Religion or HIstory?

         When Bible becomes real history, will the United States change into a one-religion country? At that time, who will still claim for the freedom of religion? With these questions, I started reading the article, How Christian Were the Founders, on The New York Times.

         As we all know that Texas is normally a model of education in American which means that the Board of Education of Texas may also influence other states in America. To make up Texas State Board of Education, Christian fundamentalists allege that the schools in Texas should adjust American-history textbooks to highlight role of Christianity and history should be taught in Christian perspectives. The fundamentalist also found several reasons for their “fundamental” theory.

         First of all, they claimed that America is a “Christian Nation”. As Don McLeroy said, “The men who wrote the Constitution were Christians who knew the Bible.” With this proclamation, McLeroy, as a total Christian fundamentalist, convinced that the United States should be a “Christian Nation” and the school board of education should adjust history textbooks with Christianity. I strongly disagree with this point of view. For one thing, McLeroy is not a historian himself as he said “I’m a dentist, not a historian,” so he don’t understand how essential it is to keep the truth of history. Just like his announcement that he is a “creationist” who believes that “the earth was created in six days…less than 10000 years ago”. When I imagine that this ridiculous statement will be taught in schools, I am totally driven crazy. For another, if history is taught in Christian perspective, students will not treat history critically and objective. History should be taught properly but not emphasize on the weight of anyone or anything. Furthermore, religion is just a mental support for people but shouldn’t influence the history. Religion can be a part of history but shouldn’t govern the whole history. Even though the person who wrote the constitution is a Christian, people still have the right to know the neutral truth about American history.

         Moreover, they claim that the ideas of individual rights and free market system are based on “biblical principles”. I think that’s just a guess and imagination. If these ideas may come from the bible, it also may come from other literatures. Also, parents should have rights not to let their kid learn the history in Christian perspective. When parents are not Christians and their kids learned the history in Christian perspective, the education between school and family may have confliction.

        As Ralph Reed said, “I would rather have a thousand school-board members than one president and no school board members”, the history of the United States should be taught impartially but not only using one perspective. This is also a respect to history.

Dangerous Strategy—-Apple’s Patent Lawsuit

As we all know, Apple has become one of the most influential companies with great cutting edge technology groups in the world. IPhone, as one of the most important inventions of Apple, is now common used by people. The touchable screen has attracted millions of customers. This week Apple profiled a lawsuit against HTC, a Taiwanese electronic company. In this article, the author standing on Apple’s side analyzed the inside threat of filing the lawsuit.

         In 2007, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, explained that Apple’s new touch screen was so perceptive and intelligent that you could use it without a stylus and it could detect and disregard unintentional touches and understand complicated multifinger gestures. He then emphasized how unique the technology is.

       Actually, the author explained that this is a substitute war about Apple vs. Google. HTC whose phones run Google’s Android operating system was litigated that its devices broke 20 Apple patents related to iphone. The author, however, claimed it a dangerous and stupid act.

       First of all, it’s not just about Google and Apple. This lawsuit can apply to every Apple rivals like Microsoft, Blackberry’s manufacturer and so on. In three year, now, almost all company makes multi-touch phones. The multi-touch technology is not unique at all, it’s omnipresent now. This lawsuit is a dangerous strategy for Apple. According to the author, the patent lawsuits normally take years to go through the court and get not exact benefit from it. This lawsuit is not good for almost everyone. Obviously, it’s not good for competitors. Also, it’s not good for customers, business depend on smart phones, mobile-software makers and so on. Lastly, it doesn’t help much to Apple itself. This case will definitely arouse the competitor’s uncertainty. The author was quite sure that all other companies will use its legal department to find out he violate part between iPhone and its own product.

       Moreover, the author said that the crying from industry have long pointed out that “the system for patenting software is broken”. According to the author, the patent related to software is always rest in doubtful legal, so neither Apple nor any other company should be able to claim ownership of such a “basic and far-ranging tech conception”. The author also predicted that Apple would lose this lawsuit.

       In my opinion, I, as a customer, also don’t support this lawsuit as it definitely caused problem for customers. It caused hesitation when buying the phones. We will doubt about the patent of other companies and at the same time, we will be uncertain whether Apple may win this lawsuit. Who will buy a phone that someday its system might be claimed illegal?

