Phase Three

Week 9

The first source that stands out as particularly useful in my podcast episode is an opinion piece, The Pros and Cons of Open Borders and Their Effect on American Immigration, by Jason Boughton. In the article, Boughton outlines the potential benefits and drawbacks of an open border in the United States. Despite Boughton pointing out the major issue with open borders, he still acknowledges the importance of immigration and talked about how an open border can save around 18 billion tax dollars annually. But Boughton's major issue with open borders is best summarized by

"The best way to start a revolution is from within. This can be easier achieved if all immigration laws are abandoned. This would allow more radical beliefs and immigrants would not have to assimilate to their new nation. (Boughton, 2018)

One of the major conclusion that other sources in my episode come to is that a closed border is immoral. Therefore, it is important to bring up Jason Boughton's article to discuss what an open border would bring to America. Also, his argument about the major issues with an open border would help me come to my final conclusion which is that an open border will never become a variable opinion.

Jason Boughton will be referenced many times in my episode because he argues from multiple angles on the open border topic. His articles provide evidence from the financial side, the social side, and the historical side. Jason Boughton will appear in my episode as a character who's consistently reappearing for more information. I will use his articles to build him as a character that my audiences can relate to on a personal level instead just another expert who did a study on immigration.

The second source that I find particularly useful is the United States' 14th amendment. The line

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. (U.S. Const. Amend. XIV)”

is the core of my topic. The problems that my podcast deal with are largely impacted by this particular law. Birth-right citizenship is a concept that will be heavily covered in my episode. Therefore, I think it is extremely important to mention the law that supports birth-right citizenship in my podcast episode.


Boughton, J. (2018, August 04). The pros and cons of open borders and their effect on American immigration. Retrieved February 22, 2019, from

U.S.Cong., Committee on the Judiciary. (1982). The 14th Amendment and school busing: Hearings before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, first session ... May 14 and June 3, 1981 [Cong.]. Washington: U.S. G.P.O.

Xuanbai Zhu


It’s finally coming together. The final podcast is just an arms length away.

Throughout the course of my research, I found plenty sources that were very useful to me, although, most of them later posed irrelevant because they didn’t reflect the story I wanted to tell. The major research sources I found to be very useful are, “Dangers of plastic Pollution” by Dr. Luiza Mirpur which can be accessible at www.the Dr. Luiza Mirpur is a well respected doctor and medical advisor. She is the head of medical research at the Mirpur foundation.

I also found The Ocean Cleanup, a non profit organisation that is concerned with the safety of the oceans worldwide. it was founded by Boyad Slatt, a 24- year old boy. It has constantly been ridding the ocean of its large sum of plastic and hopes to clear it all by 2030.

These two topics are very important because they complement each other in my podcast episode. For example, talking about the dangers of plastic pollutions takes the idea of Dr. Luiza Mirpur, then transfers to the solution which can be founded in the Ocean Cleanup website.

Unfortunately I’ve not come across any character that is very useful to my podcast.

Omotoso Olaoluwasubomi.

Week 9 Post- Danethza Perez Aguilera

As the narrative begins to take place, I have identified the following characters in the story:

The writer of opinions

This character is the opinion piece on the larger scale (society).  The focus here is to examine the writer behind the opinion piece and to understand the lens by which he views the world.  This peeling back on the writer allows us to see an identity behind the opinion piece and reconsider the perspective on the opinion pieces written.

The Belief:

This character is more of a collection of attributes which create the evidence for the investigation.  Investigating the role played by Belief, as they appear in peoples’ thoughts and opinion- are at the center piece of my investigation.  Here I intend on pulling evidence from the interview with Dr.James Alcock, quote some of his book arguments, review  evidence from other sources to show the listener how The Belief itself is the driving engine behind thoughts and opions

The Tools of persuasion:

A constructed character, The tools of persuasion will be utilized to further the research on the power of words and their influence over people.  Here I will take a deeper dive on the power of persuasion used through the medium of language and its larger implications in history, society and media.

The investigative journalist

This is my narrating voice, it is the character which questions the evidence in pursuit of a larger truth. The tone is curious and light, and I will attempt to provide questions about Truth and Beliefs that make the listener consider their own thoughts and opinions.

Phase THREE: Logos, Ethos, Karios, Pathos... Blogos, Podcos

Week 9: Cast of Characters in the Game

It’s all coming together (somewhat).

I still do not like hearing my recorded voice. If I ever become a podcaster, I will never be able to listen to my shows.

On the bright side, once I get the hang of using the podcasting app; as in recording one with music and sound effects, I think this opinion piece will make a good show. As I listen to more podcast episodes, I get new ideas about what direction to take my show in. It’s frustrating, but also exciting.

At first, it didn’t make sense to have “characters” in a socio-political themed podcast episode, but I have a good idea on how to go about it now that I understand the power of political rhetoric. For example.. do you know who is the biggest character in the media right now?

Donald Trump.

I used to read his tweets, newstories and follow him on Twitter all the time just so I can bash him for his utter ridiculousness, furiously tweeting angry replies to show how wrong he is. I stopped going on social media just so I don’t have to read about it anymore because it is literally all I see on my feed, and I’ve gotten so sick of it. Even more frustrating and annoying is how oblivious his Twitter critics are.

What a character….The power of rhetoric. It wasn’t until I took this course when I realized that he may not be as stupid as he feigns to be….

So taking lessons from the many characters in the political field, that are in the form of information sources- the three major sources that not only stand out the most to me, but are absolutely crucial to my podcast is:

Trudeau’s Canada, Again (Lawson, 2015)

Of course the public image of Justin Trudeau goes back further than when he was unexpectedly elected PM in 2015, but he is definitely a character, and one that may have some problems repairing it. After all, this isn’t American politics. One good scandal can destroy one’s political career for good.

However, this particular source is an interview by the New York Times when Trudeau was first elected, and where he made his ambitious claim that “Canada is the world’s first postnationalist state.”

That isn’t even the best part of this article. The article clearly explains in detail; sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, how he crafted his own image which resembles, but also outshines his father; while at the same time avenging his honor by defeating one of his most vocal critics, Stephen Harper. I will be crafting a character from this article that builds on the narrative that Canada is not the world’s postnationalist state; and more importantly, there is a strong possibility that Justin doesn’t think so either.

It’s a game.

The Age of Light, Soap, and Water (Valverde, 2008)

Now, the whole reason why I am making this podcast is to question the “Postnationalist Canada” and to explore what “Nationalism” is, why we are past it, and what does it means to Canadians? If we are going to investigate whether we are past Nationalism, it is only fair that we go back to its very roots; when Canada first became a nationality. Without reading off boring and depressing historical “facts”, because we all know no one likes facts; I intend to create a “nationalist characterization of our dear Mother Canada.”

If we are a postnationalist Canada, our character really has no meaning does it?

The 48 Laws of Power (Greene, 1997)

This is the source that is going to bring my podcast all together, and is absolutely crucial to construct an evidenced-based, rhetorical political argument.

I absolutely love this book. And I encourage anyone to read it. I guarantee at least some of the concepts and stories it tells will apply to your life in some way. More importantly, it fits in exactly with what this podcasting assignment is supposed to be about.

AND the book tells stories of historical figures that either “observed” the law in question that ensured their success and place in history, or committed a “transgression” of the law which ensured their downfall, which also ensured their place in history, but as a loser nonetheless.

Or they were given no place at all.

Why this is important is because it’s rhetorical- and a powerful mode of persuasion. It is a novel of historical political figures- or “characters” that put the political characters of my podcast, and all major characters in the political power game into perspective. Such as:

Justin’s construction of an “image” that appeals to the masses, using the tools he has at his disposal

His transgressions that are leading to his scandals that may end up ruining his career

The power of “imagery” and the “visible” to Nationalism and Nation-building

Candice Malcolm’s appeal to Nationalistic pride using subtle, but historical racial discourses to make an argument that appeals to historical racism and fears. Possibly not even realizing it; but is an example of Canada’s socially constructed racial hierarchical society; which is also invisible….

Justin Trudeau’s notion of a postnational Canada is a clear example of that.

Or he may not be as innocent or naive that he feigns to be… or stupid. Who knows? After all, it is a game of power.

Shayne Beaucage



Greene, R., & Elfers, J. (1998). The 48 Laws of Power. London, UK: Profile Books Ltd., USA: Viking & Penguin Putnam Inc.

