Morality in Sacred Texts: A Study in Term Paper

Morality in Sacred Texts: A Study in Term Paper

Morality in Sacred Texts:

A study in similarities

Although many site the concepts of faith and belief to be of paramount importance in the study of any major religion, especially with regard to study originating within any particular religion, there remains a striking aspect of similarity between most major religions when the concept of morality is introduced. Indeed, although the theological basis of the four major world religions — Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are often cited as divisive (again, especially in the collective imaginations of the members of each faith), the similarities of the moral precepts contained within the defining texts of each religion seem to underscore a fundamental unity.

The concept of “morality” is generally defined as that which constitutes virtuous conduct, or right behavior. Of course, given the vast cultural, economic, and societal differences between the majority populations practicing the aforementioned religious traditions, one might expect the moral precepts of each faith to be strikingly different. Interesting this is not the case. In fact, one can clearly observe that in the areas of human behavior and responsibility toward others, (again, as opposed to injunctions concerning belief), including violence, truthfulness, sexual purity, the avoidance of greed, and the importance of devotion and worship, the main religious texts of all four faiths are almost identical.

To begin a brief examination of the holy scriptures of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam with regard to personal morality, one can begin with the Bhagavad-Gita, most commonly referred to as simply “The Gita.” Known to Hindus as a “song of God,”( Isherwood, Prabhavananda, 1987), it is a text detailing a discussion between Krishna and Arjuna concerning both the nature of humankind, as well as life itself. As such, The Gita is rich in moral teaching. Consider, for example, the following lines from the text, enjoining the importance of the avoidance of selfishness, and the pure merit of divine devotion and worship:

One who does all work as an offering to God abandoning selfish attachment to the results remains untouched by Karmic reaction or sin as a lotus leaf never gets wet by water (5.10) ….I am easily attainable, O Arjuna, by that ever steadfast devotee who always thinks of Me and whose mind does not go elsewhere (8.14) ….I personally take care of both spiritual and material welfare of those ever-steadfast devotees who always remember and adore Me with single-minded contemplation. (9.22) ….Engage your mind in always thinking of Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, and bow down to Me. Thus uniting yourself with Me by setting Me as the supreme goal and the sole refuge, you shall certainly come to Me. (9.34) (BBT, 1998)

Clearly, within these excerpts, one can see the immense moral responsibility charged to the reader to abandon selfish striving in favor of devotion and worship. Of course, not only does this illustrate the theological importance of religious devotion within the Hindu faith, but it also underlies the tremendous emphasis on the moral virtue of the abandonment of selfish “worldly” desires and concerns — a theme one can see in all four religions.

In addition to the merit of selfless striving toward the divine as a moral attribute of the faithful, so too, the Gita emphasizes the importance of the avoidance of “sinful” behaviors. Chief among these are lust, anger (especially violent anger) and greed. The text reads:

The one who sees the same eternal Supreme Lord dwelling as Spirit equally within all mortal beings truly sees (13.27) ….Lust, anger, and greed are the three gates of hell leading to the downfall (or bondage) of the individual. Therefore, one must learn to give up these three. (16.21)

Here, the reader is presented with the idea that every living being is imbibed with the essence of the “Supreme Lord.” Of course, this implies that not only all are equal before the Lord or the creator, but that all are entitled to respect and good treatment (i.e. worthy of the same treatment one wishes for oneself). Further, one can clearly see that the states of anger and lust (sexual impurity) are to be avoided as essential steps toward achieving the divine life. Finally, the reader sees that the concepts of truth and kindness are also of paramount importance with the following, “Speech that is non-offensive, truthful, pleasant, beneficial, and is used for the regular study of scriptures is called the austerity of word. (17.15)

If the moral concepts of faith in the Gita include the merits of non-violence, truthfulness, sexual purity, the avoidance of greed, and the importance of devotion and worship, so too are these themes just as clear in the books of Genesis and Exodus in the Hebrew Bible. Consider for example, that there are numerous references in Genesis as well as Exodus to the importance of worship (Gen 22:5, 24:26, 24:48, 47:31) to name a few. Further, perhaps one of the most famous is contained in Exodus, 7: 16, ” … Let my people go, so that they may worship me … “(NIV, 2002).

Additionally, it is also in Exodus that one finds references to the avoidance of violence, sexual excess, greed and dishonesty — particularly in the following “Commandments” — enjoining that the Jewish people not commit murder, adultery, theft or false testimony (i.e. lying) (20:13), further, in 20:14, the faithful are enjoined to avoid envy in all things (indicating the merit of avoiding greed).

When one moves on to explore the Christian faith, one can note the importance of the very same values as those discussed above in the Gita and the Hebrew Bible within the lines of the Gospel According to Matthew. Again, within this text one notes the merit of the worship of the divine, “And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search out exactly concerning the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I also may come and worship him … (KJV, 1988: 2:8).” Further, the text also echoes the above two in its prohibition against sexual misconduct, “Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: (5:27) … But I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart … (5:28),” non-violence, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God … (5:9),” truthfulness, “Again, ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths (5:33) … But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; (5:34),” and finally, greed, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal … (6:19).”

