While the common consensus of global opinion places the blame for the recent recession at the door of high level banking and investment operatives, its continuing effects are most significant amongst the working classes of society. Even as we continue along the steep and well worn paths of economic recovery, governments are still being forced to make budgetary cuts and modifications to combat the remnants of their financial deficits.

In Wisconsin this week, 15 educational facilities were forced to cancel classes in the midst of a staff protest at the state, in reaction to a proposed bill that would impinge their collective bargaining rights and reduce the governments contributions to their benefits. While the protest is perceived as one that is concerned with the financial implications, it is clearly more focused on worker rights and the punishment of staff for federal errors in judgement.

A Countrywide Issue

This issue is part of a larger picture, in which budgetary restrictions are being replicated and contested in many of the poorer US states. Put simply, the proposed legislation will implore workers to invest more in their individual health care premiums and pension contributions, while removing the burden from government institutions. Also, workers would default on their right to have dues deducted straight from their weekly or monthly salary.

When discussing the issue of crime, many individuals have their perception influenced by the process of supposition. This means that their opinions are based and conceived upon an assumed understanding, and often not entirely relevant in terms of their factual content. The ultimate consequence of this is that sections of society are misjudged by association, and criminal conduct is subsequently attributed to limited perpetrators and groups.

As an example of this, it is a common understanding that poor or poverty stricken geographical areas are more likely to produce criminals and criminal behavior, and this at least has a foundation in fact and statistical relevance. However, this means that crime is often considered to be an affliction of financial hardship or poor standards of living, when it is in fact prevalent in alternative social circumstances through separate forms and actions.

The Triggers of Criminality

In order to understand this concept, it is crucial to determine the variable types of crime and the motives that trigger them. This is significant because certain types of criminal activity are relevant to specific demographics, and this in itself transcends the illusion that crime is only likely to be committed by certain individuals who are affected by poverty or a financially restricted upbringing. The truth is that particular aspects of criminal activity are more likely to occur in more affluent geographical areas.

The debates concerning reactive contraception and the morning after pill have been ongoing for an entire generation, especially as teenage pregnancy rates have risen in the contemporary world. While access has always been restricted and conditional for individuals under the age of 17, bodies have recently commenced a renewed push to change this legislation, in order to ensure that the medication can sold without age restrictions.

This is the latest in a long line of attempts to make the drug available without any conditional legislation, and has support from various affiliated medical and female orientated groups. While they continue to argue that this will reduce the rate of pregnancy amongst young teenagers and negate the risk for the emotionally challenging concept of abortion, there are opposing voices that state concern for personal responsibility and sexual promiscuity.

A Simple Resolution to a Complex Issue?

While the free and unrestricted access to emergency contraception may well reduce the rates of unplanned teenage pregnancy, it also sets a dangerous precedent for encouraging sexual activity without consequence. As a problem resolution, it is rather ill considered and short sighted, for although it is designed to achieve a particular aspiration it does so without tackling the inherent causes that trigger the issue in the first instance.

It cannot be escaped that stress is an inevitable consequence of contemporary existence, especially given the increasingly fraught nature of the economy and personal finance. As individuals are finding it difficult to find or maintain employment, and the cost of living continues to rise steadily at the same time, stress is an unfortunate but entirely predictable consequence that can have a long term effect on a persons health.

However, recent research and its findings have revealed that the accepted knowledge about dealing with stress may well be inaccurate, and that there are in fact far more suitable methods for relieving its symptoms. This is indicative of the internet age, where a swathe of independent research bodies are conducting similar tests simultaneously, and publishing entirely opposing results that often conflict with each other.

The Issue with Online Media

This is the main problem with online media and Internet resources. As the World Wide Web continues to expand, more and more website pages are created on a diverse range of topics. As bodies investigate different concepts, the element of competition between researchers produces similar tests that generate contrasting results, with the result that the internet becomes a host of diametrically opposed opinions and supposed fact.

Home schooling is one of the more controversial aspects of contemporary education, and encourages diametrically opposed opinions on either side of the debate. Not only is it an often discussed concept, but it is also one that has grown in popularity significantly within the last decade. There are numerous social and cultural issues that acts as triggers for parents to decide to school their children at home, and while some are long standing others are more of a reaction to current social climates.

The facts are relatively surprising. An estimated 1.5 million US children are schooled at home by their parents, and this figure has increased by nearly 75 percent within the last 10 years. This significant and persistent growth in home education is particularly interesting, and hints at several parental concerns relating to society and education. Many of these relate specifically to either a child’s individual safety or core education principle, and display a worrying lack of faith in government legislation and resource.