       For those all reasons, I really feels concerns about this lawsuit.

Black History Month: Remain or Not?

            February comes with controversy. Black History Month was designed to remind Americans of the awareness about the contributions of African Americans. These days, however, the necessarily of the Black History Month has become a question. Some critics claim that remaining Black History Month is still significant while some others think that we shouldn’t keep the Black History Month anymore. I found an article in the Root which claimed that we still need February.

            First of all, the author expressed one reason that the election of Barack Obama didn’t mean that discrimination finally disappeared. The author thinks that the election of Obama doesn’t mean that we don’t need to emphasize and pay attention to the Black history anymore. Racial problem still exist in our life.

            Moreover, the author wrote his point of view that some lessons like“Alfred and Felecia go to the polls” which is about the voting history are not taught in some non-black schools. In non-black schools, students only learn black history lessons on a specific day in a week and that won’t cause much attention to the class. That’s why some white children don’t understand why when Obama was elected, some people cried. The Black History Month may attract more emphasis on Black History.

            I pretty agree with the author’s argument that Obama doesn’t represent all black people. We shouldn’t abolish the Black History Month just because of the election of Barack Obama. For another part, however, I do think that the schools should put more emphasis to the Black History but not celebrate only for a month; especially this month is the shortest month. The Black History Month may make people misunderstand that we don’t need to pay attention to the black history except for February. Also, I think Black History should be intertwined in American history but not separated. The celebration of February may cause people think that Black History are separated as it is celebrated separately. I mainly think that we should emphasize the Black History by improving education in schools but not only celebrated in a month.

Brown’s “Negro” Dialect

I was attracted by the title of this journal as I browse the website. I really wonder how the “Negro” dialect influences Scott Brown’s work. The author firstly expressed several similar points between Scott Brown and Barack Obama and then described his view about the dialect of Brown.

       First of all, he pointed out the resume similarity between Barack Obama and Scott Brown. They have close age and they are both lawyers. They both got married with a woman with high-powered career. Their daughters and their politic life all have surprisingly parallels. I pretty agree with this portray. Actually, when I first found out those similarities, I was shocked and even confused. How could two “strangers” lead such a similar life?

       Moreover, the author thinks that the “Negro” dialect of Scott Brown would bring a tough job for him. First, he conveyed his opinion that the dialect may bring tough time of speech. Also, the author generally has an instinctive reaction to “terrible” dialects. In my opinion, however, I feel quite uncomfortable with the writer’s idea. People living in different cultures having language barrier is normal. I think the author view this as a problem is totally wrong and egotism. There are lots of people with different dialects, so how can the author define “success” only regarding to the dialects?

       Generally saying, I think the author has prejudice about the dialects. Also, education does not show out from the dialect but from the exact information conveyed by the speaker.

Innocent or Not?

Just after I heard the news about the Christmas bombing, I saw this journal. This is not an article that contests the terrorist but an article that conveys the author’s thinking about the new rules the US government put up for the security service every time after being attacked.

       It’s the author’s opinion that the truth about airplane security measure is that the US government did so bad at detecting the guilty and so good at collective punishment at innocence.

       For one thing, passengers were prohibited to use restroom on the Washington-New York shuttle few years after the 9/11. The author expressed his idea that this rule would never deter a person who was willing to die but caused trouble and intolerance for innocent people. The result of this rule finally was scrapped as people never felt safe underneath the rule.

       For another, the author thinks that the endlessly ineffectual security service is ridiculous and just supposes to give a feeling of safe. The fail of detecting the guilty leaded to the rule or trouble put on the innocence.

       As to me, I extremely agree with his opinion that the US government should pay more attention on detecting the guilty than adding the seeming endless rules. In my opinion, All the new and revised security measure since 9/11 are more about convincing passengers of the feeling of safe in the knowledge that the government is doing “something” to avoid another occurrence than about actually stopping another incident. Every time after the attack, the flight becomes a hassle and suffering. Some security measures are really unnecessary in my eyes. Will the terrorist answer the truth when you are asking questions? That only caused hassle on the innocence.

