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Table of Contents

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

News

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

How To Win Your JSA Election in 5 Easy Steps:

Feature 2 How To Win Your JSA Election in 5 Easy Steps Advice for elections

13 T-Shirt Controversy 2 The power of free speech

3-4 52nd Annual U.S. Senate Program JSA Attendees

14 Arizona Bill 1016 It's okay if your religion says it is.

5 JSAers Join the Military Joining up with the armed forces

15 Is California Running Out of Water? 2 Future water worries plague state

6 Teaching Peace Intiative A new activism project for JSA

16 West to East Comes Winter Storm Unleashed 2 Old Man Winter outstays his welcome

JSA

17 The Future of Organ Transplantation 2 Synthetic Organs

7 ECR Hosts Spring One Day Event 2 Empire Constitution Region 8 Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign 2 Exciting times in Texas 9 Staten Island Tech Chapter Conference 2 A very New York conference

18 Bitcoin and You 2 The future of cryptocurrencies

World

19 Thailand Protest 2 An increasingly undemocratic situation

10 Staples High School Chapter Conference 2 A successful event held by Staples HS

20 Uganda's Homosexual List 2 Gay community continually oppressed

11 Bergen County Academies Chapter Conference 2 Another successful chapter conference

Opinions

National

21 Barbie Isn't the Problem, You Are 2 Ending the myth of plastic problems

12 Snowden JRTIG Leaks 2 New revelations abound

Junior Statement Staff Jack Cahn Editor in Chief Michael Lahanas Layout Editor Kelly Kim Copy Editor Kelly Kim and Michelle Min News Editors Simran Singh and Emma Seely-Katz Opinions Editors Jenny McGinty Events Editor Nassim Touil Graphics

22 The Rise of the Modern Blogger 2 The unexpected importance of bloggers 23 Are Gun-Free Zones Really the Answer? 2 Issues caused by supposed safe zones 24 Ukraine: The Standoff 2 Tensions continue to rise in Eastern Europe 25 Switzerland and the Minimum Wage 2 An unprecedented high wage 26 Don't Hate, Advocate 2 Be an active participant 27 4 Things Satya Nadella Needs to Do 2 Microsoft can have a bright future 28 Syria Will Worsen Over the Next Decade 2 Experts say situation will not improve 29-30 Don't Celebrate El Chapo's Arrest 2 Why the drug lord's arrest means more trouble

Staff Editorial Statement Staff

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s Spring State approaches, Junior Statesmen across the country have become fully immersed in election season. Some freshmen and sophomores, who are experiencing election season for the first time, are beginning to develop electoral aspirations. What is the secret to winning JSA elections? The Junior Statement staff - made up of fifty Junior Statesmen across the country, some of whom are gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial candidates - have a few suggestions. 1. Build a Large Campaign Team: Best friends stick together. Barring exceptional circumstances, voters will support their friends before evaluating experience or platforms. Building a large campaign team increases the number of personal relationships you can count on as a voter base. Instead of simply relying on your friendships, you can rely upon all of the friendships of all of your campaign managers. Second, asking an individual to be your campaign manager is a sign of respect. Even if they don’t agree, your gesture could swing their vote. Third, giving supporters official titles as members of your campaign team makes them feel unique and special, which increases the amount of work they feel responsible to contribute to your campaign team. 2. Show Some Leg: The University of Virginia published a black box analysis in which it showed a candidate’s attractiveness is the number one most important issue in elections. Be sure to dress well and look your best. 3. Develop Unique Platforms: Almost all candidates sound identical. Make your campaign platforms more than just a job description. We know what past elected officials have done - tell us how you are going to do differently. One or two exceptionally creative platforms could mean the difference between winning and losing your JSA election. 4. Be Social, Not Elitist: Some Junior Statesmen think that to win elections, you need to spend your time with elected officials. You don’t. While it is important to get those in power to support you, it is even more important to be friendly and social. Show the voters you care about what they have to say. Listen to what voters tell you and incorporate their ideas into your platforms. 5. Don’t Be Shy: Walking up to a random stranger and asking them to vote for you can be slightly uncomfortable and highly intimidating. Overcome your fears. Being unafraid to introduce yourself to strangers will put you at an extreme competitive advantage compared to your opponents, who, more often than not, will be too shy to do the same.

6. Win Over Chapter Presidents: Chapter leaders have the respect of their chapters. As a result, newer members consult with their chapter leadership before voting. If you can convince chapter leaders to support you, you will win whole chapters. Remember: in politics, relationships matter. 7. Give a Killer Speech: You never have a second chance to make a first impression. Your speech at Spring State will define your candidacy for the majority of the electorate. Make it powerful. 8. Be Creative: Creative campaigns captivate. In this election season, one candidate made a 2048 game about his campaign - what a creative way to relate to voters! Other creative campaigns have distributed chocolate with campaign slogans or produced weekly (funny) campaign videos. Think of something outside of the box. 9. Use Social Media Well: You only see voters a few times during the election season - but you can communicate with them online throughout the entire election season. Make videos and memes - don’t just post a list of your platforms. Have your campaign managers make posts about you. Be dynamic. Nobody wants to see a candidate constantly posting the same content week after week. 10. Be Positive: In real world politics, negative campaigning is extremely effective according to most research. In JSA, it is not. Emphasize the actions you will take to make JSA better without attacking past elected officials or cabinet members. Positive candidates are more likable and make fewer enemies. Good luck!

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In real world politics, negative campaigning is extremely effective according to most research. In JSA, it is not.

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

52nd Annual U.S. Senate Youth Program

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Allison Berger

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It was exciting to engage directly with the President on a critical policy issue. —Allison Berger

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

JSA Attendees Katherine Wang

he United States Senate Youth Program, established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. The annual program was held in Washington, D.C., from March 8 – 15, 2014. Two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity spent a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates heard major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participing in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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JSA Attendee

he 52nd annual United States Senate Youth Program provided a truly unique and once-ina-lifetime experience to learn about government and public service. It is impossible to pinpoint only one aspect of the program as my favorite, but four moments did stand out. The first was meeting and hearing from Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. As the Justice was born in New Jersey, I got to meet him personally before he addressed the entire delegation. His speech did not disappoint; I was particularly inspired by his advice: "Everything you do, do perfectly." The annual Senate reception was exhilarating. It was attended by many Senators, including both of my own, Robert Menendez and Cory Booker. It was exciting to speak with them in person! Additionally, it was thrilling to video-conference with two astronauts on the International Space Station and hear about their lives and fascinating experiences. Finally, we met President Obama in the White House, following a tour. Every year, he answers questions from one male delegate and one female delegate. Amazingly enough, he called on me! I asked, "In light of recent events in Ukraine, how successful would you say our recent reset in relations with Russia has been?" Although I did not agree with his response that the policy was largely successful during his first term and did not contribute to Putin's emboldened attitude toward aggressive actions, it was so exciting to engage directly with the President on critical policy issues. I know I will always remember my week in Washington for the Senate Youth Program! ■

JSA Attendee

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he United States Senate Youth Program was undoubtedly one of the most formative experiences of my life. From meeting the President of the United States, to personally speaking with Senator Carl Levin, to seeing the ever-chic IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, USSYP gave me a truly once-in-a-life time experience. However, the most impactful part of my experience happened after the daily jam-packed programs and the memorable speakers—socializing with other delegates: 104 youth from across the US, 104 opinions, 104 brilliant minds. Everyone contributed something different to the conversation, creating a dynamic, intelligent environment. It’s rare to find a program that offers real political discussion instead of a political wrestling ring, where every topic seems to be a fight for domination. "Life-changing" is often cliché, but there is no doubt in my mind that my experience this week encompasses every sense of the phrase. ■

Aaron Miller JSA Attendee

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rom shaking hands with President Obama to discussing contemporary politics with Justice Kagan, I gained the in-depth view of the federal government that the Senate Youth Program aims for. But the facet of the program that most shaped my week, and impressed me with experiences that I'll never forget, was the people. Over the course of the seven days, I met a Missouri delegate who explained how his friends often show off the deer they killed in the parking lot before school and a Wyoming delegate who talked about hiking in the mountains just past his backyard every weekend--just samples of the 104 unique stories that contributed to the program's unsurpassed diversity. The week therefore showed me that America's identity cannot be defined by any individual. Rather, America's identity rests in the conglomeration of its diverse populous. It rests in the conglomeration of all of its citizens' cultures and beliefs, and in the melting pot metaphor that the heterogeneity of America in fact stands as one coalesced nation. ■


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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

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Teaching Peace Intiative (TPI)

JSAers Join the Military Joshua Kisbye Guest Writer

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have wanted to join the military for as long as I can remember. Since my childhood to now, that dream developed into a will to serve my country and be a part of something greater than myself. For me, the military represents a higher calling to certain citizens in order to protect this last hope on Earth for man. While in JSA, we may debate about what rights what groups hold, in the military we fight to defend those rights, regardless of race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or background. The military views every person as a human, regardless of what they believe, and secures those rights for all. So, for me, as I head to the United States Air Force Academy this coming Fall, I look forward to serving my country in two ways- as a citizen fulfilling my responsibility to vote in the 2014 midterm elections, and as a military service member learning how to defend the decisions our country makes on Tuesday, November 4th 2014, and every election to come. ■

