Monthly Archives: November 2017

CWP Wk 8

Discrimination vs. Discrimination

Discrimination is defined as “recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.” This is not a bad thing. When you order something off of the menu in a restaurant, you are discriminating between foods. However, in modern culture, the word “discrimination” is taken to mean unjust treatment of certain people based on their lifestyle, religion, or appearance. Unfortunately, these two definitions can be easily confused.

Let’s start with a classic example of perceived racism. Your car has broken down and you need a ride. There are two people about to get into cars and you must ask one for a ride home. The first person is a young, clean-shaven, white man in a suit. The second is a tattooed, pierced, black teen whose pants sag to his knees. Most people would obviously choose the white man in the suit. Why? The easy answer might seem to be “because he is white” but this is not the case at all. If we reverse the skin colors of the men, most everyone would immediately choose the black man in the suit. The preference of which man to approach has nothing to do with skin color but how the men present themselves. This demonstrates how perceived racism commonly has nothing to do with natural appearance but how the individuals act. A specific set of features also indicates a certain culture and it is this culture someone may find unsavory, not the color of the person’s skin.

Now let’s introduce a bit of perceived sexual discrimination with a second example. Imagine an average-sized man and an average-sized woman who are both applying to the job of firefighter, where there is only one open position. Unless he’s completely incompetent, the man would generally be the preferred choice. Why? When comparing a male and female’s bodies, the difference in size and muscle mass are obvious. Unless a man is considerably smaller than average, he will have an easier time carrying a man out of a burning building than a woman will. The decision to hire the man is not sexist, it’s purely based on a clinical observation of who would be more suited for the job. Specific jobs, such as firefighting, which requires strength and endurance, require people with specific physical aspects. Men, women, whites, blacks, smaller or larger people, disabled, fully functioning…etc.

Discrimination, meaning “recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.” is good. Without it the firefighter who rescues you may be unable to carry you out of the burning building. Before immediately assuming someone is a racist jerk, take a moment to understand the difference between the two definitions and see if there is a reason they are catching a ride with one man or the other.

Geography of Religion Wk 7

The Muslim Era and Sikhism

  • Incursions from the West brought Muslims into India. (7th century –>)
  • Muslim rule dominated Northern India by the 16th century=Great Mughal Empire
  • GME early 18th century –> relied on a intimate knowledge of Hindu culture and patronage of Hindu temples even though there was as Islamic ideaology
  • Muslim and Hindu interaction bred Sikhism
  • Sikhism has 10 gurus (holy men) who were alive sometime between the 15th-18th centuries
  • Their influence is not only religious but also political (Punjab region)
  • (17th cent.) Muslim leaders began driving Sikh leaders from villages and into the Himalayan foothills because they were becoming a threat
  • After several generations they rose, and led by Ranjit Singh, claimed Punjab as a Sikh kingdom
  • Today, Sikhs still maintain a significant political and religious power in Punjab, which has been declared a state within the nation of India
  • 1984 the government of Indira Gandhi and the Sikhs erupted in violence
  • The Sikhs’ most holy shrine, The Golden Temple of Amritsar, was attacked to flush out a group of insurgents and holy men
  • Seven months later Indira Gandhi was assassinated in retribution

Geography of Religion Wk 6

  • Battle among tribal warlord. Upper reaches of Ganges during first millennium BC
  • Pandavas vs. Kauravas rival factions w/in one fam.
  • 18-day war
  • Young warrior of Pandavas, Arjuna refused to fight because of the knowledge that he would be facing family and friends on the battlefield
  • Krishna, his charioteer, suddenly revealed himself as a divine being and encouraged Arjuna to fight.
  • The significance of this is that it forms the poetry of the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most popular holy books of Hinduism. The Bhagavad Gita is just one of the 100,000 verses in the Mahabharata
  • Annnndddd I don’t want to write any more so bye

US Hist. Lecture #23

Political Crisis of the 1850s Pt. II

  • Yes I know I’m not supposed to do bullet points. Ill change it later fine fine fine
  • US becoming HUGE amount of territory–organize? access? “Blundering Generation”
  • Could Civil war have been avoided??
  • North hated the “slave power” of the South while the South resented the “Northern aggression.” (North wasn’t worried about the plight of the slaves though. Just didn’t want them to take white people’s land)
  • 1856 election . Democrat James Buchanan won. The democrat party was the truly national party at the time
  • People blame Buchanan for losing the Union but actually he didn’t. He still had a union of 7 states. Abe Lincoln was the one who lost the Union actually
  • 1858 senatorial race. Lincoln vs. Douglas debates. Lincoln is seen as a moderate and was not interested at all in saving the union. Just wanted to re-create one
  • John Brown 1859 Tried to lead a slave rebellion. Was getting money from a “secret 6” and planned to storm an arsenal to arm the slaves but no slaves showed up to join his rebellion. He was wounded, arrested, and put on trial. (Pretty sure he was executed.)
  • The North actually considered him a martyr for abolitionism though

CWP WK 7

Minimum wage :(

Dad was listening to a podcast about minimum wage in the car. Here’s the gist:

Everyone thinks minimum wage is great. Why wouldn’t it be? The higher the minimum wage, the more money everyone gets paid and everyone is happy. Rigggghhhhhhtttt?

