Building Effective Teamwork

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Building Effective Teamwork

Teamwork is the deliberate execution of one’s duties in order to facilitate the success of the whole group. Thus, such platforms can only be considered effective when each individual meets his/her targets and does so immediately. Cohesiveness is a vital characteristic of an effective team because it shows the seamless transition of ideas and actions from one member to another. As such, creating an environment that is conducive to open communication is necessary in order to allow the participants to bond and build trust. In addition, discrimination should not be allowed because that affects the self-esteem of the victims leading to a decline in his/her productivity. (West 105) Similarly, the leader has to possess adequate conflict resolution skills to handle such occurrences whenever they arise. Consequently, he should dialogue with the feuding sides in an impartial but decisive way. The final decision will be binding as well.

Furthermore, group members need to avoid emotional outbursts as these tend to fuel tensions. Rather, they need to take some time to reflect on the issue at hand before lashing out at others. With the team leader offering guidance and direction about the integral aspects of the different projects, fellow teammates have to show commitment to the cause and portray diverse personalities necessary in the attainment of the set goals (Levin 49). In some instances, it is advisable to incorporate sessions of banter to enhance the connection to each other. However, focusing on insults and ego-filled tantrums undermines the leadership of the team as well as the presence of a healthy competition among colleagues. This would result in constant wrangles that derail the implementation of the team’s agenda. Thus, as part of a course project team, I would embrace a consultative approach to decision-making to accommodate the views of most team members.

 

Works Cited

Levin, Peter. Successful Teamwork! Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2004. Print.

West, Michael. Effective Teamwork: Practical Lessons from Organizational Research. Malden, MA: BPS Blackwell, 2004. Print.

 

Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King Jr.

A hero is a person who is courageous and is willing to sacrifice himself/herself even when under enormous risk for the common good of other people. Thus, this individual is considered a warrior who defends and protects other people’s rights regardless of the danger posed by the circumstances. As such, a hero represents a certain struggle and is often depicted undergoing different trials to test his/her resolve to the cause. In these instances, the adversaries try to weaken this character but are unsuccessful. Rather, the latter is emboldened to continue the fight. Moreover, the image portrayed is that of an ordinary person who quickly rises to lead others in extraordinary circumstances and does not stop until victory is achieved. According to any heroic narrative, there have to be skeptics who doubt the viability of the cause as well as fervent supporters who fuel the campaign (Leslie and Walski 78). While these opposing forces do occasionally clash, it is always the hero’s responsibility to rally the believers and engage them in acts aimed at enhancing the ideology’s credibility thereby setting them on a victory course. Martin Luther King Jr. is the hero for the civil rights movement, which despite several challenges, managed to galvanize the nation around race issues using non-violent tactics and set precedence for the end of racial discrimination.

Claim

Mr. King is revered in the African American community due to his visionary leadership of the introduction and running of the civil rights movement that entrenched non-discrimination in the United States Constitution. Hence, he is regarded as the pioneer of non-violent assembly of citizens and a crusader of human rights who slightly improved cultural integration perceptions within the American society. In addition, he is seen as the first person to implore other people to reflect about the common humanity shared by all citizens as a mode of embracing each other rather than destroying the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of one another (Bruni and Senna 53)

Grounds

He is viewed as an icon in this freedom struggle because he emerged as the face of the revolution. In fact, his name is synonymous with this movement. Similarly, he was a good orator who could move masses using carefully chosen words that influenced the thinking of his listeners as well as critics. Sometimes, these speeches were laden with scriptural anecdotes that broadened his appeal and helped to reinforce his support base across the country. Furthermore, he was a shrewd community organizer who knew how to pull massive rallies that drew national attention thereby cementing his status as a powerful crusader for black empowerment. Moreover, he did not shy away from controversial confrontations with the administration and law enforcement agencies even when the lives of participants in such marches were at risk. This endeared him to the minorities thus providing him with a fanatical following countrywide.

Warrant

Dr. King was a mere Baptist minister when he partnered with Joseph Lowery, Ralph Abernathy and Fred Shuttlesworth to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference whose objective was to build a support network for articulating civil rights issues. Having led this association until his sudden death, it managed to give him prominence despite the presence of other well educated and politically connected individuals. This serves to show that he was a unique personality within that era that could outmaneuver better-qualified candidates for a vital position in an important forum. As such, it was encouraging to the several young, black men most of whom had been slaves to know that they too could hope for a better future because he embodied that spirit. While his rise was unpredictable, he managed to muster the temperament and negotiating skills that forced the government to give in to his demands and by extension those of his community. He also demonstrated a genuine desire to empathize with his fellow supporters by not abandoning them even in the face of arrests (Birt 122). Consequently, he was a victim of many incarcerations, all of which were in solidarity with fellow citizens advocating for an end to segregation. By so doing, he was being defiant to the government and white oppressors who were the beneficiaries of the inequalities present. His willingness to be jailed expressed the conviction to tolerate harsh treatment for the sake of ending the injustice meted out on African Americans. In fact, this did not dampen his resolve. Rather, he was able to lead further civil disobedience activities through intermediaries while engaging in other stunts to draw attention and increase pressure on the perpetrators to end their suffering under Jim Crow rules. It is evident that actions such as jailing and beatings from police officers were employed to intimidate them into submission and an abandonment of their quest.

However, King’s determination to undergo this torture based on his belief of a future solution to their problems  shows that he was committed to defending the right of African Americans to equal and fair treatment in the United States. His own psychological, emotional, and physical torture from the arrests and attacks on his home were sacrifices that he embraced for the universal delivery of justice to marginalized groups. According to him, these actions were vital in pushing their agenda to ensure that they succeeded at all costs. Likewise, he devoted a great deal of his time traveling to volatile regions especially the South to offer moral and material support to other protesters despite the inherent risks of arrest, assault or even death to his life. This was a clear illustration of his bravery. At the time, such behavior was met with hostility from rival organizations. For example, the Klu Klux Klan, the government, and even the white community were against his ideology. He understood the precarious conditions that he would face once he toured various regions. Similarly, he was aware of the backlash that had been generated among wealthy and powerful white politicians as well as their constituents. He was also averse with the numerous death threats that had been issued to him as well as the ominous plot by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to eliminate him as a means of curtailing the civil rights movement. Nevertheless, he did not shy away from visiting different parts of the country including racial hotspots to articulate his non-violent approach to ending color-based discrimination (Bolden and Adelman 47). In fact, he always found a way to rebel against his perceived enemies while maintaining control of his followers. This fearlessness was instrumental in forcing President Lyndon Baynes Johnson to compromise and enact the Voting Rights Act into law. It also influenced the end of segregation in public schools as well as the repeal of a law barring women to vote. By being principled and ready to suffer bodily harm for the sake of equality in human treatment in various aspects of life, he was able to fight for the freedom of marginalized people and guarantee the respect of their civil liberties.

Backing

Standoffs became common and King was briefly arrested in Birmingham in 1963 after fierce confrontations with law enforcement personnel under the command of Eugene “Bull” Connor. Likewise, on March 7, 1965, police officers and a mob violently attacked protestors in what was referred to as bloody Sunday. Still, he urged and led demonstrations across various cities while delivering speeches that made an impassioned plea to legislate basic civil rights, increase the minimum wage, and desegregate public spaces. Consequently, his bold, ambitious, and highly successful august 28, 1963 march for jobs and freedom in Washington D.C. despite the heightened threat level showed that he was a visionary leader, capable of liberating people from their struggles. It also marked his dedication to the mission, which is a reflection of his heroic status within the American culture.

