Category Archives: RS 3

Hikikomori Syndrome

Wang, Shirley S. “The Fight to Save Japan’s Young Shut-Ins.” WSJ. The Wall Street Journal, 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 29 July 2015.

Shirley S. Wang is a reporter for the New York Times and is the author of the article “The Fight to Save Japan’s Young Shut-Ins. Hikikomori, a word used by the Japanese that is used to describe someone who has left the reality of their lives to seclude themselves in their rooms. It’s a major problem in Japan, growing in rapid numbers every day. However they are more than just anti-social people who just don’t like to go out. They’re people who given up on their lives, they choose to stay indoors all the time, deny any form of interactivity with the outside world.

The Author is very credible to talk about this topic. She works for the New York Times, which is one of the biggest new sources in the country. She also has some very credible sources ranging from a American hikikomori that have been isolated for 6 months, to true the extreme hikikomori who have been inside their homes for about 14 years or even more. The text even includes very credible elements such as personal interviews to scientific statistics that have been recorder the past few years. She even cites her sources for her information.

According to Ms. Wang, the puzzling condition is often thought of as a Japanese phenomenon, affecting an estimated 500,000 to two million in japan. She even goes on to say that similar reports have been shown up in the U.S, Hong Kong and Spain. In Japan, hikikomori has been a household word since the 1990s, with many experts calling it one of the biggest social and health problems plaguing the country, Ms. Wang explains. Yet the causes and treatments of the condition-or even whether it’s a mental illness or not-remain poorly understood. Takahiro Kato, a professor in the neuropsychiatry department at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, is working with support centers to study hikikomori in a more rigorous and systematic way. Dr. Kato and a team of Japanese and international collaborators that include Alan Teo, a psychiatry professor at Oregon Health & science University, want to better define what hikikomori is. They also hope to understand the social and biological underpinnings of the condition to improve treatments.

According to Ms. Wang, Japanese experts point to strict parenting practices and pressure that children feel to succeed as contributing factors. Yet hikikomori often live with their parents, and these parents can be soft in forcing their children to go to school or leave the home, they just leave them be. People can even become hikikomori for the smallest of reason, Yu-chan, a 27-year old woman who considers herself no longer hikikomori, is working to home her computer skills to get a job, which would be her first. She said she was comfortable speaking, but her face immediately flushed a light pink. She trembled slightly during a brief interview when discussing the 14 years where she stayed home because of hurtful words friends said to her when she was 10. Ms. Wang even reports of a child who wasn’t able to recover until she was at the age of 33, and she started to become a hikikomori at the age of 14.

Shirley Wang concludes her article by reporting that, that the hikikomori syndrome has become such a big problem that there are many shelters where these people can go and get help like a rehabilitation clinic. Hikikomori is a real cause for concern, but can be helped. As a former Hikikomori, Yu-cahn expresses that “You can’t really take back lost time, Please try to take the first step out.”


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Nicki’s Stance

Minaj, Nicki(Nick Minaj). “When the “other” girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination.”. 21 July 2015, 12:23 PM. Tweet.

The controversy I chose is the double standards between women of color and white women in the media. The source I decided to use as an example for this controversy is the “feud” between rapper Nicki Minaj and singer Taylor Swift on Twitter. The feud is about Nicki Minaj’s tweets on her stating that she released a groundbreaking video but didn’t get nominated for MTV video of the year award. Nicki Minaj points out the racism in the media, but is seen as the “angry black woman” when most people thought she was attacking Taylor Swift even though Minaj was not talking about her but the media in general. This Twitter feud is related to my controversy, because it is the perfect example how there is white privilege and double standards regarding women in the media.

Nicki Minaj has always stood for women, especially women of color. She encourages women to stay in school and become independent. Nicki Minaj was actually courageous enough to speak about the issue, in a very popular social website, of racism in the music industry knowing she will get backlash from the media as “the angry black woman” stereotype. Nicki Minaj has been in the rapping industry for years now and has the experience enough to know it’s a man’s game. Although, she has said before “I do not see myself as a female rapper anymore. I see myself as a rapper”. She is making a stance for women, especially women of color, in rap and media.

