Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fracking is Banned In Vermont

Fracking has become a very controversial issue in American and global economics and politics in the recent past.  Fracking to some is considered a booming and profitable industry in America in terms of domestic energy production.  At the same time, some may argue that it is much more harmful than helpful to our ever-growing and changing world.  Vermont has taken a giant step forward for all the anti-fracking people, groups, organizations, and even now states.  They are now the first state to pass legislation to ban this new energy extraction industry, and they will not be the only one to do so after they've got the ball rolling.  Why ban this industry that brings much needed jobs, money, and business to your state you may ask?  The governor of Vermont as well as  other experts in the industry throughout the United States believe there is strong evidence that contamination to groundwater as well as mild earthquakes come as a direct result of the fracturing of the shale rock to extract oil and natural gas. 

This leaves the people of the United States and people all over the world with many questions!  Will other states follow in Vermont's footsteps?  What will the presidential candidates in the upcoming election have to say about Vermonts decision to ban the industry?  Will this cause a trickling effect throughout the country, or will the greed of private industry and big business sway the minds and votes of the politicians in their respective states like those in Texas?  Will this be broadcasted and told throughout the world, or just be subject to little national or global mass-media coverage?  Only time will tell!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Water Is More Precious than Gold

Over the past year of my life i've tried to take almost every type of liquid out of my diet besides water.  At the same time, i still drink milk on occasion because of the obvious benefits from protein and calcium, and i'll occasionally drink juice.  I've really got to thinking about the topic of what one should drink and what one shouldn't take in.  You look throughout nature and even in our own lives at other animals, and all they drink is water.  You give you dog a water bowl, National Geographic shows how much of the wild is on a constant search for a new watering hole, so why should humans consume anything else?  In the end though, i've come to realize it is much more complicated than that.

      I've watched in the news as of lately how high fructose corn syrup has become somewhat of an epidemic in the United States, and its found in almost every soda or juice product you buy.  It is scientifically proven that artificially made substances such as this can cause memory problems and can also affect your ability to learn and absorb information, not to mention ruin your teeth.  American society does not care about the long term effects of things like this because the short terms effects are quite appealing for sugar is an addictive substance and it simply appeals to your taste buds.  People do not think about the long term effects of it over a lifetime. High Fructose  Corn syrup is on a long list of things you take in that can lead to health problems such as kidney disease from your kidneys having to filtrate the enormous amount of this toxic substance. It can also lead to problems with the liver as well as other parts of the digestive system that take out toxins from the body.  Combined with other poor lifestyle decisions it can be eventually be very detrimental to your overall liver functions, and can lead to scarring and is what is known as "fatty liver."  HFCS can also lead to heart problems because of the build up of plaque in your arteries which will presumably increase your chances of hypertension, heart disease, and even stroke, and you may know from my other blog post, kidney and heart function go hand in hand with one another. 

           I frequently think about the composition of our body.  Our body is made of primarily water, as well as carbon(bones) and iron(blood).  The main focus i'd like to attribute this article is the fact that our body is made up of almost all WATER.  In my personal opinion, if your body is made up of mostly water, shouldn't you only put water in your body.  At the same time, people usually make up for their lack of eating with drinking.  Most of your beverages are all empty, useless calories, and honestly your body graves more to drink when you drink things like soda because it does not fulfill your bodies need for liquid, so it leaves you drinking more and more which then leads to health issues. Water is essential to all life on Earth, so why should people shy away from drinking it on a daily basis.  Some may say that water just isn't tasty, and that one needs some flavor in their liquid, and for most of my childhood i was blinded by my taste buds, but i've realized that when i am extremely thirsty, what does my body crave, WATER, not soda or any other beverage.  You can have too much water in your diet though which can and will lead to kidney problems because your kidneys are going to be overworked, but in the end your body knows when its thirst is fulfilled, and when its thirsty, so just listen to it for your body will not do you wrong unless you personally let it by consuming too much of one thing.  Your body, and nature as a whole likes to maintain a steady balance to it, and by consuming the right amount of water and only water, i feel strongly that one can and will live a healthy life.

 A huge problem in the world today are diseases caused by unsanitary water.  Many people all over the world suffer from lack of safe drinking water.  Many parts of the world do not even have access to drinking water or if they do its polluted because of a lack of efficient sanitation infrastructure.  People dump their waste products into our lakes, rivers, streams, and aquifers not realizing the long term effects that their actions have on the enviroment and humans for we are apart of the whole picture.  I'm tired of the world playing a blind eye to this because of the all-mighty dollar sign for water is the single most important thing on this planet we call home.  Without water we would not have existed, and if we do not do right to our own bodies, our water, and our environment, we may not have the same luxury in the future as we do now. 

             We are at a cross-road right now with business and the environment, for we are on a path of self-destruction because of money.  Money has caused us to forgo the bodily harm that HFCS(high-fructose-corn-syrup) causes in the brain, the circulatory system, and the digestive system because we must continue our economic growth into the future.  We must continue to fuel our every growing energy needs by drilling for oil and natural gas as well improper disposal of waste materials, littering, as well as other things we really do not think about while our groundwater steadily worsens here in the U.S., but human nature will always forgo long term effects because of short-term goals or actions which are always intertwined with the all-mighty dollar sign.  In the end this problem is not just in the United States, but all over the world.  We must realize as a whole how precious water truly is to us in our daily lives, and realize that the future may be grim in terms of clean water supply for water is not a privilege, but a right for everyone and everything on this Earth, and when and if that global fresh water supply declines over time who knows what governments, business, or even the average person will do when that day comes.  Will governments act in a way to help the cause of educating the people about our actions and how it effects our body and environment, will business privatize the water supply and treat it as a commodity(thats just wrong) where the price will sky-rocket as supply is lessened by our conscious actions as human beings, and what will the average person revert to if the world they live in is stripped of regularly obtainable water? 

