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Benchmark Reflection

My Individual Part

The Entire Project

    • At the very beginning of the project, we collaborated and took a poll about what the project would be about. After that, we chose mail in voting and worked accordingly.
    • As an individual, we can state our ideas to others. This can influence them to also do the right thing.
    • At the beginning of this project, I didn't think that a solution to getting more people to vote could occur. However, after digging deeper into the options, I noticed that America still has hope. However, it seems unlikely that citizens will actually perform these options.
    • We decided to make the campaign simple, but not powerful and stern. This will allow the reviewer to feel comfortable, but be very focused on the topic at the same time.
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Q1 AMGOV Benchmark - Story of a Bill "Campaign Finance Reform"

  • Q1 AMGOV Benchmark Rfrancis

    Reflection:  (PDF Attached below)

    Explain your decision making for choosing the bill.

    At first I was just trying to find a bill just to get the benchmark done, but when i saw the bill I found, I was really interested in looking into it. I used to ask my mom and some of my teachers how come some people buy and bribe the voters with money, and how come no one's doing anything to stop it, and I always got the same answer: The laws around that only restrict some of the money being brought in. So when I saw the bill, and started researching, I not only was happy I found my answer to a question I've been thinking about, I also was able to actually be engaged in it and produce a benchmark that I felt was original, creative, and interesting.

  • Why did you choose the particular presentation format?

    When I was little I used to do nothing but draw in my spare time, but as i grew up I kind of put it to the side, but I've always been interested in animations and cartoons. When Ms. Laufenberg said "don't make it boring" I thought at first, "how can i make it so people would actually be engaged in what i've made", and my first thought was "let's draw some cartoons". So what I did was I wrote each event at the bottom of the page, and on the top illustrated it as best I could, and I tried hard to make it pop out to the reader. I made it so even a kid could pay attention to it, but it could also be presented to adults

  • What challenges did you overcome in completing the project?

    I didnt find my bill till a week and a half before the project was due. I had so much trouble finding a law, I was gonna just give up, and BS some random bill and call it a day. but when I found the one I liked, it was easy to stick with it and execute a plan for it's completion. The second problem I encountered was getting it scanned. When I was doing the project, I completely forgot it had to be electronically published, and I had hand drawn all my illustrations..

  • How would you do the project differently if you had to do it over again?

    I probably wouldve done it electronically, or established a plan to actually, draw and get the pictures scanned before the due date. I feel as if that was my fault for forgetting that.

  • What did the research and investigation tell you about the creation process... from idea to bill to law?

    It told me basically the history of the actually "why" the bill was presented. It showed me that there was a problem going on in Politics, and people not only saw the problem, but moved to fix it. i feel like when people in government positions realize there is a problem that needs attention, they start coming up with ideas to better the law system so they can be in control of each and every problem that has arose over the years

  • Was the process easier or harder than you imagined based on your particular bill/law research?
it wasn't anywhere near difficult. It was simple to me, I felt as though I just needed to gather facts and find away to present them that wasn't a boring slide with words on it. I felt like this project helped us learn a way to be more creative and to think outside the box with history. Anyone can put words on a page, or write down what they found. But it takes some effort to be creative and to execute a plan​
Q1 AMGOV Benchmark Rfrancis
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Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Sarbanes-Oxley Act

My first law choice I had was about managing big businesses in America -  The Sherman Antitrust Act. However this Act was old and had littlelegislative information backing it. I chose a more recent Act that had to do with the same topic on big company control. I wrote out a quick summary and saw that it'd be easy to read and record myself reading it. But then after i had the audio i thought it'd be easy enough to put pictures with it as well. I had challenges with researching and writing up the text behind it and gathering pictures as well which too a long time to find and load into the video. I would make it longer and add more photos as well if i had the chance. This was one of the quickest passed laws. It took less than a month to go from the planning state to actually releasing the law. It shows how many people wanted this kind of restrictions on businesses at that time. However the act contains some flaws and loopholes due to it's quick evaluation. The process that the two bills went through to become one. They created an entirely new committee to oversee the edits. Before then there was evaluation and then either a yay or nah to the bill. Now the congress has power to create a new bill made up of two or more very closely similar bills.
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Figure and Clear Object.

The first drawing, is a figure drawing of a student in my art class. We had to draw her at the angle was standing. At first is was hard and I didn't know where to start but after a while I got the hang of it. I wasn't finished the drawing because I was more focused on getting the proportion correct on the body shape. I didn't like this art project very much but it was fun to draw.

