Part 130- Biden Cabinet Members

Today’s post is on the members of Mr. Biden’s Cabinet. Below is a table of all the Cabinet members and my opinion on them. ( I know this is not yet completed, but this is what I have so far. I had to finish since it’s getting late and because I’m really exhausted. Like, my brain isn’t even helping me process my thoughts properly and I’m spacing out. I’ll update this tomorrow, and have the full, completed list ready. Bye!  )


Cabinet member

Info/opinion

Secretary of State: Antony Blinken

Bio: Mr. Blinken has held senior foreign policy positions in two administrations over the two decades. He has a recurring mantra: the U.S. should work with its allies and within international treaties and organizations. He also views U.S. leadership in multilateral institutions as essential. He has spent a 6-year term in the Senate with Mr. Biden and has strong ties to other, close Biden advisors.

Opinion:

https://www.politico.eu/article/nine-things-to-think-about-antony-blinken/

Secretary of Treasury: Janet Yellen

Bio: https://www.federalreservehistory.org/people/janet-l-yellen

Secretary of Defense: Lloyd Austin

Bio: Mr. Austin is a retired American four-star Army general who served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command. He was greatly involved in the internal U.S. discussions and the negotiations with the Iraqi Government leading up to the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement. The would-be the first Black defense secretary. 

Opinion: 

Attorney General: Merrick Garland

Bio:  Mr. Garland is an American lawyer and jurist who serves as a United States circuit judge of the United States Court Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The New York Times reported, “Mr. Biden’s choice reflects his respect for Mr. Garland’s reputation as a centrist and his belief that he can restore the Justice Department’s independence and inspire a deeply demoralized workforce.”

Opinion:

Secretary of Interior: Deb Haaland

Bio: Ms. Haaland is a member of the U.S. House, representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. In a press release, Biden’s office said, “Haaland is a barrier-breaking public servant who has spent her career fighting for families, including in Tribal Nations, rural communities, and communities of color…”If confirmed, she will be the first Native American Cabinet secretary.

Opinion: I’m not sure if Ms. Haaland is the right nominee for Secretary of Interior. Yes, she has spent her career fighting for families of rural communities and of color, but I’m not sure if that is enough experience for this. 

 

Secretary of Agriculture: Tim Vilsack

Bio: Mr. Vilsack has held 0m

.this position before in the Obama administration from 2009-2017. As head of the USDA, Mr. Vilsack was responsible for implementing programs that provided “leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.”

Opinion: Mr. Vilsack has indeed put as much as he can into supporting programs that provide food, agriculture, natural resources, etc., and has really dedicated a lot to it. I think he is the right nominee for this. 

Secretary of Commerce: Gina Raimondo

Bio: Ms. Raimondo served as the general partner of Point Judith Capital, a venture capital firm headquartered in Rhode Island. The New York Times reported that Ms. Raimondo “is seen as a relatively traditional choice for commerce secretary, a post that oversees relations with the business community but also technology regulation, weather monitoring and the gathering of economic data, among other duties.”

Opinion: To be honest, currently I am not sure what to expect from Ms. Raimondo. I don’t have enough information/ evidence to actually make an opinion so, for now, only time will tell. 

Secretary of Labor: Martin Walsh

Bio: Mr. Walsh was previously a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, serving in that office from 1997 until 2014 and representing the Thirteenth Suffolk district. He was the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics and served as a Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Labor Caucus.

Opinion: 

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Xavier Becerre

Bio:Mr. Becerre is an American politician and lawyer serving as the 33rd and current Attorney General of California since 2017. He previously was a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Downtown Los Angeles in Congress from 1993 to 2017. 

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Marcia Fudge

Bio: Ms. Fudge is a member of the U.S. House, representing Ohio’s 11th Congressional District. Ms. Fudge has also served as chief of staff to U.S. Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones during Jones’s first term in Congress. 