Valverde, M. (2008). The Age of Light, Soap, and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada, 1885-1925. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division

Lawson, G. (12/08/2015). Trudeau’s Canada, Again. Retrieved from

Week 7

Education can come from different sources and government ones are the type that can Intel details of how a country with government influence is controlled based on regulations and laws. It is important to learn of these kinds of sources for the manner a society functions is very based on the governing taking place and is in affect. If we isolate this very influential impact which consists of rules we will not understand how that society functions as a whole and what “rules” the population lives by.

This influence is how the population bases its choices daily. Every attribution that contributes to the maintenance of a governed country, city, town is monitored and a controlled system which will present government sources such as President’s, prime minister’s, mayor’s, politician, and politics information or decisions are all updated through print or electronically. It is said that government creates a “civilized” society. Well, if you would like government information the sources would be given by those who are involved in this particular “industry”.

Week 6

A Scholarly source is collected data that is written by professionals or experts of a specific industry or subject. Example of those who are considered credible as professionals are Doctors whom specific data collected within the medical industry, Professors who studied a education school subject such as science, students becoming professionals or other experts in an academic field. These experts are considered scholars.

The publications of the work by scholars are peer-reviewed by experts whom include citations and footnotes that indicate where and who’s contributions were used in the results of the research. These references are called resources in which the scholar has used towards their research. The scholarly sources are serious material and content may include graphs, statistics, charts and images if necessary for more explanation. These sources can be longer readings of content. The citations are formed as footnotes but can also be bibliographies that are obviously much longer than other sources.

Scholarly sources can be book, articles, journal articles, news articles in which its information is based on issues or events of public concern. For example a news article of the environment written by scholars would be considered a news article where the information is updated and is a public issue/event. The scholars work to update their research, information, data, news upon their expertise in a particular field in where they concentrate their work in proffesionally.

2 scholarly sources

A scholarly source which I found helpful towards gathering credible evidence for my podcast comes from the research article funded by Hawassa University of Ethiopia and the University of Saskatchewan, called: “Protecting and Expanding Access to Birth Control/NEJM”.

Another scholarly source that gave me more insight and confidence within my research was the “ Religion, Woman’s Health and Rights: Points of Contention and Paths of Opportunities” Which is a technical report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Week 8- The Episode Outline by Danethza Perez Aguilera

The Introduction

We will begin the episode by discussing opinions- what are they?

How are opinions articulated and the vehicles used to share the opinions?  

Opinions in media, books and podcasts

How are they affecting our own thoughts and beliefs?

What is their purpose, what is the intent (to teach, to sell, to promote, to raise awareness)

Why are you being told this story- who does it serve?      

A little bit about Beliefs

Here we discuss how beliefs are shaped by opinion

We can provide the example of the opinion piece I read- by George Monbiot, and how his “political beliefs” were shaped by a book he read when he was 8

How lasting are beliefs we hold and how do they shape our reality?

Here we take a closer look at our Central Core Beliefs, how they shape our thinking (insert some interview audio here from interview with Dr.James Alcock)  

We examine what great philosophers have said in the past about the nature of our thoughts

(Descarte, Buddah, Mooji)

What happens to our beliefs about reality at the molecular level ( the double slit experiment)

What does this all mean?  

Let’s go back to Beliefs and how they affect the language we speak  

The globalization of English and the communion of thoughts across disciplines

How language is used to shape the brain

How language/written and oral has caused mass information influx and increase to our leaning

What to do?  

In this great investigation, I initial sought to answer where does truth hide in opinion

Yet this has changed as I am beginning to understand that truth is relative to the conditions to which it is experienced (example of someones truth in one state as opposed to another)

The opportunity to be open and flexible to information and change

What to do with all the labels? Guidelines based on experience, not rigid because we are not rigid and our progression through time and maturity forces a retrospection, introspection and analysis


As Information changes, is there opportunities to learn how to think instead of what to think or  memorizing content?

Moving people past the opinions held in the moment in time, for which we will always find support to persuade (psych term- the affimation bias)

Could  kids be taught earlier in life to think critically, to gain access to their internal compass of truth?Would this open people to question, to explore and to understand our past, present in order to build our future and not fall victim to persuasion and erroneous thinking and false beliefs?

Sources   Why storytelling is so powerful in the digital era | Ashley Fell | TEDxUniMelb

Rettig, T., & Rettig, T. (2017, December 07). Belief Systems: What they are and how they affect you. Retrieved from

Monbiot, G. (2015, August 24). Help me trace the book that prompted my political awakening | George Monbiot. Retrieved from

How to observe Belief= Mooji  

The double slit experiment

Phase Two

Week 5:

A popular source can be an article that briefly discusses a topic or issue with no original research. Some examples of a popular source include Time Magazine and National Geographic. These sources of information are popular as they can quickly provide you information about a topic or issue. However, they may not provide a lot of information such as a scholarly source. Popular sources are still useful as they keep people entertained and aware of current issues or events. You can evaluate their credibility by searching the author to see if they really know what they are talking about or compare the popular source to a scholarly source to find if the information is the same.  

Keywords are words that describes a topic. It is important as it can categorize your issue/topic with others that are similar. In my topic of Facebook spying on its users, some keywords might be “Facebook”, “Security”, or “Security”.

Week 6:

The two scholarly sources I use include:

-       Discusses Facebooks advertisements model and why it has been proven to be successful.

-       Discusses how Cambridge Analytica may have helped Donald Trump in his presidential victory.  

Both of these sources of information were found using Google scholar and were written by experts. Scholarly sources are information that has been written by a professional in their field to educate others interested in the subject.  Unlike popular sources, these articles and journals are very detailed and provide much more accurate and material. I discovered these Scholarly sources from our discussion during the lecture about finding credible information.

Using the correct keywords when trying to find scholarly sources is critical if you want to find the right information.

Week 8:

The topic I will be covering is the controversy of Facebook storing and selling our online information to third party companies such as Cambridge Analytica. Most people who use the social media platform are naware of what information Facebook has been collecting on its users and non-users and I intend to inform people what it is they are gathering and let the listener decide if what they are doing is ethical. The focus question I will be asking is “Is it okay for Facebook to be collecting our data if we have already agreed to their terms and conditions?”

 I will organize the body of the episode into two parts, one section that will give reasons why it is not okay for Facebook to be collecting and selling information, and the second section to defend Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) and Facebooks actions. This is a strategy that I have found while listening to the podcast Science Vs and I believe that It helps organize the podcast. Most people listening to the podcast might question why it is even important that they collect our data since we continue to use their service with no issues. A report from Ars Technica states that websites can obtain information about not just you, but people you frequently speak to online such as family members or co-workers. Having this information on a database online means that hackers are able to gain access this data and possibly ruin a person’s life.

However, to make this podcast unbiased, the second section of the body will be dedicated to discussing Facebook’s point of view and talk about why it may be beneficial for Facebook to collect our data for security reasons.  Natasha Singer from the New York times has written an article recapping Mark Zuckerberg’s hearings on the controversial topic. According to Mark Zuckerberg, our information is secured, and their data collection enhances the users experience. I decided to discuss Facebooks point of view second because I know the first opinion would be the most popular. By talking about the unpopular opinion second, I hope to make the topic more unbiased as the listener will have to think about both sides of the issue after the podcast episode is finished.  

In my conclusion I will repeat the focus question and briefly go over was discussed during the podcast in case something was missed.

week 4

Opinion Piece Pitch

My objective is to bring awareness to the issue which may seem to only affect woman, to explain it and dissect it in order for this issue in reality affects everyone. People should be educated on this issues and take all its concepts into serious perspective.

My targeted audience would be everyone but if i were to narrow it to a specific niche I would say it would grab the attention of those whom are currently living among family members are who are more family oriented. this includes though every race and gender of all races. Due to society pressures and demands on all individuals to “keep-up” in financial resources to survive. To understand that taking the right from a woman’s reproductive choice is serious and that there should be more public and general support by providing them options so that woman, children, men and communities are not negatively impacted.

I believe what will make for a most interesting story and listening experience of my podcast opinion would be that i include resources and some proof through interview(s) by those affected by this issue and know of will be able to share a perspective that might relate to some of the targeted audience or beyond. Those whom may share even their thoughts or observations of this issue may also enlighten thoughts for the audience to have more of an open mind of accepting this issue as one that affects everyone is some way. i intend to include data and credible sources are sure to make my opinion seem more interesting and create more curiosity of this opinion affects more than just one gender.

