Thirteen Days&nbspFilm Analysis , Heart Disease In The United States Week 7 Lab Assignment&nbspLab , Canadian Criminal Justice System&nbspEssay , Fake News&nbspEssay , The Impact Of Covid-19 Related School Shutdown On Sleep In , Surveillance Capitalism&nbspEssay , Violent Offenders Released To The Community: An Evaluation Of The , American Imperialism And The Spanish American War&nbspEssay , Apple Inc Long Term Growth Under Tim Cook&nbspCase Study , Health Literacy And Opioid Use Among Urban Youths&nbspTerm Paper

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Thirteen Days Analysis

Kennedy Khrushchev and Detente in Thirteen Days

Part 1: Introduction to the Analysis

The film Thirteen Days looks at the Kennedy Administration’s response to the threat of a Soviet missile attack launched from Cuba. The year is 1962; the main players are Kennedy and his team of advisors, including his brother Robert Kennedy, his close confidante Kennth O’Donnell and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. Kennedy’s team is not only facing pressure from the Soviets (including Khrushchev, the Politburo, Soviet emissary Fomin, and Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin) but also from the Joint Chiefs, who represent the war hawks, eager to strike first and ask questions later. Kennedy’s problem is what to do: he states clearly that the US cannot allow Soviet missiles so close to its borders—but how to address the problem without making it worse is the question. Kennedy is reluctant to take any action that would lead to war, but to take no action is to risk being annihilated if the Soviets do indeed intend to launch an attack.

The action takes place primarily in Washington, with pivots to military scenes in Cuba, but the bulk of the film focuses on the work of O’Donnell, the Kennedy brothers, and various advisors. The situation from the outset is tense as unwanted information about the missile build-up in Cuba is delivered to the President and his team at a round table, where everyone—including the war hawks—is assembled to weigh in on the matter and present the President with some options and possible outcomes. The threat of the missiles is immediate as Gen. Taylor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, informs the President that in five minutes the Soviets could kill 80,000,000 Americans and destroy several bomber bases, making it difficult to launch an effective counterstrike. Everyone in the room looks unnerved by the information. Taylor, speaking for the Joint Chiefs, argues that the presence of missiles in Cuba indicates a major doctrinal shift in Soviet thinking. Anyone familiar with Kennan’s Long Telegram of 1946 knows that the policy-thinking of the Soviets was to sit back and allow the capitalist nations of the West to fall by attacking one another. The key tool of the Soviets, as identified by Kennan, was to use propaganda—military strikes were not seen as a threat. That is why in the film Taylor argues that the Soviets are evidently changing their policy with regard to the West by putting missiles in place in Cuba.

Kennedy has to decide what to do—but before he can do that he has to assess whether the threat is real. Just because the Joint Chiefs believe it is does not mean they are correct. The Bay of Pigs fiasco was still fresh in Kennedy’s mind and he was acutely aware of the hawkishness of the Joint Chiefs and their desire to implement a policy of containment. Kennedy was seen by them as soft on Communism—meaning he wanted to avoid using military intervention to contain the Soviet Union or to confront it directly and risk WWIII. The fact that the film ends with Kennedy’s American University speech indicates that his main goal was to promote peace rather than war.

However, in the opening scenes of the film, war is suddenly a very real possibility because it could be forced upon the US—if the Joint Chiefs are right and the Soviets do intend to launch a strike. Where Kennedy and the Joint Chiefs agree is on the matter of the risk that the missiles pose in Cuba. Where there is a lack of agreement is on the extent to which the threat of an attack is imminent. The Joint Chiefs appear indifferent to whether it is imminent or not—the very possibility of a threat makes it so in their minds. Kennedy is conscious, however, of the possibility that the Soviets are playing a political game and that the apparent threat may only be a bluff. Kennedy wants more information before he makes a decision.

Part 2: Analysis of Team Dimensions

Kennedy’s advisors assemble to discuss the matter more fully. Two immediate options are on the table: blockade or air strike. McNamara suggests a blockade to prevent the numerous other ships en route to Cuba from the Soviet Union from potentially delivering new weapons, and it would also allow time for the states to give their support and provide the government with a sense of legitimacy. However, CIA Director McCone informs Kennedy of the risk of conducting a blockade or “quarantine” as they call it to prevent further build-up of missiles. McCone argues that a blockade causes the US to lose the strategy of surprise and does nothing to prevent a Soviet first-strike. The first goal of Kennedy is to determine which option to choose and Kennedy has his speech writer come up with a speech justifying both options.

Kennedy now turns to his core team and describes the information he has that is informing his own perspective. His…to the President is what ends up saving the day for his vision. Ken supports the President by warning him of what the Chiefs are up to in terms of using the reconnaissance mission as a way to drive fire from Cuba and thus justify an attack in response. Ken also plays a part in warning the pilots not to report fire so as to reduce the risk of provocation being reported. Robert, meanwhile, is given the final authority by the President to negotiate on his behalf for terms of peace—even though Robert senses that the Chiefs might be right in their demand for a first strike. Robert sets aside his own personal beliefs to act on the President’s behalf to bring about the solution the President wants. Robert does this well in his meeting with the Ambassador. He sees that his refusal to agree to Soviet demands will cause the negotiation to end in failure, and he knows the President wants a successful negotiation—so he backtracks carefully and presents an alternative solution that both sides can agree upon and that will allow the US to save face even as it gives in to Soviet demands regarding missiles in Turkey. It is a creative solution that Robert devises that nonetheless allows him to remain true to the mission given him by his brother.