Opinion:

Secretary of Transportation: Pete Buttigieg

Bio: Mr. Buttigieg is an American politician and former U.S. Navy intelligence officer. Mr. Biden said in a statement, “Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better. I trust Mayor Pete to lead this work with focus, decency, and a bold vision — he will bring people together to get big things done.”

Opinion:

Secretary of Energy: Jennifer Granholm

Bio: Ms. Ganholm is a Canadian-born American politician, lawyer, educator, author, and political commentator. She clerked for U.S. Judge Damon Keith on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1990 she became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. In 1994, she was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel. 

Opinion: 

Secretary of Education: Miguel Cardona

Bio: Mr. Cardona is an American educator who has served as the Connecticut Commissioner of education since 2019. He began his career in education as an elementary school teacher. Mr. Cardona then became the youngest principal in Connecticut at the age of 28. 

Opinion: I think that Mr. Biden made a good decision in nominating Mr. Cardona to be Secretary of education. Even though he may or may not have a lot of knowledge and experience in politics, he was an education” figure”. To know how to do something is different from experiencing it. This is similar to Mr. Cardona. Even though he may or may not be as experienced as the other members in politics, he knows schools and what it is like being a teacher, and how things will affect kids.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Denis McDonough

Bio: Mr. McDonough is a former White House chief of staff, serving in the Obama administration.

Secretary of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas

https://ballotpedia.org/Joe_Biden_presidential_transition

Part 128- Ethically vs. Legally ( Again again again again)

If you remember, maybe or maybe not, I wrote a post on legally vs. ethically, and another one shortly after. This goes back to that post, so if you haven’t checked it out, here’s the link. ( ICE link and My voice. – both also relate to this topic) 

Anyway, I want to talk about ethically vs. legally vs. morally because it plays a key factor in the Capitol riots and in the company firings. People are being fired for participating in the riots or even for agreeing with the riots. But why?  This is where these three parts come in. Let’s first go to the start of all this. When President Trump told people to go to the Capitol. People have the right to excise their first amendment as much as they want, but there’s a line to this. There’s a line to everything. Let’s ask: Why is President Trump wrong in this? President Trump is, well, the president. He’s a public figure which everyone knows and has an influence on others. People will listen to him. People look up to him or even other public figures and look to their influence. It would have been fine if President Trump wasn’t a public figure, but because he is, it was wrong of him to tell people to go to the Capitol. Think of it this way. ( WW2 reference)
During WW2, were all the Germans at fault for their heinous crimes and actions? No. In a battle, soldiers are only following the order given by their superiors such as generals or commanders. They aren’t doing anything wrong, just following the order given by someone who has an influence. This is the same as the Germans. They only did these things under the influence of Adolf Hitler. He was a public figure and had quite a way with words, which heavily influenced a lot of the actions committed by the Germans. Don’t read this wrong. I’m saying that the influence President Trump has as a public figure is strong, and people will listen and will follow him. His responsibility as a public figure was “broken”. But also, it is the people who are also at fault. President Trump should have been stopped possibly years ago before he became a public figure. We don’t know the future or what could happen, but we should have stopped him long ago. 
Why are the rioters also at fault? It’s because they crossed the line of their First Amendment. Of course, they were LEGALLy allowed to exercise their rights, but ethically it was wrong. They made the wrong decision in following what President Trump said. What they did was disrespectful and incredibly shocking. People stormed the Capitol and disrupted the electoral vote counting. They threw desks and pedestals over and vandalized the building. Here is the line they have crossed. The line that when crossed, does not protect them.
” Speech provoking actions that would harm others-true incitement and/or threats- is also not protected, but again determining what words have qualified as true incitement was been decided on a case-by-case basis.”

