Tuesday, June 30, 2009



This article was about how Prius' are one of the only cars that are really selling well.  The high demand for the Prius is causing a need for more workers at the plant where they are manufactured.  Earlier this year, they had to take several vacation days to save money. They now have to work more, and are not having vacations because of the high demand.  They still expect to come out with losses though, because other cars are still not selling well.

Monday, June 29, 2009

God, Firearms, and America


It scares me that there are people like this.  I know there is probably a lot of them.  This article was about a celebration of the right to bare arms at a church. People came from miles around to bring there loaded guns to church.  

There were a few particularly problematic things in here.

 "'But for a deep-seated belief in God and firearms, this country would not be here today,' Mr. Pagano declared from the church’s pulpit."

I agree with this statement.  I don't see it as a very positive thing thing.  Sure, it is good that people came to America for religious freedom, but I don't think it is good that we took the land from the Native Americans.  It makes me sick to think people are proud of this. 

“'I don’t see a thing wrong with having a loaded gun in there,' Mr. Hillerich said. 'If the pastor’s in there and he’s got a concealed weapon and somebody comes in and starts shooting people, he can take him out. That’s his right.'"

This is also a sick kind of statement.  If no one is allowed to carry guns, then no one gets shot.  Is it better to let everyone carry guns to defend themselves? Where do people get these ideas?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Current Events One

So I've decided I want to start paying some more attention to current events around the world.  We used to do this in  Japanese class, and it was usually a lot of fun.  So I will be reading an article, or two, or three, and posting a little summary, and maybe my opinion if I feel the article deserves it.  Some will be total fluff, and others will be informative.


This article is about sexism in Italian media.  Television and magazines portray body as the most important factor in "getting ahead",  which is not that much different than in America.  Young people are more focused on improving their looks than their knowledge or character.  “The body is the new capital for adolescents in Italy,” said Cristina Sivieri Tagliabue.  This gives people incentives to attain a certain look or body type.  They think they need it to get ahead in life.

This was also interesting..

The United States comes in 31st in 2007, which isn't awful, but really not great for a country that prides itself in equality. The sad part is, we were in 23rd in 2006.

Not surprisingly, Japan comes in quite a bit lower, at 91. Italy comes in at 84. 

For economic opportunity, U.S. is 14. For education US is 76, ranking below both Japan and Italy. For health and survival, we rank 36th, though all that come before rank 1. We come in a sad 69th for political empowerment.

The U.S. certainly isn't the worst when in comes to sexism, but it is nowhere near being the best.

Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland rank first through fourth.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

1984 and Jennifer Government

Since I postponed my 1984 write up this long, I figured I would just combine it with my Jennifer Government write up. 

1984 and Jennifer Government are both about what happens when the government goes to far in one direction.  1984 is pretty dystopian, where as Jennifer Government appears to be Utopian, in the beginning.

The idea behind 1984 is that the government is all-powerful.  Food is rationed, everything you do or say is heard and watched, and everything is basically decided for you. "Big Brother is always watching". There is three different groups of people; the rebels, the inner-party members, and everyone else. The rebels live in the older parts of town, they are relatively undisturbed, and mainly keep to themselves.  The inner-party members generally have secret, large house, better food, and are allowed to break the rules.  Everyone else lives in uniform apartments with "telescreens" that watch there every move.  If they do something the party doesn't like, they will be taken away at night, and any record of them every existing is erased, and no one says a word about it.

In Jennifer Government, everything is a private institution.  The police will do anything for you if you pay them enough money.  Laws aren't really all that enforced.  Ad campaigns involve kill people. Hospitals want to make sure you have enough money to pay them before they admit you, even if you are dying. The NRA has just as much power as the police. Most of the world, is totally Americanized. This book does come off as slightly "Utopian" though, because everyone can have whatever they want. They can take out huge loans, spend thousands of dollars on the latest shoes, and don't think twice about it. 

The main character in 1984, who was fighting for change in the government, is forced back into believing Big Brother's lies and spends the rest of his life wasting time drinking gin.  

In Jennifer Government, the ending is happier.  Things work out for  "Jennifer Government" and her family.  Change happens, people riot, and the bad guys go to jail. 

Both stories seem possible in real life. People seem to always want more and more, people want to get what they earned, and not have to pay for other people.  Jennifer Government's life without taxes, everyone fending for themselves, may seem ideal.  On the other side of things, 1984's rigid government censoring may appeal to people who want to be protected from the world. As long as the follow the rules, Big Brother will always protect them.

My conclusion from these books is there needs to be a balance.  A total free-market system is dangerous, and puts a lot of people at a disadvantage.  Total government control is also dangerous, in that it takes away all the enjoyment people get out of living.