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Introduction Blog


Hi, my name is Donald Ferguson and I'm a freshman at Penn State. So far it has been a fun year and I'm having a great time. I didn't think I would end up going to school here at Penn State but I'm glad I made this choice. My uncle bought me season tickets to the football games and that had to be my favorite experience yet. I'm undecided in what major I want to complete but I'm thinking about going into the school of Information Sciences and Technology. I'm taking a seminar class in IST so I'll see how I like it.




Response to Dr. King


In response to his critics Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a very well thought out letter. He is obviously very talented at using language and had me on his side the whole way. It was very persuasive and in depth. Dr. King was able to address all of the facts and all of the issues. He explained everything in great detail. Everything he said was backed up with examples and support for all of his actions and why he believed he was doing the right and moral thing. He seemed to address all the issues presented in the letter from all angles. He often proposed questions that he felt the opposing side may have had and did a good job answering them. One element I found helped his case was how he often used references of history and related them to what was going on. For example, he said he was spreading the words of freedom just as the prophets of the eight century B.C. spread the word of Christianity.



This is a rewrite of CbarksNephew blog.


I'm also a freshman here at Penn State in my second semester. I live about 15 minutes outside of Philadelphia in a town called Springfield. I'm thinking about majoring in IST but I'm still undecided. In my free time I like playing football and basketball, hanging out with friends, and listening to music. The Sixers are by far my favorite basketball team however when it comes to football I like the Dallas Cowboys. I hope this class improves my writing too.



USA Today Snapshot


For my snapshot I chose to talk about how much candy Americans eat. The article says: "In 2004, each American consumed almost 25 pounds of candy, a decline of 2 and a half pounds from 1997." I chose this article because I know I ate a lot more candy than that due to the fact that my sister works at a candy store. She used to bring me home chocolate covered raisins everyda. One claim you can make from this information is that Americans eat less candy in 2004 than they did in 1997. Another claim is that Americans are consuming less chocolate than they ever have before. And my final claim would be that this has been a steady and gradual decline over the seven year span.



FDR's "Four Freedoms"


Obviously, FDR was a great speaker. He was great in rhetoric and this speech is a prime example. Arguements from the heart, values, fact, and character were all present in this speech. One of the reasons this speech is so persuasive is because it's coming from the President. He is the biggest figure of authority in the world and so everything he says is taken by his audience as the truth and everyone feels he's honest. FDR helps get the audience on his side by claiming our freedom, which we value most, is at risk. He goes on to explain how our country and our beliefs are under attack and so we must take action. Again, he is a trustworthy figure and so there is not reason not to support him. He presents all the facts and explains how action is necessary. He uses historical facts to support his cause. For example, he refers to Norway which helps him to explain how America must stay on the offensive. Another important and constant theme throughout was a strong sense of unity. Bringing his audiences together and making them feel as one helps to get everyone involved and make everyone feel important as an American. This speech did a good job of covering the types of arguemtens people use.



Universal Declaration of Human Rights


I think I was first introduced to this document in the 9th or 10th grade but then I didn't really put much thought into it. Now I'm able to really understand and appreciate the content. These laws are essential to have an orderly world to live in. Unfortunately, I think in some places of the world these rights are ignored everyday. In the past, humans have treated other humans in the worst ways possible. However, with human rights in place this treatment of people should no longer go on. I found article two to be one of the most important and it says "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration..." ,it goes on to say regardless of sex,race,religion etc. It's important for people to know everyone is entitled to these rights and that nobody is superior to anybody else. The ideas in this document are heavily based on arguements from the heart and arguements of value. We're all human and should treat eachother with respect and we're all entitled to these rights. And we should all value equality and preace amoung men.



Bush's 9/11 Speech


This speech by the president is a very moving one. The president uses a lot of emotion while addressing the public. A common ground is then set between him and his audience in that we're all Americans and we're all in this together. He explains how not only our citizens were attacked but our beliefs.This is where our values come into play and Bush says the events that took place occured because the enemy hates our freedom. He goes onto say they don't like our democracy. Then Bush does a good job at showing his knowledge by describing Al Qaeda and their terroristic beliefs. He explains how they're a terrorist organization based in Afghanistan and that they must be stopped. Fear is implanted into the audience when the president explains we are under constant attack from these terrorists. All of these emotions help to motivate the people and get them to act and help in the war effort. He does a good job relating to the audience and motivating them to act.