 This is exactly what happened. Let’s move on to businesses. Businesses have been firing people because of their morales. When companies hire someone, they look at their morals and intentions. They want to hire people with the right intentions and morals when doing something. A Texas attorney was fired because he made a post supporting what the rioters did. Legally he did nothing wrong. Nothing wrong at all. he stayed within the limits of his first amendment, but he got fired because he should NOT have said it. It was not right to make that post. If the companies kept the peopel who did something like this, people would question their morals. They would wonder what company would hire people who would riot the Capitol. Not many peopel would come to work for them. And so, that is why they would fire the workers. Not because of the legal acts or not, but the morales. ( Well, maybe legal acts. They can’t just hire someone who was in prison for getting away with murder or something.) Everything is a question between legally or ethically. Is it legal to do this, and even, is it right? Is it the right morale or not?

Part 127- The country of geniuses…

 It’s been about a day, since the Capitol riots and there have been millions or even thousands of Twitter and Facebook and social media posts about the event. Even though it’s such a serious matter and topic, people have been making “jokes” about it which I have to agree with. On Twitter people have been starting lists of what is more heavily protected than the Capitol. Some examples were: Black Haircare products, Password Journals, baby formula, etc. Even though it’s a serious topic, it is true. Black Haircare products are protected well and not the Capitol, an important government building? Well, the Capitol IS protected. It’s just that they were not prepared during the attack. I find it perplexing and ridiculous. 

During BLM there were officers and military guards standing outside the Capitol, each step shadowed by an officer. They had their defense up. They were ready. They were prepared. What happened this time? Maybe they were off guard by the sudden attack from their fellow Americans. Maybe this was one of the least expected scenarios though. But why? When handicapped people were protesting about health care teh officers and guards dragged them out of the Capitol. Why didn’t they do that this time? 

The amount of disrespect during the riot is unbelievable! A man was wearing a sweatshirt about Camp Auschwitz, a jew concentration camp, INSIDE the Capitol. Not only that, people brought a  CONFEDERATE flag into the Capitol. This is the first time the Confederate flag has appeared in the Capitol in U.S. History. Hundreds of years ago, lives were lost in an attempt to make sure this flag never appeared in the Capitol, and now it has. The FBI has already started finding the people who were part of this shocking event. And this is where the geniuses of our country come in. I think the ones who will get found first are the ones who made themselves the most noticeable. The crazy bull-horn guy who painted his face the American flag, the guy wearing the Camp Auschwitz hoodie, and even the guy who wore his WORK ID there. Seriously?! I mean, sir, it feels like you are making yourself get caught. 

Apart from all of that, the most shocking part of this is President Trump’s actions. He has tweeted 3 posts that say he loves those rioters for doing this and told the rioters in the first place to go do this. There are tweets and posts on President Trump’s term and how he was first given and now left the Capitol. 

Twitter post: https://mobile.twitter.com/liddiebajiggie/status/1347053549230944260/photo/1?ref_url=https%3a%2f%2ftwitter.com%2f

Here are the photos.

This is a before picture of the Capitol when President Trump was inaugurated.

And now, here is the after photo of how he has left it.

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-significance-of-the-confederate-flag-waved-inside-the-us-capitol-7137213/

Part 126- Breach in the Capitol!

On Wednesday, January 6th, and January 5th, 2021, there has been a breach in the capital. A breach. In the U.S. CAPITOL. Riots from pro-Trump supporters made their way into the United States Capitol. A place where the House of Representatives and Senate seat. Where they come together to discuss, debate and consider national policy. 

The motivation of these supporters was to prevent the inauguration of President-elect Biden and to prevent the electoral count. They want to resist Mr. Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. 

The President himself told the mob himself to march up to Capitol Hill and stop them from counting the electoral votes. A building with levels and floors and corners heavily secured and protected by the police was raided and stormed into by Americans. They had not only breached into the Capitol but made their way to teh Chamber where the votes were being counted. People were hanging from the building walls, climbing into the Capitol, barging through rooms, pushing pedestals, and even putting their feet up on desks. It’s incredibly disrespectful and terrifying. Why weren’t the security and police expecting this? Why weren’t they prepared? What went wrong?! Shouldn’t it be their job to prevent things like this from happening? The Senate floor, a sacred room for handling legislative work, heavily guarded by security was stormed into. It’s madness and unbelievable. It’s an attack on democracy! 

