Five Things You Need to Know About Living in the White House

The White House – a symbol of status in America as the presidential mansion – holds a great deal of interest for the common people. Whether you’re looking to one day sit within it or just want to imagine and visualize the state of living of some of our world leaders, here are five interesting things about the President’s home.

1. You have everything you need under one roof.

No one, probably, but the President has a flower shop in his basement. The basement area of the White House hosts a number of rooms to lessen the need for the President to travel. It includes a flower shop, carpenters’ shop, engineer’s shop, and a dentist’s office!

The Presidents themselves have made additions to the rooms and facilities within the White House. Examples of these are a bowling alley added by Richard Nixon and a quarter-mile running track added by Bill Clinton. There are also several gardens and courts within the property.

2. You’ll still have to pay for your meals.

Even if the President and his family are attended to by prized chefs, they still have to pay for what they eat. Meals within the White House are modified according to the First Family’s tastes; if they have immensely expensive tastes, rest assured that the taxpayers are not paying for their immensely expensive bills. Instead, the costs of their meals are deducted from the President’s monthly salary.

3. It is said to be haunted.

Several stories about Presidential ghosts roaming around the White House have reached the public’s ears. Most notably of which is Abraham Lincoln’s ghost, which is said to have been seen by quite a few reputable people, such as Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.  

4. It has been adjusted to accommodate people with disabilities.

Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the reason why the White House was outfitted to permit easy access to those in wheelchairs. He had contracted polio earlier in life and used a self-developed wheelchair to move around. When he moved in, the White House had ramps built to adapt to his needs. In addition to this, he also had a heated indoor pool added to aid in his therapy.

5. There’s almost no privacy within its walls.

It’s no secret that the President’s job is a dangerous one; for this very reason, security within the White House is intense. Every activity is relayed to security, with even quality time between the President and his wife having a code phrase. Aside from measures and precautions taken by the Secret Service, the First Family also has to deal with the media and tourists who come to the White House purely to figure out what they were doing. Lack of privacy is one aspect of being President that no one envies.

It’s easy to think of the White House as a place perfectly tailored for living – and to some degree, it is – but we also have to consider the fact that being the President is a difficult, high-risk job. Living somewhere in constant view of the public and under heavy security is not easy, coupled with the responsibility of having an entire country on your shoulders. It would take a solid person or family not to mind the threats and truly make the White House into a home.

 

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American Political Culture

Behind the American government is its political culture. It is the backbone that defines every core values and ideals beneficial for the American people. Not all may agree, but the vast majority believes in these following principles.

1. Liberty

By common knowledge, liberty is described as the right of every person to be free. One can be free as long as it doesn’t hurt the rights of others. This is the reason why American government has laws in order for its citizen to exercise freedom but harmonious to their fellow citizens. While the citizens are subject to the country’s laws, the government is subject to the constitution. It defines the extent of the government’s exercise of power and at the same time protects the basic rights of the people.

2. Equality

With liberty comes equality. It means every citizen has equal opportunities with regards to exercising their rights in every aspect of their lives. Regardless of their status, rich or poor, male or female, young or old, every citizen should have the same level of treatment from the government. In short, this is just giving everyone equal chances to succeed.

This doesn’t mean of course that demonstrating equality will make every citizen achieve an equal result. A person’s individuality, like belief and attitude, is playing a major role resulting in a different outcome. While the government sees to it that every citizen has equal access to public education, a person’s preference on what field of study results to different career prospects and thus different income opportunities.

3. Democracy

This is the type of government where the sovereignty is in the people. It is a government by the people and for the people. Since the authority emanates from them, America like any other democratic country allows the election to give its citizens the venue of exercising their power.

4. Rule of the Majority

One important aspect of democracy is the belief that the government should reflect the will of the majority. It is a belief that the government is supposed to hear the voice of the people and make it the baseline for its function. Say, for example, the political candidate that has the majority of the vote wins and seats in the office. In the same manner, a bill supported by the majority of the congressional members is the one that passes.

