Categories
World

Leaked call shows Trump asking to find 11,780 votes in Georgia.

Recently, on a secretly recorded call, President Trump pleaded with Georgia’s Secretary of State (R), Brad Raffensperger, to find votes that could overturn the election. The hour-long phone call between the two illustrates a President who is desperate to change the election results, despite his previous failures to do so. 

Trump’s tactics to overturn the results include making the Secretary of State admit to a recalculation; “reexamine it with people who want to find answers, not people who don’t want to find answers.” Along with miraculously finding votes, Trump says “I just want to find 11,780 votes”, which would give him enough to win him Georgia. The President also asked about machines that he heard had been tampered with, and asked questions such as, “Do you think it’s possible that they shredded ballots?” All to which the Secretary of State replied, no. 

In regards to the critical Senate election on Tuesday, Trump urged Raffensperger to give a statement prior to Tuesday about his ‘new’ findings. His reasoning being that “the people of Georgia are angry” and that Republicans “don’t want to vote”, essentially shifting blame onto the Secretary of State rather than accepting his own losses. Raffensperger continuously rejected the President’s demands and criticized Trump’s data calling it, “wrong”. Raffensperger also insinuates to Trump that social media is a problem creator for the President and is spreading misinformation because “people can say anything they want”, to which Trump replied, “this is Trump media… I could care less about social media.” 

It’s also possible that Trump may have violated Georgia State laws regarding solicitation of voter fraud as well as pressuring a government official. By asking the Secretary of State to find ballots that were not legally cast for him, Trump violates the law to “solicit, request, command, importune or otherwise attempt to cause another person to engage in election fraud” which is a felony in the state. Although it is unlikely that prosecutors would charge the President, it is possible that there will be an investigation on him.  

The fact that Trump said, “there’s nothing wrong with saying that you’ve recalculated”, is proof of abuse of power, yet again. Acts like these are dangerous to America’s democracy and continue to put the country at risk. More Republicans are coming out against the President over this phone call and Trump’s denial of the results. Former Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, reprimanded Trump, after staying silent for weeks on the matters of the election results. Ryan believes Trump’s claims are “anti-democratic”, “anti-conservative”, and urged his peers to stop fighting the results especially ahead of the electoral count this week. 

Overall the call did nothing to help the President’s vanishing case of election fraud. The President threatened the Secretary of States’ lack of finding more votes to be “a criminal offense”, and in response, Raffensperger refused to reevaluate results. This call was a telling reality of the President’s lack of power over his Republican constituents, the lengths that he will take to maintain his presidency, and how meaningless law and order is to Trump.

Staff Writer: Abi Baker

Editor: Lauren Shin

Categories
World

How Trump Supporters Turned Into Terrorists.

Until January 6th, I had never seen such violence, terrorism, and more importantly, visual proof of the most explosive group of people in America. Millions of dangerous Trump supporters exist, and until the events on January 6th, many Americans, including me, did not fully realize it. 

Prior to ballots being cast in the 2020 election, President Trump warned of election fraud and pushed the conspiracy that mail-in ballots are a “rigged” system. His supporters throughout America and his allies in the House and Senate believed him and continued to blindly reject the election results. They saw no problem with his tumultuous legal battles, none of which came to fruition, and his pleading to ‘find votes’. 

His January 6th, “save America rally”, had been planned for months. Although no one could ever predict the exact outcome, Americans and law enforcement were naive to not properly prepare for the worst. On the morning of the 6th, Trump spoke to his supporters who flew confederate flags, dressed in military gear, and proudly wore 6MWE t-shirts and other nazi adjacent apparel. The President said “you have to get your people to fight”, and they certainly did. Rudy Giulini spoke to the crowd saying there should be “trial by combat” which further instigated the crowd.  

These rioters traveled from across the country over a false conspiracy of election fraud. They are not American heroes, they breached the Capitol, took over the Senate floor, attacked police, and did so to ‘protect’ their President. They are intoxicated by the idea of overturning the election which has been fueled by Trump and his “Trumpublicans”, as Chris Cuomo calls them. They are not the party of law and order. These white supremacists broke windows, doors, stole documents, and took down the American flag to replace it with a Trump flag. A true sentiment of what they believe is their America, a country that stands for fascism and not democracy.

Staff Writer: Abi Baker

Editor: Lauren Shin

Categories
Politics

Trump’s Power Grab Leaves Millions Without Unemployment Checks In The Coming Weeks.

