Friday, December 19, 2008

American Language?

From Modinator:

American. What does it mean to be American? Is it a different species of human altogether? That is what Crevecoeur said in the 1830’s. I agree with him because I have seen what Americans have done to the English language. They have butchered it. It is very different from how the citizens of England speak. He says that Americans are selfish in a good way, and this is true, for Americans do not want to part with the money they earned. President Roosevelt has another explanation for “American”. He says that an American is extremely patriotic. That if an immigrant wants to keep his original culture and be American, he should leave right away. I think this is being patriotic to the farthest extent, and that today, many people are not so patriotic as to not be hyphenated-Americans, and America is still not on the verge of total collapse. Psychologist John Garther says that Americans with immigrant background are risk takers. Psychiatrist Peter Whybrow says that Americans have a whole different allele that makes them risk takers. I disagree with both of these because some people are forced out of their countries and some others do not risk much. They have relatives already living in America and they stay with them until they can care for themselves.


From lvdrlvr55:

“Proud to be an American.” We hear this phrase so often, and yet, do we really know what it means? What, exactly, does it mean to be called an American? Are Americans set apart solely because of their citizenship or are there a certain set of beliefs - an American ideal - that makes us unique? Or perhaps, as suggested by some, we, the inhabitants of the United States, all possess a distinctive, risk-taking gene somewhere within our DNA that provided us with the motivation to leave everything we had ever known and start anew in a foreign land – namely, the United States of America.

The American legacy, one of heroic accomplishments and courageous feats far exceeding anybody’s expectations, is not one to be reckoned with. And yet, the fact remains that we are a nation of immigrants. There is nobody – not even the Native Americans – who/whose ancestors did not emigrate here from a foreign country at some point in time. Knowing this, some have been led to believe that anyone and everyone who lives in the US possesses the same distinctive, risk-taking gene somewhere within their genetic makeup. Perhaps somewhere within our DNA there exists a gene that motivated us all to leave our homes, take a risk, and start fresh here in the United States. But on the other hand, is it really possible that an entire nation made up of people of all different ethnic and racial backgrounds would share the same distinctive gene within their genetic makeup? After all, what are the chances of that happening? And even if that were true, a stable country with a functional government would never be able to succeed if it was based entirely off of daring, risk-taking people.

On the contrary, there are those who believe that Americans of foreign birth or origin may bear some form of allegiance to their home country rather than full loyalty to America. President Woodrow Wilson himself regarded “hyphenated Americans” with suspicion, saying "Any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready." But who says that one can’t be an American ­and sympathetic to one’s homeland at the same time? We came to America to seek out the opportunity to succeed, the prospect of living a better life than we may have been able to live had we stayed in our home country. Furthermore, if we prejudice against “hyphenated Americans,” then aren’t we basically prejudicing against our founding fathers and all first generation Americans who came here and started the nation in the first place? Who then, is a true American?

But perhaps there is no need for one to possess a certain gene or be born in the USA in order to be an American. The fact remains that we are a nation of immigrants; one of many cultures, languages, races, and ethnicities (as previously stated). Our diversity and the risk we took in coming here to the USA sets us apart from all others, whether or not we share the same DNA strand or were born here.

American DNA

From Cheez:

American DNA?

What makes an American? If we compare crazy teenagers to wrinkled senior citizens, there must be something that brought us together in the first place. We’ve been viewed through the eyes of foreigners, as well as our own fellow Americans. Our own ancestors, whether a parent or great-great grandparent or even later, have had to make the same journey to find our just how promising the Land of Opportunity was.

The first two passages, written in the 1830s by a foreigner by the name of Crevecoeur, reflects his views on what America means. He believes that an American can leave behind all of their old customs, religions, and ways of living in order to start over. An American means being your own individual. I agree, because the people who left their countries didn’t have anyone to look up to, to set the regulations. They could move up in society, or go back down. It fuels the passion to be better and work hard. In addition, the second passage states that there are no separate races, and that you don’t need to follow all of your old customs.

Passage 3, which was written around 1915 by Teddy Roosevelt, states that any person living in America is an American. Whether Indian, Asian, Russian, etc., you should always regard yourself as an American. Any hyphenated American is a bad American. However, I believe that the hyphenated names just show how, although we are different in origin, we all share the American dream. It may fuel an understanding for others. We are all liked by the word American, and no race-related proper noun before that would make enough of a difference in how we regard each other.

Dr. John Gartner wrote Passage 4 in 2005. He believes that the Americans who left their own home countries demonstrated a psychological test. On a broad overall basis, Americans left their home countries because they wanted adventure, and took risks. I agree, because to have the courage to leave home and go on a voyage to an unknown land wouldn’t sound very appealing. They had to have had taken huge risks, and must have had similar personalities to fuel the need to continue their journey.

Lastly, in Passage 5, it is similar to Passage 4. Written in 2005 by Peter Whybrow, he sees similar demonstrations of courageous traits in Americans. He found that inhabitants in the U.S. are more likely to have a D47 gene. Our ancestors must have shared the same trait, which has been passed down for generations. They all were risk-takers, the courageous. It is because of them that we, America, are what we are now.
The word “American” means several things. We may share the same DNA. It also brings us under one title, so that we all have a similarity, no matter what race or physical appearance may tell other people

Being an American

From Toast:

What is an American? That is a question that doesn’t exactly have a right or wrong answer. The answer is more of an opinion, therefore there are many answers.

In the 1830s, a French immigrant, Crevecoeur, tried to answer that question. He described Americans as being many races, mixed into one new race. Crevecoeur also said that Americans are not attached to European customs and that they should love America more than their ancestors’ country.

In 1915, Teddy Roosevelt gave his own description of an American. He said that a true American is born in America or they aren’t truly Americans. To him there is no such thing as a hyphenated American like a Chinese-American or an African-American. To him there is only one category for an American; American.

In 2005, Dr. John Gartner said that Americans want adventures and success. Most immigrants who come to the United States, come because they want a better life and to take a risk at getting something better. They want to fulfill their dreams and to have something more for their lives and their children too.

Also in 2005, Peter Whybrow said that in most American immigrants, and decedents from American immigrants, you can find the D-47 allele. The d-47 allele affects you physiologically and makes someone more of a risk taker. Most Americans who have or had this gene take the risk to come here to America.

To me an American is one that has pride in their country and wants to live here in America. I disagree with Crevecoeur when he says an American must love America more than their ancestors’ country. I think you could love both countries the same but think America is a better place to live and have a family. An American should be able to keep some of their original customs. I also disagree with Roosevelt. I think someone can be categorized as Chinese-American or African-American and still be American.

I agree that in America; many races, mixed into one new race and that Americans are adventurous and want success. This mix makes Americas different and is why most people love America so much and want to be Americans. I also think that taking risks and being ambitious is a part of being American. That is why I think that most people found with the D-47 gene are Americans.

Americans have some special qualities, and this is what I think makes them an American

American DNA? Why not?

The authors of the first four excerpts attempt to take it upon
themselves to define what it means to be American. Among the parts
of being an American according to them are loyalty, bravery,
determination, and allegiance. The first author defines an American
as one who leaves his/her old life and ways for a new life in
America. Crevecoeur praises the ability of Americans to make their
labor pay off easily, but notes their self-interested nature. Teddy
Roosevelt stresses Americans to be of their own separate race and
nationality, criticizing "hyphenated Americans" who call themselves
Asian-American, African-American, etc. His interest here lies in
uniting the people in his country while at the same time reminding
them of their new homeland and trying to persuade them into
forgetting their old cultures and customs.

Dr. John Gartner
describes Americans as "hypomaniac," mentioning their bravery and
willingness to risk just about everything for new opportunities in a
land completely unknown to them and thus going along with the first
author’s argument.

Roosevelt, despite the great president he was, takes his argument
here a bit too far and onto an almost nationalist perspective,
encouraging the people to forget their old countries and move onto
the growing culture in America. Gartner, along with the first
author, marvels at the bravery of an American to do just that: leave
behind his or her own ways in order to find opportunity within a new,
unknown world. Crevecoeur, on the other hand, tends to hide a
negative opinion behind some positive points. He points out that
opportunities of success in America are so much better than in other
parts of the world, where being successful is often never dreamed
of. Crevecoeur does remind the reader of Americans’ self-interested
nature and ultimately, their selfishness.

The fifth excerpt brings Gartner’s wonders of the hypomaniac,
American mind into action, suggesting there be an "American gene."
As stated by Peter Whybrow, the author of this passage, a study shows
that a certain gene has been found in Americans more than people of
any other country. Whybrow, going along with the scientists’
theories, predicts that it is this gene that provides Americans the
brave, risk-taking spirit mentioned by Gartner. He argues that the
only reason that people would be brave (and possibly crazy) enough to
leave everything behind in their homeland to come to a new, unknown
land would be because of a shared gene, and his opinion is backed up
by a scientific study.

This brought an indignant student close to tears in our class,
showing the apparent absurdity of this argument. But plug in the
scientifically-proven statistics and evidence, the well-reasoned
opinion of Whybrow, and historical fact, and we have the astounding
possibility of an actual American gene. While further research may
be needed to convince the rest of us that this isn’t just some stupid
joke to make us think about ourselves, isn’t it perfectly possible
that all the people who risked their lives to simply immigrate here
in the early 1900s, and then keep fighting on to find a place in the
confusing society of the young nation had something driving them? A
farmer who leaves behind his family, friends, and tradition to come
to America and try to find success with a plant that has less than a
50% chance of even growing has something in common with a businessman
who leaves the simple economy and environment of his country to
compete against thousands of more businessmen in America, where he
has a small sliver of a chance to make some good money. Contrast the
farmer to the farmer next door who would prefer to continue his
simple life in his own country rather than risk entering the busy,
hectic world of America.

