Tag Archives: Sam Oliver

The influence of the Provisional IRA.

 In Ireland, there are two main groups of people: the Catholics and the Protestants. For several years there has been a constant battle between these two groups. This battle has gone on long enough that not a single living person in Ireland remembers peace. From the formation of the terrorist group known as the Provisional Irish Republican Army, there are examples of two religious group’s war for independence. A war that extends into the streets and involves everyone in Ireland. The historical political and social climates of Ireland are an example of how a religious group can cause political movements to form.

The IRA was, originally, a group of volunteers that fought for Ireland’s Independence from Britain from 1919-1921. They fought using guerrilla warfare and for a noble goal. When one mentions the IRA, the usual assumption is actually the Provisional IRA. In 1969 the Provisional IRA (aka the Provos IRA or PIRA) emerged from an ideological split with the original IRA. This difference in ideology was due to the PIRA believing in the value of violence. (Bishop pg. 117) They believed that in order for Ireland to become its own nation, the path must be paved in blood. Pictured above is a British soldier apprehending a member of the PIRA during the Bloody Sunday Incident. During this incident the PIRA was fired upon by the British military as well. These events increased the volunteer rate for the PIRA significantly, therefore enabling them to move forward with their agenda. Additionally, Bloody Sunday is considered the initial launch, of Ireland, into chaos. (Weinraub pgr. 1)

The religious ties of the PIRA are slightly abstract. In the interest of simplicity, Protestants of Ireland have historically supported the reign of the United Kingdoms over Ireland, while the Catholics are more Irish Nationalists. Historically speaking, extreme nationalism usually results in war. This example is in accord with that trend. Furthermore, the PIRA is primarily composed, led, and infused with volunteers that are Catholic. Since the Bloody Sunday Incident the PIRA has continued its terrorist form of war in Ireland. It has even lead to other splinter terrorist organizations such as the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA. These groups do not appear to be going away and even started from something noble, such as a religious group’s desire for an independent nation. the Bloody Sunday Incident the PIRA has continued its terrorist form of war in Ireland. It has even lead to other splinter terrorist organizations such as the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA. These groups do not appear to be going away and even started from something noble, such as a religious group’s desire for an independent nation.

Pictured in the map below, is Northern Ireland. This is the home of the IRA and has been for many years. Their headquarters resides in Belfast. Belfast is located on the tip of sea inlet, named Belfast Lough. One possible reason for choosing this location is that Belfast is the administrative capital of Northern Ireland. Another reason may be that the Belfast Lough, lough being the Irish word for sea inlet or lake, provides Belfast with direct access to the North Channel. From there a ship can travel to the North Atlantic Ocean and then to anywhere in the world.

From the noble roots of the IRA, to the split of the PIRA and the subsequent fall of the political climate of Northern Ireland, there are illustrations of a once good idea, turned sour by extremism. While there is no clear proof that this is religious extremism, there is a strong suggestion that the PIRA is a religious group. As with many cases, the truth is intricate and too broad a scope to be distilled into a few paragraphs. However, there is evidence here that suggests a religious movement, when out of control, can turn the tides of a country. Irelands future is uncertain, but for now the news is not filled with stories of tragedy coming from the IRA. Hopefully, this uncertain peace can resolve into a better future, for Northern Ireland, and Ireland as a nation.

Works Cited

Bishop, Patrick, and Eamonn Mallie. The Provisional IRA. London: Corgi, 1988. Print.

 Weinraub, Bernard. “Bloody Friday—It Was the Worst Yet.” Terrorism: Essential Primary           Sources. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 128-131.           Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 17 Nov. 2013

Reviewed by:

Jacob Standafer
Oren Paisner
Jennah Reiman

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Offshore Drilling: How are economic activities distributed globally?

The global oil supply is vanishing. With this fact not exactly being a secret, it is easy to see why the developed nations of the world are trying to find any source of oil they can. There is an empire of technology and development that relies on it for fuel, and there isn’t a replacement, yet. One method, that has been debated in the USA for years, for obtaining new supplies is offshore drilling. Offshore drilling can create new jobs and cheaper oil, but at the risk of spoiling the ocean habitats where the drilling will take place.

On one side of the argument, there is the matter of the USA relying on oil from other nations. As William Jasper wrote in his article, “No other nation in the world prohibits development of its offshore energy. But, incredibly, federal prohibitions on OCS drilling over the past 25 years have caused the United States to send trillions of dollars to overseas oil producers and have jeopardized our national security by making us dangerously dependent on foreign energy sources,” (Jasper par. 4). Jasper continues with a plan to give each coastal state the power to govern its own waters. This would allow the states to decide for or against offshore drilling. While this may seem logical, the truth is that humanity will eventually have to peel away from its dependence on oil. Any method to acquire oil is simply a stop gap until the day it runs out. With that in mind, it hardly makes sense to drill when it puts ocean habitats at risk.

Conversely, in Alaska, and many other polar regions, oil companies have been allowed to explore whatever options for drilling they can find. With Global Climate change becoming an increasingly pertinent issue, Margaret Williams believes these expeditions into the Arctic are the precursor to a major oil spill (Williams par. 11). Williams refers to a lack in response abilities to spills in these Arctic zones as a major cause for worry. If a large oil corporation were to have a spill, even in Alaska, the damage would most likely be done by the time they had cleared the spill. Earth is already losing species to Global Climate Change, but this increases the odds dramatically.

Offshore drilling would only provide the United States with small benefits, and it would take years for the average person to see them. It is a highly risky practice that involves giving jobs to a large part of Americans, but at the potential cost of the extinction of entire species. The most confusing part about the issue is that it is still being discussed. Offshore drilling is simply not a solution and should not be advertised as one.

