Monday, October 31, 2016

Exploration 5 -- Matthew Johnson

The two prominent dilemmas that the film address is that of logistics and morals; industrial farms simply are unable to feed America because of how they feed their live stock and the farmers mistreat their animals in a medical sense as well as moralistically. 
     Joel Salitin explains that "Part of our responsibility is to respect the design of nature," and that when we feed Cows other dead cows we are mistreating the general construct of life. We also see many instances in the film where you need to treat for illnesses and bugs that are otherwise unnecessary in organic farming.
     70% percent of farming that produces crops such as corn and soy beans goes to feeding the masses of animals to produce second-rate meats and secondary products like eggs and milk. 30% percent goes to immediate consumption. Salitin muses what we could do with the 70% percent if it did not go back into production of industrial farming knowing that it could make a huge difference in the sustainability of America. According Cornell University, "If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million." That is an unprecedented amount grain that could heavily impact our society as we know it if only we can refocus are resources and re-purpose the mass industry farming.

Image result for 70 percent of production are used to feed cows

Exploration 5-Pauleina May

I had mixed emotions about the video. Some stuff that was said made me angry and other stuff I agreed with. Mr. and Mrs. Fox was one of the stories that I had an issue with. They raised chickens and not because they wanted to or because they like chickens, they raised them for money. They worked for a company which is who supplied them with there income. The environment for the chickens was not an appropriate environment. They were thrown on the ground and was so crowded they had no where to go. Chickens need to have a larger space if they are large flocks. They should have plant diversity access around them because they eat so many different type of plants. They enjoy eating the seeds off of grass and weeds, and they also like some form of shelter. Mr. and Mrs. Fox had shelter for the animals, but the other requirements they did not; the result of that led to poor conditions for there chickens and caused them diseases and chickens getting sick. This was an example of many events that happened that I did not agree with. This video hit home for me in a way because I live on a farm and we used to raise chickens, hogs, cows, horses, rabbits, and dogs. I could never image treating my animals like this and feeding them dead animals. We raise our own hay and we have a local farm that makes our feed, so for us we are able to pick what ingredients we want in the feed. Our animals had grain and hay in front of them at all times. It is a great feeling knowing where your food is coming from and knowing how they were raised. Like Matt said "cheap food isn't "cheap" we have to pay for it in the long run". I agree with him 100% because having a farm is not cheap, but the result of taking care of your animals the right way is very rewarding at the end.

Exploration 5: Fresh by Joe Campanella

     A common question people have today involves the mystery of what is put in our food. A lot of controversy surrounds this topic, dealing with the problems of industrial farming, and it's effect on the community. In the Sofia Jones documentary "Fresh", the problems of industrial farming and it's effects, are put on the national stage for the American public to see. The documentary interviews farmers, economists, and environmental specialists to break down the key problems and issues that have a direct correlation with the food we eat.
     The main point of the Sophia Jones documentary is the issue of industrial agriculture and farming. Major corporations are producing massive amounts of food to feed our communities by "factory farms". According to the American Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, a "factory farm" is a large industrial farm with massive amounts of animals, used to produce food in the common marketplace. The ASPCA states, " 99% of our farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms". These farm animals are kept in poor conditions, with bad diets, and daily doses of antibiotics and hormones, to increase size at a faster rate. This unhealthy food and meat, is then served to the public at the cost of our environment, and the community.
     The documentary raises important issues on what these animals and livestock are being fed, and the chemicals, antibiotics, and pesticides they are exposed to. John Ikerd, an agricultural economist, describes the desire for production and efficiency by these major industrial corporations, producing the majority of our food. He states, "When you grow massive amounts of food, you need massive amounts of resources to keep them safe, which is a very big issue in nationwide industrial farming". The major industrial corporations producing our nation's food, are more concerned for their profits and increased production, rather than the costs to our environment. The Sophia Jones documentary "Fresh" and the ASPCA, give valuable insight into the problems of industrial agriculture, and it's cost to our communities. This information is provided to the public, in order to spark change in how our nation produces it's food, and to promote the safety of our environment.
A Factory Farm in the United States

Source for Statistic:

