With today’s technology we can use the internet to connect with relatives and friends from around the world or do some shopping online without leaving the comfort of your own home. Technology has come a long way over the last couple of years. Billions of people around the world are connected to the internet through phones, tablets, and computers. There are tons of free social media platforms out there that allow users to post and share precious memories for loved ones to view. But what’s the catch? Why is this free? How are these companies making money? Keep listening to find out more.  

From Scratch Media this is A Matter of Opinion, your guide through opinion to the facts. I’m Parker Martin, and today we’re talking about The Spy in Your Pocket.

If you’re like me, who loves browsing the internet looking at memes all day, then you may have heard the jokes about how the FBI is watching us through our webcam and tracking everything we do online. Even though this hasn’t been proven to be true, there still may be someone tracking your everyday online activities. From the names of the people you recently text, to what your favourite brands are, this information is most likely stored in a database online. Without us even knowing, our smartphones and computers are collecting information about our personal lives. With new technology, we might forget that most things we interact with are connected to the internet in some way such as smart TVs, smart security systems, and even our smart watches.

(Suspense Sound Effect) 

Let’s talk about Facebook. What is Facebook?

(Mark Zuckerberg Interview)


In short, Facebook is whatever you want it to be. It can be a social media platform that allows you to connect with people from around the world, it can help you create a buzz for your new start-up company, and it can even be your source of news if you follow the right pages and accounts.

So with affordable internet packages being introduced to countries around the world, Facebook’s active user count has been rapidly growing in the past couple of years. According to, in the fourth quarter of 2018, Facebook had a staggering 2.32 billion monthly active users which is seven times larger than the current population of the United States, making it the first social media platform to reach 2 billion active users. You may have not known, but Facebook as actually acquired other popular social media and messaging applications that you may use such as Instagram back in April of 2012 and WhatsApp in February of 2014.

You’re probably wondering right now “What information about me is being collected?” or “Why is my information being collected?” In this episode I will be discussing the two different sides of this controversial topic. I will be going through Facebook’s privacy issue, and Mark Zuckerberg’s (Facebook’s CEO) defense against his actions.


[First Section]


Have you ever checked Instagram or Facebook and seen an advertisement for a product you are interested in? Like a toy for your new dog that you’ve been trying to find online but can’t find the right one. If you think this is just a coincidence, then think again. When Mark Zuckerberg was asked the question “How do sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your service?” during his testimony before congress in April 2018, he simply responded with his very straight forward answer of…

(Mark Zuckerberg’s voice)

“Senator, we run ads”


“I see.”

According to Investopedia, Facebook has made more than 40 billion dollars in revenue in 2017 with eighty-nine percent of it coming from digital advertising alone. You might be thinking “How do you make 35.6 billion dollars just from running ads?” This is where the controversy starts. Facebook begins by collecting personal information from its users such as an individual’s shopping habits to places they have recently travelled to. This data is vital to advertisers as they can influence consumers purchasing decisions by knowing who to target first. Facebook knows this and will sell this information for the right price. But how do they know that this data won’t be used for other purposes besides targeting advertisers? They don’t.

Unfortunately, there has been a case where this data has fallen into the wrong hands. Let me introduce you to Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica is a organization that provides services to companies and political parties who want to “change audience behaviour”. They claim to be able to combine behavioural science with an analysis of consumer information to identify the right people who organisations can target with their advertisements. They collect data from multiple sources, including Facebook, and their own data collection through polls.

Why do I need to know this? A whistleblower has revealed how Cambridge Analytica used personal information taken without proper authorisation from Facebook in early 2014 to build software that could identify individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements. So, they would monitor your online activity and determine whether or not you are eligible to vote in the US elections.


Former Cambridge Analytica worker, also responsible for helping collect the data, had this to say in an interview with The Guardian.


(Interview Begins)


The full interview can be found in the transcript provided. So, it’s confirmed that this third-party company has been using Facebook data to try to manipulate people’s behaviour towards the US elections. Thankfully, because of this scandal, Facebook has now updated their policy agreement to help ensure that our personal data will not be misused and to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands again. When this scandal was first brought into the light back in March of 2018, Facebook had lost over 134 billion dollars in market value.


Carl Rodrigues, CEO of SOTI (A company who sells business software) and author of the Globe and mail article “Nobody is exempt from the impact of today’s ‘spy-in-your-pocket’ technology”, has given his opinion on the collection of user’s personal information. Carl had this to say, “We are only beginning to understand the damage this technology can inflict if allowed to be used unchecked. Do we really understand what we are disclosing when we sign up to social networks, fill out online surveys, use a mapping app or upload our photographs? There is a severe need for governance of data-driven organizations to protect the basic freedoms and security that our society is built on.”


Now that we’ve heard about Facebook’s scandal with Cambridge Analytica and what personal data is being collected, let’s talk about why Mark Zuckerberg believes that it is okay for our information to be harvested and sold.


[Second Section]


We just spoke about Facebook’s business model and how they want to keep their service free to users and use advertisements to generate their revenue. Let’s rewind to when you first create your Facebook account. (Rewind effect) We start by entering our first name and last name. Then we enter our phone number and e-mail address, followed by our birthday and gender. Finally, we click sign up while avoiding reading Facebook’s terms and conditions because come on, nobody wants to read that.


What you’re actually doing when you sign up for Facebook is that you are allowing them to use all of the information that they receive about you for advertisements. It states in the terms and conditions that they can collect information added to your timeline, things you share on the site, keywords from your stories and posts, and things that they infer from your use on Facebook. When you sign up for the account, you are also giving them permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content which they can sell to companies and brands without any compensation to you. Crazy right? This can all be found under Facebook’s data policy when you sign up. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself at

However, it is us, the users, who control what we want to share with the world, it is us who decides what we want to post. Nobody at Facebook is forcing us to post the picture we took with our friends at dinner last night, nobody is forcing us to share private information about our lives. We are clicking the “share” button on our own. When we sign up for Facebook messenger and the app asks us “Facebook would like access to your contact list”, what do we do? We click allow because it is convenient having your contacts ready to go all in one place. Let’s listen to Mark Zuckerberg during his testimony before congress.

When Zuckerberg was questioned if Facebook users will have to pay just to keep their data private, he told the senator no. According to Mark, we already have control over the advertisements presented to us. I have confirmed this by logging into my own Facebook account and searching through the settings. We can in fact disable Facebook’s suggested advertisement system.  To some, this can be a win-win situation for both the user and Facebook. People don’t just use the social media platform to upload photos of their weekend, but some companies use the platform to connect with their customers for free. Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. There has to be some sort of payment from us to use their service, and in this case, Zuckerberg would rather have us pay through our online habits rather than through our wallets.

There are also several other ways that users can protect their identity online. First, you can turn off cookies. Cookies are just small amounts of data that are specific to websites, allowing them to present a page tailored to a particular user. Whether you are using Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, there should always be a setting that allows you to disable cookies. Another way you can protect yourself from Facebook tracking you is through a browser plug-in. You can now actually use a plug-in to limit Facebook’s data tracking. Firefox has a free plug-in called Facebook Container, that lets users control how much information the social media platform can access. Lastly, if we really do not want our data to be collected. We can always browse in incognito mode. Every browser should have their own “incognito” or private mode that keeps your searches and online activity hidden from Facebook and other companies that collect your data.  

Let’s recap. Facebook is a free social media platform with over 2 billion users. They harvest user data to sell to advertisers. Facebook has since updated their policies since the Cambridge Analytica scandal as to prevent user data from falling into the wrong hands. Finally, we as consumers should be more aware what it is, we are agreeing to and find out ways to protect ourselves. New technologies bring the possibility of great things but can also cause humanity harm.

So, after hearing about how Facebook really makes their money, I ask you this question. Is it okay for Facebook to be collecting and selling our online data if we already agree to their terms and service? At the end of the day it is your choice how to use the internet. Thank you for listening to my episode of A Matter of Opinion, this is Parker Martin signing off.


(n.d.). Retrieved from

CNBC. (2018, April 12). Mark Zuckerberg's Testimony Before Congress: The Six Best Exchanges. Retrieved from

CNET. (2018, April 10). Zuckerberg's Senate hearing highlights in 10 minutes. Retrieved from

Facebook users worldwide 2018. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Government, T. C. (2018, April 11). Transcript of Zuckerberg's appearance before House committee. Retrieved from

Guardian, T. (2018, March 17). Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles'. Retrieved from

Nobody is exempt from the impact of today's 'spy-in-your-pocket' technology. (2018, March 22). Retrieved from

Scherker, A., & Scherker, A. (2017, December 06). Didn't Read Facebook's Fine Print? Here's Exactly What It Says. Retrieved from

Sharma, R. (2019, March 12). How Does Facebook Make Money? Retrieved from

Watson, C. (2018, April 11). The key moments from Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress. Retrieved from

Final Podcast

Real Change? Or Just(in)Other Powerplay?

