Latest News - Cameron announces plans for NHS reform -::::- Southampton Toll Collectors go on 1 week strike -::::- Follow @mackingnews on Twitter for all of the latest stories -::::-

Monday, 28 February 2011

Young Teachers and the Dangers of Facebook

Thier have been alot of reports recently regarding the dangers of facebook regarding young teachers. It seems that teachers with low privacy settings are at risk of having thier private lives cross with thier career.
Some incidents have lead to investigations and terminations because of inappropriate postings of pictures and status updates on the social networking website.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

University of Winchester Catering - Good value for money?

As a catered student at University of Winchester, i rely on the food thats served each day to be both tasty and healthy. Of course, as students it's very important that we get good value wherever we can. Here's what a few people had to say about the University catering service.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Panama and Egyptian Journalists

Being a Journalist can be a very hard life, but it seems here in the Uk the laws are generally quite favourable to us and despite a slightly tainted image in the eyes of the public, we don't have the worst reputation in the country(i'm looking at you politicians). I hope to make this a regular blog post where i keep you up to date in the world of Journalism.

The Republic of Panama is the southernmost country of Central America.
It is believed that around half of all Journalists in Panama have been involved in a defamation charge. If found guilty, they face a 1 year prison sentence, or a large fine.
The weaker laws in Panama(compared with the UK) means that weath and power have a larger voice.

has spoken against the political power which has affectedte rghts of journalists. An example given is of two tv reporters recieving a prison sentence despite thier reports on government documents(regarding corruption inthe immagration offices) being truthful and 'accurate'.

Very detailed, extensive coverage of the story can be found here if your interested in learning more about Panama, including a call for an asylum.

Egypt's Journalists hope for less censorship
Throughout Mubaraks reign in egypt, the journalists had restrictions and censorship which they fee they may finally be free of.

Jean-Francois Julliard, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general, hopes for "the creation of a real democracy in which journalists...are no longer afraid to express their views, in which diversity of ideas and opinions no longer entails any risk of imprisonment, and in which the right to receive and impart news and information is truly respected.”

Mahamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa coordinator, explained that after Mubarak's announcement 'a military officer went up to the reporter and handed him a professional camera with a massive lens'.

Mubarak's resingation lead to journalists(such as blogger Abdul Kareen) being released. He was originally expected to serve 4 years in prison for what he was writing, but his freedom shows signs of hope for journalists in Egypt.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Trafalgar Square Stabbing

Three men have been injured on thursday at about 4 pm. The men were stabbed at Trafalgar Sqaure.

Passers by looked on in shock as a fight broke out at the very popular and often busy london location.

Yahoo news are reporting that 19 men have been questioned about the incident.

The 3 men are currently recieiving treatment.

Read the Yahoo article here.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Beckham Lawsuit Dismissed

A $25 Million lawsuit involving a publication about David Beckham has been dismissed.

The publication involved (Touch Magazine) was accussed of slander and libel after alleging that the LA Galaxy star cheated on his wife Victoria.

A US district court judge ruled that as a public figure, any allegations of this nature woud be of public interest. It was also said that thier were no indicationsof malice.

The ruling will be appealed.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

HCJ Seminar Paper - Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Mary Wollstonecraft published ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Women’ towards the end of the 18th Century. She seemed to feel that women were forcibly placed into a restricted role in society. Mary’s views have lead to her being considered one of the first feminists.
‘The rights of women’ wanted then to continue to be feminine and to continue their domestic duties. But she also called for more respect, better education, as well as financial independence. She felt that education was the answer to gaining equality. She feels men and woman are human beings sharing the same potential.

During the time of her works release, America had emerged from a revolution.
At the time of the revolution, women had the freedom, as everybody was relied upon and were more equal.
However, after the war, women were expected to return to ‘their place’ in the home.
Women were ignored when forming a new government.
With the French Revolution beginning shortly after, Idealists such as Wollstonecraft felt that the revolutions coming so close to each other was proof that the cause for democracy was spreading, which lead a lot of optimism.

In Chapter IV, Mary claims that women ‘despise the freedom which they have not sufficient virtue to struggle to attain’. By this, she seems to suggest that women didn’t have enough rights or good reason to fight for more freedom.

Also in the chapter, Mary also talks about ‘reason’. She says that ‘Reason is, consequentially, the simple power of improvement’ or ‘of discerning truth’.

It is made clear throughout her work, that Mary feels it is only a better education which portrays men as superior.
During one paragraph, she states that women are ‘always represented as only created to see through a gross medium and to take things on trust’. By this, she seems to suggest that women are seen as people with little intelligence and will accept most things they are told. This provides a possible reason as to why women had yet to fight for more equality, because of their reliance on others to gain knowledge. As women were more likely to get information from men as they were seen as the more intelligent figure and therefore more trustworthy.