And it doesn’t have to stop there; the
astronauts, explorers, and oceanographers of today are still looking
for a new place of their own, navigating their way through the last
known frontiers. All these people willing to risk everything for
something better could just as easily have a common gene as they
could not have it at all. Instead of asking ourselves "No way… he
can’t be serious," we can be asking ourselves "Well, why not?"

American DNA? Yeah, right.

From slater:

An American. A nationality known around the world, occupying a relatively large chunk of North America.
Not that that’s ever a good-enough definition. Oh, no. Because the problem, most people have different definitions, person to person, state to state, generation to generation.
But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with them.
Take Crevecoeur, for example. As a Frenchmen, he came to America, studied the qualities of the people who lived here (back in the 1830s), and came to a simple conclusion: An American is an American. Simple as that. He is like no other race, nor the descendant of one. He leaves behind all that he had to start over, by American means. All of these people then “melt” together to form a new, completely original nation. It is to be more respected than his ancestor’s and can only depend on himself to prosper.
Personally, I think it’s a bunch of baloney. I mean, really. It is unheard of that the minute an immigrant arrives into America, they drop all that they knew, loved, and respected to take on American customs. And it is because this does not happen, that cultures do not “melt” into each other and become one big soup. Rather, they look for people of their own kind, hence living still by nationality, making the Italian Brooklyn, and the Russian Brooklyn, and so on.
People do not “melt”, rather they “mix”. But by no means do they forget all that they knew to take on something new.
It is in that sense that our dear Teddy Roosevelt is also wrong. In 1915, he made it clear when he said that there are no such thing as a “hyphenated American”, meaning you cannot be African-American, or Irish-American. You must be simply American or nothing at all. After all, who need diversity when you can simply have this nation based on…well…diversity? Because, like he said, these kinds of people are definitely going to bring our country down.
Now, I understand that he was our president. But this isn’t simply patriotism anymore. It’s bordering on the edge of über-nationalism, and in a slightly frightening way. Why must people be strictly Americans? Why can they not be both, their ancestor’s culture and America’s? A boy is not made to chose between basketball and baseball when asked what sport he plays, so why the same way with culture?
A little less than a century later in 2005, Dr. John Gartner stated his opinion on the matter—that an American is a risk-taker for leaving his native land to start over in uncertainty of succeeding or failing. Americans all share that one trait—that there was something they found in America appealing enough to leave all they had to begin a new life here. I agree with this guy a little. True, it takes a lot of courage to pack up and leave to not know what will happen, but that doesn’t simply apply to Americans then, but rather any immigrant.
Unless, of course, the situation in their native country is so bad that they have no other choice than to pack up and leave. In which case, they’re not necessarily taking a risk—it may be safer to leave than to stay. Nor does this apply to those who really did not have a choice of coming—children or babies.
Last, there’s Peter Whybrow, who in 2007 explained about the D4-7—or the risk-taking—gene. He pointed out that there are more people in America with this gene than in other countries. He states that people with this gene are more likely to come to America than people without it, and people who are both first-generation Americans as well as those who have been here for ages have this “American gene”. This man I disagree with on just about everything. The DNA sequence is so long that even if it is possible to pinpoint one gene commonly found in one mass of people, it cannot necessarily be applied to just one characteristic. It could mean everything, and even numerous tests and experiments cannot prove this.
More importantly, I do not see how it is possible for this one gene to predict the course of events to come. One biological factor can’t be the sole reason behind a person leaving their country and coming to America. Of course, I could be wrong, and this is simply a risk-taking gene. But then it is not responsible for people coming to America because there must be people all around the world with this gene.

I do not agree with any of these men one hundred percent. It is ridiculous because each one of them are making generalizations and grouping people simply by where they live. Not every person in America is greedy into making money. Not every person in America is a risk-taker.
So then what do I consider to be an American? Any person who believes they are an American.

And that’s up to them to decide.

Who Am I as an American?

From havesomecookies:

Up until now, I have never pondered about the definition of an American. How do I know that I am a true American? Are my parents true Americans? The truth is, I do not know. It is a topic that is not solid and block-like; it can be debated for eternity. I’ve always considered the American race to be a mixture of diverse cultures that were led over by the theory of “sidewalks made of gold” and “the land of opportunity”. But after discussing the ideas of several different professors and scientists about the making of an American, I have arrived at the conclusion that if their explanations were official, I might be residing in Canada right now.

In the first passage my class perused, written by French writer Crevecoeur, he stated that an American has a piece of courageous hidden somewhere within. An American has the fearlessness to arrive at an entirely new continent that has not even been fully settled yet and adjust to a new life, a new government, a new rank. I agree that those particular immigrants might possess that trait, but what about their descendants? I’m certain that a fraction of American is compiled of children of immigrants. We do not gain every single personality trait that our parents had; if we did, that would be frightening.

Passage #2 states that an American is also part of a new race that is composed of many dissimilar races. Americans must love this new country even more than their old country from which they departed. Pride and patriotism are the main formations for a nation that will greatly impact the world. This country gives immigrants the chance to start over, to move up a space or two in the social pyramid.

Written by Teddy Roosevelt in 1915, Passage #3 orders all American’s to address themselves as one and only one term: An American. None of that “Chinese-American” or “African-American.” Why do we necessitate those terms? The minute you march over the border, it’s crossed out with an overriding, black X. You are now part of a concrete nation. But Teddy forgets that the America is supposed to be made up of different cultures, working to move in the same direction: success. Enough was left behind when immigrants came over from their home countries; they should be allowed to thrive in a new nation while still celebrating a lifelong tradition.

Passage #4, written by John Gartner in 2005, is similar to Crevecoeur’s theory. And I still disagree. If I was the shyest human being on this planet, but I suddenly changed and became confident over time from numerous factors, how is that a trait? Some were even brought over without a choice. They were babies and their parents made the tough decision. The End. It’s not something they chose. It’s something they had to go along with.

The last passage, Passage #5, written by Psychiatrist Whybrow, claims that there is a special gene floating around that is included in only American DNA. I find this very hard to deem veritable. There has to be some other person in the world that did not immigrate to America that has this gene. Out of 6.7 billion people on this Earth, there has to be.

Onward to Canada!

What is an Amrerican?

From breathe:

Many a time in our lives we come across questions that actually compel us to think. (Yes, gasp, /think/. As in the 'racking your brain and whatnot' kind of think.) One such question may be as follows: What, precisely, is an American?

Have you yet been seized by confusion? No? Then let us plow on.

Many people appear to have distinct opinions on just what an American isyou may have your happy-go-lucky 'they're-awesome!' person on one side of the spectrum, and another person who possesses a starkly contrasting opinion on the opposite end. But recall that perspective is relative; thus, one cannot quite conclude where someone really sits on the spectrum. Nonetheless, I digress. Let us move along.

Enter Crevecouera Frenchman, oui? Il est franais. According to this man, Americans are all about liberty. In other words, summarily: FREEDOM. And a great load of it to boot. His impression of an American is that they are typically those who shed their European heritage and embrace new waysor, if an immigrant, /become/ Americans. Furthermore, this Frenchman felt that Americans acted in self-interest alone, that they were and are self-seeking anddare I say it?/selfish/.

Yet another person, specifically President Roosevelt, mentioned that an American was well, an American. There were no such things as 'hyphenated Americans,' such as African-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc. And, certainly, there was no room for them in America, as he put it.

And yet another, namely one Dr. John Garter, stated that America is a nation of immigrants, which has resulted in an extremely skewed and 'limited' population, so to speak. His idea is that the more optimistic and impulsive one is, the more likely he or she is an immigrant, and, consequently, possibly an American. In his words, those who come to America are 'hypomanic.' Certain personality quirks draw them to the land of America.

Lastly, we have psychiatrist Peter Whybrow, whose theory on this is that there is merely a prevalence of the D4-7 allele, otherwise known as the (in)famous risk-taking gene. Supposedly, those who came here to America possess said (in)famous risk-taking gene, which gave them the optimism and courage to move to a foreign land and establish an almost entirely new life. So, now it's in our genes, hmm?

I am, quite appropriately, floored by the possibilities.

Personally, I have never quite paused to think, let alone ponder deeply, "What is an American?" With this subject matter, the answer isn't quite cut-out and dry anymore, nor is there merely /one/ answer in the first place. There are myriad possibilities, to be sure. It's just a matter of finding them within one's mind.

Speaking of Americanism, well. My personal opinion. To be perfectly and utterly honest, I am not quite sure. Yes, I do agree with some points brought up by the aforementioned individuals. Back to Crevecouer, then. Nay, I do not entirely agree with one of his ideasfor one, I don't quite appreciate the prospect of being called a self-seeking, selfish person (idiot)but he does make a valid point: Americans are indeed all about freedom. Or, at least, they seem so. Recall, if you will, the American Revolution. Did the former colonists not fight for their freedom, for independence from Great Britain. Ah. Well. There you have it.

