Thursday, July 11, 2013

Legalize Marijuana!

      In the short excerpt from “A People’s Democratic Platform” by Eric Schlosser, he discusses his discontent toward the drug policies in place in the United States. He argues that over populated prisons, the money the government is losing to the black market, the impact of organized crime, and the corruption that spreads through governments internationally, is not worth stopping people from using marijuana or other illegal substances. Many resources have been wasted on the war on drugs and till now it has failed to create even a dent in the use of illegal substance. So rather than wasting  resources on a failing method, basing the laws on personal morals, Schlosser insist that we should base policies on “common sense.” By this he means, rather than focus on eliminating the use of recreational drugs because they are harmful, we should give our public health system the opportunity to look into policies that would help reduce the harms associated with the clearly unrelenting drug use, as is done in counties like Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, among others.
      Undeniably drugs do cause harm unto the users body but Tabaco and alcohol cause just as much harm. Yet the era when alcohol was illegal is very much behind us. We should also consider only legalizing substances that do not cause such extreme damages associated with the use of cocaine and heroine, such as marijuana. One can also make the argument that by legalizing a drug such as marijuana it will make the drug to easily accessible to the youth of America. On the other hand if legalized, the government would be able to heavily tax the consumers in hand making it more economically difficult for young adults to finance their addiction. It could help the government to better regulate the drug and its distribution by setting age limits and production guidelines, such as what chemicals can be added to the drug before it is sold. It is fair to argue that the public health system is not capable of controlling such a large issue on its own, proven because clearly law enforcement is unable to, but the two organizations together can have a greater impact than one organization alone. Law enforcement can continue to work on keeping drugs away from the black market and the health system can focus on educating users on self control, rehabilitation and most importantly safe practice of drug use

Practice Safe Sex Drug Use

Is It Business or Pleasure

The article “A Peoples Demographic Platform” is about the failure of the so call “War on Drugs” which is a multi-billion dollar scheme to create revenue for the corrupted states and government officials throughout the world.  The cultural critic and author of this paragraph Eric Schlosser believes that drugs and its abuse should not be in the hands of the criminal justice system but to the public health department system. He then has an understanding that the United States should incorporate harm reduction policies that have been adapted in other countries around the world. His final point is that in the United States we have pharmaceutical companies advertising powerful drugs on billboards and alcohol companies promoting and glorifying alcohol in a so call “drug free Society” has got to be some sort of a joke.  In other words, his belief is that the American society would benefit with drug policies that is less about punishment and more compassion.

Some may not agree with Eric Schlosser but he raises some valid points that we should consider. First, the so call “war on drugs” is more about a business and making money than protecting the people from addiction and breaking the law.  This is just to keep the revolving door of the prisons swinging and the business of prisoners doing hard labor for pennies, which keeps the real money in the states and governments pockets.  Instead they choose not to create more jobs for the citizens that they would have to pay way more to right? Second, shifting the responsibility from the criminal justice system to the public health care system still sounds quite far-fetched and maybe way too big of a job to place into the hands of the health care system.  Third, if we're really consider seeing this through, congress should place an independent commission as well as someone to oversee these ideas of this health care possibility and the constituents of the elected official should be able to vote the person out if things aren't being run appropriately. Finally, unless the government is willing to expand resources in the health care department and the way we as Americans are accustom to the government not making the right moves in our benefit we may have to put a pause on that idea for now, not to mention some of these health care systems are run by private entities who have their own agenda, especially with the key word being BUSINESS.

Legalize it?