My goal is to make this opinion an experience that will not only create a sense that we all affect each other but that it will open their perspective to care for issues that can be processed by all people and to unite everyone in a way that reminds us that with more help, the more solutions.

week 5

There are different ways to access popular sources; television, newspapers, radios, and internet and much more. My definition of a popular source is that it is a type of source that we may observed, read, and can get access to in many accessible ways. Those ways consist of; devices-cell phones, laptops, tablets and more. Popular sources are published through readings such as; newspapers, magazines, articles, and then can also be accessed through audio-radio, podcasts, songs, poems, and speeches.

To be specific a popular source comes from a publication. Publication is the processed steps that were taken to prepare and issue a popular source for public sale. There are some publications are usually illustrated which refers to pictures.

Other things that are used in popular sources are keywords and these signify the concept of the information that is intended for the audience. For an example, there could be a book about relationship advise and in the title it may use the words “true love” or “find the perfect love”. There are keywords that are intriguing to people and in this example the words love, true, and perfect, emphasize the content about love. Using these keywords are to grab the attention of potential buyers to get them curious enough to read that book on love advice. Key words are known to catch the eye and interest of the general audience.

For a general audience the best strategy these sources use are simple wording. This means that what ever information is being shared is easy to understand and has clear meaning. The source will not use complex words because it wants to be an “easy” read that doesn’t seem too much of reading to pass up.

When popular sources are written and use other sources in their content, they may not always use citations even if the writer has used a direct source from somewhere else. Above all the writer will try to make the source content short which is all part of attracting the general audience. The publications are usually regularly updated meaning that there is a new publication either daily, weekly, or monthly. Using illustration of pictures, colours to create more interest so the content doesn’t seem so boring with just words. The popular sources are quick to skim through and keep the readier engaged.

Phase two

Week five:

A popular source, as far as I know, is a publication generally about entertainment, general news, and non-academic opinions. It's not always written by an expert and it doesn't always support its statements with research evidence. However, some popular sources can be more credible than others. For example, I would look at the author's experience in a certain field to determine the author credibility in that field. How the opinions in a source are supported is also important for determining its credibility. Well used and reliable secondary sources can increase the credibility of an article. Additionally, I think it's important to consider where the popular source is published. The New York Times is a more reliable publisher because of its popularity and its rich history of consistently being one of the most successful newspaper while other publishers might not be as successful. In my podcast, I will use popular sources like The Pros and Cons of Open Borders and Their Effect on American Immigration by Jason Boughton and Six Hard Facts About a Border Wall that Contradict Trump by Heather Timmons.

A keyword is a word that represents a key concept in a topic. It is important because a keyword is normally heavily utilized when doing research or providing information. In my podcast, I would consider birth-right citizenship a keyword as most arguments made about American immigration systems are based on birth-right citizenship.

Week six:

The first scholarly sources that I find particularly helpful in my episode is an article written by Jon Feere titled, Birthright Citizenship in the United States. I find the author, Jon Feere, trustworthy, because

"Mr. Feere began working at the Center early 2002. He received his B.A. in political science and communications from the University of California, Davis and his J.D. from American University's Washington College of Law. While in law school he worked in the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, specifically, the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims. He also interned as an Assistant Prosecutor for the Montgomery County Maryland Office of the State's Attorney. ("Former Legal Policy Analyst", n.d. )"

In the article, Mr. Feere mentioned that "every year, 300,000 to 400,000 children are born to illegal immigrants in the United States. (Feere, 2010, p. 1)" This information will be very helpful in my podcast episode when I try to convince my audience that the phenomenon of people gaining citizenship through anchor babies (Anchor babies refer to kids given birth in America by illegal immigrants) are worth concerning.

I also find information about how other countries grant citizenships in the article. Mr. Feere goes into details about what nations have policies similar to the U.S. and what nations despise granting citizenship to anchor babies. Something I find very interesting in his article is that automatic birthright citizenship is going out of favor as more and more countries are ending their birth-right citizenship policies.

The second scholarly sources that I find is a book named Heaven's Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy by George J. Borjas.

George Borjas mentions that he is a Caban refugee who immigrated to America in the preface of the book. However, Mr. Borjas highlighted the negative effects that immigration had on America's economic system. I think this shows the unbiasedness of Mr. Borjas. More importantly, Mr. Borjas can be considered highly credible as he is a Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Mr. Borjas talks about the history of people debating how immigration changed America and uses examples from when immigration was nearly impossible for Chinese people and how it changed drastically over the last few decades. I think referring to these things would be really interesting in my podcast as there are many people who are unfamiliar with a time when immigration was different. For example, the hard part of immigration now is getting approved by the arriving country instead of leaving motherland or transportation but before commercial airplanes got introduced to people's lives, people had so much trouble leaving their motherland. For example, Mr. Borjas mentioned a conversation between Xiaoping Deng, former Chinese vice president, and Jimmy Carter, former U.S. president. The Chinese government made it very hard at the time for Chinese citizens to immigrate. Therefore, Jimmy Carter stressed the importance of human rights to the Chinses vice president and recommended China to allow its citizens to immigrate. However, the recommendation was quickly shut down by Mr. Deng as the Chinese government had the ideology that no people would want to leave the paradise that they created.

Scholarly sources are information constructed by experts with referenced studies and proved pieces of evidence. Both of the articles I mentioned can be considered a scholarly source as they are written by an expert and well-supported by professional studies and other evidence. Also, I found the articles on Google Scholar so I am more confident about them being scholarly sources.

I put in immigration as the keyword in a humanity database and a law database. I found that the humanity databases showed more results of immigration from cultures' standpoint. For example, a result of 19th-century New York City's people, places and organizations stood out because of the aspect that it chooses to evaluate immigration. On the other hand, the law database had more results on governments' policies on immigration and immigration's impact on the economy. One of the results I found talks about immigration's effect on capital flows and housing price. Another result that I found is about oriental immigration in Canada and provide surveys regarding the topic. I will link the two databases I used below.

The humanity database:

The law database:*


Dustmann, C., & Preston, I. (2006). Is immigration good or bad for the economy? Analysis of attitudinal responses. In The Economics of Immigration and Social Diversity (pp. 3-34). Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Retrieved from:

Feere, J. (2010). Birthright Citizenship in the United States. Backgrounder. Retrieved from:

Former Legal Policy Analyst; Current Senior Advisor for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (n.d.) Retrieved from:

Week eight:

I will outline my podcast episode by listing parts of the podcast with headings and explain what will happen in the specific part.

Part 1: Opinion piece introduction, the importance of the topic

I will begin my podcast episode with an introduction of the article None of Us Deserve Citizenship by Michelle Alexander. I will list some of her main statements. For example, professor Alexander talks about the unworthiness that birth-right citizenship creates and how non-citizens should be treated equally as citizens or at least granted basic human rights. I will avoid using any quotations when doing so as I believe they will disinterest my audiences when happening at the very beginning of my episode.

I am going to further my introduction of the opinion piece by highlighting the credibility of the author, Michelle Alexander. Firstly, Michelle Alexander is a civil rights advocate who professionalizes in writing as a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary. Additionally, professor Alexander was born in Chicago, Illinois to an interracial couple. She got her citizenship status from birth-right citizenship. Therefore, she should be considered more credible to talk about the unfair privileges that birth-right citizenships bring as she personally benefited from birth-right citizenship.

I will continue by stressing the importance of the topic. The recent federal government shutdown in the United States is a great example of how failures in the immigration system can affect an entire nation. I will talk about Donald Trump's opinion on immigration as talking about a controversial person like Trump would bring more attention from audiences. After Trump became the president of the U.S., "Donald Trump has used the first Oval Office address of his presidency to stoke fears of illegal immigration (Smith, 2019)". President Trump is also the person responsible for starting the federal government shutdown and "President Donald Trump says a federal government shutdown will continue until he receives billions in funding to address a 'humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border' (Luxen, Lussenhop, and Vaidyanathan, 2019)". The government shutdown has ended but it was the longest government shutdown in American history as it lasted 34 full days from December 22, 2018, to January 25, 2019, and the second federal government shutdown during the presidency of Donald Trump that involving furloughs (Zaveri, Gates, and Zraick, 2019). Many people's lives are influenced by the government shutdown. "An estimated 800,000 federal workers have missed at least one and in many cases two paychecks (McCarthy, 2019)". Airport lines, emergency responses, and tax processing are also impacted by the shutdown according to McCarthy.

Part 2: Why is America is a desirable destination for immigrants

The second part of my episode will be about the reasons why America is a desired destination for immigrants. In this part, I will quote other articles and use statistic to show how the U.S. can provide better life quality. For example, according to, Why make immigrants come to United States of America, an article written by Elizabeth Arizaga,

"But the real reason is prosperity. For decades, economic growth has easily surpassed population growth, giving the U.S., and much of the rest of the world, both more people and more prosperity. Simply put, they desire for a better life somewhere other than the current residence. And this country offers that better life they wish for. (Arizaga, 2019)"

Part 3: Why is the current immigration policy is immoral and why an open border is the only morally justified option.

