Thursday, May 14, 2009

Business Services

According to the book, business which provides services to its customers account to almost half of the American economy. Those who cannot find jobs in the manufacturing sector may find a job in the service sector. What is the service sector? The service sectors are businesses that provide service in forms of intangible products. Examples of those are professional services (legal, accounting, management, engineering), recreation services (bowling alleys, golf courses, amusement parks), education (universities, libraries) and others.

Changes in the demography of the country and the consistent increase of population will have considerable impact on the service sector. Demand for business services will surely rise. We have a culturally diverse economy and the trends shows that minority groups will increase in number as time goes by. Services which cater to specific minority groups will definitely have a chance at success.

On a local scale, Contra Costa’s service sector is growing and more jobs are being created. According to the CA Employment Development Department (Industry Trends and Outlook 1999-2006), the service sector is the fastest and the largest growing industry in Contra Costa. Growth rates of 26% will have a significant impact on creating new jobs and will drive the local economy. Among those industries, computer-related companies will be the fastest growing (hi-tech companies from Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties has been moving to Contra Costa because of lower rents, new housing and a highly educated labor force),second will be employment agencies, next will be the security-related businesses. Health, construction, advertising, building maintenance, equipment rental, and credit and collection agencies will increase overall.

Five service businesses I chose:
1. Prudential Real Estate Offices in Contra Costa – Mortgage rates are its lowest in a number of decades and is a major factor in driving the demand for housing in the county. It means good business for real estate companies. They also provide mortgage service to its home buyers so that’s hitting two birds with one stone. They are also using the internet to complement their service. Home buyers will find it easier to browse homes through Prudential’s website; they can sort it out by price range, square feet, no. of rooms, etc. For job-hunters, they offer a free training incentive for those who are interested in being a real estate agent or broker, and they are helping to create jobs. Real estate prices in the county are high compared to other areas, demand for homes is still rising. As two-income families are on the rise, these homes will be more affordable to them. It is very difficult for a one –income family to afford a house here in the Bay Area.

2. Sunrise Assisted Living – As the aging population grows, services that provide health care assistance to the elderly will surely be in demand. Sunrise Assisted Living offers different choices to its customers. They offer assisted independent living communities which provide senior citizens with their own apartments, social and cultural activities, exercise programs, housekeeping, a 24-hour medical alert, activity center, etc. They also offer assisted living to persons who cannot live on their own. Nursing care will be provided and regular health check-ups will be performed. This business will thrive as to meet the demands of the maturing population.

3. Day Care Facilities – Nowadays, both parents can be working. Who is going to take care of their kids? Enter the business of day-care. Although some companies are offering day-care programs to working parents, not all of them do. Day-care facilities will continue to gain in popularity due to the increasing numbers of two-income families. According to the Contra Costa Times “In addition to reducing juvenile delinquency rates, Contra Costa's licensed child care centers create more than 4,000 jobs, and allow the county's working parents to earn $525 million annually, the report states. Increase in productivity at work is a benefit. The children will receive supervision and training, like at kindergarten schools.

4. Computer Repair Shops – The information age has brought upon the popularity of the internet and personal computers. With the dramatic increase of personal computer ownership in households and businesses and the fast-paced development of hardware and software, computer owners may want to upgrade their hardware to utilize the newer programs. A faster computer will perform better and makes programs run faster. Crashes will be lessened because of advanced operating systems and memory. The dramatic price drop in computer components makes upgrading a cost-effective alternative than buying a new pc. The popularity of mp3 and digital picture files which takes up a lot of space in the hard drive will require bigger drives.

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Management Transformation

Management has gone through a significant level of fundamental transformation as a result of tremendous changes and increasing uncertainty in the business environment.

In the past, the business conditions were generally stable and predictable. Industry players were few and competition was not as intense or frenzied. Markets were primarily local or located within a limited geographical and cultural sphere and there was not much product heterogeneity. Meanwhile, the workforce was homogeneous and technology was less sophisticated and more mechanical. Thus, organizational values and goals were focussed primarily towards efficiency and stability. Planning was centralized and goals were generally set over a longer time-horizon. Management structures tended to be rigid and vertical and were characterized by top-down, autocratic hierarchies -coordination and decision-making primarily emanated from the top. People were grouped by common function and specialization, and essentially controlled and directed towards the achievement of bottom-line results. Rules and regulations were strictly enforced and operational procedures were generally standardized.

As the business environment increased in complexity and changes happening very rapidly, organization and management have been undergoing significant transformation to cope with these changes and reduce the impact of the uncertainties that these changes have brought along. Among the significant changes that have tremendous impact on the old management paradigm on a macro-perspective are globalization, technological innovation and changing social, political and economic conditions or circumstances. On a micro-level, these changes cover the rapidly shifting and increasingly sophisticated customer tastes and needs as well as the entry of competitors offering substitute products. Internally, these changes would include the transformation of the internal corporate culture as well as enhancements in the management of human resources in response to increasing workplace diversity and evolving needs of the workforce. To cope with these changes, organizations have adapted new approaches to management veering towards a learning organization.

Under the traditional management, strategy and planning have been the domain of the top managers. A central planning department was put in place composed of groups of planning specialists reporting directly to the CEO or the president. Given that the business environment was relatively stable and predictable, organizational goals and plans were usually long-term. However, as the business environment grew more competitive, complicated and fast-paced, the traditional/formal planning has become obsolete or inappropriate. Among the problems being cited are as follows:

a) Planners may not be in touch with the constantly changing market realities faced by the front-liners who are in direct contact with the customers;
b) Inhibition of flexibility whereby managers and workers may be stuck trying to follow a plan that no longer works due to changes in the environment; and,
c) Restrained creativity and learning among managers and workers as a result of the implementation of strict goals and plans set by the top management.

To address these problems, companies are shifting towards decentralized planning wherein planning experts were assigned to major departments or divisions to help them develop their own strategic plans. In some cases, organizations use planning task forces made up of temporary groups of line managers who have the responsibility of developing strategic plans. Others have taken planning a step further by involving workers at every level to develop dynamic plans to meet the organization's needs.

Traditional organizations were characteristically rigid and the structures vertical. Decision-making was centralized from the top with a clear line of command and authority. Work specialization and departmentalization was imposed given the traditional firm's focus on the value of efficiency. The traditional approach, however, resulted to poor coordination and communication among the different departments or divisions. In today's fast-shifting business environment and increasing market uncertainty, this approach has become ineffective.

In response to the changing environment, managers are shifting towards a learning organization approach which is characterized by a horizontal structure, team-based, decentralized decision-making, open information, empowered employees and a strong, adaptive corporate culture. In approaching the process of organizing, however, managers should consider various contingency factors that could influence the organization structure. Among these contingency factors are:

a) Strategic Goals involving either a product differentiation strategy (more horizontal) or a cost leadership strategy (more vertical).
b) The environmental uncertainty such that the higher the level of uncertainty, the more horizontal should be the organization.
c) The level of manufacturing and service technologies.
d) Departmental interdependence.

Leading under the traditional organization was characteristically autocratic. As mentioned earlier, decision-making was centralized from the top with a clear-cut chain of command and authority. Communication channels were formal and generally downward. The traditional manager relies primarily on his legitimate, reward and coercive powers to influence his subordinates.

Learning organizations have adapted a more democratic and participative kind of leadership in response to the highly evolving business environment. The trend towards employee empowerment has given employees more say in the organization; thus making them contribute more to the organizational goals. Leadership in the learning organization relies more on expert and referent power. Among the types of leadership under the new organization include charismatic and transformational leadership. However, the traditional type of leadership may still be appropriate in certain instances such as the case for John McCoy of Banc One. Thus, approaches to leadership in the organization depends on certain situations which may include leader-member relationship, task structure, position power as well as follower readiness.

Under the learning organization, leadership is guided by the principal of "controlling with" others. The leader builds relationship by creating a shared vision and shaping the culture that can help achieve it.

Controlling under the traditional organization is bureaucratic in nature. It involved monitoring and influencing employee behavior through extensive use of rules, policies, centralized control and hierarchy of authority, rewards system and other formal mechanisms. Responsibility for control rests with quality control supervisors and not the employees. Employees rarely participate in the control process. Being a rigid organization, technology is used to control the flow and pace of work to monitor employees. While this approach may enhance organizational efficiency and effectiveness, the absence of systems to clarify what is expected of the employees may reduce motivation level in the organization.

Centralizing control, as mentioned earlier, tends to restrict creativity and flexibility that an organization would need to cope with the changes and uncertainties in the environment. As such, managers have started to implement decentralized control systems with employees participating in a wider range of areas including setting goals, determining standards of performance, governing quality and designing control systems. With decentralized control, employees are expected to pool their areas of expertise to arrive at procedures better than managers working alone.