Exploration 5: Fresh

Will Allen : "There is this misconception that you cannot feed the world organically, but you CAN."
Big farm industries have taught our society to believe that to feed the world strictly on organics is impossible. What they aren't telling us is that feeding the world organically IS possible; it just doesn't bring in as much money and takes more time and patience to accomplish. Our society wants fast results and results that are going to bring in a lot of money for its suppliers, and because of this mentality, we are not conscious of what we are putting into our produce. We are an "ask and you shall receive immediately" society, and that is why so many fall into the vicious cycle of big industry foods. We as a whole do not have the patience and upkeep for organics and because of this, we are marring our well-beings.
There is a huge misconception that "organic is too expensive", but in actuality, going organic will save money. It eliminates medical fees, pesticide fees, and antibiotic fees. Organic farming respects the design of nature, and that means that animals are being raised on what they were originally intended to digest and produce is being grown naturally - allowing it to flourish in nutrition and natural size. It has been proven that all non-organic produce and animals are diminished nutritional by 40%.
By going organic we can help  humanity become healthier. Organic foods are foods in their rawest and most whole form and because of that, our bodies are able to digest and reap all the benefits of what these true food have to offer. Our bodies have not been made to metabolize and digest man-made products and humanity as a whole is suffering in health and compromising our bodies fullest potential.
                                                     Image result for organic
Issue of Substantiation
This photo is the official organic emblem used on foods that are certified as 100% organic.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Exloration 5 "Fresh": Nick Sansone

The film Fresh was split into two parts. the first part was what was wrong with the farming industry and how big corporations have tried to make it all about quick, easy, and cheap. the second part was about how local farmers are trying to combat these big corporations by using natural and organic methods to produce better products and at a much higher success rate. the film also displays how the use of pesticides and other antibiotics in corporations and CAFO's (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) have harmed vegetation and livestock that are used for consumption. In America, almost 60% of each persons calorie intake per day contains processed foods. in a quote from the movie, Andrew Kimbrell says "organic can't feed America" but the movie later states that all natural organic farming is actually more efficient than what the corporations are doing because more of their produce is surviving. The only difference is that the corporations have learned how to increase the size of their operations and how to produce faster.

Image result for what are processed foods

Concept: Convenience
this image displays how bad processed foods are for you but people still consume them because they are quick, cheap, and easy to get.
Exploration 5: Lauren Cobb

"Fresh" makes a compelling argument for the replacement of factory farming with natural, organic farming. It is said in the film, "The only thing Americans fear is inconvenience" and our farming and eating habits are reflective of this idea. Factory farming is defined as "a system of rearing livestock using intensive methods, by which poultry, pigs or cattle are confined indoors under strict controlled conditions." This method of farming is used because it is considered to be the most efficient and profitable method of farming. Similar methods are used in crop farming, in which only the most profitable crops are grown in large quantities. These methods, however, have proven to be incredibly harmful. Factory farming results in miserable, sickly animals, disease, parasites, environmental harm and an overall decline in the nutritional value of our food. On the other hand, natural farming has had the exact opposite effect. By mimicking nature, farmers are able to be self reliant, producing their own fertilizer, sanitizing their own fields and feeding their animals all by natural, beneficial means. This method has proven to eliminate the need for antibiotics, as the animals are much healthier and disease free. The products from natural farms are much higher in nutritional value and lack potentially harmful chemicals and preservatives. To make a change, a lot of people need to come together. Currently 30% of agricultural subsidies go to the top 2% of farms and 60% of an average american's daily caloric intake comes from highly processed foods. This a major, widespread problem, but working towards making a change could have immense benefits in areas such as healthcare, the environment, animal welfare and the economy.

url.jpgChickens in battery cages

Exploration 5 from Phillip

One of the most important issues that I identified in the film was the issue of convenience. It was made obvious by the film that Americans are not worried about how their food is produced and made ready for them, they're only worried that the food is easy for them to obtain. A quote from the film itself came from Will Allen's co-worker, she said "my food don't have no name" when she first began working with Allen and she thought the meat he gave her was too fresh. That seems to sum up society today. It was also alarming to see that some farmers using industrialized methods don't even seem to understand the issues that arise with their practices. For example in the film the Fox family did not seem to be able to answer a good amount of questions the interviewer had, such as what exactly was in the feed that they used to feed their livestock. I was also mentioned in the film that beaks of chickens are often cut off in these industrialized farms. I have found a fact that goes along with this, and provides a explanation for the mutilation. states that the beaks are often cut off to prevent excessive feather picking and cannibalism that is very common among these birds held in overcrowded areas.
This photo shows chickens in a factory farm.
Research source:

Exploration 5- Fresh Response by Kirsten

I found Fresh to be a very eye-opening video. I have been around farming for most of my life since a lot of my family has been involved in farming, but I never really knew what went into the process and what came out of it. Fresh makes some very important points about industrialized farming and the problems that come with it. One thing I found very disturbing in the film is when Joel Salatin talks about how dead cows are used in cow feed. He says "you can't feed dead cows to cows," and this statement definitely captured my attention. I researched cow feed, and WasteAdvantage says that 30% of an animals live weight ends up being non-consumable by humans, which means that it must be used in other things such as cattle feed. The ground-up bone meal from chickens, pigs and cows can cause many health problems for the animals consuming them, and for cows this includes mad cow disease. This problem and many others were addressed in the video, and some of the solutions the video mentioned were aquaponic farming and organic farming. Both could help decrease the problems of industrialized farming dramatically, and I hope that we will be able to do more organic and natural farming instead of continuing the dangerous industrial farming we have created.


This is a picture of some of the inedible parts of animals that will be used in cattle feed.

Exploration 5: If there's a way, Humans will find it...especially when it's corrupting/destroying the Earth - Matthew George

Fresh is a film that covers upon the importance of organic farming as opposed to industrialized farming. Organic farming is what the human race has been doing for centuries since we first learned about how to farm crops and raise animals in the agricultural revolution. Industrialized farming, on the other hand, is what humans strive for because it fills a single idea: efficiency. If it can produce the most product with the least amount of work required people will seek it. Industrialized products have the benefit of being cheaper than organic, but as the film states, "There is no such thing as cheap food, if you're not paying for it at the register then you're paying for it somewhere down the line." True enough, Industrialization brings with it a whole slew of problems, the largest being the separation and destruction of the natural cycle of nature: animals produce manure to help plant growth, and plants get eaten by animals. Industrialization separates that by forcing plants to grow in large identical populations. An excellent example is the banana, which due to all banana's seen in the grocery store sharing identical genetics are expected to die out within a couple of years due to a virus that specifically targets that type. Another good example is the Irish Potato Famine. There are over 40 varieties of potato, the Irish only planted specific variety so when a virus that targeted and kills that one specific type came along-Boom!- every farmer's crop was lost, which lead to the Potato Famine. Then to top it all off because you've got highly vulnerable crops pesticides need to be sprayed over them, which not only risks poisoning our food, but also leads to the birth of super bugs who become resistant to the pesticides after repeated exposure.

Then there are the animals, whose issues are compounded by the fact that the feed they are provided is the result of the previously mentioned industrialized crops who have. For starters organic manure is a powerful nutrient for crops, but manure from industrial cows is highly toxic due to the previously mentioned feed and pesticides, but also to the growth hormones and antibiotics present as well. Which leads me to the next issue: containment. Industrial "efficiency" recommends keeping a large number of animals in a small enclosed space. This also promotes sickness and disease since it can spread easily from animal to animal. Organic farming on the other hand doesn't require antibiotics because they don't have to deal with sick animals in the first place. In addition, from my research into a video used in my Environmental Science class for the Spring 2016 semester at Columbus State Community College, "The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers" goes into more detail on the issue of industrialized cows. Something that was mentioned in this video compared to Fresh is the issue of Cows producing methane, a gas that as stated is 21x more power than CO2 when dealing with Climate Change. This is of course a completely separate issue which then gets tied into the first issue of Industrialization, as I learned from the Environmental Science class led by Instructor Erica Brumbaugh, because by the projected rate of 2050, coastline regions such as New Orleans will be entirely sumberged underwater, which then leads to even more issues as you then have to deal with the displacement of people in a large scale disaster. Plus by 2050 the temperature best reccommended for producing crop such as wheat will shift the area that such crops can be grown so Canada can grow more wheat that the US can-but as you could imagine that's another issue entirely and it just snowballs from there.

This link will take you to the "Hidden Cost of Hamburgers" video, about 8 minutes in length.