Finally, with reference to the Islamic holy text, the Koran, there are also several references to all of the above moral principles. Consider, for example, some of the numerous references to the importance of worship:

It is Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight (3:51) …. 3:43 “O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down (3:43) …. Christ disdaineth nor to serve and worship Allah, nor do the angels, those nearest (to Allah.: those who disdain His worship and are arrogant,-He will gather them all together unto Himself to (answer)( 4:172) … (Yusef Ali, 2002)

So, too — like the other three holy texts, the Koran also cautions against greed, “In the bounty of Allah. And in His Mercy,- in that let them rejoice”: that is better than the (wealth) they hoard (10:58),” sexual misconduct and lying, “The believers must eventually win…

Feminist Theory the Profession of Nursing and Essay

Feminist Theory

The profession of nursing and feminism go hand in hand ever since the theory was introduced. The correlation was as such due to the close link between women and nursing. Nursing has always been considered a very feminine profession. No one really pictures a man when they think of a nurse. There are many beliefs and assumptions that have come out ever since the theory had been stated. The assumptions of the theory are very simple and clear cut. One of the major assumptions of this theory is that women are oppressed. Surely, there has to be an underlying cause for a theory to come forward or for people to speak against. Another assumption is that the theory must be directed towards the normality, centrality and the relevance of women’s experience. A major assumption is that gender is socially constructed. Even though many theorists go on to think that the aforementioned notion is true, it is not always the case. When we talk about gender roles that are constructed socially, the idea of family comes forward as well. Family basically goes on to support women being oppressed. This is a major assumption that the feminist theory goes on with. Family contains heterosexual class and culture stereotypes. Surely, women would have to alter their role to some extent if they have a family to look after. Another assumption in this theory is that methodological approaches and social change should be value committed. Lastly, women believe that if the only way they can change the oppression is if they succeed in higher fields in life.

The assumptions are also subdivided into the three eras during which the feminist theory actually developed. The first division was in the 19th century when the feminists went on to root for women’s right to vote and to own property. In the 1960s, feminists rooted for women’s liberation. Liberation over here meant in terms of political cultural social and sexual issues. The most recent division was in the 1990s and 1980s when there was the talk of feminism along the lines of class and race. Feminists believe the women’s value to the society should be based on what they can give to the society as a person. This value should not rely on the sexual or the biological characteristics they have. (Allan, 1993)

The entire paradigm of nursing involves of four different subjects. These subjected are basically person, health and environment. The paradigm basically refers to the sick person as not a patient but more as a subject. This subject can be how other social groups or family come to view as. In simpler terms, a patient therefore doesn’t fall under the general category of being sick. Even though he comes under the general criteria of being sick, he is looked upon being an independent person and completely autonomous. Feminists would link this paradigm of nursing to the general link that is made between nursing and women. Nursing occupies a very specific niche when it comes to occupations. In other words, it is a profession that is often linked best with the typical feminine characteristics. (Hoffmann, 1991) This profession falls somewhere in the middle of the non-professional hospital staff and the professional hospital staff. Feminists would look at this paradigm as being linked to the womanly characteristic that female nurses are supposed to show. Apart from the stereotypical settings, even history as hinted as nurses being very womanly and caring. For instance, Florence Nightingale was made seem like a very passionate and caring nurse. She is mentioned as a person who using her feminine characteristics went onto speaks against the norms of that time. She went against all the expectations, and thus went on to distinguish nursing as a separate profession. (Woodham-smith 1951) Feminists are thus against these traditional roles and expectations that are expected out of a female nurse. Where nurses are supposed to consider a person as a separate individual, feminist would argue that the same motives and incentives should be there for doctors and surgeons as well.

As is illustrated earlier before, feminists do tend to think that history has gone to exploit the structural and cultural forces that mold the nursing profession today. Even though nursing was just beginning as a profession for her, Nightingale knows the biases and discrepancies that would be present for women in this field. Even before starting off her career, she made it very clear that she will work with the doctors but not for the doctors. (Holliday & Parker, 1997) If seen today, then many feminists and nurses are left with the same dilemma that a lot of women face today. Women are left with the dilemma of deciding between two extremes. They are either left with choosing between very feminine roles or a very masculine role. (Holliday & Parker, 1997)

The concept of health isn’t only diagnosing a condition or treating a disease and helping the person recover. It is also very general and it doesn’t only stick to the general conditions. It looks at and deals with nurses as being equally learned medical professionals rather than being mere subordinated to doctors. In other words, there is no general definition of health. It is often a very negotiated and contextual term. Nurses have often been oppressed in different staff and clinical settings. Therefore feminists would agree with what this concept says about nurses being equal to doctors. Even though that statement is present in the metapardigm, the reality is quite different. The nurses that work in hospitals still face occupational hazards, low pay, and low mobility and sever understaffing. (Bent, 1993) If looked closely, nurses do hold the true responsibility of the first mediator of the patients. Nursing care can make a patient’s hospital experience very good or very bad. Along with their experience, nursing care is crucial when it comes to the recovery and resolution of the patient. Even though they have crucial roles in hospital care, their administrative rights and power over the hospital is very little. Nurses have to continue to battle for their rights of having a higher pay and better relationship to the physicians.

Nurses were seen as not having knowledge of their own and as not being very learned persons. Even now, not much importance is given to nursing training and nursing knowledge. (Bent, 1993) Physicians and surgeons seem to think it is not crucial for nurses to be trained to do what they do best. The nurses are still undervalued and not given much credit for what they do. Even though it is the doctor or the surgeon that provides the diagnosis and cure, nurses play an important role in achieving that role. Along with nursing, teaching is also looked upon as a feminine career. However, where teachers require a 4-year baccalaureate degree, nurses only required a 2-year degree.

