Thursday, November 30, 2006

Speedy GonBush

President Bush has decided to speed up the transfer of security responsibility to the Iraqi government. He also assured al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, that America was not striving for a "graceful exit" out of the war. The Iraqi prime minister had become frustrated with Bush's hesitation in giving him the tools for protecting his people. Bush responded by saying, " He doesn't have the capacity to respond. So we went to accelerate that capacity."

The elections in November that gave the Democrats control over Congress gave rise to all of the calls made about American troops coming home. President Bush desires to begin troop withdrawals as soon as possible, but claims that he wants to "complete the job." Hopefully, our soldiers will be withdrawn within a short time period. Their labor in Iraq needs to be cut short. For some reason, I can't seem to discover why their presence is needed there.

Somalia: Strike Two!

The Somali government town has been striked by suicide bombers! A woman wearing a veil and two other bombers exploded cars outside Somalia's weak government. They killed themselves and three accomplices time after Ethiopia once again tried to go to war with the Islams. Foreign al Qaeda fighters for the attack. However, Somalia's president claimed that Islamic extremists have created a hit list of top officials in his government.

The "Case of the Missing Suicide bomber" is in action. It is so ironic how a major incident can occur, such as this, but the certainty of whose to blame is shaky. Several accusations have been made about the mysterious bombers. However, Somalia's history of attacks are scarce. This is only the second attack the country has undergone. Therefore, it is quite evident why the inhabitants may be oblivious to who was responsible. Could the attackers be.....

Nuclear Weapons in Japan?

Currently, the U.S. has been suspicious of the possible plans of specific Asian countries to create nuclear weapons. Although Japan is fully capable of building these bombs, the country's foreign minister confirmed that they have no plans of carrying the procedure out. The Japanese government has a policy which states that the country will not possess, create, or introduce nuclear weapons. The government has made it quite clear that it plans to stick with this policy. Japan's choice not to have these weapons within its country doesn't reflect the constitutionality of it. The Constitution does not prohibit them from possessing nuclear weapons for defense purposes.

So, America's anxiety has been lessened now that Japan has officially spoken. Still, suspicions are not cleared about North Korea. Just because their neighbors have put many doubts to rest does that mean they have, too? When will the truth be revealed about this mysterious country? Will the results cause a discrepancy or.......?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Mormon President?

Mitt Romney, the governor of Massachusetts, faces a great dilemma. Currently, Romney is campaigning for the upcoming Republican presidential election. Despite the qualities he possess, his Mormon faith has become a possible barrier for his success. Church officials are worried about how his candidacy will influence their faith and Mormons in general. Americans are also suspicious of this religion. Because most of its information has been in secrecy for so many years, it has remained a mysterious faith in the eyes of many.

Should a candidate's faith determine their entering into the White House? The Mormon religion is one that has had several past situations held against them. Even if those incidents had nothing to do with the Mormons, they were blamed because of the incorporation of the name. Still, the question remains whether religion should be a factor in who is elected by the people. The answer is soon to be discovered.

Honor or Exploitation?

A rising controversy has occurred in Lafayette, California. Several white wooden crosses have been placed on a serene suburban hillside. They were planted in recognition of the soldiers killed in Iraq. However, many people are debating whether the memorial is honoring or exploiting those troops. Heaton, a contractor who possessed objections during Vietnam, was the founder of the idea. The Vietnam Memorial in Washington stood as his inspiration. He was shocked at how much support and attention the memorial received once established.

The objectors' behavior is on the edge of the extreme. One day, a passerby stepped out of her car and took the sign down to express her opposition. Why has the remembrance of fellow American soldiers become such a discrepancy? A person can't do a good deed without the interference of others that are oblivious to the primary objective. Will this controversy end in another blood shed?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Prison Reform: The Big Break

Prison Reform was another major reform movement established during Andrew Jackson's presidency. Because of this movement, physical abuse, humiliation, and neglect of those imprisoned ceased. The poorer working classes were targets for debtors prison during this time period. People who owed less than one dollar were guilty of debt and also placed in prisons. Many prisoners were thrown in filthy holes and treated with such cruelty in order to obtain discipline and order within the jails. The foul odors of these cells were reminders of the mentally ill and their sufferings.

Gradually, debtors' prison was abolished and these immoral practices no longer existed. Because of the assertiveness of the laborers, state legislatures were convinced to get rid of these prisons over time. In modern times, prisoners still face difficult challenges within jails in America. However, conditions could be worse if it weren't for those brave souls that existed in the Age of Reform.

Education: A Long Way Coming

In our current day and time, we American teens take for granted the advantage we have by receiving an education. Between the 1820's and 1850's learning wasn't so easily received in public schools. Schoolhouses generally possessed one teacher and eight grades. They often had a terrible stench, or odor about them. Tax-supported schools were extremely scarce during these years. At this time, these the ragged schools were being used to educate the children of the poor.