Defining Terrorism


Obviously, terrorism is a difficult concept to define. The Encylopedia listed a number of definitions for the word. The different nations cannot come to an agreement on a universal definition. Without a universal definition I don't know how someone can really declare anything as an act of terrorism. However, whenever I hear the word I immediately think of the September 11 attacks. I understand that to be an act of terrorism. I would define terrorism as acts of violence against innocent people in an attempt to create political change. Having a valid defintion is obviously important when you try to argue with someone or try to persuade someone. If I think of terrorism as one thing and you think of it as another thing then it would be hard for us to reach a common ground.



Response to "Officials: bird flu found in Iraq" from The Daily Collegian


This article confirmed one case of the deadly bird flu in Iraq. A 15-year-old girl died in northern Iraq and officials are fearful because her uncle was admitted to the hospital and is showing similar symptoms. In resonse officials have slaughtered a lot of domestic birds in the area in an attempt to cut off spread of the disease. Officials also organized some emergency response teams to contain the flu.I found this article to be particularly interesting because I haven't heard about any cases of this in a while and thought maybe it was dying off. This is proof that the disease is still around and still spreading. Hopefully, they'll contain it and it won't come to the U.S.. An outbreak of this in the US would be freightening and could get very deadly.



Personal Entry


Today I found out that Penn State is the most expensive state school in the country. I found out when my RA came to my room to give me and interview. Before he told me this I had no idea. I knew Penn State was an expensive school but not the most expensive state school in the country. This isn't good news but I can say I'm still glad I'm here. So far it has definately been worth it and as long as I get a well paying job I won't dwell over it.



Personal Entry


Wow, spring break cannot come soon enough. It was freezing today and the wind hurt my face so hopefully I'll be able to go somewhere warm. I know we haven't been back at school that long and that spring break is about a month away but I cannot wait. This spring break I may be going to Miami with a few friends from here. I have never been to Florida and so this is very exciting news. I am already broke and don't really need to be going to Florida but I'm already going to be in debt when I get out of school so I may as well just go. Even though the trip is not definite, it is nice to have something to look forward to. Even if I don't go to Miami I'm going to make sure I make this spring break an enjoyable one. If I go home I'll be sure to relax plenty and take it easy.



Definition of a "Racist"


What exactly is a "racist"? What does one have to do to be considered "racist"? In order to know a racist one has to understand the concept of racism. Racism is defined as: the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others. Anyone who believes in this can be considered a racist. Another defintion that's listed is: discrimination or prejudice based on race. But what does discrimination mean? Does that mean excluding people or threatening people? As you can see this can begin to get somewhat confusing. I believe you can think whatever you want as long as you don't cross the line and start threatening people. Racism is a sociological problem that people have created. Some of the causes of these racist beliefs come from stereotypes. More often than not, stereotypes about groups of people are not accurate but people still hold them to be true. People believe that just because people look different they should be treated different. Obviously, people have a lot of physical differences but do these physical differences make one group of people better than the next.


In my paper I plan to analyze the definition, history, and causes. With a thorough analysis I believe my audience will better be able to understand racism and racists. People will see that race is more than just black and white and that it's still an issue today. Evidence of racism in todays society include issues such as affirmative action. This is also a big part of our history as a nation with the civil rights movement and the removal of the Indians.


Racism is a relevant concept because everyone belongs to a race and is therefore subject to racism.




J.R. Feagin. "Racial Relations". International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2002). 12711-12716.


