Thursday, December 10, 2009

Freedom Fighters

Laborer’s Rights

The fourth amendment guarantees Americans the right to assemble. Therefore, it gives us the right to go on strike. Looking back on the Haymarket Square incident in 1886 we see how a protest for the rights of workers everywhere turned into a tragedy. Employers have the right to fire or replace employees that go on strike, but that’s the danger of going on strike.

Women’s Rights

The right to vote is power; power to get you opinions out into the world or the country in which you live. In the 1920’s women had to fight for their right to vote. Because of their hard work, the nineteenth amendment was finally added to the US constitution. Unfortunately, the nineteenth amendment dose not give women equal rights; it just gives them the right to vote. I think that there should be an amendment to the US constitution that gives every American citizen equal rights regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other kind of difference that marks them as different or weird. We are all people. As Americans, as human beings; we all deserve to be treated equally.

I have a Dream

Martin Luther King is a really great speaker. While listening to his speech on YouTube, I couldn’t help but notice the power behind his words. I really love this country. America is a great place. Sometimes injustice and corruption find ways to creep into the minds of our politicians, officials, representatives, and other individuals that make up “The People”. However, we will not all be corrupted. There will always be good people, and therefore; there will always be good men and women fighting for what they believe in.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

I applaud your decision to send 30,000 additional troops into Afghanistan at the beginning of next year. Although I do not like the fact that we are at war; it is my understanding that your decision is based on the recommendation of your field commanders who possess the greatest knowledge of the situation in Afghanistan.

I see how allowing the Afghanistan to continue to deteriorate could lead to future attacks on the United States and its allies, and I agree that the only way to eradicate the cancer that is terrorism is to deny those, who would spread death and destruction, safe havens where they may plot and plan their attacks against humanity.

That said, I would also like to see you fulfill the promise you made during your campaign for office to end the war. I think that the timeline you have set up is a step in the right direction; however it leaves one question lurking in the depths of my mind. You see, I have friends who will be deploying in Afghanistan. While I know that you have signed letters of condolence, visited the wounded, and seen the flag draped coffins of your fellow Americans; I do not know if you have done so for someone you knew personally. At this very moment I agonize over the words to convey the sorrow that comes from losing one you love to violence. The truth is that those words do not exist. While the troops that you now send into battle go willingly, prepared to give their lives for this country, it is harder for those they leave behind.

While I’m not comparing you to the Bush administration; your overall plan remains the same. You want to stay in Afghanistan to train a competent military force that can independently support the growing Karzai government. What happens if your timeline comes to an end in 2011 and your field commanders and military strategists agree that Afghanistan is still too unstable to be left alone? Will that be the point when America turns its’ back on this war and says, “Hey! We’ve done the best we can.” Or will it be the day that you have to send even more troops, keep soldiers from returning home, or otherwise continue to engage in what might be an endless war?

Either way, I truly do appreciate the effort that you and your administration are putting forth to be very clear with the American people. I support you as the Commander in Chief and your decision to send more troops, but I cannot help wondering “what if”. I cannot help but think about all the Americans across our glorious nation who will share my anxiety when they watch their loved ones depart for war. I’m sure you have a backup plan, but now that you have established what we, as a country, are going to do next; you need to tell us what will happen if our plan fails.

William P. Alexander

What's Up

Just a little glimpse of what has really interested me lately. All my sources spawn from CNN, so check out their website to learn more about the fascinating world in which we live.
There is an issue brewing between Iran and America. Well it has been brewing and now it’s approaching its broiling point. You see, the problem is Iran wants to build ten nuclear reactor complexes and nations across the world. Considering Iran’s recent interest in developing weapons of mass destruction; a great deal of concern comes about when Iran and anything nuclear are mentioned in the same sentence. The article says, "Iran denies it plans to build nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear program is for civilian electricity and medical research." Now; I am all for nuclear power. It is an extremely efficient resource that is very safe when managed properly, but is not utilized very much in America. So, what to do? Several members of the UN do not trust Iran to have nuclear power. It would be extremely dangerous, but it would also be dangerous to allow Iran to gain control of that much nuclear material. What to do? Some have suggested that Iran should move forward with there plans under the ‘watchful eye’ of the UN. I don’t know, It’s a dilemma all right…

In the box office New Moon (the new movie from the “Twilight” saga has been doing amazingly well! It made about $140,700,000 on its first weekend in theaters!! Pre-teen girls across the globe (and me) flocked to see it. Some, including my sister, saw it three or four times during its debut. One thing CNN’s web article, “No sex please, we’re vampires” mentioned that the “distinct lack of on-screen sex runs contrary to the popular trend of portraying teenagers on screen as playing fast and loose with their virginity and affections.” I’m glad that this formula is proving to be popular, especially among younger audiences.

