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Joseph Kaminski

History, Sociology, & More

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October 21, 2017

Cold Case: Ötzi the Iceman

Ötzi the Iceman is perhaps the most internationally recognized and well-known example of a non-Egyptian mummified figure. His mysterious life and death is the perfect example of being able to understand an entire eradicated culture through the remains of a single individual. Ötzi was discovered in September of 1991 by tourists who were hiking the

History

Profits and Costs of Slavery Up to and After the Civil War

How did the economic developments of the period 1790-1860 influence political stalemate, secession, and war? What were the economic and social costs of this road to abolition? While other nations – such as Britain and France – managed to put an end to slavery in a way that prevented political discourse, the United States of

Individuality and Communalism in Colonial Economics

The features of capitalism have evolved throughout both history and society, and it has been immensely affected by the pressures from both individuals and institutions. Although capitalism has played a rather crucial role in the shaping of American economic and geopolitical thought, modern historiography has questioned the foundations of our colonial economics. Until recently, American

Instagramming Your Individualism: A Simple Way to Archive History

I’ve found myself writing a lot about individualism in all senses – of sociology, of anthropology, and of history – during my absence from this site; and I’d like to dedicate this specific, albeit brief, article towards the ‘little guys’ in history. As a historian, I feel as if the foundation to my personal life is

Understanding The Annals: Tacitus and the Ancient Structure of History – Part III: Republican Values & Authorship

This is Part 3 of 4 in the “Understanding The Annals: Tacitus and the Ancient Structure of History” miniseries on JosephKaminski.org. The question at hand here is “Tacitus is frequently considered by scholars a Republican author.  What do you think scholars mean by this and do you agree with this characterization?” You can click here

Professionalizing History 10: The Humanities and The Sciences

On January 9th, 2016, I found myself sitting in a class titled the exact same name as this series: Professionalizing History. The professor started the very first class with a shocking statement: “What’s wrong with all of you?” followed up with “Why on earth would you all decide to waste your lives on a subject

Why Did the Prohibition Movement Gain Support Between 1900 and 1920?

The temperance movement, which at its peak was known as the prohibition movement, discouraged the use and consumption of alcoholic beverages throughout the United Sates. Since the use of alcohol was often associated with poverty and insanity, considerable social ills throughout the states, reform movements oftentimes had temperance within their platforms. The prohibition movement didn’t

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Politics

Catalonia and The Independence Movement in Europe

I haven’t discussed much on the Catalan referendum and the quest for independence in Spain’s wealthiest region; but I do believe it’s an important discussion to have. If you haven’t been paying much attention to world news, I do suggest reading on and finding other news articles on the subject afterwards. It’s an intriguing and

How Did Progressive Reforms Affect the Power of Party Bosses?

The main objective of the Progressive movement was to eliminate the corruption seen throughout the American government. Targeting political machines and their corporate bosses, the Progressives believed that by taking down corrupt representatives, America could finally establish a direct democracy. Another main goal of the Progressive movement was to regulate monopolies and bust up the trusts

Corporatism, the Political Zombie

The Democratic Party elites and corporatist shills have spent the last few months preaching “unity” and “moving forward” while hypocritically bashing the progressive wing that has proven itself to be necessary in order to win actual elections. Let me be frank: the Democratic Party, the political affiliation I have found myself to be apart of in the

25th Amendment? The Resistance Embraces the Idea of President Pence

What should be considered an impeachable offense by a sitting U.S. President? Violating the U.S. Constitution? A scandal of international proportions? A war justified by lies and waged on innocent people? Murdering innocent people and children remotely using drones? Using the office of President to directly and indirectly from the federal government? According to the

The Resistance: A Failing Neoliberal Fracture

There’s been a lot of talk about the alt-right in recent months. We’ve had our eyes on the current disaster laid out by neocons and neocon-lites that we haven’t really had much time to analyze the differences between the ‘fracturing left’. A long time ago on the site, I talked about how political parties can

Half the Sky: Emancipation, Rights, and Educating Women

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is an intriguing book – published in 2009 – that became the perfect candidate for a contemporary movie on ‘rights’. Essentially, the film (and book) showcases the stories of women of all backgrounds from across the globe in an attempt to showcase “gender-based crimes” that