Environment is also a very important metapardigm and it goes on to explain health care and nursing in more specific details. As mentioned earlier, a patient’s recovery and experience in the hospital largely depends on how the nurses treated him or her. Environment of patient could affect his home life, mental state, chances of relapse and overall cure from the disease. If a nurse has the true skills of maintaining a healthcare environment friendly and more family orientated, then the patient would do much better.

Nursing has always been considered a very family friendly occupation. Back in the day, women who wanted to be a nurse was told that she will be able to work wherever her husband could find a job. She would be able to drop off her children at the day care and adjust the timings of her job according to her family needs. (Sullivan, 2002) This shows that nursing and family up…

Oil Prices ; Global Economy Term Paper

The implications of this vulnerability to volatile oil prices is simple; ‘high crude prices must encourage European governments to make investments in energy sources other than oil’ (Wielaard, 2005, p.1).

The negative economic impact of rising oil prices is typically more severe for developing countries than for OECD (Birol, 2004, p.2). This is currently the case as high oil prices ‘are badly affecting many developing countries’ (Schlein, 2005, p. 1). The U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently stated that ‘the high cost of oil is placing a heavy burden on poorer nations that spend around five-percent of their gross domestic product on oil. This, compared with the two-to-four percent that wealthier nations pay’ (Schlein, 2005, p.1).

There are several reasons why oil-importing developing countries struggle more over high oil prices than their developed counterparts. Energy dependency and intensity is greater in developing nations than developed ones; this is due to a high level of industrialization and urbanization. Furthermore, energy is used less efficiently in these nations than in developed ones. ‘On average, oil-importing developing countries use more than twice as much oil to produce a unit of economic output as do OECD countries’ (Birol, 2004, p.2). The amount of debt a developing country carries also profoundly affects its ability to effectively manage rising oil prices. Lastly, developing countries are not able to promptly switch to alternative fuels in order to relieve the burden of escalating oil prices. Essentially, all of the energy resources and mechanisms that developed countries have in place are lacking in developing nations, thereby crippling their ability to surmount oil shocks. In light of the stress high oil prices put on developing countries, the UNCTAD advises them ‘to use recent windfall gains from higher commodity earnings as an opportunity to step up investment in infrastructure and manufacturing capacity’ (Schlein, 2005, p.2), which are deemed crucial for continued development.

Adverse effects are readily evident in developing nations’ economies. There is already a slowdown in China’s economy, largely due to domestic policy that renders energy artificially cheap. ‘Petrochemicals are a critical raw material across the spectrum of manufacturing, so costlier oil would have an immediate inflationary impact’ (Wehrfritz, 2005, p.23). India is in a similar predicament. Currently, it ‘relies on imports for 70% of its crude, and unless the global price falls, the cost that subsidies impose on Indian oil companies is forecast to hit $9.15 billion this year’ (Wehrfritz, 2005, p.23). The cost of subsidized oil ‘is expected to reach $14 billion, or 2.4% of GDP this year’ (Wehrfritz, 2005, p.24). In South Korea, higher energy prices may take the nation into a recession (Wehrfritz, 2005, p.24).

Considering the recent increases in oil prices and its varying consequences on individual nations, it is not surprising that the global economy has reflected such changes. In April, IMF stated ‘world growth would slip to 4.3% from last year’s 5.1%’ (MSNBC, 2005, p.1). More recently, however, the UNCTAD found ‘the world economy grew by almost four percent last year, the best performance since 2000. But, this is expected to drop to three percent in 2005’ (Schlein, 2005, p. 2). Furthermore, ‘according to the IMF’s model, an increase of $10 a barrel in oil prices should knock three-fifths of a percentage point off the world’s output in the following year’ (The Economist, 2005, p. 57). Others view the situation more severely: ‘the OECD has compared the soaring cost of oil to the price spikes that shook the world economy in the 1970s and warned that today’s high energy costs could derail global growth’ (Ellson, 2005, p.1).

While developing and developed oil-importing countries are coping to various degrees of success with rising oil prices, oil-exporting nations are naturally experiencing an economic boom. For example, in Malaysia, Grewal (2005) states that ‘the economy is expected to remain steadfast, given that it is a net oil exporter and high oil prices translate into stronger Government budgetary positions’ (p.2). Projected 2005 OPEC net oil export revenues are $429 billion (in constant $2,005) while those of 2006 are expected to be $439 billion (EIA, 2005, p. 4). This transfer of income is predicted to continue and per Huber & Mills (2005), ‘at current prices, the world is going to send some $30 trillion to Persian Gulf states over the course of the next several decades’ (p.58).

Speculations abound about the short-, medium-, and long-term effects that recently escalating prices will have on the global economy. There is an acute awareness that oil dependency — especially on imported oil, plays a significant role in national, regional, and global economic well-being. The ways in which each country manages their domestic situation will undoubtedly produce global ramifications. However, based on the existing data, it appears as those a global economic downturn is inevitable, with a disproportionate share of the burden falling on those nations that are not taking steps to buffer potential damage to their economic structures. It seems that the poorer developing oil-importing countries are most vulnerable to such a global economic slump.