We had to draw a clear or see through object for the next assignment in class. At first before I even started drawing I thought it would be impossible. After a brief explanation and video, I went right to work. Drawing a clear is nothing but light and dark toning used with charcoal. 
Screen Shot 2011-11-14 at 8.51.16 AM
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SCOTUS Case: Gonzales v. Thaler

    1. Constitutional Question
      -  Was there jurisdiction to issue a certificate of appealability under 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c) and to adjudicate Gonzalez's appeal?

      - Did the application for a writ of habeas corpus run out of time under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1) due to the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review?

    2. Facts of the Case
      - Gonzalez was convicted of murder in Texas, June 14, 2005 in a 1995 shooting and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
      - It actually took them six years to indict him on that murder rap.
      - He filed for an appeal in the Texas intermediate court of appeals which was the same court that confirmed his conviction July 12, 2006.
      - Only problem with that was that his lawyer did not file a petition for another review of his case with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals within the 30-day time limit given by state law. 
      - Because that got messed up, on July 19th, 2007 Gonzalez filed in a Texas state court for the right to appeal. The courts denied his appeal on November 21, 2007.
      - So because of that, on January 24th, 2008, he filed another petition to appeal in the U.S District Court for the Northern DIstrict of Texas and now here he is trying to get his case heard for his right to appeal.

    3. Summary of the Arguments before the SCOTUS

      - Basically Gonzalez argues that if the Supreme Courts sides with the state courts, the time for petitioners will be running out before they legally get the right to actually appeal which is unacceptable and unjust. Also he argued that the courts denied his petition for appeal but  it took them a year to actually finalized his conviction.  With being said there is no way he could have filed for an appeal if they hadn't even finalized his sentence.

    4. Predictions on the outcome
      - I think that because they denied his claim based on a stupid technicality that he just might be granted the appeal on top of which the timing issue makes no sense the way it was handled so he's bound to get the appeal granted.

      "Gonzalez v. Thaler | The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law." The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law | A Multimedia Archive of the Supreme Court of the United States. 03 Nov. 2011. Web. 11 Nov. 2011.

      Shay, Giovanna. "Argument Preview: Another Technical AEDPA Case Implicating State Postconviction and Counsel." SCOTUSblog. 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

      Shay, Giovanna. "Gonzalez v. Thaler: Justices Focus on COA Issue." SCOTUSblog. 03 Nov. 2011. Web. 17 Nov. 2011. 
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Mi libro Beso

¿Como mantener tu identidad en entre tu transformación?

En mi libro la protagonista es un chica, se llama Shauna, que no recuerdes nada de los últimos seis semanas. Ella estaba en un coma, puede recordar todos de los acontecimientos recientes, pero ninguno de seis semanas atrás. Ahora en mi libro la ella esta transformando de una identidad al otra, usando la ayudar de su familia de que puede confiar.

¿Cuál es el tema central de la novela?  (por ejemplo: la realidad y la fantasía)

Es un libro de realidad, el tema central es superando todos de los pronósticos y perseverancia.

Hay un tema subyacente de amor y familia también, cual es importante muy pero no es tan importante que la otra mensaje o tema.


                               Concentrando en el tema, ¿hay una pregunta de investigación como una pregunta esencial que corresponde a la novela? (ejemplo: ¿Es posible encontrar un ideal en lo real?)


                               Para mi libro la pregunta de investigación es resistencia o teniendo la capacidad para adaptarse de una situación malo.  Y sí es posible encontrar mi ideal en realidad, no como la tipa de televisión.  Situaciones malos pasan a menudo en la vida para la mayoría de la gente, incluso los que parecen como están más rico o justo una situación mejor. Pero los que se van, irse muy fuerte.


¿Qué paso entre Shauna y su padre?

¿Qué paso al Rudy, su hermano?

¿Cómo va a sobrevivir cuando ella no sabe lo que pasó en la actualidad?

¿Qué son otros ejemplos que una buena persona se enmarcada y sin nadie a recurrir?


                               ¿Cuáles son tres ejemplos de la novela que corresponden a la pregunta de investigación?  Escribe las citas directas con los números de la página. 


Ejemplo uno: En el principio hay una escena donde la protagonista, Shauna, esta hablando con un terapeuta sobre finalmente visitando su padre, Landon. Ella esta en una relación de amor odio retorcido que no puede separarse porque de su hermano, Rudy, que está en peligro.

“Era irónico que Shauna McAllister hubiera esquivado la muerte para acabar en coma.

-Fácilmente puedo llegar ahora hasta ella. Estará muerta en una hora.

