C-Hill at Sunset

C-Hill at Sunset
Here is the Sunset of C-Hill, C-Hill is a prodominate landmark at Chadron State College and of the City of Chadron, NE

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Using technology to connect the world and the responsibility of those who use it.

I think it has become very apparent that as a global community have become more and more connected. The internet, cell phones, and other recent developments in technology has made this all easier. During my time in London, after I realized how to make the calls properly, I was able to call my parents a few times. Over my time here at CSC, I have met some awesome people who are international students. I may not have talked to many of them in a while, I still have access, in to at least 30 of them on Facebook (definitely more than that, but that is all I can find for now). That is every continent with the exception of Antarctica. This allows me to be connected to the world around me and afar, and I have used it. For instance I talked to a friend in Pakistan to get their perspective on the killing of Osama Bin Laden, people from Ukraine, on their perspective on the situation in Crimea, a friend from Libya who was there as the conflict started about three and a half years ago, a friend from Egypt who was here during the Arab Spring and back home during their second revolution, etc… In all of these senses and others social connectedness is important. As of recent, especially with Ukraine, the Ukrainian people tried to raise public outcry by making Youtube videos, and other internet media to raise international support and outcry over what was happening with the Ukrainian government even before Russia got involved. Things like this could help pubic work towards charities such as the American Red Cross (also may involve local charities), these could help fund the resistance or humanitarian as well as other efforts or public using political pressure to get governments involved. Also when a person is in a country recovering from a major uprising, we do not know who could take the lead in the uprising, or a similar social media post that could rally for support in a stable country can also happen in a lesser stable country. Now, of course someone on either side could say something online or do something in their country that makes a difference. That is part since we are so interconnected nationally as well as internationally.

With all of that said, we need to be smart in how we do it. Not everyone wants thoughts of outsiders. At the end of the day when you are not in a country in peril, it is a lot easier to throw around advice then to do, well, anything. Along with that, we are talking about electric media and heck, even physical media can be infiltrated by governmental personal, and during these times they may want to hurt people on certain sides. During some of my conversations with people I was afraid that we were talking about this on Facebook. This is a website that is well known worldwide. When I was talking to my friend from Libya, the internet was shut down in his country. I knew nothing about what happened to him. One day one of his friends posted on his name from Egypt that he was fine. After six months he finally posted something, at that point I knew I could contact him, but I was afraid for to contact him. Along with that, too many outside viewpoints could cause strife in what they are trying to do. Probably the only thing worse than having two sides that will not agree in a government, is having two sides who will not agree in a developing government. Activists and reporters have been arrested. People like those in Egypt have put people in prison for speaking against their government.

Now, I know what you are thinking, that I am taking internet conversations too far, and that there are few people who may contact each other that would be useful in a rebellion or a development of a government. Yet, think about some of the players in the American Revolution (including those from the Boston Tea Party or Paul Revere, who was a metal worker. We could also consider those in the Civil Rights Movement, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. started his following as a minister. At the end of the day, when you are talking to someone on the internet, you do not know who they are going to be, and neither do they. With that said, tread softly, and pass on some good ideas, who know, you may help write a country’s constitution without ever setting foot there.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Global Competence

     In previous posts we have discussed Ethnocentrism and how it can be both good and bad, Globalization, essentially everything from my assignment posts were about global issues. This one is about global competence, which is essentially what everything else is about, in part since this was a study abroad. Now, what is global competence? To me in simple terms it is about knowing cultures, customs, issues, and other topics where different countries and groups of people differ. This is what the current world is based on. This is a world economy. After World War I and World War II: world politics, alliances, controversies, and other issues between each country. If we have learned anything from Israel and Palestine, knowing history may help.   Essentially the more we know about other countries the better off we are as a country and as an economic power.  The more competent a person is, the more time can be spent enjoying a vacation instead of trying to learn how to cross a street without getting hit by a car. The more you know, the less time would be spent trying to figure out the denomination of coins, or learning how to use their public transportation. Global competence can not only help world leaders but also world travelers and tourists. Now considering how easy it is to travel how many more people travel now than before, and how interconnected and globalized the economy, and now we always here what is happening elsewhere, be it someone being offended by what someone else said, or a country getting ready to go to war over an action by another.  Global competence is kind of important and becoming more important every day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Civic Engagement thinking Globally