In conclusion, global dependence on oil proves a precarious situation in times of rising oil prices. In the past, oil shocks contributed to global economic uncertainty, with varying periods of recovery. The size, speed, and longevity of the oil price hikes; an economy’s level of oil dependency; and fiscal and monetary policy responses determine the degree to which oil shocks will affect a nation’s economic growth. The currently escalating oil prices are creating distinct effects on developed and developing nations. The former appear to be better able to absorb the oil prices than the latter. This is largely due to developed countries’ pre-existing cushioning mechanisms and their ability to quickly respond to changes in the oil market. Developing nations that are in dire need of such systems are consequently more vulnerable to volatile oil prices. This is the case in countries such as China, India, and South Korea. Despite current high demand for highly priced oil, there is little doubt that many economies, if any, can maintain at this level. It is this reason that many experts foresee a global economic slowdown in the near future.

References

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Economist, The (2005). Counting the Cost; Oil and the Global Economy. The Economist, 376

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Ellson, Andrew (2005, Sept. 6). Oil Price ‘A Shock to Global Economy’. Times Online.

Retrieved September 8, 2005. Web site: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,-1767891,00.html.

Energy Information Administration (2005). OPEC Revenue Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 8, 2005. Web site: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/opecrev.pdf.

Goodstein, David (2004). Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Grewal, Baljeet (2005, Sept. 5). Understanding the Economics of Global Oil Prices. The Star

Online. Retrieved September 8, 2005. Web site: http://thestar.com/file=/2005/9/5/business/11933298.

Huber, Peter W. & Mills, Mark P. (2005). Getting Over Oil. Commentary, 120 (2), 53-58.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) (2000). The Impact of Higher Oil Prices on the Global

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Leeb, Stephen & Leeb, Donna (2004). The Oil Factor. New York: Warner Business Books.

MSNBC (2005, Sept.3). IMF Warns Oil Prices Could Hit Global Growth. MSNBC.com.

Retrieved September 8, 2005. Web site: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9187275.

OECD Economic Outlook (1990). Macroeconomic effects of energy market developments

Domestic and International Developments – OECD economic outlook for 1991. OECD Economic Outlook. Retrieved September 8, 2005. Web site: http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:gln1zQ_ExnAJ:www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4456/is_n48/ai_10406646+economic+effects+of+1990+oil+shock=en.

Oil Daily, The (2004, May 14). Global Economic Growth Continues Despite High Oil Prices.

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And Global Economy. Retrieved September 8, 2005. Web site: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~nroubini/papers/oilshockroubinisetser.pdf.

Schlein, Lisa (2005, Sept. 2).…

Conceptualizing a Business: The Modern Business World Essay

Conceptualizing a Business:

The modern business world is characterized with numerous opportunities for starting new businesses because of rapid growth and developments in the society. Some of these opportunities exist in the fast food industry and alcohol sector. Notably, the ability to take advantage of these opportunities and develop a business that meets the need of consumers requires conceptualization of the company or business. Conceptualizing a business is a process that involves presenting the company’s vision, mission, and strategic directions that will prove to be a worthy investment and obtain competitive advantage over the already existing rivals. As part of developing a business plan, conceptualizing a business provides an individual with the opportunity to strategically organize his/her thoughts into a solid plan for adapting and growing the business are market realities become apparent.

Roland Restaurant:

Roland Restaurant is a quick service restaurant that will provide healthy and nutritious fast foods to its customers. The restaurant provides a wide range of food items which include soft drinks, burgers, chicken, French fries, and meat items. The company provides these food items as part of its focus on ensuring that customers obtain nutritious and healthy foods that promote their health and well-being. Moreover, Roland Restaurant seeks to develop delicious new fast food products that are in line with nutritional requirements. To ensure that the food products are delicious and nutritious, the food items contain fruit and vegetables and less salt.

One of the major considerations adopted by the restaurant in its production of these foods is the evaluation of the effect of the foods on consumer health, the environment, and its finances. This is primarily because the development of better fast foods is dependent on the effect of the food items on consumer health, the environment, and the organization’s bottom lines (Gross, 2012). In addition to fast food cuisine, Roland Restaurant is characterized with minimal table service because most of its products are usually finished and packaged in suitable portion sizes in advance.

Mission Statement:

Roland Restaurant has been designed to serve a very diverse range of customers from varying cultures, races, and ethnicities with the common objective to stay healthy. While these customers may come for different income and social levels, they are generally people who are concerned about their health while enjoying sweet and nutritious foods. The restaurant provides its food items in a relaxed and comfortable environment where it is easily accessible to its customers. This business environment ensures that the customers have an appropriate environment to make their purchases and even eat the foods.

The mission of…

John Augustus and Probation Essay

A humble Boston boot maker nicknamed the ‘Father of Probation’, John Augustus was a pioneer in his efforts to campaign for convicted criminals to receive more lenient sentences based on backgrounds. (Jones and Braswell) His attempt at rehabilitating the criminal was so successful that even today’s standards do not match it. Because of his noble efforts and high success rate, numerous Boston organizations and philanthropists aided and devoted themselves to his cause. He became the first probation officer, lasting eighteen years in helping convicted criminals gain a second chance. He helped almost 2,000 people with only 4 criminals proving unworthy of probation. (Jones and Braswell)

Back when probation was not practiced in the United States, criminals had no real chance at rehabilitation. This is because the United States Criminal Justice System had adopted a British means of handling criminals via applying to the king for a pardon. While the kind of ‘second chance’ worked in England, in the United States, it made no sense. “The problem was that offenders could be under the purview of the court for an indefinite period. The indefinite sentence allowed the judge to suspend the sentence and punish the reprieved offender if he or she violated the law.” (Jones and Braswell 159)

With such a faulty system in place, Augustus came and demonstrated to the Courts that there were other options. “Augustus convinced the judge to allow him to ‘stand bail’ for the offender who was later released into his custody. When Augustus returned within the three weeks with the ‘reformed’ drunkard, the judge was so impressed that he reduced the fine and suspended the man’s sentence of incarceration.” (Jones and Braswell 159) With just three weeks Augustus not only changed the drunkard in a positive way, but also showed that he could be rehabilitated to an extent where no longer proved a threat to society. This is the kind of initiative lacking in the current American Criminal Justice System.