Rebuttal

Some historians have pointed out that Martin Luther King Jr. was not the pioneer of the civil rights movement. They refer to some of the earlier works of people such as Booker T. Washington and other well-known personalities as being the ones who introduced this phenomenon to the nation. Similarly, others prefer to credit the entrenchment of the rights of minorities to President Johnson for having signed the bill into law. According to them, the president could have vetoed the bill and thus continue the practice of segregation throughout the country. Consequently, they argue that he deserves greater recognition. Likewise, some of them are quick to credit other regional leaders under the umbrella of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference due to their intense involvement to organize protests in their respective jurisdictions.

Qualification

All the leaders who worked with Dr. King made immense contributions towards advancement of blacks in America. However, he is the one who used his charismatic nature to coordinate the movement’ activities nationwide and helped to solicit for funds to finance their activities from likeminded groups. In addition, his rhetoric resonated with millions of people and thus thrust him into the limelight (Bolden and Adelman 16). Furthermore, there was a broad consensus that he was the mot suitable to lead the charge for equality because of the non-violent stance of his manifesto as compared to the brutal reactions suggested by other members. The vast support network can be attributed to his coalition building skills that enhanced the reach of the organization as well as provided diversity to the cause in move that won the struggle more sympathizers. Likewise, he cultivated closer links with the establishment in a bid to lobby for the adoption of their demands and this venture became successful when they were made into law. Hence, he was a transformational figure that managed to blend his intellect with the youthful demeanor to rally Americans of all lifestyles to a cause that captured the nation’s psyche and eventually recognized the need to treat other races as equal. By so doing, he became a hero to the marginalized communities in the United States and around the world. Despite his assassination on March 29, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, he is regarded as one of the most iconic Americans and a prophetic voice due to the election of the first African American president, Barack Obama that stemmed from his “I have a dream” speech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Birt, Robert. The Liberatory Thought of Martin Luther King Jr: Critical Essays on the Philosopher King. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books, 2012. Print.

Bolden, Tonya, and Bob Adelman. M.l.k: Journey of a King. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006. Print.

Bruni, Luigino, and Barbara Sena. The Charismatic Principle in Social Life. London: Routledge, 2012. Print.

Leslie, Tonya, and Tina Walski. Martin Luther King, Jr: A Life of Fairness. Minneapolis, MN: Bellwether Media, 2008. Print.

 

Book Review of the Colossus of New York

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Colson Whitehead provides a detailed and thrilling description of many New York locations in the book Colossus of New York. The book’s contents offer a refreshing view of different aspects of this city in a poetic and humorous way. In addition to offering a detailed account of the landscape, the author includes snippets of significant historical explanations that color the varying locations in a different light. The book generates a lot of interest in the Big Apple since the narration is quite fascinating. It is a wonderful read and presents an informative glimpse into one of the world’s most famous cities. Central Park is an outdoor recreational facility located at the heart of Manhattan. Having been designated as a national historic landmark, this park is a modest display of natural beauty that has raised the aesthetic value and profile of the Manhattan topography. The view of the surrounding skyscrapers is breathtaking especially from the Eastern side, directly across Fifth Avenue. There are trees that dot the entire park. These provide much needed shade during the summer. In addition, the chirping of birds that is not mentioned in Whitehead’s book gives the area a wild sensation. The fields are quite expansive. Hence, the wide-open spaces project a kind of freedom from the hustle and bustle of the city. Similarly, the different colored trees are pleasant to look at, more so, when the flowers begin to blossom. Importantly, there are many walking paths to ease access to any section of the park as well as make visitors enjoy the different attractions. One can easily feel the difference in air quality as a smooth breeze blows across the park. This gentle wind produces a relaxed atmosphere and thus helps to achieve one of the goals of the facility.

Walking through the park, there are many amenities present that make the place lively. For example, there are two rinks for ice-skating although one of them is always converted into a swimming pool in July and August. These rinks are fully equipped with safety gears and costumes for rentals. In particular, the Skater rink is used for swimming during the summer while the Wollman rink located close to the Central Park zoo is used for skating all year round. It is worth mentioning that birthday parties can and are held on these rinks thereby making the location popular among the youth. Most of these parties are extravagant as every organizer tries to outdo the others and the buzz generated during such events attracts a huge camaraderie among the visitors. This perspective is not captured in the above book although it forms a trendy part of most visits to the area. Likewise, the park is home to various animals found in the Central Park Zoo. This section has an admirable sea lion pool with monkeys and penguins roaming the grounds. The clock tower on the gate to the Children’s Zoo is antique in shape while pandas and parrots that wander around the enclosure cause numerous amusements. As a result, visitors are inclined to take nature walks and other exploration activities in a bid to interact with the friendly creatures that always seem happy to welcome guests to their habitat. This is yet another observation lacking in the descriptive account of the park in the book. Even, rabbits, ducks and chicken have managed to find a place to call home in this zoo. Unfortunately, the popular polar bear named Gus had to be euthanized due to a recurrent infection and his absence can be felt through the conversations of people who had become fond of him. Such adoration exemplifies the love that most New Yorkers have for one another despite the city being a cosmopolitan. Therefore, the zoo is able to bring people of different backgrounds and nationalities together in a fun-filled environment.

The Central Park Conservatory Garden is a mixture of lush green lawns and trees. The grounds cover 6 acres, and it is accessible from the Vanderbilt Gate on Fifth Avenue. However, there is no specific flower color although this garden forms a backdrop for many photo sessions including wedding festivities. The Untermeyer Fountain is a striking piece of art that is made up of three maidens in a dancing posture. The well-trimmed lawns present tranquility to the park experience, and they help visitors to have moments of reflection in a peaceful setting. Another garden, formed in concentric circles adjacent to the fountain offers an artistic impression of liberty and makes guests have a serene meditation area. The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is another prime location within the park that offers a panoramic view of the city’s skyline. Holding over 1 billion gallons of water, the expansive reservoir projects strength and power. The sheer force of the current is not easily visible due to its large depth. A sizeable jogging track encircles the reservoir, as do several water birds. This incredible layout has led to numerous bird watching trips, an experience that has proven exhilarating to different bird enthusiasts. The Ramble is another wooden section of the park famous for hosting various species of birds especially in the fall and spring seasons. Rowboats are also available from the Loeb boathouse, which overlooks the lake. The boats and kayaks can be rented at affordable prices, and one is able to go boating across the lake, under the Bow Bridge and into the Lower Loop. While doing so, one gets a vantage point of viewing the many tall buildings surrounding the park-another nugget not clearly illustrated in Whitehead’s recollection of the city. Alternatively, there are 21 playgrounds for children to choose from and one of the largest carousels in the country. These amenities are strategically located in various sections within the park to avoid congestion in any one area.

