All Posts By:

Sela

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, TRENDING

    The Whistleblower Complaint and A Summation of President Trump’s Impeachment Inquiry

    united states capitol building

    On September 24, 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the house would initiate an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Ever since the Mueller report was released, impeachment has been circulating through the media. It was only until Tuesday, September 24, that this impeachment could be possible. So what exactly does impeachment mean?

    What is Impeachment?

    Impeachment is often recognized as the catalyst to the end of a president’s term. While this could be true, only two presidents have ever been impeached, and neither of them was removed from office. Impeachment simply means that the president will be questioned by Congress, but does not mean that the president will be removed from office. Although impeachment is immensely relevant, there is merely an impeachment inquiry being held right now. 

    What is an impeachment inquiry?

    An impeachment inquiry is the beginning of the process of impeachment but does not inevitably lead to impeachment. In this case, the impeachment inquiry means that democratic officials elected for this process will investigate and possibly propose articles of impeachment. This would then be voted on by the House of Representatives. If a simple majority passes any article of impeachment, the president is officially impeached. Only after that is when the Senate votes on it, confirming or denying the president’s conviction depending on a two-thirds vote. 

    So, why is there an impeachment inquiry of President Trump?

    The main reason for the impeachment inquiry coming out recently is mainly because of the “whistleblower complaint” shared with the New York Times. A whistleblower is a person who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity. In this complaint, the anonymous government employee claimed that Trump asked the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Trump’s most threatening rival in the upcoming election, Vice President Joe Biden. Specifically, Trump asked for an investigation of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The anonymous source also stated that all records of the phone calls were put on “lockdown” and stored on a top-secret computer this summer. The source said that many white house aids were concerned that the president was abusing the system, but had confirmed that it was “not the first time.” This yields evident questioning concerning the president’s motives. 

    Why should the whistleblower be believed?

    This is a question many people are asking. There is strong evidence showing that this person knows what he/she is talking about. The acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire, appointed by the president, claimed that many of the events pointed out in the report align with information released by the president. He also claimed that he has no reason to doubt the whistleblower’s intentions. The New York Times also released information stating that the whistleblower is a C.I.A. officer. In any case, a whistleblower, when admitting controversial information, is prepared for a life-changing event to transpire. Thus, no one would release faulty information when it can lead to such high-risk retribution.There is evident proof that this is not simply fabricated. 

    Will President Trump be impeached or even removed from office? We must be patient and await the outcome. We are living in an extraordinary time period. History is being made; all we have to do is pay attention. 

    *Because of dynamic events and hourly developments, this article may lack important information released after publication

    Sources:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/pelosi-top-democrats-privately-discuss-creation-of-select-committee-for-impeachment/2019/09/24/af6f735a-dedf-11e9-b199-f638bf2c340f_story.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/how-does-impeachment-work/2019/09/24/7eea04b3-dfd2-4dd8-8722-fd924f30410d_video.html

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whistleblower-case-4-top-takeaways-from-the-whistleblower-complaint-and-the-testimony-of-dni-joseph-maguire/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/read-the-whistleblower-complaint-regarding-president-trump-s-communications-with-ukrainian-president-volodymyr-zelensky/4b9e0ca5-3824-467f-b1a3-77f2d4ee16aa/

    https://www.npr.org/2019/09/27/764794409/the-trump-ukraine-affair-what-you-need-to-know-and-whats-coming-next


  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Mental Health, Stress

    What Having a Birthday on 9/11 is Like

    Photo of 9/11


    9/11 is a day that every American recognizes. From annual news specials on television to first-hand accounts read at school, there are constant reminders of that fateful day. I grew up as many other kids born in the early 2000s. We would learn about different tragedies happening to individuals that day, which contributed to a greater tragedy concerning all Americans. When people ask when my birthday is, they respond one of two ways: they act like it’s normal and try to keep a straight face without showing pity, or they face it head on and express their condolences as if I lost someone in the event. I always wait to see which reaction they give,  leading to a peek into their personality. At least it is a conversation starter.

