Feud in U.S. Capitol continues over Keystone Pipeline

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Oil drips silently in the Capitol while the President and Congress debate over Keystone XL Pipeline.

Contentious politicians at it again 

The leaders of the country are once again butting heads.  This time though it’s over the future of America’s foreign oil dependency.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is to be America’s hope for oil independence; at least that’s how Republicans would like to portray the topic.

Would the pipeline really create more long term employment

Yes, the pipeline would create more jobs, help America develop its own oil industry, and boost the economy of the nation.  Yet President Obama is not willing to sign off on the project just yet.

With America consuming millions of barrels of oil a day, it is perhaps vital that new sources of oil and energy

source:Trans Canada Corp National Resources defence Council, MCT Campus

be found to both meet and sustain future needs.
So what is the problem with building a new pipeline?  Politics.  Both the President and Congress have their own initiatives in mind for what to do with the pipeline.  Republicans in the congressional halls are flapping their jaws about how this project will create more jobs, while the President is worried about his tax cut initiative being added to legislation to allow those who receive jobs and those who give jobs to receive some form of reward.

However, in the meantime who is all this debating really helping? It’s certainly not for the taxpayers who give their trust and money so that these projects can be established.  For the betterment of the nation, people across the nation need to pull together and stop the infighting in the congressional halls.

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged , jobs, Keystone XL Pipeline, , Oil independence, Republicans

America’s educational drought

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Global economics serve to push education to be a more prominent concern.

With many stressing the current economic situation in America, many try and understand why and how we have arrived at our current destination.

Where is your parent?

It is possible that, due to both parents being out of the house to work in order to sustain the household, children are left to their own devices. Instead of focusing on education, they become fixated on searching the Internet, talking to friends, watching YouTube, or playing video games.

Education becomes an afterthought in the twilight of surviving. This would not be such a bad thing if it didn’t affect the next generation. As a country, America is not as focused on producing and supplying the demands of the country as a whole.

American jobs being given to other countries

With science and technology becoming a more demanding industry, jobs need to be filled. Yet America is recruiting the majority of employees for these positions from other countries.

Public education needs to design its curriculum around a more demanding and trying education system.

According to an AFP report, “The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.”

It is imperative that America, in order to remain among one of the top countries in the world, raise its requirements for public education.

Raise the standard of public education

By raising the standard of education and perhaps even adding more trade skills to the curriculum of high schools, the U.S. could train a better and more efficient work force rather than debating non-consequential policies that only further harm the standing of the U.S. in the global economy.

In the 1990s there was a popular saying, “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders.” This concept is even more important today.

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged AFP, , , Global Economy, PISA, Public Education, Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders

Obama addresses trade enforcement, energy and education

The State of the Union is an annual address given by the President to Congress. It is an opportunity for the President to outline his agenda for the year, as well as give the condition of the country. The address is required of the President based upon Article II, Section 3 in the United States Constitution which states that “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The tradition of formally addressing the Congress was discontinued by Thomas Jefferson, who sent formal missives, but was reestablished by Woodrow Wilson.

President Obama delivered his third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, January 24. He made many points throughout the speech, some with applause and some with loud boos from the audience. Obama touched on many of the issues facing our country in the past years, and those we will be facing in the future.

Special guests who were invited to sit in the First Lady’s box at the address included Steve Jobs widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek. She was in attendance as a result of the tax debate and billionaire Buffet’s complaint that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. The guest list for the State of the Union has become a sort of ritual, with the list often reflecting the themes of the address.

One highlight of the speech came when Obama revealed that an EPA regulation from over 40 years ago, which regulated dairy farms at the same level as petroleum and forced dairy farmers to spend money to prove they were capable of containing a milk spill, that had been eliminated. “With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk,” Obama said.

Obama called for the implementation of the “Buffett rule,” where if a person makes over $1 million annually, they should be taxed at a rate no less than 30 percent. Sen. Tom Coburn was referenced in this part of the speech on the opinion that Washington needs to stop subsidizing millionaires and offering them tax deductions.

Jobs were a big topic for this address. The President called for the country to help train Americans in skills that will lead directly to jobs. Obama wants to give community colleges the resources they need to be community career centers to teach skills that are in high demand.

One major announcement that Obama made was the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit. The unit was formed to investigate unfair trade practices in countries around the world, with inspections of goods crossing the border in order for counterfeit and unsafe goods from entering the country.

Another unit was announced, this time being for the financial sector. The Financial Crimes Unit would serve to crack down on fraud, and implement penalties for a fraud count. This is to help protect people’s investments and the institutions following the laws.

A third unit in the works is for the protection of homeowners against abusive lending and packaging of mortgages. It would also help get assistance to homeowners, as well as a plan to help them save up to $3,000 a year on their mortgage.

In relation to schools around the country, Obama requested that the mandatory school age be upped to 18 or until graduation. He called for Congress to prevent the hike in student loan interest in July, when they are expected to double, as well as an extension of the tuition tax credit and an increase in the number of work-study jobs.