5. Rights of the Minority

Although the rule of the majority is the key to a functioning democracy, it has its limitations. The rights of the minority are also to be protected. The minority has all the right to disagree or speak against the rule of the majority without being sanctioned. This is just for the check and balance of the government. When the rights of the minority are not being considered, the government is in danger of ruling in tyranny.

6. Individualism

By the fundamental concept of individualism, an individual is subject to no one but of that individual. The American government values this principle to the extent that laws have been added to accommodate certain rights that have been deemed necessary to the evolving civil society. A common example is the law that protects the rights of the LGBT community.        

 

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American Multiculturalism

America is a country viewed as a melting pot of different cultures. It practices multiculturalism where different ethnic groups with distinct culture live harmoniously with each other under the American flag. Unlike territories, culture has no boundaries and therefore easily overlapped or in some cases assimilated.

Constitutional Manifestations of Multiculturalism

1. Federalism

With this structure of government, each of those independent states has the potential of retaining their cultures and any laws that are related to it. While different states may have different stand or perception over a certain matter, federalism has provided a venue for exercising their rights without contradicting others.

Despite the cultural differences, each state can still coexist to form a country. It can also be considered as unity from diversity. Some federal laws, for example, are enforced differently among independent states, allowing their local laws into effect as long as there will be no contradictions from federal laws.

2. Freedom of Religion

This has been one of the basic rights that need to be respected and protected. Along with these different religions are different religious cultures. Each should be exercised freely without persecutions. The constitution has made sure that religion and religious practices are to be treated equally.

One common example is the practice of religious festivities. Policies are enforced to treat all ceremonies and traditions with equal importance to others. Even if there is a major religion in the area, minor religions are still encouraged to thrive.

3. Freedom of Expression and Economic Liberty

The government has provisions for the protection of property, freedom of movement and action. When immigrants settle in the country, they tend to live near to whom they have culturally identified. At their discretion, they can speak their own language to one another. They can even establish businesses that will cater the needs of their fellow immigrants. Likewise, political movement related to different cultural standpoint shall be carried on without prejudice.

4. Parental Rights

The role of parents to convey and preserve culture is undeniably great. There are laws that protect them in exercising these rights to their children. Although parental rights are not absolute, they remain a solid foundation when in terms of molding the new generation. They are the first line of defense in preserving cultural imprints. Thus, a child grows with cultural preference because of upbringing and community influence.

Benefits of Multiculturalism

 

1. It increases minority member’s happiness

Democracy is not equated to conformity. Although in this type of government the majority’s will is the basis of decision-making, the voice of the minority is still considered and protected.

2. An Avenue to Search the Truth

Diversity, in most cases, results to wide spectrum of options that tend to compete with one other. This becomes an experiment of ideologies where improvement can be further achieved.

3 . Source of Invaluable Citizens

During the World War II, people that have the biggest contribution to America’s success are the people who have been exiled from Europe. They were drawn because of the country’s tolerance in cultures and beliefs.

4. Source of Knowledge

Assimilation of cultures results in answering the challenges of an evolving society. It is comparable to the development of “alloy,” a mixture of metals that resulted in a material of much superior quality.       

 

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American Culture and Traditions

With many countries all over the world, it is almost impossible to remember their traditions and cultures. How do these cultures differ from the other? American culture includes beliefs, values, clothes that people wear, marriage — the list just goes on.

1. Language

English is considered as the universal language because it is the most used language around the globe. It is also the language used in America. When conducting a business speech, most speakers use the said language.

 2. Christianity (Religion)

It is the most common religion which is being practiced in America. The number of “no religion” Americans is decreasing. America is said to have the highest number of Christians in its population but not the highest in percentage.

3. Fashion style and trends

Different countries mean different fashion styles. In America, the fashion trends are usually based on religion, occupation and of course, the weather. Mostly used clothes are sneaker, caps, jeans, and sweaters. I must say, these are indeed the most comfortable clothing that a person could ever wear. Fashion trends are mostly influenced by big celebrities.

