“A Sense of Guilt” an analysis of Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener”

By Trudy A. Martinez

In the year 1853, Herman Melville writes “Bartleby, the Scrivener”; he subtitles it “A Story of Wall Street”. This is an interesting subtitle, considering he writes the story just prior to the Civil War and the great boom of the industrial era in America.

The story depicts a man, Bartleby, whose earnings are meager, a man who slowly loses hope of bettering himself or his position in life. On Wall Street, where Bartleby works, riches abound; but Bartleby “prefers not to” strife in what he believes is a hopeless situation.

Bartleby’s employer, the lawyer (the narrator of the story), brings insight to the situation through his concern (and feeling of responsibility) for Bartleby by failing to respond to Bartleby’s continual reply “I prefer not to”. In this way, the lawyer acknowledges responsibility for Bartleby’s hopelessness; the lawyer’s sense of guilt centers on the work arrangement. Thus in part, the story of “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, by Melville gives an answer to the question: Why did America wait nearly one hundred years after Europe before industrializing?

When considering the impact of “hopelessness” upon France, the answer is apparent. The resulting corruption of the French Industrialization and the French Revolution is still fresh in the minds of the greedy, the social elite, and the entrepreneurs in the western world. America’s elite wants to prevent revolution, to prevent the slightest threat of repetition of the “French” example.

In France and England industrialization is a revolution, unplanned, uncalculated. If America is to follow suit and progress, her entrance into industrialization requires planning, predetermination, and thinking-out and most of all control. Therefore, not only do the salves need to be freed and given “hope” but also all the people need “hope”, and token justice. Education needs to be mandatory, thus allowing for the conditioning of an “American Dream” through the compulsory school systems and behaviorism.

When industrialization hits America, the common people are prepared; they have “hope” for a better tomorrow; they are willing to work hard to get ahead, to build a better future, if not for themselves for their children.

The social elite take a step backwards, allowing the rising money elite to manifest control of the industrialization, providing hope. The social elites spend more and more time on Wall Street at the Stock Market investing in the new enterprises and the new corporations that emerge; they effectively transfer their sense of guilt for the hopelessness of the struggling to the rising middle-class, while at the same time they give the magic ingredient, “hope”.

A symbol of hopelessness is apparent in the story about Bartleby; the symbol of hopelessness is also a fear of the social elite, because hopelessness could mean revolution and the demise of the rich. Thus, Wall Street is the perfect setting for the lawyer’s story about Bartleby. Perhaps, the story itself fuels the changes that alleviate a sense of guilt, giving reason and justification for the unjust practices of business.

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Supreme Decisions

The following article was published in the “Inyokern News Review” as a letter to the editor in October 1990.  The letter was written in response to the unnecessary death of a young girl.  The question then was whose life is valued more an endangered species or human life?

The underlying importance of this issue highlights another question: Are we going to allow the loss of the rights guaranteed through the Constitution for all Americans as a remedy?

Even though the article was written in 1990, the issues surrounding it still exist today and will continue until the people’s voice is loud and clear that they will not stand for remedies, which result in the taking of properties.  The Fifth Amendment of United States Constitution clearly prohibits the taking of properties for public use without just compensation.

The Fifth Amendment does not say that “We the People” [the property owner] must do the compensating.  Nevertheless, across America, property owners are told they must compensate in order to improve their property when their property is said to be in the habitat of an endangered species.

Supreme Decisions

By Trudy A. Martinez

Tom Turner, author of “Courting Disaster in the Nation’s Capital”, (Mother Earth News, March-April ’88 p44 (2)) says, “The Supreme Court can go for long periods without rendering decisions in environmental disputes.”  Some recent decisions have ruled in favor of property holders.”

“ . . .  The Firth Amendment prohibits “. . . nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”  The courts have ruled in favor of the property holder’s right to develop their lands and against environmentalist who wish to prohibit such undertakings.

The Mohave Ground Squirrel has posed some problems for our area residence.  Property holders are being robbed of property, money, and peace of mind in regards to this issue.  Inconsistency, extortion, blackmail, and plain highway robbery appear to be the tactics incorporated by the so-called public agency.