“Real Change” or “Just(in)Other Powerplay?” Public Transcript

Justin Trudeau said it best.

Trudeau: “It wasn’t random...” (Kassam, 2017)

Pierre Elliot Trudeau captured the public imagination in his time as much as his son Justin Trudeau has done. Women loved him, and he was a media magnet who rubbed shoulders with the elite while still appealing to the common.

The Trudeau years saw a new era of Canadian Nationalism, where we asserted our independence and separate identity from Britain. Our symbols became the maple leaf instead of the Union Jack. Our anthem became “Oh Canada” instead of “God Save the Queen.”

Pierre Trudeau promoted a “multicultural” policy that recognized Canada as a “plurality of cultures” where all Canadians were entitled to the same rights and freedoms, and thus all equal and united under a national identity.

Well, the vision of Trudeau the First would rub off on young Justin in 2015. How could he hope to live up to the greatness of his father unless he outdid him?

To find out how, we go to an interview by the New York Times in December, 2015:

Lawson: What do you say to critics, such as the opposition who say you are placing Canada’s security at risk with your open immigration and refugee policy?

Trudeau: I want Canada to be free from the politics of fear and division. In France, there is still a typical citizen and atypical citizen. Canada doesn’t have that dynamic (Lawson, 2015).

Interesting... let’s hear more.

Trudeau: There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. There are shared values- openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what makes us the first post-national state (Lawson, 2015).”

A bold claim to be sure. And since we are a transparent, welcoming people, Trudeau may be right.

There are many who would say “That’s a matter of opinion.”

**(Intro theme) From Scratch Media this is A Matter of Opinion, your guide through opinion to the facts. I’m Shayne, and in this episode we’re talking about “Real Change or Just(in)other Powerplay?” Today we’re going to talk about Justin Trudeau’s ‘Post-national Canada.’ Is it a naive fantasy or just the same political power game?

One such person who rejects Trudeau’s post-national Canada is Candice Malcolm of the Toronto Sun.

Malcolm: Trudeau’s fixation on identity politics led him to appointing cabinet positions based solely on gender. While 26% of MP’s are women, Trudeau promoted 50% to his cabinet” (Malcolm, 2019).

What Candice is talking about is also seen here at a press conference in 2015 where a reporter questioned Trudeau on his cabinet picks; that was just so unusual. 

Reporter: I understand one of the goals of your cabinet was to have one that was “gender-balanced.” Why is that so important to you?

You know that look you give someone when they ask the most ridiculous question ever because the answer is so obvious it isn’t worth giving? That’s the look Trudeau had along with an awkward pause that lasted too many seconds.

Trudeau: “Because it’s 2015” (Murphy, 2015).

A very good point indeed—after fact checking yet another bold assertion by Mr. Trudeau, I found that in fact, it was 2015.

With the audience breaking out in applause, any further questioning on the matter was settled since it’s hard to disagree with what year it is. Candice has this to say:

Malcolm: Why stop at gender? The next logical step is to expand this thinking to other identities, like ethnic background and language groups? Why wouldn’t a post-national Canada have quotas to proportionately represent every ethnic group (Malcolm, 2019)?

I’m not certain about set color quotas, but Trudeau did mix it up a little.

In a multicultural society, it is no surprise that one should think there should be a balance of power and representation. We are after all a society of different cultures. So is this the issue that Candice has with Trudeau’s vision? For that, we go back to Candice for answers:

Malcolm: In November, Trudeau said he rejected Canadian Nationalism, seemingly conflating it with ethnic nationalism found in Europe and the rest of the world (Malcolm, 2019).

Okay... Justin?

Trudeau: ..decaying trust in public institutions will lead citizens to look for easy answers “in populism, in nationalism, in closing borders, in shutting down trade, in xenophobia (Kilpatrick, 2018).

Well he didn’t mention “Canadian Nationalism”, but he didn’t exactly distinguish it from European Nationalism either.

Candice has more to say on Canadian Nationalism:

Malcolm: Canadian Nationalism is not built on race or ethnicity. Canada has always been pluralistic and racially diverse. Our nationalism is defined by patriotism—a love of country and commitment to shared values (Malcolm, 2018).

Well, it seems the problem here is that Justin is giving nationalism a bad rap by linking it to issues of race (Kilpatrick, 2018)? While promoting pro-multicultural policies and equality and making sure that his cabinet is 50-50 with a little chocolate and caramel?

 Perhaps it has something to do with his father? Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet over his 15 years as Prime Minister had one foreign born Canadian.

Justin has one more point to add to our discussion:

Trudeau: In Canada, we’ve demonstrated many times that identities are complimentary,” he said. “I’m an extremely proud Quebecer, I’m an extremely proud Canadian and like most Canadians, they don’t see a contradiction in that (Kilpatrick, 2018).

But there are many contradictions here. Both Trudeau and Malcolm seem to agree on what Canadian Nationalism is, and don’t appear to take issue with diversity. It appears there may be an issue with language-- most notably differences between “identity” and “race.”

With that we go to a break. You heard the opinion, so next let’s hear the facts.

Welcome back.

I think first we should explore what a Canadian identity is to Canadians, and if it is somehow connected to “race” and “nationalism.”

With that we go to early 20th century Canada and speak with Charlotte Witton:

Witton: The regulation and control of one’s instinct and emotions is the basis for building a civilization, which the Anglo-Saxon “race” possesses the most of. Control over your animalistic instinct is control over your sexual needs and desires: known as “moral character.” The English are the farthest from nature, a product of civilization and discipline. Our “national life blood must be guarded against “external poisons” (Valverde, 2000).

 Wow.. okay. Before we go to our next interview, I should explain what Moral Reform and Social Purity is..was....Moral Reformers were missionaries given power by the state to “reform” or “police” the unfit "moral degenerates.”

 “Atypical citizens?”

 The “Moral Reformer” period was around the time of Confederation, lasting well into the early 20th century. They actually believed they were a “Canadian race” that was descended from Anglo-Saxon blood (Valderde, 2000).  They decided who and who wasn’t fit to be a Canadian.

 Because Canada was supposed to be a free, social liberal country where all men are equal, we needed people to do the dirty work for us. The church back then was more than happy to volunteer their time as they would today at a bake sale.

 John A. MacDonald held these views of morality as well, calling Chinese immigrants “mongrels” (Valderde, 2000).

On the subject of immigration in early 20th century Canada, this is Rev. S.D Chown, head of the Methodist Church and “Social Purity activist.”

 Rev. Chown: The immigration question is the most vital one in Canada today. It is foolish to dribble away the vitality of our own country in a vain endeavour to assimilate the world’s non-adjustable social parasites. (Valverde, 2000).

 Thank you Reverend. I think now we should get back to the real world where we're past all that..

Let’s go back to present day Canada and take a look at how our immigration policies are doing:

 We go to Justin’s Twitter account where he says:

 Trudeau: All Canadians will welcome you regardless of your faith! Diversity is our strength (Trudeau, 2017).

 Not for everybody apparently:

 In 2016, Canada welcomed 46 700 refugees, mostly from Syria, but some from Iraq, Congo, and Afghanistan (Statistics Canada, 2017).

 In the span of a year, hate crimes in Ontario doubled, and in Quebec tripled, according to Stats Canada.

 What about Reconciliation?

 Well, let’s see..

 In 2007, Canada voted against the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which would give First Nations people the right to self-determination, arguing that First Nations would separate from the state (Manuel, 2017).

 Trudeau pledged to honor Indigenous rights, including the right to determine their own future.

 Well, that didn’t happen. The Trudeau government determined that the UN declaration was not binding, and “without domestic effort” (Manuel, 2017). 

 According to the late Indigenous rights activist, Arthur Manuel, the toughest part was that Jody Wilson-Raybould, Trudeau’s now former Justice Minister, (Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations at the time) explained to First Nations groups that the United Nations Declaration was “unworkable’ (Manuel, 2017).

 Trudeau delivered a knockout punch to the hopes of Indigenous peoples that were promised their rights. The fact that it came from the first female Indigenous Justice Minister made it even more humiliating (Manuel, 2017). 