This year there are many elections going on. Some of them include but not limited in its entirety to U.S. midterm elections, E.U. Parliament elections, Indian elections, Scotland voting whether or not to stay apart of the U.K. or not, and others. With that it is said that in a democratic society, one of the simplest and most important acts of civil engagement. I will give that statement credit for the importance of it, but simplest, not so much.  Yet, is it simple? When the Scottish vote to stay apart of the U.K., there are some things they need to consider. Whether or  not they will need join the U.N., the E.U., whether or not their economy can stand on its own, their military, essentially could their country hold up on its own or not, and what help could they get, but with that what level of sovereignty would they be willing to give up? The Indian election they would need to figure out who will best lead the country of over 1.2 trillion people. Then the European elections will determine who will determine one of the governing bodies of nearly 30 countries that take some research to determine who will govern more than half of the countries that were the major players in both WWI and WWII. This requires research to determine who can work with who and who will decide to do what is best for Europe. Example on how this is important, was it the best idea for the E.U. bail out Greece a few years back? Each country has their own interests and the voters need to determine the best way to balance them .

Speaking of trying to balance their vastly different interest that brings me to the U.S. midterm elections.  In the U.S. elections, I fear we do not research things nearly enough. Many people feel if they are Conservative they should vote Republican, and if they are Liberal should vote Democrat. They repeat what their candidate says without even thinking about what their candidates actually said.  So, for roughly the past five years Republicans have said they hate Obamacare and Democrats have said they love Obamacare. Yet, if some Republicans look at it, they will like something about it. If Democrats really looked at it, there would be somethings they didn’t like about it. Why? They are politicians, they are people and they do not everything perfectly. Yet it passed, so there must be something to it. So at the end of the day, we really do not fully understand the issues, or the answers because we listen our side and not the other. With that said all of the other elections I listed above, have the same problems. Any election with partisan cheerleaders or cheer leaders for specific people will have the problems. So, anyone who reads this if you are voting in the previously listed elections or one I missed, do me a favor play devil’s advocate, you may change your mind. Also do some research, so you know people actually have reasons for voting for the other side. Also, do not vote if you have not done research, just since you were told it is a great idea. You are not helping anything. In fact you are canceling out the votes of the people who took the time to learn about the issues.

For the record, this assignment post was to be on advancement of civil engagement while thinking about being a global citizen. I personally think the best way to be civilly engaged as a global citizen is through thoughtful elections. Why, since if citizens of an area are going to be judged by their elected officials then we need elected officials who make wise decisions for their people and on behalf of their people.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Im back in the U.S., thank you's , reflection, and Happy Memorial Day

Hello everybody, I am coming to you all from Chadron, NE! Yes I have some back! With that said the past 2 weeks have been absolutely incredible. I did so many things I will not forget, like the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, going to the Tower Bridge, watching the Changing of the Guard from Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street, going to the Special Operations Room in the Central Control Center, going to Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, and a lot of others that can be read about from the previous posts.  Also a thank you so much personally who made this trip both possible and awesome. Dr. Watson for starting this trip nearly 40 years ago (they have taken this trip 37 times but there years where they did not take this trip). Thank you Dr. Nobiling for making the trip happen this year and for what you could to make it as it was. The various people at CSC and from Team George (a group of people who work towards getting funds for scholarships to make sure the trip started by Dr. George Watson continues) for helping get the funds to make this trip less of a loan burden later on.

