Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010 SUMMER PROJECT: Is it OK to say the F Bomb on TV?

Back in the 70s, comedian George Carlin did a routine called "The 7 Words You Can't Say on Television". (Bet your parents remember it.) A lot has changed since then, but there is still controversy over obscene language on the public airwaves (TV or radio consumers don't pay for). Today, a federal appeals court ruled on a case that challenged the 2004 FCC (Federal Election Commission) Fleeting Expletive policy which established a fine for the use of obscenity on TV or radio. Click here to read an article about how the court ruled. Then address one or more of the following prompts:

Do you agree with the appeals court's ruling? Why or why not? Be sure you understand specifically what the court's decision actually was before you respond.

Do you think obscene language should be allowed over the public airwaves (TV or radio)? Why or why not? Note: This is a DIFFERENT question than the first one.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

2010 SUMMER PROJECT: Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Democracy?

California voters don't think so. On June 8 of this year, they voted in favor of Proposition 14, a ballot referendum. For this post, you need to first find out what a primary election is and also what a referendum is.

Next, click here to read an article that appeared in the New York Times before the June 8 referendum was held. Afterwards, address one or more of the following prompts:

Why is Proposition 14 called "the latest ballot initiative to act as an electoral protest for California voters"? What might they be protesting?

Californians have made a number of changes in their electoral process in the past decade. Do you think people voting on such issues is helpful or harmful to democracy? Explain why.

What are some possible advantages and disadvantages of the new election process Californians adopted when they voted for Proposition 14?

If you were a California voter, would you have voted for or against Proposition 14? Why?

2010 Summer Project: A New Way to Fight a War

The war in Afghanistan is the longest in American history. Yet even with the 30,000 additional troops sent this year to Afghanistan by President Obama, most experts think we are a long way from achieving success there. During the 1980s, the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan militarily but eventually had to withdraw after 10 years of frustration. Why is military success so difficult to achieve there, even for world superpowers? With this question in mind, the U.S. military has been forced to develop a different way to fight. Click here to read (or listen to!) an article about what the U.S. military is doing to achieve success in Afghanistan. Then address the following prompts:

Do you think this new strategy will work? Why or why not?

President Obama pledged to begin bringing our troops home from Afghanistan by next summer, but now that commitment is in question due to the unexpectedly strong resistance of Taliban forces. Should the President stick to his original pledge, or do we need to stay until we achieve our goals in Afghanistan? Explain why you think so.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2010 SUMMER PROJECT: Should the U.S. Mandate Paid Parental Leave?

The goal of a business is to make a profit, right? Or do American businesses have additional obligations to promote the good of our society? The issue of mandatory paid parental leave is an example of this debate. Click here to find out where the U.S. stands among the nations of the world in terms of our status on this issue. Be sure to look at the chart at the end of the article. Then address the following prompts:

State your position on this issue and explain why you feel the way you do. For a challenge, argue the opposite of what you actually believe!

Does it matter to the U.S. what other nations in the world are doing on this issue? Why or why not?