Modern Slavery In The US

United States imprisons more black people than the apartheid regime. Despite only counting for a total of 13% of the US population one in three people arrested for possession of drugs are black. Why is that ratio so different? Marlon Peterson, PR-director at The Frontier Society, says that today’s prison is the natural continuation of the Jim-Crow laws which in turn was a continuation of the slavery. The Jim-Crow laws were laws that enforced racial segregation. Today’s modern slavery comes in the form of the life people get after prison, what they are allowed to and what rights they have.

Jim-Crow laws - racial segregation

Jim-Crow laws – racial segregation


It is really difficult to get a normal life after serving time in jail. The majority of black Americans in jail are from lower parts of society and needs help from the State, but are not able to get this after being giving the stamp of a former felon. In jail, you lose your right to vote, and all rights to accept social help. You also get a lot of bills from your time in jail. Without a job or a place to stay, most people have to embrace a new life on the street as homeless. All of this makes it almost impossible to get a normal life after serving time. It’s also really hard to get a job, as you are obligated to inform your employer about your past. This makes it harder to get jobs with good pay, and it’s almost impossible to make a living of your own. Even though you have finished your punishment for what you have done, the society keeps punishing you.

Modern slavery doesn’t come in the same form that slavery did 250 years ago. Today, slavery is something one may experience after ending one’s prison sentence. Many of your rights may be removed and help to get one back on one’s feet is not present.


NRA – Necessary with regulation?

Franklin D. Roosevelt launched what has been called the New Deal after the Great Depression in order to get the American economy going again. As a part of the “First New Deal” The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), founded on grounds of New Deal the NRA which stands for National Recovery Administration. NRA’s main goal was to eliminate “cut-throat-competition” which is the practice where competitors use predatory pricing (pricing with loss) to eliminate existing competition. Outlined was a plan to create a series of “fair practices” and “codes of fair competition” by bringing together the industry, labors and the government. The series of “fair practices” intended to reduce predatory pricing.

Another goal for the NRA was to help workers to get minimum wages, maximum weekly hours and minimum prices on products at which they could be sold, the products that is.

Despite creating better days for workers in the US, the NRA law was unanimously declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 1935. Fortunately enough, many of the labor provisions reappeared in the Wagner Act which was passed the same year.

As you can see on the image above the NRA member logo had a blue eagle in the middle of the logo. This symbol became very popular among workers and businesses that supported the NRA put the logo in their shop windows and on their shipments. Despite being voluntary, membership to the NRA was almost necessary – if your business were not a member, you could be boycotted by customers which made membership seem mandatory for many.

Henry Ford was a man who was not happy about the NRA and it’s proposals. He refused to sign any of the codes prepared in the “codes of fair competition”. He wrote in his notebook that: “I do not think that this country is ready to be treated like Russia for a while. There is a lot of the pioneer spirit here yet.” That may be a little harsh, comparing the codes the NRA proposed to Russia. GM, Chrysler and smaller independent businesses eagerly signed the codes, which actually regulated all aspects of their business – the regulation is what Mr. Ford didn’t want – he wanted the freedom. However, after the Great Depression I think it was a good idea with some regulation to get the economy going again.

What do you think? Is a regulation necessary after a big economic crisis? Let me know in the comments below!

And as always, thanks for reading!

Responsibilities of the House of Commons

The House of Commons has a big responsibility towards the British people. They debate different situations that has risen and that requires actions. Another important responsibility of the House of Commons is to legislate and act on bills proposed. Bills are proposed by the government, MPs, organizations or individuals. It is the responsibility of the House of Commons to approve or disapprove new laws. They form the laws together with different parties one of these is the House of Lords.

Another important responsibility of the House of Commons is to be accessible to the public. The public are allowed insight into almost every session in the House of Commons. This is a way to live up to the democracy that England has. The public can visit the gallery where they can watch debates regarding current issues or new laws for free. It is important to note that a ticket may be necessary to be allowed entrance.

The three important responsibilities of the House of Commons I have outlined in the two paragraphs above:

  1. Debate current issues
  2. Pass or decline new bills
  3. Be accessible to the public

Lions for Lambs

This week’s assignment is to answer the following four questions after watching the movie “Lions for Lambs”.

1. Lions for Lambs is a 2007 American drama film about the connection between a platoon of United States soldiers in Afghanistan, a U.S. senator, a reporter, and a California college professor. Explain how they are connected and what the soldiers are doing in Afghanistan?

First of all the US senator is connected with the platoon of US soldiers in the way that he has some kind degree in military strategy, and he has been a part of deciding the military action in which the platoon is joining. The reporter who interviews him is getting a major scoop from him; she gets the info about the military action the platoon is in – as it is happening! The Californian college professor is connected with the platoon because the two soldiers who falls/jumps to the mountain was his students and they joined the army after having a talk with him. Even though they said, it was not because of him I think the professor played a role in their decision-making. The soldiers are fighting the Taliban in Irak and trying to get control over territories.


2. The professor asks Todd to get involved. What can he do?

Todd has two options, either join the military or go to class. I hope that Todd chooses the latter and choose to get involved in a different way than being a soldier – that being a politician or a journalist. Despite the open end of the movie, I like to think that Todd went to all of his professor’s lectures for the rest of the semester.

I think Todd’s professor wants two things for Todd, for one he wants him to get an education and get a job while at the same time I think he wants Todd to join the army. That is what you can call a dilemma.

To get involved Todd does not have to join the military, there are countless ways to get involved – join the army is only one of them.


3. Is there a connection between social conditions, the welfare state and US involvement in wars?

In the movie, it was said that people who came from poor and dangerous neighborhoods joined the military. People who lived “the American Dream” in terms of having a nice home and the ability to live a great life as a child chose not to join.

