RCL #5: Analyzing the Appeals of the March For Our Lives

Amidst the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting, a group of students founded the March For Our Lives (MFOL) movement, an advocacy campaign calling for legislation to protect the lives of schoolchildren against individuals who threaten the safety of elementary, middle, and high schools. Using the criteria for logical reasoning discussed in class, I observed three significant attributes that the site’s arguments contained.

The March For Our Lives website is visually appealing, but the poignant emotions of the players involved steal the spotlight away from establishing ethos that will prompt lawmakers to take action.

The first is the frequency of the word “Congress” throughout the content of the site. In order to support the cause, MFOL identifies several congressmen who appear to benefit from the NRA and establishes credibility by reporting these men’s political background and policies. I felt, however, that MFOL’s reasoning was plagued by an ad hominem fallacy, in which the writers of the site content expressed their disdain for these politicians like a “witch hunt” and pulled quotations from the congressmen out of context in order to put them in a negative light.

I noticed also that there appeared to be a lack of citations and written sources in the site content, especially in the Frequently Asked Questions section. As a result, I observed that MLOF used a series of absolutes or general statements that muddied the clarity of their statistics and numerical data: they argued, for instance, that the ATF is the only federal agency with the jurisdiction to regulate the gun industry, without specifying whether or not other organizations have the ability to indirectly influence gun-related legislation in Congress. MLOF advances the specific argument that the ATF must become “modernized,” yet there is little data on the website to back up such claim; MLOF could establish greater logical appeals on the website by presenting survey results or statistics on the congressional votes in regard to the agency.

Lastly, MLOF seemed not to address a reasonable, credible, and relevant counterargument. In particular, the website began to develop a straw man fallacy in which they refuted claims unrelated to their actual opponents: they argued that military weapons have no place in American communities, although the real argument of their opponents is that student shooters can have access to both military-grade and non-military-grade equipment and firearms.

MLOF’s website was visually appealing and the information was presented concisely and clearly. Nevertheless, the arguments presented by the organization seemed pathos-heavy and would not sound credible to a member of the NRA, their supposed target audience, who would read the site content as a mere regurgitation of gun facts and observations that lack credible sources. As this movement was largely student-run in the beginning phases, I am intrigued at the direction it will head in the future and hope that legislative reform will decrease the number of school shootings in the country—although I believe that MLOF missed a core argument revolving around how a student’s home environment is supremely influential and affects his or her attitude on classmates, teachers, and schooling.

RCL #4: Draft of Persuasive Essay

Intro (audience): Principals and administrators of public high schools in the United States. The decision makers of school funding

Thesis: The benefits of music programs outweigh the costs of implementing them and removing them can lead to severe institutional and cultural ramifications for your school.


  1. Benefits of a music program. Why music should stay at your school
  • Social, psychological, and intellectual benefits
    • Raises student achievement. Students with an education rich in the arts have slightly higher GPAs, slightly higher test scores, and lower dropout rates no matter his socioeconomic status (Cohen). Mixed evidence
    • Intellectual
      • Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than average scientists. (Cohen)
      • These traits, found in musicians, are also common among world-class athletes and top-level managers. Is it a coincidence that Condoleezza Rice (piano), Alan Greenspan (jazz clarinet), Paul Allen (guitar), James Wolfensohn (cello) all studied music for years as children? (Boyd)
      • Musicians can be intellectuals. History of music and science, Pythagoras was a musician before a scientist
    • Neurological
      • A study by Virginia Penhune at Concordia University shows that musical training, particularly instrumental training, produces long lasting changes in motor abilities and brain structure (McGill: https://www.mcgill.ca/channels-contribute/channels/news/early-music-lessons-boost-brain-development-224936)
    • Music therapy can reduce anxiety, stress, and pain for patients
    • High arts concentration → higher civic engagement → more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and  lower poverty rates (Cohen)
    • Comradery
      • Promotes the pride of accomplishment
      • Promotes responsibility
      • Develops self-discipline
      • Teamwork. This is huge
    • Participation in music programs enhances cognitive abilities and social skills that support learning, including memory, problem-solving, and communication (Createquity)
      • Music is all about communication
    • Participation in early childhood: promotes social and emotional development, social cooperation
    • Low-income schools: “Low-income students probably benefit disproportionately [especially] from access to arts education. Benefits such as improved cognitive abilities from music participation, or improved measures of tolerance for museum attendees, tend to be higher for students from low-SES households.” (Createquity)
  • Music programs spark creativity and innovation
    • Livelihood of a school
      • Provides constructive entertainment
      • Makes schools better places to learn
  1. Removing music programs can lead to severe institutional and cultural ramifications for your school. What a school without a music program could look like and why you should avoid it.
  • How public schools are different than private and performing arts schools
  • Comparison to music opportunities abroad, especially in Italy where school programs typically do not exist and students are instead involved in community bands
    • Credibility: I have attended the ANBIMA band conference at the Boyer College of Music and learned about Italian community bands
  • Comparison to sports and heavily funded programs
    • Sports are reliable money makers
  • Removing music programs can violate the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which is part of a well-rounded education (Adams)
  • Problem: Music standards and teacher qualifications vary from state to state (Czarnecki)
    • How to overcome this: ___
  • Starving artist stereotype. It’s true that art is a form of entertainment and is paid as such
    • History of discrimination against musicians
    • Let’s foster a learning environment where all sorts of subjects can be studied because the arts are an important part of life, even if they historically haven’t been well-compensated
  • Removing the music program violates tolerance and diversity
    • New outlook: “Manliness”. Personal experience. Placing musicians below athletes violates character education
      • Having differences in interests doesn’t mean that you’re unequal
      • Why can male athletes be seen as “manly” while musicians aren’t? Is brute strength and physical prowess what defines a person’s manliness?
        • Such a mindset can violate your school’s mission to promote character (see character education)
      • There are several personality differences between athletes and musicians
      • Musicians aren’t generally seen as being “tough”
    • Music activities develop greater tolerance
    • Promotes cultural awareness
    • Public schools shouldn’t be specialized to such an extent that some programs aren’t funded at all. Lopsided, creates a less diverse student body. Private schools are different
    • “One successful program is theater at Minot High School-Central Campus. Chad Gifford, English and theater teacher, said he thinks one of the reasons that he has had great success with his theater programs at Central is because he has a policy of inclusion.” (Hambek)
      • “I’ve always been happy to include students with differing backgrounds and abilities and have made whatever accommodations are necessary to include as many students as possible,” Gifford said. “Did it seem odd to have an actress in a wheelchair during ‘Romeo and Juliet?’ Maybe, but I thought it added something to the production.”
  • Financial feasibility. Is a public high school a business or a learning environment for all sorts of subjects? Has money driven your school’s decision to fund/cut your music program? Principals: You can promote arts education at your schools with or without a budget
    • Removing music programs can actually inadvertently harm your school’s funding because concerts and performances can be a revenue stream
    • Patrons of the arts frequently donate arts centers. A music program could very well be at little cost to your school if you reach out to successful alumni


