The Strengths of Violence

When I work, I see crazy outbursts for simple things such as not giving someone a cup of coffee. I also see fights for dumb reasons like someone stealing someone else’s shirt. Clearly, I work as a nurse’s assistant at a mental hospital. Through the humanities theme on war, it makes me wonder, where does all this anger come from? How did they get to this point in their life? In my opinion, this anger developed from a small age that just got worse and worse as the years went by.

While my mom was on Facebook, she came across a very interesting, yet shocking video. Although the video gives no specific details, we can infer some details. This video was a fight of two little girls about the age of six. They appear to be from a Central American country. The little girls, Lizeth with a dress and Lily who was topless, were surrounded by a group of people that varied in age form children their own age, to older kids, to adults including their mothers. Instead of stopping the fight, the crowd cheers them on and laughs. These types of fights seem to be very common within this community.

It is very clear that this fight is occurring based on their mothers wish rather then the two little girls own will. Lizeth’s mom threatens her daughter that if she did not hit Lily then she would hit her with the stick that she was carrying in her hand. After Lizeth repeatedly hit Lily she tells her mom to throw the stick away since she already hit the girl. Lizeth clearly got into this fight by force, because she did not want to get hit by her own mother.

The reason for the fight seems to be because Lily hit Lizeth. Lizeth’s mother told them they had to get into a fight so that Lily can learn that Lizeth should be respected as well. This is ironic because someone who is trying to be respected will not earn that respect by acting the same way. This is a moral rule a mother should teach her child from a young age.

The link for the video is posted below. These two photos can also represent their fight. The first picture shows two little boys who are fighting. This picture shows the same disgust that is shown throughout the video. The second photo shows another two boys fighting, while a group of boys enjoy the fight as if it were a fight behind a TV screen that you could not break up. In the crowd, the people also do not prevent the fight. Instead they make it an interesting event that had to be watched.


So, since these kids are learning this from a very young age it makes me wonder what will become of them once they get older. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provides information on violent behavior in children and adolescents. Their article says, “Being the victim of physical abuse and/or sexual abuse [and the] exposure to violence in the home and/or community,” along with several other factor lead to violent behavior. Once children are exposed to this behavior they learn to view this type of behavior as normal. Once one little thing troubles them, they will snap and will possibly become a danger.

The next image shows a father yelling at the mother. The mother then lets he anger out at her son. This little boy then yells as his teddy bear. This is ironic because teddy bears are supposed to be loving and comfortable, but this little boy is filled with anger, so he cannot show any kindness. The next picture shows three little boys. They are all looking up the same way you would look up to someone who has a big influence in your life. The first boy to the left has written, “I will learn the cycle of abuse,” the next boy has “I see the violence,” and the last boy has “I am aware.” People say that kids brains are like sponges. They take in and learn everything that they see. Since they see violence, they will grow up to be violent as well.

Therefore, I believe that since Lily and Lizeth are both learning to be violent at a young age, they will grow up to be violent. Even though they may not be in a mental hospital, I also believe they will have the same angry snaps that I see at work. Some parents to do not consider the consequences of teaching their children ugly habits until they see the monster they have created.

Works Cited

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 1 Dec. 2011. Web. 15 Mar. 2015. <;.


Violence is a Part of our Daily Life

“On April 20, 1999, two teens went on a shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killing 13 people and wounding more than 20 others before turning their guns on themselves and committing suicide,” (Staff, One theory for their behavior is due to to the violent games they played and the Goth culture they were a part of. Although this theory has not been proven, it is a theory that I seem to believe the most. Benedict Carey from the New York Times thinks they were  “video gamers who seemed to be acting out some dark digital fantasy.”

This image shows the suicide of the two shooters responsible for the shootings that occurred at Columbine.

This image shows the suicide of the two shooters responsible for the shootings that occurred at Columbine.

Violence is seen on a daily basis ranging from public places like schools to the private life at home. While many people disagree that entertainment such as video games, television, movies, and music do not have a negative effect on children, others like Alice Park from the Time website seem to believe otherwise. Alice believes that “television, movies, and video games have been a popular target for senseless acts of violence…not to mention metal music and goth subculture, [are] partly to blame,” (Park, Alice).

Alice also talks about a study led by Craig Anderson to answer the question about the correlation of violent video games and aggressive behavior. During the study, 3,034 boys and girls in the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth grade were asked about their video game habits and were “also given standardized questionnaires designed to measure their aggressive behavior and attitudes toward violence.” Overall the violence rates seemed to have decreased as the years went by. As they took “a closer look at kids who played more hours of violent video games per week [they realized the] increases in aggressive behavior and violent tendencies, compared to those who played fewer hours a week.”  Anderson concluded the study by saying “What this study does is show that it’s media violence exposure that is teaching children and adolescents to see the world in a more aggressive kind of way.”

