Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Blog #8B - Pick a quote on America

Blog #8B: Pick one of these quotes and tell me what you think the speaker means by it and what he/she is saying about America specifically (150 words minimum). Do not just rephrase the quote.

1. "America's greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is our belief in second chances, our belief that we can always start over, that things can be made better." Anthony Walton, writer


2. "America is the greatest, freest and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world." Dinesh D'Souza, writer


3. "What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do some thing about them." Henry Ford II, US automobile manufacturer (1917 - 1987)


4. "I don't measure America by its achievement but by its potential." Shirley Chisholm, US politician (1924 - 2005)

5. "The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people." Walt Whitman, US poet (1819 - 1892)

6. "America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair." Arnold Toynbee, English historian & historical philosopher (1889 - 1975)

27 comments:

chris elliott said...

America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair." Arnold Toynbee, English historian & historical philosopher (1889 - 1975)

I this quote Arnold Toynbee is comparing America with a very big dog. He is also saying that the world is a very small room. Even though America isn’t that big of a country it takes up a lot of space with its success and its economic standpoint. America effects every country in the nation when it does something weather it means to or not. With this quote Arnold compares America with a dog because it never means to do anything bad but something bad happens. When the dog wags its tail and knocks over the chair it didn’t mean to but the chair is still knocked over. America does things to help other countries but when they do they sometimes cause harm to that country or countries around it. America is the most powerful country in the world and everything it does can harm or help other countries no matter what their mean was.

Chris Elliott 3rd hour

Anonymous said...

"I don't measure America by its achievement but by its potential." Shirley Chisholm, US politician (1924 - 2005)
In my opinion, this quote means a lot of things about America. It’s saying that the US shouldn’t be too proud of what they have done in the past, and let that get in the way of what we should be doing in the future. For example, the US shouldn’t still be glad about all the wars that we have won in the past because that could get in the way and cloud our minds of how we should be planning for present wars such as, the war in Iraq.
It’s also saying that America has a lot of potential in every aspect. America is already the number one superpower and we have potential to exceed that, especially since China is going to pass us and become the new superpower. So this quote is saying that we still need to work hard and stay focused even though we have many past accomplishments in order to continue to be a top superpower.
Amanda Biondo
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

Ben Goddard
3rd Hour

"America is the greatest, freest and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world." Dinesh D'Souza, writer
I chose this quote because I agree with it. I think that Dinesh D’Souza is trying to say that our country always tries to help people because there aren’t any more countries fit to help. We are a superpower country which means other countries depend on us a lot, even if they don’t think they do. She is saying that America is willing and able to help other countries in times of war or troubles when they need help. We started out small and had many people trying to figure out the best way to govern this country to have it be free, but also to have it be under control. To have people run the country but to have the country run the people. Once they figured it out, a couple hundred years later, America is now the most powerful country and is, “the last best hope” because we are the only country left to help others, and we are still able to help ourselves.

Anonymous said...

4. "I don't measure America by its achievement but by its potential." Shirley Chisholm, US politician (1924 - 2005)
I believe this quote is a very good idea on how to think about our country. It means that we should not say our country is great, because we have done great things, but because we CAN do great things. America has done many good things, but that does not mean we are the best country. All it means is we DID those things. In order to be a good country, we need to be able to do good things, and follow through with them. Any great ancient empire ACHIEVED a lot, but cannot do any more. The ancient Greek empire created so much for the world, culture, stories, inventions, but is no longer around. So they are not a large force or influence on the world NOW. America needs to open new opportunities for their people and other people. They can do this by setting up more jobs for, and relations with foreign countries. Allowing and supporting new breakthroughs and developments in society will bring us, and keep us at the top.

Patrick MacCallum

Anonymous said...

The quote spoken by Arnold Toynbee is about how America is a large country but one big family. For example when he said friendly dog in a very small room, I think that he means that all the citizens work and help together as a family to help each other succeed. But in the next sentence when he said that every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair I think that he meant that every time that the people try to help to much or go to far then something bad happens. For example if America tries to bud in and get into other countries business or problems then they get the other country mad. My opinion to this quote is that it is true. All the citizens do work together as a family and they do get to involved with other countries. Just like America dealing with Iraq and Iran. I agree with Arnold Toynbee and with what he said.
Ron Wexler. 3rd hour. December 5, 2007

Anonymous said...