In professor Alexander's article, she talks about how very little U.S. citizen did anything to earn their citizenship and how this means none of them deserves citizenship. I will use other articles to support this statement from professor Alexander. For example, The U.S. Constitution notes that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. (U.S. Const. Amend. XIV)”

Additionally, I will talk about how all non-citizens who desires citizenships should be granted citizenship from a moral standpoint.

Part 4: Immigration's impact on America, and what will happen if America opened its border.

In this part, I will talk about the economic benefits and drawbacks that immigrants brought to America and how the influence is going to change if open border policies are established. I will also use evidence to show that the U.S. opening its border would absolutely destroy its society build-up, economy system, and citizen happiness level.

Part 5: Conclusion

It is clear that anything less than an open border can always be argued as morally unjust but the irony is that an open border would actually destroy the very things that attract immigrants to go to America. Therefore, non-citizens will have to go through certain procedures in order to gain citizenship even if most citizens did nothing in comparison to earn their citizenships.


Arizaga, E. (2006, November 17). Why do immigrants come to United States of America? Retrieved from

David Smith (9 Jan 2019) Donald Trump fuels immigration fears in TV address on 'border crisis’. The Guardians. Available at:

Michelle Alexander (21 Dec 2018) None of Us Deserve Citizenship. The New York Times. Available at:

Micah Luxen, Jessica Lussenhop and Rajini Vaidyanathan (8 Jan 2019) Government shutdown: Is there a crisis on the US-Mexico border? BBC News Available at:

Tom McCarthy (12 Jan 2019) America shuts down: how the federal government closure is impacting millions. The Guardians. Available at:

U.S.Cong., Committee on the Judiciary. (1982). The 14th Amendment and school busing: Hearings before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, first session ... May 14 and June 3, 1981 [Cong.]. Washington: U.S. G.P.O.

Zaveri, M., Gates, G., & Zraick, K. (2019, January 09). The Government Shutdown Was the Longest Ever. Here's the History. Retrieved from

Xuanbai Zhu

Week 7- Policy documents - Danethza Perez Aguilera

Policy documents such as government, industry and even Yorks’ academic calendar can be practical sources of research for the writers’ ethical/moral conduct.  For example, one may use policies as a moral compass while writing and researching for the podcast.

The code of student rights and responsibility document at York hold codes of philosophical positions about the liberties and freedoms of student academic activities, as well as guidelines and agreements to be upheld by students. 

A York university student reviewing these policies would acknowledge the responsibilities that need to be undertaken and considered while researching and producing materials created for the public arena, such as in our case with the podcast.  The code also states the responsibility the university must uphold in their accordance to the agreement; in order to operate within the agreed terms of fairness and conflict resolution operations stated in the policy.  These codes agreements are intended to protect the University and the students’ rights and freedoms.

Reviewing these types of policies are beneficial for student researchers to review in order to understand the paradigms, rules of conduct and expectations required by all students.  This enables the student to conduct their research accordingly, while upholding the values and ethics agreed upon by both the university and the students.

Danethza Perez Aguilera


Quick Links Menus. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Week 6 -The Scholarly Sources-Danethza Perez

The two scholarly sources that have emerged in my research are :

1.       Grube, J. W., Mayton, D. M., & Ball‐Rokeach, S. J. (2010, April 14). Inducing Change in Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors: Belief System Theory and the Method of Value Self‐Confrontation. Retrieved from



Both articles are from university research in the areas of Social Psychology and Behaviour.  In the Grube research, concepts such as the belief system theory is examined to understand the relationship between beliefs and values, attitudes and behaviours. Similarly, the research by Cornell University also examines our behaviours and attitudes and the power of influence we have on each other.

Scholarly articles of this nature are helpful to my story development as they contribute largely an area which I want to highlight, which is the area of belief.  The research  provided by psychological research allows researchers, such as myself, to understand  the underlying motivations that are present in writers, by investigating their beliefs systems and understanding how these systems function.

I discovered these articles as I was searching for links between beliefs and persuasion. I sought to look a little closer at the opinion piece provided in class. I attempted to capture the authors’ voice through the choice of words made in the article; particularly his tone and context.  It was an attempt to understand the writers’ angle by looking at his personal history, which lead me to investigate possible influences that may have contributed to shaping his beliefs- that is expressed in his writing.

Week 5- Popular Sources- Danethza Perez

A popular source is the information provided by a journalist, blogger, or other writers that are not scholarly sources and therefore do not contain the original research and are not typically peer reviewed, unlike scholarly pieces.  This may include opinion pieces and the stories that are inspired by popular sources are made to inform the general public on trending topics or events. Trending news and current events are made available to the mainstream news media outlets and typically come from 3 primary sources; Reuters, The associated press and the Agence France Press. Stories are then written by popular sources to be delivered to the general audience in the forms of print, broadcast, online and tv format in the voice most appropriate for the medium used (social media, blog, newspapers, magazines, etc…)

A key word is used to search through sources via the search engines and allows the researcher to focus and narrow into a central idea or topic for the purpose of gaining further insight and information on a research topic or question.  Keywords that I have compiled have been focused on George Monbiot, belief, psychology, influence, AI, learning and quotes.


Week 8: EPISODE OUTLINE: Oh! (Poor) Canada..

The opinion piece is really starting to come together now that I begun looking at the article in an objective manner. It kind of scares me to be honest, because I’m starting to see the point of some Conservative views. At least now, I see we have to look at both sides of the coin if we wish to build a formulated, fair, and structured argument. After all, this is what Canada is about to many of us? Fair, equal, welcoming, and sweet as maple syrup…..Canadians drink a lot of rye and beer too though.

So in formulating my episode outline, I keep finding new questions that need to be answered, and if i wanted to, it would be a very long podcast. I found that there was a lot of research I was going to use before that I found is irrelevant now, or I found better stuff to use.

Fortunately, it has to be done in 20 minutes, so here is a rough outline of how its going to go down…

Part One (Approximately 5 mins.)

1.) Opening music- Possibly the National anthem with a sudden trumpet sound. whomp whomp….

2.) Introduction- A quick introduction of myself, and the title of the podcast, and the main question “Are we a Postnationalist state?” Talk about Justin Trudeau’s explosion on the world stage through his unexpected victory as Canada’s new PM, and our new image of a free and equal Canada by his claim that Canada is the world’s “first postnational state that is no longer defined by European values, but the multiplicity of its identities” (Lawson, 2015).

3.) Question/Argument- Candice Malcolm’s criticism that “Trudeau is resorting to divisive identity politics as a result of his race-based thinking” through his idea of a postnational state that “downplays Canadian values,” which she claims Trudeau “rejected Canadian Nationalism in November that he equates with Nationalist sentiment in Europe.., and that Canadian Nationalism is not based on race, but our shared values, patriotism, and love of country…” (Malcolm, 2019).

tire screech or sudden record scratch

4.) Comment: “Wait what?

Close out.

Part Two (Approximately 5 mins.)

1.) Introduction- Welcome back, and a recap of the question. “Are we a Postnationalist state?”

2.) Topic- Malcolm’s claim that Canadian Nationalism is not based on race. What does that have to do with postnationalism, and why does she bring that up?

3.) Research- Karen Wang’s resignation on a WeChat post where she encouraged voters to vote for her and not her opponent Jasmeet Singh because she is “Chinese” and he is “Indian” (Burnaby Now, 2019). Malcolm attributes this to Trudeau’s “fixation on identity politics”, and his “dream of a postnational state.” So what is “postnationalism?” And how does it differ from “Canadian Nationalism?”

4.) Comment- “I don’t know about you Mr. Trudeau…I think I see what’s going on here now though. You find out when we come back.”

5.) Music jingle- “Let it Snow” non copyright (

Close out.

Part 3 (Approximately 5 mins.)

1.) Introduction- Welcome back, and a recap of the question. “Are we a Postnationalist state?”

2.) Topic- Canadian Nationalism. Is it racist?

3.) Research- What is the history of Canadian Nationalism in Canada, and has it “always been pluralistic” as Malcolm claims? What changed?

4.) Comment- “Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes. If you have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double” (Greene, 1998). “I am beginning to wonder if there is something bigger at play.”

5.) Music jingle- (none yet)

Close Out.

Part 4 (Approximately 5 mins.)

