Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Anti-impeachment
Dec04

Anti-impeachment

  We are addressing the following in two opposing opinions: On Nov. 15th, members of House Democrats signed and presented five articles of impeachment against President Trump. One Congressman, Steve Cohen, who represents the 9th District of Tennessee, introduced these articles which are as follows – 1) Obstruction of justice which deals with Mr. [James] Comey’s (former FBI Director) firing. 2) Violation of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments clause, which deals with monies he’s taken from foreign powers without the consent of Congress. 3) Violation of the Domestic Emoluments clause, which deals with monies he’s made from the United States and his personal businesses’ beyond that of his salary, which is also forbidden by our Constitution. 4) Undermining Independence of the Federal Judiciary and the Rule of Law. 5) Undermining Freedom of the Press. (CNN, Nov. 26, 2017) The House Democrats who support this measure to impeach President Trump believe that he has violated his duties as president and in turn, has disregarded the sanctity that is the constitution. I would like to go through each of these points and offer refuting statements so as to clarify and bring light to the reasons behind President Trump’s actions. First off, there is the whole debate with the firing of James Comey on May 9, 2017 and the reasoning behind it. Some say that the President fired him because he was looking into the alleged Russian interference with the election results that could have benefited President Trump. Another reason Comey is said to have been fired is because President Trump just didn’t like Comey, stating in a Lester Holt interview that he was going to fire [him] “regardless of recommendation” (NBC). However, according to the official White House statement that was released to the public on May 9, the main reason behind firing Comey was because of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Session’s recommendations to do so. Rosenstein and Session’s recommendation to fire Comey was based off of his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, giving her a “free pass” so to speak. So the decision to fire the former FBI Director was understandable – backed up with a combination of the President’s forethought and the disapproval of Comey’s decision making skills by Rosenstein and Session. Regarding the foreign and domestic emoluments clause issue, an article in Time Magazine said the reason this is a problem is because “the President has significant conflicts of interest within his real estate empire since taking office.” However, the Justice Department reports that previous presidents such as George Washington conducted business during his presidency by selling harvests to England,...

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Pro-impeachment
Dec04

Pro-impeachment

We are addressing the following in two opposing opinions: On Nov. 15th, members of House Democrats signed and presented five articles of impeachment against President Trump. One Congressman, Steve Cohen, who represents the 9th District of Tennessee, introduced these articles which are as follows – 1) Obstruction of justice which deals with Mr. [James] Comey’s (former FBI Director) firing. 2) Violation of the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments clause, which deals with monies he’s taken from foreign powers without the consent of Congress. 3) Violation of the Domestic Emoluments clause, which deals with monies he’s made from the United States and his personal businesses’ beyond that of his salary, which is also forbidden by our Constitution. 4) Undermining Independence of the Federal Judiciary and the Rule of Law. 5) Undermining Freedom of the Press. (CNN, Nov. 26, 2017) To be able to fully evaluate and form an opinion on this issue, it is important to be able to understand fully the articles being presented in order for impeachment. As so, I will be examining the articles and speaking about them in my own opinion. First, concerning the firing of the former FBI director James Comey, thereby obstructing justice. Comey was fired early into the Presidents first term, on May 9, 2017. Allegations of Comey looking into Russian interference in the presidential elections of 2016 in Trump’s favor led to his ultimate dismissal from the White House, according to an NBC interview. By firing an official for simply doing his job and looking into all possible injustices, the President leaves unanswered questions in the minds of the American people. By undermining the American people’s ability to address issues within their own government with restricted information because President Trump fired the investigator, the country was left to witness that if there were injustices occurring, they were simply supposed to accept them and move on. Even though the matter is still under investigation now with head of the Special Council on Russian interference with the 2016 elections, Robert Mueller, Comey’s firing is unfortunate and I feel it is a firm reason to incite impeachment. Though the White House’s official statement was that the firing was due to recommendation of White House leaders, the President was against Comey regardless, as found in a statement that he was going to fire [him] “regardless of recommendation” (Factcheck.org and NBC). This being the case, President Trump then appeared to be somewhat of a tyrant, firing someone based on how much he liked them, instead of how well he or she performed his or her job. Next, the issue of the President accepting money from foreign powers without approval...

