Political critique

The majority of Americans are unaware of the looming threat we face on a daily basis. Threats that not only put our freedoms at jeopardy, but also inflict economic hardship and growing concern with the middle east. The threat is Iran.

It has long been speculated that Iran is capable of making nuclear weapons and has had access to them for many years. The last few weeks, however, have brought to light the seriousness of the situation, and the coming days and weeks are critical to essentially everyone in the world.

With sanctions about to be imposed on Iran, the Obama administration and the European Union want Iran evicted from SWIFT, a financial institution that is vital to Iran’s overseas oil industry.

This move would have numerous consequences, the primary one would be a severe economic loss for Iran, with oil being the country’s primary export they would see a severe loss in money.

This would also affect the citizens of Iran and make their cost of living even higher than what it already is. Additionally, these imposed sanctions would no doubt make the Iranian government angry; with tensions on a wire in the middle east, this could no doubt be the straw that breaks the camels back.

There is a partnership between the United States and the European Union. These nations, which are allies for goodness and peace, want Iran to stop its nuclear progress and be a country that doesn’t put the world on edge. This partnership is working together to impose sanctions, and bring an end to the harsh regime in Iran.

As this partnership is moving towards having Iran evicted from SWIFT, SWIFT itself may impose its own sanctions. The company is in talks about barring Iran on its own, trying to save its reputation and standing in the financial community.

The circumstances in Iran are scary, but action must take place to ensure our safety.

As much as we like to live in our happy American bubble, we need to open our eyes to the dangers that could happen any day. In all reality we don’t know what the outcome will be, but what we do know, is that as a country, we must be ready to defend ourselves, our freedoms and our liberties.

Fuss in the hen house

Later this month the people of Nashville will be welcoming a new neighbor to town. No, not a new super market or clothing outlet; but rather, the unmistakable sight of chickens.

That’s right, by the end of this month Metro City Council will issue permits for residents to have anywhere from two to six chickens on their property. As you can imagine this is not a pleasant sight to many residents.

The basics of the law state that if you pay for a $25 yearly permit and have a suitable coop (predator proof, made for storage, and manure removal) then you can raise chickens on your property. The law also states that you can’t have the hens in the front yard, or have a rooster.

Many people in neighborhoods are excited for the chicken law. Not only can they reduce cost on their groceries, but they can also teach their children about food, animals and responsibility. It brings many exciting new opportunities to people who enjoy farm life or doing for themselves.

However, with all stories, you have two sides. Many neighborhood organizations have regulations banning livestock or pets other than dogs and cats. This means that as long as they are in the neighborhood they can’t have chickens.

It’s perfectly understandable why some are opposed to farm animals in a city yard. For many people, that is the very reason they’re in the city, to get away from farm life. On top of this, you have the noise of chickens clucking and the smell that comes from rural animals. With vegans, and animal rights activist who may oppose the act all together; no matter the location, the signs add up to a great deal of opposition.

So why do I support chicken raising in Metro Nashville? To start, it is a great way to save and even make money. Besides relatively low start up costs raising hens is a very inexpensive operation. This allows you to save money on your grocery bill and is a great way for healthy food. ‘Organic’ and ‘cage free’ eggs are now selling for as much as $5 a dozen; with your own hens, you can meet your personal needs, but sell the rest to make a profit.

Additionally it teaches many lessons to our youth. Some of the most memorable field trips in school are the days you go to the farm, now imagine being able to teach your kids that process as they are growing up. Also, this instills a sense of responsibility and accomplishment in providing for yourself, instead of letting the all powerful supermarket meet your every whim. Hen raising is an efficient, simple, unique way to meet your most basic needs.

In all honesty the thought of chickens in your backyard is silly. But, if you think about it, the hen house might be more valuable than you ever considered.

Political Critique: Gun Control

            Deep in the South, gun control by the United States national government is something to laugh at and assume will never happen. However, even as a girl from Michigan, I believe that the government should allow citizens to make their own decisions about firearms they have in their homes.

            The Constitution provides the opportunity for United States citizens to own a firearm through the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment discusses the “individual right to bear arms” which allows citizens to feel protected and safe, and responsible for their own decisions.

            With the proper information and training in firearm safety, citizens are able to be responsible with their choice to have a gun in the house.  When citizens have the correct information about the guns they possess, they are able to make rational decisions about how to handle situations and properly store the firearm so that safety is the greatest concern.

There are already laws in place about registering for the firearm and taking safety courses in order to have a license to operate the gun. These courses and laws strive to provide proper training and knowledge about the advantages and pitfalls of the firearms so that citizens will aim to be cautious with the great responsibility they have taken on by owning a firearm.

These laws and courses are not perfect however. They could be adapted and should be expanded to meet a growing need for gun issues throughout the United States. We should be able to take current issues that are associated with the firearms without taking away the privilege to own the gun.

There have been issues with children and guns rather than the parents who typically own the firearm. This is where the laws and courses should be adapted. It would wise to expand the current laws to include children of the gun owner in the lessons. When a gun owner renews his permit to own the firearm, they should specify how many children are in the house and of what ages. Then the children should attend an age appropriate class in order to show the dangers of guns and how only adults should handle the firearms.

Firearms are not the issue that the United States government should address but the lacking information that the public has about the issue. That is where the time should be spent on the issues associated with guns. Otherwise, the individual right to bear arms is a great privilege that comes with great responsibility. 

Blog Critique

Mashable.com is a blog about social media new and web tips.

  • Innovation: This blog does not seem to have many useful things that I have not seen before in other blogs. One thing I did notice though was that Mashable is using Google+, a fairly new social networking site that most companies/blogs aren’t on yet.
  • Usefulness: This blog was very useful, with up-to-date and relevant posts concerning its topic.
  • Aesthetics: The design of this blog is pretty simple, including the logo, navigation bar, etc. It seems a little cluttered to me, but everything you need is pretty accessible because of this.
  • Understanding: The navigation and buttons are very well organizing, sorting posts by “Social Media”, “Tech”, “Business”, etc. However, there is an additional toolbar at the very top with top stories and top posts, and I think that could’ve been put elsewhere and organized better.
  • Unobtrusiveness: This blog is very busy. It is cluttered with more than one link to its Facebook/Twitter/Google +, multiple toolbars, and huge ads that are so close to the posts’ pictures that it made it a little hard to differentiate between the two.
  • Honesty: The posts by Mashable seemed truthful and well-researched.
  • Long lasting: I have not been reading this blog long enough to verify this.
  • Thorough: The posts seems to have all the detail needed to make a truthful and well-rounded story.
  • Environmentally friendly: It does not look like Mashable is taking any big steps to be environmentally conscious.

Blog Critique

The Huffington Post  blog, in my opinion, is set up very simple and easy to navigate.

-On the main page there is a short preview about what the article is about, which will help readers decide if they would want to read it or not.

-They also have many pictures and videos to help persuade readers as well. 

– It is very simple and easy to use.

– It is a very appealing blog in the fact that it shows no confusion on how to get to other toics that may not be on the main page. 

– It is a very straight forward layout.

– Looking at the page isn’t overwhelming and doesn’t make readers more confused.

– Most of the articles right now are political articles.

– There are some very detailed blogs for readers, but the headlines are all mostly simple.

– This is an all online newspaper. Nothing is printed.

– Only the important titles are bolded.