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.

Or not to skip?
Nov04

Or not to skip?

“You deserve it.” Where did that idea come from? It’s heard in commercials for everything from new Hummer H3s, Suave shampoos and Pop-Tart ads. America is inundated with the notion that the world owes its citizens whatever they deem themselves worthy of receiving. What has been the result? Keep your eyes and ears open during your next trip to Wal-Mart. A parent slapping his or her kid’s hand as he or she reaches for candy in the checkout line is a normal sight to see. American commercialism seems to say people deserve whatever it is they want. The freedom to make the decision doesn’t mean each of the choices is right. Americans have grown with “healthy” breakfast cereal — call it sugar drowning in a homogenized dairy product. What people have grown are spoiled, selfish brats. It’s not just children who gorge on all the Lucky Charms marshmallows first, either. College students routinely expect to get good grades for just showing up, and they don’t want to take any notes when there. Since when were college classes reduced to the kindergarten level in the minds of students? They show up for naptime or spend the whole time texting and doodling. Do they realize they (or their parents) have spent nearly two grand for that class? If the class meets three times a week, then each class period costs about $42. For two days a week, it costs about $63. Attending a class is the same as a new outfit from Target, including the shoes and handbag. Maybe they don’t stop to think about it when they press snooze for the tenth time and decide they can still pass even if they skip. They don’t take into account that somewhere down the road they may really need to miss a class. Just like the kid who eats all the marshmallows in the breakfast cereal first, leaving a soggy mess of Cheerio-like shapes to be the taste left in his or her mouth at the end. Every session has value, almost a dollar for every minute. Don’t forget to set the alarm clock and set aside more time than a late night cram session the day before exams. Eat breakfast. Lucky Charms semi-counts since it’s been shocked with vitamins. But save some marshmallows for the last few...

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To skip?
Nov04

To skip?

Why skip a class that costs students more than most of their weekly budgets? Missing a class should be optional because when students choose to skip a class they have paid for, it is the same as buying a McDonald’s double cheeseburger and choosing to throw it away. If someone buys something, they should be able to do with it what they want. This statement does not mean that missing class is recommended or that it won’t have consequences on grades, but attendance policies should be made independently by students according to how much they want to learn and what kind of experience they expect. For instance, if someone could afford to miss a class more than the allowed absences by a professor and still be happy with their grade they make on tests, then they are better off for it. The responsibility of a person’s education and attendance should be their own rather than being looked over by professors and administration. What are we, high school students? There are days that are too pretty to go to class. There are days that are too ugly to go to class, and there are the grueling days in between. So if someone feels they can afford it, why not miss some of those days? The university stipulates that students cannot miss more than 25 percent of classes in order to be able to finish a class. In most cases, this “absence allowance” is to encourage students to pass their classes by being in class more, but natural selection would imply that students who don’t go to class would faze themselves out of the university anyway. This university holds students to a higher standard than many, keeping men and women separated in residence halls, making sure students go to class, ensuring that everyone parks correctly and handing out fines when university shareholders break the rules, but how does that help teach life lessons? It fails to teach that students are accountable for their own actions and takes the power to choose from the students. Our generation needs to step up and take accountability for their actions in an ever-growing world and the university should not hinder students’ ability to reason. Yes, going to class is the right choice to make, but why not put that decision in the hands of the people that it...

