Monthly Archives: March 2012

20 Films Every Guy Must Watch

Guys have a thing for certain types of movies. We love action, suspense, laughter and anything that gets our adrenaline going. We love fights, explosions, and beautiful women in our films. I believe the reason we love these movies is because we wish our lives were like that.

Every guy has his own favorite movies, but I have compiled a list that I’m sure EVERY GUY  can agree on with at least one film.

20. Full Metal Jacket

Against a white backdrop is a camouflaged military helmet with "Born to Kill" written on it, a peace sign attached to it, and a row of bullets lined up inside the helmet strap. Above the helmet are the words, "In Vietnam the wind doesn't blow it sucks."

 

This movie follows a platoon through basic training and the Vietnam War. It is one of Stanley Kubrick’s best films and a must see for every military nut.

19. The Rock

A bunch of veteran soldiers take over Alcatraz and prepare to shoot deadly weapons into the U.S. unless their demands are met. The only men who can save the day? Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery.

18. Saving Private Ryan

A great film about WWII in which a platoon of soldiers are sent across enemy lines to recover a soldier to send him back home. I think this is perhaps Tom Hanks’ best performance ever, with a strong cast, great storyline, and astounding director.

17. Lethal Weapon

 

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover team up to solve crime, bringing a combination of badassery and hilarity. You can’t go wrong here.

16. Rambo

Rambo….Guns. Gore. Big knife. Sylvester Stallone.

15. All Bond Films

 

It’s James Bond, guys. Come on. Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and Roger Moore. Even Daniel Craig or Timothy Dalton. These men all represent what every man wishes he could be. Smooth, classy, and lethal. I think that deep down, every guy wants to be Bond. Admit it: every time you put on a suit, you feel like James Bond.

14. A Knight’s Tale

 

I really love this film about a man born in the lower class rising up to be a knight.Heath Ledger as a knight? OK…. No, hear me out. It’s got action with some comedic elements and a bit of romance, and is probably the only movie on this list your girlfriend will really enjoy, too.

13. The Bourne Trilogy

Matt Damon DELIVERS a double dose of adrenaline as Jason Bourne, a secret agent with amnesia. Who ever thought Matt Damon could be that awesome?

12. The Patriot

 

Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger team up as father and son during the American Revolution, leading a small militia against the British using guerilla tactics. All around great film.

11. Die Hard

Bruce Willis. You knew this would be on the list. You knew it. Suck it up, Nancy.

10. Unforgiven

 

Clint Eastwood’s cowboys are always played a certain way. The good guy who’s not so good. But totally worth it. In this one, Eastwood picks up his guns as a contract killer.

9. Inception

Inception is a film about the power of your mind. Leonardo DiCaprio leads a team inside of a man’s dreams to plant an idea, running into trouble along the way. DiCaprio drives this film home, absolutely blowing your mind. Christopher Nolan is box office gold. Just don’t let them invade your dreams.

8. Gladiator

My personal favorite director-Ridley Scott. A Roman general is reduced to a gladiator, and fights for the good of Rome. Russell Crowe was perfect for this great movie.

7. 300

 

This is Sparta. I shouldn’t have to say anything else, but I will. Gerard Butler is THE MAN, leading 300 Spartans against the Persian empire. Everyone can find something in this film. Also, Lena Headey is absolutely gorgeous.

6. Fight Club

"FIGHT CLUB" is embossed on a pink bar of soap in the upper right. Below are head-and-shoulders portraits of Brad Pitt facing the viewer with a broad smile and wearing a red leather jacket over a decorative blue t-shirt, and Edward Norton in a white button-up shirt with a tie and the top button loosened. Norton's body faces right and his head faces the viewer with little expression. Below the portraits are the two actors' names, followed by "HELENA BONHAM CARTER" in smaller print. Above the portraits is "MISCHIEF. MAYHEM. SOAP."

Edward Norton and Brad Pitt literally blow you away in this film about a fighting club they create. It’s the quintessential film for men everywhere. You cannot go wrong with this film.

5. Braveheart

 

Mel Gibson starred in and directed this film. William Wallace leads his countrymen against the British for freedom. Don’t you dare suggest that he’s compensating with that sword. You will be decapitated.

4. The Departed

 

Martin Scorsese hit gold with this film, not to mention one of the greatest casts ever. You know you want to watch some shady cops in Boston. Way too many great actors in this one.

