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volume 105 . issue 2 . Nov. 6, 2012 Kearney High School


Many changes have been made throughout the state and nation including saying The Pledge of Allegiance in public schools in Nebraska and the repeal of the Pentagon's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy barring homosexuals from openly serving in the U.S.military. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

Table of Contents Pledge of Allegiance The state now requires The Pledge of Allegiance to be recited daily in all public schools.

Student Rights Student rights on public school property has been a long-debated issue.

Philanthropy Philanthropy in Kearney has come to light with the recent death of Carol Cope and the opening of the new wing of Good Samaritan Hospital.

Global Warming The facts about global warming are revealed along with ways to combat the issue.

Graffitti The modern movement of graffiti has become a distinct art form in large cities across the nation.

Editor: Asst. Editors: Advisor: Technology: Advertisement:


Lauren Mimick Victoria Heineman Cassie Kernick Chris Johnson Tiffany Valleau Leslie Wilson Cierra Graf Tori Olson Railen Ripp Michaela Rost Cassidy Sostad

3 4 6 8 10 Senior Reporters: Junior Reporters:

page designer lauren mimick

Broadcasting Class Kearney High has a new broadcasting class where students write, film and edit videos to be shown during Bearcat Time.

Power of YouTube YouTube’s ability to make videos highly publicized has skyrocketed since the creation of it in 2005.

Government Policies

Government policies such as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell are becoming more controversial as the presidential election nears.

Elections On November 6, both local and state elections are taking place.

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The ECHO Kearney High School 3610 6th Avenue Kearney, NE 68845 308-698-8060

Sullivan Moore Sophomore Reporter: Megan Hoyt Graphic Designer: Ashlyne Meseure Brianna Humphrey Christa Lovitt Dayna Schultz Jaydn Trimble Keona Koster McKenna Smith Sami Cromer Savanna Nelson Shelby Janke Tara Jamison

Alex Green Cait Graf

The Pledge of Allegiance by Ashlyne Meseure What is America? It is different for every person. To some it is an independent, patriotic country where the people are free, and to others it is a nation where people work together for the common good. One thing for sure is that America is a baseball and apple-pie loving country full of people who are proud of where they live. Francis Bellamy and his cousin Edward Bellamy wrote The Pledge of Allegiance in 1892. The original Pledge was “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” It was to be quick and to the point. It was later changed to say “the Flag of the United States” so immigrants would not be confused between the United States and where they were originally from. Louis A. Bowman added the words “under God” in 1954 because he said it came from Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”. There is now a debate over whether it abides by separation of church and state. People believe when it says “under God,” it establishes favoritism for one religious belief. The Common Good Foundation believes, “The Pledge of Allegiance does not mandate a religious belief in God, establish a religion, or constitute a government endorsement of a religion. Rather, it is an affirmation of allegiance to a nation, which descries itself as being ‘under God.’ If an individual does not believe in God, they can still be a loyal citizen of a republic that does.” He proposed that all schools should have an American Flag in each classroom and students should recite The Pledge of Allegiance. One way to show patriotism is being respectful when The Star Spangled Banner is being sung or when The Pledge of Allegiance is being spoken. Some examples of being respectful include taking hats off, placing hands over heart and being quiet while it is being recited. Schools are now required to set aside time daily for The Pledge of Allegiance to be recited under a new rule approved by the Nebraska Board of Education. This rule will apply only to public school districts and not to private schools accredited by the state. State board candidate Bob Van Valkenburg of District 26 believes that even if a student does not say it, they should still stand and be quiet. He also thinks that the students who do not recite it should have to write a fifty-word essay on what it means to be an American. In a recent unscientific survey given to Bearcat Time students, students were asked if they believed that it was right to say The Pledge of Allegiance in school. Approximately 82% of the responses were yes. Sophomore Lydia Taylor said, ”Yes, the soldiers do so much for us. We should show some respect to them.” In addition,18% of these students had the answer of no. One anonymous student said, “No, because it says ‘God’ and some people may not believe in God or they may be part of another religion.” Another question asked on this survey was, “If you do not say The Pledge of Allegiance, why?” At least 30% of students who completed the survey said they do not say the Pledge. Their reasons vary. “Do you feel the state is forcing students to say The Pledge of Allegiance?” was the third question the students responed to. Approximately 84% of the survey takers do not think the state is forcing students to say it. One anonymous student said, “No, it is clearly stated that those who choose not to, can sit respectfully.” The final question of this survey asks, “Do you feel it is necessary to say The Pledge of Allegiance?” At least 56% of the students who completed the survey thought that it was necessary to be said and 44% did not. Junior Cassidy Sostad said, “No—but I think it is respectful to say it in regards to the soldiers who fight for us.” Even with all the controversy, The Pledge of Allegiance is something that brings the people of America together for the betterment of the country.