Honestly, i will always be optimistic throughout my life whether it be a struggle or triumph, but the way people have become simply scares me.  People will do anything to make a buck but will always try to transfer the blame to someone else have it be with government, business, or the average person. Society as whole is to blame, but the further we prolonge change for the better, the worse things can get.  I leave you with this:  Society as a whole has gotten us into this mess of unhealthy lifestyles in America, so society as a whole can get itself out of something it got itself into.   As just an ordinary 22 year old, most people will just overlook things i say, but honestly i care too much about myself, my family, my community, my country, and my planet to ever give up on things  I am truly passionate about and hope each and everyone of you who reads this feels the same way.

"Our body and our world is like a temple, church, or mosque, worship it with all the right things to keep it going strong, and get rid of the evils that stop it from living a healthy, long life."(SK)

Water is the greatest gift of nature after life itself, so protect it and educate yourself on its true importance in our lives in the short term and long term.

Human greed will be the true destroyer of worlds because human nature shows throughout history that man will never be satisfied by what he has now, but how much more he can obtain in the future and by any cost necessary to those around him. 

Humans, being the last evolutionary step on Earth(or so i think), will be the first to cause its utter destruction if we do not change and adapt to what we have learned in the past and present.  We are more than able to make change as an intelligent and consciously aware being, but will our stubborn nature hold us back?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation


How Did the Emancipation Proclamation Effect the War?



                The ratification of the Emancipation Proclamation has put Abraham Lincoln at the top of a list of many Presidents that have truly changed America for the better.  On that cold, winter day of January 1st, 1863, Lincoln signed that document declaring the freedom of black slaves, but in the end, it truly did not free every slave.  Lincoln’s decision to only permit the freedom of slaves in the southern-occupied played a key strategic role for the Union subsequently after.  The Emancipation Proclamation did not come without a heavy price to pay from northern workers and soldiers.  At the same time, the Yankee win at Antietam did not come at a better time because Lincoln wished to implement this monumental decree after a solid Union victory to stop any foreign intervention.  Lincoln was true conservative in the ideology that he only wished to issue the freedom of slaves to preserve the United States because without it this would never be an achievable goal.  In the end, the Emancipation Proclamation changed the course of American history forever.

                Before one can truly discuss Lincoln’s decision for the freeing of African-American slaves, one must see where the discussion began.  Lincoln, as a Congressman in 1848, saw slavery as an important issue in American politics.  He wished to end slavery by slow and constitutional means.  “In the plan he put forward while a Congressman, in 1848, for emancipation in the District of Columbia, three factors were crucial: it had to be gradual, voluntary (it had to be approved by a referendum in the District), and compensated. But Lincoln's task, as war came, was to preserve the Union.”  Slavery had become a part of this nation’s past time, and so moving into the future, many political figures did not wish to approve of the idea of abolishing slavery.  During Lincoln’s presidency after the war had begun, he saw the freeing of slaves had given another initiative to fight and win the war.  It effectively tied slavery directly to the war.  The Emancipation Proclamation only brought freedom to those who were still under the control of the rebellious states of the South.  This was a politically savvy move for Lincoln who wished not to disturb the war effort of pro-slavery states that were under Northern control, but effectively confuse the Confederacy and hurt the South’s labor force.  "If the Proclamation of Emancipation was essentially a war measure, it had the desired effect of creating confusion in the South and depriving the Confederacy of much of its valuable laboring force.”(Franklin)  At the same time, it gave a new reason for northern crusaders to fight in the war effort, for many abolitionists sought out Judeo-Christian principles that came from Bible scriptures.  According to William Wolf, President Lincoln "told his callers many times that his concern was not to get God on his side, but to be quite sure that he and the nation were on God's side. An interview in June 1862 with a delegation from Iowa led by Congressman James Wilson threw more light on this point. It revealed again Lincoln's strong predestinarian conviction about God's will.”(Wolf)  At the same time, Lincoln also saw this opportunity as a way to gain more troops for the Northern cause.  By the end of the war, almost 200,000 freed blacks fought on the side of the Union army.  In the end, I saw Lincoln’s conversation with Reverend Elbert Porter as a very interesting one.  Lincoln compared the emancipation of slavery to the plan of getting rid of a cancerous tumor.  He told a story of three physicians all of which agreed that the tumor at some point needs to be removed.  “One wants to poultice it and sweat it and so evaporate it. Another is positive that it should be taken out at once, that it should be cut and pulled out, even at the risk of the patient's life. But the third doctor says, 'Gentlemen, I differ from you both as to the treatment proposed. My advice is to prepare the patient for the operation before venturing on it. He must be depleted and amount of his blood diminished.' Now, my opinion is that the third doctor is about right."(Lincoln)  The Emancipation of slavery in America, in the eyes of Lincoln, was a strategic way to increase Northern support of the war, increase the Union army,  effectively hurt the Confederate labor force and economy, and finally tie slavery to the fighting that was occurring throughout the country.