As for Mr. Roosevelt's words: rubbish. (And I do apologize if I happen to offend anyone.) Why can't one be proud of his or her ancestry? So what if he or she (or ancestors, at that) hail from a foreign country? What's so bad about being a 'hypenated-American'? Technically, they /are/ still Americansafter all, the word coming before American is being used as an adjective, which, if you aren't aware, describes a noun. At heart, 'hyphenated-Americans' are still Americans. There is nothing wrong with being proud of one's lineage.

Dr. Garter's idea, on the other hand, proves quite interesting. Hypomanic, eh? Well. I'm not sure whether I should be flattered or insulted. (Although, accordingly, I am feeling a mixture of both simply /because/ I don't know.) There is validity to his statement. It does take a great deal of courage and bravery to dare venturing overseas to America, anyway; a certain degree of impulsiveness is automatically called for. Optimism as well. (Really, you think one'd be able to survive being a total and utter pessimist, think again, now.) The prospect of becoming rich is quite motivating, but the fear of the unknown can often nullify it. Thus, yes, Americans that have immigrated in do need some fearlessness, at the very least.

Finally, as for Mr. Whybrow, that there could potentially be an allele in one's DNA that makes risk-taking obligatory (because, well, it's the risk-taking gene for a reason) is a strange idea, but I suppose it has grounds. I'm not one for delving into the tiniest details, so I'm not aware of any such gene, though I suppose it is possible that one could exist.

Nevertheless, nay, I still am not quite sure what exactly an American is. Now, do /you/? Well?

America = Patriotism?

From Q:

In simple terms, Americans are people that live in the United States of America. The question is, however, what defines an American. In other words, what separates the American mentality from that of the Europeans, or the Asians, or even the Africans. Is an American an extreme patriot? Is an American an immigrant with just a dream? Are we arrogant? Are we risk takers? Gamblers? Fat, spoiled, and rich?

The only fact that lies in this question is that since our independence, people around the globe have wanted to come here. They have associated our country with a way out of their problems and as a true land of opportunity. But why have we been able to establish such a fluid social ladder like not other country? Sure, other countries offer the same freedoms as us. Anyone from a third world nation would be content with a minimum wage job in France, or Spain, or even England. Why the USA? There are other capitalistic nations on Earth.

Anyway, these immigrants, the ones that chose America, what did they come here to accomplish? What kind of people are they? Are they Americans too? If they are not Americans, than what must they do to become Americans? This is the first question that I can answer to the best of my ability. In 1915, Teddy Roosevelt claimed that an Immigrant must pass a citizenship test and love America. I would have to agree with him. Until one can be a citizen and commit to being a member of this nation, they are not an American. If a legal immigrant does not wish to become a citizen, they still hold the affairs of their homeland over those of their new home. I do not consider them American. I am not saying that they must abandon their culture. They must always retain their heritage and acknowledge their origin, but they must be aware that they reside in America and should value the affairs of the US over those of their homeland. This also applies to illegal immigrants. They cannot take a citizenship test, so I consider their test their level of patriotism.

Think about it, the US started as a nation of Immigrants. The colonists moved to the Americas searching for a new life and new riches. Ever since then, people with a dream have continued to flock to America. In 2005, Dr. John Gartner claimed that America is a nation of immigrants, immigrants who seek a new life. I would agree with him.

The question that that rises is do people have to relinquish their old ways and customs to become Americans? I have previously touched upon this subject before. Crevecoeur would disagree with me. As an immigrant himself, his belief was that people had to give up their ancient ways and customs to become American. His belief is sort of like a chemical reaction. The substances mixed form a new substance, but each original substance loses its individual properties. My theory more accurately depicts a mechanical bond in which the two substances are forced together20to form a new substance, but each original substance retains its original properties. (For more info look up immiscible polymers) As long as the immigrants are loyal to the USA, they are American enough for me.

Americans don’t have to be immigrants. An American is a patriot regardless if the person retains their culture. To be an American in my eyes, a person just has to love America.


From Evil McNuggets:

There are many different opinions on what makes an American. Is it in your DNA, or do you become an American by giving up your past?

Crevecoeu, a Frenchman who traveled to America, wrote in the 1830’s that to become an American, you must be embraced by freedom. You have to love America more then the nation you previously presided in, and in this great country, the reward of your work is progress, and your labor is self interest. In America, individuals of all nations are melted together into great, new race. Personally, I agree with everything Crevecoeu has mentioned, except for one small part. You should definitely be able to love your previous country just as much as your new one, because that is your history, and if you completely give it up, you will not be able to share it with the next generations.

Teddy Roosevelt disagreed with Crevecoeu. In 1915, he stated that no one should be able to be an American unless they were born here, or passed a citizenship test. He believed that there was no room for anyone who did not fit his criteria in our country. He also said that there is no possible way you can be an American without giving up your old nation’s customs completely. Today, it is true that you must take a citizenship test or be born here to become (officially) an American. However, many people who are Americans today still celebrate traditions of their previous nation’s customs.

Dr. John Gartner has yet another opinion. He said, in 2005, that America is filled with what he calls “hypomanics”. He says that hypomanics are impulsive, risk-taking, high energy immigrants. His opinion is that America is one giant psychological test for these “hypomanics” to project their dreams.

Dr. Peter Whybrow has a similar opinion to Dr. Gartner’s. In 2005 he made his opinion clear. He says that the majority of Americans, born here or not, have a higher prevalence of the risk-taking gene. He said inhabitants are more likely to be risk-taking. This uniquely American gene (D-47) has been found in a majority of people in the U.S.A. Because of this, Americans are more likely to be risk-taking, impulsive, and posses the D-47 gene. This could explain Dr. John Gartner’s theory about the characteristics of hypomanics.


From bluemoose:

The first passage was referring to the ability of immigrants to completely start over in a new place. Immigrants have to forget everything they've been taught, and learn a different culture. They have to adapt to a foreign way of life, and figure out what is acceptable or unacceptable. I admire people who are willing to relearn everything for a chance at a better life for themselves and their families. I would probably never have that courage, and I look up to the people who do.

Passage two says Americans enjoy freedoms that are sometimes unavailable in other countries. Americans also work with what they enjoy, and are sometimes selfish, ensuring their success. This passage gives me a more negative view, although being selfish can be good. It ensures your survival and can get you much farther than being generous usually does.

In the next passage, the speaker is stating true Americans shouldn't consider themselves a mix of American and the country of their birth. He believes that once you arrive in America and gain citizenship, your full loyalty should be directed to America. Once your arrive in America, you're supposed to give up all loyalty to the country you left; it shouldn't be spilt between both countries. I agree to a certain extent. Once you arrive here, you're giving up on your country. If you immigrate here, it's because you believe America has more to offer than wherever you were before. In return for the opportunities, you should feel some loyalty for America. However, I also believe it is important to keep parts of your culture with you. Your culture sets you apart from everyone else, and learning from each others' cultures can teach a lot of respect and tolerance.

Passage four is arguing most Americans are risk-takers, or hypo-manic. Immigrants are the ones more likely to take chances, risking everything for the possible gain. I agree that immigrants are more daring than the people who stay behind. However, not all Americans possess this quality; some children who are cautious may be too young to decide for themselves, and others may not inherit the quality from their parents.

The last passage is supporting the idea of "American DNA." Some people believe it's what distinguishes Americans from other cultures. The gene, a risk-taking gene, is thought to be the reason immigrants immigrate. The majority of Americans possess this gene, immigrants and children of immigrants. I think the gene causing risk-taking contributes to the reasons of immigrants, but isn't the only deciding factor. Many other events can contribute as well.

American DNA?

From Curly:

American DNA?

Passage #1

In this passage, Crevecouer states the American man is a ‘new man’. “He is neither European nor the descendant of Europeans.” Crevecouer thinks of Americans as a totally new and unique race of humans. Americans are like a new element that has just been added to the periodic table; unique in their own way, but belonging in a certain place in order to complete the pattern.
I believe, same as Crevecouer, that the moment a man steps onto the American shore, he becomes a new man. His past clings to him like a child to its mother, and his future calls for him in a soft, silky, irresistible voice that the man can do nothing but obey. His fist step forward changes him- he transforms into an independent man, a stronger man, a man willing to risk everything to achieve success; he transforms into an American.

Passage #2

A man becomes American by ‘being received in the lap of freedom.’ This man must love America ‘more than the place they or their forefathers came from.’ A man who loves America and is proud of America is a true American.
To Crevecouer, American people are selfish- they work for themselves to create a profit for themselves so that they can do well and succeed in life. This is the very reason why Americans are very successful people.
Though all Americans are different, I believe that we all share a common love for our country, a love for our heritage, a love for our own wellbeing, and pride in our nation. I believe that true Americans, past, present and future, share the same inner drive to succeed and the same genuine love of their country.

Passage # 3

In this passage, Teddy Roosevelt strongly believes that ‘hyphenated’ Americans do NOT belong in America. They would cause the ruin of the country. He believes that once people come to America and call themselves American, they should participate in the American culture and forget their past ways. An American is someone who claims he is American. Once he claims he is American, he must be American through and through.
I strongly believe that America is built up on all the different religions, cultures, and ethnicities of other countries and peoples. Our country is a network of diverse cultures all intertwining to form one distinct culture. This culture is what makes America the great and powerful nation that it is. American culture depends on the ideas and religions of all those who came here and brought their country with them. Our nation cannot ignore or abolish the ways of the world.
I agree with Roosevelt in the sense that once someone is a citizen of this country, they should call themselves American. By being a ‘hyphenated’ American, a man shows that he is not fully and completely loyal to America; rather he is still loyal to his home country. Not that anyone should forget their ‘mother’ country, but it takes pride away from America by telling the world you are not just American, but Spanish-American, or French-American. People should be proud to be American. They should not be ashamed. Their only shame is to be ashamed.

