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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By Ana Cedeno
While every experience is different, there are some universal truths when it comes to college.
The food is always expensive for example.
You learn to crave privacy after having a roommate, and term papers are either an easy “A” or the bane of your existence.
Such is life.
But for Gregory Watson, one such term paper would go on to change his life forever.
As a student in 1982 attending the University of Texas, Watson wrote a term paper on the topic of the unratified 27th Amendment to the Constitution.
At the time there were only 26 Amendments to the Constitution, and dozens of other proposals throughout the course of American history were never able to join in their elite number.
For his paper, Watson wanted to impress. So he dug deep through archives where he found the text of a proposed Amendment first proposed in 1787 but was left unratified due to lack of support, as only six states backed it.
This proposed Amendment stated that “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”
What this basically means is that a congressman cannot vote themselves a pay raise and have it take effect immediately, but would have to wait until the next election cycle.
This in turn would give them an incentive to be less corrupt, since if they act in any way that makes people think they don’t deserve the raise, they can be voted out.
195 years down the road, Watson found the Amendment while looking for a topic for his paper in the Austin public Library.
According to an article in the Post-Gazette, the Amendment caught Watson’s attention, and upon finding that it was still in play realized it could still be passed.
So he wrote a banging paper about it that only received a C grade because the professor didn’t think his idea of getting the Amendment passed was realistic.
Later in an interview for Unlock Congress, Watson agreed this just episode made him more determined to see the process through.
He did this by going on to contact state legislators all around the country, trying to convince them the Amendment should be ratified.
“I knew that all I had to do was show this to the state legislatures and convince them that it had no deadline,” Watson told the Huffington Post. “And therefore, because it had no deadline, it was technically still pending business. And they could still take it up — even though it was 192 or 193 years later. And sure enough, that’s what happened. The very next year I was able to get Maine to approve it. And once I got a state to approve it, the momentum took off. The year after that, 1984, I got Colorado to pass it. It really took off in 1985; five states passed it. I knew it was just a simple matter of clearly presenting this issue to the state legislatures, and that they would act appropriately. And they did.”
By 1992, Alabama, Missouri and Michigan were the last states to ratify the amendment, finally making it a reality a decade after he was given a “C” on that term paper.
While he’s come a long way from that sophomore in 1982, Watson’s passion for politics hasn’t died down. He is still involved as a Legislative Policy Analyst in the Texas Legislature and encourages others to take an interest in politics.
“If the public does not constantly monitor and communicate with their elected officials, guess what?,” Watson said in the interview with Unlock Congress. “Their elected officials are going to play, and they’re going to engage in sleazy behavior… and the only way to keep them honest is by constantly monitoring them and constantly communicating with them.”
While this story of sophomore-assignment-turned-Amendment seems borderline incredible, it goes to show just how alive the Constitution truly is.
It also sets an example for those who want to make a difference in the country.
If this one man was able to bring about a change to the Constitution-something that many people more powerful then himself have failed at, then imagine what we all could do if we worked together towards collective change.
All you have to do is be willing to fight for that change, even if you get a C.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Daniel R. Blume/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 363
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A Florida based company is under fire (no pun intended) for Tweeting out an insensitive message about Muslims and 9/11- all to sell firearms.
Florida Gun Supply sent out the following message on Wednesday, announcing a sale for “9/11 week.”
It’s 9/11 week. Use coupon code “muslim” at our site for $25 off any gun. Come in Fri for a free car wash and beer! pic.twitter.com/x1sTZPFk0V
— Florida Gun Supply (@FLGunSupply) September 9, 2015
That’s right. Use the coupon code “Muslim” and get $25 off any gun in the store. Wow. But this isn’t the first time the store has pulled a racially charged stunt in order to promote their brand. Just watch this video they posted back in July about how the store is a “Muslim free zone”.
And oh yeah, they don’t really like Black Lives Matter too:
So much for 9/11 being about unity in America.
H/T: Observer.comPost Views: 311
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Boy bands have always been a staple of Pop music culture. They come in numerous, eclectic forms, ranging from The Jackson 5, The Beatles, and The Bee Gees, to New Kids on The Block, Backstreet Boys, and NSYNC, and most recently, One Direction.
Flashback to 2010. Five boys came together on popular British TV show “The X Factor.” Even though they collectively finished in third place, England nor the rest of the world were ready for the mass hysteria of One Direction.
Watch: One Direction final performance in 2010 X Factor
In a sense, Harry Styles, Niall Horran, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik have been compared to a modern day Beatles. Not only are both from England, but they also stole the hearts of millions of girls when they transitioned overseas to America.
But why did these kids transition into fame instantly?
“The Internet is what made One Direction what they are today,” Kelly Brickey, One Direction fan and journalism student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee said. “Online resources like Twitter and YouTube gave the boys a platform for fans to jump on the bandwagon. Even [the band] themselves have credited online fan presence for their success.”
The increase in popularity of social networking sites such as Twitter have skyrocketed conversations between fans from all over the world.
At any given moment, there is always at least something “One Direction” related trending. Some of the hashtags used range from, simply #OneDirection and #DirectionersRunTwitter, to more obscure fandom references like #BodyShotsWithHarry and #LiamWearsThongs.
“These days there’s more of an ability for fanship to manifest itself on social networks and other kinds of internet channels that point out just how intense fanship is,” Dr. Eric Weisbard, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Alabama said. “[Popularity] is something that we measured before through screams and people standing in Times Square, outside of MTV studios, and we can now measure it in more concrete ways.” Like social media.
Fast forwarding to 2015, One Direction fans, “Directioners” as they are called, had their worlds turned over: within a three month span, member Zayn Malik announced his departure from the band. Rumors then started forming about a potential hiatus.
In typical Boy Band fashion, sometimes the members “age out of the category” Weisbard said.
“They have been working nonstop for five years now,” Brickey said. “They may get a couple weeks here and there for themselves, but their dedication to their job is hardcore. They just need a break.”
So there you have it, girls love music more passionately than others. When they come together for a common purpose, fandoms form. A new language evolves between members which could be attributed to a cult. But something about these five boys from England has made a lasting impact on society and is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.
Cover Photo Credit: Eva Rinaldi/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 1,092
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