Sydney Robinson Guest Writer

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am interested in going into the Coast Guard because the defense of our country and freedoms is a duty I believe is essential for a productive nation. Joining the military is a decision that needs to be and has to be made in order to continue to live in a country as ours. You receive a sense of honor and respect from all those around you because you are a member of the US army. This is the most fulfilling and obvious chance after high school that will help me benefit my country. This career will help me make a good life for myself as well as gaining self-discipline, respect, and honor. My goal in life is to help in any way shape or form those that are oppressed or in need of assistance from an outside force. I can't imagine a bigger act of humanitarianism than sacrificing my own time to dedicate myself to a bigger cause. It will be a pleasure to serve my country in the upcoming years. ■

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

empathy, conflict resolution, and work proactively to make our world stronger, safer, and more peaceful.” Guest Writer Children are the future, and if they can be taught to be peacemakers, then that will greatly affect the way in which they live their lives and interact with those around them. his year, the Teaching Peace Initiative (TPI) Members of the Teaching Peace Initiative is one of JSA's national activism causes. TPI's have been invited to speak at conferences and have goal is to spread a message to the youth of the been interviewed by local news organizations, and TPI has received praise from members of congress, world: bullying can be fought and conquered with activists, and educators. The movement is spreading, peace education. The Teaching Peace Initiative, a nonprofit ed- and more and more students are getting involved. ucational advocacy organization founded at The Key The aim of TPI is to get its peace curriculum taught School in Annapolis, MD in 2011, takes a revolution- in as many schools as possible, in order to maximize the number of students who are reached with ary new look at anti-bullying and peace-promoting efforts. It engages students through much more than a compelling, engaging, student-facilitated message of peace and respect. TPI is always looking for new merely putting up posters or attending assemblies. Two elements make TPI unique: its use of a compre- volunteers. The solutions to bullying aren’t going to come hensive curriculum to teach peace, and the fact that from superintendents and politicians—it will have to the organization is run entirely by students. come from us. The grant-winning curriculum of the Teaching Peace Initiative, which has been successfully To learn more about TPI, visit www.teachingtested in classrooms, is available at two levels: 4thpeaceinitiative.org, “like” the Facebook page at face6th grade and 7th-9th grade. This way, students are able to have lessons targeted toward their age group. book.com/TeachingPeaceInitiative, follow on twitter The lessons focus on using a combination of age-ap- @TeachPeace2kids, and subscribe to the YouTube channel TPITeachingPeace. propriate example situations, critical thinking about current events, and a final collaborative peacemaking activity in order to help students really grasp the intricacy of the issues of peace and tolerance. The results have been excellent – TPI proudly acknowledges that “the students were able to feel ownership and mastery of complex, adult concepts, and thus were interested to learn more and become peacemakers themselves.” Both sets of curriculum are free, and are available for download at TPI’s website. Any student is welcome and encouraged to start a Teaching Peace Initiative chapter in their community, and upon contacting TPI will be given resources to do so. Currently there are thirty of these Regional Executive Directors within the United States, and three internationally. These students help to both teach TPI’s curriculum to students in their community and serve as outreach about the organization and its message. At the executive level of the Teaching Peace Initiative is a team of college students from top universities around the country and a few high school seniors. These students are in charge of broad areas such as curricular development, finance, and communications, or serve as Senior Organizers in charge of working as the executive link to the regional TPI chapters. Spearheading all these students’ efforts is Executive Director Fish Stark, a Yale University student and one of the founders of TPI. The Teaching Peace Initiative strongly believes that the keys to solving bullying issues lie within the minds of students. TPI’s mission statement states in part that “[o]ur broader, overarching goal is to see instruction in the ideas of peace, compassion, and nonviolence become a part of every child’s learning experience, and to foster the growth of a generation of leaders who fully understand and can practice Adam McCann

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TPI's goal is to spread a message to the youth of the world: bullying can be fought and conquered.

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Events - 8

ECR Hosts Spring One-Day Event

Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign Catherine Zhang

Harry Petsios

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

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n March 15, 2014, JSA’s Empire Constitution Region (ECR) hosted its Spring One-Day Conference at the University of Connecticut. Despite a low attendance turnout, the event proved to be a large success, incorporating many resolutions related to education. Following Block I, former New York City Comptroller John Liu offered a keynote address. The address roused the interests of many of the JSAers present; they actively engaged the former comptroller, asking questions concerning education and city finances. Following lunch, convention attendees returned to a candidates forum. JSAers were given the opportunity to question the ECR mayoral/vice mayoral and NES gubernatorial/lieutenant gubernatorial candidates. After the conclusion of the convention, ECR Conference Coordinator Elvin Migirov issued a statement praising attendees for their participation. He said, “Each and every one of you contributed to the debates much more than the average JSAer, anywhere else, and that certainly made up for lower attendance.” ■

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

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his year, Texas JSA's primary activism campaign is anti-human trafficking. Action started at Texas JSA's Fall State, where members were given an overview of the issue stressed to be so prevalent in today's society. In one of the blocks, JSA members learned about forced prostitution and watched short clips from human trafficking victims. Members of the Activism department also handed out flyers with general trafficking information and the numbers to local organizations. Following the first initiative at Fall State, the campaign continued on in February, where JSA members volunteered with the Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition, where they learned about "fair trade". According to Aakash Saraf, Texas Gulf Coast Region mayor, "fair trade is a system of exchange that honors the producers and communities involved in the purchases. The systems requires corporations to give their workers fair pay, make sure no human rights are violated in getting these products and making sure the workers in the communities are being treated fairly." The goal of the volunteer event was to target organizations such as Starbucks, which have practices counter to fair trade practices. Members signed up to work letter writing campaigns, help plan events, or directly talk to Starbucks employees about what fair trade meant. Connor Burwell, Texas JSA's Director of Debate, notes that the event was important because "fair trade helps reduce human trafficking, and coffee production is one of the biggest areas of concern." Chapters such as Carnegie Vanguard and The John Cooper School have taken this cause into their own hands. Carnegie hosted a chapter letter writing session to urge political leaders to take action against human trafficking. The John Cooper School hosted a national anti-trafficking figure, Bradley Myles, at their school and are now starting to focus on promoting fair trade in their schools' second semester. Even reflecting back on all the progress that's been made, there is more action to come. At Texas JSA's annual Spring State event, Nicole Minor from Pangea--a certified non profit organization--will discuss fair trade and her work with female empowerment in Kenya. As Anna Merzi, Texas JSA Director of Activism, points out, "this concept is crucial in the fight against human trafficking as it strengthens women to be dominant forces of their own, decreasing the chance of them slipping into a trafficker's hands." There will also be two anti-human trafficking letter signings: first, to urge Congress to sign the UN Conventions on the Rights of Child, and second, to pressure Starbucks into adopting fair trade practices. It's looking like, with persistence and increased awareness, Texas JSA will be able to make a difference in fighting human trafficking.

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...fair trade is a system of exchange that honors the producers and communities involved in the purchases. The systems requires corporations to give their workers fair pay, make sure no human rights are violated in getting these products and making sure the workers in the communities are being treated

fairly.

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Staten Island Tech Chapter Conference Benjamin Lanier Staff Writer

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n March 30th, 2014, the Northeast State`s Staten Island Technical High School successfully hosted their Chapter Conference with an attendance of 90 delegates. Their conference "Forgive Me Father, For I Have Sinned" focused on debating and thinking about religion. Staten Island Tech opted for this theme because it was supposed to be their theme for a Chapter conference that ended up being cancelled a few years ago. Also, according to Co-Conference Coordinator Michael Abel, “Tech's chapter conference is known for being different, so that is a tradition that we wanted to uphold.” Their conference featured a “What Would Jesus Do?” thought talk, and also focused in on the situation of Jin Park, an undocumented immigrant, who is the Editor-in-Chief of the Northeast Region`s newspaper, The Patriot. The chapter conference had a “Society Through the Eyes of Jin Park” debate, where delegates discussed the status of America`s 11 million undocumented immigrants. The Chapter Conference also hosted "musical chairs" impromptu debates and JSA Trivia Pursuit: Religion Edition, during the activities block. During the candidates forum, the candidates for ECR Vice Mayor (Kayla Gitlin and Sam Shneyder), ECR Mayor (Michael Abel and Andrew Dobrich), Lieutenant Governor (Marissa Birne and Gary Dreyer), and Governor (Frank Kachmar, Cadence Neenan, and Karen Su) presented their ideas, platforms and experience within the NES. Their activism cause, "Bread of Life Food Drive," is a local food drive that benefited those in need throughout the city of New York. All attendees of the chapter conference were encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the activism cause. Although Staten Island Technical High School is part of the NES, their Chapter Conference also hosted chapters from the neighboring New Jersey Region. According to Mini-Conference Coordinator Elvin Migirov,"The success of the event was due largely in part to our unique and controversial theme, along with the work done by the conference staff."