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At four years old, parents make all the decisions. At 24, almost all decisions are made alone. However, in high school, there is no four or 24. It is just some crazy land in between. Legally, financially, medically and morally, parents are responsible for their teens until age 18. They have the right to know who, what, when, where, why and pretty much anything else. Most teenagers would say, “Mom, Dad, I’m not three anymore. I can take care of myself,” but the truth is, teenagers do not have a clue. Although they would like to think of themselves as ‘adults’ or ‘mature enough to do stuff alone’, it is often not the case. Adolescence comes with listening to authority, which is hard for most to take in. In the book of teenage life lessons, #420 is limited rights to privacy. Parents expect to be able to know everything about what is going on, so do not expect much sympathy. Although there are a lot of rules for teens, there are also more responsibilities, and responsibility involves making decisions, such as giving into peer pressure, which could lead to bad choices. Teens hate being preached at, especially when they think they are being told what to do. In fact, they often do the exact opposite of what they are told. Shocking, right? It is like a dog chasing its tail. Most dogs know it is attached to them, but they keep chasing it just for fun, even though it will not get them anywhere. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, sixty percent of high school students in the nation said they attended a “drug-infected” school, where drugs are used or sold on school grounds. Fortyfour percent of students said they personally knew a student who sold drugs. Ninety-one percent said marijuana was the drug that was sold and twenty-four percent said it was prescription drugs that were sold. The researchers looked closely at the role of social media in teen substance use and found seventy-five percent of surveyed 12 to 17-year-olds said seeing pictures of teens partying with alcohol or marijuana on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace encourages them to party. Almost eleven million teens said they have seen such pictures online and said that it seems like the teens are having a good time. Teens who have seen these pictures were found to be four times more likely to have used marijuana, more than three times likelier to have used alcohol and almost three times more likely to have used tobacco ( These numbers continue to grow every day. Teenagers’ responsibilities can cause a lot of stress on them, which often leads to sadness or depression. This usually affects life at school. Then, not only are there worries about rules at home, but rules at school as well. Most kids would say, ‘This is stupid’ or ‘I’m not doing that’ when confronted with regulations on school grounds. For instance, at Kearney High School there is a ‘No Hats’ rule in effect. This rule mostly applies to boys, but hats are not allowed to be worn inside the school.


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There is also a rule at KHS that prohibits food or drink from outside vendors. This rule continues to be broken. Students come in from lunch with their drinks still in hand, and get told to throw it away. Most likely, there will always be those rebels who would have their drink in hand. Generally speaking, the Constitution applies equally to everyone. However, minors are a special category of person, and in many cases, the rights of minors can be supressed in ways that the rights of adults may not be. For example, in the Hazelwood School v. Kuhlmeier case, students were banned from putting certain stories in their school newspaper. The Supreme Court ruled that articles in the school newspaper that were counter to the educational mission of the school were subject to censorship. In the Morse v. Frederick case, high school principal Deborah Morse suspended 18-year-old Joseph Frederick after he displayed a banner reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus� across the street from the school during the 2002 Olympic Torch Relay. The court held 5-4 that the First Amendment does not prevent educators from suppressing student speech at a schoolsupervised event that is reasonably viewed as promoting illegal drug use. Certain rules, like in the previous cases, overrule rights that students have. There are so many rules in this world that it is hard to remember them all. But no matter how unnecessary they may seem, there is always a reason.

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an alruistic concern for human welfare and advancement.