"Racism". Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 5 February 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism


Susan Pizarro-Eckert. "What is Racism? Who is a Racist?". The New York Times Company. 6 February 2006. http://racerelations.about.com/od/skillsbuildingresources/g/racismdef.htm


Review of Raciism blog: by Rosengardblog


It seems that your agrument to define racism is a very serious issue that has not yet been resolved in today's society. It it bad to see that racism still occurs today, but what does define a race? It's good to see you're going to find the answers to make people better understand the answer to that question. You mention few different subjects such as sterotpying and discrimination which both make strong ties into racism. Also I want to see you stance on affirmative action, which I don't think is a fair treatment used today.


?? Affirmative action: I'm not sure how that helps for an argument about definition; though perhaps it would for a proposal... Anyway, is 'racism' really a term up for grabs? The Pizarro-Eckert article might give you reasons to think so, and if they're compelling, fine. But I'd suggest there's another term in your proposal that is more debated, namely race. It's not the same as racism, and indeed a racist has to believe in race (and probably in a certain way), but it's difficult to determine scientifically what difference race makes. Think about it. =) TheKemBlog



Today I commented on RheamersBlog...



Personal Blog


My day today started off very bad. First of all, I had a 9am class which is too early for me. I got on the crowded bus and sat down. Everyone on the bus was quiet probably because they were all half sleep. Then the girls phone next to me rang. She had a nextel phone and so it was very loud. Not to mention, the ringtone was Can't Touch This by MC Hammer. She answered it and began talking about how much homework she had the night before. Everyone else on the bus was silent but this girl was next to me yelling into the phone. I was about to tell her to shut up but thankfully it was my stop. After that, the day was a good day.



Definition Paper at...





Response to Declaration of Independence


I find this to be one of the most important documents in the history of the United States. This document helped cut the nation lose from colonial rule. Obviously, this document provides plenty of evidence as to why America should seek its independence. In fact, it lists 27 grievences. This proves to be more than enough evidence and is why the document is so powerful. The authors establish that enough is enough and it is time to act. The work is very motivational and does a good job at making the audience want to act, which is what the authors were going for. In the beginning, it states the beliefs of the nation and how the rulers have gone against these beliefs. The document also does a good job creating a type of us vs them situation.



Evaluation Proposal


For my paper I plan to analyze the controversial issue of affirmative action. This is a hot topic in today’s society and there is much debate over the idea. Affirmative action, or positive discrimination, is a policy or a program promoting the representation in various systems of people of a group who have traditionally been discriminated against, with the aim of creating a more egalitarian society (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). This policy is usually incorporated in education, employment, government, contracting, health care, and/or social welfare (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). An example of this policy comes into play when applying for college. There may be one black student and one white student who are in competition for admission. They may have the same grades and abilities however the school would decide to accept the black student simply because he is black. Is this policy a fair one? Some argue this is racism


By using case studies, examples, and by conducting thorough research I plan to evaluate the concept and take a stand for or against it.


We talked about this in class. You need to take a stand. And as you go forward, think about the criteria according to which the opposing sides forward their claims. TheKemBlog



Kinsley, Michael. "How Affirmative Action helped George W.". 20 January 2003. Time Inc. <http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/20/timep.affirm.action.tm/>


Wilson, Williams. "The Underclass and Structural Racism". 13 April 2002. <http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/rhodesprp/01_02/divide/under.htm>


Jones-Guitierrez, Carl. "Affirmative Action and Diversity Project: A Web Page for Research.". Department of English, USCB. 6 May 1996. <http://aad.english.ucsb.edu/>


Fullinwider, Robert. "Affirmative Action". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.<



"Now and Affirmative Action". National Organization for Women. 2006. <http://www.now.org/issues/affirm/>


Anderson S. Elizabeth. "Bibliography on Race, Gender, and Affirmative Action.". Department of Philosophy: University of Michigan. June 2003. <http://www-personal.umich.edu/~eandersn/biblio.htm>



Personal Blog


This weekend was NBA All-Star weekend. Overall, it was pretty good as usual. However, I don't like the fact that Robinson won the dunk contest. What he can do at 5'8" is amazing but I believe Andre Iguodala should have won. He was consistent and his dunks were simply better. Also, the one judge put up a 9 for Robinson then changed it to a 10. That is not cool at all. Maybe, I'm a little bias because I'm from Philadelphia but Andre should have won. The actual All-Star game was entertaining too. I'm glad the East was able to pull off a win.



