Entrapping A Drug Dealer

The image of the Police Officer has cast a shadow of doubt over many United States citizens. Some of this can be attributed to popular culture through music, movies, and television, much attributed due to despicable people apart of every mass of people, but certainly, tactics and operations exerted by many police departments give many citizens a reason to detest them. Of the countless ploys some departments run, one particularly awful tactic is the practice of sending “Narcs” posing as students to high school campuses in an effort to find drug dealers inside schools to prosecute. But in doing so, often times they decide to hunt the easy prey. Police departments must cease using entrapment operations as a means of “fighting drugs in our schools,” because they unfairly target children who have a mental handicap.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) studied in 2006 that 64 percent of local jail inmates, 56 percent of state prisoners and 45 percent of federal prisoners have symptoms of serious mental illness. Detailing each and every problem these numbers are caused by would certainly be tiresome. However, police departments that use entrapment tactics definitely fluff these numbers up. “In criminal law, entrapment is a tactic whereby a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit” (Vice). This process is where police officers entrench themselves into high schools, posing as students of the school. Officers involved must learn to perform as the character of a student, and follow leads to find the drug dealers on campus, where they arrest later on felony charges. This plan initially seemed like a decent way of going about getting the drugs out of our schools, until it proved opposite.

A story that caught national attention was the arrest of Jesse Snodgrass, an autistic student, along with 9 other “special needs” kids out of 24 arrested in a single drug bust sting in Temecula, California 2012. The police department had expected results of the officers who were posing as students. In turn, to please their superiors, the officers had to deliver. Instead of finding threats of drug distribution on the campus, officers thought to trick students into giving them drugs. Knowing the situations of many of students, it was easy for them to decide who easy targets would be, particularly, special needs students. One well-known figure in this case was Jesse Snodgrass, an autistic boy. After becoming friends, the officer hounded Jesse for weeks to get him drugs. Jesse used the man’s $20 to buy 0.6 grams of marijuana off of a homeless man. Jesse was later arrested and charged with two felonies. The officer was well aware of Jesse’s condition, and knew he could be manipulated. A friend of mine from a pool services company in Walnut Creek knew Jesse before this happened. He told me “he was a changed person, this really affected how he communicated with people and you could tell he had a tough time trusting new people in his life.” The performance this officer played was a success for the community as it was advertised by news networks as, “24 Students Arrested in Riverside County Drug Bust.” (NBCLA) Most people really believe that since police officers are the enforcers of the law, they are following a certain set of moral beliefs whilst performing on the job. Take this belief, and compare it with a paper written by Nicolas Chown, “Do you have any difficulties that I may not be aware of?’ A study of autism awareness and understanding in the UK police service.” Chown does a study looking into the treatment of autistic people by police officers.  (more…)

A Good Man Is Hard To Find – Flannery O’Connor

 

In this short story religion plays a huge role in the change that the grandmother goes through. It might be hard to understand why the grandmother when from pleading to the serial killer known as the Misfit, to reaching out to the killer in a loving way. It might confuse a lot of people as to why she took this approach but to someone who understands and practices religion it can be easy to decipher. The grandmother is pleading to the man to pray to Jesus so that he may be saved in this tragic moment but the murderer has no intention of doing so, instead continues to drag the family members into the woods killing them with a gun. After everyone is killed the Grandmother has a little change of heart and starts to take a different approach to the Misfit. She obviously is a religious person and even though her family is being murdered she believes that she can find the good in these people. It can be hard for someone to understand why she took that approach with the Misfits murdering her family but she is basing her action off of her beliefs and is very willing to try and help the Misfit find the good in himself. The grandmother’s actions could only be understood in a religious manner. If someone who knew nothing about religion was to listen to this story that person would think that the grandma was crazy in the head.

The Misfit changed in the story as well. At first he stated that the only pleasure in life is meanness. At the moment when he said that he was being a mean and evil person. He was an incarcerated prisoner whose life has always been based on meanness based on the situations that he was in. At the end of the story when the grandmother is killed by the misfit he tells the two buddies that, “there is no real pleasure in life.” This can only mean that something in the thought process of the murderer had to be altered. He probably really heard the grandmother out and it seemed to have stuck with him but he had to do what he had to do based on the situation that he was in, and that’s why he continued on with killing the grandmother. The experience with the grandmother definitely changed the Misfit. The grandma showing some much love and will to help the man find the good in himself through him off his game. She reached to touch his face telling him that he is one of them and that he can be saved but all he has to do was pray to God. Obviously the Misfit wasn’t religious based on some of the comments he said about Jesus to the grandma but it wasn’t religion that saved the man. It was the religious acts of love for anyone in any circumstance that the grandma shows changed the murderer.