 It appears that Canadian Nationalism is not much different if Trudeau doesn’t recognize United Nations Declarations.

 It might be that Canadians live in a “fantasy” or a state of ambiguity until we get hit with reality. We’re the people that holds the door open for everyone. After all according to a survey by the Association for Canadian Studies in 2018, 79.8% of Canadians who were the most positive about nationalism had “very positive” views of multicultural policy (ACS, 2018).

 However, the same group of pro-nationalists also were “more worried” about immigrants (ACS, 2018). And hate crimes are on the rise. The public even lost their minds when the anthem went “gender neutral.” Whether anyone past the eighth grade or unless they’re at a hockey game, even sings the national anthem is another question.

 It appears the pure Anglo-Saxon Canadian struggle against outside “social parasites” to protect the nation-state still continues without us even realizing it. 

 When our anthem’s wording was changed, one comment read:

 “Well, it’s 2016.”

 With that we go to our break and conclusion coming up right after this!

 Welcome back. So we know now that Justin either doesn’t know what post-nationalism is, or his notion of a post-national Canada is about something else.

I got it. It is the same old political power game. Let me explain. Remember what Justin said earlier?

Trudeau: “It wasn’t random” (Lawson, 2015).

Oh yeah, right.

Well, politics is power. Power is politics. When we think about it in this respect, it’s easy to see what’s happening. For that we will explore the power of images, symbolism, fantasy, and the fear of change.

For that we go back to 2015 to Trudeau’s interview by the New York Times:

Lawson: Mr. Prime Minister, was this boxing match a part of a larger plot...*ahem* ‘plan’ aimed at turning around your own political fortunes, and with them, the nation’s (Lawson, 2015)?

Lawson goes on to describe how Trudeau gazed out the window while he contemplated. Finally he turned to the American reporter and gave a sly smile with a soft nod (Lawson, 2015).

Trudeau: It was that way a little bit (Lawson, 2015)

Lawson recollects that Trudeau’s voice “betrayed a distinct note of glee. Trudeau knew the power of symbols and intended to exploit it (Lawson, 2015).”

They are speaking about the time Trudeau boxed an Indigenous black-belt military veteran Conservative Senator. No one expected him to win, putting the odds 3 to 1 (Lawson, 2015).

Well he did. He knocked him out in the 3rd round and won 184 seats in Parliament. The boxing match was a powerful symbol. It put Trudeau in the spotlight, he knocked out a conservative, and he was a “native.”

 A dualistic symbol of overcoming the oppressor, and a victory over the “savage” perhaps? Everybody loves the underdog. When he overcomes the odds, he becomes a source of inspiration for the little guy.

Politicians understand the power of fantasy, and the power of imagery.

What happened when the straw was pulled out of the sea turtle?

“Something has to be done! Ban plastic straws!”

Try to get the outraged public to watch a video on the environmental cost that goes into making a hamburger, you probably wouldn’t get the same response.

Justin started out as an underdog who came out on top, exploding his way onto the public scene, especially on Instagram. Trudeau became the image that the media and the crowds swooned over.

The images of Trudeau with Syrian children painted a picture of compassion, kindness, and the common touch. He was kind enough to meet the Syrian children at the airport to hand them winter coats.

How would a public react when his political opponent is ruthlessly attacking his character and questioning his ability to be their leader?

Not well I would think. Justin captured the public imagination. He stood for everything Harper was against and didn’t say very much to defend himself against attacks.

But he took his image of colorblindness and objectivity too far.

When he went for his trip to India for example, he made a complete fool out of himself. The incident where a convicted terrorist was invited to dinner and took a picture with Sophie was bad, but the image of Trudeau doing the Bhangra Dance in traditional Indian clothing (Dutt, 2018) sent a message that he was desperate to be accepted.

There are appropriate times to immerse yourself in cultures not your own, and this wasn’t it. Canadian-Indian relations were strained as it was, and India wanted Trudeau to just go home (Dutt, 2018). The Trudeau memes weren’t pretty either. (On Reddit, they jokingly referred to him as “Mr. Dressup”).

It seems he might have miscalculated the nationalist view of Canadians, especially when it comes to certain highly publicized events. The crowd will start switching sides.

Crowd psychology and rhetoric is funny like that.

 People want change, but they also don’t want it right away. Perhaps not even in their lifetime (Greene, 1998).

We still hold on to prejudices, values, ideologies, teachings, and even trauma passed down over generations. It’s not so simple to dismiss events that happened over a hundred years ago.

People value their traditions, and no one wants to think their identity is irrelevant compared to the world. This is the basic premise of post-nationalism. Our personal and collective identity becomes unimportant in the context of a “global community.”

 We fear the unknown, and we seek refuge in an image. Once that’s broken, the image loses its power because we see the reality. How would Donald Trump look if he all of a sudden one day became a social democrat? His visible image doesn’t matter, because that’s part of his character. His hair and his lousy golf swing is a joke.

What’s more is the backlash and high amount of negative attention he receives makes him look like a victim. Trump may not be as dumb as he appears to be.

Trudeau came onto the world stage as the feminist male Prime Minister with a diverse 50-50 cabinet with some chocolate and caramel mixing. Maybe to project an image but it didn’t go over well because he did it for the wrong reasons.

 It didn’t look good kicking out the First Nations Justice minister when Trudeau was supposed to be the feminist and transparent Prime Minister.

 I’m not saying that Justin is a racist, but like many Canadians he might be living in a colorblind fantasy land… Where he feels he only has to put on a different costume and do a little cross-cultural dance depending on whose day multicultural Canada is celebrating. 

 Take off the costume, it’s the same charade. Plus you just made a mockery of the culture of a people still suffering the effects of colonization. Trudeau would have gotten a little more respect by just being himself.

 It’s not so simple to simply declare we’re post-national, post-identity, post-race, or whatever you wish to call it. Our conflicting views on nationalism in the Canadian consciousness suggest it doesn’t seem to matter.

 The image was ruined, and the public back home were not happy with Justin.

 Maclean’s Magazine’s cover for the month of April is a picture of Justin in his glory days not even four years ago. He is clearly labeled as “The Imposter.”

 What sort of image does that project onto a Nationalist Canada?

 **(Theme music) CREDITS

You just listened to “A Matter of Opinion” by Scratch Media, where you get the facts from opinion. I’m Shayne, and this was “Real Change or Just(in)Other Powerplay.” Thanks for listening, and keep your opinions to yourself or we’ll check you with the facts! See you next time.


Malcolm, C. (2019, January, 16). Raced-based politics natural outcome of Trudeau's 'postnational state'. Toronto Sun. Retrieved from

Kilpatrick, S. (2018, December, 9). In Canada, the term 'nationalism' doesn't seem to have a bad rap. Here's why. National Post. Retrieved from

Kassam, A. (2017, July, 27). ‘Privileged' Justin Trudeau accused of colonialist attitude over boxing match. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Dutt, B. (2018, February, 22). Trudeau’s India trip is a total disaster — and he has only himself to blame. Washington Post. Retrieved from

Murphy, J. (2015, November, 4). Trudeau gives Canada first cabinet with equal number of men and women. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Lawson, G. (2015, December, 8). Trudeau’s Canada, Again. The New York Times. Retrieved from

The Daily. (2018, November, 29). Police-reported hate crime, 2017. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from

Jedwab, J. (2018, December). Views on Nationalism in Canada and the United States. Association for Canadian Studies. Retrieved from

Valverde, M. (2000). Racial Purity, Sexual Purity, and Immigration Policy. University of Toronto Press (Ed.) The Age of Light, Soap, and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada, 1885-1925 (pp. 104-128). ProQuest Ebook Central

Manuel, A., Derrickson, R., Klein, N. (2017). UNDRIP and the Trudeau Betrayal. The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy. (pp. 191-197). Toronto, ON: James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers.

Greene, R., Ellfers, J. (1998). The 48 Laws of Power. London, UK. Profile Books Ltd.

Lalancette, M., & Raynauld, V. (2017). The Power of Political Image: Justin Trudeau, Instagram, and Celebrity Politics. American Behavioral Scientist .


Thank you very much to…

Keith O’Regan ,my TA. You been very helpful and patient.

Professor Bell. Whom I never had the pleasure of meeting, but thank you.

David Stewart, Some YouTube’er who taught me about political rhetoric.

Robert Greene, the author of “The 48 Laws of Power”, one of my guides to a healthier life.

My small group of friends on my Facebook and Instagram who have been very supportive just by reading and listening to my blog rants.

My God and Goddess, the Divine.

