A Response to “America’s limited options as another Syrian bloodbath looms”

Isaac Gillette

Prof. John Wolff


09 Oct. 2018

The threat of Assad using chemical weapons in Syria is here again, leaving many of us looking to U.S. President Donald Trump for a response. Trump, having already threatened military action, leaves us curious whether that is a strong enough deterrent, and what other Solutions may be available.

Chicago Tribune editorial board ¹  states in “America’s limited options as another Syrian bloodbath looms” that a chemical weapon attack by the Syrian government on the rebel held province of Idlib is imminent. Arguing that although Trump is threatening military action if Assad uses chemical weapons, he can almost certainly not stop the attack. The article states that Trumps previous strikes on Syrian military bases have failed to stop Assad. And puts Obama at blame for backing away from the Syrian conflict during his time in office, giving room for Russia and Iran to gain higher levels of influence over the Syrian war. As well as suggesting that Trump walked into the chaos in Syria and has not yet had the time to address the situation thoroughly as he has spent his time focusing on the defeat of ISIS. The editorial board concluded that although it’s not a good or probable to succeed option, Working with the Turkish government to push Putin to halt the attacks, is likely the only option for the U.S.

This article doesn’t focus on the the solution of the Syrian crisis, rather gives a lot of non pertinent info; giving readers very little new info to form a new opinion or perspective on the topic of the nearing crisis.

This article gives a large amount of relatively useless info. Detailing how people have died in past attacks “either by poison gas, barrel bombs, burial beneath the rubble of razed buildings” that don’t add anything of use to the current topic. Furthermore, “Many of the  civilians are there because they fled other parts of war-torn Syria.” and other sentences like it seem more of a filler sentence used more to say why it’s bad to use chemical weapons there, rather than adding anything to the topic of the article on what the U.S can do to change the course of this disaster. Thus taking away from the articles relevance and credibility.

Trump walking into the chaos in Syria, and having spent a large amount of his time defeating ISIS, doesn’t help answer what options the U.S. has. Thus seeming more like a justification for Trump not having done anything to improve our influence in Syria, rather than informing or persuading the reader. Also, informing the reader of the level of success against ISIS doesn’t benefit the piece other than to change one’s view of Trump’s job as President. Although how Obama handled the issue in 2015 with his red line statement did have a large effect on how much influence the U.S. has now, It shouldn’t have this much space and focus in the article.

The Editorial board for the Chicago Tribune also didn’t provide many sources or give enough credibility to take them as a serious author. The filler to new info ratio was way too high to sound like a valid news source and not persuasive to any one specific direction. There was lot of surrounding info but not enough focus on the point. It is difficult to see if this piece is trying to be news or opinion. There was not enough new info to take it as news and although it was supposed to be an opinion. There was no real new perspective presented or persuasion to a particular opinion.

This article did a good job as a general read. But failed to portray a different perspective on the situation of subject or bring new ideas or inform the reader of the US’ options for stopping the chemical weapon attacks in Idlib. I feel like adding actual suggestions, such as different military actions or negotiative leverage the U.S could use to stop the attacks and spending less of the article with the less ‘Center of topic” subjects, would have made this article dramatically better. As well as incorporating sources of reference would help clarify where the authors opinion stands and help the reader by either being further informed or have a better grasp of how to make their own opinion about the situation


Works Cited

America¹’s Limited Options as Another Syrian Bloodbath Looms – Chicago Tribune.” Chicago Tribune, 10 Sept. 2018, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-syria-assad-trump-idlib-20180910-story.html.
Koseoglu, Sinem. “Millions in Idlib Brace for Syrian Government Assault.” Al Jazeera News, 25 Sept. 2018, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/syrias-war-attack-idlib-endanger-millions-idps-180825131440173.html.
“The President Blinked”: Why Obama Changed Course on the “Red Line” in Syria | Obama at War | FRONTLINE | PBS | Official Site. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/the-president-blinked-why-obama-changed-course-on-the-red-line-in-syria/. Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.
“US Weighs ‘options’ If Chemical Weapon Used in Syria’s Idlib.” Al Jazeera News, 25 Sept. 2018, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/weighing-options-chemical-weapon-syria-idlib-180908073222592.html.

Should illegal immigrant children be punished for their parents actions? A response to The Editorial Board.

Jasmin Escamilla

Proff. Wolff

English Comp I

27 Sept 2018

Should illegal immigrant children be punished for their parents actions?

A response to The Editorial Board.

There has been a lot of controversial conversations about whether or not illegal children should be punished for residing in America. Many believe punishing these children will project a message to future “trespassers”, others believe punishing the parents would suffice. In my opinion, punishing children for their parent’s actions is cruel and unfair. This debate is carried through the New York Times article “ Don’t let Migrant Kids Rot”, published by The Editorial Board.

photo of immigrant children waiting in line to be processed into the detention center. (photo curtsy of Silva, 2014)
Children waiting to be processed at the detention center. (Silva, 2014)

In “ Don’t Let Migrant Kids Rot”, The Editorial Board claims that the detention centers impede healthy brain development due to traumatic experiences¹. There have been departments who openly shared the reasoning for these cruel centers; many believe these centers are the answer to stop illegal immigration. The Board also announced that these children are facing more and more detainment threats; in the past, many families believed that their children or unborn child would not be taken, unfortunately, these children are now at risk for deportation as well as the parents. It was acknowledged that The Department of Homeland Security is behind the threats; they proposed to eliminate the Flores agreement in order to successfully “ strip away every last protection for detained immigrant children”.¹ The Flores agreement was created to protect these children and without it, they face harsh living environments and separation. Rumor also has it that more centers are in the making to contain these illegal families.

Many readers tend to sympathize for these families and children, as do I, and demand change in order to protect them from harmful environments. Although some disagree and order discipline to take place. Those of us in favor of protecting these children have been informed of the danger they are currently in and what they will face as they age. For example, traumatic experiences can harm brain development leading to slower brain function, which was studied by Benedict Carey.²

This article projects warnings of possible detainments in the near future. The Board has generated hope onto its readers to support the well being of the thousands of innocent kids being sent away. They also argue that “ shame alone should have federal officials working hard to undo the damage of the new policy and prevent further harm”. The new policy is believed to enforce strict restrictions and “freedom” given to the kids at the centers. The Editorial Board acts as a voice for those in the centers and those who wish for better actions. They reach a variety of readers by arguing in the three main rhetorical responses; logos, pathos, and ethos.

To start, logos is best defined as the use of logic evidence, and reason. The Board practices logos through the article by stating the facts and real evidence of the future tragedies will take place in these centers. They use it by explaining how future expansion will negatively affect many lives; they have calculated the number of facilities already existing, roughly owning 100 facilities that house more than 10,000 minors, and the proposal to build more. At first glance, building more facilities will eliminate the lack of space, but the more facilities built equals more detainment. There will be 3,000 beds added to suit the needs of 12,000 immigrant minors. This poses a problem; which is why The Board brings up the calculations to ensure that all their readers grasp the danger the migrant kids will face. The Department of Human Services believes the new proposal would prevent future illegal immigration. In their opinion “ undocumented adults are less likely to enter the country knowing that nothing will save them in the long run.” This statement is true but, the variety of age groups being mixed in a small facility is dangerous. This is where pathos comes into place; pathos is activating the reader emotions by reaching values. It’s not every day when we hear the ongoings inside these facilities, so The Board reached out to one of the investigators for answers. It has been said that many facilities face abusive consequences daily. A few would be physical/sexual abuse, blatant medical neglect, injection of antipsychotic medications, unlawful restraint of children in distress, and harsh rules. Almost all of these actions make readers feel uncomfortable, which is why The Board mentions them and ending this statement by reminding it’s readers that more kids will be sent to these centers. This article uses ethos, which is persuasion by the character involved, to make the readers demand change. They point out how wrong it is to sit back to do nothing, which is why it’s readers, including me, demand change and vote no toward the new proposal for expansion and voted no for the elimination of the Flores Agreement.

In a relatively similar article, written in The Guardian, informed it’s readers that Trump’s administration’s plans on “scrapping DACA”. DACA is a program that gives temporary protection to undocumented migrants who came into the States as children. The new plan would, unfortunately, fear over 800,000 DACA members; these members are also known as Dreamers. The removal will take place in March 2018. Many riots took place to defend the Dreamers and keep DACA alive. Former President Obama commented, “ A shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again.” He stands with us, demanding change and protection for the innocent families and children.