Good vs Evil plays a pivotal role in this story as well. From the conversation that the grandmother had when they stopped to get food to the Misfit himself. This can be hard to decipher because most people don’t know what defines Good and what defines Evil.

The Skeptics Among Us

There is something to be said of those who do not question everything. An unknown skeptic once said, “Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding” (brainyquote.com) The human race seemingly is clustering cultures together. Through a continuously expanding worldwide network, ideas, entertainment, philosophies, and values from various locations around the world can be shared to anyone who wishes to take notice. But for many in first world countries, learning does not appeal to as many as much as the value of entertainment. The United States public education, and much of the private education system is using a form of conditioning to suppress humans from learning about the real way of the world just like if we were a bunch of nobody’s, like something as if it was simply pest control. They have shielded children from philosophical ways of thought and have shoved children into a box of learning.

The world itself is a living mystery. Every step taken off the beaten path leads to a multitude of consequences. Exploring new ideas of the human enterprise provides an authentic experience for a person. We have inherited the current Earth from the generations before that have lived the same life as many else have. But I must ask, who are those that have made a profound difference on society? Is it those that have followed the established ideals of a society the one’s that can noticeably change a culture? Or is it those that question the current ideals in place that can pull the attention away from majority? (more…)

Pre-Socratic Philosphy

How important do you think the pre-Socratic philosophers were?  Despite how seldom the early pre-Socratic philosophers’ knowledge is talked about, the foundation for change, using reason instead of oral belief, cannot be over looked by this elite group.  Much of their beliefs are considered strange for their time, but without their initial theories there wouldn’t be an age of knowledge and Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle may have never been as instrumental to philosophy as we are accustomed.  It is important to highlight of the many pre-Socratic philosophers, Thales and Anaximander’s philosophies are the most important due to their interesting observations and creative theories.  Likewise; understanding how beneficial the Asia Minor location was to helping the early pre-Socratic philosophers as well as the difference between mythology and traditional philosophy.

Mythology is the study of understanding the world but often times it’s communicated through word of mouth and has no reason or knowledge it is often defines as a fallacy. Philosophy is as simple as having your own beliefs, the key is having your “own” beliefs contrary to mythology where one person’s belief is to be passed down within a family or group.  One can have a philosophy and use it to explain problems and questions about reality and knowledge.  “Unlike philosophy, myths share four common characteristics that separate from philosophy; self-justifying, non-argumentative, irrefutable, and no knowledge” (Carboni, 2014, notes). Self-Justification is having a belief centered on yourself, it is not important to others neither are people important to your life.   Non-argumentative is a great description of mythology because something non-argumentative is to say something is perfect, there is no questions, there all already answered.  As we all know, nothing in this world is perfect or good, so why claim perfection?  To support myth’s being non-argumentative one can state, “Myths are fairytales, there simply perfect stories with meaning!”  Along with myths being non-argumentative there also Irrefutable meaning there with certainty and clarity.  Faith is a common practice in myths but people don’t understand that having faith is merely a subjective practice meaning it is open to question.  How can you have faith in something you can’t see? Believing something isn’t seeing something, and how can you believe without knowledge?  There are many things irrefutable but the law seems to be the most irrefutable to date.  Myths must be irrefutable if there non-argumentative because for instance you simply can’t argue your way out of the court of law, rather you can prove your innocence using logic and evidence just as philosophy practices.  Lastly, myths contain no knowledge at least applicable knowledge, knowledge that is useful.  Nothing in myths can help to support a reason for something, everything is made up.  One can further argue, why should I listen to myths? How do I know whoever wrote such claims is even right? –You don’t.  Myths use circular reasoning to justify beliefs and this is simply not an effective or logical way to support claims.  There is no epistemological or metaphysical reasoning to suggest the relevance of mythical traditions.  Living a life believing what others before you have believed isn’t wise rather seeing the world you see it and observing is the best philosophy and many philosophers have followed this principle or else all philosophers would be the same and there would be no philosophy because there would be a definite way to live life. One can’t observe or rationalize myths because myths have no knowledge of what is real and what isn’t.  One can only speculate when using circular reasoning, because there is nothing to question, propose, or even argue.  Self-justifying, non-argumentative, irrefutable, and no knowledge help characterize mythology and separate from philosophy giving nothing in common and a lot to speculate around.

