Privacy vs. Security? The Balance of Given Rights

In the current state of the world, one will be able to find news about a particular topic of interest anywhere, and at this point in time, there are so many that one finds it hard to single out an individual story. Many events can happen over the course of a day, and most of those occurrences will probably never make it to the news. However, sometime during the spring of the year 2013, a man named Edward Snowden made the front page of every American newspaper that currently exists. Snowden leaked highly debatable information on the National Security Agency, (NSA), using devices to spy on the American people, with the intention of security. In my personal opinion, given the current situation of our government, the NSA should not be able to spy on the common people, unless it is solely under good intentions, such as terrorism.

The NSA should not be able to spy on the people of the United States for a number of reasons. First and foremost, such an act invades a person’s personal space and destroys their state of mind. In doing so, a possible outcome will be that they can no longer trust their internet-connected devices, thus further destroying their mental well-being. Furthermore, along with the current state of the world as a whole, it presents the chance of the government being able to control the citizen’s every move. If this were to happen, the once free country of the United States would no longer be the freedom it stands for. Lastly, it would be a huge violation of constitutional rights, since the right to privacy exists and is implied in the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

However, others might think differently from my own opinion. For example, others may state that the NSA definitely has a right to look into the activities of citizens, and in doing so, they would be able to prevent terrorism. In addition, they may also say that the government will be able to regulate widespread piracy, and prevent further illegal actions.

Photo @ 2014 Mike Mozart (CC by 2.0)

Photo @ 2014 Mike Mozart (CC by 2.0)

I, personally, somewhat disagree with the statement of the others, while also understanding the point they put forth. Although they bring up good points, I disagree with those statements for many reasons. First, I believe the NSA should not spy because it disrupts the constitutional rights of the citizens. Although it may regulate piracy, piracy is in itself still controversial. Last and most importantly, it will present the possibility of the American government inching closer to a tyrannical power, thus destroying the freedom it was built upon.

Evidently and most clearly, the privacy of the United States and its people is what matters the most. The NSA does not have a right to spy on its own citizens, and if it had to, it must be under extreme regulations. As a population, our spoken will is what matters the most, and we must tell the government that they do not have the right to spy on us. It is a violation of the constitution in doing so, and such an act will destroy the freedom and prosperity that we as a people have worked so hard to achieve. And in the words of one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin states, “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

– Bryan


Arc 1: into the realm of another

After hearing a good friend of mine give some positive feedback on this fanfiction, I decided to go ahead and keep posting in hopes of being able to give you guys something to read! 🙂 If you don’t know what’s going on, please refer to the older post to get caught up.

Photo @2011 by Sweetie187 [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Photo @2011 by Sweetie187 [CC BY-SA 2.0]

“Something just doesn’t add up right now, Sota. But lets just go to the place and set up shop. I’m sure it can’t be worse than Ronnar.” Said Drem as he starts to walk out with Sota. Sota follows Drem out the room as nostalgia strikes the two about the events 3 years ago on the planet Ronnar. The words “Reapers of Ronnar” echo into Sota’s mind.


The eyrie dark of night has befell Prime. A young man with tan skin stumbles down a dimly lit street while turning his head left and right with paranoia. His clothes match that of a delinquent whose ready to attend an electronica concert. The jacket and pants give off the gritty dark brown and dark green toned color. His paranoia is starting to attack his mind with full force as every little nook and cranny of this street is filled with trash, homeless civilians, thugs and small shops.

“Gotta get to that ramen bar…” said Jacob as he holds on to a small 3 inch rectangular device in his pocket. “I hope those nitwits actually show up and figured out that I couldn’t talk due to the tracking ability of the 9 Breakerss after me.” Jacobs murmurs to himself consistently. Jacobs turns the corner of an intersection to see the sign of the ramen bar he has to meet Sota and Drem at. His heart fills with excitement that he might not die tonight, not here, not at the “lows”.

Jacobs approaches the ramen bar but swings his head in a constant motion making sure no one is following him. Before he is able to turn his attention to the front again, his neck can feel a quick arm around his throat. The force jerks Jacobs into the alley and before he can pull out his hidden projectile based weapon in his jacket, it was disarmed by another pair of hands. Jacob’s life was about to be over.

“Jacobs, right?”

“What’s it to you losers. I ain’t tellin yah crap.” responded Jacob as he barely managed words in between gasps for air.

“Let him go, Drem. It’s him.” Drem releases the young man as he falls to his knees.

“Were you compromised?” ask Sota.