3. Pulp Fiction

 

Quentin Tarantino’s best film. It’s a great movie….if you can keep up with the plot….it tends to jump around quite a bit. Another great cast. Besides, you know you love Samuel L. Jackson with an afro, spewing verses from the Bible, gun in hand.

2. Boondock Saints I and II

Two Irish brothers take on the mob, doing God’s will. My all time favorite movie. If you don’t love this film, just shoot yourself. Don’t forget the pennies over your eyes.

1.The Godfather Trilogy

This is the classic guy movie. Decades later, guys will still quote this movie. And you know you have a secret ambition to join the Mafia. It’s a must-see for every male in the world.

I hope you enjoyed my list, and let me know how I did.


Show Me Missouri

People nowadays are always rushing around, at a frantic pace. They don’t take the time to stop and enjoy life. Between jobs, school, kids, and chores, it can be easy to just resign yourself to the couch. To help avoid this, I have made a list of things to do for a day in the state of Missouri. It will keep you busy, but also can be enjoyable.

I have a goal: I intend to do everything on this list, with the help of my friends, and to obtain at the very least one great photograph of the activity. Along the way, I expect to build up some serious mileage on my old Camry, and have a few good road trips with some great people.

I already mentioned taking a picture, but I also plan to set up another blog to chronicle the events, through text, picture, and video footage of myself and others during the trip.

Anyone who has more ideas to do, please submit them to me on here, Facebook, or Twitter. I’ll add them to the list and we can see how many Missouri really has. Also, if you want to be part of one of the trips, send me a message, and join my adventure through Missouri! Without further ado, here’s the list:

  1. Take a trip Lover’s Leap in Hannibal
  2. Explore Devil’s Icebox in Columbia
  3. Visit the castle at Ha Ha Tonka
  4. Try a GuberBurger (Look it up, probably have to do it at home)
  5. Check out some skeletons at Boney Springs in Benton County
  6. Look at petroglyphs in DeSoto
  7. Visit Elephant Rocks in Iron County
  8. Go arrowhead hunting
  9. Visit Stonehenge…in Rolla
  10. Visit the mounds in Miami’s Van Meter State Park
  11. Take a tour of Meramec Caverns
  12. Visit Mark Twain Cave and his home
  13. Visit Albino Farm
  14. Try to see the Joplin Spook Light
  15. Check out the white squirrels in Marionville
  16. Scare one of the fainting goats at Liar’s Lake
  17. Camp out and search for MoMo (Sasquatch)
  18. Go trout fishing in Bennett Springs (done, but will do again!)
  19. Visit the Youzeum in Columbia
  20. Go to the KC Zoo
  21. Do the drive through zoo in Strafford
  22. Go to Silver Dollar City
  23. Visit the Nelson-Atkins Musem of Art in KC
  24. Check out City Museum in St. Louis
  25. Ride four wheelers at Finger Lakes
  26. Visit the Precious Moments chapel in Carthage Missouri
  27. Titanic, Predator World, and Veterans Memorial in Branson
  28. Play 18 holes at Arena Golf in Cape Girardeau
  29. Tour the Budweiser brewery
  30. Attend a sporting event of each major team in the state
  31. Hike/Ride the Katy Trail
  32. Catch a roll at Lambert’s (and yes, thank you, Amanda Hess, it has to be the one in Sikeston)
  33. Try BBQ in KC (KC Masterpiece, Arthur Bryant’s, Gates,  and Oklahoma Joes) and pick a winner
  34. Try the milkshake challenge at Crown Candy in St. Louis
  35. Catch a show in Branson
  36. Go to the State Fair
  37. Visit Forest Park in St. Louis
  38. Tour the capitol building in Jefferson City
  39. Try Cashew Chicken in its birthplace, Springfield
  40. Go to the headquarters of Bass Pro, in Springfield
  41. Visit Meramac State Park
  42. Hike the Grand Canyon of the Ozarks
  43. Canoe or float one of Missouri’s rivers
  44. Fish all night with the stars
  45. Golf at Lake of the Ozarks (Seriously, take your pick-so many great courses)

Social Media In Journalism

I’ve decided to go a different route this week, to take a break from my presidential coverage. This week, I’m going to discuss my ideas about implementing social media in the journalism industry.