Sources: min 10

  • Adams: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/328640-why-we-need-to-continue-funding-the-arts
  • Cohen: https://blog.americansforthearts.org/2014/03/20/top-10-reasons-to-support-the-arts-in-2014
  • Createquity: http://createquity.com/2017/11/benefits-of-the-arts/
  • Createquity: http://createquity.com/2016/12/everything-we-know-about-whether-and-how-the-arts-improve-lives/
  • Hambek: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/14/arts-programs-in-schools-often-in-danger-of-being-/
  • Pergola: https://www.nemc.com/resources/articles/music-education-in-crisis_90
  • McGill: https://www.mcgill.ca/channels-contribute/channels/news/early-music-lessons-boost-brain-development-224936
  • Facts and Figures, Arts.gov: https://www.arts.gov/infographic-nea-funding-the-arts
  • Czarnecki: https://www.noodle.com/articles/music-education-in-public-schools-various-programs-and-benefits
  • Intro story?, Nuttall: https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/sour-notes-when-school-funding-is-slashed-music-education-often-suffers/Content?oid=1737594

RCL #3: Greek Life Deliberation Reflection

Evaluating the discussion as a whole, I felt that the Greek life deliberation was a success. The highlights of the event were the large number of students that attended, the exciting, active discussion that persisted throughout the entire event, and the fact that the event achieved the target duration of two hours. Areas of improvement included the issue brief, which could have been organized better and contained less white space to distract readers from the main points of the document. The responsibilities of each team member were not completed by all and the division of work deviated slightly from the duties assigned at the beginning of the assignment.

My role in the deliberation was to prepare the issue brief and the opening remarks that explained what’s at stake. As for my delivery, I felt that I spoke calmly and carefully. The venue was somewhat inconvenient due to its unsatisfactory acoustics, but the audience’s close proximity to the stage made communication less of a problem. I made clear the exigence of the issue and effectively introduced the conversation. I do feel, however, that I could have done a better job engaging the participants. My introduction would have been stronger if I had asked a question to stimulate discussion or opened with my personal experience with Greek life.

The issue brief was not cohesive, which might have been the reason why a few participants commented about its lack of clarity in purpose. I felt that certain group members should have contributed more to the issue guide, being that it was largely design and maintained by two or three individuals. It also should have been more concise; the audience seemed to spend a considerable amount of time reading it instead of actively engaging in the discussion. The questionnaire, on the other hand, was successful in receiving meaningful, significant responses from our participants. The survey was an appropriate length, especially when the discussion lasted nearly two hours and our participants appeared tired.

If I did the deliberation again, I would do a better job making sure that every group member was doing his or her part. The introduction and opening remarks were the “meat” of the discussion when the three approaches and potential policy suggestions should have been the main focus of the event. I found great value in the deliberation project, particularly in how it has helped shaped my management style and oral communication skills.

