November 19

Blog #162 – Final Exam – Shark Tank

So I have read about the Shark Tank simulation for years on Facebook APUSH teacher pages, but wasn’t sure I could pull it off until I found a format that worked for our classes.  I was debating doing other simulations that I have done in the past, but I was concerned about pacing or covering enough material before the final.  Once I figured out we had a couple of flexible days, we did it, and I don’t regret it. It was a lot of fun, and I think I can make some tweaks and make it even better for the next time I use it in the future.  That’s where I need your help.  (See final question).

What we see in the antebellum time period (1800-1860) was an amazing amount of groundbreaking inventions that we are still seeing the ramifications of in our modern day (though some are still used today like the railroads, textile mills, typewriters, etc., they no longer dominate today like they did the 19th and early 20th centuries).  But a few of them had incredibly transformative effects on America and the world.

Yet, the Shark Tank simulation reinforced two ideas in my mind about the importance of capital to help new inventions get off the ground, as well as the great need for workers to help make those inventions become more popular and reach a broad audience.  And there still seems to be a constant battle capital and labor as seen in many of the labor conflicts we have seen in the past two years or so.  For instance, back when the auto companies were facing bankruptcy in 2009, their workers took huge hits to their salary and benefits in order to keep the companies afloat, but since then, the companies have recovered and the workers want to share in their companies’ earnings.  And with the strikes, the companies could do little.

Questions to consider:

1. Which of the inventions we highlighted do you think had the greatest impact on America in the long term?  Explain why.
2. Why do you think there is such constant tension between capital and labor? (This will be a theme we will explore for the rest of the year). Explain your answer.
3. Tell me your role in the simulation – Shark or Inventor – and give me one thing you really liked about the simulation and one thing that could be improved.  Explain your answers for both.

400 words total for all three answers.  Due Wednesday night, Nov. 22, by midnight.

November 18

Blog #161 – Final Exam – Andrew Jackson: Hero of the Common Man or Dictatorial President?

Now, since we talk about shades of grey here in APUSH, a question like this – Andrew Jackson, Hero of the Common Man or Dictatorial President? – should be harder to answer than the either/or options that I have given you.  Chances are, Jackson is both the hero of the common man and acted dictatorially as president.

Image result for andrew jackson

Using the article that you read a couple of weeks ago, “The Jacksonian Revolution”, please answer the following questions:

  1. Argue the side that Jackson is the hero of the common man.  Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
  2. Argue the other side that Jackson was a dictatorial president.  Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
  3. Which side do you think the author, Robert Remini, came down on?  Do you agree w/ him?  Why or why not?

Total words – 400 – due Wednesday night, Nov. 22, by midnight.  

November 12

Newsies extra credit post

The Broadway play, Newsies, dramatized the actual historical strike that took place in the summer of 1899 for two weeks. The actual strike was one of ten that took place in New York City between 1886 and 1948, but this one revolved around the pioneers of yellow journalism, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, and how they refused to reduce the price of the papers for their carriers.
As the program stated, Joseph Pulitzer wasn’t even in the city when the strike occurred in 1899, nor did Governor Teddy Roosevelt intervene on behalf of the strikers (though he would do so as president in the coal mine strike in 1902). So it makes me wonder what is more important for a piece of entertainment – historical accuracy or riveting drama?
Also as the program mentioned, the Newsies strike is similar to some of the most recent strikes that have been going on across the country in the past two and a half years. Workers have increasingly gone on strike for lots of different reasons recently, and there are some definite parallels with the Newsies’ strike.

Pulitzer prize founder Joseph Pulitzer is also the father of yellow  journalism
Lastly, there was an undercurrent of change, as portrayed by Katherine Plumber, who was trying to break into the very male-dominated world of reporting.

To get credit for this blog, please answer the first two questions and pick two of the several remaining questions to answer:

Required questions #1 and #2)

Find a recent strike that has occurred since January 2021 and do a little research. What were the main reasons why the workers went on strike? How did the economics of the past few years contribute to their working conditions? How was the strike resolved, if it was? Do you think the owners or the workers won in this strike you researched? Explain why.
2. How was the strike you researched in # 1 similar and / or different compared to the Newsies strike in 1899? Provide specific examples from both the play and the strike you examined.