Among the recent innovation in organizational control that was driven by the rising global competition and increasing customer satisfaction is Total Quality Management (TQM) which involves an organization-wide effort to infuse quality into every activity of a company.

There are other changes in organizational control resulting from the changes in organizational internal and external environments such as globalization, changes in management structures and methods, information sharing and employee participation as well as the increasing quality demands from customers and the need to cut cost to remain competitive. These include International Quality Standard (e.g. ISO 9000), Economic Value Added (EVA), Open-Book Management and Activity Based Costing (ABC).

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Small Business

In today’s world, small businesses dominate the economy. Out of all the business in the United States, small business accounts for 99% of it all. For a business to be a small business it must have under 500 employees, be locally owned and operated, dependent on the industry, and one or few owners. These owners receive a high amount of respect from all the employees and co-workers. Most of the time the owners have put forth a great amount of time and money in order for the company to be existent. Also, the owner will have more than just his or her money invested. He will have loans from the bank and also some of the family’s money invested into the business. Therefore, most of the owner’s life is spent running the business and making sure it stays on track. Many entrepreneurs start up a business because of a few advantages: they can be their own boss, make a lot of money, they have freedom and flexibility, and do what they love to do. On the flip side, it is a capital risk, long hours, high stress, and fluctuating sales. Therefore, many people start up a business hoping to make a lot of money not knowing all the details it takes to successfully run it. Some factors that cause a business to fail are; poor management, nepotism, taxes, miss-hires, too much overhead, and product to market failure. After taking all of these things into consideration, I went out and interviewed 3 business owners and collected information from all of them. Many of their answers were very similar and some were very different. Throughout the paper I will discuss the owner’s daily practices, the results from their surveys, findings from the internet article, and
whether or not the business world has changed since they have been in it and how it affected them.
For my paper I interviewed three business owners or daily managers from three different business fields. First, I interviewed Gary Sims from Sims Insurance Agency. He got involved in the company about 10 years ago when he purchased the company. Next, I interviewed Tom Gallagher from Countrytyme, Inc. He is into real estate where he purchases land and resells it. Last, I interviewed Joshua Garey from Grainger. He is a daily customer service manager. He got started with Grainger through their management trainee program. Throughout the research packets, interviews, and other additional findings certain themes seemed to reappear in many different ways. There were some very significant similarities between the three research surveys. There were two major categories from the first question on the survey that three people I interviewed had very similar answers for their most important. It seemed that money and customers ranked higher than any other aspect on the survey. Specifically, overall growth in revenue seemed to be ranked the highest out of all of them. Next, would be to improve service to their customers. Followed by improve profits margin and increase success in retaining customers. Lastly, improve return on capital rounded up the similarities as most important. With these five answers continually repeating themselves throughout the surveys and answers, then there must be a catch to them. Well it is not to difficult to find the catch between customers and making money. If a company, such as these three, takes to heart what they feel is most important and lives by it then what they want to come true will happen. All three of these businesses are very successful in their own right. Therefore, improving customer service and then increased success in retaining customers, which they feel is very important for their business, helps them meet their financial goals. It is quite obvious why those answers were ranked among the top. If a company improves its customer service and then increases customers the rest will follow, such as growth in revenue, improved profit margin, and improved return on capital.

There also were some similarities between the answers ranking at the bottom of the question on the survey. First, ranking low on the survey was financially viable return on investment in new services and facilities. When I asked them why this was not so important to them as a business, the common answer I received was that their companies were pretty set in what services they offered, therefore they did not view new services as too important. There was an exception to the other part of the question though, investment in new facilities. Tom Gallagher, land buyer, obviously has to reinvest his money into buying new land. Other than that this answer ranked toward the bottom. Also, to go along with the other question, successful introduction of new services and facilities ranked at the bottom. Basically the same idea goes along with this question as it did with the question before. Most of these companies are either limited on what they do or they are satisfied with their services as they are. The next question that ranked at the bottom of the survey was collaboration with other companies in your industry. When I asked them about this they just simply answered that they do not feel any interest in joining or working together with anybody else. Ranking near the bottom of the survey in most of the surveys was improving the relationship with suppliers. Basically, if the relationship between the business and its supplier is manageable and there are no problems then there is no real need to make an effort to improve the relationship between the two of them.

During each of my interviews there were a few specific questions that I asked each business person. These questions were asked to aim at the daily decisions they make, the practices they go by, what problems they encounter, if the business world has changed since they have been involved, and etc. The first question that I asked them, “What is a typical day for you as an owner or daily manager?” Basically I got the response back that I expected to hear. There was nothing to out of the extraordinary just the basic everyday managerial duties one has as an owner or manager. Everyday tasks include such things as paperwork, dealing with customers, working with employees, checking inventory, and making sure the business runs smoothly and efficiently. All of these things must be done everyday for the business to stay on top of everything that is going on and to continue to make money, which is the bottom line. All of this work seems very time consuming and for the most part it is. One thing the owners mentioned is the fact that they are very busy during the day, but to make sure and save some time for yourself. This also goes along with the internet article I found on BusinessWeek. It simply states that people today are so concerned with making themselves available 24/7/365 to their customers that they have no time for themselves.

The next question I asked them, “What type of practices or guidelines do you work by in your business?” Once again there was a universal answer that I received from the people I talked to. A certain word kept coming up during the conversations with the business people and that word was ethics, the sense of right and wrong. When it comes to ethics some people tend to cringe up and not want to talk about them as if they are evil. Luckily the people I interviewed seemed to follow some type of ethical code when dealing with their business practices. Each of the business people I interviewed had a list of business ethics that all the employees had to go by and follow. They were all a little different based on the company, but the general principle was about the same for all the businesses. Also, the organizational ethics is only one of three branches which lead into the ethical dilemma. There are also personal factors that lead to the decision as well as opportunity. With opportunity a lot of times the reward must be a lot higher than the risk in order for a person to make the decision to do it. When I asked the business people what type of things they would or would not do for success in their business, it still lead back to personal and organizational ethics. If the consequence would hurt them as a person or the company as a whole, then the action was not worth taking. In order for a business to survive in today’s world, the business must be ethical, i.e. Enron. The lifeline of a business is repeat business, therefore if you unethically make a decision that makes a customer mad, the chances of getting them back as a customer are not very good. One advantage of carrying positive ethics that I learned is the reputation of your business, which is very important. Once your business is known for doing something illegal or unethical then that type of reputation will stick for a very long time. After news like that gets out the chances of the business staying in operation are not very good.

The next question I asked them, “What are the biggest problems you have to deal with as an owner or manager?” The number one problem that all business people have to deal with is the customers. No matter whom I talked to whether it was the owners, managers, salespeople, or secretaries they all said that dealing with customers is by far the biggest problem. No matter how hard a business tries there will be times when they mess up an order or whatever for a customer. What the customer does not realize is that they did not do it on purpose. These businesses deal with tons and tons of customers and with even more orders, therefore there are going to be times that the order is not right. The customer never understands that and they are so impatient, which they have the right to be to an extent. When I asked the owners how they deal with the customers they simply responded, “The customer is always right.” Even though 99% of the time they actually are not, the business still has to treat the customer as if they are right. Like I said earlier, the lifeline of a business is repeat business, meaning it is easier to get existing customers to buy more than to go out and find new customers, so in order to keep the existing customers you must treat them well.
Finally, I asked, “Has the business world changed since you have been in business, if so, how has it affected your business?” For some of them they have not really been in the business long enough to really notice much of a trend. For the others, the biggest change in the business world has been the economy. They mentioned the difference from when they just started back in the 1970’s and then in the 1990’s was the booming of the economy and all the technology that the business world has today. On the other hand they are starting to see the flip side of the economy. They are starting to get hurt a little bit with the recession and now the war starting. For some of them business is slowing up a little bit, but for others not much has changed. With Tom Gallagher, land buyer/real estate, he can definitely see a change in his business as of lately. Then with Gary Sims, Insurance agent, he has not seen a much of a drop in business. So depending on the type of business one is associated with the business world changes differently for each business.

In conclusion, this research project opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects that a business owner or daily manager has to encounter. A lot of things go into running a small business efficiently. As the owner or manager is it your job to make sure everything gets done the way you want it to. At the end of the day all the responsibilities are left for the owner to handle. No one else is to blame for the lack of revenue generated by a business other than the owner. Therefore, the owner must be able to deal with many different situations that he may have to encounter and solve them.