Further Reading

“The 48 Laws of Power”

If you wish to see how politicians really operate, and why “nice guys finish last” for example; or even improve your own place in life, I recommend reading this.

Pamela Palmater, “Indigenous Rights Activist” and Doctor of Law, Associate Professor and the Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University

She taught me all about our colonial history. Pamela is an inspiration of mine,


Final Podcast


So, here's a question for you. How did you obtain your citizenship status? Were you a citizen of your country because you were born there? Or is it because your parents are citizens of that country? Maybe, you are a first-generation immigrant who worked hard for your citizenship. Now, what if I tell you that you don't deserve that citizenship?

On January 25th, 2019, the federal government shutdown in the United States officially ended. The shutdown lasted for 34 full days which made it the longest government shutdown in American history. Donald Trump, the president of the United States, was the driving force behind the government shutdown. He's stand was clear during the shutdown as he said: "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)." However, because of Trump's campaign for stronger border control, many people's lives will be changed. In the article, None of Us Deserve Citizenship, the author, Michelle Alexander, talks about a 19 years old girl who "reportedly scaled a wall along the United States-Mexico border while eight months pregnant and gave birth within hours of placing her feet on American soil. (Alexander, 2018)" The girl's name is Maryury Elizabeth Serrano-Hernandez. She did this because that was the only way that she could"give her new baby, as well as her 3-year-old son, a life free from violence and grinding poverty (Alexander, 2018)". Knowing stories like this, Michelle Alexander asked the question, why do American citizens deserve citizenship more than people like Ms. Serrano-Hernandez. The answer, according to Ms. Alexander, is that no one, not a single American citizen, deserves citizenship.

Michelle Alexander was born in Chicago, Illinois to an interracial couple. She grew up to become a civil rights advocate who professionalizes in writing as a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary. She got her American citizenship status from birth-right citizenship just like most other Americans. The 14th U.S. Amendment states 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)” Based on this, millions of babies born in America are granted what the founding fathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence, equality and unalienable rights including "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (U.S., 1776)."However, the Declaration of Independence also states that "all men are created equal (U.S., 1776) and their rights are granted by their creator instead of their nationalities."

Professor Alexander believes that a nation built on such policies have no rights to "greet immigrants with tear gas and lock them in for-profit detention camps, or build walls against the huddled masses yearning to breathe free (Alexander, 2019)." Americans do not deserve their citizenships just because of the place of birth if human rights are granted to noncitizens.

Despite professor Alexander's compression for Ms. Serrano-Hernandez, what she did is still illegal immigration. Ms. Serrano-Hernandez is likely to be separated from her baby for a very long time as all illegal immigrants face deportation. However, her newborn baby will be eligible for birth-right citizenship. Despite the fact that Ms. Serrano-Hernandez entered America illegally, her baby was still given birth in American territory. Therefore, according to the 14th U.S. Amendment, the newborn baby is still an American citizen just like everyone else bored in America. Babies like such are called anchor child as families place their kids in America like an anchor that one day makes it easier for everyone in the family to immigrate legally. During the first case of an anchor baby, "the definition (of the 14th U.S. Amendment) was put to the test in the late 1890s when the Supreme Court heard United States v. Wong Kim Ark. In this case, the Court found that people born on U.S. soil were considered citizens even if their parents (Briggs, 2018)."

Illegal immigration has been a problem in the U.S. for a very long time. It would be an understatement to say that president Donald Trump is not so happy with the illegal immigration that's been happening at the Mexican border. During the federal government shutdown, 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)"

And he's right. Kind of.

There is no denying that strong border control and limiting illegal entries will reduce drug trafficking. This is proven by the works that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has already done. CTV News reported that the biggest ever U.S. fentanyl bust was made at the Nogales port of entry in Arizona. Nearly 254 pounds of fentanyl and meth was captured when a tractor-trailer tried to cross the U.S., Mexico border with the drugs hidden in a compartment under its rear floor.

But, a wall is only going to stop the ones like Ms. Serrano-Hernandez from seeking freedom and security, not the ones carrying drugs.

"With the exception of marijuana, the vast majority of drug seizures happen at official border crossing points, not the spaces in between, according to an in-depth analysis by the Center of Investigative Reporting. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for US ports of entry, and make frequent drug busts there; re-allocating money from their budget for a wall means taking it away from port-of-entry funds. (Timmons, 2019)”

Drug trafficking happens at port-of-entries, not borderlines. America doesn't need a wall that shuts itself off from dream chasers. It needs better inspections on every vehicle that goes through port-of-entries. It needs more budgets for the Customs and Border Protection.

When dealing with illegal immigration and undocumented immigrants, media and politicians like to consider the domestic effects that immigration will have because their jobs are offering services to people in America. They are not necessarily worried about people living in other countries. Donald Trump clearly puts America's interest at first as Michelle Mark reported a statement from Raj Shah, a deputy White House press secretary. Shah said,

"Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation."

However, America's perspective on illegal immigration is not the only perspective. Many people actually believe that America actually forced other countries' citizens to illegally immigrate to America.

The Nation, the weekly magazine that has been continuously published for the longest time in the United States, published an article on October 18th, 2017, shortly after Donald Trump "demanded an escalated war against immigrants (Faux, 2017)." The article is named How US Foreign Policy Helped Create the Immigration Crisis. In this article, Jeff Faux, the author, points out that the number of illegal immigration from Central America and Mexico remained fairly low until the 1980s. However, after the U.S. government successfully imposed policies on Central America that benefited large multinational corporations. Small farms and businesses that were supporting the working poor lost competing powers. Living and working in these areas became dangerous, unrewarding and almost impossible. Jeff Faux said "A young Guatemalan recently told me: 'Unless you are connected to one of the families that run this country, there is no future here. Either you work for the narcos or go north.' (Faux, 2017)” Kidnapping, extortion, rape, and murder consistently happens to people as "criminal gangs have spread throughout the region (Faux, 2017) under the protection of government officials.

This is not okay. America is responsible for the horrific crimes that happen in these countries. While America ranks 17th in quality of life according to a study done by the University of Pennsylvania and U.S. News in quality of life on. People in Central America have to consistently worry about clean water, gang activity, and starvation because of what the U.S. has done. Illegal immigration, in many cases, is the only opinion Central Americans have at living a long, stable life.

However, most people in Central America don't have the fairytale ending of escaping to America and living happily ever after. Because of America's immigration law, there are parents like Ms. Serrano-Hernandez separated from their newborn babies, husbands and wives isolated from each other in jail cells, also daughters and sons forced to miss their parents' final seconds. A victim of immigration laws, Jose Antonio Vargas, described his experience of being locked up.

"Of all the ways I imagined the inevitable — being arrested, getting detained — I never envisioned sitting on the cold cement floor of a jail cell in South Texas surrounded by children.

It was July 2014. The cell, as I remember it, was no bigger than 20 by 30 feet. All around me were about 25 boys, as young as 5, the oldest no more than 12. The air reeked. A boy across the room from me was crying inconsolably, his head buried in his chest. Most of the boys wore dazed expressions. It was clear they had no idea where they were or why they were there. (Vargas, 2018)"

In case you didn't realize the absurdity of the situation, let me repeat some of the things Mr. Vargas said. Twenty-five kids from the age of five to the age of 12, are locked up in jail because these boys were not lucky enough be to born in America. Mr. Vargas also wrote about the horribleness of their living environments. The kids have to deal with reeked air and lack of entertainment while not even knowing the reason why they are locked up.

This is not an isolated incident either. In a recent article published in the New York Times, experts estimate that there are "around 15000 migrant children currently warehoused in more than 100 shelters (Jordan, 2018)."

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement currently have nine facilities available to detain juveniles, with approximately six of those limited to under 72 hours. These are neither family detention centers nor Office of Refugee Resettlement children’s shelters; instead, ICE contracts with juvenile jails to hold children under 18 separate from adults, including their family members. The facilities used to jail children for longer than 72 hours are the Northern Oregon Juvenile Detention facility in The Dalles, Oregon; the Abraxas Academy Detention Center in Morgantown, Pennsylvania; and the Cowlitz County Juvenile facility in Longview, Washington. While the average detention population for these facilities is only one to three children, the average length of stay for a juvenile detained in one of the three facilities ranges from 100 to 240 days. This means that in recent years ICE has detained dozens of children in juvenile jails for many months on end, in remote locations far from family and any accessible legal representation. (Cullen, 2018)"

These kids deserve better. When it comes to basic human rights, it shouldn't matter where a kid was born. If the Declaration of Independence claims "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (US, 1776)" What makes it okay for the U.S. government to ignore the basic human rights of other countries' citizens?

