Blog 17

After reading “Civil Disobedience” I think government is best when it functions some. So I am kind of in between, because I think we need government, but not to the point where it is a huge controlling factor of your day-to-day life. I also think we need enough to the point where it keeps society safe, allows for industrial expansion, and can step in to help the general public when in need. The current United States government in my opinion is good. Not the current administration….. But a democracy, and capitalism is good in my opinion. Our government has financial aid for citizens in need, our military keeps us safe, and our laws allow society to function normally and secure, for the most part. Also, you as a citizen have the right to an education.

I think the goal of government in society is to oversee the people, provide services, and try to make society function best for everyone as best as they can, whilst still allowing individual success. The goal of government to an individual is to allow progression in society, help you if you are struggling, and make sure you are a contributing member to society.

A government that commands my respect is one that gives it’s people say, and that allows everyone to have an equal say in what occurs. Also I respect a government that is willing of a free flow of ideas to improve the state.

The role of civil disobedience today is for people to let their voices be heard. If a group of people are unhappy about a situation and have no way to voice that opinion, civil disobedience or protest in modern society is the only way to get a point across. Having a protest that is in public grabs the attention of the people around it, thus gaining more attention to the cause. This fuels the cause and can spark change.

In modern society, civil disobedience and protest I think still has a place and needs to be done. How else is the general public suppose to let the government and the rest of society know they are unhappy about an issue. Although, there is so many protests today, I feel as if that every protest gets swept under the rug with an underwhelming result.

Blog 15

The connections between the thoughts of Emerson and Thoreau were that they both had an idea of the fate of humans. They both believed that you determine your own fate. When you are born you are naturally good and the evils of society cause humans to change from good and pure to “bad”. The point of the first part of the excerpt is to describe to the reader what life he lived previous to the experiment. This allows the reader to get a sense of what his life would have been like before, to further understand what he is trying to prove. The main point of the conclusion is to show the results of the experiment, and show what changed. His opinions and overall thought of the outcome are explained in the conclusion. The benefits of leaving your average life to live in the woods in my opinion could very well be good. Self-reflection would definitely be a result of leaving society to live as one with nature. Also, leaving technology , and the evils of society could cleanse your mind and soul. I believe that leaving society including other people and your day job could possibly reduce stress. However, there are several negatives to this. We all know what solitary confinement can do to someone even in a small period of time. As a result of leaving society and everyone you know, and everything you know, could literally drive a human crazy from being away from everything for an extended period of time. If I would do this particular experiment of leaving everything to go live in the woods, there are many things I would miss. I think it would be refreshing at first but quickly turn boring. The thing I would miss the most is probably human interaction. I would also miss physical objects and events. I would miss playing video games, watching YouTube, etc. I think I could do it, but only for a short time. I feel like I might last a week, and that’s probably a high estimate. I think the number one thing a modern reader can take away from our discussion is that we as humans are in control of our own fate.

Blog 15

I think there are several reasons as to why we have Independent Reading. Many of these reasons I think are important for our society and growth as a student. However, I do not think that Independent Reading should be required. I believe that many students can get the same kind of result or gain the same benefits from other events or actions.

Some of the reasons and benefits of Independent reading are that we gain a more broad and diverse vocabulary. Reading improves thinking and cognitive ability. Reading can calm people down, and escape the current situation they may be in reducing stress levels. Independent reading, if the individual is committed, can take up a small amount of time to be productive, and increase cognitive ability, possibly reducing bad decisions with a bunch of free time. The most important thing I would say over-all that Independent reading results in is it makes you more creative, and helps you learn.

I touch again on the subject that I do not necessarily think that it should be required. I would argue that someone who plays video games can very well gain the same benefits as a book. I also believe that you don’t have to read a novel to gain these benefits. Magazine articles, short stories, etc. can do the same thing.

I think as a school to better encourage our students to read, there are honestly few things you can do. I think the only way is to allow class time to do so. I doubt there are more than a couple students who would take time out of their lives after school to read a novel. So the best thing would be to do the in class time.


Blog 13

My understanding of arguments has increased over the course of the unit. I definitely learned how to form a better argument and also learned the debate format better as well. I realized a lot of key points during the debates though. One of these things being opponents can lose an argument themselves. This can occur when a person argument does not give enough information, or he or she says something that would lead you to believe they don’t have a very good understanding of their topic in general. Often in our debates, one side’s constructive was less than a minute, so then when the other side would present their constructive, it just flooded their opponent in information and they’d basically win the debate right there.