RCL #2: Articles for Deliberation

The Time article by Lisa Wade dives into the history of Greek life on college campuses, spanning nearly a century-and-a-half. This article connects to our deliberation because the historical context it provides is essential in comparing the landscape of Greek life today with how it was in the past. Particularly, I plan to use this article in the introduction/personal stake portion of the deliberation, in which Mitch and I will briefly summarize the role of Greek life in late Eighteenth- and early Nineteenth-Century campus culture. I felt that this article was effective in explaining the causes and effects of promiscuous fraternity behavior, and more importantly, how this behavior has led to a multitude of governmental and institutional policies to intervene in the functioning of these organizations. This article clearly demonstrated and described the origins for these organizations and why they have been debated long before the Timothy Piazza case, which was closely examined by the second article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The second article focused on the aftermath of the Tim Piazza case, a notorious instance of hazing in which a Penn State student was killed from intoxication. This article, similar to the first, offered historical background for some of the debates surrounding Greek life that will be addressed in the deliberation. However, the historical context presented in this article was largely judicial: it depicted the political and legal landscape of Greek life following the Piazza incident. While we may choose not to discuss the Piazza case in depth, I thought that this article was important in complementing the history of frats in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries with a modern history on the response to Greek life. I will use this article in the third approach, in which the role of the individual brother and the importance of self-accountability will be assessed. In particular, I plan to use the information presented in this article in the introduction of the third approach to capture the audience’s attention and otherwise create a rapport with them by discussing a relevant, recent event on our campus.


Schackner, Bill. “’A Joke and a Catastrophe’ – Centre County DA Blasts Penn State for History of Fraternity Hazing.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 15 Dec. 2017, 3:37 PM, www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2017/12/15/Penn-State-grand-jury-fraternity-hazing-Timothy-Piazza-Beta-Theta-Pi-Stacy-Parks-Miller/stories/201712150116.
 Wade, Lisa. “Fraternities, Sororities, Greek Life Must Be Abolished.” Time, Time, 19 May 2017, time.com/4784875/fraternities-timothy-piazza/.

RCL #1: Deliberation Introduction

Deliberation title:“A Nu Era of Greek Life: Can We Make Fraternities Beta? How Should They Be Delt(a) with?”

Description: Our deliberation dives into the controversies surrounding Greek life on college campuses, particularly how the university can approach the recent issues that have been hotly debated and how fraternity culture may have to adapt to the changing political, social, and moral climate.

My role: As part of Team Overview, I am required to prepare the introductory presentation for the deliberation as well as prepare the overall agenda of the discussion. I will help the Community Outreach team with event logistics and oversee as one of two leaders in the assignment. I am responsible for setting the objectives of the deliberation and categorizing the topics so that the deliberation has structure and organization.

I am currently working on preliminary research for the topics of interest as well as developing the three approaches we will take on the controversy. My current research is as follows:

We will take a levels of analysis structure (broad to narrow).

Approach 1: The frat, nationally. Matthiew and Jalani and Austin

  • Organization
  • Values of the fraternity; their purpose
  • Historical background. Then vs. now
  • Constants: psychology
  • Psychology and philosophies
  • Why now?
  • Do we think the nature of the system have changed?
  • Stigma has changed?
  • The exigence of the issue
  • Community service
  • Problem
  • Key players
  • Pros and cons
  • Reputation
  • Stigmas stigmas stigmas
  • Data
  • How media, culture, movies portray frats
  • Compare to business frats? Compare to athletics (GPA?)? Academics?

Approach 2: The university. Ninad & Mamadu

  • We think the university isn’t doing enough
  • What’s the university’s responsibility? What are the frats’ responsibility?
  • How can the university deal with this?
  • What do you think of the steps PSU is taking?
  • Underground culture: like prohibition?
  • Sanctions!
  • Right to assembly
  • Who’s at the table making decisions? Is everybody represented?

Approach 3: The brother, the individual. Matt & Emilio

  • Survey 50 brothers… why did you join? Data
  • No longer Mitch, you’re Mitch the Sigma
  • Your image transforms
  • What’s the brother’s responsibility? Individual responsibility
  • If we do this, what’s it gonna look like?
  • Binge drinking
  • Decision making
  • Hazing
  • Death toll
  • Be careful talking about Piazza. It wasn’t Beta Theta Pi that killed him. It wasn’t the party either. It was brothers
  • Sexual assault and harassment
  • Treatment of brothers
  • Treatment of students not in frats
  • Exclusivity
  • Rushing
  • Pledging

RCL #0: This I Believe Script

“C’mon, play louder.”

My band director helicopters over my music stand, his crusty eyes glaring down at me below. This was a scene all too familiar in high school: it’s a month before the band championship, and my terrifying sixty-year-old music teacher reprimands me for the hundredth time. It was daily that I’d get scolded at for not playing loud enough. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get more sound to come out of that gold, refurbished Yamaha saxophone. When I came home from practice, my gray blue eyes would tear up in routine, remote devastation. It was shameful to be humiliated in front of the whole band time and time again.

As the competition approached, I thought that my inability to play loudly might be an equipment issue. So I ordered a brand new, unreasonably expensive saxophone mouthpiece, and when it arrived, I knew I’d no longer get in trouble for playing too softly. It seemed to work at first, but not as much as I had hoped. I still couldn’t play at the level my teacher wanted. The harassment escalated, my band lost the big competition, and everyone seemed to agree that it was all my fault.

The following season, I changed my equipment yet again—to no avail, of course. But it was in that moment when I soon began to realize that my soft, understated sound on the saxophone had nothing to do with my music ability and everything to do with my personality: my quiet, shy disposition. My equipment couldn’t change the fact that I’m an introvert. I was humiliated for not playing loud enough because introverted musicians must play loud for the audience to hear them.