Changes need to be made, America can't just lock people up because of their nationality especially the kids. The land of the free is never really achieved until the American government starts treating everyone with the basic level of respect and grant all people in the country basic human rights whether they went there legally or not.



Alexander, M. (2018, December 21). None of Us Deserve Citizenship. New York Times. Retrieved from

Briggs, A. (2018, October 31). How the Founding Fathers understood U.S. citizenship. Retrieved from

Cullen, T. T. (2018, March 13). ICE released its most comprehensive immigration detention data yet. It's alarming. Retrieved from

Faux, J. (2017, October 19). How US Foreign Policy Helped Create the Immigration Crisis. Retrieved from

Jordan, M. (2018, December 19). Thousands of Migrant Children Could Be Released After Sponsor Policy Change. Retrieved from

Snow, A. (2019, February 01). Biggest-ever U.S. fentanyl bust made in Arizona: Border agency. Retrieved from

The 80 Countries With the Highest Quality of Life. (2019). Retrieved April 8, 2019, from

Timmons, H. (2019, January 13). Six hard facts about a border wall that contradict Trump. Quartz. Retrieved from

Trump, D. (18 Jan 2019) @realdonaldtrump. Twitter. Available at:

Mark, M. (2018, January 11). Trump: 'Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?' Retrieved 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.

U.S., (1776) Declaration of Independence.

Vargas, J. A. (2018, September 15). What America Looks Like From a Jail in South Texas. Retrieved from

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Week 12 Blog- Danethza Perez Aguilera

The process of producing a podcast was actually a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. The initial task appeared monumental and as the weeks progressed, the theme of what I wanted to discuss became sharper and sharper. Although there were moments where I felt overwhelmed by the amount of research and the different places the information was taking me- once I settled and focused on my top 2 or 3 objectives, the pieces began coming together.  I learned that I was quite comfortable with the creation of the podcast in terms of writing and communicating the ideas I wanted to relay, once I began breaking it into smaller components.  I enjoyed the interviewing process and finding methods of incorporating various sources of information into the larger narrative.  I would have liked a little bit more guidance on production of the Audacity tool to provide a better sounding final product, but overall, I felt the tool was easy to use on some of the easier functions.  I learned quite a bit during this process of bringing research, thinking and communicating together as a concert and the final product was very satisfying.  Thank-you for providing such great navigation into this new territory. It was a great experience.

Beliefs and the nature of opinions-The Podcast by Danethza Perez Aguilera

Part 1

SO…have you noticed all of the debates lately? The arguments made of the earth being flat and the counterargument of the earth as a globe, debates on whether Jesus was actually a Buddhist, opinions about what we should eat-statements such as  veganism is the only way to save the planet, statements about the weather is being manipulated, there is no such thing dark matter, and vaccines will save our kids….if they don’t give them autism first? There are so many opinions in every topic, varying in degrees of research and information, evidence leading to support both sides of the arguments, and the gray areas in between for the undecided.  It’s the year 2019 and the one thing we can say for certain is that information is widely available to us. This is an investigation of the opinions that shape our thoughts, the apparent facts that frame our reality, and it is a closer look at the storylines that are guiding our beliefs. All around us we seek to understand our world, by the stories of who we are, what we think we are, and all the experiences we have collectively gathered to make sense of it all.

From Scratch Media this is A Matter of Opinion, your guide through opinion to the facts. I’m Danethza, and in this episode we're talking about Beliefs and the nature of opinions.

Once upon a time, on a cold wintery day, in a research class far far away, the knights of class Writing1004 were assigned a mission to seek the opinion piece and slay the dragon of myth and false news. Ok maybe not quite so dramatically, it was January actually, and it was quite cold, but perhaps slay may be an over exaggeration.  I did however choose the opinion piece to inspect, and it was the story written by author George Monbiot- headlined- Advertising and academia are controlling our thoughts- Didn’t you know?

And this piece, really got my attention from its opening line, because the author starts the opinion piece with the dramatic statement, and I quote “To what extent do we decide? We tell ourselves we choose our own life-course but is this ever true?” (Monbiott, December) and this immediately caught my attention. I mean, as a seeker of truth myself, I tend to enjoy investigating notions such as free will,

and look and behold this article, a well-researched written piece, by a celebrated journalist, places a very important philosophical question right at the start.  I was impressed, for a few more sentences… this is when Mr. Monbiot states “Our minds are shaped by our social environment, in particular the belief systems projected by those in power: monarchs, aristocrats and theologians then; corporations, billionaires and the media today.” (Monbiott, December)

Woah hold on a second there, what was that?? Beliefs are projected by those in power?  I don’t know if I agree with, that is a bold, sweeping statement, and if I learned anything from my logic class in my first year, it is that sweeping statements need to inspected a little bit closer.



The nature of our thoughts is quite fascinating, we are continuously exposed to new information – According to DOMO Inc, an American Computer software company specializing in data visualization, their latest infographic  estimates that by the year 2020, there will be 1.7MB of data created every second for every human being on earth (DOMO.COM, 2018) – and what is the projected population for 2020? Currently, according to, we are sitting around 7.7 billion, estimate to grow an additional 1.08 % by the year 2020 (, 2019).  Now that, my friends, is lot of information available to us. Its’ really amazing to see how our brains can undertake the vastness of the data presented to it and how it makes sense of the world.  As we explore the nature of information and opinion, I asked myself the question-what exactly is an opinion? Actually, I asked a few other people too.

I asked my sister first. What is an opinion?

Nati- “Ah, an opinion is your stance on things, your state of mind, your influences your upbringing- that all shapes your opinion. An opinion is your opinion, what you believe.”

Next, I asked my husband, what is an opinion?

John “An opinion is the choice you believe you would take.”

I proceeded to consult with Google to see what they defined as an opinion.  This is what came up Opinion- noun- “a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.” the second definition offered by Google was- Opinion “the beliefs or views of a large number or majority of people about a particular thing.  (google,, n.d.)

Ok, so I started to see a trend here. It would appear that belief was the essential ingredient in the making of opinion.  And so, with this piece of the puzzle, it was time to consult an expert in psychology to understand what Beliefs are and how they work inside our brains.


I sat with Dr. James Alcock, a professor of psychology at Glendon College at York University. Dr. James Alcock is an expert in the field of Belief. He is an awarded skeptic and most recently the author of the book entitled -Belief, WHAT IT MEANS TO BELIEVE AND WHY OUR CONVICTIONS ARE SO COMPELLING.

I got right to the point and asked him; How do beliefs work in shaping our thoughts and opinions?

Dr. James Alcock- “The beliefs we have reflect not only what we think we know about the word, but they influence how we interpret new information. So, Beliefs not only interpret the world, but determine how we behave, and how we see it.”

As I searched for further understanding in Dr. Alcocks’ book and something caught my interest in page 151. Dr. Alcock wrote that social “psychologist consider a belief to involve both content and conviction. The content consisting of mental representations of experiences and convictions as ones’ certainty about the belief. (Alcock, 2018)

I asked Dr. Alcock to explain this relationship with an example to help us better understand this dynamic.

Dr. James Alcock- “Sure, so the idea is that content without convictions isn’t a belief. The example I used in the book was of Santa Claus. So, every adult in western society can describe Santa Claus in some details. What clothes does he wear, what colour are they, what kinds of animals pull his sleigh-what does his sleigh do? It flies in the air. Who makes the toys, where does he live? We all have similar content and we would agree on the details- yet no adult believes that this is true- so there is zero conviction. So, this wouldn’t be considered a belief.”

Ok so we understand having content about something without having the belief. So how does the conviction element work?

Dr. James Alcock- “The conviction is your assessment on the probability that this is true. It doesn’t have to be 100%, you may not be sure of everything.  If I were to ask you what’s the capital of Nunavut, you might tell me that it’s Calibot- but you’re not quite sure. Maybe if you looked at a map and saw Nunavut and saw the capital then you could describe it and your conviction would go up or go down depending on what you see on the map”

Danethza- “So it’s a level of certainty?”

Dr. James Alock- “It’s a degree of certainty”

And so, conviction is the certainty a person holds about a belief- and the degree of certainty is what psychologists refer to as Subjective probability estimate (Alcock, 2018)

Dr. James Alock- “The level of conviction you can refer to it as subjective probability estimate. Subjective because it’s you doing it, it’s yours and you’re saying in my view, this is how certain I am. I’m 100% certain, I’m 90 % certain.  If I’m zero percent certain, then you wouldn’t call it a belief- you’d say this is content.”


