Thursday, April 28, 2011

California Legislature may change what History is taught in public schools (Post #26) due Friday

The states determine what curriculum should be taught for each grade and what classes should be required for graduation.  In California, you are all aware of the courses you've had and the general material in them.  Well a bill in the California state assembly if passed would require public schools to include gay history.  A similar bill was vetoed by the Governor in 2006  The reason for the bill is to create awareness for a minority group that has received bullying, hate crimes, and a higher suicide rate among teens.
Over the years, the history of African Americans, Native americans, women, and many other immigrant ethnic groups have been added to history requirements.  How is this similar or different?

While sharing your opionion about the teaching of gay history, refrain from lifestyle judgements or rude comments.  You will be deleted, fail to receive credit and possibly school actions depending on the severity of your comments.

Read the linked article above to see arguments on both sides.

Do you believe this should be added to public school curriculum or not? If so, what grades might be appropriate? Give your reasoning.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Presidential hopefuls 2012 (post #25)

Last week President Barak Obama announced his intention to run for the 2012 presidential re-election. The Republicans have a list of possible presidential nominees from the House and Senate along with a few state governors. The names range from the well known and controversial Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney to the less well known and more centrist Chris Christie and Tim Pawlenty. Recently the loudest and most visible republican hopeful has been Donald Trump. For the past couple of weeks he has been on any and every television talk show that will have him and discusses the nature of Obama's American citizenship. (see below) "The greatest con in history," Trump declares unhesitatingly. Is this true? Did the Democratic party find a Muslim Kenyan Senator to run for president of the United States of America? Or is it possible Donald Trump knows an opportunity for self promotion when he sees one. What do you think? Who will run against the incumbent? After a mid-term election trouncing by the republicans and Tea party politicians will the office go back to the the other side of the aisle. Who would you like to see run and why? What would be best for America? Please the opinions of others when you blog.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Electoral College and the Interstate Compact (Post #24)

AB 459 is a bill currently before the California legislature that would change the way our state allocates its 55 Electoral College votes for President.

Currently, California has a winner-take-all approach. Whichever candidate wins the popular vote in California essentially wins all 55 of California's Electoral votes. For example, Obama won the popular vote by 24% over McCain so he received all 55 of California's Electoral votes. If Obama had only won by .01% he still would have won all of California's Electoral votes. Either way, public opinion polls showed that Obama would cruise to victory so neither candidate spent any time campaigning in California. This bill would attempt to bring California, which has over 12% of the nations' voters, back into play.

Normally, the only way to change the Electoral College is to amend the Constitution but that requires 2/3rds of a vote in Congress and ratification by 3/4th of the states. This is a tall task. Instead this bill relies on Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution which allows states to make interstate compacts (agreements) and Article II, section I which allows states to decide how it wants to allocate its Electoral votes.

Here is what the bill would do: California would award its 55 Electoral votes to the nation-wide popular vote winner. In other words, whichever candidate wins the most votes across the country would get all of California's Electoral votes. If states with Electoral votes totaling 270 (out of 538 possible) or more decide to join this interstate compact, then it becomes official and the next president of the United States will be elected through popular vote.

If you were a state politician would you vote for this bill? Why? Why not?

Here is an argument against the bill.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sales Tax on the Internet (post #23)

Due to state budget deficits, there is a movement going on across the nation to begin collecting sales tax for purchases made on the Internet. Currently, if you buy something online from another state, you are not paying that state's sales tax. Many states are moving to change that, including conservative states such as Texas.

The Supreme Court has ruled that for a state to require a company to charge and collect a sale eBay and Amazon are fighting this movement.

Do you think it is a wise idea for states to ask companies to collect sales taxes for online sales across state lines? Is this something the federal government (Congress) should take up based on the Commerce Clause?

Is this a fair tax? Your thoughts?