The only recommendations I would make for the group would be that more accommodations for dealing with stress be provided. This may not always be possible especially in an inherently stressful situation—but it is important to remember that in any trying situation there is going to be stress and team members have to have a way to deal with stress in a healthy manner. Some of the group turn to alcohol or deny themselves rest, and as anxiety mounts it is missteps towards dealing with stress in unhealthy ways that can lead to poor decision making as the group comes down under the wire. The hiccups along the way could be attributed to improper handling of stress from the outset. The tension is palpable from the beginning, but instead of proceeding by taking some de-stressing steps the group barrels on. If some de-stressing had been conducted at the outset, it might have enabled the group to avoid having to risk (and lose) the life of the reconnaissance pilot, who was sent into harm’s way mainly to forestall the Chiefs. De-stressing might also have given the group the calm and conviction the President required to…

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Introduction

Heart disease has been an enormous challenge in the United States. The most common heart disease in the nation is Coronary Heart disease (CHD). There are various heart diseases apart from CHD. Heart disease approximately causes 1 in 4 deaths in the US. This number happens to be rather high, hence the need for an intervention. Experts have blamed Americans' lifestyle and ignorance on the sharp rise of heart disease deaths. Although heart disease can affect anyone at any age, some experts argue that it affects the aged severely – in comparison to the other age brackets.

In this assignment, the relationship between heart diseases and various other variables is going to be expounded. The first section of this assignment will expound on the background of heart diseases in the United States. Several studies will be explored in this assignment. After the background formulations of the hypothesis based on the literature review, the analysis will be based on the heart disease data. The SPSS software will be used to perform the statistical test, and the results will also be discussed. Finally, a conclusion will be made based on the study's output.

Background

Heart disease affects both the male gender and the female gender. This implies that both genders have an equal risk of being diagnosed with related heart disease (AHA 2019 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – American College of Cardiology, 2019). The percentage of males succumbing to illness resulting from heart disease is approximately 25%, whereas the approximate rate of women who succumbed to heart-related disease is 22% (CDC, 2020). The difference in the percentage is notable, but not significant.

Even though the gender male and female death rates are almost the same, heart disease symptoms among the two genders are different (AHA 2019 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – American College of Cardiology, 2019). Health practitioners tend to misdiagnose women as their heart disease symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. To a large extent, the commonly ignored symptoms amongst women are inclusive of cold sweats, chest discomfort, and nausea. This could explain the notable (but not significant) higher percentage of women succumbing to heart-disease-related issues, in comparison to that of men.

In as far as race and ethnicity are concerned, it would be prudent to note that as Virani et al. (2020) point out, “in the United States, certain racial and ethnic groups face a higher risk of dying from heart disease than others” (p. 27). As the authors further point out, according to data from the American Heart Association, blacks tend to have a higher risk of heart disease than other groups (Virani et al., 2020). They are closely followed (at second place) by non-Hispanic whites. It would, however, be important to note that those with the least risk of heart disease are Hispanics.

Even though heart disease is the most common cause of death in the country today, this was not the case several decades ago – i.e. in the '90s. The sudden increase in heart disease has been attributed to Americans' lifestyles. There are several risk factors that have been identified for heart disease. The said risk factors are inclusive of, but they are not limited to; obesity, physical inactivity, poorly controlled diabetes, smoking, etc. It is also important to note that autopsy reports have indicated that a rise in atherosclerosis leads to increased heart disease deaths (Virani et al., 2020). Increased intake of junk food by Americans and the buildup of too much bad cholesterol from the said dietary sources is a leading factor in as far as increased incidence of this particular disease is concerned. Education also happens to be a factor in as far as susceptibility to heart disease is concerned. Citizens who lack basic education are more susceptible to heart-related diseases owing to the fact that they have limited knowledge and access to information related to healthy living.

To a large extent, “government investment has facilitated…percentage of the Hispanic ethnicity and the Asian ethnicity was 17% and 12%, respectively. The results above show that the most dominant races were the whites and the black races. The number of bedrooms that the houses the respondents live in have was recorded. The descriptive statistics showed that 53% of the data set have 3-bedroom houses. The percentage of respondents with a two bedroomed house was 8%. 30% of the household lived in a four bedroomed house. The dataset that lives in a five-bedroomed and a six-bedroomed house is 8% and 1% respectively.

The cross-tabulation of race by the history of heart disease was conducted. Based on the output, 9 of the 28 blacks have no heart disease record, whereas 19 of 28 respondents have a heart disease history. The number of Hispanic races that have no history of heart disease is 6; of the 17 Hispanians. 11 of the 17 Hispanians have a history of heart disease. The number of whites of the 43 that do not account for heart disease is 22 and 21, respectively. Finally, the number of Asians with no history of heart disease is 5 of 12 respondents, whereas 7 of 12 respondents have a heart disease history. Table 1 below shows the summary of the cross-tabulation.