        The article by Eric Schlosser is calling for the United States to decriminalize drugs. Because it is illegal the prisons the prisons are filled with the poor addicts and small time drug users. It's always the weaker ones that get caught while the drug lords are free. The drug lords are wll organized in distribution of their drugs and crime. Because it is illegal drugs on the black market fetch a higher price hence it is a thriving business bringing in billions of dollars. He is lobbying for marijuana so it can be had by all. He stated that pharmaceutical companies and alcohol companies advertise their products which are drugs and they are legal so trying to make marijuana illegal will not solve the drug problem of a 'drug-free society."
      On the one hand I agree with decriminalizing drugs, as if it were legal, the drug lords will have to pay taxes and the crime rate should decrease as the drugs would be readily available. Those suffering from ailments that marijuana is a cure for will be able to do so without fear of being locked up. On the other hand, if it is decriminalized, what percentage of the population would be going to drug rehabilitation? That number will be rather high. If that happens, people will be missing work regularly, insurance rates will climb and companies would not be productive.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Just One Time

The beginning of the twenty first century has lead in a new age of optimism and wonder. Just because the legalizing of drugs has come about, doesn't mean all is well in our part of the world. Our societies have yielded to the war on drugs. Some health professionals are right to argue that drugs are chemicals that change the way a person's body or mind works. But they exaggerate when claiming that drugs are not good for health as they have many side effects and damage our brain, heart and other important organs. Drugs are basically depressant that slows down the functions of the central nervous system and makes us less aware of the events around us.  However, drugs also relieve pain, so some drugs if they are legalized could be used for medical purposes. So drugs should be legalized as long as they are in an area that is suitable, and where they cannot harm others. For the people who disagree, just take a look at the others who smoke tobacco. Tobacco is if not a more harmful drug than a drug such as marijuana. Tobacco can't even be used for medical uses. Legalizing drugs does not mean making drugs accessible to all people. The drugs that are legal today, alcohol and tobacco (or some would say nicotine) aren’t available to just everyone; they are regulated. Only certain people are allowed to buy them. On the one hand, I agree that drugs shouldn’t be legalized because people can become addicted to them at times, and once you become addictive there isn’t much to do unless the person addictive to it is willing to do something about it. But on the other hand, I still insist that drugs should be legalized because it can stop crime, and the government and officers would have less worries. We’ve seen on the news that many innocent people have died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and for some reason they were involve in a fight that had to deal with drugs and they didn’t have nothing do to with drugs. So if drugs would be legalized all of those crimes would stop and innocent people would stop paying for something they didn’t do. For many years, a real push has been pending on the idea of legalizing now illegal drugs. This has become a hot debate throughout the United States. The dispute over the idea of decriminalizing illegal drugs is and will continue on as an ongoing conflict. Nonetheless, this world has changed a lot and there isn’t much that we can do to solve the problem. People die or kill for drugs and police can’t do anything about it. The Government would have less worry if they legalize drugs, but a lot of young lives are going to die. While on the other hand not legalizing drugs would save people’s lives. Drugs are good and bad in their own way depending on how people use them.

Say no to Drugs

Eric Schlosser has discussed the fact that drugs should be accepted into society. Although I grant that his point is unjust, I still maintain that it has a good argument. It is true that drugs are part of a multi billion dollar black market industry and do not cause more danger to health. As does alcohol and antidepressants. But is it right for them to be allowed? On one hand, I agree with Schlosser that drugs such as marijuana shouldn't require criminal sanctions. But on the other hand, I still insist that it should not be enforced. While it is true that this drug doesn't cause much harm, I still insist that it should not be enforced. 

what we lost

                   The article "Where Have African American Baseball Players Gone? is about the writer Rob Ruck explain that you no longer see African American in baseball. He explain that African American had the best player that the league has ever seen. African Americans changed baseball after Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Henry Aaron and other men schooled in the negro Leagues brought a revelatory combination of speed and power to the major. This men became hall of famers. " by 1975, African  American constituted over a quarter of all player and were over represented among the game elite. More important, they made baseball, once an obstacle to social change, a catalyst for it"(168)Black player made the game exciting and bring a different way to play the game. Now African Americans, no longer so prominent, now they make up less than a tenth of big league roster. Ruck rise a good question why are African American not playing baseball.He name some strong factor, For example, the popular of other sports like basketball and football. One big one is "as school began admitting African  Americans these sport offered scholarship that could be more rewarding than brief careers in professional sport"(169). Football and basketball can give a young player more than what baseball can give a young black player. An can a black player afford to play baseball and learn the game.      