The Editorial Board ends off by releasing stress from their readers. The new proposal is still open to the public and will soon be brought to the judge. The article wishes for its readers to speak up and help protect these children, which is why they addressed the danger in hopes to persuade its readers to help. They had also mentioned that the judge who rejected the diminishing of Flores will most likely reject this new proposal of expanding new centers for innocent kids.


1. Don’t let Migrant kids rot- The New York Times. Board, Editorial. September 9, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/opinion/editorials/dont-let-migrant-kids-rot.html

2. A troubling Prognosis for Migrant Children: ‘The earlier they’re out the better’- New York Times. Carey Benedict. June 18, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/health/migrant-children-mental-health.html?module=Uisil

Losing Medicaid

Some people do not have a way to get places that are needed for them to go or know about anything that could be going on. Medicaid has finally become to where people do not know about new things added to the work requirement that will keep them on their health coverage. This policy is mostly for Americans who are childless and do not have a disability to work. In an article I have read has shown a bit concerned about the coverage and has shown Trump that it is not good with imposing people out of poverty

Image of Arkansas Website for Medicaid
Arkansas Website looks like for the Medicaid sign in (Sept. 24, 2018).

In the article “One Big Problem With Medicaid Work Requirement People Are Unaware it Exist” by Margot Sangers-Kats, she explains how Arkansas made a test program and there is a whole problem that people aren’t seeing. Arkansas had made a test program with people who have Medicaid because Trump said imposing the work requirements will get people out of poverty. In the first month of the test program, millions of people had lost coverage for not complying. The test in Arkansas for work requirement with Medicaid is trying to get the low-income people to work, school, or volunteer, to help with their finances. For the state to know, people would have to report their hours. In Arkansas test, only 2% of people were eligible and around 20,000 people did not report because the State Officials said it was hard to get the word out for people who have Medicaid about the work requirement. It was also hard because not everyone opens their mails, emails, or answer their phones. Some say they ignore their emails and phones from their health insurance but did not give a reason why. With a few people helping, they finally got the word out of this test program. Which ends up with people who have Medicaid going online to be eligible for Medicaid.

Katz says that more than 4,300 people lost their coverage for failing to follow the orders and that was because of them not knowing about it. The state officials did say they sent out information about the program through the mail, phone, emails, and putting it out on social media, but people still do not look or think about it. A Medicaid recipient was interviewed and said “You’d think it’d be on the news or something. I ain’t seen it on the news, and I watch Channel 8 news every night.” The work requirement has changed to where if you do not work, you would have to find a job, volunteer, go to school, or attend a health education class to keep records of your hours for you to be eligible for Medicaid. Another reason for people to lose their coverage because they are forgetting to put their hours on the website or some people have no way of getting to where they need to go because they may not have a vehicle. Also, with it being online it could be difficult for people who may not have internet at home.

I liked how Arkansas made a test program to show how people losing coverage from not knowing anything about it. It shows how President Trump is not right with what he is doing to get low-income people out of poverty. I agree how people do not know about things like that because of not possible having internet at home and also with people not answering their phones. I relate to the not answering my phone because most of it is robotic calls. Arkansas had made points and showed numbers and percentages of their test program. I think the State officials should have posted it more around or on the news because I have not heard about it until I have read about the article that has how a big problem to why low-income people are losing their Medicaid coverage.  Another thing is that I think the article is a little persuasive to people who are Medicaid coverage because it shows examples like not answering the phone and may not have internet to show evidence. Also, with numbers of people who were already losing coverage for not knowing about it being on the internet in Arkansas and putting their hours in.

The article that I have read that is connected to me. It is connected to me because my mother has Medicaid as a health care coverage and I have Medicaid too. I did not know that Trump is thinking to impose on the work requirement in Medicaid and knowing my mother she would not know either. I think Arkansas did a great example to show what it will be like if they made it happen and online to show more examples of people not knowing about it. Even though it does not concern my family because it is for low-income people who are childless and does not have a disability, this work requirement in Medicaid can change over time for low-income families too. I hope with Trump seeing the article, he could take a step back and think more if he wants to impose but think about could be changed if he still likes to do so. If another thing happens like this, state officials or whoever should get the word out for Medicaid coverage.

The article that I have read “One Big Problem With Medicaid Work Requirement: People Are Unaware It Exists” by Margot Sanger-Katz I think shows examples and the main concerned with the Arkansas test program that set an example for Trump to see it could be difficult to impose people out of poverty. It could be hard for people to know about it with it being online and not knowing about it. Medicaid is supposed to help low-income families or people who just have low-income but not a family and it is the only health care coverage that is helping people with their health payments. Trump thinks imposing can be good but he should think about another disadvantage that can be in the way and the article examples what would.

Work Cited

  • Medicaid Recipients’ Early Experience With the Arkansas Medicaid Work Requirement
  • Type
Web Page
  • URL
9/26/2018, 11:22:40 AM
  • Date Added
9/26/2018, 11:22:40 AM
  • Modified
9/26/2018, 11:22:40 AM


  • Medicaid Work Requirements Exist to Punish the Poor

  • Type
Web Page
  • Author
Libby Watson
  • URL
  • Accessed
9/26/2018, 11:23:29 AM
  • Language
  • Abstract
The New York Times’ Upshot blog has a depressing look today at Arkansas’ Medicaid work requirements, which earlier this month were reported to have already led to 4,300 people getting kicked off their health coverage. There are a lot of problems you can imagine with meeting these requirements, not least finding a job or a volunteer placement in the first place, but other, much more basic problems: It seems that a lot of Medicaid recipients simply don’t know about the requirements at all.
  • Website Title
  • Date Added
9/26/2018, 11:23:29 AM
  • Modified
9/26/2018, 11:23:29 AM
  • One Big Problem With Medicaid Work Requirement: People Are Unaware It Exists

  • Type
Newspaper Article
  • Author
Margot Sanger-Katz
  • URL
  • Publication
The New York Times
  • ISSN
  • Date
  • Section
The Upshot
  • Accessed
9/24/2018, 11:19:57 AM
  • Library Catalog
  • Language
  • Abstract
Arkansas is the first state to test it, and thousands have been kicked off the program.
  • Short Title
One Big Problem With Medicaid Work Requirement
  • Date Added
9/24/2018, 11:19:57 AM
  • Modified
9/24/2018, 11:19:57 AM

Are Opioids The Nation’s Newest Crisis?

We live in a world plagued with its share of problems. There are third level nations who lack the ability to even support the basic needs of their people, thus are forced to combat issues such as starvation, ebola, civil war, and this is the short list. Here in America, we seem to face a different set of problems, as our morbidity and mortality rates are linked to obesity, heart disease, and more recently to the list opioid abuse. America is on the verge of a public health crisis, as our death toll rises by the thousands each year who fall victim to opioid dependence and abuse, ultimately leading to death. This topic is personal, as I deal with the fallout of opioid dependence in my job in the emergency room, and it just seems to be getting worse every day. Agreeing with this sentiment is Chicago Tribune veteran journalist Stacey Wescott, who presents her opinions in the article “Congress is taking steps to prevent opioid deaths—but more can be done”. Westcott’s purpose in this article is to commend the steps taken in addressing the opioid epidemic, but also to highlight the fact that these measures are inadequate. The context of her article is directed at American lawmakers and focuses on the shortcomings of their attempts to fix a vast problem. In this article, Wescott successfully portrays the half-assed attempts made by the federal government to thwart the advancement of the opioid crisis and emphasizes that their shortcomings may be detrimental.

A picture of a pill bottle spilled over creating graves
Opioids vs America

To fully provide an opinion on Wescott’s composition, it is important to present an unbiased overview of the main ideas featured in her article. In the article “Congress is taking steps to prevent opioid deaths—but more can be done” published by the Chicago Tribune, journalist Stacey Wescott argues that the federal government could be doing more to get a hold on the “opioid crisis”. Wescott presents examples of the steps the government is currently taking, and she shows the importance of why opioids are an issue that needs to be addressed. Based on statistical evidence, Wescott shows “a staggering 72,000 people died last year from drug overdoses, most of them involving opioids”. She believes that the government along with the FDA, Border Protection, and law enforcement can aim at stopping the import of these types of drugs if the legislation passes. Wescott proposes that this bill would also “expand access to treatment” and “find new painkillers that aren’t addictive”. Finally, she concludes that although the government is moving in the right direction, more needs to be done as this disaster is significant.

