Archive July 2019

Learning a Language: Gaining Fluency in a Essay

Learning a language: Gaining fluency in a language to be free

The acquisition of language is never a culturally neutral process. When someone learns his or her first or even a second language, that individual also acquires a status in the eyes of the world, based upon how that language is perceived. The race of the speaker, his or her perceived level of education, gender, and race all interact with the stereotypes that exist in the gazer’s mind. In Christine Marin’s essay “Spanish Lessons,” Marin chronicles how her unsteadiness in Spanish did not initially bother her, given the fact that she grew up in a society that prized whiteness. Gradually, as she grew older and her attitude towards her heritage changed, her lack of fluency in her native tongue became a burden. Similarly, Malcolm X was forced to grapple with his complex relationship with the English language. On one hand, it was the language of the white man and the oppressor. On the other hand, to ignore the value of literacy like street thugs meant that he would be forever disenfranchised, forever Malcolm Little rather than his renamed self of Malcolm X

According to Marin, when she was growing up, the act of speaking Spanish marked her as different, even when singing a popular pop song “La Bamba.” When she did so, she and her Mexican-American girlfriends were accused of ‘not being American,’ despite the fact that the song was popular on American radio at the time. Marin knew, even as an adolescent, that the accusation that she was not an American because she didn’t speak English was foolish and deeply ironic — she did not even know the meaning of the words of the song, just like most Anglos who enjoyed grooving to Riche Valens. (And like many of her Anglo counterparts, Marin did not even know that Valens was Mexican-American).

Repeatedly, people assumed that Marin spoke better Spanish than she actually did, simply because of her Hispanic appearance and name. But Marin’s parents had never hoped that their daughter would speak Spanish fluently — as was typical of so many high-aspiring immigrants of the time, they wished her to speak Spanish better than the “gringos,” not to be bilingual (Marin 112). Their worries seemed to be confirmed when Marin’s presumed fluency did get her a job at a place mainly frequented by Hispanic-Americans, where she struggled to communicate with customers in the seedy environment.

Marin’s best subject in high school was English but when she attended college, she was encouraged to major in Spanish and to become a Spanish teacher. A prejudiced professor falsely accused her of copying an essay, simply because the teacher assumed that no Hispanic person could write so well. Once again, Marin’s fluency was misinterpreted because of her ethnicity and skin tone. This frustrated Marin, because it felt like a denial of her voice and core identity.

Gradually, as the Chicano rights movement began to gain in power on her campus, Marin’s attitude towards her heritage began to shift. But even though many of the slogans of the movement were in Spanish, meetings were conducted in English, as this was the first language of the majority of the members on campus. Only after connecting with community activists in the Chicano rights movement did Marin feel motivated to improve her Spanish. Marin went on to become a curator for the university’s Chicano Research collection. This allowed her to merge her love of literature and English with her newfound cultural identity and her improving Spanish skills. Marin now feels that both her Spanish and her English voices are uniquely hers and are fully evident in her work.

Although not bilingual, the African-American activist Malcolm X similarly had to struggle to find his voice in a society that denied the intelligence and worth of his people. As a street hustler, Malcolm X spoke the language of the ghetto, and grew detached from the love of literature and English he had as a young man. However, he reconnected with that love of the language during his spiritual conversion to Islam in jail. His new faith rekindled an interest in using language in a powerful way, rather than merely using words to ‘hustle.’

Malcolm X wrote letters to his former criminal friends in jail. However, even as he wrote, seeking to reach out to them, he knew that most of them did not know how to read, much less appreciate what he was trying to say to them. They had been denied legitimate power in society, and that denial was critically linked to being cut off from written language. Although the English language might be that of the white man, whom Malcolm viewed as a “devil” at the time, the illiteracy of the people Malcolm knew on the street made them fit for little else but a life of crime (Malcolm 96). Malcolm wanted to transcend that old life, and to do so, he knew he would have to learn a new way of articulating himself in English.

Malcolm X grew frustrated with is own lack of literacy. He had never been educated beyond the 8th grade. He wished to write to powerful leaders like Harry Truman and the Governor of Massachusetts and have his words and thoughts be respected and understood. But as angry as he was at white society at the time, he realized that he would have to apply himself and acquire an education. All he knew was slang. Although he could sound reasonably eloquent speaking, on the page he was helpless.

Malcolm X empowered himself through self-directed education in prison, much like Marin empowered herself by educating herself about the history of Chicanos at her university and seeing her struggles with language and identity as part of a larger historical struggle. However, because Malcolm’s education had been so stunted, his learning process was far slower and more painful than Marin’s. Although Malcolm X wanted to read and to be educated, he said that the words before him on the pages of most books might as well have been in Chinese, because he knew so few of them. To rectify the situation (and also to improve his penmanship) he began copying words from the dictionary. Without words, Malcolm X knew he could not read the type of material he wanted to read. If he could not read, he could not express his feelings and thoughts in a manner to make people listen. Although he was in prison, Malcolm X said he had “never been so free” until he regained the gift of literacy and language (Malcolm 97). Malcolm’s self-directed learning seems strange, but it underlines the fact that without the basics of an education and language — whatever that language may be — it does not matter how great someone’s ideas are, if no one will listen or can understand them. Malcolm X went on to be one of the most eloquent African-American speakers of his generation, and most people presumed he had an education far past that of the 8th grade.

I can relate to both of the experiences of these authors. As an Arab-American, like Marin, I find that my culture is often despised and misunderstood. People assume because of my background that I understand the motivations of everyone in the Middle East from Arab sheiks to terrorists. If they hear someone speaking Arabic, they assume that the person is ‘up to no good.’ While fortunately this has never happened to me, I have heard of Arab persons being apprehended while speaking in their native language, because it is assumed that they must be plotting something, if they are not speaking English. Just as Spanish was ‘coded’ as un-American when Marin was a girl, so is the Arabic language today.

Sometimes, when I am in public places like planes and trains I am particularly careful NOT to seem suspicious and shifty. Some people talk about how they worry that they will be the victim of a terrorist attack. While I am worried about such an event I am also worried of being suspected of being a terrorist, simply because I have been rifling through my bag to see if I have forgotten something. Of course, these examples do not pertain to written or spoken language, but they do pertain to body language, which is another way in which people express themselves to the world. I am hyper-aware of the fact that my body language may be interpreted in a different way, simply because of my ethnicity.

People also often assume that I do not speak English well, because I am not Caucasian. It is not unusual for me to be in a store, to be approached and asked if I want assistance, and for the sales associate to speak very slowly, articulating every word as if I am unlikely to be understood. Not everyone assumes that I am Arab, I should note. I have been mistaken for being Indian and Hispanic as well, and…

Married, Daphne Built a Highly Term Paper

The need to save face does not bring people to the bargaining table, the need to resolve a dispute or issue does (Fisher and Ury, 1991).

Positional bargaining does have advocates. In the case where the parties interests may interfere with their resolving the issues, positional bargaining may be preferred. Issues are deemed to be universal and party specific. Interests are party specific and will vary from case to case. In this matter, the interests include Richard’s infidelity and the three ongoing businesses. It may be that in this case, positional bargaining is preferred as the interests will prove to polarizing for the parties to work together (Lax and Sebenius, 1991).

Strategies, Transitions And Progressions During The Mediation

Richard’s First Response

Although this subsection is entitled Richard’s response, it is really the response of his lawyer. The mediator meets with privately with Richard and his lawyer and explains that the law sets forth certain parameters for these issues. Some of the parameters likely would not be decided favorably for Richard by a judge if the case is not settled. Still, Richard is emotional and immature and his lawyer knew that Richard must be made to understand the intricacies of negotiation.

Richard ultimately offered to lessen his demands for custody to one of the summer months and to establish and pay for pre-paid college accounts for the children. He remained emotionally unwilling to yield on the other issues. He still did not see the negotiations as an exercise in economy or as the means to achieve the ends he set forth at the beginning of the mediation (a quick and cheap resolution). Rather he feels the outcome of the mediation must vindicate him as the righteous of the two parties.