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Stock Management

Stock management is defined as the control of stock to ensure that it is adequate for immediate needs without using up excessive financial resources. Stock costs are an important aspect of a firm’s overall costs. This means that firms ensure that efficient stock management is used. Hence any proficient method of stock management used to reduce the cost of holding stock increases profitability and that is a major objective of any firm.

Firms understand that they have to incur an expense to hold stock but this will ensure that the business can remain functioning. So the central aim of stock management is to effectively minimize the cost to stockholding while allowing the business to operate smoothly by retaining sufficient stock.

A firm must ensure efficient stock management to ensure that enough supplies of raw materials for the production process. The business must be supplied with enough raw materials to meet output requirements. If the firm cannot meet demand of the consumers because it does not have enough stock to do so, it will start to lose sales. This is especially true in the growth stage of the product’s lifecycle where there is an anticipated increase in demand for the product. This is also true of seasonal which have variations in demand. Too much stock can’t be kept when demand is low otherwise depending on the nature of the stock it may go bad, become obsolete or lose its quality.

If a business does not ensure efficient stock management then a lot of wastage can arise as a result. A stockout happens when a firm experiences total depletion or runs out of stock. Stockouts lead to lost profits and loss of customer goodwill and loyalty therefore future sales. If the customers cannot get their goods at one firm they will leave and purchase it somewhere else that has it in stock. Continuously unfavorable stockouts by that firm will cause them to lose future sales. These are reasons is why it is of major importance for a firm to have efficient stock management.

Stock management teams must use some method of stock management in order to ensure that they do not experience an unwanted stockout. The stock management team must decide whether to make large occasional orders to hold in stock or small frequent orders. Two major methods utilized are the ‘Buffer Stock’ technique and the ‘Just in Time’ system.

The Buffer stock technique is referred to as a conventional method of stock management. The firm has a fixed amount of stock held in inventory. They specify a certain stock level that if stock reaches that point, a reorder must be made to bring it back to normal level. There is a time lapse between the actual order of stocks and its delivery. During this time supplies are still decreasing. A buffer stock is held as reserve stock in the event that the reorder takes longer than expected. Buffer stock ensures that the firm always has reserve stock, enough to fend off a stockout experience.

The Just in Time System is a manufacturing practice developed by the Japanese in order to minimize holdings of stock. Suppliers deliver materials needed for production at the exact moment they are required. Goods are produced only as they are needed for the next phase of production. Stock is frequently delivered therefore there is a zero inventory situation. The firm only produces something when there is actual customer demand for it (First sell it, then make it). The Just in Time system only work when there is high employee flexibility and commitment and a well coordinated production system to ensure quality and continuous improvements to minimize bottlenecks.

The Buffer Stock method is beneficial given that they can benefit from purchasing economies of scale. Profits that derive from the rise of the price of stock they purchased at a previously lower price. They also have the security of an emergency source of supplies. The Just in Time system has a much less risk of their stock becoming obsolete or going bad (losing its quality). The firm keeps a small inventory hence using less space required, lower maintenance costs and capital requirements. As a result of the ‘First sell it, then make it’ method of operation the right quantities are produced at the right time. There is increased workforce participation as a result of their employment flexibility and commitment. The continuous emphasis on improvement and problem solving results in higher quality, customer service and reduced costs.

Firms must place emphasis on their stock management system. This is a vital part of business operations because it affects crucial parts of the business such as profitability and customer relations. Their business’ environment it will determine what method of stock management they employ and how effective it turns out to be.

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Materials Management

Materials Management has always been an area of scrutiny for organizations. This has become a central focal point as trends from the supply chain arena have indicated that substantial operating cash can be freed with leaner and more efficient handling of inventory.

As organizations examine the state of their inventory, they often find that visibility across locations and warehouses are inadequate, stock levels are inconsistent, demand is uncertain, and communication between stocking locations or warehouses may be minimal or non-existent. Among other things, the lack of an integrated interaction between peripheral systems and materials managers leads to unnecessary purchasing and overstocking.

The concepts of “materials management,” “physical distribution management,” and “logistics management” are the primary materials organizational tools-tools which have been used successfully in the past and will be used increasingly in the future to achieve closer coordination and control of a firms various materials activities.

In general materials management is concerned with bringing materials from outside of an organization to the point of production and moving in processes inventory. It deals with moving material inputs from suppliers into the organization and within the organization. The materials management concept advocates the assignment of all major activities, which contribute to materials’ cost to a single materials management department. This includes the primary responsibilities which are generally found in the purchasing department, plus all other major procurement responsibilities, including inventory management, traffic, receiving, warehousing, surplus and salvage, and frequently production planning and control. Some companies also include customer service, scheduling, shipping, materials handling, and physical distribution in their definition of materials management.

It’s clear that top management and materials management personnel focus their attention sharply on material costs and there is no doubt that reliable long term supply of materials is an increasingly important materials.

Physical Distribution Management is related to marketing in a manner similar to the way materials management is related to production. Advocates of the physical distribution organization traditionally refer to it as “the other half of marketing.” This view divides marketing into two parts: (1) conventional marketing (market research, product development, sales promotion, advertising, and selling) and (2) physical distribution. To people holding this view, physical distribution consists of the following minimum functions:
· Sales order processing, Traffic and transportation, Production control, Inventory control, Materials handling, & Sales planning

Physical distribution can also include additional functions such as customer service and technical service.

Many of these materials function are plainly the same functions claimed by materials management. For the most part, however, the functions are concerned with different materials and are performed at different points in time in the materials system (cycle). For example, the inventories controlled by physical distribution management are finished goods inventories. The warehouses controlled by physical distribution are primarily finished goods warehouses, field warehouses, or distribution centres; those controlled by materials management are the raw materials and production stores warehouses. On the other hand, traffic and production control frequently constitute points of contention between physical distribution management advocates and materials management advocates. In the case of both of these functions, each organizational group can lay legitimate claim to them. The optimum location for traffic and production control will vary from one company to another, depending on specific operating and organisational factors within each firm.

Logistics management is a combination of materials management and physical distribution management. On the basis of the preceding discussions of the latter two concepts, it is clear that a number of similarities exist between them. Not only are the activities involved in both concepts a part of the same overall materials system, many of the skills required to perform the respective operating activates are also similar. The same skills required to perform the respective operating activities are also similar. The same skills and knowledge required to control production inventories are also those used to control finished goods used in traffic, materials planning, and materials handling are identical skills. Although physical distribution is the final stage of the marketing process, the training and orientation of physical distribution personnel is much more akin to that of the materials management personnel. These factors have combined to produce the logistics management concept.

Historically, these similarities and relationships were first recognized by military officers, and the organizational concept of logistics was initially developed in the armed forces. In industry today, logistics management includes all of the functions of both materials management and physical distribution management. In the broadest sense, logistics management views a firm as a single operating system; it seeks to minimize total costs associated with the acquisition and handling of materials from the inception of materials requirements to the final delivery of finished products to their users.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Property Rights in Computer Software

I think that copyright is one of the software ownerships, which is protected by a form of computer software ownership, (this means that you are not allowed to distribute copies of it, not allowed to reproduce a copyrighted work and not allowed to perform or exhibit the copyrighted work to public) and obtained that you can own the expressions of ideas, but not own the ideas themselves. It means that software developer or any software company can get the idea of the software and produces a kind of copy of it. It is legal to it, because it was the copied idea.

According to the copyright laws only protect the program, but both source code and object code are understood in copyright law to be literary works, that is formal expression of ideas. It is not mainly to protect the software as well, because the code of the software is in reality of only a piece of the software. This is a problem similar to what I mentioned above; your competitor can study idea without directly coping, make comparable and create better software sometimes, because it was idea that they copied, there is nothing you can do about it. The behaviour of software is another aspect that is not protected by copyright. This is a quite interesting example which was happened a conflict between Linux and Windows Microsoft for a couple of years ago. When Linux was produced a new version of operative system, is called Lindows. The Lindows operative system from Linux looked and behaved like Windows operative system of Microsoft. Microsoft got a risk on head and was afraid this could be reason to lose customers. That was why Microsoft took to court against Linux, but this complicated problem was solved at the court, as it did not actually infringe any copyright laws. I think that this is a opened problem which will often be in the future, if we do not have any copyrights law that can protect the behaviour.

Trade secrecy laws are another form of protection. The trade secrecy laws seem to me that it involves an aspect of people doing. You are an employees in the computer software company (whatever company) and have job like; software designer, software developer etc. You know that you are not allowed to give away or disclose information about how the company created the software or any kind of trading of secrets.

Patent laws are another form of protection which is one of the tree protections and has a strongest form of protection for computer software. When you found out something new and proof that you was only one to invent. This means that you have a patent with rights to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention and the right to license others to make, use or sell it.