Another key point I learned was that the best way in my opinion was to make your opponent look or seem stupid proving their argument invalid. This could be achieved in a many of ways. One of these ways being through the questioning. Either asking or answering question could accomplish this specific goal. If you asked questions that your opponent could give little or no response to, you basically win that question so to speak. By doing this several times you can really create an overwhelming sense of victory to your audience. Also, by answering questions, if you are very informed on your topic, you should be able to answer the questions with your information within the topic. With all that you can really make it seem like your argument is better.

Another thing that I learned whilst doing this unit was that an argument does not even need to be valid to make it appeal to people. If you “play your cards right” a seemingly terrible idea or topic for an argument can win a debate in a seemingly obvious decision. If you appeal to emotion of the audience you can achieve this. If you flood your opponent in facts and evidence you can achieve this. If you catch your opponent off guard with a question, you can humiliate your opponent and over all win the argument.

A final thing I learned was that arguments are extremely important in our society. The way we live our lives and the way our government functions is based off of arguments. In saying that, I understand how important it is to form a good argument.


Blog 12

My opinion during the debate on the topic of women in combat has not changed really, though it has grown stronger towards my previous opinion. During the debate, I was fortunate enough to argue for my personal opinion. I was assigned to argue (Con) Women in combat. Before the debate, my opinion on the matter was that females should not be on the front lines, and we should just leave that to male soldiers. Whilst researching my topic during the debate, I found some very compelling facts and studies that argue for my side of the argument.

The most interesting and convincing piece of evidence I found while doing my research was a study done by the United States Marine Corps. They did a yearlong study comparing an all male squads performance to a mixed squad formed of females and males. The year long study showed that the all male squad performed better in every single aspect including time to extract casualties, completing tasks, tactical ability, and overall lethal-ness.

This evidence should not only be interesting to me, but to others as well. This study completely condemns the idea of women in combat. We need the best soldiers on the front line in our military, and if women cannot be as good as men, then we should not have therm there.

I did not know this fact before my research and I found that piece of information from the U.S. Marine Corps. official website. There were two crucial websites that I got a lot of my arguing information from. Those websites being the Marine Corp’s website, and the website of Veterans Affairs. I obtained a lot of information regarding PTSD and emotional information on women.

My topic is somewhat emotionally charged, but I would say little compared to the other debates. Obviously many women and men have strong emotional opinions on the matter.

One way ethics enters a role in my topic is the ethic of freedom. The freedom for a female to fight and die for her country if she chooses.

The most important appeal to my topic is the logical aspect. Logic is basically all the evidence and supporting factors I used to prove my point. I used scientific facts and information, as well as studies and tests that logically prove my point.

In the process of forming a valid argument, I learned that your argument does not even need to be that logical or even factual. If you back it up with information to “prove” your point, you can make a good argument. There are several ways to prove a point or win an argument rather than just overload facts and try to win based on facts vs facts.



Before I start this blog, I must inform you that I was unaware of how the AR testing system actually works. I planned on taking the AR tests today. I then found out that you must be on the school’s internet to take the test. So I guess my only option at this point is to do the blog.  So without further a do, here is my blog on World War Z.

World War Z is a collection of first hand accounts of people who experienced the zombie outbreak of the time. The collection includes peoples stories from around the world with all different backgrounds.The most intriguing thing that happened in the book World War Z took place during the time period refereed to as “The Great Panic.” This time period known as the “Great Panic” was the point in the outbreak where a large majority of the world started showing the infection among humans, and it was spreading rapidly. The infection started in a young boy in Japan. This boy, the first to show signs of the disease was refereed to as “Patient Zero.” From that child the disease spread through human trafficking etc etc, and eventually the disease was all over the world in every major city and high traffic area.

So then during the “Great Panic” two nations in the middle east, Pakistan and Iran attempt to terminate one another in a huge nuclear war. This adds to the tension of the world on top of the disease. Refugees pour into Iran from Pakistan. Iran places the fleeing refugees int churches and other places they can stay that are safe.

The disease is starting to really take effect throughout the world and people are seeing the end result of the disease and what it does to people. This is extremely prevalent in the middle east where the infection spreads like wildfire. Fully infected patients are more common than ever and the people are starting to lose hope. Adults fearing for the lives of the children decide to take matters into their own hands. In an attempt to give their children the most peaceful death as possible, and  not allow them to suffer, and become a fully zombified individual, they kill their children. Most commonly the adults killed the children in the churches.