Nicki Minaj started her tweets by expressing how black women don’t get recognized in the media when she didn’t get nominated for her “Anaconda” music video but Taylor Swift got nominated even though Minaj’s video also broke records. She shows she is tired of the same injustice when she tweets “I’m not always confident. Just tired. Black women influence pop culture so much but are rarely rewarded for it”. Minaj is speaking up about how women of color, in this case black women, are robbed of the influences they provide in the media. She is not attacking Taylor Swift but attacking the media when she tweets “Huh? U must not be reading my tweets. Didn’t say a word about u. I love u just as much. But u speack on this”.Minaj knows the influence Swift has on the media and pop culture which is why she asks her to speak on the double standard issue. Nicki Minaj is a hip hop icon and knows the dark side of the media which makes her argument with Taylor Swift a great source for the double standard controversy.


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“Should Cops Wear Cameras?”

Griggs, Brandon. “Should Cops Wear Cameras?” CNN. Cable News Network, 2 January 2015. Web. 29 July 2015.

In Brandon Griggs’s Article, “Should Cops Wear Cameras,” Griggs discusses the controversy of whether police officer’s should wear body cameras while on duty. Throughout the article, Griggs refers to public authorities such as the Obama Administration, Deputy Assistant to the President Roy L. Austin Jr, the Department of Justice, and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio who all agree upon and argue that video cameras mounted on officer’s uniforms will provide accurate accounts with encounters and discourage misconduct by police officers themselves.

Griggs appears to be a very credible source to his intended audience of individuals who believe police officers should wear video cameras. Brandon Griggs is a senior producer with CNN Digital, specializing in coverage of pop culture and entertainment. Before coming to CNN Brandon spent 13 years as an award-winning reporter and columnist at the Salt Lake Tribune in Salt Lake City, Utah. Griggs provides a good amount of sources to present research such as a report fro the Department of Justice and a study conducted by the Rialto Police Department in California in 2013. Also, Griggs references recent information that is relevant to the argument, such as the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the death of Eric Garner surrounding New York police officers. As this article is published on CNN, it could be deemed credible due to CNN being a widely well known and respected 24 hour news network. Griggs uses this information to display his stance on the argument and to show his credibility as an editor.

In the article, Griggs argues in support of Roy L. Austin jr’s report by the Department of Justice, that police and civilians act in a more positive manner when aware that a video camera is present. Also, from a study conducted in 2013 by the Rialto, California police department Griggs in support argues that public complaints towards officers has plunges and the use of force by officers have declined since the use of video cameras. He states that the police departments that have experimented with officer-worn cameras, have show nearly results that have been encouraging (Griggs)

Through thorough research and an effective writing style, Griggs establishes his overall credibility with the audience of the article. He uses many research studies, as well as outside comments from public figures to support his extensive argument. Data received from one study conducted by the Rialto, California police department as  and also a report from the Department of Justice are used as mentioned. Another source used by Griggs involves the White House’s website to gain support for his argument and explains the ongoing public petition that already has more that 150,000 signature’s urging that all law enforcement agencies should be required to wear cameras (Griggs). Griggs states that, “early results have been encouraging” therefore before believing that body cameras are indeed working (Griggs). The incorporation of events that have taken place regarding incidents where the use of police body cameras come into play such as the Eric Garner case, Griggs provides statements from New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.”When something happens, to have a video record of it from the police officer’s perspective, it’s going to help in many, many ways,” de Blasio said (Griggs). Ending the article with such a statement by Blasio, Griggs seems to confess to the audience his stance on the issue as throughout the article he slowly reveals. Overall I think that Griggs speaks to an audience that shares his views very clearly in support of getting police officers to wear body video cameras. ending with another quote by Bilasio, Griggs hopes he captured and changed the viewpoint of many readers. “It’s going to improve the work of law enforcement. And God forbid, when something goes wrong, we’re going to have a clear understanding of what happened and whatever approaches we need to take as a result.”


