Author: aandujo

Hello everyone! This blog will be dedicated to my perspective on the topic of war and its effects on mankind.

Research Project

The artifact I will be researching is the Nuremberg Code and its overall effect on the ethics in medical and research. The Nuremberg Code was created in response to the experimentation that happened within the Holocaust during World War II. Once the war ended, the american government had The Doctor Trials within Nuremberg, Germany to discuss the involvement of the doctors who participated within the experiments and the war crimes they committed. The trials were held from 1946 to 1947 with a final verdict of either death or life in imprisonment for the doctors for violations against humanity.

 

The Nuremberg Code were a set of ten principles on how to properly and ethically perform an experiment on a human subject, whether it be in times of war or in peace times, it must always be active.

 

What interested me about the document was how strangely important it is for the medical AND research community. It provides a relative set of laws that is supposed to regulate scientific inquiries and restrain any authorities from misusing their powers towards their subjects. Unlike the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians to ensure the best quality of treatment and respect for their patients, this extends to researching as well.

 

However, the document itself has a grave flaw in that there is a lack of reinforcement by the American Government onto their own nation or even internationally, to the point of hypocrisy and the uselessness of the document. An example would be how the Imperial Japan during World War II had their own personal human experiments, most known as Unit 731, involving testing weapons of chemical warfare on their victims. The U.S. granted the doctors immunity in exchange for the information that they gathered about the weapons they created for future use.

 

Another incident would be how the democratic president at the time after World War II, 1946 specifically, Harry Truman agreed with the president of Mexico to help progress experiments of injecting and testing syphilis on prisoners of war and the mentally ill.

 

What could have a been an artifact that would add more value and importance to human life has been degraded into what I would consider a mockery of human rights.

 

I’d be discussing for the most  part how the document had its benefits and lack of benefits of human experimentation in the science field and in America overall. I’ll also be analyzing the principles for the document and how each principle has an aspect of it to be perfect for how to conduct in human experimentation while also discussing how there may be gray areas and complications within extreme situations such as in war.

 

The sources that I have so far are three books that discuss the trials of the doctors in Nuremberg and the reasoning for why these doctors have done their experiments. I also have two PDF volumes of the transcript of the trials themselves. I also have a couple articles about the Nuremberg Code, the ethics of human experimentation, and the trials themselves.
I’m hoping I can find more sources relating to a more philosophical point of view about human experimentation and regulation of it.

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Reviwing Our Story

I based my narrative from my grandmother’s account of world war II, and I feel that I focused much more on why the things happened to her rather than create a story from it. I would describe the drafting or the rationing that occurred in Mexico, but I did not take into a detailed account of what happened during those events. I want to be able to add in more of what happened to my grandmother, more of her opinions and actions towards those changes in her life.

The main focus of the story is my grandmother, Valencia, who lived through World War II in early childhood. I was hoping to try to describe what it was like to be a child living through a war, how it affected them and what they saw the world around them. It be different than that of an adult but I felt it needed more substance as to what her perspective was. She told me more of what was happening but not exactly much about herself too much.

There were other characters such as her aunt and uncle but they were minor characters though they contributed to the plot as people who were also affected by the war during that period. I could describe them a little bit more to add more to the plot and how my grandmother’s relations with them affected her view of the war. The aunt was one who was able to forward herself for the equality of women to men. The uncle was a soldier and so was her brother, they were living in America at the time with her father. Unfortunately the cousin and uncle did not fair so well, suffering from burns and deaths. The father faired much more better but he still was a worker for the war itself, which was why he was not drafted into the army, his contribution was an alternative from fighting in battles. I felt that learning about the the adults through a child’s perspective might have been different and interesting but I wrote it somewhat bland and more factual.

I wanted the plot of the story to have a basic moral of how it’s not only adults who are hurt but the children, the ones that needed the most protection. They don’t necessarily contribute to the war but they do suffer in other ways. I should have had more of her perspective in it than my own and my facts.

The Interview

World War II has some fascinating angles to look at. From the inside the battlefield to a family’s basic home.