-No. Cambio de planes. Nuestra manos están atadas. Te explicaré más tarde, pero por ahora es mejor que permanezca con vida./¿Y cuando vuelva en sí?

-Con un poco de suerte, lo habrá olvidado todo.

-Yo no hago negocios con la suerte.”


(Esta en Página 8)


Ejemplo dos: En capítulo uno hay un conversación entre Shauna, su tíos y dos doctores. Shauna justo Susana acaba de despertar de su coma. Los doctores van a través del protocolo normal, están hacerle preguntas acerca de lo que ella recuerda, se dan cuenta de algo muy extraño en su pérdida de memoria. Ella no recuerda un período de tiempo específico. También le pregunté por qué se podría haber encontrado rastros de éxtasis en su sangre. Prácticamente preguntando Shauna si ha cometido un crimen sin nadie a quien recurrir. Es como que atrapándola en una situación.

“-Quiero decir cuánto tiempo he estado aquí. Él dudo.

-Seis semanas.

-¿Seis semanas?/

- No recuerdo nada de eso.

-No es extraño. Él miro su reglo de pulsera.

-14 de octubre. Domingo. Viniste el 1 de septiembre.


-Trató de recordar agosto.

-Nada. Julio.

-Nada, Más lejos.

-Nada. /

Seis semanas desde…

¿Desde que?

Viajó a Guatemala. Eso Fue cuándo, ¿en marzo?


(Esta en páginas 12-14)


Ejemplo tres: En capítulo tres Shauna todavía esta en el hospital con su tía y tío y los doctores acaba de salir por eso los pueden decirle malas noticias. Les dicen que Shauna ha sido acusado de herir su hermano y posesión de drogas(éxtasis).


“Y el tío Trent, Trent Wilde, un amigo de la familia. No es realmente mi tío./ ¿En su casa? La acusación de Patrice de que había herido a Rudy intencionadamente aterrizó en la mente de Shauna. / Te acusando de posesión y conducta temeraria.”

(Esta en páginas 24-25)

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Como es mi libro

1. la información básica del libro (el título, el/la autor, etc.)
Mi libro se llama Beso por Ted Dekker y Erin Healy

 2. por qué elegiste este libro

Me elegí este libro después yo ya había elegido un otro libro pero fue demasiado difícil, por eso yo cambié a eso. Yo leí el primero página y el parte posterior de la cubierta, el libro parecía muy interesante porque se había amor y acción en el mismo libro. Pienso que es asombroso.

 3. de lo que ya has leído del libro, qué te gusta / no te gusta

Me gusta mucho del libro y del tema  pero no me gusta la traducción de Inglés al Español, es muy  enojoso para leer un libro con gramática más peor que la tuya y soy un estudiante que está aprendiendo español y muchas palabras y nombres que no son necesarias. Además de que, me gusta mi novela mucha.

 4. leer una novela de idioma español - ¿fácil?  ¿difícil?  ¿por qué?  ¿qué estrategias utilices?

Que depende de su nivel de comprensión y la cantidad de palabras que usted conoce o si usted tiene una comprensión básica de la lengua entonces muchos libros como esto serán fáciles. Pero, si usted no sabes muchas palabras trata entender la mensaje en conjunto después de leyendo la oración. Luego trata a armar la oración en Inglés, escribe las palabras y frases para usar luego y si llegar más tarde en su libro.

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lafler case

According to the case Lafler v. Cooper is about When a criminal defendant turns down a plea offer based on seriously deficient advice from his lawyer, and then receives a harsher sentence after being convicted by a jury after a fair trial, can the defendant later seek to overturn his sentence on the ground that his counsel was unconstitutionally deficient in advising him to reject the more generous plea offer? If so, what is the proper remedy for ineffective assistance of counsel in that situation?

According to the way this case came about is Among other charges, the respondent, Anthony Cooper, was charged with Assault with Intent to Murder for shooting Kali Mundy and inflicting life-threatening injuries. Although Cooper had aimed the gun at Mundy’s head, the bullets ended up hitting her in the buttocks and thighs. After the preliminary hearings, the prosecutor communicated an initial plea offer to Cooper’s attorney that allowed Cooper to plead guilty to assault with intent to murder and face a minimum sentence of 51 to 85 years imprisonment. 

Cooper testified that he wanted to plead guilty but that his attorney advised him not to take the deal. Cooper’s attorney informed him that because the victim was shot below the waist, the government could not prove an assault with intent to commit murder charge. The prosecutor later offered a second plea deal of a minimum sentence of 126 to 210 months but Cooper again rejected the plea based on his attorney’s advice. The case went to trial and the jury found Cooper guilty on all crimes charged. He was sentenced to 185 to 360 months of imprisonment.

Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

This goes with is case because this amendment shows that a person on trial has the rite to have a say so in his or her case no matter what even if there is a error and has the rite to speak up. So because a attorney does not make the right decision he or she has the rite to speak up and say he or she objects. 

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Gonzalez v. Thaler: SCOTUS Case

Main Issue: Can the court of appeals intervene in a federal habeas case? And when does the statute of limitations for federal habeas claims begin?

One June 2nd of 1995, Robert Velasquez was murdered in a drive-by shooting, in which Rafael Gonzalez was labeled as one of the men in the two cars involved in the shooting, and thus an accomplice, if not the perpetrator of the murder. Officers tried to arrest Gonzales at his last known address, but unbeknownst to detectives, Gonzalez had left the country. After failing to apprehend Gonzalez at any known addresses, no further attempts to locate him were made until six weeks later detectives were told that Gonzalez was in Guatemala. Shortly thereafter the U.S embassy in Guatemala was informed of Gonzalez's actions and general whereabouts, but no further action was taken to apprehend him.
Six years later the extradition process begins, but he is not extradited until July of 2004, nine years after the murder. On July 15th of 2005, Gonzalez is put on trial. At this trial, he attempts to have the case dismissed on the grounds that this trial violates his 6th and 14th amendments, which guarantee him a speedy trial. In addition, he adds that because he was unaware that he was charged with murder for most of those ten years, he was unable to prepare a proper defense for the case. Ultimately he was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison. After sentencing, he filed many habeas corpus appeals, which in short protect a person from unlawful detention, as he saw because of the lack of a speedy trial, violating the 6th and 14th amendments. The appeals climbed the judicial ladder until it finally arrived at United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. However, because the appeals had not had any approval on it's journey here, there was no 'renewal' for the expiration date, so the claim was long expired, and thus discarded on those grounds, with little consideration to the constitutional issue it brought up. He then filed an appeal addressed to the district court, requesting a certificate of appealability. This was denied on grounds of being untimely as well, so in turn he filed a request with the court of appeals for a certificate of appealability. Ultimately, this request was granted, and Judge Garza signed a certificate of appealability. This has caused quite a lot of rabble, and has brought up a large question: Should courts dismiss constitutional claims on procedural bases without any real investigation of the constitutional claims?
I'm not quite sure what to think of this. Logically, I believe he should stay in jail because he was involved in a murder, but procedurally he should walk free because he was denied the constitutional right to a prompt and speedy trial. This case is really quite a mess and it's very hard to predict the outcome. If it were a small crime, then I think certainly the charges would be dropped due to the constitutional issues, but because it's murder it's much more complex. I think that this case will come down to very small details, but I think he stands a chance of winning it due to his persistence.

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A Healthy Meal of Home Style Chicken Soup - Ian McClendon

My Home Style Chicken Soup Recipe and Analysis:

For my Home Style Chicken Soup the ingredients were: 

6 cups of chicken broth

1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger 

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Added salt and black pepper


-The meal that I made was more whole food than processed foods. Only the broth ingredient was brand name and the other was the packaged chicken breast which is pretty processed. 

-Over all the meal itself was not that high in calories. From eating my Home Style Soup I felt nutritiously filled and satisfied by the aroma of flavors and if I had to eat nothing but this soup I could stand it for about a week but other than that the ingredients would not have a substantial impact on your body because it's filled with proteins and organic vegetables. 

-Where my ingredients came from I have no clue but from a super market. My mother was nice enough to pick them up herself. I believe that there are no environmental issues with the meal. 

- Fast food versus the soup can not compare, the preparation time took 15 minutes, served up to 10-12 people when given in smaller portions, and the cooking time in a Crock-Pot was 3.5 hours. I believe that every corporation benefited from the purchase of my ingredients. 

My Personal Reflection of this meal: 

During this whole quarter I probably learned more than I ever wanted to know about food. Watching the Food Inc. movie made me realize a lot more about what's out there in middle America. All of the enormous fields of grass that you see as you're flying in a airplane are the hidden facts of how our food is made. From what I've learned I don't see myself as having a huge role in large food business but my parent usually purchases the groceries. About once a month I would go grocery shopping with her and specifically pick brands. I noticed that my mother is more of a savvy shopper than I am. She buys the discounted healthier foods and I search for the junk food. The biggest problem that America faces is blocked by the satisfying feeling of the food itself. The production of all our sugars, spices, and everything nice is not regulated by the consumers but by the corporations who's idea in mind is money, money, money. GMO's control our source of "nutrition" and "energy" for the food. But still I feel that all this won't drastically change my perspective on my consumption of healthy and junky food. Although I do feel that I have limited myself to eating junk food and healthy food. Of course like anything that I've learned in SLA has been very informative and useful to my own prior knowledge. 

