Monday, December 7, 2009

Extra Credit: Obama Speech

What view of America in the world does Obama argue for? How does it compare to the view of the neoconservatives discussed in "Visions of Dominance"? To other views we've seen this semester.
- Obama really tries to explain how he does not think America is an empire. He wants America to be portrayed as a country that dealt with unfortunate circumstances due to our past leaders and everyone should overcome it in order for us to accept the present and to focus on present situations. Obama wants America to be shown as a country that unites during a a time of need and that we can all come to an agreement when we need to for the greater cause. I disagree with his thoughts because we have only come together for business purposes since 9/11. Klein explains how individuals are taken advantage of during a time of shock, and I agree.

What is Bacevich's argument and how does it relate to critiques of U.S. power we've read this semester?
- Bacevich argues that Obama is repeating what had happened in the past. I thought that connecting this war to the Vietnam war was very interesting. Many might say that this war is a lot more organized and less chaotic than the Vietnam war. I think Bacevich's opinion brings about a different sense since he had witnessed other leaders that did everything they could in order to persuade the military the pros of war. Many individuals seem to like Obama, but to hear Bacevich criticize the speech and tear it apart was unique. His different perspective showed how Obama is not much different than any other president we have had, even during the worst of times.

Revised Introduction and Thesis Paragraph - Please give feedback!!!

First Paragraph:
While the U.S. is a powerful, lucrative country, this is not necessarily true of other countries. After focusing on Mexico, it is clear that there is a direct contrast between the U.S. and Mexican economically. The Mexicans were subjugated to impoverished negative conditions. They too lacked employment. Nevertheless working would not have a substantially effect on them since their money had little value. Mexicans have been seeking help for numerous years, hoping for a change in life. Unfortunately, to their dismay, America has responded to this call. In duration of America’s dominance of Mexico, we examine what results have taken place based on its new opportunities. Is the United States of America living up to the imperial role means taking care of other countries it chooses to become involved with? How about the Mexicans in America? A relationship that has been based on a corrupted dominating spectrum results in a weak and vulnerable Mexico with very little economic freedom and potential to improve their status.

Thesis Paragraph:
The United States has exemplified numerous ways in which they abuse their power as a nation. We may consider their relationship with Mexico for instance, a relationship which is based on economic and political dominance sprouted from an opportunity to take over a vulnerable country. Throughout history, Mexico was susceptible to America’s trap and is left with very few benefits from the situation. The public fails to witness how the American government acts as a traitor and hypocrite, in order to help them prosper and maintain their imperial status.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thesis Paragraph

The United States has exemplified numerous ways in which they abuse their power as a nation. We may consider their relationship with Mexico for instance. A relationship which is based on economic and political sprouted from an opportunity to take over a vulnerable country. Mexico does not see how America is only using them for their resources to make themselves prosper, but goes along since they are receiving particular benefits which stabilizes their economy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Prewriting/Brainstorming for Research Paper

Country of choice: MEXICO

Why are you interested in this country and its relationship to the U.S.?

- Well at first I wanted to research India, but when we were in the library that day, I realized that there was not much for me to say. I was not very interested in the topic either. I began to think about the Hurricane Katrina film and what countries I could connect to that. I thought to myself: what happened during the Swine Flu epidemic took place? It really made me think. Why was Mexico being blamed? How did the Mexican government take care of their people? The U.S. is so quick to help other nations but what happened this time around?
-We also read about Mexicans in Prof. Miller’s class. I was astonished yet amazed by how the American and Mexican government treated laborers. I also thought about the Farmingville film. Again, the mistreatment of a being really makes you think.

What has struck you about this history and relationship to the United States from our readings, and from other knowledge and experience you may have?
-I first think of the stereotypes against Mexicans. Everyone thinks that they are illegal and uneducated. It is really unfair.
-The Bracero program really got to me. I understand how it seemed like it benefitted everybody but the aftermath of it seemed like a disaster to me. People were being mistreated, overworked, and then deported.

Based on your reading and knowledge so far, do you think the U.S.’s relationship with this country supports the thesis “The United States is an imperial power”?
-I think the United States’ relationship with Mexico is definitely an imperial one but I have trouble explaining it. I think the U.S. was controlling the economy and everything was done in a sneaky way so that the U.S. is portrayed as a great country who helps others in need but is just using them to prosper.

What don’t you know that you want to find out?
-How did both U.S. and Mexican governments react to the Swine Flu?
-How was the U.S. acting as an imperial power?
-What were the drug problems?
-Tourism: Cancun*
-What is NAFTA’s role?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Our Brand is Crisis"

At the end of the film, one of the U.S. political consultants says that leaders like Evo Morales represent a "dangerous form of populism." In the chapter "Latin America in Revolt," from How to Rule the World, Mark Engler describes how Morales and other new leaders in Latin America have been accused of "anti-Americanism," "populism" (260) and "demagoguery" (281). What do these accusations mean? What specific policies are these charges based on? Based on Engler's chapters, do you think these fears are justified? What specific policies has Morales implemented and how do they relate to these fears?