Major sports and entertainment activities are also hosted on these grounds. For example, the Delacorte Theater is the highlight for summer plays and other theoretical productions. More dance sessions, music performances and other arts are presented during the Summerstage weekend. These are a series of fun-filled events aimed at shepherding people towards a common cause. The concerts are known to be crowd pullers, and they encourage people to appreciate the beauty of Central Park. Depending on the size of the participants, there is plenty of space available to accommodate as many people as possible without jeopardizing the safety of the fans and the park itself. On most weekends, bicycle races and inline skating contests are held. These occur in Park Drive that stretches to about 6 miles long. Additionally, tennis, volleyball and baseball are actively played on various courts and fields. This makes the park to beam with activity throughout the year thereby fulfilling the reference of New York City as the city that never sleeps. Several sculptures have been erected at different junctions, and each of them symbolizes a momentous historical fact. In total, 21 sculptures can be found within the grounds. Most of them have originated from charitable organizations while others have been donated by philanthropic individuals who are vocal on environmental conservation. These statues are not placed haphazardly either. Instead, they are carefully selected and positioned at different coordinates. Whereas some might be a display of the artist’s skill, most of them contain hidden meanings that visitors are always encouraged to find out. Some of them include Cleopatra’s Needle, Balto, and Alice in Wonderland. Sometimes, the manner in which these sculptures made their way into Central Park is mysterious. That is what fuels the speculation, which attracts more tourists to the site each year.

Rock climbing is a common activity that draws many enthusiasts to the location. This is carried out on a group of boulders that are spread in certain parts of the park. Cat Rock and Rat Rock are the most famous spots for rock climbers. These frequent adventures make the sports scene dynamic and ensure that different preferences of people are served. Similarly, horse carriages are common with most people choosing to take photographs after they have ridden them. Sunbathers can be spotted anywhere within the park, and this unpredictability is what makes the park charming. Although it is situated in the middle of a busy city, Central Park manages to offer a quiet getaway full of thrilling distractions in a healthy and calm atmosphere.

The Seven Habits of Highly Happy Kids by: Sean Covey

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The Seven Habits of Highly Happy Kids by: Sean Covey

Summary

This is a children’s book. It aims at educating them on certain principles and values that they should possess for them to live a productive life. Even though the language used is simple, the message contained in the book is so profound that adults can learn something from it, just as I did. The seven habits are discussed in detail. They also provide a glimpse of the worth of certain character traits. The first habit commands parents to teach their children to be responsible while the next one seeks to remind parents to encourage their children to have a plan. It, therefore, specifies the rewards of strategizing in advance for any task.

It further emphasizes the importance of a plan by outlining the benefits of having early preparation for any event. Furthermore, it also highlights the importance of children handling their priorities before embarking on pleasurable activities as the third habit. Essentially, it seeks to show the advantages of being focused as opposed to yielding to peer influence. Whereas it recommends to parents to offer solutions that are beneficial to all stakeholders in a crisis as the fourth habit, it also advocates that any debater should listen to his/her opponent before speaking in the fifth.

According to the writer, it is advisable to be a good listener when issues of conflict arise because that is the only way one can tell the reasons for agitation of any aggrieved party. Consequently, it advises guardians to teach children the value of compromising as the sixth habit while the seventh is dedicated to advising them to ensure that they constantly raise the self-esteem of their own children. I found the latter to be a dominant theme throughout the book, and it is refreshing to be advised on how to handle the different attitudes of children. In fact, the systematic explanation of how to deal with egos is outlined in the book and this aids in making the book a must read for all parents.

Lesson

The book manages to instill in me the need of nurturing young people in preparation for future leadership roles that they may acquire. I found it insightful because it lays different strategies that can be employed in the quest to make children maximize their potential. In addition, I learnt that children are fragile in nature and thus need some guidance for them to build strong characters. I also became aware of the power of compromise during a confrontation as this disarms the attacker. This made me draw parallels with the different argumentative encounters I have experienced and broadened my vision on conflict resolution.

Appreciation 

I liked this book because it is written in simple and understandable language that makes it easy even for children to read. Furthermore, it contains illustrations that elaborate the topics under discussion in an interesting fashion. In addition, the level of maturity is such that even adults can read the book and learn a few tips on how to manage their children. Similarly, I enjoyed the advice provided in the text as it helps the reader to develop a principled personality without him/her feeling coerced. It does neither offer a stern rebuke of any parental care, nor does it victimize children for all the woes that befall them. Therefore, it promotes a balance between good parental skills and sufficient guidance on teenage behavior.

Saudi Arabia remains the only country in the world to ban women from driving

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Saudi Arabia remains the only country in the world to ban women from driving. Many people have commented about this policy. The country is largely paternalistic and men are considered superior to women. Women cannot go anywhere unaccompanied. However, although some people have complained about the country’s policies, they are not in a position to effect the necessary changes. Only the citizens can change their country’s restrictive laws. This has compelled some people to protest the ban on driving. Other women have dared to drive in public, and this has had repercussions. They have faced arrest and the wrath of some of the members of the society. However, those women who continue fighting for their rights have not given up. For years, they have dared others to join them in their fight. They are taking advantage of the available technology to advance their cause. This has given them the exposure they need, and it has made more people aware of their course.

According to Clay Shirky, who is an American writer and consultant on the impact of internet technology, the changing communication landscape has given people the chance to get more information. It has increased the opportunities that people have to engage in public speech and participate in collective action (29). This is certainly true for women in Saudi Arabia who protest the driving ban. The women are using different communication technologies to make their grievances. They are using YouTube to post videos where others can see them driving. Some women have done this, and this has encouraged others to follow their steps. In the videos, the veiled women can be seen driving around different landmarks in Jeddah and occasionally pausing to talk to the camera. In one instance, a woman reverses her car from her garage driveway and once she is on the street, she nervously looks out for the sign of any kind of police presence. She then joins a major intersection and accelerates to avoid detection, waving a thumbs-up sign in the process. Her fear of being caught is visible as well as the delight she displays by enjoying the ride (Chapell 1). Importantly, most of them avoid crowded streets and their windowpanes are not drawn down to signify their knowledge that they are breaking the law. However, their defiance is also detectable and whenever they reach their destinations without any incidents, they are often triumphant. They are also using different social media platforms to make the government aware of their sentiments regarding the discriminatory and restrictive laws.

Shirky notes that, despite the mentioned usefulness of the social media, its potential depends on support from the civil society and the public sphere (30). Without support from the public, people will not be able to use social media effectively to realize their goals. Many of the people in Saudi Arabia who oppose the idea of women driving are men. However, some women are also against the idea. Others are afraid of joining the protest because they fear the repercussions although “…there is an enhanced ability of taking collective action” (Shirky, 30). This has slowed down any signs of change. Women have been slow to realize the changes they have been waiting for because most of the people do not join the protests. Women first began protesting against the ban in 1990. Forty-seven women were arrested at the time (Shirky 29). From then, the women arranged and took part in another protest, in 2011. Most of the time, they are released after appending their signatures on pledges that they would not repeat the offence. There was a large gap, showing that many people were content with the situation. The recent protest happened in 2013. However, the number of women who participated in the process did not increase. The absence of civil societies with the same ideals makes it harder for the few select individuals to effect any changes in their country. Few civil society groups are willing to join the women to help them fight for their cause. This increases the burden that the women have to bear and minimizes the pressure on the government to repeal these draconian laws.