1.) Introduction- Welcome back, recap, and state that we have arrived at our conclusion.

2.) Conclusion 1: Canadian Nationalism has not “always been pluralistic,” and while those ideas are changing despite the resistance by many in the public discourse, as evidenced by people such as these guys and these guys, there are people who do not think as they do. Such as these people in Alberta, where even Canadian’s call “Canada’s Texas” and is “known for its racism” and is a primary conservative supporting, or “blue” province.

3.) Conclusion 2: Canada is “not a postnationalist state.” Racism is indeed still a problem in Canada, as it has always been. However, this is deeply rooted over a hundred years, and there is the possibility that Justin is moving way too fast in trying to outdo his father. As a politician, the world has high expectations of him simply because of who his father is. (Refer to “Law 45” of the 48 Laws of Power by Greene) While his reforms may be wonderful and bring a sense of unity on the surface, it may in fact have the opposite effect.

4.) Comment: “What did Alexander the Great set out to do after taking the throne after his father died? His father conquered Greece, and Alexander wanted to outdo him, so he conquered the world as it was known at the time. What happened to his short-lived empire after his death?”

5.) Closing remarks. Thank you. End.

Shayne Beaucage


Week 7: A taste of their own information…

If I wish to form a legitimate and evidenced-based argument that Canada is not a “pluralistic, post-national society,” rather it is a “nationalist and race-based hegemonic society” that is only welcoming and socially liberal on the surface, then it is only necessary to research Canada’s history at its birth.

As many of us know, and what I discussed in my last blog post; we are living in the age of “Fake News” where anyone can make up facts and pass them off to a worldwide audience as fact. News and “scientific research” has become heavily capitalized, and profit requires that the commodities be put on the market as quickly as possible. This also means that news and scientific facts that don’t sell will not be marketed either. As a capitalist economy where profit comes even before production, a mass media outlet is not going to wait two years for legitimate factual based research to come out and verify their claims. They would sooner make it up. Furthermore, for the media outlets to make profit, they have to give the consumer something they actually want to consume.

How this relates to my podcast is that it will be extremely difficult to find popular sources that detail Canada’s dark history relating to the history of immigration, discrimination, and the historical legislated cultural genocide of Indigenous people that continue to this day through the Indian Act, now called the “Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Act.” I guess it is meant to show pluralism.

I also found a government-funded museum called Pier 21, which is dedicated to educating the public on the history of immigration in Canada. Their website is loaded with detailed, historical government legislation regarding the exclusion of non-white immigrants, such as the Immigration Act of 1910.

There are also many government statistics that include historical immigration numbers and census data that is easily accessible, but the key institutional sources I will be relying on is the government’s own historical data, that includes parliamentary debate archives and legislation. Not surprisingly, this information was difficult to find on the Library of Parliament website, but is easily found on Pier 21.

By the time this research is done, I think I would be confident enough to send it to Candice herself.

Shayne Beaucage

(I apologize for the late post.)


Government of Canada. “Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. I-6). (02/22/2019).

Library of Parliament. “General index to the Journals of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada and to the Sessional papers from 1904 to 1915, inclusive : Index 1904-1915”. (1973).

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. “Immigration Act of 1910”. (2019).

Week Six: Scholarly Sources

I think at this point, I have a better grasp on what this blog and podcast is about, and that at the end of the day, it is still a medium of communication and knowledge, as opposed to simply a radio show and another form of social media. In the social media age, we can find the answers to any question or learn about a particular subject or current event by typing a few key words in the search bar on our phones, where in the past we would rely on the television, radio, newspaper, and internet. Although, the internet has grown at a rapid pace in just a span of several years, Facebook exploded on the web approximately 10 years ago and became one of- if not the most popular form of communication anyone with a cellphone and/or internet has access to. I was shocked at how quickly it went from a luxury; to some people having them; to most and finally to everyone. Now it appears that no one can live without a phone.

When Professor Bell spoke about the differences in sources of information pertaining to popular sources, and scholarly research, this became much more clear, and expressed the rapid social dynamics of information.

Popular sources, are popular because they are not bound by the same rigid research processes that must be backed and scientifically reviewed by the authors peers. This is a long process where each researcher must do a thorough examination of the research in question, including their arguments, evidence, and conclusions; and must critique the research findings from their own perspective that must also be backed by factual and accepted qualitative and/or quantitative data.

Scholarly research is not widely available to just anyone that wishes to research a particular topic. Often scholarly sources are kept under a lock and key, where interested parties must be enrolled in an educational institution, otherwise they must pay for them. This is compounded by the fact that internet algorithms make scholarly sources less likely to appear in search results, which is often more difficult to find in a mainstream search engine.

Popular sources are not bound by those rules, and the story must be done by printing time, which is often only several hours. I think in the social media age where everyone has access to the internet, no one has to wait for the newspaper to arrive, the six o clock news, or the 5 o clock radio live broadcast. Not only that, but we had only a few major news sources; whereas now, anyone can make up any news story without any research at all, and it is spread and reinforced as fact. Any topic of interest will automatically be right there in an individual’s social media news feed that results from internet algorithms. I think I see the problem now in attempting to win argument through logic and factual based evidence, even when I know for 100% certainty that they are wrong. The argument seems crazy to them because they never heard of it, and would not even bother to research it for themselves if they had any shred of doubt. Even if they did, it’s not likely they would put in much effort after finding its not so easily accessible like popular sources are.

I would imagine that the author of the opinion piece I’m critiquing wrote her article within minutes. More importantly, I wonder if she even looked into a search engine. It would not suprise me if she wrote it based on her own knowledge from a biased right wing news source that ignores key events or alternative, legitimate viewpoints of the argument in question.

This is why this podcast and blog is so important, and it requires us as Professional and Social Science writers to make a precedent that media agencies are bound to follow in order to dispel the growing negative aspects of our society that has always been here, but is becoming more boldly open as a result of the advent of the “Fake News” media world. We are using a popular medium of communication to critique “opinion pieces” using professional research methods to structure an argument and will be more difficult to dispel by mainstream media sources and pundits.

The opinion piece that I’m critiquing relates to the authors assertion that Canada’s “shared heritage”, and “pluralistic and “racially diverse” society is under threat from Justin Trudeau’s leadership. The author is suggesting that racism does not exist here but is in danger of becoming one. She ignores Canada’s racist past and the fact that it is embedded in our society, while also presuming that the collective consciousness of Canadians is that our nationalism is different than European nationalism. The problem is that she is using the same notion of postnationalism in order to criticize Trudeau’s own notion that we are a post-race society. This is the central concept of her argument that I want to build on, and is an issue that we researched in Socio-legal studies, which is the concept of “Racial-purity” (Valverde, 2008) that originated at the turn of the 20th century to justify racist immigration policies and a solid racially structured social hierarchy in Canada. The historical racism of these policies still manifest today in our legal institutions, of which I intend to build a solid narrative in order to give a fair and factually-based argument on why Malcolm is misled or is outright biased and racist.

I did not even think of gong back to Valverde’s research paper until I researched an alternative scholarly source for my opinion piece. “Racial, Nationalism, Identity, Heritage” plus Canadian; these keywords brought me back to Valverde’s article, and gives scholarly based research that expresses the historical racism in Canada that contradicts Malcolm’s arguments and disproves her opinion. Which is just that. An opinion.


Valverde, M. (2008). “Racial Purity, Sexual Purity, and Immigration Policy”. The Age of Light, Soap, and Water, Moral Reform in English Canada 1885-1925 (Ed. 1). University of Toronto Press, 2008.

Week Five: What is a “Popular Source?”

Sometimes, or should I say most of the time, we have to appeal to an audience that wouldn’t be interested in reading a scholarly, long, and dry scientific article that critiques everything they know. Scholarly research takes time, research, and must be reviewed by experts in several different fields of study.

In today’s society, everyone is reading what is interesting to them, such as celebrity or general interest magazines. Newspapers and news stories on the web are read, but they are not exactly popular articles, but also not peer-reviewed research.

Popular sources are sources that you can research for a particular topic that is on everyone’s mind, and what everyone is talking about. It is “popular.”

In a larger context, when we are doing our own research, popular sources are useful so we can build our own argument by critiquing a particular issue, asking questions as to why it is important, and our own viewpoint on it, that we can back up with reliable scholar research. However, it is important to appeal to a target audience. When we know the importance of, and how to do scholarly research, we can critique popular sources more effectively by finding trends, contradictions, and make an effective argument, all the while appealing to the same target audience in question.