Personal Blog


This weekend I went home. It was a lot of fun and I spent most of my time with my friends at Temple university. While there we went to some house parties and to some frat parties. One thing I didn't like is that their frats charge $5 to get in the door, unlike here. Also, if you want to buy a water or a soda at these parties they charge you $2 each which is outrageous. I'm glad they don't do that here. Other than that, this weekend was amazing. I also won a lot of money playing the Madden video game. We always used to play for money but since I've been up here I've got better and nobody could beat me.



Personal Blog


This weekend I had a terrible experience with Greyhound buses. I bought a ticket for a 4:15 bus and I couldn't get on. That is garbage and I was very upset. They pretty much told me they sell too many tickets and then seat people on a first come first serve basis which is unbelievable. Because I missed that bus I had to wait an hour and a half for the next one. This was really bad because this bus was not an express. This bus stopped in King of Prussia and in Harrisburg which added about an extra hour.



Response to: "My America"


This was an interesting read. Sullivan talked about how things are here in America. He talks about America and why he likes it so much. He pretty much says we're all hypocrites and he backs up what he says. He talks about how we push for modernity but we have the oldest constitution in the world. He says we have a genuine public ethic of classlessness but we have the most extreme economic inequality in the developed world. He does a good job supporting his claims in the paper and does a good job expressing himself. However, he never really adressess any counter-arguements.



Response to Rwanda and Sudan


The Rwanda article is very interesting. The author does a good job explaining the problem and how the tension built over the years to end in this genocide crisis. One disturbing thing was that 800,000 Rwandans were killed in only three months. The article does a good job evaluating the problem and presenting the facts.


I was unaware of what was going on in Sudan. I agree with the US in calling this situation a genocide because that is what's happening. The Arab militias forced out thousands of refugees who now live in camps. These camps don't have enough food and water and people are dying but refuse to leave. This article also does a good job evaluating the problem.


Both of these conflicts were the result of a group of people being oppressed. These cases both involved racism and that is what led to the conflicts. From this we must learn how important tolerance and respect for others is. If people aren't treated as equals uprisings like these are bound to occur.



Evaluation Paper at...





Response to "Thinking about Political Leanings in Rhetoric"


I didn't find this article to be too interesting or useful. The author gives suggestions on finding bias in rhetoric work. He suggests to look at the author to try and find any biases they may have towards the topic. One should do this by looking at the authors values and beliefs or what the author may have to gain by going one way or the other. The author says if you find a lot of biases the piece is not very credible. The rest of the paper talks about political standpoints such as right wing and left wing however I do not know where I stand in this spectrum so it wasn't too useful for me.


Do you buy that? TheKemBlog



Personal Blog


I just wanted to comment on an article I saw in the Daily Collegian. The article was criticizing a professor here at the university that I happen to have. Apparently a book was titled "Professors: 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America" and this professor is in the countdown. Sam Richards teaches Sociology 119:Race and Ethnic Relations and I'm in this class. He always presents both sides of whatever issues we're discussing and often presents information that challenges our ideas. He does a great job teaching the class and I couldn't see anyone else teaching it.



Personal Blog


wow, thank god its Friday. Not only that but it is finally spring break. I'm very excited because I'm leaving for Miami Florida at 2:00 (that's why I wasn't able to attend class today). I just finished packing and I'm pretty much making sure I've got everything. It is going to be a ridiculously long drive but it will be worth it. I"m going with three other people from here and two of them live in Miami and that's who I'll be staying with. I can't wait!



Causal Paper Proposal


For my causal paper I plan to find out exactly why people chose to go to college. Why is it that some people chose to enter the workforce right after high school while some decided to go straight to college? Is this decision solely based on grades or are there other issues such as finances, family matters, pregnancy, or a range of other causes. What are the benefits a college degree has over a high school education and is an extra four years or so really worth it. I plan to gather data and determine what are the main factors that convinces one to attend college.



(coming soon...)