I chose Arnold Toynbee’s quote because what he means is entirely true to what America truly is. We are a large group of people, who always want to get into other people’s and county’s business. If two country’s are about to go to war America will interfere and try to stop the conflict. There are good and bad things with getting in other’s business. Many times it gets America involved in wars that we never should have been involved in, for example World War One, if we hadn’t interfered, we wouldn’t have gotten into debt and lost so many lives. The good thing about getting involved with other country’s conflicts is that if the United States interferes early enough we prevent war and the loss of lives. Recently the news has been telling Americans that the United States government has been listening to personal cell phone calls and checking personal emails, an example of getting involved in things they should never have gotten involved in, many American’s feel that this is an invasion of privacy, wagging its tails and knocking over a chair.
Megan 3rd

Anonymous said...

"What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do some thing about them." Henry Ford II, US automobile manufacturer (1917 - 1987)

I agree with what Henry Ford has said in this quote. I do agree with him that America does have problems but we are very smart and can handle our problems. We also do things about the problems in the world, for example we went to Iraq to stop the Al Qaeda and to stop Osama Bin Laden so that more terrorism does not occur in the world. Even though some of the decisions that we make are not so good we still back them up because we are very smart and have a lot of resources that we can use to defend our country and defend what we believe in. We have very smart people in our country that keep up on what’s going on the country so they know what to do about the problems that we have. As for most countries, their people don’t care and don’t have enough resources because they don’t care about resources which are why I think those people are not that smart in their decisions. We also are smart because our people are involved and most other countries the people are not.

Brandon Miller
3rd hour
12/5/07

Anonymous said...

William Y. Quote 1
As Americans, we, as a whole believe in second chances. Just look at our movies, books and relationships. In America People often succumb to pleading. As a soft spot, they often feel that if they do give someone a second chance it will make both of their lives better, which is, at times, not the case. Often it will make each individual’s life worse, they will argue about who started the original argument, or the issue will arise again… However, there are times when giving one a second chance will allow them to prove themselves worthy of it. When the people prove themselves thus, sometimes the argument will arise again, many times it will not. This shows that America’s greatest strength and weakness is the gift of second-chances, when used wisely, with honorable people it is a great asset, otherwise, when used frivolously it is na├»ve and just a bad decision

Anonymous said...

I really feel that quotes numbers 1, 2, and 6 I feel are made by people who were successful and wealthy at the time. During that time period and now we cannot be as patriotic as we were in the 1800’s. We have so many problems and it seems like democracy and freedom now is nothing like it used to be. The wealthy have the most control of political moves, not the people. But in comments 3, 4, and 5 there comments were more toward the U.S is great, although it has problems, it does have potential. Basically showing that we do need change, and it has to come from the common people. All together I feel these quotes show different views and points from different perspectives. Receiving a quote from Henry Ford II is most likely going to be different from Walt Whitman because of the differences of where they came from, and the time they were raised.
Mostafa Bendali-Amor

Julian D. said...

"America's greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is our belief in second chances, our belief that we can always start over, that things can be made better." Anthony Walton, writer

In this quote America is described as taking second chances is our greatest strength and weakness. I agree because if we didn’t take chances and keep persisting we would still be under British rule (that would fall under our greatest strength). The other side of that quote is not to your benefit. Because we always take second chances it cost us lots of money and lives, when Bush said that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction he sent thousands of troops into Iraq to find out that he was wrong, even after he was wrong he thought that our military should start over and just rebuild Iraq to make it democratic (would have been nice if he checked for the suicide bombers). Six or seven years after that President Bush is saying that we should take a second chance and look into Iran for WOMD. By now any normal person would have realized that taking this second chance would just screw us over again, but that’s America, a “never give up” country that will always take the chance for the benefit or for the worse.

Anonymous said...