History in Photos: Lewis Hine - Newsies

Pick two of the following questions to answer in addition to the 2 above:

3. How had women’s roles changed in the time period we have been studying (1491-1840s)? Provide some specifics.
4. What were some reasons why the Newsies were reluctant to go on strike? How might those reasons influence modern workers to be reluctant to go on strike or join a union?
5. In the play, how did Pulitzer exercise his wealth and power to try and get Jack Kelly to undermine the strike? How can we see this exercise of wealth and power used by businesses and CEOs to squash strikes and unions today?
6. Was the play pro or anti union? Explain why with specific examples from the play.
7. Why did the children in the play have to go to work instead of being in school? How different or similar are those reasons to why children and teens work today?

Total answers for all 4 questions should be a minimum of 400 words.
Due Tuesday night, November 21, by midnight.

October 25

Blog #160 – How Jeffersonian was Jefferson?

So, in the handouts on Thomas Jefferson and his attitudes on slavery, race, the economy, society, and other things written before he became president, many of you thought that he was inconsistent in some areas (race and slavery among others) but yet consistent in other things (belief in agriculture and the need for more land).

As a man of principle, Jefferson tried to live by his beliefs, but when he became president in 1801, he had a chance to put his beliefs into action.  Though he hated banks and strenuously opposed the creation of the Bank of the U.S. in 1791, he let Hamilton’s bank remain intact during his presidency.  In other ways, he remained true to his principles.

Thomas Jefferson Presidential $1 Coin | U.S. Mint

As you look over the notes we collected as a class, the Louisiana Purchase article, and the items discussed, I want you to answer the following questions:

  1. Before he became president (and using the quotes we looked at this week), in which area was he most consistent and why?  And in which area was he most inconsistent and why do you think this?  
  2. As president from 1801 – 1809 (and using the notes we compiled on his presidency), in which area(s) was he most consistent?  Explain why.  And in which areas was he most inconsistent and why?  

Blog response due by Saturday, October 28 by midnight.  Your total answer for both questions above should be a minimum of 400 words.  

October 6

Blog #159 – How Revolutionary was the Revolution?

One of the primary themes that I’ve wanted you to consider over this unit on the American Revolution was the concept of whether or not it was a conservative revolution (people trying to keep powers/rights that they already have been exercising for years) or whether it was truly a radical revolution (people striking out on their own by overthrowing an existing political or social order and creating a new one).   American historians have been debating the very nature of the American Revolution soon after it ended.

My attitudes about the Revolution have changed over the past fifteen years since I’ve started teaching APUSH,  so my ideas have become more nuanced.  What I mean by that is that I used to believe what most of you have probably been taught – we were right and the British were tyrants, and it was just a matter of time that we asserted our unalienable rights by breaking away from the British empire to become the greatest nation in the history of the world.

However, the more I study the Revolution, the more I see numbers like the taxation issue (Brits were taxed 26 shillings to the colonists’ 1 shilling), and I wonder what the big deal was.  Parliament wasn’t asking the colonies to pay the debt of 133 million pounds sterling that the empire had accrued during the French and Indian War – just 1/3 of the 100,000 pounds that it cost for the soldiers to stay in North America to protect the Indigenous nations on the other side of the Proclamation Line of 1763.  Part of me sees the Stamp Act riots as an overreaction, the Boston Tea Party as vandalism not patriotism, and that the Revolution was about how indebted the wealthy were to the British and hoped to be freed from their debts by overthrowing the system.

The study of the history of the history, or historiography, looks at how historians framed the American Revolution.  What follows is a brief summary of how historians throughout American history have interpreted the Revolution.  Most often, the facts of major and minor events don’t change, it is the times and interpretations that change and reflect the historians’ view points.