A recent death of a young girl in our area reveals that the Mohave Ground Squirrel’s life is considered of more value than human life.  The most dangerous intersection in Ridgecrest goes without a traffic signal because of the prohibiting of development.

Enough is enough!  Agencies such as The Nature Conservancy should be forced to have their day in court against the people of California and other states in the Union, if applicable.  Joint and/or single court action should be ensued.  True, court action may take years; but with the press, public records, documentation, and foresight, the people can again be victorious.

George Reiger author of “Unnatural Developments” says, “Although TNC uses millions of nonprofit dollars annually, it offers little accountability to the public underwriting its schemes”.

The Nature Conservancy’s record is not lily-white.  They want a monopoly with no competition.  If the people stand in their way, they move them, cheat them, and abridge the people’s rights.

A “Supreme Decision” is not just for the courts but also for the individuals and/or groups of individuals who are affected by mismanaged corrupt governmental concerns.  America is still a government of the people.  It is the responsibility of Americans to remind the agencies that tend to hinder personal rights guaranteed through the Constitution and the “Bill of Rights” to seek restitution.  Not always is the mere joining of special interest groups enough.  The way to pursue action if you want results is to challenge them.  “A squeaky wheel gets attention; a well oiled wheel is left alone.”  The more media coverage there is the better.  The more cases tried, the more examples set.  To question, to challenge, and to fight for the justice and rights that seem to be forever fading is a responsibility of every American.  The oppressive methods of “Special Interest Hip Pocket Agencies” who pursue personal gain by engaging the concerns of corporate, affluent Americans may only be stopped by the judiciary system.  Ignoring the interest of the people is only smart if the people allow their freedom to be abridged.  An agency like the TNC may shine on the outside, but they stink on the inside, polluting the future of America.

The Nature Conservancy needs to be given a copy of the “Fifth Amendment”; better yet perhaps someone needs to read it to them: the blind are sometimes able to see with the aid of words.  (A box of Q-tips may be needed to clear their ears so they can hear what is being said.)  I interpret the Fifth Amendment to say that if we the people are kept from our land through the taking of the land that we the people are supposed to be compensated.

Nowhere in the Fifth Amendment does it say “we the people” must do the compensating!

(Paper 1) Television and Technology: An Outgrowth of a Means of Control?

(Paper 1)  Television and Technology:  An Outgrowth of A Means of Control  By Trudy A. Martinez
  
 Introduction:
According to The America College Dictionary, the term technology originated from the Greek form of the word technologia which meant: systematic treatment.  With this logic and reasoning in mind,  I intend to examine the relationship (in my series of papers (2)) between the root meaning of technology and the specific technological advancement of modern television and the outward application of systematic treatment.  A historical review of technology will foreshadow progression through the modern applications.  In the process, the hazards and possible ramifications of the modern application of television should parallel the historical and come into focus with a convergent force, leading to the question:  are we as individuals free and in control?  Or are we being controlled?
 
Influential History:
 
Before industry was introduced on a large-scale to society, government, the nobles, and the church fashioned and maintained a systematic treatment of the populace.  Imagination was quailed through fear.  Few had the fortitude, determination, or endurance to contradict the status quo.  The church functioned as the mediator of facts and legitimacy.  Only upon emergence of the period of history known as the scientific revolution did individuals bring forth a challenge that would relinquish, foil, and peel the ideology of the church from the face of society.  As a result of the peeling of ideology, new doctrines emerged and created a new freedom that evolved around imagination.
 
Creative imagination became the forerunner of technology as we know it today.  The imagination of specific individuals brought about technology which resulted in an industrial revolution that was fueled by greed in Western Europe.  Expansion of industry facilitated the greed at the expense of the up and coming middle class and the lower classes.  Ultimately, reaction to overwhelming greed resulted in revolution.  After the French Revolution, it became apparent that repressive controls were needed to preserve the status of aristocrats in an industrial society.
 
American Historical Factors:
 
In the beginning, our forefathers sought to establish a governmental system of systematic treatment of equality and justice for all.  In their estimation, revolution would ideally be prevented through unity.  The America promise-land was established to free the people from oppression of their oppressor, England.  After freedom from oppression was gained, America remained isolated: close to nature and close to God.
 
