Egypt Riots- Freewrite

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” –Albert Einstein

Technology is a rising fad; everybody wants the new, hot item. From Facebook to Twitter to Myspace, it’s how everyone communicates these days. Little did we know the effect the Internet can actually have on people and world events The simple way to communicate via social networking sites can go a lot farther and cause a lot more damage or possibly changes for the better then the intended purpose of just using it to talk to people. This is exactly how the current giant protests in Egypt started, all from a Facebook page. A page was set up with a time and a place for a Million Man March in protest against the current president of Egypt. Who knew Facebook could have such power?

Right now in Egypt, riots have been breaking out all over and protesters are swarming the streets. They all want one thing, for the current president, Hosni Mubarak, to step down. He has been ruling Egypt as a dictator for many years and the citizens are fed up with his ways, they are demanding a democratic country. Egyptians are insisting on their rights; they are finally standing up and want Mubarak out of office. For about the past 30 years, Mubarak has been in control. He is causing many young men to not have a large opportunity to work, leaving them scrambling for money. Because of him, there is a huge gap between the rich and the poor. He is controlling the way they live by having his people get rid of anything he feels they shouldn’t see, and censoring out many websites we use on a daily basis such as Twitter and Facebook. His people have minimal rights. This started the day he stepped into office thirty years ago, from his first day he was a dictator.

“A feeling amongst the middle class is that they’re not being given the opportunities in life that their degrees warrant — what historians would call a ‘blocked elite,'” Juan Cole, a Middle East historian at the University of Michigan, said. A majority of the protesters are educated, middle-class men who have lost their rights due to Mubarak’s dictatorship. They are willing to risk anything to get it back. Fighting and rioting in the streets has been occurring the past few days and Egypt has been in chaos. The United States wants to help but we have very little ‘wiggle room’. If we choose to support Mubarak, the citizens of Egypt will believe that we are promoting dictatorship as an acceptable form of leadership, which is not what we stand for. However, if the join with the people and try to push Mubarak out of power, other countries we have an alliance with will see how easily we had turned on the president of a country we had peace with, and they will start to wonder how dependable we are. Either way, it’s a tough situation for us, but we don’t want to be thought of as not being able to assist a country that is very clearly  in need.

I believe that we need to help out Egypt as soon as possible and not just sit around watching. I think it would be in our best interest to show sympathy to both sides. We need to support the people in getting them a new president who will give them a democracy, and a fair chance at a decent life. However, we also need to help out Mubarak in not forcing him out of office this very second. Mubarak recently announced that he would step down when his term ended in September, but the people want him out now. I think that, with the help of our country, they should make an agreement, that instead of him continuing to be in charge for the next eight months, they can meet in the middle. It would be fair to both sides if he stepped down in four months, half of the time it would have been to his original date of leaving office. Either way, what’s going on in Egypt is not okay and we need to help out. After all, if one country becomes out of control and we do nothing about it, who knows how many countries may follow. And just think, this was all prompted from a regular Facebook group, just like the ones we join every day.

In history, we had one class period to compose a free write on the situation in Egypt. I felt strongly about the technology aspect of it and the power the technology had on the beginnings of the riots and outbreaks in Egypt. I am pleased that I put significant effort into using more quotes and things that people said who are experiencing the situation in Egypt. I think my writing has improved from the beginning of the year and my writing has become more sophisticated. It was a bit of a challenge writing this essay in the limited time we had and we couldn’t research any more than the information we already had. However, I believe that I produced a good essay considering the circumstances.

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“Miss Butterfly” Creative Writing