I highly disagree with Dinesh D’Souza. I believe that America never was and never will be the freest society in existence. Everyone of the rites that our founding fathers had written, the government has completely avoided. No longer are people free to speak or even joke about the government. People are always discriminated against in our “fair” judicial system. Let me re-state the quote “America is the greatest, freest, and most decent society in existence….for rich white people.” And the fact that he said America is not barbaric is unbelievable. People kill people every day for wealth, religion, race, and drugs. Perhaps the LARGEST mistake about calling us the “free” is that everyone’s lives our dependant on education. If u can’t afford it or just dropout, u are basically screwed for life. No longer is talent an importance in society, it’s just merely somewhat of a hobby that apparently gets u nowhere. Without being able to do what you love, or not having the right to speak is just not my idea of freedom, I consider it the most barbaric of anything.

Dylan Scher

Anonymous said...

I think that Walt Whitman’s quote contains some truth however I don’t completely agree with it. Obviously the government, the ambassadors, and the people in churches are smart otherwise they wouldn’t be in their position. Walt obviously believes that the common people contain true genius because they are the people who are the backbone of this country. He thinks that people in higher places are corrupted and forget who they were in the first place. I sort of agree with Walt here because I know people who have power generally abuse it. I disagree with Walt when he says that some of these people are not geniuses. Inventors and newspapers writers usually have to be original thinkers to get their work done. I agree with Walt the common people are smart, and they are not represented enough as geniuses in the world. I feel that common people are smarter in some ways because they deal with more problems than the people writing about them. The common people with the problem are the ones who are smart enough to dig themselves out of the hole.
Barbara Moore

Anonymous said...

The quote spoken by Henry Ford II about the ability of America being able to fix its own problems is one that I have mixed views on. I think Henry Ford is saying that America is known for being the land of the free and the home of the brave, so why is it that all these problems are in our midst’s?! America is a wealthy country, there is nothing stopping it from being able to control the problems that we face today. Ford is implying that a good quality of America is its response in fixing its issues. I agree that our country has the resources and connections to add to the solution to problems. But what are the problems America faces right now that can be easily fixed? The majority of the common people are not going to waltz into Iraq and inform them that just because we are a common and wealthy country, that we can fix the war. Car companies can’t stop producing automobiles just because pollution is now an issue , even though almost every person in the country owns at least one type of automobile . I think America has the power to try and resolve our country’s problems by using advertising and public announcements as a way to inform he public about the problems. In retrospect though, most of the problems that America had ten years ago, are still being discussed and resolved today. Normally when America tries to fix one problem though, they end up causing another one. This concept applies to the quote spoken by Arnold Toynbee in which he states that America is the happy dog in a small room, but once it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair. This in other terms proves that when America steps in to fix or to provide offerings, a domino affect of problems will probably occur. I’m proud to live in America and I wouldn’t move for anything, but I’m also smart enough to know that America isn’t always successful in solving their problems, even if we have the ability to try.
Julia H.
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

I chose Henry Ford’s quote because I agree with what he is saying. I think that Henry Ford means that America is still a great country although everything you hear about America is bad. Since this quote was from a long time age America probably had less problems than it does now. Henry Ford is saying that America still is great. I think some reasons he thinks America is still great are because it has many colleges, invents things, and is very technologically advanced. Also what Henry Ford means by recourses is that America has many resources to offer. An example of what Henry Ford is saying is that maybe oil prices are very high for Americans, but they might be making a lot of money off of a another resource like lumber or cotton. Henry Ford was a very important man during his time, so this quote probably meant a lot to Americans.
Jeremy Kaplan
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

"What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do something about them." Henry Ford II, US automobile manufacturer (1917 - 1987)

This quote is saying that Even though America might not be perfect, we have great resources and we are intelligent than other countries. We use these two things to fix the problems we do have. I agree with this quote because we do use our intelligence to solve whatever problems we have. For example, we had a problem with alcoholism in the 1920’s. So we enforced prohibition on January 16th, 1920 which banned the use of making, buying, or distributing alcohol. I also believe that we have the resources to fix problems. For example, to purify our water, we used technology as a resource to make sure we had clean water to drink and that we didn’t catch any diseases. So what this quote is saying is true. We do have the intellect and the resources to fix our problems.