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Staples High School Chapter Conference Benjamin Lanier

Tech's chapter conference is known for being different, so that is a tradition that we wanted to uphold. -Michael Abel The success of the event was due largely in part to our unique and controversial theme, along with the work done by the conference staff. -Elvin Migirov

Staff Writer

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n March 23th, 2014 the Staples High School JSA chapter hosted their annual Chapter Conference, and the first ever SciCon in the NES, with the record breaking attendance of 115 delegates. Debate topics ranged from environmental issues, medical and animal ethics, energy policy, and outer space exploration, and there was also a Science and Technology themed quiz bowl during the conference’s activities block. During the candidates forum, the candidates for ECR Vice Mayor (Kayla Gitlin and Sam Shneyder), ECR Mayor (Michael Abel and Andrew Dobrich), Lieutenant Governor (Marissa Birne and Gary Dreyer), and Governor (Frank Kachmar, Cadence Neenan, and Karen Su) presented their ideas, platforms and experiences within the NES. According to those who attended the event, the debates about free will and the universe were the most engaging. The most heated debates were about the compatibility of science and religion, and whether we should colonize the moon, communicate with extraterrestrials, or raise the minimum wage. The Chapter Conference also featured a unique and easy activism cause, the UNICEF TAP Project. The UNICEF TAP Project runs a website that detects when an individual picks up their cell phone, and for every 10 minutes that an individual goes without touching it, UNICEF donates water to people in need. The purpose of this activism cause was to raise awareness about the scarcity of potable water, and to get people thinking, “if it is so hard for me to go without a phone for 10 minutes, imagine how hard it must be for people to go without something as essential as water.” The activism cause was also related to the theme of human`s relationship with technology. Through the efforts of the participating delegates at the Chapter Conference, the UNICEF TAP Project managed to donate a week’s worth of water to people in need. According to Staples High School Chapter President Baxter Stein, “I think the success of the conference came from the engagement of the delegates as well as the great attendance. People were respectful and genuinely interested in the debates and got very into the activism cause."

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The most heated debates were about the compatibility of science and religion...wage.

...if it is so hard for me to go without a phone for 10 minutes, imagine how hard it must be for people to go without something as essential as water.

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

News - 12

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Snowden JRTIG Leaks

Bergen County Academies Holds Chapter Conference

Ahmed Shah Sj Hyman

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Staff Writer

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n Sunday, March 9th, 140 students from across the Mid-Atlantic State gathered together for the Bergen County Academies (BCA) chapter conference in Hackensack, NJ. Throughout the day, students engaged in debates centered on the theme “Revolution versus Reform.” The BCA chapter chose to focus their convention on different forms of government policymaking because delegates not only thought the topic was engaging, but also believed that it would be relevant today as Congress pursues new legislation to solve both domestic and foreign policy crises. The BCA chapter leadership believed that centering the convention around a galvanizing theme would encourage newer members to get excited and actually engage themselves in the debates. BCA chapter president, Maria Mendoza, thought that the chapter con's theme added to the quality of the debates and led to a successful convention. “We really wanted to make the conference about incredible debates, and made sure that everyone had an opportunity to speak by having diversified topics and styles,” said Mendoza. “…Every debate encouraged in-depth discussion delving into the roots of the matters at hand. I knew the event went well when delegates contacted me personally about the quality of debates and the involvement of (those who participated). The keynote of the convention was Joshua Leifer, BCA alumnius and former Lieutenant Governor of the MAS. Leifer is currently a freshmen at Princeton University, where he studies history and public policy. At Princeton, he serves as a junior editor of the Nassau Weekly, the politics writer for the Princeton Progressive, and a member of the Princeton United Left. One attendee of the conference, Steven Bradley, enjoyed Leifer’s speech and relayed that overall it was a positive experience. “I felt that the BCA conference was one of the best conferences that I have attended,” said Bradley. “Even though I had to wake up early in the morning and have my dad drive two hours just to arrive at the school, and I was the only member of my chapter attending, this was definitely worth my time. The debates I watched were very interesting and it was able to keep my interest. I also was able to have a great amount of fun being able to see and hang out with my friends from the NJR throughout the day. Maria and the rest of the members of BCA did a wonderful job planning the events and it was very organized.” The BCA chapter continues to thrive and looks forward to attending the final MAS convention of the year, Spring State, in the beginning of April. ■

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I felt that the BCA conference was one of the best conferences that I have attended.

-Steven Bradley

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Staff Writer

ndividual freedom is a threat to privilege, and thus has been continually attacked by those with exploitive interests. Individual welfare supersedes collective welfare given that collective welfare cannot be attained without the attainment of individual welfare. The violation of personal freedom for some “greater good,” is immoral, for autonomy is universally preferred, and a prerequisite for a society founded on ethical consistency. An apathetic populace, time and time again, acquiesces to immoral and abusive government policies that gradually reduce individual autonomy through idealistic and fallacious pretexts such as increased security. Supporters of status-quo government surveillance programs will always pull the, “If you have nothing to hide, why are you against it,” card, but they fail to see the very real abuses of information carried out by government agencies. The latest Snowden leaks have exposed legally questionable actions of the GCHQ, the NSA’s British counterpart. Documents about the GCHQ’s JTRIG -Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group – indicate its malicious agenda: government infiltration of dissident organizations and the defamation of their credibility. Inevitably, where there is power, there is exploitation. Such goals are abusive and clearly show a use of intelligence for personal, rather than national security interests. These types of programs only bring to light the blatant abuse of information intelligence agencies are able to commit. During the 60s, the FBI COINTELPRO, or Counter Intelligence Program was used, illegally, to infiltrate and disturb political organizations affiliated with the counter-culture movement. Today, these organizations have Glen Greenwald, the journalist who released the Snowden leaks, warned, “… these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats.” The intent of the JTRIG, according to the GCHQ, is “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” but the means through which these ends are achieved are morally reprehensible. The most alarming aspect of the leaks was the JTRIG’s “false flag operations,” which aimed to devastate the reputations of individuals and groups by posting false material on the internet and intentionally misattributing it to them. The leaked “DISRUPTION Operational Playbook” teaches agents that if they wish to “Discredit a target,” they may “Write a blog purporting to be one of their victims,” “Email/text their colleagues, neighbors, friends etc,” and “Change their (victim’s) photos on a social-networking site.” Even those who have nothing to hide should

be afraid of such unrestrained tyranny. Given the facts, we can reasonably conclude that one does not have to break a law for them pursue malicious ends. Because their long-term goals for social welfare differ from the government’s, even law abiding citizens should fear government programs such as these. If there is anything we can learn from these leaks, it’s that we cannot trust tyrannies of power – they simply don’t respect human rights of autonomy. The morality of a program is not even thought about when the pragmatics of bureaucratic administration comes into play. All individuals can really do is place the burden of proof on those in power and know that their actions need to be justified, if they are to be accepted policy. ■

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The intent of the JTRIG, according to the GCHQ, is “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” but the means through which these ends are achieved are morally reprehensible.

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

T-Shirt Controversy Rachel Donaldson Staff Writer

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federal appeals court recently ruled that the officials at Live Oak High School acted appropriately when they banned students from wearing patriotic clothing on May 5th, 2010. According to the court, the decision kept peace and safety during a climate of racial tension on a Mexican holiday. On May 5th, 2010, the principal of the high school demanded a group of students take off their American flag t-shirts. The students refused and soon after brought a civil rights suit against the administrators and the school, claiming that the administrators had infringed upon their rights to equal protection and freedom of expression. Court documents stated that the episode took place during “ongoing racial tension and gang violence within the school, and after a near violent altercation had erupted during the prior Cinco de Mayo over the display of an American flag.” Exactly a year before the incident, a group of students had hung an American flag from a tree and chanted “USA” while another group of students carried a Mexican flag. The judges struggled to determine which should be prioritized: safety or students’ right to freedom of speech. Eventually, the court came to conclusion that the school did have justifiable reason for ordering the American flag t-shirts removed, because “threats issued in the aftermath of the incident were so real that the parents of the students involved in the suit kept them home from school two days later”. The officials of the high school claimed that it was not simply the wearing of patriotic clothing on a Mexican holiday, but the students’ intent of sending a message that Mexicans were not welcome. Those who opposed the court's rulings argued that the mere possibility of sparking violence was not enough backup for the school officials’ action. Organizations including the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based American Freedom Law Center took up the case, and sued the school district and the high school. Attorney William Becker Jr, who represented the effected students, noted, “The 9th Circuit upheld the rights of Mexican students celebrating a holiday of another country over U.S. students proudly supporting this country. I am pretty astonished that, in this country, you can't express your patriotic freedom without offending people of other national origins.” The panel of three judges decided unanimously that past conflicts justified the school’s decision, and that schools have the ability to restrict certain civil rights in order to maintain safety on campus. Judge M. Margaret McKeown stated, “Our role is not to second-guess the decision to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration or the precautions put in place to avoid violence,” but the previous incidents “made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.” The judges cited a 1969 Supreme Court

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Arizona Bill 1062: It’s O.K. If Your Religion Says It Is.

Decision regarding the Tinker v. Des Moines case, which allowed schools to limit free speech if they expected interference or disruptions. Beyond legal disputes, many people are wondering why it is possibly unsafe to display an American flag in an American School. Volokh, from the UCLA school of law, elaborated on this important argument. “Somehow, we’ve reached the point that students can’t safely display the American flag in an American school, because of a fear that other students will attack them for it — and the school feels unable to prevent such attacks. Something is badly wrong, whether such an incident happens on May 5 or any other day.”

Court documents stated that the episode took place during “ongoing racial tension and gang violence within the school, and after a near violent altercation had erupted during the prior Cinco de Mayo over the display of an American flag.”

