagerly saying ” Trick or Treat!” to their delighted neighbors. To be honest, I’ve started to get into the more teen phase of not liking candy that much anymore, and I opted to spend last year’s Halloween handing out candy to the kids instead. Why just go and get candy, if it ends up never eaten for over a year? Still, I can’t resist a York mint or a Kit Kat every once in a while. Halloween is a holiday a lot of kids look forward to every year. It’s always been on a weekday, as far as I remember, and it always feels like years, waiting for hours to pass by and have school finally end so you could get ready for fun. Last year or the year before, I remember that kids were wanting the day after Halloween off so they could spend the day eating candy. As far as I know, I think there even was a petition that never passed!  

No one knew that the next year was going to be complicated and even difficult to participate in the most exciting activity of Halloween. COVID-19 was a shock to everyone. Yes, it is not as bad as it once was, as we now have a possible vaccine and have it somewhat handled, but it brings a dreading thought to most kids’ minds as the October holiday came near. ” What do we do for Halloween?”

I have asked some friends of mine two questions, and their thoughts on this topic. “What do you all think about Halloween? ( In general and Trick or Treating) How do you feel about how it might be like this year?”

My first replier said that Halloween to him, is fun with his friends but Trick or Treating is eh. Exact words. 

I also asked someone from an adult perspective. Namely, my mom! She said that Halloween is a fun holiday with two factors. Stranger danger and candy wastage. She said that stores and businesses which make all the candy and Halloween decorations come up with these new things such as Halloween goody bags, and rings, and necklaces, and it makes kids want more. Don’t forget about candy. Kids collect so much candy that a lot of it goes wasted when it could instead be given to others collecting for homeless and donations. ( These were my thoughts as well.)  She also shared some of her opinions as a parent on how Trick or Treating should happen. She said, that she would prefer if kids went to houses where the people giving candy also were wearing masks, and rather than taking teh candy with their bare hands, just hold out their bags and receive the candy. After that, the kids should not eat the candy and leave it aside for two days instead, of extra precautions. She also said that goody bags are okay. It’s something enjoyed and fun. 

In my opinion, Halloween is an okay holiday for me. I always enjoy spending it with my friends, just talking and persuading each other to get candy from the houses which frighten them. ( Including me! I’m also a bit afraid of Halloween decorations in the dark) To be honest, I don’t really want to go Trick or Treating to get candy but to spend time with my friends. This year, if I do go Trick or Treating, I would want to see everyone wearing a mask, and staying of some distance from each other. Small groups should be okay, with no more than 4-5 people, excluding adults, but I think each group should stay away from each other, just in case. I would also want to see the people giving candy, wearing gloves, or at least have their hands sanitized each time they hand out candy to a new group. Also, I think that when it gets dark, each group should have some sort of light. Maybe a glowstick necklace or bracelet of some sort, so that they don’t accidentally bump into another group. 

Anyway, that was my general thought of Halloween. I hope that Halloween will be like this year- masks and glowsticks- and I hope you all have a great day! Bye!

Part 118- Judge Amy Coney Barrett

 Hello. Today’s post is going to be on, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Why Judge Coney Barrett? Well, if you remember from one of my – not so recent- recent posts on Justice Ginsburg, you’ll know that Justice Ginsburg was, well, Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Anyway, to fill up that position President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett on September 26th, 2020, and recently, has been going through the confirmation process. The process lasts 4 days and has ended, just a couple days ago. The vote of whether to appoint her Justice of the Supreme Court will come soon- October 22nd- and it is an important topic to think about because, some of the decisions our country will make, will be in her hands, and what we do and what our vote is, will affect that.

Judge Coney Barrett is an American Attorney and serves as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Court of Appeals is the U.S. federal court with, “appellate jurisdiction” over the courts of the districts of :

Central District of Illinois
Northern District of Illinois
Southern District of Illinois
Northern District of Indiana
Southern District of Indiana
Eastern District of Wisconsin
Western District of Wisconsin

Before she served on the federal bench, she was a professor of law at Notre Dame Law school. Judge Coney Barrett clerked for Judge Laurence Silberman, as a judicial law clerk, after law school. She was added to President Trump’s list of POTENTIAL Supreme Court Nominees, 11 months after her confirmation to the Seventh Circuit.