BY TIFFANY VALLEAU Twenty seconds left in the game. Rowdies are screaming as loud as their hoarse voices will allow. The team runs forward as the kicker nears the ball. Everyone in the stands stomps their feet on the floor, causing a thunderous boom to echo through the field. The kicker reaches the ball and sends it arching in a perfect parabola across the field as it lands in the end zone. Cheers erupt from the stadium and all the spectators anxiously wait in their seats for the next play. However, no one has realized how much of the game’s comfort is provided for by Ron and Carol Cope. In Kearney, and many other places in the world, philanthropy is often overlooked. Even though many of the facilities students use each day were somehow provided for by someone else, that connection slips the mind. Today, calling someone a “philanthropist” is interpreted as a person with the first name Phil and the last name Anthropist. Even those directly involved in philanthropy sometimes do not realize how much of a difference they are making. The Ron and Carol Cope stadium, for example, houses countless sporting events in the fall. However, it is very common for someone to enter the structure without looking up at the honoring words posted above the entrance. In 2005, Ron and Carol Cope made a contribution to the Foster Field project, which resulted in their names being posted on the stadium entrance. This was only a part of their contribution, as it is estimated that the two gave from $15 million to $20 million throughout their lives to aid the Kearney Community. Carol Cope, who survived her husband, recently passed away on Sept. 13, 2012. She was remembered for her and her husband’s extensive philanthropy, most recently being the Cancer Center at Good Samaritan Hospital. However, the Copes are not the only two who have played the role of Phil Anthropist throughout the years. Kearney High School itself holds a legacy of benefitting the city, as well. Going on four years, Kearney Tackles Cancer (KTC) has been raising money to help families financially struggling with cancer.   Kearney Tackles Cancer was formed when Mary Kay Redman, former history teacher at Kearney High who had been diagnosed with cancer herself, Dana Welsh and four other girls saw that North Platte High School had a pink out theme at their football game. All six thought that KHS could do something similar and came up with the idea of “tackling cancer.”


page designer dayna schultz

At first, KTC sold t-shirts that would be worn at a designated football game, calling the night a “Pink-Out” or other name associated with the design of the shirts. The organization now hosts a talent show and a barbeque to raise money. The idea has even spanned to area-wide projects, such as Tri-City Storm’s “Pink in the Rink” and the Fearless 5K with the Kearney Jaycees. The total amount of money raised after four years of fighting cancer is over $100,000. After Mary Kay Redman passed away two years ago, much of the organization’s activity is commemorated in her name. Mrs. Jessica Day, a fellow history teacher and sponsor of KTC, said, “Our goal is to work to continue to replenish the funds every year so that we can continue to assist families that are struggling financially. We are continually being asked to help out with different functions and fundraisers. Who knows what the future will hold.” As KTC continues to strengthen the Kearney community impacted by cancer, Kearney High SAB and Interact are helping the younger Kearney community. Last year, Kearney High Interact was contacted by social workers working with students at Bryant and Emerson Elementary Schools. They claimed that some of the children on the reduced lunch program were not getting food over the weekend, and asked if the high school could do anything to help. The answer: of course. Every Friday, students involved with either Interact or SAB travel to the elementary schools to fill backpacks with food for the weekend. The food comes from the Omaha Food Pantry and is usually canned, though sometimes the students get cereal, milk, or packaged spaghetti. This program helps about 30 to 45 children per week. Miss Amber Lewis, Kearney High teacher and sponsor, says that the program provides for a connection between the elementary and high schools, which brings a “good community feeling” to the city of Kearney. The students who help out rarely get to see the impact they make. However, junior Casey Putnam says that it is still rewarding. “It’s just a moral thing. I know these kids won’t get food; it’s an easy thing to do to make someone happier.” As it turns out, this “Phil Anthropist” actually is a person. He might be older; he might be younger. He might be donating to the community as a whole, or to one specific group. In the end, he might even be a she. Whoever Phil Anthropist may be at the moment, he will always be making an impact and helping others, which is a fine aspiration no matter one’s name.

On Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, students from Kearney High who purchased a Kearney Tackles Cancer t-shirt, formed a human ribbon on the south hill of Kearney High School. Students raised a total of $25,000 this year alone. Photo by Dr. David Benavides

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graphic design by cait graf





Global warming begins with the production of greenhouse gases. The cycle begins when the sun’s radiation reaches the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases absorb the heat that is being reflected back into the atmosphere, thus keeping the earth warm enough to sustain life. However, human activity such as manufacturing, deforestation, use of vehicles and electricity production send fossil fuels into the atmosphere. These fossil fuels each have different heat-trapping capabilities that capture heat and make the earth feel warmer than it usually would. Natural cycles and events that have taken place for thousands of years do, in fact, play a role in global warming, but global warming in its current situation cannot possibly be influenced by these organic causes alone. However, some question the global warming theory such as Junior Marilyn Synek who says, “I think global warming is made up by scientists and that the earth simply goes through cycles and different weather patterns.” Carbon dioxide is the gas that is the most responsible for global warming. Sure, it is a natural substance but it would not have such an impact on global warming if humans monitored it more closely. For example, carbon dioxide would be contained in forests and absorbed by trees, thus not being able to release itself into the atmosphere, if humans did not partake in deforestation. Excessive and unnecessary use of cars, factories and electricity production also produce excess carbon dioxide. Alongside carbon dioxide, methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Landfills release 1/3 of the earth’s methane emissions. However, it has been found that the prod-




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uct of burning methane can be sent directly to buildings for electricity and can be compressed to power city buses and garbage trucks. Luckily, the nation’s largest landfills are required to capture or burn off the methane that their landfill produces. Methane is not only generated via landfills. Thirty seven percent of all human-induced methane is caused by the digestive systems of animals that are being raised for food, especially cows and sheep. In addition to the meat industry producing methane, it also produces sixty five percent of human-induced nitrous oxide and sixty four percent of human-induced ammonia. Atmospheric over-exposure to these gases may result in acid rain, forest fires and, of course, higher earthly temperatures. In fact, the last two decades were the hottest recorded in 400 years and were possibly the warmest for several millennia according to a number of climate studies. High temperatures do not only affect comfortable human outdoor conditions; they are affecting several terrains and animal habitats. For example, coral reefs are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature and suffer from these changes by bleaching or dying off due to stress. From oceans to mountain ranges, global warming is taking over completely opposite geographical locations. As the water in oceans is being heated, so are the glaciers that rest atop mountain ranges. In 1910, Montana’s national park had 150 glaciers. Unfortunately, according to National Geographic, today there are 27. Wildfires, heat waves and tropical storms also occur because of risen water temperatures in oceans and excessive dryness in grassy terrains.

Although these extreme conditions are quite difficult to decrease dramatically, everyone has the ability to do their part to make their carbon footprint smaller. A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases that a single person emits due to their daily activities. Some lifestyle changes do not only help the environment, but they also have the potential to improve one’s bank account, health and daily habits. Eliminating house-cleaning chemicals and switching to eco-friendly or natural methods results in less chemicals going down the drain and into bodies of water and also creates a cleaner home environment that does not harbor a harsh chemical smell. When wrapping gifts or cushioning boxes, one can use old printing paper, magazines, newspapers or used retail shopping bags can replace wrapping paper. The simple, voluntary act of changing one’s diet is another easy way to decrease the size of their carbon footprint. Since the act of raising and killing animals for food releases an enormous amount of nitrous oxide into the air, a family can limit 8 oz. of meat for each household member a day. Not only does this cut down the meat intake of one family, but it also maintains a diet that includes meat in healthier portion sizes. Processed foods are generally less healthy than natural foods, and if one gave up one of his or her favorite processed foods, their action would result in less packaging to throw away and healthier alternatives to snack on. Another way to eliminate packaged