Mary then goes onto to say that if women do have ‘reason’, then ‘she was not created merely to be the solace of man, and the sexual should not destroy the human character’, meaning that if women can get more out of education and learn more if given the chance, they their gender shouldn’t affect who they are as a person and they should be viewed as equal.
She assumes that men saw education merely as ‘preparation for life’ and not as a way of reaching ‘perfection’. She describes this as an ‘error’. The fact that they believe it’s preparing for life, means that only men are seen to require education as they are the only people that would need it, as women don’t need it to as much for their home duties.
Mary believes that education is to aim for perfection, and therefore it should be equal among all people.

She claims that this is what has lead to women being stereotyped and placed into a certain category of expectation. It becomes impossible for women to gain a great enough education to try and achieve more. She feels that this has forced ‘even women of superior sense’ to follow the same lifestyle as all women which is restricting their full potential.

To me, it seems that Mary seems very confident in her views, and in some ways comes across as someone that believes she’s above all men. Such as using the word ‘error’ when referring to assumptions she made of men’s views to education.

Her view is that power has been denied to women. She asks men prove that women aren’t denied power just for their gender characteristics, and then she will ‘grant that woman only exist for man’.
Later in the chapter, Mary raises points of what degrade the gender, and ‘prevent women from generalizing their observations’. She claims that it ‘is sufficient to allow that she has always been either a slave or a despot’ which are quite juxtaposed. She states that the moral weakness and the trait of being stupid come from the ‘narrowness of mind’. Mary also accuses the civil governments of putting obstacles in the way, preventing women from developing their mind through education and training.

At one point, Mary describes ‘virtue’ as a ‘necessity’ and that it is ‘an acquirement to which pleasure must be sacrificed’. She then asks ‘who sacrifices pleasure when it is within the grasp...’ This is a valid point, suggesting that while women continue to get supported by their husband, they see no need to try and become something more and earn their own way through life.
She says ‘...Pleasure is the business of woman’s life...’ and that ‘little can be expected from such weak beings’. By describing women as weak, it shows that Mary is quite critical of women and seems to see herself as more superior.

She later says explains what she sees as a gullible or somewhat desperate nature of women when she says ‘that they are treated like queens only to be deluded by hollow respect’.

When men undertake a journey they have ‘the end in view’, a women thinks more of the ‘incidental occurrences’. This is another barrier that Mary sees for women
She sometimes compares women with the rich, saying that they don’t need to learn a trade as they are already provided for; there is no real need for a good education.

She also provides examples of how education can alter a women’s progression through life. Such as a wife judging whether she would marry a man not only in terms of her love for him, but also regarding his virtues.

Mary only uses the word ‘lady’ 4 times in the chapter; this suggests to me that she only sees women with a good education deserving a title of ‘lady’. This is shown when defending her view of better education. Mary argues that women receive a good education they are ’made fine ladies, brimful of sensibility...’

Mary felt the education of women would strengthen a marriage, equal knowledge among the man and women would create a more stable education for children in the home.

Mary’s reputation was ruined shortly after her death when her husband William Godwin published a book revealing she had a previous child out of wedlock, attempted suicide twice, and failed to call on God as she was dying. This affected the views on her philosophical work; it was seen as a ‘manual’ for the corruption of women. It meant that her more radical views went ignored for many years.

I feel she raises some good points, but occasionally contradicts herself. She claims that women are mistreated and not given fair opportunities, but then criticises the gender and then describes them as ‘weak’. She also refers to men as charming and full of virtue, and then complains that they are in control.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Egypt - Mubarak Resigns

It's been an exciting few weeks, and an even more exciting couple of days for the people of Egypt.

Finally, Hosni Mubarak has resigned as President of Egypt. The announcement was met with cheers and celebration from those that have spent many days ensuring that he no longer had power.
Mubarak was the 4th President of Egypt, and was in power since 1981. It took 18 days of protesting to finally get Hosni to stand down. The BBC claims that Mubarak has survived six assasination attempts during his reign.

Many believed that Mubarak was going to announce it was announced that he would make a speech late thursday night(10/02/11). However, Hosni refused to step down and 'give in to foriegn pressure'. Instead, the now former president opted to transfer some power to his deputy Prime Minister Omar Suleiman. But it seems, the only responsibility he handed to Suleiman was to announce the presidents resignation, and leaving power with the army.

