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Dubya vs. Obammy: Some questions

In light of the recent shift — perhaps a better term would be plunge — in approval for President Barack Obama, I thought I might bring up a few questions that were forwarded to me by a friend in an e-mail, questions I found to be pertinent to what’s going on exactly right now with our oh-so-wonderful president, or at least, in my opinion, that’s what most of this country has become so gullible and weak as to actually believe.

I know I find it incredibly interesting how hated Bush became toward the end of his final term as president and how beloved Obama became so quickly as he slipped into the presidency, officially, this past January. All in the course of a few months and all over one word; a word he never fully defined; a word that won him the presidency: Change.

So feel free to read on and take a look at some of these questions and decide for yourself what you think:

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Speculating Kim Jong-un: North Korea’s future ruler

By now you’ve heard that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, 67, may or may not have pancreatic cancer. The Associated Press reported, according to South Korean TV station YTN, Kimmy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he was hospitalized for a stroke last August.

Of course, he’s not going to be excited in admitting his sickness. (Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst cancers to have, after all.) You can tell though, just by looking at him, that he’s not exactly in ship shape.

According to the American Cancer Society, he shouldn’t last more than a year.

It seems like great news that someone as (you can fill in the blank) as Mr. Jong-il won’t be a problem to us for very much longer. Think it through, however, because you know that he’s got someone just as wonderful as he is lined up to succeed him. While it has yet to be officially announced, all signs are pointing to his youngest son Kim Jong-un.

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Living on a shrinking budget: 10 tips

If you’re like most other people in America, you’re living budget is decreasing as the days go by. Here are a few tips for making your money last without having to completely sacrifice the things you enjoy.

1. Learn how to cook/bake at home- That $50 meal could have bought your groceries for a few days. I’m sure your cooking isn’t that bad.
2. Get off your high horse- This is for all of you who enjoy “the finer things in life.” There off-brands for a reason. Maybe you could afford the expensive, “superior” brands at one time, but if you can’t anymore, stop kidding yourself.
3. Plan ahead- Grab some paper and a pen. Now, before you go out on your day of errands, write out exactly what you need and where you need to go. Once that’s done, think about the locations of everything. Plan where you’ll go in accordance to that.
4. Find the scissors- This goes along with the high horse. If you need to use coupons, use them. That’s why they’re there. There’s nothing wrong with it and if done right, it can save you lots of money.

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Bad rap of Blackwater U.S.A.

Private contractors have been relied on by the armed forces since the end of the Vietnam war when the United States decided on an all-volunteer military. With an estimated 160,000 private contractors working in Iraq now, some 50,000 of them operatives, or fighters, it is impossible to question the necessity of their numbers if we are to sustain the “war on terror.” However, it appears as if Blackwater USA is doing more to inhibit success in Iraq than to aid it…or at least it was back in 2007.

While escorting a convoy of U.S. State Department vehicles to Baghdad, Blackwater guards opened fire without provocation, according to U.S. military reports, killing 17 Iraqis.

Iraqi authorities, at the time, demanded that all contracts with Blackwater be severed by the U.S. government within six months, and that $8 million in compensation be paid to each of the 17 people killed in this apparent slaughter.

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Student loan dilemma

It’s not been an easy year for any of the world’s economies.  The housing market crumbled and took down banks and brokerages left and right, destroyed the American auto industry, which was once regarded too big to fail, and sapped the U.S. economy alone for over $1 trillion in stimulus money attempting to slow the free fall and break us out from the worst economic situation we’ve had in most of our lifetimes.

Unemployment has shot up, with the national average nearing 10 percent, while some metropolitan areas, such as El Centro, Calif., are looking at upwards of 26.9 percent unemployment.  

Jobs are hard to come by, and to make matters worse, jobs that pay enough to make ends meet are even more scarce.

