Category: Editorials

Kamala Harris: A Contradiction

By Kosta Magoulas

Editorials Editor

Promo image showing Kamala Harris

Image Source: bbc.com

Throughout Kamala Harris’s career in government, it has seemed like she has contradicted herself many times. Whether it be who she supported or what she supported, Harris did things that went against previous things she had advocated for. Now, Harris is going to be the Vice President Elect, so what beliefs she has now and what her beliefs were previously should be looked at in order to get a better understanding of how she may act when in office. 

Kamala Devi Harris was born October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California. Harris studied Political Science and economics in 1986 from Howard College, and in 1989, earned a law degree from Hastings College. In 1990 – 1998 in Oakland, she worked as a deputy district attorney. She then later became district attorney in 2004. In 2010 she earned the title of attorney general in the state of California. From these facts alone, it is evident that Harris has achieved some very great feats. 

There have been many things Harris has said that have contradicted previous beliefs. Firstly, the contradiction regarding the death penalty:

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Opinion: The fears some Americans have about Amy Coney Barrett and the future of human rights in the US

By Jaria Butler

Photography Editor

Image source: npr.org

On Monday, October 26th, the Senate voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination for the Supreme Court 52 to 48 as the replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18, 2020. Ginsburg left a remarkable legacy shaping modern American life, being the second woman ever to be appointed onto the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Ginsburg fought against gender discrimination, co-founded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, and passionately fought for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, undocumented people and disabled people. She also fought to expand voting rights.

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Opinion: Why Donald Trump Is Dangerous To Democracy

With the recent reactions to the American presidential election, heads around the world have been turning.

By Eric Porco

Staff Writer

(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson / Redux)

On November 7th, 2020, it was announced that Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States of America. Donald Trump, the current president of the United States and Joe Biden’s competitor in the race, tweeted on the same day “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” shortly after major news sources started reporting the election results. Trump, despite sources overwhelmingly maintaining that Joe Biden won the election, has held his position that he won the election, tweeting later, on November 16th, “I won the Election!”

It is almost needless to say, Trump did not win the 2020 presidential election, and likely, he knows that too. Trump’s own “Voting Integrity Commission,” now disbanded, had claimed 8,400 instances of voter fraud across 20 states in the 2016 election, an incredibly small number that when spread out among the 20 states would not have been nearly enough to swing any elections. Voter fraud in the United States is not an issue. However, the claim that it is being propagated benefits Donald Trump, as it gives his voter base a perceived reason to claim his continued legitimacy as president. 

These actions are incredibly dangerous to Democracy, and the way that Trump has treated this election fans the flames of division in our country, which could have deadly ramifications if the worst comes to pass. Trump claims to have won the election despite official sources saying otherwise, his own Secretary of State claiming, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” 

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County Executive Calvin Ball Supports ICE, Ignores Urges From Residents

By Uma Ribeiro

Editor-in-chief

Pictured: protesters urge Ball to support CB 51 at a news conference

On Monday, October 5th, the Howard County Council voted on bill CB 51, with Council members Liz Walsh, Christiana Rigby, and Deb Jung voting in favor and Opel Jones and David Yungmann voting against. The bill, proposed by councilwoman Liz Walsh, would have ended Howard County’s longstanding contract with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detention. However, the bill was vetoed on October 7th only two days after it passed 3-2, by County Executive Calvin Ball. 

For months before the vote, immigrant justice organizations—including CASA, a group expanding opportunities for the Latino and immigrant communities, and the Howard County Coalition for Immigrant Justice as well as local youth activism organizations such as Hoco For Justice—urged for councilmembers to pass the bill. Residents advocated for Howard County to end its cooperation with ICE, an institution deeply rooted in racism and cruel and inhumane treatment of Black and Brown immigrants. 

Written and vocal testimonies in favor of the bill flooded in, from those affected firsthand to students advocating for the bill. Howard County residents urged Ball to listen to their advocacy, and for Howard County to join Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, and Prince William County, along with Baltimore City, in discontinuing their collaboration with ICE.

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Can Thanksgiving be celebrated safely this year?

From Halloween to Thanksgiving, COVID-19 is changing the ways in which people gather with family and celebrate the holidays

By Isabel Sinnott

A&E Editor

How to order Thanksgiving dinner online from retailers

Image from Forbes.com

Since March, the world has been very different than we are used to. Now that we’re moving into the fall months, and fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving are here, there is another issue to consider. Social distancing has been difficult for people throughout the spring and summer, but holidays like Thanksgiving generally lead to large group gatherings. Can this be done safely this year?

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Here’s Why You Should Join Hammond’s First Virtual Spirit Week

By Leah Russell

Sports Editor

For so many years, spirit week has been a staple at Hammond. Starting with fun themes to dress up for every day of the week, and ending with a pancake breakfast, parade, and homecoming game, it is no wonder that so many students wait all year for this fun-filled week. And while Covid-19 may have kept Hammond students away from the building this year, it cannot keep students away from the fun.

This year’s spirit week is a little outside the norm, like all school events have been this year. With Pizza Wars on Monday, October 26th, and two more fun events, a Kona Ice truck and food trucks, planned for Wednesday and Friday that week respectively.