I am not defending arguments to bring up against ownership of computer software, because I know that the owner of the software or some software development companies use a lot of money to create software. I also know that the owners have to use much time to test, design, redesign, and evaluate the software, before it is out for using. I believe that we have to pay the software we use, is a kind of owner’s payment. Except some software are like Novell Server, Microsoft Windows Server etc. too expensive. You do not have chance to own one, but those expensive software are special for company or for who are very interested. As you know that some software has a period of trial which normally gives users 30 days trial duration. If you keep on to use the trial software after finishing 30 days trial, so you are able to pay the owner for a licence.

In conclusion I think that we users have to respect ownership, because if you do not give owner respectfully and use software for free that is a kind of stealing. Ok, now you image that you own a car, or bicycle which is parking outside your house or on street. Someone walks through the house and take it away without asking you that is stealing. If you say that you do not own the car or the bicycle. What can you do to stop someone taking the car?

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Gender Equality

One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychological or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society; it is civilization as a whole that produces the creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine.

In the early years of her age a female child, like male children exists only for herself and is hardly aware of the fact that as an adult she would be sexually differentiated. It is not until when she grows up and is faced with occasional denial of some rights, she realizes that she is the disadvantaged sex, ‘the woman’ that men think is inferior to them both, intellectually and socially.

This attitude of men is liable to have two kinds of impacts, the extent of which highly depends on the economic and social development of the society a woman lives in. women living in the under-developed nations of Africa and Asia, generally accept the inferior status as the only option. On the contrary, women of the more developed countries like America, often fight for their rights and donot settle for low standards. It is the unwavering motivation of these women, that has successfully produced some prominent American activists like, Elizabeth BlackWell, Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone, who campaigned to expand opportunities for women like, the granting of equal rights and also to improve their lives in general.

The demand for women’s rights includes not only the assurance of equal rights (e.g , property, legal, political, marital, educational and employment), with men, but also the removal of all forms of discrimination against women on the basis of sex. The demand for them has been denied both by the custom and by the law and the struggle to gain them is one of the basic movements for human liberty.

In the modern world, the status of women varies widely from country to country and from one social class to another within countries. The traditional view of women, as intellectually and socially inferior to men, continues to prevail in certain areas. In rural part of some less developed nations, for example, women have little or no personal independence. They pass from the control of the father, to that of the husband, and function only as servant of the husband and bearer of his children.

In most countries women have the right to vote and certain other political and legal rights. Traditional attitudes, nonetheless, restrict women’s activities to some extent, especially in business, industry, the professions, and higher education. Even in societies where women have been given broader responsibilities and power, men have normally dominated political life. The emergence of classes, states, and major religions has universally strengthened male dominance, and the rise of capitalism has furthered this tendency.

Preliterate cultures: In both hunting and foraging and early settled agricultural societies, women contribute directly and indispensably to subsistence, frequently controlling and collecting the essentials for survival. No known societies have entrusted any technological activities specifically to women. Although such female activities as cooking and food preparation approximate technology, men monopolize hunting, butchering, and the processing of hard materials. KINSHIP provides the basic social organization in preliterate societies; work is allocated according to gender and generation and there is great sexual segregation. Women are responsible for child-bearing and homemaking and men belong in public world of employment and politics.

Western cultures: the classical Greek civilization in keeping with its cultural hostility towards women, severely curtailed their political participation. Athens firmly relegated women, with slaves and children, to the household which male citizens dominated and represented in the polity.

Traditional Judaic societies also restricted women’s social role and encouraged sexual segregation. Judaism also reflected a historic revolt against a pre-historic female-centered cosmology. Jewish monotheism is clearly found upon the worship of a male creator and lawgiver.

The roman state granted even fewer rights to women than the Greeks did, but permitted them greater personal freedom. Although a husband possessed the right of life and death over his wife, roman culture never expressed deep hostility toward female sexuality.

Though the majority of the early converts to Christianity were mainly women, the architects of Christian orthodoxy, notably Saint Paul, mistrusted sexuality in general and women in particular. Increasingly, Christianity stressed both Eve’s responsibility for the fall of the human race from divine grace and Mary’s virginity. Women were denied official religious roles until, eventually, a place was made for them in the religious orders.

Eastern cultures: the dominant cultures of the Islamic countries, India, china, and Japan rested on sharp social distinctions and on the labor of peasants and tribal masses. Official ideologies and ruling elites saw the seclusion of women as essential to social and political order.

Islam confirmed and strengthened female subordination among the people it conquered and, by including women’s status in holy law, or Sharia, made subsequent change difficult. Allowing polygamy, it restricted the number of wives to four and insisted on equal treatment. Declaring a woman worth half a man with respect to inheritance and testimony, it encouraged female INFANTICIDE. Islam veiled women and isolated them from all men, other than their own relatives. Yet Islamic women were entitled to full support for themselves and their children form their husbands.

In India, the caste ENDOGAMY stressed marriage as the central purpose of women’s life. Marriage policies and a deep mistrust of female sexuality, especially among the Brahmans, resulted in pre-puberty marriage and SUTTEE, i.e. the wife burning herself to death on the husband’s funeral pyre, which was an attempt to ban remarriage of widows. Hinduism emphasized the nature of women as benevolent wives.

Confucianism, originating in the 6th century B.C. emphasized that the duty of the wife was subject to her husband and to his parents. Although there was no polygamy, the husband could take concubines.

In eastern countries women lost most of their property rights and all political roles. Men practiced polygamy, kept concubines, and could repudiate their wives at will.

In the early years of civilization women, along with unequal rights in all spheres of life, were also subject to persecution and torture. In Egypt, beautiful women were slaughtered in the name of their god so as to please him.
Before the advent of Islam, that is to say about 1400 years ago, when there was no concept of education, knowledge and moral values, people used to bury new-born babies if they were females.

Even to this day in some rural counterparts of underdeveloped countries, women are married to dogs, to the HolyQuran and to men as old as 5 times their age. The concept of ‘Hang’ is highly prevalent in rural areas of developing countries like Pakistan, where if a man from tribe A murders a man in tribe B then to compensate, tribe A offers that, tribe B may choose a girl form tribe A to be married to a man or relative of the murdered from tribe B. Girls as old as 11 have known to have been offered to marry 70 year old men.

Early struggles for equal rights in the united states: in the united states, widespread religious revivalism at the beginning of the 19th century inspired the early women’s rights movement. Large numbers of middle class women joined societies whose efforts centered on religious conversion and on moral and social reform. The basic motivation was derived from the Anti-slavery convention in 1840 when women were barred from participating in the conference and were made to sit behind the curtains. This experience of discrimination inspired them to organize the first women’s convention. For the convention Elizabeth Stanton, Lucretia Mott and many others wrote a declaration that stated that men and women were created equal and that, like men, women were born with certain natural rights. The document criticized men for denying women the right to vote, the right to hold property, equal terms in a divorce and custody of children. It also criticized men for blocking women’s access to higher education, the professions and ‘nearly all the profitable employments.’

Property rights: in 1848 New York state passed law allowing women to acquire and retain assets independently of their husbands. This was the first law that established the idea of a woman having a legal status, independent of her husband, after marriage.

Right to vote: women gained the right to vote in the 1920’s. The 14th amendment provided that all citizens were guaranteed equal protection under law and that no citizen could be denied process of law.

Equal pay act: the equal pay act made it illegal to pay different wages to men and women who performed the same work. However, the new law had little effect on narrowing the gap between the sexes. Most female workers remained in jobs traditionally held by women, offering low wages and little prospect for advancement. In 1963 female workers earned 58.9% of average men’s earnings and by 1995 the earnings increased to 71.4%of the amount that men earned.

Reproductive rights: abortions have been widely performed by doctors, midwives, and pregnant women throughout history. However, by the late 1800s the majority of U.S states made it a crime to perform and obtain an abortion, except when the life of the mother is in danger. These days, abortion is legal under specific circumstances. Some countries with severe population have the most liberal abortion policies. China for example places no restriction on abortion. However, in Canada, where there is no over-population problem, abortion is illegal unless the pregnant woman’s life is in danger.

Protective labor legislation: when increasing number of women began to enter the labor force, some social reformers grew concerned about the impact of long working hours on women’s health. They made efforts to limit women’s working hours and argued that women’s role as mothers required that they be given special protection in workplace, flexible timings and also once or twice a maternal leave. But the opponents of this legislation argue that special rules for women would inhibit women’s struggle for equality with men, even if the legislation was limited only to labor laws.

