Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Healthcare Reform


This is my example of an opinion that is against the healthcare reform. Basically, it is by a guy who states that he has read the bill in full, and has 'translated' it down into layman terms for everyone to read. While this post is in direct opposition to the reform, I was more interested in the comments posted bellow the blog, and the battle the ensures between the gulible and the people that question the blogger's views.


If there was going to be a place where I could find a source that was in favour of the reform, it would be from the mouth of Obama himself. This is his speech from the White House that was broadcasted a few days ago. It outlines everything that the Bill will cover, and it basically sounds fantastic; whether it is all rhetoric and a 'Big Government' lie is yet to be seen.

YouTube - VOTE AGAINST HEALTH REFORM? Might Be Bad Politics...

YouTube - VOTE AGAINST HEALTH REFORM? Might Be Bad Politics... This TV ad provides a brief summary of some of the issues facing americans and why Americans United for Change support Obamas healthcare reforms. Americans United for Change is a group that formed in 2005 and aims to garner support for reforms that move America in what they believe to be a new and better direction. For them, they hate the influence that health insurers have over the healthcare industry and how money orientated it is, and feel that Obamas healthcare reforms would have a positive impact.


CPR is a healthcare pressure group founded by Rick Scott, an healthcare industry executive, in the early part of this year. The group opposes president Obama's healthcare reforms mainly on economic terms, in that they feel that his reforms would result in them having to pay more, not less for their healthcare. One article on their website demonstrates their viewpoint well. Titled " Up is Down, Day is Night, and Obama care will lower your healthcare costs", the article clearly shows that the CPR dislike the reforms due to money issues, demonstrated by as such; " Yet the report from CMS, released Friday (thus, few people noticed), concludes that the $1.3 trillion government run public option health "reform" package recently passed in the house achieves exactly the opposite: the cost curve will indeed bend...upward. In fact, the report concludes that the total health care spending will actually increase by$239 billion under the legislation."

Obama And His Health Care

This is a Pro Obama blog that strongly supports the plans going through Congress about creating a system were all people can have at least some cover, outside of emergancy care. The website also breaks down what the main idea behind the Bill is, making it easy to understand how it will work.

"A centerpiece of Obama's health proposal would be a new government health insurance plan that would compete with private insurers. The administration says the public plan would help cut costs by introducing competition, and cover the uninsured. "

The website also holds on it a video that explains in four minutes what the programe is and who it will effect. It is obvious that the blogger is a pro Obama activist, but I think it shows the level some Americans will go to flood the media portals proclaiming there view to be the truth, weather its biased or not.

This is a short blog, yet it details how the Bill can be interpreted someone into being a very bad piece of legisitation.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/52245, This article speaks with Bill Bennett, a nationally syndicated host on the Salem radio network, about how a petition that he started became so popular with health care professionals.

“We are seeing reckless spending, and I think the most important number of all, probably, is 83, and that was 83 percent of the American people like their health care. You don’t turn the whole system inside-out when 83 percent are satisfied.”

Monday, 23 November 2009

Obama Administration reforms

Health Reform is a website that promotes the Health Reform proposed by Barack Obama and aims to inform the public of its positive indications to gather support for it. The website explains "President Obama is committed to working with Congress to pass comprehensive health reform this year in order to control rising health care costs, guarantee choice of doctor, and assure high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans." This offers a bright look into the future and the potential for a fairer society in America. Some of the aims of the Health Reform outlined by the Obama Administration include:

* Protect families from debt because of health care costs
* Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
* Invest in prevention and wellness

* Improve patient safety and quality of care

* Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans

* Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job

Again, the reform appears to offer fairer future for all Americans and upon reading this plan it would be difficult to find criticisms.

Don't Vote For Obama, The Most Complete Anti Obama Website conveys the belief that the election of Barack Obama has marked "The End of America". The webisite strongly opposes the reforms proposed by the Obama Administration and this is explained in an article: "There has been a fine balance of power between the two parties, which will be ended by 12 million new voters who will favor the Democrats. That's because minorities and immigrants tend to like the big, benevolent, tax-and-spend governments that hand out welfare, benefits and cradle-to-grave security. Obama wants to include even illegal immigrants in his universal health-care system." This opinion appears to derive from a right wing stance, especially in the expicit hostility towards the prospect of higher taxes and a fairer health-care system expressed here. This strong opinion is continued: "our senior citizens will probably have to be turned down for the most expensive treatments and surgeries, taking a back seat to younger immigrants. Senior citizens don't fair well in a system applying rationing of medical care. Obama, by his tax plans, his socialistic schemes, and his new welfare programs, will destroy the health-care system and the economy in short order."