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Hannah Smilansky Staff Writer

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n Feb. 26 2014, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have had an appalling impact on the Arizona’s LGBT community members. This proposition, Senate Bill 1062, would allow business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian individuals on the basis of their religious beliefs. Once the Republican-led legislators approved the bill draft, Gov. Brewer quickly found herself pressured on both sides. She explained, “I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want…Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination." Brewer’s decision brought with it both cheers and criticisms. Alessandra Soler, the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, applauded Brewer for stopping what she calls a “disgraceful law.” Other businesses and corporations opposed the bill, because of its potential ramifications for Arizona’s economy and potential risk for discrimination lawsuits and boycotts. Companies like Apple, American Airlines, AT&T and Intel objected to the measure, and the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee also “expressed concerns.” On the other hand, Doug Napier, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom (an organization that helped write the bill) was not pleased. “Freedom loses when fear overwhelms facts and a good bill is vetoed,” said Napier. “Today's veto enables the foes of faith to more easily suppress the freedom of the people of Arizona.” The bills supporters argued that they have the legal right and religious freedom to act on their beliefs and oppose gay-rights. The role of religion in government and the legal extent of religious freedom has long been a controversial part of the lawmaking process. Aside from gay rights, other controversial issues like abortion and the death penalty highlight religion’s component in public life. When does protecting freedom of expression become enabling discrimination or bigotry? When does the protection of equality infringe on the right to a personal view or conviction? What are the limits of religious freedom, and how do we preserve them into law when our country contains so many different religious beliefs? In this type of scenario, perhaps it is our universal beliefs—the belief in equality and in human rights—that should influence our legal decisions.

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When does protecting freedom of expression become enabling discrimination or bigotry? When does the protection of equality infringe on the right to a personal view or conviction?

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Is California Running Out of Water? Jasmine Lee Staff Writer

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alifornia currently faces its worst drought in 100 years. Its water reservoirs hold an all time low amount of water, and major water river systems like the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers flow slowly. The federal water authority of the West, the Bureau of Reclamation reported that, “precipitation in the Sierra Nevada [is] historically low and the snow water content statewide stands at 29% of average for this time of year.” These water levels, combined with dry weather conditions, necessitates the construction of a dependable water supply for desperate Californian farmers and communities. On Jan. 17, California Governor Jerry Brown announced a state of emergency, calling all Californians to “conserve water in every way possible.” The state department released a statement on Jan. 28 that identified 17 communities in danger of running out of water within the next 60 to 120 days. These communities range from the Lompico County Water District in Santa Cruz County to the districts in Sonoma County. Furthermore, California’s main water system, the State Water Project, is not providing water to urban residents or farmers this year. This system, which supplies 25 million Californians and 750,000 million acres of irrigated farmland, supported around twothirds of the population. The Project system shut down is devastating for farmers in the agricultural center and local urban residents. The shut down leaves farmers dependent on local reservoirs, which are supplied by underground wells and recycled water. President Barack Obama visited the struggling farmers and communities in the San Joaquin Valley on Feb. 14, and brought a $183 million aid package, which includes not only assistance for struggling communities, but also compensation money for farmers who lost livestock due to the drought. The move sparked controversy from critics who declared the monetary handout a “short term solution to a long term problem.” Water conservation and the aid package are not enough to compensate for the farmers’ losses. The Associated Press reports that, “the Central Valley of California produces nearly one-third of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, and Fresno County leads the nation in agriculture. Ryan Jacobenson, executive director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau, estimated that 25 percent of the county's irrigated land will go unplanted this year.” In response to Central Valley farmers’ calls for immediate action, Democrats and Republicans proposed two different emergency bills. The Senate, which has a Democratic majority, offered up to $300 million in drought aid and 500,000 acre-feet of water directed from elsewhere in the state. The House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans, argued

that the government free up water with cut environmental protections and halted restoration of a driedup stretch of the San Joaquin River. Environmental protection groups erupted in outrage at the House’s bill that could revoke decade-long environmental laws for the interests of large agricultural corporations. As an alternative, Democrat senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer proposed a bill that provided $300 million for drought relief projects in an effort to keep environmental laws. Despite the warring bills, the issue is at a stand still as engineers and experts desperately seek alternative solutions for the multitude of problems. In the meantime, the demand for drillers has soared while jobs in the agricultural sector have diminished. Water companies have intensified their efforts to find new water sources – buying land, re-opening closed wells and drilling even deeper. Now the full impacts of drought on the economy and daily lives of Californians have not been completely felt, and future steps to secure reliable and environmentally friendly water sources remain uncertain.

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

West to East Comes Winter Storm Unleashed Keshan Huang Staff Writer

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rrr! The cold has set in again – this time, on a grand scale from coast to coast. The winter storm shut down highways, cancelled flights, collapsed roofs, cancelled Mardi Gras events and buried cities in heavy blankets of snow. The all-powerful storm system emerged in December from the West and induced unusually heavy rain before it made its way to the East, where it forcefully dropped all of its fury and frenzy. Slippery road conditions caused many accidents, such as a 100-car pileup in Bucks County, Philadelphia and a 104-car wreck on Denver, Colorado’s Interstate 25. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie remarked, “I encourage all New Jerseyans to drive carefully and remain off the roads if possible so that our first responders and public safety officials can safely respond to any emergency situations.” The winter storm left its mark on everything from slick roads to crumbled buildings to downed power lines; but the damage was more than physical. The winter storms also damaged the U.S. economy. According to the Federal Reserve, consumer spending fell dramatically in the last few months, slowing economic growth. For example, in Philadelphia and New York, the severe weather prompted low retail sales, low manufacturing rates, factory power outages and delayed postal service. In the chaos, more than one million cancelled and delayed U.S. flights have hurt the economy since December. According to masFlight, a software solution company working the airlines and their passengers, airports have lost nearly doubled their typical winter losses. On average, winter weather costs airports $2.9 billion in decreased productivity and expenses; this year, it cost them $5.3 billion. “This cumulative effect of the weather will have a big effect on profitability in the first quarter," said Gordon Bethune, the former CEO of Continental Airlines. The rain, snow and ice on sidewalks, roads and freeways resulted in the use of salt. Jersey City, which uses a mixture of salt, sand and liquid brine, has a high demand for salt, and West New York’s salt stock, which should be three quarters full, is empty. This unprecedented need encouraged the development of salt alternatives. For example, Polk County, Wisconsin replaced salt with cheese brine, a cheese waste product that functions at even lower temperatures than salt. But these remedies add to the financial problem brought by the storm. New Jersey, for instance, spent more than $82 billion from December through January to clear out snow and ice, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Winter storms always present challenges in sectors of infrastructure, economics, growth and stability. But as Governor Patrick McCrory of North Carolina said in response to this year’s monstrous winter storm, “We have not seen a storm like this in

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The winter storm shut down highways, cancelled flights, collapsed roofs, canceled Mardi Gras events and buried cities in heavy blankets of snow.

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

The Future of Organ Transplantation Laura Whelan Staff Writer

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8 people die every day while waiting for organ transplants. Over 121,000 are listed on the organ waitlist. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) created the current organ transplant system for living donation – altruistic donations from a living donor – and the list for posthumous donation – altruistic donation from someone recently deceased, as decided by the deceased or his or her family. However, UNOS’s system cannot do enough for the growing need for transplants. With life-saving organs scarce and colossally expensive, the organ transplant community is turning to science to find alternative methods to organ donation. Regenerative medicine took a huge step forward when a human lung was recently created in a laboratory for the first time. Researchers from Galveston, Texas received two donated children’s lungs. They stripped one lung to a scaffolding of collagen and elastin, placed cells from the other lung on the scaffolding and immersed the combination in nutrients. Four weeks after the lung was soaked in the liquid nutrients, which resembled Kool-Aid, an engineered human lung was formed. Joan Nichols, a researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch, described the advancement as a revolutionary move from “science fiction…into science fact.” The lab-made lungs look like normal lungs but are more soft and pink and less dense. The experiment was successfully repeated on two more lungs, but scientists estimate it will be another 12 years before the lungs will be available for transplant recipients. Until then, the organ waiting list continues to lengthen. But a future of lab-grown organs, no matter how distant, brings hope to many in an otherwise forlorn situation. While critics doubt the transplant success of laboratory-made organs, enthusiasts point out that other synthetic organs have been used for years. Doctors have successfully transplanted synthetic tracheas more than six times. However, synthetic organs are not the only alternative route to living or posthumous donation; xenotransplantation, transplants from animals and the 3-D organ printing are also being explored. Pig valves and ACLs are currently being transplanted into humans, but the ongoing ethics debate on killing an animal for its organs makes synthetic organs more appealing. Organ transplant innovations may not only increase the supply of organs, but also their lower costs. The 95,000 people who are awaiting donor kidneys are on dialysis, a painful machine that cleans the blood. In 2009, dialysis cost an average of $60,000 or $80,000 per year, 80% of which was typically covered by Medicare, while kidney transplants cost an average of $30,000 each. Scientific advancement with synthetic organs could increase supply and greatly reduce the number of patients on dialysis – decreasing cost for both patients and the government.

Bitcoin and You

Although the future of organ donation is uncertain, more must be done to quench the growing thirst for life-saving organs. Whether the answer lies in synthetic organs, an opt-in system for organ donation, kidney commodification or something else, we wait for a better solution for undependable life-saving procedures. It is up to science and society to spark a change and bring progress to organ donation and organ transplant research.

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While critics doubt the transplant success of laboratory-made organs, enthusiasts point out that other synthetic organs have been used for years.