Everywhere we go, we are linked into media by the television, computers, radios, books, billboards, etc. Media is key to life in the U.S. It’s amazing to look at just how far we have come since the days of monks copying books letter by letter.
I’ve had the opportunity to really open up to these new sources and tools in college, and have had some great mentors in this vast and ever-changing field. One of these people happens to be my cousin, Erin Haslag. Awhile back, she sent me a message with advice on how to better understand these tools, and better use them. I think it needs to be shared, so I’ve included that message:

“Here ya go… 🙂

Articles with an ” * “ are blogs I frequently reference for social media news and updates.

Social Media Dashboard: I would recommend using a “dashboard client” like Hootsuite (my preferred dashboard) or Tweetdeck to manage the social media accounts throughout the day. Try both and see which resonates more for you. Dashboards allow you to create multiple messages on all platforms and schedule messages in advance. Hootsuite has more powerful analytic features at this time for measuring the ROI of your social media and understanding the power of your reach.

Twitter:  

Facebook Pages:

  • The Official Facebook Blog*
  • Attachments – the Facebook Pages Guides (one is 2009, one is from 2011 – both have great content); Facebook for Bloggers is also attached as a reference.

General Social Media Resources:

Content ResourcesGoogle Keywords; Use the keywords to search both Social Mention and Google Alerts for content ideas when creating blogs or posts. These are very rich resources for building content, discovering trends and connecting with people who would be interested in you or your product.

Courtesy of Erin”

You can follow her on Twitter, or check out WellInLA.

Now, to add to Erin’s points, I have found a couple of tools and techniques which I would try to implement.

The first one is Klout.com. This site can be used to measure your reach through social media, to gauge your influence on the web. By linking your social media sites to this, it rates you on a scale of 1 to 1oo, with 100 being the ultimate user. Here’s a way to look at it. NFL.com has a rating of 82 and the average Facebook user among my friends has somewhere in the 20 to 30 region. While it doesn’t mean you have more influence than, say, Bill Gates, it is a way to gauge how active you are on social media sites compared to other people. It also cannot measure the quality of the information you spread, but it can allow you to see how you interact with other users, and also get a chance to earn some free perks.

It also finds topics based on your usage of social media, and rate your influence on that field. Users can also give “klout” to other users when they have influenced them on a topic.

Another site which should be a must visit for any newsroom is Twitter For NewsroomsThis site has pretty much everything you need to know as a journalist to use Twitter. Seriously, go look. Now.

I also suggest that if you haven’t read it, go buy Journalism Next: A Practical Guide to Digital Reporting and Publishing, by Mark Briggs. In it, Briggs lays out a variety of tools and techniques that I feel should be a requirement for every journalist to use.

Erin also talked about social media dashboards. Like she said, Hootsuite is a good one, which I have used for awhile. I am currently test driving a new one that came out in late 2o11. I love it so far. This dashboard is called Bottlenose, and it has some of the neatest features I have seen, including a diagram to show topics which may interest you, or are most popular now. I’ve included a pdf document so you can see what it looks like, which you can view here-Bottlenose.

Another site I check daily is Poynter.org. This site provides tips and training for new techniques, and also provides news. It’s also a must visit to help develop your techniques.

Every journalist, in my opinion, should have a blog. At the very least, you should have one for the sake of posting your resume for employers and showcasing your work. If you do have one, good. Do not forget to use search tags and SEO if you want anyone to be able to read it. Also, include links in your articles.

Lastly, you should be using an RSS feed by now. If not, do it now. I use Google Reader, which is simple and convenient for me.

In today’s world, a journalist needs to be aware of almost everything. The best way to do this is to immerse ourselves in the new technologies and not only use them, but expand them. The world is always changing, and the media industry must adapt to the new changes.


Meet the GOP: Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is another Republican candidate in the running for the presidential election. A former governor of Massachusetts, Romney is the front-runner according to the latest polls. He also ran in the 2008 primaries, in which he eventually lost to Sen. John McCain.

One issue voters have found with Romney is that he “flip-flops” on the issues. To refresh the memory, Merriam Webster dictionary defines flip-flop as “a sudden reversal (as of policy or strategy)”.

