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Mercutio Magazine Issue 002

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America, Is the Party Over?

Text of Mercutio Magazine Issue 002

  • table OF contents


    Letter From the editor:

    the event: americas mid-life crisis

    tired, huddLed, and necessary:why immigration is american

    the interview:jamilah king

    PLacing the red-white-and BLue dunce hat:this countrys failing education system

    it haPPened JuLy 4th

    have you seen?ikiru

    La rencontre:arnold montgault

    the environmentaL crisis:can we afford to save the planet?

    gasPing For Freedom, drowning in PoLitics:fighting over borders in the middle east


    dancing with god: in defense of gay marriage

    a history oF heaLth care reForm:how name calling delayed progress for a century

    PoLitico:the young invincibles

    the smart BomB:terrorism misconceptions

    our sacred FLag

    america: hoLLywood styLe:plymouth rock

    god in FiLm:experiencing god in front of the camera

    on the way to the FinaL Frontier:americas hold on hope

  • Dear Readers,

    One of the most surprising things I've discovered while living outside of the United States is howpatriotic I've become. Ive always loved America, but didnt realize how much I took for granted (ourtechnological prowess, our diversity, and the understood agreement that we can be whatever we want)until it wasnt there anymore. During my last five years in France, subtle superficial transformationshave taken place to become more French (drinking wine with every meal, adopting the phrase Oola la to my vocabulary), but my core values remain true to the essence of being an American: todream the impossible dreams and believe they can come true. This very concept is how our countryhas moved from thirteen little colonies to a superpower in only 235 years. That is impressive on anystandards.

    But like any dreamer, we as Americans must be able to separate the fantasy from the reality, andcurrently the reality is not so good. We can no longer ride the waves of our former greatness. Instead,we must be willing to get our hands dirty and clean the mess we've avoided for so long.

    America, Is the Party Over? focuses on where our country has excelled, where we've come up short,and how we've allowed the dreams of our forefathers to be deferred. Are we still a country of equalopportunity? Are we as arrogant and ignorant as the rest of the world claims? Are we at the end of theage of American dominance? The Mercutio writers attempt to answer these questions as they take onmany of the hot button issues facing the country: healthcare, immigration, gay marriage, foreign policy,and education just to name a few.

    You constantly hear the talk of American Exceptionalism, but to be truly exceptional is to have theability to truly examine our past, present, and future while appreciating our triumphs, learning from ourmistakes, and constantly moving forward.

    Perhaps America really is a shinning light on a hill, but like every light when it starts to get a little dim,you either change the bulb or it burns out.

    Joshua GrantEditor-in-Chief

  • The Event

    Is America Having a Mid-LifeCrisis?

  • We Might Be Suffering froM a Mid-Life CriSiS if...

    the perSon in the Mirror iS a Stranger

    Who are we in an Obama World? Are we as different as we had hoped? Are we becoming socialist? Are we really this arrogant? Ignorant?

    We are Worried Where our Life iS headed

    The fears of entitlement spending/cuts, The definition of marriage, New threats of terror-ism, Could Sarah Palin really be the President?

    We feeL a ConStant Surge of fruStration

    Joblessness, homelessness, Denial of rights, A shrinking middle-class, The excessive cost of secondary education, The snail-like process of law, Politicians who constantly lie, Tax cuts

    for the rich

    We experienCe regret

    Credit card debt, Iraq, Nation building while our country sinks into the toilet,

    We think that tiMe iS running out

    12-21- 2012, The impending collapse of our financial system

    We queStion the Meaning of Life

    The constant debate over small and large government

    We feeL trapped

    How can I make a difference?