I thought it would be interesting to interview someone who had and experience from World War II outside the battle. People’s lives were heavily affect by this war, either personally or economically, it would be surprising to hear that no one was affect during that period.

I decided I wanted to interview my grandmother on her personal experience with the war. Though she was a young girl at the time living in America. She and her family were impacted by how the war itself forced them to ration and be in constant fear of what is to happen next.

I hope that during my interview with her I would gain insight of what it was like to be a child growing up in World War II.

From the interview I would need to construct a narrative out of it. To make the story impacting or interesting, I would need to combine her story with facts of the basic lively hood of Americans during that war period. I would also need to focus on her perspective the most, since it is her story, while explaining how she acted during the interview and her current living situation is now.

I hope to ask her these five questions:

  1. How much of the war were you aware as you were growing up?

> How have your feelings or perspective changed then to now?

2. Did you have any close family or friends that did enter the war, Who were they?

> Have you remained in personal contact with them when they were in the war or after? Do you still contact them?

3. How did you react when you learned about the Holocaust?

> Did you ever meet a Holocaust survivor? Did they change your views about how the war was?

4. How was school like during that period?

>Did teachers or school staff constantly inform students about the war? Were there any drills related to the war?

5. How were you and your family economically during that era?

> Since many raw materials were invested into the war, did you ever donate, or even forced to donate?

 

The Meaning Behind my Surname

Like my first name, my surname is very uncommon to find. The surname ‘Andujo’ originated from Chihuahua, Mexico and the majority of the history of the name is unknown. My father would tell me that the name belonged to two brothers, who then separated to different places to have families of their own and live different lives. Thus, every Andujo is related to one another and can be traced back to those two brothers, as the story goes.

I have a fondness for my last name due to its rarity, though it can be a bit annoying to have it pronounced incorrectly for most of my life. After awhile, you accept that people will never pronounce your name right the first time. It is just a name afterall. However, I used to be proud of the fact that my name was not only unique but for its mexican roots. It enforced what I am, Mexican-American. I never questioned my strange glorifying behavior for the mexican culture, putting more emphasis on a country that I never was born in, the one I only visited every summer, something I wasn’t a part of in totality. I have always called myself Mexican-American  and was proud of it for a very long time, and yet I feel like a hypocrite for doing so.

My mother was born in Mexico and immigrated to America for a better life and to be able to support her family back home. My father, on the other hand, was born in America but he had grandparents born in Mexico. My father was American, and my mother was not. Due to this, my mindset then immediately declared that I was half Mexican and half American, like a mixed dog breed. I refused to be simply American, I wanted to be Mexican because that’s what I was, what I identified as. Except that it wasn’t. Like my surname, it means nothing whether I’m Mexican or not or whether my name is mexican or not, because truly, I only ever cared for it whenever something mexican related occurred in my life. From watching George Lopez to the high school assemblies of people singing in spanish, I only used it as some accessory, like I was a special half breed and proud to relate to people like “me”.

During a family gathering years ago, my relatives told me I was Mexican, one hundred percent. It made me feel happy, but my father told me something afterwards that I couldn’t forget, it was subtle yet I understand it now. He told me I wasn’t, that I was American. Of course I pushed it aside, it was only his opinion. Yet, he wasn’t wrong. I may have my roots but I was raised in a country that allowed me to develop to the person I am. Being American doesn’t mean an exclusion of cultures, religions, races. It does not mean being mexican first and then american, it means what people wanted: opportunity, liberty, individuality, and the pursuit of happiness when other nations could not award. You could have lived in Mexico for twenty years but still be regarded as American if you wanted to enter the United States and be a productive citizen with you’re own “American Dream”. It is an inclusive label that allows myself to practice the culture from mexico, or any nation, and yet I can still be American and be happy about it. I’m proud to be American, it is how I want to identify and want to be regarded as because it is a label that does not separate who I am or who I was or my roots.

A person may be black, white, jewish, christian, homosexual, heterosexual, from Ireland or Mexico, as long as you are a pursuer to be great and follow the nation’s law, you are just as American as a person who was or was not born in this country.