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Keshav Sota

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Staff Writer

itcoin is a digital currency used for online payment. The beauty of Bitcoin is that you can pay small amounts of currency to people in other countries without having to pay currency conversion fees - say goodbye to Western Union! Bitcoin will not become universal, however, because there is only a limited supply of the currency. To date, 21 million "coins" exist on the market. Like gold, to get more Bitcoin, one has to digitally ‘mine’ them using several unorthodox digital methods. Many call Bitcoin the future of banking and assert that it has revolutionized the world’s economy. The introduction of crypto-currencies eliminates the borders of the world and makes international transactions simpler and more efficient. However, there are several inherent problems with Bitcoin that make its use dubious. The first aspect of Bitcoin that detracts from its usefulness is its unregulated nature. To many, the notion of an “unregulated” currency is quite appealing as it provides more freedom to consumers. No more having to deal with small fees, just a simple transaction. The problem with unregulated currencies, however, is that all exchanges remain completely clandestine. This assists people in using digital currencies such as Bitcoin for illicit purposes. Drugs, weapons, and humans can be sold online, with the seller and buyer both knowing that the transaction will be completely safe and invisible. The government does not have access to records of the exchange, as Bitcoin is unregulated. Vendors know that, as long as exchanges are done in Bitcoin, their bank records cannot be found. Another problem with Bitcoin is that the entire currency is based on speculation. According to Nicholas Colas, CEO of ConvergeX, 90% of investors in crypto-currency are speculators. That means that the value of Bitcoin can fluctuate sporadically. For example, though initially worth $1000 U.S. dollars, Bitcoin fell to $750 after the Chinese government announced that the currency would not be accepted in China. This volatile speculation has caused many investors to rise to gain immense sums of money while others teeter on the brink of poverty. A report by Boston University has found that the Bitcoin may depreciate by as much as 99% by the next decade. We, as consumers, can not trust an unreliable currency that is this inconsistent. Finally, the biggest problem of Bitcoin is that it is an insecure currency. In the modern age of technology, hackers are able to exploit practically anything that is online. From nuclear reactors to companies such as Target, hackers have proved that there is no site or program that cannot be broken into. Bitcoin is no exception to such exploitation. The debacle of Magic: The Gathering (Mt. Gox) truly depicts how susceptible Bitcoin is to hacks. Initially founded to exchange video game cards, the site slowly became a means for Bitcoin exchange. However, things took a turn for the worse when 8.75

million Bitcoins were stolen from the site. Using the current conversion rate, 1 Bitcoin is 614 dollars, so the founders of Mt. Gox lost over $5,374,000,000 dollars. In a single second, the website went from an immense success to a bust. Unable to account for the 750,000 Bitcoins of its users and 100,000 Bitcoins of its own ($474,000,000 USD), the company filed for bankruptcy. Similarly, Silk Road 2.0, established after its first owner went to jail, was hacked due to a bug in Bitcoin known as “transaction malleability.” Although I do see the potential that Bitcoin harbors, it is still too early to officiate it as a currency. There are several drawbacks that could lead to immense mishaps; it simply is not the time for us to experiment with a new form of currency. However, Bitcoin has paved a path for new technologies that could revolutionize the banking realm. ■

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The introduction of crypto-currencies eliminates the borders of the world and makes international transactions simpler....

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

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Thailand Protest Somnath Ganapa Staff Writer

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government elected by an election is unequivocally legitimate. This is the statement that Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is trying to instill in the minds of many discontented Thai citizens. Some may accede to this point; however, it is necessary to delve deeper into the machinations and corruption of the current government. Although Thailand has been labeled as a functioning democracy for the past 80 years, never before has there been such unrest and exasperation among its citizens. These feelings are consequences of Yingluck Shinawatra’s attempts to bribe the poor with money and tantalize the impoverished with populist reforms. Furthermore, throughout the election process, the current regime purchased various sources of media, keeping the general public unaware of its felonies. Once the Shinawatra regime assumed control through these unjust practices, it did not balk at committing injustices to maintain and further its control. The responsibility of a democratic government, in addition to being directed by the majority, is to protect the rights of the minority. However, the Prime Minster has gained control over the police and the attorney general through monetary means, effectively creating a police state. In such a condition, the country is vulnerable to a self-serving body of government that passes laws to benefit itself, paying no heed to the soft whimpers of the minority. Longing for a truly democratic nation, Thai citizens are engaged in impassioned protests. They have come to the police and military with flowers and pleas for freedom, only to be greeted by the indiscriminate spraying of tear gas. Additionally, there have been numerous occasions of gratuitous police violence meant to strike fear into the hearts of the common protestors. However, the protestors remain passionate, insisting that the Prime Minister step down, so that a genuine people’s council can be created. It is a pity that the Thai citizens have to deal with such flagrant corruption within their borders. However, such is the fate of developing countries. What does remain hopeful is the avenue for reform through the pathway paved by democracy. With a democracy, it would not be too optimistic to say that things will be resolved through the cries of the common man and the acknowledgement of all the atrocities committed by the Shinawatra regime.

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The responsibility of a democratic government, in addition to being directed by the majority, is to protect the rights of the minority. However, the Prime Minister has gained control over the police and the attorney general through monteary means...

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Uganda's Homosexual List Sankruth Kota Staff Writer

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ecently, in Uganda, a tabloid was printed that held severe consequences for gays in their country, essentially making it a crime to be homosexual. Aside from its release of harsh anti-gay laws, Uganda had gone as far as gathering lists of all the homosexuals in the country, featuring the peoples’ names, addresses, and alleged intimate details, allowing the government to press charges on the individuals. Discrimination of gays throughout a whole country is simply unjust and morally wrong. Sexuality should not determine the collective opinion of a whole country and their outlook on the rest of society and definitely shouldn’t be seen as a sin. Religion plays a major role in deciding whether or not it is right to accept gays within our country, but what people fail to realize is that each person is made differently from everyone else and part of this difference is that some people are gay. The fact that Ugandan society cannot accept this is indeed hurting those living in their country. People who are trying to reach out to gays and shield them from the wrath of society are also at risk of being imprisoned. It is truly disgusting and just inhumane how people are mistreated based on their sexuality in Uganda. Uganda’s actions had almost put a black mark on the country in the eyes of other countries. The rest of the world, including the United States, has begun to legalize gay marriage and allow gays to exist without any further consequence, but Uganda’s actions almost put a stop this type of progress, in turn affecting the progress that gays have been making in order for them to be heard and to represented equally amongst the society we live in. Gays are just like each and every one of us, and we shouldn’t be judging them and criminalizing their individual beliefs if they are not affecting or hurting anyone else. Uganda’s actions are in fact hurting the idea of creating a society where people are not judged based on their beliefs, sexualities, races and cultures. ■

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The intent of the JTRIG, according to the GCHQ, is “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” but the means through which these ends are achieved are morally reprehensible.

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Opinions - 22

Barbie Is Not the Problem, You Are

The Rise of the Blogger

In the same vein, Superman and G.I. Joe action Staff Writer figures are never criticized for their portrayal of the male body, which includes alarmingly broad shoulders and a six-pack any body builder would be jeallthough I am outright terrified of dolls since ous of. That is because these characters are not— and they remind of cadavers, I never had any problem with Barbie. It didn’t remind me of a should not be— seen as physical inspirations. dead body. I was so well aware of how unrealistic its Barbie has existed since the 1959, for close body was that I had no problem playing with it. The to 60 years, yet only recently are we seeing such a doll didn’t look real, I accepted that it wasn’t real, and spike in eating disorders. Granted, there was a lot less I didn’t think about it any further. Even more so, Barbie was never about the doll research on eating disorders in the 60s and 70s, but itself, for me at least. I couldn’t care less about the un- there are plenty of other, more valid aspects of our realistic body. All I cared about was the doll clothes— culture that body issues can be attributed to instead of a Barbie doll. 
 the long, shimmering dresses; trendy bathing suits; Do not blame these problems on a plastic figand cute winter outfits that I, a southern California ure that has existed long before body issues and low girl, never got to wear. As a child, I was significantly self-esteem and eating disorders became widespread more upset that I didn’t have a closet that paralleled issues. Barbie is not a scapegoat, and making allegaBarbie’s than I would ever be about not having eyes tions against a doll, of all things, is rather pathetic. half the size of my head as a teenager. 
 And furthermore, to address an underlying The fact of the matter is that Barbie is not fundamental societal problem, stop trying to find meant to be realistic. The purpose of the doll is not meant to be a physical inspiration for girls, but rather something wrong with everything and stop trying to create unnecessary problems. This goes for just about a medium for imagination, creative expression, and everything. ■ simple, innocent childhood fun. If your daughter’s self-esteem is so heavily influenced by a plastic figure, the real problem lies with your parenting ability, not with Barbie’s disproportionate figure and certainly not with Mattel’s marketing. In fact, the true purpose of the Barbie doll, and any sort of figurine in general, lies outside of its proportions, unrealistic or otherwise. In terms of cognitive development, renowned psychologist Jean Piaget argues that from the ages of 2 through 7, children are in the “preoperational stage” of development, where they learn and develop by representing the world symbolically, an action that is enabled by the Barbie doll itself. In terms of representation, a Barbie is similar to, although more complex and detailed than, a smiley face. We are all exposed to smiley faces— symbols of happiness and success— yet a smiley face never lowered anyone’s self-esteem or made someone think less of him or herself for having an imperfect smile. Children, especially young girls, do not learn to herald the Barbie doll for its figure, but rather use the doll as a way to learn about the roles of humans in society. That is why you can buy a Barbie that is dressed and equipped for a multitude of occupations, including doctor, astronaut, or military officer. Lilia Abecassis

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Do not blame these problems on a plastic figure that has existed long before body issues and low self-esteem and eating disorders became widespread issues.