Portrait of Mercy Otis WarrenOne of the very first histories of the American Revolution was written by Mercy Otis Warren and published in 1805; it was called The History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution.  Her history began with the Stamp Act and continued in 3 volumes to chronicle life after the Revolution, including the writing of and debates over the Constitution.   She was worried that without a national Bill of Rights, the new Constitution “Betray the people of the United States into an acceptance of a most complicated system of government, marked on the one side with the dark, secret and profound intrigues of the statesman … and on the other, with the ideal project of young ambition … to intoxicate the inexperienced votary.”   She was sharply critical of the Federalists who supported the new Constitution, and would later criticize Presidents George Washington and John Adams (though she wasn’t critical of Washington’s military success).  The books didn’t sell well, but her history has become a great source for current historians to look over her sources and immediate insights so soon after the war.


The pre-Civil War era (1840-1870) was filled with historians who saw the Revolution as a quest for liberty, and the most important scholar was George Bancroft who wrote a ten-volume History of the United States.  Bancroft felt that the Revolution was a “struggle between liberty and tyranny… represent[ing] one phase of a master plan by God for the march of all mankind toward a golden age of greater human freedom” (Bancroft 13).   Bancroft represented a national historian who told America’s epic origin story in an ultra-patriotic way.  After the Civil War, however, historians wanted to reassess the Revolution in light of the country’s amazing industrial growth.

Imperial and Progressive Schools 

The Imperial School (1890s – 1940) believed that political and constitutional issues brought on the Revolution.  Britain’s colonial policies were not as unjust as Bancroft had said.  There were benefits and burdens with the Navigation Acts, and the colonists benefited under Salutary Neglect too.  Also, Imperial School historians felt that the British were justified in taxing the Americans b/c it was British blood and treasure spent during the 7 Years War – 1754-63.  American colonies had moved in the direction of more home rule which, in essence, was revolutionary, by nature, and set up an inevitable conflict.

The Progressive School (1910s-1940s) emphasized that the Revolution was sparked by the economic split brought on by the competition between the colonies and the mother country.  Not only that, but the Progressives placed a great emphasis on class conflict, so this Revolution was actually two revolutions – external against Britain and internal between social classes (which social class would rule America after the British left?).  Historian Arthur Schlesinger noted that usually conservative merchants played a key role in kick-starting the Revolution b/c they feared what would happen to their positions if the lower classes won the internal Revolution.

Consensus Movement

Historians in the 1950s, the consensus school of history, feel that there wasn’t class conflict during this time period, but that a “shared commitment to certain fundamental political principles of self-government” was what bound the colonists together (Bailey 140).  It was these ideas – liberty, voting, representative government, trial by jury, habeas corpus – that bound Americans together.  The leading historian of this movement was one of my favorites, Daniel Boorstin.  It was these grand, shared ideas that bound the varied colonial interests together and minimized the social and economic conflicts that could have torn the colonies apart.

Image result

After the 1950s, historian Bernard Bailyn focused on ideological and psychological factors that drove the Revolution.  He had read hundreds and hundreds of pamphlets from the Revolutionary era and discovered that not only were the colonists extremely literate, they were very knowledgeable of political and constitutional theory.  These Revolutionary writers also grew suspicious (some say too sensitive) of conspiracies, and this hypersensitivity led the colonists to begin armed revolt in 1775 at Lexington and Concord.

New Left (1960s, 70s)

Another one of my favorite historians, Gary Nash, has examined the social and economic forces that moved the Revolution along.  He pointed out the increasing gap between the social classes and lack of social mobility before the Revolution, especially among the people who lived in the countryside.  Attacks by the poor (the Paxton Boys in PA and the Regulators in N.C.) on the wealthy before the Revolution are prime examples of the frustration and resentment that laborers and frontier farmers felt at being left out of the rapid economic change happening along the eastern coast of the colonies.  Unlike the Progressive historians, the New Left historians like Nash don’t pin all of the conflict upon economic conflict but include social changes as well.

Using what you’ve read here and in chapters 4 and 5 (“How Radical was the Revolution?” on p. 95 in the review book, and “Debating the Past” in Ch. 5 of the hardcover textbook, pgs. 132-33), provide with me some insight into what you think our American Revolution was – a conservative revolution or truly radical one in nature or somewhere in between – maybe both?  Don’t forget the handout, “Conflicting Views” too (included in the handout with the Navigation Acts on the first page).  Also, please provide some rationale for your answer from the ideas above and the Gary Nash article, “The Radical Revolution from the ‘Bottom Up’”. 

