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Achieving Peace in the Arab World

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Achieving Peace in the Arab World

The world is currently faced with crisis after crisis as different countries try to rebuild their institutions. Dictatorial regimes have been toppled by their own citizens but in some countries, clashes are still going on as different communities fight for the control of crucial resources worth millions of dollars. From Libya, Central African Republic to Syria and Afghanistan, there are reported cases of war. However, one hotspot that has been the subject of international diplomatic activities for some time now is the Arab world. This region is predominantly Islamic and herein lies another problem: the war on terror targets radicals with a Muslim background since they are supporters of the jihad ideology. As an intervention measure to bring peace, a contingent of international security forces were deployed in a country like Iraq to restore normalcy. Others are present in various other countries. While some feel that these troops have been a unifying factor, others think that they have been hugely polarizing (Mockaitis 155). Each country in the Arab world has an army and a police service. Their activities have also come under sharp focus for either praise or criticism. So then, what is the dual role of the security sector in the Arab world as both a source of political stability and instability?

Definitely, they have made considerable progress in peace building but lasting peace and stability has remained elusive in most of these countries. It is not in doubt that there was a time in the Arab world when there was constant cross border fighting and internal strife. Israel and Palestine have been locked in an on and off provocation of war for decades. In addition, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have just come from popular uprisings commonly called “Arab springs” that are threatening the stability of those countries now under revolutionaries. On the other hand, an all out civil war is unfolding in Syria while the Iraq invasion and possible exit of NATO troops still causes jitters a decade after its start. Similarly, Somalia is home to terrorist cells while Sudan is facing off with rebels who want to control the country’s oil export business. All these are examples of Arab world countries that at some point have sought and gained or are denied foreign military assistance in their fight for democracy. However, on some occasions, the foreign troops made forceful entry usually with the help of United Nation’s resolutions (Holsti 42).

The Arab troops have managed to contain an escalation of violence. Most citizens of these countries tend to be sympathetic to their armies and view them as brothers and sisters who understand their pain and are willing to join them whenever they protest against the excesses of an administration. For example, during the January 25, 2011 uprising in Egypt, former president Mubarak had ordered the army to crash the protests by all means necessary. However, the military generals refused to assault the protesters and instead dispersed them using less violent means. In the streets, the protestors chanted songs in praise of the military and repeated the phrase “the people and the army are one” whenever they confronted each other. This shows that the army had real influence and used that as leverage to maintain stability instead of causing further provocation that would have enraged the citizens and plunge the country into further chaos.

The security sector has also stepped in to ensure certain vital normal operations of a country are not interrupted. When the rebels overthrew Ben Ali in Tunisia, some went about looting of even the centuries old artifacts that formed part of a World heritage site. The security apparatus were quick to intervene and managed to secure a sizeable portion of the manuscripts. The secured artifacts were enough to allow some form of continuity in the tourism sector. This is important because Tunisia’s economy relies heavily on revenue generated from tourism and if such plundering of national resources was left to continue, then the economy would flop. This would then have led to massive unemployment or inflation that would make people angry hence more protests and regime changes.

The countries in the Arab world form part of the Arab League. This body is aimed at enabling co-operation on economic, cultural and military affairs among others (Sabri 118). The treaties that they sign are legally binding. Therefore, each country depends on its security division to ensure implementation of government policies. Their relevance was observed when a country had to implement austerity measures that were unpopular with the citizens but necessary in the long term. By providing protection, they ensured a smooth running of government functions and by extension political stability, as they did not tolerate any disruption in the execution of state affairs.

The size and might of a country’s defense forces has always been a source of pride and a bargaining chip to act as a deterrent against any form of external aggression (Bugajski and Teleki 193). The security service officers in the Arab world are no exception. Sometimes, due to proximity and sharing of resources among countries, some view themselves as being obligated to dictate to other smaller countries how they should run their affairs, like the Gulf War between Iraq and Kuwait. Some even go as far as sponsoring rival leaders in other countries in order to influence the outcome of elections. These destabilizing machinations are always thwarted with the threat of retaliation incase of a military strike. Therefore, this brings tranquility among neighboring countries. Furthermore, neighboring countries periodically hold joint military exercises in which they exchange ideas and skills on how to deal with enemy combatants.

Likewise, police officers routinely put their lives on the line for the sake of peace (Miller 5). Most of these countries are full of sectarian violence. A few of them are a haven for terrorists whose main agenda is to spread Sharia law everywhere-which can only be achieved by gaining political power. The security officers are tasked to patrol the streets and man roadblocks in order to fish out these dangerous criminals. Although sometimes they are poorly equipped, they actively perform their duties and have been successful in intercepting these criminals before they commit their heinous crimes. With fewer lawbreakers and less bombings in the streets, public confidence is boosted and investors are able to trade. This stable environment would lead to improvement in infrastructure and the general way of life.

In contrast, the security sector has also been a divisive body in some of these Arab countries. This is because they organize and literally participate in coups whereby they declare themselves as the legitimate rulers. For example, the recent ouster of Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood by general Al-Sisi has received widespread condemnation as being a coup. Clashes erupted when that happened as opponents and supporters met. These protests and demonstrations have turned violent and deadly thus Egypt is unstable and now faces an uncertain future. This is a clear indication of the negativity of the sector, which after an initial coup, is always viewed with suspicion because they can never be trusted to be a neutral body.