Keywords, are in fact important for our research, because when a particular topic is “popular”, there will be keywords that people are entering into search engines to get the latest. For example, today when i was doing my own blog, I did a critique of the Bruce McArthur sentencing. The words I found that were commonly being searched was his name, “sentencing”, “life sentence”, and “lgbttoronto.”

“Popular sources”

Shayne Beaucage


Week 5:

A popular source is a source that is commonly used by researchers but does not contain academic, credible and reliable information. Popular sources are sources produced by journalist and general people who write for a universal audience. They are not academic writers who specialize in the topic they're writing about. Popular sources are opinion based information that is useful to researchers as they are looking for the right ideas. Popular sources are easily accessible information found in magazines, newspapers and search engines like Google and Yahoo. Some popular sources are Wikipedia, and The New York Times newspaper. To make sure a source is credible it is good to check if the information is written from a biased perspective. If the written information is from a biased perspective it will cause the information to be falsified and incorrect. Was the information given used to change your personal opinion? Also check if the author has a degree related to the information they are talking about. These are some ways to determine if the information is factual.

A keyword is an idea or topic that focuses on what your information is about. They are usually words entered into a search engine to find the required information needed for research. Keywords are important because they help find necessary information such as looking for answers, information and ideas. When I was researching for my opinion piece some keywords that I used were racism, police brutality and carding. Those keywords provided me additional information which helped me distinguish the topic I wanted to discuss.

Muna Mohamed

Week 7:

I believe that government sources could be useful for my project, because government information is current and relevant, and my topic of discussion is a current topic and issue that is happening today. If my podcast contained information about political context, then a government source would be great for my project. Government sources are made to make the public eye feel safe. They issue out information that is useful to citizens now and include information citizens want to hear. If I were to use government sources, then I would need to do more research to complete the incomplete material that the government sources do not cover. I believe that the information the government give out is limited to citizens to protect their system from the truth. The government believe it's better for citizens to know less to answer questions briefly without any added inquiry. Overall, the limited information given is still credible for my project, but I would l still need further research to fulfill the missing knowledge. 

Muna Mohamed

Week 8:

Episode Outline

Topic: Black people are assumed criminals and a danger to society.

Opinion Piece: The Skin I’m in I’ve been interrogated by the police more than 50 times — all because I’m black by Desmond Cole. Cole faces many interrogations with the police throughout his lifetime. He is constantly stopped by the police because of the race he identifies as. Due to being black, it gives police a reason to harass and abuse innocent black people because they are perceived to be criminals and a threat to society.

Focus Question: Why are are black people viewed as criminals? Are they a danger to society? Is it because one black person is in jail so does all mean all should be in jail?

There are stereotypes of black people being loud, disrespectful and misbehaved. With those assumptions of being loud and misbehaved, people with those characteristics are viewed as violent with no self control and violent people are viewed as criminals who should automatically be incarcerated. Studies show that black men receive longer sentences than white men for committing the same crime (Lopez, 2017). By identifying as black, it has people being compared and associated with being criminals and that is not fair.

Significance/so what/ stakes: With all these assumptions, black people live their lives in fear with a constant target on their backs. If the world is not changing for the better, black people have to hide and be cautious with every move they decide to make.

We now see some but not enough change in the world. Now with movie releases of Black Panther, where black people are seen as heroes allows non black people to understand and realize that black people are not a threat to this world. Most movies black people are shown to prove the racial stereotype but in this film black people are “represented in a positive manner as royalty, noble friends and loyal warriors”(Seeman, 2018).  


Cole, D. (21 Apr 2015).The Skin I'm In: I've Been Interrogated by Police More than 50 Times-All Because I'm Black. Toronto Life. Retrieved from

Lopez, G. (17 Nov 2017). Black men get longer sentences for the same federal crime as white men. Vox. Retrieved from

Seeman, A. (30 Sep 2018). The 'Black Panther' effect. Daily Collegian. Retrieved from


Popular Opinion Source

A popular opinion source is a popular place where people gather their information from. This is where more than one person refers to a single source of information. Examples of such places include Social Media, Wikipedia, independent Blogs etc. They aren’t always accurate. They aren’t always reliable. Most times, they aren’t backed up with facts.

In order to test the credibility of a popular source, first thing to do is to check about the author. Google about him/her. Check other topics written by him/her and see if the writer is a professional/expert in whatever field the talking about. The agency/website that it is posted to also matters. Untrustworthy websites post hoax articles with the purpose of deceiving the publish or even for the selfish reason to just make money. The sources or references can also be used to determine if the source is credible.

What is a keyword?

Keywords are words that are related to the source. For example, if someone is talking about “Pollution”, keywords will involve straws, oil, plastic, fish, eco-system, ocean, landfills etc


Ever since I started my research, I never imagined myself using government, industrial and institutional data or sources. but after a look into it I found out that these actually are very useful for my podcast episode.

Government policies would be very important to my podcast episode. My podcast is based on the pollution of the ocean by plastic, and Government policies affect things like this. for example government recycling policies, government imposed penalties on people/firms engaging in improper recycling techniques, government opinions etc. The government can also change policies and their policies can lead to long-lasting changes. Government opinions are also very crucial because they are based on the opinions and feelings of the people

Industrial sources are also very essential and I would be using them a lot. industrial sources deal with information that is essential for my podcast episode like consumer information, advertising, media, consumer survey etc, which is very essential for my podcast.

Institutional sources also tend to be very useful. Industrial organisations include large organisations such as banks, churches, universities, non-governmental organisations etc. Non- governmental organisations such as “The Ocean Cleanup” and “Ocean Unite”, bring attention to problems regarding environmental pollution and the possible solutions.

In conclusion, these sources will be very useful for my podcast episode. They all play a vital role and deliver a very unique point of view.

Omotoso Olaoluwasubomi.


My podcast episode is to focus on the harm of improper plastic disposal and how it affects us. Most people believe that they get rid of the plastic just by dumping it but don’t know that they are actually causing harm to themselves. When carrying out my genre analysis paper, I discovered that plastic poses a grave danger to us all individually. Take for instance people throw plastic into the ocean and then it dissolves and is eaten by the fishes. These same fishes are then caught and are eaten by humans and those micro-plastic that were once in the body of the fishes are not being transferred into the human body. Imagine this happening to hundreds, thousands and even millions of people. Micro-plastics can be found in the soil, water and even in the air we breathe - So tell me, do you still think that this doesn’t affect you?. According to research by Dr. Luiza Mirpur, micro-plastics leads to more diseases, more allergies and even more infertilities.

In my course of research for this topic, I stumbled upon various topics which I thought would be useful but later left them “on the cutting room floor”. One of these topics is recycling. Initially I set out to talk about how poor recycling affects plastic pollution but I decided not to mainly because recycling is another topic on its own and is very broad. Another topic I left on the cutting room floor was the Wideband of plastic but it didn't t take long before I realised that this topic wouldn’t go anywhere. Plastic, undoubtedly has a major influence in our daily lives. From plastic cutleries to plastic bags to plastic jars and containers. Plastic is something that is very essential so I decided to drop it. The main issue isn’t the plastic but how people mismanage it and it now ends up in the ocean. Another topic that I left was the topic is plastic straws. Plastic straws are very popular now so I believed that plastic straws contribute a larger percentage of the plastic in the ocean, but upon research I discovered that this wasn’t so.

Omotoso Olaoluwasubomi


1.Dr. Luiza Mirpur: www.the

2.   Ian Johnson: The independent

      Access at:

3.   Kendra Pierre-Louis: Guess How many Giant Patches of Garbage There are in

       The Ocean?

       Accessible at:

4.   Mark Tutton, CNN

      Accessible at:

5.   The Ocean Cleanup:

6.   UN News

7. Christy Brissette: Dangers of Straws

Accessible at:

      Accessible at:


Week 1

Hello everyone,

My name is J.D Rojas Anzola, I am a political science student looking to master his writing skills to hopefully create a media platform in which culture, academics, and social commentary can be engaged. For this reason, the podcast portion of this class is highly intriguing to me. As it stands today, I am an avid podcast listener, particularly on youtube. I appreciate the venue for its reliance on a candid conversation, one that is often an unedited stream of consciousness, humorous, while true to the values of freedom of speech and discourse. In recent years, as its popularity has grown, podcasting has come to define my generation as not only a hobby but a lucrative job opportunity; a new a national past time. As we are a year shy of a new decade, it is interesting to see how podcasting will grow, seeing how it is now even taught in university classes.

