Monday, April 2, 2012

Capital Punishment

    March 15, 2012

Dear Mr. President,

    My name is Joe. I am a student at Parkway West Middle School, and I am writing to share my thoughts about capital punishment.
    I became interested in the topic of capital punishment when I discovered what my dad accomplished at work--sentence people who have committed felonies. The worst crimes, such as arson, terrorism, manslaughter, are not always given the worst sentence. My dad has only sentenced one person to be executed. My dad is a federal judge whom you appointed! The specifications to be eligible for execution and the laws about death penalty are also very interesting.
    To begin, I want to clarify that the issue is not that we are intentionally killing other human beings, but that we are not strict enough with our sentencing. I am not suggesting that we kill anyone who litters or traffics drugs, but our eligibility laws for capital punishment are ridiculous. In the 90's, Missouri had a law that you can only be eligible for capital punishment if you had been charged with 1st degree murder previously. Does it seem logical that we let people commit two or more murders before we realize that we need to stop them? While reading the novel "The Trial of Dennis Bulloch," a case that my dad prosecuted in the 80's, I discovered that a man who had asphyxiated and burned his wife could be sentenced to only seven years in prison. Is it fair that an innocent family is being punished more than the criminal? This is common, too. A family will lose a loved one forever, and the killer will be back at home within a few years!
    Not only would an increase in capital punishment sentences be fair for our society, it would lower the total number of murders that occur. A person who considers committing a murder obviously thinks about their punishments beforehand, and you would obviously not commit a crime if you knew your punishment was going to be death. If we can increase sentence strictness, our states can put an idea in the minds of criminals: the idea that their actions are punishable with death. On many occasions, a murderer who is on death row or in prison would certainly have rethought their actions if they had known that they would be punished with death. To hypothesize, if we sentence every murderer to death, then our citizens will know what to expect if they commit a murder. States such as Texas that have the most annual executions, have a significantly lower murder rate than states that have not even reinstated capital punishment.
    All I ask is that you take my ideas under consideration in order to inspire ideas within the government. An average person who supports a family does not want to have to worry about being murdered. If our government can make a change to our states' sentence strictness, then we don't have to worry about this. A change like this will make a lot of citizens happy, and it will keep them safer.
    Thank you very much for your work and the time you take to take my ideas under consideration.

Sincerely,

Joe

Parkway West Middle School

St. Louis, Missouri

 

Lauren Kelly
Parkway West Middle
8th Grade Communication Arts
 
 
 
 

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sugar Tax

Dear Mr. President,

My name is JN. I am a student at Parkway West High and I am writing you today to share my thoughts about adding tax on sugar.

My Medical Science class watched a video that addressed the issue of sugar consumption. It stated that, "Americans consumed 13.8 billion gallons of sugar-sweetened beverage or approximately 45 gallons of soda, fruit punch, sweetened tea, sports drinks, and all other beverages with added caloric sweeteners per person." Because of this, sugar consumption had tripled in the past fifty years. Then the class talked about their opinion on whether the tax for sugar should be added. Most of the students agreed, seeing how it'll help reduce sugar consumptions and improve health issues.

Not only will it help improve health issues, it'll promote a healthy lifestyle. Consumption of sugar will be decreased. People will feel healthier to exercise and be active. A healthy diet will lower the risk of diseases, which means less medical payments. A study found that lowering the consumption of sugary drinks can lower the number of diabetes by 2.6 percent, 95,000 coronary heart events, 8,000 strokes and 26,000 premature deaths. Because of this, the country could avoid the medical cost of 17 billion dollars. A healthy lifestyle will allow one to be active, ward off disease and many other benefits.

People may be against the idea of a sugar tax or diminishing one food type, since people should build a realistic approach to their diet by varied, balanced meals and exercise. But U.S. Health experts claim that "sugar is as damaging and addictive as alcohol or tobacco." It was aid sugar meets all criteria for societal interventions as alcohol and tobacco does. As it can be seen, tax on sugar is needed to promote a healthy lifestyle so vote for a sugar tax.

Thank for your time.

Sincerely,

JN

Parkway West

Ballwin, MO

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Animal Testing is Ok

March 14, 2012

Dear Mr. President,

            My name is Henderson. I am a student at Parkway West Middle school, and I am writing to you today to share my thoughts about animal testing.

            I became interested in this issue because my class mates and I had to write about a hot topic. I thought it was interesting.