But I believe that introverts can speak loudly, even if you can’t hear them. I have a filter between my mouth and my brain. I think that precise, subtle details are what make music a beautiful art form. Introverts like me shape their ideas to musical intimacy. Extroverts like my music teacher choose not to maintain or nourish their ideas because the ability to communicate loudly is oftentimes a necessity for a musician. Sometimes, I’m not judged on how intricate my ideas are, or how well I craft my musical phrases. I think that’s why my band director wanted me to play so loudly. He wanted someone to make a bold impression to the judges, someone to win the band competition.

But I play softly because it’s intimate. I play quietly because understated music is rich, dense, and colorful. I think that, sometimes, quiet ideas speak louder to my personality than loud ones.


RCL #10 – HofPC Concept Contract

The History of Capital Punishment

HofPC Concept Contract for Nebraska Hernandez, Roan Lynch, Mark Ma, Ninad Mahajan, Andrew Pei, and Billy Young

Topic: The controversy surrounding capital punishment and the use of the death penalty in the United States.

An examination of the moral, social, and economic implications of the death penalty in the United States. Analyzes the extensive history of capital punishment and torture as well as their psychological effects on civilizations and mentalities. As a society, should we keep the death penalty? How much is a life worth?

Research, Roles, and Responsibilities:

Nebraska: The ancient history of torture and capital punishment as a means of interrogation. Nebraska will research whether the original intentions of the death penalty have changed. He will also examine public outcry to these methods prior to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Nebraska is responsible for helping to create the storyboard of the video.

Roan: Modern, recent tactics of torture and capital punishment as used by police authorities and the government. Roan will also research whether the original intentions of the death penalty have changed. He is responsible for analyzing the current, present-day controversy and debate over the U.S. death penalty. Roan is also responsible for helping to create the storyboard of the video.

Mark: Potential rationales and justifications for the use of torture, capital punishment, and the death penalty. Mark will act as the mediator between both sides of the controversy, researching the reasons for each side feels the way it does. Mark is also responsible for researching individual stories and case studies of the death penalty, diving into the lives of prisoners and their families who may be directly affected by the death penalty. Mark is responsible for editing the video and adding appropriate graphics and visual aids.

Andrew: The economic effects of the death penalty. Andrew will analyze the fiscal impact of using capital punishment throughout history, and most important, in the last decade. Andrew will research the financial costs of death row and the prison system as a whole. He will then compare the costs of the death penalty with alternatives researched and analyzed by Ninad. Andrew is responsible for providing narration and related audio services for the video.

Ninad: Potential alternatives to the death penalty. Ninad is responsible for researching probable solutions and proposed alternatives to capital punishment, spanning hundreds of years of history. Ninad’s research is important because it will add or diminish credibility to the arguments for using the death penalty. Ninad is also responsible for editing the video and adding finishing touches.

Billy: The moral and ethical ramifications of using the death penalty, as well as how the use of torture and capital punishment may violate intrinsic human rights. Billy will explore the philosophy behind the death penalty as well as examine the underlying mentalities surrounding its purpose. He is responsible for explaining the psychological and philosophical effects of the death penalty spanning decades of its use. Billy will argue whether or not the rationales and justifications researched by Mark are supported by the death penalty’s moral implications. Billy is responsible for providing narration with Andrew and editing the video using Adobe Premiere Pro.


Nebraska Hernandez

Roan Lynch

Mark Ma

Ninad Mahajan

Andrew Pei

Billy Young

TED Talk Script (Draft)

Oral Content

  • Topic: Schadenfreude, the act of taking pleasure in someone else’s misfortune
  • Purpose: To examine the presence of schadenfreude over centuries of history and to explain the detrimental role it plays in the way our society thinks and functions.
  • Thesis Statement: Schadenfreude is not a recent phenomenon, yet its presence glamorizes sin and deters honorable virtues in an already defective world.



Attention Strategy/Orienting Material: A provocative comparison of the ancient Roman Coliseum and other ancient forms of entertainment with professional wrestling, graphic video games, and internet trolling.



  1. Schadenfreude has undergone a tumultuous journey spanning thousands of years.
    • Schadenfreude dates back to ancient civilizations
      1. “Amusement” translates to “not think”
      2. People enjoyed gladiator fights or deadly one-on-one combat between men
      3. Torture was a popular means of interrogation and revenge
      4. Public shaming like the pillory was done to the delight of onlookers who differentiated themselves from the victims
      5. Themes and motifs in The Scarlet Letter
        1. “Scarlet Letter complex”
    • Schadenfreude is still present today
      1. Children enjoy violent video games that, while augmenting reality, depict graphic instances of death. The pain inflicted on these characters is generally done by the player
      2. Young adults enjoy watching horror movies that place victims in oftentimes inescapable situations. Others enjoy splatter flicks because the gory, agonizing pain of others is thrilling to viewers and stimulates their senses
  2. Schadenfreude glamorizes sin: it offers a flashy, albeit cynical justification for one’s demise or peril
    • Rather than prompting bystanders to assist the victim or resolve the problem, Schadenfreude insists that onlookers not only be passive but to actually relish in the victim’s plea for help
    • Schadenfreude does not only concern violence. People enjoy making others upset and purposefully instigate sensitive situations and emotional responses. This phenomenon is seen in politics and in a wide variety of social issues, including same-sex marriage and abortion
    • Using the bandwagon mentality, schadenfreude is used as an excuse for socially accepted immorality: entertainment is perceived as good, while suffering is perceived as bad, yet entertainment from suffering is justified by society’s tastes and preferences
    • If there wasn’t a demand for scary movies, studios wouldn’t produce scary movies
    • In a way, we know that schadenfreude is wrong, but we continue to practice it because it’s just another vice in human nature
    • We will never be satisfied. Entertainment from violence will only continue to escalate: violent video games turn into horror movies, horror movies turn into bad thoughts, bad thoughts turn into bad actions
      • “…Your thoughts become your words,
        Your words become your actions,
        Your actions become your habits…” -Gandhi



Concluding Remark – A closing statement; last words: Joy from the suffering of others is immoral, but unless society reverses the trend of cynical entertainment, schadenfreude will continue to evolve over time.