                Not only did the Emancipation Proclamation have a significant effect on America, but it played a significant role in foreign relations.  During the war, the South wished to obtain recognition from foreign powers such as England and France.  At the same time, Europe wished to prove that the American experiment in democracy would not last.  After the Trent Affair, tensions were high between the Union and foreign power England.  England was a key part of the southern economy because of the production of cotton on southern plantations was important to the textile industry in England.  Before the Battle at Antietam, the South as well as England saw one more Confederate victory as way of obtaining foreign recognition.  After the battle was won and Lee moved his troops back into Virginia, Lincoln saw this time as perfect opportunity to pass the Emancipation Proclamation.  Lincoln hoped that the decree would stop any foreign intervention, and in the end it did.  Before the Proclamation, most of England was split in half over the American Civil War as some sided with the Union while others were pro-slavery.  Henry Adams, the son of the U.S. Minister to London, wrote: "The Emancipation Proclamation has done more for us here than all our former victories and all our diplomacy. It is creating an almost convulsive reaction in our favor all over this country....Public opinion is very deeply stirred and finds expression in meetings, addresses to President Lincoln, deputations to us, standing committees to agitate the subject and to affect opinion, and all the other symptoms of a great popular movement peculiarly unpleasant to the upper classes here because it rests on the spontaneous action of the laboring classes."  At the same time though, some foreigners argued that the Emancipation Proclamation was merely and political action.  Much of Europe was upset over the fact that Lincoln did not abolish slavery completely, but only in a place where he had no power or jurisdiction over.  They saw that document merely as a way to sway public opinion in Europe, as well as increase the likelihood of a slave rebellion.  Looking back this move in hindsight, Lincoln’s move to implement the Emancipation Proclamation was a gutsy move on his part because England had strong economic ties to the South that could be hurt by the freeing of Southern black slaves, but in the end, it effectively stopped any foreign intervention during the war especially after Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg that only strengthened the notion that the Emancipation Proclamation was made only implemented to preserve the Union.

                Even though the Proclamation was seen as a ploy to stop foreign intervention, and way to tie the slavery to the war effort, much of the North saw the implementation of this document as a negative connotation.  Many northerners saw the freeing of Southern black slaves as a threat to jobs and way of life.  They feared that as blacks were freed from the grips of slavery, they would travel north and take the jobs of many new immigrants, who came to America for better work opportunities.  Northerners were increasingly put on edge because blacks could now take their jobs, but they were not subject to the same draft laws.  Many infuriated northerners took their opposition to the streets where many Colored Orphan Asylums and black neighborhoods were burned down killing over a hundred blacks, and injuring 300 more in the New York Riots of 1863.  In the end though, Lincoln was praised more than he was frowned upon by Northerners as a whole.  The Emancipation Proclamation brought new life to a war that was seen as merely brutal and bloody, especially after the pain and bloodshed that Antietam brought. 

                On that cold, first day of the year of 1863, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation could not have come at a more perfect time.  The tactic of tying slavery to the war proved to be a significant victory.  The document did more for the North than any previous military victory had done.  It effectively stopped any foreign intervention in the war because of the fact that slavery had been abolished in foreign countries such as England.  Foreign laborers sympathized for the Union effort to bring freedom to the enslaved blacks of the Confederacy even though the Union embargo of the South had really brought English textile mills to a screeching halt.  Even though many northerners saw the freeing of slaves as a threat to their job opportunities, Lincoln saw it as a way to preserve the nation, bring new life to this bloody engagement, prove that under the Constitution all men are created equal under God, and that the bloodshed lost during this war would make up for 200 years of bloodshed lost because of the ruthless evils of slavery. 

 

Works Cited
“Emancipation Proclamation.” PBS.  May 9 2012.   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1549.html
Jones, Shannon. “The Enduring Significance of the Emancipation Proclamation.”  2 June 2004. May 9 2012. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jun2004/linc-j02.shtml.
Guelzo, Allen C. “Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America.” Simon & Schuster. 2004
“Mr. Lincoln and Freedom.”  The Lincoln Institute. 2002-2012. May 9, 2012. http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/inside.asp?ID=39&subjectID=3
 “Emancipation Proclamation.” PBS.  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1549.html

A Look at Life In India


India is a peninsular nation located in South Asia along the Indian Ocean.  It is a large nation that has over 1 billion people that live within an area of over one million square miles.  The form of government present in India today is that of a federal republic.  They have a Prime Minister, President, as well as a Parliament similar to that of England.  The country is divided into states similar to that of the United States.  The capital of the country though is New Delhi, and some of the largest cities include: Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore.   India has seen great economic growth in the past decades.  Through foreign help and domestic demographics, the country has been steadily growing since its independence in the middle of the 20th century.  India is now one of the biggest economies in the world, but the poverty level still lingers around 25% of the population, so only time and economic and social progression will show the true fate of India, but they have an exponential possibilities for their future when modernization and educational opportunities effect more and more of the population.