It is a common practice in almost all countries world wide not to reveal most details about security contracts and budgets for fear of endangering national security. However, some personnel in the security sector have taken advantage of this form of confidentiality to be corrupt and also steal money meant for certain government projects. When these scandals are revealed, the public is up in arms due to the inequality in income levels. Some of these accusations end up bringing down governments or seriously disturbing the prevailing status quo that is critical in promoting development. Iraq under Maliki is a good example. Massive allegations of corruption in the security sector has paralyzed government functions and even almost led to a vote of no confidence in him.

Additionally, in some Arab countries that are undergoing reconstruction like Somalia, the security officers are either abstaining from duty or doing more lucrative tasks during working hours. Some give protection to wealthy individuals for a fee while others engage in business activities when they should be working. This lack of commitment has led to villagers creating their own civilian “police officers” to enhance security in their immediate environs. Eventually, it is these groups of youth who form criminal gangs under the command of a particular warlord and start terrorizing residents and government forces. Depending on their level of organization, financial resources, amount of weapons and their ideology, they could pose a significant risk to the government of the day. This clearly illustrates the danger that lurks incase rogue security officers are left undetected or unsupervised.

On the international scale, there are a few countries that have had foreign troops on their soil-American forces have been to Iraq while NATO troops are contemplating invading Syria. In the case of marines in Iraq, their contribution has been twofold. They are liked by a section of the people and hated in equal measure by others as well. Although not all troops have pulled out of Iraq, during the war they managed to win the hearts and minds of the people and were able to bring relative peace and stability (Ṣabrī 118). Having helped them oust a dictator and initiate a return to democratic rule, they had put the country on the road to prosperity. However, they faced their share of controversies because the troops were judged by America’s other actions in various parts of the world. There were those who felt victimized especially by the use of drone strikes and so they began targeting the marines for revenge attack. The resulting bloodbath threatened the fragile peace process and rocked the stability that had been painstakingly won.

Therefore, the Arab world is one of the volatile areas of the world where achieving and maintaining peace and stability has been the concern of major world powers (Magstadt 498). The security machineries in those countries (the military and police services) play a pivotal role in securing any gains made. They too help in maintaining law and order. However, they too can be a destabilizing force whose actions may make or break the fabric of a nation. They have complementary roles and for the sake of the Arab world, their security sector has made tremendous progress in achieving peace and stability but due to challenges, there is no total absence of war or tensions. Suspicions among member countries are still there and the war rhetoric keeps being repeated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Bugajski, Janusz, and Ilona Teleki. Atlantic Bridges: America’s New European Allies. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007. 193. Print.

Holsti, Ole R. American Public Opinion on the Iraq War. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2011. 42. Print.

Magstadt, Thomas M. Nations and Governments: Comparative Politics in Regional Perspective. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991. 498. Print.

Miller, Laurence. Practical Police Psychology: Stress Management and Crisis Intervention for Law Enforcement. Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas, 2006.5. Print.

Mockaitis, Thomas R. The Iraq War Encyclopedia. S. l: 2013. 155. Print.

Ṣabrī, Niḍāl R. Financial Markets and Institutions in the Arab Economy. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2008. 118. Print.

Stages in Human Development

Stages in Human Development

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Stages in Human Development

When one is born, they are subjected to various influences depending on the environment. As clearly stated by Captain (1984), all these changes contribute to the growth and maturity of an individual and are essential in shaping various traits that form the character of a person. From birth, there are different changes that occur in the development of a person. Just as Craig & Dunn (2007) state, the stages of growth are gradual and are accompanied by specific habits that make a person acquire a certain behavior. This is what makes people judge someone and they associate that individual with a specific personality. Normally, so many factors contribute to the overall growth of a person but mostly the surroundings play a big role.

The very first stages of birth are marked by a longing for basic needs. A child is so attached to the parents especially the mother and depends on them entirely for the supply of food and other needs to satisfy his or her desires. After a while, they become curious and want to discover more about the environment around them. However, still the parents provide a strong sense of security thereby enabling the child to pursue other interests some of which are dangerous to their health. The parents are advised to maintain the good rapport with their child in order to avoid truancy and a feeling of mistrust to creep in. Furthermore, if the bond between them breaks, the child might begin doubting their ability to handle problems. This is consistent with Kelcourse’s (2004) thoughts.

As the child grows, so does their sense of judgment. They start to believe in themselves and are not afraid to try new things. They also seem to set goals for themselves and are not ashamed to miss their targets. Yelling or throwing objects are common at this stage. With time, they become more responsible and confident in their own abilities although disobedience and rebellion is a common feature. Thereafter, they become teenagers and begin to express their wishes more openly. They also know what they want but undergo an identity crisis in which they are adventurous even sexually.