During the time of the early pre-Socratic philosophers location played a huge role in creating a shift and movement away from the traditional mythic traditions.  “Specifically Ionia or Asia Minor (Greece) was the location of early pre-Socratic philosophers and was instrumental in giving the ability for these philosophers to express, question, and conclude about the world because at the time there was no government or council responsible for containing the people like in other known parts of the world” (Carboni, 2014, notes).  Essentially it was a free for all in a free land.  In other known parts of the world structure, religion, and government were present to help foster society and to give answers by forcing beliefs, standards, and rules on the people but in Greece at the time there was nothing close to a government.  Furthermore; being in Greece would have also helped in business and trading, which would have brought people from all over the world to one location.  Greece became a hub of commerce and it was easy for people to come together from different backgrounds and start to question the mythic traditions.  How could they question the norm without the freedom? Other known parts of the world may have killed for talking against the gods or government.  One can say the location was the arche or reason for the birth of early philosophy, it was easy and convenient at the time to change thoughts and observe the world.  For these reasons being in Greece was extremely advantageous to the development of reason because without this people there would be no knowledge of using reason to support claims rather than faith.

 

Of the many pre-Socratic philosophers Thales and Anaximander are the first philosophers to make claims and create “arche.” The term arche is another word for reason, it explains an observation, for many of these philosophers it explains change and why.  Change is an interesting topic, Thales would agree because if were not changing than were the same.  Thales believed in arche but his arche was “The One” or the soul.  “Some say that [soul] is mixed in the whole universe.  Perhaps that is why Thales thought that everything was full of gods” (Barnes, 2001, 12).  He believed the soul was in motion and even that the world contained a soul, Thales would be considered a panpsychist for this belief.  Likewise; he believed everything had life or movement this is theory is the most unclear because how could he know everything?  Everything is a very vague term and using it is dangerous because how could one know the limit or if a limit exists?  Maybe Thales’ student Anaximander would help with these questions.

Thales also turned to nature the first of his generation.  One of Thales’ most common principles is about the sky.  He believed in a sky vortex containing the elements of fire, air, water, and earth.  Not much is known about this theory but one can present many questions to lead to a fair conclusion.  What does a sky vortex have anything to do with living a life?  How can a sky vortex help me? One can also guess and suspect that at the time when Thales had this theory there was not much to do but rather time allowed people to look up at the sky and make hypotheses.  Also life of the Greeks at the time may have led to little being known scientifically about the world so Thales was really the first to make scientific claims, despite the fact that they are false.  Thales obviously presents subjective observations like many philosophers, there isn’t a right or wrong from his ideas.  Looking more closely at Thales one can compare his beliefs with his student, Anaximander.

thales philosophy
Thales

Anaximander was Thales’ student and the first person to actually write down fragments, crucial in containing his work and now having knowledge about his work can be better studied.  Much like Thales, Anaximander believed in an arche but instead of the soul, Anaximander believed in the “boundless.”  Just as the word everything is a vague word so to is boundless, not much is known and understood about the boundless.   It’s hard to understand what the boundless means without understanding six important concepts about the boundless that help understand what Anaximander meant.  “1. Given any state of the thing ‘X’, it had a beginning 2. To explain its beginning we must suppose a prior state of things ‘W’ 3. But ‘W’ must also have a beginning 4. Can this go on forever?- No 5. So there must be something that itself has no ‘beginning’ 6.  We call this the ‘boundless’” (Carboni, 2014, notes).  These concepts explain what Anaximander meant when he said the “boundless” this theory does relate to Thales because just as Thales believed in life in everything so to must be true about no beginning.  How could everything have no beginning?  Saying something has no beginning is the same as saying everything has life because there never was a start to start with, who could of created life?  No one because there never was a beginning.  Just as Thales and Anaximander’s arches relate they also pose differences.  It seems as though Thales is trying to understand the form of life and its existence versus Anaximander who is trying to understand time or no such as time.  One can argue if Anaximander believes in the boundless he must not believe in time because time has a start and an end.  The life of Greeks at the time was very different from Thales and Anaximander.  Greeks at the time were not thinking of the sky or the boundless, this what separated them from the Greeks.  Thales and Anaximander would have been looked at weird and even laughed at during their time.  Greeks were most likely following mythic traditions and believing everything someone close to them would have believed.  Thales and Anaximander set the stage for contemporary reason and without their early questions we wouldn’t have philosophers after to define western philosophy.