This initiative allowed offenders to maintain family ties and fulfill important community, family and work obligations. (Hess, et al.) Currently, while there is probation, the kind of people responsible for the rehabilitation of offenders’ leaves little in terms of connection and communication. Augustus helped each individual he put in his care. He was a prosperous shoe maker that had not only the compassion, but the ability to connect with the people he…

Black Seminoles Term Paper

Politics makes strange bedfellows, we are told, with the implication that those brought together by the vagaries of politics would be best kept apart. But sometimes this is not true at all. In the case of the Black Seminoles, politics brought slaves and Seminole Indians politics brought together two groups of people who would – had the history of the South been written just a little bit differently – would never have had much in common. But slaves fleeing their masters and Seminoles trying to lay claim to what was left of their traditional lands and ways found each other to be natural allies in Florida and in time in other places as well. This paper examines the origin of this particular American population, describing how the Black Seminoles changed over time and how their culture reflected both African and Seminole elements.

The Black Seminoles began in the early 1800s in the most remote and swamp-like parts of Florida, places in the state where runaway black slaves believed that they might be safe from those who were looking to reclaim them as their property. While some blacks did try to escape to the North, this was an especially difficult task for slaves beginning in Florida: The Mason-Dixon line was a very long way off from Florida and many slaves believed that they would be recaptured or killed if they tried to make it all the way to the North. Thus they fled south, into the swamps where the Seminole Indians often took them in.

Those escaped black slaves were lucky in seeking asylum with the Seminole rather than with other native groups, many of which were far less accepting of outsiders. But the Seminole were not so much a tribe as this word is usually applied to the native peoples of the Americas but rather a confederation that was already culturally diverse. The Seminole both married people from other groups and adopted them into their confederation, so when escaped slaves came to them there was already a tradition of welcoming outsiders into the group.

The slaves had another reason to retreat South into Florida: Since the 17th century slaves had been seeking refuge in Florida during those historical periods when it was Spanish Territory and so not subject to British or, later, American law.

Although the Seminoles were racially, culturally, and linguistically mixed, they did not lack for a sense of identity. In fact, of all of the Eastern American Indian tribes, the Seminole were some of the fiercest in fighting for their rights as an independent people and in seeking to limit the power of white Americans over their territory and their customs (Mulroy, 1993, p. 7).

Another link between the Seminole and many of the slaves who sought refuge with them was that, like the Seminole the slaves themselves were of mixed blood. These slaves, whom today we would call black or African-American, were in the antebellum called maroons and were recognized as a distinct demographic group that-based many of its traditions directly on African precedents. The maroons who became Black Seminoles – who had integrated both African and American elements into their lives – also integrated Seminole customs, taking on the traditional Seminole costumes of brightly colored applique, moccasins, and turbans (Thybony, 1991, p. 92).

The Black Seminoles had their own language, a creole (which is a recent combination of two or more languages that often develops when different kinds of people are thrown together as the former slaves and the Seminoles were). This language, called Gullah, is a variety of English, although the grammatical and lexical influences of African languages, Spanish, and Muskhogean Indian would make it difficult for anyone speaking “standard” English to understand.

This brief introduction should suggest the ways in which escaped slaves were inclined to feel at home among the Seminoles while the Seminoles were also culturally inclined to welcome the slaves into their settlements. But while the two groups can be seen in many ways to have been natural allies, their alliance was not always a smooth one because of a variety of pressures brought against them by a variety of outside forces.

The political life of Florida is a complex one, for the territory was used as a bargaining chip on a number of different occasions by the colonial powers with interests in the continental United States – Britain, France, and Spain – as well as by the United States. Whenever the territory of Florida changed hands, the rights of the Black Seminoles also changed, as the next section discusses.

There was also always the question of race: What made a person black or Indian?

Not Black, but Not-Black

White slaveowners were, of course, aware of the fact that slaves were taking refuge with the Seminoles. After 1763, when the Spanish ceded the territory of Florida to Britain, maroons from far Southern states such as Georgia as well as Florida itself continued to enter into partnerships with Seminole villages (Mulroy, 1993, pp. 10-11). Ironically, during the early 18th century (the exact time is not known), the Seminoles themselves began to keep the maroons as slaves – although the relationship was never as brutal as white ownership of blacks.

Slavery among the Seminoles was not new. They captured other Indians in battle, “adopted” them into their tribe to replace members who had been killed and treated them amicably. Some Black slaves were purchased, others were given as “gifts” to chiefs by the British who had acquired Florida from the Spanish in 1763. Many of these Blacks lived independently in villages separate from their Indian “owners.” This independent living was the foundation of a new social group. They were efficient and productive farmers, owned livestock, and armed themselves against intruders. In deference to the Indian chief, they paid an annual tax, usually corn or some other foodstuff to be used for the common good. In return for their allegiance they were given the protection of the larger Seminole Indian community. An American general aptly described the relationship between the two groups as “vassals and allies.” (http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/library/News/seminoles2.html).

