Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sky-high gas prices: Good news or bad news?

SUMMER PROJECT/Current AP World History: If you have to fill a gas tank right now, you're probably not too happy about the high price of gasoline. But is there a silver lining? Read the article at


and consider the following questions:

What are some potential negative impacts that soaring gas prices have for individuals and societies? Are they long or short term?

What are some potential positive impacts that soaring gas prices have for individuals and societies? Are they long or short term?

What is the appropriate role for government in this situation, and why do you think so?

What is an inappropriate role for government in this situation, and why do you think so?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Free Speech or Terrorist Propaganda?

SUMMER PROJECT/Current AP World History: I'm thinking this might be a good topic for our debate day with Ms. Banks class. Read the article at the link below so you can post and/or be ready to participate in our class debate:


Questions to ponder:

Should Youtube remove the videos from al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations? Some of them? All of them? Why or why not?

And where is YOUR flag lapel pin???!!!

SUMMER PROJECT/Current AP World History: If you've been following recent presidential campaign coverage, you probably know that the media has been buzzing about whether or not it's important for Barack Obama to wear an American flag lapel pin, as so many political figures do. Read the commentary at the link below for one point of view on this topic:


Questions to ponder:

Do you agree or disagree with Mr. Martin's assessment of this issue? Why or why not?

Do you think American voters care about this topic as much as the media seems to? If not, why does the media continue to press the issue?

Does the news media respond to what the public cares about, or does the public respond to what the news media cares about? Why do you think so?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Is it time for Hillary to drop out NOW?

OK senior government students (AP World can join in too!), here's one more post for old times sake. After this past Tuesday's primaries in North Carolina and Indiana, there is increasing pressure within the Democratic party for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton to concede the party's nomination to Barack Obama.


Questions to ponder:

Should Clinton quit the race now in the best interest of the party? Why or why not?

Are you up for the Obama/Clinton ticket in November? Or should Hillary decline the Vice Presidential slot if asked, and take her chances in 2012?


Resisting Globalization

At the beginning of our study of the Contemporary Period, we noted that while western culture has spread around the globe, there are some areas of the world actively resisting what they perceive to be negative cultural influences from the West. This article on the hard line of the fundamentalist Islamic government in Iran against the iconic "Barbie" doll is an example.


Questions to ponder:

Why might the theocratic government in Iran react so negatively to "Barbie"? From their point of view, what image does "Barbie" project about values in the United States and other western societies?

Do you think they will succeed in keeping "Barbie" and other western cultural influences out of their society? Why or why not?