I've also made a sort of Food Rule picture to keep in mind a sense of healthy eating: 
Screen Shot 2011-10-27 at 1.09.58 PM
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Msanders Reflection again

​I did my reflection already but I do not know what happened to it.

  • How did you group go about making a decision for what to focus on for the project?

    We had a lot of trouble coming to decisions. We argued a little until we got down to 2 ideas.  Once we were got down to 2 ideas we we decided to do a national holiday.

  • 11th grade Essential ? - What is the role of the individual in creating and sustaining change? 

    My individual was to make the video ad. I enjoyed the part and it was really fun. 
  • How has your understanding of the electoral process and whether or not the US is a democracy evolved during this unit?

    I understand that we were trying to get people to vote since we are a democracy. We decide on everything. If people don't vote then the resident is wanted by only a part of america then the whole as a nation. 

  • How did you decide to best relay a message to a national audience with your marketing campaign?

    I decided to message the people about National election day the way I felt best represented what we were trying to do. I also wanted to add voice speeches in to attract more people and to get them angry. The pictures go with what ever someone was saying or what the screen said. The music background was suppose to provide something to keep the audience focus and not dozing off.

    Here is the link to my project just in case you missed

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Ashley Etheredge's Science & Society Food Benchmark Q1

Kasha Recipe By Julia Boyer & Ashley Etheredge
Screen Shot 2011-11-14 at 12.59.46 PM

    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups of veggie/chicken broth
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1 cup of Buckwheat/ Kasha
    • Cumin
    • Jane’s Krazy mixed-up Seasonings (original)

Preparing Kasha
    • Step 1: Get a large pot, pour broth and bring to a boil, mix in a tbsp. of butter.
    • Step 2: Meanwhile, mix Kasha and egg together.
    • Step 3: Put Kasha and egg mixture into the wok/ frying pan on medium heat.
    • Step 4: Stir continuously (so that the kasha mixture will not stick to the pan or together), let the grains separate and looks dry but not brown.
    • Step 5: When broth comes to a boil, pour into wok/frying pan.
    • Step 6: Stir and cover on medium heat for 30 minutes (check every 5-10 minutes to stir), let the Kasha absorb the broth.
    • Step 7: When the Kasha has absorbed all of the broth, season to taste with mixed seasoning salt and cumin. 

Kasha Recipe Analysis

This meal is an easy and healthy option for any family. It consists of two
whole ingredients and two processed ingredients. As a staple food in Eastern
Europe, Kasha is filling and nutritious. It is 82% carbohydrates, 12% protein and
6% fats. Kasha is also a good source of dietary fiber and magnesium with 155
calories for 168 grams. The dietary fiber is the part of food that your body cannot
process; therefore it acts as a regulator for your digestive system. Magnesium is
important for numerous functions in your body: nerve impulse transmissions and
formation of healthy bones. It’s safe to say that this food is nutritious. It is also an
environmentally friendly dish.
The buckwheat used was organic and the eggs were from free-range
chickens. The store we purchased these items from look for local farms to buy from

so the buckwheat groats and eggs didn’t travel far. The item that traveled the
farthest was the vegetable broth that we wanted to use to be vegetarian. It was
imported from Canada and creates a large carbon footprint, which is ironic and an
example of the choices and priorities consumers have.
The cost of a meal is a big deciding factor for consumers. This meal is fairly
feasible. The entire buckwheat costs only 3 dollars and this recipe calls for half of
the bag. One organic egg costs 32 cents and the broth costs around 3 dollars. While
the total is much more than a fast food meal, this is a pretty cheap meal considering
that two of the items, if not more are organic.
An important aspect of kasha is that most of these products can be produced
through a self-sufficient process. Chickens can make the eggs and are easy to
contain as livestock in backyards. Buckwheat is apparently easy to grow and can be
used in numerous types of food. The only issue with the self-sufficient food process
is the limited resources in certain urban areas. Ashley and I are fortunate to own
houses with backyards, but many people live in apartments or row homes and
cannot grow their own food. However, many of these items were purchased in Acme
and were still labeled “organic” so this meal could still be accessible.
Therefore, Kasha is a good food to know how to cook. It is nutritious,
environmentally friendly and affordable. All of the items needed for Kasha can be
bought at grocery markets such as Acme or local stores or even grown at home. As a
dish, Kasha follows a lot of the food rules. It is less than 5 ingredients, it is something
my grandmother would recognize as food, and it’s vegetarian and organic. All in all,
it’s a great dish.

