Donald Sterling and his racist comments

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I love playing basketball and I also enjoy watching NBA very much. Checking the daily highlights and scores has been a routine for me ever since I was in high school. This time a year has always been my favorite time a year because of the playoffs. Teams compete very hard and leave everything out there on the basketball court. This year however, there has been some additional sideline news to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clipper's owner (Yes he is still the owner of the team) was accused to be the voice of a recording released to TMZ. The mistress of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling recorded a conversation with Sterling in which he made racist comments. This led the NBA to ban Sterling for life, fine him $2.5 million, and forced to sell his team. After listening to the recording I can only say he deserved it. It was his fault for having the mistress in the first place. It just disgusted me the fact he made those comments. It was very unintelligent and very offensive. He spoke in a way as if those players were his slaves. Then he decides to come out and apologize weeks after the incident. I am sure none of us was expecting a mushy gushy apology but the way he came out and talked about Magic Johnson made matters worse. We all know he is nothing close to a saint but when you come out on live TV to apologize to the world, you do not go out and bash on another person. You do not go out and make personal attacks.
The Donald Sterling Saga has affected the performance of all the Clippers this post-season. Not only do they have to be worried about their games, but off the court this had a really big emotional toll on them. Some say this is what caused they to lose in the semi-finals. What do you all think?

The Sunflower Movement

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Towards the end of March, a bunch of students marched into one of the government building and took over for weeks to protest a potential trade pact with China. The students named their campaign the "sunflower movement", a reference to sunlight and transparency. The trade pact is Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement. These students fear that once the trade goes through China investors will be able to come over to Taiwan and have influence over the economy. And eventually, economy dominance will lead to political dominance. This is because of the unique relationship between Taiwan and China. The ruling party in Taiwan, Kuomintang, evacuated their government to Taiwan after losing the war to the Chinese Communist Party. And the tension between the two countries remained ever since. If Taiwan were to sign a trade pact with any other country there would not be an issue at all. Personally I don't agree with what these students did. They took over a government property and broke national property. What they did was against the law. If something like this were to happen here in the US it would be stopped right away and necessary violent will be administrated to stop the riot. Personally I believe the trade pact will benefit Taiwan greatly. Taiwan has hit a pause bottom in its economy over the last 10 years. This trade pact will simulate the economy and bring Taiwan back up top to one of the top GDP country in Asia. What do you guys think?

If you would like to read more about what happened follow these links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_Student_Movement
http://www.thechinastory.org/2014/04/the-sunflower-movement-in-taiwan/

Cash for Kidneys

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I really enjoy reading this article, it got me thinking about organ trading the way I have never thought about before. I am not a stranger to illegal kidney trading, after reading on the article, I have sided with the author and firmly believe there are much more benefits then there are disadvantages.
The first argument the author is trying to get at is trying to address the issue at hand. In the recent year, a lot more people are on the wait list for kidneys then comparing to 10 years ago. This gets us thinking about the severity of this issue and make it seem like it is urgent therefore must be dealt with right away. If the author choose another way to start the article instead of numbers we might not feel as strongly about this problem.
Basically what the author is getting at is that the black market will always be there. There isn't really anything we can do to stop buying and selling organs illegally. Instead, why not make it legal for those who are really in need of the organ and desperate need of cash?
Making the organ market legal will also cut down the possibilities of failed surgery and increase the survival rate for both the donor and patient. If the process is legalized people won't feel the need to hide the whole process. Thus, better medical treatment for both sides, thorough medical exams to prevent infections, and possibly getting rid of the broker.
Also, the author is trying to say that comparing a kidney transplant to dialysis, a transplant is much more cheaper and much more effective. Therefore making a strong argument.
My question will be how is it possible that patients are spending up to $200,000 purchasing for a kidney while the donor is only getting a couple thousand dollars? Where does the majority of the money go to?

I am not a big sports fan and I usually don't pay attention to things such as draft day, but this last weekend when I was checking the news, I saw a lot of coverage about the drafting of Michael Sam, and how when he found out the news, which was being broadcast on live television by ESPN, he kissed his boyfriend (A G rated kiss if you ask me). Now I think that's a very normal reaction, and others being drafted have been shown to kiss their girlfriends, however as CNN reports (even though I don't normally read CNN), some people are questioning whether the world was "ready" for such a kiss, and still others are angry that ESPN broadcast the kiss with little kids watching. I think this is absolutely ridiculous and I personally don't understand at all why its okay for kids to see straight couples giving each other a kiss, but they're considered to young to see a gay couple kiss? I think the world was definitely ready for this kiss to happen, and even though gay couples kiss around the world all the time, and this shouldn't be as big of a deal as it is being made, I admire ESPN for going ahead and treating all those being drafted as equals, and broadcasting the kiss. I think it shows that we are making strives as a country in GLBTQ rights and as I discussed before in my post about the Coca-Cola advertisement, I think our generation received the kiss mostly positively. However there were still a few well-known sports stars who made what I felt were discouraging tweets, such as "OMG" and "Horrible". These tweets were later deleted, and apologized for, however it still demonstrates that there are still those made uncomfortable or against homosexuality. What do you guys think? Do you think this is a topic that our generation is more accepting of? What did you think about the kiss, did you think it was inappropriate for television?