Mulroy (1993, p. 11) argues that it was more feudal in nature, with obligations owed on both sides. The maroons tended to live in separate villages and to marry among themselves. They owned their own property and were free in many ways, but they paid some form of tax or tribute to the Seminoles and went on raids with the Seminoles, who seem to have had the right to call on maroons to go into battle with them (Porter, 1971, pp. 302-303).

The Seminoles were far less concerned about racial categories than wer whites. And they recognized the humanity of the maroons in a way that whites never did.

The experience of the Black Seminoles was similar to other maroon societies which proliferated throughout the Americas before slavery was abolished. Because they were in constant fear of being recaptured, they defended their freedom by developing extraordinary skills in guerilla warfare. They were proactive in finding ways to survive economically in new environments and they were savvy in their interaction with Native Americans. Leaders emerged from their communities who were skilled at understanding and negotiating with whites. Most important, all of these maroon communities, borrowed and blended elements of their experiences and integrated them into their own African heritage.

Historically the central question for those who came in contact with the Black Seminoles was whether they were African or American Indian. This issue of classification hounded them throughout their search for freedom. Individuals, agencies and institutions labeled them for their own purposes, more often than not determined by their own vested interests (http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/library/News/seminoles2.html).

We might think that someone’s race is a fixed category, but in fact it is determined far more by cultural than by biological factors. The Black Seminole communities were constantly under threat by slavehunters who defined black in the broadest possible sense – the definition that would net the largest number of slaves to bring back – while the former slaves and Seminoles defined race in ways that benefited them.

Race is in fact of the most bedeviling of all cultural or social characteristics. Race has about it a sense of the objective, a categorizing of humans that is conducted from the outside. We may believe that we can tell someone’s race by looking at them (and without knowing anything about them). This is in fact not true, and is reflected today in a shift to the term ethnicity – a category that is much more often applied by people to themselves and it usually involves knowledge of national or family origin, often of religious belief. We are much less confident that we can guess at someone’s ethnicity simply by observing them. We must get to know them to determine their ethnicity. But slave-hunters labored under no such niceties. Dark skin was dark skin to them.

Racial categories are in most probability so widespread because they are one of the simplest mechanisms by which…

Scrapping the Electoral College the Reason for Adopting a National Popular Vote

American Democracy

The Electoral College as it currently functions is a way of getting around the “popular vote” — as Underhill (2012) notes in “Changing Up the Electoral College?” However, Gregg (2011) puts an entirely different spin on the Electoral College by viewing it as “a compromise” between the Federalist and Anti-Federalist agendas that went into forming the Constitution (p. 34). Gregg asserts that the Electoral College allows special representatives to select after a republican process (direct voting) the executive. In other words, it combines popular vote with representative vote. Essentially, the popular vote is limited to states and does not count for the nation as a whole. The individual winner of a state’s popular vote is assigned electoral votes — and while one state may have many more people/voters than another — these numbers are only represented by the electoral votes when it comes time to choosing the national winner of the executive office.

I am not in support of the current Electoral College because I think it denies Americans the right to a truly national popular vote. By limiting the popular vote process to the states, it ensures that more populated states will have less sway in the national election. But since it is a national election and not a state election, the popular vote should be counted nationwide, not just within state borders. The proposed changes by the National Popular Vote Plan (NPVP) make sense — but I would rather see an actual amendment to the Constitution because as Gregg (2011) points out — the NPVP is just a way of getting around the Constitution (p. 33), and I am not in favor of that. I think the status quo has to be changed to be more reflective of the sovereignty and will of the people on a national level, since the office is a national-level office — but I believe the change should come via legislation — i.e., an amendment to the Constitution.

The NPVP proposes that states should be able to circumvent the Constitution by pledging the electoral votes for their state to the winner of the national popular vote. While in theory, the winner of the national popular vote should be win the office in my opinion, I do not like the idea of circumventing the Constitution. If this is what states want, then representatives/legislators should amend the law. Law-abiding practices should be promoted…

Secession Was a Serious Response Term Paper

The FDIC is one of Roosevelt’s most notable legacies. However, New deal economics have largely fallen by the wayside. The neo-liberal market economy that prevailed in the latter decades of the 20th century counteracts the inherent socialism of the New Deal.

A series of public works programs like the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Public Works Association (PWA), the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) helped stimulate the American economy in the wake of the Depression. Public works projects resulted in improved transportation infrastructures, which would become increasingly important during the age of the automobile.

The New Deal also resulted in improved labor laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and therefore offered tacit support for labor unions. One of the most lasting legacies of the New Deal was the Social Security Act, encouraging investments in pensions which would also stimulate the economy. Although Social Security is currently a controversial issue, it has nevertheless had long-term benefits for Americans. New Deal policies were on the whole idealistic and workable had Americans been more receptive to the underlying tenets of liberal democracies with socialist underpinnings.

4. World War Two marked a new era for American domestic and foreign policy. The United States emerged from its shell and became a world superpower, an empire no less powerful or influential than Rome was 2000 years ago. The Cold War solidified America’s position on the world’s stage because the Untied States also had an arch-nemesis: the Soviet Union. Being able to point a finger at an enemy of democracy and civil rights allowed the United States to assert its moral superiority. The United States capitalized well on its newfound role as the economic, political, and ethical role model of the world.