Some of her achievements are from when she was a law student. She has received the Hoynes Prize, for achieving the best record in scholarship, deportment, and achievement when she was at Notre Dame. She also received the John M. Olin Fellowship for aspiring academics. At Rhodes College, she graduated with multiple highly respected honors, “including induction to Phi Betta Kappa.” These were only a few of her achievements, and some more are listed in the link below.


Judge Coney Barret has seven children, two of whom are adopted from Haiti. One was adopted in 2005, and the other was adopted after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. Their youngest biological son has Down Syndrome. Judge Coney Barrett has voted in BOTH Democratic AND Republican primaries.

Let’s move onto her confirmation hearing because, in my opinion, to find out what her own views and beliefs in certain political topics are, would be to look at the video and the questions and answers from the hearings. 

So, I actually cannot find out, which party or type of views Judge Coney Barrett has. I can only find that her nomination is mostly/ generally supported by Republicans. I want to say that she may be a conservative judge- but I don’t want to assume that, so I’m just going to state that I am not sure about her views and which party she is “from/agrees with most”. 

She has never, directly ruled with abortion but has voted to rehear a successful challenge to Indiana’s parental notification law in 2016. Reading this article about how she may deal with abortion-related cases, might give us a better idea of her view on this topic. ( For lack of time/ length of this post, I’m only going to talk about the first thing learned, not all four)  So, for the first thing learned, it says, ” …Barrett acknowledged she signed two anti-abortion rights advertisements that call for the reversal of Roe v. Wade… Barret and her husband’s signatures appeared on a page that said, ‘ We…oppose abortion on demand and defend the right to life from fertilization to natural death…'” I think, this clearly tells us her view on abortion. In my opinion, I think I may agree. I know that it is the person’s choice on this and whether they want to continue to raise the child or abort it but, this is someone’s life. A new life has been created and started to thrive. It doesn’t feel right to let go of life and not let it live. At least, let it live, and then choose whether you want to raise it as your own, or not. But then again,  if one does not want to raise the child as their own or even wants the child, then why do they have to take care of it? It’s like, all that work or taking care of the child even though you don’t want it, is not the right use of time.  

She does, want Coronavirus measure to be put in place and remained as they are, as she joined an upholding of the district court’s denial of the Illinois Republican party’s request for a ” preliminary injunction to block Governor J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 orders” in September. I think this also may because, in the 2020 summer, she was tested positive for COVID- and successfully recovered- and doesn’t want more to also experience the disease. Knowing how it feels and the risk and danger of what could happen might have changed how she might have thought about this topic before she tested positive. ( IF she did have a different opinion than now on COVID measures.) 

Here is a link to see some more of her opinions.

I do want to mention this as well. During her confirmation trials, all the senators were asking her questions and they had these binders filled with stacks of papers and had notes and papers all over their desks to ask the questions. She was asked by Senator Cornyn about what she was reading off of, and she held up her notepad/notebook and he asked her what was written on it. She said it had the United States Senate. It was the only thing written. It was just a blank notepad. She didn’t write anything down or used any notes to answer the questions. She answered them as they came by herself. I have to say, it is EXTREMELY remarkable and impressive that she didn’t need anything will do that. No electronic notes or written notes or anything written. She just answered like that.  Very impressive. She is certainly very intelligent and knows her stuff. She doesn’t need any notes to answer for her or to “principle” her. Here is an article I pulled, about the event. It’s actually really funny that she just holds it up for everyone to see, and it only says United States Senate. 

 I think that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a remarkable woman and has some very interesting views and opinions, based on what party I think she may be from- conservative views. Oh, quickly, I want to tell you that, my parents found this AMAZING book from a garage sale the other day. It is a 100-year-old student manual on the Government of the United States, with a perspective from 100 years ago. It is like a textbook, with questions and answers, an index, and even a constitution in the book. Plus, it was only for 50 cents! Best deal ever. I am really excited to read it, and am really glad my parents found it! Anyway, bye! 

Part 117- VP debate

 Today’s post is going to be very short. It’s about the VP debate, and it will be a short blog. Let’s start by talking about how the overall debate went.

To me, it was SO much better than the Presidential debate. Both candidates were speaking calmly and more composed than the presidential nominees and weren’t arguing or constantly talking over each other or arguing with the moderator. In my opinion, they should be the presidential nominees and not VP nominees. They did a lot better job during the debate than the presidential nominees. 

