FC: English 104 Mixbook James Foster
1: I like how Yale described music as a primary source. Some of the best inspirations for writing come from music. I have learned more listening to music and researching song meanings than just sitting through a lecture. Music makes the world go 'round.
2: The Declaration of Independence is quite the interesting piece of literature. If you are a white male, this document is your savior. Granted, at the time, men were viewed in higher regard than women. However, this document is a bit outdated. It grants all men life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and is a statement seperating the United States (at this time the colonies) from Britain. This document is "sticking it" to Britain, claiming we no longer wish to be a part of them. We are independent. We can wage wear, conduct trade and run our own government seperate of anything we have learned in Britain. As much as I like the document, it also is very dated. In our current generation, more than just white men hold the power of our country. In fact, on January 29, 2009, I can only pray that a black man holds the power of this very country.
4: The Bill of rights is a wonderful document, in a sense. If it were followed by the government at all times, we would be a free nation. As I read the amendments, I cannot help but ask if my 4th Amendment Right is still in tact. How about Amendment VI and VIII. I have a decent background regarding civil rights movements in the 60s, 70s and even movements of today. Are my rights being violated? I believe so. COINTELPRO in the 60s broke Amendment VIII. Ask Mumia Abu-Jamal if he should be waiting on death row if Amendment VI was followed. And the Patriot Act? That seems awfully close to breaking Amendment IV. I fear that in writing this, I will have offended someone for not being "politically correct." Which begs me to question, "Do I still have my 1st Amendment Rights?"
6: The constitution breaks the government down into three parts: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. It is these three branches that make us a "just" and "democratic" country. However, the Judicial branch is run by supreme justices that are appointed to the President. The President has the right to veto a bill put forth by the Legislative branch. Now, I do understand that the Legislative branch does have the ability to pass a bill even if the President veto's it, but only on extreme case bills. On simple domestic laws (abortion for example) the bill could never get passed. The President, in my opinion, has too much power over the government. I do understand, however, that if my views were similar to the President's I would not mind this counterbalance as much.
8: "The Lottery" is a fantastic short story. It is about everyone wanting something, but once they get it, they do not want it anymore. I feel if I alter this a little, I can reach the American mentality. American's always want more. Once we achieve something, we are unsatisified. We bombed Iraq. We searched for weapons of mass destruction and even executed a dictator. We are still fighting and losing lives. Why?
10: Some of the best resources are oral traditions. I can read a book all day, but until I sit down with someone who lived through what I am studying, I do not feel as if I have really learned anything. Talk to a civil rights activist, a war veteran, a feminist. They will teach you more than any book ever could. Period.