Over the past few decades, India has seen a great rush in government programs which has greatly enhanced science and technology research.  The Department of Science and Technology in India is a big reason for that push into the ever growing and competitive industry.  As India has seen a lot of its top researchers and scientists go off to other countries, it has been a growing interest of the Indian government to push for this.  Much of the education and technological development in India is based both on high and basic research, for they wish to promote science education toward the common man while also researching into new technology fields.  At the same time, even though India’s Science and Technology education and research rivals that of many modern and western countries, much of the benefits do not reach out to much of the population for a variety of socio-economic reasons.  At the same time, India has made strides in its S&T program in terms of infrastructure development regarding the agricultural sector and energy.  India is one of the few countries in the world that have nuclear power plants which can provide electricity as well as modern medicine in cancer research.   India, since its independence has created thousands of dams to help to bring power and water supply to farming areas which have effectively doubled over the past few decades due to foreign and domestic research in high-yielding crops.  India also has seen great advances in space and satellite capabilities which have been in place since the first satellite launch of the InSat 2a in 1992.  In addition, India has seen a boom in computer software manufacturing and development as well IT services over the past two decades where it has emerged as a great leader in worldwide computer technology where it ranks as one of the best tele-communication programs in the world as well as an ever growing population of cell phone and internet users.  In the end though, there is a big gap in progress among the population of India.  As many people of India’s society grow economically and intellectually, there is still a wide gap among the poor class and the rest of the Indian social caste system. 

India is a big country where disease and famine is one of the biggest problems in the country.  2.4 million Cases of AIDS and HIV  have been reported in the country where over 1 billion people live, and where men have a higher percentage of reported HIV cases.  It is difficult though to truly determine the amount of cases of HIV due to India’s large size and population and lack of proper programs, and medical and technological infrastructure to truly fight the epidemic on their own.  "In a country where poverty, illiteracy and poor health are rife, the spread of HIV presents a daunting challenge."( Overview of HIV and AIDES in India)  The country as well as foreign support systems is trying their best to educate the people of India on preventing AIDS, and doing a lot to help improve the standard of living, but at the cost of private donor’s philanthropic beliefs.  The moral issue at hand is this:  Some do not think it’s the duty of one to help another in a country that is half way around the globe.  They do not see the struggles of another to feel obligated to help, and at what costs to can you try to use new medicine and treatments for those with AIDS or other deadly diseases, but educating the poor and uneducated on AIDS awareness and proper family planning with can only help the growing problem in the country.   

Culture has a rich and traditional effect on the population of India.  Most of India belongs to the Hindu faith, but Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians can be found in the country.  India was the birthplace of many old religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. India’s rich culture is centered on the elders of the family who are given the upmost respect from the rest of the family, and where the male usually makes all the household decisions.   In recent years has seen a steady movement towards implementing western culture into its rich and ancient culture.   While Indian culture is also centered around self-reliance of one’s self as well as self-reliance on food which can be seen in India’s ancient civilizations where agricultural methods were quite advanced which has only grown in the modern era.   Marriage is also a big part of Indian culture.  Most of the marriages are arranged by families who wish to keep the family name going.  Women who marry into other families adopt the cultural values of her new family.  Your last name has a lot to do with your culture in India where last names like Jain, Patel, and Gupta are names that come from ancient Hindu gods. Much of the entertainment is found through folk music and dance in India.  “India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food, and customs differ from place to place within the country. Its culture often labeled as an amalgamation of these diverse sub-cultures is spread all over the Indian subcontinent and traditions that are several millennia old.”( Wikipedia)  The current music of India includes multiple varieties of religious, classical, folk, popular and pop music.  India also a rich artist culture which can be seen with their ancient rock sculptures such as the Jataka Tales from the Ajanta Caves to the amazing Taj Mahal.  Most of India’s rich artistic cultural background came from the Ancient Indus Civilization as well as other periods such as the Gupta and Mauryan Empires.  None-the-less India’s rich artistic culture still lives on today.  Sports and media have also grown in the modern times where the national sport is field hockey.  Other sports that have become popular include cricket, chess, and motor circuit racing, and Indian martial arts.   Indian has seen cable television grow over the years, and they even have seen western influence through channels such as the Cartoon Network, HBO, and MTV India.  Bollywood is an informal name given to the Mumbai film industry, along with other film industry hubs all over the country.  The film industry in India is one the biggest and most profitable in the world in terms of ticket sales and films produced.  India’s culture, in the end, has seen a melting pot of rich ancient culture, but has certainly opened itself up to western influence which only shows India’s culture as being open to new traditions, but is deeply embedded in a rich and traditional culture.

Over the last 50 years, India’s economy has seen huge growth and potential.  India's economy has grown tenfold over the last few decades.  Their economy will soon rival that of the United States in the coming years.  They are undergoing one of the biggest industrial technology booms of the modern day era which has seen the per capita rating increase significantly in the recent years, as well as the steady growth of the entire nation as a whole which increases by 5% annually. One of the biggest technological developments of India is the information technology boom.  "The Indian software industry has grown from a mere US $ 150 million in 1991-92 to a staggering US $ 5.7 billion (including over $4 billion worth of software exports) in 1999-2000. No other Indian industry has performed so well against the global competition."(Embassy of India)  This industry is the biggest and most influent movement of all time.  Computers and information technology has yet to reach its pinnacle for it is still in its infancy stages of development. According to studies done, annual revenue projections for India’s IT industry in 2008 are US $ 87 billion and market openings are emerging across four broad sectors, IT services, software products, IT enabled services, and e-businesses thus creating a number of opportunities for Indian companies, so India has made many contributions to the information technology industry to help improve the our virtual world.   This growth in manufacturing and services in India has greatly benefited the nation as a whole.  Much of India’s industrial economy is based around textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software.   The ability to have cheap and efficient labor has been played a significant role in the development of the national and global economy.  During a time where western powers use foreign labor, globalization has truly affected India’s economy significantly, but has left one with a moral dilemma.  As a result of globalization, India has become a leading export in Computer and Information technology and services for most of us in the U.S. who have a problem with their communication and computer devices are connected with IT services in India.   India has also grown into a great provider of agriculture after their farming industry was revamped after its independence over half a century ago. It is now also one of the leading countries in terms of fruit and vegetable production with export commodities that include: rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry, and fish.   India’s scientific education and development has been nothing short of a miracle some say, but it can be inferred that the country still has exponential possibilities looking into the future as more and more people become educated. 