Wescott is a very skilled journalist, who has been publishing articles reflecting current events for the past nineteen years; it seems obvious that her literary success is rooted in an understanding of how to employ rhetorical strategies. Wescott understands how to feed the emotions of her audience, and onboard them to agree with her opinions. In this article, Wescott utilizes these tactics successfully and paints a picture of a half-hearted attempt by the government to help Americans prevent an opioid epidemic. She seamlessly cements her angle through sound evidence that “72,000 people died last year from drug overdoses”, and in a response to this “the Congressional Budget Office put the price tag of an evidently inadequate $29 million over the next decade, and this measure only authorizes funding; additional bills will have to be approved to actually appropriate the money.

A Democratic bill to provide $45 billion for prevention, treat, and other needs has gone nowhere” (Wescott)¹. Furthermore, Wescott proves her thesis by capitalizes on her audience’s emotions, as she gains access to them by employing engaging language such as: staggering, disheartening, and frustrating. Wescott certainly uses fear tactics to her advantage, as she preys on her audience’s investment in their fears, through powerful statements like “America is in the grip of a full-blown public health crisis”. Smartly, Wescott also uses a less obvious satirical approach to feature her sentiments by stating “there’s always more that can be done, but in an election year, I think this is pretty good”. Finally, Wescott gains credibility as an author and expert on this topic through her knowledge of current legislation, which reinforces her opinion as credible.

In order to further consider the opinions that Wescott presents in this article, and formulate a judgment towards this topic, it is necessary to investigate the article and author through an ideas critique. Wescott presents to the American people here an idea that America is spiraling into an opioid crisis, and that even “President Donald Trump declared the toll of opioid overdoses to be a public health emergency and pledged strong action to combat it” (Wescott). Wescott shows readers that the government is putting effort into addressing this problem, but that the attempts are minimal compared to the problem at hand. I find that Wescott’s ideas mesh well with my own, which are supported through personal experience and validated by research. When I first considered the opioid epidemic as a topic and researched multiple sources for insight, the research trends all confirmed that which Wescott presents; America has a life-threatening dependency on opioids and despite the trend growing steadily, only in the last couple of years has the government made strides to address it. An interesting idea that Wescott poses to the public is that the minimal effort that has been introduced is superficial, in that the attempts that have been made only exist as a means to gain support in an election year.

I find that Wescott’s article is enriched with evidence and has a strong voice, but I also see the need to reflect and consider my own voice regarding this topic. I obviously believe in what Wescott presents here, and I do wholeheartedly see a need for powerful legislative initiatives to lend aid to this opioid problem. I do think that financially the federal government needs to invest more to correct this issue and that the monetary value invested needs to match the value of the problem. I do consent that a large basis for my feelings and opinions reflecting this topic are derived from personal experiences that come from working in an emergency room. My opinions are definitely conversant by my background, as while this article provides a numerical death toll surrounding opioids, I look into the eyes of the person dying. This crisis is not an abstract foreign concept for me, every day I address this crisis.

Recently I had a middle-aged woman come to the emergency room in search of help; she had become addicted to narcotic pain medications after numerous post-surgical complications, and now her provider was no longer willing to prescribe these medications to her. This woman wanted voluntary substance abuse treatment and we had nothing to offer her, as her insurance did not cover this type of treatment. Additionally, consider the 28-year-old female whose significant other pulled up to the emergency room with her passed out in the back seat, and left her oxygen deprived for several minutes during transport. Yes, my perspective has some bias, as I assisted in performing CPR for over 40 minutes on this female, who already has an anoxic brain injury induced by a heroin overdose. Then imagine helping to explain to her parents, who had no idea she had a drug problem, that we just called time of death, and watch them crumble. Long story short, her drug problem started as a result of a hydrocodone prescription by the dentist, and now she’s dead.

In the end, Wescott’s point that more needs to be done, and a bigger effort needs to be contributed by the federal government to address the opioid crisis is on target. A governmental motivation for a solution needs to be bigger than a political platform. As Wescott emphasizes in her article this situation is a disaster that requires a more ambitious and comprehensive approach. From personal experience, this issue goes above and beyond the political agenda; this is about life and death.

Continue reading “Are Opioids The Nation’s Newest Crisis?”

Migration Crisis

Many countries across the world are experiencing migration crises, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some people, like President Trump, believe that building a border wall through the Sahara Desert is the solution. There are solutions to the migration crisis, but building a wall is not a viable one due to cost, location, and logistics of building a wall of that magnitude.

photo with section of border wall
Section of border wall (FLICKR)

The article “There are one or two problems with Trump’s idea to build a Spanish border wall in the Sahara” published in the Washington Post, by author Philip Bump, caught my attention. Bump poses three major problems with the suggested border wall. First, Bump asks the question “Where does it go?” His first proposal is that the wall goes straight through the Sahara stretching 2,600 miles. Bump notes that only parts of the border are passable, which means many migrants are forced to travel across the Mediterranean often resulting in death. According to Bump, a second option is a more practical wall between Nigeria and Rabat that would block most migration routes used to get into Spain.

Secondly, Bump raises the issue that “Spain doesn’t control land in Africa.” The border wall would cut through Morocco and Algeria. Bump explains that Spain would have to convince both Morocco and Algeria to erect a border wall through their countries. If a border wall was erected and was effective, it would keep refugees in Morocco and Algeria, which would be counterintuitive for both countries.

Thirdly, Bump talks about the cost of a border wall. He explains that in normal circumstances a wall from Algiers to Rabat would cost approximately $7 billion. Bump then explains, building a wall across the Sahara would be much different from the U.S., Mexico border wall due to materials being harder to get in less populated areas. Building in the sand only adds to the cost because special supports for the wall would be needed. Bump concludes, “this is not a good suggestion for addressing migration increases, increases that might subside well before the wall is complete.” Philip Bumps’ argument against building a Spanish border wall is a logical and persuasive argument using relevant and current information but fails to mention the tenacity and determination of desperate people.

Bumps’ article reminded me of a similar situation from my childhood. As a kid, my grandparents had a large garden behind their home. Deer were always a nuisance to my grandparents. The deer would eat my grandparents’ vegetables, and what the deer didn’t eat was trampled on. My grandparents explored many solutions to this problem, including a tall fence over six foot high. The fence seemed like a great idea. My grandparents’ garden was deer free for a short time. One morning, my grandparents were shocked when they found a deer trapped inside the fence. My grandparents approached the fenced-in deer; the deer tried to jump over the fence but failed to jump high enough. After a few attempts, the young buck leaped over the fence and bolted into the woods. They were amazed by the deer’s tenacity and realized the fence was not going to work. People have the same determination of the deer in my grandparents’ garden.

Migration routes can be dangerous and often result in death. Bump writes in his article, “migration routes, particularly for migrants originating in Africa, have necessitated dangerous voyages across the Mediterranean Sea. Those trips often relied on the prospect of being rescued en route by merchant or fishing vessels. They also often resulted in scores of deaths.”¹ If people are willing to risk death to migrate from their country of origin, what is a wall going to do? The answer is, very little. A border wall may slow migration, but eventually, the determination of people will prevail, and migration will continue. We have a perfect example of this determination with the United States, Mexico border. The United States has taken many measures including border security and even building walls to prevent migration. Nevertheless, migrants still enter the United States every day, over waterways, through underground tunnels, over walls, and across deserts.

Bumps’ article has prompted me to ask a seemingly obvious question. If people will risk death to migrate, why wouldn’t they go through the proper steps to migrate legally? I have recently attended a seminar by Saeed Khan, a PH.D. candidate from Wayne State University, on Syrian refugees². Khan went into detail about the difficulty of the vetting process for migrants, specifically into the United States. Khan explained that the vetting process takes a minimum of 18 months to three years and is never a guarantee. There is a multitude of steps in the vetting process including numerous security background checks, interviews, approvals by mixed government agencies, and even medical screenings.³ Although the vetting process may vary depending on the country, the process is very difficult and can be impossible for some people. Many refugees struggle because their current situation is far too difficult or dangerous to wait for an extensive vetting process. Therefore, refugees are forced to migrate through alternate means as Bump mentions in his article.

The information in Bump’s article is relevant because it covers current migration crises, not only in the Mid-East but in the United States as well. Bumps use of logical points such as logistics, location, and costs support his claim that Trumps’ border wall is a bad idea and creates a very persuasive argument.