The presence of media in a clip from The Machurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate does a beautiful in symbolism, strange camera angles, and sound to put power onto their characters and scenes. It serves well for a debate about how the role of media could affect a person and a nation, and you only need one person to roll the ball to cause a chaotic mess for the fight of communism.

The Manchurian Candidate, created in 1962 that revolved around the events of the Cold War, in which the paranoia for communism was at an all time high in America. Propaganda against the idea of communist or a critical comment about the silliness of it, the film is,overall, carefully crafted in every scene, speech, sound, and so forth to bring whatever message the director tried to impose. I will be analyzing a certain scene from the film that uses a couple camera shot effects and sound that makes the scene very intense. The elements used reflects a symbol of manipulation and force by one of the main villains to enact a domino effect and create an upper-hand for them for their next acts in the movie.

The scene begins with a public relations meeting with the Secretary of State surrounded by dozens of cameras and reporters, taken as a shot from above to show the entire room. The second shot is also of a man with a camera and the scene is film next with a camera pan of the room that shows camera’s focusing on the secretary talking. There is also one tv during the beginning of the pan that is showing the secretary, possibly live, and another tv near Eleanor Iselin at the end of the pan. Why so many camera’s and and tvs? Considering that the whole meeting must be important for many reporters to record the secretary, it also represents this very centered aspect of how media is heavily involved with politics within the film. There is barely any space without seeing a reporter or camera, possibly a metaphor for how there is no privacy within the legislation, especially if it is during an era where communism is considered the biggest threat by the United States.

Once the panning does stop, Eleanor gives the signal to her husband John to make his grand proclamation that he has found over two hundred communists in the government. The spectacle is taken aback by the secretary, and the camera shots at him again where he accidentally insults John. This results to a very quick camera shot of a zoomed part between Marco and the secretary, as he blocks the microphones and tells him that he could not do that, even if it was true. It is true though, because of the presence of the cameras he can not tarnish his image so easily. The scene continues in a back and forth shot between the secretary and John. The tvs are now recording John much more than the secretary, gearing the attention away from him to focus on a man and his ridicules. It is important to remember that this was an era in American history in which anything communistic, whether it was or not, was bound to be recorded and taken seriously by the media. This was a perfect transition of how this was captured and thus begins the domino effect.

Notice how Eleanor takes more of the shot when camera is supposedly shooting John, but really, you mostly Eleanor looking at the tv with John on the screen. This is a metaphor of Eleanor’s power amongst the ordeal. She had no lines and yet knew and controlled the situation by choosing when John should speak and starting the frenzy being recorded by several cameras and reporters. John is simply a puppet of Eleanor. John is certainly clear enough to be seen by the viewer to focus on but because he is blocked out by Eleanor and the tv showing him, it proves that only his voice and image are important, not his physical, actual self for the viewer. Eleanor used John to gain media attention, which is symbolized by her looking at the tv rather than her husband.

Another important feature to pay attention to is the sound, as we hear the faint buzzing noise of the tv in the first half of the clip which ends with people screaming. This only adds emphasis of the presence of the media everywhere in the room. The sound gets slightly louder and louder when John begins to talk which then ends with a mixture of arguing and screaming when he announces his communist findings. We can barely hear what he is saying anymore, putting more focus on the chaos between both John and the secretary, I also noticed a faster back and forth shot during the argument that came with the yelling sound.The sound of disorientation plays a role of how critical his statements are but also blocking what he is saying because anything else he says is not as important. He only needs to bring an uproar to the crowd about communism and everyone goes insane.

The point of the strategies used has always been to bring attention to John, in a media type of way. The camera angles, the sound, it helps emphasize his importance and lack of importance on how he is represented on television. He becomes important, for Eleanor in this case, as he is planning to run for president and if he does feed the audience of his knowledge to stop and arrest the communists he “found” it puts him in a strange positive light because of the heated and hatred view against communism by the public of America. Eleanor is shown to be the main perpetrator to cause the events, and her subtle and strong presence is shown by the way she takes up half of the shot when John speaks. She wants to feed the people of the U.S. what they actually want to see, which is a decrease of communism. John is insignificant because he is just a puppet, he only serves as recording for another voice.
The Manchurian Candidate does a beautiful in symbolism, strange camera angles, and sound to put power onto their characters and scenes. It serves well for a debate about how the role of media could affect a person and a nation, and you only need one person to roll the ball to cause a chaotic mess for the fight of communism.