Personal Blog


Well, unfortunately spring break is over. I had a lot of fun over the break but it was too short. As I mentioned earlier, I went to Florida but instead of Miami I went to Orlando. My friends and I had a lot of fun and we went to all of the parks. We were a little disappointed because I think Penn State was the only school on spring break. We did however met a lot of girls at the nightclubs and we had a lot of fun. But now it's back to cold weather and classes. I'm not excited at all but it won't be too bad.



Personal Blog


Well, this weekend I went home and it was a lot of fun. I wasn't home very often because I spent the weekend at Temple with my friends. We went to a lot of parties and had a lot of fun. The only reason I don't like going home is because I always end up spending a lot of money which is not cool since I have none to spend. The most frustrating part of the trip was having to deal with Greyhound buses. They are the worst and from now on I'm going to try and get a ride to and from school. I bought a ticket for a 6:00pm bus from Philadelphia to school but when I got to the station they said there wasn't a 6:00pm bus. They told me the station here just messed up and I'd have to wait untill the next day to get back to school. I was highly upset and missed my morning classes.



Response to: Manifesto of the Communist Party


I wasn't too excited while I was reading this document and I am not too sure on what is going on with it.Obviously, its audience is for higher ranked officials and highly educated people. This proposal seems to be in favor of communism and supports the concept. I feel democracy is the best way to go. From what I understand, under communism there aren't social classes and doctors make as much money as janitors. Also, the people have no say in how the government works. With this policy, I wouldn't want to spend years in school to become a doctor knowing I could make as much money as a janitor. Under democracy, the citizens have a voice and influence the government in amking key decisions.



Personal Blog


My favorite football team has some great news. We just signed Terrell Owens. This is a great move for the Cowboys and Owens is obviously a great talent. He is a bit of a risk because of all his baggage but I think he knows Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells will not put up with any of his junk. Hopefully, he'll just play his game and help us get to the Superbowl. I'm going to try to buy tickets to the Eagles v Cowboys game this upcoming season. That would be a lot of fun to watch.



Causal Paper at...





Personal Blog


Well, today I got some good news. At the beginning of the year I signed up for some program where they match you up with a mentor (someone who already graduated from here) to help you adjust and talk about school. Today my mentor invited me to the Blue and White game in April. She has an extra ticket for the suites and I can't wait. The game will be great and so will the free food. She said Franco Harris and Kerry Collins are usually walking around the suite area so maybe I'll run into them. Also, she said she is good friends with Dr. Spanier and wants to introduce me. Sounds like a good time.



Proposal for Proposal Paper


Illegal Immigration: How to solve the problem


Are illegal immigrants that bad? Is the United States doing enough to prevent these illegal actions? What are we to do with all of the illegal immigrants already here? One of today’s hottest and most debated issues is that of illegal immigration. To date there are about 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States (www.cnn.com). That is no small number and these people will have to be dealt with. This problem needs to be stopped because these actions are again, illegal. Although their intentions may be good these people are illegally sneaking across our borders which is a threat to our security. Once they’re here they are taking jobs that could be held by American citizens. To deal with this issue I propose we increase border security, punish employers of illegal immigrants, and provide those already here with some type of guest-worker program.




“The immigration divide”. CNN.com A Time Warner Company. 2006. <http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/02/coverstory.tm/index.html>


Unmesh, Kher. “The Proposals”. Time Inc. 2006. <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1179399,00.html>


“Lawmakers draw immigration battle lines”. CNN.com A Time Warner Company. 2006.

< http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/04/02/immigration.debate/index.html>


“Illegal Immigrants expanding footprints”. USAToday, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. 2006. < http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-03-29-immigration-debate_x.htm>




Definition of Stigmergy


This term was coined in 1959 by Pierre-Paul Grasse. This term has to do with insects and how they communicate. Under this concept, insects communicate and motivate eachother to work together simply by working. This is useful when insects try to build a nest. They see eachother working and continue to work themselves and somehow do it in coordination with eachother.



