December 11, 2011
Republican Primaries & Politics

Last night there was a Republican debate that I did not watch.  I probably should have in order to validate this important news article, but I think I can go off of what I already know.  So let us begin:

Last night there was a Republican debate.  Right now it appears maybe Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are the frontrunners?  There is probably a way to confirm that online.  So one of them - or another candidate - will be nominated and run against Obama.  It’s hard to say whether it will be a close election.  The current crazy state of things (in the U.S. and the world) leads me to believe the election could go either way.  I don’t know too much about politics, but I think that Obama should probably remain president.  

Anyway, I think politics are important.  But sometimes it seems like there’s not much separating the world of politics from the world of entertainment.  I don’t know.  These are just some thoughts.  The verdict: it’ll be interesting to see who faces Obama in 2012.  

End note: Ron Paul is intriguing.  Not like I think he’s a savior or want him to win, just that I he says what he thinks and sticks to it.  The honesty is pretty refreshing.  

I don’t know.

July 5, 2011
New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage

A little over a week ago, New York lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.  This upset a lot of people - mostly homophobic people or conservative Christians/Catholics, and probably other religious groups like Mormons.

I’m not sure why people have a problem with this ruling.  I know some people, such as conservative Christians, view homosexuality as a sinful behavior - but I often disregard that point of view as being “not well-thought-out” or “ignorant” and “offensive”.  Sometimes, people who oppose the ruling mask their homophobia by saying that gay marriage isn’t fair to tax payers (e.g., Now there will be tax breaks and benefits for gay and lesbian couples).  

Whatever the case, people who oppose the ruling are generally angrier, less-loving, more-ignorant people.  I think the world is a better place when all people have more equal rights and there is less contention and fighting going on.

In closing, sure - homosexuals do some weird things (like the way a lot of them dress and act during the gay pride parade in NYC).  But heterosexuals do a lot of weird things, too (e.g., Sexually speaking, some heterosexuals have sex with each other wearing fuzzy animal costumes).  So why shouldn’t people be allowed the right to live a happy life?  The end of the world isn’t any closer if same-sex partners are allowed to get married; rather, the end of the world will be closer the more people there are who staunchly oppose issues such as this one.  Just relax.

February 19, 2011
House Passes Amendment to Cut Funding for Planned Parenthood

"The GOP-led House passed an amendment Friday night that would eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood," (New York Daily News, 2011).

What does this mean?  Essentially, it means that the GOP-led House is trying to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  

Is this a good thing?  In short, no.  Why not?  In long, because Planned Parenthood offers many services which are very good.  For example, PP offers STD testing Services, Women’s and Men’s Health Services, Patient Education, Pregnancy Testing, etc.  

Many GOP members (and some Democrats - let’s remember not to be rash in our criticism of the people who passed this amendment) do not like PP because of its abortion services, we [at Topical Topics] think.  But here’s the thing: a lot of these opponents of PP need to realize that their views are very idealistic (i.e., not realistic) and come from a personal religious foundation.

Now let’s get some facts straight here:

  1. There is no problem with religion - as long as people who are religious do not hurt or harm others and as long as people who are religious don’t force their views/beliefs on others.  
  2. A beautiful thing about America is that it allows religious freedom, among many other freedoms.
  3. Never, ever is everyone in the U.S. going to get on board with this whole anti-abortion idea.  Never, ever is everyone in the U.S. going to have some sort of moral/religious awakening where they hop on board with these very archaic views of what is socially acceptable.

Those are facts.

The point of this article is a bit jumbled right now, so let’s clear it up.  The point of this article is that it is okay for there to be people who do not agree with PP — that’s fine.  But those opponents should not be stupid and try to get rid of PP.  They are entitled to their personal beliefs, but to force their personal beliefs onto other people is not okay - especially when the result is eliminating/hurting a program that offers good services to people.  

In conclusion, people in America are going to continue having sex.  STD’s are going to be an issue.  Unplanned pregnancies are going to be an issue.  Rape is going to be a problem.  Sexual abuse is going to be a problem.  Since these things will [unfortunately] exist, why eliminate a program (Planned Parenthood) that significantly helps the individuals involved in those situations?  Basically, it’s utterly stupid for these people to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood - seemingly one of the only worthwhile, helpful programs funded by the government (burn).

Remember, Topical Topics supports democrats, republicans, independents, not whigs, people of all religions, etc.  The point of this very good news source is to keep an open mind all the time regarding issues and to make open-minded judgments on topics.  When one keeps an open mind and looks at all sides of an issue, he/she is able to make the right decision.  