Women’s rights today: since World War II the position of women around the globe has begun to change at an accelerating rate. Women have gained most in politically progressive and economically developed nations. In highly developed countries, women account for about 30-40% of the total labor force, and 5-10% in less developed countries. However, female earnings have not improved to a very substantial extent. Throughout the world women continue to earn less than men for comparable work. Women’s near exclusion to earn high incomes is closely related to their formal political and legal rights, and also to the persistence of traditional religious, cultural and family values.

Although, women have acquired the right to vote, they donot exercise power in proportion to their numbers. A few exceptional women have attained the highest political offices: Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, and Margaret Thatcher.

Women have also failed to gain access to higher education. Women’s illiteracy has declined dramatically in the past few decades, but only during the 1970s and ‘80s have American women finally constituted 20% of those in professional training—medicine, law, business. In third world countries, preference is normally given to men for advanced economic and governmental sectors. Also in many countries, defenders of traditional and cultural values regard liberation of women as another manifestation of western domination.

Overall, while the needs of women in different countries vary, and the rate of progress is inconsistent, increasing numbers of women around the world are in a fair way to dethrone the myth of femininity; are beginning to affirm their independence in concrete ways and recognizing their need to be full and equal members of the society.

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In Shakespeare’s tragedy of Othello, Othello’s wife Desdemona is portrayed as a well-rounded woman. She displays confidence when it is needed, but is also a devoted bold true wife. She is young, sexual and recently married, and in the play she occasionally displays a somewhat chiding wit. At times we see Desdemona as being submissive, but only ever to Othello. Although she exhibits an independent personality, she seems to make an effort not to come across as being too independent. She especially has to convince Othello of this, as he questions her fidelity. Until the end Desdemona seemed to have been capable of rising above the demands placed upon her.

Many like to see Desdemona as being a stereotypically weak and submissive woman of that era. But this ignores the conviction and authority she displays in her opening speech as she states “My noble father, / I do perceive here a divided duty”, this conviction is also later seen in her terse fury after Othello strikes her in front of many people, she then says “I have not deserved this”. Although Desdemona is an independent character she does display some submissiveness. This seldom seen submissive nature is most notable when she takes credit for her own murder, when in response to Emilia’s question, “O, who hath done this deed?” Desdemona replies as her final words, “Nobody, I myself. Farewell/ commend me to my kind lord. O, farewell.”

Contradictorily the play also represents Desdemona as a modest and faithful wife, who possesses a bold and independent personality. It is possible that this contradiction was intentional, the purpose being to portray the way Desdemona feels after defending her choice of marriage to her father, and then virtually straight away having to defend her fidelity to her husband, Othello. In the beginning of the play she appears to be supremely independent, and courageous as she stands up to her father with her choice of marriage, as Othello pays tribute to her “high and plenteous wit and invention”. It was Desdemona who first gave the Othello the hint to ask her to marry him, which is heard in Othello’s speech to the Duke and others “if I had a friend that lov'd her, I should but teach him how to tell my story, / And that would woo her”. She also speaks with confidence when she tells the Duke that she “did love the Moor to live with him”, and also asks whether she may go to Cyprus with him.

Midway through the play Desdemona must struggle, as she desperately tries to convince Othello that she is not too independent. It also appears that Brabantio failed to understand his own daughter. The impression that she had grown up under the guidance of a possessive type of father is given. Nothing in his household, including his daughter had ever been challenged. He seems to have failed to realise that over the years she had grown up to be a person in her own mind. Brabantio was not the type of father that Desdemona could have shares her feelings with, and had never had a close enough relationship to open her heart to him. It is clear that Brabantio is appalled with her choice in husband as he states he evidently would have preferred “the wealthy curled darlings of our nation”.

Throughout the entire play we see that Desdemona has an absolute trust in Othello, as she states, “My noble Moor/ is true of mind, and made of no such baseness/ As jealous creatures are. She continually gives Othello entire obedience as we see the word “obey” appear in the marriage service. She at all times seeks to please him and is also very sensitive, “a child to chiding”. This is why we assume she did not tell Othello about the handkerchief. She is deeply in love with him, even after “his stubbornness, his checks and frowns”. Even Iago, the man that plots against her happiness, admits “she is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, that she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested”.

It is unfortunate that Desdemona has fallen in love with a man that trusts others over her, which in turn leads to the murder of her. Emilia’s question is one the audience would be asking too, “what should such a food do with so good a wife?” Emilia plays quite an important role in the play, as her comparative vulgarity emphasizes the purity of Desdemona, who fails to understand how any woman can deceive her husband, and can hardly pronounce the wore “whore”.

Desdemona’s character is strong in some ways, and quite weak in others. She also has no mother, which is used for the dramatic effect of Desdemona on her own resources in moments of stress and need. Desdemona’s estrangement from her father is quite decisive, and in this situation Desdemona has no woman upon whom she can rely and to whom she might turn for help and sympathy when her father shuts the door against her. There is no one to give her any support, this fuels our sympathy for her lonely hand and increases the pathos of her situation. Desdemona is a loving wife, but unfortunately not one with a strong character all round.

Othello murders Desdemona, as he smothers her with a pillow in a bed covered in her wedding sheets. This murder seems to be symbolic as she is now literally suffocating beneath the demands put on her fidelity. Since her opening lines Desdemona seemed capable of winning against all odds, and meeting demands that were placed upon her, until Othello takes away all her strength. Desdemona possesses a true, kind heart. She is a very trustworthy character which only increases our sympathy for her, as she doesn’t in any way deserve what has come to her. Desdemona maintains right to her death that she is “guiltless”, and the audience can only begin to imagine her fear when she awakens to find Othello standing over her with murder in his eyes.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman was a poet who existed in a very conservative period of time. In his poems we can see the transition from Romanticism to Realism. His views, thoughts, and beliefs were so ahead of his time that he's almost considered revolutionary for writing such poem as, "Song of Myself". In this particular poem we can see Whitman talk about social attitudes and convictions involving sex, religion, and slavery/racism. He touched subjects that people from his time period wouldn't dare touch, and more importantly, he took these subjects and broke all rules and taboos imposed by society.

The 1800 hundreds' was a period in which the word sex was not openly said or talked about, but Whitman was the exception. We can see that, in paragraph three line forty six as he says, "Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and increase, always sex" This particular line can be considered a homosexual reference, but it also implies that he accepts all forms of love. In paragraph five line ninety five, Whitman argues that sex is expressing love, and that we are all bound together by love regardless of sexual preference because "all the men ever born are [his brothers], and the women [his] sisters and lovers–§. Whitman not only released individuals from taboos by talking about sex, but he also celebrated the human body. For example, in paragraph eleven starting in line two hundred and ten he says, "The beards of the young men "listen'd with wet", Little streams pass'd all over their bodies. An unseen hand also pass'd. It descended tremblingly from their temples and ribs." Clearly, Whitman was not scared of presenting reality, nor of praising the present (the here and now) because he thought life was beautiful, despite the fact, there was as much bad in the world as good.

Sex wasn't the only theme in Whitman's "Song of Myself," he also discussed the importance of religious tolerance. Within the poem, paragraph forty-three contains most of the religious and humanitarian concerns that Whitman felt. He referred to different kinds of religions, for instance starting in line 1102 he said, "Helping the llama [a Tibetan priest] or brahmin [a Hindu priest] "Walking the teokallis [a Aztec temple]" Accepting the Gospels "him that was crucified [a Christian reference in line 1106]." He doesn't want to pass judgment on people for what they believe in, on the other hand, he accepts everything for what it is and everyone for whom they are. However, we can feel he is troubled by, "the young man who died and was buried "the little child that peep'd in at the door, and" was never seen again "the old man who has lived without purpose"[and] him in the poor house tubercled [lines 1124-1128]. "Yet, within the same paragraph Whitman manages to emphasizes his optimism on the world as he says, "I do not know what is untried and afterward, But I know it will in its turn prove sufficient, and cannot fail [line 1121]."

A more delicate subject in this poem is the theme of slavery and racism. Slavery still was very prominent throughout the 18 hundred's and society considered it part of their life. For Whitman it was more of an opportunity to emphasize on black slaves and identified with them. For instance, in paragraph thirteen line two hundred thirty four Whitman says, "what is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life." He obviously wasn't disturbed by the thought of racial mixture, as we can see in paragraph ten, when "The runaway slave came to [his] house" [and through the kitchens' door he] saw [the black slave] limpsy and weak "and [Whitman] assured him, brought water and fill'd a tub for his sweated body and bruis'd feet, gave him a room [close to his room] and gave him some coarse clean clothes" [until] he was recuperated and pass'd north" [lines189-197]. "He treated the slave as an equal and helped him heel his wounds by putting plaster on his neck and ankles. One way or another, Whitman tried to put himself in the shoes of the slaves and somehow understood the rejection the slaves received, perhaps because society rejected him as well, for the person he was. He felt people did not have the right to "call the tortoise unworthy because she is not something else, [and even though] the jay in the woods never studied [music], it still was able to sing pretty well" [lines 242-243]."