Mubarak's refusal to step down sooner had angered the protesters further on thursday night as they waved their shoes in the air and chanted things like 'He must leave'. With fears of violence erupting through Egypt, it was no surprise that Mubarak had finally seen sense. One journalist on Aljazeeras english news channel suggested it could have become 'One of the most violent revolutions in the history of the world'.

President Obama spoke of the transition of power, stating that i would not yet be clear if it
is 'immediate, meaningful or sufficient'.
The president went on to say it 'is the responsibility of the government to speak clearly to the Egyptian people and the world'

To follow the build up to is announcement as well as videos and pictures, i recommend the bbc website.


'...the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people...'
President Barack Obama

Thursday, 10 February 2011

HCJ Lecture - Romanticism, Rousseau and The French Revolution

Romanticism is the next part of HCJ that we will be exploring. It had a dominant role in the 19th Century and contrasts with the 'clockwork' idea of empiricism. This is because it has no exact mearuements.

Rousseau wass a philosopher in the 18th Century.
At the time the main creative force that was Christianity had dissapeared.
Rousseau was excited by nature, specifically natural elements such as the mountains and the waves. He felt that they were to be admired and respected, but at the timethey were seen merely as barriers.

One day while listening to the waves, Rousseau felt all of his painful memories vanish, and worries of the future as well. He was left in a sense of being. This 'intense experience' lead to him being pushed out of towns because of his views and the opinions he expressed. He felt you could not believe what was in books and that truth only came from nature. He saw it as the answer, and had no belief in reason.
This signalled a 'new cult of sensibility' - Romanticism.

Roussea's idea's can be linked to the ideas of Hobbes and Locke when looking at the 'state of nature'. John Locke agreed in a way, but he liked the idea of property. In comparison, Rousseau felt we should not own the land.

He believed that natural man was virtuous. He saw us as puppets, alienating ourselves from wht we truly should be. We should be more in touch with animals and not civilised. He believed in supremacy of emotions.
"Man is born free, but everywhere is in chains."
He believed civilisation had corrupted us, and that we must return to nature. To the goodness of primitive man - 'The Noble Savage'. Civlisation means we are trapped in the compeition of self esteem.
The Social Contract - Rousseau's Influence
"Taking men as they are, and laws as they might be." - Admits there is no way back to nature.
General Will
We all agree on certain laws. The fact that we all agree means that even though thier is a law, it is still freedom.
If a king(for example) was to force a law onto us that we don't all agree on, then the freedom would be gone.
Direct democracy has no representation. In contrast, liberal means their is both a public and private sphere. This enables agreed differences between rules privately(such as walking around your home with no clothes on) in comparison to rules when in public.
Rousseau felt thier should be no difference between private and public.
Rousseau suggest a 'Declaration of the Rights of Men'. This is the idea that men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Law is the expression.
One danger of a General Will is the introduction of a new kind of dictatorship, the tyranny of law - anyone who refuses to obey the general will will be 'forced to be free'.
A good example is from The French Revolution - 'If they don't agree, we'll force them to be free'.
Wordsworth said that the revolution seemed to bring Rousseaus idea of a natural man into reality. At this moment this was the romantic movement in action.
Leading up to The French Revolution, the King of France had gathered massive debt, leaving himself and the country in trouble. He could no longer run the country.
The beginning of the revolution was slow and pedantic. The consitutional phase belonged in the age of reason.
Mary Wolsencraft will be the focus of my next peice of reading. She wrote 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman'.
Mary was one of the first feminists. However, she was damaged by a book written by her husband after her death. After it was made, people were shocked by the allegations, and it wasn't until years after its release thather reputation bcame more respectable once again.
She studied alongside Rousseau, and came from a middle class family(although her father ended up losing the the familys money). Mary raised the family, working as a governess. At the time, people in her position(middle class women) had small prospects.
Alot of her writing was in reaction to Rousseau. She found him intoxicating and annoying.
Mary was won over by Locke, kloving his idea of a 'blank slate' at birth and his claim that we were bporn with no innate ideas.
She suggested that if you were a poor women you(and your voice) was invisible. Hoever, she felt that the only thing that seperated everyone was education(and the quality of it). Education given to women was superficially promoted with an obsession with appearance.
Some of the underpinning was from Locke. If you educate people properly you can make them rational, responsible citizens.
Mary stated that men and women should just be human beings, asexual or non-sexual beings, until they are in law and then they can assume a gendered identity.
She tries to limit the areas in life where men are men, and women are women.
In her writings she suggests men and women are just human beings. They are equal and share the same potential.
"If your to stay as a child in a state of innocence, it would be better if your not born".