A woman was shot and lost her life from this whilst others have been wounded. Tear gas has once again been released as an effort to clear the mob. If this keeps going on more lives will be lost. More Americans will be injured. Members of our government almost were injured today as they tried to evacuate the building. Senate representatives and House members were told to wear gas masks and needed to get out of the building safely. They were told to stay in rooms and studios, away from windows that could shatter any minute by protestors, and remained there for almost an hour and a half. Please, listen! 

Yes, you’ve lost the election. Yes, President Trump lost and will not be the next president. Yes, you are upset, but please get over it. This is not right! An innocent life has been lost from this and many others have been badly injured and wounded. This is utter chaos and madness! This is not right at all. President Trump, please listen to those around you. Your family members and advisors. Please listen to the ones who are trying to convince you to call this off. These protestors are believing in everything you say. They are following you, and this is not ta all right! Mr. President this is not the right leadership. Please, stop! Yes, you are upset and believe that the election was rigged, but how much longer will you say this?! It has been proven many times. Mr. Biden will be the next President of the United States. This has gone too far! Way too far! Calling a mob of protestors, believing in you, and supporting you when you say that the election was fake and telling them to storm Capitol Hill is not at all right. Not at all!

President Trump has been tweeting about this, thanking the supporters and saying that they love them. Twitter has even locked President Trump’s account for 12 hours. 

 

It’s an attack on democracy. It’s outrageous! This is not American. This is not the way to do things! It is very dishonorable, disrespectful, shocking, and outrageous. 

Senate and House chambers raided:

https://www.msnbc.com/mtp-daily/watch/watch-protesters-reach-the-floor-of-the-house-and-senate-chambers-98943557849

Live:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f437y6UVjD8

President Trump’s message:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_JxN9CwIMU

Part 124- Right vs. Freedom in Vaccines

 What’s the difference between a right and freedom? Well, a right is a legal, social, or ethical principle of freedom. It’s like a rule about what is allowed of people. To have a right is to have some sort of legal claim or just on something. Freedom is the power or RIGHT to act, speak, or think as one wants without interference or restraint. In the Constitution, we have something called The Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 Amendments. They guarantee rights and liberties to the individual such as freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition. but we’ll get to that later. So, knowing this, what’s the problem? Well, the problem is knowing when something is a right or freedom. 

The first problem, vaccines. As we all know, we finally have a COVID-19 vaccine. While many would be impatiently, or even patiently, waiting to get vaccinated, others would be staying far away and opposing the vaccine.  But why? Many cite that its religious beliefs. They believe that a vaccine won’t help them and that God will save them and give them a cure. Before I say anything else I want to share a story, but I don’t know the name of it is. You may have heard it before. So, the story goes that a flood is coming to a town. Everyone evacuates except a man. He stays inside his house and says that God will save him. As the water starts to rise, a man in a canoe comes to him and offers him to come with him. The man refuses and says that God will save him. A helicopter then comes and the crew throws a ladder. They tell the man to climb it but the man refuses, saying that God will save him. A person swims to the man and says to get on his back. The man refuses, and yet again says that God will save him. When the man drowns, he goes to heaven and asks why God didn’t save him. God says that he sent a canoe, helicopter, and even a person to save him but the man refused.
This should be similar to the vaccines. The vaccine is something that God has “made”/created to save you from the pandemic. A cure or help can be shown in many different ways, so why not as a vaccine? 

In my opinion, I think that vaccines should be mandatory order in America. In India, people are so used to getting vaccinated that they assume that it’s a part of life and that it’s natural. Plus, it’s a mandatory order. Why not establishing something similar to this in America? Since getting vaccinated is mandatory, it has been integrated and remembered as something normal and natural in life. It’s not really something to question or have doubts about. If we try something like this in America, would it also become thought of as something natural and a part of life? 