Trump’s Turnkey Tyranny and Obama’s Drones

We must not propagate Barack Obama’s eight year tenure as President until we understand the consequences behind everything in his term. Democrats – do not shout about how 44 was the “greatest president in recent memory” just yet. Republicans – do not refer to how 44 was the “worst president in American history” just yet…or

Meh! Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders Debate on Obamacare

If you would have told me this time last year that Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders were going to debate over the topic of Obamacare, I would have leaped for joy. I was a very strong supporter for Bernie Sanders and a very strong mocker of Ted Cruz during the 2016

The Department of Justice and Justifying the Unjustifiable

It appears to be that Donald Trump’s administration can’t grasp the reality of what the Department of Justice is supposed to do. Like any authoritarian leader rooted in widespread fear and closely cornered narcissism, Donald Trump has failed to differentiate what it means to pledge allegiance to the constitution and to pledge allegiance to himself. Well, like any fine

The Discharge of Blue Dogism and The New Gilded Age

As I’ve been discussing for the past few months, Americans are currently witnessing the end of an era for political elitism. The 2016 election cycle will go down in history as unprecedented; as concerning as the rise of Hitler during downdraught Germany and as destructive as the fall of Constantinople in 1453 was to the Roman

Nazi Punching and Dirty, Old Fascism

It appears to be that 2017 will be the start of severe political discourse. As I’ve discussed previously on this website, the self-proclaimed “Alt-Right” is a rising force in American politics that has finally made its way into White House briefings. It is important for all Americans to realize the true nature of “Alt-Right” behavior

Hillary’s Health (and Other Presidents…)

Let me explain Hillary’s Health in a historical sense. The concept of attacking a presidential candidate over their physical (or in Trump’s case, mental) health isn’t something new. However, if you take a look at American history, it hasn’t been quite uncommon for presidents and vice presidents to make their way to the White House with incredible ailments you wouldn’t believe of.

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Anthropology

Anthropology of ‘Dying Peoples’

When asked for evidence for either argument on the topic of another world, we (to a certain extent) must admit to ourselves that there is none. We, on both sides of this rather controversial argument, attach ourselves to 3,000-year-old literature or modern-day scientific theories in attempt to prove that our existence means something…anything. Why must there be a

Sociology

The Sociological Story of Fake Friends

It is our primary goal, as members of a productive society, to interact with one another. It is a reaction within us – on a more psychological level – that is made up of one part emotional involvement and one part cognitive effort. This social interaction allows us to communicate with each other, to express

Education

Rewards with No Risk: A Broken Grading System

The problem behind any grading system is that every single one of them relate back to standards; and the first question that could be asked is this: who is behind the structures of the grading system? On a local level, it appears as if every teacher has full control of the criteria within their subject.

Education

Kaganistic Rituals of Modern Education: A Criticism on Cooperative Learning

Many school districts, especially in the high school division of our educational system, are lovingly embracing the Kagan style of learning and bringing forth an age of micromanagement in a system that isn’t structurally accepting of it. On paper, the methods of cooperative learning that “structure positive interdependence” seem relatively indisputable. In practice, however, the

Guest Writers

John McCain Deserves Criticism, Not Sympathy or Admiration

John McCain deserves severe criticism more than he deserves sympathy or admiration. Yesterday, John McCain, despite his announced diagnosis of brain cancer and resulting hospitalization, returned from his home state of Arizona to cast his vote in the U.S. Senate to go forward with the legislative process of repealing Obamacare. Or, as CNN’s Stephen Collinson wrote

Technology

Twitter Moments and How to Cite Tweets

Twitter may have started off as a quirky social media platform, but since its initial creation in 2006 it has been able to captivate more than the youngest generations. In 2012, over one hundred million users sent out three hundred and forty million tweets a day. In 2013, the platform was hailed as one of the top ten most

Philosophy

Positivism and Interactionists and Whatnot

The idea behind subjectivity in sociological research being invalid is supported by positivists; positivism is a specific philosophical and sociological perspective that states that positive knowledge is based on natural phenomena, and therefore interactive studies that include participants along with the researcher are invalid. Information must be interpreted through reason and logic, coming from derived

History

Ten Cent Beer Night

On June 4th, 1974, a baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and the Texas Rangers essentially proved that humankind has some pretty sad flaws in a rather hilarious way. The Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians, attempting to draw in as many fans as possible, thought it would be a great idea to hold a promotion

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