Wednesday, January 21, 2009
FIRST 100 DAYS Dear President Obama letter assignment
I told the first class about this assignment and they overwhelmingly stated they were not interested in this assignment; however, when I mentioned Obama's request that all Americans spend five (5) hours in community service, and those that do will receive a free Starbucks refreshment. Visit http://usaservice.org/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2009/01/12/daily75.html
Post your letters to President Obama here. The freewrite assignment, which we shared was to write the president a letter and share with him issues you'd like him to consider addressing this first 100 days, certainly during his first term in office. I asked students to be chose issues which illicit tangible response. Students were to post the letter here, send a copy to the president and then follow the president's administration the first 100 days.
Send you letter to him via where there is a physical address and an email address. Choose whatever medium you like, and post his response to your letter here later, also converse with each other regarding his 100 Days. http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
You will have to mail the letter; the email posts only allow a short message.
In the second hour I shared my reflections on January 20. It is posted at http://wandaspicks.com If students have photos they'd like to share, send them to me and I'll post them on the class blog.
If you decide to participate in this 100 Day Watch, post all your responses here.
President Obama I would like to first congratulate you on your recent inauguration as newly anointed leader of our fair country. Coming in to replace the retreating shadow of what was widely perceived as a truly disastrous administration, strung together along the wire of a struggling economy and ornamented with the hollowed out bells of war, you are naturally regarded as a saviour of sorts. Many turn to you with eyes widened through the promises of change and hope to turn around a great nation that has plunged into a spiraling tailspin. The pressure must be tremendous. In your fragile hands you hold the weight of 303,824,640 souls finespun together to form a society that is in a constant flux, always subject to change. In reality, not only human society, but also the very core of our human nature can be argued as being in a constant flux and always subject to change. Human history can presently be traced back roughly 50,000 years ago to East Africa where remnants of our past - crude stone tools and preserved ostrich shell jewelry - can be found giving some idea as to the general shape of what life was like for us then. Not so much sooner do similar developments take form in east, southeastern and southwestern Europe some 10,000 years removed from what is our earliest known starting mark in East Africa. It would be here where the shape of humanity would change even further. This period saw the emergence of complex tools fashioned not only from stone but also from bone allowing for a multiplicity of functional and diverse equipment such as fish-hooks, needles, awls, and engraving tools. Weapons like spear-throwers and even the bow-and-arrow can also be found during this period sighting for the first time the capacity to impart human beings with the ability to hunt large game -like rhinos and elephants - that had always been too dangerous to hunt previously. The development of ropes, nets, lines and snares during this period allowed us to also include birds and fish as sources of nutritional sustenance. Through these developments human society was rapidly changing. Humans were now starting to reach a stage where they could move freely from the chains of necessity. That is, they now found themselves with the ability protect themselves from the predation of other animals, they could safeguard themselves from the cruelty of nature through things like shelter and clothing, and there was enough food to get by. Through these changes in the shape of human society, freedom from the chains of necessity had become enabled, freeing up the mind for higher thoughts such as economic specialization, social complexity, philosophical questioning, and political organization. These changes in human society had given rise to brand new mind-states and thus a growth or change in the very core of our human nature. The shape of human society and human nature are locked together in a tender clasp, dancing with each other in tight embrace through passing of the years of our human history. Therefore it is with great importance and care that we must look on to the future and the many changes of human society that are to come, as it is this that is undeviatingly linked to future changes in our very own human nature.
Up until the 1970's every human who has ever lived was born from his or her biological mother. However, today this is no longer true as the advent of surrogate mothers has become a reality. Is there any affect on the human psyche and thus, the human nature, stronger than being born from your mother? Many argue that only from this can the primary link between mother and child be formed. Sigmund Freud proposed that it was these early connections between mother and child that ultimately formed the foundational substructure of the human psyche and ego. What happens when you take away the most primary connection of all? Clearly changes in human society, specifically changes in technology like the advent of surrogate mothers, play a major role in determining the future direction of our human nature. What affects might the trans-human super technologies of the future hold in store for us? Technologies such as nano-machines capable of manipulating the structures of physical materials at a molecular level, singularity AI (super-powered artificial intelligence) that possess superior cognitive ability capable creating more advanced conclusions than a human mind is capable of and thus replacing the need for human cognitive ability, virtual reality interface that threaten to gradually eliminate the need to exist in the physical world entirely, gene manipulation that can enhance the human body to super-human levels, mass cloning that could replace the human work-force completely routing the division of labor that every modern civilization has ever been based upon. Changes this extreme must necessarily also possess a similarly powerful capacity to alter our human nature. If our present-day human nature is something we must choose to build, uphold, and improve upon then we must take great care in what changes we choose ourselves in the future. Some changes (in particular the trans-human super technology of the fast coming future) may give rise to a new dawn of humanity and thus new stages of human nature. However, some of these changes may threaten to stagnate the development of man and run us clear towards a dead-end. The road ahead is going to be hard to navigate and ever harder should we ignore the great responsibility that rests upon our shoulders in investigating the new changes that are to come in our human history.
Marvelous Marvin Mayweather (left hand)
ENGLISH 201A-Extra Credit Assignment
Dear President Letter
Dear President Barak Obama,
First off, I want to tell you how I am overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness that you are, finally, in offic. It is a pleasure and I have to say that you have humbled me in the best ways, and showed me that ANYTHING is possible.
Although there are many many issues that need to be adressed, the one in particular that I would like to bring forth is the Death Row System. There has been not only innocent people being sentenced to death row, but also unfair punishment on innocent death row inmates. This is something that we should all be concerned about.
The inmates rights are being unmercifully violated and has been for a long time. I believe that the prisons are purposely putting these men in situations where there are constant fights and murders.
On Oct. 27th 2002, death row inmate Jerry Thompson was fatally stabbed by his fellow prisoners. From that incident, prison staff has went to extreme and wrongful punishment and imposed that on the entire Death Row population, and the inmates who definitely did not have anything to do with the stabbing. This included lowering food rations, denying religious councel, discontinuing contact with lawyers, suspending family visitation, and being confined to their cells 24 hours a day.
Some of the reasons for innocent men getting sentenced to death row are, sloppy police work, lack of legal work, lack of financial help, and lack of evidence linking the men to the crimes.
Botton line...Mr. Obama, these men need help, from u, me and everyone else. Why is the system so, so, so unjust?