In other news, a biometric hand was developed at Pisa's Valdera Polo Sant'Anna School and surgically attached to Pierpaolo Petruzziello's nervous system via electrodes implanted into the remaining part of his left arm. You see, Pierpaolo Pieruzziello is an amputee. Now, instead of being a patient; he has become a pioneer in biomedical engineering (or at least I think that’s what the field is called). During this experiment, the hand responded to 95% of the commands sent to it from Pieruzziello’s brain. Given more time, research and money the “LifeHand” could, quite possibly be a viable option for amputees in the near future. Bottom line, THAT IS FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!!! My question is: If we can create a hand that responds to the brain’s commands, could we also make other things? Like Doc Octopus’ robo-arms or mind controlled exoskeletons or maybe even mind controlled cars?! Mind control... Awesome.

See ya!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Second Treatise of Civil Governent

In the Second Treatise of Civil Government Locke begins by describing this thing he calls ‘The State of Nature’. In this state there are no rules; it’s every man for himself. It is a state in which humans rely on the strength of their bodies and the size of their clubs instead of their wit, cunning, teamwork, and communication skills to solve the trials and tribulations that we all must face along the path of life.

Although man has the ability to enjoy the complete freedom offered by the state of nature, freedom where the only obstacles one must conquer to fulfill any desire he may have are the limitations of his mind, body and mortal soul; he chooses to trade that absolute freedom for security. Man chooses to leave the barbaric state of nature for the more evolved elegant world that society offers. He chooses to trade some of his freedoms for security.

One particularly good example of a society in which man is forced to give up some freedom for security is the American society. Although we are “the land of the free”, we are forced to give up our absolute freedom for everything that our government provides for us. “In America, we are only limited by the freedom of other people.” (Citation needed). Of course, we do not mind giving up these freedoms. For example, I don’t mind that I’m not allowed to go around setting fires, not that I would if I could, because I know that means that my house will not be burned down because some idiot set a fire that got out of control. I also don’t mind paying taxes. We have to give up some of our property to the government in the form of taxes. I may not like paying takes, and I may complain about them sometimes, but, in the end, I don’t mind paying them. The government takes that money for good reasons though. We enjoy roads and public education and a strong army to protect us from aliens and zombies, don’t we? Well, the government needs to be able to pay for all that; so they tax us.

These are but a few examples of freedoms that we willingly give up in order to enjoy the safety of society. I think it is interesting though; that, in today’s world, you are born into society. Man no longer has the ability to choose between the state of nature and the confines of society; for, the choice no longer exists. I wonder: if the choice remained, would there be some who would choose to reside in the state of nature?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Common Sense

So, I read this work by a man named Thomas Paine. Thomas Paines Common Sense. In it he belittles the king of England and the monarchical system of government saying that the state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly. Paine calls out to Americans, err colonials, excuse me, and pleads with them to follow their 'common sense'. He explains the evolution and necessity of government; taking his readers through life in the state of nature and the evolution of a republic. While he recognizes the need for government, Paine asks his readers to question its necessity themselves by posing the question: Is man innately good or evil? I believe that Paine sides with the latter. He goes on to explain how man wants security; how man looks to his government for security; and hoe man is willing to, weather he realizes it or not, give up his complete freedom for that security. At this point, Paine gets into the specific flaws he sees in the so much boasted Constitution of England.
Pains argument is very good. He engages his readers both intellectually and emotionally. He asks them to think through his queries and he gives compares the English system of government to those of the French and the Turks. This makes his readers wonder: Why is our system of government so similar to the governments of those who we disdain? Pain also speculates about how the King and his nobles came to power. Paine compares them to a group of thugs who gained their power long ago through brutality and fear. He also mentions something about the king being... an ass...
One important thing to note is that Paine recognizes the evolution that has taken place in Ameri- the colonies. If Paine were to have written any of these sacrilegious things whilst residing in England he would have been hung from the nearest tree. However, in the colonies, I caught myself that time, Paine could get away with his heretical comments about the crown. This evolution is very important. Just the fact that Paine could escape hanging in the colonies is huge! The people in the colonies had already mentally separated from English rule to a certain degree.They had established a revolutionary system of government that they had gotten really used to without anyone realizing it. It was not until after the King started trying to return things to the way they he wanted them that the people, or most of the people anyway, realized how much better the colonial systems of government were. I really mean it when I say it was a revolutionary system. History says that the colonists agree with me because, believe it or not, they had a revolution over these ideas. They realized that Thomas Paine was right and that the English system was wrongfully oppressive and that their system was awesomely better.
T-Paine started the train of thought that led to AMERICA! The most awesomest country ever.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Declaration Comparazation- Oh yeah

The Declaration of Independence and the Second Treatise, Of Civil Government have some of the same ideas. The question is: Did Thomas Jefferson read the Second Treatise and base the Declaration of Independence off it? Personally, I recognize that there are several similarities between the two, but I have no way of proving weather or not Jefferson read Locke’s work. He could have been told about Locke; or he could have read something that had copied Locke’s ideas. Because all of these ideas regarding basic human rights to life, liberty, property, est. were circulating through the minds of all the educated people of the 1800’s; it is very likely that Jefferson was exposed to Locke’s work during his formal education.