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The All Knowing Obama

Chokshi Niraj,”Obama on marijuana legalization: ‘My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this’” January 22, 2015 July 30, 2015

On January 22, 2015, Three youtube stars got the chance of a life time to interview our president Barack Obama. The interview mainly revolved around marijuana and the policies that talk about the legalization of it. One of the three interviewers is Hank Green, a popular youtube star that has around 2.5 million subscribers. The other two youtube stars are Bethany Mota and Glozell Green, Glozell has around 3.8 million subscribers while Bethany has over a whopping 9.1 million subscribers. these youtube stars have a lot of popularity which means that a lot of people will be listening to what is being said in this interview.

The interview starts off with President Obama answering Hank Green’s question saying “What you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington through state referenda, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana.” The legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state are very much the guinea pig in this situation, other states want to find out what marijuana can bring to the table when it is legalized. The experiment right now is actually going very well with both Colorado and Washington state having a boost in their economy with the sales of marijuana. With the experiment going so well Obama could only predict “My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this.” Other states will start taking a look into the legalization of weed for the benefits they have happened to produce.

The author of this post then goes on to what else Obama has to say about  many different issues that were related to federal application of drug policy.  Chokshi then says about Obama “He said that he will continue to have his administration review treatment of nonviolent drug offenders, and said drug policy with regard to marijuana should be treated more as a public health issue than a criminal one. He also voiced concern with the racially unequal application of marijuana laws and noted bipartisan support on the issue.” Now that Obama is trying to do something about the countless number of inmates that are in prison for such a small non-violent crime of possession, prisons will be less over encumbered with the amount of prisoners. Which will save millions in tax payers money that could help the economy in other ways. Obama wants to decriminalize marijuana or at least change the law to where it won’t be seen as a criminal problem but more as a public health problem.

With the use of marijuana becoming more wide spread we as a country need to make changes for it, not only are we wasting our tax payer’s dollars we are also wasting peoples valuable time being in jail for this non-violent crime. Now that they have been in prison it puts a long lasting effect on them not just mentally but also financially, having a criminal record prevents them from taking out loans. This article has really broaden my view on marijuana and I believe that it can broaden my classmates view on the legalization of weed.


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Climate Change

“The Pope and Climate Change.” Editorial. The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 June 2015. Web. 30 July 2015. <>.

There a large number of people that doubt climate change. Before it used to be called global warming but because by the name alone people were extremely skeptical of it. Especially when they saw more severe storms, making it colder and wetter than what you would expect. Global warming gave off the idea that it is only getting hotter. While, it was getting hotter, people couldn’t see how, they could only see that next week they were in for a cold front or heavy snow.

One reason that people probably don’t believe in climate change is because of the way the media handles it. On news broadcasts you hear reports that the scientific community is divided on whether or not the climate really is changing. However, there really isn’t any sort of disagreement in the scientific community. All the evidence to support the idea that the average temperature around the globe is increasing is there.  In addition, the skeptics are also there despite the evidence.  Now hearing that the Pope has written on the subject of climate change and that he believes that it is real and happening is great. It is exactly the type of message we need to hear from an “authority” figure here on Earth. The source goes over a bit of what the Pope has said, how there are some people that don’t believe in climate change, and a bit of the politics around climate change.

On a different note, the source has shown that it is aware of the Pope’s encyclical and has know about it for a while. It has a few articles talking about it being made and further discusses the message that Pope Francis is putting out. The source avoids the use of inflammatory language. It appears to me that source is credible due to the fact that it references relevant and recent information. Now the source isn’t an authority on this subject but they do a great job of presenting the information without being biased. The website itself has a large number of readers. Due to this, they will strive to be respectable and hope that people believe in something similar to what they represent. The text is carefully written with citations to other sources of information that is relevant to the editorial.

The editorial begins pretty much the same way my summary does. People are divided on the subject of climate change. However, with the Pope releasing an encyclical there are hopefully people that will see how serious the matter of climate change is. The Pope discusses how our home Earth has been reduced to filth and rubbish. “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth-in many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.” (p. 3) The editorial then moves to how this document could not have come out at a better time when global powers are meeting in an attempt to arrange an effort to act on climate change. However, there are still changes to face from Congress and other countries that simply don’t want to act on the subject. The editorial closes with a statement that addresses how hopefully congressman and others will join the Pope in the his effort against climate change.


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Big Pharma and Marijuana

Topanga Knox

Lee Fang

Lee Fang.”The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal”. The Nation. Jul 02, 2014. Jul 29, 2015.