Dear Diary,

Tonight, was truly magical. It was like a flashback into my native land, my culture, and my past. This evening, I got the immense pleasure of watching Sachi-chan and Yuki-chan perform two traditional Odoris. Not only did they dance the traditional Japanese folk dances, they did them in their kimonos. Their dancing, flawless. The way they moved was so elegant. However, before they performed, there was a struggle. I first asked Sachi to dance and she refused. It was as if she was turning her back on her heritage. She is a Nisei, she should jump at the chance to perform pieces from her culture. I was however pleased to see that Yuki couldn’t wait to perform and put aside her desperation to get ready for her dance in order to perform for me. I wish Sachi had done the same. It truly worries me that since the girls are growing up so far away from their roots, they will not care as much. They are focusing more on the things in American culture than their true culture. If the girls were growing up in Japan, they would be wearing kimonos all the time, and they would be performing odoris all the time. It would not have been something out of the ordinary and I certainly would not have had to beg for it. I feel as if their father is losing some of his culture too living here. He didn’t seem as enthralled in the girls dancing, he didn’t seem to care too much. Is he losing faith, too? What is this family coming to; I am truly upset. At their ages, in Japan, I would have been studying and living all with my culture. I respected it, I did not know a way of life without culture and faith in my heritage. I think these girls need to see their heritage in action. They need to travel to Japan along with their father and I to experience life there. They will see how everyday, every female wears a kimono and there is dancing all the time. They will see how much different it is in Japan compared to life in the United States of America, which is all they have ever experienced. I think a summer in Japan will suit them fine. I feel after that experience they will respect their culture much more and not consider it to be a burden. Until the next entry, farewell my diary.

-Hamada-san

I just wrapped up my work in the fiction unit, and my concluding assignment was to select a story and do multiple assignments on it. I chose to read “Miss Butterfly” by Toshio Mori. I chose to do a creative writing piece. I imagined I was the old man in the story and wrote a diary entry about his feelings and memories after a night out. I believe that I did a good job of depicting Hamada-san’s innermost thoughts. This assignment came easily to me. I was able to effortlessly dive into the character and write as if I was he. I am pleased that I put significant effort into trying to understand concepts of another culture and write about them. Though my entry is short, I believe this is one of my better creative writing pieces.

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Algebra Explanations

Last year in Algebra 1, we spent every Tuesday in the computer lab working on our Algebra wiki. The wiki was created by our whole class as a resource. One week, I decided to work on things I didn’t fully understand. I took the period to go over the material and make explanations of how to complete the problems for other students who were struggling with the same material. Through the explanations and extra time to work on the material, I was able to comprehend it much better.

At the beginning of the year, I was having much difficulty with algebra. Using math Tuesdays productively, I was able to get ahead and absorb the material fully. I am proud of this, because I was able to use the resources available to me to be able to maintain a good grade and better understanding in algebra.

Algebra 1 wiki: http://mjgds-math.wikispaces.com/

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Science Slideshow

Forcing Shaping Earth:

This slideshow is from a project I did for our science chapter about the forces that help to shape Earth. I did my presentation in a powerpoint, because I believe that Powerpoints are simple, yet very effective. I also like the amount of creativity I can use when I am making them.

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What It Takes To Be Good At Something

To achieve greatness, it can take skill or just come naturally. It may take days, weeks, or years to really master a skill, but what if you were born with it? When you think greatness you could think a variety of things. You could think of great leaders, or great acts by ordinary people. I believe that greatness can be achieved by perseverance, dedication, commitment, enthusiasm, effort, drive, and not giving up. These seem like big words, but when you find something your especially good at, or love doing, than it’s worth it.
I have done many different things in my life, a little bit of everything. No sports or extra activities really stuck with me. The only thing I have been consistently good at is being a friend. My friends know that whenever they have a problem or need advice I will be there for them with no judgments, because I know they would be there for me if I needed them. If they choose to trust me with a secret, it goes in the vault. I will never tell a soul. I learned to be a great friend, because I have learned through experience that it hurts being stabbed in the back by someone you trusted with secrets and friendship. I never want any of my friends to go through what I had to go through.
In conclusion, I try to be the best friend I can be at all times. To me, the definition of a good friend is someone you can sit with for hours, without talking, and not get bored with each other. These friends are few and far between but when you find them, you will know it. This, I believe is an example of being great at something.

I believe that this short essay is some of my best work because it really came from the heart and I actually enjoyed writing it. I am confident that I am a great friend and I was able to express this for a school grade and that I enjoyed.

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We Didn’t Start The Fire- Remix

In history, we were partnered up and had to rewrite the lyrics of Billy Joel’s song, We Didn’t Start The Fire, and update it into current events. I really enjoyed this project and I think it made learning fun!