Analysis Of Richard’s Negotiation Strategies Used In His First Response

Richard continues to view the mediation as him vs. her. He was not looking as the other party as his long time partner and mate or the mother of his three children. His ‘must-win’ attitude was a product of his demonizing his wife and his having lost sight of his wife as a fellow human being, let alone one with which he will forever have a significant bond (as parents to the same children). Colloquial negotiation talk speaks of bringing opposing parties ‘to the table.’ What good does that do in this instance, when one or both or parties sit across the table from each other with arms folded thinking ill of each other. After all, the idea behind negotiating and mediating is to get a deal done, not to not get a deal done.

Richard needs to be guided to the ‘same side of the table’ as his wife, either literally or theoretically. The mediator and/or his lawyer, as good negotiators, will understand the importance of Richard humanizing Daphne during the mediation. The mere act of the two of them sitting side by side is likely to foster more compassion between them. In this fashion, they can look upon the problem together for a mutually satisfactory solution, rather than glare across a cold, hard table at each other from their own symbolic camps (Fisher and Ury 1991, 17).

Daphne’s First Response

Richard’s first response provokes an equally emotional response from Daphne. Having just spent the last ten years of her life being pressured to accept his childish and short-sighted decision making, she is not about to let him ‘have his way’ here to. She sees this as her last chance to create a level playing field between them and she is not about to be ‘walked all over.’ Besides, she is fully aware that she has better chance of prevailing in the judge that he does. She instructs her lawyer to tell the mediator the case cannot be settled and they are leaving.

Analysis Of Daphne’s Negotiation Strategies Used In His First Response

Just because Daphne starts to walk out does not mean that she is giving up or acting in bad faith. In fact, her response is a result of her perception that Richard will not negotiate in good faith. There are two concepts of negotiating strategy at work here. One is that the best approach to an unfair negotiator is often to stop negotiating. Negotiating is not a display of power or a test of wills. It is about find a better path out a particular issue.

The other concept is that there is power in understanding the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of your position. Here Daphne, knowing the advantage she will have in a courtroom, realizes that she Richard’s tactics are likely to backfire in front of the judge. Sometimes, the desire to have an unsettling issue resolved needs to defer to putting yourself in the best position to obtain a tolerable outcome. (Fisher and Ury, 1991, 183)

Richard’s Transitions And Progression

After the mediator successfully lobbies for Daphne to stay for one more round of negotiations, the mediator and Richard’s lawyer let Richard know that while he is free to conduct however he sees fit, he is adopting some self-destructive positions. The mediator and Richard’s lawyer both feel that Richard stands to make out better at the mediation than he would in front of a judge, but he has to first ‘divorce’ himself from his present mindset. One way, the mediator succeeds in doing this is by assuring Richard that if they can make a deal today, that means that Daphne will have to soften her demands and they both will feel like they lost. “That is the mark of a fair settlement,” says the mediator. Richard begrudgingly begins to listens to what the mediator has to say.

Analysis Of Richard’s Transitions And Progression

The mediator explains to Richard the importance of focusing on interests and not positions. Rather than focusing on the degree of separation in the two parties bottom lines, focus on why each party has a different bottom line. What are the fears, desires, needs and wants that motivates each party (Fisher and Ury 1991, 41). This is important for two reasons.

First, this is where the solution to the issues lay. When a party is assured that its fears are assuaged or its needs met, the barrier to agreement often vanishes. Also, there is often multiple solutions to the problem of interests that would not come to find if the negotiation is looked at only from a positional standpoint (Fisher and Ury 1991, 42).

Second, often times a close inspection interests reveals how aligned the parties respective positions actually are. In this instance, Richard and Daphne share several key interests. They both want the divorce finalized as quickly as possible, with as little spent in legal fees and as little disruption to the children’s lives as possible. They both want to sever their collective business interests and their property interests. In fact, each lawyer stated this at the onset of the mediation. However, because each side employed the positional bargaining approach, they each lost of the shared interests.

Richard’s Further Transitions And Progression

The last thing the mediator explains is the laws of that state do not favor him given the facts of this case. The mediator makes Richard use objective criteria to re-establish his own bargaining position. The mediator explains the law in the couple’s home state is and that the judges are pretty consistent.

Daphne, as the mother, will be given primary custody unless she is shown to be an unfit mom. This is in the best interest of the children. Richard’s affection for them and desire to have primary custody is not given much weight in his state. Richard will be ordered to pay child support because in his state, a parent is obligated to financially support his children. The amount of child support will be determined based on his ability to pay and the children’s needs. Richard will be given visitation and perhaps limited custody during the summer months.

The mediator informs Richard that these issues are not even bargaining chips. The property issues are where the negotiation should be focused. Richard needs to know the judge will consider evidence of his infidelity and abandonment towards his wife. If the evidence is compelling enough, the judge may very well award the majority of marital assets to the wife as an “equitable distribution.” This distribution may require the couple to sell off the vacation home at a considerable loss, or to sell the commercial property at a low point in the real estate market and not hold the commercial property as a landlord. The judge may also determine that Daphne’s decision to be a stay at home mom is in the kids best interest and that she is therefore entitled to alimony. Convinced now that Richard will no longer try to carry the day with will power and resentment, the mediator invites Richard to engage in collaborative negotiations with Daphne.

Earnest Negotiations And Marching Toward Settlement

Easy Negotiations

Richard…

Strategic Use and Impact of Social Media in the 2012 Elections Essay

Strategic Use and Impact of Social Media in the 2012 Elections

The goal of the research is to find evidence of the use and impact of social media in U.S.’s 2012 presidential elections. This is because it was reported that President Obama won the elections because of the ground operation presented by volunteers of his elections’ campaigns (CNN Wire 1). I chose this topic since reports in state media indicated that the Republican Party was heading in the pre-election polls, but in the end, the Democratic Party won due to the use of technological innovation (Edsall 1). An in depth analysis of the research problem intends to reveal that the presidential contest favored President Obama, for using social media. Social media is increasingly an easy, fast, and effective way for people to have personal contact through technology. The intention is to prove the political premise that the most effective means of getting people to vote is through personal contact. This research will prove that President’s Obama won the race because his campaigns were organized and effectively made use of social media. The presidential campaigns using social media were able to create a strong ground operation, with many volunteers who had personal contact with potential voters. Moreover, President Obama’s campaigns used the latest in technology and social media techniques, allowing him to defeat Romney, who was leading in the polls. The research should elicit evidence that will offer future election candidates social media techniques applicable in campaigns. It will also prove the political science theory that personal contact is the most effective means of get people to vote.

Methodology

The case study method is selected for this research, where an inquiry is made of various articles on the presidential election of 2012. This involves an interpretation of the statistics and political analysis of the presidential election to identify information on the use of social media. The research will evaluate articles that have particularly focused on the 2012 presidential election, the campaign strategy of President Obama and Mitt Romney, and the use of social media. The findings from the analysis made by these articles will provide an understanding of President Obama’s use of social media and its effectiveness. The Case study method is selected for it is a powerful tool, with the advantage of focusing research on the case. This situates interpretations on the use of social media in the presidential election. The method also directs the research to focus on the differences in social media strategies between President Obama and Mitt Romney, and the impact of the use of social media on the results of the presidential election.

Analysis and Discussion

To solve the research problem, a case study of the presidential elections of 2012 is analyzed, along with a review of literature. The review of literature shows that political campaigns have taken the campaign battled online, as part of a broader effort to target specific voter population at critical moments in the campaign. Political advertising has begun spending on online advertisements and was estimated at $160 million by 2012, which is more than seven times the amount spent in 2008 (Schatz 1). After President Obama’s spirited social media and online campaign in 2008 that gathered massive support from the young generation, campaigns have incorporated online sources apart from the traditional television and direct mail. Other online resources include videos, which have been identified as suitable for voter targeting. For example, Romney online videos flooded Hulu.com prior to the January 2012 primary. Schatz (2012) indicates that there is increased spending on online sites, since they reflect on the importance of campaigns, especially from internet sites and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook (1). This is because they not only assist campaign managers to raise money but they also energize potential voters and organize party supporters on the Election Day. Political campaigns are also using sites like YouTube and Hulu to run their television advertisements and videos online, to create an emotional connection with voters that do not watch regular television.