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Catherine Zhang

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Staff Writer

n Netflix's riveting political drama House of Cards, novice journalist Zoe Barnes ascends to power when she develops an intimate relationship with House of Representatives Whip Frank Underwood. Zoe's career acceleration requires a heavy down payment, involving constant exploitation of her youth and sexuality, deleterious secrecy, and risky maneuvers. Meanwhile, Underwood capitalizes on his newfound control over the media and uses it to launch himself into the Vice Presidency. House of Cards is a telling story: those who utilize the strength of media and technology reach power through easier and less treacherous means. Take Ezra Klein. Similar to Zoe Barnes, Klein is a prolific young journalist. At 29 years old, Klein has made almost every "30 under 30" list out there— that is, a list of 30 notable individuals who are pioneers in their field. Klein is most known for his work with the Washington Post, where he managed a blog called Wonkblog that covered topics from health care to finance. In 2011, Wonkblog was the most widely read blog on the Washington Post. In January, Klein announced his departure from the Washington Post, after his terms for remaining there were rejected. Klein proposed the creation of an "independent, explanatory journalism website—with more than three dozen staffers," but the idea was rejected by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos and publisher Katharine Weymouth, presumably because the venture entailed a $10 million annual price tag. Instead, in a move that shook the media world, Klein partnered with Vox Media to create a new political site, taking several other veteran journalists with him. This is not an unusual occurrence: Klein is one of several notable journalists who have left the security of well-established enterprises for the freedom of new ventures, following the footsteps of the likes of Nate Silver, John Harris, and Jim VandeHei, the latter two leaving the Post in 2007 to create news site Politico. However, what makes Klein unique are his roots. Klein started blogging in February of 2003, during his freshman year of college. By 2004, he was one of few bloggers to be invited to the Democratic National Convention. By 2007, he was writing for the New Republic. By 2009, he started his job at the Washington Post. And he acheived all this while still in his twenties. Ten years ago, it would have been hard to fathom that blogging could be such a strong propellant to success. Indeed, the idea still seems strange now, evoking images of maudlin teenagers spouting their feelings to bored Internet strangers. However, the sudden rise of many media superstars can be attributed to this powerful tool. Take 25 year old Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, one of the most influential fashion blogs in the world. Like Klein, Medine also consistently appears on "30 Under 30" lists. In 2012, Medine

made Adweek's "Fashion Power 25," besting the likes of Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, and Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Magazine. Starting out as a young journalism major at The New School, Medine created Man Repeller at 21 while still living with her parents. Now, Medine has published a book, collaborated with several high-fashion shoe and clothing designers, and hired three full-time employees to assist her with her blog, all while garnering millions of views on Man Repeller. Activist bloggers have also been able to achieve widespread fame. Alexandra Goddard, a criminal justice blogger, brought the city of Steubenville to national attention after two football players were charged with raping a teenage girl. Frustrated with the popularity of Steubenville's football program resulting in citizens unwillingness to come forward as witnesses, Goddard scoured social media websites to discover information about the situation, then posted her conclusions on her website, prinnified. com. By doing so, Goddard saved crucial evidence in the case before it could be deleted and brought national scrutiny upon Steubenville. Had Goddard not posted the information on her blog, the story of the Steubenville rapes would have stayed within the confines of the city. Through this new form of journalism, little known, poorly connected individuals have experienced meteoric ascents to power. Unlike Zoe Barnes, individuals like Ezra Klein, Leandra Medine, or Alexandra Goddard didn't have a Frank Underwood to aid them. Through persistence and the help of blogging and social media, they were able to rise to unprecedented levels—just another example of how technology shapes the landscape of the world we live in. ■

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Ten years ago, it would have been hard to fathom that blogging could be such a strong propellant to success.

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THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Opinions - 24

Ukraine: The Standoff

Are Gun-Free Zones Really the Answer? Graham Smith Staff Writer

If thinking of ways to prevent tragic shootings, it seems only logical that so called “Gun-Free Zones” are a necessity. However, since the passage of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, there have been numerous fatal shootings in gun-free zones, like Sandy Hook, Columbine, Fort Hood and Aurora. Why is it that so many tragic shootings have occurred in gun-free zones? This was a “feel good law” that actually did nothing but disarm law-abiding citizens and create places filled with helpless victims. If guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are causing mass shootings, then why do we never hear about mass shootings at National Rifle Association conventions or gun shows? Even in the rare cases of shootings at these places, there have never been more than five people shot in comparison to the dozens that have died in school shootings. Many supporters of gun control argue that guns in schools might cause more chaos during a shooting, and students could be accidentally hit. While this might be true, the students would have a much higher chance of survival with a teacher who is equipped and trained with a firearm. Let’s take a moment to explore the thoughts of a potential shooter. If somebody plans to kill as many people as possible at one time, then chances are that they believe that they will either die that day or get a life imprisonment sentence. A criminal looking at a life sentence and possibly the death penalty is not going to care about the penalties for carrying a gun into a gun-free zone. The only people who care about the penalties are law-abiding citizens, who are now forced by law to leave themselves unarmed and vulnerable. Also, if a shooter is planning where to attack, he can choose between a gun-free zone, where he knows no one is armed and he can kill more people much more easily, or a regular location where citizens may be legally carrying guns. Why wouldn’t the shooter choose the gun-free zone every time? The whole idea behind gun-free zones is based on the false assumption that criminals obey the law. The truth is that they do not, and that is precisely what makes them criminals. According to Bloomberg Politics, there are 300 million more firearms in the hands of civilians today than there were in 2003, and murder has decreased by 17 percent since then. Clearly, there is no correlation between more guns and more crime, as illustrated by this trend. Just take a look at Chicago. In Chicago, concealed-carrying is banned, “assault rifles” are banned, and the sale of firearms within city limits is banned. Despite all these laws, Chicago still has one of the highest crime rates in the country. In 2012, there were 500 homicides, and 435 of them involved

guns. To put this into perspective, in Dallas in 2011, there were only 133 homicides, yet Texas has some of the least restrictive gun legislation in the country. It appears that the real problem is gun control itself. As gun-rights proponent Andrew Breitbart said, “We should be practicing how to use guns to defend our lives and the lives of our loved ones rather than practicing how to flee, ‘shelter in place,’ or hide in fear until the police can find and protect us.” I would like to end with the tragic story of Suzanna Hupp. On October 16, 1991, Hupp was eating lunch with her parents at Luby’s (which was then a gun-free zone) when a madman drove his truck into the restaurant and began to shoot people. Suzanna had a firearm in her car, but chose not to bring it in to the restaurant in order to avoid breaking the law. When Suzanna went to grab her gun, she remembered that she had left it in her car. Her father tried in vain to stop the gunman with nothing more than a butter knife and salt shaker, and was shot. Her mother refused to leave his side, and eventually the gunman calmly walked over to her and shot her in the head. That day, 23 innocent people died and 27 more were wounded. Luckily, Suzanna managed to escape, but to this day, she regrets leaving the gun in her car. Just imagine the lives that could have been saved if she had chosen to take the gun with her. Imagine the lives that could’ve been saved if gun-free zones did not exist. ■

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Harry Petsios Staff Writer

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n recent weeks, violent protests have taken Ukraine by the reigns, swiftly guiding the country into a state of anarchy and chaos. These protests, largely based around the capital city of Kiev, seek to remove Russian influence from the westward-thinking country. With fortune beginning to favor the protesters, a backlash erupted from reactionaries in eastern Ukraine. These reactionaries, alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin and ousted Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych, sought to preserve Russian influence. Despite the level of severity and disorder present, the United States remains largely idle in the face of the Ukrainian’s plight. The roots of this ordeal are purely geopolitical. Even a commoner can recognize the issue Ukraine faces: two ethnic groups exist within the same borders. Any population map of Ukraine demonstrates this fine division, which neatly splits the country in half along a north-south axis. Historically, Ukraine was home to the medieval kingdom of Kievan Rus’, the cradle of the Russian people. As the kingdom’s name may suggest, Kievan Rus’ centered largely around Kiev, its capital. In later centuries, Russian influence migrated eastward, leaving in its wake a string of Slavic kingdoms. With the birth of the Soviet Union, Russo-Ukrainian relations began to decline into a state of animosity. As early as 1932, Russian animosity towards Ukraine manifested itself in the Holodomor. This mass-starvation genocide, composed by Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, took the lives of millions of Ukrainian peasants. Since then, the Ukrainians have felt misused and alienated by the Russian people. The history behind Russo-Ukrainian relations justifies the quest for western influence. After decades of influence from the corrupt, fraudulent Russian state, Ukrainians now want to follow the footsteps of Peter the Great towards westernization. Across the world, legislators speculate that Ukraine’s westernization will begin with entrance to the European Union. However, the European Union may hesitate in accepting Ukraine as a member state. Despite Ukrainian enthusiasm, it is vital that the chaos at home be resolved before entering the E.U. To me, the solution is obvious: partition. To many politicians, the notion of partition evokes a sense of horrible disunion. At the same time, however, it offers the only plausible resolution to the Ukrainian dilemma. To admit Ukraine into the European Union without settling the gripes of the protesters is to place a political Band-Aid over the conflict. It is irresponsibly negligent to assume that there will not be further conflict between the Russians and Ukrainians. Such carelessness harks back to the age of Metternich, a period of European history in which nationalistic pride awoke the wrath of numerous

