Movie: Lions for Lambs (To be continued)

Lions for Lambs is an American drama war movie from 2007. We meet a Republican Senator (Tom Cruise) who would like to represent a new strategy for victory in Afghanistan to a veteran reporter (Meryl Steel), two special forces who are ambushed in said operation on the Afghani ridge, and their previous college professor who tries to re-engage a promising student by telling him the soldiers story. What makes this an interesting movie, is that they are all connected to each other.

The two students Arian and Ernest were inspired to do something with their lives, by their professor Dr. Malley. Therefore, they become soldiers for the special forces. Their story becomes the string between the different people in the movie as the Senators decisions will affect Arian and Ernest’s fates and their story will affect Todd’s life. At some point, they all have something to do with the U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan.

“The decisions you make now, can’t be changed, it will take years and years of hard work to redo it. No lifeguard is watching you anymore, you are on your own. The decisions you make are yours alone, from here an til the end.”

This was something the professor said to his student Todd. What he meant was that as we grow up, we have to make choices, someone more important than others. Our future is shaped by our choices we take today. To some, this is very scary, but to others it’s freedom. For me, it’s both. Soon I will graduate from High School and I have to find out what I would like to do. Should I go in the army, should I take a gap year or should I go straight to college? These choices I have to make will play a role in shaping my future. As for the movie, Arian and Ernest’s choices shaped their future. They chose to do something important and as a result, they became soldiers.  This decision can’t be changed, and they made it all alone.

America needs to do more.  The students in this movie try to get others involved. Discuss how this clip is important to the movie. Do you agree with these students’ choices?

This clip is important to the movie as it shows that

The professor asks Todd to get involved. What can he do?

In order for Todd to get involved, he can

Is there a connection between social conditions, the welfare state and the USA’s involvement in wars?

The U.S war in Afghanistan enters its 16th year, and president Donald J. Trump indicates that there is no end in sight, by tweeting “Let’s get out!”. In August, for example, he sent thousand more troops into the war. It seems like the United States is most likely to stay highly involved in Afghanistan as long as Trump is the president, and perhaps even longer.

A report released by the US Census Bureau in 2010 shocked both Americans and people around the world. It showed that the poverty in the country never has been higher. Ironically, America is the richest country in the world. Clearly, this shows that a few handful of people are very rich, while the majority, on the other hand, does not have a big income. There are definitely most individual suffering in the United States. Critics claim that 99% of the American population no longer has a political representation as the 1% are so rich that they have taken over. This way, only one percent of the population decides whether or not the involvement in the wars are high or not, which makes it clear that there is a connection between social conditions and the involvement in the wars.

Military spending on the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan is one of the main reasons for the huge deficit in the American economy. Maybe if they would have used the tax money on the welfare state rather than war, the differences between the rich and poor wouldn’t be so big. This way the social conditions would be better, the welfare state stronger and the involvement in wars be smaller.

However, going big makes it harder to go small. Both previous president Bush and Obama put massive resources into Afghanistan to win. Additionally, Americans are patriotic. They pledge allegiance to the flag at school and are tough to dream about fighting for their country. Because a lot of people are so poor, their country is all they have and every victory for the country is a victory for them personally. A lot of Americans are brainwashed and believe that winning the war will make life better.

I believe that the Media has a huge impact on how the American people are informed as well. They have the power to present the facts as they want. Because of this, the war can occur to be in favor for the American people as the information is presented in a specific way. By excluding information, the media can trick the people to only read about the good things, and therefore make people support the war.

Others, on the other hand, are aware of the big military budget which is at 523.9 billion US dollars each year. A lot of people will debate that this money should rather be used to strengthen and improve the social conditions in the country. As the war in Afghanistan is ongoing, it will continue to be a highly debated theme. Unfortunately, there is no correct answer on how the budget should be divided; it depends on who you ask.


From Brexit to Flexit – to be continued

According to Wikipedia, the European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has developed an internal single market through a standardized system of laws that apply in all member states. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital within the internal market. Since 1972, Britain has been a part of this union.