I just want to say, that, Senator Kamala Harris did really good in her first debate. Some of her answers weren’t that great or weren’t answering the question but for a first-time debate, she was pretty good. When answering the first question she stayed calm and based her answer on the facts. I saw multiple times, throughout the debate that she would prove and answer with the facts or talk about facts. It’s a good strategy for a first-time debater. Vice President Mike Pence was also really good in this debate. He was also calm and composed during it and had some great responses. I remember that there was one question/ response that he made/ answered that was really good. ( I can’t seem to remember where it was) But, Senator Harris had cut him down and stopped his response by saying that she was speaking. I mean, that was good to do that when it is your turn but, she cut down a response from him that was really very impressive and very strong. 

One question I really want to discuss or mention is the last question. This is actually a question from an 8th-grade student named Brecklyn Brown from Springfield high. ( I think this is how her name is spelled, sorry if I misspelled it.) The Utah State commission had asked students in the state to write essays about what they would like to ask the VP candidates. Her question was, ” When I watch the news, all I see is arguing between Democrats and Republicans. When I watch the news, all I see is citizens against citizens. When I watch the news, all I see are two candidates from two opposing parties trying to tear each other apart. If our leaders cannot get along, how are the citizens supposed to get along? Your example makes all the difference.” Vice President Mike pence goes first and responds to her question. I think Mr. Pence’s response was the best answer. Ms. Harris wasn’t that great. Anyway, this is what Mr. Pence’s response was. ” In America, we believe in a very free and open exchange of debate. We celebrate that. It’s how we have literally, created the freest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world. Don’t assume that what you are seeing on your local news networks is synonymous with the American people. I look at the relationship between Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late Justice who we just lost from the Supreme Court, and the late Justice Antonin Scalia. They were on Polar opposites on the Supreme Court of the United States. One very liberal one very conservative. But what’s been learned since her passing, is the two of them and their families were the very closest of friends. Here in America, we can disagree we can debate vigorously as Senator Harris and I have done tonight, but when the debate is over, we come together as Americans. And that’s what people do in big cities and small towns across this country so, I just want to encourage you Brecklyn, I will tell you that we’re going to work every day to have a government as good as our people…” I want to talk about the part I just highlighted. This is a very good response to this question and is very very true. Vice President Pence says that despite the fact that they are two parties or disagree with each other or debate over things with two different opinions, in the end, we are all Americans. Despite all this, we are all Americans and that is what counts.

 I agree. There may be two parties with different opinions on things or people who don’t agree with each other, but we are all Americans in the end. “Democrats are Republicans and Republicans are Democrats,” my dad said. It’s true. Despite the differences, the two parties have, or how one plans to do something the other doesn’t want to do, in the end, they, and we, are the same. We are all Americans in the end, no matter what. But, his time ended for a response, and we had to hear from Senator Harris. Now, I’m not going to quote what she said, but instead, sum it up. It wasn’t as great as what Vice President Mike Pence said. She talks about Mr. Biden. She talks about his campaign and what he has done. It didn’t really answer the question, and rather just talked about what Mr. Biden had done during his campaign and as VP. I don’t see any answer or part that relates to the question. Of course, in a lot of debates, it is key to support your nominee and their actions and what they will do, and I commend her for that, for doing that in the end to “secure’ and confirm what Mr. Biden will do as President, but it wasn’t the right response to the question.

Now, as I said, it’s going to be a short blog. I really enjoyed watching the VP debate and seeing how it turned out, and I really liked the last question. Coming from someone who is about my age, and asking it to the future leaders of our country is mind-blowing. It was such a well-thought question and is really true to ask. It was really good, well done Brecklyn. Anyway, I’ve got to go. See you in teh next post.

Part 116- The First Presidential debate

 So, as we all know, the first presidential debate of the 2020 elections, happened on Tuesday, September 29th. I was super excited about this debate and was so ready to see how it turned out. Well, most of you know how it turned out. It wasn’t that great. But, what if there were hidden aspects of the debate. We mainly just saw a lot of bickering but, what if there was a strategy. What if the plan was to make this debate seem terrible? Let’s find out. 

You can find the debate anywhere on youtube and online, but I will put the link at the bottom. 