Consequently, they reach an age of intimacy and get in to relationships. This leads to marriage since a person has now reached adulthood. It is also a time when according to Alexander and Langer (1990), a person is very active, for example, in their place of work. As one grows older, he or she becomes less productive and analyses the accomplishments made. Incase there are goals that were never met in life, the person starts to despair but if someone was successful they become happy and look forward to seeing the next generation through their grandchildren. At this stage, a person is very old, is approaching the end of his life, and may die due to an illness or by accident .The cycle then repeats itself.

            I come from a family that has a quick temper and this I inherited from my parents. Growing up, we used to hang around the nearest basketball court with my friends especially during weekends. Usually, we played against boys of a different neighborhood and whoever won had the bragging rights because it was a big deal. I remember out of frustration since we were losing the game, picking a fight with one of the boys. The fight that ensued was so brutal and I had several bruises. That experience taught me to be patient and never provoke anyone. Another summer, we had gone on a vacation with my parents and at the airport, I witnessed a man being harassed by one of the customs officials simply because he was a Muslim! That ordeal was traumatizing. Indeed, I agree with Papalia (1978) when he states that we should be neither stereotypical nor discriminative.

 

 

 

References

Papalia, D. E., & Olds, S. W. (1978). Human development. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Alexander, C. N., & Langer, E. J. (1990). Higher stages of human development: Perspectives on adult growth. New York: Oxford University Press.

Craig, G. J., & Dunn, W. L. (2007). Understanding human development. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Captain, P. A. (1984). Eight stages of Christian growth: Human development in psycho-spiritual terms. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall.

Kelcourse, F. B. (2004). Human development and faith: Life-cycle stages of body, mind, and soul. St. Louis, Mo: Chalice Press.

 

 

 

 

The Success of the Declaration of Independence

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The Success of the Declaration of Independence

Introduction

The long road to freedom was not an easy one. The kinds of rights enjoyed today in America were unheard of before and during the American Revolutionary War. The British through King George III reined over thirteen colonies in America in that period. There were certain laws and subsequent actions from the British that made the American colonies unhappy. By voicing their displeasure, they angered the British who in turn became even more oppressive. This led the colonists to start a rebellion in search of autonomy. After much consultation, the colonies settled on a document that clearly stated their grievances and the position they were going to take regarding their association with Britain. With that, the colonies adopted the declaration of independence and this marked the birth of freedom from England since it captured the aspirations of the American public (Wood and Wood 88).

Discussion

Primarily, the highest decision-making body at that time was the British parliament. From it came various laws that had far-reaching repercussions to all territories under British rule. The decisions of the British parliament were not open for questioning, let alone a show of defiance. Whichever territory acted contrary to such decisions would suffer severe consequences. The American colonies felt that it was wrong to follow directives from the British parliament yet they had no people to represent them in that institution. They argued that if they had had representatives who were to voice their opposition on certain issues and defeated by a majority, they would have no problem complying. Therefore, they settled on the declaration of independence because once they were free, they would rely on where they had representation-Congress alone.

Initially, whenever the colonies had any disagreements with England, they would petition them. However, there was no chance for them to say what they had in mind. This was troubling. Already, there was growing anti-British sentiments across the country especially after Paine published an article in the popular pamphlet, Common Sense. Thus, they now had an opportunity to air their views freely while making America independent through a document that was legally binding.

In addition, the British made some set of rules that were discriminatory. Among them were the Stamp Act and the Townshed Act. The Townshed Act for example, sought to compel the colonists to pay taxes as a way of repaying the debt of British assistance in the French and Indian war (Russell 40). This was unacceptable to the colonists because they were not under direct occupation by the British. The enactment of the Tea party Act led to riots and a boycott of British products, which hampered trade. The colonists, in their wisdom included the issue of taxation in the draft and the role of government towards that thereby closing the door on dependency on foreigners.

Similarly, they eloquently denied the dictatorial notion that all laws coming from Britain were mandatory. Particularly, they wanted to cease all formal ties with them but they needed proof of unanimity among the colonies. Furthermore, they had either to be submissive to England or go to war and since they wanted to go to war, all colonies had to seek permission from their governments.  A document signed by representatives from all colonies was therefore essential to act as proof of unity. This document captured their war rhetoric and their desire for cessation from England.

Similarly, there was consensus among the colonies that there are some fundamental human rights. Thus, not even a government can give or take them at will. This was in response to the British excesses. There was also the important requirement that it was only through a motion in the continental congress that their wishes could succeed. This prompted the colonies to form a committee of five people to draw the text of that motion, much of which had contributions from Thomas Jefferson. His famous remark ,”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that 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” is remembered to date (McLaughlin 95). With this, the stage was set for defection from England.

On the contrary, the war was unjustified because the colonies should not have refused to pay their taxes. It does not make sense because the British had sacrificed many resources in helping the colonies with territories formerly under countries that participated in the Indian war and the French war. It would have been a good gesture of thankfulness for the colonies to pay taxes for them to continue enjoying those and other benefit.

Conclusion

Generally, the colonies benefited from being free of British rule and American’s way of life improved in a free society. All this is courtesy of the text in the declaration of independence, which heavily influenced the contents of the American constitution in use (McLaughlin 104).

 

 

 

Works Cited

McLaughlin, Andrew C. A Constitutional History of the United States. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1935.104. Print.

