Big Brother FCC




Is it really even possible to regulate the internet?  Apparently it’s been attempted by the Federal Communications Commission back in 2010 to have the internet categorized as a telecommunication service instead of an information service provider.  Changing how it is labeled, changes the laws that it falls under and would finally change how it is administrated.  This would in effect would basically give the FCC a huge promotion in managing and supervising the internet.  This is an audio from NPR and the transcripts between Democratic Commissioner Micheal Copps and Bob Garfield, the disk jokey.



In 1997 the US government passed the No Electronic Theft Act.  This enabled criminal prosecution of any person that was found guilty of illegally dispensing copies of pirated software.  This modified the previous law that did not carry the right to charge anyone, no matter how large the scale of  piracy, of a crime.  Ten years later, I still don’t really see the affect of this law except that the average person has just become more computer savvy.







This is just an article of how Americans are getting sick of all the new government regulations.


War Protests 1960-2011

Fortunate Son: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Merle Haggard: That’s the News


In the first song by CCR they are pprotesting the draft during the Vietnam War.  Specifically the fact that those young men being drafted tended to be poor/middle class and politically unconnected while those from the upper class were able to avoid service.  The song by Merle Haggard, while also about war, is about how while the government has declared the war in Iraq “over” there are still soldiers fighting and dying.

While both are about war and also address the duplicity of those in power (not sending their sons to Vietnam, and declaring the war over when it is not) the biggest difference is their focus.  CCR in their song were acting as “The Media” getting the word out to the people.  In the Merel Haggard song his focus is addressing the media and its part in getting information / misinformation to the people.  This shift in focus in protest songs I feel is a product of our 24/7 news cycle and people’s total acceptance of what they see there.


Space Race: Russia I – U.S.A. 0

I know we have not really gotten into this in the lecture yet but today is the 50th anniversary of the first man that orbited the earth.  Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagari in 1961 took the fascinating  flight that only lasted 108 minutes .  The reason this pertains to the class is that this occurs during the height of the Cold War.  Russia, as did many other nations, saw this event as a huge win over the United States.  Not until a year later an American, John Glenn, successfully took the same journey.  During the Space Race, the Soviet Union’s achievement sent out a display of domination over the United States.


I’m Not A Crook, I’m A Bowler

During the Golden Age of Capitalism in America even the President enjoyed some leisure time.  At the end of WWII the standards of living was up, unemployment was low and the American GNP more than doubled.  The population boomed leading  suburban living to become the norm.  Jack Straus, the chairman of the board of Macy’s,  declared “Our ability to consume is endless.  The luxuries of today are the necessities of tomorrow.”  This became the thinking of the time.  Citizens lavished in the new life style of ease that a growing economy could now provide for the average, working, middle class person.


Just Married!

The caption reads, “Wonder how long the honeymoon will last.”  This phrase is to relate to the non ‘aggression pact’ (Nazi- Pact 1939) signed by Hitler and Stalin.  The Soviet Union agreed to provide raw materials and food products to Germany in exchange for furnished products (such as machinery) from the Germans.  In addition to these arrangements, there was an alliance not to attack each other.   The pact was supposed to last for ten years however, it was only upheld for two.


WW I Begins

       The Ferdinand Family

          The straw that broke the camels back that causing WWI was the assasination of  Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, at the hand of Gavrilo Princip.  On June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo, Bosnia the couple was gunned down by the Serb in the hopes of increasing the Serbian teritory.  The ploy worked and spiraled the majority of the world into a war.  A month later Austria-Hungry invaded Serbia.  This was followed by the German invasion of Belgium, Luxembourg and France leading to the Russians attacking Germany.  Although this tragedy is actually what directly can be seen as what ignited the war, there were also a slew of underlying conflicts and problems including political turmoil, international relations, imperialism, also technical and militarty factors.  Considering all of these issues, the war was utterly inevitable, such as a volcano primed for an eruption.


10,000 take to the streets

     Garveyism is defined by wikipedia as the total and never ending redemption of the continent of Africa by people of African ancestry, at home and abroad.  This notion came about by Marcus Garvey, originally born in Jamaica,  after the East St. Louis riot of 1917.  During the chaos in St. Louis, $400,000 worth of property was destroyed, atleast 40 African men, women and children were slaughtered and 6,000 were driven from their homes.  To mourn the revolt, about 10,000 blacks silently marched down fifth avenue in New York carrying cards that read “Mr. President, Why Not Make America Safe for Democracy?”  Marcus Garvey organized the black community and launched a campain to unite and empower Africans.  Through out his crusade, Garvey also established the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (the UNIA).

  Foner’s coverage of this subject I feel is incomplete.  Upon research I came across much more information that I found useful in understanding the details of this event.  Some children in the procession also carried signs that read: “Mother, do lynchers go to heaven?”  Also, President Wilson continually denied any requests from African Americans to stop lynching and to obtain equallity.  Today Wilson is considered one of the most racist Presidents in American history.