Passage #4

Although the theory seems a little far fetched, I totally believe John Gartner’s theory of hypomanics. Gartner believes in that people who have immigrated to America brought a ‘personality quirk’ with them. People with this quirk are willing to take risks, even if the price is never being able to see their family or their home again. These people have a rock-solid gut and an overflowing, self-replenishing source of energy. Over the years, this personality trait has spread throughout the nation, giving America its own ‘breed’ of humans.
Gartner’s theory states that all immigrants have this personality quirk. I find this theory both plausible and unbelievable at the same time. The theory would defiantly explain the open-minded, non-judgmental appearance of America. It also explains why the U.S.A. was the first country to land a man on the moon. Again, it shows why this nation was able to successfully climb out of the crater it fell into during the Great Depression. What the theory doesn’t fully explain is why this quirk is so prominent in Americans. I believe this theory. I can say I agree that Americans have their own special personality quirk- our nation is totally one of a kind.

Passage #5

Similar to John Gartner’s theory, Peter C. Whybrow believes that Americans are defined by their DNA- apparently the majority of us have the D4-7 allele in our genes. Studies have shown and proven the fact that there is a high prevalence of the D4-7 allele in Americans. This gene is ‘the risk taking gene’. Same as mentioned previously, people in America have a personality quirk which, we can assume, is caused by this gene.
Other than the sad fact that Americans’ jean sizes tend to be larger than those of people from other parts of the world and the fact that our lives literally depend on motor vehicles, it is obvious that Americans are physically and mentally different than people from other parts of the world. Most Americans tend to look at the world with an optimistic and tolerant eye that tends to distort our vision so we see things from a new and unexplored vantage point. This view on life gives us the will to take big risks and try to succeed with anything and everything.
I agree with Whybrow’s theory of American DNA. America is a country of success, hard work, and innovation. Many Americans might not seem like the adequate adventurers, but we certainly do like to take big risks. Why? Blame our genes.

Overall, I believe that Americans are defined by their pride and love of this country and, yes, their genes. The American personality in itself is a myriad of cryptic thoughts and actions. The American person is an adventurous, strong-minded, inquisitive, risk-taking leader. Though some Americans do not show this particular personality, I believe it’s hidden somewhere inside all of us. That is what makes Americans American.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What is An American?

From Clappity-Clap:
Truly, I have never actually asked myself “what is an American?” before today. It’s not a question that one decides to ponder on in the middle of work, or school. I knew that an American was, at least in simple forms, someone I lived with. Yet now, life is much more complicated. Life isn’t ABC, anymore. Everything just has a second meaning now. And with second-meanings, come debates.

Various people have debated on the subject of an ‘American’, including famous figures, including ‘Teddy Roosevelt’. puts it as “of or pertaining to the United States of America”, which I believe to be too broad. We must dive deeper if we are to solve this mystery.

First off, a Frenchman, by the name of Crevicouer, upon arriving in America in the 1830s, said that an American is someone who has left behind all remnants of a tie to Europe government, lifestyles, and people, and that we have become freedom-loving countrymen to our country, the United States of America.

I have to agree with some points in his argument, but where would we be without our origins from Europe, and what would happen if we actually had gotten absolutely no ideas from past governments.

Dr. John Gartner said in 2005, however, that America is an Immigration headquarters, and that Americans are immigrants since the beginning until now. He mentions that America is the land of opportunity, and that that is why ‘we’ came here; for a chance at a new life.

I agree that America was basically made up of immigrants during the time of the colonies.

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most well known presidents, sitting alongside Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Bush duo. He ‘created’ the Teddy bear and was president for two full terms, unlike the one before him, McKinley who was assassinated in 1901. He was the youngest president ever before then, and he had something to say about what an American really was. He said that an American is an American. There is no Japanese-American, no Chinese-American, no French-American, etc. If you were born here, and/or you are a citizen, you are an American, no matter our background.

This was a pretty bold statement, considering world War I was already being played out in the battlefield. This was probably a speech to unify the country to fight as one army against their adversaries. I agree with the fact that an American is an American, no matter his families’ past, and I think that this is the greatest truth a man can say about America. Just like Horton said in the book (and the movie) “A person’s a person.” I couldn’t agree more.

Until now, you have heard the opinions of others. Before we get to my point-of-view, there is one fact that overshadows the rest. Specialists say there is an American gene. Also called D4-7, this gene makes you want adventure more, and makes you take more risks. If you are a risky, bold man living in America, you probably have the D4-7 gene. Scientists observed that there is no population bigger with the D4-7 gene but here, in the U.S.A. I found this extremely interesting, as you probably do now. I have to disagree with the fact that an American has this gene, because what Peter Whybrow is saying is that, to be an American, you need that gene, money enough to get here, and a chance to do so. This limits the choice.

Finally, it’s time to express my opinion on the matter. Honestly, defining an American on anything but discriminates other people who deserve the title. I believe that an American is someone who was born here, gained citizenship, or has proven him or herself to be ‘worthy’ of the title in other means. That is my opinion, not a fact, or discrimination. It is my opinion. Perhaps one day, the government (the same one that has created the Iraq war, and aided in the Economy crisis) might find it suitable to give us ma definition of an American. Until, then…


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


By K57:

What does it take to be an American?

The preceding inquiry is of an extremely controversial topic, one that would cause a clashing of different opinions when asked. Some would say it takes leaving one’s beloved home. This would cause a change in many of the things one may be used to. Government. Rank. Culture. Language. Standards. Others would say that, not only do immigrants leave their homelands, they also leave their loyalty to that country to join another. These people would say that loyal immigrants are hyphenated Americans and that they should not continue to show loyalty to their mother country. After further evaluation and analyzing, some even suggest that there is an American gene that distinguishes Americans from non-Americans.

Could this be true? Could there really be this “American gene”?

When first encountering this question, my immediate response was: “I disagree, this is impossible, this makes no sense.” However, as I’ve taken this subject more and more into consideration, I’ve realized that this could be true after all. Research shows that this gene is not present among people in other countries. Maybe there is a gene that makes us risk-takers, optimists, and people who like change. Maybe that is what draws all of us who contain this gene together, attracting us like a magnet, into creating an entirely new nation. Perhaps, this is what it takes to be an American, risking everything you’ve ever had to start anew, a whole new life with a whole new perspective.

What is an American?

From Egg:
What makes an American? A question we addressed today in class. We read several excerpts from multiple passages; discussed many theories. So, what makes an American?

After reading all the opinions from other writers, it’s still hard to come to a conclusion. According to the passages we have read, there are many factors that make an American an American. In the 1830’s, aspiring individual Crevecoeur speaks on America, from the perspective of one who wants their own fair chanced opportunity. He explains Americans as people who leave behind all past prejudices and manners, and take in new ones in their new life. He also speaks that all races are mixed into one new race, per say, and love America more than their ancestors’ country.

As told by President Roosevelt, Americans are known just as Americans, and should be proud of that. There’s no such thing as a hyphenated American, such as a Chinese-American or an African-American, but only one category for all; American.

For those of other countries, according to Dr. John Gartner, America is the land of opportunity. All immigrants come to America for their chance to become successful and have a great life. Americans can also be explained in a more technical way, by Dr. Whybrow. Apparently, people all over the world were born with this specific gene that tends to make people more risk-taking. Most the population of America has this gene, because of the risk-taking quality. This is because those ambitious people took the risk to come to America, and then passing it on to their children.
This is what makes you an American. Well, according to these people. You can form your own opinion about what an American is. My opinion? Well, as an American, I have a good idea of what an American is.

An American is one who takes pride in their country; one who takes in all the new prejudices and manners and such, from their new life. Unlike Crevecoeur, though, I believe that an American may keep some qualities of their original, or ancestors’ culture. You can take pride in America, as well as your origin country. I disagree with President Roosevelt’s idea of no hyphenated Americans, for the same reason. There can be Chinese-Americans, African-Americans, Indian-Americans, etc. because the keyword of that is Americans.

You may part of another country, but you will always be a part of America; be American. I agree with the thought that all these mixed races create one new race to make you love this country more. That’s one of the great things about America, the diversity of it.

An American is risk-taking; due to the gene, which has been proven. Americans have this ambitious quality and trait that tends to show mostly in Americans. Americans have certain special qualities and things about them, and I believe that this is what makes them American; a true American.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poem on the Boston Tea Party

Silence Dogood

In port cities we sons had gathered,
Several ship captains we threatened and battered,
Some colonists still said they would pay
And merchants especially refused to obey.

In other colonies they had success,
No tea was unpacked, to their happiness,
But here in Boston the Governor refused,
The ships could not sail back by the ocean so blue.

As savages, we dressed at night,
No one would recognize us by sight,
342 packages of tea we threw,
and across the midnight sky they flew

We were defending our pride,
So we could show confidence with every stride
Some still tried to steal
So they could have tea with their meal

We managed to capture some
So we beat them along their way home
We tried to ruin all the tea
However, some managed to steal and flee

Into the sea the tea leaves landed,
And thus we had parted after banding:
We swept up the floors,
And then, opened our house doors.