A shortcut used by students that are often both mischaracterized and overlooked is what I would call " the brush up": that initial reaction we have with a new topic that launches us into the google search bar, specifically into a Wikipedia entry and or to Youtube for better visual understanding. I remember the high school seminars that would attempt to bar me from Wikipedia and drill my head with the idea that it was only a source for misinformation. I would reject the idea immediately. In my opinion, these tools are an effective way to start any research. The community of Wikipedia, a critical component of its effectiveness, does an exemplary job at maintaining a sense of integrity and barring the inclusion of misinformation. Thus, I have noticed a shift in academia to accept the tool as good practice as long as it is not the sole one.

Week 2

Is knowledge simply a matter of opinion?

Knowledge to me is the stockpiling of ideas, values, research, facts, and logic. Opinions, on the other hand, are the culminating result to the discourse in which knowledge is expressed, rhetoric explored, and the masses are engaged. The popularity of an idea within communities that value the characteristics of knowledge is what allows a given individual or group the ability to transcend from opinion into a system of thought: ideologies that encapsulate identity, allegiance, belief systems, as well as the attraction of intellectual adversaries. However, the inherent inclusion of polarizing camps within discourse is to no extent the disqualifying factors that subjectivism suggests them to be. Opinions are the expression of knowledge that propels an individual into a landscape in which they will be tested for accuracy and reliance. In this medium conflicting camps may be created. Indeed, opposite views will be discussed in convincing fashion. However, through adequate discourse and the implementation of logic one camp will reign triumphant and the rest will wallow in their beliefs.

I have always held the belief that debate is a spectator sport. Here in Toronto, venues like the Munk Debates pit opposing ideas against each other and allow the populace to vote on who was more convincing. All spectators are initially polled on their opinion on the matter along with where they fit in the spectrum of the belief, a winner is derived by tallying how many people have changed their minds. This is where the truest difference between the two terms can be noted. Opinions, if one is respectful to the characteristics of knowledge, are malleable, adaptive, and submissive in nature to the establishments of facts and logic: they express one's initial knowledge up until they are affirmed as strong arguments, in which case one no longer expresses opinions but reiterates concise thoughts. The individuals who win debates are not lauded for their opinion, but for their ability to express their own knowledge and change others opinions.

Week 3

What is the authors main idea?

It seems to me that the author is expressing to his readership the struggle of witnessing Kanye west, in his opinion descend into, if not madness, a flawed political allegiance. the author, Panama Jackson, is clear in expressing his distaste for Donald Trump and compares the notion of conforming to his idea, or even the mere attempt to understand it, to a commonly used phrase that is derived from the Jonestown massacre: a mass murder incident, in which close to a thousand people committed suicide by ingesting poisoned kool-aid after the cult leader Jim Jones convinced them to do so. One by one, apparently as simultaneously as possible, with the exception of some, primarily the children who for the most part had actually been injected with cyanide, many of the followers ingested the deadly kool-aid and submitted to their deaths as a protest to the impending fear and paranoia that the fascist American government was coming to destroy the Jonestown settlement they had built in north Guyana.

A quick glance at the blog confirms its left-leaning biases. further reading of the author showcases him to be an individual willing to distance himself from his mother due to conflicting political leanings, based on this racialized premise of "them vs us." I am a part of a marginalized community, as a Latino, and life long hip hop enthusiast I seem to fit the mould in which liberal ideological leanings have continued to find fertile ground. Yet, I wholeheartedly feel a need to battle against the monolith that has been dropped in our community and has forced many of us right of centre individuals, the outliers in the political spectrum, to handcraft some tools of self-defence. With my laptop equipped, I intend to do my part. To which I say, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

This piece is reactionary at best, it does not describe the author in great detail, nor should it be allowed to define him and his beliefs. Yet, it is exemplary of the rhetoric that continues to define the minority based blogosphere, a space that needs to be challenged. I find the author's opinion to be symptomatic of what Kanye is loosely trying to combat, many black conservatives have addressed the stagnancy of political diversity within the black community in a manner that Kanye should not be expected to ever discern. If we are to hold him to task for his political endorsements, we must do so in a way that challenges his beliefs and deciphers his intentions, not solely shun him and deem him unfit of both his audience and his opinion. Even so, I find the tone and overall writing structure of the piece to be custom tailored for an already enraged readership, with minimal inclusion of counter arguments or caveats for what Kanye may be addressing. Instead, we are faced with an overwhelming attempt to propel an agenda. Ultimately, limiting the exploration of genuine thought that the matter deserves.’

Week 4: O, Ye of little faith.

Whether you call him, Ye, Yeezy or Yeezus, Kanye West has polarized observers his whole career. Be it due to his music or his outspoken character, currently, it is his endorsement of President Donald Trump that has forced many of his fans into exodus. The framework for his denouncement is quite clear, Donald Trump is the embodiment of ignorance, bigotry, racism, and white supremacy. Thus, as the author of "I Don't Ever Want to Try Whatever Kool-Aid Kanye West Keeps Drinking " Panama Jackson said, "it honestly makes no sense" for Kanye to publicly support the president.

I would hate to assume the author lacks knowledge of where the saying in his title originated, yet its misuse is apparent and continues the all too common tendency to use the term where it does not apply (Higgins, The Atlantic 2012). In it he characterizes the notion of conforming to Kanye's political endorsements, or even the mere attempt to understand them, with a phrase derived from what is widely known as the Jonestown massacre: a mass murder incident, in which close to a thousand people committed suicide by ingesting poisoned kool-aid, after their leader Jim Jones had convinced them to do so. He had grown paranoid of the so-called fascist American government and believed that military forces were on route to destroy the settlement they had built in north Guyana. He chose death as a form of protest and one by one follower of the Peoples Temple (with the exception of some, primarily the children, who instead had been injected with cyanide by their own parents) drank the deadly substance and submitted to their deaths. It was the single largest loss of American life until the 9/11 attacks.

Unlike Jackson suggested, the kool-aid was never so "good" people kept drinking it, it was never intended to be consumed. The resulting deaths were the consequence of peoples unwavering belief that the man they followed, the ideals he represented and instilled in them, were worth dying for. Which begs the question, who is worthy of being followed? and how far are people willing to go? On one hand, we have Kanye West and his political evolution, a decision that has caused many to vilify him as well as paint him the poster child for black conservatism. Although the thought of black people supporting Republican nominees seems to be offensive to the online community, there is a significant history within the trend (Marable, Black Conservatives and Accommodation, 1982). At best, West is a faulty microphone to a foreign idea. From Thomas Sowell to most recently Candace Owen, black conservatives have preached the same message for years, yet they have never called it kool-aid. Others have, others continue to do so, as Jackson does. it is in this world, where Trump is Jim Jones, and Kanye is a devout follower with mass influence, that one must accept right-leaning political ideology as the poison in the kool-aid. It is exactly this framing against the right that showcases the tactics the left is willing to condone to uphold their dominance within minority communities. lest one forget that, In the African language of Yoruba, the name Kanye means "next in line to the chieftaincy", however on Twitter and the left-leaning blogosphere it seems to mean "the bringer of death".

Ironically, and quite unfortunately, the majority of the deceased in Jonestown were of African American descent. Disillusioned by the lack of opportunity in the early 60s, they were persuaded by a man who seemed to mean them no harm. Jim Jones was a central figure in dissolving segregation in the Oakland community, he would knock on doors and convince his fellow whites to stay and limit "white flight". So much was the case, that in 1977, Jones was the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award to commend his work in black communities. The dangers of his ideas only became apparent when the extremism of his beliefs took hold of peoples lives: once diversity of thought was outlawed, and his word became law.

So is Kanye choosing to drink the kool-aid, and is it only deadly because it is the red flavour instead of the blue one? or are the impressionable youth within minority communities being indoctrinated, injected with poison from those they trust the most, to be kept in order with the threat of being isolated, abandoned, or called an uncle tom? is poison even the right word? it seems it can be depending on party lines. It seems a lot, even misuse of a term that should stop being used, can be recklessly applied as long as it is for the greater good, whatever you deem that to be.


Higgins, C. (2012, November 08). Stop Saying 'Drink the Kool-Aid'. Retrieved from

Marable, M. (1982). BLACK CONSERVATIVES AND ACCOMMODATION: OF THOMAS SOWELL AND OTHERS. Negro History Bulletin, 45(2), 32-35. Retrieved from

Phase One

Week one:

Hello everyone!