Here are a few examples of Romney “flip-flopping”, according to a recent document of Sen. John McCain which was recently posted online by Buzzfeed.com. To avoid confusion, I’ve included his current stance on the issues:

Immigration

FLIP: “Gov. Mitt Romney expressed support … for an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on the path toward citizenship … Romney said illegal immigrants should have a chance to obtain citizenship.”  (Evan Lehmann, “Romney Supports Immigration Program, But Not Granting ‘Amnesty’,” The Lowell Sun, 3/30/06)

FLOP: “I think I’m best off to describe my own positions. And my positions, I think I’ve just described for you – secure the border, employment verification and no special pathway to citizenship. I feel that’s the course we ought to take.” (CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 5/22/07)

Romney opposes permanent legalization or amnesty for illegal aliens, and opposes temporary legalization for guest workers. He believes illegal immigrants should return home, and then apply through the proper channels.

George W. Bush’s Tax-Cuts

FLIP: “Romney spoke at the 10th annual legislative conference organized by U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell) and met with the Massachusetts delegation. … Congressional sources said that a point of contention arose when Romney refused to take a position on Bush’s massive, 10-year tax cut plan.” (Noelle Straub, “Romney Talks Policy With Bush Staffers, Mass. Delegation,” Boston Herald, 4/11/03)

FLOP: “McCain opposed President Bush’s tax cuts, Romney noted. ‘I supported them,’ the former governor said.” (Lee Bandy, “Romney Targeting McCain,” The State [SC], 2/4/07)

Reagan

Most Republicans look fondly when reminiscing about the Reagan era, and look for qualities of Reagan in their party leaders. Where does Romney stand on Reagan?

FLIP: “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan- Bush,” Mitt Romney said during a debate with Ted Kennedy.

FLOP: “‘Ronald Reagan is one of my heroes,’ Romney said as he praised Reagan’s strategy for winning the Cold War: ‘We win; they lose.’” (Michael Levenson, “Romney Links Gay Marriage, US Prestige,” The Boston Globe, 2/26/05)

National Rifle Association And Gun Laws

FLIP:  “Romney said he will take stands that put him at odds with some traditional ultra conservative groups, and cited his support for the assault rifle ban and the Brady gun control law. ‘That’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA,’ he said. ‘I don’t line up with a lot of special interest groups.’” (Andrew Miga, “Mitt Rejects Right-Wing Aid,” Boston Herald, 9/23/94)

FLOP:  Romney told a Derry, N.H., audience, ‘I’m after the NRA’s endorsement. I’m not sure they’ll give it to me. I hope they will. I also joined because if I’m going to ask for their endorsement, they’re going to ask for mine.’” (Glen Johnson, “Romney Calls Himself A Longtime Hunter,” The Associated Press, 4/5/07)

FLIP: “I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I’m a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms,” Romney said. (Glenn And Helen Show, http://www.glennandhelenshow.com, 1/10/07)

FLOP: “Asked by reporters at the gun show Friday whether he personally owned a gun, Romney said he did not. He said one of his sons, Josh, keeps two guns at the family vacation home in Utah, and he uses them ‘from time to time.’” (Scott Helman, “Romney Retreats On Gun Control,” The Boston Globe, 1/14/07)

After supporting gun control laws earlier in his career, Romney now supports the 2nd Amendment, and hopes to receive the NRA’s endorsement. Within four days, Romney apparently does or does not own a gun, but is a member of the National Rifle Association. On the issue of hunting, he has stated that he hunts frequently, while other times he has said he has only been a few times.

Same-sex Marriage and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

FLIP:  In 1994 “Romney called President Bill Clinton’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ military policy ‘the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military.’” (Dan Balz and Shailagh Murray, “Mass. Governor’s Rightward Shift Raises Questions,” The Washington Post, 12/21/06)

FLOP:  “Romney defended his policy switch on gays in the military. He said when he first heard the phrase ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ he thought it was ‘kind of a silly phrase that didn’t make a lot of sense.’ But the last 10 years have convinced him that the policy is working and there is no reason to change it, he said.”  (Alexa Aguilar, “Romney Campaigns In Chicago,” Chicago Tribune, 4/12/07)

Romney is against same-sex marriage and civil unions, and believes that to allow such a thing would harm the culture as well as the children of America. He believes people should be respectful of all people and their orientation, but that the institution of marriage must be upheld. He supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have prohibited same-sex marriage by modifying the U.S. Constitution. Romney has also been accused of flip-flopping on this issue.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