Due Monday, October 9th by class time.  Minimum of 350 words. 

September 11

Blog #158 – Oral Interviews about 9/11/01

Today, we will commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history.  Many adults remember where they were when they first heard about this traumatizing event and have vivid memories of watching the events unfold.  But since you were born after the attacks, you’ve only heard about it in stories and learned about it through videos.  However, one of the ways historians learn about recent events that they haven’t lived through is through oral interviews of people who lived through the events either directly or indirectly.

Link to digital exhibitions for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum found here:

Subject: The 9/11/01 terrorist attacks and the days afterwards.

Interviewee: A person preferably aged 30 or above.

Suggested equipment: paper and pen or pencil for notes; suggest that you use a phone to record the interview.


  1. Get permission to take notes / record interview.
  2. You can use the questions below or add more / different questions – try to make questions that elicit more than a “yes” or “no” answer. You can always ask follow-up questions for clarification, explanation.
  3. Keep eye contact, nod and smile at appropriate times.
  4. Thank them for their time after you’re done. Also, ask them if they’d like a written transcript of the interview. Provide them w/ one if they say yes.  (For this assignment, you can direct them to the blog website:

Potential questions

  1. What is your name? How old were you on 9/11?
  2. What is your first memory of when you first heard about the attacks? What kind of conclusions did you come to about the planes crashing into the buildings (did you at first think it was an accident or was it something worse)? Why?
  3. Where were you when the attacks happened? What were other peoples’ reactions to the attacks?
  4. Have you ever been to New York City or Washington D.C.? If so, how did that affect your reactions to the attacks?  If not, how did the attacks alter / change your views of the cities and their inhabitants?
  5. Did you know anyone in the cities? If so, did you try to contact them to see if they were o.k.?  What was the conversation like?
  6. If you were stranded in another city after 9/11, how did you cope with being away from family?
  7. What were other peoples’ reactions like in the days after the attacks?
  8. Could you describe your most vivid memory of that day, 9/11?
  9. How did life change for you in the immediate aftermath of the attacks?
  10. What do you remember of the media coverage of the attacks?
  11. What did you think of President Bush’s address later that night? (Show them the transcript here or video below.)
  12. How did life change for you and your family in the weeks and months immediately after 9/11?
  13. What are your opinions about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?  Explain.
  14. Now that it’s been over 20 years since the attack, how do you think America has changed since that day?  Why?  Has America stayed the same since then?  In what ways?

Your job:

Share a minimum of five questions and answers on Blog #158 (300 words minimum) and include your personal reaction to the interview and the shared memories of 9/11/01 (100 minimum).  If you interview more than one person for this blog, please indicate the persons’ names.

Blog due by Tuesday, Sept. 19 by class.

Link to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum interactive timeline of events –

Learn more about the 9/11 attacks, what came before, survivors’ stories, the clean-up, and the debate over how to commemorate the attacks and honor the victims –  –

June 1

Blog #157 – Final Reflection on a Year in APUSH

This blog is part of your final exam, so please take some time and think about your answers.

400 words minimum for your total response of all of the questions.  Please number your answers in the comment section.

1. A lot of our time this year has been spent reading, writing, studying, watching videos, reflecting, and talking about American history.  Discuss what your favorite learning style was this year and why it was effective for you.  Also, explain which was your least favorite way to learn and explain why it doesn’t work for you.

2. We studied a lot of stuff this year – from the Pilgrims to the Revolution to Andrew Jackson (soon to be leaving the $20, or not) to Abe Lincoln to Alice Paul to the Depression and the Civil Rights Movement.  What did you wish we had spent more time on than we did this year and why?

3. Yep, we studied a whole lot of stuff this year, but I bet you wish there were some units that were shorter or didn’t go as in depth.  What did you wish we had studied less of and explain why (keep in mind that if the info didn’t make it onto the test doesn’t mean it won’t be there next year)?

4. Choose Your Own Adventure was a brand new wrinkle that I had introduced this year and never done something like this before.  What do you think were some of the strengths and weaknesses of this project?  Explain why.

5. People talk a lot about takeaways – a summary of an experience, distilled down to one or two sentences.  What is your takeaway from APUSH (or in other words, what did you truly learn about American history)?