Today video games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty are frequently played in American homes, including mine. I am a witness to seeing my little bother and boyfriend get so engaged with these games, it seems like they are literally fighting. My six-year-old cousin and his friends are also aware of these games and will act them out.

These are scenes from Grand Theft Auto. They are clearly performing some type of torture to hurt the person in the chair. It also shows a child who is excited to "kill."

This image and the image below to the left are scenes from Grand Theft Auto. They are clearly performing some type of torture to hurt the person in the chair. The bottom image to the right shows a child who is excited to “kill.”


I myself engage in violent TV shows like Law and Order Special Victims Unit. The violence appearing in this show can be labeled as torture because the detectives are hurting the suspects to get information out of them. Below is a clip from the most aggressive detective on the show, Stabler. In this clip you can see him put his hands on many of the suspects. He also humiliates them and lets them know that he is in control of them. Many times throughout the show, his colleagues and chief tell him he has an anger problem that needs to be fixed. Yet, throughout all his out lashes, he is still allowed to work as a SVU Detective. This makes it seem as if his behavior were allowed. The sad part is that these fictionalized shows have to be inspired by something, and in real life, cops and detectives are violent and unfair.

Through all these different forms of media teaching us how to be violent and aggressive, we are learning and putting this information into action. Society as a whole has drawn up new ideas of what is just and what is unjust. Even between my mother’s generation and my generation, the difference in our aggressive behavior is clearly portrayed. While I find violence acceptable under circumstances that can threaten my life or my family’s life, my mother believes we should never “drop to that level” under any circumstance. It is evident that the media is teaching todays generation that violence is okay, therefore suggesting torture under the right circumstances is acceptable.

Works Cited

Benedict, Carey. “Shooting in the Dark.” <i>The New York Times</i>. 11 Feb. 2013. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. &lt;;.

Park, Alice. “Little By Little, Violent Video Games Make Us More Aggressive.” (2014). <i>Time Inc</i>. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. &lt;;.

Staff, “Columbine High School Shootings.” <i></i>. A E Networks, 1 Jan. 2009. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. &lt;;.

Interrogations and Torture

Ever since 9/11, Americans seem to have a heart filled with anger and resentment. They have worked so hard in order to gather information, protect the United States, and provide justice to our country. Yet, at times it seems like they are trying to bring us justice by causing them pain. Although many people believe that torture is an effective method to obtain useful information, I believe that torture is a useless method when trying to retrieve information.

The United Nations Convention against Torture defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession… when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity,” (Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment).

An article in our Humanities Core Reader titled “The Depositions: The Prisoners Speak” gives testimonies from some of the prisoners of war kept at the prison in Guantanamo, Cuba. The prison site was outside of the country due to the fact that torture is illegal in the United States. Some countries outside of the United States do allow it. The guards in the Guantanamo prison were allowed to treat the prisoners any way they wished. They captured prisoners form the Middle East and extradited them to Cuba. All of the prisoner’s testimonies start off with a bag over their head. The guards then humiliate them in different ways. For example, one man was completely naked, until the guards gave him women’s underwear. He had to wear them and the guards would make fun of him. The Islamic culture found sex to be a very uncomfortable subject. For this reason, the prisoners of war found it disgracing to themselves and their god to be around girls while they were naked. So, in order to bring them disgust, both female and male guards would make them feel uncomfortable by touching their penis, getting naked in front of them, or having sex with them.

In the various scenarios of torture mentioned in the book, none of them mention the actual interrogation. All the testimonies say that the guards tried to humiliate them and that is exactly what they did. The guards enjoyed watching the prisoners in pain. It was a joke to them.

Why where these individuals in this prison? Why were they being tortured? In seminar during our torture debate, the fact that torture was inefficient was brought up. Sometimes while torturing someone who is not the right person, they will tell you what you want to hear, and therefore lead you to the wrong conclusion. Yet, other times you do have the right person, but no matter what you do, they are not willing to give up that information. Both these scenarios would be a waste of time. I believe that Elaine Scarry would agree to this. In her article, “Five Errors in the Reasoning of Alan Dershowitz” she argues that during 9/11 the government was sure that the second hijacked plane was going to hit somewhere in Washington. She believes that in this situation torture would be less helpful than evacuating people out of these buildings to ensure their safety. Even though the government was interrogating someone to get useful information out of him or her, it is not certain that they will actually help you. Interrogation is a good method to try to get information, but it is not always the safest.