FLIP:  “Speaking at a bioethics forum, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Mitt Romney yesterday endorsed embryonic stem cell research … Romney endorsed embryonic stem cell research, saying the controversial science might one day help treat his wife’s multiple sclerosis in addition to numerous other degenerative diseases. … Romney spoke extensively about his position on stem cell research, which also involves embryo destruction.” (Raja Mishra, “Romney Endorses Stem Cell Research, Is Silent On Cloning,” The Boston Globe, 6/14/02)

FLOP: …On Feb. 10, 2005 … Romney came out strongly against the cloning technique … He vowed to press for legislation to criminalize the work. Romney’s opposition stunned scientists, lawmakers, and observers because of his past statements endorsing, at least in general terms, embryonic stem cell research.” (Scott Helman, “Romney’s Journey To The Right,” The Boston Globe, 12/17/06)

Romney is a strong supporter of stem cell research, but is against cloning or embryo farming. He is also against federal money being used for embryonic stem cell research.

Healthcare

FLIP: “In a Colonial-era hall, with a fife-and-drum corps marching in with him, Gov. Mitt Romney (R) signed a bill Wednesday requiring all Massachusetts residents to purchase health insurance — portraying the measure as a historic solution to health-care costs, even as questions emerge about whether the state can afford it. The signing [was] staged with a near-presidential attention to theatrics and slogan-bearing banners…” (David A. Fahrenthold, “Mass. Marks Health-Care Milestone,” The Washington Post, 4/13/06)

FLOP: “As governor of Massachusetts he signed a bipartisan law intended to ensure that every resident has coverage. Romney touted it as an innovative free-market solution. Yet these days, Romney … is much more likely to present his state’s universal coverage law as not a model to copy but an example for other states to learn from. He’s now a critic of his own biggest achievement.” (Sean Higgins, “Ex-Gov. Romney Keeps Distance From His Own Mass. Health Plan,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/7/07)

Romney has stated that he will repeal ObamaCare if elected. He supports the goals of the Republican House plan to reduce spending by cutting Medicare and other federal programs.

Tax Pledges

FLIP: “Four years ago, Mitt Romney broke with GOP tradition and refused to sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to ‘oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes’.” (Lisa Wangsness, “Healey Will Sign Antitax Pledge,” The Boston Globe, 9/4/06)

“Romney’s Gubernatorial Campaign Spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, Dismissed Such Pledges At The Time As ‘Government By Gimmickry.’” (Scott Helman, “Romney Finds ‘No New Taxes’ Promise Suits Him After All,” The Boston Globe, 1/5/07)

FLOP: “Almost five years after he refused to sign a ‘no new taxes’ pledge during his campaign for governor, Mitt Romney announced … that he had done just that, as his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination began in earnest.” (Scott Helman, “Romney Finds ‘No New Taxes’ Promise Suits Him After All,” The Boston Globe, 1/5/07)

On the issue of tax cuts, Romney believes that permanent tax cuts will stimulate the economy. He opposes the estate tax, endorses the elimination of minimum wage, and wants to cut the corporate tax rate. He supports a budget that cuts payroll taxes for people aged sixty-five and older as well as cutting taxes on people earning less than $200,000 a year and reducing taxes on savings and investment.

Money in Politics

FLIP: “Romney also said he advocates spending limits on congressional elections, even suggesting that the current race against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy should have a $6 million spending cap.” (Frank Phillips, “Romney, Vowing To Live It, Touts Congress Reform Plan,” The Boston Globe, 7/27/94)

“Mitt Romney once touted dramatic restructuring measures such as taxing political contributions and placing spending limits on federal campaigns.” (Alexander Bolton, “Romney’s About-Face On Campaign Funding,” The Hill, 2/8/07)

FLOP:  “Romney noted his foe from Arizona wrote the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law that restricts certain types of contributions. ‘That’s a terrible piece of legislation,’ Romney said. ‘It hasn’t taken the money out of politics. … (But) it has hurt my party.’” (Lee Bandy, “Romney Targeting McCain,” The State, 2/4/07)

More Pro-choice Than Ted Kennedy

FLIP“I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as an US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.” (Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,” The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)

FLOP:“When I am asked if I am pro-choice or pro-life, I say I refuse to accept either label.” (Glen Warchol, “This Is The Place, But Politics May Lead Romneys Elsewhere,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 2/14/99)

FLIP: “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose, and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard. I will not change any provisions of Massachusetts’ pro-choice laws.” (2002 Romney-O’Brien Gubernatorial Debate, Suffolk University, Boston, MA, 10/29/02)

FLOP: ]‘It hit me very hard that we had so cheapened the value of human life in a Roe v. Wade environment that it was important to stand for the dignity of human life,’ Romney says.” (Karen Tumulty, “What Romney Believes,” Time, 5/21/07)

Romney is now running as a Pro-Life candidate. He supports abortion only in the case of rape, incest, or endangerment of the mother’s life. he also supports repealing Roe v. Wade.