The findings indicate that online social media networks like Facebook can increase the voter turnout, particularly if they have evidence that their friends are also voting (Sifry 1). This conclusion was made by the U.C. San Diego research published in the Journal Nature, which indicates that a non-partisan message on Facebook calling for voters to get-out-the-vote increases voter turnout. The article by Sifry (2012) supports its claim with data from a study by Pew Internet & American Life Project (1). The project reveals that people with friends on social networks that regularly post on political content, are more likely to be involved politically or change their minds on a political issue. This research finds that the data is evidence that social media can influence people, their friends, and the friends of their friends to vote.

The data presented in Sifry’s (2012) research, draws my interest for it is based on Pew Internet & American Life Project’s research in collaboration with Facebook. The study sent a GoTv message at the top of the News Feed, with a link of local polling places with “I Voted” button. The results indicate that 2.08% of the users of Facebook, who received the message, were more likely to indicate they voted than those who read the informational message without a picture of their friends. These made up 20.04% and 17.96% of Facebook users. 0.4% of the users also indicate that they were more likely to vote, with more than 12 million users clicking on the “I Voted” button in 2010, compared to 5.4 million voters in 2008. The results of this data indicate that social media campaigns can elicit enhanced civic engagement in political matters since it rides of the power of social influence on friends. Social media has this effect on voters, since the site of the faces of their friends accompanying a campaign message contributes to the real-world effect of the message.

Social media is reported an effective campaign tool like the traditional television, billboard, and print advertisements. This is because social media has the proven capability of assisting parties and political managers gauge public opinion (Murphy 1). In addition, it is an easy and fast means of sharing videos and photographs of the candidate in action with their audience. Sifry (2012) indicates that social media has this capability since friends generate an additional 886,000 votes, with their close friends generating 559,000 votes. This research finds that friends do not have effect on validated voting, but they have a significant effect on the voting behavior of their friends.

The effectiveness of the social media campaigns was evident in the 2012 presidential elections in which President Obama won a second term. This is attributed to a strong ground operation that reached a wider population personally, managing to increase the voter turnout and swing undecided voters to the democratic side. Presidents Obama’s campaign strategy was boosted by social media campaigns. For example, during the presidential debate at the University of Denver, Stephanie Cutter, Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager commented, “We are getting bombed on Twitter” (Nagourney et al. 1). This statement supports evidence that early postings by journalists and political analysts, viewed as critical for the race presented a pro-Obama perception on Twitter. However, the 3rd October debate turned sour for the president following questions on the healthcare plan. To make a recovery, President Obama created a combative, contrite, and willingly recognized Mr. Romney in an attempt to prevent the loss of his legacy and signature achievement, the Healthcare plan. President Obama took up the challenge and created a campaign strategy that revolved on the voter.

The strategy used behavioral scientists to build a database of potential supporters from new voters and undecided voters. To understand this demographic group, President Obama’s team methodically tracked the views of the voters through numerous telephone calls (Nagourney et al. 1). Through the social networks, President Obama was able to track and alter the nature of the electorate by making it younger and less white shifting voter allegiance from conservative lines. This comprised a large part President Obama’s ground game following the tense presidential debate. President Obama was able to use the rule of personal contact to reach a demographic ground that swung the vote in his favor. According to Martin (2012), President Obama took advantage of a rapidly changing America and voters who are changing the political scene to adopt a more conservative learning Colorado, Florida, Virginia, and Nevada. President Obama was able to reach to individual voters on the ground and gather votes from swing and conservative states like Virginia and Colorado despite the poor economy and motivated opposition. Mitt Romney lost to President Obama, since the Republican Party was still whiter in a less white society with immigrant and minority communities, and more women and young voters. President Obama was able to reach the minority and immigrant community by adopting a one-on-one campaign strategy to reach as many potential voters as possible. One method the President…

Art History High Renaissance Term Paper

Art History — High Renaissance

raphael, da vinci & MICHELANGELO:

THE SUPREME MASTERS OF THE HIGH RENAISSANCE

Within a thirty year span, beginning approximately in 1495, the city of Rome replaced Florence as the Italian seat of artistic pre-eminence. A series of powerful and ambitious popes, most notably Julius II and those associated with the rich and powerful De Medici family run by Cosimo De Medici and later on by Lorenzo De Medici, created a new papal state with Rome as its capitol and artistic center of Europe. These popes embellished Rome with great works of art and invited artists from all over Italy to take on some very challenging tasks. In its duration, the “High Renaissance” (ca. 1492 to 1520) produced works of such authority and magnitude that later generations of artists were forced to imitate it in order to compete with the growing competition within Italy and northern Europe. The various masters of this period had of course inherited the pictorial science of their predecessors, yet they made a distinct break from the past and occupied new and lofty ground that had never been explored before.

In his excellent work The Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari points out that the artists of the High Renaissance, especially Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, epitomized a return to naturalness and to the old artistic methods linked with ancient Rome; Vasari also maintains that these three artists, as compared to the earlier Italian masters, embellished their works with rule, order, proportion and exquisite delineation. Thus, Raphael, Da Vinci and Michelangelo expressed the ideals of the High Renaissance through their abilities to mirror the natural world in all its realities.

The artist most typical of the High Renaissance is undoubtedly Raphael Sanzio (1483-

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1520). Although he was strongly influenced by Da Vinci and Michelangelo, Raphael developed his own individual style which, in some measure, was borrowed from the earlier Italian masters. But Raphael also learned much from his contemporaries which helped to create his powerful originality and to assimilate the best artistic ideals and render them into visions of perfection.

In 1508, Raphael was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the papal apartments in the Vatican, especially the Stanza della Segnatura, where he rendered upon one wall a composition that constitutes a complete statement of the High Renaissance in its artistic form and spiritual meaning, the so-called School of Athens (1509-1511). In this painting, the setting is not an actual “school” but is rather a concourse of the great philosophers and scientist of the ancient world who appear to be holding a convention where they teach each other and inspire new thoughts and principles. In a vast hall covered by massive vaults that recall Roman architecture and predict the new look of St. Peter’s cathedral, the figures are ingeniously arranged around the central pair, being Plato and Aristotle which serves as the focal point for the perspective. On Plato’s side, we see the ancient philosophers who seems to be pondering ancient mysteries; on Aristotle’s side, the philosophers and scientist are concerned with nature and the social lives of men. These two great philosophers are rendered as very self-assured and with natural dignity which reflects the balance so greatly admired by Raphael’s contemporaries and the learned men of Rome.

While Raphael was still in the studio of Perugino, Leonardo Da Vinci has painted his Marriage of the Virgin which probably served as the model for Raphael’s rendering of The Marriage of the Virgin (1504). Although he was only twenty-one, Raphael was able to

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recognize and remedy some of the weaknesses in Da Vinci’s composition, for he relaxed the formality of the foreground figure and added much more depth which provided greater freedom of action. The result was a more fluid and better unified painting which in essence expressed the ideals of the High Renaissance and brought about the science of rendering figures as they exist in nature.

Of course, two other highly important artistic giants that were working along with Raphael were Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) and Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), both of whom perceived the world about them with new eyes and a mind wide open to the possibilities that moved within and without their individual orbits. Da Vinci, the epitome of the artist/genius as well as the first “Renaissance man,” has become a kind of wonder of the modern world who stood at the beginning of this epoch as a prophet and sage of his times. The art of Da Vinci is almost superhuman, while his mind and personality remain mysterious and remote. Thus, as Vasari relates, Leonardo possessed the most profound knowledge on art which allowed him to give his figures true life and movement.

Like Da Vinci, Michelangelo also epitomized the ideals of the High Renaissance, for his work also has the authority of unquestionable greatness. His belief that nothing worth preserving could be done without genius was supported by the fact that nothing could be done without long and hard study of the natural world. Although he was an architect, sculptor, painter, poet and engineer, Michelangelo always regarded himself first as a sculptor. In true Platonic fashion, Michelangelo, through the force of his unearthly intelligence, believed that the image produced by the hand of the artist must come from the idea within one’s mind, being

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based on reality. However, the artist is not the creator of this idea, for it truly only exists in the natural world that is filled with absolute beauty.