Visual Content

Slide 1: Description and function. A gallery of different forms of entertainment to compare and contrast old and new amusement.

Slide 2: Illustrations from The Scarlet Letter to underscore the idea of alienating those who are different. Often, we don’t associate ourselves with the victims of schadenfreude.

Slide 3: A graphical progression from thoughts to actions to habits, emphasizing the long-term behavioral effects of taking pleasure in someone’s misfortune.

Paradigm Shift Draft



The aftermath of September 11, 2011 prompted critical uproar in the American civic landscape. Domestic terrorism, however, is not a recent phenomenon: the act of inflicting merciless violence on the lives of innocent bystanders is weaved quite profusely in monumental events in U.S. history. Schadenfreude, the pleasure one enjoys from someone else’s misfortune, has integrated itself in our daily lives: from watching professional wrestling to TV daredevil stunts, we otherwise see risk taking and violence as a form of entertainment. Terrorism, however, employs schadenfreude as unexpressed justification for acts of evil. The events of 9/11 dramatically changed how Americans perceive foreigners, and more importantly, how us-versus-them mentalities prevail in times of anguish and crisis. Current security reform is a byproduct of unforeseen catastrophe and the progression of terrorism, yet the current emphasis on surveillance undermines American privacy and veils the astonishing familiarity of terrorist mentalities.

Current security reform is a consequence of unforeseen catastrophe. Disaster sparks change, ironically, due to dangers that fail to trigger “appropriate sensory responses”; these threats conceal themselves and are often embedded in American civic life. There exists a psychological bias in bureaucracy that presses dominant leaders to maintain the status quo and to entrench their own idiosyncratic policy preferences; this type of organizational behavior resists change, while electoral politics give little incentive for the expensive, disruptive preparation for unlikely and oftentimes invisible attacks. The fatal flaws of pre-9/11 bureaucracy, for one, contributed to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, considered by political scientists as a colossal U.S. intelligence failure. American defensive strategy was not only inadequate, but widely-regarded for being so; U.S. intelligence had previously violated a slew of Japanese diplomatic codes, pointing to an expedited likelihood of a Japanese attack on the United States. Among the earliest protocols for long-term national security reform was the National Security Act of 1947, which established the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency in order to ensure the integration of military and diplomatic intelligence and to prevent potential disasters in the future. Additionally, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 represented a large-scale failure of U.S. intelligence. Upon discovering Soviet SS-4 and SS-5 missile sites, the U.S. prompted a major diplomatic crisis and military standoff that positioned the rival superpowers perilously close to war. The crisis sparked significant changes in U.S. policy, including the opening of direct lines of communication between the White House and the Kremlin, as well as a major restructuring of the chain of command authority in the American military, the most pressing initiative being the President’s new control over nuclear weapons. The Cuban Missile Crisis resonated themes of the Vietnam War; American foreign policy suffered from the Cold War fears of the spread of communism and failed to address the root cause of the insurgency as a war of national liberation (Gilbert 2002). Consequently, U.S. military strategy was thwarted by its attempt to replicate traditional tactics of open combat, while intelligence focused only on conventional war metrics—body counts and weapons captured—and belatedly shifted to address the key elements of nationalist sentiment and counterinsurgency (Gartner 1997). MORE ANALYSIS ON SHIFT. Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 1973 and the fall of Saigon in 1975, the “Vietnam syndrome” made the U.S. public, Congress, and subsequent administrations especially wary of military intervention overseas, limiting the country’s pursuit for world democracy to small-scale operations in Grenada and Panama. This pattern repeated itself on September 11, 2001; intelligence agencies and counterterrorism experts had long argued that al-Qaeda presented a growing and significant threat in the 1990s—indeed, major terrorist plots of the scale of 9/11 had already been averted—but U.S. policy makers failed to adapt to meet this new threat (Gellman 2002; Rosenau 2007). The U.S. Commission on National Security for the Twenty-first Century, for instance, had already warned of terrorist attacks on the United States in early 2001 and recommended the creation of a Department of Homeland Security. Nonetheless, the events of 9/11 was the ___ that finally prompted sweeping changes of government and intelligence organization that many had clamored for years to achieve (___). MORE ANALYSIS ON SHIFT. In each of the three incidents, the United States was faced with a novel threat, the potential consequences of the threat were conspicuous, and the United States failed to adapt to imminent danger.