- "Populism" and "demagoguery" go hand in hand. Both explain how there is a stance for getting people their rights and doing whatever is needed to get natives what they want. Apart of "populism" and "demagoguery" includes getting rid of officials which make natives unsatisfied. We saw this when riots and protests were led Evo Morales to get rid of Goni in Our Brand is Crisis. There is an idea of how Morales was born in poverty and understands the people's needs.

- There is a twist in ideas when "anti-Americanism" is used to characterize new leaders because it can be interpreted as America being based on what only officials want and has nothing to do with the people. Basically the government makes desicions without the equality America symbolizes. I believe these accusations present how leaders are oblivious to the reality of their nation and make claims which would help them get the power that they want.

- I think Morales did what he had to do to get his position in governemnt but he is actually trying to make an improvement. Bolivia has been in poverty for a long time and never changed their status or really attempted to. Morales finally tried. He had cut his salary to stop taking away from everyone like previous leaders had done before.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Revision Brainstorm

What is my thesis?
- "McDonald's has, in some way, been considered to be one of America's greatest symbols of power worldwide; one of the greatest contradictions yet. We then question, what do those oversized golden arches really represent? By far does McDonald's represent how powerful America is considered to be."

If I hadn't written this, would I have convinced myself of this thesis? What would I be skeptical about?
- I think you can tell what my train of thought is but you cannot read it and understand it in an instance. It should be more clear, precise and to the point.

Does my evidence support my thesis?
- I think the examples I used in my essay support my thesis very well. I think I do have to work on explaining the quote a little more and show how it connects to my thesis for the reader's better understanding.

Where am I being vague?
- After inserting a quote, I do not explain what this quote means and how it connects to my thesis. When I do not explain my connections, the reader may assume a different connection which may trail away from my arguement.

Where is my reader confused?
- Some of my sentences make no sense at all. There are some phrases that I understand but do not flow in my writing.

What have I left out?
- I think I should include the court case that took place as an example. It would really explain the health situation in America.

How can I make what I'm saying more interesting?
- My writing needs to be more clear. I feel like I have a lot to say but I cannot word it properly. As a result, my writing does not make sense and becomes less interesting.

What parts of the text(s) are important that I haven't dealt with?
- I think I covered all grounds from Fast Food Nation that would relate to my essay. I think I should have discussed Life and Debt a little more though because I only discussed it in one paragraph.

Revised Paragraph

Original:
An idea of conformity had spread around the globe. In Eric Schlosser’s Global Realization, Schlosser argues the different impacts of the international Golden Arches. McDonald’s was presented as a place to change your identity and flaws. Like an American who eats McDonald’s, you will somehow fill in the stereotypes which trail them. In other words, in just one bite you will be powerful, white and rich. The idea did not seem as psychotic concept when it was advertised by elite individuals in such a manner. Den Fujita, a Japanese billionaire who brought McDonald’s to Japan, promised his nation that ‘“we will become taller, our skin will become lighter and our hair will be blonde’” as one if they ate McDonald’s food. (231) This misconception had, in turn, promoted Japanese citizens to eat more of the American fast food. There was a spread of an influence amongst the many countries who were apart of the McDonald’s chain. Schlosser stated, “Teenagers dressed in Nikes, Levis, and Tommy Hilfiger T-shirts sat in groups and smoked cigarettes.” (234) McDonald’s had changed people for who they really were in order to ‘help’ communities to become more westernized. The unrealistic illusion had furthered the Golden Arch’s success as they went along with the lies and never denied them. If McDonald’s was to symbolize America, they were now labeling a nation as money hungry liars.

Revised:
America had spread cultural diffusion world wide with ease. In Eric Schlosser’s Global Realization, Schlosser discusses the different impacts of the international Golden Arches. Natives believed that if they were to be like an American who ate McDonald’s, they would somehow fill in the stereotypes which trail Americans. In other words, in just one bite you would be powerful, white and rich. This idea was advertised by elite individuals who were influential to their nation. Den Fujita, a Japanese billionaire who brought McDonald’s to Japan, promised his nation that ‘“we will become taller, our skin will become lighter and our hair will be blonde’” as one if they ate McDonald’s food. (231) This misconception had, in turn, promoted Japanese citizens to eat more American fast food. There was in no way that eating a particular type of food would change one’s wealth, hair color or complexion. As a result, the Japanese were taken advantage of by being so gullible.

Aside from Japan, Schlosser stated how individuals progressed in Germany. “Teenagers dressed in Nikes, Levis, and Tommy Hilfiger T-shirts sat in groups and smoked cigarettes.” (234) McDonald’s had changed people for who they really were in order to ‘help’ communities become more westernized. There were no individuals in cultural attire. How was this franchise helping a community if they were promoting adolescents to smoke? This is definitely not the family oriented place it is advertised to be when it is being described as a local hang out. Nobody would ask these customers to step out to smoke or to leave because that would result to losing business. If McDonald’s was to symbolize America, they were now labeling a nation as money hungry liars.