This part of the story for me was the most intriguing and got the strongest emotional response from me than any other part of the book. The culture of the middle eastern people being so religious, and many peaceful, did the exact opposite of what I would have expected. I suppose on a humanitarian standpoint this would be the right thing to do as an adult. The last thing you want to see is your child or any child for that matter go through the process of this infection. First the infected individual becomes terribly sick. This then progresses to symptoms of the zombie process. This leads to becoming a zombie for lack of a better term. Then you slowly  die, painfully slowly, unable to control yourself in the new body of a decomposing zombie. But none the less, to kill children, to take that responsibility and that guilt upon yourself is very very surprising and really conjured an emotional response from me. I could not really imagine ,being in a religious temple, in a very strange emotional place, not knowing what is going to bring in the future. I have to make the decision to kill my child, and not run the risk of them being infected. Or, I could take my chances, and not have that guilt hung over my head that I killed my child, and possibly they survive. But the alternative that they get infected is not something I’d want to live with either. So I really don’t know. The decisions the people made in the church is admirable in a way, but it’s just hard to think about myself in that situation and what I’d do.

Blog 11

My assigned topic for the blog is: “Should women be allowed to do combat roles in the military?” My assigned stance for the debate is (Pro). This stance on the issue is not my personal stance. I do not think that it is necessary, nor should women play a combat role in the military. Why I think this is because having women playing a combat role would be too much of a problem for the entire unit of soldiers in a combat situation. For example, in a firefight, a male soldier may be worried about his female accomplice and it could serve as a distraction. Also, a male soldier may be more inclined to help the female soldier endangering more people than necessary.  I also believe that because of the strength disadvantages of women, a situation such as carrying someone could hurt a squad and put lives at more risk than just have a male counter-part. Another thing that could be a factor is the emotional aspect. Yes, I understand that a male could be susceptible to emotional trauma as well, but generally speaking, as a society we raise our males to cry less, “suck it up”, “be a man”, etc. So, men tend to be less emotional, and would handle a high stress, highly emotional instance better. And in a firefight or active combat situation, being emotional and forgetting your training means you and your fellow soldiers could be killed.

When I did a basic Google search on the issue, the results that I got were a lot of articles talking about the US opening up combat jobs to women. There is an article put out by CNN about a woman who was in a close quarters firefight in Iraq. She killed at least three insurgents and received the Silver Star award. Most “top result” articles seem to be supportive of women in combat roles.

The approach I plan on taking to the debate is arguing equality. Women are equal among men so they should have an equal role in the military. I feel this is the strongest argument I have. That and arguing that if women want to fight for our country and our freedom than let them.

The only ethical issue I can think of within this topic would be that not letting women fight for our country is ethically wrong. If they want to do it, then let them. This is not an ethical issue for my stance on the issue, rather the con side of the argument.

Emotions that can be brought into my argument would be freedom. The freedom, and the right to fight for the country. Patriotism can also be placed into the argument as an effective emotion.


Article- Should Gun Control Be Tougher? (Con)

Main Arguments made by the con side of the argument:
– “Enacting more gun control laws would be the most ineffective and irrelevant reaction.”
– Foreign countries such as France have tougher gun laws but in France 130 people were killed during a terrorist attack, and most of the guns were illegal.
– The NRA is not a scape goat to push through a political agenda.
– The Second Amendment

I disagree with this argument strongly. Gun control is a serious issue in the United States and will be unless we have change. Too many people die to gun violence all too often. This article shows the heartlessness of people who are second amendment advocates and clueless gun owners. In order to save lives in the future, and prevent gun violence, something must be done. As Americans we cannot sit back and allow evil to do evil acts without hesitation, and complication. The gun rights activists not even considering banning these modifications and assault rifles shows how little they care for human life other than their own.
As of now, it is too easy for people to obtain a firearm. Especially an assault rifle. You can walk in to any gun shop, even Walmart, and walk out within a few minutes with an assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammo. But these are not the only things that threaten innocent by-standers. Modifications for weapons are far too easy to get and turn a deadly weapon into a weapon of mass-destruction. For example, a bumper stock. These were used on the assault rifles during the Vegas shooting. The bumper stock turns a semi-automatic rifle into a full-auto killing machine.
These assault rifles and modifications are not necessary. They are designed to kill more, and kill quicker. So why sell them and the parts to build them? Because the NRA makes money off the sale of firearms and the mod. products.
The NRA is a huge lobbyist for the Republican party so they have a strong voice in government. This grants protection from gun laws that would lessen the sales for the NRA. So anytime a mass shooting occurs, and the government calls for gun law reform, it is immediately shot down by the Republican Party. “It’s not the right time to talk about gun control.” After a mass shooting. So no gun reform ever comes from an unfortunate situation. So we have a continuous cycle within the United States and terrorism won’t be stopped.
Admitting that terrorism will never be completely eliminated is an important step in the road to gun control reform. But the point of having tougher gun laws in the United States is to decrease terrorism and save as many lives as possible. There are many ways this could be done, but sitting back and doing nothing is not one of them. And if banning assault rifles saves but one life, isn’t that enough to sacrifice your assault rifles for that.
The argument that foreign countries having tougher gun laws and the example of a single terrorist attack is not a valid argument. The circumstances of the US are completely different for one, but here is a 2014 statistical survey.