Is Protesting The Key To Success For BLM?

There is no doubt that Barack Obama, the current president of the United States of America, is an advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement. From sending representatives to Michael Brown’s funeral to creating a grant program for young black boys called My Brother’s Keeper, Obama has been an attentive audience and promoter for the BLM movement. However, on February 18, 2016, BLM Chicago co-founder Aislinn Pulley rejected Obama’s invitation for a meeting in the White House to discuss social issues and possibly create a stronger,unified movement with other leaders. She claims that it was a “sham” and a “photo opportunity” for the president rather than an intellectual discussion between fighters for social justice. Her personal reasons are understandable but this action she decided for her movement would created an additional obstacle to her Chicago’s BLM and create inefficient progress to reach their intended goals.

Exactly what are the goals of BLM in general? According to their website, under the section Who We Are, it involves reforming the justice system, erasing racism in America towards blacks, black female empowerment, stopping discrimination against blacks due to their disabilities, gender, or background of origin, and create a community for blacks in which education and love will flourish.

These ideas may look great for their movement but it is their own action that adds the credibility and power to these principles. Sadly, I personally believe that they have done little to enact any change. Chicago’s BLM is only a section of the movement but it is in itself a representation of why the BLM as a whole is more troublesome than good. Rather than meet the president of the United States, who invited important figures such as the president of the NAACP Defense Fund and civil rights activist Al Sharpton, she preferred to do what she has always done, protest. She had an opportunity to meet and talk to people who could promote and back her movement, thus having more members and most likely create direct political connections which will help her cause. Yet, she writes her rejection on truth-out.org as to why this is problematic in her own eyes, ignoring opportunities that might help her cause.

She does defend herself as to why she declined. She thought that the event was a celebration of Black History Month, but Obama has denied that it was. Additionally, she also writes that she would have gone to the meeting if they carried out “the simple demands of families” who want police to be held accountable and fired for killing the lives of black citizens, “A meeting arranged to carry this out is one that would be worthy of consideration.”. She continues on with both demands and questions for the Obama administration as to what constitutes as a criminal and wanting the housing for abandoned youth, and many many other propositions. In her point of view, it would be an act of betrayal to her beliefs if she were to meet the Obama, the same man in an administration that refuses to work on the problems she speaks about.

She does have the right to protect her own honor for the sake of protecting the integrity of her movement’s purpose, but at the same time she is a no more of a hypocrite than the people in the Obama administration. What major action has she taken upon herself in order to uphold these beliefs and ideas she strongly holds onto? Protesting only works to garner attention, it is the responsibility of individuals who are a part of the movement to help make demands meet, not entirely the government. I question this form of expression in the fact that it is mostly a nuisance at this point. It has escalated to areas in which they have become utterly annoying. Disrupting business who have done no wrong, rudely interrupting platforms and those of politicians who have supported BLM, violence against people that was never apologized for and completely ignored by BLM, promoting racism, and so on.

Pulley, you expect the government to do everything. You expect the government to create better systems for education but in reality, it is to push forward a racist, oversensitive agenda that has not helped anyone. Have you ever looked at a young black child and told them they could become the police chief to reform the police system, business owners to create more employment? What has BLM done to your people so they may grow and work hard for their future?

Famous black rights activist Frederick Douglass believed that education was important for blacks to succeed in life during the era of slavery. He did not just screech about his imprisoned status, he learned to read and he taught his peers how to read, he shared his story and was an active member in the abolition movement, helping his fellow men succeed and make them realize they are more than just slaves or blacks, but men with potential. If you want to complain, be my guest, but at least prove you can also try to do something, even if it is difficult, you need to be the model people want to become.

Is Torture The Answer for Terrorism?