Shirky observes that protestors will use any means they have to make other people aware of their views and coordinate their actions. Today, this includes the use of such tools such as mobile phones and online technologies. Due to the ongoing crackdown on websites that advance the cause of women driving in Saudi Arabia by the regime, even e-mails have become more useful in rallying people. In Saudi Arabia, both women and men have formed different online petitions, aimed at encouraging women to drive and changing the government laws. For example, the online petition by Kristina Chew has so far generated 3,677 signatures from people across the globe. In the petition, she makes the case for the ban citing that women are forced to hire drivers or their male relatives to enable them to commute. However, she highlights the risks involved with the prohibition such as the loss of lives due to illness of a driver in which women are passengers. In addition, she states that this law strips women of their dignity and makes them dependent on men hence they are not free in their own country.

As part of the reactions to the petition, some respondents are demanding

equality and claiming to be signing up in solidarity with the Saudi women. Similarly, there is an online Amnesty International petition that equally advocates for women to be allowed to drive themselves throughout the kingdom. Some of the people use their blogs while others use twitter and Facebook. Dr. Suhaila Zain Al-Abideen Hammad maintains one such active blog. In it, she chronicles the history of the fight for women’s rights worldwide and draws a parallel with the need for intervention in Saudi Arabia. Aptly titled “These Shackles must be removed”, she reveals that there are no shariah laws that forbid women from driving, women have been known through research to cause fewer accidents than men, the ban is illegal and it exposes them to acts such as rape (Madina 1). She further demand s for the removal of the ban insisting that all citizens have a right of movement and the Shoura Council should stand up for the human rights of Saudi women. As a result, the traffic on her blog is very high as people voice their opinions and this offers an insight of the extent of the problem to the outside world.

Those who participate in the protests use their mobile phones and cameras to record videos of them driving. They then post videos to the internet where others can see them. For example, one such video received 654 views within hours of it being uploaded. The video includes three women who huddle into an SUV and then hit the road. Their plan is to take turns at the wheel and all the while they talk to the camera on the need for Saudi authorities to dignify the female gender. They even spot a policeman leaning on a wall whose backdrop is a photo of King Abdullah and they unleash criticism of his regime. They are bitter with the administrations restrictions on the movement of women particularly the decree that women need to seek for permission from their husbands or male guardians before going anywhere. In light of this, authoritarian regimes and governments are afraid when people are able to coordinate towards a common cause and purpose, and they will try to restrict any form of communication (32).

Media is an important tool that makes citizens aware of the events that are happening in a country. It plays an essential role in driving social change as it strengthens the public. Through the media, populations get the chance to discuss and debate over diverse issues on the same platform (Shirky 34). Modern media have given people a chance to do this. The natives in Saudi Arabia who are supporting changes in legislation may not get a chance to air their opinions in state controlled media, such as television and newspapers. However, the internet has given them a platform where they can discuss many diverse issues that are affecting them. By going online, they have been able to engage with members of other Arab countries who are facing similar discriminatory challenges in their own nations. These platforms offer them a chance to exchange ideas as well as lend moral support to their respective causes. It also makes them have a mouthpiece with which citizens of other countries can track developments within dictatorial countries that try to curtail the freedom of speech. In addition, social media has facilitated the building of lasting relationships both at a personal level and intellectually. In this way, many people have been enlightened and they have proceeded to apply that knowledge in other aspects of their normal lives.

Thus, Saudi women managed to capitalize on the power and influence of such forums to agitate for more pressure to be applied to their government by foreigners in a bid to reverse the retrogressive ban on driving. In 2011, women and some males called for reforms and they created a website where people could sign their petition. The purpose of the petition was to enable people to get their voices heard. They wanted the government to listen to them as they urged people to reconsider their laws. The type of laws that they wanted to change were the ones that were not controversial. Instead, they settled on gender sensitive ones as those could easily be supported by many people. However, they made it clear that the venture was risky and the outcome was unpredictable but they were categorical that they would not back down. Whereas this made the participants feel encouraged, it caused ripples within the government since the protestors were viewed as being anti-nationalist. The only response that was mooted was the isolation and arrests of its leaders to deter their followers from continuing with these policies. Even some international civil society groups were put under surveillance with threats of their disbandment being floated to intimidate them from lending their support on the launch of the women driving exercise nationally.

Cultures are different, and the public has different values. People from one culture will have difficulties understanding some aspects of another culture. Many inhabitants outside Saudi Arabia have a problem understanding the situation facing the local people. They cannot understand why many people would oppose something as basic as women driving cars. However, the situation is different for the people in Saudi Arabia. They have a high regard for their religion and local customs. Most conservative people in the country oppose the idea of women driving cars, and they tie it to religious beliefs. This explains why many women would choose not to participate in the protests. To them, they would be defying religion and tradition, and they do not find this acceptable. Therefore, any solutions to the problems must consider the culture and beliefs of the people.

Members of a group have to understand the situation they are facing and the actions that each one of them does. Social media has increased shared awareness by broadcasting the messages through different networks. Shared awareness has led to the dictator’s dilemma or the conservative dilemma. In such situations, states that are used to having control of public speech have to account for the anomalies created when the people use the social networks to communicate. The public often has different perspectives from the state. The state responds through censorship and propaganda. In 2011, the Saudi Arabian officials were forced to shut down a website that called for the repealing of the ban from driving. In particular, the website had sought for volunteers to join their cause on a certain date to demand for the ban and the instant issuance of driving licenses to women. It invoked their right to be free and dared the government to challenge their opinion through a judicial process instead of holding street crackdowns on dissent. Therefore, the strongly worded article posed a threat to the social order of the kingdom and reignited debate on such a divisive topic that the government decided to have it shutdown.  This curtailed the momentum for the protests and reduced the contact among the organizers.

Privately, public officials admitted that they were trying to limit people’s ability to communicate. In 2013, clerics vehemently supported the king at his palace when the women protested again. They spread messages, which were meant to discourage women from driving and people from supporting the cause. Some of them claimed that driving has a negative effect on women’s reproductive system. Precisely, it was sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan who made those remarks. He was quoted as having said that since driving requires one to sit in an upright posture, women’s ovaries were affected and could lead to the birth of children with various deformities. This was a scary tactic employed by the cleric. They had realized that many women were receiving backing from other quarters for the campaign. The Saudi Arabian culture values family and such a statement has damaging effects. It was aimed at appealing to emotions and sought to rely on religious doctrines to prevail over mere liberal issues in a conservative country.

People recognize the importance of the social media. They have realized the potential it has in causing changes in a country. The public has used it to its advantage as it has given them a voice and a chance to speak out about the issues facing them. Leaders recognize that people can mobilize through the social media and bring down the government. They harass and arrest those who use social media for political purposes. It is common for religious police who have prosecutorial powers to detain citizens whom they consider have broken the various morality laws in the land. A majority of their targets are women. Likewise, they have been criticized for being heavy handed and biased in their arrests. Having no remorse, these personnel do not hide their opinion of resisting all forms of progression within the kingdom and this includes implementing a strict dress code as well as monitoring and allowing limited online activity. Nevertheless, this has not dampened the spirit of most of these women who would like to see an overhaul of the ban on driving (Chapell 1). Since 2011, more than a hundred women have been arrested since they started driving as a way of protesting. These women have spent time in police custody because of their actions. They have been forced to sign papers ordering them not to continue with their activities. One of the women, Manal al-Sharif who is active in the protests has a blog where she posts videos of other women driving. She also asks women who follow her on twitter to participate in the protests. The authorities have ordered her to stop her online activities. This has created a scenario in which the government finds itself in a dilemma of willing to obey international laws on human rights and preventing an Arab Spring uprising on its soil.