Ok so now we understand the mechanics of our Beliefs and how we need both content and conviction to create a belief. The degree of the conviction, how certain we are about the information, allows for the belief to be accepted into our minds. 

Let’s get back to our opinion piece- in the article, Mr. Monbiot goes to great lengths to prove to us that corporations, media and education are going to great lengths to controlling our thoughts. Remember that we quoted him in the his opening argument saying  that “Our minds are shaped by our social environment, in particular the belief systems projected by those in power” (Monbiott, December)

Well, let’s consider this for a second. Is it true that our minds are shaped by our social environment? Well, if we consider our environment as information, then we can state that our minds do interact with the environment, but we cannot with certainty say that it is shaped by it. But what about the beliefs systems projected by those in power- are we to accept this as true?  Well, again, beliefs must be accepted by us and as we heard from our expert, Dr. Alcock, our beliefs must contain both content and conviction.

So, I asked myself, if we question the certainty of the sources- are we not only left with content without conviction?

I feel that we have understood Belief as a system to undertake the big dragon we have been preparing to battle. This would be the dragon disguised as false Belief, or typically coined these days as false news or fake news.  First of all, we must address the origin of fake news- where did the term come from and what is its purpose? Well, if your mind immediately jumped to US President Donald Trump- well, you would be wrong.  The fake news term is actually much older and was used by president John Adams in 1798. An article published by the Smithsonian quotes President John Adams as having said ““There has been more new error propagated by the press in the last ten years than in an hundred years before 1798,” (Mansky, 2018) Thank-you Mr. President

Now let’s add a little bit of historical context here- the American Revolution took place between 1775-1783. During this time, the Americans fought tirelessly to remove British rule towards their independence and the press was used as a way to communicate information between the separate states. American revolutionary historian, David Ramsay is quoted to saying ““in establishing American independence, the pen and press had merit equal to that of the sword.” (Parkinson, n.d.)

A book entitled, The American Revolution and the Press- The promise of independence by author Carol Sue Humphrey states that “The efforts of Patriot printers to keep readers informed about the war helped ensure ultimate success by boosting morale and rallying Americans to the cause until victory was achieved.” (Humphrey, n.d.) So apparently there were narratives offered from both the establishment and the revolutionaries of the time.

Now that is very interesting, because we begin to see a familiar picture provided by history, occurring today between social media streams and mainstream news.  

Part 5

The modern-day battle for information to reach an audience has never been faster. Currently, access to latest piece of information and opinion is made available to us via the tools of the internet and on social media. American president Donald Trump has used Twitter as a way to communicate to his followers and has issued more then 30000 tweets since he took office- 418 tweets dedicated solemnly to Fake News (, 2019) His ongoing addresses on the mainstream narrative is comparable to the words used by John Adams in 1798.  Most recently, major stories such as the Mueller report investigation have placed the mainstream news under considerable scrutiny, as they have yet to update many established narratives.

But we digress here, our focus is on understanding concepts such as fake news and on how information is being presented to influence our beliefs. Let us consider for a moment, the sources of major news - there are in fact only a handful of corporations -actually 6 media giants running the media in the US. The most current being the 71.3-billion-dollar merger of Disney and Century Fox (Jenkins, 2018). The media giants, or conglomerates, are companies that own numerous smaller companies in areas of mass media including television, radio, publishing, motion pictures, theme parks and the internet. (wikipedia, n.d.)

Part 6

A recent study looking at the cognitive effects and the use of emotions as a method of conveying information through the news, drew the following conclusions- that news professional would benefit from framing their stories away from fear driven stories and instead consider the effects of emotionally consistent story-telling , which had the potential to positively engage their audience, while maintaining their attention. (Nabi, 2019) It is clear that much research is done into understanding the best methods for persuading the people into accepting information. Our behaviours, drives and motivations are very much understood in the field of psychology. 

I’ve asked Dr. James Alcock to weigh in on the matters relating persuasion and how it is used when it comes to beliefs.

Dr. James Alcock “It’s part of human interactions to try to persuade. A persuasion may be for very simple matters. You may try to persuade a friend to come see a movie you’d like, and he doesn’t particularly have interest in, or you try to persuade North Korea to try to get rid of its nuclear weapons. So, it could be a matter of small importance or huge importance but yes, it’s just a matter of human interactions to try to persuade others, to get them to change their beliefs and try to change their behaviours.”

And so, although it would appear that Mr. Monbiot does make a valid point by stating that corporations and the media are putting significant efforts into creating a specific narrative for people to accept- the fact that this is still his opinion and we must consider this. The attempt to persuade us is always present. Opinions vary in their presentations and they are numerous, as we have encountered. Yet we all individually respond to these opinions in accordance to our existing beliefs.

With the influx of the information available to us, one must consider how this tsunami of information is impacting us as a society- what to we do about all this data.

Dr. James Alcock thinks the solution lies in education and critical thinking “This is the importance of education. Unless people learn to critically evaluate information, critically evaluate the sources of the information, then they are caught up in a swirl of information of conflicting reports and ideas, there’s obviously more information available now to an individual then there ever been in history and all one has to do is go to the computer and look at Wiki or Google and you’ve got this a wealth of information.

But without the ability to evaluate it carefully and critically people then tend to drift towards information that is comfortable in terms of the beliefs they already have.

Dane- “They affirm their own beliefs”

Dr.James Alcock- “That’s’ right And often, for all of us, you mentioned core beliefs in the beginning- information that challenges our core beliefs, makes us uncomfortable and the critical thinker will not want to reject it out of hand, but will want to think consider the source and try to evaluate how likely this is valid information. And it’s hard for us to change core beliefs, but sometime, the person that is a critical thinker is more likely to change a belief is the evidence is strong enough.”

So, there we have it, we now understand how difficult it is to change our beliefs. This may be why the media or corporations go to such lengths and research to get us to comply to their ideas.

As children, we are taught valuable lessons about morality and behaviour in the form of fables and stories. The little red riding hood taught us to question the strange looking granny, Hansel and Gretel taught us about greed, the ugly duckling taught to avoid judgement of others.

As children, we were encouraged to question our environment, and the stories, the meaning of things. A critical thinker is a person who also possesses these qualities. They question the information, they investigate the reasons, they draw conclusions based on the information presented to them. I believe that it is in our nature to question our world and much like our younger selves, we benefit from the concept of questioning our sources. Who is telling the story, what is its purpose, and what is the end goal?

As adults, we must consider our beliefs and even acknowledge their influence over our behaviour.  Writers, news anchors, celebrities, corporations may all place great deal of efforts in persuading us to support their beliefs. Horace, the Roman poet once said “ Rule your mind, or it will rule you” (Horace, n.d.) The truth is you have great power over your beliefs, and the only person truly capable of really changing your mind- well that person, my friend- is you- and that is my honest opinion.

From Scratch Media this was A Matter of Opinion, your guide through opinion to the facts- this is Danethza, signing off.



1.      Monbiot, G. (2018, December 31). Advertising and academia are controlling our thoughts. Didn't you know? | George Monbiot. Retrieved from

2.      Data Never Sleeps 6 | Domo. (n.d.). Retrieved from

3.      World Population Projections. (n.d.). Retrieved from


5.      James Alcock. (2019, January 03). Retrieved from

6.      Alcock, J. E. (2018). Belief: What it means to believe and why our convictions are so compelling. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.

7.      Mansky, J. (2018, May 07). The Age-Old Problem of "Fake News". Retrieved from

8.      Print, the Press, and the American Revolution  Robert G. Parkinson Subject: Colonial History, Early National History, History of Science and Technology Online Publication Date: Sep 2015 DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.013.9

9.      Parkinson, R. G. (2017, June 08). Print, the Press, and the American Revolution. Retrieved from

10.  Trump Twitter Archive. (n.d.). Retrieved from

11.  Chart: These 6 Companies Control Much of U.S. Media. (n.d.). Retrieved from

12.  Santos, T. M., & Nabi, R. L. (2019). Emotionally Charged: Exploring the Role of Emotion in Online News Information Seeking and Processing. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 63(1), 39-58. doi:10.1080/08838151.2019.1566861

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1.Data Never Sleeps 6 | Domo. (n.d.). Retrieved from

2. Chart: These 6 Companies Control Much of U.S. Media. (n.d.). Retrieved from

18-domo-data-never-sleeps-6 INFOGRAPHIC.png media company ownership consolidation image.png

Week 9

For this Podcast I’m thinking to use those who will fit well as characters are thos you have stated their own opinion within their research. I will include Ms. Fanta Jatta, she is someone i believe to be influential. She speaks on the rights of freedom which woman are deprived from by the choices made by men. She also explains her thoughts of how woman are mistreated (beaten/abused) and how they should be treated (some countries ban abortion). She explains the “domino-effect” that these depriving situations and causes greatly affect others and gives great reasoning to the benifits of contraceptives.

