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Powerpoint Presentation

Hello guys! In this blog I will be providing you a link to my Powerpoint presentation. It is really awesome because it is a synopsis of everything I have done here in Open Lab! This has been an exciting project for me as I rekindled my love for long lost books I have read once upon a time, and even more so enjoyed writing because these are topics I am interested in. Thank you!

 

My Powerpoint Presentation (enjoy!)

Laura’s Law & History

 

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The Jungle Review

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A little background for the author, Upton Sinclair was widely known as a “muckracker” because he exposed social inequalities and wrongs. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle exposed  the terrible working conditions in the meat-packing industry. His description of diseased, rotten, and contaminated meat shocked the public and led to new federal food safety laws.  It is Sinclair’s contribution to literature that led the government regulate the food industry thus creating the FDA (Food & Drugs Act). If you aren’t sitting down, take a seat, and think about that. Since 1879, there were about 100 bills that had been introduced in Congress to regulate food and drugs; on June 30, 1906 President Roosevelt signed the Food and Drugs Act. This guy, Sinclair changed the game for distributors of meat, potentially saved millions of lives! Here are reasons why this book changed history: (1) children are not allowed to work in factory-related jobs, (2) there is worker’s compensation for on-the-job injury, (3) no more animal fecal matter in our meat. Upton Sinclair and investigative journalists like him should be credited for bringing public attention to issues like child labor and proper hygienic maintenance in food production.

Although Sinclair’s The Jungle is widely known for bringing societal attention for food production, it was written to criticize early twentieth-century business and labor practices in the rapid growing cities of the United States. By the time The Jungle was published, there was a flush of European immigrants into the United States who altered the demographics of cities like Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, or Boston. Many of these immigrants lived in overcrowded, run-down tenement buildings without access to clean water or proper sewage systems. These immigrants have traveled across seas to America looking for work opportunities. The immigrants provided a cheap source of labor for American factories and businesses. As Sinclair saw it, millionaire businessmen built large empires by exploiting their immigrant workers.

This book is truly a work of art. I read it when I was an AP English student and I enjoyed it then and I will definitely read it again. I recommend this book to all who are interested in the formation of federal agencies or a perfect description of how a European immigrant family lived in the early twentieth century as they left their native lands in search for the American dream. This book led to the creation of the Food and Drug Act and if that isn’t cool for you, I don’t know what cool is anymore.

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Typical Day As An Intern

Hello guys! And welcome to my blog, I am excited to share about my experience as a full-time student at CUNY City Tech, part-time intern, and part-time worker at a Wine & Spirit store. Throughout my week I do juggle all three and try my best to do all three eloquently and hope my hard work transcends through that. I would like to take this time to thank my professors at City Tech, managers at work and Attorney supervisor.

Three days out of the five in the week I go to my internship at a law office in 44 Court Street. I intern for a solo practitioner Melanie Marmer, who has practiced law for over 25 years. She specializes in matrimonial, family, child support and custody, estates trusts & wills, and divorce. Here is her link to her web page: http://www.mmarmeresq.com/Attorney/Melanie-M-Marmer.shtml .

What I am required to do at my internship usually vary on a daily basis. Melanie challenges me every day but with guidance. She is a strong advocate and she loves what she does. I do obvious clerical work, but also write up motions, petitions, letters to clients and attorneys, retainers, billing and also participate in court. Whenever Melanie interviews a potential client I am asked to sit next to her during the appointment and I have picked up the do’s and don’ts  of speaking to people in a professional setting.

I am fortunate to work with her because I entered as someone without experience and now am able to maneuver myself around the legal profession… my goal.

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Guest Blogging!

limes_1917546cHello guys! I am glad to announce that I will be posting a blog entry in Richard’s blog page, a classmate of mine. His blog is interesting because he explains the agricultural relation with Mexico, its southern neighbors and the United States. He has some interesting posts he has written regarding the agricultural aspect that countries in Central and South America offer to the world, such as potato, maiz, corn, guacamole, and tons of other vegetables and fruits. So please make sure to stop by his page at https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/searseng3771/ and make sure to write feedback on my post https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/richardgranadosblog/2014/04/23/limepocalyse/

Thanks for your time guys!

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The Original Founding Fathers

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In the above picture is a tribute to the “Original Founding Fathers”. My father’s business is to print these out as posters, T-shirts, hoodies, bags, hats, etcetera (I will provide the link to his website at the end) and I have been exposed to this picture for as long as I can remember. I have asked father multiple times the meaning behind this profound image: in this blog, I will write about this visual art.