This is a genetically modified breed of chicken to not have feathers, for "Convenience", although by removing the feathers you bring in a whole slew of problems, namely the fact that the feathers have functions such as keeping the animal warm and by genetically modifying them to not have feathers you risk an even higher chance of disease and illness.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Exploration 5 from Corey Peck

The film Fresh is an important message to everyone! Today many farms are considered industrialized. The primary goal for these farms are to produce everything efficiently. George Naylor said, "Americans fear only one thing. Inconvenience." Because of this fear, people go to drastic measures such as feeding dead cow to live cow for the simple fact that its cheap. The majority of people don't care what they eat as long as its fast and convenient. Joel Salatin said, "Respect the design of nature." This means that the animals are always moving and they only eat grass, never meat or grain. The film said organic food costs more but its worth more. The nutritional value of food has dropped by forty percent since the 1950's. The term monoculture was brought up in the film and according to The Union of Concerned Scientists this means, "the practice of growing single crops intensively on a very large scale." This never occurs naturally in nature and because of monoculture, mass amounts of pesticides need to be sprayed on the crops just to keep them alive. Although convenience and price are critical factors in determining where we get are food from, the cost will come eventually from the environment or with health. Change needs to return back to organic.
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An observation I made during the film was the size and general healthy look of organic vs. industrialized cattle. This is to put things into perspective. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Writing Exercise: The Fall of Saigon

On April 30, 1975, Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh city, fell to North Vietnam. This marked the end of the Vietnam War. The People's Army of Vietnam, also known as "Viet Cong," appeared in Saigon and advanced. At the time, Nixon had slowly been retracting US forces from South Vietnam, leaving them to fend for their own country. This left S. Vietnam unable to hold themselves up and caused them to fall to the communists. The President and Commander-in-Chief, General Thieu had already fled to Taiwan, leaving General Duong Van Minh to find a peaceful solution to the war, a difficult task since North Vietnam did not want to negotiate. On April 29, North Vietnam began the final attacks by launching rockets at Saigon. Almost all American and South Vietnamese civilians were evacuated, as well as military personnel. This became known as "Operation Frequent Wind," the largest helicopter evacuation in history. North Vietnam raised their flags over the Presidential Palace, the South government shortly surrendered, and Saigon was captured.

"Operation Frequent Wind"

Writing Exercise Mental Heath of Vets : Amanda Gifford

Vietnam vets suicide rate is projected at 150,000 in total. For this statement to be perceived as true fourteen vets would have commit suicide every day for 30 years. There is a lot of speculation on the total for the count, 69% of all vet related suicides were in the 50 years and older percentile. The VA’s count for vets now is 22 suicides a day which would be 1 per 65 minutes.  PTSD is also another common problem among vets between 10-31% have experienced lifetime PTSD. The Diagnosis of PTSD wasn’t recognized till a while after the war. Along with PTSD, depression, alcohol dependence and anxiety are common problems among vets.  The returned vets faced negative stigma from the public which caused many to not reach out for help for the fear of being labeled. Readjustment was another issue from adjusting from combat to civilian life. Attempting to switch the mindset of war into normal functioning. Many struggled with finding appropriate work that fit post war life.  This did not just effect the vets it effected their families as well, feeling the war stole their loved one. Many factors can contribute to PTSD they are separated into 3 categories prewar, during and post war. Some prewar factors can include depression, ethnicity, traumatizing childhood events, the family’s financial status. During war factors are levels of war exposure, traumatic injuries and depression. Post war factors include readjustment, depression, and trauma. These issues are more widely recognized and more programs are offered to help prevent suicides.
The VA Logo

Writing Research Exercise: Songs of War From John Link

The Vietnam War was not just trouble and turmoil within Vietnam. Within America was one of the largest anti-war movements to date through peaceful protest. One such way the war was being protested was through song and music. These protests from bands ranging from The Jimi Hendrix Experience to Black Sabbath helped spread the mentality of ending the Vietnam War. The songs covered a variety of topics and all had a very profound way of expressing the feeling behind the song. "Four Dead in Ohio" is song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young that protest the Kent State Massacre that occurred on May 4th, 1970. The song was written a few days later by Neil Young and reached the top 20 hits  on the radio stations. immortalizing the song as a commemoration for those who lost their lives and a reminder to the living to not forget what occurred at Kent State. "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival is arguably one of the most well known songs of the era, made popular by the movie "Forrest Gump" when Forrest was on his way to the command post in Vietnam. The song was a strong protest to the draft that was occurring on america because of the need for more troops to be deployed in Vietnam. It was released in 1969 and has been known by generations since its release as one of the most profound protests of the era. "All Along the Watchtower" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience was released in 1968 and again is well known by many generations forward from when it was released. It protested the to embody the Vietnam War as a whole by holding back information and showing the confusion what is happening in the surrounding world. The song shows the disconnection from the people and the government of the time. There were many more songs that continued to be release to protest different elements of the Vietnam War such as "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath. These songs helped unite the people in a collective protest to end the nation's involvement in Vietnam.