Another character I consider to be a good suit to the podcast would be the author of the opinion piece, Malinda Gates. She is an example of how contraceptives helped herself and her family and also shares her opinion and he contribution towards the issue of unaccessiablity of contraceptives.

week 8

Introduction (3-5MIN.)

For the intro of my podcast i will introduce myself and then present the idea of freedom, I will bring awarness of poeples need and reliability for freedom. Examples of the definition of freedom, the pros of it and then i will connect the opinion of freedom to the topic od opinion-Contraceptives is a form of freedom.
”Freedom is a right to life, there are choices we make for ourselves that co-relate to our right to freedom. Contraceptives, how do they relate to freedom? Would it be considered a right? Would somthing which is brushed of to be recognized as biased so irrelavant to the concept of freedom, actually be a problem to more than just woman? When we evaluate the pros that come with freedom what are the pros that come with contraceptives?”
I will then insert a quote from Ms. Fant Jatta where she gives her opinion of freedom and its co-realtion to contraceptives. I will then present a fact about contraceptives as along side its definition of the word and its uses. This will explain the relation contraceptives have towards people based on its purpose. A source iw ill include is from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which explains the positives that come from contraceptives and its help towards family planning and that this is a right.

Part 1 (5MIN.)

I will introduce the idea of family planning, How it is important to everyone but also how this is a woman right for it bring more posperity and stability for a healthy structure for a family to grow. A source I will Include will be by, it is a scholarly source, and its quots will explain the reason contraceptives help health wise. Another source will be by UNFPA which explains the health, reproduction rights and human rights. Another source will be by World Health Organization (WHO) which will include explainiation of education opprotunities that contraceptives can lead to.
I Would like to include and interview witha public citizen on their thought of contraceptives and family planning. (If a doctor is interviewed i will ask why they would recomend contraceptives). I will then lead the audience to the next idea by starting of with a fact explaing that society and cultural obstacles effect the use/ acceciablitlity to contraceptives.

Part 2 (5MIN.)

Explaing what an economic struggle is first then disect how religion, society pressures, and cultures deprive woman from their right to contraceptives. Sources used her will indicate the obstacles clearly and more specific with examples. I will reference from Medicamentalia (The Sin Of Bith Control), and UNFPA (Why Focus on Culture and Religion?). I would like to add an interview giving an experience or thoughts about contraceptives depriving and how it would be like to bring up the topic to family.

Part 3 (5MIN.)

Here i will bring up the effects it would have on everyone most specifically and also look into the positives it creates for communities, opportunities, economy, and the societies of this world. I will include some data from UNFPA (Family Planning) and as well from WHO (Family planning) and a quote from a source called Journals Pols.

Conclusion (3-5MIN.)

In conclusion I will make sure that I repeat the opinion of contraceptives by the author Malinda Gates who wrote the peiece I am elaberating on, and then kep point the benifits that contraceptives provide. How important contraceptives is for health, opportunity, and the rights to freedom. We all come from a woman and we need to understand them as they try to understand everyone else within society. We individually have to start talking about this openingly, if we want to do grown things we need to act grown towards it in every aspect as a form of respect to each other, loved ones involved and forpossible the future offspring.

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.



     Undoubtedly, plastic has had a major impact on our lives, with almost all our activities revolving around it. From eating with plastic cutleries, to drinking from plastic bottles to and even wearing clothes made from plastic materials (polyester-“poly” meaning plastic), plastic is all around us and has a major impact in our daily lives


ME: Emeka Okuma is a 3rd year student at York University currently studying Sociology… So what did you have today for breakfast?

EMEKA: Today I had a sausage and egg sandwich breakfast

ME: And what was it carried in?

EMEKA: It was carried in a plastic bag


ME: Jackson is currently a 3rd year student at York University studying biology, so what was the last thing you drank?


ME: And what did it come in?

JACKSON: A plastic bottle


HUIJUAN: MY name is Huijuan Du, i’m a 2nd year student at York University…

ME: What was the last thing you drank?

HUIJIAN: A Starbucks drink

ME: And what was it inside?

HER: In a plastic bottle

     No doubt, plastic is very essential to us but do we know the extent to which this plastic is causing harm to the society and even to everyone individually?

   “Since the early 1950’s, there has been an estimated 8.3 billion tons of plastic produced on the planet”(Science Advances Journal,2017) and the United Nations Environmental Program reports that over 60% of this large sum ends up either in landfills or in the ocean. That is out of the 8.3 billion metric tonnes that have been produced on the planet, 4.9 billion (approximately) metric tonnes have infiltrated the oceans and landfills. That’s more than the weight of 90,000 Titanic's and more than 3 times the size of France just sitting there in the ocean. According to the advocacy group, Ocean Conservancy, about 8 million tonnes of plastic enter into the ocean each year, and some calculations predict that by 2050, the could be more plastic(by weight) in the ocean than fish, and other calculations predict that at the same time, fishes will be extinct. That’s right, fishes will become a thing of the past.

     The main problem with plastic is that it is largely not bio-degradable -This means it cannot be broken down into reusable compounds. Instead, it degrades over time into smaller particles called MICROPLASTICS. “On average, plastics take about 1000 years to degrade in order to become microplastics”( These are pieces of plastics that are 5 millimetres in length or less but pose a very massive threat to the environment. However, there are various ways by which micro plastics get into our oceans.


Dr. Calvin is currently a professor at York University at the Health, Nursing and Environmental Department.

ME: So Doctor Calvin, how do Microplastics get into the environment?

DR. CALVIN: They enter the environment through various waste streams. Microplastics can enter water ways through things like using laundry detergent and washing your clothes. It could be something like ‘landfill leaching’ were plastics end up in a land fill and ultimately enter underground water systems or it can be through deliberate contamination where people are deliberately putting or emitting plastics directly into waterways and land systems to avoid environmental regulations, but it is a very signifiant issue and one that required immediate attention.

While these tiny particles don’t float on top of the ocean, they pose a very dangerous threat to the ocean. Apart from the fact that they are contaminating the worlds oceans, they cause a large number of injuries and deaths to the marine life. Over 800 species have been affected by this epidemic. Most people often think that they aren’t affected, but contrary to this popular belief, plastic pollution is something that affects each and everyone of us. 


 Take for example; people use plastic bottles and those bottles end up in the ocean. Those plastic bottles degrade over time and end up as micro plastic particles and attach themselves to planktons and other tiny organisms that the fishes eat. These fishes are now caught and served at home and in restaurants as sea food. Now these micro plastic particles that we one thought that we threw away have now come back to us, and so the cycle continues. Now imagine this happening to hundreds of thousands an even millions of people. So now, do you still think you’re unaffected by plastic pollution?


 Humans are impacted as well. Micro plastics make their way into our bodies through seafood, water and sea salts. Over the past decades, scientists have discovered micro plastic particles in our soil, tap water, bottled water and even in the air we breathe. Plastic pollution is something that affects us all.


   No doubt, micro plastics affect us but to what extent? Due to the chemical additives during the production of plastic, plastic has proven to be dangerous to the human body. The chemical that is added during the production of plastic called BPA(Bisphenol A) has been known to cause eczema upon contact with the skin. The chemical is also known to cause endocrine disorders which lead to deformities in new born babies. According to Dr. Luiza Mirpur, co-founder of a Portugal non- profit organisation, The Luiza Mirpur Foundation, warns that plastic contamination is slowly “killing the human race”. She told sky Atlantic that the introduction of plastic leads to “more diseases, more allergies, more cancers, more infertilities”. In 2016, reported that the chemicals used in plastic production(Bisphenol A) increase the rate of breast cancer, prostrate cancer, ovarian cancer, liver problems, brain disorders and even learning problems in developing children.

ME: What are the effects of micro plastics on the human body?

DR. CALVIN: It’s actually not quite as clear cut to answer. There’s a lot of conflicting literature so I think if you read most contemporary reports, there is the potential for plastic to accumulate in your system which causes very psychological issues, theres a “crawling” between certain plastic by-products in the environment in things like testosterone levels or strudel levels and it has also been linked to increased rates of cancer, now that being said, it is extremely difficult to imply casualty. While there is a lot of strong evidence to suggest that micro plastic has adverse effects on human health, the reality is that the structure can’t prove it because it needs to be tested in a controlled setting and unfortunately our lives aren’t that controlled.