According to MintPressNews who quotes an analysis of recruiting, low- and middle-income families are supplying far more recruits than families with an income of more than $60,000 p.a.


4. What is the current opinion of the American people regarding US engagement in wars?

The public, according to People Press, thinks that America does too much to figure out and solve world problems, and does too little at home base. This is perhaps connected to Americans seeing and thinking that the US’ power in the world is declining. Support for US engagement globally is at a historic low, and continuing to drop.

This graph pretty much sums it up. As you can see, 53% thinks that the US role today as a world leader is less important and powerful than 10 years ago.

I think that Americans, as most of the western world, are most focused on what happens at home and not what happens thousands of miles away. The military involvement can be seen as squandering of resources, they might think, “why don’t use those resources at home?”



Study Trip – Churchill War Rooms

In London we visited the Imperial War Museum, Churchill War Rooms which is a museum where one will find the underground complex where the British government had their command center, Cabinet War Rooms, during the second world war.

The Imperial War Museum has five branches, the Churchill War Rooms is one of them.

War Rooms is located in Westminster, and from August 1945 until the early 80s – only a limited number of people were allowed inside. In April 1984 the Cabinet War Rooms were opened to the public after the Imperial War Museum was tasked & asked to take over the site.

In 2005 Churchill War Rooms reopened after a major renovation.

The Command Rooms are interesting, it shows how the Englishmen worked and lived during the second world war. Strangely enough, when the war ended they just turned off the lights and went home – and the underground command center was not touched for decades.

The museum also features a giant timeline in the middle of the museum part. This is interesting, and you can choose different important dates throughout Churchill’s life.

The timeline

Picture source:


Above is a picture of Churchill’s room

Picture source: Personal

Other sources: 22 january, 2015.

Study trip – British Museum

The British Museum is a really interesting museum. However most of it was not for me. Established in 1753, located in the center of London the museum houses approximately 8 million “works”. This is among the largest collection of human works is the world. The museum largely focuses on mummies, at least in the time-frame of our trip, another focus point is the roman empire, a third one is African history, none of which really tipped my curiosity.

One room really did, it was the money room. There you had the opportunity to see how money has changed over the years and what’s next.

For example I learned that the famous Nirvana cover (see below) really is a statement about how people are taught to seek and chase money from the day they’re born. The cover shows a little baby reaching for money without really knowing what it is.


Nirvana cover

Picture: Private

Another interesting part of the room is the one about credit and debit cards. For me it’s easy to think that the world has had cards for hundreds of year, but really credit and debit cards really started in the 1950s, not really that long ago.


Credit & debit cards

Photo: Private

Have you been to the British museum? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below and as always; thanks for reading.

Study trip – Tate Modern

Tate Modern is a gallery featuring modern art. Tate Modern in London is only one of many gallery in the Tate series. You find other galleries in Liverpool, St Ives and a gallery online – good thing in these on-the-line days.

Tate collects and showcases British art, however not state owned its biggest sponsor is the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Tate Modern was established in 2000 and is situated in the heart of London and is visited by nearly 5 million people each year.

For me the coolest thing was the Turbine Hall, which is basically a large hall with little filling. In other words, not many things are showcased there – it’s mostly “Blank Space”.


The Turbine Hall

Photo: Personal

To be frank, this is not the most interesting place for a 18-year-old technology fan-boy. I’m sure there are people who love this place, but I’m not one of them.

Sources: – Tate Modern Last Retrieved 22nd January 2015.

Study trip – Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Last Thursday we went on the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Despite not seeing all of the movies I really enjoyed it. The attraction features a lot of behind the scenes information including how they made the effects and how they recorded a lot of the footage.

The Tour opened in March 2012 and was made possible after a 100 million pound investment. Warner Bros constructed two new houses to showcase the sets.

Props, costumes, sets and even Butterbeer are available to see and drink, the Butterbeer that is.

If you have the opportunity to check it out and you’ve seen if not all, some of the Harry Potter films, you should. You will not regret it!


Butterbeer. Don’t worry, it’s not beer – it’s soda and cream. That is as disgusting as it sounds…

Photo: Personal


The famous three-story bus.

Photo: Personal


The house in which Harry Potter grew up.

Photo: Personal


My school cantina. Nope, just kidding. This is the dining hall at Hogwarts.

Photo: Personal


Harry’s room at Hogwarts.

Photo: Personal

Sources: – Last retrieved January 22nd, 2015.

Have you checked out the Studio Tour? If you have, what are your thoughts on the place?

Let me know in the comments below!

Study trip – BBC

Perhaps the biggest thing to see during my study trip to London was the BBC Broadcasting House. My teacher has some connections which got some of us the opportunity to get a private tour around the BBC Broadcasting House. Needless to say it was priceless.

BBC started using the old Broadcasting House in March 1932. In 2003 Broadcasting House started undergoing a major renovation. This has resulted in a new part of the Broadcasting House. Today most of the BBC are gathered under the same roof.

During our tour, we were allowed to go down to the Newsroom. That was perhaps the coolest thing to have been in. You can always see this in the background when BBC News is on.

We also had the opportunity visit Radio 1. We got to see the studio where they made the regular radio shows. One thing I found to be really cool was to be able to be in the same room in which one of my favorite artists has been in – Paolo Nutini.


The BBC entrance.

Photo: Personal


Where the magic happens.

Photo: Personal


Overview of the Newsroom.

Photo: Personal


Newsroom on ground floor.

Photo: Personal


Better not disturb while on air.

Photo: Personal

Other sources: – Last retrieved January 22nd, 2015.

And as always thanks for reading!