India has been a member of the IMF since 1945, and is one of the original members.  It is not a frequent user of IMF resources, but has borrowed money on  a few occasions.  “IMF credit has been instrumental in helping India respond to emerging balance of payments problems on two occasions. In 1981-82, India borrowed SDR 3.9 billion under an Extended Fund Facility, the largest arrangement in IMF history at the time. In 1991-93, India borrowed a total of SDR 2.2 billion under two stands by arrangements, and in 1991 it borrowed SDR 1.4 billion under the Compensatory Financing Facility.”(IMF)

In the past few decades, India has seen an industrial and economic boom.  At the same time, the country has seen many issues that concern their environment.  The first problem concerning India is the population boom.  As India's population is over 1 billion, the country has a higher demand to feed such a large country and even though it has seen a great agricultural boom, can their resources support such a large amount of people as it grows?  This increase in people along with a pollution problem may come with a price even though India’s economy has seen huge growth.  India's pollution epidemic can be seen with the large scale littering problems, overfishing and sewage problems along the coastline, along with the dumping of industrial waste products.  Transportation pollution causes most of India's environmental concerns.  India's use of coal burning to produce energy is one of the leading concerns along with the use of wood burning in most homes for heating and cooking which can be a factor in the increase in lung and respiratory problems.  The huge amount of people who drive outdated combustion vehicles have been known to cause huge environmental concerns as well because engines emit more potentially harmful emissions.  As the economy grows and the middle class standard of living rises, one might see these issues being addressed by the people themselves as they become more educated about the world around them.  At the same time, the Kyoto Protocol is doing much to improve these environmental issues across the globe.  Fifty-Five nations across the globe have signed this deal that was proposed in 1997, but wasn’t ratified until 2005.  This United Nations produced plan sought out to cut greenhouse emissions globally by gathering world support over this astounding environmental crisis.  At the same time, it is very difficult to try to cut back greenhouses emissions in developing nations like China and India for they are going through one of the biggest industrial revolutions in the modern error.  By cutting greenhouse emissions in these developing nations will indeed slow down their economy possibly stifling growth and prosperity.  At the same time, we live in a globalized economy and world, so what effects the environment in developing countries such as India, shall be seen throughout the entire world.  In the end, this pact or global agreement shall see its effectiveness in the near future, as countries like India are like industrial factories for the Western World that must keep growing and growing to feed the consumption needs for places like America, so their shall be a clash between the environment  and the global economy before it is all said and done if the global emissions crisis does not become more significant in the minds of politicians and citizens together all over the world. 

The world has seen a huge boom in population growth that has inflated the population from 3-6 billion people from 1960-2000.  India’s growth has affectively double from almost 500 million to over billion people now in just over 50 years.  The average life expectancy is but 64 years, which is much lower than other developed nations which is around 78 years old.  The demographics behind the population growth were due in large part because the death rates lowered in India because of medicine and other means of preserving life.  As the life expectancy increases, the death rate lowers as the population rises, which has culminated in India’s present population.  It is said that within 20 years, India’s population will surpass that of China.  The workforce in India which could be labeled as anyone between the ages of 15 and 64, has effectively doubled over this period of time.  According to a Harvard based article on India’s Population in today’s world, “Since 1950, India has experienced a 70% decline in the infant mortality rate, from over 165 deaths per thousand live births in the 1950s to around 50 today. India’s child (i.e., under age 5) mortality rate has fallen from 138 deaths per thousand in the early 1980s to 75 today. Life expectancy has increased at an average pace of 4.5 years per decade since 1950. The fertility rate has declined sharply from approximately 6 children per woman in the 1950s to 2.7 children per woman today.”(Bloom, pg. 8)   The average man to women ratio is 1.12 men to 1 woman, but it is said that preferred sex abortions are common because men are preferred over females. This growth rate has allowed for an economic boom in India for now the working class has expanded as a result of this population boom during the past 50 years.  This direct correlation between the population boom and economic expansion has led many Indian people to new financial opportunities due to higher standards of living and average income per family.  Even though the country of India has seen great economic growth, the population boom leaves India with a problem of overpopulation which even though it has slowed down to 1.4% annually in 2010.  This idea of curbing population growth has been put into the hands of government, private help, and international help where educating the people on proper family planning in terms of children per household and affordability.

