Poverty is Real. You Can Help.

The Kiva club is a club that helps to raise money for residents in developing countries. Through www.Kiva.orgmembers of our school collect money and loan it to entrepreneur that are living in poverty. Once they earn enough money, they will pay us back. The money payed back goes directly to the fund in our Kiva account. We can reuse the money there to help other entrepreneurs too. What’s great about Kiva is that we can loan money to entrepreneurs and all we have to pay is (at least) twenty – five dollars. 

Poverty flushes the vast majority of Africa and also in South America. If you want to help you could simply make an account but it would be more helpful if you donate money to us therefore we can loan money in larger quantities. Kiva can change lives and just a small amount of money can make a big difference. For your convenience, we have created a way to donate through pay pal, all you have to do is type in how much money you want to give and press the donate button.

Last year Kiva Club earned $500 for their efforts and great expectations lie ahead. After our first meeting students are already motivated in helping those less fortunate. Kids are starving and wishing… wishing for a decent life.  Donate money to Kiva and you are beginning the process to help people living in poverty have a better future!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The $17,000 Punishment

    In Rome, Silvio Berlusconi was caught cheating on his wife by having a girlfriend.  This is terrible, considering he is married.  Italian bloggers have been writing so much about it that Silvio has gotten angry.  He has worked with the government to declare the Alfano decree

Silvio_berlusconi_10

(Image retrieved from http://cultsha.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/silvio_berlusconi_10.jpg on
August 31, 2009)

    If the decree is passed into law, anyone who writes online, and is accused of hurting someone's feelings, will be fined $17,000 if they do not apologize in the next two days.  So, now bloggers are going to be worried about commenting online because anyone can claim something that someone wrote 'hurt their feelings' and the writer will have to pay. 

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(Image retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/8197639.stm on August 31,2009)

    This is a horrible decree; people should be allowed to say their thoughts. In the United States, we have the freedom of speech, which means we can say anything, anywhere without having to face consequences- even if someone doesn't approve. They don't have this in Italy, so Italians are restricted on the internet. 

    I strongly disagree with this crazy decree because the way that people state their feelings online, where anyone can read it, gives new ideas to everyone around the world.  My teacher loves to blog because it gets his thoughts out, and he can argue his point of view with others.  It's amazing how someone can think up the most bizarre idea, and because of who that person is, people believe it's good.  Thoughts should be shared with others so the residents of any country, city, state, or area all over the would can make good decisions.  

    Over all, this decree Silvio has made is foolish, and we should hope people see that.

Questions to Contemplate:

1. Do you think Silvio's decree is good or bad?  Why?

2. What do you think will happen if the decree does become law? 

3. What kind of person do you think Silvio is?

Posted by,

Purple Pickled Porcupine

Posted in Europe | 1 Comment

France Holds Discoveries and Suspects of ETA

French police uncover a cache of weapons and explosives used by the Basque separatist group, ETA.

ETA, which is considered a terrorist group by the State Department and the European Union, has killed more than 825 people since the late 1960's for an independent Basque homeland. A large stash of weapons was found on Thursday near a village in the Herault region of southern France including pistols, explosives, and detonators belonging to ETA.

French and Spanish police have been working together closely since the ETA bombings in Majorca, Spain and the Spanish mainland. On Friday, with help from Madrid, French police discovered two more arms caches, containing  more arms and explosives in the town of Ferrals-les-Montagne and  Vieussan in southern France.

French officials said the weapon discoveries had "dealt a very big blow" to ETA's supply network. "This is naturally a very positive sign in the struggle against ETA, and proof of the high quality of cooperation between French and Spanish authorities," said France's Interior Minister Brice Hortefeaux. Since the discovery, ETA hasn't been hiding their weapons as great amounts inside large, crowded cities anymore.

Eta-weapons

Three suspects of the ETA are arrested in France.

Close to the day of the discovery of the ETA weapons, French police arrest three members of ETA in the Alpine resort of Villarembert-le-Corbier. The names of the three suspects are Alberto Machain Beraza, Aitzol Etxaburu, and Andoni Sarasola. They are suspected in belonging to ETA's military wing, responsible for providing arms and explosives for attacks in Spain. Alberto Machain Beraza, is thought to be included assisting the attack in Majorca. He was among six ETA suspects on a wanted list released by the Spanish government after the July bombings.

“It’s obvious that ETA will try to attack again,” Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba told in a news conference in Madrid. “The security forces must work so that they don’t succeed, and we must continue until we’ve finished with the terrorists.” 

