Advanced Essay #4: Becoming Someone Else

In this essay, I focused more on my personal connection towards this topic. I wanted to also show the difference of how people are affected when they are surrounded by violence everyday. Overall, I am proud of what I wrote and also, proud of the sources I've found.

In this world, there are so many people who are forced to be in the military or to serve their country. Some people want to help others. There are different reasons as to why they would want to serve and join the military. However, people don’t realize that when they come back from the war they are completely a different person. I don’t know anyone who has been in the war but I have one family member who has been seeing violence for the last past eighteen years. There are a lot of studies that shows how people are affected by violence and how they change after coming back from war or even after seeing violence.

Every year, more than 180,000 people join the military. There are a lot of people who are always placed in the war and there are also different jobs. Mr. Block had an afternoon where Mike Feker and John Grant came to the class and talk about their experience and struggles during and after the Vietnam war. Mike had a lot of more things to talk about in my opinion. After Mike talked, the class was asked if we had any questions. One of the questions that was brought up was “Did any of the soldiers ever thank you for saving their life?” and Mike responded that he never saw any of them after they put the injured soldier into the helicopter. Another student asked “Did you ever feel responsible for any of the soldiers that did not make it?” Mike said that he did feel responsible. The feeling not being to save someone’s life is traumatizing. This can trigger depression because Mike could have kept blaming himself for not being able to save the soldier’s life. Before, Mike said that his family was poor and he did not have enough money to go to college. His only choice was to join the military/army as one of the journalist. He did not get that job. Instead, he was one of the medics on the battlefield. Mike did not know what he was getting himself into when he thought he was going to be one of the journalist when it actually turned out that he was going to be one of the medics. Mike said that after the war when he came back home, he was diagnosed with anger management, he was short tempered and a few other things. Today, he still deal with these issues and he did not know what he was getting himself into.

One of my family members deals with violence everyday. My dad is a cop and he has been a cop for the last past eighteen years. In July 2014, my dad asked me if I wanted to go to the shooting range. I was a bit hesitated at first because guns are no jokes and it is something that is not a toy. I was uncomfortable and he told me that I can bring my friends with me. So, I brought my friends with me to the shooting range and the car ride there my friend asked my dad questions about how it was being a cop. I did not know that my dad struggled with these things. I was not aware. I never asked questions about his job because I always had an image in my head from tv shows seeing that it was easy. However, my dad told my friend that he has seen everything from babies being in a plastic bag to finding someone died in the basement to him getting punched in the nose. My dad and I are not as close as my mom and I. It was always awkward for me to say “hello” or “goodbye”. I always found it weird. However, the more I think about it it was because being a cop shaped him into being who he is now. Whenever we passed by a certain area in the car, my dad would always point out the places where someone died. It was like my dad was the personal news channel in my life. He remembers where people died, how they died and the feeling of that is not a good feeling at all. One time, my dad and I were in the car. He turned to me and he told me “I am always alone, I sleep alone, I feel alone, I eat alone.” Until this day, what he had said to me always stuck in the back of my mind.

war2 (1).jpg

This is a very interesting picture that I have found after I searched “war changing people” on Google Images. I clicked on the picture and the website popped up. It showed the results of soldiers before the war, during the war and after the war. You can tell that before the war that he looked like he was out of his shape and his eyes aren’t as bright as his middle picture (during war). In his middle picture during war, his eyes look a little bit brighter because he is aware of the things that he’s seen. Maybe it’s the lighting in the picture but it looks like the soldier is holding back so many things and trying not to break down in the middle picture. In the far right picture after the war, it looks like he has seen so many things and he experienced so many things that he is trying to not let it affect it. If you look at the website, you see the continuous results with other soldiers in other pictures.

No one will understand how it is being surrounded by violence unless you experience it too. Being surrounded by violence and war can change you or anyone you know into a completely different person. There are certain things that people are affected by everyday. Remembering how, why and who died in a certain location can come back to haunt you every time you pass by that area. Violence and war change someone into someone they do not want to be without them realizing.


"14 Soldiers Were Photographed Before, During, And After War. The Result Is Disturbing..." AnonHQ 14 Soldiers Were Photographed Before During And After War The Result Is Disturbing Comments. N.p., 10 Nov. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"The Aftermath of War." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Behavior, Aggressive, and Volume 33 Pages 118–129 (200. Volume 33, Pages 118–129 (2007) Changes in Attitudes Towards War and Violence After September 11, 2001 (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Advanced Essay #4: MPAA and America

The goal of this essay was to explore the themes of censorship in America through the lens of movies and cinema, topics I have a large interest in.  The MPAA ratings board has always been a topic of controversy in America, causing some movies to be banned or not made in the first place. Movies reflect our views as a society, so would be a perfect medium to explore America's ideas. Movies have a profound impact on our people and our ideas, and are important tools of our society. We need to explore and understand what makes movies rated, and what is acceptable to the public.

The ratings system in America has been dominated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) since 1922. This was a way to categorize movies and prevent innocent moviegoers from seeing horrifying movies. In principle the MPAA is a perfect system, however, in execution it has many flaws. The ratings system reflects the ideals of our nation, and what is and is not acceptable to show. This causes there to be many inconsistencies with what is and isn't acceptable. Murder and death are okay, but language and love aren’t. The presence of violence in America also allows us to act more violently towards other nations. The pedestal we out violence is a dangerous one, and something that could lead to serious consequences. Our country needs to reevaluate its priorities in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable.

    The prime example of a problem with the ratings system is between Indiana Jones and The Breakfast Club. The image shown is from the movie The Breakfast Club, which was released in 1985 with an R rating. Meaning that only people who wanted to see it needed to be either 17 or have a parent or guardian with them. This doesn’t make sense when you really look into the content of the movie. This movie features a heavy amount of profanity and sexual innuendos. There is also a scene where the characters get high, but that's as risky as the movie gets.

    I could understand it getting an R rating, if not for Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom being rated PG with much more gore and violence in it. Released in 1984, a year earlier than the Breakfast Club, had many scenes of gore and violence. The scene in question is where the antagonist rips the heart out of Indiana Jones, literally. The villain did not crush his spirit or metaphorically rip his heart out, the villain literally pulls the still beating heart out of him. This scene is shown with little ambiguity, showing the event in full. This movie was marketed as an all-ages action adventure movie. This reflects the views of America of violence and war being okay, but language and sex not being okay.

The standards for censorship in America are insanely divided, with extremes on both sides. The way we value violence, over language or sex is astonishing. Ratings can also impact the quality of films upon release. Many films have whole subplots cut out to keep a specific rating. The movie Babylon A.D. was originally supposed to be rated R, until the studio wanted to shoot for a PG-13 rating. The new rating was supposed to make the movie more accessible and appeal to a wider audience, but instead it ruined the movie. Babylon A.D. became a generic science fiction movie with a director swearing off the project entirely. The director even campaigned for people to not see the movie instead of promoting it.

An advisor of the MPAA had this to say about the current situation of the ratings system, “"Often, filmmakers are completely surprised by the MPAA and their opinion on what constitutes suitable material for a particular age group," said Fridkin. "The need to re-shoot can be cost prohibitive, while these suggested edits can detract from the director’s vision. However, Barry and I, having been longtime raters, are able to catch these ‘issues’ early on. We can prevent the need for heavy-handed editing as a result of what the filmmaker perceives as a mis-rated film." This shows how even people involved in the process understand that there are issues that need fixing. The ratings system is a very powerful tool when used properly, but can sometimes be censoring art and content from being made, while trying to protect audiences. I’m not saying we should destroy the ratings system entirely, but it could use a serious overhaul. The system in place inhibits art and creativity, and values violence over sex. It’s harder to show the creation of a life than the end of one.

Okay great, we have identified some of the problems of the MPAA, such as the glorification of violence and restrictive nature. How do we fix these problems, and more importantly, what cause them. The United States has a long history of violence and war, which come out in our movies’ themes. The western was an entire genre dedicated to America’s conquest of the west, and the American dream. Violence and militarism are still shown in many movies today not just a relic of an old genre. Marvel movies, which originally started as small nerd movies, eventually rose to some of the most iconic characters of our time. Marvel movies, also feature an incredible amount of violence, not as much as Indiana Jones. Those movies, also feature armies and military organizations as prominent characters. These movies are incredibly popular and some of the highest grossing movies of all time. This reflects society's views about what is acceptable and what isn’t.

America always likes to be the good guy, even when it's doing the wrong thing. The movies and popular culture reflect that view of violence being okay, and language and sex being bad. This helps to desensitize audiences to violence, so when we learn about our past, present, and future wars we can accept it easier. The presence of violence in America also allows us to act more violently towards other nations. The pedestal we out violence is a dangerous one, and something that could lead to serious consequences. Our country needs to reevaluate its priorities in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable.

Bernstein, Paula. "How The MPAA Really Works And How to Get The Rating You Want." Indiewire. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Billington, Alex. "Babylon A.D.'s Mathieu Kassovitz Opens Up About Fox Negatively." RSS. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay #4 Motivation of Violence

Reflecting on my paper, I believe I picked specific points to focus on which made analyzing it pretty easily. I thought it'd be unique to have two different pictures that backed up the two themes I had. My sources were pretty diverse also.


Agunya, 15 (On the right), teaches his little brother Mumbri, 13 (On the left) how to load and aim a semi-automatic weapon after finding their entire family slaughtered by an Angolan terrorist group. “Eu quero matar cada governante Angolano que vejo…” I want to kill every Angolan official I see. Mumbri’s life changed forever after this moment…

Experiencing the annihilation of loved ones changes you in all aspects of life. The feelings of hatred, ignorance, sadness, and reminiscing all brewed together is a recipe for disaster in the streets of Chicago and in the battlefields of Angola. To experience the same tragedy Agunya and Mumbri have and not want to retaliate with the same force or more, takes a very noble and conscientious being. German psychological scientist, Mario Gollwitzer conducted a study where people were partnered up with another person anonymously in different rooms. The partners were asked a series of trivia questions and for every question they got right, they’d win tickets. At the end, the scientist divided the tickets up evenly but told partner #1 that that partner #2 opted to take all of the tickets. The scientist gave the partner #1 the chance to either opt to take all the tickets or split them after finding out what partner #2 decided to do. 60% decided they wanted all of the tickets because partner #2 wasn’t planning on sharing. That same 60% decided to write  notes to their anonymous partners all with smart comments like “You didn’t want to split the tickets so I’m be selfish back and take all of the tickets for myself.” This experiment showed that when people feel unappreciated, retaliation  is a very technique used as an attempt to restore that feeling of appreciation. Agunya and Mumbri suffer from a feeling not being valued. The fact that their family was slaughtered and no one answered for it will evoke this feeling. So as a result of this, the two brothers are on the hunt to retaliate with the same amount or more force to restore that feeling of mattering. Retaliating also provides them with the opportunity to make the Angolans feel the pain that they feel or worst; which is also a desired goal.



Experiencing the annihilation of loved ones changes you in all aspects of life. This change is physical, emotional and most of all mental. The feelings of hatred, ignorance, sadness, and reminiscing all brewed together is a recipe for disaster in the streets of Chicago and in the battlefields of Angola. Martin Luther King once said “As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightfully so, “What about war?” They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” This quote addresses the most important reason people become numb to violence in mass numbers. To know that policeman and soldiers are awarded medals like distinguished shooters badge, and expert rifleman badges on a consistent basis for honestly killing people brings a sort of positive vibe to violence as a whole. So for a kid in Chicago to murder someone who sells drugs in his neighborhood and be prosecuted for it, is really hypocritical. He eliminated someone that was a threat to the well-being of his community. Isn’t that the same thing soldiers do and police officers do? Yes it is.

Zulifikar Ali Butto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan once said ““We(Pakistan) will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own (Atom bomb).... We have no other choice!” Now let’s think about this… The Prime Minister of an entire country feels as though there is no other way to survive in this world but to acquire something with the power to wipe out a whole city.  If  someone with the power of a Prime Minister believes that surviving in this world is only realistic if you’re able to conduct your own amount of violence, what are people in Chicago who live in poverty supposed to think?

Work Cited:

"Quotes About Retaliation." (24 Quotes). Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"Military Ranks." Military Ranks. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"Military Awards, Medals, & Decorations." Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"The Complicated Psychology of Revenge." Association for Psychological Science RSS. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"The Law of Retaliation." The Law of Retaliation. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay #4: War Literature

I focused on war literature for this paper. I wanted to explore the different facets of war literature and also the importance of war literature. During the research process I read a couple of interesting articles that really informed and shaped my opinion on the importance of war literature. The peer review process was especially helpful for this essay because I was initially unsure of what I wanted my larger idea to be. It was difficult to find a specific focus for this essay but I am proud of the final result.

Two children stand in front of a tank. The eldest, a girl a of about nine or ten with short black hair, carries her little brother, who cannot be more than three years old, on her back and they both look directly at the camera. They seem to be standing in a hot desert so they both wear loose light clothing. The tank seems to be going the same direction in which they are walking. We can picture this war scene clearly in our minds through this description in words. Even though we can never truly understand what it’s like to be in the midst of a war unless we have actually experienced it, words, stories, and pictures can help us begin to understand. In his essay titled, “The Extremes of Conflict in Literature: Violence, Homicide, and War”, Joseph Carroll says:

Literature depicts such emotions, evokes them, and makes them available to readers, who experience them vicariously.

