Indivisible, with liberty and justice not for all

In The New York Times article, “Joe Biden: Reclaiming America’s Values,” Joe Biden discusses the necessary improvements that society should make in order to unite USA. Biden begins the article with, “while the United States is far from perfect, we have never given up the struggle to grow closer to the ideals in our founding documents.” This statement acknowledges the United States’s flaws in society, yet, the country continues to reach it’s original aspirations of equal freedom. Throughout the article, Biden elaborates on his perspective of the recent politics that had shaken Americans in the past week. In a time period where stereotypes, assumptions, and racism take hold of mindsets, Biden attempts to push away the preconceived thoughts that has been reinforced by Trump’s language. Unlike the President, Biden delinates the importance of being a country that strives to reach aspirations as well as others. The ideal society would defend the principles of a democratic country — diversity, tolerance, and inclusivity. The former Vice President points out Trump’s negative language, in which does not represent the values of the whole country. Trump’s stance on DACA, neo-Nazis, and illiberalism was implied to have pushed the United States further from future progression. The recent growth of tension, hate, and violence, such as the events in Charlottesville, Va., portrays the lack of values in present society.

 

To fight against the lash of hate, Biden states that “you cannot define Americans by what they look like, where they come from, whom they love or how they worship.” This conclusion of the article summarizes Joe Biden’s beliefs in which the country is not a certain skin color, culture, and language. Instead, it is the combination of a multitude of people. It’s diversity in beliefs and values is what defines the United States. I agree with Biden, and believe that I live in the same society. There is a wide variety of qualities that make up American culture. History has shown the influences of events and trends that has shaped the society we live in today. There is no single explanation that answers the question of, “what is American society?” because the only constant is change. This is also similar to Plato’s, Republic, in which Socrates compares an individual to it’s society. “Socrates: …let’s first find out what sort of thing justice is in cities, and afterward look for it in the individual, to see if the larger entity is similar in form to the smaller one,” agrees that a single person does not mirror the whole of it’s population (Plato. 2.369a). By looking at a wide range of experiences, philosophies, and values, it gives a wider representation of everyone.

 

Vicky Lee, Team Hermes

Biden, Joe. “Joe Biden: Reclaiming America’s Values.” The New York Times, 14 Sept. 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/14/opinion/joe-biden-more-perfect-union.html. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

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Barbaric Taunts from the Lunchroom

In The New York Times article, “School Lunch Without Shame,” the Editorial Board discusses the new policy of free lunch for New York City’s public schools. The city’s lunch program has provided free or reduced lunch fees for those who come from low-income families. However, an additional 200,000 children can receive free lunch. This includes families that forget to fill out reduced-lunch forms, and those who had to pay previous lunch fees.

This new policy has also helped the initiative to stop the “barbaric policies under which children are openly humiliated when their parents cannot pay lunch bills” (The Editorial Board). The past lunch-fee policy has brought a form of social and financial scrutiny onto other children. Social setting in schools shifted for those who faced shame on having to bring their own lunch to school, and those who ate nothing in school. Their differences came from their families financial backgrounds and the food they ate.

Similar to Herodotus’ Excerpts, he described how ‘barbarians’ were looked down upon based on a person’s differences. In 1.4, Herodotus states how the Greek viewed Asia as the place “with all the various tribes of barbarians that inhabit it, is regarded by the Persians as their own; but Europe and the Greek race they look on as distinct and separate” (Herodotus). The Greek’s described themselves as “distinct,” in other words, unique, compared to the ordinariness of others (Herodotus). The Asians were also “regarded” as Persians, which delineates how European countries tend to claim others under their superior status (Herodotus). This conveys how the European countries saw themselves to be the ideal form of civilization. It can be inferred that the “tribes of barbarians” had culture and languages that were unworthy to be claimed as their own, and had to be grouped together with the Persians in order to have an identity (Herodotus). Thus, putting down every other ethnic group below the European’s status. In comparison to Herodotus, the school bullies can be reflected as the Greeks — who taunted other children, because they had different financial statuses that deemed them unworthy to afford school lunch.

The term ‘barbaric’ in this article refers to the previous New York City policy that held lunch fees in the public school system, and the ones who wrote and voted in favor of the policy over a decade ago. ‘Barbaric’ typically has the negative connotations of someone that is cruel and savage-like. These ideas may be implied that the policy supporters of lunch-fees are cruel for depriving free lunch for children who are ineligible in the program. Those affected with this new policy mainly includes the audience, parents of children who are in NYC public schools. They are now relieved from having to budget their finances to make sure their children are well fed in schools. This new policy can also open up social understanding and unity with families all over the city who have struggled with lunch-fees in the past.

The Editorial Board. “School Lunch Without Shame.” The New York Times 8 Sept. 2017. Web. 9 Sept. 2017.

Vicky, Team Hermes

Temple of the Sea VS. Temple of the Earth

“Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea” (Video)

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In the final scene of Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, the main characters. Ash and May, attempt to save the temple of the sea. The temple/palace of the sea, also known as Samiya, began to deteriorate and flood when a crystal was stolen by a pirate. Without the crystal, the palace becomes in jeopardy of being lost in the sea forever. To save the temple, the characters find and place the crystal back to it’s rightful place.

 

This scene also reflects on the current state of the Earth’s environment. The stealing of the temple’s crystal can be compared to human greed towards the Earth’s resources. People have taken natural resources such as food, water and minerals, without balancing out their actions. Human consumerism may blind our indirect actions of harming the natural state of the world. When issues such as pollution, deforestation and climate change arise, people are forced to realize that there has been little actions towards replenishing the environment. Factors such as politics, finance and cultural differences also hinders the protection of natural resources. This then causes a bigger impediment on finding a way to improve the environment to a stable state for the future. Similar to the scene of Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, people have acknowledged the harmful changes in our surroundings. However, society has yet to step away from personal greed and to take actions for the common good.

 

In comparison to Medea, Medea was a victim to her own selfishness and greed. Throughout the play, her motive to seek vengeance on her ex-husband escalated quickly. As Medea faces the reality of her husband leaving her for the princess of Corinth, the audience is able to see Medea’s anguish grow. Her mental state changes from sorrow, bitterness, to anger. When Medea forms her plan to kill her children, husband and the royal family of Corinth, Medea reflects on herself when she sees her children for the last time. “Go, go on. I am no longer able to look at you. I am overcome by wrongs” (Euripide, line 1076). This portrays how Medea has allowed her emotions to take over her mind and actions. Despite understanding the repercussions of how she will hurt those around her, Medea continues with her plan of revenge. She disregards everyone around her in order to meet her goals, and this form of greed leads to her own downfall. At the end of the play, Medea was left childless, husbandless, and filled with loneliness. She had fulfilled her plan of inflicting pain on others, yet, she cannot escape the pain she had inflicted on herself. Her acts of outrage was a facade that temporarily allowed Medea to forget the sense of betrayal of those around her.

#Drama #CLAS2 #Medea #Vicky, Heremes