Thursday, December 10, 2009

Being an American Essay

    “America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

What does it mean to be an American? There is a difference between being an American and being an American citizen. Being an American citizen is being free and being born on U.S. soil. Under U.S. law, being born on American soil conveys U.S citizenship. Being an American citizen is knowing, that our Declaration of Independence says that, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Being an American citizen is climbing and descending on the social ladder on the basis of one’s own skill, perseverance and work ethic, and not on the basis of government entitlement programs and hierarchy.

Being an American is much more than merely being a citizen. Being an American means that you adhere to the principals in our Bill of Rights. Liberty, the base of the United States, is the freedom to own property and to worship a creator without persecution from the government. Being an American is defined by all ten of the Bill of Rights.

As an American you have the first amendment right to freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and the right to petition. Freedom is part of being an American, as is the second amendment, the right to bear arms. The second amendment right has been threatened with Obama’s presidency, but that’s a whole other topic. The third amendment is the protection from quartering troops which states, “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner prescribed by law.” Being an American is having the fourth amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure. “No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, with out due process of the law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” states the fifth amendment which deals with due process, double jeopardy, self incrimination, and eminent domain. The sixth amendment is trial by jury and rights of the accused. In the sixth amendment the accused is given the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, and the right to have the assistance of counsel for his/her defense. The seventh amendment states, “In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall otherwise be re-examined in any court of the United States, than according the rules of the common law.” Being an American means the prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment by right of the eighth amendment. “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” states the ninth amendment. The final amendment in the Bill of Rights is the tenth amendment which is the powers of the states and people. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the Stated are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Being an American is having the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, which were introduced by James Madison to the First United Continental Congress in 1789. Being an American is believing that America can succeed. “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted by the attack because we are the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world” sad former president, George W. Bush on September eleventh, 2001. The Bill of Rights is the foundation of America and being an American is believing in America and America’s freedom and opportunity.

Youtube Video's

Haymarket Strike
The was a massacre that occured on Tuesday May 4, 1886 at the Haymarket Square in Chicago. It was a setback for American labor and its fi g ht the the eight hour work day. Someone threw a bomb at police while they left a public meeting. From the bomb blast and gunfire eight police officers were killed. This massacre is considered to be an influence on the start of May Day.
Is voting the basis of citizenship?
Voting is not the basis of citizenship because you must be the age of 18 to vote. Although people under the age of 18 are still citizens. Voting is a priviledge given to citizens, it does not make you a citizen or make you equal. Women and African Americans had to fight for their right to work, that does not make them any less equal to men. To legally become a citizen a person must answer six of the ten questions they are asked correctly. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a list of 100 sample questions (with answers), from which the questions asked are always drawn.
I have a dream
In this speech by Martin Luther King Jr. he calls for races or to equal and for an end to discrimination. He gave this speech on August 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. He was able to transform the thoughts of people there and the people of the future through his speech. He was able to show them that the situation of racial inequality and discrimination would soon end.

Letter to Obama

December 4, 2009
Clifton, Virginia ---

President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

In your speech at West Point, NY you announced that in eighteen months the troops will begin to come home. You set dates of when the troops will be leaving Afghanistan. I agree completely with what Senator McCain informed you, "The way that you win wars is to break the enemy's will, not to announce dates that you are leaving." When neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are on your side you are clearly making the wrong decision. You are going against what you promised in your campaign which are the reasons you were elected.
When you began your presidency in January there were 34,000 troops in Afghanistan, now there are 71,000. No one is pleased with your decision to announce the dates of withdrawal from the war, not democrats nor republicans. I suggest you start doing your job and lead the country towards a brighter future, not a future full of terrorist attacks
Samantha Kuhn

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Common Sense

Part of this assignment was to write about the class discussion but i was not in class due to a journalism workshop.
Common Sense written by Thomas Paine and published on January 10, 1776 during the American Revolution. Common Sense was Thomas Paine's opinion about independence from the rule of the british. Paine used biblical references throughout his text. Paine writes about the difference between society and government, a society promotes happiness and a government restrains vices. Paine discusses monarchy through the biblical and historical view as well as the problems between england and the American colonies.
Paine was completely against British rule and he argued through Common Sense that America was not a british nation and being part of britain would force America to be apart of European wars, in addition to many other reasons.

Friday, September 18, 2009

declaration of independence

The declaration of Independence clearly gets the point across of why they should be independent from Britain and all of the problems that they have with the King of Great Britain. The King had kept the people from doing many things and being their own country as they had always wanted to be. I agree with what was being declared in the declaration of independence. It's important for the country to not have remained relying on Great Britain when Great Britain was keeping the country from growing on its own.
Independence from Britain was important for the new country to strive and expand. The declaration of independence is a necessary and much needed document

Thursday, September 17, 2009

John Locke: Second Treatise, Of Civil Government

John Locke says, "a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the laws of Nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man." I disagree with what Locke is saying, because people should not each beable to just get rid of people and things whenever they want and as they want. All people should not be equal because someone has to be in charge, there would be chaos if everyone was equal and could do as they want. Locke also says, "if any one in the state of nature may punish another for any evil he has done, every one may do so." This would not work well because any person can not just go killing people. If people are to be killed then it should be one persons job as it is currently in the united states. Locke believes that in the state of Nature there should be a known and indifferent judge, with authority to determine all differences according to the established law but there would be no way in getting an indifferent judge and nooone could be a judge if everyone is equal as he previously stated.
In the section, of dissolution of government Locke says, "the power that every individual gave the society when he entered into it can never revert to the undividuals again, as long as the society lasts." I agree with this statement because the individuals can no longer be equal in power and all have power if we are going to have a functioning government and community. "the legislative can never revert to the people whilst that government lasts." I also agree with this statement because once a government is one way they cannot change the way it is run drastically or there will be chaos. The government can especially not revert back to the power of the people because it is such a primitive way of government.