Personal Reflection

I’ve learned a lot about my role in the food system in this unit as well as the role that the food system plays in our lives. In the documentary, Food inc, I got to see just how close knit our government is to each other.  I also was able to see how terrible our conventional food system is, because they deliberately keep Americans in the dark about what they’re eating because they want people to want to buy their food. But if McDonalds was as small as a local restaurant that had an e-coli breakout, it would be immediately shut down so that no one goes there to eat again.But when it’s a multi-million dollar company in which more people are at risk of getting food poisoning, they continue to produce possibly poisoned food. The biggest problem in our system is not that the American’s are in the dark, although that is a very, very large problem the biggest problem is that the people we Americans trust to protect us have no power against these companies, so it’s hard to tell what we can or can’t eat especially if the ones we should eat are not available to us (because they’re too expensive or not sold at the grocery stores we can afford). What helped me recognize my role in the system was to spread the word about conventional food operations and the bad things that can happen to people if they are not careful about what they eat. Personally, I’m going to tell my family and change how we eat and where we buy our fruits and vegetables from.

My Food Rule Slide
Screen Shot 2011-10-28 at 11.26.48 AM
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Cheyenne Pagan Benchmark Reflection Q1

(It's the front page video)


How did you group go about making a decision for what to focus on for the project?

Mail in voting is something that has already been working for other states, it made an easier and stronger argument that also had a large number of numerical data to support it.

11th grade Essential ? - What is the role of the individual in creating and sustaining change? 

I think the role of the individual is to create change by informing and sustain change by example. If I as an individual was to inform others  of all the things I have learned in this unit I believe that it would not only motivate but fascinate those who really did not know the things that I once did not know. I do not feel this unit has inspired me to vote because I had all intentions of voting when it became available to me so once again as an individual I planned to lead by example and change the voting system.

How has your understanding of the electoral process and whether or not the US is a democracy, evolved during this unit?

My view has definitely broaden with the idea of voting and the number of voters that take advantage of their rights and because it is such small numbers it makes me question other rights they choose to fight for. I now think of voting and think of many different situations and reasons that people would not be able to come out and vote and in turn has made me think of voting as a very personal experience. 

How did you decide to best relay a message to a national audience with your marketing campaign?

I guess we all kind of agreed that a slight comedic skit for our video would really appeal to a large audience and well as not so formal posters. It was a relaxed marketing campaign thats purpose was to neither be taken as a joke or scare voters with such serious information. 

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Click here for the whole project. My group mates were Stephen Holts, Sasha Sapp & Sam Lovett- Perkins. 


  • How did you group do about making a decision for what to focus on for the project?
    - Well, we first started off with an idea of having a law/amendment saying voting is mandatory but that wasn't possible. Then we changed to having classes to educate the citizens about candidates and telling how important it is for everyone to vote. That failed as well because no one has time for that. At last, we came across an idea of having 16 years old, to be able to vote. 
  • 11th grade Essential ? - What is the role of the individual in creating and sustaining change? 
    - I think the role of the individual in creating and sustaining change is very important because if there weren't for different changes, where would the world be?
  • How has your understanding of the electoral process and whether or not the US is a democracy evolved during this unit?
    - When we first started, I was completely and utterly oblivious to the election day. I didn't know what really happened during the day, I just knew that we had the day off from school. After the interviews and getting a little knowledge of how that worked out, I am more conscious than ever. I learned how important it is vote and surprising new fact, very very few citizens participate in the electoral process in America. 
  • How did you decide to best relay a message to a national audience with your marketing campaign?
    - I made a print Ad. I didn't want it to be too informative (crowded with words), but something that was simple and got the message out, Loud & Clear. Something that was creative and got people's attention right away by the bright color yellow and big words, that popped out. 
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Kawashima v. Holder: SCOTUS Case

Zayd Alsardary
American Government
Kawashima v. Holder: SCOTUS Case

Main Issue: Whether a person can be deported for filing a false statement on a corporate tax return under a statute that allows the government to deport anyone convicted of an aggravated felony involving fraud and deceit.

Overview of case:

Akio and Fusako Kawashima, the petitioners in the case, are residents of the United States and have been since 1984. In 1997, it was found out that Mr. Kawashima, with help from his wife, filed a false corporate tax return that understated their income and therefore basically cheated the government of owed tax revenue – and this violated Section 7206 of the tax code.