Big Brother FTC


The Federal Trade Commission was established by the U.S. Congress.  Five members are joined together for a seven year term to police businesses.  The main goal of this board is to promote and protect the rights of consumers.  This includes identity theft, false advertising, monopolies, any kind of unfair business competition and price-fixing.  Finally citizens were protected from market abuse and enjoyed ‘industrial freedom.’


Antiquated Census


       This is a primary document from 1870.  It is the census of The Seals Family living in rural Tennessee.  It indicates all the people that were living in the house this year and also some personal information.  There was a mother, father and nine children in this house ranging from the ages of 1 year to 25 years old.  It shows that four children, all boys, attended school and that all nine were born in Tennessee.  Some names indicate their profession.  Mr. Seal senior was a farmer and his wife Cornelia is listed as ‘keeping the house.’  The three girls stayed at home and James the eldest boy ‘ works on farm.’  The document also indicates who could read and write.       Censuses like this become a very important way that historians today can look at past information.  It gives an insight of what an everyday working man’s life was like.  A document such as this should hold only straight forward information however is possible, but not likely, the data being portrayed is biased or prejudice.  The war had only ended bitterly five years earlier and blacks were still seen as inferior to the majority of the south.  To many, they just ‘didn’t count.’         During and after the war, many freed slaves fled north or searched for loved ones that they had been torn apart from. A census’ main focus is to count the population.  In these situations it would become very difficult if not impossible for an enumerator to accurately accumulate the data that is needed.


The streets are paved with gold

Mulberry Street New York City, 1900, buying bread in “Little Italy”

              Immigrants that made the journey from their homeland into New York City typically moved to neighborhoods with the same ethnic background as themselves.  The streets were a very social setting much unlike today.  Modern day New Yorkers know that it is not uncommon to have no idea what your next doors neighbor’s name is.  The streets of “Little Italy” were filled with sales transactions, political view exchanges and general socializing everyday.  Finding work as an immigrant was never easy an easy task.  They had to take the worst jobs which included low paying wages, long hours and dangerous work.  It’s not clear in this lower picture but it is almost certain that this man four hundred feet in the sky is not wearing any safety equipment.  Through the hardship, immigrants pushed onward with the common goal of a better life, always helping each other along the way.                                                                                                                                                            

 Iron worker on the singer, 1908, Clarence Darrow


Obese We Stand

In recnet years, Americans have been engulfed in another  ‘Battle of The Bulge.’  School’s cafeteria menus have changed along with new laws being passed to take out excessive fats and salts from processed  foods.  US First Lady Michelle Obama has just had her first year anniversary of her own Anit-Obesity campain.


bloodshed in the backyard

Eric Foner’s book review of David W. Bligh’s Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory paints a picture of a very captivating and refreshingly unbiased rehash of Civil War.  There are not only just two sides to a story, there are always three.  Your side, my side and the truth.  It is apparent that in David Bligh’s  publication he has taken everyone’s opinion and beliefs into account.   Anyone that would like to learn more about the Civil War and how different and colorfully portrayed one single event could take a lot from this book.

Memory from a first hand witness can be a great primary source.  Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to not write with an ‘angry pen’ when that source has been enveloped in a traumatic events.  This is why it is extremely important to take on the testimonial of many people.  Personally Civil War history has never appealed to me but I think that after reading the praising review I would read this book for enjoyment of knowledge, not as a task.

This book has also shown how obvious it is that historical memory is crucial.  Not only does it actually tell the tale of the affair, it also shows how that tale can change over the passing of time.  As the saying goes, “Time heals all wounds.”  Weather this is true or not, I’m not sure but I do know that time always helps.  In more recent memory, a similar situation occurred during last year’s salmonella outbreak.  A class action lawsuit was filed over some rotten eggs.  Proper inspection procedure were failed to be met causing some 1’500 to become fall ill.  Some people didn’t care enough to follow the story, some people vaguely even knew about it and some people became so sick, they’ll probably never eat eggs again.  Naturally, people of different cultures, nations and upbringings have different morals and values in life.  This is where it becomes a historian’s job to sift through the diverse array of information and find the more homogeneous story.


bang bang!

The evolution of the process in which we record history has been changing consistently throughout the centuries. As a society we have come from stone slabs to virtual systems that can practically think for themselves.  Historical evidence and events can now be stored faster, more organized and in an easily accessible manner.  New technology allows data basis to record information that without this technology would be impossible to even gather ( i.e. seismograms).  I think Luke makes a good  point “As anyone who’s done serious archival work before knows, you spend a whole lot of time digging through irrelevant material to find the gem that’ll be the center of your fourth chapter.”  I’m not even remotely sure how a twitter archive in the Library of Congress will help or even appeal to my future great grandchildren but hey, if we have the technology and space, why not?

WikeLeaks I feel is a very controversial way to obtain ‘evidence’ that you will later allow you to formulate your own opinion.  I do feel it is essential to the American people that they have a sense of comfort in having an outside source (that of besides government issued information) of documentation.  I also feel that it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  K.C. Johnson states, “The WikiLeaks documents give at best an incomplete picture of recent U.S. foreign policy, and at worst will yield an inaccurate one.”  My only worries about this is that later historians will have flawed information, but then again history is always written by the victors.