foods that end up in landfills is to eat a home-cooked meal once a week that would normally be spent eating out. Lastly, perhaps the most difficult aspect of daily lifestyle for one to change is transportation. The United States uses the most gasoline in the world to power their vehicles, and when gasoline is burned, it creates carbon dioxide. Surprisingly, the amount of carbon dioxide that is emitted from cars does not depend on what type of vehicle that is driven, but rather how many miles are driven and how many gallons of gasoline are burnt to do so. To avoid adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere’s already abundant collection, one can use public transportation, carpool or invest in a fuel-efficient vehicle. It is also important to make sure that all tires are always inflated to the proper level. Also, avoiding air travel as much as possible also makes a huge impact on the cycle of gasoline turning into carbon dioxide. Ultimately, the more people that are aware of global warming, the better. If everyone took these small steps by slightly altering their daily lives, the changes in the environment would be quite significant. As Native American advocate Chief Seattle once said, “The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.” Simply put, it is the people of the planet’s responsibility to take care of the earth, for it is the home of everyone and everything. **Information and statistics via National Geographic online

An iceberg calved (a sudden release and breaking away of a mass of ice) from the massive Jacobshavn glacier which shows how Greenland is losing ice at a record rate. (Konrad Steffen/Colorado University, Boulder/MCT)

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graphic designer cait graf




I T I F F A R G Never has the strength of youth been more powerful than in the introduction and survival of graffiti. Young people have played a key role in the artistic movement. Despite making appearances in Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, 1967 was the first time graffiti began showing up frequently. A writer called Cornbread started tagging city walls to attract the attention of a fellow Philadelphian girl. By the time the early 1970s rolled around, graffiti became more commonly found on the subways than outside on the city streets. These were key years for train tagging. Graffiti specialists focused on creating ‘throw-ups,’ a two or three letter name that were the quickest pieces. Today, it has become intertwined with hip-hop culture. Throughout the modern graffiti movement, the intention of the artists has been notoriety and an artistic release, not commonly affiliated with gangs as assumed. By creating impressive masterpieces on walls around a city, the artist can make a statement with little risk. Due to this, political activists commonly use this media to promote a cause. On the other hand, creating pieces on train cars is more dangerous than commonly thought. The artist requires knowledge of train schedules, security rounds, how to gain access to the train yard and extensive pre-planning to be efficient. Getting caught by the police or getting attacked by rival writers are among the multiple obstacles faced by the taggers. Other difficulties include being hit by in-service trains. Despite this, executing train work impressively is a sign of mastering the expression. In the eyes of the common public, graffiti is a degradation of public property. It is considered art if the writer gains permission prior to the act. The typical interpretation of the act is as a sign of low neighborhood pride, and it is believed that it can lead to the psychological and physical decline of the neighborhood. Graffiti can quickly become costly for both the artist and the owner of the public property. In some areas, graffiti can be one of the only creative outlets for youth expression. Large murals can be used to express artistic abilities. Around the country there are examples of graffiti with positive aspects, including poems on walls and uplifting messages in unexpected areas. Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, and rappers Big Pun, The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur have all been memorialized on the city streets. Since May 1989, the Clean Train Movement has been taking place around the country. New York has taken tagged subway cars out of the transit system. This has forced many artists to begin displaying their work in galleries and owning their own studios. No matter the opinion taken on the positivity or negativity of graffiti, it has become a key feature in major cities throughout the United States, with all thanks and blame going to the youth of modern times. So Kearney High, what mark will you leave on the world?

