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The Current Event Blog

This is the post excerpt.

to-every-news-channel-lately-254957.jpgThe Assignment: Bi-weekly—on even weeks—you will post 1 blog post consisting of at least 300 words (75 assessment of news source, 75 summary, 100 analysis, 50 opinion). There is a lot going on in our world, and it is important to be informed; however, we often only read news from a certain kind of source, which often skews our perspectives. With this in mind, you will only select sources on key issues every other week. Each blog will be due on the first day of class that week, and we will discuss them in class and digitally that week. Each article must be current, and you must be able to account for its validity as a new source. You must be able to identify the leanings of the news source, who funds it, and why that bias matters. True story: NO NEWS IS COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE. Fact check if you are not sure. Fake news is a huge societal problem, and identifying it is the first step to ending its circulation.  Think about what is important about an article and assess it. Approach your analysis of the news source and the article through the engagement of ethos, pathos, and logos as well as interrogating logical fallacies.

The Purpose: The current atmosphere of our society politically, and otherwise, has called into question the validity of news and the problematic circulation of false information, logical fallacies, and scare tactics that force journalists into situations that make us, as readers, question their choices. What is news? What is ignored? Why is it ignored? Who says? What do we fixate on? What matters locally, nationally, globally? How has social media affected these things? Who is the authority? Why are we so quick to believe what we read on the internet?  The circulation of false information is a huge problem; therefore, cultivating a critical eye for reading news and understanding the effects of positionality is incredibly important. Developing these awarenesses enable you to be a better contributor to society while also reinforcing the value of some of our constitutional rights and freedoms (particularly freedom of speech and the press).

Article Selection: The range of articles will help you become informed on topics that are affecting the US and the world. While you have free reign on article selection, please select articles that come from “news based” sources (BBC, NPR, NY Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, Fox, NBC, etc.) as opposed to entertainment (E! Huffington Post (sometimes), tabloids, popular magazine—sports illustrated, cosmo, vogue, etc. espn.com). You can access many news based sources through their websites.

Location of Current Event Blogs: We will be using www.Wordpress.com for our blogging platform. Instead of curating your own blog, you will create a wordpress username and be an author on our shared blog.  Although this places you in potentially public writing situations, it is valuable to explore the blog within the context of an actual functioning blog that has all of the genre constraints and affordances. It takes a bit of time to set up (and some trial and error), but I find it to be easier to navigate and use overall.  The help functions on the site are also useful and accessible.

*A note about positionality: All news is subjective (even when it tries to be objective). All news has a particular angle. I suggest exploring multiple news sources throughout the semester so that you have a well-rounded understanding of current events (it is kind of a big year). Part of your job as a reader and blogger is to explore these positions and assess value and validity of information (or, why everything we read on the internet is not true…facts and fact checking are important). Part of my job as your teacher is to challenge you to experience things both inside and outside of your comfort zone while helping you validate your existing positions in new ways with different kinds of information, and potentially re-position yourself (although this is never the goal). None of us in this room know everything; all of us can benefit from perspectives that are not our own.

**A note about opinions: I fully support your right to embrace your own opinions and positions. At no time will I inflict my own perspectives upon you; however, I will ask that you critically assess and consider the information that you are reading so that you are becoming critical of the information that you take in and do not simply accept information as “true” at face value. We will cover a huge range of topics—politics, race, religion, gender, athletics, etc., and we cannot expect one another to always agree, but we can expect one another to be respectful. Being asked why you think/feel/believe something is not a judgement of your intellect or your person, but a chance to understand how and why you have arrived at that position.

 

“It is the mark of an educated person to be able to entertain and idea without accepting it” ~Aristotle

 

Boy Finds WWII Plane With Pilot’s Remains In Cockpit

Article

This blog is about an article: Boy Finds WWII Plane with Pilot’s Remains in Cockpit which was written for CNN by Judith Vonberg.

Let us begin by looking at the source this article was written for.  CNN is owned by Turner Broadcasting System.  CNN has a long-standing record of being a good source of information.  A CNN story goes through 9 sets of eyes and editors proofread stories for grammatical and factual errors.  News is verified 3 times from 3 different sources as standard.  Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) merged with Time Warner in 1996.  John Martin is chairman and CEO of Turner as of January 2014.  He is on the list of 100 top leaders in media and takes his job seriously.

At a farm near Birkelse in northern Denmark a 14 year old boy named Daniel Kristiansen and his father Klaus found a Messerschmitt fighter plane.  The Messerschmitt fighter plane was used by the Germans in WWII.  They were in service since 1937 and was used in a wide scale by the Luftwaffe’s fighting force.  The plane was found buried in the field with the remains of the pilot still inside the cockpit.  Daniel and Klaus had used a metal detector in hopes of finding something useful for history class research.  They uncovered pieces of plane wreckage so they borrowed a digger from a neighbor.  They dug down 22 – 23 feet and found bones, clothing and pieces of metal.  Daniel remembered his grandfather saying that a German plan had crashed in the back field of the property in 1944.  It seems that his grandfather was under the impression that a German occupying force had removed the plane.  This explains why it was forgotten and over time it was buried by earth.  Daniel stated, “It was like opening a book from yesterday.”

