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15 May 2012

Death of the Yong

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Uncategorized

Have you made mistakes when you were young? Of course you did. So did Yong Vui Kong. But the one difference between most of you and Yong Vui Kong, is that he only has a limited time to live because of it. Yong Vui Kong’s mistake was possession of 47 grams of heroin. In Singapore, possession of over 15 grams of heroin will earn you the death sentence. In the article, “Singapore authorities urged to save Malaysian man from execution,” written by Amnesty International, they write in detail about his current situation in Singapore.

I can clearly see why the Singaporean government has put this law into play. They want to weaken the drug trade in Singapore. But, why do they have to be so harsh? This man will lose his life for something he did. I admit, it is a little bit risky and he probably was not thinking when he got into drugs. But this is a young man! If they let him learn by putting him in prison, maybe he would become a better person. Actually, I think he will most likely learn from his mistake. If this man was caught with drugs, you know he must not be a very smart person to begin with. But you have to think, how could you kill someone so young, with so much to learn? You would take away their entire life that they have ahead of them, all because of a stupid mistake. That is morally unacceptable to me. Another fact that upsets me greatly is the fact that the boss of operations was NOT prosecuted, and yet one of his ‘henchmen’ is being put to death. Amnesty International writes, “Yong’s lawyer cited the Singapore attorney general’s decision not to prosecute the alleged mastermind of the drug operation, dropping 26 charges against the Singaporean who was Yong’s boss.”  That is simply absurd. I have my doubts about the honesty of the Singapore attorney general.

I used to think that Singapore’s laws were fair and just, except for the massive fines for things that happen all the time, like spitting and chewing gum. But now, after learning about this situation, my view of Singapore has changed greatly. One factor contributing to my change of mindset is the attorney general that seems to not be very honest, like he should be. It is outrageous that such things have to happen. I am afraid for this man, and I know that he is afraid for himself. Really, he is only a few years older than my older brother. I can’t imagine my older brother being prosecuted for something like this, there would be too much grief.

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28 Apr 2012

Tyranny of the Humans

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Uncategorized

There is a question that I want to ask everybody.  Is money more important than the environment? Everybody would say, “The environment, of course!” However, there seems to be a difference in opinion between regular people, and the oil fiends of the world. Such as the company British Petroleum (BP). Two years ago, there was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Guess who was the culprit? Why, BP of course! Now, two years later, the oil seems to have disappeared from the Gulf. But, the solvents that BP has used has made the animal life in the water deformed. They have become what looks like characters from a bad comic book series. In my opinion, the worst part in this story is that BP will not own up to the fact that they have ruined the Gulf. They are saying that it is as safe as it was before the incident. Somehow, I find that quite hard to believe.

What I don’t understand, is why the US Government won’t comment on this matter either. It’s not that they deny it, it’s that they won’t comment on the situation at all. I don’t think the government has anything to hide. And, I don’t think the government should have to hide anything from its own people. Especially with all the evidence. All we want is some words on what they are doing to fix this. Because they will fix this issue. Right? Am I right? No? Okay.

I think that many issues can go unresolved. Such as the missing toilet paper roll that someone in the family forgot to buy. Or the fact that Facebook is STILL blocked here in Vietnam. But one of the most important ones are the ones that involve money, and the environment. There are many endangered species in Vietnam, and it is prohibited to hunt them. But the people don’t care. If anything else, it raises the animal value by a lot more. This happens a lot, all over the world, and it is a problem that is persisting. Not only in America, but close to home too. It is sad, but people are greedy. It is the way of the human race. Who can stop us? We are but tyrants ruling over this world without any sympathy for those who suffer from it. We let our greed take control of us. We know it is bad. But can we ever stop? That is the main question.

 

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22 Apr 2012

Governments, What are they Good For?

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Richert

When your government helps you, a citizen of your country, you know that they are doing their job. But when they lie to you and then take away your shelter, how can you have any faith in your government at all? This is what happened in Dhaka, according to the article, “Dhaka slum dwellers live under threat of eviction,” by Said Zain Al-Mahmood. The government told people living in makeshift homes that they would have to clear themselves back 10 feet from the road to widen the road out. But instead, the government clears 50 feet of houses. Those ouses are the houses where people live their lives. They make their living in makeshift shops that they built there. but all was lost when the government lied to their people and destroyed their homes.

I do not understand how the government could not muster up the courage to tell these people that they needed 50 feet of room instead of 10 feet. Or even at least make new homes for them to live after they had cleared their homes. Now, these people have to find a new place to live. These people are homeless. How could their government be so unfeeling like this? This act of clearing their homes may have been legal, but how can their human morals not be stirred in any way? It is like these people are as unfeeling as a lamp. Or a piece of dead wood. Not alive. Not with any sort of feeling at all.