Conclusion

Based on the data analysis above, we can conclude that the most dominant race in the western government township is the white and the black race. This is evident since the descriptive statistics of the white race comprised 43% of white and 28% of blacks. The above results agree with the literature review findings. The results also concluded that most people in the western government township have a history of heart disease. The results showed that 58% of the respondents have a heart disease history, while 42 % do not account for heart-related conditions. The results are alarming – effectively meaning that more drastic measures ought to be taken to reign in the situation.

The data analysis…

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Introduction

One of the crucial criminal-law appeals is R v. Le, which brings up questions about the kind of privacy interests protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ Section 8. This section protects against the police’s ability to search an individual or property without a warrant. How we, as civilians, interpret our relationships with the police is greatly subjective. Understanding police relations is caused by factors such as those close to us, past experiences, gender, economic and social class, race, and age. Where there is an arbitrary detention problem under section 9 of the Canadian Charter, these subjective encounters are interpreted by a court for determining whether there was detention or not. The Canadian court case decision R v Le 2019 SCC 34 was important in understanding the police’s relationships, which are context-informed, and modify the objective assessment of the Charter’s section 9 arbitrary detention.

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Tom Le, the appellant, was socializing with his friends in a townhouse’s backyard rented by one of his friends’ mother. The townhouse was situated in an area facing high-level violent crimes. That same evening, the police were out searching for two suspects (Steph, 2019). A security guard directed the police officer to the townhouse area regarding the two suspects on the run. Without a search warrant, the police officers went into the townhouse’s backyard through a fence’s opening and began asking Tom Le and his company questions. When the police officers asked Tom what he had in his bag, he bolted. A brief foot chase ensued between the police and Tom; he was then arrested. The officers search his bag and found thirteen grams of cocaine and a loaded gun.

When brought to trial, Tom argued that the officers violated his rights to be free from unreasonable search. Therefore, the found drug evidence and firearm should be excluded (Steph, 2019). The majority of the appeal court judges and the trial judge disagreed by stating that Tom’s claim to privacy was weak as a mere transient visitor in his friend’s home. Justice Lauwers, the appeal court judge, viewed things differently. He mentioned that invited presence alone is enough to bring a reasonable privacy expectation. It made no sense to give Tom’s friend, who lived in the townhouse, full protection of rights while denying Le.

Le is a critical case because it will elaborate the extent to which the Canadian Charter protects against police intrusion on the property where citizens expect the right to privacy. This is even if they lack exclusive ownership or control over the property (Steph, 2019). A decision in Tom’s favor would offer visitors in a house a measure of protection against warrantless searches. This could also indicate strengthened protections against warrantless searches for individuals staying in social, subsidized, and communal housing. The case brings out critical questions about how Charter protection can be ensured for the marginalized and racialized populations. Justice Lauwers says that he doubts that the officers would have entered a private backyard and…by the police officers. This follows behavioral psychology, stating that variations in experiences, education, socioeconomic status, and gender influence one’s response. The organizational theory states that law enforcement’s organizational structure causes police brutality. The police using excessive force is perceived as a response to disrespecting their authority. In Punishing the Racebook, Michael Tonry of the University of Michigan states that White people excuse police brutality because of the prejudice towards Blacks and other people of color (Singer et al., 2019). Disparate sentencing and media representation of Blacks brings out the idea that Blacks are inherently more lawbreakers. Studies show that Black males with darker skin tones, full lips, and big noses get longer sentences than light-skinned Eurocentric-featured counterparts.

Conclusion

The case of R v. Le indicates how small variations in how judges radically appreciate the case produce different effects for those involved. Most people took another approach to the issues than the majority at the court and the trial judge. Most individuals used social science evidence to support their holding that this link between Tome Le and the police was one with arbitrary detention when the officers trespassed into the backyard. In dissent, Justice Moldaver took the approach that the trial judge’s factual findings should not be disturbed and that the Canadian Charter’s breach was not severe. The citizens and police should understand the content of section 9 rights. When the analysis is accurate and is dependent on the facts, the jurisprudence can cause a confusing outcome that makes…

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Introduction

What makes “fake news” fake news?  Why do some accept it as fact while others denounce it as fiction?  Is it all a matter of perspective?  That may be the case, but these questions are not really addressed by David Nemer in his Guardian article in which he identifies three types of Bolsonaro WhatsApp users.  For Nemer, the question is:  how is social media being used to help support this guy and what is going to happen when he takes over?  This paper will provide a synthesis of the ideas discussed in Nemer’s article, assess them in terms of contributions and limitations of the author’s main point and concepts, and provide questions at the end to help facilitate class discussion.

Synthesis

There is one main argument in Nemer’s text and three crucial concepts.  The main argument is that just as social media was used to get Trump elected in the US, social media is being used to get Bolsonaro elected in Brazil.  The three concepts he focuses on are:  1) the concept of the ordinary Brazilian, 2) the concept of the Bolsominion, and the concept of the influencer.  The ordinary Brazilian is defined as “men and women from all social classes who use the groups to share the life experiences they invoke to justify voting for Bolsonaro” (p. 1).  They are not looking for debate, however;…who use it.  Instead of seeing them as people who are thoughtful and capable of making up their own minds, he sees them as manipulated by fake news.  There appears to be some bias in his reporting for this reason.