Whitman's sincerity is present in many parts of the poem, making it easy to believe he was different from other people. He's optimism over war, famine, pain, and horror gave him a positive attitude towards life. To him, the bad things in life came with the good things and that was reality; sometimes hard to accept until you've gone through a process. He broke many boundaries and bent many rules as he mentions sex experiences, religious concerns, and racial tolerance in his poem.

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Understanding Quebec

The Clarity Act and Bill 99 exist for one reason. That reason is because Quebec did not sign the Constitution. And because they are not technically part of Canada, Quebec wants to separate and this is how this whole thing started. But this essay will discuss this topic in more depth.

On November15, 1976, the PQ government was brought into power. They promised to have a referendum and on May20, 1980, they did. So make Quebec vote no on this referendum, Trudeau promised, that if Quebec votes no and they do not separate, he will make Quebec feel more at home. So because in 1980 Quebec voted no on the referendum, Trudeau had to keep his promise.

In 1982, Trudeau kept his word and he held a meeting with all the Premiers to make Canada a better place to live, including Quebec. But Quebec’s Premier, Rene Levesque, was not interested in making Canada better. The only thing he was interested in was to make Quebec better. During that meeting, Trudeau changed Bill 101 a bit, regarding the section on the education and the signs. Now if someone wanted to go to English school on Quebec, they were allowed only if their parents went to English in Canada, from kindergarten to grade 7. And English signs were allowed to appear but they had to be smaller and less frequent. All the provinces were happy and sign the Constitution except for Quebec. So because Canada forced Quebec to modify Bill 101, Rene Levesque was not happy at all. In fact, he was very angry and upset. Because he was upset, then, he did not sign the Constitution and the Constitutional Act failed. These two changes, in a way, prevented Quebec from signing the Constitution.

In 1987, there was another attempt to make Quebec sign the Constitution. Mulroney was the Prime Minister and his only concern was to make Quebec sign the Constitution so he can go down in history as one of the greatest PM of all of Canada’s history. So this meeting was in Meech Lake. Bourassa, the new Premier of Quebec, said Quebec will sign the Constitution if you meet these five demands. All the provinces agreed to them but they also agreed to go back home and ask their province what they think about it. Three years later, on the day of St. Jean Baptist, they met again. All the Premiers agree to sign the Constitution except for Manitoba and New Brunswick. Later Newfoundland pulls out of it too. These provinces did not trust Quebec because Quebec previously overturned the Supreme Court for the Freedom of Expression case. But then they all changed their minds and decided that they were going to sign it but because of Elijah Harper it wasn’t able to be discussed in their parliament. He did this because he didn’t think it was right that Quebec was going to be distinct before the natives do. So because of this, the Meech Lake Accord failed because not all the provinces signed it.

Bourassa was shocked that it failed so he claims that Quebec was Rejected, Humiliated and Victimized. So after, the Belanger-Campeau Commission was set up to ask Quebecers what do to. One year later, they come back and say this. Either we have a referendum and separate from Canada or Canada has to give us better offers.

To prevent Quebec from separating, Mulroney calls a meeting with all the Premiers. This was in 1992 and in this year separation was at its peak. So if Quebec had a referendum, Quebec would have separated. It was called the Charlottetown Accord. And the main purpose was to prevent Quebec from separating. Mulroney offers Quebec several things. Mulroney says to Quebec that these were excellent offers while he says to the rest of Canada that they are just okay. Anyways, there is a referendum across Canada, to see whether these offers were good or not. But in the end, the offers were too much for the rest of Canada and they were too little for Quebec. So the Charlottetown Accord failed.

Because of the failures of the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord, the Liberals were thrown out of power and the PQ went in power. They promise that there will be a referendum in exactly one year and that would be in October 1995. In that referendum, the PQ government cheated immensely. They lied on the Question persuading people to believe that Quebec established an Economic and a Political Partnership with Canada. This was not true. The agreement they signed was that Bourchard, Parizeau and Dumont would work together. Also, they did not register all the immigrants for the voting because they knew they would vote no. And when they counted the ballets, they many NO votes for several stupid reasons like that the x went passed the boundaries. They all told the NO voters to put their initials so it can be disqualified. But even after all the cheating, the NO side just won the referendum.

As a result of all the cheating and Quebec setting all the rules for the referendum, Canada was forced to come up with a plan. It was plan B. They would go to the Supreme Court of Canada to make them answer some questions referring to a referendum. The questions were 1) Who makes the Question on the referendum? 2) State he rules about winning the referendum. Or in other words, state the majority. 3) If the YES side wins, does Canada have to negotiate with Quebec? And 4) How big will Quebec be after the referendum, if they separate? The Supreme Court answered these questions and as a result Canada made a law out of this.

Canada passed the Clarity Act. It said that the House of Commons must first approve the Question. It also stated that the majority had to be clear and that Canada has to negotiate with Quebec if they vote YES on the referendum. And it adds that if Quebec separates, yes, they would be smaller in territory.

Quebec responded to the Clarity Act by passing Bill 99. It basically says that Quebec alone shall determine the Question. The majority is 50%+1 and the territory can not and will not be altered in any way.

In my opinion, the Clarity Act is more efficient than Bill 99. First of all, the Clarity Act comes from a higher source than Bill 99. So if this issue ever goes to court, the Clarity Act will always defeat Bill 99. This is because the Clarity Act comes from the federal government whereas Bill 99 comes from a provincial government. And the federal government is always superior to the provincial government. But besides that fact, the Clarity Act makes more sense than Bill 99 overall on all four issues. Canada should have a say on the Question in the referendum. They should be able to approve the question or not because the referendum not only affects Quebec but also Canada too. So if Canada is involved, they should have a say on the Question. Regarding the issue with the majority, the majority does not necessarily mean over 50% because it might not portray what exactly the population wants. For example, what if only 5% of the population voted on the referendum. Even if they voted Yes on the referendum, this is just a small percentage of the population and it definitely does not represent what the population as a whole would want. So regarding the majority, the turnout of the referendum must be analyzed along with the percentage of how many voted Yes and how many voted No. On the matter of negotiation, they both agreed to discuss the issue so there is no argument there. It is only fair that Canada discusses with Quebec separation. Negotiation does not necessarily mean that Quebec will separate. So negotiation is a must but only if Quebec votes Yes. But on the matter of the size of the territory, they differ. If Quebec does separate from Canada, Canada should make Quebec a lot smaller by taking land away from them. It is only fair. It was Canada, in the first place that gave that land to Quebec as a gift so it is only fair that they have the right to take it away from them. Also, a lot of natives live up north and they clearly say that they do not want to go and separate with Quebec. They want to stay in Quebec. So if that is their wishes then that is what they should get.

But even if the Clarity Act is superior to Bill 99, that won’t stop Quebec from doing anything because what if Quebec wants a referendum. So they write a question. If Canada rejects it, Quebec will still go ahead with that same Question because in their Bill it says that Quebec alone shall determine the Question. They believe that Canada should have no role in it. So if they go ahead with that Question and the public votes Yes, then Canada would have to negotiate. But they won’t because Quebec broken the Clarity Act by using the rejected Question. So Quebec would just separate. It would be called Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). So if this happens then there might be a civil war within Canada. But for sure Canada will bring in the army. If Canada brought in the army for the FLQ crisis and the Oka crisis, which were relatively small compared to this, then we must conclude that Canada would call in the army. And maybe if things get heated up, there might be a civil war. So this could cause a lot of problems. This would happen if you chose the Clarity Act, though.

In conclusion, even though the Clarity Act may cause severe damage to Canada and its reputation, this is still a better and more effective law than Bill 99.

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UAE and India

History has stood evidence of the evolution, ancient civilizations, conquests and victories leading to the present modern world. Each land mass is unique and distinguished with varying cultures and traditions making it a topic of interest for study and research. U.A.E. and India are two such Asian countries, which have left a mark on the world map. Both have an amazing amalgamation of traditional values of the East and the modern technologies of the West, being a melting pot of various cultures living to together and working in harmony. On the other hand they also have humongous differences on geographical, economical, political and religious backgrounds.