At home we slept,
Our secret well-kept,
The British were not told,
We were not betrayed or sold.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MultiCultural Textbooks?

Below is the opinion piece we read in class:

Exclusive: Multicultural History: Playing in a Classroom Near You
Tom McLaughlin
Every week I'm reminded of my love/hate relationship with the U.S. history textbook (The American Nation, written by James West Davidson and Michael Stoff in association with American Heritage, published by Prentice Hall) used in my class. It blatantly panders to America's public school teachers who favor politically-correct interpretations of history. That's what I hate about it - and it's also what I love about it. The book's bias is easy for my students to recognize, and I can contrast it to my own conservative bias which I acknowledge very early in the school year. The book does not acknowledge its bias, purporting to be an objective account of events. It's an easy foil.I use the text mostly for students to read and answer discussion questions as homework, which we correct in class. In its coverage of the Vietnam War, one two-part question asks: "Why did civil war break out in [neighboring] Cambodia?" and "What were the results of the war?" As I walk around the room checking homework, a student volunteer acts as "assistant teacher" using the teachers' edition to go over the questions and answers. He or she will read a question, listen to various answers from students, and then read the "correct" answer. As for what caused the Cambodian Civil War, the teachers' edition gave the answer as: "U.S./South Vietnamese forces bombed and attacked Cambodia's bases; as Cambodians took sides, civil war erupted." The clear implication is that America started it.And the results of the war? The "correct" answer was: "Communist Khmer Rouge won; more than a million Cambodians died." They weren't worked to death or murdered by the communists. They just "died."The first time I heard that I was appalled and I asked the student to repeat what the teachers' edition said. President Nixon was no prize, but he didn't start the Cambodian Civil War when he ordered U.S. forces into North Vietnamese and Viet Cong sanctuaries there, and he didn't cause the Khmer Rouge to murder millions of Cambodians either. Communists own that. It's part of their dismal legacy around the world in the 20th Century, but the historians who wrote my textbook seem deliberately blind about the evil effects of communism wherever it has been applied. They define it as: "an economic system is which all wealth and property is owned by the community as a whole." Sounds fine when put in those terms, no? Contrast the text's definition with Random House's (2006) definition: "a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party." Based on about 90 years of applied communism around the world and tens of millions dead as a result, which definition is most accurate?Communism's first application was in Russia after Bolsheviks took control of the revolution and instituted the Soviet Union. The text's harshest criticism of their depredations is a description of how Americans were shocked "when the Soviet government did away with private property and attacked religion." Then it covers the first Ukrainian famine saying: "Despite disapproval of the Soviet government, Congress voted $20 million in aid when famine threatened Russia in 1921. American aid may have saved as many as 10 million Russians from starvation."The text doesn't speculate about why the Soviet government would "disapprove" aid to its own starving people. Neither does it mention that Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin engineered a "famine" in Ukraine ten years later to purposefully starve 7 million Ukrainians when they resisted "community ownership" of their farmland.What about the Soviet Union's military repression of Eastern Europe after World War II? When the text begins its coverage of the Cold War, students are asked: "Why did tensions develop among the Allied Powers?" The "correct" answer is: "The U.S. and Britain distrusted the Soviet Union's communist government; the Soviets, also distrustful, feared invasion." There's no moral superiority in America's $12 billion rebuilding of western Europe under the Marshal Plan compared to the Soviet Union's virtual enslavement of eastern Europe.Like it or not, that's the multicultural, morally equivalent theme permeating nearly every textbook used in America's public schools. No culture may be depicted as superior to any other culture, even when it is.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ClappityClap: Election Views

Math is a type of subject that has only one solution, and only one certain answer (2+2=4, never 2+2=L). The subject of the economy is different. There is no certain answer, and the answer you make might get could possibly not work out in the end. Both presidential candidates have a plan to steer us away from a bigger economic crisis, and both just happen to be different approaches to the same solution: Intergalactic peace to your wallets.
John McCain, the Republican candidate, proposes to buy home loans, and reverse the decline on loans throughout the nation. He also promises affordable health care and a 52 billion dollar cut on Seniors (including him?) on the topic of business, he wants to encourage jobs by cutting business taxes and no tax increase on small businesses. All this could help the economy greatly by increasing product exporting, and making the dollar affordable.
Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, wants to fix the Energy policy and Health Care policy, and get it right. He also wants tax-payers to eventually get their money back, and proposes tax-cuts for people making under 250,000 a year. That’s 95% of the people in the U.S.! But, the ‘downside’ is that it is basically take from the ‘rich’, and give to the ‘poor’ (remind you of anybody?). In terms of businesses, he also wants to create more jobs, create more product exports, and save the world, but he includes in his speech that he wants to give tax credit to U.S. companies, which is good for us.
I, Clappity-Clap, prefer Obama’s plan. He wants to take away what we as Americans do not want (taxes), and give us the chance to revive the American dollar by exports and jobs. Also, his plan to take from the rich and give to the poor, while many would mentally oppose it, will create equilibrium to our country. McCain’s plan does have its ups and downs, but overall, I believe that Barack Obama can really pull this nation back together.
Basically, both candidates have solutions, and they are both possible, but which could work? Which will get the chance to work? Which can save the United States from the Great Depression V2?

BaseballProdigy04: Election Views

The time to choose a new leader for our country is nearly upon us, and as the two candidates, Obama and McCain, continue to debate on the several issues regarding our country’s well-being, we notice several differences in their political views on how our economy should be run. As you probably know, our economy is at rock bottom. The stock market, once a great watermelon, has shriveled up to nothing but a tiny grape, and it has negatively affected our society in a domino effect; a majority of the people in our once glorious nation are now facing foreclosure situations on their homes, with very little money in the bank, if any money at all. Even some banks no longer have money! Well, the time has come for a new president, and with a new president comes new change. And hopefully, that change will send our economy shooting to the stars, as it once was…a very long time ago, or so it seems.
Very recently, the views of each candidate on economy, more specifically tax cuts, reached the eager ears of our society. The beliefs of Obama and McCain turned out to be completely opposite. Both have plans to save our economy, but it’s strange how very different from each other they are. For instance, McCain proposed a 52 Billion Dollar plan to save the economy, while Obama announced a 60 Billion Dollar plan. Obama declared that he wanted to focus primarily on making tax cuts from the normal class people, stating that he wanted to “save the middle class Americans” from debt. McCain announced that he on the other hand wanted to make tax cuts for the upper class Americans. However, he also spoke about how this would allow more small businesses to be opened, thus healing the economy.
“The average taxpayer in every income group would see a lower tax bill, but high-income taxpayers would benefit more than everyone else.” McCain said in the debate. He believes that if we cut the upper class people’s taxes, we will be permitting those people to “spread the wealth” by pouring their money back into the economy, therefore allowing all kinds of businesses and companies to prosper during these hard times.
In response, Obama stated that “high-income taxpayers would pay more in taxes, while everyone else's tax bill would be reduced. Those who benefit the most - in terms of reducing their taxes as a percentage of after-tax income - are in the lowest income groups.” Obama believes that if we cut the taxes of the less wealthy, we will allow them to prosper and continue their successful lives. He also said this because let’s face it; there are many more middle and lower class people in the nation as opposed to upper class people, and Obama wants to ensure that the majority of our nation is happy with him and his tax cuts. I apologize for tipping the scale more towards McCain, but he, in my opinion, is the ideal candidate in this year’s presidential election. But that’s just me.
So to sum up both of their political views on tax cuts, Obama believes that we should lower taxes for middle and lower class Americans, so more people in America can be successful. McCain believes that we should cut the taxes of upper class Americans, despite the fact that more people in America will be paying high taxes. However, if McCain became president and did this, it would allow more American businesses to flourish, thus allowing the economy to ascend. If Obama became president and did what he said he would regarding taxes, less Americans would be paying high taxes, and he believes that this will allow the economy to rise. In the words of McCain: “Obama wants to take America’s tax money and spread the wealth around America himself. I want to decrease the upper class people’s taxes, thus allowing the more wealthy people to spread the wealth around by themselves.
In my personal opinion, McCain has the better plan for America, but I shan’t get into that in this particular essay. Feel free to challenge me though. I’d be glad to debate anyone on any topic regarding McCain’s plans for tax cuts versus Obama’s.

Monday, October 20, 2008

From Curly: Election Views

To vote or not to vote, that is the question.
The decision of who to vote for this year is a big time “I don’t know”. Obama wants to make a lot of ‘big plans’ to help our country. The plans are great, except for the fact that they cost billions and billions of dollars that we don’t have. Our country is already in debt and all Obama wants to do is spend, spend, spend. Where is the money coming from? McCain wants to rebuild our country economically. Though he is extremely old (There is a chance that he will die during his first term. In this case, Sarah Palin would be president. Many people in our country don’t trust her with this task.) and he is not strong in debates, his plan for our economy would ‘rebuild’ our country and improve our global status.
Obama has BIG plans for office. Four years will not be enough for him to get very far with those plans. Even eight years is not enough time. The next president in office would be left with a tremendous amount of debt and a ton of unfinished work that he/she might not want to deal with. The building debt is setting the stage for a second Holocaust. At this point, the only way to get billions, maybe even trillions of dollars back into our country’s economy would be to take it from somewhere; people in our country are too lazy to work for it.
Of course McCain will have to spend money. He should spend a fair amount of money in his term without over-spending. His plan is to rebuild our economy by bringing reform, prosperity and peace to America. His plan will provide workplace flexibility, relief for families, government reform, support for small businesses, cheaper and cleaner forms of energy, better healthcare, simpler and fairer taxes, and lower trade barriers.
Both Obama and McCain have plans that would help our economy, but McCain’s plan will bring prosperity to our country. The next president needs to take the US to rehab, and get her through it. Only then can we make ‘big plans’- only then will we be able to afford them. Obama’s time to shine as our country’s president will come. We just aren’t quite ready for him.

