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Things I'm Thinking 06/12/13

Calum Hayes |
June 12, 2013 | 1:01 p.m. PDT


Editor's Note: "Things I'm Thinking 06/12/13" is part of Calum Hayes' summer opinion series, Things I'm Thinking.

Even if I don't have all the information about these protests, it's never alright to treat people like animals. (Alan Hilditch, Creative Commons)
Even if I don't have all the information about these protests, it's never alright to treat people like animals. (Alan Hilditch, Creative Commons)

1. I’m thinking that if the next presidential election were held tomorrow, I’d be voting for Chris Christie, and it wouldn’t be a tough decision. This is about more than his calling for a special election to fill a currently empty Senate seat in New Jersey. (Though, any time you can annoy the Tea Party—the American Taliban, thank you "Newsroom"—my ears perk up.)

This is about a politician who doesn’t seem to give a rip about politics.  In the case of the special election, Christie has managed to annoy both parties. The Democrats because they don’t want to pay the $24 million to fund the election( to which Christie has responded “I don’t know what the costs are and quite frankly I don’t care”). And the Republicans because they fear he has given away a key seat in the Senate. Christie has time and again shown himself to be a man who does what is best for the people who elected him, regardless of what his political peers may say. He has shown himself to be a man who will always listen to the other side, even if he rejects it soundly. I’m thinking that this is a man I’d be ok with living in the White House.

2. I’m thinking it’s ridiculous that stories like this one exist. Even disregarding the fact that the man who just blew the top off a huge surveillance scandal is dating a professional pole dancer (no, I will not agree she’s still done more for Americans than Obama has), why in the world are we clamoring to know what she’s saying?

As a “millennial,” I get the feeling that much of my generation won’t agree with me on this one. There is such a thing as over-sharing and this is the latest example of it. What happened to privacy? In an era of blogs and instantaneous Facebook posts, we seem to have forgotten that everyone doesn’t always need to know what you’re doing. I’m thinking the best part of this story is the irony of a generation being upset over surveillance when our own Internet habits have made every part of our lives public knowledge before Obama ever signed up for an all-inclusive Verizon plan.

3. I’m thinking that I have been conflicted on whether or not what Edward Snowden did is right. While I can say without hesitation that what our government has being doing is wrong with a capital "W," I am less sure about Snowden himself. My initial reaction is to say he was right to leak the information. Our own government has been spying on us—not just with the usual drones—and we deserve to know.

My secondary reaction is to say maybe he wasn’t right. As much as I disagree with what George Bush started with the Patriot Act and Barack Obama has continued, do two wrong actions make a third acceptable? Snowden did the kind of thing that gets people thrown into a prison in Guantanamo Bay (a prison our president has been vowing to shut down for five years, but never mind that part). In the end, this question comes down to whether or not we think Snowden jeopardized national security. I’m thinking he didn’t, in which case I’m on board with the decision he made.

4. I’m thinking Barack Obama appointing Susan Rice as his national security advisor goes against everything he says about reaching across the aisle. It has been clear what the GOP thinks of Rice ever since she was first nominated for Secretary of State. While the president should by no means only do things given a thumbs-up by the GOP, I’m thinking that this seems to be a slightly different hand gesture from our president going back in their direction.

5. I’m thinking that I don’t have enough information to form an opinion about the protests in Turkey, but I can’t help feeling uneasy about the reported police brutality. While it is possible the protestors have done things to bring the brutality on themselves (the protests across Europe in 2010-11 being an example of this), at first glance it seems that the Turkish police are far overstepping their boundaries. For the government to beat people protesting the overbearing nature of said government shows some out-of-touch leadership. I’m thinking that even if I don’t have all the information about these protests, it is never right to treat people like animals to be beaten.

6. I’m thinking that Los Angeles Dodgers fans may want to be careful before they get carried away over Yasiel Puig. Puig debuted earlier this month (at only 21) and he has been on fire. He is hitting .500 (a number even the most fanatical of fans can agree won’t last) with four home runs and ten runs batted in. At 6’3” and 240 lbs., Puig has the body to sustain long-term success. However, Puig does have a troubling strike-out rate at this stage, with 5 Ks in just 33 plate appearances and only one walk.

There was another player who debuted this century with similarly dominant numbers. At 6’4” and 215lbs, he was the next big thing. In just seventy games, he had seventy-seven hits, hit fourteen home runs, won the rookie of the year award and inspired this Sports Illustrated cover. So Dodgers fans, I’m thinking that as fun as it is to truly embrace the fanatical side of supporting a team, remember that while Puig may look amazing now, at one point Atlanta Braves fans were doing the exact same thing for Jeff Francoeur.

7. I’m thinking I’ll leave this column at seven things—just to get under the skin of any mildly obsessive-compulsive readers out there.


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