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Exploitation of personal loss is cruel and unjust
Nov15

Exploitation of personal loss is cruel and unjust

A lot of things change when your house burns down. The grief hits all at once, yes; but also in succeeding waves. Aftershocks of realization are as painful as the first wave as remnants of our loved and lost ones disappear. It’s not the financial loss that hurts. It’s the loss of pictures and second grade homework and childhood trophies. A home that housed Christmas celebrations, memorials, and birthdays is now unsafe to venture into—caution tape bars the beams where a door used to be. Ties to sentimentalities are strengthened when ashes are all that’s left of them. Shopping isn’t nearly as fun when it’s simply to have enough clothes to last a week. The loss of these things, however, pale in comparison to the loss of our beloved mutt, Killey, who left my mother’s side in the fire and never found her way out. We joke that if this hadn’t taken her, nothing would have, because she was so strongwilled and energetic, so bossy and loyal. She lost an eye to a porcupine and survived it, she was sprayed by skunks seven times and still chased black and white tails. Killey even licked a poisonous toad (only once), and has weathered winters in Michigan and summers in Texas, faithful to her family. I picked up the phone Wednesday, Oct. 25 to take a call from my stepdad. He is currently working for the state dept. in Israel, and feels much of the same helplessness I feel in being so far away from my family home in Michigan. His voice, normally so strong and logical, shook as he asked if I heard. “Heard about the house?” I asked. He paused, then: “Killey didn’t make it.” There wasn’t much to say after that. He told me to go on Facebook, and we watched our house burning down on the local news’ Facebook Live. I joined as the smoke billowed out from the roof and firefighters continued to submerge our house in gushes of water. The windows were all broken through, and the house was dark, too dark, for 3 o’clock on an October afternoon. Outrage sparked inside of me as the shaky video broadcasted our misfortune to 4.4 thousand viewers. The Petoskey News-Review received higher views from that live video than any other posts in the last month. As a journalist, I get it. If it bleeds, it leads, right? But there is a difference between sharing news and exploiting a family for views. They stood on our property, excitedly following firefighters and smoke, watching the views and the likes and the heartfelt condolences pour in. The News-Review made me...

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Should Christmas be celebrated early?
Nov15

Should Christmas be celebrated early?

Let’s be honest, with the upcoming holiday seasons, some can get a bit sensitive over the holidays. Some like to begin their celebration as early as possible, while others seem to be offended if Christmas decorations go up one second before Thanksgiving. Here’s the thing – I am unapologetic about watching my Christmas movies the day after Halloween, and I’m not afraid to say it. Here’s why. To begin, let me say that Christmas is very much my favorite holiday. From the tinsel on the tree to Mariah Carey singing about what she wants for Christmas, this holiday makes me, quite frankly, jolly. That being said, why would I wait until a small three week time frame in which it is socially acceptable to begin celebrating the holiday festivities? My short answer is – I won’t! Christmas is a time where joy and giving is abundant, if not encouraged. By beginning the festivities early, or before Thanksgiving, these qualities can be enforced before the holiday season, encouraging others to be kind and giving for more than a small window of time. With that in mind, who could deny that Christmas-related music and otherwise should not be brought out as early as possible? Christmas also brings a sense of nostalgia and comfort. It brings back memories often relating to such things as family and friends. Certain memories can be attached to various Christmas articles. For me, it’s Christmas movies. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is Christmas Eve. My family would gather together on Christmas Eve and binge watch as many classic Christmas themed movies as possible. These movies ranged from live action films such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Elf, to even older classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life. For me, watching these movies as soon as Halloween is over lets me reminisce of the past, and excites me for the next family shin dig. Why should this be halted? In what ways does this affect those who claim holiday music should be limited to such a short time span – three weeks before Christmas? To those claiming that Christmas enthusiasts like me simply skip straight from Halloween to Christmas and forget Thanksgiving, I hear you. The thing is, prepping for Christmas only amplifies my excitement for Thanksgiving. Once that turkey’s made and starts popping up on shelves and the feasts begin, it’s only a small gap until the big day from there. So, I’d like to counter argue that not only do I not forget the holiday, but also highly anticipate it. I highly anticipate it while listening to my Christmas music. With the end...