The wonderful people at the ISA (International Study Abroad) with both Maria, many of the other people we met once or never met, for getting everything organized in London for us to do, the coaches for us to ride, the Oyster cards for more transportation assistance and for help with so many other things as possible.  Constable Watson for getting everything organized on the end of the Metropolitan Police Department and getting us the lectures, allowing us to see things and do things most people, even those in London, do not do and do not see. I mean Maria one of the main people at the ISA who helped us a lifetime Londoner, went behind the gates of Buckingham Palace during the Changing of the Guard and to the door of 10 Downing Street for the first time in her life, with a group of American college students. Everybody else at the London Metropolitan Police Department, for working with Constable Watson, in allowing us to do what we did, for helping us with our lectures, and in general being as open as they were about their careers.  JoAnn, she was the Solicitor who gave up her time and us insight into the U.K. legal system. Sarah, she did just about all of our cultural tours giving us insight into the history of the city and other parts of the country, also a little into how the country and government works.

In general, this trip I think helped me understand the world around me, both as planned with the trip, and unplanned with the random people who I met. If I get the job in policing or something else within the system, or a job in security (like my current one at the college) or something like it, I think I learned a few things that may help me do those jobs better. Everything I have done on this trip will stay with me for life. Thank you to everyone else who I did not mention who made this trip possible and awesome.

One other thing, thank you United Kingdom for coming up with the tomb of the Unknown Warrior. It is the idea that eventually led to the Tomb of the Unknowns or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Arlington National Cemetery.  This is a national treasure that is probably the best way to remember those who died in action and were never identified. To those in the United States and everyone around the world who knows an American soldier who paid the ultimate price for their country. Happy Memorial Day. Happy Bank Holiday to the U.K

The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, photo credit Wikipedia (we were not allowed pictures)


 The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetary, photo credit Google

Saturday, May 24, 2014

cause and effect of international opinions on events

We live in a world with different sides on every issue. When the United States killed Osama Bin Laden, we were happy that the man behind 9/11, and at least 4 other attacks on the U.S. (2 embassies, the U.S.S. Cole, and a car bombing on the World Trade Center) died.  On the other hand, many people from Pakistan were upset about it, whether or not they supported Bin Laden. Why? Many of them looked at it as the U.S. invading Pakistan to carry out the mission, since it occurred in Pakistan. In my opinion both sides have a point. Those are also two polar opposite on the same issues. Granted there are many opinions held by people in both the U.S. and Pakistan on the same event and this is a simplified look at it, but still goes to show, one event can result in many of different perspectives. Prince Charles’ comment comparing Putin to Hitler, to save face various members of the British government has condemned the comment, but there are people in Britain and elsewhere who agree, and there are many who disagree. Another example of how there can various view points on the same issue. This frankly is as normal and has as long of a history as people having opinions. With that said when people across the world have differing interpretations of what is happening things can get big and bad quickly. Hitler and the members of the Nazi party had their opinions of the Holocaust, and whether or not it should happen, which was in stark contrast to the opinions of Western Europe, and most of the Western Hemisphere. At the same time, I have my personal opinions, it is worth noting that it ultimately lead to World War II which killed over 50 million people, more than 30 million of them being civilians. There is still a dispute whether or not the war in the Pacific Theater should have ended the way it did or not (the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan). World War I, was based mostly on countries forming alliances and one small war based on an assassination, it ultimately planted the seeds for World War II, and itself killed over 30 million people. Like right now differences in perspectives are not that dangerous. The opinions of Prince Charles’ line about Putin has not started a war. With that said, history has shown such comments can be dangerous since those differing opinions can create tension (in a situation that already has plenty of it. In the end, we just need to monitor the  opinions of people and maybe try to tame them, especially in countries like the U.S., the U.K., Russia, and others. Since again different perspectives can lead tension, tension can lead to war, and if these and other countries go to war, same thing with the killing of Osama Bin Laden and same with other events. Remember the story is the bombing of Pearl Harbor was about a trading embargo of raw material to Japan. That action lead to Pearl Harbor, which lead to America fighting in World War II (that may have inevitable but that is a different conversation) which lead to the dropping of the atomic bombs. The action of the embargo and differencing opinions about it, had a lasting effect.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Local events effecting the world