One of Da Vinci’s greatest artistic accomplishments lies in the refectory of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy, namely The Last Supper which is considered by many as his most impressive work. This painting is the first great figure composition of the High Renaissance and is definitely the greatest interpretation of its themes. Christ and the twelve apostles are seated in a simple, spacious room at a long table set parallel to the plane of the picture. The highly dramatic action of the painting is made still more emphatic by the placement of the group in an austere, quiet setting.

This ability to render the dramatic with nature can also be found in Da Vinci’s masterpiece of the Mona Lisa (1503-1505). She is shown in half-length view, her hands quietly folded with her gaze directed at the observer. The ambiguity of the famous “smile” is actually the consequence of Leonardo’s fascination and skill with atmospheric chiaroscuro, meaning that he disguises rather than reveals human psyche. During the 19th century, much was made of this enigmatic “smile” which unfortunately subtracted interest from Leonardo’s scientific concern for the nature of light and shadow, two important aspects of all High Renaissance images. The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa clearly weave the dramatic with nature itself which makes these two paintings dual representatives of the High Renaissance style.

In the case of Michelangelo, with his insight into the nature of stone and his confidence in the mind’s idea, he added to his already great reputation by carving his David (1501-1504).

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This colossal figure takes up once gain the themes laid down by earlier Renaissance artists yet it also reflects Michelangelo’s highly original interpretation. The anatomy plays an important role in what the eye perceives as pure human action, for David characterizes absolute energy which gives the tension of the coiled spring to Michelangelo’s figures. Undoubtedly, Michelangelo had the classical nude in mind when he sculpted this monumental work. Thus, his genius, as compared to that of Raphael, is dedicated to the representation of towering, pent-up passion rather than calm, ideal beauty. Clearly, David stands as not only as a symbol of Biblical heroic values but also of the “Renaissance Man” who defies tradition and extols his own virtues…

Fingerprint Classifications Practical Applications of Fingerprint Classifications Term Paper

Fingerprint Classifications

Practical Applications of Fingerprint Classifications in Forensic Science

Fingerprint identification has numerous practical applications. Particular fingerprints may be matched to individuals because they are distinct and unchanging. The individuality of fingerprints is based on the ridge structure and minutiae. The recognition of these landmarks, including shape, number, and location is an automated process by which computer algorithms filter data and match a subset of individuals with a particular print. More complex analyses are then performed to identify the individual who matches the print from the subset of prospects. Overall, the accuracy of these technologies is extremely high and is considered the gold-standard for individual recognition. Future technologies such as DNA fingerprinting and iris scan algorithms appear promising and may replace fingerprinting in the future.

Practical Applications of Fingerprint Classifications in Forensic Science

Large volumes of fingerprints are collected and stored everyday for use in a wide range of applications including forensics, access control, and driver license registration. Automatic recognition of people based on fingerprints requires that the input fingerprint be matched with a large number of fingerprints in a database. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation database contains approximately 70 million fingerprints (Azoury et al., 2004). To reduce the search time and computational complexity, it is desirable to classify these fingerprints in an accurate and consistent manner so that the input fingerprint is required to be matched only with a subset of the fingerprints in the database.

According to most professional criminal investigators, fingerprints obey three fundamental principles. These principles are:

1. A fingerprint is an individual characteristic. It is yet to be found that prints taken from different individuals possess identical ridge characteristics.

2. A fingerprint will remain unchanged during an individual’s lifetime.

3. Fingerprints have general characteristic ridge patterns that permit them to be systematically classified.

Fingerprinting analysis has been used for more than a century. However, this technology is still widely used in law enforcement agencies. Because of its unique characteristic, it is conclusive evidence and a valuable tool among advanced technology. However, there is a chance it might lose its ground by DNA fingerprint, which is more sophisticated and accurate than traditional fingerprint.

There are three types of fingerprints that may exist at crime scenes. First, visible prints are made from finger stained with colored materials such as ink, blood, and grease. In addition, plastic prints may be formed by pressing onto a soft surface such as clay, soap, and wax. Finally, a latent print is an invisible print left on an object by the body’s natural greases and oils. Because it cannot be seen by the naked eye, fingerprint powders, chemicals, and even lasers are used to make fingerprints visible on the crime scene evidence.

In North America, one of the first successful uses of fingerprints for identification was by E. Henry in 1901 in order to stop the railway workers from double collecting pay (Schulz, Reichert, Wehner, & Mattern, 2004). The Henry system derives from the pattern of ridges, which are concentrically patterns on the hands, toes, feet, and fingers. It has reliably been proven that no two individuals have identical ridge patterns, ridge patterns are not inheritable, ridge patterns are formed in the embryo, ridge patterns never change in life, and after death may only change as a result of decomposition. In life, ridge patterns are only changed by accident, injury, burns, disease or other unnatural causes.

The individuality of any fingerprint may be based not upon the general shape or pattern that it forms, but instead upon its ridge structure and specific characteristics, also known as minutiae. The recognition of these ridges, their relative number, and the approximate location of them, on the observed print, are the special characteristics that make the fingerprint a specific identifying characteristic of each individual. There are at least 150 individual ridge characteristics on the average fingerprint. If between 10 and 16 specific points of reference for any two corresponding fingerprints identically compare, a match may be assumed. In a judicial proceeding, a point-by-point comparison must be graphically demonstrated for at least 12 different, but corresponding, points in order to prove the identity of a specific person (Maudling & Attwood, 2004).

Fingerprint classification is a technique to assign a fingerprint into one of the several pre-specified types already established in the literature, which can provide an indexing mechanism. Fingerprint classification may be viewed as a coarse level matching of the fingerprints. An input fingerprint is first matched at a coarse level to one of the pre-specified types. Then, at a finer level, it is compared to the subset of the database containing that type of fingerprints only. Algorithms have been developed to classify fingerprints into five classes. These classes include whorl, right loop, left loop, arch, and tented arch. The algorithm separates the number of ridges present in four directions (0 degree, 45 degrees, 90 degrees, and 135 degrees) by filtering the central part of a fingerprint with a bank of Gabor filters (Blotta & Moler, 2004). This information is quantified to generate a FingerCode, which is used for classification. Classification is based on a two-stage classifier, which uses a K-nearest neighbor classifier in the first stage and a set of neural networks in the second stage. For the five-class problem, classification accuracy of 90% is typically achieved. For the four-class problem (arch and tented arch combined into one class), classification accuracy is ~95%.

Identification from fingerprints requires the differentiation of uninterrupted papillary ridge contours followed by the mapping of anatomic marks or interruptions of the same ridges. Codified in the late 1800’s as Galton features, minutiae are at their most rudimentary ridge endings, the points at which a ridge stops, and bifurcations, the point at which one ridge divides into two. Many types of minutiae exist, including dots (very small ridges), islands (ridges slightly longer than dots, occupying a middle space between two temporarily divergent ridges), ponds or lakes (empty spaces between two temporarily divergent ridges), spurs (a notch protruding from a ridge), bridges (small ridges joining two longer adjacent ridges), and crossovers (two ridges which cross each other).

There are three basic fingerprint patterns: arch, loop and whorl. There are more complex classification systems that further break down the pattern to plain arches or tented arches. Loops may be radial or ulnar. Whorls also have smaller classifications. However, the five most commonly used are: whorl, right loop, left loop, arch and tented arch. Loops make up nearly 2/3 of all fingerprints, whorls are nearly 1/3, and perhaps 5-10% are arches. These classifications are relevant in many large-scale forensic applications, but are rarely used in biometric authentication. This fingerprint is a right loop.

Other features are essential to fingerprint authentication. The core is the inner point, normally in the middle of the print, around which swirls, loops, or arches center. It is frequently characterized by a ridge ending and several acutely curved ridges. Deltas are the points, normally at the lower left and right hand of the fingerprint, around which a triangular series of ridges center. The ridges are also marked by pores, which appear at steady intervals. Some initial attempts have been made to use the location and distribution of the pores as a means of authentication, but the resolution required to capture pores consistently is very high.

Common definitions of anatomic criteria used in fingerprint analysis are described below:

Ridge is defined as having double the distance from starting to ending, as neighboring ridges are wide

Evading ends are two ridges with different directions run parallel with each other for more than 3mm.