To help others understand the horrible truth of war, authors like Tim O’Brien, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ernest Hemingway write novels about the subject. Like Carroll says, this literature allows readers to experience emotions that they’d never have the opportunity to experience otherwise. In experiencing those feelings they begin to understand the emotions of those who have been involved in war.  They begin to understand what it is like to know that at any second you could die and they begin to understand what loss of human life really means. The literature of war not only aims to foster understanding of war, it also attempts to argue for peace. Kate Scheel, a professor of English studies writes:

War literature…warns against pursuing armed conflict, exposes its atrocities, and argues for peace. It records the acts of war with as much accuracy as is possible, and it memorializes the dead. It is voyeuristic, exploitative, and sadistic; it is also tender, selfless, and comforting. It is gleeful and angry; inflammatory and cathartic; propagandist, passionate, and clinical. It is funny and sad.

Good war literature forces us to experience the emotion of war and inspires us to believe that there are other options. Good war literature exposes the truth and explains to us why it is necessary to find alternatives to violence. It reveals the atrocities that occur during war and it reminds us why human life is something to be valued and cherished.

War literature creates a complex relationship between author and reader. Because of the subject readers expect a certain degree of truthfulness in war literature. In this case we expect truthfulness to mean reality; we expect that everything that the author writes actually happened. As readers we expect honesty and loyalty. In The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, we are led to believe that the story and all the characters are real but halfway through the book O’Brien reveals that all the stories and characters are fictitious. Through that experience we learn that truthfulness doesn’t have to mean reality. O’Brien states:

A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth.

Meaning that even though something doesn’t actually happen it doesn’t mean it’s not true. What is more important when it comes to the truth is the emotion and sentiment behind it. So, even though we feel betrayed when we learn that the events in The Things They Carried did not actually happen our relationship with the author eventually emerges stronger at the end of the book when we come to the realization that when it comes to truth we need to look beyond the surface, look past the superficial details, and examine the things that really matter. War literature reminds us that life, death, and emotion are more important than small, insignificant details.

War literature is necessary. Not only because it helps civilians understand war but also because it helps soldiers deal with their experiences. Soldiers need to be able to express themselves somehow and they need to be able to write the truth of what they experience. Soldiers need to know that somebody cares enough to read their stories and maybe even take action. War literature is one of the most important methods for understanding war and violence. Candid accounts of what really happens during war through novels explain exactly what happens during war and also deliver these explanations in a medium that is accessible and interesting to most people. War literature needs to be something that everybody is familiar with. It’s easy to ignore violence and human weakness. We need war literature to remind us of all the problems in the world. We need it to inspire us to action and to hold us accountable for the needless loss of life that war brings. War literature is essential to any push for anti war mentality.  It is the proof that war is evil. If we ever want to live in a society that does not depend of war, militarism, and violence as solutions we must ensure that everyone reads and understands war literature so they understand the truth of war.

Scheel, Kate. "Violence and the Literature of War." N.p., Spring 2004. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Carroll, Joseph. "The Extremes of Conflict in Literature: Violence, Homicide, and War." The Extremes of Conflict in Literature: Violence, Homicide, and War. N.p., 22 Mar. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. New York: Broadway, 1998. Print.

Advanced Essay #4: Importance of Storytelling for Survivors of Violent Trauma

The goal of this essay is to argue and stress the importance of what it means for survivors of violent trauma, specifically soldiers and war veterans, to share their stories and memories pertaining to the trauma that they have experienced. Initially, I wanted to do research and investigate the effects of holding onto important memories or stories and not sharing them, or in other words, secrets. However, I came to realize that that was more along the lines of a research paper vs. an essay with a controversial thesis, so as I shifted my focus to survivors of violent trauma, I was able to contextualize my thesis better and take a new route for this essay. A wide variety of sources are included to form a full view of this issue.


The human memory is extremely complex. It stores an infinite amount of moments, events, emotions, and more. Essentially, those are all of the elements of a story that is waiting to be told. That’s all memories really are, anyway: stories. As always in the case of stories, it is up to the person to decide whether or not they are willing to share them or not. No matter the circumstances, this always remains true. This conscious decision draws the line between secret and visibility. We keep secrets for many reasons. However, in the world that we live in today, it is not always easy for us to share the hard stories- those stories that have affected us on the deepest of levels, that rein ever present in our lives. This becomes even more true when we focus on the struggles survivors of violent trauma from warfare are forced to face. When their stories can’t be told, it only causes them more difficulties when it comes to their mental and even physical health. Survivors of trauma need to be able to have an outlet to comfortably share their stories, in a way that is best fit for them. It is all of our jobs to listen to them and to provide them with the proper resources for them to do this.

Dr. James Pennebaker, a psychology professor and researcher, once created an experiment to test if writing about traumatic experiences and feelings reduced the amount of times the patients seeked extra help. In an article written by Eric Jaffe, he says it included  “...a concentration camp survivor who had seen babies tossed from a second-floor orphanage window” and “...a Vietnam veteran who once shot a female fighter in the leg, had sex with her, then cut her throat.” Additionally, he says that “In one study of 50 students, those who revealed both a secret and their feelings visited the health center significantly fewer times in the ensuing six months than other students who had written about a generic topic, or those who had only revealed the secret and not the emotions surrounding it.” Even just being able to write down the experience and the emotions and feelings surrounding them were helpful to these people. It caused them to feel more at peace with themselves, and feel less of a need to reach out for help from the health center. That just goes to show how vital it is for their to be outlets for survivors of trauma to reveal their stories.

Sharing stories or experiences doesn’t always have to mean it is between two people. Powerful moments can happen between a person and the God that they look up to. For example, there is a somewhat popular image on the internet that shows a Russian soldier from World War II about to go into battle. He is looking downward, staring into space. He holds a cross between his fingers, and holds that same hand up to his mouth. The man is praying, it seems. In this moment he is speaking to his God. The man behind him is passionately yelling something, but that is not what he is focussed on. This is a moment of intimacy, the last quiet moment before this man enters a battle that may cost him his own life. However, he does not seem angry, or have a hard look on his face. It actually appears as though the corner of his mouth is turned up into a bit of a smile, and the corner of his eye seems soft. He is finding peace and solace within his God. The soldier holding the cross may very well be scared deep down inside, but he is accepting the circumstances and preparing himself as he must. For some people, it is merely a God whom they must open themselves up to.

Sometimes, depending on availability, veterans will get involved in programs that will allow them to share their own war stories to groups of people. Mike Felker, a veteran of the Vietnam War, is one of those people. In one of his presentations, he mentioned someone from the war who was called Big Man, and attached a short story he wrote about his experience with him. In it, he says, “I tried to pray and beg him back to life. By this time another patrol had come to the side of the cliff. Chuck, a hospital corpsman from the Third Platoon saw my hysteria, that my frantic efforts were futile. He shook me hard and slapped me when I started crying that Big Man was alive. I stopped, comprehending finally he was dead… I watched, as I will always watch, until he disappeared.” It is saddening to realize how emotionally and mentally scarring this must still be for him to recall. However, it is clear that being involved in a program where he can tell this story, and share his writings about the story, is helpful to him.

It is quite the hardship to experience trauma on such a grand scale and to have so many stories to share with no means to share them. Without some sort of outlet for those experiencing or those who have experienced violent trauma to share their most powerful stories from their memories, they may face a whole host of other mental, and sometimes even physical illnesses. This is why it is important that we listen to these people, that we provide for them the programs and resources in which they can feel comfortable sharing their deepest, darkest, and most difficult secrets or experiences. Everyone should be able to take what is in their minds and release it to the world in some way, shape, or form that is comfortable and safe for themselves.

Works Cited

"Feature Story: Writing to Heal: Research Shows Writing about Emotional Experiences Can Have Tangible Health Benefits." Feature Story: Writing to Heal: Research Shows Writing about Emotional Experiences Can Have Tangible Health Benefits. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"Mike Felker's Writing." Mike Felker's Writing. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"The Science Behind Secrets." Association for Psychological Science RSS. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay #4- Violence in the Media

I can honestly say this Advanced Essay has been the most challenging one of the four we have received in this English class this year. Starting off the unit, I couldn't really get into the book we were reading because I just wasn't interested in it and when it was announced we were to do another advanced essay for our benchmark this quarter, that made me feel even worse about everything. I didn't know what I wanted my paper to be based off on at first, I was going in the direction of story-telling and the affects that had on people until I realized that was more of a personal piece. So, I finally came to conclusion of wanting to surround my paper on the media and with the help of my peers and Mr. Block, I am satisfied with what I produced. My goals were to have a clear, concise and controversial thesis which the reader could thoroughly understand which I do feel I've accomplished. I feel as though teens would be able to relate to this paper the most simply because we are living in the generation where media is booming.

Unconsciously and unknowingly, people’s behavior and aggression towards violence are influenced by the media. Majority of the youth is exposed to some sort of act of violence through the media before the age of ten years old. With the numerous and everlasting murders that have been occurring more frequently lately, school shootings, and fights going on it’s hard to ignore the violence factor that goes on in the world. Because children are still developing in their teenage years, seeing certain things such as inappropriate music, movies, television shows, etc. can affect their psychological development and views in the world.

Television can be a very powerful teacher to not only the youth, but adults as well. According to the BLS American Time Use Survey by A.C. Nielsen Co., approximately 99% of Americans own at least one television in their household. This shows just how accessible tv is and how common it is for people to be watching it. A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics says the average eight year old child spends eight hours a day on media, and teens more than 11 hours of media a day. This is more than a full day of school, which means the youth are being exposed the media and the inappropriate things it contains For example, they see things from funny memes to violent beatings and fights. With the youth being revealed to such at this young of an age, it’s already registered in their minds that this is common in society since it is praised and laughed at which can increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior at an older age without them even thinking much of it.

Kaj Björkqvist, a Professor of Developmental Psychology at Åbo Akademi University, randomly assigned one group of five- to six-year-old Finnish children to watch violent movies, another to watch nonviolent ones. Raters who did not know which type of movie the children had seen then observed them playing together in a room. Children who had just watched the violent movie were rated much higher on physical assault and other types of aggression. Other experiments have shown that exposure to media violence can increase aggressive thinking, aggressive emotions, and tolerance for aggression, all known risk factors for later aggressive and violent behavior. With the children being so young and naive, they had no clue how great of an impact the violent movie had on their actions and aggression. They were just following what they had seen in the movie and weren’t even incorporating the fact they were being violent which shows how unconscious people are with the influence violence in the media has.

The cartoon above is a perfect representation on how oblivious society is to the issues that we constantly encounter. There are constantly issues with violence in the world and we wonder where some of the root causes stem from, yet the answer is right in front of our eyes. The future is completely dependable upon how we bring up our children, which can either be a good or bad thing it’s all in the power of our hands. Allowing violence in the media to take over our children’s mindsets can only lead to even more violence and aggression, which this cartoon shows. It’s also shown above how the child is saying “Kill them! Kill them all!” With a huge smile on his face which shows he’s condoning the people who are being killed. Both the parents and the child are unaware of how violence is impacting and influencing their lives as shown in this cartoon.

On October 1, 2015 at Umpqua Community College located in Oregon, there was a mass shooting killing nine and wounding many others. The shooter, Christopher Harper- Mercer, after killing nine innocent people was shortly killed in gunfire with responding officers. After the shooting, the police investigated Harper- Mercer’s background and found that he was obsessed with violent gaming and would focus on this more than spending time with his family. His neighbors would say he was a nice young man, but was isolated majority of the time and only took interest in conversations when discussing video games and guns. While investigating, the police even found a secret chat room online which him and anonymous others were planning out exactly what he’d do. Before he had committed this tragic crime, he said “I’ve been waiting to do this for years”. Meanwhile, his companions were supporting him and even giving him ideas on when and where to do it. Recently, researchers at Ohio State University conducted a study and concluded that, "People who have a steady diet of playing these violent video games may come to see the world as a hostile and violent place”. Without even the slightest thought, one’s perception of the world can be altered just by constantly being exposed to violent video games.

In conclusion, the media can impact our daily life decisions unconsciously. Some solutions to reducing the influence violence in the media has on us are reducing the exposure to violent movies, television shows, videos games, etc. By doing this, it won’t place anyone in a specific and unhealthy mindset. Also, by increasing media that will have a positive effect on our lives and actually teach us something helpful both short and long-term will not only educate us, but place us in the right mindset that’ll benefit everyone in the world.


"Managing Media: We Need a Plan." Managing Media: We Need a Plan. 29 Oct. 13. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Eves, Christopher. "Television Watching Statistics." Static Brain Research Institute, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Thoman, Elizabeth. "What Parents Can Do about Media Violence." Center for Media Literacy. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Fletcher, Lyndee. "14 Mass Murders Linked to Violent Video Games." Charisma News. 15 Oct. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Healy, Jack, and Ian Lovett. "Oregon Killer Described as Man of Few Words, Except on Topic of Guns." The New York Times. The New York Times, 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Advanced Essay #4: The Healing of Pain

A lot of research went into writing this essay. After reading 'The Things They Carry', I wanted to explore the deeper meaning of pain and the way each and every person experiences it. It was hard to find the perfect resources for my essay, but I ended up finding two perfect interviews, and a great image reflecting my words. I spent a long time trying to word my thoughts in a way people would understand, and although it was a challenge, I was able to use suggestion from my peers to write a piece I am proud of. I made sure not just to discuss the single meaning of pain, but the general meaning, so basically every single type of pain, whether it be physical, emotional, mental, etc..