If the government issues a mandatory order that everyone gets vaccinated, there will obviously be some complaints. For example, some people may complain that this will be a violation of their freedom of religion or press/thought. Like I said before, people may believe that vaccines aren’t going to help them or cure them and instead god will help them. Why don’t we try to convince them that a vaccine is a cure from God? ( I’m tying this back to my story concept from above.) Some other reasons why people aren’t getting vaccinated include distrust. The WHO organizes a press conference when a new vaccine is released. Of course, they answer questions that are common and from reporters, but why can’t there be any questions from people.  Maybe they already do this, but why not hold a survey where you can write down your concerns and what you would like to have asked at the conference? I think that may reduce some tension of getting vaccinated and may cause more people to get vaccinated.

Anyway, I hope that you all are safe and doing well. Happy Holidays, and have a Wonderful Christmas. Let’s hope that 2021 will be much better. 

https://www.healthline.com/health/vaccinations/opposition

https://www.meningitis.org/blogs/mrf-view-on-anti-vaccination

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4869767/

Part 122- Pardons

So, I’ve been reading, and I’ve realized that a lot of these presidential pardons are outrageous. A pardon is a government decision to allow a person to be relieved of some, or all, of the legal consequences resulting from a criminal conviction. Basically, it allows a person charged with a criminal conviction to be relieved of some, if not all, of the legal consequences. I think that pardons aren’t right, and here’s why.

A lot of presidents are generous when giving pardons while others are more rigid. I personally would be rigid if I were allowed to give pardons. To me, it just doesn’t feel right to pardon someone for breaking the laws of our country or doing something that violates them, which were meant to protect us and our general safety, as well as ensures our rights as citizens. Here’s a presidential pardon I disagree with. President Andrew Johnson, the 17th president after President Abraham Lincoln, pardoned about 7,000 people. Including 3 people who were conspiring to murder President Lincoln. Those 3 people- Samuel Arnold, Samuel Mudd, and Edmund Spangler- served about 4 years in prison. 4 years! I wouldn’t have pardoned them at all. They had conspired to murder a president. A president! Here’s another example. Oscar Collazo attempted to assassinate President Harry Truman and was pardoned by President Truman himself. I wouldn’t really pardon someone who tried to kill me, knowing that they are/were a threat to me. My last two examples were of presidential assassinations. For my last example, I’m going to use a more recent example by our current president. President Trump. 
President Trump has been pardoning people in his office and those who committed crimes for the benefit of him and is even thinking about pardoning his family and himself. I find that selfish. The power of being able to pardon someone is supposed to be for the good of the country and for the citizens of the United States. Not for the people who helped and supported you when you were the president. Although President Trump has gone out of his way to claim that this was false, he pardoned his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Twice. It’s like President Trump is taking advantage of his power. Plus, who’s to say this won’t happen again with some other president in the future? There may not be a high possibility, but we can’t say that this may not happen again, or something similar to this. Also, if a president pardons someone who has been already pardoned once, that person will just take advantage of it. They will do anything knowing that they will be pardoned later. This would also happen to someone who hasn’t done anything yet. Knowing they are already pardoned, they might just commit a crime not even worrying about serving in prison.
Despite all this, a president’s power to pardon something isn’t all bad. Sometimes the people who are charged with a criminal conviction were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It would be okay to pardon someone who was innocent the whole time and was falsely charged with a crime. 
In my opinion, I think pardons should be restricted/ limited and only used for certain purposes. ( Note: These changes are just my opinions and not any criticism) A president should be able to pardon anyone who was falsely accused/ charged with crime but not just pardon anybody without some vote or consent from others. I also think that a president shouldn’t be deciding who to pardon on his/her own. Maybe the president doesn’t make it alone, but I haven’t found anything on that. This also relates to the consent from others. The president shouldn’t pardon anyone who was conspiring against the president or any leader- governor, senator, congressman, etc- unless he/she absolutely must. Also, they shouldn’t pardon anyone who has been charged with a crime at least twice. It doesn’t make sense. That person will clearly take advantage of this and just do anything knowing that they will be pardoned. Lastly, I believe that a president shouldn’t use his power of pardoning for themselves and for their own purposes. They must use it for the good of the country. 
Once again, these were my opinions on what the president should be limited to when pardoning. I am not criticizing any pardons, but just sharing what I feel about them. I hope you have an excellent week! Bye!