  • Tired, Huddled, NecessaryStephen Saia

    Its a cool fall day in New York in the 1840s. A ship rolls in to the harbor with passengers from all over the world looking to start a new life in America. The streets are bustling and the mar-kets are flooded with people. While this was a great time for America, there was a reason that people were immigrating here at record numbers at that time. The Potato Famine had hit Ireland and the Irish now accounted for more than half of all immigrants. The expan-sion of America created many opportunities for the Irish to get back on their feet by doing la-bor on projects such as digging canals. As more Irish immigrat-ed into the U.S., they tended

    to stay around the same areas as prior countrymen. From this, we have Catholic Churches, Irish traditions, and St. Pat-ricks Day. Never before has the U.S. seen such a massive influx of immigrants as they did from 1847 to 1854 when we saw the largest influx of immi-grants. Then, 1875 rolls along and the United States has just passed its first immigration law.

    The mere thought of the word immigration brings up fiery emotions amongst just about everyone, but it is frequently displayed in the wrong light. All too often, Americans for-get that there are two types of immigration: legal and illegal. Legal immigration brings us some of the most intelligent

    and hard-working minds in the world. One of the founders of Google, Sergey Brin, immigrat-ed here legally with his family when he was six from Russia. Andy Becholsteim, co-founder of SUN Microsystems, hails from Germany. The founder of EBAY Pierre Omidyar arrived in the U.S. with his parents at the age of 6. Noticing a trend? The United States economy needs legal immigration.

    No one can argue that the United States isnt the great melting pot. Nowhere on the planet is there a more diverse collection of individuals from other countries, which in turn I believe makes the American people more tolerable of some-one who is different than them.

  • Because of immigration, we are able to attract the best and the brightest from other coun-tries who may have been lim-ited by their local government to research things they wanted to or go into a certain field. His-panic owned businesses alone have produced upwards of two hundred and twenty-two billion dollars worth of revenue. How can you say that is bad for our country? Walk down any given street in a large American city and what do you see? Little Italy, Chinatown, etc. These culturally rich, iconic areas are home to thousands of immi-grants from all over the world who have come to America to make a better life for them-selves and their families. Most of the eclectic shops you see provide goods and homemade products you otherwise would not be able to get in this coun-try and the restaurants provide food that tastes how it should; like its from its native land.

    Legal immigration is not with-out flaw though. Less-skilled American citizens earn less money and have fewer job op-portunities because they must compete with immigrants in the job market. Some would argue that the opportunity for terrorism also increases with immigration because these black sheep can hide in plain sight. As we learned, most of the 9/11 terrorists came to our country legally. The U.S Cen-sus Bureau estimates that by the year 2050, if our current birth rate and immigration rates remain unchanged for another 70 years, the U.S. population will double. This will lead to an-other problem of overcrowding in our hospitals, prisons, and workforce.

    A few years back, Gallup took a poll asking people all over the world if they had a choice to move somewhere, where would it be. Over 165 million people from over 148 differ-ent countries chose the United States, making it the most desirable place to migrate to. I love America as much as the next person, but why such an alarming number? Some might say its the chance for a better job while others would make the case plain and simple by stating: A better life.

    No other country on Earth al-lows as many illegals as we do. In 2008, the Center for Immigration Studies estimated the illegal population in the United States to be 11million. According to The Department of Homeland Security, 62 per-cent of those 11 million come from Mexico.

    But America has a dirty little secret, which some refer to as the magnet for illegal immigra-tion. The practice of compa-nies hiring illegal immigrants for more than they would get paid in their country of origin happens widely. Of all of the issues regarding immigration, this is the one that gets the most people upset. The fact that American jobs are being given to illegals solely because their employer doesnt want to pay benefits and fair wages is disgraceful. Remittance is Mexicos largest source of in-come totaling in at over twelve billion dollars being sent from Mexican workers in the U.S. back to Mexico.

    All too often illegal immigra-tion discussions are one sided though. They dont pay taxes,

    they take our healthcare, and they take our jobs! A study done by a professor at UCLA, it was concluded that if all un-documented immigrants were put on a path to naturalization that it would result in upwards of $1.5 trillion in our GDP within the next ten years.

    Over the years, politicians and activists have come up with different ways that they think will fix our illegal immigration problem. Some of the ideas have included increased bor-der patrol, mass deportation, employer fines, prosecuting and deporting on an individual basis, and also instating a work program that puts them on a path to citizenship. Based off of a combination of polls, employer fines is the most popular of the g