Over some of the days, we have talked to the London Metropolitan Police Department about when their events go right and wrong. Their events that went right include both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, which were about a month apart. Events that went wrong, they have had a few protests and riots that went badly, and them there was the Tube and double decker bus bombing in multiple locations in 2005. These were all local events (granted the Olympics and the Jubilee was larger than local they were centered around London) that had an international effect. All of these events most likely put law enforcement agencies and militaries on higher security levels due to the possibility of unrest developing. When protests happen in one location it can expand around the same or other causes (an example includes the Occupy movement). The Olympics now almost seem to go hand in hand now with protests. Actions like when the U.K. banned firearms (right now all that is legal is essentially shotguns for target practice for the general population) changed the world market for both legitimate and black market gun sales worldwide.  The world has become so globalized, one action be it cultural, fiscal, or other could send ripple or shockwaves through the world. Also for those who do not believe a small local thing can have a world effect. Prince Charles compared The Russian President Vladimir Putin to the former leader of the Third Reich and the Holocaust in World War II Germany Adolf Hitler. These comments were made in a small one on one conversation the prince had with another person. Now with the internet and other forms of electronic communication, a comment made face to face in a one on one setting, can set off an international firestorm, just look at what is happening now between the United Kingdom and Russia.

Day 12, last tour and back to history

Here we are on Day 12, and our last scheduled trips while we are here in London. We started it off with a tour of Oxford….. University that is. Now since we talked about so much, I will just give all of the footnotes. We dove head first into talking about some of the buildings, and some of the great minds that this place was involved in. Some of the writers who has links to Oxford here and their works include: J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote both the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Series, C.S. Lewis who wrote the Narnia series (it has been rumored the concept of the Wardrobe entrance to Narnia is based on him running through a cloak room into a blizzard and coming out to a lamppost as he snuck out of the chapel on campus), Lewis Carrol real name Charles, wrote Alice in Wonderland, which take sits name from a real girl who live in the town of Oxford. Carrol attending the Christ’s Church College which is where portions of both “Golden Compass” and various scenes from the “Harry Potter” series was films and the dining hall was the inspiration for the Hogwarts dining hall. Some other notable alumni includes both John Locke, and William Penn, seriously look up their alumni list, there are way too many important people to count. Also  with one of the 38 colleges being called Christ’s Church College, religion is important there, and we did visit one of their chapels, which is also the town chapel.

The theme of the trip was being busy, and this day was not exception, next we went to Stratford Apon Avon, where William Shakespeare was born. For those wondering, we did discuss the concept that Shakespeare could have been a pen name for one or many ghost writers. Though, we are certain the man did live and was alive around the time the books were written, his place of birth and where he lived most of his live is on display in Stratford. We are also certain he has no direct decedents. As far as we know his direct lineage went as far as grandchildren. With that said his blood was carried on through his sister (no not like that, as in since they came from the same parents.)

After we were done there, we went on to Warrick Castle. The place was first developed by William the Conqueror in the 1000’s (it was really started 200 years earlier, but not really for the purpose of a castle). As things go, things were built others were torn down. I believe the oldest currently standing structure went up in the 1200’s. With that said the royal development of this castle is ironic since it was used by the rebels in the English Civil War in the 1600’s. Today, it is a historical fun place. They have a birds of prey show, the dungeons, a gaol (ye old English version of the jail), a wall and tower walk, where you can climb the structure and walk along the walls the making of the king and other exhibits. Most of them are educational, as in they tell a lot about the history of the castle as you enjoy the entertainment. What would be the only thing that could have made this day any better? The weather could have been better, which in itself has not been that bad all trip. So, I will stop complaining about that.