In Vietnam, there are many makeshift homes like the ones in Dhaka. There are even ones right near me in Phu My Hung. But these ones aren’t cleared by the government, as far as I know. These people are able to live their lives like anyone else here. No matter if they live in a brick and mortar house, or a house made of corrugated metal. I think I see the world in a different light now. I see the government as either being for the people, or not caring about the people at all. In America, the government (for the most part) is all about the people. In Dhaka, however, their government seems to not care that they made thousands of people homeless. It is very sad how this is allowed to happen in the world, and nothing can really be done about this.

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19 Apr 2012

Chinese Project of Clothing

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Uncategorized

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18 Apr 2012

FreeWrite 4: Fear of the Blank Page

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Uncategorized

Fear of the blank page. When at the time of writing something, we feel as if the objective is to make sure that we are filling the page with words that mean something to us. Whether a nonsensical paragraph or a myriad of beautiful sentences effortlessly flowing together to create a page of noteworthy writing, in the end they both achieve the same goal: to make sure the page menacingly staring at us with all its blankness has been shut up with the words of our pencil. I know most people right now are asking, “How does any good writing become written?” You see, there are many motives towards a writing a ‘good’ piece of writing. Such as the possibility of becoming jobless after handing in ‘facepalm worthy’ writing to your publisher. Or, seeing a big red ‘F’ for your writing class grade in school. Those reasons tend to be huge motivators. The only reason any of us humans can make money off of writing brilliant pieces of writing is that they have, in my opinion, abolished the fear of the blank page. In fact, my theory is that they are excited about the prospects that it brings. Such as the ability to create a new world. Or to let people educate themselves about a subject that you happen to know about very well. The people who are excited by the blank page are the ones that have separated themselves from the rest of society by calling themselves ‘authors’. In the Merriam Webster online dictionary, the definition of the word author is as follows: one that originates or creates. I think it should be defined as such: people who are not fearful of the blank page. In some cases, these people may be excited by them. The fact that the ability to take the blank page in turn it into  a myriad of beautiful sentences effortlessly flowing together to create a page full of noteworthy writing was not given to all human beings disappoints me. However, if that is the way that some deity wanted us to live, then so be it. The blank page does not belong to those who fear it. Only to those who welcome it.

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15 Apr 2012

Girls of South Sudan

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Uncategorized

Do you value everyone you know and love? Do you do you treat them with the love and respect they deserve? Let’s imagine that you are a girl in South Sudan, and your uncle kills another man over the cattle that your uncle had stolen from another person. You would be given to the victims family. As a toy. As a slave. As an object.  That is what the girls in Sudan face if there is a family feud, being treated as objects. I think it is horrible for anyone to even dream about being treated as an object by another human being.

I have read an article called, “In South Sudan, Girls are Given Away to Settle Family Feuds,” by Tom Rhodes.  I have many questions about this topic, one of which is: do the parents care about the daughters that they have to give away to the other families? In that article, there seems to be only one woman, a grandmother whose granddaughter was taken away, who really wants to stop this madness and to have her granddaughter back to where she belongs. With her family. I don’t understand why no families want to stop this chaos. Or even the government, who was born to uphold the rights of everyone in their country. It is absolute insanity!

I think that the government of South Sudan should do something about this. They should be pressured by the families of lost daughters who want to see their daughters back home. The government should be made to pass a law making this illegal and ensuring the safety of girls who might have had nothing to do with the family feud, but they are made to pay for it. The monsters that allow this to happen are still turning a blind eye to this. I think that it is crucial for their government to make laws about this, and not be the monster who is turning their eyes away from these happenings. Yes, South Sudan is underdeveloped and it may not be one of their biggest problems, but I think it should be an issue that is dealt with very, very soon.


 

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5 Apr 2012

Fall of a Nation

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Grade 8, Middle School, Richert

This week, I took the recommendation from Mrs. Richert of which topic we should read and respond to. That topic, is about Trayvon Martin. I am sure you, as the reader, are familiar with the story. I chose the column that she had up on the board, which was called, “Trayvon Martin’s fatal shooting mirrors 2005 death.” It was about another young man who had been shot by a rookie police officer. This part of the column, while sad, was not the part that interested me. What interested me was the topic that the author, Jeff Perlman, brought up. The ability to seize the opportunity and confront problems in your neighborhood. Perlman talks about confronting the problem of race, but I think it is the obtuseness of the American lawmakers that is the problem.

America. The most powerful country in the world. It is quite embarrassing that Americans need a child’s life to be lost to realize that they are doing something wrong in their community.  Is it ignorance? Or is it merely stupidity from the American people? I think that it is neither. It is merely unfortunate. All of this, is unfortunate. Through the years, America has evolved and made itself more powerful, but in its race to become a successful country, has it lost the moral responsibilities we hold as humans? The lawmakers have provided the means for people to hurt each other with the “Right to Bear Arms.” They have provided the motive, which in Florida is the “Stand Your Ground” law. Now, after they see that someone has taken advantage of both of those things, the lawmakers of America are running around confused like headless chickens, not being able to see that if they re-examined the laws that allowed this man to get away with taking away a life, maybe the people protesting against the authorities demanding arrest would be happy. Maybe the people worldwide would not look at the American authorities with scornful and demeaning looks. Maybe the world in all of its entirety would erase the stereotype of Americans being of less intelligence than other races. Which, in itself, is racist, and might be solved if the American congress would outlaw what is already illegal in many other countries.