Devils Advocate on Drugs, MMMKAY?!

Drugs are bad but if you use them for all the right reasons there should not be punishment. I understand that our laws are different then from Spain or Portugal we want our citizens to know that this is a crime, even the smallest amount of illegal substances can and will hurt you. Although it's OK do try new things but we need to obey the law, just because I haven't tried killing someone doesn't mean I want to (and you shouldn't ether). But think about the good things that would come out of changing the laws about having a small amount of drugs on you. We can work out a health care treatment, therapy, abuse course provided by the health care you have to learn how to control your usage of the drug. How would that work? Clearly you've never been in a mental institutional, they try to give them their meds in a controlled environment. Trust me when  I say that this could work in our streets because of mental institutional's approach to distributing medis.

p.s I have no idea if this is done right, I think this is what the h.w was.. read chap 6 answer the first question.. this makes sense to me.

can culture take ove the White America?
                        According to the 20's debate of the definition of whiteness Hsu let his readers notice how racial has taken over the America. According to the report of the U.S Census bureau in 2008 were categorizes as racial Minority, Blacks and Hispanics, East Asian and South Asian  and it account the majority of the population in 2042. According to Bill Imada the head of the IW group a prominent Asian American communication and marketing company thinks  in 1920to 1940 when anyone immigrated in America they will have the ispiration to blend in be as American as possible so that white American wouldn't be intimidated by them, they will go to school, church, and learn the American language to imitate the white American as much as possible.(p146)
       However in todays world is more complex. It doesn't matter of what race or skin color to be in a higher levels of public office."The son of Indian immigrants doesn't have to become "white" in order to be elected governor of Lousiana" stated Hsu. i belive to him he feels that race has taking over the White America the fact now any other race can become something in hight public place as long as they have the education for whatever position that they applied even if they m,eet the requirement such as a born citizen of the United stated. As he Mention a Half-kenyan, Half-kansa politician can self-identify as black and be elected president of the United states.   

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

An Influential Yankee

This is a part of my essay in essay number 2, I did this part already, just putting what I have so far in this blog:
Graff gives us a vivid explanation of his growing up: “I offer my own adolescent

experience as a case in point. Until I entered college, I hated books and cared only for sports.

The only reading I cared to do or could do was sports magazines, on which I became hooked,

becoming a regular reader of Sport magazine in the late forties, Sports Illustrated when it began

publishing in 1954”. (199) What this explanation of Graff’s early childhood does is shows us an

empty coloring book (Graff) and when he opens his eyes, he gives reading a chance (coloring

pages in the coloring book). Even though it’s only sports books, he is reading and obviously he

read more than sports books after his adolescent years to be writing this article Hidden

Intellectualism. Graff then continues to discuss a baseball player by the name of Joe Dimaggio.

Joe Dimaggio played for the New York Yankees. This story of Dimaggio is about Graff having

looked up to this not so ordinary baseball player. Dimaggio is a legend and will forever be

known as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Being such an important part to

the game of baseball, this gave inspiration to so many, including Graff, and still people today

from that era or the current era. How this insight of Graff’s growing up and idolization of Icons

like Joe Dimaggio relate to being smart or Intellectual is that Graff wasn’t always perceived to

be a smart person or an Intellectual early in his life. Through perseverance and sticking to what

he knows, and opening his eyes to other aspects of the spectrum that is learning and

Deteriorating White Privilege

The idea of White America coming to an end means minority not being minority. Sean Combs is a hip-hop mogul and the one of the most famous African American’s on the planet. He has become successful as a fashion designer, artist, and a music executive worth hundreds of millions of dollars. “Combs is both a product and a hero of the new cultural mainstream, which prizes diversity above all else, and whose ultimate goal is some vague notion of racial transcendence, rather than submersion or assimilation (Hsu 149). The evidence of minority being able to gain wealth, power, and success ultimately proves that whites aren’t in control no more. Whites aren’t the only ones with shinning opportunities of the American Dream.