Here are some questions to consider:

  • How do you think these events have changed the thought of policeman in Spain and France?
  • Why do you think Mr. Rubalcaba said that it's obvious that Eta will try to attack again? 
  • How do think these events will help the Spanish and French dig further into the case of ETA? 
  • Where or how do you think ETA is hiding their weapons now?

Written by,

Banana Perspective

Posted in Europe | 1 Comment

EU Turns Back Immigrants

African immigrants are trying to travel to Europe for a better life, but many don't make it. These desperate immigrants go through so much. For one thing, traveling is so hard. First the immigrants must save up a years salary worth just to ride on the boat. This boat cost 200 dollars. This seems a good price for us, but this is there salary for a year. Ours is 42,000 dollars! Big difference. Also it is not a good deal even for us, the boats are squished, tiny and filled with about 80 people standing on fuels for the 40 horse powered motor.  These immigrants must do this for 8-10 days. You think this is bad; well almost all the ships do not even make it to Europe. The ships either sink out in the ocean because of a storm, make it to Europe to have the EU turn them back or have a happy life in the new country. The third option rarely ever happens. These immigrants still come knowing about all these dangers. Why do you think they still come?

A04_16975333 A Small boat full of Immigrants

         Do you think the EU should keep turning the immigrants around; after all they have come through? I think that the EU should have a spot in Europe for the immigrants to stay. If people hear about this in Africa then more will come. When the space is full, it’s full. No more room should be provided. I think this is fair because, if Europe just lets immigrants in and they can go were ever they want the EU will have to pay for their food. Also there would be fewer jobs open for the people of Europe. Even worse the Africans have no money so they can’t buy food. If you put the immigrants in one spot with every thing they need you can solve most of those problems and have them grow their own food.

Questions to consider:

Do you think it is right to send the immigrants back after all they came through?

What is your idea of helping the EU?

Should immigrants just stop coming to Europe?

        

 Signed


Sam

Posted in Current Arguments | 9 Comments

Wondering about African Immigrants. . .

As a part of our new I Wonder series, The Ultimate Person of the World has crafted the following entry:

I wonder if the EU should bring in the African immigrants into their countries or if they should prevent them from coming.

Remember that your job is to read the articles that TUPW has linked to showing both sides of the issue AND THEN to make up your mind about who you agree with. 

Post your final thoughts in the comment section of this entry. 

Posted in I Wonder | 1 Comment

The EU? What is So Great About IT?

By: Sam

(Samantha)

Culture is burning in the capital of Greece! Athens winds are picking up and the lands are being threatened by wild fires. This isn't the first time it has happened. Many people are fleeing Athens, but as far as they go, you can still see the dark overcast of smoke hovering over Greece. Some of the population decided to stay and help save their house's. Those who stayed are trying hopelessly to put out the fires. As these people work with no equipment other countries in the EU come with firefighters and air planes full of water they spray on the land. These wild fires are starting to be controlled with the help of the EU.

GreeceFire3_1467711c

Wild fires in Athens

What is important about the EU helping Greece, is if there was no Union like the EU the other countries might not care if Greece was burning. It was not there problem so they probably would stay out of it. The EU shows how other countries need to help those in need. Even if you are far away from what's going on you still should care, because places around the world show culture and we don't want to lose that. For example, Athens is very important to us because we got democracy and Art from them, this would be considered our culture. Also every place shows their own style. For Athens, it is great structures and thinking. So next time you see a place in trouble, think to your self should I care? Well lets just say, what happened to Greece, I care.

Eu_members400map

All the countries in the EU 

Posted in Europe | 2 Comments

Clunkers Have Met Their Match!

Cash for Clunkers is a government run program for the residents of the U.S.  In this program you can trade in your old gas guzzling clunker for credit to by a new car.  If your car is eligible you can get up to $4,500 of credit.  

The first batch of government money put in the program is depleted and the program will probably be renewed.  President Obama stated that the program "has succeeded well beyond our expectations all expectations."  

This plan has worked and most dealerships have seen an increase in sales but has Cash for Clunkers really jump started our economy?  

One of the most important statistics to know is that the most popular car to trade in is a Ford Explorer and the most popular car to by with the credit…The Toyota Corrola.  Although the Toyota Corrola is the most popular car sold in the U.S. it's still a foreign automaker.  

I believe this plan is not helping dealerships with U.S. cars as much as it's helping dealerships with Japanese designed cars.  

Do you think we should continue to renew this program for a while or do you think taxpayer dollars should go to a different cause?   