Ever since the days of independence from Britain in the mid-20th century, India and Pakistan have been in conflict with one another.  Most of it started over religion and politics because of alternative interests between Hindu’s and Muslims.  As a result, the two nations split into two countries Pakistan and India.  As a result, the two nations fought over land especially the city of Kashmir.  Neither country wished to give up claims over the land glacial wasteland which in the last two decades has brought the nations to the brink of war on several occasions.  The threat of ground and nuclear war has weighed in the balance after Pakistan came out publicly, and proclaimed they had too had nuclear capabilities.  In the mid-1990’s, both countries put large sums of government and military spending and the purchasing and production of advanced weapon technology, which in turn hurt their economy as a whole.  As the 21st century came upon the world, much diplomatic progress was made to lessen the tensions between the two feuding nations.  “By 2005 the gradual easing out of tensions between India and Pakistan had enabled a series of confidence building measures (CBMs). Since then the slow but steady negotiations have aimed at addressing the contentious issues such as Siachen, Sir Creek, Baglihar, Tulbul navigation project, drug trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, prisoners, roadblocks to trade and transit routes. While significant achievements have been made on certain issues, there are some issues over which no agreements had been reached.”( Global Security)  These peace talks were crushed by the Islamic militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba based in Pakistan.  Their terrorist attacks against the Indian city of Mumbai have increased diplomatic and military pressure between the two nations.  In November of 2008, 10 attacks total occurred all over Mumbai, killing over 100 people and wounding over 300.  Just three years later in 2011, several more attacks were waged upon the city of Mumbai.   “Three bombs were detonated at different locations across Mumbai: the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and in Dadar West. A fourth bomb was reportedly discovered in the Santacruz area and disarmed before detonation, 21 died and 130 were injured.”(http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/indo-pak.htm)  In the end, Pakistan political officials gave their grief and condolences to the Indian government and people over the attack.  India acknowledged these remarks and wished to continue with peace talks with the neighboring nations.  Hopefully, terrorism does not ruin diplomatic ties between the two nations, for India has a great potential to become a big player in the world. 



From my own experiences with first and second generation Indian-Americans, they are very hard working individuals.  Just this past week, there is a man down the street from my house that has only been in the United States for 9 years, where he has owned a mini-mart.  We talk a lot about his life in India not only for this project, but I was genuinely curious.  He proceeded to talk to me about his college life in India.  He received a master’s degree in Finance from a university that he said would be similar to a state school like Rowan.  He also went on to talk about the structure of school in India.  They break the school schedule up into 2 semesters.   Each class was broken up in these two semesters, and you have a final for the first term, and then subsequently have a cumulative final at the end of the school year, for which you are graded upon the ability to retain knowledge over a full year rather than individual quarters.  My childhood doctor, Dr. Jain, was also a first generation Indian-American, as is her husband, who is a banker for Chase Manhattan.  Even though it’s only my personal opinion and perception from my life experiences, the Indian-Americans that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting are very hard-working and intelligent individuals and great contributors to society in their own way.  From that being inferred, India as a nation has seen an era of great nation building in terms of its economic stature in the world, and what makes one say that India, in the future, cannot be society that rivals that of the United States because both countries have a rich and diverse culture.  At the same time, India still has many steps to take before this can truly happen because nearly one-quarter of the population lives in poverty and famine, so only time will tell the fate of India’s course toward modernization and the higher standard of living for all of its people because India is one of the rising diplomatic and economic powers of this great place we call Earth.
Works Cited
"All About India." April 15. 2012. http://www.all-about-india.com/index.html.All Rights Reserved 2009. Oliver Wakefield
“At a Glance- India and the IMF." International Monetary Fund. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 May 2012. <http://www.imf.org/external/country/ind/rr/glance.htm>.
"Avert: International HIV and AIDES Charity." Overview of HIV and AIDES in India. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.avert.org/aidsindia.htm>.
Bloch, Michael. "What is the Kyoto Protocol?." Carbonify. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 May 2012. <http://www.carbonify.com/articles/kyoto-protocol.htm>.
Bloom, David E. " Population Dynamics in India and Implications for Economic Growth." http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/pgda/WorkingPapers/2011/PGDA_WP_65.pdf. Harvard School of Public Health. January 2011. Address.
"Culture of India." Wikipedia. N.p., 5 May 2012. Web. 9 May 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Culture>.
"India- Basic Facts." . N.p., n.d. Web. 9 May 2012. <http://www3.uakron.edu/worldciv/india/ind-facts.html
"India Culture." . N.p., 2000-2009. Web. 9 May 2012. <Indianchild.com/India culture >.
Pike, John. "Indian-Pakistan Conflict." Global Security. N.p., 18 July 2011. Web. 9 May 2012. <http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/indo-pak.htm>.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Social Network Like Button Causes Firing in the Work Place: Where is this Society Coming To?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/us/clicking-like-on-facebook-is-not-protected-speech-judge-rules.html
Read this before you read my article.  6 people were fired by a Sheriff for liking the page of his political opposition.  Is that Constitutional?
        The First Amendment to the United Constitution gives us 5 basic rights that truly make us a "free" country.  While preserving the ideas of free speech, free religious practice, freedom to petition the government, freedom to assemble peacefully, and the freedom to press our founding fathers had a great vision of what freedom truly is. Our Founding Father's though, never invisioned that society as a whole would completely change since this document was ratified.  Facebook and other social networks that have come to existence because of the implementation of the internet and computer technology to our ever changing society.  Now we must worry about what we say, or "Like" on the Book.  This sheriff subsequently fired some of his employees because they "Liked" the page of his political opposition.  His excuse was that by his employees "liking" the page, that caused a conflict within the work place.  Instead of trying his best to inquire on why they liked the page, he fired them.  Maybe instead of being a paranoid incumbent, you should look at your actions as Sheriff and as their boss and wonder if you gave them a reason to "Like" the page of the opponent.  Regardless of that issue, you have no power or right to fire someone over their political beliefs.  It is the right of any American citizen to have freedom of speech even if that is through the use of their "like" button on Facebook.  On top of that, it is their right as a tax-paying citizen to petition the government or any government official in whatever way they'd like as long as it does not invoke violence of some sort, and i think the clicking of a button is not a reason for concern. 