Imagine being surrounded by an entire army, pointing all their guns at you. Unarmed civilians also surround you, fearing their lives, but knowing that they can’t back down because it’s a sign of weakness. One man steps up, knowing that there could be consequences, he decides to make peace between the army and the civilians, so he steps up, and all the guns are pointed at him, not you, yet you still fear. He places flowers in the gun, and no one makes a move or a sound, as if the man was now surrounded by the dead. He shows no signs of stopping, and as his bouquet of flowers becomes one single flower, you realize that it wasn’t fear of death you were feeling, it was fear of tyranny, and this man had just proven to you and everyone else there, the hypocrisy of pain and violence. One might think the previous statement was created to get them thinking of a somewhat realistic situation to better explain the healing of pain. It is anything but fictional, it’s an image of truth. The truth may be dreadful and uncomfortable, but this image expresses the tenderness of pain and its remedy. This is an image of life, a life put through violence and war, yet effectively reacts to a situation with the power of silence and influence.

Healing of agony can be conceived through an action, a memory, a statement, an image, or in better terms, it can be formulated in different ways, but as stated by Veena Das, a theoretician and ethnographer, there are two things that all healing has in common. “The notion of healing carried two ideas: the idea of endurance, and the idea of the capacity to establish a particular relationship to death….” One has to be willing to accept the pain they suffer to be able to alleviate the pain. In this way, not only is their acceptance, but realization that the pain will never go away, but awareness that mending pain is much stronger than any kind of pain itself.  “But I was very struck by the ways in which pain does write itself enduringly on people’s lives. It was not about a thunderous voice of pain, but about the manners in which pain was woven into the patterns of life.” You have to be open to all pain, to the consequences, or else healing will never happen, and only pain would ever exist. The thing is though, that without pain, life would be nothing. We would never experience reality, and we’d be selfish because without pain, we would get everything we wanted and thought we deserved. Pain draws a fairly clear line between selfishness and selflessness.

There is a single word that can bring terror and pain to many in an instant, a word so powerful that the meaning is pointless because it is nothing compared to the suffering and suffocation one is already in from just hearing the word. War...the word is war. As clearly stated by author Chris Hedges, “Yes. I think for those who are in combat, it very swiftly can become an addiction. War is its own subculture. It can create a landscape of the grotesque that is, perhaps, unlike anything else created by human beings.” Experiencing war in any way is a very difficult and uncomfortable experience that no one should go through. For soldiers, it’s as though war is a separate world, a separate language, or a separate life. Once in a war, you can never get out, even if the war is officially over. You become so intimate with it, that you can never forget about it. The horror will always be in your dreams, and the pain will always be crawling up your spine, and to your head, where you always remember every dreadful moment. War is something so unique and spectacular, that it is almost a mystery to the human race. We still explore war and it’s many characteristics, that is why war still exists and will never go away. There’s no meaning of war yet because we still don’t understand it, and there will never be one single clear definition. It’s existed for hundreds of years, yet it’s still something new and fresh that is somewhat unknown to our race.

A life with no pain, is a life not lived to the fullest. We suffer and always find a way to blame someone, yet the only one to blame should be ourselves, for not allowing leeway for reflecting on the good. Pain is different for everyone. Some might experience it through violence or war, and others might experience it from love, or hate, or even just life itself. Healing is a reflection of pain, and that is what needs to be understood to be able to live on, not move on, but to live your actual life, the life you grew up living. We must understand the difference between all pain, whether physical, mental, or emotional. As human beings, we have the right to express our pain, our anger, and our fight to healing. As human beings, we have the right to live.


"Listening to Voices. An Interview with Veena Das." Interview by Kim Turcot DiFruscia. 2010. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <>

Abernethy, Bob. "Interview: Chris Hedges." PBS. PBS, 2003. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <>.

Advanced Essay #4 Luke W-S: Discouragement

A lot of my ​decision making and approach had to do with being honest with myself and to our prompt. When we began this unit I had a strong opinion for myself being a non interventionist so my goal was to consider other opinions as well. During my research I looked at other opinions that did not have to do with mine. I hope that I had a good a approach and my goals is to remain honest. Reflecting on my work my process could've been better as I missed class peer edits and only received 1 from another student although I asked others (I peer edited someone else's).

When we started the unit on war and how it not only affects soldiers but ideologies and people, I thought I could develop an “outside of the box” idea. I would defend the glory of revolution and, like the novelists, inspire change. Then, I realized my proposal may be blindly patriotic, or at least misinterpreted,  and too simplistic. Some authors celebrate revolutionary change by describing extreme denials of individual and community rights.  The descriptions are frightening.  Their books are best sellers and franchised  into movies. Meanwhile, similar conditions, although possibly not as extreme, occur in the United States and around the world.  Those in power may rally against the extremes described in the books but they are also denying individual and community rights. Works of fiction, often celebrated, may inspire revolutionary thoughts or radical ideals but, in practice, our society too often practices the dysfunctional and inequitable societies described in the novels.

During the mid to late 20th century, a number of works of fiction celebrated, or at least encouraged, revolutionary change or put a light on extreme compliance with government.  For example,  1984, The Hunger Games, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, and The Giver, have been celebrated for their genius and importance to literature and/or  film. Most of these works have common themes:  militarism/war, censorship, obedience and various forms of oppression. In the dystopian novel, The Hunger Games, there is an all-out war between the districts and capital, knowledge is censored, people are denied access to “the forbidden zone”, and people are inspired by few revolutionaries such as Katniss. The Hunger Games is celebrated as a work of  “genius;” the conditions described in the novel are denounced as savage or at least unstable. At the same time, in the the real world, if a few people rise against the oppression of militarism and extreme censorship with a other few revolutionaries,  they may be labeled violent extremists. This characterization is false because those in power determine who is “extreme.”  For example, the United States government labels Islamists as terrorist yet some of the Islamists are challenging governments that openly censor, restrict movement of people, and detain people without due process. Who gets to determine what is extreme and what is “proper” forms of revolutionary change?

The 20th century literatures I have listed primarily feature forms of extreme oppression that homogenize society; sameness is a goal.  For example, the censorship in Fahrenheit 451 includes burning books and labeling reading a heinous acts. Currently, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), has destroyed ancient artifacts attempting to erase thousands of years of history.  In The Giver, only one man can see color or memory, as the “Receiver of Memory,” to ensure society preserves order and structure. Today, political rhetoric in the U.S. presidential debates often focuses on U.S. “greatness” and maintaining law and order.  If these are examples of oppression that should be opposed and rebelled against,  why aren’t they consistently opposed today?  While the U.S. is quick to rightly condemn the action by ISIS, isn’t the message of many candidates during the U.S. presidential debates also frightening and condemnable? Although what occurs in the United States may be more subtle or camouflaged, there are examples of censorship. There are also examples of praising order and structure for the preservation of those in power.  The United States has the  largest military in the world; the U.S. has or has attempted to overthrow 50 foreign governments since 1945 from Cuba to Angola to Vietnam.  Currently,  the National Security Agency (NSA) reads and monitors internet activity and phone calls including leaders of foreign governments to U.S. citizens.  People fighting for the rights of the people get ignored or dismissed by the mainstream media. During elections, some voices are silenced or labeled too extreme and too idealistic. Do not we see commonalities between our world and the stories we are encouraged to celebrate?.

Throughout history, those in power, “the establishment,” want to maintain their power. Sometimes, the conditions are extreme like in 1984:  never ending war, government surveillance, self-serving political leaders, and control of the people’s thoughts and actions. In the United States, we are assured 1984 can never happen. The United States began with a violent revolution  against colonial oppression to create a “free” nation “of the people, by the people and for the people.” This narrative is reinforced in the national anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, many textbooks and in political speeches ending in “God Bless America.” But the U.S. government and modern day multinational corporations make this difficult. During British colonial rule, there were limits of economic and political rights for the elites.  Post revolution, there was still enslavement based on race and extreme poverty and denial of basic rights for most people. Today, the intersection of the U.S. government and multinational corporations leads to lack of workers’ rights such as a living wages, limited free speech as in the case of Edward Snowden and perpetual wars from drones to on the ground invasions.  While 1984 is celebrated as a novel, conditions condemned in the novel exist.

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This is an important image that I felt continues to be powerful. I believe that this relates because as it’s uninspired partially by a violence part that many who believe in the cause for non violence but revolution on behalf of the people shows that there’s a possibility of a peaceful revolution

Why do we celebrate novels that challenge oppression and the powerful while accept inequitable and oppressive conditions?  Do too many people accept establishment politics as inevitable and therefore accept the current political system?  Would many people support even a nonviolent revolution?  Nonviolent revolutions, including the movements that expanded civil and economic rights, are necessary if we want to restore the rights of the people to rise against crony government and corporations. We have to do more than celebrate novels or novelists who write about oppression. A nonviolent revolutions can make visible the oppression and collaborate for concrete change.  This has occurred and is occurring around the world but, like the conclusions in many of the novels, injustice prevails.  Maybe, an “outside the box idea,” is to collaborate on making the novel a documentary - not just another movie.

Work cited:

"Social Revolution in India :Part 1." India Opines. India Opines, 21 June 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Alexander, Theo. "The Story Behind 'Apocalypse Now': By Theo Alexander - Unsung Films."

Unsung Films. N.p., 09 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"George Orwell on Pacifism." Ben Norton. Ben Norton, 29 June 2013. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Price, Wayne. "Why I Am Not a Pacifist." Anarchist Library. Anarchist Library, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Greenwald, Abe. "Untangling the Pro-Intervention Argument - Commentary Magazine." Commentary Magazine. Commentary Magazine, 04 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

McElroy, Wendy. "Henry Thoreau and 'Civil Disobedience'" Thoreau.eserver, 2005. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay #4: What can violent films tell us about our obsession with violence?

This paper was my attempt to mix an analysis of this unit's topic and an analysis of war films. I used a lot that we learned from The Things They Carried and also some of my own research and conjecture. In putting the two ideas together, I came to the conclusion found at the end of the paper, but the process of writing the paper was the process of reaching the conclusion, not just explaining it. I found myself putting the ideas forth and then only connecting them at the end. I would like to do more research into the underlying psychology behind violent films, and in general how we react to role models (actors) doing something (violence). This could be imprinting, or it could be the tribal nature of humans, but I'd like to learn more about the psychology of violent films.

One of the hardest genres in film to get right is the war film. In an attempt to analyze film, one comes across this very tricky genre time and time again, and how hard it is to make a good war film. This may arise from the natural intricacies of telling a war story, and even the complicated nature of violence itself. I myself am interested in finding out how to make a good war film, and how this can apply to society’s greater, more general obsession with violence.

Storytelling is a constant battle to keep people engaged. A good storyteller will use all the tools in their tool belt to accomplish this goal: reveals, flashy visuals or details, twists, etc. Books, films, even songs use these same ideas and tools. In making a war film, the audience, we can assume, is already interested in the subject matter (and perversely so I might add). Years of western culture and civilization have trained them to love Hollywood shoot-em-up blockbusters and gory, violent video games. The fact that a war film can keep people entertained with its gore and violence is something addressed in two quotes from an interview with Tim O'Brien, the author of The Things They Carried, a prime example of a good war story. The two quotes (quotes two and three on this document) both suggest a different way of keeping the audience entertained: one way being a violent perverse attraction to violence and war and guns and bombs and death, the other being the immediate urgency that a war story and its consequential mortality brings to other morals, like love, relationships, and fairness.

Take, for example, the scene in Saving Private Ryan where the old veteran tears up at the grave, and then falls to his knees, bringing his family running. The shot shows an old veteran kneeling at a white cross tombstone, one of many that look the same in a graveyard of soldiers. The veteran kneels at the right of the frame, looking at the tombstone at the center of the frame. The tombstone splits the frame in half, separating the veteran from his family standing off in the distance. They are all dressed similarly, and so is the veteran, but their attention is (naturally) directed all over the place, some towards the veteran, some aimless, some amongst each other. The tombstone, while one of many just like it, is particular to this man, and keeps him separated visually from his family, as if they could never experience the things he has experienced, and so they can never truly connect with him. As the veteran falls down, the family runs up to him. The urgency of this experience is amplified by the family's own urgency, but is already engaging because of our subconscious awareness of mortality in this war story. The rest of the film may be engaging for that reason too, and also because of our "pornographic" infatuation with violence and war, but this specific scene just goes to show how themes can be amplified and morals can be engaged with when faced with the blatant mortality of war.

Many war stories attempt to cover different perspectives. Quote number eight from the O’Brien interview explains more about this. The Things They Carried covers only the perspectives of the soldiers, and while all of the different stories may extend the perspectives, they're still a perspective heard from another perspective; a story within a story. The book only covers one perspective. When the soldiers confront the corpse of a Viet Cong soldier, they are in fact confronting another perspective. The story does not extend past what the soldiers (in fact what O'Brien) saw of this new perspective. A good war story should, therefore, not extend to unknown perspectives, but just analyze them from the known perspective. It is like looking into another house from your own house. You cannot see what your window does not reveal.