However, in 2016 they had a popular vote where the majority of the British people voted to exit the European Union- and with this came the term Brexit. Brexit is the abbreviation for British Exit from the EU. The Norwegian newspaper article “From Brexit to Flexit” address the issues tied to Brexit.

Interestingly, the article states that the EU-debate has cost all the last three prime ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and David Cameron their job. The article also mentions that if it wouldn’t be for David Cameron the Brexit probably would never have happened. He had no obligation of announcing a popular vote, but when he did he lost, and then he withdrew his position.

When Teresa May took over for Cameron, it started so well. However, she didn’t get the majority in the House of Commons and as a result, she lost her authority. May herself did not want to be the prime minister after the election, but her party begged her to stay. In the beginning, she was not in favor of Brexit, but she decided that she wants what the people want. Therefore she is working hard in order to make a good deal with the EU.

Gerrymandering and the British election system

Compare the gerrymandering to the British system where each constituency elects one MP by the first past the post system of election. — Write a brilliant blog post where you make sense of all of this!

Both the American and the UK election system is based on the fundamental of democracy- votes from the habitants. Even though they are quite different in a lot of aspects, some things are similar.

 The practice of Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering is a political process of arranging legislative districts to the advantage of a specific political, ethnic or racial group. It is a way of manipulating the boundaries so as to favour one party or class. The term rise when Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry made legislative districts to benefit his political party. Because his districts looked like a salamander, it got the name gerrymander. It is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries. There are two principal tactics that are used in gerrymandering; “cracking” and “packing”. “Packing” means that they collect all like-minded voters together in one district in order to strengthen their position in the chosen districts. By being “packed” they get representation in a single district instead of denying them representation across districts. “Cracking” is the opposite where like-minded voters are spread across several districts in order to recuse their voting power in other districts.

Gerrymandering is responsible for giving the Republicans the edge in the house of Representatives. In 2014, 44% of Pennsylvania voted for democratic candidates for the house of representatives, however 13/18 districts are represented by republicans. In Ohio, about 40% of the inhabitants chose democratic candidates for the House of Representatives, and yet 12 out of 16 districts are represented by Republicans. These numbers are way out of proportion compared to what people should expect.

This is how gerrymandering worksskjermbilde-2017-10-12-kl-12-06-36.png

“Gerrymandering has become a very precise science”, John Oliver says. It refers to the manipulation of the boundaries of an electoral. It is the politicians themselves that draw the districts which makes it easy for them to manipulate the boundaries.

UK politics in general

The politics of the UK are based upon a unitary state and a Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliamentary government. The head of state and theoretical source of executive, legislative and judicial power is the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. She reigns, but she does not rule. She chooses the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons to become the prime minister, even though she possesses the right to choose any British citizen she wants. When she takes part in the meetings in Parliament, it is because she has ceremonial duties. Powers such as patronage to appoint ministers and the ability to declare war are exercised by the prime minister and the Cabinet. So, in practical terms, the political head of the UK is the prime minister, which today is Theresa May. Still, the monarch exercises three essential rights: the right to be consulted, the right to advice and the right to warn. Weekly, the Prime Minister has confidential meetings with the monarch.

The Election

The voting system in UK is discussed as imbalanced due to the division of power compared to the number of votes that are given to the different parties. One of the main challenges that are discussed is the given power in the House of Lords. The House of Lords are represented by hereditary peers, lords, life peers and law lords. These people are not voted for, and have the opportunity to sit for a lifetime while no one has the right to treat their position (John Anthony R. B,. 2014). This can seem unfair to the people as it goes against the fundamental principles of democracy, which is that the people in the parliament are voted for, and can therefore question if the democracy is in accordance with its intention.