The rise of hip-hop was a major game changer for the African American culture. “To its mythologization of the self-made black anti-hero hip-hop is more than a musical genre: it’s a philosophy, a political statement, a way of approaching and remaking culture” (Hsu 150). Hip-hop is very symbolic, it has been the one musical genre that has not been stolen and remade by the white race. Though rapper Eminem, a white individual, has made hip-hop “safe for white America” he has embraced the music and is only one of few to be able to do so.

the steps to heroism

Seger indicated that myths are all in all the same story over and over again. These stories may change their hero’s faces, the obstacles and enemies may differ, but the stories are all based on previously told myths and how it comes from our own experiences.  This is why many people find it easy to relate. The author believes that there is a process that a hero must go through in order to transform from a regular person to a hero. She calls it "A catalyst” that sets the story in motion" (Seger 336). She has given steps that have been following for years.
First is The Call to Adventure; The adventure begins with the hero receiving a call saying there time has come. In The Matrix Neo gets the call to adventure from Trinity via his computer. Refusal of the Call; In some stories, the hero initially refuses the call to adventure. When this happens, the hero pays a consequences for not believing at first and eventually come to terms of stepping up a being the hero. We see Neo refuses the call, but when he finds himself trapped in a situation where agents are after him, he accepts with the aid of Morpheus to get out of the situation. The Helper; Who provides special tools and advice for the adventure ahead. In the movie Morpheus wants to open Neo eyes and give him the knowledge Neo needs to improve and develop skills and traits of the world.

The first real scene encountered a the new world of experience. In this case Neo takes the pill that awakens his mind and pulls him out of the Matrix and into the real world. Then his first battles come and he wins thanks to the training from Morpheus. The Climax; The point of highest dramatic tension or a major turning point in the action. Neo opens the door to Trinity’s room, only to find Smith right in front of him. Smith empties his gun into Neo, who falls to the ground, he is now dead but thanks Trinity & her love Neo's heart begins to beat again. The final fight scene this is the make or break it part all the cards are on the table you must give it you’re all.  Neo rises and assumes even greater powers. Neo can now see the matrix all the enemies are helpless as the ship hits a point neo must leave before he is trapped which he does. The freedom to live; The hero is finally done with his journey he can finally be free and live their life Neo and Trinity kiss.

Are We "The Walking Dead"?

     Chuck Klostermans article "My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead" explains how zombies relates to our daily lives. People can relate to zombies because it reminds us that our daily routines has the same characteristics of a zombie. Klosterman states:
 “What if contemporary people are less interested in seeing depictions of their unconscious fears and more attracted to allegories of how their day-to-day existence feels? That would explain why so many people watched that first episode of The Walking Dead: They knew they would be able to relate to it.” (385) 
In our daily lives we wake up and do the same daily routines everyday. This is why Klosterman relates us to zombies.
    In the article Chuck gives examples of his claim. One of his examples of how zombies relates to our daily lives is the television show "The Walking Dead". In "The Walking Dead" on AMC it starts out with a man named Rick Grimes whom is a former Sheriff's deputy who has been in a coma for months because he got shot. He finally wakes up from his coma to a ghost town. There was no living person for miles, not even in the hospital. He thinks that he's the only person alive because all he sees is zombies. While taking a journey to Atlanta he finds people who are alive and has a camp outside of the town. When taken there by these people he finds his wife Lori, his son Carl and his partner/best friend Shane. They all struggle to fight off the zombies as well as competing with other survivor groups who are willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
    "The Walking Dead" on AMC relates to Klostermans point on how zombies relates to our daily lives. In "The Walking Dead" the living repeatedly come across zombies which they have to kill. In other cases the zombies end up biting one unfortunate person and they have to be killed in the end. In this show they go through with this day by day. This comes back to Klostermans claim that we can relate to zombies because our lives are very repetitive everyday just like the show "The Walking Dead". We as humans get up, go to work and go to sleep and start this process over again. We as human should try to change our daily routines and find a new identity for ourselves rather than being zombie-like on a daily basis.

