Kyra Azzato

America and Saudi Arabia are at War!

Gas prices that continue to decrease around the nation- some as low as $2.50 a gallon- certainly have people talking. A congressional debate has broke out regarding increasing federal gas taxes to help fun infrastructure projects.

So what is the gas taxes for?

  •  rebuilding roads, sidewalks and bridges
  • eliminating the $16 billion dollar funding gap in planned construction costs and actual funds

What is the likely hood of it being passed?-

  • Passing a gas tax in a republican controlled house and senate is not very likely
  • Barbara Boxer (D) and Nancy Pelosi (D) both argue for higher gas taxes saying because of the low gas prices Americans can afford to pay a higher tax
  • There is a small amount of support from republican senators

It is important to understand why gas prices have dropped so low.

Saudi Arabia has declared war on the American energy industry.

Saudi companies have begun losing market shares, as people invest in American oil companies.

Between 2001 and 2011, the weekly U.S. field production of crude oil averaged 5.5 million barrels per week.

The weekly U.S field production of crude oil in 2014 averaged 9.1 million barrels. According to international energy experts America is predicted to be the number one producer of oil by 2015.

Needless to say- the Saudi’s are not happy about losing their market.

In recent weeks Saudi Arabian drilling companies have been producing double if not triple the amount of crude oil they were before. By drastically increasing their supply, they were able to drive down the price. In fact, the Saudi drilling companies were so successful at this that many American drilling companies including WBH Energy (located in Texas) were unable to compete and had to declare bankruptcy.

America is in an all out energy price war with the Middle East, and losing.

I live near a American drilling site. About a month ago the rigs were running up and down the road 24-7. I couldn’t believe the amount of rig traffic there was, it seemed like they never stopped working. Then about 2 weeks ago it all stopped. The American drilling company was unable to compete with their Saudi counterpart. The stock prices of American drilling companies are falling right along with the gas prices.

The Saudis recent push for production coupled with increasing fuel efficiency in vehicles has not only begun crippling American companies, but also American infrastructure.There is not enough money being spent on gas- therefore there is not enough money to fix the roads.

by Kyra Azzato

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Anti White Supremacy 101

I pay for my education, so I take it very seriously. I try really hard to learn as much as I can in every class. This semester I took a women and gender studies 101 to fill a requirement. Lets just say I got much more than my moneys worth.

3 Things I Learned in My Women and Genders Studies 101 Class:

1. People of color are not afraid of home intruders.

I thought the last day of class was just going to be a quick wrap up but no, my diligent professor made sure to throw in one last lesson. How dedicated is that?

She began telling us about Oscar Pistorius the South African Paralympic champion, who became the first double legg amputee to participate in the Olympics. In 2013 Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend through their bathroom door, because he throughout she was an intruder.

Oscar Pistorius- Please note the pigmentation of his skin. (My professor made sure we realized this was the most important fact about him.) Photocreds- Wikipedia

With all of her expertise, my professor went on to explain what caused Pistorius to shoot his girlfriend. She first made sure that everyone in the class was aware Pistorius is a wealthy WHITE male, who lives in an affluent neighborhood. She then when on to say “white fear” caused him to shoot his girlfriend.

Try to stay with me, I know this is a difficult concept. I was confused by this at first too, but don’t worry my amazing professor explained it!

Pistorius claimed he thought the person behind the bathroom door was an intruder. My professor posed the question “what do you think he thought the person behind the door looked like?” After a long pause someone in the class called out “Black!” My professor quickly said “you don’t have to answer it out loud, just consider it….”

Of course my professor wasn’t insinuating that oscar only shot the intruder because he thought it was a person of color was she? and if she was… does that mean if Pistorius was a person of color he wouldn’t have been afraid of an intruder?

My take away from that lesson- only white people are afraid of intruders- because all intruders have to be a person of color, and no people of color are afraid of people breaking into their homes. MAKES PERFECT SENSE RIGHT?!

2. A child called IT

We learned about “political correctness” and sensitivity. We talked about pronouns and how to correctly address people. My professor told us that it is better to ask what pronouns a person would be called. Personally I identify as a straight female and like the pronouns “she and her” to be used for me.

Of course there are going to be situations where it is either inappropriate or too difficult to ask someone what pronouns they like to be called, but no need for worry! My all knowing professor told us the best way to deal with this is to refer to someone as “it”.

She pointed out a perfect example of this. She told my class that in his testimony that Officer Daren Wilson said “it looked like a demon”, and then she went on to say HOW UNACCEPTABLE AND HORRIBLE it was that Officer Wilson called Michael Brown an “it”.

He should have asked what pronoun he wanted to be called…

Oh wait… I decided to look up the piece of testimony so that I could fully understand how awful Officer Wilson is…

Officer Wilson's testimony.

Officer Wilson’s testimony.

Oh! By “it” he was referring to the intense aggressive face.. not Michael Brown. So the lesson isn’t ask people what pronouns they want to be called, the lesson is take things out of context and porput them as truths and mislead people to make your point! Duhhh?!

3. The Single Story

My professor told us that if we didn’t learn anything else, she wanted us to make sure that we understood the concept of “the single story.” She explained this as the idea that history and the media, well society in general portrays everything through the perspective of the white male.

She told us that it is important to destroy the idea of the single story, and instead entertain multiple perspectives from all different kinds of people.

She then went on to teach the entire course saying things like “ALL police officers are white supremacists” and she even had members of the campus protest group THE general body come in and talk to us… but she never had anyone from the administration come in to talk to us.

Hmm seems like if you want to entertain multiple perspectives you should have both sides of the issue talk to your class…

Oh no. I’m sorry! I misinterpreted what she meant by multiple perspectives. By “Multiple” she actually meant perspectives that line up with hers! Silly me, why would I ever think that dissonance could actually be used to teach a college course!

By Kyra Azzato

Speak For Yourself: A Petition Against THE General Body and the Consequences Their Actions Have on the University

If you do not agree with the actions of THE General Body sign this petition.

Although THE General body calls for increased diversity, they attack their fellow students because they are “privileged” because they’re white, straight, male, christian, cisgender, able bodied, and class enabled.  All things they did not choose to be.  They purport that they are speaking for those “who can’t” on campus, meanwhile bashing their fellow students for being things they can’t help…

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Syracuse Student Ben Castaneda refutes THE General Body’s idea that only white, straight, male, christian, cisgender, able bodied, and class enabled students can disagree with them.

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Student Conner Renaud explains he is at Syracuse because of his hard work, even though THE General Body says it’s because he is privileged.

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Syracuse Student Keelan Erhard informs a THE General Body supporter about diversity.

THE General Body even admits they do not represent the entire population saying “WE DONT SPEAK FOR YOU” referring to those members of the university that are white, straight, male, christian, cisgender, able bodied, and class enabled.

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Sierra Lee posts admitting THE General Body does not represent ALL the students at Syracuse.

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Student Kevin Spectre notes that THE General Body contradicts itself by demanding diversity, yet condemning the privileged.

THE General Body is making demand as if the university were a democracy, even though it isn’t.  I would like to remind students of THE General Body that they choose to come to school here fully knowing the level of diversity, and accessibility.

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THE General Body supporter Kareese Kirby complains about going to a school she CHOOSE to go to, because it’s “not diverse enough”.

Yet supporters of THE General Body protest as if it is their right to be able to change the school they choose to go for and are paying a service for. Even though it is a private university- AKA a corporation.

Students confused about the meaning of "corporation" take a break from patting themselves on the back to wave a poorly painted banner. Photo Credit: THE General Body

THE General body is clearly confused about the meaning of “corporation” .
Photo Credit: THE General Body

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Student Sarah Mikal understands the meaning of a private university, and explains to THE General Body coming to Syracuse was a choice.

