Friday, November 30, 2012

Part 2 Legalize it

I changed from the video i first analyzed.  Many of those options i felt too passionately about, therefore i couldn't look at them with an honest eye.  now that I can write about how i feel, i have the following started..

Daniel Collier
ENG 112
Ms. E

Thesis Statement: It would be beneficial for the United States of America if non-medicinal marijuana were to be legalized, not decriminalized.  The most important reason for legalizing marijuana is for the government to be able to gain control, regulate, and tax this so called ‘drug’.  Being able to tax this cash crop would bring billions in revenue to our government, and having control would help keep it out of the hands of our children; until they are at a predetermined age. 
Audience: The main audience of this policy argument would be American men and women, 30 years or older; and more specifically, those who oppose the legalization of marijuana.  This age group is chosen, as younger people are more apt for legalization, and “older” people are more apt to take steps to change what they believe in, they are the ones in/coming into political positions.
Sources:  so far… - Drug Enforcement Agency ( – News article in regards to grow houses

Body of Paper Outline
1.       Difference between Legalization and Decriminalization
a.       Legalization – able to buy in establishment and perfectly legal (for certain age)
b.      Decriminalized – reduced or no punishment for possession, but still ‘black market’ and drug dealers sell – not government regulated
2.       Prohibition
a.       Brief history of why prohibition started for both alcohol and weed
                                                               i.      Prohibiting alcohol began the ‘gangster’ era and brought horrible terror and crime, similar happens with the ‘drug/marijuana war’
                                                             ii.      Prohibition causes an artificially inflated value for whatever it is making illegal
1.       Weed is more expensive than gold – show price difference.
2.       Since its not regulated, dealers can charge whatever price they want: this kind of market ownership leads to murder over ‘turf’
b.      What marijuana meant to America in the ‘early years’ – cash crop
c.       Why did alcohol remain legal after, and marijuana was made illegal??
3.       Legalization = Taxation
a.       Important to point out the importance of legalizing and not decriminalizing weed
b.      The biggest reason the country as a whole will benefit is from the tax dollars coming in
                                                               i.      Look at countries where it is legal, and see what their yearly tax revenue is.
                                                             ii.      Check the population of these countries and compare to America
1.       From there work out a ratio of the tax dollars that as a country we could bring in
c.       Spending less tax dollars on stopping dealers and illegal growers
                                                               i.      If legalized, you will be punished if found growing illegally – just like moonshining
                                                             ii.      How much money is spent in a year monitoring, stopping, and clearing out grow houses and marijuana dealers (preferably for the country, if not find 1-2 cities and focus on them)
                                                            iii.      How much holding (in jail), etc is spent on these non-violent criminals
1.       Can cost up to $10,000 (tax dollars) to ‘cleanout’ a grow house after they have been busted. 
2.       Las Vegas busted 112 houses in 2011, at say $7500 per house = $840,000 spent just on cleaning out grow operations
                                                             v.      Grow houses
1.       In BC studies have shown that 1 out of every 100 houses is a grow op.
a.       1 grown house can produce 400-500 lbs annually at $1400-2800/lb – so lets say 450 lbs at $2200 = $990,000
b.      This is the revenue from one house, if the government could tax this think of how quick we would be out of debt.
d.      Preemptive rebuttals
                                                               i.      Gateway drug
1.       As ‘the Union’ pointed out; the DEA states that the number of kids for marijuana use are up in rehabilitation centers across America
2.       Kids are given the choice of Jail or Rehab, which would you take?
a.       Once in the system, they are labeled an addict
3.       The gateway drug theory is a slippery-slope
a.       There is no chemical that makes people want more/different drugs after trying weed
b.      People are given more opportunity to see/try other drugs, as their pot dealer may sell them too.  If weed was regulated, people wouldn’t see the other drugs, as they would still be illegal
                                                             ii.      We must keep it out of the reach of children
1.       Actually, its easier for kids to get weed than beer and ciggs. Due to no regulation
a.       The neighborhood dealer doesn’t care how old you are, your money is still green.
                                                            iii.      BAD side-effects of weed
1.       Marijuana will not kill you, there have been no reported deaths from someone who died strictly from smoking weed, only.  
a.       If we are worried about the death-toll, look at other ‘legal drugs’ and obesity
2.       No proof that marijuana causes lung cancer
a.       UCLA report
3.       Marijuana is proven to be less addictive than caffine
                                                           iv.      If Marijuana is legalized, how can we tell if people are ‘under the influence’ while driving, there is no breathalyzer for weed.

I do want to review and list at some point the same/similar views that the different agencies FOR and AGAINST say about marijuana….are there any areas in which they agree?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Logical Fallacies of animal rights

I feel that we do not need to ensure that animals have legal rights.  There are organizations like PETA that fill people's heads with a bunch of lies and fallacies.  When on their website today I came across this statement:
     " Giving meat the boot is also the best way to ensure a lifetime of good health".  Comparing to what we discussed in class today, I feel that this would be a perfect example of BLACK and WHITE fallacy.  PETA is stating that the best way to ensure a healthy life, is to stop eating meat.  But the fact that exercise, reduced alcohol consumption, not smoking, can also lead to a healthy life.  There is more than just ONE reason a person can be and stay healthy.  PETA loves to over exaggerate statements and bend the truth in attempts to sway the feeble minded people who can't think logically about their diet. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Virtual Day Debate Response

I reveiwed the debate "Illegals Should Build the Border Fence", whose title explains everything. 