dissenters. Even profuse political prowess couldn’t save Europe from this turmoil for long. Within thirty years, the adhesive on Metternich’s political BandAids dissipated, and Europe was once again engulfed in revolution. It has become apparent that the western half of Ukraine seeks westernizatio,n and the east seeks Russification. Although a line of partition will leave Ukraine landlocked and vulnerable to bankruptcy, it will also remedy decades of hostility. The loss of Ukrainian economic assets in the Crimea and Tartar regions will be more than surmounted by the preservation of life. Many European politicians remain concerned about the prospect of welcoming a financially unstable country to Europe. Despite the presence of several such countries already, the E.U.’s argument is further nullified by the possible benefits of accepting Ukraine as a member state. Among these benefits are the openings of European markets to Ukrainian manufacturers, a diversification in Ukraine’s economy, and stronger social relations as a single European entity. As the European Union and the United States stand by idly, however, Russian military forces under the orders of Vladimir Putin have begun to intervene in the eastern half of Ukraine. By allowing such an infringement of Ukraine’s sovereignty, President Obama and the E.U. are practicing the same type of appeasement that was granted to Hitler decades earlier. The time for idleness is behind us; President Obama made a commitment to punish Russia for intervention, and he must now live up to that promise. As a country and a member of the international community, we cannot allow Russia to seize power. We cannot abandon the principles of self-determination. Ukraine is on a path to western democracy, and to allow Russia to drag Ukraine back into the darkness of corruption is an immense disservice to the freedom-fighting protesters. ■


Opinions - 25

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Opinions - 26

Switzerland and the Minimum Wage Andrew Laberee Staff Writer

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witzerland currently has no national minimum wage – a surprising fact considering that a vote to adopt world’s highest minimum wage is scheduled for May 2014. Even without a definitive minimum wage, Switzerland still has the highest average monthly income (almost $8,000 USD in 2011), but strong support from the SGB (a Swiss trade union) and the Socialist Party made it clear that the 22 francs/hour minimum wage is an issue for the voters to decide on. The Swiss government has made clear and strong statements advocating against the bill, but a sufficient amount of signatures on the proposal made this issue into a public referendum for the citizens of Switzerland to vote on. In November 2013, 65% of Swiss voters voted against a referendum to insure that the yearly salary of a low-wage worker was never equal to the monthly salary of a top executive (this is also known as the 1:12 ratio bill). In late 2013, the youth section of the Social Democrats began pushing a petition for the world’s highest minimum wage and eventually gained support from the largest trade union in Switzerland and the European Socialist Party. In Switzerland, a petition is eligible for a public referendum once it has garnered 100,000 signatures. The petition just reached 100,000 signatures, and is being voted on in May 2014. It is interesting to note, that the Swiss government and its economists have come out against the bill, reminding citizens that “the poorest suffer most, if jobs are being cut,” and urging them to vote “no.” While the Swiss government cites the economic risk of the bill, many citizens blame the system of referendum itself. With a system only requiring 100,000 signatures for a petition to become a national vote, there is an inherent risk of being forced to address far-fetched ideas. Although the strong and restless support from labor groups and lobbyists might get a 100,000 signatures, convincing the rest of Switzerland may prove more difficult. Some question how economically sound the policy is but concerns about the cause losing steam may be more reasonable. The absence of an official minimum wage, the high average monthly income, and the strength of the labor groups in Switzerland make this a truly complicated issue. All eyes are on Switzerland as their citizens get ready to vote in or out the highest minimum wage in the world, because in fact what they may be doing is casting their vote on the efficacy of referendums. Although the Swiss have a high cost of living, their healthcare and college tuition are almost 1/2 of a young American can expect to pay. The fact that the 22 franc per hour minimum wage has garnered 100,000 signatures might speak to the power of the unions and the socialist party. America and European countries are taking notes as this situation unfold

Don’t Hate, Advocate

in Switzerland. Most Swiss citizens understand the market forces in play and the potential loss of jobs if this record-breaking minimum wage passes. The Swiss voters have a tough decision – will they support the world’s highest minimum wage, or will they adopt a more fiscally conservative policy? ■

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The Swiss voters have a tough decision – will they support the world’s highest minimum wage, or will they adopt a more fiscally conservative policy?

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Jackie Salzinger Staff Writer

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’m going to make a few assumptions in this article. First, I’ll assume you’re a teenager, specifically a high school student. Second, I’ll assume that like most teenagers, you, at some point, have found yourself sitting in class ruminating on the depths to which you despise your school. Whether it’s that one teacher whose unfair grading policy drives you nuts, a ridiculous workload coupled with an early start time, or a nagging feeling that what you’re learning won’t apply to your career or future in any way, teenagers always have at least one justifiable bone to pick with the people running their education system. As a Junior Statesman, I bet you have not merely thought “I hate school,” but more importantly, “I bet this place would be better if I were in charge.” Luckily for you (or maybe not, depending on your views on how the education system should be structured), there are various layers of bureaucracy and government at which you as a student advocate can get involved with education reform. I personally have had experience with student advocacy at almost all of these levels, and based on the assumptions I have made about you (all of which also apply to me), I’d like to share some advice and observations on how you, too, can make a difference. Your School

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The easiest way to take control of your education is to realize that the decision-makers who most affect you are in the same building as you are. Student advocacy can be as simple as talking to your teacher about things they could be doing that would help you learn better, which is the end goal, after all! For example, if your whole class feels they’re going to fail an upcoming test, be the leader who tells your teacher that there is a problem and asks for extra review. Outside of the classroom, you can advocate for student interests to your school administration. Befriend your principal – more often than not, you’ll find that administrators are happy to talk to a bright, engaged student like yourself as long as you’re not unnecessarily antagonistic. Also, from my experience, chats with my principal have been extremely helpful in understanding how district and state policies affect my own school. Your District That brings us to the next tier of educational bureaucracy: your school district. This is where school really starts to look like government. Your district will likely have a School Board of former educators and community parents who oversee executive district operations, discussing everything from budget appropriations to Title-IX complaints. Though this changes from state to state, your district

also likely controls the rate and depth of implementation of state requirements (e.g. state testing or Common Core). Advocacy at the school district level is definitely doable for students. For one, your School Board meetings probably have some form of public comment time where they listen to questions and concerns raised by community members – including students! If your district doesn’t have them already, you can also suggest that your board establish permanent “Student Representative” positions to assure student input in major decisions. If you have a concern about some of the aforementioned topics, your district is probably the place to start. Your State American federalism has largely left education up to the states, so if you want to talk about big, broad reform, the state capitol is your best bet. Funding schemata for education change from state to state; in some places, most money comes from local property taxes, and in others, it’s mostly routed through state government. Regardless, if it’s the chronic underfunding of schools that keeps you up at night, you should give your state legislators a call. Education lobby groups are also always looking for intelligent students to make their case (from my experience, most people lobbying for reform are pathos-driven parents, and this becomes cliché in the eyes of legislators). Student advocacy can be as simple as setting up a meeting with your state legislator or as intense as seeking out internships with education lobby groups. States, plural Like it or not, education is something that has historically been left up to the states, so one’s ability to advocate change on the federal level is probably limited, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s at least worth noting that the federal government provides some funding, especially for particular programs, i.e. special education. More than that, though, every single state in the Union is falling behind in education compared to the rest of the world; it’s important to express to lawmakers of all scopes that education is a priority issue. These are only a few of the myriad ways that you can get involved with student advocacy. From my experience, the implicit rhetorical statement made when students advocate for their own educations is extremely powerful. It’s one thing when parents or teachers speak on behalf of students – it’s another when we speak for ourselves. Most of us as high schoolers don’t yet have the vote (which is probably why you hear social security talked about so much more often than schools), but that doesn’t mean we have to be silent. As Junior Statesmen, we have an obligation to be those student leaders who don’t just complain about school, but seek to change education for the better. ■


Opinions - 27

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

4 Things Satya Nadella Needs to Do Rohan Marwaha Staff Writer

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s the tech giant, Microsoft , faces massive changes in leadership, stock holders hope that Microsoft can return to its position as Number 1, in the tech world. Former CEO and Microsoft visionary, Steve Ballmer, stepped down after 14 years of holding the position of CEO. Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, has also stepped down from his position of Chairman. Microsoft employees and customers are left to wonder, “What is the future of this company? Can Satya Nadella turn it around?” What should Satya Nadella do to turn it around?

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• Spend Like Crazy. Microsoft already spends the most out of any company on R&D (Research and Development), but for some reason, their latest innovative productive, is the eco-friendly mouse/keyboard combo which is not really the most lucrative of ideas…

• Focus on Nokia. Microsoft purchased the mobile division of Nokia for 7.3 billion dollars. Considering, that Microsoft doesn’t manufacture its own mobile devices, this is a great opportunity. The world is slowly becoming dependent on mobile devices. Mobile devices control everything from bank accounts to movie tickets. Considering the very limited XBOX Live app store on Windows devices, Satya Nadella should strive to greatly expanding that. A larger app store would attract many more customers to the flashy Windows mobile device market. ■

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Syria Will Worsen Over Next Decade Jack and David Cahn Editor in Chief, Guest Writer

• Go Bezerk. Niccolo Machiavelli once said, “It was better to be feared than loved.” Satya Nadella needs to cut down on his workforce. With over one hundred thousand employees, Microsoft is an extremely large company. Satya Nadella should lay off large amounts of Microsoft employees to instill fear into the minds of the remaining workforce. You never want people to get too comfortable with their job. You always need to keep them on their toes, that way they perform at optimal levels.

