watch becky rant

current events blog written by a ranting teenager

Oct 4

"I am not a witch."

Sure, you aren’t. Ok, so clearly accusations that Christine O’Donnell is a witch is extreme and let’s be honest, not based on a lot of fact. I think what’s most important about this whole issue is what we, as the public, are interested in when we think about candidates. If we were to all judge candidates based off dumb stuff they did when they were young or even when they were old it would be impossible to ever elect anyone. No one’s perfect after all. For instance, Bill Clinton famously had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and even was impeached because of it. Was he really deserving of this though? I really don’t know enough about the scandal to say one way or another but it’s an important thing to think about. MLK also was challenged of committing adultery and being a “womanizer” but for a lot of the public they didn’t seem to mind.

What I get out of this witch situation with O’Donnell is that the public takes seriously whatever they can that will hurt the people they already don’t like. I mean, we do this with pretty much everyone we don’t like. I think what’s really important to remember in a case like Christine O’Donnell is that we shouldn’t just blindly hate someone because they are a Republican or a Tea Partier but if we are going to hate someone, it should be for bad ideas and policies. Now when she says things like she does in the video below posted that Obama is bad because he cut spending on missile defense, or that she will never vote to increase taxes, that worries me. These are the kinds of things we should focus on when deciding who to vote for. 

I suppose this witch scenario ties in very nicely with our final project and the whole concept of propaganda. In one of the websites Doug gave us to learn about advertising techniques one of the first types of propaganda is name-calling. Although “witch” is not listed in the common bad names to be referred to, it most certainly could in reference to this situation. The site restates my sentiment I mentioned earlier that people will focus on this rather than real information about O’Donnell. The Site reads, “The propagandist who uses this technique hopes that the audience will reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative symbol, instead of looking at the available evidence.” This seems extremely relevant and fits into this whole controversy perfectly. 

Although I have to give O’Donnell some amount of leeway because she was young when the whole witch thing happened, that does not mean I am letting her off the hook. I still can’t get over all the other dumb things she has said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-npEhuweIyA&feature=channel

video states opinion on Obama/taxes

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/odonnell-ad-confronts-reports-on-her-past/?hp 

I am not a witch video

http://www.propagandacritic.com/articles/ct.wg.name.html

propaganda “name calling” website 



Oct 3

rally to just get away from all the crazy

It seems as some sort of peace is coming back to demonstrators in America. After having to listen to stories and read accounts of tea party rallies throughout the mod I was starting to worry. Do democrats care about anything? For a while, it seemed like they really didn’t. Although I disagree with many of the Tea Partiers views it seems like they have done  one thing very well, gaining popularity and followers. It makes sense that they have become pretty powerful, they are angry and rallying and are out in the media’s eyes. Throughout the rise of the Tea Party the democrats, liberals, progressives, whatever you want to call them seem to have been just watching this whole thing unfold. Although many or most democrats can agree that the Tea Party seems extreme and ridiculous no opposition seemed to be created.

Because of this general apathetic feeling I view the democrats having I was very excited to hear that a rally was held on October 2 in D.C. to help energize their own followers with ideas that they support. Groups at this rally included union members, environmentalists, peace activists. The rally was sponsored similarly by liberal groups like the N.A.A.C.P. and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. The rally was called “One Nation Working Together”. Overall, the event seemed to to address the one problem that I have had with most democrats, get them excited to vote and get them excited to know what the issues are and how they should vote. The coordinator of the march, Rev. Leah Daughtry commented on the goals of the march, “We want to help make sure there is an energized and educated electorate”. I believe no matter how much you may hate the Tea Party and think they are crazy if you are ignorant about what you’re own beliefs even are, it is difficult for people to believe you. Perhaps that is why the Tea Party tends to come off as nonsensical. Although they have ideas they tend to become contradictory or not based off facts. For these reasons I think it’s wonderful that leading democratic groups are trying to educate other liberals.

Somewhat related for me when I heard about this rally is the “Rally to Restore Sanity” created by Daily Show host, Jon Stewart. Yes, this rally is more of a joke and response to Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally than educating people, but perhaps if is successful it could do just that. Similarly how I discussed the Stephen Colbert address to congress about immigration bringing awareness to a subject through jokes, this rally could do just that. Either way, I don’t really care how people become educated. If is through a serious event regarding ways to change and fix our country, then great. If it is an event related to a fake news show then wonderful. As long as the point gets across, why not have some fun?