Horace Mann was an extremely important figure during the time of education reform. He was a graduate of Brown University and the secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education. Mann campaigned for more and better schools, an increase in the pay of teachers, longer school terms, and a larger curriculum to be taught. Even after Mann's effective campaigning, education remained too expensive for many communities. With the help of several other figures, such as Noah Webster and William H. McGuffey, educational advances were introduced. American society faced another great change that effect upcoming generations.

Humanly Insane!

During the Age of Reform a series of movements were established for a specific purpose. A reform movement for the mentally ill was set up for them to receive justice and better treatment in society. Dorothea Dix played a significant role in how this goal was achieved. These sufferers from "insanity" were treated with such cruelty and said to be cursed with unclean spirits. However, Dorothea was determined to turn the hearts of the "sane people." She could no longer see human beings be perceived as though they were from another universe. They too deserved to live life as any person in their right frame of mind could.

Dorothea is well-known for her petition of 1843 to the Massachusetts legislature. The petition contained a description of the foul cells the mentally ill were placed in. Not only did their stomachs turn, but their hearts were changed also. In addition to her compassionate and strongwilled personality, Dorothea Dix possessed faith in what she did. Such a frail and fragile woman made such a great difference in life.

Women's Rights: Can a Woman do a Man's Job?

Today in America women do the majority of what men do. They have their own careers, homes, vehicles, and even businesses. However, women haven't always been able to possess such freedom. We females have and still are being perceived as physically and emotionally weak in society. If it weren't for the many women who decided to take a stand for their equality between the 1820's and 1850's, womanhood would never be what it is currently. We would still be in that vulnerable and subjugated state as our predecessors were during these times.

During the Age of Reform there were several women forming movements to demand their enfranchisement in society. Two prominent leaders of these movements were Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These women were extremely persistent and determined to eventually observe a much-needed change. Although foul words and disapprovals came their way, that wasn't enough to shake them. With the help of many other significant figures, in 1848, a Women's Rights Convention took place at Seneca Falls, New York. This event sparked America's attention. A woman's importance in society was beginning to be recognized. Therefore, this country as we know it began to face a 360 degree turnaround due to the sound of a woman's profound voice.

Loose Me and Let Me Go!

A Marine from New Jersey has become an objector of his participation in the army. He was sent to Iraq after being recommended by an officer for military discharge. Marine John Rogowskyj Jr. is one of several conscientious objectors who have taken desperate measures in order to be removed from the military. Rogowskyj has taken this case to federal court, but the outcome was not success. He feels that "God has given man free will." Therefore, he should be allowed object to "the surrendering of his will to the military."

The same year Rogowskyj was ordered to active duty, he submitted his request for discharge. He defines himself as a religious humanist who does not belong to a particular religious group. Thus, the commander of the Fourth Marine Division states that he is "theologically confused and doesn't reflect an officially recognized faith group." Therefore, he could serve noncombatant duty. Another controversy has arisen due to entirely different views of a specific situation. I wonder what the end result will be? Mmmmm.....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Interview with a "Stranger"

C. Morgan: Interviewing Mrs. Myrtle Faye Parnell

Mrs. Parnell is the only living grandmother I have left in this world. She is a very strong-willed, courageous, and kindhearted woman. I chose to interview her because I believed she would have a wise word to give to me and the readers of this conversation. Not only is she a part of my family, but she plays a significant role in my life. I felt the need to share some things about a woman that is very important to me and hopefully reveal new details about different aspects of her life.

1. C. Morgan: Who are you?
Mrs.Parnell: Well, my name is Myrtle Faye Parnell. I'm known as Myrtle at work and Faye by my friends and family.
2. C. Morgan: What is your occupation? Why did you chose it?
Mrs. Parnell: I'm a contract administrative at Blue Cross Blue Shield. I didn't actually chose it, but I was put into it. I was drafted into the position. My career choice is nursing.
3. C. Morgan: If you could be anything what would it be?
Mrs. Parnell: I would be rich. Why? Because money seems to make the world go around.
4. C. Morgan: What did you always dream of having during your childhood?
Mrs. Parnell: A beautiful home, nice cars. All the beautiful things in life: a well-blended family, a husband, a daughter, and a son.
5. C. Morgan: While attending high school, what type of person and student were you?
Mrs. Parnell: I was very quiet, average. As far as my grades were concerned, I earned B's and C's. Not outgoing at all. I didn't attend any games or sports. I didn't feel it was necessary. I felt like if I attended school and went to all of my classes, forget the rest.
6. C. Morgan: What are some things that signify who you are?
Mrs. Parnell: My name. My name doesn't fit the person you see. People don't connect my name or my voice to me.
7. C. Morgan: As a teenager, what were some academic struggles you had to undergo?
Mrs. Parnell: Academic was math. I'm not very good in math. I don't have an interest in numbers. I could do well in math, but I didn't have an interest in it. Social wise, I didn't fit in. I wasn't one of the "pretty girls." I didn't have the long hair, nice clothes, or the bubbly personality. I just didn't fit in.
8. C. Morgan: What are the most significant things in your life?
Mrs. Parnell: My grandchildren. I love them more that I love my own children. To me, I am more valuable to them than I am to my own children. They value me more.
9. C. Morgan: What are some of your greatest achievements in life?
Mrs. Parnell: Completing nursing school at the age of 32. That was a challenge. I had been out of school for almost 15 years, and it was a challenge to go back to school.
10. C. Morgan: What do you desire your life's legacy to be? My legacy would be someone that was always resourceful. I know how to get it, where to get it, and who to get it from. I know the who what when, where, and how of mostly everything.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Wait is Over!!