After reading both websites I lean more towards the Health Reform website and therefore am in favour of the reforms proposed by Obama's Administration. The anti-Obama website does not propose a strong case against the Health Reform, instead it just pushes a claim that senior people might not fair well in the new system. This opinion seems to be unrealistic however as the Obama Administration proposes fairer health care for all Americans. The only way to find out if the Health Reform will have positive implications is for it to be accepted so people can see the results for themselves.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Jon Stewart Vs CNN's 'Crossfire'

Jon Stewart is one of the funniest, most inteligent, pundits ever. The Daily Show is one of the best political satire show, only comparable to Bremner, Bird, and Fortune. This video is Stewart slating 'Crossfire' (which is one of the biggest political programmes in the US), but he doesn't just slate them; he explains on their actual show, what he doesn't like about the show. It is a fantastic watch...

Jon Stewart's political orientation is great; he really, REALLY, hates Glenn Beck. Although, he is not a Democrat. The Daily Show is fantastic, I really hope it is still on More Four at 6... please watch it.

YouTube - Glenn Beck: Global Warming greatest scam in history

YouTube - Glenn Beck: Global Warming greatest scam in history: "Glenn Beck: Global Warming greatest scam in history"

In this clip Glenn Beck talks about the first chapter from his book, "The Inconvenient Book", which focuses on global warming and why its actually nothing to be worried about. He uses information provided by the founder of the weather channel to attempt to discredit the issues surrounding global warming, instead suggesting that it is a 'manufactured crisis' and that the scientists who support it have a environmental and political agenda. He even goes so far as to question whether we are on the cusp of global socialism due to this alleged deal between global warming scietntists. He seems to completely ignore any of the research avaliable that contradicts his opinion.

Glenn Beck: "Scary Capitalism"


In this video popular political pundit of Fox News Glenn Beck argues about teachers showing pupils the Story of Stuff, a 20-minute video which offers a look at American production and consumption patterns and aims to expose the connections between environmental and social issues in order to convince people to create a more sustainable and just world.

Being pro-captialist, Beck strongly disagrees with the video as he believes it to be anti-capitalist.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

American groups outside the mainstream

Established in Chicago in 1924, The Society for Human Rights was an American homosexual rights organization. It was the first recognized gay rights organization in the United States, however, the group were ceased a few months after forming after the arrest of several of the Society's members. Despite its short existance, the Society is recognized as preceeding the modern Gay Liberation movement. The goals and purposes of the Society was outlined as "To promote and protect the interests of people who by reasons of mental and physical abnormalities are abused and hindered in the legal pursuit of happiness which is guaranteed them by the Declaration of Independence and to combat the public prejudices against them by dissemination of factors according to modern science among intellectuals of mature age. The Society stands only for law and order; it is in harmony with any and all general laws insofar as they protect the rights of others, and does in no manner recommend any acts in violation of present laws nor advocate any manner inimical to the public welfare." The aims outlined here have now become a reality but the "mental and physical abnormalities" reference to homosexuality would be an unacceptable descrption today as attitudes to homosexuality have become more accepting.

A more contemporary American group outside the mainstream is Feminists for Life. Established in 1972, the group describes itself as "shaped by the core feminist values of justice, nondiscrimination, and nonviolence." For a modern group, FFL attitudes are within a minority but the some of the issues including abortion are strongly condemned and protested about not only by their group but many others too. However, the group is met by much opposition, especially from pro-choice activists mainly due to the group lacking compassion for modern female rights such as birth control. The FFL and its old-fashioned beliefs remain in a minority and will not ever be likely to shift attitudes on a major scale.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Gun control argument

For the argument of pro-gun control, I have chosen a website for gun owners, Keep and Bear Arms. This website serves as a forum for gun owners to express their support for the Second Amendment and their right to maintain their ability to protect themselves from anyone that would do them harm by owning a gun. Their point of view is understandable, especially when applying the American principles of freedom and personal liberty to their belief. The website aims to justify their ownership of guns to the anti-firearm media and educate people about every American's right to Second Amendment freedoms.

For the argument of anti-gun control I have selected the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence website. This campaign strives to stop potential killers from obtaining guns in the first place. To do this, the campaign aims to pass laws such as requiring Brady criminal background checks on all gun sales. The problem with gun sales in America is that anybody can go into a shop or go on the internet and buy weapons from unlicenced sellers, no questions asked. This is a fair argument and does not condemn the ownership of guns completely, it rather ensures that the law is applied over every gun sale in America thereby preventing gun killing by convicted felons and the mentally ill on a large scale.

