News You Probably Missed This Week 3/24/2013
New For the Week
I enjoy following a variety of news outlets to get an idea of the real news that our news media doesn't report on. I've decided to write a weekly hub providing links for what I think are the stories that people really need to hear.
This is only my second week with this, and there is still a lot that we are missing out on.
From Around The Web
The budget resolution bill that was passed in the Senate last week also included an earmark that will affect the entire agriculture industry. Nick-named "the Monsanto Protection Act", this bill would basically ensure that large farming corporations can do whatever they want with genetically modified seeds regardless of the impact to the environment or to the consumer. Companies will be able to sell these seed crops even if they have been deemed unsafe in court.
We have seen Monsanto's power before, this is the company that has sued numerous small family farms because bees cross pollinated these farmers normal crops with Monsanto's genetically modified ones. This bill shows how powerful corporations like Monsanto are becoming.
In New Jersey, police raided the home of a firearms instructor and his family after somebody allegedly complained to Child Services about a Facebook photo which depicted his 11 year old son holding a shot gun.
I have two issues with this, first, if someone actually did complain to child services over this photo, that person is a complete tool. The photograph is in no way offensive or in no way puts any child in any type of danger. Teaching kids about gun safety is something that good, responsible parents should be doing.
My second issue is with the authorities. There was no reason for them to go to his house, and no reason for them to demand to search without a warrant. They didn't even have probable cause. I understand that Child Services has to investigate every complaint for the safety of children, but this is a case where you look at this complaint and then send one dude over to the family's house to apologize for the inconvenience.
It is obvious that this family takes guns seriously, the child has has firearm safety courses and often goes hunting with his father. They are responsible gun owners. There is absolutely no reason that authorities should have tried to raid the house.
You probably did see this one, but I think it deserves further mentioning and review. Two high school students drugged, raped and photographed a fellow student and shared the photos with their friends. They were found guilty last week and sentenced to juvenile detention.
CNN decided to spin it in favor of the two poor young men who had such bright futures. What a tragedy it was for them that they were convicted of this horrendous crime and that their futures as sports stars was stolen from them based on their actions.
This is why violence against women is such an important issue. Instead of understanding and supporting the victim, we are pitying the perpetrators. They knew what they were doing, they are just upset about getting caught. This poor girl was drugged. She probably made some bad decisions in being where she was, but that doesn't give anybody the right to rape her. A few bad decisions doesn't mean she deserved what happened. There is hardly any mention of this poor girl who suffered the trauma of being raped and photographed in this segment on CNN. We as a society need to stop celebrating the perpetrators of these types of crimes.
A school district in Maryland has outlawed hugging and home-made food except. It is also making parents register to enter the playground, only allows parents to push their own children on the swings, and outlaws birthday invitations. I believe that the hugging ban does not apply to a parent hugging his/her own child, but the article makes that a little unclear.
This one is interesting. I understand the point to protect children, but I don't think that assuming every adult is a bad guy is the way to go. I also don't understand the ban on home-made food. Children can't bring their lunches to school anymore? That would be a gross infringement on personal freedoms. If this ban does not apply to parents, how will it be enforced? How will schools know who packed the lunch? In addition, what if it is the responsibility of a babysitter or older sibling to make a child's lunch? Will they no longer be allowed to have it? This is one of the most ridiculous bans that I have ever heard.
The other parts of the ban are just as ridiculous. A baby sitter can't enter the playground and push her charge on the swings? A group of parents can't switch off on the pushing detail? And how does this ban apply to step-parents or even boyfriends/girlfriends of parents? There are way too many infringements on the rights of parents in these bans.
While we have been focused on North Korea, China has been testing high range missiles and meeting with Russian officials to secure military cooperation.
Is China preparing for something? If so, what is it? China does not recognize the sovereignty of Taiwan, and also disputes the ownership of numerous small Pacific Islands, many of which Japan claims ownership. Is China going to attempt to use military force to reclaim these territories?
This also could be someone making a big deal out of nothing. The US routinely tests new technology, and when it does there generally is not an implication that we are preparing for war. As a sovereign country, China has every right to develop and test new military technology, and every right to meet with officials from any country that it so chooses.
Either way, I believe that it is something which people from all countries need to be aware of.
Fair and Balanced?
Please remember that no news outlet is fair and balanced. Everything has a spin. So please read them, be informed, but take everything with a grain of salt. Find the truth between the lines.