Ken Roth and Alan Dershowitz

Ken Roth and Alan Dershowitz on CNN

The ticking time bomb scenario, a popular thought experiment that still stirs debate of whether or not torture could be justifiable. In this experiment, a terrorist is captured and has information about a hidden bomb and or terrorist attack that will kill many people, and it is only through torture that they would confess. The experiment is in itself simple and possibly improbable if one were to analyze the logic of it, but it is more important to focus on the point it is trying to make. If one were put in such an extreme situation, should torture be carried out or should ethics and morality overrule it?

In Dershowitz’s opinion, perhaps it may be best to go through with the procedure. Alan Dershowitz,a Harvard university professor in law, suggested this while adding that a “torture warrant” should also be created for that occasion. He became famous on his stance when he has written books and articles about his reasoning. On March 3rd, 2003, he debated with Ken Roth in Washington (CNN), it was then published on their site and titled “Dershowitz: Torture could be justified”.

I enjoyed reading the argument between both men, as they present both opposite sides of the spectrum in their opinions on the use of torture against terrorists. Ken Roth is an executive director of the Human Rights Watch, and he is very firm on his stance on the prohibition of torture. He connected his claim by comparing it to killing the innocent civilians during war, that there is a reason why international law prohibits it, therefore, torture is no exception. He also gives evidence that Israel’s use of torture on 90 percent of  their palestinian detainees resulted in the Supreme Court admitting the torture “isn’t working” when stopping terrorists. He ends his arguments by concluding that there are more effective methods of retrieving information to stop terrorism and that by allowing Dershowitz idea of “torture warrants” it opens the door to the ends justifying the means, or better said, that a person could perform any immoral, inhumane acts if it lead to a preferred end.

Dershowitz argument, on the other hand, can come off as less appealing and even irrational in comparison to Roth’s words. In the beginning of the interview, Dershowitz answers the interviewer’s question on whether or not Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s capture is a ticking time bomb scenario to allow torture, in which he responds that there is a lack of evidence to prove that it is and therefore, no torture should be applied. However, he quickly states that “low-level people” should not administer the torture unless given permission by a higher authority. It is strange how he added this comment in when it has no regard to the question in general. He also constantly barrages Roth that other countries have constantly violated the laws of the Geneva Accord, and tortured their prisoners and so it would be better if the United States were to allow torture instead of hiding it in the shadows about it. These responses make Dershowitz look very cynical and unreasonable if someone were to read this at first glance. In a way, it makes Roth look much better in comparison, as he would then be framed as a man with a stronger ethical stance and humanity than Dershowitz.

I understand Dershowitz’s point as to why he brings about the various violations of the international law about torture, in that it is not simply a black and white issue. It is like killing someone in self defense, everyone can agree that killing someone is wrong, but there are very special occasions in which killing may be a last resort and even then there are limitations of that. Sadly, Dershowitz has failed in his attempt to express more of his reasonings as to why he believes torture is like a resort. Roth gains the upperhand in the debate, especially since he has the last word for it.

If anything, the debate looks to either affirm the belief that torture overall is wrong. The lack of counter arguments on Roth only adds to this. He claims that a torture warrant will make situations worse by using Israel as an example of their failed use of their use of torture to stop terrorism. The problem with this is that Israel is a completely different country than the United States. Though Dershowitz very briefly talks about this, it is true Israel has directly confronted this issue and decided it should be banned. Worse is the lack of information of what were the warrants to allow torture, how they tortured, who they tortured, it is important to provide this in order to understand why it has failed. I can easily say that a republic-democratic government does not work due to the chaos created between states when America was first established. As of now, we have created many laws, limitations, and relationships to prove our system is not as horrible as it has first begun. Yes, there were failures and experimentation, but maybe that is what should be done.

I understand that torture has been used for entertainment, such as the incident in Abu Ghraib, but what if it was controlled as Dershowitz has suggested? There is no one arguing that torturing innocent lives is okay, but if there is a situation where some rapist and murderer has information that would be useful in saving lives, would the table turns?