Even though industrialization in the United States of America was not a revolution, technology was allowed to flourish.  As a result, technology seemed to change the emphasis of the America objective from freedom of the people to freedom of big business.  This change of emphasis paralleled a change in ideology.
 
In the beginning, American commerce flourished under the ideology of the Enlightenment:  “It assumed that history, at least modern history, was driven by the steady, cumulative, and inevitable expansion of human knowledge of power over nature” (Marx 1987, p.5).  Under this assumption, the “ideas of progress” grew to “a necessary criteria” for progress to achieve “political and social liberation” (Marx  1987, p.5)  As a result, “scientific knowledge and technological power were expected to [work for the benefit and] improvement in all conditions of life–social, political, moral, and intellectual as well as material” (Marx   1987, p.5).  The ideology emphasized the importance of the free individual.
 
 Whereas, “the rhetoric of Daniel Webster . . . [and] Edward Everett . . . [produced] a new version of . . . progressive ideology”.  Webster’s version of ideology emphasized big business rights over individual rights and instrumentation value over social value.  Technology came first and the individual second (Marx 1987, p. 7-10). Big business literally took the ball and ran with it.  They identified and established their own systematic treatment of the people of America.  As history had previously shown in France, as systematic treatment of the populace was necessary for control to be manged effectively, while at the same time, preventing revolution.
 
America’s industrialization followed a Civil War.  The establishment of a mandatory school system to educate the masses to a specific way of thinking provided a means of a futuristic control of a government for the people, while Yellow Press Journalism worked towards a more immediate end for business by directing favorable thought toward imperialistic expansion.  Occasionally, fear tactics were exploited in the Yellow Press when necessary to maintain control (of the populace and the government) or expand the interest of business.  European technology had furnished the examples.  American technology needed only to maintain control.
 
Technological Innovations:
 
There was an air of excitement in the communication industry with radio transmissions.  (Yellow journalism had had only the ability to exploit the literate, whereas radio had the ability to increase the realm of influence.)  The “radio transmitter” allowed listeners to “hear the whack of the bat and the call of the umpire”; the listener’s imagination did the rest.  Future advancements of technology was not “an idle dream”.  Technology predicted that the viewer would some day “see the dust raised by the sliding player’s feet”.  Even though America had the technology to proceed with the production and transmission of television broadcasting as early as 1930’s, wide-spread transmission did not occur until after World War II (Mac Donald 1990, p.8).
 
With the technological advancement of the radio, communication control emerged.  Technological advancement and government control have always gone hand in hand.  The reason being that government found it necessary to become the protector of the people (as a force measure) to balance the scales of justice.  Radio advertising “jingles” stimulated commercial economic growth, while at the same time, programing provided entertainment which aimed on educating; this eventually permitted individuals to relinquish some reliance they may have place upon their own individual enterprise. 
 
With more and more progressive entertaining innovations, the industry grew.  Advertisements made the programing possible.  Communication enterprises and education institutions became the major controlling factors of maintaining the status quo of both government and big business.   Thus, continual growth was insured to satisfy the upcoming entrepreneurs through education and the expansion of industry through advertisement and enterprise. 
 
The thrust of technologies modernization, in the realm of communications, brought the radio into the homes nearly all Americans.  Americans listened.  Americans believed.  And Americans reacted.  They utilized their active imaginations in ways never believed possible.  Orson Wells’ broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” broadcast on a Halloween night proved a point:  the American mind could be controlled through the innovations of technology and imagination.  The broadcast had brought about panic; it had brought about death.  Some Americans had offered their lives as a sacrifice by committing suicide to avoid the awful death imagined by their unconscious perception.
 
Can’t you just imagine the secret back-room conversations of corporate management and the questions that might have arisen:  What if advertisements could capture the same thrust as that of “The War of the World” broadcast?  Would the consumer’s imagination be the driving force that would determine whether or not to buy the product?  Advertisements on radio stimulated the imagination.  Advertisements on television replaced imagination with a sense of imagined reality. 
 