Current security reform is a consequence of the progression of terrorism. There is no widely accepted definition of terrorism. However, on distinguishing terrorism from other types of crime, ___ Hoffman concludes that terrorism is “ineluctably political in aims and motives,” violent or amidst the threat violence, and designed to have far-reaching psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target. Hoffman’s terrorism is subsequently conducted by an organization with an identifiable chain of command or conspiratorial cell structure—members lack uniforms or identifying insignias—and is perpetrated by a subnational group or non-state entity. Terrorism is henceforth the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in the pursuit of political change (___). The era of international political terrorism began with a series of skyjacking incidents in 1968, which were prompted by the previous year’s Arab-Israeli war. These events were followed in 1970 by the hijacking and destruction of several jets at Dawson’s Field in Jordan, and soon after in 1972 by the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics This period marked the transition—from the national to the global stage—of terrorism in support of left-wing and ethno-nationalist causes. With the end of the Cold War and developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, analysts now look back on the 1970s and 80s as the “old” paradigm of terrorism; groups associated with this era were generally motivated by left-wing ideologies—Marxism and related economic philosophies—or ethno-nationalism and separatism. The goal of Marxist terrorist groups was to use violence to politicize the masses and incite them to revolt against the capitalist system, while ethno-nationalist separatists wanted independence for their ethnic group or a merger with another state, often employing a long-term strategy of violence in order to force the “foreign” government out of a given country, such as the British out of Palestine and Ireland. Whether Marxist or nationalist, these groups were also predominantly secular in orientation, and the specific demands made by the “old” terrorists were often negotiable: common ___ included the release of certain jailed comrades or payment for the release of hostages. Even where the demands would have been difficult to meet—such as the reunification of a divided country, the reestablishment of an ethnonational homeland, or fundamental changes in the capitalist system—they were usually stated publicly in relatively clear and understandable terms, and there seemed to be room for dialogue or negotiation in many circumstances. Terrorists wanted maximum publicity for their acts, playing for an audience and soliciting audience participation, in order to communicate their ideological message. [2] “Terrorism is theater,” stated Brian Jenkins in 1974, pointing out that terrorist attacks were often choreographed for the media. An attack was nearly always followed by a communique taking credit for the act, laying out demands, or explaining why it was carried out against that particular target; in the case of accidental deaths, terrorists became spin-doctors, expressing sorrow for the deaths (___). The media obliged the terrorists with constant coverage and friendly reportage of their demands, otherwise validating terrorism as a tactic. The violence that they perpetrated, and the publicity they craved, were key facets of the terrorists’ broader strategy of building power to force political change [2]. Nation-states were important sponsors of old-style terrorism. [2] Within the Cold War framework, terrorists often became proxies for both superpowers and middle powers intent on forcing political change without going to war. Selective targeting and mostly discriminate violence were carried out with generally conservative tactics. [2] Terrorists were interested in successful missions, and hand-held guns and machine guns, as well as bombs, proved time and again to be effective. When governments began to respond more effectively to airplane hijackings, terrorists reverted to more traditional tactics, displaying little interest in innovative tactics or non-conventional weapons such as weapons of mass destruction [WMD] for a number of practical, technical, and moral reasons, and due to the fact that it was unnecessary to kill very many people to get the attention they wanted. Additionally, these attacks generally took place within a self-proclaimed operational area that included both proximate regional targets and international centers. Although certain groups occasionally took action outside of their normal target areas, such as the Palestinians in Europe and the IRA in Germany, only rarely did international terrorism spill over outside of Europe and the Middle East. ***Although it is difficult to pinpoint when one trend ceases and a new one begins, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City and the 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway system by the Aum Shinrikyo cult might be taken as the inaugurating events for the new paradigm of terrorism [2]. Broadly stated, the new paradigm holds that modern terrorism has different motives, different actors, different sponsors, and greater lethality than the traditional terrorism. Whereas the “old” terrorist groups were primarily secular in their orientation and inspiration, terrorism connected to religious fanaticism is on the rise, not only in Islam, but also in Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism [2]. Hoffman declares that fanatical religious motivation is the defining characteristic of the modem terrorist, producing “radically different value systems, mechanisms of legitimization and justification, concepts of morality, and worldview” when compared to his secular counterpart. It is the anarchist and nihilist groups that pose perhaps the greatest challenge to government action, because their strategy is non-sequential and non-political and their demands are non-negotiable, if they make any demands at all [2]. New terrorists still demonstrate an interest in notoriety or celebrity, but generally show less interest in “theater” as a part of their political strategy, although it must be acknowledged that the September 11th attacks were highly symbolic and hauntingly theatrical. Some of the largest recent terrorist attacks have gone unclaimed, a trend which Hoffman asserts is a signal of loosening constraints on violence. When the new terrorists do communicate their objectives, they are often unintelligible; the new non-negotiability may also be due to a learning process on the part of terrorists. State sponsorship is still an important factor in the new terrorism, but the rise of globalization and the mobility of people and money create opportunities for terrorists to diversify their income sources through criminal enterprise [2]. Terrorists are no longer able to depend on the superpowers to sponsor them as proxies, but have found new wealth in crime. For example, a number of Tamils arrested in Western Europe and the U.S. have been engaged in drug trafficking. The new terrorism also exhibits characteristics that contrast with traditional terrorism [2]. First, terrorist groups are more likely to form networks, rather than hierarchies or cells; this is particularly true of the groups emerging from decentralized radical Islamic movements organized around charismatic clerics. These networks are transnational, amorphous, and diffuse, permitting the groups to engage in a wider range of activities, to consider new strategies like netwar, and to come together for one-time operations like September 11th. Second, new terrorist groups are much larger in size than their predecessors. Whereas the Abu Nidal Organization may have had four or five hundred members, Osama Bin Laden reportedly has between four and five thousand trained men at his call. Third, they are more likely to include amateurs, “part-time” terrorists who do not have professional training but who can access the resources and methods of terrorism through informal (often Internet-based) sources – and who therefore can be as deadly as professionals. With these large, networked, amateur organizations, target and tactics selection are more indiscriminate. New terrorist attacks exhibit greater lethality; a higher percentage of attacks in the 1990’s resulted in one or more fatalities than in any previous decade. Hoffman cites a number of reasons for the increasing lethality [2]. The desensitization of the media and the public to terrorist violence leads terrorists to attempt ever more dramatic or destructive attacks to get the attention they seek. Terrorists have learned from the past and improved their tactics and weapons. · State sponsorship continues to provide terrorists with training, logistics, and the resources needed to buy new and deadlier weapons. Religiously-motivated terrorists find violence to be a divine duty, and seek religious justifications for committing violence against a broad range of opponents (anyone who opposes their faith). Amateurs are difficult to track and anticipate and have no central authority to put constraints on their behavior. The truly professional terrorists are becoming more sophisticated and competent. ***Perhaps the greatest danger in this increased lethality is the likelihood that new terrorists will use weapons of mass destruction. Thus it seems that the new terrorism is primarily a U.S. policy frame, not truly a global phenomenon, despite the valiant efforts of some world leaders to define it as such [2]. The implications for other nation-states and international bodies of a truly new terrorism paradigm are extremely complex and challenging, and do not coincide with the institutional imperatives found in most U.S. government agencies If we believe the new paradigm, we are more likely to see new motivations and heretofore undiscovered actors, new technologies such as lasers and non-lethal weapons, new tactics such as cyberwar, and a much greater chance of WMD attacks [2]. The new paradigm fits with the imperatives and goals of three other types of institutions. First are the proactive institutions that must somehow predict or preempt terrorist attacks, such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. Second are those whose missions are most closely related to the new threats, particularly the high-technology side – like the Air Force and DARPA, who will be asked to devise new technical solutions. Third is a different set of reactive organizations, emergency responders that would be called upon to respond to a massively destructive attack, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State Department’s Foreign Emergency Support Team. These organizations have obvious incentives to make the shift to the new terrorism paradigm because it offers opportunities for expanded missions and increased funding. In fact, the Pentagon’s FY2000 budget for counter-terrorism was about $4.5 billion—plus another $2.3 billion for personnel costs associated with counter-terrorism and force protection—and the State Department’s was over $500 million; together they comprised more than half of the $10 billion spent in 2000. As the counter-terrorism “pie” has gotten bigger from $5.7 billion in 1996 to $10 billion in 2000 to roughly $11 billion in 2001, at least forty U.S. government agencies have found greater incentive to hype the new terrorist threat The infusion of an additional $40 billion in response to the September attack, with the promise of more funding to come, will only sharpen the incentive. Analysts and authors who wish to be accepted by this part of the policy community therefore are motivated to articulate and advocate the new paradigm. This is not to suggest by any means that they are engaging in some kind of intellectual dishonesty, but a confluence between the findings of social scientists or policy analysts and the imperatives of the institution funding their research is not unusual. Prior to September 11th, the idea of spending tens of billions of dollars a year would have seemed alarmist, but since that date it seems to be the universal expectation in the United States. To be fair, it is not only potential government contractors who wish to influence funding decisions. Schweitzer boldly offers that “we need a long-term strategy to counter terrorism in its many new forms… with a U.S. commitment on a level that rivals our expenditures to ensure we did not lose the Cold War.” Evolution, not revolution. A LOT MORE ANALYSIS NEEDED ON SHIFT. MOST CONTENT IS RESEARCH.