Capital Punishment and Civil Liberties

Romney is in favor of the death penalty, and would support doing “whatever it takes to protect the American people” i.e. wiretaps.

Energy/Environment

Romney believes America must become less dependent on foreign oil and to become more energy independent. Romney has stated that he will do everything he can to safeguard the environment while working towards this goal, but also will work to protect American jobs.He also has shown support for drilling on domestic soil, while exploring other options such as bio-diesel, ethanol, and nuclear energy.

Foreign Policy

Romney’s foreign policy has two main issues: competing with Asia economically and defeating the Jihadists.

  1. To compete with Asia, Romney wants the U.S. to open up its market even further by reducing the tariffs, decreasing corporate taxes, and easing up on immigration laws.
  2. To defeat Jihadists, Romney wants to use military options and work with locals in nations where terrorists are living. He also wants to use diplomacy to employ a worldwide fight against terrorists.
Romney believes that pressure should be put on Palestine to recognize Israel’s right to exist. He also believes that Iran is a serious threat and cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. He has proposes economic sanctions to prevent this, but will use force if necessary. He has stated that if Obama is reelected, Iran will develop nuclear weapons, but that if he is elected, he will not allow it.

Day One of Romney in Office Would Be…

If elected, Romney pledges to enact 10 major actions on the first day, consisting of five bills and five executive orders.

The Five Bills
• The American Competitiveness Act
Reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25%
• The Open Markets Act
Implements Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
• The Domestic Energy Act
Directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive energy review
• The Retraining Reform Act
Consolidates federal retraining programs and return these programs to the states
• The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act
Immediately cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent ($20 billion)

The Five Executive Orders
An order to end ObamaCare, in which the Secretary of Health and Human Services are supposed to return the maximum possible authority to the states on the issue of healthcare.
An order to cut red tape, making all agencies end Obama-era regulations that burden the economy or job creation.
An order to boost domestic energy production, in which the Department of the Interior is supposed to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits.
An order to sanction China for unfair trade practices which would require the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator and the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports.
An order to reverse the executive orders issued by President Obama that favor organized labor.

At the Arizona Primary, on February 22, 2012, Romney also promised to drop lawsuits against the states who are enacting the E-Verify system on his first day in office. E-Verify is an online system which allows employers to see whether a potential employee is able to legally work in the U.S. The E-Verify system, he believes, would help cut down on illegal aliens being hired, and supports the bill.


The Washington Post also did some fact checking on some of the claims of his flip-flopping, which can be viewed here.

Romney’s stance on the issues seems to have struck a chord with voters, as Romney is currently holding the lead with 203 delegates, with Santorum not far behind, holding 92 candidates. No clear front-runner has emerged as of yet, and anyone could win this race.

(Note: This article does not reflect the views, opinions, or political affiliations of the author. Sorry, guys, that’s for me to know. I do, however, strongly urge that you do the research for yourself. Look up the candidates’ positions on the issues, know where they stand, so that you, as a voter, can make your choice as a well-informed citizen of the United States. For more information of Mitt Romney, visit his website:http://www.mittromney.com/)

For my piece on Rick Santorum, please visit https://bpete393.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/gop-santorum/.


Meet the GOP: Rick Santorum

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is considered by some to be a master of putting his foot in his own mouth, yet his campaign is still running neck and neck with that of Mitt Romney, racing for first place. The Wall Street Journal reports that Romney currently has 167 delegates, while Santorum has 87 delegates.

Over the span of the campaign, Santorum has made a habit of saying something which some voters find to be either offensive or delivering incorrect information. Here’s a few examples:

“I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” 

“President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob … Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.”