In the wake of the rejection of Keystone XL pipeline, Obama introduced the clean energy initiative announcing that the department of the Navy will make a large renewable energy purchase of one gigawatt and requesting the Department of the Interior to permit for 10 gigawatts of renewable projects by the end of the year, enough to power nearly three million homes.

The 2012 State of the Union was followed by The Republican Response, which was delivered by Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels.

New Years Revolutions 2011

People around the world make New Year’s resolutions at the close of each year. In December of 2010, the Middle East set a course of New Year’s revolutions, which directly affected more than 15 different countries in that region throughout 2011. While not desirable, history has shown time and again that revolution is essential to the preservation of freedom and liberty.

Arab Spring forward, regimes fall back

What came to be known as the “Arab Spring”, resulted in protests throughout the Middle East; with revolutions occurred in both Tunisia and Egypt and a bloody civil war in Libya, all of which resulted in the fall of their respective governments.

While these three countries are considered “success stories” of the Arab Spring, other countries that saw civil uprisings, such as Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen, are still unstable.

Major protests occurred in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman, with minor protests occurring in Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Western Sahara.

Taking it to the streets

Inspired in part by the Arab Spring, American protestors took to the streets, specifically Wall Street. Beginning in September, Occupy Wall Street protests occurred from coast to coast.

Do people have a right to be angry in this country? Yes. But if changes need to be made, as many believe they do, then let those changes be made through the proper channels. Some will decry and say, “The system is broken. What other recourse do we have?” Things must be kept in perspective.

Say what you will about America, but right now a whole section of the world is engaged in a bloody revolution to eke out a standard of living which will still be leagues below what the average American takes for granted. What constitutes poverty in this country compared to the rest of the world is laughable.

For many, 2011 will be remembered as the year of revolution. The world needs to change, but it has to start with us; how we live our lives and how we treat others. Let us make 2012 the year in which resolutions are remembered. We are nothing but the promises we keep.

That September Day

By: Narges Taghavi, feature editor

A decade after the tragic events of September 11th, RSC performing arts theater presented “Remembering 9/11”. This event was held Sep. 9, 2011 and allowed people a chance to take a look back on that day and acknowledge the brave people who responded to the attack.
The event was opened with the National Anthem sung by Jennifer Hogan. Followed by Joe Williams, FBI Chaplain, who read the poem titled “We’re Still Standing” and gave recognition to the 9-11 first responders.
Oklahoma State Gov. Mary Fallin gave some opening remarks, recounting her 9-11 story and how we will always remember that September day.
“Ceremonies like this are important, because we should never forget the tragedy that occurred. The response, the powerful response of our nation, after 9-11.
“In our nation we believe in community. We believe in protecting things not destroying things. We believe in protecting communities not destroying communities. We value life. We value our freedom.

From left to right. Air Traffic Division Manager Brian Harmelink, Retired Captain Gary Foster, Colonel Mike Mahon, Retired Colonel Patrick Sheets, Retired Brigadier General Ben Robinson, and Retired Lieutenant General Chuck Johnson recount their personal experiences of September 11th, 2001 at the Rose State “Remembering 9/11” event. Photo by Tracie Bullen

“We as a nation pulled together in a tremendous time of tragedy; in a tremendous time of need and uncertainty to fight for our nation. To stand up for the things that have made America great; and that is what happened that day.” Fallin said.
Following the governor, retired Brig. Gen. David Wagie gave recognition to Oklahoma’s Contribution on 9-11, and then held a panel of guest that told how Tinker Air Force Base and the FAA responded and defended the country on the awful day and the days following.
The panel included;
• Air Traffic Division Manager Brian Harmelink, Federal Aviation Administration
• Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Gary Foster
• Col. Mike Mahon
• Retired Col. Patrick Sheets
• Retired Brig. Gen. Ben Robinson
• Retired Lt. Gen. Chuck Johnson,
The panel was asked about how they were notified about the attack on 9-11 and what actions they immediately took upon learning of the event; this included a small slideshow and discussion on how they concluded operations and their personal stories during the days and weeks following 9-11.
The remembrance concluded with a small Q&A from the panel and audience, Maj. Gen. David Gillett, Commander, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center gave the closing remarks. Services ended with Jennifer Hogan returning once more to sing “God Bless America.”
The “Remembering 9/11” event paid tribute and offered a time of reflection back to that fateful day that changed America.
In addition to the “Remembering 9/11” event, Rose State College has yet to include a permanent campus memorial to 9/11; such as planting a memorial tree or putting up statue honoring the victims, similar to the Oklahoma City Bombing memorial near the LRC. A permanent memorial would be something the campus could do to show that we will never forget 9/11.

By 15th Street News Posted in Features, News Tagged 9-11, , FAA, Federal Aviation Administration, Remembering 9/11, , September, The Honorable Mary Fallin, Tinker Air Force