Questions

Why is that when anyone opposed to liberal, progressive doctrines gains traction, that person is labeled as far-right?  Isn’t it sufficient to just call the person as being on the Right?  Is the term “far” attached so as to make the person seem more extremist and therefore more of a threat to public safety?  Can’t one see that it is exactly this type of framing that makes people on the Right so ready…

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Article Critique: The Impact of Covid-19 Related School Shutdown on Sleep in Adolescents- A Natural Experiment

Article Summary

The study is experimental since the study itself mentions it was a natural experiment. In the experimental studies, an intervention is introduced, which could be the schools’ sudden shutdown with the advent of Covid-19. This sudden influence was studied with the qualitative study method, which was semi-structured interviews with 45 adolescents. The independent variable was the unanticipated school shut down due to Covid-19, and the dependent variable was the sleep behaviors of the developing adolescents. There was no manipulation done with the independent variable, which is the sudden outbreak of the pandemic. It was an abrupt incident that took place; it did not need any changes. Only the impacts of this sudden change were to be studied. The operationalization of the dependent variable, sleep behaviors, was done in the form of changes in the sleep schedule, sleep quality due to later sleeping hours, lesser daytime sleepiness due to not having to wake up forcefully, and improved daytime performance.

The terms dependent and independent are operationally defined since their measurement is to be done by particular computation methods of the selected study design. No evident changes were made on the independent variable since Covid itself was a change that imposed some drastic alterations on our society’s normal routines. For instance, it was the adolescents’ routine to wake up early morning before Covid compared to their normal waking times on the off days. Now that the schools’ abrupt closing down forced the schools to shift their online methods, the classes’ timings were late and allowed the adolescent to wake up late in the morning. However, they slept late at night as well but woke up late as well. This brought a change of two hours sleep pattern. Hence, the Covid itself is the independent variable that needs no amendments or variations. Still, it is the sole reason why changes were brought in the mechanisms of our society, especially the school-going children. The dependent variable was operationalized openly since it was clearly stated what is meant by ‘sleep behaviors. It is defined by the level of daytime sleepiness that was more than now when the children sleep two hours later than their normal sleep time and woke up late. It is inferred that they woke up at their usual time and did not have to be woken up forcefully; hence, their sleep duration was accurate. They felt fresh and completed their online school tasks, such as participating in the arts or physical education classes.

The qualitative research study design was adopted for this particular research since the natural experiment was aimed. The adolescents were asked questions about how pandemic suddenly impacted their daily school routine lives. It had to be measured how disrupted school routines impacted their sleep behaviors and how it affected their physical performances throughout the day and their online classes. Thus, a semi-structured interview approach was used with the use of interviews that were being conducted over the phone. Forty-five adolescents were chosen, out of which 32 were girls, the mean age was 13.5 years, 96% Caucasians, 2% Asians, and 2% were multiethnic (Gruber et al., 2020). There is no clear mention that whether the respondents were selected randomly or by any other method. It is not citing that they were selected from a nearby school, neighborhood or training center, etc. The trained research assistants were assigned to conduct this study, and the process was carried out from April 28 to June 3, 2020. The criteria based on…results. It seems as if the researchers have used manually coded analysis methods for concluding the results, which seem to lack many of the apt methods for analysis. If statistical analyses were used, it would have brought strength to the results’ validity and reliability. Moreover, if the sample was taken with suitable means and was the true demonstrative of the sample, the results could have differed.

Brief Summary of the Article

With the onset of Covid-19, the schools had to shut down their physical schooling practice and switched to the online method. The article aims to study the schools’ sudden closure on adolescent students’ sleep behaviors. A qualitative study was designed in which semi-structured interviews on a one-on-one basis were conducted with 45 adolescents from April 28 to June 3, 2020. Since it was a natural experiment, the results showed a two-hour delay in the students’ sleep time, and they woke up late as well. It was not done forcefully, and it increased their sleep duration, which directly affected their daytime sleepiness. Their daytime drowsiness was reduced, and they felt active in their online school tasks.

It is proposed that if post-Covid school times are delayed so that students follow their natural sleep times, it would positively affect their physical performance and improve their sleep health. They would feel less sluggish and would be more active in their school tasks, contributing to their better efficiency in the class. It is also stated that the results were consistent with the previous studies that showed students waking up naturally had better health and less sluggishness during the day. It is even recommended that if school time for young ones remains the same and for older youth are changed to later hours, then the school density would be reduced, and the…

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In Part II of her book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Zuboff (2019) lays out how the advance of surveillance capitalism has unfolded and where it is headed.  In chapters 7 and 8, she makes two very important points—one practical and the other ideological—that necessarily serve as the framework for the advance of surveillance capitalism.  The practical point is this:  the world has become so immersed in the Internet that it will seem as though the Internet has disappeared, to paraphrase the words of Eric Schmidt at Davos; but of course it is only disappearing in the same sense that water disappears to fish who swim in it.  The reality is that everyone will have so thoroughly immersed themselves in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) that they will no longer realize just how dependent upon the Internet and by extension surveillance capitalism they truly are.  It will be just like breathing air to them:  organic, natural, unforced, as though this was simply the way things are and have always been—integrated, connected, everything seen and controlled by an invisible force that links and unites one and all.  That is the practical point.  The ideological point is this:  it requires what Zuboff (2019) terms the “sur-render” of the people to the idea that their behavioral data is itself a commodity that they must willingly give up in exchange for the services that the IoT provides.  One common modern maxim is, “If you don’t know what the product is, you’re the product.”  In the age of surveillance capitalism that is inherently true.  Marx contends that a commodity is a thing that is external to us.  But in the age of surveillance capitalism, we ourselves become the commodity and it is our behavioral data, as Zuboff (2019) explains that is for sale.  Yet, because we become the commodity, we also become the thing of value—just as a slave was a thing of value to the owner; the slave’s humanity was utterly dismissed.  The slave was merely an object; the chains of the slave made it a captive.  Today, it is the chains of IoT that make the modern consumer captive to the surveillance capitalists.  Marx also states that commodities cannot go to market and exchange themselves—yet that is exactly what people do in the age of surveillance capitalism.  Since they themselves are the commodities, they exchange themselves for IoT services and do so willingly.  In short, IoT in the age of surveillance capitalism has stood Marx’s view of capitalism on its head.