Bifurcation describes where a ridge splits, both ridges maintain the same direction and are longer than 3mm

Hook describes the location where a ridge splits; one ridge is not longer than 3mm

Fork describes where two ridges are connected by a third ridge not longer than 3mm

Dot is the ridge section is no longer than the neighboring ridges are wide

Eye is the region where the ridge splits and rejoins within 3mm

Island is where a ridge splits and joins again within not less than 3mm and not more than 6mm. The enclosed area is ridgeless.

Enclosed ridge is a ridge not longer than 6mm between two other ridges

Enclosed loop is a non-pattern determining loop between two or more parallel ridges.

The anatomic characteristics have an orientation or direction. A vector analysis of the direction change of the ridge lines can produce an average that reflects this orientation. The distance between ridge lines and anatomic feature give a length to the vector produced by orientating the anatomic characteristics. This is dependent on the sensor reproducing repeatable results independent of pressure spread or melting of the ridgelines.

Of the two types of arches, the plain arch is the simplest of all fingerprint patterns. It is formed by ridges entering from one side of the print and existing on the opposite side. These ridges tend to rise at the center of the pattern, forming a wavelike structure. The…

USAA Banking Online Essay

Online Banking

USAA Online Banking Analysis:

Assessment of Positive & negative Impacts & Recommendations

The USAA online banking system has been specifically designed to provide the financial institution’s customers with reliable, secure and virtual access to their accounts and supporting banking transactions globally. Through the use of any Internet browser, USAA banking customers can quickly sign in, access and view account information, transfer funds, and set up and use automated payments for their personal and business-related bills. There are also a series of preferences which can be configured by customers to further tailor their online bank accounts to their specific needs. This is particularly useful for creating automated bill payment alerts and transactions to make sure bills are paid on or before the due date, new loan or savings accounts are securely created and managed, and enabling cash transfers to USAA and other financial institutions’ accounts. One of the most challenging aspects of online banking as a business is the tailoring of services to the minimum expectations of customers while judiciously and intelligently adding new ones to retain them loyalty and the reduce customer churn (Chong, Ooi, Lin, Tan, 2010). It is estimated that nearly 60% of banking customers leave their existing bank for another every year globally, with online banking have higher churn rates that have been notes as high as 75% (Mavri, Ioannou, 2006). For USAA to continually build a successful business, they must mitigate churn levels by continually adding new features to the online banking application and in so doing creating a more valuable customer experience.

Positive And Negative Aspects Of The USAA Online Banking System

In assessing the USAA online banking system, both the positive and negative aspects of its attributes and performance have been analyzed. Progressing beyond the basic foundational elements of security and reliability, online banking systems are increasingly being design to support advanced banking workflows across a very broad range of mobile devices. The positive aspects of the USAA online banking system and others like them contribute to a more customer satisfaction and reduction of churn, yielding higher levels of profitability and lifetime customer value over time (Chong, Ooi, Lin, Tan, 2010).

The positive aspects of the USAA online banking system that are contributing to greater customer satisfaction and higher lifetime customer value include personalization of features and transaction workflows, greater convenience in terms of account accessibility across laptops, smartphones and tablets, augmented security including the option to create a unique sign-in seal for each type of account to eliminate phishing and social engineering approaches to stealing passwords. Social engineering is the most insidious form of security breach in that it attempts to mislead victims to provide their login and password information, in addition to highly confidential data including social security numbers (Claessens, Dem, De Cock, Preneel, Vandewalle, 2002).

From an accessibility standpoint, the USAA online banking web application is now available either directly from any web browser, from Apple IOS and Google Android applications as well. There are also accessibility options for the handicapped and those that require enhanced screen fonts and sound-based feedback to enable the disabled to also fully use the features of the USAA online banking systems as well.

A third significant benefit or positive aspect of the system is the augmented security that is designed into the USAA online banking system at the protocol and server level. This is specifically designed to ensure customers can reliably and securely access their accounts from any web browser, through their smartphone and tablet applications without risking having their data compromised. There is advanced authentication also defined using Secured Socket Layer (SSL) options in each browser supported, and implemented as a default feature of the Apple iOS and Google Android applications that USAA distributes free to customers. The bank also relies on advanced IPsec connections internally across Virtual private Networks (VPNs) that form the basis of its internal network that links regional offices and ATMs. IPsec has emerged as a standard in distributed banking networks as it is maps to the internet protocol (IP) address exactly, removing any potential for IP re-routing (Twum, Ahenkora, 2012).

The negative aspects of the USAA online banking system include the lack of integration to other, third-party banking systems, lack…

Mary E. Wilkins the Revolt of Mother Term Paper

Revolt of Mother, by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman. Specifically, it will explain the concept of ideology and discuss how its “magic” is operating. “The Revolt of Mother” is an amusing story of a woman who knows what she wants, has done without it for forty years, and is not about to do without it any longer. She is a strong character, who stands up to her husband and will no longer allow him to dominate the family. She uses her tough ideology to create the situation she wants, and illustrates not only the need for understanding and communication in a relationship, but also the need to stand up for yourself sometimes, no matter the cost.

The Revolt of Mother

The Revolt of Mother” is the story of determination and unwavering goals. Sarah Penn is a woman who has always put herself last in her family. She and her children sacrifice so that “Father” can raise his cows and put food on the table. It seems the family is poor, but they are not, her husband is simply cheap, and will spend the money for the farm, but not for his family. They have lived under duress for years, always waiting for the “new house” that is never built. She stands up for her husband to her children, and will not let them speak badly of him, even when he seems selfish and unfeeling. She always takes care of his needs and his wants, but he does not do the same for her. “However deep a resentment she might be forced to hold against her husband, she would never fail in sedulous attention to his wants” (“Mother”). Once Sarah begins her tirade against her husband, there is nothing to stop her. She has had forty years to build up resentments, and forty years to stew about not having a house, and she lets her husband know the feelings she has kept inside for so long. She rants, “You’re lodgin’ your dumb beasts better than you are your own flesh an’ blood. I want to know if you think it’s right'” (“Mother”). Of course it is not right, and Sarah and her family have put up with it long enough. Sarah solves her problem with humor and determination, by moving her family into the new barn and refusing to back down to her husband. Ultimately, this story illustrates how two people can live together for forty years, and still not know each other, as Adoniram notes at the end of the story. “Why, mother,’ he said, hoarsely, ‘I hadn’t no idee you was so set on’t as all this comes to'” (“Mother”). Adoniram did not know Sarah, and Sarah did not know that if she had shown backbone earlier, she would not have had to suffer in a dilapidated house for forty years. It is a sad testament to families who never talk, and who never learn about each other, even though they live and work together every day.

In the “Revolt of Mother,” the main character, Sarah, is at a defining moment in her life. She is not as self-actualized as some other women, but she is more so than many others of her time are, because she stands up to her husband honestly, and tackles his vagueness. The author says she is a small woman, but she has learned from experience that she will not get her way unless she is strong, and so, she has an underlying strength that those around her have not seen before. “There were meek downward lines about her nose and mouth; but her eyes, fixed upon the old man, looked as if the meekness had been the result of her own will, never of the will of another” (“Mother”). Her husband does not quite know how to handle this new, difficult woman; she is suddenly steady and so determined in her purpose. “The old man glanced doggedly at his wife as he tightened the last buckles on the harness. She looked as immovable to him as one of the rocks in his pastureland, bound to the earth with generations of blackberry vines” (“Mother”).

Sarah is the protagonist of the story because she is the catalyst that puts the story in motion. Her character is fully developed, while the rest of the family is shadowy and less important to the outcome of the story. As one critic noted,

At every point her management of the situation — once the die is cast — conforms strictly with the customs of her type. Having won her limited engagement with Father, she returns at once to her conventional role. The single departure — if it is a departure — from the truth of character has been deftly covered; the illusion has been preserved (Foster 92).

