I’ve begun to go through some of the bits I wrote for middle and high school (and some before then). Below I’ll post some of the more notable excerpts from things I wrote before college…
Monday, September 20, 2010
Response to “G.O.P. Insider Fuels Tea Party and Suspicion” by Janie Lorber and Eric Lipton from September 18, 2010, The New York Times
While I disagree with [Sal] Russo that his endeavors have not been profitable, I don’t think it’s of considerable logic for anyone to fret over the existence of the Tea Party or people like Russo who are seizing the opportunity to benefit from it. Throughout history, political movements have popped up, but due to the 50/50 nature of our government [presumably I’m referring to pluralism], only the two main parties have been able to survive. For example, the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s was only successful while a significant number of Americans opposed immigration rights. The Free Soilers of the late 1840s-50s only existed as long as public concern centered on the slavery debate. Similarly, I believe that the Tea Party movement will only thrive as long as enough Americans a) fear the state of the economy, and b) fear Obama. I have a feeling that the Party will be dissolved after the 2012 presidential election because two years from now, as things level out, ex-Republicans Tea Partisans will go crawling back to the G.O.P.. The Tea Party only exists, I think, so that more Republicans may be elected to congress under a pseudonym.
People like Sal Russo, however, will continue to strengthen the Tea Party by any means necessary in order to reap the benefits of running a fundraising committee. I don’t think Russo has actually switched opinions (Republican to Tea Party); I think he has recognized that placing confidence in the Tea Party creates a lucrative business for him, and that he will continue to exploit these poor Americans who are donating to the Tea Party Express’ “cause.”
Monday, September 27, 2010
Response to “Landlords Are Back in Control” by Vivian S. Toy from Thursday, September 23, 2010, The New York Times
This article, while obviously related to the economy, is about more than that. It’s about human nature more than anything else, and our tendencies to follow trends. […] I was tempted to pick a side: the landlord or the renter. Landlords, for centuries, have had more control over the markets [than the renters]. For a few years recently, however, the renters have had the advantage of the bad economy to live in homes they may not have otherwise been able to afford.
The conclusion I arrived at was that with landlords in “control,” as it were, the market will stabilize better than if renters are fighting for lower prices. They can deny a person an apartment if they think the renter doesn’t have enough money or a good enough job to keep paying for the home.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 [one week before Democrats lost control of the House]
It’s obviously ideal to fix America’s issues with taxes and a growing debt above all else; however, in an election season, I would prefer that Democrats focus on keeping their seats in Congress.
Friday, October 12, 2007
(From an assignment to write a diary entry from a Spartan military camp.)
Today we were inspected by the state officials. My father said I was never a looker, but I didn’t know that I was ugly and weak. I guess I am just not fit to be in the great Spartan military.
This situation would not be so terrible, but the boys who are not good enough for the army are left on a mountain. They just left us here after seven miles of walking. We do not know how to survive. We are only seven years old. I don’t know how to hunt because my father never taught me. I was always too young. I guess I will always be too young. Or just not enough alive to hunt. I don’t think that people can live without food for a long time. I hope I can stay alive long enough for my parents to come look for me, but my mother is busy teaching things to my younger sister, Micah. She said that Micah will learn how to throw a javelin today because it is her sixth birthday.
My father probably thinks that I am in the army already, even though I didn’t make it. He is fighting in the war right now. He was always fighting a war.
One of the boys just threw up. It is really hot and maybe he spent too much energy walking up here. Maybe somebody just told him that we are going to die. I feel bad for that boy because now he has even less in his stomach. At least my breakfast is still inside of me…for now.
There is a bear behind tree coming to us people screaming runni
Friday, October 19, 2007
From a prompt entitled: “Why Are We Here?”
Many people try to find the meaning of life. Many other people even try to find the meaning of “the meaning of life”. But if someone shouts eureka, if they figure it out, how can it be proven? That is that most upsetting aspect of life. The fact that we will just never know.
There are many theories that come to mind when we ask for a reason regarding our existence. The most obvious answer is evolution. Then again, evolution is a practical belief when it comes to how we are here. It still does not answer why.
Honestly, I do not know why we are here. Similarly, I do not want to know why we are here. I can say, with no hesitation or question, that I am in Newton because my parents moved here. I could also say that I am at home right now because I am not anywhere else. The only thing I do not want to say is that we as a people are here because of something concrete.
