Wednesday, December 5, 2012

just take a taxi.

A man was pushed into the tracks while a train was passing by. There is a picture taken by a freelance photographer of the New York Post of the man standing in the tracks and watching the train come towards him. The New York Police have the suspect in custody, but have yet to charge him for anything. 

I thought that since it wasn't politics, the articles from the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal would be relatively similar, there doesn't seem to be a side to take, just information.
WP's headline reads "Controversy grows over published photo of fatal NY subway push as NYC police question suspect" while the WSJ's is simply, "Subway push subject is questioned." The WP led me to believe that the photo taken would be the center of the article while the WSJ would stay short and to the point, much like the rest of their stories. 

Well, the photo was mentioned in both articles, asking the question of if the photographer had time to take photos, he had time to help the guy get out of the tracks. I guess it's all relative, it depends on where he was and where the train was, if he put his camera together as he was running to the scene, if he was strong enough to lift the man out in time to get himself to safety as well. That being said, there was surveillance video taken at the scene and no one on the subway platform tries to help. Maybe they didn't see him? Maybe they too were stunned just as much as the man who was pushed was?

In this case, the Wall Street Journal offered more information of what happened that day. I also thought it was interesting that the WSJ named the suspect and talked to people who worked with him (he was a street vendor at the subway) and suggested that the charges would not come until there was a line up for witnesses. They also gave a background of the man, Han, who was going into the city to have his Korean visa renewed. Police are also having a toxicology test done since an empty pint of vodka was found with Han's things on the platform. Could he have been intoxicated and started a fight with the man who pushed him?

The Washington Post did what they said they would do, focused on the moral dilemma of the photo and nothing else. It's proof once again that a reader should never just have one newspaper, for there can be alot they are missing out on. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

poking holes in the petraeus case.