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.


Part 114- 80%, acceptable or not?

 So, early blog, big stories. And, this isn’t just a story, to be honest, it’s a complaint. It’s a complaint, about the NISD grading system, and grading rules. This hasn’t happened just now, but over time, and every time we have an assignment. In my school district, and for most classes, there is a grading rule that the student cannot re-do their assignment or fix their grade unless it is below 80. I bring it up now, because now, something has happened, which I find upsetting, and I need to speak out for. So, in Science, I and my two friends partnered up together to do the Mars project. We chose, to solve problem 4- out of the different scenarios and solving options. We were to build a shelter, that can protect our colony form the harsh conditions on Mars. We followed all the requirements, but we got points taken off because we added too much. But, this isn’t about me. It’s about the whole grading system and all scores. 

I am one of many students who care deeply about their scores and work hard to maintain the 100% grade average and grades. Even if we get a 98 or a 94, we feel upset. We want to know where our 2 points went and what happened. Usually, it’s an ok thing if it’s like 98 or 93, not exactly ok but it’s fine, but when we get say a, 85, we freak out. I have had the feeling many times. Seeing the crushing two numbers that break all my hope for the day and fill me with regret and disappointment. We would want to immediately redo the assignment in the hope of a much better score. But, we can’t. Why is that? Because you aren’t allowed to redo something unless it is below an 80! It’s basically saying, 80 is an acceptable grade! 80%! Who thinks 80% is acceptable? I know I don’t, or those other students. We probably think this way because of the way we grew up/ were raised. My parents are Indians, and they raise me to work hard for everything. They want me to do my best and expect that I always do. This is common with a lot of Asian parents, to be honest. My friend is that, and she is like me, determine to always to her best and get the best grades. There was a joke, recently on Twoset violin, that is very true. To Asian parents, this is what grades mean.

A- Acceptable

B- Barely acceptable

C- Can’t eat dinner

D- Don’t come home

F- Find a new family. 

Sure it may be a little exaggerating, but it is true. According to most grading systems, A is 90-100, and a B is 80-90. It continues downward after that. Anyway, I took my school’s grading system to the STAAR test level. One thing every kid in Texas knows when they reach the 3rd grade is that they have to take the STAAR, starting from that year to high school. It’s a 4-hour long test, with questions up to 50. You have to take it for different subjects per year. Math and Reading never changes. Every year, students have to test on Math and Reading, and possibly another subject. 4th grade- Writing, 5th grade- Science, 6th grade- nothing else, and so on. Anyway, the STAAR is graded by category. Did not meet, Approaches, Meets, and Masters. Students go into taking this test, with the same mindset as any other test. Oh, it’s fine if it’s in the ’80s or at least meets. And in the end, it’s right. Don’t believe me? Check these out. 

Link: STAAR raw score conversion table
Link: Spring STAAR results- NorthwestISD
Link: Statewide summary reports- STAAR

Now, I may not understand a lot of the numbers in the chart, but I’m talking from what I know, see, and can infer from. Approaches- 27 to 58. Meets- 64 to 76. Masters- 81 to 100. I know that a lot of there are a lot of questions, the questions are difficult, the test takes a long time to do, and it is exhausting, but how can 64 be meets? 81 is master’s! I would rather say a 88 is masters than an 81 if I’m honest. 