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GPS Tracking

Imagine this! No privacy. Anywhere and everywhere you go someone knows. You are never really alone. If you go to the grocery store, the government will know. If you fly somewhere, the government will know. When you pick your kids up from school, the government will know. Never again will you get to do anything without the government knowing precisely when you are doing it. While this can be helpful in a case such as looking for a missing person, overall I think it is completely absurd. The government should not be allowed to constantly monitor the private comings and goings of its citizens. This is a controversial topic, because many people believe that it is against their rights. The case on tracking devices began in 2007, when officials secretly put a tracking device on the car of Juan Pineda-Morena, who was suspected of growing marijuana. He thought this was wrong and brought it to trial. In that trial the judge ruled it legal. The judge said about 24-hour surveillance, “When it comes to privacy…the whole may be more revealing than its parts.” I believe this means that when you know what someone is doing at all times it shows you everything, its more revealing that just seeing their car pass by on a traffic camera, or them being seen on a security camera. I believe that the government shouldn’t be able to have the power to put a GPS tracking device on your car unless they have a warrant that clearly gives the permission to place a tracking device on a car.

Government agents want sneak onto your property and place a GPS on your car without your knowledge and without a warrant. There have been cases where the FBI has done this and tracked people without a warrant. In California and eight other western states this is legal. “The Ninth Circuit court has declared that attaching a GPS tracker to your car, as it sits in your driveway, or by extension on a public street, and then using it to monitor every one of your movements, is totally legal, and can be performed by the police without needing a warrant. So, if you live in the Western United States, big brother has arrived.” Isn’t sneaking onto your driveway trespassing? According to the government, if you don’t have a gate surrounding your property then it isn’t considered trespassing. The more money you have, the less likely you are to get tracked because you can afford to have a gate surround your property. This leaves less wealthy people more vulnerable to being tracked. I believe that this is a violation of your rights.  This is just another thing the government has control over. How is putting a tracking device on your car without a warrant different than searching your house without a warrant? I don’t believe that is fair because you own your car just as much as you own your house. The Supreme Court says, “It is one thing for a passerby to observe or even to follow someone during a single journey as he goes to the market or returns home from work. It is another thing entirely for that stranger to pick up the scent again the next day and the day after that, week in and week out, dogging his prey until he has identified all the places, people, amusements, and chores that make up that person’s hitherto private routine.” This explains that using footage from streetlights and security cameras is different from having a constant knowledge of the whereabouts of someone.

With the new information the tracking devices could give the government, they will be able to follow you and see exactly where you go with the click of a button. If you decide to pick up food the government could say, “Looks like Smith is visiting Taco Bell again, let’s grab him.” They can see exactly where you go, when and they will know who you visit, talk to, or cross paths with. “GPS tracking enables the police to know when you visit your doctor, your lawyer, your church, or your lover,” said Arthur Spitzer, Legal Director of the ACLU-NCA. They will have complete knowledge on your whereabouts. They also have the power to leak this information to your family or friends if they wanted to and I believe that is unfair.

The positive sides of the GPS systems are that they can be used to track criminals in your area. The government could use this information to stop a criminal in his or her tracks before any harm is done. They would make the world a safer place. They could also be used in criminal cases to check an alibi or to see if someone was at a crime scene of not. They can be used in putting criminals behind bars. An example is, William Bradley Jackson was convicted of murdering his daughter. When the police secretly attached a GPS device to his truck and tracked him when he went to dig up her original, shallow grave and took her body someplace where he could conceal her more thoroughly. Without that, they might never have been able to convict him – but they didn’t have any sort of warrant or judicial oversight for their actions. If a warrant had been issued, I believe that this would have been okay and could have helped us solve a murder rightfully. While I do see the few benefits of the tracking devices, I don’t think they are necessary to be put on the cars of average, everyday people, living normal lives, especially without a warrant.

In conclusion, there are definitely ups, such as being able to find a criminal, and downs, such as always being followed, for a tracking device in general, especially ones used without the knowledge of the tracked. I believe however, that in the circumstance of a GPS being put on your car unknowingly, that it is not fair and against your rights. With a correct warrant and the right circumstances a GPS could be of great help and could save lives, but not everyone is a killer. Most people don’t have anything to hide from the government; they just don’t want the government to gain more information on them.  If you agree with me and want to speak up, you can start a petition or a campaign against this. If you know someone who has found a tracking device on their car, make sure you talk to an authority figure and get things figured out. If there is a tracking device put on your car without a warrant, take the person who put it on your car to court. The Government knows enough as it is. Would you want your life and movements tracked?

This is an essay I wrote for history on GPS tracking. I found this topic very controversial and very essay worthy. Therefore, I wrote this, enjoy!

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Hey!

My name is Sydney G. This is my blog where I will post works and pieces that I complete. Enjoy.

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