As if the world had not heard it enough when they were in school, the past few weeks have been a true lesson in being careful what one posts on the internet. First with Malala and her blog on BBC about living under a terrorist regime and now with the thousands of emails that were uncovered between Director of the CIA, David Petraeus and biographer Patricia Broadwell. 
Jill Kelley, Florida Socialite as the newspapers call her, notified a personal contact in the FBI about the threatening emails from an anonymous source that she was receiving. Little did she know the task would unravel an affair and begin a full blown investigation, bringing three of her good friends shame and dishonor. Not only was the affair between Petraeus and Broadwell discovered, but so was the flirty relationship between Kelley and Allen, and the shirtless pictures the FBI contact sent to Kelley. With all of these affairs and sexting going on, what exactly are the intelligence agencies doing all day?
What was surprising about this story was not how the CIA never knew the affair was happening, the domino effect it had on other leaders of the military or intelligence, nor was it the way no one in the department thought this was important enough to inform the White House staff or members of Congress (which should have been seen as important due to the communication failure over the Benghazi situation, they should be doing everything possible for that not to happen again) but no, it was not any of these things. The most surprising happening was how the major newspapers had different takes on it. Not just different opinions or facts not matching up, the newspapers each wrote about something completely different. The New York Times wrote about privacy issues and the fear regular citizens have about posting online, the Wall Street Journal asked the military about how they felt, and the Washington Post focused on why the members of Congress were not informed and why the director was even asked to resign at all.  
The New York Times wrote “The F.B.I investigation that toppled the director of the C.I.A and has now entangled the top American commander in Afghanistan underscores a danger that civil libertarians have long warned about: that in policing the Web for crime, espionage and sabotage, government investigators will unavoidably invade the private lives of Americans.” 
The article questioned the tactics used to look into the private lives of those involved and what surveillance methods were used to track down emails and whatnot on the internet. Law enforcement claims they had a search warrant for most of the information and Jill Kelley gave them permission to access her computer to find the identity of the anonymous sender. It was then that they also found the original F.B.I agent in the case had sent shirtless photos of himself to her (Kelley).
“It is a particular problem with cyber investigations- they rapidly become open-ended because there’s such a huge quantity of information available and it’s so easily searchable,” marc Rotenburg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center said, adding, “If the C.I.A director can get caught, it’s pretty much open season on everyone else.”
The article brought up some other good points; the investigation has caused the “C.I.A without a permanent director at a time of urgent intelligence challenges in Syria, Iran, Libya, and beyond. The leader of the American-led effort to prevent a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan is distracted, at the least, by an inquiry into his email exchanges.” This is definitely food for thought, Petraeus was breaking the rules by having an affair but as soon as they (the C.I.A) cleared the question of who the mistress was and how much classified information she had in possession, shouldn’t the investigation been over with, did he really have to resign? On the flip side of that, it was breaking the rules and Petraeus and Allen are both responsible for a large amount of government intelligence and security, so they should expect everything they send and say would be scrutinized with the thought of “what if Russian or Chinese intelligence found the emails first?”
The article also brought up an interesting and unrelated fact concerning civil libertarians urging the Department of Homeland Security to take the role in cyber security from the National Security agency because, “the D.H.S, if far from entirely open to public scrutiny, is much less secretive than the N.S.A, the eavesdropping and code-breaking agency. To this day, N.S.A officials have revealed almost nothing about the warrantless wiretapping it conducted inside the United States in the hunt for terrorists in the years after 2001.” This agency is kind of terrifying.
This article was impressive; it made many good points and gave the reader something to think about.
The Wall Street Journal wrote something different as well; asking the military how they felt after finding out U.S Marine Corps Gen. John Allen was tangled in the investigation.
While Commander James Terry “shrugged off concerns that the scandal was affecting the mission,” many other officers and enlisted service members felt differently. “It’s death by a thousand paper cuts, it will never help Americans’ perception of us. They’ll always focus on the 2% we do wrong and not the 98% we do right,” lamented a U.S Marine colonel who asked to remain nameless.
The article ended with the quote from a U.S Marine, “I worked under General Allen in Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s highly intelligent- one of our best leaders, I’d follow him to hell and back.”
In typical WSJ fashion, the story was short and to the point, excluding unnecessary details, rather than diving into all the salacious news of who had sex with who and whatnot. One thing that was noticed however was that they stated “Barack Obama put General Allen’s promotion as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s top commander on hold pending the investigations outcome.” But the New York Times said that General Allen was already NATO’s commander. This may be nothing at all, just something that was noticed.
The Washington Post stated that “Members of Congress still pushing for answers about why they weren’t informed of investigation sooner.”
Apparently, when investigators saw emails from Petraeus linked to the emails from the women who sent the threatening messages, they assumed his account had been hacked and that national security had been threatened (this seems like the time to tell the members of the White House and Congress). The article went on to talk about Broadwell being wary of Kelley’s relationship with Petraeus, Broadwell not being available for comment, and Petraeus expressing deep remorse for what had happened. An odd statement was, “Petraeus, a retired four star Army general who was once seen as a potential presidential candidate, said Friday that he was resigning as CIA chief because he had been involved in an extramarital affair. He has been married for 38 years and has two grown children, though he said in his resignation statement to CIA colleagues that he had been married for “over 37 years.” It may not be relevant, but it appeared to be a rather odd detail to harp on.
The mystery the Washington Post attempted to solve was why Petraeus was asked to resign even once it was declared that it was not a threat to national security and it was found that Broadwell did not know any information she was not cleared to know. They were not successful but did say that the F.B.I cleared him “they [the FBI] reviewed the evidence with him but did not suggest that he should resign or that he would be charged with a crime,” (maybe they had another way of reprimanding him other than asking for resignation) and then as soon as Clapper, the White House aid was notified, Petraeus was strongly urged to resign. “Clapper then spoke with Petraeus and urged him to resign, notifying the White House the next day. That sequence has become a source of controversy, raising questions among some members of Congress about why key intelligence committees were not notified earlier and why the FBI waited before informing the administration about a probe that had stumbled into embarrassing details about the CIA chief.”
Two conspiracies to this theory are that the White House administration thought that the investigation would hurt President Obama being reelected and another was that General Petraeus had a connection of withholding information about the Benghazi attack. The article tried to address both saying, “White House intelligence officials said again Saturday that there was no connection between Petraeus’ resignation and the controversy surrounding the deaths of four Americans in Libya in September.” Another US official said, “This is a very personal matter, not a matter of intelligence. There are protocols for this. I would imagine things have to cross a certain threshold before they are reportable.”
Let’s hope the government lowers the threshold, for there are many unanswered questions and somewhat sneaky details that make this case a much bigger deal than it needed to be.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

i like my haircuts.

what would the world look like if we started off the morning giving ourselves this kind of pep talk? 

have a nice weekend :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

the most romantic song in the world.

no really, it is. i know it's not in english, but give it a chance. it's one of those songs that are so beautiful it'll break your heart and make you believe in humanity again. (and the video is kind of sweet :))

p.s it's time to go adventuring again. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

I ate the plums in the icebox.