Many people around the world cannot understand the Saudi Arabian culture and laws that forbid women from driving. Many other women in Islamic countries drive without problems. Those, behind such restrictions, hold conservative and traditional views that aim to uphold the values of the male dominated society. Both men and women support and oppose the ban from driving. Most women lack the courage to defy the society. Others simply believe what they are told by the men. Although there are no specific laws banning women from driving, the country does not give them licenses. Women may be arrested, even when they are learning how to drive on their own.

Shirky has outlined some of the effects of the online technologies. She has noted that the social media is powerful as a means of communication and as a way of organizing the locals. Governments have realized this, and they have looked for ways of ensuring that the social media does not become overly influential. It has threatened individuals working on any law reforms, and it has spread propaganda about different issues. Such measures are intended to reduce the effect of social media. Shirky also notes the importance of culture when trying to understand actions and behavior of others. Many people in the western countries expect the Saudi Arabian women to behave in a particular way during protests. However, they do not understand the influence of culture on a community’s behavior. Understanding the Saudi Arabian culture might lead to ways of finding solutions that are more effective. For example, women are not electable or allowed to vote. Although there are indications that the king has allowed the former, this lack of women empowerment fuels tensions among the male and female genders. In its defense, the ruler insists that Sunni Islam provides the guidelines on how women’s roles are to be defined. Furthermore, there is a practice of sex separation. This is where men and women are not allowed to visit certain public places together. Despite the power of the social media, it cannot work without the support of the public and the civil organizations. Mass movements will ensure that people achieve their goals. With the greater public refusing to join the protests, it remains doubtful that the women’s efforts will be effective.

 

 

Works Cited:

Chapell, Bill. “Saudi women Get Behind Wheel for Drive-In protest”. NPR., 26 October 2013. web. 9 April 2014.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/26/world/meast/saudi-arabia-women-drivers/

Madina, Al. “ These shackles Must be Removed”. Saudi Gazette, 9 April 2014. web. 9 April 2014.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2011/may/26/saudi-arabia-woman-driver-video

Shirky, Clay. “The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change.” Foreign Affairs 90.1 (2011): 28-41

Object Analysis

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Object Analysis

Contextualization

Fredrick Edwin Church was one of the American artists who were inspired to make a painting of the Niagara Falls. This was because the tourist attraction site was considered the country’s supreme natural wonder and thus artists wanted to display their best impressions of the feature. Many people had visited the location and marveled at its sheer enormity. They were also awed by its strength and size thereby making any work of art about the spot to generate a lot of public interest (Kirwin 2)[1]. As a result, artists tried to outdo each other in making the most suitable depictions of the Niagara Falls in the hope that they would gain national recognition and prominence in their other works. However, Fredrick Church emerged as the best painter by creating a striking painting that captured all the real life attributes of the famous Niagara Falls.

The above artist painted this canvas in 1857 and his depiction was from the view of the shores of Canada. It was unveiled at the Williams, Stevens and Williams’ commercial gallery in New York City where lovers of art paid 25 cents each to view it. Opera glasses and other optical aids were used to facilitate the experience and viewers were given pamphlets that contained critical praise of the art, as well as the chance to buy a chromolithograph of the canvas. The exhibition was a success in New York and that made it to be shown in the eastern seaboard including Britain and Paris. Almost 100,000 visitors had seen the picture within a fortnight of its debut and this contributed to its fame.

The artist did not use a foreground in the painting and this made the viewer to feel as though he/she was in the waterfall. In fact, observers felt as though they were on the edge of the cliff overlooking the massive falls and this was its main attraction. The canvas was huge and the colors of the water and sky provided a contrast that made the work resemble the reality. In addition, the painting used the space evenly on the canvas and the texture had some rough edges to correspond to the contours of the cliffs (Kerr 6)[2]. Similarly, the shade used was an alternate bold and light coloration to give an illusion of depth, which amplified the strength of the water. Images nearer to the eye were large as well to show the vastness of the Niagara Falls since the objects became smaller towards the background. Fine details such as water droplets were visible and this made the piece appealing as such contents caught the attention of the attendees.

Furthermore, the sky had some hazy clouds to symbolize the start of dusk and that provided the canvas with a balance of the picture that was relatable. The terrain of the landscape was equally rugged where rubble is found and smooth on the slopes of the waterfall to signify the diverse ecosystem surrounding the site. This managed to draw the viewer to the painting and gave the exact impression that a person would get if he/she physically visited the spot. Even plumes of smoke billowed from the water to display a splash that is similar to the character of the real waterfall. The art’s appearance was grand and was intentionally designed to appease the viewer (Kirwin 1)[3]. Therefore, it offered a panoramic view of the physical feature. The inclusion of the sweep of Horseshoe was done to offer a balance between light and water. Similarly, the glow of the rainbow was luminous and the large water mass portrayed mobility in a sense that conveyed a message of action. This was particularly striking as it immersed the onlooker on the painting thereby making it interactive.

Comparisons

Thomas Cole had also tried his hand at painting the famous waterfall. Through his Distant View of Niagara Falls, he was able to romanticize the site by including colorful flowers along the boulders. This was absent from Church’s art and it made the painting lovely (Kerr 6)[4]. Furthermore, the fauna was diverse to show the potential richness of the area surrounding the falls. This was explored further by the presence of two people on a cliff overlooking the Niagara Falls in a sign of habitation of the spot. Thus, it is different from the arid terrain presented by Church’s from the American Side. Likewise, the colors used were brighter with an overriding red theme while the dark ones were closely shaded to provide an allure of mystery. Unlike Fredrick’s painting, Cole’s artwork exhibited a shallower and minimal waterfall that did not have too much intensity. However, there were similarities such as the gush of the water and the presence of vegetation nearby.

The 1807 Niagara Falls from the Upper Bank of the British Side painting by John Trumbull offered a sketchier outlook of the feature as it examined it from a different angle (Bears 11)[5]. Aside from the vegetation cover also found in Church’s canvas, it contained four conspicuous trees in the foreground and a much shorter width of the waterfall. Similarly, the colors were dull and predominantly green while the sky was pale in comparison to the original piece by Church. This made the image unattractive since it had no compelling element. The color of the water was slightly discolored in contrast to the glowing illustration in Fredrick’s case as well. While the boulders were a bit longer in length, the Niagara Falls from the American Side ones were far wider. There too was too much emphasis dedicated to the sky as it covered a significant portion of the canvas. The moisture from the water was also pronounced and that instantly drew a reaction from viewers.

Similarly, John Vanderlyn had painted his own impression of the feature in 1802. The choice of colors was not evident and that made it lackluster. His from Table Rock piece had less vegetation while the water was bubblier than that in Church’s art and that made it more glamorous. The cliffs displayed were stronger and outlined more hence showing a sturdy structure unfamiliar to that of Church. Nevertheless, there was a clear foreground, middle ground and background that coincided with its lack in the latter’s work of art. The sky was clearer as well and some images darker in certain regions thus achieving a three-dimensional painting. The land mass over which the water flows before tipping into the falls was wider than that of Church and that made it impressive to look at. Likewise, the shape and direction of the clouds created a feeling of windiness, which added to the delicate environmental weather condition of the picture too. However, it contained images of people and these were traits missing from the Fredrick Church artwork (Borealis 3)[6].