The question to answer is this: what can violent films tell us about our obsession with violence? The answer itself is simple, although arriving to this conclusion might be a little more complicated. The reaction to and popularity of violent films are the most measurable insight into violence that those films can give us. Of the top ten all time highest grossing films (according to this list on, eight of them featured violence. Of the infinite number of topics and plots to be covered in a film, violence is not featured in so many of them, and yet the most popular films usually feature violence, if not center around it completely. It should be an evident insight into the human psyche to see that our most popular films are those that glorify, romanticize, and practically endorse violence. If we see our favorite actor beating the crap out of some dude, aren’t we going to do the same? It’s the simple psychology of following a role model, and if the movies you see everyday promote violence, how can you not practice it?

We have a “pornographic” interest in violence, which extends to an obsession. While war films are feats of storytelling, and enhance the story being told, they definitely end up promoting violence. War films are an insight into our obsession with violence, because violence enhances morals, and makes our mortality come to the surface, making everything else more real. We love seeing more violent films because we’re obsessed with violence and the way it affects storytelling. This ends up endorsing violence, and making it both more accepted as well as more practiced by society. Violent films show us that our obsession with violence stems from its effect on storytelling, and that this promotes violence in our society.

Works Cited

"All Time Highest Grossing Movies Worldwide." The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016. <>.

Interview with Tim O’Brien

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. New York: Broadway, 1998. Print.

Advanced Essay #4: A Nonviolent Society

This essay was inspired by the war unit we are now in. I choose to write about violence vs nonviolence and how they clash, but also come together. In this world we have advanced so much from where we came from, but still there's ideas and principles that should be implemented to create a more tolerable world. I more so focused on whether you can have a society rooted in nonviolence or not, and then it goes into how I feel about it all. This is how it all came together. 

The world we live in has vastly changed through the years. New ideas, new possibilities, new understandings of what should be done. Some may say for the better while others say for the worst. It’s all really a personal opinion on your take for how things are. This world has both good and evil co-existing to have a balance between the two. An equilibrium on a spectrum that should probably never tip to one’s favor, but through the years it always seem to fluctuate from being equal. That’s something that we all have to deal with, and I fear it’s only going to be an even bigger problem as I grow older.

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In this image you have two hands. Both have blood on all of the fingers plus the thumb. This white man’s hands are held out forward as if he’s thinking about what just happened. Maybe somebody he knew just died in his hands, or he just got finished from making someone bleed from whatever he did. The possibilities are endless to what I may think happened, but only he could tell me the real story. The story behind why he now has blood on his hands, and what is going through his head at this point. Was it all a setup, was this all his plan, or is just all a misunderstanding on my part. Not everything is what is seems, but even with this glimpse of the whole picture, you would assume the worst or maybe that’s just something some people do.

We advance ourselves everyday. New ideas turn into new possibilities, which bring new promise to the world we live in. Our brains work together to show that the human mind is endless. From what we wear, to eat, to what we use everyday. Advancements in our technology make us superior to others, but also instills fear to those around it. It can be used to help or harm depending on who wields it. America embraces the idea of militarism, using it almost as a superpower. Warfare, new implications of drones to inflict massive amounts of damage, use for reconnaissance, and help to assassinate HVTs. They use the human interaction in order to pilot and ensure that with each strike they kill the intended target. A job where we have to come together for the greater good, but at whose expense for when civilians are in the radius.

Nonviolence, a new art that’s hard to master. A concept involving conquering fear, a inner peace to be reached, and willing and able to accept others. Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Park, examples of these things that can come to mind automatically. They valued nonviolence as their weapon to fight against the society they lived in. Each wanted to create a world where they would rather live in. One where you’re free. One where they no longer have to fight, but they only embraced nonviolence. They knew they couldn’t add to the fire already taking the lives of those around them, but still they had to keep the pressure for change. They evolved with the world around them to better fight, but still never breaking their promise. Maybe more need to follow in their footsteps to have a better chance at change. Maybe violence only adds more uncontrolled anger, but if able to control it, maybe there can be a new change. Just think about this, “how do we deal with extreme violence without using force in return…”

Engulfed in the way that society was created. Having the idea that you need to have both sides in order to have a “perfect society” if it even exists. Violence and nonviolence go hand and hand. Both need to exist in order for there to be a real balance. It’s like a yin-and-yang, good and evil, they co-exist for the balance to be complete in the world. Without a general balance it tips to one side and society falls off. A take over of one side whether good or evil, but usually it tips over to be more evil. Racism in America, enslavement, or just a take over of another country all categorize as the evil taking over. In their mind they may believe that they’re right, but for those underneath them now, they see them as wrong. It’s all determined by who is in power, and so with that I can’t believe we can have a society rooted in nonviolence. They need to both exist or who can say what’s right from wrong.  

Advanced Essay 4 Ameena Atif

I found my image and similar images on Twitter. Twitter is a public platform where messages, posts, images, and videos can be shared all over the world. These images that displayed violence were easily accessible to me and everyone else around the world. Who should take the responsibility for graphic imagery and violations of human rights? Should Americans even be allowed to see this? Which government should take responsibility for this, Syrian? American?, or both? I knew that for my essay I wanted to explore the theme “Responsibility for Violence”.


In the photograph above rubble dominates the scene. If you look towards the right side of the image, you will see a man sitting down, knees up, his back up against a broken wall, and his hand pressed against his forehead. Three men are standing far in the background and 5 people are standing on a roof. This image was taken in Syria. According to activists, the site was hit by a Scud missile in Aleppo’s Ard Al-Hamra neighborhood on February 23, 2013.

The Syrian Civil War has tremendously exploded since pro-democracy protests broke out in March of 2011. The horrible regime of Bashar al-Assad caused the protests. These protests fueled a war that has had major casualties. The lives of civilians were taken by increasing violence.

   I found this image and similar images on Twitter. Twitter is a public platform where messages, posts, images, and videos can be shared all over the world. These graphic images were easily accessible to me and everyone else around the world. Who should take the responsibility for graphic imagery and violations of human rights? Should Americans even be allowed to see this? Which government should take responsibility for this, Syrian? American?, or both? I knew that for my essay I wanted to explore the theme “Responsibility for Violence”. Immediately these questions surfaced when I saw the images of the Syrian war.

The violation of human rights don’t stop in Syria. They continue to Israel. The use of cameras in the West Bank is a major issue. An article detailing the events of the West Bank reads, “When Israeli security forces arrived in the middle of the night at the Tamimi house in Nabi Salih, the occupied West Bank, the family was already in bed. The raid was not unexpected, as news had traveled around the village on that day in January 2011: Soldiers were coming to houses at night, demanding that young children be roused from sleep to be photographed for military records (to assist, they said, in the identification of stone throwers).” The soldiers seem the most responsible for violating human rights. However, even the soldiers have to report to a higher power. This made me think, “What are the guidelines for how militaries should act?” Violating human rights has taken over militaries. Even though the raid was not unexpected the children that suffered that traumatic experience will live with the memory for the rest of their lives. For many Americans this comes as as surprise. Privileged Americans, myself included. Do not have to worry whether security forces will barge in our homes in the middle of the night. Americans should stand up and recognize that this is wrong and is a violation of human rights.

The article also gave details on footage of the raid, “Bilal Tamimi, Nabi Salih’s most experienced videographer, had his own camcorder at the ready by his bedside table when he was awoken by the knock on the door. His sometimes shaky footage, drowsiness and concern for his children making his hand unsteady, subsequently ran on Israel’s evening news programs, the video provided by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem as part of its effort to document army abuses in the Occupied Territories. The footage told two stories, testifying to the increasing use of photography both by the army as a means of counterinsurgency and by Palestinians under occupation for evidence and self-protection. In the West Bank today, cameras are ubiquitous, as is the usage of social media as a means of online witnessing. Both are deemed nothing less than political necessities, the sine qua non of political claims in the networked court of public opinion.” The term political necessities worries me the most. Those that use the cameras are taking into consideration whether human rights are being abused.

In conclusion, I would like if everyone identified these horrific images when they are seen on social media. Who should take the responsibility for graphic imagery and violations of human rights? Should Americans even be allowed to see this? Which governments should take responsibility for this?


Works Cited:

"Beyond Vietnam**." Beyond Vietnam**. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

"Viral Occupation | Middle East Research and Information Project." Viral Occupation | Middle East Research and Information Project. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

*Image failed to upload

Advanced Essay 4: The Mystery Of Anonymity

The topic of anonymity can stretch as far as the mind can think in every direction. I decided to try and help people by giving them a starting point in order to begin to think about the different sides of people. In this essay I talk about the way people act differently when they are anonymous versus when they are just themselves, their identified selves. I also talked about different way that people become anonymous both literally and figuratively. My main goal is just to get people to think more about this subject. I hope you enjoy. 

There are always two sides to everyone. The identified side and the anonymous side. The identified side being the side that they show to everyone; the regular side of themselves. The anonymous side is the side that people do not see in each other; the side in which people take their deepest feelings and thoughts and express them. Although it is, most times, not a bad side of people, there are always the people who like to show their dark sides when they are anonymous in a sense.

Philip Zimbardo is an expert psychologist as well as the former leader of the widely known Stanford Prison Experiment that took place in 1971. The experiment was a test of good vs evil. Philip Zimbardo used students from Stanford University and made some of them prison guards and other prisoners. After time passed they psychologists noticed the students who were prison guards were getting really into their roles. They were getting harsher since they were in a position of power. I believe that even with the power, the students who played the prison guards wouldn’t have acted brutally to the students who played the prisoners. So what was it? The students who played the guards were in some way shape or form anonymous.

“You want to say that again boy?!” Says the police officer to the young man in front of him. The man is as close now as he can get. His balled fists are cut out of the photo though you can tell by his battle ready face that he won’t take anymore of the unnecessary bullshit the cop is coming to him with. The cop is as battle ready as the young man as he steps closer to him ready to take the young man away after any action out of line. Immediately the cop reacts and beats the young man. Why? He is a cop, his job is to keep order. Does he put the uniform on in order to gain authority over civilians or to keep the peace? Who knows, his uniform automatically gives him more power, he is a cop… a cookie that was created for and by the city he lives in.

Uniforms play a big role in the topic of anonymity. When I say uniforms, I mean it in a literal and figurative sense. When having to do with anonymity in a literal sense, uniforms are disguises, masks, and even regular uniforms. But if you look at a uniform in a figurative way, you realize that people are just playing a role. They are the dough under the cookie cutter. Something happens in people’s minds when they know they are just ‘doing their job’. That is what happened to the students who were the prison guards during the notorious Stanford Experiment. I have good reason to believe that the students who were the guards felt a sense of anonymity when they put on the uniforms because at the end of the day, they were only playing a role. They were anonymous and that is when they started showing the darker side of themselves. Ball players have to play ball because that is their role, it is their job. There are some cases when people gain authority and take that to another level though, just like the student guards in the experiment. Even if they don’t want to, police have to arrest people who commit crimes because that is their role in society when they put on the uniform. A soldier has to fight for his country because that is his job when he puts on the uniform, he knows it is kill or be killed.

The military is another world in itself. There are so many different factors that go into the relationship between the uniform, the soldier, and the future soldier. The future soldier is the youth, the kids who look up to these heroes. Today in age, many kids submerge themselves in the world of video games. Violent games are the top sellers these days which is extremely important when thinking about the next generations. The military has been taking advantage of these violent video games and they give the future soldier a glimpse into the world of the military. The future soldier is obviously going to be starstruck because it is just the world we live in. So now we have these non violent kids playing violent video games all day; doing things that they know they will not do in real life (most kids). Why do they do it? They do it because they are (like the student guards in uniforms) anonymous. They do not consider themselves as them when playing these games, they are playing a role and the character is their uniform. What they do in the game will not impact their real lives therefore they feel like they have the freedom to fight other characters, harass other characters, to kill other characters. This is a serious problem because it can affect the way the child grows. The military uses these violent and militaristic games in order to recruit these kids because if you give kids a glimpse of what this is and they (for some reason) enjoy it, then that is automatic recruits in the future.

No one can ever see the anonymous side of someone until they show it. That is why the idea of anonymity is such a mystery because it can play into so many aspects of society. Everyone has the potential to be good and evil, it’s just up to them to decide what side to show. But from Town Devils to cookie cut villains, this world is truly filled with a variety of personalities and voices that are all just waiting to be seen and heard.


RT Editors. "'Justice for Everyone!' Thousands Stand up against Police Brutality in Ferguson, St. Louis." RT International. RT, 07 Aug. 2015. Web. <>.

Maraniss, David. "FBI Agent Uncovers the Truth of Prison Brutality."Washington Post. The Washington Post, 06 Nov. 2014. Web. <>.

Witness Media Lab Editors. "Caught on Camera: Police Abuse in the U.S."WITNESS Media Lab. WITNESS, 08 Sept. 2015. Web. <>.

PBS Editors. "The Army Experience Center." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. <>.

Zimbardo, Philip. "The Psychology of Evil." Philip Zimbardo:. TED Talk, Feb. 2008. Web. <>.

Advanced Essay #4: Social normality and Violence


In english, we have been studying violence and militarism. I found this unit to be inspiring. The essay below is about how violence changes life around us and creates an endless cycle. Unlike the past advanced essays, this one is very factual. I feel like this essay should demonstrates a skill for analysis and critical thinking.


