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OUR VIEW: WE STAND BEHIND OBAMA’S DIPLOMACY

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resident Barack Obama told a press gathering at the White House Friday that he is concerned about potential destabilization if Russia sends its troops to Ukraine, according to the Los Angeles Times. Obama said that “there will be costs” if Russia intervenes with “Ukraine’s threatened shift toward breakup as pro-Russia militants push for secession in Crimea.” But Russia does not seem to be budging and has deployed troops to Crimea, a semi-autonomous region in Ukraine where a majority of the population are ethnic Russians, according to an article from Forbes. Crimea was a part of the USSR before its collapse, and in 1992, decided in a referendum to join the newly independent country of Ukraine. Russia also has interest in keeping Crimea under its control and out of the hands of a new, pro-west government. According to Forbes, Russia uses Sevastopol, a naval base on Crimea’s southwestern tip, as its primary means of extending force through the Mediterranean Sea, making it an important territory to gain control of. Arseniy Yatsenuik, acting prime minister in Kiev, told The Guardian that Putin’s actions are a declaration of war. We think that avoiding war at all costs is preferable, and if Obama can process without using military force, then so be it. However, we don’t want to see yet another Syria scenario, where our

president seems to say one thing and then does another. Although Obama may be drawing yet another red line for the international community, we think his comments hold merit provided he is prepared to follow through if the situation changes. The Washington Post reported that Obama urged Putin to “step back” in

a 90-minute phone conversation on Saturday. Obama made it clear that if Putin doesn’t pull Russian forces back to their bases, the U.S. would suspend its participation in the 40th G8 Summit. The G8 summit, which will be forum brought together by the leading

industrialized democracies. We are glad to see the Obama administration and the State Department have been conducting conversations over the past few days. Secretary of State John Kerry intends to visit Kiev Tuesday as a sign of support, despite potential military intervention, according to the Washington Post.

If Russia continues to ignore the international community and further destabilizes the region through military force, we will support whatever economic and diplomatic measures are necessary. We’re glad to see the U.S. is taking a diplomatic approach, rather than jumping the gun as the “world’s police.”

Forget the critics, Madison Rising screams patriotism aminer, Twitter and others because of the performance it gave at Daytona International Speedway Feb. 22. The performance introduced the band’s rock version of the national anthem, and the video has gone viral.

By Paige Pelonis Assistant Opinions Editor

Next time you go on YouTube, which will probably be any minute now, make sure you search “Madison Rising rocks National Anthem.” Watch this before you waste time checking out more funny cat videos, and judge the performance for yourself. Madison Rising calls itself “America’s most patriotic rock band” and its website home page features several photos of band members in some version of stars and stripes. Its most recent album opens with “The Star Spangled Banner,” and closes with the much talked about rock version of “America the Beautiful.” The band has made headlines in a myriad of -

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“cringeworthy” and said Francis Scott Key and John Stafford Smith would have agreed. Fox News commentary suggested that the applause at the end of the song was uncomfortable, and that the audience was simply unsure of how to react to something they were so unfamiliar with. If you watch the video for yourself, and you listen to the music and take a look at the audience media is being overly critical. From Super Bowls, to World Series games and Cal State Long Beach a live performance of the national anthem where the singer sticks entirely to the traditional music anyway. I think it was ambitious for a band to be as

this band is. Lead vocalist Dave Bray began the number the song slowly and traditionally. As with almost every other performer of the national anthem, he sprinkled a few extraneous notes here and there, but nothing too radical. As he sang “…and the rockets red glare,” the song cranked it up a notch into a livelier, rock tempo. At the end of the song, the audience cheered, and no matter what any other critic calls it, they were hooting and hollering at least to an extent. The peanut gallery that comprises the YouTube even-sided bickering match over the performance. The best comments, in my opinion, came from those viewers who know a little about the band itself, and understand that the band isn’t trying to ruin something that is beautiful, rather they are trying to make it more accessible to an audience that may have lost touch with patriotism.

Madison Rising is led by Bray, a U.S. Navy veteran and strong believer in the band’s mission to promote a pro-American culture. The band believes in “the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility,” according to its website. For me, the interpretation of the song symbolizes the ever-changing social dynamics of the U.S. Thomas Jefferson famously said, “The dead shall not rule the living.” The idea behind this statement is that the people who currently comprise the country should determine the standards by which they live. Implying that a song, which serves only to praise our country, should only be performed one way for the rest of time is like saying the Constitution should never be amended and/or changed to suit the desires and needs of the present American people. So there are those who loved the performance, and those who hated it, what else is new?

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Response to SB 1062 spreads same discrimination manager at The Abbey, in a LA Times article. “But, it’s about sending a message that those people who vote against gays and lesbians can be treated in the same sense.” Incidentally, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill on Wednesday, yet there is no news that The Abbey will drop their ban. Both sides are reaching new lows that are incredibly irrational and legally wrong. This just goes to show that extremism, intolerance and bigotry come in many different forms. They go deeper than any ideology or religion,

By Nick chavez Assistant Opinions Editor

It is often said that two wrongs do not make a right, and it seems this rings true in West Hollywood and Arizona. In response to Arizona’s proposed Senate Bill 1062, which would have given business owners the right to refuse service to gay couples based on “religious freedom,” The Abbey Food and Bar in West Hollywood has any state that votes for bills to allow discrimination against LGBT people,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Security guards at The Abbey have been given head shots of multiple lawmakers from Arizona and Kansas entering the bar, according to the LA Times. Abbey has refused service on the basis of “LGBT rights.” In May 2012, when gay marriage was still illegal in California, the Abbey banned all bachelorette parties on the grounds that they are an “offensive marriage inequality, according to CBS Los Angeles. But is this really different from what people are trying to do in Arizona under the facade of religious liberty? The answer is no.

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The 1964 Civil Rights Act states it is illegal to segregate or discriminate based upon religion, race, sex, nationality or ideology. This is the same legislation that overturned the “Separate but Equal” clause of the Constitution which justi-

entering an establishment because they do not share your political view is unconstitutional, regardless of what side of the issue you are on. The Abbey received many complaints, criticisms, and “hateful” phone calls from both sides of the issue, ac-

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LGBT rights activists are complaincrimination with more discrimination, while conservatives said they would never go to The Abbey out of protest. “They’re trying to say we’re being bigots and we’re the ones discriminating,” said Todd Barnes, general

inherent within the human condition. I am not trying to promote or oppose any group. I am simply hoping to rephrase what my teacher said to me back in high school political science: “Some people are just going to think differently than you, but that is okay. That doesn’t make them bad people.” Both sides are discriminating against each other, and both are wrong for doing so. Both are mirror images of each other on opposite sides of the spectrum, but it seems they are so stubborn they are blind to it. The whole thing is somewhat farcical. If America is to be a democratic republic, then people need to at least try to tolerate other ideas. This does not mean that people must agree to everything, or adopt the philosophy that all ideas stand on equal ground. But rather, we should simply respect one another.


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