March 2012 Archives

Rush Limbaugh's "Slut" Comment Still Under Fire

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The infamous Conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh made controversial remarks Feb. 29, calling a female law student, who testified at a congressional hearing in favor of supporting female contraception coverage by insurance, a "slut." The remarks have triggered a fallout which has put Limbaugh under pressure.

Limbaugh grew up in Missouri and is the son of a lawyer who was a fighter pilot during World War II, according to Paul D. Colford.'s book titled "The Rush Limbaugh story: talent on loan from God: an unauthorized biography."

Limbaugh's program "The Rush Limbaugh Show," is the highest rated radio talk show and is considered highly influential to Republican party leaders. The show is known for Limbaugh's sharp criticism of Liberal policies and politicians. Many of his family members are lawyers and his uncle, Stephen Limbaugh Jr., was appointed as a judge under the former president George Bush Jr.'s administration.

According to the NY Daily News, "Limbaugh, on his radio programs, suggested student Sandra Fluke wanted to be paid to have sex, which made her a 'slut' and a 'prostitute.' In return for the money, he said Fluke should post videos of herself having sex."

Limbaugh later made a brief apology to Fluke, but has still faced stark criticism. Several of his show's sponsors have discontinued their sponsorship since the remarks were made.

Other's responses to the comments have resulted in the 2012 presidential candidate's own integrities and characters put to the test. Romney's response to Limbaugh's comments have been viewed by some as meek, while Rick Santorum responded that Limbaugh's comments were "absurd," according to CBS.

President Obama responded more personally by calling Sandra Fluke to show support and mentioning his daughters in his response to Limbaugh's comments.

Fluke responded rather calmly that she hopes to keep the focus on women's ability to have affordable coverage by health insurance for contraception on ABC's "The View". "Initially I was very shocked, but then I tried to see it for what it is," Fluke said on the show. "And what it is is an attempt to silence me, to silence the millions of women and the men who support them who have been speaking out about this issue and conveying that contraception is an important health care need that need to have met in an affordable accessible way."

Dalai Lama Influential Despite Lack of Official Political Base

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His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, who is the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and a Buddhist leader, has greatly influenced the world despite dropping leverage as a political leader.

The Dalai Lama's political power was expected to drop after he left his position as prime minister of Tibet and was replaced with Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard legal scholar. However, the Dalai Lama continues to hold influence in the Tibetan movement and around the world. Here in Minnesota, he's made several visits to speak to students about well-being and spirituality.

The Dalai Lama had anything but a regular childhood. He was chosen as the Dalai Lama at the age of 2 and spent the rest of his life educated by monks. At 15, the Dalai Lama assumed power of the state while the People's Liberation Army of China invaded Tibet in 1950, and he later fled to India.

The Dalai Lama is known to live by peace simplicity. When he visited the University of Minnesota, he told students "The ultimate source of suffering is within ourself. Our mental attitude really makes a difference."

In his life, the Dalai Lama has receeived national peace recognition awards like the Nobel Peace Prize and the Mahatma Gandhi International Award in Bodh Gaya, India.

Conflict with China has been ongoing with the Dalai Lama. Most recently, a state-run Chinese website has accused him of "Nazi" racial policies and of inciting Tibetans to set themselves on fire," according to the Associated Press article on Newsday.com. These reactions referenced the wide-spread Tibetan protests in Southwest China, which included instances of self-immolation that the Dalai Lama attributes to the "cultural genocide" of Tibetans under strict control by Bejing.

The Dalai Lama continues to travel and spread his knowledge, political advocacy of the Tibetan cause, Buddhist spirituality, and advice to many.

Oakland Teen's Life Changes After Scoring Porn Star Date for Prom

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A regular teenager might give up on his or her search for a prom date after numerous rejections, but not this guy.

Mike Stone, an 18-year-old Tartan high school senior from Oakland, was determined to have a date to take to prom, so he sent multiple requests to celebrities and porn stars alike, until finally, adult porn star Megan Piper (along with Emy Reyes) said yes.

Stone is a heavy-set man who, from his Twitter profile picture, likes race cars. But his unique idea has spread like wildfire and he has vast support from schoolmates and other teens all over the nation who have branded him as their hero, idol, and even "Legendary!"
But his decision has been met with concern and resistance. His school is not allowing him to bring his date to Tartan's prom, so Stone is considering having an alternative "porn prom," or "#pornforprom" which has become a trend on Twitter as a form of advocacy.

According to an interview with Pioneer Press, Stone has received offers for funding of the alternative prom and plane tickets for Stone's date from 40 people and businesses.

Stone's parents were angry and embarrassed after receiving a call from Tartan high school's principal telling the parents that Stone was sending numerous tweets to porn stars.

There's no telling where Stone's prom date journey will go from here. But it will probably be a night he will never forget.

Influential Minneapolis Newspaper Executive John Cowle Jr. Dies

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John Cowles Jr., an 82-year-old editor and publisher from a long line of Minneapolis newspaper executives in his family, stayed active in the newspaper industry until the very end. He died March 14 in his home.

Cowles, a former owner of the Star and Tribune Company, was known by some as a philanthropist who contributed editorials advocating for the civil rights movement.
"John Cowles is one of the most important civic figures in Minneapolis in the last half-century," said Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Cowles encouraged the development and growth of arts and sports in Minneapolis. During the 1970s, he also advocated the construction of the Metrodome, or what is now known as the Mall of America Metrodome, in downtown Minneapolis. This support elicited mixed responses and accusal of conflict of interest.

Cowles was heavily involved in the establishment of the Guthrie theater. According to StarTribune, "In the spring of 1960, he cajoled director Tyrone Guthrie to establish his regional theater in Minneapolis and then went about raising the money to do so, serving as the first president of the theater foundation and later as its board chairman."

He faced his share of criticism. Although he was described as a liberal, he served on a White House committee that advocated for support of President Johnson's war policies in 1965, according to Bruce Weber's article in the New York Times. He also was asked to resign from Cowles Media Board in 1982 after the Star and Tribune papers merged and he placed himself in the former position of publisher Donald Dwight.

Though he grew to be a well-known newspaper executive, in 1953 Cowles started out as a newbie police reporter at one of the many newspaper's his father owned, the Minneapolis Star.

According to StarTribune, A memorial event celebrating Cowles' life will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 18, at Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Black 17-year-old's Death Reaches National Attention

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A black 17-year-old boy's life was cut short after he was shot dead Feb. 26 by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla.

Trayvon Martin was unarmed and walking through a gated community from a convenience store with skittles in his hands, according to the Miami Herald. Martin also reportedly had his hood up, a symbol of dress which has resulted in national protests with demonstrators dressing in hoods.

Martin's shooter, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, has not been arrested. This incident has sparked a national debate over whether or not the shooting was racially charged. Zimmerman was accused of racial slurs in a 911 call he made to the police.

Zimmerman's attorney, Craig Sonner, however, says that he is not a racist. He has recently been secluded from the public, reportedly because of the numerous death threats he has received.

Martin was an average teenager and still had boyish aspects to him, according to his father, 45-year-old Tracy Martin, who said to the Miami Herald "He still loved to go to Chuck E. Cheese with his cousins and would bake them chocolate chip cookies when he was babysitting them."

The death of Martin has reached such national precedence that President Barack Obama addressed the nation in a video and said "I think all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."

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