Violence has a long standing history in society. Violence is ingrained in human nature in many ways. An understanding of violence now plays a key role in many of our social interactions. Some people have even evolved to be more aggressive because as as a society we reward aggression.
One known genetic activity that predisposes people to physical aggression is a low activity form of monoamine oxidase. Monoamine oxidase is an enzyme that deconstructs key neurotransmitters. According to Brown university this is much more common in countries with a history of war. Even though Darwinism isn’t easily applicable to the modern man because of the complexities of human attractions, The fact that this gene can still be found suggest that there is some benefit to aggression in the modern day. And there is. For whatever reason people find aggression to be dominating and it’s often confused for assertive. Although a society such as ours could never condone outright violence between it’s members, a functional type of aggression is encouraged. We see this on Wall Street, where aggression, greed , and a type of barbarism are thought of as the essential qualities of a good stock broker. We see this type of aggression in radical groups, where it’s often confused for passion.
Behavioral evidence of how are sour social interactions have been altered by violence can be seen in the way we treat the natural  phenomenon fight or flight.Most people are familiar with the fight or flight instinct. It’s what compels you to either flee from danger or address it head on. We often reward and cherish the instinct to fight while we shame those who follow the flight instinct. This illustrated in the book “The Things We Carry” by  TIm O’Brien. In the book he states that the primary motivation for fighting in the Vietnam War for many soldiers was, they would be embarrassed not to. They feared being called cowards by their contemporaries. This is profound because of what it says violence in America. Circumstances aside, many of the characters believe pacifism is weakness and something to be ashamed of. This severe and negative connotation seem inherently wrong. Pacifism is objectively beneficial. All major religions agree that pacifism is a virtue. This fear of non-violence is abnormal, but strong in our society. During World War I, a man named Evan Thomas refused to fight because he thought it was immoral. He was court martialed and prosecuted. During his prosecution, a debate about cowardice verse pacifism arose. The prosecutor is quoted as saying “The very foundation of every civilized government from the first beginning of history down to the present time has been based absolutely upon force of arms… Gentlemen, if we don’t punish these cowards who appear in this land like the sore spots on our bodies to the fullest limit of the law, this government cannot survive.”

The image above shows two little boys playing. One is pinned to the wall by the other. The one pinned to the wall has a fake gun pressed to his brow. Both boys are smiling vigorously, but the one on the wall appears to be on the edge of laughter. The image as a whole is a disturbing look at how violence changes social normalities. American culture is saturated in violence. Violence is so present that even children have an intimate relationship with the concept. They grow numb to the sight of gore. Acts of violence become casual or even humorous. The negative effects of childhood exposure to violence are well documented.  Children who are exposed to this violence learn at an early age that some forms of violence are an acceptable way to solve problems.
Intervention with behaviors that model this mentality in their children  fail to suffocate these ideas in the long term. Data from the Department of Justice states that those who are exposed to violence at a young age have an increased risk of falling into criminal activity. Specifically violent crime, which demonstrates a lack of awareness of acceptable social interactions. These people have permanently altered views on social norms which stand to protect us against such violences as rape, petty murder, and assault.
In conclusion, Violence alters social normalities, which in turn allows for  more violence. This creates a positive feedback loop that has the potential to alter human societies in such a way that it affects us on even the most obscure and unexpected ways. We’ve seen it affect us on both a genetic and philosophical level.

Work cited:

Sontag, Susan. "Regarding The Torture Of Others." The New York Times. The New York Times, 22 May 2004. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"African Americans in the Vietnam War." African Americans in the Vietnam War. Illinois University, 20 Dec. 2009. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. New York: Broadway, 1998. Print.

Rose McDermott. "Some People Just Like to Fight." Political Violence a Glance. N.p., 03 Feb. 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Thomas, Louisa. "Give Pacifism a Chance." The New York Times. The New York Times, 27 Aug. 2011. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"Facts about Children and Violence." Facts about Children and Violence. The Department of Justice, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay #4: Media Influences

Writing this paper, I wanted to write about everything I could, but I soon realized that I have to focus on one main point, then I could expand on what I was saying. I wanted to make sure I got multiple perspectives in my paper so that people could form their own opinion on the matter instead of me brainwashing them into what they should think. I think I got stuck when I thought of what picture and description I should add to make it relate to my paper as much as possible, but once I found the perfect picture, it soon flowed like I wanted it to. 

You sit down to watch some T.V. You get the remote and put the news on. You will see a puppy being rescued by a local hero, Donald Trump being Donald Trump, or you will see devastating news of what our world has come to. Now, when I see this on the screen, I think to myself how different each of these stories would be if the media coverage wasn’t as biased as it is. Being the photographer that I am, I can tell you that a portrait I have of someone can rather embody exactly who they are or it can be nothing like them. It really depends on how you look at it. Now, there are plenty of different artistic ways to display a person, you can photograph them, record them, paint them, or write about them. All of these are different from each other, and every artist knows that you can change the story behind the art. News sources and any individual with videotaped evidence can show different perspectives based on their stance of the event.

Now, in recent news, you can hear the idea of funding body cameras to ensure safety for the police and the people they may be interacting with. This idea may be infuriating to some because if a bystander or witness were to record the incident, suddenly the police must act up and turn off the camera. So, why would it be okay for the police to own body cameras but bystanders have to shut them off? This can prove a point that when you have power in a situation, you can use it to avoid any trouble, which makes it harder for people without power to actually speak up about it.


As you can see in the picture above, the man is pointing a gun at the camera. He has people behind him and all three of them have their hoods up as if to keep themselves unidentifiable. It can relate to the idea that if police officers have body cameras, they can take away situations like this. But, say we switch around the scenario here, we make the police officer have the gun and the kid have a camera, suddenly now, it's a crime on the kid.

Cameras can now be seen as another weapon police officers can have on their belt. This has stirred up attention to make people think that cameras are the new guns, which would only be relevant because in some states, it is now illegal to videotape cops. The idea that a person cannot record police but police officers should have body cameras to keep them safe just shows that you can only gain power if you have it in the first place. An article from says, “Hyde used his recording to file a harassment complaint against the police. After doing so, he was criminally charged.” This shows that cameras won’t be used to defend you anymore, but instead to protect police from interactions they get into.

This is how media can take art and add a different approach to it. Now, in the states where it is now illegal to videotape police interactions, people's art won’t be beneficial in helping them anymore. Here, it has shown to not work because of the higher power, while other countries have found it better, if people can get educated on ways to help themselves.

In the West Bank of Palestine, one man is helping to create a way of protecting himself and the people in his community. “Bilal Tamimi, Nabi Salih’s most experienced videographer, had his own camcorder at the ready by his bedside table when he was awoken by the knock on the door. His sometimes shaky footage, drowsiness and concern for his children making his hand unsteady, subsequently ran on Israel’s evening news programs, the video provided by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem as part of its effort to document army abuses in the Occupied Territories.” This shows that in some places cameras are helping civilians.

This can prove the point that depending on how people interpret the art they see, they might find it helpful or destructive. Your art may or may not protect you because of the higher power established in the community. This is what separates America from the rest of the world. It shows that America isn’t necessarily for the people and that we have no control or power as Americans.

So, then, you would think, what draws the line? The idea that some people in America can be arrested for police interactions shows that Americans have no power. We aren’t able to do what we need to do to live. While Palestinians have their own struggles, it is interesting that they have more power than we can, and they have their lives on the line on a daily basis. That is amazing that we live in a world where this can happen.

Advanced Essay #4: Blissfully Violent

My goal for this paper was to explore the cause for gun violence in cities, and what ignorance and privilege has to do with that violence. I chose to focus on gun violence in big cities for two reasons: 1) gun violence is one of the most common forms of violence in big cities, and 2) it seems to disproportionately affect minorities in cities. I wanted to make sure that this paper addressed an issue that I see in a lot of white people. We carry this sense of separation from the violence, despite the fact that it is often happening inside our own cities. 

In 2013, Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church covered the entirety of their lawn in crosses. They were fashioned out of PVC piping and each had a white, red, orange, or beige t-shirt on it. Each shirt had the name of a gun violence victim on it, as well as their age and the day they died. In front of all of these crosses was a sign that read “Philadelphia- highest major-city gun death rate. Where are you, Mayor Nutter?” Each crosses represented one of the 331 people who died because of gun violence in Philadelphia in 2012.

I was thirteen when I drove past this display on my way to my church. I haven’t been able to shake that image from my head. I always knew that Philadelphia is a violent city but I’d been sheltered from just how violent it is. Though I regularly watched the news at night, and I saw the reports about murders in the city, I’d always felt disconnected. I didn’t know anyone from those parts of the city, they didn’t even seem like part of the city I grew up in. I was allowed blissful ignorance because, for the most part, people who looked like me weren’t affected.

I used to go to a private Catholic school outside the city. I was lucky, in that regard. I was never sent to one of Philadelphia’s numerous underperforming neighborhood schools. However, because I was sent to Waldron Mercy Academy,  a private school, I was only ever really exposed to the life of people living in the Main Line. I was never exposed to the harsh reality that so many people in this city live every day. This began to change as I entered SLA, especially during the beginning of my sophomore year, with death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The more evidence of police brutality that came out, the more determined I was to rid myself of my ignorance. As Madeleine Bair from WITNESS has said, “With all the videos that have flooded our news feeds and turned names of victims into hashtags of a social movement, how many videos have we not seen?” How many videos are out there that we haven’t seen because of the almost willful ignorance to this topic. And how many of these incidences have happened with no one there to record what was happening. How many people, how many cops, have gotten off because no one wants to believe a cop is capable of something this terrible.

People, especially people uneffected by it, have a way of trivializing violence. We find ways to make it seem like it isn’t such a big deal, and that it doesn’t affect many people. I was one of those people. I let myself be blinded by the privilege I held, and if I wasn’t going to SLA, I most likely still would be. I can see the posts that my friends from my middle school put up on Facebook, and I don’t know how to react. They trivialize the Black Lives Matter movement and don’t want to acknowledge the systematic oppression that extends into every aspect of our country. And they certainly aren’t the only ones. According to a survey conducted by PBS NewsHour and Marist College, “59 percent of whites described the [Black Lives Matter] movement as a distraction from the real issues, whereas only 26 percent of African Americans felt this way.”

At this point, we’ve accepted gun violence as a part of life. We certainly don’t want it to be something we regularly hear about on the news, but the way we see it, there is nothing we can do. While this idea is beginning to change, especially in the African American community, one of the communities most affected by violence, this change is facing an uphill battle. Ignorance is indeed bliss, and that comfort is not something many people want to leave behind. We, as people with privilege, do not want to acknowledge this privilege, because than it means that we acknowledge that change needs to happen, and that is something we don’t want to do. The system as it is works incredibly well for us, but only because the system is rigged that way. We have an advantage solely because others do not.

And we, people with privilege, go out of our way to excuse that privilege. We try to talk our way out of the privilege we hold. And we do the same with regards to gun violence. As essayist Susan Sontag has said, “Words alter, words add, words subtract.” Words can be used to change a horrible situation that needs attention to an issue for other people to deal with. One of the only ways to combat this is to use photographic evidence. We might try to trivialize photos and videos, but seeing a horrible truth is different than hearing about it. In the same essay as above, Sontag also said, “The horror of what is shown in the photographs cannot be separated from the horror that the photographs were taken.” Although Sontag was talking about the images from Abu Ghraib in Iraq, her argument could easily be about police brutality and gun violence. Both situations were and are perpetrated by people we are supposed to trust. People who are supposed to protect us. And both situations are and were enacted on people they felt superior to. This is the definition of privilege.

In the end, this resignation surrounding gun violence stems from our ignorance and the ignorance of the people in charge, and that ignorance comes from the arrogance and unwillingness to admit to flaws that privilege provides. Privilege, especially white privilege, allows for people who have it to run away from the problems they created. It’s a proverbial ‘get out of jail free’ card. And it is only given to certain people for arbitrary things like gender and race. We need to learn to let go of privilege. It is a weapon no one should be able to use. Maybe we can’t get rid of it, but acknowledging it and the issues that it creates is the first step to taking away its power.

Works Cited

"'Black Lives Matter' Confounds White People | DiversityInc." DiversityInc. 25 Sept. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


"Caught on Camera: Police Abuse in the U.S." WITNESS Media Lab. 08 Sept. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


Sontag, Susan. "Regarding The Torture Of Others." The New York Times. The New York Times, 22 May 2004. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


Advance Essay #4: Video Evidence Against Violence

My goals for this paper were to show that video evidence of violence needs to be used to ensure that problems of violence aren't ignored. I tried to convey this goal by describing different organizations that have programs created to teach people how to use cameras to record violent acts. I also described why recording violence is an essential part make sure those who conduct violent acts are prosecuted accordingly. 

What’s going on in this picture? Look closely at the image above or view it in a <a href="">larger size</a>, then tell us what you see by posting a comment. On Friday, we will reveal more about the image and its origins at the bottom of this post.

With the increase of violent acts by the police on innocent citizens, there has been and still is a call for more police cameras and dash cams, cameras placed on the dashboards of police cars, to catch the police in the act or prevent them with the thought of being watched over. Videos serve as evidence for the public, for the rest of the world. Though not everyone has these cameras, videos are still recorded in hopes that there is no denying what happened. The Guardian describes the moments that led Feiden Santana to record the chase and unnecessary shooting of Walter Scott.

“Santana followed the chase for a few yards to a deserted patch of lawn behind a pawn shop and a car dealership. Here the officer caught up with the man, and ended up on top of him. Watching from behind a chainlink fence, Santana instinctively reached for his phone and pressed record…….Santana had hoped he might be noticed. “I believed my presence would prevent something,” he says softly, his voice almost drowned by the hum of cicadas. “But it didn’t happen that way.””  