JOSH BUCKNER 3rd hour

Anonymous said...

Blog #8B
Michael Weiner
12/05/07
3rd hour

I chose Anthony Walton’s quote because I agree with it. Our strength of forgiving is also our weakness. Believing in second chances can really make it hard to get more allies. Going into Iraq was partially because we believe in a second chance. In the case of Iraq, we wanted to make Iraq better but most other countries (our allies) are looking at us wondering what where doing. If we keep butting in to other people’s business our allies might not want to get involved in the stupid and petty conflicts we get in. That might lead to them no longer being our allies, all because of our “Strength.” Things all ways can be better, but if we can’t get it done quickly and efficiently. People are going to get worried. We thought that the war in Iraq would be quick and easy. I think that’s why people accepted it in the beginning.

Anonymous said...

(on Quote #1)
I believe that America’s greatest weakness is our philosophy that everything deserves a second chance. America’s will to believe in a better outcome the next time around has turned it soft. Even now, when the White House itself is crumbling, we believe that someone will change something and it will all be okay. We believe tomorrow will be brighter, but tomorrow will never come if we don’t make the most of today.
We focus on our second chances so much so that we forget about the time we’ve got to make something happen now. The more time we waste, allowing corruption, allowing decay of cities, letting days slip away is time we can never get back. We can’t view our beautiful nation like it will always be there tomorrow, because one day, it may not. Instead, we must treat every day like the last day, no second chances, no tomorrows.

Alex Lindsay

Anonymous said...

I picked this quote because I do not agree with it. It is trying to say that whenever we try to help another nation we end up messing them up even more. For example, when we went over in to Iraq a lot of Americans would agree that we are only messing with them and that they do not want to be helped a lot like a friendly dog that thinks he’s doing good but he is only breaking everything in the room. I do not agree with this. Many Iraqis do want us there to stop the unfair dictatorship that is in place there. They’re in need of American troops to keep them from going back to their old way of life. If we did not remain there after we set up a democracy there, somebody would probably end up taking over again and it would be exactly as it was before we showed up. Most Iraqis are grateful for our intervention in Iraq.
-William Kern

Anonymous said...

Andrew Knox
12-5-07
In the quote stated by Henry Ford II he is basically saying that America is putting themselves in this predicament. We have the power to stay out of the trouble but we are choosing to use our powers toward the wrong thing. For example we our using our superior powers to go to war instead of creating world peace. We also have the power to get ourselves out of trouble, by signing more peace treaties and becoming better allies with our neighboring countries. We also could stop using our money to help other people and first use it to keep our country safer and help gain power. What our country is doing is not making it any better for the generations to come. By the time the children of today are older we will be in many wars if we keep going down the path we are on right now.

Anonymous said...

"I don't measure America by its achievement but by its potential." Shirley Chisholm, US politician (1924-2005)

I choose the quote from Shirley Chisholm, because I agree with her view on what she thinks America essentially works. America is a place that is free and is open to opinion and living the way you choose within the boundaries of the law. Shirley is referring to potential instead of achievement. For example, one might have the greatest potential in a sport but may not score the most points in games. To have potential is most commonly known as the ability to have "possibility" in whatever you do. With Americas freedoms and type of government, it has the possibility to become the most successful country in the world, but what you do with that possibility determines what you achieve. To achieve something can either be to meet a goal or meet a certain standard. The possibility becomes an achievement when you make a success out of the product..etc. If you have the product, you have potential. Depending on how well you present or manufacture that product, determines if you can achieve the goal of making it superb or not. The point that Shirley is trying to make in her quote or statement is that America has the products, good leaders, type of government that it needs to be successful but what you do with the that determines your achievements.

Mary Mc Keon
US HIST B, hr 3

Anonymous said...