In Lee Fang’ s article, “The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal”, Fang discusses the connection to Big Pharma lobbyist and the anti-marijuana legalization movement.  Fang claims that pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Purdue Pharma use anti-drug coalitions, such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America, to advance their own profits. All throughout his article, Fang uses the knowledge of other credible sources like Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a psychiatrist who leads Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. Fang refers to Dr. Kolodny who is very skeptical of Big Pharma’s involvement in anti-marijuana lobbying believing that its hypocritical of drug companies to remain silent on hydrocodone products, “while investing energy in maintaining marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug” (qtd. by Fang). In his article Fang furthers and expands on Dr. Kolodny statements, using statistics and other sources to tie his argument together. He is a relevant source to this controversy because his research is in-depth and very hard-hitting against the partnerships between marijuana lobbyists and Big Pharma.

Fang is a very credible source regarding politics and investigative journalism. He was a reporting fellow of The Nation magazine, where he mainly covered the financial aspects of politics and lobbying in Congress. The Nation is one of the oldest publications in the U.S, starting in the 1860s as a platform for  abolitionist.  It is widely regarded as a forum for Leftist politics. Fang’s employment for The Nation, and his background in investigative journalism has primed him to be an extremely trustworthy and reliable source for controversial topics such as Big Pharma’s influence in pot legalization.  Fang is also the author of The Machine: A Field Guide to The Resurgent Right.  His article concerning pot lobbying isn’t full of angry statements and unfounded claims, but is very forthcoming with information that can easily be verified. Fang utilizes the words and actions of politicians, pharmaceutical companies and lobbying convoys to strengthen his arguments. All of his experience, thoroughness , and attention to detail showcases how credible Fang is in the arena where politics and industry meet.

According to Fang the relationship between marijuana lobbying and Big Pharma has overlapped in a way that is very counter-productive to the legalization movement. He points out that the CADCA, (Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America), which is one of the largest anti-drug organizations in the U.S. , is “curiously sponsored ” by Purdue Pharma the maker of Oxy-Contin, a highly addictive prescription pill as Fang points out. Fang highlights the issue with such an partnership between Purdue and CADCA, with the commentary of other critics stating,  ” CADCA takes a softer approach with prescription drug abuse and a hardline approach to marijuana”(Fang). In Fang’s mind this is completely biased and further escalates the real drug problem of prescription drug-abuse here in the United States. Fang uses statics from the the CDC, which hails painkillers like Oxy-Contin and Vicodin, as the main proponents of overdose’s in the U.S. today. He finds that more than 16000 American citizens die each year from opioid-based prescription drugs, and consume over 84% of the worlds supply of oxycodone. He makes a point to acknowledge that no one has ever died from marijuana use.  Instead of seeing prescription drugs as a potential problem and realizing the benefits of marijuana, Fang argues that special interest groups bottom line is “the biggest threat to marijuana legalization”(Fang). He claims that significant profits in pot prohibition, is what drives these interest groups to keep lobbying against legalization.

Fang’s research has made him savvy to the Big Pharma/lobbying game. Through his research he found that the Stop Oxy Abuse Act, which wouldv’e relabelled opioid drugs from moderately severe to severe, the two biggest anti-drug firms, CADCA and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, were decidely silent about it. Fang states that those coalitions haven’t endorsed any bills, “that would block the approval of new, stronger painkiller drugs”(Fang).  Moreover Fang noted how the CADCA rallied up its lobbiers to oppose an amendment that would protect legal marijuana growers from DEA raids, and that it passed “with bipartisan support”(Fang). Fang qoutes Erik Altieri, a spokesman for National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws saying that marijuana can provide a great alternative to chronic illnesses, but “pharmaceutial companies don’t want to see another vendor on the market”(qtd. by Fang). The inclusion of this quote stitches together what Fang already believes is a business oppportunity to big pharmaceutical companies.

In his article, Fang gives concise insight into how pot legalization has been sold down the river for more lucrative profits garnered by Big Pharma. He exposes the supposedly moral conduct of lobbying, which gives readers the inside track into what really happens. With his research Fang is able to convey his viewpoints strongly, and dispell the myth that political and industrial lines don’t cross.


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