Technological Growth:
 
Television was an outgrowth of radio.  Advertisements paid the way.  A struggle for control of the industry emerged.  “RCA (Radio Corporation of America) controlled radio” (Mac Donald 1990, p.22).  Their dream was to control the television industry by monopolizing both production and programing.  In opposition to RCA’s control, fierce competition arose for jurisdiction in the up and coming television industry as it emerged.  When Radio Corporation of America (RCA) sought a controlling interest of not only production but also programming, government commission stepped in and attempted to avert RCA’s influence through government intervention and controls.  But when RCA formed the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and “. . . enormous technical and financial power to programing and station ownership. . . ” it won the “governments blessings”.  Even so, Zenith and Phil co provided competition for manufacturing while Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) provided competition for programing (Mac Donald 1990, p.22).
 
Technological Control:
 
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) was established by Congress to superintend the broadcasting industry of both radio and television.  Its job was to protect the public and the critical aspects of the American economy.  But the magnitude of its “regulatory power raised questions” from both the “political left and right”(Mac Donald  1990, p. 23).  While in the arena of free business, there was a fear of “state control of capitalistic commerce and creation of centralized planned economy”(Mac Donald 1990, p. 24-25).  The FCC curtailed RCA’s standards and literally forced NBC (owned by RCA) to sell part of its interest.  As a result, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) emerged as another competitive programming force.  The FCC validated the criteria and Public Service Responsibilities of Broadcasting Licensees.  The FCC role was to monitor broadcasts.
 
Public Reaction:
 
The American public reactionary comments remain somewhat unchanged.  The only difference between the earlier era of television versus the current is that the broadcasters programing has gotten progressively more presumptuous.  The following comment made in reaction to a survey conducted in the 1930’s could just as easily serve to summate the public reaction today.
 
“In no country except the United States have consumers’ organizations expressed so much or such bitter criticism of their national broadcasting systems and programs” (Mac Donald 1990, p. 29).
 
The general public opinion concerning programing really hasn’t changed that much.  The programing has just gotten progressively more presumptuous.
 
The Pros and Cons of Advertisements:
 
Without advertising, television would not have flourished.  Advertisers paid the pay checks of the communications industry.  The U. S. Department of Commerce had predicted that television “would become the nation’s leading sales tool” (Mac Donald 1990. p.51).  They fulfilled that prophecy.  But what effect has the bombardment of advertising over the television tube had upon society?
In the perspective of my reviewers, advertisements have a negative impact upon society.  For instance, Michael Parenti (1986), “. . . believes that advertisers not only market their products, but sell a complete way of life”.  Parenti comes close to saying that commercials are hypnotic to the viewer.  he suggests, even though the consumer may know that the commercial speaks untruths and may be critical of its content, the consumer is affected by the commercial through suppressed suggestions.  It is important to keep the goal of the advertising campaign in mind.  The advertiser wants us to buy the product.  Therefore, the advertising tactics are not always straight forward.  The advertisements may waiver from a direct approach in order to achieve the goal of selling the product.  Viewers are taught through visual aids that “In order to live well and live properly, consumers need corporate producers to guide them . . . [they] are taught personal incompetence and dependence on mass-market producers” (Parenti 1986, p.191).
 
Contrary to what Parenti says concerning the advertising market, Christians, Rotzoll, and Fackler (1987, p.193) say that “the sheer volume of mass advertising dulls its message, thereby making it less effective”.  But is this were so, why then does an effective campaign find consumer mocking the jingles the commercial advertising produce?
 
Accordingly, Christians, Rotzoll, and Fackler argue that consumers have no difficulty perceiving the intended meaning of advertisements, nor are they “manipulate” by them.  In their reasoning, “advertising serves as part of our culture”  and they argue that we should not “forget that we are, in part, a nation founded because of advertising” (Christians Et Al 1987, p. 194-195).  When they elaborate on this aspect of advertising history, they fail to realize that they contradict themselves; the observations of Daniel Booskin, they so earnestly quote, draws attention to contradictions and discrepancy:
 
“Never was there a more outrageous or more unscrupulous or more ill-informed advertising campaign than that by which the promoters of the American colonies brought settlers here.  Brochures published in England in the seventeenth century, some even earlier, were full of hopeful overstatements, half-truths, and downright lies along with some facts . . . ” (Christians et al. 1987, p. 194).
 