Research Writing Exercise By Grant Davison

The Tonkin Gulf Incident and the Domino Theory

The Gulf of Tonkin Incident began on July 31,1964 when the US put two ships next to the shores of the North Vietnamese including the USS Maddox. This was controversial as the were very close to the islands. The North Vietnamese began to strike on  August 2, 1964 when the USS Maddox, was performing a radar sweep of the North Vietnamese coast. The destroyer was attacked by North Vietnam torpedo patrol boats. These boats fired 22 torpedoes as they got ambushed.  The USS Ticonderoga sent planes to help defend the Maddox. The U.S. planes were able to destroy one of the boats while damaging the others. Later that night, the ships attacked the rest of the vessels at night.

After President Johnson was told of the incident, he brought together a special session of Congress, and on August 4, an air strike was approved. The next day, North Vietnamese targets were taken out, and on August 7, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The resolution gave the president authority to use any means necessary to resolve the situation in neighboring Vietnam. This gave him the right to start war against the Southern Asia country.

USS Maddox

Vietnam: Geography and Climate

Vietnam is an S-shaped country that consists of mostly hills, mountains, and bodies of water. That is 80% of Vietnam. The remaining 20% consists of lowlands. The Red River Delta is one of the largest bodies of water in Vietnam covering 15,000 square kilometers. The Mekong Delta is larger, but Red River is more developed. Northern mountains are inhabited by tribal groups; the Annamite mountain range, which stretches from southwest China to Ho Chi Minh City (largest Vietnamese city), borders Laos, and the highest peak of the country (Fan Si Pan) sits at 3,142 meters as opposed to the lowest point at sea level. The Central Highlands make up over 51,000 square kilometers in the southern portion of Vietnam; it is mostly mountain peaks, forests, and holds rich soil. The Coastal Lowlands is very fertile and ranges from the Red River Delta to the Mekong Delta, which carries far more sediment than Red River and is one of the 12 greatest rivers in the world. Including Laos (Western side), Vietnam borders Cambodia (Southwestern side) and China on the North side. The South China Sea lies on the Eastern side while the Pacific Ocean is on the South.
Vietnamese climate varies based on location. From October to April, monsoons are popular in the center of the country while from May to September they are in the North and South. If monsoons are not happening, the climate becomes dry. In terms of temperature, most of the country gets to be exceptionally hot, the peak being 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit); the North becomes cooler in the “winter” season, which is October to April. Vacationing seasons vary due to the obscure climate changes of the country.

Ha Long Bay: popular tourist destination

research writing - collateral damage, by vik ball

The Department of Defense defines collateral damage as “Unintentional or incidental injury or damage to persons or objects that would not be lawful military targets in the circumstances ruling at the time”. This term is frequently used when describing the incidental killing or wounding of non-combatant persons, or damage to non-combatant property during an attack on another military target. It is argued that its use dehumanizes the dead, and is used to reduce the perception of fault of military leadership in failing to protect non-combatants. The first known use of this term appeared in a 1961 article entitled "DISPERSAL, DETERRENCE, AND DAMAGE".

Although it was not widely used during the Vietnam War, a statement by an unnamed U.S. military official discussing actions taken against the Viet Cong in Ben Tre city perfectly describes the “feeling” such vernacular produces: "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it".That statement practically summarizes U.S. strategy at the time. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than 864,000 tons of bombs were dropped during Operation Rolling Thunder (1965 - 1968) alone, compared with 503,000 tons dropped during the entire Pacific Theater of World War II.

U.S. F4 Phantom dropping bombs over a Viet Cong controlled area in South Vietnam, 1965

Understanding the term “collateral damage” is important because it allows us great insight into those that use it (primarily being the United Stated Military) and why. It is through statements and phrases like the one aforementioned that the world populous grows wary of the US military machine. Should an organization so brusque in it’s lack of responsibility really be in charge of policing the world? We can only hope that their strategies change, or in the very least, their vernacular changes in order to better reflect their true intentions, i.e. neutralization of the target, survival of non-combatant persons not being a primary objective.