Freeman uses Sarah to point out the lack of communication in men and women, but she also uses her to illustrate the “magic” of an ideology developed over time. Ideology is the principles and philosophy that one lives by, and Sarah has to change her ideology to get her dreams to come true. She has to give up the meek demeanor she has kept for so long, and really show what she is made of inside. She has had plenty of time to develop her dream of a new house, and when she finally decides to do something about it, her ideology is rock solid and just as immovable. This is a new and determined woman who will stop at nothing to have what she wants, even if it means facing up to her husband and creating a scandal in her small village. She created the opportunity she needed, by having her brother send her husband a letter about a horse. “Unsolicited opportunities are the guideposts of the Lord to the new roads of life,’ she repeated in effect, and she made up her mind to her course of action” (“Mother”). Thus, she believed so strongly in her ideology, she created the opportunity she needed to move into the barn, and then quickly took advantage of it before she could change her mind.

The point-of-view in the story is also used to center on Sarah, while leaving the rest of the family in the shadows. The narrator follows Sarah throughout the story, and knows her feelings, while ignoring the rest of the family. Again, Sarah is the catalyst, and without her and her nerve, the family would have stayed forever in the house that was falling down around them. Sarah’s determination to live out her dream ideology placed the children in the middle, but Sarah right out front, and this is clearly illustrated in how the tale is constructed. Sarah is the main character, but she is much more, and Freeman wanted everyone who read the story to understand the steel-like strength of New England women, especially when they were resolved and determined in their ideology.

The setting of the story, New England, is only hinted at through the brother’s letter from Vermont, but Yankee ingenuity is the key to Sarah getting what she wants. She solicits the letter from her brother to get Adoniram out of the house for a few days. She does not know exactly what she will do until her daughter mentions living in the barn as a joke. Then, she quickly takes advantage of the situation and packs up the family to move. This not only shows how absolutely determined she is to get out of the old house, and have a new and decent home, but it shows her ingenuity and her ability to sacrifice some things to get others. Her ideology for forty years has been a new house, and even if it is only a barn, she will have it. She sees the possibilities in what is around her, and adapts to make them work for her, and this is the true “magic” of her philosophy. She can adapt. She has adapted to a poor house for forty years, and she will adapt a big new barn into the home of her dreams. All she needs is the room and the walls around her, and she can make it anything she wants. This shows the flexibility of her nature and her ideology. She is willing to bend, and has bent for her entire marriage. Now it is time for her husband to bend, and he caves in quite easily when actually confronted with revolt and dissent. In fact, it is clear he would have caved in long ago if Sarah had only stood her ground with him, and that is sad. She did not need to live in the old house for so long, and build up so many resentments. She could have spoken her mind, and had a house long before. This is the underlying sadness of this story, that these two people could not speak frankly with each other, and so, they simply built up resentments and anger, instead of discussing…

United Nations — Criticisms Description of the Essay

United Nations — Criticisms

Description of the United Nations

The United Nations (UN) has a security council that consists of 15 members. The main purpose of this council is to resolve any issues and conflicts in order to maintain peace among the nations in the world. This council was initiated in 1946. The formation of this council happened at the time when the League of Nations failed. The main reason given for their failure is the fact that they didn’t have enough influence on the members to make them adopt resolutions. However, UN’s Security Council not only works as the council that solves the conflicts and other issues that arise but it also creates sanctions, binds resolutions, dispatches peace speakers etc.

From among all the bodies of the UN, Security Council is usually the first one that tries to solve the conflicts. Its main aim is to solve the conflicts even before they take place. Therefore, usually in sessions the security council starts with addressing the conflicts, for this reason it is very important for the member states to have a member ready at all times.

Out of the 15 members in the Security Council there are 5 members who are permanent. These members are from Russian Federation, the United States of America, the People’s Republic of China, The United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and France. These Permanent 5 members are also known as the P-5. These members are very powerful as they have the power to veto over any of the resolutions that are made by the UN. The rest of the 10 members come for 2 years and currently they are from the countries Morocco, Columbia, India, Azerbaijan, South Africa, Pakistan, Germany, Portugal, Guatemala and Togo.

Introduction

The Security Council was created in 1948 as a consequence of the initiation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization. It is the duty of the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) to help the countries in completing the journey from the early conflicts to the peace making by providing them with the essential peace building, political and the security building support (UN Peacekeeping, 2011a).

At the moment there are 16 missions that are being maintained by the UNPKO in 4 continents. These missions included Kosovo, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Haiti (UN Peacekeeping, 2011b). In order to protect the civilians, promote the human rights and facilitate the electoral processes, the Blue Berets or the Peacekeepers are called upon.

Although a Nobel Peace Prize was won by the UNPKO in 1988 and it exists as an institution but it is still being criticized and constant calls are being made to reform it. The three major reasons why this organization is being criticized are: the fact that prostitution and human trafficking has increased in the peacekeeping areas, the capacity of the peacekeeping troops to exert harm over others is huge and the efficiency of the organization.

Background

It was in 1948 that the United Nations Peacekeeping Operation’s emerged as a global phenomenon. The main reason behind the emergence of this organization was the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization which was the first peacekeeping mission. The main reason why this organization was created was to make sure that the conflicts that may arise in Israel, which was a newly formed state at the time, could be resolved. The United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was built in 1949. It is the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) that unites all these organizations. Although the Security Council is the one that has the authority over all of these organizations but the DPKO is there to keep a look at the day-to-day activities of the organizations. The head of the DPKO is the Secretary General.

The United Nations Charter asks the members states to provide them with their security and armed forces in order to implement and ensure their peacekeeping. Until now about 130 countries have provided it with their forces (Contributions to UN, 2011a). Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and India are the top five leading contributors in providing the UN with their forces (Contributions to UN, 2011b).

The peacekeeping in the UN is funded by the members as well. According to the article 17 all the member states have to provide the UN with the funds. Unlike the highest troop contributors the nations that are the highest finance contributors to the UN are United States, Germany, Japan, France and United Kingdom. If the history of the funds given to the UN is observed it can be seen that during the last 5 Fiscal year almost 27% of the funds have been given by the U.S. (Financing Peacekeeping, 2011).

Criticisms

Almost since the establishment of UNPKO this institute has faced criticism. The peacekeepers are usually placed at very precarious places in order to stop them from harming each other in some sort of a conflict as, there is a possibility that some might get injured or even killed in case of a conflict among them. It has been mentioned very clearly that the peacekeepers can’t be harmed in anyway. However, at times there are organizations that don’t really listen to these instructions. This problem needs to be taken seriously and dealt with because if it continues to persist there is a chance that the member states might stop sending their troops as, they will feel that they aren’t safe.

Another criticism that is being faced by the organization is regarding an increase in the prostitution and the human trafficking in the peacekeeping areas. It has been noted that these illegal activities have increased since the peacekeeping troops have started coming in. This doesn’t particularly mean that the UN peacekeepers are responsible for these acts (although some accusations have been placed against them); this merely means that they have not been able to control these illegal activities in an effective manner (UN Resolution, 1996).

It was in the 1990s that the organization’s efficiency seriously started being questioned. The main reasons behind these criticisms were the two huge failures off UNPKO one was the Rwanda in 1994 and the other was Bosnia in 1995. It was during these two failures that about one-third of all the UN’s peacekeepers fatalities took place. There were massive killings, destruction and the abuse of human rights. Therefore, people started questioning the intentions of this organization as it was clearly believed that it could have stopped all this from happening if it has wanted to (UN Peacekeeping, 2011c).

Current Situation

Presently there are more than 100,000 peacekeeping personnel that are out in the fields. Most of these are soldiers but there are some policemen and other civilian advisors as well who are working in over a dozen operations. Right now UN has 16 missions that are being carried out all around the world which is the largest that the organization has ever gotten. Therefore, this increase in its size has obviously increased the criticisms as well (Peacekeeping, 2011).

There are still concerns regarding the peacekeepers fatalities. The year 2010 is marked as the second bloodiest season in the history of UN as 173 UN peacekeepers were killed in that year. The highest numbers of deaths occurred in 1993 when 231 people died. Therefore, due to these numbers the member states are becoming more and more concerned about the security of their armed personnel being sent to the UN (UN Peacekeeping, 2011d).