So, let me start off by saying, first and foremost, that the 2020 first presidential debate was terrible. It seemed terrible and wasn’t very good. I know that there may be a trick to it, and there may be something else under what happened, maybe a plan behind all this, but, I have to say, the result wasn’t that great. I have to say though, after reviewing some of the previous debates from each of them, presidential and VP debates, I saw that they are actually better in the debates than they were in what we saw on Tuesday. Take former Vice President Biden- Mr. Biden- for example. During the debate, we saw that he was faltering, repeating himself, stuttering, and wasn’t very clear with what he said. He was often repeating himself like he didn’t have his thoughts clearly assembled or like his thoughts were falling apart. Plus, he was often talking about how President Trump did something wrong or didn’t do anything as well when answering the questions. instead of answering what he would do, he often replied- often- what President Trump hasn’t yet done or how badly he’s done something on that topic. But, if we see some previous debates, like the VP debates in 2008 or in 2012, we see that they are a lot better, and it is much, much more different than the one on Tuesday.

( Link: 2008 VP debate)

I’m going to use the 2008 VP debate as my first example. In this one, Mr. Biden goes first to answer the first question, and his answer is very clear. It is very concise, clear, simple, proves his answer, and supports President Obama in every way. His thoughts are all collected and complete. To me, it looks like he may be talking to the moderator, as his eyes are sort of off to the side as if he is looking over there, but, when he speaks, it feels like he’s speaking to the people in the audience. Perhaps he was speaking to the people, and was looking to the audience on the right, or WAS speaking to the moderator.  Either way, his voice was well heard. When the other candidate was speaking, he was listening, mulling over what she was saying and her answer. Something you might say is, well, maybe Mr. Biden started to get more comfortable with the debates after winning the 2008 election and started speaking like he did in 2020 one. Perhaps he started to get cocky after this election. Not exactly.

( Link: 2012 VP debate

Check out the 2012 VP debate. Yes, he has sightly changed his attitude and way he reacts or facial expression when listening to the other candidate, but how he speaks is the same. Even though I may talk more about how they each spoke, I want to include facial expression and body language a little in this. It may be pretty minor, but it is pretty important. If you notice, in the 2020 debate, Mr. Biden was often smiling and sort of laughing at President Trump’s replies or response to the question. This also can be seen in the 2012 debate. In the 2012 debate, we see that he started to “loosen” up I guess, or started to lose the solemn blank face with precessing thoughts and changing it to a smiling, more emotion-filled face that can be seen while processing the information. The 2008 debate may be his first debate or first debate for a position, so he may not know what he should do. His expression was solemn and still during the first debate and is a bit expressionless, but what if later he decided to change that? That could be a possibility. We can also see, and hear, that in this debate as well, Mr. Biden is very clear and concise with his words. His thoughts are collected and together and he isn’t stuttering at all. 

Let’s move on. We can’t keep talking about Mr. Biden. We still have Mr. Trump to talk about and very little time to finish this post. I only have one video I’m going to use for this because, this is the first presidential debate of 2016, for him, and a look into how Mr. Trump debates. I may add another clip for a video later, but right now, I only have one video pulled up.