Due by 11:59 p.m. on the night of your final exam.  

June 1

Blog #156 – Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes' Review: Emma Stone Outshines Steve Carell in Tennis Drama - The Atlantic

This fun movie focused on the real tennis battle between aging men’s tennis champion, Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), and #1 women’s tennis star, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) in Houston, TX in 1973.  It was a huge extravaganza, with corporate sponsorships and huge prize money ($100,000 if King won, over 1/2 million in today’s money), possibly 90 million people watching at home and over 30,000 in attendance at the Houston Astrodome.  Their battle was a reflection of what was going on at the time period:

  1. Women’s liberation was making big headlines – part of liberation meant that women didn’t need men to be complete.  It’s one of the reasons why radical feminists burned bras, refused to follow typical Western beauty standards, and protested sexist American traditions like the Miss America beauty pageant.
  2. The Equal Rights Amendment had been passed by Congress in March 1972 which called for an end to all sexual discrimination.  By the time the match happened, 30 states had approved the ERA before the momentum stalled and approval finally expired in 1983.  A total of 35 states would approve the ERA, three short of the needed total of 38, and there was significant resistance from ladies’ groups and conservative politicians who saw the amendment as opening up the door to unisex bathrooms, gay marriage, and women fighting in the military (funny how we have all three of those things w/o the amendment today).
  3. The 2nd wave of feminism had made significant strides in getting women elected to high positions, leading corporations and unions, and pushing for wage equality, day care centers, an end to sexual harassment, and equality in education and sports (Title IX).

In a New York Times review of the movie, the opening line of the review was this: “Every so often an exceptionally capable woman has to prove her worth by competing against a clown.”  Maybe I’m a little biased, but this made me think of the 2016 Election.  Hillary Clinton was a very talented and experienced candidate for the presidency, but unlike Billie Jean, Clinton would not triumph over the clown.  Here’s a NYT article that finds parallels in the film.  It’s a wonder if the filmmakers made it this way intentionally.


The film also really focused on the gender wage gap – using one tournament in particular, the men’s prize money was 8x that of the women’s prize money.  The reasons that Jack Kramer (pictured above) and his cohort gave were pretty lame and were easily shot down by Billie Jean and Gladys Heldman (played by Sarah Silverman), and Kramer finally settled on the weak reasoning that the men’s game is more exciting.

There was also the love stories in the film – that’s the one thing that surprised me the most about the film – was that there were three love stories going on: one between Billie Jean and Marilyn, another with Bobby and his wife Priscilla, and the third between Billie Jean and her husband.  Each has their own resolution with only Bobby and Priscilla ending up staying together.

The True Story Behind Billie Jean King's Victorious “Battle of the Sexes” | At the Smithsonian| Smithsonian Magazine

One of the things that made me wonder was how accurate was the portrayal of Bobby Riggs.  Steve Carell does a great job of making him seem like a real human being w/ faults and flaws.  I also wondered how much of this challenge to women’s tennis players was real sexism, a gimmick, a chance to get back into the limelight, a way to feed his gambling hobby, or a combination of all of them.

Your job: Pick three of the questions below and answer them w/ specific examples from the movie. 

  1. How did the film portray the gender wage gap?  Do you think the women tennis players did the right thing?  Why or why not? 
  2. How did the film portray the love affair between Billie Jean and Marilyn?  Why couldn’t Billie Jean go public with the affair?  How have things changed since 1973? 
  3. What do you think Bobby Riggs’ true motivation was for the match?  Explain why you reached this conclusion. 
  4. After reading the article on the supposed parallels between the election of 2016 and the film, do you buy the author’s assertion that this was an intentional nod to the election?  Why or why not?  

Due by Tuesday, June 6 by 11:59 p.m.  350 words minimum for all three answers.  

Works Cited: 

Fact vs. Fiction in the movie –

NYT Review –

Wikipedia page on ERA –

Comparison of Battle and 2016 Election –

True Story behind Billie Jean King’s Victorious “Battle of the Sexes” –

May 20

Blog #154 -What kind of problem do we have in America?

