Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What I learned in Government

What I learned:
The most important thing I learned in Government class this semester was the influences there are on government. The media, interest groups, public opinion, and other factors play a major role on the United States Government. This can be beneficial to our government as it might check the power asserted by those in high standing positions to assure that the people's interest is at heart in any decision. These influences can also be a bad thing in that they may sway the decision away from the public interest and toward the interest of those with the most influential power. The United States Government is a complicated system in which many revolving doors and other means by which the system may be penetrated leaves the government susceptible to corruption. This is important to know because when one is seeking information they must look to what is unbiased and what influence have altered.
Advice to future students:
As a message to next years students, I would say that it is important to look at the whole picture instead of just learning the vocabulary and getting snapshots of what one should know. In doing this one would be better able to understand how the government works.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"I'm the Guy They Called Deep Throat"



"I'm the Guy They Called Deep Throat"

3 - Interesting Facts

Through the reading, "I'm the Guy They Called Deep Throat" by John O'Connor, I learned many interesting facts that I previously did not know about the man recently known as Deep Throat. First, I found it intriguing that Mark Felt was reluctant to expose his other identity due to his fear of being known as dishonorable. Mark Felt kept his secret from his close friends and family members. I also found it interesting that when he was an FBI agent, due to all Mark's reluctancy in exposing the person responsible for the White House leaks, he was suspected by the Executive branch to be the secret source for the Washington Post. Lastly, I was intrigued that it wasn't until John O'Connor and Joan Felt, along with the unwilling support of Bernstein, pushed Mark Felt to reveal his secret that he publicly confirmed what overs just quested at.

2 - Connections

Knowledge of our history is vital in today's society. Learning about the Watergate scandal in depth and about who took part in exposing the corruption, helps our society to correct our actions in order to prevent repeating wrong doings. Another connection this article has to me is that, as a citizen of America, it is important to know fully about my government and their actions.

1 - Question

Did the Felt family receive any compensation (as Joan had thought) after Mark Felt revealed his identity as Deep Throat?


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Courts

    Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

    Ernesto Miranda was arrested but the police officer failed to inform the identified perpetraitor of his rights as it is written in the Constitution. The law enforcement is required to read a criminal his Fifth Amendment right, wich deals with self-incrimination, and his Sixth Amendment rights to have counsel of an attorney. Because Miranda confessed without being read these  rights, his lawyer  argued that his confession was unconstitutional, therefore it should be thrown out of the evidence used in trial. This court case was taken to the Supreme Court, which sided with Ernesto Miranda and he released on the tecnecality. Today this court case is a precident of the importance of law enforcement informing those who are arrest of there "Miranda".

    Monday, March 4, 2013

    The Justice Nobody Knows

    3 - Interesting Facts
    Justice Thomas was raised in the South and faced racism, along with the Jim Crow laws. Throughout his life, his grandfather proved to be a major influence on his actions. Justice Thomas wrote a book named after him. His upbringing brought him to fight against any stereotypes. As an African American, Justice Thomas always felt that he was forced to believe in certain views, but he refused to be defined by his race, and publicized his conservative views. Because of this, many people label his as a hypocrite.
    2 - Connections
    This clip is shows more about how the Senate process works and about the Senators themselves. It showed that Senators are usually not willing to be interviewed and that they usually remain private to the US. This proved that differing opinions will always fight against you no matter your position. Another connection I made from this video was that in our culture racism will always be present.
    1 - Question
    Will racism ever be completely absolved in the United States?

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

    Simple Justice

    The movie Simple Justice is a slightly dramatized walk through of the events leading up to the over turn of Pessy vs. Furgeson. Although the characters and actions are somewhat dramatizes, for the most part, the layout of the movie rings true to the real historical event.

    Thurgood Marshalls main plan of attact to break down separate but equal was to start small directly fighting for equality in schools. The main challenge that the lawyer had to prove was that Plessy vs. Furgeson was unconstitutional. In his first case of Sweatt vs. Painter (1950) he argued that because there was no law school for the African Americans then the school system was unequal. This eventually lead to the integration of the one law school. The next major case leading up to the end of segregation was Brown vs. Board of Education. In is case Thurgood decided to attempt to directly dissolve separate but equal by calling it unconstitutional.

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    Letter to President

    Dear President Barack Obama,

              My name is Lia Musumeci and I am a senior at Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. As a student in an advance placement government class, my opinion on the death penalty has evolved leading me to the conclusion that I strongly oppose capital punishment for multiple reasons.  Researching the facts about this practice has convinced me that it is my responsibility to try to apply political pressure to promote abolishing the death penalty in California.
               First and foremost, the death penalty is a grotesque practice that condones horrific actions, such as killing, by killing.  This ironic, barbaric government law has been more malicious than beneficial. It turns our nation back to mid-evil times instead of moving it forward.  Secondly, in California alone there have been three inmates released from death row due to miss identification. Human error is always prevalent and the death sentence doesn't offer any room for mistakes. As William Blackstone said, "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one suffer". With 724 inmates on death row, there is a good chance that some of them are being falsely incarcerated.  Thirdly, the correlation between race and inmates on death row presents bias that should not be a deciding factor in who lives or who dies. A California study stated that trials evolving white victims are three times more likely to put a perpetrator on death row than accusations involving black victims and are four times more likely than Latino victims. Finally, the idea that the leverage of the death penalty leads to deterrence is repudiated by facts.  As seen in the 2009 Radelet and Lacock study, this punishment has produced opposite results.
    There is no justifiable reason for a country to legalize capital punishment.  The only reason to enact this measure is to get revenge and revenge just promotes hatred and further violence.  The death penalty is not even a financially wise form of practice. In the Los Angeles Times Carol J. Williams wrote, "A death prosecution costs up to twenty times as much as a life-without-parole case." California alone has spent over $4 billion on the death sentence since 1978.

    As an American citizen, in my first election I voted in favor of Proposition 34 and, although it did not pass, it motivated me to take more aggressive political action. I have  joined my voice with the 61% of Americans who prefer an alternative punishment over the death penalty as documented in a 2010 poll conducted by Lake Research Partners.
    “I believe that the death penalty is appropriate in certain circumstances. There are extraordinarily heinous crimes, terrorism, and harm of children, in which it may be appropriate. Obviously we’ve had some problems in this state, in the application of the death penalty and that’s why a moratorium was put in place and that’s why I was so proud to be one of the leaders in making sure that we overhauled it, death penalty system that was broken. Passing the first in the nation, videotaping of interrogations and confessions in capital cases was a start. We have to have this ultimate sanction for certain circumstances in which the entire community says this is beyond the pale. While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes—mass murder, the rape and murder of a child—so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment." President Obama, you have said this statement as empty words and have not considered the consequences of such actions. Look at the facts, study past events, and reassess your stance. Your words are empty and only YOUR moral standing has been taken into mind, but YOU are the President of the United States; Look at American citizens and represent their views.
    America is the leading nation in the world, so why are we reverting back to Roman times where lex talionis (law of talion) expressed “an eye for an eye” as the rule for offence. It’s time for change; hop on board.

    Friday, February 15, 2013


    Department of Justice

    The Department of Justice defends the United States according to the law and protects against foreign and domestic threats. They also provide quality leaders to head the law enforcement, decipher punishment for unlawful acts, ensures justice for all citizens. Beuracracies interpret directives made by Congress. The Department of Justice functions as an administration that collects fees, makes rules, gives tests, and issues permits. Department of Justice