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BY VICTORIA HEINEMAN Many students saw the DECA Powder Puff football game promotion video, ‘I’m Katie Higgins, President of DECA, and I approve this message!’ followed by a brutal, slow-motion tackle. This moment was brought to you by: Kearney High School Media Productions. New to Kearney High this year, Mr. Robert Goff created the Media Productions class with the objective of teaching students the basics of video broadcasting, interviewing skills and editing skills. However, Goff says, “There is just so much outside the news realm that we are excited to get started on.” For example, they are looking to do other activity-promoting videos, similar to the DECA Powder Puff football. Eventually, the class wants to broadcast locally to all of Kearney, showcasing the positive things happening not only at KHS, but with middle and elementary schools, as well. To start though, the class is focusing on Kearney High, looking for topics to discuss. As far as projects like these go, Goff has given the students free reign. Senior Spencer Bacon, among the first to take the class, stated, “There is a lot of gray area. I mean, we have guidelines, but we are allowed the freedom to create and film whatever we want for projects.” Some of these projects include music videos and commercials, however, there is a lot of time put into editing. For every minute of film, there is an hour or more of editing to be done. The only hindrance they have had is the difficulty of getting started right away with filming, due to lack of equipment. About half way through the term, the equipment, including cameras and computers, arrived. A total of about $18,000 worth of supplies was purchased for the class. The major donors were Ron and Carol Cope with a donation of $10,000 and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, along with C.L.A.S.S. Act which both donated $5,000. Other donors include Platte Valley State Bank and Trust Company and the KHS Class of 2012. With all of the basic equipment purchased, the extra money coming in is put into a bank account for emergencies or equipment that was not planned in the original budget. For example, headphones still need to be purchased so students can listen to audio without interference. However, before working audio there needs to be film to edit. So while some take a lighthearted approach, other projects are more serious or informative. Seniors Hope Christensen and Abby Carey are working on filming band activities to show eighth graders what band is like in high school. “It’s basically a band promovideo. The most time consuming part is getting the video,” Christensen said. Whatever the project, the students are learning skills they cannot obtain in other classes. “It’s a really cool idea for a class. Anyone can pick up a camera and film, but it’s nice to learn more of the technical aspects of editing,” said Carey. Most of the Media Productions class videos will be shown in Bearcat Time, but the smaller projects will be posted on their YouTube channel: khsmediaproduction.


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Senior Katie Higgins gets tackled by Senior Rylee Svoboda druing the Bearcat TV DECA Video. Photos by Mr. Robert Goff

graphic designed by brianna humphrey

Seniors Alex Dethlefs and Jacob Barnes, who has the segment ‘Random Questions with Jake,’ prepare taping for their upcoming video. Photo by Alex Green

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It’s all about youBY TIFFANY VALLEAU The teenagers gathered around a bowl of chips, snacking lightly and laughing hysterically. Suddenly, the music changed, and a blaring, “Oppa gangnam style” erupted through the party. Everyone in the room began dancing, or attempting to, and singing along with the South Korean song. They understand approximately five percent of the words coming from halfway across the world, yet all are familiar with the song and dance. This is not the product of a hostile takeover from Korea, or a school activity, but simply a 4 minute and 13 second video on YouTube. The term “viral,” first created to describe the infectivity of a virus, now relates to media on the Internet that has reached a large platform. Viral YouTube videos, such as “Charlie Bit My Finger” and “Gangnam Style” by PSY, have had millions of views. When a video reaches this state, it spreads just like a virus does. Though the video is not promoting itself, once one views it, he or she will inevitably share the humor or music with another person. Regardless of where the video starts, it has the potential to travel across an entire ocean, a feat which once took several months. The YouTube Effect has given many video bloggers and musicians the ability to become famous without leaving their rooms. For example, Greyson Chance performed a rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” and a few days later received contract offers and a spot on Ellen, all because of YouTube. He is now touring the country as a singer/songwriter. Greyson is just one of the many YouTube success stories.


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Becoming a star is only one of YouTube’s hidden talents. With the countless tutorials posted on the site, a person can also learn how to play an instrument, dance, draw a cartoon, fix one’s hair, speak with an accent and perform virtually any physical activity imaginable. Better yet, help on these subjects is completely free. While a person can spend hundreds of dollars perfecting the guitar, it can now be accomplished with a few simple clicks. This has yet to substantially hurt any teaching industries, but eventually, the public may discover that there is a cheap and easy way to learn anything. Along with all of the benefits YouTube holds, the site can also advocate the opposite. The Muslim world is currently in a volatile state, which at one point was supposed to be the result of an anti-Muslim video posted in the United States. It is now agreed that this is not the cause of the uproar, but regardless of the cause, this is the perfect example of the power YouTube possesses. One person’s opinion can be heard by the entire world now, and as PSY has revealed, the messages can break language barriers. Granted, a satirical Jenna Marbles video blog has a minimal chance of causing World War III. Most comedy is understood as being unserious, even if it may come across as offensive. However, not every video blogger is competing just for laughs. YouTube can potentially be a weapon. A video leaked of Mitt Romeny’s now-infamous 47% speech hit the media, demanding attention, and hurt his reputation as a result. This can possibly even affect the outcome of the election. Ultimately, YouTube can harm and benefit politics everywhere, whether Miss Marbles realizes that or not. Our world is now an entangled connection, which costs virtually nothing. While “Rickroll-ing” someone may be all fun

and games, switching “Never gonna give you up” with something offensive can ignite a fire halfway across the world. A viral video truly is a virus, but can be far more advantageous or far more deadly. It is simply a matter of presentation, or in this case, posting.