Works Cited

Jasper, William F. “Offshore Drilling Will Create Jobs and Help the Economy.” Offshore Drilling. Ed. Margaret Haerens. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Lifeblood from the Ocean Floor: The Lame-Duck Congress Has the Opportunity to Tackle U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil and Save Hundreds of Billions of Dollars and Millions of Jobs with a Deep-Ocean Drilling Bill.”The New American (11 Dec. 2006). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.

Williams, Margaret. “Offshore Drilling in Alaska Should Be Limited.”Offshore Drilling. Ed. Margaret Haerens. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Offshore Drilling in Alaska: Time to Slow the Rush.” Yale Environment 360. 2008. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.

Reviewed by:

Jacob Standafer
Oren Paisner
Jennah Reiman

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Chemicals Affecting Drinking Water.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the subsequent elevation in the use of industrial chemicals, there have been a multitude of corporations leaking these chemicals into public water supply. As early as 1952, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) was leaking hexavalent chromium into the ground water, and eventually the tap water, of the Mojave Desert region (Layton, pgr. 12). With dangers being presented from drinking water out of the tap, many have turned to home water filtration which are only reliable for removing some bacteria (Keating pgr. 4). There is a clear case to be made from this evidence. The US needs a solution to clean drinking water, immediately.

In the mid-90s a legal battle ensued between PG&E and legal activist, Erin Brokovich. The case was based on evidence Brokovich had gathered, showing the company’s record of leaking a significant amount of Hexevalent Chromium into the ground water below Hinkley, CA. Hexevalent Chromium is a known carcinogen, the detection of which can be technical and arduous. These events were concluded in 1996 when, “the company paid $333 million in damages… and pledged to clean up the contamination” (Layton, pgr. 12). Currently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is fighting a similar issue.

Lindsey Layton published an article in the Washington Post, “EPA urges testing for chemical in tap water.” Discussed in her article are the issues that face such testing, such as the need for a budget increase to the EPA. Generating this need is the laboratory equipment required in the difficult process that tests for Hexevalent Chromium. In a quote from George Hawkins, the General Manager of D.C. Water, said that any guidance were given from the EPA would be followed. Additionally, he stated, “If additional testing needs to be taken to make sure that what we’re doing is protective of public health, that’s what we’ll do,” (Layton pgr. 3,4). Currently there is no federal limit on the amount of this chemical that can be in public water (Layton pgr. 6). With no way of removing these chemicals, currently found in government run facilities, or available for purchase on the commercial market, it is difficult to understand why so little is being done (Keating pgr. 5).

There is additional information, not discussed here due to its substantial amount, that shows everything from pharmaceuticals to Hexevalent Chromium can be found in the water we drink. The most each person can do is write their appropriate congressman and be aware of the filtration system they are buying, as there are some that can remove more of these chemicals than others. It is also important to raise awareness of this issue, since the nature of these changes require both time and money.

Works Cited

Layton, Lyndsey. “EPA urges testing for chemical in tap water.”Washington Post 23 Dec. 2010: A04. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.

Keating, Michael “Public told to beware when buying water filters.” Globe & Mail [Toronto, Canada] 30 July 1986: A13. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.

Reviewed by:

Jacob Standafer

Oren Paisner

Jennah Reiman
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Youtube’s Influence on Pop Culture.

Since 2005, the year of its creation, Youtube has enabled anyone with the will to host any video they would like. Of course such a premise has been abused with copyright infringements and the like, but it continues to be an outlet. People from across the planet can share their home videos, creative videos, and anything else, in 1080p quality. This phenomenon has also been used by politicians. Dramatically decreasing the cost to run for an office by the virtue of how many people access this website daily. Undoubtedly, Youtube has had a significant impact on pop culture, over the years.

Thanks to Youtube, the dead art of the music video saw a revival since 2005. In the 1980s-1990s music videos were a key component of Pop Music. Thus how the television channel “MTV” produced a culture unto its self. However, during the later part of the 90s there was a steady decline in both interest and production of music videos. By 2000, this decline had led to an almost flat-line in the art. With the launch of Youtube in 2005, and its near over-night popularity, the music video became accessible to the mainstream consumer again (Berlatsky pgr 1,2,3).

In addition to the effects Youtube had on the music video, it has undeniable implications as a political tool. President Barak Obama declared his intent to pursue re-election in 2012 via Youtube video. To which his competitor, Mitt Romney, responded using the social media site Twitter (Glen pgr. 2,3,8). These practices have been viewed, largely, as positive. By relying on a social media site to spread their message, political candidates are no longer limited by the exponential sums of money required to deliver a message to their supporters. While this method does not cover their entire supporter base, it does deliver a message, quickly, to a large number of them.

Youtube, as well as several other social media and hosting web sites, have brought about a faster and more cost effective means of delivering media to a massive amount of people. In comparison to more traditional means (i.e. books, television, radio, etc.) the rate at which it does so is staggering. This is further validated by the fact that some of the most powerful people in the USA are now using them for their own political messages. Youtube has been, and will most likely continue to be, a powerful influence on popular culture.

Works Cited

Johnson, Glen. “Social Media Allow Political Candidates to Bypass Traditional Media.” Politics and the Media. Ed. Debra A. Miller. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Social Media Let Candidates Bypass Traditional Media.” boston.com. 2011.Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

“Introduction to The Music Industry: Opposing Viewpoints.” The Music Industry. Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

Reviewed by:

Jacob Standafer
Oren Paisner

Jennah Reiman
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