Firstly, the phenomenal difference would be geographically. India is a sub-continent with a total area of 3,287,590 sq. km. whereas that of U.A.E. is 83,600 sq. km. Further; U.A.E. has a population of 3 million while that of India is about a billion! The natural features of India include the mighty Himalayan mountain range, the great many fertile river plains, valleys, plateaus and desert whereas the U.A.E. is largely a desert region. Therefore, in India one enjoys different climatic conditions at the same time in different parts but bin the U.A.E. there is a uniform climate pattern in all the seven emirates through the year. Secondly, India with 28 states has been independent from foreign rule for 50 years now and is the world’s largest democracy with a constitution that makes India a secular state, tolerant of religions and faith. The U.A.E. formation took place 25 years ago making it a federation of seven Emirates and is ruled by Sheiks almost making it a Monarchy.

Furthermore, the standard of living in India is comparatively low with a per capita income of USD 2000.However, the U.A.E. enjoys a standard of living that is comparable to the world’s most advanced nations with a per capita income of USD 16,500!!The population below poverty line in India is 35% while that in U.A.E. is 0%!!!In addition, India’s economy encompasses traditional village farming; modern agriculture, handicrafts and a wild range of modern industries including a boom in export software services. While the UAE economy is largely dependent on the oil resources and of late a boom in trade.

Inspite of these huge differences there are a few factors that strike a common note. India a secular country has different ethnic and religious groups living in coexistence and enjoy the same rights and although the UAE is an Arab Islamic country you find people from all over the world converging here. Both countries have one of the most liberal societies and have always paid host to numerous cultures. More over, India and UAE have deep cultural roots and traditions. Family values and keeping up with age-old customs and traditions, something every Indian and Arab takes pride in. They strictly abide by their National dress and retain their identity. Our palates have similarities too. Rice, bread, meat are staple diet forms communal gatherings and festivities are part of their rich heritage.

To crystallize India and the UAE are two distinguished Asian Countries each having achieved world recognition in the fields of technology and commerce. They are both friendly nations and promote universal brotherhood with family values being the focal point of their existence. The common chord is the rich cultural heritage that is the pride and honour of the countries.

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Edgar Allan Poe

How has Edgar Allan Poe's writing influenced detective stories? There have been many influential writers in the past but the one that stands out the most is Edgar Allan Poe. He has written many different pieces of literature ranging from love to murder. But in his murder stories there are many similar factors that emerge. It seems that for all of his murder and mystery type stories the killer always seems to find a way to give himself up. In a lot of his pieces, the police seem to perform very poor investigations but always seem to find out the truth through the killer being to cocky and pretty much giving himself up. For example in The Black Cat the main character was home free with his murder and became a little to confident and he told the police to come down stairs right by where he had the cat and his wife buried, he knocked on the wall, the cat made a noise and he got caught. A similar act happened in A Tell Tale Heart. This adds a little more suspense in the story and helps to serve for a more enjoying plot. Since Poe is such an influential writer, other writers look at his work and use his tactics of suspense in their stories, which occurs a lot in detective stories. Poe has really set the standard for the expectations on how detective stories are written. When writing a detective story it has become customary to refer to Poe's work.

In the story Murders of the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, two women were killed while occupying a fourth room of a house on Rue Morgue. It is hard to understand where the killer had exited the room because it appears to be completely locked from the inside and the police are having a hard time finding a motive on why someone would try to kill these two ladies. But Mr. Dupin, an investigator steps in and solves the case. To solve the mystery Mr. Dupin used a process of deduction, which is different to other Poe stories because his characters usually do very poor investigations of the murders. Mr. Dupin uncovered the killer to be an orangutan that had escaped its owner. This also showed how hard of an investigation the police and Mr. Dupin had to perform in order to have justice.

In the story The Adventures of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the inspector, Sherlock Holmes, had to find out who killed a young women in her home. It was hard for him to find out who the killer was because there was no hard evidence that there was force involved. His first theory was that a gypsy or a band of gypsy's killed her but it did not make sense because this motive was missing some parts like she had no violent scars, or no sine of any kind of restraint so how would a person have killed her? He then was about to come to the conclusion that she died of a frightening disaster, but he decided to go se the victim's sister who found her right before she died. She said that her sister's last words were speckled band, which led him back to believe that the gypsies killed her. Then she told him that she heard a clanking noise, which she did not know where it came from, so this put him in a state of serious confusement. A little later he found Dr. Grimesby Roylott (the victims step father) dead in the corner of the same house. He then remembered that the doctor had brought some animals from India over to study from. After that he discovered that the woman had a rope hanging from her ceiling in her room from her ventilator, which led him to the conclusion that the doctor was using a snake to climb down the rope to kill his stepdaughter. This snake was the most deadly in all of India, so when it bit people it left no marks on them but it killed them within seconds, which explains why his gypsy theory did not make sense with no marks. This also made sense because the victim's last words were speckled band, which identifies the snake, and the clanking noise was identified as the snake in a safe after the doctor placed him in it. In this story Sherlock Holmes came up with many theories but narrowed it down by a process of elimination, which was also elevent in the story, the Murder of the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe. This alone shows that Edgar Allan Poe influenced other writers. When writing this story Doyle had to have had Poe in mind because he had a very similar investigation as in the Murder of the Rue Morgue.

The influence of these Poe stories on A. Conan Doyle was cardinal. Doyle himself publicly credits Poe; he modeled the Sherlock Holmes stories after Poe's highly successfully formula for detective fiction in these three stories: a detective of razor-sharp intellect, a bumbling narrator & a short-sighted police inspector. In 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue,' 'The Mystery of Marie Roget,' & ' The Purloined Letter,' Poe stretches the possibilities of literature. Essential reading in the detective fiction genre.

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Should Cigarettes Be Banned?

I strongly support illegalizing cigarettes due to their devastating effects on our society. One in every five deaths in America is due to tobacco. More than 400,000 Americans are killed by tobacco use every year and this trend continues as millions are still using tobacco products especially cigarettes. Every year, health cost and lost productivity costs the United States almost $150 billion. “For each pack of cigarettes sold in 1999, $3.45 was spent on medical care due to smoking, plus $3.73 in lost productivity, for a total cost of $7.18 per pack.” However, beside so many problems it “is the single most preventable cause of death in our society.”(American Cancer Society)

Tobacco originally grew in the Americas. Native Americans were the first one to use tobacco products and Christopher Columbus introduced tobacco to the Europeans, as he got tobacco leaves as gift from Native Americans. In earlier times it was considered as a mere cure to many diseases from toothache to cancer! And this is the main reason as to why it became so popular in Europe. However, in the 17th century there came a major reversal in the popularity of tobacco in Europe after it was found to cause addiction by Sir Francis Bacon. Since then the laws against tobacco had started to accumulate and in the same century Massachusetts banned smoking in public places. As time elapsed, more health risks about smoking were uncovered and eventually after the 1960's drastic health complications and hazards due to smoking became clearly evident to public through researches and reports such as “the Surgeon General’s report.”(University of Dayton)

Nicotine is “colorless liquid that turns brown when burned and acquires the odor of tobacco when exposed to air.” Nicotine was discovered in the early 1800’s and since then many researchers have tried to figure out how it acts on the human brain—affecting our desires. Most of the cigarettes available today contain at least 10 mg of nicotine. Nicotine is absorbed in the body from any tobacco product, from cigarettes it is absorbed by inhalation, from cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco it is absorbed through the mucosal membranes. “Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use, even in the face of negative [dangerous] health consequences” and nicotine makes tobacco fit into this category. Addiction to cigarettes is what makes smokers not to quit smoking; nicotine is responsible for addiction in cigarettes and other tobacco products. Nicotine is addictive because of its unmatched ability in controlling the feelings of pleasure. The chief chemical involved in controlling the desire to use drugs is the “neurotransmitter dopamine.” And research shows that nicotine increases the level of dopamine in our nervous system. Almost every smoker admits that tobacco is harmful and some also try to quit smoking it but most of the time they fail in doing so as statistics show that only 7% of those who quit smoking “on their own” can live without smoking for more than a year. (National institute on drug abuse research report series)
As the smoker continues to smoke due to addiction he continues to take in other harmful chemicals contained in tobacco smoke. Cigarette smoke if found to contain at least 4000 ingredients of which 50 are carcinogens. Some of the commonly dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes smoke are “arsenic, acetone (used in paint stripper [ . . . ]), ammonia, carbon monoxide, cyanide, mercury [ . . .] lead.” Many dangerous diseases have been linked to occur due to these lethal substances. (Canadian Cancer Society)

Long lasting diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are all thanks to cigarettes. We saw drugs creating a disastrous impact on our children's future. We banned it. We saw health enhancers creating future problems with athletes. We banned it too. Now we have cigarettes in front of us which are still legal and are highly capable of causing severe tissue damage—causing lethal diseases-- and often leading to death.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. It leads to the development of cancer of the lungs, kidneys, liver, larynx (voice box), larynx (throat), stomach and other body organs. Among all these cancers, lung cancer is the most easy to occur due to cigarette smoking as more than 80% of all lung cancer deaths are due to smoking; however, it is the most preventable form of cancer.