An ordinance team worked at the site to find any ammunition or other dangerous materials still on the plane.  The pilot’s remains as well as his possessions have been removed from the plane.  The possessions include the pilot’s suit, hat, 3 unused condoms, wallet with 2 Danish coins and food stamps for the military training base canteen at the Aalborg base.  They have identified the name of the pilot and are confirming his identity.  They will work to find any of the pilot’s relatives still alive and return him to Germany.  Daniel is hoping that they can have a proper funeral for the man.  Through this process the German Embassy in Denmark has been informed and kept up to date on this discovery.  A curator by the name of Torben Sarauw, head of archaeology, who works for the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland has been working closely with others on recovering this find.  He believes it’s a special find because it’s the first time a German plane has been recovered in this fashion in Denmark.

I think the wish of this 14 year old boy that the German pilot be returned to Germany and have a proper funeral shows the attitude of this new generation of kids.  I believe that any adult who fought in or lived through WWII in western Europe would not have had the same notion.  This new generation only knows of what WWII was like from history books or stories from the grandparents or great grandparents.  Experiencing it is much different than reading about it.  Sometimes there are no words to describe the emotions that are felt during war.  Ask yourself this:  Is it possible for something to be naturally covered by 22-23 feet of dirt in 73 years?  Could have been or maybe the plane had a little help getting buried that deep.  However it was buried, it has now been found and Daniel has an amazing story for his history class.

Medicaid Cuts May Force Retirees Out of Nursing Homes

Medicaid Cuts May Force Retirees Out of Nursing Homes

The title of the article is “Medicaid Cuts May Force Retirees Out of Nursing Homes”. The article is about how Medicaid cuts would directly affect people in nursing homes. It is stated that sixty- four percent of Americans in nursing homes are dependent on Medicaid and altogether seventy million people are enrolled in the program. Medicaid cuts would force Dogwood Village, the nursing home spoken about throughout the article, to cut staff, supplies, amenities, and possibly reduce the number of Medicaid residents. This article shows that people are dependent on Medicaid, and the federal spending for Medicaid is expected to grow six percent each year, which would lead to six hundred and fifty billion dollars in 2027. This article might be trying to inform young people that the majority of people in nursing homes are on Medicaid and that if there are cuts made to Medicaid the people they love that are in nursing homes will be directly affected. This article consists of both pathos and logos because they’re lots of facts and statistics to support, but also the perspectives of Dogwood Village residents. The author of this source, Jordan Rau, is a reporter for Kaiser Health News, and this article was created with the help of Kaiser Heath News which is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. The Kaiser Family Foundation tends to promote Medicaid and show the negative sides of making cuts. This article is biased because its main focus is in telling the negative effects of cutting Medicaid, and it is one-sided, mainly focusing on the older generation in nursing homes. I did not enjoy this article because it goes against what I believe. I think we should reduce government spending. I don’t like the way the article is one-sided, and this is probably due to the news source, New York Times. I’ve noticed over the years that the New York Times usually takes a democratic point of view on political topics. Overall, I think there should be Medicaid cuts.

Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods may Lower your Grocery Bill

 article

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics buying groceries is the fourth largest expense in America after housing, transportation and healthcare. The average American spends 7 percent of their income on groceries, but Amazons 13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market may lower the cost of your groceries. Tom Anderson, writer for MSN, says in his article referring to Lindsay Sakraida that because amazon’s grocery prices are going to be so low, other grocery stores, who will be competing with Amazon’s grocery store and will likely increase their loyalty programs to keep their current customers coming back. The average American should be very happy about the possibility of their grocery bill lowering. I know I would. I personally think people either will think that amazon’s store is either super awesome and easy and switch to their store or they will continue to stay at the grocery store they’ve currently been shopping at due to their loyalty. If an Amazon grocery store popped up near me, I personally would take a stroll inside just get a different experience of grocery shopping. Would You?

Teen Killed by Police Aiming for Pit Bull

Article

NBC news, formerly known as MSNBC, is known to be ranked number one news source by viewers. The National Broadcasting Company has received many online awards for various things, and has about 37 million viewers daily. Like any news source, it has its biases. It tends to lean towards a liberal point of view. All news sources focus on the negative, and blow small controversies out of proportion. But, it is known to be very credible, and is very popular among the people.

On June 22nd 2017, a teen was fatally shot by officers who were aiming for an aggressive pit bull. A call was made to dispatch earlier that day to report a noise complaint and loud partying. The dog was acting aggressive and bit one of the officers. The officers then shot at the dog and missed. They said they didn’t see the seventeen year old boy standing just 30 feet behind the dog. The bullet ricocheted off the concrete and hit the teen in the chest. The same officer that hit the dog struck on of the officers as well, but he was not fatally injured. The boy was trying to restrain the dog minutes before he was shot. His mother described him as “a loving person”. Officers described the incident as “an extremely, extremely unfortunate incident”. The dog was later euthanized.