This picture is accessible to all of those who wish to have it, it just simply belongs to the public, much like the very famous Che Guevara logo, peace sign, the smiley face and many world wide known symbols. In the picture above, you have four important figures of our history, from left to right: Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Red Cloud whom resisted to United States government (foreign) policies. But you also have the other fathers of the United States  who were political leaders who are known for participating in the American Revolution, for signing the United States Declaration, and establishing the United States Constitution like (from left to right)  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, whom represent the first 130 years of history of the United States.

Chief Joseph was the leader of the Wallowa band of Nex Perce, a Native American indigenous tribe to in northeastern region that is known today as  Oregon. Sitting Bull was Hunkpapa Lakota who led his people as a  tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies. Geronimo was a leader of the Apache who fought against Spain and Texas for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars and last but not least Red Cloud, a war leader and a chief of the Oglala Lakota. These are the men that resisted foreign diplomacy, who protected their beloved land from foreigners, from the what we now refer to as “aliens” or “immigrants.”

Many people generally assume that U.S History begins in the year of 1492. The rich history of this country is not several hundreds of years but thousands, millions before the colonization of foreign powers. Laws were enacted for the removal of the indigenous tribes in this continent such as  the Indian Removal Act, the Manifest Destiny, Yamasee War and tons of other events that led Native Americans to merge into reservation areas throughout the country.

PS. Here is my father’s link to his website, make sure to check it out as he also updates his webpage with political news regarding all of the Americas: http://intiarts.com/

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How The Supreme Court Works (Part 4 of 4)

This is the last part of my blog series How the Supreme Court Works. It is an interesting topic to share because it derives from readings I have done and even more so from memory (thanks to the professors at City Tech!) And even more of a pleasure for me to write about because my major requires me to know extensively about this and it is nice to publish information that can help those who are curious about how U.S Supreme Court makes it’s decisions. I have previously posted that the U.S Supreme Court can’t listen to all thousands petition of certioris but only a few. In this post I will write how they come to a conclusion, the aftermath, and how it impact us.

The justice writes the opinion for the court, produces and circulates a draft opinion to the other justices. Once the draft opinion has been reviewed, the remaining Justices recommend changes to the opinion.Votes are taken at a conference while opinions are still being circulated. However, justices too change their minds. A justice may be persuaded by the opinion or dissent, or after reflecting discussion on the points of law at issue.

A justice voting with the majority may write a concurring opinion; this is an opinion where the justice agrees with the majority holding, but where he or she wishes to express views on the legal elements of the case that are not included in the majority opinion. Justices who do not agree with the decision made by the majority may also submit dissenting opinions, which may give alternative legal viewpoints. Dissenting opinions don’t necessarily carry  legal weight or precedent, but they can set the argument for future cases, which is VERY crucial.

Justices who were not seated at the time of oral arguments that were heard by the Supreme Court do not participate in the formulation of an opinion. Likewise, a justice leaving the Court prior to the handing down of an opinion does not take part in the Court’s opinion. If this occurs,  justices will likely reschedule the case for rehearing.

Throughout the term the Court announces its opinions. The decision of the Court is subsequently published, first as a slip opinon, and then in the United States Reports. Throughout the case, the media has already broadcasted tons of footage and articles about the precedent and generally we follow. But once the Supreme Court rules, so do the States (ie. abortion laws, cruel and unusual punishment, segregation, gay marriage, obamacare etc.)

 

 

 

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How the Suprme Court Works (Part 3 of 4)

Hello guys! This is part three of four of my mini series on How the Supreme Court Works. As written before, I believe people should fully understand how the Supreme Court functions because it has impacted our country immensely. I gave you three landmark court cases that have contributed to integration of public schools, legalization of abortion and the comprehension that federal law will override state law. But if you guys are wondering just how many cases land in front of the Supreme Court Justices, you’re in luck because in this post I will write how the Supreme Court picks which case to hear.

Not just any case can be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. A case must involve an issue of federal law or otherwise fall within the jurisdiction of federal courts.  This means your case must have standing!

