The last few weeks, gay rights have stolen the stage as the key social issue facing this country. While the Supreme Court has heard arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition Eight, conservative states have attacked a separate social issue. With changing views on gay rights, conservatives have begun looking elsewhere to advance their political agenda. Since the election, Republicans have tried to find a conservative solution to a changing demographic. Many have suggested a more moderate stance on social issues could be the answer, but red states continue to stick to their socially conservative core.
Perhaps some might remember when Nebraska finally ended its use of the electric chair for the death penalty in 2008, but the movement to abolish the death penalty in the state has been a far quieter force.
A couple of weeks ago someone asked me why I think studying science is so important. I began to answer their question with my usual answer, "It teaches people to think critically and to solve problems." However, as I thought about it, I realized that was not a good reason to learn anything. It is a beneficial outcome of learning science, but not the reason why people should want to begin studying it.
Some interesting events happened recently in the arena of sex politics in America. It's too early to tell yet whether we'll see any positive changes, but what I've observed so far has been tentatively encouraging.
Everyone dreads the prospect of the infamous "freshman 15." As a college student, your budget may allot ramen noodles two meals a day, seven days a week. A good number of students attend school full-time and can't (or won't!) hold a job. For these students, as well as those with minimum-wage part-time jobs, finding a way to eat healthy and stay in shape (or lose some weight once you get to college) is a challenge. Keeping a budget and knowing how to shop are key components in being healthy while saving money.
While few may pay attention to what goes on in Nebraska's legislature, fairly big news was announced just the other week in the Omaha World-Herald. State senator Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha was picked up for a DUI. His blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit, and he accepted full responsibility for what he had done.
A year ago, this story wouldn't have bothered me a whole lot. I mean, politicians behaving badly is a nightly reality show we call the news. However, this incident reminded me of that little saying: "What goes around, comes around."
Let me tell you the story.
With recent North Korean nuclear advances, the U.S. has joined the United Nations in enforcing stricter sanctions on the totalitarian state. However, greater economic action must be taken by the U.S. to address the serious humanitarian crises that affect North Korea and the rest of the world.
When Pope Benedict XVI announced he would abdicate, it created month-long skepticism about the reasons why. Immediately the media created a storyline focused on scandal.
What was broadcast and written hypothesized about further allegations of child molestation and cover ups, or some sort of financial wrongdoings. Those angles were once again presented when the pope finally left office on Feb. 28.
Regardless of the angle the media took on the story, it was almost always negative and focused on the probability something had gone wrong and imagined Benedict was being forced out of office.
However, the real reason Benedict left his post is much simpler, and not nearly as dramatic.