   Ever since this problem became a major concern, various organisations have been involved in the fight against plastic pollution. Take for instance, The Ocean Cleanup, a Netherland-based non-profit organisation dedicated to removing the plastic polluting the Great Pacific Ocean Patch. This idea was conceived by the brainchild of a 24 year old Boyan Slatt, who conceived this idea in 2013. The non-government organisation is dedicated to remove the plastic in the ocean and take it ashore where it will be recycled. The Plastic Tide, founded by Peter Kolher, another non-profit oriented organisation based in the United Kingdom, uses drone-mounted cameras to locate the areas where plastic has affected the ocean so that they can be removed. The Ellen McAuthur Foundation, another non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom also, launched a campaign to get corporations on board with accountability. So far, more than 250 organisations including Coca-Cola, Unilever, S.C Johnson, PepsiCo and many others have pledged to reduce, reuse and compost 100% percent of their plastic packaging by 2025. Despite all these organisations, including organisations here in Canada such as the David Suzuki Foundation and the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, yet the growth of the plastic in the ocean is still rampant.

ME: A lot of efforts have been adopted by various organisations including The Ocean Cleanup in Netherlands, The Ellen McAuthur foundation in the UK. Even here in Toronto, We have The Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, The David Suzuki Foundation, yet there is still a high rise of plastics in the ocean. Would you say that their efforts is a waste or not?

DR. CALVIN: I think that the work to combat micro plastics and ultimately advocate pre stewardship of healthy waters is integral and they bring these issues to the fore front. So the work of this organisation, not only has probably resulted in significant improvement to our environmental systems just by virtue of the fact that they are fighting against something that is very pervasive but they’ve also contributed to cultivating awareness amongst both the general public and the academic community. So even though the end results hasn’t necessarily been what they desire - which is to keep microplastics out of our waterways and our environment, they still need to advocate and champion that cause, because in the absence of these organisations, who’s there to stop producers from putting plastic into the environment? So there is a part of me that’s a bit cynical that says “They’re fighting a loosing battle” because its very small organisations versus very large producers and economies or economics tend to dictate the outcome of most issues. But I think with that being said, I think microplastics has entered the public consciousness as a critical problem that requires immediate attention. And so the work of these organisations is going to gain traction and that traction will ultimately result in more material and more significant change to improve the environment.

   To combat this issue is no small task. There have been various approaches set-up to curb this problem. A recent wave of consumer activism has led to a large widespread ban of straw. The problem is straws only account for 0.03% of the plastic polluting the ocean. This has been no easy task. For a very long time there has been measures put in place to combat this problem. One of which is recycling. Recycling of plastic is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastics and reprocessing the materials into a useful product. This is something that has been in existence for a long time, yet the quantity of plastic in the ocean is still on the fast rise.

ME: We also have measures like recycling that are put in place. Recycling is in full effect. So why is the plastic pollution still rampant

DR. CALVIN: We might have recycling systems, but that doesn’t mean the recycling system is very good. There’s two sectors or two groups that produce plastic waste. One is residential, thats you and I, when we buy our products from stores and we recycle things like our water bottles and there is something called the ICNI sector which is the Industrial Commercial and Institutional Sector. There is very little legislation that prescribes that this ICNI sectors have to recycle and what a lot of people don’t know is that the ICNI sector represents 80% of all wastes generated. So even thought we might have a “blue box” program and our households might be really good at diverting and recycling plastics, the reality is that most of the plastic wastes being generated is being generated by large producers and at present there is no legislation that specifically requires these producers to recycle or its very difficult to enforce. So it’s an issue where citizens, or household are doing a very good job when it comes to recycling(not just plastic, but other materials), but industry has really lacked behind and the recycling rate per the ICNI sector is 12% versus 66% for the residential sector.


   Many efforts have been taken, yet nothing is changing, and thanks to Dr. Calvin, we can see that the major issue is not we the consumers. The bulk of the blame lies on the producers and the ICNI sector that are putting in little effort into the recycling of plastics, but nevertheless, we can’t just sit down shifting the blame. We all have to put in more efforts especially the sectors that are involved. A 2018 brand audit conducted by environmental activist group, “Break Free From Plastic” of more than 187,000 pieces of plastic trash across 239 cleanups spanning 42 countries shed light onto potential offenders. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé were the most frequent multinational brands collected in the cleanup. A PepsiCo spokesperson told Teen Vogue the company is “committed to achieving 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging by the same year.” Coca-Cola told Teen Vogue it has placed  “ambitious goals” for the company’s World Without Waste vision: It aims to “collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one they sell -regardless of where it comes from - by 2030” and “use an average of 50% recycled content in our bottles and cans by 2030.”

ME: Do you suggest any other way to solve this plastic pollution problem?

DR. CALVIN: There’s a couple of mechanisms or tools that you can use. The first is obviously legislative. So what type of legislative policy can we implement that forces producers of plastics to manage their waste? The issue with legislature (that is the way it works in Canada) is that we have 3 tiers of government - Municipal, Provincial and Federal and every province develops their own Waste Management legislation so there’s a lot of difficulty harmonising things like what are the standard rules that should be applied to everybody, everywhere -so thats the first issue of legislature. The second is(and I think is the probably be the more important one in terms of inducing change), is that we need to have financial incentives and disincentives for producers that penalises them for using these products. So if you produce something that has microbes or any other sort of plastic that is not being recycled, hit them where it where it hurts which is in their pocket books. Fine them, penalise them and then that will encourage them into switch to more sustainable practices. And conversely, for organisations that are doing the right thing, celebrate them. We have to create a system of incentives and disincentives to encourage behavioural change on the producer level. But we also have to recognise that behavioural change requires not only time, but a significant amount of resources and effort, so this isn’t something that going to be fixed overnight, if ever, but its important that we still fight that fight because as noted in the previous question, if we don’t do this now then were never going to do it and were going to be in a far worse situation in the near future.

ME: Thank you Dr. Calvin


    “No matter who you are, you’re connected to the ocean. No matter where you live, you’re connected to the ocean”( Susmita Baral). And everyone has a part to play to solve this problem and no one is free from blame. Let’s solve this problem one step at a time. So why not drop that plastic fork and pick up a reusable metal one. Why not use a reusable bottle other than a plastic bottle that you’re going to end up throwing out. This makes the oceans safe, not only for the marine life but for you and for me. We can do this.


  1. Susmital Baral -Teen Vogue magazine

     Accessible at

2. “Plastic Not so Fantastic Project - Say no to Plastic” by

     Accessible at

3. UGAToday - “8.3 billion metric tonnes” by University of Georgia

    Accessible at

4. Great Pacific Garbage Patch Now Times the Size of France - Mirian Liu

    Accessible at

5. United Nations Environmental Program - Our world is drowning in Plastic Pollution.

 Accessible at

6. Ocean Unite:Uniting And Activating Powerful Voices For Ocean Conservation

Accessible at

7. The Ocean Cleanup: Accessible at

8. The Ellen McAuthur Foundation - “New Plastics Economy”

   Accessible at

9. Dr. Luiza Mirpur: www.the

10. Ian Johnson: The independent

      Access at:

11. Mark Tutton, CNN

      Accessible at:

12.Plastic Tide:

13. UN News

      Accessible at:


  1. Professor Stephanie M. Bell, PhD.- Writing Department, York University.

  2. Professor Keith O’Regan, PhD.- Writing Department, York University.

  3. Dr. Calvin Lakhan, PhD -Health, Nursing and Environmental Department.

  4. The Ocean Unite -Ontario, Canada.

  5. The David Suzuki Foundation.

  6. Professor Barb Well - Health, Nursing and Environmental Department

  7. Obi D. Fortune - currently a 1st year student at Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus.

  8. Jinadu Olamide A. - current student at North Clayton High School, Clayton County, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

  9. Asoluka Ikenna - currently a 1st year student at Salisbury University, Salisbury Maryland, USA

  10. Emeka Okuma- currently a 3rd year sociology student at York University, Toronto, Canada.

  11. Huijuan Du - currently a 2nd year student at York University,Toronto, Canada.

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, this would be considered a credible source. This type of source 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 of government sources is shown the ways a population under the regulations of “their” government, bases their mannerisms and decisions 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”.

Thanks, chao

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).

Thanks, chao

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.

Thanks you.

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.

thank you, chao
- Nathazha

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