There may be hope for evidence but circumstances stops these videos from being able to bring justice to current events in America. There is a low chance of the videos, recorded with phones, being used as evidence in courts. In many courts, phone recordings cannot be accepted as evidence in a trial. This shouldn’t be acceptable, with visual evidence of the events there should be a definite ruling against the defendant.

A younger boy with a cloth wrapped around his head is cutting away at the trunk of a tree. He is also in a leather jacket with black/dark blue pants with sandals. He is kneeling in the dirt to cut a lower section of the tree. You know the boy is in a forest because there are other trees in the background. There is also trash littered on the ground such as plastic bottles and abandoned towels. The boy’s face seem a calm with what he’s doing, his actions aren’t rushed. In countries such as Syria, the location of the above image, and even our own country, we need to provide video evidence to make people accountable for their actions.

As a result, programs are created to train people on how to record with camcorders and regular cameras. The training allows people to provide proper videos of violence and have evidence when reporting people conducting in violent acts. These programs, such as B'Tselem Camera Project have been set up to give the voiceless a way to speak out on unfair treatment. Before these programs were set up,there wasn’t a sure enough way that others would see the actions of others and would be able to stop what was happening in war torn countries and regions. The video recording programs and even recording on your own gives the backing that the human rights organizations need to showcase there is a serious problem that needs to be fixed so that people are able to live their daily lives without being faced with extreme acts of violence.

If these videos were piled together, the world can get a full view of places where conflict is common pace. The compilation of these videos also changes the world’s view on violence, they will be able to see for themselves what some people have to go through everyday. People don’t think about the certain violations that occur during wars. When there are cameras that actually film these events so that people can see what happens in other areas around the world, they put more effort into trying to stop these forces.

People view recordings as a way to cause more people to get involved in an issue. With visual proof of events that occurred, that person can’t deny what they have done and can get properly prosecuted. This is something you want to believe but a lot of the time people are still let free or never charged, such as officers timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback who shot and killed 12 year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland in 2014. The rise in unrest in the race issues in America causes people to call for cameras on police officers to record their actions. There were already videos taken by bystanders in previous occurrences but that didn’t stop the violence and it didn’t stop the officer from being let go.

These are the reasons why we need to let it be known of cases where violence is unnecessarily used and frequently used. Violence problems across the world can no longer be ignored. The general public needs to let their opinion be known and informed through records videos so that they can help with the problems we face as a modern world. We can no longer ignore the violence acted onto those who can't defend themselves.

Works Cited:

"Human Rights Campaigns & Projects from WITNESS." WITNESS. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

Laughland, Oliver, and Jon Swaine. "'I Dream about It Every Night': What Happens to Americans Who Film Police Violence?" The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <>.

"B'Tselem's Camera Project." B'Tselem Video. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.  <>.

Advanced essay #4: Technology Changes Everything..

​My goal for this paper is to answer the question "what is the difference between the "truth" and the "story"? I used many sources and quotes to try to answer this question. When I finally answered the question, I came with all of these other answer like race, technology, story and truth. Writing this paper made me think a lot of this question and all these other topics. It really made me think and think. Same thing that happen to Trayvon Martin can happen to anyone included myself. I think this piece was the best piece that I wrote. I can feel it. I took my time and made sure everything is perfect as I see it. 

Truth is a fact or something stated that is accepted as true. A story is an account of past events in someone’s life. The truth can’t always be true and a story can’t always be true. Technology can help us support stories and the truth but even technology doesn’t show hundred percent of the story. What is the actually difference between the truth and the story?

For example from, "What WITNESS does is create, support, and sustain a global network of people who use video as their tool, as their weapon. This network reminds us that we are not a single voice; we are not alone." Another example is “WITNESS identifies ways for citizens to capture and preserve footage to improve its chances of it being used in the courtroom. Through tools, training, and advocacy efforts, we aim to help activists capture and use video as evidentiary material.” Another example was “The WITNESS Media Lab is dedicated to addressing the challenges of sourcing, verifying, and contextualizing eyewitness video to advance its use as a powerful tool for human rights documentation and advocacy. Visit the Lab for curated footage, analysis, cases studies, and resources.” The last example is “WITNESS responds to crisis situations around the globe by providing on the ground trainings, coordinating with local citizens and organizations, and making online resources available in multiple languages. Our aim is to help human rights defenders film more safely and effectively in dangerous and unpredictable environments.”

Technology can sometimes be usefully by showing video evidence of what happened during an incident. Other times technology isn’t as useful. It wouldn't be useful in a situation where it only shows one or a single part of video footage of an incident. Video footage doesn’t always tell the full story or the truth. That’s why technology including cameras outside in the streets or in stores shows some evidence but don’t at the same time.

Screenshot 2016-03-18 at 1.07.34 PM - Edited.png

Here is a young African American male. This young African American male is about 17 years old. He is taking a picture and looking directly into the camera. He has a white hoodie on top of his head. His name is Trayvon Martin. As Trayvon looks into this picture his eyes look like he has fear and innocence in them. Martin facial expression makes him seem like he is a little bit angry or upset about something.

Technology was a big key in the Trayvon Martin case. Trayvon Martin was walking back from the store going back to his location when George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman, claims Trayvon had his hoodie on and was high. He called 9/11 and said something about African American being high walking around in the rain and he thought Trayvon was up to something. The cops told him not to follow Trayvon but he followed Trayvon anyways and then claimed they began arguing and then started fighting. After, he claimed Trayvon tried to grab his gun and then he pulled out his gun and shot Trayvon Martin in the chest.

CNN website gave us the whole story and everything with details including phone calls, maps, and more. CNN stated “The same analysis also didn't reach conclusions as to whether Zimmerman used a racial epithet to describe Martin on his own 911 call, as some have alleged. Martin's family have said they believe Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, profiled the African-American teen.” Another example is Zimmerman's voice, meanwhile, comes through on a 911 call he made around that time, telling a dispatcher about "a real suspicious guy." "This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's just walking around." Another example is “The dispatcher asked Zimmerman, who'd called 911 at least four times previously for other incidents, if he was following the person. He replies, We don't need you to do that," the dispatcher responded. But Zimmerman followed him anyway.” Last quote is “Federal civil rights charges are difficult to press, let alone get convictions for. In its press release about the decision, the lack of charges against Zimmerman are said to be a result of being unable to meet the standard of proving that the "defendant knew his acts were unlawful, and committed those acts in open defiance of the law. DOJ officials said they would have had to have proven that Zimmerman approached Martin in a threatening manner before the fatal shooting because of Martin's race.”

Technology helped us know where Trayvon was coming from and all the extra details. He don’t know if George Zimmerman shot him because he was a young African American male with a hoodie on. Even the police calls when George Zimmerman called the cops of him talking to them that part even helped the case out by the cell phones. We don’t know if this was the full story or if it was even the full truth. George Zimmerman got charged for murder that he committed. Then later on they released him because they didn’t have a whole lot of evidence to charge him with murder. People till this day still talk about this case because this wasn’t right and they let a guilty man let go.

Technology was also a big key in the Kevin Garner case. Kevin Garner was 43 African American male. Kevin Garner was a front of a store. A fight broke out with two other males. New York City Police put him in a chokehold and slamming his head to the pavement. He keep telling them he couldn’t breathe but they didn’t listen at all. He continued to choke him. They claim he was selling untaxed cigarette which is illegal. There is still a question if he was selling cigarettes or not? The police say yes and some of the witness say no. People say the police are saying yes because they would have a reason to arrest him and by killing him that they don’t get in trouble.. After all this talk the police officers were never charged. Technology played a role in this case, it didn’t give us the outcome that we wanted but in our heads we know the truth.

Simple Justice gave us the whole story with updates and a full video of what happen with police and Garner asking them multiple times to stop. Simple Justice stated “New York City police officers killed a man Thursday after he had broken up a fight between two other men, insisting on placing him in a chokehold and slamming his head to the pavement, piling on top of him as he gasped for air and as he continually told the cops he couldn’t breathe.” Another example from the website is “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Eric Garner, 43, repeatedly screamed after at least five NYPD officers took him down in front of a Tompkinsville beauty supply store when he resisted being handcuffed.” The website also stated “The entire incident was caught on video from a witness who kept telling the cops that the man had not committed a crime.” Another example is “Within moments Garner, a married father of six children with two grandchildren, ceased struggling and appeared to become unconscious as police called paramedics to the scene. An angry crowd gathered, some recording with smartphones.” They stated “He referred to police rules that forbid chokeholds and define them as including “any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.”

Technology helped us by giving us a clear view. It had recorded full video from witness smartphones of police going over to Kevin Garner getting choked up and getting over abused by officers. The smartphone video also helped us by giving us a story about what happen. It also had the part when Garner pleading to the cops that he couldn’t breathe at all. Did the officer do this because his skin color?

What is the difference between “story” and “truth”? Race, technology, story and truth all comes together as one big topic. By using technology like cell phones videos, store camera videos, police officer body camera videos, cop car dash cameras videos, we can actually see what is happening than someone saying their side of the story and some of the truth and not the full truth. With the world advancing we can catch the little stuff now and now days everyone records everything and anything. We can catch abuse from officer or any abuse or anything now days just because of the improvement of technology. We can catch on video racist acts happening to any skin color by another person. We can use the video to help us in court or anything to watch what happen but sometimes we don’t get the full video of what actually happen and the full thing. We can capture moments of the video but we probably wouldn’t get the full video.

Work cited used:

  • "NYPD Kills Eric Garner on Video (Update)." Simple Justice. 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

  • "Human Rights Campaigns & Projects from WITNESS." WITNESS. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

  • CNN. Cable News Network. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced essay #4, Noah Weinberger.

     In this essay, I address my personal view on violence and nonviolence and how we should strive to be non violent through our hardships with our enemies. My goal is for the reader to understand my point of view and get a general idea of why I believe they should support nonviolence. I hope that I can do a good job of convincing the reader why violence is not always the answer for conflicts with other people, and that there's a nicer, happier, and safer solution to said conflicts. In addition, I hope this essay is informative to give people an insight on how violence and nonviolence works. I hope you enjoy this essay, cheers.

There is a black handgun. The gun has been bent and twisted into a knot so it is not possible to shoot anyone with it. At the bottom is a message that promotes non violence. The letters are big and bold so they can stand out to the viewer. This image encourages people to take action in nonviolence and nonviolent activities.

In our society today, we come across many challenges that can cause people to become aggressive. We encounter many people who usually have the same idea as we do, and that is to excel in life and accomplish the many things they see fit. But not all of these plans are remotely friendly to our own plans. Some of these ideas are backed by huge amounts of power or energy that comes from a corporation or organization. However, despite this, the danger is truly present when an individual idea or multiple ideas are backed by a Nation when other Nations don’t see fit. The danger derives from violence, which can cause many horrible actions to be taken by the people who are encouraged to use it as a solution to their problems and disagreements. These actions can fall along the lines of heated arguments with a failure of two or more individuals and/or nations seeing eye to eye which leads to fighting breaking out between them, and even killing when it goes far enough. Violence is the solution nobody should aim towards, or at least, the solution everyone should turn to lastly when nothing else is working. Despite this, our country turns to violence and warfare as a solution in most situations. In fact, most of the United State’s past and present accomplishments were through warfare, such as the Revolutionary war, the Civil war, the Mexican war, the Spanish American war and many more.

Now that you have a general insight into Violence, you may be asking; “What’s so wrong with violence? When other countries come to fight, we fight back and win. In addition, violence has solved our problems countless times.” Well while this is all true in it’s own respect, we can solve our problems in a more pacifist manner that will allow us to build on our social ability to conversate with others by seeking a non violent route in a conflict that won’t cost the lives of possibly hundreds of people. While there are people truly evil at heart, most people who back a general idea that was spread, usually feel as if they were doing the right thing. People pick sides but not because they want to be “bad.” In fact, it’s most likely that the opposing side that one fights against might feel that they are good in their own sense. To back this up further,  Martin Luther King Jr. shares his thoughts by saying; “The nonviolent resister is just as opposed to the evil that he is standing against as the violent resister but he resists without violence.” Despite all this, we are never informed or even think about the other side most of the time when conflicts arise, and therefore, we are led to believe by other individuals, our world leaders, and our own assumptions that we are the “good” and that the opposing side are the “bad.” You can even pull the world wars into this line of view about who is really the enemy. One man, Adolf Hitler, somehow appealed to the majority of Germany’s population, and the Nazis who backed him most likely believed he was right. The people who supported the morally corrupt ideas of this truly wicked man at heart, were convinced that what he said was true. They didn’t view themselves as “evil”, they thought that his line of thought was “right” and by supporting him, they thought that what they were doing was “good” even though it wasn’t.