Bump and I agree that Trumps’ border wall suggestion is not a good idea.  Although I agree with Bumps’ article, it fails to mention the determination of people. Just like the deer in my grandparents’ garden, refugees will find a way to bypass a wall. We must consider our own border and the fact that our attempts at building walls and fences have done very little to combat migration. Also, the vetting process for refugees is so long, difficult, and in some cases impossible, that it forces refugees to migrate through alternate means risking death.

Works Cited

1. Bump, Philip. There Are One or Two Problems with Trump’s Idea to Build a Spanish Border Wall in the Sahara – The Washington Post. September 20, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/09/20/there-are-one-or-two-problems-with-trumps-idea-build-spanish-border-wall-sahara/?utm_term=.a4045ae4e035.

2. “Saeed Khan | ISPU.” Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, 24 Aug. 2016, https://www.ispu.org/scholars/saeed-khan/.


3. Corporate, Author. “Who Is a Refugee and What Do They Go through to Get to the U.S.?” World Relief, 3 Dec. 2015, https://worldrelief.org/blog/who-is-a-refugee-and-what-do-they-go-through-to-get-to-the-u-s.



Summary of “Saudi Coalition Admits Error in Yemen Airstrike That kills Dozens”

On March 22nd, 2015 a civil war broke out in Yemen Causing mass chaos throughout the middle east. The Houthis started a movement that was the cause of the war. They were fed up with how the country was being runned and decided to revolt Causing destruction throughout Yemen. Yemen is the poorest country in the middle east and is now being destroyed by the ongoing civil war. Many countries have tried to reach out and help, but none have made a big difference.

In ¹Saudi Coalition Admits Error in Yemen Airstrike That Killed Dozens” published by the New York Times written by Reuter says on September 2nd, 2018 the Saudi Coalition called in an airstrike that killed dozens of people including children in Yemen.  The attackers thought that the bus had Houthi leaders on board. The Yemen government is taking action so nothing like this ever happens again. They are trying to hold the people accountable for their actions. The United States government welcomes this decision to “take legal

Photo of bus after Yemen bombing (Fawas/ Ruters 2018)
Aftermath of Yemen bombing “Fawas/ Ruters 2018”

measures and ensure accountability”. The United Nations panel of human rights experts said that some of the Coalitions air strikes may be considered as war crimes. Saudi Arabia is currently trying to restore their government. The United Nations are meeting in Geneva to talk about the ongoing civil war in Yemen. This is the first time in two years. The civil war has caused Yemen’s economic system to crumble and the dollar has lost half of its values causing prices to increase. Saudi Arabia has put $2 billion in Yemen Central Bank but this has not helped the situation any.

When reading “Saudi Coalition Admits Error in Yemen Airstrike That Killed Dozens” published by the New York Times written by ¹Reuter; I noticed that the writer states there point early. Towards the end the writer runs astray from the main point of the article; which can cause a lot of confusion when reading. When I first saw the change in the topic it made me think that what I thought was the main idea wasn’t the main idea at all. It starts out explaining how a bus full of people were targeted by a military airstrike that wasn’t supposed to be targeted. Then it talks about how people are meeting together and are trying to figure out a way so this never happens again. As the article continues its starts talking about the ongoing civil war in Yemen and how the United Nations are meeting to discuss the war. The writer also goes on to say how Yemen’s economic system is crumbling and how Saudi Arabia has put $2 billion in Yemen’s central bank to try to help out.

This article informs people who want to know what’s going on in the world and care about civilians that live in other countries. Reuter makes us feel sorry for what happened to the people in Yemen. He states that the bus was miss targeted and then goes on to talk about the other ongoing concerns in the country. The writer made sure that we knew that there were kids on the bus that were targeted. He stated multiple times how this was a mistake and that people are trying to get to the bottom of this issue. The author put images of the aftermath of the attack to show us just how bad it really was after this incident took place. They showed images of the bus burning and small coffins of the children that were killed in the attack. He also stated about the country’s economy and how it is falling and how there is an ongoing civil war for the past three years. He uses phrases like “Brink of famine’’ and “The war has devastated Yemen’’. These expressions make you feel like Yemen is not a good place right now and feel bad for the country. The way the writer talks about the attack makes you feel like it was a mistake; but still provides enough information on the coalition to where you can understand why it happened. It goes on to talk about the civil war going on in Yemen and how it has destroyed the economic system. The writer mentions that the same people that ordered the airstrike gave Yemen central bank $2 billion. I agree with how the article makes the reader feel. The images used are powerful and show us some of the damage done. Yemen seems to be going thru a very tough time, the way the article is written gets that point across.

Personally, I think that it was good for this writer to create this article. I think news like this needs to be heard. I’m sure there are many ongoing issues like this one that doesn’t get reported. I think the world needs to know when things like this happen. That way everyone can be informed of what’s going on in the world. In the article, it talks about how the issue is being resolved. I like how the writer included this. This provides a little bit of closure for the reader. If it had just said a bus full of people were blown up in Yemen by the Saudi Coalition we would have no clue what was really going on. People would ask questions like: Why was this bus targeted?, Who are they trying to kill?, and What is going on to ensure this doesn’t happen again?


  • Saudi Coalition Admits Error in Yemen Airstrike That Killed Dozens

  • Type
  • Newspaper Article
  • Author
  • Reuters
  • URL
  • Publication
  • The New York Times
  • ISSN
  • 0362-4331
  • Date
  • 2018-09-03T04:03:41.259Z
  • Section
  • World
  • Accessed
  • 9/20/2018, 11:37:55 AM
  • Library Catalog
  • NYTimes.com
  • Language
  • en-US
  • Abstract
  • The strikes that killed dozens of children were unjustified, coalition officials say, vowing to improve procedures to avoid such mistakes in the future.
  • Date Added
  • 9/20/2018, 11:37:55 AM
  • Modified
  • 9/20/2018, 11:37:55 AM
  • Tags:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Civilian Casualties
  • Yemen
  • Defense and Military Forces
  • Houthis
  • Notes:

  • Summary
  • In “Saudi Coalition Admits Error in Yemen Airstrike That Killed Dozens” published by The New York times writen by Reuter says on September 2nd, 2018 Saudi Arabia called in an air strike that killed dozens of people including children in Yemen.  The attackers thought that the bus had Houthi leaders on board. The Yemen government is taking action so nothing like this ever happens again. They are trying to hold the people accountable for their actions. The United States government welcomes this decision to “take legal measures and insure accountability”. The United Nations panel of human rights experts said that some of the coalitions  air strikes may be considered as war crimes. Saudi Arabia is currently trying to restore their government. The United Nations are meeting in Geneva to talk about the on going civil war in Yemen. This is the first time in two years. The civil war has caused Yemen’s economical system to crumble and the dollar has lost half of its values causing prices to increase. Saudi Arabia Has put $2 billion in Yemen central bank but this has not stop the situation any.


Saudi Coalition Admits Error in Yemen Airstrike That Killed Dozens. The New York Times, September 3. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/02/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-yemen-strike.html, accessed September 20, 2018.

Roe Is ‘Important Precedent of the Supreme Court’

Judge Brett Kavanaugh faced the members of Congress to be questioned on many controversial issues such as the current sexual assault issue on Dr. Christine Ford, as his confirmation hearings continued on wednesday of last week. Senator Dianne Feinstein, (Democrat, California), posed various questions to Judge Brett kavanaugh on his stance of the 1973 abortion-rights case Roe vs Wade, Judge Kavanaugh responded by saying it was “a settled law”. American citizens have a certain objective to what a Supreme Court judged should be focused on, and that is the law of the land and its protection for all American citizens. Perhaps, this is why Mairead McArdle’s, “Roe Is ‘Important Precedent of the Supreme Court’, is not focused on the heated topic of the so called sexual assault on Dr. Christine Ford, but what issues should bring to mind if he is confirmed as the next Supreme Court Judge.