What the pro-advertisers fail to recognize here is the fact that those people who were coerced into coming to America were manipulated by the falseness of the advertisements which ultimately resulted in oppression by the oppressor (the advertiser).  America fought for freedom to alleviate the pretext of a false front.  Americans fought to free themselves from the oppression of their oppressor.
 
The advertisers’ message says:  when there is no clear defense, claim ignorance; this ambiguous message is loud and clear:
 
“Advertising’s actual effects are. . . not clearly known” . . . “We understand advertising only if we understand its complexity . . . We understand advertising only if we understand its uncertainty. . . We understand advertising only id we understand its ambiguity” (Christians, Rotzoll, and Fackler 1987, p. 193-196).
 
With advertising’s overwhelming systematic treatment of the consumer, how can the advertisers say:  The public is not helpless to its influence?  Does not ambiguity, uncertainty, and lack of understanding present a hazard to society?  Does not the convergent force of the advertising messages take control of the unsuspecting?  
 

(Paper 2) Television and Technology: An Outgrowth of a Means of Control: Changing the Face of America?

(Paper 2) Television and Technology:  An Outgrowth of A Means of Control:  Changing The Face of America?
 
By Trudy A. Martinez
  
Introduction
 
The Television technology, in itself, was welcomed into society.  It provided an avenue of entertainment within the home of Americans.  It allowed culture to be fed to the uneducated.  It was a tool that could enhance the learning capacity of Americans.  But what happened to change the aspects of Television’s perspective use?  Can advertising, the outgrowth of the television industry, be seen as the reason for technology’s changing roles?  Advertising’s changing role will be examined.
 
Historical Insights
 
Fond memories of sitting in front of the television set, watching the variety of test patterns and waiting for the set to come alive, invade my head.  It was exciting.  It stimulated my imagination and electrified my thought processes.  Television was not in every home as it is today.  Instead, there were few televisions in the homes of Americans.  There was a sense of sharing in the neighborhoods; if one family was lucky enough to own a television set and another was not, the more fortunate family invited the less fortunate over to view programing.  Today, you rarely see your neighbors because everyone has their own television set.  In the past, programming was sporadic.  it was not unusual to see only a test pattern when the TV set was turned on, unlike today where 24 hour programming is available.
 
Earlier Programming Influence
 
Test patterns identified the big three broadcasters: NBC, CBS, and ABC.  These “. . . American broadcasters were neither government agents serving the public good nor philanthropist willing to lose money to enlighten the masses (Mac Donald 1990. p.27)”.  The broadcasters were like any other business, out for the money.
 
Advertisers wishing to promote their products to the American public had the money the broadcasters wanted.  Broadcasters seized the opportunity of enticing advertisers to promote entertaining programs with “glamour and glitz,” knowing that this type of programing would draw big audiences.  The bigger the audience, the bigger the broadcaster’s paycheck.  In this manner, the American public was literally merchandised over unto industry (Mac Donald 1990, p.28).
 
Public Service programs that were educationally based lost out and so did the American public.  The programing brought debate from educators:  “. . . Networks [defended] their . . . [programing] . . . [by claiming] that Americans were too good for broadcasting as envisioned by educational reformers out to undermine mass culture (Mac Donald 1990. p.28-29)”.  A Network spokesman, William S. Paley had said: “. . . We . . . have . .  . the most critical audience, and one of the most independent in establishing its own standards of appreciation and judgment (Mac Donald 1990,  p.29)”.  Maybe at the time TV commercials were first aired, the consumer was able to establish his own standards.  But is he or she now?  Or is the advertising establishing the standards for the consumer?
 
Advertising’s Role
 
Ultimately, advertising ” . . . influences the kind of programing that is produced (Barwise & Ehrenberg 1988, p. 7)”.  some might have said, without advertising, there would not be television programing; and without advertising, the public would not be kept informed and up-to-date on new innovations.  The public was too excited with the new innovation, the exciting programing, and the entertainment potential of their investment in the television set to think about the futurist consequences of advertising’s influence.  Quite often, the viewer paid the advertiser back by buying his product.  In the past, buying the product, when the need arose, was a way of saying, “thank you”.  Then, the advertisements were informative:  the product was shown and the manufacturer’s name given.  There was usually only one sponsor for each program and the advertisements were spaced further apart than current fifteen minute intervals.  The General Electric Theater is a prime example of a one sponsor program.  Advertisements were shown after the close of specific Acts.  The Advertisements showed new products, but they were not entertaining nor did they hold the viewer’s attention.  The viewer quite often used these advertisement breaks to get a snack or relieve themselves like they might have also done during the intermission at a real theater.
 
