US politics: crying out for change

first_imgJohn Marshall comments on US politics. Hilary Clinton’s tearful episode a day before the New Hampshire democratic primary appears to have reignited her camp gain. With some pollsters putting principal adversary Barack Obama ahead by ten points this left many wondering exactly what had happened.Are Americans really that capricious? Despite the notorious unreliability of US opinion polls, this result implies a sea change in active popular sentiment. Large numbers said that they decided on the day. Although polls fairly accurately predicted Obama’s vote share, Clinton appeared to take the vote of every independent and some committed to third place candidate John Edwards.The dramatic shift of many independents to Clinton signals the success, but mostly the failings of current American politics. Voter interest in politics is unusually high – the American people seem to be responding to the rhetoric that America needs change. This turn will likely support more responsible and responsive government.However, serious questions must be asked when a tearful moment from a presidential candidate is credited with winning a potentially pivotal election. This moment is symptomatic of the prevailing image politics that has replaced substantive policy debate. Personally, it is Senator Edwards’ (poorly funded) vision that most significantly differentiates the candidates, yet focus among democrats centres upon the Clinton/ Obama battle. Both are ubiquitously surrounded by boards and signs containing ‘change’; while both Clinton and Obama proffer similar views on moral issues like abortion and gay marriage, the key issues of foreign and economic policy are a more fundamental concern. Characteristic of the post-2005 Democrats, their apparently separate visions for change are vague and predominantly negative in that they argue simply against Bush’s conduct on Iraq, Medicare, social security and the high income tax cuts. Against this backdrop, it is unsurpising that issues of competency and personal charisma take hold among voters in an age that can now relay images of Clinton near breakdown on televised, 24-hour news and internet sites within seconds. When we speak of more interest in this election, this is where it is directed.Considering the reality of the policy junctures concerning Iraq, Medicare and social security, the US needs to publicly discuss its direction. When a brief chink in Clinton’s usually controlled and austere image apparently causes an almighty electoral rupture, supporters of democratic politics must worry. Clinton’s dramatic New Hampshire success admits turnout approximately double the state’s primary average and serves to illuminate the extent of the recent national democratic deficit. Although all democrats should support increasing turnout, and the greater legitimacy that such results confer, nationwide US primary turnout hovers around ten percent. It will surprise nobody that those who do vote are not a representative bunch.Given the low levels of active participation, a pivotal moment such as the potential destruction of Clinton’s campaign or the long-awaited demonstration of ‘real’ emotion (depending on how you see it) mobilising a wave of support among a minority can induce drastic consequences. This seems to be what happened in New Hampshire where the influx of the undecided and habitual non-voters (suggested to comprise many single women) finally swayed by Clinton’s outpour rushed to the poll booths to give Clinton ten percentage points more than expected and thus secure the victory that now reinvigorates her campaign.The rising interest and participation in what may prove to be one of America’s most significant political years in recent memory is to be commended. But this should not conceal the threatening and thinly-veiled problems that lurk underneath.last_img read more

3 things I learned about being a young professional from a heavy rock festival!

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: James MarshallSo, for those of you that know me well… You may know I like my music on the… Well… Heavier side of things. For those of you that don’t know me that well, you now also hold this information! Now we can begin.I recently spent 5 nights camping in a field at one of Europe’s biggest ‘heavy rock’ festivals, Download. It’s an experience I shall never forget. The joy people held for hearing their favourite bands play their favourite songs louder than they’ve ever been played, it was almost magical. I could go on for days about what I saw there but instead, I want to tell you about 3 things I learned there which will affect my professional life.These 3 things aren’t new ideas, they aren’t revolutionary and they aren’t difficult! So, I know what you’re thinking, tell us already:1. Don’t be scared to ask for help.Day 1, my friend and I arrive at a campsite surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of already pitched tents. I have to be honest… I had never pitched a tent before which wasn’t a pop up. After struggling for about 25 minutes and most likely being laughed at by our camping neighbours, I asked for help. Within 5 minutes and to my surprise, an army of people where helping us build our tent and not 5 minutes later, we were housed for the week. continue reading »last_img read more

Edith M. Benner

first_imgEdith M. Benner, of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, formerly of Oklahoma, passed away February 18, 2018 in Lawrenceburg,IN.She was born March 21, 1920 in Mt. View, OK, daughter of the late Clement Coleman Tracey and Mary Clyde Grundy.Edith worked as a beautician for over 10 years. She was a member of the First Christian Church of Apache, OK.Surviving are daughter, Mary Karleen Gaylord of Aurora, IN; son, Karl Raymond Ford, Jr. of Earl Park, IN; grandsons, Michael D Gaylord, Jeremy Cole York; great-grandchildren, Candi Jo Gaylord, Sarah Beth Gaylord, Cole Gaylord, Haylee McDaniel, Tanner Gaylord, Jessica, Briana, and Kayla.She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters, Violet Goodson, Elma Wilcox, and Cecilia Gibson, brother, James Robert Tracey, granddaughter, Brook Goete, grandsons, Brock Gates, and Mark Steven Gaylord.Friends will be received Thursday, February 22, 2018, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm at the Apache Chapel, Apache, Oklahoma.Services will also be held at the Apache Chapel, February 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm with Ron Orf officiating. Interment will follow in the Apache Cemetery.Visit: www.rullmans.comlast_img read more

Ohio man accused of trading drugs for sex with children

first_imgPolice arrested an  Ohio man who exchanged drugs for sexual access to children of drug-addicted parents and took sexually explicit photos of the girls to create child pornography, according to an indictment made public this week.69-year-old Larry Dean Porter repeatedly traded drugs for sex with three girls. He had several other adults help him transport the victims to his home. Police say one of the victims was only 7 years old. Porter both raped the girls and filmed himself raping them, U.S. Attorney Dave DeVillers said Wednesday.Occasionally allegations come along that call into question “our confidence in humanity,” DeVillers said. “This is one of those cases.”Numerous sources in Scioto County in southern Ohio told the FBI that Porter “was involved in sexually abusing minors, and that such abuse was occurring with the consent of the minors’ parents who were receiving illegal controlled substances from Porter,” the complaint said.Two of Porter’s adult daughters, are accused of trying to hide evidence by taking key material to a storage unit so investigators wouldn’t find it.The abuse began in 2013 and continued until this year, DeViller said. The investigation is continuing and there are believed to be more victims.Nine people were charged in total.last_img read more