4. American Cuisine

Every time I think of American food, burgers and fries are the first things which come to my mind. Americans’ taste usually varies, but most of them love to eat what we consider as “junk food.” Burgers, fries, hotdogs, and potato chips are the common food that Americans love to eat.

5. Media Production

Whoever heard of Zac Efron or Angelina Jolie all over the world? I know most of us did. This is because America holds the record of having the biggest media production. This includes the television shows and movies from Hollywood. Most American movies are great hits even in different countries. Even I love those international movies because of their unusual plots, great stars, and unexpected twists.

6. Sports

Most Americans are active I outdoor sports like baseball, soccer, and basketball. It is rare to find one who is most likely to stay indoors and not know even just one sport. This is actually a good thing because it enhances a person’s metabolism and good health.

7. American Holidays

America is one of the countries which celebrate a lot of holidays. This includes Memorial Day which commemorates the people who died in Military Service and is celebrated in May every year. Labor Day is observed every first Monday in September. This holiday celebrates the workforce of America. Every fourth of November, Thanksgiving is held which celebrates harvest even way back in Colonial times. The Fourth of July is considered a holiday because Americans celebrate their independence from Britain. The birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are also celebrated every third Monday of February and is considered as another American holiday.

Each country has its own customs and traditions but don’t let the difference be a hindrance between nationalities and races. It is important to pay attention and give utmost respect to each country’s customs for all times. This way, there will be peace all over the world.

 

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Four Bizarre Ways American Politicians Have Campaigned

The election is one of the busiest events a country can have: rallies, debates, ads, and whatnot – just to find the best person to guide the general population through. That doesn’t mean it can’t entertain us, though. Here are four bizarre ways candidates have tried to get our votes.

1. Vote for someone who knows not to pee on electric fences.

In a brief, one-minute ad for his campaign for the Texas Railroad Commission, Roland Sledge’s main message is a comparison between candidates who relieve themselves on electric fences and those who, like him, know well enough not to. Intended to be a comic criticism against inexperienced candidates, it raises a fair point. However, it’s still out of the box enough to be included in this list; relieving ourselves and politics are just two distant topics not meant to be mixed.

2. When in doubt, use singing animals.

If you think singing animals are just for children, think again. A musical ad that was posted on YouTube on Oct. 31, 2008, featured animated animals singing an annoyingly catchy song. Its purpose is to show the benefits nature and wildlife would gain from Amendment 4 being passed in Florida. It’s bizarre and funny at the same time – be wary of watching this; you’ll have “Four, four, four” stuck in your head for hours.

3. You’ll need to have a pony with you at all times.

Vermin Supreme, a renowned American performance artist, and activist, is a sight to behold with a boot for a hat and gigantic toothbrush in hand. He had made several weird campaign promises in the past, but one of his weirdest ones was his promise to provide free ponies to every American.

He said he aimed for a pony-based economy, with the pony business providing people with more jobs. He had thought it out even further, saying he’d build a federal pony identification program – meaning you’d have to have your pony with you at all times.  

He had campaigned several times in the past, gaining support in his parody of the electoral system.

4. Businessmen are now required to wear clown suits.

This particular promise was made by Jello Biafra, a spoken word artist and Dead Kennedys singer who ran for Mayor of San Francisco, coming in fourth out of ten candidates. Other promises included banning cars citywide, and erecting a statue of the former mayor’s assassin for people to pelt eggs at.

He revealed that he merely ran because his band mate, Bruce Slesinger told him “Biafra, you have such a big mouth that you should run for mayor.” He, however, had appeared in interviews, saying not to consider his campaign as a joke, since he was no more or less than a joke than the rest of the other candidates.

Eccentric ads and campaigns are no strangers to us; some are meant as satire, some are meant as an entertaining way to lay out a politician’s campaign. Moreover, we have to look further than what people show or how they act for us to be able to understand their real message and intentions. It doesn’t matter how bizarre the campaign – as long as you’re sure that they’re aiming for a better tomorrow, above all else.