After months of deliberation, Congress passed the bipartisan $900 billion covid-19 relief package. The bill provides unemployed Americans with payments of $600 to families, small business benefits, and funding to help with vaccine distribution. The 5,000-page legislation was flown from Washington to Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida where the President is vacationing over the holiday. He spent the following day playing golf while millions of unemployed Americans lined up at food distribution centers in dire need of government assistance. 

However, the President has protested the bill, asking for larger checks. If he fails to sign the bill, it could cause irreversible harm to the economy and the American people. Trump’s final ‘act of faith’ is negatively affecting millions of Americans’ lives and futures, and will create permanent damages to individuals. 

Trump’s demands for more money is only delaying the checks that are supposed to be distributed to unemployed Americans. In retrospect, more money would be the ideal situation for every American, but there is only so much room in the set budget, and the most important factor in this is time. 

President Trump threatened to veto the bill unless the check values are increased from $600 to $2,000. The timing of this though is jeopardizing a government shutdown on Tuesday. Millions of Americans could lose crucial unemployment aid as a result. The aid also provides benefits for businesses that could permanently close if the money is stalled. 

Trump’s changes to the COVID relief packages this week surprised lawmakers. The President wants to have the bill include a bigger one-time check for families. The bipartisan effort was negotiated by Trump’s own Treasury Secretary while the President made few appearances in talks. Many Republicans were surprised by the President’s response after they had overwhelmingly supported the bill. In fact, Trump’s critiques of government funding were in accordance with the White House’s original financial asks. 

If Trump fails to approve the bill, there would be further economic impacts on American families that many will not be able to overcome. Even delaying the checks by a few weeks will do financial damage to families but, if Trump does sign the bill, families will be compensated for the missed weeks.    

President-Elect Joe Biden criticized the delay, “this abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences”. 

At this point in Trump’s political career, this decision he is making will hurt Americans instead of offering more financial leeway. President Trump’s decision appears to be a final power grab rather than a good intention.

Update Sunday 10:26pm

President Trump has now signed the bill into law. But, because of his delay in doing so, he now leaves Americans in the unemployment programs without checks for the final week of the year. Also, those who receive pandemic compensation will likely have to wait several weeks for their payments. In regards to increasing the check amounts, the House is set to vote on Monday to expand the payments from $600 to $2,000 per the President’s request.

Categories
Education

Phasing Out The SAT

Before I even started high school my parents talked about the importance of getting a high SAT score. And more importantly what score could get me into the best colleges. Now as a rising junior it is very clear how toxic and defeating the college process really is. 

I am not a good test taker, yet I have been taking prep classes since the beginning of my freshman year. I perform best during debates, Socratic seminars, and through my writing. My best subjects are history and English and if it were up to me I would’ve stopped taking math and science in 6th grade. To balance out my average test scores, I have to exceed expectations in every other department. I play sports, volunteer, start clubs, work a job, write and edit for several publications. Yet, I truly think when it comes down to applying to colleges it will still not be enough. Even if I am passionate about everything I do outside of school and am doing more than my peers I am still measured by the number I achieve on a test. 

Until the disruption of COVID-19, I always believed the system would stay the same. Now more colleges are becoming test-optional and looking at the student as a whole and what difference they can bring to campus. When schools first closed in March it gave students so much more free time and allowed them to be more creative. I’ve seen people start “Instagram shops” and sell clothes, bracelets, masks, and baked goods, with many of them donating proceeds to help the COVID relief. It’s things like this that aren’t encouraged by our society because of how little time we had before the virus. A students’ success shouldn’t be determined by their A-D answer choices but should be determined by their well-roundedness as a person.  

I do understand that many students appreciate the chance to take a test because that is where they shine academically. But it shouldn’t be one system over the other. Schools such as the University of Chicago, Smith, and Juilliard are test-optional and have graduated Nobel Prize winners, politicians, and musical genius’. 

Creating a test-optional society will encourage more students to be creative and unique in their own ways rather than only being successful on paper. 

Categories
Politics

How Gen Z is beating Trump at his own game.

Here is a simple analysis of a few of the effortless pranks Gen Z has done to the President of the United States. Donald Trump is known for bullying his opponents and being verbally abusive, so teens are putting him in his place. Although many Gen Z’ers aren’t old enough to vote this year, they are making sure to do everything they can to rattle Trump before the election. 

First, the historically empty Tulsa Rally. 