Controversial Advertising
 
Advertising now does more than just inform.  It persuades.  It is innovative and holds your interest.  You remember the jingles.  You remember what the advertisement told you.  Let’s say you are shopping for a pair of comfortable shoes.  in the store when you are trying to decide which to buy, you remember that one advertisement said that walking on a specific shoe made you feel like you were walking on a cloud.  If you have tired feet when you get home from work, you will consider this product over the others because the advertisement has persuaded you that your feet will feel better and therefore, so will you.   If advertising still only informed the public, there would be little controversy over it.  But advertising goes beyond informing.
 
The greed of industry has aimed TV commercials toward children as consumers.  As a result, value changes appear to have surfaced that instill greed in young minds; this reaction has caused conflict between children and their parents (McLauglin  1991, p.D2).
 
I can personally substantiate McLauglin’s claim that advertising caused friction between children and parents.  I remember, on more than one occasion, resorting to a negative presentation of myself in public just because of advertising’s effect upon my children.  Others viewed me as violent because I had to lecture and spank my offspring in public.  I had taught my children right from wrong and to obey.  And most of the time, they did.  But all I had to do is take them with me to the supermarket or shopping anywhere, and they became monsters.  Suddenly, they were not satisfied with the products within our budget; they wanted the one they saw on TV.  It became an obsession with them.  When I told them “no”, they began to scream and throw a fit.  I had no other alternative but to revert to what others called violence, if I were to remain in control.
 
What had happened since my childhood?  I don’t remember myself or my siblings acting this way when we went shopping with my mother.  And I certainly never had to be spanked in public.  At first, I questioned my own ability as mother and guardian over my children.  But when I began to investigate what it was I had been doing wrong, I found that I may not be at fault.
 
Identifying Advertising’s Changing Face
 
Paul Santilli, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy (1983) says, “Advertising can be regarded as having two separate functions, one of persuading and one of informing consumers”.  He argues that persuasive advertising may be ” . . . denigrating human reason” and when used as a persuasive tool through irrational means “is . . . immoral” (Santilli  1983, p. 27).
 
The informative purpose of advertising grants the viewer of an advertisement a choice by presenting to the consumer only information about the product.  In this way, the consumer is the one who makes the decision of whether the product is needed (Santilli 1983, p.27).
 
The Persuasive purpose of advertising goes beyond providing information; its purpose is to convince the consumer that he needs the product whether there is a need for the product or not.
 
In my opinion, no advertising should be directed toward children.  I feel this way because by combining the informative with the persuasive approaches of advertising, a sense of control over the viewer’s choice is relinquished to the manufacturer of the product for the sake of greed.  This relinquishing reaction may be seen when the viewer of the advertisement is a child and the advertisement portrays the product in imaginative ways that stirs the child’s desire.  Total control of the child’s reasoning factors (if a child is seen as a reasoning person) are relinquished.  The child thinks only of the pleasure of the interaction the commercial portrayed.  As a result, the child is put in a persuasive position over the parent.  If the parent does not want to be in a position of ridicule in public, the parent may opt to purchase the product just to shut the child up.  In this sense, the advertiser has used the child and has gained control through the child of the parents decisions to purchase.  According to Santilli (1983), “. . . information even about inherently good thing . . . may be destructive if presented at the wrong time in the child’s development (p.32).”
 
The mind of a child is easily impressed.  The fact that the child is undeveloped and has not learned to reason as an adult puts his or her mind in a compelling position.  As a child, he or she is in the early stage of learning.  The child imitates and learns through what is presented to him or her.  As a result of his or her learning, the child reacts.  It is because of the child’s reaction, as a result of viewing commercials on TV, that I question the ethics and morality of advertising.
 
Behavioral Effects of Advertising
 
Conduct is a learned behavior.  A child learns how to act through the significant others in his or her life.  A significant other may be anyone that has influenced the child’s behavior in meaningful ways.  The amount of time the significant other spends with the child may or may not be an aspect.  But I feel assured, the more time a child spends with the significant other, the more the child will be influenced.
 