Cigarette smoking also effects the normal functioning of the lungs. At least 7 million people suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) –chronic-bronchitis and emphysema. Chronic bronchitis occurs when there is excess production of mucus by the lungs to protect it from harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke, and this forces the smoker to severely cough. Emphysema occurs when tiny sacs of tissue that make up the lungs are distorted. The smoke inhaled from a burning cigarette makes it extremely difficult for the lung sacs to function effectively and therefore restricting oxygen supply to the blood and this endangers the smoker’s life.

Heart disease is the number one killer in America. Cigarette is the fuel to heart diseases. Smoking weakens the heart and increases the risk of a smoker or a non-smoker getting a heart stroke. Not only that, smoking also diminishes the sensory abilities of smell, taste and touch. (American Cancer Society)

Whenever it had come to banning cigarettes in public places, the tobacco industry claimed that cigarette ban would be bad for businesses like restaurants and bars. The impartial Zagat survey of the impact of New York City’s smoking ban confirmed what every other credible survey has shown: Smoking bans are popular with the public and pose no economic threat to restaurants, bars or other businesses (American Heart Association). California banned public cigarette smoking in 1998 and saw economic growth. Non-smokers freely dined at their favorite restaurant without the worries of secondhand smoke.

At this time when national security is on the nation’s priority list, wouldn’t a clean environment for children be on our priority list? Doesn’t this give a clear hint why cigarettes should be banned? Many smokers have the feeling "it’s my life; I will do whatever I want to". In a democratic society as ours, that statement is true; however, if the actions by one person leads to harm to the other, then such actions are not tolerated. This is the case with smoking. When a smoker smokes, his/her smoke severely affects all those who are in his/her vicinity. Second hand smoke is more dangerous than “directly inhaled smoke” by smoker as it contains the same obnoxious ingredients but in greater quantity. Second hand smoke consists of mainstream smoke—smoke from the smoker’s lungs and side stream smoke—smoke from the burning of tobacco. Mainstream smoke is the same as “directly inhaled smoke.” Every year, second hand smoke kills more than 1000 people in Canada. Canada is sparsely populated when compared to the US. This should give us an idea how severely second hand smoke could affect people in the US, especially in populated cities. The risk of being attacked by second hand smoke is in almost every place. A person exposed to second hand smoke is at the same risk, or perhaps more, of acquiring the mentioned dreadful diseases as would be a smoker.
“In addition to the suffering and loss caused by second-hand smoke-related deaths and the direct medical costs associated with long-term illnesses, there are significant indirect costs related to second-hand smoke. These costs include: increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, higher insurance premiums, higher cleaning costs, increased property damage resulting from tobacco use by smoking employees.”

One can be a victim of second hand smoke “at home, at work, at school, in public places such as restaurants and bars, in vehicles such as the family car.” The risk of exposure to second hand smoke could be anywhere, and the only feasible solution to this problem is through illegalizing cigarettes. (Canadian Cancer Society)

When the nation is focusing on statements like: Our children are our future shouldn’t we be worried about our children’s health? Cigarette manufacturers have secretly manipulated doses of nicotine and subjected the “slow poison” to minors. Exciting commercials, misleading information dissemination and wide promotion has lead to an increase in teenage smoking. Nearly all-first use of tobacco occurs before high school graduation. Smoking hurts young people's physical fitness in terms of both performance and endurance—even among young people trained in competitive running.

“Teens who smoke are three times more likely than nonsmokers to use alcohol, eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine. Smoking is associated with a host of other risky behaviors, such as fighting and engaging in unprotected sex.”

Low nicotine cigarettes make children good bait. Subjecting children to flavored cigarettes with low nicotine content, a platform is made focusing on making children completely addictive so that they grow up and become a potential customer. A simple thought – would you like your children to start with a flavored poison only to see a loved one go in a direction you never wanted him/her to go? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

If we all know that cigarette is a slow poison, why should we ever allow this menace to exist? A portion of people would argue that banning cigarette would cause cigarettes to enter the black market. This question was also raised when drugs were made illegal. Does this argument hold true in anybody’s mind now? Let us also demolish the black market of cigarettes if one arises! Drawings by artists that show a cigarette dangling in the mouth of a skeleton explain it all.

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Response to Literature

Writing a story can be as free and structureless as a free verse poem. Take "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin and "The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe for example. Kate Chopin uses very little characterization and introduction at all. This can develop two different kinds of stories. One that slowly builds up plot and suspense and gives you a feeling of the character's personality, and one that jumps right into climax of story and keeps you excited to find out where story is going.

In Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" we are only presented with the fact that Mrs. Mallard "was afflicted with heart trouble." We are given no more information of her personality nor are we given any information on her sister Josephine or her husband's friend Richard. The story then immediately begins with Josephine presenting the information to her sister that her husband has died, which is already the climax. The rest of the story is of extreme excitement and happiness so we stay rather peaked. This very quickly presents us with what the author is going to be talking about throughout the rest of the story. Mrs. Mallard takes no time to think, but explodes into tears of "wild abandonment." She then goes to her room where nearly the rest of the story takes place. We are presented with each and every emotion she goes through one after the other. "She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life." We see here her realization of freedom and the story goes on to give many more allusions to freedom for several paragraphs. There is brief explanation that Mrs.

Mallard's husband may have been a controlling man (Chopin 40). Then we experience a brief fall in emotion as Mrs. Mallard emerges from her room a new woman. We are then quickly launched back up as Brently Mallard arrives home and Mrs. Mallard shrieks in horror and passes away. Even the explanation as to how Brently shows up is extremely brief: "He had been far from the scene of accident, and did not even know there had been one" (Chopin 41).

In Edgar Allen Poe's "The Black Cat" we are given a very large introduction. It is basically an epilogue for a short story. The main character of the story presents himself as the author of the story. He then discusses his beliefs and that he himself does not believe in what he is about to write: "For the … narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief" (Poe 102). The narrator then describes how his own actions in this story have "terrified-have tortured-have destroyed" (102) him. Next he even goes all the way back to his infancy to present us with a characterization. He discusses his love for animals and his constantly being surrounded with pets by his parents. All this description of the narrator gives a feeling like we know him already. We are then introduced to his wife who is also very fond of pets. She tells him one story about how black cats are considered to be witches. This could very possibly be a foreshadowing for the rest of the story.

The story then introduces the next important character Pluto. Pluto, a cat, is given great attention and detail also. During this time we are also presented with the narrator taking on a drinking problem. This gives us a rise in action as the narrator's emotions are now slowly growing beyond his control. We then reach a climax where the narrator in a drunken stupor grabs his once faithful cat in an aggressive manner. The cat then bites his master who takes out a penknife and gouges out the cat's eye. The climax somewhat carries on with the narrator's next action being to hang the animal and get pleasure from it. Then we are presented with a fire, which takes the whole house of the narrator except for one wall. This wall has an image of a large cat with a rope around its neck, which leads us to believe this cat was quite truly a witch despite the explanation the narrator attempted to give. I am not sure if next the plot takes a fall in action or simply another rise in action to a second climax that could also be the conclusion.

The story basically seems to start anew with another cat (105). He once again grows very fond of the cat, then very disgusted with it. Finally, one night while going down some stairs with his wife, the cat trips him up and he is almost sent head first down the stairs. In extreme rage he lifts an axe to kill the animal, but his wife seized his hand. This further angering him he takes his hand back and kills his wife (106). This could be a second climax where the story can now have a third that is the conclusion. We do have a fall in action as the narrator buries the body in a wall and all is well for a while. There is rising action with visits from the police. One the final visit the police would have made the narrator ends up giving himself away and starts rapping on the wall with a cane. All of the sudden this caused a moaning sound to come from the wall and the police were tearing at it. This is our final climax and conclusion to the story as the police discover the body with a black cat resting upon its head (108).

It is now quite evident that a story can be satisfying and enjoyable to read without going to extensive introduction, body and conclusion. All authors have unique, individual styles which is what keeps us reading and interested. We want to experience all these styles so we can choose those we like and appeal most to our senses. Some of us like long, drawn out stories that give us the opportunity to get to know the characters and gives us intensified feelings or emotions. We want to experience a bond with the characters, and Poe helped us feel for the narrator. Then there's those of us who just want action and suspense right away and this is where Kate Chopin comes into play. All humans are different and all writers are different to quench our thirst for entertainment.

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