The issue about this debate is that the American Policy on ILLEGAL immigration is confusing, and that one participant states they should be used to build a border wall, and the other participant is against the notion.  I want to specify that the Immigration Laws (for legal immigration) are not confusing, regarding to these two people, it is the Illegal Immigration Laws, and what to do with the people who come here Illegally. 

Assumptions were made on both sides of the arguement, the easiest way will probably be to list each assumption/premises under the "pro" or "con" in regards to building the boarder wall.

     Pro- Boarder Wall
     - "Right now laws concerning illegal immigration are confused and inconsistent but with this new policy there would be no more confusion. " - Are the laws really that confusing, or just to this participant, and if/when the boarder wall policy would go into place he assumes that there would be NO confusion ever again regarding illegal immigration.
     -"This strong and consistent policy would be a strong deterrent against illegal immigration." - I agree that this would deter many people, as the work is long and hard, but how strong of a deterrent would it be?
     - "With labor groups on the border working around the clock with police and border patrol agents watching the border would also end up being watched as well." - Although there would be many more patrol agents overseeing the work, won't that take more tax dollars to pay for? 
     - "Why should we welcome the lazy, the impatient and those who believe themselves to be above the immigration proccess?" - Not all immigrants are lazy and impatient, not all believe they are above the immigration process, but perhaps they had to leave their homeland to excape harm - and they couldn't get into our country a different way.

Con - Boarder Wall
     - "The idea that imigrants would be subjected to forced labor under supervision of police is cruel and unusual." - Does this really underlie with "cruel and unusual" punishment, I was "forced" to do manual work when I was living with my parents.
     - "I want to dispell the notion that imigration policy is confused."  - this is the main reason of the arguement, both feel differently that the policy is confusing.
     -" Business wants cheap labor. It wants cheap labor more than it wants lower taxes, and thats saying alot." - Do all businesses want cheap labor over helping the american economy?  I think this is a pretty strong assumption myself.
     -"If we used immigrants we would be losing valauble immigrants!" - Would we lose jobs to immigrants to build the fence, are we currently paying people to construct one, won't it bring more jobs to those that patrol the boarder?
     -"We've seen bridges collapse due to poor construction, Are we expecting a quality fence from these forced prisoners?" - This is a good assumption, and leads a person into critical thinking...why would they do a good job at building the fence...wouldn't they make it weaker so they could just come back easier?

     I feel that the arguement presented by the "Con" participater gave a better arguement, not that he brought forth a better arguement, but that he brought more "hard facts" to the discussion.  By quoting the constitution and important people through history, he could bring his point around as to WHY laws were set up a certain way.  To many people he would be able to "swing" their votes because of this.  I will give credit to the "Pro" participater, as he gave good arguements, that would really trigger people emotions.  So to say who had the best arguement you have to view this in 1 of 2 ways:
   1. Are you trying to just prove a point and win an arguement
   2. Are you wanting to persuade people to buy into your opinion.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Do you know how to tip??? Come on people..

Most of my life I have worked in some sort of service industry, specifically in food and beverage.  I have held positions of lowly dishwasher, busboy, pizza-maker, expediter, server, bartender, manger, and general manager.  During my 10 plus years in the industry, there is one constant that I have seen in EVERY position (except kitchens), PEOPLE DON'T KNOW HOW TO TIP! 

IF you don't know, servers and bartenders typically make under $3 an hour, and thus DEPEND on their tips to survive.  Also, in most restaurants the servers have to tip out on their sales, meaning they have to "tip" the busboy's, bartenders, and food runners - I actually had a table where I lost money as the server, the bill was $500 and I got $12 tip (French people) and I had to tip out my busboy based on sales which came to $15 on that particular table!

The typical percentage to tip is 20%; when I say typical, I mean this is what the servers expect.  Now, when I say expect, this is if proper service is given.  I know there are times when you don't receive the proper service that you expect, and in this particular situation then it is understandable that the tip be affected - if the reason for the poor service is the server's fault.  For example, if your food comes out incorrectly or cooked wrong, most likely this is not the fault of the server, but the kitchen.  The server's tip should not be affected in this situation, they have no control over the kitchen, or the 'ticket times' once they are rang in. 

Please keep in mind the type of restaurant that you are dining at when thinking about the service.  If you are in a Denny's or Ihop, don't expect your server to be "all over your table", in those restaurants the servers have huge sections (# of tables in their section) and have to take care of a large number of guests.  Whereas, if you are dining in a fine restaurant, the servers usually have only 4-5 tables to take care of, greatly decreasing the number of guests they are taking care of. 