Russell, David L. The American Revolution in the Southern Colonies. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co, 2000.40. Print

Wood, Gordon S, and Louise G. Wood. Russian-American Dialogue on the American Revolution. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1995.88. Print.

Synopsis of Diary

Synopsis of Diary

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Synopsis of Diary

The diary is about the time spent with officials from the correctional department and the juvenile offenders as well. It begins on September 23, 2013. It offers a glimpse into the inner workings of the judicial service system because it has quite a number of descriptions of courtroom proceedings. Mostly he spends time shuttling from one probation officer to another. However, at some point he gets to participate in some procedural matter. For example, he was involved in curfew checks. Shockingly, on a separate day, there is a bomb scare and police officers who later give the all clear after ascertaining that it was a false alarm surround the whole courthouse. The routine is repeated for a couple of more days and ends on November 25,2013 with a plea by one of the offenders to a judge requesting to be released into community custody to serve the last days of his sentence.

Inmate population varies a great deal and is witnessed on different occasions. The offenders come from different backgrounds and represent a wide variety of ethnic communities. There are Hispanics, whites and black Americans with the latter being the predominant race. The usual perception of law enforcement’s bias towards blacks is reinforced within the cellblocks and most black offenders complain of being victimized even when they are innocent. This attitude boils over in to the courtroom by the way they address the judges as they go about their defense. Some are more conservative than others are and follow court proceedings with decorum while others are more outspoken. Most of the time, this lands them in trouble as this is considered contempt of court.

In addition, the ages of inmates vary from the youth to those who are elderly. Most of the senior citizens who are inmates have served long sentences with some of them serving life sentences. Usually, these criminals have performed very serious crimes and are considered dangerous to the society. They can be spotted in handcuffs and a few of the inmates live in fear of them. Similarly, among the inmates are those whose health has deteriorated and require medical attention. Occasionally, the judge issues an order demanding the prison authorities to hospitalize an inmate, much to their relief.

A few are people who had decent jobs before their incarceration but many of them are men who had abandoned their families. Their life stories are somehow similar because they talk about alcohol and drug abuse. These types of confessions help to build rapport among inmates and it is at such sessions that they talk about their different caseloads. They go as far as advising one another on the right channels to follow in order to secure an acquittal. Since these sessions are interesting, they are angry when prison warders break up their meeting for another normal day routine like when its time for chores or lock up.

Prisoners, even though they are lawbreakers, they too have certain rights protected by the constitution through the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, Amendment VIII. Most of them are observed to be eager to be granted certain rights while others are seen to be complacent. For example, one inmate protested that he should not be locked in solitary confinement, where there is no natural light or even any form of contact with another human being for more than twenty-three hours. This is because such punishments lead to mental illnesses that could make the inmate a danger not only to other inmates but also to himself. The high cost of maintaining such an individual would fall on the relevant government department.

Overcrowding in most prisons is also a common feature that is experienced firsthand. This leads to poor sanitation, which makes inmates to live in unhygienic conditions thereby exposing themselves to diseases. These deplorable conditions subject them to inhumane treatment yet they have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. Just because they are in prison due to horrible acts does not mean that they are denied their basic rights. The conditions of the cells are an eyesore and it is particularly tough for new entrants who have to get used to the foul smell. Even though some cannot say it verbally, the expressions on their faces reveals their hated of their surroundings and it is a pity to watch them have to endure such conditions.

On other days, some prison officials are seen ignoring a prisoner’s request for reading material. This is a clear violation of the inmate’s rights because they are entitled access to material to either read or write. Furthermore, they too can practice the religion of their choice without discrimination. Most of the time, the inmates try to fight back but the prison officials do not budge insisting that they know what is best for them. This condescending attitude is what leads to conflicts in the relationship between the two sides and usually, as seen in one instance, the warder ends up physically assaulting the inmate thus fueling the tension.

A striking feature that was realized was the number of programs available for the inmates to assist them in their reform process. The Substance Abuse Program (SAP) was so touchy and eye opening because it was motivating and inspiring at the same time. The inmates were advised on how to gradually stop their addiction with real life examples of other inmates in similar circumstances given. They were also encouraged on ways to develop a positive thinking mentality. A few of them had their substance abuse problems mentioned in their court cases. However, some were quick to defend themselves

There are community-based programs that were noted during the course of doing rounds. Some of these include assisting former inmates in their quest to readjust to normal life in the community and ensuring that they are reintegrated into the society. They are even given pointers on how to relate to their families as they embark on a journey to rebuild their lives. Extension services like granting of recommendations for easy access to community resources by prison officials to reformed inmates were also witnessed. This was seen as a way to foster good behavior among inmates during their time in prison .Additionally, there was a General Education development (GED) program in which qualified professors come to the prison grounds and evaluate the progress of an inmates academic ability after which tests are administered. This aids in keeping them focused and prevents them from being idle. It is also a safe bet for faster integration upon release due to the educational background. The practicum concludes with a final appearance in a courtroom whereby yet another offender is pleading for leniency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela

He is revered and respected but a few negative attributes are not commonly talked about. During the struggle to end apartheid, he was instrumental in leading the negotiations with the then president, F. W. De Klerk. This was by virtue of his position as president of the African National Congress, his 27-year detention in Robben Island and the broad national and international appeal that his quest had generated. He succeeded in negotiating a political settlement that later made him president but did not secure economic rights for the majority black population. He failed to implement the nationalization of the gold and diamond mines as per the economic charter that had been approved. This meant that the whites still maintained control of key sectors of the economy, a situation that made him follow orders from them. For example, he was accused of handing over a draft ANC economic program to Harry Oppenheimer, former chairperson of Anglo-American and Debeers mining companies for approval before presenting it to the people. Mandela made revisions to suit Oppenheimer’s and other businesspersons’ wishes. This makes Nelson Mandela hypocritical to the cause of black empowerment.