Can we talk about poems for a second?

the other day I overheard one of my sisters complaining about her composition class because poems are boring. yeah, i get it, shakespeare isn't for everyone (and sometimes not even me) but he isn't the only poet, and poems are wonderful, truly. i've been memorizing  a poem for every spanish oral exam thrown my way, but now i would like to make an effort of memorizing poems on the reg. just for the fact that they are beautiful and smart and sad and sweet.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!
—Rudyard Kipling

this photo gets me everytime. i need to frame it one day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Caution: Diaries may be more dangerous than you think

Among many other writers who give this advice, Meg Cabot, author of the Princess Diaries series, once said she found most of her inspiration for her stories from her very own diary she has kept since middle school. In my opinion, I don’t believe many people who keep a diary be it via journal or on a blog, actually write thinking that one day someone will find it and it will become a bestseller, much less the beginning of a revolution. The attack on Malala Yousafzai due to what was written in her journal has not only interested me on the level of a 14 year old girl standing up to the Taliban, but on a personal one as well. After watching the TED Talk from Manal al-Sharif  about the oppression of women in the Middle East, hearing that they weren't allowed to drive or even be called by their name, I have followed the foundation “Drivers of our own Destiny,” set up to help women in Muslim dominated countries find their voice. I am also emotionally connected to this story as well, because I have kept a journal since middle school and even though I may lose some friends and my parents may be upset, it wouldn't be a huge deal. Malala’s diary scared the Taliban! Her words could very much bring the momentum needed to start a revolution, and that is incredible.
The lead from the first account of the story on Washington Post mentioned “a 14 year old Pakistani student was critically wounded Tuesday by a gunman who boarded her school bus, asked for her by name, aimed his pistol at her head and fired.” Although the information offered was good, the article jumped around too much. The second paragraph merely skimmed over her being an anonymous writer about the Taliban atrocities for the BBC. This is an interesting piece, and I think readers would want to know why the BBC chose a ninth grader to be their anonymous correspondent. The next paragraph talks about Swat Valley (where Malala is from) as a tourist destination, with very few Taliban attacks. The article then jumps to mentioning many Pakistanis see Yousafzai as a “symbol of hope in a country long beset by violence and despair.” She won the International Children’s peace Prize for “her bravery in standing up for girls’ education rights when few others in Pakistan would do so.”
The next paragraph was a touch ironic, for it mentioned the vigils school children across the nation and that even though they (young children) were holding these vigils, major religious parties and mosque leaders remained silent, “for fear of provoking the Taliban.” Just something to think about.
The odd part of this account was the skipping around, it started off with the altercation, went to talking about the Valley, the school vigils, offered a little more about what happened on the bus, quoted her father and the Chief of Army General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and then ended the article with even more information about what happened on the bus. “A masked man stopped the school van, the driver tried to speed off, but the man shot her before jumping off and escaping.” I enjoyed the article and through these journalism courses I have found the Washington Post to be my favorite newspaper, but I wish they kept everything together instead of skipping around, getting to the rest of the information when they felt like it.
When the Washington Post took a more straightforward perspective, the New York Times went for a more dramatic and rather emotional approach. “On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen answered Ms. Yousafzai’s courage with bullets, singling out the 14 year old on a bus filled with terrified school children, shooting her in the head and neck. Two other girls were wounded in the attack.” The article doesn't start out with the attack however, but hints at the blog writing, “At age 11, Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban by giving voice to her dreams.”
A quote from a Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, called her “crusade for education rights and obscenity. She has become a symbol of Western culture and was openly propagating it. Let this be a lesson.” He then commented that if she was to survive the attack, the Taliban would come for her again.
The article included quotes from her diary, “During the morning assembly we were told not to wear colorful clothes as the Taliban would object to it.” According to the article, she wore a pink dress to the assembly that day.  “On my way home from school I heard a man saying, ‘I will kill you,’ I hastened by pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else.” Apparently not.
The school Malala attended was forced to close and she escaped to Abbottabad (the town where Osama bin Laden was killed last year). That summer, the Pakistani Army fought against the Taliban and an uneasy peace settled over the city. Yousafzai was a prominent voice in the community, a classmate Fatima Aziz said, “We found her to be very bold, and it inspired every one of us.”
The article said the Taliban violence was a “fresh blow for Pakistan’s beleaguered progressives, who seethed with frustration and anger.” A tweet from a media commentator, Nadeem F. Paracha was quoted, “Come on brothers, be real men. Kill a school girl.”
The Times pulled at heart strings in this account, they talked about the community fighting back against the Taliban and used more dramatic language when describing the shooting (i.e. “terrified school children” “answered courage with bullets” “seethed in anger”). Although I enjoyed reading the account because it was so dramatic and should be since it’s the Taliban shooting a 14 year old girl, this may also be a red flag of sorts since I am now curious as to what else the Times is being a little over the top about.
The Wall Street Journal was concise and to the point, the report barely reached a page. Like the New York Times, a few key phrases such as, “symbol of resistance,” “incident sparked outrage” stood out. The only mention what the actual shooting was in the lead and that did not even tell the reader that she was shot on a school bus. “was shot by Taliban gunmen in Swat Valley. Malala survived the attack but underwent complicated surgery to remove the bullet from her head, and is reported to be in stable condition.” This is cool because it gives the reader a straightforward account of what happened, but I think that the school bus detail is important and should be a part of the account.
The Wall Street Journal may have been the only one that did not make a huge deal out of the shooting, but it is the only one that explained the BBC aspect of the story. “Malala first came to prominence in 2009 when she wrote an anonymous blog for BBC Urdu about her experiences as a school girl as the Taliban forced closures of private schools as part of an edict banning girls’ education. Malala’s identity was revealed later, and she was nominated for an International Children’s peace Prize.”
The article included quotes from her diary, “During the morning assembly we were told not to wear colorful clothes as the Taliban would object to it.” According to the article, she wore a pink dress to the assembly that day. 
The article concluded with the final, rather ominous quote, “On my way home from school I heard a man saying, ‘I will kill you,’ I hastened by pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else.” Apparently not.
Although I knew I wanted to write the critique on this report, I was worried that all of the articles I read would look the same. To me, it is such a huge issue, it was about a ninth grade girl standing up to the Taliban, and it included the Taliban who everyone hates. This may have not been a story that revealed a newspapers standing on a particular issue, but it did show the personality of the paper and general tone. I would say The New York Times is on the dramatic side, the Washington Post is in the middle, and the Wall Street Journal is on the more dry side of the news writing spectrum. I also think that this has proved to me that you kind of have to read all of the papers in order to get the right kind of perspective on the situation. If you solely read the wall Street Journal for instance, you probably wouldn’t understand the heaviness of the situation. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