The Reason Behind Home Schooling

Of the 1.5 million home schooled infants throughout the nation, 36 percent of them are subjected to this process through religious and cultural reasoning. While this has been an understandable and persistent feature of the increasing levels of multiculturalism within the US, other statistics or more indicative of burgeoning social concerns. For example, a further 17 percent of home schooled children are taught domestically by their parents because of inherent and pressing issues with the content or quality of contemporary education.

While the World Wide Web has long being accepted as a broad and diverse informational resource, it is now beginning to challenge the conventional concepts of communication and interaction. A key aspect of this is social gaming, which is an expanding feature of networking sites and media outlets, and offers subscribers the chance to experience role playing games while interacting with fellow users. As it continue to grow at a rapid pace, there are issues concerning its consequence as a recreational activity.

Facebook are the most prolific source of social network games, with titles such as FarmVille and CityVille extremely popular amongst users. Statistics suggest that out of the estimated 500,000,000 subscribers who utilize facebook as a daily resource, approximately 68 million of them will be playing at least one game a week by the end of 2011. This, in addition to the increasing number of designers who are producing games within the media, is showing a clear trend in where social networking sites are set to direct their efforts in the next 12 months.

The Changing Face of Social Networking

This trend is a statement of how social media as progressed since its inception, and also mirrors the changing landscape of the internet as a whole. Social networking sites such as Facebook were conceived with largely simple goals, in order to connect people and make it viable to interact through an alternative and cost effective methodology. However, as Facebook in particular has grown to be the most visited and influential website in 2010, its core purpose and aspirations has changed to suit this demand.

It is an accepted and often discussed fact that the internet is changing the way that people interact and communicate. This is generally to be considered a good thing, especially in the way through which individuals can gather and share their opinions upon various online media outlets. Given the improvements it has also offered to commercial interaction, and the way in which marketing and advertising strategies are now conceived and delivered, there are many obvious benefits that are generated by remote communication.

However, there is an alternative and rather distasteful aspect to this argument. What the internet also provides is a wide and diverse platform upon which people can be abused, threatened and bullied, a situation that is not assisted by the fact that it also offers n enhanced degree of anonymity and secrecy for the offenders. The trends in this particular behavior are worrying, as there seem to be more and more instances of individuals being victimized through social network sites and remote interaction.

The Issue of Remote Hostility

With over 80 percent of US adults now active on through internet on a daily basis, it is only natural to presume that the issue of online of abuse will become more prevalent. However, the examples of this seem to be escalating out of proportion to the level of users, which is perhaps more indicative of other social and behavioral trends. There is an inherent need to consider this issue and understand whether the internet is itself a catalyst, or whether it is simply a vehicle which others a driving towards misuse.

If you consider the intricacies of democratic government, then there is no doubting the size of the tasks that face officlals in the US and similar civilized societies. From attempting to represent their citizens in the most fair and balanced way to seeking to impart the principles of democracy on affiliate countries afflicted by war and by conflict, their resources are often stretched in an attempt to create a more functional world and individual societies within.

While their intentions are good, you can not help but question whether the same democratic principles that define them are also taken advantage of by certain factions of society. As the US government look to battle a range of financial and health issues, they must face up to two especially prevalent aspects of contemporary culture. Firstly, that they are unable to appease everyone in a country of such diverse cultures and requirements, and secondly that a consequence of liberal government is the diminishing of personal responsibility.

Changing Circumstance Through Education

To give an example of the inhospitable situation that democratic officials find themselves in, you need only address the range of social issues that currently blight local and global societies. As obesity, consumer debt and instances of violent crime have shown general levels of oncreae over the last 3 years, there has been intense pressure to create resolutions and move the country forward. However, there is often little done to question the individuals own responsibliltiy for their personal plight, leaving them largely absolved an any accountability.

According to various reports, we are the time of year where people begin to renege upon or abandon their new year resolutions. Whether an individual has given up smoking or pledged to undertake an increased daily exercise program, the two week period between the end of January and middle of February oversees a watershed in their aspirations, as they their good intentions are challenged by the rigors of everyday existence. More often than not, resolutions that are formed in good spirits are broken do the detriment of a persons health or well being.

Worryingly, these health resolutions that are conceived in order to benefit an individual are being disregarded despite the wealth of information that surrounds them. The age of internet has afforded citizens access to a volume of information that is unprecedented, but despite this there is an inherent lack of motivation to abandon habits that continue to damage the health of society and its members. This raises questions about the World Wide Web, and whether it is ushering in an age of enlightenment or ignorance.

A Dilution of Relevant Information

The statistics surrounding health in the US. As the rate of US citizens suffering from being overweight or obese rises towards 70 percent, and a further 20 percent still choose to smoke on a daily basis, there are increasing concerns of an nutrition and health epidemic in the country. Yet these issues continue to remain prevalent despite the fact that their related information is not only readily available, but also advertised and promoted on various affiliated products.