Nicolino Calyo’s exhibition was largely different to that of Church in so many aspects. The people in the art were dangerously close to the waterfall and the boulders depicted were bigger. The vegetation appeared to have withered as opposed to the lush foliage of the Niagara Falls from the American Side. The ebbs of the water were more defined as they took the shape of the contours hence providing eye-catching moments.  The torrents could actually be seen and they made the viewer to feel that he/she was looking at the real waterfall as well. In addition, there were shadows of various objects that marked a difference in the time shown in the painting making Calyo’s to be seen as being towards evening. It also had the images of buildings in the distant horizon symbolizing closeness to civilization that is missing in the other piece.

Similarly, Hyppolyte Victor Valentine’s Niagara Falls was dull in nature, as the water mass in the painting had receded to lower levels. That left a huge crater covering a large section of the canvas in a manner that was uninspiring to the eyes. Large rocks capped with snow could be seen in the foreground and that appearance contrasted with the massive waterfall in Church’s drawing (Borealis 4)[7]. At least it had the precipitation characteristic similar to the latter’s art. The clouds were a bit darker too and that gave an impression of impending rainfall. Furthermore, the frozen nature of the objects was well done that the images were believable. William Morris Hunt also had a Niagara Falls artwork that was poorly done. Various clashing colors were used to demonstrate the ruggedness of the terrain in an opposing viewpoint compared to that of the Niagara Falls from the American Side. Mild colors were also used to highlight the waterfall though there were no waves that indicated its mobility, as is the case in Church’s artwork either. However, it too had some vegetation although the sky was somehow clearer. Therefore, it was not as interesting as the 1857 piece by Fredrick Church.

Relation to Class Debates

The above paintings were designed at a time when the American society was looking for its cultural and national identity. Landscape art was thus seen as a great form of preserving historic sites while creating awareness of their features to stir members of the public to pick up domestic tourism. Iconic landmarks and monuments were painted and that generated a lot of interest from the citizens who flocked exhibitions to appreciate the various works of art (Howat 127)[8]. The popularity of certain paintings forced the galleries to conduct national tours across cities to give everyone a chance to marvel at them as well. The success of such artists made them to be sought after and they began to create more abstract paintings aimed at the elite in the society who considered art collection as a worthwhile investment. Due to that, the Niagara Falls painting was displayed in many exhibition centers that it became in high demand. This led to an increase in its value especially because it was by far the best depiction of the famous site. Later on, it was displayed in an art gallery where few people would be premiums to see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Bears, Andirodack. Art across New York. NY Conservationist, 11. Print.

Borealis, Aurora. Fredrick Edwin Church. Smithsonian American Arts Museum, 1-4. Print

Howat, John. Hudson River Celebrations. Antiques and Fine Art, 125-129. Print.

Kerr, Tom. The Niagara River: An Important Gull Area. Audubon Outlook, 6-9. Print.

Kirwin, Liza. Landscape studies at the Archives of American Art. Archives of American Art Journal, 47, 1-2.Print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] See Kirwin for a deeper analysis and explanation of how the painting affected people .

[2] Kerr explains more concerning the texture of the canvas.

[3] Kirwin describes the appearance of the painting in more details .

[4] Kerr explains more about Cole’s painting and how it differed from Church’s work. Cole’s painting was full of colors.

[5] See Bears for more description about Trumball’s painting which was done from a different angle .

 

 

[6] See Borealis for a clearer understanding on how Church’s art differed from the rest

[7] Borealis offers more explanation contrasting Church’s and Valentine’s work.

[8] Howat explains the effect that the paintings had on people

Tim O’Brien’s book-The Things They Carried

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Topic # 1: Tim O’Brien’s book-The Things They Carried

Introduction

This book chronicles the author’s involvement in the Vietnam War and gives a detailed account of the events that took place there. It offers insights into the reasons for the US involvement in the war and exposes the opinions of various soldiers about them. In addition, it narrates the different strategies that were employed in the battle and reveals details of actual combat missions in various locations within Vietnam. More so, it highlights the sacrifices that the soldiers made and presents a true reflection of the actual military operations at that time. Therefore, The Things They Carried is a heroic adventure that captures real life experiences of Tim with occasional fictional descriptions of the Vietnam War.

Discussion

The book starts with the reader being informed about the author receiving a draft notification from the US military. This section is to be found in on the Rainy River. This was a kind of notice of eligibility for enlisting in the army symbolizing Tim’s qualification for the assignment. As such, this government gesture signifies the calling to action that heroic journeys take. The contents of such notifications mean that the recipient contains certain abilities that can be used to bring security both domestically and internationally (Debono 48). This observation is significant because it sets the stage for the character’s role in the epic while preparing the reader psychologically on the context of the storyline. Furthermore, it serves as a notification of Tim’s potential in warfare.

Subsequently, one is introduced to a network of family members and friends who are opposed to his participation in the war. They view it as unnecessary and advise him to dishonor the call. Some even try to offer suggestions as to how risky the venture would be, especially when the enemies were so many (Thomas 1). Thus, this is one area where the novel ceases being heroic because the main character is dissuaded from taking the logical step into the next epic phase of the adventure. Normally, the guardians should be the ones urging him on and using encouraging remarks about the task such as it being patriotic and a source of pride in society. They would be eager to be associated with his feats since his triumph was to raise their bar by threatening the continuity of the plot. For a while, this makes the reader to be apprehensive about the outcome of the story and the suspense built contributes to the imagination of possible scenarios that the tale may follow.

However, it takes the familiar path of descent due to the character’s development of an opposing opinion to the war. He thinks that it is misguided and morally wrong. Similarly, he does not see the rationale behind the United States interest in the conflict and therefore, decides to run away from the challenge. He does so by packing his belongings and heading off to Canada. This cowardly act is meant to take him as further away from the draft as possible thereby testing his resolve to confront weighty matters. In fact he says,”…I was a coward…” (Debono 53). He faces a daunting task of reconciling his love for his country and his personal conviction about the war. As a result, he succumbs to the negative projections about the effort and demonstrates that by fleeing to a neighboring country. The fact that he is engrossed with the decision he has taken reminds the reader of the consequences of his actions and the dilemma that the story has been placed.

            While there, he sinks into an abyss due to the guilt that overcomes him. He wrestles with the fact that his departure had distanced him from his family, country and life. The thought of freedom in another nation is no longer appealing to him as it dawns on him that he has to forfeit his heritage and yet remain regretful of not honoring the draft notification. This is a typical stage in the build up of an adventure story in which the character is at a crossroad and has to choose a specific permanent direction. Thus, in this book, Tim agonizes over the mistake he has made to flee with the potential rewards he is bound to receive in case he goes back (Chen 83). It is a watershed moment that defines the momentum of the novel and makes the reader predict the character’s next move. In fact, it creates anxiety as the reader anticipates the character to make certain decisions rather quickly in order for the storyline to flow more easily.

