She risked her life to stand up for girl’s education in Pakistan. She survived a gun-shot to the head for those beliefs. She is a best-selling author. And now, at only 16 years old, Malala Yousafzai is the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
The incredibly courageous teenager gave an exclusive interview to Jon Stewart and The Daily Showon Tuesday night where she talked about her homeland, the rise of the Taliban and why she thinks that education is too important to stop fighting for. Stewart himself even asks if he can adopt her when Malala explains her thought process after finding out the Taliban were threatening her. This is a must watch interview for anyone that has been following Malala, believes in equal education rights, or just needs a few pointers on how to be a better human being. This girl has a lot to teach all of us.
Yesterday, after Congress failed to pass a new budget (or a continuing resolution to give them more time to work out a budget), the federal government was shutdown. But what does that mean? It means that government services deemed “non-eseential” were closed until Congress passes a bill to allow them to re-open and some 800,000 government employees are currently not working.
VlogBrother Hank Green (the other VlogBrother is NYT Bestelling author John Green) posted a video yesterday that more clearly explains what it means when your government shuts down, what services are effected, and the deeper root of this problem:
But whyis the government shutting done?
To answer that question we turn to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) from Massachusetts. On Monday, September 30, Senator Warren gave a speech on the Senate floor about her disbelief of the current situation. “[The shutdown] is a last gasp of hope for those that can’t deal with the reality of this democracy,” is a quote from Warren’s speech that you have probably seen plastered all over your Facebook pages. Senator Warren drops even more knowledge about the Tea Party contingent of the House of Representatives forcing this shut down as a way to gut the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) in the full version of the speech below:
Wait, this is about Obamacare? Didn’t the Supreme Court already say it was constitutional?
They did. The Affordable Care Act has been through all the proper steps to become a law – passed by the House and Congress, singed by the President and declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. It has checked off all the verses in that infamous School of Rock video we all had to watch in Civics class. And Obamacare is exempt from the government shutdown so it still went into effect yesterday, October 1, making the entire situation even more infuriatingly pointless.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to make a joke when explaining the reality is too baffling. Jon Stewart may have made the best metaphor possible on Monday night’s “The Daily Show” with a new segment “Rockin’ Shutdown Eve.”
In essence, politicians are playing chicken with the paychecks of almost 1 million government workers at stake. They have suspended vital services to underprivileged children and the elderly to bargain for their ideological ideals rather than by their desire to do what is best for this country, and that is unacceptable.
Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, supporter of the Affordable Care Act or not, we can all agree that politicians need to stop holding America hostage for their own agendas – and that goes for both sides. We the people elected Congress to represent and work for us, and they need to do better. That’s really what you need to know about the government shutdown.
What do you think of the shutdown? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
This weekend, Jon Stewart is holding "a rally to restore sanity" on the m
all, two months after Glenn Beck’s religion-infused "Restoring Honor" rally. Beck said he was called by God to hold the rally. Now atheist groups are planning to use Stewart’s event to promote "reason." Are "reason" and "sanity" the opposite of religious belief? Is taking religion out of the political debate the answer for restoring reason? Or do we need more faith?
Jon Stewart’s laudable Rally to Restore Sanity is a welcome message aimed at bringing calm and moderation to the overheated political debate that Glenn Beck has ginned up with the Tea Party. Glenn Beck’s power over the Tea Party is the power of unleashed emotion. He converts uncertainty and frustration into anger and fear. These emotions allow frustration to be channeled. In a sense, that process of expressing frustration and anger is more suited to rallies than sanity — sanity doesn’t need a rally. It’s a steady state that prevails every day in most people’s lives. The atheist group, the Coalition of Reason is looking for new members and has decided that if Jon Stewart’s rally for sanity is in contrast to Glenn Beck’s religious rally, then that must mean it will be full of atheists. The implied step of logic is that sane, reasonable people don’t believe in God. But the heart of the issue is not really between believers and non-believers, rationality and faith.
Emotion cannot be separated from reason, and every effort on the part of psychologists to find a way around this fact, to initiate totally reasoned choices, has failed. It has to, because in those rare cases where a person has lost brain function in the emotional centers of the lower brain, decision-making didn’t improve. It became nearly impossible. Beck’s motives do not reflect religious ideas, unless your concept of God is as a being who wants anger, disorder, and mob reactions to prevail over peace and harmony. Yet every observer who stands back from the Tea Party movement has no difficulty seeing that it is chaotic. Fear and rage are terrible foundations for problem solving. Which is why the Tea Party’s agenda is rife with self-contradictions. Its supporters want more jobs but don’t want government to spend anything to provide jobs. They want Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment without paying for these benefits through taxation. They want to decrease the debt while lowering taxes, a clash of opposites.
The reform movement that elected Barack Obama was essentially a fix-it program buoyed by tenuous optimism and a general disgust with the failures of the previous administration. Conventional wisdom would have it that the country has turned on reform because of high unemployment and the failure of bailouts and recovery initiatives to solve our economic woes. Here is one area where faith has collapsed, but not faith in God. It’s collapse of faith in ourselves. Societies plunge into discord for various reasons: when there are unmet needs, declining economics, social rifts, racial divides, and a general sense of threat. Right now we have a perfect storm of all these ingredients. Most politicians see no recourse but to weather the storm. Few are willing to rebuild trust. The president is one, but with demagogues bringing out the worst in public disgruntlement, his success has been limited.