Guns! Firearms! The machines used to kill another human being. Legal by law! It seems utterly absurd, but it is the truth. If guns were outlawed, this would never have happened. Neither would have a lot of accidental deaths at the hands of a gun. But if the Congress persists to be conservative and never change, I think it might spell the end of America altogether. The ability to change and evolve (if you believe in Darwin) has kept us all alive for millions of years. But now in the modern day, with all of our machines, it seems like America does not want to change. America looks to me like they are saying, “Everything is going just fine and dandy the way it is.” I am scared for America. I am from America, however I have never lived there, or visited for more than 4 weeks. I hope that as the world continues to change, America will too. But looking at the laws that we have now, it doesn’t look pretty.

 

 

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4 Apr 2012

Goals for Highschool

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Uncategorized

Take more efficient notes during classes. I think that I don’t take notes fast enough and detailed enough during class to study for my tests. I think what is holding me back is probably my below average typing speeds. To accomplish that, I can do typing games online every weekend to bring up my average words per minute, so that I can keep up with the teacher during class while the teacher is talking to the class. I can see my typing score now, and I can compare it to the score I have once I reach high school. Hopefully I will see a significant improvement.

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4 Apr 2012

Reflection of Declaration of Student Independence

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Uncategorized

When writing my Declaration of Student Independence, you can see my strengths as a writer. One of these strengths that I have is that I am able to express my ideas clearly. Or at least I make a good stab at doing so. This means in simpler terms that I am able to structure my sentences effectively. However, my strengths do not come without their weaknesses. A flaw that is apparent in my writing is that sometimes I only have a general sense of correctness in using rich language. I hope to improve my language usage as I progress forward as a writer.

A problem I encountered was that I didn’t know any grievances that I should note in my writing. Eventually I asked my friends and my older brother for ideas. However, all the help they gave was restating my already thought of grievances. I fixed this problem by thinking about my grievances for a long time, and making two or three brainstorms to figure out what the best ones were. I came up with the ideas for this assignment using the same method, brainstorming. I like to brainstorm on a web, so that you can see what ideas are connected and which ideas are more developed.

I would try to make sure that someone else helped me proofread my writing, as I have a few grammatical errors in my writing. Also, I would word some sentences differently to try and make sure that I use the rich vocabulary more effectively.

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23 Mar 2012

The Declaration of Student Independence

Author: Daniel | Filed under: Grade 8, Middle School, Richert

Preamble:

There comes a time in our lives when we cut some ties in which we think are not necessary, or even harmful to us. There comes a time when we must become independent from the rules that the administration’s society brings upon us. There comes a time when the students must become independent from the rules of the teacher. This is what causes us to believe that we must write our own Declaration of Independence.

Declaration of Student Rights:
We, as a student body, are not strangers to the fact that teachers are here only to help us, and not to cause any harm. So the students should have rights that are separate from the teacher’s own schedules and responsibilities. It is our right and our own duty to change the way the school runs, because this school is all about the students of today; not the meticulous and sometimes overpowering ambition of the school to please the parents of students. We would like the school to listen to us, because it is our school, not the teachers or the administrators.

Grievances:
We have thought very thoroughly about this situation, and here are some of the complaints that we have:

  • School uniforms: If we wanted to wear itchy and cheap material all day, we would tell you.
  • We ask for leniency on the time frame of dances and other Student Council led activities. In our humble opinion, the dances start way too early, and so therefore they end very early. We would like to decide what time that we can go home.
  • We would like for at least one day for us to wear what we like. Such as a casual Friday, because the fact that we have to wear our boring uniforms all day, makes us look like robots or brainwashed baboons at any given time of the day. Something like this would perk up a student’s mood.
  • Finally, the matter of wearing our I.D. Cards at all times during the day upsets us. We don’t see the real need to make us wear I.D. Cards, other than to make us look even more like mindless auto-beings.

Statement of Prior Attempts to Redress Grievances:
We have asked about all of these matters to our teachers. But somehow, we seem to still go unheard, as the school has not changed such matters. Our complaints have fallen on deaf ears, and we want no more to do with the rules of the school. These grievances may look silly, but after prior attempts at asking for a change in these rules, we can only do one thing: announce our separation from the school.

Resolution of Independence:

Our pleas have been ignored, rules are enforced that we have openly voiced our opinions about, and yet the administration has done nothing for the greater good of the students happiness. So, we now declare independence from those who rule over us! For the support of the declaration, we pledge our uniforms, our homework, and our very own break time!

 

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