On February 2nd, 2016, I was engaged in a debate on this same topic. It was in my Humanities class and the students were grouped and told which opinion they should of being against or for torture in the ticking time bomb situation. I was grouped with the for ticking time bomb, and it did align with my personal opinion. I admit, I was not the most prepared for the debate, and I regret my lack of participation and poor answers as to why Dershowitz’s ideas should be considered and right.
The whole process did not change my mind too much, but it did give me some clarity and diversity of opinions from other students about the subject. It was a nice change of pace and it was interesting to know that there some had very mixed feelings about it. I am not for torture but if the case is very extreme, and with correct supervision over the whole process to avoid a Stanford Experiment case, I believe that it could work, it just needs the right regulations.

 

Cited Works:

“Dershowitz: Torture Could Be Justified.” CNN. Cable News Network, 4 Mar. 2003. Web. 05 Feb. 2016. <http://edition.cnn.com/2003/LAW/03/03/cnna.Dershowitz/&gt;.

 

The Significance of The Burning of Washington

the burning of Washington, D.C.

The Taking of The City of Washington in America, West Smithfield, London: published by G. Thompson No.43 Long Lane, 1814 Oct 14. Print Shows a view from the Potomac River, of Washington, D.C under attack by British forces under Major General Ross, August 24, 1814

The image show above is one of the most famous events in the war, the invasion Washington D.C by British soldiers who mercilessly burned down any public facility in the area during the war of 1812. It was an important moment during the war and it was a devastating moment for American citizens, mourning for their loss. However, the event could also be taken as a representation of how the war itself is only ruining America and possibly destroying the Union since it was a very unpopular war in itself. The War of 1812 was certainly a momentous event in American history and the engraving of Washington burning symbolizes a possible foreshadowing of the British taking back their lost property and that their American citizens must take this event seriously to prevent it from happening elsewhere.

The relationship between America and Britain is, by no ones surprise, incredibly strained during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. After their declaration for independence and revolting against England, the presence of bitterness between the two is very noticeable. The War of 1812 only intensified it and created dilemmas within the colonies on how to approach the issue. Should America defend themselves because of the British impressing American soldier out in seas, or should they avoid another war that might make their situation worse? With the burning of Washington, the debate staggers and gives a basis on why they should fight back.

“The Taking of The City of Washington In America” is a wood engraved piece by G. Thompson that recreates the burning of Washington, capturing the intense moment of the invasion that shocked Americans throughout their nation. The art itself is simple and lacks any color other than black and white but it is detailed enough to show the big picture of how the invasion occurred. The picture is overflowed by the foreign invader burning down the city, smoke and fire are engulfing what appears to be both public facilities, like the white house and homes. This can be misleading to how the event occurred since the British had no intention in attacking private property, only public. Perhaps the lack of detail of the areas being burned down is created on purpose in order to provoke a stronger emotional appeal for the audience. If a citizen were to look at this painting, they would see buildings burning, nothing particular other than it was in Washington and was done by the British. By not knowing exactly what is being attacked, except that it was in Washington, it would connect the viewer more closely to the painting and the war itself. They would to come to believe that homes, just like theirs, were attacked without mercy.

Not only that, the angle was drawn to show the overwhelming amounts of British soldiers invading the city. Why such a shot? If the artist truly wants his people to see how large and dangerous the situation was, he needs the show the whole city burning down. Soldiers are flooding in and taking more of the space to create a drowning feel by the British presence. Once again, there is that strong presence of a call for action because this could happen to anybody. By ignoring the damages they have done, this could lead to a similar disaster. The picture shows the influx of British soldiers with no American citizens fighting against them, showing how the attack began without warning in what seems to be in the night by the dark tones of the picture. If they attacked while everyone was asleep, they become even more of a danger, which is what the artist is conveying. That this should not let the enemy trick them again. However, not all have this opinion.