In the “Roe Is ‘Important Precedent of the Supreme Court’, Mairead McArdle argues the conversation between Democrat Dianne Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Supreme nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh takes a stance on the issue of the Roe vs Wade case should continue to stand its ground on the American law, which McArdle gives evident statements to what Judge Kavanaugh responds with. Ranking member (D) Feinstein upholds her questions to asking Judge kavanaugh, what he meant by saying its a ‘settled law’, responding by saying its a law that has been reaffirmed for the last 45 years. Kavanaugh continued saying his stance and view on ‘Roe’, it’s a precedent of the supreme court. McArdle purposely settles this argument between Feinstein and Judge kavanaugh to grasp the audience attention towards Kavanaugh’s view on ‘Roe’ and have a glimpse of what the American people would have if Judge Kavanaugh were to be confirmed by the senate committee. Many Americans are concerned and fear to have Judge Kavanaugh as their Supreme Court Judge, this is due to the allegations that’ve made to Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser Dr. Christine Ford, who testified of last week her incident that occured in Maryland in the early 1980’s, she’d been sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh, who at that time was 17 years of age, her being 15 years of age. Beside the fact, McArdle’s focus is on ‘Roe’ and her objective of telling her audience that Kavanaugh does believe the ‘Roe vs Wade’ should continue to stand as the law of the land. Abortion right supporters fear if confirmed as the next Supreme Court Judge, Kavanaugh will vote to overturn ‘Roe’. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood have organized campaigns to vote against his confirmation as the next Supreme Court Judge.

McArdle doesn’t explicitly describe the contents of Roe vs Wade, but can be given in description which is a law prohibiting and restricting access to abortions and make it as an unconstitutional right. The last 45 years, as stated by Kavanaugh, it has been reaffirmed multiple times, most recent one which was Planned Parenthood vs casey, which reaffirmed ‘Roe’ in 1992. The conversation between Feinstein and Kavanaugh is formatted in this article as a dialogue which helps the readers to fully understand on what is being said when Kavanaugh testified before the senate

Image of News Article Paper of Roe vs Wade law
Roe vs Wade, McMaster 2018

committee and why’re American people need to understand there’s not only one issue that is needed attention but several issues, such as abortion, and author McArdle does this in perfect sense where Americans need to start thinking for themselves as what they believe is true about the allegations, but also issues like women’s own right to a reproductive system or whether to support laws such as ‘Roe’. When asked by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D), on what Kavanaugh thought about women’s right to her own reproductive system, he declined the posed question and instead refuted back to his original statement, and that ‘Roe’ is an important precedent of the Supreme Court. For women across the nation and those who are likely pro-choice groups (organizations) tend to have an opposition towards Kavanaugh and may want to consider an appeal for his confirmation. For author McArdle, she is looking beyond the sexual assault allegations but rather see how Kavanaugh will respond to the American people as the next Supreme Court Judge, and trying to help her audience understand that if the sexual assault incident occurred, and if he is against women or women’s rights, his obligation as the next Supreme Court Justice is not in the hands for millions of women who want a Judge that treat women in a fair fashionable manner, and is why Mairead McArdle is trying to respond to her readers by writing the word for word testimonial from Kavanaugh and his position on ‘Roe’ and women’s rights.



Perhaps McArdle is one of many pro-choice individuals who seek out to delay Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation but rather have a second option for the Supreme Court Justice nominee. McArdle see’s to find out the real Kavanaugh through what is written in her article by giving evidence of what Judge Kavanaugh responds with when being questioned by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D). There’s less emotional appeal for readers, but rather a rhetorical questioning on whether Kavanaugh is our next Supreme Court Judge. It’s obvious Judge Kavanaugh supports pro-life and is against abortion and should be a ‘settled law’ that reflects back to ‘Roe vs Wade’ law. Women for decades have had the right to their own reproductive system, while some laws that have infringed upon their rights such as ‘Roe’ have had restrictions regarding abortions and its licensing to practice the field.  It’s obvious as “Roe’ a “settled law”, Kavanaugh can be assumed as a Constitutionalist, who will uphold the law of the land and continue to have individuals like Senator Dianne feinstein (D), to make sure he is not to be confirmed as the next Supreme Court Justice. If confirmed, ‘Roe’ will likely be a ‘settled law’ that will continue to thrive for years to come.


Works Cited


3. McArdle, Mairead. “Kavanaugh: Roe Is ‘Important Precedent of the Supreme Court’.” National Review, National Review, 5 Sept. 2018, www.nationalreview.com/news/brett-kavanaugh-roe-v-wade-important-precedent-of-the-supreme-court/.

Go Fund Me: Being Limited in Response Teams

Imagine being in Hurricane Maria, Not knowing your next move or even not knowing when someone will come to the rescue is absolutely a terrifying experience. Then after this hurricane passes you experience something so devastating like where you’ll go? Or who’s going to rebuild your community town to at least go to your local grocery store or give you the chance to have power again in your home. According to the Civilian Response Teams¹ 2018), a non profit group, a civilian response team is “An organized group of civilian volunteers who are committed to helping the people in our communities during their times of greatest need.” All of these examples could be dealt with by some kind of non profit organization that helps communities during an aftermath of a disaster. Thinking back on Hurricane Maria when the hurricane first hit one of the main problems that struck was how state and civilian response teams did not actually respond effectively. Most of these response teams did not just have a responsibility to help rebuild after the disaster, but also give as much financial support as they could, but why couldn’t response teams help the way they should in a timely manner?  Here is where just another problem arose, where would these response teams get the funds to help? To better respond to medical, educational, and housing needs state government response teams should give more funding to civilian response teams to act faster during the aftermath of a disaster.

image of after effects on hurricane maria
See what happen to Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria hits

Puerto Rico was one of the islands that got affected the most in Hurricane Maria and most of what their island needed was financial help. Before the disaster came their economy was so badly in debt on a international stand point that it almost seems impossible that this territory will ever get recovery. Now a hurricane too? This would create many problems with American Government response teams, because without those international debts being paid off how would Puerto Rico ever get help they truly deserve?  Now, for a moment let’s just say Puerto Rico was not in debt and the economy was booming. If when this disaster arrived would the people of Puerto Rico gotten more funding because they don’t owe any international debt to anyone?

If Civilian Response Teams had enough funding to help the people of Puerto Rico on  Educating the people who are dealing with the disaster or even the aftermath of the disaster in their community is important, because when they are provided the right resources and guidance it may be easier to deal with a disaster of any form in the future. According to Richard Hallgren the author of the book,  A Safer Future: Reducing the impacts of natural disasters (1991), When looking on a national level on how to make people of a community aware and more educated on how to deal with and what they should know during a natural disaster in their location is very crucial.  This should be a communities very first priority. Even when you notice that response teams have been delayed time to getting to the location to help the communities who are in need it would help tremendously having knowledge of how to survive in certain ways during a disaster.

Hallgren (1991) states:

At home, provide information on household survival plans, precautionary measures, and emergency supplies;

in the community, promote planning, education, and preparedness action by hospitals, churches, schools, businesses, neighborhood organizations, and other groups;

in schools, protect children and their families through information on natural disaster preparedness, warnings, and response;

in the workplace, ensure safety and security of workers and business assets;


in colleges and universities, incorporate disaster reduction in the education of all relevant professions;

for public officials and the press, develop procedures for informing the public before, during, and after a disaster; and

for professionals, provide continuing education in natural disaster reduction. (p. 2 and 3)


 For example, When visitors come to Puerto Rico having some kind of map plan on how to deal with the disasters like where to go,  having supplies saved, or even knowing how to keep everyone in line, and aware of what is happening. Having some kind of confidence that you know what is going on around you and how to resolve what is going on around you will reduce so much chaos during a disaster and the aftermath of a disaster. Taking so much stress off of a lot of the responders that show up and even families is very important in a situation like these.   

A way of getting the funds for responders to be educated in how to act faster during a aftermath of a crisis is very important as well. Ware (2018) found, “Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017. The report says by October, 54 percent of staff were serving in a capacity in which they did not hold the title of ‘Qualified.’ ” Knowing that more than half of our workers were not even educated should make anyone think if we had more funding to find better qualified workers would it have ran smoother to reconstruct and provide aid to the people of Puerto Rico?  According to Ware (2018), “Puerto Rico’s distance from the mainland caused logistical problems in providing and distributing aid. The report also pointed out a lack of bilingual workers. That caused delays while the agency shuffled staff members from other disasters to Puerto Rico.”  If our responders had more education on how to be more bilingual for instance, it would also be easier to figure out what communities need. For example, Where they need to go, what supplies they may need for their families, to be aware of who may still be stuck or need to be taken out of a situation a family can not get out of, calling their families to make sure they are okay, or even just getting the correct medical attention they may need.