“Earlier in my political career, I had the opportunity to read the speech, and I almost threw up.” Santorum on JFK’s 1960 speech about the importance of separation of church and state

“The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person — human life is not a person, then — I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘We’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.'” 

“I think the Democrats are actually worried he (Obama) may go to Indonesia and bow to more Muslims.”

“The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American Left who hates Christendom. … What I’m talking about is onward American soldiers. What we’re talking about are core American values.”

On abortion and contraception:

Santorum is a staunch opponent of abortion and personally opposes contraception, but says he believes contraception should be available to the public.

“The reason Social Security is in big trouble is we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees. Well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion.”

 “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Euthanasia (ObamaCare):

In one speech, Santorum told the audience about a policy in the Netherlands in which the elderly will wear bracelets or carry cards which say “Do Not Euthanize”, as once they hit a certain quality of life, they can be euthanized. He claims that ten percent of people in the Netherlands die from being euthanized, with 5 percent being involuntary. Now, the Netherlands has taken offense to this claim, and  has stated that this is not the case. The New York Times checked this statement, and it is estimated that the number is closer to two percent and that each case is carefully reviewed by a panel before any decision is made.

On the issue of homosexuality…

Santorum has also made it a point to attack the gay community, to fight gay marriage, as he believes his faith condones. He believes that gay lifestyles are a choice. Santorum would like to see “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” reinstated. His statements have so offended the homosexuals of our nation that Dan Savage, a columnist and gay man, hosted a contest on his column to come up with a definition for the word “santorum”, which may be found here.

“In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.”

“[Gay marriage] is an issue just like 9-11… We didn’t decide we wanted to fight the war on terrorism because we wanted to. It was brought to us. And if not now, when? When the supreme courts in all the other states have succumbed to the Massachusetts version of the law?”

“Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?”

“You can say I’m a hater. But I would argue I’m a lover. I’m a lover of traditional families and of the right of children to have a mother and father… I would argue that the future of America hangs in the balance, because the future of the family hangs in the balance. Isn’t that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?”

So where does Santorum stand on the issues? I’ll try to summarize it for you.

Environmental Issues: 

Santorum stated that he believed “there is no such thing as global warming”. He proposes to “drill, drill everywhere”.

Foreign Policy: 

Santorum supported President Bush’s management of the wars and voted to invade Iraq as a Senator. He did not approve of Obama’s decision to bring the troops home. He has promised support for Israel, and has spoken strongly about possible military action in Iran to prevent them obtaining nuclear weapons.

Taxes and Budget Deficits:

Santorum has called for large cuts in federal spending to rein in U.S. national debt. If elected, Santorum has said that he would cut $5 trillion in government spending over the next 5 years by “immediately reducing federal non-discretionary defense spending”. Santorum generally supports tax cuts.

Immigration Policy: 

Santorum proposes to finish the fence on the border. He opposed the bill which Senator John McCain wrote which would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants and offer them a path to citizenship.

Social Issues: 

Santorum opposes abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. Santorum voted for the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2006 and said that if elected president, he would attempt to repeal gay marriages that had already happened.

Health Care: 

Santorum has stated that, if elected President, his first order would be to repeal ObamaCare. He proposes to increase access to health care by encouraging the use of Healthcare Savings Accounts and reducing the costs of privately provided health plans. As a Senator, Santorum voted against increasing Medicare benefits many times.

Jobs and Economic Growth: 

Santorum’s plan for economic growth and job creation largely relies on tax cuts and the elimination of job-killing regulations by cutting corporate tax rates in half.

However offensive, insane, or unreasonable he may sound, he has struck a chord with voters, as he has won primaries in Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, and a meaningless victory in Missouri. As for now, it seems he is the runner-up behind Romney, but with a few more wins, he could overtake the race.

On the other hand, his mouth could be the very downfall of his race. Whatever the outcome, his bold strategy seems to be paying off with the American public.

(Note: This article does not reflect the views, opinions, or political affiliations of the author. Sorry, guys, that’s for me to know. I do, however, strongly urge that you do the research for yourself. Look up the candidates’ positions on the issues, know where they stand, so that you, as a voter, can make your choice as a well informed citizen of the United States. For more information of Rick Santorum, visit his website:http://www.ricksantorum.com/)

For part two of my Meet the GOP piece, I chose to write about Mitt Romney. You can view that here: https://bpete393.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/meet-the-gop-romney/