Let’s assume that the case is capable of being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the first step, most of the time, is to file a lawsuit in your local state or federal court. The trial judge consider legal arguments from each side before making a decision. If you lose in part or whole, you can then appeal your case to a higher court. When you have appealed as far as possible, you can consider appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The next step is to prepare a “petition for certiorari.” This is the document the Court will read in order to decide whether to hear a case. In that document, you will include a history of your case, the basic facts, and the important legal issues that your case faces. Your opponent will also have a chance to file a response, and other interested parties may file briefs in support or against the petition. Your file will then go to a pool of Supreme Court clerks, who will review all of the documents, summarize them for the justices, and include a recommendation on whether to take the case. The justices then make a final decision. If they decide to hear a case, they will issue a “writ of certiorari.”

But just what chance do you have for your case to be heard? Chances are very slim. The Supreme Court receives about 10,000 petitions for certiorari a year, but only hears about 80 of them. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

may_the_odds_be_ever_in_your_favor_by_luaili-d4rfn23

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How The Supreme Court Works (Part 2 of 4)

This is part two of How The Supreme Court Works, and in this post I will write about the foundation of the Judicial branch of the United States and traditions that the court holds.

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) first met in 1790, as the official Judicial Branch of government. There are 9 Justices all led by the Chief Justice of the United States and are all nominated by the President and must also be approved by the Senate. To avoid corruption, the 9 Justices are appointed for life, until they decide to step down.

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The original framers of the constitution had intended for the judicial branch to be the “weakest” branch of the government. However, as we can see today, they have used their power to change the face of our country with decisions derived from cases such as Brown v. Board of Ed 1954 (integrating public schools), Roe v. Wade 1973 (legalizing abortion), Gibbon v. Ogden 1824 (federal law overrides state law) and many, many more.

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The court has occupied its current building in Washington only since 1935 on One First Street N.E. Washington, DC 20543. Tradition is important. As you may have noticed in the picture above, justices wear black robes, as they have for more than two centuries.

P.S. Sonia Sotomayor (top left) is the first Latina woman Justice in the U.S Supreme Court, and truly my inspiration. She was born and raised in the South Bronx, just as I am, and I am amazed by her accomplishments; completely disregarding the challenges she has faced throughout her life. I read her autobiography, My Beloved World, and I recommend it if you want true inspiration!

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How The Supreme Court Works (Part 1 of 4)

 

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Not many Americans fully understand how the Supreme Court works, since cameras are not allowed in court and case decisions and opinions are difficult to read for those who are not lawyers. Everyone should understand how the Supreme Court works because the high court has an immense impact on us Americans. The nine justices are the ones who interpret our constitution and all that comes with it for example, how we conduct ourselves in society, restrictions we have as individuals and as a whole. In the following week  I will post a four part blog series about how the Supreme Court works. My findings would derive from specific research from past articles, recent news, and from my own memory. Hope you enjoy it!

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Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

There is a lovely saying that goes “what a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.” Well isn’t it also a wonderful thought that there are some of the best books out there we haven’t read yet?

Now, most of you know that feeling… you  know, that sensation of your pupils dilating, your nostrils expanding in circumference and that giddy stance when you enter a bookstore or library , or is that just me? I get excited when I am surrounded by thousands of books, thousands of ideas printed in black and white, stacked on shelves in the comfort of four enclosed walls, all accesable to me. Sometimes, it is a bit overwhelming because there are just so many to pick from.

Here is what I am reading right now, and I truly recommend the read because it may change your view on how you perceive today’s society.

 1984 

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“WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel written over 60 years ago. In a world where it is at constant war, constant government surveillance, public manipulation, this novel is the story of Winston Smith who resists oppression in Oceania, a place where the government scrutinizes human actions with Big Brother watching and banning individuality. Winston expresses his thoughts in a diary that he keeps and pursues a relationship with Julia. These criminal actions bring Winston catches the eyes of the Thoughtpolice, who then must reform Winston. George Orwell’s 1984 introduced the watchwords for life without freedom: BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.

 

I have read the book before, as I was told to do so in AP English Writing & Composition back in high schoo. I am reading this book again because, like I said earlier, this book is constantly in the back of my mind and every once in a while I go back to a book I appreciate. It was then that I thought it was a fantastic book that everyone should read. I want to take this time to thank my English teacher of the time, Ms. Rath and Chris Brogan for suggesting this blog in his blog post: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/100-blog-topics-i-hope-you-write/

 

Here is a preview of George Orwell’s 1984 in film released in, you guessed it 1984.

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