Cars-cash-for-clunkers-logo

Explorer in blue250px-2009_Toyota_Corolla_LE_

Posted in North America | 2 Comments

Head to Head Clash Almost Guarantees One Winner

 On Saturday, Arsenal F.C. will be taking on long-term rivals, Manchester United F.C. who recently got shocked by newcomers to the premier league, Burnley F.C.1-0.

Both sides are not as strong as they were last year, Arsenal losing Emanuel Adebayour and Kolo Toure, and Manchester losing two big guns, reigning world player of the world Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Teves.

So what are your predictions for this showdown? Is Arsenal going to come off there 6-1 thrashing of Everton F.C. and beat Manchester United? Or will Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester team have some sense knocked in to them from the loss to Burnley, or will they be too cocky after the 5-0 win last saturday against Wigain ?

So, what do you think? I personally think that Manchester United will win the game but there are always two sides to a story.

                              -Supa soda

Posted in Soccer News & Reviews | 2 Comments

New “I Wonder” Series…

So we're going to start a new type of post here on the Blurb called the I Wonder series.  In some ways, I Wonder posts will resemble what we've always done on the Blurb.  We'll still be trying to wrestle with challenging questions that have two unique and debatable points of view.

What makes I Wonder posts interesting is they will never be more than one sentence long!

We'll do a lot in that one sentence though.  Specifically, we'll include links to current events or other blog articles that share both sides of the story we're studying.  For I Wonder writers, that means most of OUR work is done with our minds.  We've got to study issues with an open mind and find writers that think differently about a topic.

For I Wonder readers—and we're talking about YOU—that means most of YOUR work is done with your minds, too.  You can read our I Wonder statement to get a sense for what we're thinking about, but then you've got to read the articles that we link to in order to learn about both sides of the story.  When you're done, you can leave a comment to share with us which side of the story you think is right and which side of the story you think is wrong. 

Does this make sense? 

Then let's practice.  Here's an I Wonder bit written by me—-Darth Tater:

I wonder if parents or judges should decide what's right for children.

Remember that it's your job to read both of the articles embedded in my I Wonder statement, figure out what the two-sides of the story are, and then make a decision that you're willing to share with us.  Also remember that you're trying to communciate through writing, so give us some details, huh?

Signed,

The Tater

Posted in I Wonder | 1 Comment

Massive Wildfire Burns Athens

Athens is the capital of Greece. The city dwells constantly as a threatening wildfire, called an environmental disaster, approaches across the Pindus Mountains.

As the deadly fire is first spotted, thousands of the city's residents flee and evacuate their home. The flames spread quickly by the strong, unpredictable winds around the Greek capital. A thick haze of smoke soon fills the atmosphere. Other fires are also burning  in other Greek cities such as Grammatiko, Pendeli, and Varnavas.

Greece

The fire had been reported at the earliest, late Friday. Thousands of trees have been destroyed by the forest fires causing deforestation. Large areas of land that once held a plants are now cleared and deserted of life. The winds are harsh, throwing more fire across Greece. The air and atmosphere have grown further dangerous because it is more of a risk to breathe air closer to the fire. The oxygen supply is decreasing by the number of trees that disappear, and the burning fire creates ashes and smoke into the air, too.

Residents of Athens seem desperate to protect their homes.

A great loss it would be for them. The place they have lived in would burn, and soon they would need to buy a new house or find at least some kind of other protecting shelter. Lots have been able to evacuate houses before the fire caught up. Though others have died during the fire in homes. People have started to supply themselves with tools like extra hoses and more buckets in case of emergency. They have also been more cautious. One of the residents that had her house burned reported, "It's too much, the destruction is unbelievable," she said. "I could hardly recognize my own home … I don't know what to say."

Firefighter's efforts have been suspended for days. Fortunately for the people, most of his fierce fire was only burning mainly in the forest land. Though winds were still powerful, so many populated areas are still at risk. Many valued homes burned as a state of emergency was declared.

Several other countries located in the EU, like Italy, Cyprus, and France supported Greece by sending water supply, aircraft, as well as fire crews to better control the flames. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis praised the services for making a "superhuman effort". The EU (European Union) is a group of 27 countries in Europe that work together on economy, environment, and war, so because of this union, Greece is receiving help from other countries.

Athens_Fire

See the large amount of damage the wildfire has done to Greece? At least the country has help from the EU. Without this regional integration, Greece may have not received support. If there was no EU, do you think other countries of Europe would still help Greece?

Why do you think this country should be protected from the wildfire? Is helping other nations something that is worth spending your money on—especially in tight times?  What is there about Greece that's really worth protecting? 

Written by,

Banana Perspective

Posted in Europe | 14 Comments