Therese May on the other hand was voted for. Similarity, to the elections in the US and Norway, the leader is the one that represents the party with the highest number of votes among its citizens. The MP’s are chosen by votes as well, however they are chosen by a “First past the post” system. This system implicates one MP from each constituency to have a seat in the House of Commons. The criticism regarding this system is that the different constituencies don’t have the same number of inhabitants. This means that a small party will get just as much power as a huge party, which will for many people seem unfair. This is the same result as the US gets from gerrymandering. An example of this can clearly be shown in the Election May 2015. The House of Commons is mainly represented by three parties, the Conservatives, the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party, as they together make up 618 out of 650 seats. However, the party UKIP got almost 4 million votes, and yet they were only given one seat at the House of commons, compared to the Scottish National Party who got 56 seats with inly 1.5 million votes. This clearly shows that there are some challenges with the UK election system. Therefore, a lot of people are exchanging votes with others that live elsewhere in the UK in order to make their vote count. This is understandable when statistics proof that the number of seats given to the different parties in the House of Commons is not in line with the number of votes. This exchange of votes can be compared to the “cracking” and “packing” in gerrymandering, the results are both manipulated. Even though the different districts in UK isn’t moved from election to election the result of the voting system is quite similar to the result of gerrymandering. They are both incorrect compared to the number of votes.

The two biggest political parties

The UK has many political parties, some in which are represented in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. One of the major parties are the Conservatives. They were founded in 1678 and were in government for two-thirds of the previous century. They stand for “Building a stronger, more competitive economy, and securing a better future for Britain” as a result of their long-term economic plan. They are a centre-right political party in the UK, and can be compared to the Norwegian party “Høyre”. Today’s prime minister, Theresa May, represents the Conservatives.

Another big party is the Labour Party. The Labour Party constitution states: “The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few.” The Labour Party is a centre-left political party, and can be compared to the Norwegian party “Arbeiderpartiet”. Jeremy Corbyn is the Acting Leader of the Labour Party. Their slogan is “For the many, not the few”.

To keep it simple, in comparison to each other, the Conservatives wants low taxes and the Labour party would like higher taxes. This makes a big difference when it comes to health care, school and business. The Conservatives means that each individual should have the opportunity to choose what they want to use their own money on, while the Labour party means that the society would come better off with a stronger state.


The due for voting whether or not the UK was going to leave the European Union was set in 2020. Therefore, when Theresa May called in a snap election (an election which is called earlier than expected) a lot of people were surprised. She wants a “hard” Brexit which means that she would like a clean and efficient break from EU and therefore she called into a snap election on June 8th. The word Brexit is “used as a shorthand way of saying that the UK is leaving the EU” (BBC 2017). The 23th of June 2016, the British people voted for whether their country should leave EU or not. According to BBC, leave won by 51.9% to 48.1%. The Labour party campaigned against Brexit, but they say that “Labour accepts the referendum result and a Labour government will put the national interest first.” (Labour 2017). Now that the UK is out of the European Union they want to make deals with EU and collaborate on as many levels as possible and therefore they want a “soft” Brexit.

Whether or not Britain is in the European Union or not makes a big difference. It will affect Britain on so many levels, among the economy and especially trading deals. This of course will have a huge impact on all citizens and therefore the politics.

Movie: Recount


Recount is a movie from 2008 and it chronicles the 2000 United States presidential election case between Governor of Texas George W. Bush and U.S. Vice President Al Gore (Wikipedia, 2017). We watched the movie and answered questions before hand, during the movie and afterwards.

What is the Electoral College? The electoral college is a system used in the United States of America in order to indirectly choose the President. People vote for electors that represents their state, and it is the number of electors pledget to vote for a party’s candidate. This number of electors decide who is becoming the next President. When a party has received over 270 electoral votes, they have won the election.

Why do we have an Electoral College and why was it considered necessary?

USA is the only country in the world that use a system where voters doesn’t choose directly who should lead the country, but choose representatives that choose for them. This system goes back to the founders’ distrust of democracy. The founders, such as Alexander Hamilton explained the system as necessary because he doesn’t trust the decision to the people themselves. The point of the system is to preserve “the sense of the people”, in addition to ensure that the President is chosen “by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.” (FactCheck, 2008). Additionally, this makes it easier for the smaller states to get a political leverage, which can both be a positive and negative thing, but is supposed to make it fair.