Students MaryClaire Hickman (senior, in front), Alex Lieb (junior, left) and Jacob Rohla (sophomore, right) crowd around a computer searching for a video to use in class. However, with the plethora of videos availible on YouTube, they become a bit distracted. Photo by Tiffany Valleau

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An End to the September 20th of 2012 marked the one year anniversary of This law had previously been in place for seventeen years and BY CASSIE KERNICK


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Years of Silence the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy. had been the topic of many debates during that time. Imagine a world where one could be whoever they wanted to be, however, the only restriction is that they were not allowed to tell anyone. They could practice their personal beliefs when they were behind closed doors, but openly they must deny that vary nature and pretend to be someone else. This was the option faced by homosexuals wishing to serve in the military from the years 1993 to 2011. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy was originally implemented in 1993 to allow homosexuals the ability to serve in the military without discrimination. Many people found this policy to be offensive, especially because the it caused those who did openly profess their homosexual preferences to become discharged from service. While this caused distaste for this policy among individuals, no increased effort to repeal this policy was taken until 2010. The congressional bill was enacted in December of 2010 and was still not settled by the summer of 2011. President Barack Obama then worked to get this repeal certified by Congress and after an arduous battle, the bill was finally repealed on Sept. 20, 2011, allowing homosexuals to openly profess their sexual orientation and still serve in the military. Just recently, the one year anniversary of this repeal was recognized. While many were ecstatic about the repeal, some were concerned that this would negatively affect the cohesion of troops. However, according to a report from CNN, morale has largely been positively affected and troops were still able to work productively with one another. This year on Sept. 20, various stories surfaced all over the web of soldiers in all branches of military involvement telling their personal stories of being a homosexual in the service. These stories in support of the repeal were very emotional tales of joy at the personal freedom gained of finally being able to express who they really are without fear of ultimately losing their jobs. Ultimately, at such a politically charged time, protecting the civil liberties of individuals has become of great importance to many. While the election and other political decisions can at times feel very distant, on Wed., Oct. 10th, Grand Island City Council made a decision that hit close

to home for an array of Nebraskans. They voted against Resolution 9407, which News 5 reports would have made lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals protected by Grand Island under anti-discrimination laws. Specifics outlined under this proposal included ensuring that individuals would not fail to be hired or promoted due to their sexual orientation. This proposed resolution had a similar theme as the regulations passed in Omaha this past March. This was passed in Omaha in order to add lawful protection from discrimination by those who identify as under the LGBT status. Hopefuls in Grand Island felt that this recent passage in Omaha might aid in their argument; however, they fell short as it was voted down 8-2. One Grand Island citizen felt discouraged by this ruling saying, “I’m just terribly disappointed. I think it’s a huge step backwards for Grand Island. A vote against discrimination is a vote for discrimination,” ( While many expressed vastly differing viewpoints on this topic, there is no argument that this was a very passionate topic among all. Enormous debates have broken out around Nebraska, even on the Kearney Hub’s website, spirited arguments have been underway, proving that this is a topic people feel increasingly opinionated about. This local uproar eludes to various other issues becoming prominent in politics currently, such as numerous bills facing Congress under the Obama administration. This occurs at an influential time with the 2012 election rapidly approaching. With Obama’s large involvement in the DADT repeal, public support of gay rights, the upcoming further implementation of Obamacare and a magnitude of other issues, the Republican and Democratic candidates opposing theologies are becoming increasingly evident. It is social issues such as these that voters feel conflicted about which ultimately may be a deciding factor on whom the best candidate should be. As the campaign trail progresses, recent legislation implemented under the Obama administration will be increasingly more relevant in debates, making it essential for Nebraskans and all voters