My name is Xuanbai Zhu, but most people call me Oliver. I am an international York freshman majoring in film production. I was born and raised Changchun, a small town located in north eastern China near the North Korean border. I finished high school in downtown Toronto after coming to Canada in 2016. I have very little experience in podcast production, but I do listen to podcasts quite often. My favourite podcast is Pull Up by CJ McCollum. I feel confident about completing the project and I am very interested in None Of Us Deserve a Citizenship by Michelle Alexander. I can relate to the people mentioned in the article as one of my personal goal after university education is getting Canadian citizenship. My study permit expired last year during August but I failed to realize that I need to renew it prior to the expiration. So I was forced to defer my September York admission and go back to China to renew my permit. Therefore, I feel deeply connected to the stories in the article about non-citizens struggling to live on foreign lands for a better future.

I think one of the more commonly used tactic for efficient researching among undergraduate students is using searching engines. Online searching engines like Google Scholar allow users to look for professional articles related to their topics with keywords. It pretty much instantly give users thousands of professional articles to choose from with the most relevant ones at the top. Undergraduate students like me take advantage of these searching engines to save time. On the other hand, searching engines do have limitations. Most articles found through online searching engines need to be purchased before accessing while libraries allow customers to borrow for a way cheaper price. Therefore, online researching can cost a few more dollars sometime but the extra money spent might be justified for faster research speed.

Week two:

Everyone has opinions. But, opinions can seem useless sometimes because they are not always justified by evidence. Something being an opinion simply means that someone assumes it to be true. While opinions are simply views or judgment formed about something, opinions can be better or more valued than one another according to Dr. Michael LaBossiere. In his blog about misconceptions of philosophy, he compared a doctor’s opinion to the opinion of a five-year-old in order to prove that not all opinions are equally valued. This statement is true also because only justified true belief is considered knowledge.

Some people might argue that all knowledge is simply a matter of opinion because there will never be an opinion that’s well-supported enough to be undoubtedly true. People might even argue that we all live in a Matrix-like world where everything humans believe is simply computer programmings. But, I think contemporary knowledge proven by contemporary truth does exist to a certain degree. For example, in the world of the movie Matrix, despite that people are living in a dream-like reality, proven scientific knowledge of that reality is still contemporarily true for that reality. That is to say, knowledge is not simply a matter of opinion because knowledge can be proven even if it's only contemporary.

Week three

The opinion piece that I chose is None of Us Deserves a Citizenship by Michelle Alexander. The article claims that non-citizens of the United State deserve just as many rights and privileges as a US citizen considering no US citizen earned their citizenship. The author mentioned Maryury Elizabeth Serrano-Hernandez's journey to America. Mrs. Serrano-Hernandez entered America illegally during pregnancy and gave birth to a child in order to grant the child birth-right citizenship and, according to Professor Alexander, "a life free from the violence and grinding poverty". Professor Alexander believes that she displayed courage, fortitude, and determination on her way of pursuing freedom for her and her loved ones similar to the founder of the United States. Therefore, Professor Alexander argues that the United state has no right to deny rights privileges and opportunities from people like Mrs. Serrano-Hernandez. Also, Professor Alexander claims that America became the wealthiest, most powerful nation partly because America is built on slavery, genocide, and colonization. She furthered her claim by saying that this disapproves the statement that America's "gatekeeping" policies are morally sound because all nations have a right to defend their borders.

I know the article is an opinion piece because the article is about Professor Alexander's view and judgment on the US immigration system and worthiness of citizenships. And, despite Professor Alexander making great arguments, evidence provided are not enough to make her claims undeniably true.

The author of the opinion piece I chose is Michelle Alexander. She is a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary who professionalize in writing while being a civil rights advocate. She is also a US citizen, so it's hard to imagine her being biased against US citizenship holders.

Immigrants are taking up a significant percentage of the population in major cities of Canada and other first-world countries. According to the Canadian government's official website, "immigrants make up almost a quarter (23%) of Montréal’s population". Immigration policies from different governments largely influence the makeup of societies. Therefore, I think the opinion piece, None of Us Deserves a Citizenship, is topical. Also, the opinion piece has the potential to create an interesting podcast episode because I believe that professor Alexander's opinion would create conflict between listeners as some people will lean towards having a more accepting imagination system and others would prefer fewer immigrants.

Week four

After becoming the president of United States, "Donald Trump has used the first Oval Office address of his presidency to stoke fears of illegal immigration (Smith, 2019)". But, many people including Michelle Alexander, a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary, think the US should change their attitude towards potential immigrants. Professor Alexander believes the US is not morally justified to deny right or privilege from non-citizens as she argues that no US citizens earned their citizenships in her article, None of Us Deserve Citizenship.

Professor Alexander also argues that America became the wealthiest, most powerful nation partly because America is built on slavery, genocide, and colonization which disapproves the statement that America's "gatekeeping" policies are morally sound because all nations have a right to defend their borders.

" President Donald Trump says a federal government shutdown will continue until he receives billions in funding to address a 'humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border' (Luxen, Lussenhop and Vaidyanathan, 2019)". As of today, the government shutdown resulted by disagreements about US border control is still going on and influencing the lives of millions. A British newspaper article states that: "An estimated 800,000 federal workers have missed at least one and in many cases two paychecks (McCarthy, 2019)". Airport lines, emergency responses, and tax processing are also impacted by the shutdown according to the article.

There are countless arguments made about United State's border control, but perhaps the one from the US president matters the most. Donald Trump twitted "We need the Wall for the safety and security of our country. We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world. If there is no Wall, there is no Deal! (Trump, 2019) " Trump seems well-justified as Sebastian Murdoch reported on HuffPost that more than 250 pounds of the deadly drug in pill form with the value of $3.5 million was found by customs and border protection officers in Arizona.

But, at the end of the day, despite the negative influence that lack of strong border control brings, is it really morally sound to build walls to deny non-citizens right and privilege when people protected by it never earned the right to be in it?


David Smith (9 Jan 2019) Donald Trump fuels immigration fears in TV address on 'border crisis’. The Guardians. Available at:

Donald Trump (18 Jan 2019) Twitter. Available at:

Michelle Alexander (21 Dec 2018) None of Us Deserve Citizenship. The New York Times. Available at:

Micah Luxen, Jessica Lussenhop and Rajini Vaidyanathan (8 Jan 2019) Government shutdown: Is there a crisis on the US-Mexico border? BBC News Available at:

Sebastian Murdock (1 Jan 2019) Customs And Border Protection Makes Largest Fentanyl Bust In Agency's History. HuffPost US. Available at:

Tom McCarthy (12 Jan 2019) America shuts down: how the federal government closure is impacting millions. The Guardians. Available at:

Xuanbai Zhu

The Pitch- Once upon a time, before the opinion piece

“With great power comes great responsibility” this quote, which in popular culture is attributed to Uncle Ben in Spiderman and is also attributed to Voltaire during the French revolution- still holds truth and much power behind only 6 words. I would argue that this statement holds more prevalence today in the world mass media communication, then ever before in our history.  While reading the opinion piece -Advertising and academia are controlling our thoughts. Didn’t you know? by author George Monbiot, I was enthralled to be convinced by his opinion. 


After all, the article was filled with credible sources, a passionate and accusatory style of writing- which I attributed to the authors’ skill as an investigative journalist- but mostly, the article spoke to me as a student. As a student in psychology, I have many times questioned my role as a learner and the frequency of times that my so called “opinion” has been surveyed to contribute to yet another research paper to a 4th year peer.  However, before I plunge into an existentialist crisis on my role of the larger laboratory setting that exist within my field of study, I wanted to further investigate the authors’ motivation for writing this piece. 


As he admits in his closing argument that he also part of the larger problem of capitalism, I wanted to understand his need to raise a red flag on the issue. Why sound the alarm without offering any suggestions or resolve to the larger narrative? Consider the reach of the Guardian, the paper this piece was written in, and the authors’ influence and evidence, why would this opinion piece fail to provide some sort of suggestion to resolve the larger issue, why did it end so lukewarm on the issue that was loaded with emotional language when it started? 


This turn in tone lead me to question what belief system guided this celebrated journalist to create such a piece. The issue appears to impact a larger segment of current and potentially future society- yet it takes a relaxed, c’est la vie and shrug it off approach to what appears to be a true problem in North American society.


This question lead me to investigate the author a little deeper.  The need to understand his thought process eventually lead me to a book, which he credited for inspiring his “political awakening” and set the course for his professional life.  As I dug deeper, I found that the book he credits publicly as fuel for his career- was a children’s book.  I found this odd, that a highly celebrated journalist, recognized by the United Nations Global 500 award recipient, political activist and persona non grata in 7 countries would credit the political awakening that shaped his life to a book intended for children.  This is the story behind the story of the author who writes the stories, and the beliefs that shaped his opinions….