Monthly Archives: February 2009

Take a test to vote

For people who are migrating to this country, they must pass a test to become an American citizen.  There are study guides out there for this test.  MSNBC posted a sample of the questions that are asked of people taking the naturalization test.  My challenge to you is to take this test and see how you do.  I got 95% correct.  I got question number 19 wrong.  

I personally believe that there are many natural born American citizens out there who would not be able to pass this test.  We as Americans have become lazy when it comes to our nation’s history and foundation.  We no longer care about where we have come from and I am beginning to wonder if we care about where we are going.  I am a firm believer in the idea that you can learn from history.  

We are asking people from other regions of the world, who speak other languages, to be more knowledgeable about the history of our country than most American citizens.  I think that Americans should be required to take a test to receive their voter i.d. card.  This test would include questions about voting rights, American history (similar to the questions on the Naturalization test), and who the candidates running for each party are.  This test in no way would ask about the person’s political party affiliation nor try to persuade the test-taker toward any side.

Supposedly, the reason behind all the things America does is “freedom” and “equality”.  So, I understand that you are probably thinking, if we require people to pass a test in order to vote, this is not consistent with freedom and equality.  The original reasoning behind the founding father’s ideas of “live, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” were to create a better country where people could be equal and free to express their opinions.  However, I believe the founding fathers also intended for people to do what was best for their country.  They intended for people to act in an honorable way and be knowledgeable about what they were acting on.  

So, why is it that we are allowing people who cannot even identify which party is in control of Congress to vote? Why do we allow people who can tell you what presidential and vice presidential candidates are running together and for which party to vote?  Why do we allow people who cannot tell you the difference between public policy and public opinion to vote?  People need to do their research and know the issues and the candidates.  We can no longer trust people to do this.  People are going to the polls on election day and voting simply because they like a picture of someone they saw or they enjoyed an outfit they were wearing.  

It is time Americans took responsibility for what their country has come to.  It is because of unknowledgeable people, who have not done their research, that America is in the situation it is.  If we required people to pass a test before they could receive their voter i.d. card, we would at least know they were somewhat competent in what they were voting about.  There is nothing more sad than to say that natural born American citizens know less about their own country than those people who are migrating here.


Robot Exoskeleton in the US Army

Now, I think all or at least most of us have heard of the movie The Terminator (1984) with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  That was exactly what I thought of when I saw this CNN video on a Robotic Exoskeleton the Army is using.  Yes, that’s exactly what I said, robotic exoskeleton.  It allows a person, mainly soldiers to step into the robotic structure and operate it.  It enables average men to lift five-hundred pounds of weight and load missiles onto planes without breaking a sweat.  It doesn’t hinder their ability to maneuver; the person operating the machine can still run and jump.  However, swimming may be out of the picture right now.  

The biotech engineers are currently working on a way to make this robot free-moving.  This way, the soldier would be able to leave the robot and it could continue without someone to direct it.  This would be a great advancement for the US Military.  However, as with all things, we should proceed with care.

Jumping In

It seems that everyone is blogging these days.  Everyday I discover that another of my friends has a blog.  There is even a revolution of “mommy bloggers”, my sister included in this phenomenon.  So, I was asking myself, “Why do I not have a blog?”  My advisor, friend, and professor, Dr. V has always encouraged me to have my own blog.  So, I believe that now is the time.  

There are many questions that fill my mind daily.  Among these are, “How am I going to get all this work done?”, “Will my senior thesis ever be finished?”, “What is that homework assignment again?”, and most importantly, “What am I going to do with my life?”  

This last question I believe is one that people, even adults who have a steady 9-5 job for thirty years, still ask themselves.  Most recently, I have decided to pursue a degree in Public Administration.  You will soon learn that I have a passion for politics.  I love America!!  My senior thesis is on new media and political communication.  If you have the chance, you can help me with my research and take this survey.