Next thing you know they’ll be camping out in Macy’s and Target saying there is not enough diversity, and demanding that the store force customers to also buy culturally diverse attire. Then they’ll protest and refuse to leave because the store reduced a sale from 30% off everything to only 20% off everything.

Sounds a bit ridiculous doesn’t it?

But this is exactly what THE General Body is fighting so hard for.

They want to force other students customers of the university to pay for services they don’t want diversity classes. They’re mad the university the private corporation cut back one of the many scholarships sales they graciously provided.

Theres nothing wrong with wanting change. But lets put an end to this ridiculous protesting and go through appropriate channels. Join the Syracuse Student Association. Their mission is “to represent and be the defender of the students.”

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Hmm now this might just be me… but doesn’t it seem like a better idea to go through the Student Association instead of camping out in the administrative building with an outrageously long list of demands, protesting that immediate change be made (which is unrealistic), even though as students we really have no say because it is a PRIVATE university. In case you’re unsure, the answer to that question is YES,  it is a better idea to go through the Student Association! 

Please stop this protest so that the productive members of this university, including Chancellor Kent and his administration, can get back to work.

By Kyra Azzato

What Makes You Qualified to Define a Hero?

Since 1983 November 11th has been celebrated as a day to honor those who have served in the military. Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors, veterans who dedicated their lives to selfless service are all hailed as American Heroes.

However some people disagree saying that  “Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy.”

The author of this article applies what I like to refer to as the “everyone wins, so no one wins” philosophy, or in this case the “no one can be a hero because there are some people who are called heroes that don’t deserve it” philosophy.

This same concept can be applied to mothers and fathers. Why bother celebrating Mothers or Fathers Day when there are so many terrible parents. Every day social workers have to remove children from their homes because they are abused both mentally and physically. What about teachers? Teacher appreciation day should be immediately be stopped because of crimes committed by Mark Berndt.

Former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt who was arrested for felony molestation of 23 kids.  Photocred: Ap Photo/ LA Police Dept.

Former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt who was arrested for felony molestation of 23 kids. Photocred: Ap Photo/ LA Police Dept.

It’s obvious we should determine teacher appreciation day based off this guy.

If I were to suggest that mothers and fathers, or even teachers should all be judged based on the actions of the mothers who abandon their children or fathers that abuse their children, I would be called ridiculous. It doesn’t make sense to judge all mothers or fathers based on the actions of others. Nor does it make sense to stop celebrating Mother or Fathers day based on those judgements. So why is it okay to judge the military as a whole based on the actions of a few? Why is it okay to suggest that Americans should stop honoring and calling people in the military heroes?

By no means am I suggesting that people who commit terrible crimes should be considered heroes. Actually I’m suggesting that why not for one day, November 11th we dedicate to those who deserve it. The real heroes. The men and women who dedicate their lives to service. Cant we just have one day we don’t focus on the few who ruin it for everyone?

And yes; I mean few.  I’m not really sure why so many people feel that the number of sexual assaults that occur in the military is so egregious. Of course even one assault is too many, but being a realist I think we should speak comparatively and examine the national averages.

A comparative look at percentages of sexual assaults.  Source: The Department of Defense, and The Center for Disease Control.

A comparative look at percentages of sexual assaults.  Source: The Department of Defense, and The Center for Disease Control

 

We should be careful to fact check things we read. It’s easy to formulate opinions based on fictional or one sided information.  Suggesting that practically everyone in the military commits sexual assault crimes, or that we are no longer fighting for our freedom, or that the only real heroes are those who oppose war is obnoxious and ill informed.

Lieutenant Hal Moore once said “Hate war, but love the American warrior.”  Today at a Veterans day speech the speaker said ” Military personal are A-political, they’re just following orders.” I don’t care how much you hate the President, or the government, or what is happening in the Middle East, I actually encourage dissonance, however these are not reasons to strip the members of the military of their title of a hero.

God Bless America

Oh and feel free to weigh in on the discussion by taking our poll.

By Kyra Azzato