If our Local Response Teams had more funding to help the people of Puerto Rico in a medical standpoint knowing that Puerto Rico is surrounded by water and would be prone to having storms it would help enormously knowing that their medical resources and staff are on top of everything before and after a disaster. Zorrilla an author to the article, “The View from Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria and Its Aftermath” (2017) said, “During the storm, the majority of the island’s 69 hospitals were left without electricity or fuel for generators. Much construction is cement-based and withstood the hurricane, but wooden structures built in mountain regions or elsewhere were lost or severely damaged”. By looking at this information, we can see that Puerto Rico’s hospital were in a major crisis. For example, Having power in a hospital to make sure you can simply care towards patients who are going into surgery or to even communicate with other hospitals.

Zorrilla’s (2017) research found the following :

As of December 22, 2016, there were 2591 pregnant women diagnosed with Zika and 36,364 total Zika cases that had been confirmed by laboratory testing.2 Of an estimated 28,200 live births in 2016, Zika affected at least 9.2%. By September 15 of this year, 1546 pregnant women had confirmed cases of Zika. Though the numbers are decreasing, cases are still being reported. This hurricane might well increase the mosquito population, and people may not pay attention to prevention messages or be willing to modify behaviors that affect their seeking of food, water, and gasoline or repairing of their homes.

With the high risks of having diseases contacting and knowing Puerto Rico is very low on supplies during this time, how could the death rate not go up now? How could anyone say that this island is not at risk for losing lives? If we had more funding to provide the people to get more generators and get more supplies we would be then decreasing the chances of disease rates in Puerto Rico during the aftermath of a disaster. According to, (Paek, Niess, Padilla, & Olson, 2018)Given that more than 49% of individuals and families on the island of Puerto Rico had Medicaid as their health care insurance, and another 6% were uninsured, the ability for FQHCs on the U.S. mainland to respond is critical.” As we can see the island was in so much need for medical care they had to seek outside their island for help. With this being said, if we had more funding locally Puerto Rico could help their people prepare faster after the disaster to help get insurance quick, easy, and affordable. Masterson’s report found that (2018), “The regions continue to face hurricane-related mental and physical problems for patients. Nearly one-quarter of Puerto Rico residents reported they or a family member needed or received mental health services after Hurricane Maria and 13% of those people needed new or higher-dose prescription medication for emotional problems after the storm” The people of Puerto Rico have such a long way to recovery and it’s not just within their roads and and buildings being reconstructed. It’s also within their medical systems as well. If civilian response teams were funded, Puerto Rico can give Puerto Rican’s a chance at treatment on their mental problems, vaccinating their people before getting any diseases, and even making sure they have enough supplies to get the right care that is needed at that time within hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, and mental health services during the aftermath of a disaster.

Having more funds in Civilian Response Teams to provide housing is also very important during the aftermath of a disaster. During a time when people are trying to come more together to provide their community with the best resources to get back on track, one thing is for sure that to people would be knowing that you have a roof over your head and a bed to lay your head on. Jaramillo stated (2018), Hurricane Maria displaced more than 135,000 U.S. citizens from the island to the mainland, leaving tens of thousands of households in situations like the Rosario- Adorno family.  But many of them have not fared as well. That is in part due to policy decisions that have left communities unprepared for disasters like Maria.” Being unprepared for disasters like Hurricane Maria leaves many life threatening risks. Having the funding to provide housing within Puerto Rico is even more important to some families. It’s hard to make decisions to go away from home in a place you are not familiar with and knowing how easy it would be to get kicked out and sent back after getting comfortable where you live is possibly one of the most feared possibilities. According to Strickler (2018), “FEMA has told 987 Puerto Rican families who left their island after Hurricane Maria that check-out time is noon on Friday. The federal government will no longer pay for their rooms. “I have roughly 48 hours to figure it out. What am I going to do?” said Vimarie Cardona on Wednesday. A single mother, she’s been living in an Orlando hotel with her three children since November and now works as a housekeeper at Disney World. “I started looking for apartments. Even before they said [the hotel payments] would end I started looking. From day one it was hell.” There needs to be long term housing assistance for people who are suffering from the aftereffects of a disaster. Better yet, not just housing aid outside of their island, but within their communities. If Puerto Ricans had the right amount of funding to provide the resources to get some kind of housing for families that can no longer find a place to live inside their island then there should at least be housing assistance for Puerto Rican’s who come to the states for help in getting housing longer term during the aftermath of a disaster. Rosie Perez an actor and activist in an interview on NBC news states (2018), “Ramon came up with this wonderful idea with the apprentice program he said, “ Listen, you can give a man a fish or you can teach him em’ to fish.” “So the carpenters and the workforce we bought down there we were teaching the people of Puerto Rico how to build their own roofs. And so, just in case a hurricane hits again and the government again doesn’t heed the call, they can do it themselves.” To know that many of the Puerto Rican people are coming together to figure out how to do it themselves is incredible, but these people need funding to get the supplies they need to build their own homes or roofs. Civilian Response teams could make such a change if they had the chance to take up opportunities like these. Acevedo and Pacheco (2018) found that, “Acknowledging the aftermath of the hurricane and the need to tackle the issue of informal housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave Puerto Rico an $18.5 billion grant, the largest single amount of disaster recovery assistance awarded in the agency’s history. It had also allocated $1.5 billion to the island in February bringing HUD’s total investment in Puerto Rico’s recovery to $20 billion.” Getting this money to reconstruct and build new homes for the people of puerto rico will take even more and this is just a start. This proves that there is money to provide some kind of funding for Puerto Rico’s people in housing. The U.S. will not just let them suffer completely. If your willing to put in effort your willing to see change and making a change shows everyone on the outside that you care about the people.

Outsiders believe differently. With Puerto Rico being an island surrounded by such a big ocean some people may have even thought that it is normal to hear that most of Puerto Rico got affected horribly by Hurricane Maria. In an article called, “What Trump has Gotten Right about Puerto Rico” by Molly Robin (2017) says, “Trump will visit Puerto Rico next week, the earliest he can go, he said, without disrupting relief efforts. He complimented the spirit and bravery of the Puerto Rican people and affirmed the island of 3.4 million American citizens was very important to him—while also offering excuses for why government aid had been slow to arrive: “The infrastructure was in bad shape as you know in Puerto Rico before the storm. And now in many cases, it has no infrastructure, so it’s, you’re really starting from almost scratch.” Here you can see where Mr. Trump has hope, but also has doubt and when your territory is going through such a bad disaster like an hurricane no one wants to hear a president have doubt that he will not be able to bring aid in a timely manner. Some say that people believe that Puerto Rico’s economy is so bad in debt that it would almost seem impossible to help fix the problems that Hurricane Maria caused without also figuring out how to help the island’s economy problems first. According to Disis (2017), “Puerto Rico’s economy was already struggling. The island has been in recession for 11 years and has lost 10% of its population in that time. In May, it filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.” Some people believe that it’s just time for the people of Puerto Rico to come to the mainland, because Puerto Rico is in such bad shape. With this being said, if Puerto Rican’s came to the states they would need some type of assistance for example, education, housing, and medical. If Puerto Rican’s are going to get help like that in the states it would only be fair to fund community response teams to help the people that are too poor to go to the states and just stay on the island.

To better respond to medical, educational, and housing needs state government response teams should give more funding to civilian/local  response teams to act faster during the aftermath of a disaster. Having local response teams more money to provide people the opportunity to educate themselves and the people dealing with the aftermath of a disaster would take a lot of stress off a lot of situations going on in that community. Having more funding for medical care more medical staff or just generators to keep hospitals and other medical facilities  going during a aftermath of a disaster. Having more funding for housing to teach the people how to get their community back to the way it used it to be before the effects of a disaster and/or to find a way to provide housing assistance for anyone who actually needs it whether you have documents or not. Helping local response teams more with funding with ensure that people who are going through these disaster aftermaths will not be on the streets, will save not just one person’s life, but many communities who are trying to survive.