What is the official procedure for presidential elections? Illustrate an approximate timeline of key events in any given presidential election year.

To run for office, a person needs to meet three basic requirements established. By the U.S Consitution (Article 2, Section 1) a president candidate must be a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old and been a U.S resident for at least 14 years.

Step 1: Primaries and caucuses

People with similar ideas usually belong to the same political party, Many people want to be President, but there are only two parties in America, the democrats and republicans, therefore they campaign around the country and compete to try to win their party’s nomination. Party members then vote in a state election for the candidate they want to represent their party in the general election.

Step 2:  National Convention and General Election

After the primaries and causes each major party holds a national convention in order to select a Presidential nominee. The party’s presidential nominee announces his or her choice for Vise President. Then the elected representative from both parties travel the country around campaigning. On election day, people in each state cast their vote.

Step 3: The Electoral College

When people vote, they don’t actually vote for the President directly, but for electors that represents the party they want to win the election. Each elector casts one vote following the general election. The candidate who gets 270 votes or more wins.

Is it possible for a president to win the popular vote but lose the election? How?

Yes, because of the electoral college it is highly possible for a President to win the popular vote, but lose the election. Even though one party got most votes in total, they might not get the majority of the electoral votes, and therefore lose the election to the other party with most electoral votes. The Electoral College consists of 537 electors. Each state has a number of 537 electors given relative to the number of inhabitants. In order to become the President, you have to have a majority of 270 electoral votes. Because the votes are counted state by state the total amount of votes doesn’t count, but who gets the majority in each state, as they recieve all the electors from that particular state. When one party has won the state, the other party’s vote does no longer count in the running of choosing the next President. Therefore is it much easier to win the electoral college, than the majority of the votes in total. The electoral college makes the election about winning states, not people.

Who were the candidates in the 2000 election and what happened?

Al Gore and George W. Bush were the nominees in the 2000 election. Bush became the President, however Al Gore got half million more votes than the Republican opponent. This is because Gore lost the electoral college by a count of 271-267. Al Gores team tried to have a recount but when they didn’t make it in time, they stopped the recount and Bush won again. Then, Gore’s team went to court.

How was the Supreme court involved?

The Supreme court was involved because the Democrats was not happy with the stop of recounting votes and therefore they filed a lawsuit against the other party. They were to decide if the votes was to finished being recounted or not. 

In every presidential election, the media will announce the new President and Vice President by the morning after election day; however, when is the President and Vice-President actually elected?

The President and Vice-President is actually elected a long time before the election, in the beginning of the campaign.

What does it mean to “concede?”

To concede means to acknowledge before it is officially established.

Why did Al Gore retract his concession?

Al Gore retracted his concession on the basics of the numbers from Florida did not add up compare to the numbers Bush presented.



Why would a machine recount of Florida’s ballots tally a slightly different number than the first time?

A machine recount tallied a different number than the first time because the machine can’t guarantee a 100% correct number as not all the ballots go through completely. 


How was this a threat to the Bush campaign?

This was a threat to the Bush campaign as it might meant that he would lose his Presidency, because it indicated that the votes were not counted right.

Why did the Democrats initiate a hand recount?

The votes are counted by machines, and these machines have errors. This means that not every vote is counted, and obviously will affect the result of the election. Therefore, they wanted every vote recounted by hand.

What trend did the Democrats discover about old voting machines and the neighborhoods they serve?

The Democrats discovered that the poorest neighborhoods had the oldest machines, and therefore most likely more wrong results than the richer states. This could highly affect the result of the election, as a lot of people from poorer neighborhoods were democrats.

Did the Republicans actively try to stop a hand recount? Why?

Yes they did, because they were afraid that the Democrats may have won the election instead.

Why did the Republicans want to count absentee ballots?