 

 

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Three Facts You May Not Know About America’s Presidents

Generally, former US presidents have their lives portrayed in stoic black and white in the pages of your history textbook. You may feel like you know these people out of reading and rereading for your pop quizzes, but there are also quite a few facts that your teacher probably left out.

1. Teddy Bears are named after Theodore Roosevelt.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt took a hunting trip In Mississippi back in 1902. They hunted for three days. By then, all of the President’s party had spotted bears, save for Roosevelt himself. Not wanting word to get out that the President’s bear hunt was a failure, hunt guides tracked an old black bear and tied it to a willow tree for Roosevelt to shoot. However, Roosevelt refused to shoot such a helpless animal.

News about the President’s mercy spread like wildfire. Cartoons were drawn of the former president sparing the bear, until it reached a certain candy-maker who had the idea of putting stuffed bears on his shop window, calling them “Teddy’s Bears.” The candy makers idea was widely accepted by the public, until he mass produced the said bears, leading to the popularity of “Teddy Bears.”

Even though Roosevelt’s successor, William Howard Taft, attempted to wipe out Teddy Bears with his own stuffed animal “Billy Possum,” the teddy bear and its heartwarming story still stand the test of time.

2. Abraham Lincoln almost dueled someone with a broadsword.

James Shields, a political rival of Lincoln’s, instituted a policy that prohibited people from paying taxes and debts on paper money. Lincoln was strongly against the policy, and did what he thought was right – he wrote a satirical letter against it, under code names “Jeff” and “Rebecca.” The former President even joked about Shield’s nonexistent romantic life, quoting Shields as saying, “Dear girls, it is distressing, but I cannot marry you all . . . It is not my fault that I am so handsome and so interesting.”

The news was quick to reach an enraged Shields, and soon the two agreed on a duel of life and death to take place in Missouri, where dueling was still legal. Mutual friends stepped in to stop the two from actually dueling, which relieved Lincoln, who had the honor of picking the duel weapons. He later said he chose the broadsword for he feared Shields would actually kill him if it came down to pistols.

3. William McKinley thought carnations to be his good luck charm.

And partly, he was right.

He first received a flower of the sort from an opponent to wear during a debate. McKinley then went on to win the debate, his faith placed into the carnation as his lucky charm.

Former President William McKinley was then rarely seen without a red carnation stuck onto his lapel. On September 6, 1901, McKinley, on a whim, decided to give his red carnation to a girl in the crowd, saying “I must give this flower to another little flower.” However, moments later, an anarchist shot the former President – leading to his death due to gangrene eight days later.

It is important to remember that presidents are not mere figures we memorize; they are people who’ve contributed to society and have fascinating stories behind their renowned names. If we actually take the time to read about them, we’d not only appreciate them being former presidents, but them being human and ultimately, just like us.    

 

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U.S. Immigration and Politics

For decades, immigration has been one of the biggest concerns in the United States. Policymakers have a lot to consider when drafting a policy for its reformation. They must look into its cultural and economic contributions while being prepared on the possible security threat it may bring. Debates from the legislative members have been unending on how to achieve immigration reforms. These debates came to the point that the judiciary and executive branches need to be involved in its major and critical policy decisions.

Americans on the Issue of Immigration

According to 2017 polls and surveys, the majority of the Americans have a “good feeling” about immigration. They understand its positive impact on economic growth. Immigrants are likely to be a hard-working employee or likely to be engaged in good businesses. This is due to the chasing of that “American Dream.” They are less likely to commit crimes since they fear deportation. It has a lot of positive contribution with only a few negative impacts related to security, especially the acts of terrorism.

Actions  taken by Administrations Related to Immigration

Obama Administration

President Obama, during his tenure, made sure that undocumented immigrant will have legal relief. A program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA was made in 2012. This gave chances to undocumented immigrants that arrived in the U.S. when they were children. They were granted work permits if found to have no criminal record.