Articles can be found here:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/12/opinion/opinion-roundup-michael-sam-kiss/index.html?iref=allsearch

http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft2014/story/_/id/10913755/2014-nfl-draft-michael-sam-drafted-st-louis-rams-seventh-round

For this year's super bowl, Coca-Cola came out with an advertisement that I thought was really great, but it stirred up some controversy. The ad shows many people doing very "All American" activities, like going to the movies, roller skating, barbequing, and has a sound track of America the Beautiful playing in the background with people of all ethnicities singing it in different languages. I thought this ad was very clever in the sense that I think Coca-Cola was trying to target our generation, which is more open and diverse than past generations, and they did it using pathos very effectively.
Coca-cola also did a great job at broadening their burden of proof in a way. By showing so many different experiences and so many different kinds of people, many people are able to identify with the ad, and will therefore identify with the product. I think this is a very intelligent way of advertising, because Coca-Cola plays to people's patriotism, and nostalgia but modernizes it more to pertain to our generation more effectively. This method of using pathos and generalizing their ad to make more people identify with it is very smart. However some people were very upset with the fact that America the Beautiful was being sung in other languages and not English. I think that this just shows that times are moving forward and getting better because I think the response to the ad was definitely more positive than negative, and even though Coca-Cola is definitely trying to make a profit off the ad, I admire the message that portray in the advertisement. What do you think of the ad? Did you think it was an effective way of advertising their product? Who do you think the target audience was for Coca-Cola, and what do you think of some of the negative comments to the ad on youtube?

Ad can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=443Vy3I0gJs

Everyone in the small town of Needville had the same reaction when a student sat quietly during the pledge of allegiance - "thats wrong." He received two day in school suspension because made a choice that is completely in his rights. I was shocked when i read this article. I believe that this is completely wrong, and he had no right to get in any kind of trouble for what he did. Sitting down during the pledge of allegiance does not mean that he is a bad person. The adults that commented on this situation were almost all in agreement that it was a very rude thing to do. Comments such as its disrespectful to the flag, soldiers, and freedom were prominent in the article. These comments angered me, and made me feel sorry for this boy.

Another neighbor, Jimmie Pekar added, "If you live in the United States, the greatest country in the world, you should support the United States."

This phrase really bothered me. We are not the greatest country in the world, and it is such a small minded thing to say. Thinking a child doesn't support his country because he decided not to stand is just jumping to conclusions.

I do have to keep in mind that this took place in Texas, a very conservative place. But it makes me incredibly frustrated that a small child was punished for making a perfectly fine decision.

http://www.khou.com/news/local/Community-members-sound-off-after-school-punishes-boy-for-refusing-to-stand-for-Pledge-of-Allegiance--258546821.html

Redskins name controversy

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Rick Reilly wrote a piece for ESPN on the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins and their name. The Redskins name has been viewed as offensive to Native Americans and some people want them to change it. The University of North Dakota had to change their nickname from the Fighting Sioux so there is a precedence for the name change be force upon a team. But the NFL is a whole different entity than a University. Reilly doesn't believe that the name should be changed. His first argument he uses is a personal one. His father-in-law is a member of the Blackfeet tribe and Reilly quotes him as saying that the name doesn't bother him much. Another thing he points to is the example of Wellpinit High School. Wellpinit is a high school in Washington that has a student body comprised of 91.2% Native Americans. Wellpinit's nickname is the Redskins for sports as well. That argument is a very interesting one as I am surprised that there is still a high school with that nickname, especially since there is a college that had the same name taken from them. According to Reilly the students at that school find the term Redskin to be honorable, and not an insult. Reilly continues on to show examples of other high schools with predominantly Native American populations with the Redskin nicknames. I don't know if that comparison works well as it makes sense for Native Americans to have that as their name, but the Washington Redskins aren't a team composed entirely of Native Americans. Reilly states that the term Redskin was originally used by Native Americans themselves, which isn't the case with most other words determined to be slurs. He also says that 90% of Native Americans polled don't find the term offensive. He points to his previously mentioned father-in-law stating that he finds the term Chief, as in Kansas City Chiefs, more offensive.
Is the term redskin or chief offensive?
Should the Washington Redskins or Kansas City Chiefs have to change their name?