Today was the last day of my entertainment fast in U.S. history class! The wait is over. I can finally intentionally listen to the radio which I have been deprived of for 5 days. I say intentionally because it seemed like everywhere I went I encountered someone who was enjoying the world renowned aspect of life- music. As I rode in cars to get to my many destinations, I would get caught in the middle of the melodious sounds of my favorite songs. Once I returned to class the next day, I'd always ask my teacher whether my situation was considered "cheating". However, his reply would always be "You remind me of the Jews in the Bible...."

This fast, believe it or not, has actually had an effect on my study habits. Because I don't usually watch television and I was deprived of music, my concentration wasn't distracted as much by the excess sounds. My ability to process more information increased. Still, it seems impossible to escape my "addiction" if everywhere I turn it's within my reach.

I Don't Pledge Allegiance to the Flag....

Within a Californian college, student leaders regularly attend meetings. It has been a major part of these gatherings for the students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. However, the student trustees have banned this regular routine. The majority believes there is no need to plegde their loyalty to the U.S. or even to God. This all, but minor decision has caused the infuriation of some of their classmates to be expressed. Although there are very few oppositions, the decision to discard a "necessary" part of the meetings has effected the entire organization.

A member of the student leaders, Christine Zoldos, revealed just how much she thought of America. She feels as though her country is one thing that she would not allow to be taken away. In response to the banned tradition, Zoldos would attend the meetings and recite the Pledge in front of the entire board. Other students claimed that the phrase 'Under God' was extremely offensive due to the fact that they were atheist or socialists. It seems as though the American tradition is in its first stages of causing a worlwide controversy.

Foolishness in Oklahoma

Howard Hawthorne remained calm as he was told by deputies to take the complaint about his neighbors to civil court. One hour later, officers received a report from north of Hawthorne's home saying shots had been fired. Upon the officers' arrival, they discovered Hawthorne shooting himself and found the three dead bodies of his neighbors. It has been revealed that Hawthorne and Graham, one of the victims, were two men who had been far from possessing a friendship. They continuously dueled over a conflict that revolved around a fence.This ongoing disagreement led to Hawthorne's killing spree. How ludicrous is that!

Another tragic occurrence has taken place because of a person's deranged antics due to their inability to resolve a specific problem as an adult. It was said that the two men would argue about the fence occupying too much of the other's property. I have begun to realize how the faintest things can spark people's attention and cause them to take their focus on those things that really matter. In the words of the friend of one of the victims, this incident was "just senseless, senseless, senseless."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

2nd Day of Boredom

November 7, 2006 was the second day of my fast from listening to the radio. Over these two days, the challenge has become quite easy. I have been so wrapped up with other activities and priorities that my mind has scarcely had time to think about music. This is not to say that I don't miss enjoying one of my favorite pastimes. I've just found it easier to endure as time goes by. Still, I await the outcome of this experiment in order to reveal the moral it.

The entertainment fast seems to be taking a toll on my classmates. Some were asked to eliminate television and others the radio just as I was. Many have given in to temptation. However, few have continued to go cold turkey. Let's just hope I can endure to the end. My curiosity is the major factor in why I have made it this far.

Addict on the Run!!

On November 6, 2006, I was assigned by my AP U.S. history teacher to go on an "entertainment fast." His personal philosophy was that sources of entertainment, such as television and radio, is not a necessary part of life. He believes that so much more could be accomplished by a person if their time was not consumed by "junk." Monday was the first day of my road to boredom and frustration. I could not listen to the radio for an entire 5 days. How impossible is that! Because of my 'addiction' to music, a struggle lied ahead of me. Still, I had to remind myself that the purpose of the fast was to somehow positively influence that addiction and possibly reveal my improvement in the history class.

Although this simple experiment would only last for a short period of time, uncertainty overcame me. The feeling of doubt was felt within. I wasn't sure whether I would have the ability to endure five days without my comforter. Music has always been my love and my passion. So, listening to it daily has become automatic. However, I desire to learn whether eliminating this source of entertainment will make my life more progressive.