Oct 2

Sep 29

let’s have windmills! but they’re ugly

Today while looking for an interesting article to write about as a break from thinking so much from the Tea Party I read an article about a small Italian town that has effectively been using wind power to produce electricity. This town in Italy decided to make renewable energy because of the extremely high prices of electricity. According to this article, “Ancient Italian Town Now Has Wind at Its Back” from the New York Times, Italy is usually not very environmentally friendly. The article reads:

Italy is an unlikely backdrop for a renewable revolution. It has been repeatedly criticized by the European Union for failing to follow the bloc’s environmental directives. It is not on track to meet either its European Union-mandated emissions-reduction target or its commitment to get 17 percent of its total power from renewable sources by 2020, experts say.”

This windmills create so much energy, in fact these windmills make more energy then the town even needs which leads to a profit for the citizens. So if a country like Italy, who has had a lot of trouble staying green in the past can now use renewable energy successfully and even have it help its economy, what’s wrong with the United States?

I really doubt that the amount of profit or energy created by methods like windmills or solar panels could begin to cover all the energy we need or cover the costs of the energy to create a huge profit, but I definitely think taking advantage of this new technology would be a great step in the right direction. I think the first step to help lower the United States dependence on oil and natural gasses (no matter if they’re “foreign” or not) would probably be to create higher standards for the amount of energy we get from renewable sources. Europe already has these standards in place and that’s why these people are reaping all the benefits of these windmills. I know that people make a lot of money off oil so it seems doubtful that the United States will change any current regulations soon, but I really hope they do at some point.

I feel like, because the United States will most likely not enforce much change, citizens must force this change upon the government. Which of course brings me to the windmill farm outside of Cape Cod.  Some people had some terrible reactions in my opinion of these windmills. They believed it was “ruining” their view. Quite honestly, I find this opinion extremely selfish and stemming from ignorance. Yes, windmills might not appeal to everyone visually but if people were to read articles like this then, I believe, like a lot of problems in the United States, perhaps they would be fixed. Or a little close to getting fixed. 

I actually find them quite pretty.


Sep 28

I’ve talked to a lot of people who say they get a lot or most of their news from the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. On one hand I think it’s great that people care at all about current events (sometimes it’s even hard for me to try and read any of the newspaper, you’re probably shocked right?) but on the other hand it’s not real news. It’s news that is extremely twisted to make the people in power look dumb or mock the ridiculous laws and decisions are government makes. Clearly Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are just comedians trying to make light of the sometimes horribly depressing government we all live with…..or are they?

Over the weekend I was looking at the political blogs Doug has assigned for us to read and I saw a clip with a thumbnail of Stephen Colbert. My mind was sort of drifting and I thought it might be sort of entertaining and related to the government in some way. I watched the video, and boy am I glad I did. The video was of Stephen Colbert’s message on Capitol Hill to congress regarding immigration. Just like how he does on his show he took a very conservative viewpoint playing his normal character. This however, transcended his show because he wasn’t just talking to millions of daily viewers but the government. Clearly he took the tactic that he normally takes on his show, make the opposite view sound as ridiculous as possible and then people will realize how wrong that viewpoint really is. “America’s farms are presently far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables, now the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables” was one of the gem lines he told congress. Clearly this is a joke, but it is also just as thought provoking as it is funny.

It seemed after watching this video that everyone in the government who shared his opinions on immigration should have supported the actions he took to draw attention to his feelings toward immigration. It did not, however, turn out to be that way. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was not exactly a fan of Colbert’s speech referring to it as “emberrassment” for Colbert and “not appropriate.” Hoyer further went on to say, "what he had to say I think was not the way it should have been said…If he had a position on the issues he should have given those issues." I strongly disagree with this viewpoint. I think Colbert’s attitude and ridiculous speech probably made it much more attractive to people who would under normal circumstances not watch speeches like this. As I said before many people get their news solely from these comedy shows. If this weren’t a comedy, would any of these people still watch this? Would this video with the thumbnail of Stephen Colbert’s face shown up on the side of one of the blogs I was watching? Perhaps, the methods Colbert used were not the most "proper" however I do think they were very effective and appropriate because, it seems to me that is has gotten a lot of people thinking on the whole point of this video, immigration.


Sep 27


Page 1 of 2