My Blog List

Monday, December 14, 2015

American Conformity

For my blog post today I will be talking about conformity and being a non conformist. This is something we discussed in many lengths during our class. A conformist is someone who adapts to accepted behaviors and follows what other people are doing. People usually do it to fit in with the crowd and to not seem different. Many people view this as a stupid practice and feel like you shouldn't want to make yourself look and act like everyone else or do what is expected of you. It's what you do differently that makes you unique and the person you are is one way that they look at it. There are thousands of examples in the world that I could choose to examine, but for today I want to look at "American Idiot" by Green Day and show how it represents being a non conformist.
"Green Day" was and still is a very popular band who have made many popular songs and lots of them have to do with going against social norms or standing up for something. Arguably their most popular song is "American Idiot", which is all about not becoming almost brainwashed by the American media, but it has a lot more meanings behind it. The song begins with the line "Don't want to be an American idiot" that is where they get the name of the song and it also explains what the entire song is going to be about. An "American idiot" is somewhat of a stereotypical American to them. It is someone who believes in everything the government says or acts in the way that everyone else does.
In the opening lines they talk about how they don't want to see America go into this crazed state due to this conformity and they look towards the future and hear "the sound of hysteria" which can be thought of as America going bottom up. They themselves want people to stay away from this and want to show the people that they shouldn't buy into this. They then say "where everything isn't meant to be okay". I feel like this is showing that not everything is how it's portrayed. Not everything is so simple or good in the world. It's not really how the American media portrays it and people shouldn't buy into this. People should broaden their horizons and look past it. They feel that everybody's opinions are shaped by the media "One nation controlled by the media". They talk about propaganda as well, so the nation is being controlled by the media and people opinions are being molded by this propaganda. They are trying to get people to not conform to what they believe the government wants. They themselves want to be the ones that wake people up to this. They say that "We're not the ones who're meant to follow". Just from that line you can say that they don't want to be conformists and they are "calling out to idiot America".  This sense of people's opinions being made for them by the media is what they are trying to fight because they don't want to be like everyone else.

Lyrics link: 
http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/greenday/americanidiot.html

http://www.unrecorded.mu/features/flashbacks/flashback-green-day-american-idiot/

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Vandalism Is Not Right

A little while ago two mosques were vandalized in California. They were spray painted with words of Jesus across the building. This comes with the recent terrorist attacks causing many people to take a stand against Muslims. Many political figures have also come out and spoken on the subject of what to do with all this civil unrest going around. I don't think it was right for them to do this and I fpdont feel they had a good reason. A small group of people doesn't define a whole religion. The United States is supposed to stand for freedom of religion.mthat is at the base of its core values as a nation. So to due this I felt represents many people very badley and people have to remember that two wrongs don't make a right. 

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/14/us/hawthorne-california-mosques-vandalized/index.html

Warning shots

Recently tensions between Turkey and Russia have met a boiling point and it seems they are only getting worse. A Russian ship apparently fired warning shots at a Turkish ship because they felt they were going to collide. These relations started with a Russian plane being shot down by Turkish forces, which killed a pilot. Turkey said that the plane was violating Turkish air space, but in my opinion would it really have been necessary to shoot it down. They could have probably contacted them in some way to talk about it. Russia has claimed that Turkey is trying to hid an agreement with ISIS in which Turkey receives oil from them. Turkey has denied this and I find this really interesting. It's kind of like a game of he said, she said. I feel like the two sides need to reach some sort of agreement because for the time being things are only getting worse. 

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/13/europe/russia-turkey-ship-collision/index.html

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Korea Together Again?

Recent talks between South Kore and North Korea about fixing their relationship has broken down. There has been an effort of joint tourism between the two countries where people from both countries would go visit. This was supposed to help people get a better understanding of the countries and see what it is like on the "other side". North Korea is upset because it seems that South Korea has stopped sending tourist due to an incident where two South Koreans where shot when they wandered into a restricted area. The Tourist program provided the North with lots of money so they have been trying to get it back running again. South Kore has said there are other issues they wish to solve first. 
This is all part of a greater action to help families separated by the boarders to be able to talk to each other again. Since the Korean War many families were seperated and have not been able to talk to them since the truce in 1953. With these failed talks it is on,y bound to worsen relations, which seemed to be on the ropes before this. They apparently nearly went to war earlier this year when North Korea was accused of planting mines on the boarder that maimed two of its guards.
Personally I don't know if they will ever come back to sign a treaty with each other as the countries it seems are now so different and separate. I hope at some point they can put there differences asaide, but at the moment it seems like an impossible task. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/asia/korean-negotiators-falter-in-efforts-to-ease-strain-between-2-nations.html?ref=world&_r=0

Grab a Gun?

In wake of recent terrorist attacks some local police forces are encouraging presidents to stock up on weapons to protect themselves. There have been three recent terrorist attacks around the world that have stuck fear in many people. Now people are being prompted to purchase guns to protect themselves against these terrorists. Sheriff Wayne Ivey from Brevard County in Florida posted a video on Facebook saying "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good gun with a gun" and he is not the only police officer to say such a thing. Many other officers have encouraged people to arm themselves. Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County in Arizona said "my goal of utilizing 250,000 citizens with concealed weapons is to stop the carnage, stop the killing before the cops arrive". To me this just seems wrong. Giving all these people weapons only increases danger to me. You would create even more problems not involved with terrorism with all these people having guns. That logic seems to be backwards to me. People want to stop these violent acts of crime involving firearms so to prevent it people should purchase more weapons. I think some action needs to be taken against controlling who can buy a gun before people decide to purchase a gun for safety against terrorism.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/12/us/sheriffs-urge-citizens-buy-guns/index.html