The current emphasis on surveillance undermines American privacy. Perhaps the most immediate and obvious changes after the attacks took place in U.S. airports. Two months after the attacks, Congress federalized airport security by passing the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which created the Transportation Security Administration. Prior to 9/11, security had been handled by each airport, which outsourced to private security companies [4]. The new TSA implemented procedures that included stricter guidelines on passenger and luggage screening. Only ticketed passengers could go through security, and an ever-changing array of machinery and procedures were introduced to scan for weapons and destructive items. As new threats were discovered after 9/11, new procedures were introduced, including removing shoes and banning liquids. Anti-Islamic violence in America jumped after the attacks. According to the FBI, 28 hate crimes committed in 2000 were found to be anti-Islamic. In 2001, that number jumped to 481, and it remained above 100 in subsequent years [4]. Passed in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Patriot Act was designed to enhance federal anti-terrorism investigations. Sixteen surveillance provisions are set to expire on Dec. 31. The House on Wednesday voted 251-174 to make most of those provisions permanent, with some new safeguards and with expiration dates for the act’s two most controversial powers, which authorize roving wiretaps and secret searches of records. But opponents in the Senate said those changes fail to adequately address the civil liberties concerns which those provisions raise. Information Sharing- Sec. 203(b) and (d): Allows information from criminal probes to be shared with intelligence agencies and other parts of the government. Expires Dec. 31. Pro: Supporters say the provisions have greatly enhanced information sharing within the FBI, and with the intelligence community at large. Con: Critics warn that unrestricted sharing could lead to the development of massive databases about citizens who are not the targets of criminal investigations. Roving Wiretaps- Sec. 206: Allows one wiretap authorization to cover multiple devices, eliminating the need for separate court authorizations for a suspect’s cell phone, PC and Blackberry, for example. Expires Dec. 31. Pro: The government says roving wiretaps are needed to deal with technologically sophisticated terrorists. Con: Critics say the language of the act could lead to privacy violations of anyone who comes into casual contact with a suspect. Access to Records- Sec. 215: Allows easier access to business records in foreign intelligence investigations. Expires Dec. 31. Pro: The provision allows investigators to obtain books, records, papers, documents and other items sought “in connection with” a terror investigation. Con: Critics attack the breadth of the provision, saying the law could be used to demand the reading records of library or bookstore patrons. Foreign Intelligence Wiretaps and Searches- Sec. 218: Lowers the bar for launching foreign intelligence wiretaps and searches. Expires Dec. 31. Pro: Allows investigators to get a foreign intelligence wiretap or search order, even if they end up bringing criminal charges instead. Con: Because foreign intelligence probes are conducted in secret, with little oversight, critics say abuses could be difficult to uncover. “Sneak & Peek” Warrants- Sec. 213: Allows “Sneak and peek” search warrants, which let authorities search a home or business without immediately notifying the target of a probe. Does not expire. Pro: Supporters say this provision has already allowed investigators to search the houses of drug dealers and other criminals without providing notice that might have jeopardized an investigation. Con: Critics say the provision allows the use of “sneak and peek” warrants for even minor crimes, not just terror and espionage cases. Material Support- Sec. 805: Expands the existing ban on giving “material support” to terrorists to include “expert advice or assistance.” Does not expire. Pro: Supporters say it helps cut off the support networks that make terrorism possible. Con: Critics say the provision could lead to guilt by association. A LOT MORE ANALYSIS NEEDED ON THE EFFECTS OF SURVEILLANCE. NEED TO ANALYZE PATRIOT ACT RESEARCH.