The most impressive learning years of a child is between the age of 1 and 9.  Once a child has reached the age of ten, the child has formed his or her own patterns of behavior and is influenced then by situations and others.  Prior to the age of ten, the child imitates that of a significant other.  The child is persuaded, through watching the actions of the significant other, how to act.  After the age of ten, the child considers his options; he can either react as his parents or from accepted practices of the crowd.
 
Let me demonstrate this concept with a few photographs.  The photographs portray behaviorism in action.  See the first photograph (figure 10001) below.  A crowd has joined to watch a street performance.  Please note the father (in a tan jacket) and two children (in red) that have just approached the performance.  The youngest child questions what he sees by the outward expression of scratching his head in the first photograph, as if to ask, “How am I suppose to react to what I am seeing?’
 
In the second photograph (figure 10002), both children stand still as statues, watching the performance with their hands at their side, as if to ask:  “Am I just suppose to look?”
 
 
In the third photograph (figure 10003), please note the remarkable difference in the reaction of the children.  The oldest boy does not seek assistance from his father before he determines how to react; he, instead, follows the reactions of the remaining crowd.  Whereas, the younger boy imitates his father’s reaction, as if to say:  “I’ll just follow my dad’s example and do as dad does”.
 
The reactions of the younger child is what is called learned behavior.  The reactions of the older lad stems from contemporary culture.
 
In my opinion, just as a child learns behavior from his or her parents, the child also learns from other sources of influence such as television.  It doesn’t matter what the length of exposure is.  What matters is the message that is conveyed.  The significant other need not be the mother or father.  The significant other could very easily be replaced by television.  “Therefore, there is a moral obligation on the part of advertisers [as well as the] . . . parents to be prudent about having children see and hear even the most non-enticing information about the best products”(Santilli 1983, p.32).  On television, advertisements influence and divert the values and morals of children and teach them to want, want, want and buy, buy, buy.
 
The advertiser’s preferred reaction is for us to buy.  The age of the viewer is a factor that is taken into consideration by advertisers.  Even though a child watches less television than an adult, the advertiser knows the child is an easy mark and the child can influence the parent through his or her behavior.  When I was a child, tennis shoes came in two colors: black and white for boys and white for girls, and they were multiple purpose: for jumping, running, walking, and etc.  But today, the children (and some adults) have been conditioned through commercials to think they must have a pair of shoes for each activity; jumping, running, walking, and so on and so on.  Not only do children think they need a separate pair of shoes for each of these activities, but they think the color and design of these shoes are a very important aspect to them.  For example, in Los Angeles, a child lost his life because he didn’t want to give up his stylish tennis shoes to a less fortunate child (whose parents may have told him no) who happened to have a great desire for them, a desire most likely created by a television advertisement.
 
A child does not need to watch much TV to be influenced by it.  If it were not the advertiser’s intent to enhance the sales of products through the children, then why do the advertiser’s target this audience?  Why are so many products aimed at the child?  Why do we allow it?  Have we become programmed as good little consumers just as our children are being programmed?  Or are the economical trends, of not spending, the public revolting reaction to advertiser’s unethical practices?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nurturing Insanity

By Trudy A. Martinez
 
There was another after-shock, besides the series of quakes in 1994 that left inhabitants running for open air in Los Angeles, that jolted society:  The Bobbitt verdict:  Not guilty by reason of insanity.   The question to the jury was,  “Was Jane justified or insane at the time she cut-off John’s penis?” 
According to Jay Leno, the outcome has men fainting and asking:  “Honey, want me to take out the trash?”
Genesis 2:24 speaks of a man and woman as “one flesh” and Matthew 5: 27-30 seemingly,  justifies cutting off that part that offends.  But this does not mean marriage gives Jane a license to cut John’s penis off.  To think such is absurd.
Absurdity borders upon the relatively fashionable term of insanity which implies stupidity.  The perception imparted by the Bobbitt verdict breeds nonsense 
When a child does wrong, a parent punishes and instructs, holding him responsible for and accountable for his actions regardless of whether he knew those actions were wrong; this strategy is a necessary process that produces learned behavior. 
Society accepts a similar parentage role.  Ideally by the law of the land, society addresses the lawlessness of its’ citizens as a parent would a child. 
However, the Bobbitt verdict prevails over justice.  The decision forgoes the learning process, justifies stupidity, and grants non-responsibility; this in itself is an act of idiocy, nurturing more of the same.  