Since we now know about Non-Violence, you may be wondering; “So What causes violence to be the first solution? Well, we need to take a look into the origin of where all violence derives from. To do this, we would have to know what causes violent actions to take place. If we were to observe, we would know that violence comes from two key features, fear and anger. In Scilla Elworthy’s TED talk, she explains the following: “Anger is like gasoline. When you have too much, it spreads around, and when somebody lights a match, you got an inferno.” She further states; “My fear grows fat on the energy I feed it.” From this, we break the text down and analyze it. The text’s meaning is telling of how violence derives from anger and fear. When you let your anger take control of you, then you will be at loss for control over the actions you take from that point on until all the anger recedes. In today’s society, how many times have we let anger control us? Lots of times, we let anger do the talking when we get angry at another individual. Sometimes, in similar situations, anger can lead us to get upset over something stupid. Anger can even lead us to do dangerous things, such as driving when angry, to even attacking others. When one is too angry to control themselves, they can end up seriously injuring and/or kill themselves in the event that they were careless in the action they were taking part in. However, when it comes to the entire nation, anger can result in a violent war against the other nation that started the anger to rise in particular. In addition to this, fear also plays a big role in violence as well. When we fear of something, it’s usually for the reason of something horrible we are believing to encounter. We are genuinely afraid of many things, such as our house, our money, our Job, our life, and that’s okay. It’s okay to be afraid, but we must not dwell on it or we will never overcome it. Just like anger, too much fear can harm you and the others around you. Once you become too afraid by constantly feeding your fear with the horrors of your mind, fear will engulf you and take complete control of your life until the day comes where you will face that fear. The day you face that fear will have a different outcome determined from how much your fear grew. And it’s because of fear that one may make hasty decisions and choose to try and hide from the responsibilities in life that lead up to this fear. A life constantly lived in fear from an undetermined outcome is one most likely wasted. Why wasted you may ask, because on your deathbed, you will most likely regret the fear you didn’t face. This rule of thumb for fear can be applied to great nations as well, which can result in many wars as an outcome. When one nation becomes afraid of another, they may try to stay on the one nation’s “good side” by constantly supporting them. Some nations will not fight back against an invading nation if they know the odds are against them and either surrender early or let the invasion go on. Some nations who own a strong military but weak economy fear for failure of the nation opposed to the other nation who may have a weak military but a strong economy (Such as North and South Korea, where North Korea has a small economy compared to south Korea. This leads to North Korea attacking South Korea to try and take their economy). This fear could lead to invasions to overtake the other nation to prevent a possible failure in the economy.

Non violence would offer a solution to all of these conflicts, however. If we could all remain nonviolent and seek friendship through the enemy, we could possibly go to greater lengths as nations. Martin Luther King said himself that “the nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding.” If we befriended all of our allies and foes, then we would have minimal conflict and more focus directed towards helping each other excel in life with what we have already accomplished so far. After all, who deserves to die over a simple disagreement?

King, Martin Luther, Jr. "The Power of Nonviolence.", 4 June 1957. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Elworthy, Scilla. "Fighting with Nonviolence." Scilla Elworthy:., Apr. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


Advanced Essay #4: How social media and technology affect violence?

          A lot of the process parts of this paper was about patience because there was a lot of research that went into this piece. It was very surprising to see how many of this violence actually occur in our everyday lives. One of the things that I struggled on was to retell the incident in my essay without no plagiarism notice. I think one of my weaknesses is to rewrite a story differently without losing any meaning or lesson coming out of it. Besides that, I thought that I did a good job with delivering the message of my writing; I thought that the thesis was very clear. 

Technology have controlled how we do things in society today. In the last 30 year, internet have been invented and it has revolutionized many forms of communication. People have no problem contacting their relatives from all over the world. There are many benefits to this creation, but there are also many consequence that come with it. For the years that technology has changed our lives for the better, it also increased the rate of violence in our society.

I have a friend that likes to spend her time on social media posting pictures and tweets about what she is thinking, where she is at, what she is doing at the moment, etc. I received the news one night when talking to my cousin that she got into a severe argument because of a social media interaction that she had with another girl. Apparently, the girl commented on one of her photos intruding her business, then my friend got mad and got into an argument with that girl in private message. The time and date was noon at Love Park. They decided to bring that small situation to the actual world. My cousin and I knew that this will turn into a fight and we did not think that it was necessary at all. We were able to convince her into not showing up. The moral of my personal experience is that because of another person clicking the send button from their phone, it triggered someone else on the other side of the channel. From that point on, it can turn into an argument that can end up like my experience and turn really physical and violent.

With domestic violence being everywhere in the United States, the city of Chicago is specifically known to be a dangerous city. With many people living in the ghetto, you have many really menacing communities and neighborhoods. Many of those locations in Chicago contain dangerous gangs, illegal drug transactions, many weapon misuses, etc. With that, having the power of technology and advanced communication techniques, it made everything a lot more efficient. That make everything a lot more dangerous for those neighborhoods and it made it a lot more complicated for the police department to track down. Relating back to the thesis, because of the advance technology that is available to almost everyone, they were able to use that to their advantage and create a easier way of communication for themselves. With that, it increased the rate of overall violence, and most importantly, for the people that are natives to Chicago.

Violence is occurring because of the advance technologies that we create everyday. Looking at it from another domestic perspective: on December 3 of 2015, a teenager from Olney Charter High School was arrested because of a threatening post online. The teenager posted on social media saying that he is intending to shoot up the school. That message was apparently sent to a young teenage girl from his school. The mother saw the message and it triggered her into calling the police department. The teenage boy was then arrested a couple days after; the police found a semi automatic pistol in his house. This shows the great matter of what social media can do to individuals like the teenage girl and her mother.

On the other hand, there was two students arrested on November 11 of 2015 because they also posted a threatening post on social media. The two student, from University of Missouri, posted saying that they will shoot any Black person in their sight when they come into class tomorrow and warns everyone to be ready. They got arrested 3 hours after they posted online. This enhance my argument of technology and social media making violence a lot more revealing through our blurry vision in society.

Speaking of vision, there are many things that people, especially teenagers, are not careful of. People have two sides and we tend to forget that sometimes when we become their friend. The teenagers that have been arrested might have friends that never thought that they would do such thing, but coming to realize that, they really did commit something like that. The picture below explains a lot about what I am talking about, and that is why I chose it. This explain the different sides that people have, and you should always be cautious about who you hang out with. download.png

I only provided three examples regarding mostly social media violence, but there are most definitely more examples out there in the world. It is sad to say that, some of these posts actually lead to the physical violence phase, and people get severely hurt. With that, this does not mean that you stop using social media or technology in general, in fact, be cautious about what you are posting online and who you choose to hang out with because all of it have an impact on your safety.


"Olney Student Arrested after Alleged Threats of Violence on Social Media."PhillyVoice. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016. <>.

This source talks about an incident in Olney Charter High School. Because of a post on social media, it triggered a mother of a young teenage girl to call the police. The social media post said something about a 16 year old that is planning to shoot up his school. I can use this as an example of my thesis.

"Social Media Transforms the Way Chicago Fights Gang Violence." Social Media Transforms the Way Chicago Fights Gang Violence. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016. <>.

This website talks about the violence that happen in chicago and how social media changes it for the better or for the worst. Because Chicago has one of the highest rate of violence in its city, I decided to research on how social media impacted that rate.

"Is Our Addiction to Social Media Inspiring Violence?" Is Our Addiction to Social Media Inspiring Violence? N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2016. <>.

On this website, there is a question regarding violence that is put up. Everybody around the world is able to answer and debate about that question. I thought that it was interesting to study on what other people think about the topic of violence. This also gave me other inspiring topics to research about.

Alcindor, Yamiche, and Doug Stanglin. "2 Suspects Arrested in Social Media Threats at Missouri Campuses." USA Today. Gannett, 11 Nov. 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016. <>.

Like my first source, this is an example for my thesis. There were two suspects caught in a college in Missouri. The two suspects posted on social media about shooting any black person they encounter. This became and threat and they were eventually arrested because of it.

Advanced Essay 4: The World is a Tree

In this unit, we were going over how violence is incorporated in today's society. From all of our discussions, I decided to write about if we, as human beings, could live in a utopia, which is an absence of violence. My goal was to look towards the future and empower individuals. I use the stories of people who have been involved in wars in order to show how these violent situations can destroy the innocence of people and it starts with ourselves to have a utopia.

The world is a tree. It stands with strong roots built throughout the evolution of humans. In addition to building roots, human beings are the bark and stem of this tree. We have made societies that help make a strong system in order to exist in a world together. At the top half of this tree, the leaves are made up of the individual people of the world. The world is one big tree, but from the very beginning, this tree was always destined to have an ugly side. The side that is always shown is the side where it looks like every single person is able to receive the necessities and every person connected to the tree faces no type of traumatizing events.


This idea of the world being a tree is is presented in the above picture. The picture is made of  hands. It is a representation of the world and the countries that make up the world. There are seven bigger hands in the back of the smaller hands. This could be a representation of the 7 continents of the world. The entire picture is of hands, making it show humans make up everything given to us in this world. Throughout the history of the world, humans have found a way to adapt to certain situations and environments and this has helped us evolve overtime. The picture shows that everyone is born with an acceptance of every person no matter who they are and where they are from and this allows us to build a strong rooted tree, or just a strong society.

The idea of a world in which everyone happy and nobody experiences pain is something that would be ideal, but could we, as human beings, live in a society rooted in nonviolence? The real question is could human beings live in a utopia? The simple answer is no. The evolution of human beings has had tremendous bloodshed and with that bloodshed, people have held ideas that keep them from accepting others. This is just the unfortunate truth as to why humans couldn’t live in a utopia. But how does violence make a society unable to be in harmony?

In many instances through history, when a problem between two countries, groups, or people occurs, violence is the first solution often looked upon. As defined by Google, violence is behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something. When applied to conflicts between countries, these acts of violence lead to war. War is somethings that has heavily influenced the reason why humans beings wouldn’t be able to live in a utopia. For instance, Michael Abbatello joined the Marines and after coming home, he describes how his whole mindset changed. “Something is changed. You know, you feel down to your spirit. You know that you’re different now. You know, we don’t really have a consciousness of our own spirit until it’s wounded, and then it needs help” (PBS 2010). Micheal Abbatello is a real life example of of how war can destroy a person. When someone is placed into a very raw situation, such as war, the mindset of a perfect world is destroyed. As a result, as the idea of a peaceful world is destroyed and the world becomes a dog eat dog place.

In addition to Micheal Abbatello, many other people who are in war, whether they are civilians or soldiers, end up having their minds, morals, and outlook changed to a more negative perspective. Veterans came to our school and one of them named John Graham stated that “ war is easy to start, but hard to finish”. This is something that is true because no human being is born with an understanding on misery. Humans are born in an innocent state and this mindset is ruined because nothing in war is innocent.

Even though human beings could not live in the utopia anytime soon, there is still hope for the distant generations to live in a utopia. Right now, the world has a lot of violence penetrating the everyday lives and minds of innocent people. From the Syrian refugee crisis to the police brutality in the United States, violence in today's society is so prevalent that the current generation on the verge of living more into a dystopian society. However, the answer of how can this change lies within each individual. As Scilla Elworthy states, “It’s my response, my attitude towards oppression that I have control over… And what I need to do is to develop self-knowledge” (Fighting with Nonviolence, April 2012). This self knowledge is the realization that violent acts like war happen when humans let emotion overtake their thoughts and actions. In a situation,  Elworthy states, “That means I need to know how I tick, when I collapse, where my formidable points are, where my weaker points are. When do I give in? What will I stand up for?”. By being in control of our emotions, humans are in control of the world.

So the world tree that is in a wiltering state is able to stand upright once more again if people are aware of the power their emotions have in this world. “The only thing you can do is get up, make a cup of tea, and sit with that fear…...and anger is like gasoline and if you throw it around and someone lights a match, you have an inferno”. Controlling emotions is a major key in order for the world tree to go back into its original state: a utopia.

Works Cited:

  • Elworthy, Scilla. "Fighting with Nonviolence." TED. Apr. 2012. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

  • Severson, Lucky. "Moral Wounds of War." PBS. PBS, 28 May 2010. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

  • Gregory, Sam. "Images of Horror: Whose Roles and What Responsibilities? - WITNESS Blog." WITNESS Blog. 2014. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

Advanced Essay 4: Alexander Hamilton, the Hero of our Nation

Alexander Hamilton is the most important founding father in creating the future of our country, in my view. Hamilton believed that it was important to look to the future , not only the present, when creating our brand new nation. I am a big fan of Hamilton's and appreciate all he has given the country. I think he needs to be remembered. The Broadway musical surely does that but I wanted to dig deeper into his views on the military and how important it is to the US. Even though I am not a supporter of the intense funds given to the military, I think it's also important to realize the arguments speculating the importance of putting money into the military. It's important to question what would happen in the world and the US' stance in the world if we didn't prospect a strong military. The world would be different and Hamilton's views at the time expand on why it's important for the US to have a powerful military in order to succeed in the world. 

Alexander Hamilton, the man made famous in the 21st Century by a Broadway show. He was the man that documented the Coast Guard, was the top aide to George Washington, created our financial system, and embodied the influence and power of chance that our country holds for so many. When Hamilton first entered the borders of the United States to study in New York, the Revolutionary War was on the verge of beginning. The Revolutionary War was the armed conflict between the 13 colonies of North America (later to be known as the United States) and Great Britain. With the help of allies, the colonies ended up winning in 1783, after a eight year war filled with deaths and terror, and the United States became free formally in 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies, a top export to Britain in the 18th Century. He was “a bastard, orphan, son of a whore”, who conquered all the stereotypes to become one of the top political advisers in the late 18th Century to the 19th Century. His mother was divorced before meeting Alexander’s father and through that, Alexander was immediately seen as less than other kids his age. He immigrated to the colonies with the funds of a scholarship created by his neighbors who saw strong potential in the book obsessed, intelligent young man. From then on he was an immigrant also, beginning his studies at King's College. In 1775, he became a member of a militia company.