    In first grade we had an assignment to go home and research something that happened on our birthday. Because I was a 7 year-old who was quite ignorant to the actual events of that day but just thought it was a “bad day.” I went home so excited to see if I could find something good that happened on my birthday. I asked my mom to help me, and she was clearly hesitant about the assignment. Nonetheless, she agreed to look into it with me. She expected to have to file through a lot of articles on 9/11, but she thought that surely we could find something positive. However, besides several celebrities being born that day, we found nothing. I started crying and asked why we couldn’t find anything, and she had no answers for me. 

    In fifth grade we went on a school field trip to Washington D.C. I was so excited to see the White House– all of the famous monuments and especially the Smithsonian. When we got to the Newseum, I was thrilled to see the display of a real newsdesk and other objects that were famously stored there. However, the visit darkened when we spent thirty minutes of the tour at the 9/11 exhibit. The walls were covered in the original headlines for the event from that day. There was also a piece of one of the towers placed in the middle standing several stories high. I started to get upset, and I told my mom. She asked the tour guide and teachers if we could go someplace else just so I wouldn’t have to endure it as long as the others did. She has never shielded me from it, but I already knew many of the details, and she thought she might as well save the day of wonder in D.C. if she could. She had shown me films, documentaries, and short films so I could be informed that it wasn’t a “bad day” for no reason.

    In seventh grade, we watched a livestream of people affected by 9/11 giving speeches in Washington D.C. I remember trying to hold the tears back as I finally broke down and ran to the bathroom. One of my friends in the grade above me came into the bathroom and asked if I was okay. She believed me when I said I had bad allergies, and I was left in peace even though I have never had seasonal allergies. It was on that day that I realized how unfortunate it was that I was crying on my birthday. I realized that I would probably cry on every birthday after that. I had cried before on my birthday for the same reason, but I never really thought about the fact that I would be dealing with this for the rest of my life. 

    I would like you to notice, yourself, on that day listening to stories on the radio or researching the news coverage. Then, I would like you to imagine that it was your birthday. I am deprived in a way that birthdays are meant to be–days that you can be completely narcissistic and have everything centered around you. However, I always feel an obligation to not make it about me. I feel an obligation to make it about anything but me. My birthday is a day when millions of people suffered the devastation caused by outside forces to our homeland. My birthday is a day when brothers lost sisters and sisters lost brothers. My birthday is an annual day of flag lowering and prayer throughout the nation. My birthday is a reminder of disaster, loss, and hopelessness. 

    I am not trying to throw a pity party through this article. Clearly, the actual events and stories that happened on that day were far worse than anything that has affected me. Everyone should know about what happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from happening again. I am thankful, in a way, that it is my birthday because it grounds me in reality. It is an annual reminder that if we want this world to be a better place, it starts right here at home. It is tough, and I have taken off from school on my birthday at times to just get away from it. Luckily, my friends and family are incredibly sympathetic and try to make it as happy as it can be. I am writing this to explain my experience and acknowledge an annual phenomenon on that day besides the one we all know. If you ever meet anyone born on 9/11, all we want from you is a happy birthday wish and a smile. Any little moment of positivity on that day brightens our day to be brighter than the last. I aspire to make each birthday better than the last. I try to inject it with as much positivity as the laws of physics can bestow. I will, hopefully, be experiencing it for a long time, after all.

  • Articles, Books

    Goodreads: A Guide

    goodreads

    What is Goodreads? 

    Goodreads is a website where you can discover new books based on your personal preferences. Because it has so many awesome features, people might be overwhelmed and not really come back to the website. I have been on Goodreads for around 4 years now, and have enjoyed it more each and every year. I am here to explain some of the features and activities that Goodreads has. 

    What are some key features of the website?