The article states that this was an accident. The reporter seems to be trying to blow this out of proportion and is seemingly trying to relate this to the other officer involved shootings. The article goes on to quote the mother, and tells of how she thought of her son. It states many times that it was an unfortunate incident. It goes on to tell that homicide investigators would not comment on the case.

In my opinion, this is a very tragic accident. The officers were trying to defend themselves from an aggressive dog, and indirectly shot a teen on accident. the officers clearly did not mean to shoot anyone, as one of the officers was shot as well. It was a routine call for a noise complaint that turned tragic. The child was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was the boys time to go, and nobody can determine fate except for the man above. When it is your time, it is your time. Although it is very sad that a mother lost her child far to soon. I can’t imagine loosing a child this way, but no one is to blame here.

 

Doctor accused of using painkillers to quicken death of 8-year old boy, police say.

Article

This article is from Fox News, located on the Health tab. It is focusing on an 8-year old boys death who may be a victim of homicide. The article starts off with informing informing the readers of that police are investing a claim about an anesthesiologist who used painkillers to quicken the death of the 8-year old boy.

In 2013, after nearly drowning in a washing machine, an 8-year old boy when into cardiac arrest. He was removed from life support at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Not only did drowning cause the child’s near death, but it is possible that fragile X syndrome, which is a genetic abnormality that causes intellectual and physical disabilities. At the time of the autopsy, investigator Denise Berton began to question the dosage of the painkiller fentanyl. The anesthesiologist is accused of using high doses of fentanyl in hopes that the boys organs could be harvested without deterioration. The article then informs that fentanyl was examined to be the significant cause of death and that wether the death was accident or homicide, the case is still open pending. Meaning, the police are still investigating for an outcome. As for how it all began, on July 31, a 911 call from the boys father was recorded. The father found the 8 year old boy headfirst in the washing machine. His parents estimated the time for how long he may have been in the water. The paramedics were able to restart his heart and they rushed him to the hospital. The 8 year old boy was later flown to Ronald Reagan Medical Center in a helicopter. The boys family was told that he isn’t “brain-dead” but that he’d never be able to gain normal neuro function and that he won’t be able to wake up. The boys family decided to take him off life support and donate his organs.

This post is from Fox News, located in the Health tab. It is about an 8 year old boy who drowned head-first in a washing machine. His anesthesiologist is being accused of giving him a high dosage of painkillers in order to quicken the boys death and to harvest his organs without any damage done. It starts off informing the readers of what happened. It includes the specific date that it happened. The post also provides quotes from the lawyer and the boys name. It also includes the name and age of the anesthesiologist. This post focuses on the emotions of the boys family by including more information about the dosage of fentanyl given to the boy. It also includes a quote that was stated in the case that, the boy “continued to gasp for air” and that the anesthesiologist gave him fentanyl with the “purpose of inducing his death”.  This comes into play with the families emotions because it shows that there is a possibility that the doctor did in fact use painkillers to quicken the boys death. This post is made to feel empathy for the family.

 

 

Teens and Texts: Suicide Case Exposes Risks of messaging

Link to Article

The title of my current event is ” Teens and Texts: Suicide Case Exposes” written by Sarah Jorgensen.  This is news article is from CNN, which is owned by the Turner Broadcasting System. This article goes into the case of the young high school couple, Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy. The article goes on to say while in the relationship, Carter sent text messages persuading Roy to commit suicide, and that his parent knew he was in a low place and would understand. Jorgensen warns about how teens that use texting as an official source of communication may have a higher risk of suicide. Jorgensen uses this sensitive topic to get her point across to not only teenagers, but to parents. She wants teenagers to know be weary of what not only what you post but also what you texts to your friends and family, because its not private and to not believe that if you delete it that it’ll be gone forever, it won’t. I believe she also wants parents to watch over more to what their kids are texting and putting out there in the world. I know how the pressures of texting can affect any young mind. I personally believe in what Jorgensen is trying to say. Not being cautious about what you’re texting can be very harmful to not only yourself but to your future.

Trump making case for apprenticeships to fill jobs gap.

Summary- In this article, ABC news ran a story on how Donald Trump is working along side of many universities and corporations in order to train our next generation of workers. This system would theoretically take on new workers of companies as well as students in universities, and train them in their own specific future work environments. By doing this, not only will this system train up new, skilled workers, but it will also fill many of the current gaps that currently exist in many businesses will job specific skills.

My Opinion- Personally, I believe that this is a pretty good idea just because it would help to train up a new generation of skilled workers that will be more prepared and fluent in their specific jobs. Also, this proposed idea would provide jobs to many workers who might not otherwise possess the skills needed to preform their tasks.

Source- ABC News