Letting Go of the “Michigan Man” Tradition

In recent days, a lot of events have been occurring on the University of Michigan’s athletic campus. Most recently Jim Hackett, the interim athi-res-183178869-head-coach-brady-hoke-michigan-wolverines-calls-out-a_crop_exacthletic director, fired the head football coach Brady Hoke. While this event probably seems irrelevant to a political science class, I think Hackett might be taking an approach John Stuart Mill would’ve approved in the firing of Hoke and the ongoing search for the next football coach. And that approach is changing the tradition of the much discussed “Michigan Man”.

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Traditions That Shouldn’t Be Upheld

Edmond Burke argued that tradition is a great thing and that traditions cannot be disrupted or a nation will fail. He argues that once tradition is eliminated, people no longer know which direction to take. Some traditions should be maintained in the United States such as the basic ideals of freedom and equality. However some traditions have dated since the passing of laws in the late 1700’s. The Second AUS-still-divided-on-passing-stricter-gun-control-lawsmendment of the United States Constitution states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” While this law was effective years ago, there doesn’t seem to be the traditional need to carry weapons as the United States, has thankfully not fought a war on our soil in over a century.

Sure modifying this amendment would confuse some citizens as Burke suggests change would however I believe that this nation is capable and mostly willing to adapt to not being able to purchase semi-automatic weapons. These have been responsible for the Newtown School Shooting, Columbine and the tragic event at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. I am not suggesting that all weapons be eliminated because being a free nation and citizens having the right to protect them is important. However I don’t believe that automatic assault weapons need to be in the hands of the average American citizen. We pay taxes in order for our military to protect us from enemies that capable to need these weapons.

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Oil Production and Social Contracts

Final-GraphCurrently oil producers face a problem that they would not have expected in years past, a glut of oil. While refiners and consumers are reaping the benefits of low oil prices do to a supply flood in the market, oil-producing countries are hurting. For the first time in years the price of a gallon of gasoline is down to below three dollars a gallon. For producers of oil this means lower revenue and some nations are trying to do something about it. The three philosophers who wrote about social contracts would have something to say about this.

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Fear, Honor and Interest in Fight vs. ISIS

Thucydides stated in the Melian Dialogue that opposing sides fight wars for three different reasons; fear, honor and interest.

isisThe United States is dealing with all three in their fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. The terrorist group has plotted various attacks against the western world. Including possible plans to attack subway systems. While there seems to be a consensus that something must be done to combat the extremists, it begs the question of whether fear, honor or interest are playing the greatest role in the minds of Americans.

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Derek Jeter: The Politician?

While I really do hate the Yankees, Derek Jeter is a modern day Weberian politician. He has led the Yankees for years and the new ballpark is often referred to as the house that Jeter filled. There is not a doubt about how much Jeter derek-jeter-opy3-25125has meant to the New York Yankees, however the question is why? I am sure it has a lot to do with his play on the field. He has played for nearly twenty and has a .310 career batting average and owns 3465 hits spanning his long career.

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Paying “Play”-ers

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The NCAA is getting pressure to begin to pay student athletes.

A massive debate is raging in the college athletics community. To pay players or not to pay players. The Big Ten and other conferences recently gained extra autonomy that includes the ability to give additional benefits. Excerpts from the Big Ten’s statement can be found in this Sports Illustrated article. In class we also read an article from Grantland about using athletes likenesses in video games. Athletes, former and current, believe that the NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, should begin compensating them for the twenty- hour work weeks that they put in throughout the course of a season. The debate over college athletics and paying players also begs the question what is play for these athletes. Bartlett Giamatti, a former commissioner of Major League Baseball, has an interesting opinion on what play is. How would paying players change play in the NCAA? Continue reading