In addition, he failed to fulfill his wish to redistribute land to simplify the chances of blacks owning this valuable asset. He did so by going against public opinion and making the Reserve Bank independent of government control thereby placing it under private ownership whose owners were well-known apartheid sympathizers. Armed with the backing of the new constitution that he himself promulgated, the land question became very emotive because there was a clause in the constitution that protected private property of which the Reserve Bank owned in large quantities. Effectively, it reduces his moral standing as a man who cannot bend the rules to benefit a few people at the expense of the majority. This is in contrast to one of his speeches in which he said, “…I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities…” (Mandela’s Rivonia Trial Speech 1).

He is known to have used peaceful means to end apartheid but this is factually incorrect. In fact, he was one of the founders of ANC’s military wing called Umkhontho we Sizwe which was responsible for using violence especially bombings targeting colonialists. This was as a response to the constant discrimination against blacks. This is what often led to him to be arrested on charges of plotting to overthrow the government. He would then be jailed and occasionally released but his longest stint in jail was for 27 years.

Consequently, the often near religious following and respect that he commands worldwide is a sign of pretence of the masses. They do not want to discuss the flaws of Mandela just because he achieved greater things for his fellow citizens than his failures. This is wrong because it makes him seem supernatural yet he did mistakes just like any other normal human being would. The series of disappointments that he committed should not be overlooked because some of them are the causes of the current problems facing South Africa. For instance, wealth inequality among the blacks and whites. The gap between the rich and the poor could not have been that big if he had fixed these problems early enough. Therefore, in a way, he let down the black community and to some extent did not realize his goal of equality for all types of people.

 

 

Work Cited

Mandela’s Rivonia Trial Speech. News24. January 24, 2011. Web. December 3, 2013.

African Civilization

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African Civilization

Africa covers a wide geographical area inhabited by people with diverse cultures. It is therefore home to people of different political and economic categories. The large area under which Africa lies has ecological variations like those that some areas have deserts while others contain jungles. For example, whereas Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania is capped with a permanent glacier, the southern tip of Africa has penguins. The entire different climatic conditions center on the equator that runs right through the middle of the continent hence the cool wet air of the south Atlantic meets the warm dry air from the Sahara Desert. In addition, most of the African soil has large quantities of iron and salt but it is low on nutrients. Furthermore, it is often susceptible to soil erosion.

Africans of Egyptian descent were the first to introduce hunting, gathering and farming as ways of life largely due to the fertility of the Nile floods. They relied on the knowledge of their surrounding’s flora and fauna thus working for a few hours a day. Consequently, they engaged in stone making and artwork using the plenty of free time they had left. The resulting rock paintings that exist today offer a lot of information on their way of life during that period. In early 5,000 B.C., agriculture was also being practiced especially the farming of rice, millet and sorghum. This was carried out in the savannah. Many Africans became pastoralists and the herding of camels, goats and cattle was common. In order to survive in the harsh environment, they ate milk, blood and meat from these very animals.

As early as 3,000 B.C., the Bantu migration was underway. This was to continue for the next four thousand years. The word Bantu stands for “the people” and they introduced iron welding. They further initiated new methods of agriculture that led to the displacement of inferior hunters and gatherers. In the ancient times, most African societies were stateless but a majority preferred to be led by a few individuals whose authority was influenced through seniority, kinship and knowledge acquired. However, due to their small sizes, they also discussed their problems through consensus or debates. This was their earliest form of democracy.

Over time, these stateless societies became minimal since people increasingly desired a more centralized form of authority. The Igbo of Nigeria even had a phrase that states, “the Igbo have no kings”. Similarly, religion was a critical element in African development and each community had its own set of beliefs. What was common among them was their belief in pantheism whereby they assumed the existence of a single Almighty God who had many manifestations because he was too far for people to interact with. Notably, they neither had the notion of a conflict between good and evil nor in the apocalypse. In the performance of music, the audience is expected to join the musicians by clapping, singing and dancing to the tunes.

Northern Africans interacted with people from the Mediterranean and Arabia resulting in an increase in trade ties and assimilation of cultures. For example, Latin and Greek became languages of the elite in the society. From trading with Romans, Christianity quickly extended from the Middle East, North Africa and into Europe. Islam also spread across the region and these two religions were in competition to attract as many followers as possible.