Students are encouraged to dress up in their classes and join their friends at these events. With the TLV Tree Farm being such a hit with the seniors, many believe that these events will be a hit as well. Junior Olivia Vander Putten stated, “I’m really excited for Pizza Wars, and since it’s also Class Color Day it should be really fun!”

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Hammond Students Comment On The Possible Return To School

By Kosta Magoulas

Editorials Editor

Face masks and screens: What a return to school looks like around the  world, in pictures | National Post

Image Source: https://nationalpost.com/news/world/covid-19-education

For seven months, our lives as we once knew them, were changed forever. Facilities, corporations, schools, social gatherings, and many more public places were closed. Now as things finally start to reopen, one central question is being asked: Is it safe for us to go back? Sure enough, schools are being one of the largest topics in question. With the current status of this pandemic, numbers of cases are still projected to continue increasing. This profound case of trepidation strikes the conversation as to whether or not the risks of going back to school outweigh the rewards.

According to Howard County’s Covid-19 statistics, only about half of the current 5600 total infected (recorded October 18, 2020) have recovered. Although these numbers are good, it is evident that there are still a lot of people who have not recovered.

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“No Justice, No Peace”: Protests Sparked by the Death of George Floyd Lead to Positive Changes, Police Continue to Incite Violence

QAN5BCMZJRGPLMCF2YYZTMXNQEProtests following the death of George Floyd continue in Baltimore City.

Image Source: The Baltimore Sun 

By Uma Ribeiro

In-Depth Editor

On May 25th, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was murdered by a White police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As he pleaded for his life and expressed he could not breathe, the police officer continued to press his knee into Floyd’s neck while three other officers watched him die and did nothing. The resulting uproar and nationwide protests sparked by Floyd’s death have been necessary for a long time. Protesters are demanding an end to police brutality, calling for the rightful defunding of police departments, and are fighting against systemic racism. The protests are not solely about the death of Floyd, but what his death represents: the thousands of Black lives lost to police violence, White supremacy, and systemic racism in America.

The fact is, police presence within the United States has not been positive. Law enforcement incite violence and take lives, and continue to do so every day. In a time when we are not even supposed to be in contact with one another due to Coronavirus, racism is still running rampant, and the death and maltreatment of Black people across the world did not cease when COVID-19 surfaced. 

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Transitioning to Online Schooling: Students Share Their Opinions

By Jenna Kreh

Co-Features Editor

Due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak, students at Hammond High School began the transition to a “Continuity of Learning” online schooling system on April 14. Since then, students have been receiving weekly assignments from their teachers each Monday on Canvas, and they have been meeting with their teachers once a week through Google Meet. This new education system is very different from what students have previously experienced, and it has proven to have its ups and downs. While many students work well under and even embrace, the new method, others wish changes could be made to make their education experience easier.

Overall, students from each grade have said that they adapted well to the new system and that the transition was smooth. A few students mentioned it was confusing or choppy at first, but they now feel it is running smoothly. Sophomore, Kate Rossmark, even stated that she wouldn’t change anything with the online learning program right now. “It’s pretty straightforward and in my opinion has nothing wrong with it,” she says. Senior Jordan Kreh agreed, noting that she has had no major problems with the program so far and that she even favors some of the changes being made. “The best thing about the online program is that I get all my assignments for the week at once,” Jordan says, “Then I can plan my week with no surprises.” Kate agrees that working at her own pace makes things, “less stressful and overall more enjoyable.” Most students seem to agree that working from the comfort of their own home has been one pleasurable aspect of online learning.

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Why Everyone Needs to Read Fanfiction

Isabel Berry

Co-A&E Editor

For those that read fanfiction, they know that talking about their reading habits in public will earn them a sideways glance or a questioning look. Fanfiction has a certain stigma around it, and after interviewing a few students, this reporter learned a little more about why that is. For those that may not know the specifics, works of fanfiction are stories that include characters of a TV series, movies, books, etc. that are written by fans. Stories can range from light-hearted fluff to more explicit themes. The more explicit stories are what have caused such a negative stigma around fanfiction itself. 

After being asked if they knew what fanfiction was and if they would read fanfiction in a fandom they enjoy, Junior Skylar Shaffer replied, “I do know what fanfiction is and I used to read it if a friend would send me one. I think it would be more appealing if it was clear it wasn’t inappropriate, because I personally would rather not read text like that.” In order to address the latter half of Skylar’s statement, this reporter did some research. 

The two most popular fanfiction websites are Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction.net. They both are home to thousands of works of fanfiction and have millions of users. Archive of Our Own, commonly known as AO3, has over 2,257,000 users and over 5,552,000 works. Fanfiction.net has over 12,000,000 users and stories in over 40 languages. Archive of Our Own was created by fans in October of 2008 and is a non-profit, noncommercial archive for ‘transformative fanworks’. Fanfiction.net was actually created before AO3 in October of 1998, but Archive of Our Own soon passed it up in popularity ratings most likely because of its greater range in filters. 

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