Myths and Legends

        Linda Seger's "Creating the Myth" tells us that many movies are based on universal stories which we all have experienced. We identify with these stories so we continue going to see them even though the plots are the same. Some stories are "search" (Seger 335) stories and some "hero" (Seger 335) stories.
       Seger mentioned some movies that showcased the "hero" stories. Movies like Star Wars, James Bond, and Romancing the Stone. In Romancing the Stone we see Joan Wilder as a romance writer, enjoying her life with her dog, not looking for much. She receives a package, her apartment is trashed and she gets a call from her sister saying she is in trouble and needs her help. She does not really want to go but it is her sister so she had no choice. On her journey she encounters a trickster - a high ranked official in army - who sends her the wrong way, where she meets her helper Jack, who was to get her to Cartagena where her sister was being held. He found out Joan's reason for being in Colombia in that she had to exchange a map for the sister. He saw the map and along the journey they came across landmarks that were outlined in the map, so they decided to go look for the treasure themselves. They found it only to have been captured by the trickster who lost his arm and the treasure to a crocodile. He pursues Joan and they fight but he falls into the same crocodile pit. Joan rescues her sister and returns to the U.S where she writes a book on her experience, while her helper goes after the crocodile to retrieve the stone. He also returns to the U.S, wearing crocodile boots with a sailboat he always dreamt of owning, to get his girl Joan.
       As in Seger's article, we see this movie has all the parts of a hero story. She contented with her life that somethig happens that sets her out on a journey where she has help, meets a villain, a trickster, and animal archetypes. It also has elements of a search story as she went in search for the treasure, even though that was not the initial story path, and ends up with everything she longed for - her sister, the treasure, and the guy. It comes back to the point Seger was making in that we can identify with these stories. What Joan went through is what anyone of us could go through, not with actually going to a foreign land to look for treasure or rescue someone, but as she says, "story beneath the story." It is the underlying message that she speaks about. It is our journey through life looking for love, for a job, helping out a family member or friend in their time of need. It is these messages that keeps us going back to see movies with the same plot over and over again.

21st Century "Intellects"

“Everyone knows that one person who is impressively ‘street smart’ but does poorly in school. What doesn’t occur to us, though, is that schools and colleges are at fault for missing the opportunity to tap into such street smarts and channel them into good academic work” (198). This was stated by Gerald Graff in his article “Hidden Intellectualism” where he defines what “book smart” and “streets smart” students actually are. He specifies how his views in terms of education can help build the school system into something great by explaining the necessity of applying this hidden intellectualism into academic intellectualism. 

One of the references used by Graff in his article would be the influential works of George Orwell when saying “A George Orwell writing is infinitely more substantial than many of Shakespeare” (199). The reason he felt that students should model writers such as Orwell is because as a writer, he wrote the way an typical person would write if they could, and he didn’t how they say “talk down to anyone.” “Orwell had the rare talent for making readers feel that they were dealing not with a reporter or a columnist or a literary man – not with a writer – but with an ordinary person” (Menand). Orwell basically lived the lives of those he wrote about, whether a soldier, a hospital patient, or even an eye witness. Orwell is also known for his insights about the political implications of the use of language. Unlike Shakespeare whose writing was known for his metaphorical and poetic language, Orwell was how Graff would identify as “street smarts” by focusing (and usually criticizing) on his world views and using it to publish these views into an academic novel.