So I started out the pre-writing for our discussion about guns by first asking – does America have a gun problem, a violence problem, a mental health problem, or a toxic masculinity problem?  Do we have a combination of these problems? Why or why not?  And of course, I got a variety of responses where many of you said that we’re experiencing a combination of these issues.  And we watched this video looking at the history of the Brady Bill primarily (with a secondary quick look at the the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994) and a balanced look at how different people across the country view guns, both negatively or positively.  See the video below:

Why We Can’t Have a Civil Conversation About Guns from Retro Report Cuts on Vimeo.

We then talked about America’s distrust of standing armies, the country’s reliance on an armed militia to defend itself in the early days, and we read the 2nd Amendment and briefly discussed its history of being interpreted by the SCOTUS (History and court cases found here).  In a brief summary, there were very few legal challenges to the 2nd Amendment in the 19th and 20th Century, the cases primarily focused on the first clause of the Amendment on the well regulated militia, as exemplified by the Miller case in 1939 that seemed to tie gun ownership to being part of a militia.  However, scholars and legal experts continued to debate the issue in the latter half of the 20th Century as it appeared that most American gun-onwers were NOT part of an organized state militia given the establishment of a large, permanent army.  By the time SCOTUS determined D.C. v. Heller in 2008, the Court separated gun onwership from service in a militia officially and established an individual right to own a gun in your own home for protection.  This right was expanded in the 2010 case, McDonald v. City of Chicago and in last year’s case, NYSRPA v. Bruen which expanded the right to carry guns outside of the home instead of just in the home for self-defense.

And so when we looked at the 5 gun control advocacy groups and the 5 gun rights advocacy groups and their websites, we found a variety of goals and arguments for gun control or gun rights.  Some policy goals for gun control groups ranged from a new assault weapon ban, a limit or ban high capacity magazines (thanks to 4th hour, I found out that anything over 10 rounds is considered high capacity), increased stronger background checks, and limiting guns from “certain groups” as one of the groups put it, essentially enforcing or creating Red Flag laws or preventing those with a history of domestic violence from getting them.  One group, like the Brady Campaign, had some interesting stats and graphics, a few of which I could not find the source of their info (like 3 graphics below).      

They gave sources like the CDC for some of their stats on gun deaths, injuries, etc., but these three in particular I wanted to see the sources.  Some of the groups relied on first-hand accounts of traumatic shootings to bolster their claims, but it seemed that one of the newest groups founded in the wake of the Oxford and Uvalde shootings, Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence, didn’t seem to have any solid policy goals or proposals other than no gun violence in schools.  Looking across the five groups we analyzed, some groups have a state by state approach while others call for national legislation to achieve their policy goals.  Nowhere did these groups promote gun confiscation, which would most likely (I won’t say 100% because as we have seen in the past few years, some federal judges will approve or pass injunctions on the flimsiest of reasons) lose in any court in the land as a massive violation of the 2nd Amendment.  Personally, I believe that a confiscation law, first, would never pass Congress (no matter what kind of gun) though it might pass in a very liberal state but I still doubt it (because the law would never go into effect b/c gun rights groups would file an injunction in federal court to stop it from going into effect), and second, it is a direct violation of the 2nd Amendment.  Confiscation is a punishment inflicted on all Americans who own and handle their guns responsibly and for legitimate reasons.  Confiscation is fantastical thinking and completely unrealistic.  And if it happened in other countries, their circumstances nd histories greatly differ from the U.S..

On the gun rights side, most groups were opposed to any type of gun control as being an infringement upon a person’s absolute right found in the 2nd Amendment.  The NRA, the 2nd Amendment Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition advocated for sport shooting and educating and expanding educational opportunities exposing teenagers to the importance of gun safety.  One group, National Association for Gun Rights, has currently as its website banner a misleading banner claiming that President Biden has signed an Executive Order requiring Universal Gun Registration (assumed to be much like how all kinds of vehicles are registered) which you can see here.