Out of the three issues that the UN peacekeeping is being criticized about the most important one is the issue of the prostitution and the human trafficking. The number of these illegal activities is continuously increasing. It was in 2009 that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo there were 8300 rapes reported. However, the number can be a lot more than this considering the people who might not have reported them (BBC, 2011). The UN is being criticized as no strict actions are being taken by it to stop these activities from happening (MacFarquhar, 2011).

Due to the increase in the number of missions, the UN peacekeeping has become a very expensive investment for the member countries. The budget at which the DPKO operates is approximately U.S.$8 billion. Just like the troops the DPKO has to be funded by the UN member states and although the U.S. charter is funding the organization, these funds aren’t sufficient. As, a result of this, the missions are often under-funded which is adding up to the criticism. Questions are also being raised about the efficiency of the UN with regards to the scope of the organizations. The reason behind this is the fact that when troops and peacekeepers are sent to resolve the peace conflicts they are often given a very narrow mandate. This narrow mandate doesn’t give them a chance to explore the root cause of the issue and because of this there is always a chance that the conflict might arise again as it wasn’t solved properly (Piesing, 2011).

International Action

There are a lot of actions that have been…

Nazi Seizure of Power Term Paper

Subversion: The Role of Politics and Pressure in the Nazi Rise to Power

Following the end of World War I, the people of Germany felt the consequences of their loss coupled with the reverberations of the American stock market crash. The effects of the Great Depression only trickled down slowly to the small German town of “Thalburg,” the fictitious name of a real town whose privacy William Sheridan Allen wishes to protect throughout his work, The Nazi Seizure of Power. Attempting a democratic state in early twentieth century Germany was difficult at best, futile at worst. Using Thalburg as a microcosmic example of German social and political realities, Allen describes the Nazi rise to power as a function and result of divisions among the general populace. “In the wake of defeat came a revolution led by the working class which overthrew the Kaiser and established a republic in Germany,” (p. 8). However, Allen soon points out that “the town (of Thalburg) soon became a relatively strong center for the violently rightist organization, Jung deutsche Orden…As in the Thirty Years War the town was rent by strife and inner cleavage,” (p. 8). This “inner cleavage” was clearly represented by election statistics in 1925.

Thalburg symbolizes, for Allen, “all the conflicting loyalties and tensions of Weimar Germany,” (p. 9). The town was religiously monotonous, being 86% Lutheran, but sharply divided along class lines. Although Thalburg was a “remarkably complex community for its size,” Allen notes, “there were political divisions between left and right; there were class lines between worker and bourgeois; there were occupational lines between the stable and the insecure; there were areas of exclusion between the relative newcomers and the old families; there were religious and social divisions,” (p. 10). Even the social clubs which served to unify community members from diverse backgrounds and economic strata began to develop political tendencies and became “infused with nationalism” by 1930. Because few of these clubs “cut across class lines” (p. 19), the town was deceptively uniform. On the surface the community exhibited an exceptional balance, but class divisions were evident in “almost every sphere of activity. This disunifying factor grew to be politically important, and under the impact of steadily declining economic conditions, politics became radicalized. In the years after 1930 this situation split Thalburg wide open, led to bloody riots and the deterioration of the democratic mood, and culminated in the Nazi seizure of power. The Nazi answer to the problem of class division was to abolish its expression by force,” (p. 22). By the early 1930s the stage was set in Thalburg as in the whole of Germany for the rise to power of a radical group that promised rescue from economic uncertainty. The Great Depression provided a springboard from which the Nazis could capitalize on the fears of the populace.

The fabric of democracy in early Germany was weakly woven at best, tattered and throwaway at worst. As the town of Thalburg began to feel the effects of the world’s economic depression, even as it was substantially isolated from it due to its lack of dependence on industry, the residents of the town fell pray to irrational fear. Irrational fear breeds radicalism, and it is through this phobic response that “the voice of the Nazi began to be heard,” (p. 24). Gaining an image as hardworking, loyal, and steadfast, the Nazi political party (NSDAP) appealed to townspeople eager to embrace false promises. “To the average Thalburger the Nazis appeared vigorous, dedicated, and young,” (p. 25). The Nazis succeeded in promoting themselves as genuine and honest. One prominent Thalburg resident, Walther Timmerlah, who was “exceedingly well liked in Thalburg,” (p. 26) served as a tangible representative of Nazi values and morality. A prominent Lutheran, Timmerlah exemplified Nazi ideals and appealed to Thalburgers as an alternative to “the dominant political force in Thalburg,” (p. 26), the Socialists (SPD). The Socialists came to represent the preservation of status quo, which by now was an unpopular idea. The Nazis painted the SPD red, labelling them as “Marxist,” even though in practice the SPD was “Marxist’ only in rhetoric,” (p. 26). Thus began the Nazi’s vigorous and vehement propaganda campaign.

The NSDAP would continue profit by demonizing extant political groups, especially the SPD. As early as March 1930, the Nazis sought opportunities to embarrass the Socialists: the staging of a parade “geared to conflict directly with the SPD’s,” (p. 27) was one of the NSDAP’s greatest early successes. Rallying rural support, the Nazis managed to bring over two thousand people to a nearby village. This effort at gaining public support culminated in the distribution of leaflets by Stormtroopers (p. 28). After these demonstrations of intent, Thalburgers “recognized clearly…(the Nazi) claim to fervent patriotism and avid militarism,” (p. 28). This garnered significant respect, a quality that would launch the Nazis into a position of favoritism. The Nazis also continued to plug their views on unemployment and economic stability, appealing to the general public as a viable alternative to the status quo, represented by the Socialists. The Nazis continued to take advantage of any opportunity to demonstrate their views in public, via rally, speech, or print media. The Nazis appealed to a fairly wide cross-section of Thalburg, including nationalists and the religious. By the 1930 local elections, the Nazis had gradually gained votes “from those who had previously voted for another party,” (p. 34). Thus began the efficient Nazi political campaign.

Opposing the SPD was in vogue and served as a boon for the NSDAP. The Nazis portrayed themselves as “effective opponents of ‘Marxism'” (p. 39) whenever possible and stepped on the weak fingers of the SPD. Via “perpetual campaigning” (p. 40), the Nazis garnered even more votes in late 1930. “The September election campaign taught Thalburg’s Nazis that their best drawing cards were religion and nationalism, preferably combined,” (p. 40). The Nazis had a clear political map with which to navigate their way to power. Continuing to portray the Socialists as the enemy of the people and relying still on the economic fears engendered by the Depression, the Nazi party could develop even more powerful propaganda. The Nazis skilfully manipulated the fears and ideals of the community. As politics became more radical and polarized, increasing levels of violence and street clashes ensued. “New Year’s Day, 1930 saw the first incident of violence,” (p. 42) and the Socialists grasped at straws to prevent the Nazis from gaining power. But the SPD “could not hope to win, for they lacked the brutality and irrationality of their opponents. Furthermore, every move in the game simply added to the troubled spirit of Thalburg’s middle classes, making them more vulnerable to extremist appeals,” (p. 46). Fuelling the fire of fears already gripping Thalburg, the Nazis drove the town’s residents to accept radical political moves. But at this point the Nazis did not pose an actual armed threat or coup d’etat. Known as “real radicals,” (p. 48), the Nazis offered a disillusioned and desperate public a panacea. And “no matter how hard they tried, Thalburg’s Socialists did not provide effective opposition to the Nazis,” (p. 49). Furthermore, the Nazis seemed to embrace the town’s businessmen, the bourgeois. The workers, on the other hand, continued their Socialist sentiments. However, it was again the divisions within in the community and the lack of concerted effort that matched the Nazis in power and scope, which led the SPD to its demise. The SPD failed to offer the radical, revolutionary alternative to the status quo like the Nazis did. Nazi propaganda was beginning to work: by inciting discontent and unrest, the Nazis eased their way into Thalburg consciousness. They maintained their political and symbolic foothold through increasing a sense of pressure and by scapegoating and threatening certain members of society.