• Have fun. Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft after all. This was a company that revolutionized the world. He needs to invest in strange, out-of-this world things. He needs to have a Google mindset. Google is currently investing in autonomous cars. These kinds of investments have two benefits: the slight chance that the aforementioned technology really takes off and advertisement. When people read about companies investing in these future technologies, companies receive free advertising.

Opinions - 28

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Satya Nadella should lay off large amounts of Microsoft employees to instill fear into the minds of the remaining workforce.

He needs to invest in strange, out-of-this world things. He needs to have a Google mindset.

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On Thursday, March 5, experts told the Senate foreign relations committee that “the likeliest scenario is that which the US intelligence community now predicts, which is the war continuing for another decade or more.” The death toll, now at 140,000, continues to climb. Chemical weapons have not been removed. Progress is increasingly unlikely as chaos continues to envelop the unstable country. Just this Tuesday, March 4th, Assad won a major victory against the rebel groups, taking control of their most strategic military stronghold. As Assad rebuilds his oppressive regime and kills off rebel forces, the US can do virtually nothing to stop him. Yabroud was the last stronghold held by Sunni Muslim rebel forces. Since November, Assad’s forces aided by Shiites in Lebanon have besieged the city. Meanwhile, the city’s Sunni population wholeheartedly supported the rebel cause. Security officials believe that Lebanese Sunnis have been offering logistical support to the rebels in Yabroud since the beginning of the siege. This Tuesday, March 4th, Assad forces, aided by Hezbollah fighters and local paramilitary groups, broke through the rebel stronghold, seizing control of the town and forcing the Syrian rebels to retreat. Syrian helicopters dropped barrel bombs and laid waste to the once powerful city. Not only is this military loss devastating to the weak rebels, but it has destroyed their morale. Even more importantly, it has cut off crucial supply lines to Lebanon and weakened the rebel’s organizational structure and ability to engage in coordinated operations. Already, 13,000 refugees have fled Yabroud to Arsal, a city in Northeastern Lebanon which is dominated by Sunnis and has become a crucial base for the rebels. Arsal, which has not only been used to keep weapons and munitions but also to treat wounded rebel forces, is surrounded by Shiite cities and is vulnerable to attack, security officials say. What’s really frightening, however, isn’t Assad’s success against the rebels; it is his ability to deceive the west and avoid giving up his chemical weapons to the international community. For six months now, Syria has delayed releasing its chemical weapons. Under the agreement Syria signed with the United States and our allies, Syria was to hand over its deadliest chemical weapons by January 1st. By February 6th, the rest of the weapons were supposed to be removed. Neither deadline was met. Now, one month later, Syria has only turned over ⅓ of its chemical stockpile. Its delay tactics have not resulted in sanctions or reprimands. In fact, Syria’s failure to abide by international law is seemingly so insignificant to the West, that it hasn’t even received significant press coverage. This is worrisome for two reasons. First, an Assad with chemical weapons is dangerous. Assad has shown his brutality and willingness to commit human rights atrocities. But second, it demonstrates a lack of willingness by the Assad regime to cooper-

ate with the international community in any way. The situation in Syria will only get worse. Foreign policy experts in Washington warned on Thursday that the war in Syria will “grind on.” Propped up by Vladimir Putin and Iran, President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are increasingly formidable. Joined by jihadist groups from Lebanon and abroad, they are flooding the battlefield and tearing the country apart. “It is now clear that Assad’s fall is not the inevitability that many analysts believed a year ago,” said analyst Daveed Gartenstein-Ross. He explained to the Senate foreign relations committee that Assad’s position has been reinforced by munitions and money from Iran and Russia as well as by his decision not to fight against militant groups, whose presence has deterred Western support for the rebel forces. ■

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It is now clear that Assad’s fall is not the inevitability that many analysts believed a year ago.

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Opinions - 29

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Don't Celebrate El Chapo's Arrest Jack and David Cahn Editor in Chief, Guest Writer

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ntil Saturday February 22, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, boss of the Sinaloa Cartel, was the most powerful and feared drug lord in Mexico. Based on intelligence that El Chapo had, after13 years in hiding, started to come down from his mountain hideouts, a joint operation run by Mexican marines and DEA officials from the United States was able to capture and arrest him. The world is celebrating. "This is the most significant arrest of a drug trafficker in decades," Mike Vigil, the former head of international operations for the DEA, told Time magazine. But is this really cause for celebration? A meta-analysis of 306 studies by the Urban Health Research Initiative, found that analogous to the case of alcohol prohibition in the United States, strict enforcement of drug policies in Latin America has only increased violence and organized crime. Four causal pathways support this logic. First anti-drug policies increase functional specialization. Maher and Dixon in The Cost of Crackdowns explain that “Intensive policing encourages the development of more organized, professional and enduring forms of criminality [by] increasing the complexity and sophistication of the market, [which] encourage[s] functional specialization and hierarchical differentiation.” Second, anti-drug policies increase territorial disputes. Professor Goldstein at the University of Illinois writes that drug enforcement disrupts drug markets, leading to an increase in violent crime as drug dealer's fight over turf and market share. Third, crackdowns create geographic stratification. Professor Rasmussen of Florida State University finds that increased drug enforcement forces

cartels to spread out, increasing number of cities where they wreak havoc. Fourth, crackdowns result in the relocation of police resources. Benson, President of the University of Colorado, writes that as the police re-allocate their resources to deal with drug crimes, criminals commit more violent and property crimes because they believe that the police are focusing on "other criminals." He shows that increasing drug arrests were associated with a fivefold increased risk of violent and property crime, even after controlling for confounding variables. These findings are empirically quantified. Kevin Casa of The Brookings Institute writes that "35,000 people may be dying in Latin America yearly as a result of the black market in drugs that the current policies render into existence." Since the Merida Initiative was started in 2007, Mexican violence has increased eightfold: In 2007, there were 2,680 drug-related homicides in Mexico, this jumped to 6,837 in 2008, 9,614 in 2009, and 15,413 in 2010, according to data released by the Mexican government. Drug-related homicides increased 60 percent in 2010, and 11 percent in 2011. On a whole, prohibition-related violence has led to the death of more than 60,000 people since 2006, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, and has spread from roughly 46 municipalities in 2007 to 225 today. Meanwhile, human rights abuses have increased by 900 percent. Decapitation of cartels leaders has been a major part of U.S. anti-drug strategy, but cartels have reacted to the loss of their leaders by fragmenting, rather than disappearing. In 2006, there were just six major cartels operating in Mexico; by 2010 that number had doubled, according to Nexos magazine. Local trafficking organizations exploded during the same time frame, from 11 to 114. This violence is spilling over into the United States: According to the U.S. Justice Department,

Opinions - 30

THE JUNIOR STATEMENT Issue 5 .

Don't Celebrate El Chapo's Arrest Mexican cartels now operate in over 1,000 US cities. Sylvia Longmire writes for CNN that the tens of thousands cartel members in America are a bigger national security threat than even terrorism. Esquire magazine quantifies the current American death toll due to the war on drugs at 6,487. Heroin: According to six former Presidents and other world leaders, worldwide supply of heroin has increased by “more than 380 percent in recent decades, from 1000 metric tons in 1980 to more than 4800 metric tons in 2010. This increase coincided with a 79 percent decrease in the price of heroin in Europe between 1990 and 2009.” According to the Drug Policy Alliance, “similar evidence of the drug war's failure to control drug supply is apparent when US drug surveillance data are scrutinized. For instance, despite a greater than 600 percent increase in the US federal anti-drug budget since the early 1980s, the price of heroin in the US has decreased by approximately 80 percent during this period, and heroin purity has increased by more than 90 percent. Recent estimates suggest that Mexican heroin production has increased by more than 340 percent since 2004.” Cannabis: According to the Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, “when cannabis, the drug that has been the central focus of the US government's decades-long war on drugs, is considered, the results have been the same. Specifically, the potency and inflation-adjusted price of cannabis in the US has declined by 33 percent while its potency has increased by 145 percent since 1990.” In fact, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has concluded that “over the last 30 years of cannabis prohibition, the drug has remained "almost universally available to American 12th graders, with between 80 percent and 90 percent consistently reporting that the drug is 'very easy' or 'fairly easy' to

obtain.” Cocaine: The Global Commission on Drug Policy's report furthers that “through a variety of initiatives, the United States has directed considerable resources toward disrupting the cocaine trade. Plan Colombia, for example, was a multibillion dollar investment in the eradication of coca crops in Colombia through aerial and manual eradication, military training and support, and other means. Nevertheless, despite steady increases in the U.S. budget for international supply reduction and counter-narcotics activities, the purity of cocaine has remained persistently high, while the purity- and inflation-adjusted price of cocaine in the U.S. has concurrently dropped by more than 60 percent during this period.” In conclusion, killing kingpins like El Chapo and cracking down on drug cartels increases violence and increases the quantity of drug trafficking. ■

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Recent estimates suggest that Mexican heroin production has increased by more than 340 percent since 2004.

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April 2014 Junior Statement  

This is the official publication of the Junior State of America

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