Post-AP Stress

It’s amazing yet hard to comprehend that my junior year in high school is nearly over. At too many points it felt too drawn out, too stressful, too unbearable. Yet, all I have is regret for it now, as the final three weeks approach quicker and quicker. I could’ve done more, I could’ve used my time more wisely. Personally, it isn’t until a school year is near-over when I realize how fast life moves, and that’s an unfortunate fact. On the flip side, this post-AP testing stress is comforting, ironically. It’s a different type of stress, not one of tests and homework but rather creating.


Photo ©2014 by Edward Fahman [CC BY 2.0]

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Words and Actions

We’ve all heard the common expression, “actions speak louder than words.” This expression is somewhat of a guiding rule in our daily dialogue and how we should overcome problems that involve speech. Our class is beginning to read The Catcher and The Rye and we’ve decided to use a guiding question as class to use during our discussions. The question is, “Under what circumstances are words more effective than actions?” There are many circumstances, probably more than I know, and hopefully this question can be heavily discussed as we discuss and analyze the material in which we’re reading. In this blog, I will try to answer the question using real-life examples.

Photo @2013 by BK [CC BY 2.0]

Photo @2013 by BK [CC BY 2.0]

Some examples include when talking to people with higher positions in life than us. For example a student to a teacher or staff member, or an employee to a boss. If they’re discussing how one’s work ethic has been they want you to respond on why it’s been going so well or so bad. If they ask one to work harder or perform with better results, then actions might be a better way to go.

Usually using words over actions will depend on the situation. Generally, words are better when carrying out conversations and actions are better when you want results.

Knowing when to use words over actions is essential to one’s social success and how well off they are in life. I believe that if a person learns when to use actions and words they’ll have more friends and more people who like them. They will appreciate your sense of social well-being and how you treat them based on how you use your words versus actions. With job life, if you know when to use words effectively in the job place or during an interview, you’ll be able to either advance in a job or get hired.

The circumstances do matter and even though it might seem difficult deciding when to use words versus actions, it’s a great skill to have. I hope to see this question be answered better in our upcoming reading and how it applies to the book.

Are You Ready?

To all of my fellow AP English Language and Composition students across the United States: Are you ready for the test? I hope the answer is yes! We’ve been preparing quite a lot here in our class and I feel like everyone is prepared for anything that can come up during the test. I would say my biggest weakness right now is the multiple choice because I’ve always had trouble with reading a passage and then answering the following questions pertaining to the passage. Now with the intense vocabulary, it makes it even harder for me. With all worries aside, it’s best that we all focus on relaxing and trusting ourselves that we can and will pass the test!

Photo @2012 by Benjamin Chun [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Photo @2012 by Benjamin Chun [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Continue reading

Arc 1: Things Get Real

If you’re confused on where this is. Please prefer to earlier post for more information.

“Old man says he received the information in an email from his informant, Jacob.  He says he fears for his life as he is in possession of something he can’t send over the net. He has it on a small data drive.” said Drem as he grabs his two handguns.

“Asshole didn’t say what he has on there that is so important?” Continue reading

More About Me

I have been a motivated student throughout all of my school years. I strive to achieve while challenging myself at the highest level. After completing middle school with a 4.0 GPA, I began my freshman year in high school with honors and AP classes and have since taken advantage of as many AP classes as possible. Currently, as a junior, I am taking 5 AP classes along with Honors Music with my current rank among my peers being 1 out of 820 students. My current ACT score is 33.


Photo @ 2005 by dcJohn [ CC by 2.0 ]

My goal has never been to be at the very top of my class academically. It has, however, been my desire to learn as much as I can that has put me there. Although I consider myself to be an intelligent person, I feel that it is my curiosity, love of learning, and the tireless effort I have put into my studies that has brought me this far.

In addition to academics, I have participated in many clubs and have devoted many hours to volunteer service. A passion of mine is music. I have expressed this passion through being an active member in my high school marching band and through participation in Huntington Beach Union High School District Honor Band and Jazz Band.

I seek out new learning opportunities on my own. Growing up, I have had to take this approach. You see, neither of my parents have a college degree. And, although they have been supportive as well as loving parents, they know little of what it takes to get into college or how to succeed there. Being a first generation college student, I have many questions. Most of the answers will probably come with time and experience.

Throughout my high school experience, one topic that keeps coming up in my mind is whether it’s better to take it slow and mainly study one subject or if it’s smarter to do what I’m doing, and take a full course load while I still have free education. In my personal opinion, I think it would be more interesting to focus on one subject, but for the sake of college admissions and learning more about the world around me all at once, my schedule is what predominates students today.

Although it’s a bit sad and unfortunate that students are seemingly thrown into this situation, it’s also good life experience, being able to handle everything at once. Doing this type of work now will make stress easier to handle in the future.

-Bryan Clements