For a while the Nazis relied less on actual physical force (which they were as yet incapable of carrying out) and more on perceived threat and subtle subversion. By 1931 the Nazi condemnation of the Jews began by their “almost comical” attempt to criticize kosher slaughterhouses. This criticism, of course, only veiled an underlying and more insipid Nazi “discourtesy,” (p. 52) scapegoating, and eventual violence. It was apparent that the Nazis were growing used to their increased levels of political participation through elections. The Nazis employed “pressure tactics,” (p. 54) and “intimidation,” resorting on a national level, even to political assassinations (p. 54). Tension between political parties finally led to actual outbreaks of violence in April 1931. But still the acts of violence were not officially instigated by the party but were lucky breaks that the Nazis could use to further establish themselves as the dominant political force. The Nazis did continue to exert political and psychic pressure by boycotting local businessmen into submission (p. 57).

The Nazis continued to “exploit the depression” (p. 70) in late 1931 and by opening a soup kitchen gained favor with the unemployed. Soon the Nazis would learn the power of symbols and the swastika would serve…

Global Credit Crisis on UK Northern Rock Essay

Global Credit Crisis on UK Northern Rock Bank

The lingering effects of the Great Recession of 2008 still remain, but most authorities appear to agree that the corner has been turned and global economic recovery is well underway. The cause of the Great Recession of ’08 was primarily the sub-prime mortgage meltdown that occurred in the United States, and its effects were already being experienced as early as September 2007, when the United Kingdom experienced a mass market run on Northern Rock Bank, the first in the nation’s history. The global credit crisis that resulted from these events has been felt in differing degrees by the nations of the world, but few countries in the increasingly globalized international community have been entirely immune from its effects. To gain new insights into this fiasco, this paper provides a corporate profile for Northern Rock Bank, followed by a review of the relevant literature to assess the effect of the global credit crisis. A summary of the research and important findings are presented in the conclusion.

Review and Analysis

Corporate Profile

Northern Rock Bank (hereinafter alternatively “the bank” or “Northern Rock”) was incorporated in July 2009 as Gosforth Subsidiary No.1 Limited; this name was subsequently changed to Gosforth Subsidiary No.1 plc a few months later and then to Northern Rock plc by year-end 2009 (Directors’ report and financial statements for the period 3 July 2009 to 31 December 2009). These names changes were part of a corporate restructuring process that resulted in part from the global credit crisis. Just a few months following the bank run in September 2007, Northern Rock Bank (hereinafter alternatively “the bank” or “Northern Rock”) voluntarily accepted Temporary Public Ownership in February 2008 (Corporate profile 2011). At that time, Northern Rock was faced with a number of challenges that have required a close private-public sector partnership to resolve. For instance, in 2008, Northern Rock’s corporate goals included paying back an active mortgage redemption program loan from the UK Government loan; by the end of the year, the bank had succeeded in repaying ?18 billion (Corporate profile 2011).

In early 2009, following collaboration with the UK Government in its capacity as shareholder, the bank applied for and received State Aid from the European Commission by late 2009 which allowed Northern Rock to restructure itself into the following two legal entities (both of these entities remain in Temporary Public Ownership):

1. Northern Rock plc. Northern Rock plc is a mortgage and savings bank that makes loans to UK customers through a distribution network of more than 70 branches as well as postal, telephone and Internet operations. The majority of new residential mortgage business is sourced through the UK financial intermediary market. This company is the new savings and mortgage bank that holds and services all pre-existing customer savings accounts and some pre-existing mortgage accounts. The bank is authorized as a deposit taker by the FSA and offers new savings products. It also offers new mortgage lending to support the Government’s objective of increasing mortgage supply and sustaining a competitive market. Northern Rock plc holds some wholesale deposits.

2. Northern Rock (Asset Management) plc. This is the former company that was renamed, and which now holds and services the balance of the pre-existing residential mortgage book and is regulated as a mortgage provider by the FSA. It is not a deposit taking bank. 90% of the mortgages held by Northern Rock (Asset Management) are fully performing and are not in arrears, and this company would not, therefore, be accurately described as a ‘bad’ bank. The portfolio includes the Company’s interest in those mortgages allocated to the Granite securitization and covered bond programs. It does not offer any new mortgage lending (Corporate profile 2011). This entity also assumed responsibility for administering the bank’s unsecured loan accounts, as well as the UK Government loan and the former Northern Rock’s pre-existing wholesale funding and subordinated debt instruments (Corporate profile 2011).

The revised corporate new structure became effective as of January 1, 2010 and was designed to help eventually return the bank to private ownership (Corporate profile 2011). In addition, the bank has provided for ongoing support of its independent charity, the Northern Rock Foundation (Corporate profile 2011). The bank’s current core businesses are described further in Table 1 below.

Table 1

Northern Rock Bank’s Core Businesses

Business

Description

Retail Savings

The Company has a savings promise in place for its retail savings customers. Northern Rock plc will give its savers two months’ notice of any reduction in interest rates, and where the notice on an account is greater than two months’ will provide the equivalent notice period. Northern Rock plc will write to its savers at least once a year with details of all its variable rate savings accounts, including interest rates payable. Northern Rock will give its savers two months’ notice of any changes to the Terms & Conditions of their account(s).

Residential Mortgage Lending

Residential lending represents Northern Rock plc’s core activity.

Northern Rock plc’s residential mortgage assets are spread geographically throughout the UK.

Insurance Products

Northern Rock distributes a limited range of household insurance products primarily to residential mortgage customers, via third party providers. Life assurance products are supplied to Northern Rock plc’s customers through a relationship with Legal & General.

Source: Corporate profile 2011, pp. 3-3

The key highlights from the bank’s most recent half-year results include the following:

1. Northern Rock has continued to build momentum during the first half of the year and considerably improved its position over 2010;

2. The underlying loss1 of ?78.8 million in the first six months of 2011 was in line with expectations and significantly reduced compared with the loss of ?140.0 million in the first half of 2010;

3. The bank currently expects to begin trading profitably during the second half of 2012;

4. The bank continues to prepare for a return to private ownership and to explore the option of a sale of Northern Rock

Of the bank’s progress in recovering from its former doldrums, Northern Rock Bank’s executive chairman, Ron Sandler, observed that although the bank is still losing money, this was expected and significant progress is being made in reversing these trends with substantial recovery anticipated by late next year. In this regard, Sander emphasized that, “Northern Rock has made good progress in the first half of 2011. The bank continued to be loss-making, as expected, but losses are significantly reduced and we are generating momentum. The bank expects to begin trading profitably during the second half of 2012” (Northern Rock first half year results 2011).

The bank’s executive chairman added that although firm planning continues to be made by the bank for its future success, the handwriting on the wall suggests that even more aggressive planning is being made for its eventual sale (Northern Rock first half year results 2011). For example, according to Sander, “We are working closely to explore the options for a sale of Northern Rock, at the right time and in the best interests of taxpayers. We are pleased with the level of interest we have received, and will continue to explore the sale option over the coming months. In the meantime, it is business as usual” (Northern Rock first half year results 2011, p. 3).

As a result of the corporate restructuring that became effective January 1, 2010, across the board comparison of the bank’s historical performance are not possible. According to the bank, “This is the first set of results for the Company following the operational separation of Northern Rock from Northern Rock (Asset Management) plc in late 2010. Prior to this, the accounts included both income and costs relating to a broad set of operational services provided to NRAM, which has a distorting effect on some comparisons” (Northern Rock first half year results 2011, p. 3).

Notwithstanding these limitations, it is possible to discern the effect of the global credit crisis on the banks based on its reported performance since that time, including the following highlights from its latest corporate filing as set forth in Table 2 below:

Table 2

Recapitulation of recent Northern Rock financial performance

Category

Description

Losses

1. The bank reported a loss for the first six months of 2011; however, this loss was substantially smaller compared to the same period for 2010;

2. The statutory loss was ?68.5 million (six months to 30 June 2010 – ?142.6 million);

3. The underlying loss, excluding hedge accounting volatility, was ?78.8 million (six months to 30 June 2010 – ?140.0 million).

Funding

1. Northern Rock is a predominantly retail funded bank, with retail deposits representing 93% of total funding;

2. Deposit balances are in excess of mortgage balances;

3. Retail deposits have been actively managed as the bank continues to focus on improving funding margin. Retail balances were ?17.0 billion at 30 June 2011, compared with ?16.7 billion at 31 December 2010

Income

1. Total income was ?40.6 million in the first half of 2011, compared with ?28.5 million…