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Surrender of the Will

Marx contends that commodities are things that have no power of their own to resist men who would control them.  Ironically, this thought aligns with what Zuboff (2019) states with regard to the surrender of the individual consumer to surveillance capitalism.  In surrendering of the consumer to the IoT providers, the behavioral data of the person is exchanged and the Internet disappears, as Schmidt states:  the person is given over completely to the Internet.  It is everywhere:  in one’s pocket, in one’s home, in one’s workplace—all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent, and all-capable—a technological divinity that sustains and keeps one in existence.  One surrenders to it.  The only difference between what Marx says about the exchange and what Zuboff says about the exchange is that Marx believes the commodity has no will or power of its own.  Zuboff observes that the consumer does have a will and a power of his own, but that he gives up both by entering into the exchange with the IoT providers.

Who then are the owners in the exchange?  In one dystopian way, the machine-driven learning algorithms are the owners of the behavioral data that the consumer gives up.  Zuboff makes that point in her TED Talk, but it is also there in her book:  the machines that provide connectivity become owners in the sense that they learn to predict the behaviors of the consumer and thus they anticipate the needs and desires of the consumer.  That ability to anticipate plays into the hands of digital marketers, and to the degree that cultivation theory applies in this age of digital mass media the outcome is that the purveyors of the IoT not only predict but also program the behavior of the consumer.  It is like luring a fish with a baited hook:  the initial service is the bait; the IoT is the hook, and once hooked the fish is no longer free; its power and will have been exchanged for the morsel of bait.  Once a freely swimming fish in a pool of water (that it did not see, just as today’s IoT user does not “see” the Internet), the fish is now the commodity to be bought and sold on the open market.  The consumer of today is no different.  When Marx was making his assertions about commodities and exchange, he was referring to things and did not anticipate that people would become the things themselves.  Zuboff shows that they are the things today.

Marx’s short-sightedness perhaps was due to his focus on the labor embodied in commodities, i.e., the cost of a commodity stemming from the amount of labor placed into its development for the market.  But as Zuboff shows, such short-sightedness was not unique to Marx.  Even the Aware Home project envisioned the consumer as one who knows and decides—an end in himself rather than the means to an end.  Surveillance capitalism has inverted that:  the consumer is now the means to an end or the consumer is the commodity once he has surrendered himself to the Internet—the water in which the purveyors of IoT fish with baited hooks.

Consumer as Commodity

Marx notes that a commodity does appear as a slight, trivial thing that is easily understood.  This indeed is the case as the consumer becomes a commodity, thanks to the advances made by machine learning.  Algorithms can now detect patterns in behavior quickly and efficiently to the extent that the routines and habits of human behavior are known and understood more perfectly…and in this manner they submit to surveillance capitalism without another thought.  They ignorantly indulge the surveillance capitalists, surrendering their behavioral data without thinking about what it actually means to surrender this information.  They have no more will or power to resist it because they gladly immerse themselves in the IoT.  If they were in the film The Matrix, they would gladly take the blue pill so as to remain in their virtual world where their every desired is catered to them and fulfilled by surveillance capitalists all too eager to prey upon their desires, habits and behaviors.

In light of Marx’s commodity-exchange theory, when a commodity and more particularly a fictitious commodity like knowledge, is processed into something of value so that consumers are given utility products, the exchange is unavoidable. The information and knowledge should be shared with the users to ensure that their privacy is not at stake; after all, they are the ones from whom the surveillance capitalists are generating profits by using their information from certain platforms. Their clicks, likes, and downloads give companies like Apple a plethora of data from where they know what their consumers want. The factor of ‘use-value’ therefore exists even in the fictitious commodity case, such as knowledge. 

There are also certain limitations to Zuboff’s surveillance capitalism, one might argue. For instance, copyrights and restrictions on digital platforms did not easily access the customers’ data. Even the social media forums also have restrictions that display their ethical code of law, limiting them to share information with other third parties; otherwise, they could be held responsible. A recent example of such a case was when Mark Zuckerberg was held in court to share Facebook users’ information illegally. However, what happened with this case?  Nothing.  Advertisers did not abandon Facebook.  Facebook’s stock price has only risen since its 2018 scandal.  Users are still using Facebook by the millions.  In short, no one really cared.  People know what is happening to them—and it does not matter.  Their will and power are of little concern to them so long as the IoT satiates their every desire—and it more or less does.  They want to remain in the Matrix for as long as they live because it is nice, safe and comfortable there.  Privacy is not a concern to them.  Indeed, social media has already destroyed in their minds the line between public and private.  They see themselves as commodities and gladly embrace that role every time they seek to “brand” themselves or be “branded” by the purveyors of surveillance capitalism

Conclusion

Zuboff and Marx align in their examinations of commodities and exchange; the reality of the 21st century is, however, that the human being is now the commodity.  The individual hands over will and power to Big Tech because the promises of IoT are all too appealing for him to see this as an exchange by which he loses anything of value or significance.  To him, there is not much difference between slavery and freedom.…

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Reducing Recidivism Using an Evidence Based Approach

Introduction

One of the ironies of the United States, the “Land of the Free,” is that this country incarcerates more of its citizens per capita than any other country on earth today. While substantive changes are currently envisioned for reforming the nation’s criminal justice system, the harsh reality facing many lawbreakers has been the potential for lengthy prison sentences –even for some nonviolent offenses. Further exacerbating the problem are the numerous challenges that offenders face when they are released from incarceration into the community. Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that the recidivism rate for ex-offenders remains disturbingly high. Indeed, nearly 44% of all incarcerated prisons reoffend during their first year and more than two-thirds reoffend within 3 years following their release despite increasingly aggressive efforts by public and private sector organizations to help these individuals make the transition to society successfully. One initiative that has shown promise in helping to reduce the alarming recidivism rate in the United States is the Boston Reentry Initiative or BRI (Braga, Piehl & Hureau, 2009). This intervention provides a collaborative framework in which law enforcement agencies, social services agencies and faith-based organizations can pool their resources to directly address the obstacles facing newly released offenders in order to reduce their potential for reoffending and returning to prison. The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of the research and an overview of the Boston Police Department and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department’s BRI, followed by a critique of the initiative and a conclusion that presents key findings about this timely effort to reduce recidivism rates in a major American city.

Summary

During the period between 1980 and 2001, the numbers of offenders that were released back into their communities maintained pace with the staggering 240% increase in incarceration rates that took place during this period in the nation’s history. This percentage translates into approximately 630,000 offenders that were released from U.S. prisons and jails, and this figure represents a whopping four-fold increase in the number of released offenders compared to 1981 (Braga et al., 2009). As noted above, a majority of these prisoners will reoffend within 1 to 3 years, and part of the problem can be traced to the woeful condition of the nation’s prisons and jails. Not only are many of these criminal justice facilities already dangerously overcrowded, they lack any meaningful opportunities for prisoners to learn the skills they will need to successfully make the transition to back in society (Braga et al., 2009). In fact, according to the study by Braga and his associates, “Regrettably, the American correctional system does little to prepare these inmates for life after release [and] many inmates do not participate in work assignments while incarcerated” (2009, p. 412).

In response to these trends, the Boston Police Department (BDI) in collaboration with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD) developed and implemented the above-mentioned BRI which is specifically focused on reducing recidivism rates by providing newly released prisoners with the skills they will need to legally survive on their own and become contributing members of American society. Although the initiative is comparatively modest in the actual numbers of offenders that can be helped at a given point in time, the BRI does attempt to make a significant difference in the lives of the 15 to 20 newly released…other spurious reasons that are difficult or impossible to refute. More problematic still, perhaps, none of the subjective or objective participation criteria for the BRI appear to take into account any mental health disorders that offenders may be experiencing which can derail any recidivism intervention (Interventions for adult offenders with serious mental illness, 2013), meaning that the time and taxpayer resources that are invested in these offenders were simply a waste. Although it is unreasonable to suggest that the intelligence team that is tasked with selecting offenders for participation in the BRI attempt to perform mental evaluations in addition to their other responsibilities, it just makes good sense to have these evaluations performed by qualified mental health clinicians as part of the selection process. This does not mean, however, that offenders with mental disorders should be prohibited from participating in the BRI, but it does mean that the intelligence team is overlooking an important part of the calculus by failing to take these issues into account.

Conclusion

The research showed that the need is great and the stakes are high. While it is possible to quantify the economic costs of property crimes, it is impossible to calculate the human toll that is exacted on individuals and their communities by violent crime. Indeed, violent crimes not only harm the direct victims, they also adversely affect the entire American society. Moreover, given the prohibitively expensive costs of apprehending, prosecuting and incarcerating offenders, every dollar that is invested prudently in reducing the potential for released criminals to reoffend represents a good investment of scarce taxpayer resources. In the final analysis, it is reasonable to conclude that evidence-based interventions such as the Boston Reentry Initiative provide multiple…

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What were the primary motivations and factors that led to the U.S. shift from isolationism and continental expansion to imperialism by the late 19th and early 20th centuries?

Introduction

America’s so-called “shift” from isolationism and continental expansion to imperialism by the late 19th and early 20th centuries was really nothing more than a natural evolution of America’s “Manifest Destiny.” Before the US could enter its imperial phase beginning with the Spanish-American War at the turn of the century, it had first to square accounts on the continent by pushing its borders as far as they could be pushed. Once the West had been thoroughly settled and the Union held together (the major conflict of the 19th century), the US could turn its attention to foreign lands and global plans to facilitate the spread of the American Empire. It would have been impossible for the US to achieve imperial objectives any earlier, for up to the end of the 19th century, it had its hands full defining itself at home, securing the land from other groups, tribes, and nations; and staving off collapse at the hands of internal opposition. The victory of the Union over the Confederates settled the matter once and for all regarding who controlled the destiny of the US: it would be the central government—not the individual states. Even though Hamilton had argued in the Federalist Papers that a central government would be needed to prevent the individual states from becoming entangled in foreign wars, the opposite was the real truth: the central government would now have free rein to entangle the whole US in foreign wars and it would do so for the whole of the 20th century without looking back. The only dilemma would be how to convince an American public that entanglement in foreign wars was really in their best interest.

The Social Aspect

The yellow journalism used to justify the Spanish-American War was not the first case of the government using the press as its own public relations department. But it did start a trend that grew to what the press has become today: PR for the Pentagon, but masked under a cloak of humanitarianism. The cry of “Remember the Maine!” was how the muckrakers motivated the average American to back the war against Spain for possession of colonial land in the Philippines. Other Americans, notably those of the women’s movement as well as literary figures like Mark Twain, deplored the imperial plans of America’s federal government. When World War I began, Woodrow Wilson ran on the platform promise of keeping America out of the war—but he soon betrayed that promise when the Lusitania sank. He still needed to curry favor with the public and he did so by convincing Carrie Chapman and the Women’s Movement to sell out their anti-war principles in exchange for the right to vote. With the women now supporting the war effort, America’s transition into imperial nation became smoother (Peck 1944, 43).

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Before all that, the concept of Manifest Destiny had paved the way for the notion of American exceptionalism. O’Sullivan (1845) coined the phrase, arguing that it was American’s manifest destiny to take control of the…world is a business,” states Arthur Jensen in Network—and that was certainly true in the 20th century. World War I was all about business: prying apart the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East, thwarting Germany’s ascension on the Continent, giving Israel the promise of a homeland in exchange for backroom financing.

Conclusion

The primary motive of America’s shift from isolationism to imperialism was business, plain and simple. America had really only been isolationist for a time anyway—time enough for it to take over the land to the West and prevent a secession. The Industrial Revolution altered the market substantially and created an environment in which there was a need for nations to rush to secure their footing around the world as the world would now be vying for natural resources. Smith’s Wealth of Nations would turn into a zero-sum game, in which instead of all nations sharing the wealth it would be one nation controlling the board and dictating terms to the weaker nations. America shifted to imperialism in order to corner the market and assert its control of the board. The Spanish-American War was the first move. World War I was the second move. World War II would be checkmate. By 1945, the US would be calling the shots and only the Soviet Union would come between it and hegemony the world over. In the end, it was always America’s Manifest Destiny to rule the world because from the beginning it was the idea of the Founders that they were God’s Chosen and that God had given to them the special and unique opportunity to…

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Apple, Inc.: The Company’s Long-Term Growth Under Tim Cook

Steve Jobs, the iconic founder of Apple Inc., is largely associated with the company’s meteoric rise from 1996 – 2011. Jobs was a visionary and creative leader and started the company off on a trend to long-term success. Upon his death, Tim Cook took over as the CEO of Apple. This text largely concerns itself with how Cook has addressed the company’s long-term growth. Further, it also looks into how successful the said growth has been.

To begin with, as has been pointed out in the Case Study, Cook has managed to shepherd Apple Inc. into becoming the very first company with a capitalization of $800 billion. At the time of Job’s death, the company was worth $350 billion. This effectively means that under Tim’s watch, the company has more than doubled in value. It is, however, important to note that for the company to fully secure its place in the future marketplace, it has to ease its overreliance on the iconic iPhone’ sales. Indeed, as has been indicated in the Case Study, the multinational has, to a large extent, released existing product derivatives – effectively cementing the company’s dependence on the iPhone which accounts for approximately 70 percent of its revenues. This means that there is an intricate link between the iPhone and the company’s fate. New product lines would insulate the company’s revenues against occasional shocks (as a consequence of increased competition in this space). It would also be prudent to note that such a course of action ought not to be necessarily inclined towards the release of products that complement the iPhone, i.e. the Apple watch. This is more so the case given that as has been pointed out in the Case Study, the company’s efforts on this front have not borne much fruit. Considerations in this case could be inclusive of augmented reality glasses, etc.

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Abstract

Opioid abuse is a problem in the US, particularly among the youth population. This is a health risk behavior that has arisen in the US for quite some time, largely due to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry’s push of drugs like Oxycontin onto the market (Coplan et al., 2016). The US Department of Health and Human Services (2020) reports that 0.7 percent of young people aged 12 years and up have reported an opioid use disorder, such as heroin or prescription pain reliever, in the past 12 months. One of the objectives of Healthy People 2030 is to “reduce the proportion of people who had opioid use disorder in the past year” (Healthy People 2030, 2021). This paper discusses the program that can be initiated to address this issue. It identifies the target group, the key stakeholders, the plan of action, and the barriers to be overcome.