I know the graph is a little difficult to see, so I linked the website above. It is the statewide scores link, and this chart shows the 2017-2018 vs. 2016-2017 school year scores. More people fall in the approaches and meets category than the masters. Only about 20% or even less, of students testing in that subject, that year, and that grade level, fall into the masters’ category. Even more disappointing, more people fall into the did not meet category then the master category. Why can’t most student test with the determination or thought of trying to aim for 100? I’m sorry if I’m misjudging and students do think this way, but I can’t see it well with the scores. How should we improve this? I’ll propose an idea. Raise the standard. I will openly say, that I have fallen into the meets and masters category, and I think, even once, approaches. I do try my best and so do others, but a lot of kids just want to get the test over with. No one likes sitting at a desk, testing for 4 hours, not being able to speak, get up, or move unless using the bathroom, having to wait until another person is done using the bathroom to be able to go, and then being quiet once done testing for who knows how long! I know the feeling. It is so boring and incredibly hard and exhausting to do! Anyway, if we raise the standard, I think students would at least try harder. Rias the STAAR grading/ testing standard. Change masters to 88 – 100. Meets to 70-88. Approaches 60-70, and did not meet 0-50. I think students will try harder. Knowing that the grades are raised and mastering or meeting is higher, they will try harder and work harder. 
This might also work if you change the grading system for regular tests as well. Change the policy of only being able to redo an assignment form under 80, to under 90. Try that. Kids may just be careless knowing that they can redo anything under an 80, and when testing or doing an assignment, just do it and hope for the best. Do we really want kids to have this attitude when they go to college, or even when they get a job? Just saying that 80% is fine will make kids into knowing that it is acceptable and only work for an 80. When doing a job, they may only think, I’ve only done 80% of the work, it’s acceptable. In college, I’ll only do enough to get an 80. Is that the mindset we want kids to have in the future or even to have right now?? I don’t think so. If you want more proof as to why we should raise the standard, I’ll show you.
Pull up the link for NISD STAAR results. 
What do the numbers say? 5th-grade reading- 14% do not meet, 86% approach the grade level, 64% meet, and only 40% master. Let’s check out a  different grade and subject this time. 8th-grade science- 8% do not meet ( improving), 92% approach ( Not that great), 72% meet, and only 43% master. Why is it, in every grade or subject, or even statewide, that mastering is either 4th or 3rd ranking for students falling in the category? Why not 2nd, or even 1st? I know it’s a lot to ask, but if we really do change the standard and grading system, it could help raise those numbers and help students do much better not only in tests but even in the future. I only want the district to try changing the grading policy for a couple of years and see how the STAAR results and test scores come out then. I believe that the grades will change and improve drastically, and become much better.  
So, consider the proposal, and why I am bringing this topic up. A bunch of students like me want to redo our assignment but can’t because it can’t be corrected unless it is lower than an 80, and such an attitude can affect thoughts of kids in the future and when taking STAAR tests. Think about it, if we change a small thing, can we change something that is greater and bigger, and even change the world? 

Part 112- China

So, this post is about China. China’s, One China Policy. Let’s get into it, no time for intros or any of that stuff.

Quick Background: China has two “labels”, one of which actually is China and the other which is just a name for Taiwan. The PRC-People’s Republic of China is China and the Republic of China is Taiwan. This actually is a basic explanation of why the One China Policy is there. What is the One China Policy? The One China Policy is basically, a policy that states that there is only one sovereign state under the name China. Like I said, this refers to Taiwan and China. So, Taiwan, or also known as ROC was a sovereign state based in mainland China but wanted to become democratic after China established Communism. 

Now, what the political problem, is that Taiwan declared the independence of China, but China claims Taiwan as it’s own or that it was once China. It is also an official PRC policy to force unification if peaceful unification doesn’t work. This means, that China was wanting Taiwan to become one with it again, or become part of China again, and Taiwan didn’t want to. The peaceful unification is most likely any way without violence. So, without that working, China decided to force unification, due to their policy. But why would they enforce such a policy in the first place? I know that there is a reason, and I’ll explain in a minute, but why? I mean, it is a good strategy to try peacefully at first, it always is, but still, if Taiwan wanted to be independent, why would you try to force them to re-join? I know that a lot of this same event happens all around the world, for example, India and Pakistan, but why would you try and force them to be one again? Taiwan wanted their own government of democracy, and to be their own independent country form China, and China wants them to become one again. Taiwan chose it’s independence and wanted to state its own government and “rule” or govern itself. Like, for example, Taiwan was sick and tired of being ruled by others, and they wanted to govern themselves and follow their own rules that they create.