After the program’s success, the administration has proposed a similar program but this time targeting undocumented immigrant parents. It was in 2014, and the name of the program was Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). It became controversial, and many U.S. states were not in favor of it. Most of them argued that it is unconstitutional and violated the existing federal immigration laws. It was blocked by the Supreme Court and effectively killed it in 2016.

Trump Administration

The present administration has been actively issuing executive orders that affect immigration policy greatly. There was a mandate on federal agencies requiring them to construct a physical wall covering all of the U.S. – Mexico border. Moreover, the “expedited removal” was strengthened allowing the removal of any person without a court hearing if unable to give proofs of staying in the U.S. for two years. A Travel ban was also implemented for travelers coming from Muslim dominated countries like Iraq, Iran, Syria and the likes.

This move was focused on terrorism prevention giving the government enough time to study and gather intelligence. The President has also pronounced his desire to phase out DACA of the previous administration calling it illegal.

Varied Approach to Handling Immigration Issues

In general, the federal government is the one responsible for enforcing immigration-related laws. This may be true, but it has the right to delegate immigration-control duties. In this way, states can freely enforce their local laws regarding the matter. For example, in California, even undocumented immigrants can apply for driving license. In Arizona, on the other hand, have laws giving the local police to question immigration status.   

 

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What Would Happen?

By legalizing marijuana, the usage of the plant will be highly profitable for all users. The commodity of marijuana will be so commonly used that the price will decrease, making a substantial difference in economic lifestyle. More money can be spent on other ways of life. Our specialist and dear friend, Paul Romado of plumbing services in Deerfield Beach, also states, if the marijuana is taxed, the states could earn a revenue and put the money towards education, thus lessening the budget cuts. The legalization of the herb can increase profit for others as well as the state. To illustrate in a broader view, society will be able to move forward with the legalization of marijuana and put the revenue towards education. America’s education system competes with other countries and through the legalization of marijuana, an increase in educational funds can occur. Should marijuana continue to be in question if it can aid in enhancing America’s education system?

The government has struggled to control the usage of alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is following a similar path and should be legalized as well. The federal government has been retaliating from the original stance regarding marijuana usage. Of course, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has not taken favor to states creating referendums, due to the fact that IRS initially abolished marijuana. Although the IRS deemed the drug illegal, other chemically engineered drugs are permissible and highly advertised, for example alcohol and tobacco. Kelly Phillips Erb, a Forbes magazine contributor, states, “Alcohol and tobacco are legal because the industries for both are too large for the government to halt, and both products are highly profitable through taxation.” The alcohol industry has increased revenue and has formed many jobs, 3.9 million. Inspecting this pattern, marijuana will be able to precisely follow it. Soon enough the government will not be able to control the usage, as can be seen in some states. The phrase “history repeats itself,” can be applied to the legalization of marijuana and it should be known that economy will progress in a variety of aspects. When usage becomes uncontrollable the herb will be legalized, and following the pattern of tobacco and alcohol, it will increase industry, employment, and revenue.

In contrast, some naysayers of legalizing marijuana would say that marijuana could cause economic problems for the government. For instance, the demand of marijuana would increase, therefore, decreasing the price and/or value of it causing inflation. However, by regulating marijuana, the distribution technique can be modified so such a thing would not occur. Another contrast is that the peoples’ money would be going towards buying marijuana, rather than other commercial items. But, their money is still going into the system where it all eventually intertwines and boosts our economy. Also, “Because marijuana is much easier for vendors to grow than alcohol or tobacco, these dealers could more easily avoid paying taxes on the substance”. The amount of money the growers and dealers make would far outweigh the taxes. Instead of laundering what is considered “drug money,” these growers can openly sell without fear of penalty. By keeping the trade of marijuana illegal, the benefits, such as the money and resources, go to dealers and cartels, rather than the individuals who make up a wholesome society. Marijuana can be more beneficial to society and the economy if given the chance because it can generate such large amounts of revenue.

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