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November 6 BY LAUREN MIMICK November 6, 2012, is a day that will have incredible impact on the United States. In whatever way, nearly every citizen of the United States will be directly or indirectly affected. Oddly enough, some do not even know what is happening. November 6 is the day when the general election of public offices takes place. Be it the presidential election, the state legislature election or other local elections, votes are always cast on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. On major news networks, most of the emphasis is placed on the presidential election. However, the election for the United States Senate in Nebraska is also taking center stage. The two candidates, Bob Kerrey and Deb Fischer, won their parties’ primary elections on May 15, 2012, and are currently facing off for the seat in Senate.

Bob Kerrey

Debra Fischer

Born in August of 1943, Kerrey grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He went on to earn a degree in pharmacy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1966, but decided to pursue the Navy before starting his career. After graduating, Kerrey served as a SEAL in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor in 1969. In 1982, Kerrey, a first-timer in politics, was elected Governor of Nebraska as a democrat. He retired after one term, but Kerrey later ran and was elected for the United States Senate for two terms, ending in 2001. During his time as a senator, Kerrey ran for President in 1992, but was defeated by then Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton. On December 27, 2011, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson decided to not run for re-election and former senator Kerrey was in talks to return to politics. This year, much of his platform includes satisfying both the Republicans and Democrats of Nebraska through substantial compromise within the Senate. In the party primaries, Kerrey won with 81% of the vote and the latest polls show him trailing Republican candidate Deb Fischer by approximately 10%.

Debra Fischer, born in 1951, is a current member of the Nebraska Legislature. After attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she moved to Valentine with her husband and helped operate his family’s ranch. In 2004, she ran for the 43rd Nebraska legislative district. She went on to defeat her opponent in a tight race with a difference of just 125 votes. In 2008, she won re-election unopposed. As a legislator, she represents physically the largest district in the Nebraska. She also hosts a weekly radio show on seven stations that cover her district and writes a weekly column that runs in several newspapers to inform constituents of what is happening in the Legislature. Fischer also played a part in the passing of a bill that created a statewide smoking ban for indoor workplaces and public places. A main aspect of her platform is her support of the 2nd Amendment, which is the right to bear arms. Currently, she leads Bob Kerrey in the polls, and if elected, she would be the first woman to represent Nebraska in the Senate since 1954.

Senatorial candidate Bob Kerrey listens to a testimony on June 17, 2004. photo by

Republican nominee Deb Fischer poses with her 2012 campaign sign. photo by


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Even more locally, the city of Kearney is also electing their city council on November 6. There are five candidates currently running for the three spots on the council.

Stan Clouse

Jim Bunger

Jim Bunger, 28, graduated from Kearney High School in 2001 and went on to receive an associate degree in video productions. As the owner and operator of Kearney Media, he also works for Kearney Crete & Block Co. Inc. This is his first time running and his three-issue platform includes youths, low taxes and being a voice for low and middle income families.

Seeking his fourth term, 55-yearold Stan Clouse, the current mayor of Kearney, has worked for Nebraska Public Power District for 34 years. Being a part of many boards and commissions, Clouse has been elected three times.

Larry Butler

Jonathan Nikkila

Bruce Lear

Born and raised in Kearney, Larry Butler, aged 61, graduated from both Kearney High School and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He earned a law degree from Creighton University and has been practicing law in Kearney since 1977. A first-time candidate, Butler aims to support Kearney’s business community. At age 32, Jonathan Nikkila is running for city council for the first time. Living in Kearney all his life, Nikkila attended Kenwood Elementary School and graduated from Kearney Catholic High School. Currently, he works for the American Federation for Children, which is a non-profit organization that aids underprivileged children in getting a quality education. His platform includes low taxes, public safety, good roads and a strong park system.

Bruce Lear, 44, was a lobbyist for five years in Washington, D.C. After deciding to return to Nebraska in 1994, he and his wife chose to settle in Kearney. Lear’s main reason for running for city council is to give back to the community.

all photos courtesy of

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The ECHO  

The second issue of the 2012-2013 ECHO

The ECHO  

The second issue of the 2012-2013 ECHO