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Importance of knowing the history behind Thanksgiving
Nov15

Importance of knowing the history behind Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday many Americans look forward to. From the food and the Sunday football games to the family gatherings, Thanksgiving is a holiday that holds a special place in our hearts. What started out as a tradition to symbolize peace, later turned to hatred between Americans and Native Americans. This poses an interesting question – should we be celebrating a holiday that focuses on peace when there was actually a long string of violence afterwards? There is nothing wrong with celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday as a day of friendship and camaraderie. However, it would be lying through our teeth to say we celebrate this as a day of peace, because the peace did not last and it lead to the death and mistreatment of the Native Americans for centuries to come. This even continues today, with the standing rock pipeline issue in the Dakotas as an example. According to history.com, in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast, which is considered to be one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations. In March, any remaining pilgrams went ashore and met an English speaking Abenaki Indian. A few days later, the Indian returned with another Native American named Squanto, who was a member of the Pawtuxet tribe. He had been previously kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto saw how badly the pilgrims were fairing in this new land and decided to teach them how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with a local tribe called the Wampanoag. This alliance would endure for more than 50 years. This is the story we were taught as children. However, the peace was only temporary and the feast and treaty are tragically one of the sole examples of peace between the European colonists and Native Americans. Over the next few decades, relations between settlers and Native Americans deteriorated as the former group occupied more and more land. Supposedly, the first major dispute was in 1675 called King Philip’s War, that left some 5,000 inhabitants of New England dead, three quarters of those being Native Americans. In terms of percentage of population killed, King Philip’s War was more than twice as costly as the American Civil War and seven times more so than the American Revolution. Throughout the next few centuries, the American Indian wars killed millions of people from both sides and left a dark stain in American history. Wikipedia defines The...

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Climate change: it affects you
Oct26

Climate change: it affects you

It’s a topic that has shown up more and more in the news with each passing day. For some people, climate change affects many different decisions in their everyday life. For others, climate change is something that was “made up by the government.” It’s a topic that many people don’t understand. It’s a topic that literally affects the world. It’s a topic that affects humanity in the present and the future. In March, the New York Times published an article called “How Americans Think About Climate Change, in Six Maps.” Ultimately, these maps offer useful data to support the idea that America needs to be more concerned about climate change. For instance, one of these maps compares how many Americans think that climate change will harm people living in the United States with how many people think that they will be personally harmed by climate change. On average, 65 percent of people do understand that climate change will negatively impact people in the United States. However, under 30 percent of people believe that they will personally by harmed by climate change. This goes to show that there is some concern about climate change, but there isn’t enough. Most people are living in a state of mind where they don’t think that anything bad can happen to them. It’s almost like they believe that they are immortal. This is not the state of mind that people need to be in when it comes to climate change. They need to realize that their choices today could affect them later in life, as well as change the world that their children and grandchildren live in. Texas and Florida are two states that are most vulnerable to climate change. But in these states, only around 57 percent of people are somewhat worried about climate change. So even though people are given the information, they choose not to believe it. According to NASA, climate change can have some pretty harmful impacts on humans. One of the most significant impacts is the long lasting drought, especially in the southwestern part of the United States. With a long term drought, jobs and food are both impacted. If there is too much of a drought, the farming industry will hurt. The farmers will then be out of work. Also, the food source in America will be compromised because of the drought. People need to know more about what they can do to help stop climate change. There are simple things such as recycling and carpooling that will reduce the impact that a person has on the environment. There are more advanced measures that can also be taken...

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