From Breath: Election Views

Life isn’t fair.

Simply put: the cold, hard truth. Most of us know it by now, and it’s a decidedly blatant fact even to those who don’t. We can rail about a certain something called the “economy,” for instance—and how it also happens to be crashing and burning this generation, courtesy of mistakes that began cropping two generations ago—but there is little that people can do to drastically change it. Things began snowballing decades ago. This is today. Not yesterday.

To get on to my actual point, the two candidates in the coming presidential election both show merits—one cannot deny that. Each candidate has his pros and his cons. The problem would be identifying them. It’s all a matter of perspective as to just what is a pro and what is a con. And to be perfectly honest, if one asked me which candidate I would prefer as president, I wouldn’t quite know for sure.

From what I’ve heard, Barack Obama has not disparaged his opponent—or, if he has, the amount is moderate to minimal. That speaks a lot about his morals. On the other hand, John McCain, Obama’s said opponent, has distorted truth before. On the campaign trail in Concord, North Carolina, McCain quoted Obama as saying that he wished to “spread the wealth around.” According to an article on the CNN website, this was, in fact, a misleading statement. McCain distorted Obama’s point and oversimplified a five-minute-long conversation. “Obama replied in great detail about his tax plan, and the ‘spread the wealth’ remark was one small part of the conversation.“ [1] This already speaks a bit about McCain’s person. He’s willing to distort the facts in order to throw doubt at his opponent? Well. There’s something.

But I digress.

“Obama explained his tax plan during the roughly five-minute exchange — telling Wurzelbacher that the tax rate on the portion of his income that was more than $250,000 would be increased from 36 percent to 39 percent. But he also mentioned that his plan includes a 50 percent small-business tax credit for health care and a proposal to eliminate the capital-gains tax for small businesses that increase in value. Obama said his tax plan, which he said focuses on bigger breaks for people making lower incomes, would be good for the economy. ‘If you've got a plumbing business, you're going to be better off if you've got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you,’ he said. ‘Right now, everybody's so pinched that business is bad for everybody. And I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.’” [1]

I do agree with and find advantages in Obama’s plan. While people making over $250,000 would be subjected to a tax increase, they also receive a benefit. Compensation, in a way—a means of balancing things so that the bad does not outweigh the good. In the quote, Obama said that his plan also “includes a 50 percent small-business tax credit for health care and a proposal to eliminate the capital-gains tax for small businesses that increase in value.” Additionally, it is likely that the amount of people who make less than $200,000 each year (and thus people who would benefit from the tax cuts in Obama’s plan) outnumber the amount of people who would receive fewer benefits. Often times, it is better to tend to the majority because the majority consists of more people—thus, more people would benefit. However, this is just a thought, not a “be all and end all” kind of thing.

On the other hand, take McCain’s plan. He plans to have no raising taxes and create more jobs. Which probably means giving money to larger businesses in some way so that they have the budget to create more jobs and thus hire more employees, which decreases the amount of jobless people. There’s merit in that, too. However, why is it that I can see people… oh, say, use that money improperly? It has happened before in the past. People have used money for the wrong purposes before. History repeats itself constantly, whether in minor or major ways. It happens. (See the word “corruption” if the dictionary if you need a better idea of what I’m getting at.)

My next point. Capitalism or socialism?

Whereas one gives equal opportunity, the other gives equal outcome.

They both have their flaws. I could probably nitpick at the negatives for hours if I felt like it. Both have pitfalls that people are bound to dislike.

Capitalism is what we have now—and also what brought us to the economy’s current state. Which is decidedly worsening, mind you. Equal opportunity, while nice, causes problems for the economy in general. You have those who can pay for things and those who cannot, each with circumstances behind why they don’t or do. Some people endured poor schooling as children. Can you really blame them for something they had no true part in? I don’t think so. Nonetheless, people, as kids, tend to be unable to choose the quality of their education. They generally deal with what they get, particularly if they aren’t so well off. However, this doesn’t change the point that, later on, this lack of decent education impacts their future lives. And this also throws a wedge into things. Because of a certain law, banks must give loans to anyone, not just people with good credit, background, and whatnot. When those people fail to pay back, the entire economy goes down. Pretty much everything in life is a cycle. Once one thing stops, everything else does. Or, at least, one thing affects another. A domino or ripple effect, if you will.

On the other hand: socialism. Hmm. Sounds familiar.

There are pitfalls in this, too. Equal outcome. Socialism “seeks to manage the economy through deliberate and collective social control.” [2] I place emphasis on the word, “control.” This sounds almost like a dictatorship of sorts, which means essentially throwing away democracy. Bummer. Additionally, “property and wealth are shared, and their distribution are subject to the control of the people, who exert equal control of the government.” Because everything is shared, this method sounds all the more easy to manipulate. And there’s also that point that “all can expect a fairly even distribution of wealth from what is produced, so all live at approximately the same income level.” [3] This reeks of unfairness. If you pour more effort in, you still end up with the same as another person. Well. Equivalence that isn’t quite equivalence at all.

havesomecookies: Election views

Once upon a time, a girl had 5 cookies. She had worked extremely hard to earn these cookies, and they were her lunch for the day. Her task was to give 2 dogs a bath and wash a car. Her labor had paid off because now she would not be hungry.
But there was another little boy who had to water the plants and scrub the floors but got only 1 cookie. He had some food, but not nearly enough to satisfy his hunger.
According to Senator Barrack Obama, the little girl should give some of her cookies to the boy so they can “share the wealth.” Senator John McCain would give the little boy more cookies so that they could be equal.
Obama’s plan to help the U.S. economy is to lower taxes on lower and middle income workers, but raise them on upper class citizens. But why should the wealthier people who got an education and found a job have to pay for other people’s mistakes? Some citizens choose to drop out of school, or have kids when they’re not making a living yet. If they don’t get a good education, they won’t be able to get a good job. It’s not the upper class’s job to use up their energy and effort to help other people when they’re the one who should be getting the money. Everyone has a choice, and the lower income workers made mistakes. The upper class workers shouldn’t have to suffer for their problems. Sure, donating a few dollars to a charity once in a while is fine. But the money they would lose is a lot more than a few dollars, and it’s not fair that they have to support others too.
McCain’s plan seems fair, but where will all the cookies come from? There are only so many cookies in the cookie jar. Giving money to the poor will result in other problems because there is not enough money in the government to spare. However, at least with McCain’s plan everybody will be receiving the same tax cuts.
There is not an easy answer to this economic crisis.

Slater: Election Views

It’s kind of funny how a short discussion that was supposed to last ten minutes ended up forty-five minutes long. In class, we watched two short segments of the third and final presidential debate about the Senators’ plans for the economy. We discussed them afterwards a bit, which is to say we attacked Senator Obama for having a socialistic plan to help our economy gain way again. I personally spoke out against it, being greedy enough to admit that I would rather keep my money and have some family thousands of miles away from me that I don’t even know starve than give it to them to buy meals at McDonalds.
After watching two short segments in class of the third and final presidential debate between Senator Obama and Senator McCain, I have come to a simple conclusion of the mates’ economic plans.
They are making us choose the better of two evils.
Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s economic plan to get us out of the mess we are currently in is to have tax breaks for working families that make under a quarter of a million dollars a year, returning their taxes to how they originally were, and then raise taxes to those making over two hundred fifty thousand dollars a year. Which is great and everything if you fall under the cut, but what if you were someone who was successful, made the right decisions, and honestly earned that money? It is unfair for a person with a thriving career to have to make up for the stupid mistakes of others. I mean, sure, there’s never a bad idea of “spreading the wealth around” but that doesn’t make it immune from having a bad way of doing so. Socialism is not the way, Senator.
John McCain, the Republican nominee, on the other hand, offered a different plan. Instead, he suggested, as a short-term fix, of taking three hundred billion dollars to buy the home loan mortgages to let the people keep their houses and have the banks get the money they normally would. He is suggesting giving tax breaks to corporate companies and to senior citizens. My problem with him is that if he is planning to give tax breaks to such large groups of people, I would like to know where exactly he is planning to get the money to do some of the short-term things he planned, the three hundred billion dollars he wanted to use to buy mortgages, to be exact.
Where’s Hilary when you need her?