If they count the absentee ballots together with the other votes the percentage of democratic votes will most likely decrease. Therefore the Republicans wanted to count the absentee ballots because it is an advantage for them.

Are absentee ballots usually counted on Election Day?

Absentee ballots are only counted during very tight races. This is because they are a small percentage of all voted ballots and many are coming from abroad.

In which court did James Baker think the Republicans would definitely lose? In the State Court.

Which Court did he think they would be more likely to win in the long run? Supreme Court.


What did Baker mean when he suggested that “it’s time to exercise our first amendment right”? What is the first amendment? The first Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

What were the advisory opinions? The system/machine did not fail. However, the people voting did not manage to vote correctly.


Who represented Gore during the trials? Why was this lawyer recruited? David Boies represented Gore during the trials. He was recruited on background of his skills and because he was calm and smart. 


What is the Equal Protection Clause?

The Equal Protection Clause is part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The clause, which took effect in 1868, provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws”.


Why did the Bush camp think they had a small victory when they learned the Supreme Court didn’t set counting standards? The Bush camp thought they had a small victory since all the states had counted with different standards. 


How do you feel about the fact that many counties did not run their ballots through the machines again? In my opinion, the fact that many counties did not run their ballots through the machines again is unfair and unethical and in disrespect of all the voters. 


Do you think Democrats should have begun planning for lawsuits earlier?

I think that they didn’t consider a lawsuit earlier because they believed hat the recount would give new and other results. Therefore it would have been hard to plan a lawsuit earlier, as they didn’t have this information.


Do you think the Texas voting law signed by Governor Bush helped Gore’s case or was it irrelevant to Gore winning in the Florida Supreme Court?

i clearly think the law was relevant to help Gore’s case as it made it possible to demand a recount.





Written by Bibbi, Mathias, Sondre and Rebekka

The global goal climate action concerns climate change. Climate change is seen as one of the main reasons for the two hurricanes Harvey and Irma. What are the main causes for climate change? Can we as individuals do anything to combat climate change?

According to Global Goals the global emissions of CO2 have increased by more than 46% since 1990. In order to secure the future generations a life without having to worry about climate crisis we have to do something now, before it is too late. The global issues might seem too complex and big for you as an individual to have a chance in saving the world. But you can’t just point towards the big businesses and blame them for all of our environmental woes, because you, yes you, can actually do something to make the world a better place. And that is important to understand. It is like a puzzle, the more we all do our part, the faster we will create an entire ecology of living that promotes sustainability. Something is better than nothing. Being environmentally friendly simply means having a lifestyle that are better for the environment. Here are some easy and small changes you can make in your everyday life to help live a more eco-friendly lifestyle:

  1. Eat less meat: especially red meat.
  2. Use less paper and recycle more
  3. Only boil the water you need
  4. Use canvas bags instead of plastic
  5. Start a compost pile or bin
  6. Purchase the right light bulb and turn off the lights
  7. Choose cloth over paper
  8. Shower less
  9. Take the bus instead of the car, or even better get a bike
  10. Buy locally grown products
  11. Throw less food and stuff
  12. Buy second hand

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live,” Einstein supposedly said. Bees are very interesting as the food ecosystem heavily rely on them. It is a huge cause of concern that the number of bees are declining, as if they disappear other animals will struggle with surviving and it will have massive consequences for the ecosystem. Think about the bees and make an garden bee-friendly place with plants such as lavender, roses and sunflowers. It can be as easy as that.

The temperature of the earth is rising at almost twice the rate it was 50 years ago. One of the reasons for this is the emission of greenhouse gases. There are several greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, the most important one is CO2, although others are methane, from agriculture and landfills, nitrous oxide from fertilizers and the loss of forests that would be able to store the CO2. CO2 is responsible for 64% of the man-made global warming. This means that by reducing our carbon dioxide emissions we can reduce the dramatic changes global warming and climate change do. However, methane traps more heat than carbon dioxide per molecule, in fact 20 times more heat per molecule. Methane is responsible for 17% of man-made global warming. The causes for the rise of emissions of greenhouse gases are burning coal, gas and oil. China is ranked as number one when it comes to emission of greenhouse gases, currently producing more than 25% of all greenhouse gases. The United States follow, with 13.9%, with India placed third emitting 6.43% of all greenhouse gases. Norway is responsible for 0.1% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation is also an important cause, because trees help to regulate the climate by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Since trees contain a lot of carbon dioxide, emissions of carbon dioxide will rise when burning trees. When cutting trees down emissions will also rise, because the carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