Ted Widmer in his article “The War of 1812? Don’t remind me” expresses this opinion while explaining the history of the war itself briefly. Widmer presents the exact opposite of how the burning of Washington was not a moment of unity but a moment of disaster.  He articulates his view from that of New England’s stand point, a colony that was vehemently against the war. He states that due to the rushed decision of declaring war “it soon became apparent that the United States was ill-prepared to wage a war against the world’s preeminent military power”. He connects this by explaining that the burning of Washington is an example of such “ill-preparedness”. There was actually a point that New England, he says, “might have led to New England breaking away from the United States” during conventions within the colony but the opportunity did not arise once the Treaty of Ghent was established. If this point of view was used for Thompson’s work of the burning of Washington, it only reinforces the fact that the war is only destroying America from the inside out, possibly creating more divisions, like what happened to New England, rather than unity.

However, this is a very limited point of view, it would be interesting to see the author expand on his claims that the war was a bad choice to begin with. It also raises the question of what other alternative could be used if not war. A treaty perhaps could be made between America and Britain, I assume that Widmer would be more comfortable with, but considering that Britain was kidnapping American sailors and more or so violating their independence, I doubt a simple treaty would fix it. War was a loud act of self defense, by ignoring Britain’s disrespect, the problem will most likely become worse. Yet, I agree with Widmer that the colonies should have been much more prepared for war rather than diving right in.

Do the positives or negatives outweigh one another about entering the War of 1812? It is more of a mixture between the two. Thompson’s wood engraving is a demonstration of not only the weaknesses of the nation but also the reason of why they should be fighting in the first place. Widmer pushes the notion that perhaps war is not the answer and the War of 1812 was a terrible decision due to the circumstances that America was in at the time. It is important that The Burning of Washington was certainly the pinnacle of the war, representing the ideas of what could happen and what should be done, important topics that were involved during the war.

 

Citation Page:

“The Taking of the City of Washington in America.” The Taking of the City of Washington in America. Web. 15 Jan. 2016.

Widmer, Ted. “The War of 1812? Don’t Remind Me – The Boston Globe.” BostonGlobe.com. Boston Globe Media Partners, 20 Apr. 2014. Web. 15 Jan. 2016.

No Merry in Christmas For A Slave

Christmas is such a joyous time of year in America. Presents, food, family, such a beautiful holiday to celebrate and relax. Yet, does everyone feel the same way as I do about Christmas? Well, no, if we’re talking about Frederick Douglass that is. A former slave, writer, and an activist for the end of slavery, he would not fathom the concept of Christmas in the context of how it was used against his people. Holidays and sports were only distractions for a black man, there is no intellectual discourse between their peers and it was used to make any slave numb from escaping for freedom.

In his book, Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, he describes in one part on how Christmas holidays gave a type of break for slaves in plantations. There was no work done and slaves were allowed to visit families, play sports, and get drunk on alcohol. However, Douglass comments on how holidays “serve as conductors, or safety-valves”(115) to calm down their need to escape. The slave owners would make sure the slaves were always occupied by activities that made them glad that they could go back to work. An example would be making them drunk until they are sick, so the joys of alcohol were not only short but effective so that the slave thinks that such a luxury is not worth the risk of his life. It is, perfectly put by Douglass, “to disgust the slave with freedom, by allowing him to see only the abuse of it”(116).

Take a look at the image shown in the post. It summarizes what Douglass is speaking about. You see many many blacks sitting and watching a man dancing with a white lady in the far left watching the whole ordeal. We may see the smiling faces of the slaves, enjoying their break, but why so many slaves watching? If these are all the slaves gathered around this man, does this represent what Douglass was talking about? None of the slaves are participating in  mind challenging activity like conversation, only watching the dancing man. What is important to notice is the lady watching the. Yes, she is doing nothing but she could be the organizer of the event and may very well be connected to the slave owner to these men, women, and children. This supervision is always carried out to make sure they do not indulge in a concept of freedom.

The women also must be drawing something and there shows a black man sitting with a glass in his hand, most likely alcohol. A plantation is shown in the center in the background. Its presence is far but it is certainly there, representing a centered part in a slaves live. It is in the middle and overlooks the crowd just like the lady is watching them up close. It is everywhere in the slave’s lives, and it does not escape them or enters their mind during these holidays.