In my opinion, torture is not so much for the good of a society during an interrogation, but rather an act of revenge covered up by warrant. If it came down to those last few minutes, pushing someone to his or her limit will not do much. Ensuring security in another way is best.

Works Cited

“Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” United Nations. General Assembly, 10 Dec. 1984. Web. 5 Feb. 2015. <;.

Scarry, Elaine. Five Errors in the Reasoning of Alan Dershowitz. Print.

Reflections on the Civil War

John M. MaCardell wrote the article, The State of Letters. In this article MaCardell writes about the war in it’s totalities from the perspectives of the Union, the Confederates, and the African Americans. He say’s that when the North and South decided to reconcile, it came with certain conditions. For example, “There would be no discussing the war’s causes, no rehashing of the arguments for and against slavery,” and most importantly their was no more debates over equality, (McCardell). This article mocks the whole idea of an American Civil War, because Americans had a “reconciliationist spirit” on the war that had just cost them the lives of many men that deserved to live. Americans were having parades and doing re-enactments of battles, while the African Americans remained the same. Although African Americans were no longer slaves due to the Emancipation Proclamation, they were still “slaves” to many racist Americans.

The image below shows two African Americans and a baby being bullied by a member of the Ku Klux Klan and a member of the White League. These were organizations whose aim was to suppress African Americans from practicing their rights as freed slaves. On the picture it say’s “worse than slavery.” It is clear that while African Americans were no longer “slaves,” White Americans still believed themselves as superior. Since African Americans never truly received equality they were still mistreated by Whites. African Americas probably saw the Construction Era as worse than slavery because now they were being persecuted and killed. Southerners were upset at their revolt and at the fact that they had received the right to vote, that they did everything in their power to scare them form their rights. The article and picture relate because the article discusses the side no one ever heard, the African American’s side, and the image reveals the Americans way to scare African Americans away.


Works Cited

McCARDELL JR., JOHN M. “Reflections On The Civil War.” Sewanee Review 122.2 (2014): 295-303. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.

The Lost Cause

the lost cause

Thomas Nast, “The Union as It Was. The Lost Cause, Worse Than Slavery.” October 24, 1874

On October 24, 1874, Harper’s Weekly, published a realistic painting revealing the true image of the Reconstruction Era. Harper’s Weekly was an American newspaper that covered the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. The Reconstruction Era was from 1865-1877. During this time the South was divided into districts that were enforced by the military. This was designed to enforce the freedom of slaves and to get the South integrated into the Union as quickly as possible. Many white southerners were not content with the suffrage of African Americans and created secret groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the White league. The aim of these groups was to frighten African Americans and prevent them from practicing their rights. Although the Constitution supported the freedom of African Americans, secret societies made up of white men took matters into their own hands in order to regain their white supremacy and make the American Civil War seem like a “lost cause” by depicting in this image the union of two powerful White men against a scared African American family.

The image shows the merging of two terrifying white groups symbolizing an unofficial war after the Civil War bringing a lot of trouble to African Americans. This is signified by the dominance that the two white men have within the picture. They are so tall that they cover the whole length of the frame. This also shows how they are supposed to be the upper class and the African Americans are the lower class that will always be below them. The dominance that these white supremacists thought they deserved is revealed in this image.

It also shows their union because they are shaking hands. This can signify the American Union that they believed in, because their union is only between the white men while the freed blacks were being suppressed by them. It shows their malice behavior because they are making their pact on top of a skull and cross bones. This can be implied to mean that they are making a pact to murder those who try to go against their will. These secret societies had the same aim, retrieve their supremacy by scaring he freed men by any means possible.

Inside the shield that the African Americans are in, it shows a story that might have led to the position in which this family is in now. On the far left it shows a lynched man. Closer up on the right it shows a schoolhouse that is burning down. In the center is the African American family scared on their knees. In front of them are books that have been thrown on the floor. The white men seem to be upset because the African Americans were learning how to read. If they knew how to read, then they would gain the knowledge and intelligence to understand what their rights are. If this were to happen the whites would no longer be able to control them.

Through these details and several others that I have not mentioned, like the words all over the image, it is clear that the Reconstruction Era was much worse than slavery. White southerners formed groups to scare African Americans. They terrified them with the horrible acts of violence they were committing.