How Does the 14th Amendment Apply to Today’s World?

By Trudy A. Martinez
 
How does the 14th Amendment apply to today’s world?  The answer to this question depends upon the actions taken by the citizens of the United States of America to preserve the privileges guaranteed through the Constitution and the Amendments thereof.
In analysis, the State of California is testing “The Constitution of the United States of America and the Amendments thereof” by making laws that condense through omission specific privileges.  The State allows practices within the State boundaries which individually or collectively lessen or diminish citizen privileges cited in the Amendments of the U. S. Constitution through unfair business or ethical practices.  Even though the 14th Amendment specifically states: “No State shall make or enforce any laws which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of Citizens . . . nor . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny . . . equal protection of the laws,” Californians have allowed the State to lessen or diminish our guaranteed rights through the passage of legislation or, more frequently, by allowing the State officials to turn their head to all the abuses surrounding them.  Why?  Just because legislation doesn’t affect us today, doesn’t mean it won’t affect us tomorrow.  Have we become so self-interested that we do not see the forest for the trees?  Has everyone begun to take our rights for granted thereby allowing only factions of our society to make our decisions for us?
People say:  “You can’t fight City Hall!”  That statement may be true if you go to City Hall to do the fighting.  The City Hall comes under the County, the County under the State.  When the State is the offender than we must go to a higher source, the Federal Government.  Specifically Congress and the Supreme Court have the authority to resolve issues that abridge our privileges as citizens .  The State is not going to slap their own hand that is left up to Uncle Sam.  Just like a child who disobeys, punishment comes from his or her parent, the State needs their punishment to come from our higher government.
Help doesn’t come automatically; citizens need to take the necessary steps to make it happen.  New State legislation doesn’t correct it, it only confuses and enhances the deceiving.  Our duties as citizens are to identify the discrepancies and then together file suits through the court systems when our privileges become too few, For example:
1.     Legislation abridging our right to bear our choice of arms (Amendment 2).
II.     Insurance companies have been allowed the “taking” of property (Amendment 5) through the use of unrealistic evaluation of the replacement value or property (i.e., vehicles or property damage).
III.    Nursing Homes, Hospitals, and especially mental hospitals are sometimes guilty of depriving “life” and “Liberty . . . without due process of law” by using the “Sword of Damacles” over the heads of patients omitted voluntarily through the stripping of the patient right of leaving voluntarily.  In other words if a doctor doesn’t give his approval for release, the patient must pay “cash” for his own release because the insurance companies won’t pay.  A poor person is therefore held in an insane prison against his will.
IV.    The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other “Hip Pocket Agencies” and environmentalist continue to put the price of human “life” below that of purported endangered species while at the same time abridging the privileges of the people through “taking” (Amendment 5) of property or monies as compensation for development.  Where does it say in the Constitution or in the Amendments thereof that the people must do the compensating?
Previous legislation proposals wanted a tree to become an endangered species.  But was the tree the real issue?  Or was the real issue you and me?  Taking of our property and abridging our privileges are blackmail, extortion, and plain highway robbery.
The same is true of the illegal immigration issues.  The point is the illegals are not citizens!  As such, they have no rights, nor should they.  When they protested, they identified themselves and should have been deported immediately, escorted across the border by the U. S. Military forces.
I say, “Yes to America.”  And I say, “No to the deception that is invading our shores.”  The 14th Amendment says in Section 5:  “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”  In other words if we want action, Congress has to do it for us.  Congress has shown through history that they have made a habit of waiting fifty to one hundred years before acting.  Do we want to wait until we are dead (the future of America lost) before our rights as citizens are protected?  When Congress has sat on it hands in the past, the people had to take steps to force Congress to act.  Has life in the United States become a game of “Simon Says” or “Mother May I?”
The Supreme Court has been given the authority through court actions to force Congress to act on our behalf.  In the matters at hand the Supreme Court may prove to be our protector.