sophomore slump.

"Cuando crezca, quiero una familia que me ama, y una coomunidad que me respeta."

When I grow up, I want a family that loves me and a community that respects me.

“Que mas?”

What else?

"Camping. Quiero ir a acampar."

Camping. I want to go camping.

I was in my Spanish professor’s office, fighting for a better grade. Well, not fighting, I was pretty meek walking into that office. It was my final attempt at saving my grade in the class, without it I would have failed and tanked my gpa in the process.
I had to show her that I really did understand the material, that it was just a bad semester. 

Once again I had to fight to prove to someone that I was worth it.

I’ve been doing alot of that lately.

My semester kind of sucked, not going to lie. I didn’t make the best of decisions and I lost most if not all motivation to do well in school and in everything else for that matter. Well, that sounds kind of melodramatic, it wasn’t all terrible, and it was actually pretty nice, there are just some moments that I would rather forget about, which is just life I suppose.

I stopped doing “Ella” things like drinking hot tea and dancing in the living room. I went running because I was stressed, not for my health or because running on the beach right before sunrise is kind of awesome.  I slept in more and was less productive. Like to the point of nothing was being produced. The blogs I followed just made me upset and I had the constant feeling that everyone was hanging out without me. Which wasn’t true, it was just the way I felt.

I think my Spanish professor understood. At the end of our conversation, she told me this:

"Ella, eres una chica muy rara. Sus suenos son enormes. Eres un iman, la gente se acerca a ti. Usted tience la posibilidad de cambiar el ambiente de cualquier habitacion en la que son. Cualquier persona que no ve es un tonto, y que lo incluye a usted."

Ella, you are a very rare girl. Your dreams are enormous. You’re a magnet, people are drawn to you.  You have the ability to change the atmosphere of whatever room you are in. Anyone who doesn’t see that is a fool, and that includes you.

She was gracious enough to let me pass the class as long as I promised to do better at the next go around.

Take this magazine for instance, I created it. All year I read submissions, worked with publishing houses, and figured out a way to design the magazine. Rather than looking at it and thinking about all the mistakes I made, what I would have done differently and what other literary magazines have that mine doesn’t; I should be able to look at it and realize it was something I created. Not many get to say that they had a magazine they designed published. That’s awesome. Sidenote: I’m working on a way to create a digital copy so I can put it on here, how neat is that?

Even though I feel like everything is up in the air at the moment , I really am ready to try all of this again, because I know that I’m worth it. I might not believe it right now, but I will. There will even come a day when I stop trying to prove to people that I’m worth their time and they’ll chase after me instead.

But for now, I’m just going to read and write and lay by the pool.

Catch ya on the flip side.

but until then, you should listen to this song, because it's from my favorite band ever. 

ps, what kind of blog would this be if it didn't have any cats?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

mind your manners.

well hello there, 

my whirlwind of a semester has finally come to a close, so i'm back!

to tell the truth, i've been kind of distracted lately and i haven't written anything. i do, however, have the finished copy of the literary magazine i have been working on all year and am looking forward to posting it soon. 

so to start this come back off right, i want to share a song i've been grooving to lately. 

sorry it's been awhile, you're looking good though :) this summer i hope you finally craft something you found on pinterest, belly flop in the pool, pick up a book, eat popsicles with every meal, and remember to mind your manners. (<--click that)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...