The Parent’s Power

As you are growing up, your parents control everything you decide to do ranging from the clothes you wear to the friends you get to hang out with. Teenagers see their parents as incredibly controlling and as if they only want to ruin their social life. What we, as children, don’t see is that behind every “No” there is some serious thought and consideration into their decision. Their is also deliberation with their partner in which they talk about the pros and cons of allowing you to do what you are asking them permission to do.

Many people in the United Stated believe that the person who has the final say in all political issues is the President. Many people see the President as they would see their parents, evil and selfish. Yet the reality is that the President does not get the final say. The President does the same thought process as he chooses what policies he should present to congress. Then congress decides whether or not to approve the policy. In the White House’s website it say’s “The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces…The President has the power either to sign legislation into law or to veto bills enacted by Congress, although Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses,” (The Executive Branch). It also says that the president can negotiate and sign treaties, but it has to be approved by congress with a two-thirds vote.

This shows how although the President may seem like he has a lot of power, he truly does not. He may have a lot of political plans he may like to present, but with out a two-thirds vote he will not be able to pursue these plans.

So, although many people view the President as a parent, in my opinion he is viewed as the child asking for permission. I say this because in most cases, the plans the President and a teenager have get cancelled. The parents, in this case, would be congress.They hear what the child, the President, has to say, they think about it, talk amongst themselves, and vote. The answer to his request lies in the majority vote. Just as parents get the final say, congress gets the final say.

Many people blame the President for policies that are not established, although promising it, or they get mad that the President allows certain laws to pass. What they don’t see is that behind the President, is congress making all the decisions.

This image shows a child (The President) that was not allowed to do something by his father (Congress), so he went to his mother who allowed him to do it. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works for the President. It's a two-thirds vote, or nothing.

This image shows a child (The President) that was not allowed to do something by his father (Congress), so he went to his mother who allowed him to do it. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works for the President. It’s a two-thirds vote, or nothing.

“The Executive Branch.” Web. 5 Dec. 2014. <>.

“Sugga Mommas”

As a little girl, I always dreamed of opening up my own bakery and calling it, “Sugga Mommas.” My dad has always been a great cook and my mom has been amazing at both baking and cooking. Growing up, my mom and I always had a bond through baking. She would be so patient as she was teaching me. Ever since, it has become one of my favorite memories as a kid. My parents were such great cooks, they decided to open up a restaurant in San Pedro. I saw my parents struggle through the hardships of owning a restaurant due to the lack of knowledge on owning a business and sadly losing it after about a year.  Seeing their dreams crushed has inspired me to one day open a successful business.

The Art of War, written by Sun Tzu has been a great guide not only for military personnel, but for business, political, and sport personnel as well. He gives excellent advice as to how to be the best and stay the best. After reading The Art of War, I have come to realize that my parents made a lot of mistakes while running this restaurant.

Sun Tzu said that “The art of war… is governed by five constant factors…These are (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline,” (1:3-4). He also said that “The Commander stands for virtues of wisdom,” (1:9). As owner’s, or “Commander’s,” of this restaurant, my parents had no wisdom on how to run a business. They have always worked for someone who told them what to do in the nursing field. Although they were great cooks, they had never had to deal with being completely in charge, making food, and attracting customer’s. They failed as “Commander’s” and for that reason failed the restaurant. Without a wise Commander, a war can not be won.

Sun Tzu’s second chapter is based on finances. He emphasizes that you need to be very carful on how you spend the little money you have to wage the war. Sun Tzu gives several tips that my parent’s never used towards running their business. For example, Sun Tzu said, “The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice,” (2:8) He says that on the aspect of money, you should not be wasting it and getting more supplies then what is needed. My father on the other hand was the complete opposite. We had more food then was needed even as we started getting less and less customers. He always said, “You have to be prepared.” Due to this excess amount of food and no customers to consume it, a lot of the food would go bad. Not only was this a waste of money and food, it was a waste of a lot of money that did not have to be spent. If he had not spent all this money, there might have been a possibility of hanging on to the restaurant a little longer and maybe finding a way to save it.

Although my aspirations have shifted and now I wish to become a Forensic Nurse, I would still love to open a bakery some day in the future. This is my dream. I would like to do this, not only for myself, but for my parents as well. However, unlike my parents I plan to run this business the right way. Having great leaders such as Sun Tzu and Machiavelli will certainly be a great foundation to our dream.

If you don't use important tactics like Sun Tzu's tactics, then their is a huge possibility your business will fail.

If you don’t use important tactics like Sun Tzu’s tactics, then their is a huge possibility your business will fail.