k57: Election View

With nothing but a couple of weeks left till the election, I deem that it’s very important for people to understand which president is more availing towards this economic debacle we are currently in. Personally, I agree more towards Obama than McCain. This is predominantly because of Obama’s tax relief plan. Obama is providing 95% of working families that make less than $200,000 per year with tax relief. Quite the contrary, McCain plans to help the upper class, people getting more than the average income. Obama believes, and I certainly agree with him, that people who get more money can afford to pay more taxes, which will allow people of not such wealth to get tax cuts. Though I believe that it’s important to help everyone out, in this instance, wouldn’t it be better to help the more overbearing population, as opposed to just the elite class? Besides, we need someone to pay the taxes, everyone just can’t get tax cuts; how would the government run without tax? We definitely need a balance, and Barack Obama understands his priorities, to get this country out of this economic crisis. By helping rich people who are already in good condition, McCain will be missing out on the rest of the American population. This is what discerns Obama’s plan from McCain’s plan and what certainly puts it above it. In fact, research shows that Obama’s rescue plan will provide 3 times more tax relief to the middle class than McCain’s plan does. As Obama’s tax cut will be $60 billion and geared towards 95% of the working population, I deem that it will provide the U.S. with a significant step in getting our country out of the economic crisis we are currently in.

mdgt0fdrknsz: Election Views

While both John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s plans to help the economy have their advantages and disadvantages, Obama’s plan will end up on top. Obama’s plan involves cutting taxes for the working families of the middle class that are struggling with the recent economic recession. His proposal to fix energy policies and promote new, clean energy sources will not only result in reduced pollution, but will create jobs for the millions of Americans losing their jobs with the economic crisis. McCain, however, wants to keep struggling families paying their taxes and support businesses with giving them tax breaks. While this may provide relief for the many business out there losing money and slowing the market down, it won’t account for the millions of families who also need money – not just for making profit and making the market run, but for their basic needs such as food, healthcare, and even their own homes. Unlike Obama, McCain hasn’t laid much out for America’s education system. Education will also play a role in solving the economic crisis, because the next generation will have to be well educated to keep the economy running in the future.
Barack Obama has laid out how to pull America away from her excessive dependence on old, inefficient, and unclean energy sources. They have been polluting the planet for long enough, and we are using them excessively. When America finally starts settling on new, more efficient and clean energy sources, global pollution will stop increasing so drastically, we won’t have to pay so much to buy our energy, and millions of new jobs will be created. New business will be created as a result, which will contribute to the struggling economy. The struggling families that have lost their jobs will have new jobs that will help them earn enough money to live well and at the same time will power America without harming the environment. With less money having to be used to pay for oil, gasoline, and all the other old energy sources, America will get some money back. This money will end up being put into the market, allowing for business to grow and help the corporations that are struggling with their own problems.
The common arguments against Obama’s plan to provide tax breaks for the middle class and keep businesses and the upper class paying higher taxes is that the businesses need the money to let the economy run again and that America would start leaning toward a socialist system rather than the capitalist system of opportunity. First of all, if John McCain’s plan went into action, the struggling families that are quickly losing money for food and healthcare wouldn’t have any tax breaks to relieve them of their financial problems. The businesses may need the money to keep the market active, but families need the money to stay alive and pay for a roof over their heads and feed themselves. Second, making people with higher salaries pay higher taxes and people with lower salaries pay lower taxes doesn’t necessarily make America a socialist country. It may have socialist qualities, but it won’t keep the capitalist market from functioning. Businesses and the upper class will still have the opportunities to make large profits. The main purpose of this is not to keep people from getting too rich, but to make sure that the lower classes don’t have to suffer so much. McCain may be more supportive of the capitalist economy with less regulation that has built America’s fundamentals over the years. However, it is the risk, greed, and unfairness of this system that has knocked down domino after domino and resulted in the financial crisis the world is in right now. This just shows that both socialist and capitalist systems have their drawbacks.

dpmk24:election views

Obama or McCain? That will be the question on every voterʼs mind. Both have ideas that may benefit or hinder the economy. Frankly, I believe that none of the candidates have a perfect plan. Both economic plans have flawed aspects though. As of right now, both plans need some revisions.
For Obamaʼs economic plan, he has proposed to provide $60 billion dollars to give tax breaks to the middle class. According to him, 95% of working families or people who earn less than $250,000 a year will get tax breaks. However, the government still needs money to operate. Otherwise, it will crumble under the strain of the crisis. Therefore, Senator Obama has suggested that the government not give tax cuts to the upper class. In fact, he wants to tax them more in order to make up the money lost while supplying tax cuts to the middle class. Of course, the upper class probably would protest to this action and that would be a dark direction for the economy to turn. He proposes to give tax breaks to companies creating jobs in the US so as to try and bolster Americaʼs economy. He has offered to create public works projects to supply more jobs to the unemployed (which is reminiscent of President Harry Trumanʼs plan which eventually led to the construction of the Hoover Dam). The downside of his policy, which Senator McCain constantly points out, is that no one should get higher taxes and that itʼs unethical.
On the hand, McCain has suggested a $52 billion dollar plan to provide everyone will tax cuts. He believes that everyone should be treated equally, no matter how much money they make, whether $1 million or $1. No one should have higher taxes, he says. The major problem with this is: whereʼs the governmentʼs money going to come from. Unless he is able to think of a rational solution, the national debt will continue to grow exponentially. He says that he supports small businesses and accuses Senator Obama of going against small businesses (though Senator Obama has repeatedly denied this). He plans to use $300 billion dollars to buy home loan mortgages, though a problem with this is again: where is the money going to come from?
As one can clearly see, both plans have serious flaws and drawbacks to them. Unless one of the candidates can think of an acceptable and reasonable solution, the economy is going to continue to have a crisis.

I <3 Transylvania: election views

One out of three American students are high-school dropouts. These types of people are clearly not going to get high paying jobs, nor get enough income to spend to help the economy thrive (consumer). Ninety-five percent of Americans do not make over 250,000 annually. They need the money they have to feed, house, and clothe their families, and some cannot pay their taxes. So the question remains, to give tax breaks to that ninety-five percent and make the other five percent pay for them, or to give equal tax breaks to all and let some struggle to make ends meet.

Barack Obama suggests “spreading the wealth around.” But doesn’t that sound like something else we’ve heard? That something is socialism. People do not work the same amount or have the same skills or ability, and therefore should not be paid the same amount of money. As mentioned before, 95% or Americans earn less than 250,000 annually, and will be getting tax breaks if Obama wins. This means that those who earn higher than that have to pay for the others. Those who earn above 250,000 a year worked hard to earn that amount, and should not have to pay for a high school dropout who did not really care about their education. It wasn’t their mistake, so why should they pay for it? All this does is encourage Americans by saying, “Oh, it’s ok, if you don’t finish high school or get a job, the ‘rich’ people will take care of you.”
John McCain, on the other hand, is opposed to Obama’s

lvdrlvdr55: Election Views

After a long year, Obama and McCain have endured a grueling struggle, fighting neck to neck to win favor in the public’s eye. Through hours of watching the two candidates debate and reading about them in magazines and newspapers, we’ve pored over every single little detail about them in the quest to elect the best person to represent the US and its citizens. However, in the light of recent events (namely, the Wall Street crisis), it’s reasonable to assume that whichever candidate can better convince people that their economic plan is the better of the two may have the advantage in the November elections. McCain’s focus is mainly on lowering corporate tax on small businesses on Main Street and requiring a 3/5 majority vote in Congress in order to raise taxes. On the other hand, Barack Obama’s focus is redistributing tax burden so that people earning a yearly income of $250,000 or more a year are forced to pay higher taxes to compensate for tax cuts on middle to lower class citizens who can’t afford to pay higher taxes.
If you’re part of the middle to upper class who earn $250,000 or higher per year, you’ll immediately realize the impact of Barack Obama’s economic plan upon your finances. Unfortunately, at least a third of US citizens are in this category, and will have to pay higher taxes along with rising overall prices on gas, food, etc. The only choice they have in this is to vote against him; however, in the case that Obama does become President of the US, the middle to upper class would have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes. Not only this, but Obama’s plan may not necessarily help very much in the long run. Even wealthy people can’t make their money last forever, especially with the increasing prices and plummeting stock market. Where will Obama get his money from once even the wealthy people have lost most of their money? On the other hand, if McCain were to become President, his economic plan would be to cut taxes on businesses so that they would be able to do a little better without having to worry about excessive taxes. When companies do well, the stock market rises, and thus the economy also does well. In addition, McCain’s plan ensures evenly distributed taxes, as he plans on requiring a 3/5 majority vote in Congress in order to raise taxes. In my opinion, this will provide for a better and more stabilized economy

VivianThomas: Election Views

The third Presidential Debate was held on October 15. One of the main things that Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain challenged each other on was the economy. Currently, the United States is in an economic recession - the mortgage industry has collapsed, and people are not investing in our economy because they are afraid that they will lose their money. Both senators have come up with their own solutions that will supposedly pull our economy out of the crisis that we are in now.
Senator McCain has created a 52 billion dollar plan to save our economy. He believes that we should give tax cuts to everybody - seniors, homeowners, small business, even the richest companies in the country. He wants to create jobs and encourage business in our country.
Senator Obama, however, has created a 60 billion dollar plan that will provide tax cuts to only middle class people who earn less than $200,000 a year. He wants to give tax credits to businesses that are creating jobs, and focus primarily on families and small businesses. Senator Obama wants to provide tax cuts to 95% of working Americans. He believes that the richer people should have a tax increase while the more middle class receive tax cuts.
I agree with Senator McCain's plan to save our economy. The rich should not have to pay extra to support the middle class. The richer people have this money because they worked hard to get. They shouldn't have to work even harder and have to pay more. What we need to do is create more jobs and encourage small business growth by cutting small business taxes. With more jobs, more people will be making money, the economy will thrive and we won't have to worry about the government's losing money from the tax cuts. More working people means more taxes to the government and the economy will be back on balance.
Hopefully, both plans would be a boost our economy. Whoever is the president must do something to halt this downward spiral that our country is in.

