Throughout the history of the United States, there has been conflict between established order and the general public. Even the very conception of an independent union of states separate from the British crown was an act of rebellion. The story of David Gilbert is one of many such struggles for progress. Landmark events in our history such as the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and more recently the fight for gay and lesbian rights, have all contributed to the strength of our democracy, improved civil liberties and fundamental rights for citizens. Argued in this vein, the radical political confrontation carried out by people such as David Gilbert is not as villainous as it is made out to be.
One might take issue with some of the tactics employed by David Gilbert and his associates in their efforts to fund their organization and to carry forward their political agenda. But the motivating principles behind their acts of protest . . . Read More
Khalid Muhammad was the former leader of Nation of Islam (NOI), which is a radical black nationalist movement founded in the last century. This organization has close links with the New Black Panther Party, which is distinct from the original party of the Black Power movement. Khalid Muhammad is right about many of the grievances against mainstream America. Starting from the education system and continuing into judicial, legislative and executive institutions, the systems prevailing in the United States undermines progress and equality for blacks and other minorities. This is most evident from the high rates of incarceration and conviction of blacks. I also agree with Khalid Muhammad view that the white dominated American society had obliterated the native, indigenous cultural, religious and linguistic heritage of black Americans of African descent. In his interviews with talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Phil Donahue, Muhammad iterates the founding principles of Nation of Islam . . . Read More
Public opinion is divided on the issue of whether or not American schools should adopt year long curriculums. But conventionally, schools across the country have adhered to schedules that would give pupils a break of three months followed by nine months of study. In recent years, some journalists and commentators have suggested that year long schooling could benefit the students in the long term. This essay will foray into the arguments made by proponents of year round schooling.
At the root of the debate is the fact that the knowledge and acquired skill levels of students in America is on a steady decline. This is indicated by statistics pertaining to standardized test scores. The supporters of year-round schooling argue that such an arrangement would help improve the knowledge and skill levels of students. In other words,
“With the heightened emphasis on standardized test scores and the implementation of rigorous, mandatory tests for promotion and . . . Read More
Reading through the essay titled ‘Apostles of Hatred Find It Easy To Spread Their Message’ was a moving experience for me. As I completed reading it, I was left with mixed feelings of pity, anger and a sense of helplessness. I agree with most of what the author had to say in the essay. The essay concisely captures the circumstances that led teenager Jeff Weise from Minnesota to go on a shooting rampage in his high school. There are several sentences in the essay that was effectively constructed. These include the following: “I won’t subject you to a treatise on why these people are abhorrent. If you don’t already know, you need more help than anyone can give you in a few inches of newsprint”(9)….We recognize that while change is a challenge, it is also a condition of life”(12)…Makes you sorrow for the boy even in the midst of your anger at him”(15)”. But the one that made me reflect and think deeper is this: “We recognize that while change is . . . Read More
The concept of political obligation and related notions of fairness, justice and natural duty is a fascinating field of inquiry that lends itself to new and ever more complex perspectives on the world of politics. It is now studied under political science, but was previously dealt with by institutions and academies of law, ethics and philosophy. In this regard, it is fair to say that the ideas of Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Waldron and John Rawls comprise the origins of this field of inquiry. The growing stature and relevance of the subject to the present times is reflected in the rapidly growing body of literature pertaining to it (Buchanan, 2004). Coming to the topic question, the ideas of the aforementioned intellectuals as well as contemporary thinkers on the subject are drawn upon in answering it. The group of contemporary thinkers on the subject include Christopher Wellman, David Lefkowitz, Craig Carr, George Klosko and Allen Buchanan.
To begin with, let us now consider John . . . Read More
Rising affluence has been associated with a reduction in the production of waste emissions within the UK. However, the waste emissions associated with the total consumption in the UK have risen. Can both these statements can be true?
There is little doubt that contemporary industrial society is increasingly becoming more consumerist. The story of the twentieth century is the story of large multi-national corporations, some of which have an annual revenue surpassing the GDP of several sovereign countries. Such a situation gives these corporations enormous power over the lives of citizens and the kind of lifestyle choices they can make. One particular aspect of this consumerist society is the mountains of waste that it creates. Due to demands on minimum expected quality of many of the consumer goods, the companies manufacturing them follow elaborate packaging procedures, the disposal of which adds to the total rubbish . . . Read More
The Cash for Clunkers program, officially termed the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), is the first notable achievement of the Barack Obama administration. When the president took oath of office, the country was facing a steep economic decline, the likes of which was not seen since the Great Depression of 1929. As part of the stimulus plan for reviving the economy, President Obama initiated the CARS program that is popularly referred to as Cash for Clunkers. The program is reminiscent of stimulus initiatives undertaken by Franklin Roosevelt in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The program provides incentives for car owners to exchange their fuel-guzzling cars with fuel-efficient ones. The dealership for this program is given to those who lost their jobs as a result of the auto industry crash. Initially, the government allocated $1 billion for this program, which was subsequently infused with $2 billions more. It has to be noted that this allocation of a . . . Read More
Both Walt Whitman and Thomas Bailey Aldrich are important poets in the American literary canon. While Whitman continues to influence and contextualize contemporary American poetry, the popularity and reference to Aldrich have greatly diminished. One can see why this disparity has come about from the two poems dealt with in this essay. Whitman’s poem titled A Broadway Pageant is one of appreciation and warmth toward the people of the Orient and beyond. The poem was written in the year 1860 on the occasion of a Japanese envoy’s visit to United States. Consistent with the spirit of the country’s founding principles such as liberty and freedom, the author welcomes the envoy with enthusiasm. His enthusiasm overshoots his subjects, as Whitman makes references to different races, ethnicities and cultures of the world with poetic grace. This is in sharp contrast with Thomas Aldrich’s poem, titled Unguarded Gates, which takes on hues of Xenophobia and White . . . Read More
Throughout human history punishments have been meted out to people who are not guilty or only partially guilty. Actions that can invoke punitive action from the authorities include treason, fraud, crime, breach of trust, etc. Famous examples from recent centuries include Galileo Galilei, Charles Darwin, Bertrand Russell, etc, who were ostracized and punished for expressing their sincere beliefs and thoughts. Galileo, for example was threatened with torture for openly expressing his views on the cosmos, which contradicted the conventional Christian view of the universe. Darwin was condemned and treated with contempt by the Church for proposing the theory of evolution that linked all living matter in earth, including humans. In the case of Bertrand Russell, he was imprisoned as a ‘conscientious objector’, for expressing his opposition to British participation in the First World War. These are typical examples of people being wrongfully punished, when they were . . . Read More
Hannibal Lecter is a recurring central character in many of Thomas Harris’ novels. Starting from the novel Red Dragon, the character appears in all four sequels including The Silence of the Lambs. In the author’s own words, Lecter is a masterful psychiatrist and a cannibalistic serial killer. Given that Lecter is a fictional character, the author had constructed a unique psychological profile that did not exactly fit with conventional categories. In other words, there is hardly any reference in mainstream press and medical history for a person with such a psychological profile. Nevertheless, based on first hand information gathered by the author’s biographer David Sexton, it is learnt that the character of Hannibal Lecter was based on that of William Coyne, a notorious serial killer who terrorized American society in the 1930s. In this context, one can claim that Lecter’s profile belongs to the Psychopath category. This assessment also makes sense when one . . . Read More