A provision in immigration law allows the government to deport anyone who has been convicted of an "aggravated felony", which is defined toward anything along the lines of murder and drug trafficking, but as time went on, an offense that was added is any offense that deals with fraud and deceit in which the victim loses more than $10,000 in the crime which is described in section 7201 of title 26.

Because the Kawashimas were convicted of filing a false return (a violation of Section 7206 of the tax code), rather tax evasion (a violation of Section 7201), they were not subject to deportation. Despite that, the government still put down deportation proceedings against them on the belief that the Kawashimas filing a false tax return is a form of “fraud or deceit”. ---> (There is no dispute that the crime resulted in a loss of more than $10,000 to the government.)

Main Question: Whether Congress meant for the broader fraud subsection to encompass tax violations which is specifically for tax evasion.

The Kawashimas are arguing that by only addressing tax violations in the second subsection (the revenue loss to the government exceeds $10,000) but basing that to tax evasion, Congress showed that they were trying to leave out other kinds of tax violations in the meaning of "aggravated felony". In turn, the government is agruing that tax evasion counts as fraud and deceit, which then falls into the first subsection (involves fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000). Basically it is trying to be decided whether tax evasion is fraud and deceit based on what is said in section 7201 of title 26.  The question in the case is whether filing a false tax return counts as an “aggravated felony”.

The case is to take place on November 7, 2011.

Predictions: I believe that the Kawashimas will be in favor a bit because the meaning of aggravated felony will be put down many times, especially since it is not clear when talking about it. I kind of do believe that filing a false tax return is fraud and especially deceit since you are purposely trying to mislead someone, but then the question that comes to play is the intentions. I am actually interested to know what the outcome will be.
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Nmanton BM reflection

Link to my part:


How did you group go about making a decision for what to focus on for the project

Our group made the decision on changing the Electoral College, by deciding that it was one of the most controversial issues in our voting system. We realized that we had the widest variety of things that we could change, and there was much more appeal to american citizens.

11th grade Essential ? - What is the role of the individual in creating and sustaining change? 

I believe that the role of an individual in creating change, would be to speak up, and be a voice that people will listen to, someone who can say what the people want to hear and putting action to it as well. To sustain change, would be just as difficult to cause the change. To sustain change you would need to adapt to the change that is made, and be able to convince others that this is the way it's supposed to be.

How has your understanding of the electoral process and whether or not the US is a democracy, evolved during this unit?

Before this unit, I never kept up with politics and my understanding of the electoral college and our democracy. But since this unit has started, I felt I have learned a lot about both subjects and I didn't realize how complicated the world we live in, is.

How did you decide to best relay a message to a national audience with your marketing campaign?

We decided that the best way to market our campaign was through posters. We thought that people would take a strong poster seriously, because I know if I see a poster that makes me feel I have more of a say and to be more of a citizen in our country.
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One Person One Vote. Benchmark Q1. Martha Robles

Link To The Whole Project

My Part- Public Service Announcement

    • How did you group go about making a decision for what to focus on for the project?

      We had a lot of different opinions but the one that we agreed most on is the Electoral College Vote. We decided to focus on this aspect because this to us is one of the most interesting ones. Its a major part of the voting process but even then people dont know much about it. This is why we decided that this aspect of voting should be no longer used. 

    • 11th grade Essential ? - What is the role of the individual in creating and sustaining change? 

      Change begins in us. Once we realize that age is nothing but a number when it comes to change is when we will realize that we can go out there and create change at a bigger scale. Not only are we able to do this in our communities but we are also able to do it in our city,state,country. There are so many opportunities available we just have to go out looking for them

    • How has your understanding of the electoral process and whether or not the US is a democracy evolved during this unit?

      During this unit I learned a lot about the voting process. I think this educated all of us, on the process of voting as well as the importance of it. Now that I know more about voting I will go out and vote once I am old enough.

    • How did you decide to best relay a message to a national audience with your marketing campaign?