Personal Blog


Well this weekend was a crazy weekend for the NCAA tournament. I had Villanova going all the way and unfortunatley they somehow lost to Florida. I am heated but it is all good. UConn lost to George Mason and so I know everyones bracket is ruined. Of the teams left I hope George Mason wins because Villanova isn't winning and I know nobody has George Mason winning it all. But, we'll see what happens.



Response to "A Modest Proposal"


This was a powerful arguement. He is proposing a solution to a problem which is obviously an important one. The author proposes a method help the poor children and their families of Ireland. He does a good job using ethos to help motivate the reader to take action for his cause. Obviously, this issue is one that needs to be solved and his proposal seems to be a reasonable answer. He clearly states his methods and the advantages it will have.



Personal Blog


Well, tonight is the NCAA championship game between Florida and UCLA. I had Villanova winning and my bracket was already ruined but I have some money on this game. I'm putting my money on Florida and I hope they come through with the win. All the people I bet will be at my friends apartment tonight so I'll be able to get my money right away. I can't wait to see the game.



Proposal Paper at...





Peronsal Blog


Tomorrow I plan on putting down my down payment for my apartment next year. I didn't want to live in a dorm next year and neither did my friends so we decided to get an apartment. Also, if our math is right, it will be cheaper than living on campus. One of the roommates put a down payment down a while ago and so we were able to hold it for a while. The rest of the roommates plan on putting down their money tomorrow and I can't wait untill next year. I think we're all going to put money towards a big screen TV but we're not sure who would get it during the summer and stuff like that. I plan on getting a summer job and working all next year so that I'll be able to pay my rent every month.



Personal Blog


This weekend was a great one. It started early because I only had one class on Friday so I was done early. I went downtown then took a nap. I went to an apartment party that night which was a lot of fun. There were a lot of people there with good music. Also, I became good friends with the best looking girl there so I was feeling good. On Saturday I pretty much relaxed all day then met up with the girl from the night before. She lives out at the point and had a big party in her apartment and it was a lot of fun. Also, I won a lot of money off the Mayweather/Judah fight which was nice. Sunday, I pretty much lounged around all day and got some work done.



Final Project Proposal

Queer, Fag, Aids, Homo, this are all derogatory words, which are linked to Gay and Lesbian people. Currently, there are about 10 percent of the 25 million people in the United States are Homosexual. With these somewhat shocking numbers the issue surrounding gay people cannot be ignored. These people entitled the same basic human rights as heterosexual men and women. Yet, sometimes their basic rights are denied. In contemporary times, the issues surrounding gay marriage is very debatable. Many people can not come to an understanding, not to mention are uneasy, when talking about this issue.

Don and I plan to explore this issue from two opposing viewpoints.


I( Nana): I feel the issue is somewhat jaded. I believe gay marriage should be legal. Why do we as human being always feel the need to label individuals, which some feel are inferior to others? I believe these people should not be discriminated against in the same way African Americans were and are still discriminated against today. In addition, America was founded on the values of freedom of speech and equality. As a result, gay and lesbian should have the same inalienable rights that we all are entitled to. Why should individuals be denied basic rights just on their sexual orientation. That is wrong.



Donald: Obviously, this topic is a very debatable one. People have strong feelings towards whether or not gays should be allowed to marry. From my standpoint, gay marriage is completely wrong. I do not feel we should allow gays to marry. I will draw some of my argument from religion, where homosexuality is forbidden. Also, if for whatever reason, we did allow gays to marry where we would draw the line. What if gay couples then wanted to adopt children; should they be allowed to do so?
















Biskupic, Joan. “Same sex marriage battles escalate.”. USA Today.com. USA Today, a division of Gannett Co Inc. 2006. <http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-03-23-gay-marriage_x.htm>





Personal Blog


This week is the last week of classes. My freshman year is over already but I can't wait for the summer. I'll be working hard for the last two weeks because I have a lot of studying to do and a lot of projects to work on. But, pretty soon it will be over and I'll be back home. I can't wait to start working and not have classes and exams to worry about. Next year I'm living in an apartment and so it should be a lot of fun.



Final Paper at...



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