                This is not a big issue. It becomes an issue when animals become extinct, and we're still testing those animals. The reality is, animal testing helps develop vaccines for illnesses like smallpox. Animals are used to test products ranging from shampoo to cancer drugs. This shows that animal testing is helpful and scientist do not test for no reason, but for problems such as cancer.

            If we can't test animals, what will we test? We shouldn't test humans because there are animals just like us. Some people think that testing is painful to the animals and unnecessary. They say animal experimentation involves incarceration of animals, and causes poisoning, mutilation, diseases, and killing of animals. Some, but not all, is true. Yes, animals are poisoned, killed, and infected with diseases, but they don't feel much pain if they do at all. What these people don't get is that millions of lives are saved because of a drug or new surgery from testing. This proves that we need to continue with testing.

            I wrote this because I want you to tell people to stop harassing scientists and let do what they do best, save lives. I also would like to thank you for listening to what I had to say.

Sincerely,

Henderson

Parkway West Middle

St. Louis, MO

 

Lauren Kelly
Parkway West Middle
8th Grade Communication Arts
 
 
 

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Nuclear Force on Iran

 March 25, 2012

Dear Mr. President 

My name is Bobby. I am a student at Parkway West Middle. I am writing to you today to share my thoughts  about using nuclear force against Iran. I became interested  on this topic in August of 2011 when I first learned about Iran`s controversial nuclear program. I also became interest when I learned about Iran being involved with terrorist. 
 
Lately, Iran has been showing signs of a successful nuclear program that is capable of making a bomb. Many countries want to limit Iran or ban them from creating one. I believe if we attack their main nuclear complex in Isfahan with nuclear force, then their future plans would be destroyed. Iran would financially be unable to repair their program. Iran cannot be trusted, and by using lethal force against them, it would ensure the safety of millions of people in nearby countries. More importantly though, it would ensure the safety of millions of Americans. 
 
Also, Iran houses a large amount of terrorist. Iran holds two main terrorist groups called the Hamas and Hezbollah, along with some senior Al Qaeda officials. They are responsible for attacks on U.S. soldiers barracks and embassies. If we use lethal force, these terrorist groups would be out of the picture. In the end the world would encounter a decline in terrorism. 
 
Please Mr. President, I urge you to think about my proposition. This would ensure the safety of millions of innocent people all around the world. Iran has to be stopped before it is to late. 
I thank you for all you have done in leading our country. We are all proud of what you have accomplished in your presidency term. I believe together we can conquer the problem at hand. 

Sincerely, 
                                                                                                    Bobby 
 
 
Lauren Kelly
Parkway West Middle
8th Grade Communication Arts
 
 
 
 

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Racial Profiling

March 15, 2012

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

            My name is Ruthie, and I am a student at Parkway West Middle School. I am writing you today to share my thoughts about racial profiling.

             If I ever came across a genie in a magical lamp, my first wish would be for a time machine. I would jump inside that time machine and go back to the year 2004, back to when I was just five years old, back to kindergarten. Remember kindergarten? Well, I certainly can't recall every precious detail, but what I do remember is this: People didn't judge. It didn't matter if you were tall, short, fat, skinny, poor, rich, white, black, yellow, or purple with red and green polka dots. All that mattered in the world was which crayon's we'd use and how many stickers we'd get that day. However, as I grew older, I began to notice a change. At first, the change was miniscule, barely noticeable, but recently, the change has gradually grown into something I could no longer ignore. People began to infer things, often rather horrible things, based on looks, class, religion, and, of course, race. I started to look into it, and I happened across a couple of articles online on racial profiling, in which law enforcers use race as a primary basis to detain suspects. This immediately sparked my interest. I strongly oppose this degrading, ineffective, and unsuccessful practice.

                     Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Well, Dr. King would be quite disappointed. Racial profiling may be one of the most degrading practices in law enforcement. To illustrate, a group of Asian-Americans in Seattle, Washington was detained for jaywalking. However, another group, consisting of whites, that was crossing the street in the same manner was not stopped. Now, is this really fair? This practice targets African Americans, Latinos, Arabs, and South Asians, sending the message that these groups are inferior to others. This is simply not right. Stating that one race is greater than another is like stating one piece of a jigsaw puzzle is better than another. We can not allow our friends to undergo this injustice. We must unite together to complete the puzzle.