 

Anaximander
Anaximander

Thales and Anaximander were the first philosophers to question and state claims, which is important because they set the bar for future philosophers to come.  Location also played a huge role in philosophy during the pre-Socratic philosophers because it gave them the freedom to speak their wisdom and share ideas that were of interest.  Lastly myth and philosophy were nothing alike and must be defined to help understand the thought process behind philosophy.  Mythology offers little to the development of humans and follows an outline of something made up.  Pre-Socratic philosophers helped to establish all these traits and gave a start and change to what was already happening, something was created not yet thought of before and enhanced with more philosophers.

 

Contact for Sources, although, most are lecture notes

Femininity Discussion – Toni Modleski

To me, while reading this article, the author made me feel as if the media, and the opinions of others, not ourselves, are conforming our ideas to all belong to certain groups and no other. He tells of “the vivid image of girls prostrate on chaise-longues, immersed in their worthless novels” (49). Due to the ingraining of this imagery on society, standards for reading can change for people. Now some men, see reading as a feministic activity, as evidenced by this, “At one point, Valentin condemns himself for his ‘weak-ness’ in becoming attached to the characters in one of the stories and feeling sad that the ‘film’ has ended . It becomes clear that Valentin associates this ‘weak-ness’ with femininity and fears the passivity involved in the processes of identi-fication and empathy” (50).” Some have caught on to the messages being sent by the media.

Juan Flores – Pueblo Pueblo Discussion

I enjoy reading popular culture articles, and this one really stuck out to me and made me think of the correlation to the stories of a famous poet.

As soon as I began reading the article, the first thing that popped into my head was the difference between classes of society. To me, there are two classes to society, the rich, and everyone else. This paper discusses this when it says “the ‘popular classes,’and its content the traditions and everyday life of communities and their resistance to social domination. It is typically referred to as ‘low’ culture, or ‘subculture,’ and marked off from the ‘high’ culture of the elite” (72). This particular reminds me of a Dr. Seuss book on two competing classes of animal. One class was something like the Sneeches, and the other Snooches. The Sneechers had stars on their bellies and were always happy because they felt they were the cool ones. The Snooches were jealous of the Sneeches because they had a bare belly and the Sneeches acted cooler, and the Snooches wished they could have belly stars. Then some man comes to town and charges the Snooches money to put stars on their bellies to be just like the Sneeches. Sneeches, not wanting Snooches to be mixed among them are convinced by the same man to pay to take the stars off so they do. Then the Sneeches copy the Snooches and take their stars off, and the whole situation plays over and over again until the man who came to town collects all of their money and the Sneeches and Snooches solve nothing except how to lose all of their money.

“‘How to define this people?’ he asks, and responds with an explanation which points to a novel way to get beneath the representational and ideological constructions of popular culture that prevail in the public mind. ‘To define it is easy,’ he says, ‘but how difficult it is to describe it! It is people people [pueblo pueblo], my Puerto Rican people in all its contradictory diversity” (76) This quote, and my sneeches and snooches story represent what really matters in the world. How diverse each and every single on of us are . It is difficult to represent people as a mass in negative connotations when there is something that makes each one of us original. Corporate media has tried to instill in everyone what is cool, and what is popular, but if we just try and think of their motive, we will come to the same outcome every single time. It is done for the money every time.

The Analyzers

Hey there, I see your board. You must have surfed the web’s waves and stumbled on this new land. Welcome to the analyzers. On this side of the interstreams, we do a lot of reading, analyzing, and talking. Some topics will include Greek Sociology, Popular Culture, Mainstream Media, Psychology, and the role of the human consciousness and our ego. We’ll see you around.

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