New Strategies for Afghanistan

Obama illustrated his new strategies in his “Afghanistan Speech”. Self-evidently, he is a good speaker as his speech is powerful and trustful. The solution of the issue about Afghanistan has been protracted for a long time. Due to the journal about Obama’s speech, on one hand, the author contested some of Obama’s claims and questioned some doubts but on the other hand, he also pointed out some good points of his speech.

The first point is Obama’s statement that our troop will start to come back in July 2011. How can he announce the date which is just a year after the extra 30,000 troops are planned to arrive in the country? Maybe a year is not even enough for making the new strategy into work as the number of troops is still continually increasing since George Bush. In the author’s opinion, this statement has put Obama himself to a tight spot and the assurance is worthy to be doubt. Also the argument reminded people of Bush’s claims of “”coalition of the willing” during the Iraq war. In my opinion, however, I think the setting of the deadline can give the Afghanistan people encouragement and convince them of the ability of the US government.

 For another part, the author agrees that Obama’s refusing of setting up goals beyond responsibility is a terrific and stupendous part of the speech. The author commended his counterview against terrorists and his clearly realization of the ability and responsibility of the US government. I strongly agree with that. I think Obama’s this declaration is not just because of the financial case of the US government but also because of the realizing of exact responsibility of the US government.

 Generally, in my point of view, this speech is successful and worth acclaiming. Barack Obama did a good job in obtaining gathering American people’s mind and setting strategies due to the ability of American government.

“Can jazz be saved?”—–This Teenager Has Got It

Yesterday, someone suddenly asked me whether I listen to jazz and I nodded my head, but after then, I found that I know really few about jazz. After searching, I knew that jazz is a musical form that was created in 20th century by African Americans. This form of music, in my view, created a history of music in America. However, as the rise of some other kinds of music, jazz is abandoned by more and more teenagers as it doesn’t even smell funny. When I browsed to this article, Terry Teachout’s words, “I don’t know how to get young people to listen to jazz again,” attracted me. The article also mentioned a young girl named Hailey Niswanger, a student in Boston’s Berklee College, who published a CD named “Confeddie”. Niswanger wrote all arrangements for the album and collaborated with three other students in Berklee College. She is obviously a talent girl who not only listens to jazz, but also performs jazz well. It effectively helped the spread of jazz among young people.

Hailey_Niswanger-Confeddie

       I sometimes also listen to jazz, but it’s just before I go to bed. Jazz definitely has its own enchantment but it has lost in the history in my mind. Jazz these days is kind of boring without any attraction. I really hope that this girl and her band can revive jazz and dig out the real charm of jazz. I also like Niswanger’s insistence in music. Even though jazz is no longer popular among young people now, she still insisted in it and successfully published her own CD. If all the jazz performers can insist in jazz and do their best to let others know the charm of jazz, how won’t jazz become popular again in the society?

The Greatest Generatioin(of Networkers)?

        Are they joking? This is my first reaction when I saw the phrase “multitasking ability” in this article. At first, when I mentioned the title of the article, I thought it might be just a sarcasm about the fact of the lives of teenagers have involved too many technology. This article, however, is totally different with my expectation. It’s mainly talking about an argument of whether students in school should use too much time on texting each other and the stand point of this article, surprisingly, supports teenagers to text each other “over 7 hours”! There are several points to support this stand of view. First of all, chief among the students can accomplish a great deal of tasks at the same time which are having conversations with friends through text-massaging, checking Facebook and studying at the same time. This is called by some experts as “multitasking ability”. With that ability, when they became an employee, they will serve their employers well. Secondly, students will become more socialized as they have more conversation with others via text-massaging. Moreover, the student can communicate and discuss effectively to solve their problems and ultimately get their work done.

Students sending massage..