The current rhetoric guiding American foreign policy in the “war on terror” mirrors that which occurred during the Cold War. America views itself as a champion of democracy and civil liberties. As a result, most Americans tolerated restrictions on civil liberties during the Cold War, reaching a peak with McCarthyism. During the war on terror, the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act has served a similar purpose. Ironically, many Americans developed a newfound mistrust of the federal government during the Cold War, after Nixon resigned. In spite of setbacks and signs that the American character was flawed, the United States readily maintained its position as a righteous superpower by claiming an ethical aversion to the communist threat and now, to the terrorist threat.

American hegemony grew increasingly problematic after Vietnam. The United States took an increasingly aggressive position in international affairs by interfering in the sovereignty of other nations, including Central American and Middle Eastern countries. Moreover, American hegemony could no longer be attributed to a well-meaning anti-communist stance. World War Two also ushered in a new era of commercial success that helped America assume its position of power in the world and commercial success enabled the United States to engage in a new form of imperialism: one that was not based on the official acquisition of land. Instead, the United States involvement abroad ensured fertile ground for American economic interests. Consciously or not, Americans used their political and economic successes to spread American social and cultural values.

After President Reagan helped the Soviet Union dissolve, the United States continued to act almost as a parent to the rest of the world and especially the developing world. Having a strong economy has helped America retain its political clout in the trans-national organizations that evolved in response to World War Two including the United Nations and the World Bank. However, the superpower status of America seems to have passed its peak. The European Union and other regional blocs could potentially create a more egalitarian international community.

References

Andrew Jackson.” State Library of North Carolina. Retrieved Dec 4, 2006 at http://statelibrary.dcr.state.nc.us/nc/bio/public/jackson.htm

Andrew Jackson.” The White House. Retrieved Nov 4, 2006 at http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/aj7.html

Dred Scott case: the Supreme Court decision.” PBS. Retrieved Dec 4, 2006 at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h2933.html

Jacksonian Democracy.” Fact Monster. Retrieved Dec 4, 2006 at http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/people/A0858962.html

Successes and failures of Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs.” Retrieved Dec 4, 2006 at http://www.bergen.org/AAST/projects/depression/successes.html

Wilmot Proviso.” InfoPlease. Retrieved Dec 4, 2006 at http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0852373.html

SWOT of Rehabcare Inc. Essay

Rehab Care

Founded in 1982, the RehabCare Group Inc. is a private company that provides physical and cognitive rehabilitation program management services to approximately 1200 hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient facilities, and other long-term care facilities in the United States. The company also has a Program Management Services division that provides rehabilitation services and skilled nursing for acute conditions, a Hospital division that primarily functions in rehabilitation hospitals, and an Other Healthcare Services division that provides strategic and financial consulting services. The company’s headquarters is in Louisville, Kentucky. Below is a SWOT analysis of the company:

Strengths

High quality of care.

Licensed therapists / highly skilled workforce.

Large distribution and sales networks. Experienced business units.

Weaknesses

Little investments in research and development.

Extremely competitive market.

Patient census subject to issues with the economy.

Opportunities

New markets.

New products and services.

Threats

Price changes in services.

Issues with the economy.

Changing insurance regulations.

Competition from private companies.

A major of potential improvement in hospitals in the United States involves standardizing discharge planning and discharge requirements (Joynt & Jha, 2012). A substantial number of patients will require some form of rehabilitation following discharge from acute care and a good number of hospitals do not have in-house rehabilitation programs for outpatients. A very large potential new market is to develop these in — house. RehabCare Inc. can provide all of the necessary administrative, developmental, sales, and other services with the hospital in a partnership that can be profitable for both parties. Fully developing this new market can also lessen competition from outside private companies that vie for patients needing rehabilitation services upon their discharge from acute care. Thus, fully addressing the development of in — house outpatient rehabilitation services can transform this opportunity into a strength of the company and a weakness of RehabCare Inc. into a new opportunity.

A large number of hospital patients that are in need of longer-term rehabilitation services are patients that incur some type of cognitive impairment or emotional distress along with their physical injuries (e.g., Needham, Dinglas, Morris, Jackson, Hough et al., 2013; Tully, Selkow, Bengel, & Rafanelli, 2014). While RehabCare does employ speech therapists who can address some of these to a minor degree it does not employ rehabilitation psychologists or neuropsychologists who are far better trained to assess, diagnose, and assist in the treatment of individuals with cognitive impairments or emotional issues. Adding these services…

Creative Story in the Year Term Paper

The men of Mortheal started to march down the battlefield. The Territorial Army of King Oreck followed with stable weapons. The army’s march soon turned into a slow jog, and then to a run. The spear-bearers led the way with spears held lightly in their hands as they prepared to hurl them into the approaching horde.

The armies were not far from each other now. Orcen armies had been attacking in groups for the last two fortnights, and had suffered many casualties but that did not seem to lessen their numbers any as they streamed forth across the field with no end in sight. Mortheal’s army was now running forward as fast as possible while still maintaining their balance. The spear-bearers launched their weapons, desiccating the Orcen front line.

Mortheal himself was one of the first to enter the fray after the spear-bearers had accomplished their task. An axe came at his head speedily, dodging it, Mortheal ducked and twirled, sending his mace into the orc’s face; the orc fell to the ground, not moving. Then all hell broke out Swords, axes, polearms and maces crashed into the Orcen crowd. Arrows, like missiles, whistled out of the sky with deadly accuracy. Many of the orcs were lifting their shields to protect them from the weapons of the sky, leaving their bodies open to ground level attacks, which Mortheal’s men took immediate advantage of, slashing and stabbing with ferocity.