At the shores of a lake in Canada, Tim concludes that he needs to return to the US, accept the draft in the army and fight for his country. He realizes that he has a role to play since he owes his family, country and himself the duty to correct his mistake. Hence, he does not hesitate and heads back to the US where he is enlisted and deployed to join his fellow citizens in the Vietnam War. This transformation is consistent with the design of heroic novels whereby the champion gains bravery and goes to face his/her enemies in an act of sacrifice for a specific cause. Sometimes, this decision is pegged on spirituality while others it is political. Nevertheless, in this instance, it is ideological. The reader is therefore, introduced to a bolder, focused and vengeful character compared to the timid one. As a result, the account takes the shape of protagonists by depicting opposing sides that put good against evil. The author then begins a battle of wits by examining the behavior and habits of both sides to justify the prevailing actions of the parties. The intention is to enable the reader to draw parallels and take sides, a technique that makes heroic journeys fascinating.

            Likewise, the information that is included in the various battles that Tim and his comrades are engaged in provide a changed image about the character that turns the tide in his favor. The reader is exposed to the cruelty of war and the horrific costs such as deaths. Tim is portrayed as a tactical and intelligent soldier who is committed to the elimination of the enemy. He too is shown to be caring about the welfare of his fellow soldiers as well. However, the effects of a drawn out war are also included and the impact that it has had on him too. This is yet another illustration of the heroic nature of The Things They Carried, as it features different battles that the main character enters and emerges victorious. Initially, the author talks about mundane fights but gradually delves into bigger and riskier ones that Tim is involved. Even though he gets some injuries, he manages to survive the ordeals that cost the lives of a few of his platoon members and gets recognition for it. In a way, this is a heroic feat considering that earlier on he had been reluctant to join the war effort (Bloom 13).

In the final chapters, the author dwells on the return of Tim to the United States specifically his home area. His family members and friends are delighted to see him in light of the high number of casualties that the Vietnam War had. He even tells them about his harrowing experiences and the evolving opinion about the war that he has had. As such, the book has an ending that befits a heroic journey since it includes excerpts where the main character returns to the community armed with a new understanding. This section acts as a bridge between the initial opinion and the current one thereby showing the transformation that he has undergone and feat he has been able to accomplish. Broadly, it makes the reader experience the redemption of the character and empathize with the struggles he has endured along the way.

Conclusion

Many books have been written over the years about the Vietnam War. However, few of them have been authored by a person who actually served and participated in the war. The above book is one such piece of literature, and it offers a compelling story about Tim’s third Platoon, Alpha Company, fifth Battalion involvement in the battlefield  since he says,”…everything I have told you is from personal experience” (Sirbelgleid 136). It is full of details and contains graphic information. Similarly, it is technically written in a style that traces the heroic journey he undergoes until his return to the United Sates.

 

Works Cited:

Bloom, Harold. Tim O’Brien’s the Things They Carried. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2005. Print.

Chen, Tina. “Unraveling the deeper Meaning: Exile and the Embodied Poetics of Displacements in Tim O’Brien’s The things They Carried.” STOR, 39.1 (1998): 77-98. Print.

Debono, Emily. “Lightening The Man’s Load.” American studies undergraduate Journal, 48-59. Print.

Sirbelgleid, Robin. “Making Things Present: Tim O’Brien’s Autobiographical Matafiction.” Project Muse, 50.1 (2009): 129-155. Print.

Thomas, Barden. “Urban Legends in Tim O’Brien’s The Things they Carried.” International Journal of Humanities, 22.1 (2010): 1-2. Print

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predatory Pricing

Predatory Pricing

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Predatory Pricing

Introduction

            The profitability of companies is dependent on a variety of factors. Among the vital issues to consider is the price of the goods or services to be offered. The process of decision making for such a critical part of the firm has to be informed by factors such as the presence or absence of demand, overhead costs and competitor activities. Therefore, predatory pricing is a technique in which merchandise are deliberately priced lower in order to drive rivals out of a specific market (Alese, 2008). However, it can also be used to deter other organizations from entering a certain market thereby creating a virtual monopoly. This is because such businesses will be forced to lower their price further and that may not be sustainable in the long term. Hence, this method curtails competition, which increases animosity among rival companies due to the creation of a business environment that is favorable to a single or limited group of companies.

Examples

In the year 2000, Wal-Mart was accused of engaging in predatory pricing strategies by pricing goods below the cost in a number of its stores in the US and Germany. It was revealed that the prices of laundry detergent, milk and butter were significantly lower in Oklahoma, Wisconsin and other German outlets than their rivals located in the same areas. In particular, it was alleged that Wal-Mart reduces the price of corner products. Since these are basic items that customers have advance knowledge of their price, when they visit any Wal-Mart store, they are bound to believe that most of its products are relatively priced. In this way, the firm intends for customers to switch their allegiance and shop at its stores. Such an outcome would have led to the closure of many small-scale businesses, as they would not compete with the giant Wal-Mart store chain. It was thus ordered to normalize its prices at these stores. These instructions were meant to return the retail business environment back to normalcy by avoiding upsetting the markets or causing panic among the buyers (Wilkinson, 2005).

Similarly, Esso and Shell have come under the same indictment in which they have been known to sell fuel at wholesale prices that are higher than the actual retail prices to other franchised dealers. In particular, the amount that these oil companies pay for fuel to stations that are owned by these corporations is lower. This scenario makes fuel to be more expensive in individual entities as opposed to franchises that these organizations have a stake. Hence, more people will rush to the latter especially now that economies are facing austerity measures. With a decline in sales, the other marketers will be driven out of business since they will not be able to operate at a profit. Thus, a fuel crisis could occur much to the detriment of motorists.

In addition, Amazon, the online retail store initiated a policy of free delivery of items to its customers. This customer care exercise was meant to enhance the loyalty of consumers while also increasing brand visibility in France. However, other establishments that dealt with similar products faced a dilemma because they used to charge shipping fees. Moreover, they could not just reduce their prices without incurring huge losses that would have hampered their activities. Thus, the French government felt that Amazon had violated antitrust laws by placing rival firms at a disadvantage. Whereas the company was fined for its actions, it decided to pay the one thousand euros per day penalty instead of charging its customers for the delivery services.

From 1986-1995, the UK bus sector in Darlington town experienced a huge increase in predatory pricing. With the formation of Darlington Transport Company and Stagecoach group, these firms began competing for bus routes and higher fleet management. Both rushed to acquire licenses for special zones hence leading to congestion and decline in sales. At the height of the rivalry, Stagecoach decided to give passengers free rides on its buses irrespective of an individual’s destination. This move made other bus companies to reel in debt after the exhaustion of their cash reserves. Since Stagecoach was gaining popularity and passenger numbers, other organizations suffered from the dwindling commuters. Moreover, the situation grew worse that Darlington Transport Company had to file for bankruptcy and look for new buyers.

Criticisms

            It has been clamed that the various laws that have been designed to curb predatory pricing have in fact inhibited competition. This stems from the fact that most competitors with enough financial resources do not bother to reduce their prices, as they know that the predator will not continue with the practice for a long time. Therefore, they assume the new developments and carry on with their day-to-day operations. Furthermore, critics have been quick to point out that the exit of a competitor from a market that is riddled with predatory pricing does not signal an end to organizations involved in the same industry (Basedow & Wurmnest, 2011). In fact, other firm’s may use that opportunity to purchase the collapsed corporations and set on a cause to revive them. In this way, the predator does not benefit significantly from this illegal practice. However, another tactic that can be used is the involvement in complimentary business whereby a firm invests in goods and services that are essential in the running of the predator’s industry.