      We made a PSA and a campaign AD's as the visual supplements. I believe the PSA really showed why the electoral college vote shouldn't be used anymore. Out of the 15 people we interviewed total only 1 was able to supply us with an accurate definition of it. So this aspect was very well thought out by all of us. Once it came to the editing I think I did well at including as much of the recordings we did.  We had 2 different AD's. I think both of them did a good job at showing what should be done and why, this being a key components of an AD. 
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Kashif Ahmad Food BM


2 cups Basmati Rice

3/4 kg Chicken Pieces

1/2 cup Milk

1 cup Yogurt (curd)

3 sliced onion

1 teaspoon Ginger Paste

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Paste

1 teaspoon Green Chilli Paste

1/2 cup Tomato Puree

2 teaspoin Red Chilli Powder 

1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder 

1 teaspoon Roasted cumin powder 

2 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder (seasoning)

1/2 teaspoon Green Cardamom Powder 

Saffron a pinch

1 teaspoon Coriander Powder 

2 tablespoon Green Coriander Leaves 

Salt to taste 

7 tablespoon Oil


Mix tomato puree, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, roasted cumin powder, garam masala (seasoning), coriander powder and salt. Stir well.

soak the chicken with this mixture and keep aside for 3-4 hours.

Heat oil in a pan. Fry the onions until golden brown.

Add the soaked chicken and cook for 10 minutes.

Add 4 cups of water to the rice. Mix saffron in milk and add to it.

Add cardamom powder. Add the chicken pieces.

Pressure cook the rice. Mix gently.

decorate with green coriander leaves and serve hot.


25% of the meal is processed and 75% is whole food. 


Calories- 520 Per serving

Total Fat- 12g

Saturated Fat- 3.5g

Cholesterol- 40mg

Sodium- 1240mg

Sugar- 13.g

Protein- 23.0

Since my meal is high in protein, it will help the bones become more stronger and healthier. Its also not that high in fats so the people that's eating it doesn't have to worry about getting fat. It takes about 24-72 hours for the food to digest. It takes about 6-8 hours after you eat for the food to pass through your stomach. 



Chicken- Delaware/United States

Seasoning- Pakistan

Vegetable oil- United States

Salt- United States

Sugar- United States 

Onions- Texas/United States

Rice- Pakistan

The rice and seasoning traveled the farthest. Approximately 8250 miles. The rice and onion was organically grown. Then chicken is processed. Since the chicken is processed, it went through couple of stages of machinery before it reached the store for sales.   

 •Political/economic: This meal cost about 25-30 dollars depending on how many people you want to serve with. Even though it might be a little expensive then fast food, it's fresh and home made unlike fast food its not old and not touched by multiple people. The company that deals with the rice made money, the chicken factory, people that processed the salt, sugar, and onions and also the seasoning.  The meat and rice factory is involved. 

Social: Growing rice here in the city is hard but if a person were to grow rice rather then buying the ones at the supermarket then it would be more organic because it would be more natural. Also taking care of chicken is hard because they need a place to live, eat and run around. But if someone were to make chicken biryani with rice that was grown at home and chicken that was slaughter at home, that chicken biryani would be more fresh and healthier because it won't be as processed as the one I made.  

Personal Reflection: 

This unit has taught me a alot. It has changed the way I look at certain things. For instance it changed the way I feel about some food. This unit has made me realised the way certain animals are treated before they are slaughter and we put them in our stomach. Also it helped me with eating healthy since we talked about organic foods and non organic foods. Not only we talked about food industry but we also talked about fracking. I learned how fracking is actually done and how the gas is relased from underground.  This unit gave me the idea of how different people feels about certain things. For instance when we had to write about fracking from different point of views. This helped me understand the other people thoughts about fracking. 

Food Slide:
Screen Shot 2011-11-13 at 1.19.46 AM
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Q1 Benchmark Reflection - Winston Wright

Here is our project

Here is my individual work

Somethings that we knew were important to our project is the appeal of our audience. We knew that since our over all goal was trying to change the 26th amendment,  we would need to have material that catered to the younger people of America. Therefore in our papers, and our visual ads, we tried to use things that would both appeal to the younger and older portion of youth. I wrote the position paper, Ryan wrote the rebuttal, Paige created the Print Ad, and Jakobi made the video. I can say that each individual role really showed in our project, in a positive way. In some way each individually assigned aspect of the project correlated with one another, and I think that shows the impact we all had on each other's work. My understanding  of the election process in this country, and overall democracy, has recessed. You can write about something you might not necessarily care about, but when you start to actually reflect on that topic you get a better appreciation for it. In this case I am talking about youth voting. In this time in america, it is imperative that everyone be heard, everyone, including the youth. Again, I think that our group took a simple enough approach that anyone/everyone in our demographic could understand what we were trying to convey. Although most of the thoughts of the individuals being interviewed in our PSA were about the same, there was one conflicting idea. One person stated that they wouldn't feel sure enough that they knew what they were doing to vote. They simply thought that they weren't experienced enough as a citizen to make a conscious decision about something that needed to be changed. Overall I would say that we certainly appealed in a smooth convincing way, without using any material that would be to difficult for anyone to understand.

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