February 15, 2011
Revolution In Egypt

Thank you once again for turning to Topical Topics for your news.  Our main rivals, The Huffington Post and Drudge Report, pale in comparison to TT when it comes to the quality of information offered.

January 25, 2011 marked the beginning of the revolution.  The main “point” of the revolution was to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and to reform the political system.  Here are some facts of the revolution:

  • It took place in Egypt (a lot in Cairo)
  • CNN covered a lot of it
  • Tear gas was used

On Friday, February 11, Mubarak finally resigned.  This was met with “celebrations” from many of the Egyptians who wanted him out.  However, it was not met with celebrations by the supporters of Mubarak.

This Egyptian Revolution has certainly made news on a global scale, but many people are wondering, “Is it a good or a bad thing?”  That question, in particular, will be answered in the following paragraph.

The Egyptian Revolution should be a good thing.  But, as is the case with many things in life, only time will tell.  Mubarak, according to those who did not like him, was not a good leader and there was a lot of corruption that existed in the Egyptian government.  Ergo, getting rid of Mubarak should get rid of or at least diminish the corruption.

So in typical Topical Topics fashion, we will ask, “What’s the verdict?”  The verdict is: good.  It’s a good thing.  Hopefully there is a smooth transition to a better government and hopefully Egyptians’ lives improve, but it’s hard to tell.  Check back in 2-10 years to get a better idea of how things will turn out.

January 13, 2011
Politics In America

Thank you for checking back in with Topical Topics, one of America’s finest cultural/political blogs.  We appreciate you reading this instead of our main rivals: The Huffington Post and the Drudge Report.

By now, mostly everyone knows about the shooting that occurred in Tucson, AZ.  It was horrible.  It’s ridiculous that something like that happened.  Things like that should not happen.  Usually we try to be unbiased and take the “middle” road, here at Topical Topics.  However, in this instance, there is no “middle” road.  There is a right and a wrong road.  The right road is not being a crazy individual and not turning to violence over political matters.  The wrong road is being a crazy individual and turning to violence over political matters.

It is a reminder that there are still people out there who are, for lack of better terms, close-minded or brainwashed?  People should stop fighting and try to love one another, you know?

Our verdict?  The shooting was stupid and wrong and very upsetting.  Republicans are seeming more and more ridiculous - and this is coming from an unbiased news source that prides itself on being bipartisan, unbiased, and open-minded.

December 22, 2010
Tax Cut Rate Extensions

According to www.accountingtoday.com (not one of our rivals news sources), President Obama signed an extension of the Bush-era tax cut rates on Friday after the House passed the legislation on Thursday night.

This has been a controversial issue because some people (the rich ones) want the Bush-era tax cut rates extended while other people (the not as rich ones) don’t want the Bush-era tax cut rates extended.  It is hard to know what is right in this situation, but last night the author of this article’s roommate, Bryan Joggerst, explained the situation a little:

"When Bush took office, the U.S. was running a surplus and could afford to cut taxes.  Now we’re in a deficit which we need to eliminate, but the Bush-era tax rates are still in effect…Another issue is that when the wealthy save money through tax cuts, it is usually put away or saved rather than spent [contrary to the trickle down theory].  Whereas when poorer people save money through tax cuts, that money is put back into the economy because they have to spend it."

This is interesting.  After reading the above quote from Mr. Joggerst, it appears as if extending the tax cut rates does little to help the economy.  It’s tough to pick a side on this without seeming biased-by-circumstances.  That is, people might assume poor people just want to “stick it to the rich” by eliminating the tax cuts while others might assume rich people are cold hearted and greedy by keeping the tax cuts.  It is a tough issue and there certainly are two sides.

So what’s the verdict?  Well, it seems that letting some of the Bush-era tax cut rates expire wouldn’t be that bad.  A small percentage of rich people might be upset temporarily, but it probably wouldn’t kill them.  But we are still not sure; the verdict on this is pretty much undecided.  If pressed to make a decision, we would say allow the tax cut rates to expire in 2012.

December 20, 2010
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)

You may have already read about it on our competitor’s websites (i.e., Huffington Post and Drudge Report), but this past week a bill was passed to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and to allow gays to serve openly in the military.  We’re happy that you’ve checked in here in order to gather more complete facts on the situation before cultivating your own accurate, unbiased opinion on the matter.

Basically, it’s good that this bill was passed.  It is still (as of today) waiting to be signed by the President [Obama], but the assumption is that it will go through.  It’s good that gays will be able to serve openly in the military because there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t be able to.  Most of the people who do not want gays in the military are probably close-minded or archaic in their ways of thinking.  