I am not afraid of hurting someone’s feelings or going against someone’s religion in this paper. I am, however, afraid of setting my mind on one idea to explain our life, collectively. Correspondingly, I do not want to convince myself in the belief of God one way or another. One thing I liked about the ways of the Stoics was that they just accepted life as it was. Obviously, too much looseness in one’s life could be a bad thing, but when considering the reason of our existence, I do not want an answer. The answer can only be discouraging.
In some ways, extreme as it may be, I am convinced that the earth is just one single cell in the thing that is the universe. Maybe we are so relatively small that there is some huge, alive, outer being of which we are only a tiny part. The idea is farfetched and highly unlikely, but honestly, nobody knows for sure.
The way I view life in general is that we are just tremendously lucky. The earth needed to be spinning at the right speed, the atmosphere needed to be at the right temperature. There needed to be an atmosphere. Our moon had to come into existence, pulling and pushing on our planet at just the right amount of force. The sun needed to be not too hot and not too cold. I highly doubt that there is another civilized planet out there because of the odd combination of criteria that every other corner of the universe lacks. Just as luckily, following the establishment of our perfectly conditional planet, life sprouted. The life even evolved; it did not die out. We, humans, are even enormously lucky that we were not born as earthworms. If each life is hand-picked for a body, people should be thanking their lucky stars (or suns?) that they are not living life as a Gila monster or a guppy.
So why are we here? I don’t want to know. I don’t need to know the answer to that in order to fulfill my life. Maybe there is no reason. Maybe it was just perfect circumstance. Many people do not accept that as an answer, but my explanation can’t be any worse than the answers they don’t have.
Friday, November 7, 2008 [three days after Obama is elected President, before the official establishment of the Tea Party movement]
Response to an article called “Joe the Watchdog?”
I think the “Joe the Plumber” business is quite ridiculous. It’s hilarious in the sense that [Joe “the Plumber”] Wurzelbacher has no idea how much he’s embarrassing himself, but on the other hand, is it a wise idea to stand by as “tens of thousands” (so says the website) of Americans follow Joe in his quest for a more “we the people” kind of country? What is starting as a good idea in the eyes of some of those [R]epublican small business owners may not be a so smart in the long run. […] I’m not saying that Wurzelbacher’s website will kill people, simply that only a few good ideas really turned out to be functional. […]
Complete with a section to sign up for an ironic $15 “Freedom Membership” and a link to preorder that (unlicensed) plumber’s book, the Joe the Plumber website, interestingly entitled SecureOurDream.com, presents the idea that, essentially, the people of America should not be ignored by the government. […] The funny thing is that this is more of a [D]emocratic view—the one that the government should be so much more involved in peoples’ lives. Joe the Plumber’s followers are predominantly [R]epublican, I’d say, and although they are advocates for lower taxes, they are essentially creating a support group for anyone who has ignored the government by owing taxes (like Wurzelbacher himself), for example. The main thing that these people can’t see is that they are part of a symbiotic relationship with their government. The president can only help them if they, in turn, are good citizens. The activation in each other’s business has to go both ways: government to people and people to government.
Finally, even though Joe the Plumber is entitled to his opinion and complaints, making a website called “SecureOurDream” of all things is going over the top. This implies that by electing Obama president, it will be harder for everyone in the next four years to continue being free Americans. This is just not true. These “We Are Joe” members are not looking at the big picture of Obama’s proposals. They only see one side of the issue—the side that applies to them. In addition, writing a book on the topic is going to a very unnecessary extreme. True, any American can have a piece of their work published. It’s a free country. However, if Wurzelbacher were eligible to write an intelligent and thoughtful book, he would not be plunging toilets for a living. The scary part is that people are going to believe everything they hear in the book. They will soak it up and spit it in the government’s faces. They will not notice the radicalism of some of his statements because of Wurzelbacher’s uncanny ability to relate himself to the common American—his targeted audience.
I believe, only half-jokingly, that we may have a new political party arising by the time Sarah Palin runs against Ralph Nader and Hillary Clinton (because those will be the only people left) for president in 2012, and Joeism is widely accepted across the country as a political view. (On a more positive note, since my whole opinion was very cynical, as an Obama supporter, I feel a great amount of relief knowing that he will do his absolute best to guide us through a unusual crisis-free four years.)