  1. Graubard, V., & Coleman, E. (2017, December 1). Why FEMA is making a big mistake in Puerto Rico. Retrieved September 24, 2018, from http://politi.co/2j8pb43
  2.  Horowitz, J. (2017, September 26). Coca-Cola donates an additional $4.3 million to Mexico and the Caribbean. Retrieved October 1, 2018, from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A506670675/OVIC?sid=googlescholar
  3. Horowitz, J., & Yerieff, K. (2017, September 26). Hurricane Maria: These companies have pledged money to rebuild Puerto Rico. Retrieved October 1, 2018, from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A506441398/OVIC?sid=googlescholar
Jaramillo, C. (2018, September 20). One year after Hurricane Maria, Philly a model for recovery. Retrieved September 30, 2018, from https://whyy.org/articles/one-year-after-hurricane-maria-philly-a-model-for-recovery/
Lamothe, D. (2017, September 29). The Navy will send another combat ship to Puerto Rico, boosting hurricane relief efforts. Retrieved October 1, 2018, from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A507377127/OVIC?sid=googlescholar
Paek, H., Niess, M., Padilla, B., & Olson, D. P. (2018). A Community Health Center Blueprint for Responding to the Needs of the Displaced after a Natural Disaster: The Hurricane Maria Experience. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 29(2), x–xvi. https://doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2018.0040
Popken, B. (2017, September 27). Is it accurate to link disaster relief to the island’s financial woes? Retrieved September 30, 2018, from https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/puerto-rico-crisis/trump-s-response-puerto-rico-point-out-its-debts-n804941
Rodriguez, O. (2018, September 21). Hurricane Maria, Trump, and FEMA: How Not to Respond to Natural Disaster. Retrieved September 30, 2018, from https://theglobepost.com/2018/09/21/trump-fema-hurricane-maria/
Strickler, L. (2018, September 13). FEMA evicts Hurricane Maria evacuees as Florence hits and Trump tweets. Retrieved September 24, 2018, from https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/puerto-rico-crisis/fema-cuts-housing-funds-987-puerto-rican-families-who-fled-n908606
Yerieff, K. (2017, September 29). Corporate donations for Hurricane Maria relief top $24 million. Retrieved October 1, 2018, from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A507323011/OVIC?sid=googlescholar

Education in Syrian Refugee Camps





In March of 2011, a group of children and teens were caught writing political graffiti on a building. President Bashar ah-Assad had them arrested, tortured, and even killed one boy (CNN, 2018). This sparked an outrage among the Syrians and demanded that the children be released. Many acts like this, along with peaceful protests, were happening all over the country of Syria against President Bashar ah-Assad. What all started as peaceful protests to get more rights to their freedom, a better economy, lower unemployment rates, and suffering from a drought, turned into a full-fledged civil war (Marks, 2018). This civil war in Syria started in 2011 with no end in sight. Air strikes from the Presidents force, targeting schools and hospitals both places holding children own their own country. The children of Syria’s future. The war has displaced millions of children and cut off their access to education. Kolstad states in her article that 2.08 million children are out of school with 40 percent of schools in Syria are destroyed, under attack, or used as shelters (Kolstad, 2018).  5.6 million Syrians have fled to surrounding countries to try to get a safer and better life. However, schools in refugee camps aren’t much better than the ones in Syria. No supplies, no area to hold the school, and no trained teachers in most of the camps. Education is a fundamental right to all humans no matter the circumstances. The children of Syria are going to be a lost generation if nothing is done to help. Countries whom are wealthier and are stable enough to help, such as the United States and the United Nations, should focus more of their time and money on the lack of education and lack of opportunity to a school in refugee camps rather than the war inside Syria. Who knows, maybe a better education could have possibly prevented the civil war in Syria.

President Bashar ah-Assad became president in 2000 after his father passed away. In the beginning, Assad made a 45-minute televised speech saying that is hearing the people’s complaints and needs, but never made any concrete changes which defiantly didn’t help his popularity (CNN, 2018). Soon countries, including the U.S, started imposing sanctions against Syrian officials and abolishing trade agreements with Syria. Everyone around the world knows that what the Syrian government is doing is wrong and is hearing the country’s cry for help. CNN states in an article saying that “The Gulf Cooperation Council announces its member states are pulling their ambassadors from the capital of Syria, Damascus, and expelling Syrian ambassadors in their countries.” (CNN, 2018). The United

Syrian boy seeking shelter
Syrian boy seeking shelter from the war around him 

States also removed and shut down their embassy in Damascus. With many countries wanting nothing to do with Syria, the battle within the country grew. There were four main factors of fighting groups in Syria. Kurdish forces, ISIS, Jasih al Fateh, and the Assad regime. Thankfully, ISIS has now lost most of their territory (CNN, 2018). President Assad was a major problem among the people but so was the ongoing religious conflicts. Most Syrians are Sunni Muslims, while the Syrian government is mainly dominated by members who are Shia Alawite (Marks,2018). So if the thought of the government treatment towards the people was bad, the government and the people of Syria have 2 completely different religions who buttheads on top of all that.


Many people don’t remember what Syria was like before the war. Syria was a vibrant place, rich with history and diversity. Markets along the streets, filled with clothing of vibrant colors. The country had something called a “souk”. Souks were areas inside major cities that people fought for a spot to sell their spices, jewelry or clothing (Saleh, 2014). Syria was a major hot spot for weaving and textiles done with ancient weaving techniques. Saleh interviewed a girl named Tara. Tara stated, “Syrians are old fashioned, they welcome anyone in who knocks on their door. They are very generous, and you see that when you meet them”.  Syria is also a melting pot for all types of religion. Saleh states that Tara is Orthodox Christian and her fiancé is Sunni Muslim and that mixed marriages were very popular (Saleh,2014). Syria is also a huge hotspot destination in the middle east with Mosques, Roman ruins, and castles built during the Crusades. Emad Nor Eldeen (2018), wrote his own personal story about being a tour guide in Syria. Eldeen was a tour guide for 2 decades showing Syria’s rich diversity and history of the once civilization center of the middle east. Eldeen was leaving his office one day when he was caught in a crossfire and one of his knees was shot and shattered by a sniper bullet.  After that, he and his family decided to flee Syria to Egypt. Months after, not with a prosthetic knee, Eldeen watched video footage of his street completely destroyed.

Eldeen and his family were not the only ones to flee. More than 5.6 million Syrians have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan (Marks, 2018). Having millions of people run to your country for safety and a place to live puts a lot of stress onto a country who at times can’t even afford to help their own people. Syrians make up 10 percent of Jordan’s population, 25 percent of Lebanon’s population, and 3 percent of Turkey’s population (Beste, 2015). Khalil Ashawi interviewed a 14-year-old from Syria for an article about what school was like during the war in Syria. He says that he has to “walk down several steps into a hole on the ground to get to his school”, “We sit on the ground and often we don’t see clearly because it is dark”. They hold underground classrooms because it is overall safer from attacks and air strikes from the planes that never leave the sky.  He, among other children who had the chance to still go to school, did this because above ground, their school was destroyed and blown to bits (Ashawi, 2016).  Many families fleeing the country to get a better life for their children are realizing the education isn’t much better in refugee camps.

One of the largest refugee camps in Jordan is called Za’atari. Since the war, 1.3 million Syrians have crossed the border to Jordan, which has put a lot of stress on the country to take care of them with resources and an education (Summers, 2017). Sadly, to provide for their family, very young children are forced to work so they can survive. The Jordanian government decided to tackle this crisis by 50,000 new public school places for refugee children. However, only less than half of what they promised has been actually taken up and only 24,542 Syrian kids living in Jordan enrolled in some form of school (Summers, 2017). Finding trained teachers has been very hard. There is such a wide range of kids needing education. Some never going to school, some being out of school for 4 years, and then you have the much older teens. Children refugees who have tried to enroll in Jordanian schools have dropped out because it was too hard for them and they were getting bullied (Summers, 2017).  “At the Za’atari camp, there are only 15 schools for a population of 80,000” Summer says. Safety is also an issue for young girls walking to and from a school who is reportedly being harassed.

Education is such an important and vital necessity to have. It’s a right for all humans and it can open up so many doors and opportunities. The children in these refugee camps could be our future doctors, lawyers, mathematicians, and scientist. But sadly, with no opportunity to go to school, no books or supplies, these young children don’t know what they are capable of.