Discriminatory Aspects of Education

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Discriminatory Aspects of Education

Education is often said to be the key to success in life. In fact, most parents tell their children an all familiar advice of how excelling at school and going to college is a guarantee for getting employed and future success. Without a doubt, education is vital in human development and there is no value in being illiterate especially in this information age. It is one of the critical departments of government and every presidential candidate always makes a promise of reforming it in order to make quality, affordable education available to a majority of the American public. However, the current state of the education sector in the United States is discriminative towards the students and requires urgent intervention for it to produce balanced educational services.

From my own interaction with my family and friends, one day I came about an article of how one talented athlete struggled through school but got his big break while in high school. He was good at basketball and managed to star for his high school team where he caught the attention of scouts of a major National Basketball Association team. He was finally drafted into the league. Today he is quite successful in the sport. On another occasion, I watched a documentary of how a young man with an interest in science managed to be recruited by NASA from a young age and was employed on a permanent basis. These experiences got me thinking that in order to excel at something, one needs to start early. This prompted me to question the education standards in the country in order to unearth the root cause of its problems.

The use of grading as a means of judging a student’s knowledge level is one aspect of its discriminatory nature. This is because it forces students to be more concerned with memorizing classroom materials rather than understanding specific concepts (Kohn 9). It becomes easier for them to be more concerned with passing a test or exam in order to get good grades than internalizing a particular theory. Interestingly, this notion is evident especially during exam periods whereby students can be seen flocking school libraries and showing last-grasp attention to books. They skim over the contents and memorize what they think will be tested and then head to the exam room. It is a common feature to find that on completion of the test, a reasonable number of them cannot recall those concepts. They then head to memorize more contents of a different subject and the cycle continues. This means that one can perform brilliantly in an exam but be of no use in a situation where those concepts need to be applied.

Grading also hinders social development of those who perform poorly. They are mostly ridiculed by others as being dumb and view themselves as unworthy. This is despite the fact that they could be talented in other areas. The psychological torture that accompanies the perception of a student as being smart while another as being dumb is huge. Many times students have cried and agonized when they score so lowly for they know that they have not met their parent’s or society’s expectations. They become stressed and sometimes this leads to depression, which can be suicidal. However, the most common course of action is dropping out of school and this has its own social negative effects like formation and joining youth gangs, indulgence in alcohol and substance abuse among others.

In addition, the education system is very bulky. Right from the moment a child steps into a classroom until the time he or she completes high school, the student has been bombarded with a lot of content on several subjects. Furthermore, along the course of schooling, many assignments are given and the students are required to complete all of them. Tests are also done and form a major part of the school curriculum. Unfortunately, only upon admission in college does one begin to specialize in a particular discipline or field depending on his or her passion and skills. This means that a lot of valuable time and energy is lost in learning subjects that a student does not “need”. It would have been prudent for the syllabus to be structured in such a way that from an earlier stage, a student is taught those subjects that are relevant to his or her potential.

From experience, what a student sees with the naked eye is remembered for a longer period than what is heard. This is important because most of the teachings before one goes to high school are theoretical. These teachings are not suitable for such young minds and ages because their concentration span is minimal. Therefore, what they need are lessons that are a bit involving physically in order for them to maintain maximum concentration on the subject matter being discussed. It is true that most students under this category find these theoretical lessons boring because all they have to do is sit and listen as they are handed loads of information, which they need to “store” in their brains. This is really quite taxing.

Similarly, education through schooling leads to standardization of the student’s thinking. This is because for each subject, there are specific answers to particular questions and whoever answers them according to his or her own opinion and not the stated one loses out. This means students are not allowed to be independent thinkers or make use of the wisdom that they possess (Gatto 37). This is unfair and a form of brain drain, which should not be allowed it, is not logical to call someone an intellectual whereas he or she does not make use of his or her intellect. Instead, what happens is a recycling of the same past data from one generation to another. Shockingly, the initial objective of people going to school was to standardize their thinking but more importantly, to make them controllable thus avoiding opposing views.

Consequently, fundamental changes in the education sector are needed to avoid standardization of people, make lessons more practical in nature and to reduce the volume of material that is taught at different levels of schooling. Furthermore, grading should be prohibited since it creates a show of inequality, which can be dangerous to the overall upbringing of a not-so-smart student. Finally, there should be an early detection mechanism. This should students are assessed to find out their talents, passions and preferred career choices. They then should be allowed to pursue subjects that are relevant to those fields of study from an early age. These shifts could alter the current practices in most institutions but in the long term, they are bound to be effective in solving the educational crises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Gatto, John. Against school: How Public Education Cripples Our Kids and Why. EBSCO Publishing (2003):37. Print.

Kohn, Alfie. The Case against Grades: Educational Leadership. Education Digest Prakken Publications (2011): 9. Print

COMPLAINT FOR PERSONAL INJURY

VIRGINIA:

IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT COURT OF THE CITY OF NORFOLK

EVA BLANCHARD

Plaintiff,

  1. CIVIL COMPLAINT NO:

MARVIN SNYDER & MARY SNYDER

735 Maury Avenue,

Norfolk, VIRGINIA.

Defendants.