Mortheal, noticing one of his own injured on the ground, dropped back from the fight and concentrated on the injured man before him. He threw his hands to the heaven and, seeking the assistance of a holy power, healed the wounded on the ground before him. The man got up from his prone position, looked around in wonder, reached down and picked up his weapon and ran to join the battle, a whole man once again.

Mortheal looked around for his apprentice, Faede who should have been doing the healing during this battle instead of Mortheal. He spied him on the other side of the battlefield doing the same thing that Mortheal had just done.

Mortheal smiled grimly, satisfied that Faede was doing as much as possibly could be done.

It was obvious that Mortheal and his men were winning the battle, that the orcs were outmanned, and that they had not nearly the training or discipline of Mortheal’s and the King’s men, who were a well trained and disciplined army.

When the King’s men entered the fray, the archers stopped shooting, in fear of hitting one of their own men. Since the archers were no longer able to participate in the battle using their long-distance weapons, they quickly donned their battle-gear, starting with leather jerkins with leggings to match. Over this under-covering they placed a light-weight mail and completed their ensemble with head-gear that allowed for maximum field of vision while still being quite protective. After quickly dressing, the archers sprinted into the fierce battle.

The grunts, groans, moans of pain and cries of anguish could be heard coming from all quarters. Men’s cries of anger and exertion mixed with the strange and guttural language of the orcs as they attempted to overwhelm Mortheal’s army. In the distance the first rumbling sounds of the sacars announced their proximity and Mortheal knew that he would soon need to lead, or send a phalanx of his men against the sacars in order to quell any dread felt by his men concerning their invincibility. He turned and caught the eye of his second-in-command, Adionis, who he signaled with a slight nod and a hand gesture.

Immediately Adionis signaled back that he understood Mortheal’s order and that it would be complied with. Adionis stepped back from the battle and raised a small silver horn to his lips. He gave three low blasts ending with a high note on the horn, and then slowly lowered it with a grim look on his face. He had followed Mortheal through some mighty tough campaigns and knew that overcoming the sacars would not be an easy task, especially if Lord Doomhammer had vested them with any magical abilities. Adionis remembered the last fight against the dreaded beasts, when they had been unleashed with a special power to feel no pain. That had made them even more difficult to overcome, but the sacars had finally been conquered when Mortheal had hit the hairy animals with a spell of his own that reversed the effects of the ‘no-pain’ spell. Mortheal’s spell had caused the sacars so much pain at the thought of entering battle, that they had immediately turned tail and run back to their dens in the Sacartan Plains.

Adionis felt, like Mortheal, that the animals should be left alone and not used as weapons against man, or any other species for that matter.

Adionis wondered why Lord Doomhammer felt it necessary to support the orcs in this battle and why it was that the sacars had been forced to battle once again. He did not have too much time to contemplate Lord Doomhammer’s actions however, because he was too busy gathering his men to him so that they might answer Mortheal’s call to arms.

Adionis was not only Mortheal’s second in command, but he was also in charge of special operations, operations that needed a cool hand, an intelligent leader. The operations were considered above and beyond the call of duty and were also exceptionally dangerous to the men and their leader. Though the group of men was small in number, they were elite in both manner and war, and whenever one fell in battle there was any number of others that volunteered to take the fallen man’s place. Only the few and the proud could be part of Adionis’ elite corps. Adionis group had even taken on the feared Broudens of Brouda and had beaten them soundly. A recent rumor was that the wind carried the cries of the Broudian women out of the mountains where they lived, overcome by the knowledge that not only would many of their men not be returning to them, but that they had (for the first time ever) been defeated in war. The lamentations were called the Broudian wind, and those that had heard it, shuddered from its effects.

Adionis led his men towards Mortheal who had disengaged from the fighting and had found a small area near the castle gate in which there was enough space for a quick discussion.

“Men” he said as he looked around the small group, “I invoke your pledge to me that you each took when you became a member of this elite unit.” Each man stared back at Mortheal with intent eyes, and a fierce demeanor. Their faces showed only determination and a duty to their leader. “I am asking you to once again to conduct battle against the sacars.” Before they could reply or react, he continued. “Most of you will remember that the last time you battled these creatures, many good men met their match. The surprise we discovered at that time was that they felt no pain; they would keep fighting even when pain would have normally felled them in their tracks. Hopefully, Lord Doomhammer realizes that we know that trick.”

The men smiled small grim smiles of remembrance as they watched Mortheal and listened to his words. The casualty rate in that remembered battle had been over 50% and many good men had been lost. Mortheal continued.

“I will give you each a talisman before you enter the battle that will protect you from any grievous injuries, but you cannot lose it. If you lose it, your protection will dissipate.

Wear it under your jerkins.” He handed each man a small silver stone drilled through the center and hung on a silver small-linked chain. The men took the offering and placed it about their necks. After doing so, they turned their attention back to Mortheal.

“You don’t have much time,” he said, “the sacars are approaching. Adionis is an excellent leader, look to him for direction. I will do what I can to help you, but I have to make sure the other men take care of their responsibilities concerning the orcs. Good luck, although I doubt you will need it.” Mortheal touched his chest with his fist and his men did so likewise in a show of solidarity.

“Alright men,” said Adionis as he stepped forward to take charge, “let’s head out and remember to look after your fellow men.” He led them out at a jog as Mortheal watched them go.

Turning his attention back to the battle, Mortheal noticed that a segment of the King’s army seemed to be bogged down against the orc’s left flank. Many of the Orcen cavalry had swung to the right in an…