    At the beginning of making your account, you can choose which genres you normally enjoy. From there, you will receive recommendations based on this. You can change your preferences at any point after establishing your account. You can add your friends on the website, so you can keep up with what your friends are reading. You can also see their reviews of each book if they choose to review it. This can give you an insight into what people around you may enjoy, and give you inspiration for your next read!

    Each time you want to read, are reading, or have finished a particular book, you can record it on your account. You can even record what page you are on, or what your percentage of completion is. You may also comment about whatever is on your mind, creating a sort of virtual book club that you and your friends can enjoy. You can also follow your favorite authors, and they may share opinions on books they have read as well. You will from time to time get emails about recommendations, but thankfully your inbox will not be infiltrated as they are only sent about a couple times a month. They also have annual choice awards for the best books determined by readers of the website. They have giveaways, quizzes, trivia, and a creative writing format where you can write your own stories.

    My Favorite Feature

    Besides having a book club within your friend group, you can connect with people on the website who love the same books as you and discuss them. You can have a q&a with authors who have opened a forum on the website. To add on to all of this, Goodreads can find local events based on your location revolved around book signings or events/conferences that an author will be speaking at. And finally, my personal favorite: The Reading Challenge.

    Each year, Goodreads has a system that can keep track of the books you have read that year. At the beginning of the year, you can start with a goal of a number of books to read during that year. You can choose anywhere from 1 to 1000. This can motivate you to read while adding a friendly competition between you and your friends to see who can read the most. 

    Pros

    Clearly the pros are that there are so many awesome features to partake in on the website. You can go to it anytime you need book recommendations and it is there. Because so many users are on, you can get backed up reviews from the quantity of reviewers. This is a simple way to keep in touch with possible friends who have moved away or you have lost touch with. It is an easy-going safe website that anyone of any age can use. 

    Cons

    Because there are so many features, it can get confusing. The website also could be slightly easier to use because there are so many different tabs when it could be more organized. The aesthetic of the website is quite bland however it can give a calming bookstore feeling. 

    What are the takeaways?

    With Goodreads, you have the ability to connect with people and share ideas and opinions about your favorite (or not so favorite) books. You can log on at any time and participate! You can have a bit of competitive fun using the features with your friends, and it can get you into the habit of reading. For students, it can help with assigned reading during the summer or during the school year. You can get awesome recommendations based on the books you have liked and disliked, and continue to recommend to others! There are some many features that have so many benefits. It is right there in the name! I hope you choose to check it out and make an account. You definitely won’t regret it! I hope you all are having a great summer. Good reading!

    Check out the website yourself and find your next book to binge read. But, if you can’t find anything there check out our list of 12 Summer reads!

  • Articles, Artwork, GirlSpring.com, Writing

    The Relevance of Calvin and Hobbes Today: Corruption in the News

    Calvin and Hobbes

    Calvin and Hobbes is a comic strip by Bill Watterson that was released daily from November of 1985 to December 1995. The cartoons were used as vessels for portraying serious topics simply through an opinionated boy, Calvin, and his make-believe tiger, Hobbes. Although new original strips are not being produced, they live on in form of collections and on the official Calvin and Hobbes website (https://www.calvinandhobbes.com/about-calvin-and-hobbes/).  From topics of the existence of fate to the selfishness of man, the cartoons touch on topics that are extremely relevant in today’s society. In this article, I will be presenting a specific cartoon addressing the corruption of the news.

    What is “The News?”

    In this particular strip, Calvin yells at a tv screen complaining about the lack of information, and how this is wrongly defined as “news.” The news and media have been under-fire for the last few of years, especially in the United States. The term “fake news” has been used time and time again after President Donald Trump used it on his twitter on countless events. Although its popularity grew in 2016, the term was originally coined in the 1800s, with a neutral connotation and a simpler, less political denotation. Fake news: can refer to false new stories, often spread as propaganda on social media. It can also characterize any information that one finds critical about themselves, popularized as a catchphrase by Donald Trump after the 2016 presidential election. The term itself is can usually be described as false information. In the case of the President, he will refer to information as fake news when it has been backed up and proven by several sources to be true.