1. Ashawi, K. (2016, June 27). Going to school in Syria. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from http://wos-education.org/going-to-school-in-syria
2. Balsom, S., & Farley, M. (2018, April 2). As Lebanon Educates Syrian Refugee Kids, the Clooneys Step In To Help. Retrieved October 9, 2018, from https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/lebanon-educates-syrian-refugee-kids-clooneys-step-help/34208
3. Beste, A. (2015, December 14). Education in Emergencies: Will Syrian Refugee Children Become a ‘Lost Generation’? – Our World. Retrieved October 9, 2018, from https://ourworld.unu.edu/en/education-in-emergencies-will-syrian-refugee-children-become-a-lost-generation
4. Eldeen, E. (2018, April 23). “I was a tour guide in Syria – here’s what it was like before the war.” Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-civil-war-before-life-assad-regime-tourism-travel-a8317676.html
5. Five things you never knew about Syria before the war. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.news.com.au/world/five-things-you-never-knew-about-syria-before-the-war/news-story/50aee87307f613edcd8505f7bce12d0b
6. Going to school in Syria. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://wos-education.org/going-to-school-in-syria
7. Kolstad, K. (2018, April 26). Accessing education in the midst of the Syria crisis. Retrieved October 3, 2018, from https://www.nrc.no/news/2018/april/accessing-education-in-the-midst-of-the-syria-crisis/
8. Library, C. N. N. (2018, May 3). Syrian Civil War Fast Facts. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2013/08/27/world/meast/syria-civil-war-fast-facts/index.html
9. Marks, J. (2018, September 14). Why Is There a Civil War in Syria? – HISTORY. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.history.com/news/syria-civil-war-assad-rebels
10. Saleh, S. (2014, March 9). Five things you never knew about Syria before the war. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from https://www.news.com.au/world/five-things-you-never-knew-about-syria-before-the-war/news-story/50aee87307f613edcd8505f7bce12d0b

The Movement of Healing: Dance Therapy Healing People with PTSD

The Movement of Healing: Dance Therapy Healing People with PTSD

Ashley Garcia

West Shore Community College


Many people with mental illnesses such as post traumatic stress disorder have shown immense improvements because of dance therapy. Dance therapy is a movement therapy that helps the body release energy and emotion to help heal the individual. With mental illness being given more attention and known to the public it is important to address the many different therapies that can help people.

The Movement of Healing: Dance Therapy Healing People with PTSD

Dance is a part of all of us. From the moment that people can move and hear music they dance. Whether it’s dancing on a stage for a performance or the happy little dance people do when they receive good news, it’s a part of us. Today researchers are evolving that form of expression and turning it into something that can help heal people who suffer from both physical and mental illnesses. This movement therapy helps social, emotional, physical, and cognitive improvement for individuals. Many people with mental illnesses such as post traumatic stress disorder have shown immense improvements because of this specific type of therapy. Dance therapy effectively helps people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

More than three million individuals in the United States suffer from post traumatic stress disorder per year. This disorder makes the individual have difficulty recovering from an event they have witnessed or experienced that was terrifying for them. For some people it can last months and for other it can last years. This condition is treatable but each person who suffers from PTSD doesn’t always get treated the same way. Dance therapy has proven to help many people who suffer from this disorder and many have turned to this type of therapy for treatment. Dance therapy is a movement therapy that helps the body release energy and emotion to help heal the individual. As defined by the American Dance Therapy Association, “dance/movement therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of the individual.” Dance pushes the boundaries of not only the human body but the mind as well. It helps people with trauma in a number of ways. Trauma is a form of anxiety. Anxiety builds tension, often leaving individuals to pace or not know what to do with all the pent up energy building inside as the anxiety spikes. Dancing allows this energy to be released through the physical exertion. Dancing is a form of expression. Through this structure of expression, it enables those with trauma to emote those feelings they are suffering from by letting them out in a healthy manner. Dance therapy can come in many different forms. Some seek this treatment through a dance class. Others go to an official dance therapy session which isn’t exactly a regular dance class. Movement therapy takes the elements of a dance class and transpires it with therapy to result in positive therapy outcomes.

Dance therapy most commonly works with veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. It may seem hard to see soldiers dancing but they find comfort in a space where they can creatively express themselves in a way that they hadn’t been able to before.

Image of President Obama joining in on Allison Winter’s dance therapy session in 2017
President Obama joining in on Allison Winter’s dance therapy session in 2017

Allison Winters, a dance therapists who wrote a blog post on what made her realize she wanted to help veterans, says that “It wasn’t about teaching dance moves, but about moving with each other in a meaningful way.” This is true dance. Each movement is sewn together like a sentence that the dancer is speaking with their movements. It isn’t always a leap or a pirouette. It can be a simple hand gesture or standing in one place for as long as the dancer needs to. Winters also had the opportunity to demonstrate a dance therapy session for veterans with former president Barack Obama. He praised the therapy session as he supports the arts, “The theater is necessary. Dance is necessary. Song is necessary. The arts are necessary—they are a necessary part of our lives.” Winters has seen this need for the arts firsthand as she’s watched dance heal people who are suffering.

Over the years dance therapy continues to grow along with the research supporting how effective it actually is. A study of 15 women was done in 2016 who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. There were 15 different therapists who worked with these women, each holding a unique yet similar in theme dance therapy session. In a result, all the women who participated showed improvement. Of course, the biggest limitation was that the case study was done with a group of women with a mean age of 49 years old. Having both genders would be sufficient but this study was for women who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder because of abuse-related traumas that are ignored compared to the traumas that people suffer from when being in the military. Most people also don’t know that “as many as 13-20% of children, ages 3 to 17, in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year,” according to the American Dance Therapy Association. It is commonly known that post traumatic stress disorder commonly comes from veterans who have served in the military because of the severity of what they experience.

Many news articles have surfaced covering the effects that dance therapy has on individuals who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. They show first hand how elevating in mood and mental health this therapy can be. On 12News, they showed a United States veteran who was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder so severely that he started having suicidal thoughts. The veteran states that a ballroom isn’t typically a place that you would find him but it’s the place that saved his life. In the hour that he spends dancing, he feels the effects of what dancing can do. In that moment, you’re free. Staff Sergeant Onix Vargas, was able to regain his joy for life because of the therapy he found in dance.

Dance therapy isn’t always for everyone. There are many different kinds of therapy, each with their own strengths that hone to different individuals. According to anxiety.org, “Some studies found that certain dance therapy treatment techniques were less effective in people who are more likely to reject uncomfortable situations and easily overwhelmed.” There is no one type of therapy that is perfect for everyone though. Dance therapy does help a vast majority of those fully give dance therapy a try with an open mind. The same could be said for dance in general. Those who are willing to be uncomfortable at first when exploring the art are the ones who really thrive in the art.

Dance therapy is continuing to evolve and grow as time goes on. More research continues to come out showing the positive outcomes from movement therapy. With mental illness being given more attention and known to the public it is important to address the many different therapies that can help people. This unique type of therapy that helps express and release emotions also helps social, emotional, physical, and cognitive improvement for many individuals. Dance therapy effectively helps people suffering from mental illnesses such as post traumatic stress disorder.




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3. How I learned to use dance/movement therapy to help military veterans. (2017, February 21). Retrieved October 1, 2018, from https://www.saybrook.edu/unbound/journey-learned-use-dancemovement-therapy-help-military-veterans/

4. Levine, B., Land, H. M., & Lizano, E. L. (n.d.). Exploring Dance/Movement Therapy to Treat Women with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Critical Social Work – University of Windsor. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from http://www1.uwindsor.ca/criticalsocialwork/DancemovementTherapy

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6. Parker, S. (2018). Moving On: An Investigation of Dance Movement Therapy in PTSD Treatment. Moving On, 13, 13.

7. Research on the Efficacy of Dance/Movement Therapy is Growing. (2016, March 19). Retrieved September 29, 2018, from https://adta.org/2016/03/19/research-efficacy-dancemovement-therapy-growing/

8. Rosenthal, M. (2013, August 9). Benefits of Dance Movement Therapy for Treating PTSD. Retrieved September 29, 2018, from http://www.healmyptsd.com/2013/08/benefits-of-dance-movement-therapy-for-treating-ptsd.html

9. Russel, L. (2016, May 12). A Dancer’s Journey with TBI [Blog]. Retrieved September 26, 2018, from http://www.dancingwell.org/ptsd-tbi-blog/2016/5/11/a-dancers-journey-with-tbi

10. Snapshot. (n.d.-a). Retrieved from http://www1.uwindsor.ca/criticalsocialwork/DancemovementTherapy

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13. Snapshot. (n.d.-d). Retrieved from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/what-is-ptsd.asp

14. Welling, A. (2014, November 8). What is Dance/Movement Therapy? Retrieved October 1, 2018, from https://adta.org/2014/11/08/what-is-dancemovement-therapy/