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Media bias is no joke
Oct21

Media bias is no joke

After endless months of covering campaigns and invading personal and public lives alike, cameras and recorders have captured every detail of the presidential election on an unprecedented level. This year’s intense reporting has become a landmark in the news industry and has caused readers and viewers to question media ethics and proper reporting. Conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity stated himself in a program interview during the Values Voter Summit that the media is one sided. He said, “We are going to look back at 2008 as the year journalism died.” As an extreme conservative, it is no surprise Hannity is annoyed by the left-wing bias that has consumed the mainstream media. Never before have consumers needed to protect their minds to this level when absorbing any news related material. McCain is not America’s next top model, but Obama isn’t Miss Illinois either. Yet, popular magazines and newspapers such as People, US Weekly, The New York Times, and USA Today are proving through a series of unfortunate photo shoots and tendentious headlines that Obama has a more glamorous face and therefore is running on a prettier platform. Liberally slanted journalists have conveniently forgotten Obama’s relationship with America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright and have failed to properly investigate the senator’s close ties with former terrorist William Ayers. Instead, the nation’s voter energy been redirected toward Palin’s Down syndrome baby and young, pregnant daughter. Obama’s headline reads “Family man” while Palin’s reads “Family drama.” The media have purposely crept into consumers’ minds, causing them to become brainwashed by partisan coverage. Americans, if they can untangle themselves from overused objectives, have every right to distrust the mass media. The art of journalism has been put to shame by various publications and corporations. But not all reporters and journalists are doing the field an injustice. “There is a misconception in broadcasting that you have to be rude and deceiving to be successful,” Rudy Kalis said. Kalis is the WSMV-TV sports director out of Nashville and has won the AP award for outstanding sportscaster in Tennessee 12 times. “Trust is better than a good story.” The truth should be what every journalist seeks to embrace. Unfortunately, it is unlikely media will reach that point any time soon. In response, consumers need to guard themselves when reading and viewing, but by no means should they ignore the existence of the one thing that keeps this nation in check. Countless athletes have abused steroids, but fans haven’t stopped watching the game. There are still good players on the field. FOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes is aware of the media bias. He said it is important for people...

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Send John McCain to White House
Oct21

Send John McCain to White House

In the movie Gladiator, Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus, declares, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” The same could be said of the 2008 presidential election. On Nov. 4, citizens of the United States will face a choice that could alter the trajectory of the country for a generation, a choice that will define what America and its people stand for. Americans can choose to elect Barack Obama, a smooth-talking charlatan who is at once the most frighteningly leftist and egregiously unqualified presidential candidate in history. Or they can send to the White House a decorated war hero, a proven reformer, a man of character with a distinguished record of public service, a man named John McCain. The choice is clear: McCain for president. The United States today faces unprecedented challenges, and while McCain is far from perfect, he has shown that he has the experience, knowledge and judgment to be an effective president. The same cannot be said for Obama. McCain has the right ideas about fixing America’s economy. Throughout the campaign, he has advocated sensible economic policies such as low taxes to encourage job growth and restraining government spending to reduce the nation’s massive budget deficits that eat away at its future prosperity. Obama’s plan to raise taxes and massively increase federal spending will drive away jobs, bloat the national debt, and lead to economic ruin. McCain’s health care plan gives Americans tax credits to purchase their own insurance, giving individuals control over their health care. Obama promises government mandates and massive expansion of already unsustainable federal programs that put health care into the hands of bureaucrats. To achieve energy independence, McCain wants to utilize all of America’s resources, including wind and solar energy, but most importantly, expanded offshore drilling and nuclear power, two of the fastest, most reliable ways to increase domestic energy production. Obama’s reluctance to support increased drilling and his ridiculous plan to punish the oil companies who bring our fuel out of the ground is both unfortunate and extremely counterproductive. McCain has consistently demonstrated a solid grasp of world affairs and has the right approach to dealing with America’s enemies. He was an early critic of the Bush administration’s strategy in Iraq and a vocal proponent of the troop surge, which has reduced violence in the country to a level where American soldiers can now return home in victory, leaving behind a stable, democratic Iraq. McCain understands the danger posed by rogue nations like Iran and its resident madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who vows to obliterate Israel — and North Korea, which finds it amusing to test nuclear-capable missiles over the Pacific Ocean....