Support

            There are increasing opinions on the viability of an organization forcing rival teams to quit markets through the pricing of its goods and services at low rates. Nevertheless, there is no likelihood of the company, which would enjoy monopoly, raising the cost of the same goods. This is because other businesses will then get the desire to return to these markets in order to exploit the demand for higher-priced items. Thus, the resumption of competition would trigger a reduction in the yield on investments. Since such undertakings are capital intensive, the predator is better off maintaining the new low price. In the process, it is able to enjoy a monopoly in the market.

Conclusion

            Global markets have become competitive since every organization would like to increase its customer base. This has forced most companies to seek alternative ways of attracting and retaining consumers. As such, some have settled on the lowering of prices to considerably small levels in order to penetrate a market. However, this has caused rival firm’s to experience a decline in sales as they battle to raise income generation without necessarily lowering their prices too. Therefore, predatory pricing has had a negative effect on the attitudes of workers within the same industry. Even though antitrust laws have been drafted in almost all countries, this habit persists and threatens certain sectors such minimal competition creates a monopoly. In the end, consumers have limited options from which to choose the various items according to their preferences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Alese, F. (2008). Federal antitrust and EC competition law analysis. Aldershot, England: Ashgate Pub.

Basedow, J., & Wurmnest, W. (2011). Structure and effects in EU competition law: Studies on Exclusionary Conduct and State Aid. Alphen Van den Rijn: Kluwer Law International.

Wilkinson, N. (2005). Managerial Economics: A problem-Solving Approach. New York: Cambridge University Press.

 

Effects of Personal Opinions in a Multicultural Society

Effects of Personal Opinions in a Multicultural Society

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Effects of Personal Opinions in a Multicultural Society

Question 1

Gender-Career IAT

I agree with the findings because male members of the society have been customarily brought up to be the breadwinners. While in the past, they used to go hunting, modern trends require them to seek employment in different careers. Similarly, females were and are still expected to be caretakers of the homes. Sometimes, this has made them abandon their careers.

Weapons IAT

            Many people tend to associate the black community with the carrying of weapons and I am no exception. This is largely due to the prevalence of crime in black neighborhoods. Furthermore, a glorification of criminal activities by African Americans through popular entertainment forums such as hip-hop reinforces this notion across the country. In addition, the imprisonment of more blacks due to committing offenses portrays them in bad light thus facilitating their association with weapons.

Sexuality IAT

            I have a strong attraction to straight people as they have the same sexual orientation just like mine. However, I loathe gay people primarily because it is against my religion and beliefs. While no offensive words or action may be done to them, it is a feeling that comes subconsciously and makes me uncomfortable when I am around them.

Disability IAT

 

            I disagree with these findings since I do have an equal reception to both able and disabled persons. There is no preference between the two as such deformities are natural hence the victims are not to blame. This makes me not to be judgmental because the deformities of disabled people are not their undoing. Rather, they were created that way and most of them are talented in other fields and do live happy, healthy lives.

Arab-Muslim IAT

            It is true that I have a slight bias for people from other regions as compared to Arab-Muslims due to the prevailing perception that the latter are radicals. Moreover, the ongoing war on terror has highlighted their ethnicity’s involvement in extremism and forced people to be nervous whenever they are around them in areas such as airports. These reactions have caused them to be stigmatized and some have been affected by these developments.

Question 2

            This test helps to gauge the different values and beliefs among people in order to measure the impact that such habits have on their opinions. It examines the different cultures present in the modern society and seeks to offer interpretations about their way of life. As such, it seeks to collect data about the varying opinions and tries to unravel the motivating factors that make people judge others in a certain way. Thus, it is aimed at uncovering the stereotypes that exist and the reasons behind these ideas. In fact, it attempts to determine the validity of such viewpoints. By so doing, it provides caution against such discrimination especially in the current era.

Question 3

The test offers a lot of insight into the lifestyles of various communities and the challenges that they face through the stereotypical thinking of other cultures. Hence, it is a reflection of the poor judgments to avoid in attracting and retaining international tourism activities. Likewise, it illustrates the reasons as to why some communities receive harsh receptions while others are embraced yet the differences are not man made. Moreover, it offers an explanation as to why some tourists visit certain areas as opposed to others. It also offers an explanation as to the trend of some ethnic communities preferring visiting tourist sites that are hospitable to their lineage and shunning those that are deemed hostile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Implementation of ICD-10 in the Health Information Department

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Implementation of ICD-10 in the Health Information Department

Quality Improvement Special Project

HIT/CIM Practicum

 

Project Title ICD-10 Implementation
Project

Description

This plan will outline the manner in which the health department will transition from the old to the new inpatient procedure codes and diagnosis. Thus, it will offer a detailed account of the process.
Problems Description Many of the codes for the previous classification are already full and lack specificity for making accurate anatomical descriptions. In addition, the ICD-9 codes use outdated terminologies that are not compatible with current trends. Similarly, the code lengths are short thereby preventing an extensive analysis of health care information.

 

Goal(s) To create a robust classification system that facilitates automated claim processing. Similarly, this plan will be geared towards reducing claim-payment delays. Furthermore, lowering the rate of payer-physician inquiries will be addressed. It will also streamline performance measurement for health care providers.
Background and Assumptions There has to be planning by the management to establish governance and risk management procedures. These developments need to be communicated with external partners as well. Consultations with other staff members should be carried out in order to identify the different roles they will play. Meanwhile, a training plan can be formulated to act as a guide for new recruits. Likewise, an assessment of the ICD-10 impact on the business and the respective policy changes are required. For example, budgetary allocations need to be made to cater for software upgrades.

An evaluation of all vendors has to be done to ensure that they comply with the requisite technological modifications. Preparation for system migration is essential at this stage and training sessions need to be scheduled to inform all personnel of their responsibilities. Consequently, an internal examination of the readiness of the institution will be conducted and thereafter, an external one completed. As such, an overhaul of the corporate culture will be made to align the activities with the new structure.

Benefits This plan enhances flexibility, which simplifies future updates. It also provides consumers, oversight agencies and integrity contractors with an opportunity to detect and investigate potential fraud. It also helps the department to design modern reimbursement and pricing structures as well. Moreover, a better analysis of disease patterns is possible while tracking and responding to outbreaks is feasible. Payment operations are streamlined too and coding accuracy is enhanced. Operational processes are improved across the health care industry as well.
Constraints There is a likelihood of large number of physician incompatibilities. This would force many doctors to partake in intensive and costly training sessions. The strict timelines would make the various facilities vulnerable to dual format processing in which delays in dispatching claims will affect the nature of the details to be filled. This is influenced by the date of service rather than the date of transmission. Similarly, the flow of cash will stall or halt a company’s financial operations since the changes will affect the entire industry with no guarantee of a smooth transition phase. Short-term budget falls could be experienced as well due to lower reimbursements. Additionally, a decline in productivity will occur, as employees will be engaged in training activities instead of performing their usual duties.
Outcome(s) The cost of healthcare provision will be reduced and the diagnosis of ailments will be more accurate. Furthermore, treatment of diseases will be done much faster thereby shortening the recovery period. There will be an improvement in the quality of services as well and this would boost the confidence of patients in seeking medical treatment at various outlets within the country.

 

Submitted by: _________________________________________________

Date: ___________________________