The Modinator: Election Views

On the issue of economy, Barack Obama said that we should “spread the wealth around, while John McCain said that whoever works hard should go ahead in life. Obama’s idea of spreading the wealth is socialism, in which everyone is equal by the end of the day, no matter what job you have. McCain’s idea of working for success is capitalism, which has an equality of opportunity. I disagree with Barack Obama in that I believe that the person who works the hardest should succeed. For example, if two gymnasts are competing, the gymnast who practices seven days a week should not get the same scores as the gymnasts who practices once a week. It is unjust and definitely not how our economy should be run. Just work hard and believe that they can go far, just as a normal, middle class citizen must do to excel in a capitalist society. Equality of opportunity, the right way to run our economy.

What Rubbish: Election Views

I think Obama has a better economic plan than McCain. Obama’s plan includes cutting taxes for 95% Americans. This large number is the majority of Americans, middle class working families. This will enable struggling families to put food on their table, educate their children and so much more. His plan also involves raising taxes for the other 5% of Americans, people who make over $250,000. I think it is definitely fair. If a WORKING middle class American cannot make ends meet, why shouldn’t a well-off American help their fellow American by paying higher taxes? McCain on the other hand wants to cut taxes across the board. Won’t this boost our country’s deficit? He also wants to increase the tax breaks for larger corporations. He is convinced that this will make big corporations hire more employees, generally helping everyone. But let’s face it, America isn’t perfect and neither are its companies. Look at current Wall Street, for example. AIG, an insurance company, just received a major bailout from the government. Days after the bailout the company spent $440,000 on a retreat for executives. Big, corrupted companies like these, will take this huge tax break as a reason to splurge---on themselves. Who exactly does this help? Absolutely no one.

Q: Election Views

I agree with Senator McCain’s Economic plan. It will effectively help the economy without raising taxes.
John McCain’s first act to help the economy is his Lexington Project. The Lexington Project is an effort to employ people while developing clean and renewable energy. He plans to build 45 nuclear power plants by 2030. These power plants will provide jobs to more than 700,000 people. Not only will this plan employ people, it will provide cheap and clean energy to further help the economy and free our oil addiction.
Secondly John McCain will not raise taxes. Barrack Obama is planning to tax the top 5% of our country without realizing that these top 5% generate the most jobs in America. These entrepreneurs own businesses that employ a large percentage of the economy. Taxing them could directly affect the middle class that Senator Obama is trying so desperately to help.
McCain also wants to cut the Corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. Instead of strangling businesses with taxes to pay for the lower and middle class, McCain will allow business to thrive which will in turn generate jobs and revenue.
In addition, Senator McCain would like to draft more free trade agreements in order to maximize our trading partners and help us contend with competing countries. Global trade would maximize sales and possibly help us get out of this recession. He would also to like to raise unemployment insurance, strengthen community colleges and expand the educational opportunities for less privileged students.
For immediate relief, Senator McCain would like to take a “tax holiday” at the pump from Memorial Day to Labor Day. His plan is to cut Federal taxes on gas during the summer to help families that are spending too much at the pump.
On the other hand, Obama plans on raising taxes anybody who makes more than $250,000 a year, that despite the fact that some of these people own businesses that employ a large percentage of America. McCain does plans to give equal opportunity by increasing educational programs and outlets instead of taking money from those that earned it rightfully.
In conclusion, I believe that Senator John McCain’s plan is better for small business, employment, and America.

Mr. Communist: Election Views

Let me just say a few things about my history. Back in the 1400’s my family lived in Spain. We were advisors to the king in Spain, advisors to the k-i-n-g. But, after a few decades we got kicked out of Spain, why? Well, my family was Jewish. They were Spanish, but they happened to be Jews. So, we packed our bags, and ended up in Italy, which at the time had a flourishing Jewish community. My family lived in Florence and Ferrara, but we were still Jewish. Over decades my family became prestigious and extremely wealthy, selling wine. But, the King needed money, and since we were Jewish, took our hard earned money, and kicked us out. That’s how the Ferraras (at the time), ended up in Lithuania. We sold our goods, making by, nothing like when we were in Italy (we were simply middle-class). Guess what happened? We got booted out, so next stop Russia. As we get into Russia, they are taking thousands of boys for their army. Afraid and in distress, our family gives a small family the Bankas’ money, that we hid in Spain over the years (our family though it was a myth, until a family we knew told us it was true.) and adopts their name (for only one boy per family was taken). The small family was a group of doctors, and over the years the Ferraras became known as the Bankas’. Yet, through all the hardships, my family kept a few things, the heritage, religion and ambitiousness. The Tsars began to raid Jewish villages and kill any Jew they wanted to. And one day little Shara, runs into their small, humble house, and is killed on her way into the door. The Bankas’, with hate and tears in their eyes, simply left. They went to Germany (they made such great choices of location). And their Miriam was born. The family knows no home, no sturdy history, no foundation, only their Jewish pride. So, this small family packed their bags for the hundredth time. Miriam was the only one that escaped the German Anti-Semitic wrath and made it to the true Promised Land… “America.”
Today, my name is (blank), and for the first time in my family’s story, we have a sturdy house to live in, and a good life. We came here for education and opportunity- socially, religiously, economically. My dad works for UBS for 25 years now, and makes above what is considered “middle class.” Yet, once again, my family’s money might be taken away from us, sullying one of the only reasons why my family came here. My father works extremely hard, wakes up at 5 am, goes to NYC, and works from 7am-7 to 9pm. But, if Obama (the opportunity destroyer) is elected my father’s money is stolen and given to Joe the plumber’s cousin, who dropped out of high school, and is now a McDonald’s worker and 45. And, yes, this man’s family may have come through hardships, but he ruined it, he had a nice future, an A+ student, but gave it up, gave up the American dream. Why should my father be forced give up his opportunity to some one who chose to give up his opportunity? Why should my father’s sweat and hard work be spread out, to people some of who have never worked a day in their life? Answer my question, why? Why because someone is poor and made bad decisions? Why should someone who may work hard, but not nearly as hard as my father, who happened to make great decisions sacrifice his family’s heritage and values for someone like Joe the plumber cousin? Well, I’ll tell you why, because if Obama is elected then the hard workers will work less hard, because they have less to work for. And then the worker who never worked hard, will work even less hard, because he get a portion of my Dad’s hard earned salary every month, because the Democrats are taking away that opportunity, and giving it away to the people who take their money for granted, and never worked a day in their life. THAT IS WHY! McCain’s plan encourages Joe the plumber’s cousin to work hard and start a small business, which will one day be a huge business. That is the American dream that made the millions of people step in Ellis Island. My goal in life is be successful, to be an American, and to fulfill the values and wishes of my family so long ago when we left Spain, no one, NO ONE, will take that away from me, no one.

Cheez: Election Views

For the 2008 Presidential Elections, I believe that John McCain’s ideas will win. He wants to keep businesses in the U.S.A., and make sure that enough jobs will be available to sustain the people in the country. Because of how high the taxes are for the companies, they have started to move to other countries. The US has 35% of taxes, whereas places like Ireland have 11%. Obama, however wishes to tax these rich companies that will provide jobs, but then take the money to give to the poor. These immense businesses have worked for the money. Money means a lot to them, and to have even more of a tax on their income would cause them to abandon the US altogether. McCain also wishes to stop the fast decline in home ownership by “providing a floor”. In other words, he wishes to take 300 billion dollars and help pay off the home loan mortgages of 11 million homes or more. This will help not only the people who weren’t able to pay off the mortgages, but also to allow the people who were able to pay it, whose neighbors have moved out and caused their home value to decline. Another problem is that Obama, who wishes to cut taxes for people with an income of less than 250,000 a year, will also raise it for those above it. Not everyone above that is rich, is wealthy. For them to keep going, they wouldn’t want to pay more just because they are in the middle. Obama’s views don’t help their businesses or jobs, and they would have to just pay more taxes, which is unfair. Hence, McCain’s ideas for the US after the economic crisis will help the people throughout, and help create the stable country we were before.

Egg's Election Views

I believe that Barack Obama’s plan for taxes is the best possible way to go. His plan, in short, states that he would provide tax cuts for workers and families making less than $250,000. John McCain’s plan states that he would extend George Bush’s tax cuts and lower the tax rate for big corporate businesses. Under Obama’s plan, 95% of workers and families would receive tax cuts. I know that many wonder, what about the other 5%? Well, Obama actually states that wealthier families making over $250,000 would have to pay the same tax rate, or lower, than they did in 1990, before Bush’s tax cuts. This seems reasonable for the families who are more fortunate, and it is just simple fairness. McCain’s plan is simply a slight modification of George Bush’s plan, and how great has that been working for America? McCain is going to extend George Bush’s tax cuts for everyone, but everything is proportionate as I have stated in class. So if people have more money to spend, businesses would raise prices knowing that people could afford it, leaving us in the same situation we are in now. Also, McCain stated that he would cut the corporate tax rate to 25%, helping big businesses. This wouldn’t help the 95% of Americans that Obama’s plan would. So in summary, I believe that Barack Obama’s plan for taxes would bring change; it would bring positive change, and it would benefit America greatly.