In an ideal and picturesque world, retirement is a golden epoch in an individuals life, where they are able to relax and enjoy the twilight years of their life in the company of their family and friends. In addition to this, they are rewarded for their years of hard work and significant contributions to the economy with a deserved pension, which is available to them in conjunction with any additional savings they may have earned over time. With the advances in medicine improving health conditions and the longevity of life, it is supposed to be a durable and well earned reward for the hard working individuals of the US.

However, the harsh reality of existence rarely reflects an individual ideology, and the instance of retirement is a case in point. There is a global phenomenon of people retiring at an increasingly elderly age, and particular employment reforms in the US are ensuring that this trend is being reflected throughout the nation. The UK and France are also seeing modifications to their legislation which is deferring the average age of retirement, creating a generation of individuals who are forced to delay enjoying the fruits of their labors.

Debt as a Central Issue

Given the combined and individual levels of debt that continue to strange the life out of contemporary societies, it is little wonder that people are being forced to work harder and longer for their retirement purse. The recent global recession has not helped the matter, and governments are being coerced into delaying the standard retirement age to ensure the stability of social security, and also help to maintain an able economy. However, while the concept of a national debt is one thing, this issue is compounded when the levels of consumer debt remain so high and prevalent.

One of the most contentious issues that surrounds the World Wide Web is the surfeit of information that can be published and accessed by anyone. The intended purpose of the Internets swathes of resource is to empower and educate individuals within society, and prevent them with the factual data, opinion and objective information to aid them in an individual quest for wisdom. This is with a view to liberating society and giving each individual member the tools to further their own education on desired subjects.

To this end, Wikileaks is an international non profit organization that was founded in 2006, and strives to deliver anonymous submissions of private and covert news to a wide and uncensored audience. As they protect the source of the information they are able to seek and publish highly controversial and topical information, which is served in the greater interest of keeping the public updated with relevant data. In keeping with the nature of their operation, they have been involved at the centre of several well documented international incidents.

Freedom of Speech and its Consequences

If anything, Wikileaks is the evocation of the freedom of speech and democratic values. In its purest form, it provides a platform through which it is able to deliver entirely relevant information that would otherwise be suppressed and censored by government bodies. In effect, it takes control away from governments who wish to control what information is fed to society, and ensures that people are empowered to be as informed as they wish to be. Of course, this concept is one that has produced a vast differential in terms of its reception and response.

Since the turn of the century, we have appeared to exist in a world of increasingly apparent extremes. Whether this refers to political opinion and religious belief systems, or the swelling number of underweight and overweight individuals in US society, the concept of the extreme is particularly prevalent in contemporary culture. Although it is a clear symptom of modern living and behavioral trends, there is little to suggest whether there is an inherent cause or a suitable resolution.

The issue of health and body image acts as a significant example. Statistics released by the US census suggests that less than a third of the adult population are considered to be at a healthy weight and BMI, with the remaining majority either underweight or overweight in comparison. To compound this worrying data, each problem appears to be divided by gender, with males recording 70 percent of their number either overweight or obese, and an estimated 3 percent of females underweight.

Knowledge vs Ignorance

These two very different health issues are born of entirely individual causes. Obesity is a result of ignorance, where individuals do not modify their diet or levels of exertion to match their lifestyle requirements or the accepted knowledge on the subject. In contrast, individuals who are underweight are often influenced by the media representation of body image and type, and adapt their own eating habits and trends to create a body that is more compatible with what the see.

Violence is a significant concern in contemporary society, and is something that has continued to rise steadily in specific geographical areas of the US. While acts of violence between members of society are troubling enough, incidents where violence is directed towards authority figures is even more concerning, as this is something which strikes at the very core of shared communal values. Law enforcement bodies and officers subsist to protect the members of a community, and an attack upon them is a direct challenge to the safety and harmony of a society.

As reports filtered through that a total of 11 US police and Federal officers were gunned down in the space of just 24 hours, a tangible sense of shock gripped the entire country. Although the US and many western cultures have become used to instances of gun crime and violence as a daily though regrettable occurrence, the sudden explosion of fury aimed at a body of authority figures is as disturbing as it is unprecedented. It is a trend that could destabilize an entire society of it were to continue, and one which needs to be understood fully before it is tackled.

Understanding the Violence

Early reaction from government and law enforcement officials suggest that they believe the acts to be unconnected, and individual instances of violence manifested from desperation and variable personal circumstances. While this is a plausible explanation, it does not necessarily correlate with the frequency of the events and their nature. It is particularly unlikely that there would be 11 separate instances of citizens using firearms against police officers within such a short space of time, especially ones that are result of the exact same trigger and circumstance.

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