  The controversy over this issue shall and will not be the end of the road over what you say, click, or act upon on the internet.  Don't we law abiding citizens deserve to have privacy in the physical and virtual world?  The actions of this Virginia Sheriff, in my opinion, are completely unconstitutional on so many levels, but things like this happen all the time without this kind of publicity.  Even though i'll always cherish the right to freedom of speech, it is cause for concern for people who will think twice before they do things on the internet because of the threat of losing their job, and it should not have to be like that.  Being an optimist though, I try to look on the bright side, and say I'm glad this was brought to court and to public light all across the nation because the decision from this case will directly effect the nature of law making into the future concerning your constitutional rights on the internet.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Totalitarianism in the 20th Century: How Total Control can Be Obtained By Legitimate Means


 Totalitarianism: How Total Control can be Obtained by Legitimate Means?



                Totalitarianism during the 20th century has been said to be a new form of government never seen before in world history.  Adolf Hitler essentially obtained power by legitimate means of election during the rise of the Nationalist Socialist Party or Nazi Party.  Following the World War 1 and the Great Depression, which essentially put most of the world especially Germany into a spiral downwards economically, politically, and socially.  During the rise of Adolf Hitler, he promised the German masses that he would bring back the German Pride and nationalism.  After his stay in prison, he realized that he must obtain power by democratic means, but he subsequently took all the power once he was elected in office on January 30th, 1933 where he won the popular vote.  Once Chancellor, he used the burning of the Parliament Hall or the “Reichstag” to effectively get rid of all political opposition, but it is said that Hitler himself had the government building burned down to help him obtain a tighter grip on power.  The Reichstag passed the enabling act effectively giving Hitler full power for four years, but within two months of having full power he turned the German government into one that reflected a total dictatorship.  All the while, Hitler reached out to the working class by mimicking F.D.R.’s “Fireside Speeches” and his public works acts which helped build infrastructure.  He told the German people exactly what they wanted to hear.  He used nationalism to justify socialism because he said the German people deserved to be looked after, not because of their equality, but because of their Germanness.  He professed to the German people that they were the superior race from the idea of social Darwinism.  At the same time that he began the rise of nationalism among the masses, he implemented a series of laws and events that essentially wiped the “scapegoat” Jewish population of all rights and citizenship.  The Nuremberg Laws essentially wiped Jews of all abilities to own businesses, the Nazi’s took over a Jewish ran film industry, and effectively told the German people not to interact with them.  Jew’s were now seen as Germany’s misfortune, and people truly believed in Hitler’s ideology of anti-semitism for it had mass appeal even before the rise of the Nazi's.  Hitler even created his own military police called the S.S. ,which was a secret force that would effectively be Hitler’s pawns of terror that un-leased upon the Jewish population and political opposition which one can see through the “Night of Broken Glass,” which was a destruction of Jewish owned shops, and another occasion the S.S. led a reign of terror on the political opposition to instill fear and obedience among the people. German propaganda in the form of Nazi flags all over Germany, film ‘s such as the Triumph of the Will,  the Olympic Games which Germany won, and even Hitler making the cover of time magazine in 1934 showed how glorious of a country that Germany had become all the while he used his total power to inflict terror upon the people.  Hitler’s voice was all over the radio preaching to the German people about their superiority and the promise to bring back the Fatherland to its glory days.   Children were known to have sung the Nazi Anthem, read poems in school about how Jews were sinners, and would cut the throat of any German Christian.  Hitler told the people of Germany that it was their destiny to obtain living space for them to live a comfortable life after the war was over.  This allowed him to justify invasions of other European countries like Poland, where most of the Nazi concentration camps were established.  The concentration camps were downplayed though, for Hitler and the Party had a true monopoly over German media.  While German media used German pride in nationalism to build German moral and support, they fueled their political adventure by confiscating Jewish owned possessions when they tried leaving the country in addition to the unlucky one’s who were sent to German labor and death camps.  I find it rather interesting the serious of events that allowed such a thing to happen in a country.  How could one man win a country over by legitimate means by bringing back up a broken down and morally beaten nation from the shadows of the abyss to becoming a nation of pride and superiority, and effectively scapegoating everything on what Hitler called the Jewish race.  Obtaining power by democratic means is what Hitler knew he would have to do to gather the German masses to the Nazi Party, and he did so.  His reign of terror began soon after he gained full power.   He then went on to effectively strip all political opposition which put in the minds of the people, “you are either with us or against us.”  Fear brought subordination to the Fuhrer, for he was the man who was going to save German, so one should not go against him.  He essentially brought out an elitist German culture, for he said they were the superior race which was portrayed through all media outlets, while all the while stripping every one of their first amendment rights, and effectively removed citizenship from the Jewish people, and eventually led to the total destruction of the European Jewish population. 