Thomas Bennett from JD Davis

            Thomas W. Bennett was a Vietnam vet who won the ultimate award of service, the medal of honor.  Bennett was a small guy from West Virginia who made it clear he was against the war.  Being a student at West Virginia he wasn’t sure what he was going to do when he got drafted.  When reviewing his options, he came across something he had not realized was an option.  He applied to become a conscientious objector who was willing to serve.  This gave him the power to train as a medic and was not forced to do gun training.   He was deployed in south Vietnam on January 1st, 1969 and was assigned to Bravo company and entered Vietnam.  He mainly just patrolled until February 9th of the same year.  They stumbled upon another platoon in danger and before they knew it they were being ambushed from all sides.  Many men were shot and helpless and the ones who weren’t shot started to retreat, But not Thomas Bennett.  He ignored the men firing at him and was able to patch up 3 wounded men and carry them through gunfire to the nearest safe place.  He wasn’t done he continued to go back and help any man that needed it even if they were in the middle of the battlefield, then carry them to safety.  The enemy finally pulled back and Bennett continued to help those who were wounded through the night.  The wounded men insisted to the captain that he would put Tom in for the silver star for what he did.  Throughout the war there were many more stories about Thomas’ bravery and his refusal to give up on a fellow soldier even if it put him in danger.  One day he did just that and helped a man nearly dead who had just been sniped.  He too when aiding the man was shot and killed on the battlefield.  On April 7th, 1970, which was Toms birthday, his mother and stepfather accepted the medal of honor from Richard Nixon on Thomas Bennett’s behalf.  Thomas became the only conscientious objector to win the medal of honor. 

               The other medal of honor recipient I chose to write about is William E. Adams.  William was a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War.  On May 25th, 1971 Adams volunteered himself to fly a helicopter to save 3 seriously wounded soldiers from a base which was heavily under attack.  When he made his decision he understood the risks.  The enemy had aircraft weapons stationed outside the base just waiting to shoot something down.  But, Adams decided that those fellow Americans lives were just as important as his and he would go anyways.  Adams was fired upon on his way into the base and miraculously made it in with only minimal damage to his helicopter. After loading the injured men he took flight again.  His helicopter was seriously hit and he used tremendous skill to keep it in the air.  In an attempt at an emergency landing his helicopter crashed and exploded killing him and the wounded men.  He gave his life in an attempt to save others.

Image result for william adams vietnamImage result for thomas bennett vietnam

Kent state shootings -Tia Domer

Image result for kent state shootings 1970

     On May 1, 1970 Kent State students held an anti-war protest. This protest included throwing of rocks and bottles being thrown at police officers and bonfires. This led to bars being closed by authorities before normal closing time to try reduce alcohol consumption. Eventually students, other anti-war activists, and common criminals began to break windows and loot stores.  

     The mayor of Kent declared a state of emergency on May 2. He requested that Governor James A. Rhodes send the Ohio National Guard to Kent to keep the peace. Rhodes agreed, and the National Guard arrived that night. The soldiers arrived, and decided on tear gas to disperse the protesters. 

     By May 3, approximately one thousand National Guard soldiers were on the Kent State campus. On May 4, classes resumed at Kent State. Anti-war protesters scheduled a rally for noon at the campus. University officials tried to stop the gathering but were unsuccessful. As the protest began, National Guard members fired tear gas at the demonstrators. However, due to wind, the tear gas proved ineffective. Some of the protesters threw the canisters, even rocks, back at the soldiers. Twenty-eight guardsmen open fired on the crowd, the gunfire lasted just thirteen seconds, firing a total of sixty-seven shots, killing four students and wounding nine. Two of the students who died had not even participated in the protests.

     These shootings helped convince the public that the anti-war protesters were not just hippies, and drug addicts. That they also included middle, upper-class, and educated people. Rather than causing a decline in protests, the Kent State Shootings actually escalated them. The various protests drew to an end as President Nixon began to withdraw soldiers from North and South Vietnam. With the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973, the protests ended.

     The picture was taken by John Filo, of Mary Ann Vecchio. Vecchio, a 14-year-old runaway, is kneeling over the body of Jeffrey Miller just minutes after he was shot by the Ohio National Guard. John Filo later won a Pulitzer Prize for this photo the same year. 