Introduction

Health promotion is needed to prevent further abuse and to reduce the current numbers. For instance, in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf “voiced his support for House Bill 1190, which proposes a school-based substance abuse prevention and intervention program for all students in grade kindergarten through 12” (Govenor.PA, 2017). Minority youths are particularly at risk because of the prevalence of opioids in the urban areas, cities like Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Educating adolescents about the dangers of these drugs is one intervention program that can be conducted. Another is to use social media to help increase health literacy about opioid use and promote an abstinence program in which teens pledge that they will not use opioids. It can be a place where people share stories and provide support to one another. Because social media is the most popular media space among teens today, it makes sense to use it as an intervention to increase health literacy (Doster, 2013; Roberts, Callahan & O’Leary, 2017).

Target Group

The target group is urban youths ages 12 and up who are susceptible to opioid use because of their environment. This is a vulnerable population that is at-risk for developing an opioid use disorder considering the availability of these drugs on the streets and the culture of drug use that has become more and more prevalent among the young. As Healthy People 2030 points out the baseline for this population is 0.7 percent of the 12 and up population is a user of opioids. The goal is to get that range down to 0.5 percent.

The determinants of health relevant to the target group are environmental factors, economic factors and cultural factors. Environmentally, many of these teens who live in urban areas are surrounded by opportunities to engage in drug usage; they are also consumers of media in which drug use is promoted heavily, particularly in music and hip hop videos, films, and streaming shows. There is an aggressive promotion of drug culture most media, so a counter-culture of abstinence from opioids needs to be promoted in its place.

Economically speaking, many of these youths come from families or communities that are impoverished or near the poverty line. But that is not the case for all. Many users also come from suburban homes and even affluent homes. So this is not an issue that is divided between rich and poor people. On the contrary, it is an issue that spans all classes.

Culturally speaking, the main drivers as factors are peers, groups and media (Bandura, 2018). The culture of drug use is promoted heavily in media, which targets adolescents and older teens. These teens are further pressured by peers to engage in opioid use (McCoy, Dimler, Samuels & Natsuaki, 2019; Xu & Cao, 2020). Groups can be a positive source of cultural influence, especially churches and schools, but they are not necessarily active in the promotion of health literacy with respect to opioid use and avoiding dangerous drugs like these.

Health Promotion Theory

To promote resistance to opioid use among the youth population, Keleher’s Framework for Health Promotion Action should be utilized. Keleher’s Framework for Health Promotion Action begins by identifying the causes that affect the health issue, and it proceeds to establishing what priorities need to be put in place so that there is some investment that travels upward. This leads to various stakeholders getting involved and being willing to take on some action so as to combat the health problem (Keleher, 2002). With various stakeholders on board, from educators to nurse practitioners to social media influencers and celebrities, a great movement can get underway to facilitate the objective of the Health People 2030 campaign. All of it leads to the facilitation of accountability among the target population by promoting and reinforcing positive narratives that encourage resistance to opioid use among the young.

The reason this is a good health model for intervening in this program is that it supports the intervention strategy of using social media as a foundation for interacting with the target population. Social media is where young people interact more than any other one place. They are all connected in this manner and because it is new media rather than old, individual users can have a great deal of impact in terms of how it is used.

The model first issues a directive to responsible adults to do their part in helping in this initiative. This means enlisting both parents and teachers to take an active role in teaching the young population about the dangers of opioids. They have to remember that the young are getting one message from media about how great drugs are, so they need to be told that the reality of drug use is much different from what popular media suggests is the case. Opioids can lead to addiction and to death; they ruin lives, and young people do not get that message from popular media. One of the important principles of this model is that it associates the civic role with the intervention: everyone has…because this is likely going to be an issue that lasts for years; however, there can be a timeframe in which improvement is measured. First, a baseline measurement needs to be taken this winter to see how many youths are thinking about or are currently using opioids. This can be done by way of simple survey, either on social media or through school systems. This data will need to be collected so as to establish whether improvements are made later on. To measure results it is best to give the program at least one year, starting this fall and ending it at the end of summer 2022. Then a second survey can be conducted similar to the first to see if percentages have decreased.

Barriers

Barriers to the program may come in the way of funding, so it might be necessary to ask for donations from stakeholders in the community. However, other barriers might be cultural as members of the community question why another program oriented towards the youth is needed when they themselves have their own issues and no one is helping them. In response to this kind of barrier it can be explained that everyone is in this boat together and that when one group begins to help another group, there is a pay it forward process that occurs and good things come back around.

Evaluation Strategies

The evaluation strategies should be both qualitative and quantitative. Personal interviews with youths will give one sense of whether the program is having any impact, and surveys in which percentages and statistics can be collected will provide another sense of whether the program has been effective. The survey method has already been explained above and can be conducted through schools or via social media. It should be done at baseline prior to the implementation of the program and after one year. It could be continued yearly for as long as the program remains in existence. Interviews can be conducted online via social media or in person through the headquarters based in the urban center.

Implications

The implications of this activity for nursing practice, education and policy are numerous. It means, first of all, that there has to be collaboration and coordination among these various sectors so that they can achieve a common aim. Nurses have to be focused on increasing health literacy about opioid use and how it harms health. They should work with educators to develop a curriculum that focuses on this. This also facilitates preventive health, which should be a goal of every nurse practitioner. Policy under the Affordable Care Act was to improve preventive health, so this is one way to achieve that goal as well.

Conclusion

Addressing the issue of opioid use among the youth is not a simple task to achieve just by way of education. It actually takes a community coming together and offering hope and a way out for youths so that their time is not seen…

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