The current emphasis on surveillance veils the astonishing familiarity of terrorist mentalities. Violence as entertainment. Stirs “us versus them” mentalities. Schadenfreude. We enjoy watching the “bad guys” suffer. Schadenfreude is integrated in our culture. Violence is perceived as entertainment. This concept predated 9/11. Since then, war is glamorized more than ever: video games, movies, etc. While most Americans would agree that terrorism is the quintessential form of political violence, many fail to recognize that, likewise, counter-terrorism—whether retaliatory or preemptive, large scale (such as the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq) or “low grade” (such as extraordinary renditions, targeted assassinations, or drone strikes)—is also a form of violence [3]. Unlike in the case of dictatorships or other totalitarian forms of rule, in modern liberal democracies the state’s use of violence requires the consent of the people [3]. EXPAND ON SCHADENFREUDE. MORE ANALYSIS NEEDED ON THE EFFECTS OF THE SHIFT ON OUR PHILOSOPHICAL WORLD VIEW.

Current security reform is a byproduct of unforeseen catastrophe and the progression of terrorism, yet the current emphasis on surveillance undermines American privacy and veils the astonishing familiarity of terrorist mentalities. FULL CONCLUSION NEEDED.

The Impact of Innovative Multimedia

Addario’s depiction of the British Consulate car bombing between pages 210 and 211 elicits feelings of alarm and apprehension. This image conveyed the horror that is strongly associated with domestic acts of terrorism; this form of violence is nightmarish, vile, and inhumane. I feel that Addario’s photograph emphasizes the vulnerability of all civilians in a state of war. As a result, this picture evoked anxiety and augmented the horrifying reality that terrorism can inflict pain on anyone—at any time—in the developing world. The photo prompted an unsettled, angered response from me: the debris of the pictured explosion is heartbreaking to view. Addario’s use of landscape orientation accentuates the sheer mass of the bombing; terrorism is ever-widening, reckless, and highly mobile in world civilizations.

The British Consulate minutes after a car bomb exploded, which killed nearly thirty people.

Similarly, the image of the bandaged, hospitalized boy between pages 210 and 211 underscores the loss of innocence that is intimately prompted by war. The boy’s scars are agonizing to view; his pain resonates through the photograph and—quite frankly—touched my heart. It’s upsetting to see the aftermaths of war in the face of a child who has little to do with the political and social circumstances surrounding the violence in the Middle East. Indeed, innocent lives are lost during the battle for social justice; these casualties are heartbreaking and distressing. The emotional appeals of this photograph struck a poignant chord in my heart: the boy’s teary eyes elicit feelings of misery and anguish.

In my technology blog, I hope to incorporate multimedia in order to construct visual depictions of the innovations discussed in each post. Oftentimes, the ideas of entrepreneurs are intangible and difficult to clearly perceive; images and videos will reinforce leaders’ efforts to change the contemporary tech world and solidify their extraordinary ideas. I hope to take advantage of the blogging platform’s ability to display visual graphics by utilizing diagrams to explain emerging technological concepts and ideas; in my artificial intelligence post, for example, I employed concept art to effectively emphasize the potential of AI in hospital environments. The images and videos that I choose to implement in my blog will strengthen entrepreneurs’ lofty goals and ambitions and close the technological gap between dreams and reality.