Before Donald Trump’s first rally since March his campaign gloated about the ticket RSVP’s, stating “Almost One Million people request tickets for the Saturday Night Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma!”. So after booking a larger venue it was a sad surprise to Trump that only 6,200 people were in attendance. The volume of tickets that were reserved came from Gen Z’ers on TikTok and thousands of K-Pop fans. The arena was noticeably empty and because of that, the second event Trump planned was canceled. 

Shopping cart abandonment at the Maga Store. 

Have you ever heard of shopping cart abandonment and it’s damaging effects on online shopping? Well, Gen Z has! Another way teens have been spending their free time during quarantine is by adding thousands of dollars worth of MAGA gear to their online shopping carts and then not buying any of it. Creating mass orders to be made and then having no one to buy the products in the carts. Since this has happened ShopDonaldTrump.com has limited the maximum quantity on items from 10 to 3. 

Posing as Mike Pence. 

As Trump looks for new supporters to vote for him, his website is full of ways to volunteer, donate, and get informed. Instead of subscribing to these with their own names and emails, teens are posing as Mike Pence. Using his public White House email and the White House zip code revert all campaign emails to Pence’s office. Teens are also answering quizzes with the opposite answers Trump is looking for, ie. Do you think President Trump has done a good job? The answer, No. 

1 Star Ratings and a Social Media Shadowban. 

A new series of pranks are being led by Claudia Conway… yes, Kellyanne Coway’s daughter, Trump’s top advisor. Claudia proposed that teens rate Donald Trump’s many restaurants, hotels, and golf clubs with one-star ratings. With the hope of ruining its online reputation and notoriety. Claudia, along with others, are suggesting that people report Donald Trump’s social media accounts. This could result in a shadowban on his personal accounts, meaning he could continue to post, but it would limit who could see it. If you were to search his name on, for example, Twitter, it wouldn’t show up. Obviously this would be very tough on him considering his addiction to the app Twitter. 

As more pranks emerge each day it is clear that this won’t stop until the election, or until Trump is out of the White House. For some teens, they want to hold the president accountable for things he’s done prior to coming to the White House, and for others they feel like it’s the only way to help vote him out.   

Categories
Race

BLM: More Than Just a Hashtag

Graphic: Chiara Valenzuela

Adults are not the only ones protesting. Millions of teens are taking to the streets to protest and call out issues that our world deals with today. As a nation we are rising up and protesting America’s atrocious police brutality and systemic racism. George Floyd’s death was not for nothing. It sparked a bigger movement, a movement that fights for equality. Black Lives Matter activists are calling to defund the police, remove racist statues, and end racism, all with the help of social media.

Teens furiously protest against social inequality with the help of social media, in an attempt to dismantle the systematic racism in America. Via Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, teens have been able to organize protests and raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. They are providing links to bail funds, petitions, and GoFundMe accounts to support families who have lost their loved ones to police brutality. Another way we have been able to see the change made is by contacting members of Congress, Governors, and police chiefs through sending mass emails. Email templates have been created and shared all over social media. You can easily adjust the email template to add your name onto a pre written paragraph so you can make a change in a quick and easy way. 

Social Media is filled with information on how teens can help reform the flawed American system. The app Tik Tok, which is traditionally used for sharing dance videos, is now surprisingly a vital source for news.  Countless videos have been posted exposing police brutality and unlawful arrests. Protesters utilized the live function on TikTok to give real-time updates on what was happening at the protests. These raw live streams gave viewers the opportunity to see the protests without the bias of the media. In addition to live streams, informational videos such as  what to do if you have been tear-gassed, specific numbers to call if you are arrested, and clothing to wear to protect yourself from rubber bullets,  fill the home pages of millions of TikTok users. 

On June 25 The Democratic-controlled House approved a police reform bill, named the George Floyd Justice Policing Act. The bill was passed exactly a month after George was murdered by police officer, Derek Chauvin. This bill will ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants on federal drug cases, and will establish a national registry of police misconduct, to prevent racist or overaggressive cops from continuing unlawful behavior. President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the bill, and it remains highly unlikely that it could be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate. Even if the bill does not pass the people will not stop fighting. With the help of social media, activists and allies have been able to support the Black Lives Matter movement and continue to share their stories to empower change. 

Staff Writer: Abi Baker

Abi is a rising junior at Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA. She passionate about politics, and good music.

Graphics: Chiara Valenzuela