Many people enjoy wine with their dinner, and feel that if a bottle is ordered that they shouldn't tip on that amount (in the case of an over $100 purchase).  Again, keep the service in mind; does your server keep your glasses full, do you ever have to poor your own wine, was the wine decanted, did the server make a wonderful recommendation for your meal - all these things should be in mind when tipping at the end of the meal.  Not to say you should tip 20% on a $500 bottle of wine, but you should tip some sort of amount, at least 10 - 15% (on wine only, the rest of the bill should be 20%).

So please, keep your server in mind at the end of the meal, they depend on their tips.  I can guarantee, that if you frequent a restaurant and get known for being a bad tipper, you will receive poor service every time.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Love to go Phishing!

This past weekend was another one of those epic trips; great people, good times, and awesome music.  In anticipation of such a great time, my buddy (and groomsman in my wedding) flew up from Florida, just to go see Phish in Charlotte with my wife and me.

Meeting at our hotel, we left for the parking lot of the Phish concert at 3pm with the doors not opening until 7.  If you haven't been to a Phish concert, the parking lot is a mini-festival before the concert even starts.  We met with a group of friends, around 12 people total who had a party bus, and listened to a local Asheville band play in the parking lot....what a great idea!  I really kept everyone in the mood and got the party started early!   

After enjoying some of the "festivities" of the Phish parking lot, we all got our minds right and made our way for the gates.  What a trek from the parking lot, where you just follow the rest of the herd of people as you wonder wide-eyed and smiling into the venue.  "Give the man at the doorway your ticket, don't make eye contact, and wait for your friends".....keeps this in mind.  What seemed like an hour, probably only 10 minutes, we made our way to a hillside area where we would set up "home base". 

Being tired from over 4 hours of partying already, i sat down for literally 2 seconds before the first notes were strummed on the guitar......these 2 seconds were the ONLY time I sat down for the entire show!  The set list that was played was unheard of....the best of the best songs were played.  I spoke with many people who have seen many more shows than myself and this was the best they had ever witnessed.....what a great vibe!  They played for almost 4 hours with the following setlist:

set one:
set two:

If you have never experienced a Phish concert, and you have an open mind, and don't judge people by what they look like or what they dance like, etc.....then you should try it out.  You don't always have to be under the influence, but you will be in good company of those who do enjoy.  If you keep an open mind and open eyes, you may have a life-changing experience like I did when I went to my first concert.

Friday, August 24, 2012

    My life is one that has been fortunate, and I have been able to see and experience many things.  I was born in Ohio and lived there until we moved to England when I was in 7th grade.  We lived there for 2 years before moving back to Ohio, where I finished through High School.  I moved to Pittsburgh, to attend the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts for an Associates degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management.  My career in fine dining took me to Pinehurst Golf Resort for 5 years (where I met the love of my life), before moving to New Smyrna Beach, FL where I began managing a Prime Steakhouse on the beach.  AFter living in Florida for almost 4 years we (she) decided that we should move to Asheville, which also brings us closer to her family.  Upon moving up here, I got a job managing the dining room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate.  While at the Estate, I achieved my Level 1 Sommelier certification (wine expert), and also got married on property (for $500!!).  
    After my wife and I were married, we began to think about the next 5 years, and decided that we are going to begin a family.  Knowing that it isn’t a good idea managing and working 60 hrs a week, I decided to leave management and return to school.  
    The two of us and our kids (2 english bulldogs) are loving Asheville more and more each day.  We are both enjoying returning to school to better our futures.  

Reviewing some of the blogs, which I had no clue what a blog was before this class, I found that much of it seems to be just larger facebook pages for people’s thoughts and/or news feeds.  I looked at The Huffington Post (, Gizmodo, and BuzzFeed (  As discussed in class, there is a FULL range of data, thoughts, and information that are listed on these things.  I feel that is where issues lie, as people will be reading other’s thoughts and base their ideas off that instead of factual information.  Depending on which site I went to, I found different styles and tones of writing: Somber tones on the Huffington Post about the Empire State Building shootings; Upset techies that are voicing their opinions and thoughts about the new iphone in a descriptive anecdotal, casual fashion that makes the reader feel stupid if they don’t understand what they are saying; then there is the unimportant, useless sites like BuzzFeed, that do absolutely no good to anyone.  With the lazy writing, that is focused to teenagers, it was not able to catch my attention.  The consistency that I did notice throughout all of the sites, were that they all used images.....and LOTS of them!  Almost to the point of sensory overload; it is hard to stay focused and read an article when there is movement in 5 different ads going on around the perimeter of the screen.  When it came to the actual articles, the images seemed to “pop” or reflect the ONE instance that there may be referenced to in that article.  Many of the images used, it appeared, were that to deceive the reader into opening/looking at the image...which may not have even been the main point of that article.  This is another reason why I don’t like blogs and online gives deceitful people a way into your life.  People that I don’t even know, or worse - people that I don’t want to know, can get any information they want just by having some kind of virus attached to an ad or link.  
    I am not particularly thrilled about the blogs and all of this other stuff/work that we are having to do for this class, but UNFORTUNATELY, this is the way our world is moving.  If I want to be able to succeed moving forward, I need to be able to learn these skill, no matter how pointless I feel they may be.