Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SUMMER PROJECT: North Korea: Growing Threat to International Security?

On May 25, North Korea conducted another nuclear test, provoking the condemnation of the U.S. and many other nations. Click here to read an article about this increasingly tense international dilemma, and then respond to one or more of the following questions:

How should the United States respond to the aggressive behavior of North Korea? Consider one of the following options, or come up with your own:

1) The U.S. should take whatever UNILATERAL (look it up) action it deems necessary to protect its national interests, including the option of military response. As the world's policeman, it is up to us to shoulder the burden in order to solve this problem.

2) The U.S. should consult with the nations of the world to formulate a MULTILATERAL (look it up) plan of action in which the nations of the world make a decision and contribute financially, militarily, etc., to the solution, which might involve economic sanctions, military action or other options.

3) The U.S. should focus on our own problems and security needs and stop trying to solve the problems of the rest of the world. This may mean abandoning some of our alliances with other nations.

4) The U.S. should provide foreign aid to North Korea in the form of food for its people and economic assistance to draw it out of its isolation and encourage it to join with the peace-loving countries of the world.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SUMMER PROJECT: New Supreme Court Nominee

President Barack Obama has nominated federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor as a U.S. Supreme Court justice to replace retiring justice David Souter. To become a member of the Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate will now have to confirm her nomination. Click here to read an article about this nomination, and then respond in writing to one or more of the following questions:

Why do you think the Constitution requires the U.S. Senate to confirm the president's appointments of federal judges?

Do you think it was important and/or desirable for the president to nominate a woman? a Latina? Why or why not?

Why might Senate Republicans feel they need to "tread lightly" during her confirmation hearings?