The very presence of minimum wage directly impacts employers. If you need to hire 3 employees to keep your business going but can only afford to pay each an amount under the minimum wage, your business will fail. Not only does this effect the business owner, but the employees as well. Now where 3 employees might have been hired, no spaces are available for anyone to work. It’s as simple as that.

Now for any objections…? “Those employees need minimum wage to get enough money to survive.” Minimum wage jobs such as fast food are not meant for any employee to spend their entire life working at.  Maybe while attending college, but the entire goal of college is to transfer to a much more financially stable job.

There’s more to the argument but I’m tired and I can’t think. Besides, no one is going to ever read this.

US History Lecture #21

Abolitionism

  • American Revolution: slavery attacked
  • In northern states, slavery eliminated very quickly
  • Southern states decided to adopt gradual emancipation laws
  • Prime example 1799 “beginning next year on 4th of July anyone born into slavery in New York will be free when 18 if female and 21 if male”
  • Took a long time but it did end as a direct consequence of these acts
  • Idea that if blacks were freed there would be a race war where one race would be exterminated
  • 1831: what to do after the emancipation?
  • “Colonization” send away all free black people
  • American Colonization Society (James Madison, Henry Clay, John Tyler, Abraham Lincoln, and others)
  • How to transport the people? Where to send them?
  • Liberia was an ideal place apparently
  • Compensating masters, transporting people, and obtaining land would all be too expensive so colonization was not going to happen
  • (1832) After this was given up on, people decided to not free the slaves and just not talk about it so as to not encourage anyone
  • Fear that slaves would come back to wreak vengeance upon former masters

 

 

Geography of Religion Wk 5

The Birth of Jainism and Buddhism

  • 600 BC Vardhamana born in a small town north of the Ganges
  • Reached spiritual enlightenment, became a holy man, and walked barefoot through Northeast and Central India teaching his beleifs
  • Given the name Mahavira “great hero”
  • Taught: self-discipline, meditation, vegetarianism, renunciation of worldly goods, and nonviolence
  • Became a religion called Jainism. Practiced by Jains who believe that Mahavira was the 24th in a line of tirthankaras who form the bridge between our world and spiritual enlightenment
  • No supreme deity but many tirthankaras and spiritual deities and the mother goddess Ambika
  •  A hundred years after Mahavira, Siddhartha Gautama left his home as well to seek spiritual enlightenment
  • After years of meditation, he achieved spiritual enlightenment and basically did the same thing as Mahavira
  • His teachings gave rise to the new religion of Buddhism (discussed in the next chapter)

US History Lecture #18

The Age of Jackson, II: Tyler, Polk, and the War with Mexico, Part I

  • Harrison 1843 elected decided to give longest inaugural address in history
  • Raining, very cold, no coat. Caught cold–pneumonia
  • First time in history a sitting president has died
  • Tyler took over and served his entire term without a vice president
  • He’s a true American Wig
  • Wig party: oppositional party. Anti-monarch centralist party.
  • Tyler starts vetoing all the Wig party legislation and they can’t believe their own guy would do that
  • Everything that burdens all and benefits a few he just vetoes
  • Tyler’s entire cabinet resigns when he won’t do whatever they want
  • Daniel Webster hung out for a bit but then left
  • So now Tyler can put his own buddies in
  • And that’s it for now folks

US History 18

CWP Wk 6

  • 1900s Everyone believed Opium was a huge problem
  • 1980 Dec 28. Washington Post  ran “Jimmy’s World” by Janet Cooke
  • Really incited a lot of people to hate and fear opium more than ever
  • 8 year old kid in the ghetto addicted to opium since 4 years old
  • Mother’s live-in-lover selled opium as a business
  • Mayor of WA D.C. ordered search of city to find and save this kid
  • 6 reporters ordered to go find other kids like him because he certainly couldn’t be the only child opium addict out there
  • She won Pulitzer prize for the story but Jimmy was never found and Janet couldn’t remember where he was so Pulitzer prize was taken away
  • Actually were child opium addicts though
  • Opium-based soothing-syrups for children
  • Women employed to take care of dozen+ children and kept them quiet by feeding them opium syrup
  • Not uncommon for mothers to also feed them opium syrup to get a good nights sleep
  • Only at end of 19th century when people really realized how addictive it was
  • Infanticide through opium overdoses by poor women was also not uncommon
  • “Baby Farms” where women were paid to adopt a child but then they killed the kid so they didn’t have to deal with them
  • Infanticide also with a bastard child because another baby was another mouth to feed

 

 

CWP Wk 5

DRUGS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Recently, I’v started listening to a series of lectures on Mises.org that discusses drugs throughout history. From the two or three lectures that I’ve heard so far, one thing is blatantly clear: social media and public impressions have done far more to affect the way drugs are treated in our society than the medical facts of these drugs have. When we look at marijuana for instance, we can see that there is a huge benefit to using this drug in medicine, but the general hatred of the drug was enough to make it illegal in the U.S. without any real consideration of the drug’s uses and effects on the populace. Since marijuana’s legalization, the only noticeable difference in society are several marijuana shops opening up downtown. No huge increase of drug-related deaths or hospitalizations reported in the news. If the legalization of marijuana has proved that it never should have been made illegal in the first place, what can we say about other drugs? The general opinion of the public should not be enough to decide whether a doctor wants to use a certain drug to treat his patients or if a person wants to ruin their own life. The main deciding factor whether to leave these people alone or intervene in their lives and businesses is if the social media can rile up enough people with biased reports and untrue facts about something the general population is ignorant about.