It is what angers Frederick Douglass because he wants slaves to seek out freedom but cannot due to this illusion of freedom and supervision by their slave owners. He has worked to try to educate his people during slavery, teaching them to read because he believes that education leads a slave to freedom, a trait that slave owners loathe. A smart slave is terrible because they have spirit and can live independently of the owner. The picture is only a representation of what he fears the most, and that is action without thought.

Citation:

Douglas, Frederick, and Houston A. Jr. Baker. Frederick Douglas: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. New York, NY: Penguin, 1986. Print.

Baby Hitler Would Support Drone Strikes

Golliver – drone strike « Big Bend Now

Sometimes I try to keep up to date on national events and politics, and there have been some interesting questions for the recent presidential debates, such as: If you could travel back in time, would you abort baby Hitler?

How utterly pointless and strange it is for any candidate to answer a question that has nothing to do with becoming the next president of the United States of America, but let us for a moment take into consideration this silly question.

Not because The Land of The Free depends on it, but more on a philosophical and moral standpoint. If the ability to eliminate an infant who would become one of the most devastating  figures in history were possible, is it reasonable to murder the child? Jeb Bush would agree, and so would many, understanding the consequences of letting the young Hitler go free. Ben Carson, on the other hand, has no desire to kill baby Hitler, or even abort him if he had to make the decision.

Throughout all this hilarity and parodies that have sprung from this particular question, I would have to side with the neurosurgeon.

Now, I will for the most part keep certain social stances of mine anonymous while providing my reason for why I believe in not killing baby Hitler in order to avoid skewing off topic into something like abortion.

The ridiculousness of it does give a fascinating opening to a little principle called Double Effect, and to summarize it as simply as possible, it is the idea that the ends justify the means.

For example, if drones were used to assassinate terrorists but it accidentally kills innocent civilians in the process, would this be alright as it successfully eradicates terrorists who could potentially be the cause for many more deaths of innocent people?

Of course the opposite of the solution in the principle of double effect would be that the attempt of doing good would only result in a bad or worse conclusion than expected.

This relates back to Carson’s answer on the little dictator subject, that by keeping the baby alive on a moral basis such as pro-life, it will only doom the future with catastrophe and death.

The appeal for the former would seem like the most logical reaction, but I beg to differ!

I can understand how the ends justify the means in either an extreme situation. The drone strikes is an effort to kill enemies who could possibly be a large threat (and has been) for the United States, and in doing so accidentally murders by-standers who most likely want nothing to do with the terrorists in Islamic countries. Drones are programmed and controlled to target specific individuals, but malfunctions and slip-ups may happen and…. “Woops, sorry about that!”.

The biggest problem with this tactic is that despite the intent being good, I feel it falls short of being the future of warfare against these organizations to an extent. I strongly believe that action and force is needed to stop them, but not in this way. The effects may be good temporarily but the reactions by the people affected by it is permanent.

War is horrible, innocent civilians will perish, but if it can bring about peace against chaotic forces, I support it. The situation for such a war is extreme and it allows some options for reconstruction once weariness has been settled. The war on terrorists is not necessarily a war and by far a decent-ending one. Those countries are corrupted for the most part, their government is basically unable to control these viruses, so no matter how many you could kill, the lack of regulation and control would only let them rise again, perhaps stronger than before. The citizens are most likely against these tactics of drone strikes and even resent them to the point of declining help from the people who are killing the terrorists.

This is only a small fraction of how drone strikes cannot solve the terrorist issue, because there is no real planning or any sort of involvement that would help reconstruct those countries.

To finally support my choice of why killing the baby dictator is silly, is similar to why I oppose these drone strikes.

Why is killing the infant the only option? It’s a baby, he has no reason or idea of having a blood-thirsty need to murder Jews. Is it not better to try to push the child into a direction of civil and moral goodness at a different point of their life? The possibility of another “Hitler” to spring up is as likely as any other possibility IF one were to choose to kill the infant.

Hitler baby by littlechild94 on DeviantArt

Many paths can be taken and all could go horribly wrong, whether it be the intent of good or bad.

There are certain, specific, and limiting scenarios that the idea of Double Effect could work, but it is not an alternative I would dose on a daily basis.