We as individuals can do a lot to make the world a “greener” place and stray away from the polluting path we are on. Recycling is an easy and efficient way to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and pollution in general. Through recycling we can decrease the amount of waste which has a huge impact on the natural environment. Recycling helps us reduce the amount of chemicals and greenhouse gasses released by trash in landfill sites reducing deforestation. With recycling we can help prevent our habitats destruction and decrease the effect of global warming, which are some of the few effects caused by deforestation.

Another take on the situation is to try and make bigger changes by affecting our government, and by doing so, our country could lead the revolution on climate change. Even though we are considered the best country in the world on almost all aspects surrounding the global environment development, we still have a lot of flaws, especially in the consume and waste department. That is why, on the lowest level we need to vote MDG at our election, and then MDG has to convince the other parties of the government to step up and start investing in our sustainable ecofriendly natural resources, and hopefully the rest of the world will follow. This will also be a much more affordable option for us as a country in the long haul, even though it might cost us some of our precious oil money right now for the research of how to develope it. There is no point in being one of the wealthiest countries in the world if our planet is trying to destroy us with natural catastrophes and disasters, because we choose not to take care of it.  


The importance of Knowledge

In this task, we will be showing some of the recent mistakes the President of the United States has made and why it matters. Here are a few of the mistakes he has recently made.

When Trump arrived in Israel from Saudi Arabia he claimed that he had just come from the Middle East. He was clearly wrong when he “left” the Middle East and entered Israel, which is also located in the Middle East. Showing that he lacks basic geographical skills, which is worrying seeing as many of his speeches involve the Middle East.

The White House misspelled Britain’s prime minister’s name wrong, three times. Theresa May was spelled without the “h”, consequently leaving her with the same name as the renowned porn actress Teresa May. Getting someone’s name wrong can seem as though you don’t care and when a country is receiving a prime minister, it might not be the best start. Especially when it happens THREE times.

When Trump met with Lebanon’s prime minister Saad Hariri on July 25th, he claimed that “Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against Isis, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah.” While the Hezbollah is actually a part of the Lebanese government. A complete blunder and makes the president look very negligent.

Lack of knowledge shows ignorance, ignorance leads to conflicts, which often leads to war. The truth is that history usually repeats itself. Therefore, knowledge of history gives us the opportunity to learn from mistakes made in the past. Gaining knowledge is mandatory, and people can respond negatively to being forced to learn, but the knowledge you gain at school, and in history class, can actually help you succeed further down the line. Additionally, as a president you have a responsibility to be a good role model, and with the mistakes shown in this post, we can’t say that Trump is fulfilling his job. He should use history as a tool to unite the world, instead of ignoring it which only leads to unnecessary conflicts.

I believe that the reason for the lack of excitement for history is that many of the topics date back to thousands of years ago. Therefore, many find it lacking relevancy to todays society. Although there are definitely many valuable facts that you might need, if you want students to be more entertained you have to draw parallels between the history from back then to our society today. That is not only more entertaining, but also very educational.

Translation of a Norwegian fake news checklist

These are our three favorites of the list:

1. Check the source

Check that the news outlet is trustworthy and has a good reputation for being correct. If the news outlet is from an unknown organization, then you should do some more research.

2. Be skeptical about headlines

Fake news usually has catchy headlines with big letters and exclamation marks. If the headline has shocking claims that seem too good to be true.

3. Control the dates

Be aware that fake news may contain timelines that don’t make sense or dates that have been changed.

Written by: Sondre, Martha and Rebekka