But what Biden’s EO, signed in March of this year, has done was to push for something close to universal background checks before gun purchases (see the EO here).  To be fair, the NRA paints an accurate portrayal of Biden’s EO here, but uses inflammatory headlines and pics (see below).  Biden’s Executive Order Targeting Gun Ownership

The main problem with these kinds of misleading and inflammatory headlines and graphics, as I see it, is likely intentional – to make the federal government led by Democrats out to be the adversary that must be defeated at all costs because your very rights – all of them – are at stake.  This leaves no room for compromise, and several of the gun rights groups we analyzed proudly proclaimed that they are against any kinds of compromise with gun control advocates.   And this kind of thinking can lead some small number of gun rights groups to engage in their own kind of fantastical thinking – that one person with their arsenal of guns will be able to prevent or stop a tyrannical government like the U.S. with the armed forces at their disposal (Don’t believe me? This is a quote from the FPC’s Constitution: “We believe that well-armed people make tyranny at scale significantly more costly and thus positively changes the economics of authoritarianism as against those People;”) (source).  This might have been true in 1791 when the Bill of Rights was approved, and the federal government had a tiny army.  But not now.  Like I mentioned previously, confiscation of all guns (or even just existing assault weapons) is an unealistic and unconstitutional pipe dream, and given the adversarial kind of thinking outlined above, would result in massive death and carnage.  But if some people think they can hold off or defeat the best-financed armed forces in the world, they are also engaging in fantastical thinking.

As you can see, we spent the majority of our time discussing attitudes about guns and why people might oppose or support gun control measures.  What I would like you to do is to return to the original pre-writing question and answer that along with your choice of questions below:

  1. Does America have a gun problem, a violence problem, a mental health problem, or a toxic masculinity problem?  Do we have a combination of these problems? Why or why not?  
  2. Is there another problem that is plaguing America besides any of the four listed above?  If so, what is it and how is it negatively affecting America?  If not, don’t answer this question.
  3. Listening to some of the gun control measures we had discussed the past 2 days, which of those would you support?  Why?
  4. If you think America has primarily a violence problem, what kinds of solutions can you envision would help address the problem?  Explain.
  5. If you think America has primarily a mental health crisis, what kinds of solutions can you envision would help address the problem?  Explain.
  6. What are your thoughts on the concept of toxic masculinity?  Is it real or is it some kind of made-up thing to target men for being naturally aggressive?  Or is it something else?  Explain why.  (This definition comes from Wikipedia – Toxic masculinity is thus defined by adherence to traditional male gender roles that consequently stigmatize and limit the emotions boys and men may comfortably express while elevating other emotions such as anger. It is marked by economic, political, and social expectations that men seek and achieve dominance.)

You must answer question #1 and then pick two additional ones to share your thoughts about.  If you use anything that is not your own original thought, please follow my example here and cite your sources.  Your total answer for all 3 questions should achieve a minimum of 400 words total.  Due Tuesday night, May 23, by 11:59 p.m.  

May 10

Blog #153 – Reactions to the movie, Race

Race is a multi-layered film about a famous African American athlete, Jesse Owens, coming into his own on the Ohio State University track team, running the 100 and 200 yard dashes and doing the long jump as well. He encounters much bigotry and racism as he struggles to establish himself as the #1 college athlete in the country, and then the #1 athlete in the world.  However, the Olympics in 1936 are held in Berlin, and Hitler hopes to make those games the showcase for German / Aryan superiority.  Owens shatters that myth by winning four gold medals.Race Movie vs True Story of Jesse Owens, Fact-Checking Race


Please answer three of the following questions:

  1. Describe Jesse’s relationship with his coach, Larry Snyder.  Is Larry racist?  What drives Larry to push Jesse to do great things?
  2. How does Jesse’s relationship with German long jumper Luz transcend the racial and political tensions of the Olympic Games in 1936?
  3. Describe examples of the racism that Jesse and other black athletes faced in both Ohio in the 1930s and in Berlin in 1936.
  4. Describe the conflict between the German filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl and German Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels.  Why is there tension between Riefenstahl and Goebbels?
  5. How does the film portray Jesse Owens as a complex character?  Use specific examples from the film.
  6. Examine the multiple meanings of the word, race, included in this film.  Use specific examples from the film.

Minimum 300 words for all three answers combined.  Due by Thursday, May 11 by 11:59 p.m.

Fact-checking the movie –

How the 1936 Olympics were recreated for Race