The four Kent State Students that were killed.

Vietnam Research Exercise by Travis Baum

My research topic was General William Westmoreland and the controversy of body counts. William Westmoreland was born on March 26th, 1914 in South Carolina and died on July 18th, 2005. Westmoreland impressively Graduated from west point in 1936 receiving the Pershing Sword for military proficiency. General Westmoreland was the highest profile American General of the Vietnam war and in 1965 was named Time man of the year. Due to conflict going on in Vietnam the decision to make him Times Man of the Year was very controversial. His military tactics were described as quickly demolishing the enemy troops before replacements could come in which caused the American public to second guess not only the Vietcong body count but also the increasingly concerning amount of American casualties. As the war became more and more gruesome Westmoreland would not accept defeat as he requested in 200,000 more American troops. President Lyndon B Johnson shoved aside his request. As time went on the public started viewing this as a unwinnable war. During his time in the Vietnam war, the number of U.S involved in the whole mess grew from 20,000 to about 500,000. The body count was used to decide who was winning the war. The Vietnam war was a extremely tragic battle whos costs seem to heavily out weight the benefits leaving people to think which leaves people to think, who really won the war?

The Tet Offensive by Josh Salyers

The Tet Offensive was one of the largest military campaigns in the Vietnam War. It was launched on January 30, 1968, by the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong against the South Vietnamese Army, the United States, and their allies. This military campaign was a series of surprise and guerrilla attacks against military and civilian centers throughout South Vietnam. The name of the military offensive come from the Tet holiday, the Vietnamese new year, when the first major attacks occured. 
While the initial wave of NVA attacks took major cities from the U.S. and inflicted heavy casualties, the U.S regrouped and fought back, inflicting heavy casualties on the North Vietnamese. Major battles include the Battle of Khe Sanh, Saigon and the Battle of Hue, in which the NVA took control of the city, and executed thousands during their occupation. The U.S eventually destroyed the city to reclaim it. In Saigon and other cities, small teams of Viet Cong would go out and attack embassies and bases, killing civil servants, military personnel, and anyone who was allied against them, then large and numerous battalions would attack large U.S and South Vietnamese military bases. 
Whilst considered a military defeat for the North Vietnamese, who were dejected and utterly defeated by the offensive due to heavy loses, its effects on the U.S were profound. The American public was led to believe by political and military leaders that the Viet Cong were incapable of carrying out such a large, precise, and coordinated attack. After seeing that they were being lied too, the U.S public support for the war declined. This eventually led the U.S to seek peace negotiations in Vietnam.  
Image result for tet offensivea map showing the major battles of the Tet offensive
Image result for tet offensivethe battles left cities and towns destroyed.

Research Writing Assignment from Dathan

     As his company searched a group of huts, which they had surrounded to look for suspects, Specialist Fourth Class Michael R. Blanchfield was posted outside as a look out. He spotted a man at the tree line and ordered him to stop but the man kept running, he then toss a grenade toward them. Blanchfield was wounded, but started to pursuit him. The suspect then threw a second grenade toward the cluster of huts. Realizing what would happen to his company and the villagers he immediately tossed himself on the grenade, absorbing the most of the impact.

Blanchfield was 19 when he did this.
         Corporal Thomas W. Bennett was a medic, soldier and conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, whose company was going to assist another company that was caught in an ambush and under heavy fire.  Bennett ran out amidst the hail of bullets and the splashing of rockets to give medical attention to those that were pinned down and dying. He made several trips, bringing them to a somewhat safer location. The Corporal even went out to retrieve the bodies the fallen. On third day of his involvement he advanced to save some men that were a part of an assault on the fortified enemy location. After giving aid to the first he moved up toward the second but was caught by the bullets.

Bennett was 21 went he saved them.

           Their are things that occur that you don't have much time to respond to. In times like those you can see peoples inner character, thoughts and how they prioritize things. It doesn't have to be in those split seconds that a persons character is shown. In the case of Bennett he spent three days going back and forth, not knowing if and when he would get shot carrying men, both alive and dead, back to safety. It is that fear of the unknown, the not knowing of it all, but doing it anyway that more thoroughly tests a person's resolve.

 For their bravery both of these men received a Medal of Honor.
Michael R. Blanchfield:
Thomas W. Bennett: