State of the Union Address

Last Tuesday, in his annual State of the Union Address, President Obama issued several proposals; some programs include free community college and child-care tax credit. However, with a Republican controlled Congress, the programs may be hard to pass. His address seemed to focus on the betterment of middle class economy. Obama used many rhetorical questions to better state his opinion in regards to an economy where only few do well, while the rest struggle. This then lend into his proposal to create a new tax cut on children. Though not specifically stated this suggestion also alluded to the new outline for his tax plan. Obama went on to compare U.S.’s paid leave to other nations, stating ours is far behind the other advances countries. (Which was a great tactic considering most Americans would like to stay on top, so insinuating we are behind hurts the patriotic pride in us).

Next he asked for the equal treatment of women in paid jobs, which most assume he included to in hopes of getting him support from the females. Another big program he wants is a paid for community college where underprivileged students, with decent grades may go to for free. Though it sounds like an amazing plan, it seems unrealistic considering it may cause taxes to raise, which no one likes. (also it seems a bit unfair to offer ‘free’ college to some while other students have to take out thousands in loans to attend college). With introduction of that big program out of the way, he then proceeded into the next section of his address. He took a few thinly- veiled shots at individual companies, asking for better benefits and pay for employees. Then, Obama offered some sort of consensus, which seemed to make him more of a reliable source, praising the overhaul of cyber defense in wake of recent dilemmas (Sony). Connecting that to terrorism, he said that we will continue to fight it in all places as we have done before. Although personally, I don’t agree with a lot of things he has done and planning to do, it is hard to deny his talent in public speaking. Obama is good at weaving rhetorical devices into his speeches that help persuade the audience, which is the goal of any speaker. With his well-crafted speech, President Obama introduced many new programs he hopes to accomplish in the closing years of his term.

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History of Gatsby

The Great Gatsby has remained one of Americas most prominent novels since the 20th century. It tells the story of Jay Gatsby and his struggle to try and win back Daisy, his sweetheart. Through a series of extravagant parties, ridiculously lavish lifestyles, and shallow characters, the readers are told this ‘American Dream’ story depicting a money hungry world back dropped by a glittering New York. Although this novel tells an important story about America in the 1920’s, it has not always been popular among the public. When Fitzgerald released this novel in early 1900’s, his work offended the nation. The Great Gatsby is not a flattering book, it does not paint the lifestyle of the roaring 20’s in a good way. With this novel then released in that time, most couldn’t recognize the brilliance of Fitzgerald’s warning. However, after many years this novel finally received the praise it deserved.

With the start of WWII, many soldiers were in need of something to do to keep their minds off of the battles; this included reading. That in mind, the U.S. government sent out millions of books to the soldiers in Europe and other places, one novel selected was Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby. This novel seemed popular with the men in the war, probably because it was years after the 20’s. People were less offended by the criticism in the book, and finally looked past that and began to understand what Fitzgerald was really trying to say about us. It’s interesting how the war, WWII, basically caused the novel to receive some recognition, whereas in the book, Gatsby meets Daisy because of a war, WWI, and starts this entire journey because of it. Either way, since most people were finally exposed to the novel, they caused it to receive the popularity that still remains today.

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson grew up to be one the leading female ecology writers throughout the early 1900’s. She was born 1907 in Pennsylvania, where her mother helped influence her love of nature and the world surrounding her. Later in her life, she attended two colleges, including John Hopkins University, to receive her MA in zoology. After Carson received her degrees, she worked for the government in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service writing articles to help raise awareness about the wildlife surrounding us. As her writing continued, she progressed her work on marine biology, publishing the well-known novel The Sea Around Us in 1952; thus becoming famous as a naturalist writer. Eventually, she put aside her government position continue writing full time.

Rachel progressed in her work, writing several articles that tried to teach people about the beauty of the world. In all her work, she infused her ideas on humans being only one part of nature, distinguished by our ability to change certain aspects of it. The late 1950’s introduced synthetic chemical pesticides which alarmed Carson greatly. She then focused on warning people about the long-term effects of these chemicals, publishing her novel Silent Spring. This novel sparked interest in many because she challenged the ways of agricultural scientists and the government, then pleaded for a change in the way views of the natural world. Because of her distinct views on the subject, she was attacked by the chemical industry. However, she courageously spoke out to remind us that humans are an important part of nature, thus subject to the same dangers as the rest of the ecosystems. At the end of her life, Rachel Carson went before Congress to ask for new policies protecting the environment and human health. Then in 1964, she passed away after a long battle against breast cancer. Even today, her love for nature and human life continues to inspire generations to protect the world we all share.

More information can be found here:

http://www.rachelcarson.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Carson