Anyway, in mainland China, the CCP- Chinese Communist Party- declared the PRC, and create the reality of Two Chinas. After the creation of Two Chinas, the PRC began to fight a diplomatic war against the ROC or Taiwan over official recognition as the sole legitimate government of China. Like, there can only be one China government, I’m assuming they mean. Or, it could also mean, that the name China is under one sole government and because Taiwan-ROC- is under China, they are part of the same government. The second way sounds most likely to be correct. This may also be why Taiwan wants to change their passports. Oh, haven’t you heard? Taiwan has been wanting to change the names on their passports and it has been deemed official. (LINK) So, here’s what happened in case you didn’t hear. “On September 2, the government of Taiwan launched its new passport design with independent identity, deemed as official from January 2021.” Basically, Taiwan came up with a new design for their passports. the reason why was because, their original passports had” Republic of China” on them, and Taiwan wanted to get that changed, and so, they came up with a new design, that says Taiwan. See:

OCAC.R.O.C.(Taiwan) – News

This is the original or the first one on the left, and the new design one on the right. And, that’s reasonable. It’s reasonable and understandable about why Taiwan would want to change their passports. They aren’t a part of China anymore, but in fact, their own country and want to be recognized for that. They wanted to, ” …distinct Taiwan from China…” Continuing from Chinese unification, China never recognized the two Chinas. Again, I’m wondering if that refers to the part of, Taiwan is under the name of China and is therefore part of China. I mean, that is partially right. If it is named, it is under one name.  But think about it this way. ( BTW my example is not saying China and Taiwan are like fruit and pineapples and apples, it is only supposed to be an example, and hopefully, one that is clear and correct) Pineapple has an apple in its name. It is actually, not at all an apple. Just because it has the same word in its name, doesn’t mean that they are the same or one. They are two completely different things, but just have part of the same name. Anyway, China still claims Taiwan as its 23rd province. Plus, in 2005, they passed the Anti-Secession Law in order to, “…discourage independence of Taiwan independence sentiments, and in order to legitimize its use of force against Taiwan.” Wait, is that even possible? Is it possible for them to do that, to just say and state something that allows them to use force on another country and discourage them of their independence? Wait, what if the rules for such things are different. Like in the U.S., are there different rules or guidelines for passing laws or acts and such because it is a democratic country, as opposed to China who is a communist country? Would they have their own guidelines for doing something like that? Come to think of it, ARE THERE EVEN ANY GUIDELINES FOR PASSING ACTS OR LAWS?? Have 

I just been asking random questions over something that may or may not exist this whole 5 minutes?? I know that China claims Taiwan as part of them, but, isn’t it wrong to do that to another country. To pass an act that allows you to use force on another country isn’t that wrong. ( Thinking other than Taiwan and China) That country is its own independent country that is recognized as by the world, and you just want to pass something that, gives you permission to use force on them. That’s not right. That is very, truly, not in any way possible, right. It shouldn’t be right. It’s like saying, I’m allowed to do anything I want to you even though you are your own person, just because I want to. Why? But then, think of China’s perspective. We can’t always put them in the perspective of the bad side. They must have their own logical and fairly accurate reasons for doing so as well. When passing this law or act, or whatever it is called, China might have been thinking and believing that it is possible/allowed to happen because Taiwan is under the name of China- like mentioned in the other fairly-exhausting-minutes-of-writing paragraphs. They may see it as, if it is a part of us, it isn’t a big deal. This event is only happening within China, and not with any other country, so it is fine. 

Anyway, It has been, surprisingly, at least an hour of non-stop typing and researching, and it is getting late. I hope that this blog clearly discusses different facts and opinions on Taiwan and China, and is much, much better than the other posts before. See you soon.