There is, however, one group of people that the media keeps claiming are the beneficiaries of the moment: college students.  Student loans, scholarships, grants and cheap living make lives for these individuals easier, according to the news outlets and general consensus.  

I beg to differ on the matter.

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Clinton is like a bad case of herpes

Americans have what must be the shortest memory of any modern society, eagerly placing the blame on the nearest figurehead available, failing to use reason and rational thinking to seek the root of any problem.  Our society has long relied on storytellers to give us the details on a platter, and for us to follow blindly without looking into history and precedent set to determine where the truth may be hidden behind a veil of lies and misdirection.

Take the economy for instance.  America blames Bush for our economic turmoil, much to the public’s own ignorance.  He provided a convenient scapegoat for all the troubles in foreign policy with the wars around the world to our dismay at our economic stability on the domestic front.  His goofy grin and poor public speaking ability allowed the populace to mock him at will, believing him to be incompetent.  Unfortunately, competence does not always come hand in hand with charisma, otherwise Obama would be the savior a blind America has hoped for and yet has not seen.

The root of our economic problems sits before our former President Bush.  Our problem rests in a man known for his fiasco in Yugoslavia, his bombing of the no-fly zone in Iraq, and the military SNAFU he caused in Somalia.  Oh, and he is also known for not knowing the definition of the word ‘is’ and of ‘not’ having sexual relations with one Monica Lewinsky.

Yes, America’s herpes has come out of remission once again: Bill Clinton.

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Grad school or no grad school…that is the question

I’ve never liked school.

Ever since the first grade, I’ve tried to think of ways to get out of going to school. I played every line in the book. It made me become a bit of a hypochondriac, which came in handy while living with my parents, but once I made it to college, I couldn’t fool myself.

No sickness could help me escape the fact that I couldn’t wait to get out of school. In middle school and high school I had a countdown taped to the inside of my locker that kept track of my closest break.

While college is much better, 17 straight years of education has proven to be incredibly draining. Yet, somehow, I find myself considering going to…graduate school.

(Oh, kill me.)

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Friendly North Korea: A joy to Americans

Looking for a summer vacation getaway? Let me suggest the beautiful, friendly North Korea, a.k.a. the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). There you can visit the beautiful Tumen River, which shares a border with Russia in the northeast, or swim through the Amnok River on your way from North Korea to China. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to experience a flood catastrophe like what happened in August of 2007 there.

If this isn’t enough reason for you to book your tickets right away, let me tell you more. You thought that the U.S. had a free, democratic government? Well, we don’t have it in our name like the DPRK does. As we have all learned before names of countries with the words “democratic” and “people’s republic” makes them instantly legitimately safe and intelligent.

Just don’t forget to get in touch with the DPRK’s tourism organization, called “Ryohaengsa” because it will get you set up with one or two permanent tour guides. (That is, as long as you’re not from the U.S. or South Korea, because if you are, you won’t be permitted to enter the country.)

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The who and what of Sonia Sotomayor

Hopefully at this point you have at least an idea of who Sonia Sotomayor is. She’s been in the news, well, obscenely because of her Supreme Court nomination on May 26. Then the press has found plenty of other things to critique her about. While the nation anxiously awaits the confirmation or rejection of the first female Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, the nation also anxiously analyzes her every move.

Sonia Sotomayor was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents. Her father died when she was 8, leaving her mother to raise her. She graduated valedictorian in 1972 at Cardinal Spellman High School. She married Kevin Edward Noonan in 1976 and entered Yale Law School that same year. After graduating from Yale in 1979 with a J.D. she passed her bar exam the following year. Three years later, in 1983, Sotomayor and Noonan divorced. They had no children.

After being a lawyer for several years, Sotomayor was nominated on November 27, 1991 by President George H.W. Bush for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York after it was vacated by John M. Walker, Jr.

According to The White House’s Web site, “If confirmed for the Supreme Court, Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice in 100 years, and more overall judicial experience than anyone confirmed for the Court in the past 70 years…”

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