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Vote ‘Obama’ for change, reform
Oct21

Vote ‘Obama’ for change, reform

Ashli Lawson Voting gives hope to ideas becoming reality and is a great privilege we have in the United States. On November 4, I will be casting my ballot for Barack Obama for president of the United States. With Barack Obama as president, much-needed reform will be possible. Health care can become more available and affordable for families and businesses, alternative energy research will be encouraged and a war that never should have been started will be ceased. With an Obama-Biden ticket, change is possible. Health care has been the main concern for millions of U.S. families as premiums and co-pays have risen, choice of doctors has narrowed and people are turned away for pre-existing conditions. Under the Obama-Biden plan, heath care will be more affordable and more accessible. For children, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) will ensure every child has coverage from the time of birth. After age 21, a more effectively regulated health care system will instill competition between providers and mandatory access to service to allow families and employers to afford and receive coverage. Funding from this program will come when the Bush tax cuts on households making over $250,000 per year expire and a more progressive tax rate takes effect. A decrease in foreign oil dependence will not reverse the effects of current greenhouse gases. However, it will reduce the economic strain and push towards alternative energy. The Obama-Biden ticket supports government incentives for advanced car purchases and provides short-term relief for Americans at the pump. Obama will urge Congress to implement a profits tax on excessive oil companies and plug loopholes in the energy industry to prevent over-speculation in the field at the consumer’s expense. The war in Iraq began as the result of an attack on American soil. The Bush administration rushed into this war over intelligence reports that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and assertions that Saddam Hussein collaborated with al-Qaida terrorists. The 9/11 Commission report proved both false, but the war continued. The Bush administration then made it their mission to capture Suddam Hussein and make a defensive war into an offensive operation to bring democracy to Iraq. A war that was prematurely entered to protect Americans from terrorists soon became an imperialist mission to alter a political system. As North Korea’s Kim Jong Il was, and still is, testing missiles that could potentially reach the U.S., terrorism is not declining, and America’s economy is unstable, the current administration continues to supply more troops to the Middle East and exponentially allocate tax payer’s dollars to this mission. The United Nations does not back this mission, and America is...

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Abortion devalues human life, throws away God’s greatest gift

By Laura Beth Gebhardt It’s made the headlines before. A mother is tried for murder after leaving her baby to die in a trash can outside of a hospital. Seeing something like this leaves most people shocked. They can’t understand how someone could be so heartless. Yet, the same people are accepting of abortion. Despite what some may say, they are both murder. The heartbeat of a baby begins between the eighteenth and twenty-fifth days, and brain waves have been recorded as early as 40 days. The baby itself is fully developed, fingernails and eye lashes included, by 11 weeks. This is around the time that the average abortion is done. The definition of murder is, “to kill with premeditated malice.” Is this not the same thing as abortion? Recently, a new form of abortion has been introduced, known as induced labor abortion. In this procedure, labor is prematurely induced as late as six months into the pregnancy, and after the baby is born alive, it is left to die, sometimes in the soiled utility room. Sometimes it takes several hours. How can this not be considered murder? Presidential candidate Barack Obama does not oppose this procedure. On the contrary, he defends it. How a person can not be appalled and completely against this practice is beyond understanding. Voters give the president power, not only power over themselves but over the lives of thousands of defenseless babies. Anyone aspiring to lead this country should be closely scrutinized as to how they value the lives of the unborn. Throughout history, killing another human has never gone by without notice. It is a serious crime, and it has severe consequences. A study done by Elliot Institute of post-abortion patients, found that 61.3% of women experience guilt, 37.9% deal with anxiety, 31.6% have suicidal feelings and 43.6% deal with self-hatred. The guilt that faces post-abortion women is overwhelming and shows that their conscience knows that what they have done is wrong. It affects their thoughts, emotions and the way they live their everyday lives. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” God knew everyone by name before they were conceived, and taking the life of someone He created is something that people shouldn’t have the choice to do. The lives of humans are in His hands, and not something people should try to control.  Every life has a purpose and is precious in the eyes of God. Some would argue that people who are pro-life are against women having a choice....

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