Saving the Earth

Recently President Obama and other world leaders have come together in Paris and have agreed to start taking action against climate change. President Obama says "The Paris agreement establishes the enduring frame work the world needs to solve the climate crisis" and he believes it is the building block to begin taking action. They have not really got into the specifics of the plan, but it is a nice first start. Just having all these people get together and discuss this topic, which it seems has not gotten the attention it deserved considering its importance, is great. The plan doesn't say how much each country should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which is the main item they are trying to cut down on, which concerns some people, but I am just happy that some action is being taken because it is our home and there is only one planet Earth.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/12/world/global-climate-change-conference-vote/index.html

Monday, October 19, 2015

Gun Control

     Gun control has become a highly debated topic in the past couple of years in the United States and for good reason. Today it seems like anyone can just buy a gun, even with all this talk about restricting gun laws. Everyday you see some talk about gun laws and the issues surrounding them, yet nothing has really changed. In a recent New York Times article it talked about recent shootings and how the people obtained the weapons. Numerous examples showed that the person should not have been able to purchase a gun, but they were allowed to do so anyways. It seems like there is a major problem here people being given a license or gun when they are not supposed to. In most of the cases it was just a careless mistake by the people selling the guns, which is unnecaptable as they have a job to make sure things like this don't happen, but some times it was a lack of clarity\sense in the rules. What I mean by this is in one case involving a man named Aaron Alexis he was not allowed to purchase an assault rifle, but was allowed to purchase a shotgun. To me this makes no sense. How is someone not allowed to buy an assault rifle, but then be allowed to purchase a different gun. Common sense would tell you that he shouldn't have been allowed to have a gun at all. It seems like the gun laws that are used need to be looked at again because what is being used right now doesn't seem to be the best set of rules. 
     Now I understand that some people use guns for hunting or they enjoy shooting them and I believe that if you want to buy a gun you can. It's just that the criteria for owning one should be changed because most of these incidents were easily preventable . People aren't really following the rules or they don't fully understand them and that's a huge problem. Something needs to be done in order to correct this or else we are going to se similar issues continue to pop up. 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/03/us/how-mass-shooters-got-their-guns.html?ref=us&_r=1

Friday, October 16, 2015

Troops: Stay or Go

      It seems that everything is back to were it started. Once again people are discussing whether to send troops into Afghanistan. It seems like it was only a little while ago that  President Obama decided to start removing troops and that's because it was. Now he is faced with a new reality and that's that the Taliban has once again begun to take over land in Afghanistan. They are controlling about 1/5 of Afghanistan and have controlled some large cities for periods of time. 
      President Obama is faced with a tough decision now. For years ago he slowly started to remove all forces from Iraq and now he may possible have to go against what he previously did and send some back. There are still troops in Afghanistan as a way to try and keep the peace and make it a smoother transition, but the forces they have are simply not enough. The Afghan government is asking for the United States help and usually they are not one to turn a blind eye. It is a very tough decision and President Obama must do what is best for all people involved. 

Red areas are land where the Taliban are controlling.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/world/asia/lessons-of-iraq-loom-over-obamas-decision-to-keep-troops-in-afghanistan.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=2

Friday, October 2, 2015

New system in Greece

      With Greece's struggling economy people are turning to a new system to get what they want. Greece's economy has taken a big hit in recent years and people have had a hard time making ends meet, so people have started to take matter into their own hands. In order to get items that people need they have made bartering the main way to do so. In a recent New York Times article it showed system that they have developed. The problem is that many people cannot access money:" People are finding it more convenient to trade because money is not readily available". With all the trading that has been going down, now it has taken a digital turn. The website "Tradenow" is dedicated to people trying to find items to trade for. I felt this was very interesting because people are going back to the roots of man kind when there was money. Now people still trade today, but not on this scale and they aren't doing it out of necessity like the people of Greece. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/business/international/trading-meat-for-tires-as-bartering-economy-grows-in-greece.html?_r=5

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Joe's consequentialist ideas

In the book the "Round House" by Louise Erdrich the main character Joe feels he needs to take revenge on the person who raped his mother, Linden Lark. He debates what he wants to do to him and every scenario he finds himself at a cross road. He thinks about killing him almost everyday and tries to convince himself that Linden deserves it, but it is still hard for him. When he finally decides that he should kill Linden he has a very hard time doing it. He has to use a tree branch to help him steady his shot when he shoots at him. After that though he convinces him self that what he did was ok. He takes an "ends justify the means" approach and wants to think that he did the right thing. When he is talking to Bugger he realizes that Bugger saw the dead body of someone Linden Lark killed so Joe convinces himself that Linden would be in jail anyway " If we hadn't killed Lark, he'd have gone to jail for life anyway". This though process shows that Joe is thinking about justice through a consequentialist eye and that's how he views justice. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Is It Really Just A Gold Watch


Connotations

    I am going to start out with something that I saw that is a little silly but really made me think. It was about a college football player I saw who was wearing a gold watch as he played. Here is the link for those interested:"http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2562766-virginia-tech-rb-is-iced-out-with-gold-watch-against-ohio-state". I wanted to talk about the connotations involved with wearing a gold watch and what he wanted people to think. First of he probably thought it was a cool thing and that it would gain attention, which it did. I want to look at it through every way possible. Maybe he thought it would make him look rich or imply he was an important person. Maybe he thought it would make his school look better. What I really want to know is what he thought people would think when they saw it. Did he think it would get this much attention? What was his purpose in doing it? Was it supposed to be symbolic in anyway? I wanted to look at it in a different way than most people would. I didn't want to just laugh at it and think he was just trying to look cool. There is a purpose in everything and I wanted to know what his purpose was. I know it’s a bit strange, but it really got me to think.