    News: newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events. Along with the political corruption of the news, there is a phenomenon of presenting not news, but particular stories that aren’t incredibly relevant to the state of affairs. For example, Buzzfeed, “the leading independent digital media and tech company delivering news and entertainment content to a global audience,” has been criticized for posting articles that are not relevant, and even offensive to some groups of people. When expected to present equal parts news and entertainment, often the entertainment is more common. Many have pointed out that quantity is more valued than quality in their case, and that the articles are more similar to opinion pieces, and are not informative.

    Sensationalism Today

    Sensationalism and fake news are similar terms. However, the main difference is that “fake news” is more used than sensationalism. Although we often forget about sensationalism, its relevance in the world today is just as important as fake news. Sensationalism: the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement. Because many people access their news online, online news sources take advantage of the fact that each time a person clicks on a story, they will receive earnings from ads and other monetization inputs. Sensationalism in the modern day may also be referred to as “clickbait,” literally meaning sensational bait that will get you to click on the article. This phenomenon takes place in vain when the job of the news is to inform instead of obtain. Sensationalism in the cartoon is mentioned in terms of television rather than handheld devices or computers. The type of sensationalism today is even more dangerous because of the access that children have to it. Hackers can even use click bait as a way to inject a virus into a system. Next time you see an article claiming a title too crazy to be true, just don’t click.

    Ignorance is bliss, right?

    Finally, in the third part of the strip, Calvin says, “Fortunately, that’s all I have the patience for.” This is a statement that I’m sure many people can relate to. Sometimes the struggles of the world are just too much, and it’s nicer to have tame information at your disposal. However, it is important to know what is really going on. Because many people would rather hear the good than the bad, they just accept the fake news and sensationalism. This is not a good mindset to have. It is always needed to take a break from the news, but don’t let the need for happiness overtake the need for true information.

    What can we do?

    To lessen the spread of fake news, always investigate the information given. To make sure that we all get information that is true and backed-up, double or triple check what’s being put out there. If you read an article that says something a little off, research it. If you read something from one website, read other sources. Always do your homework before you tell someone about something. This is especially important for us teens. Do your research, and have fun doing it! As teenagers and rising leaders, we can stop the spread of fake news and inform each other on the important things.

    Sources:

    https://www.calvinandhobbes.com/

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/where-does-the-term-fake-news-come-from_n_58d53c89e4b03692bea518ad

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/the-real-story-of-fake-news

    https://www.dictionary.com/e/politics/fake-news/

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/about/jobs

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/220746819206074047/?autologin=true

  • Bullying, Poem

    Blind

    School has begun.
    The braids of summer have been undone.
    All the stores bring out their fall attire.
    Colors of warmth, the heat of a fire.
    School supplies are all sold out.
    These things have changed but others will not. No doubt.
    The lonely table has been brought out once again.
    Things will go back to the way they’ve been.
    The one kid sitting at that table
    With cruel words has been disabled.
    Others laugh and joke about her life,
    But what they don’t know is that she cries at night.
    Some of you see this every single day,
    If you haven’t done anything, that’s not okay.
    See; what happens here is not always seen,
    By people who are “too busy” or people like you and me.
    How can so many people so phenomenally blind?
    They don’t see it. A bully is not someone to stand behind.
    If you see that girl or that boy at that table,
    Stand up and do what you are able.
    Bullying is truly a double-edged sword.
    It’s good for nothing. It’s something this world can’t afford.
    If you too are bullied because you stand up to them,
    Ignore them and make new friends.
    Start with that kid with the long face all day.
    You might just take some of their sorrow away.
    Make friends who you know are truly kind.
    Ditch the ones who behind a bully you will find.
    If you do all these things, it might get better.
    You know, accomplishments will present around people who work together.
    The best thing to do is to do something.
    But the worst thing to do is nothing.