I believe that both websites offer a valid argument and the values of the Brady Campaign can work harmoniously with those who maintain their right to keep and bear arms. Considering the vastness of America, implementing strict gun control laws would be difficult to prove effective. However, the Brady Law aims to stop the mentally disturbed from obtaining guns in the first place and therefore if this law passed, the majority of gun owners would own guns for no other purpose than protection, a justified point of view in an American context.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Pro And Anti-Gun Groups


This link is the website of The Violence Policy Centre, an organisation that describes itself as "
a national tax-exempt ... non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, works to stop this annual toll of death and injury through research, advocacy, and education." They take the notion that all arms sales should be limited under health and safety regulations, like any other product. They are described by the National Rifle Association as "the most effective...anti-gun rabble rouser in Washington." They Quote that 30,000 Americans are killed every year due to accidental firearms use, partly due to the ease of purchase of the weapons. The group choose to control the health and safety of firearms by congress and legal angles.


This is the website for the National Rifle Association of the USA, a non-profit organisation that looks to preserve the second amendment right of the United States constitution, that being "the right of the people to keep and bear arms..." The association challenges all laws and opinions that go against their view that all citizens of the United States should be able to carry a weapon.


Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Republicans Win Virginia And New Jersey Elections In Blow For Barack Obama


" American voters have delivered a sharp rebuke to Barack Obama by rejecting his allies in Virginia, the swing state that helped deliver him the White House almost exactly a year ago, and the Democratic stronghold of New Jersey. "

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Outside the Norm

I've chosen as my 'Historical' choice, the Quakers! After initially ariving in America in 1680, they formed the colony of Pennsylvania, I prosume named after its founder William Penn. The quakers have never been percieved in the USA with the highest of the of esteem. It could almost be said they fled to America due to them being persecuted in almost every country in Europe. Quaker (or the Religious Society of Friends) beleif comes derrives from Christianity, but they don't practically follow the Bible, members of the faith are allowed to percieve their own intepretations of God, and what he/she believed in. This, obviously, didn't go down too well with 17th century Europe, being highly ran, almost dominated by the motives of both the Protestant and Catholic Church, so they came to America to 'start again'.

While they've lived in America for centuries, they are still persecuted for the same reasons... being 'un-goddly'.

For my 'contemporary' choice, Trekkies, or the representation of 'Geek-dom' everywhere. First really coming about when the fandom of the TV programme Star Trek first aired, in 1966. 'Geeks' have always been viewed in social culture with a highly negative opinion. Prone to bullying and detrmental treatment all together, they are shunned for their image of being 'accidentaly weird', yet, the stereotype goes that they have an impressive intellect, but awefull social skills.

While 'Geeks' aren't the most pressing of minorities in American life, they do count as an 'Other' in the overal culture.
Gay and Lesbian advocates and defenders (GLAD) are an American gay and lesbian civil rights group that was founded in response to a sting operation carried out by Boston police surrounding the Boston public library. Police targeted gay patrons and had arrested over 100 people by the end of their 2 weeks of entrapment. Since then the organisation has campaigned for changes in the law to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and HIV status. At present only 6 out of the 50 states in America perform same sex marriages, with a few more legally recognising them, demonstrating the scale of the discrimination a large number of Americans experience due to their sexuality. GLAD believes that the way to tackle this discrimination is to go through the legal routes, of which they have experienced a fair amount of success, just recently achieving a victory regarding marriage equality in Maine.

The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) were a grassroots civil rights group that started in 1909 in response to the awful treatment and discrimination experienced by the blacks in America. The organisations principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate race prejudice. Membership grew rapidly over the years, with it at an all time high during Americas civil rights era of the 50's and 60's. The NAACP believed in using non violent action to achieve their means, primarily fighting racism through the law courts but also on the streets in the form of marches and demonstrations. Even after desegregation the group continued to campaign and still does so today, although now it focuses on disparities in economics, health care, education, voter empowerment and the criminal justice system as well as civil rights.