"America's greatest strength, and its greatest weakness, is our belief in second chances, our belief that we can always start over, that things can be made better."
America does believe that it will always have a second chance. It knows that even if we gets our self in trouble that it will always find our way out. Even though this usually works to our advantage a second chance belief could totally screw us over. I say this because if we believe that every time we get in trouble we can find our way out, one time we are going to bite more than we can chew and it will come back to haunt us. I say this because you can’t always rely on second chances; if you get into war with everyone in the world then everyone hates you. You can’t rely on a second chance for everyone to forgive you because most likely they won’t and every time you go to war no one likes you. Also, if you pay to help a small country and give them a large some of money and they don’t do well you have just lost a lot of money for no reason. But, in a country this successful we have enough smart people to know not to take out more than we can afford/ risk.

Pat Rooney
5th hour

straight up G in the D said...

Blog #8b
I believe that Shirley Christholms quote is the unsurpassed one out of the bunch. She states that she does not measure America by its achievements. All the good or bad things that we have done in the past do not matter to her, but what America has to come is the real importance of America. Through her statement I think that she is saying that America’s youth are the future in a way. What America has to come is up to the youth which is our future. She is more dedicated to work on the future and leave the past, we need to better prepare ourselves for what’s to come. If America has a good potential we can remain in power for many years to come and have a bright future. She could also be referring to America’s potential as a bad thing. That is what I think Shirley Chisholm mean in her statement.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this quote by Anthony Walton. In his quote he states that America both has great strengths and weaknesses, in saying this he is saying that we should be proud of what we believe in but also be careful how we use our beliefs. The first one is that we believe in second chances. This is very true because in our court systems we try to give you a second chance. And this also includes other country’s by going in and helping them get back on their feet. But the bad side of that is that some of the people don’t want us to help and they sometimes will form groups and try to hurt our country. The second one is that we believe we can always start over, and that things can be made better. This can be supported by law making and processing things differently. If a law made something worse we believe that we can make everything better by getting rid of it or in place of it a new law. If something is unjust then we try to have new ways to make it just, by maybe going through a new trial and new judge, that is if it has anything to do with the legal system. And that’s why I agree with Anthony Walton’s quote.
Alexandra Moceri

Anonymous said...

I picked quote number 4 because America does have a lot of potential. The United States likes to help the other countries because we are friendly and helpful. Americas achievement isn’t that high because we haven’t finished helping the countries that we began with. An example is the War in Iraq, we marched in there and we still aren’t done with them 5 years later. The search for Osama Bin Laden is another example because we put our time and money into searching for him and someday he will be found and it will be worth it. In the past America has gone to Panama wanting to build a canal with potential and it turned out to be a big success and is now a achievement. The United States has also helped with aiding other countries with food and doctors. Some countries even get a chance to be educated.

Ryan Feist

Anonymous said...

Blog Response

"America is the greatest, freest and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world." Dinesh D'Souza


I chose this quote by American writer Dinesh D’Souza because it describes on how America has become so dominate and a great society for America to live in. In the quote Dinesh is saying that America is the only country in the world that is a strong, safe and beneficial to citizens living in the country, while other countries either struggle with their economy, safety and government. Dinesh is also saying that America took a risk with a new government and a new way of ruling their citizens. Now they have succeeded it and now it has paid off and have every country trying to mimic and copy the U.S style. I do agree on what Dinesh is saying because America has been successful in life and in running a powerful country.


Collin Parson
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

quote 6
America is seen to be as the place you want to move to and raise your children in, by other countries. Although it seems so great and peaceful on the outside, on the inside it is slowly destroying things. America wants to be great, it wants to be the best country out there, but sometimes it just can’t achieve those decisions. When America is happy to help other countries we try to hard and show off and we just mess up what we’re trying to do to help the other countries. I agree with this quote because when we wanted to help find Sadam Hussain we went in to their country and to try and get rid of him because he killed so many people and when we went on there the people in the country didn’t want us to be there and we just bothered the citizens and wandering over the streets.
Tali Jensen

ChoLo said...

I chose this quote because I think it is true on some levels. America has the ability to achieve more than we have as a country but we have not done that. We have done so much in other countries and worried about their problems that we forget about our own. So many people think America is so wealthy and little do they know, we are borrowing money from other countries because of debt. America is greedy and we don’t even realize it as a country. America could do so much better if we just focus on one thing at a time and not worry about other countries problems. Why are we trying to rebuild a country that we destroyed, and our s is still being destroyed everyday?