2014 Stats.

USA                                          vs                               UK
Pop. 321 million                                                       Pop. 64 million
270 legally owned firearms                                    4.6 million legally owned firearms
88.8 firearms/ 100 people                                     6.2 firearms/ 100 people
12,570 killed in gun related incidents                  30 people killed in gun related incidents



The Second Amendment is the strongest argument gun activists have. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall never be infringed.” Though most people who want gun reform do not want to take away all guns. However the sale of bumper stocks, pistol grips, large capacity magazines, etc. should be looked at more in depth. I believe that gun reform is needed to prevent future terrorist attacks. And the article in which I oppose needs to open up to a compromise that will save lives.





Through the period of time we experimented with the virtues, a pattern arose from my results. I anticipated the results and there was no surprise at the end when I looked over the virtues.

First off, I broke the SINCERITY virtue every day. Over the years I have come to realize I am a terrible person. I constantly make fun of people though often playfully and to friends, but still I never fail to make fun of them. If I had to follow these virtues strictly, I would fail miserably with this virtue.

Another Virtue that I broke every day was HUMILIATION. Not once in the span of the entire experiment do I think I imitated Jesus. Jesus would have been dissapointed in my actions this past week.

The SILENCE virtue is in my opinion a little excessive. I am a talker, I will admit that. Trifling conversations are my thing, so that got broken quite often as well.

However, despite some of these virtues being excessive in my opinion, and very difficult to accomplish, some came naturally to me. INDUSTRY is easy for me. I’m almost always engaged in some kind of useful task. Either work (mostly work), hunting, school work, and in any free time I may have I watch CNN or education YouTube videos. Some may argue these aren’t engaging yourself in useful/productive  activities, but in my opinion they most certainly are.

ORDER is surly my specialty. I believe I have a slight case of OCD and therefor I tend to be very organized, but if you saw the state of my room right now you would disagree. So mostly everything in my life is very organized except my room. This is because I haven’t been getting home till late and I’m so tired I just get a shower and go to bed. So this has inhibited me from accomplishing the ORDER virtue as intended.

TEMPERENCE, FRAUGILITY, and RESOLUTION all were easy to avoid and I stayed “morally perfect” in those aspects. JUSTICE and MODERATION I avoided. The moderation is certainly debatable but I think I’m good.

CHASTITY I avoided with out effort. TRANQUILITY I avoided but by the definition this would have been a thought for me given the opportunity to “explode.” I become very adverted by dumb stuff especially when my brother does something that may be considered unavoidable.


Final Poem, First Thoughts

For the poem “a smile”, my initial reaction is that the work is very confusing. There is no rhyme scheme nor stanza form, so the entire work seems very inconsistent. This also gives me the reaction of the extreme complexity of the poem. Since there is no rhyme scheme nor stanza form, it is very “busy”.

Throughout the poem, I conjured many questions as to what exactly the poet is speaking of or about. Why is the poet so negative? Especially at the end? Why does the end of the poem seem more negative than the rest? Does the mood of the poem go from peaceful to hopeless? Why is the poet such a “Debby-downer”?

I think this poem is about someone being left by their lover, or a loved one such as :girlfriend, mother, friend etc. This is what I believe because at the begging of the poem the author seems peaceful and describing something joyful. Then as the poem goes on he becomes negative and describes negative things. He also talks of paying a price. This price being a smile which I assume is a symbol.

I think the allusions you need to know to understand this poem better is the allusions within the second stanza. These allusions include:

But who are we to question fate

when we are but a cog.

The dynamo of night1 goes on,

no stars, just us and fog.

I think this poem is very important in understanding the entire work as a whole better because, the first line in the second stanza in my opinion suggests that you cannot control fate. Therefor he is telling the reader, your life will play out however fate wants it to play out.  The third line is saying but life goes on, no matter how resentful it may be. And the fourth line is saying, it may not be glamorous, but it will go on. The second to last stanza is also very important in the understanding of the meaning of this poem.

The stage is set; now time will see:

To do to don’t but never try.

We must go on, we must be strong.

The last line in this poem is saying, “yeah you’re life is miserable now, but you have to keep living, and live life to the fullest.”


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