Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What I learned in Gov This Year

There are a lot of things I learned over the course of this year. Probably the most important thing was learning the individual rights and privacies afforded through Supreme Court cases and the Constitution. I think those are the most important things we learn because they are valuable pieces of knowledge that we can take with us to college. Just knowing your rights in general is always a good thing.

The one piece of advice I'd give to someone taking this course is to just watch the news. CNN, MSNBC, FOX News. These are all great outlets that will provide yes a little bias but it's good to get to see both sides of the coin and then decide for yourself. Watch the news. You'll learn a lot.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3-2-1 Deep Throat Article

3-2-1 on
"I'm the Guy They Called Deep Throat"

I thought the article was very interesting. What interested me the most was Felt's commitment to retaining his identity. I think that was very noble but also very important because he could've well been indicted for disclosing that information to the Washington Post. I also thought that the way the author, Mr. O'Connor, discovered who Felt was was interesting. The connection that O'Connor has is a very unique opportunity. Those 6 degrees of separation were really small degrees. Finally I thought that Felt's sense of doing his duty in exposing the information was interesting. I guess when the system doesn't work doing what's right in Felt's mind was more important than following the system.

The two connections I made to class was obviously the movie we watch on Watergate. Also the fact that the Washington Post kind of established the idea of the media in this day and age as a watchdog of the government.

I would like to ask Mr. O'Connor how Mr. Felt, Deep Throat, ultimately felt about exposing the identity of Deep Throat.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Texting Privacy


 In 2009, the Supreme Court heard a case about privacy in text messages. Text messages are a huge social media outlet and provides fast conversation through your phone. Text messaging was one of the first forms of communicating through social media. The New York Times published an article about this case particularly since texting and social media are playing a bigger and bigger role in today's society.  The case, named City of Ontario v. Quon, centered around an employee of the city, Mr. Quon, suing the city for reading text messages sent through pagers the city issued without his consent. Now the city did have an privacy policy about emails and the Internet in general. That policy stated that the city had the right to search emails and such with or without consent of the employees. Mr. Quon's team argued that it violated his and the other workers' Fourth Amendment rights since there was no clear policy on text messages. When the Supreme Court heard the case the district court had already held up the defendants and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had sided with the city on part. The Supreme Court decided that the city had a right to search the text messages since it did not have a clear cut policy on text messages. It did not infringe on the Fourth Amendment rights of the workers because the court deemed the text messages as emails and so it fell under the category of emails in the policy on privacy. All nine justices voted for the City of Ontario.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

3-2-1 The Justice Nobody Knows

3-2-1 on Justice Clarence Thomas

In this video above, I learned that Justice Thomas has a very interesting life. He grew up in the South with his hard-working grandfather. I learned that a lot of his opinions and ideals come from growing up in this rigid lifestyle with his grandfather. The book he is trying to advertise by doing this piece is named after his experiences with his grandfather. I also learned that he almost always uses strong and sometimes provocative language in order to get his point across. He is a very strong, level headed man that does not like stereotypes and refuses to be put into one.

The two connections to class I found were the Senate confirmation hearings and the Anita Hill scandal. We went over in class the process to be confirmed for the Supreme Court in the Senate. We also covered in class how the media can spin things. They definitely spun the Anita Hill scandal in a way that hurt the Justice.

My question for the Justice would be "Why do you think Supreme Court Justices are so apt to change their views once on the bench?"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Simple Justice Fact Check

Simple Justice

The movie Simple Justice tells the story of Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer but better known Supreme Court Justice, and his journey to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson and grant that Separate but Equal is unconstitutional. The movie starts out with Thurgood at Howard University, an African-American college, under the tutelage of Charles Houston. He then goes to work for the NAACP with Marshall and works on the cases of Murray v. U of Maryland, Gaines v. Mo., Sweatt v. Painter, Pearson v. Claredon County, and finally Brown v. the Board of Education. 

While I'm sure most if not all of these cases occurred, Marshall also worked on a lot of other cases while head of Counsel for the NAACP. Sweatt v. Painter was tried by Thurgood Marshall in front of the Supreme Court. Although he won, the Supreme Court ruled that they couldn't overturn Plessy v. Ferguson. They could only grant Sweatt the enrollement at the University of Texas. Brown v. the Board of Education was Marshall's landmark case. He got the Supreme Court to prove that Seperate but Equal was unconstitutional and gave kids everywhere integrated schools.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Letter to the President

Alex Nguyen
2001 37th Avenue
            San Francisco, CA 94116
President Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Hello. My name is Alex Nguyen. I am a senior at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, California. I am currently enrolled in an Advanced Placement Government course. In class we are required to write a blog about a subject that we find interest in that relates to government and/or politics. My blog is called “Social Politics.” It deals with social media and its impact on politics.

Through my research for my blog I came across House Resolution 537 also known as the Social Networking Online Privacy Act. Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY17) presented the bill. The bill strives to protect workers and potential college students by prohibiting workplaces and colleges from asking for potential workers and students for their social networking accounts. Of course students and workers can deny the educational institute or potential workplace but some people feel that it can hinder their possibilities to get a job or to get into the school. These people who feel as though privacy is limited could find some relief from this bill.

I truly believe in this bill. For one I am going off to college next year and while I haven’t been asked for my social networking accounts I know classmates that have gone out of their way to protect themselves. I think that this is an invasion of privacy. I believe that what happens on the Internet shouldn’t affect my or anyone else’s chances at an opportunity for higher education or for a job. I will be entering the workforce very soon and I would not want to be denied a position based on a silly mistake I made in my adolescence.

I hope you support this bill if and when it reaches your desk, Mr. President. I wish you the sincerest luck on your final four years in office and that you accomplish all you wish to. Thank you for your time.


Alex Nguyen

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The Federal Communications Commission

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the commission that regulates all forms of communication in the US (i.e. the Internet, television, radio, etc.) Since I talk about social media's impact on the government and politics this applies to my area of interest. The FCC can and sometimes will shut down sites that violate current laws and regulations passed by the federal government. They are the enforcers when it comes to privacy laws on the internet. If SNOPA, the Social Networking Online Protection Act, passes they along with the Justice Department will enforce that law along with many others. Their goal though is to keep all forms of media exciting, entertaining, and ever-evolving.