Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana two weeks ago, leaving roughly 80 percent of the city underwater and thousands of helpless residents stranded on their rooftops waiting for government rescue. Where was the government? Instead of responding immediately with all available resources, the government was hog-tied as congressmen and lawyers in Washington D.C. argued for days over the legitimacy of relief efforts. Although rescue workers were eventually able to evacuate and transport the majority of the residents to safety, the government response took its toll, resulting in unnecessary sickness and death. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency in charge of handling disaster relief efforts, should look back on Hurricane Katrina as a reminder to never hesitate or ignore the threats of a natural disaster in the future.
In a 1989 essay State Department planner Francis Fukuyama made an ambitious claim; a sweeping and overarching declaration of not just the end of fifty years of ideological warfare, but millennia of human intellectual development; a claim simple in concept, but infinitely complicated in its implications. In an essay entitled "The End of History," Fukuyama postulated that the democratic revolutions of 1989 were "not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.
To honor the four-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Silver Chips Online invites its readers to post comments regarding the tragic event. What has the terrorist attack changed? How does it still affect your life? Has the meaning of the event changed in the eyes of the American public in the four years? We invite anyone visiting our site to answer these questions and leave your thoughts in this public reflection of 9/11.
I don't know if this rumor made it to America or not, but sometime during the middle of July, during the third week of my six-week trip to Israel with the Nesiya Institute, word spread that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had suffered a heart attack. When one of the Israelis traveling with my program told me that this had been a falsehood, most likely spread by anti-disengagement proponents, I wondered how it was that so juvenile and unsubstantiated a rumor could take hold in a country as westernized as Israel. That would never happen in America, I said aloud. But then again, replied the Israeli, America has never had anything like the Gaza disengagement.
Bright lights, sidewalk music and the coming and going of hundreds of people everyday are the new Downtown Silver Spring. Over the past few years, in an effort fueled by the hard work of Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, Silver Spring's old buildings, crime and trash have been systematically replaced with bright colors, music, a multiplex movie theater and chain food stores.
Lindon Tobias Maldonado and his family scratch out a living by farming beans and corn in the high altitudes of El Salvador's Cuscatalan Department. Maldonado is a self-sustenance farmer — the crops he grows turn into the food that he and his family eat every night. The crops that are left over are sold in larger towns for a small, yet significant amount of money — money that will be used to pay for medical treatment, new tools and maybe even a plane ticket that could send his nephew to study in America.
Between the continuous death of animals and a deteriorating physical appearance, the national treasure status of the Washington National Zoo seems to have been lost. But that glorious status can be restored by none other than a baby panda, roughly the size of a stick of butter. The baby panda cub's birth will not only help restore the positive image of the zoo, but the cub will also provide a much needed moral boost in light of recent animal deaths.
Even though these words were spoken nearly 250 years ago by Benjamin Franklin, they hold just as true today. In light of the recent terrorist attacks in London, it is reasonable to assume that more changes will be made to American security.
Less than a week before graduation, the Montgomery County Public School system informed Montgomery Blair High School that it might not be permitted to hold the ceremony at the Jericho City of Praise, the 10,000-seat church that has hosted Blair's ceremony for the last three years. This was the result of a complaint filed by concerned parents to the advocacy group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), which immediately notified MCPS.
As candidates gear up for the 2006 Maryland gubernatorial election, the introduction of slot machines appears to be the most controversial issue of the campaign. The issue divides the candidates for the Democratic nomination: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, both of whom have taken a position different from that of incumbent Republican Governor Robert L. Ehrlich.
If the liberal historian Howard Zinn is correct in saying that history is nothing but an endless sequence of present-days (I believe that he is), then a past date, namely 1935, is just as relevant to the ongoing debate over Social Security as the future date of the program's insolvency. And just as constructionists look to the intent of the Founding Fathers to decipher the often nebulous subtext of our Constitution, we should frame any debate on Social Security in the context of the expectations and intentions of its Founding Father: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
I think our Senators need to be reminded of just how little the debate over the "nuclear option" matters. The filibustering of judicial nominees is not the gross abuse of power that the Republicans cast it as, nor is its banning a threat to the very pillars of democracy as Democrats have maintained. Aside from extreme partisanship there are few conflicting or overarching principles in play, since this is, fundamentally, a disagreement on procedure.
Due to the highly complex nature of the questions for this installment of Ask Chips, we decided to do what all technical companies are doing and outsource the labor. This week, we have invited a special guest answerer to tackle these mind numbingly boring questions in the hopes that this will spur you all on to much more meaningful queries. Our special guest for this round will be AP Physics teacher Mr. Schafer, who has graciously offered his expertise in answering these questions.
MCPS Food Service Supervisor Marla R. Caplon wrote this letter to the editor in response to the Silver Chips article The inside scoop on school meals.
After the lunch bell rings, the cafeteria is bombarded with a mob of hungry students. One by one, they emerge from the lunch line, carrying with them a variety of foods: fries, nachos dripping with processed cheese, fries, baked potatoes with more processed cheese, fries...
These visionary words bring to mind the one politician from the past 20 years that Democrats can be proud of, President Bill Clinton. They are grandiose and confident, and hopeful in every sense. However Clintonesque they may sound though, they came from the mouth of one man liberals in America despise most, President George W. Bush.
The election of Mahmoud Abbas as President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has given both sides of the conflict an incentive to renew peace negotiations. To gain a better sense of the concerns Palestinians have for Abbas, I interviewed two Palestinians, Mike and Alex. (With current violence on the Israel-Palestine front, printing the full names of these sources may endanger their lives.) Mike is an administrator in Bethany, West Bank, and Alex is an accountant in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem.
The current administration prides itself on its moral clarity, even as some of its members shroud unethical policies in secrecy. On Jan. 7, light was shed on this hypocrisy, as USA Today reported that a government agency, the Department of Education (DOE), had spent $241,000 to bribe conservative talk show host Armstrong Williams into promoting the president's No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on his radio show and in his columns.
In this age of political battles and constant squabbling, it is simple to declare that one side or the other has lost a sense of moral direction. However, the one event that most indicates our government's lack of a moral compass as a whole is the appointment of Alberto R. Gonzales to the position of attorney general, head of the Department of Justice.
As a member of the Board of Education, former Blair PTSA President Valerie Ervin will take aim at the achievement gap, push for minority participation in GT classes and programs and advocate decreased class sizes. She will also confront an issue that lacks the visibility, but not the importance of GT enrollment and academic discrepancies: budget clarity.
On Dec. 7, a crime against music, particularly rock and alternative, was committed: the Grammy Awards nominations were announced.
Northwood freshman Cory Babazadeh can finally play on his school's JV basketball team. That's because after failing algebra and being ruled ineligible last year, he is re-taking the class and has managed to earn a high C—a grade that his parents say hasn't stopped improving. But all that may change next fall when MCPS pulls the plug on one of the best programs it has started in a long time.
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