         Although the reasons above are seemed reasonable, it’s my point of view that student shouldn’t sending text too frequently, especially at class, and also shouldn’t use cell phone for too long time as some use it “from the moment they open their eyes in the morning until they close their eyes at night.” I also got some reasons for that. For one thing, the vast majority of the texts students send to each other are futile and trivial, like “what are you doing?” or “who did you have dinner with”, etc. For another, the students who use too much text-massaging or Facebook normally have weak face-to-face interpersonal skills. Maybe some people will say that living in this modern society with so many edge-cutting technologies is unnecessary to talk face to face. Sending Email is much more effective than talking face to face. The only words I want to say is what about your family? Do you only send emails to your parents without talking to them? That’s ridiculous! The last point I’d like to mention is that as experts tested a long time ago, multitasking ability doesn’t exist at all. It’s just a fake. Here is a video that explained it clearly:

That’s to say, students have to abandon to doing one thing when they are doing another thing. Obviously, most of them choose to abandon listening to their teacher at class when they are sending text to each other and that’s terrible. These reasons are why I insist that we shouldn’t use cell phone to send text or check Facebook all day round.

Lack of Paid Sick Days May Worsen Flu Pandemic

There are quite a lot of student had a flu these days. As the flu spread out, everyone knows that people needs to go to hospital and adapt treatment or stay at home and get enough rest after ill. That’s why I was shocked when I saw this article. Because workers don’t receive paid during sick days, some of them cannot afford to stay at home. That leads to a fact that some workers feel desperate and they have to go to work as normal even though they are actually and dramatically sick and that’s because of a weekly income or even worse, the risk of losing their job. Those decisions, however, sometimes are not only made by the workers, but also because of the discouragement by employers of calling in sick.

As a result of this fact, the H1N1 flu is also radically spreading!!

bird%20flu%202

 This situation also affected the children of these financially squeezed workers. Some of those children are encouraged to stay at home because their parents cannot afford for not getting paid.I really feel uncomfortable with that kind of phenomenon. It’s my view that the only way to solve this problem is to change the policy. It was showed on the article that different companies have different policy about the paid of sick days and I think the best one is the policy of Wal-Mart. The employees call in sick will get no paid sick day for the first day, but they will get paid for the second and third days. This policy can prevent some employees from taking a day off without really sick and let workers who are actually sick get paid to afford for sick days.

Teen Violence: Is there a solution?

Let me begin to talk about this topic with a Justice Department survey in America. There are more than 60 percent of the young people who took part in this survey say they experienced violence in the past year which means teen violence always exists around us. Here’s a piece of news on October 8th. A boy named Derrion Albert, who was just 16 years old, was killed recently as he got caught in the middle of a street fight in Chicago. 

Hope everyone can watch the Video below!!

Only after seeing this news, did I realize that youth violence needs solution! To be honest, I have never experienced that kind of thing in my life. I,however, also felt incredible and horrible to see that youth violence news can be found nearly everyday on newspaper. Today, October 9th, I also found news about teen violence. This news is mainly about girl fight. Ten-year-old Rikki Triana of Erie, Pa.,was beaten by two other girls , ages 10 and 11. She took her younger sister to the playground and the two girls to splashing her younger sister with water. When Rikki asked them to stop, they hit her on head and legs. Now, Rikki still remains in hospital with a broken hip. This kind of stories really staggered me and It’s my opinion that we should attach great importance to this problem.

 ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Youth violence is not a Chicago problem, any more than it is a black problem, a white problem or a Hispanic problem. It is something that affects communities big and small and people of all races and all colors. It is an American problem.(CNN.com)

I especially agree with his point of view. If this kind of violence can happen in Chicago, it can occur in every city. Also, I think not only America but also the whole world should pay more attention to this problem. As we all know, teenagers are the future of the country and of the whole world which means this kind of problem may influence the future.

Moreover, I think the cause of the teen violence can be separated into three important aspects. First one is individual factors such as low behavior control ability, family factors such as low family education and income or family violence and social factors like racial discrimination. There are really lots of reasons for teen violence  and that’s why this problem is really hard to solved drastically.

I think we really need to look for some solutions for the teen violence. Here ‘s my opinions. Firstly, I don’t think punishment is the best way. Punishment sometimes may even cause more violence, so we should change them from inside which means change their thinking. Besides, parents and schools also should enhance this part of education and avoid their kids from watching some violence video, playing some violence computer games, etc. and enhance monitoring and supervision of their children.  That’s all I can think of, and I’m waiting for your solutions and comments..

Elaine.T.

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