So, when we saw the 2020 debate, we saw that Mr. Trump was speaking over Mr. Biden, not letting him speak, and often arguing with the moderator. Is this the same as the 2016 debate? Mmm, not really. In the 2016 debate, he was actually much different. For some time. At the start of the first, 2-3 questions, Mrs. Clinton was speaking about how she viewed Mr. Trump’s plans and his strategies and his plans of growing the economy. She calls it, ” Trumpdump trickle down”. This is what I heard from the video, it may not be the exact thing she did, but it is what I heard. Anyway, when she said this, we saw that Mr. Trump slightly smiled. He was thoughtful and respectfully listening to what she said, and even though he may or may not have approved or liked what she said, he kept quiet and showed a simple expression to show what he thought, instead of telling what he thought. During his response, he stated what he thought from his answer and his response. But then later, you can slightly see, that he wanted to say what he was thinking. He wanted to interrupt and say a response to what she said. He even did that in between, but only slightly. ut then, it changes. We start to see a lot of what happened during the 2020 debate, here. President Trump kept speaking over Mrs. Clinton when it was her time to speak, he was talking bad about some of the things President Clinton has done during his terms, and it is ok to have opinions, but he was sort of stating it like it wasn’t his opinion. In my opinion, I think President Trump isn’t that great of a debater. He just wants to get his point through and make himself seem right and the other candidate isn’t.
Moving on, I want to talk about possible strategies these two candidates had in mind. ( I mean the candidates in the 2020 elections. We’re back in the future after touring the past.) I have a possible idea of the plan Mr. Biden may have had, that comes from West Wing. Beware spoilers. Anyway, in West Wing, when Matt Santos is running for president and chooses Leo to be his VP, Leo is getting ready for the VP debate. Leo is known to be really good at debates, and someone with a great political mind. He is phenomenal at debates and nails them, but when practicing, he isn’t that great. If you want to see the clip, you can see West Wing on Netflix, and the scene is from season 7, episode 10- running mates. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that Leo could have been setting a low expectation for the debate. A low expectation that he isn’t giving good answers, but in the end, wows them and turns out to be amazing. Same thing here. We saw that Mr. Biden is really good at debates, but wasn’t that great during Tuesday’s. What if his strategy is to make it seem that he isn’t that great, but during the next debate blows us away and shows that he is good? What if the plan was to lower the expectations and standards because he knew that there would be high expectations after seeing Mr. Trump’s debates in 2016, and how well Mr. Biden does during debates? What if he lowers/lowered the expectations so that in the end, he can twist the tables and wow everyone? Think about it, if the expectations are low and you don’t expect something great, wouldn’t you be amazed if, in the end, it was? What if that was the plan? But, then again, in West Wing, Leo was getting old and weaker. I say this with respect but, what if Mr. Biden has started to get worse or lose his skills of debating from old age? You never know.
Let’s think about Mr. Trump’s plan as well or his possible plan. The whole time, we saw Mr. Trump “attacking”/ not letting Mr. Biden speak. Probably, he would have watched past debates from Mr. Biden and got a strategy to attack Mr. Biden, so he loses his guard and doesn’t do well?  Or, what if it was also, to make the debate seem bad? I’m really into the whole, make the debate seem bad theory at the moment and it is really funny, just reading over and seeing, make it seem bad, lower standards, over and over again. But, it’s because it seems like a valid plan. Especially, when you think about how it could be Mr. Trump’s plan. Attacking Mr. Biden to lower Mr. Biden’s response or confidence, to make him seem like he isn’t a worthy candidate? Could that be a plan? 
Anyway, to end this blog, I hope you all got a new perspective on the 2020 debate. I know I did along the way and learned A LOT about both candidates and some of their styles of talking and their body language and facial expressions. I wish I could write more and talk more about the topic but it has been a long, 3 hours and 46 minutes, and typing opinions and watching political videos of great excitement and thrill is very exhausting so, I’ll have to say bye, and I hope to see you in the next post. 

Part 115- Social Injustice Project, Action Plan

Hey, so in ELA we are doing Social Injustice Projects, and I chose to do mine on racism and prejudice.  Racism is a very common and major issue that has been around for a very long time, and has been brought up a lot this year. I’m looking for some feedback on my Action Plan on an acceptable solution for this. Any suggestions?

Action Plan:

Racism is something that comes from the mind and is a thought. People act racist from their thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and even, from the past. The old ways of thinking. A contributor to racism today in the United States is police brutality. We’ve heard about it many times, and that has been what sparked up the BLM- Black Lives matter- movement. This movement started when a police officer used his knee to pin down George Floyd, an African American man, on his neck, and continued to pin him down even when Mr. Floyd was repeatedly saying that the could not breathe. We can’t control how one thinks as if it were our own, but we can persuade. Persuade and take action with the amount of power we have, to make the people see and not be racist. One thing we can do is re-teach some values and practices the police do. As I mentioned before, police brutality is a contributing factor of racism. This is only because of the old practices and habits and values from before. A lot of young recruits or rookie officers want to be “accepted” or show loyalty and a show of force, so they adopt the practices and values. Most of these are, “anti-black racism.” Re-teaching and re-telling the practices, attitudes, and values can help a lot. Not just for officers but also for a lot of people who think this way today. These people don’t just think this way suddenly, but it’s something that they’ve grown up around. They’ve grown up around the attitude and the values. It’s because they’ve been around it their whole life, that they think this way today. If we re-teach the attitudes, practices, and values, there could be a lot less anti-black racism and even racism in general. We need to re-learn that we should not discriminate against others just because they are different from us. Different in culture, race, religion, ethnicity, etc. No matter what it is, we should not be prejudice about someone just because they are different from us.