By 1776, he was appointed as captain to his company, a group of other army folk from across the 13 colonies. The company he inspired, is the longest consecutively serving company in the US Army. Soon afterwards, he became the top aide to George Washington. Hamilton was put in charge of a wide range of military conflicts and intel as one of the most important confidants of the army general. Hamilton was the first person to make contact with British troops during the battle of Yorktown. He was on the front line and captivated a daring personality during the battle that ultimately designed our country. After Yorktown, with the exception of Washington, Hamilton was the most popular figure in the 13 colonies. Washington trusted Hamilton’s opinion during intel conversations greater than anyone else. From that, Hamilton played a top settler on militarial intelligence and participated in top communications during battles. Hamilton played a key role in Yorktown and other conflicts.

Washington and Hamilton were adoringly close. Their relationship was admired as a father and son relationship, one filled with trust, admiration, and grit. Considering that Hamilton had never had an acquaintance with his father, Washington became the father like figure of the young scholar. In a famous picture, on a battleground stand the two. With Washington being much taller than Hamilton, he stands tall and confident with his hand placed admirably on his beloved horse. Hamilton with his shorter and prouder manner, stands in a insightful fashion near his adored friend. The two prop on a battlefield, the area where the two of them became close and joined together in a mission to acquire their joint country (or adopted country in the case of Hamilton) to create the greatest United States of America that was possible.

Hamilton’s views were transferred and created by his role in the army, playing a deep root in his values as he grew to become a political top aide. Hamilton understood the importance of the army but also the importance of valuing human life and creating a cap to place war as the last resort. His close relationship with a military hero, George Washington, had deep meaning for the rest of his life. His time in the military changed him and history. From a review of the 1999 book, Republican Empire: Alexander Hamilton on War and Free Government, by the Independent Review “The greatest differences between Hamilton and his political opponents involved war. Distrusting the intentions of all the great powers of Europe, Hamilton feared that war was right around the corner and that a responsible administration had to prepare the country for it. His opponents were less fearful of war and more trusting of European intentions. By the end of the 1790s, those opponents included not only Jefferson and Madison, but also President John Adams, who resented Washington’s insistence that Hamilton be commissioned a major general and made inspector-general, akin to today’s army chief of staff, during the quasi-war with France.”

Without Hamilton’s views and inputs in the early years of our country, our country would not be the same. Hamilton believed that putting funds and intelligence into defense for the United States would allow us to become the most powerful nation on earth. As we see now, just under a third of our country’s budget goes to the military and it was due to Hamilton who advocated for that to be done. During the times of Hamilton this could have been more useful, considering there were many more reasons to have input in the defense of a brand new country. Hamilton changed the role of the US and its military in the world.  

Hamilton believed in the United States of America and all it could achieve. Through his outspoken values and his creative, non stop writings, Hamilton established his name in the history books of our country. Yet, through remembering all that he achieved to create the country that now stands above all in terms of economic and military power, Hamilton helped make this country. Without Hamilton our military wouldn’t be the same. Our stance in the world wouldn’t be the same. And by God, our country would not be the same.

Hamilton changed history. Without Hamilton our country would be different. There would not be such an input in our countries military and intelligence. The US became the greatest world power in World War One, in many ways due to the influence of its military in domestic and international affairs. Without Hamilton’s input to get to that point of putting the military over many other domestic issues, our country wouldn’t be the same it is now. The US is powerful (whether you like it or not) due in part of the funds to the military. To get rid of those ideas would be to get rid of Hamilton. Our idea of a free press would hold no truth without his intense writings that captivated citizens. Without Hamilton, our country wouldn’t be the way it is. Hamilton created the United States of America and he should be remembered as more than a $10 bill. He deserves the respect that we accomplish to all other founding fathers. His mark is strong. Hamilton is the one that made the US and the world what it is.


"Alexander Hamilton." Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.

"Book Review: Republican Empire: Alexander Hamilton on War and Free Government." The Independent Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.  

"H-Net Reviews." H-Net Reviews. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016.


Title: Quién Soy Yo (Who I Am)

Julia Furman.

Soy yo.

Otra adolescente.

Tengo quince años.

La hija de ciudadanos Americanos.

Simplemente quiero ser aceptada.

Veo los edificios de la ciudad.

Huelo la cocina de mi mamá.

Saboreo mi limonada casera.

Oigo el ladrino de los perros.

Toco el pelo de mi perro.

Soy de los Estados Unidos.

Vivo con la águila.

Vengo desde sangre abolicionista.

Buscando el mejor futoro para el mundo.

Somos productos de los Estados Unidos.

Somos ciudadanos Americanos.

No somos europeos.

Europa vive en nosotros,

Pero allí no tenemos hogar.

Tenemos hogar en los Estados Unidos.

Somos Americanos

y somos completos.

Nuestra verdad.

jfurman's song

E1 U5 "Buscando"


Leah es mi nombre

Vivo buscando el azul del cielo

De tanto caminar en solidaridad

Quiero escapar, quiero volar

Tù crias rabia,

Pero vivo buscando el azul del cielo

Me voy con los barcos a las Américas

Camino con los inmigrantes a mi hogar

Afronto las corrientes de cambiar mareas polìticas

Mostró las personas mi pelo, mi ojos, mi vivo.

Somos de las Americanas

Pero somos siempre de mudanzas en Filadelfia

Somos parcialmente muchas lugares

Somos parte de Europa y Árabe

Pero no es mi hogar a mi familia

Las personas presutan,

?De donde soy es mi pelo?

Where is your hair from?

No digo nada. No se.

Leah Bradstreet

Written and sung with the music from Kamisama Hajimemashita's, "Ototoi Oide."

Spanish Words paired with -Ototoi Oide- from Kamisama Hajimemashita

Advanced Essay #4:American Ties

I chose to write about this topic because no one else was writing about it and it was a good idea at the time. I didn't have many options, and this was the one I could do the most with. I had a lot of sources, but I didn't quote any of them so I had to go back and find at last one to quote in my paper for some solid factual evidence. I didn't have much of a process, I just wrote the paper and was done with it.

There is a picture of people protesting the Vietnam War in the streets. There is a crowd of people on a street holding a sign above their heads that says:”Our real enemy is U.S Corporations and the rest is hidden behind other protesters. You can tell they’re angry, but stand tall. All the people in front have their arms linked, a sign of unity and strength. This image represents what Ii’ll be talking about in my advanced essay. This represents the people at home, angry and outraged at their friends, and family being sent off to fight in a war that isn’t necessarily theirs. In this essay we'll will be exploring the question of what america is trying to protect if it isn’t the people they send to fight for them. There are many answers to this question already, believing that war is the equivalent of a squabble between two children over something relatively insignificant. Unfortunately, in this situation, there is no parent to separate the two, so what could’ve been solved with a few words has now escalated into a full on fight between the two parties. This is war, if America isn’t putting the lives of its people before all else, there is no point to war.

The first aspect of war that shall be explored about is the aftereffects of it, specifically how veterans of war are celebrated once they return home. In particular, I want to talk about the Vietnam veterans. In one the bloodiest, longest, and most brutal wars of the century, the Vietnam veterans had probably gone through some of the toughest ordeals as soldiers, many of them only just out of high school. Because of this, many of them had looked to drugs and alcohol for comfort during the war to keep them sane.The U.S government knew this, and what did they do? They started outlawing all of the drugs that the soldiers had depended so heavily on left and right. IN an article in the New York Times, author Tim Hsia says this

“The Vietnam War casts an equally large shadow over American society. The Vietnam War exposed underlying racial issues, whether the elite had to serve, the role of the media, and distrust toward government.”

Being so addicted that they couldn’t stop. The older veterans, having more experience, were able to mostly re adjust to living in the States, but most of the younger ones couldn’t cope with the complete change and ended up resorting to crime to get by. The U.S noticed this, and that they were also exhibiting symptoms but was extremely reluctant to give aid to the 700,000 veterans that were in need of it. Even after agreeing to help them, treatment was stalled which only further progressed the veterans’ anxiety and trouble with adjusting to society."

Simply stating what I said before, this passage really highlighted the extent of America's lackluster response to the soldier's return, and the aid they required to blend in with the American society yet again. I feel that instead of taking reponsibility for what they were completely and totally responsible for, America shied away from its problems. In this way, their reluctance to treat the veterans and the lukewarm welcoming back to the states showed me the capacity for which america could really show indifference to the well being of their people

The second aspect of war that was a significant reminder of America’s treatment of citizens was the countries who weren’t even officially considered U.S citizens yet claimed to be U.S territories. For starters, how many people knew that Guam was a U.S territory? Probably not that many. Do you know what percentage of their people were drafted into the army in the War on the Philippines and the Spanish american war? 12.5%. That's an insanely high percentage. To put it on a scale, for every 8 people living in Guam, 1 of them was sent off to war. That meant every person living there knew someone who was either at war or was already a veteran of war. However, for being one of the most devoted people to the American cause, they received the smallest amount of money for treatment after the war. In a way, it’s like the U.S completely forgot that they were at the war at all. Even worse, Guam was given a representative in the U.S senate, yet they can’t vote. They are also affected by the laws passed in America, so it would only make sense for them to be able to vote for who will lead them. Even though america’s slogan is the home of the brave, land of the free, we shouldn't feel as confident sporting that knowing that thousands of miles away, there’s a country that is a U.S territory, yet treated like aliens. Is this the extent of America’s ability to serve and protect its people? Is this really the country we live in?

In conclusion, i’d have to say that we protect some, but not all of our citizens. America has many deep dark secrets that have yet to be uncovered, but hopefully they’ll begin to get better as time passes. The biggest concern right now is taking care of our citizens overseas like Puerto Rico, and Guam. After we tackle those issues, the hard part will be over, and the experience gained from those situations being solved will further evolve America as a country that can capably take care of its citizens.

Advanced Essay #4: "Now & Then"

My goals for this writing were mostly to inform. I wanted to compare how much the world has changed because it is important to see how differently things are done and understood. I wanted to make my thoughts clear to myself as well as the readers. When I felt as though my writing was complete I was satisfied with the results. I think my argument was strong, but there is always that thought that I could have done something to make it a little better,

Violence and nonviolence is not the same today as it was in the past. The image above shows an example of the mindset people have today. This image shows a man in a black body suit holding another mans head to look away from the homeless man lying on the ground. The homeless man is leaning against a piece of cardboard that is leaning against a building made of marble bricks, that is clearly not his own. The man in the black bodysuit is a physical version of our fears. The homeless man represents the reality that we need to face.

Fear has always played a big part in History. History is not just a subject in school, but a topic in life. If you were to ask somebody about what they first learned in History you are guaranteed to get an answer including Martin Luther King Jr. He is known as the king of nonviolence, and he has made many changes with this method. “Perhaps a more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home.” This is from his Beyond Vietnam speech in New York, NY on April 4, 1967. This specific quote was interesting to me because he was basically saying the true reality of what was happening was not revealed to him until the situation got worse. But as people learned in early History classes, the time in which MLK was alive the level of nonviolent protests was popular and favorable for the future which is now our present time.

Speeches and sharing ideas are some of the great ways nonviolence was supported during MLK marches and meetings. Today we still hear stories about history but ideas and thoughts are more vaguely and strongly made aware to others as individuals today. The way we talk and the specifics of what we talk about are said angrily. Our views on situations that happened in the past can be expressed strongly enough to change the tone of a story and make the person listening understand in a negative way resulting in the butterfly effect of whisper down the lane. Some might say stories can never contain the full truth. Others might say truth is build off of stories, vice versa. In a way “truth” and “story” can be the same and different at the same time.

The same way stories can be ingrained in our society militarism is also ingrained in our society in almost every way possible. By contrasting how most people deal with war today and in the past it is easy to see that people are way more aggressive and violent today. We would rather take action to make a faster change than to sit around and wait for a “maybe” kind of answer. Militarism is ingrained in our society as a way to show pride in our country. It is also seen as a way of protecting what is yours, as well as hurting what is not. Depending on the type of individual you are you will fall into at least one of these three categories. When I watch older movies that include parents watching their children be sent off to war, they go to “serve” their country. Today the reason would be to fight for what is right, not to serve the country. Some go into the field to have the power and authority to kill just because. We try to use nonviolence as a form of protesting today but some thoughts do not start with this.

Nonviolence was a very large and powerful way of protesting in the past. Our people today brush the thought of nonviolence out of their minds with no reflex to the cold chill it brings to some. “A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.” I believe this is what happened to change the way we protest for change. I believe that we questioned the fairness and justice and did not like what we seen. This resulted in a hidden revolution. The revolution included switching from nonviolent tactics to violent ones. Because people today question everything to make sure they are being treated equally there is no doubt in my mind to know that we will never again be a society rooted in nonviolence.

How does war and violence change people? The real question to ask should be “How does it not change people ?” War has been a part of my everyday life even when I did not know it. My country was at war, my family, and even myself. I realized how my attitude has changed over time as well. I would react calmly to situations as a young child but now, if I know something doesn't feel right, I will stand up for others and myself. War and violence has not changed people in this generation because we are so accustomed to it being in our lives. It all depends on the time frame you include or talk about.


"Beyond Vietnam**." Beyond Vietnam**. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"Fighting with Nonviolence." Scilla Elworthy:. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.