The Nation of Islam is an organisation that beleives the afican-americans in the United States should have more independance, and that they were mearly brought to america. There former leader Elijah Muhammad is quoted as in saying

"The Blackman is the original man. From him came all brown, yellow, red, and white people. By using a special method of birth control law, the Blackman was able to produce the white race. This method of birth control was developed by a Black scientist known as Yakub, who envisioned making and teaching a nation of people who would be diametrically opposed to the Original People. A Race of people who would one day rule the original people and the earth for a period of 6,000 years."
The group was a religous organisation, yet still had a large voice when speakers like Malcome X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) were acting as the public face. It seems to have given some black communities the leadership they felt they were not getting, along with a god that have there persifict interests in mind. After the civil rights movement the Nation Of Islam declined, but is
now seeing a rise in populaity again under the leadership of Khadijah Farrakhan.


This is an article explaining how the Latino populatioon in the United States are becoming the dominate force in American religion. It is interesting to note that Hispanics are now the largest minority in the United States, after White, putting the black community in a difficult situation.

"Instead of screaming out, 'The British are coming!' " Moreno Garcia says some people are screaming, " 'The Hispanics are coming! The Hispanics are coming! Run, run.....' "
"When I come to Mass at noon, the Anglos leave, and [Latinos] go in and we don't even say 'hi' to each other, not even 'hi,'" says Garcia. "Sometimes I think there is a wall, but that wall exists only because we don't have enough faith."

Monday, 2 November 2009

Evolution of home entertainment


American consumers are notoriously known for wanting the latest gadgets and technology. I have chosen this website to represent the idea of America as "new" and "exceptional" as it highlights how home entertainment is constantly evolving to the point that affordable cinema istallataions in the home are rapidly becoming a realistic prospect.

The most recent article on the website covers the "Installation of the Year Awards 2009" and features innovative home theaters. They are presented a way in which appeals to a wider market than just affluent people. Similar to how video technology has advanced from VHS to DVD and now Blu-Ray, televisions are constantly adapting too and the cinematic experience at home is becoming ever more authentic.

In LETTER III of Letters From an American farmer, J. Hector St. John Crevecouer describes "natural genius" and "traces in their works the embryos of all the arts, sciences and ingenuity" in reference to American settlers in 1782. These quotes push the point across that settlers in America were modern thinkers, always progressing and thinking about the future with hope and ambition in mind. This idea can certainly be applied to designers within the technology industry today, but rather than products being made out of just technical innovation, their production are mostly driven by the consumer's desire for wanting more advanced products.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

“So Must We Be One... Otherwise We Shall Be All Gone Shortly”


This account was written by Lion Gardiner, an English military engineer who monitored the construction of a fort in Connecticut in 1635 and settled in Long Island in 1639.

In the Pequot War of 1637, Connecticut settlers massacred the Pequot Indians and Gardiner, who had advised against engaging with the Pequots, left Connecticut in 1639 and settled in Long Island. There he lived on Gardiner's Island, which he brought from his friend Wyandanch, the chief of the Montaukett tribe. Miantonomi, the chief of the Narragasett tribe who were rival of the Montauketts, came to Long Island in the early 1640s to create an alliance with the Montauketts against the English. After contacting the leaders of Connecticut for help, Gardiner and Wyandanch succeeded in stopping the plan and Miantonomi was captured and executed.

Gardiner explains "And now I am old, I would fain die a antural death, or like a soldier in the field, with honor and not to have a sharp stake set in the ground, and thrust into my fundament, and to have my skin flayed off by piece-metal, and cut in pieces and bits, and my flesh roasted and thrust down my throat, as these people have done, and I know will be done to the chiefest in the country by hundreds, if God should deliver usinto their hands, as justly he may for our sins". Not surprisingly he negatively refers to the Indians as barbaric here yet he admits that he deserves to be brutally killed as that would be God's punishment for his "sins". This is likely to be a reference to when he and his fellow Connecticut settlers massacred the Pequot Indians. He again alludes to God when he states "if the Lord be not more merciful to us for our extreme pride and base security". By aiding the massacre of the Indians for selfish reasons, Gardiner knew he had sinned and in documenting this he was effectively asking for mercy and forgiveness from God.

Gardiner then begins to convey a sense of unity between he and the tribes: "calling them bretheren and friends, for so we are we all Indians as the English are, and say brother to one another; so must we be one as they are, otherwise we shall be all gone shortly". He is not judgemental of the Indians and respects their mild manner away from battle. His admiration for their land is apparent when he describes it in a fairer light than England's: "our fathers had plenty of deer and skins, our plains were full of deer, as also our woods, and of turkies, and our coves full of fish and fowl. But these Enlgish having gotten our land, they with scythes cut down the grass, and with axes fell the trees; their cows and horses eat the grass, and their hogs spoil our clam banks, and we shall all be starved". Ultimately, Gardiner cherished the land he settled in but is remourseful about how he achieved it.