COMPLAINT FOR PERSONAL INJURY

Plaintiff, Eva Blanchard, represents the following as and for her Complaint for Personal Injury, filed herein against Marvin Snyder and Mary Snyder (hereinafter, the Defendants), residents of 735 Maury Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia in the amount set forth below and that the cause of action is herewith filed by the Plaintiff for compensation for personal injuries resulting from one (1) count of negligent conduct on the part of the Defendants.

  1. COUNT ONE: NEGLIGENCE – ACTING WITH UTTER DISREGARD OF CAUTION
  2. That on the morning of April 13, 2013 at about 7:00 a.m., the Plaintiff was lawfully on the premises of the Defendants Mr. Marvin Snyder and Mrs. Mary Snyder as an invited guest, having arrived from New Jersey for the Easter holiday the previous day.
  3. That during the time and place aforementioned in Count One, paragraph 1, the Plaintiff woke up and entered the bathroom whose concrete floor was covered with a new, no wax, vinyl covering installed the morning before the plaintiff arrived, in order to use the bathroom.
  4. The Plaintiff and her husband had been guests of the Defendants twice a year over the previous five or six years.
  5. The Defendants had recently placed a small throw rug whose color scheme matched that of the bathroom and whose rubber backing had worn off over the years other than a few remaining grooves.
  6. The Plaintiff who was 56 years old at the time, on attempting to get off the toilet, had slipped on the seven-year-old throw rug and fallen to the floor, injuring her knee.
  7. That neither of the Defendants had informed the Plaintiff that the throw rug could slip and that the Defendants had then thrown away the rug following the accident.

WHEREFORE Plaintiff having set out with particularity the allegations and representations of her Complaint for Personal injuries filed herein and against the Defendants Marvin Snyder and Mary Snyder, respectfully request that this Honorable Court enter and award an execution of judgment against the Defendant in favor of the Plaintiff as and for compensatory damages as a result of the Defendants’ negligence alleged in Count One hereinabove in the amount of $5,000 plus court costs, service fees and legal interests from the date of April 13, 2013, as prejudgment interest, and prospectively from the date of judgment herein and that she have such other and further relief as the Court shall seem just, fitting, etc.

Dated:

Respectfully submitted,

For the Plaintiff.

 

VIRGINIA:

IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT COURT OF THE CITY OF NORFOLK

EVA BLANCHARD

Plaintiff,

  1. CASE NO.:

MARVIN SNYDER & MARY SNYDER

735 Maury Avenue,

Norfolk, VIRGINIA.

Defendants.

ANSWER

Defendants Marvin Snyder and Mary Snyder, pursuant to Virginia Code …., hereby answer and assert an affirmative defense to the Complaint for Personal Injury by the Plaintiff Eva Blanchard as follows:

  1. Defendants admit the truth of the factual allegations of the paragraph A of Count 1 of the Complaint titled “Negligence – acting with utter disregard of caution.”
  2. Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the factual allegations made in B of Count 1 of the Complaint.
  3. Defendants admit the truth of the factual allegations of paragraph C of Count 1 of the Complaint.
  4. Defendants admit the truth of the factual allegations of paragraph D of Count 1 of the Complaint.
  5. Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations in paragraph E of Count 1 of the Complaint.
  6. Defendants admit the truth of the allegations contained in paragraph F of Count 1 of the Complaint.

WHEREFORE, Defendants pray for judgment from the Court as follows:

  1. Dismissing the Complaint of the Plaintiff herein with prejudice.
  2. Denying all remedies sought by Plaintiff in the Complaint
  3. Awarding the Defendant costs and disbursements together with such other relief the Court finds to be just and proper.

 

Dated:

Respectfully Submitted,

For the Defendants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMORANDUM

The facts of the case are that Plaintiff had visited the defendants’ home several times a year five or six years prior to the occurrence of the accident. Additionally, the plaintiff had used the shower, the sink and the toilet in the bathroom prior to the morning of the accident with no reported incidents. Kahneman et al. argue that it is damages may not be awarded whereupon it is established that a plaintiff had previously used a premise without incident (1998).  The defendants had also recently installed a vinyl covering for the bathroom floor and had placed a worn-out throw rug on the bathroom floor.

Several issues about the accident are unclear. It is unclear whether the defendants knew of the possibility that the rug could slip on the vinyl floor covering they had only recently installed. What is also unclear is whether the throw rug had been in the bathroom during the times the Plaintiff had used it prior to the accident.

In order for the plaintiff to be awarded any compensation due to the accident, she needs to prove that there was prior knowledge of the fact that the rug could slip, and that the defendants had neglected to warn her of this fact in disregard for caution (Sugarman, 2006). It is also worth noting that Virginia is one of only a few states that still use the law of contributory negligence based on common law whereby if the person injured in the accident is found to share in the blame for the accident, bearing as low as 1% of the fault, they will not be able to recover any damages from other parties at fault (Weissenberg & McFarland, 2014).

Based on these facts and issues, and given the pure contributory negligence rule in Virginia, it seems highly unlikely that the plaintiff can make out a successful case against the defendants for injuries resulting from the accident on their premises.

 

References:

Kahneman, D., Schkade, D., & Sunstein, C. R. (1998). Shared outrage and erratic awards: The psychology of punitive damages. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 16, 49–86.