                        In addition to being degrading, racial profiling is also extremely ineffective. One example is President McKinley's assassination. President McKinley's assassin, a white man, was able to conceal the murder weapon and pass through security while the secret service agents were instead focusing on "a dark man with a mustache." Not only is this a terrible stereotype, it also proves how unsuccessful racial profiling is. Racial profiling distracts law officials from focusing on the actual threat at hand. How many others must be falsely accused before we realize how wrong this is?

             Mr. President, I must urge you to enforce stricter laws prohibiting the use of racial profiling in order to form a more united nation. Law enforcers must realize that not all terrorists are Arabs, and African Americans and Latinos aren't any more likely to commit a crime than whites. You, as the first African American president, are one of the greatest examples of how people of different races can accomplish amazing things.

             Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and taking this issue into consideration.

 

                                                                                                                                Wish You Well,

Ruthie

Parkway West Middle School

St. Louis, MO




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Animal Experimentation

March 15, 2012

Dear Mr. President,

                My name is Ellie. I am a student at Parkway West Middle, and I am writing to you today to share my thoughts on animal experimentation. I found out about this twist on cruelty a long time ago; I don't know when I first learned about it, but it has stuck with me. Animal testing is when companies test their products on animals, by injecting them with chemicals, prodding them with needles, and more, before they send the products to the stores to be used by the public. I believe animal testing must be stopped for the better of animals all over the world.

                To begin, animal experimentation should be discontinued because it is ruthless and vicious. Animals that go into testing can die from sickness, chemical over load, and overall faulty products. The animals die daily. This process may save a few humans from a little sickness, but it ends the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals. These poor, defenseless creatures are slaughtered by murderers in lab coats and latex gloves.

                Furthermore, animal testing must cease because its purpose is left unfulfilled. In 2008, 3.7 million harmful experiments were performed on animals. However, 100,000 people per year still die from products that passed the process of animal testing because the products were safe for the animals, not humans. After all, humans and animals are not the same. If the purpose is to save humans, animal testing is clearly not the answer. Not only do animals die, but humans do too.

                Many people think that animal testing is the only solution because it is wrong to test on animals. An alternative would be, not testing on humans, but on their DNA. For example, if the product is for your face, test it on skin cells. This saves lives of animals and humans, because it is designed toward them, not the animals.

                In summary, Mr. President, this is abuse in disguise, but you can assist us in ending this heartbreaking catastrophe. Help your country diminish animal experimentation once and for all. Together with your help, we can ban this barbarism in America to save the sweet, adorable animals all over the world.

                Thank you, Mr. President, for all you do for our country, and thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Ellie

Parkway West Middle

Chesterfield, MO




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Immigration Laws

March 15, 2012

Dear Mr. Presdient,

            My name is Nik. I am a student at Parkway West Middle School, and I am writing you today to share my thoughts on a very important subject, immigration. In my communication arts class, I had to write a commentary essay on a current topic, and I chose immigration. My uncle was an illegal immigrant for 11 years, and I was born in the Czech Republic.

            To begin, almost all Americans today can trace their roots to an immigrant, yet immigration has always been an issue hotly debated.  On the one side, people argue that immigrants steal jobs from "Americans"; on the other, that we should empathize with the immigrants and allow them to work legally in this country. My opinion is that we should have laxer laws on immigration; this will help immigrants and our economy. People go to extreme measures just to become an American citizen. For example, my uncle Jose traveled over the border for four days in the desert climate, watching people die off from heatstroke and exhaustion. On top of that, the guide got lost, so the trip took longer than expected. This shows that people put their health and life in danger just to work a minimum wage job. When Uncle Jose was seven-years-old, he started working after school. When he was fifteen, he had to drop out of school and work full time. He is a hardworking individual that would be a great addition to America. If laws were made to make the process of becoming an American citizen easier, Jose would have not have had to go through all this.

            In addition, having a larger amount of immigrants could help our economy. According to the Center of Immigration Studies, in 2002, had illegal aliens been legalized, they would have contributed over $10 billion to our country in taxes.  My uncle Jose was in the US for 11 years as an illegal immigrant, and from all those years, not once did he "compete" for a job with an American citizen. Clearly the whole "Mexicans are stealing our jobs" idea is ridiculous. Not only are these people working some of America's least desirable jobs, it would end up being cheaper to make them American citizens.

            Mr. President, I believe it should be easier for aliens to become an American citizens. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read my letter.

                                                                                                                                    Sincerely,

Nik

St. Louis, MO




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