Link to article- http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9689220/redskins-name-change-not-easy-sounds

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Sterling

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Link to article - http://time.com/79590/donald-sterling-kareem-abdul-jabbar-racism/

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, famous NBA player and all time leading scorer in league history, wrote an article for Time magazine on his thoughts on the Donald Sterling situation. Being such a notable figure in the basketball world I was extremely intrigued to read what he had to say, especially due to his relationship with Magic Johnson who had come out on TV with strong words against Sterling. He opens up the article by stating his relationship with Sterling never was negative. He worked for the Clippers as a coach and said he never felt any sense of racism directed from Sterling at him, and Sterling even invited him to his daughter's wedding. This being noteworthy because Abdul-Jabbar is black. He also argues that he feels that the girlfriend of Sterling was leading him on, trying to get him to show the racist side of him. Kareem expressed frustration in the excessive reaction to the Sterling incident. He doesn't believe what Sterling thinks is right, nor that he is a good guy or something. I feel like what he is most frustrated with is how news gets reported in today's world. He outlines some of the prior issues Sterling has had being called out as a racist, namely the law suit featuring housing discrimination and Elgin Baylor reportedly being fired for age and race. All that is being brought up today, but nobody was talking about it when those events actually occurred years ago. He makes a claim that sounds like he is saying that the housing discrimination is more worthy of him being banned from the NBA than the recordings of him released recently. He says that "racism is the true enemy" and Sterling is just "a handmaiden to the bigger evil." The real point I believe he is trying to get at is that Sterling is a racist, and he shouldn't have ever owned the team, or at least once he showed his racist side he shouldn't have been allowed. Kareem explicitly states that he hopes Sterling loses his team (the article was written before the decision was made).
1. Does Kareem's article make you believe Sterling should have lost the team?
2. Is Kareem a notable enough figure to have enough sway in the public eye to change people's mind?

Colton Stopperan
5/9/14

Richard Sherman's Remarks About Donald Sterling

Richard Sherman, Seatle Seahawk's CB who made headlines with his remarks after the NFC Championship game, made headlines again by stating the NFL and Roger Goodell would not have banned an owner for making racist comments like Donald Sterling did in the NBA. He says that the NFL is a bottom-line league and if something doesn't effect the NFL's bottom line, they're not concerned. He uses the example of the Washington Redskins saying the NFL already dropped the ball on racial sensitivity with the debate over D.C's mascot name and logo. Though in class, we have already discussed the debate over changing of the team name and I believe the consensus was they shouldn't have to. There certainly opposition from Native Americans about the nickname, but then there are Native Americans that are uncaring about the subject. I feel, the owners, management, players, and history, play more of a role representing a team then a simple nickname and logo. And when a owner of a well known popular team makes absurd racist comments in a predominately black league, something needs to happen. And that something is a ban. There is no room for that kind of racism and I believe the NFL would have noticed that and banned him as well. Especially since the remarks made national news, and the NFL is always so concerned about their image, especially now trying to gain popularity abroad. The NFL is constantly punishing they're players and staff about their off field habits and opinions, which now seem way less provocative than Donald Sterling's, so there is no doubt in my mind Roger Goodell would have done the same thing as NBA commissioner Adam Silver. There is too much publicity on the matter that the NFL could not just roll this one over.

Austerity and its Effectiveness

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This article is written about a certain region in the world known to most as the European Union. This is a unique place because it blends completely sovereign countries with different political systems together to act as one economic unit. This is very much like the United States having one Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while individual states can have their own as well that represent a portion of our national figure. An argument that the author tries to make in this article is that through the austerity measures, Europe has changed its own identity in global politics. While Europe used to be the middle ground between the free market perspective towards macroeconomics (United States) and the more managed systems that are found in more socialistic type governments. This really struck me as odd. I never have thought of Europe as a middle ground in terms of government styles. There have always been more right leaning governments within the union, Germany for example, but conservatives from the U.S would shriek if they were grouped with the conservatives from Europe. This author clearly did not like the austerity measures that were being used on some of the debt-stricken countries like Greece but didn't provide real evidence that the continued outrageous spending habits some of these countries had would help them become financially healthy. He did have pretty accurate criticism for the austerity in terms that two of the three listed countries, Spain and Ireland, had issues with their private sector and banking. Austerity measures are aimed at the government but these two governments seemed to have less of a role in their economic collapses than the government in Greece. This fact has changed my attitude slightly about austerity. While I used to be pro-austerity and thought that government spending was too rampant in all parts of the world, this little known fact makes me reconsider how/when austerity should be used by lenders. This article is interesting because these issues that the European Union is facing are similar to ours in the United States. The government responses seem to be different though. Our government in the U.S has responded with record increases in debt while theirs seem to cut their budget. I guess we will have to see which method works out better in the long run.

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