Weissenberger, G., & McFarland, B. (2014). The law of premises liability. Dayton, OH: LexisNexis.

Sugarman, S. D. (2006). A comparative law looks at pain and suffering awards. DePaul Law Review, 55, 399–434.

 

 

Zooxanthellae and Coral Bleaching

Name:

Tutor:

Course:

Date:

Zooxanthellae and Coral Bleaching

Zooxanthellae colloquially represent symbiodinium, which are known to be mutualistic endosymbionts. They are known to occur in high levels of density and are algae in nature. They are plant cells that exist in the polyps of corals (Salm 16). Both the plant cells and the coral exist in the environment through mutualistic relationship in that the coral polyps are known to produce carbon dioxide and by products of water for the process of photosynthesis. This is taken up by the plant cells for execution while they produce lipids, sugars, glucose, amino acids and oxygen that the coral polyps use for growth and intracellular respiration. During the process of recycling of these by products, production of the driving force for productivity and growth of coral is realized. Thus, the mutual benefits of the plant cells of zooxanthellae and coral are necessary for their existence in the environment.

Coral bleaching involves the release of algae cells with the colony taking on a white appearance due to the physical stress of the coral. When the coral go for long periods without zooxanthellae, the coral bleaching can lead to its death. This is more profound when there is rise in temperatures and that of the ocean waters. When temperature increases, zooxanthellae are inhibited in their intracellular respiration mechanism leading to lower production of the by-products. This cannot be utilized by the coral, which increase the physical stress of their bodies. Due to the increase in the release of algae cells, the coral bleaching increases at a greater magnitude. Climatic changes have increased the rate of expulsion of the zooxanthellae from the coral due to the increased coral bleaching.

 

Work Cited:

Salm, Rodney. Coral Reef Resilience and Resistance to Bleaching. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, the World Conservation Union, 2006. Print.

Problems Set

Problems Set

Name:

Institution:

 

Problems Set

Question 1

The price of Samsung Smartphone is set to decrease for the North American markets due to reduced manufacturing costs brought about by availability of chipping components. This statement is an example of an answer to obtaining the Big Three Questions as addressed in Economics. The Samsung Smartphone is the product in question as it answers the question; what is being produced? North America markets represent the target for the products as it addresses the question; to whom is the product being produced? The final part of the statement on manufacture describes how the product will be produced, that includes the process.

Question 2

Price                                                              Supply                                    New Supply    

 

 

 

 

p1                                                                         

 

p2                                                                               

                                                                                                                                  New Demand

                                            Q1                     Q2       Demand

Quantity

The above chart shows the change in quantity and price of the iphone 5 market according to the respective demand and supply variables. The intersection points of P1 Q1 and P2Q2 represent the equilibrium price and its corresponding quantity. The equilibrium represented is devoid of any external forces. When the price is high at P1, the quantity at Q1is relatively lower as compared to increased quantity of Q2 while the price is lowered at P2. If the taxes are increased, the phone will become slightly expensive forcing the prices to increase and the effect will result into decrease of the quantity. This is depicted by the intersection of P1 and Q1 representing higher cost of the product and lower supply.

Question 3

                                                                             A

Housing                                                                                                             B

E

                                                                                                                                                         C

                                                                             D                                   F                         G

 

 

                                                                                                  Food

            The production possibilities frontier shown above represents the margins of housing cost versus cost of food within duration. Feasible combinations of the two costs are represented by points F and E of the curve. Point F shows that when the cost of housing reduces it translates to an increase in the cost of corresponding housing. At point E, the cost of housing increases and the result is the lower cost of food production. When the external forces do not affect the variables of housing cost and that of food, equilibrium is achieved. This refers to either increase or decrease in the cost of housing. The cost of food should respond to the above changes. If there is a possibility of prolonged drought, the significant change will be increase in the cost of food while that of housing will decrease.

Question 4

           

                                     D                                                               S

 

Price 

                                                                EP

 

 

Quantity

            The supply and demand curve for cake is represented in the above diagram. The letter D represents the demand curve while letter S represents the supply curve. The equilibrium price for the cake is denoted by EP. The equilibrium shows that there are no external forces that interfere with the pricing and quantity variables of demand and supply of the cake production. When the market demand curve is given to be Qd = 200-P while that of the market supply curve is given as Qs = 50+2P, after substitution, the market equilibrium achieved is 150 while the corresponding quantity of the cake is 350 units.

Question 5

            There are four laws of supply and demand. The first law states that when there is an increase in demand, the equilibrium price increases if the supply is kept constant causing a shortage in the market. The second law states that when the demand decreases, the equilibrium price obtained decreases when the supply is kept at a constant in the market since a surplus occurs. The third law states that when the demand is maintained at a constant, the equilibrium price is lower due to increase in the supply that causes a surplus to occur. The fourth law states that if the demand is kept at constant while there is reduction in the supply, the equilibrium price is increased due to a shortage occurrence. In the four situations, the constant conditions for a shortage occurrence are achieved when the supply is kept at a constant rate while the equilibrium price is low. When the demand is maintained, a surplus is achieved as the equilibrium price increases.