In conclusion, there are bigger issues to address than whether we know/do not know the sexual orientations of our service men/women.  So what’s the verdict?  It is good that it will probably be repealed and hopefully things will work out in the end.  

September 28, 2010
Politics

Though the title of this post is general/broad, it is written with regard to the 2010 gubernatorial/senatorial races.  And, as always, thank you for turning to Topical Topics, the main rival of the Drudge Report and a growing rival to the Huffington Post.

That said, the world of politics is stupid.  It’s just another arena of life into which people can exert their mental and physical energies.  The argument can be made that politics is important because it affects everyone.  But individuals have such little effect or impact on election results that what’s the point?  Instead of putting so much time, energy, and emotions into supporting candidates and causes, why not save all of it for dealing with whatever political environment in which you are dwelling?  

That may sound vague, apathetic, and slightly uneducated - and that is because it is.  But the point of this blog entry is not to analyse its own flaws, but rather to examine the flaws of the political system and the politicians.  What makes politicians so high and mighty?  There is not much of a difference between politicians and movie stars or CEO’s.  At the end of the day, it’s about power, money, and fame.

Sure, you can label this blog entry as “cynical” and “dumb” and “lacking a clear point”, but again - don’t focus on the blog.  Focus on what it is getting at.  

Now, there are some good politicians and good political ideas out there for sure.  And it is important for individuals to perhaps vote for these good people/causes and for individuals to perhaps casually tell a friend about these good people/causes.  But for individuals to become obsessed over specific politicians and/or ideas and to talk non-stop to everyone they see about it?  That’s a problem.

Here you might be saying, “This professional blog entry has veered off of its already incoherent path and now has begun criticizing individuals who are interested in politics.”  You are correct in saying that.

So what’s the “point”?  Where’s the “beef” (Wendy’s, 1984)?  The point is, try to live a balanced life.  It’s worthwhile to pay attention to politics, but don’t get too caught up in it.  Because at the end of the day, many of them are just flawed human beings seeking power and money and you don’t even have that much of a voice.  

The verdict?  Stay tuned to politics but also have other interests, try to stay happy, and treat others with kindness and respect.

September 20, 2010
Iran Frees American Hiker

Hello and thank you for turning to Topical Topics - the main rival of the conservative Drudge Report and the liberal Huffington Post.

Today American Sarah Shourd spoke out and called for the release of two other American hikers held captive by Iran on charges of espionage.  Read about it here.  Shourd and the other two hikers were arrested and held in Iran’s Evin prison for the last 14 months.  

Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is holding the other two male hikers until further notice.  He has called for the U.S. to release Iranian prisoners who are, according to him, wrongly accused.

Should America release the Iranian prisoners in order to free the two American prisoners?  Are the American prisoners innocent?  Are the Iranian prisoners dangerous?  These are all good questions.  Unfortunately, not all of those can be answered at the given time.

Another unfortunate reality regarding this news story is that even though it is certainly current, it fails to crack into the highest level of newsworthy stories.  That is, it’s not exactly a “Mosque near Ground Zero” issue or a “Prop 8” issue.  

However, if tensions between the U.S. and Iran build as a result of this hostage debacle, the story might start to be a topic discussed by Americans over dinners, car drives, and/or coffee.  For now, the verdict is that the Americans are probably innocent and should be released regardless of the Iranian prisoner situation.  If that is actually an issue, it should be resolved in some other way than a prisoner trade/deal. 

September 10, 2010
Quran Burning

This, like the Iran stoning threat, is crazy.  Somehow this pastor Terry Jones compares burning the Quran (or “Koran”) to building a mosque near Ground Zero.  And although building the mosque next to Ground Zero is a sensitive issue to some, burning Qurans is not in any way similar to the mosque issue.  

Burning Qurans is a direct threat or symbol of hatred against a religion.  The worst we can come up with regarding the mosque being built is simply speculation that it is being built deliberately near Ground Zero with malicious intentions.  Again: speculation.  

So, considering we here at Topical Topics have extensive backgrounds and degrees in Poli-Sci, International Affairs, and the like - we feel pretty confident (and competent) in our ability to analyse these issues.  Thus, the verdict on the Quran Burning is that it’s pretty stupid and the pastor has a dumb mustache and is an idiot.

Again, we do not like to take sides here on Topical Topics.  We understand that many issues have gray areas and there can be multiple valid points of view.  But in this case, we have to let objectivity reign free and say that burning the Qurans would be a stupid and horrible idea.

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