Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Ethics of High School Students

The article linked below describes the results of a major study recently completed regarding lying and cheating by U.S. high school students. Almost 30,000 students from 100 high schools around the country participated in the study by completing surveys. Among other results, the researchers found that 30% of high school students have stolen from a store in the past year, and 64% have cheated on a test.

First, read the article:

Then, respond to one or more of the following questions:

Do you agree or disagree with the explanations provided for why some high school students cheat and/or steal? Explain your position.

Do you think these levels of dishonesty are cause for alarm in our society? Why or why not?

Do you think these levels of dishonesty are higher, lower, or about the same as at other times in our history? Explain your answer.

Terrorist Attacks in India

This past weekend, the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in India was attacked by terrorists who have yet to be identified. Over 160 people, including 6 Americans, were killed. The article I have linked below, entitled "What They Hate About Mumbai" is written by a man who grew up there. He offers an explanation for why the terrorists chose to attack Mumbai. Here's the link:

Questions to ponder:

What reasons does the author give for why terrorists chose to attack Mumbai?

The terrorist group al Qaeda has targeted the United States on a number of occasions. Are the reasons Mumbai was targeted similar to the reasons the U.S. has been a target? Explain your answer.

Do you agree with the author that the best response to these terrorist attacks is for people to keep going to Mumbai? Why or why not?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Global Economic Downturn Making the World a More Dangerous Place?

This is the perfect article for both World History and Government students. The author makes the argument that as the global economy gets worse, security risks for the United States become greater. Historically, this is always true. As economic conditions worsen for some groups, jobs become less available, and people have few means of supporting themselves and their families, people act out on their frustrations and fears, and violence is the result. Consider this pattern as you read the article:

Can you think of any other times in history when economic problems have resulted in more violence? Describe them in your answer.

In light of the perceived increased security threats to the U.S. and around the world, what should be the U.S. response to these circumstances?

The U.S. is currently experiencing our own economic downturn and running a national debt in excess of $10 trillion. Do we have the ability to beef up our security by devoting more money to intelligence and defense capability? Explain your answer.

Is Socialism Becoming as American as Apple Pie?

Time to start blogging again! Here's an article that should ruffle some feathers. Whether you're liberal or conservative, you have to admire the insight and skill with words of columnist George Will. He is well known for his conservative views, but conservatives, or at least Republicans, take a hit in this Washington Post article. Here's the link:

Questions to consider:

What evidence does George Will provide for socialist principles being practiced in the U.S.?

In your opinion, what is the appropriate role of government in the economy? Should we be bailing out companies at taxpayer expense? Why or why not?