                Hitler used the idea “racial purity” and the idea of German living space to justify his destructive acts on the Jewish people.  He wanted an Aryan population of” racially pure, genetically healthy, and socially productive and loyal to the state. This goal meant, above all, stigmatizing, discriminating against, and ultimately killing those whom the Nazis identified as being biologically and racially flawed. In such a context, especially Jews, but also Roma (Gypsies), people with mental and physical disabilities, and African Germans, faced direct and immediate danger at the hands of the Nazis.”(The Quest for Racial Purity, pg. 2)  The Jews were seen as un-human in the eyes of Nazi Party, and essentially the German people for the Party got rid of all liberal thoughts, which made Hitler’s word the only truth.   This allowed for eugenics to occur on those who saw as unfit, and tarnished the German population by having too many children.  This subsequently led to the idea of the extermination or evacuation of the Jewish people which shall always be referred to as the “Final Solution.”    The HBO documentary, “Conspiracy,” a reenactment of meeting over the “Final Solution”, Heydrich, the head of the S.S. confirms that the final solution is the extermination of the Jewish race.  “In place of the deportation policy, he suggests a vague and subjective policy of “evacuation” calling for the removal of special exemptions even for those who have received Germany’s highest honor the Iron Cross and adding new rules that include those that “look or behave Jewish”. During this discussion of evacuation, Heydrich allows some discussion over whether sterilization could be substituted for evacuation. When the sterilization discussion digresses into almost a shouting match, Heydrich promptly ends it by saying, “Death is the only reliable means of sterilization, Dead people don't have sex.”  This shows that Heydrich shows no grief over the killing of 60,000 Jews a day at Autswitz Camp in Poland during the reign of the Nazi Party.  They even devised an efficient way to keep the horrors of death away from the S.S. killing machines.  They were to build and operate gas chambers that would be of a silent death to the Jews.  The members of the conference saw amusement when the official noted that the bodies came out pink.  This showed how the German people became so detached from the killing of the Jewish race for they were seen as inferior people who contaminated the population of Germany.  In the end, the plan led to the destruction and horror of the entire European continent because of Hitler’s ideology of racial cleansing which led to the demise of over 6 million Jews and countless lives of other groups thought to be inferior. 



Works Cited

1.       “The Quest for Racial Purity.” Nazi Ideology and the Holocaust. http://www.ushmm.org/education/foreducators/resource/pdf/naziIdeologybook_part2.pdf

2.       “Hitler and Socialism.” J.J. Ray. June 2001.

3.       “Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini: Totalitarianism in the Twentieth Century.” Bruce Pauley. European History Series. January 2009.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Life: What it means to me?

Sometimes i sit and ponder on the idea of life and what it means.  What does it mean to feel alive,  Is it waking up every morning, and being awake or alive to the world around you for which you interact with?  How is it possible that one can feel more alive than another?  Does one feel more alive because the sequence of events that has preceded him/her that has allowed someone to feel more alive than another?  Do the ideas of life coincide with the essential liberties for which we live and die for as intelligent people?  What happens when those liberties are infringed upon? Does that mean the meaning of life is distorted because the constitution says we all deserve the means of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of eternal happiness, for the world we live in now sometimes shows otherwise.  Don't ever let anyone take away your feeling of life in whatever way it means to you.

            Life is the culmination of a variety of different things.  We are all born with the ability to live, but what does it really mean to live.  Honestly, i am only 22 years old, so my view on life may not be the same as someone who is 50, for life experience will only bring a more detailed and vivid truth on the meaning of life.  Life to me are the struggles and triumphs for which we overcome, and essentially give one a feeling of life, for their hard work and persevearance has payed off.  These triumphs bring you "the breathe of life" or the feeling that anything is possible with alittle work and attentiveness to the task at hand.  Life also brings a variety of pain and failure, for which sometimes offsets the feeling one gets when they have triumphed, but anything you feel strongly about is worth fighting for.  For example, my mother, if some of you have read my prior blogs, almost had life taken from her grasp through her struggle/fight with cancer, but her ability to overcome life's struggles and pains even at its darkest hour has proven to me that anything is possible you just have to deal with it and overcome it.  Even after beating her bout with cancer and preserving her own life, she wished to continue on as if it was just a small bump along the road.  Today, after struggling with finding job because of her recent past, she has persevered and found a new job as a nurse in hospice care, where she can help bring joy and care to the lives of those who are not so fortunate, and i have the utmost respect for anyone who is willing to do that for I have not always been so kind and mature. I've played baseball my entire life, and i really think it blinded my ability to see life in the fullest light.  Life isn't just about physical triumphs, but those emotion and mental triumphs that will deepen your feeling of life and being alive for the only thing that made me feel alive was getting a K or winning a ball game, nothing else mattered.  Things in life have for the most part come easy to me before that point, but it was after that point where i had to struggle with myself and the world around me to truly find myself outside of the game, but i did and i will never look back for it has only made me stronger in the end.  But in the end, ask yourself what it means to be alive for you?  Is it your senses and conscious awareness of the world around you that makes you feel alive?  Is it your ability to feel pain and hardship and in the end persevere over them that makes you feel alive, or is it just waking up to live and fight another day that makes you feel alive?  No one is right nor wrong in this situation, for who am i to inflict judgement upon another person, for i have not lived one second in their in mind and body.  Never give up on life, for life will never give up on you unless you let it, so i can infer the same of humans.  Do not let any human being take away your breathe of life, or what makes you feel alive have it be your freedom, your thoughts, your ideas, or your actions as long as they do not infringe upon those who also seek to live life.  Life is not fair to those who say it is not fair, but just keeping moving along day after day for it is not the end of the road that matters, it is the sequence of struggles and triumphs that have culminated before your very eyes that truly makes the end result that much sweeter.  LIFE IS GREAT, LIFE IS UNBIASED, people's words and actions make it otherwise so.