Monthly Archives: September 2010

Legal Pot: California’s ‘Golden Opportunity?’

Although marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law, in 1996 Californians voted to legalize it for medical use only by doctor’s prescription. In the November ballot Californians will again be asked to vote on Proposition 19, an initiative designed to legalize marijuana for recreational use.  Who are the proponents and who are the opponents of  Proposition 19? This article reveals how the initiative is doing in the polls as we head toward the general election in November. It also shows who is for and who is against the initiative. (9/26/10 Associated Press in ABC News, Marcus Wohlsen) … Read Article

1. What, according to Richard Lee, is the benefit of legalizing marijuana in the state of California?

2. According to Pleasant Hill Police Chief Pete Dunbar, what is the reason to vote against Proposition 19 in November?

Pastors to Defy IRS on ‘Pulpit Sunday’

Is it a violation of the separation of church and state for Pastors to endorse a candidate from the pulpit, or is it a violation of a Pastor’s freedom of speech for the IRS to prohibit him from been able to endorse a candidate from the pulpit? You be the judge as you read this article about Pastors across the nation who have vowed to defy the IRS on a day they have dubbed ‘Pulpit Sunday.’ (9/25/10  ABC News, Kevin Dolak) … Read Article

1. What do the Pastors intend to achieve by the defiant act on ‘Pulpit Sunday’? What specific tax law are they opposing?

2. What is the stated mission of Alliance Defense Fund (ADF)? What two First Amendment rights are in conflict in the events portrayed in the article?

The Great Debate: Nixon-Kennedy 50 Years Later

A lot has been written and talked about the first live television debate between Kennedy and Nixon. Some say the tv made Kennedy a superstar and Nixon a loser. To what extent does tv impact political debates and election results in America? This article sheds light on the event of 50 years ago and explores the role of tv in American politics (9/25/10 ABC News, Susan Donaldson James) … Read Article

1. What specific events in Nixon’s life contributed to his poor performance in the debate?

2. In what way did Kennedy use television to his advantage in the debate?

Republican Pledge: Another Contract with America?

In 1994, the Republican Party led by Newt Gingrich present the so called “Contract with America.” The “Contract” offered a specific plan of action for a Republican-led  Congress. To what extent did the “Contract” achieve its intended goal? How is the “Pledge” different from the “Contract?” What do the Republicans intend to achieve with the “Pledge?” This article answers these questions and explores the Republicans effort to win back the Congress. (9/23/10 ABC News, Jonathan Karl and Gregory Simmons) … Read Article

1. In what way is the Pledge similar to the Contract? How are they different?

2. According to Minority Leader John Boehner, how do Republicans plan to grow the economy?

(Video)Rising College Costs Collide with Aspirations

Sending a child off to college often takes more than good grades and a big check these days. More than ever, it can mean compromising on school choice or a mountain of debt or both. What compromises are parents and students making in order to attend college? What is the main source of funding for college today? This video sheds light on these questions and gives parents some useful advice on how to fund their children’s college education.  (9/24/10 Associated Press)
1. What comprise did Griffen Boyle and his parent make in deciding which school he goes to?
2. What, according to Ivan Naliotsky, has contributed to the financial hardship prospective students face in the last two years?

(Video)Facebook Founder Gives $100 million to Newark Schools

The state of New Jersey has one of the high per pupil spending on students in the public school system in the country. It is also one of the poor performing public school system. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old Internet tycoon, appeared on Oprah to pledge $100 million over the next five years to Newark, New Jersey schools after meeting and clicking with Mayor Cory Booker. What do public schools in New Jersey need to improve students’ performance? This video reveals the opinion of some officials familiar with the Newark school system (9/24/10 Associated Press)

1. On what condition is Mark Zuckerberg prepared to donate $100 million to the public schools in Newark?
2. What is the opinion of Derrell Bradford the Executive Director of E3 toward the $100 million gift to the public schools?

(Poll)Polisci Students’ Opinion on Tea Party Movement

In one of our recent polls we asked MPSL students if they think the Tea Party Movement will help or hurt the Republican Party in the November general election. The result: about 60% said the Tea Party is likely to hurt the Republican Party in the general election; about 23% said it is likely to help; while 17% said they